Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Connecticon 2014!

Fresh back from a weekend of geekery! Cosplay, 40k, Malifaux, and rage-quits!

No, I didn't play Deathwing....silly! I let a friend borrow that termie, set him on the dash while I programmed the GPS, and thought it looked cool...so...yeah! :)

Took a half day off work on Friday, drove thru horrible traffic taking two and a half hours to make the one hour drive, got to the venue, said hi, and went to the Convention Center to get my badge...

It was really disappointing to have the gaming in a separate place. I really enjoy the costumes and the eye-candy and the overall geekery. Hopefully Brendan's feedback (he's in charge of tabletop gaming, but got no say in where the tabletop gaming was going to be) to the Con higher-ups will get them to change it back for next year!

I took Daemons, as usually. This event was 2000 points, you could have two total detachments, could not ally with your own faction, but could have multiple Combined Arms Detachments. I took the following:

FateweaverHerald of Tzeentch (Disc, Lvl 3, Exalted Reward)
Herald of Tzeentch (Disc, Lvl 3, Exalted Reward)
Herald of Tzeentch (Disc, Lvl 3)
11 Horrors11 Horrors8 Screamers8 Screamers7 Screamers
Belakor11 Horrors3 Nurglings
The intent is basically same old screamerstar, but multiple layers of protection on multiple screamer units (cursed earth, grimoire, shrouding and invis from belakor) to multiply the threat and maintain a high level of survivability while at the same time having enough power dice to effectively summon as needed and/or take the occasional potshot with some psychic shooting attacks (shriek, flame breath, etc).

My first game was versus a blog reader, Jesse. Jesse embarrassed me greatly by telling me what a big fan of Blood, Skulls and Fire he is and taking my picture! His army was terrifying though...

Chapter Master (Smashfucker!)
Gravgun Bike unit
3 units in Pods
3 in Rhinos
2 LotD squads
and 2 Hunters

So many Marines, going wherever they want. So many OS vehicles. Sigh. The mission combined Relic with 4 player-placed objectives (Relic being worth 5 pts, Objectives worth 3) along with First Blood, Warlord, Linebreaker.

He was worried about my list, but I was just as worried about his. So much MSU goodness, TFC to kill my troops, Hunters to keep Belakor and Fatey honest...interesting.

Apparently the trick to beating folks that have better lists and play better than you is to just roll really really well, though!

Deployment viewed from behind the right of my line. There's an objective up in the corner of that ruin under the shadow.

I got two Cursed Earth's, which is the only power I really care about rolling. The third herald went Divination. I wanted Prescience. Screamers need the help!

I won the roll, deployed first, and chose to go first. I zipped forward, FMC hiding at mid-table from his Hunters, Grim'd Screamers getting the Relic, Invis Screamers turbo'd in front of them. Third screamer unit strung out to keep in Shrouding range (which he blocked anyway) and threaten Rhinos that moved to my left. I summoned a new Tzeentch Herald who rolled Incursion and Possession, and for no reason at all put him where he could be easily killed.

Start of his first turn. Note the Herald with the giant bulls-eye on his head standing in the middle of nowhere...I'm so bad!

So Jesse wastes no time in killing him. He drops his two pods near my objectives. One squad kills the new herald, the other starts working on horrors. His bikes don't want to get tied up with invisible screamers, so hang back. Rhinos push up. Chapter Master tries to take out some Screamers with an Orbital Bombardment, but it scatters and he kills 4 guys from a combat squad. This set the tone for the rest of the game, really...stupidly bad dice for him, stupidly good for me. Yeah, Stupidhammer!

My second turn I tried to surround a Rhino on my right with Screamers to wreck it and kill the guys inside, taking pressure off one of my objectives. Grim'd Screamers handed off the Relic to the Nurglings the dropped in on Cursed Earth, then went after the pod and combat squad that had killed my new Herald. On my left some Screamers went after the combat squad that was picking on my Horrors. I also summoned in a unit of Bloodcrushers at midtable. I really like being able so summon just the right thing to help with the matchup...if there's anything that Space Marine Combat Squads hate it's Bloodcrushers! Fatey flew off the table. Belakor went to my right, staying near the Cursed Earth guy and out of LOS of the Hunters.

