Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Astronomi-con! 2011

Astro 2011 - Vancouver, BC, Canada

Draft - (OK it is now mostly complete, a few of the games were a little fuzzy most of the detail should be mostly accurate :)

Venue - This year the venue changed from the University of British Columbia dorms and event center to the Croatian Cultural Center in Vancouver BC. The new venue was nice, it had great AC and was a nice short walk from some great restaurants. I did however miss the suites that the UBC dorms had, I really go to know some of the other Astro players after hours and play card games in the common room in years past, I missed that part of the astro experience saying at the Days Inn this year.

As always the tournament organizers did a great job, they put on a great event that challenges every ones generalship skills, in a fun and relaxed environment. The composition rules were suspended for this years event, but there were very few net lists at the tournament. Those that were there seemed to have a hard time with some of the missions.

Painting: It always seems like some of the best looking armies show up to astro. I have a nicely painted army but I feel like I am playing with primed and three colors legal miniatures compared with some of the absolutely amazing work that I saw at astro this year.

Missions: At astro this year there were 18 tables, the tables each have a unique scenario on it they never change, as the players move from table to table they get a new mission based on where they play. This is one of the coolest part about Astro, and the missions are hard, they make you think and bend your army to the limit, you find your self as a general doing things you never would in a normal game, just to try and eak out a win.

Opponent - Matt Lau ?
Army - Eldar
Mission - Truck Convoy - Six Trucks, each with an objective, if the trucks explode (penetrating 6, objective also destroyed) These crates took two normal sized infantry to move them.
Victory conditions: Control Objectives
Results: Won 3:1
We had a crazy game, the trucks moved all over the place. They moved a random direction 3d6, on a hit, they zoom forward. They were moving usually 14-18 inches each turn tank shocking and running into everything. We had to keep marking them as moving fast so they would get their +4 cover save for moving more than 12”. I punished his reapers first turn, next a falcon, then a wave serpent along with a lot of swooping hawks, spiders decided to run off the board last turn from light shooting. He immobilized a tank, and wiped a 10 man squad with banshees. I thought he was a little out gunned and paid a lot of points for jump troops that didn't’ get a chance to do much. This left him with what I though was a low model count for a eldar army. Those of you who know me, know that I I can go on for hours about the flaws in the Eldar codex. I’ll spare you for now. By the end I had captured 3 crates to his one, or might have even been zero (don’t remember)

Game 2
Opponent - Alex Yuen
Army - Dark Eldar
Mission - Secret Supplies? - Had 5 movable supply crates - only got 2 units to start on the board, reserves start turn one on 5+.
Board: Large forest, a few obstacles. Each objective is worth 0,1,2 points rolled randomly [0 = 1] [1 = 2,3,4,5] [2 = 6] -> (At the end of the game) so you really don't know what you have, it could end up all being duds.
Victory conditions: Control Objectives
Results: Objectives Held 3:1, Then final values = Won 4:0
I didn’t fall for any of Alex’s distractions, I focused my fire power on the transports and clearing away from the objectives. The thunderfire devastated the huge beast pack popping 5 wound T3 models with str 6. Alex did have a big mishap when his Incubi crashed and lost all but one due to failed armor saves. This game was actually much closer than it seems by the final score, Alex held a crate that was already known to be worth 2 until the very last turn, when I assaulted him, and forced his HQ to drop it.

Game 3
Opponent - Lee Baxter
Army - Sisters of Battle
Dammunition - Heavy city fight terrain - 6 ammo crates objectives All buildings dangerous.
Victory conditions: Control Objectives
Board: very heavy terrain, very narrow streets between building, a rhino would barely fit.
Results: Lost 3:2
This game was actually very close, Lee grabbed 4 objectives first turn and started pulling them back to his zone, I ended up starting for objectives too slow (turn 2), I had a squad get stuck in a building for 2 full turns, trying to go down one Z level. It was difficult so I moved and ran for 2 turns and could not roll a single 3. Was frustrating, but oh well, that was the mission. I needed to be more aggressive for the ammo.

Game 4
Opponent - Mike Bondy
Army - Dark Angels
Mission: Sulfur Flats - Lots of flat difficult terrain (gave 6+ cover)
Board: Very well painted zuzzy rubber mat, very little LOS block
Victory conditions: Victory Points
Results: Won: Did not fully calculate points, he had 1 terminator left and I think 3 marines, I had most of my army I lost approximately 450 points, 10man TAC, a Thunderfire and a few minor damaged vehicles. Mike was a great sport, this mission really stuck it to him, his terminators had a really hard time moving around the board through all the difficult terrain, I was able to pop his landraider turn 2 and stay out of assault most of the game, the 2+ armor only lasted so long against relentless rounds of fire from the brotherhood.
Techmarine Fail #1 dies in 1 hit from terminator storm bolter fire, I was suspecting tech priest did not bring armor to this tournament.

Game 5
Opponent - Won best general - Jeff Everitt (I think?) - Great guy.
Army - Space Wolves
Mission- Field of Scream - giant dangerous field of mines
Board: Tank traps and mines all over the center of the board, all but the 6 inches around the edges. Yes, the whole board is Difficult and Dangerous! With no real LOS block on the board.
Victory conditions: Victory Points
Results: Won
The field of screams killed more than either of us. 43 total marines died to dangerous tests. Something like 28 of my opponent and 15 of mine. He had Three drop pods one of which weapon destroyed upon landing, he lost guys just for deploying (silly GW FAQ). It was a grind the whole game, very close the whole time, but in the end I had a few key breaks. Killing Arjack with mostly bolters before he could assault being one of them. The second being the last man standing from a 10 man TAC who happened to have a melta gun looking down at 9 grey hunters and a rune priest, makes the wise decision to take a desperate shot at the drop pod. Exploding it in a huge fire ball, wounding 8 hunters, killing 5. In the end I inflicted heavy shooting casualties to kill all but some long fangs in the backfield, I took heavy losses but had enough of a rag tag force left to eek out the victory.

Techmarine Fail #2 gun died first turn, Tech marine died right after that What does artificer armor do again?

Game 6

Opponent - Brady Pollock
Army - Grey Knights
Mission: Tomb Raider
Board: Special terrain (new this year) w/ Spinx, pyramid, two ruins and dangerous scarab beetle areas. Objectives had to be unlocked. By sacrificing firing and assault to search for treasure. Only found on a 6, additional squads helping gave +1 to the roll, psychers and techmarines gave a re-roll. there was a 5th objective in the center the oasis that did not need to be unlocked.
Victory conditions: Control Objectives
Results: Won 3:1
I took some casualties early, but was able to hang on and unlock the two objectives on my side of the board within the first 3 turns, Brady had unlocked one on his side. I was putting heavy fire into the other objective. Librarian made heroic use of Avenger (S:5 AP3 Flame Template) to melt a large group of GK’s in a nice tight formation. On the Final turn I rushed with a loaded razorback to claim the oasis.

Techmarine fail #3 dired first turn to a storm-bolter shot. Compliant registered to the Iron Hands about faulty armor.


The buzz at the end of the tournament was that I was near the top, a bunch of the guys from Kelowna had calculated battle points all tournament. I really wasn’t keeping track of much more than wins and losses. I thought for sure that Marshall Reeves had edged me out and was going to take the best over all. But when they announced that he got best sportsman, I had new hope.

I had 6 great games, 6 great opponents, I could not have asked for a better tournament. I was happy to have carefully traversed the ominous and often frustrating mission boards carefully this year and ended up at the top of the pile. I look forward to doing it all again next year.

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