The Corroad Goes Ever On and On: FactoruM July GT

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Last time on the Corroad, I was prepping for the Vanguard Tactics GT and putting the finishing touches to my Drukhari so that they would be ready to hit the table for that event. I had a fairly hefty chunk of painting to do with a week left to go:

  • The razorflails Succubus
  • 3 Raiders
  • 1 Ravager
  • 5 Scourges
  • 2 Cronos

Luckily for me this was all at least partly painted, and in fact I’d finished the Succubus and Ravager before the post even went live last time. The main stumbling block was simply that I didn’t want to paint the Raiders; it’s a model that I think looks great on the table but not a particularly enjoyable kit to assemble or paint, and having a deadline to get them done created a kind of feedback loop of putting off painting them and also not really getting anything else done because they had higher priority. The other factor not helping me out here is that on the Saturday beforehand I started feeling a little sick, and by the Sunday night I definitely had something going on. I ended up taking 3 covid tests over the course of the week, all of which were thankfully negative; in a slight irony I got my second vaccine on the Friday right before the tournament. I was completely wiped out for the first couple days of the week, but I started feeling better and dug deep on the Wednesday and Thursday to blast through all the remaining work on the Raiders, and while they’re not gonna win any prizes they look respectable on the table now and are at as good of a standard as a 95pt transport should ever demand. I do still need to paint their crews – right now only the Trueborn Raider has anyone flying it or firing its gun – but those can come whenever I feel like getting around to them, which is a relief.

Having everything painted and ready is always a good feeling before a tournament; stressing yourself out about having to paint right to the last minute is a great way to get distracted from the playing games part of things, and never helps. It would have been nice to get one more practice game in that week, but I’d played this list or very close variants of it a bunch of times anyway and better not to go around giving a cold to my friends for the sake of a single tune-up.

Incidentally, I had the name of the tournament wrong last time – the ticket I bought before things locked down last year was for the Vanguard Tactics Grand Series #2 event, but circumstances had changed and the actual thing we ended up playing was the FactoruM July GT (player pack here), FactoruM being the new shop opening up at the 4Ground home base. There’s multiple different businesses involved here but basically 4Ground make the cool terrain we were using (as well as tons of other stuff), Vanguard Tactics is the channel/podcast/coaching service run by our friend Stephen Box and recorded upstairs at the 4Ground location, and FactoruM is the new shop/gaming centre they’ve built during covid. The shop is in Sutton Veny, which you’ve never heard of, just outside Warminster, which you possibly have, at least if you’re familiar with small English towns along the A36. Despite being quite remote it’s a trip worth making. I visited last year to play a couple of practice games with the VT crew and it was exactly what you’d expect a warehouse on an industrial estate to be like – dark, mostly full of stacks of product waiting to be shipped, and not helped by it being a truly miserable British summer day. It has now been completely transformed, to the point that it took me aback to remember what it looked like before. Now there’s a big, open space, done up with lots of wood and bits of armour tastefully displayed and miniatures in cabinets everywhere – it’s a store with an aesthetic, is what I’m saying. Apparently there’s more to come, and I’m looking forward to seeing it develop.

I’m going to summarise my games, because I didn’t remember to take enough pictures to make a long-form tournament report really interesting, and no-one is that excited to read about Drukhari gameplay anyway. As a reminder, my list was as follows:

FactoruM July Drukhari - Click to Expand

Kabals Patrol – Obsidian Rose – 985

HQ – 85

-1CP Prizes from the Dark City
-1CP Tolerated Ambition

Master Archon, splinter pistol and huskblade – 85pts – Tolerated Ambition: Ancient Evil, Prizes from the Dark City: The Djinn Blade

Troops – 180

10 Kabalite Trueborn, 2 blasters, 1 dark lance – 135pts
5 Kabalites, shredder – 45

Elites – 160

5 Incubi, Klaivex with demiklaives – 80pts
5 Incubi, Klaivex with demiklaives – 80pts

Heavy Support – 140

Ravager, 3 dark lances – 140pts

Dedicated Transports – 420

Raider, dark lance, chain snares, shock prow – 105pts
Raider, dark lance, chain snares, shock prow – 105pts
Raider, dark lance, chain snares, grisly trophies – 105pts
Raider, dark lance, chain snares, grisly trophies – 105pts

