Warcry – Gryselle’s Arenai

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Another White Dwarf and another Underworlds join the ranks of Warcry. This month, 486, we get cards for Gryselle’s Arenai, 5 Sisters of Slaughter for the Daughters of Khaine warband.

The release schedule for Underworlds is a new Warband every second month, with a new starter box with two warbands every 6 months. So if we keep getting Warcry rules in White Dwarf we should have a pretty steady stream of new profiles.

This warband has 5 fighters, all with a variety of different weapons which should give us some fun options. The Daughters of Khaine are roughly split into 4 types of fighter, the Sisters of Slaughter who usually have whips, the Witch Aelves who are similar but with blades, and the medusa like Blood Sisters who typically are archers, and the Khinerai who have wings.

We’ve already had Morgwaeth’s Blade-Coven which is mainly focused on Witch Aelves. You can check out my review on them in the Order warbands. Unfortunately, great models but not great profiles. Hopefully this warband will be better.

This is an overview of all the fighters, just to give us a little context. Checkout the dashboard and play around with it yourself. For the above, I selected each of the named fighters one at a time.

We have Gryselle the leader at 185 points, with the remaining 4 in the 80 to 90 range. Wounds look pretty low while damage is pretty average. The Leader Gryselle is near the top of her bracket for damage, but it is relatively flat from about 125. Out of the remaining 4, Kalexis is the best damage efficiency per points and does seem to be above average.

Speaking of which this slide shows what I’m hoping for in a fighter. My assumption is the fighter will have 4 move and 4 toughness. Sometimes they have more or less, as indicated by the + and -. But usually that’s a trade off balanced out elsewhere in the profile.

I look for 3 wounds for every 25 points, so a 100 point model will have 12 wounds. Similarly, I’m looking for 1 average damage versus T4 for every 25 points, so 100 points will be on average 4 damage. That’s a relatively aggressive damage profile, so I’m not concerned too much if a fighter doesn’t hit that baseline.

Lets get into some fighters.

First up Gryselle, the Slaughterer. Fast with 5 speed, but trading that off with a slightly lower toughness of 3. 20 wounds for 185 is slightly below what we’d hope. The damage of 7.5 on the other hand is just slightly above. Like I said, the damage average I look for is actually pretty competitive, so I’m happy to say this is a good fighter. She does compare to to the Slaughter Queen.

Damage is slightly better with Gryselle due to the extra point on a crit and she has 2 extra wounds, but that’s costing you 25 extra points which is costly. You lose out on the Quad, but that’s rarely an issue. If you were just getting the damage and 2 wounds, I’d say this was a bad deal, but as we’ll get to later you will get access to some extra abilities. This is a common enough trend for these underworlds fighters, a few extra points in exchange for an extra ability, so keep that in mind.

Next up we have Thrialla, the Lash. Looking at the baseline, this fighter is a little below for damage and wounds, not too much though we’re looking for 3.2 damage and 9.6 wounds. We do get move 5 without the toughness getting downgraded which is nice. So overall the fighter seems decent. More importantly, she has reach of 2 which I think pushes her into a good fighter. Now compared to a Sister of Slaughter with whip and buckler everything is the same, again you’re paying 5 more points for access to the abilities.

Retaira the Entangler is similar to the Sister of Slaughter with Whip and Blade. Again we have reach which is nice but we’re actually losing a little damage. She has 1 less attack dice but 1 more strength which ends up being a net loss.

Kalexis is a new profile. She compares best against the Witch Aelve I think, but she’s 25 points more and is doing nearly double the damage. Thinking about to the baseline, for every 25 points we’re looking for 3 wounds and 1 average damage. At 100 that would be 12 wounds and 4 damage, so Kalexis is a little under when it comes to wounds but over when it comes to damage. I do like her and she makes for a pretty nice new stat-line for the Daughters of Khaine. 

Traxyaa is similarly a new profile. The closest comparison we have here is the Witch Aelf with the blade and buckler. An extra 20 points gets you an extra 1.3 damage but nothing else. So less damage than Kalexis, no reach like Retaria, but you do get 4 toughness.

Okay, abilities.

This warband has 4 abilities which anyone within this warband can use. We have a reaction, a double, and two triples. So no Quad which I consider a good thing as they’re always unreliable.

The Reaction Acrobatic Display reduces damage they take from hits by 1 which is decent. As I talked about in the last video, the most common time to use your reactions is when you’re expecting to die, so an ability where you can increase the chance of surviving is pretty good. Note this will not reduce damage from crits, in the FAQ GW confirmed that abilities that mention hits do not refer to crits as well.

