Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Alpha Strike tournament review

I shouldn't complain too much 

On Feb 23rd, 3 of the Orbital Bombardment team descended upon Guildford and the SmogCon convention. SmogCon is a Privateer Press event run in a hotel from Friday to Sunday with stuff going on 24hrs a day - mental!! 
Alpha Strike was a 16 man, one day Dropzone Tournament, I took my UCM along and here is how I faired.

Originally, I really wanted to take my Scourge, I have just started playing them, but I don't have a complete army yet....next time though, definitely!

So I took the same list I used at Invasion 2014, I know it inside out. We weren't sure which missions would be chosen but they would be 3 from the 5 that were written for Invasion.   

Kodiak – Lieutenant (CV3)

Sabres x3 with Condor (missile upgrade)
Rapiers x3 with Condor (missile upgrade)

Legionnaires x2 with Raven
Legionnaires x2 with Raven

Legionnaires x2 with Raven

Wolverine A’s x4
Praetorians with Raven

Gladius x4 with Condor x2 (missile upgrades)
Longbow x2 with Ravens x2 (missile upgrades)  

Game 1 

Mark A, Shaltari
Military Complex

Mark's list
Gaia, Eden, Eden, Haven, Haven, Spirit 

Coyote(Elder - CV3) & 2x Firstborns

3x Tomahawk & 3x Kukri 

2x Braves & 2x Braves 

2x Braves 

Firedrake & 2x Jaguar 

Ocelot & Firedrake 

The first thing I noticed was that Mark had 4 units of troops, including Firstborns that's a nasty prospect for the UCM, then I noticed that he only had 2 havens and 1 spirit to move them around. My plan was simple remove the troop transports and quick. 
The mission was basically targets of opportunity but all the buildings were hardened (armour 8). 
First turn I put 2 units of legionnaires in my home building to search on turn 2, I rushed the praetorians and last squad of Legionnaires to the middle. My drones went to the middle too, ready to pounce on the spirit that came to the centre. My Gladius went up the middle to face off with the 2 Jaguars and my Sabres went up the left hand side where his Ocelot was standing. No Shaltari troops appeared on turn 1. I think this was a mistake, you need to be searching as early as you can. 
Turn 2 I removed the spirit and my boss smoked a Kukuri. Only 2 Gladius were in range of the Jaguars so I shot one and very fortunately hit 4 times, no passive saves were made and I did 4 damage to it, I lost 1 Gladius in return. Mark got out a Haven and put a squad of Braves in his home building, my Sabres then shot the Haven and killed it. My Praetorians decided to go for the Braves so the Raven shot past the remaining Jag (already fired his AA) and just reached the building. Mark had a call for extraction, so brought his spirit back. My Legionnaires found my home objective, so 1 squad skedaddled off the board the other went to the centre building in the middle, my last squad went to the left middle building. 
Turn 3 I moved my Gladius forward, so all 3 in range, only 2 wounds on the Jaguar, Mark made 4 passive saves out of 6!! Mark put his Firstborns in the centre middle building with my Legionnaires, the Legionnaires failed their search and got the hell out, going to the middle right building. The other legionnaires failed their search and I forgot to roll for reserves...ooops. The Praetorians killed 4 braves and only lost 2 in return, Mark reinforced this combat with another unit of Braves. I took out the Spirit again, and shot the last Haven, only doing 1dp to it. The Ocelot moves to get into a better position, it has been ineffectual so far, the fire drakes haven't done too much either.
Turn 4, the Braves in CQB find the objective, the praetorians finish off the squad, so the objective passes to the next squad, I kill 2 of them too, I lose 1 praetorian after 9 wounds made, I saved 8! These guys are Heroes! 
Braves entered the left-middle building, my Legionnaires find the objective, abandon the structure and are half way home. The other Legionnaires fail their search, my reserves come in and go straight for the right-middle building. The Ocelot has a pop at the same building doing a load of damage (it's has 30 to start with) and killing a few men. I still can't touch the Jag.  I shoot the Ocelot and take 3 damage off it early, but can't get the last one. The Firstborns fail their search.
Turn 5 The Ocelot and pretty much everything else smash up the building, the legionnaires have 1 man left after falling masonry and there are 11 damage points on the building. The Legionnaires then fail their search, the other squad come it to help. I can't for the life of me take the last point of damage off the Ocelot, I used 2 Sabres, 2 Gladius a Kodiak and 4 dropships with missiles!!!!! The Praetorians kill 2 more Braves and I lose 3 guys. I'm down to 3 left, he's down to 2 Braves (from his second squad!). This is going all the way. 
I escape with an objective, and the Firstborns find their objective but are stranded holding it. So I'm 4-2 up at the moment.
Turn 6 is crucial, I get 1st activation and it's Legionnaires, they find the objective and get out, they can't extract it, but it's safe. I finally smoke the Ocelot! Mark has some golden dice on his boss and takes out a Gladius, he moves his last squad of Braves into the Praetorians CQB. He plays another call for extraction and moves a spirit on 7" behind the building with the CQB going on. His troops need to win the fight so he can abandon the structure (another card) and hop into the spirit, which can then move back off the board with the objective. The Braves have 6 dice needing 4+ to kill 3 Praetorians (with a 4+ dodge), I have 9 dice to get 2 6+. Mark gets 3 wounds on me - I save 1, I roll my 9 dice, 8 roll flat with a 6 among them - 1 is still spinning it finally lands after what seems an age and its a 6. The Praetorians reign supreme, but the objective passes to the last squad of Braves (I think the last Praetorian would have taken them out!)  
I win the game 5-2, I didn't get a kill point bonus so got 13 tournament points

