RTT Report – Twisted Fate II

An article by    Battle Reports Gaming        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

Introduction

If you’ve kept up with my recent reports and our reviews, you’ll know that several gigantic meteors have crashed into the 40K scene, taking out a certain large robotic dinosaur and sending Ynnari straight back to the ice age. If you read my report from St. George’s Champion, you’ll also know that I had a shiny new evolution of my Mixed Aeldari list ready to go, and the weekend just past I got to give it a bit of a runaround at an RTT held by the twisted dice podcast.

My plan for one-day event reports, particularly ITC RTTs going forward, is to keep these as one part without writing a preview, especially if I’m not doing anything unusual with my list, and especially if I’ve got more tournaments the following two weekends like an idiot.

I’ll still put together preview articles for bigger events, or where I’ve changed my list massively, but for today, let’s hop straight into a condensed dose of tournament goodness.

Tournament Format

ITC champions missions 2, 4 and 5. Nice and simple.

The List

Army list - Click to Expand

+ ARMY FACTION: Aeldari
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000pts
+ POWER LEVEL: 112
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Aeldari, Black Heart, Alaitoc
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Battalion Detachment == Black Heart [19PL, 337pts] 5CP
HQ: Archon (70), Venom Blade (2), Splinter Pistol (0), Warlord [4PL] [72pts]
HQ: Archon (70), Huskblade (6), Splinter Pistol (0), The Parasite’s Kiss [4PL] [76pts]

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), Phantasm Grenade Launcher (3) [5PL] [83pts]

== Battalion Detachment == Alaitoc [65PL, 1131pts] 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: 20 Guardian Defenders (80), 2 Guardian Heavy Weapon platforms (10),  2 Shuriken Cannons (20) [9PL] [190pts]

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

HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [8PL] [117pts]
HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [8PL] [117pts]

== 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]

This is straight up what i came up as the evolution of my list after the FAQ dropped, and will be familiar to regular readers. My beloved Scourges are gone for the obvious reason that Doom no longer works cross-faction, and I’ve dialed the Drukari component back a tiny bit (losing the Venom) because they’re slightly less good without being able to pour fire into a Doomed target, and also because the removal of regen of pre-game CP makes be a bit leery about planning to spend 3CP during deployment every time (given I’ve got the Guardian Bomb here).

Speaking of the Guardian Bomb, I’ve always had a mixed relationship with it – it’s definitely very good when it’s good, but I’ve enjoyed lists without it recently and haven’t really felt the lack. However, without time to paint another Wave Serpent to build the list I really want, it’s here because it’s never bad, and also fills in some of the deep strike threat the Scourges used to provide (though not entirely, as it has very different targets).

After 20 years their time has finally come.

The other returning toy is banshees, including a second squad that I painted up just for this. My experience of these is that when they’re good they basically feel like cheating – if your opponent deploys “traditional” vehicles or Tau, running these straight at them is a great way to ruin their day and kill any chance of making friends. I expect both of these things to be more prevalent in the metagame, and experience with my list has shown that cheap mobile squads are never totally dead, so I’m happy to have them around.

With all of that said, let’s get on to the games. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the full army lists (as my BCP keeps bugging out on the event), and have stupidly left my scoresheet at home (I’m writing this away on a trip), so you’ll have to forgive me if the precise level of detail is somewhat lacking compared to my norm.

Round 1 – Craftworlds

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

All Alaitoc
2 Farseers (one warlord)
2 Warlocks
2x Dire Avengers
Rangers
Banshees
Fire Dragons
Wraithguard (w/ Scythes)
2 Wave Serpents
Fire Prism
2 Hornets
A Vyper
Dark Reapers
3 Support Weapons w/ Shadow Weavers

I’m a big aspect warrior fan and always like to see them in lists, but I think this is going to be an up-hill struggle for my opponent, as my stuff matches up extremely well against his. Notably, thanks to their T6, a Crimson Hunter Exarch can land next to a hornet and expect to have a reasonable shot at killing one outright straight away, as can the Hemlock if you’re willing to throw a re-roll at it. He doesn’t have enough transports to hide everything, leaving him either putting valuable units out on the board or deep striking them, at which point I get to control the pace of the game.

If we get a heavy terrain board or a short edge/corner deployment, I can also just backline hard and make him go first, at which point he’s going to have to be aggressive to get any kills, and will by necessity set up a nasty counter attack from me. All told, this should be very winnable

The Mission

ITC Mission 3, Cut to the Heart. Good for me, as scoring the bonus should be basically impossible for him.

