Well after three grueling days of gaming and four days to recoup, I'm finally starting to feel rested and back to normal. DaBoyz GT 2013 was the best and most fun I've attended in my four years. I'm sure by now you've read enough glowing reviews of the venue, staff, and other players that I don't need to cover it again.
This post will be a quick (long) recap of my nine games and results. Individual battle reports will follow in the coming weeks.
|Our combined forces for the team event.|
Getting right into it, Jay (DaCock) and I partnered up for the Friday doubles event. We brought Eldar/Eldar with 2 wraithknights, 2 serpents, a bunch of bikes, wraithguard, avengers, and walkers.
Our first opponents were Rodney and Eric with a fluffy IG/GK army. There were objectives, we went second and counter deployed to avoid a block of purifiers with psycannons. This one was sealed by list design and deployment/first turn. Max battle point victory for us.
Our second opponents were Ryan D. and Sam G. with a CSM/GK combo army (all armies were "battle brothers" for the team event). They deployed 2 land raiders with assault deathstars and reserved everything else and gave us first turn for the relic. We grabbed it turn 1 with a big bike unit thanks to a BLoS wall right next to the relic and played keep away all game. Heldrake and stormraven came in and caused heavy casualties but we kept it in the end. Minor victory for us. Our opponents actually went on to take 3rd out of 34 teams with this game as their only loss.
Our third team game was against Ricky and Riley playing CSM/CD featuring a GUO, 2 flying princes, 2 land raiders, and a heldrake. The mission was table quarters and objectives. We gave up first blood and a couple units once the princes landed to assault, but weight of fire brought down just about everything by the end except the GUO (iron arm'ed) and some plague bearers. Minor victory for us again.
After scores were tallied, Jay and I were 4th out of 34 teams. Our second opponents edged us out by a single battle point!
|1||Brandon Vallee/Bill Kim||115|
|2||Tony Kopach/Suzanna Pyles||109|
|3||Ryan Dean/Sam Goul||94|
|4||Jay Woodcock/Aaron Stiebitz||93|
|5||Greg Sparks/Mike Mutschelle||91|
Brandon (stillfrosty) and Bill won with a screamer council + fateweaver and some princes. Tony and his girlfriend took second with 6 wave serpents, 2 prisms, and some hawks. Here are some pics of other team armies, keep in mind all armies were battle brothers for this event.
|Chris & Paul from DaBoyz|
|Bill Souza's eldar commission painted by Valkyrie Painting.|
|Bill's partner Josh's daemons.|
|Eldar & CSM. Blashpemy but legal for this event!|
|Now that's a nasty combo. I don't know who played this or where they finished though.|
|Lots of necrons at this event.|
|John Ho's Tau and Kevin Morris's guard. These guys won best painted for the team event. |
One small tangent here to talk about John Ho. I didn't meet the guy but his army was the talk of the event all weekend.
|Check out the free hand checkerboards and stripes on John's ultramarines.|
|Drop wolves. I believe these guys were at table #1 vs the winning daemon army in the last round.|
My wife and I grabbed some dinner in the resort's restaurant which was directly adjacent to the main game hall. The food was surprisingly good and the staff was friendly and helpful. My wife actually befriended one of the bar tenders and spent most of the time in the bar while I was playing. She came in once or twice per game to check on me and meet my opponents. Sounds boring for a non-gamer but it was nice for her to get a break from mommy duties and spend a couple days relaxing. She actually seemed excited to come back next year, so again great job with the venue Brian, Jay, and Shaun.
After dinner, Kristyn and I headed over to the cabins where some of the blog authors and players from other local clubs had split the cabin 10 ways. We sat around drinking and talking about 40k stuff. We ducked out early, but serious drinking and shenanigans went down. Actually, I've never seen so many 40k players ridiculously drunk at one time. I was really surprised everyone made it to the main event so early the next day.
