Monday, September 14, 2009

Tournament report: Invasion 2009

Invasion 2009 was a blast! 5 brilliant games against friendly and sporting opponents.

Game 1
I played last year's winner. Last year, he played Sisters of battle, and this year he was playing Space Wolves. Logan Grimnar, a Wolf Priest and a Venerable Dreadnought, combined with 20 Blood Claws, 10 Gray Hunters and a Dread made me fear a big close combat.

The deployment was Pitched Battle (table quarters). I placed everything in reserve, and he did not. Unfortunately for him, he didn't know that my reserves could enter from my entire table edge, not only the corner. This allowed me to get all my meltaguns in range of his two Dreadnoughts, killing them and immobilizing a Predator Annihilator in turn 2. From here on, it was a simple matter of shooting up the rest of his forces from a safe distance, and take objectives for the win.

Game 2
In the second game of the day, I played Trond from Team Stormbolter and his Biel-Tan Eldar. I have played Trond's Eldar twice before, and both times he's beaten me thoroughly. I was pretty sure this time would be no different, as he deployed two Fire Prisms, a Falcon (with Fire Dragons), two Wave Serpents with Brightlances one unit of Warp Spiders and two units of Pathfinders.

The mission was to control more objective markers, of which there were three on the board's center line. With this in mind, I noted that he had few Troops choices and focussed on taking his long range firepower and his mobility. This went far better than I had expected, and in just two turns I had destroyed both Fire Prisms (which had both Holo Fields and Spirit Stones) and the Dire Avenger's Wave serpent. The rest of the game was a pretty one-sided affair, and the Witch Hunters grabbed first place in the tournament.

Game 3
Enter Kenneth's Imperial Guard. Kenneth believes in mono-themed lists, having played a Necron phalanx with two or three Monoliths or all-terminator Dark Angels in previous tournaments we have both attended. This time he brought a min-maxed list that went something like this: Company Command in Chimera, Two minimal platoons with all units in Chimeras, 2 Devil Dogs, 2 Demolishers, 1 Leman Russ with Plasma Cannon sponsons. All guys that could had either a Meltagun or a Flamer.

No disrespect to Kenneth, but that is a boring list (effective, though)

We played on a board where hiding things were almost impossible. The mission was Kill Points. I decided that I was not in any shape to try to win, so I bunkered up in a corner and tried to use my Lascannons and Exorcists to snipe tanks. Unfortunately, I rolled pretty poorly and either failed to hit, penetrate or do permanent damage to his Chimeras and Devil Dogs, which were my main targets. We played to turn 6, and it was then clear that he had won with 4 KPs to my 1 KP.

Game 4
The second day of Invasion 2009 saw me a little down on the rankings, but I was still a contender for a pretty good position.

The fourth game was against Thomas' Tau Empire. His list was a mobile cadre (Shas'El, 2 Hammerheads, 2 Devilfishes, 6 Stealth Suits) with a solid firebase (3 Broadsides, Fire Warriors). The mission was 2 objective markers, which we both placed in opposite corners. The entire battle would be played at night, so the Night Fight rule would apply. "Great", I thought as I read his army list. He had Blacksun Filters on both Hammerheads, so he would be able to spot me long before I'd reach his lines.

I considered bunkering up and hiding from the Railguns and Markerlights, but decided to go for broke. I'd already lost one game, and if I kept this up, I wouldn't be able to reach my goal of placing in the top 10. I deployed aggressively, hiding as much as I could behind the Land Raider and a centrally placed building.

Fortunately for me, both his Broadsides and Pathfinders failed to spot anything first turn, and his Hammerheads either missed, or I made my cover saves. Driving forward, all my long range weaponry shot at his Hammerheads, spotting them with ease. One Hammerhead got blown up, severely reducing the strength of his flank attack.

The rest of the game, he was on the defensive, reversing towards his objective. I pushed on, but was unable to quite get to it. Those three Broadsides (all with Drone Controllers and Shield Drones) were a great deterrent to my advance, and his defence held. I had destroyed almost everything in his army, but it was not enough. The game ended in a draw. Fortunately, I made both my secondary and tertiary objective and got enough points to get me up a few places on the rankings.

Game 5
The final game of Invasion 2009 was a strange one. Our deployment zones was 24" in from the short table edges, with a 24" no mans land and six objective markers in the middle.

My opponent for this game was none other than my buddy Briefspite. Check out his 40k blog over at He was playing his balanced Tyranids, with both big bugs (4 Carnifexes and a Flyrant), medium bugs (Lictor, Warriors, Broodlord with Genestealers) and small gribblies (4 units of Gaunts with without number).

I gave him first turn, hoping for some turn 5 shenanigans, stealing some objectives at the last moment.

The game was a real nail-biter, especially because of his three units of scuttling Genestealers, which would possibly Outflank behind my tank line. I put shot after shot into his Sniperfexes, but he kept passing about 75 % of his cover saves. That's one of the few problems I have with 5th edition; stuff dies too quickly out of cover, and lives too long when in cover.

I killed only one Carnifex in the first two rounds, and failed royally in handling the single unit of Genestealers that outflanked behind my lines. Not only did they kill an Exorcist outright, they even lived through a turn of me shooting everything I had into them!

In the end, we got to turn 5, with him holding 5 of 6 objectives. I went through with my plan, even though I wouldn't gain any points from it. I raced one of my Chimeras and one Rhino up to the closest objective markers, contesting two of them. I then rolled for game end, and got a 2. Game end, and only a minor loss for me.

Closing thoughts
I finished 7th, and my buddy Briefspite got 2nd place. I had a great time and five exciting games. I'm already looking forward to next year, and have started thinking about which army I would like to play.

I shot some video, which I will post when I've finished editing it. More to come :)