Wednesday, July 3, 2013

OMG what an awesome weekend!!

Get ready for a Wall-Of-Text of epic was a hell of a gaming weekend and I've got fun stories to tell!

I snuck out of work early Friday, drove thru Fri afternoon rush-hour traffic from Danbury, CT to Vienna, VA to participate in the Nova Charity BBQ & RTT; left VA about 10 heading for White Plains, NY where I crashed in quite possible the worst motel I've ever been in, and went to the Battle for Salvation Members Only annual tournament! 3 days, 2 tournaments, 14 hours of driving, one dead cockroach, 7 McDonalds meals, and 6 games of 40k goodness!

I think I ate most of that million this weekend...

Mike Brandt, someone I consider a good friend and organizer of the NOVA 40k GT (as well as a fine drink-mixer and connoisseur of fermented beverages) put together a Charity 40k Tournament Barbeque in Vienna, VA (near DC) on Saturday the 29th. He posted it on his Blog, and as a joke I sent the link to my wife asking if I should go.

Her answer: "Sounds fun!  Go for it."

Well...ok then! I'm off!

Coming straight after Killadelphia, and being somewhat disillusioned with the list I ran there, I decided to change things up. I wanted to try these FMC folks seem to be having so much success with despite my telling them that they won't work. I also wanted to see how Screamers would work...Neil's been telling me for months to try them, so what the hell. I went back to my roots, and ran All Tzeentch, All Day!

Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 1, Disc, Exalted)
Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 1, Disc, Exalted)
10 Horrors (Champ)
10 Horrors (Champ)
9 Screamers
9 Screamers
Daemon Prince (Tzeentch, Lvl 3, 2 Greater, 1 Lesser Rewards, Wings, Armor)
Daemon Prince (Tzeentch, Lvl 3, 2 Greater, 1 Lesser Rewards, Wings, Armor)

I was really excited to try the list, as I thought it a fun "Hybrid" of the Flying Circus which included some of the fun Fast Attack choices. The template can work pretty well with pretty much any of the Fasts, but I wanted to do a fluffy Tzeentch build and try out Screamers (I mean, I own 31 of the stupid things...)

There's no surprises here, really. One of the Heralds takes the Grimoire; the other takes the Portalglyph. The Horrors go in reserve and try to not die; the Screamers get Grim-buffed and go eat whatever they want. The DPs hope to get Iron Arm, then roll on Telepathy after that or take a Tz roll to have some shooting. Fateweaver keeps terrible things from happening and shoots stuff...something I was surprised to find out he's very effective at doing!

I had a grand total of 1.5 practice games on Vassal using this list before heading to the event, so had no expectations other than learning how it worked and having some fun in the sun with some great guys. I also thought it would be fun to show up with a Daemon list that was different and not a cookie-cutter net-list!

So after some horrible traffic that made the 5ish hour drive closer to 8 and a half hours, I got to the Bar where folks were meeting, had a Blue Moon which I was mocked for, and half a sandwich...then had a fine night's sleep on Andrew's couch...thanks to you two for letting me invade!!

A nice Egg McMuffin and Yogurt Parfait breakfast, and Acid Reflux-stirring Iced Coffee for breakfast, and the festivities got underway!

The "Venue"! Gorgeous property!
I have to admit that I've lost all my notes, including opponent's lists and what powers/rewards I rolled I'll make things up so it makes for entertaining reading and discount with things like truth or fact. It's the American way, after all! Embarrassingly, this also means I've forgotten all my opponents names as well...if you read this, please forgive me you guys!

My first opponent, I believe a local "Beltway Gamers" member, was running an Iyanden-supplement Eldar list that included:
2 Spiritseers
Two units of 5 Wraithguard in Wave Serpents (All his serpents had scatter lasers and shuriken cannons)
Two unit 10 Guardians in Wave Serpents (I believe both Guardian units had Scatter Lasers also)
Two units of 6 Swooping Hawks
2 Fire Prisms
Artillery Battery of 3 guns(I don't know if it every hit anything, I don't know what it was...I'm guessing the monofilament thing...)

This mission was straight forward 5 Objectives, Vanguard deployment. I don't remember who won, but he had first turn. He zipped forward a bit, shot at some Screamers but I'd hid the FMC pretty well so there was  minimal damage. He Immobilized one of his Serpents in terrain. I saw my Screamers' eyes light up...I really did.

