Thursday, December 09, 2010

Strength and Honour

Written by Martie Wong
Co-winner, Best General - 2010 40K GT

(Photo courtesy of Neutral Grounds)

There really isn't much to say that hasn't already been said by the other players. All I can say is that this has got to be the best tournament experience I ever had and It's not because I won best general. It was because of the joy and thrill of the game and the great company and friendship I have with the other players. Sure I was aiming to win but at the end of the day, it always about the experience and being with people who share your love for the game.

A few weeks before the tourney, I was really wracking my brain on what army to use for the GT. It was bothering me so much that I couldn't work properly and sleep well due to my constant pounding on the calculator. I really wanted to play Tau since I played Orks last year but thanks to the advice of Ian and my brother Mathew, I decided to go with Orks instead. Tau are powerful but they don't have the pushing power of Orks. I needed more than just shooting my opponent to bits. I needed to smash face and grab objectives. So I went for Orks.

And good thing I did because the new Killer Khans were my MVP in most of my games. Tying down units, breaking vehicles, blasting infantry and murdering in the assault. For a mere 45 points each (just 5 points more to a terminator) the Tin Kans did everything! And thanks to them, they won me Best General. (Which is probably the first ever trophy I ever won!)

Before I end, I would like to thank all my opponents in the GT. All my games with them were great. But I have to give a shout out to Freddie Yu. I must admit, Freddie was one of the few people I didn't want to face in the GT and I was like "$*)#!" when we were paired up to fight. But Surprisingly he turned out to be the best match I ever had! Though I lost to him (VERY close fight), I'm proud to say I did all I could to win and couldn't done any better. It was well played and well fought and that's the kind of game I look for. Even though I lost, the match was so awsome that I had a smile beaming on my face! Though I always aim to win and play competitively, what I really want is a challenge. Something to get my blood pumping and my brain juice flowing. And Freddie Yu delivered. Thanks Freddie Yu for a great and awsome game! I hope to challenge you again someday.

All in all, this year's GT was the best. And I am honored to win Best General along with Lucas. Though I'm looking forward to a game between him and me. The only advice I would give to the new and old is honor your opponent with a good fight. What that means is, be fair, be fun and give your best. And in return, your opponent will honor you for it. Thanks again everyone for ending this year's GT with a BANG!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Pang Sports Pa!

Written by Patrick Chua
Co-winner, Best Sportsman, 2010 Warhammer 40K GT

(photos courtesy of Neutral Grounds)

Coming to play in a grand tournament (or major tournament) has always been a nerve wracking experience for me, considering I have played many competitive CMG games from the past. This years GT was in my mind no different than last years....I was wrong...this years GT was more serious, focused and fun!

Winning the co-sportsman award was actually a shock to me since my tables had their fair share of squabbles (professional squabbles naman) but all in all we all played like gentlemen and continued onwards. But I never imagined na makukuha ko pa ung sportsman award at kasama ko pa si Wiley! (ang aking makulit na partner ng kulitan sa galle)

Well a lot of people have been asking what makes a good sportsman, well basically its about being sport, being able to dish the heat and take the heat and having fun while you are at it. Everybody hates to lose and by losing with a smile and knowing you did your best despite of everything, congratulating your opponent and learning from your mistakes. This years GT was actually a blast and a good experience for me both on and off the tabletop. My Advice to fellow players both new and old, love our hobby, love our community and most of all play nice play fair and be good!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Spirit of the Game

By Wiley R. Peralta

Co-Best Sportsman Warhammer 40k GT 2010

In all honesty I was shocked when I won the Sportsmanship award (of course together with Pat Chua), I never thought I had a chance.

Coming in to the 40k Grand Tournament I had one thing on my mind: win. I have always seen myself as a competitive player and it is nice to prove your mettle against other opponents. The challenge of competition is thrilling and very addictive. Unfortunately, this year's GT was not mine to take (so I still am dreaming of that Best General or Best overall) and my performance was average with 2 Major wins, 1 Minor win and 2 Major Losses.

But of course the tourney experience itself is something to be remembered and were 2 days well spent, playing the hobby that I love and with friends (and more new friends) I enjoy gaming with and there is always next year. And that is where I believe I was able to reel in the Best in Sportsmanship award by making sure that the gaming experience was a mutually enjoyable one.

