Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tournament Tuesdays: UG&G Aftermath - Part One

Last Saturday I participated in a team tournament at Unique Gifts and Games in Grayslake, Illinois. Overall, I had a good time, but do have to admit that I am very rusty when it comes to playing in tournaments.

The first game was against an ork & imperial guard team. The ork player was using the biker special character and a lot of boyz and trucks. The IG player was fielding a leman russ, penal squad, a big squad of ratlings and a platoon. Overall, a decent mix between the WAAC of the ork player and the well rounded force of the IG player.

The tournament was using PST format missions. For this game, the primary mission was to hold the center objective the longest. The secondary mission was killing the opposing team’s highest costing unit. The tertiary mission was standard kill points. The deployment zones for the mission were 24” x 24” triangles starting from opposing corners. Terrain was symmetrical; with each table half have two ruins/cliffs that were ~12” from each table edge. There was also one ruin in the center of the table.

We lost the starting roll, so the opposing team deployed first. Ernie deployed his boyz, ‘ard boyz, and mek on the ground and his lootas on top of the cliff in our d-zone. The opposing team lined up all of their trucks and while the IG platoon and ratlings were positioned on and around their cliff.

When it came time to deploy my daemons, I broke up my primary squad to be the horrors and daemonettes, with my secondary being the bloodletters and flamers. The chaos gods decided to screw with me and I ended up rolling for my secondary squad to come in. This quickly became the theme of the game for me.

To sum up the game, Ernie could only hold up so long with me being unable to get any units on the board. Worse, when units finally became available, or in the case of the flamers on turn one, I ended up rolling really high on the scatter and being forced to roll for a deep strike mishap. In the end, Ernie was torn apart by the combined forces while my stuff got picked off as it arrived. Not a good start to the tournament.

Our second game was against an IG/Tau team. They were designed to sit back and fire a lot of shots. There were also heavily geared to deal with mech armies. When they saw that we had no vehicles in our army, they joked about how their various railguns and lascannons were going to be pretty useless.

The second mission was about getting into the enemy’s deployment zone and killing their commanders. The problem with the mission wasn’t the goals; it was the special rules and deployment zones. Each team got a different deployment zone (see diagram) and since we won the coin toss, we selected the spearhead d-zone. This meant that Ernie could start at the center of the board with his orks. What made matters worse was that each team got to select two universal special rules from the book and apply them to two units on the team. Upon review of the options, we decided to give Ernie’s ‘ard boyz FNP and his regular boyz stealth since they were travelling with a KFF wielding mek.

The winners for me this game were the horrors and flamers. On turn one I deployed my horrors and bloodletters within a few inches of the IG players main line. Of the two units, my opponent was more concerned with the bloodletters and wasted his first turn wiping out the squad. With my horrors mostly unharmed, I had a solid launching point for my other units as they arrived in turn 2 and 3. By the end of turn 3, I had mostly wiped out the IG army and was now chasing a few broadsides. Also at this point, Ernie was making his way across the board to my side to finish what remained.

If there was one thing that I could take from this game, it was the fact we ignored the hammerhead. Before the tournament, Ernie and I discussed in length how we would deal with armour as it was sort of our Achilles heel. The reality in this game though was that the hammerhead simply couldn’t do enough against Ernie, so we just left it and focused on the missions.

The last game was against an Eldar and space marine team. The Eldar army was clearly WAAC, but since it was the judge playing it, I didn’t mind as much. The space marine army was pretty simple, so like the first game, the combination of the two armies made for a balanced mix.

Of the missions played, I feel this was the worse one with regards to the rules. Looking back, I think my dislike for it has to do with how they impacted my army. The special rule for the mission required all deep striking units to scatter, even when in range of an icon or similar. This suddenly meant that 50 points of equipment in my army was useless and that even lucky rolls to hit were meaningless. If it was only the first turn of the game, I don’t think this rule would have been as bad.

When it came to the game, we did decent. The Eldar player was fielding an avatar, two wraithlords, and two guardian squads with conceal and platforms. The space marine player was fielding two 10 man marine squads with missile launchers and melta, a dread, an attack bike, and the Salamanders special character. When it was over, I had a unit of bloodletters on an objective, Ernie had a couple of orks, and the marine player had his one marine squad, character and dread sitting on the other objective.

At the end of the day, Ernie and I were 1-1-1. Not bad considering this was our first tournament of the year. I wish we could find out what our total score was at the end, but nothing has been posted yet. Of the armies being fielded, most had unpainted units and I can proudly say that we were the best looking team on the table. Shame there was no best appearance award!

Tomorrow: Final Thoughts and Feedback

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