Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mechani-Kon 2012: A Tale Of Two Titans

It’s Thurston’s fault.

He’ll try to convince you otherwise, but it’s his fault.  Don’t you believe him!

It all started when Alex and Thurston put up the rules for Mechan-Kon, to be run on October 6, 2012.  They were quite clear.  No Super-Heavies.  Then they started to describe valid army options and one formation listed as legal was 2 Titans.  Of course Steve and I made fun and each threatened to bring Titans. 

Dang it, Thurston started to take it seriously!  He actually approached me and encouraged Steve and I to bring Titans, just to see what would happen!

Unfortunately, Steve wasn’t able to get 2 Titans ready in time.  I, on the other hand, have had 2 Armorcast Warhounds for a VERY..LONG..TIME!  I actually used these same Titans last at Warcon XV!  (Anyone remember WHEN that was?  I don’t!)  Again, I used Titans at the request of the Warcon Tournament Organizers, just to see what would happen.  Hmmmm.  Starting to see a theme here…

(Probably because rumors of my dice are true and TO’s don’t seriously think anyone would be REALLY threatened if I brought the Titans.  Someone else with Normal luck, on the other hand…)

So, out came “The Emerald Twins”:

Smaragdos Ira (“Emerald Wrath” in English or “Old Blue (Eyes)”) &
Smaragdos Furo (“Emerald Wrath” or “Old Red (Eyes)”),
So my army list I submitted was Two Armorcast Warhounds, each with a Vulcan Mega-Bolter and a Plasma Blast Gun, worth 750 points, each.

So, How Bad Are Warhound Titans?
If you remember the old Vehicle Design Rules (VDR) from 40K 3rd edition, I had to design the Warhounds with those rules for Warcon as the original Armorcast rules were deemed unfair/out-of-date.  So I had a Lumbering, Agile Super Heavy walker with 2 Void Shields, 3 Structure Points (SP) and 14/13/12 armor at Warcon.  With the Apocalypse Rules and New 6th Edition Super-Heavy errata from Forge World, not much has changed.  Well, maybe a bit more than a little. 

Titans move up to 12” and can turn where/whenever they want, like any other vehicle.  They used to only get a 12” move and a 90 degree turn at the beginning of their move under VDR.  So the Warhounds are much more agile than they used to be.

The Void Shields changed from the armor value of the facing of the shot to a standard armor 12 on all sides, but can be “repaired” at the end of a turn on a roll of 5+ (number of dice rolled is determined by number of Structure points remaining).

Probably the most significant change in basic structure was that Structure Points count as 3 Hull Points in 6th Edition.  That means the Titan has the equivalent of 9 Hull Points!!!  Before you all freak out and call me a unfair cheat, every time a Titan suffers a Penetrating Hit, we roll on the same chart with the same modifiers as everyone else.  If the modified roll is a 6+, Super Heavies lose an entire Structure Point (3 Hull Points), on top of the HP lost for the initial hit AND the opponent rolls again on the chart (natural roll – no modifiers).  In theory, any Super Heavy Vehicle can be brought down by a single penetrating hit.  (It never happened in this tournament, but it came close…)

Weapons: Now THAT’s where the OBVIOUS changes were!
Primary weapon is a new concept introduced in the Apocalypse rules.  Primary Weapons that hit roll 2D6 for armor penetration, discarding the lesser die value – great for chewing through armor!  The Vulcan Mega Bolter can chew through a 12-armored vehicle in one turn, with luck!  Also, any time a Crew Shaken, Crew Stunned or Weapon Destroyed result is rolled on the table, the weapon’s redundant systems allow it to continue to operate normally on a dice roll of 4-6!  This saved my butt a few times as all Warhound weapons are Primary Weapons!  (Sorry – Bane Blades do have SOME Non-Primary Weapons – it doesn’t automatically apply to all weapons on a Super Heavy.)

Vulcan Mega Bolter:  When I designed it with VDR, it was Str 6, 4D3 shots, AP3, 48” range, and twin-linked.  People thought that was over-the-top with the potential of 12 shots.  They like it less now!  Same Strength and AP, but now 15 shots @ 60” Range, Primary Weapon!  No twin linked – Darn!

Plasma Blast Gun:  I don’t remember what it was under VDR, but I knew I was terribly disappointed.  It couldn’t instant kill anything I really needed killed and seldom damaged vehicles with its 5” template scattering frequently off target.  Not an issue anymore!  Plasma Blast Gun has 2 firing modes:

2 shots at Str 8, AP2, 7” Blast, Primary Weapon or
1 shot at Str 10!, AP2, 10” Blast, Primary Weapon!   (YUP!  REAL Pie Plates!!!)

 So – Better maneuverability, better weapon stats, the new Structure/Hull point system, I thought I would have a chance!

 Thurston and Alex Harassing Me!  (Discussing Rules BEFORE the tournament)

No, not really.  As can be expected, using Super-Heavies in a tournament will make some scenarios, ummmm, “broken”!  So as the tournament came closer, we all sat down to discuss what Special Rules we should use on the Titans.

