40k Nationals Report Report

Good day fellow harbingers

Well it’s Tuesday and I have recovered from the sheer awesomeness that was 2011 40k nationals.

I shall start from the beginning. For those of you who don’t know Casper, Jack (the bigger one), rob, and myself took part and decided that since the tournament was being held in Cape Town it would be a good idea to stay at my house for the weekend, it was a good idea. 9pm Friday night the 4 of use were huddled around the coffee table outside in the garden painting/writing up lists pretty much by candle light while keeping an eye on the braai, it was just about the most dedicated I have ever been to the hobby. After a hearty meal of boerie rolls and a couple of beers we decided to call it a night and so that we’d be fresh for the tournie. At this point we realised that we had no idea where it was being held.

The next morning bright and early we were up (6:30), breakfast, coffee, car, Elkhana school (we managed to determine that this is where it is probably being held). The venue was amazing. I dont know how many of you have played in tournaments in Cape Town before but they are usually held in the scout hall which is small and hot which results in 40+ sweaty dudes. This place was great, 40+ tables and tables for the lurking magic players, a fully stocked battle bunker, and… a bar! Yes at least 3 of us wept in joy when we saw that there would be beer at the tournament. 60+ people showed up which from my understanding is the biggest turnour of any warhammer tournament ever in SA. After registration and some words from the judges we started round 1.

Some information how the tournament worked:

3pts a win, 1 for draw, 0 for a loss

2pts if your army was WYSIWIG and painted

player with the most points at the end of the tournie wins!

Game 1 (annihilation, spearhead)

The first game’s matchups was randomly done by tournament software, after the first round the software pairs up players who are closest in points and who have not played each other yet. To my gratitude the program picked out one of the 4 demon players to play against me, with my Grey Knights waiting I couldn’t be more pleased. To my everlasting horror someone showed up late and the entire 1st round match ups had to be reassigned, so instead I ended up facing a drop pod space wolf list. My opponent was Nick, I have played him a couple of times at other tournaments (never won), really a great guy, he always understands and makes sure you understand his list (VERY important, and very ironic if you read further). I had first turn and deployed my whole army in a very small area, the cover was perfect for me which meant along with a power from my librarian my entire army was getting a 3+ cover save. I deployed my servo skulls if he deep striked within 12′ of them his drop pods would suffer a deep strike mishap, this forced him to deploy everything in his corner. By game end I had taken 6 or 7 kill points and not lost a single model, it was great. Win for me.

HOWEVER, just before round 2 nick came to me with a Grey Knights codex and pointed out that the whole deep strike thing with the servo skulls is total bullshit. I had no idea, I don’t know where I got the idea but I was certain that they did do that. I was scared, not because I could have been easily kicked out the tournament for cheating (I honestly didn’t know, but its a pretty big mistake), but more because I don’t want to be known as the cheater. Nick was unbelievably understanding about the whole thing, he told me not to worry about it. I was ashamed.

Game 2 (seize ground 4 objectives, pitched battle)

Now with a win (which I didnt deserve) I got paired up against the infamous Dante. Lucky for me he brought his demons. Unlucky for me my first 2 turns were played without thought, partly because I felt kak about my first game and partly because I always get like that when I play demons. Demons are horrible to play against they operate totally differently to other armies so the usual tricks dont work. By turn three I got my head in the game and gave Dante something to fear, but it was too little to late. 3 things lead to my defeat in this game 1; not making my dreadnoughts scoring, 2; not splitting up my 10man paladin squad to help take the objectives and 3; forgeting that the ugly Slaaneshi ant eater things have hit and run.

between the games

By now I was hungry and thirsty, Jack and I needed a beer but we had no idea where the bar was. We spotted Casper walking around with a Windhoek and managed to ascertain that the bar was hidden behind a door which I thought was the ladies toilet (very sneaky). After a beer and something to eat I felt better about things and went to go speak to the head judge, Zak, about my little mistake in the first game, I got a stern talking too and a warning but I survived unscathed.

Game 3 (ultimate draw, dawn of war)

I was paired up with a tyranid player whose name aludes me, another great guy. Nice to enjoy a beer and play a game with this guy. I got my groove back. I played brilliantly, so did he though. I left the majority of my army (even though it was only 14 models) on my objective and opted to outflank my remaining 5 paladins since he foolishly deployed his objective right next to the table edge. My objective was hit by wave after wave of tyranid beasts and monsters, but my paladins held strong. My 5 man outflanking squad showed up at the perefetc moment and started to slowly hack through the forest of gaunt separating them from the objective. By the end game I managed to move far enough up with my combat that the 5 man paladin squad (down to 2 men) to contest his objective while holding mine. win for me, but only just.

