Monday, 25 May 2015

War of the Roses - tourney report

Target: Top 10 or 3:2 ... Did both! WHOOT!
Finished 10th in this tough field of 32.
Played 3 members of the England ETC team.. 
Was great fun.
Not been to Sanctuary as a location and its a wicked venue.
Shame Mansfield itself is a little....depressing? 
Travel was good, team banter was good.
Caught up with the England boys and had a blast talking shit and good food and few beers on Saturday night. 

My list is in the last post.
It did what I wanted it to do, but I got caught out once on a seize and was given first turn after conservative deployment and scout in another game that left me out to dry...surprise to say, I lost those games. 

This army wanted to go first and hit real hard. 

Game 1 - Imperial Guard Russes and Grey Knights termies and Dreadknights. Lots of usually very tough to kill models. Unless you field an army of hyper mobile grav... Despite my opponent best tricks, it really did come down to me staying out of range, pushing to my envelope and dangling melta bait..then sweeping in the following turn with bike Grav and finishing anything the two Drop Pod Cents hadn't killed. 
Stu was a great opponent and lives relatively locally, have since been in touch and trying to organise a games day with a few buddies... But it was a bad match up.

Game 2 - old Eldar with Hornets galore, Serpents, Dcannon battery and Wraithknight. I went first and was able to remove serpents and wraithknight.. The cannons hit my cents hard and then it was cat and mouse with the Hornets who outflanked. Tough, nail biter towards the end, but I had enough maelstrom and kill points to secure a narrow victory even if I didn't get any of the Eternal War at the end...suffice to say I did and it was all good. Mike was a very good opponent, very chilled, knew his tactics well enough to kick back and enjoy a few brewskis. Top lad, tough game

Game 3 - 12 Broadside, 2 Riptide Tau gun line. Was going first, deployed and scouted aggressively... Got seized. Game. Doh. 
Was too aggressive in this one, really I should have deployed out of range for a turn or 2/3 and just grabbed some maelstroms and stayed alive. Certainly, it's bad match up, however going first and with ignores cover/Auspex on my GrAv Cents, I felt I had a chance.. Alas.. It was one of those things. 
Alex took the seize with grace and style... Or danced around with glee...if you know Alex H you can guess which it was.. ;) 
We had a good few beers that night and chatted shit and caught up, so I let him off seizing on me... 

Game 4 was full Drop Pod Melta with FT SF/ Sisters. The Fast Attack/Dantes Drop Pod Emporium allowed for a nasty wave of melta to drop in and get me... However, I had a cunning plan and deployed accordingly. It's a secret sauce plan just in case drop pods hit hard in the tourney scene (which I think they will..see tomorrows post re Skitarri in Pods) and it worked ...flawlessly. Game to me via deployment. Was a slow slog to get through all the peeps, but it worked out well. 

Game 5 was competing for third place. Grav Bikes vs..........Demons. Doh. No bloody armour. 
It's ok, I'll go first and Bolter the 3 packs of screamers to death...well 2 of them.. No. Deploying second. 
Paul deploys aggressively on the line with all screamer units. I am aware that with the multiple Divination Rending he rolled up I could lose 3/6 bikes units in a turn I go within 34-36" of him, the 
other units I could lose to Fateweaver and Tzeentchian firepower from Flickering Fire en masse. So I deployed conservatively, and then Paul gave me first turn. 
Shit. 
I dropped in and killed Fatey for first blood, warlord and 2 maelstroms...then got smashed. My error. I asked Paul if he would give me first turn no matter what..he said if I'd have deployed on about the 34-36"'.... Yes. Then I could have got long range bolter shots but nothing more. It's a bad match up for my army, we all said so...but I'll have to playtest to see if I can get points. 

Overall, finsihed 10th according to the spreadsheet and had an amazing time with 3 big wins and 2 big losses..the army truly is "go big or go home" and I've been convinced by the weekend that more pods are the way to go. I've got several builds I want to run, one using Melta Astra Militarum, one with Skitarri. I've played the Skitarri...and bloody love them!! More on that this week! 

Now...when's the next tournament! 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

War of the Roses England ETC Tournament!!

Off we go!
Today is the War of the Roses - an 1850, 5 game 2 day tournament run by the England ETC team (Big Mike in particular) and has basically no comp at all.
This will, undoubtedly, lead to some horrible armies and a sneak peak at some of the playtesting/lists for the England team - always interesting.
NOTE: With a toe or two still in the camp, I do know these already, but I refer to the general tournament attendees.

It's looking reasonably well attended with around 35 players.

That'll do me - this is, shockingly, my first 2 day tournament in OVER A YEAR! Wow!
The last one was the Caledonian Uprising 2014!
Man, that was SOOO long ago!
I ended up, officially 34/35th I think after a big ol' points deduction for a list change last minute, busting me from, in Battle points, high teens (out of 110 players).. which was a real shame, but ...my own fault!
I also won Most Sporting which was nice.

