Monday, November 10, 2014

The Jeff Gordon of 40K - Life at the Low End of the Standish Standoff

Well!  That was interesting!  To be a bit different from Thor at Creative Twilight, I thought I'd wait a day or so before putting up my thoughts and pictures from the Standish Standoff IV.

Overall, my blog post title pretty much sums up how Jeff Gordon and I both feel today after a hectic weekend and the ensuing results.

In short, Jeff was boned in the NASCAR playoffs when after running an awesome race, and fairly well earned a spot in the top 4 for next week's championship race, the number 5 driver (NEWMANNN!!!) threw another car into the wall in order to count as having passed it for a point (and still not finish in the top 10 for the race), but the result threw Jeff, who finished the race in second, out of contention by a single point of surviving to the next round.  Really!

Jeff has always  been one of my favorite drivers in part because he stays professional and tries really hard to be a good role model and racer.  Courage and Honor.  It matches well with my selection of Ultramarines and Imperial Guard.

Here is a shot or two or so of my "scenic display" to carry 3rd Company around in for the day:

The concept was simple - a Battle Barge hangar bay to deploy from.  Ultramarines symbol carved from foam board. The surface was marked where pods and such were to be placed, and the Litany of Being a Space Marine marked the wall.  It made the models look pretty good!

I'd spent a huge effort to update or totally redo painting of nearly every marine on the tray - many were upgraded with icons and purity seals, paints highlighted, shaded, using on new things the 6-step process of bases and layers and shades and stuff right out of GW's own painting tutorials.  Every sergeant was marked well.  Each model was WYSIWYG.  Each model carried as many as 15 different colors of paint  or shades, plus unit decals.  Some vehicles had Forgeworld hatches and hand painted art.  

Rant coming.  For all that work, and a display tray, I got just 12 out of 20 possible points? Apparently a scenic display was worth a single point, as my game one opponent, with an Iron Warriors army playing counts-as white scars with a kitbashed counts-as knight, got 19 points.  My Stormtalon has a fully detailed and painted interior with clear windows.  12 Points?  Hey, if you read my blog last year, you saw where I felt I got boned then too.  I don't know if it was qualitative judging again this year or if he actually had a scoring checklist.  Some would say I'm held to a higher standard!  

Here are some shots of just a portion of the 23 other armies at the event.  These were the best in terms of setups and bases, except for maybe Thor's, who did not seem to set his army up on a scenic display tray for display.  Neither did my first opponent. More photos can be found at Crossroad Game's facebook feed for the event.  

Yep, old school Ultramarines with Imperial Guard in the original Games Workshop Paint Scheme!

Same here for White Scars and Grey Knights! Old School from Massachusetts!

Always my favorite army here - 

He only scored a 18 for paint, but everything is sharp, crisp, and really good. Originally painted as Deathwatch.  Huge amount of the little details.  

I don't know how this scored, nice, muddy, but not 100% done yet.

Heavy metal on a metal tray.  This was played by one of my favorite opponents on any other day.  Glad I did not play against him!  Given just a 5 on painting.

This guy was my third opponent!  Awesome way to end the day facing off against this list!  6 Dread including Bjorn and Murderface.  Got shorted on Painting.  It was a nasty nasty list, but I'd had enough for the day and pretty much beat the Space Wolves to a pulp. Sorry dude!

One of my favorite paint schemes.  Nice bright colors for Tau.  Air brushed, orange details,  Not complete.  No markings? No freehand?  No kitbashing or sculpting? No display? Simple base? 
Not too fancy.  15 points for paint.  It was that kind of day. 

Now on to the game summaries!
(As far as I know, there was no rhyme or reason for pairing.  Random? Scenarios were unique.  Go get them and try them!)

