Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UCON 40k Tournament Wrap Up

This past weekend, Mike and I attended the Craftworld Open Warhammer 40k tournament at UCON.  I was not sure what to expect for my first 6th edition tournament, but I went with the goal of having fun and to promote Foodhammer next weekend at Gamer's Sanctuary.   I got on a bit of a hot streak and ended up going 3-0 to come in 2nd place overall.   I had a really fun day against some great tournament regulars from the Ann Arbor and Lansing areas.

Unfortunately, Mike had a bit of a rough outing with some bad match-ups, light terrain, and a unlucky draw getting a second round bye.  In my opinion, he definitely deserves an iron man award for a late night modelling effort to WYSWYG a plasma pistol for his Librarian.

Overall, tournaments are not my favorite way to play the game.  But I do like to support local stores/events to help build our gaming community.  Of course, it's always nice to win stuff too!   The TO, Joshua did a good job getting local stores to chip in prize support.

For most of 5th edition, my default tournament list was usually a variation of my mech-heavy Blood Angels army.  It just worked much better than my mech-hybrid Tau lists in tournaments.

So far in 6th edition games, my Tau seemed to have had a resurgence and have been winning more than my Blood Angels.   So I was undecided which army to take, but then I realized I can take both.   I first tried a list with Blood Angels as the primary list with a Tau attachment, but it didn't quite work.  The 2nd iteration did much better in test games and I decided to go with it.   I tuned it a bit after reading the missions packet and this was the final version I used for the tournament:

1850 "Blood Tau" List
Tau Primary
Shas'el (Plasma, MP, MT, HW Blacksun Filter, HW Drone Controller, 2x Gun Drones)

x3 Crisis Battlesuit (Plasma, MP, MT)

x3 Crisis Battlesuit (x3 TLMP, x3 Flamer, Team Leader, HW BS Filter)

x6 Firewarriors
Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

x10 Firewarriors

x2 Broadside Battlesuits (x2 Drone Controller, x2 Shield Drones, Team Leader, HW BS Filter)

x2 Broadside Battlesuits (x2 Drone Controller, x2 Shield Drones, Team Leader, HW BS Filter)

Hammerhead Gunship (Railgun, x2 Burst cannons, Disruption Pod, Multi-tracker)

Blood Angels Attachment (Allies of Convenience)
Librarian (Force Staff, Shield of Sanguinius, Sanguine Sword)

x5 Assault Marines (x1 Melta)
Razorback (LasTLPlasma)

x6 Assault Marines (x1 Melta)
Razorback (LasTLPlasma)

Stormraven Gunship (TLMulti-melta, TL Lascannon, 4x Bloodstrike Missiles)

Not a fluffy list by any means, however I did read in the novel "Black Tide" the Blood Angels briefly have a Tau civilian join them while tracking down Fabius Bile.  So the Tau and Blood Angels have joined forces against Chaos in the past...

The list is shooting heavy, with a lot of mobile, high-strength, low AP weapons.  All the Tau battlesuits could ignore night fighting which came into play in all three games.  The one gimmick I could use was to have the Librarian cast Shield of Sanguinius to make sure my Tau vehicles could get a 3+ cover save on turn one (disruption pod + before move/jink saves).   Allies of Convenience can benefit from non-targeted Psychic powers.  I knew the list would have a rough time against infantry hordes or flier spam.   Fortunately, I did not face either of those in my three games.

Game 1
Tau/BA versus Tau/Eldar (Cholyong)
Purge the Alien (Dawn of War, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord, First Blood)

So in my first game I was matched against the only other Tau player at the tournament.  Cholyong is a Tau player that I have met before and is a regular at GetYourGameOn in Ann Arbor.   He brought a Tau list with Eldar allies.   I really like this combo as Tau and Eldar are battle brothers.   Cholyong had Eldrad in his list and had some good synergy using his powers to get rerolls to hit and invuln saves where needed.   He won the roll to go first and quickly scored First Blood on me.

Fortunately, he wasn't able to kill my Hammerhead which had a great game dropping templates on Kroot and Stealthsuits.   As you can see from the table, there wasn't much terrain for him to hide in.    As the game wore on, I was able to get the better of the shooting match.   My Stormraven came in and concentrated fire killed off his command unit.   I was completely unable to kill Eldrad though, as he was on a roll making amazing number of  3+ invuln saves.   I ended up winning on turn 5 getting the primary points, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord.   Good game and a great opponent.   I really want to get some Eldar now and steal some of the ideas he used for this list.

