Well, 'Ard Boyz was a fun day and I did get in 3 games. I ended up getting Massacred, Massacred, Minor Loss. Even with this being the case, I did enjoy each of my games, and I learned some very important lessons. I also believe that in at least 2 of my games I gave my opponents a challenge and had the game fairly close.
Throughout the day I was approached by other players, spectators, and the tourney organizers with compliments on my painting and modeling for my army. Keep in mind that 'Ard boyz does not have any painting score, so many of the armies there were not even primed. Even with this being the case, it was very nice to be recognized and complimented. It also encourages me to keep going and gives me hope for a tourney with painting scores.
As for overall lessons, here are the biggest lessons I learned:
- Keep the mission objectives in mind. Not just remember what they are but plan around them accordinly. Especially objectives.
- Keep the time of the round in mind. Running out of time without realizing it ruins any plans.
- Support my Fire Dragons. Alone they will do 1 thing well then die.
Here is an overview of my day. A warning, this will be a long blog post.
Lets look at my list, then we will move onto the games and my opponents lists.
6x Fire Dragons
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL SCan)
w/ Banshee Exarch (Executioner, Warshout, Acrobatic)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones,Vectored Enginers, SCan, TL ScatLaser)
w/ Spiritseer (Destructor)
w/ 1x SCan
w/ 1x SCan
9x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, VEctored Enginers, SCan, TL Brightlance)
5x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, Power Weapon, Shimmershield)
w/ Warp Spider Exarch (Withdraw, Powerblades, 2x Deathspinner)
1x Falcon (Holo-Field, Stones, Bright Lance, SCannon)
1x Falcon (Holo-Field, Stones, Bright Lance, SCannon)
So there was very little thought behind this list. Basically I put together nearly everything I have painted, plus added the unpainted Fire Dragons, and an unpainted Eldrad.
Game 1 - vs Ronnie Andrews and his Orks
Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun
5x Mega Nobz in Trukk
13x Commandos with Snikrot and 2 burnas
7x Biker Nobz
10x Gretchin with Runtherd
2x Killa Kan with Grotzooka
This game was Scenario 1 of the 'Ard Boyz scenarios, with 5 objectives and long table edge deployment. He deployed everything except Snikrot on the board and had first turn. I deployed Eldrad+DA+Wave Serpent, Banshees+Wave Serpent, and the Wraithguard on the board. Overall, I did very little during the game. I think the only unit I actually killed was his Stormboyz.
Couple critical errors I made during the game, in no particular order:
- I let his bikers intimidate me, pointed the Fire Dragons at them, and only killed half the unit. Snikrot wiped out the Dragons
- I did not pay attention to time. We ran out of time with him taking his turn 5, and me not getting my turn 5. This left me with a scoring Falcon/DAVU away from an objective, with my intention to move it back during turn 5.
- I forgot the Assault moves for both my spiders (after deep striking) and my bikes (on 2 different turns, leaving them out to be shot)
- I did not push for his objectives. I should have used my tanks to push toward his end of the board, left my Wraithguard on one of my objectives, and planned to contest any remaining.
- I let myself focus on reacting to his game.
Game 2 - vs Ryan Andrew and his Dark Angels
Chaplain on bike
Dreadnought - Multimelta
Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon/Missile Launcher
5x Terminators - Banner, Apothecary, 2x Claws, Hammer
5x Terminators - Ass-Cannon, Claws
10x Tact Squad - Missile, Flamer
10x Tact Squad - Fist, Plasma Cannon
6x Grey Knights - Psycannon, Incinerator
6x Ravenwing Squadron
1x Attack Bike
1x Land Raider Crusader
1x Predator - Las Cannon, Sponson Las Cannons
This game was Scenario 2 of the 'Ard Boyz scenarios, a kill point mission where HQ are worth 5 points, troops/transports are 1 point, and everything else is 2 points. Deployment was half-table deployment. He deployed everything on the table, minus 1 Terminator squad which would deepstrike in. I deployed my Wraithguard into a set of trees (middle deployment zone for me), and parked both serpents, DA, Banshees, and Eldrad to the left of those trees. I had the bottom of the turn. Highlights of this game were:
- Banshees cutting through the terminator squad (in another forest base) while they were doomed.
