Tag Archives: tournaments

Thursday Night Shadespire Tournament

Almost forgot to post about this: I helped organize a quick Shadespire tournament last week at Huzzah Hobbies.

We figured/hoped that the speedy play of the game made it well-suited to a weeknight activity and it’d be an easy way to ensure that a few folks got in a couple of games… and were totally right.

It was hugely successful: on a Thursday night, we got twelve people.  We got three games in, and were done at a pretty reasonable time.

I found this Winter 2017 Organized Play packet somewhere (the Shadespire FB group?), and we worked with that.  Some key points therein:

  • No best two-out-of-three matched play.  This makes sense, as it means you get to play more opponents.  And, really, we had time for only three games.
  • You need to track W/L/D and the Glory Point delta.  This actually maps down to Glory Points per player; the rest can be calculated.
  • 45 minute rounds.

Things went very smoothly except pairings.  According to the packet, you effectively group players into brackets based on their number of Wins, Losses, Draws (3, 0, 1 points each, summed; simple enough) and then pair within brackets, matching the highest net Glory Points player in the bracket against the lowest net Glory Points in the bracket (okay) shifting the lowest & highest within a bracket up and down a bracket to account for any odd number of players (this was just too hard to do).

I worked up a spreadsheet to track the event, ’cause that’s how I’m wired.  Came away from the evening with a few revisions to make, but for the most part it worked well.  You can access (and copy) an updated version of the Google Sheet to use for your events here: Shadespire Tournament Tracking Spreadsheet.

In terms of warband distribution:

  • 2 Garrek’s Reavers
  • 5 Ironskull’s Boyz
  • 4 Sepulchral Guard
  • 1 Steelheart’s Champions

Wade took 1st with Ironskull’s Boyz, Thel took 2nd with Steelheart’s Champions.

I ran Garrek’s Reavers and got the teeth knocked out of me: two losses and a draw.  I’d have come in dead last, but that draw was in the last round vs. Casey and across all of the games, I had one (1) less Glory Point loss than he had (-9 Δ vs. -10 Δ).

My games went:

  • Round 1 vs. Thel (Steelheart’s Champions) – Loss with -6 GPΔ
  • Round 2 vs. Caleb (Sepulchral Guard) – Loss with -3 GPΔ
  • Round 3 vs. Casey (Sepulchral Guard) – Draw with 0 GPΔ

So far as I can tell, everyone had a really good time.  I think the plan is to do it again in January.

Baltimore Brawl IV

High off of a great NOVA Infinity experience, I was pretty hyped for the Baltimore Brawl.  It was a great day of Infinity, though it did end on kind of a rough note.

The Brawl was a single-day, four game event at Games N Stuff in Glen Burnie.  I’ve heard lots of great things about GNS as a store, but had never been able to make it up there before.

Google Maps suggested it’d be between an hour and a half and two to get up there, so I left early; unfortunately, I’d mixed up setup times with check-in times and Google was overly pessimistic about the travel time, which meant I got there a good hour and a half or so earlier than I needed to.  Chatting outside the store wasn’t a bad way to spend the morning, but I wouldn’t have regretted an extra hour’s sleep.

These were my lists:

  • List A – Frontline, Acquisition, Supplies
  • List B – Firefight

I wanted to run the Kriza, but that sucker is so expensive the next thing I knew I was looking at 11 order lists, and at that point it made sense to dial it in to a single, full group.  I don’t think I like running things so tight; you have less wiggle room, and if there’s one thing I need, it’s wiggle room.  I think my List B shook out to be just a bad list,

Game 1 was against Justin (J-Skewers)’s Qapu Khalqi.  I had a great time playing with Justin, but every. single. roll. went my way.  When nothing goes wrong, that means everything’s going wrong for your opponent, and having been on the other end of that, I felt pretty bad for him.  It didn’t really phase him at all, though.  I won this 9-0 without losing a single model.

The most notable moment for me was using the Tsyklon to fire a Pitcher next to Justin’s hacker and then using the Interventor to Isolate, then incapacitate her.  I also made the right call with Intelcom and revealing my Hidden Deployed Spektr to push into his sector at the bottom of turn three to eke out dominance by the skin of my teeth.

Game 2 was against John (JBear)’s Hassassin Bahram.  I got my clock cleaned pretty thoroughly: where all my rolls went my way in Game 1, they pretty much didn’t go my way in Game 2.  I also made a couple of mistakes in terms of positioning, and I made the wrong decision re: going first (which was a theme for the rest of the day).  Even though I lost this one 0-10, I had a great time, and came away learning some stuff.

Not much in the way of memorable moments about the game (besides John’s graciousness as he kicked my ass up and down the table).  I kept forgetting my Stempler Zond was knocked out.  The Kriza performed well, but wasn’t even close to closing any sort of gap.

Game 3 was against Wilson (Masterofmelee)’s Bakunin.  Wilson’s one of the top players in the world (we had a couple of those: I think four of the top twenty at the Brawl), and I’d been second guessing this list since I made it, I didn’t expect to do well in the match.  I didn’t, but I do think I held my own.  I definitely goofed by choosing  to not go first. He knocked my teeth in in the first turn, but I was able to bounce back, hold my ground, and squeeze out a couple of OP.  Even though I lost this one 2-9, I’m proud of my performance.

