And now we have the member of the team who is not actually from Northern Ireland: it’s a-me! For reasons too silly to explore now I usually don’t use my real name in gaming circles, but thanks to online registration and payment for various tournaments around Europe it’s surfacing more and more, sometimes even with my middle name thrown in for good measure. Take it away, me!
In The Beginning
I’m not going to blame Adam’s father, as I’ve only waved to the gentleman from the passenger seat of Adam’s car and that would be a bit much. Anyway my Warmachine career started long before in a converted train tunnel, and it wasn’t until 2013 that I got to know any of the guys from up North at all.
In the run-up to the World Team Championships 2014, I decided that I would head over to the Solo Masters, purely to partake of the craic that was sure to ensue. I even went so far as to disqualify myself from the panel for selection by taking a role on the selection committee. I collected some data from tournaments, we assembled a judgemental little spreadsheet, and generally shot the breeze back and forth about who would be a good addition to which Team Ireland. There were three of us: Eóin, Eoin and Owen. No relation.
Then an invitation to join Team Northern Ireland was proffered, and I dropped all of that. Here was a team that needed a fifth player, and they were asking me to join up! I have a weakness for flattery of course, and the opportunity to play at the WTC rather than being a bystander was too good to pass up. As it happened, although I dropped from the Team Ireland selection committee but I was still included in most of the decision-making discussion (“Reply All” is a dangerous tool in the wrong hands). I endeavoured not to use this to our advantage in the various WTC Team Get-togethers because I’m a cool guy like that.
The North has a growing meta, and a lot of the local players have only just started to hit the 50 point Steamroller tournament level of immersion in the game. Hence when their #5 player dropped out, they needed to look south of the border to find another. Sending a team to the WTC generates a lot of interest though, and I’d say even next year they’ll have enough candidates to edge me out as a dirty Southerner (I’m actually an Easterner, but whatever). “Better make this one count” was my main thought in selecting lists!
When first I signed up to the team, I declared I was finally going to pick up and play Harbinger, as hands-down the Protectorate’s best warcaster. But time wore on and although I brought her to a tournament or two, I still never got the experience that I needed to feel comfortable. I began to realise what the team needed from me was a solid performance rather than the best possible performance. My role would be to win the matches I was given or at least put up a good fight against a more skilled opponent. To do that, I needed familiarity with my warcasters first and foremost.
Anyone who has read my previous posts here will know that Mikhael Kreoss is singing my song at this point. The two Micks are strong warcasters with whom I’ve had a lot of play time. Taking the two lists that I had played for the Irish Masters, I sat down with some of the guys from the Dublin meta and hacked out two slightly different lists that would suit my role in the team, and have a fair chance against half of the factions each. The idea of the lists is to be available for being our team’s first drop against an open field. Kreoss is still scary though, so we’ll hopefully send some opponents scurrying for cover when they see him across the table!
My Kreoss1 list is going after Cryx in a big way, and is focussed on denial. Very little of the list can be targeted by spells, and the amount of magic weapons available to it makes me a bit giddy. It’s changed a good bit from its incarnation at the Irish Masters, where it still had a Judicator rather than the Vessel and a Reckoner. I’m starting to get the hang of the Vessel, and the sheer versatility of its abilities have rapidly endeared it to me. The little combo of giving it Menoth’s Sight and Flames of Wrath and then shooting the enemy warcaster in a Cryx situation is tons of fun. On the feat turn the assassination potential skyrockets against Warmachine, and otherwise I think my scenario presence is pretty strong, since the Errants with Heroic Call and Power of Faith are an absolute pain to remove.
Kreoss3 has become my favourite warcaster, and I love this list. It’s probably not the most original formulation for him, but it’s like Russian dolls. You can kill the Flameguard, and once you batter through them you find some angry warjacks who are jacked up on Reclaimer souls. You can kill some of the Vengers, and then you find their buddies are going to wreck your heavies. You can get through the warjacks, and then you find that Kreoss and the remaining solos are still going to wreck face and contest objectives. When you pare down to the foundation, the Intercessor is there, either running out of reach or using Ride-by Attacks to keep out of danger, and being capable of halving a colossal by himself.
With these two casters well in hand, I feel like I can make a good fist of it at the WTC. When Captain Mike says jump I’ll say how high, and I will jump on whatever grenade gets presented to me. My performance at the WTC will be the distillation of my experience and improvement over the past year, and I’m hoping to make it a grand finale!