The Corroad Goes Ever On and On: LGT RTT and Cadian Catastrophe

Last time out I had just played in the FactoruM July GT and was looking to get another event in and some more practice for LGT.

As it happened I neither got another tournament in the books nor did I get much more pratice. In part this was because life got busier, and also because I’d planned to cruise to LGT with my already-painted army, which was a great plan until I looked at the terrain maps. 4-5 Raider hulls wasn’t going to work out on what were very light boards for 9th edition, and so a swift list change  (more Venoms, more Cronos, fewer Raiders) meant I had more painting to do than I thought; included in this new list was the dreaded third squad of Incubi, a task I’d been putting off for ages because my scheme for them includes a fiddly three-stage edge highlight.

I did manage one practice game against other-Liam’s Thousand Sons, my first time playing against the new codex. It was an educational experience. His big block of Terminators teleporting around the table presented me with a problem I needed to solve, which I actually did a decent job of – but having made the right decision in going back to fight them instead of ignoring them, I made the wrong decision to also go hunting some Rubrics and other Scarab Occult in the opposite corner, splitting my army up into manageable chunks to fatal effect. We were playing using one of the LGT layouts, of which the one good feature from my point of view was two large centre Ls, which neatly hid my Incubi and Cronos. If I’d kept them there, he would have been out of options to deal with them; instead I ran them off and got them killed pointlessly. A rookie error, of the kind that’s good to make in practice games so you can remind yourself not to do it in the ones that matter.

With that bare minimum of practice it was time for LGT list submission – I was playing in the Friday RTT and the weekend GT and submitted the same list for both:

LGT list - click to expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [57 PL, 11CP, 939pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 84pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Obsidian Rose): Splintered Genius

+ 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: Klaive

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

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

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

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

Venom [4 PL, 90pts]: Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

Venom [4 PL, 90pts]: Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [20 PL, -2CP, 370pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

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

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

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

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 125pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Splinter Pistol
. 9x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [39 PL, 690pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ HQ +

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

+ Troops +

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

+ Elites +

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

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 +

Cronos [8 PL, 145pts] . Cronos: Spirit Probe
. Cronos

Cronos [8 PL, 145pts] . Cronos: Spirit Probe
. Cronos

++ Total: [116 PL, 9CP, 1,999pts] ++

 

Not hugely different to what I’ve been playing, but trading two Raiders for two Venoms, and adding in some more Incubi and a Cronos. The main idea was that with a minimum of LoS blocking available on the LGT boards, Venoms and Cronos were better suited since they could physically hide in the smaller L-shapes, and 3 Raiders was the maximum it was reasonable to try and hide in the medium-sized one.

With that minimum of forethought, off I went to London, ready for pod 1 of the Friday RTT.

Game 1 – Mike, Orks

Mission: Scorched Earth
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination
His Secondaries: StrangleholdAssassination, Grind Them Down

Mike's Ork List - click to expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks) [41 PL, -2CP, 702pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Blood Axes

Detachment Command Cost

+ No Force Org Slot +

Nob on Smasha Squig [4 PL, -1CP, 65pts]: 6. Might is Right, Headwoppa’s Killchoppa, Stratagem: Big Boss

+ HQ +

Deffkilla Wartrike [6 PL, -1CP, 120pts]: I’ve Got A Plan, Ladz!, Stratagem: Extra Gubbinz, Warlord

+ Troops +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts]

. 10x Gretchin: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites +

Kommandos [4 PL, 55pts]

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw

. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Nobz [12 PL, 167pts]: Trukk Boyz

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

. Nob: Big Choppa, Slugga

. Nob: Big Choppa, Slugga

. Nob: Big Choppa, Slugga

. Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

. Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

. Nob: Power Klaw, Slugga

+ Fast Attack +

Squighog Boyz [8 PL, 155pts]: Bomb Squig

. 6x Squighog Boy: 6x Saddlegit Weapons, 6x Squighog Jaws, 6x Stikka

+ Dedicated Transport +

Trukk [5 PL, 90pts]: Fortress on Wheels

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [75 PL, 9CP, 1,296pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Gametype: Matched

+ HQ +

Big Mek w/ Kustom Force Field [5 PL, 85pts]: Super Cybork Body

+ Elites +

Kommandos [4 PL, 55pts]

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw

. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts]

. Megatrakk Scrapjet

. Megatrakk Scrapjet

Megatrakk Scrapjets [10 PL, 180pts]

. Megatrakk Scrapjet

. Megatrakk Scrapjet

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts]

. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy

. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy

Warbikers [8 PL, 135pts]

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw

. 4x Warbiker: 8x Dakkagun

Warbikers [8 PL, 135pts]

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw

. 4x Warbiker: 8x Dakkagun

Warbikers [8 PL, 135pts]

. Boss Nob: Power Klaw

. 4x Warbiker: 8x Dakkagun

+ Heavy Support +

Lootas [8 PL, 141pts]

. 7x Loota: 7x Deffgun, 7x Stikkbombs

. Spanner: Kustom Mega-Blasta

+ Dedicated Transport +

Trukk [4 PL, 70pts]

++ Total: [116 PL, 7CP, 1,998pts] ++

 

I hadn’t played against the new Orks yet, and Mike’s army was a nice intro to them – it had all the hits in there in terms of the buggies, Squighog Boyz, the Wartrike, and Warbikers, but nothing in an overwhelming mass. The whole point of the RTT was to get some practice games in before the main event, so getting to see a bit of everything and find out how it works on the table was helpful. A number of people in our pod, including Mike, also hadn’t yet had a chance to play any 9th edition 40k, so we were all just getting some practice in together.

