Friday, August 21, 2009
Best in Show!
I have to hand it to the boys at Kingdom Wargames in Palmer, AK: they know how to put on a fun show. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending their first organized tournament- a 1000 point Killpoints tournament. I learned a lot about my chosen army, and about the game in general. I didn't bring a camera, but my first opponent had his and promised me pics. Of course, I forgot to give him an email to send them to so I will have to track him down later... but I'll give you a quick synopsis on the three games I played:
All the games took place on small tables, only 30"x60" inches. Definitely not regulation size, and it hurt me a bit because of it. It definitely made me re-think tactics and my deployment strategies.
Game 1: Annihilation (Vs. Tau with lots of Kroot)
We agreed on using spearhead deployment due to the small tables, and set about deploying. I had my sniper PC Squad in a tower overlooking half the board, the infantry platoon lined up against a bit of blastscape terrain, and most of my chimeras and the russ strong-siding the other side. Deployment space was tight.
We both didn't do so hot on our rolling. It was kind of funny: the two 'shootiest' armies in 5th ed. couldn't hit the broad side of a Land Raider. I knew I was going to be hurting, as this was a kill points game, so I tried to focus-fire on units I thought I could kill quickly. I killed two of his battle-suits, and a team of stealth suits, as well as totally massacring a squad of assaulty-kroot (forgive my less-than-canon names, it was my first time playing tau) with a well-placed battle-cannon template.
He had high ground with his fire warriors, and he used his suits to quickly move around to flank the side armor of my Chimeras to pop them easily. Also, a battle suit deepstriking behind my lines spelled disaster for the Russ, who got popped with a fusion gun from the rear. He massacred my standard platoon with lots of shooting, and destroyed the mortar team I had behind my lines with a deepstriking stealth suit squad. His total killpoints came out to 5 to my 4, a very close game.
Game 2: Capture and Control (Vs. Grey Knights)
This is the only guy I remember the majority of his list- He had Captain Stern with two power armor Grey Knight squads in two land raiders. What's the word I am looking for? Pillbox? No.... Castle! Yes that's it. Drawbridge, moat, the whole 9 yards. He was a great guy though, and knew his stuff (despite taking a long hiatus from the game after 3rd edition and only recently getting back into 5th).
So he placed his objective as close to the one I placed as he possibly could on the board. We agreed that pitched battle deployment would work if we kept it to 3" from the table edge (or touching the table edge, in the case of his obnoxiously-large Land Raiders). I deployed my regular infantry squads over to my left, and strong-sided all my chimeras onto the right. I also threw my russ over on the left for good measure, because I knew that its battlecannon would be pretty pointless anyway until those GK got pried from their cans.
Fate was not with me this day, however. Even though I hit with nearly every lascannon I fired at those behemoths, not a single one was able to produce any satisfactory results. I managed to shoot off a TL Lascannon sponson, but that was it for the entire game. He had better luck. His machine spirit made them very handy at shooting both my tanks and my infantry... heavy bolter rounds ripped my ground-pounders apart and TL lascannon shots were simply brutal against my chimeras and my russ. My melta-vets got close enough to shoot off a volley, and out of 3 shots only 1 hit, and that was the shot that destroyed his TL Lacannon sponson, but failed to destroy the beast. The resulting fusillade of fire wiped out the entirety of that squad, leaving my Lord Commissar out by himself in the open. Shots splanged off his refractor field though, allowing him to scurry back to friendly lines to lend his command aura elsewhere. In fact, if it hadn't been for that aura, the last squad of vets I had holding my home objective would have fled, but they held their ground.
In the end, it was a tie, but I had definitely been over-matched in this confrontation. If it had been an annihilation game, there would be no question who won... he knocked out multiple chimeras, broke my standard infantry platoon and sent them fleeing, and popped my Russ like a ripe cherry. I managed to kill maybe 4 or 5 standard Grey Knights. Not exactly an even trade!
Game 3: Seize Ground (Vs. Orks)
I got slaughtered this game. We deployed up to 6" from the table edges, and his hordes darn near stretched across the board. This game was just fouled beyond all recognition from the start. At this point, it was late in the night, and being the two largest armies at the event, we knew it would take a while for us to complete a game. Thus, we hurried through steps we shouldn't have and forgot stuff. We didn't have enough objectives: we realized this after the game started. Wanting to be fair I put down another in a spot that neither of our troops were contesting. He already had two objectives on his table edge, held by his troops, and he stretched out a horde to the max of its coherency to take the other objective I had placed roughly in the middle of the board. He used a mad doc to get Feel No Pain on a horde, and coupled with fearless and the smaller table size, he charged into my lines pretty brutally. We had to end the game at turn 4 due to time restraints, but I only contested one objective in his back field. I must say, out of all the players I played last night, he was the least fun. Less forgiving, more exploitative of the rules... He just was not a fun opponent at all. For example, I was trying to flank one of his looted vehicles with my melta-vet squad. I measured from the back hatch, and lo, I was mere millimeters short of the 12" range of the meltas. If it were me, and I were already winning as much as he was, I would have given the other player the shot. There were other targets closer, but he proceeded to remind me that once you declare a target and measure, if you are out of range you miss automatically. I didn't argue, and so I couldn't do anything else. All in all, though, it was still a good night of gaming.
Well its pretty safe to say I didn't win any awards for my generalship. I apparently am a painter first, gamer second! It's okay to me; I like it better that way. For my efforts at keeping my whole army painted to a high standard, I was awarded the Best In Show prize. Best In Show was judged also in part by the army-list, and how balanced the list was. Apparently I just need to learn how to use such a list, because most of the judges agreed that I had a pretty balanced list!
For my prize I was awarded the Warhammer Scenery set, "The Temple of Skulls"! It looks pretty awesome, and is made of very sturdy construction. A great piece to add to my terrain collection! These guys at Kingdom Wargames definitely know how to make 8 dollars go far! Check out the pictures above, and I'll bring you updated pictures of the scenery as I get it painted.
Until next time,
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