If you missed Part 1: A Fist full of Venoms, this is series where I discuss the quest I undertook during the 2019 season to become the #1 Eldar Corsair player. In this section I will cover the first events I attended and my results.
Event 1: Steel City Slaughter – GT
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed I made my way into my local gaming store for my first real competitive test. I had played a few games previously and had done well at first, but my opponents quickly adapted to my tricks making repeat games less competitive. However, fortune smiled on me as I faced a tank heavy guard list first. He deployed aggressively and received the first turn while I hid my venoms well limiting his shooting. The venoms shrugged or dodged most of his shots and I was able to spring forward using opportunistic assaults on my opponents misplaced units. I managed to quickly touch all his tanks and then swept his infantry off the board earning me my first victory. This was also my first experience with having an opponent become a little salty during a match but more on that in part 3.
The match-up gods continued to smile on me for round 2 where I faced a Tyranid player. As before he deployed aggressively and I was in range for most of my poisoned shooting turn 1 (I went first in this game). A few turns of getting good rolls with my pistol shots and some unlucky rolling on my opponent’s part saw me pick up another solid win. Flying high, I ran into my first tough fight in round 3.
This event used modified NOVA missions with ITC secondaries, and this mission primary scored using kill points, with troop units giving 2 points. I had this one circled as a loss for a while as my army gave up a hilarious max score of 48 points. My opponent was running a three-detachment Imperium amalgam with a smash captain, Mephiston, and Ad Mech drills. For the third game in a row my opponent deployed on the line and thus he lost most of his guard infantry to carbine fire in the first turn. I also managed to tie up a few tanks with a lucky charge. The game quickly broke down into a grueling affair with me trying to snipe characters with blasters while touching all his vehicles with venoms. His drills were very problematic as they could usually pick up a venom in the shooting and close combat phases. In the end I won by a single point due to maxing out my secondaries and by killing lots of guardsmen. At the end of day 1 they split the players into brackets and, somewhat bewildered, I found myself in the top tier.
Day 2 began with a tough matchup against a hammerhead heavy tau list. It was one of those games that you could tell early on would be decided by whoever went first. My opponent won the roll off and played well which quickly doomed me. I did my best “Charge of the Light Brigade” impression but it wasn’t enough. It was my first loss, but I wasn’t disappointed, I knew that some armies excelled at killing venoms en-masse and to expect bad matchups. (I also screwed up my engineers as a secondary which didn’t help)
The next game I thought would be in my favor, as it was against an Ork list. However, it was against a very skilled Ork player (the kind who would make you think that Orks needed a nerf if you weren’t knowledgeable about the meta). He deployed very cannily and pushed his entire army along the back of a Hammer and Anvil deployment. This kept me out of range for shooting on turn 1. He then proceeded to pick apart my venoms with Tankbustas and Smasha guns (which let me tell you… they love venoms). He was then able to send forth his boyz which made short work of my remaining forces. This loss was a little deflating, but my opponent is a great player and good guy and we laughed through the whole thing.
I was shocked to see that my last opponent would be the same guy that I faced in round 3. We had both made the cut for the top bracket and so had to play again. I felt a little bad for him as he tried the opposite strategy as before (pushing his army towards the back of his deployment zone) but this time still lost most of his guardsmen turn 1 and was bottled up much of the game. This allowed me to build a lead on objectives and trade venoms for time. I felt a little bad for him as it appeared my army just matched up well against him (going first both games didn’t hurt either).
At the end of the tournament I found myself sitting in 5th place having gone 4-2 and was very happy. But in the back of my mind I knew the biggest test was yet to come…
Event 2: Beef and Wing Brawl – Major
Having just cut my teeth on a GT I figured the next step would be to play in a major. I had never played at an event this big I was a little nervous, but I did know a lot of guys who were going which helped a lot. I knew the competition would be fierce, so I set my eyes on trying to be in the top 50%.
Game 1 was against a top Dark Eldar player running a list with 16 grotesques, ravagers and jetfighters. I managed to go first and poured my entire army into the grotesques hoping to down them early on. I managed to kill 10. In hindsight this was most of them, but I didn’t kill off an entire squad and I was hampered by my opponent making a massive amount of 4++ saves against my blasters. He easily picked up venoms with his disintegrators and remaing Grotesques tabling me by turn 4.
My second game I played against a pure marine list running a lot of Primaris marines (from before they were good). He deployed on the line and I managed to go first and table him in 5 turns (notice a theme? My army really cannot take a punch, but it can give one). The pistols were the MVP as they made short work of scouts and marines alike.
My third game was against a pure Thousand Sons list with Magnus and a ton of rubric marines. I benefited from my opponent’s inexperience a few times this game as he was new and this was his first event. I was lucky enough to kill Magnus in the first turn by dropping him to a single wound via shooting then charged him out of desperation. The venoms bounced off him, but he killed one in combat which then politely exploded and finished him off. The rest of the game was a slog as I tried (and usually failed to kill Rubrics) though, I was able to control most of the board and netted a second win and a satisfying conclusion to day 1.
On day 2 I played the one match I felt the worst about during this season. I was playing against a list that consisted of 14 (may have been higher) Carnifexes, including Old One Eye, and a harpy. To make matters worse for him we played on a board with a lot of multi-level ruins which allowed me to hide the entire game while whittling him down one fex at a time (occasionally sending a sacrificial venom to hold an objective). I felt bad as I don’t think you could have designed a list that my army would do better against. But, for him, that is the danger of playing these wonky lists.
My final game was very anticlimactic. I played against a genestealer heavy list which quickly tabled me in four turns. My opponent was clever and with the double move from the Swarmlord I wasn’t able to pick them off fast enough. As I was now used to getting swept off the board, I was a little grateful to end the round early and spectate on a few top tables. With my painting scores included I placed 23rd out of 98 players.
With these two events I swept into the top position for the Corsair rankings but couldn’t be too relaxed. It was only June and there was a long way to go….
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!