Saturday, December 20, 2008

2003 Melbourne GT - Emperor's Children

Back in March Al Borthwick and myself came across for the Sydney GT and I found it really enjoyable. One of the best things being the pool of new opponents. That, and the organisation was much better than the two NZ GTs I've been to.

On the way back I thought about Melbourne and what I'd like to bring. Toss up between Iron Warriors and the Emperor's Children. In the end I felt that EC would be more pleasant to play against. I've always like the fluff of the EC and in particular the fall from the most loyal of the Corpse-god's followers to pond scum of excess. Even the other Chaos Legions hate them :-)

The army therefore had to be a warband...a splintered force of retrobates with she-devils in tow. And noise weapons - why do Children without the toys?. List I put together was:

Noise Lord in Terminator Armour with Dark Blade, Sonic Blaster, Daemonic Strength and Combat Drugs

Retinue of 5 Terminators, 4 with Storm Bolter, 1 with Blastmaster, Power Weapons + 1 Power Fist

6 Noise Marines 1x Blastmaster, 4x Sonic Blasters, Aspiring Champion with Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon

6 Noise Marines as above but Aspiring Champion had pair of Lightning Claws and +1 Strength - all in a Rhino

3 units each of 6 Daemonettes
2 units each of 6 Havocs, 4x Blastmaster, 2x Sonic Blasters (incl Aspiring Champion) – Tankhunter

49 Models with 5 troops, 2 Heavy Support, 1x HQ/Elite choices

My limitations were lack of access to "Divisional" weapons - no predator, no defiler, no land raider. Noise weapons everywhere (even where their use is not efficient). Limited transports.

Needed a bitz order to the UK to get the weapons, and a box of grey knight terminators - and then it was cut and burn. Most were converted then I spent the time up until a couple of weeks before painting. My painting style is pretty tradesmanlike but I decided on a good colour palette that allowed nice contrast. Left the Rhino to last to keep the motivation up.

Two weeks left me time for 9 games to determine how to the use the army properly...thanks to the other Warlords for putting me through a steep learning curve.

My results were mixed - a loss to Marines when I lost my icon bearers, a win against Iyanden (Wraithlords are a daemonettes best source of fun), a loss to Space Wolves, a loss to Tau, a loss to Deathwing, a win vs Deathwing, a win vs 13th Coy, a loss to DE and a loss to my 11 year old's Necrons so had an idea of what I didn't like!

Rethought my tactics and put together a plan from here on.

Arrived in Melb and promptly had a 5 hour liquid lunch with an old mate - followed by some more drinking then pre-reg. Bailed and went back to hotel.

Off to GT and feeling a little jaded.

Game 1 - vs Mike Smythe's Ulthwe - Pitched Battle

Great 8 Starcannons, 2 D-cannons, 3 Bright lance, 6 Fire Dragons, 3 Reapers and a Seer council.

The game all came down to who had the first turn. I did and got to inflict the hurt first. Mike's dice were crap and once the daemons started to arrive it was all over. A very relieved 18-8

Mike was a nice guy to play but as we discussed, whoever won the dice off to go first was always likely to win. I think Mike went on to have 3-4 wins and must have been ecstatic to see all the power armour around.

Game 2 - vs Adam Synandzky - Tau – Battle in the Eye of Terror

Night fight . Hmmm yes you can have the first turn Adam. Adam had shocking spotting dice and mine were good. Had learnt the lesson to target Crisis Suits first (thanks Al ) and then went out for the Hammerheads. Embarassing moment was having my elite Rhino bound noise marines being beaten up in close combat by a lesser number of pathfindesr - thank Slaanesh we are fearless Again I managed an 18-9 win

Game 3 - vs Leigh Tresidder - 13th Company – Eliminatus

Leigh is on the WargamerAU list as BadFang and was a great bloke to play. He had had two big wins and had a nice balanced SW force – 2 units of Wulfen, Wolves, 2 unit of Grey Slayers , Long Fangs and a Wolf Lord and Rune Priest plus hangers on with the gate. He had spent only two weeks painting his army and it was spectacular and on a beautiful display base.

