Ard Boyz SemiFinals (note I did not explain Deployment/Missions here, if you want to read them in order I played link here- LINKY)
Okay, so I won the prelims and had the un-enviable choice of a 3 hour, 3.5 hour or 4.5 hour drive for the Semis. FUGH. I didn’t have the money to go up Friday and get a room, so I just resigned myself to a 5 am wakeup. Little did I know, my insomnia cycle was going to kick in end of week, netting me 4 hours of sleep Thursday night, followed by a sleepless night Friday. Two days with 4 hours of sleep equals the suck.
Still, I got on the road with three of my buddies at 630, and was in good spirits.
(I will bitch at the end of the BATREP, everything else will be nicey-nice)
Scenario 1; Fog
The only game I really got ANY pictures, and they were where my phone camera started to tank. Of all the pics I took, maybe 5 actually were recoverable from my now dead data card (and my phone now no longer accepts my data card, or saves pics at all…time for a trip to Best Buy). Opposing army lists are from memory, can’t find them right now…may have left them with my ‘Nid dex at the venue. Fortunately, I have a decent memory.
Deployment (picture 1)
18(ish)x Nobz with variations on Klaws/Uge Choppas/armour and a Painboy.
(BW w/b-shoota and deffrolla)
(BW w/b-shoota and deffrolla)
19 slugga-boyz w/klaw Nob
(BW w/b-shoota and deffrolla)
20 slugga-boyz w/klaw Nob
(BW w/b-shoota and deffrolla)
12 slugga-boyz w/klaw Nob
3-2x DeffKoptas (twin rokkit+some saws)
2-5x loota mob
I won the roll, and chose to go first. Central wall of Fexes, flanked by T-Fexes backed by Tervigons with Hive-Guard outriders and interspersed ‘gants. He deployed opposite the central building with the KFF joined to the 19 boyz mob in a BW, Ghaz w/the 12 Burnas in BW. With those units in the center, He had his NobWagon on his right side of the BW wall, and the 20 Boy mob on his left. Behind the Nobwagon, He hid the Trukk Mob. 1 Deffkopta unit on his right, 2(I don’t know why he didn’t reserve the DeffKoptas, forgot to ask when it was all over) on his left and he left the Grots in reserve.
My Turn 1: I ‘BURST’ forward toward the center with my entire line, and ran as far as I could. As the central building was about the size of the 12” ‘no dep zone’ in the center, I was rolling Difficult Terrain with almost my entire center. Combined with my run rolls, my center moved and average of…..7”…that’s AFTER run rolls (thus the emphasis on ‘burst’). MC 3d6 doesn’t work if your dice hate you, lemme tell ya. No big, I still had some gants threatening the central objective with backup. I spawned with all my Tervigons and put out somewhere around 80 gants, but 3 of my Tervis pooped out. Ugh. Three Tervis spread out from the center, backing the line. The two HQ Tervis followed flanking units of Hive Guard and gants into the Fog. After movement and running in the fog, I had 2 objectives. Then I shot. Pop goes the KFF BWagon. Hive Guard poofed a squadron of Deffkoptas.
His Turn 1: He 6” moved the BWagons up. I don’t think he wanted to give my ‘Fexes charge range ( I would have punched it personally). He pushed the remaining DeffKoptas into shooting positions on Hive Guard. He also brought the Trukk into the fog on his right. He shot, and netted about 10 dead gants across the entire board.
Turn 2 was very similar to Turn 1, except that I did not spawn from the remaining functional Tervigons in case I needed emergency gants later and crapped out. My movement secured all 3 objectives solidly, and put my ‘Fexes into real charge threat for the Wagons. Then I shot at them…and missed with 75% of my shooting. BUT, every shot that hit managed to penetrate (some hive guard shots and 2 Rupture cannon hits) and he couldn’t make more than half his KFF saves. Combined with a pinned unit (one of the BW Boy units lost enough to explodiness that they actually had to take a pinning check, and failed) he suddenly had more than half his army decanted, and half of it out of support. I didn’t have charge range on anything due to where his units ended up, so my turn ended.
