Along with a few other lads from sheffield I got the chance to pull out the 40k and take part in Open war 17 organised by the 1st Company Veterans down at Maelstrom Games.
It was a 1 day event, 3 games at 1750pts no restrictions. I took a standard Ghazghkull Battlewagon list. It was a good day, lots of fun and gave me a lot to reflect on for 40k in general. So lets get into it.
Ghaz and his boys got to have a run about, I had to get the last few boys done which included the burnas, nobz, buggies and another battlewagon. Good old army painter dip let me get all that done in just over a week!
KFF Big Mek
7 Nobz with multi wound shenanigans + DeffRolla Battlewagon
17 Boyz w/Nob
Buggy x3 w/TLR 105
A classic Ghaz list with 3 deffrollas using KFF coverage, supported by Lootas and rokkit toting buggies.
Game 1 vs Imperial guard
Not a great start to the event. This was just one of these lists you turn up and you know you’re going to be outclassed no matter what. I usually prepare for hydra/vendetta spam with guard but when this army turned up with 4 leman russes (2 exterminators, 1 nova cannon and 1 demolisher), 2 hell hounds, a manticore and a crap load of mechanised infantry with a ton of heavy flamers; I admit I was a bit thrown. The mission was 5 objectives; one in the centre and one in each quarter.
I knew this was simply going to be a case of rolling 4+’s for the KFF save because as soon as those orks were exposed they were dead with all the cover save ignoring weaponry.
Sadly I didn’t manage this, I got the first turn and drove towards his parking lot however then lost 2 battlewagons in the first turn to a demolisher shell leaving both the boyz and burnas on foot. The third wagon went down in the second turn and with the nobz and ghaz within striking distance of his forntlines but I doubt they’d be able to get much more then the two closest russes. The lootas and buggies were also unable to stop the hellhounds who were sweeping up my flank. At this point it wasn’t really that important as I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull this back, I had to focus on contesting objectives. The game ended with just Ghaz on the board contesting one of the objectives after killing a fair few tanks and I lost 2-0, not as bad as I expected. My opponent was very pleasent, played a good game and went on to place well in the tournament which I feel is in part due to the strangeness of his list; in a world of hydra/vendetta spam, no one expects the spanish inquisition.
Game 2 vs Orks
After lunch I got matched up against a fellow sheffieldien Mr. Baker with one of the best looking ork armies I have ever seen, amazing paint job with some awesome conversions (Podracer deffkoptas WOW). It was a big nob biker list with 2 full mobs of shoota boyz and big gunz support. I knew in this game the key was to cracking that rather daunting unit of bikers by getting a good charge with my Battlewagons.
It was dawn of war, he went first and deployed his bikers, warboss on bike and one of the mobs. He went first and to my surprise turbo boosted his bikers across the table at me whilst everything else advanced on. I knew this was my chance as if I could hit him with both ghaz, nobz and burnas I was sure I could take him down and with that unit out of the way I could swing the rest of the game. Everything came on and after some shooting I managed to get the perfect charge, the burnas tying up his warboss whilst ghaz and the nobz took the rest. This was in theory a game breaker as I was sure with that many power attacks I’d carry it, lady luck abandoned me here however with the nobz performing averagely but then the burnas and ghaz only caused 2 wounds each… I took out a few bikers but in the end I just got ground down and lost on combat res in the second turn with ghaz fleeing off the board. I put all my army into stopping the bikers with a grot finally sniping out the warboss. I’d lost too many VP’s to the rampaging bikers by now and he didnt have enough in his army for me to equalise so we just decided to have some fun and play some toy soldiers, a few comical sections later including 15 boyz beating a mob of 30 we tallied it up for a difference of 4 KPs.
Great opponent, lovely army I was just a bit disheartened as it could of been perfect but it all went horribly wrong. oh well c’est la vie as they say 😉
Game 3 vs Chaos
My final opponent had a really nice nurgle themed army. double land raider with 2 demon weapon toting lords, a vindicator, dreadnought and finally some plague marines in rhinos. really sweet paint job and his throne of nurgle land raider was a great conversion.
This was a strange mission with 3 objectives; one in the centre, one on the right of my deployment area and the same in his, you earned 100vps per opponents turn you controlled an objective and the other side of your deployment was extended forward 12″.
He went first and set up heavily around his objective, most of my forces set up opposite him with just some lootas and grots near mine. I didnt place myself too far foward as he had termis and melta gun toting marines in land raiders and I didn’t fancy getting charged. The game started off slow with some fire being exchanged but nothing substantial, on the second turn I manouvred my battlewagons into position for some turn 3 mayhem, I managed to charge the dread with the boyz who failed to kill it at first but then killed it in his turn. This was both to get things going in the game and potentially bait a charge from his double lord/termis unit. The buggies also turbo booted across to block his other land raider and unit of marines from joining in. His turn 3 and nothing much happend, his dice rolls were very bad and a combined force of a DW lord along woith twi squads of marines both shooting and assaulting failed to kill any of the buggies. He did however summon some demons down who started killing the grots holding my objective.
