Why There Is No Worst Warmachine Faction

Warmachine Reckoning Voidtracker

With twelve factions, seven Warmachine and five Hordes, it can be appealing to break down the factions into ranking of which is best and which is worst.

It can be a fun discussion, used to assess perceived strength (typically highly influenced by the faction you play) and critically consider what each faction can do. However, there is no worst faction. There isn’t even a bad faction.


A lot of things could be meant by saying a faction is bad or the worst. Right now I am looking at it focused purely on competition. To say a faction is worse than another is to say that in the hands of equally skilled players, one faction is less likely to win than another.

To be fair, there is an element of this. If I were to play Circle tomorrow in a tournament, that would be one of the worst factions for me. This isn’t a problem with the faction, but reflects my lack of experience with playing the faction. However, this is highly individualized.


Okay, lets look at some of the limited data available to us. The only global tournament result database I know of is on www.DiscountGamesInc.com/Tournaments. Here we’ve got the top lists for all major tournaments. Lets look at which factions have won first place at least once in a tournament (Masters and Iron Gauntlet) in 2015, ignoring the WTC.

  1. Cygnar – Templecon Masters
  2. Menoth – Gigacon
  3. Khador – Kingdomcon Iron Gauntlet
  4. Cryx – NOVA Open Iron Gauntlet
  5. Retribution – Store Wars
  6. Convergence – Gencon
  7. Mercenaries – Intermountain Cup
  8. Trollbloods – Adepticon Masters
  9. Circle – Warmachine Weekend Iron Gauntlet
  10. Legion – Warmachine Weekend Masters
  11. Skorne – Irish Masters
  12. Minions – Templecon Iron Gauntlet

Every single faction won at least one Masters or Iron Gauntlet in 2015. No faction was left without a first place trophy.

Let’s take a second and point out how remarkable it is for a game of this size to have every single faction win a major tournament in one calendar year. It’s just plain impressive. Warmachine isn’t perfect, nor is it completely balanced, but it is incredible to have a game of this size and diversity where every faction has the tools to win major events.


Cryx-Nightmare-PPWhich faction is broken can depend on who you ask. One Cygnar player’s bane may be Cryx, and that player may hate Retribution, who may want to hide from Legion, who hates punching Trolls, who may be terrified of erratas. Perception of power is highly individualized and dependent on personal experience. I’ve had multiple conversations with people across the globe regarding specific matchups, and our approaches and attitudes towards those matchups can vary wildly. Something I have problems with here in DFW another player handles easily, sometimes even with the same list. It all varies based on playstyle and opponents.

However, I’m not satisfied to leave this question at a simple “everyone’s different, bro” based on this alone.


To start with, Discount Games’ tournament lists. Battle College has already compiled a page of tournament analysis from DGI’s data. This data is not up to date, but still has some interesting points.

First off, Cryx far and away has the most tournament winnings with 92 lists showing up. The next faction is Cygnar with 52. Convergence, Minions, and Mercenaries have fewer that 10 lists each that made it to the top. The temptation would be to declare Cryx and Cygnar the best with Convergence, Minions, and Mercs as the worst. However, we’re missing important data behind these numbers. Mainly, how well are the factions represented? If 40% of players at tournaments are playing Cryx, then Cryx should be winning 40% of tournaments assuming factions are balanced. The low number of lists for Minions could be more due to lack of popularity than lack of balance. This data also doesn’t take account of how many wins a single player has, as a single wanderer could skew this heavily be playing at every tournament everywhere and doing very well.


Yes – one more source. TableTop Tournaments has an interesting compilation of data for tournaments in some European nations. Here we can see how many times a faction is represented across all participating tournaments (popularity), how many victories each faction has (overall wins), and a ranking based on how likely a faction is to win per tournament participation (overall rank).

Cryx has the largest showing with over 2,000 tournament entries. Retribution, Mercenaries, Minions, and Convergence have fewer that 1,000, with Convergence at just over a tenth of the representation Cryx has.

Graph Credit to Nicholas Hartley

Graph Credit to Nicholas Hartley

Now, let’s compare faction popularity with overall rank to see if any of these factions change much. The numbers below shows the faction’s overall rank compared to popularity rank. No change means its popularity rank is the same as the overall rank. A negative number means it drops that many places (ie Khador’s popularity rank is 2, but overall rank is 3, granting a score of -1 since it drops one rank) A positive number means its overall rank is that many places higher than its popularity rank.

Popularity Rank (difference to overall rank)

  1. Cryx (no change)
  2. Khador (-1)
  3. Cygnar (-5)
  4. Legion (+2)
  5. Menoth (+1)
  6. Circle (no change)
  7. Trolls (no change)
  8. Skorne (+3)
  9. Retribution (-1)
  10. Mercenaries (+1)
  11. Minions (-1)
  12. Convergence (+1)

So what does this tell us? Cryx is the most represented faction in these tournaments and brings home the most wins per times entered, claiming the top spot. All other factions with a few exceptions don’t change too much. In other words, the more a faction is played, the higher its “wins per tournaments entered” statistic tends to be. The biggest change is Cygnar, dropping from the third most played faction to the eighth most likely to win per tournaments entered.

