Saturday, June 28, 2014

West Coast GT

I thought about interrupting the drum beat of Tournament debriefs for an insightful article on army building philosophy but I am far to busy pretending to practice for the Bragging Rights Team Tournament (see Hinge's Ramblings #1).  So a discussion of WCGT it is.

The West Coast GT is in its second year and is located in Los Angeles, CA (see Hinge's Ramblings #2). It is run by Bill and Fred, the very excellent hosts of that bodacious podcast, West Coast Hammertime.

Bill and Fred welcoming participants this year.
The event hit 53 participants this year and hopefully it continues to grow.  The WCGT is one of those tournaments that I feel have a "soul" (see hinge's ramblings #3).   It is clear Bill and Fred put a lot of effort, creativity, and hard work into the event.  They treat every participant as a guest and take their hosting responsibilities seriously.  For me, it is now a must attend tourney.

Before getting into the games, a quick sidetrack on the social side.  The event is held in a Elks club. The staff there is amazingly friendly (it helps that we are a hard drinking group of players and we are a boon to there bar revenue).  The TO's make sure to set up things for participants to do.  The Hall stays open for those who are glutton for more games, there was karoke in the bar Friday night, and bowling Saturday night with in walking distance.  The Drunken shenanigans were amazing this year and I will leave it at that.  The best part, they even reserve a parking spot for me!

I did not have the heart to tell them I flew down

The format was 2,500 pts, 5 rounds.  They used  a modified 20-nil scoring system (unusual here on the West Coast).  The scale was 16-4 with 4 bonus points per round achievable through objectives.  I liked it as it was different then the other two large California events but held onto the bonus points that is common out here.  Scenarios were wonky, creative, different and characterful with out dominating the match to much.  Finally, they scored every list using Swedish comp for match up purposes only.  I believe even this lasted only 2 rounds.

I decided to take Lizardmen this tournament.  I even double downed and took a Slann for the first time to a major GT!

Slann, Channeling Staff, Harmonic Convergence, Focus of Mystery
Saurus Oldblood, Cold One, LA, GW, ToP, OTS
Saurus Scar vet, CO, GW, Armor of Destiny, BSB
Saurus Scar Vet, CO, GW, LA, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, IC Icon
Skink Priest, Heavens, Scroll
Skink Chief, Terradon, LA, Biting Blade, Charmed Shield, DB Gem, Egg of Quango

25 Saurus Warriors, FC
3x10 Skink skrimishers, Champ
2x10 skink cohorts, FC
5 Chameleon skinks
6 Cold One Riders, Mus, STd, Spears
2x1 Salamanders
2 Jungle Swarms

Very character heavy, but those characters are amazing!  My hope was the Channel Slann would give me dominance in the magic phase while switching out spells to those that fit the match up.  The cowboys would do the killing while every thing else acted as a delivery or got in the enemies way.  I also tried to minimize any tempting cannon targets, though the LoS the Cold ones provided could be short lived.  Noting a couple of oddities.  Champs in the skrimishers due to bonus objectives often requiring units with command models.  Jungle swarms simply because I ran out of painted skinks!  They used Swedish comp for pairing purposes and my scored a 9.2.

Rd1 v. Kyle- Lizardmen (9) –Mickey Mouse Scenario

Well the sun rises and I crawl out to warm my self when I see an opposing Lizardmen army sitting on my favorite sunning rock! This can not be allowed to happen! The scenario also put a Mickey Mouse in between the two armies. The Mickey shoots at closest units and bonus points were earned by interacting with it. However, if Mickey did not die, no one got Bonus points.

Kyle is new to tournament warhammer and seemed it bit nervous. I am sure it had everything to do with my towering reputation as a god amongst warhammer players (Hinge’s Ramblings #4). All kidding aside, Kyle was a great opponent and I had a chance to eat breakfast with him and his crew Sunday morning. I hope they become regulars in the West Coast Tournament scene. Kyle brought his own version of lizards (from memory)

Slann, Channel, harmonic, Life
Old Blood, CO, Stuff
40 Suarus Warriors, FC
2 units of skirmish skinks
large unit of Temple Guard
8 Cold Ones
2 x 3 Ripperdactyles
Ancient w/ Sharpened horns

