After a relaxing night watching youtube vidoes and using my movement tray as an actual tray to eat a takeaway from in my hotel room, it was back to the venue for the frankly leisurely start time of 10AM for round 4.
Pairings had been posted the previous night, but unfortunately some people had dropped overnight, so there was a reshuffle. Rather than the Tau list I’d reviewed the previous night (and quite fancied my chances against thanks to some unit/wargear choices that were weaker against me than the general meta). I was up against something…else. Something far, far worse.
Round 4 – Magnus and the Bois
Army List - Click to expand
Thousand Sons/Renegade Knights
Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment - Thousand Sons (445), 0CP
Magnus the Simply Red - 445 pts (Warlord - Lord o Forbidden Lore) (Psy - Weaver o Fate, Glamour of Tz, Death Hex, Warptime)
Super Heavy Detachment - Renegade Kernights (1550), 6CP
Renegade Knight Dominus (500) - Volcano Lance & Plasma thing (10), 2 x twin cannons(70), 1 x missiles (24) - 
Renegade Knight (285) - Hvy stubber (4), Gattler & Hvy flamer (92), Gattler & Hvy Flamer (92) - 
Renegade Knight (285) - Hvy stubber (4), Gattler & Hvy flamer (92), Thermal cannon (76), Ironstorm pod (16) - 
Scorched Earth and Tactical Escalation. Scorched earth is extremely good news for me – even if this game goes south I’m likely to score far more on the first few turns than he will, and may then have the option of trying to cling on for a points victory even in the face of the fact that he’ll near always get the full 6 KP in this mission.
Tactical escalation is less good – I’m likely going to do my best scoring in the first few turns and tactical escalation reduces my ability to do that. It also adds a wild-card element to things via the tactical priority rule – again, if things go bad I want to rely on some consistent scoring over the first few turns to try and get ahead, and my opponent getting to randomly spike a higher score on some cards could scupper that.
Deployment was Dawn of War.
Because there were two very similar lists on the tournament roster and they stood out as nasty, I did actually have a pre-event plan for this matchup. My calculation was that with first turn, my best move was to try and alpha strike magnus off the board. This sounds tough, but between having more powers than he can deny, serpent shields and shurikens, I do actually have a good shot at it.
If I order my powers sensibly, he’s likely to take two smites, which added to the serpent shields is 8MWs average. Using Seer Council, I have at least some chance of sticking a doom, jinx or 3rd Smite past his buffed deny as well, any one of which puts me in an extremely good spot.
After that, with fire prisms hitting averages they put something like 6 wounds into him, meaning I only need to find 4 more out of the Hemlock (which averages ~ 3) and all of the Shurikens to put him down.
If Magnus dies, I think it becomes very hard for him to deal with the fact that I’ll be able to swing through his targets with Doom/Jinx turn after turn, backed up with smites, and I almost certainly run away with the game. This is the reason for trying to alpha magnus rather than a knight – it opens up a whole aspect of my army that he can’t easily defend against.
The counter argument is that alpha striking a knight is a lot easier – because of having deep strikers and him only having 4 drops, I’ll essentially have perfect information to plan with, and if one knight is in a position where I can roll through it without Magnus being able to deny the powers killing it is much easier. We’ll come back to this in the wrap up.
If I go second, the plan is to use my perfect deployment info to have set up a good phantasm escape – at that point, i want to be as far away from Magnus as possible, as I will need to try and roll through his knights first as softer targets to get back into the game.
I got the first turn. Woo. I tried to alpha strike Magnus. Woo. He made all of his denies on doom/jinx/reveal (my opponent went for prepared positions). Booo. He survived the turn on 3W. Boooooooooooooo. Also, my two units of on-board scourges were back on terrible mode, and did something like 3MWs to knights between them. Booooooooooooooooo.
