I decided to do a series of pages to chronicle my firstÂ WARMACHINE (technically that’s the correct spelling with all caps but I will use normal capitalization or just WM from here on out) build, the Protectorate of Menoth battle box. Long ago in my high school days and thereafter I used to play tactical and strategic wargames like Squad Leader, Axis & Allies and such (in fact my junior high schol yearbook has a picture of me with the other members of the Strategic Games Club).
A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to get into tabletop miniatures which seemed more interesting than the cardboard counters that I used to play with. I looked around and Flames of War seemed like the best candidate, being a WWII tactical game where I could paint tanks, infantry etc. I decided that I couldn’t really get into it for less than about $75 for models and who knows how much in materials like paint, tools and so forth so I decided to look elsewhere.
At the time several of my friends had been playing Dungeons & Dragons minis for a while so I looked into Axis & Allies minis as a cheaper way to get into WWII minis (a starter box that had everything you needed for two players was only $25). Little did I know that being a collectible game it was a real money pit. I had fun at GenCon in Anahiem in 2004 but never did find any local opponents so I gave up on that.
Next I turned to a new (at the time) game called Dreamblade (also from Wizards of the Coast). That was quite fun but still had the same two drawbacks that AAM had: the collectible nature forced you to keep buying constantly and I couldn’t find any local players for that, either. I actually played in one tournament in LA and then played in one at GenCon 2005 but in 2006 I gave up on it, too. In fact I couldn’t find it on the WoTC home page, I had to search for it so it must not be doing so well these days.
Now let’s go back at the 2004 GenCon I saw a neat minis game called Warmachine by Privateer Press. It was fairly new and the models were pewter and they looked awesome. The theme is a variant of steampunk, there are robot-like warjacks that run on steam power but have a magical cortex so they are autonomous. Throw in warcasters that can cast spells, some regular infantry and you have a great tabletop game; each player fields at least one Warcaster (magic user with armor & weapons) who can mentally control the warjacks. There are also units of troopers, cavalry, gun crews etc.
I played a short demo at GenCon that year hosted by a Privateer guy where I played one warcaster & two ‘jacks against a friend and was impressed. Sadly I thought it was too expensive at the time, about $50 for a starter box.
Fast forward to 2008 and I finally decided that since I had some tax refund money now was the time to jump headfirst into Warmachine. This time I checked with my local game shop (Pair-A-Dice Games) and found out there were at least 10-15 regular players so that solved problem #1. I had also decided that I wanted to take up a non-computer based hobby where I could use my hands so it was worth the extra money to buy paints, tools, basing materials etc.
I love the whole setting of this game and the Iron Kingdoms world has got tons of great fluff (backstory) behind it. There are four factions each with strengths and weaknesses, each with their own unique models and flavor. I chose to play the Protectorate of Menoth which is a nation of religous zealots (not be be confused with the Holy Zealots unit which can go on suicide runs throwing firey bombs). The live under the premise that anyone who doesn’t worship their god Menoth is a heretic or heathen and must be destroyed. Lots of their unit have fire as a critical effect (i.e. if I roll a pair of anything when rolling for damage the target/victim is set on fire) which can stay in effect for multiple rounds causing a point of damage each round.I began the usual way by buying a Battle Box set from my local game store, Pair A Dice Games. This set consists of one warcaster (Kreoss) and three warjacks (Crusader, Repenter and Revenger). I’ve put together some pages that chronicle this first foray into the world of painting minatures, hopefully future models will turn out better and better as time goes on and I get more practice.