Here's a short list of mindsets that I believe help one become a sportsman:
1. Every Game Is a Learning Experience
Looking at 40k from this perspective is a refreshing one; both of you can learn from each other. For example, after the playing you can talk both about what happened, what one could have done instead, or your opinion on a certain unit, it's use and it's performance in the game. Compliments on an opponent's list, strategy and tactics also fall in line with this. This is something I picked up from Jay and Kuneho; game postmortems and room for improvement.

To be honest there is so much to talk about and whether you win or lose it's a great thing to try and learn from your opponent.

2. Be Honest, Play Clean and Be Fair
This is pretty much common sense. I try and make it a point to explain to my opponent everything; I avoid springing a trap on him by non-disclosure. I shake his hand before and after the game.

I measure my movement and don't go over, when I roll my dice I pick out the misses instead of the hits. It is also important to be clear and explain your movement and what you are doing to your opponent (ex. when you attempt a clipping maneuver). I avoid rules lawyering and give my opponent some leeway with his movement, dice-rolling and so on; or point out discrepancies and protests in a polite way.

I believe it's important that one or both of you don't feel cheated when the game is over.

3. Have Fun
40k is a hobby. This is our hobby. We have hobbies to relax and enjoy; at the very core it's all about having fun. If you take the hobby to seriously (like your life depends on it) means you are missing the point entirely.

Sure it's perfectly fine to cuss a bit when you roll those 2+ terminator saves and you roll a 1, or roll for difficult terrain and roll a double 1 and all those crucial rolls that never seem to work but shouldn't darken your mood or wreck your game altogether. Laugh it off, there are times when the dice just won't go your way; it's perfectly normal and it happens to everyone.

But a final caveat on this: always try and make sure BOTH of you have fun. If you get your kicks out of totally crushing your opponent and then rubbing it in you have got to grow up. It's fun to tease a bit, especially when you're pretty close but it's also easy to go overboard. Be sensitive.

A lot of this I've picked-up from the guys in the 40k community; you know who you are. :) Now that I think about it, when I started again with this hobby almost a year and a half back I didn't know much about sportsmanship,but if anything it's something one can always learn.

So keep playing and remember this hobby is about fun and friends. Keep it that way it's one of the best ways to make our little community grow.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bringing Home the Bacon (aka How to win a 40K GT) by Freddie Yu

Written by Freddie Yu

2010 Warhammer 40K GT Overall Champion

(photos courtesy of Neutral Grounds)

Let’s face it, it is a fact that everyone who joins any GT has always the secret hope and ambition that he/she (we can always hope we get a SHE to compete in a GT don’t we?) can be lucky enough to win a prize after the event (However, bringing an unpainted army and aspiring to win Best Painted is of course overly ambitious). The Best Overall trophy is THE top prize in the tourney, and to get this involves elements of the other 3 major awards (Generalship, Painting, and Sportsmanship). This I believe is good since my opinion is that Games Workshop never intended its games to be exclusively tournament oriented, as I consider both 40K and WHFB more “Beer and Pretzel” games and a hobby more than anything, and as such the elements mentioned above are equal parts in what makes 40k a great hobby.

The Painting aspect is something I would like to start with. I have always advised new players to pick an army based on how much they like the models, rather than its rules. With the way GW changes editions and rulesets, there is a cyclic nature among the different codices and relative power levels. Painting and modeling your miniatures properly however is “forever”, and reflects a player’s dedication and love of his army. Besides, everyone knows competing with a well painted and modeled army is additional “pogi points”, and is as much a source of pride as is winning with them. .I am happy NG realizes this and rewards it accordingly.

The Sportsmanship element has been criticized sometimes as being too subjective and a way for losers to get back at winners (or at least some winners have claimed this before). However, as 40k IS a “Beer and Pretzels” type of game, one should not be too serious about this, and it is more important for both parties to have FUN in the games, losing or not. Nothing beats friendly competition, and having a good sportsmanship score despite beating other gamers reflects the respect one gives to his opponents.