The game itself was played with the same spirit of camaraderie, and made for a really enjoyable opener. I clustered up the Raiders in the left hand corner ruin while leaving the Venoms and Cronos over on the right hand side, staring down the Squighog Boyz and some Megatrakks. Going first, I was pretty cautious, making sure to cover the primary scoring but otherwise mostly letting him come to me – though I did take some potshots at a Scrapjet leaning out of cover, killing one but not both. Mike responded with Orky aggression, shoving the Trukk Nobz into my deployment zone for a big charge that killed the Trueborn Raider and tangled up the other two, while the Warbikers advanced into the mid-table and the Rukkatrukks launched Squigs over improbable distances.

Things looked bad, but with Drukhari you almost always have the tools you need – the Bloodbrides ran into mid to tackle one squad of bikes while the Succubus took on some Kommandos, and the Incubi in my bottom left corner started sizing up Nobz. A Raider pulled off a big charge and pile-in to tie up a Trukk, the Lootas, and a Scrapjet, which nearly went horribly as they’re decent in melee. Mike had also run his Deffkilla Wartrike into midfield, and a couple of potshots from dark lances removed him in short order – a big swing.

It didn’t feel like it at the time, but that ended up being game. Mike made a valiant effort to clear out the Bloodbrides, Trueborn, and Succubus, but only managed to kill the first two, while on the right hand side his Squighogs failed a charge while some Scrapjets and the Nob beat up a Venom, which earned them nothing but a counter-charge from Drazhar and 10 Incubi. The story was the same across the rest of the table, with the Succubus killing the Lootas before bouncing off to lock up the Big Mek, and the other Incubi and the Archon and Court demolishing the Warbikes. That was enough, and we finished up with the Drukhari taking the game 92-31.

Game 2 – Ben, Chaos

Mission: Sweep and Clear
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination
His Secondaries: Stranglehold, Bring it Down, Retrieve Octarius Data

Ben's Chaos List - click to expand

 

== Patrol Detachment== Heretic Astartes, Emperor’s Children [ 46 PL, 840 pts ] -2 CP

HQ: Sorcerer in Terminator Armour (105), Combi-bolter (0), Force stave (0), Mark of Slaanesh (0), Delightful Agonies (0), Prescience (0) [6 PL] [105 pts]

TR: 10 cultists (50), Cultist Champion (0), Autogun x6 (0), Autopistol x4 (0), Brutal assault weapon x4 (0), Mark of Slaanesh (0) [3 PL] [50 pts]

EL: 10 Terminators (280), Terminator Champion (0), Mark of Slaanesh (0), Lightning Claw x10 (0), Combi-Bolter x10 (0) [16 PL] [280 pts]

EL: 10 Terminators (280), Terminator Champion (0), Mark of Slaanesh (0), Lightning Claw x10 (0), Combi-Melta x10 (50) [16 PL] [330 pts]

FA: 5 Raptors (75), Raptor Champion (0), Mark of Slaanesh (0), Astartes chainsword x5 (0), Bolt pistol x5 (0), Frag & Krak grenades x5 (0) [5 PL] [75pts]

== Battalion Detachment== Chaos Daemons, Slaanesh [ 58 PL, 1160 pts ] 10 CP

HQ: Be’lakor (360), Betraying Shades (0), Penumbral Curse (0) [18 PL] [360 pts]

HQ: Keeper of Secrets (230), Bewitching Aura (0), Hysterical Frenzy (0), Shining aegis (10), Symphony of Pain (0), Warlord (0), Exalted Keeper of Secrets: 3. Blessing of the Dark Prince (0) [12 PL] [240 pts]

HQ: Keeper of Secrets (230), Delightful Agonies (0), Phantasmagoria (0), Shining aegis (10), The Forbidden Gem (0), Exalted Keeper of Secrets: 2. Quicksilver Reflexes (0) [12 PL] [240 pts]

TR: 10 Daemonettes (70), Alluress (0), Piercing claws x10 (0), [ 4 PL] [ 70 pts]

TR: 10 Daemonettes (70), Alluress (0), Instrument of Chaos (10), Piercing claws x10 (0), [ 4 PL] [ 80 pts]

TR: 10 Daemonettes (70), Alluress (0), Instrument of Chaos (10), Piercing claws x10 (0), [ 4 PL] [ 80 pts]

FA: 5 Furies (45), Mark of Slaanesh (0), Daemonic claws x5 (0) [ 2 PL ] [ 45pts ]

FA: 5 Furies (45), Mark of Slaanesh (0), Daemonic claws x5 (0) [ 2 PL ] [ 45pts ]

ARMY REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0
ARMY REINFORCEMENT FACTION: NONE

 

Ben is one of our Goonhammer patrons so firstly, hi Ben! He had an interesting Chaos list with Be’lakor and two Keepers of Secrets backed up by a swarm of Daemonettes and two bricks of Terminators. With his list’s strengths in mind, he set up aggressively – as you can see from the photo above, with Be’lakor on the front foot ready to jump out of the middle L.

