Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Feast of Blades Qualifier: Round 3

After the second game, we had a short break...time for a coke, a few war stories (I enjoyed bragging about the Dreadknight-Spawn!), and the final round pairings! My opponent was to be Todd with his Vulkan-led Space Marines!

I didn't really know where I stood overall in the tournament. My second game was kind of a win, but I got very few overall points from it, so I thought I was down low in the rankings. I wasn't too terribly concerned: I'd had very little expectation when going in to the event, especially considering the stiff competition here! I do not expect the wife would allow me to go to Colorado no matter what, anyway! :)

In this game, I was hoping to try something different, and planned out that I was going to change up my primary drop a bit, to get some MC, Flamers, Screamers, and Horrors in both forces, so I'd see if it was more forgiving.

I looked over Todd's force, and saw that he had a lot of things that were potentially problematic, but a few things that wouldn't bother me too badly...He had Vulkan, a Captain on a Bike (Relic and Shield, I believe), a full Troop Bike Squad loaded with Meltas, 2 6-man Scout squads with Missile and Snipers, a large Assault Terminator force (I think 9 models?) all with TH/SS in a Land Raider Crusader, a Vindicator, 3 Land Speeders with MM and HF, and a Thunderfire Cannon. Added to this was an Aegis with Quadgun.

The Vindicator and Thunderfire worried me, as they'd be squashing my non-flying units as they Deep-Struck down in "place blast here" formations; the Land Raider and Bikes worried me as they spit out a lot of shots to force Grounding Checks and potentially make Fateweaver pass Ld tests or go home. The Thunderfire would be putting shots on the MC as they came in, but with one just one volley per turn I wasn't terribly concerned. The Scouts, though didn't bother me too much, and I thought the MC with FW support would be a good match for the Terminators, especially if I could soften them up with shooting, flamers, and Screamers!

The deployment was the triangley one again, and the mission Primary was Objectives...four objectives 18" in from edges, with another right at the center of the table. Secondary was Kill Points.

I won the roll, and again chose to go second...I wanted that last turn to get on the objectives, and one less turn of him shooting at me.

Land Raider in the process of Immobilizing itself...
 Todd fortified the big ruin in his corner, and set up his Aegis to cover the rest of his deployment area, with the Quadgun right in the middle. On his first turn, the first thing he did was move his Land Raider up around the Aegis line to push towards mid-table. He went through a big of forest, and rolled a 1, Immobilizing the vehicle! This was good for me, as I was able to avoid the barrage of shooting from the thing for quite a while. He left everything else in place, waiting for my first drop...

The time came to try my different force split, and I completely forgot...I went kind of in to auto-pilot mode, and just pulled out all the Big Meanies and both Screamers. The Chaos Powers were kind, and I got my preferred force, and everything dropped in safely, with minimal scatter...the Circus required no running to stay in FW range, and the Screamers were able to Turbo to position to have Fateweaver protection while being in position to dive in to the Vindicator and some Scouts next turn. I targeted all the big meanie's firepower at the Thunderfire cannon, and despite the T7 and fortified ruins, it died...a potential major headache for me, I was very happy to remove it early on!

He disembarked the Terminators and walked towards middle-table to try to push me a bit, while the Bikes moved up to unload on Screamers. The Vindicator pivoted to fire thru a ruin-window. He put a lot of firepower on the Screamers, ignoring the Fliers, and did a lot of wounds, but rerolling 4+ kept me pretty safe.

On my second turn I got in both Flamers and 2 Horror units. I dropped the Horrors out of the way where I hoped they'd be ignored for awhile so they could take objectives later, while I tried to drop Flamers to beat up Terminators...those scattered away, while the other Flamers dropped right next to Bikes...and got a Hit!

The Flamers killed 6 bikes on their own, including the Captain with Shield that eat up a ton of the wounds. The flying meanies Swooped forward slowly, shooting up the rest of the Bikes, finishing them off! S5 AP3 shots work pretty well! The melee phase went pretty well, as the vindicator was killed easily by screamers, while another unit of screamers killed many scouts, forcing them to run away.

