Tournament Report – LGT 2019 – Part 2

Part 1

Welcome back to part two of my report from the LGT. Last time we checked in I’d just narrowly lost to Tom Leighton’s Knights & Space Marines army, so was keen to put up a win to close out day 1 on 2-1. That wasn’t going to be easy though, as my next opponent’s list had some strong tools to counter mine (against a player I’d previously had a nice chat about our shared love for Dire Avengers with no less).

Round 3 – Aeldari

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Craftworlds, Harlequins
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Battalion Detachment == Craftworlds, Saim Hann [43PL, 751pts] 5 CP Vigilus Defiant: Windrider Host -1 CP
HQ: Farseer Skyrunner (130), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Witchblade (0) [7PL] 132pts 
HQ: Warlock Skyrunner (65), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Witchblade (0) [4PL] 67pts
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), Avenger Shuriken Catapults x 6 (18), Plasma Grenades (0) [3PL] 58pts
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), Avenger Shuriken Catapults x 5 (15), Plasma Grenades (0) [3PL] 55pts
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), Avenger Shuriken Catapults x 5 (15), Plasma Grenades (0) [3PL] 55pts
FA: 5 Swooping Hawks (30), Exarch (0), Lasblasters x 5 (35) [3PL] 65pts 
FA: 9 Windriders (144), Scatterlasers x 9 (63) [12PL] 207pts
HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [8PL] 112pts

== Air Wing Detachment == Craftworlds, Alaitoc [30PL, 630pts] 1 CP
FL: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stones (10) [10PL] 210pts 
FL: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stones (10) [10PL] 210pts 
FL: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stones (10) [10PL] 210pts

== Vanguard Detachment == Harlequins, Mixed [31PL, 619pts] 1 CP 
HQ: (Veiled Path) Shadowseer (125), Shuriken Pistol (0) [7PL] 125 pts
EL: (Dreaming Shadow) Death Jester (45), Shrieker Cannon (0) [3PL] 45pts
EL: (Dreaming Shadow) Death Jester (45), WARLORD, Shrieker Cannon (0) [3PL] 45pts 
EL: (Midnight Sorrow) Solitaire (84), Caress (7), Kiss (7) [5PL] 98pts
FA: (Silent Shroud) 6 Skyweavers (180), Zephyrglaives x 6 (36), Haywire Cannons x 6 (90) [13PL] 306pts

The Mission

ITC Mission 3 – Nexus Control (four objectives, bonus for holding all four).

Search and Destroy deployment.

This works well for the plan I want to do here.

The Plan

This can be a very threatening matchup, as his army has much better tools for asserting air control than I do. This shapes my tactics for this quite heavily – mad though it sounds, what I really, really want to do here is go second.

This sounds insane against triple Hemlocks, but the problem I have if I go first is that the ceiling of what I’m likely to do damage wise is quite low – I can probably take out one Hemlock (though I’ve taken that swing and missed by one wound before, which was a game ending disaster). Once my army is spread out, his Hemlocks and Harlequins can pick off my key units with relative impunity.

On the other hand, if I go second I’ve got a pretty decent chance of taking out a lot of his army early on. If I castle up very tightly in the corner and he wants to hit my planes with his Hemlocks, he’s going to be obliged to come in close enough that I can then counterattack with a full panoply of Smites, Serpent shields and my Autarch. I’ll definitely lose one, maybe two Crimson Hunters, and he’ll probably put a bit of damage into some Serpents, but I have nothing he can profitably alpha strike with his scatter lasers. and the damage to my army will, ultimately, be tolerable.

I can then turn it around hard. The plan is to hammer a volley of smites and shields into one Hemlock, put Doom into the next and kill it with my Hemlock and Shurikens, and everything from my Autarch plus whatever remains after killing the second (which should be quite a bit) into the third. Taking down all three is entirely feasible at this point, and swings the game hard into my favour. From there I should be able to dominate this game – none of his push threats can really deal with being repeatedly smote, and it should wrap up in my favour.

