Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today was the second day of Owlcon and the only day I could actually go. The kids had a great time with my daughter winning a $25 gift certificate in a Settlers of Catan tournament.

For the 40k tournament I had a win, a draw, and a loss. Meh.

The GM for the tournament is a local at my gaming store and I know him fairly well. After the final scores were posted, I went and asked him about where I had placed in the pack. Turns out I placed 13 out of 24, making me the first place slot for the bottom half.

I was then shown the sportsmanship scores.

When I was tabled in the fourth round, I received a perfect sportsmanship score. When I managed to draw, I received an average sportsmanship score. When I pulled off a 5 KP to 1 KP win, I received the lowest sportsmanship score possible.

It seems that success on the battlefield is inversely proportional to perceived sportsmanship.

I gave all of my opponents perfect sportsmanship scores because they were all decent fellows who did not try and pull any shenanigans on the board. I was told that my scoring of my opponents (and others like me) actually make it harder for the GM to post up scores because not everyone can be the best of sports.

While, I agree with that, to a degree. How do you know? I mean in the first round it is pretty hard to compare my opponent, to my opponent in the third round...

Anyway, I am quite satisfied with a 13 place overall, especially with only eight months of gaming under my belt. I still seem to be incapable of beating Space Wolves.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who am I...when I win?

The local GW is holding a March Madness tournament.

Every player has to play seven games and the top four will battle it out at the end of March to find out who is the best.

I have played three games so far. Resulting in two wins and one loss.

Now, one of my resolutions for this year was to bring my game up...with 22 losses under my belt, I figured I needed to work on my list, tactics, etc.

In the past I have mentioned that I have two "hats" that I wear depending on how I am going to play the game. On one hand I have my "let's have fun" hat and my "No holds barred" hat.

The fun hat has not stood me too well in the winning department as I am too laid back, not as focused on the game, etc. However, the winning hat has made me feel like a dick.

Let me cover a few key events in the last couple of games to bring this into perspective.

First winning game (in the tournament) was against Dark Angels. It was an objective game and I maximized my objective placement by grouping them as close as possible to each other and maximized for the terrain. My opponent is a regular in the store and he has steamrolled me every time I have played him in the past. This games was bit different. I was a lot more focused.

I controlled my movement and spread out a full tactical squad, while remaining in coherency, to claim two of the five objectives. My target priority was much more brutal as I systematically smashed his transport/armor capability. In the last round (I went second) I barely managed to run my Captain into contesting range of one of the two objectives my opponent held.

So, it went from a draw situation, to a win for me.

As we shook hands I couldn't help but notice that my opponent had a look on his face. That look said to me, "I can't believe you kicked my dog, mister". It made me feel kinda small, to see that look.

Second winning game (tournament) was against a brutal Chaos Demons army. Two objectives. Two full units of Flamers of Tzeentch, a couple of Nurgle units, and a Soul Grinder. This game was against the manager of the store and, well, he's a hell of a nice guy.

Early in the game, I took out his Soul Grinder before it could even wound one of my units. One shot - BOOM.

After he wiped two complete tactical squads out and claimed my objective, I tank shocked (Land Raider and Rhino) him off of the objective and embarked my last tac squad into the Land Raider. Now, the way I positioned my tanks, he was incapable of getting within 3" of my objective, period. the Flamers of Tzeentch are brutal against troops but, tank busting is not their strong suit. He tried for four rounds to use a lance type weapon against my tanks, to get a destroyed result. He managed to get a wrecked result on the Rhino but, because it now becomes terrain he still could not get within 3".

He kept trying to move his model's bases under my tanks (the tanks were set up a little because they were sitting on area terrain) but, I kept saying "I don't think you can crawl under my vehicles"...

In the fifth round I used my Land Speeder to contest his objective. I also had ran my Marneus Calgar equivalent into close combat with his unit, which prevented him from assaulting my Land Speeder.

I did not know this at the time because, I was hoping the game would end on turn five and since I was going second (again) he could not bump me from his objective. The game went a full seven rounds.

However, there is a little known statement in the rules that basically says in a multiple close combat situation that involves a vehicle, the defender will ignore the vehicle to face the more imminent of threats (which makes sense). It was this situation that allowed me to win. He literally could not ignore my assaulting HQ unit to attack my contesting vehicle.

So, I won on two technicalities (or so it seems to me). One, he could not physically get within 3" of my objective because I had parked on top of it. Two, he could not fight off my contesting vehicle because I had managed to get another non-vehicle unit into close combat with him.

I again, saw the look.

It had been a tense game all around. In the end the entire store was gathered around, watching and waiting to see the outcome.

Anyway about twenty minutes after, I told him I did not feel good about how I had won and he was very cool. He told me not to worry about it, I had played smarter (and luckier), I had played to the objective of the game, etc.

However, I have looked back at the last two games and wondered if they have cast the most favorable light on me.

In the end I won but, what did it cost me, to do so?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prepare for drop!

After two hard fought losses this weekend I have begun reassessing my list.

My problem seems to boil down to mis-positioning my units during deployment.

Since I usually footslog my marines, due to only owning one Rhino and one Land Raider, I am badly outmanuevered on most missions. I have found myself saying repeatedly, to myself, if I could only get my heavy firepower "over there", I could wreak some havoc.

So, I dug into my codex and began looking at other options. I was immediately enamored with the drop pods. For the same price/points cost of a Rhino I have a transport option that can carry anything in my army.

Terminators?....check, Dreadnought?...check, All flavors of marines?...check.

Only problem is that it is immobilized once it drops, not much a problem as my Rhino and or Land Raider is usually popped on the first turn and cannot carry a Dreadnought at all.

So, I came home with two drop pods (I would have bought more but the store didn't have any...) and built them while watching the Super Bowl. They went together quickly, as I did not bother to build the central column and harnesses. I am not happy that the doors will not stay closed on their own, but a few magnets will fix that.

I also picked up a couple of Dreadnoughts. I am strongly toying with the idea of a six Dread list.

I think the pods will give me a better chance of getting my firepower "over there" and into the backfield of my enemy.
Now, I have read the Drop Pod Assault rules and they basically distill down to scatter mishaps unless you scatter off the table. Is this a correct interpretation?