Sat Night

That evening we headed home and shared war stories. Warren joined us for another braai and more beer (to much beer this weekend). We all offered advice to one another and headed off to bed early since we were pretty knackered from the 10hours we spent either standing or walking around.

Game 4 (seize ground 5 objectives, spearhead)

Feeling fresh and confident we arrived and I got paired up against Bernard and his orks. Bernard is one of my favorite opponents even though every time I play him I get tabled due to my terrible luck I still walk away with a smile. Although I was happy to see him his list and the mission could not have been worse for me, orks probably the army i am most scared of after dark eldar and 5 objectives when I only have 19 models. Despite the odds I played a great game, not a single mistake tactically speaking, unfortunately I had the worst luck i have ever seen, I would roll dice and then feel a pat on the back from Bernie telling me that it’s ok, these things happen. For example a 5man paladin squad takes 2 wounds in close combat, manages to kill not even a single ork and then falls back off the board, wasnt very amusing. Another example, my librarian failed 4 psychic tests in a row. My favorite was when there were only enough orks in range to get off 4 shots from shootas, it went down like this 4 shots 5+ to hit, all hit, 5+ to wound, 3 wounds, 2+ to save, I fail all three saves on DRAIGO. I lost btw

Game 5 (ultimate draw, pitched battle)

I got paired with our very own Jack. I didnt go so well for him, his luck was almost as bad as mine in the last game, to make matters worse my palladins performed excellently, although his death company did take out a 5man squad (the 5 palladins behind those wiped them off the table though). Was fun to play against someone from our club, didnt have to be formal or anything, which meant more BEER. With my ritallin the beer was probably not a good idea and by the end of the game although not hammered, I was above the limit for table top strategy games, I knew I wouldnt concentrate in my next game.

I decided that I will get some food in and a red bull to help get me back on my game for the last round which if I could win could see me having a very nice placing.

Game 6 (annihilation, dawn of war)

The best possible mission and deployment for my army, I was feeling pretty positive despite being put up against Nigel and his chaos marines who always finds a way around anything im planning. He won the roll and gave first turn to me, being so over confident I didnt even stop to think why he would do that, I regretted it later. I picked up my models and deployed all 15 of my paladins and Librarian in a corner on my side in nice cover just waiting to unleash hell. In his deployment he declared that he would keep everything in reserve, bells started going off in my head, but I still couldnt piece together what he was doing. In his first turn obviously nothing happened becuase he was waiting for reserves, so I just took my second turn and moved up my paladins closer to his board edge just waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting chaos marines. In his second turn he started bringing in his reserves. the penny dropped. He was moving everything on in the opposite corner on his side, my palladins only had a shooting range of 24′ which meant that they had to spend the entire game draggin their feet through difficult terrain in order to get to the stinky marines, they never got there. His 6 obliterators deep striked down on the other side of the table and started pouring lascannon shots into my dreadnoughts, one popped. Although my dreadnoughts also had 48′ weapons their crappy AP meant that i couldnt wipe out a unit of oblietators. Once his obliterators had taken the kill point by dropping one of my dreads they just found some cover to hide in.

In short he managed to get one kill point from taking out one of my dreadnoughts, I only managed to kill a single obliterator which was hiding in a unit of three so no kill points for me. All he did was take out a single dreadnought and he won. I was over confident and he thought it through, it was cowardly but afterwards he told me that it is the only way he thinks he could have won, I was an idiot for not expecting it.


It was FANTASTIC. I had a great time. Having heard so many horror stories about nationals just being full of cheaters and people who will do anything to win I was worried at first but every single game I played I faced players there to have fun. They played to win but they were polite, understanding, and respected the game.

I placed 24th or something out of 60, which is the best I have ever done as far as I can understand. After some calculations I realised that if I had not made that mistake in the last game and had beaten Nigel I would have placed in the top 10. Although I would have felt terrible as a result of my first game.


There was a painting competition, some of the models were just incredible. Warren, Casper and Johann all took first place in some of the categories, which makes me proud. Great work guys.


Wow, 2000 words. I havent done any work today.

Josh Barlow

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