Insider 10-19-2011

We recently completed our staff Journeyman League, and it was a great experience. I’ve gotten in a handful of games, played some new opponents, painted up a few new models, and I’m eager to get around to more of both.

Choosing an army for this league was a bit difficult for me since I already had armies for all nine factions plus Mercenaries and Minions. I’ve wanted to paint up additional Skorne models, though, so I decided on the Empire of the East.

One of the things that really struck me about this league was the way that the gradual immersion really enhances players’ understanding of the battlegroup box models. Sure, it limits player choices at the start of the league, but it really gives players a firm foundation for understanding those models and even the faction as a whole.

Personally, I lean towards models with large control areas. A FOCUS or FURY stat of 7-10 allows great flexibility and plays to my strengths as a player. So Morghoul was a bit of a challenge for me with his FURY 5. I’m by no means a complete stranger to Morghoul, but he’s one of the warlocks I tend to leave in the army transport more often than others. Getting in a whole series of games with him gave me a new appreciation for getting full mileage out of the 10” control area, and his Sprint ability consistently opened up tactical options for activation order and control area management. I began to really look for ways to finish off a warjack or warbeast in order to re-position the Master Tormentor and catch my opponent off guard.

Among opponents, I heard a lot of similar comments. While a few folks initially grumbled about limited options, even our most veteran players began to understand and appreciate the foundation that battlegroup box games provide. I frequently saw lights go off in peoples’ heads as they realized some new way to utilize Spirit Door, gained a deeper understanding of Shredder fury management through attrition, or finished an assassination with a Sniped Disruptor Pistol.

It’s easy to get comfortable with one specific army list or warcaster/warlock, but it can lead to missed opportunities as well. WARMACHINE and HORDES are games of discovery as well as hobby games and strategy games. Gaining a real mastery of a new model (much less a whole new faction!) can be just as rewarding as painting a new model or pulling off a surprise tactical maneuver.

I hope that many of you are enjoying the same elements of discovery in your own Journeyman Leagues.

In League with the Skorne,
-DC