This past Saturday DOGC sent two members travelling to Rhode Island to The Temple to participate in the 50 Point Hardcore Tourney, and came home with another 1st place finish! Anthony won his 4th tournament this year, marking his 5th final table, and 2nd Hardcore win of the 2012 tournament season. Here is the battle report in his own words:
First off, very special thanks to Grant at Temple Games for hosting this awesome event, and even providing outdoor table gaming on a beautiful Saturday afternoon! Also to one of The Temple PG team Jeff Wowkowych who ran a really awesome event. Secondarily, I have to say that I have played in many tournaments, and this was one of the few times where each opponent was a truly great player, and an awesome person to play against. Many times at an event there is one regrettable experience or one particular opponent who is new to the format, the game, or events. On Saturday I really had four opponents who were all very capable Warmachine opponents, who were also a blast to play against, with high fives and handshakes before, during, and after. It’s a testament to the player community at Temple Games, and I can’t wait to go back again!!! Now onto the battle report…
Hardcore, as I have said before, is not a format I particularly enjoy, tho, I can see why it has the cult following within the Warmachine player base that it does. In a game that breeds a competitive tabletop balance, the Hardcore format is the purest form of the most basic essence of the game: kill the caster. To me, however, the time constraints are such that it leads to racey, if not sloppy, play in some cases just to get thru your activations; which, to me, can take away from the enjoyment of what is normally a sharply played tabletop tournament game.
All that said, it definitely does have it’s place, and for me, someone who enjoys being a competitive Warmachine player, it is an arena where you earn your stripes among the community. That said, to my list:
Mech Thralls (full)
Satyxis Raiders w/ UA (full)
Bane Thralls w/ UA (full)
Bane Lord Tartarus
This is the third level of a list you have read in my previous battle reports. The first, at 20, the second at 35, and now at 50. To me, this is probably the best overall list I have that most easily fits into the Hardcore style. A 50 point game is one in which you have to really account for all things you might face, especially in a Hardcore Format, where it’s one list to rule them all. I am certainly not inventing the wheel with this incarnation, but it does have my own flare.
Some of the major con Hardcore Big T lists include Bane Knights over Thralls, Witches for magic weapons and Bile Thralls for good measure. I prefer the Satyxis Raiders for their ability to get across the board quickly, pin the opponent into position to allow the rest of my horde to rush forward. The Mech Thralls are standard fare for every Terminus player, and I prefer the Bane Thralls for the debuff over their Knight counterparts and I include Saxon to account for the lack of Ghostly. I have been criticized for including the 3 point UA for the Thralls over say, a Pistol Wraith, or other perceived better uses. To me it’s a few things, for one, tactical diversion as many opponents will attack the banner to remove Tough, which isn’t really necessary when Terminus is usually providing it to the unit regardless. Additionally Dead Rise is a big deal in my experience, also when Terminus has to break off from the Banes for any reason, the fact that they remain Tough is a significant factor in the units ability to persist throughout the game. Corbeau are Wrathe are Terminus’ personal court IMHO :). As always I prefer the Seether over a DJ simply for the points efficiency. I have toyed with the idea of dropping the Bane Thrall UA in lieu of DJ, but I simply don’t like anything competing with Terminus for souls during Dragon’s Call.
Now to the Battle Reports…
Tourney: Hardcore – 50 point -1 list required, No Extensions, Assassin Scoring, Close Quarters (all rounds), Artifice Killbox
Before the dice rolled, as was usual and customary, players milled around and scoped each other’s travel boards out. The commentary prior is always the same when you are putting almost 50 models on the board, which is this: in a time constrained game is how do I get thru all the activations? In truth, you’d have to ask those who play against me how I fare for the best assessment; but for my money, sometimes you simply don’t get to all your pieces. So the acquired skill in this format is activating the things that are highest priority first and keeping the most critical activations in the correct order. I know that is not exactly a pro tip :); however, I’m want to be sure to note it, as it is the most important skill to develop if you want to play competitively in this format. In standard Hardcore timing, I do find this much more challenging that with the Death Clock Variant. For those that aren’t familiar with Hardcore formats, they have one time slot less than that of a standard game of the particular size you are playing, in this case 7 minute timed turns (because we were playing 50 points) and NO extension per the TO. This is a much different challenge than with Death Clock, as you don’t have the ability to bank time for the most important turn that will come at some point. On that crucial turn you have to know it going in, and crank because you will get no additional time in timed turns as you would in Death Clock. At the end I will give some additional reflections.
