A new edition of Warmachine is in Beta-phase and all players were invited to playtest new rules and submit their feedback. I managed to play a game with my colleague recently.
My main intention for the game was to see how the new edition of rules feel, how new mechanics and interactions work and how powerful are the models I played with. There are new scenarios too, but I would like to focus on models and game rules here and not to dwell on scenarios.
Allow me first to introduce the models I chose and describe them shortly. In case you are familiar with those models already, you can skip it right to the next part. Then, I will present what was the idea behind the list. Later, I will give a short overview of the game. Afterwards, I will characterize what were my expectations from particular models and what was the outcome. This is a 50p skirmish size list designed for short and dynamic games, possibly a new standard for the upcoming year. In a hindsight, it felt like Brawlmachine 😉
Jeremiah Kraye – an agile warcaster with abilities to speed up his warjacks to outmaneuver the enemy. I decided to build my list around it. Additionally, his feat provides additional attacks to his warjacks – the more models you kill, the more attacks you get – important for a low model count force against the enemy with potentially higher number of models. That allowed me to take more warjacks without worrying about the number of enemy models.
*Centurion – a slow, heavy warjack with a powerful spear and a solid shield. Slow, but Kraye makes him much faster.
*Cyclone – a heavy warjack with double machine guns with scaling power against bigger models.
*Ironclad – a cheap, heavy warjack with a strong hammer.
Patrol Dog – a fast solo with stealth removal ability, also providing some support to other models.
Trencher Master Gunner – a solo with abilities supporting mainly weapon crews, by increasing accuracy and providing an additional attack
Trencher Cannon Crew – a reliable cannon with abilities to increase accuracy and damage.
Trencher Infantry – a unit of 5 models, equipped with rifles and bayonets. They are also able to throw smoke grenades to block line of sight.
Most of the command cards are self explanatory. I decided to take Arcane Forces because I had 1point left 😉 and also, because I wanted to get that 5″ spell extension to get Pin Cushion or Lock the Target where I needed it.
Idea behind the list:
I decided to go for a balanced force with both infantry and heavy warjacks included to see how rules for all types of models have changed between the editions. I wanted to see if models included in the list are properly priced, and have interesting abilities that are usable during a game. My strategy for the game was to harass the enemy models with ranged attacks and force the enemy to engage under unfavorable conditions. I wanted to provide support for the cannon and see if it works as intended. I planned to put Centurion up front (that can escape engagement with an Admonition spell on it – moves 3” once something ends movement within 6”) and have Ironclad in the back as a counterattack piece. I also wanted to see how new rules for units work. Do the movement changes really speed up the game and whether it is easier to calculate threat ranges or not.
List-wise I decided not to include Express Team with Karli as an attachment, as the combination of Trencher Master Gunner and Cannon seems to be more powerful (maybe too powerful?).
Short overview of the game:
The game was streamed on my Twitch channel (https://www.twitch.tv/moment_of_clarity_games), I don’t have photos from that game. We streamed that game in polish to wake up our local community a little 😉 the next game Thagrosh vs Cyrenia was streamed in english 😉
In case you are curious, I played against Bartek and his Kromac Circle list:
I managed to inflict damage first with range attacks. I trivially removed enemy infantry by removing Stealth with Patrol Dog (making them prone to range attacks) and dealing with them with my cannon. My opponent managed to surprise me with Blood weavers entering the battle from the side and forced me to spread my forces. That prevented me from taking the center of the battlefield and sealing the fate of the game. I dealt significant damage to enemy warbest with shooting and charging Trenchers, but it wasn’t enough. The game ended prematurely with a draw due to the scenario conditions, but attrition wise, I believe, I had the advantage.
Expectations and Aftermath:
Jeremiah Kraye –
Expectations: I wanted to see how the modified spell list works and if his new feat is useful.
Result: His spell list changed slightly, but I don’t feel I tested it properly. My first impression is that the spell choice is better suited for his playstyle. It preserved Kraye’s maneuverability, but it also introduced some sort of damage buff, which was previously missing. In regards to his feat – I haven’t even used it. In such a small game it wasn’t necessary. In general, modified movement rules for units (models in units need to stay close together now) can potentially enable warjacks to kill multiple infantry models within melee range, but there was no opportunity to test it during the game. However the feat itself feels weaker in this iteration, the other part missing from Kraye’s feat from the previous edition now became Kraye’s passive ability, which overall is an improvement I think.
Expectations: His previous special rule forbade any models to charge him. Now, it prevents only construct models from doing that. I played against the living army and I wanted to see how it feels.
Result: In this case it didn’t change much, as we both played a low model count list, and Centurion could have easily mitigated the threat of one strong charge thanks to Admonition spell. However, I can imagine this being an issue in bigger games. I believe it is a good change, as it is not a no-brainer now and forces players to change the playstyle on the basis of the character of the enemy army.
Expectations: I wanted to see how his new, improved guns feel against enemy big models.
Result: I haven’t tested it properly due to my very poor rolls during the game. Although, I like how the change increases Cyclone’s versatility. He might see the table now!
Expectations: I wanted to see how his new hammer and changed knock down rule apply
Result: The game didn’t last long enough to allow Ironclad to take part in melee.
Patrol Dog – a good boy.
Expectations: I wanted to see how his Stealth removal ability works now. Also, he has an additional rule providing Dodge to surrounding models. Both rules have significantly increased range now.
Result: For such a low price I believe this model is an auto-include in every list. It still would be with the range of his abilities decreased. Important thing to reconsider. For 2 points he would be too expensive. For 1 point he needs to have his rules tailored a little.
Trencher Master Gunner –
Expectations: Is it really an auto-include with weapon crews?
Result: It is, even in small games. He is a high-risk high-reward model, since the only thing he does is supporting weapon crews. Killing one makes him useless. The enemy has to realize that.
Trencher Cannon Crew –
Expectations: I wanted to see how it deals with both infantry and heavy targets.
Result: combined with Trencher Master Gunner it seems to be an auto-include model, which I believe should be avoided. It was amazing against infantry and heavy targets
Trencher Infantry –
Expectations: I wanted to see how units work now in general. I wasn’t focused on trencher unit models
Result: The unit has to commit as a whole, it makes them one body so to say, and players need to change their mindset when thinking about units.
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As you can see, I haven’t managed to test everything I wanted in a single game, but I now have several leads I would like to follow in the future test games.
It turned out that moving units is faster indeed, but calculating threat ranges while trying to position models outside of enemy threat is problematic and doesn’t really feel streamlined. It removed some problems and introduced new, complex ones.
Quick remark regarding the scenario: we were fighting for 3 hills that could be captured only by solos and attachments. We quickly found an exploit that led to unintuitive interactions and the game followed an unintended and unintuitive path. It certainly felt as an alpha version.
Thanks for taking your time to read through this post, I hope you enjoyed it 😉 It is something different from what I usually post on my blog, but new edition encouraged me to write something I haven’t done in long time.
This weekend I am going to a first MK4 tournament here in Warsaw and I cannot wait to play more games 😉 I am really curious what are my friends going to come up with! As a second list I am taking Siege2 with a bag of trenchers. I haven’t tried the list yet, but I hope it wil work haha Triumph shooting 3 times per turn is bonkers!