The Trial of the Golden Thumb: A “Tournament” Recap

Plucky Ultras face a Leman Russ Tank Platoon, with the expected results. The Golden Thumb trophy rules the centre of the table.

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited by a good friend of mine to a laid back, casual tournament at his place. The idea was that we could bring the lists we usually wouldn’t because of their relative strength, going full out, but at our own pace and in a far more laid back atmosphere.

It was a great time to be had, and while it certainly wasn’t a serious tournament it was good practice! All four of us learned valuable lessons about our armies strengths and weaknesses.

All lists were to be made at 75 power level, and that was for a good reason; Instead of objectives, kill-points were to be used, and having everyone have the same power level made it trivial to figure out who was winning. Mind you, every game ended in a concession around turn 4 because of both time constraints, and the fact most of us in the losing scenario could not turn the game around quick enough to bring it to contest.

My friend Conrad, poring over his Ork Codex. Fairly new to the game, but with a keen tactical mind and ruthlessness that carried him into the finals.

The first match up was between an Ultramarine player, named Chris, and Ty’s lethal Tank Company. This match was mostly a blowout; the Tanks proved too much for the Ultramarines, consisting of mostly primaris and therefore a low model count list, and by turn 3 the game had been easily decided in a most violent of ways.

I was up in the second bracket, with my 75 PL of Vostroyan Siege troops, vs Conrad’s Ork Horde. With 45 Guardsmen to his 90+ boys, I was in for a right slapping unless my artillery killed enough. To try and ensure this, I brought an Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company from the Vigilus Defiant book.

This match was a closer one than the previous, but a timely Da Jump into a folding flank rolled me up like an old newspaper. My artillery did a number of big casualties, including a flyer and a Battlewagon, but the ITC building rules rendered the hordes of Orks immune to shooting until they got too close to deal with. This might have been a consequence of using too much urban terrain, and was something we are considering altering in the future, but it did allow melee armies to stand a chance.

After a break for dinner, the Finals began. Ty’s tanks now faced the Waaagh.

The Orks had the pick of the deployment, and made the best use of it, allowing for turn 2 charges. 80+ Boyz in close combat all across the line rendered the Leman Russes vulnerable, and after a brutal couple of close combat rounds, Ty conceded, acknowledging that while he could continue to the bitter end, firing only overwatch due to retreating made victory a far off and distant goal. In the end, the vast Ork Waaagh was too much for all 3 opponents….


A hard-fought and well deserved trophy!

Conrad, having bested his 3 opponents through tactics and good old Ork numbers, had won what we called Ty’s Rough and Tumble Suburban Rumble! A good time was had by all, and a new respect for Ork mass melee was gained by all of us. We learned many lessons, chief of which was we could have done with starting a little earlier, as we only ended our games at midnight! But, given the distance between all the participants, this hurdle might be quite difficult to overcome. In the end, this sort of thing is a testament to how fun small, at home tournaments can be, and while no replacement for the real thing…is still dang fun!

We had so much fun, we have decided that each of us will host a mini-tournament, each with our own twists and objectives! More on that when my turn comes up.

But until then, Ave Imperator, and Happy War-gaming, wherever you might be!

The Tale of the Golden Bolter Shell; A Tournament After Action Report

The coveted Golden Bolter Shell, 3D printed by one of our Clubhouse members! Lovingly painted by another, and mounted on a great wooden base by yet another, a true group effort!

Hey there folks, yesterday I participated in a small town tournament at the Giddy Goblin in Hanover, Ontario. Usually, I’m not much for competitive games of any sort, in wargaming I prefer pick up games and fluffy battles over bringing the newest fromage. But, figuring it would give me a much needed kick in the pants to paint up my army, and to help me learn to play even better, I signed up! It was overall a good experience, and I while I do have some constructive feedback to give them, for their first time running a 40k Tournament, they did really well.

All the tables were really well thought out, with lots of LOS-blocking terrain(more on that in a moment!) and were fun to play on, I heard very few complaints.

The ruleset used was ITC 2019 Championship Missions pack. The basic ITC rulings were in play, and most notable of these is that enclosed buildings, which we counted as any with 4 walls, if not a roof, could not be shot into, out of, and blocked LOS completely. This was a good rule, since most of the terrain I supplied to the clubhouse is absolutely riddled with windows, realistic but in 40k terms making them almost useless as cover. On the tables with buildings, this turned out to be super important. Another was that objectives had to placed on a ground floor, and could not be placed in an enclosed building; This was also nice as meant all armies could theoretically get to the objectives, and prevented a melee heavy army from guarding one in a building with little to no consequence.

