After a (long) Break …A 40k TOURNAMENT!

So after our last post, celebrating the store’s first anniversary, I was waylaid by prepping for our participation at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (which included getting a new website for the store up and running) …and then suddenly time got away from me and here I am updating the blog.

Two months later.

So….here we are; it’s time to get back  on the blogging horse. But first: a recap of the last two months.

Heavy Gear Blitz Logo

Heavy Gear Escalation League

The Heavy Gear league wound down, and was generally successful.

There were things I was scared were going to happen, and generally they did happen. The points escalation was set so that players’ armies would grow by 300 points every two weeks; there were some on the Dream Pod 9 forums that said such a rate was a bit too ambitious. And they proved out to be mostly right. After resetting the escalation to an easier-to-handle 200 points every three weeks, I was afraid that the league would go on longer than people could commit for  (as far as showing up every week for gaming). That fear also proved to be true, and the last few weeks of the league had less participation than the opening weeks.

All in all, the league was a huge success, and we grew our Heavy Gear player base by double or more–at the league’s conclusion, I’d say we have a player base of roughly ten committed players plus another five who are on their way to having full armies. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The Xenos Spring

!Tau Codex Cover

April and June saw Games Workshop acting convincingly as though they believed there exists in Warhammer 40,000 more than just Space Marines. We saw the re-release / revamp of the Tau in April –and were treated to a rather candid display of just how disconnected GW is: they had absolutely NO clue how Tau would be received, as evidenced by their inability to fill more than 40% of their orders for the new models. That’s right: they missed filling SIXTY PERCENT of all their Tau orders. Not only that, but it wasn’t until the first week of June that stores (such as mine) were able to restock any model of their choosing from the Tau range.

!eldar-codex-cover

The arrival of Eldar this June was definitely not the clusterf*ck that the Tau release was. What’s more, unlike the last time Eldar were revamped, this time around the book has actually managed to revitalize and energize the Eldar player base. Funny how not putting out a codex written primarily by the copy and paste buttons on the keyboard will do that. The net result of the Tau and Eldar releases has been a reinvigorated 40k community: six months ago every battle on every table had one (or both) sides comprised of Plague Marines and Aegis Defence Lines; and I’m glad to say that variety has made its appearance once more in the shop.

Which brings me to…

 

Warhammer40KLogo-big

THE JERICHO ANOMALY

At the extreme eastern galactic border of the Imperium lies the Jericho Reach—which was, long ago, a sector in the Imperium of man. Now, it is no more than a frontier rife with suffering due to the predation of chaos and a multitude of xenos sovereignties.

A sudden temporary rift on the warp has gifted a dark corner of this region a small planetoid. The event would have gone unnoticed had the planetoid (now labeled ‘Anomaly J2512’ ) not begun emitting a powerful psychic beacon upon entering realspace—more than a beacon; it was also a targeted signal, aimed at another system in the Jericho Reach.

All able factions and armies in the region have now begun scrambling expeditionary forces to ascertain the nature of the planetoid, Anomaly J2512, with equal goals of reconnaissance and plunder…

jericho anomaly

A Warhammer 40,000 Campaign Tournament

Date: Saturday, July 6.
Place: Imaginary Wars Gaming and Hobbies (Unit #150, 10233 Elbow Drive SW)
Time: 08:00 – 18:30
Entry Fee: $20
Army List Due Date: Saturday,  June 29.

WARNING!!

This is not a standard tournament, and my use of the word “tournament” to describe this event is not quite accurate of what we’re aiming to do this coming weekend. The primary goal of this event is NOT the same as most competitive events –that is, to provide players with a controlled environment where they vie to build the best army possible and compete to decide which army performs best under controlled conditions. This event focuses less on being a competitive tournament and more on creating a collaborative opportunity for the participants to help shape an unfolding story.

This event requires players to build an 1800-point army list that will represent their army’s expeditionary force dropping down to the planetoid, Anomaly J2512. However, AT NO POINT will the players field all the models in their list in even one of the games. To represent the focus on recon that the armies would have in this situation, the forces players will be playing with in every battle will range from 650 points up to approximately 800 points. The 1800-point army list is essentially a menu of options so that players can modify their armies from one battle to the next and adjust their army to meet the challenges of the next mission.

