Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to 6th Edition...The Tournament!

Over the weekend I attended a great little tournament at my local game store (Imaginary Wars). The tournament was on the smaller side with only 14 people attending and despite the low-ish number it was one of the more competitive tournaments I have been to in ages. All the armies were painted really well and there were tones of variation in the armies that showed up.

The tournament was a standard event at 1500pts allowing allies and fortifications. Each mission was a varied version of something in the core rule book and mostly had their own secondary objectives which replaced the 3 in the missions section (so first blood, kill the warlord, etc) which I liked. All the missions were enough of a slight variation over the ones in the core rule book to keep them familiar while still being new and interesting. The one REALLY crazy thing about this tournament was the armies that showed up. Here is what was at the tournament: 1 Dark Eldar (me), 3 Daemons, 2 Necrons, 1 Guard (foot with 3 maxed units of Calvary), 1 Tau, 1 Grey Knight, 4 Space Marines (one being the ringer as one person didn’t show up). Looking at that list that is an awesome variation for a tournament and something I would kill to see at any event.

Here is the list I used:

Haemonculi - liquifier
Haemonculi - liquifier

 3 x Warriors (5) - blaster, venom w/ extra splinter cannon
Warriors (10) - blaster, dark lance, raider
Wyches (8) - Hekatrix w/agonizer, raider

Fast Attack
Scourges (5) - 2 haywire blasters 
Reavers (6) - 2 heat lances

Heavy Support
2 x Ravagers - 3 dark lances
Razorwing Fighter - 2 dark lances, twin linked splinter rifle, 4 mono scythe missiles


Round 1: Dark Eldar vs. Daemons

This mission was kind of like the old capture and control (1 objective in each deployment zone). The special rule for this one was the game was thought to have started pre-dawn. So to simulate both armies getting into position and not really knowing where the enemy force both sides were able to move their units up D6+1” with 2 more chances of extra moves simulating the uncertainty of dawn breaking before the game started. If you always moved all your units forward at every chance there was a nice big bonus for your final points so I obviously had to do this lol. It was also a super safe move as it was against Daemons with me going first so I just set them up on the back line and moved them up to where the transports were and just got in on my first turn lol. Other games though people were getting into assault turn 1 as they got so close to each other, good times.  The list my opponent had featured one model I have never played against, and that is Fateweaver. I have to say I can’t think of a less fun unit in the entire game of 40k to play against. Flying (so you hit him on 6’s) and then gets his re-rollable 3+ save and then allows everything within 6” to re-roll their saves. Ugh. Here is my opponents list:

Curtis’ Demons:

Bloodthirster - +1 str, the shooting upgrade (plasma pistol)

Blood Crushers (8…yes 8 lol)

2 x Bloodletters (around 12 each I think)

Heavy Support
 2 x Tzeentch Demon Princes - Bolt

Hi Points:
- He got super aggressive where he wanted to put Fateweaver so dropped him really close to my army. So naturally he scattered right towards one of my spread out tanks and misshaped so I placed him on the super far corner by himself. This one thing more than anything else decided the final result of this game.
- Since his chosen wave was the one that popped up on the table all his MCs appeared in my backfield. He managed to do no damage with his first round shooting and so at the start of the second round I proceeded to drop all of his MCs minus Fateweaver. My Razorwing came in and shot down his flying Bloodthirster (did 2 wounds) and then the other two fell to splinter fire and dark lances. Sadly this was pretty much the only damage I did the entire game lol
- I really focused on the objective and dedicated just enough to his objective to capture it while putting everything I had into shooting down those “fortuned” Bloodletters near my objective which I managed to finally achieve on the 6th turn.

Low Points:
- This army lol. Curtis was a great guy to play against and I would honestly love to play him again, but his army couldn’t have been less fun to play against even if one tried. After pumping about 20 wounds (not shots….WOUNDS) into Fateweaver and watching him shrug them off was frustrating so I just stopped interacting with him and focused on Curtis’ troops (since it was capture and control). Even then it took an insane amount of shooting just to drop 12 guys with a 5+ save. If Fateweaver didn’t mishap then I don’t think I could have touched his army.
- Apart from being 100% unable to touch Fateweaver and the block he created everything went about as well as it could have.

