Thursday, 7 May 2015

CE Tournament Review: The Opening Gambit

Sunday was a good day. We only had 1 month to plan and organise Critical Engagement. I think it turned out pretty damn well. 
We had 14 players, the most we've ever had for a non-Invasion DzC tournament. I think Salute helped, as we could talk to lots of people about the game.

Watch out for the super jellyfish attack. The Scourge are coming
So on to my Sunday. I took my glorious green Scourge. This wasn't my choice. As a joint organiser I said to Zombie that I will submit 3 lists and he can pick one. The only 'tournament sensible' list I submitted was my Air Supremacy UCM list, the Scourge and Shaltari ones were a bit silly.
Zombie chose my Scourge list, as we only had one other Scourge player, he also chose it because it was a 'challenge' as you can see below.
I hadn't played Scourge since Invasion, back in September 2014. A lot has changed with new commanders and new errata.

I still designed the list, so ultimately it is something I wanted to try out. 

As you can see I dropped down to only 3 units of infantry. This was mainly because of the missions we were playing. The only one where I would need more was Recon+. I still had 2 squads of Destroyers though, how can you not? 
I have taken more AA too, with 2 squads of Reapers and 2 squads of Minders, this I felt is needed in all lists, as the amount of aircraft being used is really increasing. 
I added in Tormentors too as they had the possibility to be useful in all the missions, they actually proved to be utterly invaluable as you will see.
Finally I really wanted to use my Oppressor, he has been built, converted and painted since the end of March, but he's been sitting in a case...poor little fella.

You can almost see him crying

My army in all it's (almost finished) glory

Game 1

Opponent - James Barry a.k.a. Gettodadropship


James is new to his PHR, he is normally seen strutting his stuff with the space hedgehogs. This should have gone a lot better for him, but the dice gods had a far greater plan. 

I was concerned by James having 4 squads of Immortals, I had to deal with them early. 
On the board there were only 9 buildings with intel inside, this meant a very large amount of clear lines of sight. Not good when facing a Nemesis and 2 Hyperions, I had to be sneaky sneaky. 
James' first dice roll of the game was a 'to the deck roll' for a squad of Immortals. Double 1 later and I no longer had to worry too much about the Immortals. They landed safely, but they were stranded on the back board edge. We both had 3 squads of infantry in buildings at the end of turn 1. Also I had set up a pounce on his Neptune mounted Helios. 
Turn 2 and I lost the activation, so I couldn't jump on his Helios. It did force James to activate them and 2 units of Immortals, 1 found a bomb and went to a middle building, the other found intel and got into their Juno, it was a long trudge from there to the next building. Having the immortals already commited, and a little whittled down already meant I could spend the turn eating away at the building, by the time my Hunters and Destroyers were through there were 2 Immortals left. My Warriors and second Destroyer squad went to the middle. At the end of turn 2, I found 2 pieces of intel and a focal point. James found 2 pieces of intel and a bomb. (3-2)
Turn 3 and I think James made a small mistake here. Had he activated his Immortals first, or at least very early, then he could have concentrated his fire on the building and brought it down with my Destroyers inside, it only had 11 damage left on it. Fortunately for me he didn't. I activated my Warriors who had lost their Intruder, they found intel and lined windows so that Immortals could not enter. The Immortals took the long way round to avoid the warriors small arms fire and set-up a turn 4 building embarkation, or so he thought. My Reapers came round the corner and only 2 could see. After 3 ones and a 2 to hit, I rolled a 2 to damage and did nothing. James got a call for extraction for his stranded Immortals and the Juno Immortals trundled more. I got 2 more pieces of intel, and James got 1 with his 2 Immortals before they were crushed by Destroyers. (5-3)
Turn 4 James gets his Immortals into my back building and my Tormentors are waiting, 2 Immortals survived the initial onslaught of flamey-burny, but in turn 5 I won activation and wiped them out before they got to roll. The once stranded Immortals flew 20" to follow on where the previous ones were. This time my Warriors lined the side windows and blew them out of the sky. I also dispatched the Juno, the Immortals escaped, but in the open they were toast. That left James with no infantry left, turns 5 and 6 were going through the motions, I got some more intel and held the Focal Point uncontested

9-3 in Victory Points

Game 2

Opponent - Rob Jones

Ground Control+

So Game 2 is a Scourge-off, there's me thinking I'll be playing PHR all day and I get the only other Scourge player. I think Ground Control favours the Scourge over all other races, firstly due to their speed; secondly (and most importantly) due to the fact that their aircraft score. In almost all Scourge armies there are a lot of expensive aircraft. Intruders are 40 points, Marauders 41 points and Harbingers are 70 (they ONLY come with Arc casters people). 
I was a little disappointed to play another Scourge player in this mission - I would have had an easier time against the PHR. Rob also has an Oppressor and a Desolater. 

I won't give a blow by blow account for this game, as with Ground Control, it normally revolves around the last couple of game turns. 
I think Rob made an early error - he brought on all his infantry on turn 1. I kept all mine off until turn 5. This meant I had lots of time to kill expensive Intruders and infantry. 
On turn 1, Rob sent a squad of Warriors in their Intruder 30" up his left flank, I followed up with some Reapers, which disembarked; ready to pounce on turn 2. I won the next activation and obliged with the Reapers. They blew the Intuder up, and it exploded, killing all the Warriors inside. This put Rob down a battle group, he was down to only 4 battlegroups by turn 4 when I burned out the second Warrior squad with my Tormentors. 
On turn 3 my Oppressor was taken out, it took an almighty amount of punishment, namely 6 Hunters, 2 bases of Destroyers a Despoiler and the Desolater. It did manage to wipe out a squad of Reapers though. 
In retaliation I thought I would have a pop at his Oppressor with my Stalkers, I thought that if I could do a few wounds it would make him very nervous. I hit 3 times and rolled  a 3, 5 and a 6; wiping the Oppressor off the table in one sweet volley; lady luck was smiling on me I think. Turn 3 and both commanders gone!
By the closing stages I was pretty sure I would win the game, it all depended on positioning. It finished with me owning all 4 quarters and Rob contesting all for. Losing whole battlegroups in Ground Control severely damages your chances of success. 
If it wasn't for 1 pesky minder contesting a quarter it would have been 8-3 but my Harbinger missed! Oh well

8-4 in Victory Points 

Hope you enjoyed this recap of my day, game 3 will be coming in a couple of days, it's a long one so grab some coffee, scrub the eyeballs and strap in.


  1. I think many makes the mistake to let Scourge double tap. I felt it at Invasion as well.

    Game one; Ouch! I hope he learned not to go low against Scourge in the turns the Scourge won't reach them. Also, only nine buildings? Perhaps you aimed to boost PHR overall in the tournament?

    Game 2: I do believe in the Stalkers. E12 is really much more than E11.

    It was a good idea as a coop organizer to make several lists and have the co-op organizer play the one with the least participants. After the Swedish champ I will absolutely think to start with that.

    Interesting read as always/Egge

    1. Yeah I really rate the E12 guns. I got a bit lucky with that roll but the potential is there.
      With the first game there were 12 buildings on the board but only 9 scoring, I just got unlucky on the random draw for boards.

  2. thx 4 the report


  3. Shows like you had fun! Nice recap And it gives me something to think about.
    My opponents are 2*PHR 1*resistance. So readying up on how scourge do things is a bit of a must for me.

    Cheers, Thunder