Monday, September 8, 2014

NOVA Recap: Fantasy GT

Now that I have had a week to recover and recharge, I am ready to take a look back at my first fantasy GT. Going in I really had no idea what to expect as far as how I would do; I did well in my tournament leading up to NOVA, but I figured competition would be much stiffer… and I was right. I ended up going 1-5 for the weekend, with a couple of games that got out of hand quick.

A local player from my area, love the gyrocopter conversion in the top left!

As far as the tournament itself, I was impressed. The reviews of last years fantasy tournament were pretty negative so I was a little nervous how things would go. The TOs I thought did a great job of turning things around. Just about everyone I interacted with had nothing but positive things to say. My only complaint was that rounds usually started 10-15 mins late but ended on time, so we sometimes had to speed up play to make sure we got all turns in. As for the players, many were pretty competitive, which was to be expected, but most were pleasant to play and were good about giving guidance whenever any rules questions came up without being too "rules lawyer-y."

There were some spectacularly painted armies. I really am amazed at the level of detail and skill people were able to put on the table. I can only imagine the level of time and dedication it took to put together. I wish I had more time to take pictures of them all.

Christmas themed Nurgle Daemons? Amazing!
I went into the weekend hoping to be able to get some good pictures throughout each battle to put together some nice battle reports, but once the dice started flying, the games were over before I knew it. So, I will just give a quick overview of each game.

Game 1: Opponent - Warriors of Chaos


Going into this game I pretty much knew exactly the list I was going to play, and I was not excited about it. Pretty much the standard tournament list, lots of chariots, a Chimera, Skullcrushers, Throgg, unkillable BSB. I knew it was going to be tough to kill pretty much any unit worth points. Turn 1 he rushed forward with everything. I responded by maneuvering to take on all of the smaller units, chariots, skullcrushers, and his BSB. By turn 2 it was melee all across the board. I was able to kill off a couple of chariots and the crushers, but Throgg and the trolls punched a big whole in my line and I wasn't able to recover. When the smoke cleared, I was tabled, only able to destroy 3 chariots, the skull crushers, and half points for the marauder unit. In the end, a 3-17 loss. I left this game thinking maybe I was in over my head.

Game 2: Opponent - Dark Elves


The name of this game was going to be avoiding the Witch/Cauldron Death Star until I was able to throw enough at it to really do some damage. Spoiler alert, I was never able to do so. First turn again saw my opponent rush toward me full speed, with the warlocks and dark riders quickly getting around my flanks. I was happy to let him do this because he over extended and left them too close to my Chimeras/Chariots so I was able to, after a couple of turns, knock them off the board. I was able to chaff up the witch unit and focus my efforts on the executioner unit, destroying them with a combination of hell cannon fire and a charge from my big warrior unit.

What I did underestimate was my opponents BSB magic combo. Having the twilight cloak (d3 wounds in first round of combat) on a guy on pegasus/lance, rerolling hits and 1s to wound really did a number on my chariots. I think he knocked out 2 and a half chariots by himself! In the end I was able to wipe out all of his army except the witch unit, while only losing my Chariots, Chimeras, and Hellcannon. Final result 13-9. I left this game feeling a little better about how things might go.

Game 3: Opponent - Warriors of Chaos


To recap this game, I will just say… I hate Cacophonic Choir. As a fellow Chaos player, I can say without a doubt, that is the most overpowered spell I have faced, such a low casting value for what it is able to do!

This is the only game I will legitimately say I lost to bad luck. My opponent had 2 slaanesh sorcerers who rushed up the flanks turn one and started unleashing magic death. He was able to cast cacophonic choir all 6 turns, and I was only able to dispel 3 times. He never rolled lower than 9 dice for magic, so that phase saw 2 chariots and a Chimera fall to Cacophonic, and one of my warrior blocks slowed by his other spells. That pretty much sums up the battle, as he was able to table me, and I was only to destroy a unit of hellstriders, his BSB, a Chimera, and half points for another Chimera and his Chariot. Final Result 3-17. End of day one ends in demoralizing defeat.

Game 4: Opponent - Dark Elves


A similar list to my Day 1 match up, this time trading in a witch deathstar for lots and lots of crossbows. This game really exposed to me my weakness against any kind of gun line army. My opponent again went first (common theme), and flew his harpies up to block my warriors from advancing. He was able to focus fire on my Chariots killing one while my Chimeras hid behind a building. I was able to kill off all his fast cav and advance up the flank with my Chimeras to kill off the bolt throwers, but by the time I did that, his crossbows and killed 16 warriors and Festus from one unit before I could even make it to combat.

I was able to save my second warrior unit and a Chariot, but everything else was destroyed by a really amazing amount of firepower. I was able to destroy all of the small units and war machines, but left his executioners and big crossbowmen unit intact. Final result 6-15.

Game 5: Opponent - Ogres

At this point the exhaustion of such a long tournament started to set in. I forgot to get a picture of my opponent's army, but it was for the most part a standard ogres army. A big iron gut deathstar with slaughter master, BSB, fire belly, tyrant, an iron blaster, a unit of leadbelchers, gnoblars, sabretusks, and a thundertusk.

The highlight of this game was 2 of my chariots charging his thundertusk my turn 1, and after a combined 9 rounds of combat, the thundertusk was left standing with 1 wound. I have no idea how this happened, but it did. I knew the game was not going in my favor when turn 1 saw me exchange a purple sun (which actually killed 7-8 iron guts) for seeing my wizard sucked into the warp. In the end the iron gut deathstar was too much. I was able to kill everything else except that pesky thundertusk, but all I had left standing was a Chimera and my BSB. Final result 6-17.

Game 6: Opponent - Empire

This was by far the mot frustrating game, both because how it went and how tired I was at this point. My opponent was playing a double steam tank list. Little did I know how difficult it would be to destroy them. The game started off well; he had a big block of 15 knights that was on the flank with my Chimeras. He over extended them and I was able to double charge my Chimeras into his flank and send them off the table after a couple of turns.

On the other flank, his war machines were up against my chariots and dogs. Turn one his hell blaster took aim at my dogs because the chariots were out of range, and he promptly rolled a triple misfire! The dogs ate lead, but I was happy to see that off the table. His cannon was only able to wound a chariot before my other dogs were able to tie him up.

The center of the table was where the melee began, I charged 2 chariots into one steamtank, only to be tied up for the rest of the game trying to beat in the seemingly unkillable tank. It ended up taking a unit of warriors charging in and 2 more turns of combat to kill 1 steam tank. That combat saw just about every unit in both armies involved in some way, he charged my warriors in the flank with a halberdier unit, and I charged that unit in the flank with my Chimeras. In the end, not much was left standing, I had a couple chariots and a Chimera, he had a steam tank and some Demigryphs. Final Result 10-12.

Final Standings - 46/50

All in all it was a disappointment from a results perspective, but I did learn a lot about my list and where  I need to make changes. Obviously taking a fluffy list to this competitive of a tournament is not going to yield great results, but I think with some tweaks I will have more success. Even though I didn't have great results, I had a great time. Everyone I met, from the staff, to the tournament organizers, to the players all made it a great experience. I was also amazed at how much the event was able to raise for some great causes. I will definitely be back if schedule allows next year, and hopefully with some more practice, I will yield some better results.

Oh, and I almost forgot, my army complete with display board!