Game 2
Tau/BA versus Chaos Space Marines (William "Leth")
The Relic (Old Spearhead, Slay the Warlord, First Blood)

Round two was against another familiar Ann Arbor gamer, Leth (mi40k).   Leth and I have faced each other in a few tournaments and had memorable games each time.   This was no exception.   He brought a Plague marine heavy force with Typhus, some cultists/zombies, and two Helldrakes with Bale flamers.   I knew this mission would be tough as I really did not have a strong block of infantry to hold the relic.   Facing T5 plague marines was only going to make it worse.   Things started off good when I stole the initiative.   Unfortunately, I was not able to score First Blood by only knocking off a few hull points and killing some cultists.   Leth drove up to the center and started surrounding the Relic.   I got really lucky that a lone gun drone made it's cover save going to ground and didn't give up First Blood.

I ended up getting First Blood by blowing up a Rhino.   My Stormraven came up, but whiffed on the melta shot against the Land Raider.   Leth took advantage and hit my command group with a Nurgle power that reduced their toughness so the Helldrakes could insta-kill the battlesuits.   Things were looking bad for me as he had control of the Relic as well.  Then things got weird.   Typhus won a challenge and rolled on the boon table... he turned into a Daemon Prince (a downgrade).   Daemon Princes are now T5 monstrous creatures and do NOT have Eternal Warrior.   A couple of railgun shots hit him and I now had Slay the Warlord as well.   Leth had the Relic on turn 5 and would have won, but the game went to turn 6.   I concentrated fire on his remaining Plague Marines holding the Relic and with a Hail Mary shot from my Devilfish burst cannon (lol), the last marine holding the Relic died (failed armor and FNP).   So we tied on the primary objective (unclaimed), but I won by one point (First Blood + Slay the Warlord versus Slay the Warlord).   Epic game!

Leth was a good sport and he reminded me about our last tournament game where he turned the game around on turn six against me.   So I guess I got some revenge.  I can't wait until our next game!

Game 3
Tau/BA versus Chaos Space Marines (Tony)
Big Guns Never Tire (Hammer and Anvil, 4 Objectives, First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Heavy KP)

I figured that I had used up all my luck in round two, but my luck continued into round three.   Since I got a close win, I avoided having to play against the top two players (both Cron Air lists).

The third mission was a Tau player's dream: Long table deployment, heavy support scoring (and available as KP), low terrain/cover, AND against a mech list.   I didn't want to get cocky at this point, but I would have been really surprised if I lost this game.   My opponent brought a Chaos Marine list with Abbadon, a Slannesh Lord in Terminator armor, x2 Noise Marines, x2 Vindicators, x1 Helldrake, x1 Forgefiend, and a group of cultists.   I almost screwed up first turn by trying to kill too much and all I accomplished was knocking hull points off a lot of vehicles.   Fortunately, I had another turn of free shooting as my opponent had a long drive to get in range with Vindicators and Noise Marine weapons.   Tony was a good sport about it, but this was a bad match up for him consider the lack of cover.   By turn five he had only two Noise marines, his cultists, and a lot of wrecked/exploded vehicles.   It was a big win for me as I got extra points for taking out 3 heavy supports.

So I had a great run of luck getting favorable match ups.   I avoided a lot of armies that would have given me trouble (horde Orks, Grey Knight Foot List, Cron Air, etc).   As a bonus for the day, I won the player's choice painting award too.   I made out with the 3 Munitorum dice sets, Dreadfleet, and the board game Chaos in the Old World.   I have played Dreadfleet before and had fun, so I probably will build/paint it up someday.   Chaos in the Old World looks like a lot of fun though, I hope to try it out soon.

Oh and for those interested, here's a pic from the flying croissant game at the top table :o) (Necron versus Necron).  Congrats to CVinton from DFG on getting first place!

Thanks for reading!


  1. It was awesome havin you guys out. I apoligize for the terrain. Next year it will be much better. In fact the terrain will be way better for my next tourney at the begining of april. The 3rd annual Test Of Khaine.

    I am hoping to make it to foodhammer Saturday with some of the lansing guys. It looks to be a good time.

  2. Nice moves Adam! How do you think you would have fared against flying croissants?

    1. Probably not well. I put as many twin-linked weapons as possible in the list, TL Railguns, TL Plasma, TL Missile Pods, and of course the TL weapons on the Stormraven. Ultimately though the game is still mostly about claming/denying objectives which fliers cannot do.

    2. Sounds like a fun tournament!

      Congratulations on your finish!