Fisher Price: My First Tournament – Goonhammer Open Tournament Report

This tournament report is a little different to the average one. Instead of a high intensity battle for the top tables, this is my tale of turning up to my first GT size event as a beginner to the competitive scene, and hopefully some reflections on the experience that will maybe give an insight into the experience for people looking to get into the more competitive end of playing 40K.

A little context

I’ve always considered myself a decent enough player. Within my local group I’m often the one who’ll get asked rules questions, and have run a few small tournaments for the work tabletop group (I work in games, so fortunately have a good supply of people equally into playing 40K readily available). I’d dabbled in a few local tournaments through 2018-19, making a few unsuccessful attempts to take my Space Wolves to some sort of competitive success. When the new Sisters range launched in late 2019, I picked up the army box, and started building up an army as part of an escalation league I was running with a friend for our work group, and as an excuse to take a break from the Wolves.

Skip ahead a year and a global pandemic, and GHO UK was announced. By this point, I’d built up a moderate Sisters army, but with lockdown, hadn’t really put any serious in person game time in, especially with 9th and the new codex. “This’ll be a good opportunity to get better and try out a proper tournament,” I thought. I wasn’t wrong!

Preparing for GHO

The plan was simple. Build out the rest of the army, up to 2K, and try out some units and tools that seemed like they would work on paper.

I ended up settling on a Valorous Heart based list, partly based on the resilience of VH seeming like it’d be useful, and also practically on the models I had, and the models I realistically was going to be able to finish in time, not lending themselves so much towards a pure Bloody Rose or Ebon Chalice/Bloody Rose list that seemed to be the most prevalent Order choices around the time. This immediately set my list to be a relatively off-meta Sisters army. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I was aware I wasn’t running The Meta Sisters ArmyTM, and knew that I wasn’t necessarily going to be pulling off some of the massive combos and power plays available to the faction as a whole.

My List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [75 PL, 10CP, 1,535pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ No Force Org Slot +

Hospitaller [3 PL, -1CP, 50pts]: Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief (Aura)

+ HQ +

Canoness [4 PL, -1CP, 95pts]: Plasma pistol, Power sword, Relic: Mantle of Ophelia, Rod of Office, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: Impervious to Pain
. Blinding Radiance

Ephrael Stern and Kyganil of the Bloody Tears [6 PL, 120pts]

Morvenn Vahl [13 PL, 265pts]: Warlord

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [12 PL, 245pts] . 14x Battle Sister: 14x Bolt pistol, 14x Boltgun, 14x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Simulacrum: Simulacrum Imperialis
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 60pts] . 3x Battle Sister: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 60pts] . 3x Battle Sister: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

+ Elites +

Paragon Warsuits [13 PL, 270pts] . Paragon: 2 Storm Bolters, Multi-melta, Paragon War Mace
. Paragon: 2 Storm Bolters, Multi-melta, Paragon War Mace
. Paragon Superior: 2 Storm Bolters, Multi-melta, Paragon War Mace

+ Heavy Support +

Mortifiers [6 PL, 120pts] . Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails

Penitent Engines [6 PL, 110pts] . Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 140pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Ministorum Combi-flamer: Ministorum Combi-flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [24 PL, -3CP, 463pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ No Force Org Slot +

Repentia Superior [2 PL, 40pts]: Bolt pistol

+ HQ +

Missionary [3 PL, 40pts]: 1. Refrain of Blazing Piety
. Bolt Pistol, Ministorum shotgun, Chainsword

+ Elites +

Imagifier [3 PL, 50pts]: Tale of the Warrior (Aura)

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 126pts] . 9x Sisters Repentia: 9x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 112pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Zephyrim Squad [4 PL, 95pts] . 4x Zephyrim: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Plasma pistol, Zephyrim Pennant

++ Total: [99 PL, 7CP, 1,998pts] ++

My gameplan basically revolved around buffing up a big unit of 20 Battle Sisters with 4 storm bolters to be very durable, parking on them a central objective or board space, and then just dumping out Blessed Bolts with them, whilst Morvenn Vahl and the Nundams buddied up and protected a flank, with the Repentia, Pentitent Engines, and Mortifiers covering the other side.

Stern and Kyganil were there as a wildcard unit. On paper they’re extremely good at dropping in and murdering a wide range of threats, and alongside the Zephyrim gave me a bit of much needed speed (we’ll come back to this).

I managed to get in 2-3 proper practice games with the list prior to the deadline, and these were all useful, and helped solidify some choices and tweaks. Going into the event, I was relatively happy that I knew how my list worked, and that it broadly did what I thought it would do.

At this point it was time to finish any last hobby tasks (I’d decided to rebase my entire army about a month before the submission deadline, having forgotten that I had 60 odd models to redo at the time, with more new models adding to that number as well) and make sure I was as ready as I could be. Train tickets and hotel were all booked, and I was as ready as I was going to be.

My goal was to win a single game, 2 if I could. 

