(Iron) Halo: (A Naramyth [Combat] Report) Evolved

Enough with this Marine RTT nonsense. We are going to a major, it’s time to bring the season’s army. We got The Warhogs Bacon Bus (4 out of 5 dudes who are 30+ in a minivan) together and rolled from the soon-to-be-frozen hinterlands that is North Dakota to the humid and hot hinterlands of Oklahoma. 13 hours later we arrived at The Iron Halo GT ready to slam some ham.

The List:

Cyborg Hillbilly Yacht Club - Click to Expand

Double Mars Battalion
Cawl, warlord
Tech Priest, Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land
Tech Priest
5×5 Rangers
5 Vanguard
10x Fulgurite Priests
9x Fulgurite Priests
3x Skorpius Disintegrator
3x Icarus Dune Crawler, extra stubber
Terrax Drill
4x Dunerider

Assassin Sideboard

Behold the mighty Man Pile.

Extremely similar to the list I brought to NOVA, dropping a Fulgurite Priest and downgrading one set of Vanguard to upgrade an Enginseer to Mr “+1 hit and a pocket smite” Daedalosus. After doing fine at NOVA and not really moving on the Ad Mech scoreboard I was a little dubious on playing Ad Mech out for the rest of the season with New Marines being right there. However, I was feeling pretty good as my only losses at NOVA were GSC and Orks, which are both match ups I’ve either now figured out the plan and am better against in the ITC format, or have beaten before. I figured I’d run the Ad Mech again, and if I get dumpstered I’ll get out of the running since I only have 2 majors in the schedule after Halo and I wouldn’t be able to catch the front runner. Lets see if the music swells and your robot hero stays in the ring…

Round 1 – Imperial Fists Centstar

The Opposition
Army List - Click to Expand

Player: Kevin Lynn
Imperial Fists Siegebreaker battalion and normal spearhead
Phobos Captain
Phobos Libby
Primaris Chaplain
2×5 Intercessors
5 Aggressors
6x Lascannon Dev Cents
Primaris Apothecary
5 Termis, Assault Cannon
3 bolter Inceptors
2x Thunderfire Cannon
2x 3 Eliminators

ITC Mission 2 (1 center objective, 2 player placed, full player deployments), Hammer and Anvil. NW/SE Corner Ruins,NE/SW open ruins, real small and open square ruins in the center.

That is a lot of dangerous Ceturions. I played against the bolter version the weekend before and two bodies easily picked up an Invictor, and a pile of ignore cover lascannons will delete any of my tanks without much fanfare. With Aggressors and not a lot of LOS blocking in the center, a charge with the priests seems unreasonable. I’ll need to take out the Cents ASAP, try to screen out the deep strikers, and get into his lines to start touching snipers and Thunderfire Cannons.

Pregame Decisions:

Gangbusters, Recon, and Headhunter. He has 6 characters and the Cents and Aggressors lean into Gangbusters. The Callidus to drain CP and punk his characters. He chose BGH, Recon, and Engineers with his Intercessors.

The Game

I win the roll off and he chooses to setup and go first. He puts the Aggressors on the line with Centurions, characters, and snipers behind them in the open, his engineers on his objective in the NW, and the Thunderfires in the SW ruin. I do a broad deployment to run the troop transports forward (but not before unloading a squad on my own SE objective), and the priests are lined up to contest the center objective, with the ability to bail behind the little bit of cover I have to hide from the Aggressors. All my shooting is 29″ away from the cents to avoid mortal wounds; 2 Disintegrators are on the NE flank with one in the SE and the crawlers are piled around Cawl with the drill with the usual Rangers/Vanguard/Tech-priest off the table. I fail to seize.

He runs his Aggressors into the center ruin onto the objective, and his cents light up the two priest transports pretty aggressively, severely damaging my N troop ride. I lose 6 priests from the combination of disembarking/random sniper fire/Thunderfire shooting, but was able to hide the rest of them from the Aggressors so they wind up putting some shots into a Dunecrawler. My bottom of the turn, the troops all get out of their rides to make room for the priests but the priests are only able to get into the N ride (I would have preferred the S ride) while my troops go forward into a small ruin in the center N side of the map. The remaining small squad of 4 priests line up an 8″ charge through the ruins to grab the Aggressors. Both remaining Duneriders shoot forward to just cover some ground with. I unload all my shooting into the Cents and kill 5 of them despite him making an astonishing amount of saves, and I am able to also clear his 5 sniper Scouts that were in the upper floors of the center ruin with stubber fire. The priests make the charge (with CP reroll) as does the N Dunerider (now full of priests) into the Aggressors. I was able to, with my 11″ charge move, have the ride go past the Aggressors and touch the final Centurion. I do nothing to the Aggressors, and lose my priests, and my Dunerider in the middle of his army has 2 wounds left on it.

