Hordes Faction Overview

Last week I covered the strengths, weaknesses, and storylines behind each of the Warmachine factions:


This week I am continuing the topic by covering each of the Hordes factions.

Strengths:  Trollbloods have strong infantry and solos.  Their warrior models have Tough.  The faction has some of the best fast-strike and multi-wound units in the game.  Many Trollbloods warrior models use medium bases, which means they can be useful for preventing line of sight and blocking trample lanes. Their beasts are hard hitting and can heal significant amounts of damage through snacking and regeneration. Trollbloods forces can excel at layering synergies, and it is often difficult to unravel their layers of synergy.

Weaknesses: Trollbloods have a steeper than normal learning curve.  It takes play experience to not have your own models get in the way of the rest of your force when moving medium bases.  Additionally, the need to activate your models in the proper sequence in order to correctly layer your synergies leads to a difficult order of activations.  Trollbloods have slightly below average fury management for the main Hordes factions.

Fluff: Trollbloods have traditionally had a tribal social structure.  The recent wars made them refugees that are seeking a new homeland.  Their desperate situation has led them to unite behind one chieftain, Madrak Ironhide.

Circle of Orboros
Strengths:  Circle of Orboros is a highly mobile army, which provides many strategic options.  They have good beasts with strong animi.  Circle uses both living beasts and golem style constructs. Fury left on construct warbeasts after leaching does not result in a frenzy check.  Some of the constructs also have the ability to cast spells from their warlock.  The faction has access to a comparatively large number of models with stealth, pathfinder, offensive spells, or denial abilities.

Weaknesses:  Circle of Orboros can have a steep learning curve to play at their full potential, but overall circle has a lower barrier to entry.  Model placement and threat assessment are important for mastering this faction, and those abilities generally take a while to mature with a Warmachine or Hordes player.  The faction possesses average infantry that can struggle versus high armor targets. Circle has the worst fury management options for the main Hordes factions.

Fluff:  The Circle of Orboros is an ancient organization composed of druids that wield the power of nature.  They view civilization as their enemy.

Legion of Everblight
Strengths: Legion of Everblight warbeasts are fast and strong with good animi.  The warbeasts have eyeless sight, which allows them to avoid some negative targeting and attack modifiers.  The faction is fast enough that it can often get the first strike on their opponent.  Legion of Everblight has fantastic fury management options.  New players can often begin winning faster than normal with Legion of Everblight.

Weaknesses:  Legion of Everblight possesses average infantry.  The faction usually has to dictate the terms of engagement to be victorious.  Legion of Everblight generally needs to either avoid an attrition battle or fight one with finesse.  Although many Legion of Everblight players begin winning faster than normal with the faction, many also plateau and struggle to master the game.

Fluff:  Everblight is an ancient and powerful dragon.  He has imbued his generals with part of his essence to aid him in advancing his schemes.  He has many enemies and is working to advance his power as rapidly as possible.  One of his many plans is to consume the essence of his of his weaker siblings.

Strengths:  The Skorne employ hard hitting and durable warbeasts and multi-wound models.  The faction has some of the best warbeast support models in the game, including great fury management.  Skorne armies can play various play styles effectively. Many of the Skorne troops are cheap and are frequently intended to be thrown away to gain large benefits for doing so.

Weaknesses:  Some Skorne models have a low speed and must use layers and buffs to overcome it.  The faction is good at creating a problem or issue for their opponent.  If the opponent can solve that problem, then the match up can sometimes be more difficult for the faction. Skorne strategy and synergy can sometimes be difficult to understand and isn’t always obvious upon first inspection.

Fluff:  For ages, eastern and western Immoren were divided by a large desert.  When Cygnar deposed Vinter Raelthorne, he journeyed east across the desert and conquered the feuding tribes of Skrone and established an empire.  This martial empire is now beginning a conquest of western Immoren.

Strengths:  The Minions faction is composed of two sub-factions, Gators and Farrow.  Many players are drawn to the sculpts and aesthetics of Minions models. Each sub-faction of Minions has a nice variety of play within their set of warlocks. The Gatormen Posse are an exceptional unit which will play for all the other Hordes factions. Although it would seem that the Gators should hit harder than the Farrow, the opposite is actually true. The Gators can play a much better attrition game than the Farrow.

Weaknesses:  Minions are WAY behind the curve on model releases.  List building options are limited due to the small model selection available. Minions have no appreciable fury management solutions. Bad match-ups can sometimes be nearly insurmountable in at a tournament. When playing competitively, you should consider playing both sub-factions.

Fluff:  Minions fight for many reasons including greed, coercion, and expansionism.

That wraps up the Hordes faction summary!  Next week I will start dissecting SR2012 scenarios.

  1. Barry Wilson Reply

    I’m going to have to take issue with you calling Legion’s Infantry average.

    Legionnaires are the best cost 4/6 unit in the game. CMA, Fearless, Defensive Line, Vengeance, AND Reach all in a cheap little package. Striders are absolutely amazing with a relatively low cost for what they do. And Blighted Swordsmen are an amazing RAT 7 DEF 14 Fearless Weaponmaster infantry unit coming in for the low, low cost of 5/8. ( Aren’t they the cheapest Weaponmaster unit in the game? )

    Sure the rest of them are average, but my main faction, Circle, would lay entire cities to waste for access to those units. ( Well, they’d lay cities to waste anyway, but would do so doubly for those units. )

  2. Tallin Reply

    Didn’t know the forum rules alowled such brilliant posts.

  3. Questioner Reply

    I will have a fluff question about Skorne – particularly about their afterlife. I have heard that when a Skorne dies, he will enter Void and face nothing but madness and suffering. Is there realy nothing positive about their afterlife (excluding Spirit Stones, because these are reserved only for small portion of them)? I am interested in Skorne by their exotic appereance, but their view of afterlife is directly against my personal one. Besides, I would fell really bad sending my troops to their death with knowledge what awaits them. Thanks for answer.
    And sorry about my English, it is not my maternal language ;)

  4. ChainAttackJay Reply

    This gives a little background.


    The novella about Makeda does a very good job of describing the culture of the Skorne.

    The reality is that none of the factions will probably match your moral compass in real life. Fortunately, this is just a game. :)

  5. Questioner Reply

    Thank You :)
    Still, it looks odd to me, that Skorne soldiers will charge fearlessly to battle with knowledge that their chance to become entombed within sacral stone is minimal, and most likely they can expect hell incarnated. But perhaps they believe tahat one day they manage to tame Void and make it much more pleasant place :D After all, their self-confidence is nothing short of gargantuanistic :D

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