Monday, May 10, 2010
Caidan 17th Imperial Guard vs. Tau force: Firestorm (Angel Crespo)
Mission: Capture the Keepers….5 individual models spaced out along the middle of the board, 12” from the side edges, and 12” apart. Each Keeper moves randomly d6”+ scatter dice each turn. Until they are captured or within 3” of any unit.
Any infantry or walker unit can capture a keeper in an assault, than may move away with them or load them into a transport.
Escape off your own table edge, score 5 points. Kill a Keeper, -3 points. Kill enemy HQ commander, +1 points, your commander lives: +1 point.
After having helped prevent evil and chaotic summoning by some rogue members of the Salamander’s 2nd company, Colonel Colwyn Dray and his forces found themselves in a predicament.
They had just opened fire upon allied forces of the Imperium. Col. Dray gave his men instructions to capture forces of the summoning renegades alive and at all costs. This ended up pitting his forces against Loyalist Salamander Space Marines.
Col. Dray was ready to face the worst. Fearing Captain Ver’Asa of the 2nd company would probably see to it that he and the rest of the Cadian 17th recon forces were to face execution for opening fire upon their forces. The only saving grace was that Col. Dray’s forces had obtained some strong neuro-bombs and the shocking blast waves from some of their munitions, while deadly on weaker foes, were non-lethal to the Astartes warriors.
“…again we repeat…..all forces loyal to the Emperor of Mankind, stand down! This is by order of Vulkan Hes’tan himself and the 1st company of the Salamanders. You are to stand down and await further orders. This is emissary Bel’tior of the Salamanders 1st company, you are to stand down and await our arrival…..”
The message came right after Colonel Dray saw Captain Ver’Asa put a bullet from his bolt pistol into the head of the last traitorous marine. Breathing a sigh of momentary relief, Colonel Dray just assumed it would only be a short stay of execution.
The Salamanders also were rumored to be bringing in additional forces to clean up in this sector. Rumors of Space Marines from the Blood Angels, Space Wolves, as well as the Salamanders leaving a detachment of the 6th company supporting the rebuilding Lamenters marines were all due to arrive in the next month.
For now, additional intelligence revealed some interesting information for the current forces involved in the battles on Bein-Telu.
It had come to the attention of monitoring units that a strike force of Tau from the Firestorm division were tracking the Cadian 17th. Intelligence shown that these were similar forces that the Cadian 17th had expunged before when they were called in to deal with a large force of Kroot Mercenaries. Perhaps the Tau were seeking revenge?
As for the Salamanders, they were to join 1st Company and proceed to intercept another Tau force, a questionable unit called : E’Co Sept. of Order Xenos…an experimental “loyalist” Tau force that claims to be allied to the Imperium. Not wanting to take any chances, the Salamanders would be dispatched to cut them off and eliminate them altogether.
The mission was simple. There are 5 native aliens to Bein-Telu in a location nearby that the Tau were looking to intercept. Emissary Bel’Tior of the Salamanders had issued orders for Col. Dray to lead his forces and capture some of these “Keepers of the secrets” and return them for processing before the Tau of force Firestorm could.
Colonel Dray organized a strike team that he would lead personally, not wanting to disappoint the Salamander’s Emissary and keep his forces in the “good graces” of the Imperium. He rallied a veteran sniper team and Capt ? (Master of Ordnance) to form his command squad.
Colonel Dray had sent for Lt. Belkan, the somewhat cowardly junior officer who sometimes led and infantry platoon into battle. The Colonel figured this was the Lieutenant’s last chance to redeem himself before having a Commissar assigned to him. Joining him were to infantry squads and two heavy weapons teams, one with Autocannons and one with Lascannons and Missle Launchers.
Having moved his forces into position, Col. Dray gritted his teeth in anticipation. The Tau were known for their firepower and he knew he would be in for a fight. Scout reports came in on three squads of battle suits, including a squad known as Broadsides, that packed lethal anti-armor in the form of twin-linked rail guns.
Railguns either failed to penetrate armor on the Chimera or hit the rocks in front of it, sparing it for the moment.
Scout walkers stepped up and immobilized one of the Tau Devilfish transports. Stormtroopers stepped up and captured a Keeper and started to pull back. The Chimera rolled forth and popped smoke launchers.
The squad inside the Valkyrie was pinned. The anti-armor squads moved forward to grab cover in the tree line as Lt. Belkan moved his men into the woods as well.
The intensity of the incoming fire from the leman russ forced the Smart missle armed Battle Suits on the Eastern flank to fall back and leave the field of battle.
Tau turn 2: Much to the chagrin of the Battle Tank crew, a squad of 20 Kroot mercenaries arrived on the Eastern Flank. The Horde of creatures leaped and clambered and fired into the rear of the tank, forcing crews to close all hatches and dive for cover. (60 attacks, 26 hits, 2 glances, both crew stunned).