Then we get to the meat of it; 6 bespoke scenarios from the Championship pack! These were fun to play for the most part, and the random regular deployment meant that each table had a slightly different experience of the same mission. However, the Championship pack had an interesting way of scoring points; You got your objectives from the scenario, the primary ITC objectives, and 15(!) secondary objectives one could score, picking 3 that a player liked. This is where I felt the ruleset failed us; The secondary objectives were, in my opinion, really fun, but having to pick 3 of them from the available 15, tailoring them to your opponent, and keeping track of them slowed game-play significantly.  There were easy to forget if you didn’t write them down, and only a couple of us printed a list of them, me included, to reference. That combined with a two hour gameplay window meant that unless the players were really sharp and played extremely fast, most games only got to the second round, and in my case, only 1 game completed a full 2 battle-rounds. There were a couple of newer players learning the ruleset on top of trying to remember the objectives, and in the case of Tau and Guard shooting armies, we spent a vast majority of our time in the shooting phase, rolling buckets of dice, which while fun, took almost 30 minutes a piece to do. Bear in mind that I still had a great time, and this is constructive feedback I will be informing the tournament organizers of, and to their credit they have asked for.

With that out of the way, lets get some pictures in! I did take at least one picture of each of my games going on, but got so caught up in the game I don’t have enough pictures for a play by play, but you’ll get a brief overview in the captions! I took my 2000 point Vostroyan/Aeronautica Imperialis army I have been working on and blogging about in the past few months, and while it was a blast to play, was probably not the best list I could have brought; it had teeth, but a chin like glass and not enough bodies for the grinder. Getting to play with all my aircraft was fun though, so no regrets there!

First game was against Mykah, who ran a Tau army with a lot of nasty shooting; This match-up was always going to be an uphill battle for me, but while losing by a massive margin, I still had fun playing this battle. My flyers were a liability here, but to be honest I’m not sure much could stand up to the markerlight spam and heavy ordinance being fired at them. Despite this, while Mykah brought an extremely powerful list, he didn’t rub it it in or anything and we both left the game feeling good about it. Besides, its a tournament! As far as I’m concerned you can excuse the cheese in this instance, as we are playing for prize support!
Second game was against Jesse, a young man who has only gotten a few games under his belt, and still learning all the rules, so I admire the fact that he entered the tournament anyway. He brought a Chaos Space Marines army. It was an excellent way for him to learn his army, and I helped him pick a warlord trait and a few psychic powers that he had forgotten about. It was a surprisingly close game; I only won by 1 point, and he played the objectives like a champ! That being said, because of the teaching aspect of this game, we only got 1 battle-round in, and only one round of my shooting; This strict time-limit meant I couldn’t wield the full power of my heavy shooting, and he got the full 2 battle rounds in. In the future I will be helping to teach Jessie how to play that just little bit faster, and his army, in a less time-restricted setting. By the way, Jesse, if your reading this, I had a blast playing against you, and I voted for you for best sportsmanship because you were clearly trying your best with the limited resources and experience you have playing the game!
My last game of the evening was against Kyle, a regular opponent and friend of mine who regularly carts my butt to and from the clubhouse! He brought a Nurgle Daemon army. This was a list I had fought before in our practice games, but unlike our practice game my first round of shooting went awry and didn’t kill nearly enough, and sure as sure he got his plague-bearers into close combat. By turn 2, it was clear that I had lost, but in the spirit of the game we played it to time, because it was still a great game and we both wished we could have ended it properly. A great opponent and game as always, Kyle!

In the end, I didn’t win the tournament, and to be entirely honest I forgot where I placed; my brain was fried after keeping track of all the awesome stuff from the games I played! But I received an unexpected boon…

A face reveal! Yep that’s me, holding my prize proudly!

In something I didn’t see coming at all, I won the award for best Sportsmanship, the only other prize in contention! I was truly humbled, and honestly, not winning the tournament mattered little to me, but this made me feel like a million dollars. Thanks to everyone who voted for me! The award came with a 15 dollar gift certificate, which I will be using to buy the Astra Militarum Datacards, something I really need, and which will help me remember the crazy amounts of strategems I could use, as I always forget about them. I didn’t go into the tournament expecting anything, so this was a happy surprise!

Unfortunately I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked, but the Giddy Goblin has allowed me to use their pictures of the event for this blog, an act of generosity I really appreciate! So without further ado, on to the picture dump! You can click on the picture for the caption containing details of that specific photo!

All in all, I had a great time at my first tournament, and while I can’t see myself playing a bigger tourneys, I am more then willing to play in the Goblins’s local tournaments, as it is with people I know! A neat side-effect of the Tournament was that a few locals who got to see the boards and armies in action were really impressed; This is how you make a community folks! We may have even gotten a new recruit for the clubhouse!

I will be making another post today on hobby stuff, so if you stick around your going to get a twofer today! But for now, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming!