Bane Riders: Spoilers & theories

They’ve finally hit the ‘spoil’ button on Bane Riders, and some people were disappointed. I for one am not amongst them, and I’m very happy with what we got, to the point of me thinking Privateer Press might have overdone it slightly.


The models are ugly, but having tried to convert my own, using Bane Thralls, I can tell you that making Bane Thralls on horses look good is pretty darn hard. Personally I would have gone with a more Bane Knight(ish) look, but this is what we got. The stats however, armor in particular, left me blown away.

Stats: SPD 7, STR 7, MAT 6, RAT 4, DEF 12, ARM 18, CMD 8
Point Cost: 7/11
Damage: 5 each

Curse [Bane Riders] – RNG CMD. Target enemy model/unit. If the model/unit is in range, it is cursed. A friendly Bane Riders model charging a cursed model gains +2” movement. Friendly Bane Riders models gain +2 to attack rolls against cursed models. Curse can be used once per activation. And lasts one turn.

Ghostly – This model can advance through terrain and obstacles without penalty and can advance through obstructions if it has enough movement to move completely past them. This model cannot be targeted by free strikes.

Weapon: Bane Blade, P+S: 13, Reach, Brutal Charge
Mount: [1x] (None) POW: 12

Well the first thing everyone noticed was, that they’re not weapon masters, and from there on some people were genuinely disappointed… well shame on them, calling Privateer Press names when they gave us EXACTLY what I’ve been asking for, and exactly what I think we need.

Bane Tanks

Armor 18, are you kidding me, I assumed we would be very fortunate if they had 17, and I thought Armor 16 was a given (considering that they’re Bane Thralls on horses without shields). Armor 18 opens up so many possibilities, that I can’t even begin to understand why someone would call this an underwhelming release.

  • Chain Lightning / Ashes to Ashes can go suck it.
  • Gun Mages and every other POW 10 attack goes on the ignore list.
  • Covering Fire needs 11+ to kill them.

Cygnar, it’s motherfucking payback time bitches! These guys can take a PS 12 charge to the face and survive, and when you begin stacking buffs on them, it really looks like something from a gun lines worst nightmare. I’m so happy I’ve taken up pSkarre, and she’s now going to be a regular in my tournament setup. I asked for Armor 17 and Unyielding, but Armor 18 is so much better.


If you’re not used to facing/using Cavalry then you probably don’t understand the many abilities they have. This I think, is another reason why some people find them underwhelming, because they don’t see the implications of Cavalry combined with Cryx and Ghostly.

  • Tall in the saddle: Ignore small or medium bases when making melee attacks.
  • Ride-by attack: Very useful on a cavalry unit with Ghost Walk, though mostly when bogged down.
  • Cavalry charge: Ignore medium and small bases for LoS purposes when declaring charges.
  • Impact Attacks: Pseudo-Thresher with 0.5″ range and allows you to get past a screen unit while killing them.
  • Charge bonus: +2 to attack rolls on the charge attack.

Let’s say that you have a heavy target, and a screen in front of it. a model from the screen is within Curse range, or Tartarus is present to help out. First you charge through the screen, Impact Attacking with MAT 8 due to Curse, and then you hit the main target with MAT 8 due to the charge bonus. If Tartarus has cursed the screen unit, the Bane Rider leader can now Curse the main target, giving them MAT 10 on their PS 15 charge attacks. Curse of Shadows allows the Bane Riders to continue through the models even if they fail to kill them, which is pretty god damn awesome.

These guys can kill entire units with a combination of Impact Attacks and swords, though there are some wonky interactions between Impact Attacks and charges to look out for. Again I’ll giggle and point to Dark Guidance, which boosts melee attack rolls which Impact Attacks happen to be, making them ride down Nyss Hunters without breaking a sweat. eSkarre also bears a mention here, as Black Spot combined with Curse allows for some seriously destructive turns with a very high precision (sadly you cannot gain Black Spot attacks from Impact Attacks since they’re not in your combat action).