Game 2

Andy P, Scourge

Andy's list;
Desolater (CV4) 

Hunters x3

Hunters x3 in Marauder & Reapers x3 in Marauder

Warriors x2 in Intruder & Warriors x2 in Intruder

Slayers x2, Razorworms x1 in Marauder & Tormentors x2, Razorworms x1 in Marauder

Minders x4 in Intruder & Destroyers x2 in Intruder & Destroyers x2 in Intruder

My arch nemesis, and the only person to have beaten me in a tournament game! Back in Jan 2013 we drew the mission but I lost on Kill Points (he had PHR). You can read that report here 
So on to the battle; Recon, we both have 4 sets of troops so it's pretty even. Andy's are a bit nastier than mine - but I shouldn't be getting caught in CQB unless I want to. Obviously my plan is to destroy his light dropships to stop his mobility. I have always found Scourge to be light on AA, amount of shots and reach are both very low. 
First turn I enter my backfield buildings with 3 units and Andy mirrors he send his destroyers up to the middle and I send my praetorians to the middle. Andy leaves his Reapers loaded and flies them up to the middle, he also unloads his heavies and also the Razorworms (into the open but hidden). Now I have so many targets for turn 2. 
Turn 2 Andy wins activation and deploys his destroyers in the middle building the other unit find an objective and extract it! I go for his Intruder for the destroyers with my drones, at least I can strand them. I take out 1 unit of Razorworms in the open and a tormentor, the other unit jump into a building. Andy's 2 units of Warriors both roll a 1 and the intel blows up in their faces, they move on to the middle buildings, one squad joins the destroyers and the other go to the centre middle. 
My Praetorians oblige the Warriors in the middle, and I get 3 pieces of intel from my Legionnaires, I take out another intruder with Rapiers. My legionnaires lurk behind the left middle building and another enter the centre middle to back up the Praetorians. The last squad lurk behind the middle building. 
Turn 3 I draw Partisan Strike and wipe out the last base of Razorworms freeing up a building. I kill the last Intruder (the Destroyers are still not back from reserve). Andy's warriors roll a 1 for the intel - they are useless at searching!! He plays Razorbirds on my Praetorians  and kills 1 base, and the building damage causes a couple of deaths on my Legionnaires. The Praetorians still annihilate the warriors though! My legionnaires jump into the building the worms were in, then the shit hits the fan. The 3 drive on Hunters shot the building, did 10 damage, scored a butt load of falling masonry and wiped out the squad of Legionnaires in one go. The Tormentor flamed the last base of Praetorians, only smokin' boots were left. The destroyers found an objective but couldn't get away....or so I thought; Andy had a call for extraction so a new Intruder zooms it's way on to collect next turn. 
Turn 4 Andy wins the activation which is (in hindsight) unlucky for him, he embarks his Destroyers onto the Intruder (the other squad are still not available) moves 15" back towards his board edge and opts to get into a building with 18 damage left on it. He sees it as the safer option. My drones (3 left in range) try to take out the Intruder, roll 1 hit and no damage. So my only option is to blow up the building. I pump 4 Gladius into it and do 10 damage, the Condors do nothing - the Longbows fire and do 6 damage, 2 to go. Then I remember the Longbows Ravens, 1 hit 1 miss. I roll a 5 and do 2 damage wiping the building, the Destroyers and the objective out in a pile of rubble. Success! I move my Legionnaires into the last building I can get any intel out of, I know I need this to win the game. Some ground units die on both sides, nothing too damaging.
Turn 5; Andy gets his Destroyers back finally, but they are too far away from my back 3 buildings to get any more intel in this game. Andys Hunters have another crack at the building my Legionnaires are in, but not as lucky this time only 6 damage on the building and hardly any falling masonry. My Legionnaires for their pivotal roll on the last piece of intel I can get - its been sabotaged and blows up in my face.......I blame the resistance!!
We pretty much go through the motions for the rest of the game, more stuff dies but really it's all for nothing, the game ends a draw
I beat Andy on kill points, but that is not taken into consideration unless there is a winner, so no bonus. 
Great game and a really hard battle for 10 tournament points

