Episode 81: Is it November Yet? [Tournament Report - Pictures/Detail Light]

Missed my previous posts? Check them out below!

After an almost two week break from Warhammer except for some excursions into Kill Teams (which is amazing) I decided to play in a local RTT. Some of the heavy hitters in my meta went to the Bay Area Open but many other good players didn't and we ended up having a very good, twelve person turn out. Unfortunately the monthlies at this particular store always suffer from not enough terrain but it's been slowly getting better. You're likely to see some very ghetto setups though as some tables had to use things like a Land Raider Box as a central, LoS blocking piece. You make due with what you have.

I entered the tournament with a goal of going 2-1, as I try to do for all smaller events. With me being one of the better players in attendance I figured I had a shot at winning but I brought a list I had never played before, although it is fairly point and click. If you're intending to play at a high level right now most armies are point and click which is one of my biggest reasons for having some fatigue with the game.



Army List

Supreme Command Detachment - Blood Angels

Librarian Dreadnought [Wings of Sanguinius & Quickening]
Captain on Bike w/ Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield
Captain on Bike w/ Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

Battalion Detachment - Blood Angels

Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, and Storm Shield
Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, and Storm Shield
Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, and Storm Shield

5 Scouts w/ Bolters, Sergeant w/ Chainsword
5 Scouts w/ Bolters, Sergeant w/ Chainsword
5 Scouts w/ Bolters, Sergeant w/ Chainsword

Battalion Detachment - Imperial Guard (Catachans)

Company Commander w/ Boltgun, Karov's Aquila (Warlord w/ Grand Strategist)
Primaris Psyker [Nightshroud, Psychic Maelstrom]

Infantry Squad w/ Mortar, Sergeant w/ Boltgun
Infantry Squad
Infantry Squad

3 Artemia Hellhounds w/ 2 Heavy Flamers. 1 Heavy Bolter
3 Artemia Hellhounds w/ Heavy Flamers
3 Artemia Hellhounds w/ Heavy Flamers

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This list is pure janky filth but on paper it does well against everything that's popular right now except Tau. Custodes have no way to handle Vehicles except stabbing them and the Hellhounds explode on a 4+ for d6 Mortal Wounds, Smash Captains are also good against them. Dark Eldar don't enjoy auto-hitting weapons with the perfect stats to kill Kabalites/Venoms although Ynaari can still make my life hard, as I'd expect from the best army in the game. Knights have no game against 5 Smash Captains and a Librarian Dreadnought, which is a conscious choice by me because Knights are by far the most popular faction locally. No offense to Knight players but they're the easiest army to get results with while not playing well. Until the next set of balance revisions I will always tech for Knights the most, they're just that popular.

Our turn out was decently eclectic with Knights being the dominant option but a lot of mix-ins. Two Tyranids, a Tau, and a Necron player were the Xenos representatives and one Death Guard player holding the banner for Chaos. Everyone else was some mix of Knights, Blood Angels, Guard, Custodes, and a few weird things like a random Guilliman as well as some Raven Guard. For players of renown we had the 5th ranked ITC Blood Angels player (and LVO Top 8 contender) as well as the 2nd Dark Angel player and a top Imperial Knight/Dark Mechanicus player. Sometimes I wonder where I'd be in the ITC Rankings if I didn't constantly swap Factions but ultimately I don't care about them.



Game 1 - vs. Tau

For my first round I was against Jarod, a known local Tau player who I haven't played against. He brought the following:

Commander w/ Supernova Launcher and ATS
2x Cadre Fireblades

Firesight Marksman
Riptide Battlesuit w/ Heavy Burst Cannon
Riptide Battlesuit w/ Ion Accelerator

6x 5 Fire Warriors

5 Pathfinders
5x Shield Drones
5x Shield Drones
Y'Vahra Battlesuit

Broadside Battlesuit
Broadside Battlesuit
Broadside Battlesuit

Mission and Deployment
ITC Mission #4
Hammer & Anvil

 Imperium Secondary Objectives (Me)
Headhunter, Recon, Old School

Tau Secondary Objectives (Jarod)
Big Game Hunter, Head Hunter, Old School



All the suits had some upgrades but I can't remember them all. Everything was Tau Sept except for the Y'Vahra which was Bor'kan for the obvious flamer synergy.

