Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Excitement and Trepidation

It's Wednesday afternoon, I can't concentrate on anything at work. At the moment all I'm thinking about is Invasion this coming weekend. For 15 years I have been a tournament gamer (never a "win at all costs" WAAC, gamer) of some sort or another.
It started when our gaming group discovered a smallish tournament in Oxstead called the Waaagh. This would be 3rd Edition 40k. For months we practiced hard, painted well and at the end of it we came away with all but 1 of the trophies on offer. It was brilliant, the atmosphere, the camaraderie.....the memories.

Since then I've been to tournaments every year, multiple times a year, for different games too. It's safe to say I really like tournament gaming.
Dropzone Commander, for me, is one of the best for this kind of play. It is very tactical and a lot of games go down to the wire. This weekend will be my 4th Invasion tournament. I attended the 1st one back in Jan 2013. There were 16 players in the back room of a hotel in London. I came 5th with my UCM and had an amazing time.
A year later the game had a lot more recognition, the field was more than double. I still had my UCM and came 2nd (to ZombieState winning) out of 34. Hawk did 2 Invasions that year and I vowed to take a new army to the September one. I kept my word and learnt (the hard way) how to play with Scourge. I came 3rd (ZombieState winning again) from a field of 38.

This brings me to Invasion 2015, another new army. This time Shaltari. Again the field has increased, (44 at last count) and the game has expanded quite dramatically too. The Resistance will be vying for recognition. The new units they can field will change the way people play and the way they make their lists.

So what is the trepidation about?.............
The last 2 Invasions were won by Shaltari. I now have Shaltari. I don't think there are overpowered armies in DzC. List creation and tactical play is essential. But the Shaltari, in a good players hands can be unbeatable (obviously you can't legislate for dice).

Team OB are expecting me to win Invasion, that's a lot of pressure in a luck based game. Obviously I would love to win, I go into each game working out how I can win, but also wanting to have fun. At the end of the day I would rather have an enjoyable game that I lost than a shitty game that I won. Also I have never really been a lucky gamer. If I could roll average dice I would be so happy!

If (and it's a big if) I were to win Invasion it's a bit of a double-edged sword. It would mean that Shaltari have won the tournament 3 times in a row. I'm not so sure that it would be a good thing for the game. Is it coincidence? I guess we will see.

Below is the list I will be taking

It's an absolute bastard to play against. The Jaguar/Dreamsnare block is a very tough nut to crack. I have the Caimen and Firedrake for flank harassing. I know I'm a little light on AA but that was a deliberate sacrifice. If I had the points I would love 2 more Yaris with Ion cannon.
My list hasn't evolved much since I bought the models last September only minor tweeks to battlegroup configuration and I downgraded my boss to fit Firstborns in.

I enjoy how the army plays, it's very maneuverable and very versatile. But you know what, the Scourge are way more fun to play. After Invasion, I will be working on my secret resistance project and playing Scourge.

Here are a few pictures of my army. It's a good gaming standard. I know I can paint better, but I'm happy with them. My Coyote especially.

If you are going to Invasion, good luck and come say hello. I will report back after the tournament. Here's hoping for another excellent weekend of tight games, good friends and good memories!


  1. I hate Shaltari and I hate Jaguars and all those gates feel like a pain too get rid of! I just hope that I don't need to face you at the other side of the board and just shake hands outside the tournament!

    The Coyote tands out from the rest of the army and I really like that!
    Good luck!

  2. Well, interesting list... very similiar to whaat i field these days (sans caiman and 1 unit braves but therefore with 2 more yaris and a unit firstborns extra.) i hope you'll do a detailled debriefing aafterwards... would love to hear it.

    1. I will definitely be doing a postvasion report of my weekend. I will also try to get some stuff up over the weekend, even if it's just some pictures of the open day

  3. Nice list, too many gates for me. I'd try to find a way to get one more Drake in there. But that is just me. Best of luck sir. Listening to the pod cast as I write this. If you get time please post random game pics during the weekend.


    1. Thanks FM, Whilst I'd love 2 drakes, that would tie up too many points in Aircraft and that doesn't help me in Focal point missions. Also I'd have to lose 1 Eden and probably a Caimen or Jag and that is not gonna happen. I will try to post up what I can from invasion. Hopefully lots of picture of new stuff!!!!

  4. Good luck from your one fan ;)

    Regarding the last podcast - it’s pronounced [ljᴂᴡid] and I bet your wife is a fan of yours too – it is just that wives somehow regularly forget to mention the wargamer part when they talk with their friends about their husbands. But I think I once heard mine mention that I was “pissing away money on toys”… No idea what she meant…

    I definitely agree on the „better to lose a fun game than win a shitty one“ part, it is definitely a healthy & useful attitude if you consider yourself a Scourge player- like me.

    Somehow our experiences with Shaltari are less overwhelming. I like to think that it has less to do with our ineptitude to play them, than with our extremely aggressive 0% defense, 100% offense “kick them in the balls and bite their face” playstyle that shows a certain lack of respect for their abilities.

    On the other hand I haven’t encountered the 3 Jags + Dreamsnare block yet.

    We’ll see…

    Best wishes & enjoy the tournament


    - Ljevid

  5. Hey Mike,

    Been enjoying your podcast, and following your prep on the forums. I too am dreading coming up against this list. But very much looking forward to five amazing games.


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  7. This list is tough. And close to just unfair. And here is why: every list has pros and cons or let's say a weak spot. This list has it's weak spot where only a non-tournament list can hit it. As a scourge player: I would only crack this nut if i'm strong on air, which would be bad for tournament reasons because of the missions. I say it would be no wonder, if you win the tournament, but as you sad yourself... 3 times Shaltari winning will be not good for the game.

    I would love to see a suprise winner. Nevertheless, keep up the good work on the blog and the podcast. And I which you all a ton of fun. Would have loved to come myself. Maybe next time.