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Subject: Newbie question: True start-up cost to get into this game? rss

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Lando Griffin
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My girlfriend and I are looking into Warmachine and Hordes. I have some questions about the actual cost of getting into this game. I know the idea of wargaming on a budget is an oxymoron, but someone throw me a bone here.

- Can you truly play with JUST a starter box? Yeah, I understand that I won't be able to walk into a tournament with my starter box in hand, but will we get a real feel for the full game with just two starter boxes?

- How similar are each game's rules? If she goes Warmachine and I go Hordes, can we share one rulebook or do we really each need a copy of our game's rules? If we choose to buy one rulebook will the quick start be enough to clarify the rules that we're missing?

- Do the blister packs and small boxes include character cards? Are the faction decks really necessary?

And finally....

- How many additional units would I need to buy to compete against the average player?
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Dale Shepard

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Welcome to Warmachine/ Hordes. The 2 player battlebox with Menoth and Khador forces is the least expensive way to get in the game $99.00 at most game stores possibly cheaper online. Excellent value and you couldnt buy the same amount of minis and gaming supplies for the same price seperately. You can play with 2 starter boxes and I think with just a little fudging you could go Hordes versus Warmachine sorry I just havent picked up a hordes starter box yet. Blister packs and unit boxes include all needed cards , and finally it really depends on how many points you are playing . I think the battle box is 17 points of Khador and 18 points of Menoth.There are some small point units that could be added to bring them up to 25 points or you could swap in some different units to bring them down to 15 points. Hope that helps
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Brant Benoit
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Vondur wrote:
My girlfriend and I are looking into Warmachine and Hordes. I have some questions about the actual cost of getting into this game. I know the idea of wargaming on a budget is an oxymoron, but someone throw me a bone here.

- Can you truly play with JUST a starter box? Yeah, I understand that I won't be able to walk into a tournament with my starter box in hand, but will we get a real feel for the full game with just two starter boxes?

- How similar are each game's rules? If she goes Warmachine and I go Hordes, can we share one rulebook or do we really each need a copy of our game's rules? If we choose to buy one rulebook will the quick start be enough to clarify the rules that we're missing?

- Do the blister packs and small boxes include character cards? Are the faction decks really necessary?

And finally....

- How many additional units would I need to buy to compete against the average player?


Both games operate on the same basic system of rules. The only differences are Focus, and Fury. These mechanics are covered in the quick start rules, and a single rulebook from either game will suffice.

All models come with their respective stat cards. The faction decks were for those whom already had armies, and needed to update them to the new edition of the rules. You will not need these if you are just starting out.

How much you need to 'compete' is not an issue. You can play the game with just battleboxes for as long as you like. This depends on your local metagame. Adding a single unit or solo that costs 1-5 points will give you a 15 point list to play with including your battlebox. The battleboxes are around 11 points, with Cryx being higher than this at 14.

The game scales from 15,25,35,50, and 75 points. You can play bigger games, but they tend to get bogged down and slow. 50 points is the 'average' size of game, and more often than not, people will like to play at the 35 point level.

If you want to try Warmachine, the two-player battlebox is an amazing deal. You get enough models to field 20 point forces of Khador and Menoth, and you also get a mini rulebook, which has the complete rules for the game. All that little book is missing is the fluff, and stats for the original 4 factions. It's MSRP is $100. So, if you add 5 points to those armies, you're able to 'compete' with other players.

It's a great game, and rather cheap to start. It's when you start buying up lots of stuff because it's so good that gets expensive.
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Lando Griffin
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Hey thanks for the quick response. She seems to be interested in Cryx and I'm kind of leaning toward Hordes.

Hoping someone can give me a definite answer on the rule book thing.
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Lando Griffin
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Ghool wrote:
Vondur wrote:
My girlfriend and I are looking into Warmachine and Hordes. I have some questions about the actual cost of getting into this game. I know the idea of wargaming on a budget is an oxymoron, but someone throw me a bone here.

- Can you truly play with JUST a starter box? Yeah, I understand that I won't be able to walk into a tournament with my starter box in hand, but will we get a real feel for the full game with just two starter boxes?

