Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Game 5 of PTGRTS's Annual GT, Results, Comp & Missions

     Today I'll finish up my coverage of Play the Game, Read the Story's Annual GT (Check out Games 1&2 and 3&4). For the second year in a row, my final game was going to be against a Grey Knights player (though not the same player). Entering the final round last year, the two of us were 4-0. After it, I was 4-1. This year, I was facing 2 Dreadknights, a bunch of Terminators, Coteaz, and Hammer and Anvil Deployment. I was worried. 

     Check out my game, the full event results, and what I thought of the missions and comp below the fold. Also, please leave me a comment on what you think. I have a couple of questions that I'd like to crowd-source. 

Game 5:
Here’s what I brought:
Tyranid Prime w/ Lash Whip & Bone Sword, Toxin Sacs

2 Hive Guard
5 Ymgarls

12 Termagants
Tervigon w/ Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and +2 Powers
5 Genestealers w/ Broodlord

Fast Attack
5 Shrikes w/ Lash Whip & Bone Sword, Toxin Sacs

Heavy Support
2 Carnifex w/ 2X Twin Link Devourers
3 Biovores

Total: 1496


Mission: The Scouring
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Bonuses: +1 if your opponent has no FA left at the end of the game, +1 if you killed an enemy Psyker in a challenge.

Jason's Army: (Highly approximate - I'm not familiar with the codex, or even the unit entries. I'll just describe some units)


10 Terminators
5 units of 5 guys each that were also Psykers. They didn't get a power off all game, so really don't have any idea what they are

Heavy Support:

Ageis Defense Line w/ Quad Gun
     Having recently faced a number of GK players, I understood what a bunch of Psycannons and incinerators could do to the softer bits of my army. Add in my fear of the Tervigon taking a force weapon to the head, and you can see why I resigned my Gaunts and the Tervigon to objective holders early on. With 3 objectives in my deployment zone, I figured that my original gaunt unit, the Tervigon, and the first spawned unit would hold onto them. 

     I kept the Biovores back, peeking out from the building. Most of Jason's army was within their 48 inch range. The Hive Guard also stayed back. They don't have the survival power to walk across the field. Finally, I kept the Shrikes back as well. I needed a strong counter-charge unit to take care of the DreadKnights. Both DreadKnights had Teleporters, so I needed a quick response unit to take them down. 

     Jason placed his objectives and deployed in a similar fashion. The Terminator unit was deployed centrally, with the smaller units peppered through the back field.  

     I think the game's result was dictated by 2 key events, the first being the objective point distribution. I received the 4 point, 3 point, and 2 point objectives, as opposed to Jason's 3, 2 and 1 point objectives. Before the first turn begun, I was up 3 VPs. To get a minor victory, I only needed to be 1 VP above my opponent. All I needed was to keep Jason at bay and I would have the victory. 

     Our two camps were separate by a large no-man's land. I knew that I couldn't cross it, so I camped. At least it made for a quick first turn. My biovores threw out a salvo and force a few wounds, while being out of sight of his Autocannon. The slap-fight begins. 

     Turns 2 and 3 are marked by the arrival of my Fex star (the Warlord rolled the Outflank Ability), Genestealers, and Ymgarls. While the Fex star is out of range, the Ymgarls are taken down to a few models by interceptor fire from Coteaz, and then taken down to a man by continued fire from the rest of the army. Still, a lone Genestealer can cause quite a bit of trouble against small units. The DakkaFexs let loose and take wounds off of the closer Dreadknight, and then Terminators, while the regular Genestealers run to take down some of the small units. 

     While this is happening, the biovores move up slightly and snipe out some of the small units, denying objectives and getting me first blood. This is the last shot of my army, as it doesn't have to move for the rest of the game. 

     Also, the second Key event of the battle happens around Turn 3: because Jason is sufficiently distracted by my forces in his deployment zone, there isn't any way he can come to contest the ones I hold. 

     Over the next few turns, Jason manages to take down my 3 units in his deployment zone, but I also manage to kill enough of his troops through Biovvore sniping, so that he can only hold his 1 and 2 point objectives.

     Talking with Jason after the match, he confided that the psychological threat of Ymgarls, outflanking Stealers and the Fexstar made him castle up in his deployment zone. Along with the objective scoring, that won me the game.

     I think that if he would have sent out both Dreadknights in a combined assault on my castle, he could have pulled it off. Combine that with the Terminators taking down the Fex unit, and Jason could have had it.

     Overall, I had a great day. Jason was a great opponent, and was a great guy to play at the end of a long day. If you're reading, thanks Jason!


Results: Check them out here:
Here's a quick rundown of how a few of the locals did:

Trevor Hawkins won Best General with his Orks
Mike Nogle was in 5th Place Overall with his Eldar
Ben Lucko was in 7th Place Overall using Jay's Nids
I got 1st Overall with my Nids. 

Comp – The usual Boogey-Man in the room. In general, I like Comp. I used to bring Dual-Lash & Oblits to local events, and after a while I realized that it was a douchey thing to do. It just didn't make for very fun games. As I became more of a regular in Rochester, I adopted more and more of their comp focus (no special characters & few repeats). Since then, I think the quality of my games has gone up. I also think there's something to be said about going to events and embracing the kind of event they want to run. When I'm going to a Comped event, I don't want to be the guy who shows up with a dick list. So that's where I'm coming from in terms of comp. 

