Ben Hampshire put in an exceptional performance at the UKTC Leeds Supermajor with one of the hottest lists right now – Abaddon and Chaos Knights. Not only that, they won best painted as well with their extensively converted army. Ben and their partner Stephanie offered to put together a tournament report (with plenty of photos of the amazing models), and we’re delighted to feature that today.
Hey! My name’s Ben, I came 3rd at last week’s Leeds Supermajor running an Abaddon dog-walk list, and the folks at Goonhammer have been kind enough to let me ramble! I’ve been playing competitive 40k for a year or so, and before this I played Warmachine/Hordes for the best part of 5 years, representing England at the WTC twice (coming 3th in our first year, and yes that’s actually what the trophy says).
Coming into this event, though, I honestly didn’t have huge expectations – I was shooting for either 3-2 losing late or 4-1 losing early, having gone 4-1 in my first GT with Chaos Knights a couple of months ago and won one RTT in the middle. I haven’t been getting a lot of reps recently, so I was really excited to see a lot of the things I haven’t managed to play against yet (Warrior spam, double C’tan, Hail of Doom), and doubly excited to see if I could finally win a Best Painted for my Chaos Knights!
Hi, I’m Stephanie, a.k.a. editwench. You’ll see me pop up with various notes throughout, mostly because I had to make this readable, and needed to amuse myself while I did so.
House Herpetrax, 2 CP
Abaddon (Warlord, no traits)
Super Heavy Detachment
5 Stalkers, Herpetrax, melta/sword, one with Helm of Dogs/Blessing of the Dark Master
3 Karnivores, Herpetrax, Blood Shield
2 Executioners, Dreadblade (Precision Cruelty), Mirror of Fates
Moirax, Dreadblade (Bold Tyrants), double Lightning Lock, Warp-borne Stalker
It’s the dog walk you all know and love, with a few spicy Dreadblades sprinkled in for good measure. I settled on Herpetrax because I like Conquerors Without Mercy too much, and the Herpetrax Stratagem Warping Presence has a lot of play, but I’m interested in a few different Iconoclast builds because the +2W, while nice, is hardly game-breaking. Realising that I could take Dreadblades was a game changer, because it allows the purely ranged Dogs (Executioners, Moiraxes, Brigands) to ditch the useless Iconoclast traits in exchange for spicy Dreadblade ones – I’ve pumped for Precision Cruelty on the Executioners, to take the Autocannon up to a spicy AP3 D4, and synergise slightly with the automatic 6 granted by an activated Mirror of Fates, and the Moirax, taken here purely for its ability to rinse 5 careless Sisters when he comes out of Deep Strike, goes with Bold Tyrants as the +1AP is the best thing for that job.
Game 1 – World Eaters on Abandoned Sanctuaries
First round pairings went up on the Thursday before and my girlfriend and I had basically blocked in the day for just practicing our matchups and making sure we were both ready to win round 1.
Ben says we did this, but really we just played their first round and I spent approximately 12 hours oscillating between ‘stomp’ and ‘unplayable’ about my T’au game -editwench
I get World Eaters, a list that on first glance I’m not at all worried about, but over the next two days general anxiety causes me to get increasingly concerned about this block of Red Butchers (despite the result of the practice game we play, a convincing win), because it only takes one mistake and they’re suddenly eating 3 dogs and tagging 2 more with all the defensive buffs up and I’m really in trouble. To my advantage is the mission, which prevents his 9 inch pregame move and forces him to brawl with me for the primary, which I very much want him to do, because outside of the Butchers nothing really intimidates me.
