Rip and Tear! Drybrush Threepwood’s Flesh Tearers go to the Goonhammer Open

Pregame

Having a well documented propensity for density I made what was to be a monumentally poor decision one month before the event – I was going to change a list I had spent the last few months playing. The previous version of my list was mostly the same but with a squad of three MultiMelta ATVs (In my defence I originally brought them to benefit from Seth’s rerolls before noticing they lacked CORE. See also – density), two squads of the ubiquitous VanVets with claws and shield, five Sanguinary Guard and a Chapter Champion. The less said about the ATVs the better, for the others in practice games I found the VanVets weren’t hitting hard enough, the Sang Guard were too fragile, and I didn’t need a second beatstick character with Seth around. The rewrite was going to require painting ten Death Company with Thunder Hammers, yet another squad of Bladeguard, a Whirlwind and an Ancient. One version I considered was throwing in a Redemptor instead of the third Bladeguard, but I didn’t want to give a single obvious target for any anti-tank fire to take advantage of.
The finished models were all worthy inclusions that added some much needed high damage swings, access to Suppression Fire and more oomph to the Bladeguard in case I ran into anything with negative modifiers to hit, wound or damage however this put me under far too much pressure as I rushed to get everything finished in time and every spare moment I had up until the weekend before the event was dedicated to painting. Do not do this to yourself, I turned my hobby into something that felt like work and it was decidedly unfun.
The changes were ultimately positive though and the list I ended up with did play better, but I really could have done without the stress that putting myself on such a tight timeline caused and with some more time dedicated to practice games I could have ironed out the obvious flaws in my gameplan as you will see once my minis hit the tabletop.

The List

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Blood Angels) [100 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Blood Angels Successor, Flesh Tearers

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

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Chaplain [7 PL, -1CP, 130pts]: 4. Mantra of Strength, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Bolt pistol, Chapter Command:  Master of Sanctity, Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Icon of The Angel, Jump Pack, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Honoured by the Arx Angelicum, Warlord, Wise Orator

Gabriel Seth [8 PL, 160pts]: Blood Reaver, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Sanguinary Priest [7 PL, -1CP, 155pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Chapter Command:  Chief Apothecary, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Teeth of Terra

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]. 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Power fist

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]. 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Power fist

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

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

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Ancient [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Vox Espiritum

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts]. 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield . Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Master-crafted power sword, Storm Shield

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts]. 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Master-crafted power sword, Storm Shield

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts]. 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Master-crafted power sword, Storm Shield

Death Company Marines [8 PL, 200pts]: Jump Packs. 5x Death Company Marine: Frag & Krak grenades, Thunder hammer.

Death Company Marines [8 PL, 200pts]: Jump Packs. 5x Death Company Marine: Frag & Krak grenades, Thunder hammer.

+ Heavy Support +

Whirlwind [7 PL, 125pts]: Whirlwind castellan launcher

++ Total: [100 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

This list started as a thought experiment into how to make Flesh Tearers work, or at least how to make the most of Seth’s Lord of Slaughter aura which grants nearby CORE units +1 damage on any rolls of 6 to wound. Very tasty. I don’t like any of the old marine transport options so I needed something durable to keep him compant while he marches up the field and Bladeguard Veterans with their high volume of 2 damage attacks seemed the obvious choice. In my practice games two squads weren’t quite enough to get there so I went for three and picked up a Sang Priest to keep them going along with a Bladeguard Ancient since I had the spare points and a 9” aura of ObSec and +1 to hit seemed the best way to spend them.

Early on I locked myself into taking the two squads of Assault Intercessors I painted for Goonhammer’s “How to Paint Everything: Flesh Tearers” article, and for backfield I added two squads of Incursors. I knew the Death Company would be fragile, and landed on a Chaplain to help them arrive safely from Deep Strike with Commanding Oratory and the Icon of the Angel for a 7” rerollable charge.

My general game plan would be to maximise Oaths of Moment with the Bladeguard, score Retrieve Octarius data with the Incursors and Assault Intercessors, pick any obvious targets from my opponents list or failing that the mission secondary for the remaining secondary, and use my Death Company for backfield disruption and taking out any of my opponents heavy hitters. It’s an exceedingly telegraphed plan but then no one ever accused the Flesh Tearers of subtlety!

