Friday, June 21, 2013

Killadelphia GT!

I went! I sucked! But I had a great time!

Lots of pics, and a bit of commentary!

I got out of work later than intended, so met Mike and Bob from BFS an hour later than I was supposed to. They took good advantage of the delay by having a nice Sushi dinner, while I scarfed down a Quarter Pounder while driving like a maniac thru Friday evening traffic! Still, we got on the road and made decent time thru NYC across the GW and got to the venue in Horsham, PA just in time to be told they were closing up for the night! So we checked in to the Hotel, and met Neil and his wife for a few beers at Otto's next door! On the way down, we discussed our goals and expectations. I announced I hoped to go 4-2 and not embarrass myself too badly!

I have nothing witty to say about Otto's Moose...
In to bed midnight'ish...we packed 4 guys in a room with two twin beds, so things were cozy! Not much sleep, sadly, which was to be a huge issue for me! I love Bob, Dan, and Mike to death, but next time I'm getting my own room and getting lots of sleep! :)

Some McDonalds Coffee and an Egg McMuffin, and off we went in to the first round, where...go figure...I was up against Tau! Andy was a very nice guy with a very handsome army, including an Ethereal, a Commander, a Riptide, a Hammerhead with Longstrike, a Skyray, 3 units of Firewarriors (one in a Fish), a unit of Kroot with a Hound, and 2 units of Pathfinders. As allies he had Blood Angels Librarian and Assault Squad.

The Mission was straight Kill Points and Dawn of War...easy stuff for the early morning game!

So, I have some idea what to expect from the Tau...but Andy didn't seem to have a lot of experience with the Daemons. I won the roll and chose to go second. Andy deployed centrally behind his custom ADL (very nice looking, seemed to be laser-cut wood with clear plastic 'shield'...I'd meant to ask where he got it!), with the Hammerhead on my right, and the Skyray and Riptide/Commander unit on my left.

I decided that if I could kill the Hammerhead, he didn't have much else to deal with Soul Grinders, so my intent was to throw both units of dogs at the Hammerhead, and hide everything else while the Grinders ground thru his kill points.

Top of turn 1, after the dogs Scout.

So with a plan in mind, I started what was to be the trend for the weekend and promptly out-thought myself and made the plan not really work. Andy shifted all his stuff to my left to get away, while I teased him about running away! His first turn shooting started scarily, as the over-charged Riptide dropped a shot on two grinders which hit, both pen'd, both saves failed....and he took the mawcannon off both.

Then I got all my grinders stuck in difficult terrain, for no real reason, which destroyed my plan.

Hounds ran forward, everyone getting in range to charge the Hammerhead...

...and the The Dark Prince's Thirst destroyed the Hammerhead with 2 hits to the side, one of the rending shots penetrated and it exploded!

I started lining the long edge to keep Kroot away from squishy stuff, though I was wishywashy with that too and if they'd come in on turn 2, it would have been trouble!

My thoughts on the warpstorm: I hate it. It either interrupts the flow of the game with a million dice to roll that do next to nothing, or does something utterly decisive to one or the other of us that neither can do anything about...and that is less than fun, IMO.

So some of the dogs ran (to help keep Kroot away from squishy things), and others tried a long charge which failed, but I took relatively little in overwatch...Andy's "run away" movement had left units too far to Support Fire!

Note the missing Hammerhead, and the Hounds confused look as they wonder what to charge now?!

Andy seemed pretty demoralized by the loss of Longstrike, and I completely understand. He continued his shifting away to my left, and did some shooting, damage was minimized due to Grimoire help. Neither of his reserves came in either, adding insult to injury.

I completed lining the board edge from which I didn't want Kroot to come, using the Seekers. All my reserves came in, I kept a couple Daemonettes safe in the area he was running away from, while I dropped 1 'nette unit and a horror unit to apply a little pressure (and suck bullets) from his remaining stuff.

I got some assaults going this turn, eating a Firewarrior unit which again was too isolated to have full effective overwatch support from the rest of the army.

Note the Grinder traffic-jam I made for!

This was the first turn I had a unit fully 'under his guns' in range to take the brunt of what he had left, but luckily for me my deep strikes were a distraction for him too. The Blood Angels appeared, and shot up some Daemonettes. Other things shot up Horrors. Skyray finally unloaded in to Flesh Hounds (with Grimoire) along with lots of SMS and carbine fire.

