Quickfire Tournament Report – Bad Moon GT Series

An article by    Battle Reports Gaming        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

Introduction

The 40K season continues to run hot, and galaxy-brain genius yours truly managed to book tournaments three weekends in a row and commit to writing a more general strategy article during an busy period at work. What could go wrong?

Well, rather boringly the galaxy hasn’t collapsed, but I have fallen behind on tournament reporting – a week and a bit ago I went to the second heat of the Bad Moon GT series, being run by the London Warhammer Gaming Guild. This is number two in a series of 3 30-player GTs, each feeding the top 10 through to a final at the end of the year. I was keen to try out the awesome new venue they were being run at (which is fantastic, check them out at https://www.badmooncafe.co.uk/), and also to test a new element to my list and see if I could fumble my way through to the final (and maybe pick up some delicious points on the way).

I’ve got another small event this weekend, and some other writing commitments, so I’m going to attempt to blow through this in a bit lower detail than normal, just so I don’t leave it hanging. I hope it’s still an enjoyable read, and I can at least promise that the next time I head to a GT I’ve got a slightly clearer schedule on either side, so should be bringing you a full writeup. Let’s go.

Tournament Format

Straight up ITC, missions 1-5 in order played, it turned out, on the shiny new London Grand Tournament terrain, which was cool to get a chance to play on (and looking good too!).

It works really well, having now played 5 games on it.

The List

Army list - Click to Expand

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ PLAYER NAME: James Grover
+ ARMY FACTION: Aeldari
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1999pts
+ POWER LEVEL: 115
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Aeldari, Black Heart, Alaitoc
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Battalion Detachment == Black Heart [22PL, 390pts] 5CP
HQ: Archon (70), Venom Blade (2), Splinter Pistol (0), Warlord [4PL] [72pts]
HQ: Yvraine (132) [7PL] [132pts]

TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0) [2PL] [30pts]

DT: Raider (65pts), Disintegrator Cannon (15) [5PL] [80pts]

== Battalion Detachment == Alaitoc [65PL, 1077pts] 5CP
HQ: Warlock Skyrunner (65), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Witchblade (0) [4PL] [67pts]
HQ: Farseer (110), Witchblade (0) [6PL] [110pts]

TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3) [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3) [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 18 Guardian Defenders (144), 1 Guardian Heavy Weapon platform (5),  1 Scatter Laser (7) [9PL] [156pts]

EL: 5 Howling Banshees (45), Exarch (0), 4 Power Swords (16), 1 Executioner (7) [3PL] [68pts]
EL: 5 Howling Banshees (45), Exarch (0), 4 Power Swords (16), 1 Executioner (7) [3PL] [68pts]

DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Scatter Laser (12), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [134pts]
DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Scatter Laser (12), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [134pts]

HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [8PL] [112pts]
HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [8PL] [112pts]

== Air Wing Detachment == Alaitoc [28PL, 532pts] 1CP
Flyer: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stones (10) [10PL] [210pts]
Flyer: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons (26) [9PL] [161pts]
Flyer: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons (26) [9PL] [161pts]

I didn’t have time to paint up a third Wave Serpent in the end, so went ahead and tried out one of the other tweaks on my “to-test” list, substituting Yvraine (kindly leant to me by a friend) for the second Archon. Against anything with high value targets like knights or other Aeldari lists, the extra psychic firepower she brings along is a considerable advantage – thanks to the +1 to cast and the way Gaze of Ynnead works, you have in the region of a 25% chance to get a “super smite” equivalent out of her every turn, which means you’re usually expecting to see one if she lives out a game with mind ablaze. This can give you a massive leg-up on taking out key targets, and because you can screen her and other characters, gives you a route to chip things down if you fall a little bit behind. She brings a lot more to the list than the second Archon does, and I was intending to find out if she was worth the extra points.

That’s pretty much the only change – you know the drill with the rest, so it’s on to the games. For each we’ll cover (in briefer detail than normal)

  • The Competition – Details of my opponent’s army
  • The Mission – Details of mission and deployment
  • The Plan – how I aimed to play out the game and target priorities.
  • The Summary – how the game played out at a high level
  • The Takeaways – points of interest and things I learnt from the game
  • The Score – my score after the game.

