It's kind of a shorter report, but mostly complete and with lots of pictures- you'll see.
Now, for those of you who don't know what the Mirror Match tournament is, I'll give you a quick run-down:
- Everyone had the same 1500 point Codex: Space Marines list
- Every single table had nearly the exact same terrain
- We used missions out of the book, nothing fancy or necessarily hard to accomplish at all
Here's the list everyone used:
Captain Cato Sicarius
Librarian w/ Terminator Armor (we got to choose the powers given)
5x Assault Terminators w/ 5x TH/SS
10x Tactical Marines w/ Meltagun, Plasma Cannon, Power Fist // Rhino w/ Extra Armor
10x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Las Cannon, Power Fist // Rhino w/ Extra Armor
10x Scouts w/ 9x Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher, Power Fist
10x Assault Marines w/ Power Weapon
Predator w/ Autocannon and Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Here was my army list:
|Heh, we got to pick our powers. I for some reason thought that the Vortex was going to be good.|
Well, I went in knowing I was pretty inexperienced with the Marine Codex- I have a Salamanders army that I play casually- but I knew that some people were going to be much more experienced than myself.
As well, I had played a single practice game in this format, and it was kind of fluky, to say the least. So going into the tournament, I figured that:
- People who were more experienced with Codex: Space Marines would have an advantage over me
- People who had practiced a lot with this list would have an advantage over me
- I'd lose most of my games, due to the first two
- Ben Mohile
- Chris Carlisle
- Allen "Blackmoor" Hernandez
|lol.... painting the night before in the hotel room. They asked me to help....|
|....so I did. The guy with the goofy expression is CJ, the one in black is Angry Richard, if you care.|
Enough buildup, let's get to the reports!
Game 1: vs. Marines!
|Here's his army. Man, I'm so bad with names- I honestly can't remember any of my opponent's names, and I wrote them down, but lost the paper :(|
Primary: Multiple Objectives (5)
Secondary: Kill Points
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Note: The Primary and Secondary were both worth 10 points, making them both the 'primary', in a way.
He won the roll to go first, and took it.
|Here's his deployment zone. He used the LOS-blocking wall well, as did most of my opponents. Plasma dudes on the hill there in the middle, Las Cannon in the building. Sicarius just hanging out in a Rhino.|
|You can see that he's spreading his dudes out, so they can hold the various objectives. He didn't kill a whole lot this turn, but at this point, he definitely controls the majority of the board!|
|Well, I managed to wipe out the Terminators and the Librarian, but still barely lost combat. I decided to make my Tacticals 'tactically' run away, with the others sticking around.|
Results: 15-5 win for my mostly-green marines!
We drew on objectives (2-2), and I won Kill Points 3-2.
Post-game thoughts: He played it really well- I could tell that my opponent had played Marines quite a bit- he seemed extremely comfortable with this army. He was also a really great opponent- super laid back and very nice. His wife hung out with him the whole game, and was also really nice :)
As to the tactics of it- I was glad he fell for my baiting with the Assault Squad. That his Terminators mega-whiffed on the assault squad was unexpected, but to be honest: we both rolled extremely poorly this game. He'll attest to that for sure- our dice seemed to be mocking both of us. Lots of failed wounds on both sides, lots of whiffing to be had from everyone, as is shown by the 3-2 kill points.
He thought that he'd have gotten me if we'd have had one more turn, and maybe he would have. I don't think his Sicarius would have gotten into combat with the Tac squad on the left, but if he had, there was a good chance that I'd win that combat, since my fist would try to insta-gib him. Otherwise, the Gate would have sent that squad off to contest another objective somewhere else, and the Terminators would have gone and taken another objective. Not exactly sure how that turn would have played out.