Now, let’s look at the same data only from the past six months.

Popularity Rank (difference to overall rank) for the last six months

  1. Cryx (-7)
  2. Legion (no change)
  3. Khador (-2)
  4. Circle (-3)
  5. Cygnar (+2)
  6. Trolls (-3)
  7. Menoth (+3)
  8. Skorne (+2)
  9. Retribution (-2)
  10. Mercenaries (+9)
  11. Minions (+1)
  12. Convergence (no change)

Okay, so now the data is all over the place. Mercenaries jumps from the third least represented faction to be the best faction in the region as the most likely to win per times played (but only has 9 wins out of 123 results, tied for sixth on total wins). Cryx as the most played faction is by far not winning as often as it is played (but is still tied for third most wins at 14 of 123 results).

DamianoSadly, this data is still not entirely complete. It only looks at wins, not overall placement. With only wins, a single person playing a faction at many tournaments could heavily weigh the statistics in their favor, where considering overall placement would balance that variable for more accurate data. It’s also only for some European nations, so not necessarily representative of the game as a whole. Still, it is fascinating to see how for the entire record of the data collection here, there is remarkably little change. For the past six months, some Mercenary madmen have been doing quite well for themselves, where Cryx has been having a much harder time in the meta.


First, if you want to claim that one faction is better than another, accept that we don’t have the data to back that up. While Warmachine tournament results are getting compiled fairly well, there is still a lot of information we don’t have collected.

Second, recognize that there is no best faction. There is no worst faction. Each faction is a tool to play the game. What matters far more is what faction works best for you, what lists work best for you.

In the end, Warmachine is a game of strategy, tactics, and luck. There isn’t much you can do about the dice rolls, but by playing, recording, and analyzing your own direct experience, you can build and develop any faction into a tournament alpha predator. It doesn’t matter if someone else thinks your idea is bad. Try it, evaluate, adjust, then try again.

Get out there and learn to win.


For more from Ghost Dice, check out my blog for analysis, crazy lists, battle reports, and strategy-focused videos!

  • petrow84

    “Why There Is No Worst Warmachine Faction”
    “…recognize that there is no best faction. There is no worst faction. ”

    OK then, looks like we’ve trapped in an infinite loop.
    :Insert butwhy meme.gif here:

    To be constructive: proper playtesting, constant rule-update and support is the key IMHO.

    • Richard Mitchell

      Well you have to read the entire article to actually get what he is observing rather than playing with solipsisms. I love rhetorical games too, but when someone actually takes the time to do unbiased research it is worth reading. Ghost Dice does point to faults in the data but he does give opportunities to what the data may suggest. On fact is unshakable, in every major tournament we see every faction represented as a winner. That is a pretty darn even spread. Which means if you go to a tournament and are a skilled player you don’t have to worry about your codex being years behind. Instead you worry about building your list to accomplish a specific goal and you play your #$% off. And the units people find threatening are highly individualized. I have a friend who is a GREAT player but he is really scared of ATGM’s. But I play with ALOT of blast templates, so I laugh at them, but Satyxis Raiders with UA, I hate them so much. However the two list format in Warmachine’s tournament format really evens things out because PP knows their system and knows that some lists just have bad matchups.

      • petrow84

        Funny, ’cause I actually read the -otherwise well written- article. It still fails to give answer to the question in the title. Tourney results are even spread, true, but that’s the effect, not the cause. The title should be changed – apart of that, a fair and unbiased analysis indeed.

        • Ghost Dice

          Let me put it his way.

          Is there a best/worst faction? It is impossible to definitively say.

          If we can’t know what the worst faction is, and every faction has proven it can win, that is, in my opinion, the same as a worst faction not existing effectively. Technically it exists, sure, but to a practical player, that doesn’t matter if we can’t definitively rank it.

          Thank you for reading it. I really do appreciate it, and agree or disagree, I am really happy to see comments like this. I do think I answered the question, even if I didn’t spell it out as well as I could have.

    • I will say that the fact that every faction has won isn’t necessarily indicative of equality. WM is so match up dependent for some factions that you can just face good match ups, creating the illusion of parity.

      I won’t lie, I played wm since the end of MK1 and this premise about equality seems like bunk to me. Purely anecdotally, anyways.

      • ChubToad

        I’m with you, One should go a level deper and analyze what match-ups the winner has had. Just stating that all the factions have won tournaments isn’t an indication that there’s no bad faction in WMH.

        • Ghost Dice

          It proves that all factions CAN win, which I think is important. And I would love to go so much deeper on the data, but it just doesn’t exist. With more accurate information, I’m confident you would be able to rank factions from best to worst. However, that data doesn’t exist, nor is it likely to. Effectively in my opinion, not knowing best or worst or ranking is the same as it not existing. And having that attitude makes you focus more on your own play than anything else.

