Thursday, August 28, 2008

Geeks at Ordo Fanaticus Club Challenge (OFCC) 2008

Last Friday I took the, not short, drive to Vancouver. The other Vancouver...
The Portland based Ordo Fanaticus Wargaming Club were holding their 4th annual 40K Club Challenge, and for the second year the North West Gaming Geeks were taking part; unlike last year I was able to get across the border and participate (don't ask).

On the way down I collected Eric Soulvie (from Pasadena), playing a Nurgle-themed CSM army; the rest of the team was Trent Le Clair (Walla Walla - yes really) playing an "undead" Eldar force, and David Faulkner (Portland) playing a genestealer heavy tyranid army.
I bought my Witch Hunters - a good solid list at 2000 points.

Eric and I lugged some tables around (i.e. helped with set up) and then sat around waiting for Trent to show... I cracked a couple of ciders and we went and "laughed" at a few guys who were still painting (one still assembling!).

Once Trent got in we had a quick dinner (note to self; book appointment with cardiologist ASAP... and maybe a gastro-intestinal surgeon). Gut jokes aside we had just found out that our good friend and fellow Geek, "Dirty" Steve Fuller (yes, the ex-GW photographer) had undergone two rounds of colon surgery after getting it perforated. Our thoughts are with his wife Cassie and the poor nurses who are looking after the letch (Steve too, but we know he will be fine!).

The OFCC is an unusual event (they run a FB one as well); each team has 4 members. Armies are not ranked, but just reviewed (the emphasis of this event on solid FUN gaming, not power/WAAC armies), and at each round (based on team Swiss scoring) the captains "negotiate" the match ups. This makes for some real fun - the chance to play someone you have always wanted to, play a classic grudge match, or the chance for revenge against that guy who crushed you last time!

The Head of Gaming (Kevin Clements) has chosen to use the new “advanced” scenario pack produced by GW-Canada for their Hall of Heroes events. I’d seen this package a few weeks ago, prior to its release, and I have been quite impressed by how it would add some flavour to the games.
[my apologies in advance for the low quality of the pictures. I was using my old Nikon Coolpix 995, and the lighting was quite poor in the room.]

Game 1
Opponent - Jeremy B (of 40K Fight Club “C”) – Dark Angels
Mission – Primary - #8 [Grudge Match], Secondary #4 [Assassination]

Jeremy had a VERY cool "doublewing" army; 1000 points of Ravenwing and 1000 points of Deathwing. The paint job was stunning, and knowing this will be at the Las Vegas GT next weekend, I can see a successful weekend ahead of it!
Jeremy set up his Angels very conservatively - using the terrain to block LOS (I was going first). I'd also "hidden" my Exorcists, know that this would be a major PITA for his army, and thus going to attract a lot of fire. I'm not sure why Sammael was deployed way off in his right flank... The game started pretty much as I thought it would . Jeremy scouted his bikes forward prior to me going first. With Teleport Homers on all DA bikes I know that the Terminators would be coming in first turn and they would be up close soon. I targeted his bikes as quickly as I could.

The shooting was pretty bloody for 3 rounds - I whittled down his bikes in the center.

Tied up the bikes on my right flank (after shooting them) - they had already "guided" a unit of Terminators onto the table. I was just awaiting the "delivery" of Belial and his unit of terminators from the Land Raider.

Hopefully I would have enough fire power to deal with them!
Up on my left flank the Culexus assassin had finally arrived. Whilst a couple of multilaser shots had knocked off two wounds on Sammael, it was left to the Culexus with his AP1 pistol shots to finish him off. This would be important for the secondary mission. My army was capable of giving up 18 Kill Points... Jeremy's just 10. Winning the Primary objective was going to be an uphill battle for me, especially with my less than stellar AP weapons!
Unloading everything I had into Belial and his unit I managed to wipe them out.

I even managed to get a couple of meltagun toting Stormtroopers into place to pop the Land Raider!

In the end I was not able to finish off enough of the odds-and-ends of his bike squads, and he was popping my transports with ease through out the game.

Result - Primary Mission - Dark Angels Victory, Secondary Mission - Witch hunters Win. 10 battle points gained.
EXCELLENT game! Jeremy played like a true DA veteran (though I understand this was his 5th game with Dark Angels after playing Tyranids for many years). The toughness of his bikes and terminators made the game close, but the number of Kill Points available to him was the deciding factor - popping vehicle is pretty easy now, especially in HtH. I'm happy with the "moral" victory - killing both his commanders, whilst mine was "kept safe" in the far corner was quite satisfying! Hopefully I will not have to play Jeremy in Las Vegas next weekend; great player, but a fearsome army. Though I think my Space Wolves could handle many aspects of it!

