Hello everyone! PeteyPab here with some BAO coverage and tournament predictions. Congratulations to the BAO champion Brandon Grant and everyone else who made the top 8!
As you’re reading this right now I am probably in the back seat of a truck, sleeping. Reece smells really bad, Frankie is trying to figure out why he can’t win an Age of Sigmar game, and some driver in LA just cut us off for a marginal decrease in the time it will take for him to get his morning Mickey Ds. The BAO is upon us, and with it comes camaraderie, cheesy lists, and more bottom table drinking games then I would care to admit in this article. Read on weary travelers, and find out what you’re going to encounter at this year’s BAO.
Winning List below as well as a BAO recap
A New Venue
The guys over at Game Kastle are helping us running it this year. They are providing the terrain, the tables, and the space. They did a great job choosing a large enough venue for the BAO and their help gives everyone over here at Frontline more time to make sure everything else about the event runs as smoothly as a model over one of our F.A.T. mats (shameless advertising? check)
Our Warhammer 40k Community
I may not always get along with everyone in our community 100% of the time, but I do love and appreciate every single person that makes the effort to come to events and share a mutual love for our game and hobby. It is a wonderful experience to see both spirited competitors, and talented hobbyists drinking together, laughing at dice rolls, and generally having a good time.
Speaking of Spirited Competitors….
With 2015 winner Alan Bajramovic and 2014 winner Steve Sisk nowhere in sight it is time for a new player to wear the coveted Belt of Russ. There are a lot of good players coming out but I am going to narrow it down to my three favorites to win the entire thing.
Julio is hungry for some BAO glory. He has quietly had one of his best ITC seasons yet. With a Best General win at the Broadside Bash and one of the best meta Eldar lists Julio is looking to break out with a dominant GT win. There are some rumors going on about Julio bringing a Blood Angels battle company list flying around, and if that’s the case Julio is the guy that can finally bring glory to the Space Vampires.
- Round 1: W 11-2 against a battle company
- Round 2: W 11-0 against Tau monster mash
- Round 3: W 8-4 against Dark Angels Battle Company
- Round 4: T 6-6 against Seer Council
- Round 5: L 9-4 against 45 Warp Spiders
- Round 6: L 11-2 against Tau
Matt Root knows his stuff. I thought maybe after hearing his story about how he got into the top 8 at Adepticon, his glory might be a fluke. He quickly silenced my doubts however with a dominant win at the Flying Monkey GT and is now sitting pretty at the top of the ITC rankings. Matt knows his stuff and as soon as I saw his name on the registration list I knew he would be a player to watch. Also, if you want to know what kind of list he will possibly bring here is a List-Tech article I did on his AdMech list.
- Round 1: W 11-1 against Daemons
- Round 2: W 11-1 against Space Marines
- Round 3: W 11-1 against Battle Company
- Round 4: W 9-2 against Tau (Mason was unable to play)
- Round 5: W 11-1 against Eldar
- Round 6: T 6-6 against 30 Warp Spiders Eldar
James and Frankie are the only players in the top 20 ITC rankings with only 4 games under their belt (Edit: Sorry Vincent Arroyo!) Of the players with 4 games, James is the highest sitting at 11th. James is on fire this season, he may only have 4 games but almost all of them are dominant wins among quality competition and he is practicing non-stop against some really solid competition (and me…). His Cyclopian Cabal list is terrifying, and he is poised to have a great 2016 ITC season.
- Round 1: W 11-1 against Tau
- Round 2: W 7-3 against Battle Company
- Round 3: W 10-0 against Space Wolves
- Round 4: W 11-0 against Bike Scars
- Round 5: L 6-5 against Dark Angels (The BAO champ)
- Round 6: W 11-0 against Chaos Daemons
Round 1 update: So far the first round has been laid back and fun. There were no player issues, the tournaments started on time, and there were no upsets. All three of the people I picked to win the event started with dominant round 1 wins. Next up is round 2 the relic. Traditionally a lot of armies that are strong in the ITC format also play the relic mission really well but this should be the round where you hope you aren’t up against a deathstar.
