Saturday, July 26, 2014

SAWS

I seem to be suffering from a case of the bloggy wobbles, with 3 blog posts, all half done.  Decided to wrap up the SAWS tournament report this weekend before I destroy some more brain cells and I forget what happened completely.

No, not the hand tools.
Sacramento Area Warhammer Society



SAWS was held in mid-May in Sacramento and has to be one of the longest running indy GT’s in the country (14 years now).  The format is 2,500 W/L/D.  Win by 100 VP with bonus points for winning by more than 300 VP.  The packet uses a home grown comp rubric to assign a comp score.  Frankly it is out of date, has plenty of loopholes, favors some armies over others and really needs to be redone or the event should adopt Swedish comp, which does what they are trying to do but better.  Comp is added to your final score.  Except for one concession, I ignored the comp rubric and took what I wanted to play, which was my WCGT list.  This of course guaranteed me scoring poorly on comp, which I accepted. 

One mechanic I really like is you are handed a list of objectives at the beginning of the tourney.  Prior to every game, you choose one of the objectives.  You can only choose an objective once in the tournament.  While some of these objectives should be updated, it is a fun element.

The List:

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,, LA, Biting Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, IC Icon
Skink Priest, Heavens, Scroll
Skink Chief, Terradon, LA, Relic Sword, Charmed Shield, DB Gem, Egg of Quango

23 Saurus Warriors, FC
5x10 Skink skirmishers
2x5 Chameleon skinks
6 Cold One Riders, Mus, STd, Spears
2 Salamanders –Comp concession to avoid double rare. 
2 Jungle Swarms

Observant readers will notice I dropped the cohorts in favor of more skrimishers.  None of the scenarios require banners and in fact, bonus objectives punish you for taking standards as one of them is capture more standards then you lose.  I should have left all standards other than the BSB at home.  You will also notice I have a second magic weapon in the army.  Momma did not raise a fool and I was looking forward to a rematch with Ivan.  Plus, there are three people playing Hexwraith heavy lists on the West Coast that I can think of. 


The last two years saw Leadership 2 get totally out of control Friday night, two years ago I brought a BBQ and grilled at the hotel pool and last year we did a Kangaroo court.  Massive hangovers Saturday morning has been a feature of this tourney.  

Bet you thought I would post an image of the Hangover movies.
The Friday night drunk shenanigans the last couple years puts that movie to shame.  


This year was actually quite tame and I started this years title (hinge's ramblings #1) defense with a strange sensation....feeling good.


Game 1 Michael Dark Elves Battle for the Pass

Dreadlord, Dark Steed, 1+/4++, OTS Ogre Blade
Cloak of Twilight peg Master
Master, BSB, Ring, Dark Steed
Sorc, L2, Beasts, Scroll
28 Corsairs, FC
10 Dark Riders, shields, RXBow, Mus
5 Dark Riders, shields, RXB
2x5 shades
5 harpies
28 Executioners, Banner of Swiftness
3 RBTs
9 Warlocks

Fast and hard hitting with a solid block of troops.  I choose having more units in his deployment zone then he had in mine as a scenario objective figuring I need to push.  

This game ended up being a movement intensive match.  The right saw terradons and skinks dueling with fast cav.  I would pull the cloak of twilight with Arcane unforging (thank you skink vassel) making that guy alot less scary.  The back field saw my chameleon skinks hunting RBTs while trying to avoid the other unit of shades.  The left saw me contrive a charge with the Old Blood and skink chief into the flank of the execs while also clipping with the cold ones.  The idea was to pin in place and the next turn the Suarus block would be able to charge in.  Alas I was undone when the single exec touching the Old blood hit, followed buy a killing blow and failed ward save.  The skink chief was also killed with two hits.  I needed one of those characters to survive, he was able to then reform to bring his entire unit in contact with the Cold ones and scarvet and destroy them in a fury of additional KBs.  The Suaurus block and BSB, not wanting to take the Execs on alone, turned and mouse trapped the Corsairs, taking them out and escaping.  

In the end we only got through 4 turns.  I ended with a minor loss with objective.  Michael felt that if we had played one more turn, the win would have gone my way as his fast cav was down to single models and surrounded by skinks backed by the Suarus.  It really hammers home a lesson about tournament play. Michael and I were having a great game that had alot going on, especially in the movement phase, and we just lost track of time.  This is something to always be aware of, especially since I tend to win my games late but give up points early.  


Game 2- Larry - Woc

My reward for losing was to play a multiple Best Overall winner in NoCal tourney's, Larry and his great looking Spartan themed WoC.

L4, Shadow, Stuff
BSB, Daemonic Mount, GW, 1+ Armor, 3++ ward re-rolling 1's.  Yeah that dude.

Huge block of Tzeetch Warriors
2 units of hounds
4 chariots
2 units of fast cav
2 Gorebeast chariots

I choose control Table quarters as my secret objective.

There was a pond and house in the middle of the table that was acting as a channel for my suarus.  The old blood and BSB went in there to face off his wall of chariots and block of Warriors.

We both slowly push towards each other.  On the first turn, I get IF Arcane unforging and pull the 3++ ward off the BSB.  Sadly, my Slann sucks himself into the warp, immediately giving Larry magic dominance.  I go into draw mode and start backing off while looking to get my objective.  My skinks clean up the hounds and fast cav.  The Terradon chief works his way around and slams into the flank of a chariot, killing it out right with the Egg, going into the next, which he would break and slam into a third that would finish him off.

