Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Natcon 2011 40k Wrap up + Results

Hey ho fatties!

The Easter weekend saw the annual 3 day event that is the Nationals. This year it was held in Christchurch, which was an experience all in itself.
Christchurch was recently devastated by a fairly sizable earthquake, so seeing the level of destruction up close was something to behold all on its own, let alone the event!

Ruined buildings everywhere was quite a surreal sight, on the way to the venue.

This years 40k event had capped its player limit at 40 players, and reached that with a fairly decent showing from the entire South Island.

Overall the event was.... a bit of a fail. It was fantastic from the point of view of meeting a bunch of new people I hadn't met before, catching up with a few I had, and playing some games of mandollies with a few beers along the way. However, the core of the Christchurch 40k community never managed to adjust to and embrace 5th edition. They yearned for their long lost 4th edition with such a bitter twist that in the end they drove half their own community away from the game, and this really showed through in the running of this event.

The missions had several 4th edition features; Recon, Escalation and Victory Points as a primary to name a few, and the break down for deployment was 1 dawn of war mission, 2 spear head and 5 pitched battle. If they weren't trying to create 4th edition, they were a random gimmick deciding much of the game, such as a movable objective you could take off the table that would instantly net you 7 kill points(!).

Things were random, but not THIS random.

All up, very briefly my 8 games went as follows:

Game 1: Kagen Morcom, Dark Eldar.
Kagens army was mostly mech, but with little fire support and a fairly hefty points sink in the form of a big blood brides unit, big trueborn unit, big reaver unit, coupled with archon and incubi.
This meant he had very little fire support, and I was able to focus on the crucial transports first, eliminating the bikes and dangerous transports in turn 1, and following up with taking the incubi and blood brides out in turn 2 amongst several other units. From there it was mopping up, in this sort of match up you cant afford to have a game where you just move into the middle of the table and hope for things to roll your way.
Maximum point win, after a turn 3 concession.

Game 2: Tim Walker, Tyranids.
Tim had a mixture of MC's, outflanking units, and slow to medium speed foot units. The mission had escalation, and the objectives were in the centre of the table, ticking each player turn rather than game turn. As such who ever went first got a huge advantage. I won first turn, and Tim had to feed his slow units to my wave of boys, while I got to respond to his threats as he showed up with overpowering force. Tim seemed really quite annoyed, and if I had been as screwed over by a bad mission as he was, I probably would be as well. The game finished up 10 objective points to 0.
Maximum point win, after a turn 3 concession.

Tims Tyrant actually looked strikingly similar to this one!

Game 3: Eugene Gielen, Daemons.
Eugene had a mix of Khorne and Tzeentch daemons. He won the roll for first turn, and unlike most daemon players I meet, was smart enough to know he needed to take it, and not let me deny him of huge portions of the table in where he could deepstrike.
Unfortunately for Eugene, not only did he get the non preferred wave, but I also seized the initiative. I moved and ran to completely screw him on where he could deploy, which lead to a couple of misshaps, while some bad scatters saw a large unit of blood letters land in charge range of killer kans. From there the game consisted of killing units the turn they arrived, and tank shocking blood letters into a tighter formation to sit infront of a barrage of grotzooka shots.
Maximum point win, after a turn 3 concession.

Game 4: Steve Gulliver, Deathwing.
If the tournament let you vote for your favourite opponent, Steve would have been it. A supremely nice guy to play. The table had a HUGE central piece of impassable terrain in the way of a 3 foot tall Adeptus Mechanicus factory building. The mission was effectively Recon, and steve split his forces either side of this building. I pushed the meganobs up the centre as a distraction, focused just enough on my left to counter what he had there (I used one 30man squad and 1 squad of kans) while everything else overwhelmed what didn't fall for the meganob distraction. We had a good chat afterwards about how he had hurt his chances splitting up, and wished each other luck for the rest of the day.
Maximum win after tabling him in turn 4.

Not that kind of Blob!!!

