Thursday, 7 July 2011

How to break from The Company

Getting outside the comfort zone

It cannot have escaped the notice of anyone reading blogs/the internet that there has been somewhat of a backlash against the established big name in the hobby, and there are many who are seeking alternatives to what they currently play. Theres a lot of choice out there these days, and so many ways to find out about it all that it can seem overwhelming for someone coming from a particular company into the wider world of gaming. But fear not! We all did it once, and the satisfaction and happiness that you see on the faces of older/more experienced/more rounded gamers can be yours too. Heres How.


The first thing to do , if you only ever played games by The Company, is to realise that wargaming is as broad a church as exists.  There is room for everyone and everything, and liking one does mean hating the other.  No one really gives up The Company, its too deeply ingrained, but like anything worth enjoying, theres so much depth and flavour that almost everyone who calls themselves a wargamer, is a wargamer for life.  Everywhere you look on the internet its hate this, hate that, opinions passed off as fact, and the fanboy mentality that shouts so loud everything else gets drowned out.  If you want to play another game, then by jingo, go for it.  You only get one life.

I would also advise anyone to check sources, read more than one source, and remember that forum fanboys are trying to reinforce their own prejudice, not help anyone out.  Common pitfalls, and things to bear in mind include:
  • Dont mistake the hobby for one company, it existed before them and will exist afterwards.
  • Shouting louder than everyone else just makes you loud, not right.
  • The Company is not always the best, as it claims.  There are better paints, miniatures, rules etc, made by hundreds, if not thousands, of fully professional companies.
  • "The Hobby" is not what they claim it to be.  "The Hobby" covers everything from the battle of Kadesh to fantastic worlds, future dystopias and every combination inbetween.  
  • "The Hobby" is rich, fulfilling, and broadens the mind wonderfully.
  • "The Hobby" is you.  "The Hobby" is me.  Its everyone who ever played.  Its everyone who ever picked up a piece of plastic and gave it life.
If You Choose Warmachine/Hordes(Warmahordes)

As stated above, there are hundreds of games out there, and theres usually a good 10 or 20 at the top of the pile in terms of currency and playerbase.  But here we talk about warmahordes.

Here,we try and have a pair!

Why Warmachine?

  • Factions
When it comes to factions in Warmachine, we are blessed with a choice of specific playstyles and themes that really allow each faction to have its own flavour. Menites,for example, get armies of faithful, backed up by knights, monks, fire and brimstone. Cryx carries the pirate/witch death and decay, and Khador the irrepressible massed Heavys and armour of an industrial behemoth.

Cygnar get Guns. Guns and Lightning!

  • Setting
Steam powered automata controlled by magic, crushing ranks of pikemen whilst rifles blaze, cavalry meets war engine in a crash of arcane magic , tooth and claw, while dragonspawned beasts tear ranks of shotgun armed pig-men apart with chitinous growths, all powered by the political manouvering and backstabbing of superpowers fighting over limited resources.  The setting for warmachine is cool.  Its like Georgian British Infantry facing American Civil War Sharps Rifles with World War One tanks crashing through them,  it's like a victorian version of a gundam slicing through the massed ranks of crusading Norman knights.  All mixed in with arcane magic, jealous gods, and a world gone mad.

  • Everything Else
If the factions and setting dont grab you, there may be hope yet.  The rules!  Oh, the rules!  Brutal, unforgiving, deep and actually competitive.  There is no "Comp" in warmachine, because it doesnt need or want it.  Yes, things are unbalanced, but everything is unbalanced.  If you thought your opponent pulled a bad move with overpowered choices, well, in warmachine you suck it up, walk it off and come back stronger

The game is what the game is, like chess, the rules and pieces are there, and your choices, tactical thinking and preparedness decide the day.  Not netlists, not current meta, just you, knowing the rules, knowing the pieces and acting on that information.   You never win in warmachine by having a game where the other guy lost.  There is never ambiguity, never doubt.  You win or you lose.

Remember, there are other games out there, but this one is currently the second biggest, so there will always be opponents.

Oh, did I mention officially sanctioned tournaments, officially sanctioned local reps, league play, annual Masters tournaments, official player forums, medals, and all the miniatures you could shake a stick at?


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