Time for a rethink Borka....
by James M.
In my last article I discussed many different aspects of warmahordes, including:
List Design based on caster type
Multiple list design and purpose for tournaments/scenarios
So I played two games with the list I designed and a slight variation on it. I have to say, I think Borka is really a brick caster a heart. His spell list encourages bricking up with a unit of champions and stone as your core with some supporting units that are hard to touch. His feat turn is quite situational and underwhelming, especially with such a small control range. I'm sorry Borka, I love you, but for the moment you will be going back on the shelf. Hence, today I will address the importance of list design and multiple lists in tournaments/scenarios.
One of the beautiful things about Warmahordes, for those that don't know, is that it is actually made for tournaments and has a specific tournament pack (steamroller) written by the makers (Privateer Press). Companies like Games Workshop have openly admitted their game is not designed as a competitive game but rather for casual gamers who enjoy a bash on the weekend in their garage. Fine. If you believe you can only make a game for casual play, don’t complain when it is a part of your demise.
Back on track, the steamroller pack is based on a simple square numbers system. If there are 16 players, you play four rounds to eventually have 1 overall winner, if 32, five rounds etc etc. There are also a variety of around 20 well balanced scenarios that provide a huge change of pace to the game and the level of tactics. Having a scenario win or a caster kill win also compensates for potential bad match ups (e.g. a shooty Cygnar army comes up against an all stealthed Cryx army).
However, one of the major balancing issues is dual or more army lists. The steamroller pack allows players to bring up to 2 different lists from the same faction. This is huge and allows for a huge breadth in tactics both on and off the board. I'll go over these briefly...
Army Variety. One of my top two lists is an epic Madrak infantry heavy, fast moving list that is great at scenarios and brings a huge amount of pure damage. However it has potentially bad match ups such as the old witch and the Harbringer (that just EAT infantry alive) hence, my 2nd list is a low model count beast heavy list run by epic Doomshaper. The Harbringers feat just doesn’t scare him at all!
You always stand a chance! Unlike in other systems where you might groan at a particular matchup and have to play for a draw or a small loss, you can always pick a list where you don’t have to stand back and play stand-offishly when your army is always about getting stuck in.
Cover your match ups You can design lists that can beat swaths of infantry, heavy jacks, contest scenarios and still have potential to assassinate!
You are rewarded for playing hard players! You get more 'tournament points' for playing players who do well and always have the potential to loose a game and come back!
Which leads me to my final point. For our premiere “Convic” tournament down under, you actually get to take a third caster. I feel as though, whilst not my strongest caster, Grissel Bloodsong excels particularly at not having bad match ups but also dominating scenarios, hence have been playing a lot with her to get her nuances down.