Battle Report: A Deed Worthy of Legend: 5-0 performance at IWTS Open

An article by    Battle Reports Competitive Play Gaming Warhammer 40k        0

Hello internet, it’s JONK again. This time I am here to talk with you about the GT I just organized, ran and competed in on August 21st and 22nd in Brandon, Manitoba.  After the last series of articles I put out, going into this event I felt a lot of pressure to really make sure I placed as well as I could. It’s a silly feeling, but nonetheless it’s one that weighed heavily on my mind in the days leading up to this one and the night before the event.

This is my first GT-sized event since February 2020. Covid prevented any of us from doing anything for almost 2 years and this was our first chance to run an event safely, in a place where our vaccination rates were very high (I get that everyone is tired of hearing about this, but I feel it’s important to highlight, while many places in the world are getting hammered by Delta). Because I was running the event, I was able to exert total control over the restrictions on entry. This meant that the shop allowed me to require proof of double vaccination more than 14 days prior, just to enter the venue, which let everyone showing up to the event feel very comfortable that the people running it, and the people attending it, truly cared about each other’s personal well-being. This, to me, is extremely important to discuss before I head any further into this article.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

When I decided to organize this event with my team I really had no idea if there even was a community that was willing to support it anymore, given that it had been so long since I had seen or interacted with most of the Prairies players outside of the ones on our local Discord. I didn’t have to worry: the event immediately sold out, which was a shocking moment.  The community was alive, even thriving. There were so many new faces mixed in with the old war-dogs of the past, I can not overstate how good it made me feel that all these people were willing to come out, support, and play in a post-Covid event. I chose to take the list I included in the Start Competing: Space Wolves article to prove that it can function in today’s meta, and because I’d won 2 RTTs with it leading into this event, so I had a lot of practice.

 

JONK's List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Space Wolves) [110 PL, 1,997pts, 8CP] ++
+ Configuration +
**Chapter Selector**: Born Heroes , Custom Chapter, Space Wolves Successor, Whirlwind of Rage
Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

 

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +
A Trophy Bestowed [-1CP]
Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics
+ HQ +
Chapter Master [8 PL, 155pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command:  Chapter Master, Frost Weapon, Hunter, Jump Pack, Lightning Claw (Pair), Stratagem: Warrior of Legend, The Imperium’s Sword, Warlord
Librarian [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: 4. Murderous Hurricane, 5. Storm Caller, Force sword, Jump Pack, Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Armour of Russ
+ Troops +
Blood Claws [6 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Blood Claw: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Blood Claw Pack Leader: Astartes Chainsword
Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]
. 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant
Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]
. 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant
+ Elites +
Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 140pts]
. 3x Bladeguard Veteran: 3x Frag & Krak grenades, 3x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 3x Master-crafted power sword, 3x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol
Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 140pts]
. 3x Bladeguard Veteran: 3x Frag & Krak grenades, 3x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 3x Master-crafted power sword, 3x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol
Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 140pts]
. 3x Bladeguard Veteran: 3x Frag & Krak grenades, 3x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 3x Master-crafted power sword, 3x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol
Wolf Guard [7 PL, 185pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Wolf Guard: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Wolf Guard: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Wolf Guard: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
Wolf Guard [7 PL, 149pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
+ Fast Attack +
Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts]: Cyberwolf
Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts]: Cyberwolf
+ Heavy Support +
Long Fangs [9 PL, 198pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Long Fang: Multi-melta
. Long Fang: Multi-melta
. Long Fang: Multi-melta
. Long Fang: Multi-melta
. Long Fang Pack Leader: Astartes Chainsword
. . Boltgun and Bolt Pistol
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Boltgun, Storm shield
+ Dedicated Transport +
Drop Pod [4 PL, 70pts]: Storm bolter
Impulsor [7 PL, 125pts]: 2x Frag storm Grenade Launchers, Shield Dome
Impulsor [7 PL, 125pts]: 2x Frag storm Grenade Launchers, Shield Dome
Impulsor [7 PL, 125pts]: 2x Frag storm Grenade Launchers, Shield Dome

 

