Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 Warhammer 40k Invitationals Tournament Batrep - Fantastic Beasts

The 2016 40K Gamersaurus Rex Invitationals. The penultimate tournament of the season before we enter 2017, and one of the most competitive tournaments in the local scene. Thanks to the support from the Tables and Dice Wargaming club, I managed to sneak into the qualifying group thanks to the T&D people who voted for me. I decided to bring my Tyranids for a whirl, more details on list-building after the Batrep.
Death comes on Swift Wings,
With pinions of onyx, and in midnight clad.

List Building Restrictions: 1850pts, no Forge World, no more than 2 superheavies, and a maximum of 3 detachments.

Hive Fleet Sargas (1850pts)
Here there be monsters. The Tyranids of Hive Fleet Sargas.

Skyblight Swarm
1 x Flyrant with Twin Linked Devourers and Egrubs
1 x Hive Crone
2 x Harpy with Twin Linked Stranglethorn Cannons
3 x 10 Gargoyles

2 x Flyrant with Twin Linked Devourers and Egrubs
3 x 3 Ripper Swarms with Deep Strike
1 x Venomthrope
1 x Skyshield Landing Pad

1 x Flyrant with Twin Linked Devourers and Egrubs
2 x Mucolid Spores

Game 1 - Tyranids vs Hunter Cadre Tau 

The Crystal Tombs on the world of Khet had lain untouched for millenia, its erstwhile Necron architects having strangely disappeared. However, a nascent race's interference and study of the strange crystal had activated the crystal, sending an indecipherable energy pulse into the blackness of space. The pulse reached alien senses, and inscrutable eyes turned towards the distant light reflecting off the icy world. Slowly, inexorably, the Tyranids turned towards the source of the energy, preparing to feed...

Having played (with Harlequins) against my opponent before, I knew I was in for a tough fight. His list contained two Stormsurges and a Ghostkeel in a Hunter Cadre, with a whole load of marker drones, missile Crisis suits, and Broadsides. This would be a tough game, since most of his shooting would be able to ignore my armour saves. Luckily the ITC and GW FAQs meant that his combined firepower could not buff his shooting at my flyer, and reducing the marker lights he could use to ignore cover.

Deployment. This is actually more terrain than we normally see in the local scene. I took full advantage, castling my flyers on the Skyshield and sticking a Venomthrope in the Ruins with other stuff to take advantage of a 2+ cover. I had first turn, but I was worried I'd have the initiative seized.
Turn 1: Tyranids swoop forth, flooding up the board.
Shas'O'Neji pinged an alert to his cadre as his visor lit up with target vectors and intercept data. In his limited interaction with the gue'la, they had spoken of mythical plants known as Christmas trees, and his creed looked as they described. A blizzard of red and blue covered every inch of his screen, as the targeting AI logged hostile and unknown contacts. It seemed that the Earth Caste had inadvertently attracted the attention of the ever-devouring Y'he, known to the gue'la as Tyranids...
First Blood to the Nids! Concentrated S6 firepower from the Harpies and the Flyrants down a squad of Crisis Suits with marker drones, a broadside and missile drones, and a bunch of marker drones.
Shas'ui Borja nervously checked his XV8's systems for the umpteenth time as he scanned the area for contacts. The Y'he had been spotted in the sector, and he was duty bound to guard the Earth Caste as they went about their duties in the ancient crystal tombs. As newly graduated Shas'ui, he was determined to fulfill his duty to the Greater Good. Yet his determination and vigilance were for naught as a sudden rain of living ammunition tore through his accompanying marker drones and chewed their way through his battle suit. His comms systems damaged beyond use, no one heard Borja's final screams...
The Tau give as good as they get, killing off two Flyrants in short order. With both Stormsurges and Broadsides focusing their fire, the Flyrants are quickly shot out of the skies. You can see his target priority by the lack of other dead models on the table at this point.
Turn 2: Rippers arrive close to a Broadside, to steal the objective. The Tau opt not to intercept with their s7 shooting, allowing the Rippers to claim the objective. This was because he wanted to save his high yield missile pods for the FMCs.
Turn 3: Overwhelming numbers against overwhelming firepower. The Tyranids are in deep amongst the Tau lines, vector striking and/or bombing several infantry units. But the Stormsurges form an impenetrable bulwark, with nothing being able to hurt them. Key point of the match: The Hive Crone vector struck the lone Commander, and with a single S8 AP2 Ignore Cover hit, all I needed was ANYTHING BUT ONES. Guess what I rolled?
The hordes of flying creatures now surrounded Shas'O'Neji, as the Cadre ripple fired everything they had into the swarms. A loud screech made O'Neji look up, and his suit's systems moved just a fraction too slow as the wickedly barbed claws of a winged creature slashed at his pilot's compartment. With an almighty bang and a shower of sparks, the claws skidded off the compartment, leaving deep gouges but otherwise doing no harm. Having seen what those claws had done to other suits, O'Neji made a mental note to buy the Earth Caste scientists a drink...
End game. The Tau have reaped a bloody toll on the Tyranids, but there are still many creatures still in the air. The Nids have basically given as good as they've got, with only the Heavy Retribution Cadre and a few scattered fire warriors/battle suits left.
What a bloody battle. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done about the Stormsurges. Without high strength AP2 shooting or grav, there were far better targets to shoot at. Nick also rolled pretty well for the 4d6 number of shots, and with that volume of shooting, even hitting on 6s, some damage was bound to be done. 

