So after the unpleasant business of yesterday's rant. I've now gotten that out of my system and can talk about how we actually ended up 2nd/4th. I posted the army list up yesterday so here's a brief rundown of our games. I'd post up full reports but it's been a fortnight and I've forgotten most of the intricacies! Anyway, here goes.
Game 1 - Titanic Fenrisians vs. GK/GK
We were hoping for a nice easy first game to give us a gentle start to the tournament and hopefully put us in a good position for the other 4 games. Looking at the army on the table in front of us we knew this wasn't going to be it! Our opponents had Draigo with a massive blob of terminators, a psyfleman dread, dreadknight, a techmarine, death cults in a razorback, Coteaz with some monkeys/servitors sat in a reinforced cover and gaining Stealth from the tournaments "Brothers in Arms" benefit and a razorback sat separately from the monkeys. A lot of firepower and some very tough units to kill. The guys controlling it, Jon and Denis had clearly put in a lot work to perfect the list.
They unfortunately took first turn and we took a pelting of fire to come out pretty much unscathed. None of our vehicles bought it with an SW rhino being immobilised and a couple of GK vehicles getting Stunned which they shook off. We let rip with our disgusting amount of fire and took down his dread and took out a razorback. They slowly advanced their terminators/dreadknight forward and took down a couple of our tanks. We killed off the remaining razorback, badly wounded the dreadknight and rapid fired the death cults to a single model. The following few turns saw the dreadknight die off to a fuselade of fire and Draigo falling down a Jaws of the World Wolf hole. The remaining terminators charged the purifiers but fluffed their attacks (although Coteaz died) and were taken down by a Grey Hunter counter-charge. By the end of turn 4 they'd been left with just a couple of monkeys and Coteaz sat in their reinforced terrain. We controlled 2 objectives and they had none meaning we decided to push for the tabling.
Mistake. A squad of grey hunters (who'd lost their rhino) advanced on their Coteaz and his monkeys and then sat and watched a single monkey and Coteaz make something like 19 2+ saves from the rest of our army! They then charged the lucky pair but fluffed their difficult terrain roll meaning only a handful of them made it into combat. I cocked up my rolls and Coteaz made me pay for it by killing a single grey hunter. I lost the combat and rolled 11 for my morale check. Coteaz and the monkey consolidated out of cover onto an objective which happened to be worth double (thanks to the custom scenario being played where a roll of 6 for each objective meant double points). End of turn 5 and we rolled for a decisive 6th turn but didn't get it.
Having lost 2 vehicles and Coteaz we were forced to a draw by their Coteaz ((on a single wound) accompanied by a bloody monkey! Words can't describe!
Game 2 - Titanic Fenrisians vs. CSM/CSM
We were playing Dawn of War and with our opponents reserving the lot we spent two turns driving around. When they came on they quickly killed off a rhino and then we let rip with our arsenal killing all the plague marines pretty quickly, exploding the defiler and turning the dreadnought into an immobile armless-wonder. One squad of grey hunters strayed too close to Abaddon's land raider and paid the price but Kharn and co were forced to disembark from their land raider. A combination of firepower and Jaws killed off Kharn and his berserkers. Abaddon and co eventually succumbed to weight of fire and we wrecked the other land raider. Had I been a bit more sensible with the grey hunters we probably wouldn't have lost much at all. Abaddon was pretty unlucky to smack himself in the face with his daemon weapon the first time he used it and struggled to take down a razorback. One of those games where one side has all the luck.
A solid victory where we also took 3 secondary mission points.
Game 3 - Titanic Fenrisians vs. SW/BT
We knew we had to deal with the thunderwolves early on as if our vehicles started dying off we'd struggle against them. We managed to kill all but one of them straight away and a double jaws started to thin out the terminators. They quickly moved themselves into a position where they had 3 objectives so started to rack up some points. We managed to kill all but one of the terminators in the left hand squad but he still claimed an objective. Not only that but he killed our razorback on that objective and stopped us getting a point. Our grey hunters advanced and dealt with their large grey hunter packs and otherwise our sheer firepower again won the day. By the closing stages they were still scoring points with their remaining grey hunter pack but it wouldn't be enough.
Our opponents were unlucky to lose a lot of terminators to our well placed jaws attacks but also struggled to deal with our razorbacks/rhinos until late on. The sheer weight of fire was too much for a largely foot army so by the end our opponents weren't paying much attention.
Game 4 - Titanic Fenrisians vs. DE/SM
Feeling pretty confident from our first day's gaming we were pleased to be facing a DE/SM army that had lots of low AV vehicles for us to chew through with S8. They had 2 stormtalons, a razorwing, 2 ravagers, 2 rhinos with tactical squads, 2 venoms with kabalites, a large wych squad in a raider, librarian, etc.
With us taking the first turn our opponents decided to reserve their entire force as their mobility advantage would be very effective in a Cleanse mission. We had a couple of turns of maneouvering before their army showed up. They were actually pretty lucky to get a lot of their army in the 2nd turn. Sadly their firepower didn't do much to our army. The same couldn't be said of our return fire. They had brought on 2 storm talons, a rhino, raider, razorwing and a ravager. By the end of our turn 3 they'd only got a weaponless stormtalon and a rhino left with wyches and kabalites suddenly finding themselves on foot. The grey hunters rapid fired the wyches to death and the next wave of their forces met a similar fate.