The Event

Friday

I’d wisely planned to go up with plenty of time on the Friday. From Sussex to Nottingham worked out to be just over 3 hours on the train, with the one change at London, and the journey was uneventful, giving me some time to make some notes about my list, noting down as many of the buffs and abilities that my key characters and units had as I could. This was really useful, but with hindsight I didn’t revise this enough, and should have had a proper cheat sheet with page references sorted out before heading up. I also spent some time checking through my first opponent’s list. I’d paired into one of the Tyranid players, and felt pretty good about my chances, despite the large number of big Forge World monsters he had. All my multimeltas would be able to nuke them down fairly easily right?

Heading up with plenty of time gives me the afternoon in Nottingham, and after checking into my hotel, I hop onto a tram and head over for the obligatory visit to Warhammer World. I need to buy a new copy of Chapter Approved 21 anyway, as my 2020 copy disappeared when I was checking my packing the night before and I couldn’t be bothered to tear the house apart looking for it.

At Warhammer World I briefly meet up with a few fellow Goonhammer Patrons from the Discord, getting a last practice game in before the weekend. To my delight one of these was a list that we’d spotted on the Discord and adored – Mark Cawdrey’s flamer guard list (Mark would go on to take Best in Faction for Astra Militarum).

Mark Cawdrey's Flamer Guard - Click to Expand

++ Brigade Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [113 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine Astra Millitarum Custom – Gunnery Experts, Pyromaniacs

+ Stratagems +

Tank Ace [-1CP]

+ HQ +

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

Company Commander [2 PL, 37pts] Boltgun, Chainsword

Tank Commander [12 PL, 195pts] Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander [12 PL, 195pts] Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

+ Troops +

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 9x Guardsman 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 9x Guardsman 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 9x Guardsman 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 9x Guardsman 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 9x Guardsman 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 9x Guardsman 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant Chainsword, Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor Chainsword, Plasma pistol

+ Elites +

Command Squad [2 PL, 50pts] . Veteran w Heavy Flamer Heavy flamer
. Veteran w Special Weapon Flamer
. Veteran w Special Weapon Flamer
. Veteran w Special Weapon Flamer

Command Squad [2 PL, 50pts] . Veteran w Heavy Flamer Heavy flamer
. Veteran w Special Weapon Flamer
. Veteran w Special Weapon Flamer
. Veteran w Special Weapon Flamer

Special Weapons Squad [2 PL, 49pts] . 3x Guardsman 3x Lasgun
. Guardsman W Special Weapon Flamer
. Guardsman W Special Weapon Flamer
. Guardsman W Special Weapon Flamer

Special Weapons Squad [2 PL, 49pts] . 3x Guardsman 3x Lasgun
. Guardsman W Special Weapon Flamer
. Guardsman W Special Weapon Flamer
. Guardsman W Special Weapon Flamer

+ Fast Attack +

Hellhounds [6 PL, 110pts] . Hellhound Heavy Flamer, Inferno Cannon

Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 45pts] . Scout Sentinel Heavy Flamer

Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 45pts] . Scout Sentinel Heavy Flamer

+ Heavy Support +

Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 50pts] . Heavy Weapon Team Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team Mortar

Manticore [8 PL, 145pts] Full Payload, Heavy Bolter

Manticore [8 PL, 145pts] Full Payload, Heavy Bolter

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chimera [5 PL, 85pts] Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer

Chimera [5 PL, 85pts] Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer

Chimera [5 PL, 85pts] Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer

Chimera [5 PL, 85pts] Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer

Chimera [5 PL, 85pts] Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer

++ Total [113 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

I head back to my hotel and put my feet up for a couple of hours, and then set out to meet up with a bunch of the Goonhammer crew and friends for an extremely good burger. This is one of my favourite parts of the weekend, and a great starter to the event. Being able to put faces and voices to names was great, and more importantly meant that I didn’t feel like I was at the event by myself anymore. Having people to chat to between rounds, grab dinner with, and just generally hang out with was brilliant, and by the time we all walk back to our hotels I’m feeling pretty good, if nervous about the morning. 

Annies do a real good burger. We went twice.

Saturday

After grabbing a coffee and some breakfast from the Starbucks round the corner from the hill, I walked the 15 mins or so up the hill to the event. I was glad I’d booked into a hotel fairly close to the venue, but hadn’t quite realised the venue was at the top of a hill. Fortunately I’d remembered to pack some spare deodorant in my army bag, as it was surprisingly warm, and I was getting a bit sweaty from lugging my bag up the hill. Annoyingly I realised on Sunday morning that there was a tram stop just round the corner from the venue. Not the end of the world, and I got my steps in every day, but it did add a bit of extra fatigue to the day. 

 

Important supplies at the ready. Credit: Jim Grover

Game 1 –  Tom Bunnell’s Kraken Tyranids – Table 31

Sweep and Clear – Terrain Map 1

Goonhammer Kraken 2k TomB

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids) [105 PL, 2,000pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Hive Fleet: Kraken

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Progeny of the Hive [-1CP]

+ HQ [25 PL, 455pts] +

Hive Tyrant [11 PL, 215pts]: 2x Monstrous Scything Talons [20pts], Adrenal Glands [5pts], Power: Paroxysm, Power: Smite, Power: Synaptic Lure, Prehensile Pincer Tail, Toxin Sacs [5pts], Wings [2 PL, 30pts], Xenogenic Acid
. Adaptive Physiology: Murderous Size

The Swarmlord [14 PL, 240pts]: Bone Sabres, Power: Catalyst, Power: Onslaught, Power: Smite, Prehensile Pincer Tail, Warlord

