Tournament Report – Allies of Convenience Open – Part 2

An article by    Battle Reports Gaming        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

Introduction

Part 1

Welcome back to the exciting conclusion of “What I Did on My Weekend” by One_Wing, aged 29 and a half.

Excitement at ending day 1 3-0 was gradually overtaken by apprehension at what I might face on the second day. While getting the one win I needed to break my curse and round out the year on a bang should be doable, it would still be possible for it to slip out of my grasp, and I also didn’t know what I would be facing in round 4 yet – i had a rough idea of some of the options, but one of the games in the same brackets as me had come right down to the wire, and we weren’t 100% sure who had come out on top. In the end the pairings went up and I was in for an exciting new experience in the form of…

Round 4 – Tesseract Vaults

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

+ ARMY FACTION: Necrons
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 7
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000 pts
+ TOTAL POWER LEVEL: 105
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Necrons
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++ Super-Heavy Detachment +3CP (Necrons) [75 PL, 1488pts] ++
Dynasty Choice: Dynasty: Mephrit
+ Lord of War [75 PL, 1488pts] +
LoW1:Tesseract Vault [25 PL, 496pts]
LoW2:Tesseract Vault [25 PL, 496pts]
LoW3:Tesseract Vault [25 PL, 496pts]
++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (Necrons) [30 PL, 512pts] ++
Dynasty Choice: Dynasty: Nephrekh
+ HQ [6 PL, 95pts] +
HQ1:Overlord [6 PL, 95pts]: WARLORD, Artefact: The Veil of Darkness, Warscythe [11pts] Warlord: Warlord
Trait Immortal Pride
+ Fast Attack [24 PL, 417pts] +
FA1:Canoptek Scarabs [2 PL, 39pts]: 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm [39pts]
FA2:Canoptek Scarabs [2 PL, 39pts]: 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm [39pts]
FA3:Canoptek Scarabs [2 PL, 39pts]: 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm [39pts]
FA4:Destroyers [18 PL, 300pts]
. 6x Destroyer [18 PL, 300pts]: 6x Gauss Cannon [120pts]
++ Total: [105 PL, 2000pts] ++

I don’t have a note of how he assigned the powers between the vaults, but because of the way you pick them you end up with each power twice across them when you have three vaults in the army.

The Mission

Secure and Control + Cleanse and Capture, Search and Destroy deployment.

I’d really like something progressive here, as it would potentially allow me to lock in a victory early on with a good start. Search and Destroy is also OK, but not ideal – as with all LOW games, I’d generally prefer Dawn of War or Front Line Assault, as it makes it easier to split the targets up. For this one at least Search and Destroy is probably a close third, as it effectively forces him to put one vault right in front of me.

The Plan

His spin on this list (the destroyers rather than the deceiver) does add an interesting angle and certainly improves his game a lot against my list. However, this should still be an OK matchup – his vaults won’t do very much at all to me if he goes first because they’re not great against vehicles and Alaitoc turns Tesla off. With prepared positions and a willingness to Vect “Extermination Protocols”, the destroyers are also unlikely to get their points back if they Alpha strike me, and if they go for me straight away I probably spend the first turn taking them off the board without getting too much out of their transports so I can continue weathering the vaults.

The biggest single threat to my army is “Times Arrow” taking out my Farseer – without Doom taking out vaults gets substantially harder. If at all possible, I want to take out one of the ones with Times Arrow first, and try and throw dooms from maximum range at a vault I’m planning to kill to minimise the risk of another getting in range.

If I go first this should be fine – my army can comfortably take out a vault a turn, and even losing one puts him into a really tough spot regards ever taking me off the board.

The Summary

Here they come (the third is to the left – unfortunately this table was extremely badly designed for Tesseract vaults and they spent a lot of time off their bases, because rules-wise that’s the only space they take up.

Cowering

I got the first turn, and phantasmed my two transports and Autarchs forward to go for the Alpha strike. The Warlock hung back due to being a very vulnerable Times Arrow target, and I used Jinx from the Hemlock instead. The farseer positioned himself so that he’d be hidden from at least one of the other vaults on the return. Jinx and Doom landed on the front vault, and the stuff pouring out of the transport duly succeeded in blowing it up. It exploded (vaults go on a 4+) doing a decent amount of damage to my front units (I’d kept most things as far back as I could to stay within the Autarch’s bubble while he had a chance to charge, but he rolled a 10 for the radius), but not nearly enough to really worry me.