He was just too cautious…he tried to shoot up the world, and only managed 2 assaults (his right side had a bait pair of gant units close to a boyz unit and deffkoptas, and his center got off a boy assault against a big brood of ‘gants. I think he forgot the Multi-Charge option there, but it wouldn’t have benefitted him as it would have just sucked more ‘gants in with counter-attack.
The rest of the game was really, pile on objectives…kill what little he had that was un-engaged with Thorax Swarms and Hive Guard, and wear down Ghaz. (note, he used Ghaz’s Waagh in one of my shooting phases to prevent two units that were shot up from running off).
End of game, he conceded with about 400 points worth of units left, while claiming about 1000 points from me (including the points from spawned ‘gants).
Full Points Massacre for me.
(after the game we went outside and I gave him advice on how to improve his list. He told me he based it ‘on some guy’s list from dakka.. sumpin sumpin ‘pepper’ I believe?… ;) . I tried the soft approach, and didn’t tell him it sucked, but how to improve synergy and what units didn’t support him properly. I also asked why he didn’t just shove his BW’s down my gullet before I was able to put more gants down and secure my position. He was just scared of the Carnifexes, had no Idea how to handle them, which I helped with as well)
Scenario 2; ‘Shineys’
His list was Fatecrusher.
3 4x Bloodcrushers (loaded)
4 8x Bloodletters
2(?) 8x Plaguebearers
3 Tzeentch DPs fully loaded for shooting and flying.
I have my deployment pic for this one, but that’s it.
I won the roll to go and chose second.
I deployed as sparsely as possible, with a similar spread to my last scenario. I wanted as much potential footprint to reduce his ‘safe’ zone.
He rolled for army half and got the wrong half.
His turn 1 drop; 2x Bloodcrusher units, a Dp, 3x Bloodletter units, a plaguebearer unit. They scattered with decent support, but not grand.
This one really doesn’t need a blow by, as his wrong-half start hurt AND his turn 2 reserves only got him fateweaver and a DP. It went downhill from there. He didn’t really make mistakes, but neither did I. With spawning and spreading, I hemmed him completely into his half the table. I wiped one unit of crushers out with shooting, and dropped the other down to a basic crusher and the Icon(darn it).
Big moments; HiveGuard nuking bloodcrusher units. The Carnifexes holding 2 different DPs in CC for 4 combat phases, a steady feed of ‘gants holding the Bloodthirster at arm’s length, and Fateweaver poofing to HiveGuard fire as soon as he hit the table (took all three units, but a 9 ldrship sucks). Ultimately, my inability to kill Daemon Princes cost me a massacre. I could bloody well hold em down, but it took till turn 6 to finish the one on one of my objectives, and consumed too many resources to be able to secure both of his.
I was a little grumpy for this round. I was so bloody tired, and made the mistake of having beer with the lunch break(that wore off), but he was gracious and fought to the last.
Scenario 3: We’re sorry mech, here’s your cake…
5x THSS squad [LRR]
Tac squad (flamer/MM/PW) [LR]
Tac Squad (M/MM/PF) [LRC]
Tac Squad (M/MM/PW) [LR]
Tac Squad (flamer/MM)
2 1x units of MM/Typhoon Speeders
1 2x Unit of MM Atk Bikes
1x LR Redeemer w/MM
1x LR Crusader w/MM
1x LR w/MM
1x LR w/MM
He won the roll to go first, started with nothing on the table and nothing in reserves. And this is where I screwed up.
I was tired, and I had been dwelling on this scenario since it came up. I had not fought 4x LR lists with these bugs, and instead of simply calming down and going with ‘the plan’, I let the scenario/terrain dictate MY deployment.
I deployed 1xHQ and 2xTrp Tervigons…in my left corner behind the one piece of terrain that could give them cover. What was I thinking? “Spawn first turn, I have to spawn as much as I can”… WTF? Just plain SHIT. Brain shut down, reflex picked up and punched me in the nads.
