Circle of Orboros: The Leyline – Chapter 1

Greetings Rune Carvers and Blackclads, Druids and Omnipotents, Chieftains and Bloodtrackers.

My name is Emanuel, also known as Bloodrath. Some of you may know me from the Podcast Removed From Play. Others may know me as one of the authors here at Hand Cannon Online. I’ve played nearly every faction and continue to faction swap seasonally.

Most recently, I have returned from my wayfaring journey and come back to Circle Orboros.

As always, I plan to chronicle this journey. In true Circle fashion, I seek the wisdom of those Omnipotents who are renowned for their battle prowess. I’ll be taking the time to put many players ideas, plans, and battles into an article series called “The Leyline.”

In my first article I will be interviewing some of the already well-established Blackclads:


James Moorhouse (aka “Crono26” from Canberra, Australia)

jamesmoorhouse


Colin Hill (aka “Bobliness” from Sydney, Australia)

colinhill


Bret Fogel (aka “Chocobsessed” from Dallas, Texas)

bretfogel


Christoffer Wedding  (aka “The Golden Arrow” from Lund, Sweden)

christofferwedding


In my first article, I ask all of them the same questions about Circle Orboros, and then see how each Druid answers the questions. I feel this will be an interesting thought experiment and will likely illustrate that there is more than one approach to the faction, even at the top tier of play.

In later articles, these players will rejoin me to dive deeper into many Circle topics.

Our intent is to help drive discussion and help develop the Circle community as a whole. The goal is to aid Circle players with any information we have to offer, and strengthen the faction in the local and national metas.

Let’s move onto the questions!

 

