RFW took part in the inaugural SN Battle Reports Grand Tournament recently. We will be posting up a video of our experiences in the next few days but suffice to say it was a hell of a weekend! The SN crew smashed it out the park and we cant wait to head back to the Rock for NR8 in the Autumn.
Continuing our theme of guest contributors to the blog, we invited SNGT winner, Bad Moon Cafe owner, 40k hobbiest and all round top guy, Boris Michev along to tell us about his experiences at the tournament.
Massive congratulations to Boris on his performance at the GT and a big thanks for contributing to the site
(NB – if you are in London and haven’t checked out Bad Moon Cafe you are missing out. It’s hobby paradise combined with great food, excellent coffee and beer!)
“Greetings loyal servants of the Emperor, heretics and Xenos lovers. I recently had the incredible opportunity to participate in the SN Battle Reports Warhammer 40,000 Grand Tournament in Gibraltar.
For those of you that do not know, SN Battle Reports create the best ‘old school’ narrative battle reports with beautiful armies and thematic terrain. They organize Warhammer 40,000 events which emphasize all aspects of the hobby – well-painted armies, good sportsmanship, and shrewd tactical acumen.
I was asked by the kind gentlemen at Rapid-Fire Wargaming to write a report on my experience, so here it goes!
The SN GT was their first large event with a whopping 80 people, an ITC Major. The event had army composition restrictions and was, for all intents and purposes, a mono-faction tournament. There were some exceptions with factions like Imperial Knights or Assassins. It was a 3-day, 6-round event, which meant that mathematically at the end of day three there would be one undefeated player.
I had brought my Drukhari list, with 6 Talos, 7 Grotesques, 3 Ravagers and a Void Raven bomber. I have been playing a variant of this list since the Drukhari Codex came out almost a year ago, and I was confident it would perform well in a mono-faction event.
Game 1 – Matt (Chaos)
I could not have asked for a better Game 1 to kick of the event. I was paired with Matt from the UK who had brought a fluffy and beautifully painted Chaos list. Matt is one of the nicest guys I have played against and it was an absolute pleasure to roll some dice with him. He had brought a lot of firepower – Decimators and Sicarans – as well as a strong punch in some Khorne Berserkers in Termite Drills! I went first and was able to kill one of the Decimators and bring the second one to two wounds.
Ultimately, Matt’s list didn’t have the tools to deal with the resilient Coven units as well as my Ravagers. We had a great game and I would love to play Matt again! In the end, I pulled out a 32-0 win.
Game 2 – Shaun (Thousand Sons)
I generally dislike when pairings go up the night before, because I tend to obsess about my opponent’s list the whole night! Sure enough, when I saw I got paired against Shaun’s Thousand Sons I was seriously worried! Shaun was running Magnus, Ahriman, 2 Daemon Princes and 60+ Tzangors. My list really struggles against heavy psychic powers and I knew it would be a very tough game. Shaun knew how to play his list very well, and he delivered a fully buffed Magnus into my lines turn 2 – terrifying! It was a brutal game where at the end of it Shaun had Ahriman and a Daemon Prince hiding in a corner. I pulled out a 24-8 win, but the score isn’t reflective of how close the game was!
Game 3 – Adrien (Astra Militarum)
After two wins, I knew there would be no more easy games. The swiss pairing system ensures that you get matched against someone with a similar record. Sure enough, I faced Adrien and his three Astra Militarum super-heavy tanks. What a terrifying list – two Banehammers and a Vulcan! Adrien seized the initiative and went first – however, in an entire round of shooting from all three super-heavy tanks he was unable to kill a single unit! The tough Coven units proved their worth once again.
I knew that my list does not have the tools to kill Adrien’s tanks, so my only chance is to focus on the mission and score points. Adrien’s list had terrifying fire power, but had no board control or mobility which allowed to me just score more points every turn. At the end, all I had left on the board were two Grotesques while Adrien had two super-heavy tanks left! However, I had scored enough points to pull our an extremely close 20-12 victory.
Game 4 – Clemente (Astra Militarum)
My Game 4 opponent Clemente or ‘Tito’ was one of the nicest guys I have played against. When I showed up at the table and saw his list, I knew it would be a very tough game – Tito was running effectively the LVO winning list of an Astra Militarum Brigade and an Imperial Knight. My strategy was simple – ignore the Knight, and kill all the Guardsmen while focusing on the mission and scoring points. My list is incredible effective at killing infantry – both the Talos and the Grotesques are absolutely terrifying for toughness 3 models with a 5+ save. Tito was an absolute gentleman, and a great general.
Ultimately, I was able to clear out all 80 guardsmen and in the process score enough points to pull out a 28-4 win.
Game 5 – Angel (Drukhari)
In Round 5 I was paired up against Angel’s Drukhari and we were asked if we would want to play on stream. I had never played on stream before so was very excited to try it out. Angel was an absolute pleasure to play against. We effectively had a mirror match! I went first and through some good luck was able to kill off two of his Ravagers, with the help of a massive explosion! The primary mission was simply kill points, which favoured me because Angel had a lot of small and fragile units such as Kabalite Warriors and Scourges. In the end, I was able to pull out a 32-0 win, not least because of some fortunate Maelstrom cards on my part. Check out Angel’s YouTube channel Deep Games.
Game 6 – Ben (Drukhari)
So we had come to this – the final game of the tournament, playing for the tournament win live on stream. It was a little bit surreal, but needless to say I was extremely excited and very focused. Ben had opted for a Kabal-heavy list with lots of Venoms and three Voidraven Bombers.
On paper, Ben’s list was favoured against me as all the poison shots would eventually chew through both the Talos and the Grotesques. However, the mission was heavily in my favour both on the primary and the secondary. The primary had one objective in the center and the Maelstrom allowed us to discard each other’s cards.
My list loves to sit in the middle and soak up shots – primary, check. Ben’s list loves to move around and score Maelstrom points – secondary, check. Ben is an extremely talented general piloting a very potent list and I think in many other missions, he would have had the upper hand. However, I went first and had another good first turn killing two ravagers, while also moving my death ball of tough coven units on the central objectives. Over the next five turns, Ben proceeded to shoot me off the board to where I had very little left, however by that stage I had won enough points to pull out a 32-0 win.
Since the SN GT uses ‘soft scores’ of sportsmanship as part of the final rankings, there was a nervous wait to see if I would be able to cling on to first spot having won all six games. The votes were in and in the end I was able to pull out the win. It was my first major tournament win and I couldn’t be more excited.
I had come very close on many previous occasions, but had never been able to take home the prize. There is a fair bit of luck involved in winning a Grand Tournament – not necessarily in actual dice rolls, but in match-ups, missions, dice, etc. I had an incredible time with 6 great opponents and I cannot wait to go back!