May the odds be ever in your favor! ~Suzanne Collins
What the heck is Warmachine? Believe it or not I can answer that one! Warmachine is a model game whereas people put together these figures like any model. Yes, just like model cars or trains or planes. For the most part, they are glued and painted and tended to with such care as if they were the Crown Jewels. However, Warmachine takes the hobby a step further. The figurines are played on a four foot by four foot battlefield against others of the same interest.
According to Wikipedia Warmachine is a tabletop steampunk wargame produced by Privateer Press.
This game is fairly new in the gaming world, from what I’ve been told. It’s been around for over ten years. In that time, established tournaments and practices all over the world have had been set-up and competed in. There are even championship type of games. Yes, this happens in plain view without knowledge of it, only to someone like me who has no interest in such games, but those who do are well aware.
Interesting tidbit, I heard there is a big tournament in Poland this year and the United States is allowed to send two teams for our representation. That’s actually pretty cool, if I understood correctly. I was also informed that this game is very competitive in Korea. Apparently, they’ve taken the game to another level of intensity.
Again how am I now privy to such information and inside scoop for being an outsider? I have a man on the inside, Kyle! Since his birthday a couple of weeks ago A Teenager! Happy Birthday Kyle! Gift of Music – The Final Piano Lesson, I’ve mentioned everything has changed, for us all. Once Kyle found out we have a comic book store in Latrobe, he’s been wanting to stop in and check out the scene. My sister took him and somehow he got hooked on Warmachine, purchasing his first starter set just after his birthday.
Ever since then, he’s been begging us to drop him off at the comic book store to hang out, trying for a chance encounter with another Warmachine player for an epic battle. We have, but not without constant communication and for short periods of time. In those “freedom” sessions, Kyle has battled the locals in Warmachine. He’s loving every waking minute of it. He even tried to take me to the dark side by teaching me the game, fat chance. Although, I do believe he has my sister’s interest peeked. She’ll be next on the list to drink the Warmachine cool-aide.
This past Saturday, there was a Warmachine tournament. Yes, Kyle was psyched about it since he heard the news. Literally, he was painting his figurines and reading up on the game all week, like he was cramming for a big exam. Kyle’s faction he plays is Khador. From what Kyle has told me, they come from the north. Awesome, I can dig that!
There was a lot going on, but I changed my plans to spend the day with Kyle. Personally, I thought it might take a couple hours, until I was informed to plan on a seven hour day, if I was fortunate. The length depends on the number of participants. Lucky me, there was only about ten participants, five matches playing at a clip with a total of three rounds.
Kyle lost his first two matches, but from what I was told he did so with humility and grace. The one gentleman came up to me and said, “If that was my son I would be so proud.” I had no idea what he was talking about. To be honest, I was going to simply thank him, thinking he was talking about a kid who finds this type of gaming fun. I found out I was wrong when he continued, “He listened to everything his opponent said, and didn’t argue and lost without incidence.” Kyle was showing good sportsmanship and humility. That man was right, I should be proud and I most certainly was!
His first match was against a man I’m guessing was in his late forties. He also happened to be a referee, or whatever they call it when a person monitors matches. For this game he was a participant, but a very knowledgeable one at that.
Kyle’s second match was against the first gentleman’s niece. Yes, it’s a family gig! And yes chicks dig this too! She, Aerial was a lovely gal of seventeen years. She also goes to different tournaments in New York and such and competes against younger children of single digits. Can you believe it? I give this young lady credit, she loves the game and doesn’t seem intimidated by a predominately male presence. Her game pieces are even mostly pink in color scheme, further bringing a touch of femininity to Warmachine. She informed me she started playing when she was ten, but also in current years she’s been too busy to really stay in tuned with all things Warmachine.
For Kyle’s third match he battled Aerial’s brother Shawn, being three weeks shy from thirteen. Finally! Someone closer to Kyle’s age. To be honest, this is what bothered me the most, the adult men Kyle was playing against. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I did feel a bit uneasy with Kyle playing with adults, strangers no doubt. Perhaps it was my ignorance over the game or my fears from the ugliness of reality, or both that swept me away. However I will admit, I was put at ease with Kyle’s opponent who was closer to his age.
Everyone else in the room? Yep, I would say just taking a guess, mid to late thirties plus, mostly married. (Where are their wives and what do they feel about this hobby? I guess it’s no different than fantasy football.) Everyone there was very nice and patient and encouraging with Kyle. I couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people for him to hang out with for the day.
The mediator or referee or whatever his official title was, happened to be a very articulate and kind man. He entertained my thousands of questions and tried to explain this world and the interest others have in it, as best he could. Naturally, he too had a passion for Warmachine. Kudos to him for doing what he loves.
Now I can’t claim that I would ever get into this game, which Kyle will be disappointed to hear, but I can also come to the realization that eventually I will know more about this game than most. I support Kyle in whatever he does and whatever hobby peeks his interests or his future interests, as long as he keeps them in check and they don’t rule his life.
The local comic book store is full of very nice people. I mean that, exceptionally nice and sincere. Every time I’ve been in there, they’ve treated Kyle and myself as a special guest. Not out of brown nosing or to butter us up to spend more or anything negative of the such, but simply to be nice. They all enjoy their jobs and love the games they sell. It’s definitely a job of passion. I’m impressed!
In fact, upon Kyle’s registration for the tournament, we were told there are different required army points to play. Kyle was shy by about twelve points, being a newbie and all. Meaning he didn’t have enough figures to total the needed points. The comic book store employee called someone to see if Kyle could borrow a few figurines for the tournament to get him eligible. It was approved and Kyle was in business. I was very grateful, as was Kyle.
One another side note, I totally can get into the painting of these figurines. I asked Kyle if I could paint one. He told me no. I was kind of bummed, but whatever.
Yes, Kyle lost all three battles, but I believe he had a blast and learned a lot. Of course, experience is a big part of life and learning. He is now on his way to being a Warmachine maniac, within reason of course.