So I set out for Clockwork Comics!
512 Boston Post Road
Orange, CT 06477
It is about 30 minutes from Norwalk, CT and roughly 45 from Hartfrod, CT.
When I arrived I was pleased to see 5 full sized gaming tables with players setting up games. It seemed they were prepping for their in store league that plays every Sunday. Unfortunately, the store only had space for the five tables and they were all full, so I would not be able to get a game in yet. But thats cool, I was content to lurk about and watch the guys play. I ended up orbiting a table where a Blood Angels jump pack army was facing off against a Dark Eldar player. It was cool to see the BA player, Mundmc1 on Youtube, doing a video battle report. Did Fritz and I start a trend? :)
Mundmc was deepstriking his entire army while the Dark Eldar had a bunch of raiders, ravagers and a large squad of hellions. I was interested because I wanted to see how the Dark Eldar held up against the The Emperors finest assault forces. He was fairly new with Blood Angels and I could see some of his decisions were a bit sketchy, but who am I to play interject my opinion upon strangers? The game went on and I began talking with Dean, the owner of the store, and I offered to give him a plug on my blog, and that was when the BA player's ears perked up and he said "wait, you're Jawaballs??" Yes I am. :) He thanked me for blogging and said that he and his friends read me and Fritz all the time and get loads of inspiration from us both. That was satisfaction enough for me to deem the trip out to Orange worth while. Thanks man.
We chatted back and forth for a bit, his game went on and not long after the guys at the next table finished their game. I asked the winner if he wanted a game, a Tau player, and he accepted so out came the Blood Angels!
I don't have pictures because I did not have my camera, so I will keep this batrep brief.
1750 Jawaballs Conflict GT 2011 list vs Mech heavy Tau. He had 3 tanks, 2 rail guns 1 Ion cannon. Two fish with Firewarriors, a large squad of Kroot, two squads of suits with a lone wolf suit commander and some Stealthers.
Deployment was DoW and mission was KP. Right up his alley!
I won the roll to go first and kept every thing off the table, he did the same, then seized the initiative of course. He rolled onto the table turn one and prepped for assault, I moved every thing up 18" on mine, and popped smoke across the line.
On his next turn, he managed to explode one of my predators but did little else. His commander and a suit squad came in on turn two deep striking, but the suits scattered onto my tank and went back into reserve and the commander failed to penetrate the Land Raider with his fusion gun.
On my turn I advanced another 12", shot all of my guns, missed every thing, and assaulted and killed his commander.
Then the game started leaning towards him. His rail guns were punishing me, blasting the guns off my tanks and stunning/shaking them, severely diminishing my return fire. When I was able to hurt him, his Tau trickery saved him. Here was where he made his major error. He kept sending deep strikers behind my lines at seemingly defenseless back armor. I considered these possible losses acceptable, and set them up for him every time. You see, it was not a sure thing that he would destroy a tank with his deep strikers, but they would be in range of my assaulters, who would assuredly kill him. I figured that would be a good trade off, and it worked, he fed me his commander and another suit squad and they failed to earn kill points for their loss.
So after a few turns of me missing him, and him blasting my guns off my tanks, the game was starting to look bleak. He killed two of my razorbacks and I was pretty much out of reach of any more of his squishy units. He was well versed at displacement. His Kroot came on flanking, and he deployed them in position to try to take down an assault squad that was chasing a fleeing squad of suits off the table. The kroot failed to kill the squad with shooting and was out of range to assault. On my turn I had to get ballsy and change tactics. I was not going to catch his devilfish, and he had eliminated all but one of my las cannons. I would not stop his rail guns. So I turned my land raider the opposite direction and went back for the kroot. I think he was surprised to see me send 600 points of death after his kroot, but hey, I had to scoop up the kill point and they were useless chasing Devilfish I would never catch. He was also a little surprised at the range of the Land Raider assault, and the ferocity of my death squad. The kroot were maxed and I killed all but one or two on initiative five, and finished them with my hammer. My assault squad ran and got in range to finish chasing his suits off the table.
Most importantly though, I fast moved my flamer razorback, now empty, into some cover in the middle of the table, hoping to pop out next turn and lay the burn on some stealth suits.
On his turn his shooting would score the last of his kill points, bringing his total up to 4. He killed two predators and two razorbacks. But I only had 3! I killed his commander, the kroot and a suit squad. I had to get lucky to avert the loss.
So when in doubt, tank shock. It is surprisingly effective vs Tau. I tank shocked his stealth suits with the flamer razor, and they failed and fell back. On my shooting, I managed to finally kill a devilfish with a las cannon. That left us at the bottom of turn five, with me scoring 5 kill points, (the falling back stealthers counted as dead when tallying up the KPs) and he only had four. Time to roll the die! Gotta love random game length and my incredible ability to roll 1s. A 1 for the win!
I was lucky to squeak out the victory. He should have sat back and blasted me with his rail guns, like he was doing for the most part. Instead, he played very aggressive with his suits, and went for a tradeoff with them at best. He advanced his stealth suits, which was a mistake. Had he simply kept them back I would have never gotten to them. There was not much he could have done about his kroot, except bring them onto the table as far away from my forces as possible. But he made a sound decision by trying to save his suits and he did not anticipate me doubling back my raider.
In the end it was a fun game! My opponent was fair and smart with a sense of humor. Can't ask for much more in a random pickup game. It was cool to meet some new guys and have some interesting conversation. I talked tactics with the Dark Eldar player for a while before I left, and got his impressions on some list building. Hellions are bad ass to be sure. At first glance, The Baron with a few squads of Hellions are a dangerous and cost effective choice.
So that wraps it up! A fun day of 40k for me at a new store with some new people. It is tough to find time to get away with the Jawababy, so it was great to not have wasted the opportunity. Fritz and I will definitely make the trip out there soon and try to set up some games.
The store itself had a steady stream of customers and looked vastly stocked with all manner of comics and gaming essentials. Dean was friendly and helpful, and seemed uniquely concerned that every person in his store was satisfied and happy. Not something you see at every gaming store, where the employees tend to get just as wrapped up in the games as the players. While I was there my friend Jim Stanton popped in with his kids and his son enlightened me on why the hell the Hulk was red. I guess now there is more than one hulk? He left with a Marvel Civil War book. I don't know comics a bit, but that looked cool. Sooner or later Jim we will get your army on the table and playable, and I will meet you out at the store and give you a good drubbing! (Stanton is building his first army, Ultramarines, and under my guidance will soon be stomping face.)
I wholeheartedly suggest a stop if you are in the area, and I will be making the trip out again as soon as the baby permits.