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Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User




It is hard to say concretely what the state of the game is without inside information like sales numbers, as we’re pretty much basing any analysis on a lot of speculation, anecdotes, etc. I think it is fair to say that the number of people playing and sales are likely down from the peak, but it’s probably not as grim as some of the doom and gloom crowd seems to think.

PP seems to be focusing in diversifying, which is good because having the fate of the company tied to the health of one game isn’t a great situation. Releases for Warmachine are slowing down as they are going to be interspersed with releases for Riot Quest, Monsterpocalypse, and Warcaster: Neomechanika, which is probably not a bad thing.

The game itself, from a pure rules perspective, is probably in a fairly health state. It’s not perfectly balanced, but no game is and balance doesn’t feel too bad overall (aside from some concerns about the CID process and power creep).

I think a lot of critiques leveled at Warmachine in this thread are more matters of opinion. Things like igougo, caster kill, 2d6, theme forces, armies engaging in the center, etc., are all there for a reason; you might disagree with them, but they aren’t necessarily bad mechanics.
- igougo is seen as old-fashioned, but I don’t think Warmachine would work with alternating activations or something like that
- 2d6 makes for a more bell-curve shaped probability distribution, which, when you combine it with resource allocation mechanics like boosting, buffs, etc., makes the math really engaging as you try to allocate resources to mitigate luck and maximize your chance of success.
- Without some sort of catchup mechanic, a lot of games struggle with a situation where if one player gets ahead on attrition early on, the other player has little hope of winning. As you fall behind on attrition, it becomes harder and harder to both stay on top of the scenario and make up for that attrition deficit because you have fewer models remaining to do so. This can create situations where the game is more or less decided early on, but one player still has to play from behind for a couple hours with little hope of turning things around. Caster kill means that you can be down, but you are never out because it is always possible for an opponent to get too confident, overextend, and give you an opportunity to win the game (even if it is a hail mary).
- Theme forces have their advantages. For new players, you can see what subset of their faction they are most attracted to and that theme force can be their shopping list. Theme armies can look better on the tabletop than pikemen in plate armour standing next to dudes with rifles and trench coats. Finally, they can encourage diversity because if you have one model that is so good he is an auto-include, the fact that he isn’t available in all themes means that you won’t see him every time and he won’t crowd out all the other models in the faction.
- Armies do tend to engage in the center, but that doesn’t preclude flanking plays. Also, some of the new scenarios go right to the edge, so that encourages armies to spread out a bit more. Additionally, I’m not sure how engaging to the center is any worse or less of a tactical challenge than armies standing across the table from each other and barely leaving their deployment areas as they pop shots at each other.

Also, when we are talking about Mk.III, let’s not forget all the problems of Mk.II. Balance was no better, and Mk.II had the problem of new players being sold a game called Warmachine with big smashy robots but in actuality the robots sucked and you were playing Iron Kingdoms Infantry Battles. Mk.III fixed that.

I think really, the main issue that Warmachine struggles with is that it is a weird in-between of a skirmish and army game. You are doing most of your activations model by model, targeting individual models like a skirmish game, and even have to worry about facing on individual models, like you might in a skirmish game, but at 75 points the sheer size of the game makes it more of an army game. I feel like 75 points is a little overgrown, and prefer to play at points levels like 35 or 50.

The other issue is the community. It’s really a double-edged sword, in that I’ve met some really good people playing Warmachine, and I’ve had some experiences with people that made me want to ditch my army and go play 40K instead. The Warmachine internet is, with few exceptions, pretty horrible and negative.

Finally, it does feel like competitive play has crowded out a lot of things – narrative play, casual play, hobbying, etc., to the point that it is hard to keep people who are not competitively-focused around. That said, I know people who still buy models and play basement games and have fun playing casually; you just don’t see them around a lot because they don’t play in stores, don’t go to tournaments, and don’t post online.

Model quality is very hit and miss, depending on the age of the model and the material that particular model is made with. I don’t think anyone has the ability to do hard plastic to the same ability as GW, but PP has been steadily improving their resin and resin/metal game.

I have a feeling we will see some changes in the future, perhaps with things like limited formats, etc., which could make it less intimidating for a new player whose first reaction is “wait, I have to memorize 1200 cards to not die?” – the lead designer was on a podcast recently and talked about some of the conversations they’ve been having internally, so I'm sure Warmachine will evolve. I wonder if perhaps it could use a Mk.IV which involves a serious redesign, as Mk.III felt a lot like Mk. 2.5.

