Monday, November 20, 2017

40K Army List Scandals

My Thoughts on 40K Tournament List Cheating

I was listening to one of my favovirite podcasts over the weekend, just trying to stay caught up with Warhammer 40K things. The Long War. Episode 127.

Overall, the episode is kind of a misnomer.  Most of the episode is banter that has nothing to do with the topic.  But, ultimately, in short, there was a GT in the Southeastern US recently. Lots of players.  A guy wins using a multi-detachment, cherry picking, no consistent themed Astra Militarum list.  List gets posted on the internet after the event.  readers immediately see the list was illegal - the player had selected more or less as his only free artifact a Cadian one, considered to be awesome. But they placed the artifact on a detachment HQ that could not have that specific artifact by written rule.  From there it turns into a half apologetic, "he never meant to do it", he's a buddy, it did not really matter, but maybe it did, what canya do about it, discussion. "List errors are happening alot".

I am rarely if ever or never a TO. 

I'll give it to you from a long time player's perspective.

I am disappointed but not surprised.

Thinking about it from an expectations standpoint, these visible list cheating events in the past few years of major events range from too many points to misuse of wargear such as artifacts.  Non-list related issues include stretching the ruler (moving a unit further than allowed), to pushing a personal interpretation of a rule beyond what was written or intended, to models played not reflecting the wargear on the list (extra missile launchers anyone?). 

It is probably pretty easy to do in a pickup game where you figure out a list on the fly and calculate numbers quickly on your phone in order to just get a game underway.  I think I found once after a pickup game that my "list on the fly" was 6 points over. Overall, that game was for fun, and I corrected the list before the next club night to make it accurate and right.  As you know, I sometimes play the same list for weeks at a time.  Playing the list over and over allows me to check it and make sure I get the special rules and tactics right (eventually). 

Why does this happen in major events?

If I recall right, some of these guys (over the past few years) caught are recognized "majah playahs" in the 40K world. 

I'm told that these guys spend months and weeks and huge numbers of beats lab games honing their lists and ability to win before going to these events. 

So why are they showing up with inaccurate lists? Lists you cannot clearly read? Lists that show they clearly did not read the actual entry for the wargear or read the special rule for a model before they put it on their list?  It does not pass the straight face test of experience and list development by "experts".  You put in the time but don't think accuracy and quality control count? In a game of rules where the rules and distances are all that matter beyond the actions of the fickle dice gods?

Eventually the podcast talks about how they suggest to solve the problem.


In some cases it is hard for a TO to police the lists.  Surely.  Imagine a tournament with a hundred lists.  That nominally means 50 to 100 hours of volunteer proofing time.  500 lists. Eek!

Frankly, we only get to see the issue when it reaches the top tables.  We have no idea how widespread the issue is.  For all we know it is just as common at the bottom tables.

So I have my own suggested fix, easy for any event with a single TO.

I was just at an event this past weekend as an observer.  It was clear to me there.

A possible solution.

The TO needs to start checking the Table 1 lists, beginning with round 1. 

Think of that.  How hard is it for a single TO, at an event that actually asks for you to provide a list to the TO at registration, to actually pull out two lists from Table 1 per round, and proof the list? Pull out the codex, check the math, check the detachment construction, etc. At the end of the round, a Table 1 player with a list in error is docked 45 points (or your value of three perfect games).  Heck, don't even tell them till the end.  Let the play go on. Overall, if you have already checked the top table lists, move to Table 2.  Overall, in a 3 round tournament you have a goal to have checked 6 lists, 2 per round. Out of a 9 to 10 hour day the TO spent at most 3 hours checking the 6 lists.  What else are they doing? If you have soft scores, don't dock those - things like painting, pub quiz, whatever.  At the end, post the results, and let the player appeal if they have an issue with it.  The appeal could be heard by the TO/Event team and rechecked if needed.  Then make the awards final. You could also have lists checked vs models for WYSIWYG by opposing players before turn 1 begins. Do the models match the list? Do the rugs match the drapes? 

Did you know that in Alpine ski racing, judges can DQ a skier during the event (each race, for things like improper gear, missing a gate, etc.) and appeals happen at the end of the day?  The process of appeals are set in the rules. You pay cash up front for an appeal.  Then the appeal discussion is conducted between the judge(s), the coach/racer if needed.  Evidence may be provided to offset an observation. Final rulings are then made by the head judge.  I know this because I've been in the position of posting cash for an appeal on behalf of one of my ski racers at a major event. We won the appeal. We did not get the cash back. Every racer and coach and family who attended had to wait for the appeal process to conclude. All for a medal. Extra beers were bought that day.  Everyone wins. 

