Monday, January 6, 2014

TJ Must Die Open Summary

Just braved a lovely little snow storm to play in a tournament over at Evolution Games that was held in honor of TJ from Dark Future Games being in town.  Larry did a great job running the event and I played three good, different games.  Despite the snow we had 20 people show up for the event. The list I played is the same one I have been playing for a couple months now.

Farseer on bike
2 groups of rangers
3 jetbikes with cannon
6 jetbikes with 2 cannons
6 spiders
2 wraithknights (warlord)
3 shadow weavers

Chapter master with toys
Full bike squad with 2 grav guns, heavy bolter, power sword and meltabomb
Storm Talon
Thunderfire Cannon

Game 1 was vs Joshua Earle.  I've never played Joshua before and it was a good game.  Joshua played a 5th edition eldar list.  Farseer, warlock and 6 bikers, 3 wave serpents with dire avengers/storm guardians, a falcon with fire dragons, large squad of warp spiders and swooping hawks and some war walkers.  Not a bad list but far from optimal in my opinion.  Mission was Emperors Will (2 objectives) and Joshua was playing for a draw from the start because the internet says the mission is a draw.  I got lucky turn one with the thunderfire cannon hitting 4 times allowing me to target the swooping hawks that were hiding under a ruin by hitting the Falcon next to them (Techmarine than failed 3 out 3 armour saves next round). The game was close for a while because he boosted his bikes into my back field forcing my marine bikers to turn around and wipe them out (which they did).  But eventually the weight of my fire power made it safe for me to advance.  In the end he was wiped out on turn 5.  The key to this game was just patience.  He didn't know a couple of key rules (such as barrage), however a couple of different dice rolls and he could have pulled it out.

Game 2 was vs. the tournament's namesake TJ Atwell, unfortunately he didn't bring his army with him from NC
.  As an added bonus, beating TJ would result in the store throwing in an extra $20 to the prize pool.  I've only played TJ once when he was playing Dark Angels a few years ago.  I don't remember much about the game other than it was good and TJ was a good player.  He was playing a Chaos Necron mix that I knew from the start would be trouble as he has 5 flyers (3 necron, a deamon prince and a hell drake).  Look closely at my list and you will see the 0 anti-air I have.  
Mission was 5 objectives.  I got lucky and got to place 3 of them (not that it would matter). Game was very killy and neither of us had much left at the end of the game.  I had 1 bike and 2 rangers left as my only scoring units (and the only reason they were alive was because the hell drake rolled double 1 to wound the rangers and 5 warriors failed to rapid fire the last jetbike away.  He had no scoring units left.  It was very good game that I should have been a 2-2 draw on secondaries but I did get two objectives pulling out a win and moving me to the number two table (since I didn't get as many objectives as others).

Game 3 was versus Jesse Zischke, the top general at the Michigan GT, and his Grey Knight army.  Despite being a local I think this was our first game vs. each other.  Jesse runs a tough army with three dreadknights and a pair of storm ravens.  Luckily my army is a good matchup vs. his, minus the two flyers.  I got to go first and he forced him to be reactive from the start.  In a funny series of miss communications I asked if his dreadknights had force weapons.  He said no because he thought I was asking about a different unit, we eventually figured it out but he never changed his answer to the original question.  Next turn I misfortune a dreadknight and get an instant kill.  There is confusion about his armour saves because he thought got regular armour vs 1 but not the other.  After some confusion we figure it out what each roll was intended for and what was needed but because of the confusion we forgot about the misfortune.  I follow it up with a charge and fail to kill it, he wounds me and uses his force weapon.  After I point out he said he didn't have one, we go back and undo the entire combat.  His turn he charges the wraithknight who this time kills him despite less attacks.  End result was what would have probably happened had we remember the misfortune, we just took the long way.  Other than this cluster, it was well played and even with a disadvantage Jesse was still in position to win until turn 4.

Overall I am happy with the list it performed well going 3-0 and tabling 2 opponents.  Bill Kim ended up in first with three tables using his very strong deamon list, you can see his summary here.  As expected it struggled vs. the flyer heavy army but it faced three very different armies and survived.  I'm not sure I care enough to address this however.  The thunderfire cannon continues to be the question mark in the list for me.  It is a great unit but is it needed?  I still don't know.  I also don't know what I would pick up instead.  One thought is two vengenance weapon platforms with either a punisher cannon/quad las or two quad lascannon, but to do this would require dropping a unit of rangers bringing me down to 4-5 scoring units.  I also played around with the wraithknight as my warlord, seemed ok.  Not great but not bad either.

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