Monday, November 18, 2013

11th Company GT

Amidst a gaming draught, I took a quick trip down to Myrtle Beach, SC to see my friends Neil and Pat and get some gaming in!

Despite finding I'd spent over 2 hours in LaGuardia with my fly down, I managed to avoid any complications and got in late Friday, in time to have a bite with Neil, Larry, Sherry, and many others at the yee-haw place next door (complete with Kelly Clarkson wanna-be singing for us, and clientele decked out in camo bib-overalls and at least one wearing waders!). The food was excellent, and faux-Kelly was quite good. I had a blast!

The hotel...and I travel a bit for work, so have experienced quite a few...was probably the most quiet hotel I've ever been in. I'm a terribly light sleeper, but I had no interruptions caused by anything outside my room! Moreover, the complimentary breakfast was better than what you'd pay top-dollar for at other places...eggs, bacon, sausage, grits (any of you Yankees know what Grits are?), biscuits with gravy, pancakes with warm syrup, fruit, pastries...breakfast foods are my favorite, so I was in heaven!

I took a slightly different Daemon list that I'd used before. Still a 'Screamer-star', but instead of the Daemon Princes I'd been using before, I took two large Fleshhound units:

Herald of Tzeentch: Lvl 3, Disc, Exalted Reward
Herald of Tzeentch: Lvl 3, Disc, Exalted Reward
Herald of Tzeentch: Lvl 3, Disc, Exalted Locus
18 Horrors
12 Daemonettes
12 Daemonettes
12 Daemonettes
9 Screamers
17 Hounds
17 Hounds
The Tournament was 2000 points, 7 games, Nova-style. I believe there were about 90 participants signed up, with 3 or 4 no-shows the morning of the event.

My first game was against a super nice guy named Caleb. He had some really fun conversions that he was working on for his CSM with Daemon army which included Ahriman, some 1k Sons, a Land Raider, Heldrake, Forgefiend, Maulerfiend, Skarbrand, a big Bloodletter herd, and some cultists. Both Fleshhound units outflanked, I got Forewarning and Grim up, multi-assaulted Skarbrand and 1k sons with the Screamers which popped Skarbrand on DI, and killed of Ahriman and the 1k Sons in a couple combat rounds. I don't think the guy was quite prepared for this level of brokenness!

Horrors for bait, Fatey hiding from the Forgefiend, Screamers on the right ready to pounce...

Screamers pouncing...

A few more turns of dice rolling, but this ripped the guts out of his army

I got a 20-0 win here. The mission was straight kill points, I conserved well and killed enough to get 20 and then played conservative. I frankly felt a bit bad for Caleb, he lost all 4 games the first day and didn't come back for the second. I think this was his first big GT...I hope he was able to have a bit of fun despite the losses and keeps on playing!

Round two was against Gabe Dobkin playing a very balanced Necron list...

Destroyer Lord
a few Crypteks (Chrono guy for a reroll, S8 shot guy, I think a Lord somewhere for a Res Orb)
2 big Immortal Tesla, one Gauss
2 min Warrior units in Nightscythes
6 Wraiths
a bunch of Scarabs
3 Spiders
2 Barges

I made him go first so I could have last turn shenanigans, having gotten Forewarning , Flickering Fire on all three Heralds, along with a Perfect Timing.

We both played cagey at first, neither wanting to get in charge range of the other. I made a mistake, didn't account for the range addition granted by adding Scarabs to the unit, and he had a charge on the screamers with Scarabs of about 8", which he failed despite Fleet. Lucky me! I then shot up the Scarabs, killing all but a handful of bases (after him adding for 3 turns!) which were killed by an assault by Fleshhounds, including grinding thru the Destroyer Lord who'd joined the Scarabs. The Spiders went in to those Fleshhounds too, which really only kept both units tied up.

In one of my coolest Warhammer moves ever, I had Fateweaver fly up to his Night Scythes, one in front of the other...fired at the rearmost one, using Puppet Master to make it shoot down the one in front, and 3 Warp Charge Flickering Fire to shoot down the rear one. The proverbial two birds with one stone!

I dropped a few troop units to keep him tied up on one corner of his deployment while the Screamers ate things off the other. With his mobility taken away and a long Hammer/Anvil deployment, he had no way to get to the objectives I held on my side of the table while I had Screamers happily contest one of the two he held. I don't remember the details, but I got a 17-3 win.

