In this thread on the Privateer Press Cryx faction forum, forum goer TheSanityAssassin asked “Why do YOU serve the Dragonfather”. It was an interesting question gauged to see why people who play Cryx picked that faction over the others. The answers are plenty, and diverse, and it got me thinking about why I chose the factions I have (Khador, Cryx, & Legion of Everblight) over all the other choices. I thought it would be interesting to discuss that, and see if anyone else wants to say why they run the factions they do as well.
In the beginning, I got into the game with a couple of friends, and we all chose Warmachine factions to begin with. I was the last of the group to actual throw my money down, and at that stage we already had a Protectorate, Cygnar, and Cryx player amongst us. My approach to games with friends has always to try to pick up what aspect is needed, whether that was in video games or RPGs, so I started investigating Khador since it hadn’t yet been claimed. Given that Warmachine is a financial investment, I was going to pick something I wanted to play even if it wasn’t ‘vacant’ as such, but I was fortunate. Khador turned out to be both necessary and desirable, as far as I was concerned.
The image of the shocktroopers originally did it for me: the image of a country too resource-strapped to risk their precious cortices in lightly armored jacks and forced to turn to placing men in steam-powered armor instead. That particular piece of fluff, especially given the in-game ramification of no light warjacks, was what made me really begin to like Khador as a choice. Combined with the design of their heavily-armored warjacks for the same reason (to protect said cortices), the faction really spoke to me as a determined and resolute people. While I enjoy multiple play styles with Khador today, I still love returning to a list defined by Shocktroopers, Iron Fang Pikemen, and multiple heavy warjacks. The image, in ‘Wrath’, of the unconquerable 2nd Army of Khador, flooding across the fields to conquer Point Bourne, was an image that made me giddy; Devastators at the nose, surrounded by Man o’ War and Pikemen.
I still get indignant when I find a thread in the Khador forums complaining that we don’t have light warjacks. I, for one, don’t want Khador to have any lights jacks!
After a little over a year with Khador, I started to look for a 2nd faction to get into. I had a slight foray into some Circle Orboros, but ended up selling them as they were just not my style. I decided that I didn’t want to adopt a Hordes faction yet; the image of steam and smoke still sounded too appealing. I needed more warjacks, but it was time for something with a little less axe and a little more corrosion; sometime a little evil was needed. In the local shop’s Journeyman league, I started my Cryx army.
In some ways, Cryx is just Khador with more melee. Yet that isn’t what drew me to the faction. What drew me to Cryx primarily was the generic idea of debuffing. Winning via weakening my enemy instead of by augmenting my own forces seemed like a great change of pace. And although Khador is a great faction, they aren’t assassination kings. There too I wanted to have new threats to wield. So I wanted a change, and originally it was the Witch Coven of Gharlghast that really got me looking at Cryx. The idea of 3 warcasters, Perfect Conjunction, the Egregore, and 9 focus was all very new and very exciting. They may still be my favorite Cryx caster to play; to this day my favorites are all the ladies of Cryx. I can do without Asphyxious, Terminus, Goreshade, and Venethrax; give me the Coven, Deneghra, and Skarre any day. Perhaps the blight is hot, although for that, Cryx has nothing on…
Legion of Everblight
Legion was not something I really intended to get into, at least not now. Originally when I investigated the game, and I didn’t have much to spent, the Legion battlebox looked like a good deal. It took me a while to decide between Legion and Khador. When Red Manatee decided to sell his Legion; I immediately jumped on it. What drew me to Legion? Honestly the primary factor is the outstanding story behind the faction. Everblight’s ability to control his blight, and the way he exercises he power like some kind of scientist. The brilliance in hiding throughout the bodies of his Warlock’s, refusing to reform his draconic form, is really excellent. Everblight, and those willing to house a shard of his athanc inside them, are fascinating and wonderfully written characters. The aesthetics of the beasts was the 2nd thing; I really enjoy the eyeless faces and proliferation of sharp, chitinous coverings. Unfortunately, I have been less than thrilled by the recent emergence of tentacles, but I like to think that is the remnants of Pyromalfic’s personality, and that soon Everblight will have the fully repressed. Finally, there has to be something to the fact that (other than Thagrosh and Kallus) all of the Legion warlocks are female. There is something I enjoy about imagining these women running the battlefield.
As for the rest of the factions, what can I see myself playing someday? Well, I think three may be the limit for this player; it is pretty hard to keep up with the releases for anything more. Even if money was no issue, there are still things about most of the other factions I just don’t like. Skorne infantry and beasts are almost universally ugly to me. I already tried Circle and it didn’t work out well for me. Trollbloods have to be the least interesting faction in the game, in my opinion. Minions present species of sentient animals that I just find silly. As for warmachine: Protectorate of Menoth looks like it would be great fun to paint, but is far too involved for my playstyle. Cygnar has never interested me; the warjacks just come off bland and the stories are definitely not my favorite. The Retribution does present some great combined arms strategies, but the styling of the warjack’s leaves me ambivalent. Mercenaries? Well, with all the Mercs I own for Khador and Cryx, a Merc army is probably in the cards.
What about you? Why do you play the factions you do? What about those you don’t; what turns you off? I look forward to what everybody else has to add.