Interview with Stephen Mitchell

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Warzone: Atlanta is a widely recognized event that has occurred in the Southeast for several years, operating with its own competitive format, and known for “the biggest party in 40k.” Warzone: Gigabites occurred in mid-August at the Gigabites Tabletop Gaming Cafe in Marietta, GA. This event was a primer for the major event in November and out of 63 players and five intense rounds, one player was reigned Best General. WZ: GB also awarded Best Painted, Best Sport, and Best Overall, but the Worthiest Adversary was fortunate enough to take the time of the Best General, Stephen Mitchell.

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++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [72 PL, ++ 1273pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Gifts of Chaos (1 Relic)
Legion: Alpha Legion

+ HQ +
Chaos Lord [5 PL, 81pts]: Axe of Blind Fury, Combi-bolter, Mark of Khorne, Power axe
Sorcerer [6 PL, 102pts]: Combi-bolter, Delightful Agonies, Diabolic Strength, Force axe, Mark of Slaanesh

+ Troops +
Chaos Cultists [12 PL, 148pts]: 36x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun, Mark of Tzeentch . Cultist Champion: Autogun
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun, Mark of Slaanesh . Cultist Champion: Autogun
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun, Mark of Slaanesh . Cultist Champion: Autogun

+ Elites +
Noise Marines [19 PL, 417pts]. 2x Marine w/ Blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster . 17x Marine w/ Sonic blaster: 17x Sonic Blaster . Noise Champion: Power axe, Sonic blaster

+ Heavy Support +
Havocs [7 PL, 125pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon
Havocs [7 PL, 125pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon
Obliterators [10 PL, 195pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 3x Obliterator

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Chaos – Renegades & Heretics) [21 PL,++ 349pts] ++

+ HQ +
Renegade Commander [3 PL, 25pts]: Brutal Assault weapon, Lasgun

+ Heavy Support +
Basilisks [6 PL, 108pts]. Basilisk: Heavy Bolter
Basilisks [6 PL, 108pts]. Basilisk: Heavy Bolter
Basilisks [6 PL, 108pts]. Basilisk: Heavy Bolter

++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [21 PL,++ 378pts] ++

+ HQ +
Ahriman [7 PL, 131pts]: Prescience, Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Warptime
Sorcerer [6 PL, 107pts]: Combi-bolter, Force axe, Helm of the Third Eye, Infernal Gaze, Weaver of Fates
Sorcerer in Terminator Armour [8 PL, 140pts]: 6. High Magister, Death Hex, Doombolt, Familiar, Force stave, Inferno Combi-bolter, Warlord

++ Total: [114 PL, 2000pts] ++

“I tried to make a list that functions in every phase of the game turn without being too mediocre in all of them. The majority of its power comes from shooting but it can put out a fair bit of damage in the psychic phase and isn’t helpless in the fight phase.”

WA: Quick introduction (name, stomping grounds, started playing 40k, other hobbies or points of interest)

SM: Hi, my name is Stephen Mitchell. I play here in Atlanta GA. I started playing 40k when I was 13 back in 3rd ed. I took a 5-6 year break to play warmachine/hordes during the 6th ed and most of the 7th ed years. If I’m not playing or painting in my free time, it’s usually spent watching GA sports teams almost win it all and community theater.

WA: Best placings at a GT and/or Majors event? Playing what army and in what edition?

Most of my bigger tournament placings has come since I got back into 40k at the tail end of 7th. Last year I took best overall at the Crucible Major in Orlando.

WA: Most recent GT or Majors event attended and placing?

SM: This year I was fortunate enough to have a great group of guys on my team at ATC, we took fifth which I’m really proud of.

WA: What did you think of that event overall?

SM: Kelly Wallace and the General Staff as a whole put on great events very consistently. I was very impressed with the speed of match turnover and the quality of the mission design.

WA: Break down your list, how does it work and function in general? (Short summary, in-depth not required unless you want to)

SM: I tried to make a list that functions in every phase of the game turn without being too mediocre in all of them. The majority of its power comes from shooting but it can put out a fair bit of damage in the psychic phase and isn’t helpless in the fight phase.

WA: What were you preparing for going into the event? Expectations regarding missions and opposing lists?

SM: I was very aware of how common ynnari soup and imperial CP factory might be. That said, I was trying to make the list as TAC as possible. So tailoring the list didn’t really feel like an option. You can’t beat all the eldar if you get caught by a random ork list in the first round.