Round 1 – Orks

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

(I'm afraid I don't have the exact list here, this is from memory)

(All Evil Sunz)
Warboss
Deffkilla Wartrike
Weirdboy
Weirdboy
Big Mek
Waagh Banner

30 boyz x2
10 boyz x4
10 grots x3

10-strong Nobz squad with a mix of Claws and Choppas
Battlewagon with roller and Ard case
10 Tankbustas
4 Smasha Gunz

Feels like I might be missing a few things, possibly another character, but that's the gist of it.

This list has a lot of the standard Ork nasties, but a few things that make my life a bit easier – it’s actually brought some high value targets for my good stuff along. Generally the best Ork lists against me are just a sea of Boyz, Stormboyz and Mek Gunz – this has a few juicier things for me to shoot.

The Mission

ITC Mission 1 – Seize Ground, which is bad for me, but we rolled Vanguard Strike, which is one of the better maps for me in this game, so I’ll take what I can get.

The Plan

Normally against this sort of list I want to go second, backline behind my planes to mute their first turn then go for a big counterpunch and fight for objectives. However, here that’s not my plan for two reasons:

1.) The only things in this list that really threaten my planes are the Smasha Guns and the Tankbusters, and taking out the majority of those in one turn is realistic, after which they’re free to rain terror and lasers on things for the rest of the game.

2.) The threat of a big squad of Nobz coming in either on the Battlewagon or via tellyporta means that I want to be able to give them my full attention the turn they rock up.

3.) I can’t realistically fight for objectives in seize ground anyway.

With all that in mind, the plan is to go first, screen cagily, blow up the targets listed above then hit him with an overwhelming counterpunch into his main forces the turn they hit me.

My Secondaries

  • Reaper
  • Recon
  • Marked For Death

His Secondaries

  • Behind Enemy Lines
  • Old School
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

Orks, being orky.

Toyz, being shiny.

Elves, being elfy.

I got to take the first turn, and my army spectacularly botched its shooting – two Smasha Guns and five of the Tankbusters went down, but some truly abysmal dice (including one Crimson Hunter managing to do literally nothing) left my opponent with a bit more threat bouncing around than I really wanted.

Luckily, from there the game went pretty smoothly. He immediately validated my decision to go first by using a strat to ride up 30 Boyz clinging to the side of the Battlewagon, which itself charged onwards into my lines (not doing much). This put a serious knife to my throat, and I was glad that I could afford to bring my full forces to bear on this (and I’d done enough damage to his anti-tank that at least no random vehicle punkings went off). Yvraine immediately earned her keep by hammering a huge number of MWs into the Battlewagon, neatly teeing it up so that in the shooting phase I could finish it off with plenty of guns to spare. These were then trained on the Nobz, wiping out the entire squad, and leaving the characters who’d been in the wagon with them hanging out in the wind. A Guided Night Spinner duly punked his warboss.

I’d also positioned some vehicles to at least somewhat blunt his countercharge options in every direction, and while he got his nearest unit of Boyz into a few things, he wasn’t able to wrap anything and lost a decent number to overwatch and my Archon (who he’d snaked a few through to try and kill) took out a number in the fight phase. He took a gamble on the other flank of using “da jump” to move the other squad up to try a charge on a Wave Serpent, but was unlucky and missed it.

The last survivors of squad 1 are dispatched…

That missed charge was game over, as it meant I could spend my turn 3 wrapping up his initial thrust of boyz and the characters behind them while moving out of the charge range of the other squad. On turn 4 I turned round and wasted these, and from there rolled through and tabled him.

…and squad 2 is left out to dry.

The Takeaways

After this game I messaged my mate on Discord saying that she couldn’t have Yvraine back, cause that was a hell of a first showing – her presence makes pulling off a thrust with anything high value against me extremely risky, as point for point she’ll out a lot more average wounds than most things (she did a lot to the Wartrike on turn 3 as well).

