Episode 64: More Tournaments? Why Not? (3 Round RTT Tournament)

It's been a weird couple of weeks in 40K for me as I've been unable to get a more casual game in. I was hoping to test out a new Ork list this week against Space Wolves but my opponent was a no-show. Fortunately with the Las Vegas Open being right around the corner a lot of the players in my meta are running nearly weekly tournaments to practice so I'm able to get quite a few games in each Saturday. I believe there's another RTT in two weeks and then another GT soon after that. So if you love tournaments, consider moving to Arizona!

I continue to run out my "finished" Chaos list, which I've gotten to a point I like just in time for the Demon Codex to come out and probably drastically change it. But until then I'm pretty set in my Chaotic ways. Here's what I ran:


Battalion Detachment

Warpsmith (World Eaters, Mark of Khorne)
The Changeling

10 Brimstone Horrors
10 Brimstone Horrors
10 Brimstone Horrors


Battalion Detachment (Iron Warriors)

Chaos Lord w/ Mark of Nurgle
Chaos Sorcerer w/ Jump Pack, Mark of Tzeentch

38 Cultists w/ Mark of Slaanesh
40 Cultists w/ Mark of Slaanesh
40 Cultists w/ Mark of Slaanesh


Spearhead Detachment (Alpha Legion)

Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack, Mark of Nurgle

3 Obliterators w/ Mark of Tzeentch
3 Obliterators w/ Mark of Tzeentch
3 Obliterators w/ Mark of Tzeentch
3 Obliterators w/ Mark of Tzeentch
3 Obliterators w/ Mark of Tzeentch


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Round 1 vs Imperium

For my first round I was up against a pretty unique army that I wasn't sure how to approach, a mix of Salamanders Space Marines and AdMech. Unfortunately I forgot the guy's name but he was a great opponent, I'm just terrible with names.

Battalion Detachment (Salamanders)

Captain w/ Salamander's Mantle
Lieutenant

5 Scouts w/ Bolters and Heavy Bolter
5 Scouts w/ Bolters and Heavy Bolter
5 Scouts w/ Bolters and Heavy Bolter

Predator w/ Predator Autocannon and two Heavy Bolters
Predator w/ Predator Autocannon and two Heavy Bolters
Predator w/ Predator Autocannon and two Heavy Bolters


Battalion Detachment (Stygies VIII)

Tech-Priest Dominus w/ Monitor Malevolus
Tech-Priest Enginseer

Skitarii Rangers w/ Transuranic Arquebus
Skitarii Rangers w/ Transuranic Arquebus
Skitarii Rangers w/ Transuranic Arquebus

19 Fulgrite Electro-Priests

5 Sydonian Dragoons w/ Taser Lances

Onager Dunecralwer w/ Neuron Laser & Cognis Heavy Stubber


Pre-Game

This list is a bit of a one trick pony, similar to the Alpha Legion armies that people are afraid of for no reason. The army is trying to deliver the Electro-Priests and Dragoons into melee via the Infiltrate Strategem while the rest of the army plays defense and takes the Scenario. The problem with these armies are they fall apart if they go second, you either dump your power units in the front lines and lose them or hide them and then they can't be delivered.

Luckily my army packs plenty of chaff so I can deal with these kind of armies very easily. For my Sorcerer I chose Death Hex and Warptime and took The Hydra Blade on my Jump Pack Lord. In hindsight I should have taken Axe of Blind Fury or Talisman of Burning Blood, I made several mistakes with taking Relics this event so I think I need to write down all my options just as a reminder.

Deployment was Vanguard Strike which is decent for me, the Mission was ITC Champion's #1 which is a bad break for me. My opponent has plenty of Scouts to grab Objectives while I'm going to have to deal with the Dragoons and Priests for at least a turn, maybe two. I deployed with a unit of Cultists extending my entire front and then the Brimstones behind them, with the rest of the Cultists behind that. While the Horrors are generally more resilient to shooting I didn't have enough of them to cover my entire line unless I bunched up a ton.

On the opposite side the Scouts get dropped along the center of the table to try and keep my Obliterators back, the Rangers are also spread out but a bit further back, fortunately for me I was able to hide my Characters from them be deploying them late. The Predators with Characters went in the back with the Dunecrawler and AdMech Characters in the extreme back corner. Finally before the game started the Priests and Dragoons got placed with the Priests dropped in my face along the center-left and the Dragoons on the center-right but a bit further back.


Early Game

I was unfortunately going second so the gimmick of the Imperium army gets to go off. The Dunecrawler and Priests move up but the Dragoons hold still which shocked me, I wasn't sure what the goal was for them at that point.

Shooting killed about half of my Cultist screen with most of the damage coming from the Predators but fortunately I was able to keep the Priests out by using Iron Within, Iron Without and pulling casualties correctly. The Priests then crash in and wipe out the rest of the unit, giving them a 3++ Save and leaving a threat on my doorstep while also barely being able to Consolidate into one of the Cultist units.

On my turn I had to Fall Back with one of the remaining Cultist units and two units of Horrors, I should have had both Cultist units available but just didn't position as well as I should have. I do head a unit of Horrors up field to contest an Objective but won't arrive until Turn 2. I also brought my Reserves in with the Sorcerer in the center and the Alpha Legion package on the right.

