Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gencon Masters Results

Menoth isn't a good tournament army?  The Mountain King
is overpriced and terrible?
Today's post will be pretty quick.  For those unaware, something like 8 of of the 16 players in the Masters tournament were apparently Menoth players - a surprising demographic considering that about the same ratio of Cryx was present at the Templecon Masters.  Perhaps Privateer Press is better at crafting a well-balanced game than some give them credit.  What was perhaps more surprising to many, however, was that Trolls had a great showing, with Flanzer getting defeated in the last round with his Trolls.  What was most surprising, however, was that one of the lists contained the Mountain King.  That's right, a list featuring pDoomshaper also sported the Mountain King - despite all of the cries of its uselessness by Trollblood players.  Granted, the Gencon Masters tournament this year was a 75 point event, but I still derive some amusement that such a "terrible" Gargantuan was not only present at Gencon in the tournaments, not only was it in the Masters, but its general almost achieved first place!  Now there are two things that I'd like to point out as a result of these tournament results.

The first is that a 50% representation in a Masters tournament with Menoth players speaks to an ever-shifting meta that's great for the overall health of the game we love so dearly.  We all know that our factions get new toys each year to try out and that means that the game is constantly changing.  The release of a half-dozen new models, however, is not the sole reason for the shift in the meta for Menoth, however.  People still talk about how "broken" Legion and Cryx are, but how many major tournament wins have they scored in the last 2 years?  Everyone seems to think that a particular faction is "the best" but we know that Warmachine/Hordes is an amazingly designed game because as soon as one choice is considered popular, other factions or choices become more viable.  The game is alive and evolves constantly and that is something we can all appreciate.

The second thing I want to point out is that the Mountain King is not as terrible as everyone says it is.  Notice how it was included in a pDoomshaper list, and I'm fairly certain it was the theme list.  What does Doomie's theme list feature?  Janissa and lots of Runeshapers - both of which I said would be key to making the Mountain King effective.  Janissa's wall is important, of course, but the fact that the Runeshapers can knock-down models everywhere should not be ignored either.  No, I'm glad I made my stand about the viability of the Mountain King.  I will admit that these games were at 75 points and that's not a typical size for people to play at (as evidenced by my poll to the right), but that doesn't change the fact that the Mountain King is a viable model - even if it's at higher-points games.  I don't think that will change over time, either.  I think that 35 points is going to be challenging and difficult to justify a gargantuan, whereas a colossal is not quite as difficult to justify (especially the Stormwall).  At 50+ points, however (like Masters tournaments), I think that Gargantuans will be quite powerful and highly useful.  It's also important to keep an open mind and consider everything the faction has to offer before passing judgment.
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