Meanwhile on the other flank, the Dawnstone Scarvet took a double chariot charge to the face after failing stupidity test.  They bounced and I ran one down, the other ran through his Gore beast chariots and panicked them both (BSB was out of range).  Next turn I declare lots of charges to herd them until they got run down.  His BSB, pissed at the wreckage brought on by the Scar vet charges him and is destroyed in two turns.  Meanwhile, I am throwing chaff out in front of the Warrior Block because Pit of Shades is killing Suarus in droves and I do not fancy tangling with that anvil with only 6 Suaurus.  I end up pulling a narrow win with objectives.

Larry is one of the best players in NoCal, a multiple Best Overall (hinges ramblings #2) winner with two different armies. If he traveled, he would climb to the ranks of one of the best in the country.  Despite this, the effect on him when he lost the 3++ ward on the BSB made him very tentative.  On the other hand, I have lost the Slann on the first turn several times and pushed to victory.  The difference in confidence is what brought victory.  Arcane Unforging is my favorite spell in the game!


Round 3- Andre -Bretts

It seems like a tradition now that I face Andre in turn 3 at SAWS as this has to be the third year.  He always has heavily themed armies.  I choose capture more standards then my opponent as my objective.

Lord on HippoGrif
BSB on Peg
2 x L2 Beasts, Silver mirror and scroll

2 x mega lances
2 x smaller lance
Grail knights
Block of men at arms
10 bowman
Peg Knights
Grail Knights


I have a lot of respect for Bretts as I feel they are underrated.  However, the Hippogrif lord is certainly sub optimal and the gamer in me that insists on taking Carnosuaurs (hinges ramblings #3) approves.

On my left, the flying characters and a small lance spend several turns chasing skinks of various variety unitl my terradons sneak behind and take out the trebs.  There was a couple of nervous moments when both the BSB and the Old Blood had to make 4+ ward saves after having a rock dropped on them.  The OB was running around by himself since I did not want the Suaurus unit being a prime target.

On the right, the CO cav and Dawnstone cowboy go through the other small lance, Peg Knightrs and into the Grail Knights.  Theyget stuck there for a while (thanks to wysans) until the skink chief hurtles into the rear and the Egg tips the combat in the reptiles favor.


Finally in the middle, the Old blood charges one of the mega lances and the long grind begins.  The Peg hero, who had been hunting the Slann succumbs to a searing doom as he closed in on his goal.  The Lord charges the flank of the OB, who shrugs off the hits and slays the Hippogrif in a awesome display of predatory fighter.  With that and me circling for more charges, Andre concedes.

It was actually a much closer game then the description provides.  I felt I owned the movement phase but also got lucky several times that allowed me to really get on top of the match.


Game-4 Dark Elves

This is not how you should approach warhammer


I am not going into this game.  My opponent hands me his list, I point out he is playing with an extra RBT and he gets on aggro on me, then spends 5 minutes examining the list I hand back and announces this is not the list he submitted to the TO.  The game goes down hill from there.  His method for every rules dispute was to get hyper aggro and try and intimidate me, the rules judge had to park himself at the table.  In the end, I table him pretty hard but it was one of those crappy games you run into in the tourney scene.


Game 5 Fred -DoC


Last episode, you met the dynamic duo of Fred and Bill and West Coast Hammer Time and WCGT fame. For the final battle, Fred and I square off.  You can listen to Fred's version of the Battle on his most excellent podcast.

Bloodthirster
Herald of Khorne-BSB

Block of Blood Letters
4x10 horror units
2 solo beasts
6 Beasts of Nurgle
4 Nurglings
Skull Cannon

Pretty soft list and I knew we both wanted to get into it.  A lot of dancing occurs early.  I send the Terradon into the SkullCannon, pop the egg but get no wounds.  He is promptly Killing blowed.  Fred is pressing me and has engineered the match ups in his favor so I decide to charge the CO bus with the Dawnstone vet and OB into the Bloodletters.  Not happy about it but it was going to happen anyways.  Through several rounds and a couple of warded KB wounds on the OB, I grind the unit out at the expense of the CO unit.  I turn around and flank charge the Blood Thirster who was locked up with the Saurus/BSB unit.  I get apotheosis off and heal him back up followed by a Savage Beasts of Horrors!  The BT bashes the OB around but I take a single wound.  I hit and wound him 8 times (thank you predatory fighter).  Fred promptly makes 5 ward saves to keep his thirster alive on a single wound.  I then point out I have the OTS.  Fred don't care and hits all five re-rolls!  Alas, I win by 9 (flank, charge, 3 ranks, 2 standards and up 2 wounds) and he pops.  The rest was the slann dodging Beasts of Nurgle and me cleaning points up.  It was a super fun game and a great way to end a tourney.


I would wind up in 4th place.  I pulled three Best Game votes, which I am proud of but also had an opponent tank my scores, costing me either first or second overall.  Ah well.

Until next time,

Hinge


Hinge's Ramblings #1

I have been on a roll at SAWS, with 2 Best Overalls and a second place the last three years.

Hinge's Ramblings #2

Larry just won the Quake City Rumble held last weekend.  I feel even better about my win now!

Hinge's Ramblings #3

I am hopelessly in love with big dinosaurs eating other people!








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