Road to LVO: Editor Showdown Battle Report!

An article by    Gaming Road to LVO Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

As I mentioned in my end of year roundup, in just a few weeks I’m heading out to Vegas on my first international tournament adventure. Other than writing retrospectives I mostly took the Christmas week off doing 40K stuff, but now the new year beckons, the LVO is looming and it’s time to get serious.

My List

Shining Spears

Shining Spears. Credit: Wings

Eldar are in an interesting place post Chapter Approved – there’s definitely at least one highly viable list (the Expert Crafters build), but it requires an enormous number of vehicle hulls to put on the table, and I don’t have quite as much faith in my ability to slam out 3 additional Grav Tanks and 9 Vibro Cannons in three weeks as Boon does. Instead I’ve been looking at some more unusual options, and have come up with a relatively interesting list that meets the critical conjunction of being something I want to play and something that I can reasonably get painted in the time I have.

Army List - Click to Expand

+ ARMY FACTION: Asuryani
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000pts
+ POWER LEVEL: 117
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Asuryani, Craftworld Mara-Nai (Expert Crafters, Superior Shurikens)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Craftworld Mara-Nai (Expert Crafters, Superior Shurikens)
[62PL, 1073pts] 5CP

HQ: Autarch w/Wings (80), Power Sword (4), Fusion Pistol (7), Forceshield (2), Warlord [5PL] [93pts] HQ: Warlock Skyrunner (60), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Witchblade (0) [4PL] [62pts]

TR: 10 Dire Avengers (80), Exarch (0), 10 Avenger Shuriken catapults (30), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power – Avenging Strikes [6PL] [113pts] TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power – Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts] TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power – Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts]

FA: 9 Shining Spears (180), 9 Twin Shuriken Catapults (18), 8 Laser Lances (64), Star lance (10), Exarch Power – Expert Rider [14PL] [272pts]

DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts] DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts] DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts]

== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Craftworld Mara-Nai (Expert Crafters, Superior Shurikens)
[19PL, 341‬pts] 5CP

HQ: Farseer (110), Witchblade (0) [6PL] [110pts] Relic: Faolchu’s Wing
HQ: Spiritseer (55) [4PL] [55pts]

TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power – Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts] TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power – Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts] TR: 5 Rangers (60) [3PL] [60pts]

== Spearhead Detachment == Asuryani, Craftworld Mara-Nai (Expert Crafters, Superior Shurikens)
[36PL, 586‬pts] 1CP

HQ: Asurmen (150) [9PL] [150pts]

HS: Fire Prism (140), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [9PL] [147pts] HS: Fire Prism (140), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [9PL] [147pts] HS: Fire Prism (140), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [142pts]

 

I took Dire Avengers with Avenging Strikes and Hail of Doom to the Bad Moon final a few weeks ago and found them moderately interesting, but not quite coming together as a whole. This is an attempt to refine that – my main takeaways were that Hail of Doom wasn’t mattering enough but the extra range would be nice, and that going “all in” on Avenging Strikes probably wouldn’t work, but it was spicy enough to include one squad to attempt to set it up with. I also found that my poor DAs were getting instantly melted once they were out on the board, so bringing in newly-discounted Asurmen is an attempt to deal with that while also providing another character who can have a pretty good go at some herohammer.

Chasing that meta. Credit: Wings

The rest of the list is largely Fire Prisms and Shining Spears. With the accumulated changes from Phoenix Rising and Chapter Approved, I feel like most Eldar lists that don’t want to go all-in on Crafters should be strongly considering including these. While it takes a bit of setup and commitment, Ghostwalk and the Expert Rider/Protect combo makes bringing a squad of these out of Deep Strike so much better than it used to be that it isn’t even funny. With it, you can bring them in, trash something horrendously and then not have to worry too much about pulling a wrap and trap (which they’re bad at because their weapons are best in the turn they charge) to survive. I think they also synergise extremely effectively with Superior Shurikens, as it plausibly allows them to land, delete the unit behind their charge target with a hail of blades, and then smash another in combat, increasing the rate at which they pay for themselves and letting them pull double duty straight away.

