The Corroad Goes Ever On and On: Coventry GT 3-Day Supermajor

Last time out I’d just been to (and won!) Cadian Catastrophe, and after much delay I’d written up both that and the previous LGT RTT, resulting in a monstrous 8 games to talk through. This time you’ll be glad to know that we have another 8 games, this time built into the format of the 3 day Coventry GT.

My list remained similar to last time, with the only change being to change the Kabal from the Poisoned Tongue I was trying out last time for my preferred Obsidian Rose.

My List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [102 PL, 9CP, 1,805pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Gametype: Matched

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder, Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship, Realspace Raid. *Custom Coven*: Artists of the Flesh (All-Consuming)

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Alliance of Agony [-1CP]

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 85pts]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, The Djin Blade, Warlord. Splintered Genius (Obsidian Rose): Splintered Genius

Haemonculus [4 PL, 80pts]: Master Regenerist, Stratagem: Alliance of Agony WLT, The Animus Vitae

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Alliance of Agony WLT, The Triptych Whip. Agoniser & Archite Glaive. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 120pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 9x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend

+ Fast Attack +

Scourges [5 PL, 60pts] . 4x Scourge w/ shardcarbine: 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shardcarbine
. Solarite: Shardcarbine

+ Heavy Support +

Talos [12 PL, 230pts] . Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances
. Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances

Talos [12 PL, 230pts] . Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances
. Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances

Talos [12 PL, 230pts] . Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances
. Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [11 PL, -2CP, 195pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder (Restricted)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

++ Total: [113 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

No Prisoners: 5 (50 wounds)
To the Last: 3x Talos (230pts per)
Titan Hunters: N/A
Bring it Down: 9 (6 Talos + 3 Raiders)
Assassination: 13 (1 Archon Warlord, 1 Succubus, 1 Haemonculus, 1 Drazhar)
Abhor the Witch: N/A

The plan remains basically the same – the Talos are a tough, flying brick with decent shooting and melee, which can anchor the list and also have good play into armies reliant on mid-Strength Damage 2 weapons, including the popular Ork lists and Grey Knights. The rest is traditional Drukhari goodstuff, plus some bits and pieces to do actions and hold objectives and such.

The tournament structure is a bit weird, with 3 games on the Friday stretching from 12.30 to 22.30, then 3 more on Saturday with a more normal 9.30 start, then a further 2 on Sunday. This makes the Friday a very long day, but on the plus side it leaves plenty of driving time, and with Coventry being a little under 2 hours away I’m free to save a night in a hotel and travel up in the morning.

Game 1 – Jon, Deathwatch

Mission: Scorched Earth
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, No Prisoners
His Secondaries:
Retrieve Octarius Data, Stranglehold, Suffer Not the Xenos

Jon's Deathwatch List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Deathwatch) [111 PL, 7CP, 1,998pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Chapter Selection: Deathwatch

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Strategem: Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [6 PL, -1CP, 105pts]: 1. Vigilance Incarnate, Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Beacon Angelis

Watch Master [7 PL, -1CP, 130pts]: 3. Nowhere to Hide (Aura), Rites of War, Stratagem: A Vigil Unmatched, Vhorkan-Pattern Auspicator, Warlord

+ Troops +

Proteus Kill Team [13 PL, 269pts] . Deathwatch Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Power sword
. . Cyclone missile launcher and Storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwatch Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Power sword
. . Cyclone missile launcher and Storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwatch Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Power sword
. . Cyclone missile launcher and Storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Shotgun

Proteus Kill Team [13 PL, 269pts] . Deathwatch Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Power sword
. . Cyclone missile launcher and Storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwatch Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Power axe
. . Cyclone missile launcher and Storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwatch Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Power sword
. . Cyclone missile launcher and Storm bolter: Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Shotgun

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 250pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Deathwatch Boltgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Deathwatch Boltgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Deathwatch Boltgun
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Watch Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Deathwatch Boltgun

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 250pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Shotgun

+ Elites +

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

+ Fast Attack +

Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Suppressor Sergeant

Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Suppressor Sergeant

Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Suppressor Sergeant

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 75pts]: Bolt sniper rifle
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine
. 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

++ Total: [111 PL, 7CP, 1,998pts] ++

Pairings went up on the Thursday so I’ve had a good look at my first opponent’s list, a Deathwatch army featuring some of the hits from recent months – Volcons, Kill Teams with shotguns/bikes that are going to combat squad – and some Suppressors that are a little more unusual but which are quite good at targeting my Raiders. We’re playing Scorched Earth, which has two lines of objectives on either flank, set quite far apart from each other.

Deployment against the Deathwatch.

My main concern here was not exposing the Raiders to the Volcons if he went first; the last thing I need is them being blown out of the sky in my own deployment zone. The Talos gathered behind the big ruin on my right side, intending to hop into the middle medium ruin facing me and then push on from there. The Trueborn Raider was behind them, slightly exposed on my extreme right, but I figured he wouldn’t deploy his Contemptors there and isolate them from the rest of the game.

Looking at the photo again I actually think that on this table this was the wrong plan. The Raiders are fast but too large to hide in the small L shapes, so they have nowhere to go from where they are. Meanwhile the Talos can fit 6 behind the medium Ls comfortably, and are short enough that they can hide in the small Ls too. That would have put them much nearer to his heavy concentration of stuff behind his big ruin, and let them engage more in the game, while the Raiders could have started in the big one and moved into mid board behind the medium L that the Talos are aiming for.

As it turned out, none of this particularly mattered. Jon went first, and overcommitted heavily:

That’s a squad of Eliminators, a Kill Team combat squad of bikes and a Vanguard Veteran, a full Kill Team of Veterans and Terminators, and a Suppressor Squad (offscreen in the medium ruin to the right) in comfortable turn 1 charge range for the Bloodbrides, Succubus, and Incubi. The Eliminators were so far forwards that the squad of 5 Wyches could just walk out of their ruin and tag them, too. With no effective shooting, I took my first turn and the above turned into this:

The Wyches didn’t get it done against the Eliminators, and one Terminator survived hiddne in the ruin, but everything else went to plan. It didn’t all go my way – I either didn’t or couldn’t wrap the Watch Master, and failed the No Escape roll-off (as seems to be inevitable), but mostly this trade was Just Fine. Jon tried to stem the bleeding by bringing the bikes and Captain which had deployed on my right flank over, and he was able to punish the Incubi and Bloodbrides with his turn 2 shooting, but from my point of view the result was never in doubt after the opening turn – Drazhar ran up to kill the Contemptors, assisted by the Trueborn whose Raider had used Swift Outflanking to switch board edges, while the Succubus killed off the other Kill Team.

