Tournament Report – The London Open – Part 1

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Last week Wings brought you a preview of the London Open, discussing his army list, looking at some of the more interesting armies out in the field, and triggering some mild controversy regarding a certain Grav-Tank. Before the mighty Adeptus Astartes take over Goonhammer for the weekend, today we’ve got the first part of Wings’ report from the event.

Welcome back readers! It’s time for some premium elf-related content. I’d first like to thank everyone who read or commented on last week’s preview. The “three cool lists” format seems to have been very popular (undoubtedly helped by the fact that one of the ones I reviewed went on to do rather well, though sadly the Blood Angels player didn’t make the event in the end so we didn’t get to find out if it worked how I thought), so we’ll definitely be doing that again in the future.

It also means that if you’re here, you almost certainly know what my army looks like already and may, in fact, be itching to find out how my attempts to defeat the mechanised hordes of Chaos went. As ever for my reports, for each game I’ll cover:

  • 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.

The one final bit of admin is a point about the LGT event pack I forgot to mention last time. They’re playing a modified version of deployment compared to standard ITC, basically boiling down to:

  • Fixed deployment maps for each mission.
  • A single pre-game roll off. The winner chooses to deploy their whole army first or second.
  • The person who deploys first always goes first, with no seize.

My understanding is that this is intended to speed up the pre-game processes, and to allow the player going second to reliably plan for it. Having played five rounds of it I have mixed opinions – it definitely achieves some of its goals, but it makes winning the roll off extremely powerful, maybe a hint too much so. As I probably should have made clearer last time, part of the point of the London Open was to get some final feedback on the event pack prior to the cut-off for the main LGT, so it’s possible this could change – we shall see.

With that out the way, on to the first round!

Round 1 – Chaos

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Army Total: 2000pts
Total CP: 11
Faction: Chaos Space Marines; Red Corsairs Faction: Chaos Knights
Battalion Detachment +5CP [Chaos Space Marines] [Red Corsairs: +3CP]
Specialist Detachment: Soulforged Pack [-1CP] Field Commander [-1CP]
HQ1: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL, 150pts): Autocannon (10), , Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0), Mechatendrils (0) Mark of Tzeentch, FIELD COMMANDER: Master of the Soulforges [160pts]
HQ2: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL, 150pts): Autocannon (10), , Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0), Mechatendrils (0) Mark of Tzeentch [160pts]
HQ3: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL, 150pts): Autocannon (10), , Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0), Mechatendrils (0) Mark of Slaanesh [160pts]
Troops1: Chaos Space Marines x4(4 PL, 52pts): 4x Boltgun (0), 4x Bolt Pistol (0), Aspiring Champion (13): Boltgun (0), Chainsword (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0)Mark of Slaanesh [65pts]
Troops2: Chaos Space Marines x4(4 PL, 52pts): 4x Boltgun (0), 4x Bolt Pistol (0), Aspiring Champion (13): Boltgun (0), Chainsword (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0)Mark of Slaanesh [65pts]
Troops3: Chaos Space Marines x4(4 PL, 52pts):, 4x Boltgun (0), 4x Bolt Pistol (0), Aspiring Champion (13): Boltgun (0), Chainsword (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0) Mark of Slaanesh,[65pts]

HS1: Maulerfiend (7 PL, 130pts): Lasher tendrils (12), Maulerfiend Fists (0), Mark of Slaanesh [132pts]
HS2: Maulerfiend (7 PL, 130pts): Lasher tendrils (12), Maulerfiend Fists (0), Mark of Tzeentch [132pts]

Supreme Command Detachmen +1CP [Chaos Space Marines] [Red Corsairs: +1CP]

HQ4: Daemon Prince with Wings (9 PL, 170pts): Malefic talon (10), Malefic Talon (0), Warp Bolter (3), Slaanesh, Psychic Powers: Smite +1 Hereticus Power [183pts]
HQ5: Daemon Prince with Wings (9 PL, 170pts): Malefic talon (10), Malefic Talon (0), Warp Bolter (3), Tzeentch, Psychic Powers: Smite +1 Hereticus Power [183pts]
HQ6: Master of Possession (5 PL, 90pts): Force stave (8), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Mark of Tzeentch, Psychic Powers: Smite +2 Malefic Powers. WARLORD [98pts]
HQ7: Chaos Hellwright (4 PL, 90pts): Soulburner pistol (0), Flamer (6), Voidcutter (0), Infernal axe (0), Mechatendrils (0) Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Mark of Slaanesh [96pts]

Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment [Chaos Knights] [Infernal]
Knight Despoiler (25PL, 275pts): 2x Avenger Gatling Cannon (170), 2x Heavy Flamer (38), Heavy Stubber (2), Ironstorm Missile Pod (16), Dreadblade [501pts]
Battleforged CP: +3CP Army Total: 2000
CP Total: 11

He obviously purchased the Helm of Warp Sight (ignore hit mods) for his Knight, along with a warlord trait to make it ObSec and a Dreadblade pact that gave him +2 movement.

The Mission

ITC Mission 1 – Seize Ground

Frontline Warfare Deployment

Not really what I want to face this on, but not the worst either. I think my preferred mission for this match-up would be Precious Cargo on Search and Destroy – it would let me potentially break through hard in one direction to avoid the bulk of the army, and also force him to think hard about how to hold objectives. However, a long edge is probably better than short – it still gives scope to smash one flank and pull out a decent distance.

The Plan

You’ve seen my thoughts on this list already, and it’s kind of horrendous. The big old problem we have here is that combining the Helm of Warp Sight with Trail of Destruction means that the Knight can pop a plane extremely reliably. He doesn’t have a tonne of CP after buying all of his toys, which means he can probably only do this once if he’s using any other cool tricks, but if he goes for a Crimson Hunter and pops it straight away that’s super bad for us. We’re basically hoping that he takes aim at the Hemlock and I get a good string of either saves or Feel No Pains and it limps through, as if it does then he’s effectively wasted a turn of the shooting without degrading my forces.

His ground forces are obviously no slouch either, but they’re at least somewhat constrained by the terrain, and don’t really threaten my planes. With that in mind (and having won the roll of to go first), the plan was to deploy relatively evenly, and then to Phantasm hard away from whichever side he’s put his knight on, and try and take out the tip of the spear of his forces on that side. Two of the mechanised threats is a reasonable target. The Storm Guardians will be immediately sacrificed to interdict the middle “channel” between the ruins for the first turn, and I can hopefully take out enough of his stuff to mean that the second wave doesn’t hit melee on his turn 1. He’s then under serious pressure not to low-roll with his Knight – if he does and I have my forces largely untouched, I should be able to bring substantially more firepower to bear turn 2 and waste the remaining three mechs. That then leaves him desperately thin on the ground and with too many priority targets to take the game – the Knight will kill a lot but I should take it out eventually, and the Daemon Princes will melt without the big guys around.

Is that a plan? It sounds like a plan. Let’s do that plan.

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Kingslayer

His Secondaries

  • Marked for Death
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Recon

The Summary

Post phantasm – looking good.

Sinister Hordes

I blew it, readers. The plan was good. The deployment/Phantasm strategy went without a hitch, but unfortunately I:

  • Slightly overestimated how much I needed to be putting into the first two targets turn 1.
  • Underestimated just how far some of his remaining threats could move around the central ruins.

The first turn was certainly OK though. My army formed up and blew away the front two mechs. My Autarch rather spoiled things by then failing his 7″ charge which would have got into the Master of Possession (with a good chance of wasting him given the 4W profile).

The bigger problem, however, was that I’d calculated I needed some stuff in the middle to add some shurikens to guarantee the two kills I was aiming for, and bring some Smites in too. This just flatly wasn’t true – It would arguably have been better if one of the central targets had survived, as that would have given the Autarch a near unfailable charge and allowed him to zip away post combat.

Overcommitting, like a chump.

More importantly, it wouldn’t have left my Farseer in a position which turned out to be dangerous, because even having reviewed this list I just didn’t quite process how fast it is. Slightly in my defence, his advance and charge rolls were exceedingly good (he chained double 6s on his Daemon Princes), and I failed to deny Warptime (having saved my re-rolls to try and stop it), but the upshot was my Farseer got wasted this turn. My Autarch went down too, but I had at least bought him the Phoenix Gem, so he liberally scattered mortal wounds around. I did also get to use one of the more interesting tricks with the Windrider Host to save my Warlock – you can pay 2CP to interrupt and then 2CP for the immediate move to get out of a tough spot. It’s extremely expensive, but I’d realised I’d screwed up here and felt keeping my Jinx caster alive was going to be key.

