I played at the Bay Area Open 40k tournament, and went 3-3! I feel pretty good about it, and finished all my games in time.-- The Tournament --
The Bay Area Open is one of the biggest tournaments on the west coast. This year there were 135 competitors, and 6 rounds of play. The event took place at Game Kastle Mountain View, where there was plenty of space and ample terrain.
Overall, the logistics and organization of the tournament was excellent, with chess clocks, a big wall screen displaying time remaining in the round, and good support from the judges. Food was brought in for lunch - 12 USD for a burrito, chips, and a drink - meaning that there weren't people late to the post-lunch games.
Each round was 3 hours, and the missions used were the ITC missions.-- My List --
I ran an Alaitoc force focused on mobility and defense:
Battalion of Alaitoc
HQs: Farseer on foot with Singing Spear, 2 Autarchs on Jetbikes with Laser Lance and Banshee Mask
Troops: 20 Guardian Defenders + 2 Shuriken Cannons, 3x5 Rangers
Heavy Support: 1 Night Spinner with Crystal Targeting Matrix, Spirit Stones
Dedicated Transports: 4 Wave Serpents with 3 Shuriken Cannons, Vectored Engines, Spirit Stones
Air Wing of Alaitoc
3 Crimson Hunter Exarchs, each armed with a Pulse Laser and 2 Bright Lances
3 + 5 + 1 = 9 CP
I made the Farseer my Warlord and gave him the Faolchu's Wing relic so he could keep up with the jetbikers and tanks. My Warlord Trait was usually Seer of the Shifting Vector so he could reroll a second psychic check if he failed it, but if I was up against snipers or the knight sniper-missiles I'd give him Fate's Messenger for the extra wound and the Feel No Pain so he'd last longer.
My general strategy was to dump the rangers onto objectives or far corners (to score the Recon and Behind Enemy Lines points), then use my mobility to engage the opponent from 24" away or more, and keep my distance while grabbing objectives. Guardians use Webway Strike and hang back until turn 2-3 to jump in for a sudden attack once my opponent is drawn out of position chasing my tanks.
I went into this tourney with a goal of playing fast enough to complete all 6 turns in every game (which I succeeded at!) because I hate tourney games being incomplete. I also had a goal of winning at least 1 game, and a stretch goal of winning 3.-- Blazinghand's Games --
Game 1 vs Tau
This guy ran 2 Riptides, 2 Yvahras (like faster riptides with mega-flamers), 2 commanders, 30 drones, and 2 Firesight Marksmen (dudes with markerlights).
The Yvahra battlesuits were a big threat, due to being fast and having flamers which automatically hit. I was able to draw him into the center then slide around the side, and force him to split his units to either go after my Crimson Hunters or my tanks. Once he split his units, he also had to split his drones, which means I only had to kill a few drones on one side to start killing his suits (rather than having to kill them all). I focused on the suits near my tanks, and had the Crimson Hunters use their long range to contribute from the other side of the board. Once his first Yvahara went down, I brought in guardians to take down the rest of the drones, then it was easy. Since he didn't have Firewarriors to clear out my infantry, fight my rangers, or take ground, his unsupported battlesuits fell shortly afterwards. In the end, it was a stomp, though there was a period of time during the first 2 turns when it could have gone his way.
Game 2 vs Dark Angels + Imperial Guard
This guy was running 4 dreads. Two were Mortis, each with 4 lascannons and tougher than a normal dread (BS2+, good saves, etc). Two were some kind of relic dreadnought with 20 shots at like S6 AP-2 D2, extremely scary. He also had a Darkshroud, 2 Dark Talons, and a battalion of IG infantry.
The mission involved seizing the center, so I couldn't hold him at distance, but we still were pretty even in points up until about turn 5. Unfortunately, I made two mistakes that I think cost me the game. The first was I discounted how annoying the Imperial Guard units would be. He spent CP to merge the infantry squads, and by turn 2 he had a 30-man squad. By using an IG spell to boost their saves and a stratagem to boost their saves again, he was making 3+ saves with these guys, and preventing me from doing my usual strategy of charging his dreadnoughts with my wave serpents to tie them up in CC. By the time I'd chewed through his IG squad, he'd defanged a lot of my ability to stop him. Also, I didn't pay enough attention to his fliers. I should have had my CH Exarchs hunt them down first before going after the dreads. In the final 2 turns, he pulled ahead and eked out a win against me. I had a lot of fun this game, though - it was very close, a lot of back and forth, and he was a great sportsman. He went on to go 5-1, also, so I feel proud of giving him a run for his money.
