Saturday, September 17, 2011

Honour Guard at 1500 RTT

So I finally was able to take my Honour Guard (Counts as GK) out for a spin today in a 1500 RTT.  It was super small (10 people), but was still fun as normally I spend my time playing just one other person/army all the time.  It was definately nice to have an opportunity to play other armies.  It was a very suprising meta, as here were at least three Chaos Space Marine players and a Necron player, but SW, BA, and DE were all not represented.  I think some of the normal heavy hitters were at 'Ard Boyz.

My list was:
Draigo (Chapter Champ)
5 Pallies with 2 Pyscannons, 2 DHs, and Brother Hood Banner
5 GKSS with Pyscannon and Pysback
5 GKSS with Pyscannon and Pysback
5 GKSS with Pyscannon and Pysback
2 Pyflemen
1 Dreadknight with no upgrades (CALGAR!)

Game 1:
So first game was modified Sieze Ground against CSM.  You scored points for objectives at the end of each game turn and the player with the most at the end won.  His list was basically:
Warptime Prince
Nurgle Lord
CSM Squad
Zerker Squad
PM Squad

I rolled a 2 for my GS, and gave my Dreads scoring to allow them to hang out on objectives.  I got first turn and was able to kill his Defiler and Zerker Rhino immediately.  This gave me the ability to push the center of the board with impunity with my Pallies.  A turn of shooting took out all but one Zerker, leaving him with literally no way to beat my handle Draigo, let alone the Pallies in CC.  He deepstruck his Prince and Oblits, but by the time they came on, my Pallies had wiped his Lord/PMs, and my DK had taken down the CSMs.  My GKSS spread out to cover objectives, and my Pysbacks/Pysflemen focus fired on his Prince, downing it after it was able to destroy one Pysfleman.  I made some mistakes such as charging the PMs with Nurgle Lord attached (forgot he was there) with a GKSS, but luck and the Pallies bailed me out.  Overall, he had some bad luck but without the Defiler, Oblits, or Prince, he had nothing to kill my Pallies and I pulled a full point victory.  Overall a very nice opponent, but his Nurgle Lord failed him, doing 3-4 wounds over 2 rounds of combat (we both forgot about poison rerolls).

Game 2:
Second Game was standard KP mission with a modified Apocolypse deployment.  Once again I was against CSM, but this time against a full Nurgle force of :
Nurgle Prince (no wings)
2 Slogging PM Squads with Plasma
2 PM Squads with Meltas and Rhinos
2 Demon Packs

I was very scared of this army because of the Vindicator/Oblits/Meltas until I realized it was KPs and I actually outranged him.  Once again I had first turn and gave Pallies reroll 1s to wound.  My first turn of shooting was able to kill the Vindicator, giving me a lot more breathing room.  He deepstruck his Oblits, so I simply backpedaled for 2-3 turns killing off stuff while waiting for them to come in.  Eventually, I whittled him down enough where a multi-charge by Draigo/Pallies and a GKSS eliminated 2 of his squads.  At that point he called it and gave me another full point victory.  Nice enough guy, especially considering the mission/deployment hosed him.  He wasn't happy to face that much shooting from the GK army in that mission and didn't expect the multicharge.

Third Game... top table for all the marbles:
This was a Victory Points/Spearhead against... IG  with Master of the Fleet.  Ouch.
Command Squad with Plasmas, Medic, and Master of the Fleet (hurts my reserves/outflanks)
2 Melta Vet Squads
2 Flamer Vet Squads (Not sure on this one)
Leman Russ
Plasma Russ
Artillery with Str10 AP1 2D6 Armor Pen

