2010 Astronomicon Tourney, June 19-20, 2010,
at The Gamer's Realm in Richardson, Texas

The Astronomicon folks (Mike Major and Christian Augst) flew down here to Texas to host one of their
tournaments on June 19-20, 2010. I've known Mike since the 90s, back on the 40K mailing list, and he
has been running Astronomicon with Christian for ten years and I've heard great things about it.

So I figured it was a good time to play.

Check out the Astronomi-con website.

I don't participate in many tournaments, and never in one of this length and with scoring in so many
different areas. This would be the first time I've created a themed army list and background story for my army.

Themed list and story.

Astronomicon has a 20-point composition scoring system.

I built my army to get a 20...with only the seven units allowed in the Green box (hey, I'm an Ork and it's GREEN)

Army Builder version of my Ork list.

I could have scored one or two points for having a display base, but my army is so large that I just
couldn't figure out how to make it work as there is really no room for it in the gaming area.
Maybe next year.

Chris Allen ran a "Pre-Astro" tourney two weeks before this event, to give some of us a feel for it.
This was incredibly helpful and it's important to note that afterwards, I very much wanted to change
my list by making my Nobz a Troops choice (and pay for the Cybork upgrade I converted on them,
but FORGOT TO PAY FOR). Fortunately, I decided against the change....Mork (or Gork) would be mad.

Here is the link to my Pre-Astro Tourney Batrep.

Photos of my army, set out for display and judging throught the tourney.

Setup after Game 1

Close up of the boss and nobz

Setup after game four

And after game five, for the "Best Army" judging

My warboss, love him or hate him.
This is him running away, as he did too often!

Not to give anything away here, but he was killed by a Force Weapon
Wrecked his own bike by rolling three consecutive 'ones' for difficult terrain,
Was stomped by a Trygon, and RAN AWAY THREE TIMES.

Here he is in a much more heroic photo, from Michael Sanford

Table setup the night before....

Tables at The Gamer's Realm

Christian Augst (left) and Mike Major

I think this was my favorite table, but it wasn't in the running for the award.

Actually, maybe THIS was my favorite table! I didn't get to play on it, but
it had a very interesting scenario involving a mysterious Inquisitor performing
a ritual in the center, and the missions were secretly determined. You might have
to kill the Inquisitor, save the prisoner or do something else.

Game One vs. James Muncy's Nurgle Chaos Marines

James had three 7-figure Nurgle marine squads in Rhinos (using the Nurgle "magic number")
and a Landraider with Typhus and five Chaos Terminators.


Pyramid Scheme Scenario.

Pyramid Scheme Mission Special Rules.

I setup with all of my boyz going for the big pyramid, the grot crew will activate the small pyramid,
the warbikes will go for the far pyramid and my Nobz will start in the center
so they can sweep around to the big pyramid or do something else if necessary.

The plan is in action - James activates one pyramid with a Nurgle marine squad in a rhino.
My boyz move forward as the Kracked Kranium MC sweeps left.

You can see Dave Pak made this terrain.

The rest of the Nurgle force advance onto the pyramid.

Da Glory Hogs and Lashbait wreck the Rhino with many Weapon Destroyed/Immobilized results.
They find the insides smelly, but green and get stuck in for some action.

Warbikers and Plague Marines kill each other off.

Kracked Kranium MC sweeps around and blow up the Landraider and one Rhino.
The Plague Marines get out with angry flamers.
Da Furst Ligne switch on the big pyramid and get ready to shoot.
Well...they're ALWAYS ready to shoot....

Typhus whacks Warboss 'Eadbanga with his Force Weapon - killing him instantly.
The Chaos Terminators wipe out the rest of the Kracked Kranium MC, but my Nobz
take those other 'ardboyz' out with them.

Da Glory Hogs are killed by the Plague Marines, but only the champion survived.
He ran up and charged Lashbait on the pyramid, killing the grot crew.

Back on the big pyramid, da boyz keep fighting against Typhus and his guys.

Boyz swarming the pyramid.

A well-placed choppa finds the mark - Typhus goes down.
There is NOTHING that enough boyz can't deal with!

With their leaders dead, the Plague Marines, their flies and the boyz fight
it out on the big pyramid. James ran out of guys first, leaving Da Furst Ligne
alone on top. With a careful aim (bah, who are we kidding...they were lucky!),
one of the rokkit boyz hits the surviving champion who killed Lashbait. Chaos tabled.

