November 12th saw me waking my ass up at 5:30 in the got damn morning to drag it 2.5 hours to Brandon in order to participate in the WHAT (WarHammer Amateur Tournament). Why would I do this to myself.
Well, I love Warhammer, 2 of my friends (Homer and Jason) are the tournament organisers, and I won the tournament last year. Last year I took a flier heavy Chaos list with a Daemon Prince, 2 Blight Drones, and a Heldrake. This year my army looked significantly different. Before I get into that, lets talk venue. The tourney was held at a local store called I Want That Stuff. They had room for 9 tables (and a SuperSmash Bros tournament) and they had 16 players, which is an amazing turnout for the Brandon gaming scene. I've been playing in Brandon for a couple years now and I saw a whole crew of new faces which has me really excited for future tournaments. IWTS also had a grill and license to serve booze. I wish I didn't have to drive home that night... oh well.
There are some unconventional systems in play as they try to keep this tournament friendly to new players. First, each army must contain at lease one CAD. That's it. You can take as many formations or detachments, but one of them must be a CAD. Then there are the missions. Well, they are wonky to say the least. I'll get into them a little more during my game reviews...
My army list. As you might remember from my Twin Eagles tourney report, I've been trying out the Black Legion Detachment and this one was no different, except that my army is 1500 points, and has a CAD, and don't have a team mate. I'm not gonna go into super detail on the list and just really mention the important parts.
My CAD consists of a Sorcerer, 2 squads of cultists, and a Heldrake. The Black Legion Detachment has a Warband Core that has a Chaos Lord with power fist, Chosen with 2 melta guns in a Rhino, Havocs with 2 plasma guns in a Rhino, Raptors with 2 melta guns, and 2 Marine squads each with a flamer in Rhinos, and an Auxiliary formation of 1 Spawn.
Finally, to round out my list I had a Cyclopian Cabal with 3 Level 3 Sorcerers.
The Cyclopian Cabal I'm still trying to find a place for without simply slamming it into a death star and pushing everything forward. I'm utterly convinced that I lost my last game because of poor Psychic discipline choice, and poor casting management, but I'll get into that later.
GAME 1: Space Wolves Jim
This mission is a wonky take on Kill points with each battlefield role being worth a different number of points. HQs are worth 3, Elites Fast and Heavies are 2 points, and Troops are worth 1. Since I've got 5 HQs, I'm actually a little worried.
Jim is a great guy and one of the newer players that I mentioned and I smashed him. Sorry Jim. His list looked something like this: Wolf Lord on Thunder Wolf, Thunder wolves, Wulfen, 2 units of Marines with a melta gun in Rhinos, Long fangs with Missile Launchers, Predator with trip. las, and a Predator with dakka.
I deploy first with most of my Rhinos behind a big pipe thing and beside a building shielding me from half the table should he steal the I. I spread the Sorcerers out, one in each Rhino and put the Lord in there somewhere. Jim deploys across his table edge putting his Wulfen and Thunderwolves opposite my army and his firepower off to the side I was protected from.
He doesn't manage to steal the I and I move some stuff up giving hims a couple options for a long charge hoping he might take the bait at give me some freebie overwatch shots, he doesn't, but he still moves his hammers up as close as he can manage. Not much happens turn 1.
Turn 2 is when everything and nothing happens. I have fought Wulfen before and they are hella scary, so I unload the 3 Rhinos that I can and get everyone I can within 12", which looks like this...
|Notice a lack of Heldrake and Raptors?|
My shooting is not very effective killing only 2 Wulfen and stunning the Dakka Pred.
|Operation Meath Shield|
So the Cultists get Mulched. Jim puts both the Wulfen and the Thunderwolves into the them and I don't even let him roll dice. He does some hull points on a Rhino and kills a couple Cultists from the other unit.
With my Heldrake in I move up and waste the Wulfen and put a hurt on the Thunderwolves killing 1 and doing some other wounds. I use a unit of Marines as another speed bump and kill more stuff on the other side of the table and prepare for my next turn.
Around this time my Lord has been given so many boons that He is nearly indestructible. I charge him and all the other marines left into whats left of the Thunderwolves, which is just an Iron father and the Wolf Lord by now, and manage to drag them down and kill them all.
Meanwhile I kill the rest of his stuff and the game ends. Thanks again Jim, I look forward to playing you again and next time I'm sure you'll smash me.
GAME 2: Tau Ben.
We both kind of messed up on this mission. What we were supposed to do is choose 3 pieces of terrain and use them as Objectives, we instead misunderstood this and used every piece of terrain as objectives. Each turn you rack up points for each piece of terrain you control, and once you control a piece of terrain you can leave it and still control it until it's contested. If that piece of terrain was controlled by a Troops Choice with Obsec you get 2 points.
Ben has a Buffmander with a unit of suits with missile pods, 2 individual Broadsides with missiles, a Riptide with Ion cannon, 2 units of Firewarriors, a unit of Breachers, and the formation with the Ghostkeel and 2 units of Stealth suits.
We both deploy spread out to take advantage of our misconception of the rules and get as many units on a piece of terrain. He get the first turn and promptly blows up a Rhino, and that's about it.
I move most of my stuff up and then take over his big unit of Crisis suits with Shroud of Deceit and kills the closest unit of Firewarriors, each of us earning First Strike.
