Saturday, 9 May 2015

CE Tournament Review: The Great Sacrifice

Continuing my tournament review, you can read part one here

So that's how Tormentors work, it's all become clear
As a recap, I'm 2 for 2 and on maximum points game 3 awaits me.........

Game 3

Opponent - David Bonner

Secure the Flanks

I was really, really hoping not to play this list, especially not for this mission. Look at it, just look at it! 
If there was ever a bad match-up, this would be king of the bad match-ups.
For those of you that have been paying attention to my tournament outings, I played David in the first game at Invasion this year. His list is slightly modified this time, and is an all skimmer list. He has barely any gates, so the normal trick of crippling the Shaltari by taking out the gates will not work. 

I had 2 options for this game:
Option A - put all my infantry in my 'home' objective building, take a pounding. Activate my Destroyers first and move to the next one hopefully safely. Probably lose the Warriors to the destroyed building. Need to rely on getting 6's to find objectives before David does. Best possible outcome is to find both objectives and extract them, then contest one Focal Point and own the other.
Option B - Rush the Destroyers to the middle as last activation on turn 1, then play a waiting game on turn 2, to see if I can get to David's home objective building. It will be the only safe building on the board. Warriors can still have a search in my home building, they will get 1 chance only! 
I need to stop any objectives being found, or claim Davids, then own a Focal Point and contest another one. 

Not an easy choice. I went with option B.
During the game I had some truly awful turns of dice rolling. I couldn't hit or wound, plus David was rolling passives like he needed a 2+. I stuck to my plan though. I knew that I wouldn't couldn't get a kill point bonus, so I had to keep feeding David different units to keep as much of his stuff boxed in as I could; away from the focal points. 

On turn 2 I had my solitary search with the Warriors in my home objective building, no objective; they bailed out of the mostly destroyed building and went up my right flank, that was going to be my Focal Point. David activated one of his squads of Braves (the ones with the Kukuri), they didn't find the objective - PHEW! 3 Kukuri shot at my Oppressors Harbinger (Oppressor still on board), taking 3 damage off it. I fed the other squad of Kukuri some Minders, David took the bait and reaction-fired at them - he killed one, but it put me close to the Firedrake. This gave me free reign to enter Davids building. The first squad of Destroyers went in, blasting their way in doing 11 damage to the building and killing 3 Braves in the falling masonry (1 from one squad 2 from the other). David activated his second squad of Braves, failed to find the objective and bugged out. 
I think David made 3 mistakes in this game, this was his first. He should have kept the Braves in. His second mistake was not adding his Firstborns to the fray. 

Turn 3 the centre objective building goes down (my home one went down on turn 2). My Oppressor failed to do anything to 3 Kukuri, David made all his saves. The Tomahawks shot the Oppressor and did 2 damage!! The Oppressor was hull down too. The Minders survive reaction fire and wound the Firedrake 3 times. My Reapers redeploy and narrowly escape a Firedrake blast as the Firedrake gets away from those pesky Minders. We fight at the end of the turn and I wipe out the Braves after he tries to escape out and I espoinage that shit!! That makes me the Occupier. David destroys both the Destroyers Intruders and both the Minders Intruders. I drop my Stalkers in a vain effort to kill a Caimen next turn.   

Turn 4, one of my Reapers dies, the last two take out Davids only Eden, another Reaper dies. My Destroyers fail to find the objective and one squad lines the window and takes out a Haven. Davids Spirits are hovering around my area, but I can do nothing about it. My Oppressor runs out in front of the awaiting volley of Caimen death in an attempt to save the building my Destroyers are in. He kills 1 Kukuri for his effort, then dies in a blaze of gory glory. My Stalkers jump the Caimen and do 2 wounds. 2 hit, 1 saved it returns fire and kills one. The other Caimen goes for my last Reaper and misses. My Warriors enter a large building near the right Focal Point. Big mistake as I forgot that the Gharial was waiting there. 1 base dead!

Turn 5. My Reaper moves to pounce on the Firedrake, but is out of range. Tormentors are on the left Focal Point and very safe, I have Reapers and 2 Stalkers plus 1 base of Warriors on right Focal point. David starts moving for the left Focal Point with kukuri and 1 Caimen. The Caimen fails to take out the Reaper again. On the right FP, the 3 Tomahawks and Kukuri are trying to get in position. The Gharial won't make it but the Caimen will. My Stalkers take out one of the Kukuri but I forget about my Razor Claws, could have used them! A few shots at my Destroyers building is not too much to worry about. The Destroyers fail again to find the objective. The last of my Warriors die as they line the windows and try to finish off the Caimen. I can still smell their burning flesh.

Turn 6 and Davids got it in the bag really..................or has he?
The Firedrake has 2 wounds left, it activates as a gate, and picks up a Caimen. I wait until it has picked up it's cargo then reaction fire. 2 hits, no saves and 3 damage later there is no Caimen or Firedrake. 2 Kukuri move right next to the left hand FP. I have 2 Tormentors, so 100pts for me and 90pts for David.
On the right hand FP I have 3 Reapers and a Stalker, so 144pts. I wish I hadn't committed my Warriors so early. There was no need to, that would have been 54 extra points on the Focal Point. David has 1 Caimen, 1 Tomahawk and 1 Kukuri, so 178pts. But it doesn't end there. My Destroyers find the 1 and only Objective left, then bail out of the building which has 4 damage left on it. Legends! 
You are probably thinking what happened to the other Braves and Firstborns? The Firstborns finally made an appearance on my right hand FP (the one I wanted to own) adding another 96 to it. David has that one for sure. The Braves enter a building next to the left FP using their Spirit, meaning David is winning it 160 to 100 and is winning the game 4-3 in victory points. 
My Tormentors have yet to activate though. This is the final activation of the last turn of the last game. It is completely victory dependent. I have no idea how I have got to this stage, I'm in a position to win the game. A game which should be so out of sight that it isn't even funny!
Dan came over to see what what going on.
The Braves had 4 left, 1 on one base and 3 on the other. The Tormentors can target one base each and they need to kill both.
I go for the base with 1 left first, if I can't kill that then it's not even worth rolling the next. I succeed with 2 wounds, only needing 1.
Tormentor number 2 - it's your time to shine, all you have to do is kill 3 Braves. 10 shots, 3's to hit and 5's to wound. I should average 2.22. Odds are well against it. never tell me the odds!