The biggest issue is, of course, was deciding how to treat the Titan-Only force for the new standard mission conditions as well as special mission conditions.  I’ll list the problems and our decisions/solutions.

Warlord Traits:  Forget it – it wouldn’t have been fair.  Everyone (myself included) said “no” to this one.

Scoring / Denial Units: Fairly simple decision.  Titans were deemed to be “Denial Units” only.  I had no “hands” so couldn’t pick-up or claim objectives.  So the Titans were deemed to be unable to be “Scoring Units”.  May not have been able to pick something up, but Titans could DEFINITELY deny anyone else access to it!

Line Breaker:  Obviously, if I wanted this, I had to send a Titan across the board to get this one.  It was a fair objective that needed no modifications once it was agreed that Titans could claim this objective.  As we had already decided Titans were Denial Units, the decision was easily made. 

Slay the Warlord:  Obviously, I don’t have a single “character” model; I have 2 huge war machines.  To force my opponents to kill a specific Titan seemed unfair.  Each Titan, in theory, could be its own Force Organization (Scout Titans are 1-3 per Force Org)!  We agreed, very quickly, that if EITHER Titan was destroyed, my opponent would get this Battle Point.  They would have EARNED it!

First Blood:  This was the hard one.  It was not fair to wait until someone kills an entire Titan to claim First Blood.  That would be the equivalent of destroying 3 Main Battle Tanks in most other armies.  Someone suggested if ½ the Structure/Hull Points were gone from one Titan, that would be ok, but I still felt this was not really fair for my opponents–we were still talking more than 1 tank to “kill” to equate my killing any unit.  Destroying 1 Hull Point was out too!  A glancing shot would be unnoticed on the Titan, yet would still cause a single Hull Point!  We finally agreed that if someone could take off an entire Structure point (3 Hull Points), this would be a Fair compromise.

Victory Points for Unit Kills:  We weren’t sure we would have to deal with this possibility (I think Thurston and Alex desperately wanted to avoid this kind of mission as some armies are far too vulnerable in this kind of mission).  It never came up in the tournament, but I “think” we agreed each Structure Point (3 Hull Points) was worth a “Victory Point”.  That would mean my force could give up a maximum of 6 KPs, 3 for each Titan.

Another issue was how to make the missions fair for my opponents as well as for me.  One practical solution was to make sure at least 1 mission could not be won by “Tabling an Opponent” (destroying the entire army on the table, ignoring all other objectives).  I was agreeable to this, though to be honest, I never expected to table ANYONE after the last time out with the Titan Twins. 

We discussed a number of other issues but I don’t recall most as they were minor and were cleared up reading the rules more carefully and checking FAQs.  My “biggest” concern was that no one would be FORCED to fight me.  I didn’t want to be put up against someone who wasn’t willing to try to fight Super-Heavies.  Thurston and Alex agreed quickly to this.  So, to the best of MY knowledge, everyone that I fought was a willing Participant in a huge experiment. 

The final thing we agreed on was to try and keep me “out-of-the-way” of the Potential Tournament Winners.  Basically, I was concerned that, depending on the mission and player, I would reduce some player’s over-all scores and knock them out of the running.  This wasn’t ego on anyone’s part.  Remember, no one knew what these new rules would be like or how the missions would play with any Super-Heavies thrown into the mix.  We hadn’t even TRIED playing a game with Titans in so long, let alone in 6th Edition, that it was really all a big unknown!  Basically, I was prepared to “bow-out” if I got too high in the ratings. 

So, going into the tournament, I knew I wasn’t going to win.  Our discussions assured I would see at least 1 No-Win Scenario for Super Heavies, though hopefully I could draw them.  Now we had to wait and see what was going to happen…

Preliminary Posturing and Psychological Warfare!
I actually arrived at Mechani-Kon the same time as Thurston (I had to drop my wife off at work and then killed time rather than go home).  As I unpacked the Titans, Thurston was quite insistent which table I setup on.  He pointed out the table in line with and closest to the doors…

“Point the guns to the doors!  I want to set the tone!”
The games had already begun!  I didn’t have to psych out anyone – Thurston was doing it for me!!!

There were the appropriate number of groans and complaints as my fellow players climbed the stairs, only to be confronted by two “Gods of War”.  Especially after I placed the Apocalypse 10” blast template out in front of the Titans.  Some people were paler than normal.  Others were over-eager to take a shot at them.  Lots discussed how they thought they would do if someone other than myself rolled the dice for them (thanks, guys!).  Overall, the other players were receptive to the idea.  It looked like we were a go!
Then Jamie and Lauralee showed up. 

“Aren’t they CUTE!!!” 
I was mortified!  These were “Gods of Destruction”, and the ladies thought they were CUTE?!?!? 

Jamie would continue to fuss over them and take lots of pictures throughout the day.  She really liked the models.  I think it was a bit of a morale builder for the Titans.  They didn’t seem to want to let her down.  I have no other explanation for their performance or what happened during the tournament.  (Maybe I should ask My Wife for “Tournament Favors” (scarf, or part of a hanky as the Titans are so small) next time I use the Titans…)

Game 1: The Paint Gets Chipped (and BURNT!!!)
The Mission: Thunderhawk Down!

