In Service to the Dark Prince – Goonhammer Open Tournament Report

Hi everyone! My name is Ben Wadsworth (otherwise known as Daemon47 on the Goonhammer Discord server). I recently attended the Goonhammer Open UK, and Corrode has invited me to write up a report on my experience. 

I’m relatively new to the tournament scene, my first tournament having been the 2021 London Open back in late July/early August. I’ve been to a few since then though, and play weekly at my local club Manchester Hive Wargaming, so I’ve got a bit of experience. I exclusively run Chaos lists for now, mainly because I love chaos space marines and so have to have them in my lists. The list I took to Goonhammer was as follows:

My List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [58 PL, 10CP, 1,140pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Be’lakor [18 PL, 360pts]: Betraying Shades, Penumbral Curse

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 240pts]: Bewitching Aura, Hysterical Frenzy, Shining aegis, Symphony of Pain, Warlord . Exalted Keeper of Secrets: 3. Blessing of the Dark Prince

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 240pts]: Delightful Agonies, Phantasmagoria, Shining aegis, The Forbidden Gem . Exalted Keeper of Secrets: 2. Quicksilver Reflexes

+ Troops +

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

+ Fast Attack +

Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws

Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [42 PL, -6CP, 860pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Legion: Emperor’s Children

+ Stratagems +

Gifts of Chaos (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ No Force Org Slot +

Dark Disciples [1 PL, 10pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. 2x Dark Disciple: 2x Close combat weapon

+ HQ +

Dark Apostle [4 PL, 80pts]: Blissful Devotion, Mark of Slaanesh, Remnant of the Maraviglia, Warpsight Plea

Sorcerer [5 PL, 90pts]: Bolt pistol, Delightful Agonies, Force stave, Mark of Slaanesh, Prescience

+ Elites +

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, Mark of Slaanesh, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, Mark of Slaanesh, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Terminators [16 PL, 330pts]: Mark of Slaanesh . 9x Terminator: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw. Terminator Champion: Combi-melta, Lightning Claw

++ Total: [100 PL, 4CP, 2,000pts] ++

My list in all its unholy glory. Credit: Ben Wadsworth

On the off-chance this list rings a bell for any of you – that’s because a similar version of it lost to Corrode’s Drukhari at the LGT RTT 1 in game 2, which Corrode wrote up in his tournament report. Since then I’ve revised the list to remove one of the blocks of Terminators and incorporated two Volcons and a Dark Apostle to support them. I was pretty sure my list needed some shooting which was on the board turn 1 (Corrode: I’d agree here, since a big factor in our game was that I got 3 turns to be all over the table before Ben got any meaningful shooting). I ummed and ahhed over whether to go for Volcons or a Dreadclaw with Noise Marines in. In the end I went with the Volcons on the basis that I was more likely to have them for multiple turns (the Noise Marines usually end up dying if anyone so much as looks at them) and it gives me a bit of a threat saturation situation between the Volcons, Be’lakor and the Keepers.

The general plan was for Be’lakor and the Keepers to hide behind terrain and threaten anything which comes out to the middle, with the impending doom of the Terminator block  as a reserve threat if my opponent holds back and the Furies and Daemonettes striding out to flip midfield objectives/do actions and force my opponent to start trading. The Volcons would be positioned to move out to cover an objective out in the open and punish my opponent for trying to sit on it.

The list is a bit low on CP, but as long as i’m careful i usually have enough for the stratagems i really need. 

I’ve gone 3-2 or 2-3 in past events, so I had a vague aim of 3-3 for this tournament, although I tried not to be too attached to this target and just enjoy each game as it came.

The Goonhammer Open UK was the first outing for this list, so it was time to find out how it runs.