      • Ghost Dice

        And that’s fair, but that’s kind of the point. Outside of anecdotal evidence, there is no proof one way or the other. We’ve all got our own opinions and that’s it, and they are highly colored by meta, factions, playstyle, etc.

        Even if factions are matchup dependent and counterable, you don’t say rock is better than scissors. And I think this stance is more true now than it was last year – I wouldn’t have said all factions have a chance of winning a year ago, but since they’ve all won and each has been getting better, I think it’s changed enough that they all are good enough.

        Besides, if you have the stance that all factions can win, you lose that excuse for your own results. It forces you to examine your own play (something you can change) and improve instead of worrying about overall balance (something you can’t change).

        • ChubToad

          “Outside of anecdotal evidence, there is no proof one way or the other. We’ve all got our own opinions and that’s it, and they are highly colored by meta, factions, playstyle, etc.”

          I don’t think you mean that, since it might invalidate the objective of the article. I think that you wanted to show how balanced the game is, by using some “hard”evidence to back up your idea.

          However, there is the point that even when every faction has won a tournament during 2015, that does not consititute a valid reference to state that there’s no good or bad faction in WMH. At this point, this is only evidence of a possible trend. but without an analysis of why this happened (considering match-ups, players for example), to reach to that conlusion is not accurate.

          There’s also the trend PP is aiming to, with the erratas. These will produce a certain kind of lists that will be predominant in every competitive meta. Just like it happens with MTG.

          Good article though, it opens up a nice topic for discussion.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Interesting read. Thank you for your insight. Funny enough the most played and most successful teams in my area are convergence and trolls, while cryx is represented but only lightly. Although in my area I am pretty much the only guy who brings Khador consistently, minions is unheard of, and mercs is usually tied into other lists instead of on their own! I think what really helps, aside from the game getting constant updates and errata, it also has victory conditions that every army can achieve, as well as objective based scenarios really help too!

    • Ghost Dice

      Thank you!

      We’ve got several factions that are dominate, but it changes. One of our Circle players started playing Trolls, for example. But the constant balance and updates do help a ton and keep the game fresh.

  • shauni55

    Except that Thornfall and Blindwater are essentially two separate factions, and Thornfall falls pretty low on the totem pole

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Not to mention Mercenaries.

    • Ghost Dice

      With Mercs and Minions, if you insist on sticking with just one contract, you’re hamstringing yourself. They aren’t designed to be complete factions by themselves

      • shauni55

        With regards to minions you are incorrect. Players seldom build both Pigs and Gators, and if they’re trying to be competitive chances are they’re taking gators. It’s as simple as that. The two sub-factions have enough models/diversity that you can’t feasibly play them both. Thornfall is not (yet) faction that places well competitively, and just about any WMH player would most likely agree with that.

        EDIT: Just counted, within the last 3-4 major tournaments 3 out of 15 minions players used Thornfall (All 3 also using Blindwater). None of these players exclusively used Thornfall. The other 12/15 used purely Blindwater.

        • mikethefish

          I will not necessarily disagree with you in that Thornfall isn’t terribly competitive (at least not until their latest stuff comes out). But I have to call attention to this statement…

          “The two sub-factions have enough models/diversity that you can’t feasibly play them both.”

          This is patently absurd on it’s face. There’s lots of players out there who can play 2, 3 or even 4 completely different armies competitively (depending on how much free time they can devote to practicing). Playing a couple of different Minions pacts effectively isn’t really that big a deal.

          Speaking from experience (as a Merc player), the main obstacle that Mercs and Minions have with competing in large events is one of transportation (especially by plane). The sheer amount of models necessary to bring multiple pacts/contracts to any sort of large event makes things very prohibitive, and is a big factor in potential players bringing along something less model-intensive, whether that might be only stuff from a single pact/contract, or even just a whole other faction.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    There are clearly better and worse factions in this game, otherwise every army would have roughly equal representation at the competitive level.

    • Ghost Dice

      Try reading the article. I address this.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Wow, way to be a dick.

        • Ghost Dice

          I wrote over 1,000 words explaining an answer to your super insightful comment. Don’t be mad when I call you out for not reading it.

          • zeno666

            Well done 🙂

            Thank you Ghost Dice for a very, very interesting read!

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            I read and enjoyed your article. I do disagree with some of it. I posted a comment in good faith and you told me to frack off. i returned the favor.

            I will not be reading your articles in the future.

            All you had to do was take one minute and respond with a better comment. Instead you want for snark.

          • Ghost Dice

            Then you missed some key information in the article, because I answered your comment to some depth. I don’t mind if you disagree, I do mind if you say I’m wrong because of a reason I already covered. Would you have preferred if I copy and pasted part of the article? Because I can do that. In response to your original comment:

            “First, if you want to claim that one faction is better than another, accept that we don’t have the data to back that up. While Warmachine tournament results are getting compiled fairly well, there is still a lot of information we don’t have collected.”

            Additionally, your stance that “the best is the one played most often” is just… I have to assume you don’t actually think that. Because it’s just laughable and obviously pandering to group think.