The combat squad fights worked out just right, I left one marine alive tied in combat so I couldn't get shot. Sadly the Rhino fight I was braindead and used Lamprey bite, getting several penetrating hits and exploding the Rhino so the guys inside were fine. Someone smart would have used regular bites, which...with Prescience on them like I had...would very likely have glanced it to death with no chance for explode and really would have helped my midgame. But I'm not someone smart.

Jesse's third pod came in, and one of his Legion, but the other Legion refused to participate. The Legion dropped in on my left objective, while the Pod tried to land to support and threaten relic, but scattered a bit and landed right next to the Crushers.

His bikes got on the unbuffed screamers and wiped them out, despite my hot saves. Speaking of hot saves, he shot the Relic-bearing Nurglings with the TFC at S6. I'd forgotten the TFC, you see. He did eight S6 wounds, by all rights he should have wiped the Nurglings...instead Tzeentch smiled and I passed 7 of 8 4+ saves and giggled. The rest of my dice this turn were just as hot, and he only managed to kill the Screamers with his Bikes when the Chapter Master stepped in and showed his boys how to swing, doubling out the remainder.

During my third turn I think. Screamers have finished killing Marines, ready for the Legion. Fatey just Vectored that lonely guy. Crushers all ready to Crush. Pink Screamers in the distance ready to assault the bikes.

So top of 3, I'm down a Screamer unit but have some strength around the Relic and am clinging on to two objectives. Fatey flies in on my left, and Vector Strikes the sole survivor from the Orbital Bombardment mishap, killing him. The Screamers on the left there had finished off the squad from the Pod and moved to eat the Legion. The Crushers charged the combat squad from the pod next to them. Nurglings and Horrors moved in to the terrain middle of my deploy to play patty-cake with the Relic. I came to the realization (far too late, of course) that the TFC having bottom turn was going to make it extremely unlikely that I'd end the game holding the Relic and got sad...my whole plan was to hold the relic and my two objectives and not care about his side of the table at all! Sigh. I Glided Belakor then to help support my right objective, and then mindlessly (as usual) charged the Grim'd Screamers in to the bike squad (I needed to keep them from eating thru my troops)...getting in to the bikes and Chapter Master was not such a bad idea, it was not multi-assaulting in to the combat squad from the Rhino the other Screamers had exploded, leaving them free to do ugly things that was bad. Horrible play! I did manage to summon some Bloodletters at mid-table to help support the Relic. Also seeing what was coming, I put Invisible on the Horrors near Belakor, on my right objective.

The Crushers of course crushed the marines from the pod. Screamers on my left and the Legion began a battle of attrition. Screamers on his Bikes did little as Smashfucker tanked it all. Oh well!

Pink Screamers, all set up for the combined assault, and I didn't do it. I have no idea why!

Things started moving quickly now. On my right objective he pushed in the combat squad from the exploded rhino...the squad I should have assaulted with the Grim'd Screamers...and the last Legion came in back there as well! Another Rhino disabled itself on the wall at mid-table. The guys got out and shot at the Crushers...along with several other long range boltgun shots, killing one and wounding others. A Hunter began zipping down my left (where Fatey was) along with an empty Rhino (empty, but Objective Secured!). Yet another combat squad came out of somewhere and started pushing around the left side of the middle LOS blocker. So many units!

He shot the TFC in S5 Ignore Cover mode at the Nurglings with the Relic, leaving only one base with 2 wounds left. The Legion shooting at Horrors was minimized by Invis, as was the damage when the Tactical squad assaulted them, I lost about half the Horrors total. Screamers on my Left finished off the Legion. Bikes and Screamers giggled at each other.

Legion moving in to finish off the Horrors!

Top of 4, and I'm feeling quite desperate. On my left, Screamers move to kill the OS Rhino. Fatey glides behind ruin-wall mostly safe from shooting and sits on an objective. Bloodcrushers move to get in position to pick up relic next turn. Bloodletters move to kill the combat squad that came out of the immobile Rhino. Belakor moves to assault the combat squad that's eating my Horrors. Grim failed, even with reroll. Uhoh! I summon some Daemonettes in a vain attempt to fight him off an objective and get to the TFC!

Rhino on my left dies, so I'm feeling half-way decent about that objective. Bloodletters wipe the combat squad. Belakor wipes another combat squad. Screamers breathe sigh of relief as Chapter Master wiffs, getting only one hit and I made that save.

