Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bugeater GT 2013 Tournament Report w/ Pictures!

Howdy, folks! Long one here for you today, as I delve into the six games that I played last weekend at the Bugeater GT in Omaha, Nebraska! I took my Grey Knights once again, with the goal of winning the tournament, but also to explore the strengths and weaknesses of Storm Ravens. You can see my post detailing exactly why I decided to test this instead of taking IG allies right here.

That said, I still very much wanted to win the tournament, and have actually come close a couple other times. Those times are chronicled elsewhere on this blog, and I'll link you to them after the jump.

Previous Bugeaters:

2011: Dark Eldar, Best Painted
2012: Grey Knights, Tournament Runner-Up/3rd Overall

As you will see if you read those reports, coming into this Bugeater, I'd only lost two games total in Omaha, and was hoping to keep those the only two. However, I'd have an uphill battle, as roughly 1/3 of my list was entirely new to me - read the link way at the top to realize that I'd never used a Storm Raven before in my life, and hadn't been planning on it before this tournament.

Tournament Format:

It's a Nova-style win/loss system designed to play enough games for a single undefeated winner to emerge. That winner has to win 6 games in a row. Each mission has a Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary goal - to win the game you have to defeat your opponent at the Primary, or in the case of the tie, beat them on Secondary. If that's also a draw, then it goes to Tertiary, and if that's also a draw, it goes to how many points total you've killed of your opponents' (5th edition "Victory Points").

It's a style I like quite a bit, though I have to admit that this year's version of it had a few flaws. I'll talk about that toward the end though.

My List:

33 Models Total, ha!

1850 Pure Grey Knights

Inquisitor w/ Terminator Armor, Psycannon, Psyker w/ Divination (Prescience)
Inquisitor w/ Terminator Armor, Psycannon, Psyker w/ Divination (Prescience)

10x Strike Marines w/ 2x Psycannon, Daemonhammer, Psybolt Ammo
10x Strike Marines w/ 2x Psycannon, Daemonhammer, Psybolt Ammo
6x Strike Marines w/ 1x Psycannon, Daemonhammer

Nemesis Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator
Nemesis Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator
Nemesis Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator

Storm Raven w/ TL Multi-Melta, TL Assault Cannon, TL Hurricane Bolter Sponsons, Psybolt Ammo
Storm Raven w/ TL Multi-Melta, TL Assault Cannon, TL Hurricane Bolter Sponsons, Psybolt Ammo

33 Models total :)

The Trip:

We started driving from Laramie, Wyoming at 6:30 PM Friday night, as one of the crew had to work that day. We drove until about 4:30 AM on Saturday, where we had to check into the hotel, grab a quick 2-hour nap, and go to the tournament for an 8:00 start. Not ideal, but you don't do these events for the sleep :)

Game 1: Grey Knights vs. Adam Junge's Praetorian Imperial Guard!

His List:

Company Command Squad w/ Bolt Pistol, Power Sword, Melta Bombs, Med Pack, Regimental Standard, Melta Gun, Officer of the Fleet // Chimera

Platoon Command Squad w/ Bolt Pistol, Power Sword, Melta Bombs, Platoon Standard, Mortar
10x Guardsmen w/ Melta Bomb, Autocannon
10x Guardsmen w/ Melta Bomb, Heavy Bolter
Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3x Lascannons
Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3x Lascannons
10x Veterans w/ 3x Flamers // Chimera
10x Veterans w/ 3x Meltaguns // Chimera
10x Veterans w/ 3x Grenade Launchers // Chimera


Leman Russ Battle Tank w/ Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Leman Russ Vanquisher w/ Lascannon
Leman Russ Exterminator w/ Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Ever met a Guard army that didn't make you pucker up a little bit? Me either.

The Mission:

Primary: 5 Objectives in the center of each quarter, one in the center of the board
Secondary: Kill Points (win by 3)
Tertiary: Table Quarters

Deployment: Dawn of War

--> He won the roll to see who went first, and chose first turn.

Pregame Thoughts:

I'd just gotten in off of two hours of sleep, and therefore wasn't thinking much. That many tanks was going to be a pain in the ass, but there were a few obvious weaknesses in his list that I could exploit. The key was to remove his Heavy Weapons Teams as quickly as possible, and use the Dreadknight's burnination to full effect.

The only major threats I saw other than the Heavy Weapons Teams was the Leman Russ he put in a far corner - I deployed so as to deny him the ability to shoot it Turn 1, due to Night Fight. Otherwise, get side armor shots, kill troops, rinse, repeat.

The real key to playing against an army like this with my own list is to keep him inside my 24" bubble of death. If he blitzes me right away or plays denial the whole game while shooting at 25" and further, this game becomes quite difficult.

You can see I refuse-flanked him, on the side of his Heavy Weapons. I also kept the 6-man Strikers inside one of my Ravens.
 IG Turn 1:

He took some shots at me, and I failed a few saves on a Dreadknight.

Dreadknight in the middle took some damage, see the red dice?

GK Turn 1:

I moved everything up on the left, and was able to kill his entire Heavy Weapons Team on the left with a well-placed Incinerator. I also took two HP off one of his Russes with Psycannons (stunning it), and two HP off his nearest Chimera, despite a 3+ Cover save through Ruins/Nightfight.

Note that I left the rightmost squad chillin' in the forest in the center, waiting to see what would happen.

Well, I caused some damage already, though I had misplaced my DKs so I couldn't kill his second Heavy Weapons Team squad.
 IG Turn 2:

He mostly pivoted and shot at me.

When the smoke cleared, I'd rolled well for my Strike saves, though one of my DKs (the wounded one) bit the dust, and hard.

I need to kill some stuff next turn, or this game will turn much harder than I want it to be.
 GK Turn 2:

One Storm Raven arrived despite the Officer of the Fleet, and I promptly forgot that I had Strike Marines inside. It moved up toward his right flank, to try and Melta his Battle Tank, and get some side shots on the rightmost Chimera. Everything else advanced once again, besides the middle squad in the forest.

Shooting went well, with the far left Strikes killing a Hellhound, the far right Strikes finishing off his frontmost Chimera, and the rightmost DK flaming two of the remaining Heavy Weapons teams. The leftmost DK just ran forward like 3".

Storm Raven jumped up, killed a Chimera (whose Veterans failed their pinning check), and failed to Penetrate the Leman Russ in the far left corner. Ah, well.

My Storm Raven looks neat :) Also, please note that I'll be focusing on the Ravens this entire report, because I wouldn't have them if not for a very generous reader who sent them to me in order to read my reports about them specifically.

Storm Raven! Couldn't kill the Russ :-/

IG Turn 3:

Things were going a little bad for Adam already, and he needed something to happen this turn.

Unfortunately, he was mostly cooped up at the table edge, and his only option was really to just shoot at me.

Shooting caused a few wounds on the far left Strike squad, but that was about it. No damage to the Raven.

You can see that most of my guys are still alive, despite almost zero models to begin with.

