It was to be the same format, with 50 or so gamers from the North-East of England traveling down to Warhammer World and playing 3 games of 40k in a Swiss-style match up. Points were gained for winning games as well as for army selection and painting. At the end of the day the points would be totaled and an overall winner would be announced, as well as a winner for best painted army and best general.
After the last minute rush to finish my Daemonhunters army for the Gauntlet 2003 I was determined not to make the same mistakes again. This time around I picked the Imperial Guard as my army. The new Cadian figures were released the previous autumn and I had bought the army box set really early. That left me with a good six months to paint up the figures and get some practice games in. No problem.
Or so I thought.
Here is the list that I took:
- Command Platoon 77, Captain Kennell (Junior Officer with Honorifica Imperialis), Company Standard, Medic, Missile Launcher
- Anti tank squad, 3 Lascannons
- 8 Stormtroopers, meltagun, plasma gun, deep strike
- Infantry Platoon 1
- Command Squad 36, Junior Officer with power weapon and plasma pistol, 2 meltaguns, 2 plasma guns
- Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
- Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
- Infantry Platoon 2
- Command Squad, Missile Launcher
- Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
- Infantry Squad 812, Flamer
- 20 Conscripts
- Basilisk, Indirect fire
In the event I simply ran out of time.
The Conscripts seemed to take an age to complete and I had a mini-crisis just before the tournament when I decided to pull all of the Voxes out of the army. That meant I had to build and paint an extra model for each squad the day before the tournament. In all I completed 90 models - double the number of Daemonhunters I took last year. Still, it could have been worse - last year I was painting until 2:30 in the morning.
This year it was only till 11:00 the night before!
I built a movement tray for my Cadians. I was worried about playing a large army in time restricted games. I knew from test battles in my local store that the Guard took a while to deploy and if I played one game straight after another I could have a nightmare keeping the models in the correct units. The movement tray was my solution. I kept it near the table as I played and placed casualties on it as I went, keeping the units together. I also thought it would help to display the army in the best way for the painting judges.
The scoring for the Gauntlet tournament works as follows. Points can be collected in three areas; gaming, painting and army selection.
Three games are played in one day, with a maximum of 30 points available per game. The highest score possible from gaming is therefore 90 points.
There are 54 points up for grabs in the painting category. Although the exact method for calculating scores was never made public, I understand that marks were awarded for highlights, washes, drybrushes, basing, unit markings, conversions and originality.
Each army was judged before the tournament on the basis of the army list and background material. 36 points were possible.
The overall best points score available was therefore 180 points, although this would clearly be very difficult to achieve. After finishing 9th last year (and winning best painted army) I knew I would have a tough time improving my final ranking. Having said that, I knew far more about the tournament this time, knew what type or armies I could expect to face, and had a much more competitive army myself. My own goal was therefore to finish above 9th and to improve my gaming scores (I only won one out of three last year).
Each game used the same mission: Pitched Battle. Armies would be deployed along the long table edges, up to 18" in and can set up no closer than 24" from enemy units. Infiltrators set up last, at least 18" away from enemy models. Elites and Fast Attack choices could be kept in reserve.
Nightfight would be played on the first turn on the roll of a 1, last turn on the roll of a 6.
Victory points were earned as normal for destroying enemy units, but 200 extra points were up for grabs per table quarter.
Finally, the game would last six turns.
There were seven different outcomes for each game, depending on the final victory point tallies. It wasn't just about winning, it was about how much you won by. There were seven different outcomes for each game, depending on the final victory point tallies.
- You massacred 'im (+1001 or more victory points) 30 points
- Decisive victory (+501 to +1000 victory points) 25 points
- Marginal victory (+201 to +500 victory points) 20 points
- Draw (-200 to +200 victory points) 15 points
- Marginal loss (-201 to -500 victory points) 10 points
- Decisive loss (-501 to -1000 victory points) 5 points
- Massacred (-1001 or less victory points) 0 points