Monday, March 10, 2014

Torrent of Fire Invitational!

Last weekend (Mar 1-2) I was lucky enough to have been able to participate in the Torrent of Fire Invitational Tournament and Summit in Woodbridge, VA! I was up against 31 of the best players around, and was really lacking confidence that I could perform at the level these other guys do! I'd be going up against names like Andrew Gonyo, Tony Kopach, Sean Nayden, Alan Bajramovic, Ben Mohlie, Justin Cook, Nick Nanavati...many other names just as intimidating! How the hell was my newb ass going to compete with these guys?!

Easy! Play Screamerstar, always roll Forewarning, never fail Grim, and always win the roll to go first!

No problem, right?

This tourney format was a bit different than most. Typically some kind of Swiss Pairing is used...random first round matchups, then winners play winners, losers play losers, etc.

But in this tourney, an NCAA-style 32-player pre-determined bracket format was used! I knew who all my potential matchups were going to be...most importantly my first! Moreover, we knew exactly what was in everyone's lists...there were no surprises, and a LOT of wasted work-hours theory-hammering how to deal with each potential matchup.

So first things first...what army was I using? Well, I'm kind of a Daemon guy, and I'm kind of a Screamer guy, so should be no surprise that I used Daemons with a Screamer-star. Now typically I add in a couple Tzeentch Daemon Princes with my Screamers...but for this one, I knee-jerked about a Fiend ruling and went with some Fiends instead. The ruling being that the Fiends gave -1 Ldr to Psykers for each Fiend within 12"! I had big ideas of shutting down Seer Councils...but never played against one...and in every game I wished I had my Princes instead!

The List:
Fateweaver (giant emaciated two-headed bird-man with a book on a stick with a fish on top)
3 Heralds of Tzeentch (Lvl 3, Discs, two with Exalted Rewards, one with Exalted Locus)
Herald of Slaanesh (Steed, Greater Reward, Exalted Locus)
10 Daemonettes
10 Horrors
10 Plaguebearers
6 Fiends
7 Screamers
2 Slaanesh Soul Grinders with Torrent
It was very soon after submitting my list that I regretted doing it. But, what's done is done and can't be undone, so off I went!

I want to take this opportunity to apologize for not taking any pictures. I really like writing and reading battle reports that have pictures to help tell the story, but I simply didn't think to take any pictures in any of my games. I apologize...I'm a bad blogger!

My first matchup, as I've spoken about before, was a good friend of mine Kurt Clauss. We rode down together with Sean and ruthlessly talked trash to each other about our matchup! To punish Kurt, Sean and I sang Pitch Perfect at him for hours. He cried a little I think. Kurt was playing a very different army:

Iron Hands
3 Scouts (2 with Storms)
3 Stormravens
GK Allies:
small Cultist unit
DCA/Crusader/Banisher unit
Vindicare Assassin

So, this was the only game I put a lot of pre-game planning in to. The mission was one of the new variety that are being developed, where players have an option of using 'normal' objective rules (ie you score points for controlling them at the end of the game), or to accrue points throughout the game.

I expected he would choose the former, putting the scouts and DCA in the Ravens to zip around and shoot things then disembark on the bottom of turn 5. I also recognized that he had few things that could really clear out troops (only two of the Ravens had Hurricanes), especially early-game, so I chose the alternate and to deploy all my troops on objectives at the start of the game....very different from how my Daemons are normally played! I expected if he won the roll for first turn he'd want to go second, and I wanted to go first so would choose that if I won the roll, so I planned on getting first turn.

The game went pretty much according to plan, with some hiccups that weren't unexpected and didn't hurt me too terribly. As expected I got first turn, buffed up...a quick aside here, I got Forewarning in every game...flew Screamers straight at the Knight. I wanted to be in melee with him before the GK Raven came on! The Grinders went towards the bastion at full speed...I'd hoped to get Templates on the windows turn 1, but he saw that play coming and set up a bit too far (FYI about 26" threat range on the templates...), and Fateweaver, who had rolled the Pyromancy Meltabeam power, flew to take a potshot at the Bastion with the Melta, and found that Kurt's Warlord Librarian was hiding behind the hill Fatey had landed on...all by himself! We used the laser in my pocket (and you thought I was just excited to play!) to confirm that Fatey could see him, and some Flickering Fire and a Melta shot went...the Flickering Fire was denied, but the Melta went thru, hit, wounded, he went to ground, and failed his save...First Blood and Warlord from one stupid lucky shot! Hey, it's better to be lucky then good!