Other than that, not a lot of new information here – I really liked the idea of using the “hanging on” strat to move the Boyz up the board, not having encountered it before, but the higher value targets are unfortunately just a liability against me, which showed – I think I would have had a lot more trouble if the wagon and Nobz had just been a big squad of Stormboyz to overload my anti-infantry defences.

The Score

Primary: 20-10

Secondary: 12-2

Total: 32-12

Match Score: 1-0

Round 2 – Aeldari

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Farseer Skyrunner
Autarch Skyrunner

3x Night Spinner
Hemlock

Shadowseer
Solitaire

6 Skyweavers
2x 3 Skyweavers

2x Succubus (Shardnet/Impaler)
2x14 Wyches (w/ some Shardnet/Impalers)
1x5 Wyches

A rematch against one of my opponents from St. George’s Champion, who I was delighted to see had heard the good news about Night Spinners after they murdered his Yncarne before. Well, I mean theoretically pleased, because they’re quite good against me, but you know.

The Mission

ITC Mission 2 – Cut to the Heart, Spearhead Assault. Works for me, I want to castle up initially so being able to have an objective nice and deep is ideal.

This also runs on new style deployment and I “lost” the rolloff. I chose to make him deploy and go first.

The Plan

Getting to go second works out extremely well for me, though in general I think this matchup is just favourable for a few reasons:

  1. We’re can both play a strong counterattack game, but my Crimson Hunters are the biggest trump card that can break out of that paradigm.
  2. He wants to push high value units towards me, meaning my psykers can do their dirty work.

If I had to go first, I think there’s a good chance I’d just forget doing anything with the Hemlock at all (unless there was a convenient corner I could stick it where turning round to kill it would be a pain for him) and play it cagey for a turn, sniping with the crimsons at range and aiming to just pick up a small number of bikes to tilt the scales my way. He doesn’t really have that choice and kind of has to come towards me and try and kill a few things and contest some objectives. I do not think this will go that well for him.

My Secondaries

  • Gangbusters
  • Headhunter
  • Big Game Hunter

His Secondaries

  • Behind Enemy Lines
  • Marked for Death
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

Please, we practically invented the Night Spinner.

Accept no imitations.

It did not go that well for him.

He came towards me to try and contest the board. It did not go that well for him. His rolled forward bikes and Hemlock were able to take out a Night Spinner, but in response I picked up the Hemlock and a full squad of six bikes, and arguably that was just too spectacular a swing for him to ever recover from.

Control of the game is thoroughly seized.

He had a good go at it, bringing more bikes forward and sending the Solitaire up, but while he did eventually whittle through all of my planes, by that point he really just had nothing left other than the Smash Autarch, a Succubus and a Night Spinner while I still had a commanding amount of materiel. He just clung on to avoid being tabled, with the Smash Autarch killing just enough Howling Banshees to keep me getting a cheeky bonus point on the final turn.

The Autarch is defiant to the last (from behind this tactically convenient wall).

The Takeaways

Yeah, pretty much as I expected – in this matchup, his list just couldn’t afford to go first, and unless I whiffed spectacularly (which it did briefly look like I might – his Hemlock chained an outrageous number of Feel No Pains to cling to its last wound).

This did hammer home that I think the current ITC implementation of new deployment might be a little too tilted to the person who loses the roll. The GW rules are largely written on the assumption that you want to go first, but in ITC that’s often not true. Being able to make your opponent deploy first and go first is just insanely brutal in this kind of matchup, where you can counter deploy with perfect confidence. IMHO, the person who deploys first should get to choose to go first or second.