As always, it’s hard to recall every detail in complete accuracy, so I will do my best. Apologies in advance, especially to my opponents (if they are reading), for any details missed.
Round 1: vs Skorne
Synopsis: So, of all the ugly matchups I could draw in Hardcore is the very matchup that has taken down many a Terminus list in the past: a pMorgul beast heavy beat stick list. I personally watched this very match at the final table of Hardcore, ironically enough, at Temple Con earlier this year. My opponent, Derrick, is a really skilled player, who was in attendance at my last Hardcore tourney win up in Massachusetts at the Whiz. We did not face off that day, and this would be our first match. Worse news for me is that Derrick is primarily a Cryx player, therefore, nothing I had was going to surprise him.
The set up for terrain was fairly neutral as we each had a obstacles flanking our deployment zones, only difference was I had trees on my L, as oppose to impassable. I won the roll to go first, and as such chose to take advantage of that. My deployment was standard with Terminus in the middle, and instead of stacking my units which I normally do, I put the Banes to Big T’s L and Mech Thralls to the R. Seether to far R, support in the rear, and Satyxis up front. The Skorne setup was a brick with the Sentry and Tiberion up front, flanked by the Gladiator and Bronzeback with Molik Karn just behind that meat line next to Morgul and Marketh with the PG in the very rear.
I opened by getting my Satyxis clear across the board, putting three raiders in front exposed, and the rest of my horde up behind them, using Saxon to get the Banes thru the woods. Malediction was up on Terminus, and then used Death Ride from Wrathe to inch (literally) forward. My first derp of the day, I inched Big T too close to the Sea Witch forcing the Abomination check, luckily I made the successful check and moved on. Morgul opened up his brick advanced forward, and slung Molik Karn out to clip the up front Raiders, and Fate Walker back. This did force the brick forward and to be a little more loosely set up to allow for Karn to make his way back behind the lines.
On turn 2, I crashed home with the Raiders, sending most of the remainder of the unit at the Sentry, as I wanted Locker off the table. Raiders minifeated and thanks to chain weapons, multiple attacks and some friendly dice, I was able to remove that beast from the able. I backed loaded the Raiders with the remainder of my line, and prepared for the counterattack. With one heavy off the board, Morgul took to starting to wade thru the infantry. He used Tiberion to to clear the Raiders blocking the way to the Banes, and thanks to Train Wreck was able to get out of the way of Karn. As such Molik activated next, and burned thru a number of Banes, before ending the turn retreating back behind the Gladiator and Tiberion. Morgul finished the turn by feating to hamper my ability to allow Terminus from helping at all, and keeping the Seether out of the battle. As such it would be up to my remaining units to do the heavy lifting.
I took the dice on turn 3, and decided not to feat, as there really was no benefit, my plan was to only take out beasts which at best would net me three souls; again not worth it. Additionally, there was a handful of Pain Givers on the board, and if this continued to attrition down, I would enjoy those tasty souls in the late game. As such, I activated Tartarus cursed Tiberion, and sent the Banes to work. I was able to get most of the remaining unit onto the character beast, and they were able to get it done, as he already had some damage on him. The Bronzeback was the next priority as he was the biggest threat to Terminus. I activated Necrosurgeon (remembering) to make some Mech Thralls, replenished the unit a bit, and sent them to work on a debuffed Titan, currently under Dark Shroud. Combo striking charges from a handful of Mech Thralls were able to put that beast into the dirt. I was able to finally get damage onto Karn as he did not retreat far enough to get away from a Darrage Wrathe charge and I had him under Dark Shroud, so while not off the board he was bleeding. II felt pretty good about my position, as he was down three heavies, I still had mine, and two of my three units mostly in tact. Derrick took the dice and put Molik Karn back to work. Weaving thru the lines sidestepping, he was able take both Darrage Wrathe and Tartarus out of the game. Gladiator activated and cleanup as many Mech Thralls as possible. He had snuck the agonizer around to within 4” of the Seether, and thus prevented him from being allocated focus, very astute move I did not see coming on my flank.
