Prepare yourselves for a pause and restart post because this one is going to be an essay, all encompassing events over 4 days. Oh Joy. Before you think about the pain of reading this lengthy abomination, think about the pain I'm going through writing it. The events documented in this post may have scarred me for life (especially Friday, that was awful).
Pretty simple one compared to the next few days. I headed into GW in town (easiest way to get my hands on models, I live in a student village and parcel delivery isn't always hyper reliable - still waiting on my Best CSM Player certificate for Heat 2 from last year). So I go in and spend about £250 on a brand new army, one which I will never use before the tournament. I spend the rest of the afternoon gluing models to the point where I can barely tell what goes where and I'm almost prancing about the store.
Welcome to hell, after finally bringing myself to get off my ass and actually do something constructive I head down to the station to catch the 4:37 train from Southampton to Newcastle up to Sheffield. Upon arrival at the station contrary to their website this train never existed, so I decide to wait to extra half an hour for the 5:07. Upon getting my ticket, it transpires that there was a wood chipper in the line, so rather than remove it, using the vast amount of CCTV we have in this country and a couple of line workers, we decided to hit it with a train. Ok then, I guess cancelling a bunch of trains is easier than removing said machinery from the train's front bumper (innovation 101. Fit snow ploughs to trains all year round).
Upon getting my ticket, I am recommended to catch the 4:41 train to Birmingham New Street, then catch a 6:03 connecting train to Sheffield. Luckily for me, the 4:41 is running a couple of minutes late. So I get on the train, only to discover that a few more things are happening. It had been decided that the National Rail would carry out live maintenance on their power lines, in a Friday evening rush hour. Ok then, sounds about right. This then meant that less power was getting to the lines and so the trains were running slightly slower than usual, ok no big deal, the train was due in at Birmingham New Street at 5:48 anyway so even if it was late I'd have plenty of time to catch the connecting train.
Unfortunately, the top rail executives around had better ideas. Because of the slight delay in arrival times, a small group had started to build up at Birmingham New Street's Platform. To rectify Tony Kopach's Uncle's, Best Mate's, Cousins, Dog being on the platform waiting for a train, it was decided to send 2 more trains. Not only did this have a negative impact on the power grid, again. But it also meant that there was now a queue of trains waiting to leave, and waiting to enter Birmingham New Street, leaving thousands of people considerably late and delaying and cancelling trains across the country.
This means that I miss my connecting train, however there is another one arriving at 6:30, so I should have plenty of time, after all, it's more than 40 minutes after my train was due in and all of the trains are running late anyway. Apparently, this was with the exception of the 6:30, which also ironically happened to be the 5:07 that I had planned to catch at Oxford. So my train was so late, that it arrived after the train that I had planned to catch 20 minutes later, arriving at about 6:33. Perfect, definitely worth the £49.50 price tag.
A huge amount of salt and a telling off from the Police for disturbing the peace later, and I end up catching a train to Chesterfield instead after 7:00, which was also running late, as well as arriving late into Chesterfield. Fun trip.
Either way I spend until about 2am painting.
So I rock up with a brand new army that I have not played before (adaptation of the Belarus ETC team's Chaos list), into an edition where my only games came at the very advent when no-one knew what they were doing, and a single game against Dave Symcox 3 months earlier, which was a pretty big clusterfuck as both of us are too lazy to read.
So Game 1: Get Terrify and Psychic Shriek mixed up, put my Screamer Council at the edge of the board to avoid the shots, run of 2nd turn. Perfect. I did however acquire the use of my opponent's Daemons for summoning for the rest of the event. #NextLevelStrats
Game 2: Get too aggressive. Find the biggest piece of blocking terrain I can and hide the council behind it, unfortunately it's far up the board against a White Scars army, forget Centurions have Hurricane Bolters, he kills 2 Heralds and all but 1 Screamer. Should have hid a bit further back behind a smaller piece. Big fight in the middle of the board to bring it back. Can't kill Khan, kill everyone else including the Chapter Master though. Lose the game. This may have been a mistake.
Game 3: Against a Grey Knight shunt army. Probably my favourite game of the weekend. I knew my opponent from playing him in War of the Roses where I won against his Space Marines with ye olde Land Raiders. He could jump up and fire 6 incinerators at me with 3 Dreadknights and 3 Interceptor Squads. So new plan, reserve the council. I didn't get Cursed Earth and the council didn't arrive until turn 4. I weathered the storm a little, swapped pressure on my objective for pressure on his. council comes on, helps me secure his objective with some summoning and board presence, then bounces across to contest the opposing objective. A first win wehey.
Game 4: Out of all of my games this probably left me the saltiest, it was pretty obvious that I was going to pick up the relic, what I was unaware of however, was that you can contest it, even though it can fit in someone's pocket. Ok then. So I commit for it turn 3, hold them up to try and take primary, then he walks up, kills my last horror, and then stands next to the Relic and claims to win primary. My opponent was a nice guy and I actually quite enjoyed the game I was just a bit upset because he'd already qualified on painting and I hadn't, so it was no loss to him to make sure that I knew that the mission was all weird. I can stand within 9 feet of someone else's army it doesn't mean I control it. Obviously that can also be applied to regular objectives but the relic is small and other objs are not necessarily. But apparently I'm not the only one to have been caught out so it wasn't horrendously clear. A mate of mine got caught out at the ETC and the other of the Sheffield crew also had the same scenario. A very grumpy loss.
Game 5: Dark Eldar. With a scary deep strike no scatter anti psyker bomb thing. Practically table my opponent, he only has a wounded talos, cronos and haemonculus, an archon surrounded by the council, and a few Warriors left when we call it at the end of turn 4. He played well though and I enjoyed the game, very tactical, very well thought through, and I'm starting to apply strategy to games with the list now. Win.
Game 6: Last game. I'm up against Imperial Knights, a very difficult match up for me, practically impossible. This game is one massive clusterfuck. We get the turns mixed up and think turn 5 is turn 4. When we got to what we thought was turn 5 it would have ended there, as it stood at the end of actual turn 5 however, was a draw, but that was only because we kept forgetting about reserves and so the Cultists wandered on at turn 5. It you ever wondered what it would be like for 2 drunk guys to play 40k. This was probably about as close as me vs Steve Setterfield at Death or Glory 2, except with less alcohol on this occasion.
Either way, I'm annoyed at myself for throwing 2 winnable games off the back of my own stupidity, which probably cost me a place. But that's just motivating me to try harder and not try anything dumb like that happen again. I let my ego get ahead of myself and thought I could breeze through a tournament without knowing what I was playing (both in terms of the game and the army) and it cost me. But shit happens, the League of Legends season is over in almost 24 hours time, better get a strong practice regime going.