In turn one, Wilson used his Morlocks to throw smoke and tear ass down the edge of the board and cover the approach of his Überfallkommando, who nuked my Interventor Lt and Iguana before I knew what was happening, so I started the game in Loss of Lieutenant.   After that, though, Kriza Boracs was able to hold the line, my Morans were able to defend themselves against the Morlocks and Zeroes sent against them.  What appeared to be an Intruder turned out to be my one specialist: the Bandit Hacker, who was able to nail both Classifieds.

Game 4 was against Chris(?) (Zah90)’s vanilla Haqqislam.  This game was brief: again, I made the wrong decision by not going first.  He had me in Retreat before my first turn, which was rough, but did mean I didn’t have to wallow in my poor choices for too long.  I lost this one 0-1; he’d have likely have gotten 10 OP except he pushed too hard and had me in retreat too soon.

This wasn’t an easy game, but I handled it well, I think.  I’m not very good at this game, and when you’re not good, you’re going to have games where you just get the shit beat out of you and you can either roll with it and try to learn something from the experience (I think I did) or you can find a different game to play.

So, I was in a perfectly fine mood (three great games, one learning experience)… until he spun his open bag around and his open bag front swept across my entire army tray.  It’s been a couple of days, and just thinking about it now makes my adrenaline race.  I still don’t know the full extent of the damage, but he definitely broke two of my S5 remotes: one of them had four pieces broken off, and another had two pieces broken off and one piece actually broken (as in what was cast as one piece is now more than one).  I don’t know what, if anything is or isn’t broken.  I put everything away as quickly as I could and sat outside counting to 10 for a while.

This sort of thing happens.  It’s happened before, it will likely happen again.  It’s never not traumatic, though, and the carelessness, the extent of it, and combined with it being done by someone with a bunch of unpainted minis (which, fairly or unfairly equates to “doesn’t give a shit about minis” in my mind) makes it really upsetting.  The last time something like this happened to my minis (my fault: I slipped and fell down the stairs carrying my Khornate Daemons), I couldn’t bear to look at them for a year and a half.  I need to psyche myself up to look at the damage.

Despite the upsetting end to the day, I had a great time.  John Junghans ran a great event, the Infinity community is really the best, healthiest game community I’ve ever experienced.  It’s tough to have a bad game of Infinity: I find losing games as or more satisfying than winning games, because I come away knowing a bit more about the game.  I can’t not point out that of four opponents, two were painted, two were unpainted and that’s something I’d love to see change: the lack of painting expectation is the greatest flaw with the game.

Anyway, I’ll definitely be back again next year.

Infinity – Alexandria 3 Rounder

I got out to my first Infinity Tournament this past weekend.  The event was organized via the local NoVA Infinity Gaming FB Group The event was run at a school, which was pretty cool: the space was perfect for a couple dozen people, and they had pigs in a pen just outside.

I went in expecting to get my teeth kicked in and, in fact, did get my teeth kicked in, so mission accomplished. The important thing is, though, is that everyone I played with was super supportive and helpful and I can absolutely walk back how events played out in each game to mistakes I’d made (and in one place, a few key dice rolls that had a greater impact than any mistakes).  Really, that’s all I could ask for.

It was a great time and, as I’d said, everyone was super supportive and helpful, and I’m looking forward to seeing these folks at future events.

I ran Corregidor, with the following lists: List A, List B

Round 1 was against a Vanilla Nomad list; Justin ran kind of a camo spam list.  I feel like I held my own here OK… even though I didn’t actually accomplish any of the objectives. Bran do Castro really did some damage.

Round 2 was against Vanilla Ariadna.  Len had a ton of light infantry.  Duroc popped in and, even though I was ready for Van Zandt to show up and make life difficult, he just kept making rolls and I kept failing ’em.  The dang werewolf ended up killing about a third to a half of my army alone.

After that, I ran the Iguana around with something resembling impunity.  It wasn’t effective, but it felt good.

Round 3 was against… J?  I’ve forgotten his name, unfortunately.  He was running Tohaa. I got to more mobile than usual time time around, but paid for it: overextended with the wrong units, was too cautious with the wrong units. Even dumped a bunch of orders into accomplishing  a Classified Objective… that I didn’t have!

In the end, I was 0, 1, and 3 Objective Points across the three games… but they were all good games and I had a great time.  Definitely pumped for more Infinity and definitely pumped for the table I ordered a couple of weeks ago from Shark Mounted Lasers to show up.

Age of Sigmar – Thoughts & Tournament Results

gw-rules-banner

It’s entirely possible that that ‘Sigmar’ is Reikspiel for ‘Poor Stewardship.’

(Gonna give my now-informed thoughts about Age of Sigmar first, then talk about the event itself afterwards, since I expect the former is more interesting to the rest of y’all.)

I got in five games of Age of Sigmar at NOVA, which means that I’ve now played five games of Age of Sigmar total.

I’ve tried pretty hard to keep an open mind about it: actively avoiding the crushing negativity about it around CGL and reserving any and all judgement about it until I actually got the chance to play several games.  Now, I think I have an informed opinion about the game.

It is not a bad game, nor is it a good game.  It’s an exceedingly bland game.

The analogy I kept coming back to whenever someone would ask me what I thought of it was: it’s a rice cake.  You can eat a rice cake.  If you have nothing else to eat, it’s better than eating nothing.  But it’s not very filling or satisfying, and there are thousands of other things out there that one would rather eat.

