Where Should I Start?

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If you're interested in playing Warmachine and/or Hordes, there are many people willing (and wanting) to help you.

Choose a Faction to play

Read our Faction Overview article to decide which Faction appeals to you (a Faction is essentially an army where the soldiers all belong to the same country, culture, or species).

What do you need to start playing?

Battlegroup boxes contain everything you need to start playing (except the spray template and circle templates). They're damn cheap, too. There's one available for (almost) every Faction.
Battlegroup boxes are also known as "Battleboxes" or "Starter boxes".

What you need is:

  • A copy of the rules.
    • The core gameplay rules can be downloaded here
    • Rules for specific models can be downloaded here
    • You can also get the rules via the official Warroom2 app (see below).
  • Models
    • (See Starter Products for a description of some of the boxed sets available.)
    • At least one warcaster or warlock
    • A few warjacks or warbeasts
    • Units, solos, battle engines, and structures are all optional
    All the models need to belong to the same Faction, you can't use a mish-mash from different armies (normally ... there are plenty of exceptions though).
    See Faction Overview to help you decide which Faction you want to start with.
  • Some "real superglue". Due to the materials used in the production of (most) Warmachine/Hordes models, "normal modelling glue" (polystyrene cement) doesn't work.
  • Six-sided dice. At least 3, preferably 5.
  • A measuring tape (marked with inches)
  • A set of templates. 3", 4", and 5" AOE circle templates, a 10" spray template, and a 4" x 0.75" rectangular wall template
  • A set of tokens to mark in-game effects (small bits of scrap paper can do in a pinch)
  • Some terrain (medium size pieces of scrap paper can do in a pinch)
  • A 4' x 4' (1200mm x 1200mm) playing area
  • An opponent

What you'll probably want is:

  • A decent set of tokens, templates, and terrain. You can find a bunch of that stuff from our sponsor Broken Egg Games.
  • The unofficial list-building Conflict Chamber website
  • The official Warroom2 app. This app does a lot of things:
    • It is the official list-building tool.
    • It contains a copy of all the model rules
      • Each different Faction requires an in-app purchase, or you can get everything including all future Factions for a one-off purchase.
      • These model rules are automatically updated whenever an errata is released.
      • New models will be added whenever they are released (depending on how many Faction decks you bought in-app).
    • Can be used to record damage models suffer during a game.
    • Contains a copy of the core rules (this feature is laggy as hell, I suggest you just download a pdf instead.)

How much does it cost?

How long is a piece of string? Some of the troops can be quite expensive to buy for their points cost, while warjacks and warbeasts tend to be relatively cheap. So it depends on what sort of army you're designing. Then there's the question of getting stuff on sale, or second hand, etc. You can magnetise your warjacks so you can swap which kind you use in different games. Finally most Warmachine tournaments run a "two-list pairing" system which requires you to bring two army lists from the same Faction. Depending on how much you re-use the same models between your two lists you could be looking at the second list costing you almost no extra, to costing almost the same amount again.

In general a single 75 point list in Warmachine is roughly the same cost or slightly cheaper than a single 2000 point list in Warhammer 40,000.

As a point of reference, in 2020 David Bergstorm managed to win the Las Vegas Open tournament using a two-list pairing that reused a 90% of the same models between the two lists. Despite this I would say the list pairing is on the upper limit of what you'd spend, as he used a lot of expensive solos plus a few expensive units. Altogether the RRP of his models in USD amounted to (2020 prices from PP's website):   [Show/Hide]
The two lists used by tournament winner David Bergstorm
  • Total
    • $657 to $717 depending on whether he magnetised the warjacks or not

Find other players

Official Training Videos

These videos were made in 2016, so keep in mind various rules updates since then. But the core gameplay is mostly unchanged, so they're still good videos.

They're about 45 minutes long:

You've just finished reading one of the articles in our Introduction series. The other articles are;

Once you've finished those, you may want to check out the Basic Training series.