Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waaagh GT 40k Tournament Awesomeness

My first 40k tournament was a blast. It was in Alameda in an old Naval Base aboard the USS Hornet, a WW2 carrier/museum (see picture). Our games were flanked by an Avenger Torpedo Bomber, and a still in restoration Wildcat Fighter, so the setting was just awesome.

The USS Hornet. An old WW2 carrier that also served to pick up the Gemini and Apollo crews

A restored Avenger Torpedo bomber. Our game tables are just to the right of this thing. Very inspirational.

A "being restored" Wildcat. Can't wait to see it finished. There were also a number of jets and helicopters lying around. I didn't get to see the flight deck this year. Hopefully next year.

People loved this Mr. Potatohead Ork Stompa conversion. Awesome.

3 games on Saturday. My attitude going into this was "I'm going to get annihilated in every game, so I'm here to a) learn the rules really well, b) find out how to play IG properly, c) be as silly as possible by remembering a and b while my army was being murdered and d) learn about playing different armies since I know nothing about any of them except guard and SM" All 4 were achieved.

Game 1
Game 1 was against a very nice guy with a Chaos Space Marine army Nurgle themed. They had some great paint jobs. He helped me with the rules alot, but about the only damage I did to his army was to blow the legs off his Defiler (which was in a trench so in cover, although we probably should have ruled line of sight for that one). His daemon prince then came out of the land raider by killing one of his champions and did the koolaid guy to my poor infantry platoon who were protecting the objective inside a bunker. We both giggled about this one. My right flank was too far away from the action to do a whole lot, and I couldn't do much damage to his objective squad also in a bunker to take it. Major Loss.

Lessons Learned:
This isn't FOW. Infantry can't protect crap even in a bunker unless they have support weapons or some kind of H2H really close at hand. Stuff can just walk on it..
Spreading out the force too much will allow it to get eaten. Also, I need more infantry, or at least mobile troop choices since my heavy weapons squads are for the most part immobile.
Use orders much more often to take down larger vehicles.
Fire EVERYTHING every turn. Once I'm in H2H, I'm dead so what the heck.
Smoke is useful (my opponent used it twice).
G2G is also useful if you're going to die and you're dug in.
Got to remember ordience weapons roll 2d6 pick highest for penetration. I forgot this a lot.

The evil Chaos Marines of Evilness

Game 1 Start

Game 1 End. Lots of lessons learned on this one. Never made it to that bunker on the right. Was too busy fighting a winged Nurgle daemon with a chimea and veteran squad...

Game 2
This was against a nice guy who teaches 40k to little kids at his home store. He was a REALLY well painted SM army. I think he won favourite army overall. I did a bit better in this one, nuking his land raider, and with tank fire waxing the terminaters inside. He had some snipers set up in a corner with some kind of "give them a 2+ save" terrain alteration that his techmarine could do. I wasted time trying to shoot at them when I should have been driving forward at full speed. He drop podded behind my tanks and destroyed a couple, and I had to waste more time shooting them. My tanks were so close together that they tended to get in each other's way as well, so traffic control was a problem. That said, I was able to hold onto objectives a bit better this time. It was ironic in this game since it took place on a jungle table, so my desert guys were WAY out of place and a passing 12 year old pointed this out to me. Minor Loss. I was getting better, and I learned a LOT this game.

Lessons Learned:
When facing deep striking forces, deploy in depth (more than a scout sentinal) so that you have something that can counter punch a DS.
Dreadnaughts are easily killed by tanks.
My stuff CAN kill stuff, even heavily armored stuff like Land Raiders and Space Marines.
Don't get distracted by units that are dug in somewhere that doesn't matter. They will only harass.
Spread the tanks out to get good overlapping fields of fire in many driections otherwise they'll get in each other's way. You need multiples shots against stuff even with lascannons.
Buy a techpriest and 5 servitors to repair tanks as its not that often when you roll a 5-6 for pentration. Damaged vehicles are more likely and far more disrupting since you have to protect them from assaults.
In a tournament, you have to keep a good pace because otherwise you will run out of time. We didn't, but still.