There’s maybe a useful engine for resolving or organizing a game in there somewhere, but it’s insufficiently baked. If you look at it and think, “That is entirely too simplistic a game,” you are correct.  GW’s actually packed a lot of complexity into the warscrolls, however: and that’s not a good thing.  It means that the game is ultimately overly-complex while resting on a jellied, unset foundation.

Standard bearers don’t work the same.  A Standard in this unit does A, and a Standard in that unit does B.  On one hand, this is a mechanism by which they communicate flavor… on the other hand, it’s confusing.  I had two units of troops on Saturday, and my opponents kept getting turned around on how each one worked.  It drives me up a wall that shields don’t work the same from army to army.  That just doesn’t make any sense.

Some units are even worse: Plague Monks have full command, but none of them work close to what the other Skaven units’ command does.  Instead, each (Champion, Standard Bearer, Musician) gets to choose one of two options, each of which involves more rolling and more rolling and… doesn’t really change anything.  It’s a lot of extra effort for next to no payoff.

A lot has been said about the lack of points: it is indeed the problem it appears to be.  Friday’s event was “Six Warscrolls.”  Saturday’s was “95-100 wounds.”   Most of the players had more models on the table Saturday than Friday.  I had nearly 50% less.

There are fixes for the lack of points: counting wounds is the most common.  It’s crap.  There is no planet on which a Pegasus Knight is equivalent to 4 Clanrats. At the Clanrats’ optimum numbers, 30, there’s no planet on which 8 Pegasus Knights are equivalent to 32 Clanrats. It took one game with both Stormvermin and Plague Monks to know that the former is 1,000,000,000 times better than the latter.

Ultimately the closer you get to some way to make the game playably balanced, the farther you get from what’s their unambiguously clear design goal… which, increasingly, convinces me that it’s a shit design goal.

Every game I played ended in a tabling or would have had it not ended to time (the game plays fast, but pretty much everyone there was learning it).  There were scenarios, and they were generally interesting enough… but didn’t come up often because someone was too busy choking on their opponent’s block of troops to be able to worry about them.

That said: it was such a limp, loosey-goosey game system that we all had a good time.  It was impossible to take it seriously, so there was an excellent mood around the games.

My prediction: AoS is gone and dead within two years.  This thing is too baroque and top-heavy with too-skinny legs and knees of jelly to survive.  Hopefully, we’ll see a Warhammer 9E shortly afterwards; the alternative is tragic.  (There’s a discussion to be had, somewhere, about GW’s stewardship of Warhammer and 40K.)


Wow, that ran long.  Longer than I’d planned, for sure.

The tournaments themselves were a good time.  Like I said: it’s such a weak system, it’s impossible to take it seriously.  Getting competitive about Age of Sigmar would be like attempting to write a critical dissertation on Mighty Max.

Friday was two games: six warscrolls.

I ran:

  • Warlord – Warpforged Blade & Shield
  • Grey Seer
  • Clanrats x30 – Sword & Shield
  • Stormvermin x30
  • Plague Monks x31 – Book of Woes, Contagion Banner, Bale Chime
  • Plague Furnace

Game 1 was against Sean, who’d come down from New York, running Dwarves.  I believe I won that game, but it was long enough ago (three days!), I’m less than certain.  It was also my first game of AoS, so it hardly counts.

Game 2 was against Tim, who’s local, running Bretonnians. Bretonnians, as it turns out, really did get a lot better.  I was tabled very, very quickly.

11997117_10205000751003128_718885418_n

No really: I actually did have a very good time.  I’m entirely confident that everyone there did.

Saturday was three games – some more complex comp rules but basically 95-100 wounds per player.

I ran:

  • Warlord – Warpforged Blade & Shield
  • Ikit Claw
  • Warlock Engineer
  • Clanrats x30 – Sword & Shield
  • Stormvermin x30 – Shields
  • Hellpit Abomination – Warpstone Spikes
  • Warp Lightning Cannon
  • Warp Lightning Cannon
  • Plagueclaw Catapult
  • Warpfire Thrower
  • Warpfire Thrower
  • Poisoned Wind Mortar
  • Poisoned Wind Mortar

Plague Monks are gone because they’re trash.  I don’t care how limp and noncompetitive the game might be, when you’re as well off taking them as you are just playing 30 wounds down: you don’t.

War Machines & Weapon Teams with ‘Warp’ in the name are very good.  The mortar & catapult are trash.  If I took 33 Warpfire Throwers and placed them all 3.5″ apart, I would probably win every game ever.

Anyway:

Game 1 was against Tim again.  He’d loaded up on more Knights.  I still lost, but less badly than the night before.  We ran out of time, though: it’s possible he’d have tabled me if we’d kept going.

Game 2 was against fellow CGL’r Eric, with his spectacular Dwarves. He went all in: he rebased his Dwarves on round bases.  He also had more bodies on the table than I did.  I managed to table him, but I’m not sure how.

Game 3 was against Sean again.  Despite an enormous blunder early on, incautiously shoving my block of Stormvermin down his throat in such a way that almost his entire army was pulled in, I managed to table him.

Like I said above: there was a lot of tabling going on.


In the end, I won Best General – One massive win, one solid win, and one moderate loss was apparently enough to put me in the lead on battle points. Eric won Best Appearance, and Norbert (who I did not play) won Best Overall.

