by Privateer Press
. Probably the second most popular miniatures game in Europe, and, maybe even No.1 in the USA.
The minis are not cheap, but it is a game that can comfortably be played with 5-10 minis.The idea
: 1 Warlock telepathically controls a bunch of big, fat, mean warbeasts. As the warlock forces them into combat or to perform other actions, they build up rage a.k.a Fury
, which the warlock, in turn, can use to fuel his spells, healing etc. But there is a catch: run your warbeasts too "hot" on Fury
and you will have a good risk of them going into frenzy
. This can potentially harm your foe, but will most likely backfire and beast will charge your own troops! In addition to a Warlock and Warbeasts you may also field small units of infantry (3 - 8 models/Unit).
: Pretty straight-forward hack and slash. "Testosterone laden action" as the makers call it. But in addition to the potential for a lot of action, models have a lot of special rules and it requires some careful planning, strategic thinking and resource management. There are only 4 factions, so things are pretty well ballanced.The Rules
: The basic rulebook (Hordes: Primal) can be purchased here
for €15, and is all that is required to play. It boasts 200 pages of full colour
(take that GW!), with very nice a little manga-esque (some would say WoWarcraft-esque) illustrations. I am not a fan of this style, but have to admit that they do fit the game very well. For more interesting games, you can buy up to 2 expansion books (new units, new rules).The models
: You don't need many, but they are expensive. That's the only caveat I see. So you will need to invest around €50 if you want a small custom force. Alternatively you can buy a starter pack which is often a good idea and costs around €30. My opinion
: I may be biased as I recently succumbed to this game. I own a small force and I just love the models. They are very detailed, but are not overwhelming even for a beginning painter (unlike Rackham stuff, which on the paper looks great, but is a nightmare for most painter-gamers). I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I have read all the rules rather thoroughly (basic book + 1st expansion), and it appears to me as if they are very streamlined, thought through, simple to learn, efficient and rather clever.Conclusion
: HORDES is clearly a battle game. If you want something like Mordheim, you should probably look elsewhere. If you want a new, interesting, rule system that works and a new original game concept AND are serious about it, meaning that you are willing to invest a little money, you will probably like HORDES. On top of that, PP is a thriving company, so you can expect a living community and new releases. PP has recently announced the new 2nd edition of HORDES and WARMACHINE, due for release in 2010.
I cannot judge the gameplay aspect too well, since I still lack that experience, but on the other aspects I would give HORDES an 8/10. Had the minis been cheaper it would have been a 9. And I never give 10, because the perfect game does not exist.... yet
. Hordes's older Brother. Set in the same universe (Iron Kingdoms) as HORDES, but in an urban setting with Full Metal Fantasy
visuals, rather than a rural one, the idea is similar.
The warlocks are called "Warcasters" and they control "Warjacks" (huge steam-and-magic-powered combat robots) instead of beasts. There is no Fury, but the currency is "Focus" which works slightly differently.
HORDES and WARMACHINE are playable against each other!
. I have never played this game, but I know you need to buy the rulebook, which is rather expensive.
. LIke Confrontation, a Rackham product. I have the rulebook and 2 codexes (codices?). I LOVE the Rackham artwork. I think their miniatures are TOP league in terms of originality and beauty. However, what I miss in their releases is body
. The AT43 rulebook retails at around €25, and has only a meager 100 pages (full colour that is). The artwork is excellent, but the sections are very short, the explainations are sort of understandable
(i.e. not clear, but they do make a certain amount of sense when thought about hard, which should not be necessary) and I couldn't help but get the feeling that the rules came loooong after the miniatues.
Also, I found that there are quite a lot of typos, which, for me, is an indicator or poor reviewing and a big NO-NO. A book should not have typos. Period.
I do own a few AT43 models, but I haven't played with those either unfortunatly. The models are VERY beautiful. That has to be said. Like all french miniature companies, Rackham produces excellent quality in that respect.
However, the poor literature shelves AT43 for me.
4) Hell Dorado
. Again, you need to buy the book, There are quick start rules, but that does not count for me. The miniatures are certainly VERY unique and very creative.
But again, I sense the Rackham syndrom here.
Interesting setting and brilliant minis that appeal to the painter but are rather unsuited for the gamer, because they are very complex and fine sculpts. Also that make them virtually un-customisable for a Green Stuff layman like me.