Sunday, January 29, 2012

Boarderlands Round 4 GK vs Harley Vulcan

Into the final round of a very long day. I am playing against Jeff another Boarderlands guy. He is playing a vulcan bike list that is absolutely gorgeous! I used to play a Vulcan list when it first came out and did well with it. I didn't use bikes though and with the missions that we could be getting this could be a real pain in the ass. I win the roll to go first and we both joke that we should see what we get for mission before I decide to go first or give it to him. We roll pitched battle and I get 1.have units in my deployment zone, kill his most expensive non-hq unit and keep my highest hq alive. Well, I guess Mordrak will be walking on the board from reserve and not deepstriking today, a first for him. The rest of the army I chose to reserve as well. Jeff gets his missions and he doesn't look very happy either. As it turned out his was missions involved getting across the board and get units into my deployment zone as well as the objective in my deployment zone. The game was more or less a shooting match like the BT match with one interesting issue that came up during the game about a embarked psyback being able to rotate and the DCA being able to disembark while there was a bike squad next to the vehicle after a failed assault. It was ruled by Twitch that I couldn't: He did a lot of turbo boosting the bikes around the board with me just pumping a huge volume of shots into the bikes and the number of saves were average so after 6 rounds of shooting it just caught up to his army. I ended the event 4-0 winning the event. Pros There were 22 people and no one dropped, the players were ace to play against, the missions were unique and not unbalanced for one army or another, and the air condition was working very well! Cons With 13 missions and them being new some of the games were gone only to turn 4 and 5 due to people reading and rereading their missions at the beginning of each turn. Twitch and Boarderlands run a great event. I just wish it was more than 3 times a year. They should be hosting the qualifier for Feast of Blades in August for SC, Mike will have NC at Endless Gaming and Treefort Games and a location to be named in Augusta for GA. For more information on those events go to or look them up on facebook.

Boarderland Round 3 CSM vs. GK

So after round 2 I am still in the running for the top spot. In this field of 22 players I feel that my next match must be either one of the three space wolf players, one of the couple of IG leafblower lists or one of the other GK players. There is a Draigo wing list here so that will be tough is I have to play it. Nope, I am playing a CSM dual lash list. This will be interesting. I am seeing that the normal top tier lists are not fairing to well against the variable mission list that Twitch has for the tournament. His list 2 DP with Lash 2 Obiterator squads 3 csm squads in rhinos 1 chosen squad (5 melta guns holy crap batman) 1 vindicator Mission is Dawn of War. He wins the roll to go first and takes it. I have objectives (again), modified kill points (one from each of the FC chart)), terrain features. Well from the beginning I am looking at the fact that he has no fast attacks and if I kill the rhinos that his troops or chosen are in then that counts as a KP in that slot as well. Turn 1 He has one squad and a DP on the board to start with and the rest come on turn one. He has his obliterators roll snake eyes for there slow and purposeful movement so the question of the day becomes if the bases are more than one inch wide then do they die because they cannot get on the board? The answer with the latest faq becomes yes from Twitch. There is the heavy support choice killed before I even get a turn, yeah for me. There is a bunch of popping smoke and nothing else because of night fight rules. My turn one Mordrak comes into the backfield next to the obliterators and runs into cover. I am hoping to take out the oblits with a quick charge because Im in cover and with the sleath I'll get the +1 to the cover save (I was so wrong on this choice of drops). The rest of the army comes in and unloads the psybolts on the squad in the middle and the DP's. The DP take a couple of wounds and the rhino on the troop transport gets destroyed. Now all i need to do is kill one of the DP's and the chosen, when the come onto the board from outflanking. Turn 2 Now up to this point Mordrak has stayed pretty much intact without much damaged. Well, that changed. The DP's took him out of cover and right in front of the obliterators into a hail of rapid fire plasma gun shots. Followed by the assault from the obliterators. Mordrak and the ghost knights got owned and it didn't look good for me staring at the two DP getting ready to punch their way into my psybacks. Fortunately for me I had one round of shooting before that was going to happen. His chosen didn't come it either. My turn two without Mordrak saw the many failed saves of his DP's that evaporated into the mist of the warp. Also his vindicator lost the main gun. The tide has now turned the other way. Turn 3 Now with out the DP's leading an assault and the threat of the vindicator gone the rest of his army took a defensive posture behind terrain. His chosen came in and disembarked to bring all meltaguns to bear on the chimera on the right flank. Chimera becomes scrap metal as well on of the veteran henchman. The obliterators lascannoned the purifier rhino and immobilized it and it also lost the storm bolter. My turn three saw the DCA squad charge the obliterators and wipe them out, the interceptors jumped and assaulted the chosen killing them. The vindicator got destroyed. Leaving his two squad left in the back corner and one squad in the middle to receive a whole lot of love and attention. After a couple more turns the fire power overpowered the rest of his army and cleared the table. This round I got the full 40. It was now 6pm and everything was running right on schedule. I really love 4 round events, especially if I don't have to drive 5 hours to get to them. My opponent is the beginning was really rolling dice fast and wouldn't tell me what he was rolling for. This caused a little confusion at first but we worked it out and had some time left over to talk about the possibilities in 6th and his old Abaddon list with terminators that was just BEAST! I had packed snacks and sandwiches for the long day and it was paying off, some of my friends (yes, I have a couple, not many mind you) were starting to get a little wiped from the three rounds and the new missions to deal with.