On Kurt's bottom of 1 his Vindicare killed a Soul Grinder...some luck of his own! The DK shuffled a bit, and the Acolytes on the table tried to hide from the Fiends bearing down on them...

...unsuccessfully, as the Fiends were easily in LOS and charge range. Fatey flew off the table, Screamers hit the DK, Fiends hit the Acolytes, and a wound was done to the Assassin with a Soul Grinder template! Oh, and I scored 3 points from the objectives all my troops started the game on! I also threw down the Portalglyph deep in his deployment zone, which made a new Plaguebearer who was in range of an objective already...

His turn 2, and all the Ravens came on (he had the whoseywhatsit that lets him reroll reserves on top of his bastion). He couldn't fire the Mindstrikes at the Screamers as they were in (perpetual) combat with the Knight, so he saved them and went troop hunting. The Storms killed off a few Horrors and Plagues; the Ravens killed the new Plaguebearer and several Daemonettes. The Soulgrinder took a fair amount of fire, but between saves and bad Pen rolls, the Grinder came thru ok! A handful of shots went to the Portal, and it survived too...clutch!

Top of 3, and I get 3 more points! FW comes on and tries to kill a Speeder Storm, but hot saves keep it alive with 1HP. Plagues assault the other Storm, but they also wiff and leave it with 1HP. Grinder templates the Assassin dead and assaults and kills the Bastion. The Fiends I fail with, though...I tried to get them to run and surround the DCA Raven which would prevent the DCA from getting out. Sadly I ended up being about 2" short and horribly exposed...

Bottom of 3 he shoots more troops, all the units survive, but the Plagues within range of their Objective die, so no points from them. The Grinder dies. The DCA get out and assault the Fiends. Slaanesh Herald challenges Coteaz and they kill each other (grenades had me going at I1, sadly). Fiends get ripped apart and the unit pops on Instability. Screamers finally finish off the Knight!

Top of 4, and I go to 7 points. FW moves to shoot down the DCA, while Nettes move to finish them off...this works well, as the DCA are all destroyed and the Nettes consolidate back to their objective. Screamers moved so the Heralds could help shoot the DCA, but I was braindead and left the Heralds all clumped up. Portal makes a unit for me, I choose Horrors because I want to run them to get out of LOS as much as possible while holding an objective in his deployment...need to have the troops on the objective at the start of my next turn to score! I also seem to remember the Storms died this turn as well...don't ask me how!

Bottom of 4 he Mindstrikes the Grim and the Portal Herald, he kills them both. He shoots some more troops, but I still hold 3 objectives after his turn...

Top of 5, I max out at 9 points for primary. I fly Fateweaver to contest an objective, surviving Screamers (I think I have 4 plus the Herald at this point?) Turbo to contest another. I have small Nette unit on one and small horror unit on another. The Portal makes another Nette unit for me, which I run towards the objective Fateweaver is on, meaning he'll have to kill both units to keep me from contesting that objective, and the Nettes are another unit getting me Linebreaker.

Bottom of 5, and this is last turn as time has been called. I have max points: 9 primary, 4 for 'escalated' Warlord (a point for each character killed: Dreadknight, Assassin, Coteaz, and Librarian), 2 for First Blood, and 2 for Linebreaker. Kurt has 3 troop units with which he needs to get 3 objectives (worth 3 points each), he has to kill 1 more Character to max his escalated secondary, get linebreaker, kill all my linebreaking units, and still tie because of First Blood? I forget exactly, but that's how I think it was working out. He had 3 Scouts and 4 Stormravens with which to do this, and he came damned close! But the Screamers protected the Herald, one Linebreaking Daemonette refused to die, and regardless I still had First, a win for my first game! Thanks for a very fun game, Kurt! It was really fun to have to think so differently from normal games! Props having a giant pair of balls to bring a list like that!

Game 2

Game 2 was against Rob Tilly and his White Scars and Space Wolves. I really thought a lot of Rob's list. MSU'ish, threats for anything, very solid. I had no good plan for how to deal with make matters worse he won the roll and chose to go first, so I knew I'd have two drop pods landing in my face.

I simply surrounded the Grim guy making it very unlikely he'd get sniped out. I deployed some Plaguebearers in some ruins. FW was on the board but in a bad spot for him to try to gun him down. Grinders (foolishly) were deployed to take out the Bastion.

His Ravenwing stuff outflanked. Two pods came in and tried to shoot up the Screamers, but only killed a few...I weathered that pretty well! The Grinders went towards the Bastion with the Centurions in them, but AP4 templates make Centurions giggle. Fiends moved up along with Invisible Fateweaver, while Screamers assaulted both Drop Pod units.

