So the New Zealand Team Champs 2014 have been and gone. Massive success, lots of fun, and everything went smoothly. Thanks to Pete and Peter for organising/To'ing and stuff.
This year I was captain of Stone Falls Massive (as in I was the one who sent and received the official emails and got to fill in the results sheet).
My team consisted of Ryan with his Warriors, Glen with a very-newly-painted Daemons army (and the cause of my radio silence as I have been playing lots of practice games getting him up to scratch!) and Will with his Ogres. I used my Empire.
Arch Lector "Otto": GW, HA, Skavenslayer helm, 4+ ward, potion of Foolishness
lvl4: light, powerstone
lvl1: light, scroll
lvl1: light, ruby ring
BSB: Fullplate, enchanted shield, warriorbane
41 Halberds: FC
5 archer detach
7 archer detach
5 knights: M
5 knights: M
4 Demigryph Knights: M, SB-flame banner
4 Demigryph Knights: M
Basically a Joel variation on the light council with more emphasis on combat than shooting stuff off the board (though plenty of that too!)
Round 1: vs DILFS
Very exciting 1st round picking up where Team O.M.E.N. left off last year. This year however it wasn't to be a repeat of last time (ie they smashed us last round on their way to the podium).
With the match ups I came up vs Ant's Brets. My notes simply said "bad match up - I will lose" so I was going in with a positive mindset! The game went rather well for me given the mis-match. Turn 2 looked like this:
|I heard a rumour that Bret lances are most effective when they successfully charge|
|Ant playing fast and loose with the unusual Bret formations to take advantage of the rail roading FAQ|
|Note: halberds are missing from the pic because they failed the 1 charge they attempted all weekend...|
Overall we lost the round, but only just as we picked up 2 small wins, and had one bigger loss (Glenx2 blamed the dice!).
Round 2: vs HAM
Into the next round and we found ourselves vs the self described "nice guy + the death of warhammer fun" lists. I got myself a match up with Phil Wu who I had never met before. We had a great chit chat, lots of fun and stuff. The game was down as a "big win" for me and was looking that way until someone (looking at you Mr lvl4 on shadow) decided to IF Mindrazor 3 times in a row allowing Phil to delete 3 units while I consolidated my army and picked up the flank I was rushing. Didn't help that my lvl4 went down the hole in a massive brain fart moment where I banished the world dragon carrying Dragon Princes (killed 1 though and in my defence it is 99.9999999999999% of the time on the whitelions...)
|Add Mindrazor for max effectiveness|
Round 3: vs Beauty and the Beasts
After 2 rounds we were where we wanted to be...we hadn't picked up a big round win, so we were submarining a wee bit, but not too much! We had picked this round as a round we needed to do well in..and it worked out we got the perfect match ups (Ogres vs light council, Slannesh WoC vs Throgg WoC, DoC vs Dark Elves, Me vs Sam's Epidermus)
My plan for winning this game revolved around playing with the fear of banishment letting me pick wounds and points with the 4 other magic missiles I had in my deck and not give any nurgle unit cheap wounds. To this end I even fled a unit of knights off the board (failed a march test so couldnt get out of the way) to avoid giving obsidian blade carrying Nurgle herald some free tally tokens! The banishment trick worked and when I finally got around to casting it at the GUO it only had 2 wounds left thanks to Mr Ruby Ring and co. The tally only made it to the first benefit bottom turn 5 when the beasts charged my halberds in a building...but in return they got magic missiled off, so a nice trade off.
|I'm building up a nice collection of these "solo beast holds up entire army" pics|
Round 4: vs Panel Comp
So 8am start = the Aussies thought it was 4am and I forgot to take any pics. In this round we were completely foiled (as I suspect all NZ teams were) by the skaven list because a) no bell b) some special character called "Qweek" c) the glorious ginger beard. Our first off the rank anti-Skaven list was Will's Ogres on the assumption that "normal" skaven lists cant withstand a gutmagic supported gutstar + support smashing through the lines...however death frenzied s5 stormvermin with 2 assassins can do so just fine apparently...our first 0-20 loss of the event.