WA: Once you got there, what was new or different that you saw but had not anticipated?

SM: I saw less demon lists than I expected. and way more BA/Guard combos. prior to this event I had not played that combo, despite the popularity online.

WA: First match up? Against who and what army? Who won and by what margin? Who went first? How did the game play out in general? Anything specific stand out?

SM: Andrew Gardenhire
BA/Custodes/Guard battery

I won 33/0. I went first. Not a lot to say about this game, He conceded top 2 and I had plenty of turns to snag every objective. the alpha first turn was harsh and he didn’t think it was salvageable.

WA: Second match up?

SM: Collin Watts
Thousand sons/Alpha legion

I won 26/9. I went first. This game was heavily swayed by the fact that I got first and rolled first drop on my infiltrators. it gave me a massive lead and put Collin in a hole he wasn’t ever able to fully climb out of. It was a tough game against a strong opponent. I look forward to the rematch.

WA: Third match up? 

SM: Charles Pugh
Nurgle daemons/Thousand sons/alpha legion

I won 24/11 IIRC. Charles went first. This game was the grind of all grinds. His alpha dropped my cultist blob and tied up several of my shooty units but I was able to muster and drop his cultist blob as well as most of the bearers before they made it to my lines. The game ended with about a dozen models on the field clinging to objectives. a very close fun game.

WA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning? Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning?

SM: Fairly excited to be at the top spot, even if my attempts to submarine were failing. I spent a bit of time looking through my round 4 opponent’s list and discussed it with my friends. I felt like if I had first turn I had the game.

WA: Fourth match up? 

SM: John McMahon
Blood angels/Guard/knights

I won 26/12. John went first. Well, I was right, and going first was a big advantage in this game. He took out nearly a quarter of my list top of turn 1. Two things pulled the victory here. A ruin that allowed me to hide my noise marines from the alpha and john’s complete inability to roll 5s on his CP recursion. He probably got 5 -7 CPs back the whole game, playing an army that routinely uses 8-12 CPs a round. Ultimately John had scored a huge lead on the primary with progressive points. I had to take every remaining end of game objective to score a 1 point lead to win. John was probably my favorite game this weekend.

WA: Fifth match up?

SM: Mike Sanchez
Blood Angels/Guard

I won 31-7. I went first. So many mortars…so many captains…this field would have been perfect for a more typical gun line matchup. Huge LOS blocking terrain, table quarter deployment. The problem is this army fires almost entirely ignoring LOS, with the mortars, manticore and basilisk. And the stuff that doesn’t are 3 vultures that have the maneuverability to bypass the terrain. First turn was going to be devastation for either player. Both of us set up fairly aggressively and I took first. That’s exactly what happened. The noise marines and cultists killed almost every troop choice.

Ultimately this ground down to an attrition and I took a fair lead early on. The game ended on 5. I had the majority of my back field support and a few characters on objectives. Mike was a great player and had he gone first, This probably would have been a different story.

WA: Final roll up and placing? Having rehashed everything, what are your thoughts now?

SM: I took 1st in Battle points, 3rd overall. The Atlanta meta is strong but not the most diverse. I need way more practice vs the more popular army lists.

WA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

SM: The castellan comboing with the large amount of CP that Guard bring could be very strong. The guard/BA combo is as rough as I expected it to be, but not insurmountable.

WA: What did you think of the mission sets?

SM: I think these missions are the best the Kelly Wallace has come up with to date and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for WZ:ATL.

WA: What are you planning on changing in your list?

SM: I have been playing predominantly CSM for the better part of a year now. I’d like to go back to daemons.

WA: What’s next on your schedule?

SM: Likely WZ:ATL, I purchased a new house recently so my Tournament attendance may suffer in the coming months.

WA: Any parting thoughts for the audience?

SM: See everyone at WZ: ATL!

 


 

Some of the best players in the South East from multiple factions to include the General Staff, ETA, Borderlands Gaming, GCWA, Dangli Boyz, and others were represented. Stephen Mitchell topped it all as the Best General and was one of two players that went undefeated in a battle point determined tournament. The Worthiest Adversary greatly appreciates the time taken by Stephen Mitchell to share his experience and victories for the benefit of the audience and community as a whole. If WZ:GB was only the pre-cursor, the Worthiest Adversary cannot wait to see what awaits come November with WZA!

“The Imperium is a weak old man, ready and waiting to be broken apart by his vengeful sons.” – Lufgt Huron, The Tyrant of Badab

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