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 Steelhead Riflemen
Aiyana and Holt
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.
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.
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
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.
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