Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Venom-Spam at the Masters - Day 2

Game 4: Hagen Kerr.  Seize Ground (5), Pitched Battle.

I was not at all confident going into this game, seeing as Hagen had one of the two armies at the event that was the rock to my scissors.  I should mention that at this point the TO’s decided everyone should in fact be playing the same mission (although they were still being decided randomly), and fortunately they didn’t roll up Kill Points, which would have left me to sink without a trace.

Also luckily for me is that Hagen’s list was far from an optimal carpark guard list, with a lack of Hydras and Vendettas when compared to the normal stuff that you only see overseas (and in Charlie’s house too I might add!).

Hagen had:

Company Command, Lascannon, Kitchen Sink in Chimera
Company Command, 3x Meltaguns

10x Psykers in Chimera

Platoon Command, 4x Flamer in Chimera
Infantry Squad, Flamer, Autocannon in Chimera
Infantry Squad, Flamer, Autocannon in Chimera
Infantry Squad, Flamer, Autocannon, Commissar
Heavy Weapons Squad, Autocannons
Penal Legion Squad
Veteran Squad, 3x Meltaguns, Demolitions

Valkyrie, Rocket Pods
Vendetta, Heavy Bolter sponsons


With the mission being objectives, I decided right from the get go that my only goal would be to kill his scoring units, since if I could get all of them, my worst result would be a draw.  Again, I won the roll for first turn, and set up for a very focussed round of shooting, getting a lot of the units out of Venoms for some blaster action.  I needed to get rid of the psykers, as they could deal with the beasts, but could only immobilise their ride.  I was also able to shake both flyers and the Venoms wiped out the HWS. 

In return, Hagen made some serious mistakes.  He got the infantry squad out of the Vendetta so they could kill 3 Trueborn, but lost them to Venom fire the next round.  He turbo boosted the Valkyrie behind my lines, right next to a Trueborn Venom and 3 other warrior squads in Venoms, also in view of the Ravagers.  This might have been a good idea, had he also got out the Psykers (more on that in a sec), but as it was, he just gifted me the Valkyrie and the scoring unit inside.  I also think he should have gotten the Psykers out of their immobilised Chimera so they could see the Beasts.  One shooting phase later, and if he kills 5 or 6 models (not hard, even with 3+ cover), the Beasts and Baron are falling back. If that Valkyrie is in the right place, they are then off the table at the start of my turn, putting me well behind, and giving Hagen two bonus points.  The shooting he did have did some damage to me, in largely the right places (killing Trueborn and targeting Ravagers), but on the whole, I think Hagen really made a hash of this turn in terms of actually winning the game.

In my next turn, I kept up the same strategy.  The Beasts left the Baron and charged his Chimera park which had the PCS and two infantry squads inside.  Normally, this would be a terrible move, with 3 heavy flamers and 6 regular flamers against the bunched up beasts, but assuming I could at least shake the vehicles in combat, he’d need to get out to fire the flamers, leaving the squads vulnerable to Venoms. As mentioned before, my shooting cleaned up the Valkyrie, the unit inside, and the unit from the Vendetta, and kept the Vendetta shaken.  Hagen again made a mistake in responding to the beasts, whereby he got all his units out to kill them, rather than just killing a few (this time out of cover) and using the Psykers to see the rest off.  I did lose the Beasts, but was able to kill off those 3 scoring units over the next two turns with shooting and the Baron.

That left just one scoring unit on Hagen’s side, the Penal Legion, and while my army was taking a hammering all round, I still had 3 scoring units of my own.  Because of time pressure, we both knew we would have to call the game at turn 5 (despite the hour-long lunch break that we weren’t allowed to play into).  I wasn’t quite able to get the Penal Legion (the Baron failed his shadowfield save on the way in), but I was able to set up one objective that I would hold for certain, and another with 2 units of Warriors controlling it.  At the end of Hagen’s Turn 5 shooting, I had a single model from each unit still alive, and Hagen failed his psychic test for their shooting attack, giving me the win by the skin of my teeth.  If they had passed the test, it would have hit and wounded both of the models claiming that objective, but I maintain that I would have passed one of my 6+ go-to-ground saves, so it didn’t actually make a difference :P

Win 17-5

I really think Hagen messed up this game, and he should have been able to take a win easily.  That the game was so close, and yet he still made multiple mistakes, just shows how much the game was in his favour.  I was lucky to get out of that one alive, that’s for sure!

Game 5: Haydn Korach.  Killpoints, Dawn of War.

Next up was the Haydn, the man who the night before at dinner had snorted a line of table salt!  This would also be a tough matchup.  The mission was bad for me, and I lost the first turn which was even worse!  Haydn also had a lot of long range shooting which would give him the edge, as he would be able to pick up killpoints from across the table.

