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40k vs Warmachine

CanisAquilusCanisAquilus Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Critical Failures
With all the fuss about Warmachine coming from the comic and newsposts these days I've been wondering about these two games, and how they compare. I'd also imagine I'm far from the only one.

I'd like to hear from players in the PA community who've played both to comment a little on the ways in which they are different.

Preferably not in a "40k is better" or "Warmachine is better" way, but rather a "I find *Game*'s rules to be easier to pick up." or "I like that I have to paint (less/more) models with (Game)" way.

Minimum froth, maximum education please gentlemen. :)

CanisAquilus on

Posts

  • CorporateLogoCorporateLogo The toilet knows how I feelRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Both rules systems are fairly easy to pick up, but Warmachine/Hordes tends to be much less forgiving when a player makes mistakes.

    In 40k, nearly all attacks/damage/armor saves/whatnot are resolved with a D6, which can be irritating since there's really no means to increase the odds of succeeding outside of rerolls or rolling more D6s. WH/H uses a 2D6 system to resolve things like attacks and damage and has modifiers from things like aiming/magic/buffs/whatnot so you can stack the odds in your favor for success. This does slow the game down, since you're probably going to have to resolve everything one by one as opposed to rolling for entire units at once like you do in 40k.

    40k plays better at larger scale games (within reason), while larger WM/H games tend to boil down to whoever gets the dumbest combo off first, wins.

    In terms of expense, neither is particularly cheaper than the other. WM/H battleboxes are 50 bucks and give you the means to play quickstart games, but most of the boxes have the odd model that is substandard compared to other options you could take and you'll need to buy the full ruleset to use infantry and the like. 40k has the starter box, which gives you a full rulebook in a compact size (very handy as opposed to lugging around a big hardback rulebook) and a Space Marine and Orks starter force. You only get one rulebook per starter box, and if you aren't interested in SM or Orks then it may not be worth the money.

    Pick whichever one you like best and are most likely to find regular opponents to play with.

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  • 28682868 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The way I understand it, Warmachine is easier to pick up and learn within a group. Once you get into pick up games outside of your social circle, and within that of the FLGS, then you can get rolled quickly. (I was assassinated on turn 2 in my "demo" game.)

    Warhammer (Fantasy and 40k) on the other hand can be difficult to learn within a circle of entirely new players, and in order to understand the nuances of the rules you'll have to integrate into other communities, this forum is a good start, and while the mileage at your FLGS may vary. I think it's a slower ramp up to fully learn the rules in 40k, because they just aren't as well written and you may be using 5-10 year old rules with a 2 year old rule book, against a 6 month old army. Thinks just don't sync up as easily for new players without some guidance.

    If you and your friends are looking to get into wargaming for the first time to play at home, then I'd suggest warmachine. 40k if you plan to play out of the house, or you have a good, experienced, player or community to help your introduction into 40k.

    That said I vastly prefer 40k.

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  • AsherAsher Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    It really depends on what you are looking for in a game. Do you want to roll dice and have fun and kill lots of shit, or do you want a much more cerebral tactical experience were making a single mistake can cost you the game, because that's what it really boils down to.

    In terms of straight mechanics, Warmachine is the far superior game. The rules are clearer, better written, rules interactions are explained properly and it's much more obvious the way the writers intended it to be player. The 2d6 system combined with modifiers means that it is a game that supports careful planning and strategy and because of the Bell distribution, you are *LESS* likely to be fucked by bad dice. The various factions are also far better balanced against each other that the 40k factions are due to the fact that each faction gets updated regularly, so there are no outdated codexes. Warmachine is horribly unforgiving though. It is quite possible to lose the game turn 1 if you aren't paying attention.

    Warhammer 40k on the other hand is a pretty bad system. The rules are obtuse and poorly explained and are desperatly in need of a ground up re-write. There are more serious balance issues, with old codexes being left behind in the ever increasing power struggle. Another result of it being an old system is that there are 3 trillion rules to learn before you can really understand the game. On the upside, it's dead simple once you get the hand of it and there's lots of dice rolling. You are fielding way more models and are having bigger battles with tanks, giant monsters and all the good bits. To be honest, 40ks biggest draw is the universe. While Warmachines is perfectly acceptable, the 40k universe is one of the most "fun" in a twisted black way that you will ever encounter. The fluff is great and the models are arguably better than warmachines most of the times. Also, most importantly it becomes a lot more fun while drunk, while warmachine just becomes more confusing.

