Tournament Report – St. George’s Champion 2019 – Part 1

An article by    Battle Reports Gaming        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

Introduction

It’s been a monumental few days in the 40K world, with the release of both the Spring Big FAQ (which you can see our take on here) and the new Ynnari Index (which I’ll be reviewing at some point in the next week). That’s not the only excitement that’s been going on in my world however – as previewed last week, I took my beloved Eldar list along to a major this past weekend, throwing down in what I thought (correctly, it turns out) would probably be the last hurrah for the army. Having iterated it and improved it all the way from the last Big FAQ, could I close out the current run with some big wins? Read on to find out.

If you haven’t already looked at it, it’s worth having a quick glance at the preview to understand the event format – effectively we were playing ETC style missions, but using ITC secondaries rather than Maelstrom objectives for the “secondary” component of the missions. ETC style differential scoring was still in effect, and all missions used CA2018 style deployment. This promised to give potentially quite a wide range of game scores and I think that bore out across the field – there were far fewer 20-0 victories than one normally sees at ETC matches, and obviously a lot of the randomness is removed from the standard Maelstrom format (though we did still have random game length). Coupled with the fact that differential kill points applied an equivalent “punishment” for going wide as the ITC “kill more” primary does, hopefully it also makes this write up a lot more relevant to ITC-only players than a standard ETC one!

As is normal for my reports, for each game we’ll be covering:

  • The Competition – Details of my opponent’s army
  • The Mission – Details of mission and deployment
  • The Plan – how I aimed to play out the game and target priorities.
  • The Summary – how the game played out at a high level
  • The Takeaways – points of interest and things I learnt from the game
  • The Score – my score after the game.

Lets go!

Round 1 – Ynnari

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Army Faction: Aeldari/Ynnari
Total Command Points: 14pts
Total Army Points: 1999pts
++ Battalion Detachment Ynnari/Craftworlds ++5CP
HQ1: Eldrad Ulthran (Doom, Guide & Executioner), [135pts] 
HQ2: Warlock (Protect/Jinx), [55pts]
HQ3: Yncarne (Word of the Phoenix & Ancestor’s Grace), [WARLORD: Legendary Fighter], [337pts]

Troop 1: 20 Guardian Defenders, x2 Guardian Heavy Weapons Platforms with Shuriken Cannons, [190pts] 
Troop 2: 8 Storm Guardians, [48pts] 
Troop 3: 8 Storm Guardians, [48pts] 
Fast Attack 1: 9 Windriders, x9 Scatter Lasers (9x8pts), [207pts] 

++ Vanguard Detachment, Ynnari/ Harlequins ++1CP
HQ1: Yvraine (Word of the Phoenix & Ancestor’s Grace), [132pts]
Elite 1: Death Jester, [45pts] 
Elite 2: Death Jester, [45pts] 
Elite 3: Solitaire Harlequin's Caress, Harlequin's Kiss [98pts] 
Fast Attack 1: 6 Skyweavers, x6 Haywire Cannons (6x15pts), [270pts] 

++ Battalion Detachment, Drukhari  ++5CPs
HQ1: Succubus: shardnet and impaler (1x5pts), [55pts]
HQ2: Succubus: shardnet and impaler (1x5pts) [55pts]
Troop 1: 14 Wyches, x2 wyches with shardnets & impalers (2x5pts), [122pts]
Troop 2: 14 Wyches, x1 wych with a shardnet & impaler (1x5pts), [117pts]
Troop 3: 5: Wyches, [40pts]

I was very excited about this one – I’ve seen a similar list bouncing around US tournament scene in the hands of Sean Nayden, and I’ve never quite been able to work out how it wins. It has some good stuff in it, but I’ve always kind of thought “couldn’t I just shoot it clean off the board?”. Time to find out if that was true or just outrageous hubris.

So innocuous looking, but also so much success at US majors.

The Mission

Modified “Four Pillars”. Four objectives, a point for holding more or 3 points for holding all of them, plus a point for killing more. Modified from the book so that all units can hold objectives rather than just troops.

Search and Destroy deployment.

