With the pre-orders now up for next week, we now have the full roster of stats for AoS
for the various Warbands for Warcry (which are currently previewed and on show there's still 2 more to come)
So I figured it would be good to see how they compare to current Slaves to Darkness stats, choosing Marauders for this as they fit the same segment of the army and rough points cost and how they compare to each other to see which ones we think will be good. It should be noted that this is a bit theoretical because there's currently no Slaves to Darkness battletome and any of the army stats could be reworked for that.
So first up the stats for the various models can be found on the downloads page for the various models on their GW
storepage, however to make it a bit easier I've copied them into the image below
Points for Marauders: 20 models 120 points; 40 for 200.
So there's a few interesting things to note:
Weapons - the core weapons for each force (inc Marauders with axes) are identical in stats. 1 inch range, 1 attack, 4+ hit, 4+ wound, 1 damage.
So on that score they all perform, at their most basic, on quite a similar level. Now, of course, the warbands have specialist models which, as the points go up, increase in number and can thus add to their attacks. For example most of the "leader" units for warbands get +1 attacks (a few don't and the Unmade gets 3+ and a different weapon profile); and because you can take them in multiples you could have up to 4 of these bonus attacks in the single warband.
Saves and wounds are pretty much the same, though Iron Golems and Splintered Fang are somewhat better.
Special abilities vary a lot, from abilities that affect the whole warband through to those that just have a different weapon profile. There are even a good few with ranged attacks, which gives them the benefit of a second rank able to fire and cause damage near to close combat distances, without any loss to their actual close combat profile. That said Cyphers and Corvus both have 8 inch ranged attacks for ALL units. This gives them quite a bit of versatility, even if they are both 5+ to wound. The Corvus with their ability to jump terrain with the death from above ability makes them particularly suited to an harassment unit.
The "Cultist" key word is new and we don't know its significance. It's also interesting to note that none of the warbands have the Mark of Chaos ability, which knocks them all down a peg. However it might well be that the cultist keyword is going to replace the Mark of Chaos within the new Battletome; or that cultists can benefit from other faction abilities/auras.
Overall the warbands are interesting and each, I think, is suited to a slightly different role on the tabletop that mirrors their warcry style, but without actually making any one of them vastly different from the other for AoS
, though I think skilled use will vary and one or two might rise above the others.
Golems look to be a good steady unit, possibly an ideal tarpit unit with their 4+ save. Their only letdowns are being slower and having fewer models in the force, which impacts their wounds total, though its somewhat buffed up by their specialist units having 3 wounds each (that's 12 wounds on 4 models in a fullsized unit). The 4+ save also means you can take fewer in a unit and still hold out a decent amount of hope of them arriving at the battle in good condition. If that wasn't enough they've also got an inherent 8 inch ranged attack, so even if they are slow they can make up for it with some opportunist ranged strikes!
Corvus look to be an ideal skirmisher, able to hit at close range and in close combat and able to jump across terrain. Ideally suited to working in a smaller group and sneaking around to strike at vulnerable spots or to harass and generally cause mayhem. They also have the fastest move at 8 inches which makes them well suited to taking full advantage of their terrain jumping potential.
Unmade are squishy, but at the same time put out a lot of attacks and prevent retreating. Careful use would let a player use them to lock specific enemies in combat. They might not have the durability to be a good tarpit, but they have the ability to lock things down, and careful use could let you use them to lock a unit in combat with another force (its within 3 inches not fully within, so you can easily use them on a flank whilst another force - like Iron Golems - were right in the middle.
Splintered Fang are interesting because they can take the most (40) in a full unit and have a bit of health regeneration on specific units in the force. They can also generate mortal wounds in hit roles of 6. This makes them ideal for large bodies of warriors, thus able to generate as many attack dice as possible; whilst also having a surplus of serpents. With 2 wounds each they can thus soak 8 points of damage and provided you keep a serpent caller around they can regenerate one of those serpents every herophase.
Cypher Lords are interesting as they are the second faction to have a built in ranged attack, though they lack the speed and terrain movement features of the Corvus. Thus their role is different to them, they are more akin to getting stuck into a fight. With their ability to get -1 on to-hit rolls for units within 3 inches of them this makes them ideally suited to hunting for some of the enemy who might have good attacks with weaker to-hit roles.
Untamed Beasts are the fastest in the group. Being able to both run and charge in the same turn and also getting a free 6 inch move before the games first turn. Whilst they are fragile, their speed makes them an ideal flanking unit. They also have some ranged specialists, but otherwise are reliant on getting stuck into close combat. They are the kind of unit you want to get an alpha-strike - hitting first rather than second or later, so that they can deal the most damage before taking any back.
Overall they are really diverse and each has its own slot. There's also interesting combos in there, a unit of Cypher Lords and Unmade teaming up to lock an enemy in combat who can't break out and who also gets -1 to hit; thus letting those Unmade strike with less risk from return attacks.
I think the Iron Golems will prove popular as a generic slow heavy hitter - a good solid all round cheap tanking unit that also has an opportune ranged attack.