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Sunday, February 21, 2016

The February Tournament (2016)

Hey there Chaos followers and sycophants! Welcome to yet another (ugh) edition of Chaos Corner. It's been a busy hobby time for me these past few days- I have had a work break, allowing me to do more modelling, painting, and why yes, even gaming. The truth is I don't get to game as much as I'd like- but that's the way it goes. However, this weekend was a tournament at my local, and I had the opportunity to partake.

This tournament was different in a few ways. First, we were limited to 1,000 points- and then we were randomly assigned allies. In a strange twist, I was teamed up with my friend Brian. What?! The gentleman running the tournament swore that it was done randomly on his Excel program. I believe him- but seriously, what are the chances? LOL. So it was my Cult  Mechanicus with Oathsworn Knight alongside Brian's Ultramarines (which are MY Ultramarines, FYI).

Second, the tournament was set up for 3 rounds. The ranking was based on how many points your side could achieve. This was done in a very interesting way (inspired by one of the bigger tournaments whose name I can't remember). Basically, you could achieve the primary objective in one of two ways- you had to choose before setting up (and then announce it at the start of turn 1). There were also a set of 10 secondary objectives- you chose 3, and announced them at the start of turn 1. I have never played with this format before. It was a little confusing at first- but once we got going it got quite clear, and was a lot of fun.

First, I have to say that we had some nice battlefield terrain. My local had a terrain building session several weeks ago. I was unable to attend, but I donated some of the GW building sprues from the big box set that I still have. The terrain was a mix of old stuff and these newly built pieces. Overall, there were some really nice pieces on the tables. One that stood out was a set of pieces that had Tyranid spores consuming/dissolving things- built with foam and toothpicks for the "teeth". The other really nice piece (that we didn't get to play on sadly) had a huge sectional piece that had a large cliff and plateau - and a bunker at the bottom. Awesome piece. Finally, one of the guys had brought in their Fantasy Realm of Battle Board, painted up to be a desert wasteland. The glowing skulls were a really nice touch. This was to be the site of our first match.

Ultramarines and the Mechanicus prepare to wage war as allies to the Omnissiah

So, I was now teamed up with Brian, and we are about to square off against an unholy alliance of Necrons and Dark Angels (bike and terminator heavy). The game did not go well for me and Brian for several reasons. First, like I am sure all of you are aware, Necron Reanimation Protocols suck. Seriously. I don't know how many my Grav Cannons killed- but the Reanimation made it seem like NONE died at all. I have used the Mech army twice- and against that many gravs most things don't stand a chance (unless they are armor 5-6). Ugh.

Necrons and their Reanimation... UGH.

The Dark Angels also had some crazy invul saves, negating the usefulness of my Grav and the Imperial Knight's Gatling Avenger. Last, Brian and I did not cooperate as well as we could have. He deployed his Marines out of their Rhinos and ended up blocking my shots and giving cover saves for firing through our own men. Then, his Rhinos also caused a bit of a traffic jam, slowing down our movement (I guess the "free Rhino" thing has some limits then after all?).

This would ultimately become a huge traffic jam. Where's General Patton when you need him?

The most humiliating thing was when Necron Scarabs got in and charged my Knight. The truth is, this is only my second game USING a Knight, and I didn't know all the Super-Heavy rules. Should his swarms have been smashed or not? I wasn't sure. It took 2 turns of combat to get rid of them.

Shameful indeed for  Knight Vindicta
Hehe... You said "Cocked"...

However, it wasn't all bad. We all had a laugh when the Necon player rolled a dice and it got "cocked", standing on edge on the table- it was at such a great angle- even as we lost, we could chuckle at that sight. Further, Brain and I did manage to gain SOME of the secondary points. My Knight destroyed a Dark Angels Land Speeder, which we had nominated as a High Value Target. The DA player had kept him hidden, but grew too confident and brought him out to play (though, the rest of the game gave him lots of reason to be confident). My Gatling Avenger made short work of the Land Speeder- a slight triumph for us.

The Land Speeder that was our High Value Target
Ultimately, we got wrecked. And, sadly, the entire match felt like we didn't stand a chance. Between Reanimation, re-roll of invuls for DA bikes, and my team's lack of cooperation, I don't mind losing- but I want to feel that the battle was hard fought and close till the end. We didn't get that at all. On the flip side, I don't enjoy winning by tabling my opponent in turn 2 either- that may be a "victory", but not a fun game.

The Terminators mop up after the Necrons- HERESY!

As we broke for lunch (some tasty pizza), Brian and I regrouped. We discussed ways to improve our coordination. We decided that we would talk before we started moving models, making sure fire lanes were open, and that we could move without getting in each others way. Funny enough, since I introduced Brian to the hobby, we have ALWAYS been opponents. This was the first time we had to cooperate. And our first opponents presented a steep learning curve (he has never faced Necrons before, FYI).

Onto the second match. This was on the field that had Tyranid digestion pools, which I really liked. Our opponents were once again an Unholy Alliance of Chaos Daemons and Dark Angels (Ravenwing... are you sensing a pattern here). They were lead by Sammael and Fateweaver. The Dark Angels were nicely painted, and Fateweaver had a nice conversion- a "crystal ball" was placed in his hand.

We just couldn't get Fateweaver down
This time, Brian and I cooperated much better, combining our fire on targets to make sure they were DEAD. In our first round, we shot the heck out of a squad of Screamers, whom we nominated as the High Value Target (gaining us that second objective and First Blood). The DA bikes posed a problem initially, but as Brian and I combined our strength, even their re-roll invuls couldn't save them.

