This will be a series of articles and accompanying videos to address the challenges facing circle in the current warmachine meta cycle.
In the wake of the Una 2 nerf, circle has been in the rather strange place of not having a meta defining caster or caster pairing. For once they are faced with serious, seemingly insurmountable challenges from certain factions that has caused many in the Circle community to doubt wether circle is even a viable competitive option. I don’t believe this is the case but instead believe that Circle players as a whole have become stagnant and calcified in their opinions of options within Circle. I will endeavour to offer up alternatives and options and how they may be applied in an attempt to overcome the challenges facing circle.
I think it is incredibly important to discuss the philosophical nature of what a players goals should be when playing warmachine, or any table top miniature wargame, for that matter. In this way I can more clearly identify my goal in writing these articles and make it clear to the reader of what my intentions are.
Some people will say their goal is , “to have fun”, “to be competitive”, “to win” or “to meet new people and be a part of a community.” These are all good motivations but I would argue that they are not the goal one should seek when playing table top miniature games. In my opinion the goal of everyone playing warmachine should be; “to be able to make a game of it.” That is to say, you should be able to throw down with another person who enjoys playing the game and be able to have a chance of winning and a chance of losing. Not necessarily an equal chance, but both players should be able to accomplish enough that they are satisfied with the experience.
If you are not able to “make a game of it”, then you won’t have any fun, you won’t win, you won’t be competitive and you won’t feel like you are a respected member of that community. Likewise, if you are an individual whose opponents don’t have the ability to make it a game against you, then you will quickly find yourself with no one to play with.
Now you might take that as a very anti competitive goal, but that’s not the way it’s intended. I’m a very competitive player (talking goal here not skill) but there is no value to the individuals in the community or the community at large if people cannot make a game of it.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t play the best, most cutthroat lists out there. No, far from it, be as competitive as you like, it’s very important and exciting to face new challenges and you owe it to your community to raise these challenges as it makes the game more interesting. That said, if you do come across a particular list that poses an extreme challenge to your community, you owe it to yourself and your community to work together to help them problem solve enough to be able to “make a game of it” against these challenges.
An excellent example of how to handle a situation like this is what Tim Banky has done with Ghost Fleet. After tearing up a couple cons with it, Tim took it upon himself to publicly discuss the nature of the list and the vulnerabilities it has. It’s important to note he’s not exactly telling players how to beat Ghost Fleet but rather how to “make a game of it”. This is the proper way to approach the game and other players who encounter an extremely challenging list. It does no one any good to clutch knowledge to your breast if there is extreme frustration within the community.
So if the goal of playing is to be able to “make a game of it”, then the goal of this series is to help Circle players be able to “make a game of it” when facing the challenges Circle has currently. It is not going to magically solve all you issues and frustrations and instantaneously make you con crushing super winner. I don’t even think that’s a worth while goal anyway. What it will do is help you think of the faction and problems it faces in a different manner and allow you to “make a game” of your problem match ups.
This all seems like a tall order, but I plan on trying to tackle it in as organized fashion as possible. Here is a general sketch of my plan, it will get more detailed as I go on and as I get feedback and input from the community:
- The Open Mind – Looking at Circle and the Game in a different manner + SR 2017
- What are the Challenges? – General Meta Issues
- What are the Challenges? – Specific Faction – sub categories on problem casters (videos)
- What tools do we have to deal with these Challenges? (videos)
- List Pairing – Looking at it in a new light
- Moving Forward – How to not calcify in your list construction and play style.
Hopefully by doing this series I can organize my thoughts on the subject of Circle within the meta and work with the community to convince others that Circle is not circling the drain into obscurity and becoming noncompetitive but rather we are at a point when Circle can finally be the creative force it should have always been.
Just remember this as we Circle the Drain;