No longer Conflicted :-)

I attended Conflict 2013 over the weekend using my fluffy Slaanesh Highlander list. Although there is a brief overview on the games that I played, this post is more about my random thoughts on my outlook towards competitive 40k than anything else.
I travelled down to the event with Chris and Geoff from the Ribble Warriors. On the way down Chris brought me up to speed on the Tau Codex and how filthy competitive it is. Yikes, the little blue buggers can’t half shoot, here’s hoping I avoid them then!


The event itself was a small affair of around 16 players I think. It was very well run with an intimate and friendly atmosphere and I’d recommend it to anyone who lives reasonably close. The only downside to it was it had no bar or alcohol to drink.

So Game 1 rolled around and I was drawn against, yes, you guessed it, Chris Green and his Tau.
I’ve known Chris for a long time, he’s one of my favourite opponents and although he plays at the highest level of competition possible, he is also one of the nicest blokes you could possibly play against.
Game 1 Tau
His list was roughly:
Etheral
2 Riptides
4 units of Kroot
3 Broadsides x2
Pathfinders with markerlights
A Crisis Suit with a lot of markerlight drones
Skyray

This was a bit of an uphill battle for me, even with Chris giving me first turn so I could at least have one round of shooting. The amount of intercept shooting he had made short work of my outflanking Chaos Space Marine unit and the Heldrake didn’t last very long. My Daemonettes managed to drag down a Riptide and my Heldrake toasted the Pathfinders and one unit of Kroot and that was about it really. After turn one I wrote on the back of my hand ‘don’t forget to roll for Portaglyph IDIOT!’ and I still only rolled for it once out of a possible four chances.
I think Chris tabled me at the end of turn 4, but realistically he could have done it sooner if he had taken first turn and he had rolled anywhere near averages on his dice. The game really showed up the difference between the Chaos Space Marine Codex and the Tau one. Add to that the fact that Chris’ knowledge of the rules is far superior to mine and the outcome was never in doubt. A pleasure as always Chris and thanks for showing me how the Tau works.

Game 2 – Andy Lilles Dark Angels with Guard
50 strong blob squad
Sabre defence platform
Command squad with lascannon
Vendetta
Manticore
Azrael
Librarian
10 tacticals x2
5 marines with 5 meltas in a pod
5 marines in a pod with flamer.

The deployment and the mission helped to balance the armies. All of the high scoring objectives were on my side of the table so he would have to come to me and we were playing lengthways. Anything that came near was taken out by the Daemonettes, Keeper of Secrets, Noise Marines and the Predator. Nestor and his CSM unit were on distraction duty and they did a remarkable job of dragging his army all over the place. The Heldrake was brutally efficient at taking out his Marines (no surprises there) and special mention has to go to my Predator for downing his Vendetta and turning a close game into a resounding victory.
Andy was a pleasure to play, chilled out and easy going. I hope to meet him again and he can get his revenge. His army was a little stronger than mine, but as I said earlier, the mission and deployment levelled things up.

Game 3 – Jon Rollinson. Guard with Space Wolves
10 guardmen, 2 melta. Chimera x2
10 vets, 4 plasma guns, Chimera
Earthshaker (2) squadron forgeworld thingy
Earthshaker forgeworld thingy
Another forgeworld gun (shorter barrel 36” range)
Lascannon sabre platform (3 separate units)
Vendetta with CCS
2 Rune Priests
5 Grey Hunters
ADL

Jon was another top bloke and hopefully I’ll get to see him at the Ribble Rumble. The deployment was the diagonal one and the mission was the Relic and Emperor’s Will. This was a close game. The Keeper and Vindicator were used as bait to drag his Chimeras forward but even with cover saves all round they died way too quickly. The Daemonettes tripped up over their own ADL so couldn’t take advantage of the Guardsmen stood in the open. The Bikes made it all the way over to the right flank to tie up the artillery for several rounds but their limited offensive ability is giving me pause for thought. Nestor and his lads let me down badly this game by coming in on the wrong side. If they had made their roll (which should be achievable with acute senses) this game would have been over very quickly. Overall, this was a winnable game for me and while my dice were ok they rolled iffy just at the wrong time for me, Jon played well and did what needed to be done to secure a victory. Another enjoyable game and a great opponent, cheers pal.

