Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BAO 2014 Complete!



This last weekend was the Bay Area Open 2014 and man did I have a great time.  I played 6 people I've never played before, played some army types I've never faced, and really had 6 great games.

I took f%&k all for pictures so sadly I've got nothing pretty to put up to show for it.

Here is a real quick rundown of my games.

Game 1: Orks!  The army centerpiece was a Stompa and there was a WB biker with several nob bikers.  That sucked almost all the points up in his list minus a big unit of Lootas and some burnas w meks in the Stompa.  The Stompa didn't have a KFF anywhere to save it.

So not surprisingly with drop pod marines this went really well for me.  The command squad alone did 10 HP on the drop, and the next tac squad blew it up on the next rolls.  Thankfully the blast didn't scatter so I did lose some marines, but still had plenty left to deal with the rest of his army.  It didn't really matter what the mission was because it was very lobsided after that.  We lol'd a lot and he was great to play but it was certainly a good start for me.

Game 2: GK w/ Marines.  The list itself was a super grav star (5 dev cents, GK libby, Tiggy, Coteaz), 2 Dreadnights, a scout unit, and 4 psybacks with cheapo scoring units that each had a psycher.  In and objective based game I'm not too worried about it but with killpoints... he's got 10 easy points, 2 harder points, and the unkillable death unit.  I have 19 not so hard to kill units if I don't combat squad!

He also won the rolloff to go first and invised the grav star.  On the drop I was able to use LOS blocking terrain to avoid coteaz blasting a unit, but I only managed to get one DK down to 1 W!  The rest of the game he was blasting units off the board and I was chasing down his easy kill points while trying to pick up secondaries.  Unfortunately he had just better secondary rolls than I did late in the game to surpass me even though I was well up early.

On my bottom of 5 had I been able to kill his last Knight that only had 1 W with 2 drop pods I would have tied the primary and been up on the secondary.  Not surprisingly he did not die, and over the next two turns he pulled farther ahead of me.

It was a tough game I that I felt I was going uphill all game but still really fun.  He went on to win best GK player.

Game 3: White scars with SWs!  This was a cool blend of units that I've thought about trying to do a bit of before too.  Khan, 5 command bikes with lots of upgrades, 2x rhinos w tacs, 5 scouts, 2x stalkers, thunderfire, wolf lord on bike, Grey hunters in rhino.

Unfortunately this was the relic and I was going first so it didn't really go well.  He decided to outflank and reserve the rhinos and the scouts and did his best to protect the rest.  On the drop I killed one stalker and most of his command squad.  Though he was able to dish out damage over the course of the game I was able to keep putting in pods where I needed and just controlled the relic the whole game.  I think we called it on 4 when we new there was no real coming back for him.  Another game we had to chuckle a few times but another big win to end the day.

Game 4: 1ksons!  I was pretty sure I would be playing this army overnight based on battle scores and indeed I did.  Ahriman,  9 Tz Termies w Upgrades, 2x10 1ksons, 2x 3 Tz oblits, Crimson Slaughter lvl 3 sorc and a unit of cultists.  My buddy had just played him game 3, and having thought about what to do with my own 1ksons I know what the main gist of it is.  Get Invis, get Prescience, infiltrate mega unit up close and proceed to smash face.

Surprisingly (and to my benefit) his 6 rolls on the Telepathy chart yielded no Invis.  Obviously he didn't get prescience, and though he could infiltrate 3 units he decided to cluster up and protect his termies.

My biggest mistake was probalby trying to kill a few termies.  I managed to kill two on the drop, but I killed a 1ksons squad down to 1 guy.  I probably should have put everything into the 1 squad to make sure I got first blood.  This game was back and forth.  It was Scouring primary and I obviously had a lot more units.  But Ahriman was just pummeling me.  He'd be pychic shrieking a whole unit dead, then they'd shoot a unit and charge two units and just be clearing me off the board.

Eventually things started thinning out for him.  When his Termies died he joined up his last oblits and I sent vulcan in to deal with Ahriman's last wound.  I managed to kill him and even survived a round of oblit power fists, but the top of 5 came to see vulcan die so we traded warlord.  When the dust settled I had the primary with a handfull of tiny units, he had secondary and only had the last oblit unit alive.  He had scored warlord and first blood due to my tactical error, but I had line breaker.  6-5 in my favor, but it doesn't get much closer than that.

Another great game and we were giving each other hi fives everything something hilarious happened.  It was probably the most fun game for being so challenging.

Game 5: Eldar with Tau.  Farseer on a bike, warlock on foot, 3x3 jetbikes, Fire Dragons w/ exarch in a WS, Dire Avengers in a WS, Wraithknight HQ, and some Eldar artillery x3, Buffmander, 15 kroot + hound, 2x missilesides with assorted drones.

The game is big guns and I rue not getting to play a heavy tank army.  :)  I do get to choose to go second and he gets the infiltrate warlord trait and puts his broadsides midfield into a huge LOS blocking building.

On the drop I put the first pod down to try to go for the WS tucked in the back and it scatters off the board for my only mishap all tourny.  Thankfully it goes into ongoing reserve.  I do land two more back there but they only strip a few hull points.  I drop two combat squads down midfield to put some pressure on the broadsides as they can't kill all 4 5 man units and I'm hoping to tie them up in combat rather than being shot to death.

