Woke up with a hangover. I think it helped. After a lacklustre performance on the gaming tables yesterday, I was much happier with the way things developed today. I was pre-registered into Hardcore, but that didn't start until 11:00 AM, so I had some practice time.
I went down to the Iron Arena for a pick-up game and ran into Eric Young from Baton Rouge.
We were playing on one of the beautiful boards set up by Privateer. Eric had a Borka Troll army. I was practicing with my eFeora Hardcore list, and was doing well, but was undone in the game by a Long Rider who toughed and prevented a coup de grace from my Sanctifier. Little did I know that this would foreshadow exactly how my first round of Hardcore would turn out.
Heading into the tournament room, another fellow had stayed up all night to paint up a new Convergence army. Crazy!
I'll quickly outline my Hardcore list:
Fire of Salvation
Blood of Martyrs
(10) Flameguard with UA
Rhoven and Guards
Usually, people run eFeora with a ranged army, and most often a bonded Judicator. However, given the quick Hardcore turns, I decided I didn't want to fuss with AOE deviations. Also, since the scenario forces close range action in the middle of the map, I went for a beatstick melee army that synergizes on friendly infantry deaths.
My first Hardcore opponent was Nathan Bosa. He brought out Terminus infantry spam, which is very brave considering the 7-minute time limit. I got some good attrition in, and at the end of Nathan's turn 2, his time ran out and he had Terminus in a vulnerable position. I loaded up Blood of Martyrs and beat Terminus into the ground with a charge and four 10/20 attacks...
...and he toughed. No problem, I had a fully loaded Sanctifier in range to deliver four more attacks. Tough through that! The only problem was a single Bane Thrall in the charge lane. Up comes eFeora to get rid of him...tough. Noooooooo. My turn ends, Terminus stands up and kills eFeora in two swings. Drat.
Second round was against Mike Bressers, who put eGoreshade out on the table. This was a quick game. On my turn two, Fire of Salvation takes his vengeance move five inches forward, kills a Bane Knight and clears his own charge lane to eGoreshade. three focus later, and a charge, and we had a dead Cryx caster.
Round three I was matched with Charles Klienwort from Iowa. I had actually played against Charles at GenCon last summer. We had a chuckle about that game, when he played Trolls at that time, and I was playing Cryx. Anyway, this time around, Charles was playing Retribution, and his caster was Vyros. I had an order of activation flub during my assassination run on Vyros and did not get Battle onto my Sanctifier. Undaunted, my bonded 'jack walked up to Vyros and started swinging. The attack rolls included two sets of snake-eye misses. Nooooooo! Vyros survived and then got the kill on eFeora. Well...that's why you play the games. You roll the dice to see what happens.
In the last round of Hardcore, I played Andrew Sibula from DC. He fielded a Khador Harkevich list with Conquest and lots of shooting 'jacks. I advanced under "No Shooting", then scrapped Conquest and Black Ivan before getting Blood of Martyrs onto Harkevich and sealing the game up with an assassination.
So, I finished Hardcore 2-2...but the three "successful" assassination runs with an unconventional eFeora list made me feel pretty good. I headed down to the Iron Arena to play the list some more.
I played a game with Chris Knapp from Oregon. We were on the really magnificent Cygnar Bridge table. Chris brought out an eSorcha/Conquest/Winterguard Deathstar list.
We played the Incursion (three flags) scenario, facing off across the causeway.
My army advances. Sweet terrain. I trampled Avatar into eSorcha and then whiffed two attacks needing 6s to hit. Yowza. Conquest moved up and killed Avatar (after also taking out my other character 'jacks). However, on the following turn, I still had the Sanctifier on two souls. eFeora cleared out some blocking Winterguard with a spray, Sanctifier walked up to eSorcha needing an 11 to hit. Boosted to hit and got the 11. Boosted the damage...dead Khador 'caster. This was a long, but very fun game.
Last game of the day was against Rob Sampson, also from Oregon. He had a 50-point Menoth list (first mirror match for me here). We played on a very nice waterfront harbor board. Again, the Incursion scenario.
Rob was playing pKreoss, but I had the Covenant in my list, so wasn't too worried about the knockdown feat. With eFeora's Escort up, I had the threat range advantage and got the alpha strike in. I took down two of Rob's 'jacks in the engagement turn, including my Avatar taking down his Avatar. I gained the middle of the board, and won on scenario. It was a good game, but unfortunately, Rob was back on his heals because he wasn't able to play to the strength of his feat.
Around midnight, I went out for dinner with Mike and Josh from the St. Albert crew and had some delicious Pad Thai. And a beer for good measure. Back to the hotel for a long, dark sleep. A good day.