Tournament Report: Corrode at the Renegades 40k Open: Echoes of War 4

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And the award for longest tournament name goes to…

The Renegades 40k Open series is run by the Vale Renegades over in Cardiff. They run two events per year; this one, Echoes of War, and then Seeds of Destruction in September-October. They’re hosted at Firestorm Games’ Cardiff HQ, which is a truly fantastic venue.

I’m on roughly the second-from-top row of tables here. There’s an equivalent number of tables off to the right, a set of tables which was hosting a Yugioh tournament to the left by the drinks machine you can see at the end, and an incredibly well-stocked shop behind them. The place is big.

The pack uses the ITC missions, with a slightly bizarre scoring system that also incorporates 20-0, paint/sports/list, and a round bonus. As a player it’s kind of hard to understand, to be honest, but whatever – the TOs are friendly and helpful, the boards and terrain are good, and the event mostly attracts locals with a nice balance of competitive and casual. For me personally it’s also really easy to get to, being around an hour away and therefore perfect commuting distance for a weekend.

The event was run through Down Under Pairings, and you can review it here if you so wish.

I also played on stream for games 3, 4, and 5, and you can check the recordings out on tSports Network’s YouTube channel.

For this event I was playing my Crimson Fists, anchored around a squad of Centurion Devastators. My list was:

Corrode's Crimson Fists - click to expand

+PLAYER: Liam Royle
+REPORTED ARMY FACTION: Adeptus Astartes
+TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 13 – 6 + d3 (i.e. 8-10)
+TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1,999pts
+TOTAL POWER LEVEL: 112
+ARMY FACTIONS USED: Adeptus Astartes
+TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: n/a

== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Astartes, Crimson Fists [74 PL, 1,295pts], 5CP

HQ: Pedro Kantor (150) – [7PL] [150] HQ: Techmarine (45), servo-arm (0), power axe (5) boltgun (0) – [4PL] [50] – Warlord, Master of the Forge (1CP), Master of Machines default trait, Sentinel of Terra (1CP), Hand of Dorn default bonus trait

TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and thunder hammer (16) – [5PL] [101] TR: 4 Scouts (44) with boltguns (0), Scout Sergeant (11) with boltgun (0) and combat knife (0) – [4PL] [55] TR: 4 Scouts (44) with boltguns (0), Scout Sergeant (11) with boltgun (0) and combat knife (0) – [4PL] [55]

EL: Primaris Apothecary (60), absolvor bolt pistol (0), redactor pistol (0) [3PL] [60] – Chief Apothecary (1CP), Hero of the Chapter (1CP) – trait Selfless Healer
EL: Relic Contemptor Dreadnought (110), two twin lascannons (80), cyclone missile launcher (32) – [13PL] [222]

FA: 2 Suppressors (60) with accelerator autocannons (0), 1 Suppressor Sergeant (30) with accelerator autocannon (0) [4PL] [90]

HS: 6 Centurion Devastators (240), 6 hurricane bolters (60), 12 heavy bolters (120) [24PL] [420] HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (37) – [4PL] [92]

== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Astartes, Crimson Fists [36 PL, 704pts], 5CP

HQ: Captain in Phobos armour (90), master-crafted instigator bolt carbine (6), camo cloak (3) – [5PL] [99], Champion of Blades (1CP), Eye of Hypnoth default relic
HQ: Primaris Chaplain (77) – [4PL] [77] – Master of Sanctity (1CP), Recitation of Focus and Catechism of Fire default prayers

TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and power fist (9) – [5PL] [94] TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and power fist (9) – [5PL] [94] TR: 4 Intercessors (68) with stalker bolt rifles (0), 1 Sergeant (17) with stalker bolt rifle (0) and chainsword (0) – [5PL] [85]

HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind vengeance launcher (20) [4PL] [85] HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind vengeance launcher (20) [4PL] [85] HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind vengeance launcher (20) [4PL] [85]

The basic idea here is as follows – the Phobos Captain hangs out with the artillery blob (all of which hits on 2s thanks to the Master of the Forge) and gives them re-roll 1s to hit and wound. The Centurions take aim at the biggest, nastiest target they can, preferably a vehicle where they can use the Tank Hunters stratagem and/or the Catechism of Fire to wound it on 3s. The Relic Contemptor is also a reliable source of vehicle destruction, with four AP-4 lascannon shots in Devastator Doctrine and 2 krak missiles to go with. The Intercessors provide ancillary fire, take down opposing Intercessors, and chip wounds off vehicles, as do the Suppressors. Pedro anchors them all with the re-rolls to hit, +1 Attack to make them more able to counter-charge, and his own combat ability and surprisingly useful storm bolter.

I should also say right up top here – what you will notice is not on the list is a Primaris Ancient with the relic standard. I played with one for the first three games anyway. My previous list had one, and I turned up to the event pretty late, so when I was unpacking my army my brain went “oh yeah grab that guy” and on the tray, and then table, he went. None of my opponents noticed. I didn’t notice (I had only played one practice game with this list, two weeks before). It was only after waking up extremely early on the Sunday morning before games 4 and 5, and deciding it would be a good idea to start drafting this report, that I copy-pasted my list in and went “oh god.”