The Score

Primary: 20-11

Secondary: 12-5

Total: 32-16

Match Score: 2-0

Round 3 – Knights

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Raven Crusader
2x Raven Helverins

Krastsader
2x Krast Warglaives

Vindicare (via strat)

Loyal 32
Wyvern (Emperor's Fist)

Another round and another rematch, this time against an opponent from LWG’s Winter Warfare. Last time he had a Castellan, and rather alarmingly blew all my planes off the board turn 2 (though I did manage to pull back and steal a win). Hopefully the multi-Crusader loadout would be a bit less brutal, but the loss of Prepared Positions on my planes means that the Helverins are a bit more of a threat, and that I can’t just stonewall the Warglaives. The Wyvern is also pretty good against me, and I will want to try and find a chance to hurt it (Alaitoc means it starts to suck hard as soon as it degrades, and T6 means Starcannons and Night Spinners are good against it).

Also there’s a Vindicare, but with a good amount of LOS blocking terrain I thought that could probably be mitigated.

The Mission

ITC Mission 3 – Nexus Control, Search and Destroy Deployment.

This doesn’t matter that much here – this is a game of death, though not having to aim to contest a board-centre objective is a plus for me.

The Plan

Kill his stuff, mostly. The nature of the terrain means that he probably has to split his two big knights up, as otherwise they’ll leave an avenue for my army to strike through to his Helverins and just control the board. We want to meet the push of his Krast wedge head on, ideally chewing through his Warglaives nice and quick and ending the threat of the Krast big Knight as soon as possible. if I can take out a big knight with most of my goodies still intact this game is basically over – he doesn’t then have the bodies to stop me just conquering the board and taking over.

My Secondaries

  • Kingslayer
  • Recon
  • Big Game Hunter

His Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Marked for Death
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

I need to patent the “Elf corner”

Robots, incoming, and some jerk with a rifle

I got the first turn, and unfortunately my opponent discovered that I wrote the book on countering Assassins – the Vindicare had deployed high up on one of the corner blocks to get a vantage point, but my Hemlock merrily flew up and deleted him, while the rest of my army pushed hard towards his Krast flank, the psykers and infantry shielded behind a wall of Wave Serpents, taking out of of the Warglaives.

I took this from the worst possible angle – behind the big l-block is the second wave serpent forming a solid, knight proof wall in front of my characters and Dire Avengers.

He still had lots of firepower, but crucially Lightning Fast reflexes and some good saves pulled my Hemlock through the things that shot at it, while on the other flank stomping and shooting up some wave serpents didn’t really affect me that much.

With my psykers in position and my planes still up, I was able to take out the second Warglaive and the Krastsader turn 2 leaving my opponent extremely behind (especially as my Raider had come in and started bullying infantry). He needed a big spike on his turn 2 to get back into it and didn’t pull it off – from there the Raven Crusader died on 3 and that was pretty much that.

The Takeaways

Yvraine continued to pull her weight spectacularly here – a constant thunk of Mortal Wounds into the Knights was a big part of why the plan to roll them over went off so well. Given Knights was one of the matchups she’s here for, it was reassuring to see her pay off so well. It was also good to come up against a multi-Knight list, as I haven’t run into one for a while and wasn’t quite sure how the current iteration would perform. I was, to be fair, pretty jammy not to lose the Hemlock on his turn 1 (and indeed my dice were hot in this one in general), but I’m reasonably comfortable that with Yvraine’s backing I would still have rolled onto a win from there.

The Guardian bomb also continued to perform highly – I’ve gone back and forth on it over the time playing Eldar but in this event it was firing on all cylinders, doing fantastic work in all three day 1 games.

The Score

Primary: 22-13

Secondary: 12-6

Total: 34-19

Match Score: 3-0

Round 4 – Chaos

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

The Purge Spearhead:
Lord Discordant

3x Hellforged Deredeos

Daemons Battalion:
Khorne Prince
Poxbringer
Bilepiper
2x Big Plaguebearer blobs
2x 10 Brimstones

Thousand Sons Supreme Command:
Ahriman
Tzeentch Prince
Terminator Sorceror

The Purge Deredeos are the new hotness and for good reason – they’re very efficient across the board, being just tough enough to be a pain to kill if they backline, while having a tonne of firepower and, annoyingly for me, extremely good at countering hit modifiers thanks to the Purge re-rolls not specifying “failed” hit rolls. This had the potential to be tough.

