Well, we had to dodge Hurricane Sandy, but we still managed to have a wonderful time at the Mechanicon and Warstore Weekend. Up in northern New Jersey by the Medowlands, we were secluded in our hotel and set up to play a variety of games.
Our club was able to run 3 rounds of a Warhammer 40K kill team mini-tournaments. I was thankful for my friend Ben Liesey to join me, as he ran the first round of Kill Team to free me up to play in a Battlefleet Gothic tournament. I did not do as well as last year, but I still managed to have fun with my Ork fleet and love to play that game when I get a chance.
We started off the Grand tournament and I was using a new army this time. I took my son Ethan along with me and used his army this time. Imperial Guard (of the Cadian 17th) along with Salamander Space Marine allies. It was a very effective list at 1500 points. We finished 3 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw.
Our list was pretty effective for a medium sized force.
HQ: Primaris Psyker
Elites: Gaurdsman Marbo (Dutch)
Elite: 5 x ratling snipers
Troops: Veteran squad with 3 x plasma guns, and plasma pistol for Sgt. (in Vendetta)
Troops: Catachan veteran squad with 3 x melta guns (in Valkyrie)
Troops: Veteran squad, autocannon, grenade launcher, melta gun, flamer, in a chimera
Fast Attack: Valkyrie Assault Transport: Rocket pods, heavy bolter sponsons, multi-laser
Fast Attack: Vendetta Gunship: 3 x twin-linked lascannons, heavy bolter sposons
Heavy Support: Leman Russ Battletank: Heavy Bolter sponsons, lascannon, battlecannon, dozer blade
Salamander Space Marine allied detatchment:
HQ; Space Marine Captain with Power Fist
Troops: Tactical Marine Squad: missle launcher, Flamer, Rhino transport, extra stormbolter
Heavy Support: Thunderfire cannon
Game 1 was a fun mission: 5 objective (mysterious) vs. a similar Imperial Guard army. My opponent had a Manticore, a Vendetta and a variety of men. It was a very closely matched battle. He had one vendetta, I had 2 flyer, and my initial goal outside of having fun in all of my missions was Air Superiority. In this I succeeded, as my flyers outflanked and came right in behind his and eventually shot him down.
We had a good battle that had gone back and forth. The biggest issue giong for him was the Manticore, which under the new 6th edition rules, as long as ANY part of the template hits a vehicle, the attack is resolved at the full strength of the weapon. The added firepower of the Nova cannn from his Leman Russ Eradicator took away much-needed cover saves from my men.
It was a well fought game and my opponent and I fought this to draw.
Game 2: vs. Mike Lock (*from England!). This was such an enjoyable game. My opponent was playing Blood Angels/Flesh Tearers and was such a wonderful spirit and great sportsman. Mike was here on holiday from England and visiting a few American 40K tournaments. We had a fun time.
Initially I was very concerned by his list. He had a lot of mobile units. Men in razorbacks, vindicator tanks, Baal Predators, Storm Raven. It was a lot of fire power and I had just hoped that my forces would be up to the task. The mission was a variant of Big-Guns never tire and you got bonus points for killing heavy support units.
After the initial volley from the Baal Predators, assault cannons and inferno cannons, I was concerned what they would do to the rest of my troops. However, my shooting was solid, and my vehicles held up. The Leman Russ did its job and took out a few, but the real firepower came in with the Vendetta nad Valkyrie zooming in and laying in perfect shots and taking out vindicator and razorback as needed.
In the end, after much Imperial Guard Shooting I had pretty much wrecked just about every vehicle Mike had brought to battle. My plasma and melta gun squads riding in the airships proved equally effective and when it was all said and done, I had scored a major victory in this battle. In a way I felt bad for Mike, as my army did exactly what it was designed to do, but he was a great sport and took it all in stride. I definitely gave him bonus Sportsmanship Points, and voted him as my "favorite player" for the weekend. He ended up winning a sportsmanship award.
Game 3: vs. Chucky Nagel: Necrons.
Chuck Nagel is the son of Ted Nagle, a man I met and became friends with at Mechanicon back in 2009. They happen to be from Cape May, and my family has a vacation home down there as well. This was his son's first time in a Grand Tournament and he brought the new Necrons, which I did not have a lot of experience against.
