Tournament Report – BIG Bristol GT 2019 – Part 2


Part 1

Day 1 had been fun but now the pressure was on – I was determined to end up with a positive record, so that meant I needed at least a win and a draw on day 2. This is something I was somewhat apprehensive about, because the first list I was up against for the day was something I’d theorised about how my army would fare against but never actually got to play – Orks. Plenty of choices in my list were definitely supposed to help out here – the Shredder Kabalites can put some mean damage in, especially against a Doomed squad where the splinters will do work, and the Night Spinners are good because they can reliably chip away from the nastier units on the other side. Would that play out in practice? Lets find out!

Round 4 – Orks

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

== Battalion Detachment == Orks [37 PL] [783 Points] 5 CP – Evil Sunz
HQ: Warboss on bike (86) (Index) Powerklaw (13) two dakkaguns (0) Attack squig (0) Stikkbombs(0)
[5pls] [99pts]
HQ: Weirdboy (62)Weirdboy staff(0) [3pls] [62pts]
TR:30 Boyz (210)Boss nob with Powerklaw and Choppa (13) 29 Sluggas & choppas(0) Stikkbombs (0)
3 Tankbusta bombs (0) [11pls] [223pts]
TR: 30 Boyz (210) Boss nob with Powerklaw and Choppa (13) 29 Sluggas & choppas(0) Stikkbombs (0)
3 Tankbusta bombs (0) [11pls] [223pts]
TR: 10 Gretchin (30) 10 grot blastas (0) [1pls] [30pts]
EL: 10 Kommandos (80) Boss nob with Powerklaw and slugga (13) 9 Sluggas & choppas(0) Stikkbombs (0)
2 Tankbusta bombs (0) [4pls] [93pts]
EL 5 Kommandos (40) Boss nob with Powerklaw and slugga (13) 4 Sluggas & choppas(0) Stikkbombs
(0)1 Tankbusta bomb (0) [2pls] [53pts]
== Battalion Detachment == Orks [11 PL] [231 Points] 5 CP – Bad Moons
HQ: Big Mek (index) 55 Kustom Forcefield (20) Choppa Grot oiler (4) Stikkbombs(0) [5pls] [79 pts]
HQ: Weirdboy (62) Weirdboy staff (0) [3pls] [62 pts]
TR: 10 Gretchin (30) 10 grot blastas (0) [1pls] [30 pts]
TR: 10 Gretchin (30) 10 grot blastas (0) [1pls] [30 pts]
TR: 10 Gretchin (30) 10 grot blastas (0) [1pls] [30pts]
== Battalion Detachment == Orks [51 PL] [985 Points] 5 CP – Bad Moons – Dread
Waaagh Specialist Detachment, -1 CP
HQ: Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun (55) WARLORD, Bigkilla Boss, Da Souped-Up ShokkaShokk Attack
Gun (25) Stikkbombs(0) [5 pls] [80 pts]
HQ: Warboss (65) Powerklaw (13) Kustomshoota (2) Two sluggas (0) Attack squig (0) Stikkbombs(0)
[4pls] [80pts]
TR: 30 Boyz (210) Boss nob with big choppa and Choppa (5)29 Shootas(0) Stikkbombs (0) 3 Tankbusta
bombs (0) [11pls] [215pts]
TR: 10 Gretchin (30) 11 grot blastas (0) [1pls] [30pts]
TR: 10 Gretchin (30) 10 grot blastas (0) [1pls] [30pts]
HE: 15 Lootas (255) 15 Deffgunz (0) Stikkbombs(0) [13pls] [255pts]
HE: 10 Lootas (170) 10 Deffgunz (0) Stikkbombs(0) [8pls] [170pts]
HE 4 MekGunz (60) 4 SmashaGunz (64) [8pls] [124pts]

Not just an Ork list but a nasty Ork list – this has a lot of the best toys available to them, big mobs of Boyz ready to “da jump” into my lines and ruin my day, the Loota star and the extra efficient artillery of Smasha Guns. While intimidating I was quite excited, because this was definitely going to be a proper test.

