Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Aftermath of Adepticon

Wow what a weekend. Adepticon by its very nature cannot disappoint. It is truly more than an event, more than a tournament, even more than an experience…it is a celebration of a hobby that I am not ashamed to say has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years.

I started 40k in high school. Rogue Trader. I played Marines. They were the Knight of the Rising Storm. My buddies and I would sit up at night on the weekends and talk about the Grand Tournaments and Games Days and how we would love to go to one. We would play at Games Extraordinare and talk to some of the guys who had actually been there. My friend Antony is from England and until Games Workshop opened the store in Nashville he was the only one I knew who had ever been to a Games Workshop store.

Flash forward 20 years. Of all my high school friends I am the only one who still plays. Sure they are all still gamers (role-playing mostly) but none of them play Warhammer 40k. My brother and I are it. Games Days are not what they used to be. Grand Tournaments are gone and from what I have read they were not all they were cracked up to be. So 20 years later and the dream has had time to evolve and change. Adepticon is what that dream has changed into. Going with great friends, eating and drinking, playing a game that has given me more than just wins and losses (we do not even need to look at that ratio).

I have been twice now. I am now at the point in my gaming career that I want to try different events. I could forego Adepticon for another cool the event. The Nova, Wargamescon, the ATC just to name a few. But regardless of which one I try, Adepticon will always be the one that fulfilled the dream. It will always be the one that I will have to go back too and enjoy. Talking to Greg Swanson at the tournament was an eye opening experience. Many people do not know how personally involved the Organizers and Volunteers are in the running of this event. Greg was telling of how for the longest time terrain and supplies were stored at people’s houses and it was just in the past couple of years that the Tournament was able to afford storage for all the stuff. Months before the Tournament they are repairing, building and updating terrain. Just amazing…and all for the love of one great event. I am deeply thankful for all they do.

Now I can get on with the rest of my year. I have a big Apoc game I am running in May. There are some tourneys coming up that I want to hit. And before you know it Supremacy will be right around the corner. We have some campaigns at the Keep planned and who knows what else. None of those are Adepticon though. Maybe we will see it again next year. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Storm Lords (White Scars, Marines etc..) Army for Sale

Unfortunately it has come time to part with my Storm Lords Army.  Right now we are saving up for a down payment for a house and need more money.  I have built this army up over a period of about 4 or 5 years.  It was painted by Drew Olds at Garden Ninja Painting who is a great painter very reliable and reasonable who can match the paint for any other unit you want.  As Al can attest it is painted to a very good standard.  It received 34 out of 37 at Adepticon this year and has always done well at other tournaments.  I also will be listing my Deathwing portion of this army in late July after the ATC.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Here is the link to the ebay lisitng

Necron Melee

It's funny but after having played Necrons for a few weeks now I find Necrons to be better at melee than shooting. Here are my own personal picks for the top Necron melee units (in no particular order):

— Canoptek ScArabs
— Canoptek Spyders
— Canoptek Wraiths
— Destroyer Lord

You'll note I didn't include Lychguard - sure they can be awesome but on the other hand they are not fearless and can break then are easily swept being only I2 like almost every other unit in the codex. They are really expensive for the points and are slow. I'd like to be able to make them work for my army but I just don't see it happening. I have used Lychguard several times - sometimes they did very well but sometimes they had no real impact at all. To make them mobile you've either got to attach a Veiltek or invest in a Night Scythe... Both will cost you more points. I really don't like the Night Scythe - mostly due to the fact that if it's wrecked or destroyed the embarked unit goes right back into reserve which is the worst thing that could happen to a dedicated melee unit. The Night Scythe is also fragile in my opinion and I don't think we will see a lot of competitive armies using them to ferry Lychguard across the table. I think the Cryptek could be better utilized in the army elsewhere providing Night Fight for a turn or letting you reroll a dice each turn. If they were fearless it would be a totally different story. Oh well it is what it is.

I also did not include the C'tan... Again another awesome unit but again too slow and too easy to target. They are very expensive for the points. I have used one once and the C'tan kicked arse in close combat but it was versus an army with not much long ranged shooting so I could slog it relatively safely across the table. Versus any army with dedicated long range firepower that could be a major problem. A couple turns of Night Fight might help though.

So I'm not necessarily saying Lychguard or C'tan are bad choices but neither works for me the way I want to play my Necrons. If they work well for you then more power to you. Let me know why they work for you.

Three of the units I've listed as good choices above are fast and they are all fearless as well. If you want to play a Necron melee oriented army I believe these are our best choices. ScArabs are great versus ANY armor and can quickly tarpit a lot of enemy units all the while applying the NOM NOM. The trick is quickly building them up to a high number of bases and releasing them at the right moment. Based upon my experience a horde of 24 ScArabs is more than twice as good as 15. I run a unit of 9 bases with two squads of three Canoptek Spyders... Let's do the math as it's quite simple:

Turn 1:   9 + 6 = 15
Turn 2: 15 + 6 = 21
Turn 3: 21 + 6 = 27

Turn 3 is the right moment to send them forward if you can wait that long to let your farm reach critical mass. Remember that you can start moving them forward during the first three turns - simply keep the tail end within the minimum distance from your Spyders so you can keep crapping out more of the little metallic beasts and they are easy to hide for the cover saves.