Again I won the die for first turn and decided to go first. I managed to kill 12 (mostly Wulfen) on the first go. While that was a good start for Drant's boys, better was to follow. Leigh's Rune Priest failed the test for activating the gate. He rolled forward and hit my non-rhino troop squad with multiple (i think three) units. The icon bearer was left and down came the daemonettes.

Things got very bloody on both sides as I shot and hit with daemons and Leigh started ripping my boys apart. By turn five I had lost about two thirds of my army and I had killed all of Leigh's. 20-9 to Drant's merry band.

Leigh was a great guy to play and again it was one of those games where first go was critical. The Gate failing was crucial. From here Leigh went on to finish 3rd Overall.
So off to watch the All Blacks and back in the next morning to find that I'm lying second on BPs.

Game 4 - vs. Rick Mckay - Kult of Speed - Guerilla War

No my favourite mission - not least because it is a bugger to work out.

Rick had a beautiful and very balanced (30 for selection) KoS force. Units of Trukk Boys, Skar Boyz and Burna Boyz accompanied by Wartraks. We had an excellent talk before the game and then went at it like trollslayers for 5 turns. Rick's choppas ate my terminators and my noise weapons smashed his boys. At the end there was 50 points difference (in Rick's favour) and so it was a 14-14 draw.

Great opponent who played in theme and also talked about things prior to things developing into problems. By the end we had quite a crowd watching, as the game was swinging on a knife edge. I thought I had done enough to win but losing a squad of Havocs to hand to hand on last turn cost me a swing of 444 points. Fantastic game.

Thinking I'm in with a sniff. I'm pretty happy with my 5th round draw

Game 5 - vs. Bryan Yarrington - Iron Warriors - Pitched Battle

I had played Bryan in Sydney where he inflicted a loss in a game where I had a share of bad luck. I knew that it would be a good game against him as we get on well and he plays it straight.

5 Obliterators, Basilisk, Dreadnought, Infiltrating Havocs with Heavy Bolters - so a lot of firepower.

Again the first turn roll was crucial. My luck failed me this time and Bryan had a clear shot at my Havoc squads I had lined up opposite the Basilisk. The template covers four, scatters 2" to cover two and then he rolls "SNAKEEYES" ....Go Slaanesh - the Prince of Excess.

The noise weapons open up and the Basilisk and two obliterators are destroyed. My terminators fall to the combined shooting of the dread and the obliterators but noise marines destroy the Havocs (Bryan fails four out of 5 saves)

My daemons kill his lord then are monstered by the dreadnought. A rush of blood sends Drant in to take out the dreadnought - 5 strength 8 attacks hitting on 3's - Nada - and Drant is puree. Rest of the game is mopping up by us both but I have expensive squads left for a 19-11 win.

One of the highlights for me of the two GTs I've been has been playing Bryan. He is an excellent guy and the games are fun but tough.

So I finish on 89 points edging Rick (Downunder Ork) by one in gameplay. I pick up 30/30 for painting (overgenerous) and 28 for selection. Coupled with a solid 80 for Sportsmanship (thanks guys). This gives me 227 for 1st Overall.

The real surprise for me was picking up Player's Choice. I wouldn't have put my army in the Top 5 as there were excellent armies on show. I think conversions are critical in this category.

For me the best four armies on show were Rick's KoS, Leigh's 13th Company, Dan Stamford's Word Bearers and Ben Leong's Death Guard. In the end I went for Dan (his daemons were superb) and sought him out to tell him so. His painting was marked at 21 which was very harsh. To be honest any of the four would have been a deserving winner. I was humbled to receive it.

So great convention for the Legion.

My general thoughts were:

1. Surprised by lack of Eldar (both) and Necrons
2. Chaos out the wazzoo but only 2 defilers. Keen to know why...they rock. Have people not built them or is the model just too big?
3. Great to meet so many nice/friendly people from Ozgamers and Wargamer Au.

Thanks to all (especially Brian and co) for a great weekend.

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