First Impressions: Warmachine


I don’t play a lot of miniature wargames but when I do Warhammer 40,000 is my main game. My problem is this game doesn’t really sit with my current play style. My wargaming friends and I would rather have two or three short battles then a whole day long slog and I always think 40k really needs at least 1000 points battle to get its momentum going. So we decided to try a bit of Warmachine.

The first obvious game to compare Warmachine to is Warhammer 40,000, they’re both a similar scale, the Warjacks look like Dreadnaughts and troops are organised into squads rather than regiments but I actually think it’s an unfair comparison. To me Warmachine felt more like Titan Legions; huge stomping robots with complicated damage tables and a low model count compare more to Games Workshop’s epic add on than their current sci-fi mainstay. It’s this low model count that really appealed to me, no worrying about formations with quick movement and short turns.

This was a great game, a little silly but still great.
We played a series of short games using only one warcaster and a pair of warjacks each. Warmachine is based around Warcasters; human wizards who use their magic to control giant steam powered robots known as Warjacks. The simple set up meant we could get our heads around the rules easily and concentrate on the fun bits; giant robots hitting each other. And hit each other they did, as well as shoot each other, shoulder barge each other and even, when one Warjack lost both its arms, head-butt each other.

My favourite mechanic is ‘focus’. Each Warcaster is assigned a set of focus points at the beginning of each turn. Players can then spend these focus points to take additional actions, cast spells and improve the chances of hitting or causing damage. It was the damage where I felt was the most worthwhile use of the focus points but if you save your focus for improved damage and then fail to hit you’re left with a wasted point. Focus points also have that ‘never enough quality’; to completely reign supreme you always seem to need one more focus point than you actually have and because you’re assigning these points in the early stages of the turn you always find a place the focus points would have been better assigned.
How can you not like steam powered, magically controlled robots?
Will I play it again? Most definitely. I’m currently looking at the different factions and at Hordes trying to decide what to get. My main stumbling block is that financially why would you not get the Battle Box  set as you basically get the miniatures at half the price of the standalone Battle Groups? I’ve also been casting the odd sideways glance at Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare and I’m wondering if I might prefer my monstrous stompy things World War 2 flavoured. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
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