Saturday, January 31, 2009

What a day!

My feet hurt so bad I can't stand and my brain is so fried that can barely remember the drive home. That must mean I've been to a great tournament at the GW Bunker in Glen Burnie, MD!

It was a great tournament for me. I won twice and tied the last game. No losses. Yes! Although I don't awards to show it, all in all I was very satisfied with the tournament. Every game was a hard fought struggle for our miniature warriors and light hearted enjoyment for us players.

This is my second tournament and while I was confident in my army's appearance, I still did not place in the painting score for one reason, no display base for my lovely Tau. One of the staff actually pulled me aside and said I would have won best painted if I had a Display Base. Drat. Next time. Any suggestions? I am thinking of a desert landscape with multiple cliff levels and Tau architecture all about.

The staff at the Bunker did a great job in this tournament. They had double the expected players and managed to accommodate as many as possible, even pulling out more tables from the back before the games began. As always the staff are jovial fools and friends to everyone in the store.

To the games!

Game 1. Annihilation, Pitched Battle
Old Shatter Hands brings his force against an Mechanized Eldar Warhost.

I was actually matched up against my friend, Brian, whom I've played over and over in the past 2 years. I know all his tricks and he knows all mine. So it was time to set up a new trap for him.

I gave him first turn and I placed my Pathfinders, their Devilfish and a unit of Fire Warriors on the right flank and Old Shatter Hands on the other, behind a building. Units on the right take cover and hide. I reserve everything else. The right flank presents a juicy target for the Eldar: 2 weak units and lowly transport. He sends three of his four vehicles towards them in hopes of destroying them for 4 easy Kill Points (Pathfinders, Fire Warriors, Devilfish and Drones).

My first turn the Fire Warriors jump in the Devilfish and it takes off. The Pathfinders brace for impact. His vehicles dump banshees on them. At least it's a quick death.

I can't remember what happened next but the end of my second turn the Wave Serpent has been destroyed and the Banshees are left in the open. My units begin to shift to the other flank, laying down fire as they go. My reserves start coming in and I place it on the left flank, leaving the Eldar advance high and dry on the right flank. Their focus gets messed up as the Tau force is now on the other flank, not on the right where they expected us to be.

Things just get uglier and uglier for the Eldar as I am constantly rolling 2+ to wound on nearly everything. My broadsides take down a vehicle and wipe out some infantry. My Kroot Auxiliaries show up late, obviously held up by a meal of Pech rodents along the way, but when they do they outflank and ambush a unit of Dark Reapers and wipe them out. My Fire Warriors get the jump on some striking scorpions, revealing in a recent kill, and rapid fire them to death.

In the end, I am left with a pretty strong force intact and the Eldar have lost 3 of 4 vehicles, 2 units of Dire Avengers, 1 unit of Dark Reapers and 1 unit of Striking Scorpions. I lost a piranha (but no kill point for that as the rest of squadron are safe), the Pathfinders, a Devilfish, a squad of Crisis Suits (damn fire-prism-hammerhead-wanna-be). Major Victory for the Tau Empire and the first of two losses of the Eldar Race.

Game 2. Mission: Kill Points, Troops give 1 point, HQ give 3, Everything else 2, and Dedicated Transports nothing (yes!)
Dawn of War.
Tau Empire continue their Campaign against the Eldar

My opponent was fielding an infantry force this time, which I am relieved at as I know that I'll be rolling a lot of S5 weapons against T3 Eldar. He was a real nice guy and a joy to play against.

I decide to try out what Fritz and Jawaballs have been raving about and I reserve everything. This draws the attentions of nearby players. My opponent shrugs, spreads his troops out along the board edge and begins to march his Eldar toward my deployment zone.

He's got a unit of Snipers in cover that stay put. The others run, fleet and dance (Harlequins) their way to my edge. One squad of Guardians were deployed as far as ahead as possible as per Dawn of War rules and by the end of his second turn they've pretty much made it to within 18 inches of my edge. That's when I start to bring my force in.

Fire Warriors move on and rapid fire the isolated Guardians, devilfish are firing burst cannons at them, missiles are flying and the unit gets wiped out. This unit was worth 4 Kill Points because of the accompanying Farseer. From then on, it gets more difficult and I got tied to the right flank as the Eldar Troopers began closing the noose around me.

The Eldar manage to cripple my movements by scoring a mobility kill on both Devilfish (immobilized results). Old Shatter Hands calls out, No Retreat Shas'la! The Tau dig in and blaze away on force closing in. I have to throw my Broadsides at an approaching squad of Warp Spiders to keep them held up for a turn. Fire Warrior leap out to attack the Harlies who's paperthin armor is no match for Tau pulse weapons. Eldar Snipers drop a few targets among us, causing a few units to go to ground. The Kroot show up eventually, lazy buggers. Old Shatter Hands' explicit instructions to take out the snipers are ignored and the Kroot mill about among some cover, foraging for local herbs to smoke. (Basically they outflank in perfect position to take out the Snipers, but I forget to move them and they don't do anything. Doh!) I blame the unreliable Kroot Chief, Kills-in-Water.

My faithful Shas'La were able to break through, taking down a Wraithlord, Harlies, Wraithguard (whom I've never played against so I was shocked at the ridiculous power of their rifles) and various other Aspect Warriors. The Game ended with 15 kill points for me, and 10 to the Eldar Player. Major Victory!

Game 3.
Primary Mission: Capture and Control.
Secondary: Annihilation.
Dawn of War.
The Eldar Scumbags must have retreated to the Webway, as this time the Steel Fist of the Imperial Guard was set upon me.

This game wasn't that great. My opponent really didn't know the rules that well and I just wasn't into it. His army was painted well and his 3 demolisher tanks looked great but the rules clarifications slowed the game down and I was spent by turn 3. He was a good guy though. He understandably thought that searchlights meant he could just get to ignore nightfight rules with his tanks. When I showed him the real rules for searchlights, this being the third rules point I had to look up, he wasn't sullied or anything. The game was just slow and I think we were both tired a little.

I enjoyed his company and his banter was amusing. He told me that he had bought 3 Realms of Battle boards from GW and mostly played Apocalypse. He said they had such large games that they hired day-laborers from Guatemala to move their models for them. Needless to say, he was joking. He also told me about his basement. It's dedicated to 40k and when guys come over to play they aren't allowed upstairs because his wife walks around in bikini underwear. But he said he friends try to find excuses to go upstairs anyway. What's funny about this is that the guy must have been in his mid-fifties.

He also said he wrote in the back of his Apocalypse Rulebook that, in father and son games, father always wins. Good times.

All in all it was quite an enjoyable tournament and I can't wait until the next.


Sidestreaker said...

Great article there! I could almost imagine both sides of the table as i play eldar and tau..

btw, great cadre you have there and truly inspirational! I'll be following closely!

Old Shatter Hands said...

Thanks Sidestreaker!

alex said...

awesome report. Glad to see you had fun. The last guy you played against sounds like he was pretty odd character (my kind of guy) :)