From there, we had ourselves a throwdown where things were heavily skewed against me. Magnus healed up into his middle bracket, and his knights stomped forwards. With one exception (my scourges tanking heavy flamer shots like champs) his shooting was pretty vicious – I stopped the Trail of Destruction on the Castellan with Vect, but he still rolled lots of hits on his volcano lance and blew a serpent away.
He also cleared my screen away from my characters, and revealed a horrible mistake I’d made – I’d underestimated how much of my infantry screen he could clear, and my characters were in a neat little line that could be charged by a knight because pretty much all of the characters. This was a needless error on my part (if you’re picking up a theme “think better about character positioning” is definitely going in the summary) – I should have layered them with the autarch and spiritseer at the front and the farseer at least a few inches back (the warlock had to be where he was to try the Jinx previously).
The farseer got stomped to death, and between that and the destruction wrecked elsewhere I didn’t feel too good about my chances.
My army decided to rally heroically and put me back in it. From 5W the Hemlock and a few other things were able to put Magnus down, and the remaining scourges did a lot better this time. However, things still looked pretty dire as I went to do my last thing, which was linked up fire Prisms, but they spiked massively (or more accurately, my opponent’s invulns nose dived) and put something like 12W on a knight to actually kill it.
Despite horrible circumstances, that suddenly made things live, and this became probably the tensest and closest game of 40K I’ve ever played. My units kept getting deleted, but the scourges went in for some extreme heroics, and two of them survived firepower/morale that should probably have wiped/crippled the squad, and the remaining two high rolled 7MWs into the last non-dominus knight to drag it down a bit. At the same time though it overperformed in melee against my guardians, dropping the whole squad in one turn where it should probably have taken 2.
A desperate gamble on my 4th turn saw me blocking the Castellan at one end of the board (who’d had to swing round a ruin to prise my archon out of it, and by prise I mean “plasma to death” ) with a Hemlock while firing at the other knight, needing it to die so it couldn’t use it’s no-LOS missiles to kill my rangers.
I just landed the kill, and my rangers were able to hide until the end of turn 5, and I got the 1 I needed on the game end roll. It was tense right to the end – on (what would turn out to be)the last turn we pre-measured how far he would need to roll on an advance to try some hail-mary melta shots on the rangers and he missed it by 1 – all it would have taken would have been a high roll there and I could have been tabled.
Heck even counting up the score was tense – in the sheer adrenaline rush of the last few turns I’d forgotten that he’d get 6 free VP from kills, then when we started cross checking the scores we realised he had two cards that were in his tactical priority where we hadn’t counted the extra point, but eventually after the maths was done I’d just pulled out the win.
So. Given that my go-first plan failed, was the plan right? After a bit of cogitating, my conclusion is that in the abstract it was correct, but given the deployment it was the wrong call.
After he’d deployed, Magnus was at the fairly extreme end of the board. in order to do my setup properly, I had to put my warlock nearer the frontlines than I liked, and needing to layer things to set up a phantasm meant that i couldn’t line everything up to attack Magnus – i had him down to 3W by the end of it, but one of my serpents couldn’t maneuver him to be closest model and like 8 dire avengers didn’t manage to get in range of him. That would probably have been enough to tip the scales.
However, given I knew Magnus was at the far end, I could just have set up at the other end of the board and gone for an alpha strike on his slightly strung out knight at that end instead. That would also have let me use a Hemlock for some movement blocking shenanigans, and with Doom and Jinx going in (both were cast but denied) the knight would almost certainly have bit the dust. It was the dual Avenger gattling one too, so blowing both shields to kill it would be entirely reasonable.
While Magnus would then get to buff up, he’d get to do very little killing for the first turn at that point. Importantly, this would also have not fed my infantry so hard into the stomping machine, and maybe with doom on the knight my scourges wouldn’t have so thoroughly fluffed the first turn (it was the wound rolls that killed it for both squads). Playing back how things went in my head, I think if I’d gone hard after the far knight turn 1 I would have had a good chance of rolling through the Dominus on the second turn, as I would have had much more of my army left. With the Dominus and the gatling knight gone, it becomes extremely hard for my opponent to ever table me, and my win looks extremely likely.
