First, the obilgatory Blog apology for not being around lately. Life has been busy... blah blah blah.
(1) Crxy vs. (3) Circle
With that said, let's kick off the championship round. To recap, we have had a defacto champion of both Hordes and Warmachine arise. For the Hordes range, the Circle have beat off all comers to rise to the top of the pack. In warmachine land, the mighty Cryx have run roughshod over all opponents to defend their number one status, going into the match-up. Let's look at how they break down.
This is interesting. I love the cryx warcasters. In fact, of that range, there are maybe two I don't like the look of: Mortenebra and the Coven. Other than that, they are all models I like and would be happy to play. Some of them, PSkarre, P/E Goreshade, and Terminus are some of my favorite caster sculpts in the whole game. I would love to collect and play all those warcasters, which is a huge draw.
On the other hand, the Circle is warlock's are a study in extremes. On one hand, you have my favorite model(s) of any models in the whole PP universe, Kromac. I love this guy. The human sculpt is so sweet, I must at some point own it. There are 2.5 other Warlcoks, I really enjoy. I think Baulder is sweet and I also like Mohsar. The .5 is my anticipated enjoyment of EBaulder. The problem is, I really don't like the sculpts of any of the other locks. I'm interested in Kaya and Krueger, but the sculpts are ugly IMO. I can't stand Cassius, nor do I like the look of Morhvahna. So, their isn't a lot of variety lock-wise. That being said, one could question how many warlock options you need from your second faction. As sweet as Kromac is, there are 6 Cryx Caster's I'd rather own,paint, and play before any one else in the cicle, so i have to give them the edge
Lot's of goodness on both sides. I consider the models crucial b/c although I like winning, and having a competative army, I much perfer to have an army I love the look of. This is mostly due to the fact that I spend considerable more time painting and modeling than I get to game. Also, I suffer from some misguided desire to not use the most powerful and dominate force, unless it's actually my favorite. Model wise, both have strong options. For the Cryx, I love the look of most of their non-deathchicken jacks. Notible credit for the Skorpian themed Reaper.
The units are solid, with my personal favorites being the bane knights and thralls, as well as the Withershade. Cryx solos are pretty solid as well, with special mention to Tartarus and the Skarlock. I really do like undead pirate theme of the army overall. The one draw back to the force is I'm getting a bit sick of painting armor plated jacks, especially b/c I feel like I don't really hav the skill set to do it as well as I'd like. It's daunting to start a new faction of that.
For the Circle, I really like some of the beasts. The Gnarlhorn and Feral Warpwolf are amoung my favorites. I think the constructs are just fine, especially the Wold Guardian, who I constantly confuse with Megalith, b/c in my mind If I was going to call someone MEGAlith, it'd be the Wold Guardian model. The units are sweet. Of particular interest to me are the Tharn. Sticking to my love affair with Kromac, I'm a huge fan of the Tharn Ravengers and Blood Trackers. Solowise, Lord of the Feast is super cool as is the Ravenger Whitmane. I like the nature feel of the Circle. I'm not a huge fan of the wood elf-esque portions of the faction, but I like that they have expanded to all aspects of nature. I also feel like a few models are sort of outdated for PP's standards and show their age, and I really look forward to some of the new releases for the faction. Overall, it's really tough to call. I'm very tempted to call this a draw, but I think the cryx armor plats mixed with the sweet Tharn models force me to pick Circle
Confession time, I own some Cryx. I had originally, well before this tourny, bought some to use as a second force for teaching the game. I bought a battle box, Skarre, and a pistol wrath. So, from a cost effectiveness standpoint, there's a point for Cryx. It's unlikely I could convert those models to an equivalent set of Circle models. That aside, the Cryx seem much cheaper to me. First, they have a plastic jack. Next, I can use their battle box models. Based on the lists I've made with Circle, the battle box doesn't fit into that. Additionally, the models I want for Circle are all super expensive. Starting with the caster ($30) and an infantry unit that goes for around $50. Compare that to my favorite Cryx caster, Skarre at less than $10. One other factor, is the way PP does expansions. They put out one book, with new stuff for all factions of Warmachine or Hordes. If I collect Cryx, I only have to pick up the Warmachine expansions (like Wrath) to have the new stuff for my Khador and Cryx army. Now, will I probably pick up new Hordes expansions anyway, yeah, probably, but I don't have too, and certainly won't feel the need to get it as soon as it release. Where as, if I have a Hordes faction, I'll want it right away. As an aside, I know this is an expensive hobby. I've been doing this long enough to accept that, however, resources are finite, so I think I'd be lying if I didn't mentino this consideration, b/c it is one. Clearly, cost effectiviness goes Cryx.