The rest of this game is pretty easy to explain. I push forward with all my units and he backs up, afraid to engage me in combat and rightfully so, after a couple rolls on the boon table my Lord was pretty beastly, and Tau suck at combat. He quite obviously won the secondary which was kill points and we both got First strike and Linebreaker as he snuck a Devilfish and his Ghostkeel down to my side of the table, but I won the primary which is worth more points.
Ben was a great guy to play against but he was having some trouble with his dice. He cut his finger really badly not too long ago and had it wrapped up in a pretty do-it-yourself looking bandage. This made picking up dice a chore, not very optimal in a game that relies on dice. Hope it's healing well.
GAME 3: Necron Shaun (that rhymes!)
So this mission was probably the craziest of them all. There are 3 relics placed along the mid point of the table equal distance from each other. Then one side of the table is where the sun is rising from. What does that mean you ask? Do you remember that scene from Riddick where he’s climbing a mountain or something and if the rays of the sun touched you it burnt you to a crisp? Well it was sort of like that. The light would start at one end of the table and move 2D6” across the table at the start of each player turn. Lastly, you had to try and get the relic off the end of the table opposite the sun, and you can move the relic 18" per turn, instead of the normal 6".
So Shaun’s list had some formations, I can’t remember what they are called, but he had the one with the Wraiths, Spyder, and Scarabs. He also had a decent sized unit of the biker dudes, a couple unit of warriors, a unit of Immortals and 2 of the transport fliers.
I want to start this battle report off by saying that this was probably the most intense, adrenaline inducing, nail biting, and fun game of 40K that I’ve ever played. At least top 5. Shaun was an absolute champ to play against, and having both won out previous games, we knew that we were in the running to win the event. I knew I was going to have a tough battle because I had almost double the number of kill points that he had, which was the secondary objective.
Shaun won first turn and deployed fairly spread out. He had his Wraiths and Bikes ready to jump on the right relic, a unit of immortals lined up to grab the middle and a unit of warriors set up to get the left. Most of his army is deployed to support the wraiths and bikes who are going to get the right relic.
I deployed my spawn on the left ready to rush that relic and steal it from under the warriors noses, the rest of my army set the trap.
What trap? Let me explain. I had a plan, I got this plan the exact moment I rolled for my psychic powers and got Death Hex, which is the -2 to Invul saves power. My plan was to let Shaun go first, wait for him to move the Wraiths up and then unload every Rhino and hammer that unit with everything I had and everything went to plan. He moved the Wraiths up aggressively just as I suspected he would, he grabbed the relic with the bikes, just as I expected he would, and he was too far for a reliable charge so he ran he units in a defencive manner, exactly as I hoped would be the case. I didn't take a single casualty as his shooting is primarily short range.
This was it, this was the exact thing I was waiting for and I pounced. I moved the rhinos up, deployed everyone, cast Death Hex, and even managed to steal his bikes and make them shoot the Wraiths along with my entire army...
...and did nothing. As I figured I should have killed 4 of them and instead, didn't. I killed 1.
Shaun adjusts the Horseshoe that's tickling his prostate and prepares for his turn. He grabs the relic with his bikes and assaults me with the Wraiths and Scarabs to pin me down, and it works.
He is able to get the relic off the table and he's got 1 point. He moves the Immortals up, grabs the middle relic and they jump into one of the flying crescent things all the while I am madly running my spawn along my back field barely staying ahead of the burning sun.
|Too many Wraiths left, and Immortals with a Relic|
Now here is where things get weird. He had boarded the transport with his Immortals, and now because he has the relic in it, with the special relic rules, he can only move 18" and it just so happens that the only "safe" place for him to land will fly him into the sun, which ends up crashing the flier, but what happens to the Relic?
|The Relic is the glass bead on the flier base.|
The Immortals go into ongoing reserve but I figured that the Relic would drop, right where I would be able to pick it up. After a quick discussion we had to call over Homer to make a ruling. He quickly decides not to take a side and roll off for it which ends up in Shaun's favour so the Immortals with the Relic end up in ongoing reserve which only prevents me from scoring the point as it's turn 4 and we will only get one more turn. Turn 5 sees me making a mad dash to pick up the relic that the Spawn finally dropped after being cooked and Ghost Storming my Warlord off the table
I managed to tie the primary, but lost the secondary, and none of us had any of the tertiaries, which means Shaun won.
I say this with a bitter sweet tone because as it turns out, Shaun won best overall!
I ended up in 5th place, which is not too bad considering I bled kill points in a kill points "centric" tournament.
My list worked exactly how I wanted it to, but I actually found that the Cabal did not pull it's weight. I may go back to taking 3 cheap ass sorcerers instead of tooling them up and just going for the big power, but I felt like a Raptor Talon formation would have helped me far more than the Cabal. I will have to play around with it a little more and find that balancing point because as it is, this list had a tough time of actually killing anything.
For my next games I am going to look to add a Raptor Talon with 2 units of Raptors with Meltas, a unit of Warp Talons, and a Lord with the Axe of Blind Fury. I'll try out dropping the Lord on his own to get multiple charges off and then try to get as many multi charges off as I can with overlapping units to get as many units as possible in one huge massive assault. Then, hopefully the Lord goes buck wild and forces a shit load of -2Ld morale checks.
Anyway, I had a great time, lots of fun, met some new people, and look forward to regaining my title next year.
Until next time, keep them dice rollin.