Monday, June 11, 2012

Bugeater GT Tournament Report

Hey there folks!  How goes it?  I'm happy to report that I'm back from the Bugeater GT in one piece, after a harrowing 9-hour drive through Nebraska and Wyoming!

So, how did it go, you ask?  Did you pwn everyone in sight with your new mysterious army?

It's all a very exciting narrative of betrayal and failure, excitement and nerves.

All that in a minute, after the jump!

First, I have to apologize for the lack of pictures that I took.  I started strong, and really lost momentum about half way through Game 1.  So, not many pictures.

Instead, I've Googled 'pwn' and got a few decent images.  Most are relevant to pwnage.  Others... are not, but are still pretty awesome.

Previous Tournament results:

I've gone exactly one other time to this tournament, which was last year (the inaugural year).  I did well (5-1 record) and despite a lack of any sort of battle-prowess awards, I was somehow awarded Best Painted with my Dark Eldar, along with 7th overall.

Here's the Tournament Report from 2011 

That being said, let's take a look at my army list!

(This is where the betrayal comes in)

1850 Grey Knights (I painted them blue though):

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor w/ Rad and Psychotrope Grenades, Hammerhand

5x Purifiers w/ 2x Psycannons, 2x Halberds, 1x MC Hammer // Rhino w/ Searchlights and Dozer Blades
5x Purifiers w/ 2x Psycannons, 2x Halberds, 1x MC Hammer // Rhino w/ Searchlights and Dozer Blades

7x Terminators w/ 1x Psycannon, 1x Brotherhood Banner, 1x MC Hammer, 6x Halberds

5x Strikers w/ 1x Psycannon, 1x MC Hammer // Razorback w/ Psybolt Ammo
5x Strikers w/ 1x Psycannon, 1x MC Hammer // Razorback w/ Psybolt Ammo
5x Strikers w/ 1x Psycannon, 1x MC Hammer // Razorback w/ Psybolt Ammo

Dreadnought w/ 2x TL Autocannons
Dreadnought w/ 2x TL Autocannons
Dreadnought w/ 2x TL Autocannons

 So, yes.  I sold out.  I did what I've been resisting for a long time:  built a Grey Knight list, and one with the Grenades and full compliment of Dreadnoughts at that.

Thing was, my friends got tired of me being sad about how bad my Wolfstar fails these days, and that my Dark Eldar can't stand up to a lot of the current armies, so they gave me a bunch of models and said "here, build a competitive list."

So I tried it out.  Results forthcoming :)

Going in to the Tournament:

I had played a total of three games with this list going into the Bugeater.  I literally had to paint the entire army in a total of 16 days (a few days taken off here and there in between).  Pretty rough amount of time to finish an army, much less play test it.

So, my expectations weren't as high as they normally would be.  I figured I'd lose a few games from inexperience, and that would be that.  I wanted to (obviously) have fun, play as hard as I could without being a dick, and just see what happened.

Game 1:  (Blue) Grey Knights vs. Adam Moen's Battlewagon Orks

Man, I got paired with the same guy in round one last year as well!  It was alright though, since we were both playing different armies, and enjoyed our game last year.

His list was roughly:

4x Battle Wagons
5x Nobz
40x Boyz
20x 'Ard Boyz
15x Lootas

I was immediately worried about his mass AV14.  This would be a recurring theme in the tournament, haha.

The game basically went with me shooting at the sides of his wagons and failing for the first few turns to do any real damage (KFFs are awesome like that).  Once he got to me however, the Terminators managed to kill everything that looked at them crosswise (despite Psychotrope doing nothing).

I finally started killing his wagons, and the terminators by themselves killed 45+ boyz (including the Nobs) and a Wagon or two.  Old Zogwart teleported with his shoota boyz onto an objective and chilled there till the end of the game.

Game 1 Results:  Win for the Grey Knights! 25 points out of 25 possible! (25/25)

Adam was again a great opponent, and took his loss well.  I really liked his converted Battle Wagons (he used a storm raven kit to make two of them), and the game ended up crazy with Zogwort achieving his madness as always!

Game 2:  (Blue) Grey Knights vs. Roland Manarin's Imperial Guard

His list was roughly:

3x Leman Russes (1 Demolisher, 2 Battle Tanks)
2x Vendettas
1x Valkyrie 
Lots of troops in Chimeras

Well, to be honest, his list seemed good, but not extremely scary.  I knew I had to look out for his Russes as well as his Vendettas.  I actually had the choice to go first or second, and took second, knowing his ranged firepower would be limited.

His first turn, his Vendettas killed two of my Psyfleman Dreads, leaving the remaining one way out of position.  I knew then that this game was going to be pretty rough.

My terminators were quite obliging to Roland, dying extremely quickly, and I struggled to do much against his AV12 (and especially his AV14, which I never did anything to but shake).  I managed to bring down all three fliers, Marbo, and a few other random squads, but in the end, I lost by a single kill point (8-5, since he had to win by more than 2), but won on multiple objectives, which was the secondary.

Because the Primary was Kill Points however, I was handed a loss, and thus my earlier allusion to failure.

Game 2 Results:  Loss for the Grey Knights!  9 Points out of 25 Possible! (34/50)

Roland was also a great opponent, and I think I learned more from that game than any of my other games this tournament.  Steep learning curve for this army, despite what you internet pundits seem to think, especially when things go immediately wrong!

Game 3:  (Blue) Grey Knights vs. James Negro's Space Wolves!

His list was roughly:

12x Blood Claws + Wolf Priest + Land Raider Crusader
2x Grey Hunter Squads w/ Rhinos
2x Longfang Squads
1x Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf Mount + 3 Thunderwolves + 2 Fenresian Wolves

Well, his Long Fangs didn't scare me as much as some Long Fang squads do - he had a couple heavy bolters in each, mixed in with a missle launcher and two las cannons.  Still some good anti-tank, along with a solid 1-2 punch in close combat with the Thunderwolves and Land Raider.

I was able to disable his rhinos early on, and forced him to come at me piecemeal.  I managed to kill bait his Wolfstar with an unfortunate strike squad, and finished it off with the Terminators quickly.  The Bloodclaws (wisely) decided not to mess with the Terminators, and instead moved backward in their Raider, where I managed to immobilize it.  This would eventually spell the end for the Wolves, as the Terminators ate his Bloodclaws and the rest of my shooting was able to wipe most of the Grey Hunters off the board.

I had some Purifiers contest one of the objectives in his half, and at the end of the game, I had killed all but three longfangs.  He started the game off rolling extraordinarily well, though that eventually regressed to the mean, which meant he failed a ton of saves toward the end, except on the Longfangs, who refused to die :-p
Not sure how she came up in my 'pwn' search. 

Game 3 Results:  Win for Grey Knights!  25 point out of 25 possible!  (59/75)

James was another great opponent, and took the swings in luck he had in stride.  The judges made a ruling about cover that he disagreed with, and I honestly think that took him out of the game a little mentally, despite that specific ruling not affecting the game itself a ton.  He made a lot of really wise decisions, however, and kept the game as close as the dice would let him keep it.

So far, 3 out of 3 great opponents!  Excellent!

Game 4:  (Blue) Grey Knights vs. Brian Phinny's (Grey) Grey Knights!

His list was roughly:

Storm Raven w/ 9x Purifiers
10x Purifiers w/ 2x Psycannons // Rhino
6x Purifiers w/ 1x Psycannon // Razorback w/ Assault Cannon + Psybolt Ammo
6x Purifiers w/ 1x Psycannon // Razorback w/ Assault Cannon + Psybolt Ammo
2x Venerable Dreadnoughts w/ 1x Multi-Melta, 1x TL Auto-cannon

So!  My first mirror match with this list!  Brian had a lot of things I was afraid of, namely everything he had.  Still, we had hung out a little bit before the event, and I knew he was a cool guy at least.  I was excited to be able to play against him!

He won first turn, and had to spread his army out in order to cover all sides of the board, since the objectives were all on the center line:  two on the far ends of the board, one in the center.

At this point, I was starting to understand my army a little better.  My deployment forced him to move his purifiers forward and disembark in order to shoot at my exposed rhinos.  He failed to kill my tanks (luckily for me), and I took advantage by killing a 6-man purifier squad, immobilizing the Storm Raven, and (I think?) killing his Rhino.

