Right, throne of skulls, where to start.
Yep it was a biggie, lossa people lots and lots of armies , I’ll break this down into sections but I’m going to do general events stuff/’product’ review and then a brief rundown of what I remember from my games.
Ok, the venue , the hall was good, duh well yeah I cant say I remember feeling squashed or claustrophobic so all good there, a few of the lower tables had some pretty good terrain, now I understand a tournament of this scale may stretch resources a bit but the terrain was a bit thin on the ground and some of the tables it was largely incidental, it would have been nice for say the top ten tables to have had the correct amount and differing types of terrain, as its those players who will miss it the most, as a DE player I use every last scrap where possible just to stay alive, other than the odd low building or bastion everything was flatish area terrain, at least on my tables I got a bastion for the last two games, but that was the only high blos/cover giving terrain on the table. More on them later though. My first thoughts were ‘oh dear’ I expected tough games due to lack of terrain, the hall could really do with some better lighting too.
The event team guys seemed like nice guys and the organization for the most part was pretty spot on, plenty of time for games, as at least a couple of mine were fairly short I got to have a bit of a stroll around which was nice, given the number of people involved they did a fine job on that part of the tourney, the lists and match ups/results postings were pretty slick too, I know art is subjective but the ‘best painted’ is a sore spot for me and others who were actually there and saw what else was on offer, the nominees were questionable in places but I think the right army won, not to my tastes particularly but it was very impressive and flawlessly executed. I just firmly believe my stuff deserved at least a shot in the cabinets so people could see them properly. The dingy hall meant that the only people who got excited about my army were the ones who actually bothered to take some time looking, the event organizers had the luxury of being able to look at my army list/brochure which I put together, the guy I handed it into was like OMG is this your stuff !?, nominated ? no …. I can only put it down to politics or somesuch weirdo BS which on the whole seemed to be completely lacking the rest of the time, though I have come to understand ‘best painted’ can mean almost anything depending who you ask, this weekend banged the confirmation nail home on that.
That’s me grumbling done, I quite liked the food actually, the curry and chips I had on the Saturday night was just what the doctor ordered and the treacle sponge on Sunday tasted waaay better than it looked, nurgle on the outside Slannesh in the middle, considering they had so many people to cook for it was a fine effort and went some way to justifying the ticket cost , on the subject of cost I would pay it again, so I guess it is about right. Conversely if they drop back to 1500 points as rumored I won’t be in attendance.
The pub quiz was a laugh and they managed to make it pretty tough, considering we were a small team we did pretty ok, the wipeout round was brutal.
Before I get into the meat of the games, It was pleasant to see more people had taken a similar approach to myself than I thought would, there were boring dull dull dull soulless spam lists aplenty but they were mostly missing from the top tables which I find telling, what was especially great to see was xenos beating face despite the deluge of Imperial armies I did not play a single xenos race and got 4 meq armies and an IG hybrid gunline thing to ‘play’ with (mwah ha ha ) man of the weekend goes to the little greek fella on table 2 who smashed a purifier/crowe spam list brutally with a good non spam list that looked very balanced, tbh I have no idea how he did it but the GK player looked like my Archon had ‘slipped’ with his soul trap, he must be a magician with the fish-men, I think he equaled my battle points, ya hear that Synnsin ? gogettem outta the cupboard and smash some GK bandwagoners into the arms of the next new hotness (Wardcrons), pretty much everyone I spoke to played almost nothing but MeQ, it seemd to me that Bangles are very popular out there still ( 3 of my games ?)
