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Day 2

I crawled out of bed on day 2 and my legs felt like lead. Word to the wise: If you're going to stand all day on a steel hangar deck, get some insoles for your shoes.

I hopped in the car to go get Marcos, George and David at about 7:00 am or so. It's still foggy as hell in the city. So much for George's sightseeing. On the upside though, things were a lot less cramped in the car. The folks on the Hornet were nice enough to let the players use one of their lockers to store their armies in overnight. George took them up on the offer, which meant one less army we had to transport.. as well as his huge display board made of plywood.

George... next time buddy, try one like mine. :)

We got to the Hornet around 8:30ish and started getting ready.

Game 4

  Christian's Army

Opponent: Christian Combs
Army: White Scars Space Marines (bikes, bikes, and more bikes!)

  •   Kor'sarro Khan (on his bike)
  •   Captain(w/ Relic Blade and Storm Shield, on bike)
  •   2 Command Squads (on bikes and armed to the frikkin' teeth!)
  •   3 Bike Squads (PF sarges, melta gun, attack bike w/ multi-melta)

Christian had an awesomely converted White Scars army. All the bikes were converted with extended front forks for the 'chopper' look. My favorite models were his Attack Bikes (one of which can be seen on the left) with a Marine hanging off the bike with a Multi-Melta. They just look fast and fit in well with the rest of the army. He really paid attention to the little details as well, like the blood stains visible on the front tire.

The Mission we played was a combination of Annihilation and Capture & Control. Each objective would be worth 3 Kill Points, in addition to Kill Points scored for taking out enemy units. We lined up in a Spearhead formation (table quarters) with me taking first turn.

Attack Bike Conversion

Christian lined up a bit too close to the Orks, keeping one squad of bikes in reserve to outflank. The Orks moved first and I rolled the battlewagon right up into his face and piled out the 'Ard Boyz. during the shooting phase, I thinned out the Khan's Command Squad with some pretty accurate rokkit fire. Color me surprised, the Orks actually hit something!

In the assault phase, I was able to get a first turn charge on the other Command Squad with my 'Ard Boyz. They took out a few bikes and held the unit in place. In his turn, Christian rolled Khan's Squad into the 'Ard Boyz combat and ran them down, but not before they took down a few bikes of their own. Losing the 'Ard Boyz like that was expensive, but it was a calculated risk that set him up for...

 Turn 2 - The writing's on the wall!

... a really nasty turn 2.

I rolled up with 2 mobs in Trukks as well as the Meganobz and assaulted his whole front line. The Boss was taken down by Khan before he got a chance to swing, but the rest of Da Boyz made up for it. The exchange went something like this:

"Ok Christian, that's 3 wounds on Khan from the Squig mob. Roll 3 normal armor saves."

* Christian picks up dice and rolls *

"Dude, is that what I think it is?"

"Yup. Three 1's."

"Awww, man. I'm sorry"

And that's about how the rest of the game went. Christian couldn't buy himself an armor save during the whole game. He had one apothecary last longer than any other model, even running down a mob of Boyz on his own, but it was just a matter of time. He lost his two 'Deathstar' units and another bike squad before he even got a chance to roll for reserves. When they finally did arrive, he just didn't have the punch against the Orks.

The last Biker went down in the bottom of turn 5. The game lasted an hour and fifteen minutes.

A bit of a break

Since I had some time to kill before my next game, I took an extended lunch and looked around the ship a bit more. I also got a chance sit down with Geoff and Carl from the Independent Characters Podcast for an interview. You can hear it in Episode 14 – Ringing in Da Grand Waaagh!, available either from their website or on iTunes.

After some food and a rest it was time for round 5.

Game 5

  Dmitry's Army

Opponent: Dmitry Fetisov
Army: Blood Angels

  •   Librarian (w/ Jump Pack)
  •   Chaplain
  •   Sanguinary Priest (w/ Jump Pack)
  •   2 Assault Squads (w/ PF Sarge, 2 meltaguns)
  •   Death Company (2 power weapons)
  •   2 Attack Bikes (w/ Multi-meltas)
  •   2 Baal Predators (w/ Heavy Bolter sponsons)
  •   2 Predators (w/ Autocannons, Lascannon sponsons)

I have to hand it to Dmitry. The dude came from Russia to play in this thing. I'm sure he was here for other reasons and the tournament just happened to fit into his schedule, but still... RUSSIA!