This list concept speaks to me, and checks all the boxes I believe need to be checked in order to compete the way I want to compete. It has a core of 3 Impulsors carrying 12 Bladeguard Veterans, supported by a Librarian and a Captain that bring several Warlord Traits and critical buffs like Instincts Awoken and Rites of War.  The Captain is an idea I first came across when Robbie would not shut up about it several months ago. He is an extremely threatening counter-charge threat with a massive threat radius and the all-important Chapter Master re-rolls.  The list is backed up by a unit of Long Fangs with Multi-Melta’s that can put out just enough damage to matter while filling several other very important roles – blocking line of sight with their Drop Pod, move-blocking dangerous threats that can’t FLY, and tying up vehicles with the unreliable 9 inch charge. The things that allow my troops and Cyberwolves to play the mission and play it hard are the 2 units of Wolf Guard that constantly project force where I feel it is needed.  Through testing in those two RTTs, the list won both events. so this felt like it was a strong concept that was able to function on the table, now all that was left to do was put it to the test in a GT.
The event was using the Wins – Path to Victory – Random metrics for pairing, which is something a couple of events have started using. I am unsure if any other GT-size events have swapped to it yet, but with all that has gone on in the ITC lately we felt it was a good time to move to this pairing metric, as it promoted sound play and obviated the entire concept of submarining or point-shaving to dodge hard matchups (ED: Since the pairing each round is determined by your win-path and then randomized, there’s no advantage to barely winning vs scoring a blowout, as your opponent is another random player with the same record, rather that attempting to match-make off of scores – in fact it’s actually a disadvantage to submarine, as you’re cheating yourself out of Battle Points, which are used for final position ranking).
Using these metrics, the event felt much more interesting and challenging as I moved through it than all of the events I had been to in the past using the regular Wins – Battle Points metrics. I really hope this catches on, because it’s a more enjoyable experience for everyone, and flat-out eliminates so many grey area tactics and ploys.

JONK’s Wolves

Round 1: Blood Angels – Scorched earth

 

Blood Angels list

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Blood Angels) [121 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Blood Angels

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) 

+ Stratagems +

Relics of the Chapter [-2CP]: 2x Number of Extra Relics

Categories: Stratagems

+ HQ +

Commander Dante [9 PL, 165pts, 1CP]: 4. Heroic Bearing, Warlord

Librarian [6 PL, 115pts]: 3) Null Zone (Aura), 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura), Bolt pistol, Force axe, Jump Pack, Purgatorus

Sanguinary Priest [7 PL, 155pts, -1CP]: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Icon of The Angel, Jump Pack, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts]

4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol

Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts]

4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol

Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Astartes Grenade Launcher, Bolt rifle

4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

Intercessor Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Astartes Grenade Launcher, Bolt rifle

4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

Intercessor Sergeant

+ Elites +

Sanguinary Ancient [7 PL, 110pts]: Angelus boltgun, Power fist, Wrath of Baal

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 185pts]

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 185pts]

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

Sanguinary Guard: Encarmine sword, Inferno pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Bike Squad [11 PL, 210pts]

Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Biker Sergeant: Combi-melta

Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword

Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Meltagun

Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Meltagun

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 200pts]: Assault bolter x2, 4x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant

Land Speeders [6 PL, 140pts]