Boarderlands Round 2 GK vs BT

Now with the first round in the bag we were on to round two.  This would be interesting because with the 30/10 split for the total 40 points, I was curious to see who I would draw.  I drew Matt from the inner circle of the Boaderlands crew.  Matt was playing BT.  His list as I remember it was:
Emperor's Chump
Marshal with all the trappings
Four squads (melta and pf) in razorbacks with twin link lascannons
two vindicators with machine spirits (which proved to be a pain)
venerable dread with lascannon (that would not die)
3 typhoons

The mission was spearhead.  I had to keep three unit is my deployment zone.  Control objectives (again).  Control more table quarters than him.

I won first turn and I took it.  The theory behind this was that if in the first round of shooting I could take care of his typhoons and/or stun some of the razorbacks I could make him try to hoof it across the board.  I had him out gunned so it was going to come down to who had the most effective HTH is on the objectives in the end game.

Turn 1 saw me drop one of the vindicators and have Mordrak and his crew drop next to a building (not a ruin) and then run into the building.  Now this was different, because in the next turn when Mordrak and a couple of other squads went to leave said building I learned that if it is a building and not a ruin then I have to treat it like a vehicle.  Therefore, if there are no doors or windows where I want to exit said building then I am shit out of luck.  This resulted in Mordrak and his squad having to go back out the way they came in.  By the time all this backtracking happened his army was far, far away from Mordrak and his ghost knights.  I also knocked off some of the weapons from some of the typhoons and stunned a couple of razorbacks, however with extra armor and machine spirit I learned that this meant nothing.  It has been a long time since I had played with or against BT, so some of this was a refreshers course.

His turn one I watched as his entire army started to retreat backwards.  This meant that either he had gotten some objectives that he had to stay back or he realized that he was going to lose the shooting war and wanted to get out of my 36 " range and use his 48" range.  I lost a dread , pysback and chimera to his shooting.  This was going to definitely be a shooting match.

Turn 2  I wanted to draw him out and measured during my movement phase with a shunt move with the interceptors.  After measuring it out I decided that I would wait until later turns and not commit them to soon.  This was a problem that I was having with them in earlier tournaments and was trying to be more disciplined with them in this game.  Matt at this point informed me that because I measured the shunt move I had to move them the shunt move of 30".  I told him that you are allowed to premeasure in the movement phase but not the shooting phase.  After a quick consult with Twitch, Matt learned you can measure the shunt and decide just to move 6" or the jump for 12".
Next I shot at one of the typhoons that had moved flat out in his turn and immobilized it.  I explain that it was now destroyed but he insisted that would only happen if it was immobilized in his turn.  Another quick consult with Twitch and I was now two for two.  I might add that Matt is a good player and fun guy to play against.  At no time did we argue or disrupt the flow of the game.  We agreed to disagree and moved on with our game.  I also learned that because the building acted like a vehicle I could not leave the building and then embark on one of my transports because that would be like leaving one vehicle and embarking on another.  Makes sense to me.  I don't like it but it makes perfect sense so I have the unit stay in the building for another turn.  Now my purifiers that have been in a rhino in the middle of the board are doing an awesome job.  The 4 to 8 shots at strength 7 with rending have proven worth their weight in gold.  I will see where I can put more of these in on the 2000 pt list.

His turn has some more moving to the back corner with a couple of razorbacks attempting to outflank me to the right and in the end the other rifledread and DCA squad but an end to that by the end of the game.

The rest of the match is a bunch of back and forth with shooting and game ends on turn 5 if I remember correctly.  I get 23 of my point objectives because the objectives were worth more on the other side, which I didn't read all the way through.  My bad.  I got 6 for denial some of his objectives so the end result was 23 to 29 me, if I remember it correctly.  I was trying to kill his ven dread who would not die and he was trying to save him for his objective, so this worked well as opposing objectives.

