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TOURNAMENT – PREP SUMMARY + GAME 1
As I have mentioned before, I attended my first tournament this weekend. It was semi-competetive/semi casual tournament with some rules on listbuilding:
2000 points. Maximum 2 detachments, maximum 1 named character, maximum 3 same units (Troops&Dedicated transports), maximum 2 same units in other slots across whole army. Fullpaint/tabletop heavily recommended.
At the beginning I have tried to make a fluffy tri-wing list, maybe include some Primaris, but it was early on visible that I cannot manage to pilot my own list, as I am a nab and know nothing. I turned to help to the most awesome Dark Angely place on this planet possible – Bolter and Chainsword Dark Angels section of the forum. Here, user Solrac (who I understand is a high ranking or at least very experienced ITC Dark Angel player) keeps posting his lists and scores. I have visited the thread and sort of copied his initial 8th ed list and changed it to match the tournament specs. With some discussion with him in the thread and valuable feedback from r/WarhammerCompetetive on the list, I was ready to get painting.
The shopping+painting list at that point has been – Darkshroud, Dark Talon, Grand Master Nakir (Azrael counts-as), Techmarine on Bike, 2×5 Las Tac squads, 3×5 bolter/HB scouts, 2 Razorbacks, 2 Predators and Librarian. While I already had the the Tactical box, Razorback box and some odd bits and bobs I have ordered the remaining boxes and special bits (Assault canon Razorback turrets from Kromlech, Techmarine backpack from Anvil) and went to town. I had to borrow a Razorback and Predator, had scouts in backup from another local Dark Angel player but luckily managed to push myself to paint mine so I didn’t have clown army and onto the tournament I went.
The list has been 2 Battalions for total of 10 CP.
2x Predator (Full Las + Las sponsons and Autocannon)
Techmarine on Bike (Arm)
Librarian (Power sword, plasma pistol)
3×5 Scouts (Bolters + HB, pistols)
Bang on 1985 points. I could’ve filled the 15 points with some upgrades and whatnot, but my original list had Azrael and Ezekiel on it (reading comprehension = 0) so I was asked by the TO to change the list accordingly, so I replaced Ezekiel and upgunned the Darkshroud to Assault Cannon and just submitted the list.
The tournament has been called “Great Costume Tournament”, apparently another in series of Great XYZ Tournaments (there have been Pirate, Valentine etc variations) and players were encouraged to come in costumes – I did not. There were special stratagems for costumed players (like denying a reroll, paying extra to use same stratagem twice etc) so fun was had by all.
I want to preface the following that I was super excited and nervous, my camera was shite and I did not take any notes. As well except for the matches on Day 2 I have no idea what are the opponent units called etc, so most unit designations will be “that thing over there”.
Game 1 – Necrons with “pyramid that has a dude in it”
Woo, super resilient reviving space skeletons with bloody fucking murder pyramid. That were my thoughts going into first game. My opponent was a nice enough fella and the mission was Open War cards (1 deployment, 2 objective, 2 twist cards at the same time). Unfortunately for my opponent, we have drawn the following. To make his problems bigger, I managed to win deployment roll-off and went first.
I have decided Necron will go into the middle, I have taken one corner with gunline and the other corner with scouts and razorback to keep him distracted of possible flank, and started the shooting gallery.
Not knowing what to do exactly, I decided to focus fire that big pointy thing in the middle of the table (as Necron warriors etc didn’t to me pose a threat with Darkshroud cover and Acid rain active – or so I thought) and ruffled some feathers from the flank on those snaily scarabs. The flank was in turn broken and forced, but little did my opponent know that this was just my clever ruse to break his focus. MWAHAHAHA. 2nd round Acid rain stopped. More shooting and flybys ensued.
With 3 remaining wounds the pyramid was quickly dealt with by the Dark Talon, exploded and took care of most of the warriors still standing. At this point in Round 3 it already looked like we’re going to be 20-0, but my opponent kept on fighting – props for that. He managed to sweep the flanking up to my corner bubble where a Razorback and tacticals were waiting on objective and finally managed to wipe them. In this turn my opponent remembered he had reserves (some guys with shovels for hands) – they came behind me and made a valiant charge into Lieutenant, DarkShroud and something else. Were decimated with overwatch fire a bit and then proceeded to not do much of anything and in turn died from BRRRRRRT fire from 2 Razorbacks after I run away from the combat.