His turn two he surrounds the rider and asks “if the guys can’t place when they get out, they die right?”


He proceeds to setup a wrap and trap charge. The Aggressors don’t need to move, meanwhile his Terminators come into my NE corner along with his Inceptors in the SE. Yes dear reader, I had a plan to screen them out, and just didn’t. He brings back a Centurion with one wound with his Apothecary, and smites and kills the surrounded Dunerider which I choose to Machine Spirit’s Revenge to auto explode and put ~15 mortals on various characters and units around the ride. The priests get out since it was not yet the Fight phase and he didn’t quite have the ride wrapped. Whoops. His shooting clears my Rangers holding my SE objective and the remaining priests. His Terminators make the charge, killing one Disintegrator and tying up the other, but they lose a Termi and a half on the overwatch.

In my 2, the Skorpius moves away, Cawl and Daedalosus move up to respond to the Termis, I line up a charge with one of my crawlers into the Aggressors to prevent them from charging my whole army, the healthy S Dunerider with 5 Rangers goes forward into setting up a charge into Eliminators, and my drill and assassin come down an annoying distance away from his battle pile since his Phobos Captain was well placed. Cawl and Daedalosus kill the Termis with shooting and the once a game pseudo-smite, the Inceptors die real fast to a crawler putting them down, and I finish off the Cents, and kill a couple Aggressors. The drill kills a couple of Intercessors with shooting and makes its charge into both squads, killing a few more, while the Callidus goes into the Techmarines manning the Thunderfires, killing one and tying up the other, and my crawler and Dunerider tie up the Aggressors and a squad of Eliminators.

With most of his shooting dead or tied up his turn three isn’t great. He does kill the assassin and the troops that jumped out of the drill, but fails to kill the Dunerider or the crawler that tied him up. On my turn all the Intercessors, Eliminators, and Aggressors die and his characters are threatened to be shot off the table with their lack of screens. We talk out a little bit of what may happen and call it.

Final Score: 33-21

Postgame Thoughts:

I was pretty mad at myself for not screening out my backfield. I could have easily dropped off Rangers and ran them back to screen on the bottom of one and just…didn’t. Otherwise my play felt pretty solid. Take the Cents on the chin with my transports and shoot them off the table. They are terrifying but kind of fragile and a huge point sink at 600 points. The rest of his list was solid but unremarkable and had a hard time dealing with just the sheer amount of vehicles I put on the table. We chatted about Marines after and he was just excited to have assorted power armor on the table that’s not complete garbage.


Round 2 – Nurgle Grind

The Opposition
Army List - Click to Expand

Player: Jason Burau
2x Daemons Battalion
4x Nurglings
30 Plaguebearers, banner, instrument
30 Plaguebearers, banner, instrument

Death Guard Vanguard
Wings Prince, Suppurating Plate
Foot Prince
10x Blightlord Termis
3x Foul Blightspawn

ITC Mission 3 (4 objectives on cardinal directions, alternating deployment). Search and Destroy. Two large magic boxes E/W of a clear middle, two magic boxes in the more extreme N/S and NE/SW. Two L ruins, SE/NW.

Grindy Nurgle. A pile of wounds protecting a cast of characters with some Blightlords that can Cloud of Flies to hide after dropping in and getting across the table. At least he doesn’t have much for shooting other than the crazy flamers on the Blightspawn, however I need to be careful with the wraps so I’m not tied up all game. I significantly out range him and can comfortably hold two for a couple turns. As we were setting up someone came by and said we were also on a clock as we were on one of the the top 10 tables.

