Posted by Jawaballs at 2:25 PM
I have to apologize for the lack of video or pics. Two of my three opponents asked me to not use my camera. Not sure why, but it seems some guys at this level are apprehensive about having their games show up on camera.
I found myself up against a Chaos Demon army played by a guy who traveled about 6 hours to get to the location. He had a Blood Thirster, Fate Weaver, three demon princes, 2 squads of Blood Crushers, a squad of Slaneesh assaulty horsies, and a few squads of Plaguebearers. GULP!
He gave me first turn and I chose to reserve every thing. Not sure why though... I guess I can chalk it up to inexperience vs Demons. This would hurt me as my Land Raider full of death did not come onto the table until turn 4. By then, it was too late for them to do much.
The mission was to capture 3 objectives. My plan was to try to put a hurting on his first wave that landed, eliminating his most devastating assault units before the rest came down. I managed to kill all but one of a blood crusher squad with shooting, which was quite a feat! But it was too little. I should have focused more on his plaguebearers and eliminated his chance to score. He only had 4 squads of them and they were small.
The highlight of the game was my killing Fateweaver with only one shot. I lined him up with a Lascannon shot from across the table, hit and wounded. He failed his invul saves, then rolled a 10 for his test! Die monster!
It would matter little though. His demon princes killed Mephiston and the rest of his blood crushers ran rampant through my assault squads. At the end of the game came the wrangling for objectives. My valiant scout squad denied him one, fighting off a Blood Thirster and 5 Plaguebearers to do so. I ran a rhino with troops up onto another, but he contested it wtih his Blood Crushers... and the game came down to one little plague bearer. With my last round of shooting, I decided to try to take down his Blood Thirster for some reason. I failed, and instead should have pumped every shot I had into his lone plague bearer while I could. I ended up losing the game because of him. My opponent won by a single objective. Minor victory for him, 9 points for me. The failing to take down that last plague bearer would come back to haunt me later in the day...
The scores left me matched up with the same opponent. So the organizer pushed me up to the next table, (the guy I would have been playing had I got a draw in the first game.)
I faced a Tau player and unlike most Marine players, I have a fearful respect for the Tau. But again, I found myself in deep trouble early. I tried to get into a shooting war. He had two squads of Broadsides and I, very over confidently, thought I could take them down. So instead of charging all of my razorbacks forward and popping smoke, I sat back and shot... killing only one broadside. On his turn, his pathfinders did their job, and took down my Land Raider and two razorbacks. I lost a couple of terminators in the shooting as well. It was not going well at all.
So next turn I made the push I should have made turn 1. I charged every thing forward that could still move. But mephiston failed his jump pack power with a perils of the warp! Ugh. He would not get into assault this turn. Nor would my assault terminators. They would have to suffer another whole round of Tau shooting, Mephiston angrily assaulted a Devilfish and exploded it.
They did manage to survive the shooting. Mephiston was reduced to 2 wounds, and 2 termies, the chaplain and priest lived!
On my turn the Tau player was beginning to get worried. His shooting was not stopping my charge. I had moved some razor backs up the right flank to take another objective and get in line to assault his main stronghold. My shooting finished off one of his Broadside squads and my scouts came on and assaulted and slaughtered a squad of Kroot. Mephiston again failed his Jump Pack power... :( He was planning on jumping into the back ranks and slaughtering some fire warriors holding an objective, but instead he got in with some suits and killed them.
I even tried to pull his punches by not using his Preferred enemy power... but no luck. He won combat and wiped them out, and then was killed by another squad of suites using plasma guns. But at this point, I was in! My scouts had secured the left flank and were now laying sniper and missile fire down on his pathfinders. They failed leadership and fled. I got into assault and slaughered his other pathfinders, kroot and some fire warriors. My shooting forced another squad of suits to run off the table.
At this point, with me controlling 4 of the 5 objectives, and moving to take the last, and his line in shambles and the imposing red tide charging forth... my opponent struck his colors. He was not feeling well, and it was obvious that I was about to table him and claim the game. So he bowed out. Well played man! A few shots more against my terminators would have ended the game in a very different outcome.
I scored full points, the only one to do so in the second round of the day. This set me up for a push for the win! Unfathomable after losing the first game. It only goes to show you that you never give up!