I won the roll off, took a deep breath and put him on first. Let’s hope the plan was good!

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Pick Your Poison
  • Marked for Death

Their Secondaries

  • Marked for Death
  • Behind Enemy Lines
  • Recon

The Summary

Eldar on Eldar Castle Action pt. 1
Eldar on Eldar Castle Action. Credit: Wings

Other Elves!
Other Elves! Credit: Wings

The plan worked. He pushed his Hemlock and Skyweavers deep into my lines, taking down the lance CHE, putting the starcannon one to 4W, and killing a War Walker, but otherwise bouncing off my Serpents. My counterattack picked up:

  • All three Hemlocks
  • Two Skyweavers
  • His Farseer (who was out of position and had an unlucky run of rolls on saves and the phoenix gem when catching a CHE and some Serpent shooting to the face).

The Farseer going down as well as everything else basically made this game over – that’s >40% of his army picked up while mine was still pretty much fully operational (especially as my Autarch popped back to safety after killing a Hemlock).

My opponent (sensibly) switched gears to trying to maximise points and did a pretty decent job of that. He pushed hard with his Harlequins and Windriders, taking out a few of my units and keeping the game sufficiently fluid that I couldn’t just conquer the board, but pushing back to a win was never going to be realistic (even though he actually managed a 5 point-primary turn 2). I gradually took over the game until I had things largely locked down by T4, and spaced out finishing off his last few units to take max points for 4-6.

The Takeaways

I’ve lost similar matchups several times going first, so while I was pretty sure my strategy was correct it was the first time testing it live, so I’m glad it played out as I hoped! This really showed off the value of stacking up all the MW sources in my army, as it makes the counterpunch in matchups like this where the opponent has to come at me with elite units (see also the game with Custodes Jetbikes) go so much more smoothly.

Not much else here – I did make a couple of minor positioning mistakes of my own but was sufficiently on the front foot that my opponent couldn’t afford to punish them.

All things considered, this was a good way to end day 1.

The Score

Primary: 24-11

Secondary: 12-9

Total: 36-20

Round 4 – Black Templars

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Battalion Detachment 5CP (Black Templars) [ 53PL, 858pts] Chapter Tactics: Black Templars
Vigilis Defiant: Black Templars Sword Brethren [-1CP]
High Marshal Helbrecht [9pl, 150pts]
The Emperor's Champion [4pl, 75pts]
Captain [6pl , 143pts] Frag & Krak Grenades, Jump Pack, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer, [-1CP] Hero of the Chapter, The Imperiums Sword

Intercessor Squad [5pl, 95pts] x5 Bolt Rifles, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Power Fist 
Intercessor Squad [5pl, 95pts] x5 Bolt Rifles, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Power Fist 
Intercessor Squad [5pl, 90pts] x5 Bolt Rifles, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Power Sword

-Heavy Support-
Centurion Devastator Squad [19pl, 210pts] x6 Heavy Bolters, x3 Hurricane Bolters, Omniscope

Battalion Detachment 5CP (Black Templars) [ 53PL, 1142pts]
Chapter Tactics: Black Templars

Chaplain [4pl, 80pts] Crozius Arcanum, Frag & Krak Grenades, Grav Pistol, Canticle of Hate, Benediction of Fury, Warlord: Champion of Humanity
Primaris Lieutenants [5pl, 69pts] Bolt Pistol, Frag & Krak Grenades, Master-crafter Auto Bolt Rifle,
Intercessor Squad [5pl, 86pts] x5 Bolt Rifles, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Chainsword 
Intercessor Squad [5pl, 86pts] x5 Bolt Rifles, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Chainsword 
Intercessor Squad [5pl, 94pts] x5 Bolt Rifles, Power Fist

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [6pl, 131pts] Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, Heavy Bolter, Incendium Cannon, Invictor Fist, x2 Ironhail Heavy Stubber
Invictor Tactical Warsuit [6pl, 131pts] Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, Heavy Bolter, Incendium Cannon, Invictor Fist, x2 Ironhail Heavy Stubber