This is an ideal tournament for players who, having played enough games of sixth edition are comfortable with the prospect of gaming outside the relative safety and comfort of the standard missions from the rulebook. Definitely, asking players to change their army list with each battle –and presenting them with scenarios that will demand it– will be asking players to understand their army, rather than simply understanding their army list. I think it’s also appealing to those who are starting a new army, seeing as how battles will be limited to 800 points or less.

 

TOURNAMENT ARMY LIST PARAMETERS

  • Force List Maximum: 1800 points
  • Maximum ONE flyer per 1800-point army
  • No Fortifications
  • No allies
  • All the battles during the day will be set at approximately 700-800 points.
  • No Unit can be worth more than 225 pts (dedicated transports do not count towards this point total; however the transport as well cannot be worth more than 225 points).
  • Maximum THREE HQ Choices following these guidelines:
    –You can have ONE Expeditionary Force Captain worth no more than 200 points.
    –You can have up to TWO Lieutenants worth no more than 150 points each.

What I Shouldn’t Have to Mention (Yet Can’t Believe it Must Still be Mentioned)

This is an event that celebrates both gaming and the hobby that is intrinsic to the Warhammer 40,000 game. As such, all models MUST be fully painted and on completed bases.

FULLY PAINTED:

Number 8, 1949. 1949 Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas 34 1/8 x 71 1/4 in (86.6 x 180.9 cm)

Number 8, 1949.
1949, Jackson Pollock.
Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas
34 1/8 x 71 1/4 in (86.6 x 180.9 cm)

Fully painted in a tournament setting means: the model is appropriately displaying three or more colours. Primer is NOT a colour. Models don’t have to be masterpieces; they just have to evidence some effort on its owner’s part. (…And by “appropriate” I mean your model’s paint job shouldn’t be doing its best impression of a Jackson Pollock.)

If you’re trying to prove your chops with abstract expressionism, this event is the wrong venue for doing so.

Go to university for that.

.

COMPLETED BASES:

Completed bases simply means your models are not on bare, black plastic bases, nor are they on a basic base that has simply been painted over; models based this way cheapens whatever effort has been put into the models and robs from the magic created when two fully painted armies are on a gaming table with painted terrain. All I ask for basing is simple flocked bases –which is actually easier and less time-consuming to do than painting a model’s base.

PROXIES:

Proxies will NOT be allowed and all models must be What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get. The only exception is on vehicles with secondary weapon upgrades where the upgraded weapon doesn’t come stock with the kit. (Though similar proxies can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.) Because this is a tournament that allows players to switch their army list from battle to battle, I don’t have much sympathy  for players who feel they need to have their models be armed with weapons the miniature isn’t modeled with. I would suggest instead of arguing for a proxies, include another squad (or what not) in your master list that will do the job of the weapon option you want to proxy.

I consider home-built models dangerously close to proxy models. Anyone looking to use custom, built-from-scratch models in the tournament MUST take that up with the Tournament Organiser (IE: me) before the tournament list is due (IE: June 29).

Any proxies that aren’t approved beforehand that show up on tournament day risk being counted as casualties before the start of any game they are used in. You have been warned.

Why So Specific?

Why? Because most players put a ton of effort into their armies out of love for the hobby. To go to a hobby-based event without displaying honest effort to a similar degree as the others at the event displays a complete lack of respect for your fellow enthusiasts. Being a game with tons of variables, endless possibilities and myriad ways of understanding (and interpreting) its rules, respect for your opponent is paramount.

 

And Lastly…

The other way this tournament is different is that it will be used to kick off the store’s summer  campaign for Warhammer 40,000!

More info on that will be presented soon.

 

 

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The Fallout From Fun

Today’s post is a bit schizophrenic, so please bear with me.

Anyways, so I played a game of 40k about ten days ago, and it got me to thinking—I’d have written and posted this sooner, but the initial writing I did here dovetailed nicely with the TooFatLardies’ blog article,Fiction or Friction” so well …before meandering in another direction that I decided to let this post stay on the back burner for a few more days and write about the Lardies’ article first.

So, yeah, 40k. I played it—and while a game of 40k being played by someone may not really be newsworthy, a game of Warhammer 40,000 being played by me is. The short of it? I had a GREAT time!

 THE LONG (WINDEDNESS) OF IT

 It was all pretty innocuous:

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The Demise of GW

NO, not Games Workshop, but the store I managed: Great White.