I’m not gonna lie to you. I strongly considered just packing the guy away in the morning, and not saying a word about it. Spoiling the report a little bit, after Saturday I was 3-0, and looking at the field it was very possible that I was going to go 5-0 and win the thing. It was almost certain no-one would ever know, and I could play my last two games as if nothing had happened. I didn’t have to write a report, which would expose the error, and although I’d been on stream for game 3, who was going to notice if the flag was there or not? And anyway, the flag had done less than nothing for me – from my recollection of my games, in game 1 it worked once to let a dying Centurion kill 5 Guardsmen and maybe put two wounds on Pask, in game 2 it  did literally nothing, and in game 3 it maybe did helped do one wound to an Astraeus, which I overkilled anyway, and otherwise let my opponent score a Headhunter point because I misplaced it. I wasn’t cheating – it was a genuine mistake, and it hadn’t helped me anyway, right?

I believe, though, that making good choices is about what you do when there’s no external pressure. If you only do the right thing when you might get caught, you aren’t doing the right thing, you’re doing the easy thing. Doing the right thing when you’re pretty sure you can get away with not doing so is when your character is actually tested. With that said, then, I contacted the TO and told him what had happened.

I was honestly expecting that my scores would be zeroed out, and as much as that would have sucked, I wouldn’t have disagreed with it happening. In the event, Ben trusted me to have made a genuine mistake, and not deliberately cheated, and appreciated me getting in touch to confess as soon as I’d realised what had happened. Instead of completely zeroing out my scores, I was hit with an ITC yellow card, and a 25 point penalty. The biggest possible points for a win is 32, so this was a hefty chunk of points gone – I was basically a game behind my actual record, and of course the penalty would be applied at the end, so I was still playing against other people at the top of the bracket. To me this seemed like a fair punishment.

With that acknowledgement out of the way, then, let’s talk about the games themselves.

 

Game 1 – vs. Martyn, Imperial Guard

My first game was against Martyn, in his first tournament. He contacted me before the event after finding out we were matched up for round 1, said hello, and explained that it was his very first tournament. We chatted a little bit and it turned out that he’d been reading my article on the Greater Good changes to Guard that very morning, which was funny to find out – it’s always easy to forget people actually read the words you’re putting out on the internet.

Martyn’s list was:

Martyn's Imperial Guard - click to expand

PLAYER: MARTYN BLAND

PRIMARY ITC ARMY FACTION: ASTRA MILITATUM

SECONDARY FACTIONS: NONE

TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 19 (21 – 2 for Vigilus

TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000

POWER LEVEL: 127

TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: NOT APPLICABLE

FREE RELIC: AGRIPINAA-CLASS ORBITAL TRACKER

Battalion Detachment, Astra Militarum <Catachan>, [20 Power Points] [306 points] +5CP

Specialist Detachment: N/A

HQ: Colonel ‘Iron Hand’ Straken (75), Bionic Arm with Devil’s Claw (0), Krak Grenades (0), Plasma Pistol (0), Shotgun (0) [4PL][75pts] HQ: Commisar Yarrick (100), Bale Eye (0), Bolt Pistol (0), Power Klaw (0), Storm Bolter (0) [7PL][100pts]

Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Las Pistol (0), Chainsword (0), Grenade Launcher (3), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][43pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Grenade Launcher (3), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][44pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Grenade Launcher (3), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][44pts]

Brigade Detachment, Astra Militarum <Cadian>, [92 Power Points] [1,479 points] +12CP

Specialist Detachment: Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company

HQ: Company Commander (30), Boltgun(1), Power Sword (4), Frag Grenades(0), Agripinaa-class Orbital Tracker (Free) [2PL][35pts] – Warlord
HQ: Knight Commander Pask (177), Battle Cannon (22), Lascannon (15), Plasma Cannons (20) [17PL][234pts] HQ: Tank Commander (142), Battle Cannon (22), Heavy Bolter (8), Plasma Cannons (20) [12PL][192pts] HQ: Tank Commander (142), Executioner Plasma Cannon (15), Heavy Bolter (8), Plasma Cannons (20)[12PL][185pts]

Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Plasma Gun (7), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][48pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Plasma Gun (7), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][48pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Plasma Gun (7), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][48pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Plasma Gun (7), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][48pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Plasma Gun (7), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][48pts] Tr: Infantry Squad, 9x Guardsman (36), Sergeant (4), Boltgun (1), Chainsword (0), Plasma Gun (7), 8x Lasgun (0), Frag Grenades (0) [3PL][48pts]

Elite: Command Squad, 4x Veteran (24), 4x Sniper Rifle (8), Frag Grenades (0) [2PL][32pts] Elite: Commissar (15), Power Sword (4), Bolt Pistol (1) [2PL][21pts] Elite: Ministorum Priest (35), Chainsword (0), Laspistol (0), Frag Grenades (0), Krak Grenades (0) [2PL][35pts]

FA: Armoured Sentinel (30), Plasma Cannon(10) [3PL][40pts] FA: Armoured Sentinel (30), Plasma Cannon(10) [3PL][40pts] FA: Hellhound (73), Heavy Flamer (14), Inferno Cannon (20), Track Guards (10) [6PL][117pts]