Anyways, great first game, my head was pretty muzzy the whole time from lack of sleep, so I was happy to get a win from a very understanding opponent :)
Game 2: vs.... marines. lol
Primary: Capture and Control
Secondary: Multiple Objectives (3)
We rolled off to see who went first, and he won the roll, taking first turn.
|Here's his deployment. He gave Tank Hunter to his Las Cannon. He seemed very comfortable with the codex he was using.|
|In response, I just moved my dudes forward., putting the Librarian again with the disembarked Tacticals for deepstriking shenanigans later.|
|I got an assault off on his Rhino who had only moved 6" up, and wrecked it. I also made the scouts run away, but they regrouped just fine the next day. Remember his Terminators are behind that wall.|
Heh, the scouts didn't even end up shooting at the assault marines, but ended up killing 2 Terminators, and maybe would have another, but he told me the sergeant had a bolter instead of a sniper rifle after the sergeant got a rend (he was wrong... but I believed him- ah well, don't think he was trying to jank me out of it or anything).
|Next order of business had Sicarius and the terminators ravage his two exposed combat squads- one was wiped to a man, and the other ran away. I kept within 6" of the Terminators and tac squad, so they'd continue to run away.|
Instead, I perils'd (killing the Librarian), and the squad scattered 10" directly onto his scouts (needed the full 10"). Mishap roll put them back into reserves.
I should note that if that gate had worked, the game would have been essentially over (in my favor). Freak occurrences happen though.
Rest of the Game:
He shot the Terminator (barely).
I tried to deepstrike on his two objectives, but scattered another 10" away. Their run put them about a millimeter away from contesting his objectives (for some reason I let him move my guys' run, which I should have done myself in such a ridiculously close situation).
We rolled to see if the game ended, and it did.
Results: 5-15 loss to my Marines.
This was a frustrating game for me- very little went right, from having poor rolls (everywhere), to the aforementioned rules issues, which we won't delve into, because there's no need- he wasn't a bad guy, or rude, or whatever. But it did all make for a somewhat frustrating game.
Despite all that, I almost won anyways. All those terrible scatter rolls on top of the Libby getting Perils and dying (I'd have won if I could have used his bigger base size- remember I lost by a millimeter), saw to it that I didn't, but I felt like I played a solid game nonetheless.
Primary: Multiple Objectives (4)
Secondary: Kill Points
We rolled off to see who went first, and I won the roll, giving him first turn.
|This is after his first turn. He gave a random tac squad counter attack (never used it), and I gave my squad with the flamer/Las Cannon outflank.|
|I was trying to bait him with the scouts- I wanted the Terminators to counter-assault and eat the assault squad up. As it is, the scouts took a lot of fire this turn, and I think 5 died.|
|As you can see, his was successful, and the Terminator AwesomeStar is nowhere near 12" to get the assault. So, I'm down a tank pretty early on.|
|This is an awkward picture from my opponent's perspective- his Assault Squad is going to attempt to eat my poor Tac squad, "Vanquishers of the Lone Termie".|
|So, we've got my Assault Marines in their scrum with their friends the Tactical Marines. Looks like I'm winning- I managed to kill the sergeant in the first wave of attacks.|
|In desperation, he's decided to try to get some Kill Points off of my Terminators, who are standing on the far right side. Sicarius is going to chump my Libby, and the fist is going to try to kill Sicarius.|
It didn't go too much longer. I had two objectives, and he really had no hope of contesting them or grabbing another for himself, after his Sicarius went down to Terminator Hammers (and my own Sicarius dodged his coup de grace).
Results: 20-0 Win for My Marines!
My opponent was really fun to play against- he was friendly and took his loss well, though it seemed the dice kind of abandoned him a little toward the end. He very ably maneuvered his Assault Squad to kill my scouts without any sort of retribution from me, and made sure everything he had was amply supported.
I saw my opportunity to strike at the unsupported Terminators, and decided I needed to do what I could to make sure I could get rid of them and the Libby who could Gate them around at will.
My outflanking Tacticals came in on the left, to hold objectives and shoot at stuff, which worked out fine. It also meant that I had nobody on the far right end, where there were also two objectives, and therefore I sent the TerminatorStar over there to sit on an objective, daring anything to shoot at them or charge.
