Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winter War is Upon us!!!

Over the weekend I attended a 20 person tournament at a local game store. The tournament was 1500pts and allowed Forgeworld (40k approved), Allies and Fortifications with no comp scores which meant no limitations. I know for many of you this might sound like a nightmare situation when going to a tourney because you will expect to see the most heinous, “Ard Boyz” type lists imaginable. I personally had a totally different take on it. In my opinion 6th ed is so new who is to say what is overpowered and what isn’t? What type of list is “offensive” and what isn’t? It’s just so early in the edition everyone is still learning how to play it so penalizing players for trying things out doesn’t see right to me. When I talked to the organizer and he said he just wanted to open the doors to everything and see how the chips fell as this was his first 6th ed tourney and I think that was the perfect way to go. You know the funny thing is? This tourney was one of the most balanced, evenly represented tournaments I had been too lol. There were no “Ard Boy” type lists at all which was great. Even though people had the option to bring any Forgeworld nasty to the table they didn’t. Good to see that putting faith in your gaming community pays off once and a while lol. 

I decided now that I had 6 games under my belt with my Necrons it was time to try them out in a tournament setting. As I mentioned in my last major post about them I have had a decent amount of success with my army. I did make a couple of small changes to my list (took out the Tesseract Labyrinth on my Overlord in exchange for the Phaeron upgrade for example) to make it slightly more flexible. After doing the tourney I really enjoyed all my changes and I am happy I made them. I didn’t take allies as Necrons can’t allies with Eldar and Dark Eldar while Tyranids cant ally with anyone. I also don’t have any Forgeworld for them or any Fortifications painted up. So, without further adieu here is the list I took:

Disclaimer: I was having serious issues with my Camera (specially I dont know how to use it lol) so the pics are crap
Overlord - warscythe, mindshackle scarabs, phaeron, rez orb
Royal Court
Transmorfigation Cryptek - tremor staff, seismic crucible
Destruction Cryptek - eldritch lance, solar pulse
Despair Crytpek - staff of light, veil of darkness

Triach Stalker - heat ray

20 Warriors - (despair cryptek)
9 Warriors - ghost ark (destruction cryptek)
10 Immortals - tesla carbines, night scythe (transmorfigation cryptek)

Fast Attack
3 Tomb Blade - particle beamers
Heavy Support
2 x Annihilation Barges - tesla destructors, tesla cannons

Game 1: Necrons vs. Eldar - Crusade!
The first game was against a really nicely painted Eldar army owned by a fellow named Will Dodds. Our mission was Crusade (4 objectives) playing from short edge to short edge. When looking at his army I knew the key will be to try to pull his assault forces to my side of the table then veil in behind him to remove his Rangers and Guardians camping his objectives. I knew for Will it would be a very up-hill battle this game for him just based on the age of the Codices (I tried playing my Eldar a month ago..was beyond brutal lol).

Will’s Eldar

Farseer - singing spear, runes of warding, witnessing, fortune and guide

10 Striking Scorpions - exarch w/ claw, move through cover

10 Dire Avengers - exarch w/ dual catapults, blade storm, wave serpent w/ twin linked eldar missile launchers
11 Storm Guardians - 2 flamers, warlock w/ destructor, wave serpent w/ twin linked eldar missile launcher
10 Defender Guardians - scatter laser
5 Rangers

Heavy Support
Wraithlord - bright lance, wraithsword
3 War Walkers - dual scatter lasers

Hi Points:
- I got my first kill with the Tesla Destructors “Arc” special rule. I shot the Night Scythe at his Guardians and then it Arc’d over to his last immobilized War Walker, blowing it to bits. Twas awesome.
- After a VERY near mishap with my veiling squad (I will get to that in low points lol) my 20 man Warrior squad cleared Will’s entire backfield of defenders. I even managed to draw his Wraithlord completely out of position because he totally forgot they could teleport.
- This one was something that Will did but I had to include it because it was so awesome (its two parts). The first part is every single vehicle Will beat armor on…he rolled a “6” for damage. EVERY ONE lol. The second part is in a last ditch effort to destroy the Night Scythe he “Guided” the Singing Spear on his spear wielding Farseer and then threw it at the flyer. Of course he rolled a “6” to hit on the first try, beat armor, I failed my “Jink” save and of course, he rolled a “6” for damage. We both just kind of looked stunned lol.
- The Blob Squad proved it is Unkillable yet again. Will fired at them a bunch of times and the net result was no damage (ended the game with 20 models out of 20). This is including being hit by some guided War Walkers at full strength. The Warriors went on to kill 2 units holding objectives and killing Will’s Warlord (he charged me in an effort to make sure I couldn’t veil back onto one of his objectives and get line breaker).