+ Troops [38 PL, 686pts] +

Genestealers [8 PL, 130pts]: 2x Acid Maw, 10x Scything Talons
. 10x Genestealer [130pts]: 10x Rending Claws

Genestealers [12 PL, 156pts]: 3x Acid Maw, 12x Scything Talons
. 12x Genestealer [156pts]: 12x Rending Claws

Hormagaunts [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Hormagaunt [60pts]: 10x Scything Talons

Hormagaunts [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Hormagaunt [60pts]: 10x Scything Talons

Termagants [6 PL, 140pts] . 20x Termagant (Devourer) [140pts]: 20x Devourer [40pts]

Termagants [6 PL, 140pts] . 20x Termagant (Devourer) [140pts]: 20x Devourer [40pts]

+ Elites [4 PL, 74pts] +

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]: Flesh Hooks, Grasping Talons, Rending Claws

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]: Flesh Hooks, Grasping Talons, Rending Claws

+ Fast Attack [24 PL, 510pts] +

Dimachaeron [12 PL, 255pts]: Massive Scything Sickle-talons, Scything Tail

Dimachaeron [12 PL, 255pts]: Massive Scything Sickle-talons, Scything Tail

+ Heavy Support [14 PL, 275pts] +

Barbed Hierodule [14 PL, 275pts]: 2x Bio-cannon, Hierodule Scything Talons
. Adaptive Physiology: Dermic Symbiosis

++ Total: [105 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

 

Alright, first game. Let’s go. The coffee’s kicking in, I’m ready, I’m feeling good, I’ve got my awful Napoleon shirt on. I start unpacking my army from the case, and Tom turns up. Tom was a lovely guy with a beautiful Tyranid army, and we chatted a bit about our armies, goals, and all the usual pre game stuff. I was feeling fairly good about this game. Nids aren’t super strong right now, and even with the big scary FW monsters, I had enough Meltas, Repentia and the Nundams/Vahl to hopefully deal with them, whilst the bolters and flamers deal with the Genestealers and Gants/Gaunts.

I choose ROD, Direct Assault, and the Sisters’ Defend the Shrine secondaries here. However, I misname Defend the Shrine as Sacred Grounds accidentally, and when entering this into the ITC app, it flags it and ROD as conflicting, so I switch ROD to Engage. Tom chooses Engage, ROD and Assasination – I have 6-7 characters and this is an obvious pick against my list.

Tom selecting the top left objective as the Shrine Objective

 

What you may notice here, is that Engage conflicts with Defend the Shrine. I’ve only just spotted this on reviewing my scores for this write up, and feel like a dick for getting that wrong. Tom was a lovely guy, and I’d like to properly apologise for this here whilst I’ve got the platform. I don’t think it would have made a huge impact, and if anything I think actually ends with less points than if I’d actually taken ROD as I could/should have done, but still. It’s a fuck up on my part, and not a great way to start your first GT. Either way, neither of us realised this, and so we got on with deployment.

Tom uses a stratagem to put all his Gants and Gaunts into reserve, and I put one unit of Repentia into Strategic Reserve, with both of us deploying relatively cautiously. Tom doesn’t have too much shooting, but I don’t want to leave my key units open to the big shooty bug (Barbed Heriodule) he has. Fortunately I win the turn 1 roll off, and manage to nuke it off the table before it can fire a shot. I’m able to get onto both the Shrine and the centre objective and tick up some points.

The game runs to time, and we have to talk through the last turn, but my Turn 2 pretty much clinches the game for me, as I’m able to remove most of Tom’s big bugs, or at least relegate them to not being able to really threaten my units too much. I bring on my Repentia from my board edge, giving them a short charge into a Dimachaeron which they dispatch with a little assistance from Stern’s Bolts of Judgement or whatever her off-brand smite ability is called. Meanwhile the other Repentia, Vahl, and the Nundams engage in a massive brawl between the Shrine and Centre objectives, cementing my hold on the game. Tom brings on his massed gants/gaunts, and claws back some damage, but it’s too little too late by this stage, and I take the game.

The Strategic Reserve charge pays off – Credit: Soggy
Overall, this game is both great fun, and also crucially – a win on my first game. The pressure is both on and off now. I’ve already hit my target, but now that means I’ve got to go for my stretch goal of 2 wins. Ironically, this first round win will come back to haunt me at the other end of the tournament.

Result: Win 94-78 

Game 2 – Joseph Musgrave’s Obsec/Pre-Game Move Necrons – Table 18

Battle Lines – Terrain Map 3

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Necrons) [50 PL, 990pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Relentlessly Expansionist, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty: <Custom>

+ No Force Org Slot +

Viral Construct [1 PL, 15pts] . Canoptek Plasmacyte: Monomolecular Proboscis

+ HQ +

Catacomb Command Barge [9 PL, 190pts]: Relic: Orb of Eternity, Resurrection Orb, Tesla Cannon, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Enduring Will, Warscythe

+ Troops +

Necron Warriors [12 PL, 260pts] . 20x Necron Warrior (Gauss Reaper): 20x Gauss Reaper