Overall, I had thought is was going to be a big THT battle but it really didn't turn out that way.  His EC died to shots from the purifiers when he rolled snake eyes for saves.  Very anti climatic but still a fun match.

The list is working well so far.  I am probably going to be dropping the servitors though.  They have been ineffective so far in the missions.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Boarderlands SC 4 round tournament recap and report

Well, this weekend was the true test of the new GK list that I have been working on.  One without paladins, or stormravens, or techmarine with grenade shenanigans.  It is based on a simple premise of IG volume of fire, army tactics of move, shoot and communicate.  In short, it worked and it worked well.  This tournament would be a good test because there were 13 different missions.  Each round you had to try to get all three conditions for the 30 points (up to 10 for each one) and then an additional 10 if you kept your opponent from achieving their three.  It was very interesting; for a look at the mission follow this link

Battle report

Round 1 Tau

Pitched battle

2 Hammerheads
3 Broadsides (one unit)
1 devilfish
3 fire warrior squads
3 crisis suit team
2 kroot squads
crisis suit commander

My objectives for this mission were 7, 9, 11

Kill his HQ, hold the center, hold the 5 objective markets on the board.  I had no idea what his 3 were.

It was funny that I got the only tau player in the room.  I was hoping this was a good omen, because my first opponent at Beaky Con was tau as well, and I won that GT.  Chandler was the name of my opponent and was a great guy to play against.  He had not played against grey knights yet and this was going to be his first go at it.  He said he had read a lot about them on the net, so he was surprised to see no stormravens or paladins in the list.  He won the roll to go first and took it.  He keep the fire warrior squads in reserve.  He deployed the hammerheads and two crisis suit teams on the right flank and the hq and his crisis suit retinue in the middle.  He used the kroot for a meat shield in front of the crisis suits.  I deployed everything opposite from him on the same flank.  I knew that I was going to lose about 2-4 rhinos or chimeras in the first round of shooting then with Mordrak to land in between the two crisis teams and the interceptor squad on the next to the hammerheads I should be able to squeeze him together and force the HTH while the rest of the army moves up for the second wave.  It will depend on how much fire Mordrak and the ghost knights can withstand.  I kept the purgation squad scouting, thus outflanking (grand strategy) and one of the dca pysbacks in reserve.  
The plan for me was to have the rifledreads and the jokaeros with the multimelta servitors (they got the increase for 12' the other squad got nothing) have shooting match with the hammerheads and the broadsides while the rest of the army came up and diced them up.

Well, his first turn saw two of the front psybacks bit the dust and they were removed from play leaving two DCA squads in the wind but kept the dreads, purifiers, and the interceptors safe.

My first turn saw Mordrak come in and the interceptors shunt across the board.  Mordrak ran into cover in the building while the interceptors shot and burned the kroot that was the meat shield for the cover saves.  The purifiers moved there twelve in front of the hammerheads and got out.  Between the two dreads and the one jokaero uni,t a hammerhead was immoblized and lost a railgun.  I now discover that any shot outside 12" from his hammerheads in the open will give him a cover save, DAMN!  The one kroot squad vanished in a cloud of blood and that is the end of turn one. 

Turn 2 Hammer head and broadsides shoot at my dreads and vehicles still on the other side.  A couple of shaken results on the chimeras.  The rest of the army then decides to deal with the interceptor squad and Mordrak and his crew.  He should have dealt with them first.  After the fire warrior squad that came in from reserve and the two crisis suit team unloaded into them only one ghost knight took the dirt nap.  He realized from here on out it in now just a matter of time.  The interceptor squad leaps 12 over the building and Mordrak moves out of cover into the middle of the crisis suit team and his commanders crisis suit team and the close combat began.  Unfortunately, for him he lost and made his morale roll on double 1s.  This would mean that in his next turn of shooting he will not be able to shoot at the interceptors or Mordrak's unit. 

Turn 3 His Broadside team sees the future of the close combat right next to them and begin to move away but realize that they will just die tired.  His other fire warriors and devilfish come in, he has them come in over at the left flank edge and jump on the objective.  A couple of more purifiers die to railgun shots from the hammerhead and the broadsides.  He has seen what eight shots from these guys can do to a unit or vehicle.
The close combat ends with his HQ and retinue dead, the crisis suit team dead and the other kroot unit that came pile on the GK crew wiped off the map.  My turn three saw the purgation squad come in on the left flank next to his devilfish and fire warriors.  They became barbecue.

