Monday, December 7, 2015

The Tale of a Tournament - A Time of Legends

Welcome my friends, come see a show that never ends. Step inside, step inside, do we have a tale for you tonight. Settle down by the fireside, and listen as we spin you a story of an era, with dashing heroes, victims and villains, and acts of uncommon valour. Ah what an age it was. A time of legends!

Our tale begins with a star crossed band of adventurers, finding kinship with a group of exiles from the Craftworlds. These adventurers on the Hero's Path, A Solitaire, a Death Jester, and a Shadowseer, were accompanied by both living and dead, Farseer and Wraithknight. Look closer at the fire, and you may even see their faces in the sparks.

The Shadowseer had mastered a unique aspect of Phantasmancy, being able to summon images so real that unfriendly eyes experienced what they believed to be true with full force. Most commonly, he created images of the Great Devourer, for what race had no fear of such creatures? They came to call themselves the Phantasms, defenders of the defenceless, and avengers of the weak.

Attended my very first competitive tournament, and what an eye opener it was. Brought a list with many psykers, and for backup, there was a Wraithknight, along with two flyrants. It's actually possible that the army was the smallest one at the tournament. Going into the tournament, I only hoped I wouldn't get tabled.

The motley Troupe of the Phantasms, along with their conjured pets.

Our intrepid band first made landfall on the Maiden World of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu, on a continent of fair green fields. 

Sadly, this paradise was despoiled by a group of invaders, clad in pitch black with heads wreathed in eldritch fire. Yes, you at the back there, I know you take issue with such a description of your finest warriors, but that was what they were. Our valiant heroes thus strode forth, with the Shadowseer weaving his magic and the Wraithknight making a glorious charge. 

With wrath burning in their hearts at the desolation brought by the Mon-keigh, Psychic Shrieks, the Ghostglaive, and the enemy's imagination put paid to their force, with phantom brainleech worm devourers destroying tanks and warrior alike. The final blow was dealt by the Wraithknight that came to be known as "Virtue" destroying his Imperial counterpart with a single deathblow.

Yes, the name of the Maiden World is actually a real place (go Google it). My first game was against an interesting mass ObSec list, run by a really cool and friendly guy, Lum. With 3 Vindicators and a Knight Crusader, his list certainly wasn't lacking firepower, though it did lack anti-air. Final score was 32-24, though he only had a Drop Pod and some scouts left. Highlight of the game: Lum's assault marines flaming my Warlord's squad, killing one, and making him run off the table after i rolled a double 6 for Leadership and 6, 5, and 2 for my fall back distance. Pfft. Aren't Farseers supposed to be made of stronger stuff?

Lum's army, with some really cool conversions.
Look at those helmets!
My army, with the Mucolids in DS reserve.

Interesting choice of bringing Assault marines with Flamers.

Not so interesting. He flames and kills off one bike, before making the entire squadron run off the table.

But predictably, the Wraithknight rampages through his battle line.

Well then, that was a suitably bloody first act, but the Phantasms remain relatively unscathed, thanks to the.... discretion of our bold leader, who chose to leave the field of battle. With the Maiden World secure, the itinerant wanderers moved on through the webway, reappearing on the desolate world of
Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch. Don't ask me how I pronounced the name, human tongues could never replicate that. 
The cause of this desolation was obvious, the walking metallic dead known as the Necrons. Their vehicles in particular proved themselves impenetrable against all sorts of psychic shenanigans. Through the arcane technology of the Necrons, many of the Phantasms found themselves blinded and surprised when a sudden dark cloud heralded the appearance of a giant squad of Immortals, escorting their deadly leaders. 
Though Virtue the Wraithknight and the nameless Solitaire did their best, slaying both the enemy leaders in a glorious sweeping advance, both Farseers fell in battle that day, and had to be borne away to lick their wounds. This left an important waystone in the Necron hands, and nobody knows what fell intentions they had for that piece of magic rock. What's that you say Mr. Phaeron? You are innocent of these charges? Who is the narrator here?! Audiences are so hard to please these days...
The world name above is again a real world one, go figure. The second game was against Daryl, who came down from Malaysia with his Necrons. In an interesting twist, he brought a Destroyer lord with an overlord and a large squad of immortals in a Decurion. Made a really stupid mistake here, I parked the Wraithknight on top of the 5VP relic, but when Daryl's deathstar dropped in in my rear corner, I moved off it to chase that Deathstar! Brain fart. I should have just abandoned them in the corner with my superior mobility and run off to get linebreaker or something. Final score was 18-15, though getting beaten by an army this good looking is never a problem.

