In a few weeks, a couple of the Combo Smite hosts (myself included) are heading down to Burlington, Ontario for a 50pt Hardcore tournament. As a result, I was happy to get some practice in with Nick for this unique (and fascinating!) format!
This is Nick’s first time playing a Hardcore game, *and* his first time trying out this particular list… this is my 2nd attempt at Hardcore, but the 3rd time I’ve used this list (or one similar to it, at least!)… sad that numbers like those make me the most experienced out of our group! The game was a little bit gong-showy, but as a practice game it was pretty solid, and I think there’s unquestionably a lot to learn from our attempts!
Let’s start with the basics: the scenario was HARDCORE! There is only 1 Hardcore scenario, and it is as follows…
12″ zone in the middle of the table with a modified Killbox: If a warcaster/warlock is completely within 14″ of any table edge, their opponent gains 1 “Pressure Point”. Controlling or Dominating the zone also gives 1 “Pressure Point”.
When a player gains a Pressure Point his opponent’s warcaster(s)/warlock(s) suffer 5 points of magical damage that cannot be transferred. Additionally, the warcaster(s)/warlock(s) lose Tough, cannot be healed, and cannot have damage removed for one round. If the Pressure Point is gained by dominating the zone, increase the damage suffered by 2 points.
Interesting to note that multiple Pressure Points all cause damage on the same turn, so being completely within 14″ of a table edge AND having your opponent control the zone results in 10 points of damage to your warcaster! Ouch!
Note; These are NOT Control Points: gaining 5 doesn’t mean you automatically win (theoretically… 25 points of damage should be more than enough to kill every warcaster/warlock in the game!).
My list is an experimental one that I’ve been toying with… I love the idea of a Harbinger Tier list, and although it has some interesting (and significant) shortfalls, I still think it’s a lot of fun! My list is as follows (Harbinger Tier 4 list):
Harbinger of Menoth
Avatar of Menoth
High Paladin Vilmon
Paladin of the Wall
Paladin of the Wall
Paladin of the Wall
Choir of Menoth (max)
Tier Benefits: +1 to starting roll, 4 wall templates, increased Paladin FA, and cheaper heavy warjacks without ranged weapons.
Now that I’ve played it, I like it, but I think replacing 2 of the Crusaders with a 7-point Templar, upgrading to a 2nd unit of Choir, and throwing in a 4th Paladin of the Wall will crank it up to 11. But I was right… it is a tonne of fun, even in the current arrangement. One day I’m going to try Harbinger, Avatar, Vilmon, and just Crusaders… nothing else.
Nick’s Four Star List:
Gorten Grundback (more like “Borten Bareback”, am I rite? I have no idea what that means…)
Aiyana and Holt
A neat list, and notable for the Galleon-Earthbreaker pairing. I think that keeping Gaston safe isn’t as hard as many people say (8″ behind a Galleon which can shoot out… 14″, I think? Pretty safe…), but that stated, I wouldn’t run this list in anything besides a Hardcore… no screens for the big warjacks! That normally results in dead colossi… but would it here? On the one hand, I have a lot of armour cracking. On the other, Aiyana and Holt are going to be handing out magic weapons like candy, and that removes a lot of the multiple Paladins AND the benefit of Passage. I mean, they’ll still be good… but will they be good enough?
I put, from (my) left to right: Crusader, Paladin and Choir, Crusader, Choir, Avatar, Vilmon and Choir, Crusader, Harby and Hierophant, Devout, Choir, Crusader, Choir, Crusader.
Nick cheated a little by NOT deploying his colossi first. Dirty, dirty cheater. Because it would’ve changed SO MUCH* of my deployment.
(*That is to say… nothing. It would’ve changed nothing)
Menoth Turn 1
Fancy first turn: Harby gives 1 Focus to each of her warjacks, Avatar generates 3.
Choir goes first and sings “No Shooting” (Passage) on all the warjacks except the two flanking Crusaders because I can’t get my Choir spread out enough.
Crusaders all run forward.
Avatar uses “Gaze” and then runs forward.
Paladins all run forward.
Hierophant Harmoniously Exalts.
Harbinger decides to cast nothing and not Feat, and charges forward.
1 Focus to each colossi.
Kayazy both do extreme flanking maneuvers, running.
Galleon runs forward.
Earthbreaker runs forward.
Gorten casts “Strenght of Granite” on Earthbreaker, charges forward.
Gaston casts “Fire Group”, charges forward.
Everyone else runs forward behind colossi.
Menoth, Turn 2
1 Focus to each Crusader. Avatar generates 2.
Paladins (and Vilmon) all walk forward and give themselves +5ARM.
Choir walk forward and give “No Shooting” again (Passage).
Crusaders all run forward.
Avatar uses “Gaze” and runs from left side to right side.
Harbinger walks forward and Feats**
Hierophant runs forward.
Mechanik runs forward.