I was able to put Death Hex on the Priests which really screws them over and also Smite a few out. Shooting was brutal as I killed the Priests down to one model without using Veterans of the Long War or Endless Cacophony and killed all the Dragoons and a Scout unit with the Obliterators. This was a pretty crushing blow for Turn 1 and a big problem was that a unit of Scouts was high in a tower and couldn't defend as much space as they wanted to. I also Charged the last Electro Priest with my Cultists but didn't kill it, my opponent blew the two Command Points to make the last survivor immune to Morale.

At this point I was able to split the Primary Objectives as I killed more but held far less Objectives, 1-3. However I reduced the firepower up against me by a lot so my Cultists can now get a lot of work done and will be tough to remove.


Mid-Game

The Imperium tries to hit back, aiming at the Obliterators, but the -1 to Hit helps me out a good bit. I wasn't able to get The Changeling over to them as I deployed him sort of centered, part of that was just assuming I wasn't going to be able to range out a bit but I had to take the best drop spot available to me. Very little moves as the Rangers and Predators aren't mobile while the Dunecrawler is too far in the back to really do anything but it is on the move.

I lose a 2-3 Obliterators but make the crucial Invulnerable Saves against the Dunecrawler. In Combat I'm able to drag down the last Priest and Consolidate forward to help handle the Rangers.

On my turn I move up and try to get The Changeling over into position but it'll be another turn before he gets there. Psychic does nothing as I'm just out of range to Smite or do anything important and I fail to cast Warptime. Shooting goes well though as I kill two Predators, leave a unit of Scouts with one model, and kill a few members from each Ranger squad. In Combat I Charge my Jump Pack Lord and an Obliterator unit into what remains of the Scouts in the center, finishing them off.

At this point I control the center of the table, having run my Warpsmith and a unit of Horrors over to the top-left to deal with the last Scout unit. This gives me control of 5 Objectives, all but the top-right in the Imperial Deployment Zone.


Late Game

From here both of us did a little moving and shooting but to not much effect and with time in the round low we decided to talk through the remaining 3 Turns. We both reasoned that I'd be able to table the Imperium army except the for the Warlord who could be hidden in LoS Terrain with Cover. I could have recycled a Cultist unit so see him, denied the Cover, and double-tapped him with Veterans of the Long War but I was fine with accepting not being able to kill him for our talk-through purposes. We also agreed that I'd score the Bonus Point for the rest of the game and max out my other Secondaries while my opponent would only be able to get the points for holding an Objective. Again I could have denied him that if we played it out by using the Cultists but I wasn't going to deny him points just because.

This ended up with a big win for me, something like 38-9. This put me in First Place for Round 2 which is exactly what I wanted as a very big local player was in attendance and had done well in the first round as well.














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Round 2 vs. Chaos

My second round was against Don, one of the local TO's and a fairly known player within the competitive 40K community. He was taking the list he's been riding since before even Chapter Approved and it's only gotten better since then, a Chaos army that spams Plageuburst Crawlers to typically brutal effect. Don got 2nd at the GT I placed 4th at, which you can check out a video for on this very Blog, and is going into LVO with Top 8 aspirations. I was really happy to be paired with Don as he's a great opponent and has a tough as nails army, going up against similarly minded players is the whole reason I play 40K to begin with!

Supreme Command Detachment

Epidemius
Herald of Nurgle
Herald of Nurgle
Herald of Nurgle

Spearhead Detachment

Herald of Nurgle

Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters

Spearhead Detachment (Deathguard)

Chaos Lord w/ Fugaris' Helm & Revoltingly Resilient

Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitters


Pre-Game

Since Don is a local player who attends most of the events I do I've been thinking about how to beat this list for awhile. Best I could reason the weaknesses are the Ballistic Skill on the PCBs, the relative slowness of the army, and a very bad Scenario game. Overall the army is nearly impossible to table, the PCBs are just too resilient even before Epidemius starts buffing Toughness or Disgustingly Resilient, so my goal was to remove what I can and focus on my extremely good Scenario game. Unfortunately the Flamers and Heavy Sluggers are going to mince my Cultists but with recycling I'm hoping for an early game lead that I can just ride into the sunset.

For Deployment we rolled Hammer and Anvil, which is bad for me, and used ITC Champion's Mission #2, which I felt was fairly neutral for both of us. Don will be able to hold his Objective without issue using Epidemius who I will likely never get to while being able to shell whatever I put in my Objective. However the middle Objective will be very hard to Don to control as I have lots of ObSec models and can remove whatever PCB may drive onto the Objective each turn, although it might be hard to get models within 3" of that Objective.

Don deployed in what is probably a very standard formation for him, basically a Flying V with the PCBs centered around the Chaos Lord, Heralds on each flank, and Epidemius hiding along the left side behind some Ruins. I deployed poorly with Cultists in the center and on either flank, two Horror units on my Objectives which was along the left side, and another Horror unit on the right. I neglected to put any of the Horrors in range of The Changeling who was more on the right side with my Chaos Lord while the Warpsmith was on the left. I was trying to keep Don centered but that seems to have been his plan anyways, that way I could shift one way and give his tanks some trouble getting into Flamer range.

Don won the roll and after some consideration decided to take the First Turn, I attempted to Seize and failed. In retrospect I was better off going second in this game so I could control the center Objective better although I think the game would have been the same either way. For Secondaries I took Big Game Hunter, Old School, and Headhunter while Don took Old School, The Reaper, and Headhunter.