It’s also important to point out that Aaron (local-ish) and Brian (from Boston) did an excellent job given the circumstances.  It went smoothly, and everyone had a great time playing: I would be surprised if the same thing could be said of any other event there.  Given the system is what it is, I think that’s especially notable.


So: do give Age of Sigmar a try so you can have an informed opinion about it.  Do expect to be disappointed.  Do give anything Aaron or Brian run consideration.  Don’t ever take Plague Monks.

NoVA Open 2013 – 3 – The Games

Output - Card - Khorne

So, the army I took was a shortest-path-to-tournament-ready deal.  I’d rather be playing Tau right now, but they’re so far from presentable it’s tragic.  I considered trying to update my Dark Angels to something I could bring, but ended up settling on my Khornate Daemons.

Casey was an immense help in figuring out what the list needed to look like given the models I had ready to go.

It started out just needing a Bloodletter with Instrument of Chaos. Then, it just needed a Herald of Tzeentch.  Then, some travel got cancelled, so I decided to push on and do some Plaguebearers. (As in, I got the call while I was on other travel, and stopped by the game store on the way home from the airport to grab the kits I needed.)

In the end, this is what I ran:

05-2013-08-30 10.10.07

MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
HQ
Bloodthirster – Exalted x1, Greater x1
Herald of Khorne – Juggernaut, Wrath, Greater x1, Lesser x1
Herald of Tzeentch – Warlord, Lvl 3, Conjuration, Exalted x1

Elites
Flamers x4

Troops
Pink Horrors x16 – Champ w/ Lesser x2
Plaguebearers x10 – Champ w/ Lesser x1, Instrument

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x16

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Khorne, Flying, Armor, Greater x2, Lesser x1
Soul Grinder – Slaanesh, Baleful Torrent
Soul Grinder – Slaanesh, Baleful Torrent

There’s a lot stupid, extraneous upgrades in there, yes.  I was pushing to build as few models as possible; that’s why.


I had SO MANY really great games.  NoVA scoring is a pretty basic affair: 3’s unbelievably enjoyable game, 2’s an average game, and 1’s a shit, miserable game.

I had 6, 1, 1, respectively.

That said: I didn’t finish hardly any games. Out of 8 games, I think 7 were called for time.  Most games had a pace where, when they’d call “30 minutes” we’d agree that we’d get one more full round in. Maybe because we were (in general) chatting too much?

Also, I really dropped the ball on photographing my opponents armies. I always do that, and I’m really annoyed with myself that I neglected to this time. Sorry, guys.


Day 1

Game 1 – Sisters of Battle with Imperial Guard

HQ
Saint Celestine – Warlord
Primaris Psyker
Uriah Jacobus

Elites
Marbo

Troops
Battle Sisters x10 – Meltagun x2
– Rhino – Dozer Blade
Battle Sisters x10 – Meltagun x2, Meltabombs
– Rhino – Dozer Blade
Infantry Platoon
– Command Squad x5
– Infantry x10 – Plasmagun, Power Axe
– Infantry x10 – Plasmagun, Power Axe
– Infantry x10 – Plasmagun, Power Axe
– Infantry x10 – Plasmagun, Power Axe
– Infantry x10 – Plasmagun, Power Axe
Seraphim x9, Two Hand Flamers x2, Meltabombs
Seraphim x10, Two Hand Flamers x2

Fast Attack
Vendetta

Heavy Support
Exorcist
Retributors x5 – Heavy Bolters x4

I lost, 0-20.

I did a lot wrong here; if I’d played my army ten more times, maybe I’d have considered that in a Kill Point mission, taking the Portalglyph is probably the stupidest thing I could do. I also might have respected the two hand flamers a bit more.

I got my clock cleaned… but I don’t mind.  Stephen was a nice dude, and I got the weekend off on about as right a foot as I could with an enjoyable game.

Game 2 – Tyranids

HQ
Hive Tyrant – Warlord, Wings, TL Devourer w/ Brainworms x2, Hive Commander, Leech, Paroxysm
Hive Tyrant – Wings, TL Devourer w/ Brainworms x2, Old Adversary, Leech, Paroxysm

Elite
Doom of Malan’tai – Mycetic Spore

Troops
Tervigon – Crushing Claws, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst
Tervigon – Crushing Claws, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst
Tervigon – Crushing Claws, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst
Termagants x20 – Devourers, Mycetic Spore
Termagants x10 – Fleshborers
Termagants x10 – Fleshborers

Heavy Support
Biovore x2
Biovore x2

I lost, 0-20.

This game was a mess: lots of big monsters and a lot of chaff to wade through to get to them.   My Herald of Khorne was MVP, decapitating two Tervigons himself. He didn’t roll Decapitating Blow every round of combat, but when he did, he rolled it a lot.

The game ended on Turn 3, unfortunately.  If we’d gotten the rest of the game, I might have been able to turn it around. Things were, frankly, looking pretty dang good for me, but we’d have needed a 5 hour round, I think.

Lots of generated models here: his Tervigons kept pooping out above average sized broods, and I rolled two new units of Daemons on the Warp Storm table.

