Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aussie Nova-style event, aka We love you MVBrandt!

There will be a nova style event run in Rockhampton QLD sometime next year. The main instigators are myself and Fester of, and we are currently sussing out details. We have tested the waters, and copped a massive amount of flak regarding the viability of a purely competitive event. It's gonna happen. We may not sell fifty places, but gotta start some where. Once we finalize details, like location, and whether our greater daemons (read: wives ) will allow said time investment, you will know more

Cheers, Dan

Combat Patrol - The lost wolves.

Wonna's combat patrol tourney has been announced ! Rules are basically the fourth Ed. Combat patrol rules, with one exception - nids can take a warrior squad for synapse, which makes sense. My list is going to be fairly snooty, and my first outing with my stellar puppies of doom. List is as follows:

Rune priest, living lightning,anti deepstrike power
No surprises here, max allowed to be spent on any single model is one hundred, and he brings psychic defense, dakka, good ws power weapon, and some versatility to mess up jump pack/jet bike armies with difficult dangerous terrain tests.

5 Grey Hunters, meltagun, mark of wulfen, Razorback with TL H Bolter,
Standby unit, heavy bolter is great at this points level, and grey hunters are probably the best troops in the game ATM . May exchange melta for flamer, see what occurs.

5 Long Fangs, 4 missile launchers
This needs explaining? Str 8. 4 shots, 2 targets a turn. Awesome.
1 x Thunderwolf Cav - Good mobility, hard to kill, plenty of awesome.

Basic premise is to de-mech my enemy where necessary , and torrent them. T wolf, rune priest and razor wolves move up, firing all the while. T-wolf is for mulching infantry, I'll shoot power armored stuff off the table where possible.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Quartermaster 3 - Tournament Battle Report

The following is a report on my performance at the Quartermaster 3 tournament in Brisbane, Australia, hosted by Rob (Raven0470) and Dave (Triggerhappy) of Wargamerau fame. I've got a couple of friends who have played in QM's before, and Rob had graced us with his presence at my first competitive event, Cowcon 2009. He also smashed fase.

First and foremost let me thank those two blokes for running an amazing tourny. I had a great time, I can honestly say that I only saw probably one or two seals during the weekend, and even the guys playing fluffy bunny armies were strong competent players. Every game I played, I learnt something, and really, thats all you can ask for.

My list for the tourny rolled something like this:-

1750 Tau Army

Shas'el, Plasma/Missile Pod/Targetting Array (Plasma Missile combos are referred to as Fireknife, from here on)

3 Fireknife XV8's, Team leader with a TA
3 x XV8 Deathrains with TL MP and TA's (TL Missile Pods referred to as Deathrain from here on in)
3 x XV8 Deathrains

12 Kroot, 5 hounds
12 Kroot, 5 hounds
9 Firewarriors
6 Pathfinders, D/fish, with a disruption pod
2 x Pirahna, 1 with Fusion/D-pod/TA, the other with just fusion
2 x XV88's, Railguns and SMS, Targetting Arrays
2 x Railheads, Multitrackers, Burst Cannons, D-pods

Basic game plan, like all competent Tau, is to shoot the enemy. A lot. (Rocket Surgery it ain't)

Game 1 - Patrick's (borrowed) Saim Hann Eldar Army
Farseer on a bike
3 Squads of bikers
Shining Spear Squad
2 x Falcons with DAVU and holofields
1 x Prism
2 Scatter Laser Vypers

Thats fairly accurate, im sure he has a few more bits and pieces but i cant recall them exactly

Game was Killpoints, Dawn of War. I castled very inefficiently, and it cost me the game. It was the first time I had played eldar in any way shape or form, since second edition, and it was a rude shock. Pat was a very good player, and basically abused terrain to  prevent my broadsides from taking part in very much of the game. Lesson learned, take BASS, so i can move and fire. The game consisted very much of me popping vehicles and him killing units of kroot etc. Highlights were his shining spear + exarch squad charging 2 half strength units of deathrains.... and losing. Kicking eldar to death is the highlight of my battlesuit's weekend.
Results - Minor Loss, 7 - 2 KP, some bonus objectives.

