by Ed Fortune
Warcry is a Games Workshops small model count fantasy skirmish game. The idea behind the game is that you take a small squad of heroes (called a Warband) and, thanks to some nifty terrain, play a tight game of toy soldiers as these teams with highly varying abilities beat each other up.
Bloodhunt pits the Blood God-worshipping Claws of Karanak against vampire warriors called the Askurgan Trueblades. The former are intended to be fanatics who are slowly but surely devolving into demonic hell-hounds. The eight models provided are extremely striking and run from demon dogs to crazy-looking human barbarians. These are fun to assemble (though quite spikey), and each model is very different from each other, meaning that painting them should be interesting. Rules-wise, this is a very aggressive warband that are useless at range and very effective in hand-to-hand combat. They’re tough as well, with their packlord leader being especially hard to take down. They aren’t any faster than normal units, so you’ll need to use the game’s provided terrain and board cleverly.
The terrain is gorgeous and again comes as an un-painted, un-assembled set. It’s various withered trees, palisades and platform-like structures that look crude and ramshackle. The trees themselves look evil and cursed, with plenty of spaces for you to set ambushes and the like mid-game. We get a nice muddy/bloody mat thing as well to define the play area, which is always nice.
The other warband, the Sakurgan Trueblades, are creepy-looking vampire warriors. One of them has gone permanently into beast mode and looks a little flat (but makes up for this with a vicious-looking snarl). The acolytes and ascetics are cool vampire monks with a variety of interesting weapons, and their leader has an appropriately silly hat and a look on his face that reflects disdain for pretty much everything. Rules-wise, these hit hard but break a little easier, making them a good match for the Claws of Karanak.
We also get a new book, Predator and Prey, which adds rules to the broader game (mostly scenery) and a four-player campaign for those of us with more than one friend. It’s full of some nice setting material with inspiration and suggestions for painting the models.
This is a great ‘wargame in a box’ for old and new players alike, and if you like your miniature gaming with creepy monsters, certainly worth checking out.