Corrode at Battlefield Birmingham 15 – a Talos Tournament Report

An article by    Battle Reports Gaming        0

Corrode at Battlefield Birmingham 15 – Talos Tournament Report

 The Event

Battlefield Birmingham is one of the longest-running tournament series in the UK, with 3 events a year (2 singles and a doubles). The latest edition was held last weekend on the 9th/10th of March.

For my money it’s one of the best events in the UK, with a great location, full tables of excellent terrain, an experienced TO and team, and tons of prize support.

In terms of format, the event is played at 2,000pts. The missions are similar to ETC style with a primary Eternal War and a secondary Maelstrom mission. Tertiary points come from Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Strike and, for 4/5 missions, an extra No Prisoners point each battle round for whichever player killed more units. Deployments and objectives are not fixed, so each game you roll off for placement and deployment type as per standard 40k, with the caveat that rolls of 1 or 4 (i.e. Spearhead or Hammer and Anvil) are re-rolled once to try to reduce the number of people playing off the short edges of the table.

The Army

For the last few events I’ve been playing a 9-Talos build which has been doing well for me, including a 4-1 run at the WHW Heat 4 in February and 3-0 at Kirtonian Carnage III on March 2nd. The full list is:

 

THE TALONS OF THE ARCHON

== Air Wing Detachment == Drukhari [405 Points] 1 CP – Kabal of the Black Heart

Flyer: Razorwing Jetfighter (105), 2 disintegrator cannons (30), twin splinter rifle (0), Razorwing missiles (0) – [8PL] [135]

Flyer: Razorwing Jetfighter (105), 2 disintegrator cannons (30), twin splinter rifle (0), Razorwing missiles (0) – [8PL] [135]

Flyer: Razorwing Jetfighter (105), 2 disintegrator cannons (30), twin splinter rifle (0), Razorwing missiles (0) – [8PL] [135]

 

THE EATERS OF THE DEAD

== Battalion Detachment == Drukhari [1195 Points] 5 CP – Prophets of the Flesh

HQ: Urien Rakarth (90) – [5PL] [90] WARLORD – Diabolical Soothsayer

HQ: Haemonculus (70), agoniser (4), stinger pistol (5), The Vexator Mask (relic) – [5PL] [79]

TR: 5 Wracks (45) – [3PL] [45]

TR: 5 Wracks (45) – [3PL] [45]

TR: 6 Wracks (45) – [3PL] [54]

HS: 3x Talos (75), macro-scalpel (4), chain-flails (3), two haywire blasters (16) [18PL] [294]

HS: 3x Talos (75), macro-scalpel (4), chain-flails (3), two haywire blasters (16) [18PL] [294]

HS: 3x Talos (75), macro-scalpel (4), chain-flails (3), two haywire blasters (16) [18PL] [294]

 

THE SWORD OF THE CRAFTWORLD

== Patrol Detachment == Asuryani [400 Points] 0 CP – Ulthwe

HQ: Eldrad Ulthran (135) – [8PL] [135] PSYCHIC POWERS: Doom, Executioner, Mind War

TR: 4 Dire Avengers (44), 1 Dire Avenger Exarch (11) – [3PL] [55]

FL: Hemlock Wraithfighter (210) – [9PL] [210] PSYCHIC POWER: Jinx

 

This starts me at 9+D3 CP, which is pretty much all dedicated to getting off key Vects early in the game. I originally planned to have 5 more CP by taking an Ulthwe Battalion with a Guardian bomb, but with the release of the Assassins index it seemed worthwhile to try having a Hemlock instead – a less reliable Jinx caster, but also a lot less vulnerable to stray Vindicare Assassins.

I failed to take enough pictures so this is going to be text-only – I’ll try to avoid boring blow by blow accounts of the games and give a general overview instead.