Game 2 - Objectives, Spearhead.
2 objectives, one in each opposite quarter, like so    XO

Where "O" was the deployment zones, and the objectives were in the centre of the X's. My opponent for this game was Mike's Necrons, who up until this point I had though useless in  competitive 40k. Useless, assuming your opponent can FAIL A SINGLE WE WILL BE BACK ROLL FOR THE ENTIRE GAME.

List was as follows

Lord (no res orb)
3 x Necron blobs, two lots of 15, one lot of ten, held in reserve
6 Immortals
1 Monolith
2 x 5 Heavy Destroyers

Aside from his amazing dice rolls, and my ridiculously poor ones (3 railgun hits a turn on a monolith, for 4 turns.... 1 pen, weapon destroyed, over four turns.) Kroot came on from reserve, to take my objective, and got monolithed for their troubles, poor dice rolls for me, and excellent rolling on his part, made this game very frustrating. My total kills ended up being an amazing total of 8 warriors, and 4 Destroyers. Seriously.

Game 3 - Capture and Control, 5 Objectives, Pitched Battle Vs Catachan Guard Army

I forget this gentlemens name, but he was a sport to play. His army scored a full 8 (out of 8) for comp from me, it had camo nets on pretty much everything, including vehicles, and was very fluffy, if not very effective.

Comp Command, Standard, Vox
Bunch of regular guard units with vox and VERY few heavy weapons
couple of vet squads, with sniper rifles, and a missile launcher
1 Vendetta mounted demo charge/meltagun vet squad
1 Leman Russ Vanquisher, the battlecannon that doesnt scatter kind (the tank hunter one)
2 x Plasma Cannon Armored Sentinels
3 base mortar team

I won the roll off, and got first turn/deployement, and that was pretty much the game. He turbo-scouted his Valk, which in theory is a good move... against anyone but Tau. I lit it up with 5 marker hits, and blew it out of the sky. I smashed his sentinels and his russ first turn, stunning/shaking and immobilising the lot of them, and pummeled some guardsman with missile fire. His return firepower was ineffectual, only killing 4 pathfinders (who didnt run!) and not really doing very much. The remainder of the game consisted of me stringing my kroot out to capture objectives, and trying to kill his goddamned sniper vet squad/platoons in cover over 2 objectives. Having that +1 to cover save, and going to ground, made the game drag on much longer than it needed to. We actually managed to go all the way to turn 6, which is what I needed to kill off the last 5 guardsman (Sigh cover saves) and grab all the objectives. Massacre win.

Game 4, Seize Ground (3 objectives), Pitched Battle, vs Chris's Mech Tau

Chris was running a bit of a 4th ed list, which consisted of the following

 Shas'o with plasma/fusion and drones
3 x Deathrains with drones
3 x firewarriors in D-fish
20 kroot and 5 hounds (roughly)
5 x Pathfinders with d-fish
2 x Railheads

I scored first turn, and set up refused flank again, castling with kroot for cover saves. Pathfinders scouted into a better position, as the board was very very multilevel, with heaps of different sized plateau's to hide stuff behind. P/finders now had line of sight, and cover saves, everything else was on top level of the hills etc and could see clearly. I set up one Railhead on extreme left flank as bait, and one in the middle for the same reason.

He kept a lot of stuff in reserve, 1 railhead and the 3 devilfish, and didn't sieze initiative. I lit up his Railhead with 4 marker lights, enough to remove its D-pod save and blow the railgun off it. First problem dealth with. Rest of my shooting was fairly useless, and it rolled over to his turn. His deathrains countered by killing half a dozen kroot, who refused to run, and about 4 assorted wounds on suits across the table. My turn 2, I blew apart his pathfinders, and killed 2 out of 3 of his deathrains, and stunned then destroyed his ionhead. I outflanked my kroot on my left, and hid them behind some area terrain fully hiding them from LoS. The next two turns consisted of him bringing on reserves, including his other railhead, and me blowing them apart. (Chris now has a newfound appreciation of broadsides with cover saves, and how much better they are for killing tanks than railheads). His kroot came on on turn 3, assaulted my broadsides, whiffed (with over 60 attacks, they scored 5 wounds, all of which I saved). Broadsides retaliated, and managed to outdo the kroot in cc for four phases , but got killed in the end of his turn 4. The deathrains then turned around and lit up his kroot, who immediately failed their leadership and ran, under half strength (bye bye birdmens!) I then used my railhead chassis to physically block his last remaining firewarrior squad from getting close enough to contest my objective, and I scored another massacre win.

