In all, this tournament had a good mix of players and armies, and I was very happy with the good sportsmanship and game knowledge all my opponents had. In the end, I placed in second place by one point (with a +3=0-1 record), buoyed considerably by my excellent scores for conversion in painting. I was very pleased both by how well my army did, and by how I was able to do it.
The overall tournament winner was a Nidzilla (Tyranid Monstrous Creature) list, with the two very mean mechanized Eldar lists – my opponent Pete from game 2 and my host Mike – beating each other to a bloody draw in the final round and cleverly denying each other the tourney victory.
All in all, there were 14 players in the tournament, fielding the following lists:
Mechanized Khorne Marines
Mechanized Nurgle Marines (Game 4, Terry)
Drop-pod Blood Angels
Imperial Guard Armored Company
Kitchen-Sink Space Marines
Mechanized Adeptus Arbites (Game 1, Chris)
Mechanized Sisters of Battle
Thunderwolf Cavalry Space Wolves (Game 3, Mike)
Chrome-tastic (mech/drone/suit heavy) Tau
Gunline “Slann”-themed Tau (me)
2x Mechanized Eldar (including Game 2 opponent, Pete)
2x Nidzilla Tyranid Monstrous Critters
As noted, the overall winner was fielding a Nidzilla list. My game 2 opponent Pete won the Best General (most battle points) award. I believe the Best Army (appearance) award went to the IG Armored Company, with Best Sportsman going to the “kitchen-sink” Space Marines player. The last was one of the youngest players, and he had stayed commendably gung-ho and positive whilst playing with an army that was probably made up of every model he owned (to get up to 2000 points), and one that was struggling mightily to compete with the other armies in the tournament.
Interestingly, there were no Ork lists at all, nor any Salamander lists. Also missing were Dark Eldar, Necrons, and Grey Knights (all less surprising, but for different reasons, of course). As has been noted elsewhere and ad nauseum throughout the 40K world, there’s an increasing emphasis on mechanization in 5th edition, as demonstrated by virtually all of the army lists that showed up at the tournament – excepting the Nids (of course), my rather gunline-heavy Tau army, and the “kitchen-sink” Marines.
Having run the Mathhammer, as well as having experienced some frustration shooting at (for example) Nidzilla and Plaguemarine lists, it’s pretty clear that the Missile+Plasma combination is the way to go with my Ranger (Crisis) Suits. The twin-Missile and Flamer option is a good deal of fun, and I think it’s still a solid combination at smaller points-values because of its low cost and versatility (slightly more effective at killing light transports at long range), but it simply doesn’t scale up to put out the kind of firepower against really tough units that the suits COULD be putting out at 1750+ points.
However, first things first – I still have three units to finish painting (one unit of Suits, one of Fire Warriors, and one of Pathfinders), and several vehicles to finish detailing. Once I’ve done that, I can do weapon swaps – or more likely, weapon additions, because I **really** like the look of the twin Missile Pods on my suits. Probably a result of much too much Japanimation – that Japanese Mecha anime really does love its missile racks and crazy missile smoke trails.
Once I’ve finished with this army, I’ve two 40K army ideas that are keeping me excited. One is a mechanized Sisters of Battle list that promises to be truly, truly evil in a way that makes me cackle with truly, truly evil laughter. I love me my flamers. Now…how many can I fit into a 2000-point army list? Bwahahahaha…..
The other is a Chaos Demon proxy army made up entirely of nifty non-GW miniatures, solely for the opportunity to buy, paint, and use a bunch of nifty non-GW miniatures that wouldn’t easily fit into (say) my Imperial Guard list because they look just too weird and fantastic. A combination of War Machine, Urban Mammoth, and AT-43, plus one or two other pieces from other lines, should make for a very nice looking – and completely GW tournament non-legal (of course) – miniatures collection.
All of this was originally inspired by Urban Mammoths cyborg Sumo Wrestlers. I grew up a kid in Japan in the 80’s and early 90’s, so given the chance to field Chiyonofuji (if you’ve never heard of him, think of him as roughly equivalent to the “Joe Montana” of Sumo Wrestling) and Konishi (the heaviest sumo wrestler in modern history) and Terao (a perpetual journeyman throughout his long career, but a personal favorite of mine growing up) was irresistible.