I gave the big guy some space, choosing instead to swing around to my left while sending some Hellions off to my right just to grab some primary and force him to come out of hiding if he wanted to score points. He responded with a Keeper which somehow managed to swing and miss at 5 Hellions, leaving one alive – not the result he was after. In my turn 2 I killed the Keeper, and pushed further up to the top left objective, while using my chaff to screen out his Terminators. The sole living Hellion was a huge asset here, running onto the centre objective to a) take him off it for primary and b) screen the Terminators even further out. In the end he gave up on dropping them at all, with no good targets, though that ended up being a mistake as it left a lot of his points off the board and me with a nice defined set of things I needed to kill in the shape of Be’lakor and one Keeper, as well as some Daemonettes and Furies sitting around trying to score points. The Succubus murdered Be’lakor with brutal efficiency, but the Keeper decided she wasn’t interested in dying and spent the turn passing every save I made her take. I was doing poorly on primary – only 10pts by round 3 – but when Ben’s reserves swooped in they didn’t really do enough, with one set of Terminators bouncing off the Court and the other killing some Scourges to no great impact on the score. In round 4 I got the Keeper under control, and cleared out the Terminator Sorcerer, leaving him with some Terminators who were well out of position and unable to stem the primary/Herd the Prey tide, for a final score of 90-44.

Game 3 – Jonas, Necrons

Mission: Overrun
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Bring It Down
His Secondaries: Engage on All Fronts, Retrive Octarius Data, Grind Them Down

Jonas' Necron List - click to expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Necrons) [102 PL, 1,890pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Interplanetary Invaders, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty: <Custom>

+ No Force Org Slot +

Bound Creation [2 PL, 40pts] . Cryptothralls
. . 2x Cryptothrall: 2x Scouring Eye, 2x Scythed Limbs

+ HQ +

Psychomancer [4 PL, 70pts]: Relic: Veil of Darkness, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 4): Thrall of the Silent King

+ Troops +

Immortals [4 PL, 85pts]: Gauss Blaster, 5x Immortal

+ Elites +

Cryptothralls [2 PL, 40pts] . 2x Cryptothrall: 2x Scouring Eye, 2x Scythed Limbs

Triarch Stalker [7 PL, 135pts]: Particle Shredder

+ Fast Attack +

Canoptek Wraiths [5 PL, 105pts] . 3x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 3x Vicious Claws

Canoptek Wraiths [5 PL, 105pts] . 3x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 3x Vicious Claws

+ Heavy Support +

Doomsday Ark [10 PL, 170pts]

Doomsday Ark [10 PL, 170pts]

Doomsday Ark [10 PL, 170pts]

Tesseract Ark [9 PL, 170pts] . Two Particle Beamers

Tesseract Ark [9 PL, 170pts] . Two Particle Beamers

Tesseract Ark [9 PL, 170pts] . Two Particle Beamers

+ Dedicated Transport +

Ghost Ark [8 PL, 145pts]

Ghost Ark [8 PL, 145pts]

++ Auxiliary Support Detachment -2CP (Necrons) [5 PL, 105pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Dynasty Choice: Dynasty: Szarekhan

+ Fast Attack +

Ophydian Destroyers [5 PL, 105pts]: Ophydian Destroyer (Reap-Blade)
. 2x Ophydian Destroyer (Thresher): 2x Hyperphase Threshers, 2x Ophydian Claws

++ Total: [107 PL, 1,995pts, 7CP] ++

 

Jonas was running a different spin on Necrons, going all-in on Arks – eight of them, plus a Triarch Stalker – with some supporting Wraiths and Destroyers. Everything is obsec, and the vehicles can fall back and shoot as well as ignoring the Heavy penalty when shooting in combat.

From my point of view this was a disastrous game. I deployed poorly, leaving stuff exposed that I shouldn’t have, and deploying the Cronos on the table when they should really have gone in Strategic Reserves. It was also a game where I went second, which was not a great place to be on the LGT tables; Jonas got a good turn of shooting in, and also moved his Tesseract Arks forwards on one flank, which meant that when I advanced out and tried to hide in a mid-board ruin he was able to set up an enfilade. I was a little unfortunate here with vehicle explosions making this even more impactful than it could have been, but the game was slipping away from me pretty much from deployment and despite an attempt to at least clear one flank of Arks to try and reduce the incoming fire, I tumbled to a quick and decisive loss, 37-89. For me the game exposed some of the weaknesses of the LGT terrain, particularly the Dawn of War set-ups and particularly on the hold 2/3 missions, but I did nothing to help myself and Jonas deserved his win with an unusual and effective army.

With a 2-1 and 2nd place finish in the Friday gaming I was ready for more, and after a couple of hours hanging out with Wings and Bair and a few Goonhammer friends and patrons who happened to be around the venue, I was off to bed at a nice early 11pm. Which slowly became 12am. Then 1am. Then 2am. As the hours passed I was wide awake, for no reason I can fathom – my body just wouldn’t shut down. At around 2.30 I looked at the clock and made the executive decision that I was either going to be miserable the next day or, equally likely, be awake for hours more and then sleep in until the afternoon. Whichever it was, I wasn’t likely to be much fun and might well waste my first opponent’s time waiting for a game that was never going to come, so I hit the drop button in BCP. Plenty of people play in tournaments after a heavy night out, including me when I was younger, but I don’t have the stamina for it any more – if I don’t sleep I’m a fucking misery and the last thing I want to do is play nine hours of Warhammer. As it turned out we got option A, asleep too late and awake too early. I lazed around until 10 or so before heading to the venue to retrive my army, which turned into a minor odyssey since this was the weekend of the fuel panic here in the UK and an especially poorly placed BP garage meant that my 10-minute drive to Lee Valley took over an hour. It was a sign of things to come, and multiple further traffic queues made the journey home even more gruelling after the disappointment of missing the GT. On the plus side, it was a warm September weekend and so after wasting most of Saturday on getting home, I spent a beautiful Sunday hanging out with my wife and daughter in the countryside.

