Saturday, February 8, 2014

Battle Report: High Command (Hordes)

Hot on the heels of High Command: Warmachine, comes High Command: Hordes. Overall, I've heard positive things about both card games, and recently picked up the Warmachine version for myself. A friend of mine was tapped to write up a review on the Hordes version for BoLS. We've logged some games, but tonight was a full four-player match, so I thought I'd write up my thoughts on it.

You have your choice of four different Hordes faction: Legion of Everblight, Skorne, Circle Orboros, and Trollbloods. Sadly, no love for the Minions fans. Privateer Press did a really good job of emulating the "feel" of the tabletop faction in High Command. Skorne Skorne. Your army cards are expensive, so you tend to be a little slow to develop. However, once you are ready to deploy, you hit like a truck and are difficult to remove. Legion is very similar to their tabletop counterpart. They have strong warbeasts, and are loaded with shenanigans...because they're cheaty. Circle is very close to the tabletop version. Army cards have a low cost, and you can move things around quickly. Trolls...well, we didn't actually play Trolls. Meh, I probably wasn't missing much.

So, I was able to get four people together. The faction breakdown looked like this:

  • Me - Circle Orboros
  • Jon - Legion of Everblight
  • Anthony - Skorne
  • BJ - Cryx

BJ wanted some of that hot, Cryx action, and there was no way I could refuse a follower of the Dragonfather.

The first few rounds were fairly typical. We covered the basic rules for Anthony and BJ. Forgot a few key rules, remembered a few rules, etc. I was able to pick up a bunch of cards for my deck, since Circle can be cheap. After that, all of us tried to start building some type of strategy. One of the things I like about the game is how you can tweak your strategy on the fly. You choose several decks to make up your army deck and reserves deck. Each one has slightly different cards. During the game, you have a fair amount of flexibility in what you choose to deploy. This can be beneficial as the game progresses and plans/strategies change.

Things picked up mid-game with Jon and I trying to contest each other's locations in order to prevent each other from winning. This worked well, but also allowed Anthony and BJ free reign of the remaining locations. Also, warlocks were now being deployed, and shit got real.

The final few rounds of the game went fast. We'd nearly used up our locations. The current Winds of War card allowed everyone to bank more than one card for the next turn. There was a tremendous amount of excitement over this. I had Mohsar waiting in the wings though, which would have caused everyone (besdies me) to discard two cards. This would have painted a huge target on my back, but I was hoping to screw up any late-game plans. Sadly, my plans did not work out. We ran out of location cards, and the game ended. After tallying the points, the results were the following:

  • Me - 19 points
  • Jon - 22 points
  • Anthony - 33 points
  • BJ - 32 points

So, while Jon and I were busy focusing on each other, Anthony and BJ quietly amassed a ton of victory points. I'll make sure to watch them more closely in the future. At the end of the day, High Command will never "replace" tabletop Warmachine/Hordes for me. It will be a great supplement though. I'm excited to see how the expansion sets add depth and replayability to the game.