Friday, 3 February 2017

Invasion Report: Reconquering the Colonies

Hey ho bloger-sphere, how the devil are you?

You may have already heard the word.........I won Invasion for the 3rd time. Not only that, but it is a hat-trick of Winter Invasions for me; 2015, 2016 and 2017. That is 2 with UCM and one where I basically cheated and took Shaltari.

The tournament went right down to the wire and was only determined on the last activation of the last turn. The event ran really smoothly and was great to see all the friendly faces. There were 38 competitors, which was a little disappointing to see - big drop from September, and a slight drop from last Winter.

There was tid-bits of information and some beautiful artwork to see from an 'as yet unknown' project, more to come on that I hope.

On to my weekend then, here is a brief (well starts brief, but gets less brief as the games get more (in)tense) run down of the games.

Army shot, as set up for best army judging

Day 1

Game 1
David Rey - PHR
Bunker Assault

I love Bunker Assault. Not with my army though. The bunkers act as a huge force multiplier for those exotic and expensive infantry. Also, I don't have a great deal of ground units to hold Focal Points. I have one play. Kill everything.
David played his infantry superbly well. Got into multiple bunkers early - I did manage to kill one base of Valkyries before they entered. This was key at the end.
I was able to take out all of David's ground units piece-meal as he split his force up - good AA coverage, but no over-lapping fields of fire. The only walker/skimmer left at the end was a Zeus on 1 wound.
My Broadsword did very well, removing Helios and Phobos at range - helping out the aircraft to dominate.
In turn 5 I moved 4 bases of Hazard Suits into the central bunker to see if they could deal with 1 base of Valkyries, unfortunately they couldn't. The game ended with me controlling 4 bunkers and contesting 1 with David holding 1 and contesting 3
I had a +2 kill point bonus making a 16-4

Game 2 
David Clark - Resistance (Allied)
Ground Control

A game of unfortunate dice for Mr Clark. It started early too for Dave, his Pathfinder made an attack run on turn 2, I reaction fired with a Ferrum, before the Pathfinder got it's shot, hit it and blew it to smithereens.
Every time I shot a Leviathan I doubled it, I actually did 12 damage on one of them! I also managed to blow up an entire battlegroup in the air. This was done over 2 turns, the drones had not a lot to do, so they meandered over to the Lifthawk containing all the Resistance Fighters and did 3 damage to it. Next turn, they fired again, got the one damage and rolled a 6 to destroy everything in the air.
I was able to take out the rocket technicals piece-meal as they arrived one squad at a time; and once the Leviathans were gone there was no AA left to bother me. I managed to clear one entire quarter and owned all 4, Dave contested 3 and the game ended with me reversing the score from Warfare where I got caned 17-3 and my biggest ever competitive loss. Revenge is a dish.........blah blah blah
17-3 win for me

Game 3 
David Bonner - Shaltari
Command and Control

This is not going to be a long one.
David made a huge mistake on turn 2 - moving away from the CL (thinking it was 6" range rather than 3") so that my Broadsword wouldn't shoot it again.
Game was over early turn 3, I found 2 of the 3 objectives, and extracted them as far as I could.
David found an objective, then I blew it out the sky and destroyed it. He had no gates left to move any AA or anything really to stop me. David withdrew his units to safety and we called it on turn 5 with nothing else to do. I had a 5 point win plus a point for kill point bonus.
16-4 to me

Hawk eyed readers will realise that I had played 3 Davids on day 1, unfortunately, that was it. There were no more Davids to play.

Obligatory Day 2 breakfast shot

Day 2

Game 4
Adam Cox - PHR
Military Complex

Really tough and extremely enjoyable game. This was the first game of the weekend that I properly had to work for and earn the victory. I mean no disrespect to my previous 3 opponents, but I had had a fair bit of luck in those games which made some of them a non-event.

Talking of a bit of luck, one squad of my Hazard suits used Secret Entrance on turn 1 to get into a central building ready for a turn 2 search.
Fortunately for me, I believe Adam made 2-3 mistakes in the game. Firstly, when his Valkyries entered the middle objective building, (which housed my lonely Hazard Suits, I had one search and bugged out), on the next turn I had to wait for 2 Phobos to shoot or be killed before I could fly across to the next building. One squad of the Valkyries should have moved across to become the occupier before me.
Once I was in the right-hand building, Adam had another chance to enter the building and tie me up in CQB which he didn't take, rather taking the opportunity to have extra searches in his building.

Lastly,  Adam Weapon Hacked my Broadsword twice (turn 3 and 4) but (imho) chose the wrong target. If he had rotated the turret 90 deg to my left there was a lovely looking Ferrum just sitting there all open and shiney.
Adam couldn't find his home objective for love nor money, and eventualy I made him bug out from repeated pressure on his building. He had Immortals and Sirens only, doing the searching.

