Tuesday, 20 March 2012

War of the Exodites: An Epic Tournament

Last sunday I played in an Epic: Armageddon tournament, hosted by the Christchurch Wargaming Club in Woolston. Most tournaments tend to have competitions for half a dozen different games all run at the same time. But since EA is a more niche game, we've found it best to run it by itself, so as to not force people to choose between Epic and a more popular game.

This weekend's event ("War of the Exodites", organised by Tim) featured six armies. And quite an eclectic mix it was too. The forces involved were;
  •  Imperial Guard Steel Legion (Jonathan W, AKA me)
  •  Imperial Guard Steel Legion (Johnathan P)
  •  Ork Ghazgkhull Warhorde (Mark)
  •  Eldar Fir Iolarion Titan Clan (Tim)
  •  Imperial Guard Harakoni Warhawks (Kevin)
  •  Eldar Iyanden Craftworld (Andrew)

So two experimental and one developmental army list in use. My own force (written up an hour or so before the event start) was centered around the new pride of my army, a Reaver Titan. Now I normally field two Leman Russ companies as my main "hold the line" units, and the rational part of my brain knew (even while I was painting the model) that the titan should be replacing one of these. Unfortunately this rational part of my brain was elsewhere that morning (I blame St Patrick's Day) and I decided to field both the two tank companies and the titan. I knew fielding this many expensive units would bring down my activation count. What I didn't click to, until midway through my first game, was that the Reaver (at 650 points) costs exactly the same as a Leman Russ company. In other words, destroying any one of these three units would give my opponent the Break the Spirit victory condition! I had rolled a critical failure on my Design Army (Epic) skill check.

My first opponent was Andrew, with his Iyanden Eldar. Despite not having played a full game a of Epic before Andrew defeated three players who usually rank highly in local competitions, to end with 3 wins from 3 games. His army, featuring several formations of Wraithguard in Wave-Serpents, proved to be highly effective, particularly against the armour-heavy lists that Tim, Mark, and myself had all decided to field. But Andrew also played it well. He used his higher activation count to full advantage, kept pressure on me at all times, and made good use of firefights to break and destroy enemy units.
My titan, flanked by two Vulture gunships

Andrew's wraithguard swoop in to attack my tanks

Andrew's units still advancing, keeping up the pressure

My second game was against Kevin's "Harakoni Warhawks". The Harakoni list is an experimental variant of the Imperial Guard, representing an elite infantry formation that drops in by grav-chute. It has some similarities (tactically) to drop marine lists, in that there is the tradeoff between units initially on the board holding ground, and and units available for drop assaults. This was a hard fought game (and closer than the final victory conditions suggest) but in the end Kevin won on turn 4.
Grav-gliders unleashing their rocket pods on my tanks

My command company on the receiving end of a drop-assault

My last game was against Johnathan P's Imperial Guard. It is always interesting to play somebody with the same army - there is no better way to appreciate the merits of a unit than to both field it and face it. Johnathan's army shares many of the same units as mine, but he plays with significantly more infantry - two foot infantry companies with support weapons, as well as a Stormtrooper unit with Valkyries. This game started very badly for me - Johnathan wiped out my infantry company with his first activation. A Leman Russ company moved foward, fired, and where there had been a full mechanised infantry company there was now a single infantry stand. Early into turn 4 I offered to conceed, and Johnathan accepted.

Two Imperial Guard armies facing off

My tanks engaged in a firefight with Johnathan's infantry

Cheers to Tim for a well-run event, enjoyed by all. I managed to spoil my own fun a bit by very poor list design, but it was still good to roll some dice and see some well-painted armies. So now my goal is to plot a more reasonable army that makes use of my Titan. Cunning plans are forming in my brain... more in a future blog post...

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