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Thread: Size of forces?

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    Librarian jet_palero's Avatar
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    Size of forces?

    So one of my new gaming buddies is into warmachine, and he's looking for folks to game with. I'm interested in giving it a try. What's the typical size of a force? Is one of the starter packs enough to get into the game for a while? The ones with the warcaster and 3 or 4 warjacks.
    So long Old World, you had a good run.

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    Re: Size of forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by jet_palero View Post
    So one of my new gaming buddies is into warmachine, and he's looking for folks to game with. I'm interested in giving it a try. What's the typical size of a force? Is one of the starter packs enough to get into the game for a while? The ones with the warcaster and 3 or 4 warjacks.
    WMH is quite different from other games in which knowing how to play correctly is a massive advantage over whatever you put in your list. You will lose your first three games, switch armies, and then lose another three games.

    Everyone who plays will tell you the Battlegroups are a great start. IMO it's a good start to the faction. Almost all quality Journeyman Leagues (WMH's Escalation Leagues) will start their first week entirely with Battlegroup games, and then require the Battlegroup's use for a good while throughout. This makes the Battlegroup the perfect purchase, except that many of the most competitive lists use few of the models included meaning this was a poor purchase. Considering how accurate my first statement is, list building doesn't make up the ground that experience brings with it. Thus it's a good start for those of us who play, and a great start for newbies.

    Depending on your Battlegroup purchase, this brings you to around 11 points (9-13 points). Your first decent level of play is at 15 points. This is because the battlegroups aren't balanced against one another. Both Menoth and Khador have spectacular warcasters for the "meta", and a good player with Cryx should never lose a game against a player. Those extra points will do two things: 1) It helps to make up the balancing difference between the Battlegroups and 2) Everything you are going to be recommended is going to be used in almost every game you will ever play with that faction.

    The next levels are at 25 and 35 points, but don't look to there yet. Get in your Battlegroup and 15 point games first. See how well you like the game, get into your faction, and get some experience. Then you can buy your troops and really get to painting.
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    Chapter Master Avian's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    The battlegroup starters are good to get aquainted with the game, but with only four models or so it gets repetive if you only play against the same opponent all the time. Typically they're at 11 or 12 pts, and adding 1-2 solos or a cheap unit gets you to 15 pts. That's more interesting.

    25 pts is a fine level to play the game at, and for a long time I just played that level. For me that was the battlegroup + two units with attachements.

    For tournaments and things, 35 or 50 pts is most common.
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    Re: Size of forces?

    "Size of force" can mean many different things in WM/H. It depends on the caster, list and faction.

    I play Cryx. In one force I could take Montenebra and only have about 7 models in a 50pt game. I could instead take a Denegra force with 50+ models in it. It all depends on the synergies you are trying to pull out, the type of game your trying to play for. Attrition, assassination, scenario win etc

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    Re: Size of forces?

    I like all of the Warmachine starters. However, the Hordes starters aren't quite as nice because they give you repetitive models. The starters allow you to get a feel for the game and the faction without a huge investment. However, if you are looking at actually playing, you may consider one of the All-in-One army boxes. This will give you a complete 35 point army (Caster, couple of jacks, couple of units, and couple of solos), as well as, a rulebook and strategies to play the army and build to 50 points.

    There's probably a lot of websites that can give you an in-depth breakdown of how to choose a factions, but consider:
    1) Do you like steampunk jacks or beasts? You need to decide between Warmachine or Hordes.
    2) Warmachine:
    Cryx - Undead, super fast, hard to hit, squishy
    Cygnar - The good guys, lots of versatility, lots of lightening
    Menoth - Religious zealots, lots of fire
    Khador - Lots of heavy armor, Russian feel to them
    Retribution - Angry, killy elves
    Convergence - Robots
    Mercenaries - several different ways to play (pirates, dwarves, undead, lots of armor)
    Hordes
    Legion of Everblight - Fast, high defense, squishy
    Circle of Orobos - Druids, Wolves, and constructs (tricky movement strategies)
    Trollbloods - Big brutes with Scottish feel to them
    Skorne - Martial warriors with big elephant/titans (think 300 Persians)
    Minions - Pigs and Gators

    The All-in-One army will set you back around $110, but you get everything you need to play. Start out using just the warcaster and battlegroup to get the rules down, then go to 15 points, 25 points, and then play the full army. Once you are familiar with the game, find a second caster to add variety. The caster will change the feel of the army.

