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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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Post Tournament Wrap-up: Mech Blood Angels with Mephiston

So - looking back at the tournament how did the army fair and how did I fair? I think the army still has potential locked away inside it and I didn't bring it out to its fullest, especially against the Tau & Grey Knight armies. There were serious early game errors there which I didn't have to make and these generally revolved around two things I'll discuss shortly. That being said, I still came 7th overall and if I can remember the standings correctly, was tied 5th for battle (one 5-0 player, three 4-1s) out of 32ish players. So it wasn't all bad *shifty eyes* but certainly room for marked improvement.

Again, I think the list was fine though at 1500 three ACLC Preds was overkill in some games whilst needed in others. I think at 1750-2000 those would see more frequent use but also have more issue with LoS. The Flamerbacks did what they needed to generally though I never really needed the mass flame templates (even against Tau, combat was the better option against Kroot) to help clear infantry. The ACLC Preds provided the shooting I needed without being limited to S7 - important against those Stormravens and having four double melta teams ensured enemy vehicles got destroyed.

20 ASM was light but at 1500 passable, 25 ASM at 1750 is going to be harder to manage though the backfield scoring allows me to keep pressing forward. We might need to look at the combat squadding Tacticals again at 2000 but that's a heavy point investment... Regardless, list performed well, if not at its peak potential.

To those two issues...
  1. Flamerback early movement/deployment
  2. Use of Mephiston
These two issues I think were paramount to not unlocking the full potential of the list. Although I have plenty experience with both, neither have been used to great extent lately (I've been working more with Assbacks and Sanguinary Guard along with support pieces) or at such point levels and I think this came through in games, particularly with Mephiston.

Mephiston is great at taking out units all alone - if they are crap in combat. Throw the ability to wound T6/2+ reliably (i.e. power fists/thunderhammers) or high invulnerable saves and Mephiston can stall when unsupported and for the majority of my games he ran around like a bouncey ball without support (Games 1 and 4 were the major exceptions). There are times when this is good (i.e. Game 2 against Tau) and there are times when this is bad (i.e. Games 3 and 5) - Mephiston is MUCH scarier and harder to put down when he's acting within the army. You can't shoot him easily because he's so easy to hide and if you're chucking him into combat with a bunch of ASM so only one model can attack Mephiston, well he's hard to kill in combat too even before you get to T6/W5/2+. He has no invlunerable save or IC status for a reason, so you cannot give your opponent easy ways out in terms of killing him. Even mass volume firepower will hurt him if he's running around without FNP. Are Tyranid armies really doing well with their 40+ T6 wounds? No, so armies shouldn't have issues with five of them.

Beyond this - Flamerbacks. I took them over my Assbacks because lately I keep moving away from my movement plans both with Grey Knights and Blood Angels where I was sacrificing movement to try at some lucky dice. Sure way to keep losing games so without the temptation I thought I'd be able to stick to my movement plans better, which I did. Issue being...they weren't always the best plans in the end (see Games 2 & 3). This comes down to analysing the pre-game scenario in better detail and being able to understand with the speed of the army, I don't always have to commit it early. Yes that's the major premise of the army but if I can out move/shoot an army (Game 3), then I shouldn't be charging straight towards my opponent. Understanding the mission in greater detail, as Matt has talked about, is also very important and should modify how you approach the games. I failed to do this in Game 2.

I need to work on these two issues with this army moving forward since I'll be using these guys in tournaments probably for the rest of 5th edition (might bring out the Grey Knights though, who knows ^^). By looking back and analysing my own games I'm able to identify these areas for improvement, some of which I was unable to see upon the day (Game 3) - hopefully this is an important lesson as well - we're always capable of improving ourselves as long as we look for areas we can improve in.

In regards to the tournament itself - the missions were pretty good so no complaints there. I enjoyed the primary and secondary win conditions rather than battle points which kept draws to a minimum whilst changing it up from the NOVA style. Add in a couple extra twists such as Beans and they were a nice change-up. Terrain though was a bit spotty - it was a first come first serve for boards and I tried to get a different board each time but some of them had real terrain issues. Some had way too much, others way too little or not the right types (i.e. no LoS blocking, no vehicle cover providing, etc.). It wasn't a huge issue most of the time but considering the tournament usually caters for nearly twice as many 40k players, the lack was a bit surprising. All in all though, it was an excellent weekend and it was nice to get some games in against new people (and Simon :P) and move forward with the army for the year.

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