-Heavy Support-
Eliminator Squad [3pl, 72pts] x3 Bolt Sniper Rifle, Frag & Krak Grenades, x3 Camo Cloaks, x3 Bolt Pistol
Eliminator Squad [3pl, 72pts] x3 Bolt Sniper Rifle, Frag & Krak Grenades, x3 Camo Cloaks, x3 Bolt Pistol
Relic Leviathan Dreadnought [16pl, 321pts] x2 Heavy Flamer, x3 Hunter-killer Missile, x2 Storm Cannon Array

I’m glad to see a Sword Brethren smash captain in the wild – they’re always been theoretically great so it’s nice to see it used in practice.

The Mission

ITC Mission 4 – What’s yours is mine (one central objective, two placed by each player (one anywhere, one in opponent’s zone), bonus for holding both the ones you placed).

Hammer and Anvil Deployment

This should favour me? I want to engage at long range initially, so I think it helps.

The Plan

Space Marines eh? This should be OK, but there’s some new scary stuff I’m not used to:

  • Eliminators. These threaten the hell out of my poor characters. With this in mind, I gave my warlock the Fate’s Messenger trait (extra wound, 6+++) rather than Seer, as it helps reduce the chance of him getting plinked off, and Jinx isn’t critical here.
  • The new Black Templar trait is pretty good against me – my psychic MW output is one of my strengths but risks being blunted here.
  • A Leviathan with the new trimmings.

I definitely want him to go first, as I should hopefully be able to deny a kill T1, and then fight for board control.

His list is a pain to pick secondaries against, as quite a lot of the new Marine stuff has outrageously low power levels, and the Eliminators make taking Engineers look way riskier than I’d like. I ended up on Recon (this was a mistake, we’ll cover that in a bit) as a third choice behind Old School and Headhunter.

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Old School
  • Recon

Their Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Pick your poison
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

Black Templars muster.
Black Templars muster. Credit: Wings

Cowardly elves backline
Cowardly elves backline. Credit: Wings

This game was a disaster. The dice were definitely against me, but my plan was wildly wrong and I only have myself to blame on this one.

It started mostly OK. He’d deployed his Eliminators on the L block on his side, which meant that as long as I kept my characters on the back-line at my side of the board they were safe, so I did this. His Invictors rolled up but I’d also deployed far enough back from the line to make a charge from them non-viable. The only big downer was that a combination of his Leviathan’s three missiles and some excellent shooting from his Eliminators managed to take down a Serpent (I’d been hoping to deny him a kill T1).

Invictors are cleared out
Invictors are cleared out. Credit: Wings

Not the end of the world however, and I picked up the two Invictors fairly easily. Things went less well elsewhere – I’d flown some planes over to try and take a squad of Intercessors off an objective, but he popped Transhuman Physiology and only one died to the Crimson Hunter. With that in mind I switched gears to aiming for the Eliminators with the Hemlock, and killed a couple.

Planes advance incautiously
Planes advance incautiously. Credit: Wings

His counterattack was brutal. I’d completely brain-failed on where his smash Captain was (it was out of my physical sight in the L block at his end) and got to kill one of my planes, while the Leviathan killed another. Otherwise, he plinked a few wounds off here and there, but mostly just moved up.

On my turn 2 I traded my Autarch for taking a squad of Intercessors off the middle objective and consolidating into the Leviathan, and got my one bit of very good rolling for the game by taking out a couple of Centurions with my lance Hunter.

Unfortunately, from turn 3 I started getting properly pushed in. His remaining four Eliminators moved to draw a line on my Warlock and managed to kill him straight up despite being hitting on 5s and his extra defences. My Autarch got trivially gunned down, while his other stuff picked off quite a few bits of my infantry. If I’d had a good turn following this I might just about been able to get back into things, but I just didn’t – my army completely forgot how to kill stuff, and the game just slipped away from me from here, and he closed out with a big win. The only remaining point of light was my hero Storm Guardians making a creditable attempt to take down his smash Captain, managing to strip three of his wounds off and force him to make a decent string of saves to keep him alive in combat, before getting hammered to death for their troubles.