After shaky spring sales were followed by a disastrous May, the store in Calgary closed its doors for good at the end of June–just in time for me to go on a two-week vacation! (I had no choice: the flights had been booked months ago; and in the stress surrounding the store’s death rattle, I managed to forget to change my flights; luckily, the trip was visiting family, so it was a holiday on the cheap!)

R.I.P.

With some decent job prospects coming my way closer to the end of summer, at the moment things don’t look too grim and dark for me. My goal is now to get more hobby and game time in over the summer.

Responsible? Not really. Irresponsible? Also…not really.

So Where Does this Leave me?

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Campaign Tournament: June 26 & 27

More info also at: http://conquest-calgary.com/

On Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28 myself, Great White and the fine folks who ran the ConQuest tournament in the fall of 2009 will be doing a tournament weekend unlike what’s become the standard style of tournament in these parts for some time: we’re bucking the trend and running a campaign tournament weekend.

Our tournament will combine competitive tournament play with what makes map-based campaigns so attractive to us gamers–namely, an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie , the feeling that our games are part of a big picture and the sense that at some point the whole thing could turn out feeling, well, epic. Basically, this campaign weekend is all about contributing to an adventure where the story is as important as the games themselves, where it is just as important to achieve victory for your team as it is to gain glory for yourself.

This is campaign weekend will not be a standard tournament where only your score is important!

Games will be driven by the narrative of the campaign; the games you play will be connected to part of a greater battle – the assault upon the Cadian Gate by the armies of Chaos and the forces of disorder. (The link to the full back story can be found at the top of the column on the right-hand side of this page titled, oddly enough, “14th Black Crusade back story”).

How well your team does will matter just as much as how well you yourself do; even if you lose your individual battle, achieving some of your objectives may help out your faction more than you tabling your opponent would.

I’m hoping that players will get into the mindset of the army (and faction) they’re bringing to the campaign and use this weekend as an opportunity to try something new with their armies — without being worried that straying from their tried and tested ‘tournament’ lists will result in them doing poorly over the weekend.

A Win is a Win is a Win

The other thing I’d like to point out that will make this tournament different is that for each player’s personal battles, there will be NO degrees of victory. A minor victory counts as tabling your opponent; a major victory counts as tabling your opponent; tabling your opponent counts as …you guessed it: tabling your opponent. My aim  is that we can all play this tournament to win but won’t have to stress over by how much. There will be other factors beyond merely decimating your opponents that will create the points spread necessary to determine winners.  With any level of victory counting as the same kind of victory, we should also be able to focus on having some fun: we all know that the best and funnest games are the ones that  –win or lose– are close and hard fought.

My hope is that players will make lists where they can try a new thing (or few) without hampering their ability to place in the top five. I’d really like it if this tournament became more about generalship than list-building, about how you play your army on the board than what you put in your army while still at home.

Army Lists& Construction Rules

Though I’m still getting the player’s pack finished up right now, I thought I’d post this info beforehand …for those who want as much notice as possible.

Army Size:

All players will make up a list of 1400 points called your army core list.

They will also make up a list where they add an extra 250 points to their army core list (total 1650).

They will also make up a third list where they add an extra 500 points to their army core list (total 1900).

Apart from the 1400-point core, the 1650 and 1900-point lists need not be the exact same lists (ie: the 1900-point list doesn’t have to be the 1650-point list with an extra 250 points tacked on). Lists must be emailed to info@ConQuest-Calgary.com

Submission deadline is midnight, Friday, June 18th .

Players should ensure that the rosters include all of the models in their army, the correct points values and all equipment, skills or powers upgrades taken (along with their proper point values). Army lists can still be submitted later than June 18th but run the risk of incurring a penalty on their overall tournament score and MAY be ineligible for the Best General award (called the “Ambitious Opportunist:  (   faction name  ) ” award in this tournament.

Army army lists must have the following clearly stated at the top of the page:

Army Type,  Name of Player,  Phone Number,  Email Address

Points spent on:  HQ  /  Elite  /  Troops  /  Fast Attack  /  Heavy Support

Army lists can be submitted in Microsoft Word or Excel (versions 2003 or lower), in Notepad or in Army Builder format.