Game 1 – Nick, Dark Angels

Mission: Sweep and Clear
My Secondaries: Stranglehold, Direct Assault, Retrieve Octarius Data
His Secondaries: Death on the Wind, Assassination, Retrieve Octarius Data

Sweep and Clear. Credit: Games Workshop
Goonhammer Open Layout 1

Nick’s Dark Angels List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [51 PL, 905pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Librarian [5 PL, 90pts]: 2) Might of Heroes, 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura), Boltgun, Force sword

+ Elites +

Deathwing Command Squad [10 PL, 130pts]: Watcher in the Dark

. Deathwing Sergeant. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist
. Deathwing Terminator. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 70pts]

. Deathwing Sergeant. . Storm Bolter & Power Sword
. Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 75pts]: Bolt sniper rifle . Eliminator Sergeant: Bolt sniper rifle. 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [47 PL, 1,095pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Gametype: Matched

Ravenwing Outrider Detachment [3CP]

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [16 PL, 350pts, -1CP]

. Ravenwing Talonmaster: Arbiter’s Gaze, Rites of War, Warlord
. Ravenwing Talonmaster: Heavenfall Blade, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Imperium’s Sword

Sammael [8 PL, 150pts]

+ Elites +

Ravenwing Ancient [5 PL, 100pts]: Reliquary of the Repentant. Black Knight Bike: Astartes grenade launcher

Ravenwing Apothecary [6 PL, 135pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter. Black Knight Bike: Astartes grenade launcher

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] 2x Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] 2x Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] 2x Attack Bike: Multi-melta

++ Total: [98 PL, 5CP, 2,000pts] ++

I was pretty happy with my secondary choices in this mission, given I figured I could out-muscle Nick for the centre objective for most of my turns and ROD is usually at least an ok choice for my army given the Furies. In deployment I kept Be’lakor, Khe keepers and one Volcon behind the large L, with the other Volcon behind the back ruin, a unit of Furies and Daemonettes in the large L to threaten the midfield objective, two units of daemonettes held in the back ruin and a unit of furies in reserve (along with the terminators) . Nick, being concerned by Be’lakor’s threat range, put almost everything behind his back ruin, the Redemptors in the centre and the bikes around them, except for the Eliminators who sat on the bottom corner objective.

Nick got first turn, and sent one unit of Attack Bikes in-between the two top middle ruins to shoot one of my Keepers, with the Talonmasters further back also shooting it. It managed to survive unbracketed, and so my turn began.

This is when all of the mistakes started for me, whereas in contrast Nick played an excellent game. 

Be’lakor and one Keeper went right towards the Eliminators, the Volcons moved out to shoot the Attack Bike squad and the Keeper moved out to the top left objective with a unit of Furies, and a unit of Daemonettes took the middle. In retrospect the move with Be’lakor and the accompanying Keeper was far too aggressive – there was no need for them to move out, I could have let Nick come to me if he wanted or just score the three objectives near me if he didn’t. I also got the dense rules wrong when I shot his Attack Bike squad (which I can only apologise for again Nick).

In Round 2 Nick shot the Furies and Daemonettes to pieces, but he mostly whiffed on killing Be’lakor despite shooting almost everything into him. I then made further mistakes. Firstly I forgot I still controlled the top left and middle objectives despite having nothing on them due to the mission we were playing (and so not scoring for them AND committing further units needlessly). Secondly I deep-struck the Terminators to charge one of Nick’s bodyguard units, where they managed to kill a single Terminator (who was revived next turn anyway) and died for their troubles next turn. Starting the Fight phase with the Terminators also allowed Nick’s Redemptor to counter into Be’lakor, taking him down to a few wounds before he could kill the Redemptor, so Be’lakor could be killed easily next turn.

Mistakes were made here. Photo Credit: Soggy

By the end of round 3 I had lost Be’lakor and the Terminators for one Redemptor, and it was pretty much game. Over the next rounds Nick pushed out, taking the midfield objective and clearing everything else such that I lost 72-87.

Not a great start for me – far too many major errors made here. However, I moved on hoping my brain had decided to make all the mistakes for the tournament in the first game.

