Warlords of Erehwon – First impressions

Out of my nostalgia for early Rick Priestley games and love of how well the core Gates of Antares system works, I couldn’t not pick up Warlords of Erehwon.


GW Necromancer

I’ve only managed to skip through the rules briefly, but that didn’t prevent me from arranging a quick 1,000pt game of Undead vs. Dwarves to try out the rules – no proper pics as they weren’t my figures and they were largely unpainted 😦

The first game played pretty smoothly as Erehwon is essentially a cleaned up re-skinning of the core Antares rules. I’m not sure that I have completely got down all the nuances of difference compared with Beyond The Gates of Antares, but some notable differences would be:

  • Pins only degrade Command checks, but not shooting tests.
  • Reaction/Ambush rules are adjusted so that you need to already have the order dice set in order to react rather than having the option to roll to react and then pick out the dice from the bag.
  • As you would expect there is less extreme differences in wargear as it is more basic and generic (i.e. it is pretty easy to understand the differences between swords & spears versus mag pistols and heavy mag cannons).
  • There are no ‘heavily armoured’ rules.
  • You have to roll to remove Down orders even if you don’t have any pins.
  • Rallying can have a positive impacting on both the unit given the Rally and close-by routing units.
  • The magic rules obviously replace the high-tech wargear of Antares; again as magic has some pretty staple tropes to work with it is generally easier to get a handle on (i.e. most people will get what a fireball does, but necessarily a batter drone).

All in Erehwon plays pretty smoothly and intuitively for our first game. So in summary of my initial impressions:

The Good

  • For me, the game being ‘Lore free’ is a bit bonus. Much like Frostgrave and Rangers Of Shadow Deep, it is a great excuse to dig out and dust of existing forces from your collection. There are plenty of call backs to classic fantasy tropes such that it is pretty easy to understand how each faction is likely to play (Elves will be an elite force; Goblins a horde force; Orcs are strong than humans; Dwarves are tougher than humans; etc).
  • Likewise, being miniatures range neutral is also ace: use whatever you have to hand and you not have an excuse to mix & match your favourite figs from new releases across the industry.
  • As there is no Lore, the book is pretty much all rules + army lists: 11 army lists + monsters list out of the gates is a fantastic starting point. Rick Priestley has already mentioned that another 3 lists are being worked on covering daemons, ratmen/Skaven and fish/frog/lizardmen type forces.

The Bad, (or perhaps Neutral depending on your perspective)

  • Being Lore free could be a downside for you if you are looking for something new to dive into. For me, I will be re-reading old Michael Moorcock for inspiration instead.
  • Beyond a few more army lists, I can’t see there being anymore support for the game in terms of campaign supplements.
    Again, this can be viewed as a positive for some – there will never be any ‘Codex Creep’ for this game!

The Ugly

  • There are quite a few typos along the lines of ‘go to page xx.’ to refer to a particular rule. There are also ambiguities and stat typos by the looks of things in the army lists too. I know proof reading is hard, but it is no less disappointing when these things just jump out on the first skim through.
  • I would much have preferred an ebook version. I bought the hardback to support the Warlord and the idea of the game, but this isn’t a beautiful coffee table book in the way that say the Horus Heresy books are. I still love leafing through my Horus Heresy books despite all of the rules being outdated because of the production quality and amazing art. I can imagine that once I get an ebook version of Erehwon, then I’ll probably never look at the physical hardback.
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8 Responses to Warlords of Erehwon – First impressions

  1. patrickwr says:

    Ooooh, thanks for the review. My group is planning a game of Warlords of Erehwon in March so we’re busily polishing up our fantasy armies. I’ve never played Antares or Bolt Action, so I’m expecting to be wowed by the rules.

    • heretic30k says:

      Hope you enjoy it – the order dice activation system is just such a solid mechanic and I love the interaction and constant engagement it provides. 40k barely encourages interaction by comparison with its I go/you go system. I find it is hard to stay engaged when you are just rolling to save and sweeping off your dead miniatures during your opponent’s turn and that can easily last 20-30 min plus in 40k! I’ll be very interested to see if Erehwon acts as a gateway game which encourages more people to try Antares.

      • Ann says:

        I find I very much like unit activation systems, whether dice, card, or whatever based. I agree completely about your observation about 40K.

      • heretic30k says:

        I so wish 40k would move away from IGYG mechanics in a future edition. Interestingly both Killteam and Age Of Sigmar slightly break away from it. Necromunda and Titanicus do have unit activation. Maybe I should simply port over some 40k unit rules into Antares.

      • Ann says:

        I am right there with you on that. I’ve played a few games of 40K, though it some time ago now, where we used the unit activation dice and rules from Bolt Action.

        I haven’t played the latest Kill Team yet, but I’m glad to hear that it isn’t totally IGYG.

      • heretic30k says:

        GW sacrificed many sacred cows in the release of AoS and Wh40k 8th Ed – they do seem much more willing to make quite radical and bold design changes nowadays in order to make a better game. I’m curious to see if IGYG will disappear or be mitigated a bit more in a future 40k release.

  2. davekay says:

    Nice review, very helpful. I’ve been considering this for similar reasons – it looked like a good way of dusting off old minis, but I think I’ll wait for the ebook version.

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