The Mission

ITC Mission 4 – What’s Yours is Mine, Frontline Assault Deployment. None of this is really what I want, as it means I can’t backline out of range of the Deredeos, he contests the centre (and can place his “target” objective such that he can make a reasonable play for it, and can swarm across the whole board with a wall of Plaguebearers. I would much rather play this game on a corner deployment, with short edges being second choice.

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Recon
  • Big Game Hunter

His Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Marked for Death
  • Big Game Hunter

The Plan

Kill his stuff. The upside is that I “lost” the deployment roll again, and this time was easily happy deploying first. I can comfortably kill 1 Deredeo turn 1, and as long as I don’t position to let the Daemon Princes counter charge me, that should tilt the attrition scales in my direction nicely. Once that’s done, bring the guardian bomb in to try and waste a Plaguebearer squad on 2 (backed up by some other stuff) and maybe we can pull this through? We also want to be using Wave Serpents to try and lure his Daemon Princes out of his lines so we can delete them with out planes, as they’re the biggest threat other than the Deredeos and considerably squishier than the latter.

I think we’re up against it here, but it’s definitely winnable.

The Summary

Not sure about this (Deredeos are behind the hill)

…he seized on me. Damn. He also managed to just advance Ahriman into range of my warlock and blow him away with psychic sniping. Double damn (this is on me, I should have considered this and back-lined him more). At least the Deredeos didn’t do too much, just taking out my Raider (helped by psychic).

That left me with plenty to play with, and I took out a Deredeo and a few plaguebearers in my turn, also bully charging the Wave Serpent into the side of one unit here to stop it charging in his. Unfortunately I’d also made a slight mistake on that – the charge was the right move, but I’d left some kabalites close enough to the other end of the the unit (because it was spanning most of the board) that they were now at risk from the shambling horde come his turn. In addition, I’d killed something like 6-7 plaguebearers this turn, but good morale rolls from him brought all of them back into the game, stopping me picking up any attrition

In his turn he did a decent amount of damage with psychic and shooting, and brought the Axe Prince forward to waste the Serpent that had charged the plaguebearers, while the Tzeentch Prince went after a Crimson. This all went well for me – the Axe prince wasted the Serpent as expected, but bailing banshees out the back meant it couldn’t consolidate back to safety – and the Plaguebearers were no longer in touch on anything, so didn’t get a pile in. Meanwhile, Lightning Fast pulled my Crimson through being attacked by the Tzeentch Prince.

This gave me a decent amount to play with any my turn 2 was powerful, with both Princes kicking the bucket (at the cost of having to suicide a banshee squad in to finish off the Tzeentch one after it clung on through shooting). and me making an actual dent in some Plaguebearers this time with the Guardian bomb coming in (though still behind schedule on killing them, and some came back at least once more this game). Unfortunately, he was still dominating the objectives, and on his 3 he started really denting my planes, leaving me without a realistic route to killing the Deredeos, although I did sneak “hold more” off him on my 3 by finally killing off the first Plaguebearer squad having run up a lone kabalite to stand within 3 of the objective they had been ob-seccing.

Hero guardians attempt to hold the line against (literal) filth.

Sadly, the game wrapped up on 4 due to time with him maintaining a narrow lead. I don’t think that it would have changed much with two more turns – my other banshees had managed to tag one of the Deredeos, but would have been killed off on 5, so those would have been active, but because I knew the game was ending I had to suicidally pile my guardians onto the central objective to try and hold it for some extra points (which they failed to do by a single model after morale), and if I hadn’t had to do that and I’d rolled well and blown them up I might have just pulled ahead on 6? Being brutally honest, I think it was still his game by a small margin either way – the Primary lead was too big to overturn.

The Takeaways

Purge Deredeos are extremely good, my word. This also taught me a bit of a lesson about not assuming units are in their normal role – Ahriman is usually a buff character so I hadn’t properly accounted for him just trying to assassinate my Warlock, which I could have prevented.

