Tournament Report: Renegade Wargaming’s Spring Up GT

Hi everyone, James “Boon” Kelling here, back from a crushing win at the 2021 Renegade Wargaming Spring Up GT, where I clowned the shit out of five straight opponents to crush everyone with Drukhari, heralding the dawn of a new dark age for the meta where Drukhari armies run roughshod over the game’s other factions, snuffing out any chance of competitive play.

Boon note: I would have written this intro differently as it’s probably too aggressive for my midwestern sensibilities but here we are.

Rob: Yeah well next time maybe you can write the article outline yourself and then the intro can confirm to your “aw, shucks/gee-whiz” sensibilities. But you made the mistake of asking for help so you could prepare to run Drukhari at the Dallas GT this weekend so we get AGGRO BOON. Enjoy, everyone.

 

The Event

The Spring Up GT was held at the Fantasy Flight Headquarters Game Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hosted by the Renegade Wargaming team and helmed by David Arimond as the TO it was a 51-person, two day GT event. If you haven’t been, the FFG center is a fantastic venue with a lot of clean, well-lit space, a kitchen, and beer taps – pretty much everything you’d want or need out of an event. Unfortunately, the liquor license wasn’t renewed until May 1st for COVID reasons so we had to make a pilgrimage to the nearby mall if we wanted beer – but that won’t be the case soon! If you haven’t had the opportunity to head to the cities for some games, fear not, the team intends to host many more events throughout the summer and the fall, culminating with the Renegade tournament in November.

 

My Army

Credit: Boon

Frantically finished – some fully painted, some minimally painted… to my great shame.

Rob: If you want to see how Boon completed his sick display board, check out his write-up on the project here.

My list - click to expand

++ Drukhari Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [32 PL, 14CP, 640pts] ++

Obsession: *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)
Raiding Forces – CP Refund [2CP]

HQ: Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

Troops: Wracks [3 PL, 60pts]: Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade, Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun, 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade
Troops: Wracks [3 PL, 60pts]: Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade, Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun, 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade
Troops: Wracks [3 PL, 60pts]: Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade, Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun, 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

EL: Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts]: Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun x3

DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher
DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [15 PL, -2CP, 280pts] ++

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder (Restricted)
Raiding Forces – CP Refund [2CP]

HQ: Succubus [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip, Agoniser & Archite Glaive, Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

Troops: Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, -1CP, 130pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug), Hekatrix: Agoniser, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael, 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol, Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Hydra Gauntlets: Hydra Gauntlets

EL: Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts]: 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade, Nightfiend

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [58 PL, -2CP, 1,080pts] ++

Obsession: Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue: The Serpent’s Kiss
Raiding Forces – CP Refund [2CP]
Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

HQ: Archon [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade, Splintered Genius (Poisoned Tongue): Splintered Genius

Troops: Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 140pts]: 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle, Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance, Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster, Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster, Trueborn Sybarite: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter Rifle
Troops: Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 55pts]: 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle, Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster, Sybarite: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter Rifle
Troops: Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts]: 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle, Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

EL: Incubi [4 PL, 80pts]: 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive, Klaivex: Klaive
EL: Incubi [4 PL, 80pts]: 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive, Klaivex: Klaive

HS: Ravager [8 PL, 140pts]: 3x Dark Lance

DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher
DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher
DT: Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter racks
DT: Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon
DT: Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Total: [105 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Game Plan

Wings wrote about this list eloquently in his recent Competitive Innovations and, as always, he nailed the gist of it. The main break I see in my list from others are:

  • No Hellions or Reavers
  • Poisoned Tongue Kabal

The lack of Hellions or Reavers is pure preference. I get that they can be good but I’m not particularly thrilled with their durability… which is really saying something in a Drukhari list. They are expensive for what I ultimately find to be very fragile units that run the risk of overkilling and hanging out in the open field. I don’t find that I lack for hard-hitting units, and for their price, I’d rather the added durability of a Raider + more of the excellent troop/infantry options of any flavor.

