At Least Two Puns Spring to Mind Here

I could have gone with something about the WarMachinery clinking into action or Horde-ing more models. I didn’t go with either because I constantly try to prevent myself from punning in titles. Try, and fail. Fail often. In fact, I write titles almost exclusive in puns, moderated only by my hopping on a fair number of those “Blog x for x days” things.

I am but a man.

Anyway, now I’m hopping onto something else: Warmachine/Hordes*. Not by myself, either! My wife and I are both starting collections, as our local game shoppe is doing a push into the game to supplement all the Warhammery that already occurs.

I didn’t bite on either of the last two pushes the store did–FoW: I don’t like historical games involving guns; I don’t actually like historical games, really; and Dust: I do like weird historical war, and this even feels like Day After Ragnarok! Unfortunately, of the available factions all the cool stuff was with the Germans, and while the system scrubs a lot of the ickiest National Socialist behavior from their depiction, making experimented-upon gorillas stand-ins for experimented-upon minorities is still…problematic. Since I have an investment in the healthy success of the local meta and community, though, I’ve felt guilt at not contributing to increased game diversity.

So there’s a push to get into Warmachine/Hordes, and the folks I’m happy to play with are getting into Warmachine/Hordes, and the radiant lady who shares my life is willing to get into Warmachine/Hordes. So that’s going to happen, now. We’re doing a Journeyman League at the start of October, which appeals to me because I love escalation leagues. A Journeyman League’s not without its concerns, some of which are summed up nicely by Von at House of Paincakes. I always bristle when told what or how to play, and the specifics of the league hit my wife particularly hard. She wants to play Aurora, a badass robot-angel lady:

This is a badass angel-lady.

She also wants to accompany her with these:

Those are badass figures. They also have the advantage of being females, which while not explicitly stated as a motivator, probably play some factor; my wife’s current armies are 40k Orks and fantasy Ogres, and outside of one model in Finecast, there’s not a ton of selection available there. Or, really, available in the actual backstory of the races. By comparison, the Convergence manages to include multiple female models and they’re fucking robots.

However, to unleash the razor-tined host, she’ll first have to play several weeks with this:

Smooth. Graceful. Elegant. Can-Openers.

It’s entirely possible that shit is hot. It could be most thoroughly hot. The caster may have awesome, sweet things it does. I’ll eventually look all of this up, but I haven’t yet, because my wife doesn’t care. We’re alike in that we gravitate towards armies based largely on theme and aesthetics. I understand that this is risky for Warmachine/Hordes; I’ve read many articles that stress you should play and watch games before settling on your army. However, if I’m not pumped to put wee dudes on a table I’m not going to assemble and paint those dudes, and Stacey’s–if anything–less concerned about prospects of victory and playing. We went back and forth on whether we’d buy stuff and play now, buy stuff but skip the league entirely and just play our friends and each other, or pony up for the starter and suffer through. We went with a combination of options 2 and 3, especially since with her schedule she’ll be lucky to get a game at the shop every week and a half or so. It’ll be a lot of play on our basement table, I envision, and occasional games against our friend’s small collections.

Myself, I’ll be donning a natty tophat and proselytizing with my boys in the Blindwater Congregation:

“And Yea, I looked out unto the still waters of the lake. ‘Lo, upon the surface of that water broke the scaled head of a beast…and behind him, another beast…and behind him, yet another. So on, and so on, the waters parted to free the forms of the swamp’s true masters. And I rejoiced.”

For me, this is an easy choice. I like the Thornfall Alliance (the other Minions faction, only replace Southern Baptist Voodoo Crocodiles with Rockabilly Mad Max Dieselpunk Warthogs), but I’ve always been Leatherhead over Bebop**. This does mean I’ve semi-selected (again) a sub-par faction, but I appreciate that I can gradually expand into other factions if I love the game. The marginal problem there is that none of the Hordes factions fully grab me aesthetically while still being “open” (that is to say, not having folks already declared as playing them); I would probably maneuver into Circle Oroboros because I love satyrs and sentient stones. I’ve never really looked into Skorne due simply to not loving the color scheme in which they’re traditionally presented. A man with much skill has brought out the appeal of the models by altering that scheme up, but Skorne still feels too Khorne for my tastes. If the game breaks large at the shop there’ll be plenty of folks I’d expect to jump on that wagon, just as they jump on Khornezerkers in Warhammer.

I’m also constrained in my play choices, though the three models I bring–ancient albino warwizard gator, acid-spewing turtle, giant gator literally called a “Wrastler”–were likely to see play in any force I built. I’d love to pivot into Jaga-Jaga at some point

Jaga-Jaga, btw.

though from what I’ve read her powers may not be best suited as the primary lady of magic in a force. I’ll definitely get a Jaga-Jaga at some point, because that model is sheer, shocking magnificence.

So yeah! Hordes! Warmachine! A thing I’m starting!

*Much like how I think I don’t like puns, I’m not a fan of calling the game “Warmahordes” with or without intercaps. This has more to do with the folks in my local gaming sphere who employed that term when I first saw it than any remote objection to efficiency or portmanteaus.

**I didn’t link either of these names because I trusted that the references would be understood. Terrifyingly, if you do search Leatherhead you’re quite likely to get the newish version of the character. He does not have a natty hat, or a vest, and thus is not to be trusted—canonical implications or no.

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3 thoughts on “At Least Two Puns Spring to Mind Here

  1. Sweet!

    I don’t think I could ever actually say “WarmaHordes” with, like, my mouth. I’m just a lazy typist. I’m sorry you were exposed to that verbalization. (I did also consider going with “HorMachine” as an alternate portmanteau, but decided to keep things clean.)

    When I was picking factions, the Retribution was a really close second to Skorne, I have to say. Love-love-love those models. Pass my compliments along to your better half for her fine taste!

    Like you, I pick factions and lists based on aesthetics more than anything (I blame Nigel Stillman), and I hesitated on dropping the dime on this game for longer than usual in large part because the culture seems so obsessed with “optimal builds” and all that crap. “Take this model, but not that. Never mix this model with that one in the same list. These two models have the best synergy.” That sort of attitude is what drove me away from Magic and D&D 3.5 back in the day. Hey, guess what? Like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, “I don’t care.” If I happen to get a nicely synergistic pairing out of a couple models I bought cuz I thought they look cool, awesome!

    I’m hoping there’s enough room here for friendly games. Having said that, I did buy slightly more than my target points value so that I’d have some options to play with from game to game…

    1. Oh no, it wasn’t you. I almost went back to doublecheck timestamps on posts of yours I’d have seen re: Warmahordes to see if I needed a disclaimer.

      The MtG nature of Warmachine/Hordes has been stressed in some stuff I’ve read, and definitely our local club has some members of the “I spent the cash to get this win mentality.” But neither my wife, nor most of the folks I play with (certainly none of the ones I -seek out- to play with) have that attitude.

      I do like their tournament system of bringing 3 lists; that’s an attitude towards options that I think can foster a really experimental and bold approach to gameplay. I’m sure it also sees a lot of “cookie-cutter list 1-3” as well, but I find it appealing that the game’s intended to have you bring a close-up punchy list favoring guys with diving-bell heads, but also bring a fast Evangelion force.

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