    Have fun.

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    Re: Size of forces?

    I second the All-in-One proposition. They are usually good value, at least the ones of the faction I know well are good lists. Some might not be available, depending on where you live,since they may be sold out. But some online stores sell them at an even bigger discount.

    Depending on your faction, you may be able to play few models, or a lot. Some warcasters or warlocks are able to run multiple warjacks well, so they tend to have a list of a few big models. Others tend to favor infantry, so you’ll end up with a few units, and possibly more than 50 models.

    Best advice: decide what you want to play, check warlocks or casters for your selected faction, and make sure the caster is compatible with what you want to play.

    I know many people were turned off by the game because they invested in Khador warjacks, but few Khador casters are able to run multiple jacks at all and win. Or they picked a warjack caster and try to fit him or her in an infantry-heavy list.

    Check the official forums and Battle College (often derided, but still an invaluable source of info about factions).
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    Librarian jet_palero's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Well I got a game in last night and I had a decent time. My opponent played his Khador and I played his Menoth. it was a close game, we both had to look up rules a few times, but it was mostly straight forward. I liked a lot of the differences from 40k that warmachine has, most seemed like improvements.

    I have been a little disappointed to see that the larger armies just start to look like 40k armies though. I was hoping warmachine would have a big focus on a small number of warjacks, rather than adding in a bunch of mobs of regular infantry. My buddy says the game is much more evenly balanced at the larger point values as well. But the game was fun and tactically interesting, and I felt that my choices mattered a lot in how things played out. I will probably pick up a starter set and see how it goes. We're hoping to find some other players locally.

    I'm thinking Cygnar or those new Circle guys look the most appealing to me visually. Which faction focuses the most on warjacks?
    Last edited by jet_palero; 18-07-2015 at 01:57.
    So long Old World, you had a good run.

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    Chapter Master Falkman's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by jet_palero View Post
    I was hoping warmachine would have a big focus on a small number of warjacks, rather than adding in a bunch of mobs of regular infantry.
    [..]
    Which faction focuses the most on warjacks?
    This varies a lot between factions and even between casters within each faction. Some factions are overall focused on fielding lots of infantry while others do well while fielding many warjacks or warbeasts, and some can do both well. It is common for new players to the game to expect it to be mostly about the warjacks and some get a little disappointed when they realise it isn't so, but there are enough factions in the game that can bring large amounts of warjacks or warbeasts if that's your interest. I'll do a short rundown of them, keep in mind that I'm coming at this from a decently competitive viewpoint; obviously you can field as many warjacks as you want in any faction, but I'm assuming you also want it to be a viable list.

    Cygnar: Cygnar usually fields quite a lot of infantry, and they tend to bring a lot of Mercenary models in their lists. Their Stormwall colossal is very good and see play in many lists, but you rarely see Cygnar lists with many regular warjacks. It's usually 1-2 colossals or 1-2 heavies.

    Protectorate of Menoth: The original warjack faction. The Protectorate have a lot of models that support their warjacks which means they can take many warjacks and use them efficiently. It's not uncommon to see Protectorate lists with 2-3 heavies plus a light jack or two. The Judicator colossal is also decently common, and the upcoming Revelator colossal will most likely be very popular judging by its rules.

    Khador: Looking at Khador many people think they're the heavy armour faction, and while they do have a bunch of heavy warjacks and heavy infantry, their lighter infantry and cavalry is their best options currently. Thus Khador is a faction that usually brings a lot of infantry with only a single colossal or warjack in most lists. There are some outliers however, the latest version of the Butcher can take several warjacks and do well with them (a popular build is 3 heavies and a Mercenary light jack), and the upcoming Victor colossal have people tinkering with double colossal lists with some of the casters.

    Cryx: Cryx is the infantry swarm faction. Like undead factions in most games they come at you in big waves and then resurrect those waves to send back at you again. Most of their warjacks are generally considered too fragile to bring along, and you usually see them bringing only a couple of light warjacks with Arc nodes (a special rule that allows you to channel spells through the warjack) or a single Kraken colossal.
    They do have some very good character warjacks (characters are unique models you can only bring one of) like the Deathjack and the Nightmare and these are often seen in lists.