Search and Destroy. Again, one of the ones I wanted.

The Plan

With the deployment as-is (and our board being extremely heavy) I definitely want to go second. If I either “lose” the roll-off or my opponent chooses to deploy first, I just backline the planes and the Night Spinners, leaving him with only Wave Serpents to shoot at turn 1. He’ll have to push forward to stop me stealing the centre objective, and I can just delete anything that he pushes up. The only things that are a bit of a pain to kill are the Serpents, as a lot of my anti-tank is flat D2 or D3, but that’s just as true for him as it is for me, and everything else in my army is way tougher.

The only way I’m at serious risk of losing this game is if I let the Fire Dragons murder a plane by landing too close to them or their Wave Serpent without a plan to remove them. They’ve got a decent chance of just cold killing one, and we don’t want that. The Wraithguard are paradoxically way less worrying, because their damage profile is very predictable, and won’t kill a plane in one volley barring some outrageous luck. The Hemlock, in particular, can afford to land near them once.

The thing I want dead the most is the Reaper squad, because after that my planes can breathe easy. This is part of why I want to go second – they’ll almost certainly be out on the board (I’m ready and willing to “Vect” Fire and Fade if needed), and won’t do much to me through Prepared Positions.. If I’m forced to take the first turn and he hides them then I’ll probably aim to just trash both Hornets on turn 1.

My Secondaries

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Marked for Death
  • Recon

His Secondaries

  • Old School
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Recon

The Summary

Elves elves elves

(banging on table) ELVES ELVES ELVES

This one played out pretty much according to plan. I got to choose when to deploy, and elected to go second. On his first turn, I used Prepared Positions and his firepower near completely bounced off me (only two Reapers even got to shoot thanks to the amount of terrain). He pushed the Wave Serpent with the Fire Dragons in up onto the centre objective.

I responded by Dooming that Serpent and blowing it away with accumulated small arms fire and some Pulse Laser shots. I also trashed a Hornet and murdered the Dark Reapers with my Hemlock. The Banshees had popped out of my Wave Serpent to threaten a charge on the Fire Dragons once they fell out, and duly did so to put the last one down after I’d killed a few with remaining Shuriken shots, also stealing the central objective.

At some point, ultimate Serpent thunderdome happened

This gave me a massive early lead and my opponent wasn’t really able to recover. He murdered a few of my infantry bits and bobs that had gone forward, and menaced one of my Serpents a bit, but still didn’t kill it. The Wraithguard also hurt my Hemlock a manageable amount, while some Rangers popped in and failed to pull off an upset and murder my warlord.

I kept picking up units on turn 2, putting yet more of a stranglehold on the game, though i did miss a few kills by a wound or two. My Raider also came in to threaten his objective, as he didn’t have enough left to really screen it out. He was able to salvage a few points from the game, as his Wave Serpent was able to claim linebreaker after my Doom cast on it failed, but I got my Kabalites into his objective for the bonus on 3, and chalked up a decent win (which would have been bigger if we’d had another turn, which honestly we could probably have squeezed in, as I would probably have got the full 5 primary and several more secondary).

The Takeaways

My army is as vicious as ever, and continues to be able to really punish armies that have the “wrong” threat profile to take it down. I did find the Guardian bomb really awkwardly showing off why I sometimes don’t like it in this game – there wasn’t really anywhere good to drop it on 2, and because the game timed out they didn’t really get to do much on 3. Another Wave Serpent on the board would have made this even more vicious.

The Score

Primary: 13-5

Secondary: 9-6

Total: 22-11

Match Score: 1-0

Round 2 – Imperium

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

2x Grey Knight Grand Masters in Dreadknights
3x Interceptor squads (one big)
3x Deathwatch Librarians with Jump Packs
2x Deathwatch Intercessors
1x Deathwatch Veterans (loaded for long range)
Vindicare
Loyal 32

I’ve never seen anything quite like this – this is weird. It does have some neat tricks, and threatens to do the classic herohammer thing of having just enough sticky stuff to shield the characters. Obviously the Grand Masters are a pain to kill, especially as he can get both up to a 3++ at once. This should still be OK though – there’s really nothing here that can threaten my planes.

The Mission

What’s yours is mine. Fine by me, I think I have a much better chance of seizing the bonus.

Spearhead Assault Deployment. Also fine.

The Plan

Hopefully this should go OK. As long as I play carefully and don’t let myself get smashed by either shunting Grey Knights or Gateing Grand Masters, he just doesn’t have enough killing power to take out my stuff. I should be able to gradually take his stuff off the board until the game ends, while racking up big scores on objectives and kills.