In general, this shows the dangers of sticking too close to your preconceived strategies. In Search and Destroy or the short edge deployments, it’s likely easy for him to set up such that his knights are out of easy alpha strike range, and that Magnus will be in deny range if I try and go for them. Magnus himself will need to be forward to achieve this though, which means in those games he is the correct target. In DoW, Frontline assault or Vanguard strike, it’s much more likely that one knight will end up “vulnerable” and out of Magnus’s sphere of influence/denial, at which point picking off the straggler is the correct call.
To be fair, it’s really *only* DoW where that’s guaranteed – the other two mentioned Magnus can still shield, so they may become more like the others. However, in DoW it’s pretty much impossible to set up so that there isn’t a knight I can a.) Get powers on while out of Magnus’s bubble and b.) Get in range to alpha.
Lots of food for thought here – I got my win and feel I played well to pull it back after the disaster of turn 1, but I was definitely saved by the mission favouring me, and if I’d made better decisions turn 1 I could perhaps have got a more comfortable and decisive victory.
3-1 Match Total
Round 5 – Imperial Trifecta
Army List - Click to expand
Army Factions: Astra Millitarum, Imperial Knights & Blood Angels
Total Army Points 2000
Total Command Points 2000: 16
Brigade Detachment - Imperial guard - Vostroyan Regiment [Points 993] +12CP's
HQ1: Tank Commander (167) Punisher Gatling Cannon (20) Heavy Bolter (8) 2x Heavy Bolter
sponson (16) Storm Bolter (2) Hunter Killer Missile (6) 
HQ2: Company Commander (30) Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
HQ3: Company Commander (30) Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP1: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP2: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP3: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP4: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP5: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP6: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) 
TROOP7: Infantry squad (40) Sergeant Laspistol (0) Chainsword (0) mortar (5) 
ELITE1: 9x Crusaders 
ELITE2: Astropath (30) Laspistol (0) (Nightshroud) 
ELITE3: Astropath (30) Laspistol (0) (Psychic Barrier) 
FA1: Scout Sentinel (35) Multi Laser (10) 
FA2: Scout Sentinel (35) Multi Laser (10) 
FA3: Scout Sentinel (35) Multi Laser (10) 
HS1: Heavy weapons team (18) 3x mortar (15) 
HS1: Heavy weapons team (18) 3x mortar (15) 
HS1: Heavy weapons team (18) 3x mortar (15) 
Supreme Command Detachment - Blood Angels [Points 403] +1CP
HQ4: Captain (74) Jump Pack (19), Storm shield (15) Thunder hammer (21)  - WARLORD (Artisan
HQ5: Captain (74) Jump Pack (19), Storm shield (15) Thunder hammer (21)  FREE RELIC (The
HQ6: Mephiston (The Quickening, Unleash Rage, Wings of Sanguinigus) 
Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment - House Raven [Points 604] +0CP
LOW1: Castellan (510) 2x Twin Meltagun (0) 2x Twin Siegebreaker Cannon (70) Volcano Lance (0)
Plasma Decimator (0) 2x Shield-breaker Missile (24) 
Obviously he added the Angel’s Wing to the non-warlord smash captain and Cawl’s Wrath + Ion Bulwark to the Castellan
Secure and Control (slightly modified so that each player secretly picks the scoring values for objectives rather than randomising) + Cleanse and Capture
An end of game mission is probably good for me here – with progressive scoring the number of bodies he has would be a major problem.
Deployment was Search and Destroy. This is less good for me – he has enough bodies to hide the Castellan right at the back of his forces, and with the corner deployment he can fan out such that the Scourges won’t be able to drop in and go after him. This and Vanguard Strike are probably the worst for me here – they maximise his ability to both hide the Castellan and swamp the whole board in the Emperor’s finest.
