BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - TOURNAMENT 4

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So, the Rules of Engagement league is not yet over, but due to scheduling conflicts, we had the tournament early.

The format was 1500 points, with 75 minute games. Terrain was pre-placed, and deployment was always the same across every table for any particular round. Also, this time, the missions we played were secret. Before each game, we were handed little pink slips of paper with the name of our mission on it. In the interest of fairness, there were only two missions per round (so every game in a given round had the same combination of objectives).

While the upgrade from 1000 to 1250 was easy enough, I was still on the fence for what to do for the final, 1500 point stretch of the league. I decided to use this time to try out a new "Punchy PCS" idea I had, to see if it would be competitive enough for the last couple of games. My list was...

CCS, Master of Ordnance, lascannon, regimental standard

Plasma stormies
Plasma stormies

PCS, power fist, commissar with power fist
21-dude power blob with 2x melta
21-dude power blob with 2x melta

PCS, power fist, commissar with power fist
21-dude power blob with 2x melta
21-dude power blob with 2x melta
Autocannon HWS
Autocannon HWS
Autocannon HWS

Basically, this takes the list I've been playing with for the past couple of months and returns it slightly to my roots. Instead of "meltaguns" in the form of priests, I'm using "plasma guns" in the form of twice as many power fists.


GAME 1

The tournament started with me being paired off against the player who I played last game. This time, though, he brought his shooty gunline marine army instead of his new chaos dudes. His list was...

Chapter master
2x 10-man squad of las-plas marines
3 las-missile launcher dreadnoughts
lascannon land raider

Deployment was "table corners" (you can tell from the below picture exactly where my deployment zone is...). My special mission was to get at least two units in my opponent's deployment zone, with a secondary of holding onto one of his objectives.

My opponent got the first turn, and I failed to seize.

The game started will with only light casualties against my forces with a bottom of 1 that saw my CCS pen one of the whirlwinds with its lascannon and the MoO scatter off and pen the other. Unfortunately, low rolling only puts a stunned and immobilized down. Meanwhile, my opponent basically sticks to his gunline and autocannons cause sporadic damage, immobilizing and ripping off weapons of dreadnoughts (including a MoO shot that hit DEAD ON a dread, but couldn't roll a 3 on two dice).

My stormies arrived late, and scattered badly, seeing them do no real damage, and with one of them mishapping badly...

Towards the end of the game, my blob meltaguns got into range and finished off the dreadnoughts. Also, there was a big ruckus in the middle, which allowed for me to try out my punchy PCSs.

In the end, my rolling was rather poor, and when time was called at the end of turn 4, he still had his chapter master left.

It turned out that my opponent had the mission where he had to blow up my objectives, which he clearly failed, but he had his secondary of holding one of his objectives.

It also turned out, as I discovered after the fact, that the deployment type has a 25.5" zone between them. In a game that only lasts until turn 4, you basically had to run STRAIGHT at your opponent's deployment zone, and not get hampered by poor run rolling, terrain, pinning (which happened to one of my squads), or stopping to shoot at stuff. As such, I had several units that were ALMOST in my opponent's deployment zone, but not actually IN it.

It then came down to secondaries, which my opponent easily had. I was then informed that my close combat in the middle meant that I did NOT control one of my opponent's objectives because the controlling unit was in close combat. A couple other people corroborated this.

... and of course, they were wrong. Had the ruling been followed correctly, we would have tied for the mission, and I would have won by the tie-breaker of KP. I'll count this game as a victory on my tally board, but for the purposes of the tournament, it put me in the loser's bracket.


GAME 2

In between games 1 and 2, we totally got free quesadillas! Booyah!

While munching away, my wife arrived with a present. I had just recently purchased some new Koplow dice, and they had arrived in the mail after I'd left. Since I've started including heavy weapons a month and a half ago, I'd fired my autocannons 102 times at AV10/11, and 36 times at AV12, for not a SINGLE vehicle destroyed result. With some birthday monies, I bought some new dice based on suggestions from dakkanaughts. In any case, they arrived, and were oggled between bites of cheezy steak deliciousness.