+ Elites +

C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon [18 PL, 350pts]: Canoptek Tail Blades, Power of the C’tan: Sky of Falling Stars, Power of the C’tan: Voltaic Storm, Spear of the Void Dragon

Skorpekh Destroyers [10 PL, 175pts] . Skorpekh Destroyer (Reap-Blade): Hyperphase Reap-Blade
. 4x Skorpekh Destroyer (Thresher): 4x Hyperphase Threshers

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Necrons) [53 PL, 1,010pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Relentlessly Expansionist, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty: <Custom>

+ No Force Org Slot +

Bound Creation [2 PL, 40pts] . Cryptothralls
. . 2x Cryptothrall: 2x Scouring Eye, 2x Scythed Limbs

Viral Construct [1 PL, 15pts] . Canoptek Plasmacyte: Monomolecular Proboscis

+ HQ +

Chronomancer [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: Aeonstave, Arkana: Cortical Subjugator Scarabs, Chronotendrils, Dynastic Heirlooms, Relic: Veil of Darkness

+ Elites +

C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer [19 PL, 370pts]: Power of the C’tan: Gaze of Death, Power of the C’tan: Transdimensional Thunderbolt, Scythe of the Nightbringer

Skorpekh Destroyers [10 PL, 175pts] . Skorpekh Destroyer (Reap-Blade): Hyperphase Reap-Blade
. 4x Skorpekh Destroyer (Thresher): 4x Hyperphase Threshers

+ Fast Attack +

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [4 PL, 60pts] . 4x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 4x Feeder Mandibles

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 3x Feeder Mandibles

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 3x Feeder Mandibles

Tomb Blades [4 PL, 75pts] . Tomb Blade: Particle Beamer
. Tomb Blade: Particle Beamer
. Tomb Blade: Particle Beamer

Tomb Blades [4 PL, 90pts] . Tomb Blade: Twin Tesla Carbine
. Tomb Blade: Twin Tesla Carbine
. Tomb Blade: Twin Tesla Carbine

++ Total: [103 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

After a slightly elongated lunch break, it’s time for game 2. This, and game 3, is a game I’m worried about, as the pairings are random in your win/loss bracket at this stage, and there’s a solid chance I’ll match into someone much better than me.

And I do.

Joseph is a lovely guy, with yet another beautiful army, but I can immediately tell he’s miles above where I am in skill level. The chess clock comes out – I’m familiar with the idea, but haven’t ever actually played using a clock. Joseph kindly agrees to manage the clock, but I can’t help but notice that I’m burning time much faster than he is, and also just generally not at his level in overall game management and tracking.

Unable to shoot anything useful, I make, and fail a push for both central objectives. The Nundams and Vahl hold the Shrine objective.

I choose ROD, Defend the Shrine (correctly this time), and Vital Ground (the mission objective). Joseph chooses ROD, Engage, and Assassination again. Stern is in Deep Strike and a unit of Repentia are in Reserve again. The mission is Hammer and Anvil deployment, and the terrain gives a lot of Line of Sight blocking cover. I take the first turn and promptly can’t really do anything with it. Joseph’s managed to successfully hide his entire army using his pre-game move to shuffle stuff back behind obscuring terrain where needed, and I essentially blow a turn doing nothing. I push some units out to cap a few objectives but don’t roll a high enough advance and end up not quite getting onto the top objective. This leaves my big unit badly positioned, about 1” short of the objective. I do scrape a turn 1 charge with the Zephyrim into some Scarabs, for a few wounds, but end my turn scoring 3 for DtS, and nothing else.

Joseph’s turn 1 is considerably more effective, as he storms out of the gate and wins the game immediately. Between both C’tan, Tomb Blades, and Skorpekhs there is so much stuff up in my face immediately, and he melts through two out of three Nundams and promptly murders Morvenn Vahl.

At this stage I know I’ve lost. I’m on the back foot, and grasping for straws. Turn 2 I barely manage to score some primary still, but I’m off the shrine, and have lost a significant portion of my punch already. One Nundam bravely holds the Void Dragon for a turn before being disintegrated by the captive power of a god. The backfield’s fully zoned out, with no chance of sneaking in for a ROD or flipping an objective, and the Zephyrim, Stern and Repentia all show up, give things a go and then die pretty promptly.

A brave last stand


I hang on through another punishing Necron turn, and get to Turn 3, where I manage to scrape a few points from ROD and DtS, but I’ve basically run out of bodies, and we talk out the last two turns. Joseph kindly gives me some feedback and pointers on what I could have done better, particularly around playing more cautiously and using units like Repentia to spring out of ruins onto targets and objectives, and we pack up.

The early finish gives me some time to catch up with people a bit, and I find Soggy and Bair finishing up a game of Titanicus at the back of the hall, and then chat to Lupe about Sisters colour schemes for a bit before game 3.

This game leaves me a bit deflated as it’s a fairly comprehensive stomping, but with 4 games left I’m not too worried. Games 2 and 3 were always going to be tough, and I don’t need to win every game anyway. Oh the pairings are up, what’s next?