Other high/low points of the game were the re-spawning gargoyles doing less than I had hoped, since they had to claim objectives which were on my side of the table. My opponent also forgot some of the twin-linked shooting, which would have possibly helped him shoot more stuff down. So despite a spirited fight, the Tyranids experienced a narrow defeat. Final score was 18-15 to the Tau!

The skies began to clear over the world of Khet, and O'Neji had the chance to finally catch his breath. The Y'he had been driven off, but at a terrible cost to the Tau. The cadre had little left to withstand another assault, and the air caste had indicated that more life forms were making planetfall. With great regret, O'Neji ordered the withdrawal. The Tau had won the battle, but lost the war...

Game 2: Tyranids vs KDK/Daemons/Foresworn Renegade Knight 

Game 2 was against the mind-bending forces of Chaos. With a list including a Lord of Change, two Bloodthirsters with D-axes, and a Renegade Knight with Gatling cannons, this was going to be an interesting matchup. On the surface, he would only be able to hurt me with Vector Strikes and the Renegade Knight, which should have given me control of the skies.

A living carpet of feeding organisms flowed over the bodies of the dead, both Tyranid and Tau alike. Streaming towards the glowing shard that had attracted the Hive Mind's attention, the swarms spasmed as reality suddenly bent around them. The wailing of the lost and the damned filled the air as the hordes of Chaos stepped through the breach, drawn by the blood letting that had gone before...

Deployment. He chose to park his ObSec Bloodletters on the objectives in his backfield, while I put my objectives within 15" of my board edge so that returning Gargoyles could claim them. I didn't have first turn, so I again castled up on the Skyshield, trying to avoid the shooting from the 24 shot Renegade Knight.Not that this was to matter, because...
My mistake gives him first blood! I chose not to jink with my Flyrant on the Skyshield, and he was promptly gunned down. Everything else takes to the air in my turn.
The winged tyrant swivelled on its perch as the Chaos force appeared around the shard. The barrels on the Renegade Knight known only as the Song of Ruin cycled into high gear as its daemonic sentience selected its winged target. A wave of ecstasy and pain passed through the withered creature that used to be a proud knight seneschal as he depressed the trigger. With a hail of explosive rounds, the winged tyrant disappeared in a cloud of ichor and bloody mist.

By Turn 3, I manage to take down the Imperial Knight with concentrated shooting from my Flyrants. Just before this, I really needed Catalyst, because the Feel No Pain was invaluable against the Imperial Knight. However, when I roll.....

PERILS. From Top to Bottom: Warp Charges used, Perils Result, and Leadership check. Are you kidding me. My opponent and I have played together before, and this is the second time this has happened. Even he said "Not this sh*t again". Lol. I joked that he had a Collar of Khorne hidden somewhere that caused this to happen.

End game. I would shortly lose my Flyrant Alpha to a Vector Strike from a Bloodthirster, and proceed to lose the Relic to the Khorne Dogs as I elected not to bubble wrap the Relic in Gargoyles. This was a big mistake, as I had assumed my ObSec would allow me to steal the Relic instead. Cost me 5 VP in the end, and lead to defeat for the Hive Fleet.

