Running the Gauntlet: Examination and Preparation for the Iron Gauntlet
Volume 1: Throwing Down the Gauntlet
Hey everyone, Pwnstarr53 (or Dan H. if you prefer) here! I am here to invite you on a very interesting and hopefully fun journey of examining and preparing for Privateer Press’ newest format, The Iron Gauntlet. I plan on making this a 6 part series that I will put on here about every two weeks or so heading up to Lock and Load on May 31st. Over the series I will examine Iron Gauntlet itself as a whole, looking at what I believe the meaning of it is and even the rules themselves once they are released for use to look at. I will also be preparing to personally play in the Iron Gauntlet myself and I will go over my lists I end up picking, the dojo behind them, and even a couple pseudo battle reports in my preparation. In this first article I will explain a bit about the Iron Gauntlet and it’s known rules, a little theory about the implications of the Iron Gauntlet, and even a little story about how I came to decide to play in the event and embrace it.
Iron Gauntlet Intro
So if you haven’t seen the announcement made at Templecon 2013 in the keynote that Privateer Press held or read about it on the forums, I will break down what we know about Iron Gauntlet: The Warmachine & Hordes World Championship so far. The Iron Gauntlet is a new format PP has created to bring the competition to a whole new level. The event itself is a series with qualifiers that beginning at Lock and Load 2013 and finishes at Lock and Load 2014 with the actual Championship Event itself. So far two events have been scheduled, Lock and Load 2013 and The UK Masters, but the keynote showed Australia and South America as places where qualifiers may be scheduled as well. The qualifiers will use a point-based system to see who qualifies for the main event. So far the rules that we know about are as follows:
- 2 Lists, 50 points each
- No faction restrictions meaning you can play Cryx/Khador, Legion/Ret, etc.
- Specialists are baseline, effectively giving each list a 10 point sideboard
- Character Restrictions are baseline
- Hardcore Painting rules
This makes for a very interesting format altogether. The ability to take any faction is definitely the most intriguing aspect of this format. PP has definitely thrown down the gauntlet (mmm puns) for sure this time.
This is the section where I talk about general thoughts, both the publics and mine, so go grab those pitchforks and torches or popcorn and prepare to use them. So far the Iron Gauntlet has been met with a ton of skepticism from everyone. I often visit multiple message boards and listen to several podcasts and so far the reaction has been the same. It seems everyone is intrigued by the idea of the world championship aspect but it also seems they are very leery of the multiple faction aspect. “OMG DOOOOOM, Haley2 and Gaspy2 will be in every list!!!!” seems to be what I end up seeing the most with sprinklings of Bart Galleon thrown in there. Now not everyone is saying this, but it is what I end up seeing said the most from people. While this is valid reasoning, and will more than likely be somewhat true, it’s not all horrible so get off that Doomcycle people. I sat down and thought about it a bit more in depth and talked to some other players about it. My personal opinion about the Iron Gauntlet is that PP has made a format that puts the microscope on player skill and decision making the most. I know, I know. Building a Haley double Stormwall list is a decision and will be made for sure. But won’t smart players know this and bring strong lists to oppose this style of thinking? Won’t some use some thing like Borka’s Family Reunion to help counter something like Haley Double Stormwall (I heard some guy named Ghad likes that matchup)? I’m sure people will look to bring well rounded lists with answers to multiple problems to try and cover some of the more powerful casters known. Another aspect to consider is that people will bring factions and lists they are comfortable with. Not everyone has lists like that laying around or even wants to necessarily want to play those factions at all. I’m sure some people will even run two lists from the same faction since that is what they know and love. After a bit of thinking and reading, I am fairly confident that while the format won’t before everyone Iron Gauntlet will find a place in our community once it gets tweaked and played more.
Why the Iron Gauntlet?
Now for the story of why I will be playing in the event and why I am writing these articles. First of all, let me explain that Lock and Load will be my first con where I will be playing Warmahordes in. I know, going for the Iron Gauntlet in my first Con sounds kinda crazy to me. Now honestly I had intended to play in Masters considering this is my first con and I was looking forward to that. However I didn’t get into that event due to the craziness that was first day registration (twice even). So looking at all the other events I decided to register for the Iron Gauntlet and put my self on the Masters wait list. After a while though, I got more and more excited for the Iron Gauntlet and what it can be. I love competition and love playing this game even if I may not be that good at it. But I see this as a challenge, and we all know that that means…
Look forward to the next volume of Running the Gauntlet soon and feel free to let me know what you think about it so far. Until next time war gamers, stay classy you crazy people.