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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

I sorely doubt that WMH has anything like Maelstrom, where the game can simply hand you a winning VP advantage simply for being in your own DZ.

WMH is about building and memorizing combos, and who can set up to "go off" first and best. Now, if you're going to claim that WMH can randomly give someone the win based on the luck of a handful of card draws, then I'd agree that WMH has more luck. Otherwise, no.

   
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Blood Angel Terminator with Lightning Claws





Baal Fortress Monastery

 LunarSol wrote:
2015-Present: Sprue plastic. They've done a little bit of this over the last few years, but it's not their preferred material. In general, their sculpts are just too busy to work with the undercut limitations here without losing the oversized look that dominates the line. They had a pretty massive failure last year trying to do an organic in the stuff and have mostly decided to stick to machines in the stuff. Expect it to only get used for Warjacks, Colossals, and Battle Engines.
I'm curious. What models were made in sprue plastic that were organic? I wasn't following the game last year so I'm not sure which models were made in sprue plastic then. I remember them saying they didn't want to switch to sprue plastic for the organic stuff.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






I began Warmachine with some friends in 2002, before the game was released - there was Kreoss and Stryker's starter sets, and I've still got the original rules booklet somewhere (all arc nodes had the feedback rule that now only applies to faulty ones, and Kreoss and Stryker shared five out of six spells). In the beginning, it took of like gangbusters - I bought two or three of each warjack, had them all painted up, it looked great. I started slipping when the infantry came out, but that's not the game's fault (my Deliverers are still unpainted, fifteen years later). The scenarios in the rulebook were nicely varied, then the Escalation and Apotheosis came out and we started the Sul campaign in No Quarter. Fun times.

Then the tournament scene picked up locally, and that killed my interest. All of a sudden all anyone would play was "500 points, 1 'caster, 'caster kill wins" tournament practise games. Perhaps it's just me, but being told "I'll play you because I need to practise for a tournament" is a little disrespectful. I went along to some tournaments - there were usually half a dozen of my mates there, and the organisers and most of the other attendees were decent folk. But I found the table setups rather underwhelming, and I'm not cut out for cramming four games into a day. I'd rather play one or two leisurely games with some banter, than four rushed games.

I carried on collecting the miniatures and books, because I found the setting fun - I played a couple of campaigns of the D20 3.5 IKRPG - but then Mk 2 came along, and it all froze for 18 months while the rules were revamped. Even the RPG froze. By the time it picked up again, I'd simply moved on to other things ; Infinity, I think. Going by the tournament players who attended my club at the time, they did too - Malifaux picked up significantly for a couple of years and seemed to become the local tournament game of choice, although it seems to have dropped back now, too.

I thought I'd get back in with Mk 3. I picked up the new Protectorate starter box, we had plans for a campaign where we all generated a journeyman-level 'caster using the RPG rules and would progress to full Warcasters, but that didn't take off, sadly. Now, it seems to me like the background material is fragmented into the novels. I can see that the setting has moved on from where it was with Mk 2 (the last big event I remember is the death of the Harbinger of Menoth), and I don't know where to look to pick up the threads again.

I think that focussing on the competitive tournament play aspect might have been part of the problem. It's fine while it lasts, but most players are only interested in the competition. As soon as you stumble - like the problems with Skorne in Mk 3 - then people start looking at something else that is perceived to be better balanced. X-Wing, Malifaux, Guildball, MTG, whatever. There's no attachment like there is with 40k, where the appeal is the setting, so there's a decent core of people who are into the game for the miniatures or the story rather than just winning a coin or a medal.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Red Comet wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
2015-Present: Sprue plastic. They've done a little bit of this over the last few years, but it's not their preferred material. In general, their sculpts are just too busy to work with the undercut limitations here without losing the oversized look that dominates the line. They had a pretty massive failure last year trying to do an organic in the stuff and have mostly decided to stick to machines in the stuff. Expect it to only get used for Warjacks, Colossals, and Battle Engines.
I'm curious. What models were made in sprue plastic that were organic? I wasn't following the game last year so I'm not sure which models were made in sprue plastic then. I remember them saying they didn't want to switch to sprue plastic for the organic stuff.


The Desert Hydra Gargantuan for Skorne. It ended up as something of a nightmare scenario. Too many tiny parts in the places that actually look good and poor detail in the parts that weren't made out of a ton of tiny parts.
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Madrak Ironhide







The Storm Raptor turned out well in sprue plastic.

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"...he could never understand the sense of a contest in which the two adversaries agreed upon the rules." Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





 malfred wrote:
The Storm Raptor turned out well in sprue plastic.


It did, but its a very different kind of model than the rest of PP's super muscular top heavy aesthetic. It's that hulking, muscular style that doesn't work super well in sprue plastic. GW is really the only company I know of that has the engineering and experience to do anything close in the stuff, and even then a lot of that comes down to their ability to design models to hide the limitations extremely well.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
On the subject of the game itself:

It's overall a very low variance game. Dice are generally only reserved for the combat engine and actions you take are generally more likely to result in a success than similar games. It's generally pretty easy to make anything with a high volume succeed on better than 50% odds per attack, which is pretty staggeringly high compared to most systems. Low volume actions can generally be boosted to ensure a high probability of success. The one area the dice are generally not well bounded is in damage, which is where dice spikes and modifiers can sometimes swing the game and why a lot of players liked MK2's emphasis on single wound models where this didn't really matter (and why MK3 has significantly fewer damage modifiers overall).

As to why players get stuck in tournament style games; a lot of it has to do with the appeal of the game itself. It's a fairly balanced game (in the sense that it has a relatively large pool of competitive options) of fairly large impact effects. Warcasters have a huge impact on the game and if you ever try the game without one, you'll probably find the underlying system pretty mediocre. This really only works in a relatively stable environment though, as the extreme effects Warcasters can have on the game make it very easy for one to break. A lot of the reason Steamroller works is simply because its been broken and fixed so many times there's not many gaps left to exploit.

Ultimately, the reason long time players shy away from non-tournament games is simply because they've been burned by attempts to shake up the environment too many times. We've all played those special league scenarios and quickly found that caster that has some spell or feat that tears it apart. They always sound fun in theory, but the resulting experience is disappointing and reinforces the desire to stick with Steamroller, which generally remains quite variable simply because it supports a fairly large variety of armies.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/30 18:18:00


 
   
Made in us
Blood Angel Terminator with Lightning Claws





Baal Fortress Monastery

AndrewGPaul wrote:
I thought I'd get back in with Mk 3. I picked up the new Protectorate starter box, we had plans for a campaign where we all generated a journeyman-level 'caster using the RPG rules and would progress to full Warcasters, but that didn't take off, sadly. Now, it seems to me like the background material is fragmented into the novels. I can see that the setting has moved on from where it was with Mk 2 (the last big event I remember is the death of the Harbinger of Menoth), and I don't know where to look to pick up the threads again.


I'm pretty sure the Harbinger dying was actually an event in Mk1 of Warmachine. If you want to see what's happened since then I'd read all of the Mk1 and Mk 2 fluff books. It's on their online store if I recall correctly in PDF form. Before moving onto anything from Mk 3 I'd read the novella Wrath of the Dragonfather and then read the novel 'The Blood of Kings' after. I didn't think Blood of Kings was that good, but it does finish up a plot thread from Mk 2. Wrath of the Dragonfather was a really fun read and honestly I'd recommend it to anyone.

LunarSol wrote:
 Red Comet wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
2015-Present: Sprue plastic. They've done a little bit of this over the last few years, but it's not their preferred material. In general, their sculpts are just too busy to work with the undercut limitations here without losing the oversized look that dominates the line. They had a pretty massive failure last year trying to do an organic in the stuff and have mostly decided to stick to machines in the stuff. Expect it to only get used for Warjacks, Colossals, and Battle Engines.
I'm curious. What models were made in sprue plastic that were organic? I wasn't following the game last year so I'm not sure which models were made in sprue plastic then. I remember them saying they didn't want to switch to sprue plastic for the organic stuff.


