Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reflections on the BFS RTT.

About my list
1.)    The scouts did not really do all that much.  I put them in the list to sit on objectives, and maybe fire a couple of missiles. In 3 games the achieved dying twice, holding an objective for a bonus point once, they shot the missile launcher once in 3 games.  Part of the issue was that I misplayed them in 2 out of 3 games.  In my first game I should have either deployed them, or walked them on with the rest of my army, reserving them for the outflank, when my opponent was outflanking with Genestealers, was a bad idea, I had an idea about denying kill points in my head going into the game and did not think through my opponents list when making my decision.  If I had gotten my scouts into the small piece of terrain in the middle of my deployment zone, they would have killed his Ymgarls who would now have no place to deploy from.  (Now I had no way to know they would come in there, but I should have gambled on it as it was the best place for them to be.  In my last game I should have kept them off the table with the rest of my army rather than eat 2 turns of incoming fire.
2.)    I feel like psychic defense might be very necessary going forward,  the ability to potentially shut down feel no pain on nids (even though it only got used twice), lash, psyker battle squads, Grey Knights, etc, is going to be more and more important going forward.

About My Play
1.)    Against more aggressive opponents reserving my army and coming in piecemeal like I did could have cost me a lot more than it did.
2.)    I worry too much about losing my speeders and Dreads early in the game.  I think this is the reason I was so likely to reserve.  In addition the fact that bikes can turbo boost on to the board greatly improves their durability.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Battle for Salvation RTT round 3

Feeling a little better about myself after winning round 2 I prepared to face down the might that is the new Grey Knights in Round 3.

Mission: 5 Objective Seize ground with pre-placed objectives, Deployment: Pitched battle

My opponents list
4 x 5 Purifiers (2x Psycannons, Hammer (on Knight of the flame)) in PsyBacks
1 x 10 man strike squad (2 Psycannons, maybe some other stuff I never found out) in a Rhino
3 x Psyfleman dreads
6 Paladins (not sure what they had, they played no part in this game.)

I won the roll and took second turn (bike armies love 2nd turn in an objective mission) my opponent reserved his paladin squad to deep strike, reserved Crowe (to deny kps I guess as Kps was a bonus battle point).  He deployed 2 Purifier squads and 2 Dreads on my Left, and 2 Purifier squads, the Strike squad, and a Dread on my right, hiding the strike Rhino behind a building, and setting up his fire lanes.  I decided to reserve everything except my scouts, who infiltrated on an objective in terrain on my left.  My thinking for reserving was 3 Fold:
 1.) Deny my opponent 2 turns of shooting (except at 2+ cover save scouts).
 2.) Shorten the game, skipping 2 turns meant that I would have more bikes left to control and contest objectives with come turn 5.
 3.) Hope that his paladins would come in before me and I could avoid them, as I really did not want to content with that squad.  (Though I guess with all my melta I probably could have killed them, but that would have been focusing most of my army on one squad.)

Turn 1:  My opponent moves up with his razorbacks and dreads on my left, as well as the dread on my right.  He shoots the scouts with 2 dreads and 2 Psybacks, and kills 1. (The go to ground).  My turn the scouts stand back up.

Turn 2:  My opponent rolls reserves, Crowe come in but his Paladins hang back (much to my dismay).  He moves up his dreads and Razors on my left shoots more at the scouts, and manages to kill the squad (bad rolling on my part)  He also managed to immobilize one of his Razors in terrain on my right.  My turn comes, I roll reserves, I get in 1 Melta bike squad, and 1 speeder.  Both come in on my right and shoot his Dread on that side, blowing off an arm and immobilizing it.

Turn 3:  My opponents Paladins still don’t come in so he moves up further on my right to get LOS at my speeder and bikes, on the right he immobilizes another RB in terrain (terrible luck on dangerous terrain for him), shoots my bikes a bit, and kills 2.  .  On my turn, I get in one dread, another speeder, my large bike squad, and another melta bike squad.  I finish off his immobile dread, my melta bikes come in on the right, and wreck one of his Purifiers Razorbacks.  This means I will get assaulted on that side but I need those purifiers out of their ride.  I also manage to immobilize one of his dreads on the right.

