I never thought I'd enjoy wargaming. It always felt too close to the RTS genre of gaming, a section of the industry that I am unskilled and unwilling to get better at. It was with this perception that I continued in my RPG career, wargaming an occasional twinkle in my periphery that I could easily ignore. But it was not meant to last. This year, I made a resolution to learn Wargaming.
Learn it, play it, paint minis for it.
And thus far, it's been quite a bit of fun. Less Starcraft and more, well, chess I suppose. I was concerned that the nuance would escape me, and perhaps some of it still does; after all, my opponents and I are still learning the system. However, working with what limited experience we have at the moment, things proceed hectically and viciously, and you can really feel it when those last few activations come down to the wire and you need to rely on good dice rolls to end the game quickly before your opponent has time to take advantage of your overexertion.
Hence the need to understand acceptable casualties. Playing WarmaHordes (or HorMachine) exclusively, I don't have an excessive amount of experience with other types of wargames and therefore don't have enough experience to make blanket statements. However, I imagine there is still a significant amount of give and take with other games, as you need to constantly evaluate which parts of your army are expendable, or usable to block important parts of your opponent's army.
There's also a good bit of rock-paper-scissor that comes into play, determining which forces work best at harrying, advancing, and damaging your opponent. I'm looking forward to seeing what strategies I can bring to the table in the future, and possibly expanding talks like this with more actual experience than generic statements.
But, for now, I'll just say that Cygnar is pretty badass.