- How similar are each game's rules? If she goes Warmachine and I go Hordes, can we share one rulebook or do we really each need a copy of our game's rules? If we choose to buy one rulebook will the quick start be enough to clarify the rules that we're missing?

- Do the blister packs and small boxes include character cards? Are the faction decks really necessary?

And finally....

- How many additional units would I need to buy to compete against the average player?


Both games operate on the same basic system of rules. The only differences are Focus, and Fury. These mechanics are covered in the quick start rules, and a single rulebook from either game will suffice.

All models come with their respective stat cards. The faction decks were for those whom already had armies, and needed to update them to the new edition of the rules. You will not need these if you are just starting out.

How much you need to 'compete' is not an issue. You can play the game with just battleboxes for as long as you like. This depends on your local metagame. Adding a single unit or solo that costs 1-5 points will give you a 15 point list to play with including your battlebox. The battleboxes are around 11 points, with Cryx being higher than this at 14.

The game scales from 15,25,35,50, and 75 points. You can play bigger games, but they tend to get bogged down and slow. 50 points is the 'average' size of game, and more often than not, people will like to play at the 35 point level.

If you want to try Warmachine, the two-player battlebox is an amazing deal. You get enough models to field 20 point forces of Khador and Menoth, and you also get a mini rulebook, which has the complete rules for the game. All that little book is missing is the fluff, and stats for the original 4 factions. It's MSRP is $100. So, if you add 5 points to those armies, you're able to 'compete' with other players.

It's a great game, and rather cheap to start. It's when you start buying up lots of stuff because it's so good that gets expensive.



Thanks so much for this answer! It clears up all my questions. Sounds like we'll try the quick start rules tomorrow with some proxies and see what we think of it.
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Lando Griffin
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So I got to play and we have a few questions. When your warcaster casts spells, the roll is 2d6 + FOC, is that the focus value on the card, or the amount of focus tokens currently on the caster?

Also, if you successfully charge a unit and get the damage boost, can you still spend one focus to give the damage roll another boost?

 
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Ghool wrote:
Both games operate on the same basic system of rules. The only differences are Focus, and Fury. These mechanics are covered in the quick start rules, and a single rulebook from either game will suffice.


This is true. You can buy either of the core rulebooks, Prime Mk II (Warmachine) or Primal (Hordes). Then, use the free Quick Start Rules PDF from the PP website to show you the difference between Fury and Focus.

Basically the only difference is that Warmachine Focus points are generated by your Warcaster, who either uses it for Spells, or gives it to his Warjacks so they can run, charge, make power attacks, add extra dice to their attacks, make more attacks etc. In Hordes, Fury works in the opposite direction: Warbeasts do those special actions for free, which generates Focus points, which they give to your Warlock to use for casting spells. That really is the only difference between the two game systems, but it makes armies from those two systems play quite differently.

Vondur wrote:
So I got to play and we have a few questions. When your warcaster casts spells, the roll is 2d6 + FOC, is that the focus value on the card, or the amount of focus tokens currently on the caster?


FOC = base Focus stat on your card, not current Focus tokens.

Vondur wrote:
Also, if you successfully charge a unit and get the damage boost, can you still spend one focus to give the damage roll another boost?


Yes. A general rule is that the same effect (e.g. 'roll an extra die for this damage roll') can stack, as long as it comes from sources with different names. So you can gain 1 die from 'Charge', and 1 die from 'Boost', but you can't 'Boost' the same roll twice.
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Devon Harmon
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FiretopMountain wrote:
Yes. A general rule is that the same effect (e.g. 'roll an extra die for this damage roll') can stack, as long as it comes from sources with different names. So you can gain 1 die from 'Charge', and 1 die from 'Boost', but you can't 'Boost' the same roll twice.


That is not correct. Each die roll can only be boosted once(See example on Prime Mk II, pg. 28 which specifically answers this exact question). The charge gives a free boost, so you cannot boost again. A different source which would cause the model to "gain an additional die" could be used with a boost however, like the Butcher's feat.

