Thursday, August 11, 2011
Okay, so I've been playing a lot of Warmachine recently, and losing a lot of Warmachine recently, so I've gotten to thinking; what changed between last edition (where I won my coins and gold cards) and this one (where I can't win a game to save my life)? The answer, quite simply, is shooting. Ranged attacks were a good way to soften up targets for a forthcoming charge last edition, or at best a way to off an already hobbled model. I liked this. It forced aggressive gameplay and prevented "camping out" in your own deployment zone. Now, however, it's the way games are won and lost. This sticks in my craw.
In a game that aspouses itself to be pure aggression, firepower should not, I repeat not, rule the day. If I want to get in shoot-outs all day I have Warhammer 40,000 and Infinity. These games are dominated by firepower, and they should be. Not so much with Warmachine.
Now, one could say that the firepower has to be used aggressively to be effective, and I'll agree to that, but the threat range of it allows units to hide all game before peeking out just long enough to gun down the enemy that has been running across the board all game. Really heroic, guys. As far as I can tell, there is no longer any reason to take any of my melee units. If the Bile and Bloat Thralls can't get the job done, it's game over. My Mechanithralls, Bane Thralls, and all the rest of my melee units simply don't stand a chance against a gunline, even with Stealth. This is really disheartening to me, as a game I love is devolving more and more into frustration. I like melee combat, and I believe that firepower should be emploved in a support role, not to outright win battles. Again, if I want those results, there are other games to play.
I know Privateer Press could not care less about the opinion of a single player who thinks shooting is broken, but I just feel the need to vent a bit. I used to love the need to tactically balance your forces in Warmachine, but it seems that now all one needs to do is load up on guns and pray they don't face Vlad's Wind Wall shenanigans.
My feelings on this are indeed biased. I seem only to face an extreme firepower-based army. I'm not saying the army needs to change, it's effective at what it does, and good for it. What I am saying is that with my current bag of tricks, there's really no good way for me to defeat it, and I'm just not into the game enough to plunk down money purely to try out a unit that may or may not work. Perhaps that is why skirmish games hold such a dear place in my heart. If your force doesn't work it's not a $100+ investment to try to make it work. At most, and I'm talking some pretty extreme miniatures here, it's $50 to add a single new miniature and shake the whole game up. Usually the shake-up can happen for around $10. For the $100 you'd spend on a unit for Warmachine, you can get an entire force for Infinity, and two for Anima: Tactics. I'm not a rich man, and do not have the disposable income to toss around to grab such expensive miniatures (thus why you haven't really heard anything on the Dark Eldar front for a while, and may never again). To be honest, the money I just spent picking up an ALEPH starter just killed off my gaming budget for the month. Again, I love skirmish games for a reason.
Why do I keep getting my rear handed to me? Perhaps it is because I don't spend hours pouring over my army lists. Perhaps it's because I have not been able to adapt to the new edition very well (the stripping of my Arc-Nodes was an extreme blow to my game). Perhaps it's that I need to buy the newest and shiniest miniature (or several) to be competitive. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm really disappointed with what Warmachine, a game I have loved for a decade, has become.
My next post will be more upbeat, I promise, but this is something I've been needing to get off my chest.