Finally once the lines have clashed, the Ride-by attacks combine well with Ghostly, allowing you to hit and walk, making more room for other models, and to have a better ‘flow’ with your models as you can finish attacking with one model before you actually have to move the others (meaning that you can ‘check’ if you kill a model before deciding if you send in more Bane Riders). This is done while ignoring terrain and free strikes.

Threat ranges

Speed 7, with Reach means 12″ threat completely unassisted. If there’s a member of the target unit within Curse range of the leader either before, or after (UNCONFIRMED, CHECKING), a successful charge then the others increase threat ranges to match Satyxis Raiders. Finally we have Darragh Wrathe who can move them an inch, making them out-threat Satyxis Raiders which we all know is silly. Speed 7 also means that they can relocate quickly, and put pressure on the opponent from very early on.

Being Undead and Ghostly also means, that they can use the hilarious forest trick. Since it was ruled that you can always check LoS to other models during a models activation, you can get the Bane Riders into a forest and make sure that they’re not in LoS (by being 3.1″ within the forest). The following round you Death Ride them an inch forward, and now they can see, allowing them to charge.

This trick can also be used with Marked for Death, allowing them to charge through buildings, forests, and other annoying stuff as long as it isn’t a model. Ride-by attack also means that should anyone run near their nest, they can poke their heads out to kill them, and walk back to safety in the forest or behind some cover.

The future

Having been away all day there are probably things I’ve missed, tricks that will reveal themselves with testing and so forth, but I really think this release is rock solid. They can hit hard enough that our buffs/debuffs take them into the realm of Colossal killing, while surviving the massed low powered hits and spells that have traditionally been Cryx Kryptonite. I’ll return and comment if I dig/think up more tricks with the Bane Riders, but for now I can just say: FUCK YEAH!

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54 Responses »

  1. Putting it that way…. I think yu ve changed my mind on the Bane Cavalry..

    • I think I was expecting mind blowing awesome, and PP delivered awesome, hence I was disappointed due to over expectation. The Cavalry mixed in with all our Cryx toys makes the mind blowing awesome. Thanks for opening my eyes to there potential…. they will surely be added when they come out later this year.

  2. A couple questions:

    1) You seem very happy, but you mentioned in your last article that you really wanted to see some form of incoporeal and not ghostly. How does the lack of incoporeal affect your opinion of the models?

    2)I believe I have seen the LOS ruling before, but I am unsure where. Do you have a link to the ruling perchance?

    • I was very unhappy with the thought of Ghostly instead of Incorporeal, because I expected them to be ARM 16, maybe 17 if we were lucky, but at 18 they don’t need Incorporeal to survive. Sure Incorporeal would have been better, but we got a big ol’ hammer instead of a scalpel, and I’m very happy with that.

      Erhm, lemme check the rules forums for that ruling…

      Errata, added to Prime Mk II, page 43
      A model’s controller can check its line of sight at any time.

    • It’s in the errata. A model can check its LOS at any time for any reason.

      If you are in a forest that means checking 3″.

      There are very few things you can do during movement. Checking LOS, melee range, Control range, and (for units) Command range.

  3. I agree Lamoron, and am incredibly happy with this unit, and somewhat startled that people cannot see the potential of them. I did a comparison up on the forum vs. Knights (arguably one of our best units) and they do come very close in terms of what they bring to the table, edging out the Knights in many respects and only really losing out on attacks (higher MAT + Durability to get across the table might mean more successful hits though!) and bodies, plus a little threat (but they run faster first turn so it washes out).

    As Knights are one of the best units in faction, I’m pretty happy that they work so well, as well as all the beautiful benefits being Cav brings (and people continually overlook!) + having your own Curse, so BLT can go in the other list.

    So agreed on all counts really :)

  4. They make all the other warmachine Cavalry units seem extremely overpriced. They are balanced for 11pts for a max unit – the other Cav units on the other hand arent. PP hit the nail pretty close to the head with these lads.

