Thursday, 12 January 2012

Blog Wars 2 - Conclusions and Reflections

Wow, what a tournament – 3 games played a loss, a draw and a win! I had a really good time, and met a bunch of brilliant people. Overall I think the custom scenarios worked quite well, and I feel having to include a special character was an interesting bonus.
I only really had one niggling issue and that’s with how the Tournament points were worked out. I don’t know whether it was just the nature of the games I played, but the system seemed a bit wonky to me. My fellow blogger the 6th Degree lost 2 games and won 1, a worse overall record than me. However he ended up 4 places higher in the rankings with a TP total of 8 compared to my 5. I understand that Alex was after rewarding close games, and wanted a way to reward people for playing competitively – however I don’t feel this was successfully achieved. I think that some reward should have been given for winning – not just points awarded for killing your opponents stuff – the focus was more on “tabling” than playing – something incredibly hard for my army to do. TP’s being awarded for having more KP/VP than your opponent seems a bit one-sided, for example If I played a game and scored 1725VP but my opponent scored 1726 – he would walk away with the TP and I would have nothing to show for my efforts. I think this should be addressed so that secondary TP’s are awarded for achieving a set number of VP/KP rather than having more than your opponent. This would also give certain armies a chance in scenarios where they are on the back foot from the start (my army in capture and control for example) This is only a minor issue and not one that detracted from my enjoyment from the day – but it is something I hope can be addressed for Blog Wars 3.

As far as my list is concerned, I certainly learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I LOVED my Dreadnaught’s, and would like to give a huge word of thanks to Chris for his suggestion about taking Psyfledreds. They were awesome for me, and in most games easily made back their points in taking out enemy transports or tanks. The Paladins, unsurprisingly were also awesome! I don’t think I played them as aggressively as I could have done – and this tournament certainly taught me not to be afraid of shoving them down my opponent’s throat. They’re incredibly tough and hard hitting and I think were easily the MVP’s in all three of my games. Draigo was certainly epic – his destruction of the DE Wyches in my first game secured his place in my heart and I don’t think any other GK special character even comes close to him in terms of fluff or on-table prowess. I don’t think the Vindicaire was a good inclusion, I wanted to use my Scope conversion, but I just don’t feel he had enough impact. Although I did get a few results from him – blasting a dark lance and taking out melta-marines – I think the 145 points could easily be better spent. In the future I think I’ll invest those points in an Inquisitor and a henchmen Warband. This gives a more versatile option, and also I can have a Chimera for mobility and contesting TQ’s or Objectives.
I think I’ll run a very similar list if I do end up going to BW3 – I don’t want to play the usual Razorback Spam that every other GK tournament lists consists of. Overall I'm really happy with how it played out, and considering this was my first "proper" competition I'm over the moon to have come 16/22 - not last!!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Blog Wars 2 - Game Three

Game 3: Grey Knights vs Blood Angels + Dante (again) (Dave Crawford - Friend of From the Fang)

Another game, another Blood Angels list! considering the wide array of armies on show in the tournament I was disappointed to be facing more Blood Angels with the same special character - I'd like to have had a go at one of the 'Nids, Guard or Ork lists. However as I set up, I realised this list would play totally differently from the previous list and Dave seemed like a really fun opponent to play. We were both out of contention at this point, so the game was more relaxed and friendly than a typical tournament game and we both just had a laugh.
The third scenario was a custom scenario with 5 objective markers - 2 in the "attackers" deployment area and 3 in the "defenders" - The Special Character counted for 2 points if claiming an objective.

I won the roll-off and decided on being the defender - I played a pretty sneaky game by using Draigo's Grand Strategy to give my two Strike Squads and a Dred Outflanking. With the Paladins deepstriking all that was set up on the board was my assassin and my other Dred! This was quite a risky strategy, as i could easily be taken out, and if i rolled badly for reserves id be left coming in piecemeal while my opponent could concentrate fire. However I think it paid off and the game was probably the best tactical game i played all tournament.

