Saturday, 19 January 2013

Throne of Skulls - Tournament Report

EDIT: I've justed inserted day 2 of Throne of Skulls into this post.

I wasn't planning on doing a post today, but as I didn't stay for the Pub Quiz due to the weather I might as well. Today I did manage to get down to Nottingham for Throne of Skulls (40k), and actually on time, and managed to get through all 3 games, also within the time.

The same happened the day after actually, and as I write this on Monday morning the snow has finally arrived. Had it arrived over the weekend I would have been unlikely to attend. 

Just for those that may be reading this further down the line this is from day 1 of the January 2013 Warhammer 40k Throne of Skulls.

Additionally, if you'd like another Throne of Skulls report from another gamer, be sure to check out Ramblings of a Wargamer, a link to which can be found on the left of this page under Underlings Blog List. Paul over there writes a really good blog and I'd thoroughly recommend it if you're looking for more Throne of Skulls action.

So, game 1.

The first game of the day was Emperor's Will (capture and control), and Hammer and Anvil (table widths), and I was matched up against a Chaos Space Marine army. The table that I played on was on the end of a row, and on the tables directly infront and to the right of me, were other Chaos Marine players, both running 2 Heldrakes. My table was no different, Heldrakes were absolutely everywhere, you could not get a view without a Heldrake in it.

Apart from the Heldrakes my opponent was running a Nurgle army: A squad of Havocs, half missile (with Flakk) half autocannon, some Obliterators, a Vindicator and 2 squads of Plague Marines in Rhinos. Now, because he got master of deception, he was able to outflank one of the Rhinos, and in this one he put his Black Mace Lord.

I went first, and crippled his Vindicator right off the get go, the Lone Wolf beat down a squad of Raptors and stomped towards the objective. I had all of the secondary objectives. His Lord came on, his Rhino got popped and although he beat up a squad of Grey Hunters him and his squad ate a tonne of missiles in the next turn. I had first blood for slaying the Raptors, and my Lone Wolf (man of the match really) was in combat with his Plague Marines on his objective.

What my opponent needed to do to win the game, was have his Plague Marines kill my Lone Wolf, and knock my Guardsmen off the objective with his 2 Baleflamers to win 3-2. Unfortunately for him my Lone Wolf had other ideas and stuck it out, eventually reducing his Plague Marine squad to 1 man who was too far off the objective to take it, and although the Guardsmen were weakened, I also had a Grey Hunter squad move over to hold it too reducing his chances of taking it if the game went on.

As it happened the game ended turn 5, giving me a 6-0 win.

The second game was against the kind of list that I have been toying with for a while now, and it was (again), Chaos Space Marines. This time in kill points and Dawn of War. When this mission was roled my immediate thought was, 'crap'. This was because I know that my army isn't great at kill points, and my opponent was running 2 Land Raiders. One was empty as he decided he wanted his Chaos Marines behind the Aegis to fire the Quad Gun, whilst the other had Kharn, another Khorne Lord and a load of Khorne Berzerkers (which were nice to see).

If he hit my lines with that I knew that I was going to be in trouble, so I deployed in the corner away from it. The defining moment of the game though was a single shot from the Manticore, who penetrated it turn 1, and exploded it, allowing me to just pour all of my missiles straight into that squad, and that was pretty much game over for my opponent unfortunately. I outshot him and now I out-assaulted him as well. He played well but the dice weren't with him, the game ended on turn 5 and he only had his empty Land Raider left. Although he did kill the Lone Wolf, a pack of Grey Hunters and teh Manticore.
I spent the 2 hour preamble (game 2 went quickly as we both played with speed) basically telling my mates that I would be fine so long as I didn't get matched up against a list that fell out of the sky, specifically, Daemons, but marines aren't great. I rely on my 3+ save and anything that takes it away is something that I'll struggle with.

So I turn up to my 3rd game (5 objectives, Vanguard strike) and find an Imperial Guard / Blood Angels army with 3 Drop Pods, 2 Vendettas and a Storm Raven. Perfect. At least it wasn't Daemons.

On the board itself there was a little corner that was empty, but was surrounded by terrain. Trees on one side, and a temple of skulls on the other. I won the roll off for deployment zones and chose this. I then proceeded to spend over 20 minutes deploying.

This gave my opponent 3 choices. Drop behind the trees, giving me a cover save but being miles away from objectives. Drop behind the temple of skulls, out of line of sight preventing the alpha strike but keeping him close to the objectives. Or drop in front of my Terminators, who would take all of my wounds for my guys and leave him quite but not too close to the objectives. He chose the middle option.

This was one of those games where it was swinging wildly back and forth with each turn. Just when I thought my opponent had won it, as my troops were at critical levels, I would snap shot a single Lascannon at a Vendetta, hit it, penetrate it, he would fail his jink save, cause it to explode, and kill all of the Veterans inside whilst also dropping his Warlord (Primaris Psyker) directly infront of my Long Fangs behind the trees.

This was an extremely close game. If the game had ended turn 5, I would have won the game comfortably, but in the heat of the moment due to the lack of time, how tired we were and how close the game was we forgot to roll (well done me). We had to end turn 6, as that was when time was out. To win the game, I needed to kill the 2 Blood Angels assault marines on my objectives with a single Grey Hunter and some Long Fangs (all locked in combat), and I had to shoot his Primaris down.

