Sunday, March 25, 2018

Battleforce Recon Tournament

This weekend I played in my first Warhammer 40K tournament ever. It seems like a weird thing considering I started playing 40K 30 years ago... (Mind you, I took a 20+ year break from the game... but that's a whole other story). I'm not really excited about the whole style of competitive play, but a number of factors lead to me thinking "Hey, maybe it would be a good idea to sign up for this tournament".

First of all it was small - only 1000 points - and there were other limitations (no Lords of War, no Spearhead Detachments, no units over a certain Power Level, etc.). I've been really enjoying the smaller skirmishy games we've been playing. It reminds me of the games we play way back with the old Rogue Trader rules, which never had more than two doze on a side.

Second it was being held at the Mana Bar, which is this cool little bar that's only three blocks from my house. It's right next to King Me Boardgamery and I walk past it often. If you're into video games or general science-fi/fantasy geekiness and alcohol, it is well worth checking out. the owner has just been getting into 40K and offering the local league a table to play at on certain days.

Given those, I also thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some of the other guys that are playing 40K locally these days...

If you've been following along I've been cranking out a few models to finish up my list for the tournement and I finished up the last two roughriders I needed Thursday evening. Around that time I'd noticed the organizer sent out a reminder with a list of things to bring, and on that list was "Display Board". Now, I've looked at a lot of pictures of larger events held elsewhere and seen some of the display boards people use - I didn't even realize they did that here! So in a panic I banged on out on Friday - I was up stupid late working on it and got up even stupider earlier to finish is off (as I'd needed to wait for some stuff to dry). Also part of the points you got for painting included whether you had a display board and how fancy it was.

This is what I came up with - along with the force I took to the event. Pretty basic.... but better than nothing right? Turns out, no one else brought one!?

I showed up just after 8AM and a lot of people were already there setting up. Games got underway at 9AM - games were two hours, there was a break for lunch after the second game (with a meal provided by the Mana Bar) and things wrapped up around 7PM with the awarding of prizes.

You'll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos - the lighting in the bar was not ideal (an my camera is getting old, and I was taking quick snaps, so as not to slow games down - so I wasn't bracing toon anything...)


My first game was against a fellow named Jordan who brought some Thousand Sons/Tzeench Demons.

The tables were really, REALLY small! There were five 4'x6' table set up - each one was divided in two and two pairs of players played at each on a 4'x3' area.

For most of the games my deployment zone was chock-a-block - thank goodness there are no more template weapons! And I didn't even have my roughriders deployed in them (I sent them on "Flanking Maneuvers" each game.

Most of the scenarios were pretty much the same - each player deployed two objective markers. We drew from a common deck of tactical objectives which gave points for holding various objectives. You could hold on to them as long as you wanted and kept drawing new cards each turn and could "cash them in" for points at anytime...? There were a few that were "Have more of your units than enemy units in the enemies deployment zone!" I could tell when one of my opponents drew one of those... (groan, eye-roll, toss card aside)

I made good use of the "Vengeance for Cadia" and "Defensive Gunners" strategems against these blue demon thingies that made the mistake of charging the Punisher. Defensive Gunners means you hit on fives and sixes, instead of just sixes, on overwatch fire, and Vengeance for Cadia means you get to re-roll all missed to hit and to wound rolls against chaos things - BRUTAL! But not nearly so brutal as what I was facing.

Chaos terminators. I think I may have taken this unit out... the cost of an entire PLATOON of my own infantry!!

I swear, it seemed like EVERY SINGLE UNIT this guy fielded had some sort of psychic abilities...


My mortars did okay in most games. Slowly chipping away at units from a safe, out of the way location...

Nasty sorcerer dude that ate an entire unit of Roughriders in a turn...

Totally lost this game.



My next opponent was the fellow named Jonathan. He had an inquisitor who was backed up by a pile of Dark Angels space marines. He said he had some questions for us. I said "that weren't me" or "I was just holding it for my brother"... These answers were unsatisfactory. It came to blows.


The guys sharing our table - the guy next to me was also playing Imperial Guard. Kept joking that it was a combined Guard Assault on the powers of chaos.

It did look pretty cool with all the Imperial Guard lined up.

He had a bit more armour than me... Looks like two chimeras, a Leman Russ, and an Leman Russ Executioner!

As I was always last to set up, I almost always went second...

When I got to go I blew one of his Space Marine teams into small bits of genetically enhanced chunks of meat with my Punisher.