Land Speeder: Multi-melta

Land Speeder: Multi-melta

+ Heavy Support +

Whirlwind [7 PL, 135pts]: Whirlwind vengeance launcher

This was a matchup I was very confident going into, as I know Wolves just flat out destroy Blood Angels head to head.  We fight better, we shoot better, and it is a very hard matchup. For the Blood Angels player to pull out a win requires great secondary choices along with perfect movement and timing. The list is build with a lot of melta-style weapons, that would be dangerous to my Impulsors and infantry if they can get into range, and the whirlwind is very clearly there for the Suppression Fire stratagem to make units fight last. Most likely, it’s in the list to deal with all the other “fight last” abilities out there, which makes it an annoying and dangerous unit that I need to either play around or remove.  Playing on Dawn of War deployment means that both our fast-moving armies will collide on turn 2 one way or the other, so the key is to make sure the engagements are dictated by me and not by him.  Turn one movement needs to be with the intention of luring him into places that I have units set up for the counter-charge.
As you can see from the secondary choices we were both going to try to play the board and fight for the middle of the table. Unfortunately for him, my Impulsors make me much more reliable at doing this, through the transport’s durability and counter-charging with Bladeguard on the following turn. I won the roll off to go first, and moved my Impulsors on to objectives. I put one mid-table, hoping to entice him to step up and try to force me off my Oaths of Moment points in close combat. I had set up my Lightning Claw Veterans on the bottom/mid part of the table, behind the crates, to be in range for the counter-charge in my turn and hopefully clear the center of the board.  My Drop Pod came down and deleted his Whirlwind and a Land Speeder on the top left. I had now set myself up for an entire game of fighting first in combat, when and where I needed it.  My army was staged behind the L. It was in range of mid-field, but I had measured it to be a 10 inch charge for his Sanguinary guard to get to my Wolf Guard, who were hiding behind the Impulsor.
This would be critical. In his turn, when he went to make the charge, I used Grav-Pulse to make him take -2″ to his charge distance, which caused several of his units to fail. The only one that made it was a Sanguinary Guard unit, and that left all his characters unprotected.  The Guard could not get out of range of my Librarian, and had to fight last due to the 6″ Heroic Intervention stratagem combined with Armor of Russ.  At this point I know the game is over, he has lost one of his two threatening units, along with all of his characters. From there on, it was just me running away from his Inceptors and scoring the points I needed to max my secondaries. At the top of round 4 he ran out of models, and we shook hands.
By the end of the event I ended up being this players only loss, so he mounted a good comeback.

Round 2: Imperium – Priority Targets

 

Imperium list

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [58 PL, 1,095pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) [12CP]

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine: Disciplined Shooters, Gunnery Experts

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Tank Ace [-1CP]

+ HQ [26 PL, 485pts] +

Company Commander [2 PL, 35pts]: Laspistol, Relic: Kurov’s Aquila, Warlord

Tank Commander [12 PL, 225pts]: Heavy Bolter [15pts], Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon [5pts], Weapon Expert

. 2 Heavy Bolters [30pts]

Tank Commander [12 PL, 225pts]: Heavy Bolter [15pts], Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon [5pts], Weapon Expert

. 2 Heavy Bolters [30pts]

+ Troops [22 PL, 430pts] +

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 70pts]

. 7x Guardsman: 7x Lasgun

. Heavy Weapon Team [15pts]: Missile launcher [15pts]

. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 70pts]

. 7x Guardsman: 7x Lasgun

. Heavy Weapon Team [15pts]: Missile launcher [15pts]

. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 100pts]

. 8x Scion [72pts]: 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon [19pts]: Meltagun [10pts]

. Tempestor [9pts]: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 100pts]

. 8x Scion [72pts]: 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon [19pts]: Meltagun [10pts]

. Tempestor [9pts]: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts]

. 4x Scion [36pts]: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Tempestor [9pts]: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts]

. 4x Scion [36pts]: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Tempestor [9pts]: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

+ Elites [2 PL, 35pts] +

Tech-Priest Enginseer [2 PL, 35pts]

+ Heavy Support [8 PL, 145pts] +

Manticore [8 PL, 145pts]: Heavy Bolter

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [45 PL, 902pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Shield Host: Dread Host

+ HQ [9 PL, 178pts, -1CP] +

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 178pts, -1CP]: All-seeing Annihilator, Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia [3pts], Ten Thousand Heroes [-1CP]

+ Elites [24 PL, 460pts] +

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts]

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts]

Vexilus Praetor [6 PL, 120pts]: Guardian Spear [5pts], Vexilla Magnifica [10pts]

+ Fast Attack [12 PL, 264pts] +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 264pts]

. Vertus Praetor [4 PL, 88pts]: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia [3pts]

. Vertus Praetor [4 PL, 88pts]: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia [3pts]

. Vertus Praetor [4 PL, 88pts]: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia [3pts]

This was a grudge match. The person I had just beat in round 1 was this player’s father, so I was getting the Hamilton experience in my first 2 rounds here. His list didn’t really worry me too much because the mission favored mine.  A middle objective and a really broken mission secondary are very strong when combined with the style of list I’m running, so I should be able to dictate how they play against me and even force them to step up and fight me if they take the wrong secondaries. I also knew going into this that I had zero chance of killing his Dreadnoughts, and that I would have to remove at least one tank commander early to make sure I could stay alive long enough to do what I needed to do. The only unit that really worried me was the Praetors, but even then, them being D3 damage isn’t really ideal into my army, so by focusing on removing that unit – or taking it out of the fight by hitting it with Murderous Hurricane constantly – will let me run through the rest of the list with ease, while avoiding the dreads.

