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KITTENS GIVE MORBO GAS!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys, so I've got a topic of discussion for us.
I've heard a lot from warmachine players about how Hordes armies are "unfair" or "more powerful" inherently because of the fury system, damage transfer, warbeasts etc.

I've recently started exploring higher points games in the PP genre, and have come to find that the balance is absolutely opposite of this.

Up to the 500pt mark I have seen hordes armies have a slight edge over the warmachine armies due to the nature of the mechanics of each game. Once you start to go above 500pts though, its a completely different story. I have noticed a trend that starting at 750pts and above there is a sizable advantage to the warmachine army simply due to the fact that its been around longer, there are better options for warcasters(epic, anyone?) and the number of options and unit add-ons that they have available to them to the gross number of very powerful mercs and solos that just aren't available to Hordes players.

I have noticed that once you get to 750pts, Hordes armies just don't compete against warmachine armies. At least until the "line" from hordes starts to fill out a little more.

Has anyone else noticed this discrepancy? Is it just that I haven't figured out how to scale my warband appropriately? I would like to know if anyone else is having problems or if I need to work on my play style a bit more.

Thanks.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Honestly, I don't really agree at all.

Warlocks have nothing on the top-end Warcasters. I haven't lost a game yet where I've been playing one of my Warmachine armies against a Hordes army. Haley and Vlad just outclass anything they can put on the board.


Sure, the fury and healing mechanics give beasts an edge, but that alone isn't enough to push Hordes over the top. The actual abilities of Warbeasts, Warlocks, and the Hordes units just don't compare in terms of raw power to the abilities of Jacks, Casters, and the good Warmachine units.

I don't think this really changes much at the 1000 point level, though I would say that, once again, Hordes has an inherent advantage in multi-lock games. Having warbeasts 'float' and having their control, animi, and fury accessible to all your 'locks (as opposed to 'jacks, which are tied inextricably to just one 'caster) is an innate edge.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with large-scale Hordes v. Warmachine games, but I am not convinced that even this edge is enough to push them over the hump and make them better than Warmachine armies.

As a further note, I have never really liked the 750 point scale. I haven't played any Hordes v. Warmachine games at 750 points. I will say, though, that I have 1000 points of Trolls that I like a lot. It consists of two Axers, two Impalers, and two Maulers. Two units of Champions, one unit of Long Riders, Hoarlock and Madrak. I'd like to get a couple fell-callers and fit them in, somehow, but I'm just not convinced, at all, that a bigger line is necessary for Hordes to expand in army size well.

Hell, my Warmachine armies usually grow by packing in more trenchers and long gunners. My 1000 point lists tend to look like two 500 point lists--each with at least six trenchers and usually eight long gunners--stuck together.

Variety is not the key to large games. In fact, the impetus to add variety often results in armies that are worse than armies which simply play more of the particularly good units. Rarely does the much-vaunted 'combined arms' approach actually yield particularly good results. Focusing on doing one thing--and doing it really well--is usually more effective.
 

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KITTENS GIVE MORBO GAS!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Left, I think you're agreeing with me...... I'm saying that WM has an edge over hordes.
This is not a "hordes are better than WM due to mechanics" thread. Its talking about how WM just has a more filled out line of options so it gives the WM player the edge since Hordes players don't have nearly the number of quality options that the WM player does. This comes in the form of quality abilites too.

But the point is, that when you take trenchers, you have unit add ons that allow you to boost them and make them do better. Take the troll warriors, they are very vanilla, as of yet, I can't put a standard, caber tosser or anything that makes them quality. I'm not too, too familiar with trenchers, but whenever I've played against them, their add-ons make them really dern nasty, not the vanilla guys themselves.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Hm. Maybe you're right. I thought you were saying that, while Hordes is better in smaller games, Warmachine is better in larger games because they have more variety.

I must have been mistaken.


Well, let's look at the other bit, then.

I don't think it's correct to attribute Hordes lack of quality abilities to a lack of units on the whole. While it's possible that their stuff will get more and more powerful with future releases, I don't think we should count on it.

Even if we just compare Prime to Primal, Prime comes out significantly on top.