More recently, I took Best General and 2nd place overall at the recent LazrBlast single day event in Norwich.

I find myself quite excited! I've not gotten a weekend of geekery in for bloody ages and the chance to see top level play again helps to keep me excited and up for this game.

I'm running a SM Bike and Centurion Pod list using Flesh Tearers Strike Force.
(Again, I'm keeping some of the blog's Blood Angel roots alive! I really like the BA book and with Pods becoming a major focus for me over the next few months... we'll see more of it! Interestingly, note Torrent of Fire and Nick Nanavanti toying with an excellent unit - the Frag-Furioso!)

The other lists have not been published as yet and the first round match ups are not out yet, I assume they are being done on the day...today... I forget I'm writing this in advance!

My list is:

Khan (Warlord)
3 x 5 Bikes with double Meltaguns and a Combi-Melta
3 x 5 Bikes with double Gravguns and a Combi-Grav
2 x 3 Centurions with Grav Cannons, Hurricane Bolters, Omniscope
 
Mephiston
5 Bolter Scouts
3 x Drop Pods

This allows me to drop Meph and both units of Cents in on the first turn with the scouting bikes to create a truly lethal Alpha Strike.

Going second, I can scout/deploy the bikes out of sight or range and try and get the first strike myself using speed and pods.

Maelstrm is in use here and although you can only score 2 tactical cards per urn, the speed and positioning of the army allows me to maximise opportunities to score.

I was going to run Adamantium Lance with Astra Militarum allies, but as there is currently a vote in play to ban/allow Ad Lance and the iKnight codex from the ETC, I thought it would be better to run something that is more likely to be seen as practice for the England boys.

So - fingers crossed. I'm hoping for a Top 10, but that means pushing someone in the England set up out of the picture... so a tough, tough nut to crack!
Given my recent lack of experience at tournament level, perhaps I should aim for something more like going 3:2 over the weekend!

Wish me luck and I'll provide feedback on the lists and the games next week!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Imperial Knights - no tournament love?

I must have more time on my hands at work these days - two posts in the same... year!

The ETC is currently voting to include or don't include super heavies. Or whether to ban entirely or make an exception for iKnights.

The UK GT is finalising its rules for 2015/16 season and a combined 400 points can be spent on Forgeworld and Superheavies combined.. So it looks like a max of 1 iKnight or Wraithknight.

The question is, do UK tournies follow suit?

The ETC has a tremendous ripple effect on tournaments and in whether the casual tournament player knows it or acknowledges it, the decisions made on this high play level influence what they see on the tabletop.

If you don't think the ETC has an impact, the UK Indy GT certainly does - dropping to 1500, no Maelstrom cards - just a select combined mission pack, and a 400 point cap on FW and Superheavies.

Wow.

I am going to try and get back on the the UK scene a bit more this year, hit the GT qualifiers and then hopefully qualify for the Final next year. I am confident that if I read the meta right I can more than qualify, but the question today is:

Is this the right direction for UK play?

Are iKnights THAT hard to kill/dominant in the game for a tournament player? In the era where GW are allowing us to play with our toy soldiers in almost any way we see fit (ASIDE: remember when you played 40k as a little kid and you just made it up as you went along, confident that your imagination would guide you right for FUN... this is it, but with rules to guide us now that we are more advanced mentally - or not!!) is it right to buck this trend, to rebel against the tide of new releases?

If this is the direction our game is heading - Epic but on a heroic scale (which I for one, am not against!) then shouldn't the UK scene be trying to roll with the punches rather than hit back against an opponent that simply can't feel the blows?

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Thunderfire-Wolves? Hooooo??

I think I've used that title several times...

I was reading an article over on Frontline Gaming yesterday, from Frankie - one of their principal writers (and the world's best 40k player)

He was discussing the use of a 'smash and grab' Thunderwolves list using Champions of Fenris..

It's a great idea and something I'm sure many of us have seen attached to ether SM Bike lists, Dark Angel Ravenwing Command Squads (with scout "support" or 110 points of shite) ... I've also come across it in the UK with Sisters of Battle for Priest action and Hit N Run from Celestine.

I must say, rerolling all saves in combat is an absolute BEAST mode way of playing the Wolves.

But what I thought was a really cool way of playing them was in the comments from the post. This discussed joining all the IC's (WGBL/WL/IP) to a Deep Striking (Drop Pod) Thunderfire Cannon!

Becoming Artillery crew took the unit to Toughness 7 and of course, with easily available scouting, the TWC bomb could be in the midfield, in cover or simply in position to tank like a boss with T7 across the board!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Tournament victory! WHOOT!

Afternoon guys,
This Sunday gone (holy crap, it's actually Sunday AGAIN! I take so long to write things now!)  I attended an 1850, 3 game local tournament with 40 players at Aftermath Games in Norwich.
Ive not attended a "Lazrblast" event, this was number 7, and I have to say it was a smoothly run and well organised affair with very solid terrain and prize support.

