Monday, May 2, 2011

Warmachine: Game One

The following is not really a battle report, as such, mostly because there would be little of value in any such report. I have no real tactical or strategic insight to offer and I have yet to actually finish painting a viable force, and the fluff for Warmachine is unswervingly proscriptive (which, one could argue, completely empties my standard bag of tricks. Alas). Instead, I have included herein a short description of our first Warmachine game (with number two following next post, and an accompanying discussion of my impressions –apart from that it is impressive) as a small gesture that brings Warmachine into the accommodating folds of this blog.

Because all hope is not lost, and because I must give you something to ogle while reading, I have included throughout this post some WIP images of the fledgling faction of Protectorate madmen. You will note that this fellow has recovered nicely from his time in the Soylent Green. Moreover, I mentioned last time that in order to recover from my dearth of painting mojo, I have taken the liberty of copying inspiration rather than generating it myself. For this collection, I found a very timely and interesting paint scheme on BoLS from an article by Relasine. Timely. Interesting. Don't mind if I do.

Without missing a step, I have already grown rather fond of these zealots. The starter box includes High Something Kreoss, two light WJs, and one Heavy WJ -of whom I have already become particularly proud, not least of which includes the reason offered below.

The first game we played without terrain and with only a quirky assortment of “counts as” models representing nothing more (and nothing less) than what is included within the starter sets kindly donated by the AdpetiCon swagbag. Obviously, this was going to create a bizarre matchup by normal standards, but the idea was simply to learn the turns and to tease out the specific moments that were going to require a bit of extra attention.

I, for example, had some difficulty breaking a few 40K habits with regard to turn sequence –wanting to do all of my movement and then all of my shooting etc. Of course, by the end of the first game, this was sorted, and I would recommend a barebones game like this one as ideally suited for ironing out those wrinkles before putting any genuine effort into the game itself. I should also mention here that Joe is a superb, and superbly patient, teacher. I must have seemed a buffoon at times.

Ah yes. Game One. The day was looking bleak for the Protectorate –I left a Light Jack stranded on the flank and he got absolutely mobbed to two of those Cryxian dog-mandible-critters. The rest of my force was huddled together in hopes of making the best of what seemed a dire situation…

… until Keoss pitched up with his Feat ability and literally leveled the playing field; this Feat allowed my Heavy WJ to slip past Chris’s floored Jacks and unceremoniously pound his Caster’s face into the mud. It was grotesque… I mean glorious.

Still, if I am to be candid, I thought this a bit cheesy and even apologized for the victory afterward. That Feat is wildly powerful and tremendously upsetting to the normal flow of the game. I know that all Casters have a similar ability, but the bluster and bravado of this one power worries me slightly. Will all future games come down to its use? I suppose once one warms to the mechanism the intensity of such a boon might become less overwhelming, but at this early stage it seems like a silver bullet. I am concerned that this might stunt the game significantly. Hmmmmm.

See you next time for Game Two and more ruminations.


tzeentchling said...

Kreoss' feat is probably one of the more powerful ones in the game. Several armies have been designed specifically around it and winning on feat turn. Having said that, other casters also have just-as-powerful feats, or moreso (for example, Sorscha from Khador or the epic form of Deneghra from Cryx), and once you start learning to see these feats coming you can plan for them and mitigate their effect.

A lot of the first few games of Warmachine (and heck, a lot of the later ones too) can end very abruptly - "oh look you're dead" is a not-uncommon phrase. Don't feel bad, but don't apologize either! These are learning experiences for both sides.

Ghengis Vaughn said...

I am trying to get into the Warmahordes scene myself and find it a refreshing change of pace to the standard Warhammer fare.
Dont feel bad about those overpowered special moves, thats what they are there for. Just wait until he does it to you. Cryx has some really nasty powers tucked into their skeletal sleeves.
Also, a great site that I have found for Theoryhammer ( Theorymachine? ) is
They do a good job of breaking down strategies and overarching abilities and synergies that come with this game.

Von said...

Okay: I am forced to admit that this does look better. The turquoise is a nice touch. It's a lovely colour, and a fun word to say as well.

Wyatt said...

Brian, I am in the same boat. Looks like you are a bit farther along than I though. I got the Cryx starter set, and I am pretty excited about getting the boys in fighting form. From what I hear, Warmachine is a game where everything is overpowered so nothing is. Interesting way to do it.

Unrelated : What camera do you use to take your pictures? I've been using a webcam, and it shows.

Prof. said...

I had exactly the same difficulty shaking the 40k habits when I started Warmachine (and still do for some rules that don't seem to come up too often).

As somebody who just got a starter set for Christmas myself, I look forward to hearing how your future forays go!

Von said...

Wyatt - that's the principle. Doesn't always work out. Some things do flat-out outclass other things and it's very easy, arguably easier than 40K, to run into a build that completely frustrates everything yours is about (or, vice versa, one that can offer no effective resistance to it). Don't kid yourself that "everything is b0rken". I would say that everything is viable, but choices - and errors - have still been made in the design process.

Brian said...

@ Tzeentchling. "Oh look, you're dead." Brilliant.

@ Ghengis Vaughn. Thanks for the link. It has already been quite helpful.

@ Von. Cheers mate. I appreciate the kind words. I can be my own worst critic, but then again we all are to some extent.

@ Wyatt. I noticed your post. Great minds, eh. Or was it just the marketing? I'll take the former. As for the Camera, I use an older (now obsolete but still quite useful) version of this sony cyber shot. Like most technological things these days, it can do a lot more than I ask it to; still, I'm quite happy with the results thus far.

@ Prof. Cheers.