So 2 big blocks flanked by a steg and hard hitting CO bus, the skink skirmishers and Rippers went out wide. I had my suarus block also on center but chaff scattered every where. My game plan was to win the chaff war, take out the steg, and educate Kyle on why you should have skink characters (Predatory Fighter can be a liability) to turn a flank. I get first turn unload skink javelins at the Mickey but find I seem to have left the poison back at the hotel. Kyle shows his warhammer skills by six dicing Dwellers and gets IF. Yes, you guessed it; my Slann is pulled down to a turn 1 death. The good news is the resulting explosion halved the TG unit (hinge’s ramblings #5). However, the game plan is still intact. I take down the Steg (who had charged Mickey and finished him off) and chaff while staying back. I finally contrive a charge with the Suarus that find only the cowboys in contact with the Temple Guard while the remaining Suarus stayed safely out of combat for at least one turn. All chaff at this point was being used to keep the CO Bus and Big Suarus block off of me. My CO bus with Old blood would eventually get into the TG flank and I would grind them out. The enemy slann would make a Insane courage roll to keep me from getting out of harms way, so had to expend a little more chaff then I wanted. In the end it was enough points to claim a 15-5 victory.

Rd 2. –Marco Dark elves (10.2) Real Housewives

In this scenario, you got an extra model who was a bad ass in combat and had a one use bound item that would destroy an opposing magic item.

L4 Dark, Steed, other stuff
BSB, Steed, stuff
Peg Hero, Cloak dude
L2 Death, scroll
20 Darkshards, FC
10 Darkriders, Std, Mus, shields and RBT
5 DarkRiders Mus, Rxb/Sh
20 Witches, FC, BoETF
20 Execs, FC
3 RBTs
8 Warlocks

I am finding that my matches against Dark Elfs are maneuvering intensive. Imagine a swirl of double flees, working flanks and gaps, failed panics, and units ending up in opposing deployment zones.

The cham skinks went after the RBT’s hard and would eventually take them all out. I pulled the Cloak of Twilight off as well for a bonus point-Arcane Unforging plus Bound spell ftw!. On the right, the double Sallies get one shot off on the witches followed up by the Skink chief going in grinding the survivors out. They would then turn there attention to the Execs and do the same. Once the RBTs were down, the Old blood went and hunted down Darkshards but were not able to pick them up. I lost some chaff.

15-5 win for the Lizards

Rd-3 Alex Chaos Dwarfs (6) Bleach Blanket

This match was an objective based scenario; there were 3 blankets in the middle. You won by holding more objectives then your opponent. To claim an objective, you need a unit with fortitude/command model. Bonus points were awarded for breaking opponent’s fortitude and killing general/bsb.

Alex brought

Sorc Prophet, Death
BSB, stuff
L2 Metal
Bull Centaur Taurus 1+ AS, CoC
Big unit of Infernal guard,
2 units of Hobgoblins,
4 Fireborn
3 Bull Centaurs
Magma Cannon
Death Shrieker
Iron Daemon
Wolf riders

I deployed spread out, with all units a single model wide to minimize the warmachine damage. On the left, one of the scar vets with the 2+ v. Fire escorted several skink units past the Fireborn. Eventually the Iron daemon got over and killed it with the cannon but by then the Fiireborn were dead and the skinks were peppering the warmachines. A skink cohort was parked on a blanket and would be unmolested though the Magma cannon would force some very nervous panic tests.

I sent the Skink Chief into the flank of the K’Dai and he would hold it up for a critical amount of time. The CO bus and Oldblood/Scarvet chewed up the Bullcentuars and would pin down one of the hobgoblin units. The other Hobgoblin unit could not get around the blocked k’dai. In desperation, Alex’s general charged into the skink chief to kill him but then I promptly found a way to kill the general (can not recall how). To late, Alex realized he had no scoring units close enough to get onto objectives. A desperation charge by the K’dai and Iron Daemon to chase off the Suaurus sitting on an objective was thwarted through steadfast.

20-4 win.

Rd 4 Donovan-WoC (-1.8) Froggy

Straight up Battleline accept for one unit received a Hex scroll that could only be used on a spell cast on the unit. Bonus points awarded around the use of magic and casters.

Donovan was "that guy" and had brought a negative scoring WoC list of uber nastiness.