Opponent’s List – Alastair Notman – World Eaters
Army List - Click to Expand 1 CP starting HQ Abaddon the Despoiler, Warlord with Traits Daemon Prince with Wings, Violent Urgency, Aspiring Lord, Hellforged sword, Mark of Khorne Dark Apostle, Illusory Supplication, Mark of Khorne, 2 Dark Disciples Troops 2×10 Cultists, Autopistols and Brutal Weapons 4×5 Khorne Berzerkers, Chaos Icons Elites 10 Chaos Terminators, Mark of Khorne, Red Butchers, 7 Accursed Weapon and Combi-Bolter, 2 w/2x Accursed Weapon, Champion w/ Accursed Weapon and Combi-Bolter, Black Rune of Damnation, Trophies of the Long War Fast Attack 1×2 Chaos Spawn 2×6 Raptors, Power Swords Dedicated Transport 2x Rhino
1 CP starting
Abaddon the Despoiler, Warlord with Traits
Daemon Prince with Wings, Violent Urgency, Aspiring Lord, Hellforged sword, Mark of Khorne
Dark Apostle, Illusory Supplication, Mark of Khorne, 2 Dark Disciples
2×10 Cultists, Autopistols and Brutal Weapons
4×5 Khorne Berzerkers, Chaos Icons
10 Chaos Terminators, Mark of Khorne, Red Butchers, 7 Accursed Weapon and Combi-Bolter, 2 w/2x Accursed Weapon, Champion w/ Accursed Weapon and Combi-Bolter, Black Rune of Damnation, Trophies of the Long War
1×2 Chaos Spawn
2×6 Raptors, Power Swords
These maps are pulled from the UK GT pack, which can be found here. While I’ve measured the base sizes for the Knights to exact scale with the maps, I got exactly 1 game into making these diagrams before deciding not to scale the rest. If I have misrepresented the size of a Harpy or whatever, please accept my apologies and bear in mind that I made these in Powerpoint on a trackpad mouse. Pray for me. -editwench
My deployment tends to follow something of a pattern, with the Karnivore unit spread such that I can run one to each neutral objective if I need and the Blood Shield in the rear, with the Executioners at the back, Abaddon poised to grab whichever midfield ruin seems most useful, and the Stalkers just crammed in wherever (in this case I actually want to preserve Karnivores for counterpunching so I set up a Stalker to run to each flank objective). Alistair goes hard on my right, with both Rhinos behind the Medium L ready to move up and the Butchers/characters central. One Cultist unit is on each flank and the Raptors join my Moirax in Deep Strike.
He goes first, throwing up his buffs and slamming the Butchers right up the middle, with Rhinos grabbing the ruin and the cultists on my right Retrieving Nephilim Data.
Remember how I said that the way I lose is having the Butchers get into my lines? Well, here they are, in the open (buffed to the 9’s, admittedly, with transhitman, no rerolls and -1 to wound). Even if I only get 4-5 I think the game is effectively over, so I have to go for this. I pop strats and cluster in auras, taking exploding 6s to hit on all my dogs for 2CP, and after some spicey diceys on my end and a few poor saves from Alastair there are 4 left after shooting, and the charge of right Karnivore eats 3 of those. I pop Warping Presence, too, to remove a Disciple and chip Abaddon. Right objective stays empty, while I grab my left with a Stalker.
He gets a 4. Berserkers grab the right objective and another unit sets up a charge, while Raptors find some nice tasty data for the Blood God (I have to be nice about Khorne, he does me a solid later in the tournament) and the false Abaddon finishes the crippled Karnivore, who enacts a Spiteful Demise, in turn finishing the Butchers and the last of the Apostle’s Disciples. The ‘zerkers fail dread and can’t make their charge thanks to Gheist Storm, dying in my turn to assorted meltas and other hot nonsense. The Stalker they were aiming for charges onto the right objective, killing a couple of lads and flipping it back, while his buddy pairs up with an Executioner to kill the Raptors. The other Executioner goes for a jog up the left and drops 8/10 cultists. A Stalker tags the center, leaving Abaddon alone (I can’t kill him the same turn as the Butchers without losing points in A Fitting Challenge), and the capstone of this turn is the Moirax finding a backfield hole to clear the Spawn off Alastair’s homefield and hand him a 0.
Which is pretty much game. Abaddon trades back and ‘zerkers on the right eventually pull down a Stalker before being cleaned up. The Prince comes in to kill a dog, fails thanks to Unyielding Rage, and is summarily tonked for his trouble. The Abaddons fight briefly, before mine wanders off to clear Alastair’s backfield again and leaves his to die to autocannons, and he’s tabled on turn 5.
Honestly, this game was over as soon as the Butchers died on turn 1. It’s unfortunate but that’s the way it goes sometimes, and the inability to pass Dread tests really compounded things for Alastair, who was a gent throughout and went on to finish 172nd, at 1-4.