Fire Prisms

Fire Prisms. Credit: Wings

Fire Prisms are kind of just good at their new cost, and take care of the need to be able to reliably delete a vehicle turn one pretty much by themselves. They also benefit from extremely high range, which can punish some armies and make them hard to deal with. I think on aggregate the Crafters builds that just spam hulls are better, and until GW notice that the Nightwing is bonkers that might be a better way to spend the same points, but they’re a pretty dependable inclusion and one which I have about 95% painted (only needing to paint the actual gun mount for my third and mag swap it onto a Night Spinner).

All things considered, I like this list a lot and it feels very me. The main concern has been whether it’s at all viable, and with that in mind I wanted to make sure I gave it a field test, preferably against some fairly stiff competition. Apart from anything else, playing my very first game with my army in round one of LVO wouldn’t be a fantastic look, but making sure it doesn’t just feel completely anemic in the table is important.

Luckily, fellow Goonhammer editor Liam was in a similar spot, wanting to try out his Crimson Fists before committing to them for Vegas, so a meeting was planned in the neutral territory of Firestorm Games Swindon, and we prepared for the second-most-ultimate editorial showdown in history (after Rob and Greg, we aren’t topping that).

 

Liam’s List

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought. Credit: Corrode

Army List - Click to Expand

+REPORTED ARMY FACTION: Adeptus Astartes
+TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 13 – 4 + d3
+TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2,000pts
+TOTAL POWER LEVEL: 112
+ARMY FACTIONS USED: Adeptus Astartes
+TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: n/a

== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Astartes, Crimson Fists [76 PL, 1,314pts]

HQ: Pedro Kantor (150) – [7PL] [150] HQ: Techmarine (45), servo-arm (0), storm bolter (2) – [4PL] [47] – Warlord, Master of the Forge (1CP), Master of Machines default trait, Sentinel of Terra (1CP), Hand of Dorn default bonus trait

TR: 5 Infiltrators (110), Infiltrator Sergeant (22) – [11PL] [132] TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and chainsword (0) – [5PL] [85] TR: 9 Intercessors (153) with auto bolt rifles (9), 1 Sergeant (17) with auto bolt rifle (1) and thunder hammer (16) – [10PL] [196]

EL: Primaris Ancient (69) – [4PL] [69], Standard of the Emperor Ascendant default relic
EL: Relic Contemptor Dreadnought (110), two twin lascannons (80), cyclone missile launcher (32) – [13PL] [222]

HS: Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (175), two storm cannon arrays (100), three hunter-killer missiles (18), two heavy flamers (28) [16PL] [321] HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (37) – [4PL] [92]


== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Astartes, Crimson Fists [36 PL, 686pts]

HQ: Captain in Phobos armour (90), master-crafted instigator bolt carbine (6), camo cloak (3) – [5PL] [99], Champion of Blades (1CP), Eye of Hypnoth default relic
HQ: Primaris Chaplain (77) – [4PL] [77] – Master of Sanctity (1CP), Recitation of Focus and Catechism of Fire default prayers

TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and chainsword (0) – [5PL] [85] TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and chainsword (0) – [5PL] [85] TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and chainsword (0) – [5PL] [85]

HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind vengeance launcher (20) [4PL] [85] HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind vengeance launcher (20) [4PL] [85] HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind vengeance launcher (20) [4PL] [85]

 

After playing my last event (Element Games Grand Slam) with a silly Marine brigade, I’ve gone down the dual battalion route for LVO instead. This offers me a little more flexibility in what I bring, since I don’t have to fill Elites or Fast Attack slots, and that lets me lean in to what Fists are really good at – bringing piles of Heavy weapons and pointing them at things.