What about Circle drew you to the faction?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111″] I’ve always had a fascination with Woodland creatures and mythology. Some of my favorite books growing up were the Redwall series, and in Warhammer Fantasy I played Wood Elves (after hopping between a few different factions); Warmachine was no exception. I love the underlying forest/Druid/elemental /stone motif that is present throughout the faction. I’m really looking forward to the release of Kromac2 – he embodies everything I love and think Circle represents. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222″] Movement shenanigans. Double-port was actually a large part of what I liked initially. In general, reasonably high speed and hit-and-run tactics; I came from a background of playing Eldar in 40k, so that appeals to me. I liked the aesthetic also, and it appealed to me more than Skorne, Legion, or Trolls. At the time that I changed game systems I was interested more in a fantasy theme than more robots (coming from 40k), so Hordes was of greater interest to me. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333″] I had just come off a demoralizing loss to Gaspy2 at my first major tournament, so I was looking for a faction that could rely on heavies to stand in Caustic Mist and not automatically die. I ended up choosing the right faction, though for almost completely the wrong reason. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444″] Circle was my first Warmahordes faction; I wanted a tactically flexible faction with lots of tricks, so I was pointed here. Dark elves were my favorite army in WFB, and Circle does have a similar style to how I played there. [/tcontent]
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What about Circle keeps you playing the faction?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111″] There is no better feeling than executing a well-played game with Circle – you can take everything from your opponent and give them nothing in return. The faction really emphasizes the reason why you won/lost games and how you can improve for next time. Outside of some of the recent abortion of Bradigus, Hit-and-run / Guerilla Warfare and super-agression remain my favourite ‘playstyles,’ and Circle embody them like no other. Also, Una is a baller model. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222″] Circle gives you a much stronger feeling of involvement in the game than Cryx. In Cryx I often have to work hard to find ways I can influence the outcome; there isn’t anywhere near as much emphasis on positioning and order of activations (in my experience) in Cryx. On the flipside, Cryx certainly lets the player relax slightly more. You rarely have to worry that every move could cost you the game. Positioning thirty guys is a lot more forgiving than positioning three heavies.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333″]The feeling of control that comes from their entire hit-and-run game plan. It feels as if the Circle player is the one setting the pace and deciding how the game will flow. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444″]Mostly the same reasons I got into it in the first place. They fit my playstyle, by having a strong control element while still having lots of speed and different threat vectors. [/tcontent]
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Which Warlock would you recommend for a new player to start Circle with?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111″] Kaya1. She requires some of the faction ‘staples’ (Stalker, Gorax, Stones, Wilder, Blackclads) and teaches the importance of keeping Circle warbeasts alive (and is incredible at doing so).[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222″] Whichever appeals to you. Seriously, though it sounds like a cop-out, picking things you WANT to play with is a lot more important early in the game than picking what you SHOULD play with. Generally, Kaya2 is pretty solid as an early warlock and so is Krueger2. Both allow for plenty of development, both defend their army pretty well, and both can let you try crazy stuff for fun. They also both get used at competitive level, so spending a few months playing them will never be wasted [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333″]Kromac1, for sure. He runs most of the standard Circle models very well, and his play style is very archetypical of standard Circle lists. I often tell players “if you don’t like Kromac1, you don’t like Circle.”[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444″]Baldur1, out of tier. He has a diverse spell list and lets you get to know Circle’s play style and strength. He can be pretty straightforward to use in the beginning, but as a player evolves they can use more tricks.[/tcontent]
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Which Warlock would you suggest for an experienced player to start with?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111″] This is a tough one. My personal favorite is Krueger2, however Morvahna2, Cassius, and Kromac1 are all worthy.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222″]Krueger2 is a signature warlock for Circle. Morvahna2 is a great starter if you’re coming from an infantry background. She’s not really “typical” of Circle at all, but you can play her with pretty much anything, so it’s a good soft start if you want to step into the faction[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333″]Krueger2, probably. He has the control to make every game interesting, and there always feels like something more to learn with him.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444″]Krueger2. To me, he plays the most pure Circle game of all casters, and is also diverse enough that you can try out different parts of the faction with him. There are almost no match-ups where he doesn’t at least stand a chance.[/tcontent]
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What is the best non-warlock model or unit in Circle?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111″] Hmm, “Best” is open for interpretation. I’ll leave Shifting Stones out of this one and go with Druids. Bloodtrackers were in the conversation, and are probably more common, but Druids are a personal favorite of mine. They can provide Banishing Ward to your entire army, which will just flat-out win some games (looking at you, Rahn and Exulon). I’ve written about how incredible they are in Krueger lists here: http://goo.gl/nmprfr . Honorable mention to the Warpwolf Stalker. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222″]Bloodtrackers with Nuala (and a Witch Doctor!) are one of the strongest stand-alone units in the game. Shifting Stones are obviously a signature unit for the faction and are extremely versatile. The best model to look at for me is, weirdly enough, the Lord of the Feast. I really love that model.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333″]Right now, I’d probably say Una’s Rotterhorn Griffons. They always get way more than three points of work done (whether by Primaling and half-killing a heavy, or by Shrieking and clearing a ton of infantry), and with Watcher they act as the durable frontline to keep your heavies safe from melee threats. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444″]Extremely list dependent, but I would say the Warpwolf Stalker. It’s such a versatile beast: it can kill both infantry and heavies, has Pathfinder, and even shooting protection. It also has a great animus that defines the way Circle use its battle group (along with Primal).[/tcontent]
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Which Warlock do you think is the most interesting to field?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111″]Cassius – hands-down. Krueger2 is an incredibly high skill-cap caster, but Cassius probably has more options in a turn than double any of our other casters.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222″]Grayle. His feat is immensely difficult to use, and he personally can get work done while being hard to kill. He plays differently to other Circle casters, gets to use Lord of the Feast, and is generally accepted as bad.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333″]Krueger – there’s always some crazy plan to implement, and you never feel more in control than when you’re playing Krueger.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444″]Krueger2 probably. He can play into almost any match-up and provide lots of tactical options in game. Even if I have a base strategy for his army, he will also need to adjust his tactics on the fly, and every game with him is different. Usually he has the tools to deal with a situation; but finding how to do it is not easy.[/tcontent]
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Which heavy beast are you most likely to field more than one in a list?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111″]If forced, Stalker, though I’ve toyed with the idea of running multiple ‘judo goats’ with Kaya2. Double Stalker doesn’t really have to make an appearance these days due to Ghetorix (as well as Wold-heavy lists making a comeback); however, you’ll commonly still see double Stalker with Morvahna 2. Sprint is just so faction-defining.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222″]The Stalker is the obvious pick; I’ve fielded two in a variety of lists. For the Wold-locks (Baldur and Bradigus), you often play double Guardian. Occasionally, people play double Warden, though that’s never really appealed to me due to the low max POW.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333″]Stalkers. I often say: “no reach, no pathfinder, I’m not interested” – and he’s one of the few Circle warbeasts with both.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444″]The Stalker; see answer above.[/tcontent]
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Which Warlocks have you played the most in the last year? (name 3)