Over on the right, the Talos had done their thing but found not much going on to oppose them:

The bikes switching flanks meant the Talos were only taking on a couple of 5 man combat squads with shotguns, which are a little anaemic against them, and so the red and blue squads wrapped up one side of the table while the greens swung left. The bikers, Captain, and Watch Master did a fair job of trying to recover things, gunning down some Incubi, the Wyches, and the Succubus, but with the threat of the Talos about to try and take them out and the Archon lurking in a ruin after successfully murdering the Watch Master, the game was pretty much over.

The valiant last stand

Score: 91-73, W

Jon scored well here (the highest score of any of my opponents except round 5, now that I look at it), and denied me a few points on primary, but that aggressive turn 1 cost him badly and once that had happened the game was probably out of sight for him. I do think that the better plan for me was to switch the deployments like I talked about above, but this worked out ok, even if the Talos didn’t really end up doing much.

Jon went on to win 5, scoring 70pts+ in all of them, and finished 55th as well as winning Most Sporting.

Game 2 – Nathan, Grey Knights

Mission: Vital Intelligence
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Abhor the Witch, Retrieve Octarius Data
His Secondaries:
Stranglehold, Purifying Ritual, Retrieve Octarius Data

Nathan's Grey Knights List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [102 PL, 11CP, 1,990pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Brotherhood: Swordbearers

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Brother-Captain [7 PL, 150pts]: 4: Vortex of Doom, Augury of Aggression
. Nemesis Daemon Hammer: Nemesis Daemon Hammer
. Psycannon: Psycannon (Terminator)

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [11 PL, -1CP, 235pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 2: Empyric Amplification, 3: Unyielding Anvil, 4: First to the Fray, Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Exemplar of the Silver Host, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword, Servant of the Throne, Sigil of Exigence, Warlord

+ Troops +

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] . 4x Grey Knight (Sword): 4x Nemesis Force Sword, 4x Storm Bolter
. Grey Knight Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Sword

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] . 4x Grey Knight (Sword): 4x Nemesis Force Sword, 4x Storm Bolter
. Grey Knight Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Sword

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] . 4x Grey Knight (Sword): 4x Nemesis Force Sword, 4x Storm Bolter
. Grey Knight Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Sword

+ Fast Attack +

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] . 9x Interceptor (Halberd): 9x Nemesis Force Halberd, 9x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Halberd

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] . 9x Interceptor (Sword): 9x Nemesis Force Sword, 9x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Sword

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] . 9x Interceptor (Sword): 9x Nemesis Force Sword, 9x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Sword

+ Heavy Support +

Nemesis Dreadknight [8 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Nemesis Dreadknight [8 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Nemesis Dreadknight [8 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

++ Total: [102 PL, 11CP, 1,990pts] ++

Once pairings went up I was trying to recall where I’d seen Nathan’s name before, even more so when we met at the table – as it turned out the answer was “at the Goonhammer Open” which I really should have done a better job of remembering. He’d done well there with a 4-2 run with the Grey Knights, and his list here was a refined version of the one he ran there – a single Battalion of Swordbearers, using just 4 datasheets.

This was only his second game against Drukhari, with the first being a 1pt win against them in his first game of this tournament!

With six objectives and a Domination mission, this is an interesting game – the Grey Knights can trivially max out Purifying Ritual, which compensates for the likely maxed out Abhor the Witch against them. Nathan certainly has the tools to get there, with 30 Interceptors splitting into combat squads and easily covering the table.

The corner missions all had a similar terrain map, with a large L in the left corner and a medium L in front of it, which was ideal for my army – the Talos hide in the medium L while the Raiders go behind in the large one. The Talos then move up the table into the next L, and the Raiders follow in behind. Nathan chose to deep strike two Strike Squads, two Dreadknights, and the Brother-Captain. I was stuck going first in this game when I think I’d have preferred to go second, but sometimes that’s how it goes. I pushed two Talos out onto the near-right objective to force him to come and take me off it, while the others plus the Incubi/Bloodbrides Raiders went left. The Trueborn Raider stayed in hiding, providing double cover to my backfield objective along with the Wracks.

Turn 1 against the Grey Knights

Nathan played it pretty much how I expected he would, with Interceptors jumping out onto three of the midfield objectives so that he could hit Purifying Ritual, while the Dreadknights Shunted/Gated onto the leftmost one to threaten the Raiders and Purify there too, while his backfield Strike Squad hit the first ROD.

This gave me more or less what I wanted out of the game. On my left, two units of Talos went into the Dreadknights, supported by the Raiders – between the heat lances and darklight, the regular Dreadknight was blown to bits, while the Grand Master survived melee thanks to activating his 3+ invulnerable save, though he didn’t manage to do much to the Talos in return. On the next objective 5 Incubi and the Archon jumped out to take the Interceptors off, while the Succubus ran to the near-right and dealt with those Strikes, and the Talos over there went far-right to tag the others, supported by the Wyches.

The GMNDK here was Obsec, so this denied me some primary

Nathan made a valiant effort to stay in the game, with his remaining Dreadknights and Brother-Captain teleporting in and murdering Drazhar while Strike Squads landed in my backfield to ROD in a corner. I managed to play keep-away for a couple of turns before they ran out and killed the Wracks, but my Trueborn answered by shooting most of them and killing the remaining one in melee. Wth the GMNDK going down to Talos and the army swinging right to take on the last two Dreadknights and the Brother-Captain, the Drukhari win was in.

Drazhar, facing his doom
Trueborn, shortly before annihilating the Strikes in a hail of darklight, splinters, and knives

Score: 92-41, WW

This one went pretty much according to plan – the Grey Knights have a hard time with Talos, since the Dreadknight shooting is pretty mediocre into them and they have to get up nice and close to try and Smite them off the table which exposes the army to the counter-punch and reduces its ability to cover objectives.

Nathan ended up 108th with a 3-5 record, with what looks like some tough final games including a 79-80 loss in round 8, an incredibly tight margin.

Game 3 – James, Orks

Mission: Overrun
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Bring it Down, Retrieve Octarius Data
His Secondaries:
Stranglehold, Raise the Banners High, Grind Them Down

James' Orks List - Click to Expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [49 PL, 9CP, 835pts] ++

+ Configuration [9CP] +

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

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [6 PL, 120pts] +

Deffkilla Wartrike [6 PL, 120pts]: brutal but kunnin, Da Badskull Banner, Warlord

+ Fast Attack [27 PL, 475pts] +

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts] Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts] Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [7 PL, 115pts]: Nitro Squigs [2 PL, 25pts] Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]

+ Flyer [16 PL, 240pts] +

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts]

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts]

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [67 PL, -3CP, 1,165pts] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [5 PL, 85pts] +

Big Mek w/ Kustom Force Field [5 PL, 85pts]

+ Elites [8 PL, 100pts] +

Kommandos [4 PL, 50pts] Boss Nob [10pts]: Choppa
4x Kommando [40pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [4 PL, 50pts] Boss Nob [10pts]: Choppa
4x Kommando [40pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [36 PL, 650pts] +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts] Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts] Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts] Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts] Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts] Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts] Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts] Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa
4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts] Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa
4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Flyer [18 PL, 330pts] +

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts]

Wazbom Blastajet [10 PL, 210pts]: 2x Tellyport Mega-Blastas [20pts], Blastajet Force Field [20pts]

2000 6cp

Two wins in and here was one of the horror show armies – Ork planes and buggies. This was a tough looking game, with the ferocious Freebooterz shooting especially deadly to Raiders who don’t much like high shot volumes that can overwhelm the 4+/5++ defensive profile. James was coming off winning the most recent FactoruM GT, and he was going first, so this was the worst start to the game imaginable.