Here's a view of his army at the start of my turn. Somehow, they look beleaguered. Note that the two front Chimeras are Wrecks, and those red dice on the left denote a crater where I destroyed a Hellhound.
 GK Turn 3:

My second Raven came on, and I was apparently wrong before - this raven had my Strikes in it, and I forgot about them.

The plan was simply raw aggression - kill as many as I could again.

My first Raven moved over to the left to shoot more tanks/troops, while the second Raven almost traded places with the first. My Strikes mostly just stayed where they were, hugging cover and staying in striking range of the objectives, while the DKs moved up to threaten him.

Shooting finished off one of his Leman Russes, destroyed his last two Chimeras, Immobilized the Battle Tank, exploded the second Hellhound, killed all but two of his Company Command Squad, and murdered another veteran squad, as well as his final Heavy Weapons team.

In short, the Ravens did work. One killed the two Chimeras, while the other killed the Hellhound and immobilized the Russ. Ridiculous turn of killing for me. My rightmost Strikes didn't even shoot, as I erroneously left them out of position.

This picture doesn't show you much.

Here's a closeup of the Ravens. Note the one on the right has my Strikes in it.

IG Turn 4:

He didn't have much, but decided to keep at it.

Sorry to say, he failed to hit either Raven, and that was about it.

I think one of his Veteran squads actually fled off the table this turn, despite like 3 or 4 rolls/rerolls for leadership. Just not a great series of rolls for him.
 GK Turn 4:

I dropped the Strikes off to charge his Russ/Junior Officer squad, putting the Raven into hover mode, while the other zoomed off to the left side of the board to kill the Vanquisher.

Shooting finished off his Company Command and Vanquisher.

In assault I killed his Platoon Command and Battle Tank.

Having only his 20-man Blob, he decided to call it.

Strike Marines threatening over on the right. You can see the dead one on the bottom right, where his power weapon surprised one of my marines, haha.

I went picture-happy this game, apparently.
 Results: 25-0 Win for the Grey Knights!

Post-game thoughts:

Man, this game turned into a rough one for Adam right away (3rd Adam I've played in the first round at the Bugeater thus far, BTW, my own name being Adam). He said he hadn't been playing for very long, just finally getting back into the game and taking the models he had. He hadn't had much experience in dealing with stuff like my Dreadknights or Ravens. That being said, his target priority was spot-on, and he wiped out a DK pretty quick, and might have done the same to another if my Invulns hadn't been good.

Great opponent, nice guy, happy to have met him. :)

Game 2: Grey Knights vs. Galen Thies' Orks!

His List:

Ghazghkull Thraka
Mad Doc Grotsnik

15x Kommandos w/ 1x Burna, Snikrot, 15x Cybork Bodies

5x Meganobz w/ Klaws, various shooting weapons, 5x Cybork Bodies
30x Shoota Boyz w/ Nob w/ Big Choppa

3x Deffkoptas

3x Zzap Guns w/ 12 Gretchin, Runtherd, 1x Ammo Runt
3x Lobbas w/ 6x Gretchin, 3x Runtherd
Battlewagon w/ Deff Rolla, Red Pint Job, Big Shoota x2

Aegis Defense Line w/ Comms Relay

Very nicely painted, this picture doesn't do them credit at all

--> We rolled to see who went first, and he won the roll, giving me first turn.


Primary: Kill Points
Secondary: 3 Objectives along the center line
Tertiary: Table Quarters

Deployment: Vanguard Strike

Pregame Thoughts:

First, Galen has a blog. Go look! 

Now then, his army had a lot of reserves shenanigans. I wasn't sure if he would put Ghaz and the Doc with the Kommandos and bring them all on on my side, but decided that it would probably be best if he did - then I could get rid of them before Ghaz caused too much Havoc.

As such, I decided to deploy my DKs in a staggered line, so that two of them could react to anywhere the Kommandos might come in and immediately threaten me. Otherwise, I needed to deal with his Battlewagon ASAP, though the plan was to kill the Kommandos first.

Essentially, deal with one threat at a time. Besides the Nobz and Ghaz, not much could threaten my DKs, and leaning on them would help.

I deployed thusly, with him leaving the Shoota Boyz in reserve, the Bomma in reserve, the Deff-Koptas in outflank, and Ghaz + Mad Doc + Kommandos in their special outflank.

He decided to roll to seize the initiative, and... spiked it! Noice!

Orks Turn 1:

He kind of just sat everything where it was. The Battlewagon didn't even blitz upward.

Shooting killed a couple of Strikes on the right side. Zzap guns failed to get a high strength the whole game.

Fewer Strikes on the right!
 GK Turn 1:

I moved all my Strikes on the top left backward, in anticipation of his Shoota Boyz coming in and therefore denying them shots the turn they entered play.

Otherwise, a few potshots on his Wagon stunned it and put 2 HP on it, randomly, despite nightfight.

Now we see which of his reserves come in...

A close-up of the stuff on his table. Mega-Nobz are in that Wagon.
 Orks Turn 2:

Ghaz came on, Shootas came on, Bomma came on, and Koptas came on. Nothing else left in reserves, which makes me happy - I'm terrible at remembering stuff that isn't already on the table.

GhazStar came on directly behind my lines, and shot a few more marines. Shoota Boyz came in on his left to threaten the objective up there, and the Koptas came on the wrong side of the table and flat-outed toward my lines.

Bomma didn't do much the whole game. Fun rules though :)

Ghaz directly behind me, while you can see the Koptas zooming toward the far top left Strikes.

Here's a picture of Ghaz' squad up close. Not much terrain on this board I notice! Not terrible though.
GK Turn 2:

Both Ravens came in, and went to different sides of the board. They didn't really have a ton of excellent targets, and thus decided to try to mess with his Battlewagon and Koptas. The DK on the far top left advanced toward his Shoota Boyz, and the far left Strikes moved into range of Ghaz' squad, as did the rest of the strikes. Two DKs moved into charge range.

Shooting put another HP on the Battlewagon (but only killing a weapon), and also flamed a handful of Shoota Boyz, also killing a Kopta.

I focused everything else on the Kommandos, who were surprisingly resilient with a 5++ Invulnerable Save and FNP, both from the Mad Doc.

After all shooting was finished, I had killed him down to Ghaz and the Doc, both at full health. He risked it and took leadership on Ghaz without popping the Waaagh, but passed just fine.

I charged in, and the Mad Doc challenged. Dreadknight accepted, and whiffed all 5 attacks! Ghaz punched a bunch of Strikes, and took a couple wounds in return, despite his 2++ that turn.

Overview. Can't kill his big guys - not the best situation right now.

Mad Doc also put a couple wounds on the far right DK.
Orks Turn 3:

He shot at some stuff, and moved his Battlewagon in to threaten my lines, but he didn't have a ton of stuff that was in position to mess with me. The Koptas failed to hit with their S8 against a Raven.

In combat, he killed the remaining Strikes + Inquisitor, took another wound on Ghaz, and had the Mad Doc Insta-crunched by a DK. Dreadknight Sandwich!!

