Friday 24 February 2023

St Albans Smackdown Satellite Tournament

So, on Saturday I headed up to St Albans to play in the St Albans Smackdown Satellite tournament. I had a plan, some practice games under my belt, and two Shasvastii lists I thought worked quite well. First up was Highly Classified, and I was drawn against Rushforth1980 who was running Spiral Corps.

We drew Experimental Drug, HTV Retroengineering, Capture and Sabotage. For personal classifieds, Rushforth1980 got Extreme Prejudice, while I got Predator.

Jaan Staar impersonated up to my Q-Drone remote to take out my main ARO piece. He pretty handily despatched the remote. He got a line on my Lieutenant and went for a cheeky Discover, but fortunately was unsuccessful and got immobilised by the Slave Drone.

My Taigha charged in and got the first of the two kills I needed for Predator, getting targeted on the way in. It ran out of orders before hitting again and the Spiral Corps shot into combat and killed them both so I didn't have an easy kill.

I scored Experimental Drug and Retroengineering pretty early, losing my Engineer in a counter attack. A hefty Tohaa link then got to my HVT for the Retroengineering and blew up a scenery piece near it for Sabotage as well. I ran my other Caliban up for Sabotage but then lost it in the follow up.

The last of my Taigha berserked into an unconscious Helot but it passed it's armour save and was killed by missing AROs, again denying me the second kill to score Predator. 

I ended up with hardly any orders, tied for 3 secondary objectives each with Spiral Corps having scored Extreme Prejudice for their personal objective. I ran my mentor forward to aim to get Capture and win, rather than Predator for the draw. He went down to a hail of AROs, leaving me with a loss. So, one game down, but a reasonable score so I had a chance of still placing OK.

Second game was Acquisition, and my cunning plan of "take a TAG" was somewhat foiled by the centre objective being in an objective room. I was now up against shrikeh running Druze Bayram Security. The table was quite open, but I missed that there's a 16" deployment zone which would have helped a little bit. The Druze deployed a very heavy ARO presence, with three Pathfinders, a linked Brawler Sniper, a linked Clipper Dronbot, and a linked Druze HMG which probably shouldn't have been  out and lay down straight away.

My Sphinx had to take out a strong Repeater network while avoiding the strong AROs, and it eventually got unlucky and got wrecked. Not enough ARO pieces had gone down for the Engineer to get there, and it's suicidal Gizmokit run simply missed, and that pretty much turned into the game. A full 10-0 loss.

The final game was Capture and Protect against Thamalys who was running vanilla Combined Army. It was absolutely beautifully painted, one a very pretty new table, too...

The Sphinx had a lot to avoid this game too as there was another strong hacking network. After Thalamys' Speculo managed to grab the beacon for a turn early on where I hadn't been able to fight my way through, I pushed forward to try and make it to the objective and overextended the Sphinx, getting punched unconscious by an angry Daturazi.

To stop my Caliban Engineer getting to the Sphinx, my opponent dropped an Ikadron to cover it, and it survived several rounds of shooting, including two sets of three armour saves where it didn't roll under a 17! I just managed to get the Sphinx back up, but simply didn't have enough orders to get to the box.

With a third loss, I actually ended up with the Wooden Spoon, coming last overall in the tournament. Still, it was fun to get three games in a day, see a bunch of existing friends and make some new ones. I need to have a bit of a tactics rethink, but it's not the end of the world.

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