The Musings of a Gaming Magpie #1 Shiny New Toys

I originally wrote this random assortment of ramblings for a club newsletter that never really saw the support to progress more than an optomistic idea so instead I figured why not add it here for you fine people to read through.


I am a gaming magpie. I like shiny things, I may not have any logical need for it but it looks good. This is a fun yet at the same time unproductive cycle that has plagued me for many a year.

I am plagued to the extent that I have a painting pile that is so big, that if my girlfriend ever truly realised its extent and size would a) Go mental b) Take my Bank Card away and c) Force me to sell some.

However I can counter as it’s not all bad, what is the difference to me coming home with me coming home with a bag full of blisters and her coming home with 7 new pairs of shoes? However do I ever dare mention that? Well no, I’m an addict but I am not stupid. But I digress, there is a point to my ramblings I recently discovered a game system recently, well I say recently. It has been on my radar for a year or so but I have only recently bought some models. In typical magpie style, they looked nice and were destined to spend an eternity stuck at the bottom of a pile on forgotten about models.

That was until I played a game of Warmachine. Back tracking slightly, by enlarge I have been a Warhammer 40k player for the best part of 16 years, I love the fluff and that’s what keeps me sticking with it despite the poor mechanics, shoddy rules, loop holes and bloody expensive models. It is a labour of love that would see me painstakingly decide to finish off armies for tournaments to the point that by the time I have finished painting them I hate them with a passion.

Warmachine is different though, there is something that I cannot quite put my finger on but, the models are lovely yes, but they are also expensive some times on par with 40k. The fluff, well I’ll be honest I’ve read it a couple of times and it is set in the Iron Kingdoms, beyond that I don’t know. To me this is strange, as the fluff plays a big part in me taking to a game system. So what is it about this game that has dragged me so far in that I have become so enticed with it has made me narrow minded to a single system and has encouraged me to start painting stuff from the get go. Now anyone who knows me will realise this last point is a big thing!!!

I can put this down to two things really. Both are as important as each other. The first is the rule-set. It is smooth running, fast paced, balls to the floor action. The rulebook has a novel page 5 reference which in summary, is all out, don’t moan and play like you have got a pair. I’m an aggressive player in the sense that I like to get straight into the thick of things that more often than not in 40k leads to the complete and utter decimation of my army. In Warmachine however it pays to be aggressive. Furthermore there are added layers to this game. There is an incredible amount of tactical depth in this game, through the unit choices, synergies, and scenarios etc that makes 40k look as tactical as paint by numbers colouring book.

Whether this is the honeymoon period novelty remains to be seen.

The second aspect that I attribute this new love is the community. This in itself is two-fold of players and support from privateer press. The Warmahordes community in itself appears to be so much more laid back than the 40k crowd. From a personal perspective it is far easier to get balanced advice on Warmachine than it is from the general 40k crowd.

What features heavily with this is the second aspect in the work that Privateer Press puts into the community. So much so that someone from GW should be taken out back and forced to fall on their sword for not thinking of this stuff earlier. From community driven leagues, to FULL tournament support in the form of a continuously evolving rule-set called Steamroller and prize packs. This ensures that not only is the tournament scene supported (Yes GW supported, it is in actual fact a word!!!) the tournament scene does not become stale and remains fun and varied. Sadly 40k suffers badly in this department and takes a sheer amount of enjoyment out of the game. 40k is becoming so frustrating as it leads certain bias to certain codices that will trump everything and leads to 1 dimensional lists in tournaments that is well quite frankly boring.

Warmachine to me is fresh, it is varied, fun and everything is so broken that it is balanced. When have you been able to say that about 40k. There is a sense of enjoyment that has hit me with this game that has not hit me since the first time I tried out 40k and was so taken in by everything. I’m 27 and I feel like a giddy excited school kid again.

I am firmly on this bandwago nand  I have already converted one of my best mates to join me onmy adventure. So why not tag along.


7 responses to “The Musings of a Gaming Magpie #1 Shiny New Toys

  1. Very nice write up mate. I fully understand where you’re coming from as I felt the same when starting Warmachine (and still do!) and that if GW took a few pages from PP’s book warhammer could be SUCH a better game!

    • Oh definately but I fear that GW are very stuck in their way and I hope to god that 6th edition does not go the way that the new edition of Fantasy has gone. GW are the biggest and the oldest and they run a risk of that being their downfall. It may take another 10 years but PP and other companies can easily overtake them just by doing things differently to GW.

      It goes back all the way to the industrial revolution. The UK was the first to go through but were not the most successful as other countries saw what we did wrong and did the opposite.

  2. It’s funny how many ex-40Ker’s feel exactly the way you do about Warmachine once they actually give it a real go. I love the fluff myself and still read the novels from time to time but don’t bother with the game anymore. Oh and the magic doesn’t go away if you stay active in the tournament scene. Just when you think you got things figured out you might come across anther player that will totally blow your mind and re-think things all over again. Plus the random scenario’s change every game up so much. The solid rules set really shows what a couple years of open beta testing can do as well as one of the guys came from Magic and was bent on making the rules solid. What’s also great about the standardized Steamroller system is that you can literally travel anywhere in the world and play 🙂

    • That steamroller bit I really do like. The only thing that I can see as a struggling point particularly with timed turns is that you are buggered if you don’t know not only the ins and outs of your armies but the opponents army. I really cannot wait for the Welsh open to get a taste of the big Warmachine tournaments. It’s just a shame that the majority seems to be based in up North 😦

      • For sure, but that’s all apart of the learning. You really only learn through negative experiences so when you get your ass handed to you by something you know nothing about, you tend to research it after the fact. It does suck if your location is bad but if you have a LGS maybe you can some friends can start a WM/H scene there if there’s enough interest.

      • We do have a good local scene of about 10-15 players and I hoping to get an escalation league running in the next few weeks. Saying that we do have a good mix of factions and its making sure I play against as many of them as possible.

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