Game 4 – Michael Bolton. Necrons
2 Monoliths
C’tan
Lord in Barge
Annihilation Barge
16 Warriors with teleporting cryptek
6 warriors
6 warriors
10 sniper dudes in a scythe.

I have used all my luck up for the rest of the year with this game. First shot of the game sees my Vindicator hit a Monolith and Annihilation Barge and explode both of them. Second shot sees my Predator explode the other Monolith! His turn and he teleports his 14 strong warriors right next to my Daemonettes so they have no cover save and causes 21 wounds on them, I then proceed to make 17 5+ saves….game over. Sorry mate, I was so embarrassed at my luck that I forgot to gloat….so…ha ha… I WON 😉

Game 5 – Johan Mohr. Necrons with Paladins
Annihilation Barge x3
Lord in Barge
5 warriors in scythe x2
Corteaz
10 (ish) Paladins with 4 psycannons.

I was hopelessly out classed with this list, so took my victories by downing a scythe with a heldrake and the other by shaking it with a puppet mastered psycannon and running my Noise marines so he would land on top of them next turn. I managed to wreck all three Annihilation Barges and kill all of his warriors but unfortunately the Paladins were too much. It was still an enjoyable game and Johan was a nice guy.

Conclusions
I was under no illusion that my Castigators list is weak and it would be easy enough to stay Slaanesh and still make it stronger, but that wasn’t the point of me going to this tournament. I’ve been around the block; I’ve played at the highest competitive level with England at the ETC to the fluffiest level with Rob and Steve where we religiously stick to the background. I’ve always found fluffy games more enjoyable than highly competitive games, but the question was, would I be happy taking a less competitive army knowing I was giving my opponent a big advantage over me?

Fortunately for me the answer is a big fat YES!

I enjoyed all of my games over the weekend. I met some new people who I would be more than happy to play again and I discovered that I really can lose a game without it spoiling my enjoyment.
My rules knowledge is woefully inadequate to play competitively at the moment and I’ve realised I’m more interested in building pretty armies, immersing myself in the background and playing campaigns than I am in reading the latest Codex. That doesn’t mean that I’m staying away from tournament play, I get to see most of my closest friends there, it just means that I’m happy enough playing on the lower tables and chilling out over a beer.

As my dear friend says….Stay Frosty!

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2 thoughts on “No longer Conflicted :-)

  1. My problem is that making it Slaanesh does not always make it stronger. My core force will always be my Emperor’s Children as I love them and they have been the whole reason that I play. However I accept my character flaw that I am not a good loser I want a fighting chance of winning although I agree with your statement that knowledge of the rules is paramount and mine is still wholly inadequate and I no longer hunger for table aggravation. I would rather play where I am more comfortable these days and actually spend time with people that I care about than have a hard fought and taxing weekend but I would still like a chance of winning or rather giving my opponent a game where they don’t look at my army, smile and then roll me up.
    Steve

  2. I don’t think it’s a flaw in character for wanting to win or disliking losing Steve. Believe me I wish my fluffy army was awesome and could hold it’s own against all comers, but unfortunately it can’t.
    This was more of an exercise to see how I felt about facing a self-imposed uphill battle in every game and to see if I would still be interested in the game because of it.
    What I discovered was that because my expectations were much lower than when I used my competitive armies, I could find little victories in most of my defeats and I got to play more interesting armies than are usually seen higher up the tables.
    I really don’t have any problem with players who wish to use ultra competitive armies (apart from spam armies 😉 ) at tournaments, we’re all adults and choose our own path.
    I’m sure that once I’ve got every type of Slaanesh unit that interests me and played with it for a while, I’ll start to feel the competitive streak begin to surface once again 😉

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