On Generalship. There are many discussions online on what army build is the “best” for each codex, or what units are the most efficient, and you can see many “cut and paste” armies on the net which spam these so-called efficient elements. I, however, am a believer in fluffy yet balanced armies, and as much as possible I try to include different unit types from the codex. Whatever your build is, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, and frequent gameplay is a necessity in order to master what your list can do, and the synergies which may arise from them. In the end it is the player and how he uses his units that matter, as a good player can always make a supposedly weak list win. In 40K, there is no such thing as an “Autowin” button or list.

Finally, I did change 1 thing for this versus last year’s list. I deliberately reduced the unit and model count, in order to be able to play quicker and finish the games faster. Despite what others may say, model and unit count DOES matter in how fast you play, and I’m happy that I finished 4 out of the 5 games on time (hey I still had 90 models in my list…it’s an IG army after all!!!).

Thanks to all my opponents in this year’s GT (Lucas, Martie, Pat, Jonathan, and Sunny). It was great fun, and again the 7th Galen Rockhounds manage to bring home the bacon!!!

A Call From the Dark Side - 40K GT account from Lucas (Best General co-winner)

Written by Lucas Jacinto
Co-winner - Best General, 2010 40K GT

(Photos courtesy of Neutral Grounds)

I am very pleased that I got co-best general at this year's GT. I wasn't expecting anything when I decided to use Dark Eldar knowing that the risk was great. Being a new codex it works both ways, at my advantage because no one has fought against it yet and to my disadvantage, I am still at the experimental stages in using it.

I was actually going to field Eldar. For this year's GT, I have put together craftworld Norrae-Kai, a fire based, tank-heavy Eldar army. With the release of the new Dark Eldar codex, I couldn't resist. I followed strange whispers from the warp. Sir Freddie Yu, Ian Siongco and Paulo Lapa. Sir Fred helped me make up my mind between using Dark Eldar and Eldar stating that if they let me use the new codex then its a good idea to push through with it. Ian was very supportive and gracious in allowing me to use the new codex. He states that it will bring much excitiment to the tournament if the new codex was present, and it actually did just that. I engaged in a lot of exchange of ideas during the tourney on what combos go well together and so forth. It seems that a lot of people were anticipating this codex release. And lastly, I have to thank Paulo for helping me streamline my list. Being last year's best general, he knew a lot in terms of what strategies work in the current 40k scene, as well as having a good idea on how to remove fat from an already good list.

Dice played a major role in my games. With my first game with Freddie, i was massacred. It could be because of my initial deployment or maybe my target prioritization. I blame the dice. I was rolling 1s and 2s with 15 blaster shots and 12 dark lances! I wasn't able to blow up a single tank. I even rolled a 1 on my first shadowfield save. The dice was against me. But on the succeeding rounds, the tables have turned. i was so impressed on how my dice were performing I nearly dropped my games and headed for a casino - I was destroying everything and I was rolling way beyond statistics can justify. I even kept on saving my 5+ flickerfield save! I have to say that luck was definitely on my side during the GT. To conclude all this, I preach that don't lose faith in your games, GT or otherwise. It still can be anybody's game. You just have to have a good attitude toward's winning and losing. Accept failure as well as you accept success because it is all part of the game.

On a side note, I actually had a lot of fun putting together the new DE army. Being an old DE player i thought it would be easier for me to do whip up a list. I was wrong. The new codex had a different dynamics to the game as compared to the old codex. To be specific, instead of Raiders, I needed Venoms. Looking at the codex artwork and scanning the net, I decided to turn my shelved Vipers into something useful. With the help of a couple of boxes of Reavers and a few unused Raider bits, I had Venoms. My DE army was ready for action in no time.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Benchwarmers - 40K GT 2010 Account from the Old Wolf

Written by Jeff Jongko
Winner, Best Painted Squad, Warhammer 40K GT 2010
(Photos courtesy of Neutral Grounds)

The Iron Priest ... to use or not to use ... relegated to a benchwarmer, the Iron Priest has seen little action since the earlier tourneys of 2010, Keso and Sigismund Cups. The ultimate form over function unit, looks cool and can do quite a but of damage but used improperly is just ... roadkill. But a lot of work went into converting and painting this model ... the image of a bright red power armoured techmarine on a cybernetic thunderwolf in a vast sea of grey Space Wolves simply captures the imagination too much to be ignored. But too many times has this unit died miserably and failed to live up to its potential. Thunderwolf Cavalry seemed much more useful and it seemed that the Iron Priest would never see action ever again.