This game needs to be played cautiously if I go first. Depending on how he’s deployed, my suspicion is that I’ll want to push hard into whichever quarter of no-man’s land doesn’t have smashcaps and crusaders near it, and start trying to push a path through to the Castellan. if possible, I probably should at least target it with Linked Fire, but potentially then fake out and not actually put the second fire prism into it if he spends the 3CP on the shields, as I’m happy to trade one CP and a fire prism’s shooting to take away three of his.
If he goes first, I need to try and minimise sightlines to my tanks from the Castellan and make sure slamcaps can’t easily charge my serpents turn 1, using careful deployment and Phantasm. If he’s gone first he’s likely to have a strong spearhead pushing into my quarter somewhere, and I instead need to use the advantage of them being in close range to try and repel it.
One advantage is that he doesn’t have that many wounds worth of alpha units (other than the Castellan) – as long as I keep it away from my infantry the Punisher Russ is fairly irrelevant against me, and if I can clear out the crusaders and the Slamcaps then he’s leaning a lot on the Castellan to fight me. All of the mentioned units are likely to push hard towards my smiters and infantry, so can certainly make themselves vulnerable. The back line mortars are also quite vulnerable to a Hemlock if there’s space to land it – at the LGT I had some success in flying a hemlock up, wasting two bases from each of two units, and leaving the third at a 50% chance to flee in each thanks to the morale aura, which can deplete some of his anti-infantry in a hurry. if I can clear that before/as the Guardians come down that’s very helpful.
Basically the summary is that if I go first, I push his weaker flank and if I go second I try and repel his stronger flank’s attack, then probably bring the guardians in to tangle with what he puts on the weaker flank on turn 2.
Unfortunately, he got the first turn, and it went reasonably well for him. I remembered to call prepared positions, but I’d messed up (some) of my post Phantasm positioning – I’d made it so he didn’t have a good first turn charge with Slamcaps even after using Forlorn Fury, but I’d needlessly put one Fire Prism visible to the Castellan. That died of Volcano lance (I vected “Order of Companions” but he still rolled high enough), and one of my Wave Serpents also took an outrageous amount of damage from the Castellan’s other guns and also mortar fire (I rolled quite a few 1s to save), but it did cling to life. In lieu of being able to charge the “aggressive” slamcap in, he pushed him forward along with Mephiston surrounded by buffed up crusaders. Frustratingly, he drew “Priority orders” for a defend that he could easily set up his warlord to achieve, which meant I had to switch to aiming for the table, as I was never going to catch up without an outrageous run of cards myself.
With that in mind, I felt I needed to take the chance presented to me to take out the Crusaders – they were buffed up to a 2++ and -1 to hit, but I was pretty sure that with smites, Jinx and at least one serpent shield (no use keeping the one on the badly wounded Serpent) I thought I was odds on to clear them, and that would let me get at the chewy Mephiston centre. I positioned my Hemlock so that it would be able to shoot at Mephiston if the crusaders did all die, and my autarch to charge him if that failed – between those two the kill should be pretty much guaranteed.
My smites were lackluster, but doom and jinx landed, and between serpent shields and a hail of Shurikens the crusaders all died. Unfortunately the Hemlock flubbed it, and forced my Autarch to go and finish the job on Mephiston, which he did, but was killed via “Only in Death”. Some dire avengers also charged the forward Slamcap aiming to stop him being able to charge the Hemlock, and one helpfully clung to life.
That could have gone better but also could have gone much worse – I think having to use the second serpent shield and the autarch getting killed. His second turn was fine but unspectacular – the second fire prism got lanced (I was slightly frustrated at this point that I think every time a lance was fired at a prism this and the last round it insta-died – with hits only on 4+ you’d expect a flub now and again) and a number of my infantry were killed by guardsmen, but not all of them. With a really great turn I could still potentially fight my way back into the game.
