Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Mutants & Scum" at the Canadian GT

The morning of Friday May 23rd saw five BC boys meeting at Vancouver International Airport for our flight to Toronto. Myself, Nick Daniels (Guard), Danny Hope (Necrons), Carson Sawatasky (Nurgle CSM) and Josh Steinhider (Tyranids). Our flight was pretty uneventful - Nick and I sat together, but could not get the movies to work on his laptop. We spent most of the flight bs-ing! We picked up our Aspen at the airport and proceeded to use Nick's rather useful GPS system to get us the 21km to Oakville... should have been 19 minutes (mapquest), took about 40. Let me tell you how I love the GTA...

After a quick trip to the HQ (which was mostly closed) we headed to our spiffy hotel, grabbed a bite at Wendy's and then played poker for a couple of ours. I was 3rd!

Saturday morning we gathered bleary-eyed (it was 5am PST...) loaded our armies and headed over to the Battle Bunker.

Just the day before we left I had finished the army. I was pretty happy with the end result (the models had gone past that "ass-phase" that painters often get to with their projects where they doubt the finished product will be anything but "ass"!). I'll probably do some more highlighting before Astronomi-Con Vancouver.
The full army list and backgrounder can be found here.

The Chimera came out nicely. I've switched airbrushes (to a Paasche), and whilst it is nice, I'm not at quite the same level of control I was with the Aztec; I really should get it fixed!

The Ogryns look good based.

And here are the 22 Last Chancers! I went with the classic DA Green Flak (Carapace in game terms) over Black fatigues. Weapons were kept simple - just metal - there has been none of that regimental "personalization" we see in regular Guard units.

and a close up...

This is the Command Squad with their 3 Basilisks. The rear doors on both the FW variants are hinged (bloody pain to do!) and detailed inside.

And last (the two M&S Chimerae are below), and least (!) the ratlings.

Game 1 - yes I was there to play games!
Opponent - Josh Curtis - Eldar
Mission - Head Hunt (kill the HQ!)

I've seen Josh on the GT Circuit for about 4 years now; he brings hard armies and has gotten progressively better as a player as he has matured. This army was no exception. THREE units of Pathfinders and 2 Fire Prisms. As soon as he deployed his Pathfinders in a building, to get a 2+ cover save, I knew I was pretty much doomed! Even with 3 Basilisks I was going to have a hard time winkling those guys out of there. I did a fair bit of damage to his force, but with the death of my HQ, the loss of a deep striking anti-tank unit to "drift", and the expensive Pathfinders staying above 50% I was unable to withstand the withering fire that I was on the receiving end of.

Result - Eldar Victory (Victorious Slaughter)
Notes - Josh played pretty straight up - there were a few times he moved through is own bases and I'm not convinced his measuring was 100% accurate!

Game 2
Opponent - Chris Orr - Black Templar
Mission - Scouting Engagement (escalation...)

Chris and I are old aquaintances - I have played against him one other time at GTs (where he barely beat my Armoured Company). He plays a drop-poding BT army, which is quite unusual, and can throw a lot of players off their guard, as he has some ground elements in there to engage you early. Escalation was going to hurt me, that and no infiltrate. I got my Ratlings and most of my Last Chancers in place, but kept a unit back in reserve. I was quick to do wounds to Chris' units (breaking his devastator squad in 2 turns), but the "flee forward" rule BTs have meant Chris was able to engage my LCs pretty quickly. Whilst his reserves were slow coming in, their ability to come in on turn 5/6 and take table quarters was my undoing.

Result - Black Templar
Victory (Victorious Slaughter)
Notes - good fun game - thought I might pull out a tie on this one until a dreadnought dropped on my head on turn 5 and the unit pictured above engaged with the CC Dreadnought finally sucumbed after 3 rounds of combat.

Game 3
Opponent - Chadi Faraj - 13th Company
Mission - Enemy's Pride

Sadly I have no pictures of Chadi's army. Needless to say, like most of the work he has done it was well converted and had a cool paint scheme. Chadi is one of those "larger than life" gamers; loud, obnoxious (in a good way!) and loads of fun to play against. His attitude PO's some people, but after ~120 GT games I can pretty much take anything (other than that guy who was chewing and spitting tobacco... ::shudder::). Knowing 13th Co as I do I knew I had 2 ways to play this game - form a gun line and let him come to me... or get stuck in and try to tie him up and let the big guns do their work. Guess which I chose? Yep, the wrong one! Chadi got the first turn, so my LCs who infiltrated got into combat that same turn... ug-ly! His army moved so fast that I was unable to use the LCs as FOOs (as I'd been playing all day) forcing me to have the Basilisks push their way through the jungle (one immobilized of course) and engage his forces directly...

