Second only to the Invitational, the Ribble Rumble is my favourite tournament. It has one of the best social scenes that you’ll ever find, the friendliest atmosphere possible and it’s only 30 minutes away from where I live.
If you’re thinking it sounds like a jolly boys outing then it is, but don’t be fooled, it is also one the most competitive tournaments in the UK with some seriously hardcore lists.
I thought I’d share my experience of the weekend with those unfortunate few who couldn’t make it this year…..not to rub it in but you missed a belter event 😉
Game 1 – Geoff Hamilton (Death Guard)
My day started off knowing that I was playing Geoff Hamilton, one of the organisers of the Rumble and one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet. To make things even better, Geoff is a fellow fluffhead, always uses lovely armies and plays Nurgle Chaos Marines. Chaos on Chaos always results in good games with lots of destruction and this game was no exception. His list was roughly:
Typhus, Sorceror on a Palaquin, 5 Bikers, 28 Zombies x2, 7 Plague Marines, 7 Havocs with 4 Autocannons, 2 Heldrakes & 2 Obliterators.
The game was kill points/Dawn of War and after setting up my Aegis Geoff gave me first turn. This threw me a little, I’m guessing he wanted my Heldrake on so he could vector strike it with both of his Heldrakes.
First turn saw my Vindicator kill an Oblit and a Predator finish off the remaining Oblit for first blood. The Noise Marines whittled down the Plague Marines and a unit of Cultists over the game thanks to the Bikers holding them up for a couple of turns. Nestor and his CSM retinue lured Typhus and his zombies back to their own lines (although Typhus did ascend to Daemonhood killing him!). My Heldrake did a number on his Bikers, took out one of Geoff’s Heldrakes and helped the Noise Marines wipe out a squad of cultists. The Predators took out the other Heldrake and killed off his sorceror.
The final result was an 8-6 win for me. I was really happy with that as I had a lot more units than Geoff and Nurgle units are a right bugger to get rid of. Geoff got slay the warlord so the the points were 22-6 to me.
Game 2 – Graham White (Eldar)
I’ve played Graham a few times before and he’s another really nice bloke. He plays for the Scotland ETC team but still likes to use balanced lists and his armies always look pretty. Today was no exception:
Eldrad, 20 (ish) Guardians with 2 Scatter Lasers, 10 Guardians with shuriken cannon in a Wave Serpent, 5 Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent, 3 Warwalkers with Scatter Lasers, Wraithknight, 2 units of 3 jetbikes & an Aegis with Quad Gun.
The mission was Crusade/Hammer and Anvil. I loaded the objectives as close to each other as possible and was fortunate enough to get three of them behind my Aegis Line. First turn was night fight so very little happened on turn 1 but turn two saw Graham’s Warwalkers kill 6 Noise Marines in one round of shooting! The lads obviously took exception to this and killed all three with their blastmasters in reply to give me first blood. The Predators did sterling work destroying his Aegis and stripping wounds from the Wraithknight before taking it out in the end game. The Heldrake fried his troops wiping out both jetbike units and whittling down his guardians. Nestor and his CSM’s took out the fire dragon Wave Serpent and dragged Eldrad and his few remaining guardians away from the objectives to secure my position. The Noise Marines shot down the other Serpent to earn me a 22-4 win.
Game 3 Matt Robertson (Daemons)
Another top bloke. I don’t think I’ve ever played Matt before but I’ve known him for a while. His 40k philosophy is very much in contrast to to mine but he’s still a perfect gentleman to play against and after managing a couple of wins I was expecting to meet some very tough armies. I had a major problem with the army he was using which consisted of the following:
Fate Weaver, 3 Daemon Princes, 3 units of horrors.
My problem wasn’t his list, as I said, I chose to use a fluffy list and I have no problem with anybody using a competitive list, it was with his models. Fate Weaver had no heads or arms, the Horrors were polystyrene balls painted pink and the 3 Daemon Princes were all exactly the same model, painted flat purple, although to be fair one of them only had one wing so I could tell that model apart.
