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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Warmachine and Hordes - An Introduction.

Well, in the near future, I'll be getting right back into Warmahordes. Considering a lot of other people have been contemplating it, I decided to do a little primer series for the game. Now, I could do a full tactical review for most (all the competitive ones anyway) units in most of the books. However, that's not really what I feel is necessary. What I will be writing up is a shiny little idiot's guide to the game, to let you know what's what, seperate the warlocks from the warcasters and generally help you get into the game (hopefully I'll pique your interest).

So, Warmahordes. Warmachine and Hordes. One thing a lot of people don't know is that both game systems can (and should) play against each other. The two games are fully compatible. They use slightly different rules systems, but are absolutely intended, balanced, etc for cross gameplay.

Now, Warmachine and Hordes are both skirmish level games. They (mostly) use relatively few models compared to 40k, and a tiny amount compared to WHFB. For example, my 35pt Circle Orboros force has 15 models. However a Terminus McThrall army may have as many as 50 models. The game itself is based (competitively) around objectives, like 40k, but objectives work differently. I'll cover that later though. The really big change between games, for me at least, is that the range of everything has been shortened drastically. This game takes place at phenomenally short ranges, but things are capable of moving very quickly. As a result, positioning and movement is phenomenally important.

Moving swiftly onward, I suppose I should explain the main game and what it's built around. Basically, in your army you will have either a Warlock (Hordes) or a Warcaster (Warmachine). These cost 0 points, and in fact actually give you "free" points towards your army. These guys are often the lynchpin of your army. They decide the playstyle and units you will use. Also, if they die, game over. Fatality. Asta la vista, etc. Often these are powerful combatants able to go toe to toe with anything barring warjacks/warbeasts, and some (Butcher springs to mind) able to tear down anything in the game in a turn in close combat. However, they're all fragile, or fragile enough that unnecessary exposure can cost you the game if capitalised on.

Warlocks and Warcasters each have a fundamental mechanic that keeps your Warbeasts (Hordes) or Warjacks (Warmachine) running. Warlocks have Fury, while Warcasters have Focus. The systems are similar, but different.  Different enough that the playstyle changes entirely. Also, as a note, Hordes tends to have better big guys, while Warmachine has a more "combined arms/infantry heavy" approach. But anyway, Warcasters all know spells, that they spend Fury/Focus to cast. These can cause horrific damage, or support your army. Generally each caster will have one "amazing" spell, and a bunch of other useful ones. Of course, this depends on your role, but the variety among abilities and spells  means that while you can't "make your own" warlock, there's absolutely enough variety to go around.

Next we have the Warbeasts and Warjacks. The big guys that people get into this game for. Well, they do not disappoint. They are the strong arm behind most armies. They have all sorts of cool stuff, my personal favourites being power attacks. Your War"x"s can headbutt, throw, arm lock, slam, push and kill each other. It's awesome, it's like a wrestling match that takes place on top of your opponent's army. And hell, having your Warpwolf pick up and throw a choir boy at eFeora to nail that last wound is so sweet (seriously, I've done it). I'll of course do a more detailed section on all of the unit types in this article, but this is a brief overview of the unit. Basically, the majority of these guys are either heavy beaters in close combat, or decent shooters. But all of them tend to have combat ability (comes with being 10ft tall and 10 tonnes in weight I guess).

Next up, we have what I list as "support." Now, as I mentioned, WM takes a more combined arms approach, so to those guys, these are your army (Circle is my main force, 2nd is probably Cryx or Khador). Basically, infantry are good. They're able to take Warbeasts down through sheer weight of numbers, or some elite infantry (the Great Bears of Gallowswood swing to mind (hoho! Wit!) almost immediately) can just cut them in half in a few slices. There's really not much to say about infantry. Their role varies greatly depending on what they are. Whether it's the awesome magical shenanigans of my Druids, the sheer PitA factor of a Winter Guard deathstar or the "through infantry like a hot knife through butter" of Exemplar Errants, most units definitely have a role. And chances are, they're the only unit in your army with that role.  Finally we have solos. They're sort of like characters, and almost all support. They tend to either have one nifty thing they do, or be absolute powerhouses, but easy to kill. That said, some Khadoran ones are like little Warjacks in their own right.

So, I'll cover this in more topic later, and also, please vote in the poll! I'll go through the armies based on that. :3

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