Played another local tournament this past weekend over at Fundemonium. It was fun, as usual! But this particular tournament was heavily restricted: 1000 points, must have a Combined Arms detachment, only officially 40k approved Forgeworld, only the Aegis and Bastion (no other Forts.), no self-allying, no Escalation or LoW (including Knights).
In short, small-games of pure, old-school, barebones 40k. I particularly wanted to make this one because I think simple, fundamentals games are crucial to learning a new Edition of rules in and out.
Each game round used a custom Scenario, which was a lot of fun, but bit me in the butt in my first game...
I have a few pictures, and the battle results, these will be mostly overviews rather than blow-by-blow reports.
Speaking of pictures, these tables have always been just felt sheets over folding tables, many thanks to Frontline Gaming's F.A.T. mats for making these tables way, WAY nicer looking.
Vs. Dark Eldar with three Ravagers (Dark Lances), two Venoms (Splinter Cannons), one Raider (no passengers), 3x units of three Reaver Jetbikes (one with a Heat Lance), and three units of Kaballite Warriors (5x each, no upgrades, one led by the Baron).
In this Scenario, we had Vanguard Strike deployment, rolled no Night Fight, and had three 2 point Objectives across the center line between both Deployment Zones. Holding an Objective at the end of the game gave 2 points, and holding two or more for two consecutive turns immediately granted another 1 point.
We also each had a Home Objective, also worth 2 pts., and holding your Opponent's Home Objective for two turns in a row also instantly netted a point.
In addition (I missed this on the first read) Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices gained Objective Secured for this Scenario (ouch...)
Here was my list: Two Wave Serpents (Scatter Lasers, Holofields), Seven Warp Spiders, Ten Guardian Defenders (Scatter Laser), five Fire Dragons (Exarch, Pike), and nine Guardian Jetbikes (blob unit, 3x Cannons) and a Jetbike Farseer with the Stone of Anath'Lan and Shard of Anaris.
I rolled Fortune and Eldritch Storm, and then took Psychic Shriek. For Warlord Traits, I got the "Unit and Warlord re-roll 1's when shooting" (from the BRB)
I won the roll to go first, and this is how I deployed. In response, the Dark Eldar held everything but their Warriors (who hid in a building) in Reserve.
With nothing from the Dark Eldar team in sight, I moved up to grab Objectives. Serpents went for the side Objectives, and my Bikes and Spiders made for the center.
The Dark Eldar arrived with one hell of a splash, pouring almost all of their fire (and Reaver Bladevanes) into my poor Spiders, killing the unit before they had the chance to do their usual terrible things. He also started showing a startling ability to Deny my Psychic Powers, only failing to counter Fortune on my Bikes several turns in a row.
I'd underestimated where those reserves could arrive (and the sheer volume of shots Venoms can put out), and my Spiders were left with their butts hanging out.
This was a bloody game, in the next turn my Bikes' Cannons and Serpent Shields took down the Raider and both Venoms, but the Ravager lived, and was soon joined by the others. I kept shooting the Reaver bikes, but they made an impressive number of cover saves (and one unit didn't fail a single Feel No Pain roll, which they gained from dealing the death blow to my Spiders.) By contrast, my Jetbikes failed every save they were called on to take, even with Fortune cast, and my Warlord failed his very first 4+ Jink save (I'd used the Stone) to a Dark Lance, instant-killing him.
When the dust settled, I lost. Badly.
In the lower left corner, my Guardian Serpent with Objective Secured is side-by-side with a Ravager that (in this scenario) also has Objective Secured. The Center Objective is held by Reaver Jetbikes (my own Bikes having been nearly wiped out, and long since fallen back), as is my Home Objective. The Kaballite Warriors, who never moved, are also holding his Home Objective. On the top right, my Dragons had an Objective, but since his other Reavers are there (with Objective Secured), that point went to him as well.