All day everyone kept asking if it was Pask? I guess Pask with a Leman Russ Punisher is a popular option these days. Pass is a named character/tank commander and with a BS3+ and the 40 dice the Punisher throws using the new Grinding Advance rule... I guess I can see why... But he's Cadian and thus not an option for a detachment making use of the Tallarn Regiment keyword...?

I also got asked if this or that or all of my models were Forge World or some third party manufacturer... I guess no one's played Tallarn around here recently (they are ALL original Gw minis! Though many of these have been out of print for some time!)

There was a lot of back and forth in this game - the two objective markers in the middle changed hands a number of times and it felt like I might have actually had a chance in this game. I scored over double the victory points I got in the first game.

The Roughriders did their flanking thing again. Not to actually attack anything, just to be there. I realized he'd left one unit in his initial deployment zone and I got a Tactical Objective card that game me a point or two for having more units than the enemy in the enemies deployment zone, so I brought  them on and scored some points! Huzzah!

Ultimately I lost this one too - but it was a lot closer.


During the lunch break everyone set out their models for judging. The tournament organizer gave every army a score of 1-30 based on a bunch of different factors. Also everyone voted for their favourite army and their favourite model.

Again, I apologize for the quality of the pictures, it really doesn't do some of these forces justice.

Wicked-looking Death Guard Army.

Some ferocious-looking Tyranids.

Another Astra Militarum force. Looks like they had a lot of infantry too. Hard to tell what they had for a force, I'm guessing at least a Battalion Detachment.

Tom's Chaos army - which I was to face after lunch.

Undying Necrons (so glad I didn't have to face them!)

Pascal's Tzeentch army. I would have loved to have faced these guys - Oh, I know I would have had my ass handed to me, but at least I could bask in the glory of a superbly painted army!

Cody's Orks!

Dark Angels.

MORE Astra Miitarum!

Chaos Space Marines - looking pretty bad ass!

STILL MORE Astra Militarum - though this one had a detachment of three assassins!

Inside of the Mana Bar.


Fighting Chaos again this round.

I have to admit by round three I was losing steam... Luckily they fellow I was playing against was an utterly decent chap and I totally had a fun time being beaten down by his assorted Chaos thingies.

Once again my Roughriders charged in from the rear to take some pressure off the infantry facing the monstrous hordes! They were utterly annihilated by the red chariot cannon beastie at the back...

A big unit of Khorne Bloodletters manifested from out of the warp and charged a bunch of my units up front pinning them down while that giant red monstrosity lumbered up to lay down some pain.

On the other flank my infantry faced off against a massive horde of Nurggley Plaguebearers?

Despite the unfathomable stench and cloud of flies (and tiresome Demonic Invulnerable Saves followed by Disgustingly Resilient saves) the brave Tallarn fought on!

Totally lost this one as well. At this point I was expecting to go 0-4. At least I was having fun and playing against some great guys.


My final opponent was Cody - playing ORKS!

for the first time all day I remembered that I could scout ahead with my Scout Sentinel. Also, for the first time, I got to go first (with a lucky six on a Seize The Initiative roll). The Punisher lumbered ahead and utterly annihilated a unit of 20 Boyz!

Which got the attention of these guys... Yikes!

The Roughriders charged in from behind and wiped out the Gretchin crew for this big gun and briefly seized an enemy objective marker!

Yeah, these guys basically tore my tank in half... each grabbed one side an pulled it apart!

In this scenario there was a bonus objective marker in the middle of the table which was pretty hotly contested throughout the game.

Roughriders holding an objective.

I actually won the game. I think this was because a) I was fighting Orks (they are apparently not the force to take to a tournament if you want to win, b) Cody had some of the WORST luck I have ever seen - though I seriously challenged him on this roll and CrAzY number of ones in this game, and c) by this point I think he was just a little drunk...


Afterwards there was a bit of an awards ceremony. Pascal won overall. Somehow I managed to win "Best Army"..!? I think a bunch of us were tied (points-wise) and the tie breaker came down to votes in the player's choice - I think the novelty of seeing something they don't normally see at their events got me a few votes!

My prizes - a $30 gift certificate from Dragon's Den Games and a HUGE Hockey Bag from one of the sponsors that the Mana Bar brought it Canadian Club. Not sure what I'm ever going to do with a Hockey Bag...? Maybe transporting some custom terrain boards...? I don't know.

