Monday, 16 September 2013

Throne of Skulls the Third - September '13 40k

So, I've just got back from a tiring weekend at Throne of Skulls, this one has really taken it out of me and I have no idea why. So, instead of going through each game individually, I'm going to blast through them one at a time in this post. Still in depth to a degree, but not individual post worthy. Pictures will be coming the moment I have enough internet usage left on my phone, I don't have very much left.

My list was a variation on my GT List. 2 Rune Priests, naked, pretty much, 2 Lone Wolves, 3 packs of Grey Hunters, 1 Drop Pod, 2 smaller packs of Long Fangs, Primaris Psyker, Guard Blob, Manticore.

First Game:

The first match up was not the easiest. It was Kill Points, Hammer and Anvil on a dense board. My opponent was playing a Nidzilla list. 2 Hive Tyrants with Devourers, only 1 had wings though. 2 Harpys, a Tervigon, a Trygon and a Mawloc. He then had 10 Devilgants in a Spore. I got the first turn, I also chose the less dense deployment zone so he'd have to take at least 1 turn of shooting in the open to get into me. I deployed quite agressively in my deployment, but not stupidly so. My strategy was always to sit back, let him come to me and knock out as many of the beasts as I could before he got into me.

My blob pushed forward to the front flanked by Lone Wolves shielding the rest of my army, whilst my opponent deployed everything behind a big piece of Line of Sight blocking terrain, but put the Mawloc on the other side at the very back ready to burrow and the second Harpy on the other side. I personally would have reserved both of the Harpys for the following reason, but I could see my opponent's logic behind it.

I cast Prescience on the Manticore, hit the forward Harpy, and killed it straight away. So First Blood and a VP already from the first shot. I dropped my Drop Pod right back into my deployment zone as I obviously wanted my opponent to come to me rather than just eat 2 free kill points in his own deployment zone out of range. The Long Fangs then reduced the Tervigon to 4 wounds.

My opponent pushed forwards and came down, killed a load of Guardsmen and screened his Tervigon. He elected not to Spawn Termagants to prevent feeding me, and a couple of Grey Hunters went down too. My next shooting phase was rather lacklustre, I killed a few Gants and the Tervigon but now my opponent was ramming a Mawloc, a Trygon, a Flyrant and a Harpy right into my face. The other Hive Tyrant left to demolish the Lone Wolf who had just killed the Tervigon.

However, turn 3 rolled around and I knew I had to clear my lines. If I could kill one creature and tie up another one I'd be happy. I asked around about the stats and wargear and identified the Trygon as the best target, blowing that away with Long Fangs, a couple splitting fire to kill the Mycetic Spore, whilst all but one Termagant died to Bolter fire. The Drop Podding Grey Hunters then made an attempt at the Harpy, successfully reducing it to a single wound before it failed it's grounding check and being killed by the floor. The remaining Lone Wolf charged the Mawloc. Where it remained for 2 player turns before dying.

The flyrant meanwhile charged into my Guardsmen, it spent a few turns smacking those, however the Guard lasted long enough to leave me with but two real targets to deal with, the Mawloc and the Tyrant. The Mawloc went down first due to it being in my Lines and so I fired some Bolters at it to remove it's last wound (the Lone Wolf did well), while the Missiles smashed the Walkrant to grab another Kill Point and First blood. Essentially I was now on mopping up duty, the Tyrant was always going to kill the rest of the blob for 4pts (3 models and Slay the Warlord), as the Primaris Psyker had died earlier to shooting, however I was able to manipulate the combat so that he popped out in my opponent's turn 4, leaving me turn 5 to wipe him and the last Termagant from the board.

Fair play to my opponent though, really good game and his army was really nice. In addition. Sorry. My opponent won every other game he played over the weekend and had I not beaten him he would have won Best Tyranid Player.

Second Game:

This was the first mirror match up at a Throne of Skulls. I was playing against a Space Wolves army. Logan, 2 squads of Wolf Guard, one in Terminator Armour splitting off into Long Fangs, one in Power Armour splitting off into 2 Grey Hunter packs. The Long Fangs were big squads and the Grey Hunters were fully kitted out. 3 Drop Pods in total. The mission was Crusade and Dawn of War.

