Enter The Scrub: Reverse First and Actual First

Since the last time I posted about Warmachine I’ve picked up a second faction, The Legion of Everblight, and acquired a lot more little Menoth dudes.  The little rules still catch me up; I spend the same amount of time asking “Is this how it works?” as I ever did, but I’m less frustrated about it.  Persevering is just about always the right answer.  When it comes to playing this game for me it’s not about getting better at the mechanics, it’s about overcoming my own fallacies.  So far, it’s working.

A few months back I played in a big 50-point timed tournament.  That’s as big as a Warmachine tournament game tends to get.  I threw down Kreoss, his first version (warcasters/locks can come in three different variations of the same character with different spells/stats) and lost spectacularly.  It was always to little mistakes (mis-measuring, putting Kreoss in a bad spot, losing to not being aggressive enough), I was disheartened but still having fun.  50 point games could still leave me thinking, “I never want to do that again.”  There’s a lot going on for me to keep track of and remember.  Two of my weakest points.  I came in last but still laughed about it.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  We play a Mangled Metal Tooth and Claw tournament (only 20 points, just ‘jacks or ‘beasts, the signature unit types of the game).  I play my Legion, Absylonia the first, with a carnivean, the Typhon and a single shredder.  I won every single game I played.  Even against some of the strongest players in our group.  The victory left me feeling happy and more capable than previous.  I had been playing more games than normal, pushing through the frustration I feel so easily, and it payed off.  I still frequently lose 50-point games, but I’m having more fun and feeling less frustrated.

Next Mangled Metal Tooth and Claw will be Menoth and we’ll see if I can pull out another win (probably not).  I’m just happy to continually work at it and maybe one day soon that horrible frustration, no matter the outcome, will completely fade away.


Enter The Scrub

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.