Monday, November 11, 2013

Da Boyz GT: T - 3/2/1 Weeks - Calypso2ts - Prep G1

I had originally planned to write up this Da Boyz GT preparation tournament from 4 weeks ago at Millennium as part of my road to Da Boyz.  A few things stopped me in my tracks though as I started writing.  The first is that my 2 year old took and hid the memory card the photos from the tournament were on.   I have just recently recovered it - she actually recovered it by walking in the room one day and placing it on the table.  The second is that the tournament prompted me to work through some changes to my list in response to the way the list has played over the last two events.  For that reason, I have been busy making preparation for the changes I decided to make.

This tournament was the formal Da Boyz GT preparation tournament as people brought and tuned their armies with 6-7 weeks before the event.   I think it is only fair that - before the GT - I showcase how I arrived at the army I plan to play - mainly so I can effectively second guess myself later.  To this tournament  I brought my previous iteration of Daemons which included:

Herald of Khorne on Juggurnaut w/ Exalted Gift and Locus of Rage

5x Fiends
6x Flamers

18x Daemonettes
10x Horrors
10x Horrors

Fast Attack
18x Seekers w/ Heartseeker
17x Flesh Hounds

Heavy Support
Skull Cannon of Khorne
Skull Cannon of Khorne

This list has a lot of diverse threats in it - and I like some of the mechanics it brings.  I had recently swapped out 4x Fiends for the Flamers as a test run.  With all the Xenos I tend to see, the new flamers might be better than the old (Warpflame has a 50/50 shot to do more wounds, it wounds on a 3+ against T3, and still ignores most armor).

My first matchup was Dave - winner of the last tournament - with an unusual Necrons/Tau pairing.  I was surprised to find out the combination are Allies of Convenience.  Who won't the Tau get into bed with?

Necron Overlord w/ Sempiternal Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe, Ressurrection Orb
Commander w/ 2x Flamers, Irridium Armor, Onager Gauntlet, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Stimulant Injector

Royal Court
Cryptek of Despair - Veil of Darkness,
3x Necron Lord w/ Res Orb, Warcythe, Mindshackle Scarabs

10x Deathmarks
1x Riptide w/ Ion Accelerator
7x Pathfinders

14x Necron Warriors
14x Necron Warriors
12x Fire Warriors in Devilfish
12x Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Carbines in Devilfish

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Psychic Powers/Warlord Traits
Fateweaver - Prescience: Flame Breath//Enfeeble:Puppet Master
Khorne Herald - Grimoire of True Names
I was really hoping for the Axe on the Khorne Herald, but the Grimoire is more important to have anyway.

Necron Overlord - Night Attacker

Deployment: Dawn of War
Primary: Big Guns Never Tire w/ 4x Objectives
Secondary: Kill Points

To be up front on this from the start - I did not realize there was a secondary objective until the last turn of the game (actually the bottom of the last turn of the game).  This colored some of my decision making to an extent.

I win the first turn and decide to take it.  In retrospect this was a mistake.  I am better off against a static army like this one going second so I can charge on Turn 1 with my scouted hounds.  This is especially true since I had a 4+ cover ruin in front of me to jump into and his total shooting was not going to be able to take down 30+ wounds of Flesh Hounds.  I try to minimize the terrain tests for the Seekers, but the river is in a really bad position for me.  I think the Seekers on the left flank might have been better.

My deployment is central - with the Skull Cannons ready to blast away to try for First Blood - but enjoying some cover from the ruins.  I also position Fateweaver in a ruin so she can play a support role but is safe from his Deathmarks if they choose to target her.  In reserves are both units of Horrors, Daemonettes and Flamers

The counter deployment is a long diffused line across the whole deployment zone - with the vehicle and Riptide centrally positioned.  I I can probably take advantage of this by refusing a flank with my Scout moves and sweeping in under less fire than a more concentrated castle might have been capable of.

Turn 1 - Daemons
I make my scout move forward and shift the hounds off of the left flank to avoid his commander and threaten his troops.  The Seekers move up similarly and get the Grimoire hit.  On the Warp Storm I also manage to snag +1 invulnerable saves thanks to Fate's reroll.  In spite of this I still lose a number of Seekers to dangerous terrain.   I also fail miserable with my shooting - which is within 36" for the Skull Cannons who also ignore cover - not that it was helping them at the moment.

After run moves and Fateweaver's flying the board looks a bit crowded in the center.  I also manage to Puppet Master the Riptide, but it fails to do any damage.

My shooting did not put down much damage, but there is a lot of assault firepower centered in the board right now.  I am hoping to press forward with the Seekers next turn.

Turn 1 - Tau
I missed a picture here, but that was due to all the save I had to roll from shooting.  Everything in the NeTau army unloaded and I lost a surprising number of models - especially from the Seekers who were sitting pretty on that 2++ save.  The Riptide also assaulted into the dogs to hold them up for a turn.

Turn 2 - Daemons
The hounds get the Grimoire this time and Fate flies off to safety - staying out of shooting range from most of the small arms fire in order to stay aloft.

The Deep Striking Flamers and Daemonettes also scatter very badly backward - 11" and 10" respectively.  This prevented an alpha strike from the Flamers and eased up the snare I was setting up on the right flank.  I also roll a puney 1" roll for the Flamers which puts them in bad position for the following turn.

