2012 40K Veterans Tournament Report

I’ve been playing 40K since the days of 3rd edition and have managed to do a couple of small tournaments under 4th edition rules  It’s been a long time since then though, and being the gallant fool that I am, I decide to pick one of the biggest out there.  Veterans, at 2500 points – far more than I’ve ever played even socially. Due to circumstances I also went into it with no significant practice.  The closest I got was a regular 1750 point game against David D a week before the tourney.  This gave me some hope though, as we managed to finish that game in far less time than it usually takes us, which helped alay my fears that I wouldn’t play fast enough.  The last thing I wanted was to be called for slow play in the tournament.

I spent the last week before the fated weekend readying my troops and swotting up the missions as much as I could.  The public holiday on the Wednesday helped a great deal and meant that I could almost completely avoid the last-minute rush on Friday night.

The object of the whole tournament was to collect points from achieving objectives in each mission/game, of which there were to be five over the Saturday and Sunday; three on Saturday and two on Sunday.  Each mission could yield a maximum of 36 battle points, so a maximum of 180 for the tourney.  To that would be added up to 40 points for the appearance of one’s models, and 30 for sportsmanship, giving a maximum of 250 points overall.

Saturday morning 24 March 2012 dawned.  I was frickin nervous but excited, the adrenalin was pumping.

Overall impressions – oh boy it was intense, glorious fun!  The reputation of that venue (2nd Kenridge Air Scout Hall) as a heat trap is deserved, I sweated buckets and not much of that was out of nerves (I think) 😉

I finished the third and last game of the day on Saturday just past 8 in the evening.  At the end of that day I calculated that I had a total of 13 battle points from the 3 games.

The first game I played was against a randomised opponent and I got none other than Luca Piemontsi, the no 1 ranked 40k player in the country. A fun start indeed … He seized initiative with his IG army (painted and modelled beautifully as Traitor Guard), and proceeded to corner me (Spearhead deployment) and systematically take me apart. I was happy to get all 6 of the bonus mission points, 4 of them due to my Land Speeder deep striking in near the end of the game. It took out his big artillery piece with the multimelta I had modelled on to it the last few days before the tournament, and was the also the only Elite or Fast unit alive and outside my deployment zone at the end of the game. Sadly that was the biggest effect that little skimmer had all weekend, but mostly that was my fault.
Second game was against Nick with his Dark Eldar. Suffice to say that I didn’t know enough about how to counter those fast venomous xenos and he knew largely how to counter my attempts to take control of the game. Lots of Dark Lances, my vehicles didn’t last long, and I couldn’t bring down enough Raider transports fast enough to counter his mobility. A combination of Incubi, Asdrubal Vect (special character, very nasty in cc) plus Warriors and Wyches took apart pretty much anything I had on foot after my transports were popped. I made 2 points out of that game but Nick, like Luca before him, was a great opponent, both as a tactician and as a gentleman and I learnt lots which will stand me in good stead in the future.  Also I was getting into the rythm of playing quickly, never in the whole tourney did my games last less than 5 full turns with some going to 6 before time was called at 2 ¾ hours.
The third game of the first day is one I could have done without, as that point I was dead tired by the time it started around 5 in the evening and was running purely on adrenalin. I faced Sebastian, a young Space Marines player with a Calgar-naught army. By which I mean that it was lead by Marneus Calgar, with a Tactical Termie bodyguard in a LR Crusader. He also had 9 Assault (THSS) Termies on foot plus Termie Librarian. The latter squad learnt the hard way what the Space Wolves psychic power Murderous Hurricane does, there were 2 left at the end of the game. The youngster was amazed at the number of invulnerable saves against dangerous terrain death that one can fail on 3+ 😉 but unfortunately the remaining termies came close enough to contest an objective. I had deployed the other Rune Priest in my list too far away to try do the same to Calgar and his bodyguard, which proceeded to pretty much mop up my home zone and deny me enough points to get the primary mission. I ended up with 5 points for that game from the tertiary objective.

So all in all a shaky first day but I did have a great time seeing all the various armies, chatting to lots of 40K gamers who I’d never met before and learning loads along the way.