Ork planes ready to pounce

The predictable happened as James slammed the planes forwards. I’d done my best to be clever about this, pulling the Wyches and Wracks into Strategic Reserves to minimise his ability to pick up a squad of something and activate the Freebooterz kultur. It almost paid off, as he struggled to land an initial kill – he had a go at the Mandrakes but their natural -1 to hit protected them, and the Raider used Lightning Fast Reactions to minimise the shots into that too. Eventually though the numbers told and the Raider died, followed swiftly by its Trueborn contents, and the Mandrakes succumbed to a Rukkatrukk barrage.

This gave him some problems, though. I’d deployed with the Talos in the ruin in front of the Trueborn, and to draw line of sight he had to bring his planes perilously close to them. The pain engines exploited this to the maximum by leaping out with heat lances blasting and gauntlets flexing, ready to tear planes out of the sky. This worked out almost perfectly – I’d lost one Talos to shooting and the solo one achieved nothing much against the bottom left Dakkajet, but the other two pairs managed to shoot the top left one down before killing the far right Dakkajet and reducing the Wazbom to two wounds.

Even with this strong opener I felt like I was going to come unstuck – killing two and a bit planes was a huge help but he had so much shooting still left, and I hadn’t even tried to contest primary. I also straight up forgot that Obscuring doesn’t hide planes, so didn’t think to shoot my two Raiders hiding on the left hand side at them, which only occurred to me literally now as I’m writing this.

Things just kind of kept going my way, though. James flew his Dakkajet back behind my big ruin, trying to assassinate the Haemonculus (which he missed by a wound) and forgetting the Archon was back there too and able to hold the point even if the Haemi died. The Wazbom went to my left; although it killed one Raider the other stayed up, and managed the one-shot one-kill to take off its remaining two wounds in my turn. Killing the Raider also allowed me to jump some Incubi onto the primary objective, gaining a valuable 5pts I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

An unfortunately positioned plane

One green Talos died in his turn but the other went backwards to kill the Dakkajet, and pumped 5 wounds through from a heat lance before punching it out of the sky. On my left, Drazhar and his demeched Incubi ran up and killed two Scrapjets, while on the right the Talos killed the others.

From there the Ork lines just kept collapsing, and Talos and Bloodbrides held free rein. His Wartrike shot forwards to deny me a primary score, and the Incubi which had just helped kill the Scrapjets ganged up on it along with the blue Talos. The Bloodbrides and Succubus shot upfield and killed the remaining Scrapjets and some Kommandos, with the Succubus using her pile-in and Show Stealer-boosted consolidate to slingshot onto another objective and deny him any primary at all.

Things start going wrong for the Orks

A Raider was also able to tie up three Squigbuggies, including the Nitro Squig, and survived the melee and ensuing shotgun blasts by the skin of its teeth. From there I was able to just roll up what was left on the table and James wasn’t able to bring enough to bear to stem the tide. He managed to deny me a few points, but he’d missed out on scoring his own, with even the Orkish banners being torn down by the rampaging Succubus who managed to deny 3/3 on her own.

Score: 87-51, WWW

I couldn’t believe I’d survived this game, and won it. I think the Talos were an X factor James wasn’t expecting, giving me both a flying melee threat to his planes and also a target he had a very hard time dealing with – the high Toughness, damage reduction, and Insensible to Pain are a hard ask for the Orks to overcome, though I still wouldn’t fancy trying it into Mani’s six-plane horror show (and was lucky to avoid it all tournament).

James managed an even 4-4, varying between big wins (including two 100pt games) and middling losses in the 50pt range, and finished 67th.

Game 4 – Tom, White Scars

Mission: Priority Target
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Priority Targets
His Secondaries:
Oaths of Moment, Stranglehold, Priority Targets

Tom's White Scars List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [101 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: White Scars

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

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Strategem: Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ No Force Org Slot +

Company Veterans [3 PL, 40pts] . Company Veteran: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [8 PL, 150pts, -1CP]: Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Chogorian Storm, Rites of War, Storm shield, Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom, Teeth of Terra, Warlord

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts, -1CP]: 1. Litany of Faith (Aura), 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Plume of the Plainsrunner, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Wise Orator

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Heavy Bolt Pistol

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

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

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Bladeguard Veteran: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Master-crafted power sword, 2x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 210pts] . 5x Bladeguard Veteran: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 5x Master-crafted power sword, 5x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

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

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

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 300pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 270pts]: Melta rifle
. 5x Eradicator: 5x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt

++ Total: [101 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

With 3 games down and an undefeated first day, I was more than happy. The field at the top had narrowed considerably, and the prospect of some of the very hard lists and highly skilled players piloting them was looming very large.

Getting White Scars in this context was a bit of a gift. Tom had a classic White Scars army of Bladeguard Veterans and Vanguard Veterans, backed up by the biker Chaplain and Captain and recent Space Marine mainstays in volkite Contemptors and a Redemptor. It’s a good list and Tom played it well, but this is a horrible match for him – the Talos negate his central gimmick and the shooting back-up, and he absolutely doesn’t want to be forced to come into the middle and scrap, and absolutely will have to to try and score points on this objective layout.

With a similar terrain map to game 2 I deployed in a similar way – Talos in the front, Raiders in the back, though two Talos split off to hide in a small L instead. Tom spread around his deployment zone aiming to give himself some width, but with Oaths of Moment and Stranglehold in the objective picks he was going to have to put something into the middle.

Drukhari lying in wait

Much like the Grey Knights game, I went first and kind of didn’t want to, since it was better if he had to come out and make the first move and I could tell how much he was going to commit. Without knowing that, though, I played cautiously, using the same move of pushing Talos into the middle medium ruin and the Raiders replacing them in the back one. The Talos didn’t bother contesting the centre objective (with his Incursors in striking range there was no point landing on an exposed objective just to be ObSeced off it), but were very much there so that they were in place to threaten his deployment zone next turn if he didn’t do something to stop it.

