Thoughts on Warmachine MKIII from a 40K Player

Hey everybody, Adam (Bahkara) here to talk about Warmachine.

The announcement from Privateer Press of Warmachine MKIII coming out in June has actually sparked interest for me to play again. I had attempted twice before to play and am more than willing to give it another shot.

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Strike One!

My first attempt was when the game had just released. I had bought a battleforce box and put it together. It was a little difficult to put together but I was excited to play, I played a couple games but I was not really impressed. My concern was mainly about the customization of the leaders and that I wasn’t able to do that. Coming from 40K that was what the big thing for me as I wanted to make my own commanders, but I could look past it. The other thing that kind of drove me away was the attitude of the players. Because the game was brand new, and they are picking up a lot of disenfranchised 40K players, coupled with the, now infamous, Page 5, there was a lot of attitude and anger at people that still played 40K.  Even though they wanted me to play war machine, a simple conversation would be me coming up and asking or telling someone that I wanted to play the game. They would ask about other games that I played and I would tell him I’m still playing 40K. once they heard that they would start telling me how much I suck, I’m a big pussy, and question my manhood (these were actual comments). That attitude you just turned me off from the game and I just really didn’t want to play with people like that. I understood it was a competitive environment and that was the whole point of it. I freely admit that the rules are tight, especially compared to 40K, but the attitude combined with some of the lack of hobby elements in the game drove me away.

Strike 2!
Strike 2!

My second attempt was actually when Hordes came out and I was immediately drawn to the Skorne because of the elephants, well they’re not elephants but they look as though they’re elephants. I liked, and still like, the aesthetic of it. They actually look nice and I was over the whole you can’t make your own character type of thing so I bought a starter box for that faction and started to put it together. I immediately regretted it because those were some of the worst cast models that I have ever put together. Nothing joined properly, you basically had to fill in so many gaps you may as well just build your own model out of green stuff. It was very frustrating. In addition, I was still having the same issues with players and Page 5. Although Privateer Press was trying to steer away from it, I  still had players basically berating me and making fun of me for still playing GW. It really wasn’t what caused me to quit the second time. The quality of the models just drove me away. I’m like “fuck this, I’m out”. I’ll go back to models that actually go together better and look better when put together and painted.

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A few years later and now with Mark 3 announced I’m interested again. I’m  especially interested in the new balance they are claiming to be working on, because the other thing that kind of drove me away both times was the fact that you had to play certain builds in order to win. You have that somewhat in 40K right now, but you can play almost any type of army build and at least win a game. In Warmachine, from what I’ve seen and when I played, you can try out specific builds, for fun, but you’ll never win a game and  I mean never. It can be extremely frustrating that you have no chance if you like a certain aesthetic, so when MkIII say they’re going to try to balance everything  it seems like, to me, everything will have an equal chance of  winning.

I’m going to stick with Skorne, mainly because I still like the elephant look. Cryx is okay, steampunk is okay, but I really like the aesthetics of the elephants overall and I like using the war beasts. I am really looking forward to fielding the Hydra Colossal. So hopefully they will make it so at least at least people have a chance with whatever caster, unit, warbeast, warjack, colossal, and  gargantuan they want to use. I did notice that they are getting rid of Page 5, which is a big step to me, and it looks like they’re promoting, at least with the Journeymen, more painting and sportsmanship into their tournaments. I find this funny because they’ve always tried to present themselves as the anti-GW. Now they’re becoming more more like GW, as much as some people try to deny it, which is not necessarily a bad thing because that shows that they’re growing or they want to grow and they’re taking the steps necessary to increase their player base.

Whatever happens I know Travis, Danny, and The Producer will be playing so, at the very least, I will be able to play against them. That being said, I’ll see you guys on the table top!

  • John

    I never really enjoyed the models, and I didn’t like the mechanics of the game. It never really occurred to me, but you bring up a great point that your “HQ” isn’t customizable in anyway (gameplay or modeling). I believe as a novice it is somewhat easier to learn, but 40K will always be my number 1.

  • Ivan

    Hey Adam, love your guys’s show. What you outlined is exactly how I felt when I tried to get in the game. My first tournament I remember pulling out my army (painted by the way) and having several players laugh, point, and just say that here was the easy win (I was playing a merc steelhead heavy army) I stuck with it though as my friends encouraged me and finally stopped playing after a year. Mark 3 has me excited to try it again as I actually liked the rules. The models on the other hand are just terrible but they seem to be getting better.