Game 2 – Death Guard on Data-Scry Salvage
Opponent’s List – Greg Blackburn – Inexorable
Army List - Click to Expand 3 CP starting HQ Lord of Contagion, Ferric Blight, Plague Skull of Glothila Malignant Plaguecaster, Miasma of Pestilence, Curse of Lepers Troops 3×10 Poxwalkers 10 Plague Marines, Meltagun, Plasma Gun, 2 Bubotic Axe/Mace of Contagion, 2 Flails of Corruption, 2 Great Plague Cleavers, 1 Blight Launcher, Champion w/ Power Fist and Plasma Gun Elites 5 Blightlord Terminators, Flail of Corruption, Blight Launcher, 3 Bubotic Axes, Champion with Balesword Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought, 2 Volkite Culverins, Cyclone Missile Launcher 2×3 Deathshroud Foul Blightspawn, Arch-Contaminator, Viscous Death Fast Attack Chaos Spawn 2 Blight Drones, Fleshmowers Heavy Support 2 Plagueburst Crawlers, Entropy Cannons
3 CP starting
Lord of Contagion, Ferric Blight, Plague Skull of Glothila
Malignant Plaguecaster, Miasma of Pestilence, Curse of Lepers
10 Plague Marines, Meltagun, Plasma Gun, 2 Bubotic Axe/Mace of Contagion, 2 Flails of Corruption, 2 Great Plague Cleavers, 1 Blight Launcher, Champion w/ Power Fist and Plasma Gun
5 Blightlord Terminators, Flail of Corruption, Blight Launcher, 3 Bubotic Axes, Champion with Balesword
Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought, 2 Volkite Culverins, Cyclone Missile Launcher
Foul Blightspawn, Arch-Contaminator, Viscous Death
2 Blight Drones, Fleshmowers
2 Plagueburst Crawlers, Entropy Cannons
My instinct was that this should have been a walk in the park (it wasn’t), mostly because I just don’t think he has enough to kill me and he’s too slow to try to bully me. He gives up nothing so I take Storm of Darkness (it’s great on this mission), Ruthless Tyranny (banger secondary), and A Fitting Challenge (Plague Marines, Blightlords, Volkite Contemptor. Seems doable.). Greg takes Bring it Down (obviously), Spread the Sickness (obviously), and Despoiled Ground (obviously).
I deploy fairly centrally, with one Karnivore on each exit and the Executioners aiming for the open space in the north. The rest groups around the middle, with one Stalker south to backup the Karnivore there. He castles on homefield too, with Plague Marines occupying mid-right ruin and Poxwalkers on both flanks. Blight Drones hide (ineffectually) behind the two small ruins. One unit of Deathshroud joins the Moirax in the sky.
I get to go first, which is good for me, and I rush out. Shooting gets good lines at the drones but the entire phase does pretty much nothing. I start Storm top left and intercept for 3 (the Karnivore grabs middle-right objective, but I position him horribly). Greg rushes out too, sending poxies and drones and a unit of Deathshroud, spreading Sickness at home. The Volkcon gets an easy line to my poorly placed Karnivore and kills it with Blightlord help. The single Spawn grabs middle right and it comes back to me for an 8.
The Volkcon is worth 5 points for me. I want those five points. I don’t get them, and it costs me dearly. The entire shooting phase flubs, leaving the cursed dread on 2, while the Stalker who runs onto mid-right fails to dent a drone (again) and although my melee punch and assorted stubbers do grab a drone and about 20 or so poxies, it’s in the wrong place, and I leave a few zombies alive on my top left objective. What I should do here, pretty obviously, is simply hit it with a Ravenous Pterrorshades, and let their hilarious leadership of 4 (before debuffs) seal their fate, but instead I don’t do that and try to finish the 2 wound Volkcon (I leave it on 1), and allow Greg to regrow to an 8 on primary.
They fall back too, to be annoying, while the rest of his army moves up, including some Deathshroud charging and killing a Stalker and some fairly heavy chip going onto another. The dead one explodes (of course) wounding Abaddon (of course) but I do remember to Pterrorshades the zombies this time and wipe the unit, bringing my own primary to an 8.
Time to punch back.
Abaddon and the Blood Shield come in for Blightlords, but I forget to double charge with the big man and so Greg can pull him out of combat, setting him as not charging with the Foul Blightspawn and leaving him flapping in the breeze. I base the Plaguecaster, though, to make sure I’m not getting smitten, and a Stalker cleans up the Deathshroud. Abaddon pretty clearly needs to die, and so Greg loads his kitchen sink up with assorted disgusting fluids and prepares to launch it at me. The Plague Skull does 3, but Greg forgets Look Out Sir, meaning that the Blightspawn (and indeed everything else) can’t shoot Abaddon. The Blightspawn instead shoots a Stalker, who promptly dies, explodes, and does 3 to me anyway. Sigh. Abaddon starts the fight phase on 1, tanks the Lord of Contagion, but an Eruption of Filth picks up both him and the Blood Shield Karnivore (who had at least finished the Blightlords). Good shit. (literally -editwench) At this point, though, the Harbinger Clock says that it’s no-obsec time so I can simply tag objectives, minimise Bring it Down losses and hold on to an early lead that Greg can’t turn around. The game ends at 87-78, a win that I had to work much harder for than I expected.