So yeah, fixes can be made pretty simple. In the case of the OP/podcast, I'm not sure how it played out.  Apparently there are calls for the player to self-DQ.  Regardless, the event is an annual one, a major, and the result right now is a sense that the event lost a bit of its integrity.

Certainly larger major 40K events can have their own issues - does simply checking Table 1 do it, or do you often see the winner emerging from as deep as Table 3 in the last round?  Does it mean before awards the actual winner's list needs to be verified before awards?  Well, that might be needed.

Regardless, list checking  (and score double checking, but let's save that for a different day) in some fashion before the awards is a critical thing that needs to happen so protect your event. Integrity is important for events, and leads to greater confidence, which leads to better attendance.

You know you can count on this blog to bring up game issues for discussion.  It is good to have a forum for things like that. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Anyway, happy gaming!

As always, that is my opinion, and I value yours.  Feel free to leave a comment. 


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Kill! Maim!! Hide!!! Blood for the Blood God!!!!

Uraka Az'Baramael, demon prince and leader of the Skull Takers warband gestured for his chaos marines to head forward.  Khorne would be pleased.  This battle had been waging on for days along the new scar that rent the galaxy, and his warband had taken a massive toll on the imperial defenders. He could feel that Khorne would be pleased, and blessing may come forth if the toll went ever higher! More skulls were needed this day! His warband though, was in need of supplies.  Blood for the blood god required energy packs for chainswords and chain axes, bolts for bolt pistols, and grenades for throwing.

His demon wings beat the air as he stalked forward.  So far the warband had recovered three supply pods that had dropped downward from the Ultramarine's battle barge off in space.  Three more pods had fallen in the ruined complex they were attacking, yet to be captured. Ultramarines.  Uraka had fought them before.  Always heavily supplied, they had no real wants. No desires.  They seemed the opposite of his warband...high on desire and low on supply.  He quickened his pace.

Uraka had left a few of his battle brothers behind, to guard the supplies from other roving bands.  Following in his swift steps were an ancient Rhino loaded with berzerkers, and other groups and transports including his own landraider.  Everything hinged on getting supplies for these near-mortal space marines. The air keened with the sound of chainswords and chain axes seemingly always running.  Pops of bolt pistols occurred as these Khorne blessed brothers moved forward as a surge towards the thin blue lines ahead and their rage caused triggers to pull.

Soon the air sung with battle!  Uraka moved ever swiftly toward the marine lines.  All at once a dazzling light strike his eyes!  Lascannons and missile launchers from the Ultramarines began to pelt at Uraka.  A hit or two were shrugged off. Then in a blinding flash, Uraka was searing pain, he was cast back to the warp. And then...darkness and the cruel noise of laughing gods.

Tigurius of the Ultramarines smiled for a moment.  One demon prince banished.  Now the attention of his assigned devastator squads shifted fire to the oncoming Rhino and hulking enraged dreadnought on the left.  In a flash the dreadnought was gone.  Now he could clearly see the blood and skulls and brass colored spikes that had been added to the tortured Rhino transport by its corrupted followers.  The struggle became serious as the Rhino reached the Ultramarine lines, and a melee erupted as a demi-tactical squad of the Third Company dismounted from their own Razorback and assaulted the Head Hunter's Rhino.  Berzerkers leaped from the open top hatch, and soon with help from a dark apostle of Khorne the 6 Ultramarines were down and their razorback exploded.  In response, the Ultramarines second line erupted in fire, and all eleven Skull Takers and their Rhino we were likewise dispatched.

Tigurius looked over on the right flank. Marnius Calgar awaited the enemy there.  Another Third Company demi-squad surged forward to block the path of a band of berzerkers and a chaos tainted landraider.  A blue flash and taste of ozone showed the arrival of First Company assault terminators to add to the defense. Soon six more Ultramarines and their accompanying razorback were down, but the chaos landraider and its assault group was likewise destroyed.  While this occurred, the devastators above in the ruins kept firing downrange at the remaining chaos groups in the distance.  Every chaos marine down meant fewer imperial lives in their dozens would be lost as this conflict ground on.  Tigurius knew that there was a strong presence out in the desert glaring back at him.  Kharn the Destroyer was here...but hiding? It was his presence that had brought Tigurius and Marneus Calgar to the surface.  The Destroyer may be here, but he was not offering battle, thought Tigurius.