So far I have found 24 bases to be the right number. If you are investing less points they won't be nearly as effective... There are some armies that really don't have a good answer to ScArabs and I think they will be the demise of Imperial Guard.

Canoptek Spyders are really cheap for the points - only 50 points for a S6 T6 3W monstrous creature with an excellent armor save... It doesn't get any better than that in my opinion. I have found in melee they tend to be more of a tarpit versus tough enemy dedicated melee units such as Thunderwolves or assault terminators. Always remember that their main purpose is to crap out more ScArabs. Versus softer enemy units they will chew their way right through them. Don't forget to run the Spyders so you can extend your line of ScArabs. Spyders can also be used to provide cover to other units.

So now we come to Canoptek Wraiths. As much as I love ScArabs and Spyders this is probably my favorite unit in the new codex. I think they are much more potent now in the new codex. Wraiths have many advantages in melee over other enemy units - it's hard to cover them all so for the time being I'll simply say they are made of pure gold and soon cover them in more depth in a follow up article.

The last Necron melee unit is the Destroyer Lord which I've already covered in another recent article. Sure the Destroyer Lord does not have access to a Royal Court but if you're goal is to design a competitive Necron melee army you can easily get around this particular short coming. I run mine with the weave (2+ armor save), Res Orb, Mind Shackle ScArabs and a Tachyon Arrow. He is expensive but he is also another true beast designed as such.

I have presented the Necron units I think are the best in melee and provided some tips how to best utilize them.

How are these units working for you? Do you think Necrons are better in melee now?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AWC Invitational Round 3

All right I had made it to the semi finals. I had drawn a tough match up in Jordan Nach. He was playing a leaf blower IG. His guns out ranged me and there were more of them. He was also much more mobile than me. His list from memory was:
Company Command Squad w/Astropath and 4 flamers chimera
Psyker Battle Squad in chimera
Platoon Command Squad w/4 plasma guns chimera
3 x infantry platoon w/melta gun and autocannon chimera
veterans w/plasma
veterans w/melta
storm troopers w/plasma in chimera
storm troopers w/melta in chimera
3 x vendetta w/3 las cannons and neavy bolters

Man what a lot of $%^&@ plasma and melta. Hmm not good. Anyway on to the mission. The set up was to be spearhead. The primary mission was to be to have less of you units in your deployment zone than your opponent. As an add in if you kept an infantry unit next to an immobilized vehicle for one turn you could scuttle your own vehicles. The second was kill you opponents highest point HQ and the third was seize ground with 5 objectives.
Objectives are place pretty much equally around the board. I roll for Grand Strategy and get a 5 making everything scoring. I win the roll and make him go first. He sets up everything in his deployment zone on my far left except for the two stormtrooper units which will outflank. I reserve everything keeping Mordrak and the libby in the raven with the dread. I figure neither of us can stop each other from getting out of our deployment zones. Getting his commander behind all the chimeras will prove difficult. Maybe I can beat him on objectives.
His Turn 1
He scouts forward with vendettas moves everything 12"
My Turn 1
Sound of crickets chirping
His Turn 2
Once again everything moves 12" to get out of his deployment zone. His plasma storm troopers come on the right side. Everything pops smoke. On my left opposite my deployment zone he has a vendetta with plasma vets, the manticore, chimera of troops and a chimera of vets.
My Turn 2
I get everything I think except for terminators. I move on in my left quadrant. I gamble figuring he split his army maybe I can hammer that and then deal with the rest piece meal. I get everyone out and prepare to blast the traitor IG to bits. Funny thing I do not kill anything. The librarian perils his rift. Everyone else either misses or Jordan makes at least ten straight cover saves. The only hit that goes through immobilizes the manticore.
His Turn 3
The retaliation is brutal. There is really no reason to finish this report. In turn three he kills the raven, the dread, the purifiers rhino, some interceptors, some strikes and two ghost knights causing them to run off the board after they had been hit by the stupid psyker battle squad power (through the reinforced aegis no less). The rest of the game consists of me trying to keep my guys alive to take objectives but his vendettas circle me like sharks just out of my reach and chew all my squads down. Oh well sometimes the emperor is busy elsewhere.........

Well on to the consolation game. At least I won't have to play Alan's ork horde, but wait what? He lost I get to play him in the third place game greeeaaaattt

What to take to Adepticon......

All right have had events conspire to deny me the army list I want to take to Adepticon. I wanted to take my Mordrak list with a few changes. However the guy who does my painting Dan at Brush Division mother is sick (he does excellent work by the way if you need something painted) and in the hospital. My children have obviously contracted some sort of plague over the last week. Nothing like trying to put an IV in a 4 year old because she is dehydrated. I am pretty sure I would rather take a marble out of a fishbowl or razor blades than do that again. And to top it all off I have to work the 24 hours before the Championships. Plus everyone and his kid brother will be playing Grey Knights so if I can't be different I am going to be doing something else. So with that in mind I need to turn to an army that I have painted and display based already....
What I have ready now is a huge base of space marines. I can use them as space marines, blood angels, dark angels, biker marines, ravenwing and deathwing. What I am going to go with is Deathwing. I have used Deathwing before and know how they work. Plus I feel they do better at most of the match ups I will see at Adepticon. They hold their own against IG, Wolves and BA. They can do reasonably well against DE and GK. The biggest problem I foresee is horde orks or nids. They just do not have enough volume shooting to be able to handle them. Also I am not a big fan of putting claws on the terminator squads as it decreases their save too much against all the melta and plasma we will see at Adepticon. I would take a crusader but unfortunately my son was playing it and it had an "accident." Anyway with that in mind here is the list I am going with