HS: Basilisk (100), Earthshaker Cannon (0), Heavy Bolter (8) [6PL][108pts] HS: Basilisk (100), Earthshaker Cannon (0), Heavy Bolter (8) [6PL][108pts] HS: Heavy Weapons Squad, 3x Heavy Weapons Teams (18), 3x Mortars (27), 3x Lasgun (0) [3PL][45pts]

Vanguard Detachment, Astra Militarum <Vostroyan>, [15 Power Points] [215 Points] +1CP

Specialist Detachment: Emperor’s Fist Tank Company

HQ: Tank Commander (142), Demolisher Cannon (20), Heavy Bolter (8)[12PL][170pts]

Elite: Astropath (15), Laspistol (0) [1PL][15pts] Elite: Astropath (15), Laspistol (0) [1PL][15pts] Elite: Astropath (15), Laspistol (0) [1PL][15pts]

This is a fairly classic Guard list – a bunch of Tank Commanders, a pile of Infantry, and some characters and supporting tanks. My biggest concern was the Demolisher cannon guy who could yeet himself forwards and still fire at full effect thanks to the Emperor’s Fist stratagem, and that was my priority target. I worked out ahead of time that 3 Centurions with re-roll 1s to wound, +1 to hit, and Tank Hunters could reasonably expect to kill a Russ, which meant I could safely split fire and try and kill 2 – particularly if one of them was also the closest target and I could get an additional +1 to wound against it.

The first mission was Seize Ground and we rolled up Spearhead Assault for the deployment.

Secondaries

Liam:

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Headhunter
  • Reaper

Martyn:

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Recon
  • Headhunter

 

I deployed as so:

 

My artillery castle was on the far corner from all his direct fire, which meant that he would struggle to do much to get into it. The Contemptor was at the back, safely out of line of sight if I went second, with the Centurions tucked into the L-shaped ruin and then everything else gathered around them. I deployed one unit of Scouts in the middle, and another to the left in the ruin by his deployment zone. If I went first, they could run up and grab the bonus for turn one, and also touch the Hellhound and the Demolisher Russ if they weren’t dead. If I went second, well, the middle ones were probably dead, but whatever.

I had the +1 and rolled high enough to go first. Martyn didn’t attempt to seize, which I was surprised by.

The Fists inch forwards.

I advanced up the board to get firing angles on his Russes, and on the Hellhound on my right flank. This immediately exposed an issue with my army design – I really wanted re-roll 1s to wound for both the Centurions and the artillery park, but on deployments like this I was quite often finding my army splitting up. In the event I positioned the Phobos Captain to support the Cents, but this would come back to haunt me later.

The battle pile, inc. Centurions facing backwards

Early shooting was very successful. The Demolisher Russ was the closest target, and then one of the battle cannon Russes was next. I evaporated both with the Centurions, and then the Contemptor deleted another one. One of them exploded, and did a bunch more wounds to things around it. My artillery shot up a Basilisk (predictably, I fired 2 Whirlwinds and did a few wounds each, double-fired the last one and did another 3, and then with the final volley did all 12 wounds in one go). It also exploded,and picked up a bunch of Guardsmen and a whole Commissar. On the right flank, my Suppressors and Intercessors did most of the wounds to the Hellhound, bringing it down to 2 before the Scouts charged it and, though failing to kill it, stopped it shooting. Running forwards with the Scouts and swinging wide with the Intercessors on my left let me pick up 5 objectives turn 1 and score the bonus.

Scouting for Hellhounds

With a fairly effective turn 1 for me, Martyn tried valiantly to respond. He came so, so close to killing the Relic Contemptor, but his double-firing Basilisk low-rolled its last set of damage rolls and I high-rolled some Feel No Pains (I think on one round I took 5 damage and rolled 3 6s) to keep it alive on a single wound. He did clear out my Scouts, but was too far away to claim the objective on my left flank, which meant that I picked up hold more and kill more for the opening turn.

Rolling into turn 2, I decided that it was better to bring the Contemptor back and repair it in order to try and keep it into the game. I vaguely had in mind that its movement degraded and, uh, it turns out it doesn’t. It scooted 9″ back, which meant the Master of the Forge could stroll forwards and bash it back up to 4 wounds. It promptly shot the last two wounds off the Hellhound. Over on the left, the Centurions fired again, after I’d spent some time carefully shooting at everything else they could see so that Pask was the closest visible target. I made a big mistake here, forgetting that he was -2 to hit and also that I could have used Slay the Tyrant to get +1 to hit and neutralise that a little bit, so I didn’t quite manage to kill him this turn.

Hammering him back to life

On his counter-punch Martyn killed a couple of Centurions and an Intercessor or two, but he was seriously hurting for materiel at this point. In turn 3 I evaporated his Basilisk with the Contemptor (now all the way back up to 7 wounds) and killed off Pask and the Armoured Sentinels, along with clearing out all the remaining infantry and characters on my right flank, and he graciously conceded.

The Guard army after approximately 300 bolt rounds had been poured into it.