Kharn seethed.  He had looked on as the demon princeling Uraka of the Skull Takers and his entire assault group were mowed down by lascannon, missile fire, and plasma.  It was a trap. Even one such as he had known that the massive firepower of his enemies would have been too deadly to attack.  The Ultramarines had baited warbands before, knowing their need for supplies.  The ground had scant cover for an assault with such low numbers and the Skull Takers had no human reserves to drive before them. But now, supply would be no problem.  With three of six supply pods recovered, he had what he needed for a force half of its starting size.  Kharn revved up his chain axe. He looked at his hands.  Blood.  His own blood.  Oozed from his gauntlets.  He had been gripping the shattered steel beam so hard it had pierced his armor.  Blood for the blood god. He squeezed his left fist and watched the blood drip onto the desert soil.

Kharn watched for a moment. He could sense a presence watching him.

Then, putting his back to the Ultramarines he stalked back towards the Skull Taker's surviving units.

With a swing of his axes he dispatched the first red armored marine he encountered, the marine's helmet dancing on the dirt for a moment.  Then two more.  He reached into a supply pod and grabbed as much as he could carry, eyeing the surviving Skull Takers warily as he bent forward.  He  then signaled to the others to pick up their needed supplies and follow him.  They would swing around to the north, and look to take as many heads as possible from the enemies there.  He felt a strong urge to just take the skulls of the rest of this warband now.  Instead he kept his eyes to the east and loped off without the need to look back.  He would slake his urge to kill these Skull Takers later that night when the battle was over and his tally secure.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Team Narrative Event Report - the Rockport Invitational 2017

I lover Warhammer 40K and all of its trappings and doings.  Up here in Maine we have a small but tight group of players.  One in particular (from a Painted Life) is sort of a rabble rouser and leader when it comes to the game, and in recent times he started to host his own events at his secret undisclosed location.  Invitationals!  Its kind of on-par with what you have seen others (Blue Table Painting) do.  Invite a bunch of players to get together for a private event, potluck BBQ, lots of liquid refreshments, and great games.

For the October 2017 Rockport Invitational (so as not to confuse with others), the organizer created a team event - one side to be Chaos, the other as Imperium.  The event included 8 different tables, each with its own missions, and some missions tables had effects that could impact what was going on at other teams. 

I decided (as forecast in the last post) to bring Ultramarines.  In fact, my side (Imperium) was most true to the spirit of the event - having Ultramarines, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists, and Imperial Guard as our armies.  If there was anything badly done, it was that the "Chaos" side consisted of Plague marines, Khorne Marines (ok so far....) and orks, and genestealer cultists and Mechanicum! 

Overall, through the first two rounds, the Imperium was winning.  Then a large point swing in round three granted victory to the chaos team. 

Here are some pictures of the event so I (with comments) can clear them off my phone!

First a sort of armies on parade!

The Good Guys!


The BAD Guys!

Some game table Shots:

My game 1 vs Mechanicum.  I was the attacker in the mission.  The goal was not to get hit by flying debris raining down on the planet and eventually capturing a piece of tech from a crater.  I was really hoping to win this fun misson, but lost on the last dice of the last turn, 0-1 was the score.  It all boiled down to me rolling a 1 for Calgar's last save.  Took the score from 4-0 to 0-1 in a single roll. 

Game 2 VS Khorne Marines.  
At deployment.  It ends up we both played the mission as written - but the TO had changed the win parameters (we did not know it), so we played on as written.  My tactics as defender were based on defending my objectives and threatening to slay his warlord (Kharn) with my own warlord (Calgar).  Needless to say it worked, my opponent ended up hiding his warlord and I killed off many of his units, the game ended 0-0 in points.


The picture above was a bit of rules controversy.  I'd surrounded the Chaos Rhino with a squad, hoping to take off the last two hull points.  I failed to do that in assault.  In my opponent's turn, he dismounted his red Berserkers by "jumping over" my blue marines to the positions shown.  It tuened into a discussion on the dismount rules, and having to dismount wholly withing or "toe within" three inches of a verhicle and if you can dismount moving within / through opponent's bases to do so.  I said Shenanigans!  The TO did not rule in my favor and the 5-man squad was wiped out moments after the picture.  It was probably the only rules controversy of the day.   

Game 3 vs Genestealer Cult
I was the defender.  I got wiped out.  Lost 4-0.  


Yep, besides a cool packet for the day, really cool effects, and lots of fun...each side had to wear custom made overshirts to mark out each side...

All for now!  Work calls!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Back to Blue

Well, I gotta get ready!