The Takeaways

Ouch. There are definitely a few big takeaways here.

1.) Devastator Doctrine really matters. I didn’t pop Lightning Fast on my Wave Serpent straight away turn 1 because I’d underestimated just how many wounds random shooting would plink off it with shots from Eliminators and heavy bolters before the Leviathan missiles came in. It was still a high roll from him, but popping LF straight away (especially as only one Serpent was visible to the Leviathan) would probably have saved the tank.

2.) Leviathans with all the new nonsense are heinous. Previously a moving Leviathan in a re-roll bubble shooting at a plane was only worth about 4-5 wounds if you popped Lightning Fast. With a Chaplain polishing it up with Recitation of Focus and popping Big Guns Never Tire, it’s suddenly hitting on 4s at the very worst, and with a re-roll bubble and Dev doctrine that’s a reliably dead plane right there. I knew they were better but I don’t think I’d processed quite how much.

3.) I really need to bring some sort of marker I can put down at start-of-turn to indicate where any non-physically-visible killer characters are hiding, this is not the only time I’ve made this mistake.

With all this in mind, my plan was just wrong. Recon was the wrong pick – I was wary of it because I was worried it would force me to put planes into either the smashcap or Leviathan danger zone, and that proved 100% founded. What I should have done is picked Ground Control and planned to very carefully table him, because played cautiously and maximising my range advantage I definitely had the tools to do this. .

Deploying defensively was correct, but on my first turn, rather than flying the planes down the board and offloading some infantry to help make sure the Invictors died, I should have just crossed over the planes on my back-line and used them to land the Invictor kills, while pushing a Serpent and my Autarch towards the flank where his main force wasn’t (out of sight from them). That would have kept the planes out of the Leviathan kill zone for his turn 2, and meant he got no benefit from the Leviathan or the smashcap turn 2. It would also have left me with my infantry ready to pop out of their tanks for a concentrated volley into his infantry on my turn 2, while sending the Autarch into the Leviathan at that point. That guarantees me up for a third turn of plane shooting, at which point his army should look seriously degraded, especially as my infantry will have mown down an Doomed intercessor squad or two. At that point, i can probably mop up what he’s got left sufficiently to claim Ground Control without too much trouble, dice be damned.

This was definitely an important learning experience about new Marines and how much respect you have to pay to their shooting (Leviathans and Eliminators in particular).

The Score

Primary: 14-24

Secondary: 5-12

Total: 19-36

Round 5 – Chaos

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 11 (Battleforged 3, Super Heavy 6, Battalion 5, Auxiliary -1, Specialist -1, Field Commander -1)
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Knights, Thousand Sons

==Battalion Detachment == Chaos Space Marines, The Flawless Host [30 PL, 480pts ] 3CP (-1 CP for Soulforged Pack, -1 CP for Field Commander)
HQ: Lord Discordant on Hellstalker (150), Autocannon (10) [9 PL] [160 pts] [WARLORD: Ultimate Confidence] [Intoxicating Elixir] [Mark of Slaanesh]
HQ: Lord Discordant on Hellstalker {150), Autocannon (10) [9 PL] [160 pts] [Field Commander: Master of the Soulforges] [Mark of Slaanesh]
TR: 12 Cultists (60), 12 Autogun (0) [6 PL] [60 pts] [Mark of Slaanesh]
TR: 10 Cultists (50), 10 Autogun (0) [3 PL] [50 pts] [Mark of Slaanesh]
TR: 10 Cultists (50), 10 Autogun (0) [3 PL] [50 pts] [Mark of Slaanesh]
== Auxiliary Detachment == Thousand Sons [9 PL, 166pts] -1 CP
HQ: Ahriman on Disc of Tzeentch (166) [9 PL] [166 pts] [Warptime, Prescience, Diabolical Strength] 

