Tournament Report: Dallas Open GT

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Boon here with another tournament report – having just finished up the Renegade Wargaming Spring Up GT, I turned around a week later and flew down to the Dallas Open GT (and cashed in a whole bunch of fiancé brownie points in the process). My goal heading into the event was to end up 6-2 and most importantly, not lose to any Texans. Normally I’d say 5-3 is my goal here, but I’m playing Drukhari so I felt I could get away with a little extra confidence. Overall it was a wildly successful showing against some very stiff competition. Of course in the end, the best part of the event was the friends made along the way… and also the food. Special thanks to Axel Johnson, Curtis Colon, and Bill Stineman who made the trip with me.

 

The Event

The Dallas Open GT was the largest ITC event yet this year. Assembling 172 players in Dallas, Texas for eight rounds over three days of Drukhari-dominated excitement. Hosted by organizers Nate Goodfellow and Bruce Merker, the event took place at the Sheraton DFW, a one-hour shuttle wait but only a 5-minute ride, from the E-terminals at Dallas-Fort Worth international airport. In between him giving me shit and letting me know just where I stood with his anti-Packers apparel, I managed to catch up with Nate and ask him for his perspective on the event.

Q: A lot of conversation was had on the tables and terrain prior to the event, can you speak to the challenges prior to and the adjustments you made leading up to the event?

I’ll answer this as chronologically as I can. When we first started previewing our terrain, it was to help people plan accordingly by giving them an idea of what they’d be playing on. Larger pieces on some of the tables are always going to be a hot topic so with those I have to go more off the opinions of players who have been on them and what they think, which is a love & hate relationship, I can accept that. When we previewed the newer tables, I should’ve made it clearer in our posts that these layouts were for the different deployments and not just different ways we would leave them for the whole event, but I could see their point about the benefits of another obscuring piece and after talking with some very experienced players, I decided to pull the trigger and add another piece to every table. I spent a decent portion of time asking players when they were free about the tables they played on and what they thought so I could start getting ideas of what we will need to change going forward. Before the event we had already agreed no more massive terrain pieces(looking at you year one L’s, Swamp Ziggurats, Snow mountains and Bridges) while making very aesthetic tables, they end up doing too much to the game or too little, and that isn’t a healthy thing. Overall I think I need to now drop some terrain from Mars, rework the Snow table and Swamp table, and the year one table is just flat out getting replaced!

Q: This was the largest event this year, the first such event in the COVID era, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

Largest event I’ve ever hosted as well. The Covid portion was pretty self handling, max space between the tables and yell out put your mask back on every now and then.  It helps that Texas also has a really high vaccination rate, not that it affected any of the rules we put in place, but it made us feel much more comfortable hosting the event. Things I would/will do differently:

  1. More readily available basic info: I don’t like printing everyone a 10-page packet, it feels like a waste of paper. But we definitely should have had signs up for our daily schedule, mission each round, etc… so [the players] don’t have to keep going to their phone or asking a TO/judge. 
  2. I wanted to have pictures of each layout for each table on the sheet we handed out, but with so little 9th practice games, we kind of winged it. Obviously a lot of the tables got overly adjusted in between rounds, but at the end of the day if both players agreed to it and had fun, I’m not going to tell them to move terrain midgame. Next year I’ll have another page on the table with each round, no measurements for the terrain, just eyeball it based on the objectives and other pieces, no need to have everyone sit and measure each piece to the exact half inch of placement
  3. A couple times my judges made some questionable calls. Just like players, fatigue started to set in and we made mistakes, we will work to correct that and I have a pretty good idea on how to get that tiny amount down to a miniscule.

I’ll probably triple this list once I get the survey results back, but any event that thinks they did everything right… is not headed in the right direction. Dallas Open is going to make a lot of tweaks to make 2022 even better for all the new and returning players next year.

Q: What do you want other tournament organizers to know?

Really it’s just two things, we need to constantly stress it’s okay to call a judge or ask your opponent questions WHILE THE GAME IS GOING ON. Coming up to us afterwards and making accusations is really hard to act on. I put it at the top and bottom of my packet, and it was the first and last part of my opening remarks but we still had players who waited until after the game to report issues and if we want to make 40k tournaments better, I believe that is the most important step.

Terrain is the second part. I firmly believe you can’t have a single standard layout for every deployment in the mission pack we are using.You’ll either end up with way too much terrain or missions where lots of armies just get flat hosed. I’m not going to stand on a soap box and say we did it perfectly, because we didn’t and I’ll be changing a good number of things, but I think all events should be adopting some type of floating changes on their tables.

Thanks Nate! For my part, I agree with him on the terrain. The decision to shift maps based on the deployment zone was an excellent one and I would highly recommend other TOs consider how they might be able to make that a reality in their own events. I’ll only add one other thing – for a state which prides itself on ‘freedom’ it sure as hell lacks any freedom to buy alcohol before 12pm on Sundays – as a Wisconsin native this offends me.

 

My Army

Credit: Boon

The above photo from the Spring Up GT is close enough to the final list – my list actually changed between Spring Up GT and Dallas Open slightly, but nothing too major. I ended up dropping the Ravager and instead added a second squad of Grotesques and updated some of the Raider upgrades (swapping out Phantasm’s for Chain-Snares for the most part)

My list - click to expand

++ Drukhari Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [32 PL, 14CP, 775pts] ++

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

DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Chain-Snares
DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Chain-Snares

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [15 PL, -2CP, 285pts] ++

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, 135pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug), Hekatrix: Agoniser, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Blast 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, 940pts] ++

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

DT: Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Chain-Snares, Phantasm Grenade launcher
DT: Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Chain-Snares, Phantasm Grenade launcher
DT: Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, 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

There wasn’t much of a change in the plan since the last event – the additional Grotesques squad gave me more flexibility for While We Stand We Fight and also some additional, reliable firepower – it was a straight upgrade over the Ravager. To me, the big test of this event and how it differed from Spring Up is that Dallas took place after the initial shock of Drukhari and I’d be able to run up against lists which had reliably made changes to account for Drukhari since the submission deadline was only two days prior to the first game. 