Unfortunately I just couldn’t make a good enough round happen. My first lot of deep strikers came in, and the guardians did their job and totalled a guard squad, but both units of scourges (I still didn’t have an angle on the Castellan, so held one back) completely flubbed – one squad killed like two guardsmen and the other failed to meaningfully inconvenience a scout Sentinel. Given the deficit on cards, treading water just wasn’t good enough, and on his turn some more things died and my right flank largely collapsed.
I decided my only hope was to push things in and try and high roll-kill the Castellan – it had moved up a bit and was just close enough that by blowing my last Cp I could use “Matchless Agility” to move the (largely unscathed) guardian squad in to shoot it. If I set up the full debuff pile, brought the last Scourges in and rolled outrageously well, it could just about die, and he was out of CP, so double profiling it would also be good.
I started my psychic phase by rolling for Jinx. Double six. I used the warlord trait to full reroll. Double six. I rolled for damage. 5 – 3 wounds, my warlord’s head exploded and scattered mortals around. Technically I made a mistake here – I’d bought him the phoenix gem, but thought it only worked on attacks, but it will actually go off if you die to mortal wounds as long as there aren’t any more after the one that kills him. It wouldn’t have made a difference though – I rolled out the shooting and even with Jinx it wouldn’t have downed him. Meanwhile, my scourges on the far side of the board continued to fail to kill a scout sentinel.
With all that in mind, there was no way I was going to salvage anything out of the game (and we were not that far from time as deployment took a while) so I conceded.
I think my plan here was honestly pretty good – this was always going to be an extremely tricky matchup if he got the first turn, and I think killing the crusaders and to a lesser extent Mephiston turn 1 genuinely put a dent in his plans. However, his extremely wide screening of the Castellan (helped by the deployment map) made it very tricky for me to engage it with anything other than the prisms, and I’d needlessly thrown one away by messing up the sightlines. The Scourges in my list are quite good against multi-knight armies as they give me a beta strike option if the first turn has gone a bit to hell, but if your opponent can screen them out relying on them is a big problem. If I’d been able to go first I might have managed to put enough of a dent in his left flank to think about bringing them in, but there just wasn’t a good chance here.
In hindsight, the fact that the phoenix gem does work against perils makes it an even buy – this isn’t even the first game where I’ve given up hope after a warlock has blown their own brain up, and putting it on a bike warlock actually means perils will never kill him as long as he’s budied up. I should probably bear in mind that the probability of that sequence of events when you have the option of a full re-roll on psychic is about 1/1000 though, so probably shouldn’t factor too heavily into future decision making.
Finally, it’s reassuring that my army can dunk something like the crusader squad with the right setup.
Not a terrible showing but I’d really like to break the curse of 3-2 at some point (although at least we’re back to that after Battlefield Birmingham was a bit of a wash at 2-3).
Two more major chances at that this year.
I was definitely happier with this list than my BB one, and it was because of the extra bodies and CP. This did pretty much exactly what I wanted – it let me brawl mid board when I wanted to attack, and gave me just a bit more staying power against a bad start – I definitely wouldn’t have won game 4 with my BB list, and I think game 2 would have been even more one-sided against me (unless my reapers had high rolled and killed a whole skyweaver each or something silly like that).
Having a bike warlock with Protect/Jinx was also extremely good – being able to follow the Farseer around and then turbo-charge both their casts with the strategem added a level of reliability to my Doom/Jinx attempts, which is even more important to my army than normal. I’m undecided on whether having him as my warlord was correct – on balance I think it probably was as it splits the target priority for my opponent, and adds yet another level of reliability to getting Jinx off, and also statistically makes dying of perils extremely unlikely (lol). I can’t currently really think of a better option either – I could theoretically put the “no overwatch” trait on the Autarch, but he dies a lot even in games I win. I could just be boring and put “Fate’s messenger” on the farseer for extra resilience, but am currently leaning towards trying at least one more event with the current setup.