Game 3 – Tau

HQ
Aun’Va – Warlord

Elites
XV104 Riptide – TL Plasma Rifle, Ion Accelerator, Shielded Missile Drone x1, Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector
XV8 Crisis Suits x3 – TL Plasma Rifle x3, Fusion Blaster x3
XV8 Crisis Suits x3 – TL Plasma Rifle x3, Fusion Blaster x3

Troops
Fire Warriors x12
Fire Warriors x12
Fire Warriors x12
Fire Warriors x12
Kroot x20

Fast Attack
Pathfinders x6

Heavy Support
Broadsides x3 – TL Rail Rifle x3, Velocity Tracker x2, Positional Relay x1
Hammerhead – Ion Cannon, Blacksun Filter
Hammerhead – Ion Cannon, Blacksun Filter

I won, 13-7.

Things did not go Zander’s way.  First, I Seized Initiative.  Then my Soul Grinder Baleful Torrented most of his Kroot to cinders. Then all of my Blood Horrors looked at Aun’Va standing behind a row of Fire Warriors and said, “There’s no way he can make that many cover saves,” and were proven right.

I did some stomping; on the flank with his Fire Warriors, I outshot him with my Horrors. On the Flank with his Broadsides and Riptide, my Hounds, Herald, and fliers swarmed over him.

This was only a Minor Victory, though: the Hounds multi-charged a unit of Fire Warriors, a Hammerhead, and the Broadsides; this was a mistake. It took them too long to chew through the Broadsides… and the game got called on time. If we’d been able to play through to the end, I think odds are high I might have been able to table him.

Day 2

Game 4 – Chaos Daemons

HQ
Fateweaver – Warlord
Herald of Tzeentch – Lvl 3, Conjuration

Elite
Fiends x9

Troops
Plaguebearers x10
Plaguebearers x10
Pink Horrors x16
Pink Horrors x16

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x16
Seekers x15 – Icon

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder – Nurgle, Baleful Torrent

I lost 7 to 13.

Kevin and I had been chatting about Daemons and how rad it was to be running a goofy army when we realized hey: we’re both at this table ’cause we’re supposed to play each other.

Anyway, this was the best possible way to start the day. It really looked like I had him on the ropes, but when time was called: he’d eked out a win over me.

Unfortunately, he’d also managed to knock my Bloodthirster to the floor, shattering him into four pieces.  I’m still working through that.  But, when a dude can (accidentally) destroy one of your minis and you still point at it as the best game of the weekend: it was a good game.

Game 5 – Chaos Space Marines with Daemons

HQ
Chaos Lord – Warlord, horne, Juggernaut, Axe of Blind Fury, Sigil of Corruption
Bloodthirster – Greater x2

Troops
Bloodletters x10
Chaos Marines x10 – Khorne, Meltagun x2, Meltabombs
– Rhino
Chaos Marines x10 – Khorne, Meltagun x2, Meltabombs
– Rhino
Chaos Marines x10 – Khorne, Meltagun x2, Meltabombs
– Rhino

Fast Attack
Chaos Bikers x5 – Khorne, Plasmagun x2, Meltabombs

Heavy Support
Havocs x5 – Autocannon x4, Veterans, Meltabombs
Maulerfiend
Maulerfiend

Fortificiations
Aegis Defense Line – Quad-gun

I won, 17-3.

SIck of me saying “this was a really good game” yet?  A lot of fun, some unexpected Warp Storm results, laughs all around.

Game 6 – Necrons with Tau

Of course, this list would be the one I can’t find. Figures.  So, from memory:

HQ
Overlord – Warlord, Warscythe, Command Barge
Commander – Command & Control Node, Puretide Chip, Iridium Armor, Vectored Retro-thrusters

Elites
Riptide – Ion Accelerator, TL Fusion Blaster

Troops
Kroot x10
Warriors x5 – Night Scythe
Warriors x5 – Night Scythe
Warriors x5 – Night Scythe
Warriors x5 – Night Scythe

Heavy Support
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Broadsides x3 – TL High Yield Missiles x3, Missile Drones x4

I’m almost certainly off on some particulars, but the big themes are pretty hard to forget.

This was my bad game. It’s probably not entirely my opponent’s fault: he was probably (and I don’t know that I exaggerate here) all of thirteen years old. He can’t help that he was an unpleasant little shit: all boys that age are unpleasant little shits.  Why we’re permitted to survive past that into manhood is one of nature’s greatest mysteries.

He had an unfun list, an unfun personality, and didn’t know the rules. (At one point, I just turned, walked off looking for a judge. I was done arguing with him.)  The thought of just dropping the game had occurred to me; I’m glad I stuck through it.

I’d have played him at some point anyway: if I hadn’t have lost to him in Game 6, I’d likely have played him in Game 8, where he played for our bracket. (Instead, he played IFL’r Seth in that game, who had as much fun as I did.  “The first words out of his mouth,” he said, “was that I had to have my Blacksun Filters painted on my tanks.”  So, yeah.)

Day 3

Game 7 – Chaos Space Marines with Daemons

HQ
Chaos Lord – Warlord, Nurgle
Daemon Prince – Nurgle, Flying, Armor, Greater x2, Lesser x1
Sorcerer – Lvl 3, Bike, Aura of Dark Glory, Gift of Mutation, Spell Familiar

Troops
Plague Marines x8 – Meltagun, Power Fist,
– Rhino – Dozer Blade
Plague Marines x8 – Meltagun, Power Fist,
– Rhino – Dozer Blade
Plaguebearers x10
Plaguebearers x10

Fast Attack
Chaos Bikers x5 – Slaanesh, Meltagun, Icon of Excess, Gift of Mutation, Power Fist
Heldrake – Baleflamer
Heldrake – Baleflamer

I won, 20-0.