I'm going to an invitational event on October 28 - it looks to be really cool with multiple mission tables, an ETC-like pairing system, and the need to have a primary infantry-heavy 1000 point core, expanding to a 2000 point overall force.  You may be assigned to either the 1000 point pairings or the full 2000 point pairings by your team's overall commander. 

I was torn between staying as Blood Angels, or finally getting back to my roots as Ultramarines, and the Ultramarine concept won out the argument.  I also strongly considered going for Astra Militarum!  Too many choices!  In consideration was that the Ultramarines, over Blood Angels - has a full codex, great Ultramarine doctrines, and the opportunity for a relic as a free boost.

I got busy last night with the hard work of slogging through the collection, codex in one hand, BRB in the other, to map out what might be a good and fun or powerful list concept meeting the parameters above. 

After drafting a list (in Excel! - Dang you ArmyBuilder!) it got down to trying to use up every point - so as not to leave anything on the table.  Initially I was very close - 16 points off from using every drop.  Then with a list change, swapping out one unit for another, I was able to go exactly to 2000.

So, with the hard work done, I  will proof the list, do some paint touch ups, create a cheat sheet of all the extra rules to remember, and if I'm lucky get a chance to play a game as Ultramarines before the event! So yeah 3rd Company Ultramarines are going to hit the table!

OK, so here is the list.  No laughter please.  I put a lot of thinking into this over 3 hours! 

HQ - Marnius Calgar (as warlord)
HQ - Tigurius
HQ - Chaplain in Terminator Armor
EL - Assault Terminator Squad (5)
TP - Tactical Squad (6)
TP - Tactical Squad (6)
TP - Tactical Squad (6)
999 pts core force
FA - Landspeeder
HS - Devastator Squad (5)
HS - Landraider
DT - Razorback
DT - Razorback
DT - Razorback
2000 pts total total force

The points are all in the details.  9 or more drops on deployment for the full force.  Overall, it gives me a core of 999 points for the first 7 units, and exactly 2000 for the full group.  It creates a Battalion detachment and a Vanguard detachment, which yields 9 command points in total with Calgar adding 2.  Bonuses include higher morale, shooting on falling back (or as we say, stepping back), ability to recover CPs on a 4+, and several bubbles of fun - Marnius gives a reroll misses bonus, Tiggy gives a to hit bonus to a unit each turn, the Chaplain helps in assault.  I get librarius spells, etc. If needed I have three units that can deep strike.   There are 10 lascannon, 9 missile launcher, and 6 plasma gun EQs hiding in this list.  Overall, it is pretty cool.  The ONLY thing I need to do is put a banner on Calgar to finish the list for photography!

The only issue I might need to resolve - probably for the better - is swapping out the Chaplain for a Captain or other unit.  It ends up the Chaplain is the only "character" I can give a relic to, but none are suitable for him!  The only two might have been the armor indominitus (but he is already a terminator with a rosarius), or the relic boltgun (which can't be directly swapped for a storm bolter - I need to see if I can swap the storm bolter for free for a regular bolter, then swap the bolter for the relic version...if so that is the minimum change).  Otherwise, converting his points (117)  into something throwing more bullets downrange might be even better (like another dev squad).  Doing so loses me a single command point, and means I'm back to one detachment, AND it means I am all screwed up on the original 1000-2000 point split requirements unless I can get the dev squad or captain tooled to the 117 points or so (heavy bolters in the devs?). 

Another interesting issue posed for the event - is that with this being teams - essentially Imperium vs Not, I could run into hordes (of bugs or orks) and be totally outnumbered, or demons (and be out-spelled), or even Knights (it has happened before) or some crazy Astra Militarum (with the Vortex yard sale building and horses).  In any case, other than screwing up on deployment, I think I can pull off a respectable number of points as long as I stay focused on the missions.

Anyways, look for some pictures here in a week on the final force - all displayed for departure!

Comments and suggestions are ALWAYS appreciated!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

With Voyeuristic Intention

I have not had time to get out to do anything 40K in a few weeks.  September is such a busy month! All of the organizations I support have yearly kickoff events, and the need to support various community organizations ranges from routine to dire. 

Regardless (one of my favorite or overused words), I do get late evening time (when I'm out of gas in Rogue Assault) to watch 40K game videos, and also get to catch up on all of the podcasts I subscribe to.  At least with that, I hope to keep some subliminal learning going.

I really don't have an outlet for feedback to the guys who create the content I drink in.  So I thought I'd take a moment here to run down something for each of the top providers I follow.