A Transport aircraft had crashed nearby, but not before they pushed out supplies for troops on the ground. 

The Mission was a Standard “Dawn of War” deployment; 12” along the long table edges.  The Primary Objective was a standard “Pick up the Objectives” mission with 5 objectives on the table, then roll on a table to determine if the objective was junk when it was picked up.  On a roll of 1, it was useless.  (I think we actually forgot to roll for this – I couldn’t pick them up anyway so I didn’t care!) 

As I couldn’t pick up anything, I either had to kill anyone carrying objectives to draw or table the entire army to win.

My first opponent was . . Steve Brown!  I guess Thurston and Alex wanted to punish him for not bringing the Titans as promised, or had hoped he could get them together for the last minute.  Steve Brown and I have fought each other countless times in countless game systems.  I am usually the loser in these experiences, but I try to make them interesting! 

Steve brought out a well painted Space Marine Force:

  • Librarian
  • 10 man Tactical Squad in drop pod with Flamer & Missile Launcher
  • 10 man Tactical Squad in drop pod with Melta Gun & Multi-Melta
  • 10 man Assault Squad
  • Storm Talon Gunship
  • Contemptor Mortis Pattern Dreadnought (2 X Kheres Asssault Cannon & Cyclone Missile Launcher)
  • Achilles Land Raider (Thunderfire Cannon & 2 X Twin-Linked Multi-Melta, etc…)

Against ME (2 X Warhound Titans – seems I’m to be out-numbered.  Who would guess?)  ;)

I setup my Titans at each corner of my deployment zone, Emerald Wrath (Blue) on the Left, Emerald Fury (Red) on the Right, Plasma Blast Guns inwards.  Both Titans faced towards the table center, presenting the highest armor towards the enemy (I HOPED).  Steve set up his Dreadnought on my left, and his Land Raider with the Librarian on my right.  Everything else was in reserve.  Somehow, I managed to get first turn!

With limited targets (2, actually), Emerald Wrath shot everything at the Dreadnought and Emerald Fury at the Land Raider.  As impressive as it sounds, the Mega Bolters were useless – both targets’ front armor was invulnerable to Strength 6 shots.  So it was a single full-powered shot at each with Plasma Blast Guns.  Emerald Wrath failed to damage the Dread, but Emerald Fury penetrated the Land Raider, stunning it.  Steve dropped a pod with the “Melta-Marines” to the rear and left of Emerald Fury.  In their hurry to get out of the pod, they forgot to adjust for wind and all their shots missed Emerald Fury.  The Land Raider Snap-Fired at Emerald Fury, but all the Raider’s shots missed, too! Meanwhile, the Dreadnought shaved all the shields off Emerald Wrath after walking into maximum range of his assault cannons. 

Emerald Fury backed up a bit and managed to shake the Land Raider again with another full-powered Plasma shot, but unfortunately, Emerald Fury couldn’t bring the Vulcan to bear on the Marines on foot.  Emerald Wrath turned to help his twin, and fired his Plasma Blast Gun at a Marine that Emerald Wrath had Direct Line-of-Sight to.  The blast template managed to kill ½ the Marine Squad and take out the drop pod in 1 shot!  The Drop Pod kill meant “First Kill” for the Titans!  Unfortunately, when the smoke cleared, the remaining marines were out of sight to the Vulcan Mega Bolter!

Not getting much use from those Mega Bolters in this game…

Steve rolled for reinforcements and I think EVERYTHING showed up.  The Marine Talon appeared behind the Dread and zoomed forward to target Emerald Wrath.  Steve’s last drop pod with Marines came in behind Emerald Wrath and immediately split into 2 combat squads, one rushed to capture an objective nearby, the other (with a Missile Launcher) stayed behind the Titan to stay within 12” (avoiding the Void Shields).  The Dread came forward and prepared to fire.  A Jump Squad came in closer to the center and also split into Combat Squads, each going for an objective inside a stone circle (think Stonehenge on a much smaller scale).  Using the Machine Spirit, the Land Raider continued to advance and prepared to snap-fire at Red, while the survivors of the first squad circled around for a better shot.

The “Firing Squads” unleashed HECK on my Titans!  When the smoke cleared, Emerald Wrath had lost a Structure Point (3 Hull Points), lost his shields and taken a Stunned result – no move or shoot.  Fortunately, BOTH weapons pass their “redundant systems check” so could still shoot!  All shots at Emerald Fury missed!  Steve was so shocked – he took a picture of his dice!

Unable to move, Emerald Wrath targeted the Land raider with another full-power plasma shot and was just able to engage a Combat Squat of Assault Marines in the stone circle with the Vulcan Mega Bolter.  The Plasma Gun got a glancing hit on the Land Raider, but the bolter vaporized the 5-man jump pack squad.  Emerald Fury turned and tried to protect Emerald Wrath.  Fury Snap-Fired at the Talon with the Mega Bolter.  The Mega Bolter missed ALL 15 SHOTS at the Talon (not ONE 6!)!!!  Shooting the Blast Gun at the Dreadnought, Emerald Fury managed to shake the Dread, but the dreadnought just shook off the effects due to its special rules.

