There was an awesome turnout for the event... I showed up at 8:30 AM, and there was already a group of people standing in the freezing cold outside. By around 9 'o clock, an hour before the store was opening, all sixteen spots in the tournament were full.Entry fee was 10 bucks, swiss system for pairing. (First round random) Game type & deployment was pre determined by the round number so that there was variety in missions.
Round 1: Seize ground, spearhead... 3 objectives. By far the largest challenge for me to overcome, as my force had a mere 2 scoring units consisting of 7 marines each. I got paired against chaos space marines running a land raider, 2 rhinos filled with big squads of plague marines and a chaos sorcerer. A tiny army like mine, but also an army unsuited to deal with what I was rolling with. My flamestorm baal worked like a champ, first time I had ever used it I get a successful ram using outflank and pop a rhino. His plasma wielding plague marines were unable to stop the baal after they lost their transport and next turn the flamestorm lit 'em up really well.
Chainfists turned out to be an extremely worthwhile investment as my termies were able to drop his land raider by turn 3. At the end of the game I held 2 objectives and contested the third. Much to my surprise, all my units did what they were supposed to making the first game smooth sailing.
Round 2: Capture and control, dawn of war. This game saw me pitted against a nasty hand to hand horde guard army featuring a stubborn 50 man squad with tons of power weapons, plasma, and all sorts of other goodies. The whole game was basically one huge melee fight involving most of my army and most of his. When the dust settled, most of our forces were dead, but my weapon destroyed baal pred managed to contest his objective turn 5 for the win. If the game did not end on turn 5, it would have most definitely been a draw. I really got lucky in this insanely close game...
Round 3: Annihilation, pitched battle. Now we're talking... No more objective holding, it was time to go balls out and crush my opponent with my full force. Up until this game, I had been deep striking all of my infantry, and outflanking with the baal. This time I deployed my assault squads on the table and kept my termies and baal in reserve. This game was vs. Eldar, using a wraithlord, 2 squads of dire avengers, farseer, avatar, and fire prism. Definitely a balanced list that had me on the ropes for the first three turns... Fortunately, the mobility of my army played to my advantage and I was able to withdraw weakened squads away from the fight to save KPs, ending the game 3-1 KPs in my favor.
Round 4, the last round... At this point my record was 3-0, so this was really the finals of the tournament. It turned out I got paired against the mighty Hurricane James, who I had expected to win the whole thing from the start. Game type was assassination, deployment spearhead. Game ends upon the turn of the first general's death, so if a general dies top of the turn there's a chance to draw by killing the enemy general in the same game turn. You could also draw by the standard mission of 5-7 turns ending before any general had died. My general was my captain, his general was his rune priest, so I had a little advantage regarding resiliency. However, to get to his general required me fighting through a mechanized force consisting of 3 rhinos filled with grey hunters supported by a tllc razorback and longfangs. There would be no mind war trickery to pull an easy win here... Hurricane James deployed his vehicles in a protective castle convoy making it impossible to isolate his rune priest without clawing through his entire army first.
The rules of the game also required your general to start on the board. I started the game with my captain attached to an assault squad behind some cover. However, the table didn't have too much terrain and there were no good hiding spots in my deployment area. I spent my first 2 turns charging up along the long table edge towards his force while behind cover in order to get saves against his krak and las shots. By the time the rest of my army made it on the board, there were just 2 marines left in his "bodyguard" squad. I was able to link up with my deep striking and outflanking forces, and had my captain take refuge with my terminator squad for the rest of the game.
This is where things got bloody quickly, and soon the entire battle shifted to an area of only about a foot in diameter. I don't think in playing 40k I've seen so many hostile units in such a compact area... The composition looked almost like something you'd see in a staged GW photo. Target priority was the immediate threats to my baal predator and terminators, so anything with high strength and armor punching ability had to die to keep me in the game. I went for his razorback and long fangs and managed to wipe them out quickly. The baal predator was able to do some nasty damage to a grey hunters squad, killing 9 dudes in one hit before the battle completely shifted to melee. I surrounded the rhinos as best as I could to prevent them from escaping while killing a few in the process. The baal predator effectively killed about one third of his melee strength with that one shot, so I was able to outmatch the rest of his army with my terminators and remaining assault troops. In a last ditch move, Hurricane James decided to assault with his Rune Priest and last grey hunter squad into my 6 or so remaining terminators with captain. In the final showdown, I came out on top... Not even the sons of russ can stand up to that many powerfists. Great game, and the fight taking place in such close quarters gave me the edge I think... That and my captain was mobile with the jump pack and couldn't be so easily punk'd compared to a rune priest.
Coming in first got me a fat stack of 75 bucks in store credit... I really didn't expect to do so well, or even win half my games... My army turned out to be surprisingly balanced and just what I needed to pull through in all my match ups. Props to Quarterstaff for such an awesome event. Terrain was great, good atmosphere, and well administered. Good games all around to everyone I played. Definitely got my sights on the next tournament in January of 1250 pts.
Some pictures of the final showdown between my Lamenters and the Space Wolves led by Hurricane James!
More to come