That was LGT then – a fun Friday followed by a big nothing for me, and also for the people watching the one-turn final. Fortunately I’d booked another event, Cadian Catastrophe down in Poole, for just two weeks later, so I didn’t have too long to be disappointed.

An interesting development from LGT and other events on the same weekend was the re-emergence of Talos as a viable Drukhari unit. I’d been on the Realspace Raiders podcast a week or two before discussing exactly this with the lads, and was decidedly on the anti-Talos side, while George McCulough was convinced they were shit hot. He ended up finishing 6th at LGT while I dropped entirely, so he was right and I was wrong. I’ve never been happier to be wrong about something; I love Talos and any excuse to get them back on the table was worth seizing on. I quickly wrote up a new list entirely (this is a bad habit that you should not follow!) based around a core of Talos in a Realspace Raid:

Cadian Catastrophe 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 Poisoned Tongue: The Serpent’s Kiss, 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 (Poisoned Tongue): 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 Court, minimum MSU, no Warlord trait for Drazhar, built around a Realspace Raid – nothing like what I’ve been mostly playing recently, though the Trueborn and Bloodbrides remain in there as do two units of Incubi. No practice, either; nobody in my group could get it together enough to play any games over the last two weeks, so it was off to Poole with the army untested. The basic plan is a straightforward one, and it’s not like I’ve never played a Talos list before, so I was hoping I’d be able to coast on that.

Game 1 – Peter, Necrons

Mission: Battle Lines
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, To the Last
His Secondaries: The Treasures of Aeons, To the Last, Retrieve Octarius Data

 

Peter's Necron List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Necrons) [99 PL, 10CP, 1,995pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Relentlessly Expansionist, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty: <Custom>

+ No Force Org Slot +

Viral Construct [1 PL, 15pts]: Canoptek Plasmacyte

+ HQ +

Catacomb Command Barge [9 PL, 195pts]: Gauss Cannon, Relic: Orb of Eternity, Resurrection Orb, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Enduring Will, Warscythe

Chronomancer [4 PL, -1CP, 80pts]: Aeonstave, Dynastic Heirlooms, Relic: Veil of Darkness

Technomancer [4 PL, -1CP, 80pts]: Canoptek Cloak, Dynastic Heirlooms, Relic: Voltaic Staff

+ Troops +

Immortals [4 PL, 85pts]: 5x Immortal, Tesla Carbine

Immortals [8 PL, 170pts]: Gauss Blaster, 10x Immortal

Necron Warriors [12 PL, 260pts] . 20x Necron Warrior (Gauss Reaper): 20x Gauss Reaper

+ Elites +

Flayed Ones [3 PL, 65pts] . 5x Flayed One: 5x Flayer Claws

Flayed Ones [3 PL, 65pts] . 5x Flayed One: 5x Flayer Claws

Lychguard [14 PL, 280pts]: 10x Lychguard
. Hyperphase Sword and Dispersion Shield

Skorpekh Destroyers [5 PL, 105pts]: Skorpekh Destroyer (Reap-Blade)
. 2x Skorpekh Destroyer (Thresher): 2x Hyperphase Threshers

+ Fast Attack +

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 3x Feeder Mandibles

Canoptek Wraiths [5 PL, 105pts] . 3x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 3x Vicious Claws

Canoptek Wraiths [5 PL, 105pts] . 3x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 3x Vicious Claws

+ Heavy Support +

Doomsday Ark [10 PL, 170pts]

Doomsday Ark [10 PL, 170pts]

++ Total: [99 PL, 10CP, 1,995pts] ++

 

After losing to Necrons in my last game, I had them again for round 1 here in Poole. The list was a lot more normal looking, though, and I was pretty comfortable that I could handle it – there’s not a lot of great options here for handling the Talos, who are not bothered by the big block of sword and board Lychguard nor by the Doomsday Arks.

My plan was to swing my Bloodbride and Incubi Raiders right while the Talos pushed into a large midfield ruin, supported by shooting from the Trueborn trying to take out one of the Arks.  I deployed with the Talos behind their intended ruin, and the Raiders aggressively on the line, and then promptly went second. 2CP later and the Raiders were safely redeployed behind a ruin, leaving Peter with not much to do except run his Wraiths onto the two side objectives to claim his first three points for Treasures of Aeons. In theory this was a sensible scoring strategy, but it also allowed me to get a turn 1 charge off with Drazhar and the Incubi on the squad of Wraiths on my right flank, who were promptly murdered.

I ignored the other squad, who had the unenviable turn 2 choice of either running into the Talos or trying to charge my backfield Mandrakes on a crater; they went for the latter and failed the charge, leaving them stranded and primed for a counter-charge from the Succubus. Replacing them on their objective was the large Warrior unit using the Veil of Darkness, with Peter cleverly deploying the squad so that their accompanying Cryptek would stand inside of one quarter he was otherwise not contesting, preventing me from scoring Herd the Prey points for that quarter.

