But first, two notes:
One -please enjoy more WIP shots of the next phase of the Protectorate’s development. Although they have a decent ways to go yet, they are coming along decently (about 70% at this point) and I am growing increasingly excited about these guys. I hope to get some more games with Chris and Joe in a few weeks, so these fellows need to be ready, willing, and suitably psychotic for the day.
Two –and much more importantly, please check out some absolutely blinding Space Hulk work by a group of very nice (and wildly talented) folk over at Fresh Coast 40K. If you are at all interested in creative tables, Space Hulks, or hobby acumen run amok, click on the link. I absolutely cannot wait to see this come together.
Back to Warmachine.
Having pulled off a wild Feat to end Game One, we reset the table and mustered our forces once again for a second go.
Certainly in Game Two, now with terrain, our forces approached one another a bit more cautiously and, dare I say, tactically.
Early on, the day was looking quite good for the Protectorate. My Jacks had minced one of the Cryx mandible creatures and another was hurt significantly. The Cryx Caster was off behind some trees on one edge while my Caster was well-situated in the middle. Having said that, one of my Light Jacks got a ever-so-slightly isolated on a flank, but less dramatically and painfully so than last time. In fact, I might even have considered him bait…
And Kreoss’ ability once again kicked the Cryx to the dirt; however, this time Chris was able to answer with his own Feat and suck the life out of just about everything that mattered (these Feats are wild and my concern about them has not been entirely assuaged since last post).
Still, credit where credit is due. In a tremendously daring, ambitious move, Chris opted for an intense and nervy gambit by exposing his Caster to my now blunted Heavy Jack in order to grasp victory. His gambit paid off and, in the end, it was a Caster-to-Caster duel in which Kreoss came up just short due to some previously incurred corrosive damage. Just.
An absolutely brilliant game.
This time around, having digested the basics a big more fully (along with a bit of pizza), we focused on the more compelling points in the game dynamic and, well, Focus. The second game was full up with intrigue and strategery inspired by the dispersal of these Focus points. Allocation makes for a really profound facet of gameplay, and one I enjoyed more and more as my familiarity with it grew.
The last two turns of that second game were genuinely tense because we both needed more Focus than we had at our disposal, and thus we were left having to prioritize the actions that we wanted in a sometimes agonizing manner. It was great fun; we were forced to anticipate, mitigate, plan, improvise, and genuinely think. Quite right.
Finally, I should mention one aspect of the game that made me resistant to Warmachine at first, but that may have won me over at the end of the day. Initially, I was concerned that the Warma universe might be rather stilted or at least truncated in terms of hobby potential. I say this because of the manner in which all the personalities, indeed all the units, are so rigidly proscribed.
Kreoss is Kreoss. Period. (ok, maybe he can be Epic Kreoss, but really, that’s semantics).
Even if I were to reinvent his fluff, or paint him differently, or whathaveyou, there is still a card –essential to the game- that will say Kreoss on it and look like the Kreoss that PP has in mind and not reflect what I might like to do with him. This bothered me (you might note that I have yet to play a 40K game with a writ 40K faction, and I love that game in part because it allows/encourages this kind of creative digression). I was worried that a failure to bite the exact fluff as PP imagines it would lead to an over-arching failure in my ability to take the bait, to get involved, to like what was on the table.
In the end, however, it was precisely the cards that saved the day. I enjoyed the card-to-game interaction so much that I was not particularly bothered by the fact that Kreoss must always be Kreoss. The cards are cool. The way they live in the game is evocative and dynamic. The cards are genuinely personable and compelling that have, so far, overwhelmed my tendency (compulsion) to add my own little stamp upon the games I play. We will see how far this takes me into the Warmachine
Universe World… but so far, so good.
And there it is. Just two games later and I am decently hooked. See you next time for a final preliminary thought on the game and minis. I hope to have these four completed by then, so we can have a proper look at finished product.