If you have been living under a rock, or perhaps (shudder) you do not play Warmachine, you might not be aware that Privateer Press have added a sixth faction to their flagship game. The Convergence of Cyriss faction book hit the shops a couple of weeks ago, but life being life, I have not had a chance to fully read my book until recently.
But first, a warning. This review will not be a blow by blow review of every unit in the new book. If you want that, Beasts of War have done a very serviceable breakdown of the new units and I’m sure plenty of other podcasts have done the same.
Now I have lost of my some readers, I shall continue…
The First Harmonic
Privateer Press release all of their Warmachine/Hordes books in both softback and hardback. Although I have a shelf full of faction books, the Convergence one is the first hardback I have purchased and I have to say it is very nice.
As to be expected, the format of the book follows the faction books, but as it is introducing a completely new faction is includes some more detailed history.
The book itself is gorgeous and filled with great artwork as you would expect from Privateer Press. The Cyriss models have more of a sci-fi feel to them than the other factions with a big art deco slant. It might be my imagination, but the studio colour scheme with silvers and blues also gives them an Atlantian feel which is really like.
The Second Harmonic
The book opens with a story describing how the very first essence chambers were created and sets up the initial idea of ‘The Great Work’. It also features a certain Cyrx warcaster while she was still alive which was a great way of tying this faction into the existing world of the Iron Kingdoms as well as adding more depth to her.
After this, we have a section covering the full history of the Cult of Cyriss and then into more detail on the Convergence of Cyriss. This is very similar to the Retribution of Scyrah force book in style and includes far more background than the other faction books do.
The Third Harmonic
Then we come to the rules, and for a completely new faction, Cyriss has a lot of rules.
To begin with, we have new rules for Vectors (the Cyriss version of warjacks). The Focus Induction in particular is key to understanding how a Convergence army is designed to work. Cyriss are intended to be hugely focus efficient compared to the other Warmachine factions and although their Vectors might not look impressive by themselves, this is at its heart a synergy army so they can get a lot of help from elsewhere in the book.
The other thing to note is that Vectors do have a MAT or RAT value, instead using the caster’s MAT and RAT. More on this later. If you are interested in seeing exactly how Vectors work, No Quarter 48 Plus, available from the PP website here, has the Vector rules.
Before moving on to the warcasters themselves, the book repeats the rules for warcaster units from the Gargantuan book, includes some information for Unbound games (does anyone play these?), and finally we have theme forces for each of the five new warcasters.
As already mentioned, at launch the Convergence of Cyriss have been given five warcasters, the same as the Retribution of Scyrah when they launched. Personally, I would have liked to see another two in this book because I think the elves suffered in this area until the Wrath and Colossal books came out.
Where a warcaster fundamentally changes an army for all Warmachine armies, this effect is more extreme for Cyriss. In addition to giving out their MAT and RAT to their Vectors, each of the Cyriss casters also have a Field Marshall ability that they grant to their battlegroup. For example, Father Lucant grants all of his Vectors the Shield Guard ability and Iron Mother Directrix makes them all Arc Nodes.
From these initial warcasters, I think Aurora and Father Lucant are my favourites. In particular, I love Aurora’s artwork in the book and I think her fast play style is something very different for this faction. I also REALLY like her model so regardless of if I ever start a Cyriss army, I will probably pick this up just to paint.
Lucant looks the complete opposite of Aurora. Where she plays a mobile game, he can play a brick formation very very well. Again, his artwork is great and I suspect his model will also be very impressive when it finally arrives.
I think one of the lessons PP learned from adding the Retribution of Scyrah was regarding warjacks. The big robots are a fundamental part of the look and feel of the Iron Kingdoms there needs to be a certain amount of variety of them in a new faction.
Unlike Retribution who had just six myrmidons to begin with, Cyriss have been given main three vectors for each of the three main different chassis, plus two specialist Vectors. That’s a total of eleven machines.
In addition to the walking light and heavy vectors available from the launch, they also have three hovering heavy Vectors which I think look amazing and are very different from anything else in the Iron Kingdoms world!
The Colossal, the Prime Axiom is also a hovering Vector however I do not think the six hover ‘legs’ work as elegantly as the single hover engine in the hover heavies. However, it is really good that the Convergence has been given a Colossal so soon. Better still, this is one of the first models available for the new faction.
The final Vector is the Corollary and for some reason, it reminds me of V.I.N:CENT from The Black Hole. Anyway, this is another hover vector, this time a light, and is essentially a better version of the Cygnar Squire. I’m not going to go into its rules but suffice to say, with some careful planning the Corollary can take the focus efficiency of Vectors to insane levels.
I suspect one of the skills required to master Convergence will be managing all the of focus management tricks.
The Sixth Harmonic
With the importance of Vectors to the convergence of Cyriss, you could be forgiven for thinking that their infantry might be a little irrelevant, however PP have actually included a lot of infantry options in this book.
The basic clockwork infantry comes in two flavours, light infantry on 30mm bases, and heavy infantry on 40mm bases. Each of these chassis have three variants. I guess there’s only so much you can do with a humanoid robot because the light infantry look a little too similar to Necron warriors for my tastes, however the heavy infantry look far more interesting and through use of shape-shifting weapons they can also fill different battlefield roles.
I have to admit, I like this approach of using standard constructs in many ways and I think it will bring an interesting visual unity to many Cyriss armies.
In addition to these six units, we also have Clockwork Angels as shock infantry, the Opitfex Directive as support, and finally a Unit Attachment for any Convergence unit.
The Convergence has some interesting support solos much like any other faction, but Servitors are unique to the followers of the Maiden of Gears. If you took the Librarian from Halo, and made it dumber (because the Convergence don’t do artificial intelligence) you would be pretty close.
Different types of Servitors appear throughout the book, but to begin with only the Attunement Servitors and Reflex Servitors will be available. The Reflex Servitors are essentially floating bombs but the Attunement Servitors are more interesting.
These fire gloop at their targets making them easier for only Convergence units to hit them. This ability is quite short ranged so getting any of these Servitors into place safely could be critical for hitting high defence targets.
Special mention should be made of the new flying stands the Servitors use. Very neat!
Among the other solos we have the Steelsoul Protectors which look very similar to the Tomb Maiden miniature from the old Iron Kingdom Roleplay Game; the Algorithmic Disperson Optifex, a walking arc node carrying what looks like a giant microphone; the Enigma Foundry which can rebuild fallen clockwork vessels; and finally, Convergence also get a Battle Engine in this book.
The Eighth Harmonic
To finish off with, there is a painting guide showing off the studio paint scheme. Just like the painting guide in the back of the Cygnar book, this one looks like it will be very helpful for pulling off specific effects such as the carbon steel and the glowy effects.
We also have a gallery showing off the models available at the moment for Convergence. Unfortunately there is nothing new that has not already been shown on Privateer Press’ website.
The Ninth Harmonic
In conclusion, I like this book and I like this faction. I like them a lot. They appeal to my love of robots, sci-fi movies and art deco (yep, I’m big art deco fan). And I can already see lots of potential with different colour schemes, the Golden Army from Hellboy 2 anyone? Although I might go for something ultra clean and very ‘techie’ if I do Convergence.
In terms of rules, I think PP have created something highly complex with a high skill level which should have lasting appeal for veteran players. Considering the options already available for other factions, this is no mean feat.
So yes, I’m impressed. Top marks Privateer Press. I can’t wait to see what the guys have in mind for the new Hordes faction!