Low Points:
- As I mentioned earlier, I placed my Veiling model in the backfield of Wills army, measured out something like 13” in each direction to avoid a mishap then rolled an “11” and an arrow DIRECTLY towards the board edge. After placing my models down (no way I was going to mishap without giving it the old college try) I managed to BARELY fit them on the board. If I had literally 2 more models they would of misshaped. Only against Eldar would this have happened as they are my BANE lol.
- With 2 turns left in the game I decided I would risk another jump. I placed the Veiling model within Will’s Deployment Zone for Linebreaker and I then Scattered RIGHT BACK 10” into the center of the board lol.
- I shot up Will’s War Walkers, blowing up 2 and immobilizing the last (he made a couple good cover saves). That lone War Walker in one inspired round of shooting then gunned down my 3 Tomb Blades lol.

Final Result: Victory! I ended the game holding two objectives to 0. Near the start of the game I managed to blow up both of his Wave Serpents limiting his mobility with his troop squads (Dire Avengers and Storm Guardians). At that point he had already committed to going after my objectives. He kept his Avatar “Fortuned” for the first couple turns and I just ignored it till he got out of range of the Farseer. Once he was on his own I just pumped everything into him killing him and the Scorpions which were the last remaining units on my half of the board. I also managed First Blood and Slay the Warlord which earned me 2 of the 3 Secondary Objectives.
Game 2: Necrons vs. Nurgle Demons w/ Chaos Space Marine Allies - Purge the Alien!
They list off the pairings and wouldn’t you know I was up against my good friend Jason Hall. This is a very similar list to what he ran against my Dark Eldar at the last tournament I went to. Luckily for him my army wasn’t nothing but poison so his Toughness 5 (or higher) might actually mean something. Jason has done a lot of work on this army with some great conversions and really smart additions of non-GW models into units like Nurglings which give it a fantastic look (he won best painted). Setting up against the army was a joy unto itself as he didn’t compromise by adding units from other gods. ALL NURGLE, ALL THE TIME! I love it. Like whenever you play against an Epidemus list the only thing that matters is killing him because if you let that Tally get out of control the army just becomes unkillable (3+ FNP on T5 models? Ugh). So I figured if I can take him down quickly then I would stand a good chance against the rest of his army.
Jason’s Nurgle Horde (Chaos Demon = CD, Chaos Space Marine = CSM)

CD - Epidemus
CSM - Chaos Sorcerer - level 3 (2 biomancy powers, 1 nurgle)

CD - 2 x 9 Nurglings
CD - 2 x 5 Plague Bearers - 1 icon each
CSM - 2 x 5 Plague Marines - flamer, melta gun

Fast Attack
CSM - 3 Chaos Spawn - mark of nurgle

Heavy Support
CD - Demon Prince - mark of nurgle, iron hide
CSM - 3 Obliterators - mark of nurgle

Hi Points:
- Mission Accomplished: Basically, Epidemus came in turn 2 with his pack of 9 nurgling bases (so, 27 wounds to go through BEFORE I can even start on him). It was looking a bit grim until Jason made one fatal error…he totally forgot to run the squad. So, my Tomb Blades with their str 6, ap5 blast weapons did just a horrendous amount of damage. They managed to kill 4 bases by themselves. I put almost my entire army worth of shooting into them and after all said and done I finished him off.
- His Sorcerer kept cursing my Necron squad reducing their strength and toughness (#2 on the chart) and he was bearing down on them with his Spawn (which he kept endurance up on so they had FNP). I managed to intercept the Spawn with my Triarch Stalker. They couldn’t hurt him being AV 13 on his front armor and they couldn’t run away because they were fearless. The beauty of this is Jason had to dedicate quite a bit of recourses just to free them up which took away from his ability to beat down the heart of my army.