The silver lining for this turn was that between Prepared Positions, using a re-roll on Warptime and resurrecting a Red Corsair squad I’d taken to a single model previously he didn’t have enough to use Trail of Destruction, and a low-roll from him combined with a good round of saves had left my Hemlock live.

That left me with a slender route back into the game. Going on their murderous rampage had left the Daemon Princes vulnerable to the CHEs, which are extremely good at killing them – if I could take both out and drop the Lord Discordant that was deep in my lines I could just about see a way towards victory. Combining that with bringing my Guardians in to murder a Corsair squad and distract his Knight would leave him relatively condensed on the board, and maybe allow me to start racking up some objective scores.

Alas it was not to be. It started relatively well, but then his saves picked up, and agonisingly both the second Daemon Prince and a Lord Discordant survived on 1W each. I’d been planning to finish the Lord off with good shooting then finish the DP with the War Walkers, but the Lord held on with a good run of invulns and also tanked a hefty handful of 2+ saves to live. My Guardians also low rolled something fierce and only killed three Red Corsairs.

Well darn.

That was basically game over, as he now had a solid lead in materiel and could begin to flex his muscles. Even if it hadn’t been, my turn three was then a total wash, putting paid to my attempts to at least salvage some points – my Crimson Hunters tried to kill a 5W Maulerfiend and did a grand total of a single wound to it, and they followed this up on turn four (where they were mostly all I had left) by failing to even pick off a squad of Red Corsairs. We wrapped it up at the end of his T4 as he Bootsed me.

The Takeaways

Doh. It’s sort of a shame this was my first game – long time readers know the murder-Autarch sometimes tempts me into going too fast, and while I’ve gotten much better at not doing it, the first round is always the riskiest time, and I fell right into this trap.

I should have put up a much better showing or won this. The dice weren’t great to me, but if I’d done my plan properly the Hemlock high-rolling on its T1 saves would probably have been enough to put my in with a really good chance of winning this game – with the extra attrition on the monsters of my Farseer and Spiritseer (plus, obviously, Doom), they would have gone down much easier, and if I’d followed up T1 by sweeping them off the board that would likely have been game (and that’s realistic).

The reasoning behind the play I made wasn’t totally wrong – I definitely did need to kill two of the big monsters T1, but what I should have realised is that rather than lining up Smites to guarantee this, I could have afforded to line up the Wave Serpents and blow their shields T1 if I low rolled elsewhere – although his big guns are all D2, they’re pointing at the planes until at least turn 4, and I’m definitely going to have blown the shields by then.

Definitely a bit of a humbling experience. The list really is wild to play against, and I hope to see it stomping around more events.

The Score

Primary: 6-24

Secondary: 5-12

Total: 11-36

Match Score: 0-1

Round 2 – Imperium

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Adeptus Custodes) [27 PL, 1CP, 480pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot +
Detachment CP [1CP]
+ HQ +
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 160pts]: Hurricane Bolter
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 160pts]: Hurricane Bolter
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 160pts]: Hurricane Bolter
++ Brigade Detachment +12CP (Imperium - Astra Militarum) [66 PL, 13CP, 1,128pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot +
Battle-forged CP [3CP]
Detachment CP [12CP]
Regimental Doctrine: Regiment: Catachan
+ HQ +
Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken [4 PL, 75pts]
Company Commander [2 PL, 38pts]: Laspistol, Power fist Primaris Psyker [2 PL, 46pts]: Force Stave
+ Troops +
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 41pts]
. 9x Guardsman
. Sergeant: Boltgun, Chainsword
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts]
. 9x Guardsman
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts] . 9x Guardsman
. Sergeant: Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts] . 9x Guardsman
. Sergeant: Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts] . 9x Guardsman
. Sergeant: Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts] . 9x Guardsman
. Sergeant: Laspistol
+ Elites +
Astropath [1 PL, 26pts]: Laspistol
Bullgryns [19 PL, 378pts]
. Bullgryn: Bullgryn Maul, Slabshield
. Bullgryn: Bullgryn Maul, Slabshield
. Bullgryn: Bullgryn Maul, Slabshield
. Bullgryn: Bullgryn Maul, Slabshield
. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul
. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul
. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul
. Bullgryn: Brute Shield, Bullgryn Maul
. Bullgryn Bone 'ead: Bullgryn Maul, Slabshield
Ministorum Priest [2 PL, 35pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol + Fast Attack +
Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 35pts] . Scout Sentinel: Multi-laser
Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 35pts] . Scout Sentinel: Multi-laser
Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 35pts] . Scout Sentinel: Multi-laser
+ Heavy Support +
Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts] . Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar . Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts] . Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts] . Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Blood Angels) [21 PL, 1CP, 390pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot +
Detachment CP [1CP]
+ HQ +
Captain [6 PL, 124pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer, Warlord 
Captain [6 PL, 124pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer 
Librarian Dreadnought [9 PL, 142pts]: Furioso fist, Storm bolter
++ Total: [114 PL, 15CP, 1,998pts] ++

