Alright, let me try this again.
Stupid Hurricane, was a page into typing, and got logged out some how.
Anyway, let me start by saying I really had a great weekend. This was the 4th year for the Mechanicon, and it is always a great event. Sadly (not for me) but for the Mechanicon and the War Store Weekend attendance was low.
I think this had to do with several issues, the move of the Mechanicon Venue, the incoming Hurricane Sandy, and the fact that the event was the same as Feast of Blades all had an impact on the event. Still well over 100 gamers attended, and they are already planning next year.
In addition to 40k I should also mention that there was gaming available for whatever game suited you. Flames of War, War Machine (run by Chris Nanry of the Colonial), WHFB, all had events, I even saw Heavy Gear and Battle Tech being played.
If I had one complaint it would be where they put us 40k guys, I guess we are a bit rowdy at times, but they really put us far from the action. I think they realize this and are planning to consolidate things more to promote more interaction among gamers in between games.
Above you can see me and my boy at the Mechanicon, the Hulk-Ork is still a WIP
, but will get a suitable helmet in the near future, and by the time they are done will look more like an Ork Nob than the Hulk-Ork he appears to be now. Very cool...
I think I am going to change up things a bit as far as coverage of things go for a change, typically I start with an over-view of each game, and then with good intentions say I'm going to wrap things up with a discussion of my list and how things worked, I'm going to do it in reverse this time because I tend to skimp on unit and list discussion, then I'll talk about my games and the armies I faced.
My list was an odd one, when you talk to most competitive gamers, I have posted it on my Blog, but for the lazy here is what I took.
HQ: Warp Smith
10x Chaos Marines, 2x MG, Combi-MG, PF
Rhino with Havoc
10x Cultists, Shotgun, Heavy Stubber
10x Cultists, Heavy Stubber
5x Chaos Termies, with 2x Power Axe, 2x Power Lance, 2x Combi-MG, 1x Combi-PG, Chain Fist
Land Raider Transport
Defiler with Havoc
Forge Fiend of Ecto-Plasma hell
Chaos Vindicator with Siege Shield
Before I go into my list analysis, I will state that even though I did win Over-All, I did not massacre all of my opponents, I ended up pretty much 3 wins and 2 draws. The scoring in each mission is done on a point system, with that being your battle score. I'll explain in more detail as I describe the missions, but suffice it to say that it is extremely difficult to get a 20 in some of the missions, In fact I think that after the first game there was one 11 and I had a 6 (with 6-7 being the norm across the room).
Every game I had was a nail biter, and I only heard of a couple of games where people were actually tabled. (even if you table your opponent, you still had to calculate if you had enough turns left to take the objectives in the game.)
Let me go through my list with some analysis.
I think when we look at the list I have designed, it looks as though I have taken a lot of units that are sUb-par when compared singly against another unit in the same section of the Codex. For example, most hard core list builders will say, Havocs are better than the Defiler.
I think when you look at this particular list you have to look at the list as a whole, and how the units work with one another.
Let me start with the Warpsmith. I love this guy, he is cheap choice for a Warlord and has a variety of special skills. Of course he has some weaknesses. WS4, no invuln. But what is his role in my army? I normally keep him hanging back, preferably behind cover with his Chaos Marine Squad (the small 5 man), where he stays next to the Defiler to keep him alive.
His other role on occasion? depending on the mission, I can also mount him up into the Land Raider to move into enemy territory to take an objective, or go for line breaker.
Challenges? I use my unit champion for those, no, the champion doesn't have any wargear. His purpose isn't to win the challenge, its to free up the Warpsmiths attacks to take out grunts in the unit I am fighting against.
People have also commented that the Shatter Defenses rule is situational, I really have not played a game yet, that this has not been a help.
5-man marine squad: These guys protect the Warpsmith. Other than that they only move out on their own if the Warpsmith is out of danger and can keep the Defiler running in peace. Even then they stay close, as their main priority is to protect the Warlord. They do this well, I didn't lose my Warlord at all during the whole of the Tournament.
The Ten man squad: In practice games I was using these guys all wrong, sending them forward trying to get their MGs close, and they always got blasted to pieces, I only have one squad like this so can't just throw them into the fray as much as I would like to. Once I started playing them smarter, they started performing. acting as a fast response unit, or following up behind my armor, instead of leading the charge protects them a bit. This is important because they are a scoring unit, and with only 4 in the army they need to survive.
(The real stars of the show?)
My two ten man Cultist units. Many have commented to me that I should take them in one squad of 20, I disagree. They are fragile, and if one bad morale check means you lose them all. No, for me 2 smaller squads works better. These guys are the sneaky ones. hiding in the back field and discouraging foolhardy deepstrikes by taking up space. Camping objectives, and even mounting up in the Land Raider to move out and take an objective or line breaker moving across field and bailing out last minute using the Land Raider for cover.
Care must be used as I said before the units are extremely fragile, but with so much going on in my list they are typically ignored, and have free reign.
Ah, my Terminators. These guys were causing me much frustration in practice. Mounting them up in the Land Raider, I was pointing them at the enemy a launching my attack. Time and time again this just was not working, I didn't want to give up on them because they are so cool, and I love my Land Raider, but they were forcing my Land Raider into the Melta range of the enemy, It was a disaster. I don't know why, but after game one of the tournament it dawned on me. I need to Deep Strike these buggers, and use the Land Raider as Fire Power early game, and as a Transport for other units late game. This has worked brilliantly and I haven't looked back since. In 6th edition, people really panic when 5 Terminators Deep Strike into your lines.
I should note, that it has been my experience in 6th that many armies are not equipped to appropriately deal with 14AV. Maybe that is the wrong way to put it, as every army had some means, but when combined with my other armor threats it must have seemed a lower priority and because of this it survived every game throughout the Tournament.
The Defiler, was a beast all weekend, and survived every game, again I believe because of the dynamic of my list. Though to be fair, in one game it took a lot of abuse, but between my Invulnerable save, the self repair and the Warpsmith he stayed up and running. With Daemonic Possession my opponents couldn't even stop the barrage. He fired every turn, of every game I played across 5 games. Didn't always hit, but was always pumping out S8, AP3 big pie plates of ouch.
The Forge Fiend and Vindicator where the bullet magnets of the army, and I would typically lose one or the other in the course of a game, and at least once I lost the Vindicator because of a foolish move on my part, allowing my side to be exposed to multiple plasma guns. However, If I could get these guys to survive until the Terminators arrived, it changed things and bought them more time to wreak some havoc. Nobody wants the kind of fire power these guys can throw down running around and they both become public enemies one and two. So until these guys and the Terminators die, the rest of my army can pretty much do whatever it wants.
Next up, I'll start a game by game play, and explain the missions and post the lists I faced.