This is it, Dear Reader – everything we’ve talked about, all the games we’ve played, all the shit we’ve talked to each other on Discord – it’s all led to this. The final round of games for Blunderdome. Last time we tallied up points and previewed this week’s games. Before we dive into those results, here’s a quick update on scores:
With four games to go we still had ample time and opportunity for upsets and crazy twists. Let’s dive into the match-ups. But if you missed any of the articles up to here and want to catch up, here’s the list:
- Welcome to Blunderdome
- Round 1 Preview
- Round 1 Results
- Round 2 Preview
- Round 2 Results
- Round 3 Preview
Drukhari (1) Michael Pestilens vs. Chaos Daemons (2) Scott Horras
Mike P: Khorne Daemons have many, many, many issues. But for all their issues, playing The Scouring on terrain-heavy boards is actually a decent mission for them. If this was a real Khorne Daemons army with things like “literally any ObSec” or “trading pieces”, they could have a real game here.
There was one possible win condition for the Khorne Daemons. For them to win, it would require me to allow a key Skarbrand combat trap or two early that allowed the entire Khorne army to avoid a turn or two of shooting. And that’s actually a subtle thing where Drukhari have a big advantage vs combat trapping armies. Basically all Dark Eldar units have an invuln and/or an armour save that is really bad. This means they can choose to use the worst option and basically always force fail a couple saves if charged by anything, allowing you to pull out of coherency and kill any models being trapped.
This was my plan to solve the dilemma of needing to send units forward to grab objectives/screen while not wanting to give him chances to trap. I also sent flying units to grab midfield objectives or screen early so they couldn’t be wrapped if they were far from Skarbrand. This never came up at all because Drukhari just killed everything they could see… but hey, at least a plan was there.
I think the biggest blunder my opponents made every single game was playing an army that is not Drukhari against an army that is Drukhari. It’s a classic blunder that many 9th Edition players make.
Result: Drukhari Win
Necrons (5) Innes Wilson vs. Dark Angels (3) Greg Chiasson
- Raise the Banners High
- Oaths of Moment
- To the Last (the three pylons)
- Purge the Vermin
Innes’ daring plan here was to deep strike a single pylon to try and get onto two objectives, which Greg couldn’t mathematically prevent with his Darkshrouds, and throw all his shit onto the middle. From there his plan was to use the free points from Assassination and To the Last to power his way to victory and use Purge the Vermin to score points against an army that would be afraid to cross midfield and wander into Pylon LOS. Greg’s plan was to keep Innes off Hold 3 for as long as possible and try to kill some of Innes’ 5 moving models to win the primaries game. Things went Innes’ way early when he won the roll-off for first turn.
Greg: I hate Blunderdome now.
Innes: I came into the game vs Dark Angels with a solid plan that would give me the chance to start trading with the lower than I’d expected unit count of Greg’s early. By reserving a Pylon I was giving up a bit of turn 1 shooting but with the small deployment zone I wasn’t too worried.
I hit the coinflip to go first and was able to hold Greg back and off the middle long enough to grind out some solid points, which with his giving up a free assassinate, and having no chance of denying my To The Lasts was just enough to pip it with some good dice. I think Greg would have taken me to pieces with a first turn, or if his luck had held a little better in the middle.
2-1 with Pylons though! If I ever touch one again send me to the Asylum.
Greg: Honestly, I’m not sure what I expected. Innes apparently went and did actual math here pre-game, playing around until he was able to jam two of his pylons into The Scouring’s absurd little deployment zone with basically unobstructed line of sight to my horrible little gremlin units, whereas my preparation was limited to practicing how much shit I was going to talk after I won.
In my arrogance, I’d taken Banners and Stranglehold, thinking that since he had almost no movable units, I could easily spread out and grab some cheap points en route to capping out on primary. That cost me, since “win more” secondaries only work if you can, well, win. I took Oaths too, but that’s always free points, and I did manage to almost max it despite everything else.
I don’t think I killed a single model all game. I straight up forgot about a couple of my Ancients and the Chaplain – for at least two turns he didn’t move at all because I’d lost the model in a ruin, and even after that I never once bothered to recite a litany.
At least it was over quickly, and I never have to play this godforsaken format again. I end Blunderdome 1-2, which represents my first win in competitive play in all of 9th edition, though I’m putting an asterisk next to those two losses, because Chase’s stupid-as-hell Fortress of Redemption didn’t fit on any of these tables so I was playing 400 points down every game. Blunderdome sucks, I hate it, and it can go to hell.
