TheChirurgeon’s Road Through 2023, Part 11: Rushing Through the Rest of KC to get to 10th

Welcome back, Dear Reader, to my ongoing series cataloging my competitive and hobby journey through 2023. Last time around I wrote about day 1 at the KC Open and some cool games we played. Since then everything released for 10th edition and I’m playing games of that now, so I’m going to rush through the rest of the KC event (days 2 and 3) so that the next time I write one of these, it’ll be focused on tenth edition.

Day 2

I think I slept OK. Day two opens with our team spending 10 minutes in the elevator bank trying to figure out why the elevator to the sky lounge doesn’t work before giving up (we’d later find out the lounge is closed on weekends, for some reason) and getting breakfast sandwiches. We’re riding high on a 2-0 record after day 1, but fully prepared for some tough matchups as we start pairing into some very good teams – and day 2 would deliver.

Round 3: vs. The Astros Militarum (Team Altuve)

As luck would have it, round 3 had us pair into a team of my local friends, the Astros Militarum. Team Altuve is the “A” team (Team Biggio being the other) of the two groups, and the one with the better competitive players. Pretty much everyone on the team is someone I’ve lost a game to at some point or another, save Christian (who is also good), and they’re all regularly competing for 1st place at our local RTTs. They’re an underrated group who don’t travel a ton.

The Pairings

  • Goatboy (Daemons) vs. Carmine (Astra Militarum)
  • Scott (Astra Militarum) vs. T Chambliss (GSC)
  • Shane Watts (Votann) vs. Christian Rice (Orks)
  • Norman Greenberg (Chaos Knights) vs. Garrett Moore (Space Wolves)
  • Me (Death Guard) vs. Erik (Chaos Daemons)

Deployment vs Daemons

This puts me back in a game against my regular sparring partner, Erik. I have a feeling from our last game that it’s a matchup I *can* win, but I need the right mission and I probably need to go first in order to have that chance. I can take Vectors and score off his Daemonettes, but I need to get a turn of scoring in before the Bloodthirster and Skarbrand show up and I need to hold back so he can’t tag my PBCs early.

Before the game, the judges inform us that we need to rotate the terrain on the table (they will later reverse this decision after we’ve started playing), and that doesn’t cost me the game, but it does massively tilt it in Erik’s favor by giving him easy hiding for his entire army until I can force him to come out. Add in some early 11+ cast spikes on his Infernal Gateway to wipe out my terminators/characters in a spot where I can’t really hide and Erik making all of his deep strike charges and there’s not much left I can do but try and score as much as possible in a loss.

The Bloodthirster arrives and makes his 8″ charge

What costs us more is that Goatboy lost the rolloff to Carmine’s Astra Militarum and then proceeded to watch Carmine have insane luck in their matchup, giving the Astros the 3-2 win. Tough round, but it’ll get tougher.

We end up walking over to Jimmy Johns’ for lunch and eating with Gunum, who’s also over there but not with his team. He and Scott and I talk for a bit about our games and commiserate over some tough losses.

Round 4: vs. Team USA

Despite losing a round, our round 4 pairing was even harder, as we got matched into Team USA. The team has some hungry up-and-comers but they’re all great players.

The Pairings

  • Scott vs. Jamie Beaton (Iron Hands)
  • Shane vs. Brian Jones (Imperial Knights)
  • Goatboy vs. Quinton Johnson (Aeldari)
  • Norman vs. Ben Jurek (Adeptus Custodes)
  • Me vs. Sean Nayden (Orks)

Deployment vs. Nayden’s Orks

This is pretty rough for us but I think this is the best-case for our pairings. Unfortunately things don’t go our way and we also get outplayed on a few tables. Norman does his part to keep things close but Scott loses the first-turn roll-off to Jamie and Goatboy loses his first turn roll-off to Quinton and those games go the wrong direction.

