My First Tournament in 16 Years – Part I

This past weekend, I played in the “Fourth Annual Wee-Little, Vicious, Cutthroat, Poke ‘em inna Eye Tourney” at the local game club (you may remember that I did a brief write-up on the 2nd annual version–though I didn’t play in it).  I found it particularly interesting because (as the title of this blog post suggests) I haven’t participated in a tournament since roughly 1996.  I’ve shied away from them because of my past experiences at tournies (as well as the general malaise around the internet towards “WAAC” gamers), and the fact that playing 4-5 games over the span of a day seems suspiciously like work.  Sure, I like to play, but honestly I derive almost as much pleasure talking about the game as I do playing it.

This time though, there was an exception.  A friend made it clear to me that he would like to see me come, and offered me an absurd amount of incentive.  In the weeks leading up to it, he offered me the following if I came:

  • A free burrito
  • A hand-made trophy for participating
  • Desprue/clean/assemble my Dark Vengeance box

At that point, I was honored that he’d be willing to offer so much.  Clearly, he wanted me in attendance, and I figured it would just be rude of me not to show.  I just had to figure out which army to bring…

Choosing My Force:

The next decision I had to make was what army to bring.  I had already counted out winning, since I figured there would be some WAAC sorts there, and I was looking to have fun.  Still, I’d like to walk away with something, so perhaps I could win best sportsman?  And, if I chose the right force, I’d have a chance at best painted as well.  With that in mind, my first pick was to go with Ultramarines, since they’re prettier than my Tyranids, and they’d also give me the possibility of allying in some of my ‘newly’ painted Imperial Guard (ok, so they’re more than a year old, but they’ve still never seen the table).  I wound up scrapping allies/fortifications because I just don’t have them painted (in the case of the IG, they’re based, but I never put squad markings on them).  So, if I was going to run the boys in blue, they’d have to fly solo.

Still, I don’t mind that, and I was working on designing up a list.  I brought the bulk of my marines to a local gaming session the night before the tournament, with the express idea that I was going to make a list.  It was at that time that I discovered I don’t base my character models.  Despite having models for Vulkan, Pedro, Lysander, Shrike, and a techmarine (which could easily be used as a Master of the Forge)

The only characters I did have based were:

  • Marneus Calgar (seemed overkill for a 1000 point game)
  • Telion (not HQ)
  • An Inquisitor (wrong army)
  • A chaplain with a jump pack

The only usable one was my chaplain, but he had a scuffmark on his head that I didn’t want to repair before the game.  Technically speaking, I might have been able to pull off a veteran sarge as a generic captain, but he wouldn’t be blinged out enough to be a sutiable stand-in.  Normally, I’m not super picky, but since the goal would be to bring home best appearance, that just wouldn’t do.

Luckily, I still had some characters at home that I knew were painted (And hoped were based).  I knew I had Tigirius, Sicarius, & Cassius, and some generic characters.  So, I winged up a list hoping that Cassius was completed.  He’s a unique conversion done by my friend, Joe Eichhorn, years ago, and a very little used character.  I thought it would be a nice chance to use something different, so I made up a list with him, some tactical marines/scouts/terminators/bikes (no vehicles, and no real AA to speak of).  I thought it had a chance.

Until I got home and found that Cassius also hadn’t been based (in fact, none of them had, except for Tiggy).  From this I learned two things:

  1. I would be bringing my bugs to the game
  2. I desperately need to work on basing the characters in my army.

By this point, it was fairly late, and I wanted to get to bed (I’m old), so I just threw together a Tyranid list. 

  • HQ:
    • Tervigon w/ Scything Talons, Catalyst, Cluster Spines, & Toxin Sacs
  • Elites:
    • Hiveguard x1
    • Hiveguard x1
    • Doom of Malan’tai (in Spore w/ Cluster Spines)
  • Troops:
    • Termagants x10
    • Termagants x10
    • Tervigon w/ Scything Talons, Catalyst, Cluster Spines, & Toxin Sacs
    • Tervigon w/ Scything Talons, Catalyst, Cluster Spines, & Toxin Sacs
  • Heavy Support:
    • Biovore x1
    • Biovore x1

      When in doubt: Doom in a pod.

