Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The dust settles, and the Knights are still standing!

Boltgun's Battle 7 is over and now that I have had a chance to reflect on the event, my list and the details of the day, I can honestly say it was another awesome tournament!

I went into this year not having any pre conceived notions of what I would face across the tables. 7th edition is so wide open in army creation, but Boltgun's is VERY restrictive. Here are the rules used to streamline and limit the cheddar....

1750 Warhammer 40k 7th ed Tournament
Battle-forged Armies only, 30 players
1 Combined Arms Detachment(Mandatory) + 1 Allied Detachment Allowed(Optional), 40k Dataslate Formations Allowed (Optional)
Must bring 3 tactical objectives
12 Die Warp Charge Cap
3 Rounds 2.5 hours each
Tabling does not equal auto win.

There were 6 test scenarios released in the months leading up to the event, and three of them were chosen, so we knew going in what we might face for missions. I have a bit of an issue here, but I will get to that in a bit. We are limited to 30 players due to venue. The shop we played at Game Table Adventures, only has space for 15 tables, so 30 is the limit. 

I got there about 15 minutes early, and good thing to as parking was hard to get this year. I set up and took a few minutes l\to look around at the armies that were displayed at that point. I remember 3 Necron, 2 Dark Eldar, at least two Tyranid, and a Grey Knights army from that point. Table assignments were put up on Warscore 30 minutes before the round start so my first opponent and I got to our table and got to it. 

Round 1 I played Matt Warren. I have never met Matt, and he says he has only been playing for a few years, but he shows some skill in using the army he had. I didn't get a copy of his list, but he was using the Grey Knights detachment from their codex.  The objectives were set along a diagonal line from lone corner to the other space relatively evenly over the board. The mission used the Vanguard Strike deployment, with all the objectives in no-mans land in between. Matt set up first, so I just spread my knights out to have one in front of each objective and then infiltrated onto oall three objectives with my assassins. Remember I mentioned that I had a issue with the missions? This is it, right here. The objectives were worth two points a piece, and were scored for me at the end of each of my turns.....so when I seized on him, and started shooting.....yeah, I ended the first turn 8 points up, including first blood....all before he could act. It went downhill for him from their. His reserves, worth over half his points refused to show up, more than 1 unit a turn, and I just stood on the objectives for three turns killing each unit as they came on the board. I had him tabled except for his flyer at the top of turn 3, where he conceded. The Points stood at 29 to nil after 2 1/2 turns. 

This wasn't an easy game for Matt. My army was something he was NOT prepared for, and complicated by the scenario allowing me to just run away with the VP, it was a serious trouncing. I really was starting to feel dirty about my list at that point. Win for the Knights, and putting me right to the top of the bracket with near maxed points round 1. 

Joe's Eldar beat up on Jeremy's Wolves

.In round 2 I pulled Officer Joe Elverson and his Eldar. I will start right now saying Jow took the overall winner this year, and out game was seriously hard fought. It had the same issues that we had in round 1, but now two objectives, worth 3 each turn.....sigh. Table quarter deployment with objectives outside our home quarter but in our table side meant two markers about 14 inches apart near the center of the table. I was thinking hey, I only have 7 models, so I need to keep this close to have less realestate to cover.....mistake! It was eldar! Now we set up, and Joe was going first. He set up aggressively with three Vaul's wrath batteries just daring me to come to the objective under their nose, and three wave serpents and two units of bikes backed up by warpspiders gunning for my side of the table. I seized on Joe, and managed to drop some damage on him but failed to do serious damage to him thanks to good Jink rolls. This turned into my worst nightmare of a mission as the way the objectives are scored for each player at the end of their player turn meant that Joe could sit on his objective, and send on unit of bikes, or a serpent over and hold my objective through the objective secured rule. This meant that even though I would kill the unit he sent over, he was scoring 6 points a turn plus kills, I was only getting 3 a turn plus kills for 4 turns. Sigh...I lost this one by scenario, but in the end he had about 6 models left on the board. I had one knight and one assassin left, covering both objectives, but too little too late. Joe won 19 me to 35 Joe. If those objectives were worth one each I would have won on number of kills despite losing first blood to him. 

