Monday, 26 September 2016

Mikes Autumn Invasion 2016

Well it's been over a week now, so I guess I should relay my experiences over the weekend at Croydon Conference Centre.

It was a lot of fun, and as you may already know by now, I finished up 4th - missed out on the top 3 by a solitary dice roll - more on this later.

First things first though, a massive shout out to Steve at Dark Ops, first of all for being a fine upstanding gentleman, second for the work he put in to producing OB towers for us. As you can see from the pictures, OB towers is a stunning centrepiece for a table - table 3 at Invasion.

The board was a collection of DarkOps and Blotz buildings all painted lovlilee by our fair hands. We hope that players had fun with it, and that OB towers didn't get blown up too many times.

Second shout out for DarkOps is for their Battle-group token set. I didn't think it would be a thing, but it really is!!! Dan and I gave them a test run for Invasion, this made my life so much easier. No longer do I have to try and remember which Intruders are in which battle-group, a quick glance at the table and I can immediately see. These circular tokens clip onto the flight stands, and there are 6 different colours meaning you can pimp up each of your battle-groups. Also in the kit are aircraft damage markers, these little tokens are genius. Especially for a Scourge and UCM player. As you can see from the photo it is clear to see which aircraft are in each battle-group, even at a quick glance.

The thing I like most about them is that they actually clip on the flight stand, meaning that when you move the model the token doesn't fall off. I doff my cap to you chaps at DarkOps.

On to Invasion then. My sincerest apologies, I hardly got any pictures. Firstly as there was nothing new to see, like at all!!!! Secondly, my games were quite intense, so I just plain forgot to get any pre, post or during game action.

Björn, PHR - Targets of Opportunity
I was a little disappointed to be playing ToO - Military Complex is a much better mission. Luckily for me Björn didn't have a great deal of building demo, otherwise it could have been curtains from the start. I have to confess, this game was a little unfair. Literally everything I shot I killed. I was rolling 2dp each and every time I hit anything. I had 2 Reapers take out a Njord in 1 round. But saying that, the game could have still ended as a draw. The mission still works as a tight game (as long as on player doesn't have a stupid amount of demo). I managed to extract 2 objectives and Björn extracted 1,  but the difference was the kill points, I managed to completely chew through the PHR taking minimal casualties myself. 4-2 in VPs

Huge thanks to Björn, he was a gent throughout, I gave him my best sport award too.

Win 15-5 KP 1079-214

Charlie Hamilton, Shaltari - Secure the Flanks
I played Charlie at Summer Invasion at the UK Games Expo, I lost that game, so I had revenge in mind. By turn 3 I was tearing (what's left) of my hair out thinking "what can I do to even draw this game?"

The game started with an under-estimation of the demo power of Charlie's force. I made a mistake and put too much of my force into my home objective building. Charlie won 1st activation turn 2 (with a lower CV value too) and dropped my building with 3 units of warriors and a base of worms inside. That left me with Destroyers (and potentially 2 bases of worms). I made sure I was the occupier in the central building though. Charlie found his objective early (turn 2 I think), and I managed to find the central one eventually and extract it. I played my Hunters really well, and rounded on a squad of Kukri with double shots thanks to the Overseer. I did nothing. I either failed to hit or Charlie saved it. This left my Hunters exposed.

Through careful planning and shear force of will I managed to scrape a draw. I held 1 Focal Point and contested another. Charlie had me on the ropes and should have finished me off, but just couldn't get over the line. 5 VP's each

Really good game against a tough opponent.

Draw 10-10 KP 625-631

Tom Rodgers, PHR - Crucible
One of the new missions, one that I like too. Again I was fortunate that Tom doesn't have too much in the way of building demo. This was the first time I have played against a Hera too. It's quite fragile, I think it will need at least 3 bodies with her (depending how it is used). Tom also used a pair of Odins, not seen for a while, but they are still as potent as ever. I found my home objective early and jumped on the Critical Location in the middle. I knew that getting early points in this mission can be crucial to how you finish. I managed to jump on Tom's Helios early turn 2, where he saw firsthand what the Overseer can do. Tom also had Janus (4 of) who had a pop at the Overseer, but failed to do anything, so dealt with them straightaway too, this left a couple of walk on Phobos to deal with later, then plain sailing in the air.

I managed to claim the CL for turns 2, 3 and 4. Tom's Odins managed to waddle up on turn 5 and were joined by the Hera and a Guardian, this tipped it towards the PHRs favour but in turn 6 I dropped the Hera and the Guardian to claim it back. Tom extracted an objective and held one at the end of the game too. That left it as 8-4 in VP's to me.

I really enjoyed this game, Tom was a great opponent, he made a couple of mistakes early on (mainly due to dropping the Odins on turn 1). This was also the first time Tom had seen the Overseer across a table.

Win 17-3 KP 1177-376

Stephen Downes, Resistance - Bunker Assault
I genuinely felt sorry for Steve. His dice simply left him. Off on holiday, sunning themselves in Cuba, drinking Mojitos on the beach.

Tactically he did nothing wrong. The game was a tough one for both of us. I was acutely aware of the amount of blasts Steve had, Sappers and Thunder-wagons the main threats. On turn 1 I set my Hunters up crammed behind a building, safe in the knowledge they could not be targeted, even by an IF blast. Then, to my horror Steve drew a card that lets him target an IF weapon as if it had line of sight!!!! He rolled a 1 to hit. A bloody lucky escape for me.