The first couple of turns I was basically plinking with my assassin and my Dred – I managed to immobilise one of his dreadnaughts and kill a couple of marines. He advanced two squads of assault marines down my left hand flank, with a squad of scouts taking cover on the roof of an abandoned church in the SW corner, next to the objective. Dante Arrived with his retinue in the SouthEast corner, taking out my assassin, and getting in combat with my Dred – luckily the plucky Dred managed to survive and even bashed a marine!
I rolled for reserves and received my two strike squads – the first flanking from the east and the second from the west. The eastern reserves arrived at the very north of the table, in my opponents deployment zone – ready to take the objective there, the western squad arrived to bolster my defences in an attempt to claim the objective being contested by Dante. The two squads of marines by the church split up, with one going to intercept my strike squad in the north, and the other camping on the objective in the South.
Dante continued to struggle in combat with my Drednaught and the strike squad disembarked, while their Rhino moved to claim the objective in the centre of my deployment zone.

My next Reserve roll brought on one squad of Paladins+Draigo and my remaining Dred – leaving only one squad left still to come. The Paladins landed between the combat in my deployment zone and one of my opponents Dred’s – My Dred came on the Eastern Flank near the northernmost objective. After some successful Dred on Dred Shooting (My Dred Popping his!) My Paladins began advancing towards Dante in the hope of clearing him off the objective. In retaliation to my outflanking attack, my opponents remaining Dred preceded to pop my own in equally dramatic fashion lol Dante finally crushed the Dred he was fighting and consolidated towards the Strike squad claiming my objective. The table was divided on turn 4 with me controlling the two northernmost objectives, contesting the SW objective, holding the S Objective and contesting the SE objective.
As we went to turn 5 and my final squad of Paladins arrived I felt fairly confident about taking the match fairly easily – however things are always unpredictable. Draigo landed on the Western Flank and took out the marines contesting the objective – however the Scouts proved a more difficult task, with one pesky scout hiding behind a chimney being impossible to shift. Dante’s squad tore through the squad on my SE objective and as a special character claimed it for 2 points. As Draigo was stranded contesting an objective (stupid scouts) I couldn’t get a 2 point claim and the game ended very close! I think it ended 3-2 to me, with a minor victory in VP’s.

This was probably the most fun game to play, and was very story-like with lots of twists and action throughout. If only I’d have been able to kill the one remaining scout I’d have ended the game 5-2 controlling 4 of 5 objectives.

Blog Wars 2 - Game Two

Game 2: Grey Knights vs Blood Angels + Dante (list) (Yeti Lover from Faulty Dice)

Blood Angels…..bloody, bloody Blood Angels! I have the most experience playing against Blood Angels, after several hard fought battles against David Cameron (not that one) and I can honestly say I don’t like them! Not one bit! Grey Knights excel in mid-range and although they can deal a lot of damage in combat, they’re not really built for it. Blood Angels on the other hand are custom made fist-to-the-face combat monsters! And can rip through a squad of terminators in a single charge. I wasn’t looking forward to the inevitable close combat phase but I was optimistic that I could shoot enough marines to give myself a chance

The Scenario for this game was capture and control – TP’s being awarded for controlling table quarters and having more VP’s than your opponent.

I started this game in the far left corner of my deployment – castling the two Dreadnaughts, the Assassin and the two transports in the hope of laying down suppressing fire on the advancing Blood Angels – I left Draigo and the Paladins in reserve, so that I could deep strike them to contest or claim TQ’s when needed. I managed to inflict a fair few casualties to the assault marine squads and Devastators before Dante and his Sanguinary Guard literally dropped on my doorstep In the third turn! The strike squads took out a few marines; however Dante ripped a hole through my army – One Dred and a Strike Squad + Rhino Down! This did leave a lot of the Blood Angels forces concentrated in the left hand corner, and allowed my surviving rhino to head over to the right side of the board and contest the TQ there. Also, my Dred advanced up the table taking pot-shots at anything that looked scary!