The game consisted of him casting lots of powers on his princes/Fate Weaver and then smashing my army apart. I’ve often thought that I would like to try a Daemon Prince army but after experiencing the amount of paperwork involved in keeping track of who has what, I’ve decided it’s the most boring army in the known universe. I apologise to Matt for not wanting to play this game, he really is a nice bloke but his army was a disgrace.
Game 4 – Gareth Donnelly (Iyanden)
Another pleasant chap who was using a very vibrant Iyanden army made more vibrant by my delicate state from too much drink and not enough sleep ;-).
I was hoping my loss to Matt would drop me down the tables enough to avoid the more competitive armies but alas it didn’t. Gareth’s army design philosophy contrasts with mine and unfortunately this doesn’t lead to interesting games. This isn’t me having a go, it’s just a fact. His list consisted of:
2 Farseers on jetbikes, 2 planes, 3 wraithknights, 6 x 3 jetbikes.
The game consisted of him moving his Wraithknights forward and me trying to shoot them dead, failing miserably (not helped by being so hungover that I forgot to deploy my Vindicator…..D’oh) and getting tabled by them. I managed to kill one with Daemonettes and a jetbike squad and that was it. Apologies to Gareth for not giving you a better game, I’ve realised I’m getting too old to stay up until 3.30 am and expect to function properly the next day ;-).
Game 5 – Aythlan Crookes (Guard)
Another really nice bloke who was using a balanced Guard list:
Company Command Squad, 2 Vendettas with 5 vets in each, 3 Leman Russes, 3 x 10 man guard squad in a Chimera, 3 Heavy Weapon Squads.
The mission was the Scouring/Vanguard Strike and it worked against Aythlan. When the counters were turned over the high scorers were on my side. The Bikers were the stars in this game, weathering a lot of fire power and taking out the command squad, Chimera, 10 guardsmen, a Leman Russ and another Chimara. Aythlan’s dice were shockingly bad but he smiled all the way through the game even when my Quad gun intercepted his vendetta with 3 penetrating hits, which saw it explode and nose dive into a Chimera, not only killing the vets on board but killing 7 guardsmen in the Chimera as well. Nestor and his CSM’s destroyed a Russ and the heavy weapon squads and the Vindicator destroyed the other Leman Russ for first blood. The Predators took out the remaining Chimera and the other Vendetta and the Noise Marines cleaned up the stragglers that bailed out to give me a 30-4 win.
So 3 wins and 2 losses. I’m pretty happy with the way the army performed overall.
The Noise Marines are still my favourite unit and they performed admirably in most of my games. The additional Predator really seems to help out with flyer duty, but I may have just got lucky in a couple of games. The Daemonettes make a great counter assault unit, especially behind the Aegis line. The Vindicator is a massive fire magnet but every time I got first blood, it was because of it. The Bikers are still very hit and miss, but they do make a great distraction unit, as do the outflanking Chaos Space Marines.
Nestor still concerns me but that’s because like all Chaos Space Marine Lords he needs to choose his targets carefully. I don’t seem to have much luck with his Burning Brand and keep wanting to give him back his Murder Sword.
It’s a very fun army to use and I feel I’m slowly improving with the army with every additional game.
The tournament itself was as good as ever and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Geoff, Chris, Paul, Rob and Iain for putting on a fantastic event and all of my opponents for being true gentlemen.
I’m not sure about the scoring system, 10pts for secondary seemed a little high IMO, I think 5pts would be better. The painting criteria needs tightening up, as this is a very important aspect to the hobby for me and Rob mentioned they’d be looking at this in the future.
The tables were fantastic and I can’t think of any event that comes close to them. The organisation was as good as ever and I can’t express just what a great atmosphere this event has.
For those who have never been to the Ribble Rumble, I cannot stress how highly I rate this event. Good games, good tables, good company, good atmosphere & a great tournament…..If you can only do one tournament a year, make it this one!