The game for the final round was a weird one. You set up 6 objective counters, 2 in each deployment zone and 4 in "No man's Land" (2 in your half, 2 in the opponent's half). Once the objectives were down, each player picked a 'Garrison Unit' (any Troops choice without a dedicated transport) and placed on the objective in their deployment zone. All other forces were in reserve.

There were 6 different victory conditions, and you needed to score 2 more than your opponent to claim victory. The conditions were:

  •  Control at least one objective in your opponent's half of the table
  •  Destroy the most expensive enemy unit
  •  Control all three objectives in your half of the table
  •  Destroy the enemy Commander
  •  No unbroken enemy units in your half of the table
  •  Control the center of the table (Any friendly unit within 3" of the center, and no enemy unit within 6")


The Battlefield

 Turn 2 - Jockeying for position

The game starts off with me dropping the Grots down as my garrison unit, and Dmitry placing a unit of Assault Marines. Dmitry wins the roll for first turn, which is over pretty quickly, the Assault Marines move up to get in position and the Grots hunker down in a building.

In turn 2, Dmitry rolls on the board with 2 Baal Predators and a Landraider full of Death Company. He also Deep Strikes a unit of Assault Marines with the Librarian and the Sanguinary priest attached. As the Assault Marines adjust their position a bit more, the Baal Preds open up on the Grots and cause them to fall back off the table.

In my turn 2, I get the Meganobz, the Squig Trukk, the Vommit Kommits, and a mob of Killa Kanz coming in from reserve. The Vommit Kommits down one of the Ball Predators, and since there isn't anything else in range, I keep the rest of my stuff behind cover and bide my time.

In turn 3, Dmitry brings on his two Autocannon Predators from reserve and uses them to blow up the Meganobz' Trukk. The Landraider then fires away with it's Lascannons to kill one of them. They fail their morale check (big surprise) and start to fall back.

In my turn, I roll on the board with the Battlewagon full of 'Ard Boyz and the Big Mek, as well as my second squad of Kanz and the Rokkit Trakks. Things are starting to look up, I'm probably only 1 turn away from being right up in his face.

The Kanz open up with their firepower, but only take down a couple of Assault Marines, and the Rokkit Tracks can't put a dent in the remaining Baal Predator.

Turn 3 - 'Ere we go!

 Turn 4 - WAAAGH!!!

In turn 4, Dmitry moves up with the Landraider and tries to blow away the Battlewagon with his Lascannons, but can't seem to penetrate the thick front armor. At this point he is still keeping his Assault Marines back behind the central building since there is nothing really in range for them to charge.

We had both been playing things a bit conservatively up to this point. Well... that's about to change.

I hit the gas with Battlewagon and Deff Rolla his Landraider into a pile of scrap! The 'Ard Boyz hop out and charge both of his Assault Squads. The Meganobz finally rally and the Boss and Trukkboyz come on from reserve. They all started heading for objectives.

Things were getting down to the wire, so I'm started to think about mission objectives more than killing the enemy. If I can could him busy in the middle of the field while my flanking units grabbed objectives, I stood a good chance of coming out on top.

The 'Ard Boyz were wiped out in the top of turn 5, but not before they mauled one of the Assault Squads badly. At this point, Dmitry was getting pretty short on scoring models.

When it cam time for the Orks turn, I rolled the Battlewagon straight over the wreckage of the Landraider and smashed a bunch of his troops with the Deff Rolla. Then my Killa Kanz opened up on the Death Company, dropping a few more of the frothy black-armored looneys. Really guys... you should probably take some anger management courses or something :)

On my right flank, the Trukk Boyz pile out and camp an objective while the Boss rolls forward in their Trukk and lays the beat down on one of the Autocannon Predators.

Turn 5 - Get 'em Boyz!

 Turn 6 - By the skin of my teef!

