Friday, January 28, 2011

Battle in the Basement

This last weekend ZerkeX hosted a tournament at the Wizard's Keep that I was able to attend. Loki was not as fortunate, but Ishmael and I got the opportunity to slug it out in the first round. I wish I had taken my camera for pictures, but alas it's battery was dead.

Round one started off poorly for me. Ishmael's tau advanced under the cover of night fight, for which his army was much more prepared than mine. While his suits were out of range, one daring hammerhead moved to midfield and fired a railgun into one of my wave serpents, killing it and panicking the fire dragons within leaving them pinned for my first turn. My first round of firing was largely ineffective because of night fight limitations on my range. When the sun rose Ishmael's hammerheads wasted no time to slag both of my fire prism with help from the broadsides and pathfinders. Not to be outdone, my farseer saw the accuracy in the future for my war walkers and guided them against Ishmael's pathfinders and commander, wiping seven of them out. The naive bravery of the tau allowed them to hold fast against the might of the eldar, but there will be a day when courage of men (and tau) fails.

The game was a modification of seize ground with three objectives scattering and one being placed by each player. Holding your opponent's point was worth two objectives so I knew I must keep Ishmael off of mine and hold his for a solid win. Testing the courage of eldar, kroot and tau alike my farseer ordered his wave serpent to crash into the tau lines. The mercenary kroot decided having a vehicle flying at them was simply not in their contracts and broke for home. The shas'ui were braver and reformed to attack the enemy in their midst. Despite their courage their guns and fists proved ineffective against the warmachine which proceeded to continue wreaking havoc in the tau line on the next turn sending shas'ui to flight. Warp spiders held in reserve arrived and eliminated a second crisis team. Seeing his army scattering to the winds the shas'el imitated the consuls of Rome and charged the spiders alone in hopes of rallying his troops. But his charge did not find the favor of the gods and when he turned to flee he was cut down. The farseer's bodyguard of dire avengers and warp spiders consolidated on the tau objective, sealing the game for the Eldar.

In the second round I faced off against Rionnay from Chapter Banner and a frequent poster on the Back 40k. Andrew and I had played the same scenario the previous day and he had handed me a ridiculously lopsided loss 15-4 in kill points including forcing my farseer to break and run first turn. The scenario was based on kill points with a centered objective being worth two and a nominated headquarters choice being worth an additional kill point. The deployment allowed for either short table edges or long table edges to be chosen for deployment, but a d6 was rolled after picking, but before setting up. If the roll was a 1-3, the choosing player had to deploy in the quadrant to their left. I won the roll and was able to get my 4+, choosing a short table edge to force Rionnay's tyranids to march across the table farther.

From his vantage point off the table, the farseer had seen the previous day that the tyranid hive guard were essential to their victory and now directed the whole might of the eldar to their elimination. The first two turns consisted of the farseer duo guiding shots into doomed hive guard while the tyranids returned fire to minimal effect. A squad of warp spiders were caught between the main hive force and deep striking elements when the Doom of Malan'Tai and a mawloc appeared near the warhost. While the war walkers and wave serpents dealt with the mawloc, the warp spiders sacrificed themselves to contain the hated enemy of the eldar. When the Doom fell to a fire prism, the hive tyrant and its guard were mauled by scatter lasers, leaving the tyrant with a single wound. The preparation of the eldar was the undoing of the tyrant when it drew too much energy from the hive mind due to runes of warding and killed itself. With the game in hand the scatter lasers proceeded to down two tyrannofexes and tervigons, leaving only gaunts remaining of the tyrannid menace.

This was my first win over Rionnay, an experienced tournament player who practices regularly against regional giants like Farmpunk and the crew of the Back 40k in Indianapolis. But I was afraid this win would be my undoing as I believed dramatt and his blood angels were the only other undefeated army in the tournament. I was dreading facing down forty assault marines with feel no pain until the a signal from the craftworld informed me that the wars against mon-keigh were at an end and I was to return to the craftworlds for the final round.

It seems Miester Kai's Kai'Mechia craftworld had been talking some trash and wanted to field an army in simulated combat against their brothers to see who was the greatest. Showing their pride Kai'Mechia's farseer brought a council of eight warlocks on jetbikes to the fight. But the combat prowess of Kai'Mechia's seers was not to be proven. After falling less than an inch short of a charge on the top of turn one (the mission only had a 12" buffer and I set up poorly) the council was met with a guided bladestorm and the sixty strength six shots. The seer had searched for the fortune to save his council, but eventually members began to fall to the hail of death, including the seer himself. Once the fleet had expended its firepower only one warlock remained and decided to head to the bars early with the rest of the council and fell back.

Much of the rest of the game was a series of my suppressing one or two of his vehicles while he disassembled some of mine one weapon or immobilization at a time. When ZerkeX called last turn it was a mad rush to contest points with the middle point hosting wave serpents from both sides, a futile attack on a falcon on the left point, but a successful contesting and the right point having a falcon landing on the marker and a wave serpent threading the minutia to be more than one inch away from the falcon and less than three inches away form the point. The eldar were equally matched and it ended in a tie.

And ties would seem to have been the theme of the event. While none of us was especially snappily dressed, the final standings had ties everywhere. Our friend Meister Kai held a tie for third with a person I cannot remember (sorry). Rionnay and Jordan, an up and coming blood angels player tied for second while B and I tied for first place. In the final game dramatt had faced B's based dark eldar and hit a streak of bad luck when not even Brother Corbulo could save his land raider from immobilizing itself on a rock. The dark eldar set upon the blood angels leaving few alive and those in retreat, a sad day for the Sons of Sanguinius.

ZerkeX, Lucas (his second) and a local painting buff Mr. Privett judged a painting contest to go along with the tournament. Categories were for a single infantry model, a single vehicle or monstrous creature and a minimum sized squad. While there were few entrants, Rionnay's hive guard and tervigon took their categories, I managed to pull out a win with a chaplain for my marines in the single model category.

The day ended with Loki, Ishmael and I inviting friends over for drinks and a few games of Red Dragon Inn, a game based on a Dungeons and Dragons party celebrating after a successful quest with drinking at the inn. If you have the opportunity I would recommend this game for anyone. Actually drinking I would recommend only for those of age with good livers.

Next time I see you I will tell you about a new style of eldar Loki and I have been cooking up and how I look to proceed with the proud race.

Q'pla and good hunting.

1 comment:

  1. I must say, I braced to impact reading the report with Andrew.