Sunday, September 9, 2012

How the west was won...

Well... bit of an update to type out here, hopefully that should make up for the few and far between nature of my posts :)

As most of you are aware, last weekend, Team NZ attended the Australasian Team Challenge (or Australasian Team Championship, depending on who you ask on what day of the week).

I had left this fairly low-key building up to the event, as to both avoid building too much hype and thus further exacerbating the weight of expectation, and also a couple of people had been fairly vocal in their dissatisfaction with not being selected. Quite frankly I have 0 energy available for these people, so decided it wasn't worth the effort.

All that is of course moot now, as we have the hot little trophy in our hands!

So, first up, a summary of the event itself. The ATC was spawned in the wake of the ETC, and is very similar in many respects. Teams of 8 players, with a restriction on using each codex no more than once within a team, compete. Individuals are paired up by the captains in what is essentially an 'I go you go' set up, and their results are combined to achieve the total round score out of 160 (20 per player). 0-74 = a loss, 75-85 = a draw, and 86-160 = a win. A win was worth 2 match points, a draw 1, and a loss 0. 

The teams were as follows:
Victoria - Captained by Josh Diffey
Queensland - Captained by Stacy Dennis
New South Wales - Captained by Dennis Fung
South Australia - Captained by Alun Gallie (who showed up the first night in an all blacks jersey with a kiwi accent!)
ACT - Captained by Jeff Dunster
Tasmania - Captained by Simon Russell
Western Australia - Captained by Matt Aird
and finally New Zealand - Captained by myself.

More detail on who were in the other teams, and what exactly each list was can be found here:

As for our own team, I shall go into in detail below, but here are the lads!

Those of you with keen eyes will notice the map of Australia on  Nikola's medal is suspiciously backwards.

Our results were as follows:

Round 1: Tasmania - win 120-40
Round 2: Victoria - Win 96-64
Round 3: New South Wales - Win 101-59
Round 4: Queensland - Win 96-64
Round 5: South Australia - Win 87-73
Round 6: Western Australia - Loss 65-95

The members of the team were:

The youngest on the team; Daniel Hayden brought with him a wealth of enthusiasm, a bunch of jumper blood angels, some longfang wannabe's and Mephiston to hold their hands. The primary reason for including Dan in the team was to saturate him in experience. Dan has a lot of potential but is still fairly new to the pointy end of tournaments. I felt this was a great opportunity to develop him further and inject more skill into the community.
Dan had a bit of a rough time over the weekend, scoring 4 points against Tasmania's Space Wolves, 0 points to Victoria's Dark Eldar (after losing ~1050 points in a single tank shock from a shock prow raider), a 9 point draw against NSW's IG, a 9 point draw against QLD's Blood Angels, a 15 point win against SA's Blood Angels, and a 9 point draw against WA's Deathwing. Overall I was fairly satisfied with Dans efforts over the weekend, and his win against the SA Blood Angels was absolutely critical in securing the round, given the shocker some of the rest had! Ultimately though, I'll be looking to make sure he capitilises on this experience and improves dramatically over the next tournament year.

The lazy-lover himself, Reverend Doug Sainsbury. Doug played Warhammer-on-Training-Wheels all weekend with a fairly typical Coteaz+psyfleman+purifier+razorback spam list, though it is worth noting I felt he made the strongest list out of that codex over the weekend. Doug had easily been the best Grey Knight player over the last year in NZ, and was a blank slate in that he would listen and follow instructions without question. Dougs biggest weakness historically has been giving up mentally early on, and over the weekend where this suddenly was not an option in any way shape or form, he really discovered that battling through this more often than not wound up with a fairly satisfying win! I'll be looking for this shift in attitude to continue, and see this as one of the biggest positive outcomes from this tournament.
Doug scored 16 points against Tasmanias Grey Knights, Snatched 15 points from Vic's Space Wolves, Eeked out a 13 point win against NSW's Necrons, an 11 point draw against QLD's IG, a 20 nil pasting of poor SA's Dark Eldar, but then went down with 1 point against WA's Necrons.
With the exception of South Australia (which was a move that cost them the round ultimately), Doug was always a player put forward early meaning his opponent got to pretty much pick who ever would face him. To do so well under these circumstances is a very impressive achievement.

Haydn "I Got This!" Korach, aka the man that lost the Battle of the Ditch to some Welsh chump! I had initially envisioned a different role for Haydn, but with Jack Dunn declining the offer to play Haydn was immediately the next best choice. Of my traditional "Match" players (which I will go into later), Haydn performed the best, so obviously I am very pleased with his results. With the army compositions Haydn didn't have a lot of strongly favorable match ups, but worked very well with what he had. Over the weekend Haydn scored 16 points against Tasmania's Orks, 17 points over Vic's Lash CSM, went down with 5 points against NSW's Mech BA, scored 16 against QLD's Lash CSM, went down with 5 points against SA's Necrons, and got a 19 point win against WA's Tyranids.

Henare Akari, AKA our token blackman. I had a lot of people challenge me on the inclusion of Hen in the team. In  response, Hen effectively delivered two middle fingers to all those who doubted him, and was absolutely outstanding all weekend. A fairly unorthadox twist on Black Templars, Hen  got a 10 point draw in a bad match up against Tasmanias Deathwing, scored 19 points vs Vic's Blood Angels, Scored 19 points against NSW's Space Wolves, got a 12 point draw against QLD's Tyranids (where if the game had gone to turn 6 it would have been a significant win to him), an unfortunate 2 points against SA's paladin list, and 18 points against WA's Space Wolves. Hen really stood up to the challenge over the weekend, and I am immensely proud of him. Hen is always a quiet, solid achiever who can be relied on to achieve when the going gets tough, which is why he was always an auto-inclusion for me.