 

The Games

Haldor Icepelt Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Haldor Icepelt Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Round 1: vs. Samuel Johnson’s Space Wolves

Mission: Scorched Earth – Dawn of War – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Assassinate
  • His Secondaries: Engage on All Fronts, Oaths of Moment, Deploy Scramblers
Sam's List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Space Wolves) [97 PL, 10CP, 1,999pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Hungry for Battle, Space Wolves Successor, Whirlwind of Rage

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Deeds and Sagas [Reference]

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Librarian [6 PL, 115pts]: 4. Instincts Awoken, 5. Storm Caller, Boltgun, Force axe, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack, Smite

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Absolver Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Morkai’s Teeth Bolts, Twin Bolt rifle

Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf [9 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Frag & Krak grenades, Resolve of the Bear, Storm shield, Stratagem: Warrior of Legend, Teeth of Terra, Thunderwolf, Warlord, Wolfkin

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Grey Hunters [6 PL, 95pts]: 4x Astartes Chainsword
. Grey Hunter Pack Leader: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. 4x Grey Hunter w/Bolt Pistol: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired combat blades

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] . 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Master-crafted power sword, Storm Shield

Wolf Guard [14 PL, 279pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Lightning Claw

Wolf Guard Terminators [9 PL, 240pts] . Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour: Combi-melta, Power fist
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour: Combi-melta, Cyclone missile launcher, Power fist
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour: Combi-melta, Power fist
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour: Combi-melta, Power fist
. Wolf Guard Terminator Pack Leader: Combi-melta, Power fist

+ Fast Attack +

Thunderwolf Cavalry [7 PL, 175pts] . Thunderwolf Cavalry: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield, Thunderwolf
. Thunderwolf Cavalry: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield, Thunderwolf
. Thunderwolf Cavalry Pack Leader: Frag & Krak grenades, Storm shield, Thunder hammer, Thunderwolf

Thunderwolf Cavalry [7 PL, 175pts] . Thunderwolf Cavalry: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield, Thunderwolf
. Thunderwolf Cavalry: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield, Thunderwolf
. Thunderwolf Cavalry Pack Leader: Frag & Krak grenades, Storm shield, Thunder hammer, Thunderwolf

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [7 PL, 150pts]: Heavy melta rifle
. 2x Eradicator: 2x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt: Bolt pistol

++ Total: [97 PL, 10CP, 1,999pts] ++

I Go First

The first game of any event is always the most exciting for me. It’s the complete randomness of the pairings that raises a little thrill – no other game in the tournament will be such an unknown. So heading into round one bright eyed, bushy-tailed, and coffee in hand I drew Texas’ own Samuel Johnson and his Space Wolves. After some quick meet and greet, table setup, and discussion I had a chance to review his list. At the time Dallas took place many players still had not had the opportunity to play into Drukhari and I think it showed in Sam’s list a bit. Only the Eradicators stood out as making him a two-phase threat that would allow him to pry open a boat and assault the contents inside… or shoot them if need be. He deployed his units defensively, looking to hold one corner of the board with a few token squads out wide to jump on his far-side home objective. Unfortunately, I won the roll and redeployed to get both Liquifier boats into good position and hit him hard on turn 1 – cutting down most of his Vanguard Vets in the process. On turn 2 he tried to cover down and grab objectives with some wolf cavalry and threaten my lead boats but because he was so limited on his output in the shooting phase I was able to weather the little fire thrown my way and deliver back to back Liquifier rounds followed up with Incubi assaults. We pretty much called it after that.

To Sam’s credit he took it all in stride – we discussed a little about what we thought he could have done, but going second in this matchup, on this mission, with these lists made it unlikely that anything could have been done at the table – he was just too far on his heels with an army that needed to be in my face from the get-go and even then some extra luck would be needed. You hate to say, “I don’t think there was anything you could have done” but that’s the nature of Drukhari right now in some matchups.

Result: Victory, 89-33

 

Credit: BuffaloChicken

Round 2: vs. Zach Maglisceau’s Imperial Guard

Surround & Destroy – Dawn of War – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Bring it Down
  • His Secondaries: Engage on all Fronts, Deploy Scramblers, Grind Them Down
Zach's List - click to expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [86 PL, 8CP, 1,590pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Regimental Doctrine: Gunnery Experts, Spotter Details

+ Stratagems +

Tank Ace [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Tank Commander [12 PL, 210pts]: Augur array, Heavy Flamer, Heavy Stubber, Hunter-Killer Missile, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander [12 PL, 210pts]: Augur array, Heavy Flamer, Heavy Stubber, Hunter-Killer Missile, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Cyclops Demolition Vehicle [3 PL, 50pts]

Cyclops Demolition Vehicle [3 PL, 50pts]

Leman Russ Battle Tanks [20 PL, 380pts] . Leman Russ Demolisher: Heavy Flamer, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon
. . 2 Heavy Flamers
. Leman Russ Demolisher: Heavy Flamer, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon
. . 2 Heavy Flamers

Leman Russ Battle Tanks [20 PL, 380pts] . Leman Russ Battle Tank: Battle Cannon, Heavy Flamer
. . 2 Heavy Flamers
. Leman Russ Battle Tank: Battle Cannon, Heavy Flamer
. . 2 Heavy Flamers

