Friday, March 1, 2013

Astro Winnipeg 2013 Army Showcase

Last weekend, February 23-24, I played at my second tournament of the 2012-13 season, Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2013. There were players from out of town (props to Mike and Jeff from Minot, N.D., and to Jim from Toronto) plus several new locals.

Christian, Keith and Mike put on yet another great Warhammer 40,000 tournament; this is the 13th time they have run the Winnipeg event. The organizational skills to do this 4 times a year (in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto and Dallas, TX) is mind-boggling. I ran an event several years ago (anyone remember Necron-omicon, a.k.a. "Dave-con"). Though well received, it exhausted me and I haven't run a 40K event since. Kudos to the Astro T.O.'s!

Here are some of the armies that caught my eye during the weekend. My apologies; I did not get photos of as many people's armies as I wanted.

(Remember to click on the images for larger sized pictures.)

MarioR's superb Space Wolves, seen on the hanger deck of their Space Marine strike cruiser:


Mario's Storm Eagle (heavily converted from a Storm Raven, with many added details), sitting on its scratch built launching cradle:


Mario's Space Wolf Terminators and Rune Priest:


Mario's Grey Hunters, and their drop pods:


Mario's Dreadnoughts, and their drop pods:


Rear view of Mario's display board (he intends to build an entire modular game table in this fashion):


RyanK's Chaos Space Marines, led by Abbadon himself:


MikeE's Nurgle Chaos Space Marines:


Mike's Chaos Daemon:


One of Mike's two Chaos Blight Drones:


AlexB's Orks; every model is either completely scratch built (e.g., all the helicopters) or heavily converted:


Alex' Boss in Mega Armour:


Alex' air wing:


Alex' ground pounders:


Alex' lit up destroyed vehicle markers:


Sean's Necrons:


Jordan's Orks:


MikeK's Dark Eldar (yes, the white picket fence is a counts-as Aegis Defense Line):


Black Templars:


Imperial Guard:


CharlesJ's Crimson Fists Space Marines with Blood Angels allies:


GregR's Salamanders Space Marines:


JimB's Dark Eldar:


BrockJ's Tyranids (all the models very heavily converted):


Brock's Mycetic Spore is made from a cut up Nerf football!


J.P.'s beautiful Night Lords Chaos Space Marines:


J.P.'s Heldrake flyer:


J.P.'s Chaos Sorceror (note the good use of on-figure light sourcing):


KevinN's Tiger Space Marines:


DamianC's Dark Eldar:


FabioF's Chaos Space Marines with Necron allies :


Space Marines:


Lance's Space Marines:


RodM's Tau Empire:


Rods' Broadside Battlesuits standing behind a Defense Line and anti-aircraft gun (the Broadsides are from Forge World, the defense line is scratch built from balsa wood, the gun converted from spare parts):


Rod's Hammerhead Gunship and Tetra Scout Speeders (the Tetras and the Hammerhead's TL Plasma Cannon turret are from Forge World) :


DanS's disturbing Tyranid Mycetic Spore (also made from a Nerf football):


DaveV's (that's me) Eldar Swordwind (yeah, that's 6 tank hulls and a Wraithlord in 1500 points):


A  view of my Autarch, Fire Storm, and Wraithlord (Note that the Autarch is a slight conversion of a Hasslefree Miniatures space elf; it garnered a lucky Best in Show at last year's annual Manitoba Model Soldier Society Show and Competition. The Fire Storm's gatling laser turret is from Forge World):



My army list is as follows:

Asurmen's Academy: The Return of Ancient Days

HQ: Autarch (with Death Spinner; Warlord Power = The Dust of a Thousand Suns)

Troops: 5 Dire Avengers (riding inside the Fire Storm AAA tank)

Troops: 8 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent transport, TL Scatter Lasers

Troops: 8 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent, TL Scatter Lasers

Elite: 5 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent, TL Shuriken Cannons

Elite: 5 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent, Shuriken Cannon + TL Shuriken Cannons

Fast Attack: 4 Warp Spiders
Warp Spider Exarch, Death Spinner x2

Heavy Support: Fire Storm anti-aircraft artillery tank

Heavy Support: Warp Hunter artillery tank

Heavy Support: Wraithlord , Wraithblade + Bright Lance

Total Roster Cost: 1499 points

This army is themed around high mobility and massed firepower; only the Wraithlord has any close combat capability at all. The Autarch's power allows infantry within 12" to roll an extra dice in difficult terrain, and allows all friendly units within 12" to automatically pass dangerous terrain tests; this was an extremely useful power that became crucial on a few occasions throughout the weekend.

Astro has brought back a Composition score. Under their rules, this army scored the lowest Comp of the entire field (scoring 14 out of a possible 20 points). In part, this reflects upon my choices (that is indeed a lot of tank hulls), but this also is a function of the aged Codex: Eldar. Many of the point values are out of whack with the current codices (i.e., too high to be justified; there's a reason I don't field tooled up Avenger Exarchs any more), and several Eldar powers or items of wargear are useless under the current 6th edition of the WH40K rules. I note that, yet again, I was the only player fielding a Craftworld Eldar force.

Comp was used in part to seed each player's first game of the weekend. In the event, I was matched up with Mario and his Space Wolves. Mario is a gentleman and a scholar, so I certainly had no complaints.

Battle reports for each of my 6 games are posted here.

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