Our Mission was What's Yours Is Mine, easily the worst Mission in the packet against Tau. We also rolled up Hammer & Anvil as Deployment, the worst Deployment against Tau. Oh boy. At this point I felt like I'd either need to go first or for Jarod to have a very bad Turn 1 for me to be in the game, he correctly brought a very anti-Vehicle list.

For Deployment I played to my out of going first, placing the tanks and Characters very aggressively. My Guardsmen hid behind terrain, they aren't going to win a shoot out with how many Fire Warriors Jarod has so all they'll do is surrender Kill Points, instead I wanted them to just guard against the Y'Vahra as if it ever hops in the back I can counter with a Captain. Being able to hide them also made Recon more viable as 2/4 Table Quarters are a freebie. Jarod spread out more than I expected but mostly bunkered on the right with the big Suits, the Broadsides, Commander, Drones, and some screening elements. On the left and middle some of Fire Warriors, a Cadre, and the Pathfinders held the flank. I was able to drop my Guardsmen to bait out some things and once I saw that at least some units were on the left I knew I could spread my tanks out a bit more. Ideally I would have been able to play refused flank, hiding with the large terrain piece in the center on my advance, but I didn't have enough chaff to bait that out. As a break for me Jarod won the roll for first turn but I Seized the Initiative, giving me some life in the game.








Round 1

My turn was very brisk I Advanced all the Hellhounds and popped smoke with them, trying to keep some of them around. The Captains mostly went up the left flank while one used Upon Wings of Fire to try a Charge against the non-Warlord Cadre Fireblade. My hope for this was to kill it and also kill a Fire Warrior Squad, that's not the most favorable trade for me but I need to win on the left flank so I can box Jarod in. The plan for the game was to kill everything but the Big Suits and pull the game out on Secondaries and some Hold More scoring.

I was able to make the Charge and kill the Fireblade as well as four Fire Warriors although the Overwatch hurt a bit. I also secured First Strike for Old School which was crucial for my plan.

Jarod didn't move much, falling back with the one Fire Warrior and shuffling some others. One Riptide moved up to a good firing position behind terrain and the Y'Vahra moved forward to start flaming stuff. This put it in threat range but out of Drone range as they didn't keep up quite enough.

Shooting was brutal as Jarod consistently rolled more 5's and 6's than anything else despite not having any Markerlights up. This cost me two Hellhounds although fortunately none of them exploded as that could have been a disaster. Past that I took a few miscellaneous wounds from Pulse Rifles and so on but nothing major.

Score
5-7 for Tau






Round 2

Now that I was in Jarod's face I wanted to start following through on my plan, sadly most of my strength was on the left so I wouldn't be able to get to everything I want to. A Bike Captain and Jump Captain moved up to try and clobber the Y'Vahra as that's a major prize. My remaining Hellhounds moved up to try and clear the left and middle, I held the remaining Captains back. My Primaris Psyker also started running up the board as it looked like he was pretty safe.

In the Psychic Phase I got both powers off on my Librarian Dreadnought and put Nightshroud on one of the tanks, moving the Dreadnought towards the center to try and take out the Warlord Fireblade. Shooting did what I wanted, killing off most of the Fire Warriors and all the Pathfinders. I intentionally left a few one man units around to pick up kills later as Fire Warriors do low damage in small groups and are unlikely to run. Unfortunately I wasn't able to remove any of the bigger targets but I don't have the shooting to do that. The Marksman was killed by the Hellhounds on the right though.

For Combat I got both Captains into the Y'Vahra and Charged a single Fire Warrior with a few Hellhounds, one making it in, to get the extra movement. Unfortunately my Librarian Dreadnought whiffed a low Charge roll even with a Command Point, preventing me from getting a big kill and a likely Bonus Point. A Hellhound was able to tag the Cadre Fireblade and Consolidate into a Broadside but ultimately did nothing and took a wound. I left the Y'vahra on two wounds even after burning Red Fury and Honor the Chapter, a disappointing result. My Hellound and the Fire Warrior bounced off each other and Jarod passed his Morale checks as I'd hoped.

