Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Templecon 2012 - Hardcore

I want to play Hardcore at Templecon this year.  I fully expect to be beaten soundly but the format seems exciting and I like the idea of playing against fully painted armies.

The 2012 format hasn't been officially announced yet but rumors on the tubes say that Killbox is still in effect, along with some kind of control zones.  That means that most likely there will be two win conditions now - 'caster kill and scenario.

I'm about 95% sure my list is ready to go.  I have plenty of time to playtest and tweak it but I imagine that there won't be too many changes.

10 Boomhowler
10 Steelhead Riflemen
Aiyana and Holt

The Battlegroup
pMagnus loves to run 'jack heavy which is perfect for the 7 minute turns in Hardcore - more 'jacks means less infantry to get stuck activating.  He also gets free upkeeps on his battlegroup so he has the focus to fuel more 'jacks than normal.

I started with the standard double Renegade.  These guys are Magnus's unofficial feat and can put a ton of damage (and knockdown!) on just about anything from most anywhere.  They've obviously got great potential as assassins but a friend recently suggested that I use them as alpha strikers - two boosted POW 16's will take out two columns on a Khador heavy with average rolls, for example.  It might be worth it to neuter Beast-09 on my first turn and snowball from there rather than wait for the perfect assassination shot.

The Mangler is my primary beatstick.  He'll get Iron Aggression all game and do his best to eat another heavy or wreck some infantry with Thresher.  The Rover is a bit of a question mark, obviously, since I haven't used him.  I picked him over a Nomad because he can get ARM 22 under Temper Metal and has the added versatility of a gun and melee weapon plus three base attacks in melee.  Time will tell if he makes the final cut.

The Units
Boomhowler is one of the best tarpits in the game and instantly gives me credibility in the scenario aspect of the game.  They're going to be very hard to peel off an objective with Super Tough and Blur.  I don't expect that they'll do any damage all game but I do expect that they'll tie up enemy stuff, zone out parts of the board, lock down any objectives, and generally be a nuisance.

The Steelheads are a flexible ranged unit that I'm still trying to figure out.  They hit pretty reliably between CRA and the reroll on misses, and the 2-man-CRA has a POW of 13, enough to beat most infantry ARM.  They can also do two MAT 10, POW 16's for 'casters, light 'jacks, and big infantry.  With Snipe they have a respectable 14" range standing still and 20" on the move.  I do have trouble keeping them alive though, so I'm going to need to learn positioning with them.

The Support
Aiyana and Holt give me the ability to throw around Magical Weapons or +2 damage while Eiryss gives me some control over enemy upkeeps and the ability to shut down an enemy 'jack.  They're also both very good ranged support pieces.  Together they help cover a ton of bases and allow the list do deal with most anything.

Saxon is in the list for Pathfinder.  In the one game I've played with this list he already demonstrated the immense value of granting Pathfinder to an entire unit and I don't see that changing.  The tables at Templecon last year had a good amount of terrain on them

Possible Changes
The most obvious change I'd make here is to drop the Rover for the cheaper Nomad and add in a solo.  The Nomad is still a respectable tank under Temper Metal (ARM 21 vs. the ARM 22 of the Rover) and it has the benefit of Reach to tie up more stuff.

Additionally, it opens up the possibility for another 2 point solo.  Right now the leading candidate is Wishnailer for the free upkeep on Snipe or Blur since they probably won't be on my battlegroup.  Another good pick is Kell for some more good ranged punch.  Another thought would be Gorman for Black Oil nonsense - there are many choices.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Renegade 2

I painted a thing!  It has been a month and a half since I last finished a model, which is a lot longer than I thought it was when I started this post.

I started this second Renegade (Thing 2)  right after finishing the Mangler but almost right away I lost my hobby mojo and he sat on my table, unloved, for about 6 weeks.  This weekend though I was watching MLG Providence on my computer and I started painting him during the breaks between games.  Without even realizing it I had the model 90% done on Sunday afternoon and I did some detail work and basing to finish it off on Sunday night.

 Now I've got a solid battlegroup for Magnus and can get stuck into some of my Merc infantry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Magnus the Traitor on the Table

After weeks of being busy on Saturdays I was able to get down to my LGS this past weekend and play 3 games with pMagnus.

My first one was against a pVlad list that my buddy is fine tuning for Templecon Hardcore.  I've been giving some serious thought to taking pMagnus to Hardcore and the list I brought was close to what I'm thinking of using.

10 Boomhowler
10 Steelhead Riflemen
Aiyana and Holt

I started the game playing very well.  I used some clever positioning and Saxon's Pathfinder ability to allow my Steelheads to get the jump on Vlad's Winter Guard Riflemen, killing 6 and knocking a 7th down before the Winter Guard even got a shot off.  I also jammed up his Kayazy and was generally feeling good at the end of my second turn.

Then I forgot about the Kayazy's mini-feat and lost the game.  I'm particularly annoyed at myself about this because I LOVE to do this exact same thing with my Kayazy and I should have known better.  I was in a position to defend against this without any trouble and just didn't think about it.

Overall I felt good about my list.  It was performing very well against a strong player using a strong list and it was my fault that I lost.

My changes for the final list are small - drop Kell and replace the Nomad with a Rover.  I'm losing a Reach heavy and Kell's gun but I'm picking up a slightly better Temper Metal target and a strong ranged attack.  My plan with the Nomad was always to throw it out front to blunt any alpha strike since it is ARM 21 with Temper Metal.  I think the Rover, who is ARM 22 with Temper Metal, will take more punishment while also being able to fire off a few rounds before dying.

The last two games were with a very badly built tier 4 pMagnus list.  I learned that the list was every bit as bad as I thought it would be (my list, not the tier in general) but that I really enjoy playing Magnus.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Summary

This was a bad month for my toy soldiers.  I'd been feeling burned out on the hobby for a while and it kind of came to a head at the end of last month.  Some friends got me playing League of Legends and I didn't look back.

The break was good for me though.  I've started thinking about my Hardcore list for Templecon, I put some new Trolls together, and last night I picked up a brush and started working on my second Renegade.  I'm going to take it a little slow for a while and try to keep doing other things along with hobby stuff.

Painting for Points
No painted models this month - sadface.  I'm still at 103 for the year.

New Model Fund
Despite not doing anything with my models I did spend some money this month.  Before I spend any more though, I made some money!  I sold my 10 Scattergunners to another player at my LGS for 35 dollars.  I then bought Janissa, Calandra, and the Fennblade UA.  With the $35 in sales offsetting my purchases I had 40 dollars left for the month, so I'll have $70 for November.