Well, I felt like I was rolling through treacle that game, but we brought it back in the end. Greg was a great opponent and played really well, going on to finish 43rd at 3-2.
Game 3 – Necrons on Death and Zeal
Opponent’s List – Jack Copperwaite – Novokh
A fast Novokh list but not a particularly destructive one, running two big Warrior blocks.
Army List - Click to Expand 5 CP starting Supreme Command The Silent King, The Triarch’s Will HQ Catacomb Command Barge, Gauss Cannon, Blood Scythe, Enduring Will Chronomancer, Veil of Darkness Illuminator Szeras Troops 5 Immortals 2×20 Warriors, Gauss Reapers Elites 2×5 Skorpekh Destroyers, 1 Reap Blade each Fast Attack 5 Canoptek Wraiths Heavy Support 2 Lokhust Heavy Destroyers, Gauss Destructors 1 Lokhust Heavy Destroyer, Gauss Destructor
5 CP starting
The Silent King, The Triarch’s Will
Catacomb Command Barge, Gauss Cannon, Blood Scythe, Enduring Will
Chronomancer, Veil of Darkness
2×20 Warriors, Gauss Reapers
2×5 Skorpekh Destroyers, 1 Reap Blade each
5 Canoptek Wraiths
2 Lokhust Heavy Destroyers, Gauss Destructors
1 Lokhust Heavy Destroyer, Gauss Destructor
He gives up No Prisoners, and Tyranny is still auto-take, but my third is hard. I opt for A Fitting Challenge, which I’m really trying to test this weekend (it’s the two warrior units and the King, all models that need to play the game). He takes Bring it Down, Treasure of Aeons and Purge the Vermin. I hate how good Necron secondaries are.
I deploy in full disrespect mode with a Karnivore right on the line in the middle, 3 Dogs on the line to the north and nothing to the south (the way the terrain is set up I basically cannot access the eastern part of the board without walking over the dense in the middle and there is no exit from my deployment zone in the south. He lines one warrior unit to take advantage of that and walk to the southeastern objective, while the rest of his army castles behind the large ruin and some Skorpekhs/Wraiths are further forwards. If I go first I can get a lot of presence, but if I don’t I may be hemmed in pretty hard.
I don’t. A Warrior blob and the Chronomancer teleport to the northwest, the other Warriors run northeast. Big SK and some Lokhust Destroyers plink damage and Wraiths come in, killing the Karnivore. The Catacomb Command Barge inexplicably wanders onto the center objective.
In the clapback I pick up the Wraiths easily enough, while 3 Dogs burn some CP (3, to be precise) and kill 35/20 Warriors after resurrection, while Abaddon walks through the building to pick up the CCB and hold the center. For the only time all tournament, I fail to get a 3 on Tyranny in my first turn.
Skorpekhs come in and Jack begins to trade, but nothing can really deal with Abaddon so despite his picking up two Dogs here (one at range and one in melee) he pretty clearly doesn’t have enough stuff for this, and when the Skorpekhs die in return to a Moirax and some Stalkers, and Abaddon goes full apeshit on the Silent King (I hand him 8 failed saves and 7d3 mortals) the writing is basically on the wall. The last Skorpekh unit trades, but on my 3 Abaddon takes Red Corsairs (via Confluence of Traitors) to advance and charge onto his home objective, killing the Immortals there, while a Stalker and the Moirax kill Skorpekhs, another Stalker melts Szeras’ face and the Executioners finally get their act together and clear up the Lokhust. His army at the end of my 3 is simply the final warrior unit, which I spend a full turn running towards and then fail to kill.
This went about how I expected. Jack maybe overextended his Warriors early, but even if he doesn’t I think it’s hard to not get swamped because I outshoot and outfight him, and can bully my way onto objectives easily enough. Jack was at his 2nd ever tournament and ended up 104th on a respectable 2-3.
Round 4 – Harlequins on Tide of Conviction
Round four goes live on Saturday night, and I have the draw I’ve been lowkey dreading all weekend. I’m playing my girlfriend, the one who helped me finetune this list and who is playing a very scary Harlequins list.
