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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