Haydn’s list was:


5x Fire Dragons in Wave Serpent, T/l Shuriken cannons.
5x Fire Dragons in Wave Serpent, T/l Shuriken cannons.

5x Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent, T/l Missile Launcher.
5x Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent, T/l Missile Launcher.
5x Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent, T/l Missile Launcher.
5x Dire Avengers

3x Warwalkers, scatter lasers
3x Warwalkers, scatter lasers

Haydn brought all of his stuff on turn 1 spread out across the board, but both warwalker units were to one side.  I took advantage of this and pulled a fantasy-style “put-it-in-the-other-corner-behind-a-hill”, which would basically take the walkers out of the game for a couple of turns.  I flew on, and tried to use my night vision to get early shots off with the Ravagers, but the one that rolled high enough to see anything promptly missed with all three shots.  I braced myself for some pain, and in his shooting phase, Haydn did ... nothing.  Not anything at all.  Never to fear though, I replied in my turn with the same nothing.  Evidently the armies had shown up just to watch each other across the battlefield.

In turn 3, it got nasty.  Haydn’s shooting killed two of the Ravagers and immobilised the third.  Since I was 2 KP down, I decided I had to kick it into gear and just go for it.  I flew all the Venoms 12” forward and got the guys out.  My blaster shooting killed 3 Wave Serpents, and the Venoms cleaned up the units that fell out, instantly putting me up 6 KP to 2.  I got another Serpent in the next turn, putting me up to 8 total, and Haydn just couldn't kill me fast enough with what he had left.  Since the other tanks were shaken most of the time, the only comeback he had was to pick up 2 KP per turn with the Warwalkers.  The game ended on turn 5 at 8-7 with me still having a turn to play (we rolled to see whether it went on to see if we needed to bother with my turn).

Win 18-3

Game 6: Doug Sainsbury. Capture and Control, Pitched Battle.

Right, I’d been able to dodge Doug all tourney, and I’d had had my luck against Charlie and Hagen, and now I was truly up against it.  Doug had the best list at the event to deal with mine, and was ready to tear me a new one in the last round.  I knew I only needed a draw to win the tourney, and that’s what I set out to get, with Drawhammer as the mission funnily enough.

Doug’s “list of doom” was:

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, toys

3 x 5 Purifiers, 2 Psycannons in Razorbacks

5 Assassins, 3 Warriors, 2 Meltaguns in Rhino.
Strike Squad, Psycannon in Razorback
4x 3 Warriors in Razorbacks

3 Riflemen Dreads

For those keeping track at home, that’s 8 Razorbacks, a Rhino, and three Dreads. Eeeek!

Doug's stack is on the right

The game was basically me keeping Doug at bay for 5 turns, while being destroyed by his shooting back, so I’ll just give a rundown of the key decisions.  I think Doug handicapped himself unnecessarily by putting his objective in the opposite corner to mine, which only increased the distance he needed to travel to contest my objective.

At all times, I prioritised killing the vehicles closest to my objective, and left the Dreads alone, since they were never going to get to my objective to contest.  My biggest mistake was underestimating the killiness of the assassins.  I chose to forgo shooting them with 3-4 venoms before charging with the beasts since I figure the beasts could take them anyway.  Well, how wrong was I!?  The Beasts got wiped out, and that really opened the game up for Doug, since they were one of the biggest roadblocks on the way to my objective.

In the end, I was able to keep him off my objective until the game ended (fortunately!) on turn 5.  Had there been another turn I’m pretty sure Doug would have had it, since I was down to a handful of models at that stage.

Draw 10-11 (so all bragging rights go to Doug)

Since I figured out a draw was all I needed, I was pretty happy at this point.  Luckily I hadn’t lost the last game, since Charlie spanked Hagen in the last game to wind up 5 points behind me (the difference between a draw and a loss was 7 points).  This was enough to scrape me into first place, with Charlie second, and David Dawn in a distant third, 22 points behind Charlie.

Needless to say, I was absolutely stoked to win, and also to beat Charlie who’d won the event two years running.  A big thanks to Phil and the TO team for the invite and for running the event, and despite the issues I had with some elements of how it was run, they did a fantastic job of putting the tourney together.  Also, thanks to all my opponents for 6 really enjoyable games, and most of them challenging (sorry Dave!).


  1. Very illuminating. Congratulations on the win Jack.

  2. Congrats again Jack. All the man-boy love that Charlie has for you is again justified...

    You do make it sound like Hagen and Doug are complete numpty players, but i'll put that down to how in awe they were playing you. ;)

    Loved the finished Dark Eldar scheme btw... you got summer school or going to finish them off during the holidays?

  3. Thanks Dave. I'm working over the summer, but I'm looking to get a lot done over the next two weeks. Currently have four Venoms on the painting table almost that are almost finished.

  4. It was well deserved Jack, congrats :)!