Here is my wrap/write up/feedback/thoughts after a much needed 8 hours sleep!
5 Beast masters, 1 clawed fiend, 10 khymera, 4 razorwing flocks
2x3 trueborn, 3 blasters, Venom with 2 splinter cannons, nightshields, flickerfields
3x5 warriors, 1 blaster, Venom with 2 splinter cannons, nightshields, flickerfields
1x8 Warriors, 1 blaster, sybarite, raider with dark lance, nightshields
1x8 Wyches, hekatrix, raider with dark lance, nightshields, torment launchers, shock prow
3 Ravagers, 3 dark lances, nightshields
And onto the games â€“ lists are a bit rough and apologies if I get them slightly wrong
Game 1 â€“ Evan, Space Wolves â€“ Purge the Alien, hammer and anvil
Saga of Bear Wolf Lord, Rune Priest, 2x7 wolf scouts, 5 wolfguard, 2x9 & 1x10 grey hunters, 2 rhinos, 6 long fangs
Infantry space marines! Hooray! This was a great match up for me with only long fangs to deal with to limit the fire back to my vehicles initially. Evan won the roll and went first, deploying very forward with the long fangs in a ruin. With pre-measure and night shields I deployed out of range of the long fangs and in cover with the beasts. Evans first turn managed a couple of dead beasts but otherwise nothing. I zoomed forward and poured fire into the long fangs, destroying them with venom fire. My lances nuked the rhinos and his force had to walk into my guns. His scouts caused some hair raising moments turn 2 but when I passed all my skimmer saves against his melta guns I think I had it in the bag. The scouts died to venoms and a wych charge while my beasts charged a grey hunter pack and while they did kill them all, they ended up being broken by the wolf lord and his unit. That said, come turn 5 all Evan had left was the wounded wolf lord and wounded priest in a ruin surrounded by dark eldar gunsâ€¦ and at the end of my turn 5 they were gone. 20 point win.
Game 2 â€“ Neil, Space Marines (White Scars) â€“ Mobile recon (essentially get scoring units into the enemy deployment zone), dawn of war
Captain on bike, 2x7 bikes with attack bike, 2x Typhoon speeders, 1 flamer/melta speeder, storm talon with typhoon, 5 sternguard with AC razorback, 10 tacticals with AC razorback, 5 scouts with telion
More marines with light vehicles. He was just as fast so my nightshields would play less of a role though they did limit the initial turn or 2 of fire. Stupidly I forgot to deploy the beast pack this game at all so they had to come on via reserves, a move that cost me dear. Turn 1 I went first and took out the flamer speeder (flamer+DE = BAD) as well as a combat squad with plasma cannon and immobilised a AC razorback behind cover it could not see through. I also tried to take out the scouts but with go to ground they had a 2+ cover save so I could do little. At least the beasts could come on and get them as they had come right into my deployment zone (or so I thought). I took little in the way of return fire this turn thanks to the nightshields and went into turn 2 fairly confident. The beasts arrived and duly moved to 1â€ away from the scouts. The vehicles shuffled about to keep my distance. I started by firing into the scouts with the beast pack though I did not kill any after they went to ground again. I killed the second razorback and the sternguard piled out to be reduced to a single model after I kept shooting. Then a failed wych charge saw them left in the open and a gentle reminder you canâ€™t charge from reserve saw my beasts left high and dry as well. Neil played smart and poured on the pressure and I started losing things. The wyches died and the beasts managed to get pinned by the snap firing scouts. I lost vehicles here as well but not catastrophically. From here it see sawed back and forth with neith of us able to gain a distinct advantage. After 4 turns we ran out of time with neither of us gaining the primary objective (after some confusion about the way it was scored). I had first blood and neither of us had slay the warlord so I won on secondary though he did at that stage take tertiary from me. 15 point win.