Game 2
Opponent – Micah (of Ordo North Seattle) – Dark Angels
Mission – Primary - #5 [Chance Encounter], Secondary #3 [Breakthrough].

Yep, Dark Angels again! I'd been following Micah's progress on the Ordo Fanaticus forum. Micah is an excellent painter, and he'd been putting a LOT of detail into his army - things like checkerboard markings on legs. Sadly, he had not had time to complete the army; he had a lot of models without heads! I took this match-up at the request of his Captain - he wanted Micah to have a fun game against someone who was not concerned about winning. Sounds like me...

Micah chose to deploy very conservatively (is this a DA trait?!) I figured this would be a shooting match.

This is the silly 5e scenario where you place an objective in your deployment zone and try to run through your enemy to get to theirs.
Micah scouted his bikes, but could not scout his attack bike as it had no path through his own troops (too many players forget this rule...). We spent 2 turns taking pot shots at each other; my lance strike failed to come on turn 2 (I nominated the "industrial" terrain piece as my target). The Dark Angel bikes moved forward to engage my lines, and presumably take my objective. I surrounded them with stormtroopers and opened fire...

This was the end result...
After that we sent a couple more turns sniping at each other - me slowly whittling down his heavy support (devastators), and moving a scoring unit towards his lines for the secondary. Micah had left it too late to win the secondary, but his Chaplain and assault marines finally got into the battle and took apart my Seraphim, Culexus and the Deathcult assassins (the assassins had outflanked - a new rule I love!). I could not get to his objective... he could not get to mine. On the last turn I blasted my Sisters in Rhino forward, and just clipped the zone needed to take the secondary objective.

Result - Primary Mission - Tie, Secondary Mission - Witch hunters Win. 16 battle points gained.
An odd game, with 2 polar opposite forces, playing a bad scenario. Micah took his dice failing him towards the end of the game in good stride - a lesser sportsman would have been hissing!

As scenarios go, it was rather a dumb one GW - sorry, but at the end of this one all I heard in the room was "tied game"

Game 3
Opponent – Russ (of Da Mommas Boyz-Drunken Sluts) – Chaos Daemons
Mission – Primary - #6 [Tipping the Scales], Secondary #11 [Sharp Shooters]

I've known Russ for quite a few years, as we were Outriders together in times gone by. I picked this match-up as I wanted to play against him... and I did not want to play Dark Angels for the 3rd straight game! I knew that DMB had come to win (they have won all 3 previous OFCCs) and that the new Daemon codex was "nasty"... but I had no idea how tough this game was going to be. As the daemons enter with half their forces on the table on the first turn, via deepstrike, I was not going to push to far forwards and allow them space behind me on my deployment...
I really do not recall much of this game - I spent most of it trying to keep up with the rules Russ was pulling out of his a$$! Not his fault; this Codex is just SO damn different from anything else out there. Split fire, taking over my shooting, musicians affecting combat resolution (WTF - that is Fantasy!).
Russ' frustration was the inability of his troops to do anything more than stun/shake my vehicles! I came close to tying this games, but we ended up going to the 7th round that allowed the daemons to finally finish off my vehicles that were contesting the objectives.

Result - Primary Mission - Daemon win, Secondary Mission - Witch hunters Win. 10 battle points gained.
Know thy enemy. No shit! Well now I do, now I do...

So endeth Day 1. We had a nice Thai dinner and then sat in my room planning Eric's new Daemonhunter army and what we were going to do for AdeptiCon 2009!

Game 4
Opponent – Brant (of 40K Fight Club “A”) – Tyranids
Mission – Primary - #3 [Dawn Raid], Secondary #9 [Vital Objects]

Well here is an enemy I do know! With ~8000 point of tyranids in my collection I know how to play them, and how to play against them.
Fast, scary. Mushy, weak. Big, scary.
Pretty much sums up a tyranid force!

Brant had a good mix of a force; 3 units of genestealers (including a Broodlord), zoanthropes, a carnifex, warriors, some small gribblies.... there may have been a couple of lictors in there - don't really recall! We rolled 3 objectives for the game; one was places on each "central" hill, and one, by Brant, towards my deployment zone. The secondary called for us to pick one as our target one - I chose tyranid model objective, with my orbital strike targeted on the hill with my fleur-de-lys marker. Brant was able to Seize the Initiative from me, and took turn one.