The basic idea for this list is pretty simple. The characters offer tons of utility to what’s around them – Pedro obviously provides full Chapter Master re-rolls, but he also offers an excellent gun, decent combat punch with 7 power fist attacks including Shock Assault and his Oath of Rynn aura, and he makes everything around him better at melee – Intercessors under the Oath of Rynn are 4 attacks each, which is considerable counter-punch against things like Genestealers which might be tempted to rush you turn 1. One of those 5-man stalker bolt rifle squads puts out 22 attacks when charged, which with re-rolls to hit is enough to put out some real pain on any glass cannon type melee units which might be tempted to rush them.

The Techmarine and Chaplain take the new options from Faith and Fury, allowing the former to be Warlord and take the +1 to hit for VEHICLE units trait (which is, frankly, just dumb how good it is) and the Chaplain to know two prayers, plus his Chapter prayer, and inspire 2 per turn. Taking the +1 to hit prayer might seem like an odd choice when my main shooting threats are already mostly hitting on 2s, but it has utility in allowing me to be flexible with the Dreadnoughts – one of them can take the +1 to hit prayer and the other uses Big Guns Never Tire and therefore both can move around and still hit on 2s, particularly important for the Leviathan but low-key handy for using the Contemptor’s 9″ move to draw line of sight on stuff too. It also makes things like Lightning Fast Reflexes ineffective. It’s a great way to reduce risk early in the game, and if there’s no good reason to use it on the Dreads, I still have a pile of Intercessors where one squad can benefit from it. The Eye of Hypnoth-toting Phobos Captain is the final piece of the puzzle; he and the Techmarine sit inside the Whirlwind castle, preferably behind a LoS blocker, and he offers a neat little re-roll 1s to hit and wound, the anti-deep strike aura, and a pretty good gun should he be able to see anything worth shooting at. He’s also hard to get rid of with snipers, since he’ll often be out of line of sight completely, and even if he’s forced to be exposed he’s 6 wounds with a 1+ save if he’s in cover – not a great target even for something like Raven Guard Eliminators.

The Relic Contemptor is the big turn 1 threat, offering a mighty four twin lascannon shots at BS2+, as well as two krak missiles from the cyclone missile launcher – although the cyclone has a slightly more modest range. Standing in the right place and with the Chaplain prayer or the Tank Hunters stratagem this guy can often be hitting on a 2+, wounding on a 2+, re-rolling hits and wounds, with 4 of the shots at AP-4 and the other two at AP-3, with all of them doing d6+1 damage. That’s enough that he can usually just bust straight through anything below a Knight in one go. The Leviathan has equally crazy shooting but most people don’t allow him to shoot turn 1, although mounting three hunter-killers means he can at least contribute if he can draw LoS on something.

The rest of the list is built around Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles and artillery pieces. The three Whirlwinds offer great complimentary anti-tank fire to the Contemptor, especially since in Fists they’re a flat 3 damage against vehicles, which adds up quickly. The stalker bolt rifles similarly are damage 2 or 3 depending on target, have giant range, and AP-3 while in Devastator, which makes them great for chipping wounds onto vehicles or shooting at other people’s Primaris Marines. Under Pedro’s aura and with the bolter half of the Fists’ chapter trait they don’t even mind moving too much – even hitting on 4s I usually average 5 hits from 5 shots.

The auto bolt rifle squad exists to get in the way of things, offer high rate of fire for clearing hordes (particularly important since the only other high shot count piece in the list is the Thunderfire Cannon, since my Whirlwinds have the vengeance rather than castellan launchers), and throw melee punches into things if necessary. The Ancient covers all this in a fearless bubble which also allows approximately half of them to shoot back on death – and also increases the bubble to 9″, making it much easier to move around on the table without all my guys cowering together in a small circle.

All of that, and after my pre-game buys I start with 9+d3 CP, which is enough to get some great use out of the strong Marines/Fists stratagems (all 50 of the things).

That’s the theory behind how it works – let’s see how it goes in practice.

