2002 Calgary Grand Tournament Diary Entry Two

Well I finally got impatient with the web page being updated and phoned GW to see if I made it in. I did. I booked a flight through West Jet and I have been busily painting away at some new additions to Green III. I also had painted another power glove model for Green II as I had it lying around.

Having done some assembly line painting for some friends, I decided to paint the whole batch, ie. eight models at once. I traditionally like to paint in smaller groups. I paint so slow. Also there was a bit of a heat wave in Vancouver so I was literally sweating and sticking to the newspaper I had down on the table while I was working away on these guys. They're finished now and I'll put up some pictures soon. Next I plan to work on their rhino.

Also it appears other people know I'll be going to Calgary as Games Workshop Canada has finally updated their webpage. Bill discovered this before me. He greeted me when I entered the GW Burnaby store last Thursday with "So you're going to the Grand Tournament in Calgary."

When I got home my tournament entry package was in my mailbox. A lot of things had changed including the scoring system. Army Selection is now scored by your opponent, plus the quiz has returned. I'm not thrilled about this, I liked the formulaic army list because I was able to ensure I would get the maximum score in that category before ever setting foot in Calgary. Now my Nurgle horde will be judged every game on it's cheesiness. I also think I will do poorly on the quiz. I only know the rules for my army. I'm not a raving GW fanboy, maybe I'll be OK here though.

I still hope to keep plugging away at my models, I have no delusions of winning best painted army but I hope to score well in this category. One interesting thing in the tournament package was the mission description for all six games. This is a first and would allow me to practice the missions and tweak my army list. This would be great if I didn't have to have my official army list submitted to Ontario in ten days. I also think they changed how they are scoring game play or generalship or whatever they call it. Basically I had to start rethinking my strategy.

I got in my first official practice game. The table was a bit undersized but we played 1700 points and used one of the six missions. I plan to scan in the complete mission descriptions or type them in as it doesn't say I can't, but not tonight. I will list them for the curious though:

I've basically only read through the book once, the Smartie mission is by far the coolest if you eat a Smartie you capture before the end of the game, then you get no victory points as it is "lost in the warp".

Practice Game

So about the practice game. It was against a horde of orks. Which was excellent because I don't think I've played orks even once in third edition. I played them many times in second edition I even played as orks in both second and first addition. They have changed a lot though. I liked the old orks better. I can't recall Bill's army list exactly but: it had Burner Boyz which did well, Shoota Boyz, Tank Bustas, Truck Boyz, Slugga Boyz, the infiltrating guys which I wiped out right quick. It also had the Storm Boyz which were running by the end of the game too. My toughness five really showed in this game plus my superior leadership/fearlessness. I also think for the table quarter games I've come up with a strategy.

My army list which I have in front of me consisted of: For the mathematically incline this was 1722pts but I forgot a power fist model so I actually played with less then 1700 points plus I always forget to make use of some things.

This mission had preliminary bombardment and since Bill's entire deployment zone was filled with Boyz I was licking my chops. I set up my army as far forward as I could for the most part with the vehicles shielded a bit by buildings. Preliminary bombardment wasn't that damaging I rolled one six and killed like three boys. Bill rolled one six and killed like two Plague Marines. We played it that troops in vehicles were not vulnerable to Preliminary Bombardment this makes my planned third Rhino look even better...

Bill got first turn and came roaring forward. He had a bunch of buggies, but they didn't really start zipping about until the second turn. He shot a bunch of big shooters but they didn't do much. Since you deploy in a corner my plan was to hold the corner and drive a rhino into the other two adjacent quarters to contest them. Bill seemed intent on advancing in a huge green tide. Originally when 3rd edition came out I was stoked and started painting bolt pistol Plague Marines but recently it's the bolter armed guys that have been proving more useful.

The Burning Sores roared forward and engaged in a flamer dual with the infiltrators in the quarter to my right. The dread advanced and went fire frenzy shooting up Gonorrhea Squad. Yet another reasons not to rely on a lone dreadnought for my entire heavy weapon supply... My power armor worked pretty good all game so Gonorrhea Squad survived, they were also the squad closest to Bill so he kept shooting at them too. My predator drove around a corner and killed an ork I think with it's autocannon. George appeared killing the aspiring champion of Jaundice Squad. This left Slim and George fairly close together and advancing towards an empty (of enemy) quarter through difficult terrain. We played with a lot more difficult terrain then I'm used too.