Those Tau just kept running farther and farther! Luckily the Blood Angels were there to show them how to go forward!

That Hound unit, which had carried the enemy lines and born the brunt, was reduced to two models (one wounded)...but the second Hound unit was able to get involved now...full Hounds went in to Pathfinders, while the remaining hounds and deep-struck Daemonettes went in to another unit of Fire Warriors. The Pathfinders were easily crushed, but the Fire Warriors fought valiantly and refused to budge.

Coffee and Gatorade...staying awake AND hydrated!

On his turn 4, the Kroot finally showed up, and despite the reroll came in on the side I'd lined with Seekers, so were lost. Andy effectively surrendered at this point, but I played thru to kill the Fire Warriors I had Daemoenttes on, as well as assaulting and killing the Devilfish.

Tau backed in to a corner, with Daemons running amok!

All said and done, I had Linebreaker, First Blood, and 6 Kill Points, while Andy had 0. 8-0 for me!

Of course, that good score was rewarded with facing Tony Kopach. Readers may remember my bitterness at losing to him at Colonial where I had a rules-failure, swinging Screamers at I1 for going thru terrain even though their charge target was already engaged, so I should have swung first! I was hopeful for some payback, but I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't a little intimidated to be playing him...

The mission was Vanguard deployment, 5 objectives (Nova-style). It was nightfight, and I won the roll and had Tony go first.

Tony was using a list very similar to the one I'd just played at BFS run by Ed Miller: Space Marines with IG Allies. The SM detachment had Khan (Giving him Infiltrate) and a Librarian (Null Zone!), 2 5-man scout squads, 2 thunderfire cannons, and 2 stormtalons; the Guard consisted of a CCS, 2 Platoons of 50 (squads had Melta Bombs and Power Axes), a Manticore and a Vendetta. Holy ouch!

And as if the "OMG it's Tony Kopach!" factor weren't enough to fuck me up, Tony's girlfriend (Susanna?) found that the list I printed out was wrong! I'd printed that out quickly from work on Friday, and didn't see that I'd selected Plaguebearers instead of Pink Horrors! What a huge brainless mistake to have made! Tony was very forgiving, but I stopped my deployment and went to get the TO to confess my sins and see what they wanted me to do.

He was very understanding, we went thru the Daemon Codex to make sure they were the same cost, he talked with Tony to confirm he was ok with me using Horrors, and then he did a 'Pen & Ink' change to all the copies of my list and initialed so there'd not be a problem in future games. Thanks to both him and Tony for being understanding!

But, the damage was done, as my blunder had cost about 15 mins of game time, I then rushed to complete my deployment, and when done said, "Ok, Tony, sorry about that, and thanks...your turn, I'm not going to seize."

...and he started moving...

Tony deploys the Blobs centrally, no surprises here...but damn that's a lot of guys!

My failure of a deployment viewed from Tony's perspective.

...and I realized how horribly I'd messed up!

See, my plan was to have the Grinders "hold" my right while the Dogs and Seekers scouted left and kept moving to 18.1" to avoid rapid fire, but forcing the Blobs to either move up and take the charge from both, or keep moving back from table center. The Grim-toting Herald was to stay in the rear with the gear to support this.

But, since I'm an idiot, and I was completely distracted by the list snafu, I made two HUGE errors. First and foremost, I had intended to deploy everything so that I'd be outside 36" range so he'd not be able to shoot at me due to nightfight. And Second, only slightly less huge, I'd forgotten to Scout the Hounds!

Hugely demoralizing, right on the heals of the stupid list thing, and the wind was taken out of my sails. He took full advantage of my mindlessness, as he should have. He Manticored the Horror squad housing the Grimoire Herald (about 2" farther back and I'd had been safe), lit them up with Searchlight, and the Thunderfires deleted the unit, except for one lonely Horror.

I pressed on and made a game of it. My Soul Grinders lived up to the math-hammer and were virtually indestructible until he committed blobs to MeltaBomb them.