            If you don’t want to read my articles in the future, that’s fine by me. I want to respond to the comments here as much as I can, even poorly thought out ones. I intend to provide posts that focus on improving your play, competitiveness, creativity, sportsmanship, and fun in the game. If you want to be sensitive because I called out a poorly considered comment, that’s up to you.

    • Gridloc

      How so? if there is a game with models each with same stats (so completely even) but one is awesome models with cool weapons and the others look like Barbie dolls. If everyone is playing with the cool looking army, that doesn’t make the Barbie doll army (which is same in everyway other than look) worse.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        I agree with you but only on the local level. When you climb the ranks and attend these high end tournaments, aesthetics don’t really matter. People will play with turds if the rules are amazing.

        • Gridloc

          which he points out that every army is played at high levels. If cryx was so OP then on top of having the most entries they would be much higher over that standard line, but similar to skorne. I know a lot of people love playing the bad guys and cryx is as evil as they come in the game. Plus from events I go too they are simple to paint (requird for iron gauntlet) as most people prime, wash and put a splash of color.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            plus only 5% of applicants won said tournies. Math would state although more popular a choice it actually performs less on a ratio stand point.

        • Heinz Fiction

          If all factions are equal in power, then people will go for other things like aesthetics or whatever is the cheapest to buy, the easiest to paint and so on. If any given faction is better than the others it has to be disproportionally successful.

          • Vomkrieg

            Or, the real reason i play Cygnar.

            When the game first came out, my 3 friends were playing and had Cryx, Khador and Menoth 🙂

            That is the only reason i picked the faction

  • TweetleBeetle

    The players themselves disagree that there is no best or worst faction. There’s also been a lopsided number of Cryx players for some time (which I’ve discussed at length on here, and this data proves me correct), which is an obvious sign of imbalance.

    There are casters which are vastly superior to others, some match ups that are completely unwinnable if you’re playing a particular list.

    SHOCKER: 40k has seen each faction win a major tournament in the last 12 months too. The field is more diverse, by percentages, than Warmachine, and the cries of broken/power creep have been proven wrong EVERY time.

    • euansmith

      I seem to have missed the bit in the article where Ghost Dice drew a comparison between Warmachine/Hordes and 40k?

    • Ghost Dice

      I have no interest in discussing anything relating to 40k here. 40k is its own game. Warmachine is a completely different one. Comparisons between the two have been discussed plenty by people who care a lot more about those differences. I am only interested in Warmachine.

      And there’s a problem with your stance. Are there so many Cryx players because Cryx is OP, or because the theme is awesome, or is Cryx OP because there are so many players? And the data (limited as it is) does not support the stance that any faction is significantly better than any other. Just played more.

      • Severius_Tolluck

        Cryx doesnt seem op to me, infact it has many squishy units. The models look phenomenal, and many people like playing bad guys. Plus black is easy to paint….

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Why is Cryx the most popular?

        At the high end competitive scene, aesthetics and fluff are meaningless. People will play what wins.

        Clearly something about them makes them the most played faction.

        • Gridloc

          Cryx models are amazing, plus their play style is very easy to learn. Are space marines better army because more people play them? Its same concept…

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Aesthetics are meaningless at the high end. People would play with turds if they had good rules (over in 40k, look at all the people who are decrying the ugly Wulfen and yet are saying they will buy many boxes of the models).

            Space Marines are popular because there are 5 factions of loyalist Marines and GW constantly pushes them to the fore. There is only one Cryx faction and PP does not push Cryx any harder than the other factions in Warmachine (save Mercs, obviously).

            Easy to learn? Maybe. That hardly seems relevant when discussing competitive play. People who are playing in these major tournaments are well past the learning phase of their hobby.

            I personally know a few people that work at Distributor’s warehouses and when you talk to them about Warmachine it is always the same thing – Cryx and Legion sell constantly, every other faction collects dust (comparatively). The same thing is true of online retailers.

          • Gridloc

            Don’t know what to tell you man, if you believe that its not balanced, I say don’t play. Simple… Are you here to convince people its bad game? I ask because as those who do play its clear that there is lots of balance, some armies are harder to play against but in the end when you show for a tournament, its pretty even down the line.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            I love Warmachine but I don’t believe there is Faction balance or parity in the least, at least not to the extent that this article would have you believe.

            Is it better than 40k? Yes. But that doesn’t mean it is good. To me this article is glad handing itself rather than looking at some of the deeper, underlying problems with the game. There is imbalance and it could – and should – be fixed.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Well Legion and Cryx do sell very well, but honestly every Cryx and Legion play I have asked has chosen them because of the aesthetic. You can see this with Chaos SMs and new players. They like the 80’s metal t-shirt aesthetic (i do to, Deady Eddie is awesome!). The only difference is that since PP updates all of the factions at once each year, you don’t get the disappointment of finding out your army is totally METAL MAN but also last in the codex power creep rotation.

