Warcry: Red Harvest is the third big box set released for Warcry (November 2021) and it contains all you need to start playing Warcry.
While it does not contain the full Core Rules book as the previous edition, there’s enough in the included book to start a Narrative campaign. If you want, you can complement it with the latest Tome of Champions to get more Open and Matched Play information.
If you missed the first Core Set, are new to Warcry and want to know if this could be for you, or simply you are interested to understand if you could expand your Warcry collection, then this article is for you.
What’s in the Warcry Red Harvest box?
Update May 2022: most of this set has been split in different boxes, in particular most of the scenery (but not all is available in two different scenery sets called Ravaged Lands for £67.5 each. If you are interested in that scenery and you can still find this box, this is definitely cheaper than buying every single component separately. Both warbands are also available separately.
Warcry: Red Harvest contains:
- A Warcry: Red Harvest book, containing most of the core rules
- A double-sided gaming board
- Scenery to play in the Varanite Delves
- The Darkoath Savagers warband
- The Tarantulos Brood warband
- Tokens, dice, cards and other accessories
The content of scenery piece in this box is just insane with 8!! sprues to allow you to build a gorgeous modular Varanite Mine. This occupies the greatest part of the box and of course, it means that if you are not interested in this type of scenery, then we cannot recommend this box to you.
These sprues are all brand new (Warcry Catacombs recycled half of the starter box) and are currently (April 2022) available only through this box set. The set of doors and bridges from Catacombs has not been released separately yet, even the original scenery from Warcry has been split in different boxes and is difficult to rebuild it in its entirety. So this could be the best (or only) way to get this scenery if you are interested.
The warbands will most likely be sold individually at a later stage, and the rest of the content provides all you need to start playing Warcry. There is even a hard plastic ruler, that gets up to 12″, but chances are that you already have a better alternative at home.
The Warbands in Warcry Red Harvest
The warbands in this box set represent two very different takes on Chaos followers. While until now the Chaos followers were hailing from a specific Realm, these accentuate a different aspect and are Realm-agnostic.
The Darkoath Savagers have this Conan the Barbarian look and feel, follow up on the previous Darkoath releases for Slaves to Darkness (Chieftain, Warqueen) and have one of the most entertaining mechanics in the game.
They can swear to take down an enemy and if they succeed they can permanently!! increase one of their characteristics for the rest of the game. Their elite fighter can also generate Wild Dice allowing you to control the flow of the battle.
The box contains enough to assemble 10 fighters, leaving you with some alternative builds for your next box of Savagers. You can read more about them in our specific guide to Darkoath Savagers.
Against them there are the Tarantulos Brood, a cult that venerates Chaos as the Eightfold Watcher and therefore consider sacred all sorts of spiders. What is worse, is that they use varanite, the blood of corrupted arachnids and any other mutative material to try to transform their own bodies as close as possible to the animals they have so dear. This also allows them to control swarm of spiders to do their bidding.
Including 3 spider swarms, you have a total of 13 miniatures to assemble for this warband, their main ability being to control those creatures and re-summon them. You can assemble all possible fighter types from the original sprues, that should give you plenty of options. Compared to the Darkoath Savagers, they are less strong, but nonetheless interesting. Unless you are arachnophobe, that’s it. You can read more about them in our guide to the Tarantulos Brood.
Battles in Varanite Delves
The story of Red Harvest follows up from the great robbery that Morathi put in place to steal all Varanite, an extremely mutative material native to the Eightpoints, from Archaon’s biggest mine: the Varanthax Maw.
Depredated of his treasure, Archaon sent his forces to scour the Mortal Realms in search of all sort of realmstones, but also to depredate the now useless mine in the Maw recycling the mining material for other sources of Varanite in the Eightfold.
The 8 quests included in the book are all set around Krath, a mysterious mine whose Chaos Duardin-built engines are bound to demonic forces that give the machinery their own evil life, claiming the souls of all who dare to use them. You can of course set any campaign in a different realm, as the narrative provides enough inspiration for searching in Khorne’s gore-lakes of Aqshy and any other similar place.
