Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Well as usual I’d had every intention of sitting down Sunday morning while my memory was fresh and sketch out some little maps and do a semi-detailed report of each of the three battles I fought at the Battle for Salvation tournament on Saturday…but instead got distracted with housework and family things, and didn’t give it a moment’s thought, and now I’m here at work wishing I’d taken notes but instead I’m stuck working from a very fuzzy memory to create giant run-on sentences that will leave you as confused as I feel!
Our day started fine: I was only 5 minutes late to pick up Eric, and that was because I’d forgotten about James (sorry!) coming with us, so had to take a kid seat out of the car (I don’t think James’ butt is narrow enough to fit in the baby seat…but maybe…). We were all anxious to get there on time, so decided to wait until after checking in to find breakfast & coffee (I actually cheated and brought some boiled eggs and a peanut-butter and banana sandwich to get me through the morning…the necessity of having a full belly in the morning is a lesson learned from previous day-long gaming events!). We made our way to White Plains easily enough, and despite Google and the GPS giving us different directions to the Salvation Army, Eric proved himself a very capable navigator and we found the place with plenty of time to spare.
We went in to the old church and found a few pews to park our army boxes and butts on. We met up with Sean and Matt, looked around at the terrain, and ran out to find some coffee and food. Fortified, we returned to see how the check-in was going. Things seemed to get moving a bit later than planned, so we had time to look over the competition. I was really surprised at what I found: there were about 4 Eldar players, 3 or 4 CSM players, 1 Necron, 1 Tyranid, about a dozen Imperial Guard, and the rest were all Space Marines (of one variety or another…BA, DA, SW, etc)! Including me, there was ONE Ork player! Waaagh???
After some confusion caused by Ordo with the initial pairings (Sean and I were paired together, but we asked if we could be re-assigned to someone we don’t play…which worked out, as there was a father-son group there that got paired together, so we just traded a bit), we got our tables and out came the plastic soldiers and dice!
I brought a large Waaagh! From Shadowklan led by Gordreg:
Warboss Gordreg on Warbike with Klaw, Squig, Bosspole, Cybork, and Kombi-Skorcha
5 Nobz + Painboy on Warbikes with Cybork, 2 Klaws, a Big Choppa, a Bosspole, and Waaagh Banner (striped so I could allocate wounds)
6 Nobz + Painboy in a Trukk with Ram and Rokkit with Cybork, 2 Klaws, Bosspole, Waaagh Banner and a random Ammo Runt (cuz I needed to spend 3 points!)
10 Kommandos with 2 Burnas led by Snikrot
22 Choppa Boyz plus Nob with Klaw and Bosspole
22 Choppa Boyz plus Nob with Klaw and Bosspole
22 Shoota Boyz with 2 Rokkits plus Nob with Klaw and Bosspole
22 Shoota Boyz with 2 Rokkits plus Nob with Klaw and Bosspole
And two Deffkoptas (in separate squads) with Twin-linked Rokkits and Buzzsaws
The plan was to get in the enemy’s face on turn 1 with the Nobs and Koptas, threatening vehicles and mowing down infantry, then the boyz would clean up whatever was left. Simple and orky! Snikrot was the great unknown for the enemy…something to mess with his head and make him worry. As it turns out, he was critical in all three games.
My first game was against a VERY nice young man named Ed with his Chaos Marines. His army included Abaddon with a terminator escort in a Land Raider; three units of CSM in Rhinos; 2 Obliterators; a Vindicator; a Defiler; and a unit of Chosen with mixed load of Meltas and Flamers.
The table we played on was absolutely covered with rivers of lava. We decided it would be kind of silly to make all the lava Dangerous Terrain, so decided to count it as just difficult (dangerous to vehicles, of course). The deployment for this round was Pitched Battle, and the Mission was modified Annihilation: you pick 5 of your enemy’s units, and those are the only ones worth kill points (could only take 3 Dedicated Transports). I chose to pick things that I thought I’d have a good chance to kill and would be killing anyway: I chose the three rhinos, the vindicator, and the obliterators. He chose the truck, my deffkoptas, the nob bikers, and a choppa mob (the one lined up right across from Abaddon).
