Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mechanicon (part 2 of 2 part recap)

To start I had a couple great conversations with both the Mechanicon staff and Chris (Mastermolder) about expensive tournaments… Mechanicon is one of the more expensive ($125 ticket price) 40k GT’s on the East Coast which has turned a lot of people off and I have heard there has been drama on the Interweb about the price and where the money goes. One thing people forget is unless it’s in a gamestore a huge chunk of the gatefee goes to paying for the Hotel. Ballrooms are not free, often costing thousands of dollars. Additionally Tony’s crew has some of the best tables around. Professionally built 4’x8’s, high end terrain, which adds up quickly.
With Friday’s excellent practice games, solid performance and win in the can I was feeling very confident… What the old proverb? Don’t count your chickens.. Without oversharing I started the day with what I thought was case of food poisoning, which then developed into the flu…

Round 1 vs Chaos Space Marines (Mike Belczyk)
Deployment – Pitched battle
Mission – Kill All Troops
Secondary – KP
Tertiary- Defend Deployment Zone
Before you pre-judge it was a VERY Close game, Mike is a great opponent who is a master with his CSM’s. Double Bike Last, x3 Oblits (3) and Khorne happiness. First couple rounds were solidly in his favor and his Obliterators were failing ONE in THIRTEEN saves (holy cow!)! In the last two turns I managed to kill the last of his Berserkers, shelter my remaining troops. Major Victory.

Round 2 vs Space Marines (Justin)
Deployment - Spearhead (Turn 1 Night fight)
Mission – Modified VP (Double for units killed totally)
Secondary – Kill HQ
Bonus Points (None)
Foot List with Rivers (They count as difficult at Mechanicon) I sheltered in a corner, outflanked with the bikes. Solid but fairly standard game, with Max points gained.

Round 3 vs Orks (Colin Jones)
Deployment – Pitched Battle
Mission - Double each scoring unit in Enemy deployment.
Secondary - KP
Tertiary – Kill Fast Attack
Colin was a great guy and ran a solid foot Ork list. Table had lots of LOS blocking terrain, rivers on the board again. This should have been a simple win, not to be over confident but 3 Thunder Fire Cannons. Two Big rulings made this complicated….

One- Blast templates had to be CENTERED on models, which made it impossible to hit more than one model if they are atleast 1.25 inches away. This meant I was getting an average of 6 per TFC instead of 12 – 16 (including 2 drifts etc etc).
TwoNon-IC’s could strike IC’s they are not in base contact with while based with a different target. Clarified, a Powerclaw based with Bikesquad A could strike Khan attached to Bikesquad B with in 2” but not based with the Noob with the claw.

I think I was viewed as confrontational by Colin when I requested rulings by the line judge, but both of these are different than what is commonly played with (or in the FAQ). I just like playing by the rules.
I squeaked out a minor victory, which was a moral massacre considering the uphill game, foot Orks with buried Powerclaws are a solid counter for bikes when templates cannot be used for full effect and THEY control movement.

Round 4 vs Sisters of Battle (Blood Angels played by Simon Leen)
Deployment – Pitched battle
Mission – Objectives.
Secondary – VP
Tertiary- Destroy all heavy Support
This was my third game Vs Simon on the tournament circuit, but the first time I have seen him not run his Sisters (ok, he was still playing with them, just count as BA). I was VERY rough Sunday morning . Simon’s list was a exceptional balance of Jump Assault troops and Missile Devastators . I killed more of my own bikes to dangerous terrain test then Simon did with shooting (6 failed tests, 5 bikes lost). Close until turn 5 when we called it with 5 minutes left. Draw, in fact ALL OF THE TOP TABLES DREW… See the end for more details.

Round 5 vs Grey Knights (Lewis S.)
Deployment – Spearhead
Mission - Capture and Control
Secondary – Destroy All Elites.
Tertiary – NA
High pressure game due to standings on the line. Standard Crow list, nothing special. First the opponent was hot and cold. He was friendly and understand when models fell or measurements were in question (until the end), but the whole game he was making snide comments but denied making them when confronted with his conduct (witnessed). Three issues decided the game..

One – A combat squaded attack bike was with in 12” of a razorback, hit penetrated and exploded a razorback. He rechecked the measurement and it was now just out of 12”. The terrain had gotten bumped a couple times. Rather than press the issue I just rerolled. Second time around was a glance, then a 6 (wreck) which he argued was a 4 (weapon destroyed). This was Witnessed by a Third party but I had picked up the dice to start rolling for the next set of melta shots at the second transport so didn’t have a leg to stand on. Lesson learned.
Two – Crowe. .. After the above round of shooting Crowe charged into combat with a bike squad. I knew he was out, was sure due to measurements during shooting. Changed the flow of the bike squads movement, little but made a big impact. Forced me to Hit & Run back away from where I needed to be.
Three – Objective… Per the printout the control range was measured from the CENTER of the objective. A point missed in earlier round and made contesting the objective hard as hell. Had the game ended on Turns 5 or 6 I would have pulled out a victory. I staged combat squad to turbo boost onto his objective to contest and turn 7’s could not close due to reduced control range.

Game was a Draw (again all top tables drew) as I could not kill his last Dreadnought. Had I realized the control range issue earlier I would have played the last 2 turns to try and remove it.

Closing thoughts…

Ok before I go on, I enjoyed the event tremendously. I am seriously considering going back next year. Staff was friendly, location was perfect, onsite food was cheap and amazing. I got 4th overall which surprised the top guys who assumed I clinched the top spot with the appearance scoring. No sour grapes.


The missions..
Were very difficult to work with. When all of the top 6 tables have identical scores in 2 games there is a problem. When almost everyone who did not table their opponent, drew in the above mentioned rounds that proves the flaw in my mind. I witnessed a couple games get “heated” in the friendly tourney because of the lack of clarity and challenges of the missions.
Issues came up a couple times, without officially used FAQ’s besides GW’s there were a lot of blanks. Being a “friendly” event I felt like an ass every time I disagreed with an interpretation and could not used the INAT FAQ or different source as a reference point. Even when using the core rulebooks example pictures I was ruled against.
The pub quiz was amusing but problematic for the points it gives. Next time I need to study!
The paint scores was surprising. I got one of the top 3 paint scores so not complaining about how I did, several of us were confused when reviewing the posted score sheet. As an example a few of the “weekend” armies scored close to or as high as fully converted and exceptionally painted ones.


  1. You will find a lot of this "region-specific" rules stuff. Things that may seem obvious to many are played differently across the country.

    All tournaments should have their own FAQ to cover such loopholes.

    Playing things different from the rulebook however, is silly.