Round 2 update: So after round 2 all of the players I predicted are 2-0 with nearly perfect scores (damnit James!) Geoff “Incontrol” Robinson won a very close match against Trevor Sandoval, a top player with an interesting fluff killer list. Wulfen, Riptide Wing, and Eldar. It was easily the most entertaining game of the round and is the style of game you would expect from a top table in the final round. Another interesting note, 2 of the top 5 players right now are Dark Angels primary, and neither of them are using a deathstar. Go Dark Angels!
Round 3 update: I am going to make this quick because I want to highlight some awesome 3-0 lists, give you guys an army breakdown, and get to some player predictions. Basically Round 3 had a couple of big time match ups, specifically Incontrol losing to a really awesome Dark Angels Battle company (below) and Alex Gonzalez beating a really solid Space Wolves thunderstar and becoming the only Necron player with 3 wins. Speaking of Necrons lets get to the army breakdown.
Round 4 update: There were a lot of ties in round 4 and right now there are only 6 undefeated players. This is exciting because we can potentially have only one undefeated person win the entire event, or maybe even none if a lot more ties occur. This may leave the door open for players who have been flying under the radar all weekend to win. (See more results below)
Bay Area Open Army Breakdown
- Table 1: Matt Root (War Convocation) vs. Mason Vasquez (ThunderStar). Matt Root is the only player with maximum battle points and has quickly become the player to beat at the tournament. In this case I think Mason on paper should beat Matt Root with his deathstar in The Scouring, however I have to go with the hot player (Sorry Mason love ya buddy!) and Matt Root is as hot as they come. [Matt Root wins 7-5] Update: Matt Root wins 9-2. Matt continues to look unbeatable.
- Table 2: Brandon Grant (Dark Angels Company) vs. Carlos Kaiser (GuardDar). This match up is easily going to be the match to watch round 4. Brandon is coming off of a sexy win over Incontrol and Carlos has a tough unique list which suits his playstyle perfectly. Both of these guys are cerebral players and watching these two put on a knowledge clinic of the game should be a real treat. [Brandon Grant wins 9-1] Update: Brandon Grant wins 6-5. In a game that went down to the wire.
- Table 3: Julio Rodriguez (Julio’s Eldar Special) vs. Matt Schuchman (Eldar Seer CouncilStar). I have never been a big fan of Seer Councils and even though Matt knows how to run his list to maximum efficiency I think Julio has a streamlined Eldar list that is just hard for any list to beat. Besides, Julio is rocking the D. [Julio Rodriguez wins 11-0] Update: Both players tie 6-6. Julio is the first of the favorites to fall almost out of the running. Julio has an outside chance to win.
- Table 4: Alex Gonzalez (Necrons Zandrekh Build-A-Star) vs. Andrew Ford (Eldar w/ Inquisition). Alex’s Necron list is terrifying. Zandrekh is the best HQ choice no one is using and his list is well thought out and hard to beat in the hands of a skilled player. I think Andrew has his work cut out for him, after all Warp Spiders are fast attack options. [Alex Gonzalez wins 10-1] Update: Andrew Ford wins 6-5. This looked like a very close, tactical game.
- Table 5: Ben Vizcarra (Eldar) vs. Michael Schwartz (White Scars Battle Company). Michael the Schwartz will not be with you this game. Eldar have the tools to make any battle company player’s day miserable and Ben brought them all. I think Michael has a real shot to win if he pulls ahead with some ballsy 3 pointers in maelstrom but statistics tell us Ben wins this game most of the time. [Ben Vizcarra wins 11-1] Update: Ben Vizcarra wins 11-1. Michael had a hard time killing Ben’s shifty Eldar.
- Table 6: James Carmona (Cabal Star) vs. Nathaniel Emond (White Scars Bikes w/ Inquisition). James is shooting for the win, and Matt Root’s spot at the top of the ITC. And to do that he needs to go through Nathaniel and his bikes. The knight-atrapos the White Scars invited to the party does have a chance to ruin James’ day but I am not sure if James is going to give it the chance. [James Carmona wins 11-0] Update: James Carmona wins 11-0. This game went pretty much as expected.