Saturday morning, the main 40k GT started early. Chip from Torrent of Fire came up in person and was showing us all how to use their online app. It ended up being very awesome and I could get my table and opponent information right on my phone in real time. My first game was against Max Dubois (28th overall) from Quebec, Canada.
Max had an awesome converted admech counts as GK army that actually won best appearance and 2nd best theme! He told me he mainly came for the painting competition, but gave me a run for my money by taking first blood and a healthy lead in the beginning with a vindicare and rifle dread taking out my wave serpents and wraithknight. However, I went second with my bikes easily grabbing objectives and my beasts rolling up a flank late in the game claiming 4 kill points by themselves. Major victory 32-1.
Here's a shot of Max's double award winning army. Shame I didn't get closeups, but it was a dark army and the lighting was bad. I believe every model was converted in some way and my favorite was a servo skull in a test tube piloting the NDK.
Max also earned my top sportsmanship vote for the event. He was a real gentleman and entertaining to play. He also reminded me about Coteaz's IBEY ability and encouraged me to redo my walker placement upon arrival. Apparently, I wasn't an outlier as Max received 26/30 for sportsmanship which also made him #1 in that category!
Game #2 saw me up against Dan Platt (15th overall). After introductions, Dan told me he's been reading this blog all the way back to the synaps3 days when all I played was tyranids. Very cool to meet someone who's followed your 40k escapades for 3+ years.
This was actually my first 1 on 1 game versus the new Tau, though I've read every batrep I can find on them and have done my research. Still, double riptides, broadsides, buffmander, crisis suits, and fire warriors put out a shocking amount of fire. Luckily for me this game I generated fortune and invisibility which helped me make it into assault with them. The mission was relic and emperor's will (2 obj) and I went first to get my powers up, but my beasts cleaned out his scoring units and my wraithguard held the relic in assault with a riptide so they couldn't be shot. Pretty optimal outcome across the board from powers to dice to mission lead to a 32-1 point victory. Dan was a very skilled player and had any of a number of variable changed, I could have easily lost this one.
Game #3 had me up against Eric Marcioux (53rd overall) and his brutal ravenwing list.
He had the dakka banner, 2 command squads with plasma talons, 2 black knight squads with plasma talons, 2 melta squads, 2 flamer squads, 2 techmarines with power field generators, a divination libby and samael. His whole army has scout, hit and run, skilled rider, with some 4++ and some FnP scattered in. This was the game of the weekend where I was the most intimidated. The deployment was hammer and anvil and Eric told me the math worked out to 6" from my board edge that he couldn't scout, move, and hit with plasma on turn 1. So I deployed my whole army in a 6" band and clenched my asshole. He hit my beast pack with rad grenades and wiped out the whole thing on turn 2 with instant-deathing bolters. Somehow through lucky dice rolls and going evasive with my bikes, I ended up holding objectives three to one for a 31-2 victory. I should have lost this game but two dire avengers held up two bikes for 5 assault phases along with walkers holding up sammael and his command squad for 4 assault phases, sealed up with several failed hit and runs.
Four games in one day is exhausting and I always dread this point in the GT because it will invariable be the most difficult of the day. Torrent of fire told me my 4th opponent would be Eric Hoerger (9th overall). I've never met him, but his name was familiar to me. Eric was on "Quality Control" who I believe came in 3rd at the ATC. I also recall his name from the Torrent of Fire during NOVA, where I believe he also played in the invitational and top brackets in the GT.
Eric played a brutal anti-meta build with zandrekh (removes hit and run from seer councils/beast packs), spyders, scarabs on a sky shield, 2 annihilation barges, 4 night scythes, a tau buffmander, riptide, and kroot. I won the oh-so-important roll and chose to go second. The game was the scouring and the relic. Eric pretty much owned me except when he failed a 4" assault move with his scarab farm, even with a reroll. This allowed me to ID half of the swarm with war walkers and wave serpents before sending the beasts in. His dice also did me a solid when 6 tesla hits from a tank-hunting night scythe failed to damage a wave serpent even after rerolls. I basically lost everything else except the wraithknight and the beasts remained safe in combat until the last turn. I was able to hold a 3 point objective with them for the primary win while my wraithknight only knocked down a single necron warrior out of the 5 holding the relic for a secondary loss. 22-14 was the final score and put me at 4-0 at the end of the first day.