It was getting down to the nitty, and model count was getting low, and he still had two heavies. I decided it was time for Terminus to get into the mix, I activated the Withershadow Combine, giving Big T the Puppet Strings, and sent him off to charge Molik Karn. I didn’t need the re-roll, but the combination of Malediction and Dark Shroud while already being damaged was too much for Karn to withstand and Terminus’ initial attacks put him into the dirt. I activated the Necrosurgeon making a few more Mech Thralls and sent them to finish off the Gladiator. Now with all the heavies off the table, the game was effectively over, I ran Saxon to the Control point, and ran the Seether across the board to cause Terror on the Pain Givers, who subsequently failed the check. Skorne was about to be done in, but Derrick was not going to let Morgul go down without a fight, he put Admonition on Morgul, and started to pick off my remaining models with spells from him and Marketh, while sprinting away after he was done.
As the round clock had to be getting low, I didn’t want this to come down to a tie breaker as the format for the tourney was calling for a different order of tie breakers, starting with Army points destroyed, and we were both pretty depleted. Morgul did not spring so far away as to leave the control point, as such I was able to slip Admonia from the Combine up, and Disbind Admonition, and then put the re-roll on Terminus; who in turn activated and one shot the little angry Warlock in a big hack.
I’m sure this opening round will read very long, but it’s consistent with the back and forth grind of the game. I never felt like I truly lost control of the game, but there were a few tenuous moments in the middle. In reflection with my opponent, we observed that he likely spent too many resources trying to kill Darrage Wrathe and Tartarus, when he should have been trying to remove the remainder of the Banes from the table. It’s a tough decision under a pressure clock, but in retrospect he may have been correct. That said, Big T and I were moving on…
Round 2: vs Legion
eVayl – T4
Throne of Everblight
Spawning Vessel (full)
Synopsis: My new favorite player at The Temple has to be my second round opponent, Roger. He had a beautifully painted eVayl Tier 4 list, so much so that he actually won the Master Craftsman Award (shared with me in fact :)). I had played Roger previously in a team game with our long lost play mate Eric (who has since departed for the left coast). That team game came to an epic finish that ended on round time as my partner and I were attempting to make our finishing moves, then we subsequently lost to Roger and Eric on tie breakers. Some of you reading this might even remember I exacted revenge on Eric at the last Hardcore battle report in an epic finish pitting Terminus against Harbinger. Today was my chance to complete my vengence in my first mano y mano with Roger. Tho this battle would be a different matter entirely and this Legion list was set up to make battle tough on Terminus with cheap heavies, spawning lights, and the hit and run ability with Refuge. I was going to have my work cut out.
Vayl won the starting roll thanks to the tier benefit, and wisely seized the initiative going first. I chose deployment and took the side with a hill that had a bunker atop. I didn’t want Vayl to sit and pontificate to the board behind cover on a hill. As such deployment ensued, and I used my usual deployment with Terminus center massed, Banes to my L and Mech Thralls to the R, with support in the rear and this time had the Seether in the center of the table with Big T with all the support in the rear. My opponent had obstacles flanking his deployment and decided to lead with his heavy hitters, and keep all the souls in the rear guard of the army to prevent Terminus from using Dragon’s Call to great effect.
On the opening turn the Ravagore both fired shots into the Satyxis, setting a few on fire, and the remainder advance up to the extreme of the threat range of the Raiders, and the rest of the army camped in behind as Vayl spread out the buffs. I took the dice, and sent the Raiders at both the Angelius including the one with Admonition. After moves the Angelius that could used Admonition, and I put a couple of attacks on the remaining Angelius to no consequence. I moved the remainder of my force up and braced for impact. The opening turn had gone exactly as Vayl had wanted.
Roger took the dice and went to work and used the combination of Ravagore AOEs and Anglius Overtakes to eliminate nearly all the Raiders, then cleared a hole for the Throne to get into the Bane Thralls, and more importantly pinning my lines in place with a huge 5” base, countering my own game plan. This allowed him to get his own infantry into the game in the second level behind the Throne mixed in with the beasts, and thanks to flight and Refuge he would be able to yo-yo the Angelius at will. He had also feated to cycle all his upkeeps for free. There was a critical moment on this turn that could have had a huge impact on the game. There was a brief rules question where the TO came over to answer a question that was quickly resolved, however the clock that we used subsequently failed to restart despite making the noise, and as Roger was cranking thru his turn it took several minutes before we realized it. This was an unfortunate occurrence in the game and a player of Roger’s caliber was fully capable of maximizing that to his advantage doing as much damage as possible.But those things happen, and we have to play thru it.