I won all three games, the first two quite resoundingly but the third was a bloodbath - I controlled the points the whole way through, but had to do a lot of work to not get tabled! Just left with Khan in the end..

But still, walked away with Best General, the Sons of War (me, Steve/Bringer of Death and Adam B) won Best Team and I came second overall - apparently sportsmanship let me down, funny...I won Best Sportsman at the last Caledonian Uprising so I'm just viewing this as the other guy was a complete fucking legend!

Missions were all Maelstrom. So ... fast, ground based ob sec would win the day...

I designed my list around this... I think many others were just designed to "hulk smash".
I wanted to control the movement phase and therefore point scoring on Maelstrom as well as having the ranged support to clear dudes off objectives without having to go in for the kill in CC.

I ran:
White Scars
Khan
Chapter Master - eternal, bike, fist, auspex
Grav/FNP command, meltabombs
3 5 man bikes with triple melta
2 5 man bike with triple gravs
3 Grav/HBolter Centurions

BA allies (well, this is a Blood Angels blog lol)
Captain on Bike, SS, Fist
5 bolter scouts
Drop Pod

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Demon Summoning - What's the deal now?

Yeah, yeah - I'm 6th month's late on this..
I didn't like the concept when it first hit.
Felt it was
a) too time consuming
b) not smashy enough (I like to smash - that's what she said! self-snowmobile whoot!)

However - I have a heavily comped tournament (only a 40+ player one day bad boy to be fair...) coming up and I am trying to create competitive lists within its constraints.
As explored the other day, this rules out new Necrons (which I love), new Harlies (love - too new) and several other highly competitive builds (Nids for example).

I tried a Demon Summoning list last night at Sons of War. Had a great game vs CentStar - wracked up 18-10 on Maelstrom (it uses Maelstrom Missions only)..

After a little tweaking after thoughts, the list is:

Lord of Change - Lvl 3, 2 Greater Rewards
2 Heralds of Tz, Disc, Lvl 3, 1 Exalted
3 x 10 Tz Horrors
2 x 3 Nurglings
2 Demon Prince of Tz, Lvl 3, Wings, Armour (one with 2 Greater, one with 1 Greater/1 Exalted
9 Screamers

The idea is to grab sacrifice on the Nurglings first turn and get another couple of Heralds for the Council.
Comp is max 2 of the same unit (outside troops/inc. however transports e.g. max 2 wave serpents) and max 15 power dice to be generated per turn... so no 4 heralds or 3 Tz Princes

In testing - I focus on Sacrifice to generate another pair of Heralds on Discs.
These can turbo boost the turn they come in which means I have a great shot at maximising Maelstrom points and of course can join them to the Screamer Council in subsequent turns.
it also gives me a shot at grabbing any of the powers I don't get during the pre-game roll off for Psychic powers.
For example, I did NOT get Cursed Earth at the start of the game, but I did when I got my 3rd summoned Herald in turn 2...
I didn't actually use it...
I used the Nurgling Swarms in the first turn to put a wound onto in order to generate a Herald.

I of course stacked a load of dice on 4++ Divination power and talked this up as the "BIG" power to be getting off each turn to protect the council.
Of course it is... BUT, with Cursed Earth and Grimoire it's quite nice anyway..

it should be noted that another element of the comp is the limit to 2++ rerollable saves. They become the 2++/4++ reroll that is used by several tournaments. So actually, 3++/3++ is not all that bad...if I fail to get the 4++ or it gets stopped.

I only used "Summoning" three times and was stopped on one occasion - GK Cent Star has plenty of power dice too...

I did however, find summoning Screamers to be useful for the objective claiming/denial I mentioned with the Heralds. Their turbo boost can be wonderful to get to objectives.
They did give up a point once when my opponent drew the "Blood and Guts" card, gaining a point from killing a unit in CC.

I was very impressed with the board control, speed, objective claiming/denial and survivability of the list.

I was not impressed with the killing power. I found Flickering Fire to be..frankly, wank. Granted, I had mainly Dreadknights and Invisible CentStar to deal with ...so I just felt like killing stuff was fruitless - just put my units at risk and what not. I did kill his Strike Squads for easy "kill a psyker"/"kill a unit" points ... And I thought I could tie up the CentStar with the Screamer star of just summoned crap for a turn and pump all my denial dice into Gate. That'd keep them locked down and inactive...

As it was - I liked the way the Summoning/Mobile Demons worked for this game... I do wonder if I needed the fliers, but they were useful for Vector Strikes on Dreadknights and for drawing fire from the CentStar - he took two turns (over the game) to kill a Demon Prince ...

So thoughts please on Summoning Mobile Demons for a Maelstrom only tournament?
Think it's probably a really good shout, but damn...it needs some painting!!