Steve REALLY wanted to kill a Titan at this point and decided Emerald Wrath was the one to go.  His Talon, in flight mode, had to fly 18” minimum, so would over-fly the Titan and have to come on as reinforcements later.  Deciding that it wasn’t acceptable, Steve took the chance and entered Hover mode with the Talon, maintaining the side shot on Emerald Wrath.  The Dreadnought continued to advance (I think it just got under the Shield this time).  One of the combat squads behind Blue reached the objective while the other stood still to maximize their firing.  Steve’s Librarian jumped out of the Land Raider as it continued towards Emerald Fury, entering a stream.  The final Jump Squad managed to reach the last objective in the stone circle.

 Steve’s Talon did some damage to Emerald Wrath, but it’s the Dreadnought with 2 Assault Cannons and the Cyclone Missile launcher that literally ground away Wrath’s remaining hull points.  Finally, the last hull point disappeared and Steve rolled on the Super Heavy Damage Chart: a 6!  Apocalyptic Explosion!  Only, with a Titan’s Warp Reactor, the explosion was 6D6” from the hull and all hits were treated as a Destroyer shot.  A Destroyer hit means Vehicles automatically suffer a Penetrating Hit and all infantry models suffer Instant Death (except for Invulnerable Saves (of which Steve had NONE!)).  Roll the dice: 30” = EVERYTHING on the left-half of the board was gone!  Steve’s Talon would have been safe if he stayed in Flight mode, but going into hover mode meant that it was subject to the explosion as well!  Final Explosion death count:

2 X 5 man Combat Squads of Marines,
1 Drop Pod,
1 Sky Talon (rolled a 6 on the Penetrating Hit table),
1 Contemptor Dreadnought (lost its last HP) and
1 Warhound Titan!

After Steve and I stopped laughing at/with each other, we moved on to the right side of the battlefield.  Between the remaining Marines and the Land Raider, Steve managed to do 3 Hull Points (1 SP) of damage to Emerald Fury, destroyed the Plasma Blast Gun and Stunned the Titan, though the Vulcan Mega Bolter was still operational. (Gotta LOVE those Redundant Systems!) 

Emerald Fury had Line-of-Sight on the Jump Squad in the Circle with the Mega Bolter and cut loose.  A fine red mist emerged between the stones and the Jump Troops were no more!  We were in trouble, but we were fighting to the bitter end!

The Librarian showed his true colors, grabbed an objective and ran (hopefully out of Apocalyptic Explosion Range).  So much for “And They Shall Know No Fear”…  Steve’s Land Raider got stuck in the Stream (!), but still managed to do 2 more Hull Points of damage to Emerald Fury and destroyed the Vulcan Mega Bolter with the Marines’ Melta Weapons shooting from behind.  This left the Red with no weapons, only 1 SP and 1 HP (4 Hull Points total).

Being weaponless didn’t mean Emerald Fury was harmless.  I decided I had to try for a field goal: see if I could kick the Land Raider (down to 1 HP) over the hill and onto the Librarian (figuratively – I know the rules don’t allow for it, but hey!)  Imagine the cheers from the stadium as the crowd went wild:

“There’s the Hike!”

“The Kicker is lining up…”


Only, instead of my field goal, I tripped over my shoe lace or stubbed my toe: I rolled a 1 for the Armor Penetration Roll for a total of 11: The Land Raider Lived with only 1 HP left!  ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!

 I felt like Charlie Brown and Lucy had just yanked away the ball!

 But I was laughing about it and so was Steve!  Thurston and Alex came around to see why we were laughing so hard and joined in!  I had to shout it: “I’m Back!  Defeat from Victory!!!”

I didn’t suffer too long.  Steve proceeded to shoot me in the back with those Meltas and hit! Emerald Fury lost 1 HP, then rolled on the Vehicle Damage Table: a 6!  Explosion!  Emerald Fury lost 1 Structure Point (the last I had).  So the Titan was down – what would happen???  Steve slowly picked up the dice and rolls to find out what happens: Wrecked!  Steve started to breathe again in relief!  He wasn’t sure his Librarian was out of Blast Range!

So Steve won because a) he Tabled me and b) his Librarian was carrying an Objective.  Rather than say what died, it easier to say what SURVIVED:

4 Marines in one (BRAVE) squad (these guys need Purity Seals or promotion to the First Company!)
1 Battered Land Raider with 1HP left and
1 (cowardly) Librarian!  (The Inquisition will be looking for this Heritic!)

This was a great game!  Steve and I wanted to know what could happen and just about everything DID!

What was learned:

  • Using Combat Detachments against a Vulcan Mega Bolter is a BAD idea!
  • Full Power Plasma Blast Gun shots with a 10” template is AWSOME, but doesn’t guarantee a vehicle kill
  • Apocalyptic Explosions are FUNNY!  And a good way to clear a table!
  • Table Placement is still important to Titans; you don’t want to turn your back to ANYTHING if possible.
  • Hover Mode is not always a Good Idea!

