Sunday, 7 August 2011

Summer by the Pool ... of Blood!

The Claws and Fists lads are up at Maelstrom again this weekend taking part in Tim King's Summer Skirmish, a 500pt tournament set up in a pool format with day one sorting out the field into four knock-out equally matched competitions taking place on the second day. More details can be found here.

I decided to take Orks because I thought they would excel at this point level and because the list I came up with would only need me to paint one model, a Deff Dread, which I'd wanted an excuse to buy for a while, SO here's what I'm taking:

HQ
Big Mek w. Kustom Force Field

TROOP
Boyz Squad
(20) Shootas, 2x Big Shoota, Nob w. PK and Boss Pole
Boyz Squad
(18) Sluggas, Nob w. PK and Boss Pole
Deff Dread
2x Skorchas

My first round of three games saw me face off against Tau, Dark Eldar and Thousand Sons, all of these games were close with margins of victory generally being no more than 100 points.

Vs Tau in game 1, I knew what I had to do and while I took a fair old while getting across the table, once I managed it the result was never really in question. The old fish-heads really struggle in assault!

Next up was Dark Eldar and the combined attentions of a Voidraven Bomber and a unit of 8 Vipers could not break the spirits of the Shoota Boyz with their pie plates and cluster caltrops. They did managed to whittle down the squad so that when I charged, the result was academic and with the loss of that squad I would not be able to catch up on VPs despite the Sluggas cornering and wrecking the Bomber. A tactical retreat from the Dark Eldar saw them claiming the win in this one.

The final pool 1 game was vs Thousand Sons, a single unit of about 18 marines with a sorcerer. Farily straightforward game here with the 1K sons backing up and chipping away at the Boyz until they could run no further. Sadly for me by the end of the game I could not finish off the unit so as it was a single unit below half strength I only got half VPs and I gave up ever so slightly more than 250vps in the attempt so it was another close loss for me. Hats off to a great strategy in list building though and that sorcerer really did not want to die!

The second round brought Blood Angels, Dark Eldar and Chaos Marines my way.

First up were the Bas, sporting a very threatening looking DC Dread with “Jazz Hands”, a small DC unit and an assault Squad in a TL Lascannon Razorback. I think we must have started this game late as we only got three turns done by which time he'd killed my sluggas and I'd killed his assault sqaud. My Deff Dread was locked with his DC Dread but could not kill it in the two rounds of combat that it had time for sa it was another narrow loss, literally 30VPs in it!

Game 5 next and across the table was Alex from the From the Fang Blog with his Dark Eldar. I made the mistake of hairing up the board and giving him the range he needed for a turn 1 assault and the Wyches combined assault with a unit of Helions took the wind straight out of the Ork sails. The Deff Dread did his best to contribute but with the Orks wiped out he could not catch those nippy little deldar! A very clear win for Alex here, next time I hope to acquit myself a little better!

Last game of round 2 was against a Chaos Marine list sporting two Rhinos a marine squad with double melta and a Havoc squad with double melta and double flamer. I pretty much had this one in the bag until I carelessly blew up one of the Rhinos in the middle of a big combat which took a heavy toll on my Orks wiping out the remnants of one squad and tipping the favour of the battle to my opponent. Another narrow loss for me to contemplate.

Going in to the final round of the day and I was at 1 win 5 losses and looking like I would be playing in the bottom bracket of Sunday's knock-out competition. There was an opportunity to gain promotion to the bracket above by winning your group and likewise players in the higher brackets could also be relegated if they finished last.

So for this round I would face off against Necrons, Imperial Guard and Tau.

First up were the Necrons featuring Destroyers, a Tomb Spider and, of course, Warriors. This was fairly straight-forward but the T5 Destroyers proved harder to dispatch than I had given them credit for but once everything else was dead the Shootas lent the Sluggas a hand. Just in the nick of time as it happened and I managed to table them with the last roll of the dice, a Power Klaw actually hitting!?! We may never see that again.

The second game was against a Guard list featuring Melta and Plasma Vets on Chimeras, Rough Riders and a Hydra. It started well with the Orks stealing the initiative and a volley of unusually accurate Big Shoota fire killing 3 Rough Riders and causing the remainder of the unit to flee. From there on it was a very tight game with lots of careful manoeuvring keeping the squishy guard well protected. In the end though I did not have an answer for his tanks. Just one immobilised result would have tipped the balance in my favour but as it was I lost another squeaker by about 20Vps!

The last game of the day was against the Tau opponent from my first game and I figured that because my last game had been so close that I would have a chance for promotion if I could table here. The Tau were cagey, holding their suits in reserve and dancing the Devilfish around a large LOS blocking building. But in the end I cornered it and when his suits came in they dropped too close to my infantry. The resulting assault saw the heart taken from the Tau's offensive capability and it ended with a 5th turn tabling. A very unfair result for my opponent who was a really great bloke, but it saw me promoted to the 3rd bracket for today's play-offs. Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it!

Just a few musings on the list:

I think it lacks anti-mech, in higher point values I can run klaws into vehicles and the resulting explosions are less costly than here where every VP counts! It's also not a terribly reliable method for opening armour, again this is something you can mitigate at higher point values.

Also I'm clearly not experienced with it, sometimes I played it too aggressively and gave away critical charges and on other occasions I was too conservative and when I got the charge not enough Orks could get in greatly reducing their effectiveness. There's got to be a balancing point that I've yet to find as I do think this list can work.

Anyway, stay tuned to find out how today's matches go!

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