Last night I enjoyed a demo game of Warmachine at the Oxford Gaming Club, courtesy of their resident Pressganger, Chris C. The people at the club were really friendly and kindly waived the usual attendance fee as it was my first time there.
Chris took me through the basic concepts of Warmachine, focus, feats, control distance, how to roll for damage, and so on. He then umpired a demo game between myself and another novice player. I took command of a Protectorate of Menoth battle group led by Kreoss against a Mercenary force led by Magnus.
I really enjoyed the game. We ran out of time before we could finish but a goodly amount of stompage was dealt by either side. I’m not sure who was in the lead, but I had wounded Magnus quite a bit, though I had also left Kreoss dangerously exposed. Even a newbie like me knows the golden rule of Warmachine is Do Not Get Your Warcaster Killed.
Other highlights of the game included knocking down all my opponent’s jacks using my caster’s Feat, the nail biting resolution of a powerful missile attack, and the face off between Mangler and Crusader heavy warjacks.
Considering there were only four models per side on the table, it was quite an involved game that really required me to think about what I was doing. I found the rules fairly intuitive, helped no doubt by having an expert there to answer all my questions, and by the end of the game I was able to play pretty independently. Though Chris kindly pointed out one or two rookie mistakes I was making.
Easy to learn though the basic rules seem, it’s already clear that mastering the intricacies of using warjacks and warcasters together for maximum effect, marshalling your precious focus points and knowing when to use your caster’s feat is another matter. There also seem to be quite an array of weapon special rules. Some people might frown at the amount of ‘book keeping’ involved in tracking warjack damage, but I doubt it would be too onerous given the limited number of jacks on the field at any one time.
Warmachine appeals to me for a number of reasons, I like the background and the fact it involves stompy robots, I like the fact that it’s primarily a skirmish game that allows small armies with the option of adding to your collection gradually over time (in contrast to the mass battle games produced by Mantic and GW). I’m intrigued by the way the game requires you to use your models I’m concert, most especially using the caster and jacks together. Also, some of the models are really, really cool.
I have already pre-ordered the Warnachine two player starter box. It seems to be a really, really good value box and a good chance to get a real feel for the game without too much outlay. The box contains Menoth models, which I tried last night, and Khador, a faction I am quite interested in. The other faction I am most interested in, Cygnar, will probably find its way onto my Christmas list. I’m looking forward to building the new toys (and adding them to my very large backlog of unpainted models) and learning a bit more about the game and the Iron Kingdoms in my own time. Maybe I can even convince @CaitoGalenus to give it a try.
My Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars collections are nicely rounded out now (though I will get the Aquan Dreadnought when it is released) so now is the perfect to branch out into one more game. Between Warmachine, FA, DW and finishing my Brazen Angels I will be nicely served with hobby projects for the foreseeable future.
I’m hoping to write a brief review post when the starter box arrives and hopefully will be able to post some pictures of painted models on a #miniaturemonday soon.