Beanith’s Excellent Adventure (a Foray Into Competitive Play)

An article by and    Battle Reports Gaming Warhammer 40k        0

Hi folks, Beanith here – I’ve talked recently about building out my Death Guard for the NOVA that never was (that I also didn’t plan to attend) and it seemed a shame to put in all that work and not do anything with them. So I decided to dive into Warhammer 40k 9th edition Competitive play with a 1,000-point event at a Friendly Local Gaming Store. Join me today as I reveal the answers to important questions such as: Is competitive play at the 1,000-pont level fun? Will Wings-sensei’s list advice help give me the competitive edge I needed?  What’s the deal with Coda’s beard? And will I encounter any deadly Australian wildlife like dropbears?

Note: At the time of writing/playing for this article, it was safe for for us to attend an event in our part of the Land Down under following local Health guidelines. We all took reasonable precautions and maintained a safe distance where possible.

Coda: Can I be George Carlin?

Beanith: No, James “One_Wing” Grover has dibs on the “Wise Old Man dispensing wisdom” archetype.

Anyways, I could be here to talk about my playdate with Coda recently at a Friendly Local Gaming Store for a 1,000 point, 3-round tournament in an article filled with deep insights and masterful tactical nuance… or I could cover that base by linking directly to all of One_Wing’s articles, leaving me free to talk utter rubbish, bemoan my mistakes and laugh at the Yanks for not knowing about Supercharger dip.

Coda: I pity any nation that isn’t touched by the divine blessings of the Colonel’s most supercharged of sauces.

Beanith: Also Coda was there too; he will be helping me with an insight or two throughout this article. And yes, the beard is as cool and good in meat space as it is on his Twitch Stream.

 

The Game Day Set-up

First let me address the Elephant in the Room. “Hello Mr Elephant, how are you today?”. (Editor: Really? Beanith: Couldn’t help myself, sorry not sorry)

Let’s talk about expectations: This event definitely fell on the fun/casual side of our imaginary Tournament Seriousness Scale. Not the hyper-competitive scene from a typical Major or GT event, but more filled with people chilling out, testing new builds, and playing with units you might not normally see. That said, it’s still a bit more competitive than a usual day with your mates and that meant I’d need to be quicker with my games to knock out three in one day, and play tighter with the rules. Plus it’s early days in 9th edition – we’re still all learning the rules and bigger tournaments are still a long ways off for me, at least.

The event ad three-rounds with a Swiss pairing system and used the Incursion missions from the Chapter Approved Grand Tournament Pack 2020. In our first round we played Crossfire, then Centre Ground and finally Show of Force. All three missions ended up being the Take and Hold type for primary objective scoring (points scored for holding one objective, two objectives, and more than your opponent) meant everyone would have an easier time of Primary scoring even with the smaller game sizes limiting all the fun toys we could bring to the table.

Before we dive into the lists, it’s worth noting the tournament’s parameters:

  • 1,000 point armies
  • Single Codex/army book only
  • 9th edition rules
  • Players need to bring two copies of their list

Other than that, it was a case of rock up at 10am and register with the TO.

Table Setup and Terrain

The table setup was good; they have a lovely selection of terrain but it was largely left to the players to set up so a couple of the tables were not as dense as the others. The lower four tables where Coda and I spent the bulk of our day were very dense and I know that it certainly hampered my first round of shooting. There was some confusion around the Obscuring trait but that was sorted out nice and quickly. We were mostly there to roll dice and talk rubbish.

Dense Terrain Layout – Credit Beanith

Sparse Terrain Layout – Credit Beanith

Plan for the Mission or the Enemy?

At a thousand points, I was planning for the missions. I honestly had no idea what anyone else would be bringing other than Coda and his Spoons of Steve Marines. Trying to plan for what anyone else was going to take at this level would be silly, it’s really one or the other. You could arm yourself for bear and then get blindsided by a herd of ducks. Better to focus on having fun and slamming hams while focusing on the mission.

I brought my Death Guard – they are made for squatting on objectives and being a right pain to shift. I also had things that could zip forward and possibly take other objectives too, which gave me a pretty good plan for scoring primary objectives. This whole “listening to Wings thing” is really paying off for me… or it would, if I wasn’t a garbage person picking garbage secondaries. In my games I did ok with Engage on all Fronts, but that was generally by accident. I took Raise the Banners once and predictably forgot to raise the damn things. While we stand, we fight had some value for me and since almost no-one brings a Psyker-heavy list to a 1k tournament I didn’t get a chance to use Abhor the Witch.