 

The Game

We rolled up ITC mission 3, Nexus Control (four objectives, bonus for all four) and Dawn of War deployment.

My Plan

The biggest problems I have here are:

  • The Relic Contemptor. It will kill a tank a turn pretty much 100% of the time.
  • The Whirlwinds. Buffed up by a Master of Machines and re-roll auras they’re going to threaten my Fire Prisms with their D3 missiles.
  • The auto bolt rifle squad. They’re the biggest source of high rate of fire in his list, and don’t really care if my Avengers have a 4++.

I can’t do a tonne about the Whirlwinds straight away, but the other two are much more plausible targets, and if I get turn 1 stomping them off the board is the priority. To do this, I will aim to use Doom/Jinx and a tonne of high range shurikens to take down the Relic Contemptor, while paradoxically pointing the Fire Prisms at the Intercessors. While Duty Eternal isn’t as good against a Prism mid profile than most heavy fire, it’s still a pain and I’d rather just scythe the Contemptor down with weight of fire (which I should have the numbers to do). Mid profile Prisms are also extremely effective at killing Intercessors, so that’s what they’ll then focus on.

If I can pull that off going first then I’m in a very good position. While the Leviathan will murder something in response, I can combine that alpha strike with bringing Serpents and characters up the board. One Serpent will probably push towards wherever he’s placed his Whirlwinds, as parallel parking into two of them is probably a realistic goal, while the others will harrass Intercessors. Meanwhile, I can use the dense mid-board ruins, or the Eye on Distant Events warlord trait on my Autarch to pull off a charge into his Leviathan, slowing it down. Amidst all of this, the Spears are going to turn up at some point and slam hard into one of his flanks, hopefully contributing to snowballing him out of the game. A big advantage I have in this mission is how much more mobile my army is, so keeping ahead on hold is very realistic.

If I go second I have to be a bit more cagey. I will use Phantasm to hide my army as best I can, and turn one goals downgrade to “occupy mid board” and taking down the auto-rifle squad. In this version of the plan, I’m relying on hitting a hammer blow with the Spears on turn 2 to swing the game back into my favour, ideally combining it with charges into the Leviathan and as many Intercessors as possible. The goal is to have the Spears come in and do a lot of damage, while shutting down his turn 3 enough that he can’t kill them. From there, they can start a rampage, and hopefully work with an objective lead to take the game. This will inevitably be tough going second though, as his Whirlwinds being able to just nuke a Prism off the board most of the time is really hard to plan for.

Loadouts

  • Autarch: Eye on Distant Events warlord trait, buys Shard of Anaris relic. Corrode: I had no idea what this was and James described it to me as “the least bad relic power sword.” 
  • Farseer: Doom, Fortune, Smite, Faolchu’s Wing free relic.
  • Warlock: Protect/Jinx, Ghostwalk
  • Spiritseer: Protect/Jinx, Smite

Secondaries

  • Marked for Death (Dreads, Intercessors, Infiltrators)
  • Headhunter
  • Recon

Liam’s Plan

My plan is pretty simple. I want to reduce the number of Fire Prisms on the table sharpish, at minimum killing 2 so that I can get rid of Linked Fire. Protecting the Dreadnoughts is key – not just from shooting, but also from being touched and prevented from shooting. We have a very terrain-heavy board here which makes it easy for something like a unit of 5 Dire Avengers to throw away their lives charging the Leviathan from behind cover and tagging it for a turn. The obvious other threat is the Shining Spears, but I think I can do enough to stop them being as hellish as they could be by pushing their deep strike out – Ghostwalk doesn’t matter if they’re > 12″ away anyway. The Infiltrators offer a good way to protect my castle, hiding behind the ruin wall in front of my Whirlwinds on T1 (since James has no way to target them) and then pushing out in either my T1 or T2 depending on whether I go first or second. The Phobos Captain should be enough to protect me from the back.