The double Peerless Combatant is an interesting meta choice, it prevents your opponent from doing damage with reactions. Typically that’s going to refer to the universal reaction Counter which will do 1 damage for each dice that misses and 2 damage for any 1s. To do that, your opponent is going to have to give up a reaction and to stop it you’re going to have to give up a double ahead of time. It’s going to be pretty niche I think, but having options like this isn’t a bad thing.

The first triple is Combination Attack, if you’ve already done damage to a target you can use this triple to get an extra attack. This is great, an extra action for a Triple is really good and the setup isn’t that hard as you’ll be looking to do some damage anyway. You definitely could have situations where you move up and whiff the attack and can’t use this ability, but you can use the same triple with someone else later instead. This ability all by itself justifies Gryselle’s cost. She’s high damage and an extra attack from her is going to have a lot of value.

The last triple is Marshal the Bladestorm which is an aura effect that gives nearby Arenai fighters an extra point of toughness. It’s a little disappointing it’s limited to just the Arenai rather than any friendly fighter. I think maybe design were a little conservative here, but I can understand the caution. The fighters in this warband are 3 or 4 toughness, so unless you’re up against strength 5 opponents it should help.

I doubt this would be one I’d be looking for every turn, but the option is nice especially within the Daughters of Khaine who typically are quite fragile. 

Overall, a decent spread of abilities that provide extra options. The Combination Attack really stands out, presumably we’ll want to use this as much as we can with the Leader who will get the most out of the bonus attack,

Once nice feature with this months White Dwarf is they also include the abilities from the Daughters of Khaine that Gryselle’s fighters can use. So with the miniatures and the cards you have everything you need without having to look at any pdfs.

If you do look at the pdf you will find an extra ability, the Double Killing Stroke,  but in the FAQ  that got the Trapper runemark added so no one from this warband can use it. Good job GW. 

To quickly go through this. They have an awesome Reaction Gladiatorial Display which will do 4 damage if the target didn’t get any crits. For a low damage fighter, trading an action for a pretty good chance of doing 4 damage looks like a pretty deal.

The Double Bathe in Blood requires at least 1 damage on the target, but is an upgraded Onslaught giving you the same extra attack dice but also an extra point of strength. That’s super good. Often an extra point of strength will increase the average damage by 1.

The Triple Slaughter’s Strength pushes that strength increase a little more, with a potential of a triple 5 or 6 giving an extra 3 strength. That can be quite good, but often the extra dice from Onslaught is going to be better, so make sure you math out the options so you know which fighters will benefit from which ability the most.

Last we have a Triple requiring the hero runemark which gives a boost of 1 attack dice to nearby friendly fighters. Definitely a nice option to have, even if you do need to get a kill in before using it.

So some nice abilities and lots of options for this warband. There are two reactions, one doing damage one reducing damage taken. Two doubles, one an upgraded Onslaught the other a situational anti-reaction ability. Four triples in total, the Combination Attack is the stand out but the options to boost toughness, boost attacks, and boost strength are all nice.

So what do we have? These are all good fighters, most hitting those ambitious targets I look for. They don’t offer anything particularly game changing for the Daughters of Khaine. You could take a Slaughter Queen and a combination of Sisters of Slaughter and Witch Aelves to make a similar warband. This warband does offer some minor tweaks to the existing Daughters of Khaine fighters which is nice. Kalexis in particular is pretty great for damage and Gryselle herself justifies her cost with the Combination Attack ability.

The Arenai do have a few defensive options like the triple and the reaction, but in my experience the number of wounds are the best indicator of a fighters survivability, and we have a lot of fighters under the curve at 8. In the previous Daughters of Khaine warband we had a number of similar fighters with 10 wounds who didn’t quite make the cut as their damage was a little low, so it’s definitely a bit of a balancing act.

For the rest of the Order warbands, Gryselle is a good hero option she fast with good health and does great damage, so she opens up access to the rest of her warband giving other warbands move 5 fighters.

As a side note, this warband is 550 points out of the box. It’s not far off a full 1k. Grab yourself a a different Order Underworlds warband and you will be able to combine them. GW still have a few of the old warbands in stock under the Age of Sigmar section without Underworlds rules. 

While I doubt these fighters are going to shake up the Warcry Meta at the top tables, these are some beautiful looking models and their profiles are good, so if you like the look of them pick them up and have some fun with them. Personally, I’m thinking they might work well with my Khainite Shadowstalkers. 

If you’re interested in this warband I recommend picking up this months White Dwarf 486 which has all the fighter and ability cards you need. If your playing with the compendium warbands which don’t have cards, check out the Warcry Card Creator. I’m constantly adding new features to this, it now has a better format for printing, an option to include the names of the runemarks, and if you’re making an abilities card and only select 3 abilities then it uses a nicer format. So please do check it out and if you have any suggestions feel free to message me.

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