Turn 4 : My opponent finally gets his Paladins in and…..they mishap, and I place them in the left hand corner farthest from any fighting, they won’t be heard from again.  He disembarks one of his Purifier squads on the right to try to shoot and assault my bikes that had lost 2 bikers last turn, he kills one, I combat tactic to fail LD and fall out of assault range.  On the left his purifiers move shoot and assault my melta bikes, they kill everything but the attack bike (they lose their hammer to perils on double ones for hammer hand).  He also moves his Strike rhino up on the left to try to get shots on my speeders.  On my turn my last 2 dreads and speeder come on, but 2 bike squads still stay off the board.  My big squad moves up shoots the purifiers that had disembarked, killing all but one, who I charge, he rolls for Cleansing flame hoping to put some wounds on my squad, and he rolls box cars, and kills the last guy.  My remaining members of the weakened Melta squad on the right move up and pop his immobile Razorback, while getting out of LOS from the guys on the right.  On the Right his purifiers finish off my bike squad, and consolidate onto an objective ~12” from my table edge.

Turn 5:  My opponent tries to move up his Strike Rhino only to immobilize it in terrain (that is 3 if you’re counting)  He disembarks his last purifiers on the left to shoot my big squad, which he shoots with as much as possible and brings it down to the captain and 3 guys, they pass LD.  On the Right he immobilizes one of my speeders, and moves up his Last purifier squad, and disembarks into terrain (I think he was going to try to take the center objective if we went 6 turns.).  On my turn My last 2 bike squads come in and with the help of the immobile speeder gun down his purifier squad on the left objective near my table edge.  My weakened Melta squad that is near table center moves and claims the center objective, the remnants of my big squad split off from my captain and claim another objective while he goes to contest my opponents only objective.  In shooting I kill all but 2 of the purifiers on that objective.  At which point I decided since I was not in contention for tournament victory I would assault the 2 purifiers with my captain, who wiped them out.  The game ends on turn 5 with me holding 3 objectives to 0, and winning 2 of the secondary objectives (VPs and KPs, we tied table quarters)  so I get 12 points, finishing with 20 Battle points out of a possible 39, and tying for 10th overall.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Battle for Salvation RTT game 2

After my first game beating I was of 2 minds, first I new I was out of contention for the overall win, second I knew I wanted to win more games than I lost over the course of the tournament, and theoretically I should have an easier opponent after my first loss.

Game 2 Mission: NOVA table quarters (most victory points hold the quarter), Deployment: Spearhead

My opponent for this game was a guy name Kurt who was playing Chaos Space marines.  He was a very nice guy and a great opponent.

His list

Daemon Prince (mark of Slaanesh, lash)
Sorcerer (mark of Slaanesh, lash)

3 Terminators ( Icon of Slaanesh, combi-meltas) in a Possessed Land Raider.
Dreadnought (Plasma Cannon, Missile) which he smartly kept close to his land raider incase it freaked out
5 Chosen (3 Melta, 2 Plasma) in a Rhino.

10 Chaos Marines (2 Plasma Guns)
10 Chaos Marines (Plasma gun, missile launcher)
6 or 7 Thousand Sons in a Rhino, Bolt of change Sorcerer (lash sorcerer rode with these guys)

Heavy Support
Possessed Vindicator
2 x 2 Obliterators.

My opponent won the roll to go first and castled up in his corner, placing his vehicles up front giving cover to his Daemon Prince.  His 2 Chaos Marine Squads were deployed in a big piece of area terrain in the middle of his quarter, as were one of his Oblit squads.  His other oblits were deployed in another piece of area terrain near his board edge close to table center.  He held his Chosen in Reserve to outflank.  Seeing as he was fairly shooty but not all that mobile I decided to reserve all of my army, except for my scouts who infiltrated in some ruins, in the neutral table quarter on his side of the table.

Turn 1:  My opponent moves a little to get better cover for his vehicles, but makes the mistake of popping smoke on his Thousand sons rhino and his Vindicator, because he forgets that I won’t have much to hurt him with turn 1.  He shoots his dread and one squad of oblits at my scouts, who go to ground and make saves.   He is still entirely within his table quarter as he is afraid of getting spread out and shot up by my bikes as they arrive.  On my turn my scouts get up and then it is his turn again.

