Posted by Jawaballs at 12:10 PM
So I waited at my table, about 20 minutes, while every one else started playing. Then my opponent arrived. After a quick introduction, he started pulling kroot after kroot out of his transport. I thought it was cool, but was waiting for his Fire Warriors and other fish heads. Instead, more and more kroot. Noticing my puzzled look, he started to explain that he was playing the "Chapter approved" Kroot merc codex. As far as I knew, this was not a legal army in this tournament... Oh well.
I had never experienced the army before. And obviously, neither had this guy. It was also quickly obvious that he had probably never played a game of 5th edition. Or at least not on a tournament level. Definitely not against some one who wanted to go to Vegas, and absolutely definitely not against my Blood Angels.
With the lurking image that is now famous of a table lined with kroot on the edges and an undeployed tray of White Scars bikers on the table, and one guy posing in victory while the other looks in a rule book with the judge... I started the game with apprehension. Normally, with this sort of army I would have just reserved every thing. But I was not sure if this guy was sly enough to spread his stuff out on the table edge and block me from entering. I did not want to take the chance. He looked like he had something up his sleeve!
So I deployed a Predator, two bikes, and my two rhinos with ten man squads inside them. I could not take the chance that he would assault a combat squad with 40 kroot.
The game would come down to alpha strike assault for the kroot. I knew he was going to come for me, and he knew that if he could wipe out my boys on the table, that I could not bring down pods or other reserves. So I used the terrain, and my bikes and DC to protect my predator and rhinos as best as possible and waited for him to deploy.
Then he started infiltrating.
By the rules, you can infiltrate within 12" if NONE of my models have LoS. If any of my models can see the unit that is infiltrating... his closest distance was 18". Well, infiltration took, and I kid you not, well over an hour. He was shocked that terrain pieces do not block LoS. He tried and tried to get his models within 12". One of the terrain pieces did actually block LoS. So he tried to hide a whole squad behind it. It was like an oil tank looking thing.. made from a coffee can. We figuerd out where 12" would be and he proceeded to place his models while I sat at model height testing if I could see any of them. So place he did. And managed to get them all behind the can... some how. When he was done, about 20 minutes later, I finaly got up to look at his work... and found a pile of kroot about 3" high, balanced like a barrel full of monkeys with less then half of their bases actually on the ground.
For the love of god.
Finally, every thing was infiltrated. Then the wargear issue started. What squad had what? How does it work? All of his models looked the same and had no squad markings. Basicly it was a mob of kroot and he was just taking models from the mob and saying these guys area squad. I asked if his commander lost whatever powers he may have had by joining a squad. Some HQ grant squads powers, some lose them if the squad does not have them. He had no answer for me. He did proclaim that his entire army had Fleet. Skeptical, I asked him to show me where it says that. He could not.
In discussion with another player after, it seems that they do indeed? Are kroot beasts? Do all beasts get fleet? I still dont know, but this kid (not really a kid.. maybe early 20s)could not show me any rule stating that they do, except for one squad. Sorry, no fleet. So then I busted out his list and began scrutinizing each squad and asking him to show me the wargear, and explain what it does... It was like pulling teeth. Torture.
Meanwhile, the guys next to me are half way through turn two. We are still going over army lists.
Ok, now time for the game to start.
Kroot Mercs: God knows what he had. He had a sniper kroot squad, lots of carnivores, some dogs with some boss guys and some flying kroot vultures.
I tried to seize and end this before it started. I failed. Then he remembered that Kroot had a +1 cover in woods. (we had decided that the terrain was all rubble before hand.) Some of the terrain had little tiny trees on them, maybe two, maybe one... so he wanted them all to be woods. Fine. Have your woods. Fir trees would only intensify the flames when my pods finally came down.
So he goes. He started with his sniper squad. After announcing that snipers hit on 2+, he rolls 10 dice and gets 10 hits. I had to show him the new sniper rules. 2 hits.
He declares that Kroot get to ignore all cover. (He had vultures deployed in rubbble, with no trees.) Another 20 of minutes of searching through his codex reveals, from what I could find, kroot ignore terrain only if it is woods. I allow him to redeploy his vultures to get them out of the rubble.