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111″]Krueger2 by a long, long margin. Morvahna2 remains one of those casters you can legitimately play anything with. Kaya 2 – Rotterhorns have really changed her game.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222″]Kaya1, Morvhana2, Kromac1[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333″]Bradigus, Krueger2, and then (in a distant third) Morvahna2.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444444″]Krueger2, Morvahna1, and Morvahna2[/tcontent]
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Which Circle unit do you play the most often?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111″]Shifting Stones. Very rarely does a list not have a unit of them, if not still two units post-nerf. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222″]Bloodtrackers with Nuala. Shifting Stones with UA[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333″]Other than the obvious answer of Shifting Stones, I probably run Druids in the most lists. I find myself playing Hordes (specifically Legion) quite often, so I find the spell immunity and the ability to reel in a heavy to be consistently useful. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444″]Shifting Stones, with Bloodtrackers being a close second.[/tcontent]
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Which non-warlock model has impressed you the most?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111111″]Morraig. Circle still have a problem with armor, but whenever this guy hits the table he has no problems taking out half a heavy, making our Stalker’s job to get in and out much more effective. Plus, he can also Sprint 13”. Stunning. Honorable mention to the Moonhound.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222222″]Una. She is a brilliant solo and an awesome addition to the faction.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333333″]Recently? The Tharn Bloodweavers. They make a really good reserve unit to clear off some infantry or mess up a living heavy – and there are several times where knocking an Arcane Shield just flat-out wins you the game. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444444″]Una maybe; was a bit so-so on her when she got released, but the Una/Rotterhorn package has never failed to impress, and I have found new uses for them every time I’ve played them.[/tcontent]
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Is there one trick regarding army-interaction Circle players should know?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111111″]Well, while we are on the topic of Morraig – he is Light Cavalry. This means his mount can always make attacks and can also benefit from Flank. Ideally, you want him to charge a heavy target with Flank for P+S 13 + 5d6, have his mount kill a grunt, then Cleave onto your heavy target again at P+S 13 + 4d6. Generally this can cripple a system, meaning he can then Sprint and Light Cavalry 13”. If you’ve knocked out an arm, generally your opponent needs to roll a 6 on a single die to hit him with a free strike (if they even have one). Glorious.

However, to answer the question: yes – Sprint, Hunters Mark, and Primal (all Faction-defining) are not limited to friendly Faction; they are just friendly.

And finally, Primal. Primal is one of your win conditions. Try not to use it unless it’s going to win you the game. (It takes a long time to learn if Primalling a beast in a certain situation or not will win you a game).[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222222″]You can kill a Rotterhorn Griffon, and have Bonegrinders cast Acceleration on Rorsh to use Diversionary Tactics twice in the same activation, which lets Brine go 10” immune to free strikes before he activates. Well, maybe not everyone should know it . . . but someone, somewhere should.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333333″]Primaled Rotterhorns charging a heavy with Hunter’s Mark does way more damage than you expect – easily half-killing a Legion heavy. Bonus points if you use the Druid UA to do so outside Una’s control area.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444444444″]Shifting Stone interactions, even with the nerf. The basic teleport obviously but also, all other ways that the stones can be utilized. Teleporting one stone with another unit, teleport a stone forward to act as a beacon for spells, or to close off Admonition and Enliven moves. Here double-ports can still be used, as a stone can be ported by another unit and itself. Also, it’s important to know when to port the stones forward to contest scenarios and block charges. Blackclad/stone interactions are also cool, especially with the Rotterhorn, as that can make the Blackclad not only retreat, but also move basically anywhere on the board.[/tcontent]
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When should a Circle player Hit-and-run and when should they engage?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111111″]Hit-and-run – Depends on the list, but if we’re going with stereotypical Stalkers and Goraxes, the answer is: always hit-and-run, and “Only engage when you’re sure you’ve won the game”. If we’re talking Bradigus or Baldur2, probably more like “when your opponent lets you” 😛 [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222222″]This depends on caster and list . . . but for a general rule of thumb? If you are able to hit-and-run without strongly disadvantaging your scenario play, and for a net gain of more than 5 points, then it’s probably a turn to hit-and-run. It really depends heavily on how well you can hit-and-run; some casters don’t stop doing it all game (Kromac1, particularly). The biggest trap I’ve fallen into on multiple occasions is trying so hard to hit-and-run that you:
A) Miss the chance to engage when it would have been advantageous and/or
B) Put yourself in a hole scenario-wise, and force yourself to engage in a much less favorable manner the following turn to stay in the game.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333333″]Always hit-and-run – unless you’re playing Bradigus, or you’re going to win the game that turn.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444444″]I think the whole concept of hit-and-run is flawed (except for a few situations like Kaya2 feat). I’m not saying that Sprint and other shenanigans are bad; far from it. The concept of hitting something and expecting that a 6” Sprint move will keep you safe is usually bad though. Using different control elements and combining moving enemy models (with force bolts etc.) with retreat options can let you trade for free, which is a big boon when it happens. If you look specifically at Lightning Strike, the divide for me is to know when the beast can reliably kill the enemy model. If I’m unsure whether I can kill them I always Primal, since it’s usually more important to ensure the kill rather than ‘maybe’ letting you move away.