Torrent of Fire has the wrong pairing up: it shows the Dark Angels player who no-showed, rather than the Chaos Space Marine/Daemons player I played (whose opponent dropped the night before).  Sadly, I neglected to write his name on his list.

Anyway, this was another great way to start the final day.  A fun game that was looking pretty grim for me at points but I managed to swing it around to a pretty decisive win.

Game 8 – Grey Knights

HQ
Coteaz – Warlord

Troops
Servitors x3 – Plasma Cannons x3
Warrior Acolytes x3
– Razorback – Psybolt Ammunition, Dozer Blade, Searchlight
Warrior Acolytes x3
– Razorback – Psybolt Ammunition, Searchlight
Warrior Acolytes x3
– Razorback – Psybolt Ammunition, Searchlight
Warrior Acolytes x3
– Razorback – Psybolt Ammunition, Searchlight
Warrior Acolytes x3
– Razorback – Psybolt Ammunition, Searchlight

Fast Attack
Storm Raven – TL Assault Cannon, Hurrican Bolter Sponsons, Psybolt Ammunition
Storm Raven – TL Multi-melta, TL Lascannon
Storm Raven – TL Multi-melta, TL Lascannon

Heavy Support
Dreadknight – Teleporter, Heavy Incinerator
Dreadknight – Teleporter, Heavy Incinerator
Dreadknight – Teleporter, Heavy Incinerator

I won, 17-3.

Man, I thought this game was going to hurt.  I haven’t really played Daemons against Grey Knights, and he had kind of a lot of Dreadknights which kind of scare the pee out of me.

Despite running a list that I’d have judged harshly an edition ago: I had a good time against him.  Things were pretty close in the last round: we got very tactical about charging here, holding things up there: in the end I pulled out a W because he failed something like a 4″ charge with his last remaining Dreadknight.

NoVA Open 2013 – 1 – Overview

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

NoVA 2013 happened!

Preemptive tl;dr I had an excellent time, an unreasonable number of excellent games, went 4/4/0, performed unreasonably well where appearance is concerned, and am still sore.

  • I won Silver in the Historical – Small Capital Palette competition with my Captain Whistlelock figure (who’ll get a post of his own)!
  • I placed 3rd for Best Appearance in the 40K tournament, winning one of the Hobby Ace awards!

(I’d love to lead up to all of that, but no point in burying the lede, right?)


There’s a lot to cover here that’s all over the place, plus some relevant hobby posts that need to thrown up: expect things to be scatter shot and smeared across the next week or so.


No Fantasy this time around: I played 40K.  8 games across three days: 3, 3, and 2.

I’d had some concerns that the schedule would be too much for me: 8 games is a lot.  The ability to drop after Game 6 took a lot of pressure off, though, and not doing more than the three games in any one day made it a thing I could actually do.  I mean, three days have passed and I’m still sore.  Four games in a day would have ended with me balled up and crying under the game table.


The tournament went unbelievably smoothly.  Things might not have fired exactly on time, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect clockwork precision with a tournament this size.  We have a hard time getting 12-14 player events on schedule; adding another ~240 bodies isn’t going to help that.

There were two hiccups: At one point Torrent of Fire went down and we lost something like an hour while they tried to sort everything out.  (As someone who builds web applications for a living: that sucks but it happens. ) The other was Sunday morning, when roughly half the event dropped or no-showed on Tuesday and they had to sort out pairings the hard way.  Things were scheduled to start pretty early on Sunday (7:30 AM); that’s an hour more of fitful, poor sleep I could have had but didn’t get.

But yeah, overall: it went revoltingly smoothly.


Since I mentioned it: Torrent of Fire. I think it’s best to consider ToF in two parts: one is a tournament organization, pairing, and scoring tool, the other is this newsletter / strategy thing.

The latter is, at best not-for-me and at worse pretty risible. If I felt like being cruel, I’d scan in the flyer which was full of some fairly ridiculous marketing assertions.

The former, though: that’s got a lot of legs. People (who wanted to) got their pairings off of their phones: no crowding around tiny printouts or mobbing around a blurry projector. Pairing up went smooth.

Plus, at least one person I know had had his scores entered wrong and had a game marked as a L instead of a W: he was able to use ToF to notice the error and have the TOs correct it.

There’s a lot of work to be done with it, I think.  For example: you could submit your scores with it… but it couldn’t/wouldn’t capture sportsmanship (wha?), so there was no point. (Just as well: I feel like the score sheets were insufficiently useful for the complex scoring rules; I can’t imagine doing it with my big fingers on a tiny screen would help with that any.  It’s a great start, though.


The vendor room/floor was an improvement over last year. Bigger, with more vendors and more space. I bought some stuff from Games N Stuff (who had a great, helpful, nice staff), Powered Play, Game Room aka “The Bitz Guy,” and a Breast Cancer charity booth.

Loot:

  • A Powered Play starter kit (with custom color loadout)
  • A Deep Wars Dark Mariners starter
  • A heap of old metal Empire minis (some Elector Counts, Engineers, and 1st run tiny Steam Tanks I have big plans for)

I did speak to Dan at Tectonic. I suspect that some of the NoVA organizers might have spoken to him, about me, before I got the opportunity to do so. Between that, my post last week, and being one of the squeakier wheels on the Kickstarter Page: he had my things ready for me.

