Ok, so now we have a theme list for each of our casters, after 9 books of looking at other factions themes and thinking "what the hell?" we finally get to play with our own.
I want to start by reminding people that the theme lists are not necessarily based on the warlocks activities in the background stories. More the themes are based on a concept indicated by the name of the theme so for example pKaya, who in the narrative has only beasts and has her own pack of Argus and warpwolves and little else, is included in a theme called "The Wild Hunt" and includes all circles hunting specialists. Obviously as woodland hunters, reeves figure heavily in this, even though they do not match Kayas background or her stories.
It has been said also that some theme lists are designed to emphasise an area of game play or to make popular models more prominent. Others do indeed match the background of the associated caster.
So what does Circle get? Well, a mixed bag. We may have the overall weakest forces releases but our themes are actually on par with the rest. You won't find a community that doesn't consider some of its themes pointless and most books (Ours included) have at least one stand out powerful theme.
This is exactly what we expected more or less. I like this theme, it will make good use of the elements in it and even the sentry stone will even have an advantage and be useful here.
Now with Sentry Stones, warden and megalith animus, druids and his spells and feat Baldur will have lots of control here and all the elements of the theme help by allowing more , advance move and the sentry stones SUPER AD! Getting closer to objectives with a control army is a great help and with Killbox becoming a smaller box in SR2011 (12" from edges instead of 10") it even helps there!
Now Baldur won't make quite as good use out of T4 as, say eKaya. Baldur likes his construct light beasts. If you aren't taking druids a Wyrd is a great option and good if you are taking them! The Watcher makes forests and is a better ranged protection option for Baldur than the Guardian.
The theme requires doubling up on Woldstalkers. As they are very cheap, I think this is quite reasonable. They are a good unit, though seldom seen they are a solid ranged option and against most light beasts/jacks are easily able to make themselves useful.
Even though we are still getting used to this warlock, I think we can find something to say about this theme.
Ok, the main thing I noticed was that the units I'd want with this warlock are those with treewalker. Ravagers and the whitemane are both omitted from the theme.
This theme looks as if it was just thrown together last minute, FA: U Skinwalkers? Really?
He offers them nothing, the tree prefers cheap single wound guys and they are > £10 per model! Nobody needs 3 units of these.
Tier 3 is what we're after, starting with 3 souls is a nice bonus, though if I'm honest Cassius has no use for them early and its easy enough to fill up before he gets in range to cast.
He can have Megalith though and will be able to have all future character beasts unless they are living lights. Odd.
Theme requires doubling up on skinwalkers which are cheap but are very much anti-synergistic with Cassius himself.
Kaya the Wildborne
This was one of the surprises and a few people have said this will be a nice theme.
Tier 1 reduced points cost is very good, taking min units we can easily manage 2 max units or 2 with a max and a min with one UA if you like (Though this would presumably be purely for aesthetic reasons...) This synergises with tier 3 very well.
Including Morraig is certainly no chore nor is taking heavy beasts if you want the 2" extra.
The theme allows Reeve Hunters which will be nice as having camouflage is better than not having it!
5 war wolves would also be nice in this theme as their 24.5" threat range is great for a reserve that will go exactly where you need it.
Theme requires doubling of reeves, usually this would be bad but in this case it is the entire point and so should be used. It remains to be seen if it pays off.
Kaya the Moonhunter
I consider this our best competitive theme. eKaya needed druids and the theme requires only 1 unit. I usually took 3 heavy beasts. The only thing this is missing is the Wayfarer.
However I basically manage to swap the Wayfarer in my old list for 3 Skinwalkers, a good deal in anyones book! It also gives me AD on beasts, advancemove on the skinwalkers and +1 to first turn, further sweetening the deal.
Also skinwalkers are a great unit, I would never have managed to discover their abilities if not for this theme as I would not have tried them in this kind of list.
Theme requires no double units.