On my turn, I had to turn the tide of the battle now or never, after two successful turns for Vayl and the mishap with the clock she is winning this battle right now. With the Battle Engine in my face, I start with the Banes and let them go to town and as expected they take the Throne down. Now is the time to feat for the first time all day. I activate Big T, he casts Ravager on himself and charged into the Legionnaires, starting to reap souls. I went until my initial attacks and berserk attacks ran out. This cleared the way for Tartarus to get into the mix. He was able to Thresh effectively on a charge, finishing the Ravagore, and one shotting the Harrier thanks to the Malediction and Dark Shroud, as well as few more from the Legionnaire unit.The remaining Raider was able to get a couple more souls from the Spawning Vessel unit and the Mech Thralls were able to get a Sheppard. With Terminus gorged on souls and ARM in the 30’s I felt that I had adequately put the pressure back on my opponent.
Roger sized up the game, Terminus between two Angelius and a Ravagore; the math said that he likely couldn’t put Big T down this turn with his ARM so swollen, instead decided to begin the late game attrition battle and start to whittle down what I had remaining. After what seemed like a long deliberation in hardcore he activated the first Angelius and beat on some more Bane Thralls, and then activated the Ravagore to take out Tartarus, after using his initials and buying, Tartarus made a tough roll. Vayl activated and the clock had less than 30 seconds left. She considered Terminus position, check CNTL put Admonition on one of the Angelius nearest Terminus and the Seether, then put Refuge on the last Angelius then took pause as she had to back up, but the Kill box was imminent and the clock was waning, with no extension available. He noted the Angelius still had to activate and had Tartarus on the ground in front of him and didn’t want to leave him there, and had to make a Refuge move to limit Terminus access to Vayl. After Roger realized he had to make all that happen he saw he only had about ten seconds left he eyeballed the best position for Vayl and moved her back behind some pieces but she was still in RNG of Terminus. Finally he activated the Angelius took a quick attack on Tartarus who made another Tough check (just to add insult to injury) and then he rushed to Refuge the Angelius back in front of Vayl to block the landing area for Terminus as the clock expired. Roger already knew the first question from me was going to be to check Kill Box on Vayl, and as we dropped the measuring tool, he had rushed so quickly he didn’t recheck his CNTL once he moved to make sure he was in the right position. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise well contested game. I call it the table top gods getting even for the clock going awry mid battle! All kidding aside, it was an awesome game, and I look forward to the chance to play Roger again!
Round 3: vs Circle
Tharn Wolfriders (min)
Shifting Stones w/ UA
Gallows Grove x2
Synopsis: Tom is the other Press Ganger for the Temple and is a big part of the community out there in Rhode Island. Unfortunately for him he was playing my favorite Warlock/Warcaster in the game which means I was very familiar with his bag of Circle tricks. Unfortunately for me, he was expecting to see Terminus on this day and built his list with this very matchup in mind, hence the three beat stick heavies that could all end Terminus’ day.
I lost the roll to go first in this match and my opponent chose to go second, wanting to see my setup. I had an obstacle on my R and trees just in front of my deployment zone on my L. He had a hill with a bunker on it on the R (as I stood) of his deployment zone, and some difficult terrain and a linear obstacle on the L (as I stood) of his deployment area. I setup the Mech Thralls behind the trees with Saxon to escort, and then had the Banes on the R, with Terminus in the middle and Seether on the far R. He setup with all his beasts center massed Kromac in the rear with the stone units equidistance apart out front of the deployment area, Woldstalkers on the far L (as I stood) and the Wolfriders on the far R who preyed the Raiders.
I took the dice first and moved the Raiders aggressively forward to threaten his line, trying to bait him into using the stones to sling the Stalker forward and tear deep into the Raider line, hopefully not retreating far enough away. The rest of my turn was standard fare with Malediction up, and the remainder of my force rushing up behind the Satyxis Raiders. Tom took the dice, and decided Kromac did not want to be too aggressive, not taking the bait. He did move his beasts into the stones, forming a strong position in his own CNTL zone, he put Wild Aggression on the Stalker and Warpath up. He ran the Wolf Riders out to the R flank and decided to run the Wold Stalkers into my L flank face tanking me to hold up my line.
