Tournament Report: The Big Crapshoot

February 12, 2013

February 9, 2013 Battle (Tournament) Report

Big Crapshoot at Fire for Effect Games in Oshkosh, WI

A word about the store and TDs (tournament directors):  The store is awesome.  The tables are great.  Kevin and Adam run a good tournament and handle difficult, obscure, obtuse, and sometimes insane questions about 40K rules with calm certitude.  The door prizes are more than generous.  They’re running a tournament at OshCon in May (?); I look forward to going.

The Tournament:  Four Rounds; Emperor’s Will, Crusade, Purge the Alien, Line Breaker, First Blood, Slay the Warlord all in effect in each round.  Three objectives for Crusade (whichever player controls more—not the majority—objectives takes the ‘points’).  Winning the various missions gives a certain number of points to the player.  The value of each mission is different in every round.  Each round has a maximum number of 12 points.

My Army: 1500 Point Semi-Mechanized (see list in ‘Army Lists’)

Round 1: Hammer and Anvil, Mysterious Forests (Ironwood)—I go second/last

I drew a player with a berserker (World Eaters) list just returning to the game after a couple of years off.  Although he was not thoroughly familiar with the new rules (wound allocation in particular), and did not seem to have optimized his list, he didn’t lose because of that.  He lost because he failed his charge rolls in the second turn.

The fact that we rolled Ironwood for the ‘forests’ prevented his predator from doing much to anything and kept my guardians extra-safe (he had no template weapons).  With his Land Raider immobilized (on its own; chaos can’t drive y’all) on turn two, all of his models were out in the open and 2/3 of them in the middle of the board.  While he had two units in range to charge, they both failed.  My Distortion cannons evaporated most of one unit, a twin-linked pie plate from my Fire Prism crippled the other, and I think I lol-stormed the third.

My Guardian Jetbike unit (VERY useful in a tournament with multiple control/contest victory conditions) put the nail in the coffin by giving me Line Breaker and controlling his Emperor’s Will objective.

Having been tabled in my first game back from MY time off, I shouldn’t have been surprised to (virtually) do the same to my first opponent in HIS first game back.  He was a good sport though and laughed it off.

I took all the possible points (12).

Round 2: Dawn of War, The scouring (Neither of us had fast attack units…)—I go second/last

I played ANOTHER chaos army this round and again it was a themed army sans hell drake (my lucky day).  My opponent, who I had lost to in the tournament last year, had Abaddon on the field, but when my distortion cannons obliterated his squad of terminators, the victory was already in sight.

However, the game wasn’t without its complications:  I had chosen the location of my Emperor’s Will objective poorly.  A squad of obliterators (and his terminators, before I destroyed them) deployed directly across from it; I abandoned it early and resolved to win the rest of the points.  As Abaddon and the obliterators approached from my left flank, I moved everything I could over to the right.

In the end, I lost my distortion cannons and the squad of guardians (and everything else Abaddon touched).  I managed to take the Crusade points and to contest his Emperor’s Will objective so neither of us got those.  I got six or eight points for the round.

Round 3: Vanguard, Mysterious Forests (Nothing of Note)—I go FIRST 😦

I play yet ANOTHER chaos army and still don’t see a flyer.  However, this player (also having won his first two games) had a nurgle-nurgle list of nurgleness, marks everywhere and (surprise surprise) chaos marines on motorcycles with the mark of nurgle…toughness 6 anyone?  Two nurgley-squads in rhinos and a nurgley unit of raptors, two obliterators and a blob of cultists rounded out his list.  Brutal.

It took four rounds of shooting to whittle the bike squad down, and his lord (also on a bike) still got into close combat and killed everything he touched.  In turn seven, after three rounds of combat, Eldrad finally kills him.  If Eldrad didn’t have Misfortune and Precognition up, he’d have lost in the first round.

I’m no fan of Vanguard deployment.  I’m not a big fan of a 4+ ‘jink’ save for bikes that go flat out either, particularly when coupled with toughness 6 and feel no pain.  C’est la vie.  Also, in games like these, it is very important to go second/last.

I get two points for the round.

Round 4:  Dawn of War, Big Guns Never Tire—I go second/last

Finally a non-chaos army, I play imperial guard this time.  And whaddya know, he has two flyers (three twin-linked lascannons on each…).  He turtles up behind his defense line, and I TRY to turtle up behind mine, thinking to dash out into no-man’s land at the end of the game.

Turn one could have been a disaster—his chemical fire hell hound runs up alongside my artillery.  I lose two men, no guns.  Things go like that all game.  Things look bad, but turn out ok.  Things look fine, but go horribly wrong.  Like Eldrad and SIX dire avengers running off the board.  Or like my Eldar shooting that sweet-sweet armour value 10 rear end of his valkyrie and making it explode—10 rolls to wound the occupants and not a single 1.  Everyone inside dies.

In the end, victory within my grasp, my misunderstanding of the Big Guns Never Tire conditions result in poor decisions and a loss.  I thought vehicles could NEVER be scoring units, that it was just heavy support units (devastators, obliterators, dark reapers, etc.) that became scoring.  I let one of my fire prisms get blown up for no real compensation.  Intoxicated by blowing up a flyer, I had a squad of guardians shoot at a hovering (full bs! Omgsh) valkyrie’s rear hatch instead of running toward an objective (they never make it).  And in the final turn (five), instead of moving my OTHER fire prism flat-out to get to an objective marker, I took one last shot at a leman russ.

I deserved to lose, but I still managed to get Line Breaker (go go Jetbikes), First Blood and Emperor’s will.  Unfortunately, Purge the Alien, Slay the Warlord, and Crusade were more than enough points for my opponent to take the win.

Results

IMG_20130210_100800

I was COMPLETELY surprised to take 3rd Place overall (26 accumulated points y’all).  I’m used to chess tournaments; lose a game and you’re cooked.  Turns out that f I’d won my last game (i.e. not been a bonehead), I probably would have taken first.  Crazy.  I’m doubly resolved to be familiar with all the scoring scenarios.  Also, despite doing very well with the distortion cannons, I still forgot that they gained the ‘pinning’ rule in sixth edition….

Awarded a door prize (I think they handed out six, maybe more), I picked up a squad of Harlequin.  I have ideas for a procession of the dead (wraithguard and harlequins)—a festive funeral march or something.

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