Monday, May 17, 2010

The Howard Crusade is back (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!)

Game 1: Deployment

Well, in the spirit of participation I'll share my experience during this years first round of 'Ard Boyz (now that my posterior has stopped bleeding. Mostly.)

I went into the tournament with high expectations. I've been playing better recently and I felt I had finally (after years) started to crack the code that is the Black Templar codex.

My army list, I felt, was solid, and had a good chance to wreak some havoc on unsuspecting xenos and heretic scum.

Alas, the havoc was received rather than dispensed.

Game 1 paired me against the Space Wolves army that played Chosen 1 in the third game. There were a few rules questions and the young player was introduced to the concept of WYSIWYG when he tried to counter-assault me with his 3 attack Wolves wielding pistols and chain swords represented by models carrying only bolters. The judge (who I was impressed with throughout the day) assured the player that if the models didn't have it, they didn't have it no matter what the codex said. I was iffy on this as I could understand the guy's aggravation with GW's "here's a new codex now buy more stuff" tactics. As it turned out WYSIWYG didn't save me and I was utterly pounded by an army that had way too many "fresh codex" tricks to my stale old 4th edition flavor. That is the fourth game I have played against the new Space Wolves since their premier and I am utterly disgusted at their brokeness. But then any player struggling to keep up with a codex more than a year old will likely agree.

Game 1: Mixin it up.

Game1 biggest pain: Chaplain Moe and the Termies decided to sit this one out and stayed on the battle barge playing Halo.

Game 2 deployment: Me
Game 2 deployment: filthy turncoats.

Game 2 saw Dorn's great-great grand nephew's twice removed facing down a nicely rendered Chaos Marines army . My opponent was new to the game with only a few months under his belt. It didn't show. Despite a few rookie mistakes he did a smashing job of handing me the most even and, as a result, most enjoyable game of the tournament. No insult intended to my other opponents, but Phil's army and personality blended with mine in a way that just forced us both to have copious amounts of fun. As I watched my scoring units evaporate under the battle cannon fire of two hated Defilers I couldn't help but grin. The back and forth was equal as my drop pod full of termies (led by Chaplain Moe) landed JUST short of the table edge in Phil's deployment zone right behind his carefully arrayed fortress of loaded rhinos, Defilers, Devastators, and, lest I forget, a winged Daemon Prince (seriously, do they REALLY need wings, people?).

Ballsiest deep strike ever on my part.

The highlight of the game for me was watching my lone surviving initiate, flamer in hand, unload on a full squad of Nurgle marines. Runner-up was my OTHER lone gunman (literally the only survivor of my 5 man tac squad) raising his fist in defiance and declaring my own deployment zone secure. I adored this game and can't wait to take some good-natured revenge on Phil (you have been warned).

Game 2: nearly over.
Game 2 biggest pain: The Emperor's Champion bravely led my 20 man squad of initiates and neophytes to check out something back at HQ and they all went zipping off the board on turn 2 after I dropped an 11 on the Righteous Zeal test.

Game 3: Deployment

The final game was against the aforementioned mechanized Tau. I think by this time Nick and I were both pretty worn down and ready to finish the tourney. When I saw just how much dice rolling he'd be doing I understood his fatigue. Each battle-suit unit (and there were several) dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 shots each round (with a BS of 5 in most cases and half of the shots being AP3 plasma). Under such withering fire my guys could do nothing but throw neophytes out front to be disintegrated while they desperately tried to get close enough to engage. My land raiders went up like cheap fireworks and the units inside soon followed. I did manage to get my Marshall and his thunder hammer boys on one end of Nick's line and start plowing through his tanks (Hammerhead first, of course).

Game 3: Lookin down the barrel of a .45
Once the immediate enemy was dispensed with I got to show Nick how all storm shields are NOT created equal. As he unloaded heavy plasma and missiles on my termies he casually offered "They've got a 4+ invuln, right?" Well, if they had bothered to visit a forge world in the last 10,000 years they might, but nope. Unless you want to assault me, in which case I'm golden. It was touching to watch Nick cringe as I continued to fail my 5+ saves and pick up Termies by the handful. All in all I think we both found the game wanting as I really only offered him easy target practice and very little in the way of excitement. Still he was a good and empathetic opponent and I'd love to try again on a board that maybe has some cover.

Game 3: Plasma. WTF did all my models go?

Game 3 pain: A solar system's worth of plasma on the least terrain-heavy board of the tourney.

Summary: I had a blast, and even though I ran out of grape jelly around the middle of game 2 I'm glad I went. It gives me some motivation to get back on the road to improvement and I made a couple new friends. The atmosphere was friendly but competitive, which is perfect for a national Tournament, and the judge did a bang-up job of keeping things on track despite some late arrivals (yours-truly included). Kudos to Castle Perilous for hosting and to the Lords of Egypt for putting on a good event.


chosen1 said...

Thanks for the Battle Report Aerion! I'm sorry you didn't have a good showing, but perhaps Diecon will turn things around for you. Speaking of Diecon, I'm sure a small post detailing the Con, who's going, and what armies you guys are battle reports afterwords would be great now that you're out of school. :)

chaplainaerion said...

Sounds like a plan. I'll harangue the guys this weekend and try to get some army info. Sorry about the goofs on your the report. I coulda swore you had played Phil previously. He is a fun guy so definitely something for your "to-do" list.

chosen1 said...

No worries. We hardly got to speak 10 words to each other on Saturday and those were just jokes about how badly we were doing. I was, however, taken unaware by your "wall of text". Pictures baby, pictures. It'll be more fun that way, and besides, no one will ever see them. ;)

chaplainaerion said...

You're awful demanding for what you pay me.

chosen1 said...

GREAT fix! This is much more palatable than it's previous incarnation. In fact, it's better than any battle report I've ever posted. Cease any behavior that shows me in a negative light! ;-)

chaplainaerion said...