Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New England Team Tournament 2013

I just realized today that the New England Team Tournament (NETT) is less than 4 months away. It's currently scheduled for July 13th and this year I have to make some difficult decisions. The first decision, of course, is whether I should even attend.

Surprised? That's because my best friend is getting married on the 19th and I'm his best man. He's clearly the top priority in this situation but I need to figure out if I can possibly do both because he's flying up north (he lives in NC) for his wedding and we need to find a time to have his bachelor party. If we have it the week before, then the NETT is out. If we have it the few days before the wedding, it might make everything else all that much more stressful since I also have to plan for my wedding (which is about 6 months away). Oi. 

Even if I can make it to the NETT, I need to know whether it will be using the Iron Gauntlet rules which have been established. My guess is that it will use the rules since it's supposed to be the premiere competitive event in New England and the first place team deserves it. If that is the case, then that means that everyone will be able to bring multiple lists from multiple factions and with the Convergence of Cryriss on the horizon, things can get even more interesting. I'm guessing that the event will be 35 points, 2 lists required (maybe 3), and Divide and Conquer (2). There could be Specialists or Reinforcements but my impression has been that people generally are glad they are only optional. The event could potentially be 50 points but I think it's limiting to many factions and it makes for a really long event and that's usually reserved for conventions.

Alright so let's assume that my prediction is correct. That means that I would need to assemble 2 lists, from any faction combinations, and I have to anticipate using each list at least twice. The NETT usually runs 4 rounds (up to 16 teams or 48 players) so that means that I'd have to split the use of my lists and that makes it quite challenging to narrow things down because as much as I love my pBaldur list, I can't rely entirely upon it. That has been my weakness in the past at the NETT so I need to find another list that pairs up with it well. This is why I'm hoping for Iron Gauntlet rules, because I would totally bring my Sloan list.

Sloan (+6)
- Stormwall (19)
- Minuteman (5)
Reinholdt (1)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (6)
- Officer (2)
Victor Pendrake (2)
Black 13th (4)
Harlan Versh (2)

I've had great success with this list against Hordes, in particular, because I can generally pinpoint and remove beasts out of the picture until I either starve or kill the warlock. With some high-powered and high-accuracy ranged attacked (especially on the feat turn) I can really deal out damage and remove key pieces like a Carnivean or a Warpwolf Stalker and with so much being able to ignore Stealth, there's not much that can hide from me. In a pinch I can use the gun mages to either push/knockdown with their Thunderbolts and some help from Pendrake (against beasts) or simply popping feat. The same can be said for Critical Brutal Damage, but POW 10s even with 3 dice for damage aren't going to do much against heavies (although lights and lessers will suffer).

I'm fairly confident that Sloan can handle anything that I don't want to use Baldur against. I love Baldur but he relies a lot on an assassination victory and Hordes warlocks can generally take it and survive if they just camp some transfers. No, Baldur is much better against Warmachine lists and Sloan has a weakness against them since they typically rock higher ARM, more damage boxes, and lots more targets to shoot at. I think they compliment each other well.

What if the NETT allows 3 lists? That would certainly change the dynamic of the event and would allow a lot more flexibility for the players. I, for one, would support a 2 lists required, 3 lists optional, Divide and Conquer (1) version of the NETT. If that were the case then I would most likely include my Constance Blaze list that I've been playing around with. It's a lot of fun and I think it's a solid choice for dealing with armies that can't handle weapon masters and would really let me handle some less-than-ideal situations for Baldur and Sloan like non-Terminus Cryx, Gators, Legion, and Colossal/Gargantuan heavy match-ups.

We'll see how the event rules shape up but I clearly need to step up my game. You are all welcome to continue to track my game log progress here as I try to get as many games in as I can in 2013!
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