Warcry 2022: New Core Rules Overview

Hello everyone and welcome back! Warcry 2.0 is upon us and despite looking like largely the same game on the surface, there are actually a number of small changes and additions that all add up and can have quite a significant impact on gameplay. Being more of a variety writer and gamer, and not having anywhere near the following needed; I don't pretend that I get anything in advance from our friends over at Games Workshop but Darcy over at Darcy Bono Creations (links at the end) has graciously given permission for me to piggy-back off her work on YouTube to bring you this article.

So without further ado, here are all of the changes you can expect between the new and old versions of Warcry. Just to clarify we are going to be addressing the overall game mechanics and basic gameplay; We won't be looking at the restructuring of the campaign mechanics as that's alot of work unto itself but rather take the time to get people up to speed with the core game as quickly as possible.


Perhaps the biggest addition to the game is the introduction of reactions. Essentially the way reactions work is that you can use any remaining actions your fighter has available to them outside of their activation window. If the fighter has not activated yet and has two actions remaining, or it has used it's first action to wait and has one remaining, you can use those actions to perform your reactions during an enemy fighter's activation (usually as a result of them doing something first like declaring an attack, moving into engagement range or trying to disengage). Every faction has access to the above list of universal reactions in addition to a unique, faction-based reaction that they can use. It's important to note that reactions use up a fighter's pool of actions that they can use when they activate, so this in effect allows a fighter to make up to two reactions or actions per turn.
Lets look at an example;

Larry the Chainwrasp here is very unfortunate and has been charged by a Stormcast Liberator with Grandblade. 

In our scenario, Larry is in engagement range of a Liberator with Grandblade. The Liberator has already used one action to move into range of Larry so he has one remaining to attack with.

  • It's the Liberator's time to activate so he declares that he is going to perform an attack action on Larry to hopefully finish him off in one hit.
  • However, Larry hasn't activated yet this turn himself so he declares that he is going to use a counter reaction when he is targeted by the Stormcast.
  • The Liberator rolls his strength against Larry's toughness with two hits and two misses. Very lucky for Larry!
  • The counter reaction's effect kicks in after the dice are rolled doing one point of damage to the Stormcast for each miss and two points of damage for each roll of a 1.
  • Larry survives on two wounds remaining whilst having done 2 wounds back to the Stormcast from his countering. When it's his opportunity to activate later in the turn Larry will only get to use 1 action because he has used one already for his reaction.

As we can see, counter is a good way for weak units to be able to at least do some damage when they get charged by opponents that will generally finish them off in one hit. The ideal scenario is for relatively weak units with good defence but poor wounds (like the chainwrasp), to turn misses into damage before they die. The second universal reaction is take cover. This is pretty self explanatory; if one of your fighters is in cover and then becomes the target of a missile attack (any attack over three inches), you can use the reaction to turn crits into hits on a 4+ per crit. This is particularly bad for snipers such as the Raptor-Prime with Longstrike Crossbow, whose ranged attack has 4/10 damage with only one shot. I could certainly see this being helpful in an objective secured situation where you've got your guys in position and you're not planning on going anywhere whist receiving enemy fire. Finally we have strike them down which is used whenever enemy fighters try to disengage. On a 4+ you can inflict D6 points of damage to the disengaging fighter, which is very helpful against mobile warbands that might like to jump in, attack and then run away; strike them down delivers a potential 6 points of damage to those fighters.


Previously it was very easy to just scoop up treasure and go blazing off in the distance with it to very little consequence. Warbands with raw mobility could win the game with minor interaction with their opponents which obviously isn't all that fun to play with or against. The changes mean that Games Workshop have substantially mitigated the amount of movement a treasure carrier can do, and ontop of this the fighters with generally higher movement who were abusing the rules in the first place (monsters and beasts) can no longer carry treasure. This means that you will no longer see Aether wings picking up treasure and flying all over the map. In addition the fighter is also at -2 movement with no option to fly; they have to rely on their friends to back them up and keep them alive instead of absurd movement taking them over walls and terrain out of danger.