Result: 27-97 Loss


Game 3 – Ed Fawcett’s Ork Freebooterz Buggies – Table 19

Overrun – Terrain Map 2

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [91 PL, 8CP, 1,545pts] ++

+ Configuration [9CP] +

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

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [7 PL, -1CP, 125pts] +

Big Mek in Mega Armour [7 PL, -1CP, 125pts]: 6. Might is Right, Da Killa Klaw, Extra-Kustom Weapon [1 PL, 10pts], Kustom Force Field [30pts], Kustom Mega-Blasta, Power Klaw, Stratagem: Big Boss [-1CP]

+ Elites [8 PL, 100pts] +

Kommandos [4 PL, 50pts] . Boss Nob [10pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando [40pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [4 PL, 50pts] . Boss Nob [10pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando [40pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [60 PL, 1,080pts] +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

+ Flyer [16 PL, 240pts] +

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks) [26 PL, 455pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ [6 PL, 120pts] +

Deffkilla Wartrike [6 PL, 120pts]: 4. Brutal but Kunnin, Killa Jet, Snagga Klaw, 3x Twin Boomstick, Warlord

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin [50pts]: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [12 PL, 175pts] +

Meganobz [12 PL, 175pts]: Big Krumpaz
. Boss Meganob [35pts]: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [35pts]: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [35pts]: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [35pts]: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [35pts]: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw, Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [6 PL, 110pts] +

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts] . Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts] . Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

++ Total: [117 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

 

Weirdly I’ve only dropped one table, despite getting thoroughly crushed. I guess it’s all random at this point so it doesn’t really matter anyway. I shift my stuff across the aisle to the table and meet Ed, the owner of an awesome rusty Ork buggy list that myself and Lupe had been admiring in the break.

Deploying much more cautiously this time


This is another game where I very quickly realise he is a better player, with a stronger list. I’m getting pretty tired by this stage (both physically and mentally), and as Ed talks me through his list, I can feel my eyes glaze over a little bit as he explains how many shots and bonuses he has. Basically it’s a lot – he’s going to roll a lot of dice at me till I die. There are two key bits of information I don’t pick up on, or pay enough attention to here. First, is that the whole army gets a massive amount of +1 to hit bonuses. Secondly is that he has a lot of very accurate shooting that doesn’t require line of sight.

We deploy, and I try to take what Joseph said into account. I keep my Repentia units both on the table, as well as Stern, positioning them in a way where they can hopefully pop out and cut up anything foolish enough to get within charging distance of them. The Zephyrim pop into deepstrike again. I pick Raise the Banners, Bring it Down, and To the Last (this being the Nundams, the big unit of Battle Sisters, and Morven Vahl), and Ed picks ROD, Engage, and To The Last. We clarify a few things around our armies and then we roll for the first turn, and for a change I lose it, and then I lose the game again.

Ed’s first turn is devastating, with both flyers pushing straight into my deployment zone, and unleashing both those and the Squigbuggies’ no LoS shooting onto my unsuspecting Sisters – particularly the Repentia units. I lose huge amounts to this turn, and quickly come up against a major issue with my return plan – A lot of this list’s damage is tied up in D2 weapons, and Ramshackle completely negates that. I manage to take down one plane, and drop the other to half, but the damage is done, and I struggle to come back from this point. I hold on longer than in game 2 due to the objectives being much easier to hold, but Ed’s buggies roll in en masse and just shred my army with dozens of shots (initially I thought Ed was saying “Forty six shots”, which seemed ridiculous, but not unreasonable given what it felt like, however I was actually mishearing “Four D6 shots”). I scrape some points each turn, and similar to game 2 end up talking out the last few turns when it’s clear I won’t be able to really contest anything in a meaningful way. Fortunately I manage to keep all three of my To the Last units alive, so while this game is another comprehensive loss, the scoreline is noticeably better than the previous game.

 

If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment his heart breaks in two (and also the terrible Napoleon shirt). Credit: Soggy

Result: 97-62 Loss

And with that, Saturday is done. I’ve hit my minimum target and got a win in, so I pack up my stuff and go catch up with people, and eventually we get out of the venue and go for a burrito and a beer. 

Sunday

Day two is on us, and the Starbucks is closed till 10, so I go via a Tesco on the way to the venue and grab a machine coffee, a banana and a pack of pain au chocolats for breakfast. I end up not getting a proper lunch, and steadily eating these through the day because I can’t be bothered to go source one.

Game 4 – Tom Lowman’s Dark Technomancer Drukhari – Table 24

Vital Intelligence – Terrain Map 1

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [26 PL, 475pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ HQ +

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

+ Heavy Support +

Cronos [12 PL, 250pts] . Cronos: Spirit Probe, Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Probe, Spirit Vortex

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [60 PL, 1,075pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 90pts]: Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, The Djin Blade, Warlord
. Splintered Genius (Obsidian Rose): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

+ Heavy Support +

Ravager [8 PL, 140pts]: 3x Dark Lance

Ravager [8 PL, 140pts]: 3x Dark Lance

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [24 PL, 450pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Blast Pistol, Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Animus Vitae, Venom Blade

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Precision Blows, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Dedicated Transport +

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Total: [110 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

Created with BattleScribe (https://battlescribe.net)

This game kicks ass. It’s by far my strongest play and decision making, and bar a couple mistakes I don’t think I could have played this much better. Tom’s a great opponent, with yet another great looking army, and we both play a great game, going almost to time. Vital Intelligence is another diagonal deployment, and by now I’ve figured out these are definitely my strong suit, as it’s much easier to bring my medium range army to bear quickly.