The Mission

Beachhead and Strategic Gamble. Beachhead has an objective in each deployment zone, and one on the centre of the board. These are progressive scored at the start of the turn, with your own being worth 1VP, the middle 2VP and your opponent’s 3VP. Strategic Gamble has you draw up to three cards in hand at the start of your turn, and you can choose to discard 2 to draw 1. If you do, the new one is worth double if you score it this turn. This is one of my favourite Maelstrom missions, and honestly I’d quite like the “discard 2 draw 1″ mechanic to be default in all of them.

Deployment was Hammer and Anvil. The deployment zone objectives were 12″ on in the middle of the short board edge, and then objectives 4/5 were 12” from the middle of the long edge. Because we were playing CA2018 deployment, “winning” the deployment roll of was bad, so as compensation that player got to place objective 6. I won this roll off, which meant I could build a neat castle but was going to have to face a turn of shooting.

The Plan

There are three real things that threaten me here:

  1. The Lootas. They can mess up pretty much anything in my army except the Wave Serpents (as the serpent shield and T7 combine to screw them). Luckily I have a good counter here in Vect – stopping them mobbing up both substantially reduces the killing power and lets me fight back – he can only protect one squad with Grot Shields each turn. If you run the maths, the most efficient way to reduce the Lootas pure damage output (against -1 to hit) is by Vecting “More Dakka”, but stopping the mob up is way more efficient overall, because you then don’t have to use Vect to force kills past “Grot Shields”.
  2. Da Jumping Boyz. To deal with these I can just castle behind my planes during deployment, then be very careful about what I push furthest forward. I need to either lead with sacrificial 5-man units, Planes or Wave Serpents (which a Boyz unit runs a risk of bouncing off).
  3. Letting him swamp the board centre and pulling too far ahead on Eternal War. To this end (and given that I wasn’t hugely bothered if he chose to kill them over planes) I deployed my Raider and Venom on the board, planning to bring the anti-infantry firepower inside to bear from turn 1. I also kept the Scourges on the board, because there was no chance of them dropping behind him at any point, and they would either soak up a bit of fire and keep something better alive, or punk some Smasha Guns (which turn out to have the VEHICLE keyword).

Because of Green Tide, I need to be making sure I can kill whole units a turn. The basic plan is to Vect mob up, hope the Lootas don’t kill too much turn 1 then pick half of them (and probably the Smasha Guns) up on my first turn. If I deploy behind planes there’s unlikely to be a valuable way he can “Da Jump” turn 1, and is unlikely to just throw a squad of Boyz into space. From turn 2, I basically want to be wiping out one of the big Boyz squads each turn, ideally spacing enough that they have to come in one at a time. The deployment helps a lot here, as “Da Jump” is the only real mobility trick they have in the army, so the above plan is pretty realistic because of how far away my stuff will be from his. It also means that him committing to going after the central objective unavoidably lets me bring in my close range firepower relatively unmolested.

I think we can do this? Can we do this?

The Summary

The Green Tide cometh

Today the planes are being loyal sentinels for the rest of the army

We surely can. Obviously this is written with hindsight, but the above genuinely was my plan going into this, and it went off pretty much exactly as I wanted it to. On his first turn, I Vected the Mob-Up, and then thanks to where I’d deployed he had to “Da Jump” one of the squads of Lootas to the left flank to get a good firing line on my stuff. They wasted a squad of Scourges and took a big chunk out of a Night Spinner, but thanks to “Prepared Positions” didn’t completely demolish me. The firing position they’d assumed was also only behind one unit of Grots. The super Shokk attack gun put my heart in my mouth by rolling outrageously well to hit and wound, but then managed to roll 1,1,2 for damage. On my turn, I swept up the board at speed, using Matchless Agility and the Raider “Fire and Fade” trick (i.e. shooting the Raider’s guns then using Fire and Fade to get the passengers 7″ closer to their targets) to bring a bunch of shooting to bear, blowing the unit of Grots out of the way, and then picking up the 15 Lootas. The rest of my army comfortably deleted all four Smasha Guns.