        • Ghost Dice

          Your argument is ludicrous in its flaws in logic. There are like 3 other things wrong with it, but let’s just stick with this one – Popular =/= Best. If you think the most popular is obviously the best because it is popular, then have fun with that.

          • Luca Battisti

            You’re right. The best (statistically speaking) are those that have the best win/games played ratio. Normalize the data and then it will make sense.

      • Luca Battisti

        According to the data it is OP because it has a better win rate. The fact that it’s the most played faction and still has above average results shows also that the counters for that army are either:
        -not existing.
        -not effective.
        -not popoular.
        On the other hand Cygnar theme must be awesome and/or the counters very effective/popular considering that a lot of people play it and it has a low performance.

    • 6Cobra


    • Gridloc

      Space marines out number most other 40k armies. That means they make 40k imbalanced… This is based off your logic of course

      • Richard Mitchell

        No lack of timely FAQ’s, official forums for game designers to make rulings on rule disputes and recreate a library of official rulings, and codex creep make armies in 40k unbalanced. If anyone has to play with an unofficial comp to make the game work, guess what the game doesn’t work. I don’t care if it’s a GW product or from any other company. Especially for the price point. Paying that much for an unsupported system that doesn’t work is like buying an expensive sports car with the expectation that you will need to bring your own parts to drive it off the lot and there are not warranties.

        • Gridloc

          Oh I agree, tweetle is notorious for post that scream that 40k is totally balanced and has no flaws. I’m just poking fun of his logic. 40k isn’t a bad game, but its balance is long gone.

          • Richard Mitchell

            I agree, I think 40k is a great narrative game, but it is not a balanced tournament game, and a lot of spilt milk and crying happens when people try to make it into something it was simply never designed to be. This is why one of my friends actually supports people playing BOTH games. 40k will allow you to enjoy a narrative, large scale experience, while Warmachine will satiate your competitiveness. He actually started to enjoy 40k more when he played Warmachine because he separated himself from the 15 year squabble of bashing GW for not making it competitive and just enjoyed the game for what it was.

          • Shawn


  • Froggars .

    Why look their most Models so stupid?

    • m3g4tr0n

      Whose most Models?

    • Richard Mitchell

      Language man, it’s a thing.

    • mikethefish

      I like their aesthetic. To me, the vast number of GW’s models look terrible – but that’s just my take

    • petrow84

      Requires a bit of time to get accustomed to their looks. At first, I loathed the Everblight minis, now a full force is awaiting on my shelf.

  • Jay Mort

    The chart… so much wrong…
    Science is crying…

    • Severius_Tolluck

      out of curiosity, what is wrong with the chart? I am not being a jerk, I honestly don’t know.

      • Richard Mitchell

        Same here brother, same here.

    • Ghost Dice

      That was provided by someone else who liked the article. I’m not a statistician, so if you’ve got something better, I will gladly put it up there. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or call you out, I’m being very sincere. I want to see more of the data correctly interpreted.

      • Luca Battisti

        Ehy, if you send me the data I’m sure I could work out something.

        • Ghost Dice

          The data is on the website I cited. I don’t have any other data beyond what was on Tabletop Tournaments.

    • Nicholas Hartley

      Hey Jay, I made it just to see how they varied, and I thought it worked better than just giving the ranking as the article originally just did. I’m not claiming it’s terribly scientific, but given it’s just the raw data and a trendline, I’m curious as to what you think is so wrong about it?

  • Shawn

    Overall Cryx may not be over powered or under powered with a direct comparison with other factions, but I would argue that the way tournaments are designed -the objectives and goals – are friendlier to Cryx’s style of play, thus allowing a slightly better than equal chance of winning. For example, all units are typically faster, and Tartersauce can respawn weapon masters just to sit on objectives. Couple this with casters such as eAphsyxyious, and Deneghra, they’re a tough nut to crack. There is also a tier list that features all death jacks, I believe, and this allows the list to get a first turn caster kill, especially if kill box is in effect.

    • zeno666

      The Deathjack is a character ‘jack. So you are only allowed to field one.

      • Shawn

        Okay. I always get their jacks messed up. It might have been a slayer then. I’m not entirely sure. I faced the list once, and got nailed turn 1. It was not fun at all.

        • Noridaii

          That seems unlikely. Perhaps it was Mark 1? (First edition) Or your opponent was a cheaty-McCheaterson? Don’t look at that as the norm, I actually cant think of a single game I have ever even heard of in the last five years where it was even possible to be killed turn 1. If that was your experience I can totally understand. I’d recommend giving it another go with a different opponent, someone who wasn’t being a complete f-wit to a new person. 🙂

          • Vomkrieg

            I’ve been killed at the top of the 2nd twice.

            Vayl2, fly monsters ahead at insane speed, shoot one of your own monsters in back, spam spells until caster dies.

            Vs ret, snipe feat go cliche

            Both against people called Chris 🙂

            Learned from both games though. Next time i played ret, the mage hunters ended up with a stormpod nearby on my turn and got electrocuted from every weapon with Electro leap i could muster.