He clearly feels emotions appropriate to the situation. I get and appreciate that. Folks who’ve worked more closely with him assert that he’s a really nice guy who’s just gotten in way over his head; I can believe that.

I’ve got my stuff now, and I’m glad I’ve got my stuff now. I’m not glad that I effectively had to shout and stamp my feet to get it, but it’s over. I’m moving on.


I only did one seminar this year: Working with LEDs, run by Chris MIchaels of Powered Play.  There was some overlap between it and the sales pitch he gave me the day before when I bought a Starter Kit, but it was a lot more in depth and hands-on.

I’m definitely inspired to do some things with these LEDs.  (On that note: if anyone has an unassembed Dreamforge Leviathan Crusader that they’d be interested in trading for an assembled & primed one: talk to me! I’ll make it worth your while.)


I won three raffles.  That might seem excessive, but since I don’t think I’ve ever won a raffle at NoVA before… that evens out to 1/year, which isn’t too crazy.

So, a lot of cool stuff that I wouldn’t have gone looking for, but am delighted to have.


One of the highlights of this sort of thing is getting to see (and if I’m lucky) chat with folks that I don’t otherwise have much of a chance to see.  There were definitely some absent faces that were missed, but it’s always a treat to sit down and talk with folks like Mike Schaefer and Bob Likins & son.  I Managed to mfinally meet Sean Parker in person, which was great, and (very) briefly got to chat with hobby hero Dave Taylor.  Of course, I spent most of my time hanging out with fellow CGL‘rs Casey, Ashley, Kevin, Bart, Phil, and Joe.  Briefly saw some IFL‘rs: Doug, Chris, and Jeff, but not much.

I feel like I didn’t spend as much time chatting with folks I only see annually as I’d have liked to, though.  I think that’s a combination of playing more games, needing to organize my day with the other folks in my group, and layering the various painting competition activities on top of all of that.

Should have packed some 5 Hour Energies, I guess.  Will try harder next year.


I’ll come back to the actual games and competitions and all that in another post in a day or two.

Hammer in the New Year

Saturday, Ashley ran a “Hammer in the New Year” 40K tournament.  Three rounds, using a format Casey‘d been wanting to try for a while now.  I had a great time, didn’t do so well, but ended up scoring better than I’d have expected.

I’m super-rusty with 40K, having not really done much with 6E in general, recently, or competitively.  Furthermore, the list I brought was driven entirely by expediency.

Here’s what I ran:

HQ
Bloodthirster – Blessings of the Blood God, Warlord (Command)
Bloodthirster – Blessings of the Blood God

Elite
Flamers x4

Troops
Blood Horrors x8 – Changeling
Blood Horrors x8

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Tzeentch, Flight, Daemonic Gaze
Daemon Prince – Tzeentch, Flight, Daemonic Gaze
Daemon Prince – Tzeentch, Flight, Daemonic Gaze

Desperate Allies
Big Mek – ‘Eavy Armor, Ammo Runt, Kustom Force Field, Burna
Boyz x21 – Shootas, Stikkbombs, Big Shoota x2, Nob w/ ‘Eavy Armor, Bosspole, Power Klaw

So, two things should leap out with this list: there’s kind of a dickish amount of Flying Monstrous Creatures in there and those Ork Boyz WTF?

Obviously, I’ve been working on Orks, so that’s what I want to put on the table. The Orks I put on the table are basically all the painted Orks I have, so I can’t run (if I want to be fully painted, and I do).  So, I decided to run my Daemons and throw the Orks in as Desperate Allies. They’re little better than wasted points; forget being non-scoring, non-denying models: allied with Daemons, they’re the only thing on the table at the beginning of the game.  They basically suck up an army’s worth of shooting immediately.

All the Flying Monstrous Creatures were in there ’cause I wanted to see how they worked. I played in an Apocalypse game with them, and that wasn’t the best venue to see how they worked. I can totally see how they look intimidating, but I’m not convinced that they’re the best choice.  I think I’d have been better off taking the Daemon Princes without Daemonic Flight and enjoying an additional 180 points.

Also, if it’s a legitimately dick thing to do, I think the utterly poor decision to run 300 points of useless greenskins counteracts it. :)

My MVPs for the day were easily the Flamers.  I definitely need to make some more.

Anyway, each round had a different deployment, and was scored thusly:

Scoring a Kill Point: 1 point each
Capturing a Quarter Objective: 2 points each
Capturing the Center Objective: 3 points
First Blood: 1 point
Slay the Warlord: 1 point
Linebreaker: 1 point

Game Points are used to determine your Battle Points.
If you have…
…half as many Game Points as opponent or less: 0 Battle Points
…3 fewer points than opponent: 2 points
…1 or 2 fewer points than opponent: 3 points
…tied opponent in points: 5 points
…1 or 2 more points than opponent: 7 points
…3 or more points than opponent: 8 points
…double or more points than opponent: 10 points 

The person with the most Battle Points wins the game. Game Points will be used for tie-breaking purposes.

The Center Objective will be a Mysterious Objective, all the others will be normal. The Night Fighting special rule will be in effect for all rounds.