Game 2 – Lex, Drukhari

Mission: Battle Lines
My Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Retrieve Octarius Data, No Prisoners
His Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination

Battle Lines. Credit: Games Workshop
Goonhammer Open Layout 3

Lex's List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [76 PL, 10CP, 1,470pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder, Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship, Realspace Raid, The Prophets of Flesh: Connoisseurs of Pain

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Alliance of Agony [-1CP]

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

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 70pts]: Ancient Evil, Blast Pistol, Overlord, Power sword, The Helm of Spite, Warlord

Haemonculus [5 PL, 100pts]: Stratagem: Alliance of Agony WLT, Twisted Animator . Alchemical Maestro (Prophets): Alchemical Maestro

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Alliance of Agony WLT, The Triptych Whip. Agoniser & Archite Glaive. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [6 PL, 110pts]. 6x Kabalite Warrior: 6x Splinter Rifle. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Shredder . Kabalite warrior with Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [6 PL, 110pts]. 6x Kabalite Warrior: 6x Splinter Rifle. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Shredder. Kabalite warrior with Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [12 PL, 220pts]. 13x Kabalite Warrior: 13x Splinter Rifle. Kabalite Warrior w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance. Kabalite Warrior w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Shredder.Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Shredder Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Wracks [6 PL, 85pts]. Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip. 9x Wracks: 9x Wrack Blade

Wracks [6 PL, 85pts]. Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip. 9x Wracks: 9x Wrack Blade

Wyches [6 PL, 110pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug). Hekatrix: Agoniser, Blast Pistol. 9x Wych: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts]. 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade. Nightfiend

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts]. 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade. Nightfiend

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts]. 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade. Nightfiend

+ Fast Attack +

Reavers [3 PL, 70pts]: 6 – Splintermind (Combat Drug). Arena Champion: Splinter Rifle. Reaver. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Blaster

Reavers [3 PL, 70pts]: 6 – Splintermind (Combat Drug). Arena Champion: Splinter Rifle. Reaver. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Blaster

Reavers [6 PL, 140pts]: 6 – Splintermind (Combat Drug). Arena Champion: Splinter Rifle. 3x Reaver: 3x Bladevanes, 3x Splinter Pistol, 3x Splinter Rifle. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Blaster. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Blaster

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [29 PL, -2CP, 530pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Hydra Gauntlets

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 100pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug). Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol. 9x Wych: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [6 PL, 100pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug). Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol. 9x Wych: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [6 PL, 100pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug). Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol. 9x Wych: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug). Helliarch: Hellglaive. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug). Helliarch: Hellglaive. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

++ Total: [105 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

When the pairings went up for this game I only had a quick glance at the top of Lex’s list to see his faction before I went to find the table and set up. So naturally when I got there I was expecting the usual mix of Raiders filled with infantry and Talos/Cronos. So imagine my surprise at the Drukhari horde Lex started setting up!

Secondaries were fairly obvious for this one for me: No Prisoners was a shoo-in, then the standard choices of Engage and ROD. Lex went for the obvious (and I think correct) choices of Engage, ROD and Assassination.

I deployed on the left, with Be’lakor and the Volcons behind the top ruin with a unit of furies, a Keeper behind the middle with Daemonettes to sit on the backfield objective and the last Keeper behind the bottom ruin with two units of Daemonettes, and a unit of Furies and the Terminators in reserve. Lex set most of the Wyches and Wracks up on the front line of his deployment facing the midfield objectives, his Kabalites just behind them in the ruins and his bikes and Hellions behind them near his back line. A unit of Mandrakes set up on each midfield objective, while the last unit set up behind the ruins facing the top midfield objective.

I got first turn, and duly moved out the Volcons to shoot one unit of Wyches and the Mandrakes on the top midfield objective to death while the Furies flipped said objective. The Keeper at the bottom moved up with one unit of Daemonettes, the latter charging onto the bottom midfield objective, destroying the Mandrakes and flipping it. In response, Lex moved his Wracks and Wyches forward to wipe out my exposed infantry and take back both midfield objectives. His bikes tried to shoot my exposed Keeper and the Volcons but didn’t manage much. 

In round 2 Be’lakor, the Keepers and the deep striking Terminators came out to charge on to the objectives and wipe out Lex’s infantry and some of the bikes. They were successful at the top midfield objective, but the bottom midfield objective remained with Lex after two Wyches survived the Terminators’ guns and claws.