A bit of additional psychic firepower also helped – throwing out tonnes of mortal wounds is really good in the meta, it turns out, and if, for example, I had managed to drop Magnus turn 1 in that game would have been incredibly clutch – my psychic phase doing a quarter of the work to kill a knight each time would have helped me churn through them.
While I’ve already mentioned infantry, the Guardian bomb in particular was great. It didn’t turn out to really need conceal on it in most cases (I was usually better throwing the Smite from the spiritseer) but even just protect threatened to make it very tough to shift. Guide did also seem a bit superfluous – I don’t think it made a meaningful difference in any of the matches. I’m likely to swap it for executioner in the future – I really just want more mortal wounds.
Wave Serpents and Hemlocks continue to be some of the best units in the game. Headlines at 11.
What Didn’t Work?
As mentioned above, there’s a bit of re-arranging I’d like to do re:Psychic powers, but that’s a fairly minor thing. The main issues here are:
- While bodies are good, Craftworld bodies are just slightly too expensive to grind up to a Battalion on. I’d really like one more Alpha unit.
- The scourges were a bit cold most of the time – they did have a few brutal high rolls, but only one of those really mattered (in R4, and in that instance was really only balancing out some appalling low rolls on turn 1). I think the deep strike changes have weakened them a lot, because prior to the change you could at least bring them in within your own zone to attack a knight that’s advanced on you turn 1. If you go second in the knight meta, not being able to use them till your turn 2 can be too late.
- The Fire Prisms are quite vulnerable compared to the rest of the army in several key matchups. I think if I had 3 it would be OK, but 2 is problematic if you go second and one just insta-dies. The fact that they’re relatively static is a problem against Harlequins too.
- Having said that, I would like more ways to project threat outwards – without the Scourges ever available on turn 1, I want more things that can threaten dudes over there.
- The Archon feels like a bit of a waste now he’s not the warlord. I still think that was the right call, but he was 76 points of dead weight in most games, and really only did much in R4 where he bought me a turn (which turned out to be game winning) by forcing the Castellan to stomp to one end of the board to shoot him before going back for the rangers. It doesn’t help that I failed 2/3 shadow field saves I made all weekend.
So Where Next?
My next event is Blood and Glory in under 2 weeks. It’s also 1750.
I’m obviously going to save talking about the army I’m going to run there until the preview for that (look at me planning next week’s content like a champ). However, the extreme proximity of it means that I don’t really have much time for painting, and building on my experiences from Glasshammer I’ve come up with the 1750 list I’d like to run if I had a month spare, and I’m really pleased with it and think it distils a lot of the learning points from this one. The list is:
Warning - dirty filth within, not for faint of heart
ARMY FACTIONS: Aeldari, Alaitoc, Drukari
TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14
TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1746pts
Battalion Detachment, Alaitoc [966pts] +5CP
HQ1: Warlock Skyrunner (65pts), Twin Shuriken Catapults (5pts), Witchblade (0pts), WARLORD Seer of the Shifting Vector, POWERS Protect/Jinx - [70pts]
HQ2: Autarch Skyrunner (95pts), Laser Lance (8pts), Twin Shuriken Catapult (5pts) [108pts]
HQ3: Farseer (110pts), Witchblade (0pts), POWERS Executioner, Doom, RELIC Faolchu’s Wing [110pts]
Troop1: 5 Dire Avengers (40pts), Exarch (0pts), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (20pts), Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (Exarch) (4pts) - [64pts]
Troop2: 5 Dire Avengers (40pts), Exarch (0pts), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (20pts), Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (Exarch) (4pts) - [64pts]
Troop3: 18 Guardian Defenders (144pts), Guardian Heavy Weapon platform (5pts), Shuriken Cannon (10pts) - [159pts]