Pregame Decisions:

I won the rolloff for the map and chose the SE corner with a large ruin vantage point for the Vindicare assassin. I chose Headhunter, Old School, and Marked for Death (2x Plaguebearers, 2x Princes). This would normally be an ok Engineers match up but the mission requires the Engineers to be uncomfortably close to the front line and I expect to do some kiting. He chose Recon, BGH, and Engineers with two sets of Nurglings

The Game

He setup pretty much as expected: bricks of Plaguebearers, characters behind, Nurglings in magic boxes on objectives, Termis off the table. I setup the priest rides on the line, the troops rides on the flanks to grab objectives, my drill is off the table, and the brick of shooting sets up around my L ruin with the Vindi like a cherry on top of the shooting sundae. I had the +1, chose to go first, and he didn’t seize.

I get my priests out and shuffle things around a bit. I shoot his Bilepiper and he saves (in hindsight I forgot that the Vindi ignores invulnerable saves 🙁 ) and dump my whole army into one Plaguebearer squad and kill them through a 4++ Warpsurge. I fail to charge into the other with the one set of priests. His turn 1 is pretty short – he goes and kills my priests, their ride (which I choose to explode) and wraps a S ride.

I go and fail to kill a character again, but my troops are able to get out of the wrapped ride and threaten his Bilepiper. The drill comes down in my NE to fill up space for the Termis and threaten charging some characters, while the guys inside get out to also shoot at some characters. My NE priests also get out to join the Plaguebearer fight. I kill the Scrivenerr this time with all my shooting that can get at them, while the rest of my shooting kills most of his Engineers and the two squads of Nurglings I can reach. The drill is able to make the charge and finishes off the piper.

On his turn, he continues to keep a ride wrapped and turns his attention to killing the troops and drill running around behind his line. He kills the troops and wounds the drill but does not kill it, and does a bunch of damage to the wrapped ride but doesn’t finish it off. The termis came in and dropped on the N magic box pop Cloud of Flies, but didn’t make his charge. I was able to interrupt with my priests and kill two of the Blightspawn before they went down,

My three I am able to get a bunch of characters: the Poxwalker, a Blightspawn, and a prince get killed from the assassin and drill respectively,  all his Nurglings die to finish denying his Engineers, and I am able to kill a Termi or two since they were slightly closer for some of my shooting. On his go, he gets into my NE troops that were hanging out but fails to wrap with the Termis while the mess around my S trapped Dunerider finishes off the transport.

At this point I look at the clock and have under 30 minutes while he is staying north of an hour. I don’t think there were any clock shenanigans but my complex shooting and his complex saves has really cut into my time. I go into “I can’t watch your saves, I can only roll dice” mode and start to book it. Corrode’s note: Cyle should probably have been on top of passing the clock here if there’s complex saves to make!

My 4 I finish off all the characters that aren’t Epidemius or a prince, and dump all my shooting into the Termis, killing 5. His living prince gets on top of a magic box and charges a Disintegrator, but eats a 5 wound overwatch missile and gets killed. His Termis make it into a couple of my Disintegrators, but fail to kill them since he was strung out trying to kill the remainder of my troops in the NE building.

On 5 I collapse into my SE corner and need to make a decision on shooting the Plaguebearers or the Termis. I choose to delete the remaining Plaguebearers now that they are free, a Marked target, and I have the free shooting while his Termis continue to pressure me down. On 6 I have about 90 seconds left. I dump my shooting into the the Termis… and fail to put a single wound on them. With under 10 seconds to go I realize I don’t have anything to lose and throw Cawl at them and manage to kill 3.5 Termis with his axe and wiggly arms while I clock out as I finish my dice rolling. He goes, fails to do much of anything as he only has a few models left and it’s over.

Final Score: 26-23

Postgame Thoughts:

The Disintegrators picking up his Engineers was money, as was having the drill to threaten a collapsed flank. Both those things worked exactly as they should: pressure and disruption units doing what they do best. However I didn’t collapse back like I should have and completely threw away my priests. I got lucky at the end and with Cawl going ham I got kill/kill more/last strike, but if that didn’t happen this would have been a draw. I made mistakes and didn’t get punished on the scoreboard like I should have.

For whatever reason I was exceptionally hostile in this game. I think it’s because when he was handed the clock at the beginning it seemed…pointedly directed at him? It’s hard to put my finger on it but I was on the defensive, especially when he would not budge on having magic boxes. However none of that should have or indeed mattered: I was the one who clocked out, the magic boxes didn’t matter at all since I have a ton of indirect shooting, and he was a cordial opponent. Jason, I know I said it at the end of the game but I want to say it again: I am sorry.

Also I need to remember that the Vinidicare ignores invulnerable saves. I’m a doofus.

