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Warmachine: Game Those Resolutions

5 Minute Read
Jan 2 2017


Turn those regular New Years resolutions into Warmachine and Hordes resolutions!

Chalkboard here from Chalkboard War with a guide to help you “game” your New Years resolutions. We all know you made some. You were sitting around with family or friends after midnight on New Years Day when the topic came up. You felt pressured and on the spot, so you made a few generic ones from the list. And now you’re kicking yourself for not making gaming-related resolutions. Never fear: just turn your prior resolutions into gaming ones with a simple stretch of the meaning. I’ll go through three categories of resolutions that are commonly used, and show how they can easily become Warmachine and Hordes related resolutions!

Lose Weight / Get in Shape

Everyone seems to say this one. And it’s so hard to keep up with. Join the gym, go for a run, download the newest app to your phone, or wear some absurd step-counting band strapped to your inner thigh. So if you made this one, why not convert it over to a Warmachine and Hordes resolution? Think about it: what is the equivalent of “losing weight” in Warmachine and Hordes? I think it’s learning to manage your time better. This benefits everyone, as faster play means more gaming. But there are many who play with Deathclocks–which is the best way to play the game in my opinion. And learning to play faster is a great way to “slim down”


This is your new scale. Learn to love it and to hate it. 

Time management in Warmachine and Hordes is largely a function of two things: knowledge and decision speed. There are a few things on the knowledge side. Get to know your list better. Run the same warlock or warcaster over and over. Play with the same army list 5-10 times in a row, or only make small adjustments as you play. You can also get a handle on your opponents’ lists. Glance at models in War Room 2. Or watch battle reports to see how certain armies play on the table.

As for the decision speed side, just do it. Give yourself an internal check on your decisions. Get good with odds. Learn what the safe play is with your force. Rather than spending 20 minutes of your time weighing options, make clearly definable moves that advance your position with scenario and clock. And when you do go for it, just go for it. Don’t hem and haw too much. Try to do any critical steps first, so if they fail you can go back to the safe plan. And at the end of the day, just be okay with losing if things don’t work out (perhaps another resolution for you).

Break a Bad Habit / Quit Smoking

Many people go with the resolution of breaking a bad habit. Whether smoking, junk food, poor dating choices, lack of motivation, general orderliness, or so on, that’s a common choice for a New Years goal. The good news: this is tailor made for converting into a Warmachine and Hordes resolution. We all have bad habits in our games. So diagnose them, resolve to change, and then take active steps to address them. I know mine for 2017: keep my warcaster and warlock back. It’s a classic loss condition for me. I get closer than I need to be because I want them to contribute more. So I’m going to find a way to break that cycle.



I’m starting with a strategy of choosing a Warcaster like Issyria: someone who has absolutely no reason to get anywhere near my foes for much of the game.

This is my bad habit because I tend to pick Warcasters and Warlocks based on their direct contribution abilities. A common mistake for me is getting closer to get a couple of melee swings in, when I could just jam that infantry instead. Sure, later in the game I may need to get the job done with my caster themselves, but I need to take better care of distance. When 12″ will suffice, I too often find myself at 10″. And 2″ makes a big difference.

Making the change to a specific habit is easier if you make it the conscious focus of your games. Put a note in your bag/attach it to your Feat marker or your dice case. Make that your new mantra, just like anyone would for quitting a non-gaming bad habit. Perhaps we could even start a 12-step program for Warcaster/Warlock positioning blunders.

Write that Novel / Write Every Day

These are two sides of the same resolution, and know that the latter is the far better choice. Write that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing? That’s a frustrating goal to set. But write every single day? Well, that one becomes very manageable and measurable. This sort of “creative aims” resolution is easily adopted to Warmachine and Hordes as well. I’m not saying write bad gaming fan fiction. Rather, you can take the principle of “do something creative this new year” and definitely translate that into hobby gaming terms.


Again, this is not a recommendation to write Warmachine and Hordes fan fiction. Your crazy story of that time Caine2 and Karchev took a road trip together and learned the meaning of friendship should remain unwritten.


Think about the goal of building or painting a full two list pairing at 75 points for Warmachine and Hordes for 2017. That’s a pretty good “do a polished and finished creative work” resolution. But be sure to break it down more simply. Don’t aim for “two full painted lists”. Take it easy: start with an active goal. Mine is “one color on one model every day”, which may seem like not much but once you get going it’s usually more than a few colors. And it really adds up. Or maybe yours is terrain-based: build a gaming table or create new terrain. No matter what the hobby goal, find some way to push your completion. Use an organizational app like Wunderlist, or check out my article last week on a painting motivation challenge that will run the whole of 2017.

The key is to turn a big, unwieldy creative goal into a focused hobby goal. Trust me, your gaming time and table will thank you.

~ Even if your New Years resolutions aren’t gaming-related, can you squeeze a few gaming ones in to “game” the system? Did you set any specific Warmachine and Hordes resolutions for yourself this 2017? Share your ideas for gaming resolutions in the comments section below!

While you’re at it, why not resolve to check out Chalkboard’s Warmachine and Hordes blog at:

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