Monday, 16 April 2012

Open War XVII - The Claws & Fists' Perspective

Tanks. Apparently they're not
so popular these days.
On Saturday, Andy, Dave Poolley and I headed to Open War XVII at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield, where we were met by fellow bloggers Alex and Matt (From the Fang) and John (McTicTac from Blood Claw). The tournament was oeganised very ably by our very own parent gaming club the First Company Veterans, who play at Warhammer World in Nottingham on a Thursday night (come along!).

I was using my now-typical Tyranid semi-Drop Spore list:

Flying Tyrant with Hive Commander
2 x Zoanthropes in Mycetic Spore
2 x Zoanthropes in Mycetic Spore 
Doom of Malan'Tai in Mycetic Spore
Tervigon
11 x Termagants
13 x Genestealers
13 x Genestealers
2 x Trygons

As Tyranid lists go, it's fairly compact but pretty effective against what is was designed to counter - that is, MSU Space Wolves / Marines. As it turns out, tanks are so passe. In fact in all three games, I only faced one tank! So obviously the meta-game has changed and I didn't get the memo. Ho-hum.

Before the first game, Team Claws & Fists & Chums joked that my worst match-up would be to face Grey Knights in all three tournament games. How prophetic that nearly was - in fact I faced the Gleaming Silver Cybermen in my first two games, and then faced Shooty Horde Orks in the final game.

Game One (5 Objectives) vs. Grey Knights

In my first game I faced a friendly chap called Jason from Doncaster (not a million miles from Notts) who was running Grey Knights. His list featured a large number of Terminators and a double-hard named character (though I forget which), along with more Terminators in a Land Raider and some plasma gun toting Storm Troopers. The first three turns went largely my way, as my monstrous creatures snuck through the generous cover which is such a feature of tournaments held at Maelstrom. On turns two and three my Genestealers, Trygons, Tyrant and Doom made short work of one big unit of Terminators, plus the Storm Troopers, with almost no casualties suffered on my side at all. In addition, I had covered three of the five objectives with spawned Termagant units. On turns four and five however, the game swung in Jason's favour as his Deathstar unit of tooled-up Termies munched through my monstrous creatures with unnerving ease - in particular, the Grey Knights' arsenal of grenades was used to devastating effect! In the end though, despite the loss of all my big bugs, the little gribblies won the game for me, and I held onto two objectives to claim a 18-7 victory in this first game.

And so it was with no small amount of confidence that I went into the afternoon's games with some confidence...

Game Two (Kill Points) vs. Grey Knights

In game two I faced up to another GK army, this time belonging to a youngish chap (it seems more and more folks seem young, but that may be more to do with my increasing years...) called Luke, who is a nice guy and someone I've played fun games against at previous tournaments. The game was Kill Points with Dawn of War set-up. Luke set up first, placing his Deathstar unit of Termies and special character (Draigo???) in the very centre of the table. For my set up, I decided to infiltrate my two units of Genestealers close to Luke's board edge. In fact, I had enough models to 'cock-block' (nice expression, John!) Luke's other units - that is, I could have placed a long line of 'stealers along the whole of the back edge of Luke's side, thus preventing his other units from coming on. This would almost certainly have won the game for me, as Luke's army totalled only 6 units in total, and this would have neutralised 4 of them without a shot being fired.

But I didn't.

Despite this being a tournament, I believe too much in fair play and having a good time to do anything so beardy - even though I would have placed in the top five at the end of the day, had I done so. And since Luke is a decent guy, I just couldn't have looked myself in the mirror if I had!

So I got tabled.

Ho-hum! That said, it was a fun game, but I was never going to win a kill points game with a Tyranid army numbering 13 units (plus more for spawned bugs) against an all-Terminator/Power Armour GK army totalling 6 units. It was a great learning experience for me though, and I do know now what to do (and what not to do) against the Emperor's Finest next time around!

Game Three (Victory Points & Secondary Objectives) vs Shooty Horde Orks  

For my final game I faced the best-looking army of the tournament - an Ork army featuring three Star Wars Pod-Racers made up to count as Deffcoptas! Hopefully some pics of these vehicles will surface shortly, cos they were fantastic!

For the game itself, both myself and my opponent agreed that we wanted a decent stand-up fight without too much sneaky pussyfooting around. So we set up on our respective 12" lines, raced forward and met in a tidal wave of, well, claws and fists on the halfway line (a bit like Leeds vs Millwall, once might imagine...). In the end we only managed three-and-a-half turns before time was up but it was enough. I was down to three Zoanthropes left, and the Orks still had a nearly-full strength Biker Nobz squad left plus the tattered remains of two Shoota Boyz units so game three ended in a slightly frantic loss.

In Summary

Well, I think my tournament experience hinged on game two. I could have played an uber-beardy trick on a nice guy and propelled myself into the top five or so of the weekend, but it would've just left a bad taste in my mouth. So would I change anything from that second game if I could?

Nah.

It's just not me!

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