I have mixed feelings about the event itself, which I'll get to at the end of the batrep (this will be slightly truncated as I really did not take that many in-game pictures).
I took my Space Wolves, a reprise of the "Training Day" that made its debut in the same room 5 years ago. 53 Blood Claws... that got a few people's attention!
Opponent - Russell Jordan – Eldar
Mission – Seize Ground, Deployment - Spearhead
[no picture; Avatar, Farseer, 2x 10 Pathfinders, 2x 6 Guardian Jet Bikes, 2x 20 Guardians, Wraithlord, 3 Warwalkers]
Result - Space Wolves Victory. 18 battle points gained.
Good game - Russell had an interesting mix of units that could have messed my army up badly, but being able to force one unit of this Pathfinders behind a terrain piece, and then getting to them on the first turn (rhino rush and shooting) was pretty big for me. Those Pathfinders can ruin your day rather quickly! On turn 2 my scouts came in, shot and assaulted his War Walkers and one of his units of guardians. I tied them up for the next few turns. After that it was a matter of shooting down the bikes (with my exterminator and land speeder), and getting stuck into the Avatar. In the end I think I held 3 objectives, and the other two were contested.
Opponent - Wesley Knutsen – Space Marines (Salamanders)
Mission – Annihilation, Deployment - Spearhead
Result - Space Wolves Minor Loss. 8 battle points gained.
Well, I was pretty convinced I was going to get tabled by turn 3! I'd looked at Wesley's army earlier in the day and it gave me chills... Vulcan's ability to have all flamer and melta weapons count as twin-linked is huge. Luckily the Firestorm cannons are not included in that. Wes decided to deep strike his Land Speeders - I'm not sure if he was crazy, or being nice to me (when they came in they deviated, and were destroyed on the Mishap Table...). I managed to destroy one of the Land Raiders with my small Blood Claw unit, and take out the Attack Bikes with my scouts. My dreadnought took an ungodly amount of fire from Land Raiders and various other weapon systems, but after loosing both weapons and being immobilized it was still alive at the end of the game! We ended up with the Kill Points being 7-5. Pretty close for what I was up against. Wes told me the next day that I had given him his toughest fight of the event. If there has been a Favorite Player ballot (they took it out this year) Wes would have got my vote.
Opponent - Ivan Neering – Orks
Mission – Seize Ground, Deployment - Pitched Battle
[no pictures; 8 nob bikers, 5 meganobs, truck, 30 shoota boyz, 30 slugga boyz, Ghazghkull, Warboss, 15 lootas 3 Zzap guns]
Result - Space Wolves Minor Loss. 9 battle points gained.
So this looked ugly from the get go... I was able to get the first turn and wreck Ghazghkull's Truck with my first shot; luckily, due to Ivan's deployment, they had to come out the back of the truck and pretty much started on the back edge. I could ignore them for the next couple of turns... Using my Exterminator I concentrated on the Lootas, slowly picking them apart. The bikes were going to be the BIG problem. 8 Nob bikers, with Cyborg bodies, 4 power klaws, and a painboy (that is 530 points if your were wondering), where going to be hard to kill. Well, I figured 30 blood claws and 2 HQs could do the job. Man was I wrong! I think I managed to kill 3 out of the unit, and with Ghazghkull running across the table as fas as his fat legs could take him, he was in combat pretty quickly. That turned the game for Ivan. His orks boyz were pretty much not part of the game - I broke one unit, and tied up another for a couple of turns. At the end of the game I think we had 2 objectives each. We had to go to Victory Points to decide the winner. Ivan had MANY more than I did!
Whilst I enjoyed the game, this is where my doubts about the tourney started to creep in. I thought Ivan's list was rather "un-orky"; too much dependence upon the big units and really not that many ork boyz.
Opponent - Zen Zheng – Space Marines
Mission – Capture and Control, Deployment - Pitched Battle
Result - Space Wolves Minor Loss. 8 battle points gained.
