SmogCon 2015

It’s less than a week after SmogCon and I’ve been so enthused for the hobby that I’ve thought about countless lists, started painting way too many models in one go and now I’m writing a blog about Warmachine (well, Hordes to be more precise). This blog post will be a brief recap of SmogCon and the games I played there, things I learned and just a few notable highlights which are cool enough to share. Going forwards in future blog posts currently under construction I want to explore a few Trollblood Warlocks and delve into a bit of ADR (Active Duty Roster) theory as well, starting with Hunters Grim. But for now…

 

SmogCon 2015!

 

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Look, it’s me!

 

For those who are reading this blog and are unaware as to what SmogCon is, it’s a 3-day Warmachine convention held in London to replicate the American conventions like TempleCon, Lock and Load etc. It’s 3 days of non-stop Warmachine (literally doesn’t stop until the Con closes, going all through the night) and it’s an awesome weekend. There were plenty of events to sign up to, and like any well organised individual I failed to sign up for any before they all sold out. After realising just how many people were there they rearranged it slightly and added a third ‘Road to Masters’ steamroller event on the Saturday to which I got a place. However if it’s anything like last year’s SmogCon I should have a decent chance of signing up to an event on the day as there will be people who drop out from events by being too late, hungover or signing up to two events occurring at the same time.

We (Rich, Chris, Martyn and myself) all travelled down on Thursday evening in the hopes of being fresh for Friday and the weekend ahead. After scouting the venue, signing in and having a quick bite to eat at the local McDonalds we got some sleep and headed to the venue for 8am, when Rich had to be there to help run Road to Masters A. I managed to get into the Hardcore event along with Martyn on Friday which was a 64 player, 6 round tournament using 7 minute timed turns. You could only take one list which had to be fully painted (as per the Hardcore tournament pack). So I took the only list I could field which was fully painted and the one I had tried to paint in the weeks leading up to the event.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia (-6)

*Trollkin Runebearer (2)

*Mulg the Ancient (12)

*Rok (11)

*Earthborn Dire Troll (10)

*Troll Axer (6)

*Pyre Troll (5)

Max Krielstone with UA (5)

Janissa Stonetide (3)

Troll Whelps (2)

 

I had used a similar incarnation of the list to good success outside of Hardcore, so it should be a good list to try out, plus I already knew the rules and stats so that cuts down on time. It kicked off around 10am and I played:

Game 1 – Loss vs Marcus Steffan w/Strakhov

Game 2 – Win vs Alex Oskarsson w/pXerxis

Game 3 – Loss vs Emilio Travesi w/eVayl

Game 4 – Loss vs Pietro Fauche w/eKrueger

Game 5 – Win vs Mike Sherlock w/pKreoss

Game 6 – Win vs Stephen Mader w/eeMakeda

 

A 3-3 record is what I hoped to achieve and I did, which was good. I did learn a few things throughout the day about the list and it’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s biggest weakness for me was how time intensive it actually was. I am used to playing it in Deathclock or timed turns with an extension where I can spend the time on the feat turn to get the assassination or huge alpha strike. In hardcore I just couldn’t get it all done fast enough, though I was probably trying to do too many things. After finishing my last game as the Hordes Keynote started at 8.30pm I rushed upstairs to get the best seat in the house to watch the new Gargantuans being spoiled by Privateer Press.

 

I can almost see the screen from here

 

 

I was here for a few minutes and then they opened the doors at the back and I got in for a much better view to see the Skorne Desert Hydra being revealed to the excitement of the crowd. It was actually a really good presentation, the energy in the room was palpable. The place was buzzing for the next few hours about the new Gargantuans and twitter was ablaze with highlights and discussion about what they might be able to do and what little bits of info they could get out of the PP staff who were there.

 

Saturday

Awake at a slightly later time on Saturday we headed to Road to Masters C which was a 2 list 50pt Steamroller. I chose to take my Hunters Grim list which I have been using since the release of the Highwaymen and similar to the list I used when I won the Steamroller at Dark Sphere in London about a month ago now. For my second list I had planned on taking the eDoomshaper list I used in Hardcore but I changed my mind about a week before the event and instead brought the standard Runes of War theme list. In my mind I wanted to bring purification just in case I faced an Arcane Shielded Colossal. The two lists were:

 

Hunters Grim (-4)

*Trollkin Runebearer (2)

*Slag Troll (6)

*Slag Troll (6)

*Troll Impaler (5)

Max Trollkin Highwaymen (8)

Min Scattergunners (5)

*Scattergunner Officer and Standard (2)

Max Pyg Burrowers (6)

Max Krielstone (4)

*Stone Scribe Elder (1)

Fell caller hero (3)

Stone scribe chronicler (2)

Runeshapers (4)

 

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls (-7)

*Mulg the Ancient (12)

*Earthborn Dire Troll (10)

*Dire Troll Mauler (9)

Janissa Stonetide (3)

Max Krielstone (4)

*Stone Scribe Elder (1)

Runeshapers (3)

Runeshapers (3)

Runeshapers (3)

Runeshapers (3)

 

I played 4 out of the 5 rounds in this tournament as I had the bye in the 3rd game. I played against:

