Battle in the Bush – Tournament Wrap-up (Space Marines)

I’m back! For those of you who followed along on Twitter and Facebook, the results are known. For those who did not… I came 5th overall, though with slow play count back I came 4th (winning four and losing one). Lots to talk about and hopefully I will get all the battle reports scheduled before I go (I forgot my camera so all the pictures are mobile phone quality). Brief recap.

The list I used is here. The missions were ITC (sans the Relic).

Terrain was largely pretty good. The ITC ruling for lower floors of ruins blocking LoS though needs to be strongly considered when setting up tables. I love thematic tables – they look great in battle reports and are a pleasure to play on but a table with mass ruins more example can become an unplayable minefield at times. Blocking LoS is great and I am certainly a fan of having more of it but not too much. Terrain still needs to play catch up in general as well – cover was again pretty much a non-factor from the looks across tables (sans those with ruins ;)) with lots of hills / LoS blockers not really doing anything (again – themed tables look great but six giant rocks and nothing else can make for a frustrating time). All in all, this is a issue I think the general community will struggle with for a while – we saw how long 5th took to get LoS blockers going (and accept them in the middle of the table).

That piece of terrain shown above though… no place in a tournament.

Tournament was run much more smoothly I feel than last one as well – times were called out consistently and there was a nice big counter for everyone to check regularly re time left for each round. Most people I think finished without issue though there were a few slow players, one of which came 4th and then was docked points for it. Two of his games finished on T2 which IMO is unacceptable. I don’t think his other games finished on time either.

The list itself was solid – much more flexible than the Tau list I ran last tournament and while I am still not a fan of the ITC missions, I was much more able to engage in them with this list. Girlyman is a huge… *insert whatever derogatory term you can here*. He activates the entire army, making units I would not normally consider (i.e. Assbacks) good and units which are decent, great (i.e. Rifledreads). He alone allowed the list to move to midfield and dominate – particularly important against the flyer spam list I played round 3. The list otherwise operated as an escort for Girlyman to pound face in combat when needed (he accounted for two Baneblades, Cawl and two Knights iirc). I will go into detail on the list in another post but not too many tweaks needed. Having to take Mortis dreadnoughts was frustrating when it appears ITC / NOVA is allowing all Index items that are not in the released codex (i.e. Khan on a Bike, Rifledreads, etc.) as I would have preferred two Devastator squads to maximise the Banner. Not sure what I would drop though, particularly given the Rifledreads were regularly the shooting MVPs. I think taking Tiggy would be very advantageous – psychic defense is important but also being able to throw around his Master of Prescience ability would be gold at times. The stratagems rarely came into play, though having 10 CP and getting them back on a 5+ made me use them a lot more vigorously – I even used Orbital Bombardment once!

Speaking of ITC – I will reiterate my dislike for the concept of battle points, etc. Winning round 4 and then losing round 5 and dropping behind the player you won in round 4 is frustrating in terms of overall placement; I still prefer the bracket type system of NOVA but no idea if this can be incorporated into the app ITC uses. Anyone know? Just a bugbear of mine.

Another bugbear is TOs playing in the tournament and winning prizes. I personally do not think TOs should play in tournaments they run (as much as I would love to play in 3++con) just in terms of potential observation bias but can understand we are all gamers and want to throw down on the tabletop. If I did succumb to that urge, I would definitely pass myself over for prizes though.

Anyway, all in all, a great tournament. Really fun opponents and learning curve continues (I find the loses help so much more than the wins). As we go through the battle reports, we will reflect back often on my first SM Mech game and what unfolded there. Summary of each game below.

Round 1 vs AdMech

Opponent was unfortunately very new to the game I learned afterwards and played in a very static manner. I could have pushed more aggressively which was a good reminder later in the tournament but basically was able to shoot him off the board and push into midfield to hold objectives and keep well ahead on Maelstrom.

