Round 5 - Here come the Grey Knights, played by Mike Oade from Reno.Hes a regular at our tournaments in Sacramento and I like him even though hes a filthy traitor for switching from Blood Angels to Grey Knights. Our game started off slow, with Mike and I trading long range shots and jockeying for position. Since the center of the board was dominated by a big LOS-blocking terrain piece, I decided to focus on one half and execute a hard right hook. I had the range advantage and he was relying on Rhinos, plus I was able to tie up 2 of his Psyfleman dreads with my Furiosos. My Flamestorm Predator made a late drive across the back table edge after outflanking on the wrong side, and my Furiosos were fairly ineffectual but served to occupy Mike long enough for me to hold position on the objectives. Mephiston sold himself dearly, falling to a squad of paladins but only after killing off a Strike squad and Coteaz and holding up the center of the board. The game ended and I got another win to move to 4-0-1.
Round 6 - Christian (seen here in pink) and his undefeated IG. It was a brutal list and a very bad matchup for me. Christian had been on table 1 for 3 rounds by this point and by all accounts was on a serious roll; he had already beaten some tough lists and great players. We started off in opposite corners and I had most of my army in reserve - I knew my Razorbacks wouldnt last long against the hail of Hydra fire. His Vendettas worked over my autolas predators, and I sent my Furiosos down to hopefully break up his parking lot, but as is often the case with IG they have tons of expendable guns so the damage I was doing wasnt really having an effect, and I cant afford to play the attrition game. My outflanking TLAC Baal Predator had a moment of glory when it came on in outflank with a 12" ram that destroyed a Hydra and simultaneously shot another in the rear, blowing one of the weapons off. It wasnt a bad game, nor is Christian a bad opponent, hes actually a good guy and a smart player - there just wasnt much maneuver or tactical wizardry going on. His Hydras threw buckets of dice at me, his Vendettas kinda shifted around to get their shots off, and I did my best to break up his formations and do damage but my army was outclassed. Oh well, can't win em all!
Round 7 - Josh Sellers and more Grey Knights. Stormraven with Purifiers and Coteaz (that guy was pulling double duty at BAO), two Psyflemen (one venerable), two Dreadknights, and some Razorbacks - not the usual but still dangerous. My opponent was Josh Sellers, and we were both mentally exhausted by this point so Im sure we made a ton of mistakes but who cares! We both pushed our models around, rolled some dice, and had a ton of fun. I started by moving up to midfield behind cover and getting in position - I had the advantage of weight of fire. He countered by moving his two Dreadknighs up, but lost one to shooting and one to Mephiston. The remainder of his army was clustered behind cover so I started laying into him without actually doing much. His Stormraven weathered 3 full turns of shooting and still managed to kill an Autolas Predator, immobilize another, and dump off the Purifiers and Coteaz in Mephiston's face. Fortunately I survived and eventually killed them all off, just in time to double back and take out Buddy Cop - Josh had a 2 man henchman squad with no gear walk on from reserve and almost manage to take a midfield objective. My drop pods were blazing away at him but I couldnt kill them! Those 2 models huddled in a crater for like 3 turns with bullets flying overhead, so I had to send Mephiston to kill them. Things had gotten exceedingly silly by that time, and we were both delirious. the game ended in a draw, which was fine by me. Josh, we need a rematch!
So ends my Bay Area Open adventure. My final record was 4 wins, 1 loss, and 2 draws. I ended up taking 14th place out of 92 and received the 'Best Blood Angels' award, and even though my army wasnt painted (booo) I got some good feedback and compliments. If I could change anything about my army.....I dont know. The Baal Predators die almost every game and don't do a ton of damage, but theyre such a huge threat and I am kinda rough on them. In more than one game I had a Baal Predator alive and in a position to threaten homefield objectives.
All in all I had a really good time - Reece, Will, and Frankie did an excellent job running everything, and I'll be heading back next year!