Final shot of the game – both in-game and with camera:
He did not fare well. 20-0 in 4th round. I think the deployment and first turn completely crippled my opponent against the type of army I have been playing and adding some dice luck and fortune (or misfortune) were the deciding factors of the game.
At this point I was a bit disgusted with the power level of the list quite frankly, but also very happy that it worked very nicely by itself.
TOURNAMENT – GAMES 2 AND 3, DAY 1 WRAP-UP
Game 2 I have been paired against Thousand sons including the Big Titty Monster. I had a game for 1K points against them at the beginning of 8th and I remember being Smited (Smitten? Smote?) off the board very quickly with my marines, as -1 D1 shots were not really effective against their Terminators. The interesting part was the mission. This was first “tournament specific” mission called Phantom of the Opera. Deployment has been like this:
The fun part? In middle of map has been objective (Relic) and a model of Solitaire. The Solitaire moved each turn 2D6 scatter, could not run off the table, if ended in close combat distance from another unit was considered attacking it and was worth 6 VPs if killed.
The still-more-fun part? He had Mortarion stats.
My thinking was to keep a gunline to get Magnus down as quickly as possible and completely ignore Solitarion unless he comes my way. Opponent had first drop and his first 3 drops were Terminators and Lord into deep strike. With that I did some scout deploys to deny space, then Magnus came and on my end gunline started forming. Then there were some Chaos tacticals drops behind ruins into cover and my plan started taking better shape as the only visible thing has been Solitarion (right, like I was gonna poke that one) and Magnus.
No idea whether I managed to roll 2 higher than him on go first and resisted seize or seized myself, but I went first. Solitarion decided to scoot up along enemy deployment zone – the further away from me the better I thought.
With as much deepstrike deniability as possible, I started shooting. 6 Lashots in, 4 hit and wounded, 2 were not saved. 2D6 damage on Magnus…
Quite honestly the dice deserved better shot than this. This was the most important roll I made in the whole game. I ended my turn with Magnus on 5 wounds left. Go me.
My opponent’s turn 1 begun by some movement, all the deepstrikes and shit-ton (that’s a metric when playing Thousand sons) of Smites at Solitarion.
With Solitarion down to 2 wounds remaining, my opponent decided that he wants those 6 VPs. Magnus charged in. Dice were rolled, cholers were rising. I have saved EVERY. SINGLE. ATTACK. made against Solitarion and in turn took what was left of Magnus and banished him back to Warp.
My turn 2 – Solitarion with 2W left decided to jump towards my scouts at which point, with Magnus dead, and everything else outside my firing visibility – has been quickly executed by my gunline that moved up. I shot up with Dark Talon and a full Razorback to flank the Terminators. At this point the game has been pretty much decided, I just had to make sure I will hold the Relic at end of the game and I’m good. I managed to sweep his Terminators in the end, did some damage on Chaos space marines. As he didn’t really put much of a dent into my forces, another resounding win for Dark Angels.
Props to my opponent for playing Thousand sons in a Pharaoh costume with blindfold to have only 1 eye. Sorry for the 12 there on the damage roll. That wasn’t fair in the slightest, but I was scared shitless of Magnus so I do not feel any remorse.
GAME 3 – ORCS. ORCS. ORCS. EVERYWHERE. AND THEN SOME.
The last game of day 1, Game 3, put me against Orcs (against the guy who won the tournament on General score). Quite frankly, with good Open War mission, deployment, twists, objectives AND going first I could’ve possibly hoped to maybe manage a tie. Maybe, if all stars aligned. I didn’t go first. We didn’t do Open War mission.
This was another tournament made mission, loosely translated as “Pilsner butchering” the name of which has been made famous (or so I’ve been told) on some previous tournament where two armies rushed middle and duked it out there. Deployment was along the long edge, 3 objectives in the middle (center + 18″ both ways). The twist? You scored VPs for each unit in 12″ bubble of the centre objective and had -1 VP deduction for each unit still in your deployment zone. Pure joy for my gunline bubble.
Long story short, Green Tide swept over me. I made some mistakes in deployment and bubble wrap:
He had Commandoes (?) in reserves, 2 units. Knowing how much reserve units usually screwed my army, I deployed very wide to deny space. If I knew what quality unit they are, I would’ve kept the blob closer with proper bubblewrap.