Round 2 vs Astra Militarumย 

Two Baneblade variants, three Russes and Celestine. I was not looking forward to going into this match and we were playing a long wise deployment. Initially thought we were playing Relic which would have been awesome but ended up being an objective mission. Nonetheless, the Shadowsword shooting was horrendous and I was able to keep Chronus alive throughout the game so he was able to take down the Russes (with support) and kill Celestine twice. I then held my backfield while Girlyman used his butter knife to slice open both Baneblades. Was close in the middle but the gap stretched as the game went on.

Round 3 vs Elysians

Flyer spam is real! Unfortunately the Elysians were not painted so the battle report will not look as pretty as it should but there were a lot of flyers around. Girlyman really helped here to allow lots of re-rolls and the flyers themselves did not have much damage capacity against my vehicles with mostly single D weapons. Targeted the ones with multi-D weapons first and there was a quick firepower disparity. Nearly won first turn with Eversor clearing 9 of the 11 infantry available on the table – alas. Game ended with concession on T5/T6 when he had 1 infantry and 2 flyers left.

Round 4 vs Renegade Knights / Magnus

There were some key errors on both sides – mine being Magnus moves 16″ not 12″ which meant with Warptime he could fly over my bubble and into Girlyman and his being casting Smite as his third power (and not no invuls). The result? Girlyman survived, stepped back and the entire army killed shot Magnus to death. This was huge as the Knights were playing the shoot from far away game rather than coming at me aggressively. Girlyman is scary in combat but he can only be in one place at a time and not putting all four of them in my face meant I could deal with Magnus and then each Knight one at a time. My shooting let me down and I ended up having to play a game of hiding until the Knights came forward but by that point I was so far ahead in Maelstrom and having so many more units to take Scouring objectives, the game was over. Girlyman ended up killing the final two Knights in combat though for a tabling.

Round 5 vs Ynnari (“Harlequins”)

This was my first game against Ynnari given I did not play them in 7th edition and it showed. I made many fundamental errors just in terms of normal gameplay including:

  • I was given first turn and my shooting options were limited, I should have just rolled with that rather than expose myself to shooting and charges;
  • I forgot vehicles can charge and most of my firepower was locked up;
  • I had poor target priority against Ynnari and basically gave lots of free Soulbursts;
  • I did not save my re-roll to get Girlyman up (though the difference would have been negligible).

All in all – a recipe for disaster and I played right into my opponent’s hands (who filmed the game, so hopefully when my bat rep is up can link you to that). I would be confident going into that list, on the table, with that mission again if we played right now but that is the advantage of losing and learning.


So finished 4-1, ironically all my games ended in near tablings but particularly through the early turns from Round 2 onwards, the games were nip and tuck but the swiss army knife ability of the list+ Girlyman (mostly Girlyman) meant that I was able to plough ahead as the game advanced.

Had a lot of fun and look out for the final 4 bat reps of Wintercon and these 5 over the next few weeks :).

 

 

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41 Responses to “Battle in the Bush – Tournament Wrap-up (Space Marines)”

  1. Andy_Fisher says:

    Wow, great job, I think you played vs some not very honed lists, though it looks like you got the Ynnari/Quin of doom. Sounds like you know what went wrong, you dead right, on a first turn, all you really want to do is pop a single vehicle, if you can't, then say come at me bro. They are fast, but they are not across the board in a single turn fast, just suckup the patter of shuriken cannons against your tanks armour and then go to town on turn 2. Pop a vehicle then kill the troops, no soulburst allowed. If they are running the big mob of troupe just focus it with everything you have before it psykers its way across the board.

    If the chaos player knew his stuff, Magnus would have cleaned up, why he didn't use strategems to cast a tailored suite of spells I have no idea. Why he went for guilleman without denying the 3++ I got no idea. I have just run 32 games with Magnus and I can tell you that was a really poorly played version. But then, he has a knight over lord of skulls which is just better in every way.

    Vs the Harlies did you drop the eversor T1?

    • Auretious Taak says:

      Nah from the pics it looks like he played against a fairly tame version of the Ynnari, you have the Yncairne in the pic as well as Yvraine and possibly the visarch there too. Proper Ynnari Harlies only needs Yvraine with the Visarch being an overcosted hunk of crap when compared to what girlyman brings from similar high end points. I am curious to know what the Ynnari army was made up of as a whole though (i.e. list).

