Thursday, June 3, 2010
Why you should play Warmachine
I'm taking a break from 8th Ed. rumors because they're driving me crazy. Fresh rumors come in every day and things get discredited left and right. Bah.. that's what rumors are after all.
So for now, let me make a quick post on why you should get into Warmachine in case you haven't already. Take everything you read here as honest opinion, coming from someone who has been a faithful GW player for 10 years. There are 3 key facets that drew me to Warmachine and these are it: Money, time and fun.
The first and most important reason to play Warmachine is because it's affordable. I live in the USA and we don't have the greatest economy right now. With the economy on the decline, hobbies take a back seat. For me, 40K/Fantasy is the most expensive hobby that I ever owned. When a box of 5 plastic dudes costs 35 bucks and you need 20 of them, things can get quite ludicrous. Now I'm not saying that PP is dirt cheap, but when you factor in the cost needed to play a full scale game, the differences become quite noticeable. For example, a 35 point game is considered the "standard" for Warmachine. Compare that to 40K and you're looking at 2K points or 2250 points for Fantasy. Let's be a little generous and say that 40K is actually 1500 points. That's because 35pts for WM can be played in an hour and a half.. about the same time as a 1500 point game of 40K. Don't worry; we'll touch upon the time issue later.
Let's look at my 35pt Cygnar army with eHaley vs. my 1500 Blood Angels. I play competitively so I'll build lists for both games.. just to see where the ballpark is. Keep in mind that your army can either be less/more expensive from mine. This goes both ways for both companies.
For Warmachine at retail prices, it looks something like this:
eHaley = 17.99
Thorn = 27.99
Defender (old) = 27.99
Stormclad = 30.99
Squire = 9.99
B13 = 16.99
Stormblades = 42.99
Arlan = 13.99
Now let's see what I need for my Blood Angels army. You'll notice below that I'm not even buying straight up DC boxes. I'm going the "cheap" route by getting normal ASM boxes and using leftover DC shoulder pads and equipment to model my Blood Angels. For my Sanguinary Priests, I'm kit bashing the Sanguinary Box with the DC box and coming up with something. I mean I could buy the $15 dollar per Priest from the website or the Command Squad Apothecary sprue, but that would be cost ineffective. For my flying Librarian, he's another kit bash experiment (see April's posts for a picture of him).
Here's what I need to spend for a 1500 pt army of Blood Angels:
4x 5x ASM boxes = 29.75 x4 = 119
2x DC boxes = 33.00 x2 = 66.00
1x Sanguinary/Honor Guard boxes = 33.00
3x Baal Preds = 49.50 x3 = 148.5
2x Razorbacks = 35.00 x2 = 70
As you can see.. in order for me to play 1500 points of Blood Angels, I need 2.3x the cost of my Warmachine army. Not to mention, I took the cost effective option and cut a lot of corners to bring my 40K needs to a comfortable level. If not, that would of easily costs me 500 bucks.
Money is one of the biggest factors when deciding a hobby for me. Time is the other. To play a game of 40K or Fantasy can take hours. Warmachine, being a skirmish level game, can take anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour and a half. Why did I say 15 minutes? Because when you're playing high stakes herohammer and the game can end any second with a dumb mistake (getting your Warcaster killed), longer games is often a greater representation of skill.. rather than it actually took an hour and a half to move your 500 Orks across the table or fire 500 shots from your IG infantry gunline.
Warmachine takes up less time, period. It sets up a lot quicker, cleans quicker, needs less to transport around, and only a limited number of dice to play. Warhammer (Fantasy longer than 40K) takes at least 30 minutes to setup, clean and take/put models away. This is not the case with Warmachine.. not even close. The same principle of time applies to the number of models you have to clean, assemble and paint. For Warmachine, I have under 15 models to do (these include the 'jacks). I don't even want to count my 40K army. It's something like 30+ models not including tanks.
Lastly, let's touch upon the "fun" part of Warmachine. First, it's a new game for me. I love learning new things and exploring new game designs so this was a huge factor for me. Second, the game is very engaging for a skirmish style game. When your army lists only consists of 10 models, things are very high stakes and preforming the wrong move can mean game over instantly. Third, there's a synergy here that's missing in GW's games. Units activate one after another so in order for you to pull off the correct game winning combo or maneuver, you must activate correctly. Every warcaster is different in terms of what units you can take with them and each one has a different playstyle, synergies and unit combos. Unlike 40K where I come to the table with Blood Angels and I'm like, "OK, this game I'm going to stuff my opponent's face into the ground" 25 games in a row, every game that I take a different warcaster changes my playstyle completely. One game I might play assassination with eCaine, another game would be control and disruption with eHaley and another game would be defensive power plays with Siege. These are only 3 warcasters out of the many several that the faction has. It forces you to change your playstyle and forces your opponent's playstyle to deal with the new threat. If he's playing a different faction, he has the same amount of warcaster/unit diversity. This adds layers upon layers of interesting gameplay way more than 40K.
Having spoken to Warmachine veterans who have been playing since MK1, they are still seeing new things with every game. This says something. I'm not even going to get into too much detail on balance.. all you have to know is that they don't do rolling updates like GW.. they update everything at the same time so things are balanced at the same time. AND.. Warmachine and Hordes can play against eachother and be a very balanced and easy to understand game. When's the last time you saw High Elves beat up a Space Marine battalion?
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please share! I'm eager to hear what you guys have to say.