Other than that, it should just be about bombing things with the Whirlwinds and the Contemptor nuking a vehicle a turn until either it’s dead or there’s no more vehicles, and then clearing up Dire Avengers with bolt rifles and Thunderfire rounds.

Loadouts

  • Techmarine: Master of the Forge, Master the Machine warlord trait, Hand of Dorn additional trait via Sentinel of Terra
  • Chaplain: Master of Sanctity
  • Phobos Captain: Buys Eye of Hypnoth with Champion of Blades
  • Ancient: Standard of the Emperor Ascendant

Secondaries

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Pick Your Poison (Remaining two tanks after BGH (fly/vehicle), Warlock (psyker), Spears (biker))
  • Old School

Deployment

Because I had lower drops, I deployed aggressively, planning to Phantasm if I ended up going second.

Pre-Phantasm Deployment

Battle Pile and Car Park

I won the rolloff, but the scoundrel only went and seized on me, so I Phantasmed and Prepared Positions and hoped I could weather the storm.

Cowering post-phantasm

Turn 1

Crimson Fists advance

My post phantasm setup meant that Liam was, at least, forced to bring stuff forward, giving me more options for how to deploy the Spears down the line, However, his shooting was as brutal as feared – he could only draw LOS onto one of the Wave Serpents with his Contemptor dreadnought, but that was all he needed to blow it to bits, adding insult to injury by murdering all the Dire Avengers that fell out between a Thunderfire Cannon and a SBR (I made a mistake disembarking them here – I could have traded one ABR model being able to shoot them for the SBR squad being out of LOS). His Whirlwinds also blew apart my middle Prism (the combo of the Suppression Fire and Tank Hunters stratagems and Legacy of Dorn being absolutely brutal).

Already looking a bit bare

Already looking a bit bare

As per the plan, that made going after Dreadnoughts this turn unrealistic, so I focused on moving to mid board and getting as many Shurikens as possible into the ABR squad (who I Doomed and Jinxed), taking them down for a point of MFD and a kill. I put Fortune on the mid-board Serpent, aiming to make it a bit tougher to kill.

I could also get my right-most Prism into LOS of a Whirlwind, giving me a good chance of taking it down with Linked Fire even with only two left. The first one put 7 damage into it, leaving me optimistic, but the second whiffed completely, not hitting a single time. Corrode: this was brutal. With Linked Fire up James rolled 2 3s and 3 2s, and then re-rolled all the 2s into more 2s. I shouldn’t have left the Whirlwind exposed like that anyway, but that was some really unlucky rolling.

Shooting the Intercessors also took them off the objective, meaning we drew on holding objectives, but Liam toook kill more. This was looking pretty tough already.

Turn 2

My use of the central cover meant that Liam couldn’t get lines on absolutely everything he wanted to kill this turn, but both dreads killed a target (the Leviathan into the mid-board Serpent, the Relic Contemptor into left-hand Fire Prism) while SBRs and Thunderfire cut a hefty swathe through my Dire Avengers. The only mild upside was that the Whirlwinds failed to kill off my final Prism.

From here, I needed a big turn 2 and to largely shut out his turn 3 to have any chance to get back in the game. On the right flank, Liam’s Infiltrators were far enough behind his front Intercessors that I could drop the Spears in, put Shurikens into Doomed/Jinxed Infiltrators, then charge and hopefully kill the Intercessors. Corrode: this was a horrible positioning mistake. The front Intercessor that James could charge had no need to be as far forward as he was, and putting him further back would have meant this charge was either impossible or such a gamble James wouldn’t have tried it. If I rolled a really big charge I could get them into position to consolidate into the Relic Contemptor as well, but that wasn’t the biggest threat right now, and I’d made sure my Autarch was in position to charge and lock the Leviathan. Even better, his Ancient was positioned such that I’d be able to pile in to tag him as well, giving me a chance to spike a character kill.