Final Result: Minor Victory: I had 1 objective to his zero (killed all his troops). I also managed to get all the secondary so ended up with a pretty decent score in the end. One thing I found really stupid is that when flying demons come in from deep strike (ie they just appear on the board) they can start the game flying. To me that makes no sense but that is just my personal opinion lol

Game 2: Dark Eldar vs. Daemons with Chaos Space Marine allies

This game was basic Kill Points (or whatever they are in 6th lol) against my good friend Jason Hall. He was working heavily this week to finish his army in time and just ran short so wasn’t able to get his list to where he wanted. With that in mind his list turned into “what can I use that’s painted” instead of “this is what I want” which I felt bad about as I really liked the look of his army. The mission’s special rules were that it was fought on a moon with shifting gravity. You either got a) no change, b) low gravity so things moved faster, c) high gravity so things moved slower and last but not least d) a fissure in the middle of the board that spewed toxic chemicals out and melted things in a random direction. Here is Jason’s list:

Jason’s Demons:

Kuogoth (can’t remember the spelling on his name…he is the named Great Unlcean One)
CSM Demon Prince Ally w/ mark of nurgle, psychic power and wings

Beast of Nurgle (3)

3 x Plague Bearers (5)
CSM - Plague Marines (6) - 2 plasma guns, champ w/ p-fist, rhino
CSM - Plauge Marines (6) - flamer, melta gun, champ w/ p-fist

Hi Points:
- My shooting was absurdly effective this game. Turn 1 saw Epidimus vanish before the Nurgle Army got powered up at all. There was no way after doing the Fateweaver re-roll nonsense I was going to let an Epidimus army get a 3+ FNP roll lol. Basically Jason’s army’s defense is its toughness and my army just counters that with mountains of poison. After dropping Epidimus the rest of the Nurgle units folded pretty quickly.

Low Points:
- I found out about the new wound allocation system the hard way this game lol. I had my unit of Wyches and the large Warrior unit set up outside their transports for the old “Haemonculi Shuffle” when they got hit but a Necrotic Missile from Kuogoth. He killed 2 guys and wouldn’t you know it…my blaster AND dark lance were the first two models in the unit and were both removed from play. Same thing happened shortly after with the two heat lances on the bikes lol. Live and learn.
- Just due to the incredible rock to scissors match up it just wasn’t a fun game which really sucked. Jason was the one person I was looking forward to playing the most and through no one’s fault it was a completely drubbing which isn’t something I ever really want at any point (either way).

Final Result: Major Victory: As I said in the “low points” due to the table set up and our lists there really wasn’t anything Jason could have done to win this match so I completed all the secondary objectives as well as the massacre so I got the full 25pts for this game. Hopefully the next time we play the armies will be better suited to face each other.

Game 3: Dark Eldar vs. Necrons

This game was a slight spin on the “Relic” mission I the 6th ed rule book. The big change was Night Fight for the first 2 turns on a 3+ or if that didn’t happen it was night fight from the 5th turn to the end of the game on a 3+ (both of which are fine by me lol). The other change is that the relic is super unstable and at the start of each player turn the unit holding the relic took a str 6, ap2 hit. The relic could also be used as a shooting attack that was 18”, str 6, ap2, assault D6, gets hot. You got bonus points for holding the relic for a full turn at least some point in the game and the first person to kill an enemy with its shooting attack.

Derricks Necrons:

Illuminator Szeras (with immortals)
GK Witch Hunter

Deathmarks (5)

2 x Warriors (12)
Immortals (10)
GK Terminators (5) - psycannon

Fast Attack
Wraiths (3) - lash coils
Tomb Blades - twin linked gauss blasters

Heavy Support
Doom Scythe
Doomsday Ark

Hi Points:
- Night Fight for the first two turns when playing DE is GREAT lol. My Ravager had a 3+ cover save on the first turn against the Doomsday Arks shooting. Also, since DE ignore Night Fight I was able to shoot back with impunity destroying said Doomsday Ark in one shot.
- My Razorwing earned its points this game. It did tones of damage to the warrior block holding the objective. It also helped wipe them out in one round of shooting then got 2 direct hits on the immortal unit doing 18 wounds in total and helped break that unit.
- With all the talk of Overwatch and lack of cover I kind of forgot how good my Wyches can be in Close Combat. I managed to charge a bunch of warriors and basically wiped them out in one shot which was nice.