Manticore [8 PL, 155pts]: Augur array, Full Payload, Heavy Bolter, Hunter-Killer Missile

Manticore [8 PL, 155pts]: Augur array, Full Payload, Heavy Bolter, Hunter-Killer Missile

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [24 PL, 410pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine: Gunnery Experts, Spotter Details

+ HQ +

Tank Commander [12 PL, 225pts]: Heavy Flamer, Relic: Kurov’s Aquila, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon, Warlord
. 2 Heavy Flamers

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

+ Heavy Support +

Cyclops Demolition Vehicle [3 PL, 50pts]

++ Total: [110 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

I Go First

At seeing the pairing I thought this might present a particularly challenging game in the early going – while Zack’s list wasn’t heavy on ObSec and gave up a lot of points on Bring It Down it had all the capability it needed to fight me off the objectives. It was geared up nicely to both open boats and clear their contents and had some tricks with the kamikaze Cyclops vehicles. Additionally, all those heavy flamers also made effective deterrents against my Incubi if I wasn’t careful. We ended up on one of the jungle boards which had a decent amount of terrain but were particularly dominated by large hill-like temple pieces – they weren’t obscuring but you could hide behind them if you positioned carefully. Unfortunately my sails were a bit hard to tuck away. He also had two Manticores that could put me on the backfoot early if I went second and they punched out my Raiders before I got to position them forward. We made sure he could actually move his tanks around the board and adjusted the terrain accordingly. All in all it looked like a good game and one that could go down to the wire – which is why I was relieved to have won the roll for first turn.

Zack held one Manticore and Tank Commander, as well as a Demolition vehicle and some Scions near his right-most home objective, while the two tank company’s and a second tank commander held the middle of his deployment prepared to advance on the center objectives, and the final commander and manticore anchored his left flank with the remaining Demolition vehicles – remaining Scions in reserve. I redeployed my Liquifier boats to get them both in on his right flank – I wanted to lock down that flank and hopefully limit his Manticore. The Demolisher cannons, for all their virtue, don’t have the longest ranges in the game, so I wanted to force a more hammer-and-anvil style fight from our Dawn of War deployment where I could then swing a flank and hop terrain before getting into the rest of his force. Leaping forward, one of my boats advanced with Aether Sails and then used its Phantasm Grenade Launchers to Fire & Fade and get that extra range before unloading the Liquifiers from the Grotesques inside into the Manticore – leaving it with only a couple of wounds remaining but more importantly leaving it on a BS6+. The Wracks inside meanwhile attempted to detonate the Cyclops hiding behind the Tank Commander but just missed on finishing it off. The second Liquifier boat along with the third Wrack unit mounted in a Venom poured their shots into the Tank Commander also leaving it on 2 wounds while my Trueborn and the remainder of the boats positioned for Turn 2 and took whatever shots they could into one of the mid-board Tank Company’s – doing some damage but not tiering anything. As I hadn’t finished off either tank on the right flank I attempted two long charges with the Venom and non-advancing Raider – I was surprised to make both which then allowed me to pile-in and consolidate into the Manticore as I edged around the Tank Commander, doing one more wound on the Tank Commander to leave him with 1 remaining and pinning both tanks in combat.

On his turn he rolled out of his deployment zone trying to close with my Raiders as fast as possible while lining up the best shooting lanes. The pinned in Manticore and Tank Commander poured their shots into my Venom which quickly detonated and as a result took the Tank Commander with him – leaving my Raider now exposed and giving the Cyclone a target… as well as the Tank Company’s. It quickly disappeared from the combined fire along with the previously Venom-mounted Wracks, and put the other mounted Wracks and Grotesques onto the board. However, the rest of his shooting was not as effective or limited, and could not push back my second wave. The now grounded Grotesques and Wracks consolidated in the corner, finishing off the Manticore and removing the Scions camping the objective nearby. Meanwhile, my other three Raiders pressed into his Tank Company’s seeking to tie them up in assault. My fire focused on his second, central Tank Commander and brought him down before also destroying the previously damaged Tank Company Leman Russ. By this point I had effectively cut his firepower in half while not sustaining similar losses and prepared to swarm him with Incubi and more – he fought valiantly for whatever points he could nab.

Zack’s goal was to finish the tournament as the best Imperial Guardsman. He made a valiant run, but despite a strong 5-3 finish he was just edged out by another Guardsman and his 300+ conscripts. However, he was my favorite Guardsman and he did walk away with a trophy-laden Team Chimken tee-shirt with sweet custom work (mine being horrendous) drawn on, so that’s a win in my book.

Result: Victory, 95-45

 

Round 3: vs. Nick Nanavati’s Drukhari

Incubi

Incubi. Credit: Corrode

Overrun – Dawn of War – Domination Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Grind Them Down
  • His Secondaries: Engage on All Fronts, While We Stand We Fight, Raise the Banners High
Nick's List - click to expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 260pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: Competitive Edge, Dark Lotus Toxin, Razorflails, Warlord
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych

Wyches [6 PL, 85pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael, Morvaine’s Agonizer
. 7x Wych: 7x Hekatarii Blade, 7x Plasma Grenades, 7x Splinter Pistol

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [23 PL, 470pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

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

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]

+ Troops +

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

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

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

+ Elites +

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

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

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [77 PL, 1,267pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Power sword, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Helm of Spite

Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 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: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Splinter racks

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

++ Total: [116 PL, -6CP, 1,997pts] ++

I Go First

I don’t think there’s ever a moment when you think, “Oh awesome, I’m paired into Nanavati – this is exactly what I hoped for” but it’s also not something you can avoid. In most tournament Nick participates in, the road to the top will inevitably go through him. So what better time than now? I’ve played Nick once before, long ago, and it was a forgettable game. I was much less experienced then, only recently coming back into 8th edition after a long break. Nick was affable as ever but basically after we deployed I got my notebook out, took up a desk, and went to school as Nick stomped around the table effortlessly. That’s the nice thing about games with someone so practiced – they’ll show you things you didn’t expect, or show you just how you made the mistake and you’ll have the opportunity to learn a thing or two. That’s all to say, I wasn’t nervous – I knew his list, I knew my list, we were playing Drukhari and I thought I had the better list into a mirror and I just needed to play to his level.