When I look at the list in retrospect, it’s not something I’m happy with.  I generally pride myself with mixing things up a great deal, and not playing “optimized” lists.  When I look at it now, it seems rather spammy, with 4 different unit choices, all of which are duplicated at least once and Doom (which can’t be duplicated).  And this, after I gave Danny crap that same night about running the best options in his codex. 

Color me hypocritical.

I can assure you though, that wasn’t the intent.  What was going through my head during the creation was:

  • I had just finished writing a detailed review of Tervigons in 6th edition (still yet to be posted), and had convinced myself that they’re amazing.  Clearly, I had to run a few of those (let’s try three). 
  • To run three Tervs, I had to run at least one squad of gaunts, but I might as well run two.
  • I was going to need something to deal with flyers, as they were sure to be everywhere.  The list doesn’t have much that can handle that, but Hive Guard would work about the best.  Since I had two painted models (excluding those that still haven’t been dipped), I threw those two in.
  • By this point I was running low on points, and wanted to add some shooting units, so I threw in the Biovores.  Not only would they give me some shots, but they also give me a little quirkiness.
  • By this point, I had 140 points left, and didn’t know what to spend them on.  Then I remembered that is exactly the point cost of Doom in a pod (w/ spines), and threw him in to round things out. 

After looking at it, I knew the list was going to have big problems with flyers (having exactly two guns that could shoot them), and probably going to cave in against armor in general (relying on the hive guard and MC’s to crack them open), but again, I wasn’t out to win 1st/2nd place.  My goal was to win best sportsman or best painted (which seemed unlikely with a dipped army, but it was possible).

That said, I think I’m going to cut this blog entry here.  My next post will go over the armies, games, and a general review of my first tournament experience in over a decade.

As always, thanks for dropping by…

13 comments on “My First Tournament in 16 Years – Part I

  1. I loved this, “A free burrito”. Who the hell wouldn’t go for a a free burrito? I mean Jesus, a free burrito!

    Interested in the rest of the article when it goes up. 16-Years without a tournament is a long ass time to hold an opinion on something without actually validating it, or invaliding it as I’m sure the case is.

    • Seriously! How can you pass up a free burrito!

      That was basically my thought. I didnt’ want to go to the tourney, so a burrito wasn’t going to sway me. Then, over the next few weeks he started lumping on more…

      For the record, I’ve been to tournaments since then–just never played. The one or two that I witnessed seemed to validate my opinions…

      • i “feel” fine, but i still have shortness of breath and coughing fits. The day after the tournie i lost my voice as well…don’t think it appreciated me yelling lol.

        at this point it’s just all very annoying…trying to talk to someone and my body just fights me with coughing. It reminds me of those stupid commercials where the food fights the person.

      • and yeah i should be out tomorrow, though i want to get some fantasy in before the Monster Mash tournie so i’m gonna try for that. If no one chimes in i’ll likely bring my 40k as well.

  2. Burrito burrito burrito.

    It’s a good word.

    Anyway, well done for having the principles to bring something that’s actually finished to an event. Personally I’d have cracked and brought something half-painted, for that is the way of me; I’ve finally come around to the idea that I enjoy playing games and talking about games much more than I enjoy painting stuff. I still like to see the principles of others on show though, reminds me of the good old days…

    Don’t feel too bad about the spamming. Anyone who’d call you out for it has probably been told that Tyranids are rubbish these days anyway.

    • Nobody said anything about it at the tournament. And though I realize that the Tyranid codex isn’t as powerful as some of the others that are out there, I know that it doesn’t *need* spammy lists to be able to win games. Tactics are paramount to winning. So, I guess the only person to give me a hard time about unit spam is me.

      My personal goal is to not play any unpainted models in 6th edition. I”m not sure if I can pull that off (I’ve been known to play entirely gray armies in the past), but at least it’s worth trying for. Perhaps that can help inspire me to paint as well. 🙂

      Thanks for the support.

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