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Monday, September 12, 2011

Darkside Team Tournament: Random Pairings

Chris and I loaded up the car and headed town to Sarasota to play at the Darkside Team tournament. This round was “random pairing” which means players are drawn by lottery and paired up in teams instead of drawing up your own themed list with someone you know.

After our breakfast at Yoders (Amish place), we popped into the store and was disappointed that the turnout was low. When we started we only had 6 teams, so that would fill 3 tables only. Usually, a team event draws about 8-10 teams. Two players (a father and son) were late to the store and were paired up to keep things simple for the event. The other 6 of us was paired up and worked out like this:

Team 1: Grey Knights and Orks (Aaron and I)
Team 2: IG and Witchunters
Team 3: Space Wolves and Grey Knights (Inquisition themed)
Team 4: Orks and Grey Knights (Father and Son that was late)

Aaron could not have hoped for a better pairing. He had I think 12 models in total in his list. Drago, Techmarine and a full unit of Paladins (complex unit) that cost over 800 points!

My list was pretty simple:
Warboss on bike, Klaw, Cybork and Bosspole
14 Kommandos and Snikrot, 2 burnas
3 Units of 30 Boyz, 3 rocket launchers, Nob with Klaw and Bosspole, one had eavy armor
2 Killer Kans with extra armor, one had a scorcha and the other had a big shoota

Aaron, the Grey Knight Grand Master

Game 1 vs Space Wolves and Grey Knights (Inquisition)

Our first match was the toughest of the event as we had to square off against Patrick and Chris. The biggest laugh was that my friend Chris ended up with someone still by the name of Patrick as his partner and that Patrick had traveled to the event with Aaron.

Chris (left) and Patrick (right) prepare to start their first turn.

Chris had: Long Fangs (5 missiles), 5 Thunder Wolves (mostly complex, Storm Shield and Power Fist), 3 Rhinos with Grey Hunters (melta and power weapon) (2 was 9 man and 1 8 man squad), Rune Priest (living lighting and something else), 3 Wolf Guard with power fists and combi-meltas.

Patrick had: Land Raider, 3 Henchmen squads (mixed, mostly Crusaders and assassins, add meltas also), Chimera (hull heavy flamer), Stormraven (multimelta and lascannons) and a Vindicare.

The mission was Dawn of War with Kill Points. We won the roll and opted to go first taking the side of the table with the best benefit. One of the ruins was reinforced by the Techmarine and Drago gave the Paladins the perk to reroll 1’s on “to wound”. We setup the Grey Knights to the front with Drago, I had a unit of Boyz in cover just off to the side. Aaron had his techmarine ready to walk in on turn one along with my two units of boyz and the Killer Kans. The Warboss joined the Kommandos.

They choose to bring everything on in turn 1 and not deploy any units. Only the Thunderwolf Calvary was kept in actual reserve. They failed to seize.

Techmarine appears runs to join the unit of Grey Knights. My boyz stay in the reinforced building, the other two squads walk in behind the Grey Knights. We figured 2+ cover for him plus some inv saves of 5+ and I would get 4+ between him and cover. The other squad benefits the building that is reinforced for a nice 3+ cover save. The Kans pop out near the building, we run some and finish our first turn.

They roll in after some debate, one Chimera and Grey Hunters to our left heading for the boyz in the reinforced building. The Land Raider goes center with the Vindicare and the Long Fangs move into cover on the left side to support the chimera and rhino. The other two rhinos linger to the right and the Stormraven blasts ahead full tilt.

This was the classic game of foot vs mechanized. We had the advantage in kill points as I had only 6 and Aaron had only 3! Chris with his Space Wolves alone had 9 in total and I think the Grey Knights had 6-7 at least.

Some early shooting removed the heavy flamer from the Chimera and we intimidated their transports back. This gave me time to walk the boyz to the middle of the board and launch 6 rockets each turn with the 4 psycannons. We racked up an impressive toll blowing up the Stormraven, a Chimera, and Rhino, shooting down a Grey Hunter and Henchmen squad in shooting along. Also, the Vindicare was shot down by the Grey Knights after the Kommandos failed to finish him.