Early Game

Don moved no models and went directly into Shooting as he was out of Smite range and all the Heralds have the healing spell. Every single Plagueburst Crawler shot at my Horrors on my Objective as Don would love to get me off that and also get his Tally up early but my dice weren't having it. I lost just a few Horrors and passed Morale to boot which put Don in an early hole.

On my Turn I shifted to the right, hoping to pull Don away from his Objective and mine. A secondary plan was to leave Epidemius alone so I could recycle a Cultist unit in his face and then Warptime them with the Sorcerer to take over the Objective and possibly even kill Epidemius. All of my Cultists Advanced, taking the center Objective but keeping almost all the models back so that I'm minimizing my Flamer exposure. I also dropped the Obliterators on the right, a bit more forward than I wanted, but I had to have range to at least three PCBs so as not to waste shots.

The Psychic Phase let me Warptime a Cultist unit to protect the Obliterators from Charges in the event I failed to do much damage and also got me closer to the right side where I wanted to be. Shooting went as well as I expected, killing two tanks and putting a few Wounds on another. It would have been nice to get an Explosion as the tanks are all pretty packed together but it didn't pan out.

At this point my hopes for an early Scenario lead was panning out as I scored 4 Primary Points and also got First Strike on Old School whereas Don didn't. I wasn't feeling good about most of my Secondaries though as it's going to be tough to get to any of the Characters or get Linebreaker, although Don faces a similar uphill battle against me.


Mid-Game

Don started moving towards my right side pretty aggressively, Advancing a few tanks to get them within Flamer range but also leaving a few back for accurate shelling. The Chaos Lord and Heralds also Advanced to keep pace with the army, I was fine with this as it meant I might be able to get some shots on them if I can continue thinning the vehicles out. The Psychic Phase went nowhere as I stopped a heal onto the damaged PCB.

Shooting was again not good for the Death Guard as I continued making a lot of Saves with my Horrors and Don was rolling fairly average with the Mortars. The PCBs that stood still shot my Oblits but did nothing as they needed 6's to Hit and I still had a good Armor Save, I did lose a good number of Cultists to all the Heavy Sluggers. Once again Don wasn't able to wrestle the center Objective away from me although the unit on it is badly shot up, he also wasn't able to destroy a unit as my Horrors are holding on for dear life.

On my Turn I did much the same as last time, backing up my Obliterators and wrapping them with the Cultists. I recycled my unit in the center to the right hand side but wasn't able to get them within range of my Chaos Lord so they had to go out of LoS. I then Advanced the Cultists who started on the left onto the center Objective, stringing as many of them as I could back to stop what would now be an avalanche of Plaguespitters.

My Psychic Phase fizzled as Warptime and Smites all failed to go off or were denied. Shooting went the same as last time with me killing another two PCBs and wounding one more. At this point it was clear I was going to be overwhelmed and the Flamers would start doing their thing but it was hard to Don to get a foothold on the right side. My fear was that he'd now ignore me and rush the left to disrupt my Objective which would force me to recycle on that side without Chaos Lord support.

Turn 3 was a lot better for Don as he finally finished off a Horror unit with the Mortars, getting a Tally, and moved all of his tanks up. This all but wiped out my center Cultist unit although I had some to recycle thanks to good positioning. Unfortunately this exposed my Sorcerer who was shot to death after previously taking 3 Wounds from Perils of the Warp, that was a big blow since I lose a Deny the Witch and Mortal Wound output which I really want now. Don was also able to tag an Obliterator unit in Combat with some really good positioning and a fortunate Charge. By now he'd given up on shooting them until he got into Flamer range, BS4+ combined with having to move and The Changeling was just making it a pointless endeavor.

On my Turn I recycled my Cultists again and got a unit back into the center although I was very low on Command Points now. I continued to move back with the Obliterators and try to screen them with my other Cultists. The running trend of Psykers being useless this game continued and my Obliterators didn't roll so well while Don started making saves so I was only able to remove one tank and bring another down to 3 Wounds, Don used the Strategem to make the PCB Explode which put a few Wounds on my Obliterators but didn't kill any.

Late Game

By now the game was looking really good for me as I'd managed to score 4 Points on the Primary twice and scored 3 on Turn 3. I also maxed out Big Game Hunter and had an Old School Point while Don had 4 total on Primary and one for Headhunter. We both agreed it'd be nearly impossible for him to catchup up but we still played the game out.

Over Turns 4 & 5 Don managed to continue flaming my Cultists and wipe out another Horror unit, giving him re-rolls so that the Chaos Lord could run away and hide to deny me any chance at Headhunter/Old School points. The Heralds continued to run at me and killed a few Obltierators with Smite but never finished a unit, I was able to beat one down with Cultists and Obliterators in Combat to get a Headhunter score.

For my part I continued to hold the Center Objective except on Turn 5 when neither of us held it as I blew up the tank Don had camping in the center but ran out of Command Points to recycle. Once that happened I moved back with my Cultists to deny The Reaper, which was successful. I also made a last turn Charge into a Herald with my Warpsmith but didn't do anything to it.

In the end I won 24-12, a fairly low scoring game. I made a ton of mistake this game as I could have prevented at least one Horror unit from dying with better Changeling placement and I should have had all the Horrors on my Objective just in case Don did roll well and I rolled badly, being shot off that would have been a disaster. Don also made some fairly big errors by not going second just to prevent me from freely getting the center Objective and not moving at me more aggressively, I think if we played again the game would be much different. However the win put me firmly in 1st Place and matching up against Ynaari next round, piloted by Dan who was my only loss in previous GT.