In turn 6, Dmitry moves out with his Assault Squad led by the Librarian in an attempt to get to my Warboss. At this point, I'm way ahead on objectives. But if Dmitry can reach the Boss and kill him, he can then consolidate back onto an objective and possibly force a draw.

He moves up as close as he can, rolls the difficult terrain check...

...and is 1 inch short.

That was the roll that clinched the game. In my turn, I moved up a mob of Kanz to grab the middle of the board, shot some more Death Company, and killed the other Autocannon Predator with the Warboss.

I've got a soild 4 to 1 lead on victory conditions at this point, having taken all of the objectives in my half of the table and one in Dmitry's half. I've also killed his highest cost unit (the Landraider) and my Killa Kanz are holding the center of the table uncontested. Dmitry has only killed my highest cost unit (the 'Ard Boyz). If the game ends at this point, I'm sitting pretty. I pick up the die and roll it...

... it comes up a 3. Victory to the Orks!

Tournament Results

With a record of 4 wins and 1 draw, 87 Battle Points, and great scores for both Sportsmanship and Painting, I took "Best Overall" for the second year in a row. The Grand Prize was a copy of the limited release Space Hulk game and a "golden ticket" to the Tournament Circuit Finals next summer in Las Vegas. Since I'd already won a copy of Space Hulk in 2009, I came up with a great idea for this one. More on that in a moment.

Now for my take on the aftermath. For those that may be unaware, there were a couple of issues that came to light after the tournament was over that caused some drama on the internet. There were issues with a couple of army lists (mine being one of them) and another problem regarding the awards for 'Best Painted' and 'Player's Choice'

The Grand Prize
The Drama that followed.

First up, the army lists. While the army list I submitted to the judges and the army I played in the tournament had the correct number of points, the hard copy of my list that I brought to the event was was an older copy with a typo in it. This typo was an extra bosspole in the mob of Trukk Boyz that my Warboss runs with, and that put me 5 points over the 1850 limit. I handed the list to Tastytase from Blood of Kittens, and he subsequently wrote about it in this post on his blog.

My immediate response was an apology and I also contacted the tournament organizers to see if I had given them the list with the typo as well. In my apology I explained the cause of the typo and the fact that it was actually a redundant piece of wargear that had no effect on the game. The organizers sent an email to all involved in the tournament that I had in fact turned in the correct list and that the typo in the list I handed out would have had no bearing on the games. At this point, I apologized to everyone again for the mixup and explained the circumstances.

There was evidently some confusion regarding the exact circumstances, and a few people were very vocal about their feelings that I should have been stripped of the title of 'Best Overall' and should return the prize. However the vast majority of people were very supportive, and were of the opinion that a minor clerical error on my part had no bearing on the tournament results.

The issue with the 'Best Painted' and 'Player's Choice' awards got way nastier. Apparently Garye, the guy who won both awards, had his army painted by Blue Table Painting. Tastytaste from Blood of Kittens wrote about this issue as well, you can see the full details here in his blog. I personally have no problem with Garye winning both awards, since there was no stipulation in the judging rules that you had to paint your own army. By the criteria in place, his army won fair and square.

However, not everyone shares my feelings on the matter. The witch hunt against me over my army list 'snafu' was nothing compared to the vitriol levelled at Garye. So much so that he's looking for a new store to play in. It never ceases to amaze me how worked up people can get over a game of toy soldiers. Let's all relax a bit, folks, and try and remember that were supposed to be having fun.

As for the prizes, there have been a few people who think I should have returned them. But the question remains: Since I was declared the winner even after a further review by the judges, who would I give them to? The organizers have made their ruling, so it falls to me to find a solution.

Here's what I came up with, I sure it won't please everybody, but I think it's a good compromise. I will be heading to the Finals in Vegas to see what it's all about. I have no idea how I'll do, but since I've never actually been to an 'official' GW event, I'm curious to see what one is like. And the copy of Space Hulk? I'm going to be involved in a charity project in the Spring of 2011. I can't get any more specific at the moment because the organizers haven't announced it publicly yet. I will be donating the copy of Space Hulk to this project to be part of their prize support. I'm hoping to bring some good out of this whole dramatic mess.

And what have I learned from all this?

Next time, I'm running my list through Army Builder ... TWICE!


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