Game 3 â€“ Kyle, Necrons â€“ Assassins (HQ/Elite and their dedicated transports worth 3/1 VP each), hammer and anvil
Lord on Barge, 2 Annihilation barges, 2x2 heavy destroyers, 2 tomb spyders, 3 scarabs, 5 deathmarks with nightscythe, 2x10 immortals with nightscythe, 1x5 immortals with nightscythe, 4 crypteks (3 haywire, 1 uber flamer?!?)
Bad. Very bad. My first battle with flyers. Looking at the deployment though, I was aiming for a tabling turn 1 as I only had 3 vehicles and a handful of infantry to kill. Kyle went first and advanced slightly with 1 venom lost and some minor damage to a ravager and spawned 2 scarabs. I responded and things died. I killed all the destroyers, left 2 scarabs alive along with a single spider. The command barge went down and the lord was wounded. I managed an 11â€ charge through cover to get the beasts into the annihilation barges and while I wrecked one I left the other with just a single hull point. A little more luck would have seen this plan work and kyle looked very worried if his planes did not show. As it stood he got all 4. Tesla arced everywhere and I lost a tonne of stuff. The beast pack took the brunt with 2 of the nightscythes, the wounded barge plus the deathmarks and 10 immortals with crypteks pouring fire into them to take them out. Then all of his infantry died â€“ venoms are awesome! This took kyle by surprise a little I think as the venoms took the next volley of death from the scythes. By now with the trueborn, their venoms and the baron all dead while the wounded necron lord had escaped in a now empty scythe the game was kyles. He already had 7 points while I had but one. Even taking out his lord and the deathmark flyer I would only manage a total of 5. At the end of turn 4 we ran out of time and while Kyle had the 4 planes left (1 had been glanced at least!) plus his lord in one, the rest of his forces was dead. I had a handful of models about the table but nothing to threaten the planes in any real way. Turn 5-6 would probably have seen me tabled. I did get 1 bonus point this round thoughâ€¦ 7 point loss.
So end of day 1 I am 2 wins, 1 loss with 42 points out of a possible 60.
Game 4 â€“ Tom, Space Wolves â€“ Black Out (6 objectives, only 3 in opponents half count for you â€“ blind deployment), dawn of war
Runepriest, 5 wolfguard with pod (divided between GH 7 LF packs), 4 grey hunter packs in pods, 2 Long fang packs with pods, Primaris psyker, 10 IG vets, vendetta with HB, hydra
Hmmm. Interesting. I won first turn but with blind deployment, most of the whole go second to see where the enemy is was lost and saw Tom deploy the 2 long fang packs and the Ig with psyker and nothing else waiting for the pods turn 1. I took out the exposed long fangs and was out of range of the others with all of the vehicles while the beasts took no damage from them. The pods landed and for the most part wiffed with only 2 vehicles downed. I poured fire into the wolves with the baron breaking away from the beasts to charge the long fangs while the beasts charged a pack of grey hunters. I did a bunch of damage but not enough. The beasts failed and broke from the hunters but the other units were punished badly by my guns. The wolves responded and again my saves and night shields held with more vehicles going down but the ravagers remaining. Come turn 5 we had very little left on the table and nothing on the primary objectives. I had slay the warlord and first blood giving me a win on secondary. The highlight of the game was 3 trueborn charging a mark of the wulfen marine and killing him to get the VP for the whole unit! 15 point win.
Game 5 â€“ Brendan, Chaos Space Marines (Zombie Horde) â€“ The Scouring with random VP for 6 objectives, vanguard strike
Typhus, 59 zombies, 3x7 plague marines, 6 nurgle bikers, 2x2 nurgle obliterators, Epedimus, 10 plague bearers
We randomly deployed the objectives face down as per the mission and flipped them at the start of turn 1 after deploying. Luck smiled on me with 2, 3 and 4 on the objectives in my half while Brendan got 1, 2, 1. This in effect created â€˜the perfect stormâ€™ game. We knew that the match up was bad for Brendan from the get go with him having very little shooting and no real way to get the tally up for epedimus but the fact that the VP on the objectives was 9-4 before we moved a model or rolled a dice kind of ended this game before it started. In effect, all I had to do was not advance and let the horde walk into my guns. Which is essentially what happened. We had a few scary moments where Epedimus dropped into the middle of my army and then took the whole force shooting him and his 10 plague bearer mates only to live and have to be finished off by the baron in combat. The obliterators landed and both failed to destroy a target and all the while I was chipping away at the horde. Infact at the end of the game Brendan managed just 135vp from my army while I had destroyed nearly all of his. I will say he rolled like a boss for his FNP with plague marines shrugging of blaster and dark lance fire like it was not funny. Brendan took it all in his stride and played on valiantly despite what the outcome seemed to be. As one spectator quipped â€“ â€˜They survived the fall, a zombie apocalypse is nothing!â€™ 20 point win.
