We have been playing the hell out of Warmahordes, and we’re really loving the game.
So, I’ve gotten a good dozen games under my belt so far and while I am far from an expert at this point, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on the mechanics of the game and how it plays.
It is a really, really fun game. It plays very fast. Most of our games (35pts) are over in less than an hour. That is significantly quicker than an 1850 game of 40K. It is also a game that really rewards skill and smart play, which I love. You have to know what’s going on in Warmachine if you are going to win. 40K is very similar (the easiest way to get good at 40K is to learn what all the armies do) however, knowledge of what everything does is matched by needing to know how to get the most out of your own forces. The devil is in the details as they say, and this is particularly true in Warmachine. You must be extremely precise in how you move your models and even more importantly, the order in which you move your models.
Combos are an intrinsic part of the game and if you are going to win, you must be able to pull them off consistently. In order to do that, you have to know in which order to move which models, and to where, while also protecting yourself from counter attack. It makes for a pretty damn intricate mental ballet that is challenging, sometimes frustrating, but always fun.
A perfect example of this is the game I played with Will today. I play an all Dwarf Mercenary force (if you’re cool, you play Rhul!) and Will plays Cryx. I had used my Feat (a once per game awesome ability each Warcaster has) to pull his dreaded Helljack and Slayer into range of my army. I then combo charged them and wiped them out in a single round of combat. Awesome! The biggest threats he had were gone. I was in a really strong position at this point but had made a tiny positioning error. I had left a gap between my charging infantry just big enough for my Warcaster to pass through. Will then used his Leviathon’s Harpoon to pull him away from the protection of the rest of my army, and then combo charged him. My Warcaster is a tough little bastard and wasn’t killed immediately. But even with the rest of my army coming in to destroy the remainder of Will’s army, he was able to assassinate my Warcaster with a few well placed spells. So, despite the fact that most of Will’s army was destroyed and Will only killed 2 of my models the entire game, as one of them was my Warcaster, he beat me!
Leaving that little gap in my line was all it took. Something as small as not moving an infantry model 1/2″ to the right and a smashing victory turns into a defeat.
That is Warmachine. I have heard it compared to Magic the Gathering, and I can see that to an extent with all of the combos. However, there is a very real tactical element to it that occurs in the three dimensional world of a table top game. Maneuver is crucially important and seeing where things should develop a turn or two into the future is a vital skill.
At any rate, I am thoroughly enjoying the game and look forward to digging further into it. I won’t compare it to 40K as so many people do, as the two games are apples and oranges to one another, but I will say this: wow is it nice to have a tightly written rule set. While not perfect, and no system will be, it is infinitely more clear as to what the stated purpose and intent of a rule is in Warmachine. The rules generally are worded very clearly, with examples and often diagrams of what the author is describing. Kudos for that.
As we all go further into this great game, you will be seeing tactics articles as well as battle reports. In the meantime, my Dwarves will continue to smash face, I love those stunty little buggers!
Here is a great resource for anyone looking for more information on Warmachine/Hordes.