I had 4++ Divination power, and Grimoire...threw that at the Pink Screamers who flew up in his face, the other Screamers moving to hide behind a giant hill. FMC all followed the Screamers...I don't know why, was just moving stuff. I did manage to do 4 wounds to the Wraithknight with Psychic Shriek!

I'm deployed hiding behind whatever's handy to hide new MO!

Shoving the invulnerable Screamers down his throat...

He moved his big guy up, and juked vehicles around...and got the Wraithguard out of their disabled ride. He cast the spiffy Spirtseer power that lets them shoot after running...something I'd forgotten completely about! He took a lot of shots at FW and one of the DPs...Warthog Head was knocked to the ground, and since he was being stared down by the Wraithknight I went to ground and weather the firepower handily. His Hawks came in, but he was conservative with them, saving them for late-game objective tricks I guess. He decided to not charge Warthog Head with the Knight, since he had only 2 wounds left and I was down anyway, he just skipped it. Fateweaver was also knocked down, so he happily went to run his Wraithguard to shoot him to death, he needed about 2 inches to get the closest in to range, and 5ish to get them all in...and rolled the 1. He shot at, hit, and wounded the downed DP one time, but he passed his cover save. Tzeentch be praised!

Wraiths go after Warthog head!

Invulnerable Screamers went in to the Wraithguard; the mobile FMC went to finish off the Wraithknight (he had Iron Arm, so I wasn't worried about ID). Fateweaver Swooped over a Spiritseer who'd left the the Wraithguard, killing him. Other Screamers assaulted two Wave Serpents, but only killed one. Wraithknight died, Wraithguard lost a few models. I also threw down the Portal this turn, cuz I forgot it on turn 1. A recurring theme with me...

So now I had two DPs on the ground, and he got all lined up to kill them...getting Guardians and the other Wraithguard out of their rides. All the shooting managed to bring down Warthog Head but Parrot Head survived. The Wraithguard were nibbled on a bit more by the Screamers, and the Hawks went back in the air.

Parrothead killed the Knight...the rest of his army looks to finish off Warthog Head!

I was pleased to see all the troops out on the table here, so went hyper-aggressive. Fateweaver swooped over some guardians killing some more, Parrot Head got ready to assault the Wraithguard. Screamers did Slash Attacks on Guardians...all said and done, with some Fateweaver shooting mixed in, the Guardians died. The Warpstorm Chart did some work for me as Nurgle, despite doing 2 wounds to Fateweaver, also killed 4 of the 5 Wraithguard Parrot Head was getting ready to assault. Parrot Head's Life Leach killed the last, and he assaulted and killed the Spiritseer. At this point I had Horrors from reserve on two objectives, Daemonettes from Portal moving to another, and he was out of troops (I think maybe some guardians on foot in the back corner?) We were told there was only 30 mins left in the round, and he decided we should just stop there and relax a bit, as he had little chance of getting back in to the game with no troops. 20 battle points (out of 20) for me, in my first game with those Daemons!!

All his troops gone; Screamers on the Prowl; Daemonettes moving to secure objectives...FMC ready to SMASH!

So with a short break, I had some water and gatorade and looked at some of the other guys armies and games. I saw the Egyptian themed army below and was really impressed...I didn't get the name of the owner, but it sure is striking!

I also found, much to my dismay, that out of 4 Daemon players at the event, 3 of them had lists that were virtually identical to mine! WTF?! Here I thought I had this really original thought and list idea, and apparently I'm too late, it's already been done. Sigh.

And if that weren't disheartening enough, the second round had me paired up with one of the most terrifying lists I've ever faced...

Three units of 3 Trueborn (2 Splinter Cannons, Venom)
Five units of 5 Warriors (Blaster, Venom)
9 Warriors (Raider)
2 Razorwing (4 Monoscythe Missiles)

All the vehicles had Nightshields...for those of you counting at home, that's 22 Splinter Cannons...132 shots...44 wounds to anything. Sigh. The Mission was "Emperor's Will" and Hammer/ this mission there are 4 objectives in the middle of each table get 2 points for controlling more of these objectives than your opponent...4 if you control them all. Then there's 1 point for an objective mid-table, 1 for Linebreaker, and 1 for Warlord.

I didn't get the 4++. I didn't bother to roll on Biomancy, but rolled Tzeentch for shootiness to drop the Venoms. One small favor...I won the roll and had him go first. He deployed up on the line, I deployed as far away as I could...couldn't completely avoid turn 1 shooting, but could minimize.

