Game 1 Neil Kerr, Daemons Cavalry I had met Neil before as he was responsible for organizing a tournament in York

that I went to in February. I have to admit that I wasn t expecting the cavalry heavy army that was put down. My previous experience of chaos daemons was mixed, with an annihilation at the hands of a bloodcrushers/plague bearers list at York in February, and (if memory serves) a draw against Daemon Dave s flamer-heavy list.

I decided to reserve everything in the hope that his forces would have to be spread out to cover all possibilities. This proved to be a bit naïve as most of his army was either fleet or could assault 12 inches.

Every unit I had was assaulted and obliterated. The only high points were the Kroot rolling snake eyes on their morale and the ethereal plunging his blade into the gut of the chaos greater daemon you see above, taking a wound from it.

Even the broadsides perished eventually, not the most auspicious start to the tourney. On the other hand this army had major conversions on every model, it looked spectacularly scary so qudos to Neil for that.

Game 2 Walter, Vanilla Marines One of the biggest surprises at the tourney was the lack of blood angels. This made me happy (no offence to the BA players I know) for the simple reason that I didn t have to deal with feel no pain. Anyway Walters list was interesting: land raider with termie assault unit and Lysander, 2 units of speeders with melta/missiles, 2 dakka preds (I think) and 3 razorback scoring units. It was dawn of war deployment, kill points and I won the toss so I wasted no time in putting my kroot in a line to stop marines getting to me quickly (actually I ve realized this didn t matter because the termies are elites).

Early doors the broadsides demolished the LR, speeders swooped to my right to face down ion head, kroot and crisis team. Termies footslogged across toward my lines.

The games defining moment came around the 4th turn. Walter had just annihilated a kroot unit with the termies putting him in assault range of my lines. On the flipside I had pretty much my whole army shooting at him. I got lucky as he failed his key 3+ invulnerable saves on the thunder hammer termies, and together with the wrecked speeders I managed a victory. A final word on Walters termies, which were beautiful.

Game 3 Missus of tourney organiser, Vanilla Marines This was another interesting marine army, with huge numbers of lascannons. Lots of vehicles, 3 dreads. We had capture and control mission and pitched battle deployment (I think!). With the objective on a flank, the kroot were sent off to try and secure it. Both ended up outflanking on the right side.

Together with crisis teams, the objective was taken! However my own objective was grabbed late in the game by marauding mechanized marines, supported by a dreadnought! However the dreadnought was immobilized by El Quixo, transport was exploded by broadsiodes, and the remaining marines were wiped out by the fire warriors. Win #2!

My opponent had stepped in to fill the boots of someone who cancelled, so I doff my cap to her!

Game 4 Gary Percival, Daemons Cavalry Gary s list was pretty similar to the one Neil was running in game 1. When I saw his name on the pairings list, I was thinking I d be up against it as Gary won the York tourney. When we were setting up, he questioned my decision to reserve everything again. I didn t feel I had a chance if everything was on, plus I hadn t realized he had no ranged attacks whatsoever! I hate people giving me advice during the game so I promptly ignored his advice to deploy in the upper buildings levels. In retrospect this was the only chance I had of getting anything from the game. This time I managed to kill one scoring unit before getting over-run (I think it was T4 when I was tabled). Playing Gary was certainly an education.

At this point I was utterly exhausted, and it was time to head off with Dave, Chris and Fillipo for some fodder and good chat over dinner. My main wish for the second day was to get a game against a mech guard player, of which there were many.

Game 5 Paul Turner, Imperial Guard (Mech) This was probably the best game of the 6. Pauls list was something like this: Valk inc. flamer HQ, Vendetta, Leman russ demolisher, Hydra, 2x IG troops numbering about 20 each, 3 mechanised veteran squads with meltas, plus that chap resembling Rambo. It was capture and control, table quarters.

Pauls army was beautiful, and I was looking forward to destroying his vehicles. I win the toss if memory serves, and my first thought was bring down the valk as the flamers were clearly going to toast my pathfinders, who held the key to me winning this game. But even with markerlight support I couldn t do it. I just rolled terribly badly when it mattered. I knew the pathfinders would pay and so it proved, they were mercilessly toasted.

This was bad, but not terrible, El Quixos crisis team (I had deep struck team 2) and the other Tau heavy guns went to work on the imperial armour, silencing the demolisher for a turn and destroying one of the chimeras.

The kroot piched in to wipe out a squad of veterans after they had melted my ion head. It was real cut and thrust from both sides, the broadsides took a battering but did not run away, crisis team engaged a mech guard unit after they had fluffed their plasma and sent them packing in close combat, enabling me to advance on Pauls objective. Then all hell was let loose when firstly marbo turned up killing a bunch of fire warriors, the fire warriors took out the flamer HQ, crisis team deep struck behind demolisher and wrecked it, El Quixo took aim and blew the vendetta out of the sky, and, well you get the idea. It was absolutely brilliant.

Alas, this game was about securing objectives. On turn 5 Pauls battered chimera rampaged into the forest holding the objective and contested it, while the crisis team assaulted the guard lines in the hope of consolidating onto their objective. In my turn 5, the broadsides failed to blow up the chimera, and the guard killed the crisis suits in CC, the sergeant with power weapon making a telling difference.

I just put that last pic in to show how cool Pauls army was. Alas the mech guard had the upper hand in this bruising encounter, one of the best games of 40k I ve ever played.

Game 6 Martin (?), Vanilla Marines For some reason I have no pictures of this game (I m sure I took some). It was kill points, perhaps pitched battle. Martin (please let that be his name!!) was a fantastically genial opponent with an excellent sense of humour which was just as well, because his luck was out in this game. Firstly I stole the initiative. Secondly, I had scouted my pathfinders up, and because of this I had 4 of them in range of his land raider. The broadsides got3 hits, rolled a 5,6 and 6 on the pen rolls, then got a 6 on the damage chart and Martin failed his 6+ cover save (markerlights had stripped it back). Worse was to follow believe it or not. He cast gate of infinity to get his termies and librarian into my lines. Except they scattered into the broadsides, then he rolled a 1 on the mishap table. Oh dear. It was about 600 points worth of stuff gone by end turn 1. To be fair to him he battled back and gave me a bloodly nose, particularly when the broadsides ran away despite a re-roll on their morale check. But the other guns took their toll and in the end it was quite a straightforward task for El Quixos boys to clean up.

That made it 3 wins and 3 losses. Not bad for a Tau, eh? El Quixo s cadre started the long trek home with several moments to savour.. until the next tourney!