This game is very nearly “just ITC”. I think it works in my favour if he goes first – he’s going to be bringing a lot in out of Deep Strike, and has almost no long-ranged firepower, so will achieve nothing with a first turn, while I can bubble up and deny him any good drop zones. It’s definitely tougher if I have to go first, but at least at that point I can take a very nasty chunk out of what he puts down on the board prior to him setting up things like “Protect”.

The Plan

…kill his stuff? We got the pairings the night before, so I had a while to think about it, and my conclusion was that I just wanted to avoid engaging with his army beyond what was absolutely needed. His main threats to my planes are the Skyweavers and the Yncarne, but the former are very much “one and done” – I should be able to take them off the board the turn after they come in.

In aid of playing a much more defensive game and trying to take him out at range, rather than picking Recon as one of my secondaries I instead went all in on ones about killing stuff. This substantially reduces my risk of getting too close to the Yncarne, and I felt like maxing these out was very achievable.

In terms of controlling space, the plan was to make sure that on his turn 2 my whole army was behind a wall of planes, nullifying the Wyches until I’m ready to deal with them. Ideally I want to push this further as a rolling wave for his turn 3, forcing them onto the board somewhere they don’t really want to be. The Scourges have no vehicle targets here but are great for helping with this, as they can take up a decent amount of space out of deep strike, and can’t be wrapped and trapped.

I felt like I should be able to win this, but maintained a healthy wariness – even if I didn’t fully understand it, I knew it was a good army, and exactly the sort of list that will punish overconfidence.

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • The Reaper
  • Old School

His Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Headhunter
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

We can take this right?

The game started pretty much as I hoped – I “lost” the roll off to pick deployment zones, so got to put him on the first turn, which he did very little with. I responded by starting the process of bubbling out with my planes, while picking off a few of his smaller units to make sure I picked up Old School and the first round of “Kill More”. On his second turn the Harlequin bikes came in, and he mercifully failed his first attempt at “Word of the Phoenix”, and I Vected his re-roll to stop him having any chance of getting it off. That left him with another fairly uneventful turn. On my second, i honestly thought the game was over – I brought in a bunch of deep strikers to control space, and left only one Skyweaver alive after unloading on them, leaving him seriously threat diminished, and giving me another round of primary scoring.

..I mean surely this has to be over?

He did counter attack a bit on his turn – the Scatter Bikes came down and wasted my Scourges, the Yncarne murdered a plane I’d had to commit, and his Solitaire suicided into my lines, using his last few CP to fight again and murder my Farseer after being denied a Soulburst by a hardy Dire Avenger Exarch. On the upside, his Wyches had had to drop in basically right in the corner of his own deployment zone, keeping them away from most of my army for the forseeable future.

While I mopped up even more of his stuff in turn 3, it did contain the only big mistake I made in this game – I fell my Raider away from the Wyches, but didn’t do the sensible thing of shooting its big gun at something then “Fire and Fading” it to get an additional 7″ away. That would have stopped the Wyches re-charging it on the next turn, allowing it to then turn round and waste them on my subsequent one. Thanks to me not doing that, and a few lucky guardians tanking a lot of fire to stop me turning my big guns on some characters, he did manage to get a foothold back on the game – the Yncarne kept murdering stuff, I was without a Farseer and he got a shardnet Succubus into my guardians to lock them down. The Wyches gradually chased down my Raider and eventually killed it (then the passengers), re-asserting his control of the left flank and at least stopping me racking up hold more, but I had a big lead on the primary at this point.

Eventually, on turn 6 he went for a big swing to try and maximise his kill points with the Yncarne and unfortunately missed killing both his target units by one wound, denying him a soulburst and leaving me able to tear it off the board with my remaining firepower on my turn 6, maxing out Old School and giving me a win.

The Takeaways

Yeah, OK, I see how the list works. Sadly, the knowledge is now pretty irrelevant, as this Ynnari list is waaaay more turbo-dead than mine after the round of changes, but I’m really glad I got to see it in action. It is quite reliant on “average” rolling with Guardian saves (I honestly wonder if “Vecting” celestial shield and trying to murder them would have been a good plan), but as long as it does it leaves armies like mine, that want to delete high quality threats, stuck shooting into guardians with a 3++.

