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Made in ca
Infiltrating Broodlord





Toronto, Ontario

I'm sure this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I'm going to chime in anyway. I, personally, am glad the game is in decline. I got into it way back in 2012 with some friends and played regularly for 2 years, arguably when Warmachne was at its apex as far as popularity goes. Page 5 and the general attitude of PP fans made for an incredibly toxic community that boiled over into my local group and pretty much soured everything. It honestly seemed like hatred of GW was as important to being a PP fan as actually playing the game itself, and this was clear both from the guy in my group who got us all started with WM as well as from virtually every online interaction I had related to the game. I hated page 5 more than anything, and also hated caster kill. I also ate up all the 'everything is viable we promise' that was a selling point for the game, which was total hogwash. I hated that theme lists were garbage, and find it very amusing that they're now the only way to play.

Honestly I don't think I can say I enjoyed a single thing about WM, anything objectively good about the system was buried under the vitriol and the uncompromisingly competitive mindset of PP fans.
   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






I do feel the bloated aftermarket does show that whole armies are being sold at small percentages of their original sale price.
But with WM is another issue I see their theme image is so very strong with everything. I realize that GW about got their lunch ate from this
but to make more generic figures that D&D and other type players might pick up the miniatures to add to their collection.
So much of it is branded so strongly you can't think of it outside of WM/H, It's hard to put it in any other game, tabletop or RPGs

 
   
Made in us
Stubborn Hammerer





washington state USA

anything objectively good about the system was buried under the vitriol and the uncompromisingly competitive mindset of PP fans.


That right there is the number one thing, like i said previously. started actually playing in MK III stayed away before that. game play and game mechanics for a casual game player are quite good. playing without casters (as a general steam punk style army game) or caster kill can be quite fun.

The small group i play with on my normal game night are quite enjoyable for WM players(we all play multiple game systems)...the hardcore group that plays on the day before..not so much. got an odd day off and tried to come in to play with them to get some games against different players. they were not social, only wanted to play within their own group watching each other play multiple games on the same table with 2d terrain even though my friend and i had both our armies out and a beautiful table set up with nice 3d terrain. so i ended up just playing the same i guy i normally play on the regular day. never going to bother with them again.

So the lesson is if i get people to play with my group i think the game will be fine. i cannot see any growth for it with the other group.

 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





I really struggle with the nature of the competitive community personally. In part its because I was actively running events during its rise and am friends with a number of the players who helped drive it to where it is today and from that I understand everything that's lead it to where it is now. The road to hell, good intentions, and all that jazz.

Some of the issue was just how much of an advantage threat range was throughout MK2 and how much that drove precise measuring. PP eased up on that a lot by switching to premeasuring, but by then the community had all the tools to turn that into its own kind of monster. I think the big problem continues to be that the game's terrain rules. They're just largely all too punishing for a game that demands static models that need to move significant lengths in perfectly straight lines. That's what really drives the terrible tables, though to a degree PPs love of top heavy models that grossly overextend their bases doesn't help either.

It's tough, simply because the game is uniquely rewarding when played by the strict rules and there are plenty of ways to do so without sacrificing casual flourishes like cool looking armies and terrain and player banter. There's so much emphasis on making every game conform to the limitations created by the tournament environment though that its hard to get these kind of things back into the community at a casual level.
   
Made in ie
Dakka Veteran




Ireland

 creeping-deth87 wrote:
Honestly I don't think I can say I enjoyed a single thing about WM, anything objectively good about the system was buried under the vitriol and the uncompromisingly competitive mindset of PP fans.


Competitive mindsets destroying all enjoyment in games sadly isn't exclusive to PP. I do think that Warmachine's page 5 nurtured a very toxic attitude towards sportsmanship, which spilled over into other systems. At the start I think it was meant as a piece of fun, nothing to be taken too seriously... which was blatantly obvious from the language being used. However for some it was 'Rules as Written' justification to be an utter nobhead.