This put me in a great spot. I’d once again not left too many profitable places to “Da Jump” in, so instead the Ork Boyz on the left flank had to come in to try and get me. They couldn’t wrap the Raider, meaning that while they did a bit of damage the worst that could happen was it disgorging its passengers, and I don’t think it even died this turn. His Kommandos also came in to menace the screen I had out on the right flank, but didn’t do enough.

This let me really put the vice in on my turn 2. I think i actually missed the “Doom” cast this turn, but with all of my anti-infantry brought to bear (Shredders don’t need no doom and are literally perfect Ork killing weapons) the Boyz squad melted. This squad had been shielding the Big Mek and Bike Boss, and I’d positioned my Crimson Hunters so that they could go after them if the squad melted, and I duly picked up both models. I also pushed my Venom on to take the central objective.

Arguably the game was over at that point – his biggest threats to my biggest threats were gone (10 Lootas is nasty but not enough to seriously screw my army), meaning I was going to continuously pull ahead on material, and having secured the central objective (and having one more Maelstrom objective in my castle from going second), forced him to play to my tempo, bringing in Boyz squads or characters to stop me scoring the central one (because really even one turn of that was going to be an insurmountable lead) allowing me to achieve my goals of taking out a squad a turn. His last gamble was to “Da Jump” his last big squad in and see if they could wreck enough stuff to put me on the back foot, but unfortunately his Weirdboy rolled high enough to catch an Ork perils for the second time and exploded, removing his last option for throwing the dice to jump back in.

Turns out that pretty much yes, we can, in fact, beat that level of horde army.

The Takeaways

Awesome. Yes. I very much like games against tough lists where I have a plan and it works. There’s not a massive amount to say beyond what’s already in the “Plan” section – I don’t really think I would have changed anything about how this game went.

The Score

VP: 26-16

Matches: 2-1-1

Round 5 – Genestealer Cults

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

+Army faction: gene stealer cult
+Total command points : 19
+ power levels 123
+Points: 1999
+Army factions used: Gene stealer cult, tyranids , Astra Militarum
Brigade detachment Genestealer cult
+Cult of the 4 armed emperor
+ Specialist detachment: deliverance brood surge +
HQ1 Acolyte Iconward ,Auto pistol 0, Blasting charges 0, Rending claw 0. Relic: vial of the grandsire
blood, warlord stratagem: field commander warlord trait Augur of the insurgent . (53)
HQ2 Magus, auto pistol 0, cultist knife 0, familiar 12, force stave 0, relic The crouchling, warlord trait
Broodcoven Magus inscrutable cunning , Powers: Mass hypnosis, Mind control, might from beyond. (92)
HQ3 Patriarch, monstrous rending claws (0), relic Amulet of the voidwyrm, Warlord, Warlord trait Alien
Majesty. Powers Mass hypnosis, mental onslaught. (125)
HQ4 Primus, Blasting charges (0), Bonesword (3), Needle pistol (0), Toxin injector (0), Warlord trait Focus
of adoration. (75)
TR1 20 Acolyte Hybrids, acolyte leader 8, 20 blasting charges 0, 20 cultist knife 0, 19 hand flamer 19, 20
rending claws 0, 4 heavy rock saws 40. Cult icon 10. (209)
TR2 18 Acolyte Hybrids, acolyte leader 8, 18 blasting charges 0, 18 cultist knife 0, 18 hand flamer 18, 18
rending claws 0 , 4 heavy rock saws 40. Cult icon 10. (194)
TR3 5 Acolyte Hybrids, acolyte leader 8, 5 blasting charges 0, 5 cultist knife 0, 5 hand flamer 5, 5 rending
claws 0, (40)
TR4 10 Brood brothers infantry squad, brood brothers leader 0, lasguns 0. (40)
TR5 10 Brood brothers infantry squad, brood brothers leader 0, lasguns 0. (40)
TR6 10 Brood brothers infantry squad, brood brothers leader 0, lasguns 0. (40)
El 1:Clamavus Auto pistol 0,(55)
El 2: Kelermorph,cultist Knife 0, 3x liberator Autosub 0, (60)
El 3:Nexos, auto pistol (50)
FA1: 10 Atalan Jackals ,8 Atalan jackals, 2X wolfquad, 2xAtalan incinerator 14(28),10x Autopistol 10
blasting charges 0, 7x shot guns 0, 1x grenade launcher 3, 8 demolition charges 5 (40), (181)
FA2:Cult scout sentinel, multi-laser 5.(35)
FA3:Cult scout sentinel, multi-laser 5.(35)
HS1: 3XBrood brothers Heavy weapons squad 3X mortar 7 (21), 6 lasguns 0, 3 frag grenades 0. (39)
HS2: 3XBrood brothers Heavy weapons squad 3X mortar 7 (21), 6 lasguns 0, 3 frag grenades 0. (39)
HS3: 3XBrood brothers Heavy weapons squad 3X mortar 7 (21), 6 lasguns 0, 3 frag grenades 0. (39)
===== Battalion Detachment Tyranids 5 cp, hive fleet kraken, 25 pl, 399 pts==========
HQ1: Neurothrope, claws and teeth 0, physic powers the horror. (90)
HQ2: Neurothrope, claws and teeth 0, physic powers catalyst . (90)
TR1:26 Hormagaunts, 26x Scything talons 0, (130)
TR2: 3 ripper swarms, 3x claws and teeth 0, (33)
TR3:14 Termagants, 14 fleshborer 0, (56)
======= Auxiliary support detachment astramillitarum -1 cp, 11pl, 160 pts============
FLYER: Vulture gunship 114 , heavy bolter 8, Twin Punisher Gatling cannons 40. (160)