I won the roll to go first. I deployed the boyz in one big giant line, with choppas on the flanks and shootas in the middle. The Trukk went on the right, the Bikers and Koptas in the middle. His deployment, from my left to right, was Defiler, Vindicator, Rhino, Obliterators, Rhino, Land Raider, Rhino. My scout move took the Koptas right in front of the Vindicator and the left-most Rhino.
He did not seize. I went first, the Koptas moving for side shots on the rhino & vindicator; the nob bikers went flat out, ending up right in front of his vindicator, rhino, and obliterators. The Nob Trukk drove forward, kind of hiding behind some stalagmite-like terrain. The Boyz ran forward as fast as they could, which wasn’t particularly fast. The Rokkits from the Koptas did nothing, so they assaulted! The Kopta on the Rhino got an Immobilized and a Weapon Destroyed. The Kopta on the Vindicator didn’t even get a glance…I managed to roll a 2 and two 1s! Go Ordo!
His first turn, the vindicator moved a bit so it wasn’t a stationary target. The Land Raider zoomed forward 12”, as well as the Rhino on my far right. The “middle” rhino backed up sort of “behind” the Land Raider, while the Obliterators slowly and purposefully shuffled a bit to make room for the CSM to get out of their immobilized rhino. He shot all the CSM at the Nob Bikers, doing nothing. He shot the Vindicator at the Nob Bikers, doing nothing. He shot the Obliterators at the nob bikers, doing nothing. Wow! The Defiler lobbed a shot in to my left-most coppa unit, killing a handful. The terminators got out of their Land Raider, and it looked like they’d be close enough to assault my right-most choppa-boyz….but unfortunately for him he decided to fire first, and killed enough boyz that I was able to take off the front “rank” and leave him unable to assault.
My turn 2, and the warboss directed the nob-bikers in to action! I moved to arrange a combined assault on the disembarked CSM and the Oblits. The remaining deff-kopta ignored the Vindicator, instead moving for the easier kill in the immobile rhino. The Choppas facing Abaddon moved to assault. The Nob Trukk drove forward and those nobs got out ready to assault his right-most Rhino. My shooting from the nobbikers killed a CSM, while the shootas and choppas unloaded on abaddon, killing 3 of his 4 terminator buddies! The Nobs assaulted and blew up the Rhino, the bikers assaulted and killed the oblits and many csm, losing one guy and taking a wound on another. He lost combat and ran, but stayed on the board shooting until turn 3. The Deffkopta killed the rhino. The Choppa mob assaulted Abaddon, doing 1 wound total (to abaddon), losing 5 guys, and 4 more to fearless. Ouch!
His turn 2, the CSM near the foot nobs got ready to assault them. The remaining rhino tried to move away from the nob bikers, but got immobilized in the lava. The vindicator moved forward to shoot at my advancing left flank mobs. His fleeing CSM squad took out my last deffkopta. His Land Raider blew up the Trukk. His CSM shot at the foot nobs, doing a few wounds. The Vindicator and Defiler killed two more handfuls of boyz from my left. The CSM assaulted the Nobs: all the marines died, but took several nobs with them. My nobs consolidated towards the Abaddon fight. Abaddon and his termie buddy again took only one wound (on abaddon) and killed 5 orks, I was no longer fearless, the orks broke, and I chose to not to try a bosspole reroll since he couldn’t Sweeping Advance, and the boyz proudly ran away. I thought this left me in a good spot to unload with a lot of shooting and an assault from the surviving foot nobs.
My turn 3, still no Snikrot. My left flank Choppas (now down to about 15 boyz) and Shootas (about 18 boyz) angle towards his vindicator and defiler. The nob bikers move for a combined assault on the Land Raider and immobilized Rhino. The fleeing choppa squad doesn’t make it very far, but their partner shoota squad and the foot nobs prepare to unload on Abaddon, which they do, killing him and his termie brother with apparent ease. The nob bikers immobilize the Land Raider and blow up the Rhino. I called the Waaagh, and my left-most choppa squad gets in to the Vindicator, where it is immobilized and the big gun is destroyed.
