Friday, June 14, 2013

How I Met Your Faction

Kids, you remember the time I got talked into going to a new hobby store in college with your Uncle Marshall? No? Well here's the story condensed into 22 minutes with some jokes and far too much sex than any father should be willing to admit to his children. What? I don't have any kids? Well never mind then. I'm leaving the laugh track at home though, it keeps going off every time I say something, no matter what.

Everyone has their own way of deciding things in life, but whatever your way is, it's probably based on past experiences and knowledge. Most people don't just arbitrarily pick things off of a list with no thought whatsoever (if you do, more power to you, but you're weird!). There are two ways I find a lot of people choose to base their faction: rules/mechanics, and lore/fluff. Big surprise right? But what's the best way to get a new player into the game and to make sure they pick the right faction? After all, while the buy in for this game is pleasantly affordable, you still want to be satisfied with your purchase. When I made my decision, the fluff trumped the mechanics, which was pretty different for me.

Your first decision is probably the easy one: Warmachine or Hordes? Most everyone has a pretty automatic answer to that one, and it's a mechanics thing. Do you like risk management or resource management? For me, I usually prefer resource management, but that's when people started getting into the fluff.




And elves I guess, whatever man, dragons. Dragons look bad ass.

And that's usually where I like to go for step two. Hyperbole helps a lot here. At my FLGS (and I'm sure plenty others), when getting newcomers excited, boiling down each faction to its fundamental silliness seems to do the trick. Robot Necromancer Pirates. Spanish Inquisition (with robots). Xenophobic MAGIC Robots (do you see a theme here?). The Drunken Underdogs. Obviously you can't leave it at that, but that's the basic idea.

I sort of mentioned in my previous post that I am generally an equal opportunity gamer. I tend to be an RPG buff, single player and MMO alike, and I tend to run either tricksy support, or glass cannon. When I heard the fluff for Legion, and someone told me they were the Glass Cannon Faction backed with some of the best support models available to Hordes, I knew immediately what I was picking. This only became more true when I discovered they are essentially the Zerg of this game (for any StarCraft fans out there). A friend of mine only needed to know that Circle was essentially teleporting werewolves (with occasional greatswords), and yet another was sold after he saw Menoth had Paladins (he always was our tank in MMOs).

As a closing thought, some people spend an enormous amount of time thinking about who they want to play, and research left and right before they pick a faction. That may work for them, but I say go with your gut. If that one model looks crazy cool, that's as good a reason as any to start with that army. You'll figure out what's good in the end if that's something else you care about. Play like you've got a pair right? Do it when you pick your army too.



  1. The only addition I would add to this is you should ask them what play style interests them too. Long range shooting, Heavy magic, up close combat, or a mix there of. That will allow you to better steer them towards specific models or Casters/Warlocks with in a faction once your apt Robot Necromantic Pirates one liner grabs their attention for them to start looking at. I have found that from there the models, Art, and Story take care of the rest pretty well.

    1. Good catch, I definitely should have elaborated a bit on that point. Thanks!


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