I postured with the dogs, getting where I could charge turn 1...but he moves backwards and shoots me...

So I move up a bit more, where I won't eat Scarabs or Wraiths, but still potential charge next turn. I like pushing people backwards on Objective missions!

Scarabs failed this 8" charge, saving my Screamers from a tarpitty fate!

James Watkins mounting his table to get to stuff on the other side. I got the camera out, waiting for the entire table to collapse with James at the bottom of a pile of broken minis and terrain...but the table held.

One Hound unit eats the Scarabs, while another pulls back to keep a counter-charge option available on my table half. Note the Night Scythes, ripe for Fateweaver to work his magic!

Fateweaver was grounded and eaten over a few turns by the Wraiths.

Which gave up a table quarter for me, causing Quarters to be a tie, hence the 17-3 win. If I'd simple assaulted the Wraiths with the Hounds (who instead went in to Warriors...I don't know why) then I would have had 20-0.
Gabe was a very skilled opponent, with a good plan and a nice list with answers to anything. He ended up winning Best Overall. He was pretty grumpy about some of the Daemon tricks that he'd not seen before..."That's so broken!" and "Oh man that's so ridiculous!" were said a few times. Welcome to the new 6e, Gabe! Despite that he was a joy to play, and I had a very good time with him!

Round 3 was against a really nice guy with a mean as shit list: Seth Pluckelman (pardon if I misspell!) and his Seer Council with Wave Serpents (4) and a Wraithknight!

Luckily for me, he did not get Fortune, I got Forewarning, and won the roll to go first, and chose (perhaps unwisely) to go second. His shooting left me with 2 Heralds and 1 Screamer, but I was able to tie up and eventually kill the Seer Council with the Fleshhounds, kill enough Serpents to take away mobility, take the Relic away from him, and pretty much control the flow of the game. We chose to stop at the 15-minute left point, at which I had a 13-7 win. I should most definitely have asked to play another turn to try for the 17 points, but I was tired and didn't want to do anything stupid to throw away a win! Seth was a real joy to play, knowing the rules, and me...liked to talk thru the "I could do this, or that" and "I did this, but probably should have done that". I learn a lot from folks that are willing to talk things thru like Seth did. I really sincerely hope to meet him again some time!

He moves up on Turn 1 ready to blow away some Screamers!

Screamers were stomped, but the Hounds started in on the Council!

Hounds grinding down the Council, while the Screamer-star (is one screamer still a Star?) took pot-shots at things and tried to survive to do late-game shenanigans.

Nearly the end of the game here. 2 Dire Avenger units are left. I had a unit of dogs free, the screamer/Heralds and FAteweaver to pursue, and a mess of daemonettes still around. I should have pushed that last turn...oh well!
Round 4

Round 4 was against a good friend who I've met and hung out with at several tourneys but never played...Kurt Clauss...he's a fucking mutant with the wierdest giant double-jointed thumbs I've ever seen! Fucking wierdo!

His thumbs are like 8" long! Hannah must be happy, though!

Kurt's list is a great one, combining great Eldar and Tau broken things in to one package that is not reliant on any 'gimmicks' (Like me relying on Forewarning, or a Seercouncil nearly relying on Fortune). He had a Farseer, 4 Dire Avenger units in Wave Serpents, 2 units of six Swooping Hawks, a Wraithknight, some Jetbikes, a Tau Commander with a Riptide, Broadside unit, and some Kroot.

I did not get Forewarning this game. I have no mental plan ready for failing to get Forewarning, so I just kind of stumbled around until I lost.

I went all-in trying to get Forewarning, so had no Flickering Fires on Heralds. I was super tired being the fourth game in a day, so made some key early mistakes.

The primary one being I scouted up full blast for no good reason, and got one unit of Hounds charged by the Wraithknight, while the other was removed by all his shooting.

A failure of a deployment, as I got way too close to the Wraithknight!

To pull off what I was trying to do, I should have had everything on the table moved up as far as possible, instead the hounds went first, then the screamers, then the nettes. Piece-meal does not work!!! 

Kurt and I were pretty goofy the whole game! We even wore matching headbands! Afterward we spooned...