Round three sees me back at the middle tables playing Ryan Lafferty and his Blood Angels. He has been playing for a few months due to real life conflicts, and his list shows that. It is a very 6th edition style list with two assault squads in rhinos, some termies in a landraider and camo cloak scouts. Hammer and anvil deployment with only a single objective dead center of the table....in a ruin....Now he had multiple chances to stilt this in his favor right from the start, but didn't take the chances...he infiltrated his scouts, but not onto the objective, and didn't take the chance to deepstrike his landraider right onto it either. Now this objective is worth 6 points a turn now...I infiltrate one assassin into the ruin, right onto the objective. Two others were lined up out of LOS right around the corner, and the 4th was on top of my voidshield generator with a commanding view over the roof-line of the building. The knights started in cover behind the building ready to push up. I failed to seize for the first time all day, but it didn't matter. He grabbed first-blood from the assassin on the objective, but failed to get onto it himself. On my half of the turn, the culexus moved up to grab the objective marker while the knight moved up and dropped two transports and one of his units. The rest was just him grinding to dust against the knights. I managed to kill the land raider way over in his backfield so the terminators had to walk into my guns. End of hammer worries....This was another mission where I felt really badly for my opponent. He had the tools to handle me if  he played aggressively to the mission, but he forgot the Objective secured rule....I ended this round at 31-2. 

Yeah the objective is in that ruin behind the knights....

So I ended the day with three great games, and a couple of new friends. We all went to get dinner afterwords and close down the local city barbecue restaurant. I ended 8th over all with some really good scores. Losing to Joe really was the match of the day, as had I won, even in a tight game, I could have taken the over all from him!

1Joe ElversonEldar22333792
2Jesse MellettEldar14393588
3David SemonsNecrons12363886
4Orion BarrettTyrannids22362785
5Jeremy McClungSpace Wolves22392384
6D.J. KinzelmanDark Angels22332984
7Austin StewartEldar16333483
8Larry CurtissImperial Knights22303183
9Sean ArmstrongDark Eldar18303078
10Nick MillsDark Angels20362177
11James CliffordOrks18362276
12Zach Musselman
13Marcus BaxleyAstra Militarum22332176
14John BlowersGrey Knights14303276
15Doug CulverSpace Wolf16303076
16Aaron SchaeferTau18302876
17Ken SummersAstra Militarum16332372
18Steve Parello (Ringer)Daemons12302971
19John CocumelliMilitarum Tempestus22331570
20Nathan MontgomeryKhorne Berzerkers14302367
21Matt WarrenGrey Knights6362365
22John WolfAstra Militarum14331764
23Ryan LaffertyBlood Angels4362363
24Gabe LawrenceDark Angels2302860
25Nate KlineAstra Militarum8302260
26Chris O'ReillyNecrons8331758
27Joseph MilliganSalamanders0302858
27Nate GoodBlood Angels0302858
29Berkley NormanAstra Militarum0331649
30Jason GarnerDaemons0331548

Paint scores maxed at 22, Battle at 39, and Sports at 39. As you can see the guys I beat weren't happy about how badly it went down. Allan's sports system is set up on what amounts to a 1, 2, 3 system, where you only get a single maxed score to hand out, but you can give the others a 2. Looks like I wasn't nice enough letting them redo moves and pointing out mistakes letting them put models in other places. I guess people are still salty about the knights in general being so good. As you can see, our local Meta game is NOT aligning with what the internet would have you believe are top armies. 

To sum up this wall of text, it was a good day, but the top players saw the flaws in the scoring system before they ever showed up and built armies to capitalize on speed over durability. Those armies were able to "alpha strike" on the objectives and continue to feed expendable or very durable fast moving units onto them to keep them secured. This allowed them to push up a significant lead in the first few turns to the point it was almost impossible to catchup if you weren't starting first. Good day, a few lessons learned, awesome games and a good time yet again with Boltgun's battle 7.

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