So here was a marine army - with only 2 troops choices... one tactical and one scout unit. This was also my first chance to see the Thunderfire Cannon in action. Zen threw me from turn one - he only deployed the Landraider, the Thunderfire Cannon and the terminators across the back board edge, presumably protecting them from my scouts. I got to go first and immobilized and stunned his Landraider with my first shots. His Ironclad Dreadnought dropped in near my objective on his first turn, but did very little. I managed to destroying a couple of turn later. My scouts came in and went after his terminators - pretty suicidal, but I wanted to try to tie them up for a while; this they succeeded in doing, but they could not last too long. Pretty much took the termies out of the game though. The real pain in my a$$ was the Thunderfire Cannon - it's accuracy is scary and 4 blast shots at Str 6 can do a lot of damage. It won the game for Zen - knocking 2 of my units off the objective in my deployment zone. With his Vanguard dropping in on turn 3, and tying up one of my squads for a turn, this allowed his command squad to get into my deployment zone and take the objective. The homing beacon on the dreadnought drop pod also allowed his Land Speeders to come in on my side with out deviation - these ended up helping him immensely. Zen used his sniper (!) scouts to outflank and attempt to take his own objective. I was able to contest it with a rather thinned down Blood Claw unit that had weathered some long range shots from the terminators.
Opponent - Ben Hanner – Black Templars
Mission – Annihilation, Deployment - Dawn of War
Result - Space Wolves Major Loss. 3 battle points gained.
This looked like it was going to be a good match up - Ben had bought four 10-man squads. Sure the two Vindicators would potentially be a pain in the ass, but I figured my scout would deal with at least one of them. Well, two things went wrong; firstly I thought I would be clever and assault BOTH of the Vindicators at the same time. I could not damage them! I really should have concentrated on blowing up one of them... The other issue was 15 Blood Claws could not take down 10 Crusaders; at all... I ended up loosing 7-2.
So why am I "slightly down"?
Well it is not from the "beating", I'm used to that. It is from the nature of the beating, and a few peripheral things.
- of my 5 opponents 3 had incorrect or illegal lists... three...mathematical errors... geez...
- the organizers published the results as "preliminary". Good job too... the data sheet was riddled with errors - right now the guy in second place has one more point than the Overall winner. Hmm... I think that needs fixing - but how to do it without being accused of shenanigans?!
- "cheese" seemed to be the number one rule of the day. Given the richness of the background of 40K one would expect more story-driven army designs (and in the past these seemed to be the norm, especially in Seattle). But no, it was almost as though WAAC was a requirement. I blame GW. The 'Ard Boyz events have thrown out any semblance of composition. The current soft scoring system really does not give any latitude for rating the composition of your opponents army.
this one was VERY themed:
then you start to get into the ones that were obviously built to win:
5 10-man Khorne berserker units, and two Slaanesh Sorcerer Lords with Lash... pretty blatant! At least he had a 2CCW dreadnought... and the 'zerks were painted red...
Then you get to the creme-de-la-creme of fromage...
So this army won best painted - sweet... I thought the highlighting was rather rough, but it was still excellent. Let's look at the Composition...
Two Winged Daemon Princes with Lash of Submission
Two dreadnoughts, with Plasma Cannon and Missile Launcher
Two five man Noise Marine squads.
Five terminators in a Landraider
Defiler (Soul Grinder proxied)
This is a Slaanesh army? With 5 man units? Well at least he got the Lash in there.... and they are pink/purple...
Now we get to something that I find VERY offensive. Apparently the army above, was not the one the player used in his battles. He dropped the two dreadnoughts and slotted something else in. What that "something else" is has been debated; one would assume it was the same for all games...
[update; there is a picture on the GW Community website of the army in action, that shows a LOT more than 10 Noise Marines on the table! I also thought there was a ban on GW taking pictures of 40k/FB models with LotR parts on them...]
Really? Shouldn't you display the army you play? I think the rest of us did!