Game 3 vs Tyranids
This guy had 2x19 Genestealers, a Broodlord, various support units / spellcasters. He also had 11 Hive Guard in 2 units as his gunline, and several squads of Rippers as objective grabbers
This game he went first and ran up the center, tearing through my screeners with his genestealers and getting his broodlord into great position with advance and charge. He basically cleared out my infantry on turn 1, but my vehicles remained alive. Everything I had left alive had very fast move, or were my guardians in reserve, so I pulled the good old "Eldar's Moving Castle" and slide up the side of the board. I sent the Night Spinner the other way to distract one of his 3 units that were on my side of the board (2 Genestealer units and a Broodlord), and picked off Genestealers and support units. Each turn, his Broodlord would get in on a tank or something that I sacrified to keep him away from everything else. By the time his Broodlord had munched the final tank, every other character he had was dead, as well as all his Genestealers- my Crimson Hunters had torn up most of his Hive Guard and my Guardians had killed his remaining Genestealers unit. My Autarchs and Farseer turned around and jumped on the Broodlord, killing him in one glorious turn, and all that remained were 3 Hive Guard and 10 Termagants, up against my characters, 2 CH Exarchs, and a huge bunch of Guardians - easy pickings.
Friendly guy, he was in from out of town.
This was the end of Day 1. At this time, I was 2-1 and the tournament adjourned until the next morning.
Game 4 vs Custodes, Knights, and Imperial Guard
This opponent was Imperium soup, but mostly Custodes: IG CP Battery + 1 Mortar Squad, Custodes Jetbike Captain, 4 Jetbikers, 4 Jetbikers, 3 Jetbikers, Knight Castellan (the really big one).
Jetbikers are kinda my bane, able to charge up to my crimson hunters. However, CH Exarchs are actually really good vs Jetbikers, so it's kinda a wash - I mismanaged my fliers, though, and as a result when the last one died, he still had 3 Jetbikers alive, and I wasn't able to bring them down before he brought down the rest of my army. Lost this one handily, though not a stomp. I think I could have won this one with a better plan, but it came down to dealing with those jetbikers better, and preventing them from getting in on my Crimson Hunters.
Game 5 vs Necrons
This opponent ran Necrons. He had 2 Overlords (1 Staff of Light, 1 Voidblade), a Cryptek, 2x5 + 1x3 Destroyers with Guass Cannons, 3x5 Tesla Immortals, 5 Wraiths, and a Gauss Pylon (Lord of War)
This came down to an issue of "could I kill the Gauss Pylon" to which the answer was "no" - and unfortunately, he was very good at attacking, and got his Wraiths in on me, disrupting my ability to organize an attack. I wasted too much time dealing with the Wraiths on Turn 2 to kill enough of his Destroyers to get ahead on points. At the end of 6 turns, he still had 4 Destroyers, his immortals, and the Pylon, whereas I was down to the Farseer, an Autarch, 2x5 Rangers and a Serpent. I had ceded him the midfield, which on the 5-objective mission is a promise for a loss - 20-35. I had a lot of fun playing Necrons for the first time, though, and this guy was a local, and we exchanged contact info. Will hopefully have a new friend to play with!
Game 6 vs Tau
This opponent was Tau Empire. He Ran 2 Fusion Commanders, 2 Yvahras, 1 Riptide, 30 Firewarriors, and ~15 Drones.
My opponent was clearly tired from 15 hours of wh40k across 2 days. He mismanaged his firewarriors, which weren't able to shoot, didn't claim objectives, etc. He then split up his drones, letting me pick off his suits with ease while losing almost nothing. He conceded after my shooting phase on turn 3. The attached photo is his commanders wandering away from his drones. Very nice guy, but I think he was just too exhausted to play properly by this point. He had a better list, I think, than my first Tau opponent though.
Overall had a great time! Thanks for reading.