Info for returning players

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Beware, gentle reader, for you have stumbled upon an article hidden within The Vaults. These dim and dusty halls are a resting place for articles that are seldom read, seldom updated, and sometimes woefully obsolete. Plus, you know, all the other junk we can't find a better place for.


This article is written for players that stopped playing several years ago, started again recently, and want to know what's changed in the meantime.

Mk2 Reboot (2010)[edit]

General

  • Point scale changed more or less entirely. What used to be a 500 point game is now a 35 point game.
  • LOS entirely dictated by model volume.
  • Clouds now provide concealment.
  • No more screening.
  • No more "waterfalling" damage from charges.
  • Many special rules simplified. If there were multiple similar rules, they got condensed into a single version. Some special rules were eliminated.
  • Many common rules are now icons on the front of the card.
  • Introduction of Retribution of Scyrah and Minions as full Factions.

Warcasters and warjacks

  • Warcasters no longer cost points to add to your army. They also come with extra points that can only be spent on warjacks.
  • Warjacks need to be completely destroyed to be removed, different mechanics for some lost systems.

Warlocks and warbeasts

  • Warlocks have battlegroups now
  • Warlocks no longer cost points to add to your army. They also come with extra points that can only be spent on warbeasts.
  • Warlocks can no longer reeve from beasts they transfer to.
  • Frenzy simplified.

Units

  • Formation just in CMD now
  • Units come in specific sizes. Normally you can choose between a "Minimum" or "Maximum" sized units, but some units are a fixed size. No spending points on individual dudes.

Mk2 Expansion (2011-2016)[edit]

  • 2011.06
    • New model type Ranking Officers
    • An attachment for mercenary units which makes them a Faction unit, letting them be targetted by "Faction-only" buffs and spells.
    • New model type Battle Engines
    • A huge-based (120mm) model with a power level approximately equal to (or slightly above) a heavy warjack/warbeast. But they're not part of your battlegroup.
  • 2012.07
    • New model type Colossals
    • A huge-based (120mm) warjack with a power level to match.
  • 2013.02
    • New mini-faction Convergence
    • A cult of machine-worshippers who have managed to transfer their souls into robot bodies.
  • 2013.03
    • New model type Gargantuans
    • A huge-based (120mm) warbeast with a power level to match.
  • 2014.08
    • New Mercenary contract Cephalyx
    • Cephalyx dwell underground, are powerful psychics, and capture live creatures and transform them into mindless drudges to be their combat troops.
  • 2014.09
    • New model type Warbeast Packs
    • A mixture of the unit rules and the warbeast rules.
  • 2014-ish

Mk3 Reboot (2016.06)[edit]

Free rules

  • Rules (both the core rules and the model rules) can be downloaded from the PP site for free.

General

  • Point scale basically doubled, and more points shunted into either your warcaster/warlocks free points, or into your theme free points. What was a 500 point game in Mk1, or a 50 point game in Mk2, is now a 75 point game.
  • Many special rules simplified. If there were multiple similar rules, they got condensed into a single version. Some special rules were eliminated.
  • Many more common rules are now icons on the front of the card.
  • Incorporeal models cannot make free strikes, although they can engage enemies in melee.
  • No more distinction between Light Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry (other than in their stats and how good they are at Repositioning).
  • Models need to be completely within forests/clouds/hills to benefit from it. No more "toeing in" for the concealment/elevation bonus.
  • You can still "toe in" for scenario zones.
  • No more fear and morale rules.
  • The same spell is now more often found within different Factions.
  • More spells and effects are "Friendly Faction only". This has decreased the use of Mercenaries & Minions in other Factions.
  • Rather than Epic, character models just have numbered versions.

Combat

  • You can't declare charges vs friendly models.
  • ROF changed. It now gives you multiple initial attacks with the gun, instead of needing to spend focus/fury on multiple shots. Many special rules like Multi-Fire, Strafe-Fire, Quick-Fire, etc were made into ROF 2 or ROF 3 guns. There are still a couple of guns in the game that can spend focus/fury for extra shots, with the Reload rule.
  • Melee weapons now have a RNG stat. 0.5", 1", 2", or in one rare case 3".

Power Attacks

  • You can't make Power Attacks vs friendly models.
  • Push and Weapon Lock Power Attacks removed from the game.
  • Throw rules simplified.
  • There is now a better distinction between Throw caused by a Power Attack, Throw caused by a weapon/spell, and Being Thrown. Similar clarity for Slams.

Units

  • You can't cast a spell on a model that is out of formation.
  • Unit Attachments (UA) now called Command Attachments (CA).
  • FA of CAs matches FA of base unit now.

Warcasters and Warjacks

  • Warcasters no longer gain extra ARM for camping focus. Instead they can spend focus to reduce damage (up to 5 damage ignored per attack).
  • Warjacks no longer leave wreck markers.
  • Warjacks gain 1 free focus each turn. They need to be in a battlegroup (not controlled by a Jack Marshal) and be in CTRL range during the Control Phase.
  • 'Jack Marshal rules rewritten, they're a fair bit better now.

