Wednesday, April 3, 2013

So You Wanna Be Hardcore

This past weekend we had a Warmachine / Hordes Hardcore Tournament. We had a great turnout of some regulars and some gents I haven't met before. It was a really fun time - Stokes even brought a two Archangel list. Pretty nuts!

I brought my Skorne with the following list:

Points: 50/50
Tyrant Xerxis (*5pts)
* Basilisk Krea (4pts)
* Tiberion (11pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
* Aptimus Marketh (3pts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9pts)
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) (11pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (1pts)
Venators Slingers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2pts)

The general idea was to brick up and move forward then take down their big guys with weapon masters. In round one I faced off against Jack with his Cryx and eSkarre. He had just finished placing 14th out of 100 people at the Mayhem Cup so I was a little intimidated! He's a great guy though and we had a very grindy game.

I managed to get my Cetrati up to armor 24 (with 8 wound boxes) on Xerxis' feat turn so they were just hard as hell to kill and Jack didn't bring the stuff to do it. I killed Kraken and Deathjack really quickly which helped a ton. The cetrati tanked his bane knights for a while and took them down one by one. eSkarre's feat is really annoying but didn't hurt me as much as I had the armor to keep going when I lost a turn of damage.

Source: Curse Reaper
In the end I just ground it out and was able to get the points needed at dice down. I had an assassination run at Skarre with my Arcuarii with a harpoon drag. I hit her then had to do 6 on the die to drag her... I managed a five. Sad face :(

It was a really tough game. The Xerxis brick seems like it can be really annoying to play against.

Round two was against Stokes and his two Archangel gargantuans. The Archangel has been much-maligned on the PP forums but it is a really sweet model. Two of them makes it tough especially when they're base armor 18, +2 from spiny growth, and effectively +2 from Thagrosh's built-in-ability to take your strength down by 2.

I thought I had enough weapon masters to take them down but really I should have had one more beast to take them down. ARM 22 makes weapon masters cry. Stokes ground me down and eventually I didn't have much left and he had a ton of minor beasts on the board to transfer to. I did manage to kill one archangel and two carniveans. At this point I'm 1-1.

My last game was against Jake who has been playing Warmachine for a long time (just like Stokes). He was practicing for the Hardcore at Adepticon and brought Bart + Galleon + The Galleon Support Club™ + Nyss Hunters.

This was a great learning game for me as I plan on using Bart with Galleon at some point (but probably not the whole club). This was really really tough... Bart's feat protects Galleon for an entire round. I thought I was doing alright until that happened. I did manage to get Tiberion into Galleon since he can't be knocked down and did enough damage to cripple one side... but then it was repaired the next turn.

This was one that I just felt like I lost right after Bart's feat. Once I figured out I couldn't get up into Galleon he just shot me down and it was over. It was a great learning experience.

I ended up fielding the only fully-painted army so I managed to grab the best painted award, lol. I went 1-2 and felt like I did pretty well. Thoughts on the Hardcore format:

  • Seven minute turns are really hard to get everything done in BUT
  • Combined with the scenarios that force you into the middle they make the games go so much faster. We played three rounds in 5 hours. We were out in time to have dinner with the wives (++brownie points++).
  • One list is hard for a lot of people, but it helped me. I learned Xerxis a lot better. It might have helped to have another caster for better matchups... I plan on using eHexy as my second caster and 3Makeda as my other caster when she comes out.
  • I was happy to win the Best Painted award. I used this to help pay for an Archangel :) Playing it Painted in 2013!
  • Can't wait to try Galleon out :)
  • The scenario was a little confusing and I'm not sure if it mattered in anyone's game. 
  • Tau4Eva did amazing with Goatvahna. I don't look forward to my first game against her. 
  • I can't wait to get the Mammoth. I played against Gargossals in every game and had nothing of my own. The mammoth is expected to be the best Gargantuan and I can't wait to throw him out there to beat people up.
  • I also can't wait to use 3Makeda. I like Xerxis as a beatstick caster. I haven't used one before really and he can get up in there and mix it up. Makeda is this ++.
  • Overall I think this may be my favorite tournament variant. It was fast, I didn't have to manage two lists, and we got out in time for dinner. This might sound lame but wives really value that stuff.
Listening to Muse on Minis / Crippled System I also figured out that I was doing some things wrong. Instead of spreading my units out I need to brick them up and make two waves. The cetrati go in first with shields then the Arcuarii go in second. Like dis:

First turn

Second turn. Cetrati shield wall and move forward with Xerxis +2 inch buff. Arcuarii move in behind with Krea providing animus support and gobbers putting up cloud
Come check out the Machinations Umbra league Friday night at GS and see my Skorne! I'll be sporting our new Fresh Coast hoody.


  1. Congrats on the painting, your Skorne look awesome!
    I was a bit intimidated by the "hardcore" title for this tournament, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. I had my best outing in a long time making it to the top table and going 2-1 with "Goatvahna". Circle is pretty fun to play, we need to get a game in soon.

  2. I like it a lot, but learned how the game has changed, at least as far as Hardcore goes. I brought an older Hardcore list that I was comfortable with, and have done well with before, as it turns out, is now a very weak list. Couple this with personal mistakes, getting your butt kicked is the result. A lower model count with your heaviest ARM and POW is key. As Cygnar an army of guns that begin shooting on turn 2, is rough to get everything in in 7 minutes. Overall Hardcore was intense and a lot of fun, but you have to bring the house, which makes sense for what it's called.