Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wolves at West Coast Mayhem!

The weekend of October 18 and 19 saw 42 players attend the GW-Canada Premier tournament events at West Coast Mayhem (held at BCIT). OK so 21 persons in each system is not exactly Las Vegas levels, but it pretty close to Chicago attendance!
I took my Space Wolves; at 2000 points I ended up with 5 Troops.

On arrival we were told that the Astronomi-Con composition system was in use. Well that was a surprise! I quickly changed by list to put the two Land Speeders together; this would reduce my hit on Composition to a -2 (5th troops choice). Frankly in hindsight I should have left them separately - but I'm a slave to composition - they would have been more effective as 2 units.

Game 1
Opponent - Bryce Jenson – Eldar
Mission – Primary - Seize Ground, Secondary - Assassination

Result - Primary Mission - Space Wolves Victory, Secondary Mission - Tie. 12 battle points gained.Really good game - Bryce is a bit of a veteran player, and I was flattered to find he was looking forward to our match up. His army was unbelievably stunning! Unsurprisingly he won the Best painted Award. the only unit that caused me problems was the Harlequins - they chewed through a LOT of my army. The scouts made short work of the Farseer and his bike units.

Game 2
Opponent - Dan Miner – Dark Eldar
Mission – Primary - Capture and Control, Secondary - Recon

[not pictured are the 4 Raiders he had in his army]

Result - Primary Mission - Space Wolves Victory, Secondary Mission - Space Wolves Victory. 15 battle points gained.Dan's dice sucked! Other than his wyches and archon I pretty much took this army apart. I don't think he inflicted any damage with a single Dark Lance all game - most certainly not in the first couple of rounds when it mattered most. This was sweet retribution, as the last time I played Dan he horrorfex-ed my Wolves into submission and slaughtered them in combat! Credit where credit is due, on turn 5 he had a tie for the primary - with his LONE warrior hiding from my fire power on my base's objective. Turn six the same... Turn seven - ah not so much luck - my lone Rhino had reversed after dropping some Blood Claws off the table edge to snipe the single warrior left. My best game of the weekend!

Game 3
Opponent - Adrien Schaeffer – Eldar (again!)
Mission – Primary - Annihilation, Secondary - Vantage Point (hold high ground).

Result - Primary Mission - Eldar Victory, Secondary Mission - Eldar Victory. 4 battle points gained.

Well, this had to be my worst game of the weekend. Not because I lost (jeez, I'm used to that!), but because of the army and frankly the player. The army is the Uber-Eldar build as far as I'm concerned; all the best units, very few basics. Also we had issues of "measurement" somehow the Banshees moved ~14" in their first turn and were going to assault me.. then there was the issue of being told which order to do my shooting in.... the non-WYSIWYG units (that looks like a Bright lance on the Falcon, not the pulse laser listed)... I think we should just leave it at that! 
[edit - I ran this army list through AB3... it comes in at 35 points over... grrr]
And there endeth day one... pretty good as far as I was concerned; 2 wins and a trophy from the painting contest! I hung around to do a bit of clearing up for the WCM organizers, had a bite to eat and then watched a couple of board games going on.

Game 4
Opponent - Danny Hope – Witch Hunters
Mission – Primary - Seize Ground, Secondary - Pay Back (kill highest point unit).

Result - Primary Mission - Witch Hunter Victory, Secondary Mission - Tie. 4 battle points gained.OMG, will you look at all those tanks! I've known Danny for a few years now, and played him many times. He is a fine general and knows this army well. I think this force was well suited for the event. His Canoness and Celestians were the VPs for him - carving through a few units and helping run 2 more off the table. Blasted 2+ invulnerable save for the Canoness was a P.I.T.A.! She should have died 3 times over.

Game 5
Opponent - Mark Spaidal – Grey Hunters
Mission – Primary - Annihilation, Secondary - Cleanse.

[sadly I don't have a picture of Mark's army; 2 Land Raiders, Dreadnought, 3 GK Squads, Grand Master and two GK Termie squads. Lots of psycannons!]

Result - Primary Mission - Grey Knight Victory, Secondary Mission - Space Wolves Victory. 7 battle points gained.This was a one sided shooting match. I could not get into HtH quick enough to negate his shooting. Once I did the units faired quite well, Mark was also smart enough not to charge me in cover with his Terminators!
I probably should have deployed in the open and forced him into the cover. Meh, you die and learn!


  • U2KR put on a good show - they are experienced gamers all - good scenario mix (I like the addition of secondaries to the bland GW scenario options), not too many Kill Point games (!), good terrain (though a couple of tall towers were causing game imbalance issues). I also thought they did an excellent job with the scoring; the Sportsmanship points were well thought out, the composition "modifier" (for Best General) is ingenious. They also had player rated composition and painting scores done BEFORE the game - something I introduced a few years ago locally after experiencing it at the first Calgary GT.
  • OK... time to get out the soap-box... Whilst I like the Astronomi-Con system for composition scoring I have a few issues; Firstly it is designed for 4th edition 1500 point games, currently you get docked points for having more than 4 troops (somewhat counter to 5e, unless you have Combat Squads of course!). We really should have been told in the rules that it was being used - to deny a player the opportunity to get soft score points seems unfair; I know of no other top-level tournament that would do this. Thirdly, if you are going to use it - use it correctly! The Overall winner's composition ranking was not scored correctly - and he won by one point, mine was also scored incorrectly.
  • Army lists - my Game 3 opponent appears to have an illegal list! How can this be allowed? His list should have been checked during the day, and errors corrected ASAP (run it through Army Builder - it takes 5 minutes per army - there were at least 5 computers there - owned by the organizers). Should there be a post game correction if the army list does hold up as invalid? I think so - we need some form of discouragement for incorrect lists and encouragement for checking your own list and taking responsibility for errors; "rules" don't seem to be enough!
  • Painting - the "rules" stated that GW/FW/Marauder etc models only, and that they should be fully painted. Well, one Orc army was bare plastic and metal (and still scored 7 for painting!), and there was a non-GW Character model in one army. So is this a rule or a "suggestion"? If an event was to allow unpainted armies (such as GW-USA's Ard Boyz - first 2 rounds anyway), I'm cool with that. Just let everyone know and don't piss us around with unnecessary "rules"!

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