Steamroller 2023


if WTC veterans with hundreds of games under their belts still play to the last seconds of the clock, something is wrong about this limit.

I’ve watched most of the YT video reports, and, at the end of mk3, unless there was some early assassination or scenario victory, players always seemed to run out of time and end the battle with a fizzle.

Im mk3 there was also roughly 20-25 points more models on the table. Also judging game length this way seems… silly? Like the argument of this person has hundreds of games in and plays to clock therefor clock is too short is, quite the logical jump. Clock is a resource like any other and good players use it all to analyze their decisions and be able to play to turn 7, and those games dont really have a flashy end. Its long term strategy executed to fruition.

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Not to mention you had move them all individually. Games play way faster now.

Most clocking happens because you are unfamiliar with yours or your opponents models or because you fell too deep into the tank. The limit is perfectly fine where it is for 100 point games.

Locking the spell rack does not seem like a good idea, for a number of reasons.

  1. Being able to change spells can make what would be a bad matchup more even, which makes the game more fun for both players.

  2. Locking the spell rack will make the niche spells on the rack almost never be taken, to the point they might as well not be on the rack. As an example, the 4 cost spells on the Winter Korps rack are expensive and only situationally worth taking, and are competing with always useful spells like Iron Flesh and Puissance, which is one of the only damage buffs in the army as a whole.

  3. The inverse of point 2 is also true. Certain extremely powerful rack spells will always be taken, almost without consideration. The example here is Wind Storm on the Orgoth rack.

The solution is that the spell racks need a balance pass. Extremely powerful spells, such as Wind Storm, should be toned down or possibly removed from the rack. If they are considered important to the faction identity/balance, they should move onto a specific leader. Spell racks that don’t have compelling choices should have the less useful spells changed, improved, or removed and replaced with more useful spells. My personal example is Fog of War on the Winter Korps rack, as it often adds defense to models in the enemy army, and makes it harder to use other already niche rack spells like Return Fire. Fortunately, the Warmachine app makes changes like these relatively easy to implement when necessary, and helps maintain the health of the game.


Myself and many I have spoken too agree that is seems strange that players are able to change the Spell Wrack before each game, but no their Command Cards. All the players I have spoken too agree that is should be the other way around, that spell wracks should be locked before the start of the tournament but players should be able to pic Command Cards after seeing the setup of terrain on the table and find out when army their opponent is playing. This also allows players to take counter cards if their opponent is taking defenses or if the terrain is heavily stacked in one armies favor.

Just an idea, what do you think?

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Command Cards have point costs so that inherently makes them part of list building. Not sure how you are proposing it to work otherwise.

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In this hypothetical alternate reality, I imagine some rack spells would have a point cost, while Command Cards wouldn’t.

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I do feel the advantage of the first player should get a closer look. Unless the terrain is extremely in favor of one side, it just feels like a huge advantage for most lists. All of my games where I started second felt like i was on my back foot from the start.

While I like the concept of the spell rack being chosen each game, it feels overly strong against Legacy armies. I would rather have it locked in at list creation. Spell can be chosen to supplement the strength of the own list, or cover critical weaknesses.

On the other side, I would like to have defenses be chosen each game, as else the Spike Trap (strongly depends on opponent list, pretty useless in Cohort-heavy lists) and Powder Keg (ideally should have opponent use Defenses). It is also something that is available to all armies.

Also, I think the new SR pack should specify whether placement of defenses in Deathclock games should happen on the players’ clock or not.

I absolutely disagree. Command cards have points which make them inherently part of list building and spell racks were said to be a thing to help minimize bad matches. Being able to add 2-3 spells after seeing what youre playing is fine and changing the rack to list building just means only the “best” spells will be taken. To me that seems a silly proposition.


Rack spells being choosen at list creation would reward meta aknowledgment and pairings understanding, still helping to manage bad match-ups, and still giving an advantage in front of legacy casters that do not allow this personalization. Some spells not being chosen is a decision, the same way than some units not being chosen. This is not a reason to maintain rack spell as it is, as game design goal should be a better game, no a “all spells are used” goal.

Rack spells at game start do reward the oposite: to ignore the meta and just jump in any game and react. This is a clear lose of game depth. I understand some people may prefer to avoid this depth, but from my perspective this is the characteristic that makes warma better than any other wargame.

Anyway, all opinions are to be respected, and none of them is “silly”, no matter if we agree or not.

Best regards!

In order

  1. in a local meta sure. In a regional or national meta no. Its luck of the draw at thay point. Did you rack decel and deflection at list creation expecting every pair to have a strong gunline and now they done. Guess you just have 2 dead spells. The inverse is also true. Legacy casters not having this customization imo is not a good reason to change it so that noone has it. Some spells are only useful in certsin match ups and should be given the ability to shine and for people to use their cool tools. Especislly since thr cost of changing them doesnt exist.

  2. rack spells lose game depth. I disagree they add depth you can mischoose rack spells the same as anything else and having the ability to swap a few spells in rewards an in depth knowldege of the models and strategy for experienced players while giving newer players the ability to not juat get blown off the table in bad matches. For example i started the game with legion and we didnt have a ton of answers into guns. There was nothinf quite like running mk2 saeryn into sloan and being actually unable to play the game. Being able to swap in something to help wouod have made that experience immesurably more tolerable.

It sounds like your viewing this though the lens of its effect on legacy casters and armies when that is not comparable. Legacy armies are what they are and these are how the game moves forward. Resisting the move forward to try and keep parity with what your leaving behind makes me think youre just going to get a mediocre result. Instead of holding back to maintain a level of pairity i would rather see development move forward and show clear distinctions in the new armies and imo the rack system as is, is a great way to do that.


IMO this is a TO responsibility. The deployment of terrain can and should greatly influence a players decision of going first.

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I quite like the idea of fixed rack spells in list.

It might be fun to allow a CMD card that allows you to change a rack spell at the start of the game? Which might be the same effect.

Someone above says fog of war is not good on rack. I disagree - it’s a good spell. Return fire though is very bad imo. I’ve tried to make it work, but it’s too expensive (and costs 1)

Somehow I missed this topic three weeks ago, so I’m very late.

Anyway, I’d like to address this particular sentiment.

“Fixed rack” is 100% antithetical to the whole purpose of the spell rack. I will quote from the following Insider article.

Emphasis mine. I wish I could make that in 72-point font, but alas, I do not have that option. :stuck_out_tongue:


Fog of War would be a lot better if it didn’t help enemy models, but it does. It actively helps your opponent if your leader needs to stand anywhere forward on the table.

The other issue right now with Winter Korps is that the higher defense stuff in the army is not really worth taking right now. Winter Korps Infantry have low output for their point cost against anything other than infantry that have similar stats to them, die to a stiff breeze, and are outclassed by other options within the army. Once Suppressors are released, there is very little reason to ever take Winter Korps Infantry. I really want to like Winter Korps Infantry, but they are in desperate need of a buff, a points cost reduction, or both to be worth fielding.

Thanks for updating the document and adding it to Warmachine app.

I find it pleasant that 5 minutes were added to 75pt game clock. I’d prefer the same for 100 points though.

One major thing to address still would be the game start. It is too non-brainer to go first almost every time. Yes it is possible to make table edges unequal but considering different armies prefer different terrain (and some ignore most of it) this isn’t a working solution for tournament play. Dropping the first player deployment to 5" would be least. Alternatively you could disallow running/charging for the first player during first turn. I’m not sure it is the most elegant solution but with that you could make both players to have the 10" deployment. Or explore letting the 2nd player to start with upkeeps on.