Thursday, February 24, 2011

Warhammer 40,000 Doubles Report: Day One

The View from the Top (tables that is)
We arrived at Warhammer World having driven through a minor blizzard in Sheffield. I decided this was probably a good sign for my Space Wolves! There were an unbelievable number of people in the gaming hall already. We later learned that there were 130 different teams across 65 tables (obviously). Our list was pretty similar to the one we'd taken to Freebootaz except I'd now got a land speeder instead of the razorback and I'd got wolf standards in my grey hunters packs along with a plasma gun for one pack which now had 10 men. I wasn't sure about using the land speeder but I soon changed my mind. We headed to table 37 where we met our opponents for game one. 

Battle One - Bloody Wolves vs Tyranids
Phil and Sam stood before us with a gorgeous looking Tyranid army. I'd been hoping we'd get to fight nids at some point because I've really enjoyed fighting Scott's. The novelty foam dice was rolled to see what we'd be fighting and it turned out we'd be playing Capture and Control on a Pitched Battle deployment. Our opponents had a tervigon, hive tyrant, 2 zoanthropes, 2x10 termagaunts, 10 hormagaunts, 10 genestealers, 2x3 raveners, a carnifex and a mawloc. We were actually pretty concerned about this list as we'd rely on Mephiston killing

We lost the roll off and they elected to go first. Apart from spawing 10 termagaunts their turn was ineffective. Our first turn was quite the opposite as the rune priest drove forward in his rhino and tore open the earth below the tervigon who failed it's initiative test and fell down the hole. This was a crippling blow for our opponents who were playing their first tournament and hadn't come across JotWW before! Suffice to say every game they played after us featured Space Wolves so by the end of it I expect they were pretty familiar with it! Elsewhere we killed a zoanthrope and wounded the tyrant.

The rune priest unleashed Jaws at the carnifex after another ineffective tyranid turn. Phil rolled a two and the carnifex was safe. Mephiston tried to charge in to finish it off himself but Matt rolled badly for difficult terrain and Mephiston was left impotent. Luckily the carnifex charged him next turn and he was able to slay the beast in a single swing of his blade. We got even more lucky when mawloc's Terror from the Deep came up in terrain and the mishap table meant he was delayed.

Raveners and genestealers came in near our objective and set up either side of a grey hunters pack ready to charge. The grey hunters did a fair amount of rapid firing with one squad killing two raveners and the other killing a pile of termagaunts. Mephiston finished off one brood of gaunts without breaking a sweat. The raveners charged first and the pile in move meant the genestealers were unable to get into combat. The grey hunters were able to easily deal with the sole ravener. The long fangs dealt with the other zoanthrope and finished off the hive tyrant with help from BA melta fire. The other raveners came in but were swamped by both BA and grey hunters and claimed only minimal space marine casualties before perishing. 

The land speeder game in and incinerated SEVEN genestealers after a pinpoint deployment. In the next turn the genestealers tried to assault it but couldn't rend and the remaining three met the same fair as the rest of their brood. The grey hunters moved up and gunned down the entire hormagaunt brood. The mawloc returned and this time killed 5 SW and 3 BA with it's deep strike. Unfortunately for it there was nothing left on the board to support it and the full weight of our army was more than enough to weaken it so that Mephiston could destroy it in combat. This meant we'd tabled our opponents for minimal losses.

We couldn't have asked for a better start to the day. Sam and Phil remained good humoured throughout the entire game even though it seemed we pulled off everything we attempted. All of our units did exactly what they were asked. Mephiston dealt with high toughness monstrous creatures, grey hunters rapid fired into hordes of tyranids, the BA assault troops jumped around mopping up resistance, the long fangs weakened high toughness models and killed zoanthropes and finally the land speeder incinerated an entire genestealer brood. A very enjoyable game which

Battle Two - Bloody Wolves vs SW & Witch Hunters
Game two saw us move up to table 13 (right next to Darren from C&F on table 12) where we met the Wolf Mother team, a combination of Witch Hunters and Wolves. Neither Matt or I had ever played Witch Hunters before so after a brief bit of explanation we started deployment. We got the Annihiliation mission and Spearhead deployment. Our opponents had a cannoness, 10 battle sisters, 5 seraphim, 5 celestians in an immolator and an exorcist. The Space Wolves list was very similar to our Freebootaz list but with some wolf guard and slightly fewer grey hunters. 

