A group of gaming buddies from my FLGS and I all drove down to Watertown, MA this weekend for a tournament hosted by the boys of the Dorkamorka gaming club. Shell Shocktober 2.
They're a group that values the "spirit" of 40K very highly. Painting, conversions, awesome terrain, and non-WAAC army lists that have a story to them. It's like my dream environment, where people know how to play the game well, but also how to play for fun and look good doing so.
I loaded up my case with the army list I posted last time, and printed off three copies of my stupidly long intro story. I didn't sleep much on Friday night, between staying up too late working on army stuff and playing State of Decay and my son waking up a couple times during the night. By the time I reached our rendezvous point at the commuter lot, I was wiped out. I slept the whole 2 hour drive down.
On arrival, we got settled, chatted a bit, and then got into the games. My first game was against a very cool-looking Sons of Medusa army, heavy on Tactical Marines. Vindicator, Rifledread, Master of the Forge with a lone servitor, Hammernators, TDA Librarian, and a small Scout squad.
We had Night Fight the first turn, meaning the whole first turn was spent doing a whole lot of nothing. Marine-on-Marine is already a slapfight, but when you add Night Fight it becomes a pillow fight complete with footy pajamas.
We basically traded bolter wounds and armor saves for the whole game, and the end result was a draw on primary objectives and a slight advantage on secondary objectives to my opponent. This was actually the first game I'd ever played in 6th using actual 6th Edition secondary objectives. We don't use them at the FLGS.
It was also the first game I'd played using the Ultramarine Chapter Tactics. I knew I had them available, but kept forgetting that they had to be declared at the very beginning of my turn. I'd find a spot in which I wanted or planned to use them, but had forgotten to declare them! ARGH! My opponent also kept forgetting that his Marines get a 6+ Feel No Pain roll, but I started reminding him once he realized it from about turn four onward.
My second game was against a jaw-dropping Valhalan army. You can see the player's army construction progress in this thread. He ran it in a Valhalan theme as well, with a couple huge blob squads, a PCS, commissars, heavy weapon teams, a couple of Russ tanks, and a couple of squadroned Basilisks, all firing from behind a defense line with quad gun. We played on a snow board, which was a perfect backdrop for the fight.
I ended up winning big points this one, but only because my opponent's scatter dice began to betray him and my Terminators were triple-blessed by the Emperor or something. The board was studded with little stands of trees that were area terrain, so I was marching from stand to stand with my Marines in order to get some sort of protection from the Basilisks and Russes. If the big guns hadn't started deviating like mad, I'd have been splattered early. In the end, I held up and managed to march enough small groups of marines to the center to win it. As mentioned, my Terminators le the advance, and made a half-billion successful armor saves. Only one Terminator died the whole game.
One lowlight of the game was in my final turn. I needed to kill both the leading edge of a blob squad to remove them from the objective, and then the last surviving Russ for a bonus secondary point for killing all of your opponent's tanks. I cleared the infantry using shots from my tacticals and LRC, freeing up my Terminators to turn and fire into the last Russ. I was in side arc, so the Assault Cannon had a chance. I hit twice, and needed a 6 to rend. I have a big bag of custom Ultramarines dice from Chessex that I'd bought secondhand ages ago. One of those dice was part of the two hits. It managed a 6 on the Rend, and then again on the bonus dice for a penetrating hit. The roll for effect? Another 6. All with the same die. Normally that would be a reason to cheer, but because I was rolling the same die over and over, and it came up 6 every time, I felt like a cheater. I grabbed the other Ultramarine dice I'd brought, and began rolling them as well. They kept coming up 5s and 6s pretty consistently. I know that those dice are hit-or-miss from past usage at the FLGS, but when your trio of special-icon dice roll 5-6 about 75% of rolls in front of an opponent you just beat, you feel like an ass.
My third and final game was against a classic CronAir list, complete with three flyers. I believe this list got the lowest composition score of the entire field. The game was...difficult. I was 100% exhausted by the turn two, and was slogging through this game, knowing there was no way I was going to approach a win. I did my best with what I had, but when you're facing a Destroyer Lord with Scarabs and Scythe, a full unit of Wraiths, two 5-man Warrior squads behind an ADL, two-10man Immortals squads in Night Scythes, two Annihilation barges, and a Doom Scythe, you sort of throw your hands up. I'm not one to talk badly about other players online, especially when I don't know them, so I'll refrain from my list of interaction-based complaints. I'll just say that the final move of the game was by a Doom Scythe returning from Ongoing reserves. It made a full move onto the board of "24 inches," right next to the center objective which was marked by a 40mm base marker. When the game was done, the base of the Doom Scythe was 2-3 inches beyond the edge of said marker. You do the math, and that's how the whole game went. I got 0 points, and was dead tired.
At the end of the day, I took home the "Dorkas' Choice" award, which is basically the award for bringing an army that most matches the values of the club. I received a very cool print of the old Second Edition Starter Box cover art:
I was very happy. I don't go to these events looking to kick ass, I go with a list that has a story to it. I tend to aim for that specific award every time. Mission accomplished!
The next event I'll make it to will be Standish Standoff 3, our FLGS' annual big tournament. I'm not sure what I'll bring for an army list, but I have been toying with bringing a refined version of the list I just ran. Maybe add some Devastators and a couple upgrades to fill the gap. I'm not sure. The other option is to just run bikes. I'll decide in the next couple weeks. I'm mostly going in order to enter my Hive Tyrant in the painting competition and throw the dice around.