So, here goes!
I rode down with my friend Brendan (who runs the Gaming, Etc tournaments as well as table top gaming at Connecticon!). We actually drove down Friday morning early to participate in the Dropzone Commander tournament...which was GREAT! I'll blog about that later, it definitely deserves it's own post!
Saturday morning we got there late (no surprise, I woke up late and made us late), but not terribly so. Got to tables, and found the terrain was a bit...sparse. Very few LOS blocking pieces, and several of them weren't in good positions (shoved in to a corner instead of center table). Disappointing.
But when I waded thru to my table (they were very close together, all butted end to end, and each row of ~10 tables was butted in to the wall, so only one way in or out!) I found that this table was the real winner, as we litteraly had a beer bottle on an area base. I laughed it off as having been left there by one of the previous day's players, but when I knocked it over while getting out my toys one of the Judges said, "Hey, you knocked over your beer forest!"
I was a bit shocked, but hey, function over form. If it's a forest, it's a forest. But really...what really got me...it wasn't even real beer, it was Bud Lite. WTF?!
So on to the gaming! I took two armies. I'd intended to borrow my friend Mike Morales' Eldar and run:
5x 5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents (Scatter, Cannon, Ghostwalk)
3 Windrider Jetbikes
2x 6 Swooping Hawks
Unfortunately for me Mike's Knights and other bits are new to him, and he hadn't finished painting them. Mike is an EXCEPTIONAL painter having won several awards with his Eldar...but the Knights didn't quite meet the 3-color fully painted requirement. I discussed with the TO, who was very understanding but forthright, saying if someone complained the complaint would be valid and he'd have to remove them.
So, lucky for me I brought a back-up army! Daemons!
3 Heralds of Tzeentch (Lvl 3, Discs, two with Exalted Rewards, one with Exalted Locus)
2x 10 Daemonettes
2 Daemon Princes (Tzeentch, Wings, Armor, Lvl 3, 2 Greater Rewards, one had 1 Lesser Reward)
Two troops is bad. Screamer-star was "nerfed" by the 2++ reroll being on a 4++, but I'd rather play with a mediocre list than not at all!
My first match was Bryan Hayzler with a Tau/Eldar army including a Farsight "Bomb", 3 Skyrays, a Riptide, a Farseer and two Jetbike troop units, and a couple units of Kroot. I knew the idea of Farsight Bomb, but have never actually played against it. My plan was give him nothing but 2+ rerolly Screamer goodness to shoot at when he came in, flying all the FMC off the table, then have them come on and vector strike him to death.
Then he rolled Misfortune on his Farseer and that plan kind of went out the window! :)
He won the roll, and had me go first (I'm not sure why...3 Skyrays could have removed the Screamers!). So I buffed up, threw screamers in his face with a reroll invuln/FNP DP supporting them. He Misfortuned the Screamers then unloaded all the Skyrays in to them...you know what? A 2+ Invuln save is pretty good! I think I only lost 3 Screamers! My DP went in to his Riptide after Terrify chased a Kroot bubblewrap unit off the table. Screamers killed two Skyrays and got ready for the Bomb! The rest of the game came down to my Screamers slowly dieing to the Bomb while Fateweaver and the other DP zipped around to kill troops as they came in. The game was a close one, ending on turn 5 due to time with each of us holding one objective (I thought I was solid, but forgot that Hvy scored in that mission, so the surviving Skryay kept him in it!), he had Warlord and Linebreaker; I had First Blood and Linebreaker...but he only killed 1 Heavy choice, and I'd killed 2, for a very tight 1 point win!
Result: 11-9 Win
Next game was vs a super fun guy, Jared Friedman and, yes, Tau with Eldar again! Jared had Ethereal, Buff Commander, Broadside unit loaded with missiles, a Skryay, two Riptides, lots of pathfinders and fire warriors...your basic nightmare. I got all the powers I needed, had one strong DP and one gimp. I'm not sure who won the roll, but Jared was going first. I hid behind a giant hill in my triangle, but one of his Riptides was still able to drop a pie plate back there and take out a few Screamers. My turn Grim failed, so I hid again. Again he got to drop one pieplate back there, again I lost a few Screamers. Despite Scrier's Gaze my Daemonettes came in on turn 2, which worked out ok as it was a Relic mission (with 'C&C' objectives in our deployment zones) and I needed to push in to the Relic! I got some good work from Puppetmaster on a Riptide, killing half his Broadside unit. A combo charge by a unit of Daemonettes in to Kroot and a Riptide killed all the Kroot and they ran down the Riptide with Sweeping Advance. My Daemonette push scored me the Relic plus a bubblewrapping unit bottom of 4, but he'd be able to shoot the unit with the relic down with no sweat on top of 5. I tried a Hallucinate on the Broadsides, hoping to keep them from shooting, but rolled the "stop hitting yourself!" result. Realizing the game was on the line, I used Fatey's reroll on the Hallucinate result roll and got the 3-4 result, preventing him from shooting! With just just a few potshots at the ladies holding the relic, he couldn't remove them all, bottom of 5 I flew a DP to contest his objective, secured mine by shooting down his remaining Jetbikes with the two surviving Heralds (all that lived from the Screamerstar!), and my Daemonettes did unspeakably nasty things to the relic!