    While I did tease Steve’s Librarian, he really did all that he could.  Super Heavies are immune to all Psychic Powers that do not have a Strength Value (pretty much means Psychic Shooting Attacks only).  Steve had a well-rounded force, but his Librarian (also his HQ) did not have any means of damaging my Titans, so the Librarian was really only useful for picking up Objectives.  I’m sure that in other games against other opponents; the Librarian would have been quite useful.

    Game 2: The “Drive By!” (or “Did you see something???”)

    The Mission: Delivery

    Each player will designate 3 NON-CHARACTER models in scoring units to be “Messengers”.  They must be in different units.  If they get within 9” of the enemy table edge (outside of any vehicle), they are removed from the table and have completed their mission.  The Most Messengers off the table wins.  TABLING is NOT an automatic win!

    So Thurston, Alex and I had discussed this one before.  I can’t have messengers by nature of my list (all vehicles – Messengers have to be Infantry).  This is the mission I cannot win at all – all I can hope for is a draw.

    So my opponent for this would be Rod Murray’s Tau.  I HAD his list, but it seems to have evaporated somewhere.  So working from memory (and a photo):

    • Shas ‘O with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Shield and a Shield Drone
    • 2 X Crisis suits with twin-linked Missile Pods
    • 2 X Crisis suits with Plasma Rifles, Missile Pods and Multi-Trackers
    • 17ish Kroot Warriors
    • 10 Firewarriors in a Devilfish
    • 2 Firewarriors on foot
    • 3 Broadsides with Shield Drones
    • 1 Hammerhead tank with the Twin Plasma Gun Turret from Forge World
    • The Defence Line with Gun Mount
    • 2 Tetra Scout Skimmers

    So, Rod deployed his Tau in a half of the table’s width.  It looked like a nice, fat juicy target for some Pie Plates, but I failed to steal 1st turn.  At that point, Rod’s Devilfish screamed across the table at full speed,   The Hammer head came out from behind a hill and the foot troops all advanced except for the Broadsides – nice and safe behind the Defense Line’s walls.  The Tetras lit up Emerald Wrath, then the Broadsides cut loose (using marker lights to improve Ballistic skills and remove any cover save Emerald Wrath might have had).  The Hammerhead fired on Emerald Fury with all guns blazing.  It was for naught.  Emerald Wrath lost all his shields, Emerald Fury lost 1, but neither Titan’s armor was damaged.

    Chuckling, Emerald Wrath aimed his Vulcan Mega Bolter at the Kroot, and lots disappear in a spray of .. never mind.  Emerald Fury’s Vulcan targeted the Broadsides and after a phenomenal show of rolling shield saves, 1 Shield Drone died!  Both Titans, forgetting their mission, fired Blast Guns at the Hammerhead.  At this point, I realized my problem.  Having moved and carrying Disruption fields, the Hammerhead easily saved both shots!  (As would the Devilfish carrying one of the Messengers.)  In conciliation, the Kroot broke and headed back to their table edge.

    Back to the Tau’s turn, the Kroot recovered and consolidated back towards me.  The Hammerhead advanced and inadvertently partially blocked Line-Of-Sight Emerald Wrath, providing a cover save against shots from the Broadsides.  The Devilfish continued to scream across the table, turning its back to my table edge, and waited within the Magic 9”.  In the shooting phase, all the shields were stripped off of both Titans, but I recorded no damage in my notes.

     Here again, I had a chance and blew it.  Being dumb, I turned both Titans towards the Devilfish and unload EVERYTHING at it – without moving forward first!  If I had moved, at least 1 of the Titans would have been within 12” and ignored the Disruption Pod effects, but NOOooooo, I stood still!  As a result, I finally wrecked the Devilfish, but had no weapons available to shoot the passengers as they were forced to disembark!  The Messenger calmly walked off the table in the Tau’s turn, whistling happily.  Game won for Tau.

     We continued to fight another turn or two.  The Tau Kroot and Firewarriors were destroyed, but I was unable to kill his Commander (Shield and Shield Drones – Grrrr!).  The Tau Hammerhead and Broadsides were finally able to bring down Emerald Wrath, earning the Commander Kill and maximizing Rod’s Points.  We ended the game at this point.

     I screwed up this game and I knew it before I even started to shoot at the Devilfish!  Rod knew his army, kept the objective in mind and played it well.  I have no issues with Rod or his Army Selection (though I can see why Disruption Pods are considered broken, and I play Tau, too!).  My real complaint was the mission itself.  Others also complained about it.  Anyone facing a skimmer army had the same issues – the skimmers can cross the field too quickly and are too hard to kill with all their Jinx Saves.

    What was learned:

    - Disruption Pods make hitting Tau that much HARDER if you’re over 12” – MANEUVER/MOVE!!!
    - I really liked the Tau force, it was well thought out and well played.

    Game 3: The “Denial!” (or “Clearing the Guns”)

    The Mission: Cache 12.