It was the last Dawn of War of the tournament and Nick packed tightly into the corner behind an L-shaped fort with a couple of boats behind a center obscuring ruin. I was a bit more spread given my redeploy, with elements packed tight behind Obscuring in the center of my zone and a few in an opposite corner fort. I think I actually preferred to go second, but I won the roll and made the decision to commit my Liquifier boats into his corner – I wanted to down as many Raiders as possible on T1 and pin him back. So I redeployed and put all of my Liquifiers onto the line opposing his Raiders and then launched forward. The combined 12 Liquifiers was effective in bringing down 4 of Nick’s Raiders right off the bat – my Dark Lances were not helping here but at that point they didn’t need to – his Wracks and Incubi were on the table and would need to foot it from here.  Boon Note: We actually played that fort wrong – I had thought it wasn’t an obscuring piece based on earlier versions of the player pack (and some other versions of the same terrain piece at the ice tables) – Nick actually checked the card and agreed but afterwards we rechecked and it was indeed Obscuring. Earlier Nick had asked and I of course agreed that he could manage his Art of War interests during the game.  As a result he periodically provided YouTube updates on the game. It was between my turn and his that he gave his first video update – and it wasn’t looking good with so many Raiders down and him buried back in the corner. As is the case with Drukhari, I sat back and prepared for his rebuttal – he had Wracks and possibly some charges to make here. And despite the loss of the boats he had a fair amount of firepower between Wracks and Trueborn that could still wreak havoc on my own Raiders.

On his turn he launched out with his Wracks while turtling up with most of his units including the Incubi and Courts – his Trueborn and remaining Raiders lined up some shots on my advancing Liquifier boats and the combination downed the Venom and lead Raider dumping their Wracks and Grotesques onto the board while the rest of his army played coy, forcing me out if I wanted to follow up my first turn.

And I did.

And it cost me.

Thinking I could press my advantage and bury him in the back while eliminating the hard punchers in his army, I pushed forward bringing the second Wrack/Grotesque Raider in range and brought another round of Liquifiers – to a much reduced effect. While I killed his Wracks I wasn’t able to bring down either of the other two boats which were well out of range and hidden from my own Raiders and Trueborn prowling the other side of the board. I was effectively leaning into him on the two short edges at this point, my Bloodbrides/Succubus Raider coming in to back up my Wracks and Grotesques and prepare a counter charge. However, he was able to effectively counter-charge with his own Wyches – turning off my overwatch and tying up multiple units of Wracks and Grotesques – instead of trying to backpedal and force him to cover the open ground while sitting on my own, solidly controlled objectives. I doubled down and sent in the second wave with Bloodbrides/Succubus, trying to break his counterpunch. Unfortunately for me, I truly (like many of his opponents) underestimated the Court of the Archon that would eventually join the fray now solidly locked in the midboard on the far side. He was slowly clearing my Liquifiers while tying them up with successive Cult of Strike units, denying the overwatch and following up with the Archon/Court of the Archon – while he was losing units, I was losing them faster. By the time I got around to throwing a third wave with my own Drazhar and Incubi into the fray they were in a poor position and I was rapidly running out of units to hold objectives – meanwhile the script had flipped and his two Raiders and Trueborn were able to effectively down my other Raiders leaving me without mobility and not a lot of punch remaining.

By the time his Succubus rolled into my Trueborn on the far side of the board on T4 I realized how unnecessary it was to have spoiled such a huge first turn advantage. There was no reason for me to press headlong into his corner – even had I sacrificed those Liquifier units to get his Raiders, the fact that he would need to hoof it without the protection of combat across the open field would have put him in a hard spot on a Domination mission.

To me it just went to show why Nick is so good at this game. For one, he’s well practiced – he does it daily. But two, even a bit nervous after the first turn, he kept focusing on each little piece that could help him build to a winning position – doing all the little things right and being rewarded for it. The fact that I handed him the lion’s share of my army was just the mistake he needed to swing a tough round into a winner. I really look forward to the next time I get the opportunity to play him, it was a great game and while it was a hard way to end the first day, it was still a worthwhile experience. Thanks Nick!

Nick would go on to finish 7-1 and 4th overall, losing on the top table in round 6 against the Destroyer of Drukhari Mark Hertel.

Result: Loss, 34-79

 

Round 4: vs. Matt Telley’s White Scars

White Scars Infiltrators Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

White Scars Infiltrators Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Vital Intelligence – Vanguard – Domination Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, While We Stand We Fight
  • His Secondaries: Grind Them Down, Deploy Scramblers, Engage on All Fronts
Matt's List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [102 PL, 10CP, 1,998pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: White Scars

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Culexus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]: Animus Speculum, Psyk-out Grenades

+ HQ +

Kor’sarro Khan [6 PL, 110pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Moonfang

Librarian [6 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: 3) Null Zone (Aura), 3) Ride the Winds, 4) Storm-wreathed, Boltgun, Force stave, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack, Rites of War, Smite, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Tome of Malcador

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts]: 2. Catechism of Fire, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Absolver Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Litany of Hate, Plume of the Plainsrunner, Twin Bolt rifle, Warlord, Wise Orator