Making the forward push

I did make a slight mistake here, which was the Wyches low-rolling their advance; I needed a 2+ to get them out of line of sight completely and got a 1, and  I could have re-rolled it and didn’t. In the end it varied between “didn’t matter” and “was actively helpful” because Tom moved one of his Contemptors out to shoot them and exposed it to heat lance fire in turn 2 (which promptly annihilated it), but it was silly to expose them in the first place.

Besides blowing away the Wyches, Tom moved up his Incursors to take the middle and bottom-right objectives to score Stranglehold, but otherwise sensibly held back.

The White Scars advance cautiously

I couldn’t really leave the game to play at this pace forever, so on turn 2 the Talos pushed out to start cracking heads. The green ones advanced to be able to charge the Bladeguard, hoping to then pile in to the Eradicators, while the other squads floated out more sedately to line up the aforementioned heat lance kill of the Contemptor (assisted by the Trueborn Raider, emerging from behind its ruin and utilising Never Stationary to line up Trueborn shots on the Dreadnought) before charging the Incursors. They each managed to land the kill, but the greens were unable to take down more than one Bladeguard thanks to a combination of poor hit/wound rolls and strong invulnerable saves. I slightly messed this up, intending to fight first with the blues to take down the Incursors and freeing up the greens to try and pile in/consolidate to tag the Eradicators (and passing up a dark lance shot at an Eradicator to enable this) and then panicking and fighting with the greens first in case the Bladeguard interrupted and damaged them. As it turned out, two Bladeguard swung and did almost nothing anyway, and I shouldn’t have worried about it.

Talos on the move

Tom was on the back foot but he had plenty of materiel left, and did his best to use it to his advantage. The Captain and two units of Bladeguard came out to fight the blue Talos, while the Dreadnought and the third unit (combat squadded from the 6-man) piled into the reds along with the other combat squad of Vanguard Veterans. The Eradicators lined up shots into the green Talos and achieved almost nothing, with excellent wound rolls negated by utterly awful damage rolls, further diminished by Artists of the Flesh and Insensible to Pain. The Contemptor couldn’t add much to help out, and the charges bounced too, with only one Talos dying.

Final insult to injury came when his Vanguard Veterans dropped into my backfield to charge the Wracks, killed zero thanks to a flurry of Insensible to Pain 5+, and then lost one of their own in retaliation.

On turn 3 I disgorged the Incubi, Drazhar, Archon, and Bloodbrides to start cleaning up in the middle, while the Succubus ran back to deal with the pesky Vanguard Veterans who I couldn’t expect to bounce twice. I took a quick photo of Tom’s Captain prior to things kicking off, then looked at the board again and realised he wasn’t actually in range of anything for LoSir, and had a dark lance pointed right at him. As if fated, I shot, hit, wounded, his Iron Halo failed… and up came the 6 damage, and one swiftly removed Captain.

Before…
… and after

From there on Tom’s army started to crumble, a bit like killing the Hierophant in old Tomb Kings. The Bladeguard fell prey to Drazhar, the Eradicators were beaten up by Talos, the Dreadnought died to the Archon, and the Bladeguard and VanVets were beaten up by Bloodbrides and Incubi. The Chaplain made a hail mary charge into the middle to try and clear the Incubi, achieved nothing, and died in a flurry of klaives for his trouble, and the Assault Intercessors finally emerged from the ruin they’d been sheltering in and then failed to charge at all. With the Drukhari rampant, the game was done and dusted.

Score: 97-51, WWWW

As mentioned previously, this was a game that Tom was always fighting uphill in, and it played out pretty much as I think we both expected. He was also very unlucky; I’ve never seen quite so many 1s and 2s for damage rolls as he rolled for his Eradicators on turn 2, and the Vanguard Veterans bouncing off the Wracks thanks to a full house of 5+ Insensible to Pains was quite something.

Tom finished a very respectable 30th, going 5-3 and seeing out the tournament with a 92pt win against Harlequins.

Game 5 – Gaz, Imperium

Mission: Sweep and Clear
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Direct Assault
His Secondaries:
Engage on All Fronts, To the Last, Retrieve Octarius Data

Gaz's Imperium List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [90 PL, -3CP, 1,745pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]: Misericordia, Watcher’s Axe

+ Elites +

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: Achillus Dreadspear, 2x Twin Adrathic Destructor

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: Achillus Dreadspear, 2x Twin Adrathic Destructor

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts]: Galatus Warblade

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts]: Galatus Warblade

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts]: Galatus Warblade

Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armor [7 PL, 125pts]: Ballistus Grenade Launcher, Vexilla Magnifica

+ Heavy Support +

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 280pts]: Iliastus Accelerator Culverin, Spiculus Bolt Launcher
. Telemon Caestus: Twin Plasma Projector

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 280pts]: Iliastus Accelerator Culverin, Spiculus Bolt Launcher
. Telemon Caestus: Twin Plasma Projector

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [15 PL, 12CP, 255pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine: 9th Iotan Gorgonnes

+ HQ +

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 40pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Hot-shot Laspistol, Relic: Kurov’s Aquila, Warlord, WT: Grand Strategist

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol

+ Elites +

Militarum Tempestus Command Squad [3 PL, 80pts] . Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun
. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun
. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun
. Tempestus Scion: Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

++ Total: [105 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

I last played Gaz about 15 months ago, when he had a Guard army that was heavily punished by the initial set of secondaries – Thin Their Ranks and the old Bring It Down was awful for them.

Here we are in 2021 and he’s now playing a Custodes list with an interesting skew, consisting almost entirely of Dreadnoughts of various sizes plus a small detachment of Tempestus Scions built around grabbing and keeping objectives.

Deployment, much the same as against the Grey Knights

I deployed very similarly to game 2, though I did make two mistakes here – I’d taken Direct Assault, and the Wyches should have been in that medium ruin ready to run on and grab the objective t1 and die. Instead they got stuck doing nothing much. The Mandrakes were hiding in the top left ruin to ROD and run, but Gaz could see into it fairly easily with a Contemptor strolling out, and even charge in and take the point off me.

I also got stuck going first, which again isn’t great here – going second would help a lot against this army, since his shooting can’t really impact me turn 1.

The early turns were mostly skirmishing, with Talos leaping into mid to take the Direct Assault objective, and Contemptors looming threateningly. I shot my whole army into a Galatus and achieved literally nothing, which wasn’t great.