In my game I had a pretty great first turn vs. Sean, but I overplayed my hand thinking I could tank a turn 2 charge from half of his army with my Blightlords. That ends up not being the case and I lose the entire unit and some characters to a very well-constructed 30-minute charge from Sean. We only get through two rounds but we can basically call it after that given the rest of my team has gone 1-3 against Team USA. I make it 1-4 and we don’t have to extend the round trying to score more VP.

This charge was extremely complicated

After the round ends, we set up for showcase. Only Scott was picked which was a bit disappointing to me but I get it – the Death Guard aren’t my prettiest army and they also just don’t win these things. They’re dully colored and lack the kind of bright hues, intricate freehand work, and OSL effects you need to wow judges. Still, I figured I’d get showcase. Anyways, there’s absolutely no chance we’ll win but the armies look nice together.


We have a team dinner planned for Sunday but tonight it’s another, more real date night with Scott and I and the wives. Scott’s wife Katie identified a nice little wine tasting event with live music in a suburb called Lamar on the east side of KC. It’s about a 20 minute Uber ride over so we get cleaned up and head over to meet them. It’s a quaint little down with a nice walkable downtown area and we hit up a few antique shops and grab some wine before sitting down (thank god) at a local brewery (3 Trails Brewing Co.) doing live music and some damn good flatbreads.

It’s a nice night out and we’ve got a pretty good group dynamic. We get to learn the story of how Scott and Katie met – they have apparently known each other from kindergarten, which is either sweet or weird, I haven’t settled on which. Scott reveals that Truman is his favorite president because of the time he roasted Oppenheimer over the physicist’s concerns about the bomb (“if you want to wash your hands of this, the sink is over there.”) All in all, a great time and worth missing trivia over.

We join up with the GH trivia team when we get back, and they’re in the process of a disgraceful third place finish. That said the prize is getting to ask Mike Brandt questions about tenth, so we don’t really need to win that one anyways. We hang out for a while and grab drinks before turning in.


Day 3

It’s the final day and while we’re sitting at 2-2, we think 4-2 is achievable. Another round of mediocre breakfast sandwiches and caffeinated beverages later and we’re ready to go.

Round 5: vs. Team ArKCanite

Team ArKCanite are a local group, and better than their 2-2 record suggests. That said, they also don’t have a top-of-the-meta marines list in their comp and that means we’ve got a solid chance against them.

The Pairings

  • Norman vs. Dru Newman (Chaos Daemons)
  • Scott vs. James Willet (Astra Militarum)
  • Shane vs. Tedd Williamson (Necrons)
  • Goatboy vs. Tyler Bruns (Orks)
  • Me vs. Joshua Shirley (Black Templars)

Deployment vs. Black Templars

This may not be our best pairings, but we’re in a good place. It’s as good a matchup as Norman is going to get and if Scott can win the roll-off he’ll win his guard matchup. For me, Black Templars are very beatable, especially on this mission. Devout Push is a problem but not a big one, and I can weather the storm of his terminators better than he can mine. That said, I can’t take Vectors so I need to be aggressive and go first. I end up taking Spread, Engage on All Fronts, and Warp Ritual and getting the first turn and while I think I could have won without it, it was also a big help here as it meant I could freeze Josh in place for one extra turn.

I play very defensively with regard to the Terminators – Josh is afraid of overplaying his hand and losing too much – and instead focus on cleaning out the less-defended south objective. I’m able to get an early push down there and keep a plague marine alive, which throws Josh off scoring and he only pulls 4 primary on round 2. Meanwhile he doesn’t bring the Terminators out turn 1 and so I use the opportunity to jam them in his deployment zone using my Plague Marines and then the Rhino.

Move-blocking with the Rhino

The Terminators won’t claw their way out until round 3 and by the time they charge my Blightlords, only a few will get to fight, and that’s after he loses four of them to my Blightspawn letting the Blightlords fight first. We play it out but I’m able to pull a whopping 11 VP on Engage and 15 on Spread thanks to capturing his objective early with Plague Marines. I end up winning 93-73 on a mission where keeping Josh off primary and points for banners was very, very difficult.