His turn 3, and the Chosen show up right where he wants them…they come in on my right, near the fleeing choppa mob that was one of his kill point selections. He’s close enough that he’ll be shooting at them this turn and able to assault them next turn even with a large flee move. I mentally added the kill points and realized that this would make the battle a likely minor victory for me. His defiler moved to assault the boyz beating on the vindicator. His last CSM get ready to assault the nob bikers. The Chosen and Land Raider kill off a few of the fleeing boyz, leaving only 4-5 on the table. The Defiler fluffs all his attacks, killing nobody, while the nob finished off the vindicator, killing 9 boyz in the explosion! The nob bikers annihilate the CSM assaulting them. At this point I had all 5 of my kill points dead, while he had 3…if I could keep those boyz alive for one more turn, the game would be over (note we only had 2 hours for each game, and I was unable to get past turn 4 in any of my games…having that many boyz made things go a bit slow, I’m sorry to say.)
Luckily for me, Snikrot showed up for me on my turn 4. I chose to place him right behind the Chosen. He and his Kommando squad would easily have killed the 5 chosen. My opponent and I decided to call it quits there.
The result was a major victory for Shadowklan! I also got 2 “extra” points: 1 for killing the enemy general, and 1 for having more scoring units in his deployment zone than he had in mine. There was a third point available, but it was semi-random: in this mission we rolled a die at the start of every turn after the first; on a 4+ that turn had the Night Fight rule. If you manage to kill one the enemy’s scoring units during that night-fight turn, you got an extra point. We didn’t have our night-fight turn come up, so it was impossible to get that extra point. Still, 19 out of a max possible 20 wasn’t a bad way to go!
After this round they Salvation Army staff had a nice barbeque outside: burgers, dogs, and cupcakes for desert! We milled around for awhile, eating and bragging of our exploits. We eagerly went back inside, waiting to hear our pairings. I started on lowly table 19, but for round two went to table 5! My opponent was an Eldar, with so much fast stuff I was immediately terrified…how could I keep up with that much speed?
His list, as best as I can remember, was a Farseer with Doom and Guide, he ran in a Falcon with 5 Dire Avengers. 5 more Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent; Two units of 5 Fire Dragons in Wave Serpents; Two units of 10 Storm Guardians with Flamers in Wave Serpents; A small unit of Harlequin with a Troupe Master and magicky guy. He also had two Prisms and two Vipers with scatter lasers. Yikes!!
This game was Spearhead and Seize Ground with 5 objectives. There were again three extra victory points available: one for killing enemy general, one for having more scoring units in your enemy’s deployment than he had in yours, and the third was a secret objective…you note down which of the 5 is your ‘special’ objective, and you get an extra point if you hold it.
I set up the first objective, and got things arranged so that I had 3 objectives in my deployment near enough to each other that I could have one mob hold them all, but far enough apart that he could not contest two with a single vehicle. He placed two deep in his deployment. After seeing the objectives, I chose to play somewhat defensively: I’d surround my objectives with boyz spread out as much as I could, while keeping him busy with koptas, nobs, and kommandos. I set up in the bottom left corner, he in the top right. I put koptas as close to center as I could, so they could scout and get to something tasty to kill. The bikers I set up to the left of center a bit, while the truck was near my backline, ready to move to the right. The shootas boyz were more “forward”, with the choppas towards the rear…my thought was that the shootas would be able to plug shots in to anything coming close, and if they died the choppas were there to counter. They were all spread out so that he’d have a hard time tank-shocking in and surviving.
My koptas scouted forward, though honestly I don’t remember what vehicles they went towards. I know that again they didn’t manage to actually kill anything (apparently this trick only works versus Eric?), but they did force severe reaction, which is what I wanted. The Bikers zoomed forward to get in his face right away, the shoota boyz moved to get rokkit shots on things, while the nob truck moved slightly behind a building thing that dominated the bottom right quarter of the table. My shooting immobilized a wave serpent and shook and stunned a few more, but nothing nearly as decisive as I’d hoped.
His turn 1, and the vipers zipped forward to try to block movement of the nob bikers. He had some guardians get out of what I think was a shaken wave serpent. He shuffled a lot of things around, but didn’t press towards the objective at all, it was completely reacting and trying to counter the nob push. He shot some mean stuff at my truck, which should have exploded, but I managed to make two 4+ covers. He shot pretty much his whole army, including guide and doom, at the nob bikers, but only managed to do a few wounds which were allocated to avoid any death. 3+ cover on first turn & feel no pain is absurd! It was also key here that I allocated some S8 wounds to the warboss, taking a few wounds on him but allowing the rest to survive.