Despite some boneheaded early play, I got my caffeine going and played hard late game. I had good Portalglyph rolls, and was able to push a lot of troops at him, and using Grim on Fateweaver a few times to get him in dangerous positions to do good damage with Puppetmaster on the Riptide while being near invulnerable.

I kept pushing models at him, his backing up gave me room to (sort of) secure my table half...interesting to be able to still apply pressure when my "deathstar" was immediately neutered.

The final turn came around, with me having Bottom, and I actually had a slim chance for an awesome Hail Mary to get a win on secondary. The objective on the bottom left (my deployment) had my Horrors on it, all spread out, fighting the Wraithknight in melee, but the Wraithknight was too far to contest. He dropped one unit of Hawks there to contest. The top left had one of my Horrors on it (from Portalglyph), but was contested by 3 more Hawks. I had two small Horror units near enough to take shots at either. He had the two Right objectives solidly held and wrapped, no good way to get Fateweaver in. He had Bikes on the middle objective, but I had two daemonette units near by that could contest.

My plan, then, was to shoot down the Hawks contesting my objectives, using the 3 small Horror units and Fateweaver. Fatey held the bottom Right corner, the Horrors would then hold the Top Left quarter, and I'd position the two Daemonette units at mid-table so they'd help me hold the bottom left corner while contesting the middle objective. It was a beautiful plan...Kurt started to sweat!

So, Fateweaver started it off with Bolt of Tzeentch (or whatever it's called...the small-blast AP1 random-strength Tzeentch power), got off the power, it was not denied, and that killed 3 of the 6 off the bat! Then he failed his 2 warp-charge Flickering Fire with an 11, and I'd already used his reroll...this was key.

The first little horror unit shot at that same unit, and did just enough unsaved wounds (thru the 4+ cover from firing thru my unit and him going to ground) to kill the last three!

That left two Horror units to shoot down 3 Hawks on the top Left objective. After all the psychic bullets, one Hawk remained! Arg!!

So, grasping at straws, I try to charge him! The unit of 2 attempted the 5" charge, and fails!!!

That leaves one Horror assaulting one Hawk! He makes it in to melee! The Hawk swings, hits, and fails to wound!!

The Horror...if he can kill this Hawk, I win the game!...swings twice...two hits!!

And fails to wound! I lose! Arg!!

Oh well, it was a good fight, and I didn't play as horribly as I usually do, and I did smart and fun things. Kurt was a blast to play, we had a great time talking trash and throwing things at each other. Kurt's girlfriend Hannah was super nice. I'm insanely jealous that his significant other goes to these events with him! You're a lucky man, Kurt! Make sure she knows you know how lucky you are!

All you have to do is kill one puny Swooping Hawk!!!

This game ended somewhere in the area of 10 o'clock, I think. I was a super zombie. Everyone else had already gone to dinner, so I walked a bit to see if there was a fast-food place nearby, but there wasn't. So I went back to the Yeehaw place next door and got another Shrimp BLT, took it back to the room, ate while reading some Stephen King, and slept...

...until 5am, when my bladder decided it was time to wake up, then was never able to get quite back to sleep after that...dozing and hitting the snooze button a lot!

Went to another awesome badass breakfast, and off to do battle in Bracket 3!

My first opponent was another good friend who I've played several times in tournaments, Matt Schuchman and his Seer Council + Tau!

He got the powers he wanted, I didn't get Forewarning, and I felt really doomed!

I didn't play well, in fact I didn't even really try. I did goofy shit, like assaulting the Seer council with 2/3 of my army...I did one wound and lost most of the rest to Instability! It was bad play, but hilarious! :)

He tabled me in 4, but I still had a fun time, and I hope Matt did too!

And yeah, I didn't take a single picture on day 2. Nor did I keep any notes or anything. Too tired, I guess...I didn't even think about it, just played!

Game 6 was against what could be a super bad match-up, Tyranids! The player known as Juice had a very respectable Double-Flyrant, Triple-Mawloc, Triple-Tervigon, Triple-Hive Guard Pair list that looked to be pretty terrifying.

I got Forewarning early (in fact I had two!), had Perfect Timing, Misfortune, and 3 Flickering Fires. He had 3 Enfeebles...bad news for me.

I won the roll and had him go first. He enfeebeled some dogs and killed a ton. Two Tervigons crapped out on turn 1.