Regarding the Kabal choice, I had previously written in my Mid-Mo Maelstrom tournament report about my zealous use of pre-game CP for redeploys with both my Craftworld and Harlequins – and this list is no different. I love redeploy capabilities because they can give such an advantage during deployment and after the first turn is determined. As close as I am to Goonhammer, I lean heavily on the first turn data and expect that in an even match, there is real advantage to going first. So when I was reading through the book and saw Insiduous Misdirection I stopped in my tracks, confirmed I somewhat liked the trait, then hard, windmill slammed the obsession into my list.

The most obvious use of the strat is to redeploy three high-value Raiders into reserve once its known you’re going second, but it can be helpful as well in Dawn of War deployments going first –  where you want to ensure maximum destruction or best possible placement for your heavy hitters. The best case use of this strat is on a Hammer/Anvil style map where the reserve edges are the long board edges – it just gives incredible flexibility that no other Kabal can provide – and I’ll trade off the occasional Dark Lance reroll every day for it. Whenever I go second I end up pulling my liquefier boats as well as the Trueborn (incidentally, all three of these contain my While We Stand We Fight units in my updated list)

With that in mind, I generally want to place my Liquefier boats all the way forward and center, in the best position to engage some high value targets with their flamers – the Phantasm Grenade Launchers are useful here to get that extra movement when I need it (move, Aether Sail advance, fire PGL, fire-and-fade, Liquefiers, profit). Then the most likely unit to be deployed opportunistically is the Trueborn so I can land some high quality shots T1 with their Lance/Blasters. The remainder of the army is never intended to try and engage on T1 – instead I want to set up for T2 advance + charge after the Liquifiers have softened up my opponent a bit. This ends up forming an overwhelming second wave while my opponent is still trying to clear Liquifiers.

 

The Games

Round 1: vs. Trevor Kreyling’s Death Guard

Mission: Overrun – Dawn of War – Domination
  • My Secondaries: Heard the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Assassinate
  • His Secondaries: While We Stand We Fight (Plague Burst Crawlers x2, Mortarian), Despoiled Ground, Deploy Scramblers
Trevor's List - click to expand

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [25 PL, 15CP, 490pts] ++

LoW: Mortarion [25 PL, 490pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 2. Gift of Contagion, 3. Plague Wind, The Droning, Warlord

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [77 PL, -5CP, 1,510pts] ++

Plague Company: The Inexorable
Gifts of Decay [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ HQ +
Lord of Contagion [6 PL, -1CP, 120pts]: Ferric Blight, Plague Skull of Glothila, Plaguechosen, Plaguereaper
Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts]: 4. Putrescent Vitality, 6. Gift of Plagues

+ Troops +
Plague Marines [6 PL, 125pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plague knife
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 2x Blight grenades, 2x Boltgun, 2x Krak grenades, 2x Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ cleaver: Great plague cleaver
. Plague Marine w/ flail: Flail of corruption
Plague Marines [6 PL, 130pts] . Plague Champion: Plague knife, Plasma pistol
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 2x Blight grenades, 2x Boltgun, 2x Krak grenades, 2x Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ cleaver: Great plague cleaver
. Plague Marine w/ flail: Flail of corruption
Plague Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plague knife
. 4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Blight grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak grenades, 4x Plague knife
Plague Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plague knife
. 4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Blight grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak grenades, 4x Plague knife

+ Elites +
Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet
Plague Surgeon [4 PL, 75pts]: Fugaris’ Helm

+ Heavy Support +
Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger
Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger
Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +
Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Total: [102 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

I Go First

Sigh, look. In this moment, with the way the game sits, going first with Drukhari just feels unfair. I have played Trevor, a Warhog, previously with my Harlequins and Craftworlds, those were good games. This was something else entirely. Trevor had four squads of Plague Marines and a deep striking set of Terminators – having chosen Deploy Scramblers I made it my mission to make sure none of those four left his deployment zone. On turn 1 I pressed him hard with my Liquefier Wracks, he moved to counter on his turn and brought his Mortarion to mid-field to engage on turn 2, but going first, I now had Advance and Charge and put all of my Incubi, Drazhar, Archon, and Succubus, into him – forcing Mortarion to fight last it took just about every swing, but he went down. After that, it was a matter of cleaning up the Plague Marines, hunting the characters, and whittling down the Plaguebursts which just could not put out enough firepower to stem the tide of angry elves. Losing in the first round – especially travelling – is always hard, but Trevor was a great opponent as always and took it all in stride.