Game 2 was up against El Cheezus and his new hybrid list.

Plasma CCS

melta stormies, chimera
melta stormies, chimera

flamer PCS
21-dude power blob
Melta PCS
41-dude power blob

vendetta
vendetta

hydra
hydra

Terrain on this board was basically one big hill in the middle with vehicles cropped in on the side. I rolled for first turn and greedily took it. Both of us deployed with a lot of infantry in the middle with an extra blob for me on the left, with my opponent plopping his hydras over there and shifting his valkyries in that general direction.

My secret mission was to assassinate my opponent's CCS, but my hand was given away by the TO asking people how many HQ choices they had.

The game started with giving my new bling-dice a roll. I use BiD on some autocannons against a vendetta. The order roll comes up a 7. I nearly cried.

The twin-linked autocannons gave me a blissfully average 5 hits for a likewise wonderfully expected glance and a pen. My opponent fails his scout-move SMF saves on both. The glance stuns it, while the pen WRECKS THE VEHICLE!!!.

The horrible, horrible turn 1 bloodbath continues with the CCSs twin-linked lascannon immobilizing-for-wrecking the other vendetta, a non-BiD autocannon wrecking one hydra, while the other immobilized the other, which was destroyed the next turn by power blob meltaguns (it has been deployed way out on a wing).

The rest of the game focused on the two of us jockeying for position on the hill with a combined ~140 guardsmen. That and the fight on the left. After getting flamered a bit by the PCS that fell out of the wrecked vendetta, my power blob charged in and wiped them out, with the punchy PCS going for the chimera. While the blob did its job, the Punchy PCS fought an uphill battle, only getting one hit on a 6, which failed to roll above a 3.

In return, he flamered my PCS and then charged everything with his own power blob.

At the bottom of 4, his stormies showed up and his infantry closed in:

Not pictured are the 50+ infantry models of my opponent just to the left of the shot.

Anyways, this was the bottom of 3, and once again, time was out. My stormies hadn't even arrived yet, and we were JUST about to have the huge infantry fight in the middle, but to no avail. The power blob fight on the left hadn't even resolved itself.

It turned out that my opponent's mission was basically to take one of my objectives. After a 3-turn game, that wasn't going to happen. Likewise, the only way I could have possibly achieved my primary was if I'd ONLY shot at the CCS, but that might have made things much worse. In either case, the game ending so early definitely cramped both of our styles.

In the end, we both had our secondaries, and, due to the turn 1 turkey shoot, I'd won on KP.


GAME 3

Playing so many games SO fast is definitely stressful. During this tournament, I devised a new way of deploying power blobs to get them on the field faster and more orderly, while I also brought a "display" board for my guardsmen.

Needless to say, this DRASTICALLY cut down on time, especially in take-down.

Game 3 saw me against our outflanking eldar player.

Autarch

3 avengers in wave serpents

2 fire dragons in wave serpents

2x2 war walkers with starcannons

As is his coustom, he gave me first turn and left his forces all-off.

The problem, though, was that the mission type was dawn of war. This meant that instead of deploying my troops and THEN starting the game timer, the game timer was started and only then was I able to deploy.

My mission this game was to control more objectives than my opponent. Thankfully, my opponent would give me 2 or 3 turns of movement to reach them before I had to start dealing with casualties. In any case, the field looked sparse at the start of the game.

Note that this picture was taken before I'd finished actually deploying those autocannons on the left.

In any case, the game began with Daxos valiantly storming the ramparts and preparing to seize the long-awaited shrine of St. Eusebius.

Followed by a big wave of guardsmen.

The first two turns were me running forward against an empty table. The two of my own objectives were easy to secure (in part due to having deployed basically right on them), while I was able to make it up into the ruins (where the other two were), before the onslaught began.