          • Noridaii

            Sure, but Shawn claimed to die in turn 1. Which means (in theory) that someone had to be killed either in their deployment zone, or from their deployment zone.

            In your case, with turn 2 kills, that requires one of the players to make a pretty serious mistake. It happens. We all learn from those sorts of lessons, which you clearly did well 🙂

          • Vomkrieg

            Well, in both games i got one turn. So even though it was their 2nd turn, i was killed after one turn of my own play.

            So while technically not a 1st turn kill, it felt like one.

          • Noridaii

            Fair point.

          • Vomkrieg

            But yeah, I can’t think of many ways to get a legit turn 1 kill. If their caster starts at the front of their box. Given 7″ and 10″ deployment zones, you have 31″ to cover. 25″ with AD

            if they run forward in the open 12″, sure, its possible with the likes of Siege, Caine2, Kara, Kraye and others.

            But getting a killshot before they move….. Kara Sloan, firegroup, hunters with AD and a medium based caster is about as good as you can get with cygnar for initial ranged threat, and they still fall 3″ short of hitting that deployment line.

            Snipe+defender+ad would get you within firing range. But i’m not sure such a list exists, and that would still be only 3″ inside, and assumes they deploy their caster at the front and you have clear LOS and that one boosted pow15 can kill them

    • Ghost Dice

      I think to an extent that form of scenario balance is necessary. PP wants to encourage an aggressive, in your face game, not one where you just stand back and shoot. I’ll take the Cryx charging over nothing but eLylyth lists any day.

      • Vomkrieg

        Yeah, no scenarios would not be fun.

        pHaley, cast T-bubble, shoot you, step back, repeat.

      • Shawn

        And that scenario style is more than just a bit bothersome, since I play Cygnar and prefer shooting. It’s what Cygnar does best. What is the point of having a faction that specializes in shooting when you’re all suppose to do is beat face in the middle of the board? Cygnar has 2 casters completely dedicated to melee – Constance Blaze, each version of Stryker. Maybe three with Darius or Sturgis, but Darius can just use a ton of jack to fight and I haven’t seen Sturgis in play enough to get an idea about him.

        The style of play you like favors both Cryx and Trolls and certainly doesn’t hurt any other faction, except perhaps, Cygnar.

        • Noridaii

          Cygnar has lots of options that don’t require shooting, in fact, they have the highest MAT jacks in the game without buffs. Cygnar also has access to most of the Mercs, so effectively has access to the most infantry options in the game. If you want to play ranged all the time, you can. But you dont have to. Hammer dwarves? Steelhead infantry and Cav? Sword Knights? Lancers etc etc. Of any faction Cygnar has access to the most diversity – you can play any style you want with Cygnar.

          • Shawn

            There is a bit of truth to that, but here is the issue I have. I want to play shooty in a game I like, but if I do it limits my chances in a tourney and all warmachine tournaments are essentially the same -meet in the middle and play king of the circle/flag until the end.

            The other option you suggested, means then that I have to buy from two factions to create the effective army to compete and I shouldn’t have to. I’ve used mercs before, simply because I have no other options, but I don’t want to buy half or more of the mercenaries just to build the right Cygnar list.

            Now it’s possible, perhaps, to build a good melee list using the shooty type casters, but I haven’t found it yet. Unfortunately, my favorite caster is Artificer General Nemo. I can bring some good hitting power with him (Thunder Head, Stormclad) but some shooting is still neeeded and I still need to get my guys in melee. Def 12 Arm15 Stormguard die pretty quickly.

          • Noridaii

            No argument on the Stormguard, but I do have a couple of problems with your argument. If you are a fluff purest, (and that’s fine) and choose to limit yourself by not getting some Mercs who may be better suited to what you want to do, thats ok, but you need to understand that Cygnar is designed with its Merc options in mind. I’m not saying you need to buy two factions, I’m saying you have a larger pool of choices to buy from than other factions. Its why the Cygnar troop choices don’t directly overlap those in the Mercs, whereas units in other Factions might.

            Secondly, if you want to play shooty, there is absolutely nothing stopping you doing that and winning events with it. The massively popular and recently nerfed EE was essentially a troll gunline. Jay won with Cygnar for a couple of years running multiple units of long gunners. Most Cygnar casters might look like they are leaning towards shooty, when in fact they can support multiple builds. Along with Cryx I would say that Cygnar casters are the most versatile out of all the factions. You can run Seige as melee or shooty, same for any of the Haley’s, Nemo 2 & 3 can run a melee list, so can Darius, Kraye, Caine1 etc. Looking at it, except Sloan, most can do it well, its only that because Cygnar has so many good guns, people cant see past them.

          • Shawn

            Thanks. That’s certainly another way of looking at it. I’ve always considered Mercs a separate faction, and if what you say is true, it’s disappointing to me that they built Cygnar, so that they would need them, or, rather, to fulfill a certain play style. I have run Darius a time or two as melee, but mostly he had jacks. and with a limited model count, it can be hard to win games.