The Warriors were a problem, and I didn’t have great answers to them on that side of the table. I opted for a two-part strategy – one squad of Talos peeled off with the Archon to go and tie them up, while the rest pushed forward into the Lychguard sitting on his home objective. The Incubi continued forwards, with Drazhar and the squad which had killed the Wraiths charging into the Skorpekhs and small tesla squad, while the others in the Raider hung around for a turn 3 charge. The Skorpekhs went down hard but Draz embarrassingly failed to kill the Immortals, leaving one alive. The Talos and Archon killed a few Warriors, but strong saves and Reanimation Protocols rolls meant that they didn’t achieve much, and nor did the Talos going into the Lychguard – they flufed their hit rolls and gently caressed the Lychguard rather than squashing them. The Succubus did kill the Wraiths, though, before jumping out of sight into a corner ruin.

After a game that so far had been a bit of a shoving match without much happening, Turn 3 was pivotal. The Warriors fell back and shot at the Archon, and he passed 9 shadowfield saves in a row to survive on 2 wounds. Meanwhile the all the shooting the Necrons could muster in their backfield – both Arks, the gauss Immortals, the Cryptek, the Command Barge – bounced off the Talos and their layered defences. That made it go time for the Drukhari, with a series of charges all happening at once – Succubus into backfield Flayed Ones, Talos, Archon, and Bloodbrides into the 20 Warriors, Talos and Haemonculus and Incubi into the backfield Lychguard again as well as a Doomsday Ark, Incubi and Drazhar into gauss Immortals and the other Doomsday Ark. It was a devastating impact; Peter picked up everything I charged, and swung from having a good chunk of his army on the table to having three characters and a forgotten unit of Flayed Ones dying in deep strike. That was that, and I maxed my remaining score for a 97-51 win.

Peter was a really fun opponent, but his army just didn’t present many threats to mine – this was the only game where I’d pick To the Last for the Talos, because I was pretty sure of maxing it here whereas in my other games I felt like I’d be risking points that I could more easily pick up elsewhere. This is more of a statement on the Necron codex than him, though; without going into the kind of skew that Jonas was using, you’re left with very few options for projecting force.

The terrain was this layout all weekend, more or less

Game 2 – Jay, Grey Knights

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

This blurry photo courtesy of me remembering last minute that I should take one, when I was supposed to be taking first turn

Jay's Grey Knights List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [105 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Brotherhood: Rapiers

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Armoury of Titan [-2CP]: 2 Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Brother-Captain [8 PL, 140pts, -1CP]: 3: Unyielding Anvil, Foretelling of Locus, Master-crafted storm bolter, Shield of Humanity, Soul Glaive
. Nemesis Force Halberd

Brotherhood Librarian [7 PL, 120pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 3: Sanctuary, Artisan Nullifier Matrix, Gem of Inoktu
. Nemesis Warding Stave

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [11 PL, 235pts, -1CP]: 1: Daemon Slayer, 2: Empyric Amplification, 2: Hammer of Righteousness, 4: Vortex of Doom, 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

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

+ Elites +

Servitors [2 PL, 30pts] . 4x Servitor: 4x Servo-Arm

+ Fast Attack +

Interceptor Squad [7 PL, 120pts] . 4x Interceptor (Halberd): 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Halberd

Interceptor Squad [7 PL, 120pts] . 4x Interceptor (Halberd): 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar
. . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Heavy Support +

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

+ Dedicated Transport +

Razorback [6 PL, 120pts]: Twin lascannon

Razorback [6 PL, 120pts]: Twin lascannon

++ Total: [105 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

 

Jay is one of my regular opponents, and we’d been trying to arrange a practice game before this event which never happened – so it was convenient to be paired together here so I could have the chance to play against his Grey Knights, fresh from their new codex.

I ended up playing on the same board with more or less the same plan, though the Raiders went up the left rather than the right this time, aiming to stay away from the heavier weight of three Dreadknights on his left. I went first this time, and pushed into the middle ruin with the Talos while my shooting had a go at one of his Razorbacks, not quite killing it. He went for a counter-charge into the Talos with the two squads of Interceptors, who flew into the middle ruin and pumped themselves up with psychic might before embarrassingly bouncing off a unit of Talos each. To add insult to injury, one tried to sneakily assassinate the Haemonculus, who passed 4/5 Insensible to Pains, leaving Jay with very little gained.

We swapped ends of the table by turn 3

That ended up being a bit of a pattern of the game – Jay had some of the worst dice I’ve ever seen him roll while I had some of the best. On turn 2 I murdered a Dreadknight, all the remaining Interceptors, and a Strike Squad, and lost a single wounded Talos to his reply. On turn 3 I killed another Dreadknight and Strike Squadsas well as both Razorbacks, and while he briefly rallied to kill a Talos from each unit it wasn’t enough. Turn 4 rolled around and I finished off his Brother-Captain, another Dreadknight, and the third Strike Squad, leaving him with just his Grand Master, Librarian, and his final unit of Strikes hiding in a corner. We called it there, since there was nothing much to play out.

Most of this was a game of one army getting all the momentum and the other getting nothing at all. Jay did make one big error, which was shunting his Grand Master into my backfield – I think he expected me to divert back to deal with him, letting him stretch my army, but Dreadknight shooting is really unscary for the Talos in this list and everything else could just play keep-away, so I left him behind to stew in a corner instead. He’d just about worked his way back into relevance when the game ended with the rest of his battle-brothers dead in the dirt. Better luck next time, Grand Master.