I lined up a nice counter-attack with shooty Screamer-star and Invisible Fateweaver that had a very good chance of dropping both Flyrants. If this had happened I would have been pretty much in clean-up mode the rest of the game.

Instead I failed the Grimoire even with the reroll (after having moved first, like a dumbass, instead of staying safe) and then he passed SIX DENY THE WITCH ROLLS IN A ROW and I was fucked.

His Tyrants flew behind my Screamers, and killed the Heralds out of the unit with good positioning by him. Sigh.

I spent the rest of the game focusing on his copious troops, and this ended up paying off as Fatewaver, the Invisible badass, along with a last-turn Portalglyph spawn allowed a tie on objectives, and a win on quarters, for a soft 13-7 win. Juice was very competent and awesome player. Hot dice for him early and hot dice for me late and he was cool as a cucumber all thru it. A really nice guy that I'd happily play again. A football fan, we spent a fair amount of time thru the game checking Fantasy Football scores!

The final game, meaningless for tourney standings but for bragging rights none the less, was against Mike Taylor...another prominent tourney-goer who I've hung out with a lot but had never played! He was using a very model-intentisive Marine + IG army, something like this:

2x 5 Scouts in Storms
Bike Unit
2 Thunderfires
One of the AA tanks...I forgot the name
2x PCS
2x 50 guardsmen
I got the good powers again, loading up with Misfortune, Perfect Timing, and Flickering Fire. I won the roll and had him go first, hoping that the last turn shenanigans would help me win the game. Since it was night-fight, I was able to deploy mostly out of danger of the Manticore.

The TF-Cannons and Manticore made me pay early (mostly due to brain-dead deployment where I set up in range needlessly!). The Screamers, which I'd deployed far back in my corner, didn't get to weigh in until turn 2, when they combi-charged both Guard Blobs after having killed about 15 of one unit with shooting.

I kind of erred by throwing Fleshhounds in to one of the units also...I was able to grind down one of the units to almost dead and nearly half kill the other unit, but it would have been smarter, I think, to have the Hounds kill everything else while the Screamers just kept the blobs occupied. My Horrors and Fateweaver did good work killing off all his other scoring and denial stuff that tried to sneak on to my objectives (Scouts outflanking in a Storm, Bikes) and I was able to kill him off the central objective for a 2-1 objective win...but I tell you what, that was one of the slowest games of Warhammer I've ever played. Not just the playing part, but we had SO MANY DICE to roll...FRFSRF from two blobs, then the overwatch from two blobs, then the attacks from two blobs...then the attacks from 9 screamers, 3 heralds, and ~25 flesh hounds...all starting on turn 2. We only made it thru turn 3 in about three and a half hours! Neither of us slow-played, it was just a BUSY game! Lots of fun, neither of us had ever seen a melee that big or ridiculous! I was really happy to get to play Mike finally, and look forward to doing so again!

So, the list worked fine, I played half way decent most the time. I lost the games I didn't get Forewarning...I really haven't been "in" to 40k enough lately to have worked up much of a mental plan for that kind of thing, so wasn't disappointed to have blown those games. I'm not really sure the Hounds were any better than the a way they were more fun, as my opponent and I both had stuff to do, but they seemed to be less valuable in more situations than the Princes, and lacked the late game fly-off-the-board-and-come-back-later thing. I may try one of each some time, see if that's too diluted to work. Princes undoubtedly play faster. Don't know!

So, nothing much planned for me in terms of GTs in the near future. Next thing on my agenda is Templecon...and I don't even know if they're doing 40k there this year!

Sorry for lack of pics, but hey, I do what I can! :)

If you don't read Torrent of Fire, by the way, you should. Interesting articles and statistics there! Noteworthy from the latest article...Eldar are absolutely dominating, overall winning 64% of their games!

But even more interesting, is the top 10 players:

I think it's weighted a lot more by number of games played than results, but hey, I'll take it! :)

And, back home at La Guardia...a nice view of Manhattan from the top floor of the parking garage. If you zoom in a bit you can see the new Freedom Tower dominating Lower Manhattan!

Thanks for reading! Hopefully with Football over I can start to be a bit more active again! Fingers crossed! Also good luck to all my friends going to Da Boyz this weekend! While you're finishing up Sunday night, I'll be surprising the wife with a trip to see the Patriots and Broncos play at Foxboro!

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