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired combat blades

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Marksman bolt carbine

+ Elites +

Apothecary [5 PL, 90pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Frag & Krak grenades

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 140pts] . 3x Bladeguard Veteran: 3x Frag & Krak grenades, 3x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 3x Master-crafted power sword, 3x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Master-crafted power sword, Storm Shield

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Bladeguard Veteran: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Master-crafted power sword, 2x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Master-crafted power sword, Storm Shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 278pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Bolt pistol and Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Frag & Krak grenades, Power fist, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 330pts]: 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 270pts]: Melta rifle
. 5x Eradicator: 5x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt: Bolt pistol

++ Total: [102 PL, 10CP, 1,998pts] ++

Matt Goes First

Matt and I had the first match of the new day – with the pairings up the night prior, we had a good read on each other’s lists. Showing up at the table, it was a custom-designed board sponsored by the Alamo GT guys. With a large obscuring ruin along the diagonal and two mirrored dense fence lines, and obscuring ruins in the corners, it was an interesting board. Not bad, but it was probably the exact wrong board for Matt’s White Scars to fight my Drukhari (a theme that will be replicated the next morning in Game 7).

He combat squad’d everything and then deployed conservatively with his Eradicators in reserve and the main force in his corner behind the Obscuring or LOS-blocking ruin. The Infiltrators and Incursors being the sole units forward deployed out wide to claim the corner objectives. Meanwhile, I deployed mostly along my deployment line. With Matt winning the roll for first I again opted to redeploy, however, with his only real ranged threat (Inceptors) being too far back on T1 and his Eradicators in reserve, I opted to just slightly reposition some units along the line so I could get into his flanking units and force the bulk of his army to either have to break up and spread out or march forward across the center field ignoring the corner objectives. This was one of those missions where you don’t need to maintain a presence on an objective to hold it – so it was important for me to force him out of the corners.

His turn went very quickly as shots were limited. His Culexus jumped out to claim an objective with the advancing Blade Guard heading up the middle behind. On my turn, I moved to get some Incubi into his Incursors on one edge and moved the Liquifier boats to pick off the Culexus and put some shots into the Blade Guard. The Incubi made short work of the Incursors, and I liquified the assassin but left one of the Blade Guard alive – which would then promptly heal up and get one of his brothers back next turn. On his turn, he continued to push forward trying to bring his Inceptors into range and bringing on a single squad of Eradicators to counter my transports creeping around the edge of the Alamo center-ruin while he used some White Scar shenanigans to get his Vanguard Vets forward enough to attempt some charges. The Inceptors put some damage into my Incubi but the combination of terrain and +1 cover strat meant they survived to fight another day while the Eradicators meanwhile eradicated a Liquifier Raider threatening his Infiltrators. Not a significant amount of damage was done, so his Vanguard Vets, assaulting through the dusty Alamo halls had to clean up for the lack of White Scar shooting – they made their charges and downed both a Raider and a Venom. However, he was now exposed, strung out across the center of the board, and after ensuring his Vanguard Vets died with my scary combat units (Succubus, second Incubi squad, Drazhar), I was able focus on clearing the edges – the Infiltrators went down to some Wrack liquifiers, a full squad of Blade Guard to the other full liqufier boat. It was at this point I think he realized that he needed to salvage the game – his Eradicators came in and immediately deployed scramblers to cap that secondary rather than attempting to shoot to little benefit – on my turn it was cleaning up.

I think in this game Matt made the mistake of putting himself too far back to adequately threaten with the majority of his force against my much faster units – he just didn’t have enough shooting to cover for that type of gap between our lines. Most games are an uphill struggle against Drukhari but being so far back gave me all the time in the world to take him apart piecemeal. The board, of course, did not help his case. Matt would go on to have a good showing – ripping off 3 more wins before losing in his final game to another Drukhari to go 5-3 overall.

Result: Victory, 95-56

 

Round 5: vs. Daniel Olivas’ Aeldari

Drukhari Kill Team

Drukhari Kill Team. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Sweep & Clear – Corners – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Direct Assault
  • His Secondaries: Engage on All Fronts, Deploy Scramblers, While We Stand We Fight
Dan's List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [77 PL, 9CP, 1,476pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Children of Prophecy, Masterful Shots

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Gametype: Matched

+ HQ +

Farseer [6 PL, 115pts]: 0. Smite, 1. Guide, 3. Fortune, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 65pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Troops +

Rangers [3 PL, 65pts] . 5x Ranger: 5x Ranger Long Rifle, 5x Shuriken Pistol

Rangers [3 PL, 65pts] . 5x Ranger: 5x Ranger Long Rifle, 5x Shuriken Pistol

Storm Guardians [3 PL, 56pts] . 8x Storm Guardian – Chainsword: 8x Chainsword, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Shuriken Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Shining Spears [10 PL, 180pts] . 4x Shining Spear: 4x Laser Lance, 4x Twin Shuriken Catapult
. Shining Spear Exarch: Star Lance
. . Exarch Power: Skilled Rider

+ Heavy Support +

Dark Reapers [18 PL, 360pts] . 9x Dark Reaper: 9x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Tempest Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rain of Death

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 115pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Tempest Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rain of Death

+ Dedicated Transport +

Wave Serpent [9 PL, 160pts]: Spirit Stones, Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Wave Serpent [9 PL, 160pts]: Spirit Stones, Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [28 PL, 520pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 65pts]: Labyrinthine Cunning, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Venom Blade, Warlord, Writ of the Living Muse

Yvraine [6 PL, 120pts]

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 55pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 55pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter Rifle

+ Dedicated Transport +

Venom [4 PL, 75pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Twin splinter rifle

Venom [4 PL, 75pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Twin splinter rifle

Venom [4 PL, 75pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Twin splinter rifle

++ Total: [105 PL, 9CP, 1,996pts] ++

Dan Went First

I was excited for this game. At heart I’m a Craftworlds player and I loved to see my puritan boys on the table. Dan had a well considered list with a few tricks up its sleeve. He deployed aggressively knowing he could Phantasm on the outcome of the roll – unfortunately, with my own redeploy ability (Poison Tongue Kabal), I would counter deploy if necessary. As he was going first, I chose to do just that – there wasn’t anything particular interesting about our deployments, we were positioned to take advantage of cover (me) and to put shots into anything exposed (him) while pressing the board on objectives. It was a desert table with a fair amount of obscuring and good terrain. Side note, I think it was actually an excellent table and would recommend using it for next year.

