Last weekend I hopped on a plane to Tennesse to take part in the 2016 American Team Championship. Here’s a recap of that blazing weekend.
First and foremost, the ATC is a 5 man per team event, where each team may only use a codex once. After seeing your opponent’s lists, matches are decided by team captains assigning a defender from their list and the opposing captain picking 2 lists to attack it. The defender chooses one of them as his opponent, and you proceed alternating which team picks the defender.
Kinder, enjoying his 5th round matchup
This format makes interesting lists and is a lot deeper in proper team and army composition. Some armies are really good in this format because it’s easy to avoid playing against an hard counter.
For those returning veterans and familiar with the previous ATC/ETC style pairings, this new matchmaking system makes it a lot harder to have “attacking” lists and using them effectively. After the 1st day of doing the pairings, I think the best way to attack something is to have 2 lists that destroy one list – ideally a popular one like eldars, daemon stars or thunderdome stars. Focussing on beating that one match hard and having all comers on 3 other matches means you wont really get outpaired. More on this in an article next week.
After an awesome time at Adepticon, team Wobbly Modellers was back, with the addition of Jonsey as our 5th. Our lists were roughly these:
Austin- Eldars ( Bikes, Wraightknight and 8 Hornets )
Kelsey- Imperial Knights ( Tripartite Lance and Conclave )
Kinder – Tau (riptides and Stormsurge, plus a Canoptek Harvest )
Jonsey – Chaos Marines ( Brass scorpion and cabal and renegades wyverns )
Yours Truly – Chaos Daemons ( Screamer Star, dickworms and Fatey )
Our 2 attackers were Austin and Kinder, with Jonsey and Kelsey alternating between defending and attacking ( depending on the other teams ) and I was the defender.
The goal of defending is taking on the list nobody on the team wants/can deal with and try to not get a 0. It usually means you are 1st defender thrown out there, or saved for later to protect one of your list you want to attack with ( because you need an opposing list to be taken already for example )
My 6 opponents were 4 Eldars, a brass scorpion/belakor list and a ravenwing buke army with a Culexus.
My exact list was this:
Combined Arms Detachment
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Endless Grimoire, Locus of +1 Dakka
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Exalted Gift
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Impossible Robes
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Paradox
8x Exalted Flamer
I was pretty happy with the list, it’s solid and balanced. I will probably switch the furries and CAD in favor of a Warpflame hosts ( 9units of screamers ) as soon as I find the 15 or so screamers I dont have yet.
The biggest caveat in my plan was that I tested summoning burning chariots en masse, and we failed to bring any chariots to the event. So that was that.
Through the games, I will only go through my own point of view as I dont know how the opposing team wanted to play/pair us.
My opponent was playing a Ravenwing bikes army with a lot of plasmas and a Culexus. I really needed to take on this match as this army wrecks all our other lists pretty bad – the knight and brass scorpion lists because you need the buffs on the big guys and the 2 shooty lists because it scouts everything in our face.
So I got that match, because everyone with a culexus jumps at a guy with 23 warp charges.
The game was pretty textbook in my opinion. I missed the assassin with my 9 d3 screamer sweeping attacks on turn one, which meant my turn 2 was an exact replica of my turn one, hiding 12 away until the assasin was dead. This 1 turn delay cost me big in capturing the turn by turn objectives as i couldn’t leave my side of the board. The game ended 14-6 for my opponent, and those 6 points were great, specially because we won the 4 other matches.
My opponent Kevin is playing daemons my Belakor and a Brass Scorpion. I got this matchup because our team team didn’t have a real good matchup versus this one. Our Knights match was alright, but there was almost no way we’d get it, so I ended up protecting our Eldars from a bad match and give Austin the opportunity to go for 20
My plan going in this was pretty much avoid the Scorpion of feed it summoned units, and capitalise on a failed grimoire to stop invis and punish it. Or go for Belakor with my star at some point, and from there threaten his backfield units. My plan seemed to be effective as my opponent said something like ” This game is not like the previou one, you look like you know what you’re doing ” on my turn 2
Things didn’t go like that exactly. On the turn I wanted to go all in on the really visible scorpion, using the grimoire to bring it to 5+ save ( from a 10 on the warpstorm ), my Fateweaver perilled himself on the ground, and both my S:D powers failed to do a single hull point. the combined S:10 shooting from the dickworms wasn’t enough, and I was left with an fragile star and an even more fragile Fateweaver, both well within charge range of the Brass Scorpion.
