Now that the dust has sorta settled from the weekend it is time to take a look at the players and lists that represented the top two tables at Wargames Con.
Before we dive in here is the list of the top 20 players at Wargames Con.
1 Ben Mohlie 352 BEST OVERALL (CHAMPIONSHIP) Space Marines
2 Paul Murphy 336 SECOND BEST OVERALL (CHAMPIONSHIP) Imperial Guard
3 Jon Willingham 324 BEST GENERAL (CHAMPIONSHIP) Space Wolves
4 Casey Christopher 320 SECOND BEST GENERAL (CHAMPIONSHIP) Tyranids
5 Russell Adams 318 Orks
6 Adam Tricola 313 BEST SPORTSMAN Space Wolves
7 Chris Carlile 312 Tyranids
8 Tanner Sayne 310 Orks
9 Michael Strange 303 BEST APPEARANCE Tyranids
10 John Brock 296 Imperial Guard
11 Richard Johnson 294 Daemons
12 Steve Martino 294
13 Joseph Cherry 291 Chaos Space Marines
14 Josh Moll 286
15 Mark Watkins 283
16 Hans Krueger 283 Daemons
17 Oliver Smith 276
18 Damien Garcia 271 Space Marines
19 Dale Oser 270
20 Bill Gordon 266 Tyranids
Army List PDFs of the Top Two Tables.
Table 1 List and Player Analysis
How did a Drop Pod Space Wolves army fight a Mech Ork Army on Table 1 and a Vulcan Space Marine army vs. Thundercav list on Table 2? Table 1 was a story of resurrection for both players. Each had suffered tournament setbacks. For Jon’s Space Wolves he was thrown a loss right off the bat in round 1. This had Jon whining (which he does pretty well) all day. With the help of Jaws of the World Wolf and some tactical skill Jon was able to recover and crawl his way to table 1 with a chance to take Best Overall away from his ETC captain Ben Mohlie. For Russell Adams’s Orks he was tabling the competition until he faced Ben Mohlie in round 4 (i think). Watching it seemed Russell was a bit nervous facing Ben which was sitting at table 1 for almost the entire tournament. In an Ork nightmare Russell was unable to destroy Ben’s Landraider which allowed Ben to keep the strategic center for most of the game. By the next day Russell proceeded to crush his opponents to once again have a shot a glory as he sat across from Jon on table 1.
Russell’s Ork army is a mix of the standard and the unorthodox. It is one of lists that only works when playtested vigorously. Image an army made of three Great White Sharks (Battlewagons) surrounded by piranha (Trukks) and you can get the idea. Russell would run the Battlewagons in the center with Trukk support often held in reserve. Choosing Tank Busters over more conventual anti tank like Lootas really kept the mobility theme of the army. Even with the Glory Hog rule the Tankbusters were well worth their points. The small Meganob unit doesn’t seem to fit. So how does it make sense? When used to put out fires or deliver Gaz where needed you discover their uses. As you can image the key to this whole cacophony of Ork metal is the Deff Rollers. Ever since the GW ruling never have I seen players cower in the face of this new menace. Russell used the fear to his advantage many times.
What about Jon’s Space Wolf Army? As I watched Jon play it become clear that his list was built around lightning strikes and moments of attrition. The Drop Pods allowed Jon to juggle his army depending on the opponent and mission. Jon was like half magician and half surgeon with his those Drop Pods, from dropping them empty as a distraction to throwing them away to protect others units. Then having Jaws to deliver death blows when needed didn’t hurt. Jaws caused his opponents at least 2 Wolf Lords, Ghaz, and 2 Carnifexes over the weekend. With Long Fangs spam as back up his list was simply devastating. By adding a Drop Pod to his Long Fangs it allowed him to drop 4 pods on turn 1 if need be. Too many players try to protect every unit in their armies not in Jon’s case. Jon relied on such tactics because everything was about buying time. Without a hammer unit to cancel other hammer units he was forced to break opposing armies piece meal and not at once.
What of the battle itself? Russell would not fail KFF saves at the same time Jon wouldn’t fail leadership checks until almost the end of the game. Tragically Ghaz was killed by Jaws. At the same time Jon couldn’t kill Battlewagons allowing them to be on drop pod clearing duty for the entire game. In the end Russell had one objectives to Jon’s none. Still Jon prevailed because of bonus points.
Table 2 List and Player Analysis
On table 2 everyone was treated to a rematch from round 6. Adam’s Space Wolves had won round 6 by having Wolf Lords run rampant against Ben’s Salamanders. That ended up being Ben’s only lose and it was a close one at that. Adam had been under the radar for the entire event having snuck his way to the top tables. When time came for a rematch Ben was giddy with excitement.
Adam’s Chaos Space Marine counting as Space Wolves army was pretty to look at as well as deadly on the battlefield. The army list itself was a typical tough as nails Space Wolf army we often see today. It is not fancy and relies on the Hammer unit of Thundercav to do most of the heavy lifting. Adam seemed to dare his opponents to deal with them. It is the type of swiss army knife unit that can deal with almost any threat. Putting so much fire power in one unit I thought was dangerous. With only three scoring units it was amazing that Adam did not get tripped up before with so many objective missions. As I watched Adam play one he would often use his Thunder Cav as a three prong attack breaking off his Lords when needed. As always the Long Fang spam goes a long way to carpet bombing opponent transports so the Thundercav can eat the goodies inside. I was surprised that Adam didn’t take Jaws on his Rune Priest I image the Priest was more their for psychic defense than anything else.
Now Ben’s army list. When I saw this list I thought I had entered the hot tub time machine to 2008. Remember when the Space Marine book was released everyone was running to Vulkan throwing themselves into lava in hopes of appeasing the Forgefather. Ben said his list was just his ETC list plus Vulkan. Besides the focus on Vulkan everyone asked how does a single Land Raider survive in 2000 point games? Well the answer is simple Ben always made sure that thing got a cover save or provide threats more important to deal with. Ben used Vulkan and the Termies mostly as a reactionary force, never putting them undue harm. They would simply clean out what was needed or hide in a threatening position that players would stay clear of. The biggest shocker to me was Heavy Bolter Razorbacks. I mean really? I thought Razorbacks only came with Las/Plas? Well it seems if you want to keep things cheap they are not half bad. This was a balanced list and Ben stayed focused on the mission more than any one unit. Ben made sure every unit had a dedicated role. This list played the inside outside game perfectly. If you got too close you would be twin-linked melta or flamer to death. If you stayed away missile launchers would be coming your way to slow you down. From Dreds that distracted to a seemingly unkillable Land Raider Ben just simply outplayed everyone.
So it was game 7 of the and I have to admit I almost felt sorry for Adam when he faced Ben again. Ben was out for revenge and he would not make the same mistakes twice. This time the Wolf Lords would be stopped. By the end of the game Adam was left with just a few models as the beast within Ben was awakened.
How could these lists be made better and how would you deal with them if given the chance?
I will try to get some battle reports from these guys if they are not too busy…