Other than that (and the minor mishap with the Plaguebearers) I don’t think i did anything wildly wrong here, I just needed a few things to go a bit better. I’m not a fan of Daemonic Icon as a mechanic because it either does nothing or is miserable to play against – him getting 10% of his Plaguebearers back turn 1 (and another big bump later) was quite possibly the stone that kicked off the landslide here, as it set back my murder timetable (which is very important with my army) enough for him to never lose control of the board centre, which ultimately accumulated the points he needed from the game.

The Score

Primary: 10-15

Secondary: 9-8

Total: 19-23

Round 5 – Imperium

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Krastsader

Custodes Bike Captain
3x Callidus Grav Tanks

Tank Commander w/ Relic Gun
2x Punisher Tank Commander

Platoon Commander
Astropath

3x Infantry

For the last round I was up against one of the armies and players to beat in the room – Konrad B with his Imperium list, which he has had a big hand in turning in the latest hotness after his second place finish with it at St. Georges.

If anything this list is even more filthy than what he had there, bringing in some additional hard to shift nasties in the form of the Tank Commanders, leaving out the Vexila in favour of more stuff that’s hard to kill and more guns.

All that being said, I did manage to take him out the last time we played (helped by memorably good dice, given that I remember it and it’s nearly 6 months later) so I had a record to defend, and was raring to do it.

The Mission

ITC Mission 5 – Precious Cargo, Vanguard Strike Deployment.

This works for me, as I’ve got the mobility to “lock in” whichever corner he doesn’t push towards by sending some Kabalites to grab it, and from there he won’t pick up “hold more” unless he moves towards tabling me, letting me focus on the fight at low cost.

The Plan

The ITC missions do a good job of de-emphasising the need to go first, but unfortunately you still get the occasional matchup where it’s critical and this is one of them – both of us have high powered, high range threats that are practically designed for picking off their counterparts, and there’s a good chance that the first turn decides it – I can probably pick off a couple of Callidus tanks, while he can likely waste a couple of planes, and either swing leaves the other player struggling to keep up.

It’s not over in that situation – I have the backup plan of having a lot more mobile bodies to play with, so if I can have a really good first turn I can potentially pull back into it, especially if I can get my guardian bomb into his Knight. From his side, the units that aren’t the Callidus tanks are all T8, and can do nasty things to my stuff if left unchecked, so he can still potentially wear me down if I make some mistakes or have any bad turns.

Really though, we both just really, really want to go first.

My Secondaries

  • Kingslayer
  • Recon
  • Big Game Hunter

His Secondaries

  • Old School
  • Marked for Death
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

Based on our view counts, statistically if you’re reading this you’ve already seen this picture and know where this is going.

My poor army do not know this yet.

He went first. Boo. His relic tank commander pointed at my Hemlock, which used Lightning Fast (he’d also targeted it with “Old Grudges”) to pull through. He then switched fire (which was always going to be the plan, but I want the Hemlock to live and the Tank Commander is theoretically the biggest “spike risk”) and the Callidus tanks pointed at my Crimsons and unfortunately rolled outrageously well, the first tagging 11 wounds into one and the second killing one outright. The first was duly tidied up by the Krast Battlecannon, with most of the rest of the fire plinking relatively harmlessly off my Wave Serpents.

From here I calculated that my only possible chance was to take out two Callidus tanks this turn, and just hammered absolutely everything into trying to make this happen, as they’d at least had to come up within Psychic threat range to see my stuff round the walls. Yvraine earned her keep once again (I think she probably killed a whole Callidus in total through this game) and the first one went down pretty easy – I’d used one of my standard plans when faced with two tough targets of putting Jinx and a bunch of mortals into one (with the plan to finish it off with the high reliability of the Hemlock guns) and then Doom into a second to benefit the volume fire. The first went down in a hail of psychic and Serpent Shields (I know they’re good here but I had to just be “all-in” on the plan) and the second one’s wounds crept down until it faced a Night Spinner with a single wound remaining. I got two wounds through on 6s so he needed to make both 5++ saves to live (with his re-roll already used).

He did, and that, sadly, was basically it.