Armies cannot use more than one Force Organisation Chart and must follow their most current codex according to this list:

Codex: Black Templars                  Codex: Blood Angels (2010)

Codex: Chaos Space Marines       Codex: Daemon Hunters

Codex: Daemons of Chaos           Codex: Dark Angels

Codex: Dark Eldar (2nd Ed.)         Codex: Eldar

Codex: Imperial guard                  Codex: Necrons

Codex: Orks                                  Codex: Space Marines

Codex: Tau Empire                       Codex: Space Wolves (2009)

Codex: Tyranids (2010)                Codex: Witch Hunters

Other Army Construction Guidelines

  • Individual units that may have multiple rules versions will follow the rules presented in that army’s codex. (Yes, this means a Black Templar Land Raider will function differently than a standard Space Marine Land Raider.) Please take the time to review the relevant codex and GW FAQs for clarifications.
  • Forge World/Imperial Armor/ units are not allowed; however, players can use Forge World versions of legal unit(s) from their army’s current codex.
  • Apocalypse-only units and/or Formations may not be used.
  • The Vehicle Design Rules may not be used.
  • Allies may only be used where allowed by a particular codex (i.e. only Witch Hunters or Demon Hunters may be allies, and only as per their rules).

For Inquisitorial Armies:

Imperial Guard and Space Marine allies are allowed. As both of these codices have changed substantially since the Inquisition books were originally released, use the following amendments to the lists presented on pg 30-31 of the Daemon Hunters book and pg 26 of the Witch Hunters book:

Troops: Space Marine Tactical Squad, Space Marine Scout Squad, Imperial Guard Infantry Platoon, Imperial Guard Veteran Squad.

Fast Attack: Space Marine Assault Squad, Land Speeder Squadron, Space Marine Bike Squadron, Scout Sentinel Squadron, Armored Sentinel Squadron, Rough Rider Squad, Scout Bike Squad.

Heavy Support: Space Marine Devastator Squad, Space Marine Land Raider (Crusader and Redeemer as well), Space Marine Dreadnought, Space Marine Predator, 0-1 Leman Russ Squadron (Pask may NOT be taken).

NOTE:  Grey Knight Terminators may not travel in Valkyries or Vendetta Gunships.

Regarding Special/Unique/Named Heroes:

Special or named Characters CANNOT be used. Period.

…but there will be an allowance made for certain characters whose special rules change how their army is made up or who confer a special cross-army rule when present in the army(Like Belial or Pedro Kantor do).  This will be covered in the upcoming Player’s Pack.

That’s all I’m going to go into for now, but I will leave all interested parties with the factions break down –for those with multiple armies who aren’t sure which one they want to play yet.

The Forces of Destruction: The forces motivated to destroy all bastions of the Imperium surrounding the Eye of Terror.

  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Daemons of Chaos
  • Space Orks
  • Tyranids
  • Dark Eldar

The Forces of the Imperium: The forces seeking to contain Chaos within the Eye of Terror.

  • Black Templars
  • Blood Angels
  • Daemon Hunters
  • Dark Angels
  • Imperial guard
  • Space Marines
  • Space Wolves
  • Witch Hunters

The Forces of Self Interest: Those forces looking to their own goals and are willing to fight whomever they need to achieve them. They do have a faction they ultimately side with, included in parentheses after the army (this is done so that this tournament avoids becoming a six-way competition).

  • Eldar (Imperium)
  • Necrons (Destruction)
  • Tau (Destruction)

New Painting Contest & Updates!

Well, looks like it’s painting competition time again!

I was striving to get something going for March fifteenth, but with my running the Rolling Thunder tournament for Warhammer 40,000 and with getting prepared for my shop’s attendance at Cal-Con this year, a March painting competition just wasn’t in the books.

Ah well. Mayday has as much ring to it as Ides of March.

This competition will follow the same format as the previous ones I’ve run: two categories determined by model size where models from the three main Games Workshop systems will be judged against each other along with a third category for inexperienced hobbyists. The departure this time will be the addition of a staff-painted models category. All those who enter will be allowed to judge (through voting) the models submitted by the store staff. From the sounds of it, all the staffers want to paint up larger models, so I need to figure out what I have that’s of comparable size to what they’re all talking about; there’s no point in submitting a Sartosan Vampire three contenders are talking about Carnifexes, Steam Tanks and Carnosaurs.