Covens Patrol – Dark Technomancers – 585

HQ – 145

Drazhar – 145pts

Troops – 40

5 Wracks – 40pts

Elites – 75

5 Mandrakes – 75pts

Fast Attack – 80

5 Scourges, shredders – 80pts

Heavy Support – 245

3 Cronos, 3 with spirit vortexes, 1 with spirit probe – 245

Cults Patrol – Cult of Strife – 430

-1CP Tolerated Ambition
-1 CP Prizes from the Dark City

HQ – 135

Master Succubus, razorflails – 75pts – Warlord: Precision Blows, Relic: Dark Lotus Toxin, Combat Drugs: Adrenalight
Succubus, agoniser and archite glaive – 60pts – Tolerated Ambition: Competitive Edge, Relic: Triptych Whip, Combat Drugs: Adrenalight

Troops – 125

10 Hekatrix Bloodbrides, Hekatrix with agoniser – 125pts, Combat Drugs: Grave Lotus

Fast Attack – 170

5 Hellions – 85 – Combat Drugs: Adrenalight
5 Hellions – 85 – Combat Drugs: Adrenalight

Points: 2,000/2,000
CP: 8/12

(note: I realised post-event that my subfaction totals are wrong, but the overall list still adds up, so we’re all good. Also, we sadly didn’t quite make GT status, so this is effectively a long-form RTT – though still some great practice with some very respectable players in attendance)

Game 1

Opponent: Jon
Faction:
Orks
Mission
: Sweep and Clear

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Orks) [105 PL, 1,996pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Deathskulls

Detachment Command Cost

Gametype: Matched

+ HQ +

Big Mek W/ Kustom Force Field [4 PL, 60pts]

Warboss on Warbike [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Brutal but Kunnin, Da Biggest Boss, Da Killa Klaw, Power Klaw, Warlord

Weirdboy [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 3. Da Jump, Deathskulls: Maniacal Seizure, Warphead

+ Troops +

Boyz [12 PL, 226pts]: 2x Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga
. 26x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 26x Choppa, 26x Slugga, 26x Stikkbombs

Boyz [4 PL, 90pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga
. 9x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

Boyz [4 PL, 90pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga
. 9x Ork Boy W/ Shoota: 9x Shoota, 9x Stikkbombs

Boyz [4 PL, 90pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga
. 9x Ork Boy W/ Shoota: 9x Shoota, 9x Stikkbombs

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

+ Elites +

Kommandos [3 PL, 55pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [3 PL, 45pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. 5x Kommando: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [3 PL, 55pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Meganobz [8 PL, 160pts] . Boss Meganob w/ two kill saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ 2 kill saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ 2 kill saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ 2 kill saws: Killsaws (Pair)

Mek [2 PL, 30pts]: Choppa, Kustom Mega-Slugga

+ Fast Attack +

DeffKoptas [2 PL, 35pts] . DeffKopta: Twin Big Shoota

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 220pts, -1CP] . Kustom Job: Korkscrew
. Megatrakk Scrapjet
. Megatrakk Scrapjet

Stormboyz [3 PL, 60pts] . Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga
. 4x Stormboy: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Heavy Support +

Deff Dreads [18 PL, 300pts, -1CP] . Deff Dread: Dread Klaw, Kustom Mega-blasta, Kustom Mega-blasta, Kustom Mega-blasta
. Deff Dread: Dread Klaw, Kustom Mega-blasta, Kustom Mega-blasta, Kustom Mega-blasta
. Deff Dread: Dread Klaw, Kustom Mega-blasta, Kustom Mega-blasta, Kustom Mega-blasta
. Kustom Job: Sparkly Bitz

Mega Dread [9 PL, 175pts]: Dread Rippa Klaw, Killkannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Trukk [4 PL, 65pts]

++ Total: [105 PL, 1,996pts, 8CP] ++

 

For my opening game I had Jon’s Orks, still using the old codex thanks to the new one being in its current quantum-released state. Jon was a cheerful bloke with a list that brought a lot of fun elements, including the Forge World Mega Dread which I’d never actually seen on the table, and which is one of the few things I remembered to get a good shot of during this tournament.

