Kommand and Konquer - Warmachine in the USA

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    • Kommand and Konquer - Warmachine in the USA

      For all of you who don't know me: My name is Ben Beckmann. I moved from Germany to Cincinnati, Ohio in January 2018 and I will stay here for probably 3-5 years. In this time I want to visit as much as can of this beautiful country, find new friends and learn as much as I can of the WM/H scene here. I am playing Warmachine since the beginning and I decided to share my experiences of the Warmachine World in the USA to everyone who is interested in it. First of all: Everything I write in this blog is from my German perspective and my experience level as a former WTC player. Also, I never studied English and so I will have some errors and mistakes in my grammar. Please overlook them. ;)

      I thought a lot about how I could describe and explain the feeling and experience I got about living in the USA and the issue Warmachine / Hordes here. First I tried a podcast but I wasn't really good at it and so I decided to write some kind of blog. This is it. So let's get started, shall we?

      It is kind of difficult to explain, about something that is so natural and important to me as playing Warmachine, and at the same time so easy to live within this new community.
      Let us start with the most asked question I get here is (either from German players at home or from American player here): What are the differences between European and American Warmachine games?
      That is always a tough question for me, cause I can only speak from my experience and from what I know. At the same time is it not easy to explain where exactly the differences are. Some are easy to spot, some are hard to see, and others are quite hidden. But I will try it anyway:

      1. The average American player base is much bigger than the European. I cannot really explain why but I assume it is because the Americans don't have such a bad history when it comes to wargames and miniatures. So it is more accepted here in the society as in the most European countries. This leads to more players. Of course, there is also the distance issue which helps the American players a lot because the company which produces the miniatures are in the same country and so on closer to its players base. Through the bigger community here in the US, there are of course more hobby players but also more competitive players. Whereat the average competitive player here is often not as strong as in the most European countries I visited. This leads to my second point

      2. The American and European playstyle is kind of different and so leads to different army lists, scenario plays etc.. While it is common in Europe to play a lot of attrition, then scenario and then assassination, it is different here in the US. In many games, against many different opponents here I observed some minor changes in playing the game. While in Germany it is mostly unthinkable to attack the caster if you are not sure to kill it and so on losing the attacks for the attrition play, it is pretty common here to do this. This, of course, can kill the caster with some hot rolls but it is unlikely and you give away the advantage in attrition sometimes.
      Attrition play himself is kind of unlikely here in the US. Scenario play. Many players waste their important models/units to get 1 CP. Assassinations are a lot more common here and people are often confused and losing their game plan if you start to play hard attrition against them. The stronger players, of course, don't fall into that trap. But even the better players often don't see the biggest mistakes in their game plan or their army compositions. They often don't think about how they could beat the major bad guys who are in the meta at the moment. They sometimes just play and try to win through sheer grind and hope (and dices of course).

      3. At the same time, the American has such an innocent playstyle which is kind of refreshing sometimes. They just play what they like to play and arrange special events like Journeyman league, Halloween Special, Foodmachine and all these different events just for fun. And it not like in Germany where no one wants to play any JML or Halloween Special. Nearly everyone joins. And the LGS help them in paying the fee or providing food for the event. That was something completely new for me and I like it a lot.

      4. The LGS stores here in the US are in general much bigger and better suited for Warmachine. They have mostly a big gaming area in which you can easily play 16+ people tournaments. Almost every store I went to play casual or tournament games provide gaming mats. Some also have some clocks, zones or 2D terrain. This encourages people to go to their LGS and play there and meet new people.
      The LGS is usually located at strip malls with a big amount of parking space just in front of it. I went to a lot of LGS since I am here and I never had to walk more than 3 min to the store. In many cases, I could park just in front of the store. :)

      5. The distances people are willing to take here are much bigger than in Germany. I went to a lot of tournaments here where I had to drive 2 hours straight to get to a 16 people tournament at a local game store. The distances here between the groups are sometimes very big but the most people are willing to take the time and drive to a nearby city to play the tournaments there. In Germany, I probably hadn't driven 2 hours to get to a 16 people tournament on my own. It was just too far away. Here in the US, it is natural for me now.

      So this was my first blog entry. Hope you liked it. :)

      If you have any questions you are free to write them down in my question section and I will happily answer them as good as I can.