Sunday, 5 May 2013

RIGGED!!! - A Shack Attack 3 tournament report.

The Hobby Shack in Wicklow town ran their Shack Attack 3 – “RIGGED” tournament on the weekend of 27th-28th April. The Shack is a great venue and has developed a reputation for running excellent events.  I had intended to add some Stormravens and some Space Wolf allies to my Flesh Tearers army, but real life got in the way and I abandoned the Space Wolf contingent. Then work decided to roster me in for the weekend after I had asked for it off, so I put painting the Stormravens to one side. Then the Tuesday before the event I was told the day off was arranged. So it was back to the painting table to try to get three colours on the Stormravens in time for the event. I submitted the following list.

Librarian (125) – Force Axe, Jump Pack, Shield of Sanguinius, Unleash Rage.                      
Sanguinary Priest (95) – Power Axe, Jump Pack, Meltabombs.
Sanguinary Priest (95) – Lightning Claw, Jump Pack, Meltabombs.
10 Assault Marines (235) – 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant w/Power Fist.
10 Assault Marines (235) – 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant w/Power Fist.
10 Assault Marines (215) – 2 Flamers, Sergeant w/Power Sword.
Baal Predator (150) – Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Dozer Blade.
Baal Predator (150) – Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Dozer Blade.
Baal Predator (150) – Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Dozer Blade.
Stormraven Gunship (200) – Twin Linked Multi-Melta.
Stormraven Gunship (200) – Twin Linked Multi-Melta.

So I packed up my gear and headed off on Saturday morning to meet my travelling companions, John “Nicely Grounded Necrons” Stowe and Frank “Only One Heldrake” O’Donnell (of If It Wasn’t For Ones fame. Frank has his own report on the event here –

Round 1 vs. Matthieu Parmentier (Imperial Guard)

I had played Matthieu in the first round of the previous Shack Attack as well. I could suggest that this must be where this “RIGGED” thing comes in, but I won’t do that. Because that would be wrong. Matthieu had three Leman Russ Demolisher tanks, so I needed to sort those out before exposing my Assault Squads to their fire. As in our game the previous tournament, this was a close fought game with mass casualties on both sides. In the end it went all the way to turn 7, but a few small things turning my way in the last couple of turns left the result at 18-2 for me. That result is really misleading, the game was a lot closer than that.

 photo DSCF0008.jpg We weren't sure how to classify this piece of terrain!
 photo DSCF0009.jpg Those Demolishers needed to die. So the Stormraven attempts to do the job, while my alligator, Snappy, sticks his nose in!
 photo DSCF0010.jpg The Imperial Guard Captain and Flesh Tearers Librarian duel to the death.

Round 2 vs. Ivan “Nudie” Sheehan (Grey Knights)

3 Dread Knights, supported by a couple of big squads in transports was the enemy for game two. I knew I needed to deal with those Dread Knights quickly, they would be next to impossible to shift if I got caught in combat against them. Which, of course, is exactly what I did. I decided to gamble on charging one with two wounds left, hoping between Hammer of Wrath and a mass Furious Charge I could do enough to finish it. Needless to say, Ivan made all his saves. Since the mission was Purge the Alien, I tried to pick up some points by targeting the transports, but began a tournament long inability to blow up vehicles with penetrating hits, while Ivan destroyed two Baal Predators with twelve Heavy Bolter shots. Yep, not going to be my day, so I did my best to kill as many enemy as possible. It got me a point. Grey Knights are still an excellent army and Ivan knows very well how to use them. 1-19.

Round 3 vs. David “Jiggy” McHugh (Tyranids)

Probably the last army I wanted to face. 2 Flyrants, 3 Tervigons, 5 Zoanthropes and the Doom of Malantai. With the amount of Iron Arm and Psychic Shriek to be thrown around, I had very little chance of getting anything out of this game. Maybe if I could kill the Zoanthropes quickly, the Tervigons would run out of Termagants and the Iron Arm rolls would be low. None of that happened, and I got slaughtered. A definite low point had to be a Zooming Stormraven taking two Hull Points of damage from the shooting of a Mycetic Spore..... 0-20.