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Round 3 vs. Ynaari

My last round was against Dan and honestly I expected to lose this game. Ynaari is extremely good against my list when running Dark Reapers and that's exactly what this army does. From experience this will usually kill 2-3 Obliterators on arrival and also render my defensive tech useless which means I'm likely to use a shooting war. That being said it's always good to play against armies you're disadvantaged against since it makes you get more creative and you learn a lot.

Battalion Detachment - Ynaari

Yvraine
Warlock

5 Wraithblades
5 Wraithguard w/ D-Flamers
5 Wraithguard w/ D-Flamers

5 Kabalites
5 Kabalites
5 Kabalites

3 Dark Reapers, Exarch w/ Reaper Launcher
3 Dark Reapers, Exarch w/ Reaper Launcher
10 Dark Reapers, Exarch w/ Reaper Launcher

Battalion Detachment - Alaitoc

Farseer
Spiritseer

5 Rangers
5 Rangers
5 Rangers

Wave Serpent
Wave Serpent


Pre-Game

This time I was playing ITC Champion's Mission #3 and rolled Frontline Assault, which is a nightmare for me since Dan can completely wall me out with just the Rangers. Dan deployed very conservatively with the big Dark Reaper unit going into the Webway via Strategem and everything else either hiding or going in Wave Serpents which would have Cover. I made yet another deployment mistake by not favoring one side, instead I dumped my Cultists and Characters in the middle. For Secondaries I took Recon, Old School, and Headhunter while Dan took Headhunter, Old School, and The Reaper.

My plan for this game was to get rid of the screens (Rangers, Kabalites) and then put pressure on Dan to park things he needs to fight with on Objectives. None of the Wraithguard can sit on an Objective well, the Dark Reapers can do one at the most and risk getting Charged, and the Wave Serpents want to be tying me up. If I can do that then on Turn 2 I can recycle a Cultist unit, use Endless Cacophony/Veterans of the Long War on it, and hopefully stack Prescience to wipe out the big Reaper unit. From there I just have to screen and kite while keeping Scenario close and then come from behind late.

I actually won the roll to go first and took it, Dan failed to Seize. He was surprised I went first since he walled me out so effectively with the Rangers being deployed on each flank and the center but my plan was never to drop the Obliterators on Turn 1 anyways. However I would be giving up Objective control but that was part of my plan anyways.


Early Game

I took first turn and tried to start moving towards my plan. One Cultist unit each went center, right, and left to try and spread the Eldar out but also to deal with the Rangers. I brought my Sorcerer in but failed to cast Prescience and didn't want to use a re-roll since Command Points would be at a premium this game.

Shooting didn't go well as I was only able to wipe out one Ranger unit, leaving the other two with two members. Hitting on 6's was really bad and Dan made some decent saves despite me ignoring Cover for Iron Warriors. I used Endless Cacophony to try and claw things back but I still left the Rangers around despite killing a Kabalite unit, not a good trade for 2 Command Points.

Dan took his turn and began moving up, the Dark Reapers all jumped into a Ruins in the middle with the Exarchs being on the first floor since they don't need LoS. Both Wave Serpents went right for me to Charge the Cultists and the Wraithblades Advanced 6" with a Strategem. In the Psychic Phase Dan was able to do whatever he wanted, putting Doom on me leftmost Cultists and Guide/Conceal on the Dark Reapers as well as letting them shoot via Soulbust. I countered with Iron Within, Iron Without since I thought it lasted the Turn, which is how we played it, but it only lasts the Phase. Not a mistake I'll be repeating! Unfortunately with all the shooting my Cultists were still wiped out.

In Combat the Wraithblades Charged through my Ruins into my Chaos Lord, I stupidly left him exposed instead of being behind my ample screens, The Changeling and my Warpsmith were in similar positions. After the game I looked over the Eldar Codex and found the Strategem Dan used to do that is for models with the Jetbike Keyword only, so we both made fairly sizeable Strategem mistakes. Unfortunately this one resulted in a premier unit getting into my army, although my Chaos Lord made 7/7 4+ Invulnerable Saves and shrugged the Wraith unit off, I did no damage back and Dan wisely surrounded my Warpsmith to make sure I couldn't get out of Combat with his unit. I also took a Charge from the Wave Serpents into my Cultists which did no damage but did tie them up.

On Turn 2 my plan was somewhat broken, I wasn't able to sculpt out a side of the board to take over and I'm still pushed way back by the Rangers, Kabalites, Wave Serpents, and Wraithblades. I brought all the Oblits in anyways, getting as many as I could within 12" of the Wave Serpents, and Fell Back with my Chaos Lord and The Changeling, as well as with the Cultists.

Psychic did nothing as Yvraine was easily able to stop me, meaning no Prescience on my Cultists. Shooting went equally poorly as I blew up a Wave Serpent and got the other down to half but couldn't finish it, my free Cultists tried to execute the plan to kill the Dark Reapers but only killed 3, unfortunately I wasn't able to counter the -1 to Hit, nor get into Rapid Fire Range, nor even put a full unit on the Dark Reapers.

