Sunday, 26 May 2013

Adepticon Single Tournament conclusion

Right, this write up is taking ages, and I’ve now got the Throne of Skulls to do, so let’s get it finished!

Adepticon Singles, Game 3
My game three was against Aleksi it turns out that he had won both his previous games so there was a slightly smug grin on his face when he realised he was facing someone who was 1/0/1 and assumed he had an easier game three, which made the end result all the more sweeter. Aleksi was using a horde Ork army and Necron allies. Three large units of Ork boyz, Ghazgull, some Lootas, Big guns. From the Necrons were a Destroyer Lord with a unit of scarabs and two Night Scythes with Warriors in. That’s a lot of Orks!

The missions were Relic and Objective, with the objectives fixed to the centre of each table quarter. I’m a fan of the Relic as it plays well into my hands provided my opponent doesn’t have infiltrators. It’s pretty hard to get the relic off a Tervigon, especially if it’s rocking Iron Arm or Endurance.

The game basically came down to how fast I could kill Ork boyz, luckily for me volume of fire is one thing the Tyranids can do quite well. Aleksi won the roll and made me go first, to allow him to steal objectives with his flyers. In my turn one we targeted the Lord and his scarab swarms. The Hive Tyrants were especially good at this as their Str 6 devourers were instant killing bases. However the Lord did have a 2+ save, but after a particularly bad roll in response to one Tyrant’s firing salvos the Swarms and the Lord were dead, the Lord did get back up again on a single but when he declared a charge against a downed Tyrant he died again (permanently) to the over watch. During turns two and three there was a large scale exchange of fire. Gaunts and Orks died in their droves as they took a torrent of fire from their enemy. However the Tervigons were still producing more Gaunts so slowly the Tyranids began to get the upper hand.

The first real issue was turn 3, I had two choices, I could fly my Tyrants off the board, or I could land. I chose to land them both, fire and then charge a large boy mob with Gazzy with both of them. Gaz challenged and my none warlord accepted, struck first causing 4 wounds but Gaz used his Waaagh and took no wounds before killing the Tyrant, in his turn he rinsed and repeated my Warlord. However all three boys units had been badly mauled.

The Orks were falling apart quickly, but there was little I could do to the Night Scythes and so it was on turn 5 they flew over to take an objective and contest one of mine, thus winning the Ojbective mission, however I clearly controlled the Relic with the Tervigon, in my own deployment zone. I had First Blood and Line Breaker, whist Aleksi had Slay the Warlord, so overall it was a minor win to me.

Adepticon Singles, Game 4
This is going to be a fast write up and I’ll let you know why. Due to weather and traffic issue they were an hour and half late in starting and with four planned games in the day, game four didn’t start till 10.30pm. I know I was facing a Necron army with some Chaos Allies, it didn’t feature a Helldrake but still managed to kill everything in my army but my four monstrous creatures, however I managed to scrap a minor victory off him by getting Line breaker and First Blood. Other than that the game is pretty much a blank. Lack of sleep due to jet lag mean the whole game is pretty much a blur to me.

Overall
I finished 89th out of 233 players in the tournament, which I’m pretty happy with. My list wasn’t too bad and there were only a couple of mistakes, the main one being to underestimate Gazghull in combat in game three. I scored 23/40 on their painting mechanic, I could probably have scored a little more if I'd had the time to do more base and fine detail on my models but I'm not that fussed.

Adepticon is a cool experience, I think I’d only choose to go again if I could get a team of 3 other people to come too so we could all play in the team tournament. I did manage to get some games played in the team tournament with some fellow Geek Nation Tour people, but I’ll leave that for another blog and it will probably be after I’ve written up my Throne of Skulls experience.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Throne of Skulls - May 2013

So I’m already in the middle of the slowest Adepticon write up in history, at this rate I’ll be attending Adepticon 2014 before I finish the singles and team tournament games from Adepticon 2013. However this weekend I’m going to Throne of Skulls at Warhammer World. Throne of Skulls (ToS) is Games Workshop’s main “tournament”. I’ve heard mixed reviews of it, due to its random pairings for every round, the odd way they work out the tournament winner and some of the odd rules rulings that the event staff make at times. However this is all second or third hand conversation so that’s why I’m attending one myself to experience it first-hand.