Masters of the Forge - overall, I like your podcast a lot.  However, sometimes it can be a little long winded.  Congrats on passing the 100th episode milestone.  The narrative fictions and content is great.

Life After the Cover Save - you guys are the comedy geniuses of the genre, and I laugh every episode.  No wonder you have been doing the adverts for the top vendors.  GW should hire you to do something for them too.  Brilliant.  The last episode however seemed to have a weird angry vibe about it. Overall, the wide variety of content and interviews are thought provoking.

Frontline Gaming - You guys have so much content going I think it must be hard to focus on your business.  Twitch, multiple podcasts.  I stopped listening to the Ninth Realm focused podcasts - had to cut back.  Your general, original podcast is great and I like the fact that you guys are well prepped and have show notes that are clear on your message for the episode. That said, the Chapter Tactics podcast can be a train wreck. The host PDPop always seems unsure of himself, rambles, backtracks, lacks confidence, etc.  As for the 40K games, I think you do a great job, but you should try having Marina / other expert give in-game commentary about what you are likely up to in the game.  Or a laugh track. Maybe edit down the dice rolling time.  Overall, great for watching.  I wish my FLGS would just use the ITC process.  Not your fault.

MiniWargaming - I'm not a paid subscriber.  I just leach off your free content.  I think at some point I was signed up for the free trial.   A gold standard of totally video based information and instruction.  I loved when 8th came out and you produced that series of videos on how to play 40K.  The links should be given to anyone buying a starter set.  For you though, considering you have a paint studio, I'd offer that the "Mark of Dave" be outlawed. If you don't have it WYSYWIG, then don't play it.  Whenever I watch one of your games however, I also feel the need to read the comments - where your live viewers or subscribers have seen errors in the game play.  Certainly that is offset by your confessional videos.  No more hazing Quirk please. Save the duct tape for other uses.

The Long War - you guys are certainly entertaining.  Your personalities really come through, as do your passion for the game.  However, my peeves are you are so rushed to get videos out for new content and army rules, that you seem to forget the rules at all.  I watched a game yesterday where psychers who could play two spells a turn only do one, pistols never seemingly used in continued combat.  I also feel that you try to jump the gun on rules as written versus rumors of how you think a rule should work, always grasping for the WAC interpretation. Regardless, every game seems fun!

Well there you go! I hope to get a game in this weekend! Red....or Blue....or Green....




Thursday, August 31, 2017

SOBs Attack!

I have had many fun games over time and documented them here on the Defenders of Calth blog.  Every game has been fun (except maybe one), and here is no exception!

100 Power Level - Blood Angels vs Sisters of Battle!

My opponent brought a "1750" list that was just short of 100 Power.  I brought the same list I've been using (because as you know I'm too busy!) and I still have no clear idea of how many points it is actually worth.

Deployment zones - We set up the game using the battle cards for 8th edition - deployment was the hammer and anvil (long way).

The mission - one objective in each deployment zone.  The player who controls them both first wins. as a further wrinkle, each army had to be separated into three parts - one for normal deployment, one for turn 2 reserves, one for turn 3 reserves.  Special note - per the card the smaller power army (the SOBs) would get the WIN if neither player captures both objectives....
My opponent also got the secret card (for being the lower power army) - more on that later.

As far as the SOBs were concerned, the game was all about keeping the Blood Angels out of their blood bank.  The Blood Angels only came to knock back a few pints....

My opponent (lets face it, I

have no idea what everything is called but I'll work it out) had (9 command points, plus the means to generate faith actions and psychic spells) (approx, +/- 20 models):

Celestine and 2 bodyguards
Inquisitor Greyfax
Sister Hospitaler
5 or so Sister Superior
1 culexus assassin
2 seraphim squads (10 each, pistols, meltas)
2 battle sisters squads (10 each, multimeltas etc.)
1 immolater (dual heavy flamers)
1 rhino

I won the roll-off for deployment, and chose to go first.  I deployed 2 demi-tactical squads, razorbacks, and Baal Predator, centered around my objective, but spread a bit for board control.  My opponent had deployed Celestine, assassin, battle squad, rhino, and 2 Superiors.

After deployment

Turn 1
I move the razorbacks a bit and shoot at the rhino and the assassin.  The rhino takes some damage bu the assassin (in cover) is unscathed.  In response, Celestine moves forward, with the assassin even more forward.  The Rhino moves away forward and to the flank.  The assassin plinks at a a razorback for no damage.

