Sunday, June 12, 2011

After Action Report: Game Links Tournament part III

Ok, so finally on to game three from the Game Links tournament I attended last Saturday.

If you haven't already read parts I & II you can check them out here
and here

Okay, now lets get down to business.

Game three saw me paired up against a fellow blogger named Chris. His blog is Chaos Kingdoms, feel free to check it out. This blog is going to be primarily focused on Fantasy though, as he is also now going to be a contributor to the Craftworld Lansing blog. Since he is a fellow blogger he had also brought along his camera. With him snapping photos all game long it helped me to remember to use my own, thus I have waay more pics of this game than the others.

Chris was playing Necrons. Yes, Necrons! I haven't faced Necrons since 3rd edition and I gotta say these little metal dudesmen are as tough to kill as I remember. Again I don't have his list but it looked something like this:

Necron lord with Res Orb and Veil of Darkness
5x Immortals
5x Pariahs
2x 10x Warriors
2x Heavy Destroyers
2x Monolith

This mission had Tactical Markers as its primary objective. One tactical marker was placed right in the center of the table and then each player got to place two more.
The secondary objective was Systematic Destruction. A player achieved this by destroying half or more of his opponents kill points, as determined before deployment. Both players could achieve this.
Finally the tertiary was Money Targets. The player with the most kill points from non-troop units at the end of the game achieved this. Dedicated transports were considered non-troops units even if purchased for troops.

The mission used the Pitched Battle deployment straight out of the main Rulebook. We rolled off for and then took turns placing objectives. Once finished we rolled off for first turn. Chris won the roll off and elected to take the table edge he was already on.

Before I continue I want to say a little bit about this. This may sound like a bit of a dick move, but I sort of planned on this. After we got our table assignments I discovered that I was slated to play on the same table I played on in turn one. (Okay so I didn't plan that!) I really didn't want to play on the same table twice. One of the things I enjoy about tournaments is the variety. I like playing against different opponents and on different tables. So I asked the TO if it would be alright for us to get a new table assignment since they had a few tables open. They had no problem with this, and neither did Chris. They gave us a new table and as I was moving over to it I saw on one table side their was a building in the corner that I thought would be advantageous so I walked over to that side of the table and set my stuff down. I did this because many players will not, for whatever reason, ask to switch sides if given the option of first turn. This is something to think about and remember when you are at a tournament. It is advantageous to be the first one to the table. You can scope it out and see if there is one side you like better than the other. Some won't oblige you with this, but some will so it doesn't hurt to try!

Anyway, Chris deployed his army with His two Monoliths set up towards the center of his table edge with a small gap in between them. Behind one 'lith was his Lord with a squad of Immortals and behind the other he hid his Nightbringer and the Pariahs. Both Warrior squads were kept in reserves while I believe his Heavy Destroyers were deployed off on his right flank.

I set up with one unit of Devastators to the left of the center of my table edge. The other Dev's and the 5 man assault squad were deployed in the building where I had placed one of my tactical markers. The assault squad  would do nothing but squat on that objective all game long. I deployed the rest of my force in between these two pieces of terrain with the jumper squads near the Devs in the hill and the Razorbacks and Baal flanking the building. I used the Baal's scout move to drive it forward (which in hindsight was really dumb and served no purpose other than to give Chris a free and easy target) and then failed to seize the initiative.

Chris began by moving the Monolith in front of the Lord straight forward while the other one angled off to go after the Baal Predator. The rest of his force moved up behind them hugging the Monoliths to deny me line of sight. In shooting his Monoliths particle whip was spot on and wrecked the Baal Predator. His other Monolith managed to kill a few of the Librarians squad with it's particle whip. His Heavy Destroyers moved out and took aim at the Assault squad adding to the pain. I passed morale and we moved on to my turn.