The Desert Hydra Gargantuan for Skorne. It ended up as something of a nightmare scenario. Too many tiny parts in the places that actually look good and poor detail in the parts that weren't made out of a ton of tiny parts.
Oh that's right. I forgot that the Desert Hydra was all plastic! I've seen it in person and it didn't look awful. I think I understand what you are complaining about with the model but overall I thought it lived up to what it was.

LunarSol wrote:

It's overall a very low variance game. Dice are generally only reserved for the combat engine and actions you take are generally more likely to result in a success than similar games. It's generally pretty easy to make anything with a high volume succeed on better than 50% odds per attack, which is pretty staggeringly high compared to most systems. Low volume actions can generally be boosted to ensure a high probability of success. The one area the dice are generally not well bounded is in damage, which is where dice spikes and modifiers can sometimes swing the game and why a lot of players liked MK2's emphasis on single wound models where this didn't really matter (and why MK3 has significantly fewer damage modifiers overall).

Ultimately, the reason long time players shy away from non-tournament games is simply because they've been burned by attempts to shake up the environment too many times. We've all played those special league scenarios and quickly found that caster that has some spell or feat that tears it apart. They always sound fun in theory, but the resulting experience is disappointing and reinforces the desire to stick with Steamroller, which generally remains quite variable simply because it supports a fairly large variety of armies.
I don't know if I agree that a lot of people really liked how Infantry were immune to these damage spikes. I know a lot of people that got into the Warmachine side because they wanted to play big stompy robots and instead got a game filled with infantry everywhere. A lot of people complained about the forums and facebook groups that there was too much infantry in fact. I think that's why Mk.3 figured out a way to encourage taking jacks and I think this has been a good thing.

I've definitely felt that burn before. I had a guy play Terminus against me in a league scenario where I had to escort this really wimpy model into place and that spot was in his deployment zone. It made winning his caster impossible and he was constantly doing recursion mechanics to block me off. What's funny is that he's actually a 40k player and is a 'casual' yet he felt like stomping me on what he knew was an imbalanced scenario. All of the people I've played against that were 'competitive' Warmachine players have never once done this to me even at a casual league night. I'm not saying all 40k players are terrible people, but I'm using this scenario to bring to light that 40k players and Warmachine players can both be bad and I think everyone has had bad experiences regardless of the game you've played. Warmachine Steamroller scenarios are pretty well balanced and overall are a really fun game experience. Some of my best gaming experiences have been with Warmachine and honestly I hope they can get back up into shape to kick FFG out. FFG writes good rules but has terrible balancing.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/31 02:02:40


 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Red Comet wrote:
I know a lot of people that got into the Warmachine side because they wanted to play big stompy robots and instead got a game filled with infantry everywhere.


That would be me. I got in with the starter boxes, and thought it was a robot battle game. I bought more, and painted them up. Then I did a tournament thing, and found out nobody took Jacks... I stopped right there and found something else to play.

   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






Same here.. I played Kaldor/Cryx a years before the new edition and wanted to use figures that I thought looked cool..
A bunch of big stompy robots.. and all I got when I played them is my army being curb stomped...

Plus most players seemed to always play over competitively.. no fun when your army is on the ropes on the second turn..
and your opponent is bragging you should have taken a better list... I have never mind losing, it's always been only
a game to me. Others seemed that winning the game will make their life better in some strange way..

Don't get me wrong, I have played 40k for decades all games have people you should just pass on playing, just seemed
warmachine brought out the worse.. not sure why.. that's why I purged all my stuff and moved on to other games.

 
   
Made in us
Manhunter





Huntsville, Texas

 Genoside07 wrote:
Same here.. I played Kaldor/Cryx a years before the new edition and wanted to use figures that I thought looked cool..
A bunch of big stompy robots.. and all I got when I played them is my army being curb stomped...

Plus most players seemed to always play over competitively.. no fun when your army is on the ropes on the second turn..
and your opponent is bragging you should have taken a better list... I have never mind losing, it's always been only
a game to me. Others seemed that winning the game will make their life better in some strange way..

Don't get me wrong, I have played 40k for decades all games have people you should just pass on playing, just seemed
warmachine brought out the worse.. not sure why.. that's why I purged all my stuff and moved on to other games.


I have been pretty spoiled, all of the Warmachine groups I have been a part of have been amazing. The "hardcore" players were more than happy to tone down their lists against new players, and just about everybody did their best to help you learn. They would say what they were doing, why they did it, and steps to avoid what they did in future games.

I have had far more bad experiences with 40k players than Warmachine players, it seems my experience is the odd one out though.
   
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Fixture of Dakka






 Red Comet wrote:
I didn't think Blood of Kings was that good, but it does finish up a plot thread from Mk 2.


Ugh. I'm not going to read crappy books just for the "facts". That's why I gave up on the Horus Heresy novels and I just look stuff up on Lexicanum if I feel the need to know.


 Red Comet wrote:
I know a lot of people that got into the Warmachine side because they wanted to play big stompy robots and instead got a game filled with infantry everywhere.


Indeed. I played for a year before there was any whiff of Infantry, and I wasn't particularly keen on them showing up and spoiling everything. The actual miniatures were also much more variable in scale and size than the 'jacks too, which didn't help.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/31 12:11:56


 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




ore:
Sqorgar wrote:
I still put the brunt of the blame on the community. WMH is not a bad game, but it is played in a bad way, and the people left playing it like it that way. Mk3 actually addressed a lot of issues I had with the game (no terrain, unclear 3D gameplay rules, toeing terrain, warjacks not useful, limited variety in army building), but I saw that a lot of people are still trying to play it like Mk2, with all the worst habits still the standard.


I want to say I think you’re right, but for the wrong reasons. That said, you put the brunt of the blame on the community and say its played in a ‘bad’ way. How much of that though is that its actually played in an objectively ‘bad’ way, and how much of it is that its just played in a way that you’re simply not interested in? You’re obviously more of a narrative player than a pick-up-gamer (and that is in no way a bad thing).
And I say this with respect, but I think while your data is generally correct, your interpretation of the results is off. I’ve pointed this out to you before, but will say it again – what you ascribe to the WMH is misleading. On the surface level, you are correct, but if you dig a bit deeper, what you ascribe as a WMH community thing is less of that and more of a general gamer culture thing, more specifically – pick-up-game culture. WMH is heavily focused on this, but being honest, you will see this same thing manifest itself in any and every table top game that is played in this way, whether 40k, AOS, Infinity etc. You’re American, arent you? You’ll find this is particular prevalent on your side of the pond where pick-up-games are kind of like a religion and the only ‘proper’ way of playing, and while pick-up-games and the pragmatism-at-all-costs and minimum-investment-in-game-and-community-building attitude it helps fosters exist to a large extent here as well, by dint of store culture, the European garage and club scene is a bit stronger and it’s a bit less prevalent there.

I think the take home message you should take is it’s not so much how the stores play WMH that you dislike, its how the stores play. It would be easier to get what you want by introducing WMH to narrative focused players than my trying to introduce narrative play to PUG focused players.

Sqorgar wrote:
On a different note, I picked up a Stormclad with the nice sprues and put it together. The model is significantly better than the crap plastic they were using, but still several steps below GW's models. It most reminded me of putting together the Shadows of Brimstone miniatures. Things didn't quite fit together that well, there were about twice as many pieces as necessary, and there was a little bit of awkwardness to assembling it. All said though, the model came out fine, with good detail, and looks like it will be a lot of fun to paint. If this were the standard of quality (and price, it was $26 on Amazon) for all WMH figures, I'd be pretty satisfied. Haven't seen a resin model in person yet

My Khador Conquest was ‘ok’ at best. No issues, except when I drilled it, I found the plastic on 1 side was thicker than the other. That was the worst. That said, the more recent purchases I’ve made – rager, ruin, grolar, behemoth resculpt – absolutely perfect. No dramas or issus at all.


