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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, August 14, 2011

'Ard Boyz Preliminary Results: Oof.

So, I was "victorious" at 'Ard Boyz, managing to pull off third place. Not a great showing, but it gets me into Semis, and that's really all I was looking for. Unfortunately I now need to find a ride to semis, but such is the way of things. I made some mistakes and had some bad matches, but in the end I struggled through.

Round one was... a bad, bad start for me. Fully mech'd Eldar- not a single infantry model in sight, and no Vypers or anything else, either. Just Wave Serpents and Falcons (and one Night Spinner) as far as the eye could see. Damnit. I have been playing this army a lot recently with my Tyranids and it's a really hard fight every time- I just can't stop that many last-turn contest and I can't really catch them easily. We got rolling as quick as we could, with me getting first turn and basically looking to try and box some of his forces in and slaughter them- the table just isn't big enough for him to stay away from me forever. I advance, he skitters about, forgets his psychic powers a lot (four of the six turns) and gets some really bad shooting rolls first and second turns. However, my cover saves on the squad with the Traitor are an absolute failure and he manages to take it off the table by turn 3, even with my hopping it to a new Termagant squad. Crappy. I'm never able to recover from there and get a couple bad beats that really sink my chances (for example, Fire Dragons managing to punch a Carnifex to death.) I end up with a major loss and virtually no extra battle points.

Round 2 is against Vulkan Space Marines with two Land Raiders, a 5man TH/SS, and a bunch of Land Speeders. I take a pretty strong early lead, baiting him into a charge on a 'Fex squad with the Termies and kill some with Dangerous Terrain and more with swings, but Cassius (the Super-Chaplain) passes six out of six Invulns and Vulkan also shrugs off most of his hits. However, he doesn't wipe me and we stay locked in, and I follow up with a swam of Termagants and the another 'Fex squad. On the other side I wreck his Land Raider and get to picking away at things, but an empty board allows him to do significant damage to my spawn forces and keep me from really flooding the table. I fail a fairly critical Difficult Terrain test to charge him (get quite a few of 2s and 3s on those this game) and don't get into combat, which ends up meaning that he contests the center, tries for one flank (where I contest) and I barely stave off the other flank where his three Land Speeders (two Storms!) zip in for final attempts. We draw, with me slightly ahead on battle points.

Round 3 is where it all hangs down. I know I need a massacre here and I need some luck when it comes to other players scoring points. By some miracle things pull through and I get matched up against Necrons. It's a shoddy list- one Monolith, a C'tan, assorted Destroyer-frames and Wraiths, one large Scarab squad (which spends all game chasing and being chased by Termagants)- nothing to really scare me. However, he does have mobility over me, and this is a deployment than means a lot of board to cross. I push on him strong, deploying three Tervigons forward. I make a pretty big mistake and favor the flank where he's already deployed with all of my 'Fexes, with other stuff coming in more centrally, but he manages to stay out of reach and then teleports them away, forcing me to cross practically the whole board. One Tervi fails a bunch of saves and dies immediately, the other two keep significant pressure on him the rest of the game. I spawn like a madman this game, aside from pooping out on a three with one Tervi; I get multiple spawns of fourteen, fifteen, and eventually several seventeens and sixteens to cap out on turn 4. He aims most of his fire at my Tervigons, but I am able to keep behind terrain for the most part and shrug off the worst of his shooting. Termagants, then Tervigons, then finally the Carnifexes are all brought to bear, one by one, and several of my Tervis sit with five wounds for multiple turns, bonking away at robots in melee. At the bottom of five I have most all of his Warriors gone (but still the C'tan, Monolith, and all the Destroyer-type guys alive), putting him on the border of phase-out; as with my other games, time is getting close, but I ask him to allow me a sixth turn- we have ten minutes, but I am confident I can finish it in that. My Carnifex brigade makes its charges (one is locked in CC with the C'tan, but the others are free) and models vanish in short order. He dives below Phase Out, earns a few meaningless more VP, and then I pass the turn over and he announces that he cannot die like this and Gafgarions his way out of there, leaving me with 22/23 battle points.

The final sums are tallied and I squeak into third place, as the two first place armies (Mech Eldar and Green Tide) get a tie on each other, which is sort of what I was expecting/hoping for- Eldar don't have the firepower to claim VP off of Orks, and Orks don't have the range/speed to easily stop Eldar from giving them the runaround. I pick up a Command Squad to go into my BA army (Tyranids being done for the moment) and breathe a sigh of relief.

I won't say my play was good- I screwed up several of my movements against the Marine player and against Eldar I bunched up too much, allowing his Night Spinner to do more than it should have. Against Necrons I flat-out deployed wrong (I should've kept the 'Fexes central so he couldn't easily escaped them). We were also slightly lenient on time- 2.5hrs per game, plus a little more on the final round because the clock wasn't started on time. I played right up to the end of the clock in each game, but managed to get to turn 5, 5, and 6 respectively, so I think I did pretty okay for often moving 120+ models and taking care of spawning, psychic powers, etc. In all three games I completed my final turn in less than fifteen minutes (less than five in one case), so it was cutting it narrow, but luck smiled at me; there was really nothing more to it than that.

Now we get to find out where the Semifinals are and if I can get to those; I really want to go, but some people were saying they would be holding them in California or similarly-distant locations, which seems absurd as the Fantasy Semis were held in Salem a short distance north of me. If it's Salem or Portland, I'm totally on the ball with that. Further than that may be tricky unless I can find someone to snag a ride with.

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