Turn 2: His chosen don’t arrive (lucky for him.)  He uses his land raider to hide his other tanks, then shoots at my scouts again killing one.  On my turn I get in one of my speeders, one of my Dreads and 3 of my melta bike squads.  I bring my dread and speeder in on my right, while all 3 bikes come in on my left (the same side as most of his stuff) I turbo boost one squad, while the others hide behind a piece of terrain.  I shoot and immobilize his dread in his table quarter, but do little else.  My thought at this point is to try to fight him in his table quarter and get him to stay there while I keep the remaining 3 for my self.

Turn 3:  His Chosen arrive; they come in right next to my speeder and Dread.  He does not move much except to line up my turbo boosted bikes to eat a lot of fire.  His Chosen kill my dread, while his Oblits immobilize my speeder and knock its missiles off.  He lashes my turbo boosted squad  then drops the vindicator round and 2 plasma rounds (as well as all his chaos marine shooting into them), then lashes them again so he can assault with his DP, but he rolls poorly and we tie combat with my 2 bikes doing 1 wound and his DP doing 1 wound.  ON my turn I get my large bike squad and my last melta bike squad in as well as one more dread and one more speeder.  The melta bikers turbo boost up the center of the table to try and engage his land raider, and I manage to blow off a lascannon.  My Large bike squad (with captain) moves on and assaults the Chosen and their rhino, killing the Chosen, but only knocking the gun off the rhino.  I move up and shoot and assault one Chaos marine squad with one of my bike squads, while the other bike squad moves back toward the center of my table edge.  I manage to stun the thousand sons Rhino, put a wound on an obliterator, and my bike squad wins combat against his Chaos marines who then run off the board.  His Daemon Prince finishes off the bike squad he is fighting.

Turn 4:  He disembarks his sorcerer and thousand sons (splitting them up ) and his termies.  He shoots my fully functional speeder and kills it, and takes the heavy bolter off of the other speeder.  His chosen rhino runs away from my large squad back toward his edge of the board.  He lashes the bikes squad that just killed his marine squad as well as my other bike squad and shoots both with a lot of fire power. I take enough casualties to force leadership, which I choose to fail with combat tactics leaving his daemon prince out of assault range.  His terminators assault my melta bike squad that turbo boosted last turn, they win combat, I choose to run away, and get far enough away to regroup.(with all 3 squads.  My Turn 4, I get in the last of my reserves, my large bike squad chases his Rhino back toward his board edge.  My other bikes shoot at his Daemon prince, and land raider, (taking the prince down to his last wound but doing little to the landraider.) While my dreads, shoot and blow up his rhino and vindicator (which kills 3 Thousand sons, and 1 regular marine in the blast.)  Then I assault the land raider with a squad of bikes, but multi charge into his sorcerer, just to tie him up so he does not get to use lash.  He kills a bike, and I wound the sorcerer and we stay locked.  My scouts have now run out onto an objective (which counts as a bonus point)

Turn 5:  His Chosen rhino continues to run, his daemon prince and termies assault one of my bike squad and wipe them out.  His Thousand sons shoot and kill most of another bike squad (just the attack bike remains).  On my turn I shoot and kill his Daemon Prince, move my dreads into the quarter (as well as the remaining attack bike from my last small bike squad) which has his Thousand sons, and termies. I also move a damaged speeder into this quarter.  My Large bike squad moves into the quarter that had my scouts in it (and his rhino and obliterators).  My bikes continue to tie up his sorcerer in combat.  The game ends turn 5 with me holding 3 quarters to his one quarter.  (I hold one quarter with the immobilized speeder with no weapons ;). So after game 2 I had 8 points in the overall standing, which put me somewhere in the lower middle of the pack (getting tabled game one will do that.)

Battle for Salvation 2000 point RTT

So the world didn’t end on 5/21/11 and I got in a great day of tournament play to boot.  Not a bad weekend if I say so myself.  I traveled to White Plains with 2 of my good friends to attend Battle for Salvations spring RTT event.  BFS is a pretty well known gaming club (home to such “internet celebs” as Jawaballs, Fritz, Danny Internets, and Black Matt.), and they always do a great job putting on an event (this is the third event of theirs that I have attended).  All the tables looked great, the terrain was beautiful and well balanced from table to table, the tourney was well organized, and everyone was extremely friendly.  It was a decent sized tourney (28 players after some no shows.) with some very competitive players, and “hard” lists.  Going from memory I would put the army breakdown as follows.