  5. With the kind of speed they have, you should be able to just charge right through Colossals with them and hit whatever squishies are hiding behind it.

  6. Didn’t mention Curse of Shadows doh !

  7. Will these become the answer to colossals that termi needed? I keep finding with my termi list I’m struggling with stormwall’s unless they make a drastic mistake and leave it open to snapjaw. Swapping snappy (and a random solo) for a unit if these could solve those problems. Darragh is already in the list for death ride, and beyond death for arm 20 after the riders charge.

    Lich Lord Terminus
    – Leviathan

    Darragh Wrathe
    Madelyn Corbeau
    Saxon Orrik
    Bane Lord Tartarus

    Bane Thralls – Max
    – Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
    The Wthershadow Combine
    Satyxis Blood Witches – Min
    – Satyxis Blood Hag
    Bane riders – Max

  8. how is the cav supposed to destroy a arm 23 colossal with terminus, even if you unbind it youre dice-5

    • Stormwall is base 19, so that’s 22. Unbind it, then run in Tartarus. Charge in Terminus, hitting once or twice. Then charge in the Bane Riders, doing straight dice damage, and a about 3-5 more from impact attacks (should easily be enough when Terminus has hit it a few times).

      Without unbinding it’s 7-8 damage on the charge per Bane Rider, maybe another point on the impact attacks, but if Terminus hits it with all he’s got it should still go down.

      • Lamoron, if you were running Terminus without Tart because he is in your other list, do you think you could still take out a colossal? I’m thinking as long as a bane thrall makes it in you are probably still good to go.

        Thinking something like:
        Lich Lord Terminus 4
        Reaper 7
        Skarlock Thrall 2
        Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8
        Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3
        The Withershadow Combine 5
        Darragh Wrathe 4
        Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan 2
        Pistol Wraith 3
        Wrong Eye & Snapjaw 9
        Bane Riders 11

      • Before Bane Riders you HAD to Unbind a Stormwall to kill it, and now you can kill it while camping, with unbinding, or with an all out attack on one that still has Arcane Shield.

  9. Has anyone heard a release date yet? I’ve seen pics of some riders painted ghostly at the con. Does the mean sooner rather than later?

  10. I can’t wait to abuse the ponies here…
    Not to Flog a Dead horse but…
    PSkarre says hello.
    Kraken 19
    Skarlock 2
    Full Bane Riders 11
    Full Mcthralls 5
    Darragh Wrathe 4

  11. How will the bane cav impact your lists for venethrax and scaverous?
    what will they replace?

  12. My initial thoughts on casters, and PLEASE write to support the release if you haven’t done so already. This release is one of the most genuinely amazing things I’ve seen happen in all my time with Warmachine.

    • write to support the release?
      Pardon me asking but why? will it matter in any way other then possibly reducing the whining on the PPboards? In the cryx forum that is?

      If the Cav is as good as you say the boards will soon be flooded with omg nerf cryx threads anyway. Enjoy the calm while it lasts.

      And having something that dont really care about gunmages is awesome if the nay sayers dont see that then theyre in a stormwall and gunmage free enviroment and no matter of endorsement from me or you will sway their minds.

      Your walkthrough of the cavalry rules was helpfull for me to see the light btw since I dont have cav or are familiar with their rules so I couldnt see the inherent awesomeness in the bane cav either.

      • Well, Privateer Press deserves to know how much we appreciate it, when all they usually get is bitter complaints. This will also encourage them to do as well with future releases, and I guarantee you that a positive feedback thread will be noticed, sent around the office :)

  13. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t pSkarre with a unit of Bane Riders become an eHaley Single-Stormwall assassinating machine? A single boosted “Sacrificial Strike’d” Rider will do 14 damage on average to her, without needing to roll to hit, leaving her one 1 box. And all we need to do is get Skarre to within 9 inches of her, and next to a Bane Rider.

    Prior to that all we need to do is get a few damaging attacks in on the Stormwall with Backlash up and she is toast! We can do this with the Riders themselves when they charge through the covering fire templates without breaking a sweat, or with a few shots from a Leviathan. Haven’t played this out on the table yet, but seems pretty plausible to me in theory at least.