Belial w/twin lighting claws
Chaplain in terminator armor
Command Squad all w/TH & SS, CML, Apothecary & Banner
3 x Deathwing Squad all w/TH & SS, CML
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Missile Launcher & Flamer
2 x Ravenwing Typhoon w/Multimelta
Land Raider

I gave Belial claws as my one concession to hordes. I figure he and the chaplain (who I am taking just because he has a bad ass model) will have 12 attacks at int 5 rerolling misses with half rerolling wounds. Hopefully that will be enough to whittle down some squads to manageable levels. I figure this has enough shooting to deal with DE skimmers, chimeras/vendettas and rhinos/razorbacks. Plus it is finished and I have the display board and objectives done. Oh well the best laid plans go awry. See you at Adepticon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Adepticon Predictions • Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Every year it is the same...

The first year I attended Adepticon followed the release of the 4th edition Tyranid codex and there was so so many Big Bug armies there - I'm not lying if I said they accounted for anywhere from 40-60 percent of the total armies. The year following the release of the 5th edition Space Wolf codex saw lots and lots of Space Wolf armies in Chicago - same thing with the 5th edition Imperial Guard codex. TriFalcon-Eldrad-Avatar-Harlequin spam was the big army the last year for 4th edition... They had an invitational tournament that year and I'd say eldar accounted for at least 70 percent of the armies in that event.

It is a constant that whatever is the flavor of the year will be the most popular army. There is something about Grey Knights though that I predict will throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the works... Psykout Grenades - they are the bane of Grey Knights and ironically enough it's kind of fitting in my opinion. When the fourth turn rolls around it's hard to avoid melee any longer as you're usually fighting for objectives... on the other hand SW versus SW is not such a big deal as they all swing at the same initiative for the most part (excluding characters and power fists). This year you have to factor in the psykout grenade and I've seen Strike squads maul Paladins - it can and does happen. Unless you've played lots of matches versus other Grey Knight armies with your own Grey Knight army this little piece of wargear can throw you for a big loop. In my mind most people who'll be bringing Grey Knights won't be properly prepared for the mirror matches - those that are will profit at the tables.

Sure psykotropic and rad grenades are just as deadly if not more so but you can't take them in every squad like the psykout grenade. Smart players will wisely avoid those units like the plague! It is what it is.

It seems like the two big Internet meta lists for Grey Knights are Draigowing and Purifier spam. I give the nod to the former for a better overall performance as little five man squads of Purifiers aren't really all that scary versus other armies that have significant dedicated melee units. If it were me playing my Draigowing versus a Purifier Spam army most likely I'd reserve my psyflemen and bring them in firing at the opponent's psyflemen. You cripple a couple and suddenly the game can swing. Versus a Vindicare assassin it's easy - simply outrange him with your psyflemen and keep popping him until he fails a save... And all it takes is one failed save then you push forward. The Coteaz henchmen list is fairly popular but I can't see those fragile units going toe to toe with Grey Knights. Sure there are the much feared Death Cult assassins and rightly so but a smart player will cripple their transport first and foremost then mow them down with stormbolters. There is also the Mordrak list but it's not as popular as the other three.

So I'm thinking this year probably some people relatively unknown on the Internet will win the big events at Adepticon simply because they are better prepared for the mirror matches and I think it's going to be quite interesting indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

AWC Invitational Round 2

All right after the win in the first round it was on to the second round against the 3rd seeded Mitch Tucker. Mitch was last year's invitational champion and a very good player in his own right. Today he was running mech eldar. He had tooled up his list to kill MEQs and had beaten a coteaz henchman list in the previous round. His list was:
Farseer Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones, Runes of Witnessing
6 Warlocks all with spears 3 w/destructor 2 w/embolden in serpent w/scatter lasers
9 banshees plus exarch w/executioner in serpent w/scatter lasers
2 x 5 fire dragons in wave serpent w/shuriken cannons
2 x 5 dire avengers
2 x falcons one w/eml one w/bright lance.