Dark Angel Ravenwing Column Advances
Our opponents got in their licks too though. Fateweaver was flying high, and my Icarus Cannon just couldn't tackle him. Fateweaver then proceeded to rain Psychic attacks down on our troops, destroying Rhinos and harassing the men (he also killed their High Value Targets, which were a group of my Kataphron Destroyers). The enemy Soul Grinder also did its thing, lobbing its Phlegm attacks onto exposed Marines. Lastly, arriving Dark Angel flyers did some damage as well.

Ravenwing Bikers make their way down to the advancing Ultramarines
Ultimately, Brain and I were winning, whittling down their forces at a faster rate. The final decision came at the center of the table. The objective was worth 5 points- and Brian and I had selected the secondary objective that requires a Warlord to be near the center of the table. The Dark Angels swooped in with bikes and Sammael, hoping to clear the Ultramarine captain and his squad off. Unfortunately for the DA, their initial strength had been dwindled due to my Grav Cannons, so there were fewer of them.

"Rampaging Knight kills Sammael. Film at 11"

The DA player  rolled pretty badly in that combat, killing none of Brian's Marines. However, this could have been a long drawn out fight. So, I charged my Knight in. The Knight cut through the rest of the bikers. All that was left was Sammael. So, I rolled to stomp. I only rolled for 1 stomp. Would 1 be enough. I rolled on the Stomp chart- I got a 6!! Sammael had no chance and was basically stomped to death by a rampaging Imperial Knight. With him gone, we certainly had the center of the table- and with a Knight standing by, there was nothing else they could do.

Brain and I won. Points wise it was close, but it was clearly our win. The game was a lot of fun with lots of back and forth. Our opponents were very good sportsmen, laughing at our foibles as well as their own- such as when Fateweaver suffered Perils of the Warp. A great game with lots of laughs, and fought well till the end. For my team, it seemed that Brian and I had found our groove.

Saruman wasn't kidding when he said "Two Towers"...

So- now to our third match. This battlefield's distinguishing feature was the two towers on a hill in the middle of the battlefield. Our opponent had a problem. His partner had to leave, so he was on his own. To compensate, the TO jumped in with his (guess) ... Ravenwing Dark Angels. Wow- I guess I know what the Meta is at this place! Anyway, he had Ravenwing Bikes, 3 Land Speeders (each as a separate unit, one with Melta) and a Fire Raptor Gunship from Forgeworld (a beautiful model- and quite deadly). Our other opponent was just a vanilla Space Marine list.  Nothing fancy, but enough to be a challenge.

The Tech-Priest guards the objective
The game started off with Night Fight- this didn't hurt too  much, as we were deployed basically in table corners and too far away to hit anything turn 1. Starting turn 2, we began firing on the Space Marine player, again wiping out our HVT (A Rhino). We already had 3 objectives, and thought we could prevent the SM player from getting the Relic in the middle (which THEY chose to treat as a stationary obj for their victory requirement). However, bottom of turn 2, the Dark Angels made their appearance. Bikes and Land Speeders came in from the flanks. One squad (with the librarian) came on next to me- my Tech Priest and Destroyer unit were in trenches with the objective. Luckily, I knew this was a possibility, and I had selected the Canticles that ended up giving me Stealth and Shrouded (my warlord trait allowed the Tech Priest and his unit to enjoy the highest bonus on the Canticles). The bikers shot everything they had (plasma mostly), but thanks to the Canticles I was unharmed.

The Fire Raptor enters the field

Meanwhile, the Fire Raptor came in. I used my Knight's Icarus Cannon to intercept. I manged to take a Hull Point and Make him fire snap shots. He vowed revenge. His Land Speeders did just that, assailing my Knight from 2 directions. My Knight was down to 3 Hull Points. Meanwhile, try as we might, we just couldn't clear the Space Marines from the table center- it was happening, but not fast enough it seemed.

Trying to clear the Space Marines from the center objective
On turn 3 (the final turn, due to time constraints) Brian and I went all out. Ultramarines and Destroyers firing at the approaching bikers. Using Canticle that re rolls misses, my Grav managed to kill the librarian and final bikers, thus eliminating the threat. The TO recognized that this hurt them, as did the fact that Brian managed to get into the relic thus contesting (both Marine forces having obj secured). I also had my Knight charge the nearest Land Speeder (the Melta) and cleaved it in twain.

The Ravenwing Bikers were destroyed by mass Grav fire- despite their re-roll Invuls

In the final analysis, they won by 1 point. However, the TO noted that if the game had gone on another turn or 2, it would have been a different story. The Knight was still functioning and would have done lots of damage to the Space Marine units. Further, I still had 2 squads of Grav Destroyers that would ruin anybody's day. So, while we lost by 1, Brian and I felt good about the match nevertheless. The Space Marine player was friendly and laid back. The TO was in it to win, but he was also a lot of fun- bellowing (humorously) that he would get revenge on my Knight for his temerity in shooting his Fire Raptor. A great match, and a great way to end the Tournament.

A fun day was certainly had. On a side note, we had a contest for best painted model. With a tie breaking vote from one of the store employees, my Tech Priest Dominus won best painted model. I was very happy and honored. There were lots of good looking models on the tables though- and that was awesome.

Well, this has been a long blog, but I wanted to get in as many of the details as I could remember before I forgot them.

Until Next Time

1 comment:

  1. Congrats man on your best painted model win! Looks like you had fun on the table too. It's great when an opponent can laugh at his own misfortune. It just spells fun. :)