Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Well I Suck, But in a Good Way!


The FLGS-South had it's tourney this last Saturday. They had 36 people show up to play 40K, which was 16 more than had signed up the previous Sunday. I don't know how many of those extra 16 players were walk-ins, but I know that Buckler was very surprised at the great turnout. Fortunately, he and his team were well prepared. So we had relatively few problems, apart from finding the place. Google was NOT helpful.

All of the missions were objective based. With some bonus objectives thrown in to provide opportunities for extra points. In all, I felt that the missions were very solid, and I had no complaints while playing them. Though I do hope that Buckler follows up on his plans to have more original scenarios for the next mixed objective/KP tourney.

Here's the list I took:

HQ
135 Company Command Squad w/Lascannon, 2 x Plasma, Krak Grenades, Astropath, Fleet Officer

Troops
135 Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Lascannon
135 Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Lascannon
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)
155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Flamer)

Fast Attack
150 3 Scout Sentinels w/Autocannons
145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta
145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta

Heavy Support
180 Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Lascannon
165 Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Hull Lascannon

Game One - Tyrannids
5 Objectives - Dawn of War Deployment

My first game was against a shooty Tyrannid army in a dawn of war setup with 5 objectives. I'll call him Nidkid. He was fun to play, and seemed like a good guy, but I did have some problems with him that I'll go into a bit further down.

I rolled first turn, so I set up my HQ and 2 Las/Plas foot vet squads in the center of the board about 12" in. My plan was to lure him into concentrating his advance on the center, where I would shoot him to bits before advancing on his objectives. Depending on which side he favored, I would run one of those foot vet squads either left or right during the late game. While my Chimeras and Hellhounds would try and take/contest one or both of his corners.


This plan worked almost perfectly. He deployed his Hive Tyrant with 2 Tyrant Guards and a unit of gaunts right on the other side of the center ruins. When my tanks rolled on, I massacred him. The Hellhounds took care of the gaunts. While my Las/Plas squads took his Tyrant down. I'm sure Farmpunk can sympathize. :)

On his first turn, he brought on 4 Carnifexes and two units of warriors. He also brought on 3 more units of gaunts. One of which grabbed the objective on his left, leaving 2 units of gaunts to grab the objective on his right. That's when things got nice and killy. I was dropping warriors and carnifexes left and right with my Tanks and Sentinels. I just decimated his center. And this is where things get complicated. Because Nidkid was playing his shooty Carnifex on the right all wrong.

This didn't come out until after the game, when I was talking about NidKid's tactics to some other guys from the south store. He had bought two barbed stranglers for his shooty 'Fex. But he was using them to shoot twice, while the Tyrannid codex says that buying two weapons makes them twin-linked. So he was throwing 2 twin-linked pie plates per turn at my infantry in the center from the same 'Fex. Which ran my command squad off the board and killed the other two squads outright.

Now Nidkid thought that the codex rule had been updated in a FAQ to allow this, although he didn't have a printout of it with him. Buckler however, did. And after consulting it, the general consensus was that the FAQ allowed you to fire 2 weapons separately only if the weapons themselves were twin-linked to begin with.


So... see those two dice by the big rock on my side of the board? Nidkid and I decided afterward that there should have been at least one surviving troop squad there. Now back to the game.

Turn 5 came, and I wasn't quite done killing 'Fexes yet. So instead of running full-speed at the left objective with both Chimeras, I held back and shot up the lone Carnifex on that side. I ran my headless Hellhound right up in front of the Carnifex on the right. Hoping to either block a charge to protect my foot vets, or run right past him in the next turn to contest his objective on my right.

The left-hand HTH 'Fex survived the melta onslaught with one wound left and ate a vet squad after one of Nidkid's Zoanthropes finally popped the Chimera nearest to him. The shooty 'Fex on the right simply side-stepped the Hellhound and shot up my foot vets with the illegal dual-twin-linked pie plates. However, I was still in a position to pull a draw or a minor win by running the Hellhound at full speed into the right objective, and by running the Chimera on the left up into his gaunts on the right. With the "correction" we agreed upon later, that would have been an assured minor win with a chance of a major win.