The Mega Dread striding forth

Looking at the list, I figured I had a pretty good chance of just overrunning this army – the Dreads have some scary shooting but they’re quite slow, and there was a very good selection of Line of Sight blocking terrain on these tables, as well as Dense terrain in the shape of the industrial towers. I could deploy to hide most or all of my army, and make use of the terrain to limit Jon’s ability to beat up the Raiders before it was time to unload all the fighty stuff inside and start smashing Ork heads together. You can see the terrain here – the layout changed depending on mission, but this is a good representation of the quantity of what was on each table:

The early game, and a representative table for this event – this is a high standard of terrain in my opinion.

That pre-game opinion didn’t totally bear out, as the Dreads took more killing than expected. One thing I’d done with my list that wasn’t in most of my practice games was running double Succubus, which meant Drazhar couldn’t be the Warlord. He was clearly sulking about this as he underperformed all weekend, and in this game, on turn 2, he ran face-first into two Deff Dreads on 1 wound and 7 wounds respectively and did nothing at all, only causing 2 wounds and having both saved. Instead of wiping out everything in the middle I ended up with my models standing around embarrassed as the Dreads pulped some Incubi and Draz himself to death. I also made the classic error of leaving 1.5 Boyz alive in the big mob, who promptly re-appeared at full strength, and played my Bloodbrides right out of position such that their only effect on the game was to kill 4 Kommandos who’d popped up in my backfield and proceeded to steal my corner objective.

A few bits of luck did go my way, including the Hellions surviving improbably against multiple waves of Ork reserves trying to kill them, and picking up both Scrapjets when they stuck their noses out to shoot at my Raiders and achieved not very much. By the end of 3 we were nearly out of time, and despite the mishaps I had finally cleared almost everything on the table leaving me in a dominant position to score points from there on – Jon very graciously offered to talk it out in my favour, and I ended up with a 77-59 win.

Game 2

Opponent: Wings!
Faction:
Aeldari
Mission
: Surround and Destroy

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [41 PL, 742pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Ghosthelm, Psyker (Farseer), Ride the Wind, Rune Armour, Runes of the Farseer, Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult, Witchblade

+ Heavy Support +

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

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 96pts]: Inescapable Accuracy
. 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Falcon [8 PL, 135pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher, Explodes (Hover Tank), Hover Tank, Pulse Laser, Transport, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Doomweaver, Explodes (Hover Tank), Hover Tank, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Doomweaver, Explodes (Hover Tank), Hover Tank, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [54 PL, 975pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 80pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, Venom Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]: Hatred Eternal, The Executioner’s Demiklaives, Warlord

+ Troops +

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

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Fast Attack +

Scourges [5 PL, 80pts] . Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Plasma Grenades, Shredder
. Solarite: Plasma Grenades, Shardcarbine

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: Bladevanes, Dark Lance, Kabal, Splinter racks

Raider [6 PL, 100pts]: Bladevanes, Dark Lance, Kabal, Shock Prow

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Bladevanes, Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Bladevanes, Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [15 PL, 280pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive: Agoniser, Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 130pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Plasma Grenades, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Plasma Grenades, Shardnet and Impaler

+ Elites +

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

++ Total: [110 PL, 5CP, 1,997pts] ++

 

As the lowest winner I wasn’t expecting to run into our own Wings, who’d won with a comfortable 90 in game 1, but as it turned out he was tied for second-lowest with the other Liam playing Drukhari, and so the pairings algorithm paired him down into me. As tournament pairings go this was a mixed blessing; I always enjoy a game with our James but for most of the time I’ve known him I had a truly horrible losing record against him, with a single practice win standing out among a sea of losses. In more recent times I’ve had the advantage of playing late 8th Space Marines and then now pure Drukhari into Craftworlds at the nadir of their power, so it’s mostly been wins for me, but now here he is with a mixed Aeldari list heavy on Drukhari tools of his own, and so another tough game ahead.

Things went even further off the rails when he went first and demeched all my Incubi and Drazhar in my deployment zone, which on a Dawn of War deployment means a very long walk to do anything relevant. Fortunately some clutch saves on my part had required a bit more of his shooting to achieve this than he really wanted to commit – though a sudden cry of “The Dark Reaper Exarch has a tempest launcher!” avoided the embarrassing prospect of not killing a Raider with a single wound remaining – and so the actual contents of the boats were safe once their rides were gone.