JohnHwangDD wrote:
Actually, it *is* the game.

As I understand it, WMH currently requires high memorization and listbuilding, with a relatively low luck factor in-game. That particular combination guarantees that newbies don't stand a sliver of chance against experienced players. They won't have good lists, they won't know the game, and they won't have random luck to turn things around.

Pretty much this. The burden of knowledge to play this game is huge. Being able to ‘read’ the game, and see the board positioning 1-2 turns in advance helps hugely, and is definitely something earned only through experience, where newer wont have this, and the ‘power list’ cant crutch for them.

Sqorgar wrote:
There is a high luck factor to WMH too. It may actually be worse than 40k, since you rarely roll more than 2 or 3 D6s, meaning that each action you take can be very swingy.


Not really. 2D6 and 3D6 dice rolls are pretty predictable. Though dice can spike, there is a ‘bellcurve’ in terms of obtained results that makes it fairly reliable.

Sqorgar wrote:
One of the reason why new players have such a difficult time with the game is because the general playerbase builds around tournament rules, and thus their armies are built around triggering these devastating combos. I've had several games where I lost before the first turn, and the game was basically just watching my opponent go through the motions of curb stomping me. And even if you can convince them to try their non-tournament army, they'll end up trying out a different combo-based army that they read about on the internet. Because triggering those combos is the money shot. Moving miniatures around is just the foreplay.


I disagree. For a lot of people, the fact that the game is built to be as tournament capable is a draw. ‘tournament’ isn’t why people have a difficult time. People have a difficult time these days because of the burden of knowledge required to play well. Or in your examples above, recognising what is clearly a 'silver bullet' match up and instead taking the other list. New players won’t have that, and won’t be able to read a game or ‘see’ the board in 2 or three turns. The burden of knowledge is an issue as its only getting bigger. More factions, bigger factions etc. Unless you kept up all this time through Mk1 to mk3, you will struggle to get started.

Personally, I'd love to see a 'legends' format where only the mk1 stuff (with current rules) was rostered.

Sqorgar wrote:
But the thing is, a lot of those combos are conditional on playing a very specific way. At lower point values, there are fewer combos with different effectiveness. If you use a lot of terrain and 3D environments, that changes things. If you play a different scenario besides the Steamroller one, things change yet again. And because of this, WMH players WON'T PLAY IT. They claim that the game isn't balanced playing another way, but that's not it at all. Without the money shot, the game is worthless to them. So they've built the game entirely around getting to that money shot as efficiently and effectively as possible.


They're not necessarily wrong. Steamroller is a big part of the package and smaller games are very prone to hard counters if you're not careful.

Again, this isn’t a WMH thing. It’s a pick-up-game-culture thing, and you’ll see it across the board in pretty much every table top game.

Sqorgar wrote:
WMH is actually a pretty broad game with a lot of possibilities (which the No Quarter magazines often promote but which never see play). But the typical WMH player is just using it as the quickest way to get their rocks off. WMH is the Flesh Light of miniature gaming.
(This is a gross simplification, by try not to think it when you see WMH players discuss the game)


I generally agree - pp has given a lot of interesting scenarios and campaigns over the years. Escalationwas a particular highlight.

That said, Its not thatwhst you've said is a simplification, its just that its only true on a shallow view – again, its more of a commentary about pick-up-play-focused communities, as what you say can be applied to a lot of games, and it echoes what a lot of posters here say about a lot of games. I think you're letting your own subjective views (which are not wrong by the way) cloud your perspective here in ascribing it to the WMH community - the issue is bigger than that.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/05/31 12:17:55


 
   
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Deadnight wrote:
I want to say I think you’re right, but for the wrong reasons. That said, you put the brunt of the blame on the community and say its played in a ‘bad’ way. How much of that though is that its actually played in an objectively ‘bad’ way, and how much of it is that its just played in a way that you’re simply not interested in?
It depends on how you define bad. The gameplay itself can be not bad, but the effects it has on the community, new players, future development, and the general health of the game can be bad. I would say that the way the WMH community engages with WMH will ensure that there won't be a WMH to engage with in the next couple years.

You’re obviously more of a narrative player than a pick-up-gamer (and that is in no way a bad thing).

I'm actually not either. I'd say I'm a type of gamer that I haven't yet seen identified and labeled by the miniature gaming community. I'm not bragging about being a snowflake, just that the only time I've seen a game actually attempt to meet my needs as a gamer was AoS pre-General's Handbook - and we all remember how well that approach was seen. I don't care about narrative gaming any more than I care about any other specific way to play the game. I just like variety, and I like to be able to experience all the interlocking systems of a game put through a bunch of test cases. When someone would say something like, "What's to prevent someone from bringing 3 Nagashes to the table?", I'd think, "that sounds awesome! We should try that, see what happens!".

On the surface level, you are correct, but if you dig a bit deeper, what you ascribe as a WMH community thing is less of that and more of a general gamer culture thing, more specifically – pick-up-game culture. WMH is heavily focused on this, but being honest, you will see this same thing manifest itself in any and every table top game that is played in this way, whether 40k, AOS, Infinity etc.

There's certainly truth to that, but I've seen the way people talk about other games and it just isn't the same as WMH. I mean, if you go read threads on Lormahordes and then go read threads for Star Wars Legion or Infinity or AoS, and you'll see that WMH players just approach the concept of playing miniature games in a fundamentally different way than everybody else. There may be more overlap with 40k and X-Wing, but largely when talking about tournament play. For WMH, pick up game culture is tournament game culture. Period. Even with 40k and X-Wing, you see other discussions about different ways of playing.

Not really. 2D6 and 3D6 dice rolls are pretty predictable. Though dice can spike, there is a ‘bellcurve’ in terms of obtained results that makes it fairly reliable.
The Bell Curve will generally only appear after hundreds, if not thousands, of rolls. The law of large numbers says that as the number of attempts increases, the closer to the results will come to the average. So flipping 5 coins, you are more likely to get 100% heads than if you flipped 500 coins (which should approach 50% heads). This is because randomness is not evenly distributed.

WMH has relatively fewer dice rolls, but a majority of them are pass/fail (like to hit rolls - either you succeed or fail, no partial credit). This means that a spike of good or bad rolling will make a very large impact on the game. That's why boosting is so important in the game, and may actually be more important than the actual roll chances to overall strategy. So WMH is a game that is more susceptible to rolling spikes by nature, but includes a mechanism by which to overrule using in game resources, making it less random overall.

They're not necessarily wrong. Steamroller is a big part of the package and smaller games are very prone to hard counters if you're not careful.
Can you give me an example of when this happens? I mean, I guess some of the recursive armies have advantages (the rate of regeneration is greater than the rate of attrition), but that is easy enough to fight by just not allowing recursive armies at low point values. Aren't themes already generally disallowed at less than 50 pts?

That said, Its not thatwhst you've said is a simplification, its just that its only true on a shallow view – again, its more of a commentary about pick-up-play-focused communities, as what you say can be applied to a lot of games, and it echoes what a lot of posters here say about a lot of games. I think you're letting your own subjective views (which are not wrong by the way) cloud your perspective here in ascribing it to the WMH community - the issue is bigger than that.
I think it is tournament culture, not pick up game culture - though I will concede that there is a lot of overlap in certain game communities. It's just that I think it is obvious that tournament culture is a niche part of the hobby that doesn't represent the needs or wishes of MOST players, and in fact, I think a lot of people would agree that the tournament mindset is doing actual harm to the hobby. The problem with WMH isn't that the tournament mindset represents the majority mindset, it's that it represents the only mindset.
   
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 Red Comet wrote:
I don't know if I agree that a lot of people really liked how Infantry were immune to these damage spikes. I know a lot of people that got into the Warmachine side because they wanted to play big stompy robots and instead got a game filled with infantry everywhere. A lot of people complained about the forums and facebook groups that there was too much infantry in fact. I think that's why Mk.3 figured out a way to encourage taking jacks and I think this has been a good thing.