Round 4 vs. Frank O’Donnell (Chaos Space Marines/Imperial Guard)

The best way to describe this game was as a comedy of errors. If it could go wrong, it probably did. Between Daemon Princes who decided to play “all fall down” the second they were hit, Spawn who had fifteen attacks in combat two rounds straight and killed one Space Marine (mind you, the Assault Squad couldn’t kill the Spawn either),  a Heldrake whose Baleflamer seemed to have brought the wrong fuel but was able to kill a Stormraven with a Vector Strike. A Vendetta who took two penetrating hits from AP1 weapons but got stunned, twice. It hit with 5 out of 6 Snap Shots with Lascannons (those glanced the Stormraven once, which was Jink saved). A full squad of Choas Space Marines fired on an Assault Squad killing one, only to be outshone by a nearby Penal Legion killing three (including the Sergeant) with their Lasguns.......
The game was a complete bloodbath. In the end, after seven turns, only six models per side remained. 5 Ogryns and a damaged Rhino for Frank, and 2 Assault Marines, a Sanguinary Priest, a Stormraven and 2 Baal Predators for me. I managed to sneak a win in the last turn by killing Frank’s last scoring unit, 3 Penal Legionnaires, although it took everything the Baal Predators and Stormraven had to finish them. 16-4.

 photo DSCF0011.jpg Deployment. That Word Bearers Terminator is an objective, in case you're confused. I was.
 photo DSCF0014.jpg The Stormraven attempts to kill Frank's Heldrake. It failed.
 photo DSCF0012.jpg The Vendetta and the Stormraven begin their aerial duel.
 photo DSCF0013.jpg The Assault Marines approach their next target.
 photo DSCF0015.jpg Hiding on the objective in the far corner.

Round 5 vs. John O’Connor (Eldar)

Last up was Johno, with his beautifully painted Saim-Hann Eldar army. Check out his blog, The Wild Serpent, for pictures. ( Every model was either mounted on a Jetbike, a Vehicle, or had a Transport. So, of course, with two highly mobile armies, we did the obvious, surged forward, and had a massive pile up in the middle of the table. Assaults, counter assaults, close range firepower and outflanking units led to no scoring models surviving past turn four. If the previous game had been a bloodbath, this one was even worse. The last three turns consisted of Stormravens and Baal Predators spraying mass firepower into the Biker Council with Autarch, while the Eldar assaulted and wrecked the Predators. In the end, all that survived were the Farseer, Autarch (wounded) and the Stormravens. Draw. 10-10.

 photo DSCF0016.jpg Johno's Eldar line up for battle. See, told you they were too pretty to kill.
 photo DSCF0017.jpg Deployment. See that empty bit in the middle of the table? That's where everything died.

All told, another fun weekend's gaming down in Shackland. Thanks again to Mr. Paul Quigley, tournament organiser extraordinare, and Mr. Ian Moody, Lord of Shacktown.

I think the original army list I had written might have fared better. Wouldn't have had the Baal Predators, but I need more bodies on the battlefield and Grey Hunters allow a very effective, cheap Troops unit for 185 points (significantly cheaper and more effective than a Tactical Squad from my own Codex would be), plus some Devestators with Plasma Cannon goodness and Missile Launcher toting Long Fangs and a Rune Priest. Not only would I have had more heavy weapons, but also Troops to hold home objectives (Assault Marines don't do this well) and more importantly a chance to negate psychic powers such as Johno's Fortune and Jiggy's Iron Arm and Psychic Shrieks. I'd miss the mobile firepower of the Baals but I think I'd be a lot better off.

However, the downside to having a more powerful list was that I had three very close games, which are always the best ones. I wouldn't probably have had those games if my list had been nastier. I always find that a tricky part of building tournament lists, if it's too soft you end up getting blown away (not normally fun) but too hard and you risk being the person who ruins some poor guy's day with your power build (not normally fun either). In friendly games I can usually tailor an appropriate list based on my opponent's preferred style of play, but a tournament doesn't allow for that.


  1. Nice post Lenny & when next you go to a tournament you might need to have a word with the dice controller before heading off lol.

    1. I did, but Snappy wasn't having any of it.