 

Circle has some options of playing the jamming game as well, especially with the Morvahnas. If you can combine this with hit-and-run you can get very good results. It is also very important to know your opponent’s threat ranges; staying too far away can give you almost as much trouble as being too close, as it will let them take control of the scenario without you being able to strike them back.[/tcontent]

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How do you translate speed and movement into an attrition advantage?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111111111″]Animus: Lightning Strike. Also, never getting bogged down in fights you don’t want to fight. Know your math, and know how certain unit/unit fights are going to play out. Take advantage of rules like Spd 7 + Reform on Bloodtrackers and clouds from Druids to dictate fights you can win. Never get overwhelmed.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222222222″]With a lot of practice and varying degrees of difficulty against good opponents. It’s actually very hard to get an attrition advantage with Circle against a lot of opponents, simply because a lot of your points are tied up in single 9-11 point packages. If you’re against an opponent playing infantry (which most attrition-based lists are), then you need to clear a whole unit out for each of your heavies that you let them attack. Since Circle heavies are remarkably squishy, you generally don’t get many second chances. Primal exacerbates that problem[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333333333″]You’re always trying to take “free” models – take what you can, and never get caught. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444444444″]Even though the new meta has changed this in several ways, alpha-striking is still very strong in the game. If you strike first the opponent will have less to strike back with. While there are factions who do this better, Circle is still a faction which will usually get to strike first.

 

There are other advantages though. Choosing where to strike allows you to strike at vulnerable enemy models and remove support. It also allows you to focus your resources in a small area. If 80% of your army fights 50% of their army you have an advantage. Other armies focus attacks through shooting, but Circle can do this in melee range with our movement options, and melee generally causes more damage.[/tcontent]

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In what way do you disagree with the common opinion of the Circle community?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111111111″]Druids are legit. In fact, there isn’t really that much unplayable garbage in the faction.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222222222″]I feel that Circle struggles with ARM. The general community seems to feel like Circle is fine against ARM. Particularly vs high-camp casters, I feel that Circle has a very limited toolbox. It’s relevant because Circle depends very heavily on the threat of overwhelming force (Primalled Stalker to the face!) to allow them to hit-and-run. The opponent can’t afford to come far enough forward to stop the hit-and-run, because if they do, they eat an extremely strong alpha. If your opponent CAN afford to walk into that threat, then you completely lose your hit-and-run. A simple example: Vyros2 with Griffons. He can afford to move Griffons into threat range, because Circle has no way to deal with them other than with a heavy. So Circle needs to hit-and-run since the Griffons are only 4pts and you can’t afford to straight swap. But you can’t hit-and-run, because the Griffons have a long enough threat and he can afford to jam them very far forward, because he doesn’t care about the delivered Stalker.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333333333″]Currently? Playing Druids, probably. I find their control really helpful in addition to all of Krueger2’s pushes and control.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444444444444″]Not in any major way. I prefer certain casters (like Morvahna1) that aren’t that popular in the community, but I think that Circle has a very healthy community that is adapting and moving forward.[/tcontent]

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What is your favorite warlock pairing, and why?