The game degenerated into him failing as many saves as possible as quickly as possible, and after a few turns, it seemed like the game was going to be an easy win for myself.

However, I started rolling terribly, and he managed to make a comeback, killing my inquisitor with a dreadnought in hand-to-hand, and routing my terminators!

Still, I had gained enough of an advantage throughout the first few turns of the game that despite my fleeing terminators, I managed to eke out a win.

Game 4 Results:  Win for the (Blue) Grey Knights!  25 points out of 25 possible! (84/100)

Brian was another great opponent, and maintained an even keel despite his poor rolling.  I feel like the game could have been much closer, and he was a really skilled player, whose luck just kind of dragged him down.  Still, it was fun to hang out with him for a couple hours, and have an enjoyable first mirror match!

At this point, the tournament closed for the day, and we got a bunch of the evening off, which was spent eating at the Cheesecake Factory and sitting in the hot tub.  I arrived the next day groggy and strangely exhausted.

Game 5:  (Blue) Grey Knights vs. (Purple) Grey Knights!

His list was roughly:

Draigo + 7 Paladins + Land Raider Crusader
10x Strikers w/ 2x Psycannons // Rhino
5x Strikers w/ 1x Psycannon // Psyfleback
5x Strikers w/ 1x Psycannon // Psyfleback
2x Psyflemen Dreadnoughts

So!  Another mirror match!  This one even more closely resembled my list, featuring awesome(r) terminators than mine, and a hated Land Raider.

I handed him first turn, and he walked onto the board.  I was able to refuse-flank his forces, and force him to come at me piecemeal.  Before his Land Raider had reached me, I had destroyed one Psyfleback and the troops inside it.  Once his Raider was in range, I was able to wreck it (whew!) and shoot at his Terminators.

His dice then decided that they liked blue more than purple, and defected to my side.  The most memorable moment was a single squad of Purifiers killing Draigo in a single burst of awesome.  I still honestly think I'd have been able to down him with the firepower available to me that same turn, and I was unable to fire a lot of things that turn because they were all aimed at Draigo, but it was still kind of funny (and sad).

His Paladins slowly got whittled down, until an epic combat between his remaining three Paladins and my remaining three Terminators.  He killed mine, I killed his, and my inquisitor was left feeling quite lucky.

In the end, I was able to get the shots I needed, and killed all but 8 of his Strikers.  It was probably the most tactical game I'd played up to that point, and I was happy with the result, though a little sad for his dice betraying him so viciously.

Game 5 Results:  Win for the (Blue) Grey Knights!  25 Points out of 25 Possible!  (109/125)

My opponent was a really great one, and took his bad luck in stride.  He was extremely chill the whole game, which helped the process go smoothly.  Overall, very fun game, despite the rolling being entirely one-sided this time!

At this point, I realized that I was probably in contention for sweepstakes champion, or something like that.  If I could get max points in my next game, I could potentially win the championship, and get an invite to the Nova Open Invitational.  Hence, the aforementioned excitement.

Game 6:  (Blue) Grey Knights vs. David Noble's Blood Angels

His list was roughly:

4x Land Raiders
Classic Termie-star
15 Assault Marines with melta, infernus, power fist, in the other 3 raiders.

Well, shit.

I knew I couldn't win kill points on this one, which would hurt my battle points total.  I needed to win on objectives, or table quarters.  The game would be a denial one, and I therefore gave him first turn.

He deployed in his quarter, with all the objectives pretty much in his quarter.  Yikes.

His shooting did alright, mine did terrible to start.  I eventually exploded his Termie-Raider, and killed all but one termie, the librarian, and the priest, which he promptly hid the rest of the game.

In turn, he went for my 'easy' kill points, and started racking up few.  I tried to deny him as many as possible.

By the end, I had either immobilized or destroyed all his raiders, and needed to charge my Terminators (still mostly intact) into his remaining assault marines/libby/priest, which would win the game for me.  I needed a "3" for terrain.  When I rolled, I ended up with a "2" followed by a ... (you guessed it) "2".

Does the game end?



Game 6 Results:  Win for the Grey Knights!  14 Points out of 25 Possible!  (124/150)

I still managed to draw on Kill Points, and objectives, and won on the Tertiary, which was Table Quarters.  Wow, close game, I was super bummed though - I figured my battle points wouldn't be high enough to win the Sweepstakes champion.

