Friday, April 1, 2011

Tourney Report: Retcon 2011 Day 1

Having to start playing games at 10am in the Pale meant that I had to get up at 4am to catch the 5am train to make it up on time. It was always going to be a rocky road to Dublin with that kind of early start. The field up there was going to be top-notch with 18 of the top 25 players on Rankings (I don't like how its scored but we're using that to select the ETC team this year so I'm going along with it) registered to attend. There were a few that couldn't make it but it was still a tough field.

A few of the lads were worried that things would be really tense with this being the arbiter of who would get an invite to the ETC team, especially in the latter rounds, but I found it was quite laid-back which is always nice to see. Especially as I was running a new list and was bound to forget stuff/get it wrong. With Courage Wolf's advice ringing in my ears I got to work.

My new list came about after a chat with a few of the lads in my gaming group (Mark, Colin, Dan, Ivan, Donal, Floody to name a few) who were saying it was better to try to design my list to stomp all over Mech than go with an-all round list as it would be easier to get higher scores (we're using Battle Points) to get me into the higher places, whereas I would grind out wins with balanced lists but they tended to bleed and get a minimum win score instead of picking up lots of bonus points.

Shooting was the way to go: destroy stuff at range before it can get close to you or shoot back. Go big or go home. Thankfully shooty lists are relatively easy to do with Wolves. You load up on Long Fangs, Razorbacks, add some Grey Hunters to grab objectives and fight a bit and flavour with Speeders, Dakka Dreads or Scouts for mindfucking shenanigans. If I ran into a list designed to wreck me then all I could do was hunker down and try not to give away too many points and try to sneak a draw.

My list after a few months testing ended up as:

Rune Priest with Storm Caller and Jaws

Wolf Guard - Combi-Melta, Combi-Melta, Power Fist & Combi-Melta, Wolf Claw & Meltabombs &; Combi-Melta
5 Wolf Scouts with Meltagun (WG with Claw)

5 Grey Hunters with Meltagun (WG here)
Lasplas Razorback
5 Grey Hunters with Meltagun (WG with Fist here)
Lasplas Razorback
5 Grey Hunters with Meltagun (WG here)
Lasplas Razorback
5 Grey Hunters with Flamer (RP here)
Lasplas Razorback

Speeder with Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
Speeder with Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

5 Long Fangs with 4 Rockets
Lasplas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 4 Rockets, 1 Lascannon
Lasplas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 3 Rockets, 2 Lascannons
Lasplas Razorback

Lots of shooting. Lots and lots of it here. I played a game against Ivan's Dark Eldar a few days before and despite getting blasted to bits in the first two turns I managed to hang on in til the end and claw back a draw so I knew this army could take punishment and keep on rolling.

Game 1: Seize Ground/Pitched Battle
I was drawn against Francis Mahon and his Eldars. I hadn't played Francis before and I was worried he'd have the usual Mechdar tank-shocking spam so I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when it turned out he had but a pair of Wave Serpents. Then he wheeled out the Jetlocks...

No-one was bleeding - the red blobs are objective markers.

Francis' list was:

Farseer with RoWarding, Fortune, Doom, Jetbike
6 Jetlocks with a variety of Destructor, Enhance, Embolden
10 Guardians with Scatter Laser
10 Guardians with Scatter Laser
3 Jetbikes
5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent with Missiles
Wave Serpent with Lances
2 Wraithlords with Missile, Lance
4 Dark Reapers with Exarch with Tempest Launcher and Crack Shot

So that's a 500+ points unit of Fortuned-up dicks that can float around, tarpit or kill stuff in combat and congaline to grab objectives? Ok. My plan was to castle in the left-hand corner and move steadily into midfield and take his units apart one at at time. I got rid of his tanks ASAP as I didn't want them last-turn Tank-shocking and losing me the game.

His army was spread out and I was going to try to pick off the units one by one. He won the roll to go first and pushed forward toward the central objective. From my L to R: Guardians, Missile Serpent, Lance Serpent with DAVU, Avatar and Wraithlords behind them, Guardians in ruins, Seer council, Dark Reapers in ruins on right.