5 Deathwing Players(Including Black Matt, and Alex Fennel)
At least 5 Guard Players (maybe more)
3 or 4 each of Wolves and Blood Angels
1 Tyranid Player (Fritz)
An Ork Kan wall list
4 Grey Knight armies
2 or 3 Dark Eldar Lists
1-2 Codex Marines (Including myself)
3 Chaos Marine lists

I could be off here or there but that is as best as I can remember.  The missions were “NOVA Style” missions, but used battle points due to the length of the tournament. The main objective in each mission was worth 10 points for a major victory, 7 for a minor victory or 5 for a draw (minor loss was 3), then the 3 other objectives in each mission were worth 1 bonus point each, so there was a maximum of 13 points for each round.  The top spot went to a Grey Knight player (who I think go max points in all 3 missions) Playing a Cotaez list (though only 2 henchman squads).  Anyway onto my list…

Codex Space Marines 2000 points

Space Marine Captain 195
(Bike, Storm Shield, Relic Blade, Artificer Armor)

3 x Dreadnought with TL Auto Cannons 375

8 bikes + Multimelta Attack Bike (2 Plasmaguns, Powerfist 320

4 x 4 Bikes + Multimelta Attack bike (2 melta guns) 740

1 x 5 Scouts (Cammo Cloaks, Missile launcher) 100

Fast Attack

3 x Land Speeder (Typhoon Missile Launcher + Heavy Bolter) 270

The idea behind this list was to try to stay away from the opponent and shoot, then move in and strike with bike squads against weakened units.  I felt that this list had a good mix of mid range fire power, long range firepower, as well as low AP weaponry.  After the tourney I can see a few tweaks I might make, but overall the list performed well as I ended up with 2 wins and 1 loss despite some of the worst dice I have had in a long while.

Game 1: Mission: Annihilation, Deployment: Dawn of War.

My first game was against Fritz, and his Tyranid list, which was kind of scary as it was not a list my army was really built to fight, but I figured I could hold my own.

His list

3 x Tervigon (1HQ, 2 Troops) with Catalyst, Adrenal Glands, and Toxin Sacs
2 x 10 Termaguants
3 x Hive Guard
3 x Venomthropes
3 x Trygon with Adreanal Glands
10x Genestealers
10 x Ymgarl Stealers

I’m not sure about the #s on the stealers but otherwise that was his list.

He won the roll off and elected to take turn 1.  He deployed his 3 Tervigons spread out along the centerline of the table, decided to Outflank his stealers, and deep strike with his Trygons (This could/should have been a costly mistake for him), everything else would walk on turn 1.  I held all my stuff off the board, and decided to outflank my scouts (a mistake given his outflanking stealers, but I was hoping they would stay off the board and deny kill points).

Turn 1:
During Fritz’s first turn He advanced (and ran) his Tervigons up the board toward my table edge, but forgot to cast feel no pain during his movement phase, while the rest of his army entered from his board edge.  This was a huge mistake by him and likely should have cost him the game.  On my turn All of my bikes, speeders and dreads rolled on right near (within 6-7 inches) of 2 of his tervigons, and unloaded on them with shooting killing both on turn 1, leaving him with only one synapse creature, I also killed one of his venomthropes with a missile shot.

Turn 2
Only Fritz Ymgarls arrived from reserve (which was very bad for him). He spawned some gaunts from his remaining tervigon, and put feel no pain on the tervigon as well.  His Ymgarls however managed to assault 3 of my bike squads (which could have been very bad for me.), but he rolled very poorly in the assault and I managed to tie combat (we each did 4 wounds).  On my turn my scouts failed to come in, I sent my large bike squad after the Hive guard (managing to do 1 wound to them in shooting) and I put 4 wounds on the remaining tervigon.  However,  in the assault Fritz rolled well getting 4 rends, and I managed only to kill 2 stealers (he upped his toughness to 5), I lost combat failed leadership on 2 squads (one of which ran off the table the other of which did not but was still within 6” of his stealers, so if he did not move them, that squad would also be gone.

