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hello there. i saw saw Warmachine for the first time the other day in a store and it seems really quite cool, and i'd like to get into it but i couldn't find much info on thei website (privateer press') about the game. do you know were i could find a quickish overview of the game and each of the armies? i've played GW games for a while if that helps with an explanation so i was hoping for a unbiased view, aimed tat someone who knows about the wargaming concept in general...
what would be cool would be a paragraph or two for each faction, detailing their theme, playing style, modelling & painting thoughts and good beginner purchases. i also understand that hordes and warmachine is an interchangable system and the armies can play each other, so a hordes review would be cool too.
Um, for rules overview, you can download that from PP's home site.
In short, you have a main caster (warcaster for WM, and warlock for hordes), solos (think indepedant characters), Jacks/warbeasts (think vehicles/dreads/demons), Troops (units).
As with 40k/warhammer in general, each thing has a points cost.
For each army, you must have 1 caster, and may have an additional caster for each 500pts you play.
Terrain effects to hit rolls, and each unit has special abilities that may stack or build upon one another. usually the games are played with assassination in mind-kill the caster and you win the game. But there are a variety of other win conditions depending on the game.
So, each larger thing (be it special units like calvary or jacks (think dreadnaughts), or casters) has a number of wounds on it. All models have stats, such as armour, defense, Melee attack rating, ranged attacked rating.... The higher the stat, the better. If you have a MAT (melee attack rating) of 10, and they have a defense of 15, you need to roll 5 or higher using 2d6. There are ways to boost the number of dice you roll for to-hits, and for damages too (see focus and fury in a minute).
If you hit, then you check to see how much damage is done. This is a comparison of your power of your attack and its strength +2d6 vs the targets armour(ARM). if you do 20 damage to a model that has arm 15, it takes 5 damage, which is then assigned to a hit location.
You can do all sorts of things, such as headlock, headbutt, arm lock, puch, throw, charge, shoot, rend....plus special abilitys too.
Next up is fury/focus. This is a measure of how powerful your caster is. the higher the stat, the better off you are in that you use this number as your RAT(ranged attack rating) for magic attacks, and it also tells you how many spells you may be able to cast, as each spell has a fury/focus cost that must be paid.
Another use for fury and focus is that you can use it to make additional CC attacks (or ranged attacks if you have a high enough rate of fire (rof). It costs one focus per additional attack. So a caster with a CC weapon can make his standard 1 attack. If he has 6 fury/focus, he may purchase/spend fury/focus to make an additional 6 attacks (same for jacks and warbeasts.
Focus/fury may also be used to boost an attack or damage roll. This is done by spending the fury/focus(F/F from now on) and adding an addition die to the 2d6 die pool before they are rolled.
So if you have a MAT of 5, and they have a def(defense) of 15, you need a 10 to hit. You can boos tthe attack roll for a F/F, so you now are rolling 3d6, making it much easier, but still not a certainty. if your hit is successful, you may spend a F/F to boost damage as well. 1 F/F adds an additional d6 to the dice pool, and you may only boost an attack once (so no dumping 4 focus into an attack to roll 6d6 for damage.
Double 1's always miss, double 6's always hit. You can cause a critical effect if you HIT with a roll of doubles. So you can boost, roll 3d, and if you get a 2, 4, and 4, you would add that 10 to your MAT or RAT, and if your weapon has a critical effect, that would now go off if it was a hit.
The major difference in the system from WH is that it is model by model turn sequence. If you activate model a, and move it, then move model b, you can't shoot with model a. You finish all your stuff with a before moving on to B.
Another thing going is that hordes tends to have a slight advantage in that warlocks may transfer damage done to them by spending a focus point to dump it onto a beast they control. And they maintain fury from turn to turn, where as warcasters lose it as do jacks. Beasts gain fury each to you "force them", so each time you boost an attack, or use their spells, or "buy" additional attacks. At the beginning of each of your control phases, if the beast is in your control range, the warlock may leech fury off the beasts, thus giving him fury to cast spells and boost his stuff. If a beast carries over any fury, it must make a threshhold check (think of it as a LD test) at threshhold - 1 for each fury on it. If it fails, it frenzies and goes on a wild killing spree, attacking things you may or may not want it to. Jacks don't have that problem but you need to give them focus at the start of your turn, and if they can't use, it's wasted, and if you don't give them enough, it's your problem.
Each caster also has a feat. Think of it as an uber spell, that they may cast once a game. Some are super cool, some are alright, and some require a lot of planning to pull off well.
Last thing about the game is that it is certainly much more "power gamer" oriented. If you can't stand the heat, stay off the battlefield.
brief run up on the factions:
Cynar- The good guys of WM. Best technology, lightning themed troops, good jacks, and best ranged units in the game.
Khador-russian themed army that usually gets it done with huge, mega armoured jacks that can take a beating.
Cryxx-undead that excel in cc and spell warfare.
Menites-religious freaks that use their deities abilities to kill and protect. Mass troops that can use abilities to prevent you from hurting certain things.
Mecs-can work for certain factions. As it stands now, there are a few merc casters, but in general not really considered a stand alone force yet.
Circle-druids. Werewolves and such.
Legion-tainted by dragonspawn. Most are eyeless and soulless, and generally hold the edge as far as power distribution is concerned currently
Skorne-Tempered through war. Torture elephants and other creatures to do their bidding.
Trolls-use various kinds of trolls to maim and kill. The "good guys" or hordes.
you'll find that the names of the two systems ought to be reversed, as warmachine tends to play better when it has hordes of infantry, and hordes tends to play stronger with more warbeasts and less infantry.
That should about cover it, just ask if you have any other questions, tarzen
16,000+ of Eldar (only need flyers)
7,000+ of Nids (want heirophant)
6,000+ of Space Marines (need rever titan)
4,400+ of Cygnar (all models for the faction)
1,500+ of Legion (just started)