Thursday, June 30, 2016

Marching to War for Mark Three Warmachine / Hordes

Mark Three of Warmachine / Hordes was just released and this tyrant is excited. When they first announced it a few months ago, I was ready to paint everything I had left to finish for Skorne. I have been lackadaisical in getting my WMH games in, mostly because I feel WMH needs you to play more to get more experience and know what models do, but I don't have that experience, so I don't play, and when I don't play I don't get the experience - a vicious cycle.

I'm going to get over that this year and keep playing the game I love (among all the other games I love, too). I plan to get in at least one game of WMH per month this year. It doesn't sound like a lot but it is when you consider all the other games I play. I hope to mostly focus on fun, while still giving my opponent a somewhat competitive game.

You work it out on those steps, gladiator, get sounds and 13s put up in your Cavalier
The Mark Three transition has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. I was so eager to use this as an entry point back into the game and play it more this year. I was taking in everything about the new edition, planning on what I was going to paint, and doing all kinds of new lists with new warlocks I hadn't used before.

Then, unfortunately, the Skorne Insider dropped and blew away a lot of the enthusiasm I had for the new edition. I was hoping they'd take stuff that wasn't as good and buff it up, and they did do some of that, but a lot of it seemed like they took the opportunity to take a look at models that had stats that didn't reflect their story or were 'crutches'. 

The new Advocate UA for the Immortals is pretty sweet. He can make ghost statues
I think that's OK, but it seemed like Skorne got hit particularly hard in that category - losing 2 DEF on our titans, losing the 2 ARM on krea animus, beast handlers no longer granting free charges or taking off all fury, etc.

It seemed like the article was focusing on mostly what was taken away, but maybe that is just me as a Skorne fan reading it. It was a brutal week on the forums and the FB group, with many people talking about selling their model collection, etc. I wasn't all in on that, but I can say I lost a lot of the enthusiasm I had for the new edition. 

When mammoth realized he couldn't be whipped for free charges anymore he was a bit pissed
Then we saw the new rulebook PDF and all the cards, and I gained some of that enthusiasm back. I have to give PP huge credit here - releasing your rulebook as a free PDF is pretty amazing, and other 'big box' game companies could take note here. This is a great way to get new people into the game - let them see the rules first and get excited about it.

The rules are also more streamlined, which is what I definitely wanted. I really don't have time anymore to remember all kinds of arcane attack types or minuses or bonuses etc. It's nice that they have simplified a lot of the things that were more RPG-like. I am bummed they removed morale because it is kind of a throwback to more realistic wargames, but I can deal with it.

We have more souls in-faction now which is sweet
I have to say, having the new battle box in my hands and with the release event at Gamers Sanctuary on Saturday, I'm way back up to the line of excitement I was when it was announced. I'm sad that my Skorne I knew in MK2 aren't nearly the same as they were, but I'm looking forward to re-learning the faction and putting some different stuff on the table.

While I think PP does a great job with their game and their models, it has been somewhat of a rocky start, in my opinion. I've seen quite a few accounts online of stores not getting anything, or very few kits, for the launch. I don't have any inside knowledge of how to manufacture plastic models, but it seems like there should have been tonnnnnnns of kits made. I realize there have been failures at the store or distributor level but I feel bad for gamers who can't get the new stuff.

On the positive side, the new battle boxes are an AMAZING value. You get: a battlegroup (one warlock/caster, plus usually a combination of three beasts), PP dice, PP focus/fury/spell tokens, a full rulebook, an introduction to your faction, a playmat, a basic training manual, and a paper ruler. 

While some of the stuff won't be useful for veterans, there is no doubt this is a great way to get into the game for newbies. I don't really need another gladiator, or a raider, or another savage, but the rulebook and caster alone for $40... that's a huge value. PP has to be lauded for their efforts here.

I am super excited to put some new models on the table. There are a ton of summaries out there (I'd suggest the Man Skorned series by Trevor C) but I wanted to offer a few comments of my own, as someone who is not a super sweet player, but a casual dude. If you see something I missed or have models of your own that you're going to try out please let me know in the comments!

I've decided I'm going to try out a new warlock in early MK3. I really focused on Morghoul1, Makeda3, Makeda2, Xerxis1, and Mordikaar in my time as a tyrant. I'm going to try Zaal2 early in MK3 because I think he got better, but also because I love the spiritual statue aesthetic of Skorne. With that, I am also going to...

Paint another unit of Immortals. I love the look of them, I hate that they're Mat6, but they seem to be better in MK3 (by giving up souls) and also got a cool new unit attachment. With Zaal2 feat and an agonizer near they're ARM24 if I did my math right, which is hilarious.

I've always loved the look of Ferox cavalry but they just were never really a great choice. With the way cavalry changed, back strikes changed, and the ferox rules themselves changed, I am super excited to get these dudes painted. I'm worried since they're a huge point sink, but I feel like they'll be fun to use on the board. Plus I'm going to try out water slide decals for cheetah spots!

The agonizer has always been a solid choice as a control aspect for Skorne but his methods have changed in MK3. Now he's effectively helping you stack armor. While I'm not super happy that we've traded some crutches for others, I'm excited that this iconic dude is ready for battle.

I've always loved the look of Karax and now they're probably the go-to infantry unit I see in lists on FB and the forum. They're dirt cheap, points wise, and they're new plastics from PP, so they're beautiful. With my buddy Xerxis they're skewing ARM and actually doing something in close combat on his feat.

Artillery changed somewhat in MK3 and they're really cheap, so I'm glad to get mine painted up. With warlocks like Xekaar or Rasheth you'll use their debuffs to help your artillery do more damage. I've owned these since I started playing Skorne and never bothered to paint them. I'm super happy to get them ready to go.

Likewise, I've owned a cannoneer (two, with a pewter one) since I started playing Skorne and just never painted them. With the changes to the game it seems like ranged attacks will be more powerful (fewer ARM and defense buffs, better RAT on cannoneer) so I'm glad to get this lady painted up. Trevor was talking about putting her into most any list, but I think it'll take me a bit to figure out where I want her.

Paingiver bloodrunners and master tormentors have always been kinda pathetic, in my opinion. With the changes to back strikes and their points value going down, I'm glad to get them painted up and put on the board. I really haven't used any stealth or advanced deployment units in my time with Skorne.. it should be actually take advantage of those rules.

Honorable mention: Razor worm (spiny growth)

I'm hoping to do more theorymachine and painting this summer - check back for more Tyrant Talk™. Until then, check out one of my final games of MK2 against Cyriss!

1 comment:

  1. I know the competitive crowd wasn't too much into it, but I did like the seasonal thematic missions PP published along with great fluff stories. Hopefully they continue to do something similar along with the usual tournament stuff.