Thursday, May 24, 2012

Editorial: Gargantuan Possibilities

As we rapidly approach the anticipated release of Warmachine: Colossals, we're finding an odd lack of information about the Gargantuans which we can expect to see in the fall.  I suppose it's understandable with Privateer Press focusing their energies this summer more on their new intellectual property LEVEL 7 and their new Bodger's game Heap.  Additionally, I'm sure that they intend on keeping things fairly close to their chest until Lock n' Load and GenCon.  What I see, however, is great possibility for these Gargantuans since we have only seen beneath the surface of two of the Colossals so far (Conquest and Kraken).  What this means is that we aren't really sure what to expect from the Gargantuans, save for the Mountain Troll for which we've at least seen a model.  So what can we expect based on what we already know?  What can we hope for?

At the very least we know that we can expect two particular colossals: the Mountain King (Trolls) and the Woldwrath (Circle).  There's also rumor that Skorne will get a Mammoth and no one's quite sure what Legion will be getting, yet.  My thoughts were swimming around the topic and I thought, "Will Minions even get a Gargantuan?"  The Mercenaries will be receiving the Galleon as their Colossal and at Templecon this year they specified that the Galleon would not be contract-specific.  In other words, all contracts will have access to it.  Will they do the same with Minions?  We're not even sure that the Minions will have a Gargantuan, let alone what it would be that could be used between both pacts - assuming they even go that route.

What if the Minions do get a Gargantuan?  What can we expect from it?  Well there are some frightening possibilities from what we've already seen from the Minion warlocks.  Maelok can make the Gargantuan Incorporeal, Barnabus can give it Iron Flesh, and Lord Carver can have it benefit from both Mobility and Batten Down the Hatches, bringing the survivability of whatever it is to silly levels.  That got me thinking again, what about Dr. Arkadius?  Forced Evolution could be scary when cast onto a Gargantuan and Psycho-Surgery will be quite useful for healing any damage it suffers, since it'll be less likely to be killed in one turn, unlike it's regular warbeast counterparts.  Another scary thought is what the STR of these Gargantuans will be (presumably 14+) and how Arkadius could use Primal Shock to potentially assassinate enemy warcasters!  Perhaps a Gargantuan might be the right model to help Arkadius become a more-effective warlock!

I can't even tell you how excited I am!
These thoughts are couched with a few thoughts, however.  Since we already know little about Colossals and they're so different from anything else we've seen (even compared to Battle Engines which were basically just super-sized solos, essentially), we know even less about the Gargantuans.  It's probably safe to assume two things: 1) they will be warbeasts and considered part of a battlegroup (like Colossals) and will benefit from battlegroup/warbeast spells/abilities, and 2) they will need to have higher fury values.  On that second point, that is a big difference from the Gargantuans to the Colossals - Colossals simply get 3 focus and behave just like normal warjacks with fancy new power attacks.  Warbeasts, however, are more complicated because they have fury values, threshholds, different damage grids than warjacks, and also sport an animus.

What will the animus of a Gargantuan look like?  Will they even have one?  Will they have two?  Warbeasts already have some great special abilities to compensate for typically lower P+S values on their weapons and fewer damage boxes.  Will Gargantuans have even more special rules?  Maybe a super animus that can be upkept?  What kind of fury values can we expect?  Will the Mountain King sport 6 or even 7 fury?  They will need to have lots of fury available in order to justify taking these super expensive models in a Hordes battlegroup just because of the nature of the fury mechanic.  A Woldwrath will probably need at least 5 fury in order to justify it's cost for most Circle warlocks which tend to have higher fury values than other factions.  Will the Gargantuans be able to frenzy?  Will that be any different than before?  Do they make attacks with only one weapon or all of them?

Legion loves breaking the rules
I'm really interested to see how the Gargantuan damage spirals look.  Will they still only have 3 aspects or will they have more?  What would that mean for healing Gargantuans?  I'd assume that the usual healing abilities of warlocks would stay the same but more aspects make it more likely that a Gargantuan's effectiveness could be diminished compared to the way warbeasts are currently (where 2 fury can bring them to full effectiveness).  What does this mean about warlocks like Absylonia who can completely heal the warbeasts in their battlegroup?  Will Saeryn be able to Respawn a Gargantuan?  What about pThagarosh's feat, Dark Revival?  Legion players have a lot to be excited about, but I somehow suspect that there will be a special rule that makes it removed from play when it dies.

All of this is to say that we're at a very exciting time in Warmachine/Hordes history.  Like I said earlier, the Battle Engines were cool but didn't really change the game too much.  They are large, expensive models that are hardly game breaking or auto-includes.  I think of them as super expensive solos that can add some extra firepower to an army, but don't really add much beyond that.  Colossals and Gargantuans, however, are the biggest things to affect the game - in physical stature and their impact on the rules.  You'll probably agree with me, however, that the Gargantuans are going to have an even bigger impact on the game since the possibilities for them are much broader simply by the nature of the differences between warbeasts and warjacks.

In other words, the number of possibilities is Gargantuan.
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