18-13 to Chaos! This was probably the most demoralising game of the day. To roll that perils sequence again was painful. Damn you and your Favour of Khorne Renzus! Heh. On a more serious note, the big mistake from this game was not moving my Gargoyles up to secure the Relic, thinking that ObSec helped.

In the final photo of the game, I hadn't moved the Gargs from the turn before, and I could/should have jumped forward and run to get in range of holding or at least contesting the Relic. That would either have drawn the game, or swung it in my favour. Also, in hindsight, perhaps I should have targeted the Khorne Hounds more, reducing their numbers to prevent Renzus from claiming the Relic, instead of going after the big guys.

Animal instinct met soulless fury and desire as the Chaos Daemon and Tyranid monster clashed across the snowy planet of Khet, both striving to control the strange crystal that called to them equally. Neither side giving quarter, both quickly came to realise that the conflict was futile. As on the world of Shadowbrink, the Tyranids had no true souls to corrupt, while the Daemons provided no biomass to the Great Devourer. Unlike Shadowbrink however, the Hive Mind sensed that it had no real use for the strange crystal that had first called, and wasted no more biomass in contesting the world. Slaying the last of the winged red beasts, the remaining synapse creatures and gargoyles took to the skies, leaving Khet in the hands of the fast fading Daemons...

Game 3 - Tyranids vs Armies of the Imperium 

Private Kevryn of the 201st Armageddon Fusiliers watched the sun creeping above the horizon of the world called Fury's End as he moved near to Company Command's Chimera for warmth. While the low temperatures were nothing to a man of Armageddon such as he, men of Armageddon were also practical people, and there was no sense in turning down extra comfort. Seconded to the dreaded Lord Inquisitor Torquemada Coteaz, the Fusiliers had set up a defensive perimeter while the Inquisitor did his work. Kevryn knew better than to question what that work was, or why it was taking so long. Sudden motion on the horizon caught his eye, and he dashed for the comm unit as his brain processed what he was seeing. Black wings silhouetted against the rising sun...

With two losses on the board, I headed into the final game of the tournament against another T&D member, Lum. He brought Coteaz, an Aquila Strongpoint with Vortex missile launcher, the Emperor's Wrath artillery formation, and a bunch of Grav Scar bikers. Unfortunately for him, aside from the Grav, everything else used blast templates, which meant that he couldn't touch me in the skies.

Deployment. Yes that's a vortex missile launcher opposite my sky shield landing pad, and a Manticore in the ruins. Thankfully the terrain on the boards was dense, which meant a full scatter barrage.
Lum re-rolling to Seize with Coteaz! Thankfully doesn't seize.
Turn 1: Everything takes to the air for safety, and I focus fire on the only things that could hurt me, the Grav Bikers.
Turn 2: By this time Lum is basically down to taking pot shots with his artillery at Gargoyles who are hidden behind LOS blocking cover, and a few bikers. The "No Escape" special rule also comes into play, as I use the Hive Crones S6AP4 drool cannon to flame his Scouts sitting in the Aquila Strongpoint. S5 Haywire templates also help in clearing them out.
All eaten up by brainleech worms...
End Game: Lum concedes at the end of Turn 4. The Mucolid spore is about to melt the Biker, and the flyers are taking his remaining artillery apart.
Snicker snacker, chitter chatter. The Rippers swarm around a lone biker...
The roar of the Flyrant Alpha resonated across the cityscape as Hive Fleet Sargas descended upon Fury's End. After the biomass spent in fighting for the useless crystal on Khet, the demise of Fury's End would replenish the Hive Fleet greatly. Already ripper swarms and other feeder organisms were consuming the organisms of the world, and rendering the fallen into the thick gruel that would be sucked up through the capillary towers to the Hive ships above. Satisfied that nothing left could contest Tyranid dominance over the world, the Flyrant Alpha took wing, preparing its consciousness to be re-assimilated into the Hive Mind...

Victory to the Tyranids! Finally a victory, and it was unfortunate that it had to come in such an overwhelming fashion against a fellow T&D member. His list was just not set up to deal with mine.

With that, the tournament was over and the scores were tallied. To my surprise (and everyone else's I'm sure), I came in second! Considering I had 2 losses and 1 win, I didn't expect that I could place that highly.

Just as planned. I score hot bug-chicks. Mwahahaha. (Random art, that's not me.)
Wow. There's something to be said for losing small and winning big, I suppose. 