The game rested on two swings on turns 2 and 3. Gaz dropped some Scions onto my home objective, robbing me of primary points on turn 3 – I’d positioned the Wracks to protect against something dropping in to my backfield, but it wasn’t really relevant and they could and should have been out front protecting the objective. On turn 3 I went for big charges, putting the Succubus into Trajann, Drazhar and some Incubi into a Contemptor-Achillus which had appeared in the far right, and Talos and the Archon into Contemptors in the middle. Mistake one was activating my Incubi first to attack the Contemptor-Achillus instead of the Succubus hitting Trajann, which meant Trajann got to Counter-Offensive and kill her; mistake two was relying on just the Wracks to kill the Scions in the backfield, which they completely failed to do. Both of these are my mistakes; the first one is very simple target priority, since I had both Drazhar and the Incubi targeting the Contemptor and could have relied on him only being able to kill one of those, and the Contemptor was the least important target anyway. The latter is down to not really thinking about what I was doing and how impactful it would be. I had a CP left and could have popped Torturer’s Craft on the Wracks to re-roll wound rolls, which would have likely been transformative – for two rounds in a row they hit almost all of their attacks and then failed to land the 4+ to wound. By surviving the Scions scored him 2 extra points on Engage and denied me 4 on Herd the Prey; on the other side of the table killing Trajann was a net 7pt swing since he also denied a Herd the Prey quarter for a turn and was 5pts of To the Last. That’s 13pts tied up in those models which transforms the scoreline from a minor loss to a narrow win.

Mid-table melee

This was a really technical game where small errors were all that was needed to flip the score, and Gaz made none while I made a few, which deservedly gave him the win.

Score: 71-82, WWWWL

A shame to finally break the undefeated streak but certainly not a bad way for it to have happened – this was a great game where the better player won, by playing well and maximising the use of a list he knows inside and out.

Gaz ended up 25th on 5 wins, losing all three after this – pairing into Malik’s Ad Mech, then Konrad’s Iron Hands, and then Brodie’s Aeldari, three very tough games by anyone’s measure.

Game 6 – Brodie, Aeldari

Mission: Overrun
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Grind Them Down
His Secondaries:
To The Last, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination

Brodie's Aeldari List - Click to Expand

+++ New Roster (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [106 PL, 6CP, 1,994pts] +++

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [60 PL, -3CP, 1,009pts] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [7 PL, 135pts] +

Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Fast Attack [9 PL, 200pts] +

Shining Spears [5 PL, 110pts] . 2x Shining Spear [70pts]: 2x Laser Lance, 2x Twin Shuriken Catapult
. Shining Spear Exarch [40pts]: Star Lance [5pts] . . Exarch Power: Skilled Rider

Warp Spiders [4 PL, 90pts] . 4x Warp Spider [72pts]: 4x Death Spinner
. Warp Spider Exarch [18pts]: Two Death Spinners
. . Exarch Power: Web of Deceit

+ Heavy Support [44 PL, 674pts] +

Dark Reapers [18 PL, 192pts] . 5x Dark Reaper [160pts]: 5x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch [32pts]: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 106pts] . 2x Dark Reaper [64pts]: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch [42pts]: Tempest Launcher [10pts] . . Exarch Power: Rain of Death

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 106pts] . 2x Dark Reaper [64pts]: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch [42pts]: Tempest Launcher [10pts] . . Exarch Power: Rain of Death

Falcon [8 PL, 135pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [46 PL, 9CP, 985pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Masque Form: The Soaring Spite: Serpent’s Blood

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Enigmas of the Black Library (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ [10 PL, -2CP, 185pts] +

Shadowseer [6 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Domino Shroud, Shards of Light, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], Twilight Pathways, Veil of Illusion

Troupe Master [4 PL, -1CP, 70pts]: Choreographer of War, Darkness’ Bite, Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Soaring Spite: Skystrider, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], The Twilight Fang, Warlord

+ Troops [20 PL, 480pts] +

Troupe [5 PL, 120pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts]

Troupe [5 PL, 120pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts]

Troupe [5 PL, 120pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts]

Troupe [5 PL, 120pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [16 PL, 320pts] +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Speaking of pairing into Brodie, my last game of the Saturday was exactly that. He’s been on a strong run, including an undefeated 9th place at LGT and winning a recent Glasshammer GT, playing various flavours of mixed Aeldari. This list was heavy on fusion boats and the murder Troupe Master, plus the remaining good units in the very tired Craftworlds book – Shining Spears and Dark Reapers, with a Falcon for the latter to hide in and a Night Spinner to provide some artillery fire.

We were playing Overrun again and my deployment was similar to the Orks in game 3 – Talos in big ruin, Trueborn Raider behind medium ruin. This time around the Incubi and Bloodbrides went behind the big ruin away from his Dark Reapers in their Falcon, though. Brodie split his army fairly evenly, with the Spinner and some Reapers behind the medium ruin, a pair of boats, the psykers, the other three Reapers and the Spears in the centre, and the Falcon (plus big Reapers squad) and remaining boat in the big ruin.

I went first and moved out similarly to my previous plan, with Talos pushing into the middle ruin. The Troupe Master’s Starweaver was in sight behind the little L in his deployment zone, and I lucked out taking potshots at it with the Incubi and Bloodbride Raiders, demeching the Master.

The Talos move up

Brodie responded with violence, the Reapers popping out to take shots at Raiders before popping back into the Falcon. The Night Spinner flew away to the centre, denying me the chance to use the Bloodbrides’ double fight to kill the Reapers and the Spinner, a trick which our own Wings has fallen for twice now. He sent a fusion boat into the middle ruin along with the Spears and the Farseer, using the Seer to hit Executioner on the Mandrakes for only 2 dead, while the Spears lurked to endanger something in future. He was unlucky here to only kill one Raider with 8 Reapers, the Falcon, and the fusion boat on my right, leaving the Incubi unharmed while the Bloodbrides hit the deck. He did cause me problems by sending the boat to tap my backfield objective, behind a ruin where nothing could see it without moving backwards, and stealing my rear objective after murdering the Wracks who were holding it with tempest launchers.

In my turn I sent the Bloodbrides to kill the right-hand Reapers while the Succubus ran up to take out the Troupe; the Trueborn hustled forwards with a Never Stationary from the Raider easing them into range to blow away the Night Spinner. The Talos jumped out to have a go at the Spears and Farseer.

The Spears went down to heat lances and some stray splinter fire from the Trueborn, but the Farseer survived a fairly wimpy attack from the Talos with a single wound remaining. The Mandrakes tried to charge the Dark Reapers and failed – they’d probably have been better off just scoring ROD, and they died to something minor the next turn.

In my backfield, a unit of Talos and a unit of Incubi wrapped the Starweaver – unable to kill it with shooting, they had a go at doing it with melee instead and then killing the contents. One Emergency Disembarkation later and a reasonably lucky roll and all they got for their trouble was four Troupers stood on the objective instead.

