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Warmachine - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2002
127 8 20

In Warmachine, the very earth shakes during fierce confrontations of Armageddon-like proportions. Six-ton constructs of tempered iron and steel slam into one another with the destructive force of a locomotive. Lead-spewing cannons chew through armor plating as easily as flesh. And a tempest of arcane magics sets the battlefield ablaze with such that the gods themselves fear to tread the tormented ground.

Victory shall favor the bold! So bring it on—if you’ve got the metal.

Warmachine is a fast-paced and aggressive 30mm tabletop miniatures battle game set in the steam-powered fantasy world of the Iron Kingdoms. Players take on the role of elite soldier-sorcerers known as warcasters. Though warcasters are formidable combatants on their own, their true strength lies in their magical ability to control and coordinate mighty warjacks—massive steam-powered combat automatons that are the pinnacle of military might in the Iron Kingdoms. Players collect, assemble, and paint fantastically detailed models representing the varied warriors, machines, and creatures in their armies. This is steam-powered miniatures combat, and your tabletop will never be the same!

User Reviews (6)

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Gamer - Level 5 Beta 1.0 Tester
101 of 108 gamers found this helpful
“Masterful & Rich Hobby Miniature Game”

First and foremost, Warmachine is a hobby miniatures games. The “hobby” means your game pieces will require varying amounts of assembly and/or painting; and “miniature game” means you will be using those models to represent your army on the table, and physically position those models to determine what game effects you can and can’t accomplish. Without going into too much more detail about the whole genre of hobby miniature games, understand you can spend tons of money and time creating your army, making it look magnificent, and providing an equally stunning terrain table. This is a dream for some, and a nightmare for others.

So let’s try to define Warmachine a little more. It is a skirmish game, meaning individual models have individual actions and consequently you can construct an army and effectively play with a smaller model count. It is set in a fantasy setting that includes magic, steam-powered battle constructs, or Warjacks, and multiple warring factions that fill a rich and extensive world. And last but not least, your army is led by a Warcaster who empowers your Warjacks and casts magic spells and is the lynch pin to your force, both the most powerful and most vulnerable model in your army.

For those new to Warmachine, I strongly recommend a demo at your local game store and that you start your army with a Battlebox from your chosen faction. The demo will provide you an introduction to the hobby miniature game as well as some of the great mechanics specific to Warmachine, whereas the Battlebox will start you will some core models at a great price. The Battlebox also provides you with quickstart rules in case you’re having a hard time finding someone friendly enough to demo a game.

Replay: As with all hobby miniature games, replay is fantastic. Army creation alone is an art in the variety of models available (depending on your purchases). It should also be noted that simply switching the Warcaster leading your army, a single model, your entire army’s tactics can change and provide a huge amount of variability for a relatively low price. Game time will vary based on the participants’ familiarity with the rules and various models being used, but plan on a couple hours with set-up and clean-up included.

Components: As a hobby game, the components are what you make of them. The models out-of-the-box are amazing quality and should be for the price you’re paying for them. I have seen games played with unpainted models and some played with such high quality painting and custom terrain that I’d be afraid to touch any of the elements.

Learning Curve: High. Both the hobby and game mechanic aspects take a multitude of skills and dedication to reach the pinnacle of hobby gaming. Fortunately, you can have tons of funs with just a portion of the time and effort the masters of the game put into their craft. Oh, and once you’ve mastered Warmachine, you can play it against its sister game, Hordes.

Hobby games take too much time/money – yup, hobby games are not for everyone
X faction is too powerful, it’s not fair – the game is designed to have powerful combinations and synergy between models; if you’re not using them and your opponent is you will come up short unless you get lucky. Also, pick a faction that fits your strengths as a gamer – not all factions play the same and maybe there’s a natural fit for you in another faction.

There’s so much that you could say about this game to try to convey what the game is, how it’s played, and the rich setting that surrounds the models. I really enjoy both the hobby and game playing portions of this game. Besides watching a demo and/or purchasing a Battlebox, I strongly recommend reading the Prime Mark II rulebook from cover to cover to get an excellent understanding of this amazing hobby miniature game.

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101 of 110 gamers found this helpful
“Refreshing genre and awesome gameplay!”