    Retribution of Scyrah: The Retribution is another faction that was traditionally very infantry-heavy, but later releases have seen the faction branch out and they can now field several warjack-heavy lists as well. Two very popular tournament lists at the moment is Incissar Vyros and his zoo of light warjacks, and Kaelyssa and her Force wall theme force. Vyros usually brings 5+ Griffon light warjacks and his character heavy warjack Imperatus, while Kaelyssa brings 3+ heavy warjacks and maybe a colossal.
    The newest warcaster, Thyron, also offers some benefits for warjacks and people have been trying him out with 2-3 light warjacks plus a heavy warjack to some success. I would say that Retribution is actually one of the better factions in the game for playing warjack heavy, which is an amazing turn since when they were released back in 2009 they were almost purely an infantry faction. This goes to show how new releases can affect and change a faction in this game!

    Mercenaries: Mercenaries as a faction are honestly all over the place. They have so many playstyles that it's difficult to nail down their "thing." They have two great colossals that see a lot of play, but their regular warjacks are lacklustre and are very rare to see on the field. The Cephalyx sub-faction of Mercenaries have monstrosities instead of warjacks, and you generally see Cephalyx lists with 2-4 heavy monstrosities in them so Cephalyx brings the beef if you want to.

    Convergence of Cyriss: The newest faction in the game and one designed from the ground up with warjacks in mind. The warjacks of the Convergence gain different stats and special rules depending on which warcaster you are playing, they have a focus-sharing rule that allows you to use much more focus than other Warmachine armies and they have a lot of warjack support pieces. That being said they also have some absolutely amazing heavy infantry and infantry support, so it's more common to see Convergence lists focussed on heavy infantry than on warjacks, even though they will bring along 2-3 warjacks in most lists at least.
    I would not recommend starting Convergence as your first army since they are a self-contained "mini-faction" that is not part of PP's regular release schedule. This means that you cannot expect new releases for this faction at the same pace as the other factions (Convergence were released in 2013 and has still not received a single new release since their faction book, while the other Warmachine factions have gotten new stuff in two expansion books since then).
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    Chapter Master Falkman's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    As for Hordes, the mechanics of the Fury system means you will always bring along at least a couple of warbeasts, but there are still differences between the factions of Hordes.

    Trollbloods: Trollblood armies generally focus on sturdy infantry instead of warbeasts. There are a couple of lists that can utilise warbeasts well, in particular Calandra's Evolutionary elementalism theme force where people bring 7-11 light warbeasts, but Trollbloods generally lack the support needed to successfully utilise lots of warbeasts and so focus on bringing their hard-hitting infantry instead.

    Circle Orboros: Circle usually brings quite a lot of warbeasts. Many of their movement tricks and shenanigans come from their warbeasts, and since their infantry lack melee punch they need to bring warbeasts to crack armour. You will commonly see 2-3 heavy warbeasts and 1-2 light warbeasts in a Circle list. Special shoutout to Bradigus and his Wold war theme force, which commonly brings 2 heavies and 6 lights.

    Skorne: Skorne is probably the most well-balanced Hordes faction when it comes to the warbeast - infantry ratio. They have a lot of very good warbeasts and good warbeast support, but they also have several very good units that fill roles their warbeasts can't perform. It is common to see 2-3 heavies and 1-2 lights in Skorne lists, along with 1-2 units and some support models.

    Legion of Everblight: If you want to play with big monsters, Legion is your faction. Most of Legion's infantry feels like an afterthought but their warbeasts are absolutely amazing. They're fast, hit hard, a lot of them bring guns in addition to melee power and the faction has lots of ways to support them. It is common to see 4+ heavies in Legion lists.