Game 3 – Paul, Orks

Mission: Scorched Earth
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination
His Secondaries: Engage on All Fronts, Retrive Octarius Data, Warp Ritual

Paul's Ork List - click to expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [83 PL, -3CP, 1,600pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Snakebites

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Mozrog Skragbad [9 PL, 170pts]

+ Troops +

Boyz [5 PL, 90pts] . Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga
. 9x Ork Boy w/ Slugga & Choppa: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

Boyz [5 PL, 90pts] . Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga
. 9x Ork Boy w/ Slugga & Choppa: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

Boyz [5 PL, 90pts] . Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga
. 9x Ork Boy w/ Slugga & Choppa: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

+ Elites +

Tankbustas [4 PL, 90pts]: Bomb Squig
. 5x Tankbusta: 5x Rokkit Launcha

+ Fast Attack +

DeffKoptas [6 PL, 150pts] . DeffKopta
. DeffKopta
. DeffKopta

Nob on Smasha Squig [4 PL, 65pts]

Nob on Smasha Squig [4 PL, 65pts]

Squighog Boyz [4 PL, 80pts]: Bomb Squig
. 3x Squighog Boy: 3x Saddlegit Weapons, 3x Squighog Jaws, 3x Stikka

Squighog Boyz [4 PL, 80pts]: Bomb Squig
. 3x Squighog Boy: 3x Saddlegit Weapons, 3x Squighog Jaws, 3x Stikka

Warbikers [8 PL, 125pts] . Boss Nob
. 4x Warbiker: 8x Dakkagun

+ Heavy Support +

Killa Kans [7 PL, 165pts] . Killa Kan: Kan Klaw, Rokkit Launcha
. Killa Kan: Kan Klaw, Rokkit Launcha
. Killa Kan: Kan Klaw, Rokkit Launcha

Squiggoth [10 PL, 190pts]

+ Flyer +

Blitza-bommer [8 PL, 150pts]

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks) [20 PL, 400pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: No Clan / Specialist Mob

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Weirdboy [4 PL, 70pts]: 3. Da Jump, 4. Fists of Gork, 5. Kunnin but Brutal, Scorched Gitbonez, Warlord

+ Troops +

Beast Snagga Boyz [5 PL, 110pts] . 9x Beast Snagga Boy: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga
. Beast Snagga Nob

Beast Snagga Boyz [5 PL, 110pts] . 9x Beast Snagga Boy: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga
. Beast Snagga Nob

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

++ Total: [103 PL, -3CP, 2,000pts] ++

 

Paul had a great-looking Snakebite Ork army, which went on to deservedly win the Best Army award for the weekend. I failed to appreciate its aesthetics at all, at least enough to take any more than one photo of it on the table, but it had a ton of awesome conversions in it, including a Mawcrusha acting as a Blitza-bommer, Squig-riding Stormboyz, and Deffkoptas which I think were based on Spider-riders. Everything came with themed movement trays, too.

This was a very odd game; it felt like a bit of a grind with nothing going my way, even though I ended up winning. The main culprit here was Mozrog Skragbad, who simply would not fail saves. He passed something like 15 4+ invulnerable saves in a row, utterly refusing to be put down by Drazhar, a unit of Incubi, and a unit of Talos; when he finally did die he stood up again and ran off to fight another unit of Talos before an ichor injector finally put him down and kept him down. It’s hard to talk about this game in terms of tactics because while there was some – Paul did a great job of applying pressure with his Deffkoptas and Stormboyz, keeping his Engage score ticking over while also punishing me on primary – it mostly just devolved into a scrum in the middle. If we played this exact game again with average dice Skragbad dies on turn 2 and the whole thing is much more straightforward, but the game that actually got played ended up with our armies stuck in a meat grinder as one unit after another bounced of Skragbad’s squiggly hide. Paul picking Warp Ritual did me a big favour here, because the Talos blocking out the middle early on kept the Weirdboy from jumping in there, preventing him from scoring many points off it. He got one cast off on turn 3, but then I just killed the Weirdboy and that was 3pts gained for me and 9pts lost for him. After the end of a game that tested my patience with the cubes of fate – though not with Paul, who was a great guy and plenty of fun to play against – it finished 80-72.

Game 4 – Dean, Chaos

Mission: Surround and Destroy
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Abhor the Witch, Assassination
His Secondaries: Warp Ritual, Engage on All Fronts, Assassination

Dean's Chaos List - click to expand

+ Configuration

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

Patrol

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 230pts, -1CP]: Bewitching Aura, Delightful Agonies, Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP], Hysterical Frenzy, Jewel of Excess, Living whip, Smite, Snapping claws, Warlord, Witstealer sword

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 230pts, -1CP]: Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP], Hysterical Frenzy, Living whip, Pavane of Slaanesh, Smite, Snapping claws, Witstealer sword

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress [7pts]: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette [63pts]: 9x Piercing

Patrol

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 230pts, -1CP]: Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP], Hysterical Frenzy, Living whip, Smite, Snapping claws, Symphony of Pain, Witstealer sword