The mission had three victory conditions. Primary goal was hold the center. The player with the most victory points within 12" of the center wins this condition. The other two victory conditions were control terrain elements and kill points. In terrain elements and objective marker was placed in the middle of each terrain piece and scoring units had to be within 3" of the objective marker to score. The set up was regular pitched battle. As an a special rule any unit with in 12" of the center is considered fearless. The table was pretty much like all the others with a big ruin or los blocking piece of terrain in the middle and smaller ones scattered throughout the table. I rolled a 3 for grand strategy and made the interceptors and dread scoring.
Mitch won the roll to go first and decided that I should go first. I deployed nothing. I bundled Mordrak and the librarian in the raven with the dread on the back. The termies and strikes would deep strike and the interceptors and purifiers would come on normally. Mitch set all his skimmers up in a mirror image across the middle of his deployment zone with the farseer riding with the banshees and Eldrad riding with the warlocks. I didn't bother trying to seize.
I figured Mitch was going to go for the center and try and snipe a few kill points. I figured having at least four scoring units to his two I should be able to take more objectives and hoped I could down enough Eldar skimmers to win kill points.
My Turn 1
I look through the mission packet again
Mitch's Turn 1
Mitch moves all his skimmers flat out and brackets the center terrain. On my left in order is a unit of fire dragons in a serpent, behind them is the banshees in a serpent and finally 5 avengers in a falcon. The other side is the same except with Eldrad and the warlocks in the second serpent. Eldrads fortunes the two serpents on his side, while the farseer fortunes his own serpent.
My Turn 2
I roll for reserves and get the termies, strikes, interceptors and purifiers but not raven or dread. All right I have to decide how I am going to approach this. I feel that Mitch has made a crucial mistake he has split his forces around the center. If I can take out one flank I can cripple his mobility and we will play a shooting game which I think I can win. I decide to pick on the falnk on my left. The termies drop in mid field near the left edge. The strikes drop in the mid point of the left board tile and the interceptors fly on close to them while the purifiers move on 6" in the middle of my left half of the board. I have all the psycannons in range of the two wave serpents. the termies may be in range of the falcon (I will shoot them last in case I kill the two serpents.) More importantly there will be no shooting from the dragons or charging if their wave serpents are destroyed. Plus I am far enough away none of the other stuff from the other side can threaten me without going through the killing field first. The purifiers shoot the dragons serpent first. I get lucky and kill it on the opening salvo. It becomes wrecked and one of the dragons die the rest cowering behind the wreckage. A very nice start. The interceptors fire next whiffing on the fortuned serpent. The the interceptors fire and stun it. Finally the termies are able to get a shot in and it explodes. I kill two banshees but the pass their pinning test. All right a good turn I have limited his mobility and managed to be free of reprisals for the most part.
Mitch Turn 2
All right Mitch has taken a tough blow lets see how he responds. The banshees looking at all the psycannons and stormbolters decide that they would rather go and hide in the ruins in the middle. The farseer casts cover on them and goes and hides with them in the center ruins. they will play no part in the rest of the battle. The fire dragons also do the same and Eldrad fortunes the I think. The falcon goes and joins the other one in the back. The other two serpents come around the center piece and blast away at the purifiers rhino. They manage to stun and shake it. The falcons both fire at the termies and all that is left is the justicar and the psycannon. They pass their leadership test.
My Turn 3
I roll for reserves and still no raven. I am able to shake off the stunned results on the rhino. The termies duck into cover ready to run and hide. The strikes and the interceptors move forward to get shots on the falcons. The purifiers light up Eldrads falcon immobilizing it and stunning it. The interceptors are able to immobilize the falcon while the strikes stun it. Meanwhile the termies hide behind terrain.
Mitch's Turn 3
Mich is rapidly running out of options. He knows if he gets the dragons and warlocks out and tries to cross no man's land they will have to take a round of shooting first. Plus the raven hasn't come in yet and with Mordrak and the dread inside along with the mind strike missiles it could be deadly trying to cross. Mitch opts to stay where he is and try to kill me. The avengers leave the immobilized falcon and start heading for a terrain piece behind it. The mobile falcon moves towards my board edge to try and get line of site on the termies. The mobile serpent shoots at the purifiers rhino doing nothing. The falcon shoots at the interceptors killing two. The dragons on foot and the banshees get deeper into the ruins. The avengers run into cover
My Turn 4
Hey Mordrak finally comes in. The raven flies 24" to the center of the left side of the board. The purifiers move forward to get close to the falcons. The strikes back up towards the purifiers to get the in forest they are next to. The terminators meditate on the glory of the emperor. Purifiers knock down the fire dragon serpent immobilizing it and stunning it. The strikes stun Eldrads serpent. The multimelta on the raven finishes off the immobilized falcon. the dread shoots at the other falcon immobilizing it and taking off a weapon.
Mitch's Turn 4
The other avengers go and and hide in terrain in the corner. (That is what the picture is the corner of the board where those avengers go to die). Mitch has a few shots that miss and we go on to the next turn.
My Turn 5
Mordrak and the Dread assault and kill the other falcon. The purifiers kill Eldrad's serpent. The interceptors shunt and kill the last avengers.
Mitch's Turn 5
Pretty much waiting for the end
My Turn 6
I kill the last serpent move the interceptors on to another objective.
Mitch's Turn 6
Game ends

Mitch holds the center. However I have come up with 7 kill points to his none and have three objectives to his one. Game to me 2 -1. My second turn really hurt Mitch he was never able to recover form it and I was able to shoot his army to pieces over time. All right on to round three. I look and see it is Jordan Nach with his leaf blower list. Not a list I relish facing in the next mission....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