Haven't caught up on all the replies, but I just wanted to reply to this quick. I completely agree that when people get into the game they want to play the big stompy robots and in the past the realization that they needed to be dropped in favor of infantry is a huge disappointment. It's one of the reasons that I think Mk3 is the first time the game feels like it should and is an unquestionably superior experience in my opinion.

When I say people liked the infantry game better, I'm talking more from a competitive gameplay perspective and more of a subconscious perspective as well. Competitive players had grown accustomed to the style of poker chip style attrition that hordes of 1 wound models creates, so when things shifted to things with larger health pools more prone to damage spikes, there was a lot of initial rejection of the edition. I'm not saying people liked infantry better; just that they felt the game was more balanced when they were playing a version that had essentially removed the damage roll from the game.
   
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Fixture of Dakka






That's a symptom of my problem with the game - it became more and more game-like, and less of a simulation of small-unit warfare in the Iron Kingdoms. Morale was the first casualty (not that PP are alone there; Age of Sigmar and 8th edition 40k reduced its effects, and Infinity and Malifaux never really bothered at all), and any attempt at "fog of war" went away. It's all about who can carry out their tactics first, with much less of a thought about adapting those tactics to the unknown.
   
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SoCal, USA!

Warmachine was never really a wargame - it was always more of a card game with miniatures.

   
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 Sqorgar wrote:

It depends on how you define bad. The gameplay itself can be not bad, but the effects it has on the community, new players, future development, and the general health of the game can be bad. I would say that the way the WMH community engages with WMH will ensure that there won't be a WMH to engage with in the next couple years.

Sadly, I think you are correct. We’re already starting to see it – WMH quite simply isn’t relevant any more.

 Sqorgar wrote:

I'm actually not either. I'd say I'm a type of gamer that I haven't yet seen identified and labeled by the miniature gaming community. I'm not bragging about being a snowflake, just that the only time I've seen a game actually attempt to meet my needs as a gamer was AoS pre-General's Handbook - and we all remember how well that approach was seen. I don't care about narrative gaming any more than I care about any other specific way to play the game. I just like variety, and I like to be able to experience all the interlocking systems of a game put through a bunch of test cases. When someone would say something like, "What's to prevent someone from bringing 3 Nagashes to the table?", I'd think, "that sounds awesome! We should try that, see what happens!".


Like I said – narrative gamer. Interested in ‘interesting’ games and a focus on the DIY/creative approach. The ‘lego’ of wargames. Build it however you want. You’d fit in well with my group – we never really do ‘book scenarios’ and usually do our own homebrews etc.

 Sqorgar wrote:

There's certainly truth to that, but I've seen the way people talk about other games and it just isn't the same as WMH. I mean, if you go read threads on Lormahordes and then go read threads for Star Wars Legion or Infinity or AoS, and you'll see that WMH players just approach the concept of playing miniature games in a fundamentally different way than everybody else. There may be more overlap with 40k and X-Wing, but largely when talking about tournament play. For WMH, pick up game culture is tournament game culture. Period. Even with 40k and X-Wing, you see other discussions about different ways of playing.


Well, to be fair, you might see ‘discussion’ but what you’ll also see is pushback that anything that isn’t list-building-for-advantage/following the exact rules/PUG friendly is having badwrongfun and playing the game wrong. The term ‘masochist’ and ‘virtue signalling’ gets chucked in as well for added skorne (WMH pun!). With 40k, AOS, Xwing, Infinity, or whatever game you care to mention, for the most part, tournament play is the standard that PUG play seeks to emulate. Remember as well, with the other games, Infinity has ITS, which is its steamroller and you will get a lot of pushback against not playing that way. Legion is a very young/small game with a new community, so it makes sense for it to be in the middle of its creative phase (You had the same with WMH back in the day too.). We will see if it lasts. The second it becomes ‘the game that gets played’, expect all that to be sacrificed on the altar to make it pragmatic at all costs. And while you saw (past tense) it with AOS, what you see now is a pushback against the style of play it originally sought to encourage, and folks not budging beyond the GHB.

 Sqorgar wrote:

The Bell Curve will generally only appear after hundreds, if not thousands, of rolls. The law of large numbers says that as the number of attempts increases, the closer to the results will come to the average. So flipping 5 coins, you are more likely to get 100% heads than if you flipped 500 coins (which should approach 50% heads). This is because randomness is not evenly distributed.


And yet, in terms of %s, you have a 71% change of rolling a 5-9 on a 2D6 system, for example. Spikes aside, while you cant predict what you ‘will’ get, you can play the percentages.

 Sqorgar wrote:

WMH has relatively fewer dice rolls, but a majority of them are pass/fail (like to hit rolls - either you succeed or fail, no partial credit). This means that a spike of good or bad rolling will make a very large impact on the game. That's why boosting is so important in the game, and may actually be more important than the actual roll chances to overall strategy. So WMH is a game that is more susceptible to rolling spikes by nature, but includes a mechanism by which to overrule using in game resources, making it less random overall.


Agreed.

 Sqorgar wrote:

Can you give me an example of when this happens? I mean, I guess some of the recursive armies have advantages (the rate of regeneration is greater than the rate of attrition), but that is easy enough to fight by just not allowing recursive armies at low point values. Aren't themes already generally disallowed at less than 50 pts?


Anything that skews. Recursion, as you say, is a thing – in Mk2, Goreshade 1 at 15points was seriously nuts, for example. But beyond that, armour skew, or high DEF skew can cause serious problems for lists that aren’t directly built to counter it. And at smaller game sizes you have far less space to work with to deal with things.

If you just flat out ‘ban’ stuff though, that’s problematic in itself. Its not necessarily a solution.

 Sqorgar wrote:

I think it is tournament culture, not pick up game culture - though I will concede that there is a lot of overlap in certain game communities. It's just that I think it is obvious that tournament culture is a niche part of the hobby that doesn't represent the needs or wishes of MOST players, and in fact, I think a lot of people would agree that the tournament mindset is doing actual harm to the hobby. The problem with WMH isn't that the tournament mindset represents the majority mindset, it's that it represents the only mindset.


There is overlap in a lot of communities, and it's magnified greatly by the internet. I will agree with you in that tournament play, and ‘serious tournament play’ is a minority of the hobby. Its volume online is quite loud, however and out of proportion to its size. That said, tournament play has become the standard, and even if folks don’t go to tournaments, emulating that ‘type’ of game is what most pick-up-play seeks to do, and where it leads to. Here’s the thing though – the tournament midset isn’t a bad thing. It is not badwrongfun if it’s what you’re into. But yes, I’ll agree with you that an over-focus on ‘one way’ of playing is ultimately unhealthy and toxic for the game. That said, it wasn’t a problem that Privateer Press focused on tournaments and a tournament focused game as a selling point. For Mk2, remember it was that focus was what sold WMH and made it the success that it was. It was the game people wanted to play since GW dropped the ball so badly during the Kirby years. Having what amounted to the premier tournament focused game was a badge of honour, and in ways, there is still nothing wrong with it. The issues WMH face are elsewhere and in way, are a consequence of its success. The ever increasing bloat that is a coinsequence of the ‘wave’ nature of the ttg release/profit model– the huge hurdle that is the burden of knowledge in the game that makes it so unfriendly to new players. Questionable quality control. Hit and miss model design when their competitors are knocking it out of the park regularly. Essentially, building a game for tournaments isn't necessarily an issue - WMH' core problems are structural and systemic, and and for the most part, outside of the scope of the actual tabletop. Unfortunately, that's where they manifest the worst. And its not that there aren’t other ways of playing the game – PP regularly push other avenues, that we are both familiar with. But the gaming culture out there, for the most part, is hostile to this. Like I said earlier, that is a gamer culture thing, and if it wasn't happening,in WMH, it would be elsewhere

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/05/31 19:40:52


 
   
Made in us
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In Infinity's defense, ITS has a lot of missions that are very much the kind of things that narrative scenarios try to accomplish but rarely receive the polish necessary to achieve. It probably has the best narrative play in tournaments of anything I play at the moment. Batman might be slightly better, but that game has other issues.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Oh, and on Legion; its definitely a game with a lot of growing to know where it ends up. There's just not very many playstyles at the moment, competitively valid or otherwise. The scenario setup is interesting because it creates a certain amount of narrative on its own, but nothing game changing yet. I'll be curious to see what the upcoming terrain pack adds to the game.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/31 19:50:40


 
   
Made in de
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Nuremberg

I sort of resurfaced after putting my minis back together. They got broken and chipped in transit, and I was so upset I stopped playing for like 6 years. And now when I look back into the game it seems like PP detonated the community. So weird, they had so much goodwill before, and now they seem to have exactly followed the GW trajectory!