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[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111111111″]Krueger2 and Bradigus. They basically cover everything – unfortunately, 2 list is killing my creative mojo.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222222222″]Morvahna2 and Kromac1 stand as my most played pairing. Morv2 built to deal with Legion (and incidentally most other things), and Kromac1 built to deal with Cryx and heavy ARM spam. I’m not 100% happy with Kromac1, but I’ve not found a replacement in that pair that I like as much. Krueger2 is probably the most reasonable replacement.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333333333″]I’m currently all-in on Bradigus/Krueger2. I like Bradigus for forcing the matchup process (and to occasionally find a pair that just can’t handle him) – and I’ve found that most lists that “answer” Bradigus are very weak to Krueger2, especially double colossal lists – but not so much the 30 Bane Knight lists.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444444444″]For a two list pairing its Krueger2 and Morvahna1, with Morvahna2 added as a third caster. This pairing is very weak to Bradigus though, and I’ve been trying to find solutions to that without taking Bradigus myself. The pairing is strong into most other lists though, with Krueger being a balanced army that I can drop into almost every game, while Morv is more of a skew list that will murder many armies that aren’t built for it. The Krueger list is also built to handle Legion, CoC, and Menoth, which are the usual problems for Morvahna1, and is also all right into Trolls. It can just play into most things, as I said. One bonus with having Morvahna1 is that she is one of the few casters that I am comfortable playing into Haley2, which has been a big problem for me.[/tcontent]

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As a seasoned Circle player, what do you most hope to see in future releases?

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[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111111111111″]I’m writing this pre – Lock n Load, so I’m excited for Kromac2. What I really want is for Circle to continue to receive releases that keep opening up our B and C grade casters (e.g. Death Wolves really helped out Grayle, The Sacral Vault is ballistic with Morvahna1, the Rotterhorns + Una are a great anti-infantry package). I’m not quite sure where PP can head with design space for Circle, especially given Morv2 and Bradigus recently turning the faction on its head. I’m excited for what Kromac2 will be/is.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222222222222″]A solo and/or interaction that buffs the effectiveness of Wolds. Make it a living model (or unit), and make it unable to be used in Bradigus’s tier. Give Wolds +2/+2 or similar; ideally, I’d love it to also allow them Mobility as an alternative. It could also be done as an animus, but that would work for Bradigus far too well. If it’s done as a spell (on a solo or similar), then the Woldwrath can’t benefit, which would be a pity.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333333333333″]Last week, I would have said “a tanky, Butcher-like warlock” – but now we have Kromac2 to try out! Now, I’d probably want a really good gun solo like a Kell Bailoch.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444444444444″]I am quite happy with the way Circle is right now. I would like to see even more movement finesse options and close range shooting (or magic) options. What I don’t want is long-range high-powered shooting or straight threat range extenders, as it would dilute the faction too much making it into Legion’s baby brother.[/tcontent]

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If you had to rank the top 5 competitive Circle warlocks, what would be the order?

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[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111111111111″]

  1. Bradigus
  2. Krueger 2
  3. Morvahana 2
  4. Kromac1
  5. Kaya2 (Extremely useful in the current Meta)[/tcontent]

[tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222222222222″]

  1. Morv2
  2. Bradigus
  3. Krueger2
  4. Kromac1
  5. Morv1

[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333333333333″]

  1. Krueger2
  2. Bradigus
  3. Morvahna2
  4. Kaya2
  5. Morvahna1

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  1. Bradigus
  2. Krueger2
  3. Morvahna2
  4. Morvahna1
  5. Kaya2

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How has the change to Shifting Stones affected the faction?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111111111111″]You’d win 5% of your games against good players by a janky double port, and maybe 25% of your games against beginner/intermediate players in this fashion. It honestly doesn’t change that much, other than taking the actual threat of a double port off of the table. It’s an exciting time.The faction has had a ton of interesting design space open up due to the amendment of a rule that probably went on a little longer than it should have, especially if you have a look at the history of the stones and their UA. I just wish they hadn’t buggered it up in the first place![/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222222222222″]It has made the hit-and-run game harder to play, by reducing the threat range of the assassination and reducing the effective power of the alpha threat.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333333333333″]As a whole, our ability to assassinate unprepared players has gone way down – and more specifically, Bradigus has turned almost completely into an attrition list. Now I almost always find myself charging with Krueger2, rather than teleporting. The biggest change I’ve felt is that I’m now unable to out-threat Vayl1 lists, and instead I have to rely on blocking an alpha with light warbeasts, and trying to survive for a turn inside the threat ranges of Vayl1.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444444444444″]In my mind it’s a big change, and the threat of a double teleport was something I was using often. I almost never used it to assassinate, and most games it was more of a threat where you can say to the opponent that they cannot put their important pieces within 14” of the stone line. Now we have more problems with high threat range models, and have to find other ways around this using our denial elements or building lists that can take the hit.[/tcontent]

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What have you done as a player to adjust the change?