I found myself against a blood angels army boasting SEVEN land raider redeemers with assault squads inside. The command squad was an honor guard and libby in a land raider. The game began with a dubious rules dispute over what my opponent was allowed to deploy. He attempted first to place 3 land raiders, two with assault squads, and one with his HG and libby. The mission was Dawn of War deployment... He was only allowed to place his Libby, and a single Raider with a squad inside. After a discussion, I was forced to bring over the judge... who shook his head and opened the rules book to the proper page... proving my case. The guys friend was at the table next to us, with the same army, and was attempting the same deployment. It was obvious they planned this and were surprised at the rules... Not quite what one would expect to find at Hard Boys!
Another interesting dispute occured later. He popped smoke on all of his tanks and smoke saved him from a few shots.. The following turn, I shot and he attempted to roll cover saves for having smoke popped for a second turn. I didnt argue, first of all I was shooting over some terrain so it may or may not have been a cover save, but I made a remark about smoke only lasting for one turn. He replied "This isn't real life, in this world smoke can last longer..." or some such thing.. and he dismissed me with a wave. I shrugged since I was kicking his ass. Then the next turn, I shot his tanks again, making sure I had clear LoS, and he tried cover saves again. I said dude, your smoke was done two turns ago... he said "No way, I can use them every turn!". WTF! How the hell does a guy make it to the Hard Boys semi finals and not know that smoke only lasts for one turn? Oh wait... this guy was the guy running the first round at his own store, and also playing in his own tournament, and making rules decisions in his own favor as the "final judge". Cough... cough..
So the game began. I wanted to go second. My opponent rolled a 6 and I used my corbs roll to try to win it, but failed. To my surprise again, my opponent took first turn! (I wanted second.) If you are unaware of the mission in Hard Boys, there were two objectives that were worth bonus points. The edge that we could come off from was an L shaped zone, made up of your long table edge and one of the short edges depending on a die roll. He rolled the die and came out on my left side, (right were I placed my objective, I would not get it) Further, I don't think he was aware that the game had no nightfighting. As standard in a Dawn of War deployment, turn one uses nightfighting. In this round of Hard Boys, the night fighting part was taken away. Going first meant he would come onto the table with nothing to shoot at, while I would come on and blast him to pieces.
So all of his raiders come onto the table on my left table edge in a line and moved 12". He deployed one in the middle of the table to begin with which surged forward to try to kill mephiston who I placed as bait to get him to put that first raider where I wanted it, near my table edge so I could move on and melta it.
On my turn, I brought all of my Lascannons onto the table on the right side short table edge. So my tanks were facing him from across the long table. His silence betrayed his thoughts. He realized that he was going to have to drive those raiders through 5 feet of open space to reach me, all the while I would be blasting away with 8 Las cannons, plus he would have to get past my own Land Raider with terminators and Mephiston... It was a turkey shoot.
My stuff came on, my raider moved up and destroyed his first raider with the multi melta. The squad got out and I opened up on them, but could only kill 3. The rest hid behind the hulk. That was all I had in range. I did not want to commit Meph to far forward and get him blasted by 6 multi meltas so I held back.
On his turn, he moved up five of his raiders. They were all redeemers by the way... did I say that already? I had a distinct advantage in shooting, had he taken Lascannon raiders, things would have been very different. That is what he gets for taking a lopsided gimmick army to hard boys.
So I lined up my tanks and started shooting! The couple of raiders closest to my long table edge were the biggest threat. They would have the shortest route to my tanks, and the least bit of terrain to go around. I opened up on them, and immobilized his command raider. Then my Lascannons left that one to sit and contemplate life and moved onto the next in line, and I exploded it with my very next lascannon shot! My dice were on fire. Leaving those marines sitting in a smoldering pile of debris, I moved onto the next raider in line... and DESTROYED IT with more Lascannon fire. What a round! I immobilized one and destroyed three more raiders in two rounds of shooting.
The game was far from over. One thing I have to say is that he took the blasting with minimal complaining. He did keep a running tally of my 6s, exaggerated of course. And shouted to the world every time I rolled another 6. One of his buddies, (he brought like 10 friends who hung out and watched all day, they all had Tshirts with their names on the back that said "we are not here to make friends") began accusing me of using loaded dice. I looked that dude in the eye and warned that he didn't want to even go there, then offered my dice to both the tournament organizer who was standing there, as well as my opponent to go get them tested. I think that satisfied the accusations. I will also point out that on the next round I rolled an equal number of 1s and 2s. When I pointed that out to the guy's posse they all pretended to be preoccupied with the ceiling.
