We were still playing Swiss system, so with me currently sat in second place it meant that I was playing the Wraithwing. The mission was Kill Points with Dawn of War Deployment (I would have preferred to have a Hammer and Anvil mission but it's fine).
My opponent for this round was Chris 'Scoffer' Scouthorne, and he's widely regarded as the best regular at the Outpost, being ranked according to RankingsHQ as one of the top 50 players in the country.
His list was a little strange, he had a Destroyer Lord with a Sempiternal Weave and Mind Shackle Scarabs with 6 Wraiths. He had 3 Night Scythes, 2 with minimal Warrior Squads and a third with 10 Deathmarks. He had 2 Ghost Arks, both of which had 10 Warriors in, and he had 3 Annihilation Barges. It may sound like a strange list but it was extremely good for this tournament. The missions were released weeks before lists were due in. The list is very good at taking muiltiple objectives (he won the first game 18-0), very good at holding onto objectives and grabbing First Blood (although he tabled his second round opponent so that's beside the point), and extremely durable.
Still, winning this game would set me up extremely well to win the whole tournament and would guarentee me a top 2 finish, so I wasn't going to let the slaughter that was left in Scoffer's wake distract me. My dice seemed to feel the same way for the first roll (they often seem to be intimidated by the big occasion), giving me the Warlord Trait of a -1 to my opponent's Reserve Rolls. Nice. My opponent rolled up FNP while on an objective so useless here.
One slight modifcation that was made to this mission however. You get an additional point for each Force Organisation segment you've 'killed'. By this I mean that the first time you kill a unit from say, Fast Attack, you get an additional point. This meant that there were a huge number of points up for grabs, so essentially in a single round you could drop from 1st place to 8th due to huge amounts of Victory Points being picked up.
Back to the game though. I rolled for my psychic powers, the Primaris Psyker getting Iron Arm and Warp Speed, the Rune Priest Warlord getting Prescience and Scriers Gaze (whoop!), so no Invulnerable Save for the blob all tournament, as the other Rune Priest stuck with Jaws.
I won the roll off to decide my deployment zone, and picked the one with less terrain in it. This is because I'm getting my armour save anyway as Necron Weaponary is generally AP-, and I don't want to be near any big pieces that Wraiths can hide behind. Even if I had them I'd still get shot regardless due to Night Scythe flyer bases and Anni Barges still shooting really well even when Snap Firing.
However, I lost the roll off for First Turn, and my opponent decided to take it.
Scoffer deployed his Annihilation Barges as far up as they would go, pivoting them to get a little extra room, and spreading them a moderate distance to prevent me from hiding in a corner for the first turn at least. His Ghost Arks then went slightly behind his Annihilation Barges, with his Wraiths on his extreme left flank.
Although I knew that the Wraiths would get to me no matter where I deployed, I knew that I could at least delay their arrival, or maybe just give them a few pickings to feast on while I blew up everything else at the worst. Therefore, I deployed more to the left of my deployment zone, with the blob centrally to counter and finish off the Wraiths should they get too close. The Rune Priest went in the Drop Pod, and the Lone Wolves flanked with blob with the Long Fangs to the right of them. On my far right were the vehicles, the Manticore hiding behind the Rhinos to avoid first turn death.
So, game begins, and I fail to sieze. This game is probably going to end up looking more like a list of stuff that died than a battle report, but a lot died.
His first turn. Things move up, Annihilation Barges snap fire and kill one of my Rhinos (1pt for First Blood, 1pt for the Rhino, 1pt for killing a Troops choice). Another then fires at my Platoon Command Squad, and kills all but the commander.
I come down with my Jaws bomb, the Guard blob moves up with the Platoon Commander making a break for cover whilst staying in order range. I'm ready to unleash some fury on the Wraiths, with the Rune Priest splitting as the Grey Hunters go after a Ghost Ark. A Lone Wolf runs up to get ready to punch an Annihilation Barge in the middle in the face whilst the remaining Rhino turbos forward (the other Grey Hunter squad was pinned, again).
