WARGames Con 2011 saw a much larger Warmachine and Hordes presence than last year. One 14 player Steamroller Tournament last year grew into 3 days worth of events with over 30 participants. The numbers far exceeded my expectations for a tournament I thought would be mostly a local affair.
The first event was Friday’s Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw tournament. 18 participants each played ten 30 minute games with only 3 minutes per turn. A formal pairing system wasn’t practical with so many games, so every round the players paired up with someone new. With no strength of schedule in play the number of caster kills was used as a tiebreaker. To reward aggressive play, participants got one special Privateer Press die (available only from Privateer Press for big events) for each caster kill they achieved. To keep things interesting, the Killbox scenario from SR 2011 was used for all games. The overall winner may not come as that big of a surprise. Thagrosh, the Prophet of Everblight fielded by BoLS writer Steven Will (Lux) used Dark Revival to great effect bringing back Carnivean after Carnivean and earning a solid 10 out of 10 wins, but only one caster kill. Second place may be a bit more unexpected: Garryth, Blade of the Retribution played by Steven Garcia racked up 9 wins and 8 caster kills. It was only when he had to face Thagrosh and his respawning Carnivean that the elf failed to defeat his opponent. Third place went to BoLS’ very own Kevin Simpson (Relasine), who brought along his Bloody Barnabus led Minion army. There were a lot more Warmachine than Hordes players for the event, and many Warjacks ended up lying in Swamp Pits with their furnaces extinguished.
Saturday’s Steamroller was the big event with 28 players from near and far. I had managed to get the event Warmachine Weekend Qualifier status towards the end (once I realized it would be a big enough event) and that got us a few more at the very end. I had the privilege of watching a bunch of very competent players bring their all, and it taught me a lot about a game I thought I knew pretty well.
Steven Garcia managed to bring home first place for this event winning all five of his games with his Retribution army. While Ossyan was brought to the table at least once during the day, the majority of the time it was Adeptus Rahn doing the heavy lifting. While some people may be surprised to hear of Retribution winning an event like this, I’ve always been convinced this guy is a force to be reckoned with. Rahn is a solid caster and has been punishing his opponents since day one. With his Charge of the Battle Mages theme force he has all the tools he needs to win against any type of force. He can punish infantry and heavies with his devastating feat while he moves the enemy’s army around to set up the caster kill. And Steven already won one of the hardcore tourneys at Lock and Load so he’s no joke either.
Second place went to Erik Nelson who brought along a pretty standard Terminus list and a Prime Deneghra list with Darragh Wrathe and some Soul Hunters. It turns out incorporeal cav work great when fielded with the games premier de-buffer. Third place was actually a tie (even with strength of schedule factored in). Everyone was pretty tired after five rounds so the two eligible players rolled off like gentlemen to see who would get the prize. David Gooch (last years overall Steamroller winner) brought his Khador back to tie with Matt Lee who also brought a Khador army, and won the roll for the prize. Kayazy played a big part for both players, and both had few warjacks in their lists. Gooch (yes he goes by Gooch) repeated last years’ success with Epic Vlad using Blood Legacy and Transference on Kayazy and Ulahns. Matt seemed to have a good thing going with his Winterguard and Kayazy absolutely decimating things with Prime Butcher’s Blood Fury.
The Sunday Team Tournament was the smallest even with only 16 people. Teams could be inter-faction, but otherwise all the standard rules for building a two caster game were followed – so no tiers, and no duplicate characters. Each player had 25 points to build their army with 5 overflow points mostly to give the Hordes players a little more wiggle room for the beasts they’d need. Caster kills were the only primary objective, and the number of caster kills was the secondary determinant for final standings (after overall wins but before strength of schedule). It turned out that in-faction synergy actually won the day. Of course no one took the Adeptis Rahn/Mortenebra dream team I’d been scheming about for so long.
The overall winners were Derrick Ramsey and David Gooch, who brought an Epic Butcher/ Epic Vlad team. Feel the Hate, Blood Legacy, and Transference went together in a phenomenal way to deliver Drakhuns with huge stat buffs deep into enemy lines. The second place award went to Brandon Sullivan (BoLS’ Minus67) and Frank Moran (Spanky Harrison). These two combined Kraye and Epic Nemo for some delightful Elite Cadre Stormsmith/Firefly/Triangulation shenanigans before sending a Full Tilted Centurion in for the kill. Jake Bindeman and Joe Spears brought a Cygnar and Cryx force to win them third place. Epic Haley and Prime Deneghra set forth to create all the unspeakable grossness you would expect from this warcaster twin team up. These two actually tied for wins and caster kills with the second place team, but lost to them in the first round. I don’t think they’d ever seen what Kraye can do with just a Full-Tilted Firefly on his feat turn.
~I had a great time even though I didn’t get to play a single game. One final lesson I brought away from last weekend: always read the last line. Whether its a rule, scenario, spell, – it can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Thanks to everyone who came by. It was great meeting all of you and I hope to see everyone again next year!