Turn two sees him turn on his autarch bonus and miraculously fail to roll a 3 or better with all but ONE of his units. At least they're not coming in piecemeal.

Meanwhile, the only unit that makes it in is some war walkers, who immediately tie up a blob. I then send one of my punchy PCSs in to bail them out.

COMICALLY poor rolling with all involved sees virtually no damage done whatsoever with only a couple guardsmen killed on the first turn from the charge and one war walker killed on the last turn with an immobilized-made-wrecked result.

Meanwhile, the rest of his army showed up on turn 3, and sort of skirted around everything, only killing some ill-fated stormies. The game timed out at the end of 5, with very little damage done to either side (though I did manage to wreck a wave serpent with autocannons).

It turned out that my opponent's mission was table quarters. He had a scoring unit in every single quarter, but with my dominating command of the center of the board, so did I. In the end, I held all 4 objectives, netting me the clear win in this game.


GAME 4

At this point, my record was 2-1, and was the winner of the loser's bracket, which put me against a person with a record of 3-0, the winner of the winner's bracket.

This game was, unsurprisingly, against our most veteran player, who has been giving deathwing a try.

Belial

4 groups of 5 termies (with assorted weapons)

squad of bikes with homing beacon
attack bike

speeder
rifleman dread

My mission this game was to bring my opponent's model count to less than 25% (only infantry counted). Deployment was once again dawn of war, except with diagonal deployment zones. I took first turn, and my opponent started nearly all-off, except for one squad of terminators. And then my opponent seized the initiative.

First turn once again saw me soak up a huge amount of time with being forced to deploy AFTER the timer was started.

My opponent then used turn 2 to bring in basically everything, except for one squad of termies that didn't make it in.

Then, after three games of absenteeism, deepstrike mishaps, and crappy rolling, my stormies finally show up on time, on target, and pissed off.

Plasma death does some pretty serious casualties while my huge mass of troops moved forward. My autocannons had spent turn 1 making miraculous cover saves, only to have used up all their luck, doing nothing in return, and then getting wiped away by my opponent's vehicle corps.

Turn 3 saw my opponent swatting away my stormies, while my punchy PCS once again rolled incredibly suck-tastically, failing to put a single wound on an attack bike. Likewise, I couldn't roll high enough on difficult terrain checks in order to get into close combat.

My opponent then started moving on turn 4

Only to discover that the time had already run out.

Once again, because the game went only to turn 3 (and because my opponent didn't even show up until turn 2, and I had to walk on), casualties were so minimal that I wasn't able to achieve my primary. Likewise, my opponent's mission revolved around mass carnage, and fell way short. I was able to get my secondary, though, and my opponent didn't.


FINAL RESULTS

In the end, my tournament record was 3-1, as was the person I played against in round 4. For reasons that were not clearly explained to me, said opponent was awarded first place, and I snagged second.

- I think this really shows how tournaments are not regular games of 40k. Only once did I have a game go past turn 3, and that was with MAD speed-deployment skills. An army that relies on out-lasting an opponent simply can not compete in a world where you only play a couple of turns. The only reason I did so well was that the time limit also seriously screwed up my opponents.

I think until I can actually run a tournament list, I'll pass on tournament play for the time being.

- It seems to be a tradition for me, that whenever I introduce something new into my lists, it does WAY more poorly than it should. The Punchy PCSs were no exception. Whether it was failing to wound space marines with power fists, or failing to hit on 3+s against war walkers, the power fists were just totally unlucky.

Of course, I'm not yet going to cast judgement on them until I know what they can do when their dice don't suck.

- On a related note, you know the saying, the 144th time is a charm. After a ludicrous 7 games of not doing a damn thing, my heavy weapons finally started rolling normally. New dice, or the demons hiding in my army case finally giving up, I will hopefully finally be able to appropriately judge my heavy weapons teams now.

In any case, I think I did pretty well for myself in all of this, and am feeling confident enough in this list to ride it to the end of the league.