My painting journey has been long, and filled with repetition. Learning to paint miniatures takes a lot of patience, a steady hand, and a strong self-confidence to avoid being discouraged. Attempt with this blog is to give a sense of the time required to reach even an “Intermediate” level (if that), and provide novice painters with some encouragement if they are 1 to 6 months in while feeling they should be seeing more improvement.
In this blog, I am covering some of my painting progress. It omits my “first” models, and covers instead the first steps I took towards improvement. Intention is to give players and painters an idea of how long painting progress takes.
Keep in mind that by “One Month” I had painted about 10 miniatures. My first 5-10 miniatures all had various levels of mistakes. For example: my “First” miniature (Beth Maddox) had a face that looked like melted plastic. It took about 5 to 10 models to get consistent coats, correctly thinned layers, and generally to have “acceptable” tabletop models.
During some of my early games of Warmachine, I had a very difficult time seeing when a model had Line of Sight to another. Usually these troubles occurred when I needed to make a call while peering through ranks of infantry or around large terrain pieces to a desired target. Often it would be difficult to use templates or rulers to lay down a straight line to confirm due to the distance.
Solution: the On-Target Laser Line!
My understanding is that this product started on Kickstarter, and was developed in my home province of Alberta. I got mine from one of my local game stores. You can get yours on the Gamesmith website!
List below is broken down first into the Essentials and Additionals. Essentials are what I think I “need” to play, and Additionals are just nice to have! Any item marked with a * has additional notes at the end of the post. I assume for the sake of the article that I am packing for a small tournament (The type a New Player would likely attend). I’ve also included a list of my “Wants” that I am going to add to my toolbox in the future.
Note: Not everything here that is “Essential” is 100% “Essential”. You can get away with playing with a lot less (See the contents of the Two Player Battle Box for an example). However, these tools will make things a LOT easier.
Warmachine/Hordes presents the New Player with a dilemma almost immediately.
You’re faced with a large table in front of you, spattered with unfamiliar terrain features, maybe some objectives, and then your opponent holds up a dice to you to say: “Roll to see who chooses side?” Immediately you have choices to make and a plan to craft. Go first? Choose side? Deploy? And that’s before the first turn even begins!
For the New Player – This can be absolutely daunting.
One way to mitigate this is to plan ahead of time based on what you know before even leaving the house. Start by identifying what you need to accomplish, how your army can accomplish it, and what, if any, weaknesses you can account for.
Tagline for this post is simple: The only thing you can 100% control in Warmahordes is what you bring to the table; Know your army backwards and forwards!
On Friday, March 9th, I was able to tow my models to my local game store: The Ogre’s Den, for a few games. The Ogre’s Den is an amazing spot with tons of tables for tabletop games (and card games like MTG), and they have a Warmahordes night every Friday. Staff there always make playing on a Friday night a good experience, and so it was worth taking the train in the snow!
My first game at the Den was a Civil War scenario against Cygnar. My opponent was sporting lists with Kraye1 and Nemo3. We played on Recon2, and I decided to drop my Haley2 list as a result. The choice here was relatively easy, as my Stryker1 list has lots of infantry…and all square zones on Recon means infantry don’t do me a lot of good. I’ve never played against Kraye1, and I have little idea what to expect at this point. From what I’ve read: I know Kraye1 makes his battlegroup go very fast and hit extra hard on the charge. One relief I have in this game is that I’m familiar with the stats of all his models except for Kraye (which was a first for me).
Goal of This Post: I want to break down my turns in detail so you can see what I was thinking. Ultimately I hope New Players will get a sense that it’s OK to make mistakes, and get to see how a typical game unfolds (typical as in not played by ultra-veterans). My opponent in this case had been playing for about 2 years, and was much more fluent in the rules than I am. I was coached by both my opponent and on-lookers for some of my moves (especially my last turn).
When I attended my first Warmahordes event last October, I carried all my models in a hard-plastic craft organizer-thing from Michael’s. Upon returning home I found that a number of my Stormguard had gotten jostled around and a few had broken halberds.
Not an good situation.
Thankfully there was an easy solution: purchase a Battle Foam Bag!
This Post: Is a comprehensive review of my Battle Foam Spear bag (Pluck Foam Variant)that I purchased in December 2017. Review includes my experience using the bag. All the pictures in the review are of my bag, which were taken on March 10th, and it had roughly 3 months of mileage at the time the photos were taken. Remember that this is the Spear Bag, the “budget” model from Battle Foam, and it does not have a hard plastic shell (Sides are floppy when the foam is taken out).
Review categories are below, with each rated out of 5:
Prepping materials for Warmachine with my Wife. I made these 12 inch circle zones, and the 6 inch by 12 inch Rectangle Zones. Just print out 2 copies of each and assemble the circles and rectangles. I use a roll of Clear Shelf Laminate to cover both sides and provide durability (a 12 inch by 36 foot roll is under $6 at my local Wal-Mart.)
You walk through the door of your local game store, models in tow, and approach the table for your first “real” game. Maybe you’re attending your first Steamroller Event, or maybe this is just a game organized on Facebook – it doesn’t really matter.Hopefully you’ve walked in knowing your army, at least on paper, and maybe a little about the other models in your own faction.
Likely your opponent hands his lists to you and it looks like a foreign language. New faction; New casters; New units. All that new information comes with a stock of unknowns. It’s easy for the New Player to be overwhelmed.
Now, assuming you can’t frantically go to Battle College to read on every model: How do you size up your opponent’s list? What are the big threats on the table?
This post provides some initial considerations to get the most important information you will want on your opponent’s models. Method below is intended as a starting point to get your gears turning.
Goal of This Post: Get the New Player thinking about the variables in an opponent’s list, and how to make a strategy to accommodate. My philosophy is that this kind of analysis should be kept as simple as possible at first. You want to focus on your own play first when you’re new to Warmachine.(Which is another way to say that I didn’t – and it cost me in my early games!)
Remember: This is just the approach I take as a new(ish) player and some might disagree (Probably not with #1, but maybe #2 and #3). If a more veteran player wants to chime in on anything here – Please comment!