His fliers and thunderfires were able to delete my troops, but my plan of keeping him away from the middle worked halfway decent. It came down to the last turn, where I had one Soul Grinder squatting on the center objective, though he was close enough to claim it. He had a PCS camping the objective in his deployment, and a nearly-full Blob (I'd concentrated lot of fire on the other, and should have kept pounding it, but switched some shooting to this #2 blob for no good reason later in the game...) had consolidated off a Grinder-kill far enough to claim a third objective.

So, I came up with this hair-brained scheme to have my one remaining Grinder kill enough of the small blob in the middle (both with shooting and melee) to get him off that objective, and my nearly full unit of Hounds to kill the PCS on his backfield objective...which would push it to 1-1, and then take down two Stormtalons to win on Table Quarters.

Of course, that bullshit plan didn't work, and it was then that the large group of spectators showed me that all I had to do was assault his big blob with my last Grinder, and if it survived (likely) he would have consolidated off that objective...and I contest the middle objective with the unit of Hounds that had just 2 remaining, and do the same thing I really did with the nearly-full unit of hounds, and I win 1-0 on primary.

Sigh. I suck.

Susana giving Tony pointers on how to win....note the scouts flanked behind my lines. I'd forgotten about them too. I think she's definitely the brains of the operation!

But the Scouts were easily dispatched with Horrors, Hounds and Seekers...the few that were left, anyway!

This is actually turn 4, note how the blobs have been kept away from midfield and the Vendetta is Hovering to try to kill a Grinder.

I made another huge error and placed Daemonettes from Deep Strike where the Blob could assault them and catapult in to the middle objective. I played so bad!

From the picture above, which was the top of 5, Tony's fliers killed one of the Slaanesh Grinders, that blob on the right charged and killed the other, then consolidated back on to the objective on the hill. That Nurgle grinder in the middle should have then moved to the right and assaulted that blob, easily pulling it off the objective FTW.

Oh well!

So, game 3 and guess what...more Tau! This time with terrifying Eldar allies!

Commander with tricks
Lots of drones between the two of them...
They joined a Farseer-led Seer Council on bikes
There were two units of Kroot
A Hammerhead
2 Skyrays
A Riptide (I think he had Ion and Fusion?)
and a couple Jetbike units

The Hounds can't resist assaulting those Warlocks!

Hammer and Anvil, Big Gunz with 4 objectives. I again won the roll off and had him go first. I rolled Misfortune and kept it, I thought cancelling out Fortune was worth the risk of trying to cast.

I scouted up, he moved the bikes up, took some shots that killed a few dogs, and I bit hard on his bait....charging in with both Hound units. I figured if I could drop a few of the Seer council down they become a lot less scary, and wanted to take away places he could move.

What I didn't know was that the ruling being used was that the Tau Commander benefited from the Eldar Unit's reroll from Fortune. Personally, I think that's a gross misinterpretation of the rule, but the Judge was courteous and polite, and hey it's their gig, so whatever!

What this meant though was that the Commander tanked 30ish wounds and only failed 1. They then H and R away, and the pain-in-the-ass part began.

They just look so sweet and tasty!

I'd left the Seekers square in the middle of the table so they'd not be in Rapid Fire range of the Outflanking Kroot. They did both show up on the same side, and did shoot up Seekers, but the damage was minimal. A ton of other shooting went in to the Hounds, and only a few were left from each unit.

I got Daemonettes in to deep strike, pushing all in to his table half to keep up the pressure. One Grinder toasted down all of one Kroot unit, while the Seekers assaulted and killed the other. Other Grinders kept pressing forward. A few dogs assaulted a Skyray, tearing it down...a few more failed a 4" charge (with Fleet!) to bring down the other.

I keep hitting them, but they keep not dying!

He sent some Jetbikes and the Riptide in to the Daemonettes that came in near them, while the rest of his things finished off my Hounds. Riptides and Bikes are no match for Daemonettes, I think I lose one or two, did some wounds to the Tide, and stuck.

I sent Seekers up to finish off the Tide and Bikes, Daemonettes tried to get to vehicles but were too far. My memory gets a little vague here...

He's down to one unit of troops at this point, while I hold all 4 objectives....

But on his turn, he drove the Council over to finish off the Seekers, killed more than a few with his shooting then failed his own short-range charge!

