Here's my work in progress: Warning! Long!
OK, a top but knackering weekend. I'm feeling sufficiently awake now so I'd better get it all down before I forget everything.My list:
Autarch on jetbike, mandiblasters, fusion gun, laser lance
6 Fire Dragons in:
Wave Serpent, twin-linked Shuriken cannons, additional Shuriken cannon, Spirit stone, Vectored engines
6 Harlequins inc. Shadowseer, all with Harlequins kiss
8 Warp Spiders inc. Exarch with additional Deathspinner
Fire Prism, Shuriken cannon, Holofields, Spirit stone
Fire Prism, Shuriken cannon, Holofields, Spirit stone
Falcon, Scatter laser, additional Shuriken cannon, Holofields, Spirit stone
I wasn't feeling particularly confident and thought I might get top 50 if I played well. So, I rock up on Saturday morning hungover and after a dose of Techno in the car to face:
Game 1: Chris Barrass-Iron Warriors. Gamma Cleanse
Only learnt afterwards that he won Heat 3 . Didn't know at the time otherwise I would have been a bit more cautious.
Chumped myself on terrain sizes, I thought there was enough size 3 down the sides to be OK, however we played Cleanse so I had a large open expanse with only one piece of Size 3 to fly across vs something like:
Flying lord with choppy death
3x 1 Oblits (1 Deep-struck)
3x 5 man Las (plas?) squads
1x 6 man dual plasma
1x 5 man Heavy bolter/plasma
3x Las/Bolter Preds, dozers
1x Indirect Defiler
He deployed the preds, oblit and 2 las squads in a big forest in his quarter, defiler behind it. Dual plas, h. bolter/plas and a lascannon went in the 4+ size 3 piece near the centre.
I deployed the tanks behind a massive forest in my quarter, harlies 6" from the centre behind a building, Spiders and Autarch right on the bottom quarter edge trying to get behind a hill and snipe his central squads while avoiding Pred shots and being inside indirect range. Rangers claimed one quarter and the other one went in central 4+ cover for snipage (scout moves=ace). I went first so got the tanks moving.
So, my plan pretty much worked, my Prisms stuck in my half of the board sniping things from outside of 48", the Harlies and Autarch got into the rocky squads after the Spiders and Ranger softened them up and then got into the wooded lascannon squads and ate them too. The rangers also accounted for 2 lone Oblits with AP1 shooting.
Chris couldn't move from his firebase because my mobility and firepower from range was so much and I carefully used the central size 3 rocks to hide from most of his lascannons. He had to sit there and try and shoot the few targets available, but as these were mostly 2+ cover Pathfinders it wasn't very useful.
This allowed my to claim both side quarters and get up close and personal with my combat units. Not for the last time, the Harlequins and Autarch ripped through small static chaos marine squads and isolated oblits like a dose of plague. I also managed to ping 2 out of 3 preds from range with my Prisms and destroy the Defiler with Falcon shooting. 7 S6 and 2S8 shots is pretty useful.
His daemon prince did get into my Warp Spiders and waste them and then the Fire Dragons because I got cocky and pushed too far forward, but I got him down to 2 wounds with Falcon fire and the Autarch polished him off with a fusion blast and lance to the face. The high I, WS and S of the Autarch proved its worth here.
At the end of the game I held both side quarters and all Chris had left was a single Pred.
Its definitely worthwhile noting however, that Chris' dice were appalling. His preds couldn't hit or glance and he failed 3 out of 3 vehicle Obscured rolls. I on the other hand kept rolling Glancing sixes, got 4 rends from 3 Harlequins etc. To his credit he was a very nice guy to play against and didn't grumble in the face of terrible luck. A massacre to me, somewhere in the realms of +1650.
Feeling rather chuffed with that, onto game 2. Chris Cooke with, you've guessed it, Iron Warriors! Omega Secure and Control
He had something like:
Flight Lieutenant with gubbins, Wind of chaos and homer.
3x 2 Oblits
Infiltrating 6 man dual plasma combat squad
Infiltrating 6 man las squad
8 man Tank-hunting Autocannons (Doh!)
8 man Heavy bolter
8 man Heavy bolter
Heavily wooded board with one piece of 4+ cover in a corner, 3 loot counters evenly and centrally spread. Definintely favoured me as I had oodles of Size 3 to hide behind and avoid his static power. As I thought he mostly castled hard in the 4+ cover on my right, but with 2 lots of Oblits and the infiltrating combat squad on my left and a a lascannon squad infiltrated centrally. I put my Harlies opposite corner and both of the Pathfinders went in front of the harlies and 12" away from his combat squad. He went first. First turn I managed to snipe an oblits, but he couldn't really see much. Rapid fire killed a Pathfinder. turn 2 I got almost everything on on my left and well away from his castle. Operation 'death by a thousand cuts' proceeded to fail to kill anything except an oblit and a marine on the left, although the Warp Spiders did ravage the central lacannon squad.
