Episode 45: Green Skins vs. The World (Orks vs. Tournament 2000 Points)

It finally happened. The culmination tournament for my Escalation League was today and I've been preparing for it a long time. For this go I took my Orks, I wasn't sure what the field would look like and my Tau is't quite ready yet in terms of modelling/painting. I did manage to completely finish my Orks in terms of their paint, they still need basing and Bolters/Shootas to be WYSIWYG but the Tournament Organizer said I was fine as long as I made it clear what everyone had. I also need a Mad Dok Grotsnike but couldn't get one on such short notice.

The format was all ITC Missions with three, 2 Hour Rounds. Originally pairings were supposed to be based on the League standings however we only had like seven people from the League show, the rest were from other local metas and stores. Overall I was fine with that since the other stores are a bit more competitive and I wanted to get put through my paces to see if all my testing and theory-crafting would bear fruit.

The 2 Hour Rounds was certainly a problem as my army does take longer than most to Deploy and move, especially early on before I've really lost models. Generally the first tow turns take the longest and then the game picks up, that's why 2.5 or 2.75 Hour Rounds are pretty standard. But the rules are the rules so I made sure I was mentally prepared to get early Scenario leads and always be ahead for dice down situations.

For these games I'm going to give an abridged version, I did not have time to take the kind of pictures you might be used to with the strict time requirement. I'll give an abridged account of each game, as best I can, and then discuss my feelings on the whole even to wrap up. Sound good? Good.

Warboss w/ Big Choppa & Attack Squig
Warboss w/ Big Choppa & Attack Squig w/ Legendary Fighter

Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF and Choppa
Big Mek on Warbike w/ KFF and Choppa


Mad Dok Grotsnik
Painboy w/ Killsaw and Grot Orderly

29 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas & Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas & Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas & Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas & Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas & Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas & Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa

I've talked about this list quite a bit. Plain and simple I think it's the best Ork build at the moment for the competitive meta. I'm not into the Big Squiggoth as it plus the Tankbustas cost too much, are too big a target, and the Big Squig has required guns which are almost literally useless. Until there is a major change in the meta or a Codex for Orks drops, this is where I'm at.

I'll discuss the list more in the video at the end of this report, for those interested.

Round 1

Instead of going off League pairings the TO just randomized everyone because we had so many non-League Players. This put me against Aaron, a great local player with access to a lot of armies. At the last event he took a strong AdMech build and finished around middle of the pack, this time he was taking a fairly gimmicky list that I don't think he'd really tried before.

Magnus the Red w/ Tenacious Survivor
Khorne Lord of Skulls w/ Ichor Cannon, Skullhurler
Khorne Lord of Skulls w/ Ichor Cannon, Skullhurler
Renegade Knight w/ Rapid Fire Battle Cannon, Avenger Gatling Cannon

This army is what I call a gatekeeper list, it cannot win any reasonably sized tournament because it's too one-dimensional. The army will either win big or lose big, every time, and allows little room for player skill or lack thereof. I was honestly surprised that Aaron went with this since he is competitively focused and I just don't see this rewarding to run nor very powerful. Obviously the idea is to Magnus a Lord of Skulls into the opponent's face Turn 1 and have a ton of resilient models and great shooting. Unfortunately it cannot do anything in ITC Missions since it's not terribly mobile, has no numbers, and any serious army can deal with at least one Knight equivalent per turn meaning even keeping one model on an Objective in the back isn't safe.

Out missions was Secure and Control which uses Spearhead Deployment. Me and Aaron confused this with Front-Line Assault and didn't notice until we'd deployed since our table was kind of away from everyone else. Aaron was fine with that and we "gentleman'd" to keep our Deployment without TO objection. This absolutely favors me since it gives Aaron less room to stand in the back but honestly he can't really do that since he'd only have four guns to shoot. So I think it was a wash.

Aaron went first and decided he had to come at me. To that end a Lord of Skulls was Warptimed and crashed into my lines, killing quite a few Boyz. Magnus was also upfront with the Knight in the back and the other Lord mid-field. Fortunately I took an Ork build that deals with this handily and proceeded to melt the Lord with 7, d6 Mortal Wound Smites. I also took a few Wounds off Magnus with Shootas and a Charge, which made me happy.