The Kommandos and Warboss were able to do a multi charge to the Long Fangs and Vindicare on turn 2. The Long Fangs died quickly and the Assassin saved all the 4+’s required against the Klaw. Next turn we beat on him more, but FNP saved him when I reminded him to roll! Again he kept the Klaw out of harms way and the Henchmen the Land Raider wiped out the Warboss and Kommandos left. While they gave up 2 kill points they kept the Vindicare tied up, killed the Long Fangs and forced the Land Raider to disembark the Henchmen to save the Vindicare and remove the threat of the Warboss on the bike. In retrospect, I would have rather sent the Warboss into the Land Raider and multi charged the Vindicare chomp him apart with all the other Kommandos. The Land Raider was more annoying than the Long Fangs could have been IMO.

Cortez and crew had balls of steel as they ran towards two killer cans. Three melta shots later he rolled two lucky pens and two 6’s to blow them up. I just needed one to get close and kill Cortez and then wipe the squad out. Still, they earned their keep distracting and intimidating.

We made it to turn 6 and the dice said no more! The tally was 3 for them (Kans+Warboss+Kommandos) and we had 7 in total. We managed to finish: Long Fangs, Grey Hunters, Rhino, Chimera, a Henchmen Squad, Stormraven and Vindicare.

Some shots from the game:

Top of turn 2 for us, the refused flank of infantry advances slowly.

The warboss beats on the Vindicare with a Kommando, the henchemen are about to charge.

WIPEOUT Warboss!

Sea of Green with Silver in the lead!

Henchmen and Grey Hunters have lost their ride!

We used the buldings to keep most of our units safe from being shot.

The judge says this tournament will be round robin as we have only 3 teams for each of us to play unless we want to replay the same team a second time otherwise.

Game 2 vs Witchunters and IG

Angus (left) and Andrew (right)

 Andrew - Witchunters: Lord with small retinue in Land Raider (lots of power weapons) (had psychic power also), 3 Storm Trooper squads in Rhinos, Cellexus Assassin and Orbital bombardment.

Angus - IG: 2 Leman Russ tanks with Lascannons, Shraken with command squad, 1 unit of vets with 3 meltas, 2 platoons with squads merged and a lascannon heavy weapons team. Some commissars were mixed in the squads to keep them in line.

This was an ugly game on a city table, so lots of cover for everyone. We had 5 objectives scattered about the table. Again, we won the dice off and took first turn. We tried to give them the emptiest side to the table we could.

Aaron got this reroll 1 option again and reinforced one of the builds that had an objective in it. The plan was simple for us. Snikrot, Warboss and Kommandos disrupt the back side of the table, the Grey Knights press to the other center objective. Two mobs hold each of the two objectives near us in buildings and give support fire with the last mob of boyz to take the one on the bridge.

This game went as predicted; we did have a few close calls in the game including a fluke with the Kommandos and Warboss. I fired the burnas and shot a few pistols at the large block of troops on one objective and hitting some of the command squad. I then was ready to multi assault. Sadly, the flamers worked TOO well and I wasn’t able to multi assault like I wanted to. Facing Shraken’s boys, Vets with shotguns and meltas and a command squad to boot, most of the kommandos was dead leaving me Snikrot, Warboss and a few kommandos. I was able to deprive Shraken from getting in and his assault allowed the Warboss to get into HTH with Snikrot. The Orks tore up both the Vets and Command Squad leaving me Snikrot, the Warboss and a single burna. My next turn involved the boss heading back to the Leman Russ tanks and Snikrot with the lone burna heading to the 5 guard on the objective next to a heavy weapons team. I burned put 3 wounds on the heavy weapons team, most of the survivors (one or two was left). Snikrot and the burna chased the fleeing lascannon squad and finished it off. The Warboss popped one tank and ripped the turret off another on the last round. Snikrot died with his lone Kommando to Shraken but the damage had been done by that mob. 1 Leman dead, 1 missing the main cannon, 1 dead vet squad, 1 dead platoon HQ, 1 heavy weapons team and about 95% of a merged platoon squad. They earned their teeth for the day!

