Saturday, 11 June 2016

Maelstrom IX - The tournament of 1's and 2's

Today was my first Maelstrom experience and, as best as I can tell, my first time playing in a 40k tournament since Conquest in 2013! That's close to 3 years! As you can probably tell from the title it was not an exceptionally successful first day for me. My intention going into this event however was to familiarise myself with the 40k ruleset again and in that sense it's been a great success with me learning a number of rules and clarifying a number of things I was unsure about.

Despite my overall failingness in the first day of the event there were some interesting or amusing aspects which I thought I would post up in a quick first day bat-rep.

Firstly I best explain my army. I haven't got my own models painted so Hagen, the tournament organiser, was kind enough to lend me his Astra Militarum army. I had no idea where to start so he drafted me up an army list a few months ago and I've made a couple of changes just to simplify it a little. This is the list I took to Maelstrom IX:

Game 1 - Egyptian mean Necrons

My first round was against Jason Isaac. Jason had been out of the game for the best part of 10 years so was as rusty as me and we had a great game of trying to figure out which rules we were using from which edition of 40k. The game was played longways across the board which I initially thought would be great for my army but turned out not to really be of any concern to Jason. This picture is after the first turn.

Unfortunately the game entailed me constantly rolling 1's and 2's for my armour penetration rolls against Jason's vehicles and, despite doing a metric crap tonne of wounds against them, his Wraiths just would not fail a save. I managed to get the Wraiths down to one model by the end of the game but that was the best I could do. Needless to say it was a big win to Jason (16-4 from memory) and I managed to kill only one unit.

Damn you Wraiths!

Game 2 - Flesh Tearers

Game 2 was against Sam Whitt and a very nicely painted Flesh Tearers army. This too was a bizarre dice game (what can I say, I have a gift). In the first turn Sam's terrible armour saves meant that Sam's units were all reduced to half-size. Turns 2 till 4 on the other hand had me rolling amazingly bad for shooting and reserves and Sam's armour rolls were much better. It was a kill points mission and Sam was up 7 to 2 at turn 5. Then in the last turn my dice flipped and I ticked up another 5 kill points in one turn. I had managed to whittle most of Sam's units down to one or two models so it was just a matter of finishing them off, I just hadn't been able to get the dice to do so in the past few turns.

In the end the Mission Victory Points were drawn, but during the mid-game Sam had racked up quite a few Maelstrom Victory Points and so beat me out based on these. Final score I believe was 14-6 to Sam.

The best part about this game was when Gabriel Seth and his Apothecary butchered through two Chimeras, an Infantry squad and my Command squad only to be shot down in the final turn by a single Heavy Bolter. Three hits - Three wounds - Three failed saves (Seth had already lost one wound).

Commander Ernie Nobpuffin - "Just allow yourselves to die men and lure them him into a false sense of security! Trust in the Heavy Bolters!"

Game 3 - Imperial Fists

My last game for the day was against Aaron Twose and his Imperial Fists. It was a hammer of an army with two Termie units, one Drop Podding, the other being delivered from a Land Raider. I can tell you that, from the bottom of my heart, I never again want to have to kill off two squads of Terminators with Autocannons, Flamers and blinky-light guns. What a f#@king nightmare! Admittedly Aaron's saves were above average on these guys, but still, killing off these squads seemed too much like trying to jam up a mulching machine by pouring guardsmen into it.

Eventually I managed to clear out the Termies and Aaron had very few units left to claim objectives with. We were up to turn 5 but with a few average dice rolls I would be able to jump back onto my objectives and clear Aaron off all but one of his. Well it seemed average was a bit too much to ask as the 1's and 2's reared their ugly heads again for my difficult terrain and run rolls. In the end it was a 17-3 win for Aaron but I wasn't too unhappy with this one. If a couple of dice in the last turn had gone the other way it would have been a very different story.

One unit of Terminators down, one unit and a Landraider to go.

All up a pretty good day despite three losses. The opponents I've had have all been great peoples, the armies I've faced have been interesting and varied, and all the games have had little moments of awesome that help to take the sting out of the loss.

The only difficulty I've had is with the scoring system. It's confusing enough to be getting back into the game, but then to have a three tiered score system to get my head around as well has been a bit challenging. It's becoming a lot easier after three games so hopefully my brain runs a bit smoother tomorrow.

Anyway that's it for day one. I'll put up a full review of the tournament tomorrow with a quick recount of the last two games. In the mean time I have snapped some photos of all the armies set up for the painting judging so you can have a wee perv at what turned up on the day.

Check back tomorrow for more pics and probably more whinging about poor dice  :)


  1. Love that not only does Bryn still have his display board from 5 years ago, he's still got the same elastic band holding his drop pod together :-)

  2. Nice to see a few display trays coming out.

  3. They're all about display boards up here.

    Actually I did take a tray to a tournament for the first time also (just a regular tray, not a display board) and I found it really handy.

    Now I feel like an old man selling people on the benefits of a shoe horn...