Going back to the game, Adam managed the max. 16 damage from 4 Angelos on turn 1; yes, that was two 5's and two 6's, leaving the building on 9dp left. Adam then won activation on turn 2 but only managed 8dp. I opted to move to the central building using an underground monorail, then he blew up my home building with a squad of Hazard suits inside.

I managed to find an objective on turn 4 with the Flak team, who handed it off to a Bear. I also managed to find the objective in the right-hand central building and bugged out. Adam eventually found the central objective and a squad of Valkyries managed to chain it off the board via 2 squads of Angelos.
I won the game by 2 vps and had a +2 kill point bonus for a 14-6 win

At this time Joe managed a draw, meaning I was level on points with him.

Game 5
Stephen Downes - Resistance (Allied)
Take and Extract

Although not the greatest mission, it is actually a reasonable choice for a last game. It is very difficult to "play for a draw", as it is highly likely that each player will pick up their own objectives and then have to fight over the focal point.
On the flip side, it probably benefits someone who has an overall lead on tournament points, as it is also difficult to get big wins. Kill Point bonus is certainly a major factor with this mission.

I will let you know, this was the most tense, nail-biting and thrilling games I have ever partaken in. I hope I can do it justice in my writing. Strap in, this could take a while.......

I'll set the scene, after game 4 Joe and I were on the exact same tournament points (63). I knew Joe had a huge kill point total, so I thought that the only way to win was to beat him.

As the names were read out, I was surprised to hear that Joe was to play Simon (57) and I was to play Stephen (55). This kind of threw me. I had been planning all during lunch about how I would deal with Joe's Shaltari, and try to nick an 11-9 win against him.

Reset brain.
Now I'm dealing with Typhoons, Thunder wagons and a Thunderstorm, a whole load more building demo than I wanted to see. Turn one was pretty run of the mill, no Archangels, and I went first meaning Steve would have 2 activations together at the end. He used it well, as he flew his MFR up my left flank to bother my home objective. Unfortunately for him it is where my Flak team were searching. Right idea, wrong building.
The Hazard Suit building suffers some damage from the Typhoons and random Kraken shots.
Steve also exposed his Thunder Wagons, so I obliged by killing one and damaging another.

Turn 2, I won activation (we both have CV 3), Steve plays the blast weapon card on his Thunderstorm. I'm forced into using the Flak team due to the MFR threat, they search first - to no avail, then line the windows and shoot at the Raven ES, the second squad succeed in downing the pain-in-the-arse dropship. A safe landing for the MFR stranded them. The Legionnaires in the same group remove the MFR.
More damage on my Hazard Suit building from the Typhoons leaving it on 19, but I'm not worried, so go for some shots on the Thunder Wagons and remove them. The Occupation Vets shoot and do 3 more damage on the building (16 left). I retort with the longbows firing directly at the Vets, only 1 hit but it wiped the base easily. I then got to activate the Hazard Suits and failed to find anything (neither did Steve), I stayed put, thinking I'd get 1 more search next turn if I win activation.
The Thunderstorm activated and rolled well, including the E10 blast. double 2 and double 4 meant 12 damage on the building but the shocker was the 6 on the blast doing the last 4 damage and removing the building and 4 bases of Hazard Suits.
Grim. I have nowhere near enough firepower to down one of Steve's buildings, especially as I had been killing units. I did finish off the Thunder Wagons though and the rest of the Occupation Veterans

Turn 3 Steve finds an objective in the left-hand building and fails in the building that had Occ Vets in, I had a turns grace to do as much damage as possible. I think I found my objective, and got it off straight away with 1 bear and the Condor.
I killed a load of gun wagons and was peppering the building with Resistance Fighters inside. Falling Masonry accounted for 2 bases, but 1 from each squad. Not much luck with double damage, kept doing 1 at a time.

Turn 4 Steve wins activation and gets the final objective. There is now no way I can win the game now. Well played Steve-o, well played. I'm looking at an 11-9 loss as it's nigh on impossible to clear a Resistance army from a Focal Point. But what else is there to do.
I set to work. I was already well up in kill points, as Steve had put most of his firepower into buildings. I started hurting the Thunderstorm, and putting damage on Krakens and busses where I could. The Typhoons put 1 damage on my relocated Broadsword, and Steve drops the central building next to the Focal Point so that no infantry can enter it.

Turn 5 rolls around, the Thunderstorm reduces my Broadsword to 1 wound remaining before it gets I kill off the Thunderstorm, the Typhoons remove the last damage point. I take out the Typhoons with the Flak team and Archangels. I managed a lucky shot on a Zhukov with my last Falcon, doubling it out with a 6 to wound.
I moved 3 wolverines to surround a Kraken - I'm playing a stalling game on the occasions where I can't remove models, this included landing a Raven in front of another Kraken. This is not something I'd normally do, but desperate times and all that....