Troop4: 10 Guardian Defenders (80pts), Guardian Heavy Weapon platform (5pts), Shuriken Cannon (10pts) - [95pts]
DT1: Wave Serpent (107pts), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17pts), Shuriken Cannon (10pts) - [134pts]
DT2: Wave Serpent (107pts), Twin Bright Lance (40pts), Shuriken Cannon (10pts), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5pts) - [162pts]
Battalion Detachment, Mixed Drukari [220pts] +5CP
Lelith Hesperax, Impaler - [80pts] <Cult of Strife>
Succubus, Archite Glaive, Splinter Pistol, COMBAT DRUGS: Adrenalight - [50pts] <Red Grief> (buys the Blood Glaive, -1CP)
Troop1: 5 Kabailte Warriors (30pts) - [30pts] <Black Heart>
Troop2: 5 Kabailte Warriors (30pts) - [30pts] <Black Heart>
Troop3: 5 Kabailte Warriors (30pts) - [30pts] <Black Heart>
Air Wing Detachment, Alaitoc [560pts] +1CP
Flyer1: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200pts), Spirit Stones (10pts), POWER - Jinx - [210pts]
Flyer2: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135pts), 2 Bright Lances (40pts) - [175pts]
Flyer3: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135pts), 2 Bright Lances (40pts) - [175pts]
You can blame my round 2 opponent’s army list for this. Thanks to the (now official) clarification on Vect, you don’t need a “Black heart detachment” to take it, you need a Drukari detachment that puts some black heart boots on the ground. Having observed a.) my opponent using three small units of kabalites to sit on objectives/screen and b.) Using a mixed Harlequin detachment to get a bunch of useful tricks/strategem access, I started wondering if there was some cheap configuration of characters that I could have accompanying three units of kabalites (who really don’t care about the black heart obsession) that also didn’t really mind not having a faction trait.
It turns out yes – an Adrenalight Succubus with the Blood Glaive is an outrageous monster for 50pts, with five S6, AP-3, Dd3 attacks hitting on 2s and re-rolling 1s. Lelith frankly looks slightly disappointing next to her but is still good, and both of them have the (for some armies) terrifying additional threat of having a chance of locking a unit in combat with “No Escape”.
Importantly, both of these two can roll with my front line and provide a nasty counter charge threat, or body block my psykers as characters I’m happy to end up in a fist fight.
Over on the Eldar side, it still has a tonne of shurikens available, including as many on turn 1 as before thanks to the guardians, while adding some highly mobile anti tank threat. I’m convinced at this point that Crimson Hunters are just better than Fire Prisms in the current meta – against a big knight they have the only defence that really matters in an additional -1 to hit, while against Harlequins they have the big advantage that you can split them up – against Custodes I’ve had regular success pushing my crimson hunter into the far corner of the board away from the rest of my army, forcing them to divert a bike squad if they want to fight it or ignore it and take the consequences. I imagine you can do much the same against Skyweavers, and the flat three damage is just gravy against them.
The extra lances on one of the serpents are there to add a bit more threat projection – in smaller formats I like to take the lances on them as it lets them double duty a bit.
Frankly this army looks despicably good – honestly I think it might be better than the 2K army I had out at the weekend and that’s an outrageous metric. I’ll almost certainly run something based around that shell at the AOC GT in December (which is 2K again) – I’ll make the final call after Blood and Glory, but I’d either expect “the above but cutting the second guardian squad and putting fire prisms in” or “the above and some Scourges” – I’d be happier with the scourges or prisms accompanying that shell because it crucially has other powerful threats that fill the same role. Equally, I might play against some other horrible list at B&G and be inspired to new heights of terribleness.
That’s it for now, but not (as suggested above) for long – check in next week when I discuss what I’m actually taking to Blood and Glory in the flawed world where I can’t paint four new units in a week, possibly with a side order of a Kill Team list because I’m signed up for the evening event of that.