My turn 2 and my memory gets really fuzzy. I started to not feel too well during this game: this area was very warm, and I had the burger and dog weighing me down, and the lack of sleep (was up late finishing up the painting!) was getting to me. I apologize for the roughness of these next few turns! Snikrot showed up, and I placed him very sneakily behind the Farseers Falcon. The Nob-trukk moved so that the nobs could get out and assault an immobilized wave serpent (with fire dragons in it). The Nob Bikers moved around the vipers that tried to interpose, and managed to arrange a triple assault…storm guardians, wave serpent, and falcon. My shooting was sneaky: the kommandos fired their burnas at the falcon, which allowed them to also get 4 hits on the harlequin…the truck-nobs did the same thing with their kombi-skorchas, getting a few more! Those combined killed off several harlequin. More importantly, the slew of S4 shots at the rear of the Falcon actually scored an Immobilized, allowing me to auto-hit in the ensuing melee! The nobs blew up the fire-dragon’s wave serpent, which killed off a fire dragon and a few more harlequin, which were now down to just two models (I think a regular guy and troupe master?). The Nob bikers shooting killed all but one of the storm guardians, the survivor broke, but I assaulted him, he manned-up and took it, I killed him, the viper, and wrecked or blew up the other fire-dragon wave serpent. Snikrot blew up the Farseer’s Falcon. A surviving deffkopta got to one of the Prisms and blew it up too! A very nice turn for Shadowklan! Sadly the explosion from the Falcon killed off 4 kommandos, and they took off running…Damn you Snikrot for not having a bosspole!
His turn 2, and he was feeling grim. He got some storm guardians, fire dragons, and surviving harlequin ready to hit the foot-nobs. The other fire-dragons and a few wave serpents took aim at the nob bikers that had consolidated deep in to his lines. His Farseer-led dire avengers took out the last deffkopta. Everything that could bear again shot up the Nob Bikers (including 5 fire dragons that did…no wounds!), leaving everything with one wound left, but none dead yet! The firedragons and storm guardians let lose on the foot nobs, killing a guy and spreading some wounds around. They were then assaulted by the storm guardians and surviving harlequin. The battle didn’t go too well for either of us, the nobs getting dragged down by shear number of attacks, while they killed off the last regular harlequin and a handful of guardians. I believe I lost combat but held.
My turn 3, and Snikrot’s guys were running in circles, doubling back on the way they’d had to run last turn. (Actually there had been some discussion about this with opponent, who thought that since there was no direct line for them to run towards my edge last turn they should be destroyed. I told him of the INAT FAQ which clarifies that as long as there is some place for them to run, fleeing units don’t die: that they need to be completely surrounded.) This actually was decisive, as where the landed left them in perfect burna firing range on the farseer’s dire avengers! The Nob Bikers shot up and assaulted a wave serpent and fire dragons, killing both, and consolidated back towards his objectives. One of my Shoota mobz rushed forward to try to help the foot nobz, while their truck moved around behind the big building, my hope was that if the game dragged on it might have a chance to zoom in and contest an objective. My shooting stunned the last viper. The Kommandos melted the entire 5-man dire avenger squad! The big shoota mob got in the fight with the storm guardians beating up the nobs, and their oomph combined with the nob survivors killed off the last of the harlequin and the storm guardians. I had most of that mob left, they consolidated back towards my starting table quarter, while the nobs moved in to the courtyard of the building nearby, getting cover from the 4 angry fire dragons looking at them!