This battle was played with the Hammer & Anvil deployment, pitting us long-wise on the table. This actually played to the strengths of my army for a couple of reasons. First of which was fire power. I purposely took the Leman Russ standard with the Battlecannon because of the 72 inch range. Additionally, the longer table sides make the outflanking ability of the Vendetta and Valkyrie much more effective as they have more room to arrive with and can cross the board in litterally 1 turn.
Chuck led off with tomb sypders and scarabs, some immortals, crypteck and the long arc/barge, which found itself out of range in the beginning of the battle.
As his units arrived, many times they were deep striking in and staying in small clusters. This proved to be fatal as both the Leman Russ and the Thunderfire Cannon concentrated fire on units. Necrons don't last long if you can find a way to put the entire unit down. So systematically, I concentrated fire into individual units, essentially taking them out.
Again, it was another situation where this army combination worked as it was intended. The Vendetta and Valkyrie came in and took care of the Necron Flyers and then moved on to elminate the Arc of doom, or whatever that vehicle was.
Added firepower of snipers and Guardsman Marbo did significant damage to clustered units. In Chucky's defense, his dice rolls were some of the worst I had ever seen. I offered to purchase new dice for him after the game, it was that bad. At the end of turn 5, he was down 2 just 2 models left and we technically had to play out turn 6, so I did score more battle points and essentially tabled him. Still, he was a good sport despite the beating he took. In a friendly game, I really woudl have felt bad, but sometimes this happens in tournaments, and I know this first hand....all to well.
So I finished the first day 2 wins, 1 draw. This led me into 2 games Sunday, my first opponent beign a Space Wolf player...and Wolves have given me a hard time in the past.
I had tried something different this time, setting my ratling snipers up high in a ruins, and below them an Imperial guard squad with a Space Marine Captain (with power fist) to back them up. Behind them and to the side was a tactical marine squad of salamanders in a rhino and the Primaris psyker near by inside his Chimera. Thunderfire cannon and Techmarine were nearby in cover of the ruins as well, which of course was bolstered to a 3+ cover save.
My Primaris Psyker got the ability from Biomancy that empowers a unit and gives them feel no pain and it will not die...and makes them pretty tough. This came into play later on as I had used it to bolster the guard unit that ended up being assaulted by Space wolves. They ended up suriving and with the additon of the Salamanders's Captain, they were doing a number on the wolves as well.
The next turn the Primaris psyker used his ability again and joined the fight. The combined units saw them beat back the space wolves, and eventually a second unit arrived to assault, and yet the guardmen still held.
While these units were having a scrum in the middle of the board, I had other units try to take out his runepriest. Guardsman Dutch (Marbo) scattered his demolition charge but still managed to kill 2 terminators, and eventualy I would whittle them down to just the rune priest, but no matter what hit him, I just could not put him down.
The Thunderfire cannon used subterannean bursts to slow down advancing space wolf units and it proved to be very effective. In fact the difficult terrain effect prevented the other units from joining into assaults into the last turns of the games, just leaving them out of range.
In the middle scrum eventually the Primaris Psyker himself killed 5 marines and the Space Marine Captain was down to 1 wound, with all of the marines concentrating attacks upon him, but he would make all of his saves and finish off the last of the them with his powerfist.
Time came and the game ended. When it was all said and done, based upon kill points, I thought I had won this game. It was going to be close but I put down a number of his units. When we tallied up kill points, we were at a dead tie. Had I finished off his rune priest, who had 1 wound left, I would have earned 2 more battle points and got the win. Instead, my opponent scored 1 extra battle point for "first blood" for being the first one to take out a unit (a rhino). This is the reason I dislike "first blood" in tournament situations....because you can give up an easy point to your opponent and never have a chance to make it up. So I lost this battle 10-9....but on the field of battle, my units dominated and actually beat Space Wolves in close combat with Guardsmen....talk about a moral victory!
Game 5: Vs. Dark Angels: Deathwing & Fortress of Redmeption.