I got the second turn, and my opponent chose the most dense side of the board. 5 objectives were placed, 3 on his side, 2 on mine. He deployed his Long Fangs in the terrain and Grey Hunters on an objective on the opposite side to them. I deployed the blob centrally, and then flanked it with Grey Hunters so he couldn't mass Bolter me to death.

He came down with Logan and 8 Wolf Guard in one Pod on one side, and 5 Terminators on the other near the Manticore. He shot some Grey Hunters but no major damage. My Drop Pod came down near his Grey Hunters on his objective, and this combat proceeded to carry on until turn 5 until only one of his Grey Hunters was left. I proceeded to shoot the crap out of Logan. I managed to get 102 shots off at him but rolled a little below average only scoring 18 wounds. This was still enough to bring down Logan and a Wolf Guard but had he not denied Misfortune it would have been a lot more horrific, so I charged some Grey Hunters and a Lone Wolf into them.

With Logan's squad dealt with, all this left me to do was kill the Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour with the blob and smash the squad coming down in the third Drop Pod. Essentially, we both had one objective, but I had First Blood and Slay the Warlord, but I did push the blob forward onto one of his objectives for good measure. So, final score was 8-3 with a turn 5 end. 2 games and 2 wins it was looking good so far.

Third Game:

This was probably the most disastrous game of 40k I've played in over a year. My opponent was playing a beautiful army, which was themed as an Ork Hospital. He had a Fortress of Redemption, which was the Hospital. My personal favourite, the Waaaghmbulance, was a Battlewagon, with Dr Kelsork (Scrubs reference) as his Warboss with a Power Klaw, and he was in the Wagon with 10 Nobz, all of which were converted up to look like they'd been chopping gubbinz off other Orks. He then had a mob of Zombies, aka, Ard Boyz with Grotsnik and Cybork bodies. 10 Lootas and some Gretchin. It was a fantastically enjoyable game.

However, many of you who have been following this blog for a long time (and if you've been following this blog for a long time you've probably stopped reading by now) then you'll remember that I began as an Ork player. Despite taking Space Wolves and Chaos Marines to tournaments at the minute, Orks remain my favourite army. So when this faced me across the table, as well as thinking, 'I know exactly what this list does, I should crush it', I began to get giddy like a boy in a candy store.

Thus, when it came to the point which I picked my deployment zone, I picked the one with all of the LoS blocking terrain in it. Forgetting that all of the shooting that was going to hurt me too much was Barrage anyway and it'd just give my opponent space to hide the Waaaghmbulance. That said, I came back into the game a bit, the Guard Blob kicking the crap out of Grotsnik and his ladz after several rounds of combat. However, I'd forgotten what the mission was, it was big gunz never tire, 4 objectives...

Had the game ended turn 5, I would win comfortably 8-3 (I thought it would be 8-1, I forgot killing Heavy Support helped him because we were playing Crusade in my mind), came to turn 6. If it ends I still hold out to 8-3. Doesn't end, goes to turn 7, I lose the game 5-4 as he knocks my Long Fangs off the last objective and holds it with the Nobz, who made a lot of Feel No Pain rolls over the course of the game.

To be fair though, well done to my opponent, really enjoyable game and I can't blame the dice. I wasn't mentally strong enough to decide what kind of a game I wanted to play, and in the crossfire poured out mistakes.

So, at the end of day 1, I'm 2-1.

Fourth Game:

Day one really took it out of me for some reason, either way, I arrived at Throne of Skulls on day 2 feeling like crap, having to stop at the roadside on the way down twice to throw up and once at a service station to defile its bathrooms. I wasn't ill, but when I get stressed my body tends to like to clear itself out a little bit (too graphic?).

Anyway, I still haven't had a look at the Marine Codex, so turning up to the table to find a Marine army on it just made me groan, as I had no idea what anything did. He had Vulkan, 2 10 man squads of tactical Marines, 3 Centurians with Grav Amps and Grav Cannons plus Missile Launchers. He had an Aegis Defence Line, a Drop Pod each for the Tactical Marines, 5 Sternguard with 3 combi-meltas and 2 combi-flamers, and a Land Raider Redeemer. It was another really cool looking army.