The Tau Hammerhead tank opened fire with an Ion cannon, joining the Braodsides in trying to gun down the Stormtroopers who were making away with a Keeper. Four of the brave soldiers fell to their fire, but kept moving.
Cadian 17th turn 2:
The Leman Russ Executioner tank turned it’s guns onto the Kroot as well, hoping to chase them off their allied tank. The plasma blasts scored 17 hits, but the Kroot saved 14 of them with cover saves! Stray shots from the plasma cannons though took out the main gun of the Leman Russ and one of it’s drive wheels, thus immobilizing it.
Still, it forced the Kroot to retreat. The Valkyrie team stepped up and captured another keeper and tried to make their way back. The Stormtroopers kept running as Cadian forces tried to provide additional firepower into their side. The Sentinels managed to stun and shake the crew of the other Devilfish on the Western flank.
The Chimera rolled forward and deployed it’s team, with the Armored fist squad hoping to capture yet another keeper.
The Ratlings failed to heed the commands of Col. Dray and fled the field of Battle.
The fleeing Kroot on the Eastern Flank regrouped and prepared to support the Battlesuits taking the fight to infantry squad by the Valkryie. Their combined firepower forced the squad to abandoned their position and leave the Keeper behind as they were forced to fall back.
The Hammerhead took out six of the Armored Fist squad as the Broadsides wrecked the Chimera tansport.
Under their cover fire, Lt. James “Jumpin’ Jim” Gavin made his escape with the first Keeper of the fight. Colonel Dray ordered the Autocannon squad to break cover and they moved forth and captured another Keeper as the squad from the Valkyrie continued to flee, also not heeding the commands of Col. Dray.
The Walkers managed to immobilize the second Devilfish.
Gunfire from the Kroot took out one of the Sentinel Walkers. As the Squad of Tau firewarriors who had the Keeper in their possession fled to escape, they tripped up on their own feet, rolling a (1) on their run, stopping them less than 1 inch from the table edge. This would prove to be a fatal event.
Cadian 17th turn 4: Seeing his beloved tank blown to smitherines, Colonel Dray ordered his squad to step up. Col. Dray leveled his pistol at the Tau commander and put a shot into the rear of his suit, penetrating the neck armor and injuring the enemy commander. Col. Dray than unsheathed his power sword and ordered a charge as he and his command squad assaulted the Enemy Brightblade in his battle suit.
Than came the coup-de-grace. In the far North West corner, as the firewarriors were running towards their escape, their reason for pulling up short became evident.
The Broadsides gunned down Dutch or chased him off (only time will tell if he truly escaped) and the Keeper was left to wander on it’s own as the remaining squad of firewarriors tried to pull back to capture it before it could wander away.
The remaining troops of the Armored fist squad made their escape but were not in possession of a keeper.
On the Eastern side, the two surviving battle suits joined into battle with their commander, taking out another of the command staff guard. The Kroot mercs on the east had fled the battlefield, the Leman Russ continuing to pour fire into their ranks as they fled.
Bringing his power sword in a coup-de-grace, Col. Dray cut down the Tau commander dropping him in a near fatal blow. The strike to their commander cause the two battle suits engaged with Col. Dray to break off to cover their commander.
The momentary confusion allowed Colonel Dray and his men to take leave of the battlefield as the Leman Russ fired off it’s smoke launchers to cover their commander’s victory. Crews abandoned the tank and fled with their commander, his units suffering heavy casualties, but scoring a victory none the less.
A tough battle that came down to the very end. Cadian 17th scored +5 points per Keeper (x2), +1 point for taking down the enemy commander, and +1 point for their Commander surviving for a total of 12 points.
The forces of Firestorm (Tau) scored zero points. If this was a battle based upon victory points, the Tau would have had a decisive victory, but that wasn’t the mission and in the end, the Cadian 17th have won yet again against the Tau of Firestorm.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Well, I learned a lot at the Berks Spring Assault Tournament we hosted. Myself and a few friends of the Berks Warhammer 40K Club. This particular event was a 1000 point, 4-game tournament we held for our club. We opened the invitation to other stores, game clubs and anyone else we knew it an attempt to reach out and connect and unit our groups.
In that aspect we were largely successful. We had 38 players show up for this event. Players from Berks met with gamers from Harrisburg and the Adventurer’s Guild, the Innocence Means Nothing game club based in Allentown/Lehigh Valley, and players from the Gaming Garage who host the Mechanicon GT.
What I didn’t realize was how huge an undertaking this event would be. I was sorely short on staff, and honestly didn’t realize we could get that many players, but I was somewhat prepared for it.
Our first tournament was held at the local Hobbytown USA in Reading. That was our Battle For Berks held on January 9th, 2010. We had over 20 people show up for 14 slots. Due to space, that was all that we could accommodate.