This let me pull off the thing that saved the game for me...I assaulted my last Grinder (stupid Hammerhead!) in to the Council, to take the overwatch...then threw Seekers and Daemonettes that had fought the Riptide in to them...then surprised him by pulling Daemonettes off an objective on the other side of the table in to the same fight, getting the Commander engaged. I was then able to force the Commander to accept the Slaanesh Herald's challenge (since he was engaged, despite being about 18" away!), and she cut him down. My hope was that them losing H&R would keep them stuck on my Soul Grinder for the rest of the game.

This is pretty much exactly how it worked. I had last turn, so we ground thru each other there. I had bottom turn, and time was called during turn 4, at which he had Hammerhead and Skyray holding his 2 objectives; I had Horrors holding my two objectives...and I simply sent my Jetbike Tzeentch Herald zooming over to contest one...though this was fraught with peril, as he'd already suffered Perils once (see what I did there?), so had to pass a Dangerous Terrain test...which he did, securing me the win 2 objectives to 1!

Game Over! The last Grinder and Slaanesh Herald hold down the Council while the Tzeentch Herald secures the win!

A well fought game on both sides, and the first time my Locus of Beguilement has been instrumental in a win! Things were looking grim, there, though, as I was quickly running out of troops, but he was running out of things with which to kill them!

We got out about 7ish, went to a fun place called Miller's Ale House...I had a great Fajita meal and drowned my sorrows at my lost to Tony with a ridiculous Apple Crisp desert! Then back to the room where I snuggled up with Bobby Sinnot all night (he kept stealing my covers, so I had to snuggle to stay warm...Morales cranked up the A/C so we'd all sleep poorly and he could dominate!). All 3 of us that drove down together were 2-1 in the "Silver" Bracket...a nice showing for the BFS Crew! Our other friend Dan "Danny Internets" drove down separate, stayed with us Saturday night, and had to leave after his first game on Sunday (something he'd pre-arranged with the TO), and I think he went 2-2 overall also.

The night was relatively sleepless, and this was to have a severe effect on my games on Sunday. The first was against Mike Ludwig, who brought a jawdropping 200'ish Orks. Something like 6 units of 30 boyz; three units of 10 Lootas; a Warboss on a bike and a KFF Big Mek.

I don't remember who won the roll, but I went first. We were both a bit taken aback by the GIANT line-of-site blocking terrain-piece at middle table, which I took full advantage of. He had so may boyz they didn't fit in his Vanguard deployment, so he Reserved a unit.

I scouted and hit as much as I could behind the Bastion, while running Grinders to square off with him. See, a thing with his list is he had only the Lootas (who only tickle) and the Warboss to damage Grinders. His other units, with no Nobz, can't even charge them. My whole plan really boiled down to eating overwatch with grinders and wiping things out with dogs.

He knew this, saw it coming, and was a great sport, laughing it off and soldering on. After my first turn, he charged a unit of dogs with his Warbosses unit, hoping to doubleout and kill the unit quick and easy. Sadly, the dogs going first did 10 wounds to the unit. After Look Out Sirs the Warboss had 4 wound to save, and he promptly failed all 4 of them. WTF?!

Everyone hide behind that big thing!

Holy Green, batman! Note the lack of Powerklaws....

All that lived from the Warbosses ill-fated initial charge!

Seekers went in to finish off that fight, I moved 3 Daemonettes in the area of the Relic, Grinders pushed more forward, and the barbecue of Orks began.

His reserve unit arrived, shots bounced off Grimoire'd Seekers, and they were eaten by Hounds.

Daemonettes secure the Relic while the Grinders begin the barbecue!

All those Lootas...they sure struggle against AV13!

And top of 3 Mike talked through where things were going...I take the relic and hide behind the terrain; Grinders tie up his three units that can move (they then couldn't hurt the grinders, but because of Fearless could not choose to run away!). He decided to just call the game here and call it good, he was not bitter or anything, he just didn't want to go thru the motions. No hard feelings at all, I hope!

I then had a long time of inactivity to wait. I walked around looking at other games, etc. Should have taken a nap!

