As I prepare for the coming of 10th edition, I finally worked up the courage to go to my first solo tournament for 9th! I've enjoyed every game I've ever played but I've never been confident when held to a time constraint: I'm a talker, I banter, my games are definitely not three hours. The last two years, my friends have been incredibly encouraging and we've played in a few doubles tournaments,1000 points a player and two players to a side. I've built more confidence, but still worry that I'm not prepared for a "quick" game. Well, this group also runs our local escalation league, and in season two I was invited to join as a coordinator! This let me turn off the "need-to-win" part of my brain almost instantly because like a DM in Dungeons and Dragons, it's about the fun of everyone at the table! With that mentality, I warned everyone from 1500 points on, I'd be playing Da Biggest Boy, my first Stompa and Mork effigy for my Blood Axe Orks!
As the season comes to a close I have enjoyed the beastly bot, but I missed my Snagga Boys from season one, and that's where this tournament comes in to the story! Arks of Omen has been a total roller coaster, and you see that as there are so many unique metas within the smaller communities, and ours definitely likes its big toys!! The Arks of Omen Detachment allows for some cheeky list building and so I talked to my friends about my Stompa, led by a squad of Snagga shenanigans and Scrapjet enforcement, with just a hint of Kommandoz for that full Blood Axe cheese!! This whole list is being lead by none other than the Big Boss 'erself, Tan'Ya Da Waaaghmistress on Dogosaur, and all the colorful squig riders I've grown to love! Knowing I'm late for everything I load my truck the night before the tournament and get myself a great night sleep after preparing all of my notes, cleaning my display board, and getting my sneaky, purple backpack packed tight!
Like clockwork, the life of a stay-at-home dad takes its toll and I find myself flying out the door. With a successful charge roll, I make it to the shop on time, and as I set my board on the table I feel the excitement begin to dwarf the nerves I had in tangles the whole drive there.
As everyone lines up their armies and we get the run down of the itinerary, I look around and see some of my friends were encouraged by my shenanigans and brought some big toys and meme lists themselves! Another Bloodaxe with Snikrot and his entourage, "Oops all tanks" in Astra Militarum, a Stormsurge and his Gundam buddies, even a Brass Scorpion and his Chaos crew done up in the style of an Arizona green tea can! I'm absolutely stoked! Pairings go out, I scroll the list: I got a Bye. Round 1 I get to watch. Well, 'ere we go! Let's see what happens after lunch, with the drive of two fresh games in my future!
Freshly snacked up, I gathered the boys for war, and paired against Imperial Fists. Mind you, I don't know much about Space Marines but I do know although they are "bottom tier" in the meta, shooty beakie boyz is bad for a big ol' effigy of Mork walking down main street! Also he had a whole lot of indirect firepower that meant my Grotz did not get to work as hard as they wanted to, but worse the Kommandoz had to keep hiding most of the game to replace their goals! It was brutal. He had three dreadnoughts, and it felt like three brick walls of lobbers he intended to just keep lobbing (although I did wreck all three in melee!!) An absolute smash, but they played the better game and without my cheeky Grotz I lost 65-84.
The last game I was paired against Chaos Space Marines! It was a friend though, who knew I was bringing a Stompa, and wanted to bring their big toys too!! Enter the Brass Scorpion! Not many people get the opportunity to see such incredible kaiju battles on the table, but their Night Lord scheme was that of the Arizona Green Tea can. Absolutely gorgeous! Going second for the second time today also didn't feel too great but, with their matching cherry blossom Venom Crawlers making quick work around the table, I was able to first turn Waaagh!!! and got stuck in with all my alpha striking Squigs lead by Da Waaaghmistress and Da Green Titans juiced up on Waaagh energy!! Little did I realize, although his Raptors and Venom Crawlers fell quickly, his Terminators were making quick work of everything coming at them. They were jonesing for a taste of the Stompa after it crushed the Brass Scorpion in the throws of battle! Thank Mork for the Blood Axe ability to fall back and charge, as I typically fight first, and Nobs on Smasha Squigs can sling a lot of mortal wounds when I run three, and they get to keep charging!
As the final battleround comes up, he goes first and Terminators being his last squad, he goes for the charge from cover and makes it. They are unable to clear the Stompa, and he kills one Terminator back in the return. I'm down to only a Stompa and a squad of Grotz myself. The Gretchin cap out "Da Good Bitz" and the Stompa, being titanic, can fall back shoot and charge which means everything goes into the big, bat-eared beakies!! I MUST clear the last eight Terminators too, because going second I score primary at end of turn and he didn't kill a unit, so I need "Grind 'Em Down" to catch back up in points. I fall back and unleash hell but only manage to remove five (which really is phenomenal for Ork shooting.) Thankfully I saved my CP to use my favorite stratagem, "RAMMING SPEED!" Weakening them further, I take my swings and unfortunately one lone operative remains standing. He fights back. He whiffs. Da Biggest Boy stands tall. It all comes down to a Terminator's morale test. I'm losing at this point and this will give me the extra points I need. Seven models die, so a three or less is needed to survive! No command point for the reroll. It's a 4!! I let out a roar of excitement, as that gives me the points for holding one, two and more objectives, as well as "Grind 'Em Down," giving me exactly one more point than my opponent! Orks take it 48-47!
The games wrap up. The TO does a quick survey for side prizes like best painted and sportsmanship, and follows up with final announcements! My friend that encouraged me to go to the event tied for first but had the highest overall score! My tea can buddy, which was definitely my favorite match of the evening, won best painted for obvious reasons. Sportsmanship goes to the fan favorite and none other than yours truly took home the sportsmanship prize! I strive so hard to have fun in every game I play, and I'm glad to see that that shows in the community I play with. Great laughs and great banter lead to great games, regardless of wins or losses! The dice told their story today, and I had an absolute blast sending out 9th edition with a "bang!!" I can't wait to see what 10th has in store, and where I can squeeze more Dogosaurs into the list!
From your neighborhood fishy friend