So onto my games, it’s been a couple of days now so these will be more an overview based on what I can remember:
Game one – Sanguinary Guard – with Sanginor and Dante, uhm, lol oh dear , he pulled up to the table a bit late and the guys from the tables around had come over for a snigger they had seen the 25? Little red men on the tray and seen my flotilla of evil , he was a good sport and put on a show , I think it must have been essentially impossible for me to loose, I won the roll off forced him to go first and reserved the lot , he reserved too and had to bring stuff in before me so I just rolled on and wiped out what had come in piecemeal , venoms were ineffectual but without vehicles to occupy them my lances were making fast work of his stuff , to kick of my Archons (what I had hoped at the time) planned ‘Pokemon’ weekend I cut up a sanguinary high guard and used his soul juice to go and pwn Sanginor (despite being peado-smile masked by Derpte) who I had cunningly shot down to one wound , apparently his royal shinieness does not like six or seven str 7 attacks to the face, he promptly got hoovered into the trap too, I can’t remember what happened to Dante , I think it involved lances ….
I made a boob with positioning my Incubi, where he had got into cover with all but one sang guard and I moved around the side so I could assault just him without having to go through cover, I should have set up further back so as to just be able to clip him with one member of my squad, I think the incubi ended up receiving the spank paddle for my stupidy but my Archon cleaned up , I think he was tabled and I held both objectives after maybe 40 mins so off to a good start. My opponent was a really great Scottish guy, he actually gave me a fave army vote too, legend !
Second game was hybrid mech gunline , I remember a blob squad of doom , battlepsychers , roughriders, ten bajillion weapon teams of the autocannon and lascannon variety , another random guard squad seemingly buried in flamers 2 vendettas with nasty contents 2 russes and a couple of other armour pieces I forget , box shape AV12 front squishy sides phallic objects abound.
Was spearhead annihilation …joy , so I total reserved and came on the side , this is the first time I have been really happy to get a one for drugs my reserves were poor but I used what I had and lucked out as the incubi and archon managed to make a huge run roll to get into combat from off the table so to speak , I run out of details but I shot up the psychers bad with venoms who fled off the table (I was pleased) I lost the incubi to a countercharge from the riders but had done 8 wounds that combat, there were only 4 incubi left to kill so the riders went off the table too , I think if the blob squad had not been commissar/stubborn and kept the archon busy for most of the game he would have run the lot of the table after that combat, lol anyway , cat and mouse with the vendettas ensues, lots of Darklight going on, not much happening in the way of lasting damage , I think I rear armoured one with reavers in the end and chopped up what fell out, lances continued to fail It did go down in the end. My razorwing sadly did not make it in on the 3+ as I had hoped so had to weather a pretty appalling turn of shooting at the start, I think we both thought he had me from that point but the following turn the rest of my stuff made it in having ran out of gum on the way, Razorwing stole the show here and just obliterated all but three of the heavy wep teams , it was just awesome to behold , the game had firmly see sawed back into my favour and I continued to punish the poor IG until they were all gone – tabled ftw I got 18 kps in that game, though the brutal shooting had cost me 8-9 before the DE one-punched the life outta his army in retaliation. I only realized after the game that I had never rolled the reserves for my wyches or bought them on ….
Third game – Meph razorspam, ten vehicles in all containing two dreads one of which was venerable and lurked behind the armour wall giving cover, this was a hard game for me, I used the one bastion and my mobility to cut down on what was coming at me as much as possible and just tried to focus on one thing at a time, he passed a filthy amount of cover saves but the darklight nerf battery eventually started to wear through.
He started with some scouts in the middle(only) building who I fed to the wyches, this dragged meph over who struggled to really dislodge them so the following turn the libby dread waded in too which did see them off , my archon flailed away at him for a couple of turns , sure it was a gamble but I needed a single six to get rid of meph and he needed me to roll ones to die as it happens my ability to roll ones on cue far out strips my ability to roll 6’s (on multiple dice) so he died also spoiling my Pokemon mini-game for the weekend (boo hiss)
My incubi smashed a 5 man assault squad off one objective and were on their way to dispose of another when meph caught them up … ouch, though meph was forced into hiding by the threat of the DL disco of death, I kept working his vehicles with the darklight and things started to crumble, the Reavers really shined in this game killing three vehicles, just gliding in range popping one and then back out of range and into cover, as it was objectives and he was relying on cheapy five man squads to score he could not risk going after the Reavers or even getting out the Razorbacks really as it was a death sentence for his scorers.