10-1 win for Da Orks!

Game Two vs. Kenny Hill's Eldar

Kenny had four Wave Serpents carrying a unit of Fire Dragons and three units
of Dire Avengers, led by an Autarch, a Wraithlord and unit of Swooping Hawks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Kenny painted this army the week of the tourney. I appreciated his effort.


Vendetta Scenario.

Vendetta Mission Special Rules.

Facing a mobile skimmer army, I put a slugga mob out on each flank to 'pinch off' those lanes.
Kenny kept his entire army in reserve.

Da Boyz get halfway across the table, and most of Kenny's army arrives from reserve.

A couple of Wave Serpents tried to make a mad dash down the flank.
One of Shokka's boyz heaves his choppa into the air and it gets sucked into
an engine intake, cause the craft to lose lift and crash into the ground.

11 boyz got four attacks, needing 'sixes' to hit. Then they needed 'sixes' to glance
and a 'six' to immobilize the Wave Serpent. One single glance turned into that magic roll...

The other two Wave Serpents fly up on top of the ruins...one crashes!
The Wraithlord hides as my boyz move up.

Da Kracked Kranium MC Nobz are in a long line to get them the best coverage
of the table, so they can get to any sneaky Wave Serperts that try to fly past.

The Autarch, his Dire Avengers and the Wraithlord come out for a fight.

Da Glory Hogs want some Wraithlord scrap!

My Warbikes are crushed and the Nob ran off, but he whacked the other biker,
killing him, rallied, and goes back for more.

Warboss 'Eadbanga uses his skorcha to kill eight Dire Avengers.

Da KK MC Nobz go after the other two Wave Serpents, as the boyz climb over the wreckage
to get after the survivors of the downed flyer. The Fire Dragons are slaughted by the
twin-linked dakkaguns of the Nobz bikers..

'Eadbanga charges in, takes a wound, and then runs off in a fashion to be repeated in this tourney.

Shokka's boyz wipe out the Dire Avengers.

One corner is cleared of Eldar and the Fire Dragons' Serpent flies away.
All that is left is a fight between a wounded Wraithlord, Autarch and my boyz.

Except for these Swooping Hawks, who have been dropping 5" template bombs on
me all game. Suspecting the game is about to end, Kenny lands them by the guns.
I lose a tourney point if this kannon battery stays in my deployment zone, so
I'm secretly hoping he kills it. He doesn't (and I lose a point!)

The Wraithlord lives! One wound left. Damn.

Draw 8-7

Game Three vs. David Caldwell's Tyranids

David had a couple of units of Genestealers, a whole lot of Termigants,
some Zoanthropes, a Trygon, the big bug that squirts out little bugs and a couple of 'Primes'.
I don't know what half this stuff does, except that Genestealers are bad and all bugs must die.


Lost In The Mist Scenario.

Lost In the Mist Mission Special Rules.

The only bug that starts on the table...he peaks around a pyramid, spying one of the objective crates.

I got to setup one Fast Attack and any one other unit. This was obviously Da Glory Hogs
and a boyz mob. The Bikers are in a HORRIBLE position, because when David's reserves arrive,
They come on both flanks and the Trygon is lined up right on my warbikers. Also, there's a nasty
Genestealer unit infiltrating in the center who can charge me.

David got 7 units on from reserve on turn one, needing a 5+ for each one.

The Tyrgon crushes my warbikers.

Genestealers into my boyz in the center, but my boyz actually win this fight!

Hooray to da choppa! Green iz mean!

Warboss 'Eadbanga takes a run at the Tyrgon. Surely this fight will be easy...

My artillery is on the board as more 'Stealers flank me.

Let's play "Where's 'Eadbanga?" Oh yeah, dead.
At least the grots can wound the beast with some kannon fire.

Shokka's boyz arrive from reserve to put an end to the Genestealer threat.

This is how many dice I rolled for attacks.

Hormagants and boyz fight over the crates.

Zoanthropes and a Prime on the flank, with my boyz stuck in difficult terrain.

The Trygon shoots down the grots, and the survivors legged it.
More Hormagants come over the wall to help.

The boyz are having great fun in the center of the battle.

The KK MC and Da Furst Ligne arrive! Hooray, we might win this!

MASSIVE amounts of dakka splatter the Trygon and many Hormagants.

