On October 2nd and 3rd, 2010, I attended Da
Grand Waaagh for the second year in a row. It's a tournament
held aboard the U.S.S. Hornet Museum in Alameda, California.
For more information about the Hornet, go to her website
and by all means pay her a visit if you're in the Bay Area.
She's a great old ship with a lot of history.
I had such a blast the first time
around that I had been talking it up to damn near anybody
who would listen for the past year. This year I had half
a dozen friends attend as well, including a couple of buddies
from the Who
Loves Orks thread on the Warseer forum. These two guys,
George and David, flew in from out of town and had a great
Me and the 'gang'
From left to right: George,
Marcos, David and that's me in the loud hawaiian shirt.
morning I headed out around 6:30 am to gather up my friends
and head across the bay to Alameda. The first to be picked
up was Marcos, a buddy of mine who made the trip up from
UC Santa Cruz. I've know Marcos for years, ever since he
was a punk middle school kid. Of all the kids who have come
and gone from Gamescape
over the years, Marcos is the one who I would always play
at the drop of a hat. Good guy.
After loading Marcos' groggy ass into the car (he's a college
kid, they don't sleep) we headed downtown to pick up George
and David. George had been wanting to see a few sights while
he was here, the Golden Gate Bridge being one of them. It's
a shame that is was so foggy you couldn't see a thing that
morning. It would be the ride home on day 2 before George
would even get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, and
a foggy one at that. I guess you just gotta come back George
we headed into the Hangar Deck of the Hornet, I was pleasantly
surprised to see that the terrain situation had improved
considerably since last year. The coverage on the tables
was excellent, with plenty of LOS blocking pieces, and the
terrain itself was outstanding. I've seen pictures of tournaments
where armies are fighting over "Planet Bowling Ball",
but that certainly wasn't the case here.
Just like last year, our entry fee gave
us access to the rest of the ship. during lunch I planned
on taking more of a look around than I was able to last
year, as well snapping a few more pictures. It also appeared
that word had got around about the tournament. The field
had nearly doubled in size from last year. The competition
for both Battle Points and Painting would be pretty fierce.
The Hangar Deck
a few announcements and getting checked in it was time to
break out the armies and get our table assignments.
My Army List
Boss Dawg's Reddnekk Renegadez
Here's a full list of the Ork Army I
fielded at Da Grand Waaagh 2010. It's fairly similar to
the army I fielded the previous year, but with a few tweaks.
I swapped around some wargear, and a added a few fresh faces
while keeping some old favorites.
With the army all unpacked and on it's
brand new display
board, it was time to throw some dice...
Army: Space Marines (painted as Iron Hands,
but using Vulkan)
- Vulkan He'stan
- Librarian (in Terminator Armor)
- 3 Tactical Squads (all in Rhinos
with melta weapons and powerfist sergeants)
- Assault Terminators in a Landraider Crusader
- 2 'Rifleman' Dreadnoughts (Twin-linked
- 2 Attack Bikes (Multimeltas)
The mission was a combination of Annihilation and Seize
Ground, with 5 objectives on the field. Objectives were
worth 2 Kill Points each, in addition to the Kill Points
gained for taking out enemy units. We both started with
1 HQ and 2 Troops on the board, with all other units held
in reserve. You had to beat your opponent by 3 Kill Points
in order to win, otherwise the result would be a draw
Kelly was a great opponent, and played a very tactical game.
As you can see from the picture on the right (taken in turn
3), the Iron Hands kept their distance from the Orks. Kelly
was no dummy, he wanted no part of the choppa-weilding mass
of green death that awaited him in the middle of the table.
My reserve rolls hurt me a bit in this
mission, and I didn't get some of my heavy hitters (like
the Trukk Boyz with the Warboss and my 'Ard Boyz in the
Battlewagon) until a bit late in the game. Basically, I
had to run into the teeth of his ranged weapons for several
turns before I could get to grips with anything.
The Iron Hands keep their distance
In the end, the mission was a draw.
The Battlewagon survived way longer than it had any right
to, Deth Rollering a Rhino to bits in the final turn. This
move and the objectives I held gave me a slight edge in
Kill Points, but not enough to score a victory. Good game,
The Flight Deck
far as venues go, you just can't beat the USS Hornet. It's
got a ton of room so you're not bumping butts with the guy
on the other table. The airflow through the open hangar
deck is also great, which is a real plus when you're on
your feet all day. I don't care who you are, you will work
up a sweat after 3 games. It's nice to not asphyxiate the
guy next to you.
After setting up my army to be judged for the painting
competition, it was time to grab some food and relax a bit.
It was also an opportunity to tour the ship and take a few
pictures. I cruised on up to the flight deck to have a look
at the view and some of the aircraft they have on display.
flight deck of the Hornet has several military aircaft on
display, including my very favorite, the F-14
Before it's official retirement in 2006,
having been replaced by the F-18 Hornet, the F-14 was the
Navy's premiere air superiority fighter for over 30 years.
At over 60 feet long and a good 30 tons when fully loaded,
she's an absolute beast of a plane. With 2 monstrous engines
throwing out nearly 28,000 pounds of thrust each with the
afterburner going, this baby could pull Mach 2.3. She was
one fast plane.