Lex now threw his characters and half his Hellions into the mix to try to kill the top Keeper and the Terminators, alongside shooting the other Keeper and the Volcons. Unfortunately they couldn’t manage much other than killing about half the Terminators, and he lost the Hellions in that trade. Indeed he forgot to charge with one Succubus such that it was shot off the table in round 3 by the Volcons. The last remaining Wych on the bottom midfield objective was a nightmare for me though – she must have made 10 4+ saves over two turns before dying, keeping the objective in Lex’s control until my turn in round 3.

By round 3 the Volcons had the top objective firmly covered, shooting anything off the board which moved to threaten it, so Be’lakor moved down to clear the large unit of bikers in the mid board threatening my backfield objective, and to later deal with the Kabalites moving to threaten the bottom objective (who with the remaining Succubus finished off the Terminators, Keeper, and last unit of Daemonettes down there). Killing the bikers left the Competitive Edge Succubus exposed in the midfield, for the Volcons to pick off in round 4. The last unit of Mandrakes redeployed for a ROD and then charged into the Daemonettes on the backfield objective, but failed to win that fight.

With Be’lakor retaking the bottom objective in round 4 Lex didn’t have anything left to throw at me, and so it ended as a win for me of 78-64.

Oh and if anyone was wondering, the Archon was led on a merry chase after the deep-striking Furies for a few turns, which is why he didn’t feature much. 

Much happier with my performance in this game. No major mistakes, and the Volcons demonstrated their usefulness by holding the top of the board for me. Lex proved a tough (but lovely) opponent, and the amount of obsec he kept throwing on the objectives was a challenge to deal with. 

Game 3 – David, Ravenwing

Mission: Overrun
My Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Raise the Banners High, No Prisoners
His Secondaries: Retrieve Octarius Data, Stubborn Defiance, Assassination

Overrun. Credit: Games Workshop

Goonhammer Open Layout 2

David's List - Click to Expand

+++ DA Goonhammer Open Oct 2021 (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [89 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] +++

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [59 PL, 7CP, 1,420pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]. . Ravenwing Talonmaster: Arbiter’s Gaze, Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

Lieutenant(s) [8 PL, 175pts]. . Ravenwing Talonmaster

+ Elites +

Ravenwing Apothecary [6 PL, -1CP, 135pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Reliquary of the Repentant, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter. . Black Knight Bike: Astartes grenade launcher

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts] 3x Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts] 3x Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts] 3x Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Bike Squad [7 PL, 150pts]. . Attack Bike: Multi-melta. . Biker Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword. . 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

Bike Squad [7 PL, 150pts]. . Attack Bike: Multi-melta. . Biker Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword. . 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

Bike Squad [5 PL, 95pts]. . Biker Sergeant: Storm bolter. . 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [30 PL, , 580pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Azrael [8 PL, 2CP, 170pts]: 1. Brilliant Strategist, Warlord

+ Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]. . 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades. . Incursor Sergeant

+ Elites +

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 80pts]. . Deathwing Sergeant. . . . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer. . Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

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

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 75pts]: Bolt sniper rifle. . Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine. . 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

This game was very cagey. As you may be able to work out from the terrain map and objective’s positions, both myself and David were able to sit on three objectives without exposing ourselves. Neither of us wanted to move out into the midfield given the other would destroy the exposed units, and so we both held most of our armies back for the majority of the game.

I was again happy with my secondaries. For Engage I could throw chaff forwards for 2 points a turn, Raise shouldn’t be too hard and I should at least get something for No Prisoners given the number of bikes David had. For David Stubborn Defiance and Assassinate were good choices, but I think choosing ROD over Raise Banners was a mistake – the former only netted him four points in the end, whereas Raise could well have won the game for him.

I deployed with a unit of Daemonettes on each objective, Be’lakor behind the middle U-shaped ruin with the Volcons, and a Keeper behind each ruin on the left and right (and, as always, with the Terminators in reserve). David deployed most of his army behind the U-shaped ruin, with the Volcon and Incursors behind the right ruin and the Eliminators behind the left ruin.

I got first turn, and proceeded to move one unit of Furies behind the L ruin and the other out to score Engage, and to raise banners. David for his part shot the unit of Furies off and, in an excellent move, double moved a unit of bikers to flip my left-side objective and remove my banner (due to rubble in the ruins, I could only have one Daemonette on that objective).