I was able to jump out to an early lead thanks to all my models and Troops while Aaron couldn't get any Malestrom Points. Magnus Fell Back on Turn 2 but wasn't able to get the other Lord of Skulls up the field, he settled for dumping all shooting and a Charge from the Lord into a Boyz unit which wiped it out.

On my Turn I melted the other Lord thanks to some good healing from the Painboys and careful sequencing. I left it with 4 Wounds but finished it with a Charge from a unit, a Warboss, three Weirdboys and Grotsnik. Magnus went down a few more Wounds as well.

By Aaron's Turn 3 the writing was on the wall. I was up 4-0 on Maelstrom and had only lost about two units worth of Boyz. Magnus was square in my sights or he was giving up the Knight, who's honestly more useful against my army. We decided to call the game officially but play on for fun. On my Turn 3 I killed Magnus and then asked if we could stop the game as I thought the next Round was coming up soon (it wasn't). This gave me a score of 19-0 as I'd gotten First Blood, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord. Final Maelstrom Score was 4-0 and I had 3 Objectives to 1 for Eternal War when I could have grabbed the last one easily.

I don't think Aaron had a chance this game outside of me rolling complete ice. He has nowhere near the amount of attacks needed to kill my army and even with a +2 Magnus can't touch many of my Casting Rolls. Magnus also kind of just dies to Orks, especially if you block his +1 Invulnerable Save power, and he adds nothing to the army against me other than some buffs. I made sure not to damage the Lords because they get way too many attacks if you do, it was straight from full to death. My only focus was on the Scenario, I knew I couldn't be touched on it and any result except a 6 is easy for me to achieve.

Round 2

After a nice lunch with some of the locals I was up against Rob, someone I've known for awhile but never played in 40K, although we did used to run in the same Fantasy group. He was packing an all Primaris Ultramarines list, which is terrifying because Primaris Marines are amazing against Infantry and awful against armor. And then there's everyone's favorite broken Character to contend with.....

Guilliman w/ Adept of the Codex
Primaris Captain
Primaris Librarian w/ Psychic Scourge & Fury of the Ancients

10 Reivers w/ Bolt Rifles & Grav-Chutes
Redemptor Dreadnought w/ Onslaught Gatling Cannon, 2 Storm Bolters

5 Intercessors
5 Intercessors
8 Intercessors

Xiphon Interceptor

5 Hellblasters
Repulsor w/ Twin Lascannon, Las-Talon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, 4 Fragstorm Grenade Launchers

*sigh* I honestly think Primaris armies are not good but damn if they aren't good against me. The issue with Primaris is they cannot handle armor without multiple Repulsors, Hellblasters die way too easily and there's no other options. In any case I think this is a really bad matchup and Rob had pretty close to the best list you can get to all Primaris. As we discussed later I think the Dreadnought can go and turn into Aggressors or something else, maybe even another Flier.

The Missions was The Scouring, which is very good for me since I project force a lot better and I'm generally faster as I can Advance at less penalty, also I have Da Jump. However it comes with Search and Destroy which is really bad against a shooting army, it's hard to unpack my army and I have to come at Rob in waves which is not the correct was to play a Combat army.

Rob won the roll to go first but I Seized the Initiative which was extremely helpful for letting me cover ground early on. Once against I got an early Maelstrom lead with holding the Objectives while Rob rolled poorly and was left with Destroy a Unit, which he can't, and hold an Objective he was nowhere close to. I also did a fairly good job of putting Objectives in spots which it would be very hard for Rob's army to get to but simple for me, as well as being in the open since his army wants Cover and I do not.

By Turn 2 it was clear I was going to struggle to do damage. All the Ultramarines were packed too densely, I couldn't get in with anything unless I used Da Jump and got a lucky Charge, that unit would then 100% die the next turn. All the anti-Infantry shooting with Guilliman was just brutalizing me although I did manage to Smite down the Dreadnought and beat up on the Interceptor. The Reivers came on in my backlines hoping to help finish a unit off but didn't manage to do so and then got Charged, eventually getting wiped out.

A crucial moment in the game was when I failed a 7" Charge on Turn 2, leaving my Warboss exposed for the Interceptor to pick off. That gave Rob Destroy a Unit was he also held Objective 1, I was hoping to be up 4-1 but instead was only up 4-2.

