Pint Sized Evil: Chaos Squats!!!


PART 7: THE GRAND TOURNAMENT!!!

Wow! So, if your reading this, then you probably know that the Squats took home not only Player's Choice, but actually won the Overall Champion award! UNBELIEVABLE!! I'm still in total disbelief- I keep thinking they'll call me and say they made a horrible mistake! Here's how it went down...

Spent most of the last week doing touch ups to everything, painting the last few snotlings, working on the base and codex. I finished off the entire base Thursday night, only to find that the holes we'd drilled for the figures had shrunk- nothing fit in it's hole! I had to use clippers to cut out each of the 60+ holes a bit bigger, then repaint 1/2 the base. Minor catastrophe averted. Here's a top tip, when painting hardboard, it shrinks 1/32 of an inch. Drill bigger holes!

We all met in Herald Square (by Macy's for you non- New Yorkers) at 7 in the morning for the drive down. We were never sure why Gary wanted to get there so early until we arrived with nothing to do for 5 hours except... help paint Gary's army! He was 32 scouts short of 1700 points-Sneaky git! 1 hour and 3 mandatory colors later, it was done.

Got to the hall for early registration, then went to play pickup games. The Squats drew a big and constant crowd all night, with people checking out Big Fatty Demon Prince, the horrors, the bikes, and especially the Codex. That Codex probably won me the tournament! People even wanted to buy copies!

My scheduled Squat Challenge 2002 game with Kanzen was delayed by bad traffic, so I played a great Space Wolves player with a really sweet army. Definitely one of the best painted there, and a really nice guy as well. He wasn't sure how to play against the Squats, so ended up 'bouncing' off like most armies do- first trying to shoot me up, then realizing that he can't, then trying assaulting, then realizing that wouldn't work either, then shooting again... you get the idea. (The secret is to actually stay 30" back and just concentrate heavy weapons fire and whittle me down.)

Kanzen, the 'other' Squat player showed up afterwards, and we had our Squat Challenge game- bizarre and awesome! His army was a faithful reproduction of the old Squat list, damning the consequences (he actually went so far as to master-craft every bolt pistol in the name of fluff). Great conversions all round, and a really nice guy to boot. I'll get a battle report together soon, but let's just say he sacrificed playability for fluff in his list, and in the end, the 'evil' Squats carried the day!

After some heavy drinking and passing out, I woke up, had a terrible breakfast, then went over to start the tourney. First game was against a really bright, mature kid (14 yrs. old I think) from California with a vanilla marine army. It was a table quarter mission, and he actually knew from the start how to beat the Squats- stay back and shoot! And boy did he! I had nothing left but a few 1/2 dead Squat units at the end, but managed a table quarter and 5 pts.

Next game was against another Chaos army- all Marines, and even a unit of 1000 sons! We got to play on one of the Games Day tables, and had a blast- he tried to assault with 1/2 his army, while the other 1/2 tried for pot shots from a distance and collected objectives- each worth a few hundred points. His assault crashed and burned against a wall of squats and possessed, but he had collected 4 of the 6 objectives and scored a big victory. It was funny to have 2 units of 1000 Sons facing off in the center of the board, unable to hurt each other or assault, they just circled each other for a few turns- weird!

Game 3 had me up against a capital 'H' Huge tyranid army with mostly Hormagants, on another amazing Games Day table. This one had a river running the length of it, with just 2 bridges to cross over on. The table itself was almost 9 feet, so we decided to 'cut' off the last 3, and just play with the 6 feet left over. He had to reach 6 objectives in my deployment zone, fighting his way through 30 Thousand Squats in the process! We were both a bit tired at this point, but I managed to rally and get into the game. Time ran out on turn 4, just as my line was collapsing- seeing as it was SUPPOSED to be 6 turns, we just kept playing, with him wiping me out and getting 1/2 the objectives. In all, it was an awesome game, with lots of close combat and units flying all over the place... well, mostly his units, but still! Smack! Another big loss for the Squats, but I had still scored a bunch of points due to holding onto 3 of the objectives.

Exhaustion setting in, I downed a few cups of coffee and got into Game 4 against another Chaos player with a really sweet Alpha Legion army. My memory is blurry, but I think he 'bounced' off the Squats and I was able to swoop in with my assault units and do some damage. This was the point where my games started getting all funny- I had built the army purposely to be a bit random, but it hadn't set in yet. This game it all clicked! The dread-not faced off against a unit of assault marines in a forest, with the Dread missing all it's attacks. Fortunately for me the Dread had... Coruscating Warp Grots!! These little tomato throwing buggers managed to destroy the entire unit of marines, much to his horror. The whole thing was a great laugh, with him trying in vain to fail break checks, hoping just to get away from the little grots! The Horrible Pink Robots had their moment in the sun as well, charging another unit of 10 marines, winning by 1, and chasing them down! Next turn they survived 45 rapid firing cultists las shots and 2 units of Chaos Marine shooting! Unbelievable! I actually won this game about 16-14, I think....