In round 2 I shot the biker unit off the table and deep struck my Terminators in. They charged and wiped out the Eliminators to flip David’s objective. I also moved Be’lakor up behind the L ruin. David carefully moved his army to wipe out the Terminators and reclaim the objective without exposing themselves to my Volcons. 

Unfortunately for him, in round 3 Be’lakor rolled a 6 to advance, charged the bikers on the same objective and flipped it. So David had to spend the round shooting everything into Be’lakor to wipe him out.

In round 4 I advanced the last unit of Furies up onto the same objective, giving it back to me and scoring Engage, while the left hand Keeper moved behind the L ruin to threaten. David cleared the Furies and went for a hail mary – he had earlier pulled his Incursors off the table with a view to ROD, but couldn’t find a position for them. So he dropped them in and made a 9 inch charge to my Daemonettes on the right hand objective, and took out enough of them to flip it and lower my banner.

Round 5 I threw my Keeper on the right hand side (the warlord) to take back the objective from the Incursors and the left hand Keeper to take his left hand side objective. In response David killed the warlord. He also retook his left-hand objective to ensure a 15 point primary score, but couldn’t kill the Keeper on it for extra assassination points. As such the game ended in a very tight win for me of 65-61.

This was such a good game, requiring both of us to play very carefully since one big mistake could well be enough to lose the game. David played very well, and the only mistake was I think the choice of ROD (which he agreed with when we chatted after the game).

Game 4 – Josh, Chaos Daemons

Misson: Vital Intelligence
My Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination
His Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Retrieve Octarius Data, To the Last

Vital Intelligence. Credit: Games Workshop
Goonhammer Open Layout 1

Josh's List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Daemons) [53 PL, 1,030pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Gametype: Matched

+ HQ +

Be’lakor [18 PL, 360pts]: Betraying Shades, Pall of Despair

Contorted Epitome [11 PL, 210pts]: Hysterical Frenzy, Phantasmagoria

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 240pts, -1CP]: Delightful Agonies, Shining aegis, Symphony of Pain. Exalted Keeper of Secrets: 2. Quicksilver Reflexes

+ Troops +

Daemonettes [4 PL, 80pts]: Alluress, Instrument of Chaos. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [25 PL, 515pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Khorne

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage [13 PL, 250pts, -1CP]: Exalted Bloodthirster – Rolling for Exalted Traits

+ Troops +

Bloodletters [12 PL, 265pts, -1CP]: Banner of Blood, Bloodreaper, Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos. 29x Bloodletter: 29x Hellblade

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [22 PL, 455pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Tzeentch

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Lord of Change [14 PL, 295pts, -1CP]: Baleful sword, Gaze of Fate, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, The Impossible Robe, Treason of Tzeentch, Warlord. Exalted Lord of Change: 5. Aura of Mutability

+ Troops +

Horrors [4 PL, 80pts]. Iridescent Horror. 9x Pink Horror: 9x Coruscating flames

Horrors [4 PL, 80pts]. Iridescent Horror. 9x Pink Horror: 9x Coruscating flames

++ Total: [100 PL, 3CP, 2,000pts] ++

The evening before I had been paired up against Sisters, so I came in this morning with a whole plan for them. Unfortunately there had been some drops so that I now had a new opponent. Fortunately I know Chaos Daemons quite well! Also, Josh’s army was gorgeous to see on the board – I was not surprised he ended up on the podium for best painted miniature with his Be’lakor.

Josh Hill’s Chaos Daemons. Credit: Jim Grover

I went for what I think were the correct choices of secondaries of ROD, Engage and Assassination. Josh’s choice of ROD and Engage seemed like good ones, but I wasn’t sure about his choice of To the Last given my Be’lakor is pretty much designed to kill his Lord of Change and between my Terminators and Volcons I had multiple ways to deal with the Bloodletter bomb. Josh rolled for his Bloodthirster traits and managed to get Blood-blessed as one of the traits, so I could only do 8 wounds per phase to him.

