Theme Forces and Snowflakes

by / Thursday, 19 January 2017 / Published in Hordes and Warmachine, Life the World and the Internet, Warhammer

I’ve never liked the idea, concept, or implementation, of theme forces and sub faction army lists. They remind me of the old days of 3rd edition 40k when everything had to have its own ‘special’ army book or list to be even considered as a playable concept. Not that I play 40k anymore but it does follow a similar pattern to the theme forces in warmachine.

Why do people need some mechanical incentive to play beyond the standard rules provided to a faction/army? There is one answer to that simple question; they don’t. If you just want to sell the next colour of space marines then by all means do whatever you want. But if you want to make tournament game then you’re going to have to stop pandering to the 6 year olds and find other money making schemes. That is not to say that I think theme forces are intentional money grabs. But many of them do encourage you to buy multiples of models you would never or couldn’t use elsewhere.

When PP released MK3 they said they did not know what they were doing with theme forces and that they wanted more diversity in the game. That statement continues to stand out as an inspired piece of honesty and desire to improve the game. That they continue to use theme forces does the exact opposite. Regardless of what the mechanical benefits are, they are either so good they always get played or so bad that they are a joke. On top of that they are an added level of management to an already complex game, not just in their development but also to the players who need to remember even more rules, else be caught out by ‘gotchas’ – another point that PP made to be removed in MK3.

Now that the new Warmachine and Hordes MK3 theme forces are out my opinion remains the same. Theme forces are bad for the game and should be removed. Nothing is stopping you playing whatever and however you want themed or otherwise, and you do not need some special official army list to so.