The plan after choosing secondaries was to deploy one of my Incursor units at the top objective and another to the mid table, out of line of sight. Both of these units would be acting as bait, and I was hoping that he took it and stepped up with his Praetors to remove them. At this point any number of my combat units are in counter-threat range and will quickly remove them. Effectively forcing a positive trade situation in a big way, this could very easily give me the game.

I won the roll off and was able to drop my pod in and instantly nuke a Tank Commander positioned on the front lines. This was a big win for me, as that was one of the two things that I needed to happen, already completed. Basically nothing else moved beyond that. I setup a ROD, sat on my priority and waited to see what his answer would be.

He sent his Praetors over to my Incursors at the top of the table, and his dreads to deal with my Drop pod and melta fangs on the middle objective. I lost all the Fangs, the Pod and 3 Incursors on my first turn, which is not a bad place to be. My turn 2 saw me remove all the Custodes units outside of the 2 dreads, and even some of his Guardsmen. I was now dominating the middle of the table and blocking his dreads from fighting anything they wanted to fight, by using my Impulsors as a shield wall. The next 3 turns were pretty uneventful: I ran through his backfield while continuing to tarpit his dreads with my Impulsors. This is another game that was essentially over on turn 2, but my opponent did well by scoring what he could, and never giving up. 51 points in that type of loss is a good rally.

Round 3: Imperium – The Scouring

Jason Wells Covid Project

Imperium list

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [81 PL, 1,590pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) 

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine: 133rd Lambdan Lions

+ Stratagems +

Imperial Commander’s Armoury [-1CP]: 1 additional Heirloom of Conquest

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Callidus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]: Neural Shredder, Phase Sword, Poison Blades

+ HQ +

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 45pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Relic (133rd Lambdan Lions): Refractor Field Generator, Tempestus Command Rod, Warlord, WT (133rd Lambdan Lions): Keys to the Armoury

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 55pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Power fist, Relic: The Laurels of Command, Tempestus Command Rod

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 130pts]

. 5x Scion: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 130pts]

. 5x Scion: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 130pts]

. 5x Scion: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 55pts]

. 2x Scion: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Hot-shot Volley Gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Hot-shot Volley Gun

. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 55pts]

. 2x Scion: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Hot-shot Lasgun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Hot-shot Volley Gun

. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Frag & Krak grenades, Hot-shot Volley Gun

. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

+ Elites +

Bullgryns [10 PL, 140pts]

. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul, Frag Bombs

. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul, Frag Bombs

. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul, Frag Bombs

. Bullgryn Bone ‘ead: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul, Frag Bombs

Militarum Tempestus Command Squad [3 PL, 80pts]

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

Militarum Tempestus Command Squad [3 PL, 80pts]

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma gun

+ Flyer +

Valkyries [7 PL, 120pts]

. Valkyrie: 2x Multiple Rocket Pods, Multi-laser, Stat Damage (Gunships)

Vendetta Gunship [12 PL, 210pts]: Vendetta Twin Lascannon

. 2x Vendetta Twin Lascannons: 2x Vendetta Twin Lascannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 130pts]: Stat Damage (Taurox Prime), Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Autocannons

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 130pts]: Stat Damage (Taurox Prime), Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Autocannons

++ Super-Heavy Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [21 PL, 405pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Household Choice: House <Custom>, Household Tradition: Aggressive Persecution, Household Tradition: Glorified History, Household Traditions (Engine War), Questor Imperialis

+ Lord of War +

Armiger Warglaives [7 PL, 135pts]

. Armiger Warglaive: Character (Knight Lance), Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chain-Cleaver, Thermal Spear

Armiger Warglaives [7 PL, 135pts]

. Armiger Warglaive: Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chain-Cleaver, Thermal Spear

Armiger Warglaives [7 PL, 135pts]

. Armiger Warglaive: Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chain-Cleaver, Thermal Spear

++ Total: [102 PL, 1,995pts, 8CP] ++

Round 3 is a rematch from my last batrep. Jason Wells (who, spoiler alert, finished 4th, and won best overall) is one of the Brandon locals. He’s been around a long time, and every time we play it’s a very close game. His list is designed to shred Marines while playing the mission, and that is exactly what occurred in this game. I won strictly off of the fact that I was able to go first and eliminate one of the two major threats to my list right off the bat<, when my Long fangs took out his Vendetta full of Bullgryn.  We both made a couple mistakes early on, we both had moments where we thought we had the win, this was a very back-and-forth game: any of a series of things go Jason’s way, and he wins this game instead of me.