This was me failing to heed EVERY FUGGING PIECE OF ADVICE I deliver and believe in, to never let the situation make you react, make THE ENEMY react to you…and I reacted to the enemy AND the environment. I should have realized my error before turn 1, but I was just tired enough not to really see it till he came on table, and dropped one of my Tervis to half wounds despite cover. And then the final nail in my coffin, I brought in everything in that corner. I just couldn’t let go of “must have cover, MUST”…dammit, I KNEW I could sacrifice ‘fexes for two turns to rush the middle and force him into a corner, but I let reactive nerves dictate my deployment and first turn. I lost the game here, period.
Again, this is a game that doesn’t need to be spelled out on a turn by turn, but I never gave up. I pushed out of my corner and shot like a madman. I baited out Vulkan and his Termies with Carnifexes, I shot the rhino and tried to get every cheap KP I could.
It didn’t help that 4 consecutive turns of fire with Hive Guard and and T-Fexes only immobilized the rhino, killed AN attack bike and dropped A speeder (apparently I borrowed Stelek Broadside dice). I got happy when I ‘blew up’ his Redeemer with a T-Fex, until we realized LOS was blocked just enough (by a carni and building corner) that he should get a save, which he made (ah well, it still felt good to get the rolls). I did kill Vulkan and the Terminators with mass fire/’gant assault. It did run to turn 6, and I did manage to avoid the Massacre against me. Last turn also saw the death of his last speeder and attk bike (finally, little fast bastards! ). But two Tervigon’s popped turn 3 and I rolled more on the feedback than the total termagant’s that were in range, that was 6 KPs right there. It was messy, it was bloody and it was fraught with stupidity…on my part.
Major Victory w/3 bonus to him.
All of my opponents were actually fun to play, pleasant and accommodating. I’m almost glad the event was so far away, with 36 players and only 2 of my compatriots accompanying me, the odds were that I would play 3 new people that day…and I wasn’t disappointed. That is one of the best things about GTs/Ard Boyz etc…new faces, ideas, armies and games.
I managed, even through the mess of game three, to pull 5th place. I THINK if I had deployed intelligently that game I MAY have made top 3, but with other issues who knows. One of my friends that I rode up with DID take 3rd, and my other friend (I don’t remember exact rank) came in the top 50%.
Now that I’ve accepted a portion of the responsibility for Scenario 3, time to bitch.
This is NOT an attack per-se, and I do understand it can be difficult to run these…
I’m not saying that as an observer. I ran the Ard Boyz events at my old store 2 years running, including the year 1 Semis.
We had 30+ for Prelims yr 1, and 56 people signed up for Semis that year. FIFTY TWO showed up.
I set it up the night before(with help from friends). I had a few regulars that didn’t qualify hanging out, getting me food/water/stuff or sitting at my station if I had to run to the restroom/smoke but handled pretty much all the grit myself.
I begged, bought, borrowed and stole every piece of terrain I could lay my hands on (thanks Rep who shall remain un-named, if you ever read this, for all the ‘extras’ you could swing. And thanks Neptune John for all the loaned stuffage!)
I walked the floor constantly, I engaged every player directly at least once directly, and every table at least 3 times per round.
I was aware immediately if there were any ‘issues’ between players.
I was enthusiastic, involved and paid more attention to those that were new to my store than people I saw from my region.
I have pics attached, hope you can add them here, but…the terrain was shit. Worst case scenario, in my mind/army, was to play scenario 3 with low terrain/lots of trees or sparse area terrain. I called the venue and asked the week prior if they were terrain sufficient, and offered to bring two tables worth if it was needed. I was pleasantly told that they ‘had plenty to be sure to hit 25%’ per table for up to 36 players. I asked if they were sure, they said yes. I can honestly say at least one of my tables didn’t have enough terrain for Warhammer Fantasy…seriously. My final table, I had ONE piece of terrain in the CORNER of my half that could provide cover to my MCs, and maybe one in the opposite corner of my half.