My first pack of Long Fangs shot at him and did nothing. In the second pack which only had a Lascannon and a Missile left, the Missile hit and killed him. The Wolves on the objective then proceeded to kill the Assault Marines, although the Long Fangs took an obscene amount of casualties. Ending the game and resulting in a 5-4 victory.

It may have come across but I'm quite pleased with myself, although I did get lucky on many occassions this is the first time that I've gone a tournament day without losing, and I've beaten my points score for July already. It just shows what a little bit of experience will do.

Day 2 game 1. The big foam dice are rolled and out come the Scouring and Hammer and Anvil. I then discover that I am playing an army without Power Armour for the first time in the tournament. Imperial Guard.

My opponent has 2 Vendettas, a blob, 2 Leman Russes, a Demolisher and an Executioner, a Basilisk, 3 Chimeras, etc. So he's got a lof of AP2.

The problem then rolled around that he had more points on his side of the board from his objectives than I did. This left me with a problem, as he was much more capable of getting over to my side of the board than I was, as his 2 Vendettas could come up and contest whilst I only had a single Vendetta and a Lone Wolf which could push forward and remain alive. Possibly.

I struggled to pop his Chimeras and Basilisk due to a load of failed psychic tests and my Manticore failed to touch his Leman Russes. On turn 2 my Vendetta came on and was immediately shot down by his 2 incoming Vendettas. My Lone wolf did make it across the board with a single wound and charged the blob to contest their objective. In the last turn there was a single Guardsman remaining in the blob, and in 1 vs 1 combat the Guardsman proceeded to kill the Lone Wolf, winning my opponent the objective and the 'most infamous unit' award at the same time.

The Vendettas hovered to contest my objectives, and had it gone to another turn I might have killed them making it a close game. But it didn't, and so lost 10-2. As it happened we had time left so we played 2 more turns and I was still unable to kill them, due to a passed jink save from 1 meltagun and the other failing to hit (this particular meltagun fired 14 shots during the course of the tournament and did not hit with a single one of them).

Luckily for me, the other Wolf player also lost, so it would go down to the final game, but then another Wolf player won meaning that all 3 of us were on the same score going in.

I arrived at my table for the final game to find 3 armies on it. A Necron army with a Monolith and lots of warriors, a Tzeentch Daemon army, and a Grey Knight psyfleback 5th ed army. The Grey Knight army turned out to be for the table next to me and both the Necrons and thankfully the Daemons moved to other tables. When I got back from lunch, I found my opposing army. Another Tzeentch Daemon list.

Daemons are the worst match up that I can possibly get at the minute. Not just because I rely heavily on my armour saves for durability but also because I rely on lots of high strength shots to down multiple wound models. Power Armour, fine, I have the AP. Hordes, not so bad, I have a load of blasts. Daemons. They don't care about my high strength and they don't care about my AP.

All of my opponent's other opponents casteled up (with the exception of Dark Eldar), and he won all of his games. So I tried something different, and it worked pretty well. I spread out along my board edge. This meant that my opponent could either concentrate around Fateweaver, in which case he would only be able to take out a single section of my army when he first dropped, leaving the rest to pour as many shots in as possible, or he could try and spread out, pulling him out of Fateweaver range and leaving his units more vulnerable. As I was along the table edge, he could quite easily mishap, which happened to one of his Screamer squads who died.

The flamers came in and concentrated on my left flank, however I went first so had time to get my psychic powers up and give 2 of my Grey Hunter packs 4++ saves. That didn't help. They obliterated the Warlord's squad leaving only the Warlord alive on 1 wound, and the other Rune Priests squad was severely crippled by Horrors shooting.

My Vendetta came on, and laid into a squad of Horrors heading for an objective (3 objective Big Guns never Tire, Dawn of War), and I poured fire into the flamers, but only managed to halve the strength of a single squad.

The flamers started to move down my line, leaving my mid-field with only a Long Fang and the Lone Wolf, with the Screamers and Fateweaver coming in. I charged both the Lone Wolf and the Long Fang into the Flamers, the Long Fang taking the overwatch and the Lone Wolf essentially tying them up for the rest of the game, but the Horrors burst my bubblewrap around my Manticore on the left allowing the Screamers to eat it.

By turn 4 I had a squad of Grey Hunters with a Primaris Psyker in it, a pack of Long Fangs, a single wound Lone Wolf and a Vendetta.

The game ended turn 5 with just the Primaris Psyker and the Vendetta left, my opponent winning. 9-0, but at least I wasn't tabled, and actually both of the games on Sunday were really enjoyable.

So I finish the tournament with 3 wins and 2 losses, as the 3rd best Space Wolf player and joint 42nd overall.

I was pleased with this as I did better than last time, and it's always nice to win more than you lose. My last round opponent also got best Daemon player, which was thoroughly deserved.

I have learnt a few things about my army list. If I run into Daemons I am definately in trouble so long as my opponent doesn't scatter. And I have no way of getting across the board intact enough to contest my opponents objectives if I need to and there are objectives that need to be held in my deployment zone tying up my Grey Hunters, so I'll be trying to fit another Lone Wolf into the list.

Anyway, the stats for Throne of Skulls should be up in Monday's post, so be sure to check that out if you're interested in how popular armies were, how they performed and who won the event.

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