The game plan was pretty simple: the Scouring is rough on lists that can not start up the table on objectives, so Stranglehold and Strategic Scan seem like easy picks here. This meant I had to deploy my Impulsors and Wolf Guard in such a way to slam them up both sides of the table, while continually keeping Cyberwolves in range of advancing to the mid objective, to steal it when needed. I needed to remove two of his knights, take his Bullgryn out of the game, and then clear the basic drop squads as they came in.

Nuking the plane carrying the Bullgryn allowed me to effectively eliminate them from play for several turns, buying me time to deal with the Wardogs, which were very dangerous to all my units on the table. Bladeguard Veterans are perfectly designed to walk up to a Wardog and remove it from play, with their -4AP (in the assault doctrine) master-crafted swords and Savage strike allowing me to wound on 4s.

By turn 3 Jason had me on the ropes. His drops came in and did a severe amount of damage to several squads, leaving me with hard decisions to make in order to come back. I chose to shove my forces up and away from my own deployment zone, and sit on the 2 left-hand objectives behind some cover, setting myself up for mid counter-charges and continue to score Stranglehold. My warlord had to put the game on his back and one-shot two Wardogs in a single battle round, allowing me to clear the mid-table and ensure I would complete my Stranglehold points, along with denying Jason critical primary points in the fourth Battle Round. This proved to be the difference in the game. By the end, I chose to have several units run away and hide, so that Jason couldn’t max out his No Prisoner points. This could not have been a closer game to finish out day one. The sportsmanship and the strategy on the table were top-tier, and these are the kind of games that competitive players go to events to find. Here is where you really prove yourself.

Day one comes to an end, and it sees me sitting in 2nd place behind my teammate Anthony. I have been here many times before, but I have never been able to close it out. The next 2 games were going to tell the story of how much I have learned and improved from 2019 to now.  This is 3 years in the making for me. People like John Lennon make it look easy to go undefeated day-in and day-out, but I am here to tell you, it takes so much work and dedication to get there. Day 2 is a critically important test for my list design, and my game theory.

Round 4: Chaos – Sweep and Clear

Chaos list

++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [80 PL, 1,425pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) [12CP]

Detachment Command Cost

Dread Household: Custom Household, Infamous Heredity, Pride-fuelled Fury

+ Lord of War [80 PL, 1,425pts, -2CP] +

Chaos Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts, -2CP]: 1. Infernal Quest, Character (Traitoris Lance), Khornate Target, Lightning cannon, Phased plasma-fusil, Titanic feet, Vow of Dominance [-2CP], Warlord

. Hekaton siege claw: Twin rad cleanser

War Dogs [24 PL, 405pts]

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

War Dogs [24 PL, 405pts]

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

War Dogs [8 PL, 135pts]

. War Dog [8 PL, 135pts]: Heavy stubber, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [29 PL, 575pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Legion: Emperor’s Children

+ HQ [5 PL, 90pts] +

Sorcerer [5 PL, 90pts]: Bolt pistol, Force sword, Frag & Krak grenades, Mark of Slaanesh, Smite

+ Troops [3 PL, 50pts] +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [45pts]: 9x Autogun

. Cultist Champion [5pts]: Autogun

+ Elites [8 PL, 150pts] +

Terminators [8 PL, 150pts]: Icon of Excess [10pts], Mark of Slaanesh

. Terminator [28pts]: 2x Lightning Claw

. Terminator [28pts]: 2x Lightning Claw

. Terminator [28pts]: 2x Lightning Claw

. Terminator [28pts]: 2x Lightning Claw

. Terminator Champion [28pts]: 2x Lightning Claw

+ Fast Attack [6 PL, 115pts] +

Dreadclaw Drop Pod [6 PL, 115pts]: Blade struts, Mark of Slaanesh, Thermal jets

+ Heavy Support [7 PL, 170pts] +

Havocs [7 PL, 170pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

. Aspiring Champion [22pts]: Astartes chainsword, Flamer [5pts], Frag & Krak grenades