On Jarod's Turn he started moving further into his bunker. The Warlord Advanced and the Y'Vahra moved back a bit while getting healed and put on full profile via Stratagem. The turn was quite to the point as the Librarian Dreadnought got reduced to one wound but surprisingly survived, another Hellhound also died. Most importantly both my Captains on the right were removed but they held through most firepower which allowed the Dreadnought to stick around. Sadly one wound models that need to Charge are not super useful against Tau.....

Score
10-12 for Tau







Round 3

Looking to finally execute my original plan and box Jarod in I continued moving up, eyeing the Drones and Broadsides. Everything started shifting to the right as the Primaris Psyker kept Advancing up the table. My Dreadnought moved to try and deny Line of Sight for a Charge via the Terrain. Finally my remaining Jump Pack Captain used Upon Wings of Fire to get in and go after the Commander.

In the Psychic Phase my Dreadnought killed itself with Perils through a re-roll and the Primaris Psyker Smite'd the one Fire Warrior in Combat with my Hellhound, freeing it up. Shooting removed all but one of the remaining Fire Warriors and all the Drones, I also got lucky and killed the Y'Vahra with some Hellhounds.

In Combat I got a Charge off onto the Commander, killing it with my Captain. I was also able to Consolidate into a Broadside and killed that as well with Honor the Chapter. This left me where I wanted to be, with Jarod boxed in, having only the big Suits left, and with me in control of both Objectives.

On Jarod's Turn he didn't have much to do except move back more and shoot. This ended with very little happening as the dice got cold and the Riptides were starting to take some damage from Nova Reactor each turn and Mortal Wounds from the one with an Ion Accelerator.



Remaining Rounds

Over the next few turns I was able to focus down what Jarod had left while continuing to hold his Objective with multiple tanks and continually tying the Broadside up. At the end of Turn 5 we called the game as Jarod wasn't able to score anything and I was going to max out what I had left.

Final Score
32-18 for Imperium






Post-Game Thoughts

I only ended up winning because I went first, which is a bit sad, but if I had given Jarod two turns of free shooting, one without smoke, I'd have lost too much. Sadly the game was pretty boring as we both have point and click armies, I was going to move up the board while the Tau were going to bunker up, do an early Kauyon, and then just do whatever. Tau is one of the armies that I most hope gets nerfed, not because they're broken but because they're boring. Riptides and Y'Vahras sucking would force Tau to play a screen game, or move, or just do something to pretend like they actually play a game.

I felt very good about my play this game as I was still disadvantaged due to the Mission and Deployment type. No real mistakes stick out in my mind looking back over it except maybe deploying one unit of Scouts forward which allowed them to die for free to Smart Missile Systems. Against Tau I just need to write-off the Guard and Scouts unless I can go for a Turn 1 Charge with the latter, which was not on the table this game.

Jarod didn't make many mistakes from my perspective but we didn't talk much after the game. His build was certainly not the usual as it lacks stuff like a ColdFusion Commander but I think for this meta it's reasonable. Fusion against Knights does very little and the Commander has to die to try. I've seen some going to Hammerheads because of all the big models floating around but they die pretty easily for my taste and are hard to protect from both shooting and melee. If it were me I think kitting the Commander out a bit more would have been better as he's a useful model, I don't think the Brigade is necessary either. Tau don't to all that much with Stratgems and you can screen Broadsides with Drones/Big Suits instead of Fire Warriors. Might have opened up some upgrades, Steal Suits, etc.



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Game 2

After lunch I was up against Chris, a well-known local Dark Angel player who I also haven't played against. He was packing an odd list but as it turned out, a pretty effective one.


Sammael on Corvex
4 Inceptors w/ Plasma Exterminators
4 Inceptors w/ Plasma Exterminators
 Ravenwing Darkshroud
Dark Talon
Dark Talon

2x Company Commanders
3x Infantry Squad w/ Mortar

Knight Castellan (Tartaris, Ion Bulwark, Cawl's Wrath)


Mission and Deployment
ITC Mission #3
Front-line Assault

 Imperium Secondary Objectives (Me)
Headhunter, Recon, Old School

Imperium Secondary Objectives (Chris)
Big Game Hunter, Head Hunter, Old School



This game looked much easier on paper than my last round. Chris has a fairly elite army but I can protect myself from it, then hit back and eliminate threats. The Deployment is very good for me as is the Mission since Chris is packing two Fliers and has very little Objective Secured. Only the Knight is really a threat to my Vehicles which means I can hopefully run the table with them.