I have never loved a miniatures game as much I have with Warmachine and Hordes. I was a Warhammer 40k player many years back for the longest time, in fact I was a WH40k elitist saying nothing would be as good as Games Workshop’s cash cow. Well my friends wanted to buy starter battle boxes, and I decided to go along with it just for the heck of it.

Warmachine is in a magical steampunk-like setting, where war has broken out in the Iron Kingdoms. We have factions such as Cygnar, imagine a an industiral/victorian America who love Tesla coils. Then we have the militaristic Khador who is really Russia. Then we have the nightmare empire of Cryx, a legion of amalgamations of metal and corpse flesh ruled by iron liches. Protectorate of Menoth, they are as fanatical and war-driven as the Inquisition and the Crusades, off to cleanse the Iron Kingdoms of heresy and enemies of their deity with fire…lots of fire. That is just a taste of available factions for this amazing miniature wargame.

I never knew how simple and easy the list building and numbers game was. The point costs were incredibly small, I bought the Magnus the Traitor battle box and found on these steamjack’s cards they costed from 4 points, to 8 points! An average game is about 35 points and other times are 50 points.

I did not need to do tedious things such as shopping through a war gear list like WH40K to equip my units and tack on small insiginifant costs in a 2000 point army, what you see is what you get on the model’s card. In Warmachine models and units in this game come with a card with their art, stats, weapons, point cost, abilities, a very clever idea as I no longer need to open my faction book every time.

You use MUCH fewer models on the table than a typical WH40k game, which makes transportation a breeze. The crowning gem in my opinion is the simplicity of the numbers game in combat, it is leagues easier to understand. When in combat, finding out how to hit and damage is no mental workout unless you factor in your buffing spells and abilities and possibly your enemy’s debuffs (which can be a head ache but it’s rare)

I play the Protectorate of Menoth, Skorne, and Mercenaries. I see myself playing this miniature wargame for years to come!

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100 of 142 gamers found this helpful
“An excellent balance”

A few things that WarMachine is getting very right:

It scales well. You can jump into WarMachine as a skirmish scale game and build up from there. Or you can keep playing it at the skirmish level forever, and it will stay interesting.

You can vary your playstyle without needing to buy a whole new army. Replacing your commander figure alone will completely change the tactics open to your battle force.

And most of all, it keeps the game stripped down to the essentials, and those essentials are well balanced and tactically interesting. Going on three decades as a gamer, pure combat games have a hard time holding my attention anymore. But WarMachine succeeds with grace and style.

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94 of 135 gamers found this helpful
“True Tactical Trainer”

If you’re already into Wargaming, this is a great way to increase your tactical ability. If you are not into wargames yet, this is one of the best ways to start. As you build your army, you can start playing (as opposed to other big wargames that require you have a full 1500+ point army in order to actually “get” how the game plays.

Each army is well balanced, and also has their own style. Honestly, given the constant product support Privateer Press offers, just go with the faction that looks coolest to you. It is important to note that both Hordes and Warmachine are the same system, but use a different magic system each. In Warmachine, you use a Warcaster who allocates out their magic for themselves and the Warjacks (steam powered robots, essentially), whereas in Hordes, an army’s leader is a Warlock who aggrevates the monsters under their control in order to gain magic for their own spells.

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97 of 152 gamers found this helpful
“A very difficult game to master”

I’d played miniature games for around 15 years before getting into Warmachine, but even after several years I never got that comfortable, competent feeling of knowing how to use your army most effectively against your opponents. Warmachine is full of acceptations, and units with special powers, although Mark II has leveled this out a bit. Because of this, a beat down can quickly turn into a win if you can catch your opponent by surprise.
To really master the game, you have to know about every unit in the game, so that your opponent doesn’t catch you by surprise and ruin your plans.

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Belfort Fan
Eminent Domain Fan
Marquis / Marchioness
95 of 174 gamers found this helpful
“Best Miniature's Rules”

Before I came across Warmachine, every minis game I previously came across had thick tomes for rule books. Warmachine broke that mold and built a simple and easy to learn system that controlled everything on the table.

It was a thing of beauty the first time I read through the rules.


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