Final Score: Necrons Win, 74-63
Chaos Space Marines (4) Liam “Corrode” Royle vs. T’au Empire (8) James “One_Wing” Grover
- Strategic Scan
- Engage on All Fronts
- To the Last
- Raise the Banners High
- To the Last
For a rundown of this game, I’m turning it over to James “One_Wing” Grover:
What happened: I did not go first, and consequently scored zero primary points, and spent the game trying to therapeutically murder as many cultists as possible. I had gotten used to the Blunderdome lists having no CP, so got caught out by Liam using Tide of Traitors to bring some Cultists into my backfield to go after my To the Last drones. Luckily, cultists are garbage, so what actually happened is that they killed three with shooting and melee, then got mobbed by a swarm of drones and eventually bashed to death over about four turns – really bringing the Blunderdome cover art to life. In the mid board, I just formed a line, grabbed my two strategic scans then kept smashing things into Cultists long enough that there was never a full breakthrough to my backfield, to overwhelm the TTL units, and so I could keep filtering things forward for Engage. Somewhat to my surprise, when the dust cleared 82 cultists were either dead or fled so I should have taken No Prisoners over strategic scan, but it fully didn’t matter – my only real achievement here was denying Liam a single point of banners to stop him getting the hundo.
Final Score: Chaos wins, 89- 32
Tyranids (7) Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones vs. Astra Militarum (6) Chase “Gunum” Garber
This is it. The true Championship of Blunderdome. And reader, let me tell you: It did NOT disappoint. Right from the get-go, it was obvious this was going to be a special game. For one, the limited deployment zone made it difficult for Chase to out-maneuver me with his tanks. And second, the cover in-between and piss-poor guard shooting meant there’d be ample opportunity for the spore mines to move forward, even at their terrible speed. And finally, while the Pylons were much too big for the spore mines to ever really take down, Chase’s list was full of weak characters and 12-wound vehicles that could be removed with a few lucky mine rolls.
- To the Last (the three Tyrannocytes)
- Warp Ritual
- Engage on All Fronts
- Bring it Down
- To the Last (Tanks)
Rob: It’s hard to give a real blow-by-blow here because well, the game is really more about just trying to get things done with bad units than real tactical acumen, though there were some smart plays on both sides. I held my three To the Last Tyrannocytes on Dense Terrain all game, counting on BS4+ guard shooting to then whiff too often to ever really threaten them, locking me into 15. Warp Ritual was an easy pick as well, given I could protect a Neurothrope mid-table long enough to get it off 3 times and with almost no ability to fail it. And Assassination was a strong play given I could use spore mines to pick off Chase’s characters if I could get some mines up.
Getting the mines up the table was the hardest part – they aren’t infantry and can’t move through ruin walls, and they don’t have FLY so basically I was trying to get them forward then hope Chase wouldn’t kill enough of them before his tanks crossed midfield. For his part, I think Chase played this pretty well but may have been too aggressive with his characters, thinking he’d need them as extra bodies to hold objectives and to help score Engage on All Fronts. This opened him up late game to losing a lot of them to Tyranid Prime attacks and made things close. Late-game Chase also got off all three of his Deathstrike missiles, firing one at Vortex power and doing some hefty wounds to the Tyrannocytes but failing to kill any thanks to piss-poor guard BS.
Ultimately, this was a close game that could have gone either way, but several things ended up in Chase’s favor to put him over the top – if I’d rolled a turn 3 advance, completed a save with the Tyrannocyte, whiffed with 1-2 fewer spore mines, or pushed through one more wound on his captain, or if my Tyrannocyte had exploded on death (killing a 1W character for +3 VP), Chase might have lost. Then again, he might have also been able to take down one of my To the Last Tyrannocytes with some better rolls. I bring this up not to blame luck for my loss (and honestly, who cares), but to really underline how close this game was and how bad these armies are. No matter how bad you may think this Tyranid army is, in a head-to-head battle it very well could have beaten the Leman Russ Vanquisher army.
Chase: My game plan going into this game was to use the Vortex Missile stratagem. That mission was accomplished. I needed to keep my tanks away from all your doom balloons. And uh, that was it lol. I couldn’t really come up with a plan against such garbage.
Final Score: 66-64, Astra Militarum Win
The Final Standings
Alright let’s go back and look at our final standings:
Innes – 16
Mike – 14
Scott – 12
Greg – 10
Chase – 9
Liam – 6
James – 6
Rob – 3
Thus ends Blunderdome, with Innes Wilson triumphant in our experiment, both as the architect of the world’s most heinous Tyranids list, and as an absolute mad lad who managed a 2-1 record with a Necrons list that couldn’t move most games. For my part I’m still mad Wings won his game against Astra Militarum, in part because I think I could have beaten that list with spore mines. Meanwhile even the worst Drukhari list we could think of still clowned a Khorne Daemons list you wouldn’t be shocked to see on a casual table (though you might see at least one ObSec unit), proving that it is in fact, vaguely impossible to build a truly bad Drukhari list.
We had a lot of fun doing this, and we hope you had as much fun reading it! The junkyard format has its charms; there’s a certain fun to figuring out how you’re going to make the best of a bad situation and doing so for an entire game. I’m not certain I’d ever want to play spore mines again, though – that shit just sucked so much ass.
Doing this has sparked all manner of nonsense from our writers, to the point that we may be doing future Blunderdomes for other game series. Stay tuned for that, and if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.