    I started Wargames with 40k and I love it dearly. I love the universe, the factions, the models and the whole aesthetic. Sadly, the mechanics are shit. Warmachine is a far better "Game" and I got more tactical enjoyment out of teaching one of my friends how to play in a starter game than the last 40k Tournament I went to. But warmachine doesn't have Tyranids or Eldar so it can never compete with 40k on that front.

    On the money front, it's cheaper to get into warmachine and start playing, but in the long term costs are pretty equivalent.

    The most important piece of advice I can give is to pick the one you think looks coolest. If you like the models and the background for the game/side you pick, then you'll be guaranteed to enjoy yourself!

    Asher on
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  • kaortikaorti Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Speaking as someone who's tried Warhammer 40k, and plays Warmachine, I'd like to echo Asher's assessment.

    I'd like to add that I found the army construction in Warmachine to be intuitive compared to Warhammer. In my first game of Warhammer, I used an experienced player's models, building a list according to his advice. I couldn't get the list to do anything effective, even with constant advice. In contrast, I designed my first Warmachine list without anyone's help, and it did exactly what I wanted it to. This is partly because Warmachine has fewer options that can be applied to each model. There is no wargear, and units generally only come in one or two sizes.

    The reason that Warmachine can be unforgiving is because of it's combo-centered mechanics. As an inexperienced player, it's difficult to decipher the tricks that your enemy's list can pull. Since the game hinges on the survival of one (admittedly tough) model, an attack from an unexpected angle can finish the game quickly.

    kaorti on
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Warhammer Fantasy Battles is best!

    More seriously, Asher hit the nail on the head; the aesthetics of the army you pick is huge. You're going to spend a lot of time staring at those models while building, painting, and playing with them, so something that repeatedly hits your "awesome" buttons will go a long way toward sustaining enthusiasm.

    Rules-wise, my personal preference is for Warhammer. In all fairness I only ever played Warmachine during beta testing for the game's original launch. The the setting and look never clicked for me and my inclination is for large-scale battles over skirmish level fights, so I never picked it up after that. 40k has the scale and a great setting, but the current ruleset is still a bit too stripped down and strategy-heavy (as in; your build and pregame selections are immensely important, sometimes more so than in-game decisions) to take that top spot for me. Warhammer, on the other hand, still has a bit of old school crunch to it; you can make decisions while playing that eclipse any army build, "combos", or "better" troops. Reforms, maneuvers, psychology rules, the magic system; Warhammer is full of decision points where you can beat your opponent by out-thinking them on the spot.

    Warhammer, of course, has the most difficult learning curve and it's the most expensive, but I've found it to be the most rewarding to play over the years. WM and 40k may have some up front flash and big tanks or steam-mechs and all, but Warhammer is just more satisfying for me.

    Morskittar on
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  • themocawthemocaw Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    In Warmachine, you can take a ten-foot tall steam powered robot and tell it to body check another ten-foot tall robot so hard it flies back through a group of, like ten dudes, squashes half of them, and then smashes into a wall and explodes.

    themocaw on
  • MatriasMatrias Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I generally prefer 40k, mostly due to the model quality + ease of use (plastic). I'm also a huge fan of the fluff. I'm mostly involved with it for the hobby aspect, as opposed to actually playing (though I do know how).

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  • AsherAsher Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah don't rule out other games like Fantasy! I think 8th ed fantasy is pretty solid, but as Morskittar has said, it is more expensive and takes a bit more learning.


    Other games you can look at are:

    Infinity: Tanshumanist skirmish action! If you like Ghost in the shell, you'll dig the world and it plays great with about 10 models a side.

    Flames of War: Large scale, great system. I bit hard to grasp initially but plays very smoothly one you get the hang of it. It is WWII though.

    War of the Ring: This was the test bed for 8th ed Fantasy but is a lot more streamlined and smoother. Plays very quickly and makes sure that the Heroes are the focus of the action! Good luck finding anyone else who plays.

    Malifaux: Think Tim Burton crossed with wargaming and you get this. Tiny model count, great card based system, twisted sense of humor. Has redneck goblins and zombie hookers.