    Minions: Minions are divided into two separate sub-factions, Gators and Pigs. Neither of them have much in the way of warbeast support, but the Pigs have a warlock named Dr Arkadius who has a theme force that allows him to bring a lot of warbeasts to the table. Apart from him though, both Gators and Pigs are more of a combined arms-style of play.
    I would not recommend starting Minions as a new player since they do not have a lot of models to choose from and struggle to compete in the game. You can do it if you really set your mind to it, but they're probably the hardest faction in the game to do well with.
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by jet_palero View Post
    I'm thinking Cygnar or those new Circle guys look the most appealing to me visually. Which faction focuses the most on warjacks?
    Circle is Hordes and does run a lot of Warbeasts effectively. It has a very primal look to the army, unless you head construct (then it's druidic).

    I mostly play Cygnar and rarely field more than 2 jacks (I mostly play Stryker1, Nemo3, and Caine1). Most of the casters support infantry very well and they have a lot of mercenary support. If you like the look and fluff of Cygnar, then Darius is probably the caster to look at. He is their defacto jack caster and can run 3-4 effectively (or two really big ones using his No Quarter tier list). He also looks like a jack because he wears big bulky armor. Kraye is also pretty good at running several jacks (mostly ranged).

    As Falkman said, Protectorate is probably your best bet to run a jack heavy list. They have several casters that support multiple jacks and their jacks are generally fairly cheap.

    As with every game, find the faction that you like the look of, then figure out how to make it work for you.

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    Chapter Master carldooley's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    my 2 cents (please keep in mind that I play Warmachine exclusively, though I have played against just about every faction in the game at this point)
    My favorite battlebox is the Convergence one - the only thing that doesn't regularly make it way into my list is the galvanizer, but I get that at tier 4 for free.
    Hordes is probable a better fit if you like the swiss army knife approach to games. why? animi - each beast in your army has a unique spell that is added to the warlock's spell list (as long as a small list of conditions are met), and Circle primarily because of Geomancy. not only can your 'lock cast your beasts' animi, but some of your beasts can cast your 'lock's spells. Also, you may want to bring some infantry as well, considering how horrifyingly fast the Standing Stones can get units into key positions on the field and\or into your opponent's forces.

    also, most forces have what is called an alternate battlebox. you may want to look at them as well.
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    Librarian jet_palero's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Thanks for the run down, guys. That was pretty helpful. So Hordes are the same system, and people play them together with the normal warmachine? The legions of everblight lhave a nice look to them.
    Last edited by jet_palero; 18-07-2015 at 00:49.
    So long Old World, you had a good run.

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    Chapter Master Falkman's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Quote Originally Posted by jet_palero View Post
    So Hordes are the same system, and people play them together with the normal warmachine?
    Yes, Warmachine & Hordes are the same game, meant to play together. The only thing that differs ruleswise is how the warcaster/warlock interacts with warjacks/warbeasts, and how warjacks/warbeasts function. The rest is all the same.
    Legion of Everblight is a very fun faction to play, I can definitely recommend them!
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Many Legion warlocks are also good at running multiple beasts thanks to the presence of Shepherds, if you’d rather play with a few big things vs infantry. I played Legion for a while and could run a few locks with a stable of beasts and little infantry (though mostly 35 pts).
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    Re: Size of forces?

    I played legion as my main faction for about 2 years. They have some great beasts and units and a lot of the warlocks can run large battlegroups with minimal infantry support. If you can, try and get hold of the all in one box. It gives you a great starting 'lock and a good selection of beasts and support models.

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    Re: Size of forces?

    As a fan of warjacks over infantry myself, I play Convergence of Cryiss and Menoth and both can run lists that are mostly Warjacks, depending on which Warcaster you choose. Cryss thanks to all it's special army rules are naturally a bit more focus point efficient, even if you have to play them with a very different mindset to maximise that.

    What I will say is that, and this is for WM/H in general, that most of the time there isn't a 'bad build' per say. Warmachine is ultimately about using units that have synergy with one another together, but the amount of variety your Warcaster/Warlock can bring to an army means you are mostly free to build a list how you want and still have a good chance of winning as long as you don't get a bad matchup* or play against the Warcaster/Warlocks strengths.

    *As WM/H can produce such drastic mismatches, in tournaments players tend to be allowed to bring two lists, which means you are less likely to have a battle where one side has no hope at all.
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    Librarian jet_palero's Avatar
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    Re: Size of forces?

    Here's my start!
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    one of the arm pins went missing, thus the slight modification on the warcaster.
    So long Old World, you had a good run.

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