I and a couple of players/friends had a discussion at our local games store, and we came to the consensus that Warmachine feels ripped off. In the beginning (MK1) when the game was still being marketed and the only thing that you could buy was the starter boxes, we were sold on this great game filled with Huge War Machines which was the most powerful things in the game. Back in those days it was still popular to play entire armies composed just out of jacks and we would ?dis? guys playing mostly troops, and back then most faction?s troops paled in comparison against the might of Warmachines.
These days you can?t compare Warmachines to beasts, you mostly get sub par stat-line coupled with the lack to assign similar focus to fury and on top of it all beasts not only grant the caster spells to put on other beasts, but also to themselves, which also makes for very dynamic army build. Most of the arguments are along the lines of ?Yea, but you Warmachine guys get better troops?, I beg your pardon but I doubt, guys back then, joined the game to play troops, they didn?t join thinking these awesome Warmachines were to be upstaged by beasts. Another argument horde players tend to make ?We pay a premium for our really good beasts?, okay fair enough but mostly Warmachine factions do not have similar cost/slot options. To do make a small comparison, I encountered a situation where a Cygnar player, faced off against a Circle player in Mangled Metal. During the game a situation came up where a Shadowhorn wanted to throw a Ironclad, both of similar cost yet, not only could the Shadowhorn hit with ease, it had more STR which means it will get bonus to dice off on 2d6, more movement adding in the ability to jump and then more fury and animus.
The situation went poorly for the Cygnar player, but it made me think okay let?s say the situation where in reverse where the Ironclad caught the Shadowhorn. Locking the Shadowhorn in place would be good option to prevent him from being thrown and using his movement tricks but it?s not a good option given the lacking STR of the Ironclad. I then went the ?just try and do as much damage as I possibly could? route and found on average I would not down the beast, which will mean that the Warlock will just heal the damaged systems back up and destroy the Ironclad. In a straight up fight, given the Ironclad had the advantage the Ironclad will lose to his counterpart, which doesn?t seem fair to me.
The outcome of our conversation was that the horde players agreed that Warmachine just don?t measure up, but that the game is not only balanced around just jacks and beasts. Some also reasoned that beasts were intentionally made to be powerful, in order to promote Horde side of the game especially against Warmachines. A lot of Warmachine players argued that they wouldn?t mind beasts that much if they could also assign a same number of focus to the jack even at risk of damaging the jack or if beasts systems would only count as functional if 50% of the boxes were still left undamaged. How do you feel about this?