February 2011

I just read, in one of the blogs I follow, the first comment about Warmachine being unbalanced. The player seems to be a returning player from the old edition running Mercs. I tried to leave a comment but being that the blog is on the retarded Blogspot universe the comment field kept sending me error messages and shit.

Anyway, this guy was playing MK2 for the first time, which should tell you a lot (I’ve seen a lot of old players struggling with the most basic rules changes) but the important factor was that the game is unbalanced because The Butcher charged, and killed (in one blow) his own caster, Gorten Grundback.

If you know anything about Warmachine (of which I know very little), specially if you played a lot in the past, you should probably know the Butcher can kill almost any (if not ANY) warcaster on a straight fight.

I wanted to tell him to play a few games, avoid being charged by The Butcher ANY Khador warcaster, and if everything fails to sell me his Merc army. But you know, the internets aren’t always working (specially around Blogger)

Now the other day Sorscha charged my poor Irusk and destroyed him with her Frostfang P+S 13 weapon and 4 focus on her. My girlfriend was really happy. I should have told her she won because the game is unbalanced, not because I was really, really stupid.

Next post some Widowmaker snipers for y’all.

Yeah, I’ve been playing Warmachine. A LOT. I’ve played against Cryx a couple of times, Cygnar, Menoth, Circle Orboros (my god those guys are obnoxious), Legion of Everblight and even Trollbloods. I’ve even won a couple. Really!

Been painting a lot, just the uploads are slow for many many reasons. Here’s the second Khador ‘jack I’ve painted, a classic Destroyer. He has got a BIG gun.

Now you might wonder what makes Warmachine so much fun. It’s designed in a way that the competition it inspires is fun. If you’ve read this blog for a bit you know my opinion on casual gaming vs. competitive. There really is no difference in this game. It’s a ton of fun even when you’re being pounded to death.

There are no obvious sub-par options. Besides not having any faction clearly under or overpowered, the options between your own troops lend themselves to all kinds of playstyles. A unit one player would never field is another player’s mandatory. Just take a look at tournament rankings and lists. Every faction is in a top ten list, and if you check two same faction lists you will probably have almost zero coincidences.

Playtesting. Oh my god what have I been missing playing other games. Playtesting makes fun. Not only balanced, abuse-free rules. But fun!

Possibilities. Every faction is different, but every warcaster inside those factions is also completely different. It’s like playing with a different army when you change casters. Units work differently with each.

Theme. Believe it or not, being this the most competitive set of rules I’ve ever played, they are absolutely full of theme and fluff. Every single rule any model and character has is related to his story and the Iron Kingdoms. It’s almost scary. Which takes me to the last point.

Affinity. I’ve always wondered in all those wargames when they describe the General model and they say something stupid like “he represents YOU in the battle.” I am an avid roleplayer, but I’ve never identified with any of my toy generals. And they’re nameless and could be anything. In this game, every caster has a story, a name, a background. However, you identify. People usually describe battles and when something affects the caster, or the caster does something, they say “me,” “I ran and cast Superiority.” It’s really interesting how that happens, specially since most players are guys, and at least half the warcasters in the game are female.

And I lied, one last thing about Warmachine. Players rock. They go to your throat, using every little point and comma in the rules. And that’s how you’re supposed to play. You cannot bend the rules, nor break them, and nobody is into that. You have to exploit them, but not abuse them. Every little advantage you get is tactics, not rules-lawyering. I have never seen this in a wargame of this kind before.

Go play Warmachine. You’ll be glad you did.