Anyway, there were four of us going so we'd intended to play a round robin where we each had three games to cover all opposition. Our first game was suppose to finish at 12.30 but we were still playing at 13.15 and then didn't start the second game until 14.15 after we'd had our burgers in Bugman's. The venue was open until 8 because of an event but we still wanted plenty of time to get around the new exhibition so we opted to leave it at two games and give the exhibition our full attention afterwards.
I therefore played against Scott's Tyranids and Matt's Chaos. We were playing Maelstrom in both games and went for Cleanse and Control with Dawn of War deployment for simplicity.
Tau vs. Tyranids
On paper this should've been a comfortable game for me but still, with that many big MCs across the table I was worried that they'd get to my lines before I could deal with them. The Flyrant with it's high volume of S6 and Mawloc with Terror From the Deep were probably the biggest threats but since they'd be in reserve, along with the Hive Crone and spore pod (whatever it's called now), I'd get a turn or two to deal with the rest of the army.
I won the roll off and deployed my units spread across my zone. Scott deployed most things central but set up Swarmy and some hive guard in a ruin on his right flank. He managed to Seize and pushed forward as fast as possible towards my lines. I gambled on not Jinking against his hive guard but he got looking with a penetrating hit and blew the turret off my Hammerhead. He also managed to spawn the maximum of 15 gaunts from his Tervigon without corking it. My turn wasn't particularly successful with a dozen or so gaunts and 5 out of 6 genestealers dying. This was partly because I'd chosen to keep my fire warriors in their transports so I could respond better to Scott's reserves arriving on turn 2. The big news of the turn though was the objective cards with Scott scoring 3 to my 2 VPs.
Swarmy emerged from cover and lined up to charge the fire warriors that Scott hoped would emerge from the nearby Devilfish. Sadly the hive guard couldn't do their bit as the Devilfish jinked away from their fire to lose a single hull point and get shaken. This meant Swarmy was forced to charge the transport and easily wreck it. In the centre the Trygon gunned down a Piranha but the Mawloc was unlucky and scattered away from it's target. The Tau response was pretty brutal. The Fire Warriors opened up on the Swarmlord and cut him down in a single Storm of Fire volley. The other Fire Warriors combined to down the Trygon and put some wounds on the Mawloc with help from the suits. Elsewhere the remaining Piranhas and drones thinned out the termagants some more. Once again, Scott had the luck with the objective cards and was now looking at a 6-2 lead.
Scott's flyers arrived at the top of turn 3 and whilst the tyrant cut down a pile of fire warriors he was looking pretty vulnerable when my flyer arrived to help light him up. When my suits arrived behind the Tervigon things looked even worse. They made short work of the MC but it fell to the nearby Kroot to take the final wound. There weren't many Tyranids left on the board but I was still looking at a 8-2 scoreline at the end of Scott's turn. Thankfully I got some decent cards which gave me points for killing the Flyrant and grabbing some objectives pulling it back to 8-6. The final turn would be decisive then.
Despite having minimal models left Scott was able to score a further two points. I'd need a big effort to pull things back. My objective deck helped me out with Behind Enemy Lines which I managed to get two VPs from and another couple of points from objectives. That tied the score up at 10-10. We'd both scored Linebreaker but it was killing the Flyrant for Slay the Warlord that gave me a 12-11 win.
Tau vs. Chaos
Matt punished me early on. I quickly regretted not dealing with the Prince but when he forgot to cast the Grimoire I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Once again though I couldn't take advantage as Fateweaver survived. At the end of turn 3 we were at 5-5 and it was still all to play for. I'd had the Domination objective card but discarded it because Matt's cultists would be impossible for me to shift in time. When Matt drew the card though he had no such problems. I was controlling objectives though so he'd need to clear me from them if he wanted the points. With time running out we decided that we'd call the game if he managed to get all 6 objectives. Fateweaver dropped in behind my Devilfish on the central objective and gunned it down in the psychic phase. On the far side the Obliterator shot then charged my Hammerhead to clear it from the objective there. That gave him the full 6 objectives and 5 VPs (plus a 6th for controlling an objective) to take the win.
The Tyranid game was made a lot tougher by the objective cards which really helped Scott out. There were a couple of occasions where he drew objectives he was already on making for simple scoring. That's why I'm glad the Blog Wars objectives don't put so much of an emphasis on the markers. Perhaps there should be two cards for each objective though. It's something I'll mull over in the next couple of weeks so that I can have everything finalised with a month to go to the event.
The loss in the second game was mostly down to two things. Going second was always going to hurt but this was compounded by the seemingly invulnerable Daemon Prince. It's not often that you feel like you can put a loss down to a single moment but I really feel like failing to wound with the hammerhead was it. Fair play to Matt though for taking all six objectives. I'm frustrated that I made it so easy to him with silly mistakes like moving the hammerhead on the left back from the objective to protect it's rear armour. Ah well, live and learn. It was just good to play some 40K for a change. It doesn't happen often enough these days.
Once the games were over we headed into the exhibition. I was dubious about the £7.50 price tag but holy crap was it worth it. It was equal parts inspirational and demoralising if you get what I mean? I'd recommend it to any fan of the hobby. I'm sure you could go back several times and keep seeing new things.