On Dan's Turn he solidified his hold on the flank Objectives, putting a Kabalite unit on the right and a Wraithguard unit on the left, the remaining Wraithguard were also heading towards the right. The remaining Wave Serpent moved to get into my Characters. In the Psychic Phase I got a good break as Dan got a Perils with his Warlock even after a re-roll, nearly killing it, then got a Perils with his Spiritseer, killing it. This wiped out the remaining Rangers in the center, killed the Warlock, left the Farseer with 1 Wound, did 3 Wounds to Yvraine, and kill 3 Dark Reapers from the smaller units. I was also able to stop the Soulburst Psychic Power and Guide but Doom still went off.

Shooting wiped out another unit of Cultists and The Changeling via the Wave Serpent Shield and general shooting, some of the Wraithguard got in range to make up for losing a few Dark Reapers, the Reaper Launchers also only rolled below a 7 once in the game so that certainly hurt. Combat swung into my Warpsmith but he only took 1 Wound, killing one back between my Warpsmith and Sorcerer. The Wave Serpent also got into an Obliterator unit just to tie them up.


Mid-Game

At this point I didn't think the game was salvageable so I focused on getting Points to try and play for 2nd Place. I got my Warpsmith out of melee along with the Sorcerer and Obliterators then recycled the last Cultist unit for a desperation go at the Dark Reapers before they died.

My Psychic Phase continued to be nothing, shooting finished off the Wave Serpent and the Wraithblades, I also got rid of the last two Rangers with extra Obliterator shots. My Cultists were only able to kill another two or so Dark Reapers, I didn't have the CP left to make them double tap and all that.

Dan's Turn was the beginning of the mop up although I still had a lot of Obliterators left, having only lost 2 when I Deep Struck them. The Wraithguard continued to move up, preparing to flame my Chaos Lord who I couldn't hide anymore as I went to try and kill the Dark Reapers. What's left of the Psykers also got into my Deployment Zones, I was hoping I could finish the Farseer off since that would really make the Dark Reapers hurt less but the damage is done.

I was able to stop the relevant Psychic Powers so the Dark Reapers couldn't double tap or re-roll misses but shooting still wiped out my Chaos Lord and remaining Cultists. I also lost another one Obliterator to the Dark Reapers but I'm starting to win that war. In Combat a Wraithguard unit Charged through the wall again, killing my Sorcerer and Warpsmith.


Late Game

At this point the game sped way up which was good because we were low on time in the round. I was able to finish off the the Wriathguard that Charged me and a few from the other unit, most of my Obliterators were also hidden from the Dark Reapers as they had been all game but I couldn't get them any Cover. I also took the right Objective with my Horrors who I assumed would die off.

Dan was able to keep whittling away the Obliterators, killing a few, while holding the flank Objectives with the Wraithguard and the last Kabalite unit. On Turn 5 I finished off the Wraithguard and the Kabalites, leaving a few Dark Reapers, 3 Exarchs, Yvraine, and the Farseer. Dan took his last turn, clearing me off the Objective.

Dan declined to talk through the last Turn which would have seen me get the Farseer and Yvraine in all likelihood, I had plenty of Obliterators left and a Jump Pack Chaos Lord to help out. We still would have split the Objectives but I would have taken units killed, so I can't blame him for not talking through it since there's nothing in it for him.


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Post-Tournament Summation

Ultimately I ended up getting 2nd Place behind Dan, which felt pretty good. It was only an 8 man Tournament but I'd say out of that field six Players had pretty competitive armies, three being very optimized and tournament ready. Out of curiosity I checked my ITC Standing, not really something I care about, and I'm 9th for Chaos which seems very good for such a competitive Faction. Kind of proves how useless the ITC Rankings are though, if you just do average and travel you can top the charts easily. But whatever gets people to play in events is fine with me!

I made a ton of mistakes this event, pretty much playing worse as the event went on. I know I did a pretty high level review of each game, it's hard to get detailed with tournaments, but let me break it down by game:


Round 1

My two mistakes this game were deploying The Changeling in a bad place and not putting my Cultists far enough behind my screen. The Changeling should have been more centered but I thought I was going to have to drop in the back and then walk forward. I could have still done that but being able to come in where I did was too good, even without the -1 to Hit.

The Cultists were just a positioning error, I need to take a little more time and measure those lines out so I can make sure I'm 4" away from my front lines. As it was only one model got tagged but that's enough to tie up the whole unit.


Round 2

There was a lot wrong here. For starters I didn't put the World Eater Relic on my Warpsmith which I should have, there's nothing else of value to use and if I Deny the Witch I can threaten the Heralds. I also didn't put my Cultists on the side enough which eventually let the Plagueburst Crawlers in to tie some Obliterators up. I also mis-positioned The Changeling again, with how the game went I probably wouldn't have ever lost a unit of Horrors. I think if I were to play Don again I'd only go for two Plgaueburst Crawlers per turn and play much more scared with the Obliterators.


Round 3

This game was by far the worst. Again I just slipped to use the World Eaters Relic which would have been a massive change in the game, I also didn't use the World Eaters Strategem since my plan fell through so early and I was in a Command Point hole. Less of a mistake but certainly something I'm not happy about. I also should have been aggressive with The Changeling since it wasn't going to do anything for me, I could have camped an Objective with him, tied up the Wraithblades, something.

Unfortuantely in hindsight the Wraithblade's illegal Charge really changed the game. Without that I don't lose any Characters and my positioning can be a lot cleaner. I didn't get to use the Warpsmiths Meltagun, which could have finished off the Wave Serpent, and I would have had more targets for the Obliterators who spent some time sitting around as they got pushed so far back. I also dropped them behind a Ruins to try and play LoS, I should have just put them in Cover since Dark Reaper shots are only AP2.