Could definitely be a lot worse here – I chatted to my opponent and he said he was still in the process of spinning the army up, and so some obvious things (like the full 8 saws on the big Acolyte blobs) are still missing. Still some stuff that packs a punch though. Luckily, we know all about Genestealer Cults, so we should be able to fight back against this menace.

The Mission

Dominate and Destroy (progressive objectives and kill points) and Tactical Gambit (bid how many cards you’ll score in your turn, get that many points if you make it, give that many to your opponent if you fail). A high scoring round to separate out players on VP difference at the end of the event.

Dawn of War deployment. Good for me, as it lets me use my mobility to push stuff on to a lot of the board in the 1 or 2 turns I have before his alpha strike turns up.

The Plan

This should be pretty good for me – the biggest problems here are the large Acolyte blobs and the Patriarch, but I should be able to build a nice big expanding castle using the planes and some of my chaff units. If I go first this game is extremely favourable – I can fill a lot of the board with two uncontested movement phases, heavily restricting where he can come in, and then pick up whichever units are in range. Even going second I can still make a nice big safe bubble, as he’s not going to have too much contesting the board, but there’s slightly more chance of him being able to set up something nasty.

The Patriarch potentially blowing entire planes out of the sky is a concern, but not one I can do that much about, and I basically have to just hope I can either deny the cast (and the Hemlock will likely be in range) or it whiffs – he’s not going to have a full LD bomb setup, and if he’s within 12″ of the Hemlock that undoes some of it.

The Summary

You don’t fool us, we know all about your tricks

I got the first turn, and fanned my models up the board, positioning the planes so that they could form 2/3 points in a blocking position turn 2. The left flank was relatively uncontested, so my venom shot up to grab an objective and threaten another the next turn. Unsurprisingly he used the ability to add three more units to DS to stop himself from having to uselessly deploy key units, and thus I was mostly restricted to blowing up his Vulture, Hormagaunts and a Sentinel. With so little on the board he did almost nothing on turn 1, allowing me to move on to turn 2, where I deleted all but two of his on-board models (a Nexos and the Neurothrope), and set up a very strong anti-drop position as can be seen below.

End of my turn 2. My army does not play nice against heavy deep strike lists if it gets to go first.

His turn 2 started excitingly with him bringing in his bikes via “Lying in Wait”, and him using “A Plan Generations in the Making” to stop me Vecting it (which caught me out a bit despite knowing the book well, especially as he rolled a 6 for it!). They then proceeded to chuck demo charges at a night spinner, but narrowly missed killing it, and didn’t do too much to other stuff.