I certainly didn't expect to place so highly when the field was literally filled with tournament winners. My only aim was to prove that you didn't have to bring the latest and biggest guns to be competitive, and that a less competitive codex could do well in the right hands.

I therefore planned my list to be a "poison pill"; I might not be able to outright smash the other tournament armies, but I'd hold them to either narrow victories or draws. As it turned out, while everyone was beating each other to a pulp, and in some cases scoring half points due to not playing till Turn 4, I was slowly building up the points to climb up the table. The final 30-0 game helped my score immensely, as did the eventual champion beating the 3rd placed player 30-0. A confluence of factors that all came together nicely to push me up the table, and it does show that you do need some element of luck to perform well.
The list was built on the assumption that most players wouldn't bring enough Skyfire to deal with a flying monstrous creature list. Once the higher toughness and multiple wounds of the big creatures were thrown in, I figured that it would take some serious firepower to damage this list. Scoring is a well known issue with flying circuses though, and I therefore took the Skyblight and a CAD of Ripper Swarms to provide me with a bucketload of cheap scoring units. 

Several of the players commented that bringing flying monstrous creatures was the equivalent of the psychic power Invisibility at almost all times, since opposing units would only hit on 6s. As it happened, the way the games played out meant that I gave everyone a tough fight, with the one victory being one-sided since the majority of my opponent's shooting consisted of templates/blasts.

Nevertheless, the list has weaknesses. There was nothing I could do to harm the Tau Stormsurges, and it took several rounds of shooting to deal with the Renegade Knight. Additionally, target priority is very important when your deadliest shooting is wrapped up in a few durable but not invincible packages. Every turn that went by without a Flyrant doing damage was a turn that risked me losing 1/4 of my major firepower for no return.

I wouldn't have been able to do it without the unwavering support from Tables and Dice Wargaming. Special mention goes to a select few (you know who you are) for their invaluable input on the list, and for the practice games.

Many thanks also go to Gamersaurus Rex for organising the tournaments throughout the year, and I'm definitely looking forward to the 3v3 in December!

You are not alone... They are coming for you.

Friday, November 25, 2016

WIP: Some Elves for Blood Bowl

I got a copy of the new Blood Bowl box set. The new miniatures are really nice for the Humans and Orks. However, I'm more of a Wood Elven fan. And I remembered the Wood Elves Fantasy Football Team I got from Greebo Games a few years back.
I painted one as a test model this evening. Did not go with lots of colors. Just went with a bright green with turquoise accents.
Looking forward to putting paint to the other 11 ladies of the Wood Elven team.

Wow! Its been a while since I posted something!

Have a great weekend all!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

2v2 Tournament Batrep - A Howl of Laughter

 Is this just real life, is this just fantasy...
Caught in the webway, no escape from reality....
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see...

Hello all! It's been a while since the last update. Took part in a 2v2 tournament with my beloved Masque of the Third Act last weekend, pairing up with Alan and his Space Wolves army. Alan brought a formation from the new Warzone Fenris supplement, which meant that he had 10 drop pods coming in on the first turn. Groovy. My list remained roughly the same, with the Troupes all having special weapons, and some psychic/Solitaire support. Details below.

The Blackmanes (all in drop pods)
3 x 5 Blood Claws, each with 1 Flamer
4 x 5 Grey Hunters, each with 1 Melta
1 x 2 Long Fangs, with 1 Melta
1 x 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry, with 1 Power Fist
1 Wolf Guard Battle Leader
5 Wolf Scouts
1 Murderfang

The Masque of the Third Act
2 Lvl 2 Shadowseers, one with the Mask of Secrets
1 Solitaire
3 Troupes, all with either Caresses, Kisses, or Embraces
2 Starweavers
1 Voidweaver

Sweat beaded on the Shadowseer's brow as he focused on the tides of the Warp. Trespassers from the Mon'keigh Imperium had made their way through the Cursed Forest of Lys, coming perilously close to freeing the evil that remained trapped in the shrouded ruins. Through long planning and crafted illusion, the Masque of the Third Act had managed to bring the attention of the Space Wolves to this benighted world. With delicious irony and no small amount of manipulation, the Wolves would be unleashed on their brethren...

Our first game was against a Sororitas/Iron Hands list with Wiloon and Colin at the helm. The Iron Hands list allowed them to choose a vehicle as their warlord, and they promptly chose the Land Raider, which made it a high priority target for all the drop melta.The scenario gave extra VP for killing off units that were NOT from your Warlord's detachment, and given how many units Alan had, we made his Battle Leader the Warlord.