    “Dawn of War” deployment, but with 18” deployment zones instead of 12”.  Five objective markers were spread around the table.  Players accumulated 1 point per objective they controlled (within 3”, no contesting models) per turn.  At the end of the game, a player with at least 5 points more than his opponent; wins. Less than 5 points is a draw.  Oh, and only non-vehicle units can claim points!

    As I couldn’t claim points, I was screwed again (I thought).

    My opponent was Ben Brennan’s Chaos Space Marine army.  I can’t find his list, so from memory and pictures:
    • 19ish Chaos Marines on foot (!)
    • 10 Chaos Marines in a Rhino including a Hero
    • 1 Vindicator Tank
    • 1 “Heavy” Chaos Marine Squad in a Rhino
    • another smaller squad of marines on foot

    Ben deployed first and I failed to steal first turn.  The Chaos Marines disembarked from their Rhinos near objectives as everyone on foot ran towards others and the Vindicator treaded slowly towards Emerald Wrath.  At this point, I think Ben’s got 5 objectives and won (turned out he had 4).  The Vindicator shot and took 1 shield off Emerald Wrath.

    I walk over to Alex and apparently, I’m not the only one with this issue – someone else has already arrived and complained.  The response:

    "Have you tried Tabling them?”

    Du’Oh!  Tabling opponent automatically wins the game!  He had to repeat it twice, but Alex was right – I could still win!

    Back at the table, the Titans cycled their weapons: Emerald Wrath buzz-sawed most of a unit with the Vulcan, but failed to damage the Vindicator with the Blast Gun.  Emerald Fury destroyed 1 squad on a hill with his Vulcan (First Kill!) and took a chunk out of another double-tapping the Plasma Blast Gun.  Emerald Wrath then charged the Vindicator, damaging it, but Demonic Possession ignored the result on the table.  The Vindicator retreated back an inch per the Combat Rules for Super Heavies.  (We probably did this wrong.  The rules state enemy models that are not Super Heavies or Gargantuan Creatures MUST consolidate 1” away.  Vehicles should never consolidate.  It was a “In the heat of the moment” thing we both overlooked.)

    Chaos Marines tried to grab 2 more points on the left, but Emerald Wrath contested 1, but Ben still managed to get the 5 points he needed to win.  The Chaos Hero ran behind a hill for protection (he’s not dumb!).  The Vindicator fired at Emerald Wrath, managing to Stun the Titan, but both weapons passed their Redundant Systems Checks.  Two more melta shots at Emerald Wrath and they manage to stun the Mega Bolter.  Emerald Wrath had lost a total of 3 Hull Points at this point.

    Emerald Fury shot at the Vindicator to protect his “brother”, causing another Penetrating hit and Stun (which Demonic Possession ignores).  Emerald Wrath fired his Blast Gun towards the rear of the Vindicator and thankfully the shot drifted enough to clip the tank but miss the Titan (still counted as hitting front armor).  The blast finished off the Vindicator.

    Sadly, my notes failed at this point.  What I can tell you is that both Titans advanced up the short edges, Emerald Fury got into the Chaos Deployment zone (+1 Battle Point).  The Chaos Marines continued to fire on Emerald Wrath, getting a Drive Damage result (moved at ½ speed), an Explosion that blasted away 1 Structure Point.  Emerald Wrath continued to move around with and survived the game with only 1 Structure Point (3 Hull Points) left!  Emerald Fury survived unscathed.  Going up the short edges allowed the two Titans to get the entire Chaos army in a crossfire.  The Chaos Marines scattered all over the board, looking for shelter.  If only 1 Marine survived, they would win.  Sadly, 2 or 3 turns later, in the last turn, the last (POSSIBLE) shot was from a Vulcan Mega Bolter at his Warlord and Ben just couldn’t make all the saves he needed to win.  I believe he failed by 1 invulnerable save – it was that close a game. 

    The Titans won their first game by tabling their opponent!

    What was learned:

    - Never Give Up!  Never Surrender!  This game was decided by the last shot I had (it was Last turn!)
    - Force Choices: I think this was an interesting mix of Chaos Marines, but Ben was really limited in his Anti-Tank ability.  Ben was prepared to get in close with infantry and use various Chaos Gifts to help rip apart the enemy in hand-to-hand.  The Vindicator is a great tank, but I’m seeing everyone needs more ranged weapons as vehicles have gotten that much tougher and cannot be guaranteed a Single Hit = Killed anymore.  Even Titans Blast guns needed 2-3 hits to kill most vehicles.

    Game 4: No Where To Run, No Where To Hide!

    The Mission: Purge

    Sort of a “Vanguard Strike” Deployment but with only 9” from table center, using diagonally opposite corners.  This was a standard “Kill or be Killed” mission.  Victory points were awarded based on value of units; ½ VP for half damaged units, full VPs for completely destroyed / fleeing units.

    I’ve known Sean Habing for years.  We’ve talked, laughed at jokes, and been in tournaments, but neither of us could remember ever actually fighting each other.  A NEW/Old player!

