Well, I'm a little late in reporting, but the Mechanicon 2011 Grand Tournament and Convention was a wonderful experience this year. This has been the third year for this event and it has grown each year.
The Main Event was of course, the Warhammer 40,000 Grand Tournament that is on the Games Workshop's Throne of Skulls tournament circuit. There were other events running all weekend, including (but not limited to), Battlefleet Gothic, War Machine, Blood Bowl, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Hero Scape, Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9, demo games of Robotech Battles and more.
Members of our club at the Berks-PA Gaming Club ran three sessions of Warhammer 40K Kill Team tournaments at 200 point teams. This went over very well and we had a good turnout.
Friday I planned on competing in the Battlefleet Gothic tournament. Three of us from our club participated along with the player who won the event in 2009. I went to war with my ork fleet, decked out at 1500 points. I had 2 Kill Kroozers, 2 Ork Terror ships, and 16 escorts, with 10 of those being two squadrons of 5-Brute Ram Ships each.
My first game was against Alex, a young Space Wolf player in our club. Alex has built up quite a rivalry against me and has become one of the toughest competitors in our club. We had a very tough battle that left a lot of carnage in its wake. Nothing as near as bad as our first practice battle before the tournament. We both managed to cripple a couple ships but essentially the game ended in a draw.
My second match was against one of my best friends, John Tinney. John has a very effective wolf-pack style fleet that uses three space marine strike cruisers and a large number of escorts. As John had taught me how to play BFG, I at least had a clue how to handle him this time around. The mission called for deployment of ships being a minimum of 15cm away from each other and 30cm from an enemy. This allowed a more spread out deployment and I made sure I had ships in positions to strike right away.
This was a bloody affair, the Orks vs. Star Dragons (Space Marine) fleet. We exchanged a lot of fire from the beginning. I was even able to pull off a raming attack with a ram ship taking out one of the Gladius escorts. Several Gladius fell to boarding torpedoes as well. When the smoke cleared all that was said and done the marines scored 291 to 320 for the orks. As the numbers are within 10% of each other, this mission too was a draw. Still, it was a lot of fun and a lot of shooting.
Game 3 of the BFG tournament was against Steve Smith, who had a very beefy list. He had a large Battleship, and 4 big cruisers: a Tyrant, a Mars, and 2 Gothic cruisers. I wasn't sure how to handle him, but I figured I'd give it my best shot. Instantly I fired off boarding torpedoes and deployed ork fighta-bombas. I really got lucky as the first 2 rounds of shooting with several Nova Cannons, my opponent missed almost everything.
By turn 3 my ships were finally in range. I concentrated fire upon one of the Tyrant cruisers. The gamble worked and the big gunz of the orks actualy score 2 hits when they hit a vessel. I was also able to get 2 of the Brute Ram ships in range to pull off a ramming attack against one of the Tyrant cruisers, enabling the orks to actually cripple one of the Tyrant ships. The next turn the Mechanicum fleet moved to shoot at my flagship, the Terror Ship:Steel Thunda. The Steel Thunda weathered a violent round of firepower as the Mechanicus ships concentrated their fire into the Ork Terror ship. I was very good on saves and braced 5 out of 6 hits (or 7 out of 8).
Having "braced for impact" The Steel Thunda could not do much offensively. I looked around and I was just in range to attempt to pull off a boarding assault. I had already crippled one of the Tyrant ships and it was trying to break free to make a run for it. Orks are very effective at Boarding attempts and pulled off an amazing 8 hits! The vessel only had 3 left, so it was reduced to a Flaming Hulk. The orks also managed to cripple another one of the large vessels. It was enough to not only give me a tie, but score 1 more battle point than my opponent.
Steve would go on to win the tournament with a score of 2 wins and 1 draw (thanks to me), and I took 2nd place with 3 Draws! I was very excited to do so well and won some prizes as well.
The Warhammer 40K Grand Tournament was a hoot! Each year it gets better, and each year I make new friends. Now, I'm pretty competetive but I love to have fun. Win, Lose, or Draw I tell my opponents that I am here to have fun and give them a fight. This year I even went as far as to make up little tokens to hand out as trophies. I had Golden Orks that read "I Beat Waaagh! Karnage" for my opponents who defeated me. For any draws, I made up Silver Orks that read on the base: "I tied Waaagh! Karnage" and of course for my opponents I would beat, I made up bronze grots that read: "I lost to Waaagh! Karnage". I also had several custom dice made up by Chessex that had our club logo on it for the number 6. I gave out dice to all of our club members to hand out to our opponents as a token of good will.
