Warmachine eludes me. In trying to wrap my head around it I find myself becoming frustrated. Justin introduced me to it in an enthusiastic manner. Maybe too enthusiastic. For a good couple months it was all he would talk about, while I struggled to remember all of the small rules. Warmachine for those not in the know, is a table-top strategy game with players controlling one of many factions. You have these little figures that you and an opponent move around the table trying to overcome the other. I love the concept but all of the small quirks just won’t stick. I have a lot of trouble with remembering little things, like, “remember to get the mail.” A game that lives and breathes off the meta of these little rules is like a Lovecraftian horror to me.
Justin talking non-stop about it, about all of his units, all of the little bits; his lovely red Khadorians, drove me insane. I was feeling overwhelmed by my memory problems, and felt like all he talked about was Warmachine. Saturated in it even the glorious Protectorate of Menoth I tried to march across the table could not assuage my feelings of being crushed. After a couple of months trying to go out to group play meet-ups Justin was a little fed up with me. I didn’t seem engaged, and he asked if we should stop wasting money for me to get little figures. Agreeing that may be for the best, I still persevered on occasion. But, it was sporadic at best. For all of his sudden and undying love for the game (he bought a colossal, the largest, most expensive, unit in the game, a week after playing for the first time) his constant ramblings on Warmachine had turned me off.
“I’d very much like to talk about other things now, please.”
A couple more months went by, Justin had backed up on pushing it so hard. I went to a tournament, failed miserably, but thought I’d give it another shot. I do really like the figures. Justin got me a leader I had been eying (they’re called Warcasters or Warlocks if you’re playing a Horde faction), The Harbinger. A practical deity in of herself; floating across the battlefield invoking awe and terror as only a god chosen teenager can. Suddenly my interest went up as I tried a new playstyle (previously I had only fiddled with a dude called Kreoss). My win/loss average started going up, and I was trying really hard to remember the little things. More months have gone by and I now have a little over 50 points of little figures. I still lose most of the time and when I do win there always seems to be a but rolling around.
“But, if I had done this…” you would have lost handily.
“But, these rules were broke…” so it doesn’t quite count.
I’m trying to learn to take my losses in stride, not one of my strong skills.
“You’re losing because you suck; give up.”
All of the little things come haunting over and over. It feels like there’s something about the game I just can’t seem to grasp. Like a switch I need to turn on. But, I hope, try to believe in myself and not everyone’s favourite inner monologue so I can start bringing fire upon my enemies. Maybe writing the journey down, piece by piece, will give me the ability to keep a firm grasp on the unfathomable.