    One of our most experienced players has dusted of his Cygnar models, and so by extension eHaley, and is training up with them for tourneys. So it is a match-up I will have to encounter for sure, just wondering on your thoughts on it.

    Was also thinking about running her with some Satyxis Spam to jam Haley up and draw out an early defensive feat from her… was thinking

    pSkarre (50pts):
    Satyxis Raiders Full
    Satyxis Raiders Full
    Blood Witches Full
    Bane Riders Full
    2 Raider Captains
    Warwitch Siren

    Just jam up the front lines with both units of Raiders turn one, with the Blood Witches and Riders close behind. Possibly even engaging Haleys front lines if you go second with Desperate Pace from the Raider Captains.

    What are your thoughts?

    • I think building specifically to take on one caster is a mistake, but the general idea is pretty good, and you’re right about the POW 18 hit being a surprise for some (it does require LoS though, so merely getting within range isn’t always enough). Also…

      – No Skarlock for Ritual Sacrifice seems odd.
      – Deathripper makes a lot of sense.
      – The second unit of Satyxis Raiders seems superfluous.
      – I have my doubts about a Leviathan with her.

      I like the idea, but it needs some polishing. :)

  14. Any plan on doing a write up on the Skarlock Commander?

    • Not really. Other people have done it, and I haven’t had him on the table yet. In short I think he looks pretty solid, but he has some hard competition with 1 point solos being available.

  15. Hey Lamoron, been playing this a lot lately. I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s put people on their heels quite a bit. Your thoughts and suggestions.

    55 / 55 (50+5)
    Warwitch Deneghra
    – Skarlock Thrall – 2
    – Deathripper – PC: 4
    – Deathripper – PC: 4

    Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile – PC: 2
    Machine Wraith – PC: 2
    Aiakos – PC: 3
    – Leviathan – PC: 9

    Bane riders – 10
    Satyxis Raiders + UA – 10
    Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters – 10

    Couple of things not overtly obvious.

    Almost the entire list is SPD 7 or faster whether it’s natural spd7, escort, jump, etc with a decent amount of reach.

    It’s got a lot of guns. Initially people really only think of the nyss bows but dougal and the leviathan also put out nearly a units worth of shots. Tonight I managed to feat, scourge parasite & kill grim2 with 4 transfers using guns.

    The skarlock could probably be swapped but I do so love ghostly satyxis shenanigans/jamming.

    Also, having a pow17 jack at spd7 has been super useful when super hits are req.

    • There’s something wrong with the points on the Bane Riders and the Machine Wraith, but since it evens out…

      I think it looks very solid. I haven’t experimented with Aiakos, but I think you’ve put him in the right place with the right jack, and the list looks scary. pDeneghra with Guns is scary, and pDeneghra with guns and the ability to trounce people in melee as well, is just good old fashioned fun.

  16. They seem pretty sweet to me. The only downside… They can’t get help from Tartarus because they are not labeled as banes in the unit description. Hopefully the leader is in the front and the screen is within 8″.

  17. I don’t have them personally but I found this:

    It says Cryx cavalry unit…

    • Well, Bane Thralls are just a Cryx unit as well, not a Cryx Bane unit, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Bane is in the title which is where it counts as well.

      • You are totally right. Checked the card for Tartarus and it states [Curse] Bane. Makes me even happier with them. Any preferred caster you have in mind for using them and with what setup?

  18. I’ve kinda been expecting BLT to get slapped with an errata for this release much like eskarre did after the WE release.

    Admittedly BLT and bane cav isn’t as game breaking as that but I still think it will get changed especially as the bane cav have their own curse.

  19. I still think eegaspy will make great use out of these guys. He can give them ashen viel to make them def 14 arm 18. He has carnage to make them mat 10 with thier own curse. He can give them scything touch to make them pow 17 on the charge. And its nice to have a high armour unit that can keep up with the jacks under mobility.

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