Luckily for me, the mission was Relic. I don't give a crap what you have most of the time. I know how to play this mission. Get the Relic in the Guard Blob and laugh at you.

Essentially that's what I went for, turn one I dropped onto the Relic and got ready to move it back a little, and my opponent dropped Vulkan and 5 Marines in my face, which I promptly blasted away with the Guardsmen for 2 secondary objectives. All but the Relic holding Marine were killed so I moved it back 6 inches and gave it to another squad, who in turn were killed to the Relic man, who passed it to a Sergeant who passed it to the Rune Priest.

The moment of the game however was when the Lone Wolf charged the Devastator centurions to tie them down, which failed horrendously as they beat him down in close combat (they only have 4 S5 attacks between them). The Thunderfire Cannon is now even more of a menace to the blob, but it was a Land Raider that refused to die even after being on a single Hull Point for one turn that mashed the Guardsmen with its flamer depleting my scoring units and giving neither of us anything to pick up the Relic with.

It was still pretty much my game though, my opponent turned around, beat up the Lone Wolf in his deployment zone turn 7 and I won 2-1. Was a very bloody game though. At the end he had 2 Sternguard, 2 Centurions on a single wound each, and a Drop Pod. I also had a Drop Pod, 3 Long Fangs, and a Manticore. That was all.

Fifth Game:

This was probably the most interesting game tactically. If you're looking for strategy, see game one, if you're looking for tactics, this is a good-un. I was playing against an Eldar player, and between the 2 of us we'd only lost one game (mine).

He was running a Spiritseer with 5 Wraithguard in a Wave Serpent, 5 Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent, 3 War Walkers with Bright Lances and Scatter Lasers, 8 Warp Spiders, 3 squads of Bikers, and a Wraithknight. The mission (luckily for me) was Emperor's Will and Hammer and Anvil.

This was always going to come down to First Blood, and my opponent took a big step towards it when he got first turn, stunned my Manticore and reduced it to a single Hull Point and killed all of the Missile Launchers from my Long Fangs, I'd hid the Sergeants just in case to prevent First Blood. I came down in my Drop Pod and went for the Bikes, as the Wave Serpents also had 4+ cover saves and if I killed one of the Bikes they might run off the board. I came down, and failed to kill one, the Guardsmen moved up and killed all but 3 of the Spiders, and the Lone Wolf charged the Wraithknight to hold it up.

As I failed to collect first blood, my opponent just about managed to stomp the Grey Hunters and the Drop Pod for it. This forced me to obviously come and try and take a secondary for myself as if I continued to sit back on my own objective I'd lose on secondaries. The Guardsmen push forward, but are charged by the Wraithguard, who slowly grind through them as they pile forwards towards the board centre. The Lone Wolf goes down the the Wraithknight so I hurl the other one in.

The Walkers come on, fail to damage the Manticore but only one is killed in return before it finally goes down. The second Lone Wolf falls just as the Force Weapons start to hit the Wraithguard, I chuck the 2 Long Fang pack leaders into it and as they're 2 squads it will take 2 player turns to get through them, buying me another turn which is just enough to kill the Wraithguard, the Spiritseer driving off before the charge. Only a couple of Guardsmen remained.

The Wraithknight then charged in to try to hold them up for even longer, this however failed thanks to an excellent effort from my Warlord, who smacked him with his Force Weapon obliterating it. This gave me a chance. I still had Gate of Infinity on my Primaris Psyker. I had 2 choices. The First, Deep Strike with it just inside my opponent's deployment zone and hope the game ends, earning me a draw, but if it doesn't he smashes me from it and wins. Or, deep strike into a LoS blocking ruin, hope the game doesn't end, then Deep Strike out again, guarenteeing the Draw and possibly the Win. A draw wouldn't do either of us any good so I went for the latter option, and typically, the game ended. So I ended with the same record as last time at 3-2, fair play to my opponent though. It was the most tactically challenging game I played all weekend and he walked away with best Eldar player. So congratulations.

I ended up coming 2nd best Wolf player, but even if I'd won all games I still would have done that. The other one got 4 wins and 4 best sport votes. Anyone who manages that deserves to win.

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