Will his Nobz be able to save the day?
 GK Turn 3:

I shot everything at his Shoota Boyz and Battlewagon. Shooting wasn't as great, and only managed to kill the remaining Shoota Boyz as well as the Battlewagon and another Deff Kopta. Both Ravens went into Hover Mode.

Where will his Nobz go?

Orks Turn 4:

He moved up with his Nobz and assaulted a DK, who killed one Nob and died an inglorious death.

Will I be able to kill his Nobz in a turn?

GK Turn 4:

Lots of rending rolls + Melta from a Raven didn't even allow me to charge the rest of the Nobz. He had his two heavy weapons batteries and a hurt bomma, so we decided to call it there.

Once again, Ravens deliver. Wish I could have given Galen one more charge to go out on though, feels almost cheap to shoot Nobz to death :-/

Results: 25-0 Win for the Grey Knights!!

Post-game thoughts:

Galen's army was very fun, and he even told me that he was taking stuff that was good in 5th edition, kind of an "it used to be good" list. I'll be the first to agree that Kommandos are quite a bit sadder now, and though his list had a few very potent threats, they were a little disjointed and I was able to deal with them one at a time.

Galen was a very fun opponent, and we mostly just had some laughs. Loved the Dread Sandwich with Ghaz in the middle - seems like the way Ghaz would want to go out :)

Game 3: Grey Knights vs. Jarell R.'s Tau of Dooooom!!

His List:


3x Crisis Suits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, 3x Fusion Blaster
3x Crisis Suits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, 3x Fusion Blaster
3x Crisis Suits w/ 3x Burst Cannons, 3x Fusion Blaster

12x Fire Warriors // Devilfish w/ TL SMS
12x Fire Warriors // Devilfish w/ TL SMS
11x Fire Warriors // Devilfish w/ TL SMS
12x Kroot, 1x Kroot Hound
12x Kroot, 1x Kroot Hound

5x Pathfinders
5x Pathfinders
5x Pathfinders

Hammerhead Gunship w/ Longstrike, automated repair system, Railgun (submunition rounds), TL SMS, 2x Seeker Missiles
Skyray Missile Defense Gunship w/ Blacksun Filter, SMS
Skyray Missile Defense Gunship w/ Blacksun Filter, SMS

No, this isn't the way he deployed them :)

The Mission:

Primary: 4 Objectives, Player-placed
Secondary: Kill Points
Tertiary: Table Quarters

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

--> I won the roll to see who went first, and gave him first turn.

Pregame Thoughts:

Well, to start, he had me beat in pure volume fire. The Ethereal was going to make all those Fire Warriors a major pain in the ass. Further, he had two objectives in his deployment zone, and Hammer and Anvi against a really shooty army really doesn't help me at all. To top it all off, he had some of the best anti-air defense in the game to help him negate my Ravens.

Not an easy game, going into it.

There were a few things to bring me hope though: I actually outranged his Crisis Suits. While they had lots of shooting and costed almost no points, they were a maximum of 18", making it a 24" threat range. It meant that I could stay outside his range, and when I was finally in it, I'd be able to shoot them up. Also, getting his Fire Warriors outside of their rides meant a turn of shooting, but if my DKs could face the shooting and live, 
the S6 AP4 Torrent Flamer they have would make sure to make some Fire Warriors have sads.

So the key: limit his ability to shoot at me, and keep the Inquisitors in the front to soak up firepower - very little stuff in the army that would insta-death me.

I deployed outside most of his stuffs' range, just barely.

Here's from my perspective. The DKs look like they're doing some sort of dance, haha. Note that my objectives were in the middle, so that I could access them while threatening his own objectives - a low-scoring army like mine has to ensure that the scoring units are also being useful all game :)

Tau Turn 1:

He moved up and shot at me a little bit. Few, if any, casualties.
That wall of Devilfish are going to be trouble. Oh yeah, he outflanked both Kroot squads, in case you're wondering.
 GK Turn 1:

I moved up as well, careful to stay out of his Crisis Suits' 24" threat bubble.

Some shooting went on, I think mostly to the order of me knocking a couple Hull Points off one of his Devilfish. He saved 3/5 results on it, if I remember correctly. Jerk :-p (on the other hand, it was nightfight, so a 4+ cover for him, ha)

Doesn't it look like nothing is happening?

More pictures! My new camera is so fun :)
 Tau Turn 2:

He wasted no time in disembarking his Fire Warriors, though he would only have two squads to shoot with - the third he disembarked, but were all stunned from my shooting the turn prior. Also, his Kroot both came on, and on the same side (Acute Senses is such a nice thing for Kroot!)

Here's the "before" picture.
 He unloaded on me, and Kroot played their part. However, I made a bunch of saves on my Warlord, and he didn't kill nearly as many Strikes as he could have. I should also note that he shot a bunch of shots at my DK there, who took 3 wounds. Painful to put so much firepower into two squads and not reduce their effectiveness by much :-/

Well, lots of stuff to kill next turn I guess. Wish I'd deployed my DKs a little more centrally...

Ah, the "suit-watch" picture - that huge piece of terrain in the middle really made getting good pictures tough.
 GK Turn 2:

I rolled for the Ravens, and... neither showed up!

It should be noted that while I understood the Ravens' lives would end quickly, they'd still have a single turn of causing Mayhem, and removing things from the board that would otherwise make my life harder. So, sooner the better for them. Alas.

I moved my DKs forward, and prepared everyone in my army to shoot a bunch of Fire Warriors and Crisis Suits. The first DK managed to get a full 12-man Fire Warrior squad under its template.

It's very satisfying to remove an entire squad with a single flamer, let me tell you. Especially of Tau :)

Other shooting killed most of another Fire Warrior squad, though he saved well on his Crisis Suit rolls. I should have shot Kroot with my far-right Strikes and just dealt with the damage he'd do to me next turn. Alas.

Here's his decimated Fire Warriors. He was smart and at least disembarked his "stunned" squad out, in case I decided to get crazy and charge him (overwatch shenanigans being what they are for Tau)
As you probably can't see, I did damage to those Crisis Suits in the crater on the far left, but the location was different, and he thus had a single wound left on both :-/

Tau Turn 3:

More markerlight madness, more shooting. His Ethereal's ride moved up to be within range of the Kroot, making them badass shooters as well.

Shooting this turn did a number on me. It was almost like he didn't even miss those Fire Warriors I killed!

Before shot.

After. He wiped the Warlord/Strikes + a Dreadknight off the table in a single burst of awesome. Painful turn for me. 
 He also put a few wounds on the far left and super-out-of-position DK.

Ouch, now I look beleaguered.
GK Turn 3:

Now would be a great time to get some Ravens in.

Nope, neither came in, again. Ah, jeeze. At this point, I was hoping I could pull something out of my hiney, as there was still a bunch of Tau on the table. Luckily, my flamers still worked.

I moved my far left Dreadknight forward, and finished off some Pathfinders I'd been working on. The bigger Strike squad shuffled toward the center, trying to ensure that I could threaten any objective I needed to. Far left 6-man Strikes were also grossly out of position, and shuffled forward to shoot at the Crisis Suits nearby.