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[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111111111111111″]Honestly, not much.  Double porting was never something I depended on/relied on.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222222222222222″]I have played Cryx. Outside of that, the change did not affect my Morv2 list at all. I’m still processing the effect on Kromac1, Krueger2, etc. It certainly changes play style, though so far it hasn’t let me free up the 2 points from many lists; I still run double stones in a lot of lists.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333333333333333″]I used to invest upwards of 20 points into setting up a double port with Krueger2, and now I find myself dropping more and more of that in order to get more worker models.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444444444444444″]I don’t take double stones in every list now. I’ve also experimented with different caster that rely on other means to project threat, especially more shooting elements.[/tcontent]

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To what extent should list design change?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111111111111111″]People can start running less units of stones if they want; again, honestly it doesn’t change much.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222222222222222″]This is an extremely hard question. IF the change has a dramatic enough effect on assassination capability (which I’m not sure on yet), then it means a dramatic change in list formation. Most likely through, it will trigger a move to the attrition-based casters, Morv1 and Morv2, and possibly Krueger1. At the moment I already play Morv2, where it had no effect on my list design (I’m single stones in that build), and I’m still playing my ‘usual’ other lists which have double stones. But I haven’t played enough games with the change yet to see how other factions react to it, and whether it changes their willingness to come forward enough to invalidate the previous threat.

 

Will have to see 🙂[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333333333333333″]I used to believe that they shouldn’t change at all – but I’ve found myself drifting further and further away from stones – I’m down to one set with no UA, and I’m considering dropping even those. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444444444444444444″]I think we have only started to scrape the surface on how the lists are affected by this. I think we will start to see very different concepts. New releases like Kromac2 and the Croak Raiders will also make you able to design new styles of armies.[/tcontent]

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Which factions does Circle do well against?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111111111111111″]Cygnar, Khador, Cryx, Ret, Mercs, Skorne, Minions[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222222222222222″]Depending on build, almost all of them. Circle is in a very good place at the moment, with strong control casters, strong attrition casters, and strong (though weaker than before) assassination casters. The player can choose multiple list pairs that cover pretty much everything in a general sense. There are specific individual list holes.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333333333333333″]Circle is relatively strong against Menoth, Skorne, Convergence, and Retribution – the combination of control and hit-and-run is usually more than the “straightforward” factions can deal with.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444444444444444″]Menoth, Cryx, Retribution[/tcontent]

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What faction does Circle do worst against?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111111111111111111″]Legion (they ignore a lot of our defensive tech), Trolls (Runes of War), CoC (Lucant can be super tough)[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222222222222222222″]Cryx poses a very specific problem for Circle that demands an answer. Recent releases, specifically Una and the Rotterhorn Griffon, have GREATLY increased Circle options for this matchup. Legion, specifically Thagrosh1, has always been a problem for Circle. Krueger2 and Morv2 answer the faction pretty well, particularly if built for it. Outside of them, it gets very rough, very quickly. Runes of War remains a very painful match, and I’ve not yet found a list I think is strongly advantaged in that matchup.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333333333333333333″]Circle is historically very weak to Legion, and I’ve recently been struggling against Cryx.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444444444444444444″]Legion[/tcontent]

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As a Circle player, what warcaster/ warlock do you most hate to see across the table?

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[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111111111111111111″]Lylyth2 piloted by a ‘professional’; in fact, a bunch of Legion casters just give me the fits. Oh and Doomy1 in Runes of War of course.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222222222222222222″]Runes of War. Thagrosh1. Then it becomes dependent on my pairing.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333333333333333333″]Skarre1, most likely. Neither of my lists can really deal with her, and I always feel like I just have to accept a brutal feat turn and hope I can come back from that.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444444444444444444444″]Haley2 (at least the double Stormclad missile variant). The list is too fast for our control elements, and has such a strong scenario game that if you hold back and not lose the attrition you will usually lose on scenario.[/tcontent]