(I should mention really quick that this opponent was also quite awesome.  He played fair, and the game was pretty nice and relaxed the whole time.  This made 6/6 excellent opponents at the GT, which is sadly somewhat rare.  So, thank you to all of my opponents, you made the tournament so much better than it could have been!)

This is where the nervousness comes in.  I wasn't sure where I stood in relation to the rest of the field.  No clue.  But I feared it wouldn't be enough.

They eventually started to announce awards.

Best Painted:  Richard Kennedy!  (he's part of the group that drove down with me)
Players Choice:  (Angry) Richard Coles!  (he's also part of the group that drove down with me)
Sweepstakes Runner up:  CJ Young (yep... came down with me too)
Sweepstakes Champion:  Richad Coles again! (and so ended my hopes of a plaque)
Tournament Runner up:  Adam Tricola!  (which is me!  wow, didn't see that coming!)

And then we all realized:  the four of us from the same place had taken 5 of the 7 possible awards.
Pretty damn awesome.

Turns out, I had figured on battle points actually counting toward something for the Sweepstakes Champion, when in reality record was all that mattered.  Though I had far more battle points than CJ or Richard, they had higher painting scores, and a 4-2 record, which wasn't too much worse than what I got (5-1).

I ended up with 3rd overall, and a $75 gift voucher to the local gaming store (The Game Shoppe), as well as an 'alternate' slot for the Nova Invitational, which makes me hope the Ork player who won won't actually end up going, haha :-p

At any rate, very fun tournament, aided by the fact that my friends all won awards, and we all went away with a bunch of loot.  I also won an unopened box of Space Hulk for a door prize, which was worth more than the $75 voucher!

Alright, I'm going to do a quick review of the tournament itself, and then it's bedtime!

The good:

  • Loved that we played 4 games on Day 1, 2 games on Day 2.  Much more awesome to get out of town at a decent hour for those of us who have to drive forever to get home and to work the next day.
  • Terrain was much improved!  They (mostly) made sure that there was good line-of-sight blocking terrain in the middle of the board, and in each corner.  It made me happy, I honestly didn't think we needed much more at all.
  • Door Prizes!  Pretty awesome to win Space Hulk.  My friend CJ won the new Marine Flyer (whatever it's called (stormtalon??)).  Didn't even enter the raffle, we won it just by showing up!
  • Smooth sailing - the tournament got a little behind schedule, but not to the point of embarrassment.  I didn't really even notice it, though a couple of other people said something about it.
  • Judges were at hand when needed (only once for me)
  • GREAT table spacing.  We had a full table to set our armies on in between gaming tables.  Please Please Please do this every other time after this! 
  • Swag bag was cool - new objective markers, dice, and tape measure.  Nice :)
  •  The extra time to play the game was much appreciated.  We went from 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes, which meant that none of my games were decided by the clock and rather by the dice, as they should be :)
The not-so-good:
  •  Paint judging - kind of.  I honestly didn't expect to do very well with painting this time, and certainly not to win it, since I had both Richards (Angry and otherwise) to contend with, as well as my friend CJ.  However, I was judged once my game had started after our lunch break, and I felt like it would have been difficult to judge my army fairly without seeing the whole thing together.  I have no way of knowing if my free-hand banner was included in their considerations, or my converted inquisitors.  They may very well have been, but I honestly have no idea.  I wish they had given the judges enough time to finish judging before all my models were already on the table.  I realize there are a lot of people to judge, I just felt... uneasy... about how it was conducted.  That said, I don't really disagree with my paint score.  It's more of an 'on principal' kind of thing.
  • There really wasn't much else.  I could quibble but... so could everyone.  Overall, excellent job.
Hooray for the word "pwn"!!
Final Thoughts:

Great tournament!  I loved being able to see people I don't get to see other than at GT's, hanging out with Inquisitor Dunn and Hulksmash along with a bunch of other people.  I think this is going to become a yearly tradition for my group, as it's a close/cheap enough drive, and is frankly one of the better-run events we've been to (and we've been to a lot).

So next year you better sign up early or you probably won't get a spot, I have no reason to believe it won't sell out in record time next year.

Shout out to Tim for hosting a great tournament, well done :) 

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