A guest editorial by Zid, about his journey to the dark side: Warmachine!
Zid back here after a little bit of a hiatus. I know I’d promised many peeps I’d be posting my thoughts of 6th running Dark Eldar, Daemons, Necrons, and Blood Angels. Then I went to my first few 6th games (alas it was a tournament)… and was shocked and appauled by the rules and the lists I played. As many peeps, I took peoples cries of “cheese!”, “broken!” and “imbalanced!” with a grain of salt going into it… then I saw the attrocity (in my eyes) that was 6th. After the initial feelings of betrayl, heartbreak, and anger, I decided to pawn off all my 40k armies on Fee-Bay and take up something else.
Initially I didn’t intend to get back into gaming til the new year. However, fate saw otherwise. I’m military (Air Force) and, as the stereotype normally goes, a bunch of dudes at my workplace are huge dorks. Mostly gamers, but a few tabletop gurus come through from time to time. My buddy Nate has been tabletop gaming for the better part of 13 years, so he’s been through most every game there is. Talking to him he introduced me to the Hordes/Warmachine ruleset, showing me his books, some of the models, and giving me an overall view on the game and its mechanics. He sold 2 guys at work who’d never even touched a model, so I decided, what the eff… I’m in. A few weeks later my wife gives me the go-ahead and off I went to the store.
Now for those unfamiliar with the Warmachine/Hordes universe and are interested, theres a LOT going on. Hordes and Warmachine are both “separate” games that run off the same basic rules, but with slight tweeks. For example, Hordes uses Fury, Warmachine uses Focus.
Hordes your Warlock gains fury by “leeching” off from their warbeasts, which generate fury by doing many different actions. The drawback, is once your beasts are gone, so is your source of fury which your caster NEEDS to cast spells. Also, if your beasts gain too much fury, they can go off the chain and swing willy-nilly at the closest model (friend or foe!). Most people feel Hordes is overpowered due to the fact you can basically do all the actions you want a turn with little draw back. But the main weakness of Hordes, from my limited experience, is that every model dead really, really hurts. And generally Warlocks are far more squishy than Warcasters.
Warmachine your Warcaster generates Focus every turn, which they allocate (kinda like resources in an RTS) to various models to do various actions. Casters always generate focus, no matter what. Warmachines benefits are that their Warmachines are pretty darn sturdy, usually boasting high Armor and super powerful weapons. The drawback of Warmachine is that your focus is limited, so it takes some skill to learn when to do certain actions, as spending Focus recklessly will lose you the game.
Initially when I started looking into Warmahordes I, of course, glanced over the factions. I lose asthetically pleasing armies, so I go for the one I like the look of the most. At first I loved Cryx, but after reading up, I found Cryx was far too common. I don’t like the army that everyone plays (Grey Knights anyone?). After some more reading, I loved the Ossyan model from Retribution. So I decided to play elves for once.
I hopped over to my FLGS, and to my dismay, they carried NOT EVEN ONE Retribution of Scyrah model. Disheartened, I started talking to one of my other co-workers Miller who so happened to be in the store… once again fate intervened, the guy behind us was the local Albuquerque Press-Ganger (PG’s are the local guys qualified to run PP sanctioned events and tourneys). He began talking to us, and after a bit of questioning, he pointed me toward playing Hordes. I loved the look of the Skorne models, and after a bit more, I was purchasing the rulebook and Battlebox for Skorne.
I went home, tossed my models together, and got excited to play. I set up a game for a day after work with Nate and got ready to rumble! (For those curious, I lost my first game pretty badly. My second game I did win by a nosehair tho… failed assassination ftw!)
Initial thoughts of Warmahordes
I’m still a nub, but I do have a pretty good grasp on wargaming and what I do and do not like having several years as a competative 40k and Fantasy player. So here are my thoughts:
Cost: WOW! This game is far cheaper than Warhammer by a long stretch. I went to my FLGS and with my discount got the Battlebox for Skorne and Hordes rulebook for less than $80! I also just purchased a 25 point list running pMakeda and, with the Skorne token set included, it cost me $89 with free shipping! In warhammer I’d spend at LEAST $100 to run a 500 pt list. (By the way: 25 pts is equivalent to around 1k pts in 40k)
Game System: I love the allocation/focus/fury system, makes the game feel far more strategic like I’m playing a turn based RTS. I like how you can choose what you hit, and every model has a unique advantage/disadvantage.
Forces: there are 11 armies in Warmahordes. The beauty of the game (unlike 40k) is that the Merc and Minion factions were balanced within the game, so your “allied” armies (i.e. a warmachine cygnar army with mercenaries in it) don’t seem OMGWTF overpowered. As well, those abilities that may overpower some things, are limited to within-faction.
Support: PP supports warmahordes like crazy. The prizes for sanctioned events/tourneys are top notch, and they have Infernals on the forums that will solve rules disputes within days (no waiting for FAQs or an e-mail 2 weeks later!) To top it off, they release new models nearly every month for various factions!
Models: Some of the models (Circle/Gators have a lot) look half-assed.
Players: Its far harder to find Warmahordes players than 40k… but I’m fixing that with the helpof my workmates!
New army syndrome: if you want to run a new warcaster, a lot of the time you will find yourself buying lots of new models. Top it off that a typical tourney requires 2 50 pt or 2 35 pt lists… can cost a pretty penny. But, on the plus, 2 50 pt Warmahordes armies may run you around $400, which is the equivalent of 2 2k pt 40k armies which would run from $800-$1000 (for a good, competative list).
So there are my initial thoughts on Warmahordes. I’ll be posting up reps, painting tips, and things as a progress in my adventures… right now I’m just playing Battlebox, but when my Makeda force comes in in a couple weeks, you can be sure there will be blood spilled 😀 Zid out!