Turn two, and I knew priority one was to eliminate one stone from each unit, as such I activated the Raiders, popped the mini feat and sent them into the stones, getting three on the one to my L and two into the one on my R. The rest ran to front his line, or clear some Wold Stalkers. I was able to successfully eliminate both stones. So I felt safe in moving up behind my Raiders and really pressing Kromac’s position; turning the dice over to my opponent. Kromac lead with sending the Wild Aggression Stalker into the Raiders, clearing most of the unit out, then dropping the remaining Stones to block charge lane in my lines. Sent the Wolf Riders up to clear some additional Raiders before retreating away. Lastly he activated Kromac, decided to cast Inviolable Resolve on himself and not to move forward at all, as nearly the entirety my force was on his half of the board, and w/o full stone units he could not hop around at will.
I took the dice for turn three and began the motions of what I knew would have to be a pretty devastating turn. As I began my activations, Tom stopped me and alerted me to the fact that he believed he had Kill Boxed himself. Unlike last game, I didn’t think it was in play at this point, and never paid it any mind, until he pointed it out. Upon recollection, I don’t believe Kromac ever left the deployment zone. That said, it was a rather anti-climatic end to what I thought was going to be one of the more interesting damage dealing turns of the day for my force. Unfortunately we had to shake on the game and will have to play another day.
Round 4: vs Legion
Death Stalker x2
Synopsis: So, here we are at final table, fifth time this year, and last time I was upended by one of my teammates, so suffice to say I definitely did not want to let this one slip away. Moreover, my opponent Eddie was buttering me up before the game by singing up for Boost for a Cure securing his spot in our DOGC Fundraiser next month!!! Eddie had already ousted my teammate earlier in the day and had an excellent pVayl list with all the goodies. I was able to catch some of his round 3 game and knew that he would play this list exceptionally well. The biggest challenge for me was mitigating Dark Sentinel as my infantry approached.
I won the starting roll and took the opportunity to go first. My opponent took the side of the table that had two buildings flanking the deployment zone to try to funnel my approach. I setup with Banes to my L and Mech Thralls to my R, I put the Seether this time on the far L, and the rest of my support behind with the Raiders in the vanguard. Legion setup all between the funnel of the two buildings with the Striders AD out front w/ the solo support, and the support Solos in the rear of the deployment and Vayl center massed behind it all.
I took the dice for first turn and was facing a capable row of fire from the Striders and Stalkers across from me, as such I didn’t want to be out of threat range next turn, I was unable to reach them straight out as they did not deploy the full way out in their AD zone, astute move by Eddie. I moved to what I thought was just outside their 12” stand still range. and moved up my force to right behind the Raiders but was pinned much farther back than I wanted to be. Legion took the dice, and Striders went to work ,rolling fire, taking out over half my Raider unit, and forcing the command check; however I passed with gusto rolling snake eyes. He moved up the Ravagore to leave a nice AOE making straight charges awkward. Leaving the Striders to face tank the Remaining Raiders.
Taking the dice, I had taken more casualties than I had wanted, but the good news was he did not come forward really at all, as such I had to push into his position and turn the funnel against him. I ran/charged the Raiders into the Striders, downing one but mostly forcing their line to deal w/ the Raiders and allowing the rest of my lines to push into their lines. I ran the Seether again up the L to be behind the building, flanked by Tartarus, and then pushed Terminus that way as well, as that was the farthest diagonal point from the heavies on the board and handed the dice back to my opponent, knowing that I would have to be patient in this game as my opponent was dictating the ebb and flow. On my opponents turn, he activated Vayl and first cast Chiller onto the Raiders, then put up Incite, and feating so he could reposition after this was all over. She then set Typhon to work to clear the reamaining Raiders from the front line. Thanks to all the buffs/debuffs, this was not an issue. Then sent the Striders and Stalkers off to the L behind the house to hold the back side of that area to at least delay the Seether that was closing. He dropped an shot from the Ravagore into the middle of my lines downing a handful of Thralls and leaving a nice big AOE to make movement difficult. The remaining beasts then moved forward to clear more models. When everything was done the Striders and Stalkers moved farther to flank, beasts backed up to turtle up again, and Vayl moved clear behind the building protecting her completely.