Shooting killed a full squad of Kroot with my Strikes, and the Dreadknights finished off a Pathfinder squad and most of the rest of the Fire Warriors, though he again rolled well for saves and only lost a single (already wounded) Crisis suit from the squad on the left.

Would it be enough damage?

Will he table me this turn?

A more up-close shot of what's going on, I guess?
 Tau Turn 4:

He put his remaining 8 Fire Warriors back inside two Devilfish (two squads of 4) and hovered toward one of his back objectives. His Kroot got into cover, and his Suits moved up to shoot at my DKs.

He mostly focused on my DKs, and in a flurry of bad saves, both DKs went down like chumps.

Ah man, poor Strikes look pretty sad now lol.
 GK Turn 4:

Thankfully, I wasn't forced to roll for my Ravens this turn, and they finally came on.

The Strikes moved toward a center objective, and the Inquisitor moved toward the one the Kroot were threatening in my corner, just in case he needed to split off and contest on Turn 5.

The Ravens both moved on in such a was that the big piece of line-of-sight blocking terrain would give me cover against his Seeker Missiles from one of the Skyrays.

Shooting managed to finally kill two full Crisis squads, as well as the Ethereal's Devilfish, and two other Crisis Suits, leaving him with a single Suit left. Everyone passed Leaderships though.

Doesn't even look like I've killed anything this turn, haha.
Another picture that doesn't really show us too much that the other one didn't.
 Tau Turn 5:

This would be our last turn, as his lengthy shooting phases and my careful measuring had left us little remaining time. As such, he moved a Devilfish in to block me from holding the center-ish objective, and moved/ran the Kroot over to hold my backfield objective. He also got his 4-man Fire Warrior squad out on his own objective.

Shooting didn't do a whole lot - he killed a Storm Raven, though one somehow lived.

One last chance to make a difference!
 GK Turn 5:

The game at this point looked like a Draw for Objectives - I could hold/contest enough objectives to make it a Draw. Therefore, I needed to focus on Killpoints.

My 'big' Strike squad moved toward the center objective, while the Inquisitor moved to contest the Kroot Objective. The Raven went into Hover mode and popped behind a Devilfish, ready to Hurricane-bolter his Ethereal down.

Shooting downed his Ethereal, a 4-man Fire Warrior squad, the final Crisis Suit, and his blocking Devilfish. Would it be enough?

Game ends here - we each hold an Objective, so the decision goes to Kill Points. Will I have enough?

So, here was the final tally on Killpoints (remember, I have to win by 3):


Warlord (2)
Strike Squad (1)
Dreadknight (1)
Dreadknight (1)
Dreadknight (1)
Storm Raven (1)
Linebreaker (1)

Total: 8

Grey Knights:

Warlord (3) (Ethereal worth 2)
Fire Warriors (1)
Fire Warriors (1)

Kroot (1)
Devilfish (1)
Devilfish (1)
Pathfinders (1)
Crisis Suits (1)
Crisis Suits (1)
Crisis Suits (1)

Total: 12

Results: 14-9 Win for the Grey Knights!! 

Post-Game Thoughts:

Jarell was a great opponent, and the game was very tactical. We both made a lot of use of the pre-measuring rule, which made our game go a lot longer than it might have otherwise gone.

I was pretty surprised that I managed to pull off the win, as most of the game I was playing with only about 1300 points, versus his entire army. I grossly mis-deployed the Dreadknights as well as the 6-man Strikes - if they'd been in play, the Strikes would have made a win on Objectives possible.

As it was, this was the first time the Ravens failed me, and it wasn't pretty. If I'd been able to remove enough of Jarell's models on Turn 2 with a Raven or two, it would have made his overall damage output much less throughout the game. As such, even though the Ravens ended up saving me, this is the first game they get a "bad" mark, as the game might have been lost because of those lousy reserve rolls.

Remember, if you don't play with the knowledge that you're bound to roll poorly, you probably aren't approaching the game correctly. Despite a very unlikely set of rolls, this sort of thing can lose an entire tournament for you. Also, within the context of an 8-game tournament, it's likely to happen at least once that neither come in for a turn.

Ah well, no harm no foul, right?

Before Pairings for Game 4 were announced, Tim (the TO) gave away random door prizes. I got a Dark Heresy source book. Hello ebay!

Hooray for games I don't even play making me money!
 At this point, the 2 hours of sleep I'd gotten the night before started catching up to me. I was really tired, and just wanted some sleep. Instead, I got to play against last year's Bugeater Champion!

Game 4: Grey Knights vs. Matt Root's Tyranids!!

His List (wow, the one list I must not have remembered to keep):

Hive Tyrant w/ Wings, TL Devourers
Hive Tyrant w/ Wings, TL Devourers

Doom of Malantai // Mycetic Spore
3x Hive Guard
8x Ymargl Genestealers

Tervigon w/ Powers
Tervigon w/ Powers
10x Gants
10x Gants

Trygon w/ Toxin Sacs
3x Biovores

The Mission:

Primary: 5 Objectives, each in the center of a Table Quarter, one in the center of the Board
Secondary: Kill Points (win by 3)
Tertiary: Table Quarters

Deployment: Vanguard Strike

--> He won the roll, and handed me first turn

Pre-game thoughts:

Ah, I wish I could have played Matt on any other game. As it was, I really didn't have much wit about me - I was exhausted.

The general plan, such as it was, was to down his Flyrants as quickly as possible, which meant he needed to take lots of flights checks. As such, I combat squadded my Strikes, and spread them out.

I also needed to keep his Doom away from my lines, as it might seriously mess with my lines if I rolled too poorly. As such, combat squadding kept the Strikes spread out so that Warp Quake would keep him at bay. Otherwise, I was incapable of much extra thought.

Here's our deployments. One of his Flyrants got Iron Arm, as did the two Tervigons. HA! He forgot to deploy his Gants, and we just used them as in reserves.

GK Turn 1:

I kind of wandered my troops around. He'd (wisely) placed his guys at least 30.1" away from mine, and as such made it impossible to shoot at him Turn 1.

Bugs Turn 1:

Matt moved his Flyrants forward, drawing sight on a few Combat Squads.

His shooting decimated a few squads, as my saves were abysmal (Strike Marine saves were kind of sad all game, as you'll see), and he actually made a full squad run off the board with a failed Leadership check. When the smoke cleared, he'd killed 9 Strikes. Not really sustainable numbers for me, haha

His Biovores also missed, but plopped a few Spore Mines or whatever they're called, all of which eventually hit me, despite 6" scatter (don't think they did anything though)

GK Turn 2:

After a less-than-promising start, I was ready to accomplish something. As such, I rolled for the Ravens, and got one of them. I also rolled for Warp Quake and got it on all but the far left outside squad. Prescience was a "go" on everyone.

I positioned my Raven so as to shoot both of his Flyrants (Power of the Machine Spirit ftw), forcing grounding checks on both.