The boyz in the center chase off the Termigants they were fighting
as they were out of hive mind range. The Nobz chase after the bugs as
the shootas move up in reserve.

Shokka's boyz climbed out of the rocks and charge into the Zoanthropes and Prime.

Zoanthropes are no match for choppas!

The Prime goes down fighting.

Ignoring the 'gaunts, my Nobz go after the crate. A silly wall won't stop us!

Now it's pretty much just grabbing crates.

David gets his Termigants into hive mind range and rallies them.
The come back and charge, but are wiped out.

11-3 Win!

End of day one, David Jones takes me to the Macaroni Grill where I feast
and drink lots of wine. Tomorrow should be interesting...

Game Four vs. Michael Sanford's Grey Knights

The morning starts with a great game against Michael, who spent a month working on
his Grey Knights army just for fun. It was a wonderful army to see.

He had a great army list in a report binder. His army was Torath, a Grey Knight Grand Master with Terminator
retinue (with a Landraider) and a Grey Knight squad, Inquisitor Loriel Seth, a Callidus Assassin, Interrogator
Bastonne and his Veteran Squad, and Inquisitor Harker and his squad of infiltrating Veterans.


Damnunition Scenario.

Damnunition Mission Special Rules.

First, I'll say this table was a challenge. It was made by Dave Pak and he put a lot of work into it
and the concept is clever. The orangy-red floor is LAVA and is impassible.

I had a lot of trouble deciding how to setup, settling on two mobz of boyz in reserve and leaving
the warbikes to go after the crate on the edge of the table.

That's Mike Major sticking his face into the left side of the photo....
he played as the 'bye' opponent with his IG.

There are two crates on each building, but no easy way to move between them.
Michael has one in his lap and the other is by my warbikes.

Another view of the initial setup....notice the Inquistor and Guard unit who infiltrated.

The game starts with the Grey Knight Terminators grabbing a crate and shooting up my artillery.

Da Glory Hogs skip the crate for a chance to put some dakka on the Inquisitor!

'Eadbanga and his Nobz turboboost to get to the ramp.

Stupid me didn't move close enough to assault.

That decision sucked, because even though my warbikers killed a lot of guardsmen,
they used meltaguns, Interrogator Harker's heavy bolter and a SATCHEL CHARGE to kill
three bikers and wound the Nob, who surprisingly passed his leadership test.

And then they charged - but the Nob survives to snip a few heads.

'Eadbanga races up the ramp, Nobz in tow, going after the Grey Knight Terminators, who are
sneaky gits because they are screening the Grey Knights behind them who have a crate.
Oh yeah, baby..this is the fight I want! These Orks are going to wipe out all of the Grey Knights,
I just know it! This is going to be so great, with all these powerklaws, how can we lose?

Thunderhammers pound my Nobz bikers into pancakes, and 'Eadbanga legs it AGAIN.

A Calidus Assassin! Did you know it's possible to fit 17 boyz under a flame template?
Well this is how I found out.....

Fortunately, my boyz are braver than their boss and stomp the assassin into lava rock.

In the meantime, the real battle is going on...an epic battle between my wounded
Biker Nob and the Inquisitor with his squad. Armed with a power weapon, all the
Inquistor needs to do is roll a single 'six' to wound...but over four combats, he can't.

Boneshatta the Nob slowly snips his way through the retinue until just the Inquisitor is left.

One single Grey Knight Terminator survived my Nobz rush.
I laugh out loud as tons of dakka make him roll too many dice to save.

At this point, Michael's Grey Knights have three crates loaded into vehicles,
which makes them inaccessible to me. I have two crates. There is still the
one near Boneshatta and the Inquisitor to fight over...

And what do you know, in a totally abnormal result, Boneshatta actually wins a fight!
Inquisitor Loriel Seth goes down fighting, but he's dead anyway and the crate will be mine!

Both of us have three crates and lost our most expensive units.

Draw 6-6

After the fight, I finally got my army setup for official judging.

Lunch break! Chris Allen and his son, at Schlotzsky's.

Game Five vs. Chuck Le Jeune's Tyranids

This battle is actually INSIDE a Tyranid Hive Ship. Normally, the two armies
would compete for points while destroying the ship. But since my opponent plays Tyranids,
this is HIS SHIP that he is defending and I am attacking.