Opponent’s List – Stephanie Berry – Light Saedath
Army List - Click to Expand 5 CP starting HQ Shadowseer, Twilight Pathways, Mirror of Minds Shadowseer, Fog of Dreams, Webway Dance Troops 11 Troupe, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Kiss, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Caress, 2 Fusion Pistols and Harlequin Blades, 4 Neuro Disruptors and Harlequin Blades, 2 Shuriken Pistols and Harlequin Blades, Troupe Leader with Shuriken Pistol and Harlequin Blade 11 Troupe, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Kiss, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Caress, 2 Fusion Pistols and Harlequin Blades, 3 Neuro Disruptors and Harlequin Blades, 3 Shuriken Pistols and Harlequin Blades, Troupe Leader with Shuriken Pistol and Harlequin Blade 3×5 Troupe, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Kiss, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Caress, 2 Neuro Disruptors and Harlequin Blades, Troupe Leader with Shuriken Pistol and Harlequin Blade 5 Troupe, Shuriken Pistols and Harlequin Blades Elites Death Jester, Suit of Hidden Knives, Rift Ghoul Solitaire, Prince of Sins Fast Attack 2×2 Skyweavers, Star Bolas and Shuriken Cannons Dedicated Transport 7 Starweavers
5 CP starting
Shadowseer, Twilight Pathways, Mirror of Minds
Shadowseer, Fog of Dreams, Webway Dance
11 Troupe, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Kiss, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Caress, 2 Fusion Pistols and Harlequin Blades, 4 Neuro Disruptors and Harlequin Blades, 2 Shuriken Pistols and Harlequin Blades, Troupe Leader with Shuriken Pistol and Harlequin Blade
11 Troupe, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Kiss, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Caress, 2 Fusion Pistols and Harlequin Blades, 3 Neuro Disruptors and Harlequin Blades, 3 Shuriken Pistols and Harlequin Blades, Troupe Leader with Shuriken Pistol and Harlequin Blade
3×5 Troupe, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Kiss, Fusion Pistol and Harlequin’s Caress, 2 Neuro Disruptors and Harlequin Blades, Troupe Leader with Shuriken Pistol and Harlequin Blade
5 Troupe, Shuriken Pistols and Harlequin Blades
Death Jester, Suit of Hidden Knives, Rift Ghoul
Solitaire, Prince of Sins
2×2 Skyweavers, Star Bolas and Shuriken Cannons
Luckily for me it’s Tide of Conviction, a good mission, but we both agree that there’s no real winners here (neither of us wants to knock the other out), and after making a hasty (and admittedly rather snippy) sign warning our friends not to come and make jokes (it did not include my traditional smiley face and love hearts, which to anyone who knows me makes it look like a landmine warning – editwench) we get to it.
Slightly longer editwench interlude – you may be spotting a pretty obvious conflict of interest here, and you’d be right. We did ask the TOs to redraw, but they declined. Also, for the two people who still care, the first round oscillation ended firmly at ‘stomp’, thank you for asking.
I’ve spent all night formulating a plan for this matchup, one that mostly involves never spending CP on defensive abilities and saving it all for every mortal wound I can eke out of my army, while hard pushing one side on a Storm/Grind plan (I expect a 9 on grind and maaaybe a 12 on Storm, if I can do bottom right first and push the left hard enough). Stephanie takes Deadly Performance and Behind Enemy Lines, as usual, and opts for Weave Veil instead of Bring it Down which, if nothing else, gives me full license to let the dogs go sicko mode and not worry about dying.
I go first, which is honestly really nice, and push hard on the left while starting a Storm on the right (she has to commit big to stop it, and the -1LD will maybe let me hold on to the objective a turn longer). Executioners find a nice angle and light up a Shadowseer boat, with the cursed witch living through the experience of being unhorsed (I will only lose one character to unboating across the whole tournament, namely a Death Jester unwisely lining up for a kickflip against Sisters – editwench), but even so I get a nice unexpected turn 1 Grind. Stephanie mostly shuffles, beginning to swing from the left to the right, and sends some bikes in to grab Behind Enemy Lines. A Troupe steps out back left and a boat grabs middle right, along with one of the big Troupes, (she has 2×11 with all the toys amongst the boats), meaning that I don’t get a 12. I’ve been got by Capricious Reflections too many times so I simply run onto the top left objective, hosing the Troupe there with Executioners and stubbers. The Moirax gets a line to the center big Troupe but it manages fuck all with Lightning Locks (Harlequins quite literally have Lightning Fast Reactions apparently – editwench), failing to tag the Shadowseer on the charge to boot, while I tag center right as well to hand over a 0 and clean up the bikes in my deployment zone.