Luckily, my plan was definitely good, and if I’d made the sensible play with the Raider would have given me a comfortable win. As it was, I had to make do with merely a “slightly nerve wracking win”, which I will definitely take against a list of this pedigree piloted by a great opponent.

The Score

Primary: 7-2

Secondary: 11-10 (I missed a point of Reaper, he missed 2pts of Headhunter)

Kill Points: 14-16 (net 2 to him)

Total: 18-14VP

Tournament Points: 12-8

Match Score: 1-0

Round 2 – Chaos Soup

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Chaos - Chaos Space Marines) [30 PL, , 550pts] ++
Detachment CP [1CP]- Legion: Black Legion - Specialist Detachment [-1CP]: Soulforged Pack
+ HQ +
Lord Discordant on Helstalker [9 PL, 160pts]: Autocannon, Mark of Nurgle, Master of the Soulforges, Mecha-serpents, Warlord
. Helstalker: Techno-virus injector
+ Heavy Support +
Venomcrawler [7 PL, 130pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
Venomcrawler [7 PL, 130pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
Venomcrawler [7 PL, 130pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Death Guard) [66 PL, 8CP, 982pts] ++
Battle-forged CP [3CP] - Detachment CP [5CP]

+ HQ +
Chaos Lord [5 PL, 88pts]: Plasma pistol, Power fist
Daemon Prince of Nurgle [9 PL, 180pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, Malefic talon, Wings

+ Troops +
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

+ Elites +
Blightlord Terminators [27 PL, 292pts]
. Blightlord Champion: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Flail of Corruption

+ Heavy Support +
Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 136pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger
Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 136pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Chaos - Renegade Knights) [25 PL, 468pts] ++
+ Lord of War +

Renegade Knight [25 PL, 468pts]: Heavy stubber, Ironstorm Missile Pod, Thermal cannon
. Avenger gatling cannon and heavy flamer: Avenger gatling cannon, Heavy flamer

++ Total: [121 PL, 8CP, 2000pts] ++

After the excitement of the first round this game promised to be a bit more conventional. I should just be able to out-shoot this, and while the Daemon Engines are cool, the combination of BS4+ shooting and needing to hit melee to really rock is a poor combination against my list.

The Mission

Ascension (with four objectives). This should be good for me – I am all too happy to camp some of my characters on objectives and rack up points.

Vanguard Strike deployment.

The Plan

  1. Kill his Knight.
  2. Block his daemon engines off till above task complete.
  3. Kill everything except the Plaguebursts while locking them down with trash infantry.
  4. If time remains, kill the Plaguebursts.

This is not a complicated plan, but it’s probably a pretty good one.

The Summary

Surprisingly the only Knight I faced all weekend

I got to go first which should have been pretty much game over, but my army massively underperfomed – I missed the Jinx cast, then only managed a total of 15W to the Knight even after Vecting Rotate and piling everything (including one Wave Serpent shield) into it. Special mention has to go to my Crimson Hunters, who managed a total of 0 damage between them despite it being Doomed.

The nice thing about Chaos Knights, of course, is that profiling them actually matters, and while I’d had (by my army’s standards) a very disappointing turn, the combination of that plus how badly matched up the rest of his shooting was against me made my losses very sustainable, and the Daemon engines were forced to scuttle around in the backfield and not really do all that much.

On my turn 2, the Scourges came down and corrected my earlier mistakes with maximum prejudice, and I started picking up other stuff as well. He did manage to fight back a modest bit – my Hemlock had been nearly downed by the Knight before, and a well aimed spiderbot shot was able to finish it, and some of my infantry screens got ripped apart by scrabbling claws, but after that the trajectory was heavily in my favour all game, especially as throwing waves of kabalites at the plagueburst crawlers as fast as the accompanying chaos lord could power-fist them to death kept them out of the game.

A last stand

I also put characters on two of the objectives turn 1, and never moved them, and later managed to nick a third with my Warlock, giving me a commanding EW score, and combined with nearly maxing my secondaries (it was more profitable to keep my debuffers on objectives than go after the PBCs) I picked up a max point win.

