Thursday, February 20, 2014

Adam Tricola takes the BeastStar to LVO: Game 2 (lots of pictures!)



Howdy, folks! I am taking far too long in to write my full tournament report, but would like to start getting a little bit of content out there nonetheless (I've already written quite a few reports, but need to delay writing the final ones for a bit). I am therefore going to try something I've never done - splitting my tournament report into several different game-sized posts.

I will then eventually combine all of the reports into one "large" report for your later reading convenience :)

I'll give a little background first. My initial goal for tournament season of 2014 was to get a Marine list up and working, which I would be able to unabashedly take to big tournaments and not entirely embarrass myself.

However, there was an RTT at my LGS which I could actually attend, and I had nothing approaching the required models for the current iteration of my Marines, so I decided to be silly and take my old Dark Eldar with a couple Eldar units as allies. I had so much fun, I decided to try to make Dark Eldar work. 5 or 6 games later, my list had morphed drastically, from an old-style MSU Dark Eldar list to a ridiculous BeastStar, taking Eldar as primary.

I felt as if I had betrayed the Dark Eldar. Depression had set in. But I had a list, and after a ton of effort painting, and playtesting about 5 games total (which is a TON of practice for me), I was packed up and ready for the LVO.



Game 1 vs. Old Nids (my list is included there)

Game 2: BeastStar vs. Ken Brunner's (hippesthippo) Necrons w/ Chaos Marine Allies!

His List:

Necrons (primary):

Destroyer Lord w/ Sepiternal Weave
Necron Overlord w/ Warscythe

2x Crypteks w/ Voltaic Staff

5x Immortals // Night Scythe
5x Immortals // Night Scythe
5x Warriors // Night Scythe

6x Canoptek Wraiths w/ 2x Whip Coils

Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

Chaos Marines (allies):

Typhus

20x Plague Zombies w/ Champion

Heldrake


The Mission:

Primary (4 Points): The Scouring (modified objectives - we each got a 1, 2, and 3 to place)
Secondary (3 Points): Purge the Alien
Tertiary (1 Point Each): First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker

Deployment:

Hammer and Anvil

Nightfight:

NO!

Initiative:

I won the roll, electing to go second.

Powers:

StoneSeer (warlord): Guide, Death Mission, Fortune, **-1 to reserve rolls**
ShardSeer: Prescience, Misfortune, Scriers Gaze

Not much to be said for Typhus' powers, or the warlord trait.

Pre-game thoughts:

I didn't know this going into the game (sorry, Ken!), but Ken actually made the top 16 last year at Adepticon with me. I'm not 100% what list he took, but he did indicate that he's been playing this same list for a long time.

What I *did* know going into this game was that it was going to be a tricky one to win. One can often tell a good opponent from an average one by the care and deliberation they have when deploying their models. Ken didn't have a ton of models in his army, but he spent a while making sure he had a good deployment.

That said, his list was also solid. The deployment helped him a lot, as I would not be able to hide units from his flyers by making them choose what direction to go - he could just fly them in the middle and be in range of whatever he needed.

was pleased that I had gotten a useful Warlord Trait (-1 on his reserve rolls). This would serve to keep his reserves spread out so I could deal with them piecemeal.

When we deployed our objectives, I made sure to keep them as centrally located as possible - we were both required to place two objectives in our opponents' deployment zone, and one in the "neutral" zone each. As such, all six objectives were somewhere close to the center, which aided my Beasts - with their mobility, they could threaten every single objective on the final turn.

My plan (aside from central objectives) was to simply kill what I could of his as quickly as possible. I had the Misfortune power, which would help me to kill his Wraiths quickly once they were in range. Otherwise, my Spiders and Serpents would be conscripted to kill flyers as quickly as possible - I kept the Spiders in reserves, and intended to bring them in via Scriers Gaze only after his own fliers were mostly on the table.

TL;DR version: Kill his fliers ASAP while having the Beasts cause mayhem.

Our deployment. I had won the roll to choose sides, and I decided I wanted the far right side - I could keep my Serpents behind ruins in the top right corner, while the Guardians got to hang out behind the building for a couple turns to negate his shooting. Also note that the Beasts are exactly 30.1" away from his A-Barges, to force Ken to snap-fire against them, which would hopefully reduce their effectiveness.

Necrons Turn 1:

Ken was cautious with his Wraiths - he kept them back, waiting until I made a move. The A-Barges both hopped onto the hill and drew a bead on my Beasts.

Shooting killed a few of my Khymerae, who had yet to have Fortune cast on them.

Kill Point Count:
BeastStar: 0
Necrons: 0

Necrons don't really start playing the game until Turn 2 when their reserves come in, heh.

BeastStar Turn 1:

I cast Fortune, then put Prescience and Guide on my Guardians/Wraithknight.

Beasts moved up the middle to threaten his center line - I would hopefully be in range to charge Typhus next turn at the least. Guardians shuffled around.

Shooting managed to destroy one of his A-Barges for First Blood, and stun the other (which was ignored by Living Metal).


Kill Point Count:
BeastStar: 1 (Annihilation Barge)
Necrons: 0


I wanted to make sure I was spread out as much as possible in case the Heldrake came in, and also in a stance which allowed me to be flexibile to react to what Ken would do next.
Necrons Turn 2:

Ken rolled for reserves and got all three Night Scythes, while the Heldrake stayed off the board.

