This weekend Soldado and I took a little trip up to Antioch, CA to participate in the first ever Bay Area Open! I took the 1850 Grey Knights list that I have been pimping around the site. (You can see it in action, here, and here) Soldado took his modified 4 wagon Ork list that he talks about here
The tourney was 7 rounds over two days with standard book missions. No frills or crazy bloated KP missions to bone DE players. The playing area was a large fairground aircraft hanger type of room. It left plenty of room for all the tables they had set up in there and plenty of room to move around while everyone was playing.
A side note on terrain: All the tables were set up pretty much the same. A big piece in the middle with two ruins on opposite corners. Some area terrain and low walls/barrels were scattered around the table as well. This left some people feeling that there wasn't enough to block line of site. I didn't run into that problem once. It was enough to get most of my stuff in cover, but not enough that I could hide behind it the whole game. If you need to hide your whole army behind terrain so that you don't get shot at turn one, then maybe you should've won the roll to go first? Or reserve your army? This is a war game where shit gets shot down. If you are scared your pretty boats are going to get shot out of the air, then you should keep them at home.
More on my matchups during the tournament and my overall feelings on my list after the jump!
Game 1 - Dawn of war/annihilation
Early morning day 1/game 1 and I find myself matched up against Alex Cotton's awesomely painted and converted Iyanden army on table 2. He was fielding a modified footdar list with the avatar and eldrad. He had a couple squads of warp spiders, as well as two squads of guardian jetbikes, a 10 man troop unit of wraithguard, a squad of war walkers, and 2 wraithlords. I aimed for the easy KP first in the warp spiders and the war walkers. With str 8 on my dreads, AV10 squads are fairly easy to take down. My assassin was completely ineffective in this game as he couldn't get los on anything until turn 4. I kept trying to move him into position and I kept not doing it right and/or bumping the terrain he was behind. It was a pretty big fail for me, lol.
I ended taking this one from him 7-5. His army was super resilient with fortune and cover. A large number of his models being t6 and above didn't hurt either. Unfortunately for eldar the weaker KPs aren't that hard to take down with focus fire.
Game 2 Pitched battle/Capture and controlMy second match leaves me on table 2 for a GK on GK match against Allan Hernandez. He was running a pretty crazy list with Draigo and a Librarian as HQs. Then he had a 10 man strike squad, a 10 man interceptor squad, and a 10 man paladin squad.
He won the roll to go first and set up with his guys in a line across the field. Everyone was combat squaded. To be honest, I made a huge mistake here. I wanted to tempt him to split his paladins so I wouldn't have to deal with both at the same time so I deployed my objective on one flank with only a light guard. Then I deployed the majority of my army on the other flank in an attempt to hammer and anvil him. What I forgot is that my army is slow as hell besides the Dreadknights... He ended up clearing my home objective and getting his remaining 4 paladins on it. I cleared the rest of his army, but I was about 4" away from claiming his objective when the game ended on turn 5. Had we got another turn, I think I could've pulled this one to a draw at least. If we would've went to 7 I think I could've taken it. but it wasn't meant to be and He beat me 1-0 on objectives.
Game 3 Dawn of war/seize ground with 5 objectivesThe third match of the day pitted me against a dual stormraven/mephiston Blood Angels list run by Casey Steele. I went first and tried something a bit tricky which I might be doing more of. I deployed two of my psycannon purifier squads halfway up the table out of their transports in ruins so they would be stationary when the BA came on the table on my turn 2. This sort of paid off as I was able to get the shots I wanted, but I lost a lot of dudes as he rolled like a mad man on his night fight spotting tests. This one went south for him when I stunned and immobilized his two troop carrying rhinos. He didn't get out to move them towards objectives until it was too late and I was able to smash one with my DK before the game ended on turn 6.
It ended 1 objective claimed by me to none claimed by him, haha. He cleared me off the center objectives with his Death Company but he couldn't get to any of them with his last scoring unit in time.
Game 4 Spearhead/capture and controlGame 4 was a fun game. My opponent was a Daemon player by the name of Peter Hoover with a beautifully painted army. The Scratch built chariots of tzeentch were amazing.
He was a good guy and was laughing it up... But GK vs Daemons is not exactly fair for the daemon player. I field a fairly light on the anti-daemon list, but when your codex is built to beat daemons it sucks for them. It seems like I have just enough to make that match next to impossible. On the "neat for me" side of things, I got to cast dark excommunication for the first time ever! Also warp quake!
Interlude... Random things that happened during day 1- Warhammer groupies showed up and gave out red bulls
- Yakface invited Soldado and I to Awesome Olive Garden. Which is apparently much cooler than regular Olive Garden
- Kim jong il and his family were at Ihop for breakfast.
- I talked to lots of people from the internet (As if that's a real thing. Everyone knows there are no real people on the internet...)
- My girlfriend got lost 17 ways from Tuesday coming to pick us up and we sat and listened to some sort of race and talked about what they would have at Awesome Olive Garden. Awesomer bread sticks? Super tour of Italy? We also realized that between us we make up 2/3 of the axis of evil. All we need is an Italian from Awesome Olive Garden to fill out or trifecta of doom!
Back to warhammer!