He added 3++s to two Shield Captains and bought a Callidus.

The Mission

ITC Mission 2, Cut to the Heart

Vanguard Strike Deployment

This works fine for me. It’s extremely good if I get to go second, as I can probably pick up early Hold More points, but even going first I can work with this – anything he can contest the centre with just melts to my army.

The Plan

I won the roll here, which makes this look pretty favourable. He does have some useful tools against me in the Smash Caps, who are probably going to cut a bit of a swathe through my planes until I finally put them down, but that ain’t cheap and I can kill his stuff faster. Thanks to Doom and Jinx, even the Bullgryns will faceplant if they get caught in the full maelstrom. The overall strategy is:

  • Put him on the first turn. He has no way of getting a kill.
  • Depending on what he does in the middle, either:
    • Delete the Bullgryns if they’ve committed,
    • Push off whatever squad he’s pushed with to take Hold More while killing all his wide elements.
  • Vapourise the rest of his infantry then kill his characters with mortal wounds and Crimsons at my leisure

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Old School
  • Gangbusters

His Secondaries

  • Engineers
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Recon

The Summary

War Walkers prepare to do terrible things.

Imperial heroes line up.

My opponent started this by throwing me what was honestly a genius curveball. (Correctly) recognising that he was up against it, he chose to make the Bullgryn one of his engineers and just leave them at the back in the corner ruin there. That meant that he was effectively guaranteed Engineers at max (because I wasn’t going to cost-efficiently prise them out early on) and I was on a clock to get my Gangbusters.

Ultimately, with the plan I had lined up that still wasn’t enough to swing it, because things pretty much went dead on according to what I’d aimed for. He went first and killed nothing, and in response I wasted two Sentinels, two Guard squads and all of his mortars, while screening off my characters to avoid a Callidus attack.

Callidus-proof fence.

That meant that for the rest of the game my infantry could operate with impunity, allowing me to really open up the pain. Every time his characters came forward they got immediately flattened, and I continued to rack up a body count. One of his slamcaps came in and brutalised my Hemlock, but I caught out the Callidus with Forewarned on turn 3 when she tried to join the fun, having deliberately circled a plane round to camp next to my Farseer after he kept her back on 2.

Substantially fewer Imperial heroes

His centre pretty thoroughly collapsed by turn 4, and I had enough of a lead on primary to guarantee the win, but the move with the engineers had left him with a much smaller deficit than he could have had. He did keep me off the last few points – my Crimsons had another few turns of completely fluffing it, and my Autarch managed to miss with both his good guns, meaning some of the Bullgryn held on.

Experts disagree about how the war went from there.

The Takeaways

Honestly, as you’ll see from the scoreline, my opponent deserves a huge amount of credit here. You can’t win them all, and recognising a tough matchup and making the most of it is an important skill.

My army basically performed on all fronts here, with the War Walkers being the most notable at tearing this matchup wide open (they were great all weekend honestly). I know this matchup pretty well and have a very robust plan for it, and it effectively went off hitch-free.

