A quickie primer on Circle of Orboros
July 13, 2010
With Privateer Press’ Hordes MKII book hitting shelves later this month, many gamers are scrambling to pick up a Hordes faction to either supplement their existing Warmachine faction, or simply to get started with WarmaHordes. While we previously settled on Khador and Legion of Everblight, we’ve gone back to our original Hordes faction, Trollbloods. That said, we’ve spent time scouring the web on the state of Hordes gameplay, and how the various factions function. Sadly, aside from very general, quasi-fluff-ridden descriptions, understanding whether a given faction’s play-style may appeal to you isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are some gems out there, such as Dark Fledgling’s take on the Circle of Orboros.
…in Circle, our Heavies do our heavy lifting (haha pun). Really though, It is incredibly common to see 2-3 heavies in a 35 point game and often 4 in 50 points with the majority of our casters. The Warpwolf trio is not only amazingly synergistic with each, other but kills what ever you throw at it. Similarly, the WoldWarden, Megalith, and new WoldGuardian are equally baller. Most casters like to take a mix of furry beasts and wolds, with the exception of the Kayas who go all furry (usually) and Baldur going all construct (again, usually).
The differences between furry Circle warbeasts and golem Circle warbeasts are interesting, especially since the latter cannot be healed by every Circle warlock. The juxtaposition between the two warbeast types are greater with Circle than other Hordes factions, requiring specific decisions to be made when building a Circle army. It’s not a concept we spent much time thinking about before we originally settled on Legion, because we weren’t really aware of it. Other factions in WarmaHordes don’t see many differences between warjacks/warbeasts other than aesthetic ones. Sure, some people like to run with heavier units, while others like to run with light ones. Legion was interesting to us because they offered lesser warbeasts, but just as unique a concept exists with the Circle, in that half their warbeasts aren’t made of flesh and blood, and this is more than a matter of fluff: it has gameplay ramifications.
If we had spent more time contemplating this, we may have taken Circle on earlier. Our only real gripe with the faction at present is that we find many of their models underwhelming from an aesthetic perspective (mostly the non-warbeasts). Aside from the Tharn, Circle units simply don’t seem to have much personality.
As far as units are concerned, there are several good ones. Any of the female tharn units are good and all have there uses, likewise reeves, wolves, and woldstalkers also all see play with varied degrees, depending on whom you ask. But, when it comes down to it, the single best unit we got is the Druids. Because our Heavies usually end up doing most of the hard work its our units job to support them, and the druids do it beautifully. Pound for pound, they are what you will go too.
For solos, its all about the Lord of the Feast whom can single handily take out entire units in one turn. Strangely enough though, despite how good he is, almost all our stuff sees game time. Blackclads and our shifting stones (I consider them solos, even if they are a unit) both rock, and Morraig can simply destroy anything you throw at him with the proper support.
Overall, you will find Circle is one of the more varied of factions out there, with many different playstyles available even with a single caster.
A huge testament to Circle is the number of capable units available, letting a player at least choose the better-looking models (which still offer benefits in gameplay). More importantly, though, is the idea of switching play-style not only by swapping out one’s warlock, but by being able to dynamically switch play-style mid-game, or simply with the same army build once the next battle starts.
We’re quite happy with working on a Trollbloods army for the moment, but wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Circle as a faction to anyone. The guerilla-like play-style, with units jumping around the board for hit ’n run tactics, sounds quite fun, and the thought behind warbeast selection adds just another layer of strategy that we’re keen on.