This was the turn I knew I had to seize control of the game, to this point Vayl’s plan was being executed exceptionally well. However, they did not advance anything forward that turn, and only had one model in the control zone. As such, I moved Tartarus up cursed the solo Deathstalker (who was the only model contesting the zone), and then sent three banes off to remove the one model in the way. I was hoping the dice would cooperate as I didn’t want to use Terminus and burn focus for this. Luckily the dice cooperated and off the board the Strider went. I moved up Darrage Wrathe put up Beyond Death and claimed the control point for the turn. Banes were now in the mix, as were Mech Thralls, both had gotten to heavies this turn and started to put damage on them. I ran the Seether into the Striders to cause the Terror check, which they passed. Grabbing a control point, I felt, put new pressure on Vayl to bring her beasts out from behind the building’s safe zone, even if she could stay back there.
Eddie realized that the scenario was now a concern he would have to account for, as such his first order of business was to run the Feralgeist into action and onto the control point. Now contesting, he could then set on the troops in his face, as he couldn’t advance forward without removing them. More sprays, and using the animus from the injured Scythean he was negating my Tough, and between the Dark Sentinels on my turn and effective use of resources on his turn, I was just about out of Banes, and low on Mech Thralls, down to about a dozen models on the board. Eddie feeling satisfied he turned the dice back over to me. He had brought his beasts forward to deal with models but was still pinned back and out of the zone with everything but the Feralgeist. I did not want to commit Terminus to this either as it would have exposed him to three heavies. Fortunately, I have Darrage Wrathe with a nifty magic weapon, who charged the Geist, dispatching him easily using battle wizard to cast Beyond Death and the light calv move to back up and make room for models to charge the heavy beasts. The Necrosurgeon who was loaded up on corpse tokens was able to make new Mech Thralls. I activated Combine to put Puppet Strings on the Bane Lord, then Tartarus when to work, charging three heavies that were clumped up, and all damaged. He charged Typhon specifically and Threshered into Proteus and the Scythean. He finished off the Scythean and put big dents in the other two. The Mech Thralls then charged Proteus and Typhon. Typhon used the Dark Sentinel ability to kill the McThrall that reached him likely saving himself; however Proteus caught the brunt of the impact from that unit and was finished off in short order thanks to Dark Shroud and combo strikes. Off the extreme L flank the Seether continued to work his way around the rear of the board, and was now behind the beasts and Vayl but still out of threat range. Finally Madelyn Corbeau moved forward and Cryx claimed their second control point.
Now Vayl’s hand was clearly being forced, she had the Seether behind her but couldn’t send the beasts backwards to deal with it because he was forced to contest or lose. As such, he sent Typhon forward, sprayed removing a number of models, including Madelyn Corbeau, and was left damaged, but contesting the control zone with Excessive Healing up. Then ran the Ravagore in the zone as well forcing me to have to kill both to win the game. I took the dice and knew that the round clock had to be getting very low, and he still had two heavies on the board and I was very depleted. He had one fully healthy beast and one that would heal every time I damaged it. I had to commit Terminus now or never. I activated Darrage Wrathe, used Death Ride to clear room, and get Big T close enough to be able to charge and get to both beasts. Then the Combine put Puppet Strings on Terminus, and with the stage set I activated Big T. Moving carefully, measuring CNTL as I approached to get both beasts in my reach and stay out of Dark Sentinel range. Worth noting, I activated Terminus before the Mech Thralls as I was not sure how much round time was left and didn’t want to pander with extra models for no reason and run out of time. After my two initial attacks and one Focus spent, Typhon was in the dirt. I bought three more attacks and then used Puppet Strings to crank my last damage roll against the Ravagore putting him into the dirt. With nothing left in the control zone, Terminus claimed the final control point, winning the tournament!!!!
In reviewing the tournament, it was really a hard fought day. I’m extremely proud of this tourney win against some really tough competition. I tallied over 200 points destroyed in four games, and was able to share the Master Craftsman Award with my man Roger, and of course was fortunate enough to take home the Vanquisher Award for winning the event. A couple of things I will remember about this one and take away for future contests:
1. Holy Heavies!!! As it turns out, there is a regular Terminus player in that group that was expected to show up, as such everyone was loaded for bear. Hency why I didn’t face a list with less than three beat stick heavies, faced two players with four heavies and one with five including two characters! I would argue that I faced four consecutive tough matchups and nobody was in a bind with no way to deal with my bag. This is one tourney victory I am very proud of!
