Monday, March 21, 2011

Fail Gamers Birthday Bash Tournament over the weekend.

Good morning all.

So this past weekend I played in the Frederick All Inclusive League Gamers (FAIL Gamers) tournament for their second Birthday. The Fail Gamers have been a great place for me to meet good people, get in a bunch of games, enjoy the forums and have an all around good time with some wargaming. I haven't totally taken advantage of all they do (40k, WFB, Flames of War, Warmachine, Malifaux, Dystopian Wars, Dark Heresy and more) but I've still really enjoyed my time here.

So the tournament was primarily done for the club members as a thankyou for all the support and time they gave to make the club run as well as it did. To this end the club folks got a small advantage. Each player received a ticket for: Painted army, well-painted and based army, WYSIWYG, then one for each 3 months of club dues paid. You could redeem tickets for special wargear, battlefield conditions or unit rules, only once per game.

The rules were mostly balanced. I took one that let my deffkoptas call down a S6 AP3 ordnance blast that always scattered 2D6 and that was reasonable. Only one rule seemed truly broken to me and it was only broken for one army. Mow Em Down let a unit make normal ranged attacks when assaulted by a unit prior to assault instead of normal assault attacks. The guy with a Farsight bomb bought this for each of his games, making his unit nearly untouchable. Thankfully I didn't play him and so I was good overall.

My Games

Of three games I won 2 and lost 1. The first and third games were great fun (not just because I won) and game 2 was meh. I ran my 1850 ork list from the last tournament minus the grots and 20pts of wargear.

This photo says it all. 6 models survived the!

Game 1
Drop pod and stormraven blood angels here. 5 objectives which we placed in the table centre, agreeing we'd prefer a punch up ;-) He got turn 1 and dropped down into my backfield with 2 Blood Talon Furioso's, then managed a turn 1 fleeting Death Company dread (also blood talons) into my ork boyz. The lootas were flamed out of cover and ran, one battlewagon was magna-grappled and shaken then the boys got hacked up by the DC dread (blood talons hurt!). In my turn I punched back with the nobz and deffkoptas, slaughtering marines left and right. It turned into a glorious brawl across the field where the power of diversified nobz prevailed over the power of blood angels who reroll everything (so it seemed). By the end of the game I held 4 objectives and contested the 5th. He had one drop pod and an immobilised Furioso on the table, phew. Great game and a friendly opponent.

Game 2
I knew this was going to go badly from the start. It was about surviving, with each unit over 50% strength gaining you 2 VPs, under 50% 1 VP and 0 for dead units. My opponent brought razor/dread/dakka pred/tempest speeder spam marines with MSU and a counter assault of 10 TH/SS terminators. He had 34 possible VPs vs my 22 possible, so I would have to kill 6.5 of his units with no losses just to draw. The deployment rules let you go anywhere on the table more than 18" from your opponent, turn 1 the entire table was difficult terrain. My opponent put his two min tac squads far forward to push me back then castled up on a hill on his board edge. He then used a ticket to buy a rule that stopped me getting scout moves then siezed initiative on a 4+ because of the same ticket.

That was pretty much the game. I got alpha-striked, then shot up every turn while trying to move through difficult terrain and rhino blocks. The nobz were wrecked by the terminators, led by a Librarian who'd cast null zone. All in all, I got tabled badly. Not much fun. My opponent didn't cheat and wasn't rude, but brought a mean list, gamed every advantage of the special rules and didn't crack a smile at all. Two upsides were that I got tabled quickly and went down the road with the GF to have a free wine tasting from a winery where my other friend works before game 3 and that my opponwnr got sulky when he won 3rd place, despite tabling two opponents. Length of time as a club member was the tie breaker for the tournament top winners, hehehe ;-)

Game 3
Game 3 was against Blood Angels again. Deployment was spearhead and you gained VPs for each unit in your opponent's deployment zone on turn 6 (all games had defined end turns). My opponent brought a few assault marines, 2 flamestorm Baals, the Sanguinor, a Furioso Librarian Dread and Mephiston. HEROHAMMER!!! :-D

It was a fantastic game and, though I tabled him, I was nearly tabled. The pic is from the very end of the game. The Baals rushed forward in their scouting moves, flamed the boys then got klawed/glanced to death. Sanguinor was mangled by a first turn nobz assault, the marines folded, the lib dread killed one nobz unit then got rokkited by the deffkoptas. Mephiston just rolled through so much of my army with his jump pack/Strength 10/Preferred enemy trio of psychic powers then came undone when we had a showdown between him and nobz. My last turn of the game let me kill off his last assault marine and claim a narrow victory due to tabling.