The objective of the game is to win. The point of the game is to have fun. The two should never be confused. 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Honestly the Page 5 thing always felt overblown to me. I'm sure someone took it way too serious and I've heard it was more of an issue in MK1, but all through MK2 it was tongue and cheek at worst. It's always felt like something that was perpetuated by people that didn't like the game more than something that happened with any regularity.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






 Genoside07 wrote:
I do feel the bloated aftermarket does show that whole armies are being sold at small percentages of their original sale price.
But with WM is another issue I see their theme image is so very strong with everything. I realize that GW about got their lunch ate from this
but to make more generic figures that D&D and other type players might pick up the miniatures to add to their collection.
So much of it is branded so strongly you can't think of it outside of WM/H, It's hard to put it in any other game, tabletop or RPGs


That last line is what matters a lot to me, I dont like warmahordes as a main game, I do LOVE the RPG and getting the models for the RPG and being able to convert. I also really love CoI so smaller forces are nice. Most of the second hand armies I see that dont sell are due to "no splits" which for me is a no go as I dont have a use for lots of the higher end models so buying lots is no value at all. WM/H has a very healthy and vibrant community here locally, so much so that it dwarfs GW's presence in pretty much every store but GW itself (for obvious reasons) locally is shows no signs of even being in decline.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 stonehorse wrote:
 creeping-deth87 wrote:
Honestly I don't think I can say I enjoyed a single thing about WM, anything objectively good about the system was buried under the vitriol and the uncompromisingly competitive mindset of PP fans.


Competitive mindsets destroying all enjoyment in games sadly isn't exclusive to PP. I do think that Warmachine's page 5 nurtured a very toxic attitude towards sportsmanship, which spilled over into other systems. At the start I think it was meant as a piece of fun, nothing to be taken too seriously... which was blatantly obvious from the language being used. However for some it was 'Rules as Written' justification to be an utter nobhead.


The truly ironic thing was that anyone using page 5 as an excuse and justification to be a bellend was that they were completely at odds with what page 5 was actually about. 'Page 5 is never an excuse'.

I don't think it's fair to say page 5 nurtured it. I don't think it's even fair to say ' competitives ruined it'. Competitive is a spectrum after all. As you say,vin every game. Some amount of competitive drive and competitive spirit is a good thing, or at worst, fairly neutral. i think it's fairer to say that at some point, the various shades of competitive and casual have been slowly pared back to a competitive at all cost core in too many areas on the whole, and an overly competitive focused approach gradually drove away too many less competitive and more casual players over a period of time and a combination of bloat etc made the game less and less attractive for new blood to come in and replace the natural attrition. To a large extend, only the truly hardcore are still involved and pp has retrenched around them. I would argue too much focus, and especially too much of a hyper-intense focus on any one thing is bad for any game. If it's one thing gw do well, it's to present a 'broad church' for everyone from the super casuals and the hard core to those who don't game and are just happy to paint. Privateer press never quite managed to get this mix right.

The removal of page 5 in mk3 was one of the saddest things of the edition change for me.

I think people often got fixated on the over the top language as being 'what it was about'. Look at the ideas beyond the over-the-top language. Page 5 was remarkably empowering and a pretty damned good approach to take for anyone in gaming if you ask me. Play the best game you can. Play fair. Seek to improve yourself. Mix it up, try new things, don't crutch. Be a good sport, whether you are on the winning end or the losing. And remember we all came here to enjoy ourselves, don't be a bellend or a jerk. And don't use the game as an excuse either.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/01 11:58:51


greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

"Punch your fist in the air and hold your Gameboy aloft like the warrior you are" 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

Ethos, pathos, and logos constitute your repertoire for communicating. At best, and in theory, you should make sure these all align. The pathos and logos of the Page 5 blurb really really don't line up, and people tend to run with the pathos part.

   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch





 Nurglitch wrote:
Ethos, pathos, and logos constitute your repertoire for communicating. At best, and in theory, you should make sure these all align. The pathos and logos of the Page 5 blurb really really don't line up, and people tend to run with the pathos part.


"we call the donkey-caves, they go the house ?"

personally I've never encountered this mythical bad sportsmanship in WMH, 40k and MTG are wholly another tale of woe

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/01 14:33:05


"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

I wouldn't say I encountered bad sports in WMH, but there's definitely a "git gud" attitude. I've played top 40k players, and they tended to be pleasant while dismantling me. WMH guys tended to be hyperfocused and all in even when wiping me out.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 21,000pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Illinois

From my experience sportsmanship was not worse in WMH. It defiantly had its fair share of "that guys" but no more than any other game. Page 5 never came up during in person conversations when I played in MkII.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





WMH is definitely something of a "git gud" game. Honestly, there's a lot of things about it equitable to Dark Souls in that regard. It punishes mistakes, often brutally, but also has a lot of room to learn from those mistakes and not make them again. There are also quite a few surprises that can feel very unfair, but give the game a sense of endless novelty while you learn what everything does. To me, the Page 5 attitude was similar to "git gud" for From Fans. It was about approaching failure with a mindset of learning and improving rather than feeling defeated.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

It might simply be highlighting that wargaming is very green when it comes to actual tactical play conversations. The whole "get gud" thing happens because when you make a more tactical game those who know tactics dont' know how to teach it and people are still hung up on it being about army lists.