Turn 6 and my mammoth task was a battlebus with 2dp left a kraken with 1dp left, 2 Jacksons with a base of fighters in each and a Zhukov. There are 2 other Krakens on the peripheral being blocked off, but that is never a certainty.
Steve actually won the activation, even though he was CV 1 with no boss. He had a Central HQ directive. Steve chose to go first.
My aim was to take out the easy stuff with my redundant models. Steve removed the blocking landed Raven using his Jacksons, and moved them into position, leaving the cargo on board. A clever ploy, as it is an extra layer of utility.
I landed another 2 Ravens to block the Kraken from getting near the Focal Point. My Flak team and Legionnaires failed to do a single dp to the damaged Battlebus or the wounded Kraken on the FP. It was getting desperate. I had also failed to kill the Kraken or the bus with a Katana and Falcon respectively.
After I activated my Longbows, Steve was pretty much out of things to do that would influence the game. 2 wolverines remained in place blocking a Kraken, and 2 Ravens blocking another.

The Longbows made up for the infantry fluffing, taking out the bus and the Kraken. This left 1 Zhukov and 2 Jacksons of Steve's on the FP. I had a Bear and a Katana on it, therefore, I'm not owning it, but I had my Phoenix within range in case I needed it.

I have only got my Ferrum, Phoenix and 2 Archangels left to activate.
The drones congregated around the Zhukov and generated 2 E12 hits and made short work of it. This meant my Phoenix could shoot as I now knew (after a bit of maths) I would at minimum, hold the Focal Point. I put an E12 chaingun into each Jackson, the gods were smiling and both hit, then both damaged the little half tracks. One of the bases of Resistance Fighters were destroyed in the wreckage, but one bravely stepped out into the bright sunshine.

My last activation. 2 Archangels. No need for an attack run roll, as my forward observers were lining the walls. I got 3 hits out of 4 on the brave Resistance Fighters. I need 5 damage from 3 dice. I roll a 2, a 6 and a 6. Focal Point cleared.

Focal Point secured.

A draw salvaged from the jaws of defeat. 10-10.

What a game.

As it transpired, I could have lost the game 11-9 and I would have still won the tournament (only just, and on kill points) as Simon had defeated Joe 15-5 and finished 1 tournament point behind.

All the winnings (apart from 2 of the plastcraft kits at the bottom)

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend capped off by winning the event and remaining undefeated.

Congrats to all the winners, see you all in September.


  1. Great write up and congrats again on the win. It is really enjoyable to see a fun and interesting ucm list that wins and I rank the army the one most fun to have won Invasion the last 3 years.

    Be proud! It is well deserved!

    1. Thanks buddy, it was a really enjoyable list to use. If you look at Simon's list too, it's a pretty whacky list. 2 Skulltakers loaded with 4 squads of Bezerkers, a Barrell Bomber and a Helhog too

      Are you thinking of gracing us with your presence in September?

    2. Simon is really good with those whacky lists as well. He won the Swedish champ with a rather strange list as well.

      It is intended to be a team Sweden arriving in September. The reason why we wasn't there this time you basically answered below (to small window of time from the last one and the kickstarter (though indirectly)).

      With your list in min I am thinking about a Desolator/corsair list. It would be fun to play something that is not fully optimized (the Overseer is still stupid much better than the alternatives) and just let loose and see what happens.

  2. Great writeup, always good to hear what players are thinking in those tense games.

    It's a shame I wasn't able to nemesis you for another tournament in a row. 38 does seem a very low number, I hope there's something to jolt the community out of the minor malaise it seems to have settled in to.

    Did your list see any changes from the article last week? I thought you would have issues with ground control, but seemed to breeze through it.

    1. I think it was a combination of being so close to the last tournament and the KS bull-shit that went on.
      Everyone seemed to be having fun though, I think it will pick up. I'm certainly a lot more enthused for DZC right now (even if I hadn't have won)

    2. No changes to my list either. I really enjoyed how it played in my practice games.

  3. Good play at the last game! Congrats again!

  4. Grats on the win! Anyone know where I can find lists for the event? I'd love to see them.

    1. I'll try to put all the boys lists up with our next Podcast entry (as it's all relevant), I can't help with the rest of the field though. Hawk might have them?

    2. I'd appreciate that. Miss when they used to post lists on the forum...

  5. Congrats! Great to see you blokes blogging again, i hadn't checked for a while and was greeted by three new posts.

    1. Wait a couple of Days - there will be literal ear candy for you too!!

  6. Congratulations, buddy! Nice job! 8^D

    Finally getting around to catching up on my reading. I got confused and thought the cast was already out, then realized tonight that the FB post by Dan was just a tease from when you recorded it. Really looking forward to that.

    Nice write ups. Thanks!