Round 2 finally came together, I was on top table for the Silver Bracket, and was facing a very spiffy Necron list that included:

Destroyer Lord
2 Stormteks
2x 10 Immortals
3x 5 Warriors (Night Scythes)
6 Wraiths
2x 5 Scarabs
3 Spyders
2 Annihilation Barges

I know this guy from the 11th Company forums, you can read his report of the battle here. Funny, we didn't know we were both on the forum until he wrote about it afterward!

So the mission is 'Emperor's Will', which in Nova parlance means there are 4 objectives, each in the middle of a table quarter. If you control more of those objectives than enemy, you get 2 points...if you control them all, you get 4. There's also an Objective at table-center that's worth a point, along with Linebreaker and Warlord. Deployment was Hammer/Anvil. I won the roll and of course had him go first.

I started this game relatively cogent and able to form a plan, and stuck with it, but this was to be temporary!

Again the table was dominated by a GIANT terrain blocking piece in the middle...this one a Skyshield Landing Pad that was based and had all the "underneath" filled in so it completely blocked site thru the middle. I decided that I'd just hunker down on my side of the table, and push to contest one of his objectives. I loaded up one side with Hounds, hid everything out of range of his shooting, and intended to hide behind the Skyshield until anything he sent towards my "weak" side got close enough to assault. I intended to use Prescience on a Grinder to try to bring down Scythes, and hoped that their presence would motivate him to disembark early to try to kill them with Haywire and Gauss, then kill them before they could do end-game tricks.

Notable in this game, we'd defined pretty much everything on the table as Ruins, then I got the Stealth/MTC Ruins Warlord Trait. This was huge, as I'd have effectively 3+ saves anyone anywhere, regardless of Grimoire usage!
I chose to push in to his right and wait for the things on his left to come around that Skyshield....

I thought his Wraiths looked great, really popped!

The Scarab farm and Wraiths!

A gloom enshrouds the Daemons!

He shuffled backwards on my 'strong side', made some new Scarabs, and shuffled forward on my 'weak side'. Not an exciting turn.

I was out of charge range, so moved forward to keep him there, and tempt some charges...I wanted to get the Wraiths taken down, and thought I could absorb their charge and hit them back and wipe them. I couldn't throw everything straight in to him, though...the Spyders, Scarabs, and Wraiths had me more than a bit worried! I did lob a random Phlegm shot at max range in to some Scarabs, and killed 5 of them!

Advancing with a 3+ cover is really fun! :)

He got all the Scythes on, and drove the Wraiths in to my most forward Hound unit. I held up well, did a few wounds. I don't remember what the Scythes shot at...forgive me.

I tried Grimoire on Seekers, and failed...but committed them to killing off his Spyders anyway. I felt if they weren't killed this turn they'd shit out even more Scarabs, then they'd go Smash my hounds and tie them up forever, which I couldn't off they went.

Grinders shot down a Scythe, justifying their existence. Hounds went in to support the other Hounds. Seekers went in to the Spyders, and I kissed them goodbye.

The Hounds finished off the DestroLord, leaving I believe 2 Scarabs alive (1 wounded). Seekers blew up the Spyders, and my hopes for their survival hinged on a giant consolidate roll to get back in the ruins, but they only went 1".

Spyders gone, a Scythe down, Wraiths being dealt with. That Daemonette unit in the rear there was foolish.

He blew up the Seekers with Immortal shooting, Scarabs went in to the Hounds.Scythes moved, and as I hoped troops got out to try to deal with Grinders. Grinders stood strong, though! Hounds finished off the Wraiths, and one very depleted unit (4 dogs each with 1 wound left) consolidated out.
Getting the Warriors ready to hunt Grinders!

Those few dogs went in to the Immortals near them to try to live long enough to hold the objective. Grinders went after the disembarked troops.

At this point we were told to not start a new round. We were both very surprised, as neither of us thought things were going slow and didn't know we were that close to time. A slaanesh Grinder killed all the warriors from one unit, but the Cryptek stood back up. The Nurgle Grinder though was in trouble, as I'd mindlessly charged him in to his Overlord with Warscythe...I thought it was a Stormtek with no way to hurt me in melee! Woops! Luckily he only did one Pen, and it was a Stun which I ignored.

