SmogCon Report – Part IV: Hardcore

So my first ever hardcore event! I managed to snag one of the absentee spots in the end, wrote up a quick list and juts dived in! How did it go? Not too well I’m afraid but I did hold my own and have a great time so I’m still happy with it!

First of all my apologies that these are not full blown battle reports. I was a bit, shall we say, overwhelmed by everything so my photo and note taking was a bit inconsistent. Still preliminary shock over with I did manage to scrape together resumes of my games and I’ll know what to expect next time.

I went with good old pIrusk as he is my most played caster and if I had any chance of staying in the time limits it was going to be with him.

Kommandant Irusk
* Behemoth
* Spriggan
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker

Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One
10 Kayazy Assassinss
* Kayazy Underboss
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
10 Winter Guard Infantry
* Winter Guard Officer & Standard
* 3 Winter Guard Rocketeers

Game 1 – Kromac (Circle)

Kromac the Ravenous
* Feral Warpwolf
* Gorax
* Pureblood Warpwolf
* 2x Warpwolf Stalker
* Druid Wilder

Druid Stoneward & Woldstalkers
Shifting Stones
* Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

My first ever hardcore game and theres not really much I can comment on except how intense it was, I’ve never played warmachine like that before. Circle is such a headache for me, I still haven’t figured out the best way to effectively combat that many beasts and this combined with the time limit was very stressful. In the end I couldn’t get to Kromac and with time winding down I tried for a scenario point in order to pull of a win but Irusk turned out to be a smidge too close and after a warpath/shift/trample a stalker managed to just get to him.

Game 2 – Witch Coven (Cryx)

Witch Coven of Garlghast
* Egregore
* Deathripper
* Harrower
* Nightmare
* Scavenger
* Skarlock Thrall

Satyxis Raider Captain
10 Satyxis Raiders
* Satyxis Sea Witch
2x Warwitch Siren
Withershadow Combine

(missing a few more points I can’t remember what they had, I have a gut feeling more raiders)

Now this army really shocked me. In my local meta I’ve never really played a fast army but this force was over the half way line and on me turn 2. I had to sit with a toe in my objective and Irusk just in the kill box whilst I weathered there attacks. The kayazay suffered the most this game but the Winterguard did a sterling job holding out against the raiders and lost practically no members until towards the end. Gorman was a champion this game, holding nightmare off for 3 turns before he got taken out. In the end I managed to take out every model in the opposing army except the caster with Irusk on 4hp…and then I took an arrow to the knee…I mean a crazy 20” assassination run. A bit disappointed as I had a scenario point at this stage too but it was a game and a lesson well learned about a new caster.

Game 3 – eKaya (circle) Tier 4

Kaya the Moonhunter
* Laris
* Feral Warpwolf
* Gnarlhorn Satyr
* Pureblood Warpwolf
* Shadowhorn Satyr
* Warpwolf Stalker

Druids of Orboros
Warpborn Skinwalkers
War wolf
Wilder

I sighed a bit when I saw this list due to my aforementioned distaste for that many beasts, this one turned out to be worse as it had even MORE. I suffered a lot of the same problems as I did in my last game against circle. After she popped her feat I just couldn’t get a foothold and with that many beasts I couldn’t commit jacks to a fight as that was a trade off I was going to lose for sure. Anyways cue a few frantic rounds later I had at least avoided the assassination and defended my zone though I lost to tertiary conditions (points in the control area. I really need to practice against this faction as every time they give me a headache. My opponent was a great hap however and made it to the masters finals so congrats!

Game 4 – Old Witch (Khador)

Zevanna Agha, Old Witch of Khador
* Scrapjack
* Behemoth
* Spriggan

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
6 Kayazy Assassins
* Kayazy Underboss
Kell Bailoch
Koldun Lord
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Saxon Orrik
10 Winter Guard Infantry
* Winter Guard Officer & Standard
* 2 Winter Guard Rocketeers

Ah finally an army I knew about! It was in this game I found out that you only have time to do one thing in hardcore; think or roll dice! As I knew what I was up against this was a slightly easier game but still it was the old witch so I had to be careful! We met mid table with my kayazay running up the flank, I had to back off when she feated to minimize damage but the kayazay managed to get behind them taking out the likes of the Winterguard UA and Joe and also chasing the witch who had to teleport to scrapjack in order to avoid being stabbed to death, after which I managed to land a hit which left her at 6 hit points, I then had 5 different opportunities to finish her off including; 2 backstabbing Kayazay, handcannon Joe, a rocketeer and a charging spriggan. Each of these only needed to hit on 6/7s and it would of been game over. Now I’m not the kind of person who blames his dice for his shortfalls but I was pretty disappointed when I failed EVERY ROLL to kill her. The game wound down and I sadly lost again to tertiary VCs

So 4/4 losses for my first ever hardcore event but to be honest I wasn’t disappointed as It was a totally new experience for me, I’ve never played warmachine, or any wargame for that matter, like that before. Hardcore definitely deserves its name and I would recommend it to anyone as its great fun, a real buzz and really makes you look at the way you play in terms of a general.

All of my games were really bloody encounters except for the 3rd game and I felt I held my own in all of them and gave my opponents a real run for their money. I think my biggest weakness was once again a lack of knowing all the rules of my opponents army as demonstrated in the Cryx game but I did learn a ton of new stuff and found some weaknesses in my own abilities.  I was pleased with my list and I think that even though I was struggling with mass infantry at first (sprays take up a LOT of time) I was in the swing of it and by the end it really didn’t phase me that much but still remained a great playstyle!

Next we’ll be rounding SmogCon off with the Steamroller event.

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