Both armies have playstyles that are quite different from Khador's big armor, big axes, big trouble for you style. I love the souls, incoporeal, and undead aspects of Cryx. I also enjoy the movement shinnanigans and tricks of the circle force. I dont' really have enough experence with playing with or against either, so I can't really call which I would enjoy better. The crucial thing is that both seem to be much different from Khador, which is something I'm looking for in a second army. Dang you Skorne!
This is basically a catch-all for things about the faction that really want to make me play them. I'll discuss a bit for both.
Cryx has a lot of cool fluff. That sounds lame, but I do like the idea of the 13 pirate kings and the all powerful Dragon (Turok) trying to take over the world. I can totally get into that. I also love the undead theme. I've always wanted to have an undead army, and this is the first one in a game system to play in a style that I think woudl be really fun. I also like to challange the norms a lot, and Cryx is a great faction, but I'd love to use them and play some of the less obvious units and casters. I think that's fun and challanging. I also think PSkarre is a great model, and I'd love to build a force around her. On the downside, I've heard some of the Cryx models are a terror to assemble, and I will confess that assembling models is my least favorite thing to do.
Circle is a hordes faction. I can't stress enough the alure of getting into that game. I have some buddies playing Hordes, and as a facilitator of our group (we have no store locally) I'd like to learn the aspects of that game that make it different so I can help those guys out. Further, a big part of me starting a second force now (instead of building up Khador a bit more) is so I can demo the game, and grow the hobby locally. While many woudl argue it makes sense to have two of the same faction, I know Warmachine and its models won't appeal to everyone, so I want a hordes faction to showcase that side. Also, Kromac and the Ravengers are sort of the Barbarian army I've always wanted to play, but never really seen in another system. To be fair, I get the GW Chaos mortal thing, but I hate Chaos and won't play it. I also feel like my painting skills will look much better on Circle beasts, and that's a huge draw as well. On the down side, I do feel that some circle models really show their age, and I would defiantly stay away from them. Also, do people really like the Extreme Feral Warwolf? I wouldn't buy it for $5 honestly. Gotta go with the desire to play Hordes though
overall, it's a close and tough call. I could literally see myself going with either faction and being happy. In fact, if/when I expand to a third faction, I fully expect myself to choose the loser of this match-up. In the end, aesthetically, it's too close to call. Circle has a few models that are my absolute favorites in any range, but Cryx has so many great models, their quantity more than makes up for it, especially since I find some Circle models to be real dogs (no pun intended, though it's a good one). Cost is a factor, but at the end of the day, it's an expensive hobby, so can I really quibble over an extra $40? Probably not. I think what this really comes down to is my desire to go with a Hordes faction. This is such a close thing, that I almost ought to pick it randomly. However, I won't do that. I have to make a decision. So, that being said, the winner is....
again, both are great factions. Both bring a lot to the table, in the end it was my desire to play a Hordes faction that pulled it out for the boys in green. This will lead conviently to some future posts that are upcoming, with an exciting new feature here on combat resolution.
ps - anybody whose interested in swapping for a nicely assembled but completed unpainted Cryx battlebox, PSkarre, and a pistol wraith, let me know.