In game terms "boost" and "gain an additional die" are two distinct things, even though they have the same net effect. It is true that you can gain the same effect from different sources, but in this case, the charge grants a "boost" (which is the source of the additional die) which cannot be used with another "boost."
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Lando Griffin
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Devon Harmon wrote:
FiretopMountain wrote:
Yes. A general rule is that the same effect (e.g. 'roll an extra die for this damage roll') can stack, as long as it comes from sources with different names. So you can gain 1 die from 'Charge', and 1 die from 'Boost', but you can't 'Boost' the same roll twice.


That is not correct. Each die roll can only be boosted once(See example on Prime Mk II, pg. 28 which specifically answers this exact question). The charge gives a free boost, so you cannot boost again. A different source which would cause the model to "gain an additional die" could be used with a boost however, like the Butcher's feat.

In game terms "boost" and "gain an additional die" are two distinct things, even though they have the same net effect. It is true that you can gain the same effect from different sources, but in this case, the charge grants a "boost" (which is the source of the additional die) which cannot be used with another "boost."


Thanks for the clarification. We weren't sure, but we played it the way you described. Otherwise it sounded like it would be way too easy to do way too much damage.

 
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David Boeren
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Yes, you really can play and have a satisfying with JUST a starter box. You won't be seeing everything, but you'll get a good taste of the game.

The rules are mostly identical, just the Focus vs. Fury rules are different. I believe if you buy one rulebook the quickstart rules should fill in the blanks. Personally, if you buy only one I'd lean towards the Hordes rulebook. Fury has a little bit more to it than Focus, although the difference isn't that great.

All models come with their cards, other than trooper blisters which are meant to supplement a base trooper box, where the card is in the box. Faction decks are NOT necessary. They were originally meant for people to upgrade their cards from the MkI version. SOME people like to get them to see all the stuff for their faction cheaply (in lieu of books) or to proxy things more easily. But it's your choice.


"How many additional units would I need to buy to compete against the average player?"

This is a complex question and I'm not 100% sure what you're really asking. Let me address several possible interpretations:

1. How much do I need to play a normal sized game?
35 points is the typical game size. A battlebox tends to be about 12 or so points (although that includes the "discount" of the warcaster or warlock). Typically to get to 35 you'll look at adding a unit or two, maybe a solo or two, possibly another jack or beast. It can vary widely depending on exactly what sort of army you want and there are lots of free army building programs and websites that will help you plan it out and show you how many points you're at with different options. Also, people in your faction forum on the PP forums are always glad to help with planning your lists.

2. How many models do I need to buy to have a "good list"?
Very much like the first question, up to 35 points, only you have to pay a little more attention to what you get. Understand, Warmachine isn't much like 40k where some models are just much better than others, the balance is pretty good. More, it means that you've got to pick things that make sense within the context of your list and what you want to do with it. Again, the PP forums are very helpful here. It's hard to answer in advance because it depends a lot on your chosen faction/caster/etc...

3. How many models do I need to buy to be "competitive"?
This question fundamentally doesn't make much sense. No matter how many basketballs I purchase, I will never be Michael Jordan. Pretty much the same thing here. You can buy any models you like, follow some tournament winner's "net list", it's not going to turn you into a competitive player overnight. What you're going to need is time and practice to understand the tactics of the game and how to use your models.
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Lando Griffin
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Oh, and since you guys are doing such a good job of handling all my newbie questions, I've got one more. How complete are the quick start rules? Am I missing out on any crucial rule systems that might sway my opinion of the game?

I know that the quick start leaves out most of the icons and all the terrain and cover rules. Anything else I'm missing?
 
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Lando Griffin
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dboeren wrote:
Yes, you really can play and have a satisfying with JUST a starter box. You won't be seeing everything, but you'll get a good taste of the game.

The rules are mostly identical, just the Focus vs. Fury rules are different. I believe if you buy one rulebook the quickstart rules should fill in the blanks. Personally, if you buy only one I'd lean towards the Hordes rulebook. Fury has a little bit more to it than Focus, although the difference isn't that great.