Result:

37-5 win to me. This went pretty much exactly as I would have hoped for, getting to go first, snatching the bonus immediately, and killing or crippling the majority of his firepower. Martyn could probably have done a little to help prevent it – layering infantry to stop me getting value from the +1 to wound prayer, screening the Hellhound so I couldn’t touch it with Scouts, and probably tucking his Russes away to make it more difficult for me to draw LoS to them with the Centurions – but he put up a very good effort for a first tournament game and was a pleasure to play. He ended up going 3-2 and walking away as the best Astra Militarum player for the weekend, which was a great result.

 

Game 2 – vs. Doug, mixed Imperium

I ended up on the same table for the second game, this time facing off against Doug and his Imperial Knights/Adeptus Mechanicus/Blood Angels mix.

Doug's Imperium - click to expand

Player: Doug Hart
Primary ITC Army Faction: Imperial Knights
Secondary Factions: Blood Angels, Adeptus Mechanicus
Total Command Points: 19
Total Army Points:1988
Power Level: 117
Total Reinforcement Points: 0
Free Relic: The Angels Wings

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium – Blood Angels) [24 PL, 451pts] ++

**CHAPTER**: Blood Angels

+ HQ +

Captain [6 PL, 143pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer – Warlord – Artisan of War [Warlord Trait], The Angels Wings [Relic] Captain [6 PL, 143pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Troops +

Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] – 5 Scouts, bolt pistols and combat knives
Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] – 5 Scouts, bolt pistols and combat knives
Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] – 5 Scouts, bolt pistols and combat knives

++ Super-Heavy Detachment +6CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [75 PL, 1,372pts] ++

Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus . House Taranis

+ Lord of War +

Knight Crusader [25 PL, 452pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Heavy Stubber, Thermal Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Avenger Gatling Cannon
Knight Crusader [25 PL, 452pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Heavy Stubber, Thermal Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Avenger Gatling Cannon
Knight Crusader [25 PL, 468pts]: Heavy Stubber, Ironstorm Missile Pod, Thermal Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Avenger Gatling Cannon

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus(Graia)) [18 PL, 165pts] ++

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 30pts] Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 30pts]

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts] – 5 Skitarii, galvanic rifles
Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts] – 5 Skitarii, galvanic rifles
Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts] – 5 Skitarii, galvanic rifles

++ Total: [117 PL, 1,988pts] ++

Captured here on its tray

This time around the mission was Cut to the Heart. I think we rolled up pointy Dawn of War as deployment.

Secondaries

Liam:

  • Titanslayer
  • Kingslayer
  • Old School

Doug:

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Gangbusters
  • Headhunter

Every time I write out the secondaries I really have to think. The Renegades give you a great little booklet with the ITC scoresheets in, which I definitely meant to keep and use to reference when writing this, which I promptly lost on Sunday.

This mission was whole-army deployment, and I won/lost the roll-off so I was deploying first and going first.

You can see the rogue flag right next to Pedro. When I told Doug on Sunday what had happened he just laughed at me because I made, at most, one of my 4+s in this game.

The deployment here was about screening out the slam Captains, sacrificing the Suppressors and some of the Intercessors in order to keep them away from the artillery and the Centurions. Unfortunately the centre deployment (done to make sure the Centurions were a) hidden and b) able to get sight lines later on) exposed the Whirlwinds a bit.

Doug set up with his Knights in place to move out and shoot me if possible, but limit my line of sight as much as possible. He had Ion Bulwark on one Knight and the relic Taranis thermal cannon on the other, and set them up so that they could sneak around the centre-right ruin and draw line of sight on the Whirlwinds. His Scouts were hidden away ready to counter-charge mine.

And then he seized on me. Oof.

His turn 1 was pretty strong, picking up two Whirlwinds, one of which rolled a 6 into a 6 to explode and hit basically all the castle. It didn’t do too much damage, but it’s never great for your opponent’s opening volley to throw mortal wounds around half of your army.

Knights coming in hard

I responded as strongly as possible, dropping the Centurions out of the ruin (with the bases still touching the edge to stay in cover and next to the objective) and deleting a Knight, doing something like 34 damage before FNPs. The Apothecary also puts a full 3 wounds back on the Centurions.The rest of my army shot his other Knight and knocked it down to 7 wounds, although I didn’t kill it mostly thanks to the Contemptor managing to roll a 1 and a 3 for damage, which CP re-rolled into a 2 and a 3. Spiffing. The first Knight promptly got back up, and I threw The Shield Unwavering on the Centurions.

Turn 2 rolls around and he scoots the “dead” Knight into mid-table with Machine Spirit Resurgent, while the other damaged one drifts to middle too. The right-most Knight with the relic gun steps back and away from the Centurions. He manages to kill the other Whirlwind, but otherwise has a slightly indecisive Shooting phase – he fires at the Cents and has some poor luck, only putting 3 wounds on a single Centurion, and then changes his mind and fires at Intercessors and clears out a squad. His first slam Captain comes down on my right, murders the Suppressors, and then tags (but doesn’t attack) a second squad of Intercessors.