All that is to say, I think Warmachine is doing okay. It has some problems and is probably down from its peak, but it’s not a bad game. It is great that PP is diversifying though, because having the health of the company so intimately tied to one flagship product is a very difficult situation.
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

crimsyn wrote:
I think really, the main issue that Warmachine struggles with is that it is a weird in-between of a skirmish and army game. You are doing most of your activations model by model, targeting individual models like a skirmish game, and even have to worry about facing on individual models, like you might in a skirmish game, but at 75 points the sheer size of the game makes it more of an army game. I feel like 75 points is a little overgrown, and prefer to play at points levels like 35 or 50.

This is one of the levels of play I was speaking of, and how it influences everything in the game so much. Warmachine may have started out as a skirmish game, but now it's more of a Company or Platoon game, but still everything operates like it was a skirmish game.

crimsyn wrote:
The other issue is the community. It’s really a double-edged sword, in that I’ve met some really good people playing Warmachine, and I’ve had some experiences with people that made me want to ditch my army and go play 40K instead. The Warmachine internet is, with few exceptions, pretty horrible and negative.

Finally, it does feel like competitive play has crowded out a lot of things – narrative play, casual play, hobbying, etc., to the point that it is hard to keep people who are not competitively-focused around. That said, I know people who still buy models and play basement games and have fun playing casually; you just don’t see them around a lot because they don’t play in stores, don’t go to tournaments, and don’t post online.

I think the biggest problem that Warmachine has right now is exactly this, so much of the community is focused on the Steamroller. Do you know how many people are not even aware that there is anything else in the game besides Steamroller? It seems like most of them as they seem to be completely unaware of anything else when they bemone the loss of the casual and narrative events. Meanwhile, there's that group that is always saying, "We only play Steamroller here."

People talk about a limited format as something new, seeming not to even consider that 3 different versions of limited format already exist in JML, Champions, and Company of Iron, but people are only playing Steamroller. Even when I got in a few 25 point games (because my play time is so limited that even though I've followed and collection for years, I've had little play time), they still played them in a Steamroller format.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





washington state USA

 Togusa wrote:
The issue I had with this game is that it feels a lot like

There were far more people playing 40K in my area that I chose to enter that IP instead. I think a lot of people look at it this way.

Today, GW is even more of a power house. I can't think of a single other miniature game company that has anywhere near the presence that GW currently has. That alone is probably the biggest knock on other companies games.


Thats directly a "you/ your local group" problem. everybody has to learn the game somehow, we all did. i have taught and hooked many players on games like classic battletech, the B5 wars system converted for use with star trek attack wing and star wars armada miniatures. i always have with me 3 dust armies (axis/allies/SSU) that i actively demo games with to teach people about the system with good experiences, same goes for infinity and victory at sea.

GW is only a powerhouse because it is actively promoted through players, dedicated retail locations, and media. quite honestly 8th ed 40K is a terrible system, and one of my least favorite incarnations after 6th, when compared to the game mechanics of some of theses other games. GW is so large and the lore is so loved they get a pass over and over again whenever they screw up.

Now my case may be a bit more extreme than some people as miniature gaming has been my main hobby for nearly 2 decades and i have a dedicated day i spend running game night once a week at the FLGS as a volunteer employee for 12+ hours. promoting the community is one of my main goals along with the "fun" social activity side of things,

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/02/07 08:49:35


 
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





I had yesterday glued my 25 point Retribution of Scyrah army. That alone made me to want to quit the game. I had purchased box of Houseguard Halberdiers. 10 of them cost 50 bucks, quite expensive. Yet the quality of those miniatures were absolutely dreadful. NOTHING was right with them. Mould lines everywhere and they were absolutely massive. They were poorly made and some had details which I simply could not attach. Materials are taken from garbage bin. This kind of plastic doesn't react with plastic glue and super glue are very, very iffy in gluing this stuff. Sometimes it glues perfectly, sometimes it doesn't at all. Then level of detail is bad. Miniatures are small and lacking in detail compared to warhammer more recent in offerings. I'm being extremely generous here, lacking is an understatement. They look to me more like those toy soldiers which you can buy for cents rather than real miniatures.

Then there was missing parts from my command squad. An entire body is missing. Now who is going to fix me this issue? I ordered Ghost solos. My local hobby shop was unable to order them, because privateer is too incompetent to have few of them lying around and each time they need to open mass production. So, I have tournament coming and have to borrow miniatures which I had ordered month prior. Also again with bases. They make ridiculous points of attachments while providing generic bases. GW finally had learned to pre-drill their holes in advance, but with privateer I have to do such basic thing myself.

