I was dismayed, however, to see that my opponent was an army that I've had a mental block against while playing on Vassal: Deathwing!
|A mean army, and he's far more organized than I am!|
I'm embarrassed that with all my notes and photos, I have none of my opponent, nor can I remember his name. He said he was part of a club from the DC area, but I'm a complete loser at remembering names (amongst other things...I mean, I'm writing a blog about my plastic dolls!). He was a very nice guy. Extremely competent, serious, organized, and efficient. I also think he was at least as exhausted and strung-out as I was.
His army was very meat & potatoes: Belial with the 'special' Deathwing squad with Apothecary (no Standard); 4 other Deathwing squads. I believe all had TH/SS with one Cyclone in each squad. He had two Land Raiders; and two Typhoon Speeders.
The mission was Pitched Battle; Seize Ground. I won the roll and asked him to go first. He placed everything in reserve, with Raiders empty and two Deathwing squads deep-striking from normal reserve.
The terrain was typical of all the tables, with a large piece of terrain in the center of the table. This one was not as completely LOS blocking as some of the others, but it was enough to provide cover to things behind it, or Hellions when mixed in to it. I set up and moved first turn very centerally...Venoms, Raider, and Hellions were hugging that middle terrain piece; Ravagers were trying to think leafy thoughts hiding behind the trees in the bottom middle of my deploy; while the Reavers spread out left, right, and middle where I thought I'd get at least two units on Land Raiders wherever he came in. One of my Venoms sat near an Objective in my bottom right.
On his turn 2 he rolled up one of the Deepstriking squads; the three foot squads; both Land Raiders; and a Typhoon. I'd hoped to be able to deal with things piecemeal, but that didn't work out.
The Deepstrikers went in my bottom left, partially behind a large ice-hill. The Land Raiders and foot squads all came on just left of center, with some trees giving potential cover to the Raider nearest to the middle. The Typhoon came on my extreme left, moving up 12". His shooting was not very effective: Immobilized one Ravager (leaving it facing the wrong way...bummer) and both Shaking and knocking off a Lance from another.
My Turn 2: time for the Reaver Alpha-Strike! I got 4 Heat Lance shots at the two Raiders, had 3 hits, two pens...one pen was cover-saved (stupid trees, and my sloppy play put me in his side arc...I suck), the other rolled a 1...Stunned. Sigh. I shifted all my toys to the left while staying in cover, and shot up the deep-struck squad a lot. The Incubi Raider went Flat Out over to the left also, looking to threaten them next turn, or be in a spot to move upfield to his other three squads (only had enough vehicles for 2 of them to ride, I was going to eat the other come hell or high water!). The Reavers all pulled back...the far right Reavers having only taken some long-range shots at Belial's squad. They were content to hug terrain on the right to be a threat to objectives everywhere late-game. I also shot at and Stunned the Typhoon.
His turn 3...he got a squad in to the stunned Land Raider, Belial's squad moved to front of their forest, the 2 deep-struck Termies moved to assault my left Reavers. The unoccupied Land Raider moved up. I believe he Stunned a Venom, took the Lance off the Incubi Raider. His other Deep-striking squad came in on my deep right, threatening that objective. His 2 Terminators ate my bike squad, and consildated towards the center of the table. I think they should have gone in to the terrain to make my Incubi strike at I1.
My turn 3 and I shifted to the other side of the center-terrain piece, with all my firing (including the immobilized Ravager and right-Reavers) went on freshly deep-struck squad, killing all but 2 (again...consistency is key!). The Incubi Raider moved up, and they got out ready to eat the 2 living Terminators that came in turn 2. Heat Lances again failed on the Land Raider, backing up in to the terrain. The Incubi killed both terminators no sweat, moving in to the terrain just enough afterward.
His turn 4. Some Terminators came moving at my Incubi, ready to assault and eat them, despite their Feel No Pain.
He got tired of me hiding behind the center terrain piece, so drove right up in it, tank-shocking the Reavers (no Heat Lance was touched, sadly) and Hellions. Hellions passed Morale, Reavers failed, then failed to regroup on my last turn and ran away. Sigh. His other Raider moved up a bit and Belial's squad got in it. His last Typhoon came on and moved just right of middle. Shooting blew up the Venom camping on my bottom right Objective, squad was pinned. A Venom had a cannon knocked off.
The last two from the squad that had Deepstruck on my right assaulted my Reavers...the Reavers killed one at I6, the last guy failed to hit any bikes. Woot!
His Deathwing trying to assault my Incubi had to go through terrain, needed about a 4-5 to get it and failed, so they were left out in the open.