Turn 2
I decide to go after Celestine and the assassin.  My tac squads dismount from the razorbacks to consolidate around my home objective.  The Baal and two of the three razorbacks reposition. The I drop in Dante, chaplain, two demi-assault (melta) squads, and demi-death company. (Demi = 5), in a big arc 9 inches from the forward assassin and further from Celestine and bodyguards.  In shooting, overwhelming fire takes out the assassin, the rhino also takes more damage, and then I take down Celestine's bodyguards and wound Celestine down to 4 remaining wounds.

Lining up for the assault...which...failed....

In response, its like it never happened.  Using acts of faith and such, Celestibe brings back her bodyguards, and other units are bolstered.  The hospitaler comes in to bolster the SOB home objective.  Another sister superior arrives on my left flank with a seraphim squad, as does the immolater, other superiors, and battle squad on my right flank.  In devastating shooting, I lose an assault squad, a razorback is heavily damaged, and Dante gets wounded.  Then the SOBs assault - and at the end, I lose the death company and the remains of the other assault squad.  My chaplain is stuck in assault.

SOB girls on guard in the ruins...

Ummm....that hurt....

Turn 3
I start by moving Dante back behind the Baal Predator and Razorback to provide him with cover, and retract a bit towards my home objective.  The Chaplain beats a retreat as well.  My Stormraven, containing Mephiston and the last demi-tactical squad, zoomed in on the left flank.  In shooting, the Stormraven wipes out the left flank seraphim squad, and the Razorback/Predator combo wipe out the right flank seraphim.  The other razorbacks, tac squads, and Dante shoot up the exposed Celestine and she disappears in a hail of fire.  Then...Ping...Celestine reappears in the distance, near the SOB objective and she blows a kiss to Dante.

Gotta hold before you can take....

In response, the SOBs come at me again. Celestine brings back both bodyguards.  Acts of faith are used to fire or move.  The last SOB reserve group arrives on my right flank behind the immolater. Greyfax smites a razorback.  In shooting, the Baal predator is heavily damaged, as is the adjacent razorback.  Then the SOBs try to assault - the Immolater leads the charge at the Baal predator, and the rhino/superior assault the chaplain.  Other assaults fail their charge distances.  In swinging arms and flailing robes, the chaplain comes out unscathed, but still locked in combat.

Best shot of the game....

Turn 4
The Stormraven zooms toward the SOB objective.  Dante moves to intercept Celestine, while the chaplain moves back to help guard my own objective.  The TL assault cannon razorback pulls up behind Dante.  The Baal predator disengages and moves far back to not be assaulted.  In shooting, the Stormraven again shoots like a beast and takes out half of the battle sisters on the objective.  Then the TLAC razorback/buzz saw opens uup on Celestine, taking out the bodyguards and wounding her.  Other shooting kills the rhino.  Dante charges Celestine, and puts in every attack and wound possible.  11 damage points or so result.  Celestine does NOT come back.... i said up above...there were probably more SOBs than I could account for...

My opponent discloses the ruse - REVENGE!  On the death of his warlord (Celestine) he gets a +1 wound bonus to every attack for his army.  SMOG! He then advances on my right flank and starts smiting and shooting.  I lose the TLAC razorback, and the Stormraven loses about 8 wounds.  I lose also most of one of my demi-tac squads on my objective.  He tries to charge in on my objective and fails the distance.

Turn 5
End game.  Mephiston and the demi-tac squad dismount from the stormraven, which then goes into hover mode and moves adjacent to his objective.  I then smite/blood boil the remaining battle sisters, and the Stormraven massacres all of the remaining SOBs except the Hospitaler.  Then mephiston and the tac squad make their charges (contesting the objective) and in assault the Hospitaler falls to Mephiston.  Game Over. Pints?

Gotta guard the home objective at the end....


Overall the game was entirely a close run thing.  Overall, just minor tweaks from my opponent's assault and I'd have lost - either by being wiped off my own objective - or by just keeping me off the SOB objective.  It was tough and painful. I think at the end though, the game might have played very differently if he'd had a Superior or Cannoness as the Warlord, and triggered the REVENGE card earlier!  me, all I had was Dante with his warlord attack bonus...I think he had just 2 wounds left at the end.

Anyway it was a great game and hugely entertaining. I think I just experienced a small amount of the trick the SOBs have up their sleeves.