At this point, in the middle of the game, I was pretty sure I was on course to lose. Brodie had done an excellent job of keeping me off the primary while maximising his own, including a full 15 on turn 2 vs my 0, and I was looking at his remaining To the Last units in the Falcon and Reapers and wondering how I would ever get to them. It seemed likely I’d do a lot of damage to his army but then lose on points.

In his turn 2 the Reapers took out the Trueborn Raider and other shooting and a Troupe took down the Trueborn themselves, and the Succubus had failed to kill another lone Trouper in the right-hand corner who hurled themselves onto an objective and sat their obsec body on it. Brodie also dropped in his Warp Spiders on my bottom left, RODing there and seizing another objective, and it all looked quite bad. My turn 3 was awful, too, though I did manage to send the Wyches into the Spiders and kill them off, and the Talos tapped out the other small Reaper unit.

Things turned around on 4 and 5, as Drazhar and the Incubi made their laborious way from the right flank over to the left, with a couple of big advance rolls getting them into range to beat up the Shadowseer and Troupe Master while some Talos snuck behind the ruin to punch the Falcon to death. The Dark Reapers were now on the table and left trying to run and hide behind a ruin, but they were pursued and terminated by Drazhar. Zeroing out his To the Last and keeping up the pace on Grind Them Down with some lucky saves helped me out a ton here, as did a full 15 primary on the last turn to take me to a dismal 25 – not great, but enough.

Score: 70-60, WWWWLW

Another very tough game, against an opponent who knew what he was doing. A couple of lucky swings and the raw power differential between Drukhari and Craftworlds/Harlies helped me out here, and I suspect if I meet Brodie once there’s a new book for either or both of those it’ll go the other way.

Brodie finished 10th on 6 wins, and as mentioned before beat Gaz in round 8 with a narrow 82-79.

Game 7 – Adam, Adeptus Mechanicus

Mission: Vital Intelligence
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Data Intercept
His Secondaries:
Engage On All Fronts, Eradication of Flesh, Retrieve Octarius Data

Adam's Adeptus Mechanicus List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [74 PL, 1,444pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Army of Renown – Skitarii Veteran Cohort

Detachment Command Cost

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ Stratagems [-2CP] +

List Stratagems

Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactotum [-1CP]

Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactotum [-1CP]

+ HQ [6 PL, 90pts] +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Radium Serpenta, Relic (Skitarii Veteran Cohort): Cantic Thrallnet, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Skitarii Veteran Cohort): Calculate Without Diversion

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Radium Serpenta

+ Troops [6 PL, 150pts] +

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 50pts] . Ranger Alpha [10pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [40pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 50pts] . Ranger Alpha [10pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [40pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 50pts] . Ranger Alpha [10pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [40pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

+ Elites [28 PL, 476pts] +

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser) [17pts]: Flechette Blaster, Taser Goad
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser) [68pts]: 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 136pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades) [17pts]: Chordclaw, Transonic Blades
. 7x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades) [119pts]: 7x Transonic Blades

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 136pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades) [17pts]: Chordclaw, Transonic Blades
. 7x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades) [119pts]: 7x Transonic Blades

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 119pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades) [17pts]: Artefactotum, Chordclaw, Relic: Temporcopia, Transonic Blades
. 6x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades) [102pts]: 6x Transonic Blades

+ Fast Attack [16 PL, 368pts] +

Pteraxii Sterylizors [8 PL, 171pts] . 8x Pteraxii Sterylizor [152pts]: 8x Phosphor torch, 8x Pteraxii Talons
. Pteraxii Sterylizor Alpha [19pts]: Artefactotum, Flechette Blaster, Pteraxii Talons, Relic: The Omniscient Mask, Taser Goad

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 149pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts] . 8x Serberys Raider [128pts]: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine
. Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts]: Archeo-revolver, Cavalry Sabre, Clawed Limbs, Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts] . 2x Serberys Raider [32pts]: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine
. Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts]: Archeo-revolver, Cavalry Sabre, Clawed Limbs, Galvanic Carbine

+ Flyer [18 PL, 360pts] +

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher [20pts], 2x Cognis Heavy Stubber, 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster, Twin Cognis Lascannon

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher [20pts], 2x Cognis Heavy Stubber, 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster, Twin Cognis Lascannon

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [29 PL, 555pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Army of Renown – Skitarii Veteran Cohort

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]

+ HQ [3 PL, 45pts] +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Radium Serpenta, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 6): Eyes of the Omnissiah

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 50pts] . Ranger Alpha [10pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [40pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

+ Fast Attack [8 PL, 150pts] +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 75pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts]

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 75pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts]

+ Flyer [16 PL, 310pts] +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: 4x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Command Uplink

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher [20pts], 2x Cognis Heavy Stubber, 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster, Twin Cognis Lascannon

++ Total: [103 PL, -5CP, 1,999pts] ++

Well, here we are then – one of the best armies in the game, fairly well recognisable in its similarity to Richard Siegler’s NOLA winner. Three Stratoraptors, a Fusilave, a pile of Sicarians, the dogs, it’s all here.

I knew this was going to be a huge upward battle, since this list counters pretty well into mine. The Talos are a big X factor, but the planes deal with Raiders really well, and he has big melee threats too. Vital Intelligence is a hard mission, too – hold 2/3 with an exposed corner objective favours his shooting over my melee, and he also has an excellent trick with the Serberys which we’ll come to in a minute.

My deployment was similar to the other corner missions, as you can see, but there is a glaring mistake in it which might not have cost me the game but definitely didn’t help:

Drukhari deployment

See that bottom-left Raider? I knew that wherever I deployed it there’d be an angle for it to be shot, and I ended up hedging uselessly and kind of not putting it in either side. This was stupid and I am still annoyed about it a day later. It should be on the left hand side, with the ruin blocking LoS from the right – that forces the planes to fly over to my side of the table if they want to target it, and puts them in range for the Talos to do their dirty work like they did in the game against the Orks. Instead Adam was able to line up shots from two angles, keeping two Stratoraptors safe on the far side of the board.

ride of the valkyries plays

As felt almost inevitable he went first, and over came the planes; the bomber dropped its payload on the Trueborn Raider, then used Seismic Bomb to slow it down – which I am just now thinking wait does that work on FLY? And the answer is no, it doesn’t. An honest mistake that I should have checked at the time, and which didn’t actually matter in the end because it could still hop out and draw LoS to the nearby plane.

Both the Incubi and Bloodbride Raiders ate shit, putting all those units on the floor, and a squad of Incubi was taken out by stubbers too. Perfect start. The Mandrakes also died to the Fusilave’s stubbers.