This game was the most fun one and I think next time me and Dan play I'll win. I had a great plan, if I'd removed those Rangers and Kabalites then I could own the right side and even up the Objectives on Turn 2/3. It's probably worth changing the Sorcerer to Mark of Slaanesh as well so I can give the Cultists a 5+ FNP, if I stack that with Iron Within, Iron Without and stop the Soulburst Psychic Power then I'll have a Cultist unit live through the Turn. If that happens I win, now some of that relies on going first but the lynchpin is really just stopping some of those buffs. I'd probably rank them Soulburst, -1 to Hit, Doom, and Guide in terms of how dangerous they are. I just have to use the tools available to me! Ugh.


Overall I had a great tournament with two enjoyable games. My list is proving itself to be top tier which I'm very proud of since I built it mostly on my own. Obviously spamming Obliterators is nothing new but I'm not seeing much out there as far as Cultists go, my Character breakdown, and that kind of thing. Now I just have to wait a few weeks for the Demon Codex and it'll all be ruined.

Episode 63: Another Day At The Office (3 Round RTT Report)

This week I ran my first Tournament of 8th Edition, and pretty much the first event I've ran since my Warmachine MkII days. This was the culmination of the Ladder League I ran at my local store for many weeks and we were fortunate enough to get 12 Players which is a good turn out for a non-ITC RTT. A lot of the more tournament minded players in my area only show for ITC Points, which I find stupid but that's how it is.

Sadly we did have a few drops after the second round as one person had a long drive home and another just didn't want to continue after going 0-2, which I can understand. This led to me accidentally dropping since one player did not report they were going and if there's a Bye, being the TO, I'm the first to go. But I'll know to probe everyone next time before I make any sudden moves. I did actually play all three Rounds to plug up the Bye that was created but I didn't report the last game as it was more just for fun, my opponent was not in contention.

I took my finalized Chaos List, at least until the Demon Codex drops, which is as follows:

World Eaters Battalion Detachment
The Changeling
Warpsmith w/ Combi-Bolter

10 Brimstone Horrors
10 Brimstone Horrors
10 Brimstone Horrors


Iron Warriors Battalion Detachment
Chaos Lord w/ Power Sword, Combi-Bolter, MoN
Sorcerer w/ MoT, Combi-Bolter, Force Axe

40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS


Alpha Legion Spearhead Detachment
Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack, Combi-Bolter

3 Obliterators w/ MoT
3 Obliterators w/ MoT
3 Obliterators w/ MoT
3 Obliterators w/ MoT
3 Obliterators w/ MoT

2000/2000 Points | 10 Command Points

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Round 1 - Chaos vs. Iron Hands | ITC Champion's Mission #1

First Round I was paired with Dylan, a local player who I know pretty well but have not actually played before. Dylan was packing a pretty Mechanized Iron Hands army with the following:

Captain
Lieutenant
Librarian

5 Scouts w/ Bolters
5 Scouts w/ Sniper Rifles
5 Tactical Marines w/ Combi-Plasma and Plasmagun
5 Tactical Marines w/ Combi-Plasma and Plasmagun
5 Tactical Marines w/ Combi-Plasma and Plasmagun

Razorback w/ Twin Heavy Bolter
Razorback w/ Twin Heavy Bolter
Razorback w/ Twin Heavy Bolter

Redemptor Dreadnought
Ironclad Dreadnought w/ Chainfist, Hurricane Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Assault Launchers
Ironclad Dreadnought w/ Chainfist, Hurricane Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Assault Launchers

Predator w/ Predator Autocannon and two Lascannons
Predator w/ Twin-Lascannon and two Lascannons
Predator w/ Twin-Lascannon and two Lascannons


Pre-Game

Looking at Dylan's Army I felt very advantaged as long as I could keep the Obliterators safe from the Predators. With my list I try and decide before any dice are rolled if I want to enable the Cultists or the Obliterators to carry the game offensively, this is an Obliterator game.

As Deployment went along I noticed Dylan was splitting his army, the Predator bunker was clearly on the right along with the Ironclads and Scouts but on the left were two Tactical Squads with Razorbacks and the Redemptor. I decided that would be where I dropped my Oblits as I could likely remove all of that while using the Ruins to disrupt LoS. Dylan would then be forced to come to me with the Ironclads and my Oblits could then finish those off and I can just play Scenario for a win.

Unfortunately I put The Changeling too far on the right so I wouldn't be able to get him over to the Oblits by he can make it there by Turn 2. I did put the Cultists down on the right as I'd rather they eat the Predators/Ironclads than the Redemptor/Razorbacks. Dylan was also very defensive with his Scouts, since we were playing Frontline Assault I'd have preferred to see one unit in the center Ruins but the Snipers were very upfront and the Bolters were defending the Predators. This is a common mistake I see, people assume I want to drop in their backfield when that's almost never a good idea for me.







Early Game

Dylan won the first Turn and I was unable to Seize, I actually quite like going second with my list but I thought if I went first I could cause so much damage that the game would be very hard to come back from. Playing ITC Missions more and more, on tables with good Terrain, has shown going second to be a very viable choice!

Dylan mostly moved up except with the Predators and support pieces, shooting into my Cultists as there are no other options. The Sniper Scouts bounced off my Sorcerer, who should have been out of LoS, while I lost around 20 Cultists over two units.