  2. Prometheus says:

    I really thought we wouldn't see slow play in 8th edition, the rules seem, if nothing else, designed to remove a lot of the "fiddliness". What was the slow player playing? Not one of your opponents?

    Your army still makes my eyes bleed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Andy_Fisher says:

      Slow play can be tactical though, some people play slow on purpose I used to hate it in MTG tournaments when a player would start maxing out the clock no different here. Glad to see he was penalised for it.

      • Prometheus says:

        Yes, I understand, but there really should less excuses for it.

      • Kirby says:

        Slow play as a tactic should be shot in the face. I honestly feel something like a clock would be a good idea akin to what Warmachine / Hordes does.

        I know some people do not do it intentionally and are just slow players. Vinsanity for example is not quick with lots of models while myself with Tyranids, can generally move them all very quickly.

        ITC certainly has penalties which are good but it does become hard to determine if someone is slowplaying intentionally or thinking / just slow.

        • Vinsanity40K says:

          In previous editions I've been slow because of spacing etc but in 8th I'm slow because I've hardly played any games lol

        • Andy_Fisher says:

          Like to add a small caveat, if some one is learning the game, I am all for slow play and getting the rules right. Can be that someone has no real opportunity to play and comes to a tournament just to get some games, in that case I would be more than happy to help them out and go a little easy on them.

          If it means i can teach just one person to fire their multi wound weapons -first-. (seriously it drives me nuts every time someone puts two wounds on something with bolters, then las cannons the remaining wound off).

          I have a few articles I've been writing is there a way I can send them you to post Kirby?

    • Alastores says:

      I dunno. You are right they've got rid of a lot of fiddliness, but two things potentially increase time.

      The first of these should (hopefully) be limited at high end play – the decision time of strategems. Previously, the special rules were either on or they weren't. Strategems, and whether to spend the very limited command points on them, take significantly greater decision time to work out than the old Formation rules they are (explictly) replacing.

      The second, though, is likely goin to be present at all levels. The edition is currently very encouraging of taking very large numbers of infantry. Green Tide and Conscript spam just take time to use.

      • Ish says:

        “Hordes” belong on movement trays, people. Even if you only run five men per tray, it means moving a 40-man blob only requires moving eight bases instead of forty!

        (Which reminds me, I need to start making some trays for my new Pox Walkers.)

        • Alastores says:

          Are movement trays common for 40k? I mean, yeah, there's no templates anymore, but it still seems wierd to put them on trays.

        • Auretious Taak says:

          Movement trays in 40k are for lazy shits who shouldn't be playing a horde army in the first place. You have 2 hands for a reason, and moreover it's not like previous editions where the advance move is in a separate phase making you move all your models a second time in the turn, you are in effect there halving the amount of time needed to move many units because fleet/run is in effect part of the movement phase itself. Moreover, movement trays can block up chunks of the board, not fit around/in terrain properly and end up having you as a player spend more time taking the models off of the movement trays or picking up knocked over models from the tray as a result. Theya re in this way somewhat archaic and superfluous. I started in 2nd ed and was running 100+ termagants in my games then and in 3rd that only increased, and still I was and to this day am able to move a few hundred models relatively fast and not play down the clock. It sounds more like the TO/'s needed to emphasise a time limit per player turn or a set amount of time overall that you could spend making moves, because whilst the slow player got docked tournament points, his/her unfortunate opponents potentially got knocked out of the running for rankings because this player was essentially being an asshole. Playing slow because you bring an army you have not practiced moving at speed is unacceptable in a competitive tournament where people have paid money to compete.

        • No One says:

          No, they really don't.

          Most horde armies (looking at conscripts especially) gain a lot from being able to spread out and deny ground. Depending on what they're up against, wrap will want to be deployed and move differently depending on whether they're screening out DS or just wrapping a charge.

          Some of my horde units would be literally impossible to place on movement trays (some of them are essentially DS in a pod).

          DS? You're really shooting yourself in the foot not spreading out for multi-charges, and it's going to be a lot harder to set up outside of 9" of multiple units and be in an optimal position.

