Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BAO 2013 - Perfection To the End

by Novus

I’m wiped out. The Bay Area Open this last weekend was amazing! 144 singles players for 40k, about 50 WHFB, 22+ teams in the team event, a giant narrative event, a bushel of astounding models and armies, and some really cool vendors!  The guys at Frontline did a stupendous job!


My buddy Tim and I played in the team event and went 1 in 3, which is an improvement for me from last year but no change for Tim.

Our Army

  • Nurgle Lord on Palanquin with Brand
  • 2x 7 Plague Marines
  • 1x 15 Raptors
  • 1x 3 Oblitz
  • 2x Heldrakes
  • 2x Havocs with Autocannons
  • Aegis with Quad
  • Naked Nurgle Lord to run Quad and keep the Oblitz from running

Game 1

We played Andy (Space Wolves, I think) and Faisal (Eldar). The game went OK for us in general, but my dice rolling was killing us. Both of these guys rolled more six’s in one turn than I did the entire game.

Around about turn 2, thingss weren't going so badly for us.

To be honest, this game is pretty fuzzy… It’s been a looooong weekend. All I really remember is that we had a chance to tie (and maybe win) but Tim and I failed some critical armor saves and then some critical FNP saves and we just couldn’t keep the objectives when “Dice-down!” was called. I think we played very well for our skill level but my dice were ice cold and Tim’s went from warm to cold as the game progressed.

Just before we rolled some crap saves and failed all FNPs!

Game 2

This game was against Dave (Wolves) and Tyson (IG). These guys were each very experienced and weren’t fooling around. They had 3 Hydras, and 2 Manticores, and 3 large squads of jump infantry. They softened us up turns 1 and 2 with some S10 pie plates (Manticores) and then jumped forward to finish the job. This was a very tough list and was about as auto-win as you could get against our Chaos Space Marines.

I think I started the game by seeming to be sort of a dick. Before deployment Dave asked me “Do you have any large blast template weapons?” and I, of course, said “No,” because the Oblitz only have plasma cannons. Well, they deployed all bunched up and I fired my small blasts and Dave said “I thought you said you didn’t have any blast template weapons,” and I answered, “You only asked about large blast, which we don’t have.” So, that was a completely unintentional dick-move on my part… Mostly because I used to have a boss that if you didn’t answer the specific question and only that question, you opened yourself up for more questions and more trouble. I apologize for that Dave, if you are out there, it was completely unintentional. Either way, I only did one wound because the squad went to ground and my rolling sucked for the To Wound roll.

Conversely, I think I was rolling more within the curve, but I really can’t tell if I got warmer because we were down to like 4 models by Turn 3.

Had we Deep Struck our Raptors or Oblitz onto their Hydras maybe we could have forced them to deal with us in their back field and our Drakes may have lived a turn longer and killed more stuff. Our deployment was really bad vs. an army like this and I think that’s what helped them most. Deep striking would have been a big threat to them but we just didn’t see it at the time.

Between Games 2 and 3 

Being the type of person who acts on evidence, I decided my dice were to blame for my rolling problems (after all, it couldn’t be Karma, could it?) so I went and bought another cube of those pesky plastic polyhedrons of providence from the guys up front. Aaaaaaand…

Game 3

This was against some friends of Tim and I’s from Frontline Gaming, Jeremy and his son Ethan. Jeremy is a very skilled and experienced player and knows the rules backwards and forwards. Jeremy was running a mob of Kroot and Ethan a peck of Necrons and it was more of a fun army than a competitive army. Much like our second game was for us, this was a bad match-up for them.

I have to say, it was nice starting with the upper hand, for once.

Between the Burning Brand and the Heldrakes’ Baleflamers and the turn 1 Raptor assault (the mission allowed for this) they had a very rough game.

Jeremy's hardwired guns.

The highlights (or lowlights, depending on your POV) were my Nurgle Lord surviving a pointblank shot from a Tau Railgun (Jeremy rolled a 1 for the To Wound roll), both our Drakes coming in turn 2 (the other two games mine didn’t come in until after Turn 3), and Ethan’s Necrons crapping the bed and running off the table turn 1 due to losing the assault to the Raptors.

With this win, we helped Jeremy and Ethan secure the Wooden Spoon Victory and score some fancy new Hobbit models!

Team Event Top 3

1st Place ................ Sinister Wargaming....................... Imperial Guard
2nd Place............... The Nurglings................................. Chaos
3rd Place ............... Shocker .......................................... Chaos/Chaos


The TO’s had a bit of a tsunami of people at registration and the gaming started about an hour late. The long and the short of it is that they just didn’t have enough people to get the registration done in an efficient manner. This was the only issue I could see in an otherwise flawless GT.

This was also my first day selling stuff. I currently have a more pro-looking booth and a whole 2 products… feeling like a real small business, I am!

Tim gets some painting done, finally!

To my great surprise I nearly sold out of Omni-Templates! They just weren’t selling well online, because due to their size, it costs about as much to ship them as the template itself costs. So, I had written them off as a product and wasn’t going to make any more after they finally sold out. Apparently, there is a time and a place for certain products and the BAO was it for the Omni-Template. Folks just snapped them up.