The first slam Captain picks up the Suppressors

I promptly heal the injured Centurion to full (again). They target a unit of Scouts with 3 hurricane bolters, the slam Captain with 3 more (getting +1 to wound against both of them, as the closest visible targets to the relevant models), put 3 heavy bolters into the Knight that got back up on 2 wounds, and 3 more heavy bolters into the back Knight on 7 wounds. Despite wounding the Knights on 5s, they still kill everything they shoot at. I put a few more wounds on the remaining Knight with the Thunderfire and a stray stalker bolter that goes through.

At this point, Doug looks at his CP, looks at the board, and decides not to try and pick up either Knight. It becomes obvious why when he drops his slam Captain in the one gap in my screen where he can get within charge range of the Centurions. I could really easily have fixed this, and I just didn’t, because I thought I’d done enough. Always, always, measure. His Knight retreats out of line of sight, opting for discretion, and then the Captain and his 4-damage hammer flies in and deletes the Centurions. Oof.

I have enough guns left to kill the Captain next turn and clear out some Skitarii and such, but now the only good option for dealing with the Knight is my Contemptor, and it continues to underperform. At this point it’s about closing the game out, and I slowly pick up points while trying to avoid exposing my army to the remaining Knight’s guns. On turn 5 Doug gets to draw a line of sight on the Contemptor and promptly does nothing to it, after a couple of good 5+ invulnerables, and from there I’m able to pick up my last few points. It’s a comfortable win on points, but feels harder on the table.

 

Result:

35-21, I think. It really would have been helpful to have the score sheet! I got to hold the middle basically every turn and therefore pick up hold more, and I at least drew kill more every turn if not scoring it outright, so that kept me ahead on primary points and of course against Knights scoring Titanslayer and Kingslayer is pretty straightforward. I maxed Old School, too. Doug played this game well, and in particular he kept his eye on the goal of clearing out the Centurions in turn 3 which was almost enough to swing the game for him; I think by turn 3 he he’d lost all his Scouts and was gonna struggle to clear out the primary points he needed to pull ahead, but it was his best shot at doing so, especially after the Skitarii tried and failed to kill my last Scout in mid-table.

Game 3 – vs. Terry, Iron Hands

This started a run of 3 games where I played against friends from my store. Terry was playing his Iron Hands Astraeus army, which is an absolute pig to play against – an Ironstoned Astraeus is bloody hard work to get rid of. The rest of his list was:

Terry's Iron Hands - click to expand

PLAYER: Terry Bennett
PRIMARY ITC ARMY FACTION: Iron Hands
TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 9
TOTAL ARMY POINTS 2000
POWER LEVEL: 113
FREE RELIC: Ironstone

 

Battalion Detachment, Adeptus Astartes (Iron Hands) [61PL, 1076 pts] +5CP

HQ: Captain on Bike (88) Storm Shield (10) Thunder Hammer (40), Twin Bolt gun (2) [6PL 140pts] HQ: Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought (105), Dreadnought combat weapon (20), Storm Bolter (2), Twin Lascannon (40), Litany of hate, Catechism Of fire [11PL 167pts] Warlord – Target Protocols
HQ: Primaris Lieutenant (65), Master Crafted Stalker bolt rifle (5)[4PL 70pts]

TR: 5 Intercessors (85), 1 Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (1), 5 Stalker bolt rifles (0) [5PL 86pts] TR: 5 Intercessors (85), 1 Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (1), 5 Stalker bolt rifles (0) [5PL 86pts] TR: 7 Intercessors (119), 1 Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (1), 7 Stalker bolt rifles (0) [5PL 120pts]

HS: Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (175), 2 Heavy flamers (28), 2 Hunter killer Missiles (12), 2 Storm Cannon Array (100) [16PL 315pts] HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Servo-Harness (11) [4PL 92pts]

Supreme Command Detachment, Adeptus Astartes (Iron Hands) [52 PL 924pts] +1CP

HQ: Iron Father Feirros (110) [6PL 110pts] HQ: Librarian (80), Force Stave (8) [5PL 88pts] HQ: Primaris Librarian (90), Bolt pistol (0), Force sword (8) [5PL 98pts] LOW: Astraeus Super-heavy Tank (400), Ironhail Heavy Stubber (6), Storm Bolter (2), Twin Lascannon (40), Twin Macro-Accelerator Cannon (120), Two Las-Rippers (60) [36PL 628pts]

For some reason this mission was again whole-army deploy and again I got to go first. This time, nobody seized. We rolled up pointy Dawn of War which made it two in a row for both of us, and the mission was What’s Yours is Mine.

Secondaries

Liam:

  • Pick Your Poison (Astraeus FLY, Thunderfire Cannon VEHICLE, Captain on Bike BIKE, Primaris Librarian PSYKER)
  • Headhunter
  • Old School

Terry:

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Gangbusters
  • Headhunter

From this point on the pictures are going to get sparser, because lol if you think I’m going to remember to take pictures in a tournament when I could be making basic errors playing my army instead. Terry had a split deployment, with the Astraeus and the character pile on the left, the bike Captain on the right along with some Intercessors and the Thunderfire Cannon on the right, and the Leviathan in the middle shielding the Chaplain Dreadnought. I deployed my Centurions front and centre, figuring that if he seized I just lose but with nowhere better to put them and still be able to attack his army.