== Super Heavy Detachment == Chaos Knights [75 PL, 1353 pts] 6 CP
LOW: Knight Despoiler (285), Avenger Gatling Cannon (85), Heavy Flamer (14), Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon (90), 2 Heavy Stubber (4) [25 PL] [478 pts] [Traitoris Lance] [Infernal]
LOW: Knight Despoiler (285), Avenger Gatling Cannon (85), Heavy Flamer (14), Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon (90), 2 Heavy Stubber (4) [25 PL] [478 pts] [Infernal]
LOW: Knight Despoiler (285), 2 Thermal Cannon (110), Heavy Stubber (2) [25 PL] [397 pts] [Infernal]

Ouch. No soft landings here. Chaos Knights are a lot weaker than their Imperial counterparts, but Infernals counter Aeldari pretty well, as there’s not much you can do to stop the one that takes the Helm of Warp-sight killing your stuff, so being up against an ETC player wielding them was not a comfortable way to finish up.

The Mission

ITC Mission 5 – Precious Cargo (four objectives, each player moves one up to 6″, bonus for holding the one your opponent moved).

Dawn of War deployment

This works for me – he’s a bit thin on the ground for contesting objectives, so the goal is to crush one flank and force him to pick between hanging a Knight back on an objective or giving up “hold more” for good.

The Plan

My opponent won the roll off in the most powerful way possible.

Brexit Dice
Ouch. Very ouch. Credit: Wings

Knowing I’m going second, my plan is to deploy on whichever flank he only has one Knight on, ideally aiming to only have 2/3 shooting properly turn 1. The Lords Discordant are going to fire themselves at me, but they die pretty easily to mortal wounds, and as they’re Slaanesh the Autarch can also put a pretty reliable 4W onto them in combat thanks to the Great Enemy stratagem. Unless he has a catastrophically good first turn of shooting I should have the firepower to go through a couple of lords and a Knight in good enough time to make this a real game. He’s also going to have to expose one of his Cultist squads to being shot to bits by my War Walkers in order to hold the objective opposite me.

The mission map lets me control things pretty well – in whichever corner I’m not set up in, I just start my Rangers in the corner ruin and he has to send a Knight to prise them out or I threaten to pop onto an objective at whichever time is most inconvenient for him. That hopefully staggers the arrival of his big threats.

I don’t love this matchup, especially going second, but his army does have weaknesses I should be able to exploit.

My Secondaries

  • Kingslayer (on his warlord Discordant)
  • Titanslayers
  • Recon

Their Secondaries

  • Big Game Hunter
  • Marked for Death
  • Recon

The Summary

Knights line up
Knights line up. Credit: Wings

Lords Discordant ready to attack
Lords Discordant ready to attack. Credit: Wings

Another cowardly corner deployment
Another cowardly corner deployment. Credit: Wings

This was another dire game (with some further major dice treachery), and I’m a bit sadder about it as I think I played a lot more tightly. However, I did make one mistake early on that cascaded into some further failures that I think could have changed the game, so I’ll focus on that.

He went first and had a pretty good turn. Annoyingly (thanks whoever it was that got the “planes have to have their wingtips over the board” FAQ added) despite trying to press my planes as far into the corner as possible his Helm Knight was able to get within a fraction of an inch of one of my Crimsons, blowing it away, and he also killed a War Walker and hurt a second plane. A powered up Disco-lord also killed a Serpent.

Not great, but wearable as long as I didn’t low roll. Unfortunately, I’d spotted a way to steal hold-more turn 1 (by advancing and fire/fading my Storm Guardians across the board) and initially thought it looked like a good plan, even though it would involve getting heroiced by Ahriman. My opponent warned me that Ahriman had more attacks than I might expect, and at this point I should have abandoned the plan, as if I had to auto-pass morale it would be way too many CP, but my brain got a bit sunk cost and I went for it anyway. I blew away the Cultists that were on the objective and took it, but nearer to home my army thoroughly low-rolled against his Lord, while his Knight saves were pretty good, leaving me forced to spend yet more CP to finish the Disco-lord off in combat, although I did, at least, just manage this. Ahriman killed most of the Guardians, but the last survivors auto-passed and held the objective.

