Friday, 27 January 2012

Caledonian Uprising - a brief rundown (part 1)

Caledonian Uprising, a two day event with 6 games at 1850 points, and over 100 players.  This was the largest 40k event I have ever had the pleasure of attending and I enjoyed almost every second of it.  Most of this post will be a series of very short battle reports, but first i will say a few things about the event itself.

Firstly, it was extremely well run.  I mean this very sincerely, there was not a single thing I think the organisers could have done to improve the smooth running of the event.  All the games started and ended on time, the missions and scores were announced so all could hear, and with enough time to find your table.  Above all, the few rules queries and rulings that myself and various opponents did require were dealt with extremely fast and each time a ruling was made, multiple judges were involved and the reasoning was discussed properly and openly.

Secondly, the soft scores were quite interesting.  There has been some kerfuffle over this because some people think the soft scores are weighed too heavily.  Purely on a personal level I disagree.  I do this hobby because I enjoy all aspects of it, and I don't want to go to a big professional event and see a load of grey plastic after I have spent a lot of effort on my own army.  Getting almost max soft scores is not hard, you need a painted army and not to play like a dick, and that is pretty much it.  Most people only dropped about 4 points out of 50 for painting and sportsmanship so it was largely irrelevant anyway.  

So, on to the games. 

My army was my usual Imperial Guard hybrid list, with hard hitting Melta/Demo Vets, outflanking Storm Troopers, Vendettas and single Hydras. I am not going to use the names of players, as some people are funny about that sort of thing :)

Game 1 - Tri-Raider Chaos Space Marines

In the car on the way up I was joking about how I always draw soft lists in round one.  I was reliably informed that I had now jinxed it and would face the eventual winner.  Yeah, you guys are suckers.  Fluffy chaos it is. 

This was a strange list which i knew I should beat with relative ease.  He had three chaos land raiders, three full Beserker squads, Kharn, and a squad of 6 plague marines in a rhino.  Yep, that's it. However, while the secondary was Seize Ground, the primary was Kill points, so I knew I was in for a tough game. 

My opponent played about as well as he could have done, and had me very, very scared on turn two because I had bombed forward with three squads and disembarked right in his face.  Then, all my meltas (8 at short range) and lascannons (6) failed to do anything.   Actually that is a lie, I immobilised one of them, and it was a very good thing I had, because, I had used chimeras to block the front exit and my unit had deployed to the side of the tank, therefore he could only get out on the opposite side, and then failed to kill the chimera in combat.  Sure the other squad got  mulched, but it could have been worse.  To cut a long story short, I blocked the raiders in, outflanked with the Stormies and ate his plague marines (who were on an objective), and generally ran away shooting until the game ended on turn 6.  I won both primary and secondary and on victory points, having almost wiped him off the table.  Kharn was lascannoned in the face from about 36 inches away,  Khorne wasn't very pleased. 

I don't want to take anything away from my opponent in this game.  I think he knew he was going to be up against it from the start, but never gave up.  He was a great guy to play, and took the beating very well indeed. 

Game 2 - Tau of the very shooty variety

This was a great game.  My opponent was again, fantastic, and was very forthcoming in explaining all the strange Tau rules I'd completely forgotten since I last played them, what, 3 years ago... (other than one fantastic game at Blog Wars 1, sorry!!)

The mission was cleanse (table quarters) and take and hold (objective each).  Priorities for me were the two hammerheads, his only three troops choices (two kroot, one fire warrior squad), and the squadron of piranhas. 

I think it is fair two say that the Stormtroopers won me this game.  With the help of the Astropath (best 30 points ever), they came on on turn two, on the correct table edge, and royally fucked up the poor guys day.  Appeared right in the middle of his back line, and despite doing virtually no damage with their first round of shooting, they had the bad grace to suffer no damage in return, despite an entire Tau army shooting them in the face.  This meant the rest of my army remained unmolested and could continue to pick off priority targets.  By turn 4 the writing was on the wall, his hammerheads were gone, his troops were almost all gone (thanks psykers), and his mobility was almost gone as well.  The stormtroopers held him up for 3 turns, by which point I had moved troops into the other corners and midfield and it would have been an uphill struggle to win. 

I think my opponent was disappointed to lose this one, and rightly so, as Tau can often destroy armies like mine piecemeal.  While I feel I played well, I was also very lucky with my hydras, knocking both hammerhead railguns off on turn one and two with glancing hits.  However, I was terribly unlucky elsewhere (his suits would not die!).  On balance though, the former was more important, as S7 shots against my av 12 was never going to win him the game.  Another solid win for me, putting me on table 6.