    Asher on
    Things my Red Terror has Swallowed Whole: A Mentors Librarian, a Fire Warrior Sash'Ui. Total Points: 109 (so far...)
    "Leapin' and Hoppin' on a Warpshadow" - Mah Nids
    The Swordwind Rises! - Biel Tan. All Aspects. All the time.
    "Before seeking Victory, first make yourself Invulnerable to defeat" - Sneaky sneaky Raptors
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Heavy Gear is pretty stellar for sci-fi combined arms warfare. Groups are few and far between but generally quite dedicated.

    Morskittar on
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  • HoverxHoverx Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Damn, I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. I like some armies from both so I consider the fluff to be equal. War machine seems more hardcore rule wise and 40k seems like it has some serious flaws in its rules.

    Edit: I'd really like to try playing LOTR but where am I going to find anyone who plays that??

    Hoverx on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've always had an infinitely easier time finding someone to play 40k with than finding someone to play Warmachine with. The community is just larger and easier to find.

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  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Honestly, the best idea is to actually *play* both, and make up your mind afterwards.

    I mean, back in the day I got a demo for 40k, and realized I loathed the system utterly. Some might enjoy it, but it never clicked for me. No matter how nice the models may or may not be, or how big the community is, no reason to waste money on something that isn't fun for you.

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  • RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Warmachine is a better system. The reason I'm going to recommend it, though, isn't because of that, it's because of the release schedule.

    Warhammer releases army books. An entire faction gets updated in one go, 9/10 times becoming the strongest player on the block. Old armies get outdated as new editions come out, and rules updates can be a long time coming. This is insanely frustrating. It's why I quit.

    Warmachine releases books that include new models for every faction, typically one per year. Everyone gets updated stuff at roughly the same time, nobody feels left out. The only time this schedule changed was 2010, when we got...
    A rules update for both core systems(Warmachine in January, Hordes in July,) a completely updated list of old models in the same month they were released(via card decks,) faction books with new models(one per month until they were all released in December,) and introduced a new playable faction at the end of the year. That's 12 books in one year.
    The Warmachine folks care about their player base. Your army is never going to feel 'outdated' or shitty because of release schedules. The Cygnaran Ironclad, one of the first 8 Warmachine models released, is still an incredibly functional model and one of my personal favorites. New stuff rules, old stuff is gold stuff.
    Warhammer and 40K don't follow this, and a simple edition change can quickly invalidate your squad's wargear selection and general list layout. If you want to get into minis-gaming for the long haul, the system that isn't going to invalidate your choices is Warmachine/Hordes.

    Rainfall on
  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My opinion on the games has already been stated by Asher and Rainfall, so I'll not get into that.

    I will, however, give you this advice: Find all the game stores that you feel comfortable going to on a weekly basis, and ask the owners and players what games they play there. It's quite possible that you'll hate one game, love the other, buy $2,000 worth of models for it, and find that absolutely no one plays the game. Once you've found out what games are being played, find out when they play, go there and say that you're a new player looking to get into the game. They should let you use their armies for a test game; if not, they're a bunch of douchefags that you don't want to hang around with.

    Also, Warmachines/Hordes is much cheaper starting out that 40k. WM/H costs $50 for a starter kit, and $30 for the rulebook when you want to expand. 40k is $90 for the starter set, $50 for the rulebook, and $30 for the Codex.

    I should also note that the quickstart rules and stat cards are freely available on PP's website here and here. I've found that using quarters, nickels, and pennies for large, medium, and small bases respectively works pretty well; all you need is a marker to differentiate them.

    Carnarvon on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    My opinion on the games has already been stated by Asher and Rainfall, so I'll not get into that.

    I will, however, give you this advice: Find all the game stores that you feel comfortable going to on a weekly basis, and ask the owners and players what games they play there. It's quite possible that you'll hate one game, love the other, buy $2,000 worth of models for it, and find that absolutely no one plays the game. Once you've found out what games are being played, find out when they play, go there and say that you're a new player looking to get into the game. They should let you use their armies for a test game; if not, they're a bunch of douchefags that you don't want to hang around with.

    Also, Warmachines/Hordes is much cheaper starting out that 40k. WM/H costs $50 for a starter kit, and $30 for the rulebook when you want to expand. 40k is $90 for the starter set, $50 for the rulebook, and $30 for the Codex.

    I should also note that the quickstart rules and stat cards are freely available on PP's website here and here. I've found that using quarters, nickels, and pennies for large, medium, and small bases respectively works pretty well; all you need is a marker to differentiate them.