His Wraiths crept closer to my lines, and the A-barge tried to jump off the hill but failed, immobilizing itself.

Everything shot at my Beasts, who lost a few more Khymerae and perhaps a Razorwing Flock or two, but mostly survived intact.


Kill Point Count:
BeastStar: 1 (Annihilation Barge)
Necrons: 0


At this point I only had a few Khymerae remaining - I needed to hide the Beasts in combat ASAP for when the Heldrake finally came on the table.

BeastStar Turn 2:

Spiders came in from reserves in spite of Scriers Gaze, so I put them next to a Nightscythe.

Fortune went off, and I put Prescience on the Beasts, while Guide went onto the Wraithknight.

Beasts moved up to charge Typhus, and the rest of my army stayed mostly in my deployment zone, waiting to see what Ken would do with the Wraiths and Heldrake.

Shooting from my Serpents and Spiders killed off one of the Nightscythes, and the Wraithknight finished off the A-Barge with one HP remaining.

Beasts charged into Typhus after shooting a wound off of him, and managed to take another two wounds off, as well as kill a couple of Cultists. Typhus tanked a TON of wounds. Lots of FNP awesomeness from him. On the other hand, I was aided by the fact that Typhus rolled a "1" on his Daemon Weapon, taking a wound from the blade.


Kill Point Count:
BeastStar: 3 (Annihilation Barge, Annihilation Barge, Night Scythe)
Necrons: 0



Being stuck in combat would help the Beasts if the Heldrake decided to show up
Necrons Turn 3:

Ken's Heldrake again failed to show up - keep in mind that I *did* have a -1 reserves modifier as my Warlord trait. Still, that really hurt him - Heldrake would be a really tough thing for my army to deal with.

Ken instead decided to go for the charge on my Beasts. I believe he needed a "7" to get to me. Nightscythes flew sideways and targeted ... something. Perhaps it was my DE Warriors on a hill?

Regardless, he did minimal damage to me, and to make matters worse, he failed his charge on the Beasts. I hit and ran away from the Cultists after killing a bunch of them (he was no longer willing to tank wounds on Typhus).


Kill Point Count:
BeastStar: 3 (Annihilation Barge, Annihilation Barge, Night Scythe)
Necrons: 0


Beasts are all clumped between Nightscythes. I actually re-rolled my Hit and Run result (Baron lets me do that) to get fewer inches away, the better to charge what I wanted next turn.

BeastStar Turn 3:

I needed to kill those Wraiths immediately. Typhus and co. were badly damaged and would not be in range to do anything but charge the Beasts next turn, which I was alright with.

I cast Guide on the Spiders and Prescience on the Beasts. I also got Misfortune off on the Wraiths.

I moved the Spiders within 12" of the nearest Nightscythe, and the majority of the Guardians to within 12" of the Wraiths (after their Battle Focus run move). Beasts got within 1" of the Wraiths as well.

Shooting commenced, and the Warp Spiders crushed another Night Scythe, while the Guardians opened fire with Bright Lances and Shuriken Catapults. The Bright Lances managed to down two Wraiths by themselves (insta-death, with Ken being forced to re-roll successful saving rolls from Misfortune FTW).

They caused a large number of rends and wounds with Shuriken weapons, and Ken decided that the rest of the game would likely go poorly for him - the Wraiths would almost certainly die in a round of combat against the Beasts, if they didn't get shot to death before that. After that, a depleted Typhus, 1 Night Scythe, and 1 Heldrake against my army would likely not be enough.

So, we called it there.

Ken was a cool guy - he even said he'd read my blog a few times! Thanks for a good game, Ken, sorry your Heldrake didn't come in earlier!

Results: 10-1 Win for the BeastStar!!

Post-game Thoughts:

Well, the game started off bad for Ken - I had all the objectives worth "3" really close to my own lines, while the "1's" were by his own. I won the roll to go first, and was able to defer it, as his shooting to start with was not as overwhelming as it would eventually be, and the ability to grab objectives last was a huge advantage.

Ken and I talked over what he could have done better, and I agreed with his analysis - putting Typhus on one end and the Wraiths on the other would have forced the Beasts to choose which squad to kill, leaving his other unit alive to kill my backfield.

He was a great player, and I think that had Ken gotten his 7" charge off on the Beasts, things may well have turned out differently. At the least, he would have probably put some wounds on the Beasts, and potentially crippled them to ineffectiveness, depending on my Fortune saving rolls. Ken said that this was the first time in a long time that he had been beaten this bad, and I wasn't surprised - he made a few mistakes, but overall his decisions were solid, playing was deliberate, and he put himself in a position to really cripple me with his Wraiths.

I felt very fortunate to have beaten him as quickly as I did. Thanks again for the game, Ken! See you at Adepticon!

Most of the top players were still in the tournament at this point - only 1/4 of the field had been culled, and I figured I had a chance to play against someone good, but not great, in my third round, which was also the final round of the day.

Instead, I would be thrown up against one of the top players in the country - Alan "Pajamapants", winner of multiple GTs and a player on Team America in the ETC.

To make things worse, Alan had brought his own BeastStar to the party. Who would play the mirror match better?

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