I fucked up the little bubblewrap I could do by standing so close to my tanks that dem Orkz were able to consolidate onto my armour. I should’ve put two ranks of defense – Scouts first, Marines behind them out of consolidation range, and gunline behind that out of consolidation range again. Sacrifice – shoot – sacrifice – shoot.
Not saying this would change the outcome in the battle in any way, but I would take more of them down with me.
Shoutout a Razorback that held 3 turns a flank with 10 Commandos and about 10 Rocket orcs on itself, refusing to yield. Good guy.
I was a bit disgusted after this game and I am affraid I said as much to my opponent – for which I am sorry; it was definitely not meant against the way he or his army played. I made really stupid mistake at the beginning and then was suprised how good the Orcs were at everything from magic through shooting, to moving and charging and smashing (well no surprise there) and morale breaking. I couldn’t do anything. So yeah. Regardless, lesson learned about deployment – I still don’t think I could ever win this mission, not even tie this one, but if I had more experience I could’ve send more of the bastards to meet the Emperor.
DAY 1 – 2:1 FOR DARK ANGELS. NOT A BAD RESULT.
After this I just wandered around, took some photos of other armies and of the 4 tables that were dedicated to Bolt Action.
TOURNAMENT – DAY 2, GAMES 4 AND 5
At the morning of 2nd day of tournament I have been greeted by a small orkan outside (much fun looking forward to the 3.5 hour drive home later). After nice breakfast and check-out I have made my way (pretty much ran in the heavy rain) into the gaming den.
GAME 4 – WHO IS THE TRAITOR HERE EXACTLY?
The first game of second day had me fighting against an Alpha Legion impostors (clearly!), pretending to be Dark Angels. His list was more fluffier (he had DW) but I would say weaker variation on mine (no chickening in DarkShroud bubble). We talked a bit on the day before and I believe we were both looking forward to this game well knowing that the first shot will be crucial.
Especially if the Open War setup of Objective cards was 2x Killpoints.
I lost the deployment roll off, and was granted the “red” deployment zone. With Terminators in reserve, Devs and Vets in Drop pod in reserve, the gunlines formed. There were infiltrated Sniper Scouts, some denial of space for drops…
With +1 to start roll, he had no issue to go first on roll off. I rolled to seize, failed. First CP reroll of the game spent – 6! Seized! About midgame my opponent remembered there were the costume stratagems – this would allow him to overrule my reroll and the game would’ve looked very, very different.
Regardless, on we went. My priority at this point has been to take out the sniper scouts and take down his Dark Talon, even at the cost of mine. I shuffled up, took my squad and Libby out and managed to end the turn with scouts gone, Dark Talon gone and in quite okay position to receive the hurt back.
On my opponent’s turn, the skies turned green. And bonewhite. Deathwing dropped, drop pod came. My Dark Talon burned, some dents were put on my Predators. Deathwing managed to charge up to my 2 Razorbacks. Forcing me to retreat, regroup for the remaining 3 turns I was maintaining the fire discipline of holding them up with something, retreating, shooting in, waiting for charge. We traded shots, I managed to take out one dakka Dread and turn 3 we started moving forward to meet.
After epic showdown in Turn 4, only Apothecary was left standing, alone in the middle. Due to silly positioning (no, 2 tacticals are not enough to screen Azrael against DA fire bubble) I have lost my Warlord too, which prompted a fist bump.
With last round of shooting done, the game has been decided. 3:1 on games for me.
GAME 5 – THE ONE THAT WOULD MAKE FOR FINE MOVIE MOMENT.
I had 99% idea of who I would meet in my last game. A local player that we did some test games together and who has been my car-mate for this trip. As he completely decimated me in all practice games, I didn’t really have my hopes up going into this match, but I was decided to apply all learned lessons and do my best. I guess we were tired, as there were huge mistakes made, most of them luckily on my opponent side and cost him most likely the game.
Deployment was along the narrow sides of the table, objectives – in middle and in corners, mirrored (my top scouts are standing close to 1). My Libby is hiding in the middle, ready to deny the Warp Time that is coming. The “fun” twist to the mission was rolling on Armageddon/Exterminatus (sorry, no fucking clue which one is it) table and each getting D3 bombs according to the result table. Characters couldn’t be targeted as long as they were within 2.5″ from another unit (template rule converted into 8th ed character rule).