Shooting commenced, and since I could only see his Iron Arm'd Flyrant, I shot and caused 3 wounds to it. He passed all of his grounding checks. Apparently in his final game he passed 9 in a row. Yikes!

I was still pretty out of it - not really a fun opponent, I think. Mores the pity :-/

Didn't really do any "real" damage this turn - both Flyrants can do what they want next turn, where the goal was to kill one of them. You'll note that he wisely kept his un-Iron-Armed Flyrant out of Line of Sight, so I wasted a bunch of shots on his stronger one.
 Bugs Turn 2:

Doom came in, but scatted way back and in a corner. Ymargls failed to come on. Gants came on (some of them at least).

He moved the Flyrants both toward my steadily diminishing Troop supply. His Tervigon moved into the center ruins to keep the pressure on, and his Tervigons split around the ruins to threaten corner objectives.

Shooting killed more Strikes, and one Flyrant stripped a HP off my Raven.

Don't my forces look in disarray right now? It was about this point when I suddenly "woke up" and started making better decisions. 
 GK Turn 3:

My second Raven failed to come in, despite a bit of confusion in my roll (I was about to roll it when he said something while it was in the air, I tried to pick it up but failed to, rolling a "2". Matt was very gracious in trusting me that I was trying to pick it up at the time and let me re-roll it, only to get another "2". Karma I guess haha.)

I also at this juncture learned that Ravens who go into Hover mode can't skyfire. As such, I flew it off the table after much deliberation.

I moved a DK up toward the Ruins, where I felt his Tervigon had moved up just a little too far. I mostly just stayed focused on his big guys, and this time managed to kill one and put a couple wounds on another. Wished I could kill both, but that's just being greedy :-p

In combat, I managed to charge his Trygon with my Dreadknight and kill it by activating its Force Weapon. Yay, a somewhat good turn for me :)

Ah, two less big bugs off the board. I honestly don't remember if the remaining Flyrant is the Iron Arm one or not.
 Bugs Turn 3:

His Ymargls again failed to come in.

He moved his Flyrant behind my lines, and had a general advancement of his guys, the Tervigons moving closer to their corner objectives and the far left one spitting out Gants.

Shooting killed more Strikes. Ah, precision shot, thou art a bitch.

GK Turn 4:

Both Ravens roared in, and the other (meager) troops surrounded his remaining Flyrant. One DK moved up to challenge his Doom on the far left.

Shooting destroyed the Tervigon (mindstrike Missiles FTW) and also obliterated the Gant squads near him. Very cool result :) I also managed to down his Flyrant, though shooting failed to kill it.

In assault, the DK charged his Doom and wiped it out, while the other two DKs and a Strike Squad charged his downed Flyrant. Psykout Grenades forced it to swing at the same Initiative as my DKs (charging into cover), and I challenged so he wouldn't kill my precious Strikes. He caused a couple wounds, but my Dreadknight ripped the final Flyrant apart.

Bugs Turn 4:

His Ymargls finally came in, and from the center Ruin. They moved to charge my last "intact" Strike squad.

Shooting downed my last single Strike marine (still have the squad threatened by the Ymargls), but doesn't do much. His remaining Tervigon pooped out 13 Gants who ran close to the bottom right objective.

Keep in mind that as of right now, he's got a single gant squad holding his top right objective, a single gant squad in the bottom right quarter, and his Tervigon. That's it for troops. I've got 5 Strike Marines.

The Ymargls lost two of their number to Overwatch, but managed their charge. I managed to kill 2 in combat, they killed 3 + my Inquisitor (I think? it's a little fuzzy now), and I lost combat but was 'caught' and stuck into combat.

I have 2 Strikes left for scoring! You can see my Inquisitor just chillin' alone.

GK Turn 5:

Well, it had at that point become obvious that I'd need to go to Turn 6 in order to win the game - he had enough objectives that I was out of position to contest that he could get to any objective that he wanted.

Otherwise, my prospects looked good, as he had no answer to my Ravens, and they'd clean up Gants pretty quick and easy.

I moved two DKs over to help deal with the Ymargls, while the third moved generally toward his corner to try and get some flame action. The two Ravens turned 90 degrees and targeted his remaining Tervigon.

Shooting wasn't much - I mindstruck his Tervigon, but he'd moved the Tervigon outside the 6" bubble of Gant death, and so it remained a single kill. With power of the machine spirit, I also lit up his top right Gant squad, who failed their leadership and ran 2". I also caused a total of 5 wounds on his lower right Gant squad, needing him to fail 4 of them for a leadership 6 check. Instead, he passed 4, and didn't need to take the check.

Ah well, a man can hope :)

Oh right, the Dreadknight killed a bunch of Ymargls, who killed another Strike in return. They passed Leadership, unfortunately.
 Bugs Turn 5:

He had very little he could do - the top right Gant squad continued to fall back, and the bottom right Gant squad moved into range of the objective.

Ymargl caused one wound to the Strike, who failed the save. DK pounded him for it in return.

At this point, he had:

1 small fleeing Gant squad
1 12-man gant squad on an objective
Hive Guard

I had:

2 Ravens
3 DKs

If we roll a 1 or 2, the game would end, and I would lose.

If we roll a 3,4,5, or 6, the game would end, and I would likely win, though not guaranteed (he'd be reduced to hoping for two consecutive Ld6 rolls, followed by a decent run roll)

I let him roll it, and like a boss, he rolled a "1".

Game over.


Ah, so close :)
 Results: 14-11 Loss for the Grey Knights!!

Postgame Thoughts:

Ah man, I had a hard time losing this one. The game had been a roller coaster, with my immanent defeat in turns 1 and 2, and a huge comeback the rest of the game. I was so tired, and wanted to win the game, but hey - he played it well enough to win, and I don't want to take it away from him.

I think I probably complained a little too much after the game - it was very close, and I was having trouble being okay with losing to a single roll that I was in favor of winning. With that said, I think I was a bit of a sore loser (maybe not as bad as I could have been, but mostly just bummed out), and if Matt reads this, I want to apologize. He was a great player and probably deserved to win. Matt, I hope we play again, and if I lose next time, I promise to be more gracious!

(Matt went on to win the tournament a second time in a row. Kudos to him! 12-0 record is impressive)

As it was, a very close game came down to a dice roll, and I was happy to have an excellent opponent. Next time, perhaps I'll protect my Strikes better. Of course, next time perhaps his Ymargls will come on when they're supposed to :)

An evening at the Cheesecake Factory and a bit in the hottub tuckered me out nice, and I got a solid 9 hours of sleep for my two remaining games.

Could I win my next two and still get an award?

Game 5: Grey Knights vs. Dark Eldar (can't find his name!)