Game 3 - Grey Knights

Oh dear.  This game was the one moment of the weekend I did not enjoy.  After two good games I was very happy to be drawn against what appeared to be a fairly unoptimised Grey Knights list.  It was a strange mix of Terminator deathstar with libby, strike squad objective holders, death cult assasins, and a few rifleman dreads.  For Grey Knights it could have been a lot worse.  

Then I started rolling dice.  At the end of turn two I had lost all hard hitting melta vets, both vendettas, a hydra and three chimeras.  I had destroyed nothing.  Yep, you read that right, nothing.  At this point, my opponent said 'come on, I'm buying you a drink'.  I was very grateful, because after I had downed half a pint I stopped and looked a bit more clearly and realised I could actually get a draw, or even win if my luck balanced out.  I played a tight game, and succeeded in wiping almost all his termies off the objective they had deep stuck onto.  My stormtroopers removed him from his home objective, and my reserved platoon command almost made it across the table to hold it.  However, the dice deserted me again, and on the final turn not one of the three things I needed to draw the game was successful.  I rolled a 1 for a run move to hold my own objective, I rolled a 1 and a 2 for a terrain check to hold his objective, and I failed to kill his last terminator who was on a third one. If any one had worked it would have been a draw on primary, if two had worked, i'd have won primary.

I always hesitate to blame luck for any victory or defeat, but a week on, I can't see any other way to look at this game.  Despite a fun opponent, and a cool mission, what should have been a close game turned out to be a whitewash.  I don't like to end on a sour note, so please be assured that I am not bitter about this game, just disappointed that it wasn't more enjoyable for either of us.

Next post - Games 4 to 6
Atreides out.


  1. Some might say that Tri Raider Chaos, Tau and randomly built GK made for a nice easy first day.. I, of course, would not be one of those!

    Nice, brief reports dude.. I think I too am still in amazement at Game 3..having seen the army you faced, I have very little clue about how it went so wrong! lol...great general obviously facing you! Even then though, it seemed so random.

    Shit happens hey ho. If you can't think of anything to change over all this time, the chances are you did all you could in your usual tight playstyle and you just have to chalk this one up to dice gods and random chance..

    1. haha some might say that. They'd probably be right in terms of the Chaos list. However, the Tau game had the potential to go very wrong, but the early luck and the stormtroopers made it sound easier than it was.

      As for the last one, you are quite right. It was luck, pure and simple. i haven't even touched on the things i failed to do in that game due to dice because i dislike moaning, but if i use the following as an example you may understand:

      a single 4 man squad of death cult assassins in the open. they all died, but only after shooting
      3 hydras, and 6 seperate autocannons, as well as 3 multilasers at them.

  2. How can you have forgotten about the final game in blog wars 1 already??

    Sounds like a fun few games apart from the last one. Unfortunate thing about rolling dice is sometimes at times of most need they work against you.

    Look forward to day 2 write ups.

    1. haha quite right old chap! duly amended, please accept my apologies. I just realised that I was actually on the same table this time as well!

  3. Tri-Raider can be scary, but your one of the few lists still knocking around that is built from the days of mass deathstar units (i.e the blood angel codex) and I know first hand you deal with them nicely.

    Its amazing though, we "meta" for the *net list* and random hodge podge of lists come along and ruin our days. 4 units of GK's, some dreads and purifiers you say? I say no problem! Oh you have what now? Pskyers and henchmen, a lone unit of purifiers, some terminators and 2 lone paladins deepstriking. Someone Stelek because I am about to get whooped.

    Of course Andy, just follow the great ones advice, blame it on "unoptimal lists" as a "test" for the readers to work out.

    Anyway sounds like a fun event.

    I am getting more inclined to come back as all the fuckers are leaving Star Wars and waiting for Guild Wars 2 - with that said - Guild Wars 2 does sound immense and I'd prob have to stop again with that lol. Plus not sure if I can be faffed to work out the Necron rules.

    1. haha, when Guild Wars 2 comes out, i dont intend to leave my house for a year. i have every special item from GW1, and all my old names reserved. cant wait!

  4. Hey, thanks for taking the time to post your day one reports, we finished game 3 in quick time, so I ended up watching the last 40mins of your game (and Joshs), a game of twisted fate, you looked pretty much dead and buried when the terminators deep struck into your lines and you then failed the psykers test, but then fought them off your objective anyway! was great to watch!

    1. haha, that was you! i expect it was an amusing game to witness :) i am always astounded how much punishment guard can take before they finally fold. and lets not forget it wasnt just a fail, it was a Perils on a double 6 :P

    2. Indeed it was, the way the dice went kept the game ebbing and flowing either way!

      And well, If your going to fail, you may as well do it epically! :)