In my turn the Assault squads moved up towards the Monotlith on the left. Having learned my lesson about the Particle whip though they formed up into large circles to try to minimize any future damage from the 'liths. The Razorbacks also shuffled around with the Death co. one moving up towards midfield while the others began moving up on my right flank. Shooting saw the Monolith on my left stunned, whilst the one that destroyed the Baal was immobilized. One of the Heavy Destroyers was also cut down. Chris' deployment/movement was quite effective as I didn't have line of sight to any of the Immortals or Pariahs. Satisfied with the damage to the 'liths at this point I passed the turn to Chris.

In Chris' 2nd turn neither of the Warrior squads came in from reserves. The fallen Heavy Destroyer failed it's 'We'll be back' roll and so he transported them through the Monoliths portal, but still it failed to pass the roll and was removed from the table for good! Without his Monoliths able to move forward with the advance the Lord gathered up his Immortals and used the Veil of Darkness to try and land behind the hill with the Devastators on it, but he scattered 11" right off the table edge. He rolled a 4 on the mishap table so I got to place the squad anywhere I wanted to. I decided to be aggressive and put them right in the open directly in front of my force. The Nightbringer meanwhile came out from behind the cover of the immobilized Monolith and started towards my Razorbacks. Shooting saw the Immortals take shots at the Assault squad without the Librarian, but couldn't manage to get past the 3+ armor and 4+ feel no pain. The Nightbringer used his shooting attack to try to bring down one of the Razorbacks but failed to do any damage to it. With that Chris passed the turn to me and I prepared to unleash holy hell on the metal menace in front of me!

In my movement phase the Assault squads moved up towards the stunned Monolith while the Death Co. and Chaplain disembarked from their Razorback and moved right up next to the Immortals. Their Razorback then moved up to try and find LoS to the Pariahs. In shooting I failed to do any other significant damage to either of the Monoliths. The Death co. Razorback did manage to kill one of the Pariahs though, and the other Heavy Destroyer was put down for good. In assault both Assault squads charged the stunned the immobilized Monolith and with furious charge their str9 powerfists made quick work of the metal behemoth.

Furious Charging Powerfists make quick work of the living metal behemoth.

 Against the Immortals the Death company did their job and wiped out Both the Immortals and the Lord, losing two of their own in the exchange. They then consolidated towards the immobilized Monolith.

They get knocked down... 

With the assaults over I pass the turn to Chris. He begins by rolling his we'll be back rolls for the Immortals and the Lord. Three of the Immortals pass and mysteriously stand back up ready to fight again. Fortunately for me the Lord failed. One of his Warrior squads also came in from reserves and one moved on behind the immobilized Monolith near one of the objectives. The Pariahs moved out from behind the cover of the Monolith towards the Death Company's Razorback. Shooting saw the Monolith fire at two of the Razorbacks and the Death Company with it's Gauss flux arc. It managed to stun one of the Razorbacks. The Immortals opened fire on the Death Company killing the powerfist member. 
But they get up again!
 In assault the Pariahs charged the Death company Razorback and exploded it. Meanwhile the Immortals charged the remaining members of the Death Company, but this was an ill fated move as they were cut down before they got to swing. The Death Company consolidated into the smouldering crater where their ride used to be. 

In my fourth turn the Death Company and Chaplain moved up towards the Monolith. The librarians Assault squad moved into the center of the board to lay claim to that objective. The other Assault Squad moved off towards the objective in the bunker in the far corner of Chris' deployment zone. The two of my Razorbacks that were still mobile began moving in on the objective the Warriors were squatting in on. Getting in position to start firing on them and possibly tank shocking late game to contest. Shooting saw very little damage done to the Necron force. A few Warriors were knocked down, but that was about it. I failed to do any damage to the Monolith. In assault the Death Co. charged the Monolith despite being unable to damage it, and we moved on to turn Five.

With most of their heavy hitters down for the count things are looking grim for the Necrons, but with two scoring units and a Nightbringer left they aren't out of it yer!