This game was pretty short and sweet. On turn 1 I fired the Cents into the Leviathan, completely forgetting about a) Duty Eternal and b) Cogitated Martyrdom. I still managed to do about 22 wounds, which he passed off to the squad of 7 Intercessors who went down to 1.5 guys. The Leviathan itself took 6 wounds. A real misplay here – every time I’ve thought about this combo I’ve thought “well, at least the Whirlwinds can try and clear out some or all of the Intercessors first” and then I immediately forgot about it. Still, I managed to clear out the Leviathan with Whirlwinds and the relic Contemptor.

In the last game I played against Terry my Whirlwinds did a ton of work against him, and I didn’t have the Centurions. He made an early error here in using the Astraeus to target the Whirlwinds, killing two but not touching the Dreadnought or the Cents. That meant the Centurions were up for the next round, and between them and a bit of other shooting I managed to knock the Astraeus down to about 11 wounds left – 14 after the inevitable repair. On his 2, he brought the Astraeus forwards for no good reason, killed three Centurions through Transhuman Physiology, and blew up the Contemptor.

At the start of turn 3 I was thinking “Wow, this is going to be tight.” At the end of turn 4, I’d tabled him. I got a Centurion back to its feet so that I was firing with 4, and I got the +1 to wound prayer off so they were wounding the Astraeus on 4s as well, and 5s with the hurricane bolters. They promptly murdered it, and then it rolled a 6 to explode. Terry re-rolled, and up came another 6. I think if you watch the stream you can see me celebrating and then power posing over the board as the game suddenly switches in my favour. My remaining shooting took out a Librarian and some Intercessors. Not much else happened after this – his bike Captain rushed forwards only to fail his charge, and Feirros assassinated the flag (its last action in this event, and good riddance). On turn 4 I killed the bike captain with hurricane bolters and Feirros, the Primaris Librarian, and the Lieutenant with Centurion heavy bolters. A squad of Intercessors on the right rushed his flank and took out the last few Intercessors on his side and charged his Techmarine Gunner, at which point we were done.

Result:

33-18. A closer game than a tabling suggests, but I didn’t get to score Kill More or Hold More for the opening turns, so my primary points were pretty poor.

Game 4 – vs. Rich, mixed Chaos

For some reason I woke up at 2.30am on the Sunday, and spent the morning catching up on some painting. Around 6am I decided to start drafting this post and woops, Ancient. After agreeing I was still going to be playing, I turned up to day 2 to play against Rich, another local player to Bristol, and his minimalist Chaos army.

Rich's Chaos Knights - click to expand

+PLAYER: Richard Whybray
+ARMY FACTION:  Chaos Knights
+TOTAL COMMAND POINTS:  10
+TOTAL ARMY POINTS:  2000
+POWER LEVELS: 127
+ARMY FACTIONS USED: Chaos Space Marines & Chaos Knights
+TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS:  Not Applicable 

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [52 PL, 1CP, 777pts] ++
Detachment CP [1CP]
Legion: Iron Warriors
+ HQ [6 PL, 96pts] +
Chaos Lord with Jump Pack [6 PL, 96pts]: 2. Daemonsmith, Chainaxe [1pts], Combi-bolter [2pts], No Chaos Mark, Spitespitter, Warlord
+ Heavy Support [46 PL, 681pts] +
Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought [14 PL, 198pts]: Butcher cannon array [40pts], Greater havoc launcher [21pts], No Chaos Mark, Twin heavy bolter [17pts]
Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought [14 PL, 198pts]: Butcher cannon array [40pts], Greater havoc launcher [21pts], No Chaos Mark, Twin heavy bolter [17pts]
Obliterators [18 PL, 285pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 3x Obliterator
++ Super-Heavy Detachment +6CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [75 PL, 9CP, 1,223pts] ++
Battle-forged CP [3CP]
Detachment CP [6CP]
+ Lord of War [75 PL, 1,223pts] +
Knight Despoiler [25 PL, 397pts]: Character (Traitoris Lance), Heavy stubber [2pts], Iconoclast Household, Thermal cannon [55pts], Thermal cannon [55pts]
Knight Despoiler [25 PL, 413pts]: Dreadblade, Heavy stubber [2pts], Iconoclast Household, Ironstorm Missile Pod [16pts], Thermal cannon [55pts], Thermal cannon [55pts]
Knight Despoiler [25 PL, 413pts]: Dreadblade, Heavy stubber [2pts], Iconoclast Household, Ironstorm Missile Pod [16pts], Thermal cannon [55pts], Thermal cannon [55pts]

 

Rich’s list has a horrendous amount of firepower, but not a lot of presence on the board. With the Obliterators and the Chaos Lord in deep strike, there’s just three Knights and two Deredeos on the table.

We rolled up Dawn of War for deployment and the mission was Precious Cargo.

Table 1!