Privateer has insane prices for some of its miniatures. Howlers are not even the worst. You need to pay around 100 bucks for 5 knights! I wouldn't be so pissed off if company would bother fixing their own mistakes and would provide miniatures made not out of crappy plastic which is impossible to glue with. Their more recent miniatures like Garryth 2 is quite good. Simple to glue, made out metal. You actually feel that you are getting something good. Yet, their older lines... I'm also pissed that they don't include cards with their miniatures anymore nor bother printing decks. Like, what? It is like playing warhammer without any unit cards. Some of them are even sent me in german. Like, how incompetent this company can be? Just assembling my army pissed me off immensely and wanted me to quit game all together. All of these things are coming just out of one evening of assembling.

As for mechanics, so far I hate buying attack nonsense. It makes game too focused on alpha and warjacks hits way too hard. It also makes their weapons kinda obsolete. There is no such thing as taking light blades to deal with light units, because it is cheaper and they are better against such targets. All that matters is highest POW or other interactions in making POW bigger indirectly. Then going up to target and purchasing million attacks. It feels cheap. Also, tables are very small and movement and fire ranges are massive. This game has absolutely no room for maneuver, especially with capture points. Movement only matters at how much you can walk while being in combat rather than having any genuine mobility problem. Last tournament I had a problem. My opponent went first. He of course ran with all his models and with 5 inch deployment bonus and full advance, he had covered 60% of a map in his first turn. Then I was in a position where I could not effectively reach enemy on my first turn, only take some random shots. I also did not had ground to set up or otherwise I will be defending my very map edge. Game is absolutely broken in that regard.


As for state of a game, it does great in my local hobby shop. Shop clerks play that game primary so they do lion's share of heavy lifting. Making discounts for starter sets, spending time in showing demos to anyone who is interested, making tournaments designed for new guys, etc. In tabletop no game survives without community managers, hobbyist or professionals. We had in Lithuania similar case with Star Wars Legion, you know miniature game with models on a ground. When someone took initiative and started showing demos, interest in game skyrocketed by 100-200%. On the other hand, W40k and Age of Sigmar is kinda dead in our hobby shop. Why? We have quite competitive players in W40k tabletop who are only interested in tournament play and exploiting meta. So they play among themselves and we hardly see them. Age of Sigmar is more casual, but you almost see nobody playing. They play in the corner or at home. So both games are considered dead while Warmachine is most popular miniature game out there. The only difference is that Warhammer does not have anyone to act as community manager and nobody bothers making public events or attracting new players. Even Infinity started to kick Warhammer's ass, because someone bothered to gather new guys and community grew by 100-200% last year. Solution to all Warmachine's problems are as easy as solution to any game's problems. It is actually bothering in introducing new people into the game. When someone does that, game prospers. When nobody does, any games dies. Simple as that. There is no need for pointless discussions about meta or other stuff.

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2020/02/12 12:37:01


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





washington state USA

Ernestas

That post proves my point-building communities helps games survive.. no matter how great the models look you are not going to buy them for more than a single display model unless you have a desire to use them in a game.

I think we have all had our share of horror stories of kits that were done badly (FW storm eagle...shudders... or the old armor cast models) from various companies.

If there is a game you love it's up to you to share/demo it and promote it

I have a heavy gear force because a fellow gamer was really into it and got me to build a force. not exactly the most popular of games

i don't like ti as much as classic battletech but it is fun to play.

The market can get a bit over saturated considering how limited the audience is, and many fine games have gone away and will continue to fade without support from the players.

the state of warmachine is currently tied to the same problem-the player base above all else

It can be super toxic in some places because of the players attitudes and thats a shame considering how much fun i have with it in a very casual setting.

 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Ernestas wrote:

Then there was missing parts from my command squad. An entire body is missing. Now who is going to fix me this issue?


http://mispack.privateerpress.com/

PP has one of the most reliable customer support systems I've worked with outside of a few months last summer when they were moving the warehouse.
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





 LunarSol wrote:
 Ernestas wrote:

Then there was missing parts from my command squad. An entire body is missing. Now who is going to fix me this issue?


http://mispack.privateerpress.com/

PP has one of the most reliable customer support systems I've worked with outside of a few months last summer when they were moving the warehouse.