His List:

Baron Sathonyx
Farseer w/ Jetbike, Runes of Warding, Doom

5x Kabalite Warriors w/ Blaster // Venom
5x Kabalite Warriors w/ Blaster // Venom
10x Kabalite Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon
10x Kabalite Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon
10x Guardians w/ Scatter Laser

5x Fire Dragons w/ Tank Hunters, Crack Shot

Beast Squad w/ 5x Beastmasters, 5x Khymerae, 6x Razorwing Flocks, 1x Clawed Fiend

Ravager w/ 3x Dark Lances
Voidraven Bomber w/ 3x Shatterfield Missiles
Voidraven Bomber w/ 3x Shatterfield Missiles

His Army, sideways.
The Mission:

Primary: Kill Points (win by 3)
Secondary: 4 Objectives, take turns placing them
Tertiary: Table Quarters

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

--> We rolled for first turn, and though I don't remember who won the roll, he ended up with first turn.

Pregame Thoughts:

Oh good, I was hoping I wouldn't have to play against another long-ranged shooty army on Hammer and Anvil. (/sarcasm)

The good news was that he didn't have a ton of AP1-2, and instead relied on Volume Fire. The bad news was that he had a ton of volume fire, and just enough AP2 to give me sads. In addition, he had the Firedragon Exarch who had tank hunter/ignore cover manning the anti-air gun. That put me at slightly better than 50% to have one of my Storm Ravens be shot at and live, which was a great percentage for him.

The plan was mostly simple: shoot his guys off his objectives and desperately cling to my own objectives. Also, win Kill Points. In my mind it was pretty clear: if both Storm Ravens were allowed to live for over a turn, I'd win somewhat easily. If they weren't, then it would be a really close game. 

This was the kind of game I favor not spending 1/3 of my points on two models :-p

We deployed thusly. You can just barely see my second objective on the other end of those ruins. Note that I deployed just out of range of all his splinter fire.

Here's his deployment. The Beasts have the Baron + Farseer with them - something I'd forgotten was better now, as the Baron is no longer slowed by the Beasts.
Dark Eldar Turn 1:

He shot at me lots, barely shifting the Beasts in my direction.

When the smoke cleared, he'd put a few wounds on my leftmost Dreadknight and made me a little sad by sniping both a squad leader and psycannon with his Nightspinner, also pinning that squad.

The Strikes on the far right are pinned, despite Stubborn Ld. 10. Bound to happen sometime, right?
GK Turn 1:

I advanced, as I kind of had to do. And, as he probably wanted me to, I proceeded to open up on his Beast Squad, trying to knock it down to a more manageable size so it didn't eat me next turn.

I had alright success, though my shooting didn't do a whole lot in regards to slimming down his shooting.

Note that my squads are all spread out so that if his Beasts decide to get into it with me, it can only pick on a single squad and not take my whole army out of commission.

A more up-close shot at his injured beasts. Lots of them dead - would it be enough?
Dark Eldar Turn 2:

One of his Bombers came in, on the left-hand side. The Beasts, understanding that their days were numbered, moved toward my far left Strikes. Everything else of his just kind of shifted like a gunline, and targeted me.

In shooting, he not only managed to finish off one of my DKs, he also shot like 14 splinter shots at my other one and in a fit of extreme fail, a second DK died an ignamous death. 

The Beasts charged after a slight discussion on whether or not fleet worked with the Farseer on a bike getting a reroll for getting into combat (he does), and the Beasts charged in, but barely. The guys at I6 killed my only two Strikes in range, negating the two Razorwings' strikes. In return, I caused 3 Inquisitor hammer wounds (S6), and 2 Justicar hammer wounds (S8), and since his Farseer was the first one I would hit with them, I had him take the S8 (Farseer is T4). He decided to risk his Farseer, as his Razorwings were next in line and worth more combat res, but failed! The other hits demolished a couple razorwings, and he was forced to flee (I couldn't chase him down, as my Terminator Armor on the Inquisitor wouldn't let me)!

Will my Ravens show up next turn?

Beasts run, and I say a final "Eff-you" to Runes of Warding :) Mixed turn for me, as I lost two DKs (expected 1.5), but repulsed the Beasts with fewer losses than probable.
GK Turn 2:

Both Ravens showed up, and I got ready to hope really hard that his Fire Dragons wouldn't kill one of them immediately. Otherwise, I (happily) cast Prescience and shambled forward.

His Intercept appeared to go well for me at first - he only got a single Pen result on me, despite Tank Hunting re-rolls. However, he rolled a "6" for result, and one of my Ravens disappeared as if it hadn't ever existed. Useful.

He'd hunkered pretty far back, and my Raven wouldn't be of as much use as it normally would be.

Shooting removed the rest of the Beast squad (Baron was up against 7 S7 hits, and failed his first 2+ invuln, lol), as well as both Venoms, and a Warrior squad inside a Venom (Dreadknight evaporated them), and 3 Warriors from another Venom.

Well, I won't lie and tell you it wasn't super satisfying to down both of those Venoms and a bunch of Warriors and Beasts. Would it be enough though?

Wish my other Raven would have stayed alive - alas!
Dark Eldar Turn 3:

His second Bomber arrived, and both swooped in to give my Raven a rough time of it.

Everything else (you guessed it!) shifted and started shooting at me.

When the smoke cleared, my Raven was Stunned and had 2 points taken off it, but hadn't jinked. My DK was also still somehow alive, but with a single wound left!

Notice that the Strikes in the corner there behind the building - he'd killed 4 of the 6 in that squad from like 5 shots at them or something, haha. Poor saves for them.
GK Turn 3:

I scooted my Storm Raven up after taking a very nerve-wracking Fortitude roll, targeting his Ravager. Everything else besides the DK had range, and therefore hung around that 24" sweet spot.

Shooting wasn't nearly as devastating this round, as I managed to kill his Ravager and most of his Warriors on the far right hill, but also saw him save a few Pens vs. a Flier, and also save a bunch of shots going into another Warrior squad.

Will he manage to kill my DK next turn?
Dark Eldar Turn 4:

He didn't have much left - Fire Dragons (who would be ruining my Raven next turn almost certainly), three depleted squads of Warriors, two Bombers, Guardians, and his Nightspinner.

One Bomber flew off the board, while the other shot a couple half-hearted potshots at my hiding Strikes behind the building. They (of course) both failed their two 3+ cover saves from going to ground, and died embarrassing deaths. Other shooting failed to kill the remaining DK, though the Fire Dragons predictably annihilated the Storm Raven.

So... who will run out of stuff sooner?
GK Turn 4:

I didn't have much left - two depleted Strike squads, both Inquisitors, and a very nervous 1-wound DK.

My mission was clear - kill all his scoring ASAP. 

Shooting didn't go very well - I managed to remove the rest of the Warriors on the far right hill, but he went to ground with his other Warriors, and managed to save all their cover saves. The good news was that both Inquisitors were mostly healthy, and could weather a bunch of wounds from his Poison.


End of my turn - seems I'm holding an advantage, but am I really?
Dark Eldar Turn 5:

His first shots were snap-firing a splinter cannon at my DK, and killing it. Yikes. His Guardians moved then ran onto his previously vacated objective. His 2nd Bomber flew back on, caused a single Dark Lance hit on my far left Strikes, and the Inquisitor failed his "look-out sir!" roll followed by his 5++ invulnerable save. Not a great progression :)

Final shot of the game, apparently.
GK Turn 5:

I was fairly sure that I had him in Kill Points, but wanted to be sure. As such, I shot at two warrior squads. Both failed enough saves to take a morale check, and he passed both.