His turn 3, and things just kept getting worse for him. His farseer tried to cast guide, but failed with an 11. He then cast doom on the foot nobs, and succeeded with snake-eyes, and then we had some discussion about the reroll for the invuln required by perils of the warp, and the farseer took a wound. He realized that things were getting down to the wire and he needed objectives badly and was quickly running out of troops. His last dire avenger squad’s wave serpent zipped away from the nob bikers towards the left of the table, ready to swoop down on one of my objectives. Another wave serpent did a tank shock on the shoota boyz that had killed the storm guardians, getting them in a nice clump. His Fire Prism lobbed a shot at them, and again we had some discussion…I thought I should get cover since his Prism was firing through his fire dragons (which were standing high enough on terrain that I thought more than half my mob was obscured). He thought the prism was high enough that he was firing completely over the mob. I envoked the rule that says if there’s some difference of opinion on whether or not a unit is in cover, then make the cover save one less than what it should be, so I rolled my nine 5+ covers, and made one. Sigh. Argument for nothing…sorry! This took the mob close to no-longer fearless, and there were lots of fast flying things around waiting to tank shock and contest! His fire dragons shot at the 3 remaining nobz, killing one, then assaulted and killed the other two, taking no losses! He had just a handful of shooting otherwise, but I don’t remember specifically what shot or what it did.
My turn 4, snikrot was still too close to things to rally. He had two wave serpents close enough to move to contest at the end of turn 4, as well as a viper…I had to do something about those to get a win and avoid the draw. So, I tried…I had a full Choppa mob assault the Wave Serpent with the Dire Avengers. The surviving Shoota boyz assaulted the empty Wave Serpent that had tank-shocked them. The Nob Bikers moved to shoot/assault the Farseer (he was on his own, and too far to be a threat, but he was an extra point…). Other Shoota mob moved to assault the stunned Viper. As I recall, both Wave Serpents were immobilized, and the Viper was destroyed.
This left me solidly holding three objectives, with 3 full boyz mobs, a half a boy mob, near-full nob bikers, and still fleeing but rally-able Snikrot…and a Trukk! He had two immobilized Wave Serpants, one with 5 Dire Avengers (his only surviving troops). He also had one Wave Serpent that was mobile, and one Fire Prism…also 4 Fire Dragons on foot, but they were too far away to make a difference. I was feeling pretty crappy by this point, so suggested calling it a minor win for me. He was quick to accept that, as it probably should have been a major victory (he’d have to get damned lucky to have all those things survive to contest two of my objectives!)….but when we looked at the final scores, I had points for a major victory. I’m speculating that my opponent (who is a regular player with the group that held the tournament) spoke to Bob and Matt to have the score changed? Not sure, either that or a problem with the score tallying? I think I got all three extra points for this one, but I’m not really sure there either.
After that game I went outside for awhile. I paced the sidewalk and sat on the curb for a bit, and the fresh cool air helped a lot! When I got myself feeling human again, I went back in and enjoyed the turkey dinner they prepared for us, and finished just in time for the final round pairings…I was very surprised to hear that I was on table one! I took Shadowklan to the top table, and was very pleased to see a Blood Angel army there…Jawaballz! I thought I had a good shot against that army, so was very pleased….then he came and took his army, and I was left facing a TERRIFYING Guard army: Company HQ with 3 meltas in a chimera; 5 vets (all with slightly different loads, but most were 2 melta & 1 flamer) all in chimeras; 2 medusas; a psychic battle squad in chimera; 3 vendettas; grey knight brother-captain and some grey knight termies; inquisitor with two mystics; probably more, it was impossible to keep it all in my head…there was so much! Every Chimera replaced it’s heavy bolter with a heavy flamer, and the medusas both had heavy flamers as well. I was terrified!
This game was Dawn of War and Capture & Control. The extra points were again killing enemy general, and having more scoring units in opponent’s deploy than he in yours…and the special one was secretly nominating a suicide unit (not a vehicle)…you got an extra point if your suicide unit died! Interesting! I chose one of my deffkoptas.
He had the emperor’s tarot, and won the roll to get the +1, but I still won roll for first turn (three in a row!). I again chose to go first, primarily because I wanted to have some control over his deployment. I deployed both choppa mobs right on the halfway line, spread out to cover almost 2/3 of the table’s length.
He deployed three empty chimeras!
On my first turn the choppas boyz ran forward, both of them making it nearly 2/3 the way across the table! The nob bikers, truck, and koptas all went flat out to support the choppas, while the shoota boyz settled in to trenches near my objective…they effectively watched the whole game.
On his first turn he brought on his whole herd. His shooting tore the heart out of both choppa mobs, not much else. I felt I had a chance!