The Score

Primary: 19-11

Secondary: 10-11

Total: 29-22

Match Score: 1-1

Round 3 – Grey Knights

The Competition

Army List - Click to expand

REPORTED ARMY FACTION: Grey Knights + TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 9
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000
+ POWER LEVEL: 128
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Grey Knights
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Battalion == Grey Knights [ 58 PL, 812 pts ] 5 CP
HQ: Brother-Captain (110), Nemesis Force Halberd (0), Storm Bolter (2), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Iron Halo (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 9 PL ] [112 pts]
HQ: Lord Kaldor Draigo (180), The Titansword (0), Storm Shield (0), Storm Bolter (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 12 PL ] [180 pts]
TR: 5 Strike Marines (95), Justicar (0), Two Nemesis Falchions x5 (0), Storm Bolter x5 (10), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 7 PL ] [105 pts]
TR: 5 Strike Marines (95), Justicar (0), Two Nemesis Falchions x5 (0), Storm Bolter x5 (10), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 7 PL ] [105 pts]
TR: 5 Strike Marines (95), Justicar (0), Two Nemesis Falchions x5 (0), Storm Bolter x5 (10), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 7 PL ] [105 pts]
EL: Paladin Ancient (98), Sacred Banner (0), Storm Bolter and Falchion (2), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 7 PL ] [100 pts]
EL: 5 Purifier Squad (95), Knight of the Flame (0), Two Nemesis Falchions x5 (0), Storm Bolter x5 (10), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 9 PL ] [105 pts]
== Vanguard == Grey Knights [ 70 PL, 1188 pts ] 1 CP
HQ: Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight (170), Nemesis Greatsword (10), Gatling Psilencer (20), Heavy Psycannon (24), Dreadfist (25) [ 14 PL ] [249 pts]
HQ: Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight (170), Nemesis Greatsword (10), Gatling Psilencer (20), Heavy Psycannon (24), Dreadfist (25) [ 14 PL ] [249 pts]
EL: Apothecary (75), Nemesis Daemon Hammer (13), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade [ 5 PL ] [88 pts]
EL: Apothecary (75), Nemesis Daemon Hammer (13), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade [ 5 PL ] [88 pts]
EL: 10 Paladin Squad (470), Paragon (0), Nemesis Force Halberd x8 (0), Nemesis Warding Stave x2 (0), Storm Bolter x6 (12), Psilencer x4 (32), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Psyk-out Grenade (0) [ 32 PL ] [514 pts]

The Mission

ITC Mission 3: Nexus Control

Search and Destroy

There’s not a whole lot to discuss here because…

The Plan

This is a horrific mismatch for my opponent. His list does actually have some neat tools – we went through how all his various boosts to Smite etc. work and it all sounded kind of cool, but the elephant in the room is that it’s reliant on the Paladin bubble being durable and against me it just isn’t. He has no real tools to threaten my planes if I’m careful about the Smite tricks, and he has to pick between either putting his good stuff on the board and getting it dunked or having it screened out when it comes in.

Something would have to go absolutely horrendously wrong dice wise to make this anything other than a complete rout.

My Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Marked for Death
  • Gangbusters

His Secondaries

  • Headhunter
  • Big Game Hunter
  • Marked for Death

The Summary

More imperial heroes.

Some mean bullying jerks.

I went first and deleted 7/10 Paladins and the Purifiers. By the end of my turn 2 he had a Brother Captain and two Apothecaries on the board, with everything else in Deep Strike and only able to come into stuff I didn’t care about. Not unreasonably, he conceded at that point.

Mean bullying elven jerks have conquered the playground.

The Takeaways

I felt kind of bad about this, it’s literally the most one-sided ITC game I’ve ever played. Huge credit to my opponent for being a phenomenal sport throughout – I’m not sure I could have been as cheerful as he was in his position!

His list actually does have some good matchups in the meta. Against anything relying on melee threats or low-AP volume shooting he can cause serious headaches, and all of the Grey Knight Smites would let him hilariously dunk the Daemon Engine list. My list, however, is not one of them and this game ultimately played out the way it was always going to.

The Score

Total: 37

Match Score: 2-1

Day One Wrap Up

After a bad start, a good recovery to 2-1 at the end of day 1. I was going to be up against it to try and hit a podium spot thanks to the low scores in 1 and 2, but was raring to go for day two. Join us next week to see how that went!

 

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