But, the end of the turn came and he rolled a "2". Game over. Major (later corrected to minor) win for him. (Sigh) That's how it goes. I gambled and lost. NidKid would go on to have his rear handed to him by Farmpunk in the next round.

List-wise I started wishing at this point I'd had a couple more Chimeras to bring along. Even if only to run them forward empty to block with. I usually use the Sentinels for that, but they were doing such a good job killing warriors that I didn't want to stop and bring them over to provide cover from his shooty Carni until it was too late to protect them.

Result: Minor Loss

Game Two - Space Marines
2 Objectives - Spearhead Deployment

It's kind of odd how Farmpunk and I traded opponents in these first two rounds. Anyway, Ship and I went at it in a spearhead deployment. I failed the roll for first turn, but he decided to let me go first anyway. So I put the foot vets, Sentinels, and Russes on the board, with the Chimeras and Hellhounds in reserve. Once again, I killed a Thunderfire cannon with my first shot of the game. Some day maybe I'll get to see one in action. :)


The rest of the battle was razor-edged. You can see the parking lot of dead and immobilized armor that wound up in the middle of the table. The game came down to one unit of marines on his objective vs. one unit of dismounted Melta Vets on mine. Both his unit and mine ran once and managed to rally back to the objective. Finally, on the bottom of the 7th turn, he managed to make my guys run off the board. I made a last ditch attempt on turn 8 to run my Demolisher at top speed towards his objective to contest it, but the darn thing immobilized itself on the dead Sentinels in front of it. I then fired everything I had left at his two remaining marines, but I rolled ones to wound with my lascannons and the Demolisher cannon scattered wide. He was safe.

My earlier yearnings for more Chimeras now intensified. There was area cover on my side of the board, but it wasn't in places that I could effectively fire from. To get effective fire-lanes for my lascannons, I had to put my foot vets out in the open on the right, where they were killed off by bolter and autocannon fire by turn 4. It got so bad that I finally had to run my HQ over to the cover you see them in just to deny him a bonus point.

Given how ineffective my infantry was, I feel like I fought that battle with one-third of my army tied behind my back. If those foot vets had instead been 2 Chimeras with troops and a Commissar Lord inside, I would have had no problem taking his objective away from him. Oh well.

Result: Minor Loss

Game Three - Space Marines
1 Objective - Pitched Battle Deployment

When Farmpunk and I were discussing the vulnerabilities of my list, one of the things we decided was that I might be vulnerable to a shooty Marine or Guard list. Well, here it was. Shooty Marines. Lascannons ahoy!

I'll call my opponent Bigdie, since he was using some awefully large dice. He had four especially large ones that were almost an inch on a side, with barely distinguishable glyphs for the one and six. I almost called him on that, but I decided to let it slide. We were both in the bottom brackets by then. So his "special" dice obviously hadn't helped him that much.

I rolled first turn. Since I was facing a wall of lascannons, I decided to put everything on the board for a quick rush rather than come in piecemeal. Though I did hug cover where I could.

Then the bottom fell out of my plan. He rolled a "6" (Hmmn...) and stole the initiative. He then rolled a couple of 6's (Hmmn...) and knocked the turret off my hull-down Demolisher. Which was a 1 in 50 shot at least. As he started taking apart my armor, I got pretty sullen. But I remembered Farmpunk's come-from-behind victory from a few weeks back and pressed on glumly.

On turn 4, things started to go a bit more my way. My Hellhounds and Surviving Chimera opened up with heavy flamers and inferno cannons on his marines, COMPLETELY clearing the middle of 2 scoring units. By turn five I was hoping to end the game on a draw with no units from either side within 3" of the objective. So as soon as my turn ended I rolled a die before he could and got a "2". Game over. The water-lady had gone home by this point and my head was throbbing. I was just glad it was over so I could get something to drink. :)

Bigdie was looking sullen himself. "Well, you won." he said.


