Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Battle Reports - LVO 2015
Just back from Vegas where the Daemons large and small failed to rampage properly. I came in 78th, far from the top tables, but was happy to see both Daemons and CSM reach the top tables. You can always get validation through association if you can't get it personally. I lost my first and last games, and got honestly middling scores throughout the tournament. Everyone was playing MUCH harder than they were at the BAO, with a litany of great opponents, beautiful armies and good sportsmanship humming in my ear. Battle-by-battle after the jump.
First off, my list -
3x ML3 Disc Tzeralds - One with greater locus, one with greater reward, one with lesser reward
1x ML3 Tzerald - Foot slogging warlord
3x 8 Screamers
1x 18 Flesh Hounds
1x The Masque
3x 11 Pink Horrors, one with Irridescent horror
Aegis Line, comms relay.
Pretty standard if you're following competitive daemons. I decided to ditch Kairos for the hounds, which served me both well and poorly. The hounds are an amazing tarpit unit and did some real work, but I also suffered two rounds of warp ebb, which is crippling. I don't think you can be competitive without that guaranteed Lord of Unreality and Grimoire re-roll, making him a rather annoying 300 point tax.
Commonalities across all my games - I made sure to get at least two prescience powers, a bolt of change on my gunboat tzerald, and as much malefic as was left. Every game I summoned at least three tzeralds through sacrifice to boost my WC, and brought out some seeker chariots. I used the masque for shit, being too cautious with her.
Round 1 - The green tide!
If you're going to start out with a loss, start out losing to someone you got tactics advice from when you first started playing. I wish that I'd known I was playing against Nick of Blood of Kittens, because I would have given him a hug for all the community work he does for the sport. Definitely felt better this morning when I learned that!
Nick was playing the Green Tide, 100 boys with a ten PKs, a painboy, a stompa, and two objective grabbing gretchins.
I was under the mistaken impression that victory through attrition (1 VP for 3HP of damage to a super-heavy LoW) was applied to the primary, so I chose to ignore the tide and damage the stompa, hoping for both holding an objective and winning that by a point. This was stupid AND wrong, because I would have ended up with a 5 -5 tie at best after inevitably giving up first blood. I was intimidated by the tide...I should have just gone toe-to-toe with it. Instead, I wandered around, scoring maelstroms, letting my units die, and giving both of us a mediocre game.
I also misunderstood disordered charge - when a unit can't reach the primary, it can move in any direction - which is the strength of the tide, it seems. I suffered a devastating fourth turn charge that wracked my line. This game is full of hard lessons you learn by losing.
Mathhammering it out later, I should have summoned a wall of flamers on the second turn and then charged everything in after using the dance of caging with the masque. The tide would have probably melted. However, the bitchiness of my play did inspire me to some epic later games.
5-1 loss. If I'd remembered to use my tzeralds made through sacrifice, I could have tied maelstrom and made it a 2-1 loss. A close game and a great learning opportunity.
Round 2 - CSM
When Chaos fights Chaos, Chaos wins! This one came out 5 - 4; I took Maelstrom, FB, LB, StW; my opponent took primary and LB. A close match that still had a tinge of inevitability. My opponent was a really fun guy who was on the table next to his son - very cool! He brought a soul grinder, screamer star with grimoire, Sorcerer, some small CSM squads, a fire raptor, heldrake, 2 oblits, and the classic Spawn + Khorne Boss.
We both deployed aggressively, with myself going first. In fact, I lost the roll in all my games, and went first in all of them. I scouted and moved up to flank his khornless half.I assaulted the soul grinder and pinks, pushing a unit of screamers to tarpit his lord. In this instance, I screwed up as I often do and didn't remove a herald, pointlessly locking him in close combat. I finally got over this bad habit, I just don't face a lot of assault in my local meta. FB for the soul grinder to prescienced screamers, and I ate his squad of horrors with the hounds. The screamers + the book held his lord for several turns, but I did end up feeding another unit to it. His units were a bit too tough to chew through, and I got lucky when an 11 squished his warlord - though his death was guaranteed, it just happened early. The resulting tzerald betrayed me and destroyed some screamers with a scattering infernal gateway. Bad reserve rolls kept his Fire Raptor and heldrake off for too long, which was bad for him, but probably wouldn't have changed the game.
Through my idiotic sacrifice of tzeralds to CC and some stunning nurgling murder of plaguebearers, I got too far behind on KP to make it up, but with all three secondaries I couldn't lose - we called it a bit early, which is always nice. I don't like pushing foregone conclusions.
Round 3 - Drop Pod Assault
I probably have more experience vs. DPA than any other army - it's pretty weak against deamons, and with scouting flesh hounds, I owned the relic. My opponent was great and played hard, but between daemonettes and screamers, static marines don't really stand a chance. We had a great battle between a unit of screamers and a tac squad that lasted for four turns - some real champions in there! He took maelstrom, LB. I took FB, StW, LB, Primary.
Round 4 - Adlance + Astra Militarum
My only "bad" game due to some miscommunication with my opponent, but also a "good" game because I wrecked house. He brought three paladins, three wyvern formation, two valks, two veteran squads.