So he had First Blood (Warp Spiders), Slay the Warlord, and Linebreaker (I was just barely short of that myself). He also had all but one Objective on the board, putting him well over the 10pt maximum. I had 1 point for holding two of the Objectives for two turns. The net of losing by nine points left me with a Major Loss to start.
In this game, I felt I played reasonably well, but made some critical mistakes (not hiding the Spiders, not using my Ignores Cover shots on the Reavers), but mostly was victim to some terribly bad dice rolls and a Scenario that heavily favored an opponent whose entire army gained Objective Secured.
Still, it was a good game, and I enjoyed it a lot - and my opponent felt so bad at how it went that he bought me a sandwich, which was above and beyond the call!
Vs. Space Wolves with ten Long Fangs (mix of Missiles, Bolters and Lascannons), two Rune Priests (one in Runic Armor, the other in Terminator Armor), two units of ten Grey Hunters in Drop Pods, and three Thunderworlf Cavalry (one with a Power Fist and Storm Shield).
I rolled the "D3 units gain Infiltrate" (rolled for 2x), and lost the roll to Deploy/Go first. I also rolled Death Mission, Doom, and Mind War (and got Guide from Psychic Focus). The Wolves got Iron Arm, Endurance, Enfeeble and Prescience.
This time we had a Relic Scenario and standard Dawn of War deployment, and the Relic in the center of the table. The icing on the cake here was that the Relic was "cursed," so any unit carrying it counted all Terrain as both Difficult and Dangerous, in addition to never being able to move more than 6" while carrying it.
I deployed aggressively, to get up close and personal with the Relic. I kept my Serpents as much out of line of sight as possible from the Long Fangs (in the upper-right ruin). My Spiders are huddled under that wall, also out of LoS. I forgot they were there (shame on me!) but the Thunderwolves were in the ruin under the Long Fangs.
The Wolves Alpha Strike went awry, scattering 12" back from where he'd intended to go (which was a relief) and putting the Terminator Librarian essentially out of the first few turns.
In my first few turns, I got nasty with the Serpents, laying into his Long Fangs. I even had the extraordinary luck of getting one unit to Fall Back on the first turn!
On the less lucky scale though, his Thunderwolves blitzed across the board and murdered my Spiders (First Blood, again). This also granted the Wolves the "Slay the Weak" bonus Objective, 1 point for killing my lowest-points cost unit with his highest. This was bad for me, but ended as best as it possibly could, because the rest of my army let fly on the Thunderwolves in my following turn, easily wiping them out.
His second Drop Pod also came in 2nd turn, and scattered 11" back, giving me another great breather.
His Rune Priest units of Grey Hunters continued to move up, ever so slowly (rolling terribly on Difficult Terrain), taking pot-shots as they went. I was able to drop a lot of them as they walked, but the Endurance-buffed Terminator Librarian proved to be one heck of a damage sink (duh).
Here is the final turn (turn 4). Through a great deal of pew-pewing, I brought his two units down to almost nothing. The Terminator Rune Priest took one wound to massive volleys, while Look Out Sir's from Guardian Rending shots and Fire Dragon Meltaguns took most of his squad.
The Terminator Rune priest was ready to wade into my Jetbikes (and had a very good chance of solo-ing the whole mob), only to roll Perils on his Endurance and die.
...Luckiest Slay the Warlord I've ever gotten!
At this point he conceded, having only a few models on the table facing down my entire army, and I was right on top of the Relic and practically guaranteed to get it on Turn 5 anyway. This was also a great game, and he was a very good sport, despite having lost his Warlord to a Perils...
He had First Blood (poor Spiders), had held the Relic for two turns (granting one point), and Slay the Weak, for a total of three points. I had the Relic for four points, plus one for holding it for two turns, and Slay the Warlord. This granted me a Minor Victory.
In this game I felt like a played much better. This was a more familiar enemy army than Dark Eldar, and he had some spectacularly bad dice rolls putting most of his army out of the fight early on. Losing my Spiders, while bad, was the best thing that could possibly have happened - ceding my cheapest unit, and forcing the Thunderwolves out into the open while I still had the guns free to bring them down.