Game 3
My favourite game. It was against Daemons. The guy was great. His son was playing a nicely converted ork army 1 table over. The whole table was empty the first turn, so my boys advanced as best they could. I placed my heavy weapon teams on top of the objective figuring since they couldn't move, may as well help to protect the vitals. I also deployed in depth to protect against his beaming in.

This was a scarey army to look at (see pic below) with 3 Soul Grinders, and 2 Greater Daemons to deal with. His Keeper of Secrets was AWESOME. It was an 40k Eldar Titan with chains all over it. Looked like something from Silent Hill. Great stuff. This guy knew he wasn't going to win generalship either so we were out for fun.

His bloodthirster beamed in right in front of 2 Russes, and 3 LC sentinals, and we nuked him which felt good since my BS 3 means I miss a lot. On that flank, his keeper trashed a lot of stuff. Also some Tzneetch flamers beamed down and flame grilled my command squad and some infantry. Their only option was to charge these things before getting flamed again, a battle we eventually lost.

The fun part was the soul Grinders though. My tanks took down 1, but a 2nd one walked over to my Chimera that was driving to the opposite objective. The grinder blew it to crap with its SomethingEvilSounding gun, and half the veteran squad exited the vehicle onfire. The survivors made it to some cover, and after missing all 3 melta gun shots, my newly minted det pack guy in desperation threw his pack at the HUGE machine bearing down on them. The Grinder caught the pack in its mouth, swallowed, and exploded in shower of green goo. We high fived after this one as the best hit of the game. I voted this guy my favourite player, and hope to see him next year (he actually won player's favourite opponent award at the end of the tournament).
Major Loss but oh so fun.

Lessons Learned:
Daemons are not that scarey. They have lots of saves (feel no pain etc.), but stick to the plan, and all will be well.
Use the veterans. They are your best guys... Maybe base an army around them and give them mobility. Do I buy a valkarie?? hmm..
Template weapons are great, but the scatter dice means that once they get in under the guns, you'd better have some direct fire backup.

My favourite game and player of the tournament

Game 3... Where are all the daemons....???? Hawkins! Take that building in the middle! Its bound to be important or something..

Best moment of the game. The blue grinder is actually a crater!

Game 4
The next day I played a fellow guard player. I was looking forward to this because I wanted to learn how to play Guard specifically better. He had several tanks, a chemical hell hound, a valkarie with vets, and a very large unit of guys (30-40 I think). And some Ogryns played by some power armored infantry that looked really neat. His valkarie was also awesome as it had repelling ropes out the back door!

Not qutie as fun game however as I was actually trying to be more tactical. I was able to open several tanks (his hellhound died from Bring It Down fire from my autocannons), but I was unable to take out his Valk which provided harrassing fire. Most interesting in this game were the Ogryns. My Demolisher managed with plazma cannon and Demolisher fire to whittle them down to 2/10 + the commisar Lord. But once they made it to my infantry squads, it was no more infantry squads.
Fun game, and lots learned. He didn't have enough troops to capture objectives, so only a minor loss this time.

Lessons Learned:
I'm going to give my Ogryns (5) Tallarn Headgear using greenstuff! I think it will look awesome, but I will need to practice first.
My tanks are nice against other tanks. Although battle cannons against front armor isn't all that great. Lascannons are better but again..... BS 3 = sadness.
I need to outfit ALL my infantry squads with powerweapon sergents, or maybe commisars, or maybe priests. I need better H2H defense, otherwise my squads are useless.
I need more squads. Having 2 platoons might be useful since I'll have 3 order giving units then. Will drop the 3 sentinals, and 1 LR (they were borrowed anyway), and fill up the points with other stuff. 3 Leman Russes is quite enough.
Multilasers aren't as useless as I thought. 3 shots is nothing to be scoffed at.
Lumbering Bohemoth means that you get the the turret shot for free, but you can still only fire 2 weapons total when you move, not everything.