All models come with their cards, other than trooper blisters which are meant to supplement a base trooper box, where the card is in the box. Faction decks are NOT necessary. They were originally meant for people to upgrade their cards from the MkI version. SOME people like to get them to see all the stuff for their faction cheaply (in lieu of books) or to proxy things more easily. But it's your choice.


"How many additional units would I need to buy to compete against the average player?"

This is a complex question and I'm not 100% sure what you're really asking. Let me address several possible interpretations:

1. How much do I need to play a normal sized game?
35 points is the typical game size. A battlebox tends to be about 12 or so points (although that includes the "discount" of the warcaster or warlock). Typically to get to 35 you'll look at adding a unit or two, maybe a solo or two, possibly another jack or beast. It can vary widely depending on exactly what sort of army you want and there are lots of free army building programs and websites that will help you plan it out and show you how many points you're at with different options. Also, people in your faction forum on the PP forums are always glad to help with planning your lists.

2. How many models do I need to buy to have a "good list"?
Very much like the first question, up to 35 points, only you have to pay a little more attention to what you get. Understand, Warmachine isn't much like 40k where some models are just much better than others, the balance is pretty good. More, it means that you've got to pick things that make sense within the context of your list and what you want to do with it. Again, the PP forums are very helpful here. It's hard to answer in advance because it depends a lot on your chosen faction/caster/etc...

3. How many models do I need to buy to be "competitive"?
This question fundamentally doesn't make much sense. No matter how many basketballs I purchase, I will never be Michael Jordan. Pretty much the same thing here. You can buy any models you like, follow some tournament winner's "net list", it's not going to turn you into a competitive player overnight. What you're going to need is time and practice to understand the tactics of the game and how to use your models.


Hey thanks for the response. Sorry if my questions were poorly worded. What I was basically asking is how many points is the average game? Now I know it's usually around 35 points, and the units are pretty balanced so choose units that work together well. Thanks!
 
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Vondur wrote:
Oh, and since you guys are doing such a good job of handling all my newbie questions, I've got one more. How complete are the quick start rules? Am I missing out on any crucial rule systems that might sway my opinion of the game?

I know that the quick start leaves out most of the icons and all the terrain and cover rules. Anything else I'm missing?


It leaves out the rules for infantry, things like unit coherency, command checks, Orders, how units operate in general. But none of that changes anything in the quickstart, it's just stuff that doesn't *matter* in the quickstart because you don't have any troops.

Basically a unit is a group of models that activate together. Everyone moves, then everyone fights. They might get an Order, of which the typical ones are Run and Charge (they cannot do these things without an Order). Some units have special orders, Shieldwall is a common one that a lot of units with Shields may have, there are others as well. Units have to maintain coherency, which means everyone stays within a number of inches of the unit leader equal to his CMD stat. Unlike casters, jacks, and beasts, units usually are not fearless so they might have to take a CMD check in certain situations such as when they encounter a model with Terror or if they lose half or more of the unit in a single turn. That's the main gist of it. It's not too complex, and you'll pick up the minor details when you get the rulebook.

The icons are one of the things in the system I'm not so fond of. The idea is that for common special abilities like Pathfinder or whatever you can just use an icon instead of spelling out what the ability does on the card. Me, I'd rather them spell it out so I don't have to refer to some other document to read the rules if it comes up. I think the quickstart only covers the icons that actually are on any of the quickstart models. There aren't that many of them though, and some follow a predictable pattern like all the "Immune to X" kind of ones.

No problem on the questions, I wasn't quite sure because a lot of people use the word "competitive" to mean different things so I wanted to be careful and cover all of what I saw as the likely interpretations

Generally, here's what I would suggest for a new player...

1. Spend a little time looking at the models and general theme of each army. See which ones appeal to you.

2. Using the quickstart rules, play a couple of games with the factions you think you might like. Feel free to use other models or whatever to stand in - don't buy anything yet. When I started I just made 30/40/50mm circles in MS Word with the name of the model printed on them.

3. If you've got a local group of players, play your games with them and get their opinions.

4. Once you've got it narrowed down to 2 factions, spend some time looking at their forums to a get a more detailed overview of what they play like, not only will it help you tell if they fit how YOU want to play, it'll help you figure out what to do with them when you get your real army.

