Why and How Should You Start Warmachine & Hordes

Greetings fellow generals,
In today’s article I would like to talk about my game system of choice at the moment; Warmachine & Hordes from Privateer Press, and it’s painting intricacies.

Warmachine & Hordes is a competitive tabletop minis game, set in a steampunk world, where each player brings an agreed upon same points costed army to the table and then proceed to try to kill each other; or win via scenario objectives.

Notice that I wrote “competitive”; that’s because the rules balance and points cost system promotes a game that is competitive in nature… and boy is it ever! The rules set is made for tournament play, with timed games and tightly worded special skills. In a way it’s very close to what card players (like Magic the Gathering) play but with the added bonus of having actual represented characters in the form of miniatures and wonderful looking battlefields instead of, well, just cards.

But I digress…

The “Why?”

Whenever I first go for a tabletop miniature game I almost always look at the minis that they offer, especially the aesthetics of said minis range. My thinking is that if the rules are hot but the minis aren’t, then I’m probably going to suffer in the long run since I will most probably paint the minis and, as experience has shown me, will be spending waaaaaaaaay more time painting than gaming. Not that I mind playing with unpainted models, I just have the itch to get my army painted up.

So; good looking minis first, rules set second.

Now, each tabletop minis game has its own different factions and while they are varied, the factions in Warmachine & Hordes are incredibly varied, to the point that you could probably find an aesthetic that is pleasing to you personally in one of these factions. Heck there are even sub-factions within factions!

Want to field 8″ tall gatormen?
Want an undead zombie army?
Want to field a WW1-esque trencher army?
You like holy knights fighting with righteous fervor?
How about for the elf lovers out there, are you angry that elves have taken a bad rep lately for being too… Sissy?
Or heck, just finished watching pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, the good one) for the umpteenth time and want to plunder with pirates?

Yup, all there.
With the aesthetics question answered, we go to the actual quality of the minis. Why is this important? Well for some it might not be, but for me, I want to know if the 3D mini is actually 3D or if they are a bit on the flat side (it has happened). I want to know how easy it is to paint the minis; how detailed? Size of the minis? Do I have to remove a lot of flash? (Which means more time cleaning the mini and not painting the mini) Will the minis have holes or bent swords from miss production? (Looking at you Finecast!)

Luckily Warmachine & Hordes has some great quality minis on their side; size, dimensions and the details on the minis are just right that you could go all out and spend hours painting them up or just spend one hour and get a great looking mini on the table ready for battle. How is this possible? Well the minis have that perfect amount of open-area to intricate-detail ratio that enables dedicated painters to free hand incredible works of art and yet also enable gamers to do the minimum amount of work and still have a great looking army.

So in conclusion: Warmachine & Hordes minis fit all of my personal categories of what good minis should be.

With the game’s faction and minis decided, we move on to…

The How

Tabletop minis gaming is a very niche hobby to begin with, with a cost and time entry barrier that is quite high so you probably will have to do some research to find your local game store (LGS). Especially in my area, Jakarta, where traffic is horrendous and public transport is still being upgraded, moving from point A to point B will take time.

But the pay off is high: the community is dedicated and, because its so niche, tend to help each other in the hobby aspect like no other community I know of.

In short; you can buy your minis, paints, brushes and other hobby essentials from online stores and/or brick and mortar stores. But the best way to experience the games are through playing with others (and chatting them up; getting tips and tricks, etc) at your LGS.

A quick word regarding availability of product: each LGS has a focus on games they want to push but most LGS can order what you want; just gotta ask nicely. Unfortunately as of this writing, there aren’t any LGS in the Jakarta area that carries Warmachine & Hordes products in store as ready stock, it is usually a per-order kinda thing.

Anyway, On to the quick reviews of LGS in the greater Jakarta area that carries paints and modeling essentials:

Playtest Games

They got the space, the tables and the terrain for your gaming needs, they also have a complete collection of GW paints and brushes for sale. Also, when I last talked to the store’s dungeon final boss, Joey, he said that they have put in orders for Warmachine & Hordes stock… here’s hoping!

Fantasy n Games

A stand by of the tabletop gaming scene in Jakarta, they’ve been around forever! Heck, I even managed the place for a time. They are located in Taman Anggrek Mall and have a good selection of GW paints and brushes for sale but they also have the Vallejo paint range (really really really good paint range, you gotta try them) and other hobby needs.

Peter and partner

Another stand by of the Jakarta minis scene. This store, which is located in Central Park mall, focuses on model kits of all kinds and has a selection of hobby essentials for sale to beautify your minis like grass tuffs and brick wall paneling.

Mabuk Games

I gotta be honest and say that I’ve not been to this store, which is somewhere in Lebak Bulus, but from the pics and what my friends tell me, they also carry the full range of GW paints and products.

Well, that’s all for this topic of the blog, until next time fellow generals;

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” – Sun Tzu


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