 

The Nundams and Vahl hold the right whilst the Penitent Engines push for the Shrine.

I take ROD, Bring it Down, and Defend the Shrine again. Tom chooses Engage, ROD, and Data Intercept. We roll off and I take the first turn again. The diagonal deployment works nicely again, and I’m able to push up onto a bunch of objectives including the Shrine (again, the top left objective). I also manage to score 4 on Bring it Down, knocking out a couple of Tom’s transports early with some good melta shots. I make an early mistake, which eventually costs me the game here, and am indecisive with where I want to put my big blob of 20 sisters. Over the first couple turns I end up shuffling them about a bit, when I should really have committed to taking the shrine point top left. Meanwhile, Tom scores a couple of points for Engage, and pushes me off an objective or two, and turn two sees neither of us score any Primary points at all as we trade the points back and forth. The game stays tight through the mid game, with Vahl and the Nundams holding off a big push of Raiders and Venoms, carrying Tom’s Trueborn, Incubi, Archon and Drazhar.

Definitely not afraid of the Drukhari Dark Lances, Vahl and her bodyguards hold down a hotly contested objective.
The Archon and Drazhar charge Stern and Vahl respectively, and through sheer luck I manage to kill both! The Archon falls to the powerful combo of Stern’s invulnerable ignoring sword and Kyganil’s fight first ability allowing her to cut him down with relative ease. This is a bit of a hot point, as Tom is understandably a bit frustrated by that, and whilst I’m pretty sure I did warn him about it I couldn’t say for sure. I feel a bit bad here, as I don’t know for certain that I did mention this, so I’m worried that I’ve won the moment off the back of dodgy play. Vahl pays 2CP and interrupts between Drazhar’s fights and sucessfully lands all 5 wounds with her lunge profile, with four of those rolling a 6 (and so doing a mortal wound as well), doing a huge amount of damage and cutting him down as well. 

In the end, even though I finish with a lot still alive, and the game is close for most of it, Tom takes the lead into the last couple turns, managing to pull ahead with a turn of 15 Primary and a huge 5 points on Data Intercept in Turn 3.

Again, this game was great, and even though I lost, this was probably my highlight of the weekend. I could feel that I’d already developed a lot as a player since the previous morning, and was making much better decisions overall. As we ended, we chatted through things, and I brought up the things I thought had cost me the game, and Tom agreed – A couple small indecisions had let him sneak in through the gaps and a well executed feint by Tom had given him the space to develop that.

Game 5 – Maxwell Koch’s Bloody Rose Sisters – Table 25

Retrieval Mission – Terrain Map 3

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [106 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Open the Reliquaries [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy

+ No Force Org Slot +

Hospitaller [3 PL, -1CP, 50pts]: Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief (Aura)

Repentia Superior [2 PL, 40pts]: Relic: Litanies of Faith

+ HQ +

Canoness [5 PL, -1CP, 110pts]: Blessed Blade, Condemnor Boltgun, Relic: Blade of Saint Ellynor, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: Blazing Ire
. Word of the Emperor

Celestine and Geminae Superia [10 PL, 200pts] . 2x Geminae Superia: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Power sword

Morvenn Vahl [13 PL, 265pts]: Forced Warlord Override, Warlord

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 75pts] . 3x Battle Sister: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 75pts] . 3x Battle Sister: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

+ Elites +

Celestian Sacresants [3 PL, 70pts] . 4x Celestian Sacresants (Hallowed Mace): 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hallowed Mace
. Sacresant Superior: Bolt pistol, Hallowed Mace

Dogmata [4 PL, 65pts]: 2. Chorus of Spiritual Fortitude, 5. Verse of Holy Piety, Relic: The Sigil Ecclesiasticus

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 70pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 70pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 70pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Zephyrim Squad [4 PL, 90pts] . 4x Zephyrim: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol, Zephyrim Pennant

Zephyrim Squad [4 PL, 90pts] . 4x Zephyrim: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol, Zephyrim Pennant

Zephyrim Squad [4 PL, 90pts] . 4x Zephyrim: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol, Zephyrim Pennant

+ Heavy Support +

Exorcist [9 PL, 185pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher, Hunter-killer missile

Penitent Engines [9 PL, 165pts] . Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades

Penitent Engines [9 PL, 165pts] . Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades

++ Total: [106 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

 

Down one table again, and into a mirror match. Maxwell’s a little late to the table as his army’s been entered into the Best Painted Army contest, so I crack on setting up the table while I wait. Ironically I’d just been chatting to him at the end of game 4, so it’s a spiderman pointing at spiderman moment when we realise we’re paired up.

 

Sadly we didn’t get the two Vahls to fight each other


Maxwell’s running a more traditional meta Sisters list, with lots of Zephyrim, Repentia, Sacresents and then Celestine and Vahl alongside a Murder Cannoness. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to handle this too well, as my list skews more into protection from shooting compared to massed AP-4 melee attacks. We’re on Hammer and Anvil deployment again, and I know this is a weak one for me. We pick very similar secondaries, with both of us taking Assassinate and To The Last, and ROD for me and Banners for Maxwell.