Aaron was stuck right in with the other tar trap, if he didn’t break Drago off we would have had that objective as well.

When the game was called on the last turn, we had 3 objectives to their 1 with one contested. My mob of boyz had ripped up two squads of Storm Troopers and a Land Raider in a brilliant multi charge again. The remaining squad of storm troops and the trio of rhinos would not have survived another round.

Again the Kans caught the worst of it and didn’t get much game time. One was blown up and the other immobile with no ability to shoot anything in range.

A few random shots of the game:

One objective!

Pile in boyz! Objective two taken!

IG and Witchunter discus what to do.

Hey Bozz! Is dis what you want?

Storming the Stormtroopers! Another objective for the orks!

Grey Knights kicking ass!

Warboss raising hell!

Game 3 vs Orks and Grey Knights

Last round was against the father and son team again. The son had an illegal list with two HQs but we let it slide. It was the dad’s second tournament and the son’s first. Neither of us was bothered by the illegal list as the error was not intentional and they was not trying to cheat. They was there to learn the game, play the game and have fun!

Anthony and Ron

Orks: Mek, Warboss (klaws and mek had a KFF), 3 mobz of boyz with rockets (only 1 had a nob with klaw), 10 Stormboyz with Nob and Loota Squad (10).

Grey Knights: Vindicare again, the shooty style Grey Knight Squad with astral aim, a terminator squad of Paladins with Drago and a Dreadknight.

We had spearhead this time with Kill Points. They failed the size after we won the dice off and picked our side. Most of the table was an open fantasy table.

The game didn’t go very fast and we finished only two turns. We did spend some time trying to teach the game to them and help them along. They was build for close combat mostly, we was built for shooting and beat them soundly. I only lost the Kommandos and Warboss again and most of their army was decimated.

Random shots of the game:

Da Boyz en mass!

Grey Knights plow down an Ork Unit! The enemy one!

Near the end of the game, things are about to end as time is about to be called.

First place went to Aaron and I. Chris and Patrick took second behind us. The father and son took 3rd by a small margin (2 points).

Commentary about the event:

I liked the concept of mixed pairings for the most part. The only issue I could see with this type of event is if you get matched with a douche bag. Do you have the right to request a new pairing or at least tell the judge in advance anyone but X? I would say yes you have the right, this is about having fun after all!

The low turnout was a disappointment but again I suspect (and I heard) the following:
1)      Someone complained the limited FOC would not give them a playable list. This is from a Dark Eldar player. I laughed at this comment quietly, you could very easy make a list from the FOC that could be ugly. He just wanted a more tooled up list that he could not take. All I can say is “your tears of pain sustain me.”
2)      That leads to cheese combo lists. Many players like team events as they can pair up two armies to work off one another and create really stupid tricks and combos. So, random pairing actually forces you to make a generic list instead of a tailored one without cheese. The games then go to luck and the generals more than the lists to carry the game.
3) Ard Boyz is next week. Two weekend tournaments in a row aren’t possible for several players. My wife gets a bit fussy when I go two weekends in a row and I have to make a good case to go two weekend


  1. That was a interesting day for sure. I am looking forward to the next time we do random teams, even if we dont know when or how it will happen.

    thanks for taking some pics!

  2. Looks like a nice store. Where in Sarasota is Dark Side located? I go over there every now and then to visit the in-laws and would love to stop in.

  3. Off the Fruitville Rd Exit, the exit that you get off to go to Downtown Sarasota and St Armands Circile. 501 N Beneva Rd in the K-Mart/Sweetbay plaza just off 780 (Fruitville Rd exit). If you know where Yoders is, it is just a short ride from there. We usually eat breakfest there before every tournament.

    Store is nice, they just moved a year or maybe more ago like COC to a bigger, nicer store. Brian the manager there is a great guy.

    Sucks that COC is 2 hours away and the longest trek for us to game at which is why we don't get there often as it is one of the three top game stores Chris and I like. Anthem-COC-Darkside (no real order), just the top three.

  4. MMMmmmmmmm Yoders. That place is evil, in a good way. I'll have to check it out when I'm out there for a couple days.


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