Predictably he moved some of his fast movers forward heading towards the ground level objective. Not wanting to be assaulted by genestealers (!) I countered with some of my transports and flamed the hell out of the 'stealers and warriors.
Turn 3 saw the arrival of the Broodlord and his max sized retinue!

Luckily for me they were out of range of my seraphim - so he ran them closer. I dutifully jumped to the "north" of them. and lined up my two flamers. To be sure of a complete kill I also moved over a squad of flamer/plasma toting stormtroopers. Sadly my shooting was less than stellar, and I would have to charge the seraphim in to finish off the Broodlord.

The remnants of the genestealers on the right flank stared to get a little close... shooting would deal with those.

Brant got the bulk of his force going on turn 4, and the first wave has withered under my vehicle fire power. It was time to start think "objectives"!

My fire support Stormtroopers were now in BIG trouble! Surely 10 guys could come out on top vs. "just" 3 genestealers, and the Broodlord...

Clearly not, but as Ordo Hereticus only takes 'troopers made of sterner stuff they passed their leadership check on double 1s (I think the Broodlord is screaming "Noooooo")!

Turn 5 saw the real rush for the objectives... I'd thrown pretty much all I had at the carnifex to try to stop him - Battle Sisters, a few stormtroopers and my HQ. I was able to hold it and nothing else.
Brant rolled to end the game... done.

Result - Primary Mission - tie, Secondary Mission - tie. 12 battle points gained.
This was a hugely fun game! My objective was "held" by Brant, but I was contesting it. I held his objective, and he held the neutral one. The game pretty much went to plan - I knew I could weather the first "fast" wave (though the Broodlord and friends gave me a scare). It came down to how much could I pour into the second wave o deny him the objective. Not enough!

Game 5
Opponent – John (of Da Mommas Boyz-PBR) – Squats (IG)!
Mission – Primary - #7 [Blood Feud], Secondary #12 [Head Hunting]
[this is where the pictures start to get "wonky"! A few late nights and a couple of Jack Daniels!]

Squats! Bad if you have a case of them, bad to be up against them...

Friday, August 15, 2008

quick update...

So have you been watching the Olympics? I miss being in the UK sometimes - at least they put on coverage, not like the half-assed stuff CBC puts on. Talking of half assed... OMG, how hard does Team Canada suck right now? Harder than my sump-pump on a November day...
The saving grace of these Olympics so far has been Michael Phelps. My parent's generation had Mark Spitz to watch, mine has Phelps.
After the first day of track we are in for a treat there! Looking forward to getting up at 0700 tomorrow to watch the 100m final.

On the Slaanesh army...
So far I have assembled and primered the Dreadnought, 12 Noise marines, and 6 daemonettes (I love those models!). The two Rhino's are assembled, as is the Daemon Princess. I'm waiting on some vehicle bits to add the second bolters to the Rhino's.
No, no pictures - what is the point?! I'll put some paint on models this weekend and try to get shots for you.
I'm still trying to find the right bases for the army...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

reality... bites...

Well after a great week resting, playing with the kids and drinking wine (lots of wine!), I achieved the lofty production run of 6 models.. assembled!

Looks like the Slaanesh army will not be going to Las Vegas after all - I'll have to dig out my old Tzeentch army, or Space Wolves. I may go with the Wolves - use the Exterminator for one last hurrah!

The local event I was also going to use the Slaanesh army at has also thrown a wrench into the works. The organizers have increased the points cap to 2000. Whilst I don't mind playing at 2000 points, and the addition of a Land Raider will fill the gap nicely, I'm not sure that this was a good idea.
  • The Vancouver area really does not have that many players (who come out to tournaments currently) that can support an army of that size.
  • Those that do come out for the "normal" 1700pt events do not have the troop numbers that 5e seems to demand we have as players.
  • If the tourney organizers are hoping for "travellers" they may be disappointed. The US players (on the west coast there is a large 2000 pt club tourney that I'm attending in a few weeks) seem reticent to travel to events these days - be it the cost of fuel (car or plane) or the crappy (for them!) dollar exchange rate. Canadian players (notably Ontario) rarely come out to Vancouver for events - again flights are just too expensive. The occurance of the Edmonton Onslaught the weekend before, and Calgary's OtoCon 3 the same weekend as West Coast Mayhem will also not help matters!
Well, back to assembly - hopefully tonight I can get another 6 man squad and Rhino put together...