Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guest Post: Why I Love WarMachine

by Rionnay

So I’ve been a 40k player for almost 3 years, not a long time in 40k terms but long enough to say I’ve been around the block. However, recently GW has really been throwing us all curve balls so I began to think outside the box. I started looking for a new game back last September and found Warmachine/Hordes.

The college I went to has a somewhat nice gaming community of roughly 20 people so of course I wasn’t alone in my endeavors. However the game never caught on so I painted my miniatures and they sat in waiting. 

Alas the day came roughly in May of this year when 5-7 people at school started to suggest Warmachine and buy into it. I jumped for joy at the thought of moving my money out of GWs product and into a bright new future.

I walked into the game store here in town one Thursday night with my Warmachine models and played a game and got smashed. BUT, I didn’t feel like it was a waste. The game took an hour and a half giving me enough time for a second game. Both games were very different. I learned new strategies from throws to slams, tramples, headlocks, and I found myself applying them the following week. Both games though forced me to use my units completely different which is something that rarely happens to me in 40k. If my guns are not shooting in 40k they’re not doing anything. Where in Warmachine my guns could be used as suicide troops to increase my stats or FOCUS. 

So here is what I’ve gathered from the game so far, I’ve played 12ish games with 3 different casters.

- Cheaper, this one is on the top of my list for a reason. 50 points for a starting army, 15 points isn’t much but it’s a great start. Also few people will tell you no I don’t want to play a 15 point game. It’s 50 bucks, well worth trying a new game. A new game > a landraider. 

- Models are beautiful, Sure a few of them are in the same poses. . .but aren’t tact marines the same way?

Also the models feel like they have more care and pride in them. Less flashing, holes and slots for most of the attaching pieces to fit into, lastly “resins” that wont melt in your car. 

- Simple rules, the game can literally be taught in steps. PrivateerPress gives a “quick start rule set” in which you can play your games with then pick up the rulebook and say, “today we will learn throws.” IMHO this is a great marketing tool, between a free quick start rule book and a cheap battle box there’s not much to lose. 

I gave 3 PROs so I’ll even things out and give 3 CONs just to be fair. 

- Fewer Armies, many people play both Warmachine and hordes, however for 40k players we are sort of use to a mechanized feel. It’s discouraging to think, Hmmm I can play Russians, undead things, WWII USA, Catholics (no offense), or elves. . . Sadly this is how I felt about the factions to until I started looking into casters, which slowly changed my mind. 

- Really hard to photograph, we all love battle reports right? Warmachine is a bit more difficult to run a battle report on. The models are smaller and finely detailed so quick draw photography battle reports are hard to do. 

- Tournament scene, here’s the one I hate the most. Tournaments for Warmachine are nowhere to be had. They’re rare to say the least and not advertised like 40k tournaments are in my area.

On a closing note I wanted to run a few numbers for everyone to see the cost on average of a warmachine army. 
15 points- starter box- 50 bucks+ dice + tape measure
25 points- Starter box+ 10 points= ~$60 (total 110)
35points- starter box+ 20 points= ~$140 (total 190)

50 points (2000 40k points)- starter box +35 points= ~$220 (total 270)

If you think $300 dollars is too much for a 50 point warmachine army ask Sandy how much he spent on his 2k guard army. Happy gaming everyone. 

I think that $300 even beats my BA Sanguinary Guard army. -SandWyrm 


  1. Calling the models "beautiful" is a bit of a stretch. Some of them look great. A lot of not. I'm trying to be nice. You also didn't mention that most of the models are metal and are notorious for needing a lot of pinning to assemble.

    Aside from killing a caster ending the game no matter what the rules are excellent. The models, in my opinion, are the main weak point of PP.

  2. "Catholics (no offense)"

    I should be offended. Then again...

