I had to cut a lot of the pictures out of this report because I'm moving about 100 MB of data every few hours and killing my server. Sorry, guys!
I am very, very far behind in reporting all I have to report in terms of battles and matches. I think I'm behind by about 10 games. Oops. Sorry, everyone.
I was at the Hall Of Heroes Warhammer 40,000 tournament where 22 players gathered at the St. Laurent Shopping Mall to play at the Games Workshop Battle Bunker on (I think it was) 11 tables. I knew most of the attendees and I have to say that they were all great guys and I enjoyed the entire thing.
First up at the tournament was my battle with a great guy named Dave Moser (I think his name is Dave). He had just started an Eldar Alaitoc army and painted it the night before the tournament. Talk about resolve. The guy is a machine. He wasn't a really experienced Eldar player (first game with his army was against me), so I kinda smoked him... but he got some great hits in and, man, he taught me some respect for scatter lasers. I'd always been rather down on them because I don't like the bad AP and the fact that you can easily roll a handful of snake-eyes... but Moser taught me that when you have six of them mounted on War Walkers that you can also roll really damn well.
(Errata: It's Chris Moser, not Dave Moser)
Next up was Brent (known on Deep Space as Tickron the Ancient). This was a great game. I had four vehicles on the table and within the first couple turns he cracked three of them. That was bad news and I really had to scrape to get back into some position of advantage. My Striking Scorpions earned their points back (and more) by crawling out of the Wave Serpent wreckage and kicking all ass. They slashed one unit down and then consolidated into the next. Meanwhile the Farseer and Banshees did their thing while my Falcon tore in the enemy deployment zone (it was a game of Recon). This is a game that ended in a Massacre (in my favor) but we didn't know until the last minute which way it would go. Hell of an adrenaline rush.
You'll also notice my little "Tournament Kit", consisting of my cell phone, coffee, dice, measuring tape and my booklet that included the printed fluff and my army list. Everyone told me it looked like a menu from a diner. Bastards.
After Tickron was the formidible Dave Yu, also known as Fallen Angel. This is an opponent I'm actually afraid of; he knows his rules, has tons of experience and is a very clear thinker on the battlefield. I played an extremely cautious game (which, for me, is very counter-intuitive) and spent the whole game staying out of the way of his terrifying Devastator Squad. I picked him off a bit at a time and did take a few casualties, but in the end I eked out a minor victory and, for me, that was much more than expect.
Last up was the game which, if I'd won, might have given me the Best General award (not that I mind not getting it... it went to Dave Yu, and he deserved it). It was me against Dennis, aka Matt Varnish. This is a guy who knows how to play and has painstakingly created an army of Squats (yes, Squats), thus setting the stage for the ultimate Dwarf vs. Elf grudge match.
Dennis is, by far, the most relaxed, easy-going player I've ever faced off against. Crisp enough to know how to keep it fun, but flexible in all the right ways.
Oh, and he beat me. Bad. And when I say "bad" I don't mean it as in "bad", but more like "whipped me with his belt until I cried like a bitch".
But what a great game. Good photos, too.
I've had several games aside from the tournament as well. I tested my list out a few times before the Hall Of Heroes day, and got some great tips from other experienced players. I played against Marty and Alex a few days before and learned several things (like ditch the jet bikes until the new codex). Here are some of the pics...
As usual, Marty played with attention and care, but I think the big chunk of terrain in the middle of the table put him at a disadvantage, so I ended up smoking him like salmon. Still, he gave me some great advice after on how to tweak my list and, even more importantly, stop worrying about doing it "right" and just make the list I like.
One way I managed to tell that my army was not, in fact, unbeatable was by playing Alex's Tau. He slapped the freaking taste out of my mouth and left me with my pants down for the entire game. What is interesting, though, is that we played 1000 points, six turns, in under 40 minutes. He knows his rules well, I know mine, and we're familiar with each other's... so we really toreass through the game. And it was a lot of fun (even though he whooped me). It did cement my decision to remove the bikes from my tournament list though.
I also got a chance to play against a really terrific guy, whose name is Dalton (aka Dman). He put his Space Marines up against my list and though I won it was a narrow victory. These games helped me to trust that my list was a fair one (one strong win, one strong loss and one narrow in was enough to convince me that anything could happen... which is what I wanted).
Before the tournament became a matter requiring my attention, I got a few interesting games in over the span of a few weeks. One of my favorites was against Bill (aka Quint'Aan) which happened, interestingly, on his 31st birthday. I did give him my shredded ass as a birthday present, btw, and he seemed to be happy to take it. Bill plays Chaos and I have faced off against him several times before, but... never against his Hell Talon - a Forgeworld Chaos flyer which, to put it briefly, rains a storm of flaming shit on everything in its way and makes you beg for mercy. That flyer really tore me to shreds. To be honest, I just couldn't get a foothold in this game. I did try, but lost several key elements early on, bad reserve rolls and dodgy deployment all accounted for a well-earned win on Bill's side.
I'll just have to make sure I play against him on MY birthday and see if he reciprocates.
I also got two decent mega-battles in recently. One was against Dave (Ravenblackwolf) and Stu (Stuby). It was sort of a last-minute thing, and I ended up being paired with Ryan (Manchester, who you might remember as the Thousand Sons player who pasted me a few months ago). We did win this game, Ryan and I, but a nod has to go to Ian (Shas'o Siur) who subbed for me in the last two turns when I had to take an important phone call, so he deserves some of the laurels as well. It was a great game... dig Stu's supercool Tau flyer (didn't tear me up as much as the Hell Talon did, but it was still scary).
Notice also what we called the Chaos Apple. I don't know how it ended up there, but whatever.
One last report involves me and Alex (the guy who whooped me, mentioned above) playing against Moser and Dennis (before Moser got his Eldar army). So it was Tau and Eldar vs. Squats and Imperial Guard (which work the same way). This was a killer of a game; every last win was hard-earned and even though I think we won this one (I don't recall) it could have gone either way. I like playing with and against all of the guys who were in this game, so I consider it a good one. Man, it was tough, though... I'll go after those Guard, particularly the Squats, with more care in the future.