This year I wasn't really sure I was going to make it to 'ard boyz but I'm pretty happy things worked out in my favor. I had a family reunion to go to the same day but as luck would have it dates moved around and I was able to go to our FLGS' tournament.
I only knew about a week before that I was actually going to be able to go so I had a quick choice to make between running Blood Angels or Imperial Guard. After hours in front of Army builder, reading the codex..cies...and talking with OST I went with Imp Guard. There is a lot to be said for playing the army you know, and after seeing the fall out of the preliminary I saw a lot of experience beating out over codex.
The quick version of my list was this:
(All the Chimera's had heavy stubber, multilaser and heavy flamer)
Company command squad with an officer of the fleet and 4 melta in a chimera
PCS w/ 3 melta chimera
IS w/ 1 melta chimera
IS w/ 1 melta chimera
Vets w/ 3 melta in chimera (x5)
Leman Russ Executioner with plasma sponsons (x3)
That's right, 9 chimeras, 3 vendettas and 3 lemans. A literal Tide of Iron.
The BA list I was tossing around was mostly a land raider death-star with terminators and Chaplin and all that typical stuff supported by 3 missile squads and wimpy assault squads and 9 assault cannon razor backs. Pretty nasty I think but lacking something I can't quite put my finger on.
So, experience won out and I went with the guard. I like the list but will be making changes for the next round. This list I found was missing reliable long range. The vendettas are great for shooting down transports at range and can be very maneuverable to get firepower where I need it in just one turn. However, they're really soft at AV 12 and nearly impossible to hide. Once they're downed all I have is bs3 st6 multi lasers to deal with transports at range. Its the weakness of my list that needs to be adjusted.
I was matched against another guard player. Sadly, our local meta still has a ton of guard players floating around. I was expecting more power armor (thus the plasmacutioners) and managed to never see any power armor the whole tournament.
His list was something of the following
-ccs 4 grenade launchers in chimera
-6 psyker battle squad
- PCS with Chenkov 4 flamers
- 5 IS, 5 missiles
- 39 conscripts with send in the next wave
-3 vets with demo charges and 3 melta in chimera
-leman russ demolisher squadron of 2
Playing guard really makes me not hate guard. For all of you guard haters, just play guard and learn how to take them apart. I knew right away that because I'll have a chimera parking lot, the manticores got to go. He got first turn and put most of his armor on one side and heavy weapons on the other. I was able to divide his army in half because of that. So after the manticores, the lemans and vendetta were the big threats.
My first turn I was able to destroy both of the lemans with some really lucky shots from one vendetta, scoring a pen and two glances. I immobilized one and wrecked the other killing them both. I also downed the vendetta from my other vendetta in the area. I spread out the parking lot the best I could after the first shelling from the manticores on his turn. The plasmacutioners drove pretty much up the middle laying down small blasts on his massed infantry.
My second turn say the silencing of the manticores and the collapsing of that flank. From then it was just mopping up KP. I put down some plasma fire on the 30 man infantry squad with my traitor in it and caused it to run off the board. He shot down a vendetta and blew up a bunch of chimeras but it wasn't enough to calm the tide. I scored a major victory and failed to get my traitor into his deployment zone because I forgot to get him in a vendetta sooner for the last turn turbo boost.
I played a local ork player for round two. I hate orks. I hate them so much, what the internet feels about guard, I feel about orks. They're unstopable to get into combat. That damned bigmekk giving all the wagons around him a 4+ is stupid. Combined with the Ork players ability to make those saves makes me want to choke someone. I saw this guy make like 11 saves his first turn, only missing one on a boyz trukk causing it to wreck. But since he got first turn, didn't matter. I manged to slow the tide down just a bit but what really saved me was my officer keeping his reserved snikrott, boyz and gretchin off the table until the very last turn. Graz ran around flipping tanks and his pimped out FNP nobz did whatever they wanted despite getting flamed constantly.
I spread out early to avoid a traffic jam from stunned and immobilized tanks which really saved me. The guy I played is a really slow player so I had to subtly keep him on task and we managed to get in 5 turns, barely, but it was enough for me to get scoring units to each objective and contest or claim all of them.
Though not much would have changed, he made this crazy tactical error. He asked me the turn after his Whhaagg if Graz's whag was in addition to the one he normally gets. I said ohhhh no, you just get one, but for some reason he got it in his head that he whag'd and ran all of his guys that came in out of reserve. He went for the assault and I pointed out that he ran and then it dawned on him that his guys didn't have fleet. While he was running all of his guys and I was wondering what he was doing I was thumbing his rule book looking for the secret ninja ork tactic that he was going to pull and couldn't find it...because it wasn't there...
Anyhow, I scored a massacre and moved to the third round.
Experience over codex, like I said. The top table round three was IG and Eldar.
Heres the list...mostly.
9 harliquins x2
3 guardian biks x3
10 dire avengers
10 dire avengers in serpent
5 fire dragons in serpent
10 wraithguard with warlock
wraith lord x3
This was one of the smartest players I think I've ever played. I was completely danced around and always reacting. My officer of the fleet screwed me here like he typically does but not because of the last turn objective grab, but because of keep everything in reserve until turn 5. If its not on the board, I can't kill it for victory points.
My opponent played his army like a cobra, keeping coiled and striking fast and decisively whenever I got close. Luckily, as the elephant, I did occasionally step on the snake and kept up on points with him.
I'd love to go turn for turn but I won't because it'll be boring since there was not much killing. We finished with a draw, him scoring just over 600 VP and me about 150 behind him. I only squeaked out the battle point win by 1 point just because he had no fast attack. His list was super resilent and his tactics were the craziest monkey dance I've ever since. In my life time of playing, this game will stand out to me as a great lesson for a long long time.
In final points I took first, the eldar player took second and OST took third with his death wing.
The tournament was a lot of fun, thanks to Evolution Games in Lansing for putting it on and I'm excited to be going to the semifinals! See you guys there.