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What do you think is under-used in Circle? Where do you think it fits in?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111111111111111111″]Bloodweavers. They can hit super hard (for Circle), they have dispel (looking at you, Body and Soul), and also have an incredible AOE 5”. They are super deliverable, fast, disposable, and a great toolbox in the current meta. And they allow you to crack heavy armor without committing to the Primal plan – Primal should be your ‘I do this to win the game’ plan. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222222222222222222″]Bloodweavers. They are a great addition to a lot of lists, particularly if you’re looking for an option of upkeep removal.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333333333333333333″]Right now, I’m tempted to say Bloodweavers – I’ve been getting a lot of work out of them in Krueger2 since Stormwall helps to keep them alive, and then you win every single game where they knock of an Arcane Shield.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444444444444444444″]Minions in general feel under-used in Circle. I don’t think people are faction purists, but I don’t feel like the options are explored as much as they should be either. Many warlocks, like Krueger2, Mohsar, Cassius, and Krueger1, have great support for minions and many, like Kaya2, don’t really care. There are awesome support models in Pendrake, Witch Doctor, and Swamp Gobbers that can go in many lists (Gobbers are one of the best 1 point options in the game). There are also really good fighting models in Wrong Eye/Snapjaw (who can be both Sprinted and Primaled), Sacral Vault, Totem Hunter, Posse, and soon the Croak Raiders, and things like Shamblers that are really good when used in the right lists.[/tcontent]

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What do you feel is Circle’s greatest strength?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab111111111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab222222222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab333333333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab444444444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab111111111111111111111111111″]Trading unfairly.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab222222222222222222222222222″]Flexibility. The faction is capable of beating almost any faction at almost any game, dependent entirely on what the player wants to build their lists to do. There are 5-10 competitively playable warlocks that can be built in a variety of ways.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab333333333333333333333333333″]Circle’s greatest strength is epitomized by the Warpwolf Stalker – extremely high damage output against heavies, decent against infantry swarms, and then able to control the battlefield with superior speed and hit-and-run.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab444444444444444444444444444″]That we can adapt to situations as they arise, and that we have a deep enough bag of tricks so we can change our tactics on a turn by turn basis.[/tcontent]

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What do you feel is Circle’s greatest weakness?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab1111111111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab2222222222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab3333333333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab4444444444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab1111111111111111111111111111″]When the faction that prides itself on maneuverability is outmaneuvered/overwhelmed. [/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab2222222222222222222222222222″]Outside of Morv1/2, the faction relies very heavily on player skill, particularly in positioning. It is very easy to make a relatively minor mistake and thereby lose the game.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab3333333333333333333333333333″]Continuing the Stalker metaphor – if there’s too much powerful infantry, or if there are guns capable of getting through Stealth/Stormwall, we can’t take a hit at all if we get caught.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab4444444444444444444444444444″]Things that can threaten longer than us, and either ignore our control elements (clouds, stealth, etc.) or power through them (like Pronto’d Stormclads or Legion beasts with Vayl1, for example.[/tcontent]

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Is there anything you would like to say in closing?

[tabs]
[thead]
[tab class=”active” type=”tab” href=”#dws_first_tab11111111111111111111111111111″ title=”James”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab22222222222222222222222222222″ title=”Colin Hill”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab33333333333333333333333333333″ title=”Bret”][tab class=”” type=”tab” href=”#dws_tab44444444444444444444444444444″ title=”Christoffer”][/thead][tcontents][tcontent class=”active” id=”dws_first_tab11111111111111111111111111111″]I am a bit disappointed at how 2 lists isn’t encouraging creativity in Circle. There are so many awesome casters and combos out there; however, it seems everyone (myself included) are defaulting to Bradigus + Krueger/Morvahna/2 other. I’d love to encourage people to think outside the box, and I’m looking forward to the return of 3 lists to regular masters 🙂 Everything in Circle is playable, there is no ‘real’ trash![/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab22222222222222222222222222222″]Circle is a challenging faction to play well, and a rewarding faction to play in general. It’s one of the easiest factions in terms of being able to see where you went wrong and where your decisions cost you the game.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab33333333333333333333333333333″]If you’re thinking about playing Circle – you should! Don’t let the nerf scare you off, there’s still plenty of power to be had in the Circle Orboros, we just have to actually play Warmachine, and not just “Your caster cannot survive in the killbox against Bradigus.” Now, excuse me while I learn how this whole “charging” thing works.[/tcontent][tcontent class=”” id=”dws_tab44444444444444444444444444444″]I hope this was helpful. I look forward to more Circle-based content in the future.[/tcontent]

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