+ Troops [20 PL, 420pts, -2CP] +

Bloodletters [8 PL, 175pts, -1CP]: Banner of Blood [-1CP], Daemonic Icon [15pts] . 19x Bloodletter [152pts]: 19x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper [8pts]: Hellblade

Bloodletters [8 PL, 175pts, -1CP]: Banner of Blood [-1CP], Daemonic Icon [15pts] . 19x Bloodletter [152pts]: 19x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper [8pts]: Hellblade

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Nurgle) [27 PL, 525pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Be’lakor [18 PL, 360pts]: Pall of Despair, Penumbral Curse, Smite, The Blade of Shadows, Warlord

+ Heavy Support [27 PL, 525pts] +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon [10pts], Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon [10pts], Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon [10pts], Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

++ Total: [101 PL, -8CP, 1,995pts] ++

Dean had similar ideas to Ben, with Be’lakor and a pack of Keepers of Secrets roaming the table, but he traded the Terminator bricks for the durability and firepower of three Plagueburst Crawlers as well as two Bloodletter bombs to swoop in and swing objectives. It’s an interesting match-up for my army, which just doesn’t really care at all about the big monsters, but doesn’t have great answers to PBCs at range.

Dean had been talking the previous day about a game where he’d used his Bloodletters to wrap up a Raider and kill everything inside, so I was very wary of that happening and spent a lot of the early game protecting my boats from it. That was a good idea, but I overdid it a bit and left the boats themselves out of position, particularly the Bloodbrides whose Raider spotted a chance to tie up a lone PBC sitting on an objective and swing points on primary. It was a noble goal, but it meant the murder Succubus and the Bloodbrides – my answers to Be’lakor and one of the Bloodletter bombs, respectively – were miles out of the way when those things actually engaged, and had to hustle to make any impact on the game at all.

The difference maker ended up being the ability to play the mission. Dean did a great job of trying to deny me from scoring, punishing me on both primary with the Bloodletter bombs and on Herd the Prey, but he couldn’t do anything about the points bonanza tied up in Be’lakor and the Keepers. He also strugged with his own primary scoring, getting 20/45 – the lone PBC holding down one of his deployment zone objectives could be bullied by rotating units into it, stopping it scoring anything or shooting anything that mattered, and his obsec units were just a bit too fragile to hold things down after the initial drop/advance and charge. His secondary picks also didn’t help – he did get off two Warp Rituals rather than one, but on Assassination he nearly blanked entirely until Be’lakor managed to just kill the Haemonculus before being eaten alive by the Succubus. I can’t really say they were the wrong picks; this is a tough match-up for what his list is trying to do, because Drukhari have answers to the questions it asks, and in my list in particular the Talos are fairly unbothered by the melee threat from the Keepers which are meant to run around bulldozing things. It clearly works elsewhere, as Dean went on to win his last game and finish 4-1; this one was a 78-50 win for me, though.

Game 5 – Stephen, Adepta Sororitas

Mission: Vital Intelligence
My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Retrieve Octarius Data, Assassination
His Secondaries: Stranglehold, A Leap of Faith, Retrieve Octarius Data

Stephen's Sisters List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [98 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Our Martyred Lady

+ Stratagems [-2CP] +

Stratagem: Open the Reliquaries [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy [-2CP]

+ No Force Org Slot [3 PL, 50pts] +

Hospitaller [3 PL, 50pts]: Bolt pistol, Chirurgeon’s tools

+ HQ [16 PL, 300pts, -2CP] +

Canoness [4 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Blessed Blade [10pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Relic: Chaplet of Sacrifice, Stratagem: Saint in the Making [-1CP], Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith
. Rapturous Blows [1 PL, 25pts]: Blessing, Miraculous ability

Junith Eruita [7 PL, 130pts]: Mace of Castigation, 2x Ministorum Heavy Flamer

Palatine [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Bolt pistol, Power sword, Relic: Blade of Sacrifice, Stratagem: Exemplar of the Order [-1CP], Warlord, Warlord Trait: 2. Righteous Rage, Warlord Trait: 3. Martyr’s Strength
. Word of the Emperor [2 PL, 40pts]: Blessing, Miraculous ability

+ Troops [9 PL, 165pts] +

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior [11pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior [11pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior [11pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

+ Elites [24 PL, 519pts] +

Celestian Sacresants [6 PL, 140pts] . 9x Celestian Sacresants (Anointed Halberd) [126pts]: 9x Anointed Halberd, 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sacresant Superior [14pts]: Anointed Halberd, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Celestian Sacresants [6 PL, 140pts] . 9x Celestian Sacresants (Anointed Halberd) [126pts]: 9x Anointed Halberd, 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sacresant Superior [14pts]: Anointed Halberd, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Celestian Sacresants [6 PL, 126pts] . 8x Celestian Sacresants (Anointed Halberd) [112pts]: 8x Anointed Halberd, 8x Bolt pistol, 8x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sacresant Superior [14pts]: Anointed Halberd, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Crusaders [1 PL, 22pts] . 2x Crusaders [22pts]: 2x Power sword

Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts] . 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades

Dogmata [4 PL, 65pts]: 4. Litany of Enduring Faith, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Mace of the Righteous, Relic: Litanies of Faith, War Hymn

+ Fast Attack [16 PL, 335pts] +

Dominion Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Dominion Superior [12pts]: Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Dominion Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Dominion Superior [12pts]: Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon [17pts]: Artificer-crafted storm bolter [5pts], Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Zephyrim Squad [8 PL, 175pts] . 9x Zephyrim [153pts]: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades, 9x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior [22pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol [5pts], Power sword

+ Heavy Support [18 PL, 390pts] +

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts] . Retributor [12pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor Superior [12pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts]

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts] . Retributor [12pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor Superior [12pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts]

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts] . Retributor [12pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor Superior [12pts]: Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [12 PL, 240pts] +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]: Storm bolter

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]: Storm bolter

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]: Storm bolter

++ Total: [98 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

 

Steve needs no introduction; if you’re interested in competitive 40k at all you’ve heard of Vanguard Tactics, and you know his reputation. He’s been having a lot of success with the Sisters of Battle, but this list was a fresh spin on them using the new Order of the Our Martyred Lady options from the Book of Fire.