Warlocks & Warbeasts

  • Warlocks can leech fury from warbeasts that are already long dead. During the Control Phase they can gain a fury for every non-lesser warbeast destroyed in the game.
  • Warbeast animi are always spells, whoever casts it.
  • Frenzy simplified.

Theme Forces

  • Theme Forces completely restructed. They're no longer "one per warcaster/warlock". Now they're "4 to 6 per Faction" and can be led by any caster.
  • Bonuses aren't locked into tiers anymore - if you play in the theme, you get all the bonuses.
  • You get "free cards" for taking specific stuff. For instance, taking 20 points of Bane models in Dark Host will let you get a free solo. Taking 40 points will get you two free solos, etc.
  • Most themes only allow up to one Mercenary unit, and up to one Mercenary solo. And they almost never count towards free points. This has decreased the use of Mercenaries & Minions in other Factions.

Mk3 Expansion (2016.06 - today)[edit]

Specific Changes[edit]

  • 2017.06
    • New mini-faction Grymkin
    • A Hordes faction, they're sort of creepy fairytale creatures. Their warlocks don't have feats, but have 3 weaker "Arcana" instead.
  • 2017.09
    • New model type Structures
    • A huge based, immobile model. They tend to be support-orientated, with a powerful gun.
  • 2018.06
    • New mini-faction Crucible Guard
    • A Warmachine faction, they have straightforward rules (nothing like Arcana or Induction). They have a focus on guns and debuffs.
  • 2019.06

General Changes[edit]

Theme Forces
What didn't become clear until about a year after mk3 launched was just how big theme forces would become. Nowadays, everyone plays in a theme force. Although you can play non-theme if you want to get a specific combination of models, the benefits of playing in-theme drastically outweigh the drawbacks.

Also, most themes only allow up to one Merc/Minion unit and one Merc/Minion solo. This has decreased the use of Mercenaries & Minions in other Factions.

Steamroller
There have been 4 key changes that have affected how people play the game and design army lists:

  1. Game length limited to 7 rounds.
  2. Terrain set out rules implemented, which require a LOS-blocking piece of terrain at or near the centre of the board.
  3. To win on scenario you need to get 5 points more than your opponent, instead of just 5 total.
  4. Although any type of model can contest a scenario element, to control it you need a specific type of model. Flags can only be controlled by solos (and flags are the only things solos can control) etc.

CID
Stands for Community Integrated Development. It's a PP-run forum separate to their main forums, where once a month or so they have a 2 week window where they ask players for feedback on new models about to be released, or existing models that are about to be errata'd. Then they close the forum, run about another month of internal testing, before all the releases are made "live".

It has created bit of a weird play environment because some players don't want to play with something that is currently in CID (or about to be in CID) because they perceive that its unaltered state is weaker. Other players want to play with only the CID version of the rules - even though they have no intention of giving feedback and even though the CID rules aren't always the same as the "live" version - because they perceive that its altered state is more powerful.

Oh, and as to the CID forum itself? There's essentially three parts: The model rules, the "theory and list building" section, and the "battle reports" section. The "theory" section is a, well ... imagine the worst parts of the old General Discussion forums, stuff like requests for buffs, people shouting and arguing about OP and UP, and fan-made model rules that over the top, and you've imagined about 80% of it.

PP Forums Downsized & Pressganger Programme shut dow
At the end of mk2 PP closed down parts of their forum - General Discussion and all the Faction-specific subforums are no more. In the years since, players have migrated to a mixture of Lormahordes, Discord, Facebook, and Reddit. There has been a bit of community splintering as a result.

Around the same time, PP shut down the Pressganger programme (the mostly-volunteer-run recruitment/marketing/tournament-organising group). They shut it down because another game company with a similar programme had a lawsuit made against it and PP didn't want to be in the same boat.

No more paper publications
PP has moved to a digital-only format. In Mk3 they intended to release "Command books" for each faction followed by "Theme books" for each new theme, but not enough people were buying the books (why would you when the rules are free) so they stopped producing theme books and moved the "theme content" into No Quarter Prime.

But not enough people were buying the monthly No Quarter magazine so it was briefly discontinued, then came back as a once-every-3-months No Quarter Prime, only for that to get discontinued as well because people still didn't want to buy it.

The current plan (as of 2018.11) is to put content like that on the online Privateer Insideer blog thingy.

BAHI & Mini-Crate
Black Anchor Heavy Industries is the name of PP's direct-order only range of models. It is only huge-based models, only ones that were released from 2017 onwards, and even then it's only "most" not "all" of the ones released since 2017. BAHI models can only be purchased from PP's own online store (or bought 2nd-hand).

Mini-Crate is the name of PP's subscription-only range of models. They're alternate sculpts of existing models. They're mostly mercenary or minion resculpts. You sign up for a 6 month (or 12?) subscription, and every month a new limited edition sculpt gets posted to you. Plus one bonus one for when you first register.I