Overall, a good, tactical game (I thought). I was happy that mostly his shooting had no effect, because of my refused flank maneuver. It seemed as if I was finally starting to understand how to play this army or something :-p
Going into Game 4:
Now, the website said that we were supposed to play 4 games, and the 'top two' players would square off for a Game 5. They changed this on us however, and said that this would be everyone's last game. This meant that since I had 40, and the top three people had 55, 50, and 45 (I think?) going into the round, that I had virtually zero hope of winning the whole thing, since even with a 10-10 draw on the top table, someone would have more points than I could possibly get.
It kind of rankled- I thought that I'd have the opportunity to try winning it in Game 5, 'for all the marbles'. Still, they announced that they were still awarding prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, and that put me still in the running for a prize.
I'd been 'playing up' all day, with guys who had higher scores than me, and so I actually made it to the 2nd table, with the knowledge that if I got full points, I would probably be able to place in the top 3.
The Top Table was Ben Mohile vs. the guy from Game 2. The Third Table was a dude from the Wrecking Crew... forgot his name now though. He also had 40 points going into this round.
With the knowledge that I needed full points for a prize, I stepped into my Final Game.
Primary: Kill Points
Secondary: Capture and Control
Deployment: Pitched Battle
We rolled to see who would go first, and I won, choosing to go second.
|His initial turn didn't do much damage to me- I passed all the necessary cover saves I needed to make. As an aside, I outflanked my Melta squad with Sicarius' power.|
|Otherwise, my pred backed up and popped his Rhino on the left, who hadn't popped smoke. The scouts got to be the sacrificial lamb this game, to take Sicarius' wrath.|
|Ultra-fuzz. Sicarius jumped in and killed some scouts, who in turn killed some Tacticals and held their ground. The Combat with the Terminator took an interesting swing, when 5 more assault marines jumped from behind the ruins and joined the fight!|
He had his combat squad with a melta get into his last rhino and drive near to his own objective, getting out, and shooting the tac squad sitting on his objective. It didn't really work- I went to ground and made most (maybe all?) of my saves.
His scouts assaulted my Assault Squad, his other Power Weapon'd assault squad assaulted my own assault squad, but I had the Terminators, and therefore had the massive advantage in combat.
It all came down to if my Pred was still alive and able to get to the objective to contest it, which it was.
Results: 20-0 Win for my Marines!
Well, this game was a little intense- we got into a little rules debate regarding piling in moves from an already existing combat, and both of us were half-correct :-p
Otherwise, it was a close game, and I was glad to be given the opportunity to kill his Terminators early on- otherwise, the game could have gone very differently.
It must also be observed that I rolled pretty well this game- there was a time that Sicarius had to make two 4++ saves or be insta-deathed, and made both. My rolling was clearly bothering my opponent, so I switched dice for him (he didn't ask, I just did it). After that, they averaged out, but it was already too late.
I think the various combat squads were good and multi-purpose for him, but think that he should have kept the Assault Squad all the way together- 5 marines have far less impact in combat than all 10. Otherwise, close game, I was glad to have gotten a game in with him.
If he reads this, he knows I still owe him a beer- he got me one before the game, which I greatly appreciated, and never quite found the time to return the favor the rest of the weekend, which I greatly regret :(
I got 60/80 possible points for the tournament, which put me solidly into a tie for 2nd/3rd with the Wrecking Crew dude. I think they used strength of schedule to determine who got 2nd though, and as such, I ended up with:
|Heh, it's Silver because I got 2nd :-p|
Who won first?
Well, my opponent from the second round of course. He took on Ben Mohile, and got full points. Ben is a good player, and no slouch, so the fact that he lost to that guy means that he must be a pretty good player himself- and I almost beat him, haha.
Well, it was fun. I kind of bumbled through my first game without a plan, or even any real idea on how to play the army well, other than that Terminators were key to victory. If you notice, I went for the throat on my opponent's Terminators every single game. Once the Terminators were removed, it meant that my own Termies had close combat superiority in an overwhelming way.