I make a minor mistake here with my assaults.  It is a bit blurry but the result is obvious - I should have also assaulted the second set of Gun Drones - I had forgotten about supporting fire and I was trying to avoid overwatch.  I also broke the Riptide with a 2-0 combat result - and I wanted to stay stuck in on his turn while the Seekers finished off the Riptide and got ready to charge again with the Daemonettes.  Finally, the Fiends took a ridiculous number of wound from overwatch and only 2 make it into combat, which they lose and only 1 is left.  This was a really tough turn overall.

The Warp Storm did not net any damage from a Khorne's Wrath result and Fateweaver and the Cannons tried to shoot the Deathmarks - but nearly everything is saved.  The Coup d'etat is when Fate drops an Infernal Gateway at S10 and hits the entire unit - but everything is saved by the river's 5+ cover.

Turn 2 - Tau
This game seems like it has been going on a while already, but we have only made it to turn 2.  For the second time the Deathmarks Deep Strike into the water, but do not take any casualties.  They lineup shooting against the Skull Cannons hoping to rend and planning to assault later.  The Commander is moving towards Fateweaver - since he has an onager Gauntlet and is feeling plucky.  He then doubles back and opts to assault the Hounds instead.

The other Tau movement insulates them from the flamers and Daemonettes - mainly due to their terrible scatter.

Shooting eats into the Daemonettes and more tragically the Seekers lose a number of models.  The Necrons finish off the Fiends in combat as well while the Fiends completely whiffed all their attacks.

Turn 3 - Daemons
One unit of Horrors comes in and Deep Strikes towards the objective in my deployment zone - but they scatter badly and they are not near the objective.  The Flesh hounds get the Grimoire in the movement phase - while shooting pounds into the Deathmarks in an attempt to finally reduce their number.  Unfortunately, the Veiltek stands back up to keep the unit mobile.

Fateweaver has to take to the ground to shoot.  I assault the Devilfish with Flamers and Daemonettes - multi charging the Daemonettes into the drones to try to stay in combat for an extra turn.  Luckily, I manage to do so but unfortunately I fail to destroy either vehicle.  The Tau commander also Hit and Run's out of combat and leaves the hounds - moving toward Fateweaver.

Turn 3 - Tau
Missing from this picture is Fateweaver - who is instant gibbed by the commander who barely made his charge, a Skull Cannon that is taken out by the Overlord and the hounds are locked in combat - somehow having lost horribly to the charging warriors. 

Luckily, I am into the weak inner part of his army - so my assault units have a chance to start evaporating units.  Even better - the Necrons in combat with the Flesh Hounds cannot overwatch.

Turn 4 - Daemons
The Skull Cannon moves to block the moves of the Commander.  The Daemonettes roll miserably on their terrain test, but have a clear shot at the Necrons.   My last unit of Horrors comes in near the back left Necron Warriors to divert shooting and put pressure on that objective.  Their shooting kills no models.

Flamers completely obliterate one unit of Fire Warriors.  The Skull Cannon fails to hurt any Necrons while the Horrors on my objective - not pictured - roll a 1 for movement and a 1 for their run - leaving the objective vulnerable.  At this point I hear it will be the last turn.

Then the Daemonettes fail their charge.

Turn 4 - Tau
No photos here - but none are really needed.  The Tau have limited firepower left - and they use it to shoot down all but 1 Horror.  The Veiltek teleports to contest the Horrors objective, while the Lord separates to take down the Skull Cannon.  The game ends at this point in frustrating fashion.

I realize at this point we are also playing Kill Points.  I lose on both Kill Points and Big Guns - due to my contested objective.  I take Linebreaker, First Blood while he gets Linebreaker and Warlord,

This is the first game I have lose in a local Millenium tournament in over a year and a half - and it was very much disappointing.  Dave played this game dead on, the way he had to to win.  That said, I cannot help but feel frustrated with this game.  A number of events went sour that really made this game tougher than it should have been.  With 1 more turn I also think I would have tied  on objectives.  Here is how I would have approached the 5th turn (with a 6th I think I could have won it).

1 - Assault into the Warriors to clear them from the Hounds
2 - Flamers move in and take out all the Tau fire Warriors in shooting
3 - Horrors unload on the Veiltek - with only a 4+, they should kill the unit and have a 50/50 chance to keep him off the objective.  Even so, the victory in the center gives me the middle objective to tie things.

The string of unfortunate events (and my mistakes) that dictated the outcome of this game include:

1 - I should have taken Turn 2 in this game and used it to assault into the Tau on the following turn - or to keep them back 24" away.
2 - The scatter on the Flamers and Daemonettes put them way out of position
3 - I should have charged both sets of Drones to clear out the chaff Turn 2 with the Seekers
4 - I should not have accepted the challenge of the Lord with the Khorne Herald - I thought the wounds he caused could be pushed to other models in my unit
5 - The terrible movement of the Daemonettes and the Horrors put them out of position
6 - The failed charge of the Daemonettes left the Khorne Herald to perish and the horrors did not run far enough to prevent a contesting Deep Strike
7 - I missed with my Smash attack from Fateweaver on the Commander, then failed both 4+ saves to take an instant death hit
8 - I should not have landed Fateweaver, she should have moved forward to contest the necron objectives and start shooting down scoring models
9 - The Fiends lost several wounds of models on their charge from Overwatch and then lose combat to the Warriors - in spite of dodging the Mindshackle
10 - I should have read the mission completely and not assumed it was only objectives - this was really careless on my part.

I want to emphasize this takes nothing away from Dave at all - he played his hand perfectly in this game. He took advantage of my mistakes and made the most of the opportunities that presented themselves.  Coming soon, Games 2 and 3 with pictures and the new GT list that includes 26 new models that had to be added to the army in addition to my previous painting burden!

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