Before I start my segment of the Tour properly, I have a confession to make. While everyone else is playing new armies, Circle was actually my first army in MkI Hordes, but over the years I've played every army in the game, so this is more of a revisit for me than a complete new adventure. That said, the blackclads have got a lot of new toys since I started playing with them, and there's nothing quite like some good woodland tech to pound face with!
This month, I've been playing with the Battlebox and I've learnt a few good things about the Circle, as well as a few of their weaknesses;
Strength 1 - Manoeuvrability. Not only are Circle beasts insanely fast, their buffs to movement are a huge part of their combat ability. Kaya's Spirit Door has saved her life, at least temporarily, and I've been near-drooling with anticipation of the potential of her epic form's (see next month...) Feat for a safe extraction after a first strike. If you spend thirty seconds on the PP forums, or even reading the book, you'll get this, but it's worth repeating.
Strength 2 - Debuffs. Sure, I can give a Warpwolf Stalker a 13" threat range, MAT 8 and P+S 22 by laying on the buffs, but I've personally found that Paralysis and Spirit Fang will do miles more damage in the long run - if you can hit a high DEF 'caster with a good Doppler Bark, they're suddenly helpless and you've saved a ton of Fury by not having to pile on the buffs.
Strength 3 - Diversity. While this is more theorymachine than the rest of my list, my initial view is that the Circle has a certain strength in the difference of models it can field, with fast, hard-hitting living Warbeasts marching alongside the slow, hard to kill Wold Constructs. This is further improved by the Warpwolves' Controlled Warping and the Woldwarden's Geomancy, giving both types further adaptability on top of their basic roles.
Weakness 1 - Low Armour. If it hits, an Ice Axe will obliterate an Argus Hound. As I found out on Wednesday, all it takes is a good roll to utterly negate defence, and then whatever's hit is totally screwed. Also, Knock Down and Stationary make me die lots. In fact, I hate them so much they're going to get their own sub-weakness.
Weakness 1a - Knock Down and Stationary. My best defence is a good DEF. I've played against Sorscha enough to loathe Stationary with a passion, and Magnus enough (once is enough...) to be... Uncomfortable around Knockdown. Not only do these things screw with my DEF, they cost me Fury to shake off and, despite what Trainee will claim to the end of time, that's a finite resource.
Weakness 2 - Low base damage output. While a Feral Warpwolf, or even an Argus Hound, can do a lot of damage to most things, it takes a lot of Fury to get the kill. Lots of spent Fury means maxed out Warbeasts than can't be transferred to, more Fury than I can leach in a turn, and more risk of Frenzy than I'd ideally like. I can mitigate the damage by leaching from the biggest hitters, but a fully boosted P+S 14 attack from an Argus will still do some serious damage if it hits something on my side.
Anyway, it's not like you guys actually care about that! Here's some minis! Next month on the Tour... Kaya goes epic and gets another Warpwolf buddy!