This is a point I’ve been thinking about since, particularly around games 3, 5, and 7. The Mandrakes quite often get punked like this and I think the problem is how I use them. In particular, in games 3 and 7 I could have thrown them in Strategic Reserves, and had them roll onto the board and safely get a ROD and then be able to leave again later if they survived. In this game they could also have been hidden in my big ruin, out of LoS of the stubbers, and RODed there. I only managed two quarters in this game, and as you will see from the scoreline managing all four would have gotten me the win, so playing this smarter would have helped immensely.

Also I never revisited the cool Serberys trick – Vital Intelligence has “sticky” objectives, meaning that they stay yours until your opponent controls them at the end of a phase, as long as you held them at the end of your Command phase. Adam thus does his pre-game moves with them, running them onto three objectives, holding them at the end of his first Command phase, then running away in his Movement phase. Now he holds 4 objectives and I have to go out and grab them myself if I want to take them back off him.

My turn 1 goes at least ok, as I down the Stratoraptor and the Fusilave (and neatly avoid the explosion from the latter, which Adam umms and ahhs about triggering automatically before rolling a 6 to do it naturally) and keep his Eradication of Flesh points to a nice zero. One unit of Talos advances to claim the middle-left objective and at least try and get some primary points of my own.

Two planes down

His turn 2 is pretty weak, with minimal line of sight available and his planes mostly focused on retreating away from the still-live Trueborn Raider that they now can’t see without rushing up into Talos range. His big unit of dogs pushes hard up against the outside of the medium L in order to take the objective off me and try and block my ability to attack the Rangers sitting in behind them, who come and obsec me off it.

In my 2 I kill another Stratoraptor, and set up a trap for the dogs – Drazhar and the Talos surround them, so that if he uses his ability to run away from the charge there’s only one channel the unit can go down, which two of the Talos units will still be able to charge them in. This works out ok, although 3 dogs survive which is an annoying number – I really needed it to be 1 or preferably none. On my far right flank, the Wyches arrive and tie up a Ballistarii, while the Trueborn Raider uses Never Stationary to tap another objective and push him down to zero primary for a turn.

In his 3 the full power of the Ad Mech codex is unleashed – and I know that as a Drukhari player I don’t get to complain about this, but wow there was a lot of stuff just hanging out waiting in reserve! Sicarians hit my Scourges, who dropped in to ROD the corner and flip the objective, and another set charge the red Talos who are in mid table threatening his vulnerable core. The Infiltrators go into the Wyches executing the wrap, while Sterylizors blast out of the back ruin. My Trueborn Raider goes down, as do all of its contents, and the Bloodbrides die messy deaths too.

There is one moment here I feel a bit bad about – among all the charges, the Sterylizors go into the Succubus. I’m expecting the obvious of him picking them to fight first and instead he starts in the top left corner, murdering the Scourges. The Succubus activates next and kills 7/9 Sterylizors, easily surviving the return attacks from just 2. Adam accepts this as his own mistake, and it is – he’s fully aware that I’m running Cult of Strife and what that means – but it bothers me whether it was sporting not to remind him. This was a really enjoyable game with a great opponent I’d look forward to playing again, so it’s a sour note that I don’t like even if I don’t think I’m exactly wrong not to stop him making an unforced error.

With everything to play for, I feel like I don’t quite have enough left to actually go the distance. I make as good a go of it as I can, killing off all but two of the Ruststalkers on my left flank, the dogs on my right, and the remaining Sterylizors. Drazhar dies here having achieved nothing – he fails to Tormentor Helm the Ruststalkers, and they interrupt and drop a cool 6 mortal wounds on him. I got quite lucky with Morale in his turn, with both units of Ruststalkers dropping down to single models, leaving me in control of those objectives.

It’s all getting quite thin on the ground now, and Adam makes three moves in the closing stages which tie up the game for him. Firstly, he double layers the right hand objectives with Rangers, and then throws a Marshal onto one and keeps his Ballistarii on the other. I only have two models left over there, and because of the mission rules I have to clear all the obsec and all the other stuff to have a chance of denying him 5 on the primary. That means that what I need is to kill the Ballistarii with shooting from the Talos, then charge one end of the Rangers with him, while the Succubus tags the other unit and the Marshal and kills both. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to pull it off, but the plan fails at the first hurdle as the Talos busts two heat lance shots into the dirt, leaving the Ballistarii upright and unharmed.

The double layer, right before the Marshal moves in

Second, he takes the Infiltrators off the table with the Circuitous Assassins stratagem, which lets him drop them back in his turn 5 and ROD his remaining quarter, while also scoring him 2pts on Engage.

Finally, he uses his remaining Ballistarii to nuke the Talos, and for once the saves and Insensible to Pains fail me and it eats it, denying me any chance to kill the Ballistarii which would have scored another point on Data Intercept in my end of game score.

Between these two things, he gets to 68pts, and there’s nothing left I can do – I score 15 on primary, but there’s no other 6pts to be had, and I finish on 63.

Score: 63-68, WWWWLWL

An incredibly tight game, in the worst possible circumstances – a list I think has huge strengths in taking on mine, playing on a mission that can be highly punishing if you go second against it. Just keeping my head and scoring ROD instead of throwing the units away carelessly would have won me it, and it’s a good reminder keep your eyes on the points.

Adam went on to win his last game too, beating Vanguard Tactics’ Ben Jones, and finishing 7-1 and 3rd place overall – a huge achievement in a tough field!

Game 8 – Matt, Thousand Sons

Mission: Sweep and Clear
My Secondaries:
Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Abhor the Witch
His Secondaries:
To the Last, Warp Ritual, Engage on All Fronts

Matt's Thousand Sons List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [101 PL, 7CP, 16 Cabal Points, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Cults of the Legion: Cult of Knowledge

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Sorcerous Arcana [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Exalted Sorcerer [9 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 160pts]: 21. Presage, 22. Weaver of Fates, Ardent Scholar, Dilettante, Disc of Tzeentch, Egleighen’s Orrery, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Umbralefic Crystal, Warlord

Exalted Sorcerer [8 PL, -1CP, 3 Cabal Points, 155pts]: 1. Arrogance of Aeons, 12. Twist of Fate, 23. Temporal Surge, Athenaean Scrolls, Disc of Tzeentch, High Acolytes, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Prosperine khopesh, Rehati

Infernal Master [5 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 90pts]: 12. Glamour of Tzeentch, 5. Glimpse of Eternity, 6. Malefic Maelstrom, Helm of the Daemon’s Eye

+ Troops +

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 115pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer: 31. Cacodaemonic Curse, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 115pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer: 31. Cacodaemonic Curse, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 115pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 13. Doombolt, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 115pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 13. Doombolt, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 4x Inferno boltgun

+ Elites +

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

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

Scarab Occult Terminators [21 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 445pts]: 2x Hellfyre missile rack
. Scarab Occult Sorcerer: 31. Empyric Guidance, Inferno combi-bolter, Rites of Coalescence
. 7x Terminator: 7x Inferno combi-bolter, 7x Prosperine khopesh
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Soulreaper cannon
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Soulreaper cannon

Tzaangor Shaman [4 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 70pts]: 33. Perplex

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn [5 PL, 115pts] . 5x Chaos Spawn: 5x Hideous mutations

Chaos Spawn [5 PL, 115pts] . 5x Chaos Spawn: 5x Hideous mutations

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 90pts]: Havoc launcher, Inferno combi-bolter

++ Total: [101 PL, 7CP, 16 Cabal Points, 2,000pts] ++

After quite an incestuous round of pairings at the top end of the standings, things open up a bit as people who lost early on and clawed their way back to 5-2 get into the mix. One of these is Matt and his Thousand Sons. I’ve only played against the new Thousand Sons book once, and lost heavily, and haven’t had much chance to think about them again, so I don’t quite know what to make of this game – on paper I feel like it should be winnable, but I haven’t figured out exactly how to attack it.