Slaanesh Demon Prince, Full Kit, Lore of Slaanesh
BSB on demonic mount MoT-yeah the 3++ ward dude
MoT L1 on disc, scroll
2x Maurader Horse
2xChaos hounds
2x Nurgle Gorebeast chariot
2xSkull crusher units.

Hard hitting, fast, and movement control spells, ugh

I weight my left flank heavily and immediately spray out skinks to take down his chaff, plink wounds off chariots, and be annoying.  I get an early IF arcane unforging and pull the BSB's ward save.  About this time, Donovan sends the DP into my CO Bus with Scarvet.  Frankly not looking good.  However, my Old Blood is staring down the BSB with his inscrutable cold blooded stare and licking his chops.  To try and keep the BSB alive, Donovan casts Acquiescence on the Suarus block with the OldBlood.  This is the unit with the frog scroll.  I spend an agonizing second trying to decide if I should let the spell off for a 1 in 3 chance to turn the DP into a Frog at the expense of an easy charge on the BSB.  By this time Bill had wandered over since Donovan and I had been making large amounts of noise in our match.  I decide to go for it and sure enough the DP is now a Slaanesh Frog!  The shouts coming from Donovan, Bill, and I were so loud, the entire hall stopped what they are doing to see what happened. Turns out it is a pretty tough frog and it takes all my scar vets attack to kill it.

The cowboys step out of there units and go hunting while the Slann slings Searing Doom around at will...and Skull Crushers, and BSB's and etc.

I take the match 20-4.  Despite bringing a broken list, Donovan was a blast to play, narrowly clipping Kyle for my Best Game vote.  He would go on to win Best Sports.

Rd 5 Ivan-VC (5.3) Center Stage arch enemy...the destroyer of my dreams.  Anybody but him.

If he had the decency to look like her, it would not be so bad.  

I find myself on Table 2 facing club mate and bane of my Warhammer career Ivan.  I have destroyed Ivan in every match on Thursday night.  However, when the lights are bright he has clubbed me like a baby seal, and I can not recall ever beating him in a tournament game.  To top it off, I feel Ivan is playing the best warhammer I have seen him play.  Being on Table 2 and seeing who was on table 1, I felt a big win would win me the tourney.

Ivan the Terrible's list:

VC Lord, ToP, flying
master Necro
L2 on death, scroll

625 of core
2x10 Hexwraiths
2 spirit hosts
Mortis engine

An observant reader will notice I have only 1 magic weapon!

I set up 29 inches away but rather aggressively.  After deployment, I look at my lines and think 'What the hell was I thinking"  Ivan gets first turn and immediately shows the many errors in my deployment.  By turn 3, my line is in tatters and Ivan sends a Purple Sun through it, finishing off any hopes I may have.  In desperation, I get a cheeky charge with the BSB into the vamp lord.  The BSB has heroic killing blow due to scenario rules.  Alas, Ivan wards the one killing blow I get off and my BSB can not even hold on a cold blooded 7!

I loose 4-20.

Turns out a small win or a draw with objectives would have been enough for me to take first due to soft scores.  While my poor deployment put me on my heels, Ivan completely out played me.  He was inside my decision loop as I tried to pull things together and only made a single mistake (allowing a scarvet with KB to charge the vamp lord).

The bad loss at the end dropped me to a 8th place finish.  Hey back in teh top 10, which is always my goal at a tourney.

Hinge's Rambling #1

By the time I get around to finishing this blog post, I am sure Bragging Rights will be over.  I am sure all the pretending to practice will do me well.

Hinge's Rambling #2

I think officially it is in Mission Viejo, but being from Northern California, any thing south of Fresno is Los Angeles to me.

Hinge's Ramblings #3

I feel the best tournaments are those that put in maximum effort to put together a unique tournament experience.  Venue, sense of feeling welcome, scenarios, and fostering a friendly atmosphere go a long way.

Hinge's Ramblings #4

This is where Mrs. Hinge and /or my various club mates remind me my last two blog posts shows me getting my head kicked in.  Sigh.... my ego is such a fragile thing.

Hinge's Ramblings #5

While I love the stat line of Temple Guard, the tendency of Slann's to destroy its own guard make them a liability in my mind.

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