Round 1

was vs. Kevin F, someone I used to see a lot of around the gaming store back when I first started playing 40K, fell off the Earth a few years ago, and started turning up just as I fell off the Earth. I’d actually been trying to schedule a game with him, so it was nice to start the day out playing him.

It was also the closest game I had over the day.

HQ
Overlord – Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs, Sempiternal Weave, Command Barge

Troops
Immortals x10 – Transmorgrification Cryptek
Immortals x10 – Transmorgrification Cryptek
Warriors x9 – Despair Cryptek, Ghost Ark
Warriors x12 – Destruction Cryptek
Warriors x9 – Storm Cryptek, Night Scythe

Fast Attack
Canoptek Scarabs x5

Heavy Support
Canoptek Spyders x3
Monolith

Stuff came in, he shot at it. He focused on trying to ground something, then vomit fire into it until it stopped twitching.  This was also the only game the Ork Boyz saw the end of Turn 2.

We only got through Turn 3.  I’m not sure why we didn’t have nearly enough time; although we weren’t playing quickly, we certainly weren’t playing slowly.

At the end of Turn 3, I’d gotten some stuff into combat and killed a few things, he’d obviously shot some things to bits. I ended up losing by a couple of points.

Round 2

was vs. Aramis, a solid dude from the old gaming club that I haven’t played often though I’ve always enjoyed playing against him.

HQ
Duke Sliscus – Warlord
Baron Sathonyx

Troops
Kabalite Warriors x20 – Splinter Cannon x2
Wyches x5 – Haywire Grenades, Venom
Wyches x5 – Haywire Grenades, Venom
Wyches x5 – Haywire Grenades, Venom

Fast Attack
Beastmasters x3 – Khymerae x5, Razorwing Flocks x4
Beastmasters x3 – Khymerae x5, Razorwing Flocks x4

Heavy Support
Ravager – Flickerfield
Ravager – Flickerfield
Ravager – Flickerfield

Fortification
Aegis Defence Line – Quad-gun

Battle Brothers
Farseer – Guide, Mindwar, Runes of Warding
Guardians x10 – Shuriken Cannon

You can imagine how overwhelming this army looked: twice the bodies I had, not counting all the vehicles… and that quad-gun did a nice job of countering my flyers.

By the end of Turn 3, I’d killed nothing and had nothing left save 8 lonely Blood Horrors hanging out, ready to get jumped on by two Beastmaster Packs. We shook hands and called it: 0 points to 24.  Ouch.

Still, I enjoyed myself, and that’s what really matters.

Round 3 

was against Joe, who’s part of a group of players that have started turning up at the store over the past six  months or so.

HQ
Chaos Lord – Bike, Sigil of Corruption, Melta Bombs, Gift of Mutation, The Black Mace, Warlord
Sorcerer – Terminator Armor, Lvl 3, Spell Familiar, Burning Brand of Skalathrax

Elite
Terminators x10 – Power Axe x5, Power Maul x4, Power Fist x1

Troops
Chaos Space Marines x10 – Meltagun x2, Veterans of the Long War, Power Maul, Rhino
Chaos Cultists x20 – Autoguns
Chaos Cultists x20 – Autoguns

Fast Attack
Chaos Bikers x6 – Meltaguns x2, Power Fist x1

Heavy Support
Forgefiend – Extra Ectoplasma Cannon
Forgefiend – Extra Ectoplasma Cannon

To be honest, I went into this expecting a not-great game.  It was super-clear coming off the game with Aramis that my list was bad, Joe had what looked to be some pretty hard units, and he had a friend hanging around the table who I’d just seen kibitz my friend Bart’s 2nd Round Game into a loss (which really kind of pissed me off).  Having folks hang around to chat is cool: having to play two people at once is not cool.  Correcting people on rules is okay: reminding your bro to use such and such psychic powers is not okay.

Fortunately, the chatty cathy wasn’t too bad, so that concern proved to be unfounded, and Joe was a fun opponent. And while his tough units were tough, mine managed to hold their own, too, which never hurts.

Champion of Chaos really worked against him: his Terminators charged into my Bloodthirster… and had to challenge. Although a Bloodthirster is probably going to have a tough time with eleven Terminators, one is actually pretty manageable.  His terminators ended up spending the game tied up with one Bloodthirster or the other.  Ultimately, the second Bloodthirster bopped the Sorcerer on the head, the Terminators had a crap Morale roll, and (unsuccessfully) ran for it. That was pretty game-changing.

Where I’d been tabled in Game 2, I’d managed to do the tabling in Game 3, which was really surprising to me.

Ultimately, the surprising turn of events in the third game helped offset the rolling I got in the second.  Between that and a really great painting score (second highest) managed to put me in sixth overall.

I’d have done much better, I think, if I’d just run my regular old Daemon list. Much lighter in the FMC department but I’d have had a lot more models on the table. Plus, I wouldn’t have wasted points on the Orks. But I don’t regret it; I wanted to run the Orks, so I ran the Orks.

The format worked well, I think.  Everything (from the Secondary Objectives to Kill Points to Objectives) mattered, which is nice.  I get that KP in 5E didn’t work perfectly, but dang it: there’s got to be some drawback to running MSU, and this seemed to do an okay job of making it work. I definitely would like to see more of the format.

Again, overall, I had a great time and it really motivates me to want to get out and play some more.