Saturday, 19 March 2011

What we got here, is a failure to communicate...

So I went down to my local GW today as they had a special game on. It sounded fun. I got told they were gonna try to assemble a lot of flyers to assault a fixed position, to celebrate the release of the stormraven. I was interested - with 2 valkyries, 2 vendettas, 2 vultures a lightning and a thunderbolt, I was well placed to take part. No they say, just bring one flyer and one squad. It'll be kinda like a race. To take part you only need a squad and a transport, though naturally flyers have an advantage. Ok, so I packed a vendetta and my straken bomb into a case and wander down.

I get there, and there aren't all that many people there...

And it seems there's been a change of plan...

There will be a squad of grey knight paladins, controlled by a staff member, waiting for stormraven extraction. We count them as individual squads and score 1 point for killing each. There's also 3 points available for bagging the stormraven.

Arrayed around the table, we have;

  • Myself with straken and transport.
  • A kid with a guard squad, command section, sentinal, lone sniper (wtf?!?) and a death strike missile. he was putting his Stormlord on the table too but the staff member told him not to.
  • A kid with a termie squad in land raider and a dread
  • A kid with devastator squad, predator and dread
  • And another guy, with term squad and chaplain in land raider, and dev squad with rhino, and predator, and dread, and scout squad in land speeder storm.
Right, so slightly outgunned then... especially when they said we'd be allowed to shoot at each other, though no points were available for that...

Now as good as the save on those Paladins was, they were still subject to instant death. They were all dead before the Stormraven showed up. I was most annoyed that I wounded with a laspistol and a meltagun... he passed the save on the instant killing meltagun, and lost a wound to the laspistol. That wounded guy was then pegged when the deathstrike missile hit the building. So with the squad gone the scores were 2-2-1 for the kids. The large army had started shooting at the kids early on, (as well as giving me a taste of flamestorm) so we all pitched in on him in return. I pegged his landraider that had caused me some problems and his dread was eliminated.

The stormraven showed up first (by this point a dread knight had been added to the reinforcement pool, worth 2 points) and went for the guard player... which was really annoying for me, as my vendetta, being unable to shoot last turn, had turbo boosted down to the opposite end of the table. I'd have to turbo boost again next turn to have a hope of shooting it on the turn after, assuming it didn't move out of line of sight again. In the turn immediately after it's arrival, it was immobilised... so while a long way away at least I'd be able to head towards it confident it wouldn't fly away... unfortunately big armys termies were heading inexorably in the same direction...

The dread knight deep striked in next to Straken and fired at the remnants of his squad. Clever wound allocation saw me lose the last bodyguard and meltagun. So in my turn I charged. The dreadknight put all the attacks on Straken and his medic. 3 wounds were caused. Two of them eliminated the medic... the final one bounced off Strakens refractor field. As it is he was striking simultaneously regardless, and took three wounds off the monstrosity. The Eviscerator wielding priest took out the final wound.

With Straken isolated he ended up in a scrap with a dread, and they both died in a loving embrace...

So it all came to the Stormraven - could my vendetta blow it up before the thunder hammer termie got there... or should I nail the termy? Knowing I had a dev squad behind me that could easily peg me after nailing the termy I thought my best chance of winning was going for the stormraven. Over two turns of shooting (before the devs nailed me) I got three penetrating hits... I achieved nothing. Oh sure I took some weapons off, but that thing has so many it wasn't close to getting glanced to death. And in the race between the thunderhammer termy and the guard plasma pistol sergeant, the termy passed his inv saves to strike the stormraven down. Giving the other guy three points and the win.

It was a good laugh over all, and everyone had scored some points. The guard player had three men left, the other three of us were wiped out to a man, while the marine player who won still had a termy, a dev squad, a couple scouts and a pred. But I couldn't help but feel somewhat underprepared for the mission... if the other armies had been restricted to one unit one transport, I doubt the marine player would have made it across the field to the stormraven. It's easy to be reckless and turn on everyone when you have as many forces as the rest combined. If I'd brought my flyers, no squads just flyers, I feel I would have wiped the floor with him, and probably still have fielded less points than he did! The dissappointing aspect of the game for me was the sense of inevitability. Seeing how many points more he had than everyone else I felt certain he'd win from the start. The fact that he left it so late was almost a banana skin on his part, but it was still kinda inevitable. I don't like inevitable games, in either direction. I like fun, in the balance, games. And if you're gonna promise a day entitled "Flight of the Valkyries" then I'd like to not be the only guy with an airborne vehicle!!! I felt critically ill-prepared for the game I ended up playing. The only way it could have been worse is if they'd suddenly had an objective for a troops choice to grab...

In the words of Bert from Tremors, "I feel I have been denied... CRITICAL... NEED TO KNOW... Information."


  1. Basically the manager would have told the area manager his ideas, and the area manager would have told him to make it more product related, hence the grey knights. We've had to change the ideas for our store party to grey knight themed :/

  2. I hadn't thought of that.

    It still could have worked though, if they'd kept everyone tot he same restriction. Putting a single squad of grey knights up against an indeterminable number of squads and transports was gonna be a tough ask anyway, but when you're letting them take as much as they want it's too easy. The grey knights were dead within the first two turns having done nothing themselves, and the only reason the stormraven lasted as long as it did was a) it was immobilised at the opposite end of the board from most of the remaining forces and b) those forces sepnt half the time shooting each other anwyay!

    If they'd played the same mission but with the restriction enforced I think it would have been more of a challenge to take down that squad, and therefore more of a sense of achievement when accomplished. Plus it'd make the squad look all the better if it takes several turns of everything we throw at them to take them down, as opposed to the occassional krak missile when we aren't too busy shooting each other...