Mercenaries, Turn 2
Galleon gets 3, Earthbreaker gets 2
Kayazy run forward. One dies to the Feat, but Nick gets salty and I let it survive because I’m a prince among men. And humble.
Holt aims and shoots a Paladin. Hits twice, wounds once for 2 points. Aiyana activates*** and gives the Galleon magic weapons.
Dougal puts Artillerist on Galleon.
Galleon activates and fires its first cannon ball at a paladin: misses, blast does no damage. Nick elects to not fire the rest of the shots and goes straight for the harpoon: hits the Avatar, drags him forward. He gets his initial melee attack plus buys 3 more, leaves the Avatar on 4 boxes with everything but his legs crippled.
Earthbreaker activates, walks forward (take 1 point of damage from the Feat), and Nick runs out of time. Wanh-wanh.
(***Nick forgets to activate Aiyana until the Galleon activates later in the turn, but I, being the most handsome and generous of people alive, let him retroactively put Magic Weapons on the Galleon. Because I am truly a magnificent human being)
Menoth, Turn 3
Avatar generates 4 Focus. Harbinger allocates 3 Focus to 3 Crusaders.
Paladin charges Earthbreaker, hits, inflicts 10 points. 2nd Paladin charges Earthbreaker, does 7 damage.
Vilmon charges Galleon. Hits, inflicts 12 points. Last paladin charges Earthbreaker, inflicts 8 points of damage.
Choir move up, sing Battle on 3 Crusaders and Devout.
Crusader charges Earthbreaker: beats face.
2nd Crusader charges, scraps Earthbreaker.
3rd Crusader with Focus spends 1 to run, Marxs the other 2.
Other Crusaders walk forward, brandishing their sticks with pointy nails.
Avatar activates. Hits Galleon for light damage (boosting damage back up to 2d6) 3 times. Nothing crippled, but down to about half boxes.
Harbinger calls Gorten short, turn ends.
Mercenaries, Turn 3
3 Focus to Galleon.
Tinker activates and repairs the Galleon for 5.
Kayazy run towards the Harbinger.
Ragman advances and does nothing.
Gorten walks forward, Feats to push everything 8″ to the left.
Gaston charges Paladin. Hits but fails to wound, 2nd attack misses.
Holt walks up to Paladin. Melee attacks hit but don’t break ARM. 2nd bullet kills him. Nick forgets to activate Aiyana again… I remind him, he “Kisses” a Crusader.
And then he runs out of time.
3 Focus to the Crusader closest to Gaston, camp the rest, Avatar generates 4.
Choir activates, sings “Battle” on Avatar and a couple Crusaders without Focus. One swings at a Kayazy, misses (needs a 13 to hit!).
Avatar activates, swings and hits the Galleon a few times.
Vilmon activates, walks up to Aiyana and drops her. Holt breaks.
Hierophant Harmoniously Exalts Harbinger.
Harby activates, casts “Crusader’s Call”, camps remaining 5 Focus.
Crusader charges Gaston. Boosts charge attack, splatters him. Nothing else within range (boo).
Crusaders under the effect of the Feat move up an inch.
Devout turns to face oncoming Kayazy, positions itself to get Defensive Strike when they charge.
End turn. Forgot to score, but gain 1 Pressure Point and puts 5 damage on Gorten as a result.
Kayazy charge Harbinger, triggering Defensive Strike from the Devout (which needs an 11 to hit, and misses). Nick elects to do “Combo Strikes”. First attack hits (needing 7s), and inflicts 8 points of damage at dice-5 (!!). Second attack hits, inflicts 10 points of damage, and drops the Harbinger!
Victory to the Mercenaries!
Post Game Analysis:
Stabby Girls for the win! Nick played a solid game, and despite mentally giving up, we both underestimated the raw power of the Kayazy. There were several things I could’ve done to save myself:
1. While setting up the walls, I could’ve put two of them to either side of the Harbinger, meaning that they couldn’t charge her (no Pathfinder, after all). That would’ve been smart.
2. I should’ve held onto my Feat until the turn that the Kayazy were going to charge things… the Feat was basically useless against the rest of Nick’s army, and the Kayazy were enough of a threat to warrant it.
3. Failing everything else, the Harbinger should’ve taken matters into her own hands the turn before they charged me: Cast “Cataclysm” on the further back-and-right Kayazy, and then charge one of the ones to the left. Both attacks would auto-hit and probably vapourize their targest, and 1 Kayazy Eliminator is a lot less scary than two. It also would’ve gotten me further away from the Galleon, which would still be a threat if the Crusader missed by some miracle.
Anyway, not a mistake I plan on repeating, and a lesson was learned. The list was a lot of fun to play, and I really like the Hardcore format… looking forward to the tournament in only 6 days (yeep!).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have 4 Crusaders, a Templar, 2 Paladins, 2 Choir, and an Avatar to paint…
(Thanks for listening! Comments, questions, and concerns are always welcome!)