Bottom of 4, Jesse pulls off a great trick, and his the Hunter on my left move up in to the ruins where Fatey is sitting on objective to contest it! He finishes off the Horrors at mid-table and the Nurglings, leaving the relic unheld by anyone.

Bloodcrusher clings to the Relic while Bloodletters want to eat more Marines! Fatey sitting on an Objective thinking he's cool...

At this point we're told there's only 10 minutes and this has to be our last turn. If the game ended here Jesse wins, as I've got one objective and he has two (assuming he'd kill the relic-bearer bottom of 4). I talk Jesse in to doing a round 5, as my whole game plan going forward requires turn 5. He of course could have said no, but he's an awesome guy so agreed that a turn 4 end would suck, so we play on.

His Legion shoot up and assault the last of my Horrors on the right objective as Belakor helplessly watches. Invisible helps, but I'm wittled down some more. Bikes actually take wounds (I think he'd LOS'd to save last wound on Chapter Master?), and only the CM is left. He kills a few Screamers but no damage from Instability. Note here that a smart player would have challenged the CM with a Herald right away so the rest of the Screamer's attacks would have ground down the bikes faster..but I'm not a smart player apparently. Just a lucky one...

So top of 5, Crushers pick up relic and spread out. I'm gambling the three wound guy can live thru the TFC. Bloodletters kill the last combat squad on my side of the table. Portal goes down, makes daemonettes. They run forever and get within range to contest the objectve on his part of the table. There are only 4 of them, but at least it's pressure. The other Daemonettes move up as well, though they are not OS so are worthless. Screamers on my left turbo to get Linebreaker. Belakor assaults the Legion.

And the dice start to get REALLY stupid in my favor...Fatey assaults the Hunter next to him, and with one hit explodes it. Belakor kills all but 2 Legion, and those Legion kill all but two Horrors.

And Jesse, a gifted player, calmly turbo's the immobilized rhino that I'd forgotten about over to my bottom right objective (where the Legion are)....he'd fixed it the turn before and I ignored it! His Librarian and combat squad move to assault my 4 lonely daemonettes.

The Legion finish off the last two Horrors, giving his Rhino that Objective (despite Belakor standing on it!).

And more stupid dice. Everything shoots at the Bloodcrushers, one crusher with one wound survives holding the relic! His Librarian assaults the Daemonettes fine. The Combat Squad need 2" through terrain, and he rolls snake-eyes and fails the charge. Daemonettes live thru the Librarian, and contest that objective.

Game ends.

Jesse had two objectives, first blood, and linebreaker for 8.

I had one objective, relic, and linebreaker for 9.

If ever there was a game I won because I'm a lucky son of a bitch, this is it!

But really, Jesse won that game. It should have ended on 4 where he'd have 2 obj, FB, and LB for 8, and me 1 obj for 3. Going on to turn 5 was certainly not an auto-lose for him, but stopping on turn 4 was an auto-win for him. Big props to him for playing on! And even bigger for taking the ridiculous dice in stride and with a smile!

And here all my pictures stopped. I'd had Pandora playing thru the game with Jesse, and battery died. :(

Second game was versus a super fun guy that I love to meet at tourneys, Jared Friedman! Jared and I played at Templecon a few months ago, where a late-game Fatey reroll on Hallucinate helped me snatch victory from defeat, and he was anxious for some payback!

His list was the same, I believe. Ethereal, Buff Commander, Broadside unit loaded with Missile Drones, 2 Riptides (Ion, Fusion, Skyfire, Intercept), Skyray, Sniper Drones, some Fire Warriors, some Pathfinders, a Kroot unit...and Eldar allies to be a Farseer on bike, jetbike unit, and a Wraithknight.

The mission this time was combined Scouring (which was distilled down to be pre-placed pre-pointed objectives of different value) along with Kill Points. I won the roll and chose to go first...I turbo'd to corners with two units of Screamers...along with a freshly summoned unit of 3 (Thanks for the loan, Amir!). I wiped a Pathfinder unit for First Blood, and another unit tried really hard to kill Ethereal for the extra points by hitting the unit he was in but landing so that he was the closest model. He took one wound, but not enough. Grim'd screamers landed so the Broadsides would be easy charge next turn. Belakor actually glided, hiding behind a LOS blocker, but threatening sniper team, riptides, and center table.