I punched back with some Raider-killing of my own, kicking his Trueborn out of their boat on my right hand side and his Bloodbrides out of theirs on my left, and without much else to do the pile of Incubi and Draz/Archon rumbled forwards into a ruin hoping to survive to achieve something meaningful. James made an error here which swung the whole game in my favour – he didn’t commit enough to deal with all of the Incubi and the characters, but also failed to isolate them by leaving his Trueborn and Farseer quite nearby, while his Mandrakes and Archon charged in to try and deal with my stuff and achieved nothing very much before dying and giving me some free forward movement.

From there things all started coming up Corrode, with Drazhar killing the Farseer and then pinging off to safety in the arms of the Bloodbrides, who made a huge cross-board advance and charge to kill some Dark Reapers and then a Night Spinner in one smooth movement. The Archon did his own bit of work by putting down the Trueborn, while the Dark Lotus Succubus and some Cronos combined to clear out the Falcon, leaving one whole side of the table absent enemy presence except for a single Venom with some Incubi in. Even the Scourges contributed by dropping in and shreddering his Bloodbrides off the table. It was a big, big turn, marred only by a small but significant mistake – I had neatly arranged the Cronos to protect the Succubus once she killed the boat, and then fought in the wrong order so that they got stuck away from her. Thinking back on it she was the Master and could have consolidated into their protective tentacles, but either I forgot or the board state was slightly different and she couldn’t, and so she was swiftly murdered the next turn by his shredder Scourges.

Still, the damage on the other side was done, and although Wings played as hard as possible to get back into it he just didn’t have enough resources left to swing the game back. The final ignominy came when my Drazhar re-crossed the board on turns 4 and 5 in order to charge down his evil clone (good clone? Not sure how that works with Drukhari) and kill him in the final combat of the game, swinging a full 8 pts by picking up an Assassination for me and taking away his final To the Last as well for an 89-56 finish.

Game 3

Opponent: Sam
Faction:
Adeptus Custodes
Mission
: Priority Target

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [99 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]: Champion of the Imperium, Warlord

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 178pts, -2CP]: Captain-Commander, Emperor’s Companion, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Ten Thousand Heroes, Unstoppable Destroyer

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 156pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 156pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 156pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

+ Elites +

Aquilon Custodians [11 PL, 258pts] . Aquilon Custodian: Misericordia, Solerite Power Gauntlet, Twin Adrathic Destructor
. Aquilon Custodian: Solerite Power Gauntlet, Twin Adrathic Destructor
. Aquilon Custodian: Solerite Power Gauntlet, Twin Adrathic Destructor

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts, -1CP]: Eternal Penitent, 2x Twin Adrathic Destructor

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, 170pts, -1CP]: Eternal Penitent

+ Fast Attack +

Venatari Custodians [16 PL, 275pts] . Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler

+ Heavy Support +

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 280pts]: Iliastus Accelerator Culverin
. Telemon Caestus

++ Total: [99 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

 

Sam was running a Custodes list with all the hits you’ve come to expect if you’ve played Custodes recently – a Telemon, 5 Venatari, Trajann Valoris, and then one of each of their unique Contemptor Dreadnoughts plus a pile of sword and shield Custodian Guard to take up space on the table and hold on to it tightly. It’s a good solid list that does its job well.

As a game this was very cagey with lots of back and forth swings – I just couldn’t hold on to multiple primary objectives, with Sam making excellent use of his Custodian Guard squads to take and hold points and dumping a whole bunch of CP into keeping 4 of his 5 Venatari alive on turn 2, with his eye firmly on their ability to dakka pretty much anything in my army to death. Custodes are always an interesting match-up with Drukhari; they usually run out of steam by turn 3 or 4, but they’re very hard to land a punch on in the early game and if you slip up and leave things exposed to the Telemon and/or the Venatari it’s very easy to find that it’s you who doesn’t have enough stuff to be effective. In this game things got even closer than normal, as my Bloodbrides failed a charge in mid-table and Drazhar bounced off a Contemptor-Achillus, turning my attempt to smash and grab the central objective into a 15pt-primary turn for Sam with lots of my units now exposed to retribution. The Galatus also survived a round of Ravager fire with a single wound remaining, and while the Dark Lotus Succubus rescued things a bit by punching Trajann to death it all looked rather bad for the elves.