But all good things must come to an end. Game #5 saw me playing Tony Kopach (4th overall) NOVA two time champ, you know the guy. And he brought "the seer council" with 4 wave serpents.
I gave it my best go but he got fortune and landed misfortune on my beasts despite a rerollable DTW. Not much to say here. If you've ever played against the infamous 2+ rerollable backed by serpents. I got first turn and took out several warlocks with my opening barrage, but my wraithknight and serpents were unable to take out a single serpent and he beat me down with a superior deathstar and superior firepower. 0-33 loss for me and my only major loss of the weekend.
The final game of the event saw me up against Mike Kiser (20th overall, panzerleader on dakka) who just won the Golden Throne Southwest GT and flew up here from Texas. We chatted earlier in the weekend and it was cool to play my last game against a friendly face.
Mike had a cool white scars list with the eternal chapter master, 2 big bike units with some grav and some plasma, 2 MSU razorback squads, attack bikes, a thunderfire cannon, stormraven, and grav cannon centurians. This game was the most brutal of the weekend. By the end of turn 2, I had lost half my beasts, a wave serpent, venom, and artillery. Lady luck gave me a second chance when I caused 2 casualties to a bike unit with the chapter master and they left the table. However, Mike knew his army well and knew how to keep the pressure on. After 7 bloody turns, all I had left was my wraithknight and Mike had several units but none scoring. Draw primary and secondary due to no scoring units left the game as a draw/loss 17-18 in Mike's favor. Another game that I could have easily lost if a single dice roll had been average instead of an outlier.
Over six hard fought games, I ended with 134 battle points (about 16th). My sportsmanship was 11/30 and my painting scored a 35/50-70 (weird bonus point system awards extra to the top painted). My final score was 190 which put me 13th overall out of 119 players. Officially my best GT placement in the largest field I've ever played. Additionally, 4 more points in any of the categories would have put me 9th overall so I was oh so close to the top 10. I made a critical and idiotic mistake in game 6 choosing to shoot a stormraven with a wave serpent on turn 5 instead of going flat out onto an objective. Also, my army wasn't finished painting wise so I had multiple avenues to reach the top 10. I was initially saddened that my sportsmanship score was below average. My games were very smooth with very few judge calls or disagreements and I had even brought a chocolate gift for every opponent. However, after reviewing the soft scores I noticed that a majority of the guys who were on top tables got very bad sportsmanship scores so I guess there were more factors at play. I also had a really tough strength of schedule playing players finishing 4th, 9th, 15th, 28th, and 53rd out of 119 players. Coincidentally, seven out of America's eight 2014 ETC team members were in attendance and I placed higher than four of them in the overall standings :)
I didn't take home any prizes this year, but I left the GT very satisfied. This was my best performance to date and I had really enjoyable games for the most part. I got to hang out with friends and wife, get a little drunk, and create stories to share for months to come. Many have voiced their opinion on how awesome the event and venue were so I won't repeat the same sentiments too much. I do highly recommend this event to anyone willing to travel to it. I'd be willing to bet that if they lock in the same venue for next year, the tickets will sell out very quickly due to how awesome DaBoyz GT 2013 was.
Moving on, part of me feels like I've hit my competitive ceiling. I'll never be able to play the best tournament lists like seer council or whatever the top army list of the month is. There will always be a couple guys who play the table better than me. After this year's GT, I'm left wanting to take a step back and perhaps create an army to chase painting prizes instead of battle points.
Anyways, thanks for reading. Like I said, individual battle reports will follow in the coming weeks.