            It certainly wont hurt to try and come up with a melee oriented listed with a shooty caster. Do you happen to play Cygnar, or just watch a lot of battle reports Noridaii? I do have Sturgis and trying to get him to work. I have a game Saturday against pDenehgra and was going to bring lots of lightning ala Art. Gen. Nemo. I’m also a bit out of practice, since WM died down in my area and is now finally picking up again.

          • Vomkrieg

            A list i’ve been wanting to try is a gunline with Stryker3.

            Lots of shooting, so they close up on you. And the surprise factor of 4d6 damage auto hitting charges from long gunners 🙂

        • Vomkrieg

          As a Cygnar player, I see Cygnar as less a shooting faction and more a combined arms faction, where the others are more melee centric.

          I have won a few games with minimal assaults, but it’s rare. It’s either been pHaley bubble grind, and the opposition is someone melee, but squishy. Or it’s been someone who brings their caster within 19″ of Siege.

          Most of the time, the shooting is just to knock out scary units on the way in, hit solos that are annoying and buff people (A certain pirate list hates this) or to pull their attack apart a little.

          One of my favourite lists from when i last played was a Kara Sloan “assault” list. Not a lot of shooting outside Kara, but troops with assault, and the feat round charge with boosted attacks + charge could be quite brutal.

    • Noridaii

      Couldn’t disagree more dude. Cryx are really much better at assassination than scenario. Your argument about Banes doesn’t wash since Cryx units are typically low def and can generally be trivially removed. Trolls, Menoth, Skorne, CoC and Minions are better at holding zones than Cryx. Ret, Menoth, Cygnar and Khador are better had taking out objectives than Cryx. Cryx struggles to hold a zone because they are so easy to remove, and even if they use recursion, it means that they are still losing ground (scenario points wise) since their dudes are dying and being taken off the zone. Recursion (with only a few exceptional circumstances) happens at a slower rate than getting dudes removed. The exception to all this is incorporeal models such as Blackbanes or Machine Wraiths.

  • Matthew Pomeroy

    Privateer Press is more in touch with their player base than most of the other big companies (glaring daggers at gw) while I dont much like their game, I can’t dispute or back up and dispute about PP’s presence in my local game stores. they have pressgangers on the ground, they respond to requests, and they have a forum they actively listen to (even if they dont agree) I dont think their game is better than 40k ( it crushes aos) but they as a company give me the impression of being far superior to gw.

  • Noridaii

    I have been playing Trolls since Hordes was first released so I have been around a bit.

    One of the things I see around the ‘Legion’ and ‘Cryx’ popularity is 1) the aesthetics of both are very different from everything else & 2) the factions are perceived as OP. The second is patently false but has this impression IMO opinion for one very good reason: Tactics.

    With most WM and Hordes factions, while you need to know what you are doing, and understand your opponents models etc, your own personal tactics for your army, your – master plan – can remain overall intact. You might have to adjust it, but you can generally keep on track, your counters will generally work, your combos will generally work, your aggressive tactics will generally work. With Cryx and Legion, they don’t. When playing against these two factions, far more than any other, you need to have a completely different plan. You need to be flexible, you cant just press the ‘go’ button and go through the motions. The movement abilities of Cryx with the prevalence of ghost-walk, incorporeal and abilities like this make them difficult to shut down if you don’t take it into account. Likewise, with the prevalence of eyeless sight and flight, many of your defenses wont work against Legion. This requirement for adaptability and flexibility in players means that many struggle against these two factions. Legion and Cryx are not better, they just require a little more thought to combat than many others, giving the impression they are OP, which drives popularity. Just my two cents.

    • Ghost Dice

      I really like this comment. Good insight. Thanks!

  • Agent OfBolas

    “All factions are equal, but some are more equal than those another”

  • ChubToad

    The fact that every army has won a tournament at least once is not an indication that there’s no bad faction in WMH. Cryx is still the best faction in the game since it has the most wins historically. This means that Cryx’s matuch-ups are far more soft across the entire WMH range, their rules are superior and have multiple competitve builds accross their range.

    Cryx is not only in the top spot because of the number of people playing it. This would be like saying that Cryx is winning by weight of numbers and not because the faction rules nor the players’ skill. There’s also the fact that Cryx’s units are quite superior and work well with most casters. While some units in say, minions, never see game play and you only have a few lists worth playing.

    In this regard, clearly there is a strong faction in WMH (Cryx), and there’s also a weak faction that wins form time to time, does not offer full tactial flexibility with the units and rules available to it, has terrible match-ups, and has only a copuple of buiilds to win consistently (minions or mecenaries for example).

    • Noridaii

      Cryx has the most wins purely due to volume. Legion does well for the same reason. If you have more top tier players using the faction, you are going to see proportionate responses. The fact that these top tier players swap around factions means that other factions win regularly. Lets take Jay Larson for example, when he played Cryx, he won lots of major tournaments, when he played Cygnar, he did the same, when he moved on to Trolls, he won the same national-level events. This is a great example of the player making all the difference and where the faction makes little difference – due to balance.

