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I got back from the Feast of Blades Invitational placing 6th overall with my Tau. In reality I should have placed 1rst or 2nd. Really would have been second as in my experience my list plays poorly against the Demons I would have had to face.
The tournament was 7 games long over 2 days. I liked a lot of things they did for this tourney but there were some things I did not like. The tournament was invite but they also had an open tournament on at the same time. There was also a fantasy tourney, a massive themed battle, many mini games (Arena of Death and Pod Races) and Warmachine games going on.
I really liked how for such a massive undertaking they kept the games on track and running pretty smoothly. They had a good number of judges patrolling the gaming floor who were easy to spot in their red judge shirts. They gave out some nice swag through out, from random bit bags to purity seals for feats of strengths. They also gave all the invitational players a bag o swag that included Feast of Blades dice, dice bag and a Terminator Honours pin. They had a bunch of very cool raffle items and nice prize support for the winners including trophies.
The first round was a seeding round and the only time that points were used to calculate standing placing best vs worst so people couldn't intentionally tank their round to get an easier game. The next 3 games of the tournament were used to not only determine the overall victor but also place people into brackets of relative skill. Day 2 had the last 3 rounds that were played out in win/loss brackets. While I realize this was easier on the judges, I still like a point system as there is no bonus to anyone who annihilated their opponents. In the end though I think it turned out pretty well. Each mission had 3 objectives. If you tied the first, it went to the second, then the third, then decided by victory points as it was basically just win/loss.
Lots of Blood Angels and Space Wolves, some Grey Knights, a few Dark Eldar, at least 1 Eldar, 3 Tau, 2 Necron (pre new codex - one of which was my friend I came with) Some guard, at least 1 Nid and 1 Ork. No sisters. Sorry I can't give a more accurate list of the armies there.
So, I played a Long Fang list round 1. I won this game but only by a few points. Fun guy to play and we had a great game. Second army was also Long Fang which I beat. Third game I played a marine player who I have played before also getting a solid win. My last game of day 1 was also the hardest and best game for me the whole tournament. It was close all the way. The primary was objectives which at the end of the game we both had 1. Unfortunately on his last turn, his lone independent char who I had failed to kill, got a single hit on my devilfish I had on the objective, penetrated it, blew it up, killed half the squad inside and they broke and ran off the table. So in retaliation on my last turn I ran a devilfish forward, disembarked the gun drones (yup, went barebones fish) ran them, then jumped them in the assault phase to contest his objective. This meant it went to killpoints. Our initial calculation was that I had him by a kill point. However, it turned out he was counting some of his at half strength squads as 1/2 a kp which reversed it to his win. Then his girlfriend pointed out that the killpoints had to win by a 3 kp margin forcing it to the table quarter objects which went to me.
It was by far the best game I played the whole tournament and not because I won. Since it was the last game of the day we promptly packed up our armies and I bought him a few rounds at the bar.
Day 2 started off very well. There was a kid at the tournament who was a terror to play against. He was a competent player but a player who bent rules and argued every rule he could to try to get an advantage. My last two games I played the day before were on tables next to his. He played my Necron friend in game 3 and another guy I also know round 4. To give you an example of his arguing, he tried to tell my Necron friend that the Monolith could not legally deepstrike on top of enemy units and that scarabs had to take dangerous terrain tests when going through cover. The kid constantly was getting the judges to make rulings and was constantly being ruled against. At any rate, I had him first round on day 2. He tried to fudge rules with me but I was having none of it. Before he finished round 2 he rage quit and packed his army and left the tournament.
Game 6 was against the Black Templar army that won the tourney. I made a very simple but huge tactical error on my last turn which cost me the game. I had him on kill points by a pretty big margin (which was the second objective) but was unable to secure any of his 3 objectives (you had to claim objectives on the enemy side of the map for this) With that in mind my goal was to simply contest the 2 he had or drive them off of them. I contested the middle ones with gun drones from a nearby immobilized and largely ignored devil fish and was well within range to contest the other with my commanders. However, I shot and killed 1 BT in his tactical squad and he was able to consolidate towards me to the point where it denied me the ability to contest. Small thing, but it cost me huge. Good game and good opponent.
My last game I kind of fell apart. A semi IG leaf blower list. All armor 12's and I couldn't pen to save my life. I had 6 broadsides hardly missing each round and I only managed to destroy 4 of his vehicles in 5 rounds of shooting. Granted he did an excellent job of denying me my marker lights but I just could not seem to roll over a 2 for armor penetration. I then immobilized 2 of my devilfish. My big downfall I realized the next day for this match was that I was so frustrated with these bad dice rolls I practically handed him the game at the end when it was still possible for me to pull it out. The objective of this game was battle points. 3 points per objective (5 total) I had 2, he had 2 and I was contesting 1. I was contesting against a platoon of IG with my commander who had iridium, stim inject and 1 remaining shield drone. Even with his 1 power weapon, he was really spread out and I might have been able to weather the amount of attacks with a 2+ then 4+ on the 3 wounds I had. Kill points was the next thing which I had him on by 2. This of course could have changed as he had last go and he possible could have gotten the 3 he needed. Each kill point was worth 1 point up to a total of 10. I had 5, he had 3. Table quarters were worth 3 each. He clearly had 2 and I clearly had 1. However, we were contesting a fourth. I had a full squad of kroot, an immmobilized DF and a 6 man firewarrior squad. He had a platoon worth 295 points there but I only realized after wards that it was under half strength so should have been worth 152.5 (or however it is rounded). I had 209 points with what I had there. The middle battle would have been a deciding factor for the game. Unless he managed to kill my firewarrior squad in that fourth table quarter.
Really though, had I won I would have been 4rth and that is an if at best. My problem with that game was that I gave up, something I will try hard to not do in the future. A huge part of me didn't care at that point. I had a great time and was dead tired and mostly brain dead at that point and just wanted to be done with it.
Still, I made a good showing for the greater good and really had a great time.
- Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.