I deployed with most of my infantry on the front line apart from one unit of Daemonettes on my backfield objective, and a unit of Furies and the Terminators in reserve. The monsters and vehicles deployed behind the infantry: Be’lakor and one Keeper deployed in the top left, while the other Keeper and the Volcons deployed on the bottom right. Josh deployed most of his infantry on the front lines as well, apart from a unit of Horrors on his backfield objective and the Bloodletters in reserve. Most of the characters deployed behind the large L ruin, except for the Bloodthirster which deployed on the bottom right behind two units of Daemonettes.

Josh got first turn, and moved his infantry onto three of the midfield objectives (leaving the bottom right objective unclaimed), and his Be’lakor, Keeper and LoC to the left, away from the Volcons. In return my Furies moved on to the top left objective and RODed, and two units of Daemonettes moved onto the two bottom right midfield objectives. One of my units of Daemonettes charged one of Josh’s and killed several of the unit in combat, while my Volcons whittled down the other Daemonette unit next to it and wiped out (through morale) the unit of Pink Horrors on the top left objective such that the Furies could flip it to me, leaving Josh with 2 objectives.

In round 2 he threw his Bloodthirster into the Daemonette fight and the LoC into the Furies. His Bloodletter bomb stayed off the table, since my screening left it with no good targets. My Terminators did the same due to Josh’s screening, but my Keepers charged in – the warlord into his Keeper, and my other Keeper into the Bloodthirster to set up this epic fight:

The fight I had wanted to happen since seeing Josh’s list. Photo Credit: Soggy

Unfortunately my Volcon had whiffed when shooting the Bloodthirster, so the Keeper couldn’t kill it and all I could do was put it in its lowest bracket. This seemed to just annoy it, since it then reduced my Keeper to 4 wounds. On the other side of the board my warlord couldn’t quite finish off Josh’s Keeper, but it did weather the response somewhat to still be on around 10 wounds.

In round 3 Josh pulled back the LoC and threw Be’lakor into my warlord, wiping it off the face of the Earth. His Bloodletter bomb dropped in and charged the Daemonettes and the other Keeper in combat with the Bloodthirster, flipping the bottom right objective. Unfortunately for Josh I used Aura of Acquiescence to reduce the Bloodletters to 1 attack each and Forbidden Gemmed the Bloodthirster in the Fight phase so it couldn’t fight. The Keeper killed the Bloodthirster and only took two wounds from the Bloodletters, and only 3 Daemonettes died as well. They did manage to kill my Sorcerer though, and tag my Volcon in combat.

In my turn my untagged Volcon finished off Josh’s wounded Keeper. Pulling back the LoC had left a gap in Josh’s screening, which the Terminators duly filled and charged into his Be’lakor. They couldn’t quite kill him, but he couldn’t kill them in return and they had flipped both objectives in the top left corner.

At this point Josh ran out of time, so the last couple of rounds consisted of my Be’lakor wiping out the LoC, the Volcons dealing with the Bloodletters and my remaining infantry flipping enough objectives to ensure a win of 71-57.

An interesting, near-mirror match this one. Neither of us wanted to commit the big guns first. I think my win came down to neutering the Bloodletter bomb by reducing their number of attacks and the opening the movement of the LoC gave me to drop in the terminators. An excellent, close game though, as all the games this weekend were turning out to be.

Game 5 – Alex, Custodes

Mission: Retrieval Mission
My Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Raise the Banners High, Psychic Interrogation
His Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Grind Them Down, Assassination

Retrieval Mission. Credit: Games Workshop
Goonhammer Open Layout 3

Alex's List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [95 PL, 11CP, 1,998pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, -1CP, 178pts]: Auric Aquilas, Captain-Commander, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Superior Creation, Unstoppable Destroyer, Warlord

+ Troops +

Sagittarum Custodians [10 PL, 212pts] 4x. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts] 3x. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts] 3x. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts] 3x. Vertus Praetor: Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts] 3x. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter

+ Heavy Support +

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 295pts]: Arachnus Storm Cannon. Telemon Caestus

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 295pts]: Arachnus Storm Cannon. Telemon Caestus

++ Total: [95 PL, 11CP, 1,998pts] ++

Alex openly admitted mine was one of the lists he didn’t want to face this weekend, so of course we ended up against each other. Those Telemons do not like Be’lakor.

