Tome of Champions 2021 is Warcry’s third annual content update, a now regular appointment since the release of the core game in 2018. This year it arrived a bit late (released in February 2022) but the wait was worth it as it is packed with new content, including a massive points update on almost all existing warbands and the introduction of 144 new fighter profiles!
But let’s get into it one step at a time, with our Tome of Champions 2021 review.
Tome of Champions 2021 Review: What is this years tome?
The book starts re-publishing the changes already present in the previous edition of the tome and then displays 10 pages full of warbands with updated points. If you are familiar with Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook, this is similar in concept, where point changes can partially alter the balance of which fighters are a must-take and which you can avoid.
Open Play in the 2021 book introduces a new type of multiplayer game: Siege Battles.
Narrative Play is rich in content with 4 new branching quests (a new type of quest with various outcomes first introduced in Red Harvest), 4 new fated quests and 6 narrative campaigns (5 of which were previously available in Warhammer Community articles plus a new one for the first time introducing cooperative or solo mode),
Matched Play introduces 6 new pitched battles and rules to organize a 3-rounds tournament.
The Appendix is about half of the book, containing all cards for Lumineth Realm-lords, Soulblight Gravelords, Thunderstrike Stormcast and Kruleboyz warbands and 34 pages of Bladeborn warbands. Bladeborn fighters are all miniatures from the first 4 seasons of Warhammer Underworlds now available in Warcry as well.
Rules Updates in Tome of Champions 2021
There are no new rules in the 2021 edition, but the same rules for 2020 are presented here once again adding the new factions to the Grand Alliance diagrams.
You can find all point changes for a specific warband within their guide on our site. We have updated every one of the current 43 warbands. Generally speaking several leaders became cheaper (242), some ranged fighters more expensive and having high Toughness is now less taxing (which is a super good thing).
Open Play in Tome of Champions 2021
Siege Battles are an interesting variation on the multiplayer rules for Warcry, called Coalition of Death. It depicts two teams of different players fighting along a wall with the defender greatly outnumbered. The attacker even gets to take a monster for free!
Narrative Play in Tome of Champions 2021
Branching quests were first introduced in Warcry: Red Harvest and represent an interesting twist on a normal campaign. Basically, at each convergence you are presented with some choices that can twist the campaign in a different direction.
You can have 6 different outcomes depending on the choices that you made, creating enough room for replaying the same campaign again.
There are 4 different campaigns, one for each Grand Alliance:
- Treasures of the Past: for Order warbands in search of powerful artefacts
- Balance of Power: for Chaos warbands challenging the Everchosen domain
- Grim Expansion: for Death warbands trying to reinforce and expand Katakros’ fortress
- A Feast of Violence: for Destruction warbands in search of the best ingredients for a banquet in honour of Gorkamorka
Fated quests are special campaigns that can be embarked by any faction of a specific Grand Alliance and provide a choice at the end of it: either a powerful artefact (Honour) or an Exalted Command Trait (Glory, this is a command trait that can be given only to your leader and can never be replaced).
The four fated quests are:
- The Reaver’s Spoils for Chaos factions
- Fate of the Kindred for Death factions
- Survivor’s Salvation for Order factions
- The Waking Idol for Destruction factions
The last part of the Narrative Play section is a collection of campaigns already published in Warhammer Community articles that accompanied the narrative of Age of Sigmar.
- The Purge of Anvilgard is a campaign for 2 players that happens just before the events in Broken Realms: Morathi. One player leads Keiser Ven Brecht and his warband of Stormcast Eternals (any of the first 3 warbands) and potentially Cities of Sigmar: Anvilgard, the other player represents the Blackscale Coil and can muster any warband.
- The Forlorn Hope is a campaign for 2 players that follows the events in Broken Realms: Teclis when the Lumineth Realm-lords invade Shyish and move war to the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Indeed this campaign depicts these 2 factions against each other.
- The Depths of Sylontum is a campaign for 2 teams, where any player from the first team needs to choose any Chaos Daemon, while any player from the second team can either use Nighthaunt or Soulblight Gravelords. In the end there is a Coalition of Death multiplayer battle. This campaign follows the events in Broken Realms: Be’lakor.
- The Rat Hunters is a campaign that can be played solo or by 2 players cooperatively. The players can use any warband and they play against a Vermintide of Skaven with an AI-based behaviour. This is the only new narrative campaign of this section and happens just before the events in Broken Realms: Kragnos.
- A Fool’s Trove in Ulfenkarn is a campaign for 4 players set in the same city as Warhammer Quest: Cursed City. While any faction can be played, undead beings can be summoned in the later turns to hamper every player. The final battle is a multiplayer battle using Triumph & Treachery rules.
- War of the Morruk Hills is a campaign for 2 players between Kruleboyz and Thunderstrike Stormcast, following the narrative from the third edition of Age of Sigmar and box sets like Dominion or the starter sets.
Matched Play in Tome of Champions 2021
As in the previous edition, and as in Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook, Tome of Champions 2021 provides 6 new pitched battles that can be used for tournaments or competitive play. The main advantage of using these instead of the random generator is the symmetry in the deploy and objectives that should give each warband a fair chance to win.
In this section, there is also a thematic 3 rounds tournament about warbands entering the dead city of Fell Nyroth in search of artefacts. Here you can find all you need to set up a small one-day tournament for 4 to 20 players.
Additional Resources in Tome of Champions 2021
In the Appendix, we can find the cards for Lumineth Realm-lords, Soulblight Gravelords, Thunderstrike Stormcast and Kruleboyz warbands. Those were published in 2021 in Warhammer Community articles and are now gathered in printed format for the first time. They are also some of the few warbands that did not change points.
The Appendix closes with the Bladeborn fighter profiles. A massive amount of new profiles that can be used in most “legacy” warbands (those that are not original for Warcry but exist as or are derived from individual armies in Age of Sigmar).
If you want to read more about Bladeborn warbands we have reviewed all 34 of them! You can find the fighters available to a specific legacy warband in their own guide as well.
Final Verdict on Tome of Champions 2021
Tome of Champions is becoming an essential tool for any Warcry player, especially for those interested in the competitive scene as the pitched battles will provide the content for the new season and the point adjustment some internal balancing.
Different world events heavily impacted how many Warcry tournaments there have been in the past two years, but we can only hope the worst is behind us and Warcry can develop his own competitive scene. However, the delay to February 2022 will weigh considerably on how long the information in this book will be valid for.
If you already had a Warcry warband, chances are that the point changes balance each other out: you may have to swap a couple of fighters but overall it shouldn’t change radically. There are some notable exceptions with monsters becoming more expensive and some ranged options now having to be taken more sparsely.
If you are interested in narrative content, the branching quests are an interesting tool that also allows high replay value as the outcomes are various and different. And as General’s Handbook for Age of Sigmar, that content will never get old. You can always go back and revisit it, in particular if you change warband picking from a different Grand Alliance.
The heaviest part of the book is however coming from the Bladeborn fighter profiles, that while they are an interesting idea from one side, many warbands miss the point and the generic version of those fighters is almost always a better option. There are some notable exceptions, Zarbag’s Gitz most of all, either because their fighters are so perfectly complementary to each other that they just work or because they are something that Warcry didn’t have before and is new (Mollog’s Mob, Skaeth’s Wild Hunt, etc.).
Overall we are excited about what could be in Tome of Champions 2022, hoping for some more content, new ideas, and less massive point changes.