Result: 20-0 Win!
My third game was against a great game named Brad whose last name I can't remember. He was a really nice guy, we talked wrestling a lot, he knew the game and played very well, and had a really solid list:
IG with CCS, 2 blobs with lots of lascannon teams (I think he had 9 lascannons total?), three vendettas, a manticore, a mortar squad, and two Psyker Battle Squads, along with Rambo. He had Inquisition allies with Coteaz and an Inq with the Liber Whatchamacallit as well, giving those blobs sexy Stubborn!
The mission was something new too: you accumlate points at the end of your opponents turns for every objective you control, with a center objective being worth 2 points and quarter objectives worth 1. On top of that, it was Kill Points. Brad won the roll and of course chose to go first so he could nuke me.
Luckily for me I was able to deploy to avoid the bulk of the lascannons, Screamers took a Manticore to the face, losing a Herald (the Locus guy took one for the team) and 4 birdies total, but that's reasonable. I had started my troops on the table, so they'd start scoring right away. I figured if I could get enough points before they died, and pick on some easy kill points, I could pull ahead a bit. This worked well, as I zipped down one flank, killed Marbo, a PBS, the Mortar Squad, and the Warpstorm did good work for me, killing off most of his CCS (I finished it off with Fateweaver), and turning Coteaz in to a Herald. After going up a few kill points I flew off the table and ran away with the Screamers to try to stay alive, and did alright in that regard. I'd put Grim on Fatey and flew him in his face and let him shoot the entire army at him, which he of course took on the chin and smiled and flew away. He ended up being up by 1 on objective points (I'd thrown a DP in to one of the blobs to contest one of his objectives for a few turns, but he got his other blob on the 2-point objective so caught up), but I was up by 4 on kill points (I only lost a Herald and a DP, he lost CCS, Coteaz, Manticore, Mortars, Psyker Battle Squad, and Marbo).
Results: 13-7 Win!
After a solid 3-0 start I was feeling pretty good! We talked with the Dropzone Commander guys while everyone was cleaning up, and realized we'd missed a lot of the dinner planning, so we made our own plans! We met up with a few guys at the same place we've eaten every night there, the Ironworks, and had a nice meal....when we noticed our roommate Sean Mccloud not touching his food and looking pretty green! He ended up barfing and shitting all night, and packed up his things and drove him at about 5am. Poor guy...but fuck him, cuz I got that too AND gave it to my family! Stay in quarantine next time you disease bag! I missed work Weds, my daugher missed school, my son missed school, my nanny almost quit due to the puke-fest!
But, that was later! Day 2 the schedule we had said to be there at 9:15 for 9:45 round start. Turns out that was wrong (they said it was wrong, but never told us what the right schedule was!), but we were on time regardless. I was paired up with a very prominent tournament goer, Ragnar Arneson and his CSM!
It turns out the rest of the terrain showed up...apparently they'd forgotten several boxes of their terrain, so things were in shape for the second day with a lot more reasonable placement of larger pieces and no beer bottles in sight!
Ragnar was running two Lords with Spawn packs, a Heldrake, 3 cultist units, 3 Nurgle Obliterators, a Khorne Herald with small Fleshhound unit, big daemonette pack, and some Horrors all behind an ADL. I won the roll and had him go first. This was another odd missions...three relics along the centerline of Spearhead, and Kill Points.
He moved up cagily. I moved up aggressively, giving his hounds a charge in to Screamers, but I was set up to counter with two Princes. I unloaded a lot of Flickering Fires and Psychic Shrieks in to the Hounds, which Denied several as expected, but still wittled them down by quite a bit. He took the bait, charged in, and died on my next turn to Princes. The Screamers then got hit by his Black Mace Lord and the Oblits while my Prince got hit by the spawn. The non-Nurgle spawn were doubled out easily enough, but my plan to Terrify the other Spawn never worked out as I had to use that DP to kill off his Troops getting to Relic. With the Oblits and Screamers tied up, and the Spawn and a DP tied up, it came down to Fateweaver and a DP trying to kill off his troops and protect the Daemonettes from the Heldrake, a mad scramble for relics and kill points. The game ended on die-roll on 5, with each of us banking a relic, and me up by 5 kill points. I was sad to see that game end, I was way behind the 'leaders' in points and needed more, and felt like I had a good chance to get several more on turn 6, but that's the game!