Da boyz polished off the dread and reembarked in their BW to deffrolla the vindicator and boarding plank a rhino carrying some marines, both of which were destroyed. with a mighty waaagh I ran his termi land raider over with my remaining two, ghaz jumping out and calling the waaagh to charge the termi/lord unit whilst the nobz engaged some marines from the other land raider. The buggies continued to make a nuisance of themselves. in combat ghaz killed the lord but then only killed one termi as the nobz butchered the plague marines. in his turn he backed off as much as possible and kept pouring fire into me but once again his dice betrayed him and I lost nothing. Ghaz stayed locked in combat as he failed to kill any termis form low rolling and some good saves.
I didnt want ghaz locked in the fight forever as I though I might need him to kill the other DW lord so i dropped the burnas out of my third battlewagon to help him polish off the termis which they did. the burnas battlewagon then turned around and deffrolla’d the remaining rhino and also caught the last chaos lord who failed one of his 2+ saves and got squished. After this it was just a case of mopping up as the nobz killed the last marines on the right whilst ghaz boarding planked the final land raider. The boyz killed off the lesser demons and the final unit of marines to take the game.
My opponent was very pleasant and patient despite his dice not wanting to cooperate, I don’t like games like this, its not much fun for either party so apologise to him but I needed a solid win to bring myself back up the rankings. In the end I won the maximum amount of points plus full VPs+500 for the objective mechanic.
All things said and done I ended up bang in the middle of the tables at 20th. we did ok as a team and managed to finish 3rd for the team event only just missing out on second. Not a bad result for a team that kinda just threw this together without much practice. two of us were playing power lists (IG & DE) but the other three, myself included were not as optimised. Still a good fun day with many a giggle was had by all and a great event so congrats to the events team that organised it. It also gave me a lot to think about concerning 40k and my thoughts on it.
Which brings me neatly to my final point, I know a lot of you will of heard this sort of ramble before but here goes; I’m not happy with the state of affairs in W40k at the moment, I just don’t think theres enough balance. Maybe I’m spoilt by warmachine but I feel that this game penalises you (in a competitive environment) if you for playing what you like instead of what you should. If you do like IG, SW or GK then good for you but for the rest of us it sucks. What I’m trying to say is that I love building/painting/playing my orks but going to an event with them slams it home that I am not going to win with them and that unless I play one of the aforementioned power lists I am going to be outclassed every time. I could play one of these lists but simply put they don’t interest me.
I wish this was an issue I could chalk down to experience and just say I need to sharpen my skills to get the most out of the boyz but I don’t think it is, at least solely. The harsh fact of the matter is that when I sit down infront of a leaf blower, psifleman or venom spam list I know my dice are going to have to have to be shit hot for me to even stand a chance where as he will only have to roll around/below average. It feels awesome when you do managed enough 4++ KFF saves for your wagons but once you fail one it’s like a house of dominos and leaves you feeling a bit let down.
Compared to Warmachine where you can choose any of the races based on whatever criteria you see fit and end up with a powerfull , balanced faction ready for tournament play that, in my case, satisfys my want for nice models, fluff, fun and competitiveness, it kinda blows GWs games out of the water. We all know GW is more of a model company then game company and they are sales based instead of gamer based etcetctec grumble grumble grumble, this kinda talk could go on forever but I think you guys got the jist of it. As for the Waaagh well they are still fun to casually play with and are coming along nicely as an apocalypse force so I’m not going to throw the dummy out the pram and sell them or anything hasty like that but I don’t think I’ll be attending any events any time soon after experiencing the joy that is Warmachine.
For me it’s time to sit back and wait for 6th ed, see what changes that makes to the current state of affairs concerning balance and just overall fun of the game. I’ve played 40k for as long as I’ve been in wargaming so I don’t think I’ll ever abandon it but the next couple of books and 6th edition will make a big difference to weather I just shelf it as a casual army or if I continue to attend events in the future.
I want to finish by saying guys that this is a personal point of view and not one im trying to impose on you, the reader. It’s something thats been in my head for a while now especially since I started Warmachine and not just some knee jerk reaction to some bad results from an event. What I want to impose is that each of us is different and if you enjoy 40k despite everything then nothing I or anyone else on the internet can say or do should change that because at the end of the day its just some toy soldiers and all any of us are out for is some fun 😉