          You're limiting your ability to daisy chain back to bubbles.

          And terrain is going to cause a mess.

          No – if you want to play a horde army to its full potential, just practice it and get to the point where you can move quick.

        • Kadeton says:

          I've never found movement to be the slow part of a horde, as it's relatively straightforward. The thing I need to work on is all the damn counting.

          "Okay, making this mob's attacks. There are (one, two, three…) twenty-two regular Boyz engaged, so that's, uh, eighty-eight attacks. (Five, ten, fifteen…) Right, I've got forty-four dice, I'll be rolling them twice."

          "This unit took (one, two, three…) fifteen casualties, but this mob's within six inches, and they've got (one, two, three…) nineteen models, so we'll take Morale losses on a five or more."

          Seriously more than half of my game time is just counting shit because once a unit gets above ten models it's basically impossible to tell at a glance. If anyone has any good tips, let me know!

          • Kirby says:

            Memory is generally the easiest way or also doing a rough count and start grabbing dice while your opponent confirms for you. Having enough dice is something as well – I always attend tournaments with 100ish dice with four or five different colours. Batch rolling really annoys me when there are dice available for it (that being said I batched rolled once this tournament with Conscripts).

            The slowest part I find is then counting the dice.

            • Kadeton says:

              Something about the visual confusion of 20+ models in a blob really throws off my ability to count – I usually start trying to count in blocks of five or three but rapidly suffer some kind of mental fatigue, start losing count part-way through, and have to go one by one. Memory is right out, tbh – there's so much going on during a game that I've got no chance of correctly associating which number goes with which mob. Going quick and getting my opponent to double-check is a good idea though, assuming they know what to look for.

              Batching dice is usually something I do to save time, not because I don't have enough dice. Nobody wants to sit around while I count out 200-odd dice for a big charge, so I'll generally halve it into two batches if the number is above 60 or so. The other trick I like to speed things up is to keep arranging your dice into neat blocks of 10 during any downtime, so you can quickly grab handfuls.

              I'm also going to experiment with just running smaller armies for a change. ๐Ÿ˜›

              • Kirby says:

                I find batching takes more time but I can also generally sort through dice pretty quickly – maybe that's a skill to practice? IDK. My memory is generally pretty accurate – I was shocked to learn that people need squad markings to differentiate units…

                Yes, organising dice is good. I normally have a dice brick available as well so easy to have 30ish dice available.

        • Kirby says:

          My Conscripts are generally in a varying deployments. Sometimes they are like Roman legions in between vehicles. Other times they are a giant circle. Other times there is a reverse T, etc. Movement trays do not work except for things like Ork mobs maybe.

          • Ish says:

            I’m not saying you need to bust out the five rank by ten file phalanx squares from Warhammer Fantasy… Just a few small five by one strips. You can still take them off the strip when needed (terrain, ruins, wrapping, etc.) but it will make the logistics of movement and deployment easier.

            • Kirby says:

              Even then I would find them nearly useless. Just too much variability in placement even with models in unit placement not being nearly as important in 8th.

  3. Snotty says:

    The guy docked slow play points had only one game docked against him, which was a horde Guard army lol

    He actually tabled 1st game and won by points in other games ending on turn 4.

    Cant believe they let the guard player off scott free since overwatch shooting and all takes up a long time with guard and orders lol

    • Skizm says:

      No, he didn’t. As per players pack, the slow play guy receive 2 complaints. He was told about the first and then still had another. This means that the slow scoring chart in our players pack applies. Any games that finished on turn 3 or below were docked.

      He took an hour and a half to have one turn. That is hands down unacceptable, if that continues he will find himself banned from most events.

    • Auretious Taak says:

      What Skizm said.

      People pay money to play in competitive events.

      Not get screwed over by people who bring large armies and haven't built up the very, very basic skills of moving them fast and in general playing fast.

      At the point the player took an hour and a half for one turn the TO should have intervened and ended the game right there and then with the opponent taking maximum points and him taking zero points and then being warned if he took more then the average amount of time in future game turns he'd be disqualified for deliberately screwing over his opponents fair chances of winning. Slow play, especially insanely slow play is unacceptable.

