This is the second and final installment of my Hardcore Tournament report from Privateer Weekend 2 at DieCon 9. You can find my list-building discussion here and the first part of my Hardcore coverage here.
I started Hardcore with a loss to the Protectorate of Menoth, but they say if you fall off the Blightning, you get right back on and try again. After a round two win against Khador I was hoping it was the start of a streak.
Once again I’ve included the list I used for reference and have tried to recreate what each of my opponents were running to the best of my recollection. I can’t guarantee what I have for my opponents’ lists is 100% accurate but it should give you a rough idea of what I faced each round.
Round 3: Bret’s Cryx
I didn’t look forward to facing the rusty-thrall brigade when I saw it deployed across the table from me at the start of round 3. Once in combat the Legion of Everblight’s strength is its defense score and Bret had quite a few ways to deal with that. The Bile Thralls’ Purge auto-hits and Tartarus’ Curse and Deneghra’s Crippling Grasp (not to mention her feat) would let the Banes trash almost anything they got into melee with.
Bret won the roll to go first and I think he gave me a bit of an advantage when he deployed. On the bottom of the first turn after his army came towards me, I sacrificed one of my Deathstalkers to snipe the leaders of both Bile Thrall units, which had both been deployed on my right flank.
The next couple rounds I used the Warmongers to engage the Banes while I sent my beasts up the left flank away from the Biles. I weathered his feat before using my own to race up field behind his army. I managed to take care of the jacks and drive Deneghra back deeper into her own table edge.
By that point I had Bret pinned in, and instead of having Deneghra continue to run around the board to force a draw, he stayed relatively close and tried to disable my beasts with spells. He wasn’t able to lock them all down and the following turn the Seraph managed to assassinate Deneghra. I give Bret a lot of credit – it would have been easy to keep running and caused a mutual-loss via draw but instead he committed to stay around and see what damage he could do.
In the end I was a little surprised that Bret hadn’t sacrificed an arc node to get Crippling Grasp on Epic Thagrosh to tie him down. I think racing up one of the flanks caught him a little off guard and let me strike deep across the table relatively unexpectedly. Even though I wasn’t really able to put the hurt on Deneghra herself with Epic Thagrosh’s feat, Glory of Everblight let me hit what assets he had nearby hard enough that I was able to push to a win from there.
Round 4: Jason’s Khador
Round four I was paired up with Jason (aka Entropy), a pressganger from Springfield, Illinois. He was playing a wintery-paint job Winterguard-based Epic Sorscha list which included Beast-09.
Jason won the initiative roll and elected to go first, centering his line around Sorscha and the Winterguard. The Iron Fangs and Great Bears held the right flank with the Widowmakers deployed in a forest on the left flank. I set my Deathstalkers back on the right flank and most everything else roughly in the center of the field.
I started out doing alright, using the Deathstalkers to work through the Iron Fangs and the Warmongers to engage the Widowmakers and spread out to block access to the rest of my forces. However, under Epic Sorscha’s feat, Jason’s army was able to take out most of my army, including the Seraph and Carnivean.
The longer the game lasted, the quicker my army was going to be ground down so I decided to go for ye ole Black Chasm gamble: charge Beast-09 for distance, throw a Black Chasm at Sorscha to knock her down, and let my surviving beasts get Glory-enhanced attacks on her. It’s a tricky strategy attempt that usually means overexposing and Epic Thagrosh… made even more suicidal due to the fact that Sorscha had cast Deep Freeze on Beast-09 previously.
I checked some ranges from Epic Thagrosh, cast Glory of Everblight, and charged Beast-09. With his reach, Epic Thagrosh was able to position where he needed to be and did some fair damage to Beast-09 with his charge attack, but that wasn’t the real goal. With his last four Fury, Epic Thagrosh tossed a Black Chasm at Epic Sorscha, missing by one and drifting harmlessly off of her base.
Well, with Epic Thagrosh furyless and stationary engaged with Beast-09 I had little choice but to see if I could do the deed without the knockdown. The Harrier cast its animus and charged, failing by not being in range (which saved his animus for the feat-granted attack), and the other beasts ran. Then they took their feat movement and attack. The Harrier auto-hit and did a couple points of damage, but with the War Dog supplementing Sorschas already respectable DEF the other beasts weren’t able to hit enough to finish her off.
I’ll leave the results of the match as an educational exercise for the reader. 🙂
Even though we had 32 players, Hardcore only lasted 4 rounds. We had a draw in the third round and the undefeated player who was paired down in the fourth round lost, so after the fourth round there was only one undefeated player left standing – Lord Tyrant Watts, from Louisville, Kentucky. Watts won the Vanquisher award for being the overall champion.
DP6, aka Tim, won the Mage Hunter award for the fastest caster kill. This year he won with a 12-minute kill–not quite as fast as last year’s performance. Z, aka Alkingdrinkasaurus, from Atlanta, Georgia, won the Executioner award for most VP’s. I don’t know what his exact total was but he averaged over 20 per game.
I was pretty satisfied being 2 for 2 on the day, but my goal from the outset had been to try and earn the Master Craftsman award. With all of the fantastically painted armies the judges’ job certainly wasn’t easy, so I was honored to be able to walk away with the award this year. That made the painful deaths suffered by Epic Thagrosh worth it. 🙂
Overall Privateer Weekend 2 was a huge success. Big thanks to the Privateer Weekend Committee for organizing the events, the local retailers for their prize support donations, the pressgangers who ran the events, and all the players that came out. I’m already looking forward to next year!