- He focused many turns of shooting into the Wraithguard, who spent the whole game in cover and fortuned.
- Spiders and Bikes destroyed his Ravenwing, and reduced his Chaplain to 1 wound before the Chaplain ran and hid.
Game ends with him 8 points ahead of me, massacre.
Overall I am not sure what I could/should have done different in this game. I pulled squads back when I needed to preserve them and really lost due to my HQ being taken out in what I consider a bad set of rolls. This is multiple games now where my Fire Dragons have jumped out of thier transport, shot thier weapons 1 time, and been wiped out in return. I took out the Land Raider, which was thier job, but I need to support them better. In this case I trades 296 points (Dragons plus Falcon) for ~255 of a Land Raider. In KP total, this was giving up 4 kill points ( Dragons = 2, Falcon = 2) for 2 kill points (LR = 2)
Game 3 - vs Bryan Hardenberger and his Necrons
Lord, Res orb, Veil
This game was Scenario 3 of the 'Ard Boyz scenarios, a combo objective+kill-point mission. The scenario was table-quarters deployment, with an objective placed in the middle of the non-deployment table-quarters. Then normal kill-points were used at the end in conjunction with objectives. Bryan won the roll and chose to deploy first. Now, before I continue let me make a couple comments:
- Bryan admited before the game that he rarely plays in tourneys, and usually playes either Apocolypse or in multi-player (3+) games. He is very much a beer and pretzels gamers.
- The table had 5 hills and was fairly devoid of any cover
- Bryan had never played Eldar before, so was unfamiliar with my whole army
So, the start of this game was by far my most amusing point of the day. Bryan very carefully deployed his entire force minus 2 monoliths and 2 warrior squads, paying special attention to how he would move toward objectives and making sure he had line of sight to all parts of my deployment zone. I had marked out 4 dice, 1 for the middle of the table and then 3 marking out the 12" bubble of non-deployment (due to center of the table) in my zone. Bryan completed his deployment and then gave me the go-ahead to start my deployment. My response was to pick up my 4 dice and say "ok, everything starts in reserve, go ahead with your first turn."
I thought Bryan was going to fall over. Apparently he did not realize that this was possible. We then had a quick discussion about how my units would come onto the table and the fact that Mech-Eldar's movement made this a feasable strategy.
This was a great game overall, with each of us playing hard. I was heavily focused on pushing my own initiatives and trying to figure out how to force a phase out of his army. So much so that when Bryan asked (at the end of the game) if I saw a way he could improve I had no advice for him. During the game I chopped through one doomed necron unit + Lord with my Banshees (pulling his lord into combat through consolidation), I blew up one of his Monoliths with my Wraithguard, tore through a unit of destroyers with my spiders, and unleashed Bladestorm Hell into another doomed unit of warriors wiping them out. Couple errors I made during this game:
- Used my Dragons unsupported to kill some warriors, with the aim being thier 8 shots denied WBB. Dragons died to return fire from 2 squads (the squad they shot at had 8 guys left, and then another complete squad of 11 was right there)
- Yriel was left in the open, taking 10 gaus shots (dead)
- I should have pushed harder for his objective.
At the end of the game we both thought this would be a tie, then we added up kill points. There was a point in the game where I charged 4 necrons with my Banshee Exarch. I expected to win this combat and ended up only inflicting 1 wound. His 3 Warriors struck back, inflicting 1 wound in return and I failed my save. This ended up pushing him up 1 kill point for a minor victor (we each had an objective, I had 5 kp, he had 6 kp)
I would love to hear your comments/suggestions on my games and review. I would also like to hear how your own 'Ard Boyz experience went.