Bug Spray and Daemons...a winning combination!

 On his first turn, he moved backwards...not what I expected. Not a lot of action either. My turn 1, I flew, hid behind the center LOS blocking terrain as much as I could, and did a lot of nothing, besides get the Portal to land near mid-table, behind the terrain...small favors.

His second turn, both fliers came on...they did nothing all game but fire missiles at Horrors that went to ground and took almost no damage...I believe by the end of the game one of them was dead (to Horrors!) and the other had fired all its missiles and was just being a nuisance...nothing more to be said about them! He shifted his "ground forces" to one side of the table where he had good Line of Sight to my Pink Screamers, and that unit was removed.

My turn 2, and I flew over to his end of the table with Blurple Screamers and the FMC...I killed one Venom with Slash Attacks, and attempted to use the Tzeentch Beam power on his tightly packed Venoms...but did a lot of nothing due to low Str rolls and some Denies.

His turn 3, he remained largely static, and removed one Daemon Prince and the other Screamer unit...mostly. I was putting Grimoire on Fateweaver from the Herald in this unit, who luckily lived, along with one Screamer with 1 wound left.

My turn 3, I hid the Grimoire guy behind the middle terrain. The two FMC went to work, and wiped out many of his vehicles this turn, including the Ravager...but the damage was already done.

His Fliers were ineffective, but his Splinter Cannons removed a unit per turn...

Grimoire guy hiding beside the Daemonette that is hiding beside the Grimoire guy...note the disabled vehicles!

His turn 4 and he finally started sending Warriors on foot towards the other objective in his deployment area...they killed the last Blurple screamer. He killed the other Daemon Prince, but for the most part stayed static...

My turn 4 and I flew Fateweaver on top of his other objective (on the Mountain he'd been camping around). Another Beam took out all but 2 of his vehicles (he has one Raider and one Venom still mobile). I had a few Daemonettes running towards his side of the table, and one more hiding within range of the center objective but out of LOS behind a giant wall...a good spot for her!

His turn 5, and he finally moved some vehicles towards my side of the table...Vect got out of the Raider, and it zipped towards the center objective; some warriors on foot ran to within range of the center objective, and a Venom went that way also. He had Warriors on foot on both of his backfield objectives; we were contesting the middle objectives; and I had Horrors on my backfield objectives....but an invulnerable Fateweaver was on his objective! He was able to ground Fatey in his shooting phase, and Vect assaulted him...I smashed him, he saved; he did 30 wounds to me, I saved.

Bottom of 5, I jumped the Warrior guy up, got Grim on Fateweaver again, and with nothing else to move or shoot, tried to Turbo it to contest his other objective...but died to dangerous terrain. Vect did another 40 wounds, I saved them all, I smashed, hit, wounded...and his save die was one of those where you see the 1 pause there for a second, then it teetered over to save. Regardless, FW has lived where I wanted him to, and I rolled for the game to end....a 2! Tzeentch be praised! Despite having less than a dozen models on the table, I won! Here's to playing the mission instead of trying to table your opponent!

I had more objectives and linebreaker for 3 points; he had....nothing! A 15 battle point win for getting my teeth kicked in for 5 turns and rolling low when it mattered!

He'd already started cleaning up at this point...FW is actually on top of the Mountain where that empty base is.

My opponent was not nearly as pleased with this as I was. We in fact finished our game a bit early (my turns were going pretty fast as I had nothing to do!), so I had some time to go around and visit and watch other games....a very nice thing!

Nick Nanavanti and Andrew Gonyo looking very intense in their game....Nick ended up winning.

Third round pairings, and I got to play my friend Matt (who I'd played a few weeks ago at Killadephia) with his updated Eldar Jet-Seer-Council + Tau list that included:

Farseer (Jetbike...maybe other stuff, I don't know)
8ish Warlocks (On Jetbikes)
Three units of 3 Jetbikes
Tau Commander (Iridium Armor and Hit & Run...not sure what else he had...2 Fusions?)
Two units of 10 Kroot
Riptide (EWO, VT)
Skyray (BSF)

This mission was Scouring, where there were 3 objectives along table center-line, and we each placed another in our deployment zones...Dawn of War deployment. He won the roll, and chose to go first. He deployed centrally, and of course reserved all the Jetbikes and Kroot outflanked.