Things then turned in to something of a slog-fest on my half of the table...screamers, plagues, and fateweaver dealt with all the pods and outflanked bikes (one squad came in on my side), while the Fiends intercepted and destroyed a rhino squad trying to push in to my half also. At one point I had about 1000 points of stuff chasing around one stupid Flamer marine that refused to die as he cooked an entire Daemonette unit!

The mission was a combination of Kill Points and 4-objectives. I was trying to tie on objectives and win on kill points, so kept retreating behind the giant LOS blocking terrain we had. When time was announced (turn 5 for us? Maybe 6?), he was too far away to contest one of my objectives with anything because the Fiends semi-bubble-wrapped the nearest of the two objectives I had deployed with half the fiends, while the rest hid behind a giant wall so even if he shot them to shit he'd not get the kill point...the Screamers similarly split off from the Heralds...the Heralds hid behind the same wall while the Screamers assaulted the Rhino he was pushing towards my objective so I could keep the marines away! And Fateweaver flew to contest one of his objectives, being Invisible and Enduranced, I felt pretty comfortable throwing him in front of all of Rob's army...

...because I forgot that Kahn has an Instant Death sword! Rob shot everything he had at Fatey, who fell to the ground unwounded....Kahn and a Squad charged him. Fatey Challenged, Kahn accepted...Kahn hits on 4s due to Invisibility, he gets 4 hits...


rolls no 6s! Fatey survives!

I think I won on Primary (I had 2 objectives, he had 1...thank you Invisible Fateweaver!), I think he had me on Kill Points (hard for old people to remember these details!). Neither of us had Linebreaker or Warlord. So, another Win for me! OMG I made it to the Quarter-finals!

I didn't see that one coming!

Rob was a blast to play against! I really hope I get to play him again! Great "unsexy" but solid list, very well played, and we had a lot of laughs! Thanks Rob!!

Game 3
If I had to pick the 2 people that had the least number of picks to advance to the quarter finals, it would be me and John Parsons.

So in the quarter finals, it's me and John Parsons!

John was using Nick Nanavati's "old" MC spam Daemon List. I had zero plan for this matchup going in to the game, which is terrible. I pushed to mid-table and reacted to his moves...which is a terrible thing to do vs. FMC spam. I failed Grimoire on turn 2, and still drove forward to take (lots) of Flickering Fire shots at the CSM Daemon Prince, which is terrible. I placed my Portalglyph on turn 2, which was terrible.

In short, I was Terrible.

John, on the other hand, did everything right. The mission was primarily Objectives (Scouring, with 6 objectives semi-randomly point-costed) and Kill Points as a secondary. I had the two 3 pt objectives in my deployment zone, yet still inexplicably pushed everything out towards mid-table (hammer and anvil). Terrible.

The CSM Mace DP assaulted the over-confident Screamers, and I avoided disaster there and killed him in two combat rounds (He'd taken wounds from FF first, or I'd be there half the game).

The Heldrake flew on and killed several Daemonettes, but I knocked the Baleflamer off it top of 3 which kept it from being worse. Total through the game I did in area of 15 glance/pens to that stupid thing, and he made saves like it was his job. It never died, and ended up scoring an objective :(

The Keeper dropped in and threatened the Horrors I had on a 3pt objective, so I drove the Fiends in to it and we had a big old scrum there. I couldn't roll Rends to save my life, the few I did make he saved. He couldn't hit to save his life, and the few he did hit I saved. I think I finally finished off the Keeper when he forgot to Challenge out the Herald a few turns (and I sure wasn't going to remind him!) and her AP2 S5 attacks dropped the big guy eventually! Invisibility from Fateweaver made that fight winnable for me.

His Grim Herald came under fire from both Grinders and Fateweaver at one point. He was dropped to 1 wound left and grounded, so I assaulted with a Soul Grinder. Mathhammer says a Soul Grinder wins vs. a DP when he gets the charge...but not this time. John rolled 2 pens and a glance, I saved 1 pen, but the one that got thru was an Explode. Bullocks! Then Nick Nanavati reminded me that Soul Grinders have Hammer of Wrath, so I rolled that wound, he failed his save, but passed the 6+ FNP that he'd gained from Flickering Fire, so lived anyway. Then everyone around us told Nick he was a damned cheater: that Walkers do NOT have Hammer of Wrath, so we all got another good laugh at Nick's expense. I love you Nick! But my Grinder was still dead. Meh.

