Today I’m delighted to finally look at some official Warcry rules for the Hexbane’s Hunters. I think this has been the most asked after warbands we’ve had in quite a while.
These are members of the Order of Azyr, the Witchhunters of Sigmar. That makes them an Order bladeborn warband which is notable as it’s likely the doggos will be pretty cheap, so depending on the price of Hexbane himself, this might make a good addition to the more elite Order warbands that don’t have access to cheap Thralls like some of the other factions.
As always, I go straight to the damage and wound plot. The doggos and nicely cheap but not great wounds or damage for all that. Brydget is pretty low for damage while Haskel is kind of mid. Aemos is excellent though and Quiet Pock is notable for having his ranged damage higher than his melee.
Brydget and Quiet Pock are quite low on wounds but Aemos is at a good spot for his points and Haskel is actually pretty chunky.
There are 4 abilities for this bladeborn warband and weirdly enough it’s actually spread across two runemarks. We have the usual Hexbane’s Hunters bladeborn runemark, so a subfaction runemark. Where we would normally have the runemark for an existing warband we actually get a new Order of Azyr warband. Mechanically this doesn’t make much difference but it is a fun touch and we might see the Order of Azyr rounded out in the future. So we have 3 abilities specific to the Order of Azyr and one that’s purely for Hexbane’s Hunters, but again, that doesn’t really make much difference.
The reaction is Grim resolve. It’s a classic that lets them heal up D3 damage in reaction to being targeted. It’s a solid defensive ability and as I’ve mentioned before one of the times you’re definitely going to use an action for a reaction is when you suspect the fighter is going to die. So a solid start. Unfortunately it does require the Warrior runemark which everyone but the doggos have. So no Grim Resolving the doggos.
The triple is Brand of Righteousness which requres the hero runemark, in this case Haskel. We’ll look at it in more detail when we get to him.
The Quad is again everyone but the doggos, and can be used after an enemy took down a friendly fighter in the previous activation. So that would be any of their two or more actions for the turn. Each friendly fighter can make a bonus attack action targeting that enemy fighter. It’s pretty tricky, to match the standard move and attack of rampage you want at least 2 fighters to get an attack out of it. We already know Brydget, Haskel, and Quiet Pock all have ranged attacks, so there’s a decent shot you’ll be able to get them to attack. In reality though, you’ll be keeping your quad for Rampage. We know the most expensive fighter in this warband is 150 points so it’s likely we’ll have an elite hero alongside this warband where the quad will be better spent.
Last there is a Double Explosive bolts which requires the Brute runemark. This is specific to Quiet Pock who we’ll get to soon enough.
Haskel is 125 points with chunky wounds and the rest a pretty normal human profile. His firebrand does an average of 4 damage while his pistol does a nice 2.5 at range of 8. That means you’ll often be better off standing still and shooting with him.
His melee damage of 4 is fine, a very competitive ask would be 1 average damage per 25 points, so 4 is good but not great. His ability is a triple that increases the damage of a crit by the value of a triple. So a Triple 1 is going to up the average damage by .6 all the way up to a Triple 6 increasing the damage by 4. So this is a pretty solid damage increase, Haskel has 4 dice and if you’re attacking with both actions that’s 8 dice to fish for crits with.
So he’s hard to kill, has okay damage, and the option for a burst with a Triple. I think he’s solid, not super exciting but you can get a lot of work done with him and he opens up the rest of the warband.
Next up we have Quiet Pock who at 150 points is more expensive than Haskel. Again he has the human warrior 4 move and 4 toughness but with only 10 wounds he’s actually quiet easy to kill for his points. We’d expect around 18 wounds at his point cost.
He has two attacks, either with the crossbow or a club, although I think the model might have a sword in there. His melee attack is pretty weak and is only really there when he’s forced into a corner due to the minimum range of 3 on the crossbow. That crossbow is where the action really is, it’s 4 average damage at range 15 which is crazy good.
He also has a double that boosts that damage, turning the next attack into an explosion. A double 6 is doing to do 3 damage to each fighter within 3 inches of the target, as long as Pock scores at least one hit. Unfortunately that is only with 2 dice, so it’s not very reliable. Hilariously, it doesn’t say enemy fighters so you can accidentally kill your own fighters. Keep an eye out for that, and please don’t try scoring mission points that way without double checking with your TO first who I expect will say no.
So this is a pretty interesting fighter. He’s got some great ranged damage, although you can get similar from a Grundstock Thunderer for 45 points cheaper. Pock does have range 15 though, once fighters start to get stuck in he should have a good chance of targeting any enemy fighters and his double ability has the potential to do a lot of damage if enemy fighters are grouped.
Next we have Aemos who is wonderfully simple. For 15 wounds you’d expect 125 points and his weapon profile is the same. So for 105 he’s a pretty good bargain even if he is just straight forward muscle and beef.
Cheaper again at 95 we have Brydget who is in many ways a downscaled version of Haskel. She is half the wounds at 10 which I think just goes to show how good a deal Haskel is. Her melee damage is pretty poor but her ranged attack is pretty good. I believe she is the cheapest ranged fighter with average damage of 3 or better, although the Kharadron Overlords jump to 4.6 at 105 points. Alas she doesn’t have any abilities to back it up. With the Warrior runemark she gets the reaction and the Quad but that’s it. Again like Haskel I think she’ll be a pretty useful piece to have on the board. You can expect to keep her out of trouble maybe on an objective while still popping away at targets.
Last up we have Grotbiter and Ratspike, the two Doggos. These have identical profiles and are pretty straight forward. They’re fast with move 6, squishy with onlly 6 wounds, and do mediocre damage at 1.6. They’re actually identical to the Wildercorps hounds, but without the abilities the Wildercorps runemark gives. So if you’re allying this warband in with the Wildercorps then just use the normal trailhound profile. For any other warband though, the are the cheapest chaff fighter you can get. It does mean bringing Haskel, but Haskel and the 2 hounds are 235 which isn’t crazy. You could drop two of the Blacktalons fighters and replace them with 4 from this warband and still have a few points left over for a blessing.
Overall, this is a pretty cool looking warband. Although none of the fighters immediately seem game breaking, they are all solid and playable. Haskel and the two hounds are a decent way to squeeze in some cheap fighters into an expensive warband. Brydget, Aemos, and Quiet Pock are all quiet difference in their own ways, but certainly could find a place. More than anything else, this is a super cool looking warband which does justify their inclusion all by itself.
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