Huh? He was right. I'd forgotten that you were supposed to count every scoring unit within TWELVE inches of the objective. I had 3. He had 2. It had literally come down to one lone guardsman that he couldn't kill. If I hadn't forgotten the 12" rule, I could have run another squad over for a major win.

I'm bringing water with me next time.

Result: Minor Win
Final Standing: 24 of 36 (Bottom of Middle Third)

Conclusion

Well I suck, but in a good way. Meaning the path to improvement is obvious and do-able. With some slightly better luck in either of the first two games, I probably could have scored in the top 50%.

My tactics weren't perfect, but my problems there paled in comparison to my list problems. Which were obvious and consistent thoughout the day. My armor, especially the Hellhounds, performed brilliantly, but my Las/Plas vets were getting shot up too easily. I'd been worried about them being so dependent on cover, especially after my experience in Lafayette where there wasn't any at all in the deployment zones. But I didn't have much choice, really. I only had 2 Chimeras to bring. And the Hellhounds were a more pressing addition than more transports.

Given around 8 - 10 pieces of terrain, I can go toe-to-toe with Farmpunk or Red Eye using this list, both of whom placed in the top third for the day. But most of the tables were only sporting 5 pieces of terrain arranged in an X formation. I was actually pretty lucky that the first 2 tables I fought on had a bit more than that. Buckler admitted that the terrain had been stretched tight by the high turnout. But that's always going to be the case at any large event. So I need to remove that dependency from my list. That means going full-mech. Which is where I was headed anyway, but these results just confirm that I'm on the right path. On the way home I used my winnings from the painting contest to help buy 2 more Chimeras at the South Store.

So... what was the winning IG list? You'll laugh, it went something like this:

Commissar Yarrick
5 Ogryns
1 Griffon Mortar
1 Scout Sentinel w/Heavy Flamer
Tons and tons of 50-point infantry squads

Yep, IG infantry spam with Yarrick as the tip of the spear. He broke just about every rule I know about army composition. Which makes me feel silly for trying to craft a balanced list for an objective tourney. But my goal was to see how my all-comers list stacked up against other players. Which I did. When the mixed KP/Objective tourney comes up, I should do much better as a result of my experience here.

What's really funny to me is that I think maybe I could have taken him with the heavy flamers, inferno cannons, and pie plates I had. I'm absolutely certain Farmpunk could have with his Sisters.

Luck of the draw, I guess. Anyway, despite the problems I had a lot of fun.

6 comments:

  1. It was an army comp designed to have something in every Force Org space, and have a lot of bodies to kill. It's a really effective strategy.

    I heard he only missed 3 of the possible 100pts, which is stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, kudos to him! I have absolutely no problem with his list. You have to admire the utter simplicity of his solution to the problem. He focused on the missions when planning his force. Whereas we've been focused on being able to kill the enemy too. But killing the enemy didn't work out so well in my first game. Or for my opponent in the last game.

    What's interesting to me is that I have enough IG models laying around to do a force like that. I even have Yarrick and 5 Ogryns. But I think my painterly pride would balk at fielding 55+ unpainted models at a tourney. Which I suppose is a weakness compared to players who are willing to go with just 3 colors and a wash. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. i also fought 'nidkid' and tabled him with my marines. it seems that all of the northsiders ended up fighting other northsiders a lot. i played 2 northsiders myself, which pissed me off as i can play them any wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Has NidKid been playing at the north store? I haven't been there in a while due to my wacky work schedule.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't think He's a northsider. He might have come up to play a few times. I recall someone playing 'nids about a month ago.

    as far as I know the first pairings in the tourney were random. The second pairings were based on the results of the first game, and the 3rd pairings were based on the rankings after 2 rounds.

    since most of the North side guys lost the first round, a lot of us were clumped in the bottom bracket.

    I didn't fight a single North Sider. I didn't fight next to a single north sider.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I didn't fight a single north sider either. Guess it was just bad luck.

    Talk to Buckler though. I'm thinking that even a random pairing generator could be tweaked to favor north-south matches.

    ReplyDelete

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