The rangers then predictable got wasted and he consolidated into the second squad just behind. Damn. his Basilisk came on behind his castle away from me and the flight lord realised that he'd probably best stay from the large amount of firepower on my left so hid centrally with a heavy bolter havoc squad. The Autocannon squad shuffled forward but couldn't see a damn thing. Pathfinders held combat, so next turn the Harlies bounced into the marines and wiped them out. Everything shuffled round the left out of sight of the anti-tank and wiped the oblits down to 1. The Fire Prism turboed 24" to get behind a wood in his D-zone.
Chris then managed to pound the Spiders with Autocannons and kill them dead. Crap, thought I. His single oblit hid behind the central objective wood to avoid Prism cannonage. The final oblits deep struck next to the HQ homer, but only shook a prism.
The rest of the game consisted of me using terrain to fire on static squads and a healthy assault deterrent that allowed me to hold onto 2 objectives. I only exposed my tanks to heavy bolters and with the death of all the oblits and avoiding the autocannons I was pretty much immune. Especially as I nailed the Basilisk with a length of the back board edge Prism shot. Chris had to move a lascannon squad to try and contest the central objective, but concentrate firing and an Autarch charge put paid to that.
In the end I'd lost a Wave Serpent and 2 units of Pathfinders. He had the autocannons and either 1 or 2 heavy bolter squads left. I held 2 objectives to his one. I won by about 1000 or a bit more.
Again, Chris was a extremely nice guy to play. He played in the right spirit and was up for a laugh and a joke.
OK, onto game 3. I was very relieved to see the name of Nigel Atkinson on my table. After hearing some top table horror stories in the past, I knew this would be a good game.
Gamma level Seek and Destroy. Nige had:
Chaplain - jump pack
3 maybe 4 squads with las/plas heavy bolter/plas
6 assault marines
Dread - ML/ Lascannon
2 x tornados
Landspeeder H. Bolter
We set up, I had everything on my right flank hiding as much as possible apart from a lone prism, Autarch and Fire Dragon Serpent hiding on the cover sparse left. Nige lined up mostly right-centre. My Pathfinders went on the right to hopefully ping the assault and tac squads opposite.
to my great delight I managed to roll night fight first turn, which pretty much saved my bacon. Nige's shooting first turn was either ineffective or couldn't see. He may have stunned a prism or Falcon. He also moved his Vindi forward to try and get a shot next turn.
In reply I got everything moving, my Warp Spiders heading down the hard right behind a hill and massacring a scout squad. I think I luckily blew a lascannon off a pred at this point and my Autarch cheekily immobilised and stunned the Vindicator before bouncing behind terrain.
Once I was mobile, nige had problems. He couldn't do much to my tanks and he couldn't risk throwing his speeders forward as he knew full well what Spiders do to them. The next turn my Spiders got into the side Arc of a Predator and blew off its lascannon. Result! He was now down to plasma and assault cannons to get my tanks.
Nige managed to get some of my spiders with the cheeky Typhoon launcher over a few turns and his assault squad moved forward to try and get into my right hand firebase and the Pathfinders that had been killing and pinning his tac squads. The middle turns saw me remove the speeders with Wave Serpent and Falcon firing (13 S6 shots is bad for speeder!) His assault squad got munched by the quins after munching my Fire Dragons that had failed to take out a pred (their Serpent showed how it was done and nailed it in the side!) and his seperated Chaplain managed to roll a 4 on 3D6 leaving him just out of charge range of the Pathfinders. He then got killed off by the remaining spiders.
Meanwhile on the left flank the Prism had been busy throwing pies into Nige's tacs before the Autarch got into them and killed off a few before taking a plasma shot to the face. By the last 2 turns there was nothing to take on my skimmers so I danced around taking long range shots into what was left, taking out an immobile predator and knocking some squads below scoring.
He had a tac squad and typhoon left scoring IIRC and maybe half a tac squad elsewhere. I'd lost half a unit of Spiders (non-scoring), the Fire dragons and the Autarch. This made it a pretty big win.
Having met Nige previously but having never played him, I knew it would be a hard game but damn good fun, as it proved to be. As soon as the guy your playing says about how its just a game of toy soldiers at the end of the day, you know its going to be a good laugh!
Rather chuffed with the days gaming, I retired to the bar on 9 points and a VP difference of about +4000 for a night of furious drinking and larks!