Hive Mind 2 Scenario.

Hive Mind 2 Mission Special Rules.

These special rules made my head spin...this game was hard.

I start with my entire army, but have to roll dangerous terrain tests when I move!

I got two full turns in before a single Tyranid arrived...time to do as much damage as possible.

Turn 1 - 14 boys and one grot crew die, the Warboss, Nobz biker and Boneshatta of
Da Glory Hogs each take one move. But bikes can move FULL DISTANCE and it's worth it!

Turn 2 - 'Eadbanga takes ANOTHER wound (rolled his second 'one' in a row), the painboy was also wounded
one warbiker crashed but only six boyz die.

The Hive Ship Brain is dead along with five other nodes. I'm up 1000 points before Chuck gets to move.

The boss and his bikers put treadmarks on the brain.

All but two 'nid units arrive and swarm around my boyz.

Doom of Malakai...we finally meet.

A whole buncha bugs jump my boyz.

Trygon getting ready for a tasty snack.

I always said that when I see the Doom of Malakai, I'd charge it. So I did!
This was a big mistake...I could have killed two nodes instead and scored 200 more points.
Also, since he could only score VPs for killing my units, it made sense to run away with my Nobz.

But I'd rather lose than run away.

My warboss, of course, rolled a third 'one' so he crashed and burned.
The one surviving Nob has no chance against a ten-wound DoM.
But he goes down fightin' like he should!

Shokka's boyz make it to another node, right in front of the Hive Tyrant, to get more points before they die.

Shoota boyz fight to the end. The kannons were able to see far enough to kill another node with shooting.
But my entire army is wiped out. 1400 points of objectives vs. 1500 points of boyz.

Draw 9-7

Game Six vs. Tommy Pistole's Eldar Exodites

I was thrilled to see us matched up.

Tommy's army is amazingly converted and was based on Jetbikes and Dire Avengers,
with Fire Dragons and Warwalkers as chariots. The key unit is the Seer Council.


Divide And Conquer Scenario.

Again with a fast moving enemy, I put slugga boyz on the wings. The kannons are
lined up on the warwalkers and the boss and Nobz are in the center, to move either way.

I FORGOT TO DEPLOY DA GLORY HOGS, the lazy gitz. Tommy offers to let me deploy after
he's already moved, but that's not right so I decline and leave them in reserve.
This is going to be a huge decision.

Tommy goes first and moves up.

The boyz move up and I pull 'Eadbanga and the Kracked Kranium MC nobz back.
My thinking is that he might fly over the fortress and charge, so I want to counter-charge.

Tommy's Exodites (count as Jetbikes).

My first experience with "Seer Council Hell"...they kill 28 boyz!

With the Seer Council on my right, tearing up my boyz, I do a "Student Body Left" move,
and add a WAAAGH! move, which turns out to be well timed.

The strategy is to fight on his side of the table - if he wants me, he needs to come get me.

The boyz are mixing it up with the Eldar as the Nobz turbo-boost forward. I forget to roll
for Da Glory Hogs in reserve! Holy crap! (This is still huge).

The Exodites react to my move after wiping out my boyz and the grots.
My kannon killed a Warwalker, but shot at the Seer Council before they die
and I found out how many rerollable saves the Eldar leaders get!
It's almost like fighting my own Nobz....(Now I know what it feels like!).

My Skarboyz kill the Exodite squad and the shootas tear up the other.

Yeah! Pick those casualties up! DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!

Maybe the concussion from all that dakka blurs my camera?
The scatter lasers on the walkers tear up my shootas.

Dakka dakka at the Seer Council - who save every single wound!
I remember to roll for reserves and Da Glory Hogs arrive...
That's them on the lower left, turbo-boosting.

Now it's my turn to get shot to crap. I only lose two Nobz to melta
weapons...but it's enough for a break test AND MY STOOPID BOSS RUNS AGAIN.

No epic fight between the Seer Council and my Nobz today...(I want a rematch!)

Warboss 'Eadbanga, Furst to da fight, furst ta run away too.

Da Glory Hogs turbo-boost up the table edge.
(That's Jeff Whitehead's army to the left. I'm tempted to kill those tanks....)

