First Experiences playing Mk3

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Baffo
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First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by Baffo » Mon May 30, 2016 2:05 pm

So, yesterday Weef came over to my place and we tried our very first game with Mk3 rules and cards (as far as they were spoiled); since we have no idea what SR 2016 is like, we played Incursion (3 flags) assuming that scenario would probably stay more or less unchanged.
It was Madrak2 Vs Butcher3 (he had Full Fennblades+UA, Warders, Mauler, Impaler, Mulg and Kriel stone, I had the list I posted (Butcher3, Beast, Ruin, IFP, Great bears, Snipers and a few solos).
He chose to go first and for the first 2 turns we danced around keeping stuff exactly out of charge threat ranges of each other (for the most part), with the flags in between us.
I started the trade by killing off half of the Fennblades with sniper shots and sending in Ruin fully loaded to kill all remaining Fennblades exept for the Officer and 1 grunt, while sending Beast running to engage the impaler and Totem hunter hiding behind a house near the right flag. He sent his Blood furied Warders, the Fellcaller and Mulg to finish off Beast and with Warpath managed to angle the Mauler so that it couzld charge Beast and scrapped it.
Next turn I put Silence of Death on my IFP, who charged and cleaned up the Warders and Fell caller (with a bit of help from Kell and snipers) and reformed with their mini feat to clog up Mulg and Madrak, while Butcher charged to the right flank to kill off the Mauler and being careful of staying out of Mulg Warpath+Charge range; On that turn I scored on 2 flags. Weef went for feat assassination run, using Madrak to single handedly kill off 11 IFP in shield wall and 3 great bears, accumulated 14 Fury (had to spend 3 of those to buy attacks on the way) and shot 2 fully boosted Eruptions into Butcher for 7 damage. Mulg used Warpath to get in charge range of one Wargus, charged it, missed, bough attack and then used Overtake to get barely in melee with Butcher and bought 3 more attacks on Butcher leaving him on 4 health (I reduced the damage with focus on each hit) and lastly the Impaler charged in and tried to finish off Butcher but failed. In response next turn I killed both Mulg and the impaler with focus to spare and sent solos to conztrol all the flags (including the one Madrak was hugging) scoring another 3 points and winning on scenario.

That said, I survived the assassination run, but in hindsight I should have used 2 focus to reduce the damage I suffered from Madrak's 2 spells even though they cause only 3 and 4 damage each, since I should have realized Weef had a very limited number of attacks at his disposal and I should have prevented the light damage so that I wouldn't risk as much with Mulg spiking on a roll...
At the end of the game the trolls had Madrak, 3 Krielstone members and the Gobber chef on the table, while I had Butcher, 1 Wargus, Wardog, Kell, 3 Widowmakers, the Greylord ternions and the Standard bearer of the IFP unit left... In dshort a massacre on both sides:)

What I took away from this first game with my new Butcher list is that Beast 09 is too fricking expensive and has no speed buffs in this list, so I will probably drop him for 2 plain Juggernauts or Ragers to rush forward and start the piece exchange. Also, Madrak2 is now better at single-handedly massacrating all the infantry than Butcher2 is, which annoys me.

So what are your experiences/impressions with MK3?

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J_S
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by J_S » Mon May 30, 2016 11:25 pm

Still feels like pretty much the same game though?

I've got a game lined up on June 13, just after the core rules come out. I'm going to be playing PoM vs Khador, against a player who was #1 ranked in the country some years back but like me has become a bit of a pariah in the NZ community because of his outspoken criticism of Warmachine's problems. He ended up going all in on Infinity whereas I went to Guild Ball. It's going to be a great photo op, I think.

Weefsat
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by Weefsat » Tue May 31, 2016 8:28 am

It's still the same game, but to me it felt better:

1. Being able to premeasure everything makes small tactical decisions (whether to charge or advance, where to position to take full advantage of threat ranges, setting up shield guard,...) a lot easier and smoother. This let me focus more on the overall strategy of what to put in the list and what those models should be doing in a given turn. Since that's what I liked most about warmachine anyway this is atm the biggest improvement for me.

2. When so many small balance changes come you might be inclined to just skim over them and say meh. But to me it really looks like it helped the game overall. Butcher 3 still did everything he was supposed to which made him fun to play (I assume) but I don't feel he will shut out the game instantly if you don't have the perfect counter to him anymore. I assume this is the same with other models as well. Basically what I'm saying is that having more balance makes you feel like you have more control over the game which makes for a better gameplay experience.

3. Playing with and against more jacks is more fun to me than playing only against loads of infantry. Setting up to kill a jack/beast or setting up your jack/beast to kill something just feels more rewarding to me than simply sending in clumps of cheap models and overwhelming your opponent with their sheer volume.