Stephanie tanks for a while, and comes out with a plan. The big troupe moves out top left, while the Solitaire blitzes forward to tag Executioners. All three fusion boats move onto the middle, with the Shadowseer coming up behind and popping Webway Dance to give them a 6+++. On the right it’s all action, with the other big troupe pushing up towards my lone Executioner on the point there, while bikes, the Jester, and his boat (damaged last turn by my Executioners) move up to tag the Moirax. Shooting there spikes a little, leaving it on a handful of wounds, while the top left dog dies. On the other two, however, things go VERY wrong for her, with the three fusion boats leaving a dog on 1 and the other big troupe failing to even dent the wardog on my home objective. It gets worse in the fight phase, when the Moirax dies, exploding after I spend a CP to force it, and killing the boat, which also explodes. The Troupe fails to bracket the dog and the three boats all charge the center dog, doing no damage. The Executioner dies, at least, and the other gets tagged. In return I pick up the rest of the big Troupe, securing a 12 for myself and managing to Grind.
From here it’s into wrap-up town. The center dog simply backs off, staying on the objective, while the other big Troupe is gunned away and the Blood Shield Karnivore turns the Solitaire into paste. Abaddon chads around in the center, and I drive Stephanie back to the eastern half, giving her a 4. She rotates as best she can, but the writing is on the wall, and after cleaning up the remaining dogs there is content to sit on the status quo, letting me rack up a quick primary lead (I hand over another 0 on turn 4, but fail to grind as the boats hide too well), and max my Storm at 12 (the top left corner is uncontestable for her, and that was the only tricky one), and after a final turn blitz and some good secondary scores we end the game at 91-66 in my favour.
I think the mission was good for me and I think I had a good plan but I do wonder if I picked the wrong side – the left is maybe easier to push but it’s also much easier to get moveblocked on so perhaps the open space on my right was my friend. It didn’t matter, in the end, though. Stephanie went on to finish 4-1 and placed 14th.
Game 5 – Tyranids on Secure Missing Artefacts
Finally, Tyranids. I’ve dodged the bug menace so far (much to my chagrin, I really wanted to play this game), but it’s time for my reckoning in the form of 28 Leviathan Warriors and a Winged Hive Tyrant, backed up by Thropes of various sorts (petition to refer to the Neurothrope as the ‘Thrope GOAT – editwench) and some of the little mine launching [unpublishable]s.
Opponent’s List – Michael Duff – Leviathan
Army List - Click to Expand 1 CP starting HQ Neurothrope, Neuroparasite, Hive Nexus, The Horror, Resonance Barb, Psychic Scream Neurothrope, Catalyst, Hive Nexus, Onslaught, Direct Guidance Winged Hive Tyrant, Adrenal Glands, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Hive Nexus, Paroxysm, Psychic Scream, The Reaper of Obliterax, Adaptive Biology Troops 2×9 Tyranid Warriors, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs, Boneswords, 6 Deathspitters, 3 Venom Cannons 2×5 Tyranid Warriors, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Deathspitters and Boneswords Elites 3 Tyrant Guard, Adrenal Glands, Lash Whips and Bonecleavers 3 Venomthropes 3 Zoanthropes* Fast Attack Parasite of Mortrex, Alien Cunning Heavy Support 3 Biovores *no powers listed
1 CP starting
Neurothrope, Neuroparasite, Hive Nexus, The Horror, Resonance Barb, Psychic Scream
Neurothrope, Catalyst, Hive Nexus, Onslaught, Direct Guidance
Winged Hive Tyrant, Adrenal Glands, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Hive Nexus, Paroxysm, Psychic Scream, The Reaper of Obliterax, Adaptive Biology
2×9 Tyranid Warriors, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs, Boneswords, 6 Deathspitters, 3 Venom Cannons
2×5 Tyranid Warriors, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Deathspitters and Boneswords
3 Tyrant Guard, Adrenal Glands, Lash Whips and Bonecleavers
Parasite of Mortrex, Alien Cunning
*no powers listed
It’s Secure Missing Artefacts, and Michael uses the objective movement to pull his neutral objective back, creating a passive game (one where we can both hold 1/hold 2 and score Priority with relative ease for a 45 on Primary), while I mirror him and yank his back corner out into the open, which he mirrors. Secondary wise he gives up No Prisoners, which I take, and I follow it up again with A Fitting Challenge and Ruthless Tyranny. He grabs the banger combo of Bring it Down and Synaptic Insight, taking Warp Ritual as his third (imo this is a mistake and Banners would have been a much better shot).
