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Sell me on Warlord


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I want to preface this by saying that I am extremely fond of Reaper miniatures.  So, I don't need to be sold on the miniatures, I want to be sold on the rules.  I've gotten to the point where I've tried so many miniatures games, that I no longer blindly buy rules and rarely buy them based solely off internet reviews. 

 

My current fantasy ruleset of choice is Song of Blades and Heroes.  I like SoBH because it is generic, can handle any miniatures you want, and plays very quickly.  My one complaint about SoBH is that it lacks a certain amount of detail.  For example spellcasting is extremely limited: you can do damage OR Transfix an opponent. 

 

I want something with a little more detail to the gameplay and the individual figures.  I tried WarmaHordes, but the expensive figures combined with the (in my opinion) overly complex gameplay turned me off to it.  Some have suggested Malifaux, but I don't like the setting (fluff is important to me).  I am enjoying GCT Studios Bushido, but the miniatures are very expensive and the setting most people around here don't like. 

 

I've looked at Warlord many times, but if I got into it, I would be laying the foundation for the community here.  I love the figures and what little I've read about the setting, I like it.  Can you sell me on this game?

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I can.  I bounce back and forth between Reapers' Warlord, and my first love, Chronopia.   Warlord can handle a large part of your collection as it's easy to proxy models.  If you like Celtos skeletons better than Reapers', just put'em on a square base and go Necropolis.  I find even with the ease of proxying, I still spend more on the actual range.  How'd they do that????  It's easy to put down Otherworld giants, Heresy Cultists, Hasslefree characters and anyone else you've got.

 

The rules are light enough for fast play, but detailed enough to give a model the right feel.  The armored knight, the spearman, or the archer all have the right stat blocks to feel correct.  The magic has lots of different spells, and each army will have some mix of magic should you choose to take it.  It's definitely a different mechanic than SoBH.

 

Army construction is highly addictive.  I go on the army builder and just put together forces.  I'd recommend you get the rulebook and go crazy.

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My physical copies of Warlord 2 are so bent and twisted from use that I would tell you a pdf is the way to go, but I don't know where to steer you for that.  I'd get the rulebook from Reaper.  It's pretty inexpensive and worth every penny.  If you like Warlord 2, then put out the cash for Savage North.

 

Of course, if you like the models from the Savage North book, you can start there too.

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Which are the rules to get? There are used copies of warlord 2 and savage north on amazon. I'd really want a (legal, paid for) PDF version to read on my tablet though.

The rules in Warlord 2 are duplicated in Savage North with updates incorporated so you only need one or the other unless you want to play armies from both.

 

With either of the rule books mentioned you have enough fluff and all the data card goodness you need to start playing!

 

Ok, it really does help if you have a friend or two that are also interested in playing . . . ::D:

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You need both Rule Books if you want the Faction Doctrines and Faction specific items for the armies contained in each book (Warlord 2 vs Savage North), but the Core rules are the same.  So, if you want to play every army, you need them both.  

 

There has not been a pdf made available for Warlord.

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I can.  I bounce back and forth between Reapers' Warlord, and my first love, Chronopia.   Warlord can handle a large part of your collection as it's easy to proxy models.  If you like Celtos skeletons better than Reapers', just put'em on a square base and go Necropolis.  I find even with the ease of proxying, I still spend more on the actual range.  How'd they do that????  It's easy to put down Otherworld giants, Heresy Cultists, Hasslefree characters and anyone else you've got.

 

The rules are light enough for fast play, but detailed enough to give a model the right feel.  The armored knight, the spearman, or the archer all have the right stat blocks to feel correct.  The magic has lots of different spells, and each army will have some mix of magic should you choose to take it.  It's definitely a different mechanic than SoBH.

 

Army construction is highly addictive.  I go on the army builder and just put together forces.  I'd recommend you get the rulebook and go crazy.

I couple of questions.  1.) Are there strict basing guides in Warlord or can I use figures already based?  2.) I understand that factions are very different.  Is there play style pretty much the same within the faction, just with different models, or are there different sub-themes that each faction has?

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What I'd say about Warlord is that it is pretty flexible and somewhat customisable. For example, you don't just play the standard undead army. You can go with a horde of skeletons and rats, or choose units of high powered spell casters, or take sturdy warriors with fearsome powers, or any combination of the above. For any given army there will be half a dozen ways to play it, all with different strengths, which is part of the fun of the game, trying new things. Likewise, you may know your opponent is bringing elves or dwarves, but in what combinations?

 

Another strong point is the required figures (leaders for each unit, for example) aren't a hardship to buy or field. Your warlord doesn't cost any more $$ than your captain or your soldier models. And you can freely proxy any other figure, as long as your opponent can figure it out. Want to use dwarf rules and a zombie army, it's ok. Get wacky, someone made a mousling army a few years ago, and there's a pumpkin and witches army out there, too.

 

The rules themselves are relatively simple, each unit gets a move every round, in random order drawn by cards. So it's not always I go/you go, you might get 2-3 moves in before your opponent, but then he's going to finish with 2-3 of his own. Combat is a series of attacks and defensive strikes. So you don't just sit there and take damage, you get to serve it back, and that's something to take into account when you choose who to attack. You can attack an opponent with 4 figures, but that one might get 3 strikebacks, so there's a risk.

 

Special abilities and actions make each figure unique, it's not just stats and a damage track. Some cause fear, or regenerate, or have extra attacks, or luck, extra movement, etc. In combination, you can do some really awesome things.

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To answer your questions.  The square bases make sense in the game, but we use round bases if the model is from another range.  It takes a few games to realize how the models come together but anyone can figure it out. 

 

The play style question is a good one.  Each army has things about it that give it a basic vibe.  From there however, you can take whats called a Faction Doctrine to give more flavor.  Alternately, you could change to lower point swarms, higher point bruisers, or a combined arms approach, which frankly, is the best way to stack the odds in favor of winning. 

 

The number of models to choose from is sometimes staggering.

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I can give you some, from the Warlord 2 book.

Overlords--armored evil knights.  they have good shield walls and armor, but you can run an army of Bondslaves swarms.

Dwarves--not like Chronopia or GW.  They are fast!  Great army to get across the board and hit hard.

Reven--Orcs, goblins, and more.  Most variety of troops to send in hordes.  You need the numbers.

Mercenaries--all around combined arms group.  One of my favorites.

Reptus--my "Snakes on a Plane" force is all about subtlety, and striking at the right time.  Lizardmen are hard hitting and more in your face.

Darkspawn--Demons upon demons.  Lots of magic.  Lots of fun to play. 

 

I'd give you more, but that's all I've got so far.  So many of my models are in half completed paint in my eagerness to play. 

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With 20-some factions, and multiple possibilities within each faction, it is no small task to give you a review of every one of them. And honestly, nearly every faction can be jammed into a particular style of play; some factions just do certain aspects better than others, and some factions are better foils for those aspects.  An excellent example is the concept of deck control (the ability to manipulate the initiative cards to a more favorable order) - Overlords are, hands-down, the best at this tactic.  On the flip side, the Bloodstone Gnomes are the pinnacle at foiling it.  However, those things hardly define either faction.

 

~v

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