AWC Invitational Round 1

My first round match up was against Brian Carlson. Brian is a great player and an even better painter/builder. Brian used to work for GW before he decided he liked money. Brian is bringing his Dark Eldar to Adepticon. You can look at his army at
Brian's List from memory was:
Haemonculus w/webway portal
2 units of 3 true born in venoms w/2 dark lances.
Unit of 6 wracks
Unit of 10 wyches in raider w/stuff
2 units of warriors in venom w/dark lance and maybe splinter cannon
12 Hellions
3 x Beast Squad w/6 Razorwings
2 x Ravager
I have included a picture of his army and the board from his perspective.
The mission had three victory conditions. Primary was kill points, the other two were objectives in all four quarter in the center of each and destroy the most expensive unit. (His were the Hellions mine was Mordrak and friends.) As a side note in order to decrease ties the primary objective was weighted more. In case of a tie the primary was considered paramount to the other 2. In case of true tie it would go to victory points. Deployment was the old corner style. The table was covered with 25% terrain with a big piece in the center. Brian one roll and decided to go first. He took the corner to my left. I rolled a 5 for grand strategy and everyone became scoring who could. Brian deployed everything but his beasts in the center of his deployment zone. I deploy the purifiers in their rhino to my right behind terrain on top of an objective, everything else will deep strike on but the interceptors. Mordrak, the librarian and the dread will go together in the raven.
Brian's Turn 1
He moves his wyche raider with the haemonculus in it some ludicrous speed to the other side of the line of site blocking terrain everything moves to get a cover save.
One objective each KP 0-0
My Turn 1
I go get a drink.
One objective each KP 0-0
Brian's Turn 2
One of his beast groups comes on. Has to come on from his board edge. The Haemo jumps out and deploys the portal. Everything else jockeys around to get cover once again. His hellions and the baron along with one warrior squad and the wracks camp in the ruins in his deployment zone on top of an objective in the upper left corner to me. The trueborn with dark lances hope in the ruins across form the big terrain piece. Thier venoms head towards the purifiers. The two ravagers hide behind the center terrain. The bomber is in the upper right corner. The warriors in their raider cruise right by the bomber. The wyche raider shoots at the purifier rhino. The other warrior raider also shoots a the rhino but I pass both cover saves.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 0 GK 0
My Turn 2
Only the termies come in the deep strike almost off the board edge. I tried to place them behind the purifiers. This looks bad for them. The shoot a venom and kill it. The purifiers shoot at the wyche raider and do nothing.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 0 GK 1
Brian's Turn 3
The other two beasts come in via the portal. Everything looks at the termies. Terminators die in a hail of dark matter and shurikens. The bomber was especially effective at killing termies with those stupid missiles and no scatter. The Haemo gets back in with the wyches. The raiders shoot at the rhino but miss.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 1 GK 1
My Turn 3
Everything else comes on. The Raven comes on opposite the big piece of terrain next to the wyche ravager. The strikes deep strike in between the raven and the purifiers. The interceptors come in alongside them. Mordrak and the librarian disembark and the dread also hops off. The shooting begins. The purifiers shoot one of the beast squads. The stormraven takes a dark lance off one of the ravagers. The dread lights up another one of the beast squads. Mordrak and the libby down the ravager with the help of warp rift and some incredible stormbolter fire. The strikes stun another ravager while the interceptors are out of range of their target. In assault the dread hammers the beasts while taking no damage, they flee and are destroyed (actually was two bases left but they would be unable to rally). Mordrak and the boys put a hurting on the wyches but stay locked in combat. The purifiers put a whupping on the other beasts and kill a few causing them to break and run away.
Objectives DE 2 GK 0 KP DE 1 GK 3
Brian's Turn 4
Brian's Fire has been a little neutered this round. However his fleeing beast squad rallies and links up with the other beasts. His one far right raider full of boys goes up and heads for the upper right objective. He shoots a few things and moves his ravagers around. He is able to stun my Raven. the beasts get ready to assault the poor strikes. In assault Mordrak and the boys finish off the wyches and haemoculus, the dread finishes the one beast squad, The strikes kill a few more beast master squads and lose a bunch of guys, but hold
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 1 GK 6
My Turn 4.
Mordrak and the Knights head towards the big center piece of terrain. The storm raven shakes off the stunning. The dread begins stomping towards the upper right corner objective. The purifiers move to help the beleaguered strikes. The interceptors shuffle towards the middle terrain piece. The interceptors down a ravager. The dread shoots a venom down. The purifiers and strikes finish off the beasts but at a terrible cost. I believe two purifiers and two strikes remain,
Objectives DE 2 GK 0 KP DE 1 GK 10
Brian's Turn 5
Brian knows he has to kill off Mordrak if he wants to win. I am ahead on kill points he will likely take objectives and right now our two biggest units are hiding. He shoots just about everything at the Ghost knights in cover that can see them. He also moves the wrack squad that was skulking in a borrowed raider to the objective in the closest left corner. His shooting sees the raven die, the dread get stunned the purifiers die and the interceptors get mowed down to five.
Objectives DE 3 GK 0 KP DE 3 GK 10
My Turn 5
As an aside I thought I was going to lose as neither Brian or I read the part about the primary objective being paramount. I needed to go for the win. I sent the the interceptors shunting to deal with the wracks. The dread stomped towards the other objective. The remaining strikes cower in the purifiers rhino to claim the objective in my right corner. Mordrak and the boys shuffle around in the terrain. The interceptors kill the borrowed raider, The dread kills the other raider. He needs a 5 or 6 to get through it and assault the warrior squad. He doesn't make it.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 3 GK 12
Brian rolls for random game length and it comes up a two the game ends..
At this point I figure I have lost. I have given up a lot of victory points. After adding it up three times I come out like 23 points ahead. After we turn in our results the TO informs us of the primary mission rule which gives me the solid win. Next up is Mitch Tucker and Eldar Flying Circus.

