Australian Masters – Day 2
Day 2 of Masters began, with me nursing a decent little hangover. Not a first for me on these interstate trips. Panadol and Powerade in hand, the WA players made it to the venue.
Wraithknight (sword & board), Spiritseer, D-scythes in a Serpent, Dark Reapers in a Bunker, Tau Allies w/ 2 Broadsides, Missle-suits, Plasma suits, and a Commander w/ Marker drone unit. Also, 2×4 jetbikes.
Oh no. Tau-dar. I hate Tau. I also hated that I had both AV14 and a knight to take care of…and only one thing that can do it. I decided that the Wraithknight was probably the worst of the two.
Vanguard deployment. I deployed first, being quite aggressive. David deployed ultra-defensively, hiding everything behind his bunker and a big LOS blocking piece in his deployment zone. After um-ing and ahh-ing about it… I gave him first turn. It was a tough decision, but we both had jetbikes, and I knew how clutch they might be at the end.
In his turn one, he popped a venom, and killed 5/6 of a jetbike squad (damn reapers). That was…acceptable! My remaining jetbike turbo-boosted to safety, and it appears my opponent forgot about him, but we’ll get to that. I did almost nothing in my turn. David was able to hide much of his army with JSJ moves. My hawks left the table, and I started to press the left flank (which was obscured from his reaper bunker). My opponent took note of the war walkers, as they put many wounds onto what they could see.
Turn 2, and the Wave Serpent & Wraithknight were getting closer. More missiles came at me, I lost a war walker, and a fair amount of reavers (I keep playing them too aggressive).
My Wraithguard came down, and promptly rolled a tactical 6 on the wraithknight. My Spiders shot & destroyed his Wave Serpent. My hawks put their grenade packs & lasblasters into the marker squad, killing a few drones. I was starting to make progress now! My remaining reaver hid, and my autarch on 1 wound joined my remaining jetbikes for safety (bullet spounges).
Turn 3, I lost a war walker to missile suits, and my wraithguard to 28 hits from D-scythes. Good god. But, mission accomplished, they did their job. In my turn, the spiders took care of the Wraithguard, after rolling 6’s for their two movement phase dice & their run move. Making a total of 34 inches movement for the turn. They were now situated well within my opponents deployment zone, with a nice peice of LOS blocking terrain to use. My hawks charged his jetbikes, and I was able to kill all but one of them. A good turn 3 for me!
We were only able to play to turn 5, and had agreed beforehand that it would be the last turn. With jetbikes in my army, knowing when last turn will happen is a huge advantage. Over the final two turns, we traded blows as we tried to limit each others final turn scoring and kill points. Mostly, this meant hiding for both of us. Turn 5 began, and the dash for objectives!
My spiders were able to kill the broadsides holding an objective in his deployment. The reapers were also holding it, but it was now contested. My remaining reaver turbo-boosted onto an objective a single crisis suit was on, contesting that too. I was able to turbo boost my single remaining jetbike (yes, that one from turn 1), onto an objective his jetbike was on, contesting that. I held the 4th of four, in my deployment with my support batteries. After Maelstrom, killpoints and bonus points, I sneaked a 14-6 win.
This was by far the closest game I’ve played in a while. David was a quality opponent, and I jagged the win simply by giving him first turn. I would’ve felt guilty against anyone else, but he had jetbikes in his list too, so we both pulled the same gimmick, with me having the advantage of going 2nd. MVP’s were the Spiders in this game. Just by themselves, they netted me 4 kill points, denied an objective, and let me cash 3 maelstrom cards.
Cohort Cybernetica (4 bots total), Dominus & 2 Kastelans, 2x3 Kataphrons (Grav and Arc), 3x5 Legion of the damned w/ melta.
Ahh crap. More battlebots and a good opponent. Having won three of four games, I was up there in the event rankings. I’d seen Andrew around at a few state level events in the past, and knew he was a quality player.
Deployment was Dawn of War, and I had first turn. I kept first turn this time, I moved so much faster it didn’t matter who had final turn.
