Saturday, October 29, 2011

Learning Center: Warmachine/Hordes Core Mechanics

So its been a busy week but I hope that my articles have inspired you to at least be curious about Warmachine/Hordes if you have not played before!  If you have played before, I hope that I might have inspired you to start playing again.  I will be writing two more articles that will follow in the next couple of weeks, explaining the differences between fury and focus, and some of the more common special rules in the game.  If you want to learn the basics, this is an article for you! 

Warmachine and Hordes are two different sides of the same coin - a miniatures game where big steam-powered machines called warjacks are thrown into combat against giant beasts of flesh and bone!  Do you dream of giant robot combat?  Do you get excited by the idea of giant 6-limbed elephants slamming giant werewolves into the ground?  This is definitely a game of brutal combat, hardcore, aggressive and tons of fun!

So how do you play this game of beasts and machines?  Well let's start with the basics: 2d6.  In Warmachine and Hordes you will find that many of the rolls you need to make are made by rolling two dice and adding the results together.  This means that there's a weighted average around a 7.  There will be times, however, where you get a boosted die.  A boost counts as an extra die, however you cannot add more than one boosted die.  In other words, "you can't boost a boost".  There will be situations where you will be allowed the add an additional die to the roll though.  Any time you see a rule or spell that allows you to add an additional die, you have no limit to the number of additional dice you can add, including boosts.  For example, a weapon with the weapon master characteristic allows you to roll an additional die when rolling for damage.  If you boosted your damage, you would roll 4d6.

Stryker's card

So let's look at your basic character stats.  Fortunately, Warmachine and Hordes models and units come with their own cards with all of their stats and rules printed onto the card.  This makes it convenient to find your special rules and abilities.  Let's look at Coleman Stryker, a warcaster for Cygnar who can be found in the battle box.

The first place you should look for his stats are in a table found in the top right, and you'll see number for the following stats: SPD, STR, MAT, RAR, DEF, ARM, and CMD.  First, SPD represents the movement speed of the model and tells you how many inches the model can normally move.  Stryker has a SPD of 6, so that means he can move 6".  Every model is allowed to perform a movement followed by an action (such as attacking), but a model may sacrifice their action in order to run at 2x SPD, so Stryker could run 12".

Let's skip over STR for a minute and look at his MAT.  This stat represents how easily he can hit a target with a melee attack.  His RAT represents how easily he can hit a target when he's shooting with a ranged weapon (such as his disruptor pistol).  The DEF stat determines the defense, or how difficult it is to hit the model with either a melee, ranged, or magical attack.  The ARM represents how well armored a model is and helps us figure out how much damage is dealt to a model in a given attack.

So let's look at the card for another model: High Exemplar Kreoss.  Let's imagine that Stryker was able to swing his sword, Quicksilver, at Kreoss.  We would roll 2d6 and add the numbers together.  Let's say he rolled a 4 and a 5, we would take the 9 and add it to his MAT of 7, to equal 16.  We compare that to Kreoss' DEF of 14.  Since the roll + MAT equaled or beat Kreoss' DEF, we score a hit!  We would imagine that we could do the same thing but we would use his RAT (6) + 2d6.  In order to determine how much damage is done, we again roll 2d6 but this time we add either the POW of the weapon if it's a ranged weapon, or the POW + STR (P+S) of the weapon if it's a melee weapon.  We take that result and for each point above the ARM of the target, we deal 1 damage point.

Going back to our example, we would roll 2d6 for our damage roll against Kreoss.  This time, Stryker was not very lucky, and rolled a 3 and a 1, giving us a result of 4.  We add this to the P+S of his melee weapon (13) and see that we got only a 17 for a total result.  Subtracting Kreoss' ARM 15, that means that we only did 2 points of damage.  Not very good!

Lastly, you'll notice at the bottom of the card that there is a series of boxes.  These are the damage boxes and show how much damage a model can suffer before it becomes "boxed" and then is destroyed.  We can see that Kreoss can take 18 damage points before he is "boxed", while Stryker only has 17 damage boxes.

So those are some of the basic rules for now.  Next time we'll look at the fun of handling your warjacks or warbeasts using focus and fury, respectively, followed by another article on some of the common individual rules that weapons and models can have, that are represented by the little icons on the cards.

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