Anyone that knows me, know that I’m, to be generous, a methodical player. This is ok in casual games, but Warmachine tournaments normally have a timed element, and the campaign at club is running a relaxed timed turn format.
This has not worked out so well in my last few games. In fairness, I completely screwed up me first timed game after I got back from holiday, and was a little unlucky in my second. To try and help things along, I’ve picked up a few tricks to shorten my turn times.
Time Tricks (for beginners)
First up is organising my stat cards. Individual card sleeves are great, and I still use them; but clear plastic trading card pages are perfect to organising those cards so you know exactly where the card I need is when I need it.
Although I was originally sceptical, I have to admit this works really well.
Second thing is organising tokens. These little accessories are almost essential to Warmachine, but nine times out of ten, you do not need all of them. First up are the focus tokens. Ravyn for example only needs six, plus one for the acranist; so first thing during deployment, these tokens are placed next to the appropriate cards.
If there are any effects tokens required by specific weapons, these also come out.
The third thing is to try and learn all of your models rules and stats by heart. This probably will have the biggest impact and it is something I’m really bad at (at least for Warmachine; I can reel off stats for my Tau and Eldar 40K desipte not playing them for a couple of years).
And finally, having a plan doesn’t hurt. This is a new thing for me as a tend to improvise a lot, however with timed turns a degree of simple turn by turn reflex will help remove pressure and make time for the more complex turns.
For the record, I’m using an app called Battle Clock on my iPad as a game timer and that seems to work really well.
On the plus side, using either timed turns or a chess clock (which I prefer) does improve the pace of the game and removes a lot of the over analysing which can happen in a game as in complex as Warmachine.
After using Ravyn for a few games now, I’ve come to realise some of the limitations of this caster, especially with the models I’m using her with. One of the biggest problems seems to be focus management.
For our campaign, I’m using two heavy jacks, however these are both focus hogs. In any given turn I really need to upkeep Snipe on the Mage Hunters, maintain Discordia’s imprint, and put down a Veil of Mist template. This accounts for five focus points (out of Ravyn’s six) before trying to do anything else.
Sylys helps, as will an acranist, but even still, I think Ravyn would be better just running Discordia. On the grounds I keep on getting her killed, an Apsis has also now been ordered.
On the plus side, Ravyn herself can clear out infantry with horrible efficiency. This needs some practice because it is also really easy to put her in a position to be murdered in the following turn.
After the initial success with the snipe, feat, go tactic; I can safely say I need a maximum sized Mage Hunter Strike Force to put this off regularly. Despite seriously wounding two more casters, going for caster kills has cost me my last two games.
Not wanting to do things the easy way, I have challenged the top Cyrx player in our campaign with his mostly stealthy eDenny list. Whilst I’m pretty sure I will lose with my campaign army list, I am assembling something a bit more lethal for ‘normal’ games with Ravyn at 35 and 50 points.
A full unit of Mage Hunters, Discordia, Stormfall Archers and an Acranist are all at the top of that list so hopefully I’ll be able to report a little more success over the Autumn!