[WM/H] Gates of Woe: Aftermath


A trifling five hours after we started, and two hours after the club normally winds up for the night, we were done.  Before another peep passes my e-lips, as it were, I want to thank all the lads from Dice and Decks, even Pete, for half a year of excellent games, for being so willing to give Warmachine a go, and, in the case of Robbie, Alex, Neal and cameraman Paul, for staying up so bloody late while we finished this thing.  I’m sorry I was so crotchety toward the end – I get like that when I’m tired, I’m afraid.

Thanks to you lot for reading this beast of a report, too.  It’s taken me roughly twice as long to write as the game took to play, in the end, and that’s not including the bit where Blogger et the first page.  I will be doing some sort of narrative conclusion to events, but I want to take my time over that and actually see if I can do some kind of Proper Story, detached somewhat from the game mechanics.

Anyway, some closing thoughts on the experience:

If I was the sort of person inclined to keep win/loss/draw records and post them in my signature on forums, this one wouldn’t count; poor Alex having to go early was a pain in the botwot, as it meant I could totally focus on Neal with both my warcasters left alive, and I hadn’t been intending the scenario to end up as a 2-on-1 fight.

Having honestly expected the lads to take down at least one ‘caster, I worry now that I’d put too much stuff in the necrotic green corner.  Shaving it back to 50 points and/or a single warcaster, or insisting that the second warcaster be a mercenary so there’s some off-synergy stuff in the build rather than the shenanigans possible with two faction ‘casters, would probably yield a more reasonable result.  That said, I wonder how much I’d have gotten away with if I’d still had Karchev to chew through.

The scenario also showed its age a bit with the deployment distances; specifically, it predates the emergence of cavalry, and the Soulhunters basically kept Neal out of the game for three turns – two to kill them and the third to start moving out, by which time Haley was on her last legs and there were some decent dents in Karchev.  There’s a difference between that and what cavalry normally do, i.e. project an impressive threat range and control movement options from the second turn onwards.  I think, in the event of a second run, I might consider disallowing cavalry, just because the size of the board and proximity of the zones means that they can engage someone and tie them up before they’ve even had a turn.

That may be a valid play – as a wise man once said to me, the two ways to win at Warmachine are either ‘beat the opponent before they know what’s happened’ or ‘deny them the chance to make anything happen’.  He was a solid player, but a fun vacuum, and he openly admitted this: his policy was to make the game a single-player experience as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Acceptable behaviour for top-end tournament play, provided all participants are emotionally mature and aware that that’s the name of the game, but not what I wanted from this experience.

All food for thought for my next trip into the dark Forest of Dean, I suppose.  In the meantime, here’s our hero slouching into the sunrise, leaving the mean streets of Ross Vegas be for the time being.


Okay, so it’s not actually me, but come on: it’s a good shot.

Author: Jon

Sententious, mercurial, and British as a bilious lord. Recovering Goth, lifelong spod. Former teacher and amateur machine politician, now freelance writer and early-career researcher.

One thought on “[WM/H] Gates of Woe: Aftermath”

  1. >Was a cracking game and very enjoyable write up.On behalf of myself (and I'm sure the others at the club will second this) I'd like to thank you for the enthusiasm, enjoyment and inspiration you bought to our club. It has been a genuine pleasure.Bon Voyage Sir!

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