Round 3 – Triptide Tau

The Opposition
Army List - Click to Expand

Player: Nick Weiss
3x Tau Battalion
Fusion Coldstar
3x Firesight Marksmen
9×5 Firewarriors
3x Riptide
27x Drones

ITC Mission 4 (5 objectives, each player places two, full player deployments), Pointy Dawn of War. NOVA terrain (2x L blockers, ruins N/S, Ruins NE/SW Cargo Container Hills NW/SE).

Going into this I was in a ham sandwich, right between Nick and another handsome Warhog, Ryan Olson.  It’s always unfortunate when Hogviolence happens, but here we are. I’ve played and put down Nick’s Tau, this exact list, back at Slaughterhouse, with the same map and mission. I put my bonus objective out in the open last time and piled my reserves on it. Let’s see if I can do it again.

Pregame Decisions:

I chose Recon, Butchers, and Reaper. Even though he only has 80 models, experience has taught me that every other option sucks but I bet I’ll kill 45 Fire Warriors and a pile of drones. Finally, the Callidus is still excellent against Tau. He picked BGH, Old School and Butchers.

The Game

I won the roll off, however he chose for me to go first. He placed his first objective in the NW behind an L blocker, and his second objective in my zone on the Center W part of my DZ. I placed my objective Center E behind my central ruin and the objective in his DZ out in the open in the NE.

I set up in a central-W castle to LOS his central ruin he was planning on setting up in, with a troop transport and a priest transport on the point, while my second troop and priest rides were slightly E to take advantage of that L blocker and have a run at my bonus placed objective. The drill was also up in reserve. He castled up on the central ruin, and put 15ish Fire Warriors on both objectives. Despite putting me on first turn he tried to seize and failed, that cheeky guy.

I ran forward, grabbing the center, and got to work on operation: kill everything but the shooty things. Even through Prepared Positions I wound up killing like 5 squads of Fire Warriors and put something like 8 wounds on a Riptide because he kept taking autocannon and stubber wounds on his 2+ and failing. He went, blew up a priest ride and the guys inside, and killed one of my Disintegrators.

On my two, my W Dunerider pushed up to grab his NW objective, which he’d set up next to a wall. The drill came in on the far NE, the assassin in the NW, and my E priests made it up to the bonus objective Fire Warriors who were cowering next to some Riptides trying to use their overwatch. I shot all the Fire Warriors save one, who was out of the overwatch coverage bubble, and picked up the Ghostkeel who came closer to threaten charging my gunline. The priests made the charge, killed the lone Fire Warrior, powered up, and used Acquisition at Any Cost to get down to that mighty 2++. Bonus Point 1. The assassin also tried to bully some Fire Warriors, but only killed like 3 warriors after flubbing her wound rolls. On his 2, he finally comes out of his castle. The Riptides move to get away from the scary priests, and he makes a wall of drones to force them to only be able to move like 3″. His fusion Commander pops out to shoot a Dunecrawler and setups a charge into my Dunerider along with the Fire Warriors that are on the other side of his wall. His shooting fails to pick up a crawler but he hammers the priests and kills like 6 of them. He does get his wrap charge off and is protected from my shooting for a turn.

My turn three I shuffle around the castle to start shooting exposed drones and try to whittle down the Riptides. Meanwhile the drill picks up some squads of Rangers to just continue to hold that objective; this is Bonus Point 2. My Rangers in the trapped ride get out on the second floor of the ruins and drop down to shoot whatever Fire Warriors that were hiding and also setup charges to free their locked up ride. I don’t do much with my shooting, barely killing a drone squad and needing the Callidus to come out and kill a single Fire Warrior. The hot Ranger on Fire Warrior battle had 0 wounds done among all of them. On his 3, the fusion Commander gets out and with the now very forward and aggressive Riptides and sneaky L blocker hiding drones picks up two Disintegrators and makes a charge that ties up literally all my crawlers and last Disintegrator, but eats a pile of wounds on the charging Riptide and is down to two wounds.