Game 6 â€“ Olly, Necrons â€“ Fire Sweep (capture the flag style game with 6 objectives â€“ scoring units plant flags to claim objective and can only be removed by other scoring units), dawn of war
Lord on Barge, Destroyer lord, 6 wraiths, 3 annihilation barges, 5 warriors with lord, 5 warriors with lance cryptek, 3x6 warriors with haywire cryptek in night scythes.
Well damn. More necrons. The bane of dark eldar. Still, I had a plan. Turns out the warlord trait (-1 to enemy reserves) combined with the plan worked very well. I went first and took out 1 of the annihilation barges along with a unit of warriors on foot with a lance cryptek. Not great but I had advanced a lot in this phase so that I could be well into his side of the board come flyer entry. I had also disembarked my unit of 8 warriors to capture a point which left them dangerously exposed to the wraiths. In his first turn, Olly wisely decided to kill those warriors with the wraiths but after I goaded him a lot about how the beasts would win combat even when charged by the wraiths, he decided to charge them instead. I lost badly to say the least but then proceeded to roll double one and hold! Combine with hit and run and woo hoo! This left the wraiths high and dry in front of some 80 odd poison shots which work very well against things like wraiths. The beast pack got to eat another 12 odd warriors over the course of the game to finally do something good for the weekend and while I lost all of my ravagers, I was still in a strong place at the end of turn 4 when time was called. With just 3 necron warriors, a lord on foot, a destroyer lord who had stood back up and the 3 planes vs multiple blasters and infantry, I am confident the final outcome would not have changed with 1-2 more turns. By removing those small units of warriors as soon as they hit the table and then retaking the objectives I was able to ensure I had the game as he simply could not unflag the objectives I had taken. 20 point win. I have to apologise to Olly though as well â€“ there were a couple of times he had to say the same thing like 5 times because I simply did not understand what he meant! Sleep deprivation after 2 days of gaming meant some (in hindsight) very simple concepts were completely lost on me at the time â€“ sorry mate!
So I finished up with 97 points from the 120 available and 5 wins, 1 loss. I was really pleased with this as dark eldar certainly seemed like the underdogs to take in a sea of necrons, guard and marines but with the change in meta to more infantry and less tanks, the volume of fire a dark eldar army can produce now is a serious threat! Combined with pre measuring and night shields meant I could dictate a large amount of the incoming fire and get to shoot first in a lot of cases. I think my plan of being too close for the flyers is a sound one â€“ especially against necrons. It did not work in game 3 as I was simply not able to engage quickly enough to get them to overshoot me â€“ he went first and the deployment (hammer and anvil) means I could not get over quick enough. I took option B and tried to wipe Kyle outâ€¦ which while an ok plan did not quite work. In game 6 it worked very well! I still need more time on the table playing against flyers to make up my mind but I donâ€™t think they are essential to all armies in a competitive environment.
I was very happy to get Best Hobby again this year, and to get second place for generalship was great as well. To get best overall was fantastic â€“ especially as the competition is so fierce. I would like to thank each of my opponents as they all played very well and were great to play against.
To the TOâ€™s, a massive thank you and congratulations on running the 3 events at one time with such success. I know firsthand how much work goes into running an event so 3 at once is massive. Luke in particular deserves praise for the time and dedication to running this every year alongside his various other commitments and his very understanding wife!
See you next year!
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