I was left with two units of troops in position to support either Grinder, and a unit "under" the Skyshield ready to jump up on that objective; he was stuck with a unit in his backfield that he'd had been able to move up to an objective. As it was, he had no objectives to my one, giving me the win. But I think had things gone on the Crytpek would have killed the Slaanesh Grinder; the Overlord would have killed the Nurgle Grinder, and I'd have both of my objectives contested and need some really amazing rolls to kill those models. OTOH, there were only a few wounds worth of Scarabs left, so there was a reasonable chance the last Hound unit would have been freed up to go contest his objective as well...but we'll never know.

What was to be the last turn...

Hounds finishing off Wraiths and contesting the Immortals' objective.

Bad mistake here...thought I was charging a Cryptek, not the Overlord!

And here's the only moderately negative thing about the weekend...though we were told to stop (and at a very critical time with the game still in the balance), the top table (Neil Gilstrap vs. Andrew Gonyo...this one was recorded and available to view) was allowed to continue playing for almost an hour and a half! I understand why this happened, but it was frustrating none-the-less. Again, I should have taken a nap!

As it turns out, my BFS buddies I'd rode down with had won their first games, and were paired against each other in round 2...which of course meant that it was me versus one of them for the final game and the bracket win! That turned out to be my buddy Mike Morales and his very potent CSM/Necron list that he is intimately familiar with!

2 Level 3 Sorcerers with Familiars
10 Cultists
30ish Cultists
5 Nurgle Spawn
3 individual Nurgle Obliterators
2 Heldrakes
Necron Overlord
2 units of 5 Necron Warriors in Night Scythes
Annihilation Barge

The mission was modified Scouring, with 5 total objectives (3 on the centerline, one in each player's deployment zone). Deployment was normal Dawn of War.

And really, I played bad. I mean, I didn't kill ANYTHING the whole game until turn 5 when I killed an Obliterator and some Necron Warriors.


I was SO tired, and such a zombie, I didn't have a plan, I didn't really think about what I was doing, I just mindlessly moved things and did stuff without any sense or reason at all.

I'm not going to lie, and I mean no disrespect, but I really thought this would be an easy matchup. I simply charge the Fast in to his 'blob', cut down the Sorcerers, and that's pretty much it!

Instead I kind of danced around and got completely owned!

To his credit, Mike made no mistakes, and got the exact powers he needed to dominate this fight (pun intended)...Dominate TWICE, Invisibility (for the Spawn), and Mental Fortitude for his 'blob'.

I'd desperate love to have this fight to do over again with fatigue not a factor, but that's not going to happen. Instead he used Dominate to keep a unit of hounds from doing anything, ground down the other with Invisible Spawn, and the Heldrakes killed my Seekers and wore down the rest...then Hovered on objectives to win. Mike was a great and very sporting opponent, very patient with my Zombie playstyle and forgiving of mistakes and wishy-washiness! I congratulate him on a solid win!

I had a good reason for clumping up like this instead of charging his scrubby troops...but I don't have any idea what that reason was!

The Nurgle Grinder actually took no damage from firing on Mike's turn, but took 4 hull points from Overwatch over two charges!

I hold no objectives, he has 4!

And that was the end! We had a short delay for the top table to finish...Nick N barely lost to Andrew G, and the awards were presented!

Each bracket winner won a nice Army Case. 1st place and 2nd places won nicer Cases. There were some cash prizes for the top winners as well...very good loot!

The TO...I'm bad with names...sorry. 

Mike accepting his prize for winning the Silver Bracket! My Daemons sure could use that case! :)

I snapped a quick shot of Nick getting his prize too! :)

Overall a really great time! I partly achieved my goal, but going 4-2, but I did embarrass myself, particularly in that last game where I did absolutely nothing right!

So, since I suck so bad at 40k, I started assembling my latest Skorne addition, the giant Mammoth! For those unfamiliar, he's one of the Gargantuan class of Warbeasts, about doubling the size of the largest 'normal' warbeasts.

Sadly, mine can't dance...

Mammoths don't dance!

...not the two left feet, and no right feet! I've contacted Privateer Press, though, and a brand new right leg is in the mail! He'll be up and dancing in no time!

No, I'm not giving up 40k, not in any way, shape or form. In fact, I'm heading down next weekend on a 6-hour road trip to Mike Brandt's Charity RTT in Northern Virginia! Wish me luck!

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