Last weekend was Quake City Rumble at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. This was my second year attending and overall I had a good time. The only overall issue was some griping and confusion over how comp scores affected the pairings in the early rounds. There were some matchups that seemed a lot more one sided than they should have been. Some of the comp scores didn't quite make sense and there were some sneaking suspicions that newer armies got comped harder by default even when their lists were relatively soft. Other than that ... the venue was good, the organization was good, the attendance was good, the games were fun, the opponents were fun to play against, and the painting and conversions on several of the armies were fantastic.
In terms of my actual performance, I don't really like where I placed. I used the same list I had used at SAWS where I was 2-1-2 but ended up 2-0-3. Turning one tie into a loss dropped me from the middle of the pack to the bottom quarter. This is also worse than I did last year at QCR where I was 2-2-1. I'll step through the games and then talk some about the other scoring components.
Game 1 : Loss
My first game was against Ryan's Lizardmen. His list was a pretty standard tournament Lizard list: Slann, Temple Guard, Steg, SKrocs, some Saurus, some Skinks, and a Salamander. He went first and during his magic phase he cast Throne of Vines followed by an irresistable Dwellers Below on my level 4 Sorceress' unit. He killed my level 4 and paniced her unit off the table. Starting out the game without the bulk of your offensive magic and trying to fend off a Slann with just a level 2 .... let's just say that I did well by not getting tabled. My 'unkillable' Lord managed to tarpit his Steg for the whole game, so at least that part worked as planned.
Game 2 : Win
The second game was against Mike's Vampire Counts. This is one of the Vampire Count armies I'd played and won against at SAWS, with some slight modifications, and there was a definite comp problem with his list. We both agreed that his list was softer than his comp score reflected and that this matchup was probably not a good one for the second round when both of us had lost our first games.
Mike was already having a bad day. In his first game, his opponent's Hell Cannon misfired at the top of the first turn. It's misfire result caused every caster on the table to suffer a miscast. Mike had some really bad luck and lost all of his casters before he even got a turn. Which means that his army started crumbling before he even got a turn.
Coming off that kind of quick and frustrating loss, I can see how he would be upset when I tabled him in three turns. He took it as best he could, tried to keep from getting angry about it, and even waited a good long while before filling out my sportsmanship and comp scores to avoid being unnecessarily harsh due to his mood. I hope he had better luck for the rest of the weekend.
The one interesting high point of the game was that his Wight King managed to Killing Blow my 'unkillable' Lord.
Game 3 : Win
Game three was against Brett's Scaven. I've got a lot of practice playing Scaven and my army is really good at killing light infantry. This was a really fun game that ended up being pretty close. My 'unkillable' Lord managed to tarpit his Hellpit Abomination for the first half of the game. I don't think it actually managed to get into any combats once it finally got free. He also committed a bit of a tactical mistake by sending his Storm Vermin in to try to break the stalemate between my lord and the HPA, which really just meant that they got stuck for a couple of turns as well. I took out his warmachines with scouts and fliers and killed enough Clan Rats to win.
Game 4 : Loss
My first game of the second day was against Greg's Empire. I like getting to play tournament level Empire armies, since I still haven't played with the new book and really want to get back to working on my Empire army now that tournament season is over. I've seen a lot of very mobile Empire lists lately, and this was a good example. A big block of Knights, a couple of units of Demigryphs, Stank, Hurricanium, an some minimal infantry to guard some characters. This game was fun but frustrating for me since I failed all but one charge I attempted in turns 2 and 3. My 'unkillable' Lord made the only successful charge, whiffed, and then failed his break test on a stubborn 10 and was run down. When Dark Elves can't move and get into combat when they want to in the early game, they just don't work. I also didn't roll more than 3 dice for winds of magic in the first 3 turns.
Game 5 : Loss
Last game of the tournament was against Zack's Nurgle Warriors of Chaos. His list was definitely softer than mine and it was comped appropriately. By all odds I should have won this game, but bad luck with dice at bad times. Failed charges I should have made, failed to cast spells that I needed, failed to run down units that I broke. He also managed to kill my 'unkillable' Lord with magic before he got into combat. He was a fun guy to play against though and we had a good time to finish out the event.
For those keeping score, my 'unkillable' Lord died in 4 out of 5 games.
Now for the other score related stuff. I got a 20 out of 30 for painting. Last year I got a 26 out of 30 with the same army and display board. This really annoyed me. All I can figure is that since there were even more amazing looking armies this year than last year, the judges must have raised the bar or something.
My list was comped at 2 out of 15 by the tournament judges and my final comp score was 11.5, meaning that my opponents gave me a collective comp score of 9.5 out of 15 for an average of 1.9. So my opponents gave me almost as many comp points each as the tournament comp judges gave me total. Last year my total comp score was 7.5. I attribute the difference to removing the second Hydra from the list, and my 'unkillable' Lord dying in almost every game. The 4 point increase in comp doesn't quite compensate for the 6 point drop in painting, but it was are area that I hoped to improve from last year so I'm glad that I was successful there.
In terms of sportsmanship, this year I got a 52, up from 48 last year. I feel like I did a better job of not letting bad luck get to me and trying to keep having fun regardless of what happened on the table, and I think the increase in sportsmanship reflects that.
Overall, my score this year was 146.5 versus 154.5 last year. My battle score was 6 points lower than last year, but I did do a little better at getting scenario bonus points this year so it could have been worse with the win-loss record I had. I brought up the couple of categories where I thought I could improve, but slipped even more in the ones I did well at last year.
For next year, my goal is to bring fully painted Empire instead of Dark Elves. I'm going to try to increase my comp score from the judges while keeping the comp score from my opponents good, and keep my sportsmanship score where it is. I've got some good ideas for conversions for my Empire army, so I'm hoping that I can pull my painting score back up to where it was. In terms of win-loss, I'd be happy to get back to a more even record.