The Takeaways

Not a whole lot to learn here, as this is an extremely good matchup. In a similar fashion to guard Tank Companies I’ve played against recently, mechanised forces relying on BS4+ shooting just bounce off my list. It should be borne in mind that I’ll get a bit less good against this kind of list going forward, thanks to losing flyer blocking and taking Scourges out, but honestly the matchup is comfortable enough currently that I’m not massively worried about that (but maybe I’ll be wrong).

The Score

Eternal War: 33-18

Kill Points: 10-8 (net 2 to me

Secondaries: 11-4

Total: 46-22

Tournament Points: 20-0

Match Score: 2-0

Round 3 – Chaos Daemons

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

+ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Daemons) [35 PL, 630pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

+ HQ [7 PL, 130pts] +
Poxbringer [4 PL, 70pts]: Miasma of Pestilence
Sloppity Bilepiper [3 PL, 60pts]

+ Troops [28 PL, 500pts] +
Horrors [4 PL, 30pts]: 10x Pair of Brimstone Horrors [30pts]
Plaguebearers [12 PL, 235pts]: Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts], 29x Plaguebearer [203pts], Plagueridden [7pts]
Plaguebearers [12 PL, 235pts]: Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts], 29x Plaguebearer [203pts], Plagueridden [7pts]

++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Chaos - Thousand Sons) [27 PL, 526pts] ++

+ HQ [27 PL, 526pts] +
Ahriman on Disc of Tzeentch [9 PL, 166pts]: Doombolt, Glamour of Tzeentch, Prescience
Daemon Prince of Tzeentch [9 PL, 180pts]: 6. High Magister, Dark Matter Crystal, Infernal Gateway, Malefic talon [10pts], Warlord, Weaver of Fates, Wings [1 PL, 24pts]
Daemon Prince of Tzeentch [9 PL, 180pts]: Bolt of Change, Diabolic Strength, Malefic talon [10pts], Wings [1 PL, 24pts]

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Thousand Sons) [48 PL, 842pts] ++

+ HQ [20 PL, 318pts] +
Sorcerer [6 PL, 98pts]: Force stave [8pts], Gift of Chaos, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Weaver of Fates
Sorcerer [6 PL, 98pts]: Force stave [8pts], Infernal Gaze, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Warptime
Sorcerer in Terminator Armour [8 PL, 122pts]: Death Hex, Familiar [9pts], Force stave [8pts], Inferno Combi-bolter [3pts], Tzeentch's Firestorm

+ Troops [23 PL, 434pts] +
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [45pts]
. Cultist Champion [5pts]: Brutal assault weapon and Autopistol
Tzaangors [10 PL, 192pts]: Brayhorn [10pts], 25x Tzaangor w/ Tzaangor Blades [175pts]
. Twistbray [7pts]: Tzaangor blades
Tzaangors [10 PL, 192pts]: Brayhorn [10pts], 25x Tzaangor w/ Tzaangor Blades [175pts]
. Twistbray [7pts]: Tzaangor blades
+ Elites [5 PL, 90pts] +
Tzaangor Shaman [5 PL, 90pts]: Force stave [8pts], Temporal Manipulation
++ Total: [110 PL, 1998pts] ++

A tough one to close out the day, but at least recent experience has taught me that I do have the numbers to put this army down. It’ll be a slow, painful process however, and need extreme caution.

The Mission

Supplied from above (4 objectives). This is everyone’s least favourite moving objective bonanza. At least they’d changed it to be scoring at end of turn rather than start, which takes out a decent bit of randomness (and honestly makes it play nearly like a standard end of turn scoring mission).

Spearhead Assault deployment which is fine – I’d prefer quarters, but would rather have a short edge deployment than long.

The Plan

This is definitely a game where by plan is to be cautious and gradually kill all of his stuff. His damage output against some of my key targets is extremely predictable, being largely psychic based, and him leaning so heavily on smite gives me some scope to control where it goes. By cycling my planes in and out and carefully positioning near his less mobile psykers I can manage where the damage goes, and hopefully squeeze more than one turn of being Smote out of each.