On my Turn I move up with the Cultists to take ground and drop all of my Obliterators although I position a few units poorly which will allow the Predators to move and see them. This compounded with my mistake deploying The Changeling, I should either hide all the Oblits or have had them being hit on 6's. At the time I wanted multiple units in range of the back Razorback but ultimately I think this was a mistake on my part.

Shooting went well as I killed the Redemptor, both Razorbacks, and one of the Tactical Squads while the other lost two getting out of the Transport. Cultists killed the Sniper Scouts and the Tactical Squad that got out on Turn 1. I also wounded one of the Ironclads which was amusing.

Overall Turn 1 went how I'd hoped with me getting a huge lead. Dylan now has very little to hold his left Objective with and even if he does the Obliterators will remove it. What remains of the army has to come to me or stay very static so my only goal from here is remove the other Dreadnoughts and then get upfield with the Cultists to tie the Predators up.








Mid-Game

As predicted Dylan moves two of his Predators to get a bead on my Obliterators, fortunately one of the all Lascannon Predators couldn't make it. The remaining Tactical Squad hops on the left Objective and the Scouts move up as do the Ironclads and Librarians.

Shooting goes very well for the Iron Hands and they remove a full Obliterator unit but nothing else much happens as I lose a few Cultists. The Ironclads fail their Charges, taking a Wound or so each. My Turn is also quite short, all the Oblits move into full hiding position except a few on the second floor. This does expose the unit but I need some shots on the Dreadnoughts and I was able to get The Changeling in range.

With Psychic and Shooting I remove one Dreadnought and a Tactical Marine. Overall I have very few targets right now so I'm just sewing the game up. On Turn 3 Dylan pretty much rinses and repeats, killing a few Oblits and some Cultists while finally make a Charge. The remaining Scouts also grab the "center" Objective but likely aren't long for this world. In Combat I put a few Wounds on the Ironclad with the Warpsmith/Chaos Lord via Heroic Intervention, I probably should have kept the Warpsmith out to use the Meltagun. The Librarian is also fighting my Horrors but does very little.

On my Turn I smite the Librarian to death with a roll of a 12 from my Sorcerer and finish the Dreadnought with Smite and the Obliterators. I also kill off the Scouts down to one model and put some Wounds on the Razorback and a Predator.














Late-Game

At this point I have a very large Scenario lead, having scored 4 Points on Primary every Turn except one where I couldn't finish the Scouts nor the Tactical Marines. Dylan dumps some shots into the Oblits he can see, killing another one or two, but mostly holding fast.

On my Turn I Advance quite a bit of my army to take more ground now that all the Dreadnoughts are dead. Shooting removes a Razorback, the remaining Tactical Squad, and I charge an Obliterator into the remaining Scout who gets punched to death. This puts me back in control of the Objectives with a chance to score Bonus Points as well.

Dylan has a last stand into the Oblits, killing another one or two, and then on the last turn I blow up a Predator along with the Captain to max out my Secondaries. This resulted in a huge win for me, as I got 6 Points shy of a maximum score.






Post-Game

Overall the game went as planned, I was able to drop where I wanted, do the damage I needed to, and it was very uphill for the Iron Hands after Turn 1. I did make several positioning errors during the game which is what I'm trying to get better about but I stuck to my plan and focused on the Scenario which always pays off against fairly static armies.

On Dylan's end his list just isn't optimized but he also deployed badly. This kind of army wants to be a tight bundle and play the "If you see me I see you" game. The Captain and Lieutenant were also not helping nearly enough of the army. When I play against more casual players, or players who want to get reps in and become more competitive, I usually see a lot of Deployment errors. That's a quick way to lose a game with how deadly 8th Edition 40K is, if you get out-deployed and an opponent can capitalize on that to do damage without taking any back then that's a recipe for a fast loss.

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Round 2 - Chaos vs. Tyranids | ITC Champion's Mission #3

During the second round I drew Matthew, a local Tyranid Player who I've had one game against when 8th Edition was very new. He is also Dylan's brother so I guess I was going for the family wipe-out! Matthew was packing a pretty good Tyranid list and got a huge win over a mixed Eldar Army in the previous round, here's what he had:

Behemoth
Hive Tyrant w/ Wings, Devourers, Monstrous Rending Claws, Adrenal Glands
Hive Tyrant w/ Wings, Venom Cannon Relic, Monstrous Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands

3 Ripper Swarms
3 Ripper Swarms
20 Genestealers
30 Hormagaunts w/ Adrenal Glands

Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands
Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands


Kronos
Neurothrope
Malenthrope

14 Termagaunts
14 Termagaunts
3 Ripper Swarms

Exocrine
Exocrine


Pre-Game

Matthew's Army is extremely Deep Strike oriented, probably too much really. As long as I can wall the Deep Strike out with my chaff then I can mow everything else down. I also like playing Tyranids because they almost have to go mixed-arms, Monster Mash has big problems with delivery and Scenario. This means my whole army gets to be useful which is not always the case.

Right off the bat I built a double wall, which was helped by Table Quarters Deployment. All three Brimstone units formed a wall along the "top" and "left" of my Deployment Zone. Behind that I put a ring of Cultists from a single unit and then made sure to clog up my backfield with what remained. This means the Tyranids have to come right at me and at best Consolidate into Cultists as I didn't have room for the full ~4" bubble out. But even in that case I can shred Hormagaunts/Genestealers with a double tapping, Veterans of the Long War, Cultist unit.