If there was one defining element of this game, it was that in pressing the board, I think he went a little too hard with his Spears. They ran in on Turn 1 looking to make a charge on one of my forward deployed Venoms – his Reapers downed it and his Spears prepared to take out the Wracks that hopped out. Unfortunately, his dice failed him miserably and despite his 2++ re-rollable on the Exarch, his Exarch died taking two other bikes with him. The remainder died in combat and then to attrition. For a turn 1 lead-off, losing a While We Stand We Fight Unit like that for minimal return was a devastating blow and allowed me to leap out on in my turn and dictate the board – trying to manage his Reapers and starting to push him back on the corners. His careful management of the large Reaper block as well as his triple threat casters kept him in the game, but ultimately I had him penned in on the corners and we were fighting over the center and in his deployment after Turn 2 – in a game of trades, Drukhari trade up super well against most, but especially Craftworlds.

I actually think this is a game where Dan really wanted to go second or to just play more coyly on turn 1 – going first just left him too exposed. In any case, it was a fun game and we both learned a couple of things during – which is always a great thing. Dan would go on to finish out 5-3 after losing a round 7 match against a tough White Scars matchup.

Result: Victory, 95-32

 

Round 6: vs. Jack Harpster’s Sisters of Battle

Credit: RichyP

Priority Target – Vanguard – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Priority Targets
  • His Secondaries: Priority Targets, Thin Their Ranks, Engage on All Fronts
Jack's List - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [105 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Stratagems +

Open the Reliquaries [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy

+ No Force Org Slot +

Arco-Flagellants [3 PL, 75pts]: Endurant
. 4x Arco Flagellant: 4x Arco-flails

Arco-Flagellants [3 PL, 75pts]: Endurant
. 4x Arco Flagellant: 4x Arco-flails

Arco-Flagellants [3 PL, 75pts]: Endurant
. 4x Arco Flagellant: 4x Arco-flails

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Stratagem: Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will, Xenos – Psychic Veil

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 55pts]: Chainsword, Inferno pistol, Null Rod, Relic: Beneficence, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief

Palatine [3 PL, 50pts, -1CP]: Heroine in the Making, Plasma pistol, Relic: Litanies of Faith, Rosarius, Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

+ Elites +

Preacher [2 PL, 35pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol, Relic: Book of St. Lucius

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 80pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 83pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Hand Flamers
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Hand Flamers

+ Heavy Support +

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Hand Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Simulacrum

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Hand Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Simulacrum

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 140pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Simulacrum

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

++ Total: [105 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

I Go First

Oh god did I need to go first in this game. Jack, besides being an excellent player in his own right, is a member of the Art of War team and probably the most practiced player I played, outside of Nick, on Drukhari and how to play into them. His list was tailor-made to fight Drukhari and would himself have run a similar list to John and Nick if they could have gotten the army together in time. Worse, the table we played on was the exact opposite of what I needed – in the middle stood a giant icy bridge which the whole thing was considered obscuring. That meant John had to merely get out of his Rhinos to toe-into his edge of the bridge in order to see the entirety of the table. Unlike the boards, the corner fort ruin was not obscuring on the table card and so I had no where to hide going second with the units that I’d choose to keep on the board. Real bad news if I lost that roll. Fortunately for me, I did not.

Jack, safe in his Rhinos, deployed forward and unafraid, while I tucked down as tight as I could be with my second wave of Raiders as my two Liquefier boats and Trueborn rode the deployment line. The terrain really threw me here – once you touched the bridge which spanned my deployment zone to his, it was an open field with the exception of some dense features on either side – no obscuring. After hemming and hawing for a couple of minutes I decided my only option was to simply go all in and throw everything at him as fast as I could – stuff his melta barrels, his many, many melta barrels, with as much Raider bits as a I could. I left only a squad of 5 Kabalites on my home, priority objective.  Advancing with both Liquifier boats and Fire & Fading one I managed to get both boats in range of one end of his Rhino line – everything else committed behind them to the one side. I was fortunate and managed to pry open two vehicles right off the bat, one exploding and dealing some additional wounds into his nearby units, and putting most of his Retributors on the table. I managed to nab a few of them with my Trueborn as well as clearing a squad and a half of Battle Sisters anchoring his flank. It was a real solid first turn… but it only mattered as far as I could withstand his undoubtedly furious melta and Repentia response now that I was largely exposed, albeit in somewhat cowering in dense cover.

His other Retributor squad dismounted and along with his surviving Retributors took position to clean up some of my Raiders. An Arco-Flagellants squad closed my line as he moved to cover his neutral zone objective and threaten anything that came out of a ruined hull. One of his remaining Rhinos with a Repentia squad moved to the far side of the board edge towards my forfeited neutral objective, a Battle Sister squad in tow, while the other Rhino which the Retributors recently vacated and with Arco-Flagellants still inside, hung on his home, priority objective, available to hit the center objective next turn if he desired. His final Rhino hung near the neutral zone objective we’d soon be contesting, waiting to send in a squad of Repentia to counter anything I came to hold it with. His deceptively punchy characters anchored his center line of Sisters.

