Monday, June 27, 2011

Quake City Rumble 2011

This past weekend was the 2011 Quake City Rumble, put on by one of the local gaming clubs, Leadership 2. It was the first time I'd been to a Grand Tournament and overall I'd call it a positive experience. There were, I think, 105 players registered and 93 attended. I think I'll go back next year.

It was held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, so there were different food vendors to choose from in the Farmer's Market on day 2 and a taco stand on day 1, ample parking, and was easy to find. The actual building was a little hard to find since the directions just said 'Fleet room' but none of the maps had a 'Fleet room' listed. But it wasn't too hard to spot the wargamers carrying their armies in from their cars. The Center is right on the bay so there was a nice cool breeze blowing through the whole time. All it in all it was a really nice spot for an event like this.

So, how did I do? Let's pull up my goals for this event -

Have fun.

I had a good time. Each of the 5 opponents I played, I would play again. Well, there was one army that I would prefer not to play again with this build of my army, but the guy was cool enough. I hung out with a couple of guys from Game Kastle between games. I talked with a few other guys from around the area. I saw some great looking armies.

Try to avoid stupid tactical mistakes.

I don't think I did anything particularly wrong in any of my games. I'll go into more detail on the individual games further down.

Don't get annoyed at bad rolls.
Check minus

There were four specific rolls during the tournament that were particularly bad for me. The first one I didn't let bother me. The second one I watching in disbelief and was a little grumpy about, but then I got over. The third and fourth were during the same game and I was a little grumpy at them at first but then made sure to laugh about them.

Have my army fully painted.
Check plus.

So overall I did pretty well for myself in terms of my personal goals.

In terms of the numbers, I was 53rd out of 93. I won 2, drew 2, and lost 1. My painting score was 26 out of 30. Well, out of 33. The points went to 30 but they considered display board a 1-3 point bonus over that. My comp score was on the low side, but that's to be expected for a Dark Elf list with 2 Hydras. My sportsmanship score was fine.

I was actually tied with the guy above me, and the next two people were only a half point over us, and the next couple were only a point over. My overall total was 154.5 out of 200. If one of the draws had been a win I would have moved up about 10 places. So I guess the takeaway from all that is: if I'm going to bring a hard list I'd better win more.

Now to run through the games.

Game 1 versus Dan's Demons

I draw a Blood Thirster list for the first game. My Sorceress miscasts in the first turn and forgets Mindrazor and two other spells. This was the first really bad roll for me. I managed a draw by killing his big blocks of Bloodletters and Daemonettes, and by him being more cautious with his Bloodthrister than I would have been considering I lost Mindrazor. If I'd had all my spells for another round or two I might have won.

Game 2 versus Seth's Warriors of Chaos

Seth was playing a list that was probably really nasty in 7th edition. I suspect this because he told me that it was his 7th edition list and he hadn't updated it for 8th yet. Lots of medium sized (for 8th, large for 7th) units of Marauders, a couple of Chariots, a Demon Prince, and a couple of small units of light cavalry. Unfortunately for him, my army is really really good at killing light infantry.
I think that pic is from turn 3, and a little more than half his army was gone. He was a great opponent though, took it all in stride, and he seemed like a really fun guy to play with. I'd be happy to play him again some time with better balanced lists.

Game 3 versus Dave's Vampire Counts

I don't know what it is about Vampires. I always have trouble with them. By this point I had a win and a draw, so I sort of felt the loss coming. And what a loss it was. Dave's army consisted of two hordes of Zombies, and a big block of Ghouls, and a Graveguard deathstar unit with the regen banner, 2 Vampire Lords, 2 Vampire Heros, and a Wight King. This was a hard Vampire list and I gave it the lowest comp score of any of the armies I played, but Dave was a nice guy and I gave him a fine sportsmanship score.

His combat Lord killed my entire unit of 20 Blackguard all by himself in a single round thanks to their Red Rage power or whatever it's called. It's the one where he gets to keep attacking so long as he keeps killing. Toughness 3 Elves in Heavy Armor against Strength 6 with Hatred..... so 20 rolls later the whole unit was dead and with it pretty much any hope I had of killing anything in his army worth any points. This was the second bad roll which I watched in disbelief and the end of day 1.

Game 3 versus Luke's Lizardmen

This game featured the remaining two very bad rolls. Luke was a nice guy playing a Lizardmen list with no Slann. Two Stegadons, one with the Engine of the Gods, a few Saurus blocks, only a couple units of Skinks and Salamanders, and an Oldblood on a Carnosaur. We both played cautiously with some good maneuvering, putting our expendable and harassing units out to redirect things in our favor. The first bad dice roll happened in turn 2. I failed to cast Power of Darkness with my Level 4 by rolling a 1, then killing a Spearman for a second die and rolling another 1. That left about 8 power dice on unused on the table and my Corsairs had just headed off down the left flank in the direction of the Stegs without magic support. As a result, the Stegs had my Corsairs for lunch instead of being cut to ribbons. In turn 3 my Blackguard and one Hydra charged his center Saurus block with his BSB in it and my Witches charged his right Saurus block that was worth a bonus Victory point. I won both combats by a lot and killed his BSB. But the center Saurus unit held with Insane Courage. This was the last really bad roll for me. As a result of those last few Saurus holding, my Blackguard was charged in the flank by his third unit of Saurus and my Hydra was charged in the rear by his General and Carnosaur. So that cost me a couple hundred points and the game ended a draw. If either of those rolls hadn't come out double 1's, it would have been a win.

Game 5 versus Scott's Orcs and Goblins

Once again, my army is really really good at killing light infantry. Scott's army was a couple of hordes of Night Goblins, a horde of Orcs with spears, some Trolls, some Wolf Riders, a Mangler, and one of those new ginormous spiders. He was a nice guy, but just had no luck. My Shades shot his Mangler dead before it got a chance to move. One Hydra broke his giant spider by itself. My other Hydra charged his Wolf Riders, who failed their Terror check and ran off the table. My Blackguard with flaming banner, +1 attack from the Cauldron, and Mindrazor charged his Trolls and did 18 wounds killing, all 6 before they could do anything. It was nice to round out the tournament with a win, but the game was really one sided and I felt a little bad for the guy.

So, a good time all around. Now, here's a couple of pics of other armies that were there. Including this one that I'd seen on Bell of Lost Souls.

A nice looking Empire army.

An epic Skaven display board.

And lastly, a Tomb Kings army that won a couple of the painting awards.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Painty painty paint paint

Insert typical "wow it's been a while since I've posted" opening.

It's now June and the next big thing coming up for me, hobby-wise, is the Quake City Rumble Indy GT. This will be my first GT style tournament and I've set what I feel are reasonable goals for myself.

Have fun.
Try to avoid stupid tactical mistakes.
Don't get annoyed at bad rolls. (What? Me? Pout at bad dice luck? Never!)
Have my army fully painted.

That last one is the reason I haven't posted in a while. I've been spending all my available hobby time painting to make sure I'm done in time.

I've also got to make a display board, which will be a first time thing for me. People put a lot of effort and creativity into display boards, but I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself. First, finish painting the army well. Then, make an acceptable display board with whatever time I have left. At a bare minimum I should have a flat board based like my models mounted to a breakfast tray, a la Rushputin. (Kinda cool how you're the first google search result for 'warp stone pile, eh?) If I finish painting in enough time I might try to throw some scenery on there to bump my painting score up another point.

So all this points in an obvious content direction for this blog, I need to take some photos. We have a pretty good digital camera with macro settings, but I have no backdrop / light box to speak of. Anyone have good recommendations for how to put together a decent model photo setup without spending an arm and a leg?