Secondaries were an interesting one for this mission. Engage turned out to be the wrong pick for me: while it scored alright, I think Stranglehold would have been better. The primary was control 1, control 2, control more, and two of the objectives were out in the open – by choosing Stranglehold I could have forced Alex to commit more troops to his open objective to prevent my Stranglehold score, where they could have been shot by my Volcons. I thought Psychic Interrogation was the best of a bad bunch, but I didn’t get it off once due to Alex’s denies via stratagems. Grind Them Down was probably the better choice in retrospect. 

I initially thought Alex’s secondary choices were solid, but it turned out that Grind was a bad choice. I didn’t need to commit my infantry to the midfield, which meant Alex wasn’t actually killing that many units (he scored it once in the game). Looking back, perhaps Raise may have been a better choice since he held the same two objectives for most of the game.

I deployed on the left, with Be’lakor behind the middle ruin, a Keeper behind each of the top and bottom ruins and the Volcons also behind the bottom ruin. Alex’s Telemons deployed towards the top of the board with the salvo launcher jetbikes, while the other jetbikes deployed to the bottom.

Alex got first turn, in which he moved his salvo jetbikes and Telemons up into the L shaped ruin. I responded by moving infantry to my three objectives and raising banners, and moving Be’lakor and the bottom Keeper into my L shaped ruin. This was a mistake for me, as it meant Be’lakor was too far away from the Telemons for the next turn – I’m not sure what I was thinking other than “oooo, L shaped ruin to hide behind”.

Alex made what I think was a mistake in return though in round 2, throwing a Telemon out to clear the Furies off my open objective and flipping it. I assume he thought it was safe since Be’lakor was too far away. It was not. He also move a unit of Sagittarum out to claim his bottom objective in the open.

In my turn Be’lakor moved back towards the Telemons, but more importantly my Keeper and Terminators combined to take out his exposed Telemon. My other Keeper cleared the Sagittarum to claim the open objective.

In round 3 Alex threw everything and the kitchen sink at my exposed units, a unit of bikers each going into the Terminators and bottom Keeper (along with a jetbike Shield-Captain into the bottom Keeper) and the other Telemon into the Keeper next to the Terminators. While he killed the Terminators, the Keepers proved impossible for him to kill easily. The Keeper squaring off against the Telemon kept making invulnerable saves for two turns, allowing Be’lakor to clear the bikers and then charge in to rescue her. The other Keeper defeated the bikers but unfortunately died to the Captain, but only after a few Fight phases and the Captain couldn’t stay on the open objective for fear of the Volcons.

The game was mostly cleaning house for me at this point (flipping objectives and raising banners) and Alex going for a last desperate Grind score (which he managed). But in the end it was another close victory of 74-66.

Another great game here, and I think much closer than Alex was initially expecting. MVPs had to be the Keepers, holding the Custodes up for a couple of rounds while Belakor cleared the threats. 

Game 6 – Andrew, Grey Knights

Mission: Surround and Destroy
My Secondaries: Stranglehold, Bring it Down, Raise the Banners High
His Secondaries: Engage On All Fronts, Retrieve Octarius Data, Purifying Ritual

Surround and Destroy. Credit: Games Workshop
Goonhammer Open Layout 2

Andrew's List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [16 PL, 310pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Brotherhood: Prescient Brethren

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [10 PL, 200pts, -1CP]: 1: Daemon Slayer, 1: Gate of Infinity, 3: Sanctuary, 3: Unyielding Anvil, Dreadfist, Exemplar of the Silver Host, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Daemon Greathammer, Warlord

+ Troops +

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts]. 4x Grey Knight (Halberd): 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter. Grey Knight Justicar. . Nemesis Force Halberd

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [40 PL, 760pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Brotherhood: Blades of Victory

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Brotherhood Librarian [7 PL, 120pts, -1CP]: 4: Purifying Flame, 4: Vortex of Doom, 6: Psychic Epitome, Gem of Inoktu, Shield of Humanity. Nemesis Warding Stave

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [12 PL, 235pts, -1CP]: 2: Empyric Amplification, 5: Warp Shaping, Dreadfist, Foretelling of Locus, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword, Shield of Humanity, Sigil of Exigence, Vanguard Aggression