The game ended on turn 6, after which I'd killed the Keeper, the CSM DP, the Grim DP (brought down by Heralds' Flickering Fires), his Portalglyph, and his Daemonette unit. I'd only lost a Soul Grinder, 2 troop units, and the Portal....AND the 3 stupid units that popped out of the portal right where his FMC were able to come on and kill them :) I was up 5-3 on objectives, so he flew Fateweaver over to contest the 3-pointer I was on...Fatey needed an 8-inch run, and got a 9! (He still had his RR I believe, so good odds of getting that 8). Great game to John, who ended up facing the overall winner in the Semi-finals losing in a close game...wish they had streamed and saved that one too!

Thus, my dreams of pulling off an upset in the event were foiled, but it was a great game and I have nothing but good things to say about John..who is not from Jersey as I reported on Stupidhammer, but from Philly! Sorry John, my bad! He played a super solid game taking advantage of everything I gave him and I was in pure reaction mode doing nothing but stupid! Congrats man!

Day one was over, and I'd exceeded my expectations and handily made my goal (which was to not be the 0-5 guy!), so off to dinner we went! Dinner was booked in a swanky pizza place in Alexandria. The food was great, the wine was nice (Alan Bajramovic and I shared a nice bottle of some Italian red...very tasty!), the room was nice...but when we all got together and started drinking it got loud, and sadly there was no overall 'Summit' conversation to be had. A lot of semi-isolated conversations discussed the things we'd wanted to discuss, but I'm not sure if any consensus or agreements to be taken for action were made. Regardless, it was a great time! I got to hang out with some old friends (I love you Brad!) and meet some new ones! Then off to bed, where Sean refused to snuggle with me, so I slept lonely and cold...and on to Day Two!

Game 4

And wouldn't you know it, after splitting a bottle of wine, we got to play each other in Round 4! Yes, I got to play against Alan Bajramovic and his horribly painful Beast-star!

I had no good plan for this game either...the Walkers nullify my Grinders. His fast shooty units can tear apart my troops. My Fiends were my only hope...getting Fortune blocked and making some kind of exciting assault that might do more than kill half his beasts?

Well, as luck would have it, Fateweaver got Terrify. Now that combination started to look like something that could possibly happen...but would someone of that caliber allow that to happen?

I had Perfect Timing, Misfortune, and Forewarning for the Screamers to play with, and all the Heralds had Flickering Fire. IF the Flickering Fires all work, this can put out a staggering amount of firepower (somewhere in the area of 25 HITS if all works right!). The problem of course is the extremely random nature of this, requiring the power to be cast and to not be denied...something like a 40% failure rate vs. units with Psykers! Still, using that firepower along with Terrify and some effective charges to force break tests was my play.

The mission was Relic primary with controlling the majority of 4 'corner' objectives as a secondary. Alan won the roll off and as expected chose to go first. He deployed the beasts and one of his bike units front and center, setting up a standard eldar jetbike play to sneak off with the relic on turn 1. So I deployed where I'd be able to move the Screamers such that the Heralds would have good shots at the likely place the Bikes would Turbo away to, or if they went the other way the Soul Grinders would get them.

As expected his bikes grabbed the relic and zipped back 6", the beasts shuffled to support them without committing themselves. Walker shooting did nothing due to night fight.

I moved the Grinders up a bit to threaten board center, Fiends hid semi-centrally, and the Heralds and Screamers moved to shoot the Jetbikes....

...and the Stupid started. I'd not used Fateweaver's reroll for the turn, so when I rolled a 1 and a 5 for the Warpstorm, I chose to reroll the 1...and got the 6. Yes, that's an 11, and yes that's bad for his Farseers. He rolled to see which it would be, it was the Warlord with Shard...he died. Firstblood and Warlord. Stupid.

But wait, there's more!

I'd moved not as sharply as I could have, so only 2 of my Heralds had LOS to the Relic-holding Jetbikes, but they shot, and killed the 2 they had range to. He passed the Warpflame check, gaining 6+ FNP, and passed his Morale test. Damn!

Then the Soul Blaze did a wound, and he failed both the save and the FNP, and the relic was dropped!

I bought him a drink.

So top of 2 and he realizes his Beaststar is no longer fearless, so he goes to cast Mental Fortitude...I pointed out that he didn't have that, that he'd rolled Fortune and then went to Divination for Forewarning and Prescience. He moved the Beasts way backwards (I basically let him completely re-do his movement phase). Walkers killed a Grinder, and took the Flamer off the other. Boo. He dropped some Spiders in to my backfield to shoot up some Plagues in ruins...they didn't do much.