. 4x Havoc w/ reaper chaincannon [148pts]: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Reaper chaincannon [80pts]

++ Total: [109 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

Homer has a very strong Chaos Knights list, mixed with some interesting Emperor’s Children units that allow him to put pressure on his opponent when his Knights can’t. He is a long-time Chaos player and has routinely gone 4-2 or 4-1 at Majors and GTs. It’s not surprising to have to go through him to get to the final table. Having said that: this mission, with this terrain, is extremely slanted in my favor. If I had played Homer on Scorched Earth this would be a much harder game, but that’s just how tournaments go sometimes. The terrain allows me to turtle and project threat onto the mid-table objective, which Homer has to be on to score his secondaries. I was tempted to take Direct Assault, as this is what my army is built to do, but looking at how much shooting and combat he has, it felt like I would eventually wind up pushing units out there that I didn’t want to, making trading up very hard to do. ROD, Oaths and Bring It Down seemed like a much safer route and allowed me to play for the late game rather than the early game.

Homer won the roll and had to go first. With these 2 armies on this table no one wanted to go first, and we both knew it. He was able to take advantage of a mistake in my deployment to get his Havocs in range and line of sight of my Lightning Claw Veterans, which cost me the entire unit. Then he forced my hand: I could not play this game slowly after he shoved the Magaera and 2 Wardogs to the middle of the table and dared me to come out and fight him.

It was big gut check time for me. I knew I couldn’t allow him to score a single 15 point primary turn or I was done, I had to get out there and do something about this, to to change the board state and change it now. I usually don’t like having to wager my entire game, or even tournament, on a single model living or dying, but Homer essentially forced me into this position. It was a very good move for him, and ultimately his only choice with this terrain. I fully buffed up my Thunderhammer vets, dropped a unit of Bladeguard Veterans out of an Impulsor, and sent my Captain out with them to crash into the Magaera.

I was able to find a single piece of cover without Line of Sight to charge from, which allowed me to dodge the overwatch after Murderous Hurricane failed to go off. My melta fangs took off 12 wounds, leaving my Vets only having to push through 4 failed saves to remove it. It died on the very last roll. Homer attempted to CP re-roll it, and still failed.  We now had a very different game, as several very dangerous combat units and a Captain who had completed his saga were sitting mid-table, at full strength, and backed by Multi-Melta Long Fangs.

Homer was able to (just barely) remove the Long Fangs and their Drop Pod, but not before the combat phase, which meant he couldn’t charge into my units sitting on the mid objective. He was, however, able to drop his Emperor’s Children Terminators in and make their 9″ charge using Honour the Prince, which allowed him to chew through three of my Bladeguard and threaten mid once again. More decisions: do I kill the Wardog threatening my backfield, or do I support mid and clear the Terminators? I can’t do both  – I only have 1CP and I need it for Savage Strike. I chose to unload all of my Impulsors and then use them to fill space between the objectives and the Wardogs, to slow him down while I attempted to deal with his infantry.

After round 3, the damage was done. I was out of serious combat threats and Homer had three Wardogs running around the table. I was able to outflank my Blood Claws into his backfield when I brought them down turn 3, then moved them up on turn 4 and charged the Cultists to steal his home objective. The end game state saw us flip table sides, and a critical Impulsor explosion that killed a Wardog gifted me a late points push and ensured I didn’t need to take any more risks.

All said and done I was 4-0, and looking at playing either Drukhari or Death Guard as the other 4-0 players or pairing down and playing whichever 3-1 players had the highest PTV points.  Myself and Anthony started shit-talking almost immediately after our games had ended. Battlelines was the perfect mission to play vs his brand of nightmare fuel.  Of all the missions, that is the one where I most favor my list over his. Alas, it was not to be, as I was paired down and he matched into Death guard.