Deployment. The harlies are clustered in terrain to take advantage of what meagre cover was available. That Knight Crusader was going to tear them a new one if it managed to draw LOS.

Turn 1. Steel Rain! All the drop pods come down, and we chose to cluster the majority of the pods close to their troop transports. We managed to get Slay the Warlord and First Blood, with some good rolling on the Meltaguns.

Our first turn saw the Blackmanes come down and glance down the Warlord Land Raider for First Blood and Slay the Warlord! That gave us a start which was way better than expected.

Those Wolves are baying for Sisters' blood as they crack open the Land Raider!
The Knight then moved up and began blasting the Space Wolves away. It was surprising to Alan and I that they didn't target the Harlies, but I suppose having a bunch of smelly Vikings in their face offended the Sisters' sense of propriety. The shooting didn't last long though, as the Harlies were now within charge distance.

The Harlies and the Thunderwolves charge in to try and tie up the Crusader. Look at that awesome conversion of using the school badge as a crest!

Between the flurry of Harlequin's Caresses and Thunderwolf attacks, the Knight goes up in flames. The Titanic Explosion scatters clean off from everything and does no further damage.

The Wolves hit the Sisters' lines hard, with the Solitair to come in soon after.
The Solitaire proved his worth as he easily gibbed both Uriah Jacobus and a few of his Dominion escort. While we were unable to kill many of the Sisters for the bonus VP, we had managed to pin them in their deployment zone, letting us rack up the Maelstrom points. At the end of the game, our first round score was 29-11. Wiloon and Colin were great people to play against, and man, did that Knight look sweet with a CHIJ school badge on it. You can't get more Sororitas than CHIJ.

The Masque of the Third Act faded back into the shadows of the webway, their job completed. The ever eager Space Wolves had fallen on their brethren quickly, never realising that the corruption they sensed was from the forest itself, not their fellow Imperials. The clues had already been laid to lead the Wolves on to their next target amongst the Crystal Tombs of Khet...

Our second game was against an Ultramarines/AdMech team, led by Marshall and Reuben. Lots of marines, two thunderfire cannons, and a whole bunch of robots with Grav/Phosphor in drop pods. Reuben rolled the Warlord Trait that made his Canticles always function at their highest level, and they gave us first turn. The mission included a Relic for an extra 5VP.

First turn and deployment as the Space Wolves' pods start coming down.
Between the pods, the drop melta, and shuriken cannon fire, we managed to wreck both Rhinos for First Blood. The marines came piling out, and were hemmed in like the Sisters before them. This meant that our opponents had lost much of their mobility and flexibility in securing objectives, as there were 6 Objective Secured units that were either wrecked or stuck in the middle of nowhere.

The Ultramarines respond by piling out of their wrecked transports to face their erstwhile brethren.

The Ultramarines retaliate, dropping in with a full tactical squad to try and reclaim that objective.

Murderfang unleashes his rage on an unsuspecting Thunderfire cannon and tears its Techmarine operator to bloody shreds.

 Love this shot. While the battle swirls around him, the Solitaire leaps into combat with a Librarian.

We were quickly reminded that the AdMech shooting was very painful, with the Kastelan Maniple killing Murderfang with Overwatch! The Grav Destroyers also hurt quite a bit, as did their auto 3 hit flamers, which meant a lot of toasted Harlequins. We nearly managed to pull off a resounding victory by hanging on to the Relic, but Reuben's Grav Destroyers managed to kill the unit holding the Relic at the end. Nevertheless, we took the second game 23-7. Marshall and Alan were old frenemies, and it was always amusing listening to their banter. It was really tough luck for them that we popped both their Rhinos, which would have given the list much more objective securing ability.

The Wolves were performing their roles just as planned, and the Troupe Master of the Light nodded to the Solitaire as he passed; the Masque was about to perform the final act, one which would require sacrifice for success. The Harlequins were ready to play their part, ready to die in order to ensure that the White Scars and the Space Wolves met and renewed their bonds on the Blasted Steppes of Vandra IV...