Result: Victory, 92-39

 

Round 2: vs. Ben Cherwien’s Drukhari

Retrieval Mission – Hammer & Anvil – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Heard the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Grind Them Down
  • His Secondaries: Engage on all Fronts, Deploy Scramblers, Grind Them Down
Ben's List - click to expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 315pts] ++

Obsession:  *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ [7 PL, 135pts] +
Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

+ Troops [9 PL, 180pts] +
Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts], Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts] . 3x Wracks [24pts]: 3x Wrack Blade
Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts], Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts] . 3x Wracks [24pts]: 3x Wrack Blade
Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts], Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts] . 3x Wracks [24pts]: 3x Wrack Blade

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [60 PL, 1,125pts, 8CP] ++

Obsession: Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship
Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP] +
Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Blast Pistol [5pts], Huskblade [5pts], Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition [-1CP], The Djin Blade, Splintered Genius (Obsidian Rose) [1 PL, 15pts]: Splintered Genius [1 PL, 15pts]

+ Troops [8 PL, 135pts] +
Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn [60pts]: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Dark Lance [15pts] . Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon [20pts]: Blaster [10pts] . Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon [20pts]: Blaster [10pts] . Trueborn Sybarite [10pts]: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites [8 PL, 160pts] +
Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi [64pts]: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex [16pts]: Demiklaives
Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi [64pts]: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex [16pts]: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack [5 PL, 60pts] +
Scourges [5 PL, 60pts] . 4x Scourge w/ shardcarbine [48pts]: 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shardcarbine
. Solarite [12pts]: Shardcarbine

+ Flyer [9 PL, 200pts] +
Voidraven Bomber [9 PL, 200pts]: Kabal, Voidraven missiles [15pts] . Two void lances

+ Dedicated Transport [25 PL, 480pts] +
Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal
Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher [5pts] Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher [5pts] Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher [5pts], Shock Prow [5pts] Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher [5pts], Shock Prow [5pts]

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [27 PL, 440pts, -3CP] ++

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP] +
Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Dark Lotus Toxin, Razorflails, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition [-1CP], Show Stealer (Strife) [1 PL, 15pts]: Show Stealer [1 PL, 15pts]

+ Troops [8 PL, 130pts] +
Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 130pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix [12pts]: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride [96pts]: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler [22pts]: Shardnet and Impaler [10pts]

+ Elites [3 PL, 75pts] +
Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake [60pts]: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend [15pts]

+ Fast Attack [12 PL, 160pts] +
Reavers [12 PL, 160pts]: 6 – Splintermind (Combat Drug)
. Arena Champion [20pts]: Heat Lance [10pts] . 8x Reaver [80pts]: 8x Bladevanes, 8x Splinter Pistol, 8x Splinter Rifle
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models) [20pts]: Heat Lance [10pts] . Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models) [20pts]: Heat Lance [10pts] . Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models) [20pts]: Heat Lance [10pts]

++ Total: [103 PL, 1,880 points] ++

Ben Goes First

This was a top-table game in the second round – and we both knew it. Ben and I have had multiple meetings over the last couple of years in leagues and events and they have rarely gone my way. It is safe to say that Ben is a better player than me – more practiced, more well-rounded. Still, I believe we are close enough in ability that the game inevitably comes down to a few rolls of the dice beginning with the roll off for first turn… which Ben has now won our last 7 straight roll-offs going back to February 2020 (thank you ITC Battles App for the tracking).

Both of us knowing this, we rolled off – my dice flew off the table like they do, his landed under my Raider. A six. I will admit that I was tilted right in that moment, which in short order led me to throw the dice held in my hand onto the ground when after a slough of failed 5++’s on my part, on his turn two he would roll two five’s to save his Void Raven existing on 4 wounds, from two Dark Lances. It had yet to drop a bomb. Either of which would have killed it. It’s not a proud moment, and he was right to call me out on it – my frustration had boiled over.

