I am a hardcore tournament player who has played in Rogue Trader Tournaments from Salem, Oregon, down to San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, California. I have also played in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Right now I am playing and living in Phoenix AZ, but the tournament scene is rather dead for a city of this size, so I might need to join a league.
I try to attend as many large tournaments as I can. Although the GW Grand Tournaments get a bad rap, I enjoy them, and my goal is to win a GT one day. Also I attended Adepticon in Chicago every year and if you are a fan of 40k, this is a must because there is no other event quite like it.
Well I hitched a ride to the Phoenix airport from my lady-friend at 12:30pm and got on the plane at 1:30pm. Then Southwest wanted to know if anyone would give up their seat because they were over booked. I agreed and ended up getting a voucher worth $450. I can resist anything be the word "Compensation". So it looks like I will be headed up to the Big Waagh in the Bay Area in Oct. and the Da Boyz GT in Rochester NY thanks to Southwest.
So I get in at around 10:00pm, and Romeo from Battlefoam was on my flight and we took a shuttle to the hotel and we talked about 40k radio some.
So I wake up at 8:00am and then I realize that it is 6:00am PST. I work the second shift and work from 12:30pm to 9:00pm and I normally get up around 9:00am in the morning, and this is way early, so I am pretty tired.
I team up with ETC team member Jon Willingham for the team tournament and we are playing Space Wolves.
Wow, what a difference between Chaos and Space Wolves! Space Wolves are so much better. We end up with the final game on table #1 playing against Rob Baer and Paul Murphy who are playing Mech IG. Thanks in part to my dice being on fire we ended up with a win. Lucky for us the game went 7 turns and each turn helped us a lot. They were able to keep us from getting a primary though, and so we ended up being in second place for the team tournament. .
Wake up at some God-awful time for a person living on the west coast. Times like this makes me wish that I drank coffee!
So on to 4 games!
Game #1 Blood Angels
Played against a very nice looking Blood Angels Dreadnought army that was themed around the Adeptus Mechanicum. I was rolling badly, but it was a good match up for me so I barely pulled out a massacre. If it was not for my DP going nuts and killing 3 dreadnaughts in assault.
Bad Luck: I shot a ton of Melta and was unable to kill any dreadnoughts. A furios with those blood talon got into assault with my 3 oblit squad and because I was unable to roll an invulnerable save he was able to take them out.
Game #2 Space Marines
Played against a Mech Space Marine army. It was another good match-up for me and I ended up with a minor win.
Bad Luck: I would have massacred him if I could have rolled more than 1" for my berserkers charging into difficult terrain to assault a 10 man marine squad, but I rolled snake-eyes and they were left out in the open to get shot to pieces.
Game #3 Eldar
Playing against Mech Eldar. I have blown Mech Eldar out of the sky with this army in the past and I thought it would be easy peazy to do it again. Boy was I wrong. With me unable to shoot anything down, fixed game length and objectives mission meant that it would be hard for me to win.
Bad Luck: My luck was so bad that I had to write down all of the horrible luck that I had in this game so that I will remember most of it.
I rolled really bad the whole tournament and this was just the culmination of my bad rolls. You saw where I blew a 2" charge last game, but this was a perfect storm of bad rolling. Not only that, but the mission was horrible for me and I was started out at a huge disadvantage. Here are just a few of my dice "issues":
Abaddon never made an Inv save when tangling with the Avatar.
Abaddon had to stay alive from his last shot with one wound left to then get to a Dire Avenger squad to clear them off an objective but I rolled a "1" (I think Addodon made 2 armor saves during the game and that was it)
I hit his War Walker squad with 3 lascannons from my 3 Oblits, got 3 penetrations, then rolled 3 "1"s for damage.
He shoots my 3 Oblits with Dire Avengers doing 8 wounds and I roll 6 "1"s killing the squad. (I took a picture of the dice roll because I did not believe it)
He flies a falcon on the board and hits twice my 2-man Oblit squad with his pulse laser (BS3) then wounds twice, and then I fail 2 inv saves.
My Demon Prince trying to knock down his skimmers out of the sky took 2 wounds from Perils of the Warp.
The one time I got Warptime off I had 5 chances to hit a falcon with a re-roll and I did not get one "6"
I shot the crap out of his falcon and knocked all of its guns off, but I could not take it down to stop it from contesting my objective.
So it all ended up with me getting massacred.
Game #4 Space Marines
Playing against Salamanders (Isn't it assumed that Vulcan is there?). He Gated 10 Thunderhammer terminators right in front of me and I rapid-fired plasma guns at him from my terminators and rapid fired him from my bolters and he only failed a couple of saves. At this point his terminators then go through my entire army and I hang on for a minor loss.
I realize that if he is not going to fail any saves, there is nothing that I can do about it.