On the Tyranid side they deployed in a pretty aggressive manner, attempting to deny me Deep Strike vectors with the Neurothrope and Termagaunts. Again I had no intention of dropping in the backfield so this just means I don't have to deal with that model early on, a win for me. For this event Forests block LoS unless you're in it so I found a nice drop area on my left side where I can see an Exocrine but still be pretty safe.





Early Game

Matthew won the roll off and gave me first turn which I think was a bad idea. This allowed me to move very aggressively and bubble the Deep Strike out even further which is just what I did. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good enough Advance roll to double screen the Obliterator drop zone but it would be a 10"+ Charge to get into them. Dropping on the left also lets me dictate where the Tyranids have to come in.

Shooting dropped the Huve Tyrant to 1 Wound, killed a Termagaunt unit, and killed an Exocrine. I could have gone for the finish on the Hive Tyrant but instead put my last Cultists into the 'Gaunts as I wanted to finish them off and remove a unit that can get in and tie me up.

Matthew's Turn was less impactful. He healed the Hive Tyrant for a single wound and moved up with it and the 'Gaunts. Two Ripper units came in on Objectives that I'd shot the army off of along with a Trygon + Hormagaunts. I was surprised to not see the other Tyrant but the Genestealers and Trygon simply couldn't come in as there wasn't enough room on the left and I have the other parts of the board screened to hell and back, plus there's no good targets there.

Shooting kills one Obliterator, a few Cultists, and a Horror unit. The Hive Tyrant makes its Charge into some Horrors while the Hormagaunts fail and the Trygon gets into the Cultists. In both Combats I lose a few models but not much. 





Mid-Game

I fall back with an Oblit Unit that got tagged with Consolidation as well as my Horrors/Cultists. The Warpsmith moved up aggressively while most of my army continues to bubble out or keep the backfield safe. I'm not able to give no angle on the Obliterators but the Cultists will push any Deep Strikes back a few more inches which makes a Charge into them very optimistic.

Shooting drops the Hive Tyrant, Trygon, all the Hormagaunts, and most of the Termagaunts. I'm now threatening the top Objective with the Warpsmith as well as numbers from the Horrors so after Turn 3 I hope to pull very far ahead on Scenario.

Matthew brings in his remaining Reserves and has the Neurothrope back in the action. Shooting does very little due to LoS and To Hit penalties but the Hive Tyrant and Genestealers both get in on my Cultists. I assumed this would be the end of them but 5 lived even though I forgot to use Iron Within, Iron Without as I should have. I also pulled the Hive Tyrant out of melee before it could swing, I think using the Hive Tyrant first would have netted the necessary kills. Errors all around!








Late-Game

With nothing in Combat I move forward with the whole army and recycle the Cultists as close as I can to the action. My Warpsmith and Horrors move toward the top Objective, claiming it for me. The Psychic Phase puts a few Mortal Wounds on the Hive Tyrant but that's the calm before the storm. Shooting kills every Genestealer, the Hive Tyrant, wounds the Trygon, and leaves Matthew with 3 Termagaunts who are promptly Charged and wiped out.

At this point Matthew concedes the game, at best he'd be able to bring the Objectives to even one more time and then I'd likely table him next turn. Before the concession my Warpsmith does get Smite'd off the table but that was pretty much the only meaningful action.





Post-Game

This game was again decided by Deployment which is somewhat interesting. I think the Tyranid list is too all in on Deep Strike, that strategy doesn't work against armies with chaff or who deploy creatively. I was able to deal with things as they came and force units to go where I wanted them to go which felt pretty good. Obviously Matthew failed quite a few Charges but they were all 10"+ which isn't super likely even with a re-roll.

This game was pretty much the same way I approach Blood Angels, if you give them nothing on the initial hit the army falls apart instantly. If they delay coming in to try and eat through your screens then you kill most of their army and take most of the board which leads to an attrition and Scenario deficit. I'd probably go heavy on one big drop, like a Trygon Prime with Genestealers/Hormies or a Death Company unit with Characters, and keep the rest of my army on the board.

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Post-Event

For the last round I played against Salamanders, my third time playing against Kevin and his army. The game was very one-sided although he did kill me down to 5 Obliterators, ultimately Marine gunlines just have little to no chance against my list but are a very popular army for those just getting into the competitive scene.

I finished 3rd, even after dropping, since my first two rounds were such big wins (30+ Points each) and I'm a bit bummed I didn't get to play for 1st even though I wasn't eligible for prizes. Top Table Round 3 was two Death Guard armies, one focusing on Black Legion Vehicles with Abaddon and Epidimius (which I built for the player :P) and one of my regular opponents taking Mortarion with Demon Prince, 9 Oblits, and Poxwalkers. The latter ended up getting 1st, mixed Eldar got 2nd, and 3rd for prizing went to Matthew and his Tyranids.

I didn't get to play the type of games I was hoping for, there were 2-3 other players that I would have liked to go up against. Everything was good fun and I learned a lot about running events in terms of preparation so I think next time I'll be better off. There is also a tournament to practice for LVO next week which I will be attending and I may go to LVO but that depends on outside factors.

In all honestly I'd prefer to wait to travel for big events until the meta stabilizes, which we aren't even close to achieving. It will probably take 6 months while more Codexes come out and then the big FAQ in March. But I have plenty to do locally in the mean time.