His first turn was also good for me – his key Time’s Arrow attempt rolled a 2, and I slammed the Vect button on his re-roll.

Many Problems. One Solution.

His destroyers also whiffed spectacularly, failing to even take down my Hemlock, which was a huge bonus given I’d decided against Vecting Extermination Protocols after running the maths in my head and finding they still had a decent chance of a kill without it. Given I followed up that by killing a second Vault on turn 2, (and leaving my farseer out of even advance + Times Arrow range from the last one) things looked really good for me, with the minor blemish that the Destroyers got a bit lucky – they had some good saves against shooting, and my Succubus missed the charge on them.

The enormous resilience of both his destroyers (who kept dodging firepower that should have killed them then re-animating) and his backline scarab units did actually end up making this tense – the next turn I poured (what should have been) overwhelming firepower into the destroyers, but they kept making their crucial saves against Pulse laser shots, and times arrow had put paid to my Succubus. I did however get some absurd Bright Lance damage rolls on the last Vault, and took it down to a single wound remaining. Really I got a bit greedy here – knowing he had a CP left, and having decided to go for the Destroyers as my primary target, I should have declared the BL shots there too, as one survived the turn, and then two got back up again. Here they pulled an incredibly jammy thing off – I was out of command points, and going for a hail mary split fire against a serpent, the Hemlock and the Raider that were all limping they missed the kill on the first two…then the raider blew up, taking out both of the other vehicles in the blast. This let him kill the guardians hiding in the serpent with the Vault’s shooting, and left me looking a bit thin on the ground. I was still cleanly going to win, as the last vault had no way of avoiding a smite and the crimson hunters could then clean up the destroyers, but I suddenly actually needed it to go to a 6th turn to table him and avoid dropping points, especially after scarabs dodged getting shot for a turn by wrapping a remaining guardian from a much beleaguered squad that had been wandering the centre board in a daze for most of the game since the original vault kill. Luckily the scarabs eventually ate the guardian, freeing me up to blow them off the board on turn 6, which did happen phew.

The Takeaways

Woo, 3-2 curse broken! Certainly an interesting game to play, and I really liked what the destroyers added to his list.

My army certainly performed, though partially no thanks to me – not putting absolutely everything into the destroyers on turn 3 was a very silly mistake that could have cost me points. Putting the 14 damage they did into the Vault was obviously great (did I mention that I rolled absurdly high?), but here’s the thing – with the Destroyers out of the way I would have trivially taken down the Vault the next turn. This means that while my allocation of firepower only had a “low risk” of a bad outcome, there was almost no downside to putting everything into the Destroyers for the turn. I got a bit caught up in the sense that they “should” be dead (if the Succubus had made it in turn 2 they likely would have been) and let the old gamblers fallacy lead me astray.

The army once again showed it’s strength – there was just the briefest moment after the raider blew up and took out about a third of what I had left on the board where my opponent was suddenly giving serious thought to if he could pull a lucky tabling on me, but the fact that I had several expendable units hiding behind LOS blockers miles away (a venom had dropped a kabalite unit on an objective I’d deliberately put way away from where I expected action) meant that there was no chance of him stealing the win despite my improbably spikes of misfortune re: killing destroyers.

The Score

24-8 VP

20/20 TP (due to tabling)