Sunday dawned with me determined to do better and have more fun than ever before. The two missions were weird, but strangely enough I coped better with them than with the first day’s missions, which had all been twists and combos of mission types from the main rulebook and the Battle Missions book.
The first game of Sunday was against a Tau player, mission setup was Recon; L-shaped deployment zone with the extension (bottom part of the L) up and to my right only being usable by any Fast Attack and one Troop choice. The freaky primary mission was to remove terrain pieces by having scoring units on or touching them from turn 4 onwards, so I was glad to have 5 Troops choices in my lineup! In the end I got that mission (by one terrain piece!) and had largely forced him back into his deployment zone so I got the tertiary mission for having more units in his zone than he in mine. He had picked up the secondary mission for grabbing more resources on the board, represented by a grid of 36 counters evenly spaced on the battlefield – which is why I redubbed the overall mission name from Exterminatus to Pac-man 😉 Neither of us got much in the line of bonus points. Turn 5 was of course virtual open season for my Heavy Support (Long Fangs and Vindicator) as he had no cover – we had removed most of the terrain due to the primary mission in turn 4. Of course I had no cover either,  his remaining Broadsides etc took a toll and I couldn’t kill his remaining Devilfish – it was one of the few things that made it into my zone. …

All in all a solid performance from me, lots of points gained at last and a lekker confidence boost going into the last game. I had already made over 100 tourney points by my calculation, which had been my first goal for the tournament performance-wise.

I knew I had the 40 points for a painted, based and wysiwyg army – I had certainly sweated enough getting my models to the required standard.  I was by that stage in no danger of losing any of the 30 player conduct sportsmanship) points as all of my games were at least at the minimum standard and most very much above it. So I was not much short of my second goal of 125 points, a solid score in the last game would get me there.

Last game was the weirdest of all. It was labelled ‘Thinking required’ which was an understatement. As a last mission for the tourney, when everyone is sif from concentrating for hours over two days already, it was a bender. Deployment zones were equal thirds along the long edge.  The highest roller had choice of one zone, the other picked one of the remaining two. The high roller on a second roll-off could take the remaining zone, but then had to go second.  Strategic Reserves were limited to non-optional items such as Drop Pods.  not allowed My opponent, who was fielding Grey Knights, picked the middle zone to deploy and gave me the other two in order to get first turn. Primary mission was to kill a single unit in the opposing army that you nominate before the game – so it basically was an assassination scenario. The secondary and Tertiary missions were two forms of handicaps to the primary mission, secondary ‘mission’ was that you basically got points for not using a weapon or ability nominated by your opponent – for the entire game (“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”). The tertiary mission (‘Cursed Warp Tech”) was that you could give your opponent 5 points for forcing one of his FOC slots (your choice) into reserve, they would auto-arrive by nominated method on turn 4.  I forced his 6-strong Paladin squad into reserve, as not having them around for 3 turns was a bargain at the price. He reserved my melta Grey Hunters squad plus Rhino into reserve (I chose Deep Strike as the method of arrival for that unit – the chance to DS a Rhino onto the battlefield doesn’t come every day!).  So we both were guaranteed 5 points minimum from the game. All in all it went pretty well despite me making stupid mistakes as usual. Forgetting my Rune Priests’ rune staff psi power negation ability for the first several of his power rolls – against an army that relies on its psi powers for many things – was one. I did remember and succeed in blocking Holocaust and other powers later on, but still … My Vindicator sat basically doing nothing all game. My opponent had nominated its Demolisher cannon as the weapon I couldn’t use to gain 10 points, but I didn’t think of at least moving it as much as possible to keep it out of harm’s way.Despite that, I killed my target by turn 3, using the Grey Hunter squads from both drop pods to basically bolter them to death. The Paladins (joined by his Grand Master) proved to be nasty as I expected when they did come in, they managed to kill his target unit (one of my Grey Hunters squads in a Rhino) in turn 5. I had killed his Inquisitor, and he killed my Vindi (with the same Paladin squad) and as both carried the embargoed ability our points for the secondary mission were both reduced to 5 from 10. He got 2 of the bonus missions, I got 1 so 27 points for me and 29 for him. We both ended the tourney on a pretty high point, which was great as he was as much of a sporting opponent as the Tau player.

So all in all I ended up with 141 points for the tourney out of 250 maximum, which means that I achieved 20th out of 28 players. Considering that this was my first tourney in years, at a points level I had not played before, against a field which included the top 8 ranked 40K players in the country – I am pretty jolly chuffed at that result! 😀

I will definitely make a point of being available to enter again next year if its held again, it was just too much fun to do only once!

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