In any case, ours was a game of attrition – as I was Poison Tongue, going second, I put my three Raiders carrying Trueborn and Liquifiers into reserve, and he played turn 1 very coyly, not really engaging but managing to cut a Raider out from under Drazhar, 5x Incubi, and 5 Kabalites as well as a Venom with 5x more Incubi and my Archon. Not wishing to see both squads deleted in the next turn, unable to hide or get up the board, I emptied a nearby Venom, advanced the Incubi and Drazhar into that Venom, then Swift Outflanked it off the board to bring them in, in my following turn. As a result, I did not have much to hit back with. On his turn 2 – without a good target, he moved his Voidraven center of my backfield and brought his Reavers in nearby. He was now pressing but nothing had gotten out of his Raiders. I mostly survived this turn, with the exception of my stranded Archon and Incubi – but on my turn I had hit back hard – the Bloodbrides and Succubus disembarking to cut down the Reavers, the Void Raven drawing the final shots to bring it down, and the now arriving Trueborn, Wracks, and Grots to cut down as many of the Raiders as possible – I managed to force his Trueborn, Bloodbrides, and Succubus onto the field and brought the Swift Outflanking Venom in and CP disembarked Drazhar to rapid assault a unit of Scourges that had come into my corner for Deploy Scramblers on his turn. This was JUST enough to give me the Grind them Down.

The rest of the game played out academically – the loss of his Reavers and stranding of his Bloodbrides/Succubus/Trueborn mid or back field left him with few options to press me – while his Bloodbrides made combat with multiple squads of Wracks, they would die to Incubi while the Succubus died to advancing Wracks and their liquefiers. The Trueborn died to Grotesques and the Incubi failed some key counter charges which left him devastatingly out position. It was a game where I could only hope to win in the late game, and I was fortunate enough to secure the Grind Them Down in every round after the first – going second is stronger when both players have that. We both secured Deploy Scramblers and I managed to net 8 points on Herd the Prey in turns 4 and 5 to put me over the top with the final objective set on primaries.

It… was a contentious and frustrating game. I am largely to blame for that after losing my cool and throwing my dice to the ground. It was not fair to Ben and it certainly is not how I want to play the game. I would be lying if I said Ben wasn’t mad and he had a right to be. I’m sorry for losing my cool, Ben.

Result: Victory, 81-76

 

Round 3: vs. Zakk Wallis’ Tyranids

Priority Target – Vanguard – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Heard the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Priority Targets
  • His Secondaries: Deploy Scramblers, Linebreaker, Priority Targets
Zakk's List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids) [68 PL, 1,279pts] ++

Hive Fleet: Kraken

+ HQ +
Neurothrope [5 PL, 95pts]: Claws and Teeth, Power: Catalyst, Power: Smite, Resonance Barb, Warlord
The Swarmlord [14 PL, 270pts]: Bone Sabres, Power: Psychic Scream, Power: Smite, Power: Synaptic Lure, Prehensile Pincer Tail

+ Troops +
Hormagaunts [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Hormagaunt: 10x Scything Talons
Hormagaunts [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Hormagaunt: 10x Scything Talons
Termagants [3 PL, 50pts] . 10x Termagant (Fleshborer): 10x Fleshborer
Tyranid Warriors [8 PL, 139pts]: Adaptive Physiology: Enhanced Resistance
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Lash Whip and Bonesword
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Lash Whip and Bonesword
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Lash Whip and Bonesword
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Lash Whip and Bonesword
. Tyranid Warrior (Bio-cannon): Venom Canon, Lash Whip and Bonesword

+ Elites +
Zoanthropes [14 PL, 250pts]: Power: Onslaught, Power: Smite
. 5x Zoanthrope: 5x Claws and Teeth

+ Fast Attack +
Dimachaeron [12 PL, 230pts]: Massive Scything Sickle-talons, Scything Tail

+ Heavy Support +
Mawloc [6 PL, 125pts]: Distensible Jaws, 3x Scything Talons, Toxinspike

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Tyranids) [36 PL, -2CP, 718pts] ++

Hive Fleet: Kronos

+ HQ +
Hive Tyrant [11 PL, 205pts]: Adrenal Glands, Monstrous Rending Claws, Power: Dominion, Power: Smite, Power: Symbiostorm, Prehensile Pincer Tail, Stranglethorn Cannon, The Venomthorn Parasite, Wings