My four I move my Callidus up, on the exposed side of the ruin to charge some Fire Warriors and use her gun to kill some drones. Daedalosus moves and advances to setup his pocket smite on the severely wounded Riptide, while Cawl walks up to the fusion commander and shows him his own melta gun. The drill shoots some drones even though that Shadowsun lady is getting real close, but it and the remaining crew on that objective grab Bonus Point 3. The commander and Riptide go down, but the drones don’t really take a lot of damage and it works out that his one Fire Warrior is baaaaarely in 6″ of a Riptide and the Callidus gets shot into pieces on overwatch.  He responds with the reminder of his shooting clearing everyone but the Enginseer off the NE objective, but that positioning forces him to not continue to charge my army.

My 5 the Enginseer gets his Bonus Point 4 and the rest of my army shoots as hard as it can into drones and Riptides, and maybe gets a kill. He gets over and punches the Enginseer to death, and holds more on 5. On 6 I don’t think I get a kill, while he gets a kill, kill more, hold more, and blasts Cawl to death.

Final Score: 31-29

Postgame Thoughts:

A real close one! I told Nick right after that if he setup on the bonus point he would have won, however he didn’t because he was worried about having no board control without a central deployment and all of his drones would be exposed. I killed 62 models barely getting more over the line for three points on Reaper, but it was certainly the correct choice: he has no mark targets, BGH I only would have got two, and I only killed his fusion Commander for Headhunter. The lessons are simple: prevent the bonus, and go for the 3 point secondaries if they are reasonable.

Round 4 – Chaos Ranch Doritos

The Opposition
Army List - Click to Expand

Player: Dan Sammons
Flawless Host Supreme Command
3x Lord Discos

Purge Vanguard Detachment
Jump Sorcerer, warlord
3x Deredeo Dreads, butchers, greater havoks
Contemptor, butchers, lesser havok
Leviathan, butchers

Daemon Battalion
25 Plaguebearers
2×10 Brimstones

ITC Mission 5 (4 corner objectives, one is precious cargo, alternating deployment), Pointy Dawn of War. Nova Terrain

Mr. Sammons is a pretty big name in the Southern Midwest, and is someone I’ve seen at many events but have never seen at the table into now. I played a “Daemon engines and dreads” version of this list back at Bugeater in the pre-Skorpius times and had a bad time.

Pregame Decisions:

I had all night to rack my brain about this game and I couldn’t figure out my secondaries. I knew BGH and Recon were solid picks, but the third I just couldn’t get there. Headhunter, BGH, and Marked for Death all overlap in annoying ways, and he has a couple characters that are going to be screened most of the game, or I have to commit to killing all his Dreads and lords.  Engineers seems awful with all his good indirect shooting, especially on a long edges deployment. On the drive over my teammate, and fellow Goonhammer contributor, “Gunum” Chase was going on and on about his upcoming game against yet another Warhog and top half of the ham sandwich I was in earlier, Ryan Olson, and was talking about using Aggressors and a Leviathan of all things as Engineers. I chimed in and we had this conversation, verbatim:

“Why don’t you use your Executioner instead? Then he has to seriously commit his planes to threaten your hopefully deep backfield and has to go past your Leviathans.  Finally you can hide your Aggressors in the ride.”

“Cyle you are a genius, and handsome to boot.”

“Oh please Chase, we don’t need to acknowledge my genius, it would just be gratuitous at this point. However I do bring up a great point for my game. What if I use my Dunerider and a set of Rangers? His Butcher Cannons will be too busy trying to deal with my threats so he will have no time to deal with my tucked away engineering Dunerider and a squad inside”

“You better give me credit in your write up about this.”

“Don’t worry buddy, you’ll be in it.”

So BGH, Recon, Engineers (Dunerider, Rangers). When I told him my Engineers intention he was perplexed, to say the least. Also I planned on treating this like the Custodes matchup and picked the Culexus assassin to be my Recon grabber, since the rest of the picks would just get shot off the table, but that was a conversation with Ryan the night before and the venue was far too loud to transcribe. Finally I knew my cover save was going to be vital keeping everything alive so I decided if I go second to use Prepared Positions to keep Shoudpsalm available for a later turn. He chose BGH, Old School, and Marked for Death (3x crawlers, drill)

The Game

We had equal drops and he dropped first giving him the +1. He set up the dreads on his back line and his disco lords (2 centrally located, 1 further W lined up on my objective) far enough back to require my priests to make a 12″ charge. His Brims sat on the objectives in the NW/NE (NW was his priority objective) and strung his Plaguebearers from objective to objective with the characters behind it. I setup the priests close to the point, but with the ability to bail into the S ruin. My non-engineer transport took my SW objective, while my engineer took the SE priority objective behind a stack of shipping crates. He wins the roll off and choose to go first, I do not seize and use Prepared Positions.