AWC Invitational - There can be only one

All right on March 31st we held the Adeptus Windy City Invitational. For those of you unfamiliar with this it is a 16 person 4 round win/loss tournament we hold before Adepticon to crown a champion for the AWC series. The AWC series is our monthly tournaments we hold at the Chicago Battle Bunker. Each month we hold a tournament at the bunker with the points values from 1500 to 2000 points. We usually have anywhere form 24 to 32 players depending on table space. We also allow the person running the tournament to set up the scenarios. We run the gamut from Adepticon, to NOVA to ATC to Primary/Secondary/Tertiary missions with battle points.
During the season an overall standings is kept on the AWC forums. The 1st place finisher is awarded 24 points, the second is awarded 23 and so on. If we have more than 24 anyone else is awarded one point. There are four winners in each tourney. Overall, best general, best painted and best sportsman. Best overall gets +2 points while the other category winners get +1 bonus points. There were 11 tournaments in total. Your top six count for the standings. You can play in more than six but only your top 6 count. Also each monthly organizer gets awarded points for that month equal to the average of his top 3 scores. This encourages people to help run tourneys. There is a lead organizer every year. The first year Chris Hill and I ran the series. We he was hired by GW last year I became the lead organizer. This year I began as the lead but Mitch Tucker took over when my wife fell ill and required more heart surgeries.
This year I was able to play in 4 tourneys and run one. Of the four I took one overall and one best general. I finished 7th on the points list. With only 5 scores I was very happy to be in the top ten. Going into the Invitational I was seeded 6th as one person above me could not make it due to work schedule.
I decided to take my Mordrak Grey Knight list. The list is:
Mordrak and 3 Ghost Knights w/Halberds
Librarian w/Teleport Homer, Might, Shrouding, Sanctuary and Rift
6 Purifiers 1 Hammer, 3 Halberds, 2 Psycannons in a Rhino
Venerable Dread w/AC & SB and Psybolt Ammo
5 Terminators w/4 Halberds, 1 Hammer and Psycannon
10 Strikes 2 Psycannons
10 Interceptors 2 Psycannons, Hammer
Storm Raven w/TLLC & TLMM
After playing a couple of practice games and discussing it with a friend of mine Fred Fortman who was unable to attend the Invitational I dropped the dread knight and a few things and added the purifiers and the ven dread. The dread knight hadn't been pulling its weight, especially with all the DE and other GKs. Plus the top seeded player Alan Bajramovic plays horde orks (as a matter of fact he is taking them to the ETC) and the road to the title would run through him. My only concern was my lack of long range firepower. This was to come back to haunt me in the later rounds. Anyway I went 2-2. I won the first two rounds beating Brian Carlson's Dark Eldar and Mitch Tucker's Eldar in the first two rounds. I lost to eventual champion Jordan Nach's IG in the semis and dropped a super close hard fought loss to Alan's ork in the third place game. All in all 4 great games against great opponents. I will be posting my battle reports in the coming days.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Battle Report 1850 Grey Knights vs Tyranids