Thing is, there were too many 'mundane' attacks in the list- Assault Squad was good for volume of attacks, but if you do the math, the squad will be lucky to kill more than a single Terminator on the charge. Rather, anything that could ignore armor was pure win. I tried to get good matchups for my various combats, like Fists on the Characters (insta-death FTW), Sicarius into the Assault Squad (who have a ridiculously hard time hurting him), or Terminators into any squad they could reach that weren't the opponent's termies (unless they were severely whittled down).
As for the powers I took- Gate of Infinity was useful, certainly. It would have been much more useful if it was more reliable- like I said, I would have owned the second game if either one of my two deepstrike results had been even half the distance scattered. Vortex of Doooooooom was kind of a fail- I usually wanted to be running my Librarian instead of shooting with him. You see- if he was shooting that power, it meant he was within 12" of them, and generally speaking, that was too close. So I think if I play this event again, I'll pick something more... useful. I mean, even Null Zone would have been more useful!
Feedback on the Tournament itself:
It was fun
The players were all really skilled tactically, and I feel very fortunate to have done as well as I did. It got a little old squaring off against the same list over and over, but for me, it became more and more fun as I learned the intricacies of how to play the list well, and what situations I could use and maneuver to put my opponents into a tough/unfavorable situation.
Competitively Evaluative (best player in the field that day won)?
Well, roughly? Battle Points are always a little weird to figure out in a situation like this. The guy who won was certainly a good player. He might have even been the best- he did manage to beat me, after all. I don't really know how better to determine it though, other than do as they had originally planned- do a bracket of W/L, in which case, I'd still have had a pretty good shot at 2nd place (since there were only 20 people there).
Information on the event:
I wasn't very happy with the lack of pre-knowledge of how the event was going to be run. For example, there were 3 actual questions on the Mirror Match blogpost that never got answered. If I had had a question, I probably wouldn't have had it answered either.
As I mentioned earlier, they had said on their site that it was going to be a bracket with a W/L system, and a 5th game only for the top two players at the end. Instead, it turned into a Battle Point format, and I only found out at the start of game 4 that there would be no more games, no matter what. Regardless of what I think of the actual format of the tournament, I'd have really liked to have known exactly what I was getting into.
It all worked out alright, and I don't have any real complaints about the format itself, I just want to know what I'm spending my time, effort, and money on, and in this case, I really didn't.
How well it was run:
It was run pretty smoothly. The schedule was thrown out after the first game, but this tournament started rounds (for the most part) when they said they would, and the officiating was good. I didn't really have an issue with it.
I liked the terrain a lot, actually. Lots of good stuff to help with tactically- an impassible tower in the middle, with a building in each corner, a wall blocking LOS, and hills, area terrain, the works. Overall it was great, and I liked how the sides of the board kind of 'mirrored' each other as well, not really supplying either player with an enormous advantage terrain-wise. Rather, it allowed a skilled player to make the best use of the terrain in the situation, as opposed to minimal terrain, where whoever goes first mostly wins.
The List, Points size, whatever:
The list was reasonable- it gave a lot of options to players, and none of my games looked exactly like any of my others. This tells me that we had enough options at the start of the game that there was never one single obvious strategy of win.
Also, I liked the points value- it made it possible to get in 4 games instead of 3- next year I'd even probably be up for 5 games :-p
Pretty good. Main complaint was the information thing. Otherwise, a solid Friday event. I loved how laid back our little corner of the ballroom was, with the din of the 40k Team Tournament far away, and all of the people just pretty chill.
Please pick a different codex next year if you do this event again! I know John (Jwolf) said they were thinking Chaos Marines, which is fine with me but please.... just not Vanilla Marines again :)
Thanks for reading, hope you liked it, be on the lookout for my 7-game GT Report with the DEldar this week sometime (or early next, lol).
If you have any questions or comments, let me know!