This turned out to be a great game!  We had some minor rules issues with this about whether Vendettas had to move fully on the board (Judge ruled that they could move on just six) and whether area terrain gave cover to vehicles (The area terrain had movable trees, so we compromised and gave him a 5+), but my opponent was an awesome dude and won best sportsman for the tournament.  I won first turn, and set up on the line as I was afraid of the MotF's reserve shenanigans, but he promptly siezed.  Basically I had to slog my fairly slow, short-ranged army towards him while he lined up a firing line on me.  However, neither one of us did too much, as I simply could not hurt Russes at range and in cover, and he had a hard time killing my vehicles.  The DK absorbed a lot of fire as he rumbled towards the IG.  A Pysfleman took down the Vendetta, but was immobilized without LOS to the Valk which just bounced around teasing me with its 230ish VPs.  The Plasma Russ was not as bad as I thought (he rolled fairly badly for scatter all game), but I couldn't ever kill it.  Once I got into Pyscannon range I was able to pop some Chimeras and IG, but wasn't able to nail any of the big ticket items.  The game ended on 5th turn because of time, with the score about 640 to 540 in my favor.  We initially turned it in as a win, but I found out that the scenario had a 200 point threshold, so we were able to go back and get it corrected.  Amazingly tight, close game, so a draw was a fitting result.  Had I it to do over again, I would have been more aggressive, running my Pallies for 1-2 turns to give them better opportunities to shoot.

Tactical Summary:
With a 2-0-1 record, I feel my army definately performed better than expected.  I only have 21 Infantry models in the entire list, so I was extremely worried about getting swamped or suffering from some bad luck.  I was REALLY worried about getting some bad match ups such as DE, Deathwing, or even Tau.  Actually I was worried about pretty much every netlist, but because of the comp scoring, I didn't see any.  I would have to say that my luck was a little better than average, and I had reasonable matchups for all my games.  The first was a really good matchup for me, as he had very little that could hurt my vehicles or Pallies.  The second matchup could have been rough in an objective game, but there wasn't anything he could do in KP mission.   I out-ranged him completely and could simply run away... and THAT'S why I like having the Pysbacks and Pysflemen.   Third game was a fairly rough matchup with it being Spearhead and Victory Points against IG, but even that wasn't terrible.  I attribute the draw to me not being nearly aggressive enough, rather than the lists.  I found the Pallies to be worth their weight in gold against any army with a CC component, but against IG or other armies with zero CC, two Pyscannons are not worth the crazy price tag.  The DK did exactly what I needed it to, bullying squads and absorbing fire.  I wish I would have deepstruck it versus the IG to help it live longer, but that could have freed the Plasma Russ to go to town on my Pallies or other units.  As it was, it took about 3 turns of shooting to drop it, which helped me a lot, even if it cost me VPs. 

So the table below us also drew in Round 3, so my third round opponent and I were both still in the running for Best Overall/Best General.  Turns out I had tied with my second round opponent for Best Painted, which was my main goal going in and why I brought the GKs.  I also ended up taking Best General because of bonus points, and finished just behind my second round opponent for Best Overall.  I had got hit super hard on Composition (combination of Judge/Opponent), and sportsmanship (Opponent) to a lesser extent, which allowed him to pass me.  Overall, I am EXTREMELY happy with how I did today, as I fulfilled my main goal of doing well in the painting category and managed to take Best General.   I am not worried about composition, as I don't think feel my army is that cheesy.  It might not have a ton of variety, but I made 95% of my decisions on theme rather than competitiveness.  Draigo, Pallies, and the DK are massive points sinks at 1500 and are not what I would consider highly competitive.  They are not bad, but lack the efficiency offered by Purifiers or Henchmen and are very vulnerable to a lot of armies.  The only units I took for mostly competitive reasons were the Pysflemen, simply because such a small model count army needs something to suppress the opponent's long-range firepower.  I am disappointed that I got dinged on sportsmanship, but I honestly don't know what I could have done to be more friendly with my opponents.  At the end of the day, I did the best I could and took care of the aspects under my direct control (paint/BP) and put my best good-faith effort towards the more "soft" categories of Comp/Sports.

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