So he had to destroy every thing I had on the table. One squad of vultures assaulted my Death Company models that were standing in front of a rhino. He had some calvalry that made it in and assaulted my predator and exploded it, killing half of his calvalry in the process. He assaulted and exploded one of my rhinos, killing another dozen or so Kroot. It was going poorly for me! He assaulted and killed both of my bikes.
Half of what I deployed was now dead and I still had to get through another of his assault phases before my reserves would come down. Needless to say, I started to sweat.
But then it ended, and I saw that I would be able to get a rhino away from the carnage.
So on my turn, I manage to roll a 6 on Over Charged Engines for the rhino, and tank shock the crap out of a vulture squad. They made their leadership and moved, but I got the Rhino away from danger.
My tactical squad that got exploded out of their rhino lined up the kroot for a charge. First I opened fire with every thing I had left, and killed a handful, then charged. We had to fist figure out which squad had what wargear... again. He said the squad with 13 vultures had one weapon and the other squad had another... but he had the weapons in the wrong squad. He assaulted and destroyed my rhino with the wrong weapon. The guy that hit it actually had no chance of hurting it. I allowed him to make the change so as not to have to turn back time.
I had to tie up the vultures so they could not go kill my other rhino. It would seem that he would benefit from the weapon switcharoo because now the vulture squad that was in range to get the rhino had the proper weapon... I got his command squad and two vulture squads into close combat, and won! One of the vulture squads was wiped out and the other failed leadership and fell back. But the command squad held and bogged me down so I could not sweep.
My captain killed the calvary.
I had to survive this round. He had loads of kroot left and I had about 15 marines, a rhino and a captain.
He assaulted and killed my captain with a Str 8 weapon. He also finished off my tactical squad that was in assault. But my marines held. The reserves would come!
Three Pods arrive but my predator lags behind.
It mattered not.
My dreads popped out of their landing craft and ignited their flamers. And kroot burned. They thought they were safe in the woods. They were not. I burned down those trees and the filfthy rats hiding inside them. My rhino that was hiding, pulled back into a safer position. And that was all I could do! I breathed a hearty sigh though. I had killed two thirds of the remaining kroot.
His vultures regrouped and were coming for my rhino, but they could not reach it this turn. He assaulted and killed a dread with an eviscerator, but that would be the last kill for him.
My other two dreads layed down more flame, killing most of the remaining kroot. I moved up my rhino, unloaded my tactical, and rapid fired on his vultures, killing all but 2 or three. The dreads assaulted and squished a load of them, including their commander.
The game would end here. He assaulted my tactical with his remaining vultures, but I beat them down. On my turn I hopped back in my rhino and chilled. My pred came on and mowed down any remaining kroot while the dreads finished their nasty work.
By the end of the turn, all he had left was sniper kroot, and he yielded.
I don't know what the story was, maybe he was just a fill in player because of a drop out, maybe Sanguinius was testing me. At any rate, it took all of my training as a teacher to not explode several times. There were a couple of issues here. First of all, the rules on the tournament website explicitly stated that a thorough knowledge of the rules was required. This was not a noob tournament. I understand that inexperienced players will always be in tournaments and I embrace and encourage them. I am more then happy to explain things to inexperienced players and help them out, but I feel that I should have been paid for giving this player a two hour one on one tutoring session. I had to teach him how to infiltrate, deploy, shoot and assault. I had never seen his codex before, and had a firmer grasp of it's contents.
More importantly, I don't believe that this Kroot list was among the legal codexs available. It is not a legal GW codex is it? It certainly looked nice and it was obvious that he spent a lot of time on it. I can understand a small local tournament... but this GT was posted on the GW website as a qualifier for the GW Nationals. I would have hoped for a little more quality control? Am I off base with this?
After things got figured out, the guy was a fun and gracious opponent. He was not being a jerk at all, and I really felt bad for being impatient with him during his infiltration. Once I realized that he was a 5th ed beginner and casual player, not a wiley vet trying to take advantage of rules confusion in a tournament setting, I relaxed and we had a fun game. He stacked all of his models on top of each other in a pile, because he probably has done that at home with his buds in a casual setting. He was definitely thrown by true Line of Sight.
But at the same time, I am a little bothered by the fact that he tried the same infiltration routine on the next guy he played... Hmmm...
More to Come...
Labels: Battle Report