2. As I play more tournaments, I noticed that my opponents often will reveal precisely when they make a mistake, letting me know that they did something wrong or missed an important activation. On my side of the table, I simply never acknowledge that. I forgot many things throughout the day, sometimes big things; however, I keep that to myself. My opponent doesn’t need to know if I made a mistake. For one, drawing attention to something alerts my opponent to go for it and exploit it if possible; or in the contrary, by not saying a word about it, my opponent will invariably ask “why didn’t you do x?” Often that will cause some confusion where they think it was strategic in some manner, where it may or may not be, but they don’t know for sure, and they can spend time trying to out think something that doesn’t need to be out thought. That’s the closest thing to a pro tip I can offer for those reading that are looking to play more competitively.
3. As I said earlier the question I get most often from players after, or before, a Hardcore tourney is how do I get through all my activations with nearly 50 models. Personally, I keep my order of activation left to right as I look at the table, as best I can. Obviously you have to prioritize in the right order, but I always address the table going left to right. Now that I’ve had that in mind it’s a force of habit and helps ensure that I don’t forget anything. Additionally, as far as pumping out dice rolls, sometimes you just don’t get to everything. There were many times I didn’t get to activate models, that happens I don’t sweat it, and try to end my turn non frantically. Keeping composed helps me maintain control of the match ebb and flow. If I start to rush to make sure I move every single piece, it makes me feel frantic, and that spirals. Sometimes you won’t get to move a solo in the back of your army, not the end of the world. Leave him, often forgetting something will actually become a benefit later, as they will be in position to do something you hadn’t thought of prior.
4. Kill Box… really? Before Saturday, I had only won one previous game as a result of Kill Box, I did it twice during this event. Some may read and say “that never happens” or feel that it’s a “noob” mistake. I assure you it’s not. But don’t take it from me, at this year’s Lock N Load, at the final table of Hardcore the person who lost Kill Boxed himself. Yes that is a fact, at the highest level of play, on the grandest stage, at the championship table of this event style, the mistake can happen. So, it is absolutely part of the strategy of this tournament style. There are the random clear cut mistakes, but then there are the stratigcally forced ones as well. I had both during this tourney. I would wager that my second round opponent, Roger, would agree that to some degree my aggressive position forced him to have to move in a non optimal situation and the time constraints allowed for the mistake to happen. Is it a mistake, but it’s a forced error. My third round opponent, Tom, made an unforced error by making a simple mental mistake because he was focused on keeping his warlock safe. So know that and keep it in your plan before every game. Can I put my opponent into a precarious position where he may make the mistake and walk out, forced or unforced.
5. Patience, yes patience in Hardcore as in any other event is the next level for me personally, and maybe for you too. I said in my last post tourney revelations when I won Hardcore up at the Whiz, I struggled early on in my Warmachine career with Terminus, and many of my other Warlocks and Warcasters by over extending them too early too often. As I grew to not be so anxious to whip out all the tricks in my bag, I became better. Now, as a player, the next level of my development, is having the patience to see a plan develop in game, and then see it thru, exemplified by my play at the final table bout in this tourney. Nobody goes into a Hardcore game thinking “how can I win this by scenario”. Quite frankly it’s not designed to be won that way, and the purists hate that it can be, however it’s part of the format now. The lesson learned for me, is recognizing that my position was such that I could try to win that particular game by scenario, and take advantage of a fundamental positional advantage I had which I would not have known until I was in the middle of the game. I had my opponent pinned, and it allowed me to take control of the CP during the game. To make that commitment, and be patient enough to see it thru for the next two turns, totaling four or five turns in a game takes discipline and self control that I have developed over time. I see it now, and I didn’t see that before. It’s hard for me to not be all brass all the time, especially when I’m playing Big T! But for me, it’s a point worth developing further as I believe it will improve my game; maybe it will help improve yours!
All in all it was an AWESOME day at The Temple! I’m very proud of my performance against some really excellent competition. I made some new friends, that I hope to see across the table soon, and hopefully spread the good word about Boost for a Cure coming this October. It’s been an amazing year for me, my hobbying, and my team; and I look forward to being able to finish the year strong! For now I turn my attention to the MATT, hopefully see you there :)….