+ Troops +
Ripper Swarms [2 PL, 36pts] . 3x Ripper Swarm: 3x Claws and Teeth

+ Elites +
Hive Guard [12 PL, 270pts] . 6x Hive Guard (Impaler): 6x Impaler Cannon
Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]: Flesh Hooks, Grasping Talons, Rending Claws
+ Heavy Support +
Exocrine [9 PL, 170pts]: Bio-plasmic Cannon, Powerful Limbs
. Adaptive Physiology: Dermic Symbiosis

++ Total: [104 PL, -2CP, 1,997pts] ++

I Go First

After game two I was a bit out of sorts and in my head. So when I had met Zack for the first time, and he opened by saying that he had appreciated Goonhammer and all the work we do – I was a bit distant. I am sorry Zack but we appreciate you too and I hope to see you again in the leagues/local events soon!

Like my game with Trevor, this was a game where I went first and just immediately put Zack on the back foot. He had hidden some Hive guard in the far back of his deployment, but a combination of Aether Sails, and Phantasm Grenade Launcher then Fire & Fade (or whatever it is called now) put one of my Liquifier boats in range to just melt three of them from the get-go. Over the first two turns I cleared nearly all of his gaunts and with the exception of some deep strikers he never made it over the midline of the hammer and anvil board. It did not help that his Dima whiffed MIGHTILY into one of my Raiders, but all in all it was a hold on for dear life kind of game for him. His Swarmlord was trapped by the Liquifiers and forced to charge in – take the Overwatch, and then the eventual Bloodbrides countercharge – the Dima died flailing claws at anything nearby in the midfield, and the rest were tied in combat before long, fighting for his home objectives. Incidentally, it was at this point that I realized Drukhari were utterly broken in the current game.

Result: Victory, 95-36

 

Round 4: vs. Drew Ward’s Ultramarines

Sweep & Clear – Corners – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Heard the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Direct Assault
  • His Secondaries: Oaths of Moment, Direct Assault, Engage on all Fronts
Drew's List - click to expand

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) [19 PL, 6CP, 380pts] ++

**Chapter Selection**: Ultramarines

LoW: Roboute Guilliman [19 PL, 3CP, 380pts]: Nobility Made Manifest, Warlord

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) [81 PL, 7CP, 1,620pts] ++

**Chapter Selection**: Ultramarines
Honoured Sergeant [-1CP]

+ HQ +
Chief Librarian Tigurius [7 PL, 135pts]: 2) Might of Heroes, 3) Null Zone (Aura), 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura)
Primaris Techmarine [5 PL, -1CP, 100pts]: Chapter Command: Master of the Forge, Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

+ Troops +
Tactical Squad [5 PL, 90pts] . 4x Space Marine: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun
Tactical Squad [5 PL, 90pts] . 4x Space Marine: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun
Tactical Squad [5 PL, 90pts] . 4x Space Marine: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun

+ Elites +
Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon
Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon
Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon
Victrix Honour Guard [3 PL, 70pts]: Victrix Honour Guard, Victrix Honour Guard

+ Fast Attack +
Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Suppressor Sergeant: Master-Crafted Weapon
Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Suppressor Sergeant

+ Heavy Support +
Eradicator Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Melta rifle
. Eradicator
. Eradicator Sgt
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta
Eradicator Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Melta rifle
. Eradicator
. Eradicator Sgt
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta

++ Total: [100 PL, 13CP, 2,000pts] ++

Drew Goes First

“He mad at you because you’re running all the good things.” – Cyle Thompson, morning of

Drew is the second Warhogs member I faced in this event. He’s a very good, technical player, and a great opponent. We had the first match of a new morning which is always an interesting game because both players will have had entirely too long to break the game down and examine it every which way before ever hitting the table. The second-guessing at that point is a real risk. Sweep & Clear is probably the best case mission for Drew as it allows him to control the center effectively with an army that wants to force you to engage in the mid and short-board. Having both chosen Direct Assault as a secondary – we were destined to duke it out in an attrition fight over that center objective. Drew doubled down with Oath of Moment making it extra critical that I contest that middle objective.

