The aggressive, metal-on-metal WARMACHINE game is set in the Iron Kingdoms, an environment that combines the richness of traditional fantasy with the excitement of steam power and gunpowder. Across the realm, ancient rivalries among nations are exploding into all-out conflict, setting the stage for WARMACHINE and other Iron Kingdom products.
In this 30 mm tabletop miniatures battle game, each player controls an elite soldier-sorcerer who leads an army into battle to fight for king, country, or simply coin. These warcasters are formidable and experienced combatants, and the warjacks they control represent the pinnacle of military might in the Iron Kingdoms.
WARMACHINE puts players directly onto the battlefield as warcasters and their armies clash. A game is fought with the thundering cannons, ripping iron claws, and crushing hammer blows of the giant steam-powered warjacks as well as the devastating spells wrought by the warcasters themselves and the lethal weapons of their warriors. When the dust settles, one side is victorious—and the other is nothing but smoking scrap metal!
Privateer Press have done a great introductory video to Warmachine, after which I’ve also included a Battle Report from Ash at Guerilla Miniatures because I find these very enjoyable to watch.
Warmachine – Gameplay Tutorial
Rules & Miniatures
All the rules and miniatures can be purchased from Privateer Press, though I’m sure some FLGS will offer discounts on these prices.
They have two starter armies from the six factions available. Both of these are reasonably priced at $39.99.
A lot of us started wargaming with Games Workshop and have stuck with them ever since.
Therefore I’m hoping that this article may introduce you to other wargames you may not have heard of, while giving you a brief synopsis of the game itself.
All of the following games are from companies which both produce the rules, and sell the miniatures for that game.
Kings of War (Mantic Games)
Kings of War is thought by many to be the successor to Warhammer Fantasy, and features many of the same armies (with slightly different names. E.g. Ratkin instead of Skaven).
“Kings of War is a table-top war game that allows you to play epic fantasy battles in the world of Pannithor. You and your opponent will pit your wits and armies against each other in a battle of tactics, a contest of skill and an explosion of magic and steel.“
However, be aware the price point for these models are pretty much the same as Games Workshop with a pack of twenty models costing £32.50 in the UK.
The models are well crafted and look stunning. Some of the range is still in metal.
Skyrim – Call to Arms (Mordiphius)
For fans of Skyrim there’s Call to Arms by Mophidius.
“The Elder Scrolls: A Call to Arms is an adventure wargame set in the world of Tamriel. Gather your heroes and venture into Draugr haunted tombs and ruins, searching for treasure and glory. Or, fight the Civil War as the Stormcloaks and Imperials battle for the future of Skyrim.“
The advantage of Skyrim: Call to Arms is that it also has a solo play method for gaming.
While not a massive battle game like Warhammer AoS or Kings of War, the game focuses more on small skirmish games and dungeon delving.
The models will set you back roughly £40 for a pack of 12. But the quality is on par with both Mantic and GW.
A Song of Fire & Ice (Cmon)
This is the official Game of Thrones miniatures game which has been licensed to Cmon.
“A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game is a competitive miniatures game for two or more players. Each player controls one of the Great Houses of Westeros, commanding battlefield units, recruiting legendary Heroes, and manipulating the political stage, in the attempt to claim the greatest prize of all: The Iron Throne.“
The miniatures are excellently detailed, however they are mono-pose. The starter set which includes 50 Lannister miniatures and 43 Stark Miniatures can be found on various websites including Amazon for about £100.
The game also incorporates deck building and list building into its five different game modes.
Warmachine/Hordes (Privateer Press)
“WARMACHINE is a fast-paced and aggressive 30 mm tabletop miniatures battle game set in the steam-powered fantasy world of the Iron Kingdoms. Take control of an elite soldier-sorcerer called a warcaster and his mighty warjacks–massive steam-powered combat automatons–as you battle to destroy the enemy warcaster.“
Warmachine and Hordes are relatively similar and involve smaller armies. It’s a great system for those looking for lower model counts. The models are really nice and would make great painting projects on their own. Just look at the below Warjack model….
However a model like the above will set you back around £70 with the rest of the range costing between £30-£70 for a box.
Frostgrave (Warlord Games)
Warlord Games are quintessentially Games Workshop ex-employees. With Rick Preistley being among their number. They have a large (and excellent) historical range of figures, but also some fantasy with offers in both Warlords of Erehwon and Frostgrave.
“Warlords of Erehwon is a fantasy based game designed for 28mm tabletop warfare. The gameplay is built around the D10 system developed for the science-fiction game Beyond the Gates of Antares and also using the praised order dice mechanic first used in the Bolt Action WW2 rules.“
Warlord Games miniatures are not as finely detailed as other manufacturers out there, but what they lack in detail they make up for in value. A box of 20 plastic models from Warlord will set you back around £20 (half of what GW charge nowadays).
Next week, I’ll go through five non-GW science fiction games as an alternative to Warhammer 40,000.