    Agreed totally. If you don't have a friendly local game store where people are playing, you honestly don't want to buy into either (there is massive value in having a larger pool of people to play against than just your few friends). If you do have a store where people are playing, and they're only playing one game, that's the game you'll end up playing anyway. As long as there are people playing both games, it's almost guaranteed someone will be willing to set you up with a demo game, because miniatures gamers ALWAYS want more people playing their game.

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned so far. Warmachine IS a better system, in terms of pure elegance of combat. I still prefer 40k, though, because Warmachine army design has an almost card gamer mentality, where you're trying to find broken combos of units and abilities. Which isn't to say that 40k doesn't have power gamers, it does, but I think much more often 40k gamers are likely to be caught up in the fluff and story of their army and roll with that. 40k is a full blown hobby, where you obsess with exactly how your models are composed, painted and whether it matches with the story you just read about them. Warmachine is much more of a straight game, where you bring cool miniature dudes to pulverize the other side.

    Darkewolfe on
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  • altmannaltmann Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    One thing I'll say after having played 40k and warmachine (a bit, I'm not a WM player).

    40k is all about bigger armies and battles. Squads of troops, vehicles with troops in them, tanks, big monsters and dreadnoughts, orbital barrages and Terminator suits teleporting into battle. Scouts coming in on your opponents board edge.

    It can be a little more epic, and in that sense, you are controlling more, and hand-to-hand combat can be between a 10 man squad and 25 orks or bugs. It's a strategic game in that sense. "what are you going to do with your overall army? What's your hammer? What entire unit are you making the enemy fight so your other 2 units can get into position?".

    Warmachine, at least my experience with it, is a very tactical game. It's going to be fewer models on the board, and they're all individuals. Certainly you can have multiple combats, but it's a different game entirely. Where you move your guys is KEY, attacking the right target is KEY and each move can be super critical. But the games are shorter for sure.

    There are pluses to both sides, WM is easier to pick up, and the rules are clear-cut. Games are shorter so you can get more in.

    40k, you can literally spend an entire day playing a huge battle with 500 models on each side in apocalypse. The rules are more confusing at first, but the fluff and universe is miles ahead of Warmachine IMO. The system is old though, and some armies are nigh useless at this point, but it can be pretty epic.

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  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Warmachine IS a better system, in terms of pure elegance of combat. I still prefer 40k, though, because Warmachine army design has an almost card gamer mentality, where you're trying to find broken combos of units and abilities.

    This is one of the primary reasons Warmachine never clicked for me. More strategic, out-of-game decisions aren't a bad thing, but I'd much rather have a competitive game decided on the fly while actively playing. From my short time with Warmachine it didn't seem as skewed as Magic or something like that, but it certainly has much more of that feel. GW games have much more of an old school, almost RPG-like ruleset and atmosphere where the story you tell (which can be a very competitive and hard-fought story) throughout the course of the game is more important than having efficient combos or tight, hyper-balanced rules.

    Morskittar on
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  • mugginnsmugginns Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I play both games, however I haven't played Warmachine in a few months, mostly because I've been on a huge 40k and Fantasy kick. (I also play Flames of War and Necromunda, and some Spartan games)

    Most differences have been covered, but I've only seen this one just barely covered: 40k and fantasy have tons of high quality plastic models. Warmachine / Hordes have very very few. Plastic models are easier to put together, they stay together, they're easier to paint, and easier to transport. Plus they're cheaper for the most part.

    mugginns on
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  • ThePovThePov Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Having never played Warmachines/Hordes, I can't comment on that, but I can echo a lot of what has been said about 40K. The story and models are top flight, and the community is relatively widespread and inviting in my experience. Which is not to say there aren't a few trolls lurking around or that you'll be tripping over games, but in general. It is definitely more expensive, though, the power creep is insane and the marketing strategy the company takes is all about the Benjamins, with no consideration for Gamer Joe. After a while, I sort of gave up on the gaming aspect and just immersed myself in the story and modeling portions.

    However, I did find that one of its Specialist Games, Battlefleet Gothic, was utterly fantastic if you could get a good group of gamers together. The rules were free, the models were comparatively cheaper, and because there weren't new rules every few months, you only ever had to buy one fleet if you wanted, and as long as it was well designed and you knew how to handle it, you would always have fun. As a smaller game, though, the player base was almost non-existant. :(

    ThePov on
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