So after two rounds of shooting, he was down to four functioning raiders, one was sitting on a bonus objective, one was immobile and two others were taking the long way across the table, using terrain to get cover saves. I would need to deal with those personally. I charged my raider forward as well as a couple of razorbacks. My shooting immobilized the lead raider and my assaulting took off a couple guns. I did not managed to kill it though!
On his turn, he flamed my boys, killed a couple termies, and a couple marines, but did not even reduce either squad to below 50%.
I destroyed the raider that my boys were still in base to base with on his turn in the assault.
On my turn I cut down the marines that were inside the raider I destroyed, and moved up to start killing the survivors from the other hulks, killing off another squad. I also immobilized his other raider that was also sitting on an objective for a bonus point.
At this point, my opponent simply shook his head. In an unheard of bout of suberb fire power, I just killed 5 out of 7 Land Raiders and was about to take a 6th. I was trying to get bonus points now. I would not get the one in the corner as it was 6 feet away and he had a raider on it. But the one in the center though... I had a chance. I had to kill the raider in shooting, and assault the boys inside, all the while moving a razor up into range to claim it. I managed to get the razor into position, but finally my dice gave out. I was unable to kill the raider, the objective remained contested.
The total points for the game were 22 for me and 1 for him. He got zero victory points for failing to kill a single unit, or even reduce one below 50% or wound a single vehicle.
I guess the guy was a fairly decent dude, but I have to say that it was so pleasantly satisfying to take him apart like that. Plus I believe his humility and niceness was sort of forced by the fact that from the beginning I was mopping the table with him. Him and his entourage showed up at the tournament smugly brandishing stacks of Land Raiders and smiled as every one shook their heads. They tried to use Decent of Angels to deep strike them, even though they knew it was bull shit. The judge had to deny it. The other guy played against Danny Internets in round two, and bitched the entire time. I was across the room and I was getting annoyed from hearing it, I can only imagine what it was like for Danny. I quote Danny, "That was probably the most unpleasant game I ever played." That is about as harsh words as Danny will every say about any one, so you know it must have been bad. Hard Boys or not, that does not give you an excuse to be an ass. Playing a cheezy list is fully expected, but trying to exploit an obvious rules oversight... come on man. (Blood Angels assault squads have the special rule Decent of Angels written into their list entry, the rule reduces the scatter distance. This is because they have Jump Packs. But they may remove their jump packs for a discount on a transport. It is the jump packs that provide Decent of Angels, not the Marine. Take away the JP, take away the rule. But the guy insisted that he should be able to use Decent of Angels to deep strike his Land Raiders. That is the equivalent of Mephiston getting into a Land Raider and trying to grant it Fleet.) Douche.
Back to my opponent, at the end he even referred to playing me as "having to play down" which means he felt he was up against an inferior opponent since I lost my first game. I believe he took one look at my army and instantly dismissed me thinking he was going to blast right through my transports and burn my marines with his flame storms.
I wrote an article on Bell of Lost Souls a while back about the return of the Las Cannon, stating that Las is back and the new 5th ed game is about distance, and power at range since the game has gotten so deadly at close quarters. I said that the army that can excel at ranged combat, and still pack a decent close in punch will be stronger then the current trend of close combat and meltagun overpowering force. And most of the comments scoffed in agreement that Jawaballs has no idea what he is doing. Well naysayers... I present you with evidence.
After a round one defeat, I came back to contend for the tournament win, massacring an army devoted to long range fire power, and an army devoted to short range destruction to do it. I took 3rd place. I tied for 2nd, both of us off of the winner Danny Internets by 3 points. Unfortunately, my tie was with the very guy who beat me round one. That damn Plaguebearer sure did come back to haunt me. Had I simply destroyed that one with any one of 3 Assault cannons or 3 predator tanks, I would have still played the Tau player turn two and the Land Raider player turn three. But I would be sitting here atop a pile of loot! Instead one little nurgling meant the difference between 1st and 3rd. The tie breaker formula favored the other guy by .012 or something silly like that.
At any rate, at least I can claim 100% responsibility for failing to win. It was my own fault, not luck, dice, cheeze, cheats, opponents or foul play. That mixed with a heavy dose of good play by Dan, as always.
So Congrats to Danny Internets for taking 1st, and Grats to my club Battle for Salvation for sending two members to the Finals in Chicago.
Now I will take a good look at my list, and learn from my mistakes. I will post up a discussion about what I felt were my major goofs and weaknesses later.