Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Warmachine Mk. II

Privateer Press announced a new version rules set for Warmachine due on 2010.

Good news to me. Without speaking to much about there specific changes to jacks, unit formations, etc, the big thing for me is the potential to just plain clean up the rules. I really dug Warmachine for a while. It was one of the few games that got me into a FLGS to play with, gasp, strangers. But, after a while, the rules got to me.

Warmachine's Failings
One of the key things that drew me into the game was the rules. They were well written and clear despite their complexity , seemed to engender fast and competative game play and were supported by a readily available and constantly updated FAQ. However, the rules also drove me away.

Only looking at Warmachine Prime, all of the above is true. However, Warmachine is suffereing from massive rules bloat. Every book has new units, new core rules, new abilities and so forth. And, as GW has proven, writing a flawless gaming document is hard. A such, the official FAQ is HUGE. It gets down to the point where you need few hundred pages of rules spread across half a dozen rule books and access to the FAQ just to play a skirmish game with no more than 50 guys on the table. Game play can gets bogged down in double checking rules (especially when you're first learning) and it sucks total balls when you realize you won or lost because of a misread.

Warmachine as M:tG with minatures
At this point, palying warmachine is like playng Magic: the Gathering. There is this insane attention to detail that must be paid to all rules interactions. This works for M:tG because the rules hardly ever recieve signifigant core changes (everyone knows them) and beacuse the game is so abstract. The M:tG errata is also stable in comparison. Add in distanes, LOS and model size into the mix and it gets a bit more complicated. Add in a number of abilites that work systemicaly incosistantly and an everchanging FAQ and you get a mess.

Warmachine, come back!
So, what eventually killed me was ending up having to play a side game of rules lawyer just to make sure things run right, fair and smoothly. As it stands, I'm extremely excited about any changes to the warmachine rules that streamline the game and make things more consistant.

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