    I play =I=, and the religious zealots in WM were the most appealing to me as well. *shrugs*

  3. I really don't like Steampunk, so that is a big part for me. That and the limited customization of each model.

  4. While I may not like the look of some models(Kazazy, i'm looking at you), I would put very few of them in the Robstercraw category.`

  5. a few cool models, but It's too much clique fantasy for me. and not done well like Warhammer Fantasy.

    by well I mean...I duno it just doesn't seem refined. I guess I just prefer sci fi.

  6. Yeah...steampunk is gayer than Farmpunk (OOPS!)

  7. a couple of points i'd like to make on this :

    comparing the cost between the two systems just doesn't work. warmachine is essentially a platoon level game rather than 40k's company level game, so of course it will cost less. on a per-unit basis, they aren't that far off. and even if the entry into the game might be less, few people build perfect armies at the start. having built several large armies in both systems myself, i've found that they both tend to hurt just as bad after a while.
    as with any game system, if you end up liking it you will end up spending a crapton of money on it.

    some people don't like the look of the models, and some people do. the one thing i think most can agree on is that they are almost all technically well sculpted and made, albeit a pain to put together in some cases. those just getting in should be happy you gave plastic kits now.
    there's also much less modeling freedom for the casual gamer. with the entire 40k range there are options and conversion available all over the place, whereas warmachine units have only 3-5 stock poses that are difficult to change.

    the number of factions is pretty much the same. there are 11 standalone factions within warmachine/hordes, and while 40k has slightly more, the mercenaries, minions, caster changes, and themed lists in warmachine makes the number of effective and/or fun builds much higher. of course, this brings cost back up as even if you play a single faction, you'll probably end up building at least a couple of casters that each need you to buy more/different models to use best.

    for me, the real selling point is the rules. while it can be overwhelming at times, the rules for the pp systems tend to be very clearly written with pretty clear procedures and methods for dealing with potential sticky spots. they've been able to find a balance between having a set of universal rules that apply to all, and having unit specific rules that change and enhance the game in subtle ways.
    my biggest problem with the rules themselves has more to do with the hero centered part of it, but i just prefer grunts and massed unit clashes, which is why 40k will never leave my heart.

  8. @ Da Warboss
    in the grimdark far future, there is only soybean meal and pork belly. In a world where Decatur, IL has become the center of power... The Price Fixers RULE.

    yeah, farmpunk as a genre sounds weird. I mean, pigs with laserguns? Next thing you'll be telling me that monkeys sprout weapons from their fingers. *heh*


  9. Hey guys,

    Very nice comments I like the responses.

    First the models. I find them beautiful for a lot of reasons. With a squad of 10 raiders you have 5 different poses in warmachine. . .where with 40k the standard tact squad is pretty standard at one pose for most of the models. I also find the beauty in the models through how they are sculpted. Many of the infantry are ornate with several buckles or straps of some type to paint.

    I will give ground though and say they are hard to change poses on. . . by hard I mean impossible without reconstruction of the model as a whole. The way to solve this is through the jacks. The Plastic jacks kits are very easy to alter the stance or convert in some way. Also I find the challenge of pinning the metal models together exciting and love the challenge. 40k is great for all the bits they offer if you play an imperial army. However if you play xenos you feel more left out when a lot of your models dont get pretty little seals and things to adorn their "armor."

    The scenarios for warmachine go further than just caster assassination. The issue is many people do not want to play any of the other scenarios because it requires them to think outside the box. Something 40k players have been use to for years.

    I played a game of warmachine last night with a guy that plays a mech 40k army. He made a comment which struck me ass odd. I'm use to playing tyranids where the models are a swarm of infantry so moving tanks is not something i've ever encountered. The comment that shocked me that he made was as follows: "Moving infantry models is very difficult. I never noticed how much easier tanks are to move." SO if you are up for a challenge and want to try an infantry based game instead of buying an infantry 40k army try warmachine.

    Lastly comparing prices of 40k to warmachine is fair. The reason I say that is I was comparing the price and points cost based on how long the games would take. 2k games take roughly 2-3 hours where a 50 point game can take 2 hours.


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