I get 8 hits.

I roll the dice, hunting for big numbers. Dan's getting very tense, I'm tense.

Two 6's and a 5 show up, I've done it, the Tormentors have done it. You little beauties! 

I win the game 4-3 in victory points, David smashed me around on kill points, almost double, but in the end it did not matter.
As I mentioned earlier, David made 3 mistakes. His third was which infantry he sent where. Had he put his untouched Firstborns instead of the Braves I would not have wiped them out. 

In the end I came second overall as Joe smashed Ed on table 2. We tied on tournament points, so it went to the victory point difference. Mine was +11 his was +12! So close, so very close. 

I won a Shaltari starter, a double-decker battlebus and a blotz building. Not too shabby

Zombie goes in for a kiss....denied (yes I am a Spurs fan, don't judge me)


  1. Thx for the final installment. Go Jellys.

  2. I actually feel the Shaltari have gone long of course on how they were intended.

    People already know my opinion on this but once again;
    The gates are not connected to anything for driving on.
    The gates are connected to everything for the sake getting gates back.
    The infantry dematerialized are rule wise considered on table for the sake of reserve rolls for leaving the table.
    The infantry dematerialized are not considered on table for the sake of materializing from an having that have jumped out of a gate.

    I don't think they are overpowered that much. But I do think they need to be cleaned up a bit. When in doubt the Shaltari always have the advantage. Ok you can use the get a gate back - card. That should be because all gates are considered connected to all squads so they all must enter through gates on turn 1. Ok units that have left the table by dematerializing are not in reserve but then infantry should be considered part of a haven so can't enter buildings further than 1" away.

    The Shaltari should have the advantage that all gates are connected to all battlegroups and that they can dematerialize units to save them. Nothing more - and I think that was the purpose and intent from the start.

    A very interesting summary of the tournament. 4 posts about it, right? Thanks.

    1. Thanks for the comments, I've already started a post on army drawbacks. Should have it done next week.

  3. Firstly, thanks for the write up, but thanks even more for taking flame units. 4 lists in this tourney took flame (6 took FMs).

    Secondly, in regards to the typical Shaltari are OP bias, the post opens commenting about how he has a fast skimmer army w/ few gates, and the normal shoot the gates tactic won't work. This is looking at the glass half empty. Half full, he has few gates, only 2 that can move the big stuff around for those last turn FP grabs. Downing just the Eden limits him to not shooting his F'Drake if he wants a 16"+(mv/2)" redeploy.

    Also, it was a smart play going for his home objective like you did. You read his list and knew what to expect, and then played to win. When you say he has it in the bag, I honestly didn't think he did from reading this. His eden was down, so he couldn't do any crazy shenanigans, and you had infantry on the only objective.

    I don't think any infantry should get a 3" disembark/dematerialize from anything. It's ridiculous they move more from that than actually moving.


    1. Cheers for the nice comment. I may not have conveyed just how badly it was going for turns 1-4. My dice really sucked. Also by the end of the game David had 885 kill points to my 470ish. Now I know that KP's don't matter too much if you are winning the game, but I really didn't think I could win that game.
      If the armies had been switch and I had the Shaltari I really think I would have cleaned up in that game. Had David not made the initial mistake of not staying in the CQB he would have won the game.
      I agree with you on his gates though. Although I said I didn't need to worry about going for his gates, when I got the opportunity I really went for them. Reapers are so good at take out aircraft when you need to.
      The Tormentors we really good too. I think it helped that we said what the missions were going to be, it gave players a chance to design lists for the competition rather than not knowing what they will play.
      I don't think Shaltari are over powered at all, I just think that they don't have any drawbacks, but as I said in an earlier comment to egge, I will cover that in a post next week

  4. Hindsight is 20/20. David may of thought to himself, "Abandon the building, knock it down w/ Destroyers in it, I'm Shaltari and I win focal points". You got that objective just in the knick of time.

    I look forward to that post. Shaltari live and die by their gates, taking out that F'Drake when you did is a good example of it.

  5. I find it sad this article didn't get more attention. Especially since it was against David who took 2nd last invasion. Both were close matches according to your reports. Also it is the closest we can get to testing the idea that 2 players of equal skill will be decided by who plays the Shaltari. Seems to be counter to that hypothesis. I realize it's a case study, but it's all there is to go on. Do you know David to replay? Or have you (Mike) considered playing with Dan, taking turns who is Shaltari and recording the results?

    1. David isn't part of our normal club, but Mike did play against his Shaltari at the UK Games Expo and lost with his UCM (bad dice had a part to play from what I gather).

      I haven't played Shaltari in a year and a half, so I'd be super rusty! The other problem with that is neither of us want to play Shaltari at the moment.