His second turn started out looking OK for me. His Helm Knight tried to kill my Hemlock and missed by 1W – and the only other thing he had to shoot it was the Knight that I’d put some damage in, meaning that when he aimed at it I could spend 2CP (my last) to auto-dodge and keep it in the game.

Unfortunately things went horrendously wrong from there. His dual thermal Knight got two wounds into my War Walkers and promptly rolled a double 6 on damage to eliminate the remaining two. His second Lord came out and his Knight rocked in, and this initially looked OK for me – the attacks into my Autarch only killed him exactly, and he had the Phoenix Gem, but my Wave Serpent promptly got killed and exploded, taking the Autarch out and leaving me looking bereft. I put down the Knight on my 2, but it got back up, and on the next turn my Hemlock exploded in my lines as well, evaporating my Warlock and shutting me out of the game.

A catastrophic explosion leaves me reeling
A catastrophic explosion leaves me reeling. Credit: Wings

I tried my best to push back, and after a good start his shooting from here on out was pretty dire, which let me at least keep doing some stuff all the way through to turn 6. My Rangers had successfully distracted his thermal Knight all the way to the end of his turn 3, and I’d been cautious with my Dire Avengers early on, keeping two squads in transports for a surprise in the late game. They allowed me to do enough to get some decent points, as his army was pretty thin on the ground, but the game was never really in doubt after the turn 2 disasters.

Hero rangers help salvage a few points. Credit: Wings

The Takeaways

So immediately after this I was very unhappy about my dice, which were dreadful, but I’ve mellowed on that a lot with time to reflect on how much of a better play I could have made with my Storm Guardians turn 1. 4CP was too much to spend on securing hold more in this matchup, as even a modest start lets me take it comfortably in the mid-late game. What I should have done was taken advantage of the fact that he’d hidden his second Discolord in the corner of the L-block ruin nearest me. Using the same Fire and Fade, my Guardians could have formed a net 3.01 inches out from it, trapping him in there for the next turn sufficiently that I could have prevented him being able to charge anything on my turn 2.

That completely changes the character of this game. His Cultists had already been blown away on this side of the board, leaving him with only Ahriman and the Knight as mobile elements near my army (and the Knight is down a profile). Without the Discolord getting into the fray I may well not lose the Wave Serpent at all, and this way I have the CP to re-roll the explosion too. In addition, when my turn 2 rolls around I can potentially kill Ahriman, Doom/Jinx the Knight, and set up the Autarch to kill it in the Fight phase if he gets back up from shooting. Although I do still then have the Discolord to deal with next turn, it’s all alone and facing down a wall of Smite, and I can probably complete my conquest of the right flank.

That doesn’t guarantee me a win by any stretch, as he still has two fully operational Knights stomping about, but he hit a real dip in his rolls mid-late game and if I’d had a bit more still alive I might have been able to capitalise.

So there it is. Other than that mistake I think I played this well, but some days the dice let you get away with imperfect play and some they don’t. Them’s the breaks.

The Score

Primary: 9-20

Secondary: 11-10

Total: 20-30

Final Score: 2-3

Army Thoughts

Bummer. That’s, obviously, not even slightly the result I wanted. In terms of what went wrong I’ve dived fairly deeply into each of my losses and what I should have done differently, so I’m not going to re-hash that here. It was definitely, overall, a weekend where it felt like I was getting punished hard for every mistake, but I made more mistakes than I’d really like, and I can’t honestly look back and say I was playing at the top of my game. Probably going into the LGT having only played a single game in the past month wasn’t the best idea (I blame being locked in the Space Marine mines writing articles).

