I am really of 2 minds when it comes to wartable. I love warmachine and this seems like such an improvement over vassal and makes the game much more playable on-line and with friends.
But boy - I worry about copyright infringement and how this hurts PP's business model. Will there be people that just play it on-line? Why college that second (or third) army when you can play with this one virtually?
from a personal PoV i have no interest in playing on vassal or Wartable. Most of my work requires me to spend a lot of time on a computer and one of the reason why im into wargaming is the physical and social aspect of it. I love painting, collecting and when i can, playing games in our small group. However you make an interesting point about the player base.
Im convinced that many WM/H players would actually just play with tokens with "warjack" written on them if that was acceptable. It means they can hop on the latest meta list or answer with no outlay and keep their edge.
It possible that Wartable may provide many people with an excuse to play the game without the expense of investing in PP products, collecting, building and painting. Or it could be a great tool for you t try out new models and list before purchasing the models.
It's up to you. You don't pay for it, so boycotting it isn't going to change anything, and people could already "skip" playing with actual physical models through Vassal. If you see value in being able to play without having to get together with a physical person, by all means you should give it a try. If you would rather continue to play in person, then do so.
As a player, I wouldn't be worried about copyright infringement or IP ethics on Wartable. First, it isn't so much a new issue as Vassal has been around for years, as have other fan-made resources like Warmachine University, Conflict Chamber, etc.
I don't think there will be a significant number of people who will only play Warmachine online and won't buy models or play in person. The only people who are going to be into Wartable are going to be people who already play Warmachine but can't do it in person for whatever reason. For Warmachine players, interfaces like Wartable and Vassal are pretty much always going to be a distant second to actually playing Warmachine. For people who just want a tactically interesting game that they can play on their computer, they going to play League of Legends or some other strategy game that was designed from the ground up as a PC game, because that is always going to be a better experience than trying to play a miniatures game or a board game through a computer interface.
Even if people are using Wartable to try out new armies, that's not really any different from playing in person and using proxies, which is fairly common.
Also, if PP considered it to be an infringement on their IP and a threat to their business model, we would have heard about it by now from them (or their lawyers). And if they saw a serious opportunity for growth in playing Warmachine online, we might see things like licensing, collaboration, and official modules in the future - like we see with Roll20 and D&D.
In fact, if I were to go out on a limb, I would say that PP is probably happy that Wartable came out during the current unpleasantness, as it makes it a lot easier for people who aren't so much into hobby and lore to continually engage with the game and their products. It's a lot easier for a company to get people to continue playing the game and buying their products if they have been continually engaged than it is to convince lapsed gamers and customers to pick it up again.