To this end, we will be using the fact that, while they don’t block movement any more, planes still screen out turn 1 deep strikes like champions. The anti-drop triangle will be in full effect. This allows me to, again, choose to go second and hopefully take minimal damage, before taking out whatever he’s pushed forward to attack me, then rolling back from there. I’ve got a fairly standard move pattern I use with my planes in this sort of game (that I really need to write a tactica about at some point), which should keep me safe from jumping stuff on turn 2 as well, at which point I should be able to neutralise most of his serious output and start mopping up.

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Marked for Death (5-model squads of Interceptors are eligible for this, fix Grey Knights GW people are dying)
  • Recon

His Secondaries

  • Old School
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Marked for Death

The Summary

He chose to take the first turn. All according to plan. His two GKGMs moved forward and blew my Hemlock out of the sky through Lightning Fast, thanks to an exceptional hit rolls from him and terrible saves from me. I had, at least, kept my characters thoroughly hidden from the Vindicare.

Who would win: one overconfident green and white swooper…

…or two big stompy bois.

Ooookay that’s a bit of a yikes, but actually meant we got to have a much more fun game. Without the Hemlock about (and some poor dice rolls from me and good denies from him) my damage on turn 1 was also quite limited, with me merely taking about half the wounds off a Grand Master and popping a squad of Interceptors (I switched targets to make sure I didn’t fall behind on kills once it was clear the GM wasn’t going down).

His second turn was equally disappointing, mind, with a lot of missed psychic casts and not super huge amounts of damage being thrown into my units – he picked up a squad of Dire Avengers I’d moved up to screen, but otherwise didn’t kill that much (including from his Intercessors, who came in from Deep Strike). My turn 2 was much more vicious and in line with plans. At this point, after slamming another Serpent Shield into one of the GKGMs I was able to take it down, while also picking up both squads of intercessors, and one of the backline guard squads, as my Raider came in to menace them. The Guardians and Banshees also combined to pick off the big Interceptor squad.

On his three, the banshees got taken out in vengeance, and his various shooting made a bit more headway in picking off some of my vehicles (though he was still now thoroughly behind on materiel. My turn 3 was a bit of a disaster mind – his remaining squad of interceptors had managed to wrap some banshees, and my attempts to MW them out of the way, or reposition stuff to get shots on his librarians completely failed. I still put a bit more damage into the Grand Master, and was able to keep ahead on objectives now my kabalites could pick up one of the ones in his back-line (while my remaining Dire Avengers got chased round and round a central rock by the Grand Master).

This forced him to stay aggressive, which ultimately played in my favour – though I cut it a bit fine, I was able to finish off the master, and pick up enough Librarians to max out headhunter. Combined with staying ahead on objectives pretty much all game, this gave me a convincing win.

The Takeaways

I guess this is and isn’t a good example of “never underestimate an army”. The Grand Masters cold cocking the Hemlock was extremely unlikely, but if I’d really thought about it (and checked their range) I could probably have deployed such that they couldn’t even shoot on turn 1, practically guaranteeing the win.

Other than that I’m pretty happy with how this went – the banshees getting wrapped was annoying, but the whole mid game was a story of me getting key powers denied or fluffing important rolls, and even with that I was able to secure a comfortable win, so this is basically fine. The guardians didn’t excel again, and I once again would probably have preferred another Serpent, but the Kabalites in the Raider continued to demonstrate that they’re definitely still worth it in the post-FAQ world – the flexibility to come down and threaten back-line objectives in a package that’s extremely durable to anti-infantry firepower is sooooo good in ITC.

The Score

Primary: 16-13

Secondary: 11-7

Total: 27-20

Match Score: 2-0

Round 3 – Chaos

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Chaos Lord
Master of Executions
Cultists
3x Chaos Predator (Lascannon)
2 Obliterators
Contemptor w/ C beams
Leviathan Dread w/ Butcher Cannons
Fluxmaster
Bloodmaster
6x Nurgling bases
Lots of bloodletters
Lots of Pink Horrors

Both some nasty firepower and a decent amount of melee threat here.

The Mission

ITC mission 5, Precious Cargo

The Plan

This is the first game where I actually really want to go first – I want to kill a Predator before Killshot goes live, and also want to push a squad of Banshees up the board to threaten the rest. The Banshees should do work here – all of his heavy firepower is pants in melee, so if they get in that’s it.