Me! Charlie St Clair, or as I was known for the weekend, Le Coq... let's hope that one doesn't stick. Like Doug and Nikola, I was a "Put Forward" player, meaning that in 4-5 games my opponents got to choose the match up, and the remaining 1-2 games I was the secret "champion". Over the weekend I got a 20 point win against Tasmania's Dark Eldar, a 20 point win against Vic's Sisters of Battle, an 18 point win against NSW's Deathwing, a 19 point win against QLD's Spacewolves, 18 points against SA's Orks, and a 5 point loss against WA's Orks. Overall I was reasonably satisfied with how I went at the event, though ultimately am disappointed in myself with that last loss. While it was pretty much the one list at the entire event, I managed to set up a bit of a risk turn 2, so that if Snikrot and Ghazghull had shown up any other turn, it would have been a 20-0 win to me. A defeat is always that much more gutting when you get to taste victory for but the briefest of moments!

Dave Lewy... Hmmm. Dave will be quite disappointed with himself over the weekend, dropping quite a few games that going into the event he would be very confident in. It will be interesting to see how Dave bounces back from it, but he is a quality player and I'm sure he'll be fine. Daves help in the build up to the event, and taking on all the admin work was an absolute godsend. The only 2 flights I booked, I managed to book from the wrong damn city. If left up to me, we would be playing in the Mumbai Team Championship. Over the weekend, Dave was a dedicated "Match" player, and I managed to orchestrate fairly green match ups for him in most of his rounds. He scored an 18 point win against Tasmania's Blood Angels, a 3 point loss to Vic's Mech GK, a 4 point loss to NSW's triple landraider space marines, an 18 point win against QLD's Grey Knights, a 4 point loss against SA's Space Wolves, and a 3 point loss against WA's IG. All ribbing aside, QLD's Grey Knights were a list I had no real answer to, and Dave's win over it was crucial in securing that round. When Dave did lose, he was able to make it not an absolute pasting, and this was enough to carry it through. In fact, at the end of the round against SA, the entire round hinged on Dave being able to minimize his loss, which he did fantastically.

Nikola Jacsic. Oh my god. Going into this event, all the other Aussies thought Nikola was a girl, and were already basically arranging the order in which they would run a train in him(her). I threw him up first basically every single round, and despite logic and popular belief saying otherwise, he kept stomping face and producing mad results. After his display over the weekend, I am thankful that he is in Uni and not in High-school, otherwise I'd probably be on some registered list of offenders due to some of the thoughts I've been having. *awkward silence*. This boss crab-handed baller got an 18 point win vs Tasmania's IG, a 17 point win vs Vic's IG, an 18 point win vs NSW's Dark Eldar, an 11 point draw against QLD's Orks, an 18 point win against SA's IG, before joining me in the losers circle in round 6 going down with a 4 point loss to WA's paladins.

Brendan "Slowplay" Dee. Oh how he came to rue that nickname by the end of the event, despite only having one game called for time, and even that at least got 5 turns in I believe. Brendan was my "4th man" - meaning he would be a put up, but only in rounds I lost the roll off. I only won the roll off ~twice, which meant he wound up being put up a LOT. These days everyone inherently has multiple answers to Guard, which meant that Brendan was being thrown under a bus for almost the whole weekend. Not once did he ever complain about this, but completely understood that was the role he would be playing for the team and aimed to minimize his points bleed all weekend. He started with an 18 point win against Space Marines from Tasmania, played against Victoria's scarab farm and got a respectable 5 points (talk about one sided match up), got a handy 15 point win against NSW that was very important to the round, went down hard with a big 0 against QLD's Necrons, a 5 point loss against SA's Space Marines, and a 6 point loss against WA's Blood Angels.

Overall we also did quite impressively in the individual rankings, with me coming 1st, Nikola coming 6th, Hen coming 12th, Haydn coming 14th and Doug coming 20th. This was rounded off with Dave coming 42nd, Brendan 44th, and Dan 47th, out of the 64 people at the event.

So what did all this get us? These shiny pieces of bling, made lovingly by a very talented New Zealander over at .

Ohhhh Shiny

You may prefer this view however. I know I certainly do. *fap fap fap fap fap*

All polished off, sterilized after Nikola got a hold of them, and put into a nice comfy home.

I was going to add some content around the match up process itself, and why/how I felt this went significantly in our favor, winning the event for us, but lets be honest, this is already a novel and none of you are still reading! As such, I will slide it in later in the week. 

Until then,
Au revoir!


  1. As a side note, if anyone can help me get that sloppy text properly text wrapping next to those photos, I will love you forever. Or something.

  2. Probably said it already but congratulations to the team.

    Looking forward to getting the stories from everyone themselves.

    Hopefully I can push myself into a position where I am an option for this next year as I would like to play in it. Is there any idea of how the team selection is going to change or stay the same for next year.

  3. "I will slide it in later in the week." - lets try keep the reports pg next time as kids might read this blog.
    At least I kept my man-panties on.

  4. slide it in like a running heart-touch on the Hamilton Natcon slip&slide.

  5. Trophy fills the hole left by the Battle of the Ditch trophy.....not really :-(

  6. You'd have to talk to someone on the BoTD team about that one Pete ;O

  7. No. I blame the BotD debacle on the two selectors

  8. I think there was only one selector, I'm not sure who else Dave had helping him if there were two.