Game 1 – Map 1, Sweep and Clear, Loss

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [69 PL, 1,110pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Deffkilla Wartrike [6 PL, 120pts, -1CP]: 3. ‘Ard as Nails, Da Badskull Banner, Killa Jet, Snagga Klaw, Stratagem: Extra Gubbinz, 3x Twin Boomstick, Warlord

+ Elites +

Kommandos [4 PL, 55pts] . Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [15 PL, 270pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

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

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

Warbikers [8 PL, 125pts] . Boss Nob: 2x Dakkagun
. 4x Warbiker: 8x Dakkagun

Warbikers [8 PL, 100pts] . Boss Nob: 2x Dakkagun
. 3x Warbiker: 6x Dakkagun

+ Heavy Support +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun: Kustom Mega Kannon

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun: Kustom Mega Kannon

+ Flyer +

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

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

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [54 PL, 890pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Beastboss on Squigosaur [8 PL, 145pts, -1CP]: 4. Brutal but Kunnin, Beastchoppa, Beasthide Mantle, Slugga, Squigosaur’s Jaws, Stratagem: Big Boss

+ Troops +

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

+ Elites +

Kommandos [4 PL, 55pts] . Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [4 PL, 55pts] . Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack +

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [7 PL, 115pts]: Nitro Squigs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [15 PL, 270pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

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

Warbikers [8 PL, 100pts] . Boss Nob: 2x Dakkagun
. 3x Warbiker: 6x Dakkagun

+ Heavy Support +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun: Kustom Mega Kannon

++ Total: [123 PL, 2,000pts, 4CP] ++

I spent my morning studying the map and the mission, working out how I was going to deploy and what secondaries to pick to maximise my chances. I landed on Oaths of Moment, Retrieve Octarius Data and Direct Assault on the assumption that there’s very little out there that wants to fight for the midboard with 15 Bladeguard buffed through the roof on it. 

What I should have been doing is studying my opponent’s list. I’m playing against Orks with scrap jets, buggies, flyers and mek gunz. Not having faced Orks in 9th I thought my Bladeguard would be able to withstand their shooting relatively well and deployed two squads on the line which my opponent promptly picked up in his first turn.

This would set the tone of the game and while my remaining squad and Seth did sterling work the damage had been done. In the following turn Seth was mortalled off the board in the charge phase, denying me the opportunity to fight on death, and my last hope the Death Company failed their 7” rerollable charges. 

Not a bad game even if the outcome was obvious by the end of turn one and we finish up 44-87.

Game 2 – Map 3, Battle Lines, Win

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [103 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Sept Choice
. Custom Sept: Gifted Pilots, Hardened Warheads

+ Stratagems +

Emergency Dispensation (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit [9 PL, 169pts]: 6. Exemplar of the Mont’ka, Advanced targeting system, 3x Burst cannon, Warlord
. 2x MV7 Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

Ethereal [4 PL, -1CP, 80pts]: 2. Through Unity, Devastation, Honour blade, Hover drone, Promising Pupil, Puretide engram neurochip
. 2x MV7 Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

+ Troops +

Breacher Team [3 PL, 65pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

Breacher Team [3 PL, 65pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

Breacher Team [2 PL, 45pts] . Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol

Breacher Team [2 PL, 45pts] . Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol

+ Elites +

XV104 Riptide Battlesuit [15 PL, 304pts]: 2x Smart missile system, Amplified ion accelerator, Drone controller, Ion accelerator, Velocity tracker

XV104 Riptide Battlesuit [15 PL, 304pts]: 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system, Heavy burst cannon, Velocity tracker

XV25 Stealth Battlesuits [6 PL, 93pts] . MV4 Shield Drone: Shield generator
. Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: Burst cannon
. Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: Burst cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst cannon

XV25 Stealth Battlesuits [6 PL, 88pts] . MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight
. Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: Burst cannon
. Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: Burst cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst cannon

+ Fast Attack +

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts] . 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping fangs