In his shooting phase he opened with his Retributors, and despite dropping a Venom and Raider, putting two squads of Wracks and a Grotesques squad on foot, he wasn’t able down nearly enough Raiders to make it a successful turn. Discharging all of his shots and cherubs, Jack damaged multiple boats but my saves proved good and the Dense terrain stopped a number of would-be successes. He made the most of the ones he did punch through with the miracle dice, but I got a second turn of pressing an advantage out of it. His arco-flagellants multi-charged the Wracks and forced me to spend CP on overwatch and then the next turn on a fall back, but it was successful in tying up at least one of my Wrack squad’s shooting in their next fall back. My second wave of Trueborn and Bloodbrides moved onto  the center to position for turn three charges while Drazhar and a squad of Incubi disembarked to go pursue the Rhino and Sisters moving towards my objective. The Grotesques moved in to get shots on the Retributors and my Wracks fell back to the objective and attempted to liquify the remaining Battle Sisters on the flank. A combined round of liquefiers cleared most, but not all of the Retributors as well as the remaining Battle Sisters on his flank. However, I was unsuccessful in destroying the advancing Rhino in the shooting phase and was resigned to charging with the combined Drazhar and his retinue – they destroyed the transport with ease but I prepared to lose them in the next turn when the Repentia climbed out of the wreckage.

I was staring down the barrel of a Repentia charge on two flanks and he still had a few meltas at his disposal. He also had a unit of Seraphim to bring in… it was quickly dawning on me just how very, very exposed my home objective held by only 5 Kabalites truly was. Oh and would you look at that, he had the miracle dice to guarantee a charge. His Retributors downed my last Liquifier boat, while the Repentia cleaned up his neutral objective and took it from me while the other unit cleaned up Drazhar and the Incubi – meanwhile he poured flamer shots into my exposed Wracks and then charged to clear those Kabalites and stealing my home objective. It just became an interesting game all over again – despite the attrition in his lines it was still a really close and this would be a pivotal turn. In response, I closed on his home objective with my Bloodbrides, an Archon, and a second squad of Incubi while my Succubus made an emergency dash for my home objective – she made a spectacular advance roll to put her in a good but failable position to charge. More Wracks closed his neutral objective to take it back from the Repentia while my Grotesques moved across the ice bridge to confront the ladies up that way. My Trueborn focused on clearing the remaining Retributors and infantry at his center – hoping to expose characters. If it all went according to plan it would be effectively game over, if it didn’t or if that Succubus failed a charge, it would be a big swing on the primary and secondary. After lining up my shots, much ofthe charges were successful one at a time – but I was out of CP and the charge that really mattered I reserved for last because I wasn’t prepared for that kind of heart break until the very last moment. Jack teased me the whole while, but we finally got around to it and….

She made it just fine and cleared the whole squad with ease, securing the objective.

It was pretty much over at that point – Jack was running light on any ability to spread out onto objectives and the Bloodbrides/Archon/Incubi were in a position to clear the remainder of his zone – I still had Trueborn hanging around and some Grotesques running about to his few Battle Sisters, a single tied up and deeply in trouble character, and a Rhino with some spare Arco-Flagellants. We pretty much called it a night there and chatted a bit about how busted Drukhari were over a beer. Like Nick and John, Jack is an excellent opponent and I relished the opportunity to play him.

Jack would go on to win his last two games to finish 6-2 and 10th overall – his only losses came against his Art of War partner’s Drukhari and myself.

Result: Victory, 90-50

 

Round 7: vs. Don Hooson’s Death Guard

Credit: Don Hooson

Battle Lines – Hammer & Anvil – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, Bring It Down
  • His Secondaries: Grind Them Down, Vital Ground, Engage on All Fronts
Don's List - click to expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [77 PL, 9CP, 1,525pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 6. Gift of Plagues, Ferric Blight, Suppurating Plate, Warlord

+ Fast Attack +

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 135pts]: Fleshmower

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 140pts]: Heavy blight launcher

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 140pts]: Heavy blight launcher

Myphitic Blight-haulers [14 PL, 280pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler, Myphitic Blight-hauler

Myphitic Blight-haulers [14 PL, 280pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler, Myphitic Blight-hauler

Myphitic Blight-haulers [14 PL, 280pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler, Myphitic Blight-hauler

+ Heavy Support +

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

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [26 PL, -3CP, 470pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 5. Curse of the Leper

+ Fast Attack +

Death Guard Greater Blight Drone [7 PL, 125pts]

Death Guard Greater Blight Drone [7 PL, 125pts]

Death Guard Greater Blight Drone [7 PL, 125pts]

++ Total: [103 PL, 6CP, 1,995pts] ++

I Go First

If Nate had come up to me and said, “James, I want you to place the terrain on this board however you need to in order to counter Don’s list” I would not have come up with something as advantageous as the board I actually walked up too. A++ stuff, would play Don on this board again.

The Doom of Don. Photo Credit: Don Hooson

What’s interesting about this board, besides the connected center ruins, is that the vertical pipes were ALSO obscuring. So there were no full-table sightlines and the only obliques were through a Dense, Difficult terrain piece (this mattered a lot when it came to Don’s shooting). I think the only thing that kept this from being a total rout was the fact that Battle Lines as the mission actually really helped Don here as it allowed him to focus on just two points – just not nearly enough to account for that total LOS blocking. Side note here, Death Guard players should really give this list a look as it is super good into Drukhari. Besides being tough, it puts out a considerable amount of firepower at good range, and does plenty of mortal wounds when the vehicles detonate (on a 4+) in the midst of your stuff. I note that Don was particularly pleased every time one of his boys detonated in a green plume, his enthusiasm for it was infectious.

