Sunday, April 10, 2011

Adepticon 2011, Part III: Team Tournament, Game 1 vs. Team Sweden

So there we were, Team Razorback's debut in the "tourney" scene and boy were we all excited to eat stuff with our Thunderwolves as various kinds of ammunition went "plink!" against their cybernetics and fur. All of our.. well.. hard work was hopefully going to pay off and we were either going to get crushed or win with a bloody massacre. Well, neither happened but our very first game at the Adepticon 2011 Team Tournament quickly became the highlight of the entire event for we were playing..

Team Sweden
"AAAHHHhhhhh! We come from the land of the ice and snow.."
With their blue-and-yellow T-shirts, blue-and-yellow dice and blue bottle of booze, we were destined to face one of the top teams at Adepticon 2011. Unlike last year we didn't luck out with an easy team. This one was going to be.. hm.. what was that, little thunderwolf puppy? Ruff? Yeah, exactly that - rough.

 I was in a coalition with my friend Vince against Henrik (the thane on the left) and Richard (thane on the right) who were running a mean Imperial Guard/Space Marine tag team. I was very surprised at the fact that they weren't playing Space Vikings... :O Get it? Because they are Swedish...

Here's what my list was: 
Skarvald the Troll-faced - just 235 points
Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf Mount with a frost axe, runic armor, Belt of Russ (4+ invulnerable) wolftooth necklace and Saga of Beastslayer

Rune Priest (Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane) - 110 points
- Chooser of the Slain 

9 Grey Hunters - 200 points
- melta gun
- Mark of the Wulfen
- Wolf Standard
- Rhino

Fast Attack#1
Thunderwolf Cavalry - 315 points
- CCW and bolt pistol
- CCW, bolt pistol and melta bomb
- CCW and boltgun
- CCW and Storm Shield
- Thunder Hammer and bolt pistol

Heavy Support#1: 
6 Long Fangs - 140 points
- 5 Missile Launchers
My buddy Vince ran a slightly more elite and resistant Thunderwolf Cavalry with multiple Storm Shields and a Wolf Claw, a Storm Shield and frost blade Lord with Saga of Majesty and two packs of Grey Hunters (without MofW) in Rhinos. Basically the idea was that his more resistant Thunderpuppies would run in front of mine, thus giving them cover. My list had a little bit of everything, including psychic defense, long range fire power from Living Lightning and the Long Fangs and a deadlier Thunderwolf Lord.

Team Sweden's list was crazy and definitely written with Thunderwolves and Nob Bikerz in mind. 
On the Imperial Guard side there was a Manticore, two Vendettas, a bunch of guardsmen, a squad with Straken, the obligatory Chimeras and.. dun dun duuuun...  Psyker Battle Squad in a Chimera. :( Ouch. 
The Space Marine list also surprised us - a Librarian (Null Zone and something else) with 5 TH/SS Terminators in a Land Raider, some Rhinos with dudes, tac squads and what not and an Ironclad Dreadnought with 2 close combat weapons.
We were outranged, outgunned, etc. But the mission was ours!

So.. Pitched Battle with Hold the Center (Primary) and Capture and Control (Secondary) Extra points if your main HQ is in the center of the table at the end of the game and extra points for controlling the objective marker in your opponent's deployment zone. Alright, gotcha!

Game 1 Deployment..
We quickly set up first, really wanting to get that delicious first turn. Our plan was obviously to contest the center, which is something that Space Wolves excel at, with a squad of Thunderwolves possibly riding across one of the flanks to get to the squishy parts.. They were going to castle and make us come to them using the Guardsmen as meat shields and then charge with the Dreadnought and Terminators. Our main problem this game was the Psyker Battle Squad and ther Weaken Resolve. Their 36'' range of it was too much for the Rune Priest's psychic defense and their Librarian threatened the Rune Priest's abilities with his own psychic hood. Not having Fearless on our deathstar unit definitely put us at a disadvantage..  so both Thunder Lords got the command token. In this game, one could use a command token at the begging of their turn to grant a unit within 12'' a USR for a turn (Fearless, Fleet, Furious Charge, Relentless, Stealth, Tank Hunters). Obviously we were going to take advantage of the Fearless one...

