Wednesday 25 March 2015

Pigmar "All Grown Up" Tournament

So I realise this blog has been fairly quiet lately. In fact, I haven't written too many words on here since I binged out three articles in one day almost a month ago! Truth be told I've been feeling a little bit burned out for the past few weeks.

I've spent so much energy preparing for Infinity events, painting demo armies, organising tournaments and running the local league that I just haven't found the time to properly unwind and work on some other casual projects - and believe me when I say that there are plenty to work on!

It doesn't help that the last few models I tried painting I immediately stripped again because I wasn't happy with them. That was a real downer and is a substantial reason for my lack of enthusiasm currently.

But I found the time to go to an event that somebody else was hosting (Thanks Darren!) to try out some weird and wacky lists.

Teucer - Good this be the mini that will break my painting drought?

The format was 300 points non-ITS. The missions were The Armoury, Supremacy and Annihilation from the back of the N3 book and we were allowed full, unfettered, access to Mercenaries! 

Due to the fact that I haven't been in the gaming mood much lately, I ended up writing the first army list on the train on my way to the venue and the second on my arrival - without so much as looking at the missions first!

With nothing but pride on the line I wanted to try some strange combinations that I would never have gone for otherwise. Both lists were created around a core of 'cool stuff' that I wanted to try and then fleshed out with specialists and order generators.

Apologies for the formatting of the lists, but I couldn't find a nice way to export them from Army V or Aleph Toolbox N3. If anybody knows of a good way then please don't hesitate to tell me!

List 1: The Armoury vs. Tohaa

Well, I've got Scarface and Cordelia painted up and I'll be damned if I wasn't going to use them. What other opportunity would I get to field a huge, cheap TAG in an Aleph list?

If you wanted to play this in an ITS-legal fashion, simply sub out Cordelia for a Thorakitai/Dactyl Engineer and Scarface for Eudaros. It honestly won't make much of a difference!

Game 1: The Armoury vs. Lee playing Tohaa (9-1)

This game went rather well for me after a bit of a shaky start where one of my Netrods couldn't even start on the table!

The Proxy 2 deployed in the opposite corner from the Zayin and Warcor and effectively limiting Tohaa movement round the flanks but I couldn't stop Lee from rushing several models into the Armour on the first turn. Makauls with Heavy Flamethrowers are a major threat to my army and very hard to winkle out of a defensive position.

I slowly chipped away at his army at range without committing to getting into the Armoury. The Zayin, Dakini and Scarface (all with 6-4 MOV) were able to get into good firing positions to clear out Makauls and other miscellaneous aliens from the objective room without being toasted.

Patroclus was an absolute boss. Disguised as a Sophotect, he slowly crept up to the objective room before finally revealing his true nature and mercilessly gunning down the occupants. Finally it was just Patroclus standing, wounded and alone, in the objective room to claim me a chunk of points at the end of the game.

He gets a bit of a bad rap on the forums, but I genuinely believe that he is a solid choice for vanilla lists where there is no pressure to link him, Eudaros' Impetuousness can't be contained and you have many 6-4 models to disguise him as.

List 2: Supremacy vs. Haqqislam & Annihilation vs. Ariadna

List 2 was pretty out there! I'd been meaning to try out the new N3 Smart Missile Launcher Remotes and thought this would be the perfect time to give it a go. They've changed very substantially since N2 and they can now be quite order intensive to use if your opponent has a few good dodge rolls.

The plan was super simple - lots of forward observers to act as specialists/spotters, Thamyris as an extra way of marking targets and two Nagas and two Zayins to make it very difficult for my opponent's to advance across the half way line.

In hindsight, the Yuan Yuan was a mistake and should have just been a Warcor and a third Netrod. The extra regular order and ARO piece would have been far more valuable and this would make the list ITS legal too. I just really like the model!

Game 2: Supremacy vs. Adam playing Haqqislam (10-1)

This game went rather well for me all-in-all. Except for the Yuan Yuan scattering and ending up back in my DZ, which was a shame, things were almost too easy.

The Nagas secured the flanks handily (one of them taking down a Lasiq and Janissary HMG) and the Zayins kept his Impetuous troops in check and forced his snipers to come out of camouflage to deal with them. Forortunately, as the Zayins were in a separate combat group, this didn't effect my main forces and my mid-table Dasyu FO was able to call down enough artillery to take the Haqq army apart.

The Smart Missile Launcher definitely proved it's worth in this game, racking up a substantial four kills. I definitely did feel like I was lacking in anti-camouflage tools though and it was only a lucky critical hit by my Daleth against Adam's Taureg Sniper that really sealed the game. I had no effective way of dealing with camouflaged snipers otherwise!

Game 3: Annihilation vs. Darren playing Ariadna (3-9)

In the last game I got absolutely crushed.

Darren had a lot of camouflage markers deployed prone on rooftops that I couldn't reach without expending a lot of orders which meant that my first turn advantage was all but wasted. A string of bad Discover rolls and wasted orders left my forces vulnerable and out of position.

In hindsight I made a lot of mistakes. I should certainly have either chosen Deployment, or Second Turn outright, and deployed very defensively forcing Darren to come to me instead. His slow Spetsnaz and Tankhunters would have been near useless and his Dogs would have been chewed up by my Zayins.

I also didn't play around Ambush Camouflage and spent a lot of time worrying about fake camouflage markers. I really should have known better because an Ariadna army simply wouldn't normally have so many camouflage markers within or near their Deployment Zone.

Finally, I lost sight of my objectives towards the end of the game and should have focused on getting the four points for classified objectives rather than trying to scrape points together by killing troops.

Overall it was a solid showing by Darren and a very much substandard performance by myself. I'll have to do better next time!

Conclusion (22 points for first place)

Well, kind of. Technically Darren won the event but as he was the Tournament Organiser, and just standing in for another player, the prizes filtered down to the rest of us. So I received a box of Kaplans for my trouble which will go great with my Haqqislam army.

The best part of the day though was learning (or in some cases re-learning) the N3 rules. There are still lots of minor changes that I either haven't noticed yet or have just outright forgotten. I also must remember to make better use of Command Tokens and Suppressive Fire.

Things I learnt

  • Knives deal Shock damage
  • Discover checks are affected by Cover
  • Antipodes have full blown camouflage (not limited!)
  • Gadget programs end when the Hacker dies
  • Two unconscious stages for Remtoes mean that they are very often in a repairable state
Did you know all of those?

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