Fire & Ice 1850 Tournament Report, Round One: Eldar v. Imperial Guard

March 9, 2014

I saw this convention/tournament last year but didn’t plan far enough in advance to get clearance to go. This year, I did. The tournament was well attended, with just under 30 players. The missions were odd, the 2 hour time limit too short, but the tables were decent. There were some with a LOT of LoS terrain and there were some that were barren and flat. I thought this was actually reasonably fair, as the tables were randomly assigned (that is, the ‘top’ players were not always on table 1/2/3), so luck of the draw played a part in how your round went. Lucky for me, I play an army that doesn’t (currently) care too much one way or the other with regard to LoS terrain.

For the first round, I get paired against a player I have played only once before, in a 500 point combat patrol. I have also played in a Beer & Pretzels tournament he organized and directed. He plays ‘traitor’ guard, and everything is Nurgle themed. His list is nothing to sneeze at. While he didn’t bring allies, he did put together one of the more potent IG lists available: 3 Vendettas(?) with melta or flamer vets in them, a blob squad (30?) with autocannons galore, two chimeras (one with a command squad in it), 3 manticores, a master of ordinance guy, an astropath(?) to increase the odds of stuff coming on turn 2, a skyshield landing pad, and a couple of bells and whistles.

My list is in a different post. It’s very similar to what I took to the February 9 tournament (where I took 2nd). The major difference being that I stripped all the ‘extra’ upgrades off of most of the vehicles and re-invested 50 points in Distortion Scythes. This turns out to be a bit ironic; in two of the games they never even get out of the serpent and in the last one they cook about 7 space marines like turkeys on thanksgiving. Worth the 50 points? Sure.

  • Primary Mission: Straight Kill Points
  • Deployment: Table Quarter Style (12″ radius from center of table, after one player chooses quarter to deploy in, the other player must deploy diagonally opposite)
  • Warlord Trait: Entirely forgettable
  • Night Fighting: No
  • First Turn: No
  • Length of Game: 3 turns (2 Hour rounds are TOO SHORT, particularly if you have a lot of moving/shooting to do)

My opponent castled up, and I deployed as far back as I could (to reduce the amount of incoming fire my vehicles would take on turn one).

My opponent's deployment.

My opponent’s deployment.

My deployment.

My deployment.

Turn One Highlights: The Master of Ordinance blows up a Fire Prism immediately. We both pause to reflect on why no one takes Fire Prisms anymore (all hail Serpent Spam). VERY luckily for me, his Manticores roll 1 ‘warhead’ each and I am able to withstand the opening barrage. I decide to try and play three angles in order to expose side armor (IG vehicles are so poorly designed, tsk). My Wraith Knight (already short a couple of wounds) evaporates a 10 man unit of guardsmen without really trying. I think I had 16 or so hits between the Sun Cannon and the Scatter Laser. I decline to shoot the shields on the serpents and actually go flat out with all of them. I feel certain that they will be destroyed immediately without that extra protection that a good jink save and the serpent shield can afford them.

End of Game Turn One.

End of Game Turn One.

Turn Two Highlights: The Master of Ordinance moves to the top of my most wanted list. All his Vendettas come on, and so does Marbo (oh yeah–he had Marbo too!). He has Marbo pop up near my Wraith Knight, for giggles. Both serpents on the left flank get dinged up, but stay mobile. My remaining prism is stunned and down to one hull point. I manage to fail 6 out of 7 3+ saving throws with my Wraith Knight. The ONLY save he makes is vs. Marbo’s silly poison pistol thing. What a tremendous disappointment. I have more trouble rolling 3+ saves later as well (3+ is a Lie).

For my part, I continue to press the flanks (though without a credible threat in the middle…). My warp spiders make a daring deep strike on the left flank, near the crater. The Lolseer softens Marbo up with his shuriken catapults. It’s difficult to see behind those magnificent converted flyers, but I get side armor on the manticore on the left side and blow it up, taking the Astropath (who’s now done his job anyway) with it. I am encouraged. The spiders shoot down 4 or 5 guardsmen and then battle focus into their crater (in case of ap3, it will be nice to have a cover save, though I’m sure they’ll die to VoF). On the other side, the serpent wrecks, but does not explode, the chimera with the command squad in it. I took out both vehicles without firing the shields! In the assault phase, Marbo hits on overwatch and I almost fail (1, 2) the rerollable cover save for my Lolseer. How embarrassing. Luckily, I make my save in close combat but Marbo does not.

End of Game Turn Two.

End of Game Turn Two.

Turn Three Highlights: So much happens in this turn. Ultimately, I get a little lucky, but I feel like I’m losing pretty much right up until the last roll of the dice. The remaining chimera immobilizes itself as it turns toward my spiders. He sends a vendetta to the left flank and drops in some vets. For all of his shooting (and my cursing under my breath at not being able to make 3+ saves), he neither kills off, nor breaks (nor pins) my spiders, or my jet bikes. He does wreck a wave serpent, but makes a mistake and wastes some vendetta shots on my Lolseer (who, again, tries to make it interesting by failing the first cover save a couple of times). On the right flank, he shoots a bunch of krak grenades at my serpent but doesn’t come up with any results. Shooting from something else immobilizes it. Luckily it’s facing in a useful direction. He makes an assault through the crater into my remaining (3?) spiders with his guardsmen, but his vets fail their charge (at least I think they did, maybe they didn’t charge at all). I manage to fail another 3+ in the assault, so the combat ends up tied.

We have ~20 minutes when I start my part of turn three, so I can play with a significant degree of abandon. I bring my other jet bikes on the left flank, just getting enough range to do some damage to the vets (but not enough range to potentially wipe them out). I disembark my avengers on the right flank, put my Scythe Guard serpent on a hill so I can see his command squad on the landing pad, and line up my bikes to support my spiders in close combat. I shoot the avengers on the right into the guardsmen and cut them down to just one grenadier, who is too dumb to run away. I decide not to waste an entire serpent’s worth of shooting on one model and go after the remaining manticore on the landing pad, hoping for an explosion. I don’t recall that it blew up, but I wrecked it in any case. My Scythe Guard serpent rolls hot with its shield (6 shots) and I hit with almost everything, including the cannon, which is in range of the nearest model in the unit. With everything being S6 or 7, he just needs to fail enough saves to get back to his warlord, which he does. My jet bikes hit and wound with most of their shots (against the vets), who break and are removed from the table. Just like the one guardsman too dumb to run away, the guardsmen in the assault are annoying. The jet bike whiffs with its hammer of wrath and we each manage to kill one model, tying the combat again and staying locked in.

If the tournament was designed to give 2.5 hours instead of just 2 for each round, I would have gotten pounded into the dust on the very next turn. Lucky. As it was, I passed him in Kill Points and won the game.

End of Game Turn Three.

End of Game Turn Three.

Here is a close up of one of his fantastically converted flyers:

Nurgletastic.

Nurgletastic.

Side Note: This was my son’s first ‘big’ tournament, the February 9 tournament being (in my mind) a qualifier. His first round opponent was the player from my 3rd round game from February 9. Instead of Tyranid, he brought Sisters of Battle. They had a good game, and I’m proud to say my son won. I will post the list he took as well.

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