After 2 games played, Alan and I were coming in top with 52 points, while the 2nd placed Zim and Lum had 49. The 3rd placed players had 41 points, and to catch up, the 3rd placed team would need to table their opponent, or at least win by a relatively big margin. I was reasonably confident they wouldn't be able to achieve that, as their opponent had a Stormsurge with Interceptor. To everybody's surprise, the Tau player chose not to intercept the Skyhammer grav devastators, and the poor Stormsurge promptly died without firing a shot. Their game predictably ended in a tabling thereafter, giving them 71 points. It was now an open contest for the top three places.

On to our final game! We faced off against Zim and Lum's White Scars/Ultramarines. We were playing a mission with Eternal War, which meant that objectives held at the end of the game were worth 2 VP each. Against a fast moving and durable CAD on bikes, and a Skyhammer. This was going to end well...
Deployment. Both sides deployed with caution, with the bikes spreading out to avoid getting walled in by the pods, and the Harlies and scouts stick to terrain to avoid the Skyhammer.

That familiar pitter patter of steel raindrops. As the objectives were worth 2VPs each at the end of the game, we tried to bubblewrap the objectives and screen the enemy off.

We got first turn again, and the Blackmanes promptly dropped in. We tried to bubble wrap the objectives with pods and bodies, but our lists just weren't designed for this type of attritional battle, and the Skyhammer hit us like a ton of bricks. Notably, Lum's drops were INSANE. See picture below for evidence.

In comes the Skyhammer! What a ballsy drop!

A lot of our stuff died shortly after this.
I apologise for the lack of pictures, as we were rushing through turns and the hour was late. As the game wore on, the superior firepower of the White Scars and Skyhammer took its toll, with both Wolves and Harlies dying in equal measure. Zim's Thunderfire cannons took their toll, but in a post-mortem on the game, I realised that Barrage weapons only hit the top floor of the ruin in ITC rules! My harlies on the ground floor would have survived a volley, which could have made quite the difference. In the end, we just couldn't kill enough of the bikes to secure objectives, and they took the game by quite a margin (sorry can't remember the exact score). 

The final result was that Zim and Lum took first place, in what was their maiden(ish) tournament! No shame in losing to the eventual champions eh, and we came in third so it wasn't too bad ;) 

A great tournament for the most part, and I'm glad to have proven to myself (and hopefully some other people) that Harlies could make the cut if played right, under the right circumstances. To lose second because of someone else's mistake did sting, but them's the breaks. Looking forward to the next one, and thanks to GRex for organising the tournament!

The Masque of the Third Act slunk away into the Webway, bearing their dead and wounded with them. Yet again they had taken a battering, but their goals had been accomplished. In fighting each other, the Imperium in the sector was temporarily weakened, allowing Exodites seeking refuge to slip by undetected. In fighting each other, the White Scars, Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Adepta Sororitas, and Adeptus Mechanicus had tested their mettle and come out the better for it. They would need their battle hardened mentality to face the oncoming 13th Black Crusade....

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hobby Corner: choosing a pose for the deff dread.

just a quick post, during my coffee break...

so it was long said that 'Nothing is new under the sun' and that is so true for us orks, whom we do not create any thing original but loot other faction's machines and also ideas..

So a few weeks ago a mate of mine, posed his shadowkeel in the same style as the cover art of the computer game Titanfall, to much rapturous applause over social media.

Seeing an opportunity, the big mek got to work and also followed suit! It was an anxious week whilst I waited for the ork kneeling legs to arrive in the post and here it is!

Now to get off my lazy butt and get some paint on the deff dread!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tournament Report - AusComp 1850

I recently went to an 1850pt tournament with my Harlequins army, and brought the following list.

Masque Detachment
3 x Lvl 2 Shadowseers
3 x Harlequins troupes with one Dedicated Starweaver
2 x FA starweavers
1 x Voidweaver

Faolchu's Blade Formation
2 x 4 Skyweavers with glaives
1 x Voidweaver 

Heroes Path
Solitaire with Rose
Level 2 Shadowseer with Mask of Secrets
Death Jester

The Masque of The Third Act

As it was a Comped tournament, I went with the spirit of the game and tried to bring a list with as low a comp score as possible. The list ended up with 2 comp points.

My first game was against a reputed Khorne Daemonkin player in the local scene. He deployed by screening off his bloodthirsters with his 30 flesh hounds, and I had to kill off his assault monsters before his Heldrakes came in to standstand a chance in this game.