Reminds me of King Kong for some reason..
They deployed second just as we expected, with the Psyker's Chimera in the corner positioned behind terrain (no side armor..), then a Manticore behind it AND some Guardsmen. The Mariens deployed in the middle of their deployment zone obviously so they could cut is off if we were to make a run for the squishy Guardsmen in the corner..

One thing we noticed: Team Sweden took their time deploying their units and really did not make any mistakes, had no weak points in their defense or offense. From the very beginning we had some very difficult choices to make and that really is one of the signs of a pro. Also, discussing their strategy in Swedish was yet another advantage. It has been decided, I'm teaching my team some Bulgarian for next Adepticon.

Turn 1
Then they seized the initiative. Bummer... ;) Well, that exploded and immobilized two of our Rhinos! Vince's Thunderwolf Cavalry was an inch away from Weaken Resolve's range.. *sigh of relief* Man, stupid Vendettas and their THREE twin-lined lascannons.. <_< Manticore rolls 2 shots and scatters all over the place. It pretty much didn't do anything until like turn 3 because it scattered sooo much. 

In the meantime on the other table..
Vince's Lord used the Fearless token, since he was closer to the Psyker Battle Squad. Vince's wolves ran a bunch, mine decided to derp and take a chill pill, but it was okay.. My Wolves never got shot the entire game, and if they did they made their saves. Instead, Team Sweden really wanted to take out the more resilient Thunderwolf Unit. This was actually a trend in all the games we played - everyone shot at the squad that had more Storm Shields. 

My Long Fangs took down a Vendetta (yay!), Living Lightning failed to do anything to the Psyker Chimera.. Our Grey Hunters disembarked and started walking on the field. 
Turn 2
More shooting all over the place, this time focused on our Thunderwolves. It didn't do a whole lot. Actually their second turn was very weak. Some Guardsmen moved into position with one creating a bubble in front of the Land Raider (like we were going to assault that) and the second one slowly walking towards the building. The Psyker's Chimera moves a tiny bit, Weaken Resolve misses my Thunderwolf Squad by an inch! Good times! Manticore wiffed..

Popped the token for some Fearless goodness. Long Fangs shot down yet another Vendetta and Living Lightning got cockblocked by the Librarian. He rolled a 2, I rolled a 1... Grey Hunters moved, shot at some Guardsment who went to ground.

Turn 3. More shooting from the guardsmen. Weaken Resolve check failed from rolling a 10. Good times! Everyone moves into position..

Long Fangs fail to do anything to the Psyker's Chimera. One of the Rhinos fixes itself and is no longer immobile. :( Living Lightning does nothing. My Lord charged into a squad of Guard, even though it was a blatant trap. My favorite part was when the two remaining Guardsmen rolled a gentleman's ones, thus preventing my Thunderwolves from being Weaken Resolved or shot at

Turn 4
This is where things get interesting. The Land Raider drops off its cargo except the Librarian, who fails to cast Null Zone (Thank you, runic staff!). The Dreadnought also starts walking. Oh, boy.. This is gonna hurt. Weaken Resolve hits Vince and the entire Guard army unloads on him and of course he fails his Ld check even with Saga of Majesty. The Manticore also hit him this time, but only killed like 1 or 2 dudes.. At least ir ran out of ammo. And then 5 Terminators with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields AND the Ironclad Dreadnought assault my Thunderwolves. Straken's "retinue" and a Tactical Squad disembark, shoot and then assault Vince's Grey Hunters which were hiding in a building.
Counter-attack check passed. Skarvald is in base-to-base with the Termies and swings with his frost axe. Seven attacks, seven hits. Six wounds on the Terminators. Three 3+ Invulnerables failed. Ironclad Dread either fails to hit with all of his attacks or rolls some 1's. I'm pretty sure he failed to hurt the squad. The guardsmen die.. and a bunch of normal attacks and rends on the Terminators kills them before they can even swing. Yay Thunderwolf Cav! The Thunder Hammer guy fails to destroy the Dread but immobilizes and shakes him. And destroys one arm, I think. 
Straken plus Tac squad put the hurt on the Grey Hunters but the battle continue..