Unfortunately Sam made a game-changing error on turn 4, pulling a squad of Custodians off of one objective to charge the Succubus holding another to try and take me off the primary there. While that succeeded, any other of his units could have done the same – but only those Custodians were standing on his Priority Targets objective, and taking them off cost him 6pts. The game finished 77-71 in my favour, so if anything else kills the Succubus, we draw. An ending that was a bit of a shame after a very competitive game, and a real let-off for me.

Game 4

Opponent: Mike
Faction:
Deathwatch
Mission
: Overrun

Army List - Click to Expand

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

+ Configuration +

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

Chapter Selection: Deathwatch

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Captain [5 PL, -1CP, 105pts]: Dominus Aegis, Relic blade, Storm shield, Stratagem: A Vigil Unmatched, Warlord
. 2. Paragon of their Chapter: Ultramarines: Adept of the Codex
. 4. Optimised Priority (Aura)

Librarian [5 PL, 90pts]: 1. Premorphic Resonance, 2. Fortified With Contempt, Boltgun, Force sword

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, -1CP, 140pts]: 5. Recitation of Focus, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Beacon Angelis, Wise Orator

+ Troops +

Proteus Kill Team [17 PL, 338pts]: Dominatus, Jump Packs
. Black Shield: Astartes Chainsword, Thunder hammer
. Deathwatch Terminator
. . Thunder hammer and Storm shield
. Deathwatch Terminator
. . Thunder hammer and Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Veteran Biker: Power axe
. Watch Sergeant: Heavy thunder hammer

Proteus Kill Team [16 PL, 309pts]: Jump Packs
. Black Shield: 2x Lightning Claw
. Deathwatch Terminator
. . Thunder hammer and Storm shield
. Deathwatch Terminator
. . Thunder hammer and Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Watch Sergeant: Heavy thunder hammer

Proteus Kill Team [16 PL, 309pts]: Jump Packs
. Black Shield: 2x Lightning Claw
. Deathwatch Terminator
. . Thunder hammer and Storm shield
. Deathwatch Terminator
. . Thunder hammer and Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Watch Sergeant: Heavy thunder hammer

+ Elites +

Apothecary [5 PL, -1CP, 110pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Tome of Ectoclades

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 144pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy thunder hammer

+ Heavy Support +

Hellblaster Squad [16 PL, 330pts]: Assault Plasma Incinerator
. 9x Hellblaster: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Hellblaster Sergeant: Bolt pistol

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

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

 

3 wins on day 1 left me as one of three undefeated players on day 2, which is a nice position to be in. With the lowest scores of the top three, I was paired down into the next-highest player on 2 wins and a loss – Mike, who I was also giving a lift to the event. Mike is a well-known player around the UK who always brings interesting and deeply-considered lists to the table, and this Deathwatch army is no different; it has a whole set of tools available to it to play a high-pressure style and is particularly good at taking on Drukhari. A few weeks beforehand a friend of mine had mentioned playing it and how much movement it got, so I knew what to expect; naturally I forgot all about this on turn 1 of our game and threw some units carelessly forward. Mike responded by blasting two Kill Teams across the table, charging my Cronos in the centre and my Bloodbride Raider on my right, and making the most of it to not only kill the Raider but also snatch my right-hand objective. The Hellblasters also wandered out of a central ruin to blast my Trueborn and Drazhar’s crew out of two other Raiders, and if you’d asked me at the end of turn 1 how I thought this game would go I would have told you I was fucked.

Happily for me that wasn’t quite how it went. On turn 2 I removed the Hellblasters and beat up the Kill Teams a bunch, although not as much as I would have liked thanks to some top-drawer storm shield saves from Mike, and slowly but surely I was able to apply pressure enough to grind out a win. Particularly helpful in this regard was my Incubi squad taking a charge from one of his Kill Teams and rolling an 11 for their Tormentor helms, then killing the chargers. I was sweating in this game and made some silly mistakes towards the end – forgetting my Mandrakes existed which caused me to miss the final ROD points, lining up my Trueborn to take some shots at some Kill Team survivors and then forgetting to fire them, forgetting my Archon’s Obsidian Rose re-roll in melee when I desperately needed to keep forcing saves to grind out storm shields – but the big swing from the Incubi winning that melee was enough to let me pull ahead on points, and last turn the remaining dark lances and shredders blew the Chaplain, Apothecary, and Librarian off the table all in the same turn. This was also my first win against Mike, progressing from a loss and a draw, so it was extra-satisfying to come back from what seemed like a deathblow of a turn 1.