He basically sends his WK up to start helping the Broadsides and his jet bikes come in and he starts killing 5 man squads.  Thankfully on my turn 2 I've got one whole 5 man squad that is able to assault his artillery and I keep adding small units over the course of the game to tie them up.  With the rest of my drops I'm cleaning up his jetbikes and hopping on objectives to get secondary points.  It takes awhile to down the WS but they didn't really kill much either but they were mobile and scoring.  I keep sending wave after wave of 5 man squad into the WK to keep it in the center of the board.  I never did make it to assualt the Broadsides.  The good news is they didn't have much LOS to thing on my side of the board, and the action they could see in his deployment was largely in combat.

In the end I had control of 3 primary objectives to his 1, had more secondaries, and line breaker.  He did manage first blood, and both our warlords lived to tell the tale!

Game 6: Marines w/ AM.  This was another Grav bike list but with 3 troop squads and khan, 1 command squad with meltas in a pod, 2 5 man tac squads in pods, a Sicarin Battle tank, and the IG were a cheap command squad, 2 vet squads with melta and chimeras, and a squad of 2 Wyverns. 

He put his 3 shooty tanks on the board and bubble wrapped them with two vet squads.  He then put Khan and one bike squad tucked into some central ruins.  On the drop I put two assault squads down on to his bubble wrap, killing one unit (or mostly killing and they ran off).  I then put three tac squads down to try to kill off the bikes.  Sadly one scattered too far, but the other two killed off the squad and did 1 W to Khan.  Had I had the third pod do better I am pretty sure I could have snagged warlord.

He was pretty lucky and got most of his army in turn 2.  He started cleaning up most of my small squads.  Essentially the rest of the game was a back and forth of who had a great turn followed by who had a bad turn, and us handing 'the lead' back and forth.  Annoying for me was my LotD and Vulcan assualt squad did not come in until turn 4, so I had to make some hard choices in the end.  A few of my squad were just too far away from objectives because I had had to deal with his long range tanks.  He had gotten a pod and 5 marines down in my rear objective late in the game.  So I sent the LotD toward the farthest objective, vulcan and pod down on the closest and hoped they could go off to deal with that pod.  On the central most ojective I had a few dying 5 man squad dealing with Khan, 1 command squad guy and one bike.

In the end it really came down to could 4-5 pods kill one marine on an objective.  He ended up making 5 marine saves to keep him on the objective.  He held that one and the central objective, and vulcan could not reach his squad on by the bottom of 5.  So he ends up winning primary and line breaker.  I had him on secondary points handily, have first blood and line breaker, but both warlords again live to fight another day.

This was a hard fought, and honestly a bit stressful game.  We clearly both wanted to win and sometimes it got mired down in rules discussion and the like.  I tried to let some little things go and have fun but I really wanted to win.  Sadly as turn 5 rolled in with 10 minutes to go I realized I was likely not going to win without a turn 6.  I still had good chances on those last dice rolls but it came up for him.  It was still fun, but probably the most stressful game of the weekend!

Overall I went 4-1-1 as did my opponent.  I ended up 12th and he snagged 11th by stength of schedule.  I'm certainly very happy with how I did, as the past two BAOs I have gone 3-4 each time.  Had I gone 3-3 it would have been an improvement certainly.

Most importantly it was a great time and I'm looking forward to the next events in the fall!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Painting Black Dragons Like Mad!

Another long break but I've been mad, MAD I say trying to paint these Black Dragons for the BAO this weekend.  After several games of 7th edition I really like how this army plays and decided to go all in and commit to getting this army Tournament ready.  But that means painting 1-2 hours every day which is not easy to do with my crazy life.

The good news is I'm almost there now.


On a whole if I show up with where I'm at now this weekend I'm pretty pleased.  I want to get skulls on the shoulders and more of the insides done of the other 7 pods but we'll see how much I actually get done.


A little closer, terrible camera phone pics.


A bit closer on my Vulcan model.  I'm still terrible at freehand and the banner is not complex, but the 'Faith or Death' turned out better than I hoped so I have to be a little pleased there.


A terrible picture again but I've added a unit of LotD to the army for 1850.  Back when I redesigned the army in 6th I had thought to just add a librarian for some utility.  In 7th I'm just not sold on the solo libby.  It was suggested I add a Thunderfire to the list and that certainly has merit in a pod list.  If I didn't already have 9 pods that might be great, but as the list is designed the 3 assault squads do pretty good anti infantry work (plus lots of bolters).  The LotD came up and I have used them a few games now.  They really help get rid of that one skimmer or MC in cover that you need to take out that you don't want to waste a bunch of single shots from the tac squads.  They've been killing venomthropes and taking down Wave Serpents.  I had to give up my army wide Melta Bombs but they've been probably more useful across all games.

The army now looks like this at 1850.

Vulcan
Command Squad, 5 Meltas, Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod, Locator Beacon
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2x Flamer, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2x Flamer, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2x Flamer, Drop Pod 
5 LotD, Melta, MM, Combi Melta

The combi Plasmas are master crafted and I MC the CC weapon on the assault sergeant.  The Locator Beacon is essentially the last 10 points but usually the pod is ignored and it gives me some choice drops turn 2.

I've had some great close games with the pods and done really well.  A few games I've nearly been tabled but still pull the win thanks to a silly pod being on an objective.

So we'll see how BAO goes.  I'm trying to keep my expectations low and hope to go 3-3 but it is of course easy to get hungry for wins.  I'll be going in for a good time first and foremost and hope to have 6 really fun games!