|Trust an Australian to pull an under-arm tactic and not take the standard Skaven list|
Round 5: vs Shirts Off
Very exciting we must have found ourselves high enough up the table to be playing Shirts Off (eventual 2nd place takers!). We managed to win the match up process here as Shirts Off failed to use the "fit to 1 page" feature in Excel before printing the lists...ie they thought I only had 1 steam tank. However it was great because I found myself against a familiar foe.
|Sadly Ronald Reagan couldn't make the journey across the ditch|
Also for the 2nd time in the history of 8th ed stank use I succeeded in killing a Steam Tank all by myself! 3 misfires in a row + a cannon misfire to finish the job...sigh. To be fair I shot the cannon because I needed to kill the mangler!
End result 10-10...to be fiercely re-matched at Joel-Fest 2014 me thinks! The other games were an unlucky small loss for Ryan vs Mal (did everything right...Hellcannon decided to explode). Will got purple sunned to the face by the 6-dice-monkey renaissance man James and our resident DoC The Great un-Glen One" gave Sam's WoC a lesson in warhammer :P We lost the round but still came away with 30+ points, so not a pants off situation...cos that would have been awkward.
Round 6: vs Plastic Krak
last round and before the games started I clarified that neither us nor them could podium with a max points win. This was to ensure the last round of the event was nice relaxed affair for all involved.
|Ryan took the relaxed game vibe a little too far and moved his Hellcannon into Hagen's deployment zone|
I was very "fortunate" for my last game of the event to also be my official last game vs the old Dwarf book (nice to know it was a conscious last game). Neil was rocking an Anvil (destined for the shelf), longbeard rangers with scouting BSB and challenge rune Thane, 2x25 miners, 5 miners, gyro, organ gun, 2 cannons and 20 warriors.
Neil got 1st turn and moved up to get the challenge charge thing on Demis. I felt really bad for Neil because from there on the game became an exercise in my 1+ armour unreasonably bouncing all his s5 and 6 to win the day. He picked up a unit of knights and my cannon and had 1 unit of miners, gyro and anvil on 2 wounds left. Though in these situations all you can do is laugh and remind Neil that this is overdue payback for Panzershrek :P
|My notes on this game said "it comes from behind"|
|I didn't quite achieve my goal of running the anvil over with a stank|
Adding it all up we came in 5th! When excluding the Aussie teams we came in 3rd (or 2.5 if you count expats as Aussies). We played 3 of the teams above us and were 1 points shy of 4th place (queue a massive list of "what ifs").
We maxed in points once, and never gave away max points. We averaged 44pts/round which gave us a team average of 11pts/player/game which was a huge achievement (our goal was 10pts/player/game).
Thoughts on our team:
I think we got the balance right with our lists. If time was not an issue we would have dropped the Ogres for something else. Not having the 2nd Ironblaster has hurt them so much - especially as we opted for gut magic for survivability over heavens for punch (I think I'm one of the few people who would prefer the meta to have to accommodate double ironblaster/double skillcannon builds).
Though having the Ogres made our match up process rather easy as we had an army we needed to protect = made picking on the weak link in their team easy as we encouraged them to play for the Ogre points (with mixed results) with most match ups putting them up first.
I can't really speak for myself, but I thought the rest of my team played in a very friendly pro-warhammer way and frame of mind. Glen reminded Tim he had a handbow left to shoot bottom turn 6 = dead GUO and Ryan offered the Empire Player in Panel Comp a cannon shot at his Daemon Prince after the game because Ryan had mistakenly told him the charmed shield hadn't been removed = dead Daemon Prince. Both instances could have been resolved differently in other circumstances, but it is great to know that my team were above that sort of play and we still achieved better than we thought we would.
Anywho that's it from me. I'll stop the radio silence and get some painting pics up pronto!