Bill really started roaring across the board in his second turn. The infiltrators fired their flamer killing one then charged but rolled poorly getting through the difficult terrain and the lone Ork who made it got promptly killed. The Orks then ran rolling only a four for distance but I rolled a three. They failed to mob up and I think I wiped them out on my half of the turn. All the truck boyz raced ahead of the foot sluggers. And in my turn aided by the Dreadnought actually shooting at the enemy, a Mealta gun which didn't roll a one to hit (it missed last turn) and my Plasma Gun squad, all his trucks but the one carrying his leader were rubble. The survivors didn't fair to well as the game went on. Slim and George charged some of them. George's vomit covered six, but all my rolls were 1-3! Slim sucked the dog in H2H all game but George killed some stuff and being fearsome the Orks ran. George's fearsomeness was great in forcing the large ork mobs to turn tail. I pursued and whipped them out but Slim was left alone in the heart of Ork Waarrgghhh!!!

Bill had damaged my tank taking out the Autocannon turret earlier but the front armor proved tough enough to keep the lascannons plugging away all game. Literally fifty shots were aimed at Slim. His toughness helped him out as did a few successful demonic aura saves but he was down to one wound. Then the boys charged. He again failed to do much of anything but survived. In the other contested quarter the Burner Boys cooked the Burning Sores then they and a huge mob of Slugga boys charged. I was in cover so I struck first but I lost combat and the Orks just kept piling on. Eventually the Burning Sores would die, their Rhino however was parked deep in that quarter edge.

George to the Rescue again!

My Purple squads had been in buildings all game, one squad got out and they and Gonorrhea plus Jaundice shot a bunch of orks. The Dreadnaugt took out the Ork leaders' truck and did him a wound in the process. The Dread tried to help out the Burning Sores but there were so many Orks. George was already in H2H. Meanwhile Diarrohoea Squad was destroyed by Truck Boys, Bob died valiantly surround by Orks. I think all my Aspiring Champions will be armed for H2H in Calgary usually for the Bolter Squads I tend to leave them with bolters, I'll have to come to a decision and soon. Champs are wasted if they aren't set up for H2H that is why I didn't buy them for every squad prior to WD 265. So Slim dies failing again to do much of anything. George's vomit kills a few Orks and his high strength gets another one. He takes a wound but he's so damn tough the Orks despite rolling fistful of dice but don't seem to have much success hurting him. Being fearsome another big mob heads for the hills.

We were running out of time but we got in four turns. Slim died in the last turn, the second Rhino roared forward and combined with George and Slim killed a lot of Orks cleaning out a table quarter. The other contested quarter had my rhino in it and the dread which the Ork Lord was busying whacking in the back while the rest of the boyz tied their shoes. The Burner Boyz (his MVPs in my mind) put the torch to Gonorrhea Squad cooking them up then charging. They held out aided by The Scarlet Fevers in my half of turn four.

So I won, and despite at first worrying about the huge number of boyz, toughness five, power armor, fearlessness, and rapid firing proved enough. My paranoia about armor was unfounded as Plasma guns and Autocannons were more then a match for trucks. I never used any of my many mealta bombs. My mealta gun eventually worked, I plan to have more then one in Calgary. I also like my chances in this mission. I think I can hold my quarter and I don't think I'll even bother trying to take my opponents deployment zone. Instead I plan to advance on foot and by rhino up the flanks possibly holding a rhino in reserve like I did today to make a late charge to capture the crucial quadrant.

I've lined up another game for tomorrow after work against Thor's Necrons. I've played Necrons once and they're scary. They're the first army I've faced that may be tougher then my Plague Marines what with coming back from the dead all the time. They also can all damage tanks and their general when armed with the magic stick of no saves or whatever it is called kills Chaos Lords dead!

I'm going to come up with another 1700 point list, likely using some of the figs I've painted in the last few days. Even though I'm desperate to get in games, I still maintain a very high painting standard and only field figs I've painted, I'm stubborn that way. I think I'll have to sacrifice a Plague Marine squad. Bill (who has a Nurgle army too) thinks I need deamons. George actually did well so I'm thinking of bringing him and maybe his sons too, to Calgary. I also am thinking despite the success I have with my predator of going with two dreads. So many schemes so little time.

I hope to put up another update complete with some pictures of mine and Thor's armies squaring off this week. I also will be posting my official army list cause I need to decide on it by the end of the week. I plan to pick Thor's brain as he too has a Plague Marine army. Lots of people have Plague Marine armies, but I've been flying the banner of Nurgle for ten years or so and I have amassed a motley band of renegades and deamons which will descend on Calgary like a Plague.

Even Necrons get sick now and then...
Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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