I very fastidiously deployed all my stuff hiding behind a mountain in the back left of my deployment zone...getting hsi agreement that this and that could not be seen by this and that...he then very calmly used Eldrad's redeployment trick as my heard dropped and I felt dumb as could be.

While I really wanted last turn, I tried to seize...I needed to get airborne, buffed, and coversaved to endure what I thought would be a horrible first turn. Of course, I did not seize, and his shooting commenced.

I remember one DP had Iron Arm; The other had nothing very good. I did not get the 4++ power. I had Puppet Master on the IA DP too.

I tried to hide, but forgot Eldrad's tricks...a near game-losing mistake.

So his Skyray and Novacharged Guided Riptide unload on Fateweaver...and he lives with 1 wound left. I zipped the IA DP towards his MC, while Fatey and Parrothead went towards the Council. Blurple Screamers flew over the Council and put a few wounds on them; Pink stayed in the middle of my backfield, worried about Kroot. I got a Life Leach on the Seer Council from FW also, saving a wound.

Kroot arrive while Wraithknight reminds me that he's Jump MC...woops!

My memory of the next few turns is REALLY hazy, so forgive me. My far-too-aggressive move with unbuffed Blurple Screamers got them charged by the Wraithknight, who slowly began whittling them down. Pink Screamers ended up fighting the Seer Council, they failed a H&R which kept them tied up for a key turn. I used Puppet Master on the Novacharged Guided Riptide to obliterate Kroot. He used Srier's Gaze to keep his things off until turn 4 (except that one unfortuante unit that I had the Riptide blow up).

The shadows grow long as the end-game commences!

In effort to keep things moving quickly, I didn't run around to try to find where I'd left my stash of daemonettes, so used flamer can barely see Warthog head fighting the Wraithknight. Near Matt's crotch you can see the Spawn-formerly-known-as-Eldrad! That Jetbike in the middle was Vector Struck down by Warthog head to secure the win.

Fast forward a few foggy-brained turns...Warthog Head (with Iron Arm) had killed the Riptide, then was charged by the Wraithknight and Eldrad (I guess he was hoping to Force Weapon him...but he was IA'd so no worries). I'd rolled the 3+ armor save reward, which I'd dropped for the Mutating Warpblade, I challenged Eldrad who had to accept and killed him outright, turning him in to a Spawn that zipped off to contest an objective...he diverted lots of firepower to kill that thing off. Fateweaver's shooting wiped out some Jetbikes in return. I'd forgotten to drop the Portal until late also, so only had one unit come from it...but this unit and the portal distracted Matt's Seer Council who had to go kill them, which they did, but this bought me FMC were able to Vector Strike down his penultimate (I love that word!) Jetbike unit, while Horrors fought his other Jetbikes to a stand-still on one objective, while on bottom of 5 another unit of Horrors actually beat a unit of Kroot and made them run away! Had the Kroot won, Matt would have won on Primary (1 obj to none); if they'd stayed, we would have tied Primary and I'd won Secondary (table quarters); instead they ran away so I won both Primary and Secondary...Matt edged me out on Kill Points, so I got a nice 15 point win here!

There was a bit of contention at the end...we were told that there was no time to start another round, but Matt seemed to want to do another. I said I did not want to do another turn, so Mike was summoned...who deftly said, "Well roll to see if it would end..." he picked up a die and rolled a '2', and said, "There, the game ended!" and walked away. Well handled! Matt and I talked thru a hypothetical turn 6, and got to the same result...his Seer council jets over to contest the objectives the Kroot had just run from; then Warthog head assaults and kills his last jetbikes while Fateweaver kills his last kroot (who likely would have rallied) I still win on Primary and Secondary. No worries! Matt was a very smart opponent, I think if he'd chosen to go second this would have been a very different game that his army is well suited to win...instead I was able to zip where I needed to on turn 5 to play the mission. Thanks for another great game, Matt!

Endgame...he had 0 objectives, I had 1. He had 1 Qrtr, I had 2. He had 10 Kill Points, I had 7.

Lots of folks then stayed to help break down the tables and tents and terrain and clean up the BBQ mess (did I mention there were burgers and dogs and beers and music all day?) and an elite cadre of mostly sober folks headed out to the storage facility NOVA uses to drop off the stuff while Mike and Chip of Torrent of Fire tallied the points, bugs were swatted, beers were swilled, and the story-telling commenced. About 9ish the elite NOVA storage strike force returned, ran over some tables, we loaded everything else in the trucks, and the awards were given out!