Sorry for the aeronautics lesson, but
I did say she was my favorite plane!
View of San Francisco from the
Aft Flight Deck
view from the flight deck is incredible. The fog had lifted
so we got a great look at the San Francisco skyline to the
west. It can get a bit cold up on the flight deck since
the wind comes in off the bay. It's not a big deal if you
live here and you're used to it, but David and George, being
from out of town, had a few words for me since I had neglected
to tell them to bring a jacket.
Sorry guys. My bad.
If you ever get the chance to visit the USS Hornet, whether
you're playing in Da Grand Waaagh or not, definitely take
the trip. You won't regret it. She's a great old ship with
a lot of history. After the brief tour and eating lunch
I went back downstairs to have a look at some of the armies
of the greatest things about going to a Grand Tournament
is that you get to see some fabulously painted armies. Here
are a few shots to give you an idea of the kind of talent
that was on display.
So after drooling over the nicely painted armies and now
that I had a full stomach, it was game time.
- Tyranid Prime
- 2 Hive Guard
- 2 Zoanthropes
- 1 Brood of Ymgarl Genestealers
- 6 Broods of Genestealers
- 3 Trygons
So the mission for game 2 was Seize Ground (6 objectives)
with an altered Dawn of War deployment. You needed to control
two more objectives than your opponent to win the game.
Dedicated Transports didn't count toward the limit of 2
Troops and 1 HQ on the table, and any units with the
Infiltrate rule could do so!
basically I dropped 2 mobs of Boyz in Trukks and the Boss
on the table...
... and he Infiltrates 6 broods
of Genestealers on me.
Then he rolls to steal the initative...
... a six.
The squig mob in a world of hurt!
turn 1 he rolls on with the rest of his army, minus the
Trygons, and proceeds to blow the Squig Trukk apart and
murders the mob inside with a brood of Genestealers.
Then it's my turn...
... and I roll on the field with everything I've got to
make those bugs pay! Between combi-skorchas, grotzookas,
sluggas, and the ensuing assault phase, I vaporize 3 broods
of genestealers and lay a couple of wounds on the Tyranid
Prime. By the end my turn 1, the 'Nids have lost half their
scoring units, and my right flank is looking pretty secure.
But then came the Trygons.
dropped those big beasties right into my line in an effort
to pull some pressure off his Troops and contest objectives.
Lemme tell ya, one Trygon can be a bit of a problem. Two
can start to make you sweat. Three is a real pain in the
ass! With a toughness of 6, 6 wounds and 7 attacks on the
charge, those things can make a real mess!
By mid game, I'm looking to feed enough
of my army to the Trygons to keep them busy, while also
trying to take out his Troops so he can't control objectives.
I managed to drop one Trygon with a nasty charge from a
mob of Killa Kanz (I rolled nothing but 5's and 6's, while
he couldn't get a decent damage roll to save his life),
but the other two of the big beasties would remain until
the end of the game.
Feeding the Trygons!
By the end of the game, I was one Genestealer away from
wiping out all of his Troops, and my 'Ard Boyz were spread
across 2 objectives. I held two objectives and he didn't
control any, giving me the win. That's a tough army you've
got there, Daniel.
Army: Space Wolves
- Rune Priest
- Wolf Priest
- 3 Grey Hunter Packs (all kitted
out, with Wolf Guard Teminators leading them)
- 1 Blood Claws Pack (w/ Arjac
Rockfist, aka 'Thor')
- 2 Long Fang Packs (w/ Missile
Launchers and Lascannons)
I've known Jeff for a few years now, he and I play at the
same store. We've shared painting and modelling tips, talked
tactics and rules, etc. But, we've never played against
one another until we each drive across the bay, in seperate
cars, to a tournament in Alameda. Go figure.
Unfortunately, the only picture I have
of our game is the one above, but from the look of it I
think you can see how the game went. Jeff was running Space
Wolves on foot, and I was running a pretty fast Ork army.
Our initial comments to one another went something like
"So you're running nothing but
Wolves on foot?"
"So... board control is pretty
much mine, huh?"
"Yup. I'm just gonna hang here
and hope I can't shoot enough of you before you slam into
Well... my Kustom Force Field worked
like a champ and on turn 2, I charged his line with the
Warboss, 4 Meganobz, 3 Killa Kanz, and over 60 Orks! From
there it was a knock-down, drag-out slugfest until the bottom
of turn 5 when I dropped the last wound off his Rune Priest
and wiped him out. To his credit, those Space Wolves are
NASTY in assault. The amount of damage I took was impressive
to say the least, but once the Orks get some momentum, there
ain't much that can stop 'em.
So at the end of Day 1, my record was
2 wins and 1 draw.
the drive back to San Francisco, we're all ready for some
food, so I decide to drag them to Tommy's
Joynt in San Francisco. If you've never been, I highly
recommend the place. It's a total dive with a really quirky
atmosphere. They've got good food and lots of it. We shot
the breeze for an hour or two and had a few beers but not
enough to get hammered.
After dropping George and David at their hotel, and taking
Marcos home, I drive back to my place and pass out.
up: Day 2 ->