It’s always nice to pick a little something new up at the game store, especially if it’s newly released. This time, it was Privateer Press’ latest addition to the Hordes game, Metamorphosis. This third release for the Hordes game offers up new beasts and Epic Warlocks, bringing it a little closer to on-par with the types of units that WarMachine has to offer. It still has a little ways to go, but then again, Hordes is two or three books behind (WarMachine currently having 5 main-faction books, plus the Privateer force book), but this one looks good at first glance.
We have a few new concepts for Hordes in this book to peruse:
- Epic Warlocks – Finally, the Hordes story begins to advance its existing characters. Each faction has advanced two of its previous Warlocks to Epic status for larger, more powerful games (750+ points), and with new, more spectacular looking figures, to boot. I can’t wait to pick up Epic Lylyth and Epic Kaya, and from what I’ve read in other places, Epic Morghoul and Epic Thagrosh are making serious waves.
- Unique Warbeasts – Like the Thunderhead and its ilk in WarMachine, Hordes is getting some special ‘character-esque’ Warbeasts, which I have to say all look awesome! A three-headed Dragonspawn? A masked Cyclopean samurai? A half-stone troll? And a ‘super-Woldwarden’? How can you go wrong with that?
- Dragoons – Like Legends did for WarMachine, each faction got its own dragoon – a cavalry solo which dismounts and continues to fight on foot after the first time it’s destroyed. And like its WarMachine Legends bretheren, it doesn’t have to pay extra for the dismount option. (I wonder if the original Khadoran dragoon still has to pay extra?) Best of all, we have a flying Dragoon for the Legion, which ought to prove interesting.
- Lesser Warlocks – Similar to Mercenary Warcasters in WarMachine, these Minion solos act similar Warlocks in the way Cygnar’s Journeyman Warcaster does in WarMachine. They manage fury, can transfer damage, cast animi, and command a Warbeast, though unlike the Cygnaran Junior caster, they cannot run just any Warbeast. Instead, they are all paired up with a unique Warbeast which comes as a package deal with the Lesser Warlock.
As for the book itself, like all Privateer WarMachine and Hordes books (save the original WarMachine Prime), Metamorphosis is full color, complete with painting tips, plenty of fluff, and some inspired dioramas based on the events presented.
The artwork for the units is mostly good, with a different artist seeming to illustrate most of the units for a single faction, which maintains a certain consistency to the artwork. I do think that despite the fact that I’m not partial to the Circle illustrations, it’s a good move on Privateer’s part to handle the illustrations in this manner for two reasons – one, the consistency unifies the feel of the faction in this book, much as one would try to unify an army by using a consistent palette when painting, and two, it means that they won’t burn out Andrea Uderzo quite so quickly – he only illustrated the Legion section this time. (For those who don’t know Andrea’s work, he practically did all the character illustrations in the Privateer Forces book, and his stuff is fantastic.)
The miniatures are well done, save maybe the Shadowhorn Satyr, but that’s the fault of the figure itself, rather than the paintjob or presentation. (It’s, by far, the most static-looking, characterless figure in the Privateer line. I hope they learn their lesson from all the comments being made regarding it.) I’m looking forward to seeing the figures for those models not yet presented in the book (such as all the Dragoons – I really wanted to see those), though they have made some decent choices about which figures to convert over from their Iron Kingdoms RPG figure line – Viktor Pendrake and Lanyssa Ryssyl are good figures to keep in production.
All in all, I’m happy with how this book looks at a glance – we’ll have to see on the table exactly how this book plays out overall.
Final analysis – Well worth it!
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Call me Akiosama. (And no, I’m no Melville.) I’m just another 30-something game player (or collector, as some would say), interested in this, that and the other thing. Right now, “this” is Star Wars – The Old Republic, “that” is World of Warcraft, and “the other thing” is miniature and card gaming. As I figure out what I’m here to say and do, I’ll probably add more information about myself, but for the moment…
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