Sadly, his luck on his turn 2 was absolutely atrocious, and the game swung extremely in my favour. I denied the psychic onslaught and he missed the cast on the Mind Control, and he then proceeded to miss every single charge he declared, meaning that the sum total of my stuff that got killed was a few scourges blown apart by the Kellermorph, a few Dire Avengers and 9 wounds on a Night Spinner.

I counterattacked and just started picking stuff up, focusing on the two big Acolyte blobs, which I mostly demolished this turn, using a tank and my Archons to tie up the bikes in combat and gradually chip them away. On his turn 3 the Patriarch brutally mulched some Dire Avengers and mind control finally persuaded my Hemlock to shoot another plane, but the Onslaught again whiffed, with him rolling a 1 to my 5 on the first roll-off. From there, I deleted his remaining big threats and just gradually eliminated the rest of his army while sitting on 5 (and later all 6) objectives and racking up points.

The Takeaways

I think me and my opponent both knew from the start of this match that if I went first it was going to be extraordinarily tough for him – I can cover way too much ground, and Psychic Onslaught is really his only tool to threaten my planes.The interesting thing from my point of view is that honestly even if he’d had fully optimised squads I think this would have gone quite similarly – obviously him making charges would have helped, but I just have so many little things I’m willing to toss out as screens, and can so reliably delete the key units they have that it feels like this should stay a good matchup even against the meta builds, which is nice given how powerful they clearly still are.

The Score

VP: 86-16

Match Score: 3-1-1

Final Score


14th place.

Would have liked to make 4-1, but not a bad weekend of 40k, and honestly I deserved to get dinged down from top bracket for the stupid mistake against the wolves.

Army Thoughts

I’m happy that this is now the list I’m going to keep playing until either the FAQ kills it, or I podium with it. The Raider with the additional Shredder squads was an extraordinarily potent addition to the list, doing fantastic work in pretty much every single game. Even against the knights it knocked out a flanking squad, which would have been good had I not been being blown so hard off the board (though I did mis-allocate the two transports in that game, I sent the Raider at a weaker flank where really the Venom would have been enough). Shredders are real good, and the extra anti-infantry (and in particular, ~7 additional high quality anti infantry shots that don’t mind if I miss Doom) pulled me through against Orks and Cults.

The Night Spinners continue to perform as well, doing a great deal of work in every game except the Knights one, I just need to work out who keeps packing them with semtex and ask them to please maybe not do that. I’m also still happy with the second Serpent over a full guardian bomb – I didn’t feel like I was really missing it at any point. While not as brutal as a full storm of Shurikens, the vastly higher flexibility of the Raider/Venom setup seems to just be a better way of accessing anti-infantry stuff in my list.

The second Archon was an adequate roaming killer, and the relic pistol was definitely the best choice over the Djin blade, as the kind of things he was tangling with included Marine bike characters and Ork characters, where the T5 would seriously hold the Djin blade back, but the pistol shots still slam in on 2s. He gets to stay.

I’ve already submitted the list unchanged for Glasshammer’s “St. George’s Champion” event next weekend (so, uh, don’t expect the preview to be very long), so unless the FAQ somehow drops over the Easter weekend it looks like this is what I’m packing).

“Dear FAQ. Please no steppy. Yours, Archon Wings”

Wrap Up

The BIG GT was a tonne of fun, and I’ll be going along to the next few events Black Heart Wargaming (who are friends of Goonhammer, and TOed this one) are running at BIG, going wild and playing my Necrons at Bolter Drill (an ITC pack RTT) on 25th May, and coming along to help with judging and admin on the Sunday of their next GT, Peaceful Negotiations on August 3rd/4th, as I’m sadly only getting back into the country from a holiday on the Saturday. Both events should be a blast, so you should come along!

Thanks again to all my opponents from this weekend – I had five enjoyable games against good people, and thanks to the people who came to chat about articles. Join us next week for a (brief, as above) preview for St. George’s Champion, and then reports the week after. There will also be FAQ and Ynnari reviews at some unspecified future time.