 

The List(s)

I’m still on my Death Guard wagon and with Wings’ advice still singing in my ears from my recent Road to… NoVA? article, I went with a Patrol detachment. I wanted a Rhino that I could shove the cultists into so I could fling them up the board with the added benefits of not being swept off the board to the slightest of breezes and helping me score the Engage on all Fronts or Domination secondary objectives. I also brought some Plague Marines, not only because it’s not a proper Death Guard army without them, it was also an excuse to paint my Plague Marine with the Flail of Corruption from the Space Marine Heroes series 3 that should be making its way out of Japan soon with any luck. (Rob’s Note: Those models are so good)

 

Flail Marine – Credited last minute rush job on the night before a Tournament Beanith

I also busted out my three zippy crab boys for a spot of Anti-armor and to also show that I also occasionally pay attention to Wings

Myphitic Blight-Haulers – Credit Beanith

I also brought the old faithful Plagueburst Crawler to crump anyone trying to hide out of sight and wander up the board with the Chaos Lord tagging along behind.

Here’s the list:

Beanith’s Spoiled Hams
Plague Company: The Poxmongers

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Balesword, Combi-bolter, Contaminated Monstrosity, Ironclot Furnace, Warlord

Lord of Contagion: Harbinger of Nurgle, Manreaper, Plaguechosen

+ Troops +

10x Chaos Cultists

7x Plague Marines
.Plague Champion: Plasma gun
.3x Plague Marine w/ boltgun
.Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
.Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher
.Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

+ Fast Attack +

3x Myphitic Blight-haulers

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino: Combi-bolter, Combi-bolter, Contaminated Monstrosity

++ Total: [50 PL, 2CP, 1,000pts] ++

 

Coda’s List

Meanwhile, Coda was trying out an evolved version of his list that was dumpsterd by a Newcrons army a week and half prior. It was destined to repeat the mistakes of its predecessor.

Coda's Swords of Davion

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) [53 PL, 3CP, 1,000pts] ++

**Chapter Selection**: Hungry for Battle, Ultramarines Successor, Whirlwind of Rage

+ HQ [10 PL, -3CP, 195pts] +

Chapter Master [6 PL, -3CP, 120pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack [1 PL, 25pts], Paragon of War, Power sword [5pts], Storm shield [10pts], Stratagem: Chapter Master [-2CP], Stratagem: Exemplar of the Chapter [-1CP], The Burning Blade, The Imperium’s Sword, Warlord

Primaris Lieutenants [4 PL, 75pts] . Primaris Lieutenant [4 PL, 75pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword [5pts]

+ Troops [15 PL, 305pts] +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor [76pts]: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt [19pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Bolt rifle
. 4x Intercessor [80pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant [25pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword [5pts]

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor [80pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant [25pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword [5pts]

+ Elites [21 PL, 374pts] +

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 170pts]: Jump Pack [1 PL, 10pts] . Space Marine Veteran [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword [5pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Space Marine Veteran [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword [5pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Space Marine Veteran [36pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Storm shield [4pts], Thunder hammer [15pts] . Space Marine Veteran [36pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Storm shield [4pts], Thunder hammer [15pts] . Veteran Sergeant [36pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Storm shield [4pts], Thunder hammer [15pts]

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 204pts]: Jump Pack [2 PL, 20pts] . Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Veteran [17pts]: Bolt Pistol & Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Veteran Sergeant [31pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Relic blade [10pts], Storm shield [4pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [7 PL, 126pts] +

Impulsor [7 PL, 126pts]: 2x Storm Bolters [6pts], Bellicatus Missile Array [20pts]

++ Total: [53 PL, 3CP, 1,000pts] ++

 

The Games

I feel like I did well and was able to at least give my opponents pause. In my first game against a T’au list running three riptides, I’d have likely had an easier time if the table had more terrain (I will moan about this later) and had I played smarter with what units held objectives and what rushed up the board. The game ended up being a 53 to 61 point loss but I think it could have been a different story with better play on my part. Still it was an awesome game my opponent really knew his stuff. He also knew my stuff, and had a helpful tip or two for me at the end.

My second game was almost a mirror match with Death Guard but with scary Blightlord terminators instead of Blight Haulers and the Plagueburst Crawler as his backup. This was the game were my opponent had to forfeit early which was slightly handy as I didn’t have a plan for those termies suddenly appearing behind me. It did mean I had plenty of time to watch Coda’s second game against an awesome looking Goff Ork army.

My final game was against Blood Angels, largely pulled from the Indominus box with some terminator friends and a Librarian Dreadnought. Again another good matchup for me and if I wasn’t so easily distracted, I might not have gotten rinsed 30-something to 80-something. I completely lost the plot and abandoned my objectives mid-game just because I wanted to get my Chaos Lord into a slap fight with a Librarian Dreadnought. That debacle resulted in a lovely pang of remorse when I realized that not only did I only cause a single wound on the dreadnought and also cost myself 5 primary points, but I’d also just handed my opponent the full 15 for his next turn, making my attempt at glory a 10-point swing. I am not a smart man. I might have planned it out better to have my Lord of Contagion dance with the Librarian Dreadnought; instead he got minced by the Judicar when I deepstruck him into the enemy deployment zone.

Highlights

I was blown away by all the familiar faces I ran into from my first foray into a Tournament setting over a year ago and I even ended up facing two of them in my matchups. Let’s go back in time to the Facebook post I wrote about that event, in the great Before Time when I hadn’t yet joined the Goonhammer crew:

The Road to ~Nova~ Springfield Gamers Warhammer 40,000 1 Day Tournament 
August 10 –

18 days to go Or I should really stop thinking aloud around Jim. As around this time last year, he was the one who got me back into the hobby when I posted a photo on Facebook about how I should resist buying the shiney models from Games Workshop.