Low Points:
- There were a lot this game, and almost all were based on error of play on my part. For starters I set up way to passively. I didn’t stay true to how I play this army and it cost me greatly because by the time I needed to make a push I was just too far out of position. It also meant I just was playing Derricks game instead of my own and reacting to what he was doing and I find once that starts happening it’s the person who is charge’s game to lose.
- I had no answer to a couple of Derrick’s units. The Doom Scythe single handedly destroyed half my army which included 5 of my 8 vehicles. The only unit I had that could do anything against it was my Razorwing and I had the choice to either a) go for the objective or b) try to kill something killing my tanks in the background. When looking back at this game I don’t think I could have made a correct choice. I also just couldn’t kill the Grey Knight Terminators. They just lived through everything and eventually claimed the objective for the win. The last was the Scarabs who managed to gain 3 kill points including winning combat against my warriors by 1 (I did no wounds to his 1 wound) and then the Scarabs RAN MY WARRIORS DOWN! Derrick said before we rolled “I need to roll a 6 and you need to roll a 2” and wouldn’t you know…that is literally what we rolled. Sigh.

Final Result: Major Loss: I went from getting the full 25pts the previous game to 0 points this game and that hurt, a lot. My major flaw this game was being too passive which kept me out of position. For some reason I was really worried about what 3 Wraiths would do to my army instead of getting in his face and contesting that objective right from the start. He also played the game very well and made very few mistakes. He used his distraction units really well and was always focused on the objective and it was odd for me NOT to be focused on it since that has been my Mantra for the last two years. Even though the easy thing to do might be to point to some seriously sketchy dice rolls here and there as to why I lost I can’t really when looking at the other factors. Quite simply I got outplayed.

Game 4: Dark Eldar vs. Space Marines

The mission was 6 evenly space objectives in the middle of the board with the deployment zones being short table edge to short table edge (so the outflanking edges would be the long table edge. All the objectives were in no man’s land in the middle of the board. The regular night fighting rules for the standard missions were in effect. The twist of this match was that the table was suffering from psychic overload so every army, regardless of what it was got to turn one of their HQ into a level 1 psyker, gain d3 cards from one discipline and turn their main weapon into a force weapon. You can imagine how silly it was having a HAEMONCULI PSYKER running around with a force dagger. I can just imagine my Haemonculi running around the board swinging his dagger around screaming “Stop laughing and DIE!!!”

Adam’s Space Marines:

Captain - jump pack, artificer armor, thunder hammer

Sternguard (10)
Iron Clad Dread - 2 hunter killer missiles, hurricane pattern bolter

2 x Tactical Squad (10) - sergent w/ power axe, Lascannon, melta
Scouts (5) - sergent w/ melta bomb\

Fast Attack
Land Speeder Storm

Heavy Support
Thunderfire Cannon - Tech Marine

*As the ringer I didnt get a chance to photograph his army*

Hi Points:
- For the 5th game in a row I lost the roll to go first and Adam’s Thunderfire Cannon was licking its chops to start shooting down my skimmers. We also didn’t get night fight so no defense to be had there. So I grabbed my D6 right before the game started and threw down a mighty 6 to steal the initiative lol
- In my initiative stolen turn I managed to knock out most of Adams AT, take out the speeder and pin the scouts and get into position on the landing pad in the middle of the table.
- After turbo boosting turn 1 with the Wyches and my Haemonculi Psyker got into a scrum with a 5 man combat squad. They threw some blows back and forth until they were joined by the Captain with this “Force Thunderhammer”. He lay down a challenge so I accepted with my non psyker Haemonculi. He pounded the Haemonculi into oblivion and then activated his force hammer taking a wound due to perils lol (I know you probably can’t use it on something you already killed, but whatever, still funny). Then the commander got bogged down by 5 wyches who eventually whittled him down and killed him leaving 3 left and my general who in classic dark elder fashion ignored every challenge request thrown his way lol.
- My shooting in general this game was incredibly effective. Everything from my Razorwing getting two direct hits with its first salvo of Monoscythe missiles (so 22 hits plus the 2 dark lances) to my army converging on a deep striking unit of Assault Marines and killing all but one the turn after they landed.