We contracted a hotel meeting room at the Country Inn & Suites in Wyomissing. The room was good size for our needs, but there was a mishap on the part of the hotel staff in preparing for our event and they were short several tables I needed.
Thankfully we have such a wonderful game club with the Berks Warhammer 40K Group that everyone rallied to bring in more tables, boards, scenery, terrain and all manner of supplied we needed.
I have to thank all of our players, as they did a wonderful job helping me from totally panicking. I have to give special thanks to Leslie McCormack, who has experience with helping with the administrative side of the tournament scene. She really saved the day more than folks will ever know.
We had a great turnout for this event with 38 players. I tried to keep scoring close to some GT events I have been too, but put a heavier emphasis on Sportsmanship in the total scoring.
The real bugs and issues came when the program file I was using didn’t calculate the results the way I had intended. This was due to me changing how scoring was done due to sportsmanship and the addition of objective points added to overall battle points. This ended up taking us two game rounds to work the bugs out of it.
Despite the delays on this, we undersold the event, but did this intentionally to draw the attention of fellow gamers. For $15 pre-registration and $20 at the door, players got to play 4 games of Warhammer 40K, largely against new players, on new terrain and scenery, as well as have a chance to win prizes. We also included beverages for the day and lunch for all of our players and staff. (These were some other costs incurred that went over budget, but again, I am learning).
Something I did differently was that I went heavy on prize support for such a small event. We than offered raffle tickets to each players. Pre-registrations received 5 tickets, and all other players at the door received 3. Each Army Domination winner won 2 additional raffle tickets.
We also sold more raffle tickets at $1 each, or Six for $5. The prize table we had would allow all prizes to be selected in a form of ‘prize seniority’. Any prizes left on the table at the end would go to the raffles.
This way, even a player in last place could still have a chance at winning a prize. The raffle went hand in hand with a pizza fund-raiser we held for the club to help offset our costs of the tournament. When it was all said and done we had a small excess. Those proceeds will be funneled back into our game club for supplies for a terrain clinic we are holding with my friend who owns the Adventurer’s Guild in Harrisburg PA
What happened instead was that the program allocated slots according by Win/Loss record. This was totally wrong, and sadly, I didn’t figure it out until 2 days later. I had issues with my computer and due to my blunder on time and planning, I rushed through the results part of the tournament. In the end, some players received awards based upon their record, as opposed to their overall scores.
In the end, I made sure to go back (out of my own pocket) and make sure all results were properly calculated and all appropriate winners received their just awards. As for the other players…… ….well, it is not fair for me to strip someone of a prize due to my own mistakes. So for them it was an early Christmas gift and for me, it was a harsh lesson learned.
Ultimately I just wanted everyone to have a good time. Despite my blunders, I sure hope that I achieved that to some degree. No matter what happened, I wanted everyone to know that they got a fair deal with the Berks Warhammer 40K club.
Terran Scapes, a company I found online also sponsored our tournament with a gift certificate. I bought some of their scenery and went through a process painting and getting it all ready. I featured that terrain on Table-1, and purchased their Martian Buttes. This is really nice quality terrain, and I also had one of their finished and textured hills. I plan to purchase more of their stuff, as it is really nice.
Sarah of Dragonfly Minis also sponsored our event with some gift certificates. I had contracted their services to paint a Vulkan Hes’tan for my Son’s Salamander Space Marines. I first learned of Sarah at the Mechanicon GT and learned about how talented she is with painting miniatures and armies by commission.
Despite the hard lessons learned as well as the work involved in this event, we will probably try another event in the future. For now I need a break from planning and just want to enjoy the summer coming up.
So, as for the lessons I learned, here’s my current list:
1: Get enough help for the tournament. More judges and referres.
2: Have someone available to be a gopher and run for miscellaneous stuff
3: Charge an appropriate amount for the event. (This event should have been at least $10 more). We are not looking to profit from it, just break even and have fun.
4: Keep lunch (if included) to a much simpler menu and process.
5: Allocate time between rounds to calculate results
6: Have the first two rounds of game play already randomized and prepared BEFORE
7: I like the idea of the raffle, but I would change it up a bit.
8: Fine tune my scoring system and programs, run a full test BEFORE the event.
9: Triple check the event and make sure they can handle our needs.
The raffle idea worked, but instead of having several smaller prizes, I may just keep the prize table to 10 items next time instead of 25. Than offer additional sizable awards in more of a ‘chinese auction’, where you have jars/baskets in front of each item for raffle, than allow the players to allocate as many or as few tickets as possible to each item. I would offer large prizes, like, say a battle force, a tank, and a few other items.
Also, when you attend an event, understand that there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, especially at larger venues like GTs. Try to remember to be courteous to the staff and make sure to thank anyone involved in organizing the event.