Bottom 2, I get some Horrors in my backfield on an objective. Screamers push forward to get shots at Beasts (which all failed). Fiends killed the Spiders. Portalglyph I put down centrally and shit out some troops to threaten the relic. This was a mistake.

Top of 3 he pushes the Beasts to assault the new troops and the Portalglyph. He considers splitting Baron off the Beasts to join some Hawks with which he wanted to charge a Grinder and Haywire it to death, I point out this would leave his beasts with no HnR, and he changes his mind...I let him re-do his movement again...I felt bad for the Stupid Warpstorm. Instead he lined up a great multi-assault to kill my new troop unit and the Portalglyph (with Baron and the Jetseer). The Hawks flew away, the troops died, but the Portal lived!

Bottom of 3 and I finally got what I wanted...he'd had a poor consolidate, so I was able to move so that 4 Fiends were within 12" of his Shardseer...Grinder and Screamers went to the flanks of the beasts as best they could ready to try to chase him down next turn. Heralds shot at a unit of Walkers and killed all 3! It's nice when that shooting stuff actually works! I got some Daemonettes in, and pushed them in to his side of the table on one of his objectives.

And then Stupidity struck, and I MINDLESSLY charged the Beastpack with a Soul Grinder. I have no excuse, I was just Bloodthirsty. I killed a dog or two, and he hit and run well away from Fiend range, and I was fucked. I hate being stupid.

Top of 4, and he assaults Horrors and Fiends with a big stretched out assault. Spyders and Hawks rip apart the Daemonettes. Horrors die. Fiends make a good showing for themselves and keep the combat loss reasonable (the Blue Horrors helped too!), and only lose a few wounds to CR. But the damage was done.

Bottom of 4 FW comes on and vector strikes his two remaining bike squads, with high hopes of killing them both. Heralds shoot at Walkers (killing two) and Screamers Slash his DE warriors (troop-clobbering time!). Fatey fails, as Alan's Team USA die answered his lovingly whispered question, "What country do I play for?" with a USA 6, so only 2 bikes were killed from the Vector and my plan failed. Combat was meh and the Beasts HnR out...

Top of 5, his Jetseer leaves the Beasts, joins with full bike squad, and they turbo to the Objective the Horrors had been on. His solo bike turbos to the objective my Daemonettes had been on (actually 2 were alive at this point, Hawks had to hang around to kill them). Beasts did an even bigger multi-assault, being fearless now due to Power from Pain they assaulted a solo Nette the Portal had made, the Fiends, a Grinder, and the Screamers. Alan's Save Dice got hot, and despite dishing out a good number of wounds, I couldn't kill shit. Suck.

Bottom of 5, all I have at this point is Fateweaver trying to Flickering Fire down the Bikes near an Objective. Alan again asks his Team USA Die what country he plays for, and again the question is answered with a USA - 6! Dammit! In combat I again go batshit crazy causing tons of wounds, but his save dice are still super hot (I hate it when someone uses my dice and rolls's like my dice are betraying me! :P ). My only hope at this point was to have the Screamers kill enough Beasts that he can't consolidate back in to melee and free up the Screamers, but it doesn't happen again, and of course he does not Hit and Run.

If the game ends here, we tie Pri, he wins Sec, and wins the game!

I roll it, and the game goes on!

His 3-bike unit backs up and snatches up the relic, stretched out so that he can turbo back to the objective he had been on. We're up against the clock at this point, with a million people watching and sweating on us, so we blew thru the turn quickly. Alan wanted to proclaim the game over at this point, but I protested and asked to be able to do the bottom turn, because there was hope! And that hope was again with the Screamers fighting their way out of combat...

...which they did! Alan's hot save dice betrayed him this turn, I think I did only like 12 wounds, and he failed 8 of them! The Screamers were free, consolidated towards his Bikes, and I had a reasonably good end-game play...

Fatey flew over (unable to get close enough to contest, he just vectored and planned to Flickering Fire). The Screamers moved so that the Horrors could shoot at the unit too, and the Screamers themselves Turbo'd to get on the objective.

If I could kill off the unit, I could win!

Fatey's Vector Strikes did work, as I did 3 wounds, doing 1 bike that didn't matter, and 1 to the Farseer.

Then the Heralds went bat-shit crazy, doing a million wounds which, basically, wiped out the unit!