I want to thank Jeremy Kuffner for organizing the event. I know it's a lot of work organizing an event like this - especially one that runs so smoothly. Also I'd like to thank Chris Cloud of the Mana Bar for offering up his bar for us to play at (and securing some extra sponsors) - seriously, if you're a geek and like booze and are in Saskatoon - you really need to check this place out. I'd also like to thank the four gentlemen I played against (Jordan, Jonathon, Tom and Cody), fun guys to play against, and very helpful and patient.

I have to say, the entire day just FLEW by I was having so much fun!

I have to admit though, bending over tables for EIGHT HOURS has exacted a toll - my freaking back is killing me today!  Ow!!

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I was thinking I'd take a brief break from the 40K stuff after the rush to get the stuff done for the tournament, but honestly, this has gotten me jazzed to paint MORE!!! I probably will work on a few other things over the coming weeks - some more Shadespire war bands for John...? Maybe some of that Space Hulk Stuff...? I have a unit of British Seven Years War infantry I started in February and was very nearly finished when I decide I needed to drop everything and finish up some Tallarn. I also have a super secret project I'm working on for Amanda's birthday coming up in a couple weeks (she never reads my blog, so it will remain a secret despite me mentioning it here...). I also have a bunch of stuff I'd like to paint up for the Rogue Trader campaign I tried getting off the ground in January, but we haven't managed to play a game of since...

Hopefully we'll find some time to get in few more games this week now that I'm not panicking to get things done for the tournament. Maybe even play some more 40K.


  1. Sounds like you had a good time and the best army award must have capped it off nicely. I think the fact some people didn't seem to recognise your army is a sign of their relative age. We grognards know Tallarn when we see them! I must admit the narrow tables looked painful - clearly a necessity given space considerations but must have turned everything into a head-to-head grind with little manoeuvre.

    1. Thanks Millsy!

      It did seem a bit tight- especially for my guardsmen, but then I when I thought about it; people often play with 2000 points on 4x6, right...? So this was basically half that on a table half the size...?

      It got me thinking about the kind of games I like to play, and I have to say, I'm much more interested in the smaller scale of things these days. I've had a lot of fun playing the games we've played with power levels of 20-30 (~400-600). I wouldn't playing with up to 40 or even 50 on our 4x4 table - though with 50 (~1000 points) that's going to start getting a bit crowded for my liking.

      That got me thinking about whether I really NEED all these Tallarn I've managed to gather up... Well... I guess NEED has ever really been what's driven my purchases or painting... so, I'm probably going to paint them all up anyway. Who knows, maybe I'll got out to an Apocalypse event/tournament someday and just flood the table with a hundred or so Tallarn Infantrymen!

    2. I rarely play my full Catachan force because it is so large and almost entirely infantry. But when I do it's great fun watching your opponent struggle through the seemingly endless tide of men with flashlights. :-)

  2. Looks like a great little tournament, And it seems every one had a good time.
    I believe up until about 3 or 4 years ago, Forge World was making there own in house Tallarns. All looked pretty cool, but like most FW stuff to pricey for my blood at the time.
    They even had some crazy looking Sand camel thing for their Rough Riders.

    1. Right! I have seen those (well... pictures of them). I think there was a tank commander, a command post, snipers, Mortar (and possibly other heavy weapon) teams, and, of course the Mukaali riders - which look wicked cool. They pop up on eBay once in a while. If they were expensive when Forge World sold them, they are even more insanely expensive to acquire now!

    2. I forgot that Forgeworld had, in fact, made Tallarns. I figured if was a pre-plastic cadian obscure knowledge thing. Congrats on your win.

  3. Sounds like a good time was had by all and you won a game! Your Tallarns look great so another justified win!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain!

      Seemed like everybody has a good time. No tables were flipped or models flung at the wall...

  4. Congratulations! Your army looks great, and getting bonus points for being "rare" helps too.

    I think that in the picture with the combined IG army the other guy has one chimera and one hellhound... although harder to tell the newfangled hellhound in pictures.

    And those tables seem pretty low for standing over all day!

    1. I think you are right - Hellhound and Chimera!

      Game board on top of low bar tables... The standing and bending over the tables might not have been so bad if there'd been room for a chair or two to sit on between getting up to move your guys around. But it was hard enough to move around without chairs, with chairs it would have been impossible! So I understand why there weren't. I would totally play there again, though - simply because it's a neat place (and so close to where I live!). I just might not sign up for four-round, one-day tournaments there!

  5. Great report Tim! Geez I dread the thought of putting my IG on that kind of narrow frontage & small board. We'd get pulped - we need room to maneuver and dish out long range punishment. Ack!

    1. Thanks Dave! Yeah, it was a bit like a knife-fight in a phone booth!