All right got a couple of games in versus Fred Fortman a very very good player in our area and nationally. I was taking my revised Mordrak list which I am taking to the AWC Invitational . The list is 1850:
Mordrak and 3 Ghost Knights w/halberds
Librarian w/Sanctuary, Shrouding, Might, Warp Rift and teleport homer
6 Purifiers 3 halberds, 2 psycannon, justicar w/hammer in rhino
5 Terminators 4 halberds, hammer, psycannon
10 Strikes 2 psycannons
10 Interceptors 2 psycannons and justicar w/hammer
Stormraven w/TLLC & TLMM
Ven Dread w/Autocannon and psybolt ammo
Fred was playing
Swarmlord w/two guard
Troop tervigon w/10 gaunts w/a lot of shots
2 x 20 Hormagaunts w/poison and some other stuff
17 genestealers
16 genestealers
Doom in a pod
2 x 3 hive guard
We were playing the old corner deployment zone. The three victory conditions were kill the highest point HQ, As many units with in 6" of the board center and home and home objective. Fred one the roll to go first Fred put his objective all the way in the very back corner of his deployment zone. Because of all the outflanking genestealers and the need to get to the middle I placed my objective in the middle of my deployment zone.
Fred deploys the swarmlord in the middle of the board behind a big los blocking terrain piece in the middle. Hive guard units on either side. The tervigon on my left towards my smaller area of my trangle. Devigaunts behind the tyrant. Finally the hormagaunts were in a line along the deployment zone and another group a little farther back. The Doom was in reserve on his pod, one unit of genestealers (17) infiltrating and one unit outflanking. I place my strikes next to a piece of terrain opposite his right flank with the tervigon and gaunts, I place the termies and dread behind the terrain the interceptors go to the right of the terrain. Mordrak and the libby go in the raven a little farther back out of hive guard range to my right while the purifiers go in their rhino behind the interceptors. With a 4 on the Grand Strategy roll the interceptors and the dread were scoring. Right now I am thinking this is going to be an uphill battle. It will be very tough to claim the center condition with out wiping everyone out. Also it will be hard to kill the swarmlord and get someone to his objective. Oh well maybe I can kill off enough guys and send the interceptors there. He places his stealers 18" away form the strikes in terrain. I fail to seize the initiative
Fred's Turn One
Everyone moves forward. The tervigon poops out ten gaunts but rolls doubles and is done. The gaunts head for Fred's objective. Everyone but the hive guard fleet forward. The guard kill one strike and one interceptor. Somehow the tervigon gives the genestealers feel no pain. Great genestealers in cover with feel no pain. Next turn will be full of charges.
My Turn One
I am at a quandary. The way Fred has set up it is forcing me to the little leg of my triangle. Either I can fall back and shoot and hope for bad fleet rolls or I can move forward and take the fight to them. I decide to do a little of both. Both the strikes and interceptors cast warp quake anticipating Doom coming in. The strikes fall back and shoot at the infiltrating genestealers. The strikes move forward and 12" towards the leftmost hoppys and shoot them. Everyone else backs up and begins to blast genestealers. Mordrak gets out and him and the libby begin to shoot genestealers too. The raven knowing it will soon be a burning wreck targets the Swarmlord with all the missiles and the multi melta and twin lascannon. I do two wounds to the Swarmlord and one to a guard. The interceptors kill a few hormagaunts. Everyone else unloads on the genestealers I do not kill enough maybe like seven after all is said and done. The interceptors charge the hormagaunts killing most of them after no retreat there are 3 left. This was my first big mistake I should have shot more at them. If I could have wiped them out the interceptors could have got away. Now I have to move in and will be in range of the Swarmlord next turn.
Fred's Turn 2
Here comes everybody. The genestealers come on in my right table edge and move forward. The Doom drops down on my right between the interceptor combat and the rest of my army. It is out of range for the big sucking spell due to fear of mishap. The other genestealers move forward to hopefully get a charge off on the strikes. Hormagaunts surge forward followed by the swarmlord moving to get a charge in the interceptors. The tervigon and devilgaunts move forward. The spawned gaunts go sit on Fred's home objective. I cast shrouding. The hive guard combine to blow up the stormraven. Doom shoots at the temies but does nothing. The devgaunts drop a terminator. Everyone else fleets. I cast sanctuary. The stealers assault the strikes losing maybe two guys to dangerous terrain. Swarmy goes and talks to the interceptors. The swarmlord puts a hurt on the interceptors killing six of them they finish off the gaunts. I am able to down the injured guard and put a wound on the swarmlord. Of course I pass my leadership.The genestealers strike after the strikes so I am able to cut the genestealers down to manageable numbers but still take a beating. I think the genestealers are left at about 5 and there are four strikes left.
My Turn 2
The termies and ghost warriors turn around to try and shoot the outflanking genestealers who of course are in cover.... The dreadnought gets ready to go in and help out the strikes. The interceptors prepare to meet the emperor. The ghost warriors, termies and the two psycannons from the purifiers down about 4 genestealers. The dread and the strikes finish off the other genestealers leaving me with out a DCCW and two strikes. The interceptors go down like five dollar whores.
Fred's Turn 3
Here comes everyone forward again. The devgaunts finish off the strikes, the hiveguard finish off the dread and the purifier rhino. Doom drops a template on the purfiers but nothing happens. Everyone else moves forward and fleets. Due to difficult terrain and sanctuary there are no charges.
My Turn 3
It is looking bleak. I have lost both the strikes and the interceptors along with the raven and the dread and the rhino. Well Mordrak usually winds up laying in a pile of his comrades bodies why should this be any different. I have the Swarmlord 13 genestealers a bunch of hormagaunts, the Doom and whatever the hell else coming for me. I move forward I am able to multicharge the Swarmlord, Doom and hormagaunts with the librarian, the termies and purifiers. Mordrak and the warriors charge the genestealers. in the big combat I lose the libby, two termies and like three of the purifiers. However I kill 14 gaunts, one guard and put a wound on old Swarmy. (by the way the Swarmlord rolled abysmally killing like one guy) the Swarmlord, Doom and the gaunts die to no retreat. The warriors kill about 7 of the genestealers take some casualties I think I am left with one warrior and a wounded Mordrak. He passes morale with 5 or so genestealers left
Fred's Turn 4
Well that was quite a blow to Fred but he still has all his shooting left. The devgaunts polish off the purifiers while the hiveguard finish the termies. I kill all but one of the stealers and lose the last warrior and take a wound on Mordrak. He also moves everything closer for the oncoming shooting of Mordrak.
My Turn 4
Mordrak kills the last stealer and makes his peace with the emperor.
Fred's Turn 5
Mordrak dies in a hail of whatever it is that tyranids shoot.