Game 1 – vs. Warren

 

Primary: Big Guns Never Tire (modified)

Secondary: Cleanse & Capture

Tertiary: Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Strike, No Prisoners

 

The modification to Big Guns Never Tire is that instead of gaining 1 VP per Heavy Support choice killed, players instead choose the unit type that scores. Heavy Support still has super-obsec.

Warren had a Cadian Guard brigade with Creed and a Valkyrie, a Scions detachment with the Tempestus Drop Force, a House Mortan Gallant and two Warglaives, and 85pts spare for a Vindicare.

I picked Troops as my unit to destroy, as did Warren.

Despite the re-roll we ended up with Hammer and Anvil deployment. Warren surprised me a little by picking the end with fewer Eternal War objectives, which gave me a big leg up.

I deployed quite aggressively with the Talos on the line and the characters ready to sprint into the cover of a rock out of sight of his Vindicare. The strategy was pretty simple – run up the middle, dominate the central objectives, and hit anything that came into range of the Talos. Priority target was the Gallant, since I couldn’t reach the Valkyrie to stop those Scions dropping on me.

The game went basically to plan. Warren played very well to deny me points by using Combined Squads to reduce the number of Troops units on the table, but I got to go first and put 23/24 wounds on the Gallant and then move-block it with the Hemlock. Neither of us got First Strike thanks to a single wound left on the Knight and on one of my Talos.

After that slow start, things basically snowballed my way. The Scion Command Squads had dropped and failed to kill the Talos, so they were murdered in short order, and the little Knights died just after that. The other Scions dropped into my backfield and gave it a go of clearing out my fragile infantry, but didn’t quite make it and then a combination of backwards-moving Talos and the planes flying back cleared them out. At the end of the game I had most of my army left, all of the Eternal War objectives, and a further 25pts from Maelstrom cards and Linebreaker/Slay the Warlord for a big win.

Tournament record: 1-0, 12/12 possible points

Game 2 – vs. Mark

Primary: The Scouring

Secondary: Contact Lost

Tertiary: Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Strike, No Prisoners

 

After that big win in game 1, game 2 was a tougher challenge. I played Mark and he had a similar list to mine – only 3 Talos but a big block of Grotesques, 3 Ravagers, still 2 Razorwings, and a Farseer and Warlock hanging out on bikes in a Biel-Tan detachment along with a couple of units of Dire Avengers and a Guardian bomb.

We rolled up Frontline Assault for deployment, and thanks to having a single unit less than Mark I got to go first again. I deployed centrally for the second time, which proved fortunate since the “good” objective 4 was in the middle of the pitch.

The early turns were rough going as once again I failed to grab First Strike. I decked 4/6 of his Grotesques and a couple of his Dire Avengers hiding out in the far right corner (from my point of view), but no units. In his turn he pushed his Talos and Grotesques into the middle, and shot up one of my units of Talos leaving it on 2 wounds remaining on a single model – for the second game in a row, neither player scored First Strike.

The mid-game went strongly for me, clearing out his Talos and Grotesques and most of the Troops he was threatening mid with. He was doing a good job of clearing out Talos at about 1 unit/turn, since I was struggling to reach the Ravagers with enough stuff to make it worth shooting them, but by doing so he’d basically given up the middle of the pitch and been forced into a corner which meant that I was having it all my own way, and stopped him really scoring any Maelstrom points.

I did make one big mistake in this game, which I think contributed to making it a major win rather than crushing. On turn 3 his Guardian bomb dropped into my backfield, and didn’t kill much. I overcommitted to killing it off – the planes had to go backwards anyway, but the Talos went as well and they probably didn’t need to. They could have gotten into his backfield Wracks and possibly his characters and cleared them out, or maybe even threatened the Ravagers – instead they went back unnecessarily and I ended up not even bothering to charge with them, which made it a total waste, especially since he killed them off next turn and I lost the chance to do anything with them in turns 4 or 5.

At the end of game point I was still on for a big win, but Mark played very well through the final turn, throwing his jetbike characters forwards to seize the central objective from me, and bring the score down to 16-10 in my favour – still a win, but not as big as it could have been if not for misplaying that moment. Oh well.

Tournament record: 2-0, 22/24 possible points

Game 3 vs. Wayne

Primary: Falling Supplies

Secondary: Disruptive Signals

Tertiary: Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Strike, No Prisoners

 

Wayne had an interesting army using the new Vigilus detachments for Adeptus Mechanicus – a huge block of heavy arc rifle Kataphrons Breachers, the new Tech-priest character, plus old standbys like Cawl, Skitarii Rangers with arc rifles, and a block of Kastelan robots. A soupcon of Imperial Guardsmen to provide mortars and CP complimented the list nicely, as did the 85pts set aside for a Culexus Assassin. Pre-game, he dropped the 5++ invulnerable save onto the Breachers too, which made them that bit tougher.

Unfortunately for him, I was (probably rightly) terrified of the Kataphron block, and I went first again. I feel like I should point out here that I went first in every game at the event – but then I also had the +1 in every game, so that’s probably ok.

We rolled up Vanguard Strike for his deployment, and as standard I set up in the centre with the characters hidden behind rocks and out of LoS of his snipers, and he set up in a wide frontage across the whole of his deployment zone.

Eldrad managed to set up to be within 24″ of the Kataphrons but outside 18″ of the Culexus, and the Hemlock flew off to the far end of his huge line. A surprisingly consistent psychic phase put Doom and Jinx on the tractor men, and then a hellstorm of fire deleted 9 of the 12. I Vected his attempt to keep them in the game with 2CP, and off they went to get me my first First Strike of the event and rid me of the biggest threat in his army.

I think this is the only game I played where it really ended on turn 1. Wayne fought back valiantly and made some aggressive moves to try and take back control of the game, nuking one plane and severely damaging a second. He tried for 3, splitting his Kastelans across the Hemlock and two Razorwings, but I Vected out Wrath of Mars and that reduced his effectiveness a lot. I think I played this right – the stratagem says that Wrath is used “before the unit makes a shooting attack”, so I figured I could Vect it after he declared targets but before he rolled any dice.

My turn 2 was truly ridiculous. First Eldrad blew through the Culexus debuff with two natural 11s for Doom and Executioner, and thenh a single unit of Talos shot his Kastelans and nuked 2 of them with a single burst of haywire. From here on out the game was a lot of me pushing Talos forward and them murdering anything they touched, and Wayne just didn’t have enough left to hurt them. The red and green units turned his flank on my left, while the blue unit sat in my backfield hassling everything they touched. I tabled him on 5, for another max points win.

I did make two mistakes in this game. First, I thought the mission was played like the rest, where only objectives 1-4 (the normal Eternal War objectives) were meant to move and count for scoring. After the game I asked Harry and he said that it was meant to be all of them. I think this denied Wayne a point, but at the point of tabling I was miles ahead so it wouldn’t have affected anything. Also, I used the round 3 Power from Pain ability (+1 to hit) to hit the Culexus on 5s – which is fine, but it was only turn 2! I can only say that I realised this was a thing shortly before the event and got overexcited, and it certainly felt like turn 3 – we’d been playing for absolutely ages. Again, at worst, the Culexus dies a turn later, and I take slightly longer to clear his characters out. I don’t think either way it changes the result from a crushing victory, but they’re still rules mistakes I made and shouldn’t have. Sorry Wayne!

Tournament record: 3-0, 34/36 possible points

Game 4 vs. Alex

I actually can’t remember ever going 3-0 on the first day of an event, certainly not in 8th edition. Traditionally in game 2 or 3 I slip on a banana skin and end up 2-1 for the day, and I’m normally happy with a 3-2 for the weekend. Going into game 4 was exciting just for the novelty!