As it happens lance fail reared its ugly head one turn and I think the best part of 20 lance shots netted me a single weapon destroyed on his talon furioso, I had him boxed up pretty good and all he could do was keep those last scorers where they were and hope to outlive the turns , top of my last turn we both had 2 objectives each , I just had to park one of my several available skimmers on one or both of his objectives, I somehow got caught up deciding what to do with everything else after earmarking a venom full of warriors for the job, next thing you know it I’m shooting and only realize my epic boob when I come to shoot the venom , I kinda double took at that point, now I had to hope for another turn which ultimately never came, gutted as this cost me max battle points.
Meph was still hiding in the corner of a building when game over happened , so yeah not a brilliant result but not a loss and my pokemon mini game was foiled ,drat! Meph would have been a great addition as I have Sanguinor , Lysander, Driago and assorted chaff in there to date, many librarians ….
Ill get you next time gadget….
Fourth game was kp’s vs one of the top GK players, Im not sure where he was set to end up but he knew his business and army and in between we had a laugh over the sheer awfulness each turn visited on both of us. he was running a hoopy inq warbnd retinue thing with an inquisitor and one of those broken GK libbies, sanctuary and stealth for all is unbelievably hideous, 3+ cover save Ravens ? check , plus you are not tied into protecting a given unit it’s just a bubble effect so even after I deleted the first Raven with surprising ease the people that dropped out had 3+ cover, he passed a staggering amount of saves, I put 48 shots (ish) from the Venoms into the squad and only got 3 of them dead , aargh , needless to say they double quick timed of to join the giant termy squad that arrived the following turn which put paid to any plans of polishing off the libby or Inquisitor easily , double drat
the middle of the board nect to the inevitable bastion got bogged down into a wych pit, that was after the flamer spam purifiers jumped out of the other raven along with their pet dreddy , they did a fair job on my clustered venoms and I can’t remember what the dread did but I multi assaulted the dread and the purifiers and the melta survivor from the first raven crash over the course of the rest of the game caused by some woeful rolling I eventually ground down the purifiers , stabbed up the melta man and had an armless immobilized dread that simply refused to die, I imagine after the game my heamo would have had great fun with his tin opener and surgical ‘hobby’ kit ….
much lance fire was spammed into the second Raven that eventually blew up having been immobiised on the floor for a turn or two, it continued to be annoying with its machine spirit shenanigans , his big term squad was bunched up from the teleport , has gamble to shoot paid off as I faled the 3+ for my razorwing reserve again , so when it turned up I think he had spread out and I could only pie four per plate rather than ten (that would have hurt) , It did however manage to do enough wounds to decapitate that pesky inquisitor , I think there might have been a termy or two in the mix. he had another five man squad of termies that I plinked away at with darkmatter of which only one remained by game over, had we another turn he was a goner , the last few turns were not much of anything neither of us had the confidence in our units to attempt something decisive .
He only had the large termy unit , I had a fair bit of stuff but it was all fragile and I took the safe option to move them out of range as I was just about ahead in kp’s my decision paid off as we got turn over , was pretty tense at the end there but I figured evn if he had killed something I only had to kill a single termy to put myself ahead again so was relatively safe I think had it been a casual game I would have just gone for the kill and tried to darkmatter spam his termy blob to death , thinking about it the wyches were not far off pulling down the dread it was immobilized and weaponless.
This was another game where one unit did not take part, I bought the reavers in from reserve and just boosted them far away from the termies, bladevanes were not worth the attempt to just loose the Reavers and there shooting was similarly not going to make a huge difference here so they just got stuck out the way.
Likewise the Archon and Incubi could not get involved as they simply cant kill enough termies to not just get murdered anyway so they hung back, In a casual game I would have hammered them with all my shooting then tried a charge thinking about it
No one really landed a decisive blow both of us had a chance and flubbed it several times despite this probably the most tactical game of the tourney as it bacame all about positioning.
