During our league, I learnt a few things about my army (covered in previous posts), but I also learnt a few things about myself, my gameplay style and my enjoyment of games.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy every aspect of the game, be it a win or a loss, I might not seem it to look at, but I enjoy the social aspect of the game, finding out about weird rules and formation I’d never come up against, talking through afterwards how to then counter said formations etc, so enjoying the tournament wouldn’t be a problem, but winning might well be.
Thankfully we used a very similar tournament pack to what we’d used in the league, so I was familiar with how the scoring worked, and as they say, knowledge is power.....but then again, in 40k, a sledgehammer can also be used to beat your opponent, but less about why I had to move home!
We all like throwing dice and killing units, especially those right in front of us, or those we know we can easily beat, after all, who doesn’t love that little boost we get when 1 unit disappears, but there's more to a tournament than killing the 1st thing you see.
Knowing that there were 2 ways of scoring that made up your total result, I had to “play to the mission”. How was I going to play to the mission though?!
Part 1, was holding objectives at the end of each game, alongside killing a certain type of unit, whilst part 2 was maelstrom objectives, in which you had a choice of taking a numbered objective & a tactical objective or trading both in to either kill 3 units or hold 3 units – what the objectives were was based on dice rolls.
In my list I had a lot of objective secured units, and the majority of those that weren’t were likely to be up in your face, causing enough threat, that you’d forget about the 5 man tactical squads on objectives! Drop pods came in very close to front lines Grav Cannons and Multi Meltas are a much bigger issue than 5 boltguns for most people! My Chapter Master and retinue was also objective secured, meaning that not only would it be difficult for people to earn “slay the warlord”, but they’d be able to hold onto objectives rather effectively too.
In testing my list, my main decision was whether or not my death-star would be shooty, or would be assaulty. After seeing that the devastator squads did the shooting rather well, I decided to use my command squads in assaults.
I also picked up a couple of other tips as well during test games. I’d armed both my Chapter Master & Captain with auspexes to help reduce cover on targets, which I kept forgetting to use! I also kept dropping in the pods from my skyhammer annihilation force before the assault squads, meaning that the assault squads had more chance of not landing where I wanted them or even miss-happing and destroying themselves – On my list that I kept to hand, I wrote down these so I didn’t forget them.
Down to the actual games themselves.
During deployment and at the start of each turn, once my objectives had been determined, I scanned the table for the biggest threat to me in terms of damage to objective holders and threw everything into destroying it/them – as in the chaos renegades games, where turn 1, a vindicator and 2 maulerfiends were dealt with. Again, in my game against Dark Angels, the Knight was dealt with turn 1, as to avoid taking as much damage myself.
If I’d opted to kill 3 units or hold 3 objectives, I’d have to take a different tact.
To kill 3 units, at the start of each turn, I’d pick the easiest 3 units to kill based on armour/cover saves and I’d manoeuvre as many units to fire as possible, usually starting with the less effective units, such as the tactical squads, often searching for a low armoured tank or low model count unit to make use of them due to their short range. I’d then use either my orbital bombardment, if I hadn’t already, or grav cannons at vehicles due to the chance of them destroying said target, leaving assault squads to mop up – lightning claws in each assault squad and powerfists/lightning claws and power axes in the command squad proved very effective.
To Hold 3 objectives, I’d again, have to try something different, especially as most of my army wasn’t too mobile. In attempting to hold 3 objectives, as most of my army was way across the board from my own board edge, I’d consider what objectives were nearby, what of my opponents units I could clear either in the shooting phase or the assault phase along with also keeping my tactical squads on objectives, in the hope my opponent would leave them alone over a bigger threat unit!
At Seeds of Destruction I did score maximum points for sporting fair play, so even when playing competitively, people seemed to enjoy our games.
Now that the tournament is over and our models have gone back into hiding, or have become stuff of legend, would I continue to play in the same style in casual games?
That isn’t an easy question to answer – as I play different people with different play styles, different armies and again, not everyone is as competitive than others.
During testing, I played Bear 3 times, against very different Dark Angels lists, each game was intense, a laugh and educational (yes, you can say that to you parents or other half when trying to get you or your kids into the game!)
I probably wouldn’t play with the same intensity regularly, or the same powerful lists, (angel’s blade, I’m looking at you), but playing at a tournament level has made me remember to do things more effectively.