The Standoff is a New England event - in Maine, and it was held this past weekend. 40 Players (the event sold out), and about 12 hours of time from door opens to prizes awarded. 3-game format, 1750 points with composition, and scenario chosen from Creative Twilight's website.
Overall, it is a good model for other 40K groups to follow.
If anyone had any doubt locally about the fun and variety of gaming, all they needed to do was come by the event. Every player seemed to have something completely different. I hope someone organizing the event grabbed a picture of every army tray and can provide some analysis and maybe a summary of the coolest, complex lists they saw. I really cannot comment much more, since other than taking some shots of some of my favorite armies, and those of my 3 worthy opponents, I can't comment too much further there. That said, here are some photos of my favorites I spotted before Round 1:
A beautifully painted IG army themed for the Red Star and Commissars:
A nicely done Dark Angels army:
The "Harrowed" up from Boston:
Shiny's Ultramarines 2nd Company including Sicarius:
For me the event is all about seeing what everyone else does with this hobby, and catching up with old acquaintances. Overall, I just wish I'd had more social time! If there had been a pub closer, I would have considered meeting a bunch of player there after the awards were handed out.
As for the games, all three were different and posed their own challenges.
In Game 1 I was paired with a guy named Jon from Framingham, MA, who travelled up with the Dorka Morka club. Jon had a really nice space marine army (iron hand chapter tactics), which was constructed around a Space Marine terminator captain. The game started off looking pretty daunting, and his list was something I might have run, and is nearly identical to lists I've used (sans the Captain!). He placed 2 of the three objectives, so my strategy was to keep mine, and take one of his, and create a kill point gap in the process. It worked pretty well, and after a nail biter of a game, Third Company came out on top and I advanced to Round 2 with 26 points...
Here is game 1 right after deployment:
Here is a closer shot of the woods where the toughest fighting would occur:
Game 2. As luck would have it, my Nemesis, Ripped Dragon, also scored 26 points in Round 1. There are 40 gamers from New England, and for the second time in my life I met Ripped in a Tournament! Ripped's list is something pretty interesting...on first blush it looks like an Imperial Guard Blob with an Aegis and Manticore. Then you see the details...the best IG General providing his buffs, a squad of crazed convicts, some air support, and then there is Tigurius with 5 scouts and a Contemptor Mortis Dreadnaught...So now you have a large blob that is essentially fearless, and well defended while it picks you apart.
In that game I got to place 2 of the three objectives. At the end, we both had an objective, but he had me on kill points. We split the point in a close game that really hinged on a bad dice roll. Interestingly, the game almost did not happen. The TO tried to have us swap opponents with a lower ranked table, but we argued that we really needed to fight it out. As it was, Ripped earned less points than me from any opponent of the day (He finished third overall out of 40!)
Here we are with deployment ongoing:
And here is my vehicle investments on fire...I still owned the third objective, but not for long...
Game 3 was against a strong but low-model count Nurgle list that I'd played against in the past, and it was the sort of list I'd designed my tactics and overall strategy around. It was a fun game, and tactically, everything worked well or close to as designed. I pulled in a strong win, and the day ended with a dice roll concerning whether I'd get 5 points for a tertiary goal or 3. I won that dice roll, and started packing my stuff. In game, I was able to address the flying demon prince, the bugs, and pretty much pounded the Nurgle to green paste. I wish I'd had more pictures of this game. Overall, the real fight was between the Sternguard and the core of the Nurgle army. Eventually the Sternguard were gone from the table but they'd done a lot of damage as planned, sealing the win.
Overall, with all the soft scores, I finished 17th out of 40. On just battle points, I was 16th, but only 6 points from being in the top 10.
So here is a parting shot -
Overall, it a lot of fun and inspiring. I came out amazed and excited about the great variety in the hobby, and have some ideas on participating in the painting competition for the April Assault when Crossroads puts on their large springtime 40K event.
For my list - the MVP of course was Tigurius, who was a key support player in every game, until his untimely disappearance into the warp in Round 3 on the last turn. The weakest unit based on the matchups I had was the Stalker. It did nothing in Round 1, lost its weapon system in Round 2, and lost its weapon system again in Round 3! A few of my my 3rd Company Ultramarines have earned some ribbons...