Meanwhile, the other thing I must do to avoid losing is prevent a game breaking Tzaangor charge ever going off. This is why I feel like I am compelled to put my planes into “harm’s way” – they do a good enough job of screening this threat out that letting them get gradually killed is “worth it” – and with careful management, I should still only lose one or maybe two through the game. The important thing to remember is that if I push any one plane right down his throat, it will die, so maybe don’t do that. The things I want dead the most are the Daemon Princes, as they combine the psychic threat with actually being able to fight. If they go down while I’ve still got my planes up, things should domino from there.

In terms of going first, I probably want him to have the first turn but don’t massively mind either way – going second is slightly better, but first has the upside of getting a second turn to build a deep strike screen.

My Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Headhunter
  • The Reaper

His Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Marked for Death
  • Big Game Hunter

The Summary

He put me on the first turn and I spent it murdering some Plaguebearers, taking a pretty decent chunk out of one of the big units between kills and morale (he didn’t get a 1 on either D6 from the Bilepiper and I Vected the re-roll). He’d chosen to put both units of Tzaangors in Deep Strike, which is probably a good call while planning to go second (as I’d have fancied my chances of putting a whole unit of them down without buffs up) but gave me the advantage of not having to worry about deep strikers for a turn, allowing me to position carefully and kill a few more PBs than I otherwise might of.

A screen is constructed

In his turn, we experienced the first of his mammoth psychic phases, for which he had a helpful spreadsheet:

GI Tzeentch says “Knowing is half the battle FOR YOUR SOUL

Luckily my positioning had paid off, and he didn’t quite drop a whole plane, meaning I still had all three live on my second turn. Having planned ahead, I used these to set up a formidable drop zone, and brought some of my other DS units in just behind it to start racking up infantry kills, making a substantial mess of the second unit of Plaguebearers.

On his turn, he brought the Tzaangors in and went for it, but unfortunately for him missed what was probably the more important of his charges (going for a long bomb into my Raider), and one of the defensive buffs. On the other flank, a lucky Dire Avenger Exarch (these two guys were on absolute fire all weekend) stopped one of his DPs finishing the unit, preventing him from consolidating as far out of harms way as he wanted, while the other was in a spot that was vulnerable to planes.

Daemon princes are lured out by the delicious glint of a forge world wave serpent

Between missing a buff on the Tzaangors and the DPs being viable targets I was able to get what was probably a game ending advantage on 3 – most of the Tzaangors on one flank and both princes died, and I moved most of my stuff away from the other unit of Tzaangors for the turn. With such a huge chunk taken out of his army while I still had all my best units active, it was going to take a serious miracle for him to pull this back, and it wasn’t to be. Sadly, the dice rather decided to put the boot in – shortly after he ran out of command points, Ahriman chain perilled and then exploded, dragging a wounded Sorceror into the warp with him. I was substantially ahead anyway, but that gave me the extra impetus to get over the line for a second max point win to close out day 1.

The Takeaways

I’m happy to have pulled out a big win here – this list is insanely nasty (and you should expect to see more of it post-FAQ as it’s untouched). Luckily, I’ve now played against things like it a few times and feel like I have a good handle on how to deal with it. It’s also a matchup where losing the ability to actually block with fliers matters less – their key function here is screening against Deep Strike, which they still do in a post-FAQ world.

I absolutely loved the psychic spreadsheet, and honestly it seemed to be a hugely useful tool, so I’d encourage anyone playing this list to think about doing the same.

The Score

Eternal War: 16-10

Kill Points: 14-6 (net max 6 to me)

Secondaries: 12-4

Total: 34-14

Tournament Points: 20-0

Match Score: 3-0

Day One Wrap Up

I was thrilled to be undefeated on day 1, and really hoping that this was going to be the time I converted that to a win on day 2. The sensible thing to do would have been to go to bed early, but the venue was extremely accommodating to us wanting to stay up late, drink and game, and there was a room block on site, so forget that! My one excuse was that thanks to battle point pairing we pretty much knew who we were playing the next day, and my opponent for the morning was up as late as I was! Find out how our bleary-eyed morning showdown went, how the tournament wrapped up (for those of you who don’t follow our Facebook) and where I’ll be taking my army post-FAQ in a few days time!

 

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