Low Points:
- I managed to do one of the most bone headed moves I have done in a LONG time. I initially moved one of my Annihilation Barges into a decent firing position which happened to be in difficult terrain. After doing some shooting I realized that the Chaos Spawn where going to be free to charge my 20 man warrior squad. So I thought it would be a good idea to intercept them and cut off their charge lane with my Barge. So I moved it and promptly rolled a 1 so it blew itself up giving Jason a kill point lol. The dumbest thing about it all is if I just FIRED it at the Spawn they would have been out of range lol.
- Just due to the nature of how each army played Jason just wasn’t having any fun at all. After Epidemus took a dirt nap it we both just ended up playing through the motions of the game. Didn’t help that ANYTHING Jason tried to do just failed (like failing a 5” charge with his second group of Nurglings on my Jetbikes). I hate games that go like this.

Final Result: Victory! I managed 5 kill points to 2. My speed and the ability to keep maximum firepower going while moving sealed this game. I also had some of the sneakier choices I made with my list actually matter. At one point Jason tried assault my Immortal Squad with the Transmorgification Cryptek and was put out of range by the Seismic Crucible (reduced his charge range by 3”…which is rough when you are 8” away).  I was able to neutralize all the biggest threats early which was partially due to that Jason’s secondary wave came in instead of his primary. I also managed First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker on this one to earn me max points going into the last round.
 Game 3: Necrons vs. Tzeentch Demons - The Scouring
Up to this point my friend Scott has had a pretty easy run of it. He scored 25-0 on his first game against a very mobile Eldar army and then tabled a Crimson Fist player in his second game to earn another 25-0 Victory. At this point he literally had max battle points (I wasn’t far off as I had 46 out of 50). Going into this tournament both Scott and I knew we would be facing each other in the final round. We had a test game a couple weeks ago that was incredibly bloody which ended in a tie and we both knew this one would be a duplicate of that game. Scott’s army is one of the single hardest armies to plan for in this game. With the recent White Dwarf Update for Demons it has turned the Flamers and Screamers into the two most powerful units in the game hands down. The first time we played I split my army up so he couldn’t focus fire into any one spot on the board. It worked really well and if I had just placed my units a bit better I would have won that game. This time I tried castling in a corner, protecting myself against the flamers with my vehicles in hopes of scoring First Blood since the secondary objectives are just as important as the primary.
Scott's Demons Tzeentch Demons
Lord of Change - bolt of tzeentch, breath of chaos

3 x 4 Flamers

3 x 9 Horrors of Tzeentch - bolt of tzeentch, 1 unit with the changling

Fast Attack
9 Screamers

Heavy Support
Demon Prince - Wings, iron hide, bolt of tzeentch, breath of chaos

Hi Points:
- I managed to get that elusive “First Blood”. With the way I set my army up and it being in the corner I greatly limited where Scott could deep strike and do damage. The best he could do was roll a hit and get 2 Annihilation Barges under the 3 templates (doing 1 hull point each to each tank). I then gunned down that small flamer squad
- I had a crippling round of shooting after things got going. Scott initially deep struck his Screamers fairly far away to wait for the rest of his army to show up so he could hit me with a couple things at once. He then turbo boosted them into a great spot to set up a huge charge the following turn. I then moved literally every unit I had into position to take them out. I also had to deal with 2 more flamer squads which meant if I dedicated everything to it I would suffer at the hands of the flamers. So, with some inspired shooting from the Immortals (10 shots rolled 4 x 6s which meant 12 hits with those 4 shots alone) as well as more exceptional rolling from the Annihilation barges I actually killed 8 screamers in one shot. My blob squad reduced the one flamer squad to 1 while my Stalker dropped the 3rd squad down to 2. I greatly surprised Scott by charging the flamers with the 20 man squad (I literally gave my Lord Phaeron for this sole purpose) and did the same with the Stalker on the other flamers. So, once the dust settled I managed to rid Scott of 2 units of flamers and a full unit of Screamers in 1 round. VERY proud of that.

