Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gauntlet Tournament 2003 Aftermath

At around 5:00pm all of us exhausted gamers were gathered together in the main hall for the results ceremony. There were two sets of prizes, one for the Fantasy players and one for the 40k players. I was surprised to learn that there were actual prizes for the winners; I had thought it was just bragging rights. It didn't matter to me anyway, because I had lost two games and only won one, so I had no chance of coming out on top.

I was utterly shocked, then, when I was announced as winner of best painted army! I had no idea that there were different categories. I had noticed a GW guy wandering around the tables during our games, but had thought nothing of it at the time (now I know that this was Paul Rudge, judging the models).

I went up onto the stage in a state of disbelief and came away with a certificate, a Chaos Marine Forgeworld bust and shiny medal. A copy of the certificate is reproduced below (I can't find a bigger pic I'm afraid).

On the coach journey back, we had the final results read out to us. My final placing was 9th out of 50, with my painting scores compensating for my two losses. I still picked up points for those losses, though, and my one win gave me a stack of points.

Gary finished a respectable 13th, winning two out of his three games - not bad for his first tournament. Poor old Ken finished rock bottom, with 3 losses out of 3 games. Oh well, there's always next year!

Most of the gamers from our store placed in the bottom half of the table and this was the source of much discussion on the coach. I reckon it is because we encountered some seriously competitive armies brought by the players in other stores. It just goes to show how the local culture and environment influences army composition. Fortunately, we have few real power gamers at our local store, so we rarely see really 'cheesy' armies - that's why it was such a shock to see them at the tournament. Although these hard armies would have taken a hit in their composition scores, meaning they were unlikely to win the tournament, they would still probably win the three games they played. All this was a good learning experience for me and I'll bear it in mind for my next tournament.

Looking at my army after the event I wonder what I was thinking? I had very little chance of even winning a game and that wasn't very clever. It's all well and good building a 'fluffy' army, rich in background material and backstory but it's going to get harder and harder to keep playing it if you are getting thrashed in every game you play. I don't see why you can't have a fluffy army that performs well in games. I want to be able to compete as well as have a cool looking army.

So going to the Gauntlet really gave me the bug. I want to come back and do better. Bring on 2004!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

DAEMONHUNTERS versus Eldar - Biel-Tan

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition, Gauntlet Tournament game 3
Opponent: Ken
Mission: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Daemonhunters
Points: 1000
Location: Ellix, Strophious Reaches, Skolarii sector
Background: Kill-Team Severus clashes with Eldar from Biel-Tan craftworld upon the surface of Ellix. The Inquisitor strongly suspects that an Eldar webway portal entrance exists upon the planet. The presence of Eldar troops confirms his suspicions.

Eldar - Biel-Tan
  • Farseer with guide
  • 2x3 man Dark Reaper squads
  • Wraithlord with star cannon
  • 3 Vypers (2x star cannons, 1 bright lance)
  • 10 Guardians with D-cannon
  • 10 banshees with exarch in Wave Serpent with twin-linked star cannons

Terrain and Deployment
Aaarrrghh! Another game against a regular opponent.

This time it was against Ken, who also plays at our local Games Workshop store. In fact, we had just played a practice game for the tournament the previous week. Rather worryingly he had thrashed me. I knew he was a tough player and had a hard army, so I was mystified as to why he was on the bottom tables with me. Ken was despondent as he had been soundly beaten in his last two games and his mood didn’t lighten as the game unfolded.

This was played on a snow table, with very little terrain. There were a lot of woods on my left flank, a Watchtower in the dead centre of the table, and a small wood on the right. I set my army up to deliver a strong right hook with my assault elements, and kept a couple of Stormtrooper squads up in the centre and left to try and grab table quarters.

The Game
In the centre my Stormtrooper squad with two grenade launchers took down two Vypers, while my melta guns took out Ken's Wave Serpent (he hadn't spotted the melta guns in the squad and had zoomed up for a second turn assault).

On my right the two rhinos reached the Eldar deployment zone unhindered and the Stormtrooper squad with flamers roasted his guardian squad. The Farseer failed his tank shock roll just as he had done last in our practice game and once more he routed straight off the table. Meanwhile, the Daemonhosts appeared and laid into the Reapers along with the Inquisitor.

One Stormtrooper squad got caught by the banshees emerging from the wrecked Wave Serpent but they held out long enough for the Inquisitor to arrive and bludgeon them all to death with his Daemonhammer. Now the Wraithlord strode in and the Inquisitor chose to fall back only to be caught and killed by the behemoth (note to self – buy purity seals!).

It was of little consequence though, as only the Wraithlord and a single Vyper remained of the Eldar army while my Stormtroopers had captured three table quarters.

Finally, a win!

Result: Decisive victory - 25 points

Learning points
  • The flamers were devastating in this game, as they had been in my test games. They wiped out an entire unit in just one shooting phase.
  • The Eldar army is so frail that once they started getting killed they had less and less chance of getting back into the game.
  • Tank shock worked a treat, killing the Farseer for a second game running. Superb!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

DAEMONHUNTERS versus Imperial Guard

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition, Gauntlet Tournament game 2
Opponent: ?
Mission: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 1000
Location: Makazar, Salazar Systems, Skolarii sector
Background: Inquisitor Severus uncovers heresy in the command chain of the Makazar 31st Imperial Guard regiment. Although he swiftly executes the leaders of the Chaos Cult, isolated pockets of resistance still need to be mopped up.

Imperial Guard
  • Command section with Commissar
  • Platoon of troops
  • Armoured fist squad in Chimera
  • Hellhound
  • Basilisk
  • Leman Russ

Terrain and Deployment
At last a new opponent - a guy from the Darlington store with a shooty Traitor Guard army rather incongruously dedicated to Khorne made using the regular Imperial Guard list.

I knew I would have to charge forward into the teeth of the enemy guns due to my short ranged weapons and lack of tank busting ability. I set up for an attack on the left flank with the rhinos while the Stormtroopers advanced on foot up the middle and right.

He had a Leman Russ and Hellhound in the middle, the Basilisk, Command section and an Infantry squad on my left, and the rest of his army to the right.

The Game
The Rhinos unexpectedly survived until turn three, despite having to advance in the open, and then everything went pear shaped.

The Leman Russ hit a Stormtroopers squad with its battle cannon and killed every model. The Hellhound toasted four men in another unit and the survivors fell back 11”. The Armoured Fist squad roared up my right flank, the Guardsmen dismounted and then actually beat a Stormtrooper squad in assault and routed them off the table.

My Daemonhosts arrived and one was instantly killed by a missile launcher shot while the other fell to a volley of lasgun shots.

Even one of my poor Death Cult assassins was instantly killed by the Multi-laser on the Chimera.

Finally my Inquisitor slaughtered the Guard Command section in combat, swept after the routing survivors and ended up taking a point blank hit from the basilisk. He and his entire retinue perished in the blast.

In one devastating turn my army was shattered.

Result: Decisive Loss - 5 points

Learning points
  • I desperately need long range firepower to take on tanks and such.
  • The Daemonhosts are terribly vulnerable to a) massed small arms fire, and b) shots of Strength 8 or higher which kill instantly. I may have to think more carefully about their deployment.
  • Most of my army have Toughness 3 and can therefore be instantly killed by Strength 6 weaponry like multilasers and grenade launchers. Ouch.