Thursday, August 30, 2012

Metal Rancor and Jwhite Lose Their Tournament Virginity

Greetings Readers!

So today I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss what is often a daunting task for newer 40k players - entering the tournament environment.

As a brief background on myself and Metal Rancor to preface this article, It's important to note that I've only been playing 40k for about a year. However, when Metal Rancor and Xinz came out of retirement after a five year hiatus, they brought me along for the ride and I dove into the hobby hard and fast, quickly learning the ropes and mastering the tactics of my favorite armies. My competitive nature, enflamed by Metal Rancor's equally apparent desire to win drove us to pursue an avenue to truly test our tactical prowess against new opponents. Xinz, who's always been more a fluff player, also jumped at the chance to prove that fluff can win in a competitive environment as well. And so with the arrival of 6th edition, it came time for these three battle brothers to prove their mettle in pitched combat with other players for some awesome prizes!

Now that you know a bit of how we came to looking for tournaments, I want to summarize what a casual tournament is like for you players who may also be looking to dive into competitive play. Our event was held at a local Games Workshop store, so we used all the scenarios from the BRB, with preset tables using (of course) GW terrain. The entry fee was an easy five bucks, but the winner of the eight slot contest would be taking home a battleforce of their choosing (not bad for a $5 entry fee!). As you can see, the stakes weren't too high, but it was a great opportunity to see what other players were bringing to the table and meet some gamers.

The Format

The rules for our lists were actually pretty interesting. 1500pts with a required 500pts of allies (or 1500pts of tyranids, because space marines are food, not friends). So, without further Ado, here's what we brought to the table.

The Lists

Jwhite - DE w/ Eldar Allies

Archon w/ shadowfield, venomblade, blast pistol - 110

10x Warriors w/ Blaster and Splinter Cannon in a Raider w/ DL, Splinter Racks, and Night Shields - 195
5x Warriors w/ Blaster in a Raider w/ DL and Night Shields - 130
5x Warriors w/ Blaster in a Venom w/ Dual Splinter Cannons - 125
9x Wyches w/ Hexatrix (BP, Agonizer,), Haywire Grenades, in a Raider w/ DL - 213

Heavy Support
2x Ravager w/ 3x DL and Night Shield - 130

Farseer w/ RoW, Spirit Stones, Guide, Mind War - 130

9x Pathfinders - 216

Heavy Support
3x War Walkers w/ Shuriken Lasers and Scatter Lasers - 150

Total - 1493

Metal Rancor - Space Marines w/ Grey Knight Allies

Vulkan He'stan - 190

10x Tactical Marines w/ Meltagun and Multimelta, Melta Bombs, Drop Pod - 215
10x Tactical Marines w/ Meltagun and Multimelta, Drop Pod - 210

5x Sternguard Veterans w/ Combi-meltas, Drop Pod - 185
TT/SS Terminators 200

Inquistor w/ Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon - 25

Grey Knight Terminators w/ 2 psycannons and psybolt ammunition - 475

XinZ - Chaos Daemon w/ Chaos Space Marines Allies

The Great Unclean One w/ Breath of Chaos, Cloud of Flies - 195

8x Flamers of Tzeentch w/ Pyrocaster - 189

10x Bloodletters of Khorne w/ Chaos Icon - 185
12x Plaguebearers of Nurgle w/ Chaos Icon, Noxious Touch - 215

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince w/ Iron Hide, Daemonic Flight, Mark of  Nurgle, Noxious Touch, Cloud of Flies - 215

Daemon Prince w/ Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Roll on Telekinesis - 145

9x Chaos Space Marines w/ Meltagun, Lascannon, Icon of Tzeentch - 205

Heavy Support
2x Obliterater Cult - 150

So there you have it! Now for the results. Unfortunately, Xinz actually got sick and couldn't make it but we wanted him to feel included too, and he did playtest this pretty mean army list. So I ended up winning the whole thing, going 3-0 with my Craftworld - Commorah combo, with Metal Rancor going 1-2 overall (however he most likely had the most victory points after his crushing 16-0 first match). I took home a shiny new Eldar battleforce (Damn you GW and your Allies, I fell right into the trap!) for winning, but I'm sure you don't care about that! The big question still lingering is what kind of builds we saw for the dawn of 6th edition, before any specific meta was fleshed out.

Imperium Galore!
So with the absence of Xinz, the only other xenos player in attendance was another eldar/dark eldar player. Every other player brought some form of power armor to the table, plenty of fortifications, and of course a little bit of cheese. My first match put me up against a Deathwing player taking Grey knights allies (Seriously!?), including Draigo, one paladin, and a vindicare assassin. My next match put me against Space Wolves with Marines Allies, a pretty standard list that couldn't stand up to my volume of fire. My last opponent was the most ridiculous of all, and also who Metal Rancor narrowly lost to in the second round. This guy brought Space Marines with IG allies, but his obnoxious use of fortifications is what set this guy apart from all the rest. he took an Aegis Defense Line with an Icarus Lascannon, but he hid three predators and a manticore w/ camo netting behind the line so they would all count as obstructed, giving the predators a 3+ cover and the manticore a 2+ cover. Now this wouldn't have been too much of a problem in objective game types (however he was using bike squads as highly mobile scoring units), but what really got me was what we rolled for - Kill points on Hammer & Anvil. My MSU build was so fragile that he could've hammered me for 2 turns before I was able to engage, but I decided that I had to pull a real risky move if I wanted to claim victory. So like a true Archon, I started my wych squad as far up the as possible, blasting them forward right up to his defense line on turn 1. Unfortunately his return fire downed the wych boat on his turn, but next turn I was able to multi assault the predators with haywire grenades. In case you missed the memo, haywire is RIDICULOUS in 6th edition, and I managed to wreck all 3 predators in a single assault, and by turn 3 I had tabled him. It was the most satisfying victory I've ever had! Metal Rancor, after absolutely dominating his first opponent, narrowly lost to this Aegis Line guy, and then lost to the other xenos player mentioned before.

The Experience
Overall, the tournament scene was absolutely exhilarating. Feeling your heart race at every dice roll knowing something real was on the line was way too much fun, and I definitely encourage everyone, fluff extraordinaire or local powerhouse alike to experience it. A lot of people hate on the tournament scene, but even if you don't go to compete, it's still a great way to meet other like-minded gamers and have a good time.

What are some of your first tournament experiences?


  1. Wow, started to read this and was like wow sounds just like the tourny i went to, wondered if the gws stores all had them. Then I got to your final battle... I was there!!!! Your final opponent tabled me in the first battle, I was playing flesh tearers with tau allies in that tourney!!! Small world, anx yes I agree with you on the ridiculous army list and game plan your final/ my first opponent had!!

    1. Wow really!? Small world indeed, was it the store in Rochester? And yeah I was SO shocked I beat that guy, needless to say I was pretty unprepared for that sort of a matchup. Hopefully we'll see you again there! Let us know if there is anything you'd like to see on the blog too