Game 1 – Loss vs Laurens Edwards w/pHaley

Game 2 – Loss vs Stuart Hunter w/pMakeda

Game 4 – Win vs Jay Taylor w/eDoomshaper

Game 5 – Loss vs Anthony O’Reilly w/pGrissel

 

I arrived at my table for round 1 and glanced at the two lists. eHaley and pHaley. One had a Stormwall, the other a Galleon. Well, Runes of War it is because Grim will struggle against those Colossals. He put down pHaley. The game ground out to where I eventually killed the Galleon after he committed and failed to kill Mulg. Mulg then turned around and killed the Galleon without needed Rage (after a purification of course to remove arcane shield). At this point in the game my opponent was facing 2 heavy warbeasts as he killed my Mauler in the previous round with a fleeing unit of Hammer Dwarves and a few light Warjacks and Solos. I left him no option but to go for Doomshaper and he killed him with his last shot from Gastone. I should have protected Doomshaper better and recognised that he would go for the assassination, so it’s my own fault. Now I can’t win the event, I will use Hunters Grim in all my games to get some practice. Which is what I did.

My second game was against Stuart who I had played at the local Midlands Steamroller final in what turned out to be the last round. I lost then against his Xerxis list using Runes of War so I put down Hunters Grim against his pMakeda list with a Mammoth, Nihilators, Cetrati and smattering of light beasts. He used his feat on turn 2 and I replied with my feat and a mortality to kill the whole unit of Nihilators. However it was Incursion and the Cetrati had set up on one flag and the Mammoth on the centre flag and I wasn’t quite able to shift them off the flags and lost 5-3 on Scenario. One of the weaknesses of the list is that it struggles vs high armour living models so the Cetrati and the Mammoth were very difficult to deal with, even with Mortality.

 

Game 3 was a bye, so I got to have a bite to eat, a relaxing sit down in an awesome room with a water feature and a walk around the Con having a look at what people were getting up to.

 

It’s not a bad place to play some Warmachine

 

 Game 4 was against eDoomshaper being used by Jay Taylor. I knew very well the threat of Mulg and I tried my best to keep Grim as far away as possible behind as many expendable trolls as possible, but the Scenario was Fire Support so Killbox was in force. He feated and got to Grim with a couple of attacks with Mulg but failed to kill. I loaded up the buffs (Charge of the Trolls, War Cry and Acidic Touch) and sent in Grim to kill Mulg, which he did! The Burrowers heavily damaged the Earthborn, enough so that took a free strike from a slag troll and his spirit was taken out and he was killed in my turn. After surviving the feat turn I began to claw my way back into the game and eventually killed everyone except Janissa.

 

Game 5 was against Anthony O’Reilly and at this point I was quite tired. However; into Grissel Meat Mountain we go! I had a chance on my second turn to kill the krielstone bearer as he was too far away to self sacrifice onto a grunt. I messed up my Highwaymen Mirage moves and blocked my lanes with Grim, however I feated and shot the krielstone bearer after knocking down a Warder who was blocking my LOS. He passed his tough roll, but I still had a Slag Troll who could help out. I also failed a boosted Mortality onto a unit of Warders about to be shot by Burrowers. The Slag troll then activated and hit the krielstone bearer who passed another tough roll, so I bought my second shot and…. failed to break armour. The krielstone was alive, the Warders didn’t have Mortality and so I did basically nothing on my feat turn. After that I was eventually forced out of Scenario and I lost heavily 5-0.

 

It’s not all bad though, and here are some highlights from those 10 games.

  1. Molik Karn goes in for the kill on Doomshaper in Hardcore. I have 2 health left his final damage roll is boosted and rolls 1,1,1 leaving me on 1 HP and with an undamaged Mulg very close by.
  2. Mulg goes in for the kill against my Hunters Grim and doesn’t kill after several Goads (too much fury was spent getting to Grim). I load up the buffs on Grim and he takes down Mulg with the butt of his rifle – taking Grim’s combat kill tally of note to Butcher 3 and Mulg.
  3. Mulg one rounding a Galleon without Rage. Awesome.

 

Sunday

A lazy day at the Con where I played a game against Rich, using my own Bradigus list against me!

 

That list looks familiar…

 

 I tried a variation of my Hunters Grim list out using Mulg and two minimum units of Highwaymen. I was chipping away at the Woldwatchers, trying to keep Mulg near Grim at all times for Protective Fit. Rich went for an assassination after I failed to kill a shifting stone with two 4 man CRA’s from Highwaymen. He got to Grim and killed him. I hit a few times with Protective Fit, not getting the Critical Smite i was looking for. It’s not a good match for Grim but I was slowly getting there with the damage and I probably (ie definitely) should have made it more difficult to get to Grim with Bradigus. Maybe by throwing all the scattergunners in the way so he would have to beat back a few times more to get to me.

 

Over the course of the weekend I played 11 games of Warmachine, all of which were great so thanks to my opponents! The Con itself was fantastic and I got to speak to people from all over the world. I can’t wait for SmogCon 2016.

 

In my next post I’m going to look at the Hunters Grim and talk about my lists and ADR.

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