We rolled to see if the game continued, and... it didn't. Game over!

Kill Points were first to calculate. It would be the only reason I'd win, as he clearly had me tied in both Objectives and Table Quarters.


Dark Eldar Kill Points:

Inquisitor (1)
Strikes (1)
Dreadknight (1)
Dreadknight (1)
Dreadknight (1)
Storm Raven (1)
Storm Raven (1)

Total: 7

Grey Knight Kill Points:

Baron (2) <-- 1="" div="" is="" warlord="" worth="">
Farseer (1)

Beasts (1)
Warriors (1)
Warriors (1)
Venom (1)
Venom (1)
Ravager (1)

Total: 9

...9 to 7 in my favor, and just barely not enough.

We tied on Objectives, and I had thought we also tied on Table Quarters, when I discovered:

Due to some asinine rule apparently adopted (according to the judge) to discourage people from taking Blobs to tournament, we weren't allowed to both hold an objective with a unit and count toward holding a table quarter as well.

I about lost it - those who have played me know I'm a pretty laid back guy, but when I was read that rule by the Judge, I had to walk away for a minute.

Don't get me wrong - my opponent would have won the game regardless, as he had me on Victory Points (Battle Points?), but the fact that I didn't know the rule beforehand (my own fault) and that the rule made almost zero sense to me, just put me in a fury I very seldom feel when playing wargames.

Results: Loss for the GKs!!

Post-game Thoughts:

Well, it essentially boiled down to him making or failing two leadership checks on Ld. 8 at the very end - kind of a coin flip - and my Inquisitor dying like a chump on his "Look out, sir!".

The game really underscored why Storm Ravens are a huge risk. Sure, they kill lots of stuff, but when one can just be removed from the table before it gets to act, it makes them much less worthwhile.

My opponent was very patient with me, and I'm afraid to say we called the judge over quite a bit, all of it due to my incomplete rules knowledge. I think in the end he nerfed me on Sportsmanship, but if that's the case, I think I probably deserved it. I was (by my own estimation) fine during the game, but storming off after the table quarters ruling wasn't at all worth of the "5/5"  sportsmanship ranking. (I should note that I gave him a well-earned "5/5").

In the end, my list didn't really give me a great shot at beating him, and a couple of tough rolls (Inquisitor failing a "look-out, sir!" followed by his invuln save, failing two 3+ cover saves on Strikes, etc) at the end kind of did me in. Ravens were a huge liability.

We should note, however, that my opponent played very well this game, and had a very tough list. He said he thought it was balanced, and though I think maybe it could be tweaked a little bit, it was pretty brutal. He went on to win another game, and ended up with the "2nd Overall" award, pretty impressive!

This game exemplifies why my army wasn't a "take-all-comers" list, as the Ravens are simply too much of a liability. They're pretty useful though in a lot of other games, as you may or may not see in Game 6 :)

At this point

I was out of the running for any awards, and was really hoping I wouldn't have to play against a douche in my final game. Little did I know that I would collide with

Game 6: Grey Knights vs. Anthony Guidotti's 'Nids!

His List:

Hive Tyrant w/ wings, 2x TL Devourers
Hive Tyrant w/ wings, 2x TL Devourers

Doom of Malantai // Mycetic Spore

10x Termagants
10x Termagants
Tervigon w/ Catalyst, Onslaught, Toxin Sacs
Tervigon w/ Catalyst

3x Biovores
2x Carnifexes w/ 2x TL Devourers
Trygon w/ Toxin Sacs

The Mission:

Primary: Objectives (3, in the center of the board evenly spread out)
Secondary: Kill Points (win by 3)
Tertiary: Table Quarters

Deployment: Dawn of War

--> We rolled off to see who would go first, and he ended up with first turn (I think I won the roll-off, but not 100% sure on that)

Pregame Thoughts:

Well, it was cool, because I'd been talking to Tony on his blog, Turn 7 Wargaming, (go there, it's got some great insights on list ideas and batreps!) and we'd agreed to meet up and talk. We had earlier in the tournament, but when Game 6 arrived, I was pumped to see that we'd be playing each other. 

His list is very similar to the one I'd played against (and lost) in Game 4, and it turned out that Matt and Tony were good friends who talked list design a bunch. 

The goals for this game were to kill his Flyrants ASAP (as per usual) then deal with the rest of his stuff. I was pretty wiped out, and it was good to have a laid back opponent for my final game.

He was eligible for the "best painting" award too!

He took lots of pictures for his blog too, if you want to see how much of a douche he thinks I am. 

Notice that I deployed most of my stuff exactly 36.1" away from his far right Flyrant, so that he won't shoot me on Turn 1.
Bugs Turn 1:

He moved at me, and generally stayed within the concealment of the central building, which we were calling Ruins.

Shooting didn't do too much to me - I'm not actually sure if he caused a wound this turn or not. He'd be in good range next turn though...

I believe that his one Flyrant in range shot at a DK, who saved everything.
GK Turn 1:

Prescience went up, and I realized that the only good shots I had were at his Iron Arm'd Flyrant.

So, I moved up, and shot everything at the T8/FNP Flyrant. I think I ended up causing two wounds, but alive it stayed. Next turn would be a telling one.
Next turn would be especially telling because I had forgotten to cast Warp Quake, meaning if the Doom dropped in, I was in prime position to die pretty quick.
Bugs Turn 2:

His Doom came in, and dropped right in front of my lines. The Flyrants landed on buildings like the big wannabe King Kongs they are. The Bugs, as usual, used every ounce of cover they had, with that big building obscuring all the bugs pretty well.

Shooting went alright for him - one squad of Strikes had both Psycannons sniped, a Dreadknight took a wound from his 'Fexes, and the Doom killed a few things, though not nearly to the level it has done so to me in the past. I think it ended up with 7 wounds, having started with 4. Not terrible for me.

Still, I've come to expect much more from the 'Nid shooting phase, and knew that I had an opportunity (due to my good saving rolls) to really hurt them next turn.

The Trygon (we decided afterwards) couldn't actually get up on the building, so he was placed a little behind the building. Just FYI.
GK Turn 2:

One Raven came in, and flew in between his two Flyrants, the better to shoot both with the Power of the Machine Spirit and cause some flight checks. Inquisitors tried Prescience despite Shadow in the warp (and the psycannon-less squads' succeeded), and I moved all my troops a little bit backwards, to stay out of the Doom's Radius of Death.

The goal this turn was to kill both Flyrants as well as the Doom, and maybe charge his Trygon with a DK.

The Doom gets a lot of respect :)
The Raven started out really well, killing the T8 Iron Arm'd Flyrant with 6 hurricane bolter shots (2 wounds on it to start, bolters got lucky on one, and the flight check took the other), while the other shots took the 'full life' Flyrant down to a single wound. One Strike squad finished it off. Whew! Go-go Storm Raven!