- Table 7: Peter Kelly (45 Warp Spiders) vs. Trevor Van Cleave (Tau). Gag, two elite top tier armies beating each other to a pulp with the cheesiest combinations possible. I want to go with Peter Kelly and the ultimate net list (it did win the LVO after all) but Trevor’s army is prettier and warp spiders are fast attack options so… Go Tau! [Trevor Van Cleave wins 8-2] Update: Both players tie 7-7. I should have predicted more ties in this round, players are so good at these higher tables.
- Table 8: Matt Barlow (Tyranids (OMG!)) vs. Don Hooson (Iron Hands Deathstar Company). So Matt may be running the most generic Tyranid list you could think of, and Don’s list is a beautiful Minotaurs themed Iron Hands army however, Don how many long island iced teas do I need to buy you to get you to concede? 20? Ok, proceed to beat up on the underdog… [Don Hooson wins 11-1] Update: Matt Barlow wins 11-1. Next time I’m just going to go with the underdog.
BAO Results and Top List
Brandon Grant beats Matthew Schuchman and his Eldar Seer council to become the only player in the tournament to finish 6-0. Brandon’s Dark Angels (below) took care of business against 4 opponents with 5 wins, and 3 players who won their respective “best of faction” rewards. Brandon was matched against an insanely diverse and talented group of players (Daemons, Eldar, Orks, Ad Mech, GuardDar, and Imperial Knights). Not only that, but he did it with a list that is widely regarded as inferior to it’s big brother the White Scars battle company. Good Job Brandon, way to take the sacred belt of Russ away from those pesky space puppies. Azrael would be proud.
Another note, there were three undefeated players at the start of round 6. Brandon got paired down, and Matt Root and Andrew Ford played an intense game that saw both a knight, and wraithknight go down to not so accurate Eldar artillery. Their game ended in a draw which paved the way for Brandon to finish 6-0. You can find the rest of the top 8 on the bestcoast app but i’m going to go over them here as well. I also plan on adding more pictures when I get back home, because this hotel internet connection is hot garbage.
The Top 8
1) Brandon Grant [6-0]
Dark Angels Battle Company
2) Matt Root [5-0-1]
Melee oriented War Convocation
3) Michael Snider [5-0-1]
White Scars Battle Company
4) Andrew Ford [5-0-1]
30 Warp Spiders Eldar
5) Thomas Hegstrom Oakey [5-0-1]
White Scars Battle Company
6) Carlos Kaiser [5-1]
GuardDar with Inquisition
7) Geoff Robinson [5-1]
War Convocation with a Librarius Conclave
8) James Carmona [5-1]
Chaos Daemons Cabal Star/Mini Screamer Star
Here is your top 8, I will be posting up each list and a brief analysis up on the Frontlinegaming site periodically over the next few weeks. If there is any player in the 25 you would like to have me review please let me know in the comments down below!
Brandon Grant’s Dark Angels
Lion’s Blade Strike Force
Company Master: (Warlord) Fist, Artificer Armor
Chaplain: Bike, Auspex
Tactical Squad: Rhino, Grav-Cannon,
Tactical Squad: Rhino, Multi-Melta
Tactical Squad: Razorback (HB), Heavy Bolter
Tactical Squad: Razorback (HB)
Tactical Squad: Razorback (HB)
Tactical Squad: Pod, Melta/Combi-Melta
Assault Squad: 2x Flamers, Pod
Assault Squad: 2x Flamers, Pod
Devastator Squad: Rhino, Grav-Cannon
Devastator Squad: Rhino, Grav-Cannon
Ravenwing Strike Force
Techmarine: Bike, Auspex
Ravenwing Command Squad: 5 Black Knights, Apothecary, 5 Plasma Talons, Grenade Launcher
Ravenwing Black Knight Squad: 5 Black Knights, Huntmaster, 5 Plasma Talons, Grenade Launcher