We got first turn and deployed aggressively leaving our long fangs at the back for fire support. Once again the land speeder would deep strike. Our opponents lined up their transports at what they hoped was a safe distance with their long fangs & rune priest in area terrain supported by the battle sisters. The razorback and exorcist were on their left flank. The first turn saw the long fangs packs exchanging frag missiles with ours scoring 3 kills to their 2. Mephiston advanced towards the amassed transports but was unable to get into range of them. He took a couple of lascannon and exorcist missile shots to the face leaving him wounded but still going. He responded by charging forward but both his shooting and support from the long fangs failed to kill any transports so he was forced to charge in. Luckily for him he blew up a rhino and pinned it's occupants but this left him in front of a firing squad. Thanks to the distraction the grey hunters had managed to move up and the land speeder had come in from deep strike. The hunters stunned the exorcist and the land speeder blew up the razorback. 

The firing squad then opened up. The celestians, immolator, grey hunters, battle sisters and long fangs all fired at him but somehow he managed to retain a single wound. He returned the favour by all but annihilating a grey hunters squad before being cut down by a power fist. The grey hunters charged in and finished off the long fangs. The exorcist turned it's attention to the land speeder and blew it off the face of the earth. The blood angels charged into combat but Matt rolled badly and the battle sisters proved tough for them. The other grey hunters moved onto the hill in front of the transports and were able to rapid fire at their opposite numbers and when charged they performed well. Dying but not without first killing all but a handful of their greys and all of the celestians. 

The grey hunters that had killed the long fangs turned their attention to the exorcist and a combination of melta and plasma fire was able to wreck it. The seraphim dropped in behind the long fangs who were unable to deal with them, lost their combat and were chased from the board. The blood angels went across the board and finished off their grey hunters after they'd killed off the cannoness following a badly scattered deep strike from her. In an heroic attempted to claim another killpoint the sanguinary priest broke off from the combat and charged a rhino. He could only immobilise it and miraculously was killed by it's storm bolter! The battle ended here with the final score at 11-7 to us. As I'm writing it, the battle comes across as a whitewash for us but we did sustain heavy losses and those Faith points are irritating. Just when you think they've run out you kill a unit and they get another one! The cannoness was able to make her save invulnerable for both the shooting and assault phases and they were unlucky not to save her. Another enjoyable game played against friendly opponents.

Battle Three - Bloody Wolves vs BA/Guard
After two games we found ourselves on table 3 placed 5th overall! We both agreed that even if our glory was shortlived we would be happy having made it onto the top tables at least once in our first tournament at WHW. To be honest we were worried that we'd meet a "power" army and be smacked straight back down. 

Our opponents Josh and Allen had brought Guard and BA. We'd always feared fighting guard at freebootaz but if anything the BA should at least reduce the guard firepower. Their BA list was similar to ours with Mephiston leading it but one squad of assault marines was replaced by a Furioso dread in a drop pod. The guard portion of the army had a company command squad in chimera, a platoon command squad with flamers, 2 guard squads with a lascannon, 2 vendettas and 2 hydras. The game would be Seize Ground with Dawn of War deployment. The objectives were all placed pretty centrally and we won the roll off.

The first turn was uneventful as we had little to shoot at. Their dreadnought came down in front of one of my rhinos and one of Matt's assault squads. The vendettas came on, one into the centre of the field and the other just in front of the hydras in the back corner. The land speeder came down on turn two right in front of a vendetta. It opened up with it's multi-melta wrecking the vendetta and we felt that this would be the start of good things! Our joy was shortlived as my long fangs missed with 3/4 of their krak missiles and although the 4th penetrated the vendetta made it's cover save. More devastatingly we were unable to harm the dreadnought thanks to its AV13. It responded by charging my grey hunters easily killing 7 of them causing them to run. It didn't follow however and they were able to regroup towards one of the objectives. 

Their Mephiston dropped out of his vendetta and charged into one of the BA squads. Although they held on well, our Mephiston was shut down repeatedly so never got to use his wings to get into combat quickly. Their Mephiston finished off the blood angels and turned his attention to his opposite number. The company command squad helped him out by firing meltas at our Mephiston leaving them both with 1 wound. Needless to say they clashed and both died. 

Elsewhere the blood angels made repeated attempts to meltagun the dreadnought but Matt kept rolling 1s on the damage table and thanks to it's extra armour it was still able to come at them and bring them down. The company command squad, lascannons and hydras all combined to shift our grey hunters from the objective but not before they'd tried and failed another melta shot at the seemingly invincible dread. On the far right I'd advanced my remaining grey hunters and rune priest to get off a jaws attack on his assault squad. Unfortunately after some anal arguments about positioning of the rhino I forgot to disembark them and our opponent refused to allow me to get them out. In their defence I'd already measured range on one of my weapons making it the shooting phase but it felt a little unfair of them not to just say "we'll let you off". I guess it's to be expected at that level but it doesn't make for enjoyable games and the mood certainly changed from that point on.