+ Troops +

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts]. 4x Grey Knight (Halberd): 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter. Grey Knight Justicar. . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Fast Attack +

Interceptor Squad [7 PL, 120pts]. 4x Interceptor (Halberd): 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter. Interceptor Justicar. . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Heavy Support +

Nemesis Dreadknight [8 PL, 175pts]: Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [47 PL, 930pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Brotherhood: Swordbearers

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [11 PL, 225pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 2: Empyric Amplification, Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword, Servant of the Throne

+ Troops +

Strike Squad [6 PL, 115pts]. 3x Grey Knight (Halberd): 3x Nemesis Force Halberd, 3x Storm Bolter. Grey Knight (Psycannon): Psycannon. Grey Knight Justicar. . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Fast Attack +

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts]. 8x Interceptor (Halberd): 8x Nemesis Force Halberd, 8x Storm Bolter. Interceptor (Warding Stave). Interceptor Justicar. . Nemesis Force Sword

+ Heavy Support +

Nemesis Dreadknight [8 PL, 175pts]: Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Nemesis Dreadknight [8 PL, 175pts]: Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

++ Total: [103 PL, 2,000pts, 5CP] ++

I’d seen Andrew at a few other tournaments I’ve been to, and was excited to play him. His list though was another story: Grey Knights are a tough matchup for me, and 6 Dreadknights make it a nightmare given the only tools I have for them is Be’lakor and the Terminators (and even the Terminators are iffy, since I’ve seen them whiff on killing Dreadknights in both combat and shooting). To make matters worse, the terrain on this particular table had rather large bases which made hiding all my monsters and vehicles relatively difficult.

I deployed with a Keeper behind each left and right side ruin, Be’lakor behind the middle ruin and the Volcons behind the right side ruin as well, with the Terminators as usual off board. Andrew had all the Dreadknights on the right.

Andrew got first turn, and proceeded to move up and blow one of my Volcons off the table. He also took the left midfield objective with a Strike Squad. I committed the Keeper on the right hand side into the front most knight along with the remaining Volcon’s firepower, and the other Keeper into the squad, with the two units of Furies moving onto the midfield objectives. The Keeper attacking the Strikes cleared the squad, but the other Keeper did not do so well – between it and the Volcon the Dreadknight took a grand total of 5 wounds. Be’lakor did not move, since anywhere he went he would be shot in the face by 5 knights.

In round 2 Andrew killed the Keeper in combat with the Dreadknight and the Volcon, and moved towards my right-hand objective. The other Keeper was whittled down to 1 wound, while the Furies were removed and a Strike Squad flipped the right-hand midfield objective. In response Be’lakor killed the Strike Squad to take back the objective (since they were the only viable target for him). My Terminators dropped in and melta-ed one Dreadknight to death, but couldn’t quite kill a second in combat due to its 3+ invulnerable save.

In round 3 Be’lakor was shot to pieces and the Terminators were put to the sword. From this point onwards Andrew was just cleaning up, taking the midfield and completing his secondaries, although he couldn’t deal with all the Daemonettes cowering in the ruins so I still scored some points for the primary and raise banners. The end result was a loss for me of 68-93.

This was a tough match for me, although it was indeed fun to play Andrew despite the result. I’m not sure what I could have done differently, but I will run this game through my mind over the next few weeks and see what I can come up with. It does show I need some sort of plan for Grey Knight lists, given I have yet to beat them (having lost to a different list at the LGT).

Conclusion

I’m very happy with my 4-2 from this event, and ending up 30th (and with best in faction for Chaos!). All of my matches were tight, close games (except maybe the last – I’ll do better next time we meet Andrew, I promise). I ended up exhausted after it all. 

A big thank you to all my opponents for the great games, and Goonhammer for the great event.

I’m pretty happy with how this list worked out in the end. The Volcons felt like the correct choice since (in most games) I got several turns of effective shooting from them, and they did seem to improve the list over the second Terminator bomb. I’m certainly sticking with this list for now. In my next tournament my aim will be to cut out the mistakes and errors which happened in the first game here. With this aim in mind, onwards to the next one – the Coventry GT Super-Major in November.