A little guard on guard action

Game 4 end. Lots of burning armor, but we lost the center objective.

Game 5
This was against an older gentleman who's sons were also playing at the tourney. He was playing shooty marines. This mission was annililation, and at this point I kind of knew what I was doing (though still a little shakey rulewise). We had both only played 6 games each, so were both a bit shakey on the rules. I was a bit worried we would run out of time since we kept having to read the rules, so I took this game more seriously than I should have. I also smelled blood when I realized that his guys weren't going to assault me.

There was a difficult going river crossing the board which slowed his advance. My gun line lined up at the back of the table shelled the hell out of his troops which simply couldn't reply with the same kind of firepower. I blew up 2 bikes, a squad of assault marines, some scouts, 2 dreadnaughts and half his terminators who dropped in in the middle of the board. I wondered why they didn't close assault me until he fired 2 barrages of cyclone missiles at me which, with my men in cover and g2g did surprisingly little.

In retrospect I should have tried to have more fun with this game and been more helpful to the guy, but I didn't want to accidentally break the rules, but was worried about running out of time, that and I finally had a chance to blow the crap out of something. Major victory, but I should have played differently so I consider it a moral loss. I alas don't have any pics of it since we were rushed for time (and I hadn't had lunch so was scarfing down a hotdog).

My favourite part of this game was actually explaining to a lot of passers-by what the hell we were all doing including a very nice little old lady who was an ex navy nurse. She asked if there were any girls at this event and I pointed out the only one (who I think was the girlfriend of the only Tyranid player), and she went over and said how glad she was to see girls at these "boys only events". How cute.

Lessons Learned:
I know the game well enough now that I should take it easy on newer players as the older players have on me. But I don't think I can help them effectively yet since I haven't played THAT much.
A gun line isn't half bad, but some kind of deep strike is vital

All in all, the tournament was awesome. Got lots of compliments on my paint job, and the 3 guys from the first day voted me their favourite player of the tournament which made me feel like I went in with the right attitude. I consider my Loss ratio to be very improved over the course of the weekend. We went from major loss to major win almost linerally!
Lots of ideas for next year, and my "improved" army. Now I've finally got the 40k bug.

This just in...
Checked the website:
And I came 16th /38 players! So even though I got killed, I actually did fairly well. Nice.


Col. Corbane said...

Sounds like a cracking tournament mate, and a novel location as well.

Thanks for a cracking write up.

Dverning said...

1. Awesome location. I am full of jealous. I may have to make it out there for next year.
2. Game 1, that would have been a Greater Daemon, not a Daemon Prince. Greater Daemons are summoned and pop a character or aspiring champion. Daemon Princes are Monstrous Creatures that start on the field (or in Reserves), can't fit in Transports, and generally come with wings to move around.
3. Game 2, "Give them a 2+ save" is a combination of Scout Camo Cloaks (Stealth Rule Conferring +1 Cover) and Bolster Defences (a Techmarine special rule that gives +1 Cover but only works on ruins). Heavy Flamers, CC or just ignoring them are usually the best responses.
4. Game 3, that's actually a Eldar Wraithlord, not a Titan. That's also a really sweet conversion of it and I approve. The "SomethingEvilSounding" gun is called a Mawcannon and probably had a Tongue attack (S10 AP1) or Phlegm attack (S8, AP3, Large Blast).
5. Game 4 thoughts, DON'T dump the points on PW Sgts. They're still going to just be S3 IG that ignore armour. You're muhc better off looking into a dedicated CC unit like Rough Riders. Another option is "speed bump" sacrificial squads. Space them out enough so that the opponent can't contact multiple squads. Shoot the enemy as they close, let the sacrifice die and then shoot the enemy again and again. Shooting is your strength, not CC.

As Corbane says, thanks for the cracking write up.

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