   
Made in us
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Deadnight wrote:
Like I said – narrative gamer. Interested in ‘interesting’ games and a focus on the DIY/creative approach. The ‘lego’ of wargames. Build it however you want. You’d fit in well with my group – we never really do ‘book scenarios’ and usually do our own homebrews etc.
Ehh.... The way I see narrative gamer is someone who uses the toolbox available to create the kind of experience they want to see. I'm not really that way. When I build LEGOs, I follow the instructions. I want to see how they designed the structure, not build one of my own. I'm more mechanically curious. I don't care what I play, so long as there is some mechanic novelty to the experience that piques my interest. I became a programmer, not because I liked programming, but because I wanted to know what made video games tick. Of course, then I wanted to know what made programming tick... Boy, the stories I can tell you about things ticking...

Well, to be fair, you might see ‘discussion’ but what you’ll also see is pushback that anything that isn’t list-building-for-advantage/following the exact rules/PUG friendly is having badwrongfun and playing the game wrong. The term ‘masochist’ and ‘virtue signalling’ gets chucked in as well for added skorne (WMH pun!). With 40k, AOS, Xwing, Infinity, or whatever game you care to mention, for the most part, tournament play is the standard that PUG play seeks to emulate. Remember as well, with the other games, Infinity has ITS, which is its steamroller and you will get a lot of pushback against not playing that way. Legion is a very young/small game with a new community, so it makes sense for it to be in the middle of its creative phase (You had the same with WMH back in the day too.). We will see if it lasts. The second it becomes ‘the game that gets played’, expect all that to be sacrificed on the altar to make it pragmatic at all costs. And while you saw (past tense) it with AOS, what you see now is a pushback against the style of play it originally sought to encourage, and folks not budging beyond the GHB.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on exactly who (or what) is to blame for this attitude. Regardless, there is a very deliberate, damaging, and overbearing attitude that is commonplace in the miniature games community that, I think, everyone agrees is the worst part of it (Games Workshop, no longer #1 at ruining the hobby).

I disagree with Infinity and ITS though. I think CB does a good job of mixing up the ITS missions each season, focusing on different parts of the game to great effect (and much complaining, which CB largely ignores). Heck, they pretty much just cut a faction in half. The ITS missions are also quite varied and I think most Infinity players would and do play other systems. I've seen the 20x20 system and YAMS, for example, and CB has released official scenarios through the Dire Foes boxes and Campaign Paradiso. I think that of all the game systems out there, Infinity is where you are most likely to find a variety of game experiences that the players enjoy. It's one of the reasons that Infinity is one of my preferred games.

There is overlap in a lot of communities, and it's magnified greatly by the internet. I will agree with you in that tournament play, and ‘serious tournament play’ is a minority of the hobby. Its volume online is quite loud, however and out of proportion to its size. That said, tournament play has become the standard, and even if folks don’t go to tournaments, emulating that ‘type’ of game is what most pick-up-play seeks to do, and where it leads to.

See, I don't think that's it. When AoS first launched, there were tournaments with goals like bring four warscrolls and a hero, but nobody wanted to play those kinds of games. For one, they weren't officially sanctioned, but as we see with Warmachine, there are many officially sanctioned scenarios and variants that nobody cares about. There's something VERY specific about points and the scenarios that get played which defines what becomes standard. If a game, like AoS, doesn't even have those options, it pisses people off because they don't know what to do. So, it's a tournament mindset, but I don't think it actually has anything to do with the tournaments.

That said, it wasn’t a problem that Privateer Press focused on tournaments and a tournament focused game as a selling point. For Mk2, remember it was that focus was what sold WMH and made it the success that it was. It was the game people wanted to play since GW dropped the ball so badly during the Kirby years. Having what amounted to the premier tournament focused game was a badge of honour, and in ways, there is still nothing wrong with it.
And we see how loyal those kinds of players truly are. First sign of trouble or something better, they jump ship, leaving behind an empty husk of a game because they actively prevented new blood from coming in.

The issues WMH face are elsewhere and in way, are a consequence of its success. The ever increasing bloat that is a coinsequence of the ‘wave’ nature of the ttg release/profit model– the huge hurdle that is the burden of knowledge in the game that makes it so unfriendly to new players.
That's easy enough to fix by limiting what new players will encounter. PP has offered similar solutions to this, such as Journeyman Leagues, Company of Iron, and even playing with Heavy Metal (or whatever the Jacks-only one is called). Unfortunately, when I was new Mk2 player, I rarely fought the same faction twice (and it was 90% proxied, which made it impossible for me to follow).

Here's how WMH can get new players:

1) NO PROXIES. Seriously, WMH is difficult enough to follow without "counts as" being your primary troop choice. Buying the complete War Room card set doesn't mean you have all the toys - especially with new players.

2) Make the game look nice. No half painted armies on flat paper cutout terrain. Make something that people will look at and go, "that looks cool". If you can't attract new players, you can't keep new players. Miniature games innately look cool as feth, and you have to go out of your way to make it look as bad as the typical WMH game.

3) Play new players with a limited subset of available units. Always play them with the same ones until they know your army as well as theirs. Don't change your army every game. I'd argue that everybody should carry a painted battlebox set with them (possibly two), specifically for playing interested new players.

4) Ramp up the game size slowly. A new player should play at least 7-8 battlebox games before thinking about any higher. With different scenarios and mixing up who they are fighting with, battlebox games can get a lot of mileage for a new player before they become too easy or simple. Whatever imbalances there are between battleboxes will be secondary to the imbalances created by one player not actually knowing how to play yet, so don't use that as an excuse.

5) Let the new player win. Seriously, the number one thing you can do to make sure a player comes back next week is to let them win this week. If this means helping them with their strategies or purposefully playing a weaker game, then do that. It isn't all about you, so don't be selfish in how you play. You don't teach a man to fish by tying meat to his ankles and forcing him to swim in shark infested waters.

Every single one of those 5 points is completely at odds with the tournament mindset. This whole Spartan "either they make it back from the mountain or they die alone, because that's how I did it" philosophy towards new players is as dangerous to the future of the game as it is stupid. These are all things that I've seen suggested (and agreed with) that I've seen the WMH community outright reject.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 LunarSol wrote:
Oh, and on Legion; its definitely a game with a lot of growing to know where it ends up. There's just not very many playstyles at the moment, competitively valid or otherwise. The scenario setup is interesting because it creates a certain amount of narrative on its own, but nothing game changing yet. I'll be curious to see what the upcoming terrain pack adds to the game.
I really like Legion's scenario system (and Runewars, which is similar). By making varied scenarios part of the core gameplay, it should have the effect of keeping armies from being too specialized. The problem with it is that they are packaging scenarios with other products, similar to Imperial Assault, such that players may not have access to all of them. I think in Runewars tournaments, you actually choose which scenario cards you bring with you and it is chosen from the pool that both players contribute to, but I think that undermines the coolness of randomize scenario generation when you can limit it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/31 20:51:33


 
   
Made in us
Blood Angel Terminator with Lightning Claws





Baal Fortress Monastery

NH Gunsmith wrote:
 Genoside07 wrote:
Same here.. I played Kaldor/Cryx a years before the new edition and wanted to use figures that I thought looked cool..
A bunch of big stompy robots.. and all I got when I played them is my army being curb stomped...

Plus most players seemed to always play over competitively.. no fun when your army is on the ropes on the second turn..
and your opponent is bragging you should have taken a better list... I have never mind losing, it's always been only
a game to me. Others seemed that winning the game will make their life better in some strange way..

Don't get me wrong, I have played 40k for decades all games have people you should just pass on playing, just seemed
warmachine brought out the worse.. not sure why.. that's why I purged all my stuff and moved on to other games.


I have been pretty spoiled, all of the Warmachine groups I have been a part of have been amazing. The "hardcore" players were more than happy to tone down their lists against new players, and just about everybody did their best to help you learn. They would say what they were doing, why they did it, and steps to avoid what they did in future games.

I have had far more bad experiences with 40k players than Warmachine players, it seems my experience is the odd one out though.


You aren't alone in this. Most of my bad experiences with Wargaming have been with 40k players being giant man children about their miniatures game. I learned to avoid those people when playing 40k or pretty much any other game. I've also had the experience of having really nice competitive players in the community. Even through all of Mk. 2 no one was particularly toxic.

This is going to sound weird but tabletop gaming has this issue of bad people who just stomp on others with no real warning. Most of my experience with it has been in trading card games. Some people in here left a game simply because of bad experiences at locals yet it seems like every TCG community I've ever seen sort of thrives on these negative interactions between players. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who's ever experienced this with TCGs.

AndrewGPaul wrote:
 Red Comet wrote:
I didn't think Blood of Kings was that good, but it does finish up a plot thread from Mk 2.


Ugh. I'm not going to read crappy books just for the "facts". That's why I gave up on the Horus Heresy novels and I just look stuff up on Lexicanum if I feel the need to know.


 Red Comet wrote:
I know a lot of people that got into the Warmachine side because they wanted to play big stompy robots and instead got a game filled with infantry everywhere.


Indeed. I played for a year before there was any whiff of Infantry, and I wasn't particularly keen on them showing up and spoiling everything. The actual miniatures were also much more variable in scale and size than the 'jacks too, which didn't help.


Oh I agree that there are better things to read. If a wikia for it exists that would be the best way to find out about what happens. The events are more interesting in a broad sense than in a micro scale.

Good thing infantry are now all mostly on the same scale.

LunarSol wrote:
Haven't caught up on all the replies, but I just wanted to reply to this quick. I completely agree that when people get into the game they want to play the big stompy robots and in the past the realization that they needed to be dropped in favor of infantry is a huge disappointment. It's one of the reasons that I think Mk3 is the first time the game feels like it should and is an unquestionably superior experience in my opinion.

When I say people liked the infantry game better, I'm talking more from a competitive gameplay perspective and more of a subconscious perspective as well. Competitive players had grown accustomed to the style of poker chip style attrition that hordes of 1 wound models creates, so when things shifted to things with larger health pools more prone to damage spikes, there was a lot of initial rejection of the edition. I'm not saying people liked infantry better; just that they felt the game was more balanced when they were playing a version that had essentially removed the damage roll from the game.
Is that really the case though? Legion of Everblight was pretty strong throughout all of Mk. 2 and commonly used lists that consisted of only Warbeasts and support solos. Those lists were highly competitive and very frequently topped Master's tournaments. I really think the problem with Warjacks was the amount of attacks you could get out of them and the fact that they needed multiple focus to actually be efficient at generating multiple attacks and less so that single wound infantry removed the damage roll from the game. Halfway through Mk. 2 Miserable Meat Mountain was a thing where you had high ARM models with 8 boxes each.

Da Boss wrote:I sort of resurfaced after putting my minis back together. They got broken and chipped in transit, and I was so upset I stopped playing for like 6 years. And now when I look back into the game it seems like PP detonated the community. So weird, they had so much goodwill before, and now they seem to have exactly followed the GW trajectory!
How have they wrecked the community? They ask the community for feedback on new models every couple of months. I really do understand why they got rid of the press ganger program though after the ruling in that Magic The Gathering judge's case. PP shouldn't come out and say 'Hey we are implementing these changes because of a court case' since someone might now jump in and try to sue them. That'd lead to the downfall of PP since they are so small. I do think that destroying the faction forums was a bad idea though because now all of the negativity that we see in a facebook is not monitored closely so it creates awful echo chambers with people who don't actually play the game.
   
Made in de
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Nuremberg

That is what it seems like to me. A few years ago this subforum was thriving and my local store had a thriving WM/H scene, it was the biggest game. With Mk3, they literally put all their stock on sale for half price and cleared it because the entire community dropped the game. I got curious and went looking online and everywhere seemed dead. That is my perception. I don't really know what happened.

   
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 Da Boss wrote:
That is what it seems like to me. A few years ago this subforum was thriving and my local store had a thriving WM/H scene, it was the biggest game. With Mk3, they literally put all their stock on sale for half price and cleared it because the entire community dropped the game. I got curious and went looking online and everywhere seemed dead. That is my perception. I don't really know what happened.


This seems to be the same here locally also.. Didn't help any that they disbanded the Press Gangers almost the same time as the new edition. There have always been a few great guys that
were the standard bearers of the game, but once you had to play someone else outside of these few.. you were asking for pain..
The other thing was it seemed all the ex GW players with the battered wife syndrome returned to 40k after they started to actually to communicate again with the community.

I always loved the Khador Devastator model, always thought of it as a walking wall.. Never played out like that ever... That was a problem that I encountered, I bought most figures because
they looked super cool, rarely researched online to see if the unit was any good.. only to find out the good rules where for the bad looking models.
And never thought as Warmachine as a trading card game style but you are right the rolling combos did get old quick.. "Its Tuesday and I am wearing a silly hat so I get to reroll all my misses"

 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Red Comet wrote:
Is that really the case though? Legion of Everblight was pretty strong throughout all of Mk. 2 and commonly used lists that consisted of only Warbeasts and support solos. Those lists were highly competitive and very frequently topped Master's tournaments. I really think the problem with Warjacks was the amount of attacks you could get out of them and the fact that they needed multiple focus to actually be efficient at generating multiple attacks and less so that single wound infantry removed the damage roll from the game. Halfway through Mk. 2 Miserable Meat Mountain was a thing where you had high ARM models with 8 boxes each.


Certainly the attack volume of Hordes helped a lot to make their heavies viable. Part of Legion's success though was simply that they had a few models with insane infantry clearing potential. The Strider solo could reliably clear nearly half a unit on its own for a fraction of the points. Ravagores limited charge lanes while also always giving the army an assassination out when things when strong due to the extremely limited ways to protect a caster against them. Tenacity also made it very easy to put a beast in a range where infantry couldn't kill it; particularly the high defense flyers who incidentally had one of the best toolkits for heavy vs infantry in the game. Of all the factions, they had the best ability to not take damage rolls on their heavies for that weakness to matter.

On the other side, MMM is actually where you can see the damage roll break the other way. Around ARM 21, you hit a point where things are only doing a point or two of damage without spiking. Bump it above 21 and you see a lot of things failing to damage, even with a charge. When you start hitting dice-7 range the game hits a scary point where a model is suitably durable against a volume of attack, but given just a little more ARM is basically immortal and, equally problematic, if they're stripped of just a little bit of ARM, find their durability cut in half. Colossals sitting around this point made this flaw really noticeable, and a big improvement in the model rules for MK3 is the limited ability to put mulitiple abilities that affect ARM either direction in a single list by making things like +ARM animi self only and reducing the number of debuffs in the game to limit the ability to stack them.
   
Made in us
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Huntsville, Texas

 Red Comet wrote:
NH Gunsmith wrote:
 Genoside07 wrote:
Same here.. I played Kaldor/Cryx a years before the new edition and wanted to use figures that I thought looked cool..
A bunch of big stompy robots.. and all I got when I played them is my army being curb stomped...

Plus most players seemed to always play over competitively.. no fun when your army is on the ropes on the second turn..
and your opponent is bragging you should have taken a better list... I have never mind losing, it's always been only
a game to me. Others seemed that winning the game will make their life better in some strange way..

Don't get me wrong, I have played 40k for decades all games have people you should just pass on playing, just seemed
warmachine brought out the worse.. not sure why.. that's why I purged all my stuff and moved on to other games.


I have been pretty spoiled, all of the Warmachine groups I have been a part of have been amazing. The "hardcore" players were more than happy to tone down their lists against new players, and just about everybody did their best to help you learn. They would say what they were doing, why they did it, and steps to avoid what they did in future games.

I have had far more bad experiences with 40k players than Warmachine players, it seems my experience is the odd one out though.


You aren't alone in this. Most of my bad experiences with Wargaming have been with 40k players being giant man children about their miniatures game. I learned to avoid those people when playing 40k or pretty much any other game. I've also had the experience of having really nice competitive players in the community. Even through all of Mk. 2 no one was particularly toxic.

This is going to sound weird but tabletop gaming has this issue of bad people who just stomp on others with no real warning. Most of my experience with it has been in trading card games. Some people in here left a game simply because of bad experiences at locals yet it seems like every TCG community I've ever seen sort of thrives on these negative interactions between players. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who's ever experienced this with TCGs.



Shoot, I am mentoring our new players, although I am new to Mk.III, I have been playing since Mk.I. We printed off our cards to make it easier to pass information back and forth between each other, and it allows me to read their other cards for models they haven't used yet to think of ways they have missed when using them.

I can understand that some other communities may not have had this type of love and care put into guiding the new players, but it makes such a huge difference. Just yesterday, one of our new guys and I got in three games of Warmachine. We were smiling and laughing the whole entire time. The 40k guys at the next table looked miserable the whole way through their game. Arguing and complaining how OP the other models in an army are.

 Sqorgar wrote:


Here's how WMH can get new players:

1) NO PROXIES. Seriously, WMH is difficult enough to follow without "counts as" being your primary troop choice. Buying the complete War Room card set doesn't mean you have all the toys - especially with new players.

2) Make the game look nice. No half painted armies on flat paper cutout terrain. Make something that people will look at and go, "that looks cool". If you can't attract new players, you can't keep new players. Miniature games innately look cool as feth, and you have to go out of your way to make it look as bad as the typical WMH game.

3) Play new players with a limited subset of available units. Always play them with the same ones until they know your army as well as theirs. Don't change your army every game. I'd argue that everybody should carry a painted battlebox set with them (possibly two), specifically for playing interested new players.

4) Ramp up the game size slowly. A new player should play at least 7-8 battlebox games before thinking about any higher. With different scenarios and mixing up who they are fighting with, battlebox games can get a lot of mileage for a new player before they become too easy or simple. Whatever imbalances there are between battleboxes will be secondary to the imbalances created by one player not actually knowing how to play yet, so don't use that as an excuse.

5) Let the new player win. Seriously, the number one thing you can do to make sure a player comes back next week is to let them win this week. If this means helping them with their strategies or purposefully playing a weaker game, then do that. It isn't all about you, so don't be selfish in how you play. You don't teach a man to fish by tying meat to his ankles and forcing him to swim in shark infested waters.

Every single one of those 5 points is completely at odds with the tournament mindset. This whole Spartan "either they make it back from the mountain or they die alone, because that's how I did it" philosophy towards new players is as dangerous to the future of the game as it is stupid. These are all things that I've seen suggested (and agreed with) that I've seen the WMH community outright reject.


This. Very good points.

1. I do not mind if somebody proxies a new Warcaster before they buy it, as long as they make sure their opponent is okay with it. However, I don't want to face whole armies of "counts as" models.

2. Yes, so much yes. Although I paint miserably slow, there is progress on my army every week, whether it be basing or painting. 2d terrain is also boring as all heck. One of the guys who recently came to our store loves using flat terrain... And surprise, surprise... When people walked past the game tables in between rounds of MTG, we were the only table they didn't stop by. I have begun making a slew of cheap, but effective terrain for our Warmachine group to make it more visually appealing. Things like trenches and objective zones are fine as 2d terrain, but in a casual environment, I see no reason for everything to be 2d.

3. Very good point, and one I have been pushing onto our newer players. I have them play at least 5 games with a single Warcaster before swapping, and my army I am using against them NEVER changes unless it has to for a new point level. I try to throw as little new stuff at them as possible, to keep those "gotcha" moments where they forget about the new unit/solo's rules. I also make sure to warn them of what my models can do, to help them make good decisions.

4. I agree and disagree on this one. I have been starting our new players off at 15 points. So, Battle Box, and maybe a unit or a few solos. I want them to get a proper feel for the game, and be able to cover a few more types of models, and how they work in demo games. Battle Box games are also boring for most people who are interested in the game, and when I worked at a gaming store, I got more people to buy into the game with 15 point demo games versus Battle Box. We have been ramping up our games slowly. A slew of games at 15 points, a bunch at 25 points, and we just stepped it up to 35 points. It also depends on how quickly that player is picking up on the game. I will have some guys advance in points more quickly than others. I generally only throw objectives into the mix once they have hit 50 points (or in Mk.II, 35 points).

5. One thing I learned when working at a game store... NEVER win a demo game. There is nothing more discouraging than just noob stomping. It isn't good for the community, and sends a bad message. However, after the demo game, I do not play my absolute hardest, but still work to provide a challenge for the new player, and do not hand them wins. I do make sure to guide them the game, and tell them what I am doing and why, and talk during and after the game to explain what happened in the game. If a player is going to make an obviously bad decision, I make sure to let them know. I also see nothing wrong with allowing them a few "mulligans" in a game, by taking back a movement, or changing who gets a spell. I don't want them to he stuck with every bad decision they make, and I want them to see how things can work out if they did something a slightly different way.

My war on 2d terrain:

It is still in the intital stages of being built, and is unpainted, but it already makes the games look way better.

The building is just two cheap children's wood log cabin model kits stacked to make them a suitable size. Still working on making the "hinges" for the door, and gluing pebbles to the wood chimney to make it a stone chinmey. Also need to cut the cardboard packaging they came with to make roof shingles, and fill in the gap between the logs and base with hot glue before basing it.... And than start the second building.

I haven't taken a picture of these three wall templates since I have finished basing them, but three of the six are now built.

Also building three forest templates from plasticard and some cheap trees from Hobby Lobby.

But, for less than $40 and a bit of time, we are going to have a pretty sweet table setup once it is all painted. Mixing in more 3d terrain into our games has already started to attract a larger group of people who check out what we are having so much fun playing.
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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/06/01 21:45:29


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 NH Gunsmith wrote:
4. I agree and disagree on this one. I have been starting our new players off at 15 points. So, Battle Box, and maybe a unit or a few solos. I want them to get a proper feel for the game, and be able to cover a few more types of models, and how they work in demo games. Battle Box games are also boring for most people who are interested in the game, and when I worked at a gaming store, I got more people to buy into the game with 15 point demo games versus Battle Box. We have been ramping up our games slowly. A slew of games at 15 points, a bunch at 25 points, and we just stepped it up to 35 points. It also depends on how quickly that player is picking up on the game. I will have some guys advance in points more quickly than others. I generally only throw objectives into the mix once they have hit 50 points (or in Mk.II, 35 points).

The reason I recommend Battle Box games is because infantry add another layer of complexity to the game - they move different, they act different, they have different functions. Battle Box games are just jacks and casters, and I think that is complicated enough that you'd want to have several games to get the basics of damage boxes, power attacks, allocating focus, casting spells, activating, assassination, and all that before you add in things like orders, unit cohesion, field promotion, combined attacks, and more icons to remember.