Spears come in to try and save the day, gouging a chunk out of the right flank

I landed Ghostwalk and Fortune on the Spears (but missed the Protect) and mostly this turn went according to plan. The Infiltrators got mowed down by Shurikens and the Intercessors got charged and zapped with Spears, while my Autarch did manage to kill the Ancient. The remaining Serpent also started bully charging other Intercessors.

I felt like I’d done the best I could here, and also took Hold More, having dropped my Rangers in on the fourth objective and murdered the Intercessors off theirs.

Turn 3

Sadly, missing Protect turned out to be game losing. While the Spear Exarch’s 3++ held off a reasonable amount of shooting, I was rolling like absolute pants on Fortune (I think I made two 5+++s on the way to the entire squad dying) and five died to shooting. I’d also forgotten to string a single model back to Asurmen’s invulnerable save bubble, so Pedro and the Chaplain killed the rest in combat (although with only four left that was kind of academic). The Autarch also, predictably, got mown down after his heroics.

Space Marines move to mop-up mode

Space Marines move to mop-up mode

That basically ended the game, so I was focused on maxing points. The remaining Avenger squad could charge through the central ruin to lock the Leviathan and grab an objective for another Hold More, while Asurmen went in to a (Doomed) Pedro to try and kill him. He managed a grand total of one wound. It was that sort of game.

Dire Avengers buy me a turn to rack up points while Asurmen face plants

Turn 4

Liam picked up most of my remaining models on his turn, leaving me with exactly four models remaining (the three psykers and a Wave Serpent). I used these to kill off a three model unit of Intercessors while positioning them for a point of Recon to make sure I squeezed as many points as possible from the turn, then we called it.

The survivors score Recon and a Kill

The survivors score Recon and a Kill

Score

Primary: 9-21

Secondary: 6-12

Total: 15-33

Overwhelming Space Marine Victory.

Post-Game Thoughts

James

While the dice were sufficiently brutal that I don’t think this could ever have ended any other way once Liam went first, it was a good learning experience with the army and I think there are some things I could have done better.

Deployment

This game hammered home that this army has a pretty low drop count, and importantly is very well set up for Phantasm tricks. You have five drops that make up your mobile forces, and one of those (the Warlock) can get most places they need to turn one unaided. With that in mind, if you place one Wave Serpent in each of three plausible deployment spots you can move the rest of the forces here with Phantasm as needed. This realisation kind of emerged as I was deploying – I think with the number of CP I have there’s an argument with this list for always setting up like that and planning to Phantasm whether you go first or second.

I could also, we think, have used range to hide a second Prism rather than the middle piece of cover, which would have given me space to hide all three Serpents there turn one. That would have changed the dynamics of the game a lot, as what it probably lets me do is use the two remaining Prisms and the Serpents to kill the Intercessors turn one without having to commit my infantry to the board till turn 2. Given that turn 2 is also when I can use massed charges to stifle his turn 3, that gives me a way higher chance of making it into the mid game still presenting a real threat.

Power Setup

Because this list actually has some melee punch having Smite on the Farseer for close defence is less important than normal. With that in mind, the Farseer should probably have Ghostwalk rather than the Warlock, and the Spiritseer should potentially have Focus Will. With Expert Rider landing the Protect cast is absolutely critical, so you want to be using a Warlock that’s at least under Seer Council for it, and maybe FW as well. The Farseer can use the tri-cast stratagem to do Doom, Fortune and Ghostwalk. Missing Protect was definitely the point this game went from bad to over, and we worked out that if I’d had Protect up the Spears would have only lost a single model to shooting. Combine that with keeping them in Asurmen’s aura for a melee 4++ and the game is suddenly way, way more live.