We tied on Pri (nobody had the Relic), we tied on Sec (we each had 1 objective), and I had Warlord and Firstblood for 2-0 win!

Alan was mildly grumpy, saying, "I feel cheated!" but offered no explanation...Alan if you read this I'd love to know your thoughts!

This was a really fun game, and I have to say it felt really good to pull out a win against someone of Alan's skill! Thanks for the game, Alan! I'm sorry you were upset!

So having had a drink while playing Alan, I had another drink after. Then had a drink during lunchtime, but was too keyed up to going in to game 5 I was feeling no pain...this was a bad thing!

Game 5
Unsurprisingly in this event, I was up against another internet-famous personality, Kenny Boucher and his "Superfriends" Marine/Wolf list (one of many exactly identical lists at the!)

He won the roll, chose to go was clear he wanted his Orbital Bombardment on unbuffed Screamers.

So he deployed the Superfriends, the TFC, and something else...reserving everything else with a lot of outflanking Melta.

I then forgot about the OB and clumped the Screamers up back in the corner where they were out of TFC range (due to Nightfight). I suck.

Luckily I'm lucky, so the OB only did 4 wounds, passed off by the Grim Herald to a Screamer, who only failed one save!

Then I mindlessly shuffled the Fiends forward to be within 12" of his Runepriest (for no reason), and mindlessly shuffled the Screamers to shoot at the Superfriends (like I'm going to do any damage!), and mindlessly shuffled a Grinder nearer a board side to make it easier for his flanking melta...

So he killed the Fiends with the Wolflord and Master; killed a grinder with Melta from the Command Squad, got on a lot of reserves and killed the other Grinder with Melta. Sigh.

So I put the Plaguebearers in to the 5 Marines that had killed the grinder, and mindlessly shuffled the Screamers (without Forewarning due to Runepriest) in to the Command Squad. I did a few wounds, but he of course stuck, and somehow failed his H and R out...Lolz. He also HnR the surviving tactical guys out from the Plagues.

He gets another Tactical in that goes to help clear out the Plagues. The Lord and Master go in to the Screamers. Thunderfire scatters exactly on to his new Tactical, killing all but 2 of them. Hilarious. Screamers hold there own, still winning combat. Shots at Fateweaver are ineffective (he was placed so the Hunters had to move 12" to get LOS, so only Snapshots, so no worries...I'm sure if he'd been grounded the Lord and Master would have gone in to him, but he stayed in the air).

My turn and I'm actually feeling I'm turning this around a bit and have a reasonable least putting up a fight! My Plagues clear out a tactical squad (leaving like 7 plagues vs. 2 tacticals in my 'corner'. New Horrors drop in and along with Fatey clear out another unsupported troop unit. Warpstorm gives me 10 new Daemonettes which I hide behind a hill. Melee happens and I get the Command Squad down to the Apothecary and the Rune Priest (has 1 wound left). I fail a save on a non-Grim Herald and lose him to ID, and a Screamer goes down to the Rune Priest also...I lose combat by 1.....

...and roll Boxcars. Fatey's reroll had already been used on the Grim.

I surrendered (he and his friends were anxious to head out to hopefully beat predicted bad weather). If the Screamers had survived then he'd have to split up the Superfriends to deal with the things I had all over, which would free up the Screamers to go clear out the rest of his (dwindling) troops. I had a slim shot at pulling something out of my ass....but once the Screamers were gone...I had another drink and got comfortably numb and was quite pleased to have gone 3-2 versus some of the meanest competitors in our hobby!

As it turns out, based on competitive ranking, I somehow managed 7th overall! Wow! That's exciting! :)

I had my final drink while waiting for Nayden to finish his 5-hour game vs. Watkins (Sean was playing for 3rd place, but some cagey play by James kept Sean from getting the points he needed).

Big congratulations to Tim, Matt, and Matt! Also congrats to my friend Sean for his 4-1 showing! It's the beard!!

And biggest of all, thanks to Chip for putting all this together, and Mike for providing all his help and support! The ToF guys ran a great event, the terrain was THE BEST I've played on hands down! The venue was so awesome! I mean three times I was like "Hey, I'm hungry when's the next break?" and a waitress showed up and took an order and brought my food to the table! THAT'S the way 40k should be!

The Bloody Marys were damned good, too! :)

Overall, one of the greatest 40k weekends ever. Great games with top-notch players, great food and drinks, great tables, great missions, no negative rules issues or anything! What a great time!

And thanks to Sean and Kurt for good company on the drives there and back!

I sure hope I'm invited again next year! :)

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