As I knew what I was playing against, I knew I need to bubblewrap properly and not get into charge distances, as well as deny ALL THE ROOM for deepstriking Obliterators (not to get Veterans of the Long War and The Stratagem That Makes Them Shoot Twice -ed). See that Dark Talon up there? That one that is denying the corner? Yeah? Well… putting him there was a smart move. Zooming across the bloody fucking map in Turn 1 – less so.
I lost the roll off to go first, lost the reroll. Things were looking grim. But! I seized. I do not have many pictures of this battle as we were really invested into what was going on on the table, so I will just make blurry recollections.
Turn 1, I started shooting at the Land Raider, as I couldn’t draw line of sight on the Big Fucking Thing (Lord of Skulls – BFT for remainder of this post). I brought the LR to 1 wound, which was very good because that meant I made him to disembark the Posessed (?) and the Apostle (?) there to slug it on foot. Very important. I have as well managed to fly over and bomb the living (or whatever) shit out of the Chaos SM down left that had 2 Lascannons on them and could seriously hurt my tanksies. Few bolter shots (2 Dark Talon rapidfire wings) later, they were ready to fail morale and run.
I think I have managed to deny Warp Time right there. Scouts got slaughtered and the real fun has begun. Please note in the top right corner through that archway in the ruin you can see a white rimmed base of deep struck Obliterators. Please note that they landed exactly in the spot I had mentally checked as “Safe” because there was my plane. Lastly, note that the closest fucking thing to them is Azrael. 2 stratagems later, Azrael and Darkshroud said bye-bye. This shit was getting real. BFT was closing on one side, Posessed and Apostle on the other, cultists held objectives like there was no tomorrow… Things were not looking good for my band of merry little plastic men.
THE – “OH, RIGHT, I FORGOT TO DO THAT…”S
My Dark Talon later on shot up to deal with the cultists and free the objective (succesfully) – only to be looking at 10 Daemonettes that were summoned and Warp Timed 1″ away from the now-hovering crippled plane. Lucky for me this turn my opponent (Thanks Mišo!) forgot 2 things – that he has Obliterators stuck up my bottocks, and that he summoned the Daemonettes to declare a charge. Quite frankly, in practice/normal game I would remind him or at the very least let him do the actions in the next phase, no big deal. On tournament? I was like tiny evil little Grinch hoping he will miss it. Too eager did he roll the attacks on BFT against my Marines and only after fully resolving and starting another fight he remembered the Daemonettes – too late. This was super important as the Dark Talon would’ve been dismantled by them easily, but next turn it managed to shoot some down and finish off the Daemon Prince.
And he forgot one round of shooting of his Obliterators.
I, in turn, forgot “minor” things like shooting with pistols and using one full Psychic phase to Smite and Aversion the Posessed unit.
My turn 5, we were close to even on points. I had 3 Razorbacks left, most of them crippled – one at bottom objective, one close to middle objective and 1 in close combat with two Obliterators on top objective. I had a cunning plan, which I luckily thought better of and changed. My plan has been to stay on bottom objective, advance to middle objective and do pretty much nothing about the top one. But I was so motivated to wipe him off (despite that having no impact on VPs).
Then I decided I will leave the bottom objective, move upwards to get range on the Obliterator there, disengage the top Rhino to be 3″ from Objective but no longer in combat, and Advance to the middle. This allowed me to BRRRRRRRRRRRT the remaining Obliterator, score points as the game ended (no killpoints and no 20-0 for wipe due to the orbital bombarment rules) with good lead on VPs. 17-3 as a result.
THE MOST CINEMATIC MOMENT FOR ME.
Veteran-Brother Daniel sat in the cupola of Righteous, a Predator tank he had been commanding for over four centuries. The cupola of Righteous bore proudly displayed Terminator honors of Veteran-Brother Daniel and the best gunner he ever had – Brother Ramael. Ramael has been part of the crew since Battle of Dermisa close to two centuries back and the two together were able to take down many a great foe. It wasn’t for nothing that the barrel of their ancient Autocannon has been designated with 3 marksman badges. But Veteran-Brother Daniel was sure their duty to Lion will soon end. As he looked out of the observation slit in his cupola, he saw Lord of Khorne charging at him and the Ultramarine predator next to him. Despite loosing many laser lances in his direction and mortally wounding him with Righteous’ cannon, the demon engine was still advancing at them. Even though Daniel saw many feats of Chaos champions and constructs, shrugging off blows and wounds that would fell a man, Space Marine even, this was little bit too much even for his liking. The end was nigh, he felt as he voxed the crew of Righteous his final command.
