Monday, December 14, 2009

Mechanicon Report

I had a blast at the Mechanicon in November. It was hosted at a Holiday Inn in West Chester, PA and it was a great time.

This was the first time this event had been run and they got almost everything right.

Here's a brief overview of the positives:
Good facilities, the hotel was nice enough and there was an open bar for a lot of the event. Room rates were also very reasonable.
Relaxed atmosphere, there were time limits for games but they did a good job to make sure no one got screwed because of a game ending due to time.
Excellent scenarios, I was a bit leery of hearing there would be no Kill Points (I think it's a necessary part of the mission structure) but the way they did the missions worked very well and were elegant.
Great terrain, the terrain was very nice. I would have liked to have seen more variety but it was all very nice stuff.
Fantastic prize support, I won Best General and got a lot for doing so.

Basically it was very well run and I only have one suggestion for improvement. I'd really like to see them use the INAT FAQ. I have a lot of problems with it and find some rulings to just be wrong but I've never had a bad game where both players were playing with the same of rules and the INAT FAQ at least guarantees each person the chance to know what all players are going to play by. Thankfully I didn't come into any situations where it mattered but I know of some people who did.

All in all it was a fantastic event. I won Best General with my Daemon army and had 5 good games.

I really liked the missions. Each mission set up a number of objectives each worth victory points totaling 4000 points. At the end of the game you would add up victory points and decide the margin of victory by the margin of victory points. This made it difficult to get max battle points, 20, with most winners getting between 12 and 16 for most of their wins.

Here's the list of what I took:

Fateweaver
Herald of Khorne, Chariot, Unholy Might, Blessings of the Blood God
Herald of Tzeentch, We Are Legion, Bolt of Tzeentch

5 Blood Crushers of Khorne, Chaos Icon, Fury of Khorne, Instrument of Chaos
3 Flamers of Tzeentch
3 Flamers of Tzeentch

16 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch, Bolt of Tzeentch
13 Plaguebearers of Nurgle, Chaos Icon, Instrument of Chaos
16 Daemonettes of Slaanesh, Transfixing Gaze

Daemon Prince of Chaos, Mark of Tzeentch, Bolt of Tzeentch


The list did well. I was lucky and got the half I wanted in for the games where it mattered and my reserves came in well. Most games I was able to place Fateweaver in the middle and everything worked out so he could be within 6" of most everything in the first wave. If I could get this formation going the army proved to be extremely strong.


Here's a list of the games I played, opponent, and the mission with some notes about how it went:

Game 1 - Alex Cauldwell
Mission
5 Objectives with standard objective placement
Victory Points: 500 per objective controlled, 400 for most expensive unit surviving, 400 for all Troops surviving, 400 for General surviving, 300 for no enemy units in deployment zone
Deployment was Dawn of War


Alex's Ultramarines:

Shrike
Inquisitor Lord, Hood, 2 Mystics, Familiar

5 Assault Terminators, 4 TH/SS and 1 LC
10 Sternguard with Sergeant w/LC in a Rhino
Callidus Assassin

Tactical Squad, Meltagun, Multi-Melta, PW on Sergeant in a Rhino
Tactical Squad, Meltagun, Multi-Melta, PW on Sergeant in a Rhino
5 Scouts with Camo Cloaks and Shotguns with PW Sergeant

9 Assault Marines w/PW Sergeant
Land Speeder Storm

Thunderfire Cannon


This isn't the strongest list I've ever seen but the combination of the Inquisitor Lord with Mystics and Thunderfire gave me cause for concern. Thankfully Dawn of War and a first turn Night Fight helped me out incredibly.

I got the Daemonettes, 2 squads of Flamers, Plaguebearers and Herald of Khorne in on the first wave. Not what I wanted to have drop in on the first turn.

The Daemonettes were shot up and I lost all but 1. I managed to push forward aggressively with my Plaguebearers going forward and right in a conga line to work on the two objectives to the right and to place my Icon in an aggressive manner. I managed to get in the rest of my army quickly and I was fortunate that Alex misplaced his Thunderfire a bit so as to keep the Thunderfire and the Inquisitor Lord with Mystics very far apart.

The rest of the game amounted to him shooting at the lone Daemonette for the victory points, he never managed to kill her as she would go to ground and hide behind cover for most of the game.

His 5 Scouts in Land Speeder were held in reserve and came in and held up my Plaguebearers for quite a long while. I was thinking it would be a good combat for me to win but I lost 3 in a row and had to move my Blood Crushers down to win the combat so as to spread my Plaguebearers out to capture objectives.

The highlight of the game, for me at least, was the Callidus coming in and attempting to shoot at Fateweaver with her template weapon. I used the Changeling's ability and she failed her test, shot at a Tactical squad, killed 5 models and the rest of the squad failed its test and ran off the board. It was awesome. The rules are a little unclear about whether or not she could have then charged Fateweaver, I let him do it even though I think he couldn't, and she took Fateweaver out without a problem. He's a chump a lot of the time.

At the end I won the game in a pretty big way and earned 16 battle points out of 20.


Game 2 – Rob Baer
Mission
Regular Victory Points with destroyed units being worth double victory points (3700 points total)
Keeping all Elites alive (300 points total)
Deployment was Pitched Battle

Rob's Orkish Imperial Guard, which was a great looking army, had two Vendettas, two Manticore, several units of Veterans in Chimeras, and an Inquisitor Lord with Mystics.

