April 8, 2009

Warmachine MKII - Initial thoughts

The Good, the Bad and they nerf'd the Choir!!!
A review of the rule-test for Warmachine Mk II

Ok, downloaded and printed out the Mk2 rulebook and Protectorate of Menoth faction cards yesterday and spent most of last night digesting them. Overall, the changes to the basic gaming system aren't that drastic and the new LOS rule regarding base sizes makes things a lot easier - no more debates over whether you can see a little part of a model. The new points system is confusing and I really have no idea why they introduced it, but hey the old system was confusing to me as well at first so I will give it time. Other big change is the lay out of the faction cards - symbols are used now to indicate special abilities like pathfinder and stealth etc making the cards less confusing and easier to read. The symbols are easy to follow and look good so I think its a positive change.

As for my beloved Protectorate of Menoth there have been some major changes there. General change is an almost faction wide increase in MAT and RAT and the changing of some caster spells into special abilities - Severius's Convert for one!!! The MAT changes are great, the RAT don't always offer anything and the special ability changes are great. So here's my thoughts on the overall changes unit by unit focusing on the ones I use.

+ Positive Change (IMHO)
- Negative Change (IMHO)
+/- Not quite sure (IMHO)

Warcaster Changes
+ Chain attack in melee
+ Some spells cheaper
+ Anti-magic pulse improved slightly
- Loses Ward

+ Slam attack with melee weapon (used to be a spell)
+ Sacroscant knocks enemy model down
- Elite Cadre lose +1 MAR, RAT & CMD bonus

High Reclaimer
+ Soulstorm know causes 1 pt damage to enemy within 1" for each token and is now an ability
- Feat weakened only raises d3+3 not 2d6 models and cannot create new units

+ RAT from 3 --> 5
+ Convert now a special ability
+ Vision can be cast on other models
- Death Sentence gives re-roll not auto-hit

+ Engine of Destruction boosts MAT by +4 not +2
- Death Pyre gone

+ Fire effects within here control area do not expire (love this)
+ New spells

+ Extra focus point
+ Slightly clearer weapon rules, and is not affected by knockdown penalties
- Loses meditative stance

Warjack Changes
+ Gets +1 MAT and +1 RAT

+ Gets +1 MAT and +1 RAT
+ Chain attack with weapon

+ Shield gains +1 POW
+ Jack gains +1 MAT

+ Gains +1 MAT
+ Shield gains +1 POW
- Defensive strike nerf'd, counts as normal melee attack, no boost and no MAT penalty to target

Blessing of Vengeance
+ Gains +1 MAT & RAT
+ Gains +1 POW on Shield
- Loses 2 ARM (WHY??!?!)
- Defensive strike loses bonuses to hit and damage
- Loses excessive repel

+ Gains +1 MAT
+ Fist gains +3 POW (Now POW 14)

+ Gains +1 MAT & RAT
+ Condemmer gets +1 POW
- Loses critical splash

Avatar of Menoth
+ Gains +1 MAT (now MAT 8!!!)
+ Shield gains +1 POW
+ Cannot be targeted by spells (instead of +3 DEF bonus)
- Fire effect on weapon reduced from 3" to 1"

+ Gains +1 MAT
+ Fists now +1 POW !!!!
+ Combustion now effects all enemy within 2" not 1"

Fire of Salvation
+ Gains +1 MAT
+ Fist gains +3 POW !!!!
- Loses relentless and Glyphs of reprisal
- Weapon loses Dispel effect

Solos and Unit Changes
+ Gains +1 ARM
+ Now reduces cost of all Warcaster spells by 1 focus not just one spell while in B2B

Vassal of Menoth
+ Gains +1 STR
+ Gains +2 DEF and ARM when in B2B contact with friendly unit, immune to knockdown
- Loses 1 DEF and 1 ARM

+ Gain +1 SPD
+ All members of choir can now chant so killing leader no longer neuters the unit
- Lose -2 MAT and -1 ARM
- Hymns now only affect ONE (yes only ONE) warjack within 3" and not ALL jacks within 3" + 1" for every acolyte
- FA reduced from 3 to 2

This is the one change, the only one in fact, that has got me mad enough to rant. The others I can work with as they are all reasonably balanced but this change is IMHO to far over the top and effectively neuters the Choir as an effective support unit. Mind you the fact that I have 3 full Choir units now means I can sell one and buy something else :) Hmmm - choices?!?!

+ Misfire gone
+ Gained volley (combined) attack which increases their AOE up to 5"

+ Gain +2 ARM
+ Any model can assume leader role and chant, so killing him no longer neuters unit
- Bombs lose 2 POW now only POW 12 !!!
- Lose Prayer of Protection

Monolith Bearer
- Loses 1 ARM
- Loses 1 POW
+/- Holy Monolith gives +4 ARM not +4 DEF

Knights Exemplar
+/- Gain +2 STR and ARM when unit member dies + pathfinder !!!
- Bonus only gained for one round not permanently!!!

Temple Flameguard
- Loses 1 ARM

Temple Flameguard Unit Attachment
- Loses 1 ARM
- Loses Iron Zeal

Flameguard Cleansers
+/- Back arc vulnerability now gone and they no longer explode when killed
+ Gain fire on all hits with weapon
- Lose incineration order

Not sure on these guys as blowing them up was just too damn fun.

Rhoven & Honor Guard
+ Menoths Sight given to friendly model not just unit
+ Gains +1 ARM
+ Gains +2 MAT for Rhoven, +1 ARM for Guards
+/- Gain +2 STR/ARM + Pathfinder when a model is destroyed

Well thats my two cents what do you think?


Caleb said...

Hey john they made the game bigger by the looks of it (which means slower). I made a 50pt army which was 805pts under the old system.
It looks interesting but not sure how effective it will be at reaching the goals they wanted to achieve.

Anonymous said...


They have not nerfed the Choir, they have just changed the way you have to deploy them. They are all chanting, and they each chant to a single warjack. Have 6 choir members? You can chant to 6 different Jacks...you just need to keep them in unit cohesion. You might need two choirs depending on how your want to run your jacks. If you jack wall...you might need only one, but I would go get that second unit if you dont have two.


PPS_Kevin said...

You noticed that the reclaimers feat allows them to activate the turn they are brought back right?

John said...

@Caleb - I havent tried adding the points up yet, but if it lets you take more stuff then im happy as I could never figure out what to leave behind

@Cereal - cheers mate i REALLY misinterpreted that stat card badly. My lovely Choir will retain their pride of place - after Zealots they are my favourite unit.

@Kevin - no I didnt but do now you mention it. Overall the changes are really good just waiting on what the new Menoth jack will be