We had our final 40k Tournament of the year this past weekend, and despite the predations of the dreaded Holiday Season combined with the fell disease known only as ‘Cataclysm’ stealing away the souls of our usually stalwart gamers, we had a great event!
The field had less variety than usual; in addition to the spate of Space Wolves, we actually had a sizeable contingent of Orks. I know there’s been some interwebs chatter regarding the Greenskins and their capabilities of late, but I don’t think that had any bearing on our turnout, though I can never be sure!
The field was:
- Space Wolves w/ bikes and some various non-standard tools
- Space Wolves with Raiders
- Space Wolves with heavy Razorback/Autocannon Dreadnoughts/Smallish Thunderwolves
- Space Wolves with pods
- Ork Kan Wall with foot Boyz
- Ork Kan Wall with Trukks
- Ork Dreadmob with Battlewagons
- Blood Angels
- Terminator Heavy Salamanders (not overwatch!)
- Mech Guard with Manticores/Hydras/Valkyries
- Hybrid Guard with footsloggers and Lemans
The terrain was a good mix, we had two desert tables, one with very sparse desert cliffs and some ruins, and one with a good number of ruined buildings and some areas of dead trees, one feudal world with dense mix of medieval style buildings and ruins, one industrial zone with some roads forming a corner and lots of tall hills to block LOS, a snowfield with some giant evergreen Christmas trees and some imperial ruins, and a swamp with big rocks and thick vegetation.
For the first round I made sure to pair armies up with as much variety as possible. The first scenario was a nice and simple Seize Ground to get everyone warmed up.
- Razorback Wolves vs. Mech Guard
- Foot/Raider Wolves vs. footslogging Kan Wall
- Bike Wolves vs. Salamanders
- Drop Pod Wolves vs. Kan Wall with Trukks
- Dredmob vs. Blood Angels
- Hybrid Guard was the latecomer and got the bye
Lot of very close games, (and a couple not so close!). Bike Wolves eked out the win against Salamanders; Razorback Wolves got some last-turn love in the form of a Valkyrie getting stuck on terrain and managed the win; Dredmob spent a long grind eating Blood Angels for the win; Foot/Raider Wolves began the first of a couple very rough games dice-wise, losing to the footslogging Kan Wall; and Drop Pod Wolves got nearly tabled by the Trukk/Kan Wall.
Paint judging was a breeze; all the armies were mostly or fully painted and tolerably well across the board to boot, with a couple ‘tester’ armies that weren’t nearly finished. Everyone came back from lunch early too, which is always a godsend!
For the second round, the mission was Capture and Control, which I haven’t had any real problems with lately as far as multiple draws go, and it wasn’t too bad this time, but I had a talk with one of the guys playing and based on that I’ve decided to modify the mission a bit for the coming year, specifically I’m going to remove the potential to roll a Dawn of War deployment, which, in my experience, nearly guarantees a draw, or at least a very boring game. Even a 1-in-6 chance is too much, since it will hose the guys who roll it.
Nevertheless, this is how round two looked:
- Foot Kan Wall vs. Razorback Wolves
- Dredmob vs. Trukk Kan Wall
- Bike Wolves vs. Hybrid Guard
- Mech Guard vs. Blood Angels
- Raider Wolves vs. Salamanders
- Drop Pod Wolves got the bye
In the game of green on green, the Trukk Kan Wall won out at the last moment vs. the Dredmob; Mech Guard took out the Blood Angels in another long grind; Bike Wolves took the win against the all the Lemans of the Hybrid Guard; Raider Wolves suffered through another game of abysmal luck and were swept; and the Razorback Wolves and foot Kan Wall ended in a draw after a rough game of no opportunities to commit.
Going into the third round we had two players at 2-0, Bike Wolves and the Trukk Kan Wall, so they squared off and the rest of the field settled in for the Annihilation Mission.
The Final Round:
- Bike Wolves vs. Trukk Kan Wall
- Razorback Wolves vs. Salamanders
- Foot Kan Wall vs. Mech Guard
- Drop Pod Wolves vs. Blood Angels
- Hybrid Guard vs. DredMob
- Raider Wolves got the bye
On the top table, it quickly became an uphill battle for the Orks, who came to the table with 20 KPs in the army to start, (amplified by the scenario special rule making Scoring Units worth 2 KP each) against the 11 KPs of the Bike Wolves. The SW player wisely targeted as many of the smaller and single-model units right away, surging ahead in the KP race and creating an ultimately insurmountable gap.
The Razorback Wolves vs. Salamanders game was over nearly before it began; the Thunderwolves made a questionable charge against the larger of the TH/SS Terminator units early and lost, opening up the field for the Salamanders to sweep in and start eating the many KPs in the enemy army. I asked the SW player after the fact what happened, and he said after the last game’s long cat-and-mouse dance, he was just itching to charge something, and admitted that he probably should have tried to butter the Terminators up a bit first.
The footslogging Kan Wall flipped the script, taking a win against the Mech Guard with a moderated game of taking lumps and walking forward until the boyz were in range to start gobbling up the KPs. Snikrot showed up without too much delay as well, putting the IG into a rough spot.
Drop Pod Wolves swept up the Blood Angels without too much difficulty; the BA army was very compact and specialized, which meant that it had a tough time pulling in KPs vs. the more numerous Wolves.
The most even match of the final round, in terms of available KPs, eventually went to the Dredmob Orks after a long wrestling match of trading the KP lead. Ghazgkull finally made it to the Guard lines, and put the greenskins on top.
The final results were:
- Best Overall – Bike Space Wolves
- Best General – Footslogging Kan Mob
- Best Sportsman – Mech Guard
- Best Army – Salamanders
And we even had the unbelievably random additional prize of a brand new, full-sized BBQ grill, thanks to the generous donation of the Salamanders player (who apparently won it in a hardware store raffle and had no where to put it!) I gave that out to the guy who took Best Sportsman, since I figure he’s the guy everyone would like to have a BBQ with!
All in all, it was a great day, and I had a couple very good talks with the players to give me some ideas to ruminate on over the next month. I’ll be looking at reevaluating the scenario mix going into 2011, with the occasional oddball thrown in to mix things up, and even instituting a bonus tournament point for players who show up on time to the event, and aren’t late for lunch!
I'll be doing it all again on the Second Saturday in January. Until then, Thanks for reading!