ToS is set at 1500pts, I assume to ensure games finish on time. It’s a lot smaller than I usually play so I’m having to think afresh about my army. I’m also thinking of taking Tau for the first time. This is heavily dependent on me painting quite a lot in the next couple of nights. I’m thinking of using a Tau / Space Wolf combo. Although not totally pointed up yet I thinking ;-

Wolves Primary
Rune Priest
Rune Priest
8 Grey Hunters in Drop Pod
8 Grey Hunters in Drop Pod
8 Grey Hunters

Tau Allies
Commander
Kroot Squad with Sniper rounds
Riptide with Ion Cannon
Broadsides with High Yield Missile Pods

Skyshield Landing Pad

The basic idea is against low initiative armies (Tau, Necrons, Tyranids with Tervigons) one or both Rune Priests keep their Jaws and join one of the drop pods for a first turn alpha strike against some high value targets. Otherwise at least one of the Priests will swap to divination and hang out near the Riptide. The Tau meanwhile are stationed on or around the Landing Pad, giving them a 4++ save. I was originally using an Aegis wall to defend the Tau but I think there will be a number of Tau armies there and they can remove cover saves fairly easily. The Skyshield is 25pts extra investment but gives an invulnerable save to the people on it, plus its elevation will give the Broadsides a fairly commanding view of the table (Warhammer world are notorious for light terrain boards). The kroot can help bring down big creatures and if I’ve got the point I want to include a Kroot hound for the option to out flank.

This master plan is heavily dependent on me painting a lot of the Tau models in the next two days, I’m making good progress but it will be close. I had hoped to include a small unit of pathfinders in the Tau allies to support the Riptide (the Broadside’s weapons are all twin linked so work pretty well without them), but I suspect I won’t get them painted in time. Of course if all else fails the Tyranids will be going on their next trip for an outing.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Adepticon singles tournament, Game 2

Adepticon singles tournament, Game 2

So with no chance of qualifying for the second day of the tournament (if there ever really was) my aim now is to have fun and hopefully still finish in the top half of the table. My second round opponent was Ruddy who was playing a Chaos Space Marine army. Luckily for me  his army doesn’t feature any Helldrakes.  Ruddy had a background for his chapter as being one of the two original founding legions which were expunged from Imperial records, the 2nd or 11th legion. I’ve noticed that in the US there is a lot more emphasis on the fluff side of armies, this is evident through tournament points for you display board. The team tournament takes this one step further with specific points for army theme, display board and team appearance. Not saying it’s a good or a bad thing but it is different.

Ruddy's army was a little odd. It featured ;-
Chaos Lord tooled up with wargear
8 Khorne Beserkers
10 Chaos Space Marines in Rhino
10 Chaos Space Marines in Rhino
5 Havoks
3 Obliterators
Landraider
Daemon Prince with Black Mace
Threat wise, I’d need to deal with the Daemon Prince before he made it into combat and the Land Raider could cause me some issue and would likely deliver it’s payload of Beserkers and his Lord into my battle lines.

 

The two primary missions in affect this game were Emperor’s Will and Crusade, so four objectives two of which counted for Emperor’s Will. The Deployment was hammer and anvil, so quite a long way for the bugs to travel.  
 

Once terrain had been placed there was a fairly large open area of terrain in the centre of the board which the Tyranids just wouldn’t be able to cross without taking some fairly brutal casualties, so I was a little surprised that Ruddy deployed his Landraider on this side of the board. It was highly unlikely I’d be attacking on that vector, so I thought it was kind of wasted.  When we deployed we concentrated on the opposite side of the board to take maximum advantage of the woods place to cover my approach. My home objective was defended behind a LOS blocking piece of terrain by the Hive Guard, Zoanthropes and a unit of Termaguants. 


Ruddy got first turn and drove his Landraider into the open area towards my objective, whilst his Daemon Prince flew a full 24” forward towards my battle line.  This was a fairly big mistake in my mind and my two flying Tyrants promptly punished it by swooping near to it and both unloading their devourers into the Daemon, queue one dead Prince and first blood to me. My Hive Guard fired at the approaching Landraider and managed to glance a hull point off it.

 

During turn two Ruddy made an unusual choice, he backed his Landraider up to be outside of the 24” range of the Hive Guard. Why he didn’t continue to drive forward I don’t know. We might have taken another couple of hull points off it but I very much doubt we would have popped it, especially before it had got close enough to drop off the Beserkers. Another mistake he made was disembarking his squads from their Rhinos. The Doom was pretty much guaranteed to arrive next turn, needing a 2+ with reroll due to my warlord trait. Until the point he disembarked from the Rhinos the only target for him were the Havoks in a building, which would have placed him near the Landraider with its Las Cannon as well as limiting the number of wound available to him. Now that two 10man squads had disembarked he had plenty of choices where to go.  Ruddy's Obliterators were still in reserve and I was a little worried they may try to deep strike into my deployment zone to threaten my objectives now that the majority of my monstrous creatures had moved down the board. Ruddy chewed through a number of Gaunt squads but the Tervigons were still producing more.  For my turn we swept forward further toward Ruddy's primary objective. The Doom lands and strips wounds off the marines, whilst the Tyrants fly over to open fire on the Havoks on the building roof.
 

