The local Warmachine league finally wound to a close a few weeks ago and from all appearances it was a rousing success. Here in St. Louis we had the largest league in the country, checking in with around 35 players grouped into 14 teams. There were plenty of new faces that showed up and the game store was packed on most league nights, and it was a great time week in and week out.
Cygnar boasted highest representation with 11 players (4 teams). Cryx and the Protectorate both had 8 players (3 teams each) and Khador trailed with 7 players (also 3 teams). Our final player was the organizing Pressganger who occupied a virtual spot on the ladder for the purpose of bonus points and accepted any challenge, playing whatever faction the other player chose.
One of the Cryxians, D.Vader, took the Champion pin, and his team Dead Men Walking (also including Saultydog/Superduck and AslainKheog) won the best team award. One of my Protectorate teammates, Rassillion007, snagged the Relentless award and Patman, a Cygnaran, scored the Tactician award.
Overall the league was a very enjoyable experience. I was able to play a lot of very enjoyable games against both new and old opponents. I also used use some warcasters that I hadn’t really used before to try out new lists and new strategies. I’ve learned the joy of the POW 14 Fire. However while the members of the local gaming group make the league a very enjoyable experience, I’m not 100% happy with the way that Privateer Press set up the rules for the league.
The biggest issue I had with the league was the emphasis on quantity over quality. It was quite possible to finish near the top of the ladder just by playing (and losing) game after game after game. Now I recognize that Privateer Press wanted the league to be a more casual less intense form of organized play than their Steamroller tournament rules, but in my opinion the rules as they are set up give too much of an advantage to the person who can make it to the tournament venue more days/week than the others.
As part of t he weekly rules, Privateer Press provided a scenario for each pair of factions that games between members of those factions would play every time they met up that week. While they originally promoted these scenarios as new an interesting settings, most of them have been only slightly altered versions of their Steamroller scenarios. In addition the scenarios were recycled over and over so that your faction was scheduled to participate in some of the same scenarios over and over, to the point where it got repetitive.
Granted with four different teams over six weeks of league, there’d need to be quite a few scenarios per season to have no crossover but it’d be nice if there was no repeat from one week to the next. Some of the scenarios were rather annoying and seeing them for a second time was disappointing.
Despite those quibbles, the league was a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to when the Spring season starts up here in a week and a half. We’ve adjusted a few league rules to try to balance things out – limiting league games to a few nights per week and randomizing teams to try to spread out the skill. Things should be very interesting this time around.