The rest of the game was clean up from here and I ended the round with the full 30 on my side and then a bonus 10 for denial on his side.

Chandler was a great sport and I was happy to meet him and his buddy.  Hopefully we will be able to get some games in over at Boarderlands some evening.  Teaching at night really sucks sometimes.

Issues that come up from the event:

1. Measuring a shunt move
2. Being inside a building
3. Vehicle pivoting after assaults
4. Obliteraters double 1's
5  Line of site with camera

I will delve into these as the report continues on.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So, this weekend coming up will be a 4 round RTT at a place called Boarderlands.  It is a gaming and comic store here in the Greenville area.  I have been there quite a few times in the past.  They have good tables, a lot of people and the guy running the event knows the rules well.  So do most of the players.

Now this tournament will be different with win conditions.  There are thirteen possible missions that you will have to attain and you will have three per mission to do so.  They are on dakkadakka if your interested.  The four mission for each of the games will be to prevent your opponent from achieving his three objectives, the trick is, you don't know what his missions are.  This presents a challenge and it is why I like going to the tournaments there.  You have to think, you have to understand tactics and that is what I like best about this game.

There will be some people that will complain.  There will be some that cry foul because they misunderstood the parameters of the mission, but that is the point of the missions.  I have a couple of things to consider for each mission because deployment and the grand strategy will matter for each one.  Keeping this in mind I have put notes on each of the missions to remind me which I should do.  I find it helpful to keep notes on things like this.  This habit is just like teaching my students to take notes on the people that they fence because they will do the same thing each time you fence against them.  Same thing about playing certain armies, they are usually the same so defeating them based on movement and priority targeting remains the same.

I feel that this army that I'm bring has a lot of potential based on the missions.  It worked well in Augusta at 1750 and now with the changes at 1850 it should be humming right along.  I have dropped the second interceptor squad.  They die quickly and I just can't see them sitting back until the end game.  I have added a purgation squad with a rhino that should be key if I am playing horde or scarab swarm.

Well, we will see how the army works and I will try to do a full battle report.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Prize Support - a tournament players perspective.

This is something that I have wanted to blog about for a while. It started when I had Merlin's back in the 20001-2002 realm. We were trailblazers back then. There was no Nova, no Adepticon. At the time GW had a policy that if you wanted to host a tournament, then you could do one every other month, per game system. This was the way it had always been. Furthermore, if you wanted to have the tournament advertised in the White Dwarf (people actually got the magazine back then), you had to pay either $80 or $150 for the missions, and the trophy (it was a cool golden griffon).

So, I was a competitive fencer, and we hosted monthly tournaments. Over the past 12 years this has allowed me to develop a lot of fencing in FL, NY, and NC/SC. So this should be able to work with 40k as well, right? Well... things got ugly real fast in the Charlotte metro area, and that is a story for another post. (Delgado may be reading this post and I don't want to bore him again.)

Anyway, we would give out all the entry fees in prize support. GW at the time didn't give anything other than the trophy and certificates. Mike (USA manager) from GW and I had a long discussion about this when I went to the Grand Opening tournament for GW staff in Memphis, TN; and Rob Villanave probably took our template and made the prize support idea for the stores the program that it is today for retailers. It is $150 per quarter (for those that are wondering.)

We then decided to do one for each system, 40k and fantasy, per month. This worked well in the beginning and we got people from all over the southeast that came to the tournaments - because nothing like this was going on at the time. Robert Ash, Mike Twitchle, Brian White, Walter (a former fencer of one of my schools in MA) and his crew, Kevin and his crew, and a group from Fayetteville came as well. We would have about 25-40 people come per tournament. It was great. Then they convinced their stores to do the same thing to generate interest in the game and make some money in the process (and to save on drive time away from home). Everyone wins, right? Then some people got greedy and the shit hit the fan in some tournaments.

Basically the break down should be: (in my opinion) 50% of the pot for overall, 30% for second and 20% for third. Now what is 1st,2nd,or 3rd is up for discussion and has been debated a lot. Now with all the two day tournaments this has gotten even more difficult. Where are the prizes for sportsmanship, and painting? Back in the day of RTT only and the GTs sponsored by GW you got certificates. Prizes? This was unheard of.

As a shop owner it was pretty cut and dry for me. The entry fee was as if people came in and bought product. The players were happy, we made the money from the tournament, and usually spent some more money while they were there. However, recently with the economy the way it is, some stores have screwed the pooch and think that those that play a game with math all the time are kind of stupid. For instance there is one store (that shall remain nameless, unless I can tell you the story in person or you email me) where the entry fee was $20. They had 24 people signed up and you had to prepay for the event. Pretty cool. (This place in the past has been a great place to play and although the missions were straight out of the book it would be fun) and with $480 in prize money, even if I came in third that would be about $100. If I had a great day and the dice gods smiled on me, then $240 would be a nice haul for a one day, three round tournament.