However, all was not lost for them. With the game rapidly reaching it's conclusion (thanks to 2 turns of nothing) we found ourselves struggling to kill a landspeeder (roll on 6th edition) that contested one quarter and a having enemy units in the remaining 3 quarters. We managed to kill the speeder eventually but then had a moment of panic when we realised one of the tactical squads could get out of their rhino then in the next turn teleport into one of our quarters with no way of stopping them. Thankfully we never saw turn 6 so we took the win by a single quarter.
Rich and Ian were easily our favourite opponents of the weekend though as they took it better than the rest! Our inability to kill a landspeeder despite hefty amounts of S8 shots nearly cost us the game. Fair play to Rich and Ian for keeping us sweating right up until the death. Sorry I didn't get a picture but it was all happening too fast!
Game 5 - Titanic Fenrisians vs SM/SM
Having won 3 out of 4 games and scored a decent number of secondary mission points we knew we'd be on the top tables. Much to our relief we weren't playing the double Necrons on table one with a horrible number of wraiths. Instead we were up against Jon and Simon's Space Marines. Codex Space Marines aren't exactly renowned for their tournament prowess so we knew they must be good players. Their list consisted of 3 squads of 3 melta attack bikes, 3 predators, 2 dreads in pods, Vulkan and a tac squad in a pod and a squad of scouts with a conversion beamer techmarine. The game would be Annihilation so we'd need to chew through some vehicles.
This was always going to be a tense game where every decision counted. We were relieved to get the first turn and see our opponents fail their Seize roll. With the drop pods yet to arrive we fired upon the attack bikes and predators killing one bike in two of the squads and making them flee. We were unlucky that neither of them ran completely off the board with their 3D6" move but at least they'd been pushed back. One of the predators lost it's turret but otherwise we didn't hurt them much.
We'd arranged out deployment carefully to protect the long fangs who'd certainly be the target of the dreadnought's heavy flamers and subsequent turn charge. This worked well and kept Vulkan and the first dreadnought at arm's length. They moved one of their attack bike squads into dangerous terrain and a snake eyes left a single attack bike left (the other one was thrown onto the next table by our opponent in frustration!?!!). This remaining attack bike managed to wreck one of the SW rhinos though.
The now footslogging grey hunters got themselves into position to charge Vulkan's squad and the rune priest ripped open the earth under their feet with Jaws. We carefully aimed it so that the nearest model would be avoided (allowing us to charge) but Vulkan was hit. One of our opponents had to walk away while his team mate made the initiative test roll as he couldn't bear to look. To our surprise he rolled a 6 and Vulkan fell down the hole!! The dice was thrown across the table in disgust and the thrower marched off to the other end of the gaming hall leaving his opponent to roll for the other 2 Jaws victims, killing one. Clearly we'd pissed them off! The rune priest then set up to charge the survivors and after a massive argument about whether he'd have to go through terrain to do so we charged in wiping out the tactical marines comfortably. Elsewhere the dreadnought was immobilised and we were looking good.
The remaining attack bikes were picked off over the next couple of turns. The second dreadnought landed and hid behind his drop pod to avoid being shot to pieces. We decided to charge him with Coteaz and his purifiers hoping hammerhand would help the inquisitor's hammer do the job. Sadly, despite having ripped off the CCW with shooting the dreadnought insta-killed Coteaz when Matt failed his only 2+ save. The grey hunters were forced to step in to save the purifiers from dread-lock which spared the scouts. Sadly the rune priest was on a single wound from his fight with the tactical squads and also failed his only armour save. Still we were feeling pretty confident at this point.
That was until we totted up the KPs near the end of the game. Our opponents had a secret mission that meant if they killed our HQs in combat they got double KPs for them. So when we thought we were winning 9-5 it was actually 9-7! If our opponents could steal another couple of points they could force the draw. Luckily for us their remaining attack bikes couldn't kill a dread who shrugged off the shots then killed the bikers in return. The predators eventually got taken out (they'd have been long dead in 6th edition) and that left just their techmarine and scouts who managed to kill another tank with the conversion beamer but the grey hunters inside held their nerve and hence their 2 KPs (1 for rune priest) and the game was ours!
Well it's hard not to be pleased with that performance. Our list did exactly what we expected it to do. All that S8 meant very little could stand up to us. Granted we got pretty lucky to kill both Dragio and Vulkan with Jaws but that's the way it goes sometimes. We played some very good opponents with well thought out lists but our sheer volume of shots won the day.
However, despite finishing 2nd/4th I can't say it was the most enjoyable weekend of gaming I've ever had. Don't get me wrong the banter in between games with some of our tournament scene friends was great but I didn't have much fun in our actually games. Sure winning is always good but in some of the games it really felt like we were always going to win. Now that's not me being cocky (much) but looking at the two armies it was often clear our opponents would struggle. I think there's an element of meeting the right opponents at the right time but despite playing some of the best 40K we ever have the list was what won it. Apologies to our opponents for not remembering many details of the games. If you're reading this feel free to comment!
The final game on table 2 was the worst win I've ever had in 40K. Every single decision was questioned by our opponents, their were arguments about tiny little things, models and dice thrown across the table, tantrums and generally bad feeling. It was not long after this game that our opponent noticed our list was actually illegal. He pointed this out to us and when I realised he was right he agreed that since it was an honest mistake he wouldn't mention it. We're grateful to him for that but as I said yesterday I don't think it mattered that much in the end.
This tournament has taught me something valuable. I have what it takes to finish at the top but frankly I don't want to! Now that's not me making excuses for poor performance but the tournaments I've really enjoyed are the ones where I've not done well at all!
Right that's that caught up with. There's just the matter of the painting competition pictures and then it's back to talking about 6th edition starting with our performance in the first ever 6th edition tournament - Genesis.