Mine was: 2 x Fangs on left, Razors in middle, Fangs out right. Speeders, one Razor squad and Scouts (OBEL) coming from reserve.

Turns 1 & 2
Francis moved his Tanks and MCs into the centre of the board and did little with them while his Jetlocks floated about out of LOS. His Reapers blew away the Fangs on my right. In response I managed to down both tanks, the Avatar, and both Wraithlords with all of my guns leaving a sole Dire Avenger cowering in the crater left by a Wave Serpent. Nice.

Turns 3 & 4
The Jetlocks attacked down my right-hand side taking out a Razor before scampering back a turn later after I stopped Fortune with my Priest's magic stick. His army shot up my Fangs at the back but were unable to make any real dent in my Razorwall.

I had a pair of Razors and a Speeder (two of the latter from reserve) move forward on my right so they could chase after the Jetlocks or grab objectives as needed while on my far left the Scouts showed up and took out a Guardian squad after two rounds of combat. In the middle my Razorwall moved forward and started putting pressure on the central objective by staying near it and pouring fire into the Guardians on the right while a Speeder stayed behind the big LOS-blocking thing in the middle so it could turbo-contest on if need be.

Turns 5 & 6
The Jetbikers turned up and boosted onto the objective on my far left near the Scouts while the Jetlocks headed back to the central objective where they couldn't be seen. Not that it mattered as Francis he had passed every cover save he was required to make with or without Fortune until then...I lost a few more Long Fangs on my left and had a Razorback and Speeder on my right wrecked.

I sacrificed a unit of GH and the Priest to take out a unit of Guardians and Dark Reapers in combat but the former escaped, rallied and managed to grab an objective on my far right but I had 2 squads of Grey Hunters sitting on one opposite them, and another covered by a unit of GH in a Razor in front of the Long Fangs on my left. All I had to do was contest the other two to win if it went to turn 6.

It did and the Jetlocks dived into the GH, wiping them out with Destructors & Doom before drawing combat with the lone Rune Priest. The Jetbikes boosted onto the central objective but were shot down and I had parked my remaining Speeder on top of it to contest anyway.

In the end I had 2 objectives while Francis had 1 so it was a 15-5. He only had the Jetlocks still alive but they were worth stupid amounts of points so he managed to keep my VPs scored down a bit. I came out of this with a 17-3 win which I was very happy with.

Game 2: Kill Points/Spearhead
After that handy win I was drawn against Alan and his lovely Dark Angels and psychedelic yellow dice.

His army was:
Belial with Sword & Gun
Command Squad with TH/SS x 3, Claw, Sword & Gun
Deathwing squad with Cyclone, lots of guns
5 Marines in TwinLas Razor
5 Marines in TwinLas Razor
2 Speeders with Meltas
3 Speeders with 2 Meltas
AutoLas Predator
TwinLas Predator
Land Raider Crusader with Extra Armour & MultiMelta

All I can say is that I was glad that he didn't have any all-TH/SS squads as they can take a huge amount of punishment before they go down. I won the roll to go first so I chose to do so and try to blow him away. Novel, I know.

This was taken at the end of the game and shows what I had left. I don't need to go into too much detail as it was little more than a Turkey-shoot and pretty much what my army was designed to handle.

I did get the shits when he stole the initiative and advanced straight toward me though. He opened up and did very little as I had all of my Razors either behind the hill (where the Long Fangs in the pic are) which was swarming with Long Fangs (6 on top, 11 at the base in a big gunline :D) in the corner or they were in reserve. The Speeders were Deep Striking and the Scouts OBELing.

Long story short: I shot the shit out of him. His Turn 1 DSing shooty DW squad shot 2 Long Fangs before being torrented down by Razorback Plasma fire. His Land Raider disgorged Belial and co on turn 2 but he rolled badly for assaulting and could only contact one unit so tore it apart exposing themselves to fire. They were all gunned down apart from Belial while the Raider was destroyed by a '6' on a glancing hit from a Speeders Melta.

