Warmachine Weekend in Review
The end of the 2013 Warmachine season is now at a close with the conclusion of Warmachine Weekend on November 17th (so this article is a little late). I did want to take a break from my current article series to discuss this event a bit and more importantly discuss balance in Warmahordes. Check out the Tactics Corner for more articles and tournament reports!
Warmachine Weekend was true to its history in that there was a TON of Warmachine to be played. The con hosted the largest single warmahordes tournament to date with 167 players. There were numerous other tournaments including: iron gauntlet, mangled metal, highlander, who’s the boss and more. There was also open play in the iron area, though space here was limited because the events were so big. Another major success of the weekend was in the eight-person scenario scramble events that were basically just mini-tournaments that began once there were eight signed up and tables were open.
Last but not least, there was the Invitational, which features the top 16 players of 2013. The event was won by Will Pagani, who defeated Jason Flanzer in the finals. With all due credit to the finalists and the other participants, what I am really interested in is the faction spread across the top 16 and their approximate placing.
Invitational and Faction Balance
From http://endgamegaming.net/ final standings by faction were:
Of the major factions (excluding Mercenaries, Retribution and Minions), every faction is represented in the top 11. In my opinion, this is an amazing show of balance within a game with so many moving pieces and parts. The parity in this top 16 list shows that no faction is truly overpowered (eat it Cryx haters!) or underpowered. Instead it shows that a great player with intelligent list design and a plan for the meta can compete at the highest level no matter what faction they are playing. That said, let’s take a closer look at list design in the meta and player skill level.
List design in the meta is as important as player skill and this is a major reason that Will Pagani was able to take home the trophy with Khador. Khador recently received a new Warcaster in Butcher3 and he gives them a great game against a large portion of the top 16 meta. Note that of the above, Protectorate, Legion and Circle are all very well represented and provide a very good reason to play Khador’s newest champion. Will was able to build a second list that dealt very well with Buther3’s worst matchup: Cryx. I played Will in the second round and found out first hand just how well his Vlad1 list could clear infantry.
Trollbloods are generally considered to be one of the weaker factions in Warmahordes, but that didn’t stop Jason Flanzer from championing the faction to second place. Unlike Will who selected Khador based on the meta, Jason Flanzer played Trollboods because it has been his faction for some two years and he is very comfortable with his lists in general. His skill with these lists is at the highest level and insures he gets production out of every model.
Legion, Circle and Protectorate are well represented in the top 16 because they are able to build powerful lists with varying caster combinations no matter the meta. Finally, the terrible cryx threat was subdued do to the fact that the players were prepared for infantry and arranged their lists appropriately.
In summary, the standings and faction diversity of Warmahordes has me very excited and looking forward to a great tournament season in 2014. Different factions may have different learning curves, but to have a tournament of this importance shows how much parity exists in this game. It is also important to show players of all skill levels that there is strength in their faction and that they can grow and foster their own skill if they want to get better at the game; not just go buy Eldar, Tau or the next newest OP codex (sorry 40k players).