“Give him hell, loose with all weapons!! Stay true to Emperor! Only in death does duty end!”
“For the Lion and honor of the First!” came back unisono reply of the crew. They had a brief moment to let loose the last shots their guns had ready before the warp machine was upon them.
Lightning fast, it tore the Ultramarines tank into halves with its massive daemonic axe. Righteous was the next to die, that much was clear. The machine spirit of the Predator was already diminished and wounded by the long battle campaign at Oasian 2 and their last battle against the daemons have drained the last reserves of its power. There was nothing they could do at this point but buy their reinforcements more time to arrive, to hold out as long as possible to distract the daemonic engine.
With the Lord of Skulls recovering from the blow to kill the first Predator, the crew of Righteous was poring shot after shot at him point-blank. It was during this time of the daemon’s recover and reading another blow that Ramael noticed something at the scanners and sensors of his target array displays.
“Brothers!” he yelled out, “Do you see what I see? There is a hole punched by our previous fire unto him! His hull is breached at lower midsection!”
“As uplifting as the thought we hurt it is, Ramael, what good does that do us?” asked Marnar, the Techmarine piloting Righteous.
“We can… YOU can drive up there and we can overload the power core of Righteous to critical and blow the thing back to Warp!” said Ramael.
Before any response could come from Marnar, Daniel voxed order to the Techmarine to advance as close to the tear as possible while he will overload the cores.
Righteous made his suicide run about halfway to the daemon before it was caught by the swing of the massive axe, mangled and rolled towards the daemon engine like a discarded toy. The turret has been ripped off clean, with only the lower half of Daniels torso tumbling into the compartment, covering Ramael in blood and intestines as he was thrown about the inside of the tank.
As soon as the motion stopped, Ramael looked out of where used to be a turret of Righteous, close to the seething wound in the daemon engine’s hull.
“Marnar…” he sighed with his last breaths, trying to raise his battle brother. “Marnar… the dull thing blasted us into position. Overlo-..”
And then there was silence.
Only in the driver’s compartment a hand clad in power-armour moved towards a switch on the control board.
Twitching with dying effort, Marnar pushed the switch.
As the Lord of Skulls has been starting to push through the debris of tanks towards it’s next victim, the destroyed tank exploded next to it’s hull. The explosion of Righteous’ blew inwards into the daemon. And then, almost surreal, the huge lumbering engine of death stopped, slumbered and remained motionless as the daemonic presence fled it’s dying body back to the Immaterium.
(BFT charged both Predators, two wounds left on BFT; took off both Predator tanks, neither exploded. I used my last CP to reroll the last explosion, hitting 6 and taking that thing with it on roll of 4 for 2 mortal wounds)
FINAL TOURNAMENT THOUGHTS
It was fun. Having quite long-term MtG tournament history, I have to say this was better experience than most MtG tournaments (even the less-competetive ones), as it was more about playing and less about winning at all costs.
Truth be told, I definitely had one of the stronger/strongest lists in the field and it did good job compensating for some mistakes, other it made glaring obvious.
But – and that is the most important but – it made me fall in love with these silly weekend Warhammer actions called tournaments. In 2018, I will definitely attend more, across the full scope of their competetive focus.
AND HOW DID IT ALL END FOR ME THEN?
I believe I placed 2nd or 3rd on game points, with 1st place going to the Orc player from Game 3.
However, with points deducted and added for paintjob on army – I have won.
My first ever Warhammer tournament, and I managed to win it. I should probably retire while on top…
As well I won a pink fluffy boa, a butter (yes, butter – it’s a czech meme thing), medal and a free entry for Prague Open in 2018.
As I know they will be reading this – big shout-out to all the guys involved in the tournament preparation, from getting the logistical issues like place, tables, terrain to the detailed missions and fun, themed stratagems, to having enough stock of various tasty food and drinks.