Low Points:
- Due to the success of the previous round of shooting/combat I started to almost forget the objective. So, near the end of the game I moved my immortals somewhat close to an objective on the far side of the board so I only had about 2 models within 3”. Scott moved up some horrors to contest then managed just two casualties which put me less than a centimeter out of range to contest the objective. Depending on how others did in their final round this move would potentially could come back to haunt me.

Final Result: Tie! Due to my horrible placement with my Immortals I gave Scott 2 bonus points putting his objective points at 6 while I was sitting at 5. I DID manage to kill his Screamers though for the bonus point since they were fast attack which ended up putting me to 6, squeaking out the tie. There were a couple things I noticed about this game when I reflected on it. The main one was once I killed the screamers and two units of flamers it really knocked Scott off his game. He almost gave up at that point which I found strange since he still could have had 3 objectives and both his Monstrous Creatures were alive in my deployment zone. If he kept on me and focused on my main Troop Squad he easily would have won the game. As it stood though because he didn’t press fast enough I was able to get another round or two of shooting which dropped his Demon Prince and almost killed his Lord of Change. The other thing could of held true for me as well. For some reason I DIDN’T go after his Horrror Squads with my blob squad. Around turn 4 I should of Veiled to the other side of the board, putting my blob squad out of reach for his Monstrous Creatures while at the same time removing his ability to capture objectives. It was a game of inches and tiny mistakes. The game was super close and my best game of the day.
Final Tournament Result: 1st Overall! Scott and I almost managed to completely knock each other off the top spot. Due to decent painting scores and sports scores we managed to finish 1st and 2nd (he was 2 points behind me).  Because Scott was on the low end of our Tie he also managed to finish 4 points back of best general (which is the same amount of points of one secondary objective). I was really impressed with the quality of armies there too. There were a good 5 or 6 that easily could of won best painted.

Final Thoughts: 

The Tournament: So after the smoke settled for the day I noticed some trends for army selection. For instance there were 5 Imperial Guard armies and 4 of them were almost carbon copies of each other (even a IG with Sisters allies list). It was like someone had a check list and was like “Defense Line? Check. 2 Flyers? Check. At least one blob squad? Check” which was a bit disappointing. One other thing that was funny was that the Imperial Guard where the ONLY armies to take a fortification. I was REALLY surprised to see 3 Eldar players there and no Nids, Orks, Tau, Blood angels, Black Templars or Space Wolves. IG definitely seems to be the “IT” list right now.
Overall it was run really well. All the scores were super transparent which is great. After our armies were judged for painting the TO actually gave you your score card so you know exactly how you did and why you got the score you did (it was a checklist). Everything was like that which I think is totally the way to go. Allowing everything in the game was also another great choice in my opinion and due to how few issues there were I think it’s a pretty solid argument to just let players bring what they want with no penalties. They also had a great amount of terrain which is how 40k needs to be played, at least 25% coverage. I will 100% be going to any future events.
Necrons: I went out of my way to make more of a balanced list when playing my Necrons and so far it’s been really working for me (9 games, 7 wins, 2 ties). My list had a large amount of incredibly durable troops, some anti air, and a large number of AV 13 vehicles. I had my army set up to deal with most threats on account of how tricky the list is with upgrades like the Veil of Darkness, the Seismic Crucible and a Solar Pulse. It made for a really fun army for me to play as it works with all my strengths as a player. I was also proud that even though I went second in all my games (well, against a pure Demon list you are always going second lol) I never once gave up First Blood. The key to this was my Solar Pulse. Killing AV 13 Vehicles with an at WORST a 4+ save is very difficult and since it only lasts the player turn I am firing back with no penalties. It’s even better if the first turn is night fight because that gives me two full turns with improved cover saves which is hopefully enough time for me to cripple key parts of my enemies army. I am going to start trying new units and combos though as I am getting very comfortable with what this army can do. I want to start changing things up, trying new combos, seeing which units I haven’t tried yet are worth trying. I recently picked up 7 Lycheguard (with shields), 6 Wraiths, 5 destroyers and another 24 warriors not to mention the Scarabs and 3 Tomb Spiders. So I have lots of options to play with.

Last but not least here are some pics of the armies at the tournament:


greedo said...

Nice report man. Looks like a sweet tourney, and the no cheese factor was welcome..

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