Game 5

Opponent: James
Faction:
Adeptus Mechanicus
Mission
: Vital Intelligence

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [97 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Army of Renown – Skitarii Veteran Cohort

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

Detachment Command Cost

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

Gametype: Matched

+ Stratagems +

List Stratagems: Charadon – Skitarii Veteran Cohort

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-2CP]: 2x Archeotech Specialist

Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactotum

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

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Radium Serpenta, Relic (Skitarii Veteran Cohort): Cantic Thrallnet, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache

Tech-Priest Dominus [6 PL, 110pts]: Logi, Macrostubber, Mechanicus Locum, Omnissian Axe, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Volkite Blaster, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 100pts]: Artisans, Manipulus Mechadendrites, Omnissian Staff, Relic: Sonic Reaper, Transonic cannon

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [9 PL, 210pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [9 PL, 210pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Vanguards [9 PL, 210pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [9 PL, 210pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

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

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

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 170pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades): Artefactotum, Chordclaw, Relic: Temporcopia, Transonic Blades
. 9x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 9x Transonic Blades

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 225pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Sydonian Dragoons [12 PL, 210pts] . Sydonian Dragoon: Taser Lance
. Sydonian Dragoon: Taser Lance
. Sydonian Dragoon: Taser Lance

+ Flyer +

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

++ Total: [97 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

 

With 4 wins, it was time to face to bloodshed in the shape of the only other undefeated player – James and his Ad Mech. The FAQ had landed just before the event and we weren’t using it, though looking at the list it barely changes things anyway. This was a very tough army to play against on Vital Intelligence – it’s a hold 2/3 with all the objectives in a line in the middle, perfect for Skitarii to push onto, which also opens up both Uncharted Sequencing and the mission secondary for them. The Infiltrators are also fantastic here, since they open up early board control and are very tough to get rid of if the Ad Mech player wants them to be.

Despite being quite trepidatious about this game, in the event it was very close indeed. Neither of us did much that looked telling on turn 1 – his Ironstriders failed to kill either Raider they shot at, though the Archaeopter killed a Cronos and a half with its bombs, and then my darklight failed to do much besides killing one Ironstrider and most of another. The much more important thing that happened here was one unit of Vanguard charging my Mandrakes, scout-deployed out by the rightmost objective, and killing them to take that point. That opened up some strong primary scoring for James in the early going, and also made the Vanguard really hard to dig out. I had a good go at it, with the Dark Lotus Succubus arriving in her boat as well as a pair of Cronos, while the Bloodbrides charged into and killed a unit of Infiltrators on the inner-right objective to swing them off the prmary there.

Turn 3 turned the game into a real grinding slog – James once again chipped me off the primary, and while I responded by clearing 50 Skitarii off the table with some big charges from Drazhar and Incubi into the middle Rangers, Hellions and the Archon into the left-hand ones, and the Succubus, Cronos, and even some Kabalites into the right-hand Vanguard, it wasn’t quite enough. His Ruststalkers stopped hanging around in the backfield and came out to play, blasting across the table in 2 turns (and killing Drazhar and the Incubi on the way) to rescue him some points on Uncharted Sequencing on turn 5. We finished 66-55, which is a lot closer of a score than I expected to begin with, and looking back on it I made 3 key mistakes that changed things up:

  1. Deploying the Cronos instead of reserving them. They offered absolutely nothing on turn 1 and ate Fusilave bombs for no good reason. They would have been much better off coming out of reserves and flaming something then – the plane might have bombed something else but I think it would have struggled to reach the Ravager on turn 1 and it’s much less effective doing an average of 3 wounds to a Raider than it is getting to roll 18 dice against Cronos.
  2. Failing to kill the remaining 2 Vanguard from the squad which killed my Mandrakes. I had multiple opportunities to do it and just kind of forgot, and it cost me as it gave James another turn of primary points and stopped me from scoring any primary until turn 5. The Cronos could have flamed them, or charged them in turn 3 instead of piling on to the other Vanguard, or the Raider could have charged them as well as the other Vanguard and opened up the possibility of attacking both, or any number of other things. I also think I dropped a couple of wound rolls from the Succubus on the turn 2 charge, and forgot she could re-roll wounds of 1 with the spirit probe on the Cronos. Anything to kill them would have done me a lot of favours.
  3. Deploying the Mandrakes so far forwards. They would have been able to do what I wanted (grab some potential primary and do a ROD action) if they started on the long board edge, and would have still been out of his line of sight, and wouldn’t have allowed the Vanguard to charge them.

Whether that’s enough for the win is anyone’s guess – reviewing mistakes is great practice, but you don’t want to get too far into re-litigating a game since your opponent’s decisions change as yours do, and point 2 is narrow since there were some very fine margins in that combat and he lost out on primary scoring there by precisely 1 model; maybe if I charge the other squad instead he just picks up the points there and nothing changes. In any case, the actual result was a well-deserved win for James; you can read his account of this game, as well as the rest of his games at this event, on the Toys of Mass Destruction site. I am going to steal his photo of our game, since it helps make a lot more sense of things if you can see what I’m talking about in terms of table placement.

Round 5 at the FactoruM July GT. Pretend you’re looking at this the other way around for my commentary to make sense. Credit: James Marsden

With the scores tallied I ended up in 5th place, because there were 4 4-1 players and my wins tended to be lower-scoring – I never scored higher than 89, though in games 2 and 4 I would have hit 90 if I hadn’t forgotten about the point for killing the Warlord in Assassination, and the 55pt loss in game 5 was a big drop in points-scoring terms. Wings jumped me to steal 3rd place, a long-awaited revenge after I did the same to him at an Allies of Convenience event a couple of years ago – personally I still rate my dragon knife from that event above his up-sized MDF Rhino trophy from this one, an opinion I’m sure I would have held if I was the one taking it home. I am of course a pillar of salt at going 4-0 here and dropping down to 5th, especially after beating him on the way there; this is also a good jumping-off point for discussing how we’re running the Goonhammer Opens, since we’re going to do things a bit differently there. Rather than pairing people by wins then battle points and doing placings on the same basis, we will instead be pairing people by win path (and then otherwise randomly) and doing placings by win path then battle points. What this means is that you are never incentivised to intentionally lowball your scores – you just want to win, and keep winning, and score as many points as possible in doing so. This also removes most of the threat of collusion on scores, since those don’t affect pairings; you play in the bracket you’re in, and who you play is decided by that bracket. It also means that the final placings are settled by who went furthest without losing, so the top tables decide the top placings. It’s kind of a hybrid of the common battle points based system most events use now, and the pods or “top” cut system you see at LVO or similar super-major sized tournaments, and we’re hopeful it helps better reflect who performed best over the weekend.

That’s all from me – even this short-form tournament report has turned out to be quite long. Going forward the only changes I’m making to the list are to drop the Dark Lotus Succubus, who I never felt performed well enough to justify her place in the army, and swap her and some other small bits for a Court of the Archon to add a brick of cheap wounds to the list. That also allows me to restore Drazhar to being the Warlord, and in my league game this week against a Custodes army he amply rewarded this restoration of his place in my army by killing Trajann Valoris. We’ll have  to see if this is the right move; I think the potential of the Dark Lotus/Precision Blows/razorflails combo is very high, but also very swingy, and I had an absolutely shocking number of times where I rolled no 6s at all on 14 dice – and her actual melee attacks after that are mediocre at best. In any case, I now need to paint 3 Sslyth, converted like everyone else’s from Daughters of Khaine Melusai rather than using the official resin monstrosities.

In terms of competitive play I still have my local league where the Drukhari continue to ride high with that win over the Custodes, but otherwise there’s nothing booked until LGT in September. I’m hoping I can persuade my wife to allow me out for one more weekend at the August event at FactoruM, but we’ll have to see if that happens. Until then, at least I have this Drukhari army fully-painted again (or will, when the Sslyth are done), which affords me the luxury of time for plenty more practice.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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