Well, everyone that was there that prepaid, there were even a couple of people who showed up for the tournament hoping that someone else didn't show and they could fill the slot. Well, my day was good and I won the event! I was excited and got a gift certificate for $100. WTF? Where did the rest of the money go? Well, I found out the hard way by asking the owner in an email. I didn't want to be rude and ask at the event. Well so much for being polite, I got an email with his explanation of the break out and was told to stick to the GT circuit and not to come back if I didn't like the prizes that he was "giving" out.

The breakdown was $100 for first, $75 for second and there was a tie for third so they gave each player $50 and the store only made $5, the rest went to the judge for compensation for his time. Saying that the store only got a small pittance of only $5 for hosting the event was bullshit. Ok, I have an accounting degree from college so I did the long math on this one. Last time I checked the store got the who $480, the entire entry fee for the event. To say that they only made $5 was insane! So either the organizer got $200 in cash for running the event, or the store kept the remaining $205 (nice tip for the day for not having to give out product). I want that job.

Now I have been to some events where the owner advertise a specific prize, like a $100 battleforce. He believed that from his local players and the people who may drive in, that there would be enough entry fees to pay for the battleforce. But, only 6 people show up and with the cost of the event being $5,he loses about $20 on the event. Some days you win, some days you lose. The important thing is that he kept his word on what he would give out and there was no back - peddling and no excuses. Or they say a box big box set $66 for first, a squad box for second $35 and then a blister for third $15. This is still a commitment that and have never seen a store walk away from.

So, what do you think fellow players on the tournament scene? I have been competitively fencing for 20 plus years and there was never "prize" support on the medal stand or a Nike contract. I often joke that I can make more in competitive 40k in prizes, than in competitive fencing. What is fair? What is right? How would you do it? Now with the number of GT's filling up our weekend schedules what should we be looking for?

This is just one players opinion....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Augusta GA Tournament recap

Went down to Augusta this weekend to play in a local rtt. They were suppose to have 16 but only 10 showed up. It was fine. I played two fun competitive games and one that tested my new years resolution.

Mission one - kill points

First was against BT land raider spam army. His list had two twin linked lc razorbacks with the 5 man las/plas make up. He had two crusaders, one with lc t/th terminators with the marshal and the other with a squad and the emperor's chump. He won first turn and took it. That works well with Mordrak. I have come to realize that with him, I will always prefer to go second. He deployed with squad and razorback on both flanks and the crusaders in the middle.
This allowed me to take the principle of not engaging one of the flanks and just crushing the one side. Mordrak and company dropped behind the one squad flank and the razorbacks and chimeras drove up to meet them. The crusaders were destroyed quickly by the multimelta servitors and the henchmen with the meltaguns.
The DCAs mopped up the remains. He had to zeal toward me to get into close combat. That didn't work well for him and at the end of turn 6 he had one lone lascannon marine on the board.

Round 2 Space wolves with 3 squads of ml long fangs.

Mission - Objectives - each table had 5, one in each quarter and one in the middle.

This game was won except for three items that occurred during the game that made me call it and give it my opponent. I know him and consider him one of my warhammer buddies. My new years resolution is that if you are going to cheat to get the win or "selectively" forget things and only remember when I remind you of them then it obviously means more to you than me, so you can have it. Needless to say when I called it in the end of turn 5 when I was winning the match really through him for a loop. I could tell he felt bad afterwards, maybe next time he will realize that it just a game of little toy soldiers.

Round 3 GK strike squad spam with paladins

This match was against another warhammer buddy who plays in Columbia but was in Charlotte during the days of the warzone stores and has seen me go through a lot of BS over this game that i enjoy so much even to this day. We both joked that his list was limited to 24 inches and that mine had long range reach as well a strong mid-range game. In the end it proved to be to much for him to deal with, he was tabled by turn 5.

The main reason for going down was to see the only other store in the area that had 40k players. This space was larger than the other one and will be good for the feast of blades qualifier. Now we will have two in GA and one in NC and one in SC. Hopefully that will mean that there will be at least 5 people who will make it out to CO.

The new list works good without the stormraven. Being patient with all the different DCA squads in different. It is more a chess match with the new list. Now to bump it up for the 1850 at boarderlands. The mission formats that they have for the tournament will be interesting to say the least.