Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Warmachine/Hordes: Trying to have a fresh perspective.

I should start this off by saying I made and attempt to play Warmachine on several occasions using he MkI rules and it never really worked for me. There are several things in that system that made me really dislike playing. When Privateer Press released the second version known as mark two or MKII, I took a quick look at the rules and realized many of the things that I disliked about MKI where still there in MKII.

This is an Avatar of Menoth from Jolly Rogers Studio, check out their blog.

I guess before I talk about MKII I should talk about the things I did not like about MKI. Lets start with the basic turn system. Warmachine/Hordes is pretty much the extreme of the "I go, you go" style of game. Granted other games such as 40k/Warhammer Fantasty follow a similar system, but at least with them I have interaction during my opponents turn. I can make saves, I fight in the HTH phase, and in WFB I can counter magic. So to me the system presented in W/H (Warmachine/Hordes) really seemed to me like the only thing I did in my opponents turn was pick up models. For the most part that is true. Another thing that I did not like about MKI was caster kill. Caster kill is when your warcaster or warlock is killed. At that point in the game you have lost. It does not matter how badly you may be winning or losing. If your caster dies, game over!

So now we are back to MKII. At the time of release there really wasn't any interest in W/H at the FLGS so no body really did anything with it. Since then a few people had bought book or experiment with the rules but no none ever really made a run at playing it or getting people involved. Recently though that has all changed. The gaming at the store was focused on WFB but had started to lull a bit. The players were trying/testing new or different games looking for something that would grab their attention. When a couple of them discussed giving MKII a try I pretty much decided I would sit this one out. I am normally game for just about anything, but I did not like MKI and I had not seen anything to really change my mind much at all.

Now if you don't know, you should know a few things about me. I run a lot of the events that are held at the LGS. Not to sound like a braggart but I hold a lot of influence over the games that are played there. We have a smallish group and they tend to follow the leader so to speak and I am normally the one at the front playing away on my pipe. Having said that I tend to have a pretty unforgiving attitude when it comes to games and people being able to get games. When something is hot or new, don't wait a few months to get in if you are interested. It may have faded by then. Also, don't complain if the group is not playing "your" game. I feel that if you like a game find someone else who also does and play it. Unfortunately I have also complained my self when folks who have models for a game don't support it when it is started or is getting played. So it was kinda hypocritical of me to not at least give MKII a try. A new system could offer other things that I like enough, but I would not know till I tried.

That brings me to my point I guess (I know finally right). I decided to get out my Warmachine models and give the game a shot. Now I will say that I am surprised by the fact that I am quite enjoying the games I am playing but not necessarily the game. Many of the issues I had before are still there. It is still extreme "I go, you go" style of game. I still sit there and remove models as my only action during my opponents turn. Losing your caster still costs you the game. I am still finding things that I am not happy with, for some reason I am still enjoying playing the games I have. I am not sure if this will last. I may bore of this like I do many others. As I learn the game I may find even more things that I like and this may drive me out. For now, I will keep playing.


Loquacious said...

Gorgeous color on that Avatar. I might have to be very liberally inspired by that next time I touch TheDude's faithful.

I think (and I hope this comes across respectfully) that the "I go/you go" mentality you describe is a result of more limited perspective than what I see in our scene.

The folks playing WM here are very "big picture" oriented and see it much more as a game like chess, where a sacrifice is acceptable, if not necessary, for a sound overall approach. Players here know they're going to move "x" figures, certain things are LIKELY to happen, and they plan accordingly.

No, you don't get cover saves, there's no wound allocation, and a few other things are not the same. But that's always been the point- put your army on the table and take what comes to you without whining. The flip of that is: predict what will happen to you as much as you can to cut your losses as well as you can.

I hope that helps, at least from perspective.

Enjoy the game. It's so much fun- I really love it.

Brent said...

It's interesting, because I didn't realize you were playing to support the interest - you never let on!

I'm with you. There's been plenty of times I've played the currently pushed game to support the group/store, so I appreciate it when others do the same.

I've also enjoyed War Machine... but it seems caster-kill is the only really viable strategy. You guys pointed out others but I don't have the knowledge yet to see the trends.