First off I'd like to say thankyou too all the people who came and commented on the army over the weekend, some of whome I know read this blog or one of my logs on the various online forums I visit. I really was rather taken aback by all the positive comments, to the point half the time I really did'nt know what to say in response! So I'll say it again now, thankyou(!) it really was appreciated!
As too the gaming side of things (lol), well it did'nt go quite as well as I might of hoped! (Though to be honest I did'nt expect to qualify, it's not what I go for!) I ended up finishing second to last with a draw and five defeats, games were as follows (and apologiesing in advance I'm terrible with names so rather then try an get them wrong I'll not try lol),
Game 1 - Malchek (from Warseer) Imperial Guard - Draw
This was a big surprise, you see Malchek was also my first opponent at last years Heat 1 (what are the chances?), his Guard army is far heavier in armour and elite infantry then my horde though he two has taken a liking to Roughriders and Heavy Weapons Squads (with the later being somewhat down to me I think following our bout last year). He very sensibly avoided my firebase (though I was rather worried by his tanks), with the bulk of his infantry and roughriders pushing down my left flank, his Russ centrally and the Basilisk on the right.
The Baslisk I countered with Infantry crewed Lascannon, while pushing my mobile force up the right and center (leading to a blood bath in the center for both sides) while falling back on my left (though not fast enough as it turned out losing my AT squad to his Roughriders).
I know I'm gonna say this for all my games, but it was really enjoyable, Malcheks a very tactical thinker, which shows in the fact he was one of only two IG players to qualify in the end, nice one!
Game 2 - Andy10k (from Warseer) Necrons - Loss
Three Monoliths! It was a painful learning experience just how effective this formation is against massed Guard infantry, he did'nt even need his Necron Warriors to do the job (though do it they did all the same!) in the first two turns all three arrived and almost all my infantry was promptly packed away. My own reserves did finally turn up and did some damage but it was too little too late.
On the bright side it saved me having a big job packing up all the ifnantry in one go (lol), and Andy was a great opponent, a very relaxed game (and one during which he could'nt stop saying sorry!), I'd happily have my infantry slaughtered by him anyday! It was a nasty list and I'm fairly sure there was'nt alot I could do against it even in the best circumstances, unsurprisingly he also qualified, again congrats!
Game 3 - Tau - Loss
Another great opponent (see the names disclaimer!), he had a very balanced Tau army with only one Railhead and Sniper Drone teams, a veritable rareity at the GT. This game was much more closely fought then someone who viewed the Victory Points might believe, the mission was take and hold, the problem as it turned out for me was a hill obscured my view of the center of the board rendering much of my firepower useless unless it advanced into the waiting maw of the Tau firebase.
I did managed to crush his flanks, though the Roughriders (or rather my dice throwing) failed me utterly (no surprises there then!), I did make a large infantry push on the center, but it ended up going in piecemeal and getting cut up almost entirely. It came down to the last turn with two squads of Crisis suits sitting on the objective, both a mere one wound from falling below half strength and thus being unable to hold the objective. The Mortars failed misrably (though I'll interject they did really well for me over the whole weekend) and the Russ scattered pretty much as far away from a target as it was possible too. Buggar. Great game though, again very relaxed, and well fought.
Game 4 - Emperors Children - Loss
Next up I played one of the Icelandic contingent, as with as far as I could tell all the Icelandic group his English was great, so no troubles there and again was another nice relaxed, but well fought game with a friendly opponent.
It was a cleanse mission, he pushed round his right flank, I made a limited counter push, falling back at first then going for it jumping forward into cover when he entered rapid fire range supported by a charge from the Roughriders - it almost worked! My Guardsmen ended up holding longer then I wanted, such are the perils of tooling up with leadership docturines for my theme! The combat ended in my following turn allowing him to sweep on into what remained of my firebase, circling around with his fast lord to cut into my small push into the other table quarter which so far had only be opposed by a tank hunting Pred (Lascannons on Guardsmen, over kill!)
Game 5 - Space Marines - Loss
Multiple objectives on the other side of the board is generally tricky for Guard, but with only three (one on my side) this was always going to be about the one in the middle with our firebases set about opposite corners around an objective each.
We promptly set about blowing each others armies to pieces! My mortars performed brilliantly pinning more then once over the game, almost entirely wiping out two tactical squads which was more then welcome, the Heavy Bolters Squads picked off a Landspeeder a piece, the Roughriders smashed the Terminator Squad and Librarian (though not before they finished off my AT Squad), the Leman Russ dealt with the Vindicator and a mobile Infantry Squad picked off a Dreadnought with their Grenade Launcher (one shot, one kill - but all the while the damnable Scounts and Whirlwind continued picking off my units one by one.
I believe at the end of the carnage he had his Scouts, Whirlwind, an understrength Tactical Squad and an immobilised Rhino, I had a three or so understength squads and one full strength. Great fun and another great opponent!
Game 6 - Space Wolves - Loss
I played another of the Icelandic contingent for my last game with his foot Space Wolves, now I had two choices here, I could sit back on my heavy weapons which would of made for an incredably boring game, not a good way to finish the GT for either of us in my mind, or I could be a little unconvential and go for a firefight and swamp him, I had the numbers, the bodycount, so with a battle cry of Leeeerrrroyyyy Jenkins (well in my head anyway!) my whole army advanced.
I know I made the right choice. It's a difficult game to describe exactly, the infantry advanaced into a position that I'd get one massed wave of rapid firing before the Space Wolves charged, supported by my Heavy Weapons Squads getting in one good volley, with the Russ and Roughriders in reserve (Escalation), lots of the Space Wolves died to put it bluntly, but then they counter attacked and lots more Guardsmen died, more then once squads ran only to rally and get chucked back in to the meatgrinder as the Officers lead from the rear.
In the end my infantry got butchered (as you'd expect lol), but it was another great game, quite possibly my favourite of the weekend, and I know my opponent felt the same way about it (at which point I'll say yet another really nice guy, a pleasure to play against).
Yep I lost, yep I came second from bottom(!) but it was a brilliant end to a really enjoyable weekend (...and at least I've got chicken!).
Only one thing left to be said - Roughriders!
Yes I got them finished, pics below, the end result of the project is they came out better then I'd expected when I cast them, but not as well as I now know I can do them. In other words, yes the Roughrider Project is not over yet, these models are the concept, I'm going to create a revised version with more natural posing (especially the Lancers) and more unique details (i.e. different torso's from the basic Infantry) this version will also be the version which will be donated to the Phoenix Club to be made avaialble in resin to those that want them for a limited run but thats in the future, for now heres the finished version ones (be they a little bleached by the light lol)!