     I started off by apologizing to Sean – I didn’t choose the table.  Imagine a swamp with a few little scruffs of rough bush.  That’s it.  No hills to hide behind – just scruffs of bush.  At least he would get cover saves when he was in there.  Sean – sportsman that he is, laughed it off and told me not to worry.

     Sean Habing’s army was Necrons, consisting of:

    • Imotekh the Storm Lord (with a page of special rules, all for himself)
    • Triarch Stalker
    • 2 X 10 man Warrior Squads
    • 2 X 10 man Immortal Squads
    • Annihilation Barge
    • Doom Ark
    • Canoptek Spyder
    • Canoptek Scarabs (I HATED these things!)
    • 2 X Units of Necron Destroyers

    Sean won 1st deployment and I failed to steal First Turn (again).

    Good thing we deployed angled across the table; I think the Necrons used the entire deployment line to setup.  Of course, first turn was using Night Rules because of Sean’s HQ.  Fortunately the Lightning failed to damage the Titans.  Warriors and Immortals on my left ran forward while the rest of the army advanced slowly, steadily.  The Doom Ark took down one of Emerald Wrath’s shields, but that’s it.

    The Titans unloaded everything they had.  8 Warriors, 2 Immortals and 1 (WHAT?!?!?  Only 1????) Scarab were “killed”.  Of course half the Warriors and Immortals stand back up.  At least I managed to regenerate the shield on Emerald Wrath

    Next turn, Night faded away (Hurrah!).  The Spyder “pooped out” another Scarab, replacing the one I killed, but wounded itself in the process.  All Necrons advanced slowly…  One unit of warriors was close enough to shoot at Emerald Wrath and take down 1 shield.  The Arc took down a 2nd shield.  No other damage.

    At this point, I’m ticked (figuratively)!  These Titans are (supposed to be) Gods of War!!!  There shouldn’t have been anyone left alive after that last volley.  I inch the Titans back a bit  to buy some time (range wasn’t an issue for me) and suddenly: there he was.  Stormlord.  Finger pointed at me, beckoning me, tormenting me.

    I HAD to have my REVENGE!!!

    It took all 4 Titan Weapons, but there was a big smoking hole where Imotekh WAS!  Got me the Warlord AND First Kill points in one turn!!!

    Sean, of course is laughing at me – all those weapons to kill 1 figure while the rest of his army slowly advanced.  One squad of Destroyers came in by Deep Strike close to Emerald Wrath, drifting in to his front arc.  The Spyder generated another Scarab.  The Destroyers, from inside the Void Shield, took a Hull Point from Emerald Wrath.  The Stalker and the Arc took down Emerald Wrath’s shields.  In the Assault Phase, the Scarabs assaulted Emerald Fury.

    Scarabs do WHAT?!?!?  Suckers chewed on Emerald Fury’s armor – brought it down from 14/13/12 to 12/11/10!!!  Emerald Fury used the Titan’s Stomp attack to engage ALL the scarabs but only managed to kill 3 stands of Scarabs.

    With Imotekh gone, and Night no longer an issue, the Titans finally showed what they could do.  They wiped out an entire squad of Warriors, another of Destroyers, and destroyed both the Stalker and the Spyder!  How’s THAT for fancy shooting?

    Apparently, the Necrons were unimpressed.  They continued to advance across the table.  The Barge took down one of Emerald Fury’s shields and the remaining Warriors shot, glancing the last shield away and damaging Emerald Fury, who lost his first whole Structure Point.  The Scarabs assaulted Emerald Fury again, this time brought his armor down to 11/10/9 and took away another Hull Point.  Emerald Fury was starting to look a little shaky there!

    Titans backed up and fired again, but with less than impressive results.  They finally managed to take down the barge, but it took 3 of the weapons to do it.  The last shot (a Plasma Blast Gun) wounded only 5 warriors (4 would stand back up) and 2 Immortals!

    The entire Necron Army (or what was left of it) concentrated their fire on Emerald Fury.  When the smoke cleared, Emerald Fury was down to 1 Hull Point (not even a Structure Point), the Drive Damaged (moved at ½ speed) and the Plasma Blast Gun was off-line!  Emerald Wrath’s crew must have chuckled – nice to see someone else get hammered for a change!

    Emerald Fury retaliated against the remaining Scarabs with its Mega Bolter and FINALLY killed the last of the Scarabs.  Emerald Wrath slid up the field a bit (we’d seen Apocalyptic Explosions before) and destroyed the Doom Arc.

    The Necrons tasted blood now!  (Or was that just high-quality machine fluids?)  The Necrons advanced on Emerald Fury – closing for the Kill!  Immortals got side shots (only Armor 10 now) and cut loose!  The last Hull Point disappeared and we rolled on the destruction table: a 6!

    Fortunately, Emerald Wrath is out of range, but pretty much everything else in the Necron army got caught in the Warp Reactor Breach Explosion.  Apparently, we were laughing so much, my notes show: “Explosion killed Immortals, Destroyers, etc…”

    There must have been something left because Emerald Wrath managed to move over the deployment zone line next turn, gaining that extra Battle Point and managed to kill off the rest of the Necrons.