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I am Death

On Saturday, I went to the FLGS to play in the Saturday Monthly Warhammer 40K Tournament. It was awesome.  It started like this:

  • I walked right in, told the desk jocky/TO to put my name on the record as DEATH.  
  • Paid my $10.  
  • Walked in the main room where all the tables are and announced in a loud voice "OK you MutherFukkers, I'm telling you right now, I'm not here to win best sport.  I'm here to destroy your armies or kill mine trying.  If I find out any of you signed my name down for best sport, I'll kill you and melt down your army to scrap plastic." Yeah, something cocky like that. 

Seriously, it was that kind of day. If you can search up the results on their website, you will not see my name, only DEATH.

Three round tournament.  16 players.  Random first pairing, after that Swiss based on battle points. Each game was worth 31 points maximum. Players were using just 100 power points. Spells/Warlord traits were picked, not random.  Each game had three missions - 15/10/5 points, plus 1 bonus point.

That morning I had two lists on paper and could not decide which to use.  I asked my wife - red or blue.  She said "look at your coffee cup for the answer"...

I was the only Blood Angels Player. I have no idea why this picture wont fact...sorry for the poor pictures.  Usually I have better action shots than these!

Game 1: Vs Thousand Sons
A true Chaos Marine list of Magnus, cool gold/aqua rubric marines, Exalted Sorcerors, Scarab Occult terminators, supported by Tszaangors/beastmen/Heldrake, Helbrute, forgerfiend etc. my opponent had a really cool list - can't wait to see it when all of the units are fully painted. Only three of his units were truly mobile (Scarab Occult terminators, Heldrake, Magnus)

The subtext of this game was keep your eyes on the mission.  1. Be first to claim both objectives (one in each deployment zone); 2. Lose your warlord in assault; 3. Linebreaker with two units into the opponent's deployment edge; etc. Dawn of war deployment. My opponent chose deployment zone, dropped first, went first. Table 8.

Turn 1 - Thousands sons moving forward. 

Later in Turn 1...I'm protecting my objective. 

Turn 2 - the Brute beat up the meltacide squad, but the Chaplain was ready to do some pounding too. 

Turn 4 or so - the Sorcerer is all that remained of the Thousand Sons left flank...Dante is damaged...not going to survive the next smite...

Top of Turn 5 - Sorcerer fighting the Chaplain.  Mephiston getting ready to disembark...

Overall, I took the win, 21-5.We went 5 turns. It was glorious.  My opponent only really made two mistakes: (1) his Helldrake assaulted Dante, who killed it (it was a gamble to keep Dante from dying in assault). (2) He had Magnus as his Warlord, and Magnus would never die in assault (too many wounds!). I killed Magnus in my shooting phase of Turn 5. I never used Mephiston until turn 5.  He'd spent the game in the Stormraven waiting for an opportunity to strike. The MVP of the game was actually the Stormraven...even when I forgot it had Stormstrike Missiles.

Game 2: Vs Angrier Thousand Sons
It was as if Tszeentch was really pissed after the first game.  My next opponent had Magnus (fully painted), the Lord of change "Super-Chicken" from FW, Ahriman the Sorceror, Changeling, 2 MaulerFiends and three squads of cultists.  Plus or minus. Not really Thousand Sons, but definitely a harder list.

Hammer and Anvil Deployment.  Missions were (1) first to be in the enemy's table half with your entire surviving army turn 3/after; (2) Suffer the highest number of total wounds; (3) kill three of the enemy units; (4) closest warlord to the table center. table 3.

MutherFukker. I put the Chaplain in the Stormraven for one less drop.  My oponent chose deployment edge.  I'd be heading directly toward my travel tray / dice pile.  In deployment, I put the TL assault cannon razorback on the right flank, everything else was put on the left, up to the deployment edge.  My goal was to just crash forward, get everything on the enemy table half first, and then die there. I won the die roll to go first.

According to plan, I moved/advanced far forward, dropped Dante/DC/2 Assault Squads in the upper left corner. Started to shoot just the super chicken, maulerfields, and cultists.  In response I was schooled on the "apparent FACT" that Psykers can use SMITE as many times as possible (see the matched play page of the BRB).  Magnus used super-smite twice each turn. Super-chicken did too. Ahriman the Sorcerer and the Changeling did too.  On the first turn I actually wounded my opponent more times than he could wound me.  After that, he basically out-smited me for the game, we assaulted, we tussled, we shot, we looked up rules.  My best moment was when I damaged a Forgefiend/Brute so much it was essentially immobile!  My opponent could not get him to my deployment zone.  On turn 3, I had my entire army in his deployment zone - not just his half.  And then was told that instead of getting the primary at that moment I had to wait till the end of his turn (unlike game 1 where the primary immediately was awarded the primary when it happened). I was TABLED.