I have a few things in the works:  Buhrdur  (Angmar Troll chieftain from Lord of the Rings). an Eldar Falcon grav tank, a Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought and Gulavhar (again from Angmar-Lord of the Rings). Both Buhrdur and my grav tank are about 25% done, while Gulavhar and my Venerable Dreadnought are just past the gap-filling stage. I’ll have to make up my mind pretty quickly as to which model will be my entry. (And if I really have my  act together, perhaps I’ll even do some work in progress posts!)

Rolling Thunder Results

On the sixth of March, 2010, I ran my fourth tournament put on by Great White. Rolling Thunder was the store’s second Warhammer 40k tourney (and my third one which had custom scenarios whose aim was to give players two challengers in the each game they played: the player opposite them at the table and that scenario’s victory conditions). All in all, things went extremely well: despite being the consummate procrastinator, I’m managing to get more and more organised with each passing tournament (I’ve left the realm of ‘simply embarrassing’ far behind and can now be solidly ranked among those ‘a  tad disorganised’); I’m also still managing to avoid gaining enemies in real life due to the tournament missions I put the players through.

This time through, we had twelve players: eleven registered plus a ringer spot (which was occupied by a couple of friends who helped me once I realised I was in a jam: twelfth player had registered quite early on and then summarily dropped off the face of the earth–and I hadn’t figured it out until a couple of days before the tournament). Still, things went off pretty smoothly, even with the mall stealing some of our tables first thing in the morning!

PLAYER LIST

Player            —      Army

1.   Kevin K.     — White Scars Marines

2 .  Trevor B.   — Space Wolves

3 .  Jason H.     — Eldar

4 .  Rob D.        — Tyranids

5 .  Scott S.       — Space Wolves

6 .  Mike D.       — Tyranids

7 .  Alem A.     — Salamanders Marines

8 .  Nick G.       — Chaos Marines

9 .  Ryan F.       — Necrons

10.  Conor M.  — Khorne Marines

11.  Peter H.     — Ultra Marines

–an okay variety of armies but still a bit too Marine-heavy for my tastes. Despite that, I am pleased that every list was distinctly different from every other list.

Again, I’m very pleased with all the work put into the armies that took part in Rolling Thunder; the players that keep showing up for the tournaments I run are doing a lot to claw back the poor reputation that ( in my experience) a bulk  of 40k players have established: namely that 40k players care more about gaming than they do gaming with good-looking armies.

Let me explain that comment. During my five-year tenure at Games Workshop, from the GW staff down, I had noticed Fantasy players always tended to have their armies fully painted while 40k players’ armies–who, I might add, had less models–tended to be works in progress…or painted only to the barest of minimums. I had even been to a couple of the annual staff tournaments (held for all the Ontario staff and cell managers, plus one staffer from each province);  both years I went, there were one–maybe two–armies that showed up being either bare plastic/metal or primer only–and remember this was a staff tournament during the era of  “you can’t play in a GW store if your army isn’t completely painted–invariably the offending armies were 40k armies. And I’ll reiterate it: this was happening at a tournament attended by those who were supposed to be setting the standard for their customers. (In following years, I had also heard similar accounts of a 40k army or two showing up for the staff tourney sans paint job.)

I’m not trying to crap on 40k players by saying all this; I’m trying to describe the level of pleased I am at the quality of paint jobs brought to the tables at this tournament; not only were all these armies fully painted, but all were painted to a level well above bare minimum. Up until this tournament, I had always lived under the presumption that 40k players were more gaming-minded and Fantasy players were more hobby-minded; it looks like the two may have reached an equilibrium.

Tournament Results

Name Army Battle
Sports Comp Painting Total
Kevin K. White Scars 21 32.5 28 35.5 117
Trevor B. Space Wolves 19 34.5 26 23 112.5
Jason H. Eldar 39 49.5 23 39.5 151
Rob D. Tyranids 24 32 25 25 106
Scott S. Space Wolves 29 34 34 41 138
Mike Davey Tyranids 41 34.5 31 47.5 154
Alem A. Salamanders 31 34.5 29 20 114.5
Nick G. Chaos Marines 42 37 20 24 123
Ryan F. Necrons 21 34.5 31 23 109.5
Conor M. Khorne Marines 31 32 30 30 123
Peter H. Ultramarines 27 25 23 8 83

Best Overall: Mike D.