Last game was interesting, I drew Razor spam once again oddly enough there was a vindi and another storm raven with a death star in it , Corbulo and a chappy with termies , Pokemon was back on ….
was dow so I opted to roll everything on , forgetting BA are fast , fortunately I had been quite cautious on the basis of them being 6″ in so some of his fire was wasted, I think I lost some ? stuff to his opening volley , as I was right in his face with no nightfight next the lances etc were nasty , first shot brought down my third storm raven of the tourney (4th if you include practice) dropping his deathstar in font of the rest of my guns sadly my luck then ran out as he passed alot of saves, I think I got two off after that , same turn wyches made a long range haywire charge on the vindi, stunning it then taking it out the following turn , they moved onto a razor whose occupants took a dislike to them, fnp helped me to survive a flamer blast with only a couple of casualties, his assaulters had to come into the wreck of the vindi to get me so he took DT and lost a guy, they bounced off the wyches and slowly got dragged down in following turns, he threw another squad in there later too, combat almost went the distance. A melta unit hopped out their battered razor and melta’d the wych raider , my Razorwing that arrived right after went for the twofer and targeted the razor but obviously the pie plate got the whole squad too, missile strikes took out the razor before I could roll for lance hits also and there was one marine left where there had been five (I love Razorwings) the Heamo, ever one to capitalize hopped from the raider wreckage and got the shell shocked survivor with an AP1 likky ‘gush’?
I had his dread first turn and pretty much ignored it except towards the end I gave it a death sandwich, ram from the front that bounced but simultaneously my reavers snuck up behind (they do that alot) and blew it apart , ah yes the old Raider/melta one-two ….
In the center I had set up a beatiful counter charge with my archon and incubi , his deathstar only had a venom to charge I think they took it out or maybe it was already a wreck and they ate the warriors, nothing to worry about (will get the guys in the lab to grow some more) so I jumped them with the archon and Incubi after a little more light softening fire which removed the last thundernator, due to the way his models were in relation to my charge I could not get Vidious into B2B with Corby so pokemon had to play second fiddle to getting rid of the far more dangerous chaplain, Viddy gave him two wounds, he promptly passed both 4++’s and then bounced off my shadow field. the incubi (charging) did a single wound to corby and one to the termies, who saved , Incubi then evaporated under the lc’s etc , I just passed the break check and managed to get past his freakish saves the following turn nomming the chaplain ” I have the POWER”
I think the single surviving Incubi killed corby (god knows when I’ll next get a chance to catch him *sulk) Archon flubbed his str 6 attacks doing only 2 wounds , there were two surviving lc termies, two 5++’s were passed …..this bleeping death star should have been dead twice over !!! anyway finally managed to put those immortal termies to death in the last CC of the game.
Got to turn five his last five man was huddled on an objective in cover, they got given the dreaded japanese darklight laser disco and obligingly failed lots of 4+ cover saves, tabled for the win.
I felt I had momentum from the start here and managed to keep the hits coming thick and fast, I felt very in control of the game and the dicefail though shitty was just an inconvenience, had the whole game hinged on the charge going off without a flubb it could have been very bad.
Very Pleased to come away as best DE, given the scoring that was the best I could have hoped for though if I had got the other two points from by
brainfart draw it would have been pretty close, I can live with being a hair from max battle points *kicks self*
Yeah, thats me … ignore the gurning I was caught up in the moment. To the guys from Empy that came with and GW Thanks for a good time (but not for fixing best painted) I think this is the boost my 40k needed, I have already assembled my new Tantalus, I just await a small replacement part from FW before I shall begin painting ,still well up for Infinity (assembly wip) as I feel balance is important and playing other tactical games can only help, I am intrigued by the possibilities of what an infinity tourney might offer.
Taking a wee 40k cooldown after this article, going to get some Infinity on the go after that business as usual, I’ll aim to get the rave/retro reviews finished up and continue to finish 1-2 units per month for the planned DE expansion to 3.5k.
Thanks for wading through that block of text folks, back soon