5. Don't let anyone pressure you into picking a faction you don't like. The only qualifier that matters is that you enjoy that army. It doesn't matter if a couple of people already play them, or if someone tells you they're too strong/weak, or whatever. Your army, your choice. There's no point in spending money on guys you're not going to be enthusiastic about putting down on the table.

Edit: Oh, one more thing on game sizes. Here are the one I typically see:

1. "Battlebox". This is about 11-12 points
2. 15 or 20 points Mangled Metal. This is the term for caster+jacks (or beasts) only, no solos or infantry. Still a fairly common size.
3. 25. A less common size, but some people like to play small games with troops in them and this is where they might do that. So, any models you want but still pretty small. This format can sometimes be a bit of a strain on Hordes because it's hard for them to run much troops at small sizes.
4. 35, the most standard game.
5. 50, the most standard "bigger" game.

I don't normally see too many games over 50, but they exist - just not in enough numbers to say that there's a strong standard. 75 or 100 is what you'd probably see. There's a special format PP came up with for 150+ giant games with special rules and stuff but you don't need to worry about it and honestly it's fairly rare. The kind of thing you sort of want to try ONCE to see how it goes and then maybe never again
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The 2 player battle box is a nice start up if you are interested in either faction:

http://www.amazon.com/Privateer-Press-Miniatures-25001-Playe...

It comes with full rules minus the fluff, and some infantry models for about the same price as two faction starters.
 
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Matthew Thomas
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I just got into Warmachine and I have to admit it was A LOT more expensive than I initially planned. I picked up the Two Player Battle-Box, template set and token set and a Menoth paint kit. So far all expected.

I quickly realized I needed a Choir and a Vassal to round out to a 25pt game. Also I needed spray primer, brushes, more colors, lacquer, and super glue. Pretty close to a hundred bucks in additional supplies.

This brings my total to about $250 (I also snagged a copy of Prime) to get started and play. Certainly you can just get the battle box and "make it work" but really, particularly if you want to paint (which really is a lot of fun), be ready for a lot more expenses.

I am getting endless hours of satisfaction out of painting these guys and the game is great, so it is worth every penny, but I would caution people new to hobby gaming that it can add up very quickly if you want the full experience.

That being said my local group is great about loaning models for games and such. Once I had my initial set up, I have been able to play a lot of different configurations and point values thanks to the generosity of the group. really the "club" aspect of this hobby is a lot of fun and should not be ignored.
 
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Vondur wrote:
Devon Harmon wrote:
FiretopMountain wrote:
Yes. A general rule is that the same effect (e.g. 'roll an extra die for this damage roll') can stack, as long as it comes from sources with different names. So you can gain 1 die from 'Charge', and 1 die from 'Boost', but you can't 'Boost' the same roll twice.


That is not correct. Each die roll can only be boosted once(See example on Prime Mk II, pg. 28 which specifically answers this exact question). The charge gives a free boost, so you cannot boost again. A different source which would cause the model to "gain an additional die" could be used with a boost however, like the Butcher's feat.

In game terms "boost" and "gain an additional die" are two distinct things, even though they have the same net effect. It is true that you can gain the same effect from different sources, but in this case, the charge grants a "boost" (which is the source of the additional die) which cannot be used with another "boost."


Thanks for the clarification. We weren't sure, but we played it the way you described. Otherwise it sounded like it would be way too easy to do way too much damage.



Good clarification. Thanks.
 
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I just bought an army to start playing 35pt games. Models cost me ~$210 via eBay (was able to get most from one seller to save on combined shipping). This could have been less, as I have 46 total points worth of models plus 1 caster. Add in Prime MK2 for $35. Add super glue. You can get along alright using $1 Americana Hobby Lobby paints (about 10-15 total) and small size brushes. You can find templates and things online.
 
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Abdul Rahman Ibrahim
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As for model selection, my rule of thumb is to go for the ones who look the best. You can change tactics and play style, but you'll be spending a lot of time and money painting the models. It's nice to spend those on something that you like to look at a lot.
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