Those points matter a great deal – Shane, Thomas, and Norman all had narrow losses, but Scott won his game 100-38, and so we win on points. A close round overall and a good win over some strong players.

We walk over to the local mall (3 blocks away, accessible via skywalk). We stop in the LEGO store for a bit and I grab some Lego Mario kits for my son because that’s what you do when you go on trips as a dad. Norman grabs a lego flower kit for his mom. Then we house some pretty good lamb scwharmas. I’m actually doing pretty well in terms of what I’m eating this time around, despite having gone a little too hard at Lidia’s for pasta.


Round 6: vs. Forge World Columbia

Forge World Columbia are another team of good players so we know we have a touch matchup in store. That said, there’s nothing to play for here except a 4-2 record.

The Pairings:

  • Scott vs. Scott Sasser (Ultramarines)
  • Norman vs. Ryan Verbeck (GSC)
  • Shane vs. Geoff Husser (Astra Militarum)
  • Goatboy vs. Jim Orr (Orks)
  • Me vs. Cory Schulz (Necrons)

Just a complete nightmare. Also, yes that Obelisk is actually a Tesseract Vault

I pull a complete skew Necrons list in a game that wasn’t particularly fun and had some issues I’m not going to go into. Cory’s list was running two Tesseract Vaults and a Monolith, plus the Silent King. It’s not a list I can beat, but with decent terrain and mission, I can keep it within 30. We have neither. Cory gets the first turn and flanks me, dropping a shitload of mortal wounds on me from his C’Tan powers before I can do much. I’m eventually able to take down one Tesseract Vault and the Monolith for bring it down points, but the best thing I can do is end the game relatively early. I lose 92-49, and that’s our biggest loss. It’s also more than we can overcome with only two 2ins – we outscore Forge World Columbia 391-382, but Scott loses his first turn roll-off to Scott Sasser and despite tabling the Ultramarines on round 4 loses by 17 points.

This is my final game of 9th edition. It depended heavily on first turn and wasn’t particularly fun, but it was an outlier from what was otherwise a weekend of really good games.

That night is the team dinner. We skip the awards; we haven’t won anything and we have a 7pm reservation over at Jack Stack BBQ. It’s not *the* KC BBQ joint, but it’s in the short list of places people recommend and it’s the only one of those within easy walking distance of the hotel. We start things off with fried mushrooms, pulled pork mac & cheese, and Jalapeño cornbread, then I follow that up with some burnt ends. It’s very good and I make sure to get some broccoli on the table as well so I can feel good about eating a vegetable or two.

Team dinner being on Sunday is a bit unusual – almost all of us are staying until Monday morning, including most of the Astros. That’s because flights out of KC are a pain in the ass – you’d either have to leave before the end of the event on Sunday or wait until Monday morning for a flight back. So we opt to fly back at like 9am on Monday. That’s early enough I don’t have to take a day off from work, but late enough I don’t have to wake up at 4am.  That means we can stay up much later hanging out and talking about the event with the Astros and just shooting the shit.

Of course, throwing a wrench into this is that the flight back is delayed an hour and a half for weight reasons. Partly because of storms coming into Houston, for which the flight has taken on extra fuel. We end up taking off eventually but our suitcase doesn’t make it back with us. Oddly, the display board does. That’s generally OK – we’re going home so it’s not like I need a suitcase of dirty clothes right away and they get us the suitcase the next day.


Next Time: 10th Edition Games

KC was my first team tournament and it was a blast. I absolutely love the format and am looking forward to doing more teams events in the future. If there’s a downside it’s that the teams format means you end up hanging out with one group of people – your team – much more exclusively than when you’re just there with everyone, but that’s a minor nitpick. The event was a blast and it was a fine note to send out 9th edition on.

And make no mistake – I am done with 9th edition. As I write this, I’m working on my first 10th edition battle report, and the reason I didn’t stretch this out over two articles was because I want to just get on to the next edition stuff. You don’t want to read about 9th games any more than I want to write about them at this point. So stay tuned for my next article in a week or so, when I talk about my first “real” game of 10th edition.

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