Friday, June 17, 2011

New 2 player Warmachine starter box

Look at that!
First off, this is not the promised hobby progress post.  I have actually made hobby progress since the last post, but that will be chronicled in the next post.  This post is about the new Warmachine starter box.  This little guy jumped out at me when I hit the PP site just now and I think it's notable for a few reasons, which I will bullet point.

  • It's a Warmachine starter box, which "CONTAINS EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A TWO-PLAYER GAME" (blame PP for the caps).  This is a departure from the a la carte approach they've been taking for years.
  • The two factions are Khador and Cygnar.  No wait, Protectorate and Cygnar.  What?  Khador and Protectorate?  Really?  While my grasp on Warmachine fluff is not like iron, I'm fairly sure everyone hates the swans.  Especially Khador and Protectorate, who seem to only passionately dislike each other.  The chart from the PP Insider a few days back supports me here.  What gives with the match up?
  • $100 for a starter box?  That price point is familiar.  Looks like PP is pressing their PR advantage in the wake of the annual GW price hikes.  There was also something about screwing Oceania, but PP hasn't taken a direct shot there that I know of.  Yet.
  • This is a really good deal, even by starter box standards.  Rule book, two battleboxes, gaming paraphenalia, all for $100.  What the models look like remains to be seen, but I'm willing to bet they're the same plastic battlebox models on shelves now.
  • You get some infantry too.  Cinerators for Protectorate and...what?  Plastic Men-O-War?  Is it April already?  Surely this is some sort of cruel joke.
  • Why is there no internet coverage of this at the usual places?
Obviously the real news here is plastic Men-O-War.  I love the idea of the MoW, but I hate the idea of assembling them enough to not have a unit.  If there are indeed plastic MoW, then surely there will also be Bombardiers.  Can the end of the world be far behind?


  1. Yeah, I agree with you to a certain extent. $100 is too steep for a starter, even if it does include all the rules needed to start playing.Even if it is "a really great deal" compared to the battle boxes. $100 is just too steep to get your feet wet in a game you may or may not like.

    Also, I suppose the reason Khador and the Protectorate are in the box is because they're the most straightforward to play. Cygnar and Cryx (Cryx especially) are really finesse armies.

    And yeah, despite it not affecting us U.S. customers, G.W. really @#!%ed over their Aussie gamers. Much web rage over that one. P.P. is going to get a lot of followers down there now that they're paying nearly double what the rest of the world pays. Seriously. People are looking at Forge World as the "bargain" end of G.W. down there.

  2. I, too, am troubled by the decision to go with Khador and Protectorate. Its, just, well you put it right. It just doesn't make sense from a fluff standpoint.

  3. Not sure I agree about the fluff point. Although Khador and the Protectorate haven't had much cause for war, the Khadoran occupation of Llael, followed by the Northern Crusade seems to be changing that.

    The two powers now have a territory in which they face each other directly, with the Protectorate taking a city from Khador. Both of them now have extensive operations in Llael, which seems to be the territory of which everyone (except Cryx?) wants a piece. The new Zerkova and Reznik tier lists are examples of that.

  4. Re: price point, I don't know that you can really do a starter box much cheaper. I guess PP could have gone with just battle boxes and no infantry to cut the cost to, say, $75, but I don't know that it would make a lot of difference. $50 for a starter box would be super cheap, "let's give this a shot it's so cheap" cheap, but I don't see how that could be a viable business move. Right now if two people wanted to get into Warmachine starting from scratch they'd be in for at least 2 battle boxes and a rule book, easily $125. And that's with no infantry or gaming accessories. $100 is a bit steep, but if you break it into $50 each for two people it doesn't seem so bad.

    Re: straight forward to play, I'll agree to Khador. Kovnik Joe aside, there aren't many hard choices to make or intricate involvements between pieces. As I understand it, Protectorate is the opposite, relying on lots of support pieces to make everything work at full efficiency. Having never played them, or even against them, I can't say for sure, but my impression has always been that Protectorate is one of the more involved factions.

    Re: fluff reasons, I can only assume that the Khador/Protectorate tensions are ratcheting up. I haven't laid hands on Wrath yet, and haven't read all the fluff before it, but I'm guessing that if these two are the spotlighted factions then they're about to get real close and unhappy with each other. I still don't get the lack of Cygnar though. They're the poster boys of Warmachine, the faction that's at the center of the map, history, and current intrigue. Had I seen that there was a new starter box that had two factions, but been ignorant of which factions they were, I would have bet good money that Cygnar was one of them. Maybe they didn't have any plastic infantry ready to go or some other backstage reason for their exclusion, but as things stand I just don't get it.