I love choosing armies, factions, gangs, crews, etc.
In fact, it might be one of my favorite aspects of playing miniature board games. Is there anything better than exploring all the possibilities of each faction and deciding which group you're going to cast your lot with? I love pouring over the rule books, model ranges, and forums to figure out which army I want to play. Lots of factors go into the decision, and it's fun to dream and think about all the possibilities before making that first major financial commitment. When picking a new army for Warhammer Fantasy after finishing an old one, I always liked to create a tournament bracket of all the armies, and make one v one decisions as I whittled it down to my next army. Usually I do this process with my buddies in a car ride home from a tournament. It was pretty quick and dirty, and had a lot of gut reaction built in, but it was fun, and I, as well as my buddies, enjoyed the tournament format.
Now, I've just recently started getting into Warmachine. It's a fun game, and I've really grown to love the rules, models, and of course the way Privateer Press does business. It's been very refreshing to get into a new rule set and system for a variety of reasons. So, with a new game I had to choose a faction to play. This I did, and actually it wasn't that hard. One faction, Khador, stood out head and shoulders above the others and so I began collecting them. I am not even close to being done collecting Khador but it's time to pick a new faction. The reason for the second faction is that I need a faction to demo the game with. We don't have a a local gaming store, nor do we really have a local community, so if I want to grow the game, I've got to have the resources to play and show someone else how to play.
To that end, I need to pick up at least the basics of a second force. I don't want to drop a ton of cash into it, but i'd like to have at least a small force to demo the game with. In my mind, if I'm going to invest $60-$90 in a demo force, I'd like it to be a faction I can later expand into a full force, and to do that, it needs to be a faction I can love. That leads me to engaging in one of my favorite aspects of the hobby, picking a new force.
I will lay out how I go about this, so that if you want to do the same process, in Warmachine or another game, you can. I highly recommend giving it a try, it's a lot of fun.
First, I needed to figure out how many factions I had to choose from. Since I'm open to playing Warmachine or Hordes, I put the count at possible factions at 14. Let me explain. First, there are the obvious 9 factions: Cygnar, Khador, Retribution, Cryx, Menoth, Trollbloods, Everblight, Skorne, and Circle. For Mercs, I felt I could break them into 3 seperate factions: Dwarves, Pirates, and general Mercs. For Minions, they could be easily split into 2 factions: Gators and Farrow, so there is my 14 factions.
Next, I needed to drop the teams into a bracket. It's always best to use brackets that are in multiples of four. So for 14 teams, I used a 16 team bracket with 2 first round byes. Also, to try to prevent getting a great faction knocked out too early, I wanted to seed the factions just like the NCAA basketball tourny does. At first this may seem crazy, as ranking them would seem to to negate the need for the bracket, however, the ranks a simple gut feeling ranking without much insight. When I've done this in the past, I've found that rarely do my initial rankings pan out exactly as I ranked them. So, I quickly ranked the fourteen factions, and then placed them in the brackets. You can see the brackets below.
From this point, I will take each match-up, and compare the factions in various pre-determined categories . I will discuss those categories in my first match-up post. After looking at all the categories, I will use the information gained to declare a winner in each round.
Next time the first match-up. 3) Circle of Orboris vs. 14) Khador