As the mission was also scored on Kill Points, I had to choose between killing his units and giving him blood tithe or giving up the Kill Points. I made a big mistake here as I elected to stop his blood tithe instead of gaining the Kill Points. His Heldrakes predictably slaughtered everything that was in their line of fire, but I gave as good as I got. When the final total was tallied, my opponent ended up winning 24-20, showing how I probably should have gone for the Kill Points. Killing off the last few units of hounds would have been really helpful.

Look at that pile of dead units.
The next match saw me face off against a battle company, all in drop pods. Spam AV12 with Obsec is a rock to the Harlequins scissors, unless you tailor for it by bring loads of haywire in place of shuriken cannons. The mission rules meant that we could only draw cards for the number of objectives we held at the start of our turn, definitely skewing this in favour of my opponent.

I deployed by hiding my troupes in transports to protect them from dropped bolters, but made a HUGE mistake by leaving my shadowseers in the open instead of putting them in reserve. This mean I lost a lot of psychic firepower early to his drop marines, which hurt because I had a lot of leadership based witchfires to kill off marines in cover.

The AV12 came to hurt me in the long run, as one heroic drop pod tanked 6 rounds of haywire grenades from the Solitaire in shooting and assault, helped by my forgetting that immobilised vehicles are auto hit. Major mistake. I would have been able to claim more objectives and possibly even up the score. Assault and superior firepower helped me narrow the gap towards the end of the game, but I ended up losing 22-16.

And that's only those that came in Turn 1...

My last game was against arguably the top race at the moment, Tau, against a general who was smarting from being hit with a Macro-cannon salvo.

Same as the second game, we drew a number of maelstrom objectives equal to that which we already controlled. My opponent's warlord trait let him auto regroup and shoot at full BS after going to ground, and it helped him immensely as he weathered a round of my shooting by going to ground for a 2+ cover save.

I charged everything forward to try and get into close combat, but perhaps that was too aggressive. It did mean that I could also grab midfield objectives while he couldn't. Despite managing to kill a riptide, some suits, and a bunch of marker drones, some poor rolling meant I couldn't get into combat with his stormsurge. The sad clowns were predictably tabled thereafter.

Under tournament rules, a tabling was worth an additional 10 VP, but he didn't score any of his objectives! The end result was that I lost 12-7. If I had played to the mission, either trying to grab the relic, or holding my backfield objectives with veil of tears up, I might have just sneaked in a draw with a bit of luck.

Lots of firepower arrayed against the clowns

Anyway, 0-3 for the tournament. Not what I was hoping for, but I was hopeful that my low comp would work in my favour. As it turned out, I finished 7/13, which wasn't too bad, considering I went 0-3.
The only Harlies player in the field.
The reason I didn't finish higher was because the TO adjusted how much comp was worth in terms of overall score. If he had applied the 50% approach, I'd have finished 4/13 on battle points and 5/13 on overall score, which is a LOT better. Still, I had known this just before the tournament. The big drop in my points came against what could have been a fair chance at winning Game 2, and maybe Game 1, if I didn't make the mistakes I did.

Winning game 2 would have helped me a fair bit here...
Learning Lessons

1) REMEMBER YOUR RULES. Forgetting that immobilised vehicles are auto hit was unforgiveable.

2) PLAY TO THE MISSION. Not something I should be forgetting, but in all 3 missions I forgot to make scoring points my overriding priority. Not scoring KPs in Game 1, not keeping units safe in Game 2, and not grabbing objectives to generate new ones in Game 3 all harmed my overall score.

3) Objective placement is key. For example, I placed the objectives far apart in order to try and nullify the drop in my second game. But given my small number of units, I could have clustered the objectives together so as to allow me to kill off his obsec units faster.
4) Don't discount objective secured when looking at detachment bonuses. Battle company lists were a pain, and it was really because non obsec lists just didn't have the firepower to take them down in a comp environment.
5) Comp only works if it takes up a large portion of the score. When players are not as penalised for bringing higher comp lists, then the effectiveness in ensuring people bring more balanced lists is greatly reduced. This isn't me whining about not placing better; my place in the final running wouldn't have changed much. However, some people have complained that battle companies were under-comped, which is true to a certain extent. My response is that they seem even more under comped in this tournament because the TO adjusted how comp was applied without adjusting the comp cost.

Many thanks to Gamersaurus Rex for organising the tournament, and looking forward to the next one, a 2v2 in April!


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