Vince's Lord comes back, moves the free 3''. Rhino moves flat out into position, blocking any possible consolidation movements close to the objective by standing between my Rune Priest's squad and the raging battle. Living Lightning shoots the side armor of a Chimera and destroy a Multi-Laser and immobilize it at an awkward angle. Long Fangs immobilizes the Rhino on the right side. The Grey Hunters next to the building shoot their meltas in melta range of the Land Raider and make it a burning wreck with a lonely Librarian at the end of it. Rends do nothing against the Ironclad jerk and the melta bomb hits, but fails to penetrate or even glance (rolled a 6.. so a total of 12). He killed like.. 2 Thunderwolves. Then one of my Thunderwolf Cav dudes was all like "Halt! Hammerzeit!" and wrecked the Dreadnought. Good times.
The double assault kills Vince's Grey Hunter squad and the guys consolidate.

Turn 5
Things are a bit fuzzy here. I know that the marines and Straken consolidated and moved around, because they were not able to assault my squad without touching the Thunderwolves (at which point only my Lord and the Thunder Hammer guy were alive). A lot of Guard shooting and the big pie plate Psychic power hit Vince's Thunderwolves and eventually they die. They did their job! Librarian escaped out of line of sight..
My Rune Priest's squad enters the Rhino and it moves full speed away, but is too far from our objective. The Grey Hunters from the middle move to control the objective. There's shooting left and right.. or something. I dunno. Thunderwolves assault the marines squad and kill even more guys.

Turn 6
Weaken Resolve hits the Grey Hunters and after some shots they fall back but not enough to be away from the objective. With Straken around they wouldn't have had the chance to regroup, but control was based solely on Victory Points and with Skarvald and his Thunder hammer buddy I had 315 VP.

I didn't want to risk any lucky rolls to prevent me from having the objective, so the game ended. We were just too far to reach our objective on time. I think the Rhino got damaged or something.. 

We had 15 points for Winning the Primary Objective and 3 points for having a Coalition Commander within 6'' of the middle objective. We had 1 surviving Command Token (1) and one surviving Coalition Commander (1). So that's 15+3+1+1 = 20 points.
They had 10 points for having the Secondary Objective and also +3 points for having their Commander withing 6''. They never used Command Tokens (2), killed one of our Coalition Commanders (1), never lost theirs (2) AND killed one of our Command Tokens (1). So.. 10+3+2+1+1+2+1=20 points

Man, what a game. Team Sweden had a great list and all parts fit and worked together like a well-greased machine. They had plenty of firepower, ways to deal with deathstars, tons of vehicles, psychic protection and plenty of troops choices. Their list really didn't miss anything, except maybe some Deep Striking and/or reserve abuse. The game, however was very dynamic especially in the middle and every turn counted. Until the very last turn the scales were even and the end result was based on tactics and tactics only. Even though the game was very tough, our opponents were joking around and were being good sports about mostly everything. We definitely did our best to show American hospitality and just wanted to have fun. When we were finished they treated us to some delicious "nectar" in a blue Svedka bottle and while we drank the delicious liqueur they even sang a song in Swedish. It better not have been something about our mothers! 

Some luck on our side definitely helped us throughout the game, but I believe that was to compensate for the stolen initiative and all our transports being destroyed or immobilized on turn 1. Skarvald once again made his points in every way possible. He shrugged off tons of damage (though Vince's Fagnar gets the medal in this category), deal tons of damage and in the end was what got us the main objective and the tactical bonus.

Honestly, though. What a great team. No wonder they got the Sportsmanship award AND they finished 9th. They were super friendly and even though we barely managed to tie and our other coalition got tabled I cannot wait for next year. Rumors are that Team Sweden is coming back with even more members to teach us some Scandinavian tactics. Plus, next year our team will be legally able to consume alcohol, so we'll have yet another reason to hang out.

Stay cool, Team Sweden. Stay cool. Thank you for the wonderful experience.


  1. Likewise man, great game and I really like the way your other coalition didn't "mind" the loss... We are commin man, in a big f**kin wave, adepticon 2012 is in the making as we speak.

    Best regards

    Daniel "Papa D" Hesselberg

  2. "It has been decided, I'm teaching my team some Bulgarian for next Adepticon."

    Yeah no fair....should have made them talk in english :D

  3. There is no official language in the U.S though.

  4. 5 days left!! So looking forward to it! 2 Swedish teams will come this year! Looking forward to meetg all you guys in the windy city any day now!

    Best regards

    Daniel "Papa D"


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