Both of us deploy very carefully again, but the Sacresants allow him to deploy his trio of characters aggressively without them being at risk. This is a nasty little trick that I intend to steal. I get first turn again, and similarly to game 2, just don’t have anything I can really do with it other than try to trade some shots at his Exorcist with the Nundams. I get ROD going and try to plink a few wounds here and there but not with any significant success. Maxwell slingshots the Cannoness and Celestine towards my lines, and just starts to put a lot of pressure on my line in general. The game stays tight, and a huge swing comes my way when I manage to kill Celestine from my big squad and she fails to revive. Now we’re on the way. I kill the Cannoness with Vahl, but Maxwell revives her, and it keeps her there as a nuisance that I can’t just ignore, even with one wound.

The left flank is slowly collapsing as streams of Zephyrim, Penitent Engines and Repentia surge out of cover towards my Retributors and small squad holding that side, and whilst they do a valiant job of holding the line for as long as possible, eventually the line collapses and I lose the objective. Stern is doing a good job of holding the middle, but eventually she’s cut down by Repentia, and my Cannoness blows herself up with her plasma pistol (I regret nothing – Always Be Overcharging). I still hold 2 objectives, and drop in my Zephyrim in the back corner to get a ROD going and steal a kill on his Dogmata, but again she’s revived and denies me the kill. I make a go of it, but the momentum’s lost, and I’m mentally tired. Sisters vs Sisters is a taxing game to keep track of. We talk out the last round, perhaps a little generously towards me in hindsight, but Maxwell takes a hard fought win.

Result: 75-92 Loss

Game 6 – Richard Gwatkin’s Inexorable Death Guard – Table 24

Surround and Destroy – Terrain Map 2

++ Supreme Command Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [25 PL, 12CP, 490pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Plague Company

+ Primarch | Daemon Primarch | Supreme Commander +

Mortarion [25 PL, 490pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 5. Curse of the Leper, 6. Gift of Plagues, Warlord

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [81 PL, -5CP, 1,510pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Lord of Contagion [6 PL, -1CP, 120pts]: Ferric Blight, Plaguechosen, Plaguereaper

+ Troops +

Plague Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Daemonic plague blade
. 4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Blight grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak grenades, 4x Plague knife

Plague Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Daemonic plague blade
. 4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Blight grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak grenades, 4x Plague knife

+ Elites +

Blightlord Terminators [20 PL, -1CP, 320pts] . Blightlord Champion: Bubotic Axe, Champion of Disease, Combi-bolter, Plague Skull of Glothila
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

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

+ Fast Attack +

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 135pts]: Fleshmower

+ 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, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++ 

Huh that’s weird, I’ve actually gone up a table again despite my loss, back to 24.

This game didn’t go on much longer than this

By the end of game 5 I’m pretty mentally shattered. The mirror match has taken a lot of the wind out of my sails, and I’m hoping for what should be a well balanced skill matchup at this stage. I spot the Death Guard list and have a brief moment of relief. I got a good practice game in against Death Guard, losing it by a single point, so I know roughly what they can do, and know that I can play against them relatively well. 

This is my last chance to go 2-4, so I’m also just hoping for a good last game to end the weekend on. 4 losses in a row has been a bit of a tough streak, and whilst I’m trying to not be too disappointed, I’d really like that 2nd win. Richard turns up at the table, and I greet him and ask how he’s doing.

“Yeah not bad thanks, I’m 4-1 so far so doing pretty well.”
“Uhhhhhhh, I’m 1-4… Why the hell are we paired?”

We double check BCP, and check our scores had been entered correctly and they all were. I guess we’ll do it live! I instantly know this game is a wash. Even if I play my ass off I will not beat someone who is 4-1, especially considering the overall skill level and standard of play over the weekend.

What we should have done here, is go get a TO and point out something was clearly wrong with the pairings, but we just shrugged and got on with the game. Ultimately, Richard was very good about it, and I think we both used it as a bit of an admin/mechanical practice game more than any real competition. I take ROD, To the Last and Defend the Shrine again, hoping to just turtle up and hold for as long as possible, but once again I roll first turn, and lose a turn of potential damage to a well hidden army. When the Death Guard do emerge, they do so with force, and pushing me off my Shrine and by turn 2 have reduced me to holding just one objective (partly down to me making a silly error and moving off an objective I had a squad on). Death Guard, similar to the Ork buggies, just don’t particularly care about my damage output, and Morty in particular has decided that he’s not going to take any damage today and passes practically all his saves and Feel No Pain rolls.

I try to get to the To the Last marked PBC with my reserved Repentia, but Richard has cleverly positioned it in a way that I can’t to get to it with a charge coming in from Reserve. I bring them in on the other flank, going for the other PBC, but they fail the charge, even with a miracle dice, and then get shot off the board in Richard’s turn. In the end, I concede at the end of Richard’s turn 2. There’s no game left to play, and I have no fight left in me by that stage. It’s a little hard to really judge this game, as I was just never in with a chance. Richard got a free win, and whilst I don’t begrudge him it, it’s a shame that both of us didn’t really get a proper last game due to what turned out to be a quirk of the BCP pairings settings.