4-0

Round 5 – Drukari

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

++ Air Wing Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Drukhari) [24 PL, 405pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Detachment Attribute: Kabal of the Black Heart
+ Flyer [24 PL, 405pts] +
Razorwing Jetfighter [8 PL, 135pts]: Twin splinter rifle
. 2 Disintegrator Cannons [30pts]: 2x Disintegrator cannon [30pts]
Razorwing Jetfighter [8 PL, 135pts]: Twin splinter rifle
. 2 Disintegrator Cannons [30pts]: 2x Disintegrator cannon [30pts]
Razorwing Jetfighter [8 PL, 135pts]: Twin splinter rifle
. 2 Disintegrator Cannons [30pts]: 2x Disintegrator cannon [30pts]
++ Vanguard Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Harlequins) [29 PL, 509pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Masque Form: The Dreaming Shadow: Sombre Sentinels
+ HQ [7 PL, 125pts] +
Shadowseer [7 PL, 125pts]: Shuriken Pistol
+ Elites [9 PL, 135pts] +
Death Jester [3 PL, 45pts]
Death Jester [3 PL, 45pts]
Death Jester [3 PL, 45pts]
+ Fast Attack [13 PL, 249pts] +
Skyweavers [13 PL, 249pts]
. Skyweaver [51pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [6pts]
. Skyweaver [51pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [6pts]
. Skyweaver [51pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [6pts]
. Skyweaver [51pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [6pts]
. Skyweaver [45pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Star Bolas
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Aeldari - Drukhari) [67 PL, 1086pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Detachment Attribute: Prophets of Flesh
+ HQ [10 PL, 167pts] +
Haemonculus [5 PL, 77pts]: Stinger Pistol [5pts], The Vexator Mask, Venom Blade [2pts]
Urien Rakarth [5 PL, 90pts]: Diabolical Soothsayer, Warlord (Haemonculus)
+ Troops [9 PL, 135pts] +
Wracks [3 PL, 45pts]
. Acothyst [9pts]: Haemonculus tools
. 4x Wracks [36pts]
Wracks [3 PL, 45pts]
. Acothyst [9pts]: Haemonculus tools
. 4x Wracks [36pts]
Wracks [3 PL, 45pts]
. Acothyst [9pts]: Haemonculus tools
. 4x Wracks [36pts]
+ Heavy Support [48 PL, 784pts] +
Talos [18 PL, 294pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
Talos [18 PL, 294pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
Talos [12 PL, 196pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
. Talos [6 PL, 98pts]: Chain-Flails [3pts], Macro-Scalpel [4pts]
. . Two Haywire Blasters [16pts]: 2x Haywire blaster [16pts]
++ Total: [120 PL, 2000pts] ++

I mean the good news is that of the two Talos spam lists in the event this is the one I’d rather face?

Sigh. Time to see if I can break my Talos curse as well.

This was also my first ever time playing on a stream, though sadly the sound was off. Still a fun thing to be able to share around my Facebook.

The Mission

The Relic + The Scouring + Spoils of War
Hammer and Anvil deployment

Honestly the mission probably doesn’t matter too much here – the strong likelihood is the once of us is walking out of this without any models on the board. Hammer and Anvil does help a bit though – I can at least delay the Talos being inside Alaitoc/melee for a turn.

The Plan

Honestly that last statement summarises the plan here – his army has two distinct sets of alpha units, the Talos and the Razorwings/Skyweavers, and I want to be dealing with these things one at a time. “Happily” if he goes first there’s a good chance the fast ones end up in my line and I can take a swing at them at close range – my understanding was that he’d been menacing people with these all weekend, but distinct to the many, many knight lists around my army once again benefits from having a broad set of threats, so losing any one isn’t a disaster, and the thing that would be the single biggest disaster to lose (the Farseer) is in a transport with expendable friends, which thanks to new fly rules make it really hard to crack him out and charge him on the same turn, as Magnus discovered in round 1.

However, his army also has the same advantage, as there’s no one obvious thing that I should go hell for leather after if I go first. Certainly trying to engage the Talos without Psychic backup would be a mistake.

Roughly the way I want this to work out is:

a.) Turn 1-2 if I go first, Turn 1 if I go second – murder the planes and the bikes.

b.) Send out distraction units to string the Talos units out, then try and draw them into a Doom/Jinx/Guardian bomb one group at a time.

With that in mind, if I go first I probably split the planes up and send them past where he’s deployed, in particular putting the Hemlock right in the face of a Razorwing aiming to use Jinx followed by D-Scythes to blow it most of the way out of the sky. The Crimsons end their pulse lasers at the Skyweavers (taking advantage of 48 inch range) and their lances at the same or the next Razorwing depending on how the Hemlock does.