4. To me it feels like tough is more a formality than a serious issue now. Having to use one extra autohitting attack once in every three models won't break the game imo. Of course some rare models that shall remain unnamed are still steady and just as annoying as they were.

5. There is less armor stacking, less damage stacking and less focus/fury (both through efficiency and in general). This means that making your army unkillable or one rounding your opponent should in general be harder, making model interactions other than killing more rewarding. It didn't really show that much in this specific game, but at least we had some proper back and forth model trading instead of one player getting the better alpha (or counter alpha) and dominating the game off that single turn.

P.S. If I remember correctly you hate gargossals. Gargantuans never got played all that much and I'm not sure how that will change, as for colossals, they will probably be a lot rarer now. They have the cost of three cheap heavies, generate 2 less focus than them and have only 1 inch of range more. Unless they get some really good additional rules they will be a lot less good if your caster does not have some great support for them.

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J_S
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by J_S » Tue May 31, 2016 9:52 am

You remember correctly!

I do expect to see less Gargossals with the Power Up and Hordes death=permant fury change (whatever that's called). Gargantuans will probably mostly remain inferior as before, but losing 2-3 extra focus per Colossal (and jacks being made cheaper on the whole relative to the Colossals) will probably mean most Collosals will only be in lists with casters that buff 1 jack well (ie. Hot Shot or whatever).

Premeasuring improves the game on a social interaction level immensely (and it is a social game even at its most competitive). I do have some concerns whether they have adjusted the game sufficiently to account for it however, but that will only really be seen in about a year's time.

I can get on board with your inclination that multiple small changes makes a sizable difference. It's a similar thing with a patch in DotA - every hero gets a little change, some of the core mechanics like creep wave spawn times or gold change a bit, towers get extra armor, etc. etc. It shifts the meta, and the new edition aka. WM: Reposition aka. WM: Bandaid (and my new favourite) aka. WM: Mk3yearsinthemaking, will definitely shift the meta [further criticisms withheld for reasons of temporary optimism!:) )

S'tan
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by S'tan » Tue May 31, 2016 6:41 pm

So it's more chess and less carpentry.

How do you feel about power attacks?

Weefsat
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by Weefsat » Tue May 31, 2016 8:14 pm

I haven't used them or even seen the new rules on them so I have no idea.

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J_S
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by J_S » Tue May 31, 2016 11:26 pm

Weefsat wrote:I haven't used them
Post Colossal player confirmed :P

Weefsat
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by Weefsat » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:13 pm

I did use a headbutt from the Mauler's grab and smash but I missed. Btw, one thing I forgot to mention is that I never realized just how much I hated the morale mechanics until playing a game without it. It was just so stupid and swingy. 95% of the time it was worthless, 2.5% of the time you randomly won the game because of it and 2.5% of the time you randomly lost. Removing it makes the game run so much smoother in my opinion.

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J_S
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by J_S » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:44 am

Agreed. I played Gators for 3 years so never had to worry about command checks except when I took Bog Trogs, who inevitably failed if I used them for anything other than Rask fodder.

The irony is that at the end of Mk1, people only played fearless stuff for this exact reason, and instead of removing the fleeing mechanic, they just reduced the number of fearless things in the game. Same thing happened - at least this time they removed that antiquated 40k mechanic from the game. Maybe next edition they'll remove Tough?

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Baffo
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Re: First Experiences playing Mk3

Post by Baffo » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:16 pm

Ok, we tried the Harkevich jack spam and it worked pretty well. Eventually I lost on scenario 4 Vs 5 CPs (we were playing Incursion = 3 flags, since that is the only scenario I am fairly certain will stay in SR 2016), due to me not contesting a flag 1 turn too many and starting controlling my flags 1 turn too late, but setting aside my own play errors (due to rust and unfamiliarity with running so man jacks) the list dominated for most of the game and if I did a better job of contesting his only flag on the last turn I would have won.

Unlike last game this time we both used lots of Power attacks (Slams and throws) to push away contesting heavies and stuff.
My shooting managed to clear out all but 2 Fennblades and all the Champions in the first 2 turns of the game with them only damaging my contesting Juggernaut in response. MVP for my side was most likely the Behemoth with his powerful shot bombards killing most of the troll infantry before charging into Mulg on turn 3 or 4 and removing him with 1 foc to spare:)
Second best out of my stable of jacks was surprisingly the Devastator, just running around Bulldozing stuff away or slamming into contesting heavies without opening up and being generally a huge pain in the ass for Weef to deal with.
I am thinking dropping the mechanics to upgrade the Rager in a second Devastator and use the 2 clam jacks to push into scenario zones/flags with the Jugo standing a little bit behind them to charge whoever charged the clams and the 3 ranged jacks lobbing shots in the enemy lines all the while...
Will have to try it out against something else than Weef's trolls in the next 2 weeks, since Weef will be busy with exams, but for now this list looks rather promising:D

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