Once the Paladins arrived the game started turning in my favour – with Draigos squad virtually single handily taking out both squads of Sanguinary guard (Dante had a lucky escape thanks to hit and run, otherwise he would have been toast!) However after monstering through most of the Blood Angels force Draigo was taken out by bolter fire!! Two shots, Two Wounds, Two Failed 2+ Invuns – SNAKE EYES!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I was so unhappy Draigo was killed, he’d been awesome all game and didn’t deserve to be torn down by Bolter fire.
After three fairly frantic turns for both sides the game down to a couple of turns of claiming objectives – I think the Blood Angels MVP has to be the “lubed-up Flamer Guy” who, after surviving Combat with Draigo, two rounds of Heavy Bolter Fire and Several shots from Stormbolters – survived, on his own, to claim a TQ for my opponent – I just couldn’t touch him! In the end I think the result was 2-2 on TQ’s (the Scouts in the SW and Flamer guy in the NW vs My Strike Squad SE and 1 squad of Paladins NE) with a minor victory in VP for me.
Again a really fun game and a totally different experience to the usual Blood Angel list I’ve faced. I think both of us played well, and the game could easily have been a victory for the Blood Angels or the Grey Knights – close call! I think a draw was a deserved result in this matchup

Blog Wars 2 - Game One

Game 1: Grey Knights vs Dark Eldar + Duke Sliscus  (Kabalite from Sons of Sanguinius)
Lining up against Kabalite and his Reaver/Ravager heavy Dark Eldar was not the ideal start to the tournament – especially after listening to the 6th degree for the whole drive down to Mansfield complaining about how he was “tabled by Dark Eldar in two turns”
Scenario One was basically Annihilation – with Tournament points awarded for having more Kill Points and more Victory Points than your opponent.  A Special Character Kill would net you 2 TP’s

Needless to say I lost, multiple dark lances and melta weapons, combined with the sheer number of shots put out in the shooting phase left my army in pieces.  As I said earlier since I’m doing this months after the tournament I can’t give a play by play account but I’ll try and highlight the notable events and turning points of the match:
Early on I sat in my deployment zone and sniped his lines. The dreadnaughts Immobilised one Ravager and popped the Dark Lance off another – WINNING! I left the Paladins in reserve, hoping to Deepstrike close to his lines and pop those papier mache transports with Psycannon fire. In return, I lost both my transports (Ouch!) and one TL Assault cannon from the Dred on my Right flank. I decided to push up the table in my next couple of  turns, with the initial plan of getting close to reduce the amount of shots I was taking – BAD IDEA! The Reavers “gangsta drive-by” on my left side strike squad left no survivors with every marine failing their 3+ saves! My right didn’t fair much better, with a Dark Lance finishing off my already damaged Dred and the remaining strike squad torn apart by Venom fire (again no marines passed a save) I was pretty shocked that out of 10 saves of a 3+ not one passed! But that’s the game, sometimes the dice hate your face!
In the 4th turn (I think) my paladin squads turned up and I managed to blow a fairly large hole in Kabalite’s army – the resilience and combined fire of the Paladins proved a rather hard obstacle to shift for the Eldar. I smashed the Duke’s transport and totalled his retinue – leaving the Duke standing alone in wreckage. The Reaver squads were whittled down and I think two squads of witches bit the dust! However, as the Paladins were the only thing left of my army, The Eldar could concentrate their fire and take them down by sheer number of shots. On the DE final turn I had Draigo (reduced to one wound!) within charge distance of a squad of witches, naturally hesitant Kabalite was unsure of whether to go for broke and try and take down Draigo for the bonus 2 TP.
In the end he charged in and the result didn’t exactly go as expected. 5 Wyches on the charge = no wounds!!!! Draigo, the last man standing fought back, killed 3 of the Xeno scum won the combat and caused the Wyches to flee! Although I’d lost the match (fairly close on Kill points but badly on Victory points) this last victory by Draigo made up for the defeat. This game was a lot closer than I expected it to be and a lot of fun!

Long time no blog - Blog Wars 2 aftermath + more!

So it’s been a while! (3rd December last year!) but I’ve finally got back to my blog to give an update (albeit quite a sketchy update – memory has failed somewhat) of my exploits in my first tournament Blog Wars 2

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of the actual matches I just want to congratulate Alex from From the Fang - I had an awesome time at an incredibly fun and well organised event. I think Alex has managed to balance the competitive side of gaming with the more social side in a way that’s quite hard to achieve in a tournament setting.

Also congrats to my good friend the 6th degree from Weemen who finished higher up the table than me (curses!) but also managed to bag the best painted army award, despite painting in a zombie-like state every night on the run up to the weekend. So here goes with the battle reports: