I mentioned recently that I have taken up the tabletop war game Warmachine to demonstrate the game at an upcoming gaming con here in town. I made this as an educated decision with the help of a friend, and a bit of looking online at prices and such. And hey, I have at least the one friend who plays…
However, I didn’t really know much more than that. I ordered my first clockworks mechs in the form of a Battle Box – a leader and three mechs. I hoped, perhaps foolishly, that this was all I needed to play.
Well, I’ve hunted down some rules information, received my Battle Box, and done some army math… so a few real first impressions now of Warmachine! I’m pretty excited to give it a go, but currently all of my models are in tiny pieces with no instructions…
I wanted to start getting my head wrapped around the rules for the game, and my army, while waiting for the models to arrive. Seemed logical. Seemed like a job for a library!
I found an online library with some of the books available, Scribd, and that was alright for reading. The 4-page “Quick Start Rules” they have available for download on their site cover most everything really well, actually. I found a couple of other important answers by pouring through the rules, though. Like you attack with all of your weapons, not just one, during an attack. Makes sense.
However, the best thing I have found so far was recommended by my friend (after I did all the hunting for rule books), and is the official App for the game, War Room. In this App, there are rules references, and an in-App store for buying the rules for each army. Yes, we might like free in online… but they come at much cheaper than print.
Once you have the army rules, you can not only check out the rules, you can build an army using the points, and you can even use it for play – by helping keep track of things like damage to your mechs. This is going to be incredibly useful! Highly recommend checking out the War Room App for any Warmachine player!
Alright, so I got my Battle Box. And really, I don’t think I can take a picture that will do it justice. I’m just not photographer enough. So let me turn to someone else.
For reference, these pieces are all the same color grey, not the color that was added for reference in telling apart the different models. Oh, and the parts for several of them ended up packaged together in the same plastic bag.
I used this mapping to figure out which pieces go to which model, and put them each in their own Ziplock bag for now. I will be returning to this picture-heavy guide for building these, because otherwise, there is no guidance or instructions for building them. The pictures of the different units in the rulebook, even, are artistic rendering – not the painted, built model, and certainly not the model in disarray!
I am feeling a little daunted by the construction process. I am hoping that after building one or two I will feel more confident. I will have to fill you in when I have more to say about that!
The Army and its Cost
Alright, so I made a claim in my last post that the Battle Box should be just about everything I needed to play. Which is just not quite the truth, unfortunately. Once I had some rules and could tally the points to build an army (oh, and that cost money too…), I found that I was a few points short.
I have since ordered another couple of models – another mech and a solo model – and that will have me at the game’s lowest threshold, 15 points. This is the starting place, and with that I should be good to play. And I’m hoping it’s a good 15 points as I will have nothing to substitute!
So it ended up $60 in model cost (on Amazon) for me to build my 15-point Convergence of Cyriss army, and $5 on the App to buy my army’s rules. Honestly, a new video game costs $60 – this is not a bad cost at all.
It helps I already had some newish paints (and a lot of old ones of suspect usability), paintbrushes, and the like. Those would add more cost for someone starting out. There are also Templates (for measuring artillery/AoE hits) that I am hoping my friend has – but that I should have of my own at some point if I keep playing or find (or create at the Con!) new opponents. I’ve got dice (just need 6-sided) and tokens (could always use coins) as well. So, having most of the accessories means I’m just about ready to go.
There’s a lot that goes into war gaming, which is why it is both gaming and a hobby. There’s collecting aspects to it, hobbying with the model construction and painting, and then the competition and gaming. I’m remembering in greater detail how much this all entails, but in the end, coming together at a tournament or with friends to play can be extremely rewarding.
I hope to have this initial 15 point squad ready for the Platypus Con in late January, so I have some building, painting, and play-testing to do!