What is it?
Warmachine is a game of steam, blood, and magic.
Steam, you say?
The most noticeable aspect of Warmachine is that while it is most definitely a fantasy game, it incorporates things called Warjacks
. Warjacks are steam-powered mechs. They make things die. It's pretty cool. You'll see a few later.
Blood? This intrigues!
Warmachine is set within the world of Caen, on the continent of Immoren. More specifically, it takes place within the Iron Kingdoms, which are four in number. They all hit eachother with swords and shoot eachother and blow eachother up. Hence, blood.
MAGIC!? FIREBALLS! BOOM!
Magic pops up in a variety of ways in Warmachine, but the most noticeable way is the inclusion of Warcasters. These are the leaders of your army, capable of casting mighty spells and pulling off a special game-changing Feat every match. It is these Warcasters which control the mighty and hella-awesome Warjacks I mentioned earlier.
So, yeah. They're pretty important.
So, there's this island, right? It's a pretty sweet little island, all happy and stuff. Then Toruk, Unholy Father of All Dragons, lands there. It's less happy now. A haven for abominations, Cryx is ruled by Toruk and his 13 Lich Lords. Two of these, Lich Lord Terminus and Lich Lord Asphyxious (known as the Iron Lich prior to his promotion), are well known in the Iron Kingdom due to their propensity for leading armies to pillage and destroy. They're good at what they do.
Cygnar are the technological innovators of the Iron Kingdom. Their prowess at developing new weaponry in addition to their highly trained troops have ensured their place as a major power in the world. If words like "gunmage" and "shocklance" make you sexually excited, you might be a Cygnar player in your heart of hearts.
The Russia-er, Khador is a massive and cold land inhabited by a fiercely independent people. They're rather expansionistic which leads them to a great deal of conflict with their neighbors. Mainly, Cygnar. The armies of Khador are bolstered by ponderous warjacks that could punch your head through your ass if they weren't careful while shaking your hand.
The Protectorate of Menoth was formed due to a religious conflict in the aforementioned kingdom of Cygnar. The devotees of Morrow were the majority, and got to keep their nice cushy kingdom. The disciples of Menoth were given a piece of crappy land to placate them and made into an independent nation. They found oil, built up some military forces which don't technically exist as such, and now they're fond of making their heathen enemies explode and die. Nice people, all around.
This is a world where conflict rules and wars are always ready to flare up. What kind of moron could pass up a chance to make a buck? Mercenaries come in all shapes and sizes. Some are exiles from their own land, called traitors by those they once called brother.
Others are short bearded fellows who like money.
It takes all kinds, right?
Warmachine information can be found in three books:
Another book, Superiority, is forthcoming. The books are completely unnecessary to play. All rules can be had with a battlegroup starter set and unit specific rules are included with the purchase of that unit.
One comment on the Warmachine rules: the full rules are in Prime; the ones that come with the battlegroups are very simplified.
This applies to Hordes rules as well.
Play like you've got a pair.