Finally, I do have a lot of experience with Trenchers, and trust me--it's the normal guys that make them good. Sure, I prefer to have them with Arcane Shield from the Journeyman (who is also a Prime unit) but they don't really need anything else to make them good.

Those unit attachments from Superiority (was it?) They're good. I'd consider playing them, were I still in the mood to be collecting Warmachine stuff. That being said, I've never played with them, and I still love my trenchers. They are far and away the best unit in the Cygnaran army, even without those attachments, or any buffs at all. Smoke is just too powerful--and they're not slackers, even ignoring that.


I think Hordes was designed by a team with a lot more maturity and experience than the one which designed Prime. The abilities of Hordes stuff are reasonable, interesting, and diverse. Very, very few are way out there or over the top.

Abilities in Prime, on the other hand, are wild exuberant gouts of overbalance. They're often way out of line in terms of how much they affect the game.

I think this is why Warmachine does--and is likely to continue to--reign supreme. The designers have gotten better at their jobs, and part of that is making abilities which are more toned down. As soon as they get good enough at their jobs to realize that a bunch of the stuff in Prime needs to be toned down, too, we might end up with really good game on our hands.

Until then, it'll be a pretty good game, and we'll have Hordes factions which are just slightly gimped because they missed out on the sort of over-the-top crap that was lavished on Prime.
 

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KITTENS GIVE MORBO GAS!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was saying that Hordes v WM has a better balance against eachother at lower points levels, not that one is "better" than the other at that points level, but that at 500pts, the inherent weaknesses/strengths of the two systems seem to balance each other out better.

I'm assuming primal attachments, like the journeyman is something added from one of the expansions that were put into remix and are now a part of "standard" unlike Primal, that has what, the basic units + 1 solo for each faction, mix in a heavy warbeast and a couple of light. We're comparing a very new system rulebook to one that is the equivalent of 3 core sets piled into one compiled place.

I agree with your last statement, which is essentially what I was feeling. There is just a mis-balance to the gameplay when you pit the two against each other. When I watch WM v WM battles, its pitched and generally even for all of the "broken" stuff that each side has... but when you see a WM v Hordes battle, its generally a slaughter.
 

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KITTENS GIVE MORBO GAS!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was saying that Hordes v WM has a better balance against eachother at lower points levels, not that one is "better" than the other at that points level, but that at 500pts, the inherent weaknesses/strengths of the two systems seem to balance each other out better.

I'm assuming primal attachments, like the journeyman is something added from one of the expansions that were put into remix and are now a part of "standard" unlike Primal, that has what, the basic units + 1 solo for each faction, mix in a heavy warbeast and a couple of light. We're comparing a very new system rulebook to one that is the equivalent of 3 core sets piled into one compiled place.

I agree with your last statement, which is essentially what I was feeling. There is just a mis-balance to the gameplay when you pit the two against each other. When I watch WM v WM battles, its pitched and generally even for all of the "broken" stuff that each side has... but when you see a WM v Hordes battle, its generally a slaughter.
 

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Registered
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Lol

i usually find that the people that play against hordes get the impression that they are hard as nails simply because they aren't used to playing against them. Once you play them more you begin to realize that they aren't hard to beat at all. The main differences counter each other, the warlocks gain the fury from war beasts so as they die your warlock gets weaker, as he can't transfer damage or do much damage to enemies without the fury. The war caster is the opposite when your war jacks die you get more powerful as you gain +1 armour for each fury point on him.

That totals up to the fact that hordes go for assassination against war machine while the war machine player tries to kill the hordes army. So i would say they are balanced including even epic war casters, which do give war machine an edge in the larger games (harder to assassinate) but most hordes armies can counter it with they're much larger capacity of fury
as a war machines fifteen points of fury a turn with two warcasters doesn't matter when the hordes army can generate more than 25 a turn.(i have played an army with 5 heavy war beasts, I HATE DIRE TROLLS!!!!!)
 