Game 5 - Spearhead/annihilationThe first game of the second day was against a cheery chap in a green beanie by the name of Tom McLaughlin. He was playing Vulkan marines with a splash of drop podded sternguard. He went first and deployed a bit defensively on his quarter of the table. I castled behind the ruin on my side and deployed my DKs a bit towards the center of the table. He dropped down his pods right in my dreadknights faces! A bunch of twin linked combi-meltas later and one of my DKs was on the couch. The other took a wound or two due to null zone. I ended up smashing a couple drop pods, breaking vulkans invuln, and then killing some sternguard. I assaulted the sternguard + Vulkan with my DK and force weaponed Vulkans face off!
His dice were pretty hot the first couple turns, but around turn three they turned my way. His sternguard and tac squad that charged my DK broke and fled off the board. He failed his first saving throw on his thunderfire tech marine. The only thing that didn't care what I shot at it was the Land Raider. He wouldn't come close to my assassin so I had to long range shoot at it with my dreads. I think this is where he made a mistake and we talked about this after the game. If he would've shoved that land raider down my throat and then assaulted with the termies inside it might have been different. But he held back a good 500 points of his army because he didn't want to chance the loss of his LR. I ended up pulling this one out 8-5 at the end of turn 6.
Game 6 - Pitched battle/seize ground (3 objectives)In Game 6 I found myself pitted up against a man by he name of Mike Entropo. He was super energetic and really familiar with all his rules. He was playing a spammy mech eldar list with 6 wave serpents with dire avengers and 3 wave serpents with 10 fire dragons in each! 30 fire dragons in total!
I win the roll for first and set up behind the tiny bit of cover on my side with my DKs ready to move up. He lines all his tanks across the board in a gunline formation. And then he seizes :(
It didn't end up being too bad. I took a wound or two from his shuriken cannons but nothing too serious. Then on my turn one, that's when everything went down. I shunted my DK behind the row of skimmers, and moved the other in front of that row. I moved some other things around to get better los but I didn't need to move too much. In my shooting phase, the DK behind the skimmer line blasted three serpents in the back and took down two of them(one of which was a fire dragon transport). Each of my dreadnoughts took down another... then the rest of my team took down almost everything that came out of them. The purifiers shot down some avengers and the DK that did not shunt assaulted into the dragons and wiped them. The rest of the game pretty much went like that. He wasn't able to recover from losing almost half his force on turn one and I ended up almost tabling him, but we called it when he only could possibly contest one of the objectives.
Game 7Annnnnnddd with that win, I got put on the top table! When I saw I was playing guard, my smile turned into :(
Maybe 5 minutes before this round started I was talking to my buddy John from Capture and Control about how I had never played against guard before... ever. This was a pretty ominous sign that I was going to get my ass whooped, lol.
The way the tourney was set up, the top table would roll to see what the game type was for round 7. James rolled Spearhead and I rolled annihilation. Good times! I would have preferred some dawn of war/annihilation but it was not meant to be... He won the roll to go first which was also not very good for me.
I made my biggest mistake during deployment. My head was apparently in 3rd edition rules because I thought the manticores would have to guess range to fire indirect. Which apparently isn't the case any longer. So I deployed out of los of most of his stuff in a nice little group. I'm sure he thought this was a gift.
So the game went on from there and he didn't put too much hurt on me the first turn Killed a RB, weapon destroyed another, put some wounds on my DKs and shook my dread. He then assaulted in with a guard squad on my DK. He did only have 1 wound left but I thought this was kind of silly. I wiped his squad and then got to consolidate 6" towards his vendetta he so painstakingly tried to leave out of range. My turn one I fortituded out of shaken, moved one DK to assault the vendetta and the other to blast hot fire into some chimaeras. Some of my guys hopped out of their broken rhinos and moved towards his lines. The assassin missed... The dreads took out a vendetta, the DK that shunted took out two chimaeras annnnndd that was about it for me killing stuff this game. I assaulted his other vendetta and only managed to shake it. On his turn two his manticores turned on and decided they were gonna roll 3 shots which were all hits every shot. The rest of his army forgot it was BS3 and rolled 5s and 6s to hit. My guys forgot they had a 2+ armour save and fell over like chumps.
I managed to eek out a couple more KPs but it wasn't really close at the end. I think it ended up being 10-6 overall. Which may not sound bad, but he started with almost 20 and I only had 12, lol.
Spearhead and the giant towers in the middle kind of boned me more than I thought they would. I couldn't really bring any of my troop firepower to bear and I misplayed my deployment bad. I think I should've bellied my army up to the spearhead line and went for the throat instead of trying to weather his fire. It certainly was a learning game for me and I will not make the same mistakes again. I'd be curious to hear how other people deal with manticores in the backfield during a spearhead deployment.
I ended up 8th overall Just under Grimgob and Just above Yakface. That's a pretty decent showing for my first large warhammer event if I do say so myself. I'm really happy with how my list performed overall. The greatsword didn't really seem to do much on my DK so I'm not sure that will come out again. The assassin was statistically way worse than he should have been. I think I missed my shot 5 or 6 times over the course of the tourney and he died in the two matches I lost. I think he is more a psychological factor than anything. People are more scared of his potential than his actual game performance shows.
People seemed to anticipate that their psychic defense was going to shut me down. I designed my list so it would not rely on any of the powers available. Those are only a bonus for me. If there's something that will cause perils then I just don't use powers. If there's a hood then it's generally not a big deal if they get cancelled or not. The only power I'm generally concerned with going off is fortitude and that is cast at LD 10 so it's unlikely to fail to psychic defense.
All in all I'm pretty happy with the event and super happy with my list. The drive home after was a bit rough, but most 8 hour drives are :)