Records: why would you write things down on paper and pair up that way? In an event with this level of competitiveness? On a small legal pad? WITHOUT SCORE SHEETS HANDED OUT(WTF???), but reported verbally to the guy scribbling it down? With things crossed out, referenced between sheets and trying to keep it under wraps for the purposes of ‘suspense’? I truly don’t THINK there was cronyism going on there, but dayum…could you have created a greater potential for suspicion?
Vp pairing: apparently, as we were reporting VPs, they paired second round by VPs. What??? Not BPs with a tie-breaker, but actual VPs? Why? Was it just silliness, or to someone’s benefit?
Walking the floor: I saw the TO come from behind the counter maybe Once per round. He made quiet announcements, and only let us know time once per round. Involvement. It’s important. You cannot get a feel for your players/mood/behavior/potential issues by sitting on one of the VERY FEW stools you have behind the counter jawing with regulars. If the excuse of having the FAQ open on your laptop is the reason you’re doing it, you don’t know the rules well enough.
Cheating: goes with the previous point. If you see a rulebook or ‘dex open for too long you should ask what’s up. You would KNOW this if you were engaging your players instead of jib-jabbing. If it’s going on for too long, someone’s involved in shenanigans. Because it was too difficult to maneuver around a table, someone playing there was willing to take the word of a ‘nid player reading from his dex across the table that he could spawn after moving tervigons, that raveners and warriors were t-5, Raveners apparently move 12 in addition to assaulting 12(he caught that though) and some other outright cheats. I didn’t hear it at the time, so I couldn’t interject (and not being TO, it might not have been my place but I would have). The other player didn’t have the ‘nid dex, and hadn’t come up against warrior/ravener spam or Tervies yet so he accepted the info and it cost him a win. If the TO (or assistant judges) had been regularly patrolling the floor, someone would have caught on to this as it apparently was a constant rules argument instead of a game.
Venue info: be honest, even if that means honest to yourself. If you can’t handle more than 20, cap it there. If you don’t have the terrain for it, borrow, create or even accept offers for more from unsolicited sources. If you are asked if there is army storage, don’t say there’s shelving under all the tables when all that was is the floor (excepting the back 6 tables).
Seating: can’t truly gripe about that overly much, because I do know stools are expensive, but I was only capable of sitting down my first game…and without a way to put things anywhere, I ended up using that for my case as casualty removal.
Enthusiasm: get involved. Walk the floor, engage the players, discuss the event and the game. Don’t interrupt games of course, but walking the floor at least 50% of the time keeps you aware of things, moods and potential conflicts. It also encourages a sense of authority to be able to discuss things, speed up games with discrepancies and solve rules issues.
Rules judging: frankly too tired then to remember it, but at least one discussion after round 1 involved a BASIC bad rules call. Not an esoteric issue, not a changed FAQ, but a blatant core rule bad call.
Table Balance: if you are going to ‘number’ tables, you should also create groups of tables that have varying degrees/types of terrain (3 groupings for 3 rounds ideally) and make certain every player plays once in each grouping. I played ONE table that could be considered to have had 20% terrain, otherwise I was playing Fantasy or worse. That 20% table was identically laid out to my final game, just used a larger central piece. If you like a pure Imperial Mech environment, that’s fine, but don’t cater to it to the detriment of every other army out there…at least when you are hosting an event that should only have involved 3 of your regulars.
Winners: Nothing is more anti-climactic than to just tell the top 3 players quietly, as they pass the counter, where they placed…while the bottom tables are still wrapping up games…other players are out smoking and with no one to witness/congratulate. And then to say ‘I know it’s anti-climactic, but you’ll get prizes from GW’. Who gives a shit if it’s not about your store, your prizes or your glory, it’s about the players and the FUCKING HOBBY…jeebus guys, way to make us want to come back again if you host it.
You guys were pleasant, don't get me wrong, but it almost seemed as though you DIDN'T want to do this, or realized you had bitten off more than you can chew. You do know your GW rep can help if you are having issues right?