Round 5: Chaos

Chaos list

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [49 PL, 901pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Nurgle

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Great Unclean One [14 PL, 270pts, -1CP]: Bileblade, Doomsday bell, Miasma of Pestilence, Virulent Blessing

. Exalted Great Unclean One: 2. Revoltingly Resilient

Poxbringer [4 PL, 75pts]: Fleshy Abundance

+ Troops +

Nurglings [3 PL, 66pts]

. 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

+ Elites +

Beasts of Nurgle [18 PL, 315pts]

. 9x Beast of Nurgle: 9x Putrid appendages

+ Fast Attack +

Plague Drones [10 PL, 175pts]: Plaguebringer

. 4x Plague Drone: 4x Death’s heads, 4x Plaguesword

. . 4x Rot Fly: 4x Prehensile Proboscis

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [57 PL, 1,095pts, -6CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Plague Company: Mortarion’s Anvil

+ Stratagems +

Gifts of Decay [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Death Guard Daemon Prince [8 PL, 150pts]: 6. Gift of Plagues, Gloaming Bloat, Hellforged sword, Plague Skull of Glothila, Warlord

+ Elites +

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 150pts, -1CP]: 2x Twin volkite culverin

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 150pts, -1CP]: 2x Twin volkite culverin

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts]

. Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet

. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 75pts]: Revolting Stench-vats

Tallyman [4 PL, 70pts]

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

++ Total: [106 PL, -9CP, 1,996pts] ++

Casey had gone 3-0 to start the event off, and his only loss was in the previous round to Anthony’s Hellion spam. I was pretty concerned with how I would be able to handle this level of durability and combat while still scoring my secondaries. This list wants to do the same things I do, but is far more durable, with the trade off of not being anywhere near as deadly. I cannot win a “1v1 me bro” moment in the mid-board, I have to keep this in mind, but even saying that I still picked Oaths of Moment because I know I’m able to rack up points with Impulsors and Cyberwolves, and by killing his VEHICLEs and CHARACTERs. It allowed me to tailor my win conditions to how the game state presented itself at any given moment.

I hate having to lock in “kill” secondaries and then being forced to make risky decisions to go after units I would rather not go after, when I also need to be sitting at a specific place to hold objectives. While my list is devastating up-close, it doesn’t want to get into a brawl at mid-table. I want to spread out and fight several different places at once, and win a number of smaller fights through attrition. After chatting with my team and then jumping in the Goonhammer comp chat to ask Wings and Rob for help here, I came up with a game plan that revolved around luring Casey’s only fast-moving models out and killing them early on, allowing me to then run around the board and tarpit his slower units.  The Plague Drones have to die, this is my win condition. If I ever can get to the Tallyman, I must one-shot him as well. The Tallyman is a critical part of any Nurgle list, as he feeds them so much CP and they typically don’t start with a lot.

Whoever won the roll off to deploy the first unit had a good advantage early on. I won it, and as you can see from the picture above I dropped 5 Incursors right up on his middle objective behind a wall. This meant that he couldn’t drop his Nurglings on it and hide them from me inside that ruin.  It also meant he could not put counter-charge units behind his Nurglings to threaten me here.  This was very good for me. He deployed behind some pipes on the other side of – but not directly mirroring – me, as he did not want to give me a slingshot into his back field early on. This allowed me to aggressively deploy my final Incursor squad in the ruin, in range of the objective, which is another big win for me as it denies his Vital Ground and scores mine.  This was one of his biggest mistakes in my opinion, as he should have just shoved me back as far as he could. If he’d done that, we would either split the Vital Ground points on turn 1, or I’d have been forced to come up and remove him.

From how he deployed it was clear to me that his army was going to shove to the middle of the table and try to bully me around. He almost certainly thought I was going to come fight him after I took Oaths, but going second, I don’t have to go out there and fight him, I can just toss a Cyberwolf up the table and score my 2 points while moving around the edges. Deploying his Drones on the line in range of the objective and my Incursors signaled to me that my lure had worked, and that I was going to have a strong chance to kill them turn 1 or 2.

Casey won the roll-off and immediately shoved his Beasts to the middle of the table, while getting the GUO to contest the right objective (but not holding it, due to my Incursors). His Plague Drones jumped up, and were ready to go into my Incursors on the top-mid. He managed to one-shot an Impulsor with a Plague Burst Crawler, but unfortunately for him it was the one behind my Incursors, meaning the contents were able to pop out 3″ forward, and the free movement helped me out down the line. All said and done, turn one he managed to kill 1 Bladeguard, 2 Incursors and an Impulsor. Adding insult to injury, I was able to Deny The Witch on his first Warp Ritual attempt as well.