He then realizes he put himself in a weird position of being in first, but really setup to go second. He does some mental math and realizes he won’t be able to kill my transports and the priests inside without getting counter charged so the lords stay put, and he just unloads on the priest rides and eventually destroys both of them, and 7 priests out of my large squad. I choose to auto pass morale to keep his kills at two. I unload my troops in the SW and hide in the ruin they are near, so I can move that transport up to give my living squad of priests a second ride to hide in. I shuffle my shooting around to get angles on the two central lord discos, some stubbers onto the NE brims, and just barely in range of the one NE Deredeo in case I get get both of them. My shooting instantly aces the lord with the potion but fails to kill the other, putting maybe 4 wounds on it. I also got into a rhythm of shooting all my stubber fire at the Plaguebearers and just didn’t shoot the Brims, costing me being even on kill more.

I choose to use my Shoudpsalm this turn on turn 2. He lines up a disco lord to Warptime into two my Disintegrators in on my E flank, and the second lord goes to eat the central priests. Warptime goes off, but he does perils on his Poxbringer trying to case Miasma. His shooting demechs my priests, kills my remaining three priests from the turn before, and kills my S Disintegrator while his charges take my priests and one of my E Disintegrators, which I choose to auto explode to put a couple mortals on him. My bottom of the turn I disengage the one Disintegrator deep into the L blocker, move Cawl and Daedalosus to bring down the E disco lord, bring my drill down on the E flank to also help with that lord and start threatening the NE objective, while the assassin comes in the NW to just exist and grab Recon. My shooting kills one lord, one set of Brims, and a few Plaguebearers, but his central lord is well in cover and just tanks all the Dunecrawlers’ shooting. Engineering Dunerider makes engineering noises.

Turn three I roll for canticles and do not get Shoudpsalm until I CP reroll one of the dice phew. His lord cuts SE to clear me off that objective and he shuffles around to maximize his shooting into his Marked for Death targets and proceeds to just drop the ball. He does exactly 4 wounds with all of his shooting to his main targets, but does clean up both Ranger squads on my SE objective. On my turn I move up my drill to charge his Poxbringer, throw my last Disintegrator way out front to go after the Brims, and tuck Cawl into the L blocker. The assassin advances to grab the bonus objective and I shuffle a tech priest over to keep holding the SW recon quarter. My shooting picks up a dorito, the Lord Discordant, the last of the Brims, and most of his Plaguebearers. I charge and kill the Poxbringer with the drill, netting me a 5 point primary turn. Engineering noises intensify

Turn 4 I get the cover save on my double roll. His Leviathan saunters over to burn the assassin, and his shooting tears down the drill and and Disintegrator that committed to shoot the Brims. I go and with movement am unable to grab recon. I shoot out the Contemptor and and second Dorito in the NE/N and finish off the Plaguebearers. Engineering cacophony continues 

Turns 5 and 6 were real quick. He tried and failed to kill my crawlers as they kept getting repaired, but did kill my Tech-priest in the NE objective with his Sorcerer. I was able to grab recon with Cawl running into the NE quadrant but behind cover so it was pretty pointless to shoot him. I got a kill on 5, Engineering noises peak then go silent but failed to kill something on 6, creating some drama much to the gathering crowd’s delight (we were the last timed game going at that point). However after we added it up I was up by two points.

Final Score: 27-25

Postgame Thoughts:

The assassin was correct, as was the Engineers choice. That noisy little Dunerider never got touched all game and only came out at the end after his job was done. It felt weird keeping 100+ points back just being on an objective not shooting but the more I think about it, Intercessors are chosen for Engineers all the time, and cost more than a Dunerider. I should have come down in opposite corners though. The assassin in the NE would have held that objective better and the drill and troops in the NW might have grabbed the bonus for one more turn. Other than not killing the Brims on one I felt my targeting was correct as was my instinct of “I think my cover saves will be critical this game, let’s use Prepared Positions instead of just choosing Shouldpsalm turn one.” His Marked choices seemed fine but the crawlers always seem harder to kill than people think.