I gained a lot of the confidence in this game that I'd lost in my first.
Vs. Wraith Eldar. This guy had a crazy list for 1000 points, he had a unit of ten Wraithblades (Axes/Shields) with a Spiritseer Warlord, a unit of ten normal Wraithguard led by a Warlock, and a barebones Wraithknight.
I was pretty sure I was hosed on this one, as I didn't have anything tough enough to stand up to that, and figured killing the Knight with my list would be nigh impossible.
I rolled Feel No Pain for my Warlord, and got Doom, Fortune, Mind War and Guide. He rolled the "D3 units Infiltrate Warlord Trait," and rolled Destructor/Renewer for his Warlock and the Shrouding, Hallucination and Psychic Shriek with his Spiritseer.
Our Scenario this time was crazy, first it was Hammer and Anvil (long table), and the Relic was a "Chaos Relic," meaning it scattered 4d6" at the beginning of every game turn - and if someone was holding it, the Relic would carry them right with it. If that model was part of a unit, the unit would then have to move at top speed to try to get back in coherency (off the table or Impassable Terrain would be reduced until it was back where it could be held).
We also each had a Home Objective, worth two points each, and a D6 table of custom Maelstrom Objectives.
In Deployment, I rolled to go first, and (predictably I think) hid. He counter-deployed very aggressively, trying to get as much of his stuff in range as possible. My Serpents let fly, and were able to shave two HP off of the Wraithknight.
In his turn, the Warlock promptly healed the Wraithknight (now down only 1 wound), and his Wraithknight Stunned my Guardian Wave Serpent.
My Guardians jumped out and ran for the Home Objective, while the Relic teleported on his Wraithknight's foot (more or less). I sprayed shots at the Wraithblades, but they showed a remarkable ability to make saves (go figure). My Spiders maneuvered to be more in range.
In his turn, he easily destroyed my damaged Serpent (First Blood), while the other one maneuvered into his back field with its Dragon payload.
When my Spiders and Jetbikes got into range, the Wraithblades started failing saves - a LOT of saves. I was able to kill all but one and the Spiritseer, who left the unit to pile in with the Wraithguard. When my Spiders finished off the last Wraithblade, it granted me the point for my least expensive unit destroying the most expensive, for one point.
Here's the second to last move. The Knight was teleported back to the board edge by the Relic, right in front my my Fire Dragons. He shot at my Serpent, but it made its Cover Saves, and then the Dragons piled out and sprayed fire all over the Knight, bringing it down to two wounds.
Things went bad here, first he tried to cast Hallucination on my Bikes, only to Perils and roll Dragged into the Warp, killing both his Spiritseer and a Wraithguard. Then his Knight charged my Dragons, killing two, but the remaining three and Exarch rolled spectacularly and brought the Knight down with Meltabombs.
At this point we rolled to see where the Relic would go, and it rolled a Hit, so my Dragons were on it. He then conceded. It looked bad for me at first, but through sheer dumb luck his Knight had wound up in the worst possible spot and been brought down, and then he lost his Warlord to Perils (again! It was that kind of day). All he had left on the table was the Wraithguard, who were weakening and I could avoid without trouble.
He still had First Blood and his home Objective, to my Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord, the Relic, and I won the Maelstrom Missions (which was 5 pts to the winner, rather than splitting the points), for a total of three to my 14, giving me a Major Victory to close out the day.
I felt very good about this game, but mostly breathed a deep sigh of relief at how lucky I'd been. The Knight could have really made a mess of me, but landing in front of the Dragons and then not destroying the Serpent was the kiss of death. It was my first time facing a Wraithknight, and I felt that I'd handled it well (although, we'll see how it goes next time...)
All in all, I came in 5th out of ten players, right in the middle of the pack. Considering how badly my first game went, I was proud of that!