Turn 3 was the last turn, I was taking awhile as I was constantly moving onto Objectives and Rob was taking awhile just because of all his shots and re-rolls. At the end of my Turn 3 I held 3 Objectives to Rob's 2 and was up on Maelstrom which he couldn't come back on. I had Linebreaker and Big Game Hunter, Rob had no Tertiary Points.

On Rob's Turn 3 he made some incidental Charges but had crucially run out of Command Points from stuff like Orbital Bombardment (trying to kill the Weirdboys), Armor of Contempt, and just re-rolls. He only got one Command Point back the whole game and it came down to 4 Hellblasters needing to make a longish Charge onto a Nob and Boy holding an Objective. Unfortunately the Hellblasters didn't make it which would have almost certainly given Rob the Mission and me a Minor Victory. As it happened I got an 18 Point win and Rob got 0.

I played very badly toward the end here and got on tilt slightly. The Repulsor had been chewing me up so I tunnel-visioned on it when all I had to do was Da Jump a unit onto one of the far Objectives which Rob could in no way contest. With that I'd have had a free win but instead I threw Smites at it and did kill it. Because of that I almost threw away the win and Rob would certainly have given me a hard time if the game kept going. Essentially I had 3 Boyz units left, a Warboss, all the Psykers and Painboys but had only killed a Dreadnought, Repulsor, the Reivers, and 2-3 other Infantry.

Part of the reason I bungled the Deep Strike was I wasn't thinking about the time in the round, in the future I'm going to set alarms for 30 Minutes and so on. My focus was on dropping the shooting, weather the next turn, and then either killing Guilliman or messing up the Intercessors and hopefully grinding it out. It's certainly possible that would have worked but the game was what it was. I thoroughly enjoyed the match and I made plans to play Rob again sometime in the future.

Round 3

While frantically packing up my stuff to get ready for the next game I found out I'd be playing Lars and his Grey Knights. Lars is a local to the store but I'd never played him before and I'd also never played Grey Knights before. My main worry was all the Stormbolters, however Grey Knights are super fragile so I could weather the storm I knew I could likely hit back even harder.

Lars had the better record by 1 Point, narrowly stopping me from having to play a Space Wolves list with a Thunderhawk, Logan Grimnar, and some other dumb crap. I wish I would have gotten the chance just to Smite that thing out of the air because I frankly stupid lists like that which have no place outside of Apocalypse. In any case...

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight w/ Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Teleporter, Nemesis Greathammer (Warlord w/ First to the Fray)

Grand Master Voldus

5 Paladins w/ 4 Falchions and 1 Hammer
Venerable Dreadnought w/ Twin Lascannon and Missile Launcher
Venerable Dreadnought w/ Twin Lascannon and Missile Launcher

5 Strike Squad w/ Psycannon & 4 Falchions
5 Strike Squad w/ Psycannon & 4 Falchions
10 Strike Squad w/ 2 Psycannons & 8 Falchions

Stormraven w/ Twin Multi-Melta and 2 Hurricane Bolters

I think Lars has a great army, the only thing that seems out of place is the Strike Squads on foot. They seem to exist to fill up a Battalion and to let the other stuff Deep Strike but they're so fragile and unlikely to contribute much to the army. I don't recall if they had Gate of Infinity but if not they do need that.

Our Mission was No Mercy, which is amazing for me since most of my Characters are very hard to get to and Lars has a lot of Power Level in things like the Paladins that have to get close. We also get to play Vanguard Strike which is fine for me, I'll actually be able to spread out a little and get my army up the table.

I won the First Turn and Lars failed to Seize the Initiative, also very good for me since I want dominant Objective positioning and to eat one less turn of shooting. To that end I ran up but made sure to cover my rear against the Paladins, Dreadknight, and Voldus not the mention the Stormraven flying around. Grey Knights are insanely mobile when they want to be so it pays to circle the wagons.

On Turn 1 I killed 2 Strikes but failed a Charge from a Da Jump unit after re-rolling a 1 and needing a 4. On Lars' Turn the big Strike Squad disembarked and the Stormraven flew to my right and all the Deep Strike came in behind my army. Two of my units got brutalized, going below 10 models, as the Strike Squad Gate'd within Rapid Fire and also used Psybolt Ammunition. The Psychic Phase was also brutal but it seems like Lars was accidentally cheating, he used Psychic Channeling to get Vortex on me and almost killed several Characters, a Warboss did actually die, but he was keeping all three dice. While this still would have been a high result I could have at least tried to stop it.