The Summary

My deployment after Phantasming, using serpents to body-block my characters from roving planes

Pure Eeevil

He went first, and as expected thrust things into my lines. The Skyweavers and the Razorwings took down a CH and the raider between them (he used Vect to block “Lightning Fast” on the CH), with them both apparently being packed with semtex again and exploding (even after a re-roll in the Raider’s case). That did some wounds to some of my stuff, but actually helpfully killed one and a most skyweavers between them.

Could have been way worse, and on my turn I felt confident that I should be able to take down the skyweavers and at least two of the planes. The Skyweavers died cleanly, as did the plane the Hemlock went after, but frustratingly I missed Doom on the plane the Guardians and Autarch were going after (which is very unlikely – once you’ve buffed with Seer Council if you spend your Farseer reroll on it, the hit rate is >90%), and the Autarch completely fucked it in combat, doing no wounds despite me blowing a CP re-roll on trying to stick one to at least profile it (I believe I used something ridiculous like 5 CP re-rolls that didn’t achieve my goal in this game).

As a consolation, however, the planes didn’t do much on the next turn. I’d wrapped my Farseer with a tank and dire avengers, but couldn’t stop him getting one plane to a firing position with one Plane if the other could get rid of all the Dire Avengers. He Vected LF again, but the first plane joined my Autarch in completely whiffing, and left enough alive for the screen to hold. The other didn’t achieve much. The Talos had been occupied feasting on a Venom and a WS I’d fed them to slow them down. Annoyingly I’d slightly mis-positioned my Haemoculus and he got picked off my Death Jesters, which was a little bit lucky of them (though he died by one wound and I forgot to use my Prophets re-roll on his last save, so I only have myself to blame in some way).

That did leave me needing to try and get a bit lucky on 2, and again some things went well and some badly. This time the Planes went down, with my Autarch doing his damn job properly, but the delay had meant that he and one of my guardian squads were both a bit out of position – the latter now being in the path of Talos that had supposed to be being baited off to one side by the Venom. I also tried to luck out on mind war (which i’d swapped to for this game) on one of his Haemocs and actually came really close, missing by one wound The key problem, unfortunately, was that while I brought the guardian bomb in ready to face the Talos and landed Doom, this time Jinx missed, with a CP re-roll of a 1 naturally becoming another 1.

That’s probably the point where this game got away from me – the guardians still did a semi decent job, but between them and some combat stuff only two Talos died. For the briefest second when the first went down it looked like I might be back in it – it exploded and caught the key Vexator Mask Haemoc on 1W in the blast, but infuriatingly he made his FNP (which were pretty good all game). With the Vexator mask in play, I couldn’t leverage my melee units to do enough in the centre, and while the last Talos eventually died after my Succubus made an improbably string of saves to get to hit it, the next unit came into play soon after. My last shot was to land Jinx and Doom on them and take them off in a single turn, at which point I might have been able to avoid getting tabled and salvage some points (though the cards hadn’t been kind to me, so he was quite far ahead). Sadly, Jinx missed again (no rerolls or buffs this time, so fair play on this one), and that was basically it.

In the end, in a defiant attempt to avoid getting tabled, playing strictly for honour as he was massively up on points, my remaining characters scattered and my last plane flew in to try and shield my Archon from Talos with it’s terrifying shadow…

“Shield me winged minion!”

“Stay away from me foul creatures!”

“Noooo!”

…but it wasn’t enough, the Archon failing the 4th of the 14 Shadow Field saves I had queued up in a giant dice bundle in my hand and dying horribly.

The Takeaways

Honestly – while this game didn’t go my way, I think I played it about right. My plan was good, and had I not missed the Doom on turn 1 and the Jinx on 2, both at 85% plus hit rates, I think I’d have had a good chance. My opponent was very experienced (this game was an absolute delight, as we both knew exactly how the other’s army played) and we chatted through whether we thought we’d have done anything differently in the others position, and outside of minor things there wasn’t much to add.

This does raise the unfortunate fact that while I’ve broken my 3-2 curse I haven’t broken my Talos curse – I realised while gathering the details for this that I’ve now played against Talos in tournaments 3 times and have never yet landed Doom and Jinx on a unit at the same time, which is an absurd statistic given that with buffs and re-rolls the chance of doing so in a given turn is >75%. Ah well, that can be the project for the new year.