Round 5 – Eldar Biker Gang

The Opposition
Army List - Click to Expand

Player: Tony Thebeau
Flayed Skull Battalion
2 Archon
3x Kabalite Warriors
4x Venom

Sombre Sentinels Outrider
6x haywire bikes
6x haywire bikes
5x haywire bikes

Black Heart Airwing
3x Razorwing fighters

ITC Mission 6 (5 objectives in a plus symbol, have a character on 3 for the bonus: full player deployments), Hammer and Anvil. NOVA terrain

Final game of the weekend. A pile of haywire bikes. Tony played next to me on game 4 and seemed like a pretty cool cat. Another guy whom I’ve seen a bunch, but never ran into on the table until now.

Pregame Decisions:

Eldar that isn’t 6+ planes have never really been a problem with my army and this feels like kind of like the list Chase played when we bumped into each other at Bugeater. Callidus is always a no brainer against Eldar. Secondaries are Gangbusters (look at all those bikes!), Butchers, and Recon.

The Game

He chose BGH, Old School, Recon. I won the roll and he chose to setup his whole army. The bikes were right on the line, troops and characters in Venoms ready to jump out onto objectives, planes in the far back corners. I setup the rides on the line to work with the L blockers (priests center, troops lined up to grab objectives), the Duneriders in my back corners, and a little castle of crawlers around my characters in the center S. I try to seize and fail.

He moves everything forward on to objectives, planes threatening tanks, and he double moves the bikes far into my zone to charge the crawlers and tie them all up. His shooting crushes one priest ride and most of the guys inside, but I use the Benevolence of the Omnissiah (5+ FNP against mortals) strat on my second priest ride and manage to keep it alive with one wound.  He does make the charge into the crawlers and tie them up, but isn’t able to wrap. I spend the 2 CP to keep my squad of 3 priests alive to keep him at 1 kill. I disengage two of the crawlers, get my priests out to charge the tied up bikes, advance out my troops out of my rides to grab objectives, move my hurt Dunerider into his lines, my now empty W Dunerider into an L blocker, and line up all my character charges. I open up with my shooting and clear the E brick of bikes, and thin out a couple out of the W brick. All the counter shooting does kill the one injured Dunerider which I choose to explode and put ~10 mortals on his various characters and Venoms. The priests make it into the bikes and, after fighting twice, kill all the bikes and power up to the 2++ invulnerable via Acquisitions at Any Costs.

His turn two he lines up charges through the wall to use my transport as a safe space and the fliers roll up. He kills a Disintegrator, but all his shooting and targeted smites kill exactly zero priests but does kill 6 units (small priest squad, 3x Rangers, Disintegrator and a crawler) On my 3 the assassin comes down and kills his Shadowseer, the drill threatens his back field Venom, on an objective and I kill two planes, 3 Venoms, the seer, the bikes, and most of his warriors.  Woof.

His three he does some minor shooting and gets a kill, but I turn around and kill everything but a single Kabalite Warrior I forgot about, bringing him to turn 4 and letting me disembark a Tech priest in his back field to grab the bonus.

Final Score: 37-14

Postgame Thoughts:

I’m good against elves. Hammer and Anvil was good but fundamentally I think this match up is just awful for non-flier skew Eldar. With my six platforms of dangerous shooting, and when even stubbers can contribute, it tends to be a bad time.

Final Result: 5-0

Oh yeah. Undefeated! Unfortunately there were three undefeated out of the 104 players and I had some tight scores, so I wound up 3rd overall. However that puts me into second overall for Ad Mech and back in the race for hardware at the end of the season. Daedalosus was a good add, but not as broken as he appears: co-ordinating his 24″ range to make a 6″ bubble while still being in Cawl’s bubble can be very tricky. His smite was very worth it though. Just having that in the pocket to blast a fool along with Cawl was a great add to defending the castle.

The major change I have been considering is dropping the icarus arrays and a single priest for neutron lasers in this new Executioner and Leviathan world, however most Executioners I bet I’ll run into will be Iron Hands and get the 5++ anyway so maybe it’s just worth staying on the arrays and deal with them the way I deal with Knights: volume of fire. Still, dropping the one priest would let me go down to 13 drops, but I would have ~20ish points to play with and nothing sounds great. More Vanguard? Grab some arc rifles or something? My gaming time will be pretty tight this month what with this “getting married” and “having a honeymoon” and “buying a house” thing so I’ll have some time to ponder. We do have a couple RTTs before Renegade at the end of November but they might be weird Marine lists if I even get a chance to play.  Until next time!