The remains of Alan's army.
Belial managed to reduce a Fang squad to 1 guy who ran away before rallying, denying Alan a Kill Point. Belial was reduced to mush and I was free to chase stuff down. The Scouts took out the Autolas, the Speeders were all shot down over the course of 2 or 3 turns, the other Pred was taken out by the Long Fangs on the hill and the Razors were popped before all my guns managed to bring down one of the Tac squads in turn 7.

Alan had managed to do a grand total of 183 (Long Fangs for 115, a damaged Speeder, half Long Fangs) points while I had all but 90 of his. At least he managed to win the award for Best Painted.

I managed a 20-0 as there was more than a 1450 vp difference between us. Score.

Game 3: Seize Ground/Dawn of War
Again, the red dots are Objectives. Note the Orks all over 'em

Now this was going to be hard. Jan and his Ork Horde were at the ETC playing for the Nordies (he likes taking things off us actually, he even took a job from someone here) so I knew that his list was well-practiced.

Big Mek with Kustom Force Field
Big Mek with KFF
4 x 30 Boys with 3 Rokkits and Nob, Klaw, Eavy Armour
10 Grots with Runtherd
13 Kommandos with Nob, Klaw
3 x 3 Killa Kans with Skorchas

Truth be told this was the one army I didn't want to face as it had too many guys for me to bring down with my guns while I was always going to struggle in combat as his units could grind mine down more easily than I could take on his. In short, it wasn't designed to fight armies like this.

And that's what happened. I won the roll off to go first and took it. Mistake - I should have gone 2nd so I could hide and then Tank Shock shit off objectives. For some reason I figured it would be a good idea to deploy the Rune Priest on my far right behind the big building. Bad idea: I should have rolled him on so I could choose where Jaws went and use his Razor to draw fire away from the rest of my guns.

Instead I rolled all my Razors bar one in behind the building. Jan walked his army toward, half on at the start and half from the board edge. I tried a sneaky trick with my Wolf Scouts when they arrived - Jan had strung out his boys to prevent the Killa Kans from being shot/assaulted/tarpitted but had spread them out a lot so I took advantage of it and placed my Scouts at one end of a unit where the Nob was at the other end with the hope of mauling them in combat before the Nob could consolidate in with them. Long story short: I rolled pitifully bad and after 2 rounds the Nob got in and destroyed the unit.

Sigh, that's a lot of Orks...

With about half my army unable to shoot on Turn 1 I suffered - I managed to take out a handful of Orks and 2 Killa Kans before the game ended on Turn 3 with half of my units in combat getting pummelled, like the Long Fangs on my left when the Kommandos showed up and destroyed them all in combat. 

We were only through Jan's turn 3 when the game ended as we had ran out of time (we were being kicked out of the hall) so there wasn't a massive amount of damage on either side. He simply moved his Orks to grab 4 out of 5 objectives while I hung onto the other 1.

Jan graciously rolled for his reserves and got a 1 so they were dead. I think he had managed to kill about as many of his Orks as I had. The game ended a loss to me and I had taken way more damage than he had so it ended up a 16-4 win to him.

So 2 wins and a loss on my first day. I was pretty happy with that and I was glad that I got the loss on day 1 rather than day 2 when it would have more effect upon my final placing.


  1. Game 1 is exactly why I don't rate jetlocks. Come up against any marine player and you suffer. You played the right game against him, surprised an eldar player allowed himself to be refused flanked though.

    Game three was always going to be difficult. All you can really do is try to force the mek units into a choke point before mobbing them with frags and flames to get rid of those pesky KFFs. Wolf scouts defo should have been cockblocking kommandos from going after vehicles/fangs. Oh wait no snikrot, never mind.

  2. Wait, was that Donal giving a helpfuly comment and not just MOOO! O.o

  3. Jesus Christ stop noticing that people.

  4. MOO!

    I've got your back babe.


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