The Bay Area Open 2019 Coverage

by | May 23, 2019

The event that started it all for Frontline Gaming, the Bay Area Open is at a new 4th and hopefully final resting place of KublaCon at the lovely Crown Plaza Hotel in the airplane filled skies of Burlingame California.

This year will also see the Bay Area Open 2019 expanded to a 3-day tournament with a Las Vegas Open style final round for  top players on Sunday. With the event right next to the San Francisco Airport we should see a bit more of a global feel with players traveling far and wide to attend. Still the BAO, has always been a West Coast centric event and I don’t see that changing at least for a few more years to come.

The most exciting part of the BAO 2019 is we should see some post Spring FAQ meta becoming fully developed, so expect a lot less Ynnari and Castellans, replaced with pure Craftworld and Crusader Knights. It will also be a test for the current rulers of Thousand Sons and Nurgle friends. Who will dominate is anyone guess, but expect Tau and Necrons of all things to become the new gatekeepers for the meta going forward.

As always Blood of Kittens will be at the event to cover, though with the event starting on a real life work day coverage won’t really get started until Saturday. This I think should  be fine, as the first 3 rounds often don’t produce anything too exciting beyond the random top players duels that sometimes happen.

Day 2 will really start to show us what lists and players are in the running. Expect the usual West Coast faces, like Brandon Grant, Geoff “inControl” Robinson and last years winner Don Hooson. Don’t sleep on current Night King, Adepticon and Wetcoast champion Jim Vesal who will make the trip from beyond the wall to test his mettle.

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As for some early predictions, here are the players to be on the lookout for, we won’t know list details though until Friday morning when the event starts.

John Lennon (Genestealer Cult)

Brian Pullen (Tau)

Don Hooson (Chaos Space Marines)

Daniel Olivas (Eldar)

Geoff Robinson (Imperium – Custodes)

Brandon Grant (Imperium – Imperial Guard)

Jim Vesal (Chaos – Thousand Sons)

Carlos Kaiser (Imperium – Something Unexpected)

 Check back to this post from May 24th to 26th for Total Coverage

Round 1

Nothing to really report here everyone that was supposed to win won, OH WAIT except for Number 7th ranked ITC player Colin McDade with the new Crusader Knight Hotness to a Gulliman, but get this, Redemptor lead Dreadnought list!?!

Round 2

We just had one of the top contenders fall to with Brandon Grant beating Daniel Olivas. Everything else went according to plan.

Round 3

Featured a fantastic battle between Brandon Grant Vs. Geoff Robinson! With Brandon winning by a scant 3 points to pull it out.

Round 4

This round looks very much to be set up for some epic battles, in round 5 with most top players just missing each other in the pairings. Also very important to keep in mind that BAO will most certainly have 1 loss players making it to the championship rounds. BCP is down so, we might have game results posted before the end of the round!

Anyway, Jim Vesal is looks to be winning boxing in his opponent, Don Hooson is doing the same to his opponent, and Brandon Grant is trapped in close game against his opponent.

SO crazy end to round 4 with Don Hooson (loss) almost getting tabled and the same thing about to happen to Brandon Grant (loss). This is what happens when two Imperial Knights blow up in your back field!

Round 5

We have a big shape up, leaving a clear path to the Top for a few players. The marquee matchup for this round without a doubt is going to be Jack Harpster (Eldar Seer Council/Flyer vs. John Lennon (Genestealer Cult mostly List. This battle is very pre-Faq feel and should be a total dog fight, expect a close game here.

The other matchup that should be funny is Hugh Murphy vs. Jim Vesal in an almost Mirror match battle of who is the best Nurgle/Tzeentch bash brothers.

So some quick wins with, Jim Vesal almost tabling by turn 3 and Geoff Robinson doing the same on 3.

Junior (Imperial Knights) who tabled Brandon Grant in his last round did just about the same on the stream table to be solidly in command of this tournament.

Round 6

Ok, this round is set with some epic battles, thanks to a high tie by Brohammer Teammates we have some interesting matches.

1. Junior (Imperial Knights) vs. Jim (Chaos Soup)
2. Jack Harpster (Eldar Seer Council) vs. Richard (Tau)
3. Rubin (Eldar Flyers) vs. Geoff (Custodes)

We have a lot of 1 loss people who are still in it for the top 8 finishing, so don’t count out people like Don Hooson and Brandon Grant to sneak in.

So Jim is on his way to win his game, Geoff has already won his game, and Richard’s Tau seem to be in control.

Championship Rounds

Not bad, not bad, I picked 5 out of the 8 players to make it the Championship Rounds. Here are the following round 7 match ups.

Jim Vesal BAO 2019 vs. John Lennon BAO 2019

Jack Harpster BAO 2019 vs. Don Hooson BAO 2019

Geoff Robinson BAO 2019 vs. Carlos Kaiser BAO 2019

Richard Siegler BAO 2019 vs. Juniro Afllege BAO 2019

Pretty eclectic set of armies with.

1 Eldar

1 Chaos Space Marines

1 Chaos Soup

2 Custodes Imperium Soup

1 Genestealer Cult Hive Mind Soup

1 Imperial Knight Imperium Soup

1 Tau Empire

What is most interesting about this collection of lists is what didn’t show up. We don’t have Eldar Flyer spam, Orks, Tank Commander Imperial Guard, Eldar Soup. This is mostly a reflection of the FAQ and is pretty cool, the fact that we have 2 Custodes list making it shows just how powerful the introduction of the Forge World units has been for the army.

Most of lists also have interesting little wrinkles you don’t see in similar meta lists, like Don Hooson’s Heldrakes, Jack Harpster’s Scat Packs, Junior Aflleje using a Knight Valiant, and Richard Siegler’s going with Commanders over Broadsides.

This though is still Jim Vesal’s tourney to lose at this point, with no real threats I can see who can recover fast enough after he outs to a early grinding lead.

Round 1 Championship (Game 7)

 So looks like with the round half way over we have one clear winners and a few leaners. Richard’s Tau are crushing Juniors Knights, while Don Hooson after a rough round 1 has taken control of his game. Then we have Geoff Robinson in control of his over Carlos, mostly by keeping the advantage of a great 1st round. Then we have the stream game which, is close thanks to Jim Vasel forgetting his Bloodletter bomb after turn 3.

So we got a semi-final game set, rematch from last year BAO finals,

Geoff Robinson vs. Don Hooson

Championships Round 2 (Game 8)

Geoff Robinson vs. Don Hooson (Stream Game)
Jim Vesel vs. Richard Siegler

Looks like Jim Vesel is about turn the tide and win his game, with what I think was a super bad placement of a Riptide getting to close to be smited out by all of Jim’s casters. Jim also did the right thing by putting a majority of his blobs in deep strike to avoid Tau fire and all the rest of his army to clear the drone rings.