What Worked

I’m reasonably happy that the list does function, and the Spears were about as brutal as I hoped (and Superior Shurikens are indeed really, really good on them). The Fire Prisms kind of sucked, but that’s a mixture of matchup and bad dice (most Marine armies have a harder time just killing them out of LOS). The Wing Autarch did better than I expected, and Asurmen was at least fine (though another mild victim of low rolling). I do have a question in my mind as to whether Expert Crafters is actually worth it in the list, but I’m not certain what I’d replace it with. Masterful Shots is an option, and might genuinely be better, and I’ll have a look at the list of traits to see if any others grab me.

Am I Going to Play this at LVO?

Probably? It seems at least fine and while I got trashed here, I can see how I could have done better and this is a particularly rough matchup as Marine lists go. I’m still probably going to dive into my Codex and see if I can think of anything else, but the clock is ticking and I just don’t have the bandwidth to paint that much, whereas this is eminently doable. I’ll post another update next week once I’ve made a final call.

Liam

That went, uh, pretty well for me. This was my first time playing this list (though not my first time using most of the units in it – it’s not that different to what I took to EGGS) and although I had a good idea of how it should work, playing James was always going to be a tough test – I have a horrible record against him! In the event, things worked out basically how I would have hoped and expected they would. Everyone did their jobs properly, the Prisms went down in short order and I booted enough Avengers off the table (in particular, after nuking the big Avenging Strikes squad T1, and then the Thunderfire Cannon going wild in T2) that James’ core plan of taking something down with a Doom/Jinx combo and massed shuriken fire never quite landed in the way he needed it to.

Getting to seize is always powerful, allowing me to get the first punch in to take down the most troubling Avengers squad as well as the Serpent they were in and a Prism; having done that, James’ T1 was a little anaemic after the one Prism failed to hit at all. The Techmarine auto-healing 3 wounds every turn meant that after its initial scare the Whirlwind finished the game on full wounds, rather than dead like it probably should have been.

The dice falling kindly meant that I wasn’t punished for some pretty sloppy positioning mistakes. The Shining Spears getting to charge my Intercessors and threaten the Contemptor and the Whirlwind castle could have been prevented by either a) putting the lead Intercessor 2″ further back, so that they were required to make an 11″/9″ charge rather than a 9″/7″ one, or b) Advancing the Infiltrators and forgoing their fairly meaningless shooting, and preventing him from ever charging at all on that side. The Leviathan got touched in T2 because I moved it out of the Contemptor’s way (to let it shoot the Prism) without really thinking about where it was going to go – it didn’t need to be as far forward, and thus exposed to the Autarch’s charge, as it was. The Ancient, similarly, was pushed forwards to cover that one exposed Intercessor that the Spears targeted – proof that one minor error can have a chain effect throughout an army. The other big and obvious one is the Whirlwind being shot on turn 1 – everything in the ruin could have been an inch further to the right and therefore safe, which would also have helped the Techmarine and Phobos LT’s auras to stretch that little further out into the main body of the army.

I would be interested to know how things would have gone if I went second. With a third Prism up I definitely lose that Whirlwind on turn 1, or maybe he goes big and takes down the Leviathan or the Relic Contemptor instead. Linked Fire is so powerful for doing that since you only have to expose the one Prism to Line of sight, and he has the range and movement that he can potentially target the Contemptor and still be out of range of counter-punch from the Leviathan, which would have been a real problem for me. I think this army has enough depth in it to take that early punch and fight back, but it would have made for a much tougher game, and one that would have stayed competitive into the late turns rather than being pretty much wrapped up after my turn 3.

Overall though I’m pretty happy with the list. I don’t love the Infiltrators being 6 man rather than 5 (exposing them as a Marked for Death target) but I can’t think where else to spend the 22pts – or 24pts if you account for the extraneous storm bolter on Techmarine Nevergettinglos. With just under 3 weeks before I hop on a coach to Gatwick and begin the journey to LVO, lots of testing is required, but I hope not to chop and change this too much – I need the time for highlighting Primaris Marines!

Wrap Up

That’s it for this week, more updates from our LVO participants will be coming soon, and in the meantime if you have any questions, comments or suggestions hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com or via our Facebook Page.

 

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