Low Points:
-  Like the game against Jason it was very lop sided. I crippled most of his shooting by turn 2 and then it was just a game of mopping up. Adam was an amazing sport though as I don’t know if I would have taken that drubbing as well as he did.

Final Result: Major Victory: Me stealing the initiative sealed Adams fate. I was able to land a crippling blow in the first two turns eliminating all his long range anti tank. By the end of turn 2 there were no anti tank weapons left and he only managed to fire the thunderfire cannon once. As I mentioned before despite how the game went Adam was a great guy and I would happily play him again

Final Tournament Result: 3rd Overall and Best Painted: I knew the second the 3rd game ended I was out of the running for best overall. Getting 0 points in a 4 game tournament just seals your fate. The crazy thing though is I still tied for second overall in battle points with 37 (Derrick came first with 40) so even if I tied or heck, got some of the secondary objectives, I would probably have won the entire tournament.

Tournament Thoughts: I love going to tournaments run by the owner of Imaginary Wars. Always really balanced, interesting scenarios that really help you think about more than just kill points. They had great terrain on all the tables and achieved the min 25% coverage which for me is HUGE. Despite a slow start and a few late comers they did a great job keeping the tournament on schedule and even managed to finish almost 30mins early which my wife greatly appreciated. Another thing they did that I love was give good sized gift cards to the winners (best painted, best overall, etc) and then gave everyone who attended gift cards based on how many secondary objectives they claimed. That is a super classy thing to do and something I feel is great for creating a more “fun” environment at tournaments as winning becomes less of a “only thing that matters” type deal.

As far as the people I played I would happily play everyone again (except that Jason guy…such a jerk!). Another thing that really impressed me was the quality of painting for such a small event. I gave everyone at least 5 out of 10 with most being higher than that which is fantastic and makes me feel even better about winning best painted.

Here are the other armies that were at the tournament:

 *arrrg! my eyes!*

 *yes...those are monoliths*

 *Sasha's beautiful Demon army, also won first overall*

Next Up: A recap article on Dark Eldar and my thoughts so far on 6th ed now that I finally have a tournament under my belt!


Minijunkie said...

Great summary, sounds fun - I'm envious of Calgary for having Imaginary Wars there :)

I was really struck by the quality of the photos you posted - did you use a smartphone or an actual digital camera?

Wallshammer said...

Ya know, I don't think Daemons can fly when they deepstrike since deepstriking already counts as moving.

I know that's an interpretation a lot of guys use on me and my daemons.

Regardless, great write up and a great looking tourney!

Rathstar said...

Great write, and congrats on the best painted and 3rd overall.

I'm looking forward to you 6th edition thoughts on DE.


Adam said...

Nice write up, in hindsight I dont think I would have done well against your army regardless of the scenario, you had the exact kind of list I cant deal with. Still it was fun enough, and its fine to loss when you're the ringer (whats to get mad about?) in the end i felt kind bad for dishing a 25-0 loss onto kevin in the third round, so the game with you I guess was my cumuppance

Anonymous said...

Great write up, Mike!

When we (Scott and myself) were comping the lists, we too were surprised by just how competitive everyone's lists were (which just makes it so that comp scores barely count for the tournament--which is the ideal, regardless of how casual or competitive the event is).

I'm really glad you had such a good time! (And by the sounds of it, everyone had a great time)! It means a lot to me that I can run a humble 12-14 person event and have it that no-one considers it more of a "pretend" tournament than anything else.

Thanks again for coming!

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