The Score

7 – <We Didn’t Bother Counting> VP

0/20 TP

4-1 Match Score

Final Score

4-1 Match Score

72/100 TP

5th place out of 34

I’m happy with that. It’s a shame I didn’t win harder in my earlier games but that’s the nature of ETC scoring – as soon as I got my first round matchup and didn’t go first there was a good chance I was going to either 5-0 and get first place or miss out on a podium spot. Being off max points also meant I dodged nasty matchups like my last opponent in the earlier stages. I also felt that the last round was the best I’ve ever done against a Talos list – while it didn’t end well, it stayed live for longer than previous attempts have.

All in all, a great result to round out the tournament year.

Army Thoughts

What Worked?

This list is definitely the best I’ve played at a tournament, and pretty much all the changes performed as I’d hoped, with the exception of my dice on Labyrinthine cunning being a bit cold all weekend (I didn’t get any CP back through us spending 24 in round 1, for example). However, the gank squad enabled by the Archon were so prepostorously good in some matches that I’m definitely happy to have the Archon as my warlord to enable that, and having a back-line, safe warlord definitely did help on several occasions.

The gank squad exceeded my wildest expectations in games 1 and 3, and were a bit unlucky not to get to perform in 4 and 5 as well (the former because of the Succubus missing a charge and then getting Time Arrowed, the latter because my Haemoc getting sniped meant my opponent’s Vexator mask trumped my Succubus). It’s definitely one of the “gamiest” things I’ve ever taken in an army, but it’s certainly here to stay for the forseeable future, having a melee threat adds so much to my list. My next big event is also ITC, and my understanding is that having infantry characters that can prise squads out of LOS blocking buildings is also really good there.

Planes remain excellent. Love a good plane, didn’t really miss the Fire Prisms – I can’t think of any game where they would have been better than the pair of CHs.

I was worried that the random Venom might not do enough, but it was actually incredibly helpful, having a really fast unit carrying a squad of potential objective grabbers was really great. I’d probably cut the shredder from the squad in it in favour of putting a second Splinter Cannon on the Venom next time though, as I didn’t find that it was reliably taking that squad into really close quarters, often dropping them off somewhere. I also realised from a pure optimisation point of view I should probably declare it as “Red Grief” to get access to “Eviscerating Fly By”, though I won’t be able to at most events because it’s painted the same as my Kabalites.

What Didn’t Work?

The Banshees…eh? They were spectacularly fantastic in round three and kind of just another random infantry unit in every other game. They’re almost certainly the first thing I’d cut if I had to start moving stuff around, but equally if I’d played against Tau they’d have probably been incredible, so if I still have the points after CA lands, I might keep them.

So Where Next?

There’s not much point in me going into this in full, as Chapter Approved is less than two weeks away, and could shift everything. Broadly, I’m looking at the following:

1.) If there’s no real change to anything here, my plan is to shift a few things around to free up points to upgrade the Kabalites on the Raider to Wracks. POF Wracks have access to an effective “tide of traitors”, which is obviously really good, and having something more that can get stuck in with the gank squad in melee and take a bit of a punch (thanks to T5 when with the Haemoc) is helpful.

2.) If Alaitoc gets it’s rumoured nerf, and Eldrad gets his rumoured point cut (which i’m side eyeing a lot because have people read his data card), then I probably swap at least the non-planes to Ulthwe, put Eldrad in, and audible on the planes depending on exactly how Alaitoc gets nerfed.

3.) If something more disastrous happens like my precious planes getting nerfed we’re more fundamentally back to the drawing board, and will also be looking at things that (presumably) get buffed. Melee Wraithknights at 360 points have got to be good somewhere, right?

I’ll be doing a Chapter Approved write up when it drops on the 15th, where we might dive into this some more.

Wrap Up

That’s it for tournaments this year, and finishing on a high note – I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these, as I’ve certainly enjoyed writing them.

The next events I’ve got scheduled are the 1500pt palate cleanser of Winter Tides on the 6th Jan, followed by my first ITC format event in the Last Chance Open the weekend after that. Check back in as we get closer to that to see event previews as I work out exactly what I need to paint in the first two weeks of January.

 

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