Game 1: 
Table 9 of 12.  Interesting scenario to set the tone for the day.  4 objectives.  Objectives were 4 points, 2 if contested, extra points for the usual, plus extra points for killing heavy choices.  But apparently nothing extra for killing Lords of War.  My opponent (who went on to win the day as best all around) had a White Scars list (he called it "Codex Marines") as stated above was modeled as Iron Warriors.  Hand written list.  Knight Paladin, chapter master on bike, 2 tac squads in rhinos, 5 legion of the damned, stormtalon, 3 centurions.  He deployed first and chose to go second, turtling up on a board of heavy jungle terrain (densest I'd fight on all day).  I figured I'd try to kill the Knight that was shielding everything else.  I'd say beside bad dice rolls, my only other mistake might have been not having used "our weapons are useless" because I always rolled for morale, and then either passed or the Knight "caught me".  The game still was great to the end, but I gave up 5 points for the heavy choices I lost, and ultimately lost the game 19-5.  This was my first loss since August.  

Game 2: 
The unique punishment continued.  This time, I'm assigned Table 9 again, so we switch down to Table 10.  I'm paired this time vs a guy playing Forgeworld Minotaurs Chapter Marines.  Apparently their Chapter HQ and all the Forgeworld goodies that goes with it.  Morloc.  Minos. Prometheus.  Honor Guard. Landraider Spartan.  Landraider Achilles.  Drop Pod.  Terminators.  Low model count.  Everything apparently impervious to Melta.  So yeah, I'd have a heluvah time in this game too.  Good LOS cover for me to minimize the casualties.  4 objectives, usual bonus points, and points for killing fast attack units.  Of course, my opponent had no Fast Attack.  The game turned into one of those sour taste moments.  I was challenged with his impervious armored boxes carrying his army and all the power weapon and 2+/4++ or so armor on his few foot units.  We got down to turn 5 and we have less than 30 minutes left, so I ask him if turn 5 is our last turn.  Answer was a certain affirmative.  I played my turn.  He played his like lightning.  I'm winning!  He tells me we have to play another turn.  I'm like why?  We already agreed we had no time.  I'd played turn 5 as the end turn as he agreed.  He's mad.  I tell him if he won't stop, I'll take it out on his sportsmanship score. I'm courageous and stupid.  We play another turn and it ends up as a DRAW, 10-10.  I should have just smiled and walked away from the table.  This guys finished the day in 23rd place.  

Game 3:  
Now I'm playing on Table 11.  My opponent brings the pain.  A Space Wolves list of 6 dreadnoughts, another Forgeworld Landraider Spartan, drop pods, the new Spacewolf flyer, a tech priest, and 3 servitors.  3 of the Dreads created a spacewolf formation granting a invulnerable shield save.  On an ice planet. Both armies well painted.  I think the judge had only given him a paint core of 6.  We slugged it out, 4 objectives, normal bonuses, and then bonus points for killing elites.  I deployed first and went second.  We slugged it out, with the Ultramarines pulling out a convincing WIN!  17-7.  

 So, overall, the Standoff IV had 3rd Company finish in 9th Place out of 24 based on battle points, 10th place in painting, and apparently 11th place overall with a total score of 50 points.

Not a bad showing!  Overall, my showing really hinged on that attempt to take down that Knight in game 1.  If I recall right, I'd tried that same thing more than once in the past! Had I instead poured everything into his warlord and centurions, or made him come find me in that dense terrain, that game certainly would have ended differently.  The same can be said for Game 2, where I gave up 2 points and changed a win to a draw.  Nuff said.

Overall I'm always chagrined when it seems like I'm getting the short straw in my game pairings.  But, hey, I'm actually more glad in retrospect I did not have to play vs the 4-knight list (he tabled each opponent), or the all-black, unpainted biker army (that I think won best general).  Life is overall, good.

I was also satisfied with the event.  The scenarios were good (although the scoring could have been clearer, for example at Game 3 I was told I was capped at 3 elite points vs the once I'd earned [5 or more?]).  All and all I might have been able to end the day more then 5 points higher than I did. All three of my opponents seemed to have scored me solid 4's for sportsmanship (out of 5).

I'm already planning ahead for the April Assault (aka Fratris Salutem)...I'll try using a red painted army and a nom de plum next time to throw the paint judge off...