Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Didn't see that coming - High Lords
After a delayed flight I finally got home in the early hours of the morning from my Sydney excursion to High Lords of Terra.
Cody/Coldbane and I had flown over on thursday to spend a few days with Richard/Psyche who I have gamed with for 10+ years I think and attend the Lords and High Lords event. After a relaxing thursday and some rain soaked site seeing on friday we were ready for the weekend and the amazing venue where it was held.
At the Blacktown Workers club - a multistory complex of buffet restaurants(cue Homer Simpson drooling), pokies halls and event rooms we had the Ballroom for the gaming filled with terrain covered tables.
Saturday morning saw the Eldar host go head to head against Sheldon MacGowan's amazing looking Space Wolves. Now I hadn't played against the puppies before and two Longfang units and a large Thunderwolf squad was arrayed against me with grey hunters in support. The random objective mission got under way with my Eldar castling up on my left flank. Sheldon took control of the central and right objectives promptly rolling a 5 & 6 for there values. I expected the Wolves to be more aggresive but he was hesitant to face the Harlequins and Avatar in assault so I swept across the flank neutralising his Grey hunters and Longfangs on this side. His heavy weapons knocked my vehicles around a bit but failed to do any real damage and once my warwalkers came in on the opposiong flank I shot up the other longfangs and assaulted them for the rest of the game preventing them from shooting. The Nightspinners did well claiming models each round to their barrages and then the dangerous terrain rolls and whittled down wounds on the allocated Thunderwolves before the the 1 wound remaining lord charged the Avatar and got a spear in the face. I ended up taking most of the objectives by force and the wolves were left with only a couple of the embattled longfangs in combat with my krak grenade battered walkers so I got a 20 point win including my bonus objective.
Next after a table swap I played Stacey Daniels Ork horde. Orks the green bane of my 40k existence... It was a kill point game with dawn of war deployment and Stacey played smart stringing his mobs across the table weaving through cover. With multiple rockets pounding the grav tanks and Snikrot leading his Kommandos into a nasty multiple assault on my back lines and me doing not much else other than whittling away at the boyz I lost the game quite soundly. Full credit to Stacey for points denial and shrewd play - good hard game.
Finally on day 1 I played Dan Breeze and his Eldar in the Recon scenario. Knowing the capabilities of each others list we quickly got to battle and had a very fun game. Dan is an awesome relaxed guy and we exchanged casualties back and forth for most of the game clawing at each other as the turns continued past 5. I forget a lot of the details but it ended in a minor victory for me on turn 6? as my Pathfinders and Jetbikes crawled towards his lines and a mass volley of Scatter laser shots across the table from my Warwalkers finally felled Eldrad giving me the advantage.
After I loud and fairly entertaining trivia night we were back at it for day 2 where I drew Chee Wong and his awesome Deathwing and mixed Dark Angel force. It was Capture and Control spearhead deployment with 5 objectives and Chee won the roll with the placed objectives in his favour. He reserved his two rhino mounted units of a tac squad and a command squad while deploying his 3 Deathwing units, Ezekiel and a trio of Typhoon Speeders. The only LOS blocker was a quaint shack on a central hill and I used terrain as best I could to at least get cover saves from the numerous Krak missiles heading my way. Chee remained fairly static throughout the game as he had initial control of a couple objectives so after an initial webbing from the Nightspinners I set after his mobile targets. He did well early on knocking around my grav tanks and taking a couple wounds off the Avatar but as the game progressed a haze must have descended on the battlefield as other than a couple hail mary EML & Krak shots both our long range shots seemed to be fairly arse. My Harlequins ended up dashing around the central building an got to grips with a unit of Deathwing dealing with them well but after getting charged by Belial, his bodyguard and the newly appeared command squad they failed their hit & run!!! and got stuck in assault eventually getting the beat down. Following that I saturated his lines with as much fire as possible, the Warwalkers and Pathfinders taking a corner objective with good fire lanes on his troops. Chee did have control for most of the game but as the dice rolled for more turns he lost more models and I whittled him down including a massive struggle between my Farseer and his venerable Dread in assault and my Fire Dragons and Dire Avengers finally disposing of Belial in the centre. The game went bottom of the seventh turn where a final volley of combined fire saw me kill Ezekiel and his last tac marine pulling the game into a final draw with my bonus mission complete. The closest game of the tournament, Chee was great to play against and the banter was awesome of we cheered or despaired at the dice rolls in those last desperate turns, the draw a justified result.
Finally I played Glen Blair( yes another Glen B!) with his Eldar =) for the final misson of Kill the Fast Ones!( oh how the Australians cryed at this where the NZ players out there know this mission pretty damn well by now) We had really similar builds with Glen Blair having the only other Nightspinner I recall in the tournament. It started fairly evenly with KPs going back and forth but after Glen achieved a narrow 1 point lead the tide turned for my forces and I ended up with 22KP? to his 10! Many funny things happened in the game with his Banshees failing to caouse more than 1 wound on my Doomed Avatar who in turn failed to hit them at all! My Harlequins eating the Banshees for lunch then the Avatar rampaging across the table smashing grav tanks for kicks. Asurmen lead his force and it took an insane amount of fie to finally kill the shattered remnants of a Dire Avenger Squad, a 1 wound Asurmen and a 1 wound Farseer but I got there in the end. After I took the pulse laser and knocke around is Falcon he saw fit to tank shock across a hill in my deployment zone breaking my Dire Avengers and shifting my Pathfinders only to cause a S10 ram on my Nightspinner. Now you think that would have been bad but after the scream of grav engines and crash of hulls subsided my Spinner was only shaken while his Falcon exploded spectaculary. The game ended with Glen Blair only having an immobilised weaponless Wave serpent sitting on the board and his second Dire Avenger squad futily in combat with my Warwalkers to prevent a tabling! I ended up wit a sound 20 point win and there was some speculation amongst the surrounding tables as to what the final results would be once soft scores were revealed...
As the prize giving commenced Team NZ being Dave and Ben Foster, Cody and myself took a table near the front to hear the results. First the highly contested Open event was ran awarded with Ben taking out Best Painted, hurrah for Team NZ! Then we went onto the High Lords results. I would like to point out that as a rule it was stated that a player can only be awared one trophy with other awards dropping down to the next in line, so when I didnt get 'Best Painted' or 'Players Choice' as many other players had testified I would I was a little bit excited ;) As the podium was called and Shane Sofra with his beautiful Harlequin force was awarded second overall for High Lords, Richard announced that we had an overall winner and it was a Kiwi - ME!!! "Holy Shit!" I said and headed up to get my Chainsword trophy and Imperial Strongold box set and vouchers. I gave thanks on behalf of the NZ contingent and that ended an awesome and suprising event.
Looking at final results and not to take anything away from the other winners but I also did get the top votes for Players Choice and the Best painted for High and Open(I painted Codys Dark Eldar) so Glen FTW I say ;)
I would like to say thanks to Alex and the guys doing data at the tournament and a HUGE thankyou to Richard Nelly/Psyche and his family for housing and feeding Cody and myself for six days, you guys are all awesome =D
Also a big hello to Dave and Ben Foster, great catching up with you guys again and look forward to seeing you at future NZ events. And congratulations to Cody who got 7th overall out of 49 players in the Open!!! Awesome result for the deviants from the webway I say.