Bad Luck: Does him making a lot of 3+ inv saves count?
Overall I had an up and down day. I had some bad luck and I was so tired that I was falling asleep during my opponents' movement phase.
Well the games start at 8:00am so again I am waking up at 4:30am my time which is a time that I sometime go to bed at and I am wiped out. I was awake until about 2-3am so it was rough for me.
Game #5 Tyranids!
Well, I have not seen them in a long time! I have not played the bugs in a long time so I had no idea what most of the 5th edition bugs can do. I made 2 mistakes and one was throwing my Demon Prince away and the other was that the mission gives you some bonus VPs if your HQ kills their HQ, so I threw Abaddon at the Swarm Lord and they killed each other, but that was a huge loss for me because I really needed him to kill the trygons and after my 2 HQs were dead, I was out of big bug killing in assault. I should have shot the Swarm Lord down and crushed everything that hit my lines with Abaddon.
Bad Luck: I got 2 Trygons to Flee in assault, but I was unable to run them down, and they came back the next turn to hit me again.
Game #6 Blood Angels
I played a guy from Kansas I think, and he was out matched and out gunned. I fell so far down that I normally never play someone with an army list like that, but he was a great guy and a good sportsman.
Bad Luck: None that I can remember
Massacre for me.
Game #7 Blood Angels
I was winning big and I thought that I was going to get the massacre, but he was able to slingshot his terminators by assaulting my terminators (that were locked up with his furioso dred) and made it close enough to contest the objective in my deployment zone, and he was able to fly Mephiston back to contest the objective that my Berserkers where on in his.
Bad Luck: Abaddon fighting a rifleman dred for 3 game turns and not being able to kill it. I was rolling high for the hits too, but when it comes to damage, I roll horrible. Same thing for his Furioso dred, It was headed for my CSM on my objective and it took 2 turns of shooting my whole army at it just to knock off it's 2 arms and then I had to assault it with my terminators (who could not kill it) just to hold it in place.
Totals for the tournament:
2 Massacres for me (Game #1 and Game #6)
Draws/Minor Wins/Minor Loses (Games 2,4,7)
I was Massacred twice (Games #3 and 5)
So I finished right in the middle of the pack.
A few quick thoughts:
The hotel was really nice. I have been to hotels that are in the middle of nowhere and they rape you for money for crappy food. This hotel was in the middle of several restaurants, and they were quite reasonable with their costs of food and beverages.
One downside was that they did not have late checkout, so they had scheduled a 15 minute break between games #5 and #6 and it was not enough. Next year I hope that they build that into their schedule and that they have the lunch break then so people can check out.
I built a small elite army that was going to do well in KP missions and struggle with objective missions. I knew that going in, but the fact that they had 0 KP missions and 7 objective missions was rough! I did ok in some of them, but I was heavily outmatched against the 5th edition codexs that have good troops (and really do you need to give the 5th edition codexs any help?). A few KP mission to help balance out some of the armies would have been very nice. Also mission #3 was way unbalanced in favor of the person that is going second.
No Random game length (besides mission #4)
This let armies that have fast movers to hide them all game and then contest objectives. Not good for armies that are built more to sit back and shoot, and do not have options for fast moving units.
I like the adepticon terrain, but with there was more of it. Also it seems like there was no LOS blocking terrain, and mostly woods. A bit more variety in the terrain would have been welcome.
Last year I did not come to BolsCon because I was worried about finishing a 2000 point game in 2 hours. I looked at the schedule last year and I thought that the time between rounds was very ambitious. 30 minutes to get all of the results in was not enough time. Normally the round ends at the 2 hour mark, and they have a "dice down" policy which means that when the time is over it is over. But what really happens is that people try to end the round etc, and then they have to calculate the results, and then clean up and then walk it over, and by this time it is 15 minutes to go and then all of the results have to be entered and then the results have to be printed out, and then everyone has to fight the crowds to see the results, and then you have to fight the crowds to get back to your table, and then you get your army and then fight the crowds to you new table to begin a 2 hour round. Last year they did not have a problem with it, but this year they had twice as many people and they were falling way behind. I had a flight at 7:00pm and the last game was scheduled to end on Sunday at 3:00pm. By the time they announced the winners I was barely able to get out of there on time and make my flight.
Note: I did not take me Eldar because I was afraid I was not going to finish my games in 2 hours. I took my chaos instead and I was able to finish all of my games early, but I did not have a good as showing as I would have with my Eldar.
I had a good time and I got to play against 7 very good players. I wish I could have played against a larger variety of armies, but I ended up against 3 Blood Angels, 2 Space Marines, 1 Eldar, and 1 Tryanid. I think with the 5th edition codexes being much more powerful than the last editions books, we might see a bit more of this happening. I want to buck the trend and play different codexs, but the old codexs are operating with a slight handicap.