Insider 5-10-2011

It’s Unbound blogging week here at Privateer Press, and I’m sure there will be plenty of interesting information about the new game format for WARMACHINE and HORDES. It’s been said before, but this format does not replace standard games of WARMACHINE and HORDES; it is merely a new option for games that have at least 150 points and 3 warcasters per side.

One topic that I’m certain will cause a great deal of discussion and debate on the forums is the way the Unbound format shakes up how certain abilities work. The Unbound turn structure means that any ability with a duration attached to it requires a second look. Abilities that last for a turn can still be potent but will require some strategic choices, as they will only affect the models activated during that turn. Upkeep spells and abilities that last for a full round also take on new meaning, as even moderate effects spread out over enough models can really add up.

These changes will require players to reevaluate how particular abilities work and may change how they evaluate certain models. There will most assuredly be a learning curve as players begin to find small nuances of certain models that have a big impact in the Unbound format. I’d encourage any Unbound player to approach the format with an attitude of discovery. Those who do so will find more success than players who simply follow conventional wisdom for standard games of WARMACHINE and HORDES.

Players will want to take a look at warcaster/warlock abilities in particular to determine which battlegroups will frequently be utilized in the early turns of a round versus those that are better saved for the end of a round. Warcasters/warlocks with abilities that can be used either early or late in a round with equal effectiveness make great swing casters and enhance a list’s overall flexibility. With a bit of Unbound experience, players will find the combinations of warcasters and warlocks that provide plenty of options for offense and support throughout each game round.

Last but not least, players will need to account for the domination bonus which factors into the “seizing the initiative” roll. Models with good survivability and mobility usually make the best choices for contesting zones on the opponent’s side of the table. However, really cheap warriors, like a spare Whelp or Mechanik, can hang back in a zone and let the bulk of the friendly army advance well beyond them.

Overall, there are a lot of new facets to consider and a lot of new ramifications for existing models. Whether you’re just getting the hang of your army or are looking for new ways to challenge your faction mastery, Unbound will be quite a ride.

Wishing you Plenty of Unbound Discovery,
-DC