Pathfinder Team [5 PL, 80pts]: MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone
. MV4 Shield Drone: Shield generator
. 4x Pathfinder: 4x Markerlight, 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse carbine
. Pathfinder Shas’ui: Markerlight, Photon grenades, Pulse carbine

TX4 Piranhas [4 PL, 63pts] . TX4 Piranha: Burst cannon
. . 2x MV1 Gun Drone: 4x Pulse carbine

+ Heavy Support +

XV88 Broadside Battlesuits [18 PL, 395pts] . Broadside Shas’ui: 2x High-yield missile pod, 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system
. Broadside Shas’ui: 2x High-yield missile pod, 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system
. Broadside Shas’vre: 2x High-yield missile pod, 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system
. 5x MV7 Marker Drone: 5x Markerlight

+ Dedicated Transport +

TY7 Devilfish [5 PL, 90pts]: 2x Smart missile system, Burst cannon

TY7 Devilfish [5 PL, 90pts]: 2x Smart missile system, Burst cannon

++ Total: [103 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

This time I’m up against T’au, with two Riptides and Broadsides as the main event and a pair of Devilfish for mobility. I take Oaths, ROD and against all better judgement Relentless Assault. In turn my opponent puts a unit of Fire Warriors into reserves. RIP.

Licking my wounds from the previous game I deploy defensively, hiding my Bladeguard behind cover on the far side of the board with my Assault Intercessors on the opposite end. This works out well and I’m able to work my way towards the objectives while only eating indirect fire, before pushing out to mid turn 2.

My opponent screens well leaving the Death Company nothing meaningful to charge into, so I keep them in reserves for the next turn. I’d realise later that I could have made some charges using Descent of Angels to ignore the charge modifiers from his drones, but holding off was probably still the right move. 

With my Bladeguard and Intercessors now sitting on objectives my opponent does the same with his fire warriors, giving me a charge target for the Bladeguard. Now as an aside, I dislike gotcha moments and always make a point pregame to let my opponent know about anything potentially surprising that my army can do. This includes the one great tool I have as Flesh Tearers, Aggressive Onslaught, which for 1 CP grants a unit an additional 3” pile in and consolidation.

Having charged two squads into his Fire Warriors and cleared them with the first activation I now have a squad of 5 Bladeguard that can move 12” into engagement range with his Broadsides, something that would prove to be A Problem for my opponent as even though I’m unable to kill them I now have enough stuff around his gunline to start hemming him in and blunt his shooting phase.

From there the Death Company do what they will do most of my games – arrive, kill something inconsequential, and get cleared the next turn. They do however push him off his homefield objective and allow me to start scoring Relentless Assault, which would end up being pivotal as after some canny manoeuvres from the T’au to catch up we finish the game at 78-70.

Game 3 – Map 2, Overrun, Loss

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [51 PL, 1,041pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Open the Reliquaries [-1CP]: Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy

+ No Force Org Slot +

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

+ HQ +

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

+ Elites +

Celestian Sacresants [6 PL, 145pts] . 9x Celestian Sacresants (Anointed Halberd): 9x Anointed Halberd, 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sacresant Superior: Bolt pistol, Spear of the Faithful

Celestian Sacresants [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Celestian Sacresants (Anointed Halberd): 4x Anointed Halberd, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sacresant Superior: Bolt pistol, Spear of the Faithful

Dogmata [4 PL, 65pts]: 4. Litany of Enduring Faith, 5. Verse of Holy Piety, Relic: The Sigil Ecclesiasticus

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 98pts] . 7x Sisters Repentia: 7x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 98pts] . 7x Sisters Repentia: 7x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

+ Heavy Support +

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

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [45 PL, 957pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Gametype

Order Convictions: Order: Argent Shroud

+ HQ +

Morvenn Vahl [13 PL, 265pts]: Warlord

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 65pts] . 3x Battle Sister: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Heavy bolter
. Sister Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

+ Elites +

Crusaders [1 PL, 22pts] . 2x Crusaders: 2x Power sword

+ Fast Attack +

Dominion Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Dominion Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter

Dominion Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Dominion Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificer-crafted storm bolter

+ Heavy Support +

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

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Total: [96 PL, 8CP, 1,998pts] ++

Here is where some studying of the map pack and missions when crafting my list would have paid dividends. The lack of midfield objectives, distant deployment zones and clear sight lines across the centre present a real problem for my gameplan, and I’m at a loss as to what to do.