We’re back on Sweep and Clear and back on the corner deployment, Talos in the medium ruin, Raiders behind the big one, you know how this goes. I go second here, and I think it’s probably a boon – Matt has no way of making meaningful contact with my army turn 1, other than bouncing two of his To the Last targets in my face with the Umbralefic Crystal, so I can sit safely behind my ruins and watch his shooting and psychic pass me by. He does now reveal a cool trick, doing Warp Ritual with his Tzaangor Shaman by pushing it into the middle and then pulling it back with a range-boosted Temporal Surge. This scores him an easy 12 on Warp Ritual that I’m more or less powerless to stop. On my top left, his Rubric Marines have hunted down the Mandrakes (once again standing in a slightly stupid place!) but luckily fail to kill them, leaving them free to ROD. In his 2 they do grab the objective off me, though.

Raiders lining up pot shots

He’s also pushed some Rubric Marines into the bottom right objective, and I fiddle around with Raiders trying to line up shots on them. After spending an unnecessary amount of time fussing I only end up killing 3 anyway, and in his turn 2 he promptly hides them behind the ruin.

For the opening two turns of this game I’m expecting a play that never comes – shove the Terminators into the middle of the board, flop their dusty dicks out and declare that the centre is theirs and they’re not giving it up. I play accordingly, and am punished for this assumption by nothing much happening on that front as Matt continues to play cautiously. I send a couple of Talos off to deal with the top left Rubrics and fail to do so; in my planning I was anticipating sending the Succubus up there who would have done the job, and then immediately forget all about this and fly her boat around uselessly without doing anything with her. On my right,  the Archon makes a big advance and charges the two survivors from last turn and kills them off. I pop the Talos into mid table to try and force Matt to come out, which mostly means that he spends his turn 3 shooting them and then charges Spawn into them, as well as into the ones that have gone hunting Rubrics in the top left corner; I luck out here and through all the shooting, psychic, and melee, I lose only two Talos and they then kill enough Spawn to still hold the centre.

It’s during this stage that I realise that the cold war that’s going on can’t continue. If we carry on as we are then Matt will equal me on primary, max out Warp Ritual and To the Last, and pick up 8-10 on Engage. I’ll be stuck with minimal Abhor and so far Herd the Prey isn’t looking great either, and I’m not sure I can get 8 on ROD, and I will lose.

Looking again at the board state, what I realise is that the Terminators aren’t actually that big of a problem. They’re tough as nails and have a lot of shooting, but they’re only one unit. I’ve also been skirmishing around trying to get at his Volkite, but they’re now kind of out of position to affect my Raiders, so I can have a turn of being fearless with them if I want to. If I can kill his other To the Last units – his Sorcerers – and all his Rubrics, then he suddenly has very little capacity to control the board, and the points calculation swings from him racking up an easy 40 primary to him struggling to get any at all. Killing Rubrics is also an easy 2pts for Abhor, and of course the Sorcerers are a full 8pt swing between TTL and Abhor.

The plan in motion, I switch from focusing on the centre to focusing on the flanks. Raiders set off to seize the right hand objective which he’s reclaimed with Rubrics, and one unit of Incubi runs up to help the misfiring Talos out with clearing the Rubrics that have survived up there. In the middle, the Bloodbrides charge into the 5 Rubrics in the open, while the Succubus makes an Advance to charge the Exalted Sorcerer and the Tzaangor Shaman.

Most of this works out – the Succubus fails her charge even with a re-roll, and the Bloodbrides don’t quite put enough of a dent in the Rubrics in front, but do wrap them and force him to use psychic and melee to deal with them. Everything else dies, though, and suddenly I’m in the driving seat.

Matt goes for a big play to try and salvage things here. The Terminators come out, and line up shots into the green Talos in my top left, which pays off this time as they nuke them. Psychic takes out most of the Bloodbrides but not all, and then he makes a big charge into the Talos – and makes a fatal mistake in doing it. His goal is to use the charge movement to push most of his Terminators into the top left objective, taking me off both that and the middle one and pushing me down to five Primary, which could keep him in the game, but he declares the Bloodbrides too and can’t quite get the movement to be in range of them and the Talos and the objective and still be coherent. The Bloodbrides are gonna kill his Rubrics, but that’s a small trade for stealing 5pts of primary off me and getting a potential 15 for himself next turn. He also gets unlucky charging his Rhino into my two Raiders – he has to contact the Archon too, who busts his double fight to put 9 wounds on with his Djin Blade, before a Raider pokes its bladevanes through and deals the final blow.

At that point we call it; Drazhar and friends are ready to eat all the characters alive and I have enough shooting left to deal with the remaining Rubrics, and the two Raiders can tie up the Volkite to stop them being able to hit me back in his 5. I max score, and that’s game 8 in the bag.

Score: 97-63, WWWWLWLW

A game I’m quite proud of winning, because I spent the opening turns playing the completely wrong game – which suited what my opponent wanted – and then managed the mental switch to play a much better game that fit my strengths and exposed his weaknesses. After slogging it out for 3 days and 8 straight games of 40k I was almost expecting to stumble at the finish, but I pulled it back.

Matt finished 28th with an unusual run – 4 wins and 2 losses, and not one but two draws including his opening game against eventual top table contender Konrad, which nets out to 5 wins in how BCP calculates placings.

After a mammoth report, we’re all done.

Overall results: 6 wins, 2 losses, 9th place (of 179)

A great showing for the Drukhari, and the Talos in particular. I can definitely feel that my lack of any practice games is getting to me – I hadn’t played 40k since the 10th of October, and barely even thought about playing games in favour of organising the GHO and the myriad other things I have to do – but I mostly didn’t make howling errors bar the two I talked about it in games 5 and 7. I also have some thoughts on what I can do better in future, which is good.

Next time out, we’re back to the Midlands for the Leicester GT.