Anyway, the game played out how you would expect it too. I got first and tried to load one side while stranding the other, I did a fair amount of damage on Turn 1 but not enough to put him on the back foot and he came crashing in with everything he could, swinging his far side units either onto the objective to hold or back across the center line to try and get some shots. As his monster vehicles came crashing in to the objective, we had a back and forth for a couple of turns, him just slowly murdering my boats and the guys inside with combinations of shooting and explosions, my guys trying to do the same (but even slower). I eventually cleared his units at the chokepoint and started to press into his backboard where it slowly ground down to almost nothin. In reality this game was so much closer than the differential indicates – by the end he had a damaged Plagueburst and I had an out of breath Drazhar and a couple of random Kabalites just happy to be there at all. Different board, different outcome certainly.

I can’t wait for the whooping Don is certain to reap in our next match. Don closed out the event with a win to finish 6-2 and 16th overall. We tried to grab a beer afterwards but Texas freedoms prevented us from our sin because apparently it was just too early on the lord’s day, or something.

Result: Victory, 72-44

 

Round 8: vs. Nick Gower’s Drukhari

Haemonculus and Wracks of the Coven of Twelve | Credit: Garrett “John Condit” Severson

Retrieval Mission – Hammer & Anvil – Take & Hold Primary
  • My Secondaries: Herd the Prey, Deploy Scramblers, While We Stand We Fight (Grotesques, Trueborn)
  • His Secondaries: Engage on all Fronts, While We Stand We Fight (Truborn, Ravagers), Deploy Scramblers
Nick's List - click to expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [51 PL, 2CP, 955pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

Raiding Forces – CP Refund [2CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 85pts]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, The Djin Blade, Warlord
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 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: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Heavy Support +

Ravager [8 PL, 145pts]: Chain-snares, 3x Dark Lance

Ravager [8 PL, 145pts]: Chain-snares, 3x Dark Lance

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal, Splinter racks

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [18 PL, 8CP, 340pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder (Restricted)

Raiding Forces – CP Refund [2CP]

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, -1CP, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

Succubus [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Dark Lotus Toxin, Precision Blows, Razorflails, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 130pts] . Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

+ Elites +

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

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [38 PL, , 705pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

Raiding Forces – CP Refund [2CP]

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal

++ Total: [107 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

Nick Went First

By this game I was exhausted, and despite it all, the inevitability of a Drukhari mirror match was not something I looked forward too. Nick and I had danced around one another after we both lost our round 3 matches to the same list – him to John, me to Nick N. Now we finally got our shot at each other in the final round. My list plays well into a mirror, I knew this, but as my earlier match against a Drukhari Nick showed, it’s not foolproof. Fortunately, I had that experience to reflect on going into this match and I think in the end Nick G made the same mistake in our final game that I made against the other Nick in round 3 (there are too many Drukhari Nick’s here) – namely he got overextended and couldn’t weather the punch back.

I’ll be honest, the exact details of this game are not as clear to me as some of the others. I reserved my usual three Liquefier boats and Trueborn, and Nick pounced early, driving up the field and putting me on the back foot. In turn two he cleverly used some Mandrakes and a Succubus to pin me back and steal an objective out from under me. I was forced to come in off my own board edge on T2 with the reserved Raiders, but due to a couple of mistakes on Nick’s part (being a little too far forward and leaving a Succubus exposed) I was able to down some boats and the Succubus and force some of his troops onto the field – taking some of the teeth out of his advance. He over exposed his Ravagers to some counter-punches and I took them where I could. It was a brutal back and forth, but by the end the battle it had swung in my favor – particularly after Drazhar had pulled some heroic shit and just Would. Not. Die. on one of his home objectives. In one final act of defiance, Nick crushed my Trueborn with his remaining Mandrakes (marked as While We Stand We Fight) before being swept off the board. It was the typical Drukhari mirror match. Brutal, back-and-forth, and down to the wire – and it was a great game to end.

Nick closed the event 6-2 overall and in 17th place. Similar to Jack Harpster, his only losses came to Drukhari against John Lennon and myself.

Result: Victory, 82-60

Final Result: 7-1, 5th Place

 

Final Thoughts

It was a really great time overall – a big “thank you” to all of my opponents who were excellent without fail. I think the event took a fair amount of heat online for the terrain, and while some of it was warranted as I note above, many of the tables were actually great. Still, some tables were not ideal (looking at you ice world tables or jungle world temples) and led to some odd matches, but I have yet to attend an event where every table hit consistently high standards. What I think truly matters is that Nate and Bruce were active, engaged, and solicited feedback often – and I need to note that they already have significant plans for table upgrades next year. That gives me all the confidence in the world that next year will be even better – I think that’s worth the return and I’m already looking forward to next year!

The list did well! It’s Drukhari but I ran it into two mirror games and despite the outcome of the first, it performed very well into both. I mentioned this in previous articles but I’m big on Poisoned Tongue being the Kabal of choice for the redeploy shenanigans. Overall, the only change I’d make is to drop the bare bones Kabalite squad and a few minor upgrades for a second Succubus and switch over the Archon to a more general purpose character – the Djin blade just doesn’t hit hard enough without the rerolls (Drazhar has the trait) and the automatic go-last is nice, but situationally useful. I think I’ll get more mileage out of a second smash-face character missile and the Archon still has a role to play as a babysitter for Incubi.

The next event I’m heading to is Bugeater down in Omaha, NE – Tim Royers has run some excellent events in the past and I’m really looking forward to another!

 

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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