My opponent though was a delight and our patter remained lighthearted throughout. I’m against @ADRWargaming with his gunline sisters, and lacking any other ideas I deploy my Bladeguard in mid and hope for the best. Entirely predictable things happen and I’m left with a single squad of Bladeguard by my turn 2. The Death Company arrive, do their thing, and are cleared. Seth vents his fury on a Rhino. We shake hands and chat about our games. 39-93 to finish the day 1-2.

Day 2

Game 4 – Map 1, Vital Intelligence, Loss

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

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Stratagems +

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

+ No Force Org Slot +

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

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

+ HQ +

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

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

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

+ Troops +

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

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

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

+ Elites +

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

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

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

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

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

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

+ Heavy Support +

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

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

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

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

I head into this game feeling refreshed and hopeful. I’m up against Sisters again, this time with a melee focus, and I fancy my chances.

The Bladeguard head mid, planning to rack up Oaths and shoot out onto my opponent’s objective using my 9” Rites of War Ancient. My opponent has other ideas and dumps a squad of Penitent Engines and an absurdly mobile Cannoness into my homefield objectives turn one, allowing him to start pulling away on Primaries. 

I’m now hemmed in and have too few units to both take back my objectives and hold mid. I opt for the latter and brace for a withering amount of combat as the first wave of Repentia, more Penitent Engines, Morven Vahl, Celestine, some Sacresants, Zephyrim and turbo Cannoness engage my Bladeguard. It’s a big old party and everyone’s invited.

Fortunately my rolls are hot and I’m left with a little over half of my Bladeguard. After swinging back I clear the majority of the units I’m engaged with, and the Death Company put in their best performance of the whole event in taking down Morven. I’m a little disappointed at her damage reduction as with Seth nearby they manage to get in some damage 4 thunder hammer swings, but such is life. 

My opponent and I take a moment to discuss where the game is headed as we’re running low on time. We eventually arrive at the conclusion that while his first wave bounced, his next wave would likely finish the job and there’s nothing I can do to prevent him from running away on Primaries. With some speedy rolling the score lands at 40-63.

Game 5 – Map 3, Retrieval Mission, Win

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [61 PL, 1,385pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Ravenwing Outrider Detachment [3CP]

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [16 PL, 350pts] . Ravenwing Talonmaster: 1. Brilliant Strategist, Arbiter’s Gaze, Warlord
. Ravenwing Talonmaster

Sammael [8 PL, 150pts]

+ Elites +

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

Bike Squad [5 PL, 120pts] . Biker Sergeant: Combi-plasma
. Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Plasma gun

Bike Squad [5 PL, 120pts] . Biker Sergeant: Combi-plasma
. Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Space Marine Biker w/Special Weapon: Plasma gun

Bike Squad [9 PL, 150pts] . Biker Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword
. 4x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Twin boltgun

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [30 PL, 615pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Culexus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]

+ HQ +

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts, -1CP]: 1. Litany of Faith (Aura), 2. Catechism of Fire, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Wise Orator

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: Helix gauntlet
. 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 95pts]: Watcher in the Dark
. Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer

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

++ Total: [91 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

I’m up against Ravenwing with bikes of all flavours, one of the few archetypes I have experience playing against in 9th. I deploy defensively and go first, moving up carefully and leaving him with a single squad of Bladeguard as an available target. My opponent is wary of the Death Company’s deep strike and remains in his deployment zone, killing a single Veteran who stands back up the next turn thanks to my Sanguinary Priest. 

Turn two arrives and I move out with everything. After some heroic advances my Assault Intercessors are within spitting distance of his objective, the Bladeguard are ready to charge in and the Death Company arrive. A good friend of mine once described his Tyranid strategy as Predator Satiation, and that’s exactly what I’m aiming for here. I nail the charges I need, clearing him off two of his objectives and consolidating the DC into his Volkite Contemptor, forcing a Desperate Breakout next turn.

