Well sort of, I’m not an expert in either but I found the following observations during my games of Warmachine.
The playing pieces
King (and sometimes Queen) – Warcaster or Warlock if you’re playing Hordes
If it’s Killed or captured it’s all over like the King but can also be the most powerful piece in the game like the Queen.
Rook and Biships – Warjacks and Warbeasts, Powerful piece in their own right but are limited to what they can do just like chess.
Warbeast need to be in control range to use fury and Jacks generally needing focus to be really effective.
Knights – Solo’s well sort of, just like the warbeast and Jacks but even more limited but if the enemy caster or solo falls within their range it can be very dangerous.
Infantry units – Pawns, there to block and be sacrificed when needed or threaten and eliminate far more individually dangerous pieces when played to their strengths.
So how can you or I use this information in our games? My thoughts on designing an army can be limited to other game systems I have played and I find I tend to create armies in warmachine that operate like 40K armies, taking the best Jack, solos, troops and casters.
I mean what’s the point of taking the second rate units? Other than themed armies there isn’t comp in Warmachine tournament nor do I believe there should be.
Example from a steamroller event I just played in, I took Retribution.
Lord Arcanist Ossyan, IMO a great caster which works really well with shooting troops and I took all the great shooting options in Retribution.
Mage Hunter Strike Force with UA
And few support models, Arcanists, Sylys Wyshnalyrr etc. and it did work for an early tournament win but didn’t do well overall. Trying to fit all unit activations within time limits was difficult and this army wasn’t holding my interest for other games during the weekend.
I think something was missing and that was Combat/holding units or combat ordinated solos.
It was like playing chess without the Pawns or Knights must have been easy for opponent to figure out my future moves when everything was Rooks and Bishops.
So the next time I take a 50 point Ossyan list I’ll try to mix it up more and add a bit of chaff
Hydra (still like this combo)
(limited battle group which fits the Retribution play style, includes defence, powerful shooting and support) Rooks and Pawns.
Fane knight Skeryth Issyen -A knight if ever there was one!
Mage Hunter assassin – as above
10 Houseguard Halberdies with UA - Excelllent Pawns and supports the shooting by not blocking Line of sight and the Fane knight by.. well dying to activate his cool abilities
10 Mage Hunter strike force with UA – playing to Ossyan strengths
Stormfall archers – also playing to Ossyan strengths
Stormfall archers – I’m just evil :0)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt just to make it all work better.
Still playing to the casters strengths but also covering more opportunities in game play and leaving far more interesting options game wise.