When I looked at the list and the mission and discussed this game with Wings, we were both pretty agreed I was in trouble. Steve’s list has lots of options on adding obsec to things, lots of stuff to go out and contest objectives with, tons of tricks to switch his angle of attack against a target while having a fairly tough attack surface of its own. Vital Intelligence exacerbated that, because I don’t have a ton of obsec, and as a hold 2/hold 3 it’s very easy for the primary scoring to get away from you.

As we started to actually play the game, though, my opinion shifted. The Sacresants are a big brick that’s hard to deal with – you can see the mob of them in the picture, all pushing hard into mid and making you deal with them – but they’re not very quick and Vital Intelligence has a weird layout. You have two groups of two mid-board objectives, and the two in each group are close to each other but the groups themselves are a full 24″ apart. The part of my army that is mounted in the Raiders could largely play keep-away from Retributors and the main block of Sacresants, and swing to my left to bulldoze his relatively thin forces trying to contest that part of the board. The other thing about Vital Intelligence is that it has sticky objectives, where you only lose control if your opponent actively takes it off you, so if the units in the boats could collapse his right flank they could then just leave afterwards. Meanwhile the Talos are able to cover the objectives on my right; if the Retributors get a good volley into them they’re in trouble, but the Sacresants don’t really want to engage them at all and if I can avoid overcommitting it’s possible to keep him pinned on one side, slowly grinding out his ability to score or contest primary there while taking out the other side and sweeping up objectives of my own that he can’t really do anything about.

This plan mostly worked. I simultaneously played some of the best 40k I’ve ever played – making the right choices in the right order, applying just enough force to each area of the board, using movement and positioning to maximise every opportunity – and also made some idiotic mistakes, chief of which was forgetting to do anything about a unit of Battle Sisters standing on an objective on that crucial left flank. My Archon was right there, sitting in his boat and watching the world go by; getting out and hammering some Sisters into the dirt was apparently not on his agenda for the day. I also plain forgot that Sacresants could heroically intervene, placing my Succubus next to them for no good reason and allowing them to kill her for free. Steve had a few clangers of his own though, including moving his Sacresants just far enough that the very edge of a Scourge’s base could drop onto his backfield objective and steal it from him, and passing up the opportunity for some Battle Sisters to double-layer an objective and stop me blanking him on primary (perhaps he should have watched Vanguard Tactics’ video on the subject!)

It all came down to the final turn. We’d ripped each others’ plans to shreds, with an incredibly tight scoreline. We were also rapidly running out of time, so we skipped to talking it out – with all other scores accounted for, the game finished with a win for me if he could only claim two objectives on his final turn, or a win for him if he could get three. In the end there was just no way he could manage to get all three at once with what he had left to contest the board; the Sacresants either sat on his home objective and left my units free to kill his last remaining Retributors and Battle Sisters, or they came out to fight me and one Raider could use Enhanced Aethersails to steal his home objective while the other two tied them up to prevent them running back to it. After an intense game that stretched both of us to the limit, it was 67-64 to the Drukhari, and 5-0 for me in the event.

With 32 of us in play, that meant there was only one undefeated – this guy.

I’ve played in tournaments for years, and while I’ve gone undefeated a few times I’ve not won a GT before, so I was pleased to finally do that even if it did take the crutch that is Drukhari to do it. It also meant Wings would have to write about me in Competitive Innovations, which was an extra incentive. Looking at the final placings I had a reasonably tough path through the event; the top 5 was me, then Steve whose excellent scores in his other games kept him in second place, then an Ad Mech player, then Jay in 4th and Dean in 5th, all on 4-1.

The only thing I’d change about the list is the Kabal. I picked it without thinking much when writing the list up, and while the trait is cute the main draw is the stratagem, and I just didn’t end up needing it most of the weekend; the two games I did use it I did so mostly because having it available made me deploy lazily. Costing myself 2CP as a punishment for not playing properly in the first place is certainly a way to add a handicap to Drukhari, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. In a Realspace Raid with a bunch of Blades for Hire I should, really, be running Black Heart.

As a player I’m next taking the field at the Coventry GT, but before that we have the Goonhammer Open UK to look forward to – just 10 days away now, so close it’s starting not to seem real. A ton of the work that goes into TOing a large event has happened in the weeks and months leading up to this point, but then there is also a whole lot of stuff that suddenly needs to happen in the last few days, too. My goal is to make sure nobody attending ever has to know any of it happened, and that you all get to just show up, play your games, and take part in our excellent spread of prizes before heading home after an enjoyable weekend. I look forward to seeing everyone that’s attending, and I hope you’re all as excited about it as I am!