End of Turn 5, Tommy rolls a 'one' and the game ends...with all of the
units on his side of the table. That means.... WIN 10-5


Their were eight trophies, five of which were the very cool lighted data slate plaques.
It would be cool to win one, maybe...just MAYBE I might luck out and get one for my army.
But there were several armies that just blew me away - Tommy and Billy Pistole's armies,
and Michael Sanford's Grey Knights....Nam's IG. Could I win something?

Dave Pak had to leave before the awards presentation, but it was so obvious that he won for his
industrial/lava building table (that I played on in Game Four) they just gave him the award.

Best Army List: I put some work into mine, but didn't know how it would hold up. Second
and third places scored nine out of ten, so it couldn't be me. Kyle Foster had submitted
a spiral bound book that scored the maximum ten. I wish I could have seen it though.

Best Single Miniature: There was a LOT of talk about my warboss, and I thought I might
have a shot, except there were some very nice figures out there. I personally thought
Billy Pistole's Sentinel was a better conversion. Nam won for his Inquisitor.

Now to the data slate plaques....they have a hierarchy and you can only win one.

Best General: (I think it's great that this is lowest on the list. But still an amazing
award to win.) Ray Nerpel won every game, so that was clear.

Best Appearance: Okay, this was the one I thought I had a shot at with a 26 out of 30. But that
was only good for third place! Michael Sanford won and rightfully so.

Best Army: This was voted on by the players and again I heard a lot of comments about my army.
Billy Pistole won it for his Renegade Guard. Ah...now I think I understand how these awards work..
He didn't get the 'Best Single Miniature' for his Sentinel, but this. Maybe he can't win both but he
got the most votes for it? Hmmm....and I didn't place second or third. What could this mean?

Best Sportsman: With a perfect score, Chris Allen. It was great to see him win the most prestigious
award possible. He does a lot of work promoting the hobby....and even when my Stompa goes floating off
into space during one of his crazy scenarios, his games are always fun.

So that left Best Overall: Third place, Michael Sanford. Second place, Chris Allen. Ah, I thought maybe
I'd get at least third, oh well they deserve it. But who could it be? Tommy had a great army, fantastic
list and was a great sport, but I'm not sure that he won many games. Well no more time for thinking, because
Mike says "Winner - Clay Smith".

Holy crap.

And there it is...my first ever winning trophy. Ever. I am completely blown away and honored that my
peers gave me great sportsmanship and army scores. Oh, and the win was by ONE POINT. How many odd
dice rolls and decisions could have swung this one point in a different direction? What if I'd changed
my army list, scoring a 19 on composition instead of 20?

Update: I think my Orks want to 'Kustomize' it...gluing scrap on it or turning it into a battlewagon.

Best Overall...................Clay Smith
Best Sportsman.....Christopher Allen
Best Army....................Billy Pistole
Best Appearance.....Michael Sanford
Best General..........Raymond Nerpel
Best Terrain..............Dave Pakalnis
Best Single Miniature...Nam Nguyen
Best Army List..............Kyle Foster

Here are the detailed scoring results.

Celebratory dinner at Sonny Bryan's...RIBS RIBS RIBS.

The gang.

Army photos
(I don't have the names for all of these. Please let me know if you can.)

Sid Stallings' Orks

Sid's Battlewagon

Tommy Pisolte's Exodite Eldar

Tommy's Exodite/Jetbike conversions

Warwalker as a chariot!

Michael Sanford's Grey Knights


Michael's army with its well deserved trophy.

Grey Knights

Billy Pistole's Renegade Guard army


Billy's converted Sentinel

A better shot of the Sentinel

Bob Westbrook's Tau (and David Caldwell's Tyranids in the background)

Grey Knights


Black Templars

Glenn Kasper's Blood Angels

Jeff Whitehead's Howling Griffons

Mike Major's Imperial Guard

Chaos Marines


Chris Allen's Space Marines

Chuck Le Jeune's "Hive Fleet Perdition"

Kyle Foster's Ultramarines bike army

John Duck's Space Marines

I'm guessing Salamaders

Matt Mayer's Deathwing

Robert Bardin's Space Wolves

Nam Nguyen's Imperial Guard

Best Single Miniature Winner

Chaos Marines

Is that a lash whip? Kinda blurry...but I think so!

Ian Kershaw's Blood Angels

And just for grins, David Jone's Space Marines in my patented "Vauban Formation".

Misc. Gaming photos

Notice Christian in the background taking a photo....

Two Grey Knight armies fighting in the Tyranid Hive ship!

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