Units don't add a lot of extra mental overhead, but it does add up to overwhelming. It's definitely something that I think can wait until someone can play a Battle Box game beginning to end without having to look up any rules. Another thing is that units slow down the game a lot, as you have to measure and move 6-10 models around and do 6-10 attacks with them. With 4 models per side, the turns are much quicker, and the new player gets to their turn much faster (which is how you keep their interest).

(Side rant: I'll be honest, I don't even know why miniature games have horde armies. Nobody wants to move 40+ models around and nobody wants to sit around while somebody else moves 40+ models around. It's like the least fun thing that has ever existed. It's like they made boredom a game mechanic. And nobody wants to paint 40+ models either.)

(Side rant 2: I also blame units for my wife quitting the game back during mk1. She was fine painting jacks and casters, but when she had to paint a bunch of identical knights exemplar, she pretty much gave up on the game - and this was back when units were sold in minimum unit sizes. Units are just less fun to paint and, I think, a turn off for new painters. I still hate painting units - I've been on the same 20 Bloodreavers from Age of Sigmar's starter box for three years.)

As for Battle Box games being boring, I think this largely comes from playing a simple scenario on a barren field. One thing you can do is put little objective tokens around the playing field. Models pick them up when they run over them. It's great for new players who are still learning to eyeball distances and measure movement. Or you could have an objective like getting your warcaster into the opposite deployment zone, each player secretly select one enemy unit to defeat, or even have the jacks inert until the warcaster touches them to activate them (you can even make this your goal, with the newbie having access to their units from the start). Also, use walls and terrain to make it difficult to fight in the middle mosh pit.

Warmachine is one of the most complicated miniatures games around, and between warcasters and warjacks, you are looking at about two dozen different unique rules specific to those two model types. If you can't make a Battle Box game fun with that much stuff going on, I have to wonder: why is all that gak in the game if it doesn't make the game fun?
   
Made in us
Manhunter





Huntsville, Texas

 Sqorgar wrote:
Spoiler:
 NH Gunsmith wrote:
4. I agree and disagree on this one. I have been starting our new players off at 15 points. So, Battle Box, and maybe a unit or a few solos. I want them to get a proper feel for the game, and be able to cover a few more types of models, and how they work in demo games. Battle Box games are also boring for most people who are interested in the game, and when I worked at a gaming store, I got more people to buy into the game with 15 point demo games versus Battle Box. We have been ramping up our games slowly. A slew of games at 15 points, a bunch at 25 points, and we just stepped it up to 35 points. It also depends on how quickly that player is picking up on the game. I will have some guys advance in points more quickly than others. I generally only throw objectives into the mix once they have hit 50 points (or in Mk.II, 35 points).

The reason I recommend Battle Box games is because infantry add another layer of complexity to the game - they move different, they act different, they have different functions. Battle Box games are just jacks and casters, and I think that is complicated enough that you'd want to have several games to get the basics of damage boxes, power attacks, allocating focus, casting spells, activating, assassination, and all that before you add in things like orders, unit cohesion, field promotion, combined attacks, and more icons to remember.

Units don't add a lot of extra mental overhead, but it does add up to overwhelming. It's definitely something that I think can wait until someone can play a Battle Box game beginning to end without having to look up any rules. Another thing is that units slow down the game a lot, as you have to measure and move 6-10 models around and do 6-10 attacks with them. With 4 models per side, the turns are much quicker, and the new player gets to their turn much faster (which is how you keep their interest).

(Side rant: I'll be honest, I don't even know why miniature games have horde armies. Nobody wants to move 40+ models around and nobody wants to sit around while somebody else moves 40+ models around. It's like the least fun thing that has ever existed. It's like they made boredom a game mechanic. And nobody wants to paint 40+ models either.)

(Side rant 2: I also blame units for my wife quitting the game back during mk1. She was fine painting jacks and casters, but when she had to paint a bunch of identical knights exemplar, she pretty much gave up on the game - and this was back when units were sold in minimum unit sizes. Units are just less fun to paint and, I think, a turn off for new painters. I still hate painting units - I've been on the same 20 Bloodreavers from Age of Sigmar's starter box for three years.)

As for Battle Box games being boring, I think this largely comes from playing a simple scenario on a barren field. One thing you can do is put little objective tokens around the playing field. Models pick them up when they run over them. It's great for new players who are still learning to eyeball distances and measure movement. Or you could have an objective like getting your warcaster into the opposite deployment zone, each player secretly select one enemy unit to defeat, or even have the jacks inert until the warcaster touches them to activate them (you can even make this your goal, with the newbie having access to their units from the start). Also, use walls and terrain to make it difficult to fight in the middle mosh pit.

Warmachine is one of the most complicated miniatures games around, and between warcasters and warjacks, you are looking at about two dozen different unique rules specific to those two model types. If you can't make a Battle Box game fun with that much stuff going on, I have to wonder: why is all that gak in the game if it doesn't make the game fun?


Hah. No I get what you are saying, but the joy on a new player's face when their big stompy robots are just smashing infantry is great.

At 15 points, there really isn't much added. And it shows them just how different, and brutal Warjacks are versus things like 40k Dreadnoughts. It also shows them how durable they are versus small arms as well.

With how long it can end up taking for a Warjack to kill another Warjack without much support, it gives the new player something to throw shots at while the Warjacks close in.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






 JohnHwangDD wrote:
Warmachine was never really a wargame - it was always more of a card game with miniatures.



Wargames can be card games, as well as board games, miniatures games or computer games. The mechanism wasn't my point, but rather what the game was trying to represent. 1st edition Warmachine was already pretty "gamey" but 2nd and 3rd editions were even moreso. Removing almost all morale effects (apparently "killing" models is cool, but "frightening them off" isn't?), reducing uncertainty, that sort of thing.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Red Comet wrote:

Good thing infantry are now all mostly on the same scale.


Have they re-done Protectorate Temple Flameguard, Zealots and Deliverers, then? The metal ones are all significantly bigger and bulkier than the Knights Exemplar, despite the latter being in full plate armour.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/06/02 08:41:05


 
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

 Sqorgar wrote:

Warmachine is one of the most complicated miniatures games around, and between warcasters and warjacks, you are looking at about two dozen different unique rules specific to those two model types. If you can't make a Battle Box game fun with that much stuff going on, I have to wonder: why is all that gak in the game if it doesn't make the game fun?

I rather disagree on the level of complication. Sure it's more complicated than 40K 8th Edition and Age of Sigmar, but there are plenty of other games that are equally or more complicated than that. It doesn't even touch the complication of Battletech, which doesn't even come close to Starfleet Battles.

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
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Charistoph wrote:

I rather disagree on the level of complication. Sure it's more complicated than 40K 8th Edition and Age of Sigmar, but there are plenty of other games that are equally or more complicated than that. It doesn't even touch the complication of Battletech, which doesn't even come close to Starfleet Battles.
Well, I did say "one of the most complicated", and I think it still qualifies. I would even say "over complicated", as I feel it has a lot of complexity that doesn't really add to game - and maybe even takes away from the game experience. Honestly, I expect WMH mk4 to be considerably streamlined and simplified like AoS or 40k 8th, and it would probably be one of the smartest decisions PP ever made.

I've decided to cancel my Man-O-War theme box. I've really been on the fence this whole time, going back and forth, but I don't think mk3 goes far enough in transforming WMH into something I want to play. It fixes a few of the issues, but the community is still the number one strike against the game. I know PP is trying, but I just see the playerbase dwindling further due to its self-defeating habits.

Plus, I dropped by the WMH group today (after I had already cancelled the order) and saw people playing on a flat field with two rectangles and circle, with two large masses of units that were primed black but unpainted. Formless blobs on an empty field. My wife pointed to a group of Knight Exemplars and said, "I think I had some of those. They were the last ones I painted," and was told, oh, but in this game they count as dwarves. I thought, "yup".

Anyway, since I've decided not to pick up the game again, I'll bow out of this discussion. It's one thing to complain about a game you are playing (or thinking about playing), but it's another to gak on someone else's parade.
   
 
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