Was an uphill game from the beginning but I made a couple of tactical mistakes. I should have shot more at the gaunts and maybe could have freed up the interceptors. I also set up poorly and was in combat too early. Oh well was a great game.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tyranids at Local RTT

I got to play in an RTT yesterday over in Tampa. They used the NOVA mission format which I enjoyed - it's similar to the BeakyCon mission format except that if you win the primary objective you win the mission - if you draw on the primary then secondary is the first tie breaker and tertiary is the second tie breaker. I like the BeakyCon mission better because it really eliminates bad matchups as I'll explain below.

As it turns out all three games were versus good friends I often play so we are very familiar with each others' armies. The first game was versus Chris Winan's Imperial Guard and the primary objective was kill points. Deployment was Dawn of War. As you've probably guessed I brought my Tyranids - which I had to tweak a bit to scale down to an 1850 point list. Kill points versus shooty mech armies are a bad matchup for my Tyranids and Chris was smart, castling his army in one corner of his deployment zone making sure to keep all his armor beyond the range of my Hive Guard. You do have to win by at least a margin of three kill points to grab that objective so the NOVA system does give you a bit of a break in that regard... Still it was not enough for me though and my dice let me down on some key rolls. I suppose I could have played it very conservative and castled as well hoping that my Tyrannofex could pop enough tanks for the win or force a tie breaker on objective markers. I did manage to win the secondary (objective markers) and drew on the tertiary (table quarters)... Every little bit can count.

The second game was versus Mat Douthat's Space Wolves which features a Wolfstar lead by two Wolf Lords. We play each other a lot during the week nights and I've posted some batreps here. We are fairly even in our games and the last time I played Mat at an RTT I lost a very close game versus his Grey Knights. The primary was objective markers and NOVA uses five - one in the center of each table quarter and one in the center of the table. Deployment was Pitched Battle. Mat decided to hold his entire army in reserve at the last moment which came back to bite him as his Wolfstar did not come in from reserves until the fifth turn and his Long Fangs did not arrive until the fourth turn. So it was a fairly easy victory as my Hive Tyrant had a field day since there were no SW units that could really hurt him. I scored the primary, secondary and tertiary this game - moving back up in the rankings.

The third and final game was versus Scott Lester's Grey Knights (three Stormravens loaded for Grizzly Bears). Scott and I have played lots of games at local RTTs so I knew I would have to play smart. The primary was table quarters, secondary was objective markers and the tertiary was kill points. Deployment was Spearhead. This might sound like a bad matchup for my army and it is in many ways but my goal was to play the mission and not worry about trying to kill lots of Grey Knights. Again I faced an army that I only had one unit that could touch his armor (my Tyrannofex) - Scott was smart and kept the fliers all close together, moving flatout and casting the Shrouding with his Librarian inside the central Stormraven... It doesn't get much easier than that in my opinion.

I had to hope I'd get in one lucky shot before his Stormravens could shoot down the Tyrannofex using PotMS... He did make a mistake one turn and got too close to my Hive Guard (hiding behind a bunker... Heh) - I scored one penetrating hit then rolled a 1 on the armor penetration table... Oh well. I knew that Scott was focused on blasting my Tyranids and keeping all his infantry embarked in the Stormravens meant he could only hold a relatively small number of objective markers and at most be in three of the four table quarters. I brought in my genestealers behind cover in the table quarter beside my deployment zone hugging the board edge and going to ground for the 3++... Sometimes it is more important to make your saves than inflict wounds. I also dropped my Zoanthropes over beside the genestealers to act as a distraction and draw fire. The fifth turn rolled around and I decided to take a calculated risk moving my Prime and his Warriors along with my termagant brood out from behind cover into the adjacent table quarter (note I went second this game). I then rolled to see if the game would end and up popped a 2! A quick count showed we were tied on table quarters and a lone Broodlord stood defiantly beside an objective marker while there were no Grey Knights beside any... A close win for the Tyranids... But wait... NOVA has six fixed turns - someone earlier (not the TO) had told me it was five turns then random game length... Geez what a disappointment. I conceded the game then as I had already moved a lot of my units and didn't think it would be kosher to ask to move them back again and replay the fifth turn. It was my fault as I should have more closely read all of the mission rules... It is what it is and now I know. Hee. No big deal really.

So I ended up with one win and two losses - all three games were versus the Big Three - Imperial Guard, Space Wolves and finally Grey Knights. I know some of my detractors will say that this is proof my army is not competitive BUT stop to consider all three games were versus friends who know my army inside out - Imperial Guard took 1st place and Grey Knights took 2nd place. Scott had told me his army was designed to deal with my Tyranid army. So I'm not discouraged and look at it as part of the learning experience. If I had known it was six turns maybe I could have won the game versus Grey Knights - as I pointed out Scott was very intent upon killing Tyranids. Most players won't have these kind of advantages in my opinion. Sure anyone who is a smart player will figure out how to counter my army but I don't think it's necessarily that easy for people unfamiliar with my brand of Tyranids.

It was a fun day playing three games with good friends and overall a well run tournament. I like the NOVA mission format but still favor the BeakyCon method since I think it provides a more equal setting versus the various armies people are playing now. On a final note my good buddy John Lennon brought his Tyranids as well and went 2-1... Pretty cool.