In terms of what did and didn’t work in the list, most of the options did their job but I was definitely feeling the lack of a deep striking threat. I haven’t been super sold on the Guardian bomb recently, and I’m honestly even less keen with the rise of Marines, as they have excellent tools to tear it apart after it drops. However, another thing I definitely felt coming out of this is that the meta has swung back round to a point where I really, really want access to Vect in my list – there are too many hideous, stratagem-based sucker punches that armies can throw at you, and this list has always had the problem of crumbling if an army can push through its nonsense for a big turn. That’s really only gotten more true thanks to the arrival of the Iron Hands supplement and all the “fun” it promises us.

Archon Wings
Archon Wings shall ride again! Credit: Wings

Taken together, I’m pretty interested in trying out the Drukhari battalion detachment again. The deep strike Raider fun bus provides a much more durable back-line harassment option than the Guardians, as it actually needs “real” firepower pointed at it to take it down, and will still comfortably push a random Guard or Cultist squad off an objective if you bring some shredders. From there, it has much more flexibility in what it does next – you can deposit one squad on an objective and fly off to grab another, it can take two quarters of Recon, whatever. It always worked well for me and with the circle-round to “must-stop” stratagems being everywhere again complete, I’m keen to try it out.

The other unit I’m looking at with renewed interest (and not just because Konrad won the invitational with them) is Fire Prisms. Their ability to engage at extreme range is a big advantage against a lot of Space Marine threats, and they’re honestly just great against Marines all-round. They’re obviously also great against Knights of all stripes, and give you a bit of flexibility to engage multiple targets. They also have the advantage that the only painting I would need to do for my next event, which is rapidly approaching, is the gun mount to magnetise on a Night Spinner body which is appealing given that going from a poor LGT performance into writing a Raven Guard review into someone local having a clearout of their backlog means that I, uh, might have a Marine army to paint.

Fire Prisms
Fire Prisms. Credit: Wings

Moving away from my impending treachery to elf-kind, I’m probably looking at something in the region of this for my next event (which is down-the-line pure ITC):

Army List - Click to Expand

Battalion – Alaitoc

Warlock Skyrunner

2x Dire Avengers
Storm Guardians

2 Wave Serpents

Crimson Hunter Exarch

Spearhead – Alaitoc


3x Fire Prisms

Battalion – Black Heart


3x Kabalites w/Shredder


That’s not 100% set in stone – I originally sketched this out for Glasshammer (which isn’t allowing Index options), where I’ll almost certainly take it as-is, but for Seeds of Destruction (pure ITC) I’d ideally like to get the smash-Autarch in (in place of the Spiritseer). That’s going to mean taking out either the Venom or (more likely) downgrading the Hemlock to a CHE to free up the points. I’m not wildly enamoured of losing either thing and wondering if I can manage without the Autarch, but when he’s good he’s so good that it feels like a tricky choice to justify.

I’m also a little worried about it swinging back to not having enough anti-horde but I think it’s OK? Honestly, even if it isn’t I feel like I want to switch things up and try some different stuff, and this feels like the easiest way to do it with what I have available. I also don’t want to go all in on any new Eldar stuff with the FAQ likely dropping this week or next.

List submission for Seeds is this Sunday and the rules cutoff is already past, so I’ll be putting in either this list or the Autarch variant. My next events after that should both have the FAQ live, so we’ll see how I’m feeling post Seeds as to what we test out. In a magical world of infinite time I’d like to have Marines ready for either Blood and Glory or the Element Grand Slam, but I think that’s probably over-optimistic.

I guess we’ll see how this runs in a few weeks and decide how much I need to compromise on what comprises “table ready” for a Space Marine army for November.

Wrap Up

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the write-ups. Next week we’ll have a more general strategy article for you in this slot, followed by one of our extremely popular new “three cool lists” articles for Seeds of Destruction the week after. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions or gloating about me finally seeing the Emperor’s light hit us up at or via our Facebook page.