Turn 3
Fritz rolls in only 1 Trygon, and things continue to look pretty good for me. He spawns some more gaunts (and his tervigon goes sterile) and give the trygon feel no pain. He shoots one of my speeders with gaunts enough to blow the missiles off.  Then he uses poisoned gaunts to kill one of my bike squads, and finishes off the squad that is locked in with his stealers, but makes a critical error, and consolidates away from my fleeing bike squad.  At this point I am feeling pretty good  I have Killed 2 tervigons, and I should easily take down a 3rd this turn, as well as hurting a bunch of the gaunts (possibly killing them) and I should be able to shoot and kill his remaining Ymgarls which will put me up 6 Kps to 3.  I also might have a chance to take down the Hive guard, and Venoms, which would put me up 8-3 going into the final 2 turns.  But my dice decided to disagree this turn.  I regroup my falling back bikes and put them into position to shoot either his tervigon or Ymgarls, I move my big bike squad to attack the hive guard and possibly multi-charge his venoms., my scouts come in and outflank on my right and run into cover.   I position to fire my remaining to missile speeders into the tervigon figuring that will take it down then the dreads, can focus on the trygons/ymgarls/or remaining gaunts for kps.  I fire the first speeder at the Tervigon and miss twice, I fire the second, hit once, and roll a 1 to wound, I shoot 3 meltaguns off of my bike squad, and do one wound, I shoot 2 dreads into it and do nothing (the remaining dread fires at the trygon and does a wound), finally I fire the heavy bolter off of my last speeder, which finally brings it down, so nearly my whole army just to cause 2 wounds, it dies and takes out one gaunt squad and reduces the other squad to 1 model (which passes LD).  My large bike squad shoots at the hive guard, but causes no wounds.  I charge the hive guard and venoms with my large squad (my captain goes against the venoms), on the way in my fist dies to dangerous terrain.  My other bikes fail to wound the 3 Hive guard, who strike back causing 2 wounds, the venoms cause 3 wounds to my captain, he fails 2 of his 2+ saves.  He swings back but misses all 3 attacks.  So I lose combat by 4, then fail morale, and turn and run.

Turn 4
Frtiz finally gets the rest of his reserves in 2 Trygons, and the stealers.  His Venoms and Hive guard move forward, the hive guard shoot my large bike squad, and kill 2 members, who then turn and run again, and flee off the table.  His Trygon assaults one of my dreads, and kills it.  His stealers eat my scouts, his trygons, shoot and kill one of my speeders, and the other one + his Ymgarls attack by last bike squad….from here things continue down hill and end up with me tabled by the end of turn 6.

This game showed me just how much dice can change a game, it was the closest “tabling” I have ever played, I felt like I was in control of the game up until turn 3, I cannot think of much I would have done differently, but not being able to finish off that tervigon, and the Ymgarls, and all the gaunts, in addition to losing combat to venomthropes and hive guard so miserably, really turned the tables.

So game one goes down as a loss with 0 battle points for me, but it was a great game none the less.  Games 2 and 3 to come.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Never forget the mission.

           If I could give one piece of advice to any player, old or new, it would be always remember the mission.  So often these days I hear that competitive players always play to table their opponent, build lists to table their opponent, stomp face regardless of the mission.  While I agree that if you are beating your opponent into submission, you are likely winning the game, killing the opponent will not win you every game.
            A few stories to make my point:  The first of these comes from a year or so ago, I was playing a 1k point game with my Ravenwing army against, Imperial Guard.  The mission was capture and control, spearhead.  My opponent took the first turn and placed his objective in the middle of his deployment zone.  I placed mine behind a hill in the opposite corner of the board, and reserved my entire army to outflank.  Turn 2 a few of my squads outflank on his side and start battling with Chimeras, and guardsman taking heavy casualties.  Turn 3 the rest of my stuff comes on, one bike squad comes in on the opposite table edge, so I drive it in on my objective out of line of site.  Meanwhile he is busy dealing with my bikes, near his objective.  At the end of the game I win by contesting his objective and controlling mine.  At which point my opponent says “Why did you leave that bike squad back in that corner….”, which was on my objective.
            The second story happened just a week ago, I lent a friend of mine (a new player) my Deathwing army to play a 1500 point tourney, I was running Grey Knights.  So after winning my first game I go over to see how he is doing.  He tells me he lost the game, and I see that he only lost about 4 terminators, while his opponent’s army had little left.  He had forgotten that the mission was table quarters, and lost 2 quarters to 1.  He went on to finish 4th overall (I ended up 7th), winning his last 2 games.  Maybe he could have won the whole thing if he remembered the point of the mission, we’ll never know.
            Lastly, more tournaments these days are only giving full points for accomplishing the mission, even if you table your opponent.  One more reason to remember the mission, even if you plan to destroy your opponent.