I mean can you not love fighting Magnus when he looks like this?

This is the end...

Beautiful friend...the end...

LOL, I still got points, but lost 15-12. Smite.  That is the way we played it. Without it, I certainly would have had the primary.  Mephiston was nerfed...every spell he threw out got denied.  It literally went down to Ahriman the Sorceror getting a last batch of smites on the Baal Predator as it headed away from the carnage into the opponent's deployment zone.  Nothing else was in range to deal with it.  Again it was an awesome game, with my opponent having to deal with death crazed blood angels just going right into his army.  I only killed one of his units...He smited me faster than I could wreck stuff.  My MVP was probably the Death Company - who assaulted and tied up the Forgefiend and wounded it enough so it was stuck. Dante was killed after wrecking a unit of cultists.  My opponent's MVP was the Super-Chicken.  It probably killed, through SMITE or assault, 7 of my units.

After we were done, we both discussed our cunning plans for Game 3.

Game 3: VS Spacewolves!
Oh yeah, after going all Khorny, Tszeentch awarded me a game VS those that Magnus hates the most!  Spacewolves plus a Knight Warden! Arjac. SW Terminators. Wolf Lords on Wolves. One SW Dread with axe and shield. SW terminators. One Very mobile army.  

This game featured fighting the long way, 3 objectives mapped specifically into each deployment zone.

Modified deployment.  Missions: (1) First to keep your center objective and take the opponent's flanking objectives. (2) First to kill three enemy units via shooting or assault; (3) Slay the Enemy Warlord; and (4) have more units on the table at the ened than the opponent. Table 5.

My opponent chose deployment edge, and deployed first, went first.  This was another game of accomplishing missions. I castled my ground forces up on my center objective, with flanking vehicles to keep him from deep striking into / onto my deployment zone. Everything else was to deep strike or fly forward.

My opponent went first, abandoning one flank objective and defending the other with his SW dread.  He started shooting at and lining up to assault my deployed forces.  In response, the DC dropped on the back right flank objective, and the combined might of Dante, Chaplain, and two meltacide assault squads dropped in on the other flank objective.  The meltaguns with help from Dante's re-roll ability got the dread down to 4 wounds, and then I assaulted him successfully with the two assault squads - but the Chaplain and Dante missed the assault rolls themselves! Regardless, I was able to claim the objective, and immediately won the primary on Turn 1.  We then turned our focus to the other missions. My opponent had the opportunity to pound me into a draw!

Beginning of turn 1...Wolves are moving forward. 

I thought it ominous that the table was decorated with red painted vehicle debris...

Around end of turn 3...the SW backfield is being cleared in part because they are simultaneously clearing my backfield... 

A moment later...

Almost done...flew into the corner for a last turn hover and shoot...

Again, Mephiston was flying around in the Stormraven and dropped out Turn 2 to protect Dante.  Once the backfield was cleared, Dante went to hide behind a tower, and the Stormraven through careful positioning killed Arjac Rockfist.  Then we played tit for tat on killing units, but I was way outgunned by the Warden and pretty much lost everything except the Stormraven and Dante. In this game the MVP was the Stormraven again, having helped damage a bunch of the wolf units and getting the warlord.  For my opponent, I'd say his MVP was the Knight Warden, due to the huge amount of damage it could cause each turn. His best wargear was the stormshields...effin' storm shields made saves like champs...  

I pulled off a win, 20-6.  

Wrap up
Overall, I pulled out 53 points for the day.  8th place out of 16.  2 wins and 1 close loss.  The best Blood Angels Player in the room.

I did not win best sport. I don't think I got a single vote. Mission Accomplished.

Overall, IMHO Best Sport is kind of stupid in a 3-game format. If multiple players get three votes (you can only vote for you favorite opponent), how do you resolve that? Plus on Tournament Days I'm not there for best sport.  Case in point - I went to a Ski Charity Fundraiser event this winter and won....BEST TRASH TALKER.  The prize for being Trashy was was Glorious!  The TO should just do a different award of his choosing - like "best come back" (lowest first round score difference from the score of the final game), or "Most Creative Army List"...Highest scoring dressed old guy...coolest sneakers...

In retrospect, the Blood Angels list I used was perfect for the Missions for this event. If I had brought the blue list I would have struggled a lot to win.   Glad I went and certainly i loved the missions.  Each had their won challenges!  Looking for ward to the next event when we transition over to true points...