It seems like a lot of blogs out there have been running random contests. A lot of them are really interesting. there was one in particular that I thought was a really neat idea. the writer at A Plague Spreads ran a contest last year for 40K that was designed to pick out the "best" unit in 40k. "best" of course being a relative and not all-too-scientific. but it made for a very cool contest.
I figured that something like that could be really fun for the other game I play. So, I am here to announce the first warmachine/hordes "who would win?" contest. I have gone through each faction in the game (except for four star syndicate, they made the bracket not work), and selected one unit to participate. these units aren't necessarily the best unit in the faction. these are the frontline troopers of each faction. the grunts, the meatshields, the real hard workers of an army. every army in the game (well almost) has a unit that falls into the same bucket of cheap frontline infantry in the same price range.
read on for details
For some factions, I'm sure there is probably a better choice out there. maybe your favorite unit isn't in the list. but that's ok. I'm working with what I have here. I wanted to make things as even as possible without adding in solos or other outside support.
Each faction will have one unit (with a ua if available) that totals 8 points. the highborn covenant get to bring 2 min units, because halberdiers are so cheap and have no UA option... hopefully it will still work out. and blindwater gets an extra point, because they only have one option in their book right now that can get close to 8 points.
these units will be going head-to-head, with nothing but their comrades and standard kit. no caster handing out support spells. no solos giving out special abilities or boosts to stats. no big objectives to go after or warjacks to hunt. just a fist-to-fist or blade-to-blade brawl until only one unit remains.
The contest portion of this little experiment comes in when you comment on this post and vote. once the tournament begins, no more votes will be accepted. in your comment, state which unit you think will take the tournament. if more than one person votes for the winning faction, I'll come up with an extra scenario. I haven't thought that part through real well yet. and of course if no one guesses the correct answer, no one gets a prize.
what is the prize? glad you asked. at the end of the tournament, the winner will receive a painted small-based model from the winning faction. not necessarily from the winning unit, but from the faction. I will probably give you a choice of model. Here are your choices for the vote:
1. cygnar - stormblades + ua (8pts)
2. cryx - 6 bane thralls + ua (8pts)
3. khador - 6 doom reavers + ua (8pts)
4. protectorate - 10 flameguard + ua (8pts)
5. retribution - 6 dawnguard sentinals + ua
6. highborn cov - 2X 6 Steelhead Halberdier (8pts)
7. searforge - 10 forge guard (8pts)
8. Talion charter - 6 sea dogs, Mr. Walls, 1 rifleman (8pts)
9. circle - 10 wolves of orboros + ua (8pts)
10. legion - 6 blighted swordsmen + ua (8pts)
11. skorne - 10 praetorian swordsmen + ua (8pts)
12. trolls - 10 kriel warriors + ua
13. blindwater - 5 gatormen (9pts)
14. thornfall - 10 farrow brigands (8pts)
7 teams on each side of the bracket. Talion Charter goes to the hordes side of the bracket. 1 faction in each bracket will randomly get a bye for the first round. the first round opponents will be randomly paired with another faction from their bracket. each round, each unit will fight a single elimination round. the round continues until one side has no remaining models. We won't be using statistics to find the winners. I will actually roll the dice and record the results. each week I will do 2 match-ups (time permitting. it may go slower than that depending on real life).
All special abilities will be used as much as possible. so if a unit is able to use shield-wall/defensive line they will be assumed to always be in base to base contact (unless hit by something that pushes them, but I don't think we have any of those effects. if a unit has a mini feat, it will try to use it as quickly as possible. each unit is assumed to have had a turn before the combat starts, so if they had something like shield-wall as an order, it is assumed that they are already set up to receive a charge.
At the beginning of the round, each side will roll a D6. the winner gets the first turn (and the charge order!). to represent differences in the units that would normally affect how easily they could get the charge on the enemy unit, there will be a couple of bonuses a unit can earn:
+1 for pathfinder
+1 for reach
+1 for every 2 points difference in speed values
so a unit with spd 6 and reach fighting a unit with spd 4 would get +2 to their roll-off.
if the two opposing units have an equal number of models at the beginning of a round of combat (meaning game round), each model will be assumed to be in melee range of exactly one enemy model. on their turn, if a unit has more models than their enemy unit, the extra members are assumed to move into range of new targets. this could lead to some complications, but it shouldn't get too hard to calculate. if their is an uneven or unbalanced match-up during a turn, the first dice rolls will be for the uneven match-ups. so if 6 stormblades are fighting 4 remaining sea dogs, the first 2 sea dogs are engaged by 2 stormblades each, and the other two are in single combats. stormblade 1 rolls, and misses. stormblade 2 attacks the same sea dog. stormblade 3 attacks and kills his target. this means stormblade 4 has no target and does not attack this turn. when dividing attacks in this manner, the unit attachments are always paired against a single enemy if possible (they will be the last ones to be double-teamed), representing the fact that most UAs hide in the back.
units with reach are assumed to be in melee against 1 more enemy than normal, so in an even match-up, doom reaver 1 would be in combat with the first 2 enemy models and so on. this will usually only come into play for models like doom reavers that can generate more attacks.
A unit with side step, overtake, or other movement-causing effects are assumed to get into melee with the next model in the line once moved.
a unit with tough that makes a tough roll and is knocked down will be assumed to be in melee range of an enemy model (probably the one that knocked it down!). if there are extra models that are knocked down once models have been paired up, they will be out of melee and will move in for the next turn (sacrificing action to stand).
It can be a little complicated to do something like this in an abstract setting. I've seen it done before though, and the results were pretty smooth. if complications arise, I reserve the right to modify the rules to try to make it work. if I do something incorrectly (probably as a result of never playing with these models), and someone corrects me I may re-roll the entire match. seems the fairest way to deal with an incorrect match. depends on how big the error was and how far into the match it was. basically, any judgement calls are up to me, 'cause I'm the one doing this! :-)
Please comment below to vote for your favored team! one vote per person. Voting will run all the way through next week (ending Saturday the 28th at 11:59 pm). sometime during the week of voting I will randomly pair up two of the armies above and run through a pre-tournament round so everyone can get a feel for the flow of the mini-game. good luck!