Turn three and the Obliterators arrive but deep strike down into the middle of the board. The Lord and crew disembarked from their Landraider and headed toward the mass of Tyranids moving down one flank. The Marines fought a fighting retreat in the face of overwhelming Gaunts, especially with the arrival of the second Mysetic Spore with the Devilgaunts in, but it was pretty much a loosing battle. The Tyrants swooped on the Landraider, both using crush attacks to destroy the vehicle. The Gargoyles charged the Lord and the Beserkers, less with the intent of killing them, more to just tie them up to stop them charging the grounded Tyrants. Mass Gaunts fire brought down an Obliterator and then they charged to lock him combat. 
 
The remaining turns were mostly about mopping up. His Lord did manage to kill a Tyrant but that was mostly about keeping him away from objectives. The obliterators died to the poisonous Gaunts whilst the 2nd Tervigon and his broods hunted down the remaining marines. In the end I controlled both Primary objectives as well as one of the secondary ones to win both mission.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Adepticon singles tournament, game 1


Adepticon singles tournament, game 1

So Single tournament day 1. Adepticon had a number of differences from the "typical" UK tournament. They had actually embraced the core rule book system of terrain placement by players, so as part of the pre game process you needed to place the six terrain pieces on the board. Players alternated to put a piece with the majority of it being in your board half. The terrain peices were a mixture of area and LOS blocking, and considering the amount of terrian the tournament needed to provide for the c150 board in the 40k hall alone were a pretty amazing quality.

















Similiarly objectives were placed already knowing which side of the board you would be starting on, this is a little odd as if there's an odd number the person placing first will obviously stack his side with more objectives.

Mission wise there were two primary objectives in play in a game, win the majority of those and you scored a crushing victory. If it was a draw on the primary to fell to the usual secondary missions (First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker). Winning via this was a minor victory, otherwise it was a draw.

My first opponent in the US was Thomas, he using a Tau force but still on the old codex as it had been released a week too late for inclusion in Adepticon. He also had an Eldar ally which only contained Eldrad and some pathfinders. Great so there goes my psychic powers. He had three broadside, two large units of fire warriors, a commander and body guard unit and a 2nd unit of crisis suits in reserve. The primary missions were kill points and five objectives. Kill points is never a favourite of mine as it restricts my spawning from the Tervigons. Closing on the Tau was going to be key here as I needed to minimise his firing.

Tom deployed first and castled up behind his Aegis wall, then I made my first mistake, I forgot that Eldrad could redeploy models. But thinking about it even if I had remember I wouldn't really have been able to defend against it. Once I'd deployed Tom moved two of his Broadsides to sight on the Biovore for first blood, and his HQ and support unit over to a flank to threaten my Tyrants.

He was also going first which meant he'd have the advantage in the firefight to keep the Tyranids from getting to grips with him.

Sure enough, things went downhill pretty fast. The Biovore and none warlord Tyrant died in turn one to Tom's firing.To make matters worse both my Tervigons rolled a double on their first spawning first weren't looking good. Tom's HQ unit was protected by a 2+ save crisis suit and two shield drones which also had 2+ saves due to being owned by that model. My Warlord flew down the flank towards them but totally failed to get a single wound through their save.

Turn two and my warlord died to plasma death from the HQ unit, the Gargoyles were also butchered. As fast as we were advancing we were being shot off the board. The Doom did arrive and cause some carnage in the HQ unit, first slaying four wounds with leech essence, then manifesting psychic shriek for a further two. But it was probably to little to late.

Tom's final crisis team arrived from deep strike behind my lines near the Tervigons and proceed to vapourise one with their firing, the ensuing wounds to the Gaunt units cause one to break and flee off the board, the other were thankfully in the second Tervigon's synapse range. It pretty much went down hill from there (if that's possible). In the end I don't think I managed to get a single kill point as even the unit of Firewarriors my devil gaunts picked on managed to save enough wounds to not be wiped out.

So it was that I suffered a crushing defeat in game one. It was still an enjoyable game to play and Tom was a great opponent, but I'd already ruled myself out of getting through to the second day of the tournament (not that I really had any belief I would have gotten through).