Insider 04-22-2016

New editions of WARMACHINE & HORDES bring with them more than just new games rules. We’ve got new models, new art, new fiction, and, of course, new and upgraded organized play!

All of the new Organized Play documents are releasing the week immediately after Lock & Load GameFest this June, but leading up to that release we’re going to take some time to discuss some of the major changes coming to the formats you know and love. So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

After receiving their first battlebox demo, the first Organized Play event most players participate in is a Journeyman league. For several years now, Journeyman has been the best way for new players to slow-grow their new model collection from their starting battlegroup all the way up to a full-sized army, and that fact remains true even after the launch of the new editions.

The overall goal and format of Journeyman also remains the same: it is a six-week slow-grow league intended for new players to learn the ins and outs of their newly chosen faction while also providing a fun alternative for veteran players who are considering picking up a new army. Aside from that… Well, a fair amount has changed.

First off, the rules for Journeyman have been completely rewritten to be more streamlined and easier to understand than ever before. If Journeyman is supposed to be the first OP document a new player ever picks up, it definitely shouldn’t be a complicated mess of tables and charts. Speaking of which …

All the tables and charts for scoring league points are gone! That’s right, determining your score each week in Journeyman is fairly simple in the new version. Let’s talk about the prizes and the scoring at the same time so the big picture will be a bit clearer.

When a player signs up for the Journeyman league, that player receives a centerpiece patch. Any other patches a player earns during the league are built off of this initial piece. Next, a player can earn up to three chevron patches, which build down from the centerpiece. For every two weeks a player participates in the league, that player receives a chevron patch. Participation counts as having played a single game that week. Easy as that! Play a game each week of the league, earn your three chevrons. Nothing else to track.

There are three championship patches that all players are vying for, with only one player winning each. These unique patches are attached to the top of the centerpiece for any player who wins them. First up is the Destroyer award, a.k.a. the Best Player award. Each week, players record how many games they have won. The player with the most games won for that week scores a single Destroyer point. If that player painted a new model from his or her collection that week, the player is considered to have won a single bonus game. If the result at the end of the week is a tie for most games won, the player who also lost the least amount of games breaks the tie. At the end of the league, the player with the most Destroyer Points (max 6) wins the Destroyer award. That means a player can’t frontload all of his or her points scoring in the first couple of weeks—you have to do well every single week of the league for a chance to win the Destroyer award.

Next up is the Creator award, or the Best Painted award. There is no longer a table of points scored per model painted and so on. Instead, at the beginning of the league, the event organizer simple names a category: “best single model,” “best battlegroup,” “best unit,” etc. At the end of the league, hobbyists can put their models in that category on display, and a winner is chosen either by event organizer decision or by a blind vote held by all participants.

Last is the Journeyman award, or the Best Sport award. You know what’s fun? Playing against someone who displays a real sense of fellowship and camaraderie whether they are winning or losing. That should be rewarded, don’t you think? At the end of the league, either the event organizer chooses or a blind vote is held to determine the winner of the Journeyman award.

Journeyman also features three new scenarios specifically designed with new players in mind. These scenarios exist somewhere between the ones you’ll find in Prime and Primal and those found in Steamroller. They are easy to understand, but they also help prep a new player about some of the basic concepts they’ll find in Steamroller if they choose to move from Journeyman into the competitive circuit. For venues looking to host a more compact Journeyman experience or to further extend their full Journeyman league, rules also exist in the new doc to run battlebox-only and end-of-event tournaments, with players using their final army selection in the latter. Even though these are tournaments in the most basic sense of the word, they are still very relaxed events that will appeal to casual players looking to play against new foes.

Speaking of battleboxes, the new Journeyman uses only the new battleboxes that are releasing with the new edition. For those few factions that are not receiving a retail battlebox, don't worry, there will be "stand ins" provided in the rules document so that no matter which faction you want to play, you are covered!

Look for all the all-new Organized Play docs to drop this June, just after the new editions of WARMACHINE & HORDES release at Lock and Load GameFest. Next time, I’ll discuss in detail some of the big changes coming to the foundation of competitive play: Steamroller.