Tabletop GamingWarmachine

Messing with Minis

With Spore-con coming up on the 5th and 6th of June (do join us there!), and with Kakita’s request for help, the other 2/3rds of HBG decided to head down to Paradigm Infinitum (abbreviated to the much easier on the tongue “P.I.”) to pick up the ropes of Warmachine, one of the games to be featured at Spore-con. Not sure if it was Korgath’s first game ever, because he seemed to catch on pretty fast, but there I was a little noob aiming to main my way around the battlefield. Still I believe a fun time was had by all – other than slow moments where we were wondering what to do next and/or what just happened. It was quite a bit to digest in a first try, so I’ll try to recount my experiences below.

The first order of the day was to work on the basics. And a whole lot of the tools of the trade appeared, tape measures, little islands of shrubbery (everybody needs shrubbery), a huge crater as a centerpiece, and of course the minis and the cards. Korgath spent quite a bit of his time studying the cards and the feats and the spells while I… played with my new camera. (Which is exactly the reason why we have photos for this event.) Explanations of the basic machinations and rules of the game didn’t really take very long, and in the end it’s always easier to learn by practise.

So we started off me my winning the dice roll (my first of, well, it was pretty much my last good dice roll) and electing to go with Khador, the slow moving but heavy hitting bruisers. On hindsight, this surprised me considering I usually play agility characters instead of strength – even my WoW Shaman had loads of agility. Korgath went with Cryx. We didn’t have many units each, but enough to get a game going and figure the rules. My warcaster was Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, a feisty lady with a big scythe, and Korgath had the most irritating Wraith Witch Deneghra and her zombie horde. (Why doesn’t the zombie horde warcaster carry the scythe? Must be them farmer soldiers rising in the ranks.)

Korgath sent his bonechickens to feel out the lay of the land early on, and there it was – contact! My Destroyer fired a cannon blast, and I’d describe it as a warning shot if not for the fact that he continued to attack me, and it was only a warning shot because my dice rolls were abysmal. I think my first 2 cannon shots did a grand total of 2 damage. Spectators commented that his bonechickens should not have survived for so long – but there you have it, horrible dice rolls will do you in for sure. Still, each side inched slowly forward – until it turns out that Deneghra channeling her spells through the bonechickens (which extended her range tremendously) ended up crippling my adventurous Juggernaut. And from then it was a slow war of me trying to delay the inevitable.

And battle was truly met. The sudden discovery that his Slayer had 3 different weapons resulted in my crippled Juggernaut pretty much falling in 2 hits, and with one heavy hitter down things weren’t looking too great. I still wasn’t rolling great dice, which definitely harmed my attempts at attack. (At that point I did use my feat to try to gain and extra turn and do some extra damage on his bonechickens, but sad to say all I managed to do was make one go headless…) Korgath sent 2 of his bonechickens into the forest nearest to me, which, while hiding them from damage, seemed to duplicate their use – basically letting their Warcaster hit me from really far away. It did keep them alive till the end of the game, for sure. But from that point on they were pretty much out of the game, save for maybe an offensive spell or 2.

Trying to keep my Warcaster out of the way and thus snipe away at him (and leaving my Destroyer to absorb the damage) I thought I was safely out of his range – until I found out that even while backing Sorscha away her full distance I still was within striking range. Trust him to notice such things while I happily forgot to pay upkeep for my spells, but kept them anyway. (Hurhur.) Korgath didn’t manage to get a hit on me, but that meant a final roll of the dice – and I went charging in. Finally a good dice roll! I managed to deal a huge blow on Deneghra – knocking her down to 4 points of health left. And that was as close as the battle got – Sorcha succumbed to her wounds at the next turn. The classic story of a litter of quick kitten taken down the huge German Shepard plays itself out again. Darn anklebiters.

So now I’ve messed with minis – and messed with my perfect no-loss record, coming in now at 0/1. Buying minis aside (which is pretty much another story in itself, just ask Kakita) Warmachine is a really great tactical game to pick up, and has a pretty low entry bar. Pretty much anybody could pick it up, but mastering your army and knowing what you have at your disposal is another story. Tune in next time when I make Kakita and Korgath spend hundreds of dollars on earphones! (Or something, just kidding.)

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