    • Iain says:

      I am the guard player, his first turn took an hour and 10 minutes, even if I took 10 minutes to do my overwatch (which I doubt) I don't think an hour was reasonable. I was trying to help him, I moved a fair chunk of his 120 cultists around for him in both movement and assault.

      Both of my turns took 20 minutes which I consider fairly slow, but if he had been even half as slow as he was I would've been close to tabling him on T4. And likely 19-0ed him.

      Three of my other games ended well before time with my opponent conceding. (T2, T4 and T5 iirc) The other ended on an unnatural finish on T6 due to time.

      I don't really think I was the problem in our game.

    • Kirby says:

      I did not see the games and was getting my information from other players but given there were multiple occasions on which this happened and you even referenced games ending on turn 4, that's not good enough. You should always be getting to turn 5 at a minimum and while there are occasions when this does not happen, this needs to be irregular, not the norm.

      Overwatch shooting barely takes any time and given Skizm's and Ian's comments, a 60-90 minute turn is crazy. I fully acknowledge at times having had long turns (nearly 60 minute Turn 1 at final game of Event Horizon but the game then moved very quickly and finished before time end) but this is a rare occasion.

  4. Brian says:

    I dunno man, I like the level of line of sight blocking terrain, forces movement when the gun line gully tank lists can’t see what they need to shoot.

    As for TOs playing, with bcp and having a group of rules guys why couldn’t they play? All the paper work stuff is done for them, so they can just have fun, so what if some of them are good players, or had a amazing looking army, I’m sure in the case of a draw (either votes or battle points) they would give the prize to the other player.

    As for slow play, that’s on the player really, and he got docked points because of it, what more do you want?

    • Desc440 says:

      Personnaly I'm fine with TOs playing but not getting prizes.

      • abusepuppy says:

        It's not uncommon, especially in smaller RTT-level events that struggle to fill spots anyways. So long as the TO isn't also playing judge at the same time, it's usually fine.

    • Kirby says:

      LoS blocking is important for sure – the piece in the picture though was too big and I think everyone there acknowledged that (despite being an awesome piece). The problem I reference with LoS blocking and ITC ruling on ruins is a table full of ruins means some armies cannot actually shoot. My game 4 against Knights for example, my infantry could hide all game long if I had wanted without a lot of issue. If we had played on my game 5 table, I could have hid my entire army probably against that list.

      Too much LoS blocking is the same as none.

      It's a personal preference – the transparency of the prizes was there and there is no implication of "unfair". IMO just not what I would do but that does not mean it's wrong. As I said to Ben on facebook, big regional events are less common so can certainly understand them all wanting to throw down.

      I think given the level of slow play and concern from previous events with regards to this player (I believe, I may be wrong on this second point) there is a pattern and harsher penalty needs to be applied (i.e. above re event attendance). Losing before the game should actually legally finish when you know you have the opportunity to win feels really bad. I do not know if I would be as heavy handed as Taak and say you automatically lose but man I would be close if it was a regular occurrence.

      My gut reaction would be if I were informed as the TO I would come over and say your turn is over (give it took 70-90 minutes) and put time limits on his turns after that.

      The fact is, that person won games because of not getting games finished which while he was penalised for, meant other players did not have opportunities to compete for prizes.

      • abusepuppy says:

        A game loss is the most common standard for penalizing slowplay in win/loss tournament systems. Typically, though, it is applied _during_ a game (meaning the slow-player loses automatically and their opponent wins) rather than after the fact. Having both players "lose" a game is kinda awkward, as you say.

  5. AbusePuppy says:

    With regards to ITC and battle points:

    ITC doesn’t use a “battle points” system in the conventional sense. Once you have finished a round, ITC awards you a number of points equal to your score for the round (which will vary between zero and 19) and then adds 1000pts for a win, 500pts for a tie, or zero points for a loss. So while battle points are technically factored into your overall score, it functionally is a win/loss system, with the battle scores only being used as a tiebreaker.

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