Top of 3, and his Terminators moved to combi-assault Horrors and Flamers. The fleeing scouts rallied, and their shooting along with the Quad gun wiped out a unit of Screamers. 2 of the Land Speeders dropped in, one of them unloading on Flamers, along with the Land Raider wiping them out. Other Land Speeder and POMS shooting worked on Horrors. His Terminators tried their assault, but the Overwatch from Flamers killed 2, and despite rolling a 6 for the Charge Distance they fell short!

My Turn 3 and another unit of Horrors dropped in safely, I'd intended for them to be out of the way, but they ended up in range of the Land Raider. With his shooting minimized, the Circus all went Gliding so they could wipe out the Vulkan-led Terminator unit. Fateweaver turned Vulkan in to a Spawn (Todd was not pleased...desperately hoping for a LOS! roll, but sadly it's not a wound, so no allocation!), while the Flamer and Monstrous Creature shooting left nothing left for me to assault! The surviving Screamers assaulted and killed off the last of one of the scout units, getting pretty weak in the process.

His turn 4, and not much left. The Quad gun, speeders, and raider all focused on Horrors, wiping out one squad, and leaving all the units reduced. The surviving Scouts shot up some more Screamers, who got a nice cover save from his fortified ruin!

My turn 4, the Circus went hunting down Land Speeders, both shooting and in melee, while a few went to kill the Land Raider.

All that was left here was the mopping up, with the game ending after turn 5 where all he had left was one Land Speeder, and I held 3 objectives to 0. I failed to get max points, I didn't have a good head for what all the bonus points were, so didn't think about them until too late.

The victorious Daemons...the Spawn formerly known as Vulkan stalks away sadly.

This was just one of those games...the dice didn't do him any favors, and I don't think it was a really good matchup for him. Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield! Todd took things very well, and I'm glad to have gotten to meet him! Todd, if you read this I'm sorry I forgot to get one of the fundraiser cards! I'm hoping to make it back that way soon to help out the team!

Todd and I finished pretty early, our game went pretty fast and ended on 5, so I had some time to watch some other games. The most unexpected list I saw was Chaos Daemons with Guard allies (the fluff-breaking of this made my eyes twitch) with 5 flying Monstrous Creatures (including Fateweaver), 2 Vendettas, and a Bastion. Sigh. He was facing an Ork player (Keith) who did something I thought extremely ingenious: he had 3 units of 10 Lootas behind an Aegis. I asked him if he felt 10 was enough, and he said he needed to be 10 or less, so he could not be fearless and go to ground behind the Aegis, which gave him a nice 2+ cover and still allowed Snapshots at enemy Fliers! Genius!!

As the games were wrapping up, my legs were giving out, I was desperate for some food and coffee, and the announcement of the winners finally came up:

Third place went to Sean Nayden with his drop-pod heavy Blood Angels;
Second place went to Kurt Clauss with his Necrons;
And First place went to me and The Flying Circus!

Wow was I surprised! I'd gone there with an army I'd used only a handful of times, with the intent of just getting some experience with the army and with 6th in general, and ended up doing extremely well...far better than I expected! I was pretty shocked, to say the least!

So what do I think worked, and what didn't. Well, having a ton of FMC granted rerolls by Fateweaver is of course really hard to bring down. I think the Tzeentchy things is fluffy and grants them great survivability as well as enough shooting to shred units and threaten vehicles. The Screamers were mildly underwelming, but I really think that was more to due to dice than anything else...I definitely look forward to using them more to see if they're as good as they look on paper! The flamers were incredible, particularly considering their cost! The Horrors were weak, hard to keep alive, and will be targeted a lot, I believe...definitely the Achilles' Heel here, I think. What might I change? Well, I'm considering dropping one of the Princes for a unit of 5 Screamers and a unit of 3 Flamers. Test games coming soon!

Thanks to Alex, Andrew, and Todd for great games, and thanks to Sean for riding with me and enduring my non-stop chatter! Congratulations to Kurt and Sean!

Now...should I go to Colorado? :)

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