      As I mentioned further up, Cryx does not have superior rules at all. In general terms, the unit stats are actually worse than most. The primary difference being that they have some abilities that some players (not factions) struggle with.

      • ChubToad

        Player skill is important of course, and a good player goes a long way when ot comes to make a faction work. In a game like WMH, one of the main characteristics of a good player is to know how to navigate the meta. This means list tailoring to beat the most dangerous threats. So in that regard, I think that Jay’s ability to react to the meta is one of his major strenghts, as well as his ability as an individual player. But balance has nothing to do with it, since that would mean that every faction plays and moves the same way. And of course that’s not the case.

        On the Cyrx rules issue, I disagree. Their rules are quite difficult to deal with with the majority of the factions. Player skill might mitigate this, but that is the reason why Cryx has such strong match-ups with other factions.

        • Noridaii

          Some good points there ChubToad. Like I’ve said elsewhere in this chain of thoughts, I believe Cryx and Legion require a re-think of how you play, and frankly, most players aren’t that flexible. If you look at the general stats, Cryx units have lower DEF and ARM than almost every other faction, have average speed, slightly higher damage output and lower MAT and RAT. This is mitigated by the debuffs provided by the casters and the flexibility of movement provided by ghost-walk and other similar abilities. The units themselves are mediocre, its the casters that make them shine, but then again, those casters would make anything shine.

    • Vomkrieg

      Sure, Cryz may be ahead, but it’s not by a degree that any other faction cannot compete with them and win a good amount of games.

      A bad faction would be one that is broken and cannot compete. The article is not claiming total parity between the factions, just that the comparative gaps are quite small.

      It’s not like you turn up with faction X, see Cryx across the table and know that it’s all over and done with. (unless you have a list that candle handle their specific list, which happens with all factions from time to time)

      • ChubToad

        Mostly agree. Win/loose ratio is mitigated by the use of two or three lists in tournaments. Which “balances” the chances of droping a game because you faced your list nemesis. In a casual game, you have high chances of droping the game before you play, becuase your list does not have the tools to deal with your opponent’s list. And Cryx is a major offender in this case.

        • Vomkrieg

          Well, any list from any faction is going to have it’s hard counters and bad matchups. And honestly, it’s rare to see someone play who isn’t a newbie not have 2 lists. And if you play a hose list against a new player, you’re a knob 🙂

          Drop a COC armour spam+recursion list and your opponent does have armour cracking, and it’s a bad day for them. (first game against COC, armour 20+ everywhere and respawning things, hard hard game)

          Play most legion or circle lists against my eCaine beast slayer list and you will have a bad day. (it’s a 25-35 point list, which has a tendency to remove from play 2 large beasts on turn 2).

          Cryx might be a smidge worse than some other factions at this, but again, it’s not enough for them to be OP or for you to look at the faction, see cryx, and go “I can’t win”. With the lists i tend to play personally, the only Cryx lists i really have issue with are Terminus dude spam/recursion. I had trouble with ghostly ones before i started using more magic weapons, but that was part of my learning curve.

          The 2 lists in tournaments is part of the game balance. No list in WM can do “all the things” , it stops someone with rock winning because everyone else took scissors.

  • Per Holmgren

    From that graph it definitely looks like Skorne is the best (followed by Legion and then Cryx) and Cygnar are the worst.

    Given that Cryx and Khador are the most common entries, it will on average be much more common to face them, and perhaps Cygnar has a hard time against say Cryx in particular, though they could have an easy time against a whole lot of other factions.
    I have read the article, but I don’t understand how you can claim that Cygnar is not the worst faction, based on the evidence you provided? Cygnar sticks out like a sore thumb in the graph!
    Of course more detailed data could give better analysis, but presenting data that clearly goes against the theory that there is no worst faction, and then claiming your theory is valid makes no sense.
    Of note here is that I don’t even play horemachine, but I work a lot with statistics.

    • Ghost Dice

      I completely agree that the data there shows that Cygnar is the worst. However, I don’t claim that in the article because the data is horribly incomplete. There are huge holes and gaping questions that make the data interesting, but not even close to definitive. If I made graphs with the other scattered data, it would show someone else as the worst. But all the data is just far too incomplete.

      • Per Holmgren

        Fair enough. Though I must point out that your theory seems rather implausible, since if you have variation between factions, one faction is almost by definition bound to have an advantage/disadvantage all things considered. Even chess isn’t wholly balanced, because white always starts.
        I mean, it looks like there is in fact a worst faction, but it’s rather remarkable how well balanced the rest of the factions are. Ok, three seem to be the ‘best teams’, but I would imagine the variation between them is well within one standard deviation. And all the rest (except Cygnar) seem really well balanced too. I personally think it’s really impressive that all except one faction seem well balanced.
        But then again, I have mainly been playing GW games, and you don’t need statistics to figure out who is best and worst there.

  • Chris. K Cook

    WM/H only just got it’s first boxed starters, this means that the tourny results aren’t skewed by all the new derps playing one of those armies.