Other shooting put a couple wounds on the Doom, a couple wounds on his Trygon (with Incinerators) and a couple wounds on the Doom's Pod.

In combat, I managed to charge and slay the foul Doom.

Big awesome turn for me, killing both Flyrants and the Doom. Forgot to charge his Trygon though. Whoops :-/
Bugs Turn 3:

He'd lost a lot of his most powerful models last turn, but wasn't ready to throw in the towel - he still had quite a bit of awesome left. To that effect, he spawned an assload of Gants and prepared to bog down my squads with them. The Trygon decided to do what his Dreadknight counterpart had forgotten to do, and got ready to charge the DK.

His shooting caused a peppering of wounds, but not much. The Fexes failed to down the Storm Raven, but put a single glance on it.

It's the Ultimate Showdown!
After a round of combat, one Dreadknight had been charged by a bunch of Gants (who all failed their charges, one of which that was not surprising, and the other of which he needed a 4 or 5 and was very surprising), and the "Epic Clash of Monstrous Creatures" ended with a single wound given to my Dreadknight, with none given to the Trygon in return.

Anti-climax to the extreme!

The gants had tried to charge my far right Dreadknight. I'd overwatched his far squad out of charge range (they would have gotten it) and just got lucky on the other squads' charge.
GK Turn 3:

The other Raven didn't arrive, so I decided to move my other one into Hover mode. I had to make a tough decision - charge his Trygon with my already-hurt Dreadknight, or just focus on everything else?

I decided that the Trygon wasn't likely to kill my Dreadknight in a single round of combat, and that I should instead be greedy and attempt to charge his Tervigon behind the building.

Shooting went excellently for me. The Storm Raven unloaded on his leftmost Tervigon and removed 5 wounds from it (mindstrike missiles are awesome!), while the Strikes all unloaded on the other Tervigon and just killed it outright amidst an awful spat of rolling on Tony's part. The Dreadknights put a few wounds on Gants with flamers (one gant squad was entirely wiped out), and the far-right one prepared to charge the two Carnifexes.

In combat, the Tervigon did the unexpected and entirely removed my still-3-wound Dreadknight from play, and moved forward to threaten my Strikes. The combat on the right, however, was a little ridiculous. My Dreadknight charged into the Fexes, caused like 3 wounds, and (despite Shadows in the Warp) force-weaponed them both to death before they got to swing. Madness.

He has one hurt Trygon, one 1-wound Tervigon, Biovores, and a few Gants. Not the best situation for the Bugs :-/
Bugs Turn 4:

He charged the Trygon into one mostly-full Strike squad, ate most of them, and was swatted by a Hammer, while his Tervigon tried to charge my one-wound DK (I think?), who killed it mercilessly.

We decided to call it a game after that, my 2nd Raven still nowhere to be seen.

Picture-happy of me 

More pictures!
Results: Win for the Grey Knights!!

Post-game thoughts:

Ah, this game got a little one-sided fast. After a turn of great rolling (and poor rolling for Tony), I managed to kill his three main threats. This was followed by a spat of bad rolls that enabled me to kill his Fexes, gants, and everything else much easier than I should have been able to. It kind of seemed like every 50/50 roll we had went in my favor, and I was happy enough to win.

FYI, Tony ended up getting Best Sportsman. My friend (who incidentally won Best Painted, (his pictures are up, go to his Blog because I told you to!)) played him and said he was a really great guy too. So, awesome. I'll just say, he's not a terrible guy, haha!

Tony (I keep calling him that, but kind of forget if that's what he goes by or not - internet monikers FTW) was probably my favorite player to play, though I'll be honest and say that I was again blessed with a ton of really awesome opponents. I won't say who my least favorite opponent was, but even that guy was someone I'd play again without question. All of them got 5/5 sportsmanship from me, and all deserved it. Seriously, so far at the Bugeater, I've had 17 excellent opponents (I played the same guy two years in a row), which outdoes every other major tournament I've been to.

Tournament Results:

I ended up with 11th overall, which is kind of depressing for me, but alright considering the newness of the Storm Ravens.

I also ended up as the "Best Grey Knight Player", for which I got a little medal :)

My friends say that this medal is simply the "best seal-clubber" medal. Jerks. I will (probably) kill them!
The Storm Raven Review:

Actually, I'm going to do another post on them, as this thing is long, and I want to talk a little more about the tournament itself. Stay tuned for my look at the Ravens in another post.

The Tournament Itself:

To start, it was again well-run. The guy who beat me last year was the judge this year, and he was pretty fair and just a lot of fun in general. It went forward on-time, and really didn't get far behind much at all. Tim does an excellent job in giving out swag in between rounds, and a lot of people got a lot of really cool stuff. Last year I won Space Hulk, this year I won a Roleplaying supplement. 

We thought the 'official' hotel to stay at was nice. It provided continental breakfast, and had an excellent hot tub. For a guy who has been to a ton of events by now, those two in combination make for an excellent hotel.

The Swag was again worthwhile. We got well, here's a picture!

Custom dice, custom objectives, custom patch, and everyone got some models out of the Starter set. Mine is a Librarian.
One thing they've done a couple years running now that is very cool is that there's a table between each gaming table on which to set your army. Having gone to a bunch of events like Adepticon, the Nova, and Wargamescon where there are almost too many people and you have to put your army board under the table as you play (or on a chair, if you're lucky enough to have two), that is a really nice feature. Seriously, don't ever change that Tim :)

The only thing I didn't really like was the mission format. While I've always really liked W/L Nova format, I think that it kind of needs a restructuring for the future. The Table Quarters objective was never the primary objective, which is good, but I thought that it was a little (well, a lot), wonky.

The fact that (as I talked about a bit briefly earlier) the same unit couldn't control a table quarter as well as hold an objective just doesn't make much sense to me. It negates entire armies that can compete in close games. Look at mine - I had three units which could hold objectives, and two of those units had an Inquisitor in them. What's left to hold table quarters? Not much.

In addition, I think that all eligible models should be used to determine each objective. If my models can count as Kill Points and also hold objectives, why the random stigma for holding a Quarter? All three are objectives to win the game - why not judge each independently of the others? 

I understand that maybe the precedent that a squad can't hold/contest multiple objectives as per the rulebook might be the stated reason for it (I'm actually not sure, all I heard was something about not wanting lots of guard blobs running rampant), but in my opinion, that should only count for a single objective type (i.e. primary vs secondary vs tertiary). Again, if Kill Points are valid throughout an army list, why not allow the Troops to hold both objectives and quarters?

I haven't talked to Tim about this, and perhaps he has a valid reason for this - I actually intend to email him a very similar email soon. From the way I understand it, it doesn't really make sense though. I certainly wouldn't have brought the list I did had I known about that rule. Sure, I could have been more prepared, but I still don't like the idea of certain tournament formats forcing some otherwise competitive builds to simply not show up.

That being said, please don't let it deter you from going next year - the Bugeater has been better every year, and I honestly have every faith that Tim will make changes that will make it excellent for the 4th year.

It's a great event, and I'll stop blathering now. Hope I didn't steal too many of your hours :)

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