Game 5, Kill points, Dusk of War (Pitched battle deployment). This was another custom scenario jobby, where nightfighting came into effect at the start of turn 4. And, as I had removed my Blacksun filters, it ended up costing me the game. Game was fought against Josh McGowan's Eldar. Josh has a great army, and is a very good player, also quite highly ranked in the Australian RankingsHQ (for what that is worth). He was great to play against, and I'm looking forward to seeing his blog very soon, as he videos all his games, an idea I am probably going to steal.

His army was an eclectic mix of Eldar, as follows
Farseer, Doom/Fortune
2 x Guardian Squads, Eldar Missile Launcher, Witchguy, with Embolden (Eldar that never run... sigh)
2 Wraithlords with EML and Bright Lance
Couple of Falcons
Nightspinner (I learnt that this thing actually kicks ass)
Couple of Dire Avenger units to go in Falcons
2 x Vypers with Scatters

Same deal, refused flank, this time to my left. There was a large shrine in the middle of the table, slightly off centred to my right, and very little terrain between us. I krootwalled, to gain cover saves, and set up the Railheads off to the right, as bait. Again, Broadsides set up far left, and I paid for the inability to move and fire.

His turn one - Nightspinner. Jesus. Covered a total of 5 suits and 2 kroot, wounding 2 suits, and killing 2 kroot. I then discover (because I am a batshit random newb) that the Difficult/Dangerous combo tests last till the NEXT TIME YOU MOVE, not the next turn. I am upset. 2 wounded Fireknives effectively pinned that unit in place at this point, even though I should have run the odds and just moved them, for all the good they did. Immobilised a Railhead, Avatar peeked up over the temple ruins in the middle, wraithlords also in line of sight. (with no cover - crotch up on a wraithlord is not 50% visibile, its like 75% cause they have skinny legs.)

My turn one - potshots across the board. Tried to massacre a unit of Guardians, but they were in cover, with Fortune, and I had previously not seen this power. Holy snappin duckshit, they were hard to kill, and the would not run. 3+ saves with rerolls? Yes, they couldnt shoot back, but I also couldnt remove them for a KP. I killed a vyper, and put 2 wounds onto a wraithlord with railhead solid shots. Deathrains saw the Avatar, and put 3 wounds on him. All I could see was his head and shoulders, and we laughed about the Avatar climbing back down with face full of missiles going "GET THEM OFF ME, GET THEM OFF ME!" I lined up the nightspinner with other railgun shots, and blew it apart (Phew.)

His Turn 2 - Avatar went and hid behind the mountain, still trying to pull missiles from his face. Wraithlords shuffled over to gain a cover save, and threw more missiles at a railhead, immobilising it. Some kroot died, and his army shuffled around.

My Turn 2 - Kroot came on, in striking distance of a falcon that had moved 6". 17 kroot worth of attacks, 30+ hits, 4 glancing results..... immobilised, weapon destroyed, shaken, shaken. Sigh. One railhead moved to get LoS on second wraithlord, scored 2 wounds on him from both railheads again. More ineffectual shooting at guardians, who would not die. Shook the second Falcon, second turn over.

His Turn 3 - Dire Avengers got out, other Dire avengers drove over and disembarked, all within rapid fire range of kroot. Not going to end well. Kroot all die. Wraithlords miss, Avatar hides, everything else dances the silly elf dance. Vyper dissapears to hide in the corner of the board.

My turn 3 - Killed some more Guardians, didn't run. Went for a risk on the DAVU unit, and dropped a railhead template on top of its back quarter, killing six dire avengers... who did not run. Sigh. Shook the falcon again. Pirahna jumped over the mountain, killed the wraithlord, missile pods killed the Avatar. Stuff moved forward, in preperation of next turn.

