Initial Thoughts on Colossals

This morning, the Templecon Keynote Presentation was held. The Templecon keynote tends to set the tone for the rest of the year of Privateer Press Releases, and is one of the coolest parts of the Con. Its like Warmachine Christmas. I don’t remember, though, how often it was this early in the morning. Maybe its always been at 10:00est, and I’ve just somehow not paid attention, but it was a really inconvenient time to try and pay attention to a Keynote. I’m not taking off work, but I sure as shit want to pay attention. I don’t know that there is a good time to really present these things, maybe 9:00pm est, but who wants that?

While there were previews, and they were neat, they are not what I paid attention to. While I can understand spreading the brand out through multiple outlets, I feel its really starting to dilute the product. The only secondary brand I don’t mind is the IKRPG: Its where the company started and I understand their desire to continue in that field. Books, cardgames, boardgames and other periphery just aren’t my desire for this game – I am not the target market.

The keynote is available here for anyone who wants to watch it and my summary isn’t good enough for.

This years big news for Warmachine are New Colossals. Much like the Heavy Warjack before it, there are a variety of colossals sharing the same basic body-build. These colossals vary slightly from their predecessors and have some interesting abilities and weapons.

Starting with Cygnar:

We have the Hurricane, what I expect to be a strong and powerful piece, seeing the stormwall before it was a fantastic centerpiece to many an army.

The art above shows what look to be direct fire guns replacing the miniguns of the stormwall, as well as the storm accumulators replacing the Big Guns. Also, as we learn below, the Storm Pod Launcher and storage bays have been replaced with new and greater tech.

The First arc node on a colossal! Yay? I’m not sure how I feel about this. Also, with two Storm Emitters at P+S ¬†16, he hits harder from range, and thats not making me feel all warm and fuzzy. It sure as hell doesn’t make me feel any better that he has a push effect, though I am ok that it is away. I expect this to be some sort of riff on thunderbolt. They don’t explain what the Turbulence generator does, though I expect to see some sort of Stormwall (from Kreuger 2) effect. I expect this jack to see a ton of play with Nemo 3, and probably Haley 2, because everything is good with Haley 2.

Next up, Protectorate.

The Revelator¬†hopefully has a bit less of the one-‘caster friend symptom that the Judicator before it has had. Something that is relevant in many instances yet still retains that aspect of choice would be, well, choice.

We do get a look at art again, and it looks like its not replaced the flame throwers, they definitly look like fire hoses, and I expect them to spew flame everywhere. The innacurate rocket-pods, however, have been replaced with enormous what look to be flame belchers. With the flame belchers being range 10 AOE 4, I expect range 10 AOE 5. And it probably has auto-fire. This looks like it could be rather good, though.

Sadly, this thing removes stealth. from pretty much anything. Its not explained how it does this or for what, and even if its conditional, but it does it. Even if it just saw through stealth for itself, it would bring a huge pile of pain for its opponents. Relying on stealth is becoming harder and harder these days, though I don’t really fault anyone for it. Its hard to have fun when you can’t reach out and touch anyone!

Next Up, Khador!

The Conquest is a solid Colossal that forgets to excel in a number of roles. I have heard it said that when another colossal is on the board, Conquest is the best, but when there is not, he is the worst. Let us hope that Victor can bring us some pleasantness!

Gone are the little guns and the Main Guns and replacing them are what look to be auto-cannons and a giant mortar. While I expect he is slight of range and high of power with those shoulder guns, That big ol’ gun makes me a little nervous.

Oh, Right. Because it should. By the way, its a 5″ AOE, because they mention, during the attack types (no, you don’t get all of them at once) that you can “make a 5″ area of difficult terrain.” They also mention that is is both long range and inaccurate, which leads me to believe that its range 20ish. God, thats gonna drive me nuts!

Next up, Cryx!

Sepulcher seems to be pretty straightforward, a place where the dead are set to rest. Unlike the other factions, Cryx is not given a lowdown of its abilities and concept art, instead they are treated to the actual model!

As you can tell, this is almost completely cribbed from the Kraken. It seems a slight bit more squat, but it has some neat features. First, it has what appear to be tentacle-guns in addition to its Kraken-weapons. I assume this means that it has the 4″ reach from the primary chassis on its close combat weapons, and they look like they would have the same rules. The big gun on the forehead and the arm guns look like this could be a fairly awesome ranged support platform, especially given that they talk about its ability to pop out both mechanithralls and brute thralls. I don’t know if this means that they will create solos, or if you will need to have Mechanithralls on the board to add to them. It would create a kind of synergy, as no one likes to have bodies in the way of the enemy than a colossal!

Next up, and Retribution.

Helios is a strange and enigmatic House Shyeel adaptation of the Hyperion. Its been developed to evoke and supplement the Magisters of its house.

It has massive fists, larger than I remember the Hyperion having, and it looks like it could crush a car, but the strangest thing is its gun. Out of every colossal that has been created, this is the first with a gun that causes no damage.

Instead, with the tractor beam in its force Gate abilities, it can augment any battle plan that the Retribution can bring to bear, or so it seems. I do not look forward to this bugger comin’ out!

Finally (yes, no Mercs) The Convergence of Cyriss

The prime conflux is going to be a hard sell to all those Axiom players. The Tow Cables are going to be extremely hard to beat, and the auto-hitting melee weapons are pretty damned impressive.

And this thing may do it. It looks like its come loaded for bear, with a new, giant forehead cannon and two shoulder mounted electric guns, along with grappling fists that seem purpose built for holding things in place. How do I know they are electric guns? Because they mention that this whole colossal is about electric damage.

To boot, instead of firing off just any old servitor, which seemed good enough, this Colossal shoots out servitors that help it be more effective.

Gut Reaction

Honestly, I couldn’t have feel more underwhelmed when I saw the original Keynote. Colossals are not a thing I wanted in the game, honestly, and I was happy enough with the battle engines, even though they seem to have almost completely failed. Outside of the Storm Tower, the Vessel of Judgement and the rare Force Generator, I don’t see them nearly anywhere, and I would have loved to see that space explored so much more than I wanted additional colossls. What really gets my psyched up about a release is the warcaster information. I would have loved to see information on some new warcaster or, failing that, what epic versions there would be around in the next book.

I think the FA:2 of the original colossals was the biggest mistake that PP has ever made, and that includes MKI Vlad 2! its just an unmitigated mess when your opponent has two colossals and your not prepared to deal with them somehow or another. I play both Skorne and Cryx, and thankfully, I have solid ways of just removing colossals from the board whenever I want. I can only imagine what it would be like to play any of the other factions. I wish that these colossals will introduce a rule that shares the FA among the two colossals, something like a “colossal FA” I know they won’t because it just makes more sense to allow two to be fielded, and honestly, what would it change? Outside of the 75 point IG gauntlet rounds, there is nothing that rule is going to do to change the way any of the 35 or 50 point games will be played.

Time Heals All Wounds

And sometimes, its not all that long. While I would have wished for something else for warmachine, I can’t undo what has been done. I’ll take the Sepulcher and see what I can do with it, and I’ll learn to fight against each and every colossal that exists, with every faction I have. The beating heart and soul of Warmachine has been the same since Hordes: Evolution was printed.

Adapt, or Die.

 

Till next time!