Well, one good game to start, one great game to end, and one godawful nightmare of a game that I at least took control of, in the middle. The tournament format also awarded prizes to players who won games (at all) during the format, so despite the fact that I only placed, and didn’t win anything of consequence, I still ended up with some gift certificates. I immediately put them to good use, purchasing the new Tyranid codex (know thy enemy) and some Gale Force 9 vehicle condition markers (extremely useful for an army list like this, as I have discovered!)
The tournament was very well attended, with 30 gamers, and no less than four (!) Sisters of Battle players. I placed 7th overall, which I’m fairly happy with – although I do kick myself a little for letting my second opponent M get away with points that should have been mine, it’s not like it would have mattered that much in the final rankings. A good mix of lists participated, with a decent amount of mechanization – a good thing in 5th edition, of course. I actually faced three non-Marine armies, but this wasn’t that unusual, as the make-up of the army lists was quite variable:
2x Chaos Daemons
2x Chaos Marines
5x Imperial Guard
13x Space Marines (all varieties, mostly Dark Angels)
Interestingly, not a single Tyranid army at this tournament, despite the sexy new codex. Also interesting was the power breakdown of the army lists; Marines were all over the board, of course, but Guard, Daemons, Sisters, and Eldar all did extremely well in terms of win/loss records, as well as by victory points – three IG lists, three Sisters lists, and two Eldar lists were in the top twelve. Perhaps that’s a reflection more of the players than the lists, of course, but still very interesting to see the final spreads.
At any rate, I’ve been invited down by the kind fellows of FrAG (Frederick Area Gamers) to the next 40k tournament at Games & Stuff. Unlike the Pancake Jamboree, this next tournament features a painting score (which is, of course, a polite way of asking that gamers show up with pretty painted armies), so I’ll probably be taking my Slann/Tau army list. I’ve come up with some modifications to make it a bit punchier, and far less dependent on Fire Warriors than previously, so it’ll be interesting to see how I fare.
In all, a pretty good tournament experience, although I remain a bit astounded at just how nasty this particular variation of the Sisters Immolator Spam army list can be. With all the vehicles and bodies flying around, and the Ballistic Skill and firepower to badly cripple most armies in a single turn or two, this is really quite a nasty army. My challenges if I keep using this list will be threefold: tactical, sportsmanship, and modeling.
On the tactics front, it’s quite a bit harder than I had anticipated (and I hadn’t been thinking it would be easy) to keep track of all those transports running amok. With a mobile army list, particularly one that’s short-ranged and not terribly fast comparatively, it’s important to be able to think ahead several potential moves, and as a gamer I’m far more comfortable with target priority and reacting to my opponent’s moves (and mistakes) – playing a shooty army, in other words. Mastering the Immolator spam will be a challenge, and I’m sure it’ll be quite a few more games before I feel truly comfortable with its capabilities and strengths.
On the sportsmanship front, this is truly a nasty, nasty list. It’s going to be a challenge keeping the game enjoyable and non-threatening for people who play me, especially if I bring the list to non-competitive, non-tournament settings. In part, that’s why I’m hoping that the “Austin Powers” theme of the list will help to mitigate some of its inherent nastiness in game-play. But at the end of the day, a lot of that will depend on me being a sociable, fair-minded fellow who doesn’t try to take undue advantage of opponents during a game.
Finally, on the modeling front, I put together the last few guardsmen (using spare Necromunda Escher models I’ve had for years) and several Chimeras (which had been lying about unassembled for years because the track assembly on the original kit is such a pain in the behind to assemble), and had my army. Now all I have to do is start painting them…. and given that “simple and easy” hippie, VW mini-van, Austin Powers, flower-child theme I’ve got going, that should only take me several thousands of man-hours to complete. And then once painted, I’ll need a better (= more expensive) way to transport the vehicles than stacked on top of each other in a shoebox. Ay, caramba.
At least I’m finally starting to make use of some of the many dozens of models and miniatures I’ve scrounged together over the years. Speaking of which, other 40K army concepts being scrounged together currently include the Tyranid Warrior list. Did you know that I have 21 of the old 2nd-edition plastic Tyranid Warriors? (insert maniacal laughter here)