Result - 13th Company
Victory (Victorious Slaughter)
Notes - LOADS of fun! Chadi got my favourite opponent vote at the end of the event

So there ended day 1 - bloody but not broken - I'd have another 2 games to get my "one win"! We headed off to the Outback Steakhouse and then off for the night's entertainment...

Day 2!
Even more bleary-eyed from the night out we hit the Bunker full of zeal for the last 2 games (!)

Game 4

Opponent - Dustin Perejma - Space Marines (Swift Like the Wind trait)
Mission - Personal Objectives.

Dustin had a pretty cool army. On first look most people thought it was a Ravenwing list, but we spotted some
things that did not belong in that list. Also he had converted them up to be Legion of the Damned models - pretty sweet!

The battle was to and fro; I was happy with the way things were going for me. Dustin's dice roles for dangerous terrain were horrible! He lost his Librarian to a pair of 1's... I was able to kill quite a lot of his bikes, but my heavy weapons failed me when they most needed to kill bikes (the lascannon could not hit anything all game). Of course every time Dustin detached his techmarine from a unit they proceeded to fail their to hit rolls, and when he was attached the re-roll was not needed... yep, it was one of those games!

Fittingly Schaeffer was the last man left alive.

Result - Legion of the Damned Victory (Solid)

Notes - Good game, lots of missed opportunities, and a fair result. Dustin played it straight up, and he did not realize my "handicap" I was playing with of the Last Chancers acting as fire controllers for the Basilisks until I pointed it out at game end.

Game 5
Opponent - Doug Beverage - Imperial Guard
Mission - Secure and Control (and avoid being the Worst General!)

Doug is another player that I have known for a number of years and I've been at five events with him in the past. The only time I have played him though was at the GT last year, where he beat down my non-shooty tyranid army
. Doug plays a mechanized, and Canadian themed, army.. This time he chose to bring 2 demolishers. I have no idea why! He had very little long range fire power on the table, and when I got first turn and took out his sentinals he had even less...
With only 3 objective markers on the table, this was not going to a close game.
Doug chose NOT to move his demolishers forward, but sideways, allowing my basilisks to target them indirectly with ease - every turn. I managed to stun or immobilize 2 of his transports in the second turn, and the third blasted towards my lines. To Doug's credit he had the right idea with that. Get amongst my basilisks and use the storm trooper's melta guns to blow them up. Sadly his dice failed him, my ogryns shot the unit to pieces and they were trapped, and therefore wiped out on their fall back. This is the ONLY time this has happened for me in 4th edition!
In the end I held 2 of the 3 objectives, had lost one Basilisk and 6 Last Chancers, with all my sub-units remaining as scoring. Doug had an immobilzed demolisher left.

Result - Mutants & Scum Victory (Victorious Slaughter!)
Notes -
His game was pretty much summed up by a Ord 6 roll on his Ogryn filled Chimera in turn 3, and my melta/plasma LC squad deep striking at a point 4" from the table edge and between a demolisher and a chimera - 5" to either side. They drifted and stopped 3" behind his demolisher... I hate putting the beat down on a player like that, but Doug just had the wrong fit for my army and he was in a foul mood during the game! Besides, I really did not want to be labeled the worst general.

So the weekend was lots of fun. I think the guys who came out to experience the GT for the first time had mixed feelings. They enjoyed the games, but felt disappointed at the painting and sportsmanship scores they received. There is local bias when a BC player goes to Toronto - I've felt it in the past myself. But after playing as the "visitor" so many times I've either gotton used to it, or adapted to overcome it. This was my 24th GT, so I have a thick skin!

In the end I finished 20th Overall, and 9th in Sportsmanship (thanks to whomever voted me their favourite opponent). Congratulations to all the winners, and my thanks to all those I played against.

GW Canada's coverage can be found here.

I'd like to thank Cory Burns for organizing the event so well (as usual). He is leaving GW after Games Day and will be missed by gamers all over Canada. Best of luck to you Cory!