My First Wargame – Diving Into The World Of Warmachine

March 13, 2015 by crew

I had a rocky start with my first wargame…

Having skipped about on the periphery for far too long, in 2011 I finally got my invitation to join in the wargaming community with a Christmas wrapped Warmachine Khador Starter Box. The kit came lovingly assembled and included everything I needed to fight for the Motherland. My partner, knowing me well, chose Warmachine for it’s impressively higher than average amount of female characters. He’d copied pages out of the faction book for me to read the fluff and I was excited to begin.

Khador Battlegroup

It ending up being pretty hard. Way, way harder than I thought it would be. Not in an easily definable ‘one side is better than the other’ way either. I had a crash of confidence. I couldn’t make my mind up about where I wanted to move my models. I couldn’t make a decision about what spell to cast and when. I couldn’t find my voice when I was announcing what I was doing. I couldn’t protect my Warcaster and advance up the table. I didn’t dare confess that I didn’t know what I was doing and instead, I poked and prodded my way to many early assassinations.

First Paint Job Ever!

I had so many bad games that I developed a petulant, defensive attitude. Needless to say, it was hard to find people to play. Eventually, my starter box made its way into a deep, dark cupboard, Eldrich Gems and all.

…but my name is Dani Abram and I never quit anything.

Bitten By The Bug

Something about Warmachine lingered in my mind. I started slowly reading through the fluff, until I landed on Cryx. A quick search threw up Warwitch Deneghra as the Cryx Starter Box Warcaster, so I read up on her fluff too. Something about the tragic, corrupted soul of Denny resonated with me. I couldn’t let it go.

Cryx Battlegroup

I tried my hand at Wargaming again, only this time I admitted my confusion and lack of confidence about the mechanics of it. I only had experience of computer games and this might sound silly, but I just wasn’t used to having to do everything myself! My ever patient partner came up with a way that I could ease myself into the art of Wargaming, one mechanic at a time. It sounds hilarious, but I had to practice saying out loud what I was about to do in my turn! We started with advancing. I would practice announcing my activation, the speed and direction of my activation, and then following up with actually moving my model all the way up the table. Oh, and yes, I’m nearly 30.

This was crucial! It turned out to be the very best thing I could do. I don’t know if anyone could relate. Maybe you have been playing table top games for so long that you take the most simplest of tasks for granted?

…or maybe we can all have a right good laugh at my expense and get it over with!?


We added one mechanic at a time; attacking, spending Focus, casting spells, etc. Sometimes I had to take days off in-between when it became overwhelming again!

However, we carried on, and slowly (actually, not so slowly) I caught the bug. We made a special journey out to Firestorm Games in Cardiff on a New Years Eve to buy my Cryx starter box. I learned how to clean up and put them together. I fell a little bit in love with them. I contacted a local gaming group and arranged my first game with a stranger. I then joined a Journeyman league. I couldn’t think about anything else during the day. I took my cards to work to try and learn by immersion!


I wrote blogs about my love and got so much encouragement from other gamers, known and unknown, some hiding in plain sight! This brings us up to present day.

I finally found my way in Warmachine. I love it. I’m in. I get it.

Community Spirit

I have recently relocated to Cardiff for work and joined the local league before unpacking my suitcases. The one thing I completely underestimated was the fuzzy, lovely, social side of Wargaming! I found walking into a club a very daunting thing to do at first, and sometimes I still hide under the table pretending I’m looking for my rule book when, really, I am trying to slow breathe my nerves away!


The community however is worth it. I don’t know what I love most about Wargaming, but my new friends are high up on the list. I would love to name names, but maybe that’s another blog post.

Where do I see my hobby taking me? If you don’t know Warmachine much, it’s a relentlessly competitive game. It doesn’t take long to get equally hyped and utterly terrified of the idea of attending tournaments, which seems very much the thing-to-do for even the average Warmachine player. The art of List building is a recurring topic of most blogs, podcasts and club nights. For me, having been hanging around clubs and players for over a year, it seems like the next logical step.

Legion of Everblight Battlegroup

My Cryx army has grown to 35pts, which I’m comfortable playing, even against a clock. I could scrape 50pts of a mishmash army together if I needed to for a casual game too. I’ve even invested in a second faction, Legion of Everblight. Casual play and tournament play still feel like worlds apart to me. I am having a hard time finding the confidence to just sign up and take the plunge! Infact, I’m running out of excuses! There are tournaments all over the country, as often as monthly and more. I know I’d need it to be friendly and easily manageable in terms of size (both venue and player numbers!) just to ease myself in…

What about ‘Go Hard or Go Home?’ Hopefully, if I can find the perfect one, I’ll soon be schooled in the art of Organised Play!

Oh, hello by the way! My name is Dani and like you I am a huge geek. I’m an animator, comic book maker and gamer. I’d love to stick around and write more for Beasts Of War, encourage other ladies into our wonderful hobby and make new friends and find more games!

I’d love to hear how you got into Wargaming! Do you play in tournaments? What encouraged you to do so?

Do you have any advice for a tournament noob?

Dani Abram

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"I had a crash of confidence. I couldn't make my mind up about where I wanted to move my models. I couldn't make a decision about what spell to cast and when. I couldn't find my voice when I was announcing what I was doing..."

"...I finally found my way in Warmachine. I love it. I'm in. I get it."