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KITTENS GIVE MORBO GAS!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trolls + assasination list..... hmm. I don't see it. I've got the impression that we're more geared toward just pounding face.
Pump madrak to a 22 or 23 arm using metamorphosisi and fling away!!
Though a flying surefooted madrak would be eff'n hilarious.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
I was just re-reading this, and I noticed this passage, which I guess I'd missed before:

theyak said:
I'm assuming primal attachments, like the journeyman is something added from one of the expansions that were put into remix and are now a part of "standard" unlike Primal, that has what, the basic units + 1 solo for each faction, mix in a heavy warbeast and a couple of light. We're comparing a very new system rulebook to one that is the equivalent of 3 core sets piled into one compiled place.
This is not entirely accurate. The Journeyman was actually in the original Prime.

In Prime, each faction (basically) had three 'casters, two heavy 'jacks, three light 'jacks, four 'actual' units, one sort of 'jack-centric unit, and one solo.

Khador had three heavy 'jacks and no light 'jacks.

The 'funny' units were Choir, Mechanics, and Meckaniks.

Cryx had a second solo, the Necrotech, instead of a 'jack support unit.


Compare this to Primal: Each faction got three 'locks, two heavy 'beasts, three light 'beasts, four regular units, one sort of funny unit, and one solo.

Legion was a little wierd, with their lesser 'beasts, but even so: Prime and Primal are almost identical in terms of what everyone got. I don't know what all units got included in Prime: Remix, and I wasn't ever really talking about that.

If you compare Prime--the real, original Prime--to Primal, each faction got almost exactly the same amount of stuff, but Prime armies are just better. Mainly because the 'casters are more powerful than the 'locks.

It's true that if you include at all the Warmachine expansions, they get an even more significant edge over Hordes, but even the comparison just between Prime and Primal is telling.
 

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The Pacifist Wargamer
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1,512 Posts
Like LoW said, in pretty much any instance, given enough games against a wide-enough spread of opponents, Warmachine lists will come out on top over Hordes.

I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but I'm fairly certain it probably has something to do with the PP people becoming better at developing games. This may just be my opinion, but it seems to be that a given Hordes army has fewer "must-have" units and fewer outright useless units than any given Warmachine army.

I think PP is *slowly* learning the folly of "Everything's b0rken, so it's all balanced" and is realizing that high-balancing anything is nearly impossible. (Look how long Starcraft took to become balanced, for example.)

Heck, building a Warmachine army almost seems to start with the must-have units before even adding a caster. "OK, playing Protectorate: I've got my Choir, my Devout, my full Zealots with Mono etc. ...now who should lead this merry bunch?"

This was obviously not the intent of the designers, who wanted to (but failed at) creating a game where players could basically field whatever they wanted to and be able to succeed, given reasonable skill at the game.

I play pretty Jack-heavy and well...let's just say 'thank Menoth' that I don't play competitively, because I have a nice list, but certainly nothing that wouldn't get massacred in any tourney.

Hordes players, in the end, just don't have the same access to the b0rken units that the Warmachine players can access, nor do they have the b0rken defenses to respond to the b0rken units.
 

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IMHO, there are too many variables in each game. Although I do think the FURY mechanic is inherently superior than FOCUS, I only think so in terms of Warbeasts. Mathematically speaking, frenzying is VERY rare, and in most cases when a Warbeast does Frenzy, it's usually NEXT to the enemy (so it's a good thing).

Besides that little mechanical difference, I think they two games are very balanced. I've had wins/losses with both my Khador and Skorne armies. Warlocks have less spells, are generally speaking much easier to kill, and once you get rid of their Warbeats, then tend to run out of options quickly.

Furthermore, I think damage transfer is overrated. When is a Warlock going to have 4-5 FURY to transfer damage? In most assassinations I've done against Warlocks, they've only had 2-3 FURY on them at most. Even with a 5-6 FOCUS Warcaster, you will PROBABLY slaughter them.

Facing an enemy Warlock that's camping FURY? Ignore it. Go for his army. Kill his beasts. Kill the beasts and you're golden 95% of the time.

So this is my unbiased opinion of these two games.

Oh and HORDES players don't worry about power differences. Metamorphosis will be bringing a whole host of pain and agony for your factions. :D
 
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