Andrew kept the Kataphrons and Legion in reserve. Meaning just the bots were on the table. I felt I had learnt a lesson from Game 2, on how to play this game. I kept my distance, and forced as many saves as possible on the bots. By the halfway point of turn 2, things were already looking bad for my opponent. Although my Wraithguard whiffed in spectacular fashion (killing a single member of their own squad as a shot bounced back), the rest of my army had caused many wounds on the cohort, and a couple on the other unit of bots. I had also managed to keep the small unit blinded both turns, and the larger unit for one.
In his turn 2, ALL of his shooting bounced off my Archon’s Shadowfield. Including the unit of Grav Kataphrons that came on from reserve. He then failed a 5 inch charge with the bots, which hurt him very badly. Two units of legion came down, killing a couple of reavers. In my turn 3, things were all but wrapped up for me. My spiritseer shrieked the kataphrons for 7 wounds, the Wraithguard killed two bots, my reavers killed a unit of legion and my Jetbikes WON COMBAT against a unit of legion. Again, I kept the big unit of cohort blinded. At this point, Andrew leant across the table and said to me; “Just quietly…this is the fastest this army has ever been tabled”. Now I don’t usually like it when a game ends with a tabling. Mostly because it’s never a great feeling for the person on the other side of it. But, it’s a special sort of player that can take it with a smile and not make it awkward. We played another 15 minutes or so before he conceded and gave me the 20-0 win. Quality opponent, and a good bloke. A satisfying game to cap off a good weekend for me!
I finished the event with 4 wins, 1 loss and 76 of 100 battle points. This meant I finished in fourth place, my best result on an interstate trip! Aside from that, I was very happy with how I played my games. I felt as though I made a couple of mistakes in game two, and that I maybe could have taken some more points from it. But it was always going to be a tough game for me.
As I mentioned early in part 1, the 8 comp restriction made for some nice, balanced lists from the majority of attendee’s. There wasn’t too many full blown death-star lists floating about, and the ‘gimmicks’ were at an all time low.
The winner of the tournament was fielding an Eldar CAD. The list itself was nothing amazing, and I’m sure that the player won the tournament primarily based on his tactical nous. His army consisted of; Spiritseer, 3×10 Guardian defenders in Serpents, Wraithknight (Suncannon I think), Wraithlord w/ 2 Bright Lances, Wraithguard on foot, Dark Reapers, and a nightspinner. In the community comp environment, it’s a strong, well rounded army with a solution to any problem.
2nd place, was a Chaos army. An Iron Warriors Cad, with a Flying Prince, 3 Obliterators taken individually, a Mutilator, 3 Maulerfiends, a Renegade knight. There may be something I’m forgetting to this one, but again – a solid well rounded list. The Oblits are simply there for scoring and to be annoying. The Maulers and Knight are the heavy hitters here. This army, and the aforementioned winner, played next to me on my final game. From what I heard, the Eldar play was exceedingly lucky with the Wraithlord blowing up the Knight early on…with just 2 bright lance shots!
3rd place was a quality deathstar. This list was Azrael, another Dark Angels character, along with 64 (!) Fenrisian Wolves and their respective dog walkers. Basically, Azrael gives this giant unit of Wolves a 4++ from his helmet, and feel no pain from his warlord trait (which he choses). It’s a huge unit with board control, and the ability to multi-assault an entire army. There’s some token scoring units thrown in there too.
Other armies of note included;
Cataphractii Captain w/ Shield eternal + Stern. Rerollable 2++ on a Captain? Sold! Having had a bit of a chat with the general of this one, this combo only cost him a single comp point. It’s something the CC guys hadn’t caught onto yet, and exposes one of the few flaws in the system. That said, this deathstar is exceedingly slow. Something which can be exploited.
Another deathstar which made an appearance, was a Cyclopia Cabal, with a big unit of fleshhounds, Renegade Knight and a Helldrake. Similar to the Fenrian Wolf list, it’s a big unit of doggies buffed up with feel no pain (Endurance) and some other toys. The sorcerers look for Hammerhand to take out the tough targets.
There were a bunch of fantastically painted armies, and a few really interesting lists. It was a fun event for me, and I am happy with my result.
Until next time!