     I have a few points concerning Comp specific to this event: 1) Did Comp do it's job in keeping the "overpowered" lists/units out? 2) How much did it impact the scores overall? 3) What would I do going from here?

1) Did comp do it's job in keeping the "overpowered" lists/units out? - At the top tables, probably not. I think that there's a basic arithmetic the pits A) How well you'll do with an overpowered list/unit vs B) The comp deduction you'll get. Looking at some of the top army lists, you'll see lots of duplication of the best units in a codex, along with the best special characters. So the comp system didn't really 

2) How much did it impact the scores overall? Out of a total of 60 points, Comp only swung the results by 4 points. Without Comp, the top 5 would have had quite a shake up (1-->3, 2-->1, 3-->4, 4-->2), but other than that, only a few other players would have been affected. On one hand, Comp did have quite an effect on the top 4 players (it's worth noting that I still would have screwed Trevor). On the other, the Comp scoring didn't really have much impact on the other 25+ players. Did Comp impact the overal scores? As someone that placed in those top 4 spots, yeah it affected me personally, but for pretty much everyone else, nope. 

3) What would I do going from here? If you want to keep the Comp system going, I think you need to add some teeth to it. I don't think that a 4 point swing is enough to deter the lists/units people hate to go up against. One big win was double the Comp points spread. If you don't want to see army X, there has to be enough of a Comp deduction to dissuade people. 

Here's a question to you: If the TO wanted to keep the comp system going, what kind of point spread would you recommend?

Missions – In two of my games, I think that the main factor that contributed to my wins was random luck of the draw. In game 4 (Crusade), I received 3 objectives to Ben’s 2. In game 5 (?), I got 4pt, 3pt and 2pt objectives as opposed to my opponent’s 3pt, 2pt and 1pt. 

     I suppose it comes down to what level of randomness you’re comfortable with in the game, and how you view army design. On one side, 40K is a dice game and therein randomness is core to the game. Understanding that, you should design your force in anticipation of an uneven scenario. On the other hand, in an evenly matched battle against two generals is it unfair to give one of them an advantage from the get-go? From this perspective, it seems like you’re creating a handicap for one side and diminishing the generalship component. 

     I see that both sides of the equation have valid points. What do you think? Do you feel that you should be creating an army that can handle the worst of odds? Even if you do so, can your army overcome a stacked deck?


  1. Comp has always been that double edged sword. It is used to try and curb the newest greatest books from running roughshod over the older books. But in some cases the older books are so old that there are many non-viable units in the book, so you can only spam units.

    Funny thing about the power gamers who play the lists that suffer from comp, they will always try and get all the bonus points. With that in mind, I think we need to look at comp beyond the list, and give points vs the meta.

    I don't remember where I saw it, but at one tournament there was talk about a deduction for showing up with the same list as someone else. It was meant to discourage internet lists obviously, but I always stuck it in the back of my head that it could be used to promote diversity but rewarding people for playing something different.

    3 bonus points if you are the only one playing your faction, 2 more points if you use no special characters.

    I think that will do 2 things, encourage people to try the less played armies, as well as diversify the opponent pool making it more difficult to find the 'perfect I win list'

    1. Those are decent ideas.

      On a related topic, I've been pleased with the diversity of armies that I've seen since 6th has hit. Tell me 2 years ago that Allies would have made the field more diverse and I wouldn't believe you, but here it is. I like it.

  2. nice win chris! I really wish that 40k would somehow go the route of fantasy in terms of comp. But that being said its a different game and a different crowd. I'm not sure that 40k trolls could comprehend our comp that exsists at almost every gt other than adepticon.

    1. Thanks Craig,

      I think that there's a small but vocal minority that drowned comp out of 40K. Even hearing the feedback from Da Boyz, the majority of people seemed to be okay with comp.

    2. Agreed. I like the way Crossroads makes a universal cap and then army specific ones to balance out each army out.

    3. There's also an economic argument for the cap. I don't know too many people that can go out and buy 6 of Unit X (I'm thinking of Night Scythes). I'd like to see even field for a fair cost as well. That said, it's not like anything in 40K is cheap these days. And I can see that people want to sink their hard earned money into stuff that is effective and fun for them.

  3. Gratz on Best Overall!

    Very impressive considering the field. I hope the readers can see the potency of tyranids when "playing the mission" even with a list that strays from the conventional bug netlist.

    My personal comp preference is hard caps on what you can or cannot take. In a judged comp system, people still bring "hard" lists such as your Nid opponent with dual flyrant, doom, double tervigons etc. When you have some people with soft lists and some with hard, often times the soft lists will lose games and get knocked out while the hard lists win some but knock themselves out with a low comp score. Then you end up with middle of the pack folks taking the top places based on whoever had the best pairings. With hard restrictions in place without an actual comp score, you can encourage everyone to play lists of similar power and allow skill to shine. Of course, some will say that even hard restrictions can be gamed, but I maintain that "gamed" lists without duplication are much more reasonable than something like triptides, 6 serpents, 5 FMC's etc.

    1. I like the hard restrictions too. Adding to your point about 'gaming' the restriction comp system, I think that building a successful list within comp requirements also tests your generalship in list-building. It adds another layer of strategy that you have to account for.