Rocco’s Road to US Open Grand Finale – Part Final – I Lied in the Last One

Welcome back to the story of me preparing for a big Warhammer event. Except the event already happened and it’s over. I’m back home writing this at my desk. I’m not playing Warhammer. I took a sick day. Life is bleak. I wish I was playing Warhammer.

If you read my last post you’ll know that I was planning on painting an Astraeus, Eliminators, and a Terminator Ancient for the event. This was apparently a lie. I didn’t paint the Eliminators. Instead, I painted a Primaris Champion. BUT I DID PAINT THE TANK:

Charybdis, Credit: Rocco Gest

HIS NAME IS CHARYBDIS AND I LOVE HIM. His name goes with the name I gave my Primaris Techmarine: Scylla Serratta.

I used the tank in all but one game and I loved every minute of it.

Here is the full force I ended up bringing:

Brotherhood of the Tidal Storm, Photo Credit: Lhyon

And thanks to Administratum I can show you the names I gave the units and how strong they ended up at the end of the battle:

Credit: Rocco Gest

As far as opponents go they were all lovely. Every game I played I had a good time and my opponents were consummate professionals. In every one of my games I either tabled or got tabled and I think that’s pretty cool.

Pre-Event Activities

On Wednesday night I landed at the Albuquerque International Sunport. Don’t ask me what the hell a Sunport is. I’m pretty sure it’s just an airport. I don’t know how the sun stops here, or if that’s even legal let alone safe. The event was held at the Tamaya resort outside of Santa Fe, NM. I had never been to New Mexico so I was just excited to be there in the first place. Being from New York I’m used to a lot of greenery and a lot of lights. The drive from the airport to the resort was nearly barren and the roads were pitch-black save for my Uber driver’s headlights. I shared a room with fellow contributors Michael (Enzo) DiCianna and MildNorman that night. We got food at 2 am from room service like the gremlins we are. They got sleepy and turned the lights off on me so I had a hard time eating my mac and cheese in the corner in the dark. But fear not dear reader. I finished the mac and cheese without making a God-awful mess. I soothed my two dear friends to sleep with the sweet sound of mac and cheese schlorping in my bowl.

The next day was simply waiting for everyone to arrive so we can all hang out and have a good time before the briefing that night. It was a beautiful day and Behind the resort was a bosque trail right off the Rio Grande.

Look at that mountain Credit: Rocco Gest

A bunch of us went to Bosque Brewing in Bernalillo, NM and had a lovely lunch with good beer and good friends. I learned how to play Aeronautica, which is a great game and more people should play it!

Aeronautica is cool, actually Credit: Kevin Stillman

Finally we had the briefing welcoming everyone to the event. Everyone was excited and ready to have a good time.


Every day we started with a faction briefing led by costumed actors. The imperium leader was the best of all of them as he basically yelled at us to be good at protecting the system.

My first opponent was playing a very destroyer heavy Necron list and he hacked and slashed through my marines and big tank. I tried my hardest, but he still took me on points as he destroyed all of my objectives to score max points on his end.

My second opponent was playing Iron Warriors and let me tell you, I am VERY excited to play my Chaos Marines again. Iron Warriors was the army that I started the hobby with and watching my opponent play these dumb war nerds got me excited to list build and blast my friends of the table. His Obliterators, my absolute favorite unit from last edition, weathered most of my fire and shot most of my marines off the table in return. Obliterators are insanely cool and have insane attack profiles. I can’t wait to jump back into the codex for however long 9th edition continues. This was coincidentally the only game which I didn’t bring the Astraeus and coincidentally the only game in which I brought the Terminator Ancient. I won this one on points despite being handily tabled.

Third opponent was technically fellow Goonhammer writer Chase “Gunum” Garber and his Necrons. I brought the Astraeus again and utilized its FLY keyword to charge his Overlord and blasted the man off the table. Then Chase did the very cool move of hacking and slashing all of my marines and big tank off the table with Skorpekh Destroyers. Lesson of the weekend: Skorpekh Destroyers must die.


On day two I actually started to take pictures of my games.

Paralithodes karate-chopping Knights, Credit: Rocco Gest

First opponent was Chaos Knights, one of my 9th edition bugbears. This was when I started tabling my opponents. My based and power fist-pilled Gravis Captain karate chopped two knights in the knee before being felled by a third knight that he was too far away from. I won this mission based purely on the fact that the Astraeus is pretty good at shooting armigers to death.

Charybdis Vs Speed Waaagh, Credit: Rocco Gest

Second opponent was an incredibly fun ork player with a beautiful display board and a beautiful Bad Moons Speed Waaagh list. He did the obligatory scream of Waaagh! On turn one and throughout the game he rolled a 6-sided die where 5 sides said “Shit” and the 6th side said “Fuck Yeah”. This was how he rolled for explosions. It was glorious, every time he rolled that die I was compelled to yell the result. It was amazing when we both screamed “FUCK YEAH!” when he finally rolled it. Sadly it only happened twice. He went on to win an award at the end of the event for Best Display which I think he easily deserved.

During my first game I was very pleased to be invited to display my army for the painting competition. I didn’t think I would win anything, but I was very proud of the work I put in and was happy to show it off. There were truly incredible painters on display and I hope everyone who looked at my army at least thought it was cool.

Big Tiny Game, Credit: Rocco Gest

The last game I played was a great 300pt 2v1 Aeronautic Imperialis battle to “control the skies” in the narrative the next day. This was going to be my second game ever of Aeronautica. Doing this meant I missed trivia. Apparently I didn’t miss out on much as there were only two and half teams and one of them was us Goonhammer folks. Aeronautica is a good game and everyone should play it!



So one thing I forgot to mention is that as the days progressed, each of the costumed faction leaders were getting more and more beat-up by the make-up artists. By the final day the Imperium commander was missing an eye and an arm, covered in soot and walking with a limp. He was doing his best.

Choo Choo Pain Train, Credit: Rocco Gest

The very last game I played was against Spencer’s World Eaters, Conman234 in the Goonhammer server. We had one of the best games of my weekend and were both forced to think very tactically. However, my brain is full of rocks, worms, and dirt so my tactical play left me with easily exploitable holes and a Techmarine that was half of an inch too close to a wall. He finished the game by charging my Techmarine and Astraeus, both Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus would be proud, with his Lord of Skulls. He swiftly struck both models down with well split smash attacks. He won the game by 2 points.

After everything was said and done there was an awards ceremony. Lots of Goonhammer writers won and everyone clapped and cheered.

All in all the event was a great time with good friends. I finally got to meet more of the west coast Goonhammer folks and hang out with old faces that I don’t see very often. We laughed. We cried, but mostly while we were laughing. There are definitely some aspects of the event that could have been better, but I’ll let someone smarter and better at explaining their criticisms talk about that. I can’t wait for the next Grand Narrative.

Oh and remember in my last post where i mentioned it was my birthday? Yeah my good and cool friend MildNorman organized a gift for me. Thanks to him and the wonderful friends at Goonhammer I am not the proud owner of a second large tonk of a different variety: A Fellblade.

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