Fortunately only the Paladins got into Combat on an 11, I tried to keep them out by removing casualties but they rolled well. My unit survived though and Lars also Charged the damaged Strike Squad into my Boyz, losing 2 to Overwatch and the Sergeant to Combat. This gave me First Strike and Destroy a Unit, which I would have not otherwise gotten, and was almost certainly a mistake. On my Turn I was able to get further up the board. This put a unit near the small Strike Squad and Dreadnoughts and two units, although one barely hanging on, near the big Strike Squad.

I was able to kill all the Paladins with Smite, securing some nice Kill Points, and put some Wounds on Voldus and the Dreadknight with shooting and some spare Smites. My shooting elsewhere was pretty great and Lars was rolling ice for Armor Saves, killing the small Strikes and leaving the big with only 5 or so models.

In Combat I got into Voldus and one Dreadnought, I was hoping to grab both but even with 'Ere We Go I only managed 4". I wiped out the Strikes and left Voldus on 3 Wounds, also doing 2 to the Dreadknight, while taking some incidental losses. At this point I was feeling good, I had a 2-0 Maelstrom lead and was going to go to 4-1, King of the Hill and First Strike were likely on lock and I was confident about Slay the Warlord too.

Lars Turn was a lot of trying to get back in the game. The Stormraven flew over to kill my Warlord who I couldn't really protect anymore and the Apothecary moved to try and finish what the Paladins started on a unit with 6 Boyz left. Voldus got Gate'd out and again did a Vortex (again with the incorrect working of the Psychic Channeling Strategem) and killed almost all my Weirdboys but died to a Perils. My Warlord got killed by the Stormraven and the Apothecary shot 2 Boyz to death but then left 2 alive in Combat. The Dreadknight was down to around 9 Wounds from Combat and some Smites. Also the other Venerable Dreadnought got into Combat after shooting some more Boyz just to try and clear his copy out but I had enough models to force them to grind.

My Turn 3 was trying to put the nail in the coffin. I got a Weirdboy and Big Mek closer to the Dreadnoughts for a Smite and to keep them locked up, respectively. What was left of my Characters moved to Smite the  Dreadknight and get stuck in, if possible. At this point we were getting short on time so I didn't both to move some of my units as they were somewhat out of the game.

Smites went into the Dreadknight but didn't do much as I only had a +2 bonus, I did get in with two and also Charged the Apothecary with Grotsnik and a Painboy. The Apothecary went down to Grotsnik's Powerklaw but I somewhat whiffed against the Knight who killed a Weirdboy was down to about 5 Wounds. I kept grinding into the Dreadknights with the Big Mek and Boyz, getting one down to 3 Wounds left.

Lars Turn 3 was the last turn. He couldn't come back on Maelstrom as I was up 4-1 and he was way down in Kill Points since all he'd really done was kill 4 of the Weirdboys. The Stormraven moved to be able to shoot Grotsnik and the other Painboy, as well as my two man unit. All of these went down after the Dreadknight couldn't get any relevant Psychic Powers off, although the Dreadnoughts Smite'd two models.

Combat left the Dreadknight on 1 Wound and cost me another Weirdboy, I also left a Dreadnought on 2 Wounds but only had two models left in the unit with them as well as the Big Mek. At that time got called, giving me an 18-1 win.

Post-Tournament Thoughts

I ended up placing 1st out of 14 Players, 2nd was the Thunderhawk guy and 3rd was my local Nick who I've played against many times on this very blog with his Nurgle. My Round 1 opponent, Aaron, got 4th, Lars got 6th or 7th, and Rob got 11th with a nasty loss to Aaron in Round 3.

All in all it was a good event and I think my list was put to the test. There weren't any truly cut throat armies there in terms of stupid Imperial Soup, or some of the janky stuff that Chaos can do now, but the lists were certainly good and I think we had a fairly strong field. I would have loved to see more players but the event was on a Sunday and not everyone is comfortable with a tournament setting.

I'm going to do a rather long (in all likelihood) video just detailing my thoughts by round, what I learned, and where I'm going from here so if you're interested in some analysis please check that out below.

1 comment:

  1. Great showing man. Look forward to seeing more tourneys from you!