My opponent was leaning towards going for the Fateweaver, and I was prompting him to do so ( “Yeah this is bad, if you kill Fatey this game is pretty much over” ) because the screamer star was so much more important. In the end, he made the right call and charged the star and promptly destroyed it, leaving me with 2 turns of scrambling for points. I scored a 5 that game, and Austin a 20 for our Eldars, so that pairing went rather well. We won the matchup something like 56-44, really close to a draw.
From then on, I will face only Eldar in the tournament, because it’s usually the list that you want to stop form getting 20 points.
Game 3 I did not really enjoyed, the only game in my tournament where I did not give my opponent max sportsmanship. The eldar list was a pretty standard Spider-Spam, with 2 Warp Hunters ( S:D-1 shots ) My opponent that round was waaaaay to serious for my taste in games of warhammer, and made several remarks towards my cheerful playstyle.
I rolled a single sacrifice that I perilled and lost on the 1st cast of the game and no Incursion, which was the key to not getting wrecked in that matchup, I ended the game with something like 4 models versus his almost full standing army. I scored 2 points, the lowest in my tournament record, and sadly our entire team took it pretty bad, where we score 24 points total.
This eldar player was rocking a different list than most are used to. The core of the list was a bunch of bikes, with added Warwalkers with a bajilion shots, a squad of Vypers and a single unit of Warp Spiders. His army was pretty nice, with a dark green scheme.
The game was the Relic, and I spent my game zooming to the middle of the board to kill some bikers attempting to get it. My fateweaver spent the whole game in reserves, which made it harder for me, as bikers are easy to deal with with Psychic Shriek, and less when you have to spend a bunch of powerdice to shoot at them. In the end of the game, I was left with a single horor in my deployment zone. Score was 14-6 for my opponent, and as in the 1st game, my 4 teammates all won with a high margin.
I’m pretty sketchy on details regarding game 5, as I was already quite drunk at that point. I was paired versus my buddy Tom Ogden, and we took it to more drinking. We played roughly three turns and drank roughly 20 ounces of vodka, called it a draw and went to the parking lot for more vodka. Tom’s girlfriend also brought us orange juice and pizza, so that truly was the best game ever.
I also ran out of battery with my camera at that point, and sadly don’t have pictures of the 2 last games.
My last game is a little more clear. Once again, I was playing a classic Eldar list, with bikes, Warp Spiders, Hornets and Warp Hunters. This time however I got the Incursion and Sacrifice spell in multiple copies. I also got a pretty nice table that kept Fatey safe and sound on turn one. I took the 1st turn and started spawning utility units, screamers and blood crushers namely, which are great at contesting progressive objectives ( the middle of the board one in this case ) and killing spiders.
My opponent, Zeek ( The only name I remember, yay me ), put his wraightknight in the middle of the board to contest the turn by turn objective, and he would remain there the entire game, as I summonned and deep striked a lot of stuff around it to contest it and keep the big guy locked in close combat the whole game.
I knew I was loosing Kill Points, and the middle objective would be tied pretty much the entire game, so it was really important to destroy the objective secure units that could rain on my parade on the end game objective. The game ended 11-9 for me, my best score of the weekend, and an impressive one for someone set up to lose games!
Overall, we finished 13th out of 48 teams, and Austin won the prize for Best Eldar player, a great achievement, considering that Eldar is one of the most competitive field in the event. My last round opponent had a truly spectacular army, and was top 3 in painting I believe, and next time I’ll spend more than a day to paint my force.
Until next time,
No excuses, hobby like a champion!