Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thoughts on Warmachine Weekend 2013 - Megapost

Geneguard, Paintvagrant, Roastball and I spent our weekend (Thursday - Monday) in St. Louis at Warmachine Weekend. This was the culmination of a lot of practice and a definite commitment from me to get better at the game.

This post is not really meant to be a review of the weekend, just a recounting of my experiences. I'll start with the best things about the weekend.

I think one of the best things about the weekend was meeting all kinds of new people and playing the game with them. We met tons of people from the Muse on Minis forum, tons of Goons from Something Awful, and many other people who recognized our blog or Warmans podcast. Meeting all these cool people and experiencing different games and opinions was great.

This was 'Broville' on Sunday. I missed my first Bills game in five years =(
I really liked how they did event sign up. Instead of having to sign up months in advance and pay $15-50 per event you just signed up the night before and they were free. This was really nice as it didn't add cash expenses to an already expensive con (four nights in a hotel + gas and food). This really meant that you only had to spend ~$50 to get in to the con.

Geneguard takes a drink while playing some WMH.
I liked playing in the Last Chance Qualifier. I didn't really plan on signing up for that but both PV and Roastbill were playing in it so I decided to as well. I really wanted to get in some competitive games at 50 points so this was a great way to do it. I'll go over my individual games later but I went 1-2 which was better than I thought I would do. After two losses they basically wanted you to drop to make space for everyone else.

Another awesome thing about the weekend was the attendance. The LCQ was the largest Warmachine tournament ever. The way PP is treating the players and the good will that has been generated for this game have created a HUGE influx of players. This is amazing to see. I really feel like this game is exploding.

Geneguard and I getting ready for Friday morning
Playing Iron Kingdoms RPG in a con setting was super fun. We met new players and GMs and Geneguard got to play which is cool as he usually GMs. I was a little wary at first because one or two bad players and RPGs can really be a waste of four to five hours but this was a great experience. The Goon game on Saturday night was amazing and was recorded so it'll be posted later.

Overall I really enjoyed the chance to get some awesome games in to learn even more about the game. I did pretty well and was really impressed by how I played. I got SO MANY comments about the Mammoth and how cool it looked - really validates how much time you spend on a project. It made me really happy.

The ballroom on Friday
There were a few negatives about the event - some that the staff of WMW couldn't control. I'll start with the hotel. The conference rooms used for the breakout events were pretty nasty and should have been cleaned. They had three elevators for a 12? floor hotel and one of them broke Saturday. It was insane - the people piled up on the first floor like refugees. We had some events on the second floor and our room was on the ninth, so it was a gamble to go back to your room or anything to get stuff. It sucked.

The championship table made by Kris from Mekanika Studios.
The hotel's restaurant was extremely expensive ($25-30 for most dinner entrees) which meant you had to drive out to get stuff. This hotel was not close to many restaurants like the hotel for Adepticon so you basically had to drive anywhere for a major meal and the roads were crazy. Props to Roastbill for driving well and not getting us killed.

The attendance for this con was much higher than I think they expected so many of the events took SUPER LONG to setup and finish. The main ballroom was also the only place you could play WMH so it was always very very loud in there. The LCQ was supposed to start at 9 and didn't start until 10:30. One positive was they kept it very cool in the main ballroom so it wasn't super hot like some other cons can get.

I had some issues actually getting into scheduled events, unfortunately. Friday I did the LCQ and that was great. Saturday we did the noon IKRPG and Goon game. Unfortunately the Goon game started at 10 pm so we were up until 3 am and weren't able to wake up early on Sunday. I would have loved to do the Hardcore on Sunday. I guess it was just tough getting timing right. Some of the events started very late, too.

Super sweet Retribution.
These negatives really didn't ruin the con at all for me, just provided some frustration. I really did enjoy all of my time there. I wish it wasn't 10 hours away because holy hell that was a long ride.

Game Reviews
I played seven games of Warmachine and two IKRPG sessions over the weekend. I went 3-3 overall in 50 point competitive games and really enjoyed learning more and seeing what I could do.

I played my first game against a gentleman named Chad from Cincinnati how was playing EMadrak with fennblades, tuffaloes, the stone, etc. This was a tough game. I knew I had to take down his infantry so I used 3Makeda. She had a reptile hound to try to chew through tough.

I moved up, he moved up and jammed his infantry into the zones, and I tried an assassination run. I neglected to remember that EMadrak can pawn off hits to grunts near him. I could have maybe done a Ground Zero to remove his ablative models but I doubt it. He played well and attritioned me down pretty quickly. I ended up losing after my failed assassination run.

I played my second game against Sean from Richmond, KY. He was playing EHaley with a Stormwall, some gun mages and stormblades. I was worried about EHaley because she is a ballbuster but I managed to win the roll to go first so I took it. I moved up to try to saturate the enemy with threats.