My hit back was very strong, as he left a gap in his backfield that allowed me to Drop pod in and get all 4 Multi-meltas in half range of the Tallyman.  Using Keen senses and a CP re-roll I was just barely able to kill him, due to some abysmal rolling on my behalf.  My BGV made it into combat with his Drones.  My Thunderhammer Veterans and Captain jumped up to aid in the Drone-killing, and to use it as a stepping stone to his backfield.  After giving my Long Fangs a stern talking to, I rolled a charge into the Plague Burst Crawler and they came through with the 9″ they needed. Very lucky, as that was the first time in the entire tournament that they made that charge.  This allowed me to tag his PBC and a Relic Contemptor sitting up on the edge of the ruined wall.  His shooting was now effectively shut down for at least one turn. I was in a good position, the game plan was working just like I had thought it would, if I could just keep grinding this should be a win.

Game state at the end of one

Turn 2 saw Casey score zero primary points, and I was set up to score 15. This is a very hard thing to come back from. He managed to move the GUO up and get into position to charge my Incursors, who were in range of combat on the other side of a ruin. He continued to move his Beasts up, but now that they were in a forest their movement was hampered. He didn’t really care, as he was already where he needed to be in order to cast Warp Ritual again. His Deathshroud came down in my backfield to attempt a charge on an Impulsor but unfortunately it would be late into my turn before we remembered that he’d even dropped them (it was round 5, and very hot in there – mistakes happen).  He failed to bully me off of the objective with the GUO, after I spent the CP to use Transhuman Physiology and only 3 wounds went through.  This was very big for me, as I now had troops still on that objective for my turn, and a very strong ROD unit left alive. His turn saw him kill no units as he couldn’t shoot my long fangs off with his PBC.  I once again denied his Warp Ritual, rolling an 11 to his 10.  My Librarian was not having any of his shit today, it would appear.

My turn allowed me to move my Impulsor up and bully his Beasts unit by charging them and blocking off the entire mid-table so they couldn’t move onto the side objective. It also allowed me to protect several of my units, and gave me an alley to get around to the back side of the table, where I could jump on all of his characters that would rather be casting Warp Ritual and buffing his Beasts. I was able to score a lot of Vital Ground points, more Oaths, and deploy another ROD, while killing 2 of the characters in his backlines. The game was quickly slipping away from Casey.

Game state at the end of Two

From this point on I was just killing all the vehicles in his back field and any characters outside of the GUO, who I have no ability to deal with. The game was essentially over, but Casey started to score well on Vital Ground from turn 4 onwards, when I started to move away from my home objective and all my units near the GUO were killed. I was up by too much for Casey to close the distance, so I just focused on limiting his primary scoring and then moved onto the next turn. The difference in this game was my game plan and my ability to make that plan come to life by deploying with purpose, setting traps, and then adjusting based on where the game was at.  Casey did not have the same idea as me and he did not understand which of his units he could not afford to lose until it was too late.  He played a solid tournament. He is one of the best players from Regina, and he made me work for it, but in the end, speed kills.

I have done it, finally. After 3 years of work, I finished 5-0!

Final Thoughts

This was my first GT since February of 2020, and on this journey I had to use the models I had available to me, chosen from a long-since-dead meta, and attempt to win a GT with them. In the end, I came up short: my teammate Anthony Richardson beat me out by a couple points to claim Best General. Ultimately I am still very happy to have gone 5-0, and to see one of my teammates get his first GT win, as well.

Being back on the ground with the team grinding our way through an event felt amazing. There was a lot to improve on in my games, but the biggest win was just seeing my community alive and thriving with faces new and old alike. I am very proud to belong to this region and this group of players: not a single person got a bad sportsmanship score, no one had any disagreements, this was the perfect group of people to put in a room and roll dice.

My list will change in the future. Myself and Jaime Paris were talking all through my event, trying to think of ways to get that critical 3rd Cyberwolf into our lists, and I believe I have found a way to do it. Be on the lookout, I’ll have an updated version of this list ready for the next GT, coming up on October 2nd/3rd.  Until then, I have a lot of work to do with my team to get everyone to where they want to be, I have a coaching series to keep up with, and a kid on the way.  Thanks to everyone who gave me advice along the way, to help me improve both on and off the table.

Until next time, keep seeking that saga!

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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