I line the Executioners up to shoot at the open objective and he sure does put a lot of Warriors in places.
They go first, moving around slightly to chip away with Venom Cannons, while the ‘Thrope non-goat runs out towards Warp Ritual with an escort and many mines are launched in my direction. I grab my Ruthless Tyranny and start to swing my guns out into the open to the north, while chipping a couple of Warriors away. He needs to start scoring Insight on turn 2, and in doing so makes a mistake: the little Warrior unit that escorted the Neurothrope moves away, charging a War Dog to finish it while the one that contested the middle takes 11(!) mortals from Mines and then gets smote. The Warrior mistake has made me an amazing opening, which I have to go for, so in comes the Moirax and out swings the Mirror of Fate Executioner, who combine (along with 3CP) to kill the ‘Thrope non-GOAT. I clean up the Warriors that came in and chip away some more, before resetting my Tyranny score in the center and passing the clock back.
It’s go time in the east. The big Warrior unit that had been in the center plinking shots downfield comes out to play, while he moves up a little in the north, firing more shots downfield, and also pulls the small unit out in the south. The big unit connects its charge and pops a boy, while another goes down to shooting/smiting. I clean up the Warriors fairly easily, holding the line in the north and chipping at other units. Abaddon is chilling in the middle achieving very little. The north Warriors come in next, killing an Executioner, tagging the other and flipping my Priority, while the Venomthropes take the center, the remaining Warrior from the small southern unit trudges up some more, and the Tyrant takes matters into his own hands and attempts a Warp Ritual, which Khorne promptly shits on from a large height (thanks presumably to my earlier down-payment of Nephilim Data).
Abaddon makes a big mess of the big Warrior unit, leaving just 3 alive, and the Helm of Dogs takes the center, killing one of the ‘Thropes (I truly don’t remember which type of ‘Thrope this was) and securing Primary once more. In Michael’s final turn most things hide, while the Tyrant kills the Blood Shield off my homefield and the Mine [unpublishable]s, which have rolled 7/7/8/8 so far, roll a triple 1 to leave 3 mines in the path of the Moirax, making my final turn rather easy. Said Moirax runs onto the Tyranid homefield, while also lightning locking the remaining big Warriors off, the Executioner kills one more Warrior and a Stalker finishes the ‘Thropes. My last three Dogs end up on three objectives to grab 12 primary and finish maxing Tyranny, and the game wraps up at a very close 85-82 win.
That sure was a game. It’s hard to see what I could have done differently, really, because all we did was push our stats at each other over a dead mission. I won because of my Secondaries, but if Michael had taken Banners not Warp Ritual I think I would have had to get creative and the game would have been very different.
Game 6 – Tyranids on The Scouring
Look, when I complained that I hadn’t played bugs yet, I only wanted one. This one is a little different, with a few less Warriors, no second Neurothrope, and a Broodlord joining the fold along with a pair of Harpies.
The Scouring gives me an easy 6 on Storm which frankly I feel like I have to take because the options are a terrible Bring it Down, a terrible Abhor, another attempt at A Fitting Challenge, or an awful Assassinate. Tyranny is still a windmill slam as is No Prisoners into this list. David takes the obvious Synaptic Insight/Bring it Down, opting for Banners as a third which does, I think, give me a way to win this game. If I can keep Banners down and bully primary early, I might score enough before he tables me to win.
Opponent’s List – David Gaylard – Leviathan
Army List - Click to Expand 2 CP starting HQ Broodlord, Hive Nexus, Paroxysm Neurothrope, Catalyst, Hive Nexus, Onslaught, Synaptic Tendrils Winged Hive Tyrant, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Hive Nexus, Neuroparasite, Psychic Scream, The Reaper of Obliterax, Direct Guidance Troops 2×9 Tyranid Warriors, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Boneswords, 6 Deathspitters, 3 Venom Cannons 4 Tyranid Warriors, Deathspitters and Boneswords Elites 3 Tyrant Guard, Lash Whips and Bonecleavers 2×3 Venomthropes 3 Zoanthropes, Hive Nexus, Neuroparasite Flyer 2x Harpy, Stranglethorn Cannons, Stinger Salvoes, one with Synaptic Enhancement
2 CP starting
Broodlord, Hive Nexus, Paroxysm
Neurothrope, Catalyst, Hive Nexus, Onslaught, Synaptic Tendrils
Winged Hive Tyrant, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Hive Nexus, Neuroparasite, Psychic Scream, The Reaper of Obliterax, Direct Guidance
2×9 Tyranid Warriors, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Boneswords, 6 Deathspitters, 3 Venom Cannons
4 Tyranid Warriors, Deathspitters and Boneswords
3 Tyrant Guard, Lash Whips and Bonecleavers
3 Zoanthropes, Hive Nexus, Neuroparasite
2x Harpy, Stranglethorn Cannons, Stinger Salvoes, one with Synaptic Enhancement
I haven’t played The Scouring for approximately a hundred years. Most events I’ve been to don’t use it, and the UKTC ones that do run it for the top 4 cut only, so there wasn’t even much point practicing it. This hopefully excuses my god-awful deployment, which is hard stacked behind choke points and commits one dog more than necessary to doing mission actions on my left.