We both deployed aggressively , with my flesh hounds making a screen for my screamers, who all moved up. This time I joined my tzeralds to my horror squads, because they were certainly suicide units. I was planning on sacrificing three FA units, so I need to really make it up on objectives. But without killing the knights, they would have too much of a rampage to have any chance of winning.
First turn, warp surge + cursed earth gave the entire army a 3++, with the hounds at 2++. My opponent said he hated my army - but then I suffered one wound from the knights charging my hounds, and boxcars banished them - you can't hate it when the randomness is double bad, right?
I persevered and rammed two screamer squads into the middle knight, both with prescience - the knight died hard and put some HP on another one with it's explosion. I ran the third group of screamers up the back edge towards his wyvern battery. Then my opponent made his big mistake - he charged the screamers with his knights, when he should have rampaged my backfield and wiped all my horrors and tzeralds. Psychological warfare is important, and also a big building blocking his view probably helped. The screamers ended up locking both knights for the rest of the game, killing one and bringing the other one down. I weakened his wyvern battery and held the back, his valks being rather inefficient at doing anything.
The game ended with five screamers and a seeker chariot on the back 3 objective, and me holding all the rest but a disputed 2 in the middle. He dropped his troops and tried to run them to hold the 3, which would have given him primary, and I disagreed with him being able to get in range to dispute it. We were short on time, and it was confusing due to terrain and wobbly model syndrome, but it boiled down to me thinking I had made an exclusion zone and him thinking I didn't. He gave it to me because, well, I hade a giant pile of units on it. He was pretty unhappy, but I made the mistake of not obsessively placing my units because all my games at home are friendly. He didn't finish his turn, but he had a chance at it if he'd shot my chariot with his other Valkyrie.
Having a disagreement with you opponent really brings the game down. At a tournament you both want to win, and sometimes fractions of an inch are too difficult to read. I'll remember to say something like, "can we say that this is uncontestable unless you remove units?" next time, or just spend the time shuffling away. 8 - 1.
Round 5 - Imperial Knights + Space Marines
My opponent this round had a beautiful army and a great attitude. He gave me his army list in a wooden box with a mechanicus symbol, written on parchment and sealed in blood-red wax. Awesome. He brought an errant, a paladin(seneschal), a lancer knight(warlord), white scar command squad, scouts, tac marines.
He deployed his knights with the paladin guarding the right flank where his marines held objectives, and the other two knights and bikes menacing my backfield. I scouted and flanked towards the paladin, bringing the full weight of the army against it. Misfortune and Prescience allowed the hounds to chew the paladin apart! Achievement unlocked! I loved the image of the hounds scrambling over the knight, tearing out hoses and wires until the hulk lumbered to a stop. My screamers chewed apart his marines on that flank. I then wheeled back and did the same thing to the errant. His warlord knight failed some long charges, but I consistently stayed far back. By the time the bike squad was in position, I tarpitted it with some hounds and then smashed seeker chariots and daemonettes into it. He had never felt the wrath of slaanesh on marines, and he shall not forget it in the future. At this point, I owned the back line, and fed my screamers into the warlord, who fought valiantly and tore two squads apart. The game ended with only his warlord standing with a single hull point.
This was my most tactical game of the tourney, and was a lot of fun. I had super hot dice, but also made good decisions and played my strengths. In practice, I ignored Knights and just tried to flood the board. Both trip knights at the tourney, I smashed into and tore apart. I don't fear the super-heavy anymore. He was a great opponent, very gracious, and a good player who just wasn't prepared for what my seemingly squishy army can bring to the table.
Round 6 - Space Wolves
Boy, I paid for my hot dice in this game. They had properly cooled by the time I moved down five tables. Awesomely, this was my opponent in the fifth round of the BAO. Last time, I had a super hard counter to his anti-mech Deldar. This time, he had a super hard counter to me. He brought a TWC star with rune priests, three units of blood claws and StormWolf ships.
I tarpitted his TWC with flesh hounds, 3++ v. 2++ dogs! Yeah! It turned when the grimoire failed in the third turn. He swept over my back line, going on a rampage, while the objectives were largely ignored...I played his game. His obsec planes that I couldn't touch guaranteed his primary victory, and I couldn't pull the maelstroms I could accomplish. I had terrible luck, including a third-turn warp ebb and a 3-dice perils that pulled my warlord into the warp for FB and StW, but it was really all immaterial - I didn't appreciate that I needed to absolutely flood the backfield with units to keep his planes off my objectives. Cool to play against a list idea I haven't run into to, and cool to have a FLG rivalry going. I told him we're playing at the BAO for sure, so we can best out of three it.
There you go, 4 - 2. A hilarious part of the event was that most of the people I follow on blogs/podcasts about the sport who were there weren't playing or were playing the friendly event - barring an update from AbusePuppy, I might have done better than anybody I look to for advice on the game. Pretty silly, makes you realize the best players aren't giving it away. Congrats to bugs for winning it all!