I managed to weather the storm of shooting by redeploying my Krea and Gobbers to the left where the gun mages were. The gun mages couldn't hurt the cetrati at all with their high armor. The swordsmen moved up on the right and engaged the Stormblades. I was worried I'd lose a ton from shooting but he managed to miss most of his shots and I lost about half. The swordsmen then moved up and beat up the stormblades with Fury on them (+3 str, -1 def). I basically took that flank at that point.

The cetrati held my left flank and just tanked all the shots. The Stormwall moved up and tried to kill Xerxis but didn't manage to do it. I had enough transfers and Tiberion could Shield Guard off one shot. I managed to get Xerxis in the zone to dominate after already controlling it and I won. I felt good about this win because it was against a tough caster and I felt like my tactics worked.

My final game of the LCQ was against Chad from Chicago playing Mohsar, Warpwolves, and druids. There was a giant rock in the middle of our table that made it tough - he was able to split my army and basically pick me apart. Props to him because I really didn't know what to do. This was the only game of the weekend where I kinda had no idea what I should do to win the game and ended up throwing my models into melee to try to get some kind of outcome. He ended up winning on scenario and moved on. Super nice guy, really well painted clean Circle models.

Geneguard and Gemini (from Muse on Minis and a Goon) play some WM on Friday night. The sweet zone markers are from Tectonic Studios.
Friday night I played Roastbill and his new Cyriss army led by Aurora. He had about 50 of the winged women on the board and three or four jacks plus all the little servitor thingies. It seemed like Xerxis was a hard counter for this list as he just didn't have the power to break through my armor and I won after he tried (and almost did it!) an assassination run.

I played a three-way game with Geneguard and Kat, a Goon, on Saturday. It was pretty fun and cool to meet new people. We brought the mountain king against the mammoth and Kat eventually won on scenario with her Circle.

I didn't really have any plans on Sunday and we stayed up super late on Saturday so I just got in some Iron Arena games. I played against Paintvagrant and his Cygnar. He used Nemo, Rowdy, a few other jacks, gun mages, etc. This was a tougher matchup for me with Makeda3 as I wasn't stacking armor like I did with Xerxis, and he didn't have a ton of living one wound models for Makeda to chop through.

I managed some really hot dice in the first few attacks so I took down some heavies early on. He then did quite a bit of attrition and took down my beasts and much of my army. I did score some points and basically jammed him enough that he couldn't get over to the other scenario zone where I could dominate and win. It was a tough fought battle that was very enjoyable.

My last game of the weekend was against Matt from Iowa. He was really cool and another Cygnar player. He brought EStryker. This game was within reach for me (again using Makeda3) but I didn't get my charge timing right and he basically took down all my heavies in one turn. After that it was pretty set in stone what would happen and he won.

Geneguard and I also played in two IKRPG sessions. The first was at noon on Saturday and lasted about three hours. We played a prison break scenario with a GM who was basically 'competing' to do his best. He was a great GM, very engaged and animated. The group did well and we planned out everything before we went into action. In the end we managed to break out to do more robbery and shenanigans :)

That night Geneguard and I played in our Goon session of IKRPG. I brought a Nyss Sorceror / Military Officer and GG brought a Troll Fell Caller / Man at arms?. We had a great time - it was very dark and required quite a bit of roleplaying before we got to the fighting. This one will be connected to another session next year I believe which was quite cool. It was also recorded so you can listen to it later on if you like.

The owner of Dice Dojo in Chicago made his own Xerxis out of a cyclops and Tiberion hammies.
Final Thoughts and Next Steps
I had a great time at WMW and plan to go back next year. Thanks to Roastbill for driving all the way and PV and GG for making the weekend great.

Overall this con really reinforced my love of the game of WMH and really has put the pressure on for me to continue the momentum of learning the game and playing even more. There was one guy who played 153 games in six months! I can't do that much but I'd like to get in at least one game a week until Adepticon to practice up and do better.

I really think this game lends itself extremely well to competitive play. I don't want to bag on 40k but my experience with competitive WMH at this event was leaps and bounds ahead of Adepticon. Adepticon's team tourney just wasn't what I wanted and I had to deal with a lot of stupid 'rules lawyering' with really really ambiguous rules. I didn't have to break out a rulebook once this weekend or ask a judge ANYTHING. I love 40k, but I doubt I'll ever play it again 'competitively'.

I look forward to the Iron Gauntlet at Adepticon and the 40k Combat Patrol as well as the few other events I signed up for. If you didn't attend Warmachine Weekend 2013 you really missed out.


  1. looks great, ill have to make it next year. excited to get my first game of WMH in soon. im convinced to be the rare elusive player that loves both games equally :P

    1. Yeah I do enjoy 40k and Fantasy, but they just aren't what I'm looking for in a competitive game, is all. Like I don't play poker competitively but I enjoy it once in a while.

      Interesting thing I left out: the overall winner of the invitational won with a caster not seen in a while and one unit (assault kommandos) universally reviled and another unit (rifle corps) that are just 'not as good'. Player > list in WMH.

  2. Reading this got me excited to play IKRPG again. Hope we can do that again someday.