Game 3

James G, PHR
Bunker Assault 

James' list
Zeus (CV2) + Odin in Neptune & 2 Sirens in Triton 

1 Phobos & 2 Erebos in Neptune

2 Ares + 2 Menchit & 2 Phobos sharing a Posieden 

2 Immortals + 2 Immortals in 2 Junos sharing a Neptune

2 Immortals in Triton & 2 Immortals in Triton


Bunker Assault is a Focal point mission, where the 5 focal points are in untouchable bunkers. Troops count for double if in a bunker and the only way to evict troops is CQB or flame weapons. 
As you can see, James' list is ideal for this scenario - 5 squads of troops including Sirens and Menchits. 
It was direct deploy in the corner, so I set up my boss, the Ferrum and my Wolverines, James set up a solitary Phobos. I won the initiative and let James activate first. He sent Immortals in Tritons left and right, his Sirens followed the left hand immortals. The Neptune with Junos dropped a unit in his home bunker and chugged on to the left. He kept everything else in dropships. I sent Praetorians and 1 unit of legionnaires left and 2 units of legionnaires right all still in their dropships. I deployed everything else, the drones went for the Triton carrying immortals on the right. 
Turn 2 I won the initiative and took out the Triton with my drones, 1 base of immortals crashed and burned, the other jumped into a nearby building. His Athena turned up and took out my praetorians dropship, killing a base....booo. He put his Immortals in the bunker on the left and moved his Sirens towards my home bunker after I left with my Legionnaires. My Praetorians were just close enough to enter the bunker ready for a smash up. I loaded both the other Legionnaires into the right bunker - safer in there!!
James dropped his Zeus and Odin near the right centre, I was opposite with my Gladius, I was out of range of the Odin so I shot the building with the 1 base of Immortals in and wiped them out. The Erebos moved right next to my Gladius but stayed embarked, this could be annoying!  
Turn 3 My Praetorians roll 8 5+ against the Immortals, I lose 3 guys. The Immortals flee, but have no Triton. The Sirens go for my bunker, but the Wolverines were on it, downing the Triton and killing a base of Sirens in the crash, the last base jumped into a building right next to my bunker. I wasn't worried as I had a Ferrum and my boss next to it. My last Legionnaires jumped into the centre bunker. The Rapiers took out the Neptune with the last Juno and destroyed it in the air. I was really not going well for James. I took out 1 Erebos which disembarked next to the Gladius. He dropped his big squad next to the centre bunker, ready to burn my troops.
Turn 4 I need to kill 2 Menchit, I used my 4 Gladius and 2 Longbows plus 2 Condors, but eventually succeed, the Ravens for the Longbow took out the base of Immortals in the open. Over the next couple of turns I removed the Ares, all 3 Phobos the Odin and the last Juno, plus 1 dp from the Athena. I owned all 5 focal points and James had a unit of 2 Immortals in 1 bunker and a single base of Sirens in another. Due to the scoring system there was only 1 bonus vp for each focal point held.
I won 10-2 in vps and got a 4 point bonus for killing a huge amount of PHR 1078 - 271 
I got 20 tournament points and gave James my best sport vote - he well and truly deserved it! 


I finished on 43 tournament points, only 2 behind the winner. 3rd place went to Joe (Skullsword) with 35pts. 4th place was Andy on 34pts and 5th was Pete with 33pts

The winner was Chris Whittaker with his Shaltari, I played Chris for my 1st game at Invasion 2014 earlier this month. It was a brutal battle but he learnt a lot especially about troops and gates, he changed his list and he went and won the tournament. 

So team Orbital Bombardment took 2nd, 3rd and 5th - another good showing. I won 2 blisters of my choice (I snagged an Eagle and a Harbinger to go with the other Harbinger and Stalkers I brought earlier in the day) 

Again, really happy with my army; although this will be the last time it will be played in this form. With all the new units now available and me delving into the murky world of Scourge this list after 2 second place finishes) is now retired. 

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