Best Sportsman: Jason H.

Best Painted: Scott S.

Lessons Learned

Organise! Organise! Organise! The opportunity to do this tournament came at me quickly and unexpectedly, with a local gaming convention organiser approaching me to run a tournament with tickets to the con as prizes. I agreed running a tournament would be  a win-win situation, thus leaving me only a few scant weeks to organise, advertise and create all the missions. It was pretty hectic for me at times because I wasn’t well prepared to get all this up and going in just a few weeks; luckily I have a (very) little bit of a routine with how I put together my tournaments that this was able to fall together with a bit of hard work and late nights–but thankfully not much stress.

The show went off without a hitch (more or less); and what’s better: I had not only new attendees, but three first-time tournament players! I also noticed quite a few players exchanging contact information,which I suspect is a pretty good indicator of a community growing. And I mean, really, that’s the main hope I have behind doing tournaments: grow the gaming community and have a hand at bringing what I love about gaming to the table.

Staff Tournament!

SO,  I’ve been playing woefully few games of fifth edition since it came out (has it been a year already?!?); thus, at the end of summer I thought I’d try to do something about it. In the game store I manage, we’ve all been a little lax–for the most part– on getting 5th Edition games in, what with us having spent the spring focused on getting our War of the Rings armies up and running. I decided I should initiate a staff tournament for the fall.

I had my doubts about how well a staff tournament would go over, what with the way that we all suffer from magpie-shiny-object syndrome (made exponentially worse by the myriad other hobbies forever enticing us on the sidelines: board games, comics, Lego, new armies, new models, more boardgames…you get the picture). We’ve only attempted staff campaigns in the past, all without much of what could be called “success.” Previous attempts have all died prematurely due to our inability to stay focused long enough to get our full armies completely painted for the campaign (I’m a firm believer that painting builds excitement to play and playing builds excitement to paint; too much of one or the other risks crippling the ability of a regular person to finish their army in a timely fashion). As soon as one person falls too far behind and drops out, the others’ interest would also soon follow.

This time around, I decided to have an escalation-style tournament that would run three rounds over a long enough period of time that would allow games to be played at a more leisurely rate–and allow adequate time for us all to build up our armies and get them painted. As enticement, the prize for winning the tournament would be a (coveted) full weekend off  in November spent playing at the upcoming Conquest 40k/WFB tournament being put on by some of the store’s patrons–and the store would take care of that person’s admission into the tournament.

The points limit of the first heat would be only 700 points (and require the armies to be a minimum of half painted); the second one would be 1200 points (and half painted), and the third heat would be 1700 points (that had to be three-quarters painted).  The winning player had to PROMISE that the army would be fully based and painted before going to the tournament if it wasn’t 100% completed by that time already otherwise the next runner-up with a fully painted army would get to go to the tournament in his place.

The first two heats would be made up of three games apiece: a staffer would play three different opponents in the first heat, then play the three staff he hadn’t played yet in the second heat. Players could score a maximum of three points per game played in the first two heats:  one point for having played the game (provided their army list was submitted on time), another for having their force completely painted, and a third, freebie point, simply for bringing all the needed materials to play the game (if ANYTHING beyond glue needed to be borrowed during a game, this point was lost).

Heat 2 concluded this week, and only one player has scored full marks.

Heat 3 will be played as a round-robin tournament; each staffer will play each other once. There will be points awarded for army paint job, army composition and sportsmanship as well. The total points for the third heat will be 52, making the total tournament points out of 70 (which means all the easy-to-score points from heats one and two will count 26% towards the final tournament points total.

So how am I doing? Well, because I’ve been a little bit lazy and a WHOLE LOT busy with store stuff, right now my running score has me in dead last –due to not being organised enough to get my lists written up in time and because for four games, I kept forgetting to bring templates (which I’m really embarrassed about, because I’ve always made it a point to bring everything I’d need to every game I play).


Farseer Balangaur: leader of Craftworld Fir Mathedyann's war council.


DOOM OF THE

ELDAR

Heat 1:

Game One Opponent:  Tyranids

Swept and destroyed the alien menace. An early gamble with the Genestealers failed to pay off, and the Gaunts were never able to bring their numbers to bear, meaning I was able to take them on piecemeal.