A few days later I get a call out of the blue from Jim asking if I was playing Warhams again and to invite me around to his for a game or three… And I folded like a cheap suit 

So when I recently mentioned on our slack channel that I was jonesing hard for a game, so much so I briefly considered considered entering a tournament just to scratch that itch. Which is something I’ve never had any real interest in doing because I’ve pretty much played fun or silly lists with mates and half the time just talking absolute rubbish, I’ve never really had the WAAC (Win at all cost) mentality… unless of course one of Jim’s boys was getting uppity 

That and most tournaments tend to want you to paint your models too. Boo urns

Jim of course messages me later that night at 10pm asking me if I was keen to play in a small local 1000 point tournament… And once again I folded like a cheap suit to peer pressure 

So now I need to turn this into an army, painted and ready to play in 18 days time…

The Beginning – Credit Beanith

A week later or “Thanks Contrast Paints” – Credit Beanith

Oh how young and carefree I was back in those halcyon days. And apparently foldable. I’d talk more about the day itself but my battle reports are “Lost, Lost, Won, Lost” and accompanied by photos that I must have taken with a potato at the time.

I enjoyed all of my games but if pushed for a favorite, it would have to be my third game with Keith and his Blood Angels. He was fairly new, getting back into the hobby and I was only too happy to help him out with plenty of tips on how best to counter a lot of my stuff and make best use of the terrain to neuter a lot of my threats, especially around the Grenade spam from my Plague Marines (i.e. charge from 6.1″ away). Apparently it worked! Still, I had a fantastic game with Keith and would love another game again with him soon.

Keith’s Blood Angel – Photo Credit: Beanith

Other highlights included me technically winning a game (my opponent had to forfeit, sadly) which ruined my chances of meeting Coda in the third round for the wooden spoon. I was briefly matched up against Coda’s Ork foe but there was a mix up in the pairings and was redone. It was a shame only because he was my very first opponent in my very first tournament ever last year and it was roughly the same army too. Great bloke and a real pleasure to play against. If only I wasn’t so shit with names and Coda could read his own handwriting. He even looked impressed when Coda mentioned we’re part of Goonhammer, which was cool. Goonhammer has yet to elevate me to the desired rank of “Z-list hobby celebrities” but I do get to annoy editors with ellipses so who’s to say whether it’s good or bad…

If that game against Coda’s second opponent with the 100 Goff Orks had happened, my plan was mostly going to be: Whimper. Maybe protect the PBC at all costs and try and remove a 30-ork blob each turn with frag missiles and the Mortar. There was also an Imperial Knights list present, and my plan against them would have been to hid behind terrain and try and scrap the big robot before it could squish my stuff. In the off chance that we could have had I been paired up against Coda, in a veritable clash of titanic proportions against his little green men, my usual strategy is to hope that he fails his charges and then I murder everything with my giant drill. But since I left the drill at home, I’d have instead struggled to hold objectives against the waves of swords moving across the table. I like to think I’d have at least killed the Impulsor since it was freshly painted the night before. Moral victory for me, really.

People also approached me wanting to know if I’d like to meet up for a game some time was pretty cool. Despite how awesome I look in my cool avatar… if I had one(Rob’s Note: Yeah yeah… I’m working on it) I’m still a shy awkward geek that had to be dragged to the event by Coda and it’s awesome that I can make new friends to slam hams with.

Coda’s Notes:

Well I totally lost all 3 of my games BUT games 2 and 3 where so god damn fun that I didn’t care. Game 2 was against an insanely well painted Ork boy horde and was a mosh pit of combat. And best of all I scored myself a sweet $10 gift card I can put towards another Impulsor. Why walk when you can float along in style?

 

Lessons learnt?

Add more terrain to the boards if you’re the ones responsible for doing so. Because on the more terrain sparse tables there was generally nowhere to hide, a couple people got shot off the board in the first turn or two when facing the more shooty armies. I did okay in my first battle against a 3 Riptide list mostly because I got first turn and was able to at least cripple one with my Haulers before they were atomized in nuclear fire, after that it was mostly weathering a storm of fire trying to make DR save after DR save. It’s probably one you should dump on the Tournament Organiser to organise before hand. Planet bowling ball gets old fast. After that I was luckier to be on the same terrain-dense table twice.

Speaking of adding more things to the Tournament Organiser’s plate: Update the Entry Requirements to mention the whether the bonus 10 VP for having a painted army is in play or not. I’m new to this lofty high ground of “playing with a painted army” and I need all the help I can get.

And until Games Workshop release their Battle Forge army builder, which will be the greatest army builder ever and not a complete pig’s breakfast in anyway shape or form, take your battlescribe list and feed it into ButtScribe. It looks prettier and Greg loves getting bug reports.

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

 

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