Jared's return fire was imposing. One Screamer unit was reduced to one wound. A Herald I'd summoned was shredded by missiles...too bad, he had Possession, and everyone loves a free Greater Daemon! The Snipers had gone to ground from all the Slash Attacks (I think I did something like 15 wounds with hot Slash dice!) so the guys on that side of the table had 4 Screamers left...and the freshly summoned unit had 2 whole models left! He was indecisive with his Wraithknight, and ended up putting him at table center...which is exactly where I wanted him!

Because that let me zip Belakor next to him, and get Belakor in range of Cursed Earth Herald who was going in to assault the Broadsides with the Grim'd Screamer unit! That was a well-arranged assault...I don't do that often...where I put an I3 guy on the Commander so all the Lamprey Bites at I4 had to go on Drones and Broadsides. I think I wiped all the drones, one broadside, and did one wound to another. Wraithknight did nothing to Belakor and was left with one wound left! Stubborn Broadsides H&R out. I also summoned another unit of Screamers!

He did some more painful shooting on turn 2, with a bit of a focus on Horrors. Going to ground in terrain kept them alive, and they were already where I wanted them anyway. I lost a few more Screamers, but had enough left to really keep on pressure.

Top of 3 I assaulted the Broadsides again. Some screamers assaulted the Skyray, Belakor assaulted the Jetbikes with Farseer. Some other Screamers did some Slash Attacks to Firewarriors.

My memory here gets fuzzy, skip ahead to end of turn 4. I had summoned some Flamers to kill his outflanking Kroot...they didn't scatter and got 30 hits. Hilarious. (To me, at least. Jared was surely not amused!). I got the Skyray after much plinking with Lamprey Bites. He ground down Screamer units but I finished off the Commander and Broadsides, got the big Grim'd unit in to Firewarriors, and that was all she wrote. I had a 4, 3, and 2 point objective. He had a 1, 3, and 2. But I was up a ton on Kill Points, LB, and FB. I ended up winning something like 18 to 10, I think.

Sadly we only got through turn 4. I was super late to start the game (ran off to get lunch after a late finish game one), and my army plays slow as hell. I don't know if turn 5 would have been any better for him, but there were enough small units left he had a good chance to make up a lot of points, while I was pretty much out of easy things to kill. Sorry for being slow, Jared!!

Then on to round 3! I was paired versus a gentleman with an extremely efficient and frightening list: Autarch, 6 Jetbike units, 3 Wraithknights, 3 units of six Hawks; and a second combined arms detachment: Spiritseer, 2 Jetbike units, a Wraithknight, and 2 units of six Hawks.

The mission was objectives, Vanguard deployment. I won the roll, deployed, and chose to have him go first. I couldn't let all those bikes get the bottom turn!

He of course deployed Knights and everything else was in reserve. He took a few Knight shots, and handed turn to me. I moved up to mid table aggresively, with good Cursed Earth and Shrouded coverage. I dangled some Horrors out to tempt some Wraithknights to assault them so Belakor could kill them. I cast Invisible on them with Belakor, and got Perils. Rolled a 1. Fatey-fix-it reroll was another 1. An 11 for the Ldr test. Bye Belakor. Still, things aren't hopeless. Having bottom turn with Screamers and ability to summon is doable!

He gets in all his Hawks. They blow up lots of Horrors, but don't wipe out anything. One Knight assaults some Screamers at mid-table, we do nothing to each other.

Bottom of 2, I summon Flamers to kill Hawks, move to vector strike more hawks with grim'd Screamers and use third screamer unit to TRY to kill the WK that has me locked up at mid-table.

Then during the shooting phase while trying to do number of template hits from flamers, the ugliness got overwhelming for me and I quit.

Starting during deployment there was constant arguing. Every movement and measure seemed to be questioned. Every action had to be verified by looking up the rule. It was not fun. So, I gave him the win and put my models away. I'm not proud of doing it, but it was definitely the more fun thing to do.

So I ended up playing Malifaux! In fact, I played more games of Malifaux at the 40k GT than I played of 40k!

Which is great, because Malifaux is a far better game!

So, sorry for the abrupt ending there, but it is what it is! A huge thanks to Jared and Jesse for super games of 40k! Big thanks for Brendan for putting on another fine tournament, and a bigger thanks for the awesome games of Malifaux!

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