Game Two Opponent: Thousand Sons

By the mid-point of my second round of shooting, I had managed to eradicate the Chaos lord who, up to that point, been the scourge of all the other staff armies that faced him. Guardians proved their mettle by never failing a single Leadership test (and there were many!) caused by shooting casualties. Solid victory, only three of the Thousand Sons lived to tell of the battle.

Game Three Opponent:  Space Orks.

I don’t remember much for details other than I was FREAKED out about playing against orks because, on paper anyway, they look like they trump Eldar in every way. They’re cheaper, they’re tougher, they assault better, they shoot better (their shuriken catapults are better than mine, thus making that BS of 2 not as much of a drawback as you might think), their leadership is higher (in their own orky way). On paper, Orks destroy Eldar.

So thank God we use miniatures. I pulled off a pretty big win–which I attribute to the game being played at a low points level (we’ll see how I do once we’re playing 1700 points).

Heat 2

Game One Opponent: Space Marines

What a grind. Narrowly lost the game. Highlights include the Marine Scout snipers who missed nearly every shot taken every turn. Vibro-cannon caused the most reliable amount of wounds…followed by very few actual casualties. Ten Storm guardians outperformed 6 Striking Scorpions (with Exarch).

Game Two Opponent: Sisters of Battle

Fought to a draw. Eldar outnumbering the Witch Hunters almost two to one definitely a factor in their good showing. Striking Scorpions all killed in round two: all shot dead or set on fire by the Sisters’ Seraphim squad; the Scorpions’ 3+ save may as well have been a 6+ save. Champions of the game was the squad of Guardian Defenders who, after sustaining 60% casualties, charged a Battle Sisters squad and held them up for 3 combat rounds before the Wraithlord joined the fray and helped destroy the enemy squad.

Game Three Opponent: Necrons

Kill-Point mission. Dawn of War set up and Necrons seizing the initiative resulted in 75% Eldar casualties among the two squads and HQ that deployed at the start of the game. Highlights include: Farseer Balanguar assaulting the Monolith by himself, the Warwalker squadron decimating the Necron Destroyer squad. Low points include: Farseer Balangaur unable to do more than immobilize the Monolith despite 3 penetrating and 5 glancing hits, the Striking Scorpions being eradicated by the Monolith’s ordnance blast, the Wraithlord failing to sweep the Necrons after losing combat, despite the Necrons rolling a ‘2’ to retreat from the assault. That failed roll was the difference between a loss and a draw for me.

THOUGHTS & REFLECTIONS

I decided for the first two heats to build my army with a focus on numbers and to not necessarily worry about making ‘hard’ lists.  In the first heat’s battles, the list I chose focused on numbers with some mean back up: a tooled-up Farseer, two Guardian Defender squads (10-men each, a Conceal-Warlock with one of them), a six-man Striking Scorpion squad (with exarch who had the Scorpion’s Claw and both Exarch skills) and a Wraithlord to cap it off.

The superior numbers and shots factored hugely in both games played, whereas the Guardians’ inherent fragility never came into play to undo my whole army (which is a risk at all times when using a goodly amount of Guardians–or Re-tardians, as I like to call them).

In the second heat, my army list, with its low regard towards being a ‘hard’ list paid off in spades for my opponents! Though I decided to use some units that I tend to skip over, my thought had been to counterbalance them with units that had traditionally performed well for me.

The 1200-point list retained the same Farseer, two Guardian squads, Striking Scorpions and Wraithlord and added to the mix:  ten Storm Guardians (with one flamer and a Warlock with Destructor), a Warwalker squadron (two scatter lasers and two starcannons), a Vibrocannon battery (two guns) and six Swooping Hawks (with an exarch with both skills but no other upgrades).

This list was a train wreck. The more reliable elements of the army (Aspect warriors and Wraithlord) accomplished only cultivating disappointment from me. The Guardians and Guardian-manned equipment proved far more reliable.

Unfortunately, as good as Guardians can be in their ability to dish out damage, they tend to get eclipsed by the enemy. It’s not too noticeable in smaller games at 1,000 points or less, but it’s painfully obvious in games over that. What happens is that the Guardians just get picked apart, despite any decent damage they deal out. Ideally, this is where the Aspect Warriors come in; but that’s not how it worked out in my three games.

I’m going to have to rethink my whole army for Heat 3.