There were A LOT of people in this room; there were 144 players for 40k plus 50-ish WHFB players plus the support staff (6?) plus the vendors (12?) plus the ever-present loitering gamers (50?). Likely 250+ souls. IT WAS VERY LOUD.

There were a lot of cool armies out on the tables and some amazing display boards.

The Narrative Event...

...was stunning! All the models were skillfully painted and the table was well done. Nice job, Big Jim!  Go check out his blog at Galaxy In Flames.

Lighted Models? Yes, Please!

I met the guys from PoweredPlay Gaming, a small start-up that makes simple to use lighting rigs to place in your models. A very interesting idea that I signed up to be an Alpha-tester for. Once I get my kit, I’ll write up how I liked it and post the results for you guys. They may still be looking for Alpha’s, so feel free to drop by their site and sign up.

Random Photos

While Tim watched the booth on Days 2 and 3, I ran around and snapped some photos…

Seeing as Round 3 of 4 didn’t start until after 5pm, I left early and went home for some much needed sleep.

A Rant On Ranting About Heldrakes

I would ask all non-CSM players to quit bitching about having to work a little harder for their wins against the Chaos Space Marines. The Drake is about the only truly good option in the CSM codex and certainly not an auto-win unit. Yes, this codex is marginally better than the last, but you have to admit that nearly all the other units in it are “meh,” at best. Nearly every codex has a unit that shines. In the CSM codex, nothing shines but the Heldrake.

Please, just leave us our Drakes and be happy with your drop pods, your non-random Psykers, your Vector Dancing flyers, your 72” range S10 AP2 pie plates, your many and varied low cost troops, etc. etc. etc.

Besides, it won’t be long before GW nerfs the Heldrake anyway.  You have only to wait, historically speaking.


Reece and Frankie rallied the troops by making their Leadership roll today and the event started early by about an hour!  Even with near 10-hours of sleep, I was still exhausted. Yelling over the din is very tiring for an old man like me.

The Table Building Contest

I didn't come anywhere near winning.  The winning table was awarded the Table 1 position for Round Seven and the entirety of the enchilada.  It was an extremely well done table.

These were my silly attempts at winning...

Round Seven at Table One!

Finally, round 7 started!  At table one a pair of highly skilled competitors battled it out like two caffeine crazed 2-year-olds. ‘Twas a frenzy of dice and templates!

Lyzz Foster with her Deep Sea themed Daemons vs. Allen Bajramovich and his Space Wolves and IG Allies.

Here is the video battle report as released by the Frontline boyz…

Here is a time-lapse (60 second intervals) of the game as recorded by the guys over at PoweredPlay Gaming...

As an aside, Lyzz bought a set of Tentacle Makers last year at the BAO. She incorporated their use beautifully into her army in the form of tentacles for her Daemonic Jellyfish (Hellyfish?) that I think represented her flamers. Though she scored 29 overall in the Appearance category, I thought her theme was well executed and imaginative.

Congratulations, Lyzz!!!!!!!!!

To the best of the Frontline guys knowledge, Lyzz is the first woman to win a major GT event and the first player to win at the BAO with a perfect 7-0 record!

I think the Belt of Russ is a bit big for her.

Lyzz may become a guest contributor in the near future, so keep your eyes open for her posts here on the GSI page!
The final top three spots...

1st ............... Derek Wiswell ............. Ogres
2nd .............. Joshua Fricke ............... Chaos
3rd ............... Ivan Gen-LD2 ............. Lizard Men

1st ............... Lyzz Foster ............................ Daemons
2nd .............. Allen Bajramovich ............... Space Wolves/IG
3rd ............... Paul McKelvey ..................... IG/Chaos Space Marines

Partin' is Such Sweet Sorrow

This year was more fun than last and to that end I would like to extend a laurel and hearty handshake to the guys at Frontline!

Things I learned this year:
  • A late start helps sales. People tend to shark around the vendors’ tables while they wait for the tourney to start.
  • Bring cash! I had my card reader handy, but Frontline telling everyone to bring cash was just awesome! No transaction fees!
  • I need more products! Time to start engineering again!
  • Be nice to every customer. You never know if next year they will become the champ!


  1. Please excuse any further formatting issues. I've worked on getting Blogger to do what I want for about 4 hours now and this is a close to what's in my head as I've been able to come.

    If it spontaneously re-arranges itself again, I'll likely squish a raccoon.

  2. Great report bud, I kept meaning to come over and meet in person, but between my aching leg post surgery and the narrative event its self I never did. Damn it!


    1. Yeah, Jim, I came over a few times and asked Jeremy who you were but each time you were neck deep in Narrative so I didn't want to bug you. It was a very busy weekend! I don't know how the players stay focused for seven games! Hats off them!

  3. Awesome-sauce, glad to hear you had a good time.

    1. It was a complete blast, Myles! I highly recommend it. Maybe I'll just play in the singles next year... not sure I have the fortitude, though. Perhaps I'll start with a 3-round tourney soon and see how that goes.

  4. ok a lil late but i have to defend myself lol. i had been panting good sir but it takes a long time but it was a blast next year if we team up we will do better


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