Hey all, This is Dok from www.3forint.com and lately I have been trying to get more into warmahordes. You may have seen my article last week here on Frontline Gaming or my article on house of paincakes last week. I really want to relate this experience so that anyone who wants to get into this game has something to draw on when considering it.
I have been having a bit of difficulty though for various reasons. I thought I was doing ok, but my eyes were opened a bit last night when I was showing a buddy of mine how to play. He was getting incredibly frustrated with the terminology and the need to plan your turn before you move anything when he didn’t know what anything did! Granted it was his first game, but it was interesting to see his reaction as someone who has only played a handful of games.
I really want to like Warmahordes. I love the models, I am starting to love the fluff, and I like the mentality of tournament games. However, there are some things holding me back from fully getting into it.
The first thing I noticed when I was looking into Warmachine is that the starter boxes are kind of bad. They seem to have little to no synergy and make for a poor army out of the box. My buddy was playing the Cryx starter which comes with Skarre, a couple of little Bonejacks and a Helljack. For those that don’t know, this is your caster (or HQ), 3 guys that expand your spell range (and not much else), and one big beefy dreadnought. I personally bought all my models individually, so I didn’t fall into this trap, but it seems like PP is trying to set unaware players up for failure.
The list above has some good components for starting to build a Cryx list, but it is not necessarily a good list to pick up and play. The same can be said for the Legion box. Most of the guys included in the box wouldn’t even be able to hurt anything in the Cryx box! And if your big beasty (The carnivean) were to die, you would pretty much auto-lose. While these boxes are good if you have an overall force in mind, they don’t seem to help a new player who has no idea what they want to play.
The second thing I noticed is that these models are spendy! The common wisdom around town is that you can get into warmahordes for cheaper than 40k. That’s not entirely true… With 40k, you have many options to get your models and most places offer them at a discount or bulk rate. Hell, you can even go to eBay and dig around for deals and pick something up for 20% of retail sometimes! (You know, like Frontline Gaming!! -ed) It seems for the most part, all Warmahordes models are pretty much retail price, except at places like Frontline Gaming. The secondary market hasn’t really exceeded the demand, so the models all bid up to retail or higher depending on PPs stock levels. Now, this is cool if you are trying to get out of warmahordes or you are PP, but for the consumer this is a bit rough. I fully support FLGS and continue to buy stuff from it, but sometimes you need to cut costs or get that model that they can’t seem to get in stock.
The third thing that I’ve noticed is that a lot of the guys around the store aren’t really interested in showing new people “the ropes.” Maybe it’s a bit of bias against 40k players? Maybe they are just too involved in earning their sweet badges? Maybe they just don’t want to play with people they don’t know? Any way you look at it, it has been tough for me to find a game. Like I mentioned above, my buddy bought a Cryx starter box and we threw down last night. I explained the rules to the best of my understanding, but I’m sure we made some mistakes. He was also not very impressed by the complexity of the game. In his words “None of this stuff is the same!” There’s something to be said for commonalities in abilities and statlines.
Finally, I’m not saying one system is better than another or that you wouldn’t run into these problems when trying to get into any other game. But these things were shining bright as faults the other night and I wanted to get them off my chest. Am I just dreaming these things? Are they common to other stores? Do you remember running into these problems in your first games or warmahordes?