I need to go first for this to be a game (if I don’t the Harpies moveblock me out of leaving my DZ), and luckily I do. I grab Tyranny, murder a Harpy despite the 4++ and generally move up, starting Storm on the left and Scan on the right. David begins the Tyrant Train, whereby one Dog a turn goes missing in mysterious circumstances, and between shooting and psychic drops a second. The Broodlord eats a Perils for 3. Scan happens on my left, Banners go up, and Warriors shuffle around in a cowardly fashion to avoid being shot.
I get a surprise 12 on primary, confirming what I already knew (if I’m winning this game I’m doing it with an early lead). With this in mind I set up a Karnivore to charge onto his backfield, while Abaddon takes Creations of Bile thanks to Confluence of Traitors and moves forward, hoping that the fight on death will keep the Hive Tyrant at bay while he gives the Karnivore +1 to charge. The dog makes it and removes the Tyrant Guard, pulling a banner in the process. Storm starts on the right, Scan on the left, and I hand over another 4.
This all sounds great, but my shooting hasn’t done a lot, including the Moirax who dropped to try to grab a Zoanthrope, and David won’t hold back the Warrior Tide forever. The Moirax gets on the Flyrant train and the Karnivore dies to psychic, spending a CP to explode, doing not much except for wounding the Broodlord (more on him later), and the Harpy moves up to block my access to the center objective and try to deny my Tyranny. In my turn I solve this problem with a Stalker around the side, sacrificing Abaddon for +1 to charge to make sure he makes it, while the Harpy dies to Executioners and I finally grab a few Warriors. Abaddon predictably boards the Tyrant train and the Broodlord Perilses again, taking 3 more, exploding, and chipping some more stuff.
Two more War Dogs go down too, and some spiky shooting leaves the one on the far left on 2 wounds. Warriors finally begin to rush forward. I take a glance at the board and realise that I pretty clearly don’t have enough to stop them after very much losing early shooting trades, so I simply kill as many as I can, grab another turn of Ruthless Tyranny and then watch as a wave of Transhuman Nonsense beats my poor puppies to death, swinging back to an 80-68 win for David, who at least has the good grace to win the event for me and spare some dignity.
I came away not knowing how to win this, but I think in retrospect I should have pulled the two left hand dogs into reserve after turn 1, dropped the Moirax there to Auspex Scan and had 2 more stalkers on the right to try to hold my corner and keep ticking over a small score to hold onto my lead. Would it have been enough? I don’t know. I could maybe have kept Abaddon one more turn too, although I’m not sure how much that really helps me?
Overall, I finish 5-1 and in 3rd place (according to BCP and the ITC rankings, anyway). Amusingly I don’t get 3rd on the day, and despite making the top cut I actually don’t get any sort of gameplay related prize. Stephanie gets Best Aeldari (which I had no right to do, having played exactly four practice games after a 4 month break – editwench), though, and my friend James Sykes takes Best Imperial for a solid performance with boring-Knights. The painting prizes were pretty good at least – shout out to local group Clumsy Orc for a neat crystal decanter (and for my round 3 opponent, Jack, who goes to their academy and had a pretty good run out for his second event ever!).
I have two more Super-Majors this year, as well as a couple of regular GTs and an RTT or two, and I’m really targeting #1 Chaos Knights in the world. I’m toying with a few list changes – the Moirax didn’t work out and a Brigand does almost as well, and I want another gun dog in general as the midgame traffic jam often leaves me wasting a lot of potential damage. I have a few spicier ideas, too, especially with varying up my Dreadblade traits, but those can probably wait for later. If you liked the army, please let us know, as I’d love to write something about the creative process and how it all went together if there’s demand for it.
Huge thanks to Ben and Stephanie for the tournament report – great to see such in-depth thoughts on how a top list plays.
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