My second turn, and I slammed in to him. The koptas, bikes, and boyz all picked on chimeras, and all found their mark: I think I killed 2 of them, stunned/stripped another, and stripped/immobilized a fourth!
But on his second turn, there was much orky death. The incredible flamer array was relentlessly brutal. One boy mob was annihilated. Another was reduced to just the nob, who broke and ran; the nob bikers were reduced to the painboy and the warboss…but the PBS made sure they failed their morale test and ran. One of the koptas survived, I think…
My turn three, and I was feeling pretty grim, but wasn’t out yet! He’d forgotten the trukk-nobs! The trukk drove behind an immobilized chimera, where the nobs were able to get out, flame the trukk and hit the squad on the other side. A very similar arrangement happened with Snikrot, who came in behind the disembarked Company HQ, but shot at a chimera, their flamer shots killing most of the command squad, leaving the kommandos set up for triple assault vs Command squad, chimera, and a vendetta. The assaults killed off two more chimeras, the command squad (which turned out to be his ‘suicide’ unit), and shook a vendetta!
His turn three, and my memory goes a little hazy again. He did some shooting and assaulted the nobs, but they wouldn’t run away, and 4 of them lived! The vendettas did some shuffling, loading up one of his last two troops in a vendetta…his other was on foot. His terminators were walking in to the teeth of the shoota nobs, I guess trying to survive the massive fire to contest on a later turn? He blew up the kommandos, leaving snikrot alive with just the two burnas, and they passed their morale. I sadly forgot what the PBS did this turn…I remember it being decisive, but can’t rememberwhat it was!
My turn 4, and I saw a glimmer of a chance for a win. I had the strong foot nob squad and snikrot left flailing around his objective…they did a combined assault on his penultimate (word of the day!) troop squad, with no shooting…I wanted to ensure I was in assault range with both so I could bounce off the assault in to cover. Sadly, two of the kommandos died, leaving snikrot alone, but the guard veterans were destroyed and the consolidation got Snikrot in to cover close enough to contest his objective, and the nobs on to a wreck close enough to contest also!
His turn 4 and he quickly saw the danger. Instead of being able to move to my objective, he had to play for a draw…he had to flat-out the vendetta with his last troops to hold his objective and forego mine. He had to shoot up and kill Snikrot and all the nobs, or I’d contest his! Sadly for me, his shooting was still incredible, and he only needed a fraction of his shots to kill off everyone! C'est la vie!
Still, he would need at least 2 turns to get vendettas close enough to contest, and even then he’d have to survive another 40+ boyz, and he was running low on things with which to kill boyz in large handfuls…so we called it a draw, and were both happy to have done that well!
This was by far my favorite game of the day…I looked so out of it at the end of turn 2, but to have the kopta, trukk nobs, and kommandos keep his whole army tied up on his table edge for two more turns was probably my most successful warhammer plan. My opponent was very polite, pleasant to talk to, extremely knowledgeable of the game and tactics, a very competent player…I really enjoyed playing Dan, and hope to get to do so again! He went on to win 3rd place overall, I believe, and it was well deserved!
So I ended the day with two wins and a draw. Other than the other Ordo folks, I had no real idea how the other players had done. I didn’t think I stood much of a chance to place overall, so to hear the announcement that I’d been tied for 3rd & 4th, and was only 1 point behind 1st/2nd (I believe 1st/2nd had 51 points, 3rd/4th had 50…or something like that!) was really shocking! Shadowklan really did well…Nob Bikers are ridiculous! They used a great method for tie-breaking: they looked at the scores of our opponents; those who had opponents with higher scores won the ties, so I ended in 4th place. But I was REALLY thrilled when they announced that I'd been choosen for the best sportsmanship award! I think everyone I played must have scored me highly in sportsmanship because I kept apologizing for the Nob Bikers!
And is if all that weren’t enough to make it a wonderful day, I also won a prize in the raffle! I won a Space Marine Commander box! Yeah! I’m told it was only me and one other guy that put a ticket in for that one…but hey, it paid for the tickets I put in for the Space Hulk!
Thanks to all the Ordo Brother that were there to help make this a wonderful day!
WAAAAGH! ORDO INEPTUS!!!