Thank you. I had asked for help in my hobby store and they told me that privateer will help me out. Hopefully everything will solve itself out, because I had purchased it through hobby store and my hobby store do not give me receipt. Well, it gave me receipt, but it is one of a crappy kind where you can only see how much you spent, but there is no name what you were buying.

In our hobby store warmachine is actually the main game, because of amazing community. Veterans are super friendly. I can easily borrow models which privateer did not printed for tournament. Today guy who were ought to borrow me ghost sniper had only one, but I need two for requisition bonus. So I asked if it is fine if I just use houseguard rifleman model and that was cool. I also use different standard bearer to fix that issue with my missing model. It is warhammer who is under the rug, because nobody takes initiative to organize stuff on frequent basis. We yesterday had a post in our city's facebook group about people wanting to prove that Age of Sigmar is not dead and started registration for tournament. Its total numbers are similar to what we gather to Warmachine, but with a lot less certainty and frequency, there are a lot of ifs in their list while Warmachine gets same amount of members without those doubts. Where we have tournament at least every two months and smaller, casual evenings at least once per month to my knowledge, I can't see anything like that happening with warhammer. It is just some dudes agreeing together to play with each other and it just feels and looks pretty dead game, despite GW being so good at what it does that every Warmachine player to whom I talked agrees that Warhammer miniatures are far superior to anything that privateer produces.

I also had encountered this issue. Buying Warmachine figures can be extremely expensive. For example, I want 25 point Menoth army for my starter army. So, I need Choir, Wracks, Covenant, Holy Zealots, Monolith, Sunburst Deliverer for my initial faithful masses army. It costs over 100 euros easily. Just Holy Zealots would cost me 50 euros if purchased directly from privateer while wayland has them at 32 euros. I'm bringing this point, because when I buy stuff from ebay it is just ridiculous. I saw few days ago 30-50 euros brand new heavy warjacks/beasts going for under 10 euros! I had purchased bunch of stuff from auction for different armies, because they cost me just like 20-30% of their full value. Even far less if you want to buy entire armies off at once. I'm awaiting now my brand new Hyperion kit which I won at the auction for 40 euros. There were absolutely no other takers... I had grabbed Ryssovass Defenders for 20 euros and two light jacks for symbolic price of 1.50 euros. I had outbidded a guy who wanted to take them for 1 euro and I just bought them, because I have to pay a hefty percent for postage anyways, so I was just buying all the stuff guy had which I sorta needed. Second hand market for this stuff is insane. I see absolutely no reason to buy new stuff from privateer, because I can get all of it even assembled and quite well painted for fraction of a cost. I only purchased and keep purchasing my armies directly, because I sorta need to have army which I want here and now. Though, all other armies I will definitely just randomly accumulate from ebay and buy from privateer model or two which I will be missing. I'm dreading a day when I will want to make cavalry army and will have to pay 20 euros for a single crappy plastic knight toy...

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2020/02/12 23:55:21


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Ernestas wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
 Ernestas wrote:

Then there was missing parts from my command squad. An entire body is missing. Now who is going to fix me this issue?


http://mispack.privateerpress.com/

PP has one of the most reliable customer support systems I've worked with outside of a few months last summer when they were moving the warehouse.


Thank you. I had asked for help in my hobby store and they told me that privateer will help me out. Hopefully everything will solve itself out, because I had purchased it through hobby store and my hobby store do not give me receipt. Well, it gave me receipt, but it is one of a crappy kind where you can only see how much you spent, but there is no name what you were buying.


They don't ask for a receipt, don't worry about it. PP is incredibly good about replacement parts. I've never had an issue that they didn't go above and beyond to fix with basically no demands from me on the issue.
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





That gives me a lot more confidence in a company then.

"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Yeah PP has always had good customer service.

I think GW has only shifted to requiring receipts because they deal mostly in plastics now so replacement parts are whole models rather than bits. So its more tempting for some to try and abuse the system. Proof of purchase allows GW to keep track of things and also allows them to monitor if people are claiming for secondhand goods not new purchases.

IT might also come down to a country level too, some countries can have more of a "scam" culture in the consumer sector. I recall watching a small documentary on GOG (alebit made by gog) which said that one big problem in the Polish market was that rip-off CD's of games were so rife and common that many markets were selling products "as good" in packaging and such as the official yet they were ripped off. To the point where many customers didn't even know what they were buying was a rip-off.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

PP did have some issues with fulfilling mispacks last year when they moved locations (they really didn't sort their packing well enough), but that seems to have been taken care of in the last few months.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
 
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