40K shows this very same pattern. You can buy books on making terrain, painting, modelling, sculpting is a bit of a closed shop area, but there's still plenty out there on the youtubes and website. What's really lacking is tactical discussions. From the moment you've made a list to the moment you end the game there's VERY little educational material and conversation.

This leaves people very adrift when it comes to getting better because the only advice they can get is often list based coupled with "go for the objective" etc...



Warmachine was popular, but also tactical and thus highlighted the issue; however instead of the population responding in a positive fashion it went a bit closed shop. I think because a lot of people play without realising what they are doing at a level that lets them teach someone else that same skill. They can show that using Unit X in Y method against Unit Z works. But they can't really explain the underlaying principles that makes all that work so a player with a different army can adapt the same tactical approach for their own force.

To give it an analogy its like painting red. Most people can't explain nor easily learn how to paint red with any paints. Instead we do get a similar effect in that loads of people list recipes for their red; which many others then robotically follow.

   
Made in us
Excellent Exalted Champion of Chaos





What's really lacking is tactical discussions. From the moment you've made a list to the moment you end the game there's VERY little educational material and conversation.


Neon sign this. And when you put material out that focuses on those things, it is often ignored, which makes putting out such material often not worth the effort.


Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

www.underspire.net for all things Conquest 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





 auticus wrote:
What's really lacking is tactical discussions. From the moment you've made a list to the moment you end the game there's VERY little educational material and conversation.


Neon sign this. And when you put material out that focuses on those things, it is often ignored, which makes putting out such material often not worth the effort.



Forums have never been a great format for tactical discussions. Now that forums are dying, we're seeing that their successors (Facebook, Twitter, Discord, etc) are even worse suited for the job. :(
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

 LunarSol wrote:
 auticus wrote:
What's really lacking is tactical discussions. From the moment you've made a list to the moment you end the game there's VERY little educational material and conversation.


Neon sign this. And when you put material out that focuses on those things, it is often ignored, which makes putting out such material often not worth the effort.



Forums have never been a great format for tactical discussions. Now that forums are dying, we're seeing that their successors (Facebook, Twitter, Discord, etc) are even worse suited for the job. :(


It's not totally the platform, its the people.

In fact its the community at large. You can find detailed painting guidelines and videos; long how to guides and detailed piecharts of dice results. Energy is there to do this stuff. But when it comes to tactical discussions the community lacks the group understanding at large to make it work.

Heck in AoS you can see this in a rather grim light in terms of the double-turn which forced some to learn some basic tactics to try and survive. Screening and suchlike are talked about as double turn tactics when they should be purely normal good solid tactics for any wargame play.



It's something that, as a community, we really need to work toward. Sadly I think that key-gatekeepers on the understanding either haven't got teaching skills and/or not the motivation to produce material.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

Part of it might be that good tactics discussion requires diagrams, and people who are good at producing art tend not to be the ones good at tactics.

   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

 Nurglitch wrote:
Part of it might be that good tactics discussion requires diagrams, and people who are good at producing art tend not to be the ones good at tactics.



Yes but considering that those good at sciences, maths and technical things tend to be a higher percentage of the gamer population, this would suggest that painting would be an exceptional rarity of a skill. Yet it proves to be totally the opposite. In general all the whole "you're either technical or artistic minded" is basically broadly rubbish. I think its mostly done at schools to try and auto-sort students into groups more easily without having to spend extra time teaching students who have the capability, but not the current talent of arts/sciences. So instead of investing more teaching time into them you create artificial barriers.

But that's getting a bit off topic- suffice to say if you can make a table to show off dice theory your'e more than capable of drawing a few squares and rectangles and putting a few lines for movement direction etc... Just as if you can spend a few hours producing a painting tutorial you can easily do the same for tactical.

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Illinois

I think the internet (forums, message boards and people's websites) generally does a decent job on the planning side. One thing I really liked about WMH in MkII was the forums had lots of "get started" and "buying guides". I have found the same is true in another games like infinity.