Yes! Someone actually was foolish enough to bring a Fortress of Redemption to this tournament. I mean, really? Hey, whatever......the rules allowed it and I'm sure the staff was happy to actually see someone bring one. As intimidating as it looked, it really ended up being no more a threat than say an immobilized land raider.
The mission was The Scourging....with 6 objectives markers, 1 worth 1 Victory Point, 2 worth 2points, 2 worth 3 poitns and 1 worth 4 points. The battle field deployment was Vanguard Strike (table angles) and we both placed 3 markers on the table, but the values were unknown and you would not reveal them until the end of the game.
My opponent set up with his Fortress and a unit of Scouts on one side of it, and Belial manning the Icarious Lascannon. he had 4 terminator squads as well, one with an apothecary.
I had set my men up on the other side of the field and actually had a bastion on the table that I was able to use, and my opponent had a skyshield landing pad. This was going to be interesting. Six objectives spread across the table. Essentailly would could each claim 3 and hope for the numbers to pan out.
As my opponent went first, he moved troops to start trying to flank my position and get 2 units in to take or contest my objectives, relying upon his terminator armor to protect him. He had one objective behind the Fortress of Redemption that he could claim any time, and one in front of it, and one on the skyshield. I had one in ruins to my North east, one by the bastion, figuring that a scoring unit inside there would survive the game till the end, and one to the south, middle of my table edge by ruins.
As my opponent moved his men into postion, I used my tank and thunderfire cannon to try to take out terminators. It was working, one at a time, but taking out a terminator here and there with shooting. he would take the thunderfire cannon out with 2 shots from a cyclone missle launcher. The Techmarine would later move and join a combat squad of marines inside the rhino with the captain and start heading towards the south objective.
The Icarious lascannon slowed down my valkyrie when it arrived, but it survived. I had to move it to the north east to help grab the objective there in the ruins and deployed the veteran squad with Plasma guns to shoot up the Terminators. They and the Vendetta would take it down to 3 men. Another terminator would die in overwatch from a plasma gun, leaving 2 terminators to take on 10 guardsmen, and though 3 or 4 died, my men held their ground!
Eventually my guardsmen would hold their ground and take out the last terminator and hold the objective. As for the next advancing Terminator squad, they were getting shot up quick, and despite having an apothecary for the Feel No Pain ability, it wasn't helping. Down to just 1 man after combined shooting, I moved my Leman Russ and snap-fired the lascannon, rolling a 6 and taking out the last terminator.
My opponent was left with a tough decision because he had 2 terminator units at this point, one having arrived via deepstrike atop the skyshield landing pad, claiming that objecive and keeping up the shields for the 4+ invulnerable save. His scouts and Belial had to hold down the fort to keep the 3rd objecive.
My Valkyrie on that side, having again survived the Icarious Lascannon, moved north and deployed its squad of Catachan veterans with Melta-Guns. They would move to claim that objective behind the fortress while putting firepower into the scout squad. Belial would then come out to contest the Objective, but sadly I did not get to pump him full of melta fire.
This left my opponent with only 2 objectives and 2 units of Terminators. I ignored the one, because they had only close combat weapons and pretty much had to sit on their objective. I tried to shoot the one on the landing pad, but they were tough and would hold their ground no matter what.
At the end of the game I had held 3 objectives, including the one to my north east, the one in the middle by the bastion in my zone, and the one to the south where the Captain, Techmarine, adn Tactical squad has lost thier rhino transport in the process of heading south.
When the smoke cleared, I had 3 objectives, my opponent had 2. I had a 2, 3, and the 4 point objectives, so there was no way my opponent could make up those points. He scored 3 to my 9. I had line breaker, he had first blood. Total was 10-4 victory for me.
In the overall scheme of things, I finished 3 Wins, 1 Draw, 1 loss on the weekend. Not bad at 3-1-1 and I used my son's army, not my normal army. With a little luck, I could have gone 5-0, but it wasn't to be.
If you are looking to get into a "hobby" style tournament that includes ALL of the aspects of the hobby, Sportsmanship, fun, Battle and of course, great looking armies.....then you NEED to plug into this event. Hopefully if you're reading this, you will. And if you do, seek me out and we'll go to the bar and the first round will be on me.