But my initial GT list felt lacking. It had Thunderlords, Thunder Cav, Rune Priests and a ton of Grey Hunters but it just wasn't the same without the big red guy. After the list died miserably to Joel's Chaos list during the pre-GT practice session at the Bunker, I decided to re-evaluate what I had since I would need to paint lots of stuff to make the GT deadline. In the end, the Iron Priest had a third squad of Grey Hunters to thank for its inclusion in the army; I didn't have time to paint anything else which includes the other Thunderwolf Cavalry I needed to make "The Magnificent Seven".

After submitting the list to Ian, he commented I was crazy to use such a list. Not only did I completely ditch the Thunderwolf Cavalry and replaced them with 15 Fenrisian Wolves and the Iron Priest, I replaced both Rune Priests with Njal Stormcaller. And so another benchwarmer comes into play, my Rune Priest in Terminator Armour now newly converted to match Njal's specs (including that damn bolt pistol). I figured if you were going to go the look cool route, go all the way, so the Iron Priest got some newly converted Cyberwolves with matching red color scheme.

So came the first test game with Ian at the Bunker. Mission 3. Complete disaster. Not only did the Iron Priest and his dogs die in on close combat with a Trygon, Njal could not negate psychic powers on a 3+ if his life depended on it. And so another dismal defeat. Maybe they should have stayed on the bench afterall, and Henry suggested to take the late list penalty and change my list. But I was committed to this course.

GT day 1 ... I had just finished painting everything needed the night before and was rather drowsy and needed some coffee. It was still early and went to Starbucks 6750. Kent was there just like in the Keso Cup waiting for Jojo. Little did we know that Kent and I would fight the first round.

Game 1: Was thoroughly thrashed by Kent's list ... Iron Priest was held in back to claim objectives. Near the end of the game, Iron Priest bravely tried to save the Long Fangs from a group of plague marines. A galant charge ... but he missed 5 3+ to hit attack with his thunderhammer and servo arm, failed his morale check, ran off the table and lost all the objectives he was holding. Njal fared better slugging it out with daemon princes but was blown to bits by a plasma cannon. Was only able to squeak a win due to the Thunderlord taking all the objectives and running off.

Game 2: Goodie ... Ryan's Salamanders ... again. Looks like history repeating itself. Njal finally got his game face on ... blocking Ryan's libarian's successful psychic checks for Gate of Infinity and Null Zone. His Lord of Tempests making life miserable for the walking Hammer-nators. Njal eventually died to the Hammer-nators in a sudden last turn continuation and the Iron Priest was shot to death in a fusilade of bolter shots. Last turn win for Ryan.

Game 3: Jesse's White Blood Angels ... Not much happened here thanks to Njal's Tempest Wrath scaring off the big assault squad and his Living Lightning killing some vehicles. Iron Priest didn't do much except sit in the back. Managed a minor victory here.

Game 4: Jun Ubay's Tau ... Redemption. Benchwarmers carry the whole battle. Njal does a daring drop on the Tau managing to assassinate the Tau commander with Jaws of the World Wolf. Tempest Wrath messed up the Tau's movement doing some damage to the battle suits. Iron Priest runs beside a rhino to support Njal. Njal runs amok doing massive damage with Living Lightning and Chain Lighting for several turns All Tau vehicles blown out of the skies in a swirl of lightning and tornadoes. Complete and utter victory.

Game 5: Lucas's Dark Eldar... Defeat. Cheezed to death. Njal died turn 1, Iron Priest fails to hit 5 4+ to hits on the Dais of Asdrubael Vect which could have changed the result of the game. But the Iron Priest managed to kill most of the wyches forcing Vect to run off like the cheezehead he is. So while it was a good effort, no cigars at the end of this battle.

In the wake of the stupendous victory against Jun's Tau, the Iron Priest and Njal made appearances in their respective painting categories. Surprisingly the Iron Priest even took home the plaque for Best Squad. A benchwarmer's moment in the sun. All in all I was very happy with the performance of my list and these two benchwarmers this GT. As I tell all the statistic-spewing folk out there no matter what odds are, believe.