Result: 33-100 Loss

And with that, I’m done. 6 games of 40K in two days. I’m pretty tired, though perhaps not as physically tired as I expected, and there’s an element of frustration lingering about the last game, so I throw myself into helping back down the tables that are already finished. We’re due to finish the round at 19:15, and by the time prizegiving starts at 19:30 or so, the hall is almost entirely packed down, with only the last few tables waiting.

There’s a bit of a discussion about dinner plans, and we settle on going back to Annies again, so Bair books a table for 20:30.

Prizegiving kicks off, and much to my surprise I end up taking home the Best in Bracket for 1-5. This was a genuine surprise, and helped lift my spirits a lot after a bit of a disappointing end. I didn’t hit 2-4, but I couldn’t have gotten any closer to that goal. I placed 84th overall,and whilst I can’t say I wouldn’t have liked to have been higher up, this is still an improvement on my last competitive outing (0-3) in a much tougher setting.

I’ve just noticed how extremely out of position I am in this picture. Credit: Jim Grover

In the end the final bits of kit are packed down and into the van, and myself, Soggy and Bair hop into an Uber and meet a few other Goonhammer Discord members at Annies again by 8:30 for beers and burgers. It’s a good evening to end a good weekend, and I’m glad that I didn’t have to try and race home or just sit in my hotel alone. We all head back to our hotels with a plan to meet up for a trip to Warhammer World in the morning

Rarely is two pints at once a good plan, but Sunday night it was perfect.

Monday

On the Monday morning, I walk down into Nottingham city centre, find a suitably bougie coffee shop for a celebratory breakfast, then meet up with Soggy and Bair and head over to Warhammer World for a look around and a few possible purchases (fortunately I resisted dumping large amounts of money on a Big Tank or similar). Eventually we all part ways, and wrap up our event weekend.

What’s Next?

So, after all that, what did I learn? There’s a bunch of stuff, and a lot of things are relatively small changes that would make a decent impact. I won’t cover all of these as a lot of them boil down to “Just buy more models” but here’s a few interesting takeaways:

The army on the day

Remember the social side

This whole event would have been much less enjoyable had I not also had a group of people I could hang out with in the downtime, and chat to about how things were going. Losing 5 games in a row was much less painful when I was able to go grab a drink with people after and not just sulk alone in my room. I can’t recommend enough that you make sure you have some sort of social contact with someone at the event, whether that’s a friend, teammate, or even just someone you’ve spoken to on discord. It makes a huge difference and improves the whole experience, especially for a 2 day event!

Think about where you’re spending your Warlord Traits/Relics

In my case, I built out this extremely tanky Cannoness, who had a Relic and Trait that reduced her damage personally, and then buried her deep into a big unit of battle sisters almost every game. This meant that all her defensive abilities went to waste, as she was basically never targeted. I think she only died twice, and one of those was to her own overcharging plasma pistol (again, no regrets). I’d have been much better placed either just not spending the CP to get the extra Warlord Trait for her, or picking a choice that was more suited to the role I wanted to play her as – a buffing character for her and the Retributors primarily. Effectively I wasted a relic and trait here, and that could have made a big difference if used better,

Practice all the missions and deployment types

I hadn’t fully factored in the differences between how the army would play across different deployment maps. It turned out that the long deployments often were my weakness, and I didn’t really know this until the end of game 2. Being aware of this would have helped me know how to play these missions better, and hopefully given me a better chance at taking those games, or at least made them a closer fight. I also need to get a set of the mousemat style objective markers (Corrode: Right here, buddy), they’re just much easier and clearer for both players.

You can’t avoid the meta

I built my list partly based on what I actually had available, and while I think that was still the correct decision, it did limit some army building options, and in hindsight I should have prioritised some other units to get into the army, particularly some Sacresants and Celestine. The mirror match with Maxwell was a good example of someone playing a better designed Sisters list, and while it was a fairly close game, he had a better built army, and a better gameplan for that list. As well as my own decisions, I also realised I needed to be thinking more about how I would deal with other armies and their threats. Damage reduction was a big problem for me, as much of my potential damage output was tied up in D2 weapons. Adding more high damage weapons (more meltas basically) is needed here, and some units that didn’t pull their weight could be dropped in favour of more damage dealing units.

Have a plan for your units

I had a few units that I didn’t really have a solid use for, where they were just in the list because they were, and particularly the Zephyrim were guilty of this. I wasn’t running enough of them to make them a big threat, and in the end they often ended up dropping in for ROD, and then not doing much else, or being shot down after that. Seraphim could have done this same job cheaper, and slightly more resiliently as they’d have just gone into the Valorous Heart detachment. 

Overall I definitely enjoyed the whole experience, and while in hindsight diving in the deep end to such a substantial event was probably not the best way to get into proper competitive play, I don’t regret it. I had a great time, learnt and improved loads, and met lots of great new people. My plan from here is to try and keep regularish practice games going, and aim to go 1-2/2-1 at some RTTs before the next big event I attend. I’ve got a bunch of tweaks to make to my list, new units to add, different things to try or swap out, but for the immediate future I think I’m going to take a little break from painting Battle Sisters… Maybe work on more Adeptus Titanicus as a change of pace.

Tiny big robots are pretty dope – Credit: Soggy