I attended the April Assault at Crossroad Games in Standish, Maine on Saturday. It was a hobby focused event with heavy emphasis on soft scores. I figured I’d post my impressions of the day as a review for those of you who are interested and feedback for those who hosted the event. For those of you who would like to see the details of the event you can download the event packet here.
I’ll start with the biggest point of contention for most people, Army Composition. You start with a score of 80 and deduct points based on the rubric in the packet. Anything that scores less than 30 is not allowed. There are another 30 subjective points that the judges can give based on quality of their write-ups or use of less common and themed units. Overall composition is 110 possible points out of a total of 324.
Named characters lose points, quite a few if they’re over 100 points. You start to lose points at three dedicated transports with large deductions for a fourth or fifth. Two of the same unit outside the troops section will inflict a big hit regardless of options taken. This pretty much eliminates spam lists and some of the other more abusive builds but it also takes out some of the more fluffy lists. My biggest issue was finding out about the rubric relatively late. I’d been planning to take 5 drop pods and no long fangs, a list that would have started me at a comp score of 35. I had a last-minute scramble to re-write and adjust my modelling plans but I managed to pull together a solid list that started at 75 and scored me 20 bonus points for a total of 95:
Overall, I think most armies could field a decent list under these comp rules. However, if you’ve built your collection around an optimized build and haven’t got a lot of extra models around to switch it up you could find yourself out of luck. Particularly when you also need to get everything painted.
Painting is split into a 30 point checklist and 10 subjective points, a total of 40 points out of 404. If you follow the checklist it’s not too hard to max out your points. Get everything painted with at least three base colors, drybrushed highlights, wash, flocked bases, and a coherent color scheme for the army and you’ve got 20 points. A simple display base nets another 2 points. This much will probably get you another 4-5 in subjective points so pretty much anyone who puts in a decent effort can get a decent score. Several conversions and some nice free-hand work can get you the rest. I scored a 37 with my army.
I played Target Priority against Hippie’s Daemon army. I won the roll for choice and gave him first turn, then set up my army towards the right of my deployment with my long fangs in a central position. He got his preferred half but after that his dice were not friendly. His ranged fire wasn’t effective enough to hinder my mobility so I was able to keep heavy fire on his army throughout the game and he wasn’t making enough cover/invuln saves to shrug it off. In the end I took all three mission objectives and 4 bonus points for 34 battle points.
The second game was King of the Hill against RippedDragon’s orks. King of the Hill was not really a mission I wanted to play against a ork horde led by Ghaz but we were on a lava board and I won choice so I was able to make him drag half his army across dangerous terrain. There were heavy casualties on both sides but his grots came out of reserve on turn 5 and managed to make it to the middle on turn 7. He’d also managed to kill both my Kings Guard (thanks in part to my Wolf Lord running off the board with one of them.) We drew on quarters and I killed three of his troops netting me a whopping 6 on this one.
The third game was Defensive Onslaught against Necrons. This was my first game against Necrons in the new codex and a pretty good learning experience for me. He had an Annihilation Barge that I managed to immobilize with a pod of combimelta wolf guard. His return fire killed their fist so they didn’t have anything to touch armor 11 so it kept pounding my long fangs while the termies were whittled down by warrior fire. His Praetorians with attached Destroyer Lord also gave me fits. It cost me 15 Gray Hunters, one Wolf Guard, and my Wolf Lord to wipe out the Praetorians and bring the Lord down to 1 wound. In the end we each managed to hold one objective and contest all quarters. I beat him on victory points (around 1080 to 990) for a total of 21 battle points.
Sportsmanship was scored by each opponent using a checklist providing a total score of up to 40 points. The packet indicates a total possible of 40 for the day but these were awarded as up to 40 per opponent for a total of 120 of the 404. This is also why the packet indicates a total possible score of 324 instead of 404. At the end of the day each player voted for their Skumgrod (favorite opponent) with 5 points awarded for each vote received up to 15 total for the day.
All of three of the games I played were pleasant and I scored all of my opponents very highly. I scored 120 for sportsmanship indicating that the feeling was mutual!
There was also a pub quiz worth up to 10 additional points. The questions were tough and the highest score was 6. Mine wasn’t nearly so high:P
In addition to the tournament there was a painting competition. Each player was allowed to enter up to two of three categories from Single Model, Vehicle/Monstrous Creature, and Squad. The entries did not need to come from the army used for the tournament. Pictures of the entries have been posted on Crossroad Games’ Facebook page along with comments from the judges. I find it very interesting to read what the judges thought of each entry and it gives you a very good idea of what they were looking for. There were a lot of fantastic entries and the comments reflect that. Of the Creative Twilight group I took first place for Squad with my Swooping Hawks and Thor took first place for his Greater Daemon.
The tables were all very nice. In addition to the typical woods, cities, and ruins there was a cool industrial Mars board, a lava flow board with dangerous terrain everywhere, and a new Necron themed board. They were great to look at and fun to play on.
Lunch was Domino’s pizza, included with the entry fee. Staple gamer food!
Each player received some nice resin objective markers. There are also some dice that were not available for the event but will be mailed to participants later. They will be the same pattern as used for the Standish Standoff but in a different color so I’m sure they’re awesome.
Magnetic Purity seals were awarded as trophies for the paint competition, Best General (battle points,) People’s Champion (total soft scores,) and Best Overall (all points included.) There was also a squad box awarded as a random door prize.
Overall it was a very fun event. The day ran fairly smoothly and everyone seemed to have a good time. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make it happen, and I encourage everyone to try to attend these events in the future. They’re already starting preparation for another Standish Standoff in the fall.