Callidus tanks have the same problem as Mechanicum Knights where they’re still absurdly good on 1W remaining, and with Wave Serpent Shields having had to go down to aim for the kill its guns were still worth half a serpent, and quite a bit more of my stuff was picked off. The positioning of the Callidus tanks also meant I couldn’t bring the Guardian bomb in to go after the Knight, which effectively left me without a reasonable route to kill it. I brought it in to waste the final Callidus on 2, but to make things worse when Yvraine popped the first it blew up. This did hurt a bunch of his stuff too, but depleted both my banshee squads which were picking their way towards the Tank Commanders.

Things fall apart (but at least look epic while doing so).

With both squads at mostly full, they’re a lot more durable to being picked off by random guard shooting, but depleted that meant they were only good for a turn each. I did tag all three commanders on 2, and finish off the Callidi, but it wasn’t enough – his Shield captain and shooting from the Knight brutalised my Guardians (with “Celestial Shield” doing its customary “absolutely naff all”), who mostly ran, and while a retreating chain of psykers managed to plink off the captain and put some wounds into the knight, the board was his and the game was basically over.

Eventually, on turn 6 he’s managed to zoom one of his tank commanders up to shoot at my Archon (my last unit left) lurking on my objective. He rolled for the Heavy Bolter first, and I managed to fail my very first Shadow Field save, and extended the hand.

The Takeaways

This list is completely bonkers, and you’re going to see a lot of it – Konrad’s latest tune ups make it even more hideous.

At the heart are the Callidus tanks, and IMHO they’re currently just a little bit undercosted at 210, probably needing a hike to 230-240. They do so much so well, at high speed and extreme range, that they’ve very hard to play around, and extremely potent on the alpha strike. It’s nice for Custodes to have cool things, but they’re slightly eclipsing other Imperium options at the moment.

I did make a couple of minor mistakes here, putting out a 5-squad of Kabalites that didn’t do much except die (I had a vague and bad idea about running for an objective), and using Prepared Positions (when he had the accuracy to go after my planes), but I think my macro strategy was broadly correct, and going all-in on the counterpunch the right choice in the circumstances – a second Callidus kill puts me into the game, and he was lucky to hold on with the last two 5++ saves and me rolling a 1 on one of my Serpent Shields).

It was still a blast to play out, and I look forward to playing Konrad again at future events!

The Score

Primary: 10-19

Secondary: 8-12

Total: 18-31

Final Score

Match Score: 3-2

9th/30th

Not quite the finish I was aiming for (I’ve tasted 4-1 and 5-0 now and 3-2 just isn’t the same) but still a good weekend, and I’m satisfied I had a good go at every game. It also gets me through the heat to the final later in the year.

Wrap Up

My next big GT is 1750 (at the Bristol City Open in July), for which I’m currently kicking around a few list concepts that I’m not quite ready to share. My big takeaway here was that if I’m running a Drukari Battalion filling out the second character slot with Yvraine is definitely big money – she’s not cheap, but did an exceptional amount of work in pretty much every game except 4 (and even then quietly bodied most of a Lord Discordant on a flank), and is worth the point bump.

However, one of the reasons for running Drukari is to have access to Vect, and the elephant in the room is that I didn’t use it once all weekend, and didn’t really ever come close other than on a couple of re-rolls. The simultaneous death of the Raven Castellan and the Loota Star have massively reduced the impact is has, and while you still want it for a few things (it is still nice to have to hand against vanilla Orks) the two matchups where it was critical are just gone. With that in mind, while not finalised I’m giving strong thoughts to trying out a pure Craftworlds list, as it’s also harder to justify squeezing the Drukari in over more Asuryani toys at the lower point level.

I’m sure I’ll come back to a mix-and-match list (and might not quite be able to bring myself to leave it at home), but probably expect to see a few new things out and about next time we see the Aeldari.

The only other event in the meantime is Summer Tides, a more relaxed 1500 event at BIG next weekend where…oh.

Oh no.

BEHOLD THE MAGNIFICENT AERIAL COMMAND UNIT!

He back.

 

 

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