His turn 4 - Darkness falls. Stuff is all out of range, except for the lone pirahna, which he subsequently blows up. He scores a lucky vision on the mobile railhead, and hits it with a krak missile, pens, I fail my save, and he blows it up. The killpoints are now 5 - 7, in his favour, and I'm up shit creek. (CURSE YOU BLACK SUN FILTERSSSSS)

My turn 4 - I scramble everything forward trying to get vision, but fail to see anything except his Guardians. There are only 8 left at this point. I kill 2. With my whole armies shooting. I either could not see, or couldnt not hit, this silly guardian  unit, and they passed their emboldened leadership test.

Rest of the game is a farce, Josh hides admirably in the back corner, and I complain about blacksun filters. All in all, a great game, Josh outplayed me using the mission, and I applaud him for it. I learnt that BSF on suits is a must for tourneys, its a CHEAP advantage for missions that have night fighting, and I need to abuse that. I also learnt that Eldar are impossibly hard to catch, but that is their main trick.

All in all, the tourny was a massive amount of fun. Almost got arrested on the Saturday night, out on the town, played sunday hung over, and still had a ball. Looking forward to QM4.

Regarding this batrep - Yes, it is disjointed, and there is no photos. I will endeavour from now on to have both turn by turn photos, and some sort of format that is a touch easier to peruse. I was trying to punch this out from memories two weeks old, and I apologise for that.

Comp in Australia - Let the rant begin.

So after reading quite a bit about the Nova Open, mostly at YTTH, I've been considering competition scoring in Australia, and why we maintain it. Now, a lot of individuals will claim that comp is neccassary, because of the prevalance of "beardy" or otherwise FOTM army list inclusion. They maintain that comp prevents cheating, encourages a "hobby positive" attitude, and generally makes everyone feel good.

Unfortunately, they are, for the most part, right. Comp does do a lot of these things. It also falls down in other areas, namely, the competitive nature of what a tournament actually represents.

Disclaimer: I make a fine distinction between a "Hobby Event" and a "Tournament" in the following comparisons. Try to keep up.

It may be my bloody mindedness, but to me, a tournament is something you set out to win. There is something primeval involved in outdoing your fellow man, regardless of the contest. I've been involved in competitive sport, at a high level (State representation) since I was about 11 years old. You do not go to a tournament to make friends, to show off your new sporting equipment, or have people marvel about how you kick a ball "In the spirit of the game".

You go there to win. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Being competitive, doesn't mean you have to be an asshole, either. I've made plenty of friends who's faces I have pummeled into the dirt. I'm best mates with guys I previously beat the living crap out of on a rugby field, and who beat the crap out of me. I played a hard game, and so did they, and there is respect to be gained from each other in that fact.

Do events overseas like "Ardboyz" and the Nova Open represent something that shouldn't be allowed in the hobby community? No, I don't think so. I am all for running a hobby event, one where your attention to detail, your commitment to your preparation (both in your ability and in your models presentation) and your overall nice-guy attitude are the defining factors in whether you win or lose. There is nothing wrong with that. Its a big comfy slice of the hobby pie, and it attracts new gamers, and keeps the old fluffybunny ones happy. It's well established, and it has its place.

But a gut's out competition, where your ability as a player is all that counts? I'd like to get me some of that action as well. Nova has hit this style of comp right on the head. Army not painted? No bonus points, but you can't progress to the finals. Acting like a douchebag? Your peers will sort you out. Thats the way a COMPETITIVE tournament should be. It's hard and fast, and you have to be on top of your game, otherwise you will miss out.

I'm the perfect example of why comp doesn't always work. Last two tournaments, I've come 10th. At QM3, I came 10th, with 1 more battlepoint than my mate Wes, who came roughly 25th (or something). 1 Battle point. He felt cheated, and I imagine I would have too.

I am not saying I won't play in comp based tourneys, I enjoy them, they are fun. But don't try to tell me that comp is neccassary, or that without it the game "isn't fair".

Cause I'll tell you the same thing my coach told me when I got smacked in the mouth by players 3 years older than me: if they play hard, you play harder. There's no room for tears when your trying to be the best.

Dan, Out.