Awards were given to the best painted army (is it bad that I don't know who he was or what army he had?!?), Best Overall which went to Werner Born and his Necrons, and Best me! I was apparently in a 3-way tie on Battle Points, and got the go-ahead based on Appearance score.

Apparently I was also .03 points away from Best Overall...heart-breaking, I would have LOVED that Nova Invitational Alternate spot!

A great first showing for an apparently not-so-unique Tzeentch Daemon army, and a great way to spend a Saturday! Everyone was fun, things ran smooth, and I had a GREAT time!

But it's not over yet...about 10pm, and I start the drive to White Plains where I have a room reserved and am attending the Battle For Salvation Club-members Only RTT on Sunday...

Traffic on the GW...GPS says I'll get to Motel at 2:33...

Traffic was not kind to me, the worst being about an hour spent on the George Washington! I had McDonald's on the way too...Filet'o'Fish FTW!

I got in to my Motel room at about 3am. I had to share it with a giant dead cockroach under the sink. Quite possibly the worst room I'd ever been in. No matter...I showered (I was SO gross from all day in the VA heat, bugspray, suncreen,!), passed out immediately, and got up at 9 and got to the event. Egg McMuffin and Yogurt with an Iced Coffee again (hey, it worked the first time!) and got in to some more 40k!

Now hopefully you'll empathize...I was VERY zombied out. I have no notes, and I'm not going to go in to any detail in these games...sorry, there's just only so many memory neurons in this old brain!

First game was against Joey and his Eldar/Tau. I rolled two 4++, Invisibility, and went to work. 2++ Cover form Invis screamers did Slash Attacks until they got caught by Scorpions who wiped them out. Invulnerable Screamers and Fateweaver shooting killed everything else. He had a ton of shooting, and did kill 1 DP and the other had only 1 wound left. He never shot at the Portalglyph, which shit out 3 units of Daemonettes that were able to secure objectives for a big win, especially after all his Troops were wiped out. 20 point win!

Deploying to stay out of range during Night Fight turn...

Eldar Deployment

Screamers going to work!

He's got no troops left at this point, and Screamers will be free to kill whatever they want next turn...he surrendered here.

Next game was one of my favorite opponents, Ryan Sinnot, and his massive green tide army. Sadly for him, I again rolled two 4++ powers, Invisibility, and both Princes had 4+ FNP. He understandably got a little sour when after 3 turns I'd killed all his Dakkajets; all his Lootas; and an entire unit of Boyz and I'd lost 2 screamer models. This one was straight Kill Points, which I again max'd out, another 20-0 win!

Night Fight, so I stayed far away on first turn!

The Dakkajets take aim! They did 4 wounds to a DP, who lived thanks to the +1W greater reward...and later went back up to 2W thanks to LL and IWND!

Ryan removing handful of models at a time...

Last game was against "Black Matt" and his CSM:

5 units of 30 Plague Zombies
2 Heldraks
Three units of 5 Havocs (Autocannons)

Pushing in to the flank of the Zombie Horde!

I was so sleepy I forgot to take any pictures. I had some decent play, and he did too. I had one 4++ power, so had some invulnerable Screamers...but after being dropped to T3 I failed 3 total saves to one round of shooting, thinning them out more than I would have liked. I wasted the other unit of Screamers (getting them charged by Zombies). I made another Spawn (from a Zombie Champion) that was able to tie up a unit of Havocs all game. I got in to a fight with Typhus with an Iron Armed Prince (all 3 FMC had IA this game), I killed him with Instant Death shot. Abbadon was never able to fight. But what my opponent did very well was surround the high-point (Scouring) objectives with the large zombie units such that I couldn't contest and couldn't pull them off. He ended up winning 7-6, getting me 9 Battle Points for a total of 49...

...which was enough to take first place! Mike Morales and his evil Wave Serpent spam army (which I was happy to not have to face!) took second, and Matt who beat me took third!

So over 600 miles, two tournaments, 6 games, going 5-1 over the weekend with a brand new army I'd never tried! A great weekend! Thanks to all my opponents for super fun games, lots of educational moments, and thanks to Mike Brandt, and Bob Sinnot & Ed Miller for putting these events together!

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