I have to say that Ragnar was a real joy to play. He was calm, cool, and efficient. We finished our 5 turns before many others were even on 3. He also was a great sport, we both made mistakes and both allowed our opponents to do things we'd forgotten to do earlier...notably he let me do the Grim after having moved to the shooting phase (I'd rolled warpstorm already). Definitely a great guy to play!
Result: 15-5 Win!
Now at 4-0, amongst the top tables, and irony in full effect! Remember that Eldar list I posted above that I'd inteded to use? Guess what!! I get to play Bill McFadden (surprisingly sober!) who's running almost that very list! He wedged in Space Marine allies with an Eternal Shield Bike Boss and a Bike Squad instead of the Hawks and Bikers that I had, but the core of 4 Serpents and 2 Knights was the same!
Unfortuantely for Bill, this turned out to be one of the lousiest games of Warhammer ever, and neither one of us did anything about it.
I won the roll, and chose to go first (otherwise his shooting destroys the Screamers and I lose). I had THREE FOREWARNINGS and TWO INVISIBILITIES this game, as well as Puppetmaster, Hallucinate, Terrify, and two Shrieks!
First turn I buff up, hide one DP, send an Invisible +1W/IWND & 4+FNP DP and Screamers in his face. Second turn he jukes around a bit, shoots a lot but does nothing. Second turn I move DP up to assault bikes and play for middle board control with shooty-screamerstar. Instead the Warpstorm (Slaanesh loves me!) kills two Wave Serpents; Puppetmaster on a Wraithknight kills a third. A lot of flickering fires kill most of the Avengers that fell out. The DP got in to the bike squad, killed the Master, and they were standing by to die on his turn.
Yes, top of two and he's down to 1 Serpent and 2 Wraithknights.
He surrendered. I bought him a drink.
Result: 20-0 Stupid-win
Definitely my best GT result! 5-0 with 79 of 100 possible points! I was really pleased with how everything worked out, had 5 fun opponents and 5 solid games (I had no soft matches, everyone I played was an experienced tourney-goer with a solid list!). I stole Nick's Seagrams 7 and tied one on after that last game!
Sadly, however, the Onslaught is a Battle Point format, so despite being one of two 5-0 players, my minimal troop army really struggled to score points, so I didn't make it to the podium. Still, can't complain, right? :)
Here's the email the TO sent after the event:
Final Scores for Onslaught 2014
|Nicholas J. Miele||15||22||60||97|
|Bill Souza (W)||24||22||41||87|
|Rob Pro (W)||12||22||33||67|
|Stephen Burris (W)||12||22||33||67|
|Sean McCloud (W)||22||32||54|
|Brian Warner (W)||12||20||20||52|
|lucas james patruno||22||26||48|
|cory morris (W)||20||24||44|
|Joseph D Demastrie (W)||20||17||37|
|Kevin Calkins (W)||20||7||27|
|Mike Begin (W)||20||2||22|
|Carl Grivakis (W)||20||20|
|Daniel Dubouis (W)||20||20|
|Decio M. Terra (W)||20||0||20|
|Mike Kachanis (W)||20||20|
|ross daveni (W)||20||0||20|
|TJ Myers (W)||20||20|
Todd Silber took best overall. He ran an unconventional Daemon army (LOC, Seekers, Drones, Belakor CSM Ally). I hope he remembers to roll Warpstorm at future events! :)
First in Battle Points went to Chris Johnson with his Gravstar, just edging out Nick N (who took Second in Battle Points) in a 5th round match that saw Nick's Fateweaver get grounded by a Skyray's SMS and killed by Kroot, and Nick's Plague-drone-star lose combat by 1 to the Centurions and roll Boxcars...boom...dead!
Jawaballs took best painted, and my good friend from BFS Ed Miller won the Best Sportsmanship prize!
Sean Nayden did very well also, edging me out in Kill Points but having lost 0-20 to Nick's Beasts.
My list did what I wanted. I got Forewarning every game (many games I got it multiple times!). I had minimal Grimoire failures. I rolled Telepathy almost exclusively, getting a lot of mileage from Puppetmaster, Terrify, Invisibility, and of course Hallucinate! Psychic Shriek is my go-to shooting attack for the Princes, particularly against other Daemons! In only one game (vs. Brad's IG) I had plenty of Flickering Fire on my Heralds (once I get Forewarning, I of course take FF) which did a lot of work. I can't say much about my list that I didn't like, except the lack of troops. Even that was mitigated as I had very reasonable success with the Portalglyph getting me guys (or gals!) when needed! Thanks to Bryan, Jared, Brad, Ragnar, and Bill for the games!
So what's next?
I've somehow made the cut to be invited to the first Torrent of Fire Invitational down in DC in a few weeks! I'm taking a bad list to an event featuring the best players in the country...I'm not very hopeful! Still, it will be fun hobnobbing with the 'famous' people and feeding their egos as they crush me!
Except Clauss...he's mine!