    Titans won AGAIN!  2nd Army Tabled!

    What was learned:

    - Don’t stand too close to a Titan with only 1 Hull Point left!  ;)
    - Scarabs eat vehicles for lunch – KILL WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!!!
    - Many Necron weapons glance on a 6 – enough of them will ruin your vehicles (even Super Heavies) day!

    Final Battle Record: 2 Wins, 2 Lost!

    So What?  How did they PLACE???  The Scores Man!  The Scores!

    Overall, I didn’t do too badly. 

    For Composition:  I was told in advance they would grant me the average (I was taking an entire Org Chart for all intents and purposes).  So the average was 13.???  Alex rounded it up to 14.  High score was 17, low was 4.  The 4 got special mention during the Awards Presentation – the player had to work REALLY hard to get that low!  (He confessed he didn’t have time to do a proper force so concentrated on a force he could finish in time.)  I didn’t “Earn” my score; it was a case of the organizers trying to make it fair for the Titans.  I’ll need to chat with them about this in the future.

    For Generalship:  2 Wins at Max score and 2 losses with 1 bonus point amongst the losses got me a decent 53 points.  Max score was 67.  Low score was 34.  I was roughly in the middle of the pack (as expected with 2 wins).

    For Sportsmanship:  I got 46 – an over-all good score.  Players that fought me seemed to be happy with my play style and the only real rules issues we had were generic rules – not Titan or Super-Heavy specific.  55 was the highest score.  We won’t mention low scores…

    For Appearance:  20.  THIS is where I got smacked!  These Titans were probably painted over 15 years ago.  While it was a decent paint job for the time, there was nothing special about it.  More importantly, extra points were awarded for Objectives (didn’t know, didn’t have any), customizations (these are Collector’s Items – I was not willing to chop them up), Interesting bases (what bases?), Banners (ok, I probably could/should do banners now – they’ve earned them) and Movement / Display Trays (I had 2 models – I didn’t figure I needed one!).  Hind sight being 20/20, they did post what they were looking for in advance of the tournament, but again, with 2 models – I wasn’t going to be able to do much…

    In spite of my complaints, I look at what others had done and I think I got what I deserved.  There were some AMAZING works of Art on the floor this time.  Probably enough Green Stuff was used to fill a car!  (Compact one, maybe, but a car, none the less.)  The High Score was 47 and deserved it.  Most players were in the 30’s (mostly High 30’s).  And they deserved it.  Needless to say, Appearance was my Achilles’ heel.

    Overall:  119 Points.  The High Score was 158.  I was tied for the 16/17 positions out of 22 players.  There were 13 players with over 130 points at this tournament so I don’t feel bad at all!  If my appearance score was higher, I could have been in the top ½ of the competition!

    So?  What do you think?  Would you use Titans Again???

    I think so.  I had fun using them and most of my opponents seemed to enjoy the challenge and the change of pace.  Having said that, I’m not “Super Competitive”, I wouldn’t expect to win a tournament with just Super Heavies.  If you’re looking to be a “cheese player” and an easy Tournament Winner – this is probably not going to be an army for you. 

    One of the TO’s actually has an Eldar Phantom Titan – worth exactly 1500 points.  I’ve already started trying to convince him to bring it for next year – just in case there are an odd number of players and we need to prevent a “Bye”.  Another person has threatened to build a Reaver (1450 Points – 3 weapons), but he wants to raise the tournament limits to bring in some “assistance”.  The organizers have stuck to their guns and said next tournament will be 1500 points as well.

    Which brings up the point of “Allies”.  In theory, Chaos, Guard and Space Marines could bring in a Warhound as a 750 Point Allied Contingent and spend 750 on “Regular Forces”.  Eldar also have a scout Titan, though I don’t remember its points value.  To be honest, I was originally pushing for this and hoped to prove that Titans were not so powerful as to allow it next time.  (My Titan would be teamed up with Space Wolves – wouldn’t that be fun?)  However, I can see where a Titan with the correct escort would be particularly difficult to deal with.  This really requires a lot more testing to see if it’s viable in a tournament setting – especially at 1500 points!

    I suspect if the Tournament Organizers were to allow it, they would have to really check and tailor their mission objectives carefully to avoid giving such a combination an overwhelming advantage.  Also, keep in mind, we only used 2 types of Titan Weapons: Vulcan Mega Bolters and Plasma Blast Guns.  There are other weapons that can be far more deadly to Infantry OR Vehicles.  The Plasma Blast Gun is a good all-purpose weapon but a Turbo Laser would just be a can opener with its Destroyer rules.  The flamer weapon would probably do more against infantry than the Mega Bolter could.  How would these weapons impact a 1500pt game?

    As with fliers, it will take some time to determine whether we, the Gamers, will want to include or disallow these Super Heavy Vehicles from normal play.  If the demand is high and the rules are well written, then we will probably see more Super Heavies in the future.

    How many Baneblades can I get into a 1500 point army list?