Running the Gauntlet Volume 2: The Official Breakdown
Hello everyone and welcome back to another installation of Running the Gauntlet. After a bit of a delay I have finally gotten volume 2 ready. In this volume we will look at the official Iron Gauntlet rules and scenarios, talk about how it compares to some other prestigious events in Warmachine and Hordes, and then spend a little time preparing some dojo.
The Official Rules
First up the actual Iron Gauntlet rules were released about two weeks ago and look pretty cool. I went over a lot of the rules (which were revealed in the keynote from Templecon) in the last article but we will rehash them here a bit. Here are the major points for the Iron Gauntlet rules:
- A Regional ranking system divided into four regions which are currently: North America East, North America West, Europe, and Australia/Asia
- A point system that scores the top 16 finishers in qualifying events
- 2 50 point lists with character restrictions, 10 point specialists, and no faction limitations between lists
- Death Clock with deployment on the clocks
- Masters Style Scenarios including: Destruction, Close Quarters, Incursion, Outflank, Into the Breach, and Process of Elimination
Iron Gauntlet is run as a season with multiple qualifiers throughout the world at different times during the season. At the end of the season 16 players will be invited to the Iron Gauntlet Finals at Lock and Load 2014. These 16 are chosen in two ways and are seeded #1 through #16. The top 8 seeds will be the top two scoring players from each region and will use event wins and then head to head wins as tie breaks to determine qualifying. The lower 8 seeds will be chosen among the next highest scoring players regardless of region and use the same tie breakers as the first 8 seeds. Alternates will be invited if the current seeds are unable to make the Final event. The Finals will be a tournament style event with the players being ranked 1-16 and then broken in to 4 regions where they again will be ranked 1-4. Another nice benefit is based on your rankings in the Finals you get points towards the next Iron Gauntlet season. Overall I think this is a very solid format and just sounds like a lot of fun especially having a ranking system that you can compare yourself to some of the best players with.
Comparing Apples and Oranges and Bananas too!
I know one of the things that a lot of people are asking is “How does Iron Gauntlet compare to the Warmachine Weekend Invitational and the WTC (World Team Championship)?” Honestly the way I look at it they are all different events and are all very prestigious. All three events have finals at different times so it isn’t impossible to make it to all of the events (might be some what difficult with WMW and IG qualifiers so far being run at the same time but there are more WMW qualifying events than for the IG so far). The difference in these three events is the type of warmachine and hordes you play in them. The WMW Invitational is the long standing King of warmahordes tournaments and is the most classic of all three tournaments. The WTC is a unique event in that you have teams playing together using unique matching strategies to get your team more points than the competition. And I’ve explained how the IG and its unique tournament format works.
All three formats are the highest level of competition you can get in Warmachine and Hordes currently but are different from each other enough that they can co-exist together. Iron Gauntlet may be the new kid on the block but it is a very unique format that hasn’t been done yet and in my humble opinion will probably be around for a while. And eventually maybe we will even have someone run for Warmachines and Hordes new Triple Crown and win all three events.
Entering the Dojo
And now for a bit of preliminary dojo work. Now we all know what more than likely we will see in the Iron Gauntlet series. Gaspy2, Deneghra1, Haley2, Harby, Morvhanna2, Lylth2, all top tier casters will be in force. I also personally think that a lot of players will compensate for these by looking for good matchups against by bringing lists that deal with those casters fairly well. There will more than likely be people playing dark horses running around in an attempt to catch people by surprise. There is also the possibility of players fielding lists from the same faction, either because that is all they own or they want a challenge.
I have put some thought into what I want to play for the Iron Gauntlet and have decided to play Skorne and Menoth together. One of the primary reasons is that is what I own (gators too but I don’t really play them very much or own a lot of them) and I love both the factions. I also think that they are a strong pairing together. Skorne being my first and favorite faction bring strong hitting power, movement shenanigans, and are a very solid overall faction. Their weaknesses include high defense spam (albeit they have gotten a lot of answers to this lately) and their general struggles with Cryx. Menoth can bring a nice counterpunch to Skorne with very strong casters and infantry and seem to play a lot better versus some of the bad matchups that Skorne struggle with. I’ve come up with some lists and started playing some practice games but I will save those for the next article.
Thanks again for checking out the article and stay tuned for the next one where I will go into some more dojo and coming up with possible combinations for Iron Gauntlet. Till next time!