Warband Composition and Battlegroups

In this case we have a Dark Oath Chieftain on the left from Slaves to Darkness as the leader, Slaves to Darkness Chaos Sorcerer as the second hero and finally a Dark Oath Slaughterborn taken as an ally and the third hero slot. No glory points needed.

There have been some changes in warband composition; the most important to listbuilding being the ability to take up to three fighters with the hero runemark (the others are being able to take up to one monster, two allies, and three thralls respectively but increasing the hero allowance has the most impact in my opinion). You still need one of them to be your leader, but what this does allow in effect is a more diverse array of hero abilities you can use. This opens up different strategies and synergies that would otherwise be unavailable to players and I'm looking forward to seeing all of the different combinations that will come out of the change.

Another change is the composition of battle groups. When setting up your force, you have to split your warband into three sections; the dagger, shield and hammer, and which battlegroup your fighters are in will impact how and where they deploy in-game. Previously one third of your warband had to be in your shield and no more then half could be in any of the other battlegroups. This has now been simplified by requiring that you only have to split up your battlegroups as evenly as possible. For example, if you have a warband consisting of six Stormcast Eternals, each battlegroup will have two fighters. In the event that your warband consists of a number of fighters not evenly dividable by three, you should still fill your battlegroups as evenly as possible with the extra member going into whichever group you want.


There have also been several important changes to falling off terrain. Under the new rules you have to take a fall test any time you are attacked when your fighter is within half an inch of an edge (as opposed to a test whenever you took a critical hit). This makes the probability of falling significantly greater because the test is made whenever you are on the receiving end of an attack action (not just a crit) so a key target isn't going to be able to just sit comfortably on top of terrain quite as much as they used to. Related to this there is the small change that impact damage is now inflicted on a two inch fall instead of three.

Other Rules

We have also compiled a list of other rules changes that have taken place that have been pointed out through the various YouTube chats, Discord groups and Reddit posts that whilst minor, are no less important:

  • No more shooting into combat. This is what seems to be another hit to ranged troops on top of the take cover reaction and general re-balancing of shooting as a whole. Overall I'm pretty happy with this change as it pushes the distinction between missile attacks and melee (and let's be honest; bloody melee combat is what Warcry is really about).
  • You can no longer move when engaged with an opponent. This means a few things for the game. No more moving around an opponent and onto an objective, no more rampage moving around an opponent to be in range of two models and fighting both. It effectively forces your opponent to disengage before they can do anything aside from attack in combat. This game is won and lost in the movement phase and reducing movement options is potentially huge.
  • Models with the mount runemark cannot climb, with the exception of stairs. Mounts can now actually climb stairs; You can ride your noble steed up onto terrain, wreak havoc and then dramatically jump off and possibly twist their ankle.
  • Roll off for attacker and defender before you draw your gameplay cards. Another rules update is now you roll off for attacker and defender before you draw any of your gameplay cards so you no longer will know your deployment or your victory condition prior to deciding who is attacker and defender.
  • How long the game goes on for is baked into the victory conditions. Games can now painlessly end in a draw there's no more time wasting playing round after round trying to achieve the victory condition. If once all of the battle rounds are over, neither team has achieved the victory condition the game is a draw.
  • Desperate Last Stand is gone. This was the relatively rare scenario in which you only had one fighter left alive and instead of only being able to perform one ability you could do as many abilities as you had the dice to perform.

Final Thoughts

It looks like the games developers for Warcry have really tried to tighten what many saw as an already pretty tight ruleset. My personal belief is that the changes will help clean up the game a little; closing off avenues of play that were too strong or un-interactive before (such as fast beasts and flyers with treasure) whilst also opening up a few new tricks on the way (the inclusion of up to three heroes and warband reactions). Overall I am pretty happy for the changes and look forward to bringing my Nighthaunt out for a spin in this edition.

Many thanks to Darcy Bono for the source material for this article. You can find the original YouTube video HERE and also check out Darcy Bono Creations HERE.

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