I think the issue with advice about what tactics to employ during a game is that the proper answer 9 time out if 10 is: it depends. I have a few times seen people do guides over the years with certain go to tactics or tricks. Often times though what separates great players from middling players is that great players adapt fast on the fly.

I have been watching a lot of pro play for RTSs recently. The pro players will change their entire strategy due one thing they noticed when scouting. It is hard to teach that online or in person even.

Edit: Also a lot of skill in games comes from practice and can't be taught online by reading a forum post.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/01 20:42:38


 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Most people simply do not play enough games to learn adaptive strategies to issues they face in games. It's very difficult when you're playing something like 20 games a year to see the patterns that make up general strategies. Most players get caught in the "what does that do?" phase of the process.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Plus learning from your losses and wins requires some basic understanding of what is going on. You need some grounding theory to let you best understand the practical.

Chance/luck games can really mess with this if you don't have the grounding. For example you might fire your best anti-tank unit at a tank and not do much damage. You might get this several times as a result of poor dice rolls. Then you might shoot the unit at an infantry block which its not supposed to be good at killing; but lucky dice rolls results in a big kill rate.

As a result the anti-tank gun now looks better as anti-infantry and within a single game or two the player has had that pattern reinforced by the luck of the dice. Without the game theory understanding to realise that its the dice causing it; that person might continue to incorrectly use that unit. Firing at infantry more than tanks.

Humans (and most animals) quite readily accept the first information they take in about something (first impressions count and all that); so if their first lessons are based on luck of the dice causing abnormal results; then they are going to be building part of their game plan around incorrect information.






Furthermore self-leaning and improvement is a skill all of its own and some people don't have it. Furthermore its my observation that even those with that skill progress a LOT faster with guidance from the more experienced.

   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

Overread wrote:It's something that, as a community, we really need to work toward. Sadly I think that key-gatekeepers on the understanding either haven't got teaching skills and/or not the motivation to produce material.

That may be part of it, but also I've seen with some if you are not willing to play at a competitive points level (low collection, or didn't bring competitive collection) or whatever the local tournament craze, then you are simply not getting a game. That goes for WMH and Steamroller as well as 40K with ITC. Don't have 75 points? No WMH game for you. You don't have 2000 points? No 40K game for you. Hard to get in to a game where you are expected to bring the whole kit and caboodle that a collector could have over years when you're just starting out.

LunarSol wrote:Most people simply do not play enough games to learn adaptive strategies to issues they face in games. It's very difficult when you're playing something like 20 games a year to see the patterns that make up general strategies. Most players get caught in the "what does that do?" phase of the process.

That is true. I think I played 4 games last year, 1 3-way battlebox game and 3 25 point games. The 3-way was with my brother in law and his son with an extra box I had on hand, and the other was a just a lucky night where I was able to meet up with the local group and others were willing to downplay to my level. Games before that were few and far between (see above as to why).

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
Dakka Veteran




Illinois

 Charistoph wrote:
Overread wrote:It's something that, as a community, we really need to work toward. Sadly I think that key-gatekeepers on the understanding either haven't got teaching skills and/or not the motivation to produce material.

That may be part of it, but also I've seen with some if you are not willing to play at a competitive points level (low collection, or didn't bring competitive collection) or whatever the local tournament craze, then you are simply not getting a game. That goes for WMH and Steamroller as well as 40K with ITC. Don't have 75 points? No WMH game for you. You don't have 2000 points? No 40K game for you. Hard to get in to a game where you are expected to bring the whole kit and caboodle that a collector could have over years when you're just starting out.

I think that is the reason skirmish games seem to be getting more popular. Killteam for instance really took off locally.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Easy buy in certainly helps. The other big thing is that skirmish games usually come with built in scenario elements. One of the things that plagues wargames is that players go into them with the expectation that they'll just put down their armies and fight to the death, only to discover there's often to incentive to advance on one another.

Scenarios are essentially created to solve this, but over time players find ways to exploit them, and those exploits get tightened up and sooner or later the scenario only really works at the point level it was designed for. It creates the weird situation where if you're not playing at the competitive level, you're playing something that feels somewhat easy to exploit. Skirmish games just never seem to have the same belief that you can play without scenario and for the most part, people rarely try to play them below the recommended points level, because there's just not that much to get there.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/01 23:46:22


 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Illinois

 LunarSol wrote:
Easy buy in certainly helps. The other big thing is that skirmish games usually come with built in scenario elements. One of the things that plagues wargames is that players go into them with the expectation that they'll just put down their armies and fight to the death, only to discover there's often to incentive to advance on one another.