Secondaries

Liam:

  • Old School
  • Titanslayer
  • Kingslayer

Rich:

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Headhunter
  • Gangbusters

 

We had alternating deployment this time, which was a bit of a farce with Rich’s low-drop army. He ended up with a Derede in the far-left corner (from my point of view), another in the middle, a Knight behind the middle Deredeo, and then two Knights ready to rush the ruin in my bottom right corner where my Whirlwinds and Thunderfire were hiding. I deployed the Cents inside the magic box in my deployment zone and the Contemptor tucked up inside the corner ruin to keep them safe, scattered Intercessors around them, and then lined my Scouts up to block the Knights from their early movement. The Suppressors went bottom-left in another corner ruin, and I chose that as my priority objective so it was far away from his army. I figured at worst if I went second, I would lose a Whirlwind or two, but there wouldn’t be any Knights charging into my lines and meleeing things.

In the event, though, I rolled a 6 to his 3 and he failed to seize, so I went first.

Just after deployment. The Contemptor had come around the corner ruin to get line of sight, and the Centurions dropped out of the magic box. It looks like they’re out of coherency but there’s one you can’t really see here!

In a repeat of game 2, the Centurions deleted a Knight without hesitation, while standing within 3″ of the nearest objective to get the +1 to save again. My other firepower then killed a second Knight, even with the Contemptor low-rolling – the Thunderfire and Whirlwinds smashed 16 wounds off it, as well as doing most of the wounds to the middle Deredeo. It was a high-roll kind of day. The central Scouts ran forwards and tied up the middle Deredeo. For some reason I got really fixated on tri-pointing it instead of just using the charge move to hold the bonus objective, a completely pointless exercise since they can’t fall back and shoot and the middle Knight was going to murder the Scouts anyway.

From here on Rich was always going to struggle, losing 900pts on turn 1. He fought back as best he could, with the middle Knight taking aim at the Centurions but only doing two wounds with the thermal cannons after Transhuman Physiology, which I promptly rolled a 5 and a 6 to save. Ouch. The Deredeo on my far left shot at the Suppressors and didn’t wound them, either. He did clear out the Scouts to at least pick up a kill and a hold.

He’d done well to move his last remaining Knight out of line of sight of the Centurions, who shrugged and got back inside their box, but he couldn’t quite hide it from the Contemptor and its 9″ move, nor from the Whirlwinds. They promptly blew up the Knight and the middle Deredeo. With that I was in the driver’s seat – just the Obliterators to come in and one Deredeo left to kill, and I had my main units still on their feet, so no bother, right?

Well, I was doing my best to throw away points still. Rich brought his Obliterators in and killed the Contemptor, then cleared out two squads of Intercessors, while also putting the centre ruin between my Centurions and the Oblits. He could only manage this because I’d failed to screen them out by about half an inch. Good stuff. This also let him draw me on hold more.

The rest of the game was me blowing up the Deredeo to take him off an objective and score hold more, then forgetting to put any of my characters within 3″ of my other objective so that his Oblits killed the last Intercessors and drew hold more anyway, and then finally killing the Oblits with a pile of artillery fire. I won, but I won poorly, failing to maximise score where I could. In this game I was able to take a commanding lead early on, mostly thanks to the strength of the match-up for me, but this stuck for the next game too where it was much more punishing.

Result:

34 – 8.

Game 5 – vs. Jay, Iron Hands

Top table in game 5! Jay and I were both 4-0, and if I won this game I was pretty sure I could still win the event even with the penalty for that idiot Ancient.

Jay is probably the best player in our group, and of course he’s playing Iron Hands, the game’s most balanced faction. This was going to be tough. I took exactly zero pictures of this game, but you can see it all on the stream, and the table was exactly the same as in game 4.

Jay's Iron Hands - click to expand

Player: Jay Seebarun
Faction: Iron hands
Total points: 1998
Total command points: 14
Free relic Ironstone 

Battalion Detachment +5CP

Chapter Selection: Iron Hands

Battle-forged CP [3CP], Detachment CP [5CP]

HQ: Captain [6 PL, 108pts]: Jump Pack [1 PL, 19pts], Power axe [5pts], Storm shield [10pts] HQ: Primaris Lieutenants [4 PL, 70pts]. Primaris Lieutenant [4 PL, 70pts]: Master-crafted stalker bolt rifle [5pts]

Troop: Infiltrator Squad [5 PL, 110pts]: 4x Infilltrator [88pts], Infiltrator Sergeant [22pts] Troop: Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 94pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle, 4x Intercessor [68pts], Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]: Power fist [9pts] Troop: Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 94pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle, 4x Intercessor [68pts], Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]: Power fist [9pts]

Heavy: Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 72pts] Eliminator Sergeant [24pts]: Bolt sniper rifle [3pts], Camo cloak [3pts], 2x Eliminator with Bolt Sniper [48pts]: 2x Bolt sniper rifle [6pts], 2x Camo cloak [6pts] Heavy: Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 72pts]Eliminator Sergeant [24pts]: Bolt sniper rifle [3pts], Camo cloak [3pts] 2x Eliminator with Bolt Sniper [48pts]: 2x Bolt sniper rifle [6pts], 2x Camo cloak [6pts]

Battalion Detachment +5CP 

Chapter Selection: Iron Hands

HQ: Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought [11 PL, 167pts]: 2. Catechism of Fire, Litany of Hate, Twin lascannon [40pts] . Melee weapon [22pts]: Dreadnought combat weapon [20pts], Storm bolter [2pts] HQ: Techmarine [5 PL, 61pts, -1CP]: Boltgun, Warlord Master of the Machine, Power axe [5pts], Strategem: Master of the Forge [-1CP], The Ironstone,. Servo-harness [1 PL, 11pts]: Flamer [6pts], Plasma cutter [5pts]

