Remember the story event/tourney at my FLGS that I was originally not going to, then going to, then not, and then finally, actually attending? It was this past Saturday. I did indeed go, and brought a stripped down version of my old Bikes and Bombs list:
Captain on bike with artificer armor, power sword, storm shield
5-man bike squad with two meltaguns, combimelta, meltabombs
6-man bike squad with two plasmaguns, plasma pistol
6-man bike squad with two flamers, combiflamer
Squadron of two Landspeeder Typhoons
Squadron of three multimelta attack bikes
10-man Assault Squad with two plasma pistols, sergeant with dual plasma pistols
I didn't get a chance to write the short story that supported the list, like I normally do for large events. In short, it was designed as a rapid strike force (bikes, duh) supported by artillery assets. The Whirlwinds pound the enemy while the bikes close in for the kill. The artillery stops right before the bikes hit enemy lines, but if things go awry, they keep firing and the Marines weather the storm while in amongst the bad guys.
As I said, the event was not a traditional tournament. The players were divided into two teams: Imperials and Chaos/Destruction. Some armies started out Neutral, but were sorted into either side as needed to fill gaps. I do not believe this was done arbitrarily, either. For example, we had Tau supporting Chaos, but also had Necron players on both sides. My guess is that the Crons were split evenly between sides so that everyone had a little bit of everything.
The missions were simple in their design, but there were table-based "call outs." These were terrain-based objectives that when held, provided a small bonus to the entire team. For example, capturing the Medicae Facility on Table Z granted a single unit in your teams' armies a 6+ Feel No Pain roll. If you grabbed that facility, you immediately shouted out that your team had it. If you lost it, you'd shout that as well (and listen to the cries of "Noooooo!" from your team). I wasn't lucky enough to play on any of those boards, but it was still great fun hoping and waiting for them to be taken by my teammates.
My first game was a simple capture of table quarters mission. I faced a Tau army, and it was the first time I'd seen new Tau. It was a pretty standard Tau list. Lots of Fire Warriors, an Ethereal, suits, suit HQ guy, Hammerhead with Ion and the named tank commander guy, Skyray, and a pair of Forgeworld Sensor Towers. Those let a single unit within 6" become twin-linked for a turn. So, two units per turn because of two towers.
I took the table corner with better cover and LOS-blockers, and lined up for a cavalry charge. The Whirlwinds were parked firmly out of LOS, and I used a mission special rule to swap the melta bikers out as a scoring unit, and swapped in the Assault Marines. I combat squadded those and left 5 basic guys out of LOS in my deployment corner to claim it.
I hauled ass forward, knowing that the key against Tau was to hit their lines and weather as much fire as possible. I lost my attack bikes early, and several bikers as well, but I managed to get in close. However, I used the Whirlwinds to murder the Ethereal first turn by barrage sniping him. With his death, a lot of the bite was taken out of the grunts.
I was very wary of the Supporting Fire rule, but eventually charged in anyways with my Captain. His 2+ armor save from the artificer armor and 3++ from the storm shield made him tough to kill. He ran two entire Fire Warrior squads off the board by himself.
I ended up winning 3-1, and leaned that Supporting Fire sounds scary, but is largely a puppy if the Tau do not have the ability to boost their shooting reliably on Overwatch. Markerlights fired in overwatch help, but aren't reliable. It's probably scarier with lots of Crisis Suits nearby, who pack harder-hitting weaponry. Pulse rifles just didn't bother bikes much, especially not when most of the wounds were soaked onto a 3-wound HQ with a 2+/3++.
Second game was objectives, but with a twist. In order to grab objectives, you had to defuse them with a d6 roll. The Imperium was the attacking force in this one due to our performance in round one. The defenders got to place all three objectives, but they had to be in the no man's land between deployment zones in a Dawn of War setup. Ours were spaced evenly in the middle, but close to the defending zone. I was facing Orks: Forgeworld Biker Boss guy, generic Warboss on Bike, max size Nob Bikerz with all powerklaws and invulnerable saves and a Painboy, max size Ork Bikers, and a Dakkajet.
This one was a 1-1 tie. I made a few tactical errors as a result of bloodlust and desperation. Twin-linked dakkaguns are stupid good (S5, Assault 3 is like every bike in your army having a heavy bolter). Dakkajet is ok, but not all that threatening to power armored armies.
The final game was pure kill points with some small mechanics that could boost or degrade your KP total. I faced a MSU Venom Dark Eldar force. All Warriors and Trueborn in Venoms backed up by Ravagers, led by the Duke. I was a little frosty when I started this game, as I was concentrating really hard on how I'd approach it. I probably came off as a little stand-offish. In the end, I just resolved to go all-out into the enemy in a cavalry charge. It worked, and I rolled through 13-5.
At the end of the day, I took home Best Imperial Overall (and had the points or best overall of the whole field, after tiebreakers). I was stunned. I've never won overall in anything before. Neat!
I didn't enter anything into the painting competition, as I hadn't painted anything specifically for it, and I just don't like my Marines anymore from a painting stand point.
On Sunday night, I glued the Hive Tyrant's body section to a 40mm base. I used a small amount of glue under the tail mounting point in order to make it so I could remove the 40mm base after he was all done, and then mount him on his proper 60mm base. I just needed something to hold him by while painting, and paperclip mounts just weren't going to cut it. I have a couple small gaps to fill tonight, and then it's primer time!
I also picked away at a Sternguard model, finishing the blue parts. I also selected the parts for another and bagged them for when I finish the current one.