That night was the player's choice judging, with Jim's Space Skaven and I setting up side by side, both drawing a crowd. It was great to meet so many people who had been reading the articles and were excited to see the finished army. People were equally happy that they were asked for input on the Dread, and all liked the smaller robot better than the 'big head' when they saw it up close. For my next army (Black Legion) I think I'll do more of that- asking for input that is.

Game 5 next morning I was actually awake for, and had probably the best game of the tourney. I was up against a White Scars biker army on a pretty dense board. He would run in, shoot, assault, then run from combat in my turn so I couldn't shoot him- it was crazy! Tons of running around, with fighting all over the place. A few highlights were Big Fatty taking on his Chaplain in the middle of the board towards the end, with the unlikely result of Biggie winning the combat with a wound to spare! He died right after under 20 bolter shots, but still! The Coruscating Warp Grots continued their rampage of destruction, taking on several bike units with the help of their cultist brethren. By the end of the game, the White Scars were doing everything they could to kill my 36 pt. unit of cultists! When the dust cleared, the only model left standing was the Dread-Not, now the closest model to the 3 objectives. Score a big 20-point win for the Squats!

Game 6 was against a vanilla Space Marine army on that same old river table. This time the river was impassable, so he drove a few Rhinos onto the bridges, let me blow them up, and popped out with like 30 marines and starting laying the smack down. In turn 1 I lost my Raptors to a unit of snipers- missing 3 of 3 saves! D'oh! The lone Raptors Champion did his best to assault the marines on the far side of the river, only to fail a last man standing test right at the end. Once again, the Coruscating Warp Grots were the heroes, taking out most of an Assault unit all by themselves! The rest of our armies just had a big scrum in the middle, both of us unable to really hurt each other. He did get 2 messengers across for a bunch of points, and had tons of stuff in my deployment zone as well, so scored a big giant win. All in all a great game, and a fitting end to the Tourney.

We all had a looong wait til they announced the winners. I though I had a very good shot at either best army or player's choice, with all the positive feedback I'd gotten. They annouced Player's Choice off the bat, and I thought they said '3rd place fantasy- Jim Keleher', which made no sense, since he was playing 40k. Then '2nd place 40k- Matt Birdoff'.... more confusion, then we realized that it was 1st place for both of us- but Jim for Fantasy!! That was it, I won! Brilliant! They went on to announce best army (Jim got 2nd place there) and best painted, with no mention of me, then best sportsman... no me. Who cares? I won player's choice- my original goal when starting this whole mess.

Then came 'best overall'- I thought Nidal and Jim had a shot for top honors. 3rd place and 2nd went by. Then 1st place overall, the winner of the 2002 Baltimore Grand Tournament, the largest one ever held, was....

MATT BIRDOFF- THOUSAND SQUATS!!!!

I ran up to the mike, nearly falling over myself, grabbed the trophy, jumping up and down like a big idiot, running back and forth. It was totally surreal! I'm still in shock. In the end it was top sportsmanship and army scores that won it for me. Actually I thought it was great that both myself and the Fantasy overall winner had the best sportsmanship scores in Baltimore. Just goes to show that it's more about having fun than winning games, which is the way it should be!

So, that's it- this will be the last Thousand Squat article. Before I go, I need to thank a few people- first, thanks to all those who've been following my madness since last year. It was really great to meet a bunch of you in Baltimore, and maybe I'll meet some more in Philly in August. Thanks to the GW guys, who were all really cool and didn't seem to mind that I brought an 'extinct' army that they wish would go away. A big giant shout out to all the Warmongers, not just the best 40k players in North America (most of them finished in the top 25% in Baltimore, and Jim and Nidal in the top 10), but also a bunch of great guys whom I'm proud to call friends. Special thanks to Nidal and Mr. Nasr, who drilled out my base over drinks that Sunday morning (don't ask), Gary, who drove us all down there, and Jim, who's awesome Skaven army forced me to work even harder just to try to match it. Finally, thanks to Megan, who put up with my little obsession for all those months- love you!

So, goodbye Squat fans everywhere, but please all stay tuned for my next series of articles on next year's GT army. I promise you it's even crazier than this one was, and much harder to pull off.

THE END

NEXT: THE BLACK LEGION...



Created by: system. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 01:06:30 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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