Primary: Dominate & Destroy

Secondary: Targets of Opportunity

Tertiary: Slay the Warlord, First Strike, Linebreaker

 

This ended up being the closest game of the event in points terms. Alex had a pure Chaos Daemons army, with a big unit of Plaguebearers and the characters to support them, 2 Bloodletter bombs, a Daemon Prince with wings, a Lord of Change, a Great Unclean One and a splattering of Nurglings as well. We rolled Frontline Assault for deployment, my second time for the weekend. My deployment was as standard, with the Talos in a big central block. I kept the planes back to keep them away from his flying characters, and in the opening of the game I meant to use them to screen out the Bloodletters. Alex deployed with his Plaguebearers centrally, and then the Greater Daemons and Prince on my right flank. The Nurglings were spread around the board, with the little units in the back corners on objectives and the big one central on the mid-board point.

Turn 1 went very well for me. I managed to nuke the Plaguebearers off the table even through the -1 to hit, although it took 9 CP to do it including Vecting the +1 invulnerable save, Vecting the auto-pass morale, and having to re-roll that second one. The Talos also lashed the middle unit of Nurglings off the table, with the final base there dying to Morale too to swing a point my way. This was one thing I didn’t understand from Alex strategy-wise – I basically got a free charge with the Talos, and I don’t know why.

In his 1 the GUO ran in to smack some Talos around, and the Lord of Change set up for a big play by Treason of Tzeentching the Haemonculus. This all went rather swimmingly from his point of view, even though he forgot to actually use the Haemi once he’d Treasoned him – the main thing being that I couldn’t Vexator Mask the GUO when it charged.

The GUO was a big pain in the ass. I took a couple wounds off now and expected to kill it on my 2. It ended up sticking around until either his 3 or my 4, all through Eldrad trying to mortal wound it and 2 units of Talos battering at it. Alex’s saves and Disgustingly Resilient rolls were absolutely on fire with the big guy and it helped to keep him in the game for a long time.

On my 2 I got a little overexcited with the planes, abandoning my plan to use them cautiously for screening and instead throwing them forwards to assassinate his backline characters. I’m still not sure if this was the right move – I killed the Daemon Prince with the Hemlock and a Razorwing, and the other trashed a Herald, but it did mean that shortly afterwards 59 Bloodletters dropped and charged my entire army.

I at least got to Vexator Mask one unit, and the Talos lashed them to not quite enough effect (the Talos were really lame this game and didn’t really do the business for the early turns), and that helped. Alex made one other significant mistake on turn 2 – he had Domination drawn, and was able to score it, but got greedy with the Lord of Change and charged some Wracks. He didn’t touch them, and I utilised pile-ins and consolidates to swing them around onto the objective the LoC was holding, stealing it out from under him and denying a whole pile of points.

Things were extremely tense through turns 3 and 4 for me, but the Great Unclean One finally died and the Talos were set free to flail the remaining Bloodletters to death. He also hadn’t touched the planes, which merrily flew around shooting away at anything they could see and harvesting valuable points.

In the end, the game came down to a single critical roll. In his back left corner were 4 bases of Nurglings. My planes shot them to pieces and killed 3/4, leaving one on a single wound, after some great saves on his part. We were just doing scoring for my turn when we remembered morale for them, and he promptly rolled… a 6. Poof went the Nurglings, and with them a 2pt swing as I gained a kill point and he lost the objective. Given that I won by only a single point, this was a big deal. A minor win is still a win though.

I should note here that Alex’s army was up for best painted, deservedly so since it looked great. I also may or may not have broken his Lord of Change’s staff – he had the huge Forge World guy which I promptly knocked over. I hope it was ok after that.

Tournament record: 4-0, 42/48 possible points

 

Game 5 vs. Dan

Primary: Retrieval Mission

Secondary: Deadlock

Tertiary: Slay the Warlord, First Strike, Linebreaker & No Prisoners

 

Game 5! On 4 wins! This was heady stuff. Looking at the table I was 7th, so even with a max points win I was reliant on other results for a podium finish – nevertheless, it was possible.