So, the pain begins. The blob opens fire on the Wraiths, unfortunately I failed my Prescience but I still have a lot of shots. The Destroyer Lord takes a wound. That is all. No matter, I still have Jaws. Jaws goes off, it is not denied. It then goes straight through 2 Wraiths and the Destroyer Lord. First Wraith takes its initiative check at initiative 2. Scoffer rolls....1, ok, well 1 in 3 should pass. Rolls for the second one.....1, ok well, if I get the Destroyer Lord I'm happy. Initiative 2 check for him too.....2. Crap! Slight silver lining however, I manage to kill an Annihilation Barge on my right, reducing the deficit to 3-2. And to be fair, there was a point later in the game where my Guardsmen made 7/8 5+ armour saves.
His turn 2. A pair of Night Scythes come on, a Deathmark one and a usual. He then proceeds to move an Annihilation Barge, which immobilises itself on difficult terrain. Followed by a Ghost Ark on the right, which does the same. This is swiftly avenged by him blasting a Lone Wolf in the face, gaining him a point for killing an Elites choice. This is followed by him stripping a few Guardsmen from the blob, before piling the Wraiths and Destroyer Lord into the Rune Priest, who challenges, survives hitting himself in the face but is cut down by the Warscythe. 6-3.
The rest of the game is a bit of a blur of when exactly things happened, so I'm going to skip through each section of the battle. It can essentially boil down to: Wraiths and Annihilation Barge versus Guard Blob and Lone Wolf. Grey Hunters and Rhinos vs Necron Warriors and Ghost Arks. And Long Fangs versus Night Scythes, although there are quite a few blurred lines between the three.
Starting off with the Wraiths. After killing the Rune Priest they pile into a pack of Grey Hunters, who had just shot a Ghost Ark up the ass and killed it, along with 4 Necron Warriors. The Wraiths multicharge into the Drop Pod too to allow the D-Lord to beat that up. The Grey Hunters cause no damage and the Wraiths slaughter them all.
They then pile across the battlefield towards the Guard Blob. My opponent confessed to me after the game that his objective was to tie them up and fully expected to lose his Wraiths and Lord. This did not happen. I knew I was going to get charged regardless so I moved towards the Wraiths and shot everything at them, Prescience up the whole shebang. Nothing. The Wraiths then charge, and in the 6 turns of combat that follow and a horrendous number of saves (my Primaris Psyker is getting 6-8 S5 Force Weapon attacks re-rolling to hit each turn, no damage over the entire combat), the blob runs away only leaving the Destroyer Lord left. The remainder are then cut down with Gauss and Tesla Fire.
Grey Hunters versus Necron Warriors. Both the Ghost Arks take Meltaguns, and after a couple of failed charges, the Necron Warriors just keep walking away from the Hunters around terrain to make it really difficult for me to charge them, meanwhile, the Night Scythes circle above like Vultures picking them off.
|And many Guardsmen were mourned that day|
In short, I did not win this game, and dropped from 2nd to 5th in the process. The end defeat was 20-11 to my opponent, and he went on to win the tournament. Well played to him though.
Obviously I'm a little disappointed not to have won the tournament, but to be honest, I'm happy with 2-0-1. The last time I came to the tournament was in January, and then I went 0-1-2, so it shows how much I've improved since then. In fact, in the last 3 single days of tournaments I've been to (including the Grand Tournament Finale I might add), I've gone 2 wins 1 loss, so this is promising, it only takes 1 win for a perfect record.
When I came to the tournament I had no expectation of winning, I came majorly for a few good games, and all of my games were fantastic. But I did have a bit of a secret hidden agenda, I really wanted to prove a point. I guy was giving me quite a bit of stick on my local gaming group's Facebook page going on about, 'how I'm not as good as I think I am' and how I'm terrible at 40k and he's the tournament mastermind. I found this quite funny because firstly I know I'm not a fantastic 40k player, especially as tournament players good. But additionally I found it quite ironic.
To be honest the point I wanted to make is that I can hold my own, in fact I finished quite a few places ahead of them. But the most important thing is definitley that I enjoyed the event, but also, how much I'm improving.