I wanted to focus on clearing units on the wings and the fast infantry  early – trying to pull his ability to score Engage on All Fronts while leaving his center for T2 on. Going second, I dropped my usual into strategic reserves and tried to hide as much as I could to weather turns one and two. Advancing, he set up his turn one to cover as much of the long fire lanes as possible – swinging a single dread around one edge and the other two hugging his battle pile up the center with Gilly – the meltas sitting in the back to snipe down any Raider that dared to peak out. He managed to drop a Venom on turn 1 putting my Incubi and Archon onto the board, cowardly cowering in a ruin – in response I tried to position as many boats for turn 2 as possible while trying to clear out Eradicators on their Dark Angel 4+ to wound shenanigans. You can see the mid of his turn 2 below:

Drew put some work into my Raiders and downed my Ravager in the backfield, but given the spacing and the inability to fully connect with the occupants I remained in a powerful position to swing back in and clear out some of the Suppressors and units on that central objective. I did just that – the three reserved boats all came in on my board edge to hit the Dreadnought, the tac squad rounding my corner (limiting his Engage opportunity) and support the central board – lining up shots on the Eradicators in the far ruins. The goal was to clear as much infantry as possible and remove all units on the mid objective, as well as the Redemptor on my board half. It was a tall order, but by the end of the round I had launched the Archon and Incubi on my near edge into the Redemptor and cut down all but 1 Eradicator. Meanwhile, the combination of Drazhar, the Succubus, Bloodbrides, and 5 Incubi ran into the Vitrix Guard, Suppressors, and Techmarine holding court in the middle of the board and cut them down viciously – I wish I hadn’t sent the Succubus in there as she is the perfect unit to go into Gilly on his counter-charge. Unfortunately I did, and despite my Bloodbrides screening on their 4++ after all was said and done, a super Smite obliterated them, leaving the shooting to clean up the squad and my Incubi and exposing both Drazhar and the Succubus. Fortunately, Drew didn’t have enough shooting at this point to clear Drazhar, but he was most assuredly screwed by an inevitable dreadnought/Gilly charge – which, being honest, that would have put me in a tough spot having lost morst of my combat punch. Unfortunately for Drew, the combination of Gilly and the dreadnought whiffing hard and some great save rolls resulted in Drazhar only taking a single wound for 3 damage. In his return he mostly gutted Gilly, leaving him alive on a couple of wounds – the next turn Drazhar would force Gilly to fight last and would cut him down for good, apparently hamstringing the Primarch and preventing him from standing back up like the hero he presumes to be. At that point, with three Raiders full of Wracks/Grots/Trueborn flying around, it was just cleaning up on the edges. It was a good tough match and Drew had played it great, but the strength of the Drukhari book was just a bit too much. I had taken all the good things.

Result: Victory, 85-66

 

Round 5: vs. Scott Blegen’s Necrons

Battle Lines – Hammer & Anvil – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Heard the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, While We Stand We Fight (Ravager, Grotesques, Trueborn)
  • His Secondaries: Bring it Down, Purge the Vermin, Vital Ground
Scott's List - click to expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Necrons) [75 PL, 1,550pts, 9CP] ++

Dynasty Choice: Dynasty: Novokh

+ HQ [8 PL, 160pts] +
Chronomancer [4 PL, 80pts]: Chronotendrils, Entropic Lance, Relic: Veil of Darkness
Chronomancer [4 PL, 80pts]: Chronotendrils, Entropic Lance

+ Troops [24 PL, 520pts] +
Necron Warriors [12 PL, 260pts] . 20x Necron Warrior (Gauss Flayer) [260pts]: 20x Gauss Flayer
Necron Warriors [12 PL, 260pts] . 20x Necron Warrior (Gauss Reaper) [260pts]: 20x Gauss Reaper

+ Elites [19 PL, 370pts] +C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer [19 PL, 370pts]: Power of the C’tan: Gaze of Death, Power of the C’tan: Transdimensional Thunderbolt, Scythe of the Nightbringer