Great tournament and I had a bunch of fun.

PS: I killed the titan on day 2 with broadsides but it took 5 turns because of the void shield repairing every time and them making cover saves. Another tau player I loaned broadsides to killed it on turn 2 and won the knight titan model. It was fun seeing all the ways people used to kill it (Deep strike fusion crisis, Broadsides, Jetbike seer council, DS zoanthropes etc.)

PPS: If anybody is interested in a knight titan model, one of the club members has set up moulds and is thinking it will be ~$85-100 to cast them up depending on number of interested people. Let me know if you are interested and I will pass on contact details.


  1. Hey Pete, definitely pass along the knight titan details. Any pics would be great too.

  2. Hey Tristan, I will get the contact info from the guy who is casting them and pass it on to you. I didn't get any pictures of the titan on the day but will ask for them.

    The following is a really crappy version but has the same fundamental shape. Imagine this with much more definition, a more refined look and so on. Pics when I have them.

  3. So, the two games where you tabled/nearly tabled your opponent were "great" and "fun", but the one where you got tabled your opponent was some "WAAC", "TFG", etc... jerk-player?

    Sounds a bit like sour grapes bro.

    In any case, if you want to get better at your game, I am more than happy to help you out.

    Full disclosure: I am friends with your second round opponent; we practiced the second mission together. Sorry it went poorly for you.


  4. I think you misunderstand, or I wrote it badly. My two wins were close and could have gone either way but my opponents were great fun.

    My second round opponent didn't have the same fun vibe. He played extremely well, didn't cheat or do anything wrong, brought a strong list and made the most of his strengths and my advantages. Game-wise I had no concerns with him and congratulated his playing. He knew the scenario, played it effectively and used his force in a way that exploited my weaknesses.

    I spoke with the other players at the tournament and a number of them had the same vibe from my second round opponent. He went to the judges at one stage to complain about not placing higher than 3rd because he had tabled two of his opponents. I was told that he also gave away the template set engraved with the FAIL gamers logo etc. that were printed for the winners in this tournament because he did not care for that prize and only wanted the gift certificates.

    I think ultimately it was a softer tournament with a focus on the hobby side of things and he came to play a more competitive game so it felt like he was a mismatch in style compared to the other players. He was a great player but I did not enjoy playing with him as much as I enjoyed my other games (results aside). This was a sentiment echoed by a number of other players.

    Thankyou for the tactics advice offer Mike. I may have to take you up on that if I go the deathwing route ;-)

  5. There is historic contention between him and FAIL. (Although not as much as there is between FAIL and I, I admit) I am not surprised that he gave away the engraved template. Especially after he was "penalized" for not being a club member.

    At the end of the tournament, there were effectively 3 undefeated players. He may have been irked that they chose "length of time as a
    club member" as a tie-breaker.

    My offer does not apply JUST to tactics. For example, it would be easy to lose the second round game in the deployment phase alone.


  6. That's fair enough then. I haven't been in the Frederick area for long but I did hear some rumours of there being contention in the past between FAIL and another gaming group. I was a little unsure about the tournament at first because of the advantage that the club members held but it was explained as the only club event in the year that was being held as a thankyou to the club members. In that case, I think it's fine to use membership support as a tie breaker as much as it is to use kill points/objectives/painting/sportsmanship or whatever.

    You make a good point about the deployment on the second game being quite critical and I realised after Leigh's first deployment how effectively he was boxing me in. It was well played indeed and hamstrung my ability to respond from the beginning.

    I will definitely have a change of pace in my next games though as I sold my orks and am moving to a Deathwing army for portability what with all the country hopping in my near future. I'll be going completely foot-based for that army so I'll have to practise my deep striking, target priority and the like.

    I also edited my blog post to remove some rudeness. I apologise for that. I think that may have been a hint of sour grapes as you said ;-)

  7. Somehow I knew it was Leigh when you told me his list. I've played him in a tournament setting (like 2-3 years ago I think). He's a good guy, maybe you just caught him on a bad day...that said, Americans are a competitive lot, Pete, what can I say?

  8. Damn Yanks ;-)

    Yeah I think it was just a mismatch of tournament styles here.