My Turn 4, and started to focus on objectives. The Hellions jumped out of the center terrain, and ran to assault the Land Speeder. Venoms shuffled around to be in position to move on the middle or either of the two left Objectives. The Incubi moved through the terrain with a solid 5, and ran, getting near the back left objective and ready to assault. Shooting took down a few Terminators, softening them up for the Incubi. All my Lances shot at that Land Raider in the middle, and did nothing...then a Warrior's Blaster fired at point-blank range and Wrecked it. Phew! The Lone Terminator fighting my Reavers died at I6. The Incubi killed off the Terminators and moved back nearer to the back left objective. The Hellions only Stunned the Speeder. :(
His turn 5. Belial got out and left his squad and went solo towards the Hellions; the living Raider moved near the Hellions and the passengers got out ready to hit the Hellions too. The folks from the Wrecked Raider moved to assault two Venoms. The left Speeder went flat-out on to my bottom right objective, forcing me to have to kill it. Shooting killed one of the Venoms that the squad in the middle was going after, leaving them free to assault the occupants. He did, of course, killing them but the other Venom was fine...though Shaken. The Hellions killed 2 Termies but the last three tore them apart. They broke and fled.
My turn 5, and the Hellions had to keep running because of Belial. The get a low run number, though, so still have a chance. If they can get their third Pain Point, becoming Fearless, they'll auto-rally. Belial is right there, so I plan to try to kill him for the pain. But, by my quick math-hammer, I can't do that many wounds to him, so need to soften him up. There's a Venom right there that moved < 6...I fire it's only cannon, and do no wounds. No problem...I fire the passengers at him too, Blaster hits, and Insta-Death's Belial. Dammit! The mean Reavers move up to shoot up the terminators that ate up the Hellions, killing one. The Ravagers blow up the Speeder on my bottom right Objective. The Incubi Raider moves to be able to contest the back right Objective next turn. The Warriors on my bottom right move farther in to the cover, spreading out from Typhoon blasts. The Venom shaken by the Thunderhammers decides to run like a girl towards the back left objective, far far away from terminators, and too far for the Land Raider to contest.
There was some confusion about remaining time, as the different brackets kind of started at different times, so we spent more time confirming we should do another turn than it would have taken us to just do the turn...we rolled, and it went to turn 6. His last Speeder moved to try to contest my bottom right objective and escort the Hellions off the table, but couldn't get close enough to the objective. His last two Terminators that had beaten up the Hellions moved to hit my Reavers, that I'd somehow forgotten to assault-move away. The survivors from the Land Raider wreck moved to the bottom left objective, with a solid-run putting them near enough to hold. His two terminators assaulted my 6 Reaver bikes...I did 3 wounds at I6, he rolled two 1s, and they both died. He conceded at this point.
On my turn I would have sat tight on the back left and bottom right objectives, used the Reavers to try to finish off the Land Raider, Ravagers contest the bottom right, and last warriors go in to the middle objective on the Wrecked Land Raider. I'd likely then win 3-0, holding 3, maybe 4 quarters.
This was a very exciting game. I was very pleased with how I shifted my forces behind the cover-giving terrain from left, to right, then back to left again to shoot at threats as needed, then explode out of it to scatter to objectives. I felt I had just the right amount of shooting, and though the Hellions didn't do well in the melee their presence forced him to go where I needed him to.
So, a big win for me! We asked if we needed to fill out the forms and calculate all the VP stuff, but were told we didn't have to since neither of this was in the running for Renaissance man. Then a few minutes later, I was told I WAS in the running, but that it we still didn't need to do the score sheets. Thank God. I like the format, the second-day brackets, etc....but I HATED calculating VP at the end of every game!
So I went 2-2 on Day 1, and 3-0 on Day 2 for a very solid 5-2 against some pretty heavy hitters. My army concept proved sound, my playing was adequate, and I had the luck at the right times. We waited around a LONG time for Mike and Neil to finish...was kind of painful, actually. Everyone applauded at the end...and I mean no offense, Neil...but many of us commented that we weren't applauding for the winner, but because the game was finally over!
Seriously, congratulation to Neil. I know he's not over-fond of his 2-Raider list, but I think it fits the current meta just right..keeping folks honest and that they brought their melta and really being able to project the power of his DCA well. Mike Brandt was a pleasure to meet...I kept trying to get a few minutes to chat him up, but he was constantly barraged with 10 other people trying to get a few minutes to chat him up, so I was content to congratulate him on winning second place and Renaissance Man and thank him for not stooping to the level of the Steleks out there...stay above it, Mike...don't roll in the mud with the trolls!
Neil won the Big Sword, and Jawaballs took Best Army. Dan with the Koven of the Fursaken won best Conversion for his Dais of Destruction.
And, very surprising for me, I won Best Sportsmanship. Bobby announced when announcing the award that I was the only player who had all his opponents vote for him. That really meant something to me, it was really nice. I'm happy that I could give folks fun games and have a good time despite all of us being strung out, tired, grumpy, and trying to kick the other one's teeth in.
I was told afterwards that Bob Evers was in second overall for Ren. Man, and that I was in third. Another big surprise and quite an honor!
I had a great time at the GT, but will save my thoughts on the event as a whole for another post...
Thanks for reading!