Rather satisfyingly the blood angels charged into my grey hunters and I was able to wipe them out with only minimal grey hunter losses. Unfortunately by this point there was very little of ours left on the table and the imperial guard had moved up to claim several of the objectives. This resulted in our first loss with the Blood Wolves army. 

Our first two battles had been enjoyable affairs where both sides were happy to remind their opponents when they'd forgotten things or allow them to do them when they remembered (within reason). Our third battle was a horrible experience that I wouldn't wish to repeat. Our opponents rushed our every decision and were constantly putting pressure on us to play faster. They rolled everything as quickly as possible before you even had chance to figure out what they were even doing. The dispute over the disembarking grey hunters had just been the icing on the cake. I guess we've now met "That Guy" (or Those Guys i suppose) and I'll write a full post about it soon.

In actual fact I think that poor second turn's shooting was the turning point for the game. Had we taken down both vendettas and the dread (which wasn't an unreasonable thing to have expected) then the BA and grey hunters would've mowed down the guard in combat. Our Mephiston probably would've been in a better state when he faced theirs and I think we'd have come out on top. Although there's a lot to fear in those vendetta/hydra guard lists I don't think they're brilliant if you've got some heavy weapons for the vendettas. The hydras will probably demech you but after that they've only got AP4 against your power armour.

Although we felt cheated there was also a sense of relief in knowing that we'd fall down the rankings a bit and hopefully get an enjoyable game at the start of Sunday. We can't really complain at 2 wins and a loss on day one.


  1. Was there another unit in the Vendetta with Mephiston? If so they cheated, he is not indepent character and cannot join units.

  2. Nah he was on his own. Since we play Mephiston we know he can't join units so we'd have spotted it. They didn't really do anything to cheat, they just wanted to win at all costs which didn't make much fun.

  3. "Our opponents rushed our every decision and were constantly putting pressure on us to play faster"

    I was playing a table above you and finished my game while you were still on turn 2, and you're complaining they wanted to hurry you, I wonder why...

    You forgot to disembark in the movement phase, learn from your mistakes instead of whining maybe?

  4. Sorry if I thought a tournament was meant to be a friendly light hearted affair. Perhaps you finished your game quicker because both teams were totally familiar with their armies and the rules and didn't require any external adjudication?

    Since you knew the guys we were playing its not surprising you'd stick up for them. We were being rushed because one of our opponents wanted to go. Perhaps they should've tabled us to make it quicker for them?

    If you read what I've written you'd notice I say the disembark didn't cost us the game it was just unlucky shooting. Had our opponents spent less time being anal about everything we did I'm sure we'd have finished quicker.

    Also, if you write a flamebait comment have the decency to use a name.

  5. Josh and Allen are seasoned tourney veterans. In fact they usually win most they enter. So they undoubtedly play at a faster speed than most.

    It's a shame you felt pressured though. I feel that in a tourney game game you should adjust your play style to suit your opponent and they should do the same. Hopefully you can meet in the middle and have a good game.

  6. My point wasn't made to stick up for mates, they're big enough to handle themselves.

    What I don't like are players labelled as waacers if they ask their opponents to play by the rules.

    Sure tournaments should be fun and enjoyable for both parties, but if you make a mistake and ask to go back and your opponent doesn't let you it's your own fault if it changes the atmosphere of the game. I've asked many opponents if I could do the same, some let me some don't. If my opponent doesn't then I ensure the same in return and make sure they play by the rules properly, if they are the sort of gamer who wants to keep it more "fun" and lets me make a mistake and correct it then I'll be the same way in return.

    Not all players are like this though, and do "play to win". It is a tournament afterall.


  7. I was more than happy to admit I'd made a mistake. As it turned out we had to do a similar thing to them later in the game and they responded in exactly the same manner. I think this has to be put down to my inexperience at tournaments (since this was only my second). Some players feel far more confident in their knowledge of the rules to be able to question their opponents. We are by no means experts in 40K rules and we've found we're doing something wrong in a lot of our tournament games. This is how you learn to play by the rules.

    I have no problem with people playing to win as everyone should aim to do so. All I really wanted was for them to appreciate that not everyone is experienced enough to play at their pace. Rushing was what caused both our mistakes and theirs'. We still managed to get the full number of turns and as I said it was mainly poor damage table rolling against that seemingly invulnerable dread that did us in!

    It comes down to adapting our play style to a tournament setting and each opponent's individual style. It didn't help that this was the first time we'd lost a game with our doubles list which made us that little bit more mardy! :P


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