Scenarios are essentially created to solve this, but over time players find ways to exploit them, and those exploits get tightened up and sooner or later the scenario only really works at the point level it was designed for. It creates the weird situation where if you're not playing at the competitive level, you're playing something that feels somewhat easy to exploit. Skirmish games just never seem to have the same belief that you can play without scenario and for the most part, people rarely try to play them below the recommended points level, because there's just not that much to get there.

It's the easy buy in my experience. High school kids can't really afford to buy a 2k 40k army all at once or 2 75pt lists for WMH. They can drop say $70 for box of Chaos space marines and some cultists. That gets you a decent kill team. Model a few of the CSM with chainswords or the axe and run them as khorne berserkers. Make one of the CSM a sniper with a plasma gun and throw in the some cultists to grab objectives. Not the most competitive list but solid. At least half of the people that were playing kill team locally were all young or brand new to the hobby. The cheap buy really helped sell the game.

PP really missed an opportunity with their skirmish game IMO. Killteam's mechanics are similar enough to 40k that people can easily learn 40k after starting with killteam. Company of Iron wasn't like that.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/04/02 00:54:54


 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Company of Iron suffered mostly from requiring a box of models no one wanted to get the cards to play with the stuff you had. :\
   
Made in us
Manhunter





Sticksville, Texas

 LunarSol wrote:
Company of Iron suffered mostly from requiring a box of models no one wanted to get the cards to play with the stuff you had. :\


...they sold the cards themselves online for $8. That was all you needed to play since the rules were/are free.
   
Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User




Regarding Page 5, I think the biggest issue was that the message was at odds with how it was delivered.. If you read it carefully, there was a lot of good stuff in there about being a good sport, no honour in stomping newbies or winning through being a jerk, etc. But, it was couched in such over the top aggressively edgelordy language that a lot of people took it as licence to be a jerk and approach the game with a "page 5 bro, grow a pair and git gud, noob" attitude. Unnecessarily gendered references were just the cherry on top. There is still a Page 5 in the Mk.III books which, from what I remember, contains a similar sort of statement of values, just without sounding like it is being screamed at you by an obnoxious 13 year old who plays a ton of Call of Duty.

It may have been necessary at one point for PP to plant a flag and distinguish themselves from the competition, but it's good that they outgrew their teenage edgelord phase.

As for CoI, the two things that bothered me about it were army building (seriously, having to take 6-10 man units in a skirmish game instead of just being able to throw in a couple Assault Kommandos?) and the fact that the rules were very similar to WMH, only just different enough to be confusing. I am looking forward to trying out Riot Quest though; that has gotten me pretty excited and I think it would probably be a better entry point into WMH than CoI as it introduces the models and the universe but doesn't have a bunch of stuff you need to unlearn.

As for the community, I took some time away because I was getting pretty burned out with competitive play and was kind of tired of being told by random people on the internet that I should f*** off to 40K. However, I went to a tournament recently and I actually had a lot of fun, and it did seem a little more oriented towards casual play (it was a 50 point tournament, and there was actually something that acknowledged painting as part of the game). Terrain was still kind of meh, but apart from that it was a good experience. I think there are things that can be done to encourage things like casual play, better looking tables, etc., but it is hard to get buy-in from the community at large on that given the outsized influence that competitive play has.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





One of the things driving Privateer Press sale was that GW had burned a lot of there fan base in the early 2000s. Prior to the release of the current edition of 40k and the first general's compendium WM/H was doing very well. GW fixed their (rather abusive) problems, reworked fantasy to replace WM/H, and strongly focused their games game in to smaller bite size faction of the month.

PP failed to learn from this shift. This combined with the CCG way WM/H is played (overpowered Combos and game ending gotchas) that made it very difficult for new players to come into the game. The existing players became hyper completive in a very toxic way. PP had a very real chance to fix their games with 3rd editions, and they chose to kill their flagship line with that book. Just like a failing restaurant, they try to save themselves by putting new things on the menu while not trying to fix the existing game. Faction and SKU bloat is a fantastic example of this.

Now it is important to know that I think this is very fixable. Privateer needs figure out WM/H is a card game or a model game, it is clear that I can no longer be both. The game at this point is just too big at this point. In both paths the game needs to dramatically cut back.
   
 
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