I'll admit I rode my luck at times, but my overall goal was to make any opponent have to work for their inevitable victories, and while with a little less luck I could have easily have had three defeats, I ended up with a comfortable win, loss and draw, putting me 9th of 16.
My first game was against a Dark Angels force. This I felt was a nicely reflective of the fluff force, with plenty of ravenwing and the associated couple of speeders, plus terminators, plus marines, scouts and devastators.
Knowing he had masses of cover save (although tournament rule meant any reroll save would be 4+ on the second roll) I thought it worth shooting him anyway, and the first couple turns neither of us killed much as I just shot a lot and watched him dodge it all, and he was then snap firing so the return fire was largely inaccurate.
Meanwhile, I'd been chalking up objectives... I was sitting on 4 of them in this modified maelstrom mission, giving me a 6-1 lead at the end of turn 2. This is where it went wrong however. In this vanguard deployment mission, objective 6 was on top of a ruin in his home quarter... the mobile units I had (the buggies) had no hope of reaching it. And on turn 3 my maelstrom cards were TWO obtain objective 6 and one obtain ALL objectives. Ah. Zero points this turn then, and a serious crimp on my next few turns as I had to discard each one and hope for a better draw next time. By the time I got to scoring again, he had taken the lead. The clock was ticking on our game, so as we decided turn 6 would have to be the last it was still in the balance. I blitzed my turn and retook the lead by throwing everything I had at his warlord. However he could score a point if he killed a character of mine, and my shock attack gun was isolated. He put 7 wounds on him, but I was in a building and went to ground - I passed six of the 3+ saves, keeping me alive. I had a 1 point lead in the maelstrom points, and I scored an additional 1 secondary point for "last blood" (like first blood but, well, last...) giving me a 2 point win. Of course, if he had killed my sag, he would have tied maelstrom and the last blood point would have gone to him. So an epically close conclusion...
We then stopped for lunch and I had a look around the armies and found a beautiful Blood Ravens force... It was very well painted but what impressed me more was the theme. He was only adding units to the army if they had been in the Dawn of War computer games, and each squad was lead by a character from the game (or should I say someone modelled to look like someone from the game) I love the idea behind this, and appreciate the frustration that you can give yourself by going to a tournament when running a self restricted codex - my star wars guard had no tracked vehicles for instance.
My second game was against a Tau list that didn't quite fit the theme of "represent the fluff" as well as some of the other armies... he had a squad of five fire warriros, a piranha, some pathfinders... a ghostkeel and a couple units stealth suits... a buffmander with crisis/drone support... and oh yeah, 3 riptides.
This was a score objectives at the end game, and I didn't expect much. I was right, I got tabled, although it took him till turn 7 to do so (my flyer jinking desperately but eventually succumbing) If the game had ended on turn 5 he'd still have won but I'd still have been scoring some points even. There were a couple of fun moments... turn 1 my sag teleporting into combat then somehow SURVIVING the first round to mean that his squad of TWO riptides didn't get to shoot in the first turn, as they were locked in combat. And in turn 7 when I got the tellyporta megablast shot to his both those riptides and informed my opponent that it was str 8 ap 2 and a 6 caused instant death, for a moment there he was very nervous. Alas, I wounded but no 6, and he passed the inv anyway. He did say the game had been a lot harder than he expected, which is something I guess.
My final game was against Alex of From the Fang/Blog Wars fame, and despite having first met 6 years or so ago and been to several of his events, this is the first time we've ever played each other. This was my best game of the day. Again I felt the army represented the force well, and it was a very close game throughout. It was a bloodpoints game. I had fifty bonus points for first strike, so we tallied up the kills. Alex had killed 1115 of mine, I had killed 1112 of his! Incredibly close game. The first strike I thought I might have edged it, but it was within the margin of a draw.
Again, I rode my luck on this game. There was a 95BP Warlord (with 100BP bonus for slay the warlord) and in his last two turns Alex was hunting his. In turn 6 he shrugged off a couple multimelta hits thanks to his KFF. In turn 7 he got three instant death causing hits on him, and said "Right, if you make three 5 up invulnerable saves I'm walking out that door..."
I rolled the dice.
If I had been the one nearer to the door, I'd have held it for him, alas I was on the wrong side of the table so I merely had to point.
(He didn't, Alex has never struck me as the type to rage quit, one assumes he was speaking in jest, however I can't help but feel that the deity that listens out for "anything but a 1" may be expanding into new markets...)
If I had failed any one of those five 5++ saves Alex would have won, possibly tabling me if I failed to a turn 6 one. I hope he is consoled by the fact that I remained one place behind him in the final rankings.
The top three were Eldar, Tau, then Dark Eldar... it seems even comp can't change the world that much. But there was still the Best Army to be judged, and that went to the army below...
Yup, that'd be me. It is awarded not just for a nice paint job (I like mine, it's decent, but it's nothing spectacular I'll be the first to admit) but also for how well the army fits the theme, and THAT is something I do pay attention to... not just orks, but deffskulls in particular here. Everyone has guns, all the vehicles are stolen... sounds like a day trip to Liverpool. Apparently this impressed the impartial judges (another system I like, let's say my trust in allowing the general public to vote has taken a battering of late) I was very pleased to have been awarded this prize.
Will I return? I hope to. New army new theme, but it'd be fun to come again. Most of the armies were well balanced for the theme, there were a few that I felt scraped in past the comp restrictions by the skin of their teeth (looking at you three riptides) and there's two ways this can go... either next year more people will try to scrape dirt through in order to compete with the riptides, or they'll add another line or two to the comp to try to close that loophole. I'm hoping for the latter.