- This article is part of Battle College's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which are aimed at new players still getting to grasp with the core rules.
- You may also be interested in our intermediate-level articles, the Learning Objectives, Tactics, & Strategy (LOTS) series.
You've just started playing Warmachine or Hordes, you're looking at the cards, and wondering what all those numbers mean. Not what they "are" (the rulebook explains that pretty well) but what's "good"? What's "average"? Is this model a good deal for its points cost, or vice versa?
SPD, Speed - A model's movement rate
- The average is 5 or 6, depending on faction.
- In a speedy faction such as Cryx or Legion 6 is considered average and 5 would be a slow model.
- However, in a slower faction like Cygnar or Trollbloods 5 is considered average and 6 would be a speedy model.
STR, Strength - A model's physical strength.
- This is almost completely irrelevant for all models except warjacks and warbeasts. Warjacks and warbeasts can perform Power Attacks, which do damage based on STR but in (most) other cases, knowing the P+S (Power plus Strength) of a melee weapon is much more useful.
- For this reason, Battle College typically omits giving the STR value for non-warjacks & non-warbeasts.
- Warjacks: The average STR for lights is around 9, heavies is around 11, and colossals is around 18
- Warbeasts: The average STR for lights is around (?)[Verification needed], heavies is around (?), and gargantuans is around (?)
MAT, Melee Attack - How good you are at hitting people with melee weapons.
- The average is 5 or 6.
- Whether it is enough, depends on, what are you after. Heavy warjacks and beasts rarely go above DEF 12, lights are about DEF 13-14, and non-warcaster/warlock warrior models stop around DEF 15. For warcasters/warlocks DEF 17 usually means the top-end of the unaided DEF level, however, with spells, feats and other units' help, the actual DEF can reach even around 20.
RAT, Ranged Attack - How good you are at hitting people with ranged weapons.
- The average is 5 or 6, although different players debate this point.
- Most players view average RAT as being "lower" than MAT (ie they consider 5 is average and 6 is good), because ranged attacks can get the Aiming Bonus and because you can strike your opponent first.
- However, this is only relevant for models with ranged weapons that have a decent range. A model with a short-range gun almost never gets the Aiming Bonus, and also exposes itself to being charged by the enemy after they shoot. So while RAT 5 might be considered adequate on a unit of shooters that sit in the backlines and pepper the enemy, it would be unappealing on a model that is expected to get up close and personal.
DEF, Defence - How good you are at not getting hit.
- The average is 12-13.
- Simply put, someone with average MAT/RAT will hit someone with average DEF an average amount of the time.
- Because the most common roll on 2d6 is 7; so MAT/RAT 5 (or 6) plus 7 equals DEF 12 (or 13).
ARM, Armor - How good you are not being damaged, once you are hit.
- The average is 14-17.
- It's also very important how many hitpoints you have - if you have only a single wound (as most infantry does) then it doesn't really matter if you're ARM 10 or ARM 15 - chances are someone is going to roll about 17 for damage and you'll be just as dead either way.
CMD, Command - How good a leader you are.
- The average is 7-8.
- For units, it measures how much the unit can spread out.
- For everyone else, it's practically irrelevant except for a few special abilities.
FOCUS & FURY (warlock) - How powerful the warcaster or warlock is.
- The average is 6-7.
- Similar to MAT/RAT, the average FOCUS/FURY is determined by comparing it to how hard it is to hit average DEF models on 2d6.
- You'll note that the average is +1 compared to MAT/RAT - this is because warcasters and warlocks are more awesome than average troops.
WJP & WBP - Warjack Points & Warbeast Points
- The average is 24-28
FURY (warbeast) & THRS, Threshold - How good a warbeast is at fighting.
- The average is 3-4 FURY and 6-7 THRS [Verification needed]
MA, Magic Ability - How good a model is at spells.
- The average is 5-6
- Similar to MAT/RAT, the average MA is determined by comparing it to how hard it is to hit average DEF models on 2d6.
HP, Hitpoints (or Damage Points) - How much damage you can take before you die.
- The average varies depending on model type - the average heavy warjack has a lot more hitpoints than the average solo. See the next section for more info.
PC, Points Cost - How much a model costs to add to your army.
- The average varies depending on model type - the average heavy warjack costs a lot more than the average solo. See the next section for more info.
RNG, Range - How far a weapon can attack. (Sometimes renamed Reach for melee weapons to help differentiate them)
- The average is 8"-10" for ranged weapons.
- The average is 1" for melee weapons.
POW, Power - How much damage a weapon can do.
- The average is 10-12 for ranged weapons.
- POW is omitted for melee weapons in favour of the P+S stat.
P+S, Power + Strength - How much damage a melee weapon does (after adding the weilder's STR)
- The average is 12-14
- Heavy warjacks and warbeasts are generally expected to hit a lot harder than average, though, so a warjack with P+S = 16 may be described as "pillow fisted".
Spell Cost - How much focus or fury it costs to cast a spell.
- 1 is a cheap spell
- 2 is on the cheap side of average
- 3 is on the expensive side of average
- 4 is an expensive spell
Animi - How much fury it costs to cast the given animus
- 1 is a cheap animus
- 2 is an expensive animus
(this is a rule of thumb, which needs some clean-up in the descriptions)
Hitpoints and Points Costs
There are a few things that vary so wildly between model types that they can't be easily pigeonholed to a single average value. Namely, hitpoints and points cost. In this case we assign averages that are relative to that model type. For instance
- The average light warjack costs about 10 points, but the average heavy warjack costs about 20 points [Verification needed]
- Both of these models would be described as having a Points Cost = Average, despite the heavy costing twice as much as the light.
- The average hitpoints of a warcaster is about 15 HP, but a Colossal has about 50 HP on average.
- Both of these models would be described as having a Hitpoints = Average, despite the Colossal having more than 3x the HP of a warcaster.
|Average Cost||Average Hitpoints|
|Warcaster||N/A||16 - 18|
|Light warjack||8 - 10||18 - 20|
|Heavy warjack||14 - 16||27 - 29|
|Colossal||38 - 39||56 - 58|
|Solo||4 - 5||5|
|Unit|| 1.6 to 2 points per model
See Note 1
- Work out the cost for the max unit, plus any attachments, then divide by number of models.