Turn five saw Chris' final warrior squad arrive from reserves. They moved on the board edge and set up shop in the bunker on an objective. The other squad consolidated it's position on their objective. In shooting the Newly arrived Warrior squad opened up on my assault squad and had a very good round of shooting. They managed to kill one of my Melta gunners and the priest and a couple of regular assault marines. Meanwhile the other Warrior Squad managed to immobilize one of my Razorbacks with their Gauss weaponry. Assault saw the Nightbringer charge the stunned Razorback and he exploded that with ease. 

In my turn 5 I moved the Chaplain away from the Death Company, who stayed with the Monolith. The Librarians Assault squad moved up and joined the Chaplain. The still mobile Razorback moved up closer to the Warriors behind the Monolith whilst the four remaining members of my other assault squad moved up ready to charge the Warrior squad that had so mercilessly cut down their battle brothers. Shooting saw a few Warriors knocked down. I also finally began pouring shots into the Nightbringer but he shrugged off any and all damage sent his way. In assault the Librarians squad charged the Monolith, but despite auto-hitting, and having furious charge the powerfist failed to do any damage. On the other side of the table I actually forgot to charge the Warrior squad there. Feeling the fool, I declared my turn over and prayed for a 6th turn. I was in contesting range of the objective the newly arrived warriors were on, but if it ended here we would have been drawn. We rolled and the game continued. 

In his sixth turn Chris moved the Nightbringer up towards my Librarians Assault squad. The Warriors behind his monolith opened fire on them but I made all my saves and feel no pain rolls. Meanwhile the Warriors on the other side opted not to shoot at my assault squad in favor of assaulting them. This saw two of my Assault Squad cut down, but hey managed to take out two of the Necrons before they fell and combat was drawn. In this turn Chris made the same mistake with the Nightbringer that I had made with my Assault Squad in turn five and forgot to charge. With that we moved on to my turn 6.

In this turn the Librarian and his assault squad left the Chaplain again and moved over to engage the Warrior squad on the hill. Meanwhile I used one of my Razorbacks to move up and set up in between the Monolith and the Objective the Warriors were sitting on to block off any path the Nightbringer might have if the game moved on to turn 7. Shooting saw me again able to do any damage to the Nightbringer. In assault I charged into the last Warrior squad and wiped them out. They consolidated as far from the Nightbringer as possible while remaining within 3" of the objective. On the other side of the table combat my sergeant cut down one warrior with his power fist, but the Necrons passed morale and held firm. We rolled for and got a 7th turn. 

In turn 7 the Death company was cut down in shooting while the Nightbringer tried to come around the Monolith to get into charge range of my Librarians squad, or at least in contesting range of the objective, but my Razorback blocked his path. He charged at that instead, but failed to land a single hit. The Monolith fired it's Particle whip at my Librarians squad, but I made several cover saves and passed morale to maintain control of that objective. In assault his final warrior squad managed to cut down the last two members of the squad they were on and consolidated their position on the objective. Chris passed me the turn. I at that point had two objectives to one and was winning so I declared my turn over and the game ended with a win for the Knights of Blood. 

Here is a pic of the end of the Game. If you look you can see the Nightbringer raging against the Razorback blocking his path! 

And from a different angle. 

In the end I managed to get the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary objective while picking up two of the tactical bonuses. Despite a crushing victory on paper, this was a really close game. I had forgotten just how tough Necron models can be to kill and Chris obviously knew what he was doing with them to avoid the phase out. 

So with that win I ended the day with a 2-1 record. I didn't check my final standings but was outside of the top 3. I had a great day though with three really fun games against really nice opponents. Aside from the tournament they also had a single figure painting competition. I entered the Death Company Razorback, but it failed to earn me and loot either. 

I thought the tournament was well run and they managed to keep things running pretty much on schedule. As a tournament player of many different games in my time I have to say that that is sometimes hard to find and is really appreciated! As I said before the terrain was good. There was an adequate amount on every table, and it all looked nice. My only critique, again, would be to have a wider variety of themes/styles of terrain. Overall though a very well run event. I hope they do more and look forward to making the trip out to Game Links again in the future!

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