I don't want to spoil anything but I do want to give battle reports as I have time to write them up. However, I will recap briefly my experiences in the event.
Game 1: was against David McGarvey's Imperial Guard. He was a fun opponent who actually showed up with a Deathstrike missle launcher! I have never seen one in tournament play and was just excited to see one. He made a few mistakes with forgetting to use his orders and such, and I helped him out, letting him get to go back in the turn and do them. My ork horde has had a lot of experience against Mechanized guard thanks to Ed Mlynar (Waaagh! Aki) of our club, who has been a wonderful opponent to train against. My army this time did exactly what it was designed to do and I ended up dismantling my opponent soundly. I scored a Massacre and got the full 20 battle points for the victory.
Game 2: was a humbling battle vs. Mike Hoskins from Kentucky. Mike was another fun opponent and his group drove 10 hours from Kentucky to attend the event. (I scoff at our own club members who whine about an hour drive, LOL). Mike brought Grey Knights with Castellan Crowe and Purifierers. Orks HATE Purifiers. My initial plan was sound and I actually had him slightly nervous as he saw how fast my army was and that I had 150 orks. Sadly, some moves didn't work for me, like difficult terrain rolls into assaults and I found out just how bad Psykotrope grenades are. I gave him a fight, but in the end, he got a massacre or near massacre against me.
Game 3: was against a new Elite member of the Berks Club, Paul Parke, a very cunning Tau player. Paul had won 2nd place in the Berks Road to Mechanicon tournament as well as winning the same event at the Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg. Paul castled to his far left corner, forcing my army to come across the table (spearhead depolyment). However, my 2 mobs of 20-stormboyz each rolled 6's on their jumps, moving 18 inches, plus 5's and 6's on their running rolls, getting some orks into assault range on a Tau Devilfish by turn 2. In the end my army delievered and I pulled out a Major Victory. Paul went on to go finish 7th or 9th overall, I gave him his only loss.
Game 4: was on sunday and I faced off against Brad Park of the Warm Fabric Nationals club. Brad was the only Necron player and was a fun opponent to face off against. He had 2 monoliths, immortals, a C'Tan Deceiver and lots of troops. I'm not one to fight Necrons much so this was a good experience and the last "hurrah" with the old codex. I almost forced a phase out, his number was "9", and I had him at one point down to 10 models. I made a couple of mistakes that cost me some points, but I still managed to pull out a Minor Victory in the end.
Game 5: Was the Thunderdome Match. Ork vs. Ork. My opponent had a very similar list to mine. Where I went with 2 mobs of stormboyz in my units and a unit of Kommandos, he had dumped points into more mobs of boyz and also a large mob of Nobs. We detatched Ork bosses to fight unmolested in the center of the board where there was a large ruined building, "The Thunderdome" and we were going to hang the battle's outcome there. Both Warbosses ended up taking each other out. We played out the next few rounds and found out that by turn 4, any chance of me pulling off a win failed once he cut down Boss Snikrot and my kommandos, who were threatening his Lootas mob. As the mission was Capture and Control, we realized no one could do any better than a draw, so we ended early to share in more beer. We were both tied for battle points, running 5th into the match.
I finished the day with 3 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw. I had fun and had very good opponents. One thing our club really preaches is Good Sportsmanship above all else. I was very excited to see that our own John Tinney won 2nd best sportsman and I took 1st Best Sportsman, and I finished 6th overall. Due to computer glitch, Army Domination awards were given to other players, as the program didn't give 2 awards to any one player. Technically John also won Best Dark Angels player an I best Ork, tied for battle points with my opponent Colin Jones. I edged him out in the finals due to my bonus sportsmanship points.
This was a wonderful event, and Yes, I took home some prizes. I also was able to share the weekend with my son who competed in all three of the Kill Team tournaments, himself winning 2nd place in 2 of those events. Our club was well represented and I can't wait for 2012 Mechanicon November 2-4!
I'm a 30-something gamer who's been involved in gaming for many years, in fact for over 25+ years in a variety of games, and have shifted from RPGs to mainly table top wargaming. I do still participate in an online version of GURPS RPG with friends around the USA, as well as playing some games on the computer.
Currently I am also expanding into running Warhammer 40K tournaments and playing 40K competetively, continue to expand our game club and network, and just enjoy life.
Other games I currently play are: Blood Bowl, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Flames of War, GURPS RPG, and Battletech.
Former games I used to play inlcude: Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars RPG (West End Games, Rolemaster RPG, Magic the Gathering CCG, Paranoia, Various board games, Star Frontiers, and Marvel Heroes.