This game was rough for me. Rob was a great opponent but this was one of the most one sided games I've ever had. The Manticores wrecked havoc amongst my units and the Mystics only added salt onto the wound. By the end of the second turn I didn't have much of anything left and I quit as the rest of the game would have involved bringing down a unit of Daemonettes on some turn who would have instantly than died. This was a huge loss for me.

I figured I was out of the running after such a devastating game but things worked out so I could claw my way back towards the top.

Rob did a write up for Bell of Lost Soul's found here.


Game 3 – Ben Cauldwell
Mission
Capture and Control with the 2 objectives in deployment zones, each worth 1800 victory points
All heavy units surviving gained 200 victory points
Killing enemy's commander gained 200 victory points
Deployment was Spearhead

Ben played Crimson Fists and he had a Chaplain, Assault Squad, 2 Tactical Squads in Rhinos, Sniper Scouts, Dreadnought with Assault Cannon, Las Cannon Predator, Land Raider, and a Land Speeder.

Ben was Alex's brother and another great guy. This was a very close game. I managed to get my proper wave in, Fateweaver with Pink Horrors and Blood Crusher, and managed to outflank Ben. Ben chose to keep his Dreadnought in reserve and this proved to be essential as it managed to tie up my Daemonettes who would have otherwise captured his objective. I was fortunate that my Daemon Prince managed to assault his Land Raider and immobilized it and did the same with his Predator on the following turn otherwise he would have contested my objective. This was a real slug of a fight, though, and I managed to win 2200 points by being mindful of my objective and throwing everything I had at his vehicles after I neutralized his own scoring units. Very close game and Ben was a great opponent. I hope to see him in January at the Adventurer's Guild two day tournament as his brother Alex said they might be going.



Game 4 – Jeff Kandler
Mission
Table Quarters with each Quarter being worth 500 victory points
Victory points as normal from rulebook
All fast attack units surviving gained an additional 150 victory points
Deployment was Spearhead

Jeff played Dark Eldar and I'm not so familiar with that army. It took me a few minutes to refresh myself on their equipment so I wouldn't be surprised by anything. I forget what his army looked like but I know he had two units of Wyches in Raiders, two units of Warriors in Raiders, a unit of Incubi with a lord in a Raider and two Ravagers.

This game went very well for me. Jeff kept most of his army in reserve, except for a squad of Warriors in a building on an objective and two Ravagers. I came in with Fateweaver, Blood Crushers, Pink Horrors, and Flamers of Tzeentch in the middle of the board and managed to destroy both of his Ravagers. The Blood Crushers were in area terrain and were poised to overwhelm the Warriors in two turns.

Jeff proceeded to come in with the rest of his army. Turn two saw a unit of Wyches come out of a Raider and charge the Blood Crushers in cover. The Blood Crushers won easily and chased the Wyches down. Jeff did the same thing on turn three and he seemed mighty disappointed that Blood Crushers in cover with a rerollable save from Fateweaver could so easily kill the Wyches. He also charged my Pink Horrors with his Incubi and Lord and I then counter attacked with the Daemonettes who easily won the combat. My Flamers and Herald of Khorne on Chariot mopped up any remaining Warriors. By turn 4 I had destroyed everything he had.


Game 5 – Rich Ditzler
Mission
Victory points for 1850 points
Killing all opponent's troops gained 1500 points
Killing all opponent's HQ units gained 650 points
Deployment was Pitched Battle

Rich played a wonderfully painted Vostroyan Imperial Guard army. One of the nicest armies I've seen. I forget exactly what he had but he had a large Platoon with Conscripts and Chenkov, Rough Riders, a unit of Veterans in Chimera, a Hell Hound, a Basilisk, and some other odds and ends. Very well put together.

I ended up going second, thank goodness, and managed to get Fateweaver, Pink Horrors, Daemonettes, and Blood Crushers in. I almost managed to get everything within Fateweavers but the Daemonettes were about an inch outside and ended up dying quickly. Real shame, too, as they're the kind of unit that could have otherwise beat a foot IG army almost by themselves.


I ended up moving forward and taking out tanks where possible. Flamers did a lot of good and killed a squad. The second unit of Flamers ended up killing 6 out of 10 models and charged the remaining 4 just to die in the combat while killing zero of them. That hurt.

Rich was blobbed up in such a way as to make it difficult to get in and do anything. He managed to stall me quite effectively. I got a break when Fateweaver blew up the Command squads Chimera and turned Chenkov into a Chaos Spawn who then charged the Command Squad and won. This was a real bloody fight but I ended up with a fairly strong wind when the game ended on turn 5. Had it gone to 6 or 7 I think I would have had an even more convincing win as I had managed to position things well enough to get Rich's units on the flanks within striking distance.


Rich was a great opponent, though, and runs the Adventurer's Guild in PA. He's running a two day tournament on the last weekend of January and I plan on being there.


With all that being said I managed to win Best General. Prize support was excellent and I was pleasantly surprised I managed to win with an army I thought impossible to go over 5 games. I had 5 great games and met some guys I hope to see at future events. The Mechanicon was a great success and I look forward to going to it again next year. I could see this event growing into the best 40k event on the East Coast.

Be seeing you!
Casey

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