+ Fast Attack [16 PL, 355pts] +
Canoptek Scarab Swarms [4 PL, 90pts] . 6x Canoptek Scarab Swarm [90pts]: 6x Feeder Mandibles
Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm [45pts]: 3x Feeder Mandibles
Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm [45pts]: 3x Feeder Mandibles
Tomb Blades [8 PL, 175pts] . Tomb Blade [35pts]: Shadowloom [5pts], Twin Tesla Carbine [5pts] . Tomb Blade [35pts]: Shadowloom [5pts], Twin Gauss Blaster [5pts] . Tomb Blade [35pts]: Shadowloom [5pts], Twin Gauss Blaster [5pts] . Tomb Blade [35pts]: Shadowloom [5pts], Twin Gauss Blaster [5pts] . Tomb Blade [35pts]: Shadowloom [5pts], Twin Gauss Blaster [5pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 145pts] +
Ghost Ark [8 PL, 145pts]: 2x Gauss Flayer Array

++ Supreme Command Detachment 0CP (Necrons) [23 PL, 450pts, 3CP] ++
The Silent King [23 PL, 450pts, 3CP] . Szarekh: Sceptre of Eternal Glory, Scythe of Dust, Staff of Stars
. 2x Triarchal Menhir: 2x Annihilator Beam
. Warlord: Warlord Trait (Szarekhan): The Triarch’s Will

++ Total: [98 PL, 2,000pts, 12CP] ++

Scott Went First

I had selected While We Stand We Fight thinking the range of the board and relative durability of the Raider-mounted Trueborn and Grotesques could keep at least those alive if I was careful, and careful placement/hiding of the Ravager could maybe swing a third safe set of points. I think in most games I’d have been fine in this matchup – a spread of objectives that forces Scott to thin himself and allows me to focus on one part of his army at a time would be ideal. However, Battle Lines presented a unique challenge as his two large, stubbornly difficult infantry blocks of Warriors created a real concern that I couldn’t outlast him on either midfield objective. As a result, I decided early on that I couldn’t worry about either the Silent King or the Nightbringer and instead had to try to minimize their impact by using terrain and spacing – hoping Scott would keep the Silent King back due to the threat of my strong combat capability, thus allowing me to focus on the Warriors.

This is many ways is how the game played out – on his turn he pressed the two middle objectives with his Warrior blocks, forcing me from the get go to consider how to handle them. On a 5++ with the reroll of 1’s to get up they are and incredibly durable block – and Scott played them perfectly throughout the game – using the get back up to either push forward or pull back to strand combatants. The game entirely played over those two objectives – me sending one wave after wave to try to whittle down those blocks. On two occasions I had dropped one of those blocks to a single Warrior, just missing the finisher, only to have 5-10 come back. On turn 3 it was still up in the air but the damage to the Warrior blocks was starting to mount and I had cleared all of the ancillary units – leaving just the Chronomancers, the Silent King, the Ghost Ark, and the Nightbringer to support a now depleted Warrior blocks – by the start of turn 4 the left squad had been cleared leaving just the Nightbringer, slowly taking his hits from Liquifiers to fight for control of the objective against my multiple Obsec squads. The Silent King was forced to sit home as the Chronomancers became the target of Dark Lances, and the final blows came when the Warrior squad finally went down on the right board edge in Turn 4.

As Scott put it, “I was OK after the first 2 waves but the third wave broke my back. And he still had a 4th wave that could have been sent in.”

Drukhari. Man what a ride.

 

Result: Victory, 90-57

Final Result: 5-0, Tournament Champion

 

Final Thoughts

I switched to this list the Saturday prior to the event after testing it at a local RTT – I hadn’t even finished the final game that day before I updated and submitted my list for Spring Up. Driving this list vs a Harlequin/Craftworld or the Drukhari/Craftworld list I would have run just felt noticeably superior. Some of you may have caught my thoughts and comments on the Drukhari Roundtable, but I do sincerely think Drukhari are a bit over tuned for the current game. With the exception of the mirror match and portions of the final game, the games didn’t feel like they were particularly challenging – and it wasn’t because of my opponents who were all excellent players. It was a case of just always having more or having an answer to all things. Usually many answers.

As I head into Dallas I have dropped my Ravager – without the rerolls it is fairly limited in its use. Instead I’ve added another 3x Grots with Liquifiers to fill out that second boat, shifting some Wracks to a Venom and putting my bare bones Kabalites on foot. I’ve also swapped out a bunch of PGLs to add chain snares to the Raiders. 4-7 attacks hitting on 3’s at S7, AP-1/-2 is just so satisfying coming off a unit like a Raider.

Anyways, off to Dallas!

 

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