-BY: Vinny (VP18)
I have always been a gamer. From a young age, and much to my parents displeasure, I spent endless hours in front of the latest and greatest gaming consoles. When computers became personal, my sole reason for wanting one was to play the original Civilization, an experience that combined gaming with military history, my other interest. RTS’s soon followed, and a small obsession with being an armchair general began.
Fast forward several years, and a high school friend, knowing my interest in gaming and RTS’s, introduced me to Warhammer 40k. I was blown away! A game that involved creating your own force, painting them up in “uniform colors” you loved, and being able to command them in battle hit every fiber of my being! As I dove deeper into the hobby I discovered other games and the genre of “wargaming.” Historicals became my favorite, but a severe lack of other players kept me on the 40k bandwagon.
Eventually Privateer Press came along and introduced Warmachine. Warmachine touted itself as a hardcore, hard-driving combat game that quickly became a competitor to Games Workshop. A gaming buddy had a couple of forces, and I played a little using his figs. But 40k was so large and active in my community that it kept me dug into that gaming system. It wasn’t until Warmachine MKII came along that I took real notice of Privateer Press.
Privateer Press was the first gaming company I saw that actually cared about its players. During the transition between the two editions, they ensured fans that all of their figs would still be usable and, from what I remember, invited player feedback. There was no illusion that made gamers feel like they had some huge say in how the game would end up. Instead there was a genuine desire to let their players know that Privateer Press was keeping them in mind. It was refreshing!
Fast forward again to the present where I am finally ready to get back into the hobby. I moved down to Texas about four years ago, and it has been a lengthy transition! When things finally calmed, the gaming itch needed scratching. Warmahordes was the first system that came to mind.
I knew there was a lot of catching up due to the new edition, so I turned to podcasts. I also joined a couple of Facebook pages, asked questions here and there, and received a Journeyman League invite. The PG running the League was open to arranging a demo game. He provided Circle, which I controlled, and Blight. Both faction armies were composed of Battlebox minis and casters.
Since my understanding of the game was limited to an edition I played little of long ago, I allowed the PG to recommend all of my steps, with only minor decisions for my part. Turn one the PG went first and ran his entire force forward, explaining that he used light beasts to cover his more value troops. He also premeasured, a mechanic I love, to make sure his heavy beast, placed off to the side, could not be reached. “Pushing,” “leeching,” and using fury were demonstrated, and then it was my move. I charged forward and killed two light warbeasts. My move ended, and unfortunately the PG managed to take out most of my force. I had exposed my warbeasts when I took out his models, something that I would definitely remember for the future. The rest of game was mostly comprised of fudged rolls that allowed
me to slam the enemy warcaster with the sole remaining beast and doing just enough damage to assassinate.
The demo was great, and I am very excited to start the Journeyman League! Warmahordes seems like a system that is easy to learn, but difficult to master. It’s much more than just creating the most powerful list and allowing a superior unit to stomp around the battlefield destroying everything in its path. The strategy is real, and as seen in the demo game everything needs to be considered, even placement of individual models. Honestly, that did cause some alarm for me, as I am not really a competitive player. However I was informed that there is a narrative league, which I will jump into once the JML is done.
I also decided to stick with Hordes, for now, due mainly to fury. Back in Mk1 I only played Warmachine, were focus was allocated. The Horde style, where fury is generated, appealed to me more. I enjoyed the overall resource management in Warmahordes, especially since resource management is generally limited to particular missions or campaigns in other wargames. When it comes to fury, the extra complexity of trying to figure out a safe number to create and then deal with potential consequences for creating too much adds a bit more intricacy.
Plus the look and fluff of Trollbloods, which is very important, is awesome. For me wargaming is about the story and visual appeal. I love painting and fielding a fully painted army on a beautiful table. That is why I went with Trollbloods. Aesthetically they are very pleasing, and the more I learn about their almost tragic back story, the more I fall in love with faction. My only real “competitive” side is choosing a faction that starts with a small handicap, and trying to figure out how to work around it. Trollbloods filled this role as well, at least initially, due to starting with a Battlebox of only light warbeasts. The buffing/supporting theme is also great, as it adds depth by making sure each model is activated at the appropriate time and spells are passed out where and when needed.
So to start off I purchased a Troll Battlebox and some counters. With the rulebook offered online, Privateer press made it easy and affordable to get back into the hobby I love! I can now focus on reading, learning, and getting those figs ready for JML!
Thanks for reading!