The quests are divided in 2 sections: 2 quests each for Darkoath Savagers and Tarantulos Brood, and the first introduction of Branching Quests, one for each Grand Alliance.
Branching Quests are an interesting twist on the normal narrative campaign, that allows you to choose at each convergence which path to follow and therefore obtain different outcomes (6 per campaign) and rewards.
The new rules introduced in this game, a common thread across all aforementioned quests, involve the use of Terrain cards with the Varanite symbol. Here is a summary of how they work:
- The battlefield can contain Molten Pits. These are impassable terrain and are treated as platforms, meaning that a fighter that receives a critical hit while close to the edge has to take a falling test. If for any reason it falls in the pit or passes through a pit, it is immediately taken down. Only Flying units can pass over them.
- Delve Engines are particular type of machines composed of different parts: the wooden structures are treated as obstacles, then there are wooden platforms, and the operating mechanism that allows to interact with this machines. There are two such engines: the Pit Dredger and the Varanite Syphon.
- If a fighter is close to a moving part while the engine is turned on and is hit by a critical hit, it has to roll a D6 and on a 1 it suffers 2D6 damage.
- Sluices are the inter-connecting “pipes” between the different engines. They are treated as platforms and provide cover if the shortest path between two fighters passes through or beneath them. Fighters can hoist upon them without having to reach a wooden structure first (treated as an obstacle).
- If the sluice is active and contains hazardous material, allocate D6 damage to any fighter starting or ending their turn on a sluice. In addition, if they don’t start their turn on a hazardous sluice but they pass through it during their activation, allocate D6 damage.
While within 1″ of an operating mechanism, fighters have access to these two abilities:
- Turn Delve Engines On (Double): Can be used only if the operating mechanism is off, turning it on. You can then choose up to 6 connected sluices (depending on a die roll) and those become hazardous sluices, immediately causing 2D6 damage on any fighter on them and D6 damage to any fighter within 3″ of a sluice.
- Turn Delve Engines Off (Triple): Can be used only if the operating mechanism is on, turning it off. You can then choose up to 6 connected hazardous sluices (depending on a die roll) and those are not hazardous anymore.
Should you buy Warcry Red Harvest box?
Let’s start excluding the price from our conversation. The price tag can be high and you would need to consider yourself if it is justified by the content or not. You can save something from third party retailers like those in our affiliate links here, but the cost remains high for a box with a lot of scenery but only 23 miniatures.
If the scenery does not interest you, of course that’s the biggest part of the box, therefore it is not something we can recommend.
If you are starting the game for the first time, this box contains all you need for a Narrative campaign with two warbands aesthetically and mechanically different. From that perspective, they are even better than the original starter set. However, you don’t have the full Core Book, but you can easily integrate it with a Tome of Champions.
If you are arachnophobe, then you would need to carefully consider if you can get rid of this warband (reselling) maintaining the rest of the content of the box to a sufficient value.
If you want to expand your Warcry collection, this set contains new cool rules that you could include in your campaign to play different scenarios when not in a convergence. In future, new quests published by Games Workshop may include the use of this scenery in narrative campaigns, like today sometimes you see references to the Catacombs rule set. You can of course improvise, use your own terrain, or simply replace some of the rules. But if you want to follow exactly as GW instructs, then this could be your last occasion to buy this set or at least at this value.
Overall, the box contains a lot of stuff, mostly scenery, therefore its value is dependent on how much you are interested in expanding the narrative side. You can definitely play Warcry spending much less, even reusing your own miniatures from an Age of Sigmar army, or you could find other skirmish board games with a better value for plastic.
As of today (April 2022), this box is the only way to obtain these warbands, but surely their individual release is behind the corner. Another thing to consider is if Warcry will receive an overhaul of rules as Kill Team did recently.