Steve's Zhukovs sat in a nasty place with a huge area of board denial in front of them, protected by the Thunderstorm. I managed to fail miserably at gauging range for my Hunters as I jumped on the Zhukovs, they had a Jink and Weave on them so they survived the Thunderstorms return fire. To give you an idea of how awful Steve's dice were, his Thunderstorm round a building to find my Oppressor lurking with only 3 dp left. 4 hits later and I'm ready to pick up my Oppressor. Steve rolls 2, 2, 1, 1. I could not believe it. As a courtesy, my Oppressor had a go back against the undamaged Thunderstorm and did 8 dp to it. The Thunderstorm did survive the turn and managed to take out the Oppressor and 3 Hunters with it the following turn. Typhoons are really naughty too. Although I managed to remove all 3 over 3 turns with 4 minders 32pts>210pts.

I managed to hold 4 bunkers for a comprehensive win and a minor kill point bonus helped to. 9-4 in VP's to me.

Win 17-3 KP 1184-832

Simon Edwards, Scourge - Domination
Final game in familiar territory. Table 1 and a few points behind (3). I needed a 12-8 to overhaul the deficit, plus the players behind to have close games too. Simon came straight out and said he was playing for a draw. Ultimately it worked, but I will class myself as unlucky based on how it played out. The game was very intense, and to be honest - not a lot of fun. Maybe the wrong mission for last game, maybe the situation.

At the halfway scoring point we both held 2 quarters and contested 2. The same was the result in turn 6.

I had a chance to win the game in the last turn, my Reapers were hiding behind a building and I'd held on to a relentless advance for a couple of turns. Simon's Overseer moved into the quarter, he had also activated his Slayers. The Reapers were safe, I played the card, Espionage (3rd one!!) and my plan failed. Needed that extra 3" (who doesn't). Even with that, I could still win if I could remove 1 slayer or one shot Simon's Overseer with mine. My Overseer did 4 wounds to the Overseer, so I'm left with the Harbinger. Needing a 6 to hit the Slayer, I rolled a 6. Energy 11, so needing a 2+.....I roll a 1. I guess it's average, but still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Had I killed the Slayer, I would have won 13-11 in VP's (a 12-8 win). I didn't, so GET OVER IT MAN!!!

Draw 10-10 KP 500ish-600ish (I think)

Huge congratulations to Erik from team Sweden for winning Invasion - you are now the reigning World Champ. And to (some of) Team Sweden for claiming the best team prize. We love you guys, hope to see you and everyone again next time.

I really liked my list. The Overseer is ridonkulous. It's too cheap and has too much AA. It also makes you take a certain build, without it you will not do well. I think it may need a post of it's own.

It was a good event (as a tournament). I was not overly happy with the mission choices. The 1st day was demo central. Not one mission with A8 buildings. With the dearth of missions available now a better spread is needed.
Also what was disappointing was the lack of anything new on show for the open day. Everything there I've seen before, we've all seen before. I don't think Hawk are coping well with 2 games on the go. It feels like Dropzone has taken a backseat most of this year. For me, that's not good enough. I love dropzone. I want it to thrive. I hope for something good next year.
I also feel it is getting time for Dropzone 2.0, but that is for a different post.

We will be podding this weekend and we want your questions please;

Permission to speak freely - get your questions in to
Ask anything you want.......ANYthing


  1. Was great to be there and win best sporting... Was a huge shock and loved every second of it... Roll on Invasion 2017 Spring... Also gotta say Dark Ops is just AMAZING!!! XD

    1. Congrats on taking Alex's prize. Glad you enjoyed it buddy

  2. Those dice deserve to be put to the shooting squad for pulling such a mutiny. Two failed hidden observer Thunder Wagon shots (Both 1’s) and the Thunderstorm shooting was not the best way to start a Sunday’s gaming. My dice were poor in my first game as well, perhaps they are passing through a teenage stage and only wake up in the afternoon?

    Thanks again for the epic game Mike! Such a hard fought battle and fun game (in hindsight).

    (btw I like the selfie)

    1. I hope new dice are on order Mr D!!
      I'm glad hindsight and time can give you a better reflection of the game. I know you were a little despondent at the end. Sad Panda.

  3. Great review, Mike, thanks! I really like this format for recapping a tournament, especially a 5-game event.

    Great cover shot, too!

    Looking forward to the podcast!


  4. I agree that the missions were a bit disappointing. I also think having domination as the last mission was a bad choice. I like it as a mission, and think it needs to be be part of invasion; but not the last mission. It is maths heavy, with players knowing what they need to get for VPs. it just creates gamey situations that aren't good for a tournament experience.

    1. I whole-heatedly agree with you Amitverse. If it was mission 2 on day 1 it would have been absolutely fine.
      I hope there are some improvements for the next one

  5. I also agree, domination is not a great last mission as I feel that 2 evenly matched players + average ish dice will normally mean a draw. I did not want a draw as I knew I would be unlikely to win the tournament but Mike is a very good player and unless one of us made a mistake it was always going to be a draw (in my head anyway)

    No Longer Hawk Simon

  6. I definitely agree that something needs to be done about the Overseer. I feel as though I *have* to take it, and that constrains the things I have to take in the list (big squad of hunters in a despoiler). I want to make different lists. I feel that not only does the Overseer need a nerf, but the other Scourge command need a buff.

    I wanna see scourge walker lists with the Oppressor. I wanna see a viable desolator.