From there I now have the space I need to move up with impunity. It’s not all plain sailing though as my opponent drops a cheeky pair of Deathwing Terminators into my backfield, threatening my Whirlwind and homefield objective. I stuff up my sequencing as a result, neglecting to drop Suppressing Fire on the units that I know can safely disengage from me using Swift Strike, which my opponent takes full advantage of to threaten my upper mid objective.

With some more heroic advance rolls I’m eventually able to swing a squad of assault intercessors back home and pick up his Terminators. With my Bladeguard now deep into his lines, one truly absurd roll where I nail 8 out of 9 4++ saves and some inventive movement to keep his VolCon engaged (The poor chap would manage a single round of shooting all game) I run away on scoring and we finish up 97-40

This would prove to be the game where I felt most in control and that my gameplan was working as expected. I had a blast playing this one, not just because I was setting the pace but also due to my opponent being an absolute joy to play against. Thanks Carl!

Game 6 – Map 2, Surround and Destroy, Loss

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids) [110 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Hive Fleet: Kraken

+ Stratagems +

Progeny of the Hive [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Hive Tyrant [11 PL, 215pts]: 2x Monstrous Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Power: Paroxysm, Power: The Horror, Toxin Sacs, Wings, Xenogenic Acid
. Adaptive Physiology: Murderous Size

The Swarmlord [14 PL, 240pts]: Power: Catalyst, Power: Synaptic Lure, Warlord

+ Troops +

Genestealers [12 PL, 195pts]: 3x Acid Maw, 15x Scything Talons
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Genestealers [12 PL, 195pts]: 3x Acid Maw, 15x Scything Talons
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Genestealers [12 PL, 195pts]: 3x Acid Maw, 15x Scything Talons
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Genestealers [12 PL, 195pts]: 3x Acid Maw, 15x Scything Talons
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Tyranid Warriors [4 PL, 54pts]: Adrenal Glands
. Tyranid Warrior: 2x Scything Talons
. Tyranid Warrior: 2x Scything Talons
. Tyranid Warrior: 2x Scything Talons

+ Elites +

Hive Guard [12 PL, 270pts] . Adaptive Physiology: Enhanced Resistance
. 6x Hive Guard (Impaler): 6x Impaler Cannon

Hive Guard [12 PL, 270pts] . 6x Hive Guard (Impaler): 6x Impaler Cannon

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]

+ Fast Attack +

Raveners [3 PL, 60pts] . Ravener: 2x Scything Talons
. Ravener: 2x Scything Talons
. Ravener: 2x Scything Talons

++ Total: [110 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

I see my opponent’s list and am immediately horrified. A truly horrendous amount of genestealers, two squads of Hive Guard, and not much else. It is a thing of beauty and I hate it.

Lacking the movement to engage on my terms and with my Incursors being rapidly whittled away by indirect fire I’m yet again forced to move the Bladeguard into mid where they get swarmed by the entirety of his genestealers. With psychic powers and smart activations there’s not much left by turn two. Seth at least was in his element as he merrily chopped his way through a dozen stealers and a Hive Tyrant before departing the board. 

On later reflection I might have been better served by plinking away with my Incursors and remembering that my Whirlwind has 2d6 Blast, but I’m not sure it would have made much difference. 27-95 and 2-4 overall.

Postgame

What became very clear to me after my games was that while the Bladeguard + Seth combo does its job wonderfully my gameplan is far too obvious and easily countered. I’m too slow, the Death Company never get into anything meaningful when they arrive, and my backfield is dangerously thin. Happily I’ve already managed to get a game in with my next iteration of the list and by dropping the Assault Intercessors, leaving the Ancient at home, shoving my Chaplain through the Rubicon Primaris and slapping him on a bike, bringing an extra squad of Incursors, some Eliminators and the ever present Claw + Shield Vanguard Veterans I have significantly improved its effectiveness.

I went into the tournament hoping to clinch a single win, a podium finish in one of the painting competitions, and to learn from playing against challenging opponents, and the GHO delivered on every front. The Goonhammer team have my undying gratitude for putting on a cracking event, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

The Flesh Tearers with their loot. Credit: Mike Roberts