Deployed in Vanguard Strike, hiding from all that Gauss. The Relic is the blue counter in the centre.

Necron Deployment, pretty agressive. See that squad of Tomb Blades?

What Tomb Blades? First Blood to the Phantasms! A really bad set of rolls sees the Tomb Blades wiped out.

Daryl eventually tied for Best Appearance with our very own Rico, and you can see why he gave Rico a run for his money. Look at the converted D-Lord and Overlord!

They obviously don't like Psykers very much.

And all in Rapid Fire range.

Terrible mistake, brought the Wraithknight back to kill off the Deathstar but gave up control of the Relic.

The combat that never ended, this Farseer held up 4 Tomb Blades till the WK came into clean up.

A weakness of my list is that I didn't have anti-vehicle. Nothing could take down those Ghost Arks.

Retreating through the Webway, the Runes called our bedraggled heroes through to a final showdown on the Crone World of Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik, where interlopers had gathered, perhaps to steal Spirit Stones for themselves. Lo and behold, there stood dark reflections of their Craftworld Kin, perhaps the Warp was up to its usual tricks? The Phantasms quickly spread themselves out, the better to collect the glimmering Spirit Stones.
These Eldar were a mighty force, with Distortion weapons and scatter lasers aplenty. Dark times looked to be ahead for the brave souls that fought for the Phantasms. Nevertheless, like the heroes they were, each and everyone fought to the last.

The Seers tried hard to scare and rip at their opponents minds, while Virtue tried to cover ground as he found himself out of position. Twin beams of warp energy left the Wraithknight slumped on the ground, dragging itself back to the safety of the Webway, while the survivors scattered to the four winds. Three bikers heroically held on in close combat against a soulless abomination, only succumbing to the multitude of attacks when more of their warp-spawned reflections charged into the melee. 

The superior firepower eventually took its toll, and soon only one Farseer remained, to oversee the withdrawal of the reeling Phantasms. As he looked back, he reflected on what they had come to the Crone World to do, and permitted himself a slight smile. They had taken the enemy's measure, and despite their losses, the brave bikers had managed to secure many of the precious spirit stones. With a final glance, the lone remaining Phantasm blinked out of existence into the Webway.
The final game was against Gerard, who brought Eldar with a too many scatter bikes to count, a lot of D-Weapons, and an Allied Culexus. Needless to say, this was going to be a painful matchup, given my reliance on the psychic phase and near total lack of shooting. 

I made a terrible mistake with deployment here, as the pictures will show. I was too far away to do anything with my Death Jester, Solitaire and Wraithknight, and despite getting First Blood and Slay the Warlord, I would not be able to do much else. In hindsight, knowing my lack of shooting, I should have charged across the field to get up close and personal. Final score was 11-12 loss for me, and if I had deployed better, I daresay I would have been able to pull at least a draw off. Still, it was a great game against a friendly player, and a fitting end to the tournament.

My deployment left my WK with the entire battlefield to cross. Bad idea.

Compensated by using my flyrants to kill off his jetbikes and Slay the Warlord!

A wild Culexus appears! The jetbikes manage to heroically hold him up for most of the game.

One flyrant dies to shooting and the grounding test.

Just chilling out chatting with ol' Cully here. Why are those dark green tree trunks in the background moving towards us?

Oh. They're not tree trunks.

My Wraithknight tries to get across the battlefield to do some damage.

But the deployment mistakes hurts me terribly. He gets hit by two D-shots and fails both saves, getting ingloriously wiped out without doing a single thing.

This would be all I had remaining at the end of the game. Those white bikers are about to die, as is the Flyrant.

Gerard would roll two 6s in a row to kill the Flyrant with a single D shot.

We come then, dear audience, to the finale, and I applaud you all for staying with us thus far. Heroic last stands and crazy charges abound, and our brave Phantasms now bid adieu, exiting stage left. It has been a pleasure performing for you tonight ladies and gentlemen, and I wish you all the very best.

Overall, I managed to sneak into 11th place out of a field of 26, which I considered pretty respectable for a newbie. Despite the two narrow losses, all three games were really exciting. Barring many bad decisions and some poor rolls, I could have gotten a couple more VPs and maybe sneaked in another win. Now to consider what else I could add my list, or whether to move away from all those leadership shenanigans.

Thanks to Grex for organizing the tournament!

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