This one is certainly loseable – if he goes first and has a good turn (I’m definitely “Vecting” killshot, but he can still high roll) the I can get my army crippled, and I can also throw it by letting the Bloodletters take out too much. For them, I ideally want to keep my guardians in reserve as a counterpunch – this is the first game where I want them more than another Serpent, as if they come in, I guide them and then doom + jinx the bloodletters the squad just evaporates. He can theoretically hold them to 3, at which point I have to drop the guardians, but what I do them is put them somewhere tempting and make sure my Farseer is standing 6” behind them, and then destroy them with “Forewarned” if they take the bait (and make sure I’ve screened out other good drop zones).

My Secondaries

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Recon
  • Old School

His Secondaries

  • Marked For Death
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Pick Your Poison

The Summary

I went first and took out a predator and the Nurglings (Night Spinners are outrageously good at wasting them), the latter of which meand getting ahead on objectives wasn’t really feasible for him. I also killed most of the cultists, after initially using them as a springboard to “Fire and Fade” my warlock 7” back after getting him in range to throw a Jinx.

The killing begins.

Unfortunately, from here the dice killed any real chance of this being a balanced game. A combination of Lightning Fast, a terrible string of wound rolls and some good saves from me meant he barely scratched my army, and on turn 2 I continued to savage his, throwing plenty of hurt around and also getting a squad of banshees into a Predator to lock it up.

His dice went from bad to “appalingly catastrophic” on his turn 2. He got two C beam cannon wounds through on a Night Spinner and managed to roll only 8 on 6D6 for the Damage, and the Obliterators didn’t do too much either. He also used up his last command points in the shooting phase, and then in the charge phase managed to roll a double 1 for a 3” charge from his Master of Executions, and then a 7 on 3D6 for his Bloodletters.

That was basically it – my guardians came in and evaporated his Bloodletters, the Predators got gradually picked apart and my army eventually wiped him off the table. It really was one of those games where it just felt like the dice were kicking one side – along the way a Banshee Exarch managed to take out both the Master of Executions and (wounded) Chaos Lord thanks to good rolls from her Executioner and terrible saves from him.

The Takeaways

I hate it when dice like this happen in either direction – my opponent clearly knew how to use his stuff well, and made great target priority and focus choices through the game, but fortune just would not give the guy a break.

The learning points for my army here are:
Oh yeah, that’s why we sometimes like the Guardian Bomb – being able to counterpunch powerful deep striking horde units like Bloodletters, Tzaangors and Ork Boyz definitely is the case where they’re actually good.
Damn do Banshees feel filthy in matchups where they’re good. Also, I am extremely excited to take out a Banshee Exarch in KT Elites.

The Score

Primary: 21-11

Secondary: 12-6

Total: 33-17

Match Score: 3-0

Final Score

3-0

3rd place

Apparently I’m going to acquire a chaos army entirely through the right of conquest.

Army Thoughts

Good news everyone – mixed Aeldari nonsense is still fine. Trust me, I’m (and no one is more surprised by this than me) second in the ITC Aeldari rankings, as of writing this.

I obviously didn’t come up against any rock hard netlists at the event, but everything about how the army works still “feels” very strong, and I’m looking forward to taking something like it out at the Bad Moon series in a few weeks time.

My overall impression is that my alternative list with the 3rd Wave Serpent (see the St. George’s write-up) is probably a bit stronger, but unfortunately as I’ve been travelling on business and had some painting to finish for an entirely different RTT army this coming weekend (Necron fans should tune in next week is all I’ll say), I won’t have time to whip up another one.

With that in mind, the only change I’m considering making is to take advantage of now being able to include Yvraine in a detachment without breaking Drukari Obsessions (so I can still be a “Black Heart” detachment for “Vect”) to replace my second Archon – he hasn’t really been achieving that much, and while Yvraine is a bit pricier, the fact that she can ride in a Wave Serpent to where she needs to go then start slamming out Mortal Wounds makes her much more likely to be consistently relevant. She’ll also help shore up the Knight matchup a bit – having access to ~4 additional MWs a turn gives me a bit more reliability on landing the all important turn 1 kill, and another way to claw back into a game that starts badly.

Because I filled out this list with a few random bit of wargear, and can switch Shurikens back to Scatter Lasers, I don’t lost much to find the points to do this – you end up with the fat trimmed off and the guardian squad down to 18 with one platform. That’s pretty darn tempting, all things considered. I need to submit my list for that on Saturday, and I’ll probably make a call on it at the last minute, but my current inclination is towards “yes”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the report, and check back in over the next few weeks for more like it, plus the debut of a new series I’ve been getting ready with another of our authors, which should be going up straight after this!

 

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