Troop: Infiltrator Squad [5 PL, 110pts]: 4x Infilltrator [88pts], Infiltrator Sergeant [22pts] Troop: Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 85pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle, 4x Intercessor [68pts] Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]: Chainsword
Troop:
Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 85pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle, 4x Intercessor [68pts] Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]: Chainsword

Elite: Primaris Apothecary [3 PL, 60pts] Elite: Relic Scorpious Whirlwind [ 12 PL, 215pts] Scorpious Mulit Missile launcher [40pts]

Spearhead Detachment +1CP

Chapter Selection: Iron Hands

HQ: Ironfather Fierros [6PL, 110pts]

Heavy: Relic Leviathan Dreadnought [16 PL, 315pts]: Storm Cannon Array [50pts], Storm Cannon Arrary [50pts] 2x Hunter killer missiles [12pts] Heavy: Whirlwind [4 PL, 85pts]: Whirlwind Vengeance Launcher [20pts] Heavy: Whirlwind [4 PL, 85pts]: Whirlwind Vengeance Launcher [20pts]

Whole army deployment and I win the roll, yay. We roll up Spearhead Assault for deployment, boo. This was going to be step one in me playing this mission badly.

The mission was Crucible of Champions – a good mission for Jay, with his character Dreads pushing forwards, and not so good for me.

What I should have done here was deploy mostly backlined, let him have the board, and outrange the Leviathan. He didn’t have a ton of direct shooting, so hiding out of line of sight didn’t do a lot as long as the Leviathan couldn’t see. Instead I deployed aggressively in the centre ruin, without really checking if the Cents could get out of it to shoot (spoiler: they couldn’t).

I opened turn 1 well by double firing a Whirlwind with Tank Hunters into his Scorpius, taking it off handily, but basically everything else sucked. I moved some stuff around pointlessly without really knowing where it was going, and then shot a spread of different units with no particular plan. Jay responded by murdering the Suppressors and a squad of Intercessors, as well as taking out one of my Whirlwinds. He also killed two Centurions, who’d had to shuffle backwards to be able to get out of the ruin next turn.

Turn 2, I dropped the Cents out (after picking up one of the dead ones) to drop bolter shots into the Leviathan. I figured they’d do about 10-12 wounds to it, mathematically about right, and then other shooting could take off the rest. That would break the game wide open for me. Instead, Jay high-rolled his saves, dropping only 5/25 4+s (and then FNPing two of the wounds on 6s), and 1/24 2+ saves. Good. This is fine. He struck back and killed the Centurions pretty easily with the Leviathan, Chaplain Dreadnought, and a few other bits of shooting.

From here the game kind of broke down. Jay was well ahead on points and I was really struggling to score secondaries. At the end of the game he had very few units left, and the final score was 30-21, which flatters me – Jay took his foot off the accelerator a little bit and threw the Leviathan and Feirros into the middle to pick up a bonus point, as well as throwing his slam captain forwards to charge some Intercessors, which allowed me to pick up two Headhunters, first by shooting the slam Captain to death, and second by charging and wrapping the Leviathan with some Intercessors, Pedro, and the Chaplain, also allowing Pedro to squash Feirros.

Result

21-30 to Jay.

What could I have done differently? Pretty much all of it! Firstly my deployment, as discussed above, was very poor. In my practice game with this list the Centurions had deployed in the open and I was lucky not to be punished for it, and from then on I’d made sure to always deploy them hidden somewhere ready to pop out. I had that in mind for this game, but really I didn’t need to – instead I should have been thinking about the relative ranges of the Centurions and the Leviathan, which was their biggest predator.

Even with my poor deployment though, I could have won this. My turn 1 movement and shooting was completely pointless, and I should have just… not. Having deployed out of line of sight in the ruin, I should have maintained the castle and relied on just popping the Scorpius to tread water on points. In turn 2, I could – and should – have used a unit of Intercessors to tie up the Leviathan, which was jammed up against a ruin wall with only its gun sticking out. This would have allowed the Cents to pop out and massacre Intercessors in the open, a much easier target to deal with and potentially allowing me to gain control of the board. One turn of protection from the Leviathan’s shooting would have been a big, potentially game-winning, leg up.

Even then, without the high roll on saves, I could have killed the Leviathan and potentially won. But as fellow Goonhammer author Cyle often says, if your game comes down to a single roll – no matter how unlikely a high roll it is to pass 80% of your 4+ saves – then you’ve made mistakes earlier in the game.

Wrap up

Overall then, I went 4-1. Purely on game results I was 3rd, but thanks to that idiot Ancient, and more importantly thanks to the idiot who put him on the table, I dropped down to 6th. A great lesson in making sure you know what you’re doing before turning up to an event.

Thanks to all of my opponents, especially the first three who were uniformly very forgiving of me, and to the organisers for a really fun event. The next one is in early October, and I am going to do my best to be there – these are really well run events in a great accommodation. If you’ve read all this way, thanks to you too!

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below, hit us up on Facebook or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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