Game 5: Dave Eagles, Imperial Guard.
Dave plays an imperial guard blob army with close to 200 guardsman, which is about a thousand points of support around 2 500 point units. Each toting 7 power weapons, 7 melta bombs, ~5 melta guns each, and 2 commisars each (incase you do something mean like Jaws one).
The problem for Dave, is that he plays this army quite defensively, and saw this mission as a Kill point mission.
This was a kill point mission, but it had an objective in the middle of the table that was worth 7 kill points if you got it off the table. In the end, I played the mission essentially as a rush to the centre of the table, and then rush it off the table, while Dave played it as a "camp in my back corner and shoot you as you get close". During the entire game Dave moved one unit, and only because he started it in reserve so he could better refuse flank me.
After getting the objective off the table in turn 3, I spent the remainder of the game moving backwards and going to ground. I had essentially baited my opponent into thinking I was going to launch an aggressive assault, and when he wasn't willing to come forward and try take the game by force, I wasn't going to casually hand it over. The game managed to play out to the full 7 turns quite quickly, but part of this was probably because I spent 4 turns effectively saying "I go to ground with everything, your turn". The game finished 10 killpoints to 3.
Maximum point win.

Game 6: Sam Jackson, Imperial Guard.
In response to guard hate, Sam took an exceptionally soft Imperial Guard army. It was mostly foot based with only a single commisar in 30man blob squad, it had ogryns, the only vehicles it had were 2 hydras, 6 light sentinels and a hellhound, it had penal legions, you name it; if it was a bad option in the codex, Sam took it.
To make matters worse, the mission was to take and hold the centre of the table. After a big turn 1 mistake, Sam effectively lost a hydra, 3 sentinels, a heavy weapon squad, and the hellhound in the first turn, while the other 3 sentinels were tied up for the forseeable future. In the end Sam conceded as almost all units were killed, having only killed the deffkoptas and the trukk. The secondary mission here was to not lose a scoring unit, and as Sam now had no way of doing any damage to my trukk boyz or gretchin, he couldnt stop me getting the secondary.
Maximum point win, after a turn 4 concession.

Game 7: Robbie Madges, Orks.
A table quarter set up, young Robbie got a bit excited when seeing he could get a turn 1 charge with his nobs on a unit of killer kans. I happily traded a 120 point squad of killer kans for ~600 points of nobs and their battle wagon, only to do it again the next turn to his other nob squad. The game finished after a turn 3 tabling, with, after bonus VP's were factored in, a VP total of 2600~ to 300~. I tried to feed a few units to Robbie to make up for the early harsh loss, but Robbies dice were having none of it, and he rolled terrible when he got a few favourable combats.
Maximum point win, after a turn 3 tabling.

Vote for Pedro Kantor!

Game 8: Cameron Gibbs, Space Marines.
I had been waiting for this game since the morning of the day before, learning that he was edging into second place overall, and that I needed to plink him down if I had the chance. The mission was dawn of war kill points, and while Cam initially did the right thing, moving his Pedro Sternguard marine army into one extreme corner of the table to deny me a flank and maximise his shooting time, he made the mistake of not pushing this further up the table to buy himself some retreat space later in the game, and was cornered with nowhere to go by turn 3. Hilights of the game included a single unit of kans firing at sternguard that were a bit bunched up, netting 48 hits which lead to 41 wounds on the unit, and the lootas not getting to shoot a single shot due to night fight that wouldnt go away, but baited 2 kill points in the form of a drop pod + tactical squad, for the loss of their 1 point.
Maximum point win, after conceding in turn 5, as he would now now be able to stop me doubling his kill point total to turn a win into a maximum win.

With 8 out of 8 maximum wins, I managed to secure first place. I've had quite a good run with the Nationals, winning it 3 times in the last 4 years; I couldn't attend the year I didn't get a chance to contest it, as I was best man at a friends wedding, so I was glad to be able to keep that run going.

With the event running Peer Comp, Peer sports that encouraged people to mark their opponent down because they beat them, and peer painting marks - I honestly had no idea whether maxing out on battle would even be enough, but it turned out in the end that even if I had been tabled in the last round and not got a single point, I still would have squeaked ahead by the tiniest of margins. That seemed refreshing, as usually I can't afford to drop a game at all and even stand a chance at making the podium.

The only downside is that the perpetual trophy is perhaps the uglies trophy known to mankind!

The final results can be found here, the 3 hilighted names are those I don't have surnames for.


  1. Charlie
    Interesting comments. I'm not a regular 40K player... was it just the scenario/missions system that left you with that point of view? You are obviously a top quality player, so I'd be keen to know more.

    Kind regards

  2. More of a combination of feedback from those in the Christchurch scene I met over the weekend, those that I knew from past events and have kept in contact with, as well as my own casual observations as it has slowly (d)evolved over the last 3 years since I was last there.

    Seeing the missions more just allowed me to see what I was hearing from others for some time.

  3. Fantastic result Charlie....I've alerted Greenpeace