The only thing standing in my way was Dan, and his… mixed Drukhari/Asuryani that looked suspiciously like mine. I’d played Dan before at Last Chance Open, where I won fairly comprehensively – that time around he had 9 Talos, I had an army full of Venoms, and I got to a) go second and b) hide on the backline in Hammer and Anvil. This was a bit of a tougher test, since we had a near-mirror match on our hands, and I couldn’t rely on effectively denying him a turn to open the game. Dan’s list did differ from mine a bit – he had a full Eldar battalion, Ravagers instead of planes, and he’d swapped one unit of Talos for a block of 8 Grotesques.

I should also note at this point that with us both being on 4 wins each and in sight of a trophy, this was the most fun game of the event, and I voted Dan for most sporting. We’ve played twice and it’s been a blast both times.

Our Talos blocks set up opposite each other, and he hid the Ravagers out of my line of sight behind a big block of ice and some crates. He saw me measuring out a Hemlock move during deployment and promptly sat his Talos in range of that point, forcing me to move it way further over than I wanted to to avoid it being eaten by them. The mind games were starting early.

The game ended up being very cagey. I managed to get a Doom onto his rightmost unit of Talos, and then jinxed it in a truly ridiculous sequence where I rolled a 5 and a 1, I went to re-roll, he Vected me, and I Vected his Vect. In the event Jinx went off, and an army’s worth of firepower blasted into his Talos to remove one unit from the table and scored me First Strike.

The trade for that was losing my Hemlock to Ravager fire, and the game was on. Our Talos blocks spent a couple of turns circling each other, and I used the crates on the right hand side to (mostly) block the Ravagers from seeing them. My unit of Dire Avengers came sneaking up my right flank to rush a primary objective lategame, while my Wracks stayed back to guard the others.

He pushed his Talos wide to skirt around mine, travelling in the general direction of the mid-board objective. Nothing much happened for turns 2 and 3, except that I lost about a plane a turn.

Turn 4 was when things really kicked off. My blue and red Talos went into what remained of his Grotesques, while the green Talos chumped some Wracks and a Ravager. With those cleared, the green Talos stayed in to push through the last Troops in my far-right corner and his Archon, while the red and blue ones finally pushed mid to fight unit of Dire Avengers lurking on the central objective, and then finally confront the enemy Talos. A few rounds of mutual Vexator Masking occurred before I finally ground through his pain engines and took the centre.

This makes it all sound very straightforward, but it really wasn’t. One unit of his Wracks was marching around in my backfield, and we ended up with my Acothyst killing his Acothyst to swing a primary objective my way in my back-left corner. At one point a Razorwing shot 5 Dire Avengers, and the Exarch tanked every single disintegrator wound, with the other stuff bouncing off Avenger armour. My Eldrad literally had to put his body between the enemy Spiritseer/Fake Eldrad to protect my Dire Avengers. I mentioned Dan’s sporting nature at the start of the report – fatigued, I forgot two critical charges this game, one in each of turns 4 and 5, and he waved them through when it would have been easy to say no. Thanks man.

After an incredibly close, tactical game where our armies circled each other before lunging in for a big, murderous scrap, I pulled out the crushing win on turn 6. A fantastic game to finish the event with.

Tournament record: 5-0, 54/60 possible points

 

Wrap-up

So how did it finish? Well….

Trophies!

In the event, the other game that needed to go my way did so, and the Talos and I picked up Best in Faction Drukhari and snuck onto the podium in 3rd place! I’m absolutely thrilled to have finished so strongly in a really big, competitive event like Battlefield Birmingham.

There’s definitely some mistakes I made with the army which might have changed things, and some factors which had a big influence – going first in every game helped, although again, I had the +1 in every game which helps a lot with that. In particular my 4th game was extremely close, and the 5th was very hard fought and minor swings might have taken it Dan’s way instead. Overall though, I think I did well. I’m also very happy with the army, which is a shame because I don’t have another event to take it to until after the next big FAQ which will probably break it – instead, I’m running the BIG Bristol 40k GT!

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.