Apologies in advance, I have very few pictures of this game and it started very brutally then slowed way down. With that in mind I'm just going to give an overview of what happened.

Deployment was pretty standard, I dropped my Scouts on my home Objective while hiding them and used the others to wrap my Characters. The Tanks hid using the center piece to force the Knight into one of two corners, this would also force the Guardsmen to go with it or for the Knight to be exposed. If the Guardsmen went with then the center Objective would be very hard to hold.

Chris ended up putting nearly everything in the center, put the Knight in a corner, and put the Inceptors in Reserve. He also won the roll off and this time I wasn't able to Seize. My reasoning was we were so close together that I could act first and drop both of the Fliers plus probably more, leaving Chris in a poor position to capitalize on the ability to play for Objectives going second.



Round 1

Chris moved the Fliers up towards mid-table and jostled the Knight a bit. With Shooting he was able to kill the Scouts wrapping my Characters but the Knight completely whiffed and I lost no Hellhounds at all. The Mortars also rolled a low amount of shots and were only able to kill some of my Guardsmen, overall I took very few losses.

On my Turn the Hellhounds rolled out, some left and some right. The Librarian Dreadnought moved up the center and I used Upon Wings of Fire to drop one Captain where he could get to Sammael or the Darkshroud. I positioned a Bike Captain to also try a Charge into some of those targets if I could drop both Fliers with shooting, which was unlikely.

In shooting I killed one Flier and badly wounded another with the Hellhounds. I was also able to kill off most of one Guard squad and a few from another with the other Hellhounds and stray shots. Combat also went well as the Dreadnought hopped over the middle thanks to Fly, crashing into Sammael and the Darkshroud while the Captain Charged the Flier. I was able to remove both Vehicles but Sammael made all his Saves.



Round 2

Not having much to move Sammael Fell Back to the left Objective while the Knight shuffled a bit more. Both units of Inceptors also came down on the left, within range of the re-roll aura. Shooting was brisk with my Scouts taking some losses from the Mortars while two Hellhounds got nuked thanks to the Knight. I lose a Character, some wounds off the Librarian Dreadnought, and another Hellhound from the Inceptors but overall I still had a lot left.

On my turn I wanted to put the nail in the coffin, moving to overrun the Guardsmen and moving the Dreadnought towards the Knight along with a Bike Captain. Shooting didn't go as well as I'd lost all my Hellhounds on the left, which are great at killing Inceptors, but I killed most of the remaining Guardsmen and an Inceptor.

For Charges I got both the Librarian Dreadnought and Bike Captain into the Knight while another Captain got into one Inceptor unit. I was able to kill everything but the Knight came back via Stratagem with three wounds.



Round 3

Via Stratagem the Knight was able to act at full profile, killing both the Dreadnought and the Bike Captain. I lost a few more Scouts and another Hellhound which put me on pretty slim pickings for my army but Chris was also out of stuff. Nothing was really moving for Chris, one unit of Inceptor's hopped down to hold the left Objective with Sammael and the Knight just stayed on the left flank.

On my turn the remaining Hellhounds and a Bike Captain got into the Guard bunker, finishing the last of the Infantry Squads. I was also able to move my remaining Jump Pack Captains to fight the Knight and the Inceptors. Combat saw the Knight go down again, and then come back again with one wound, while I killed the Guard Characters and the Inceptors. This left Chris with the Knight and Sammael.



Remaining Rounds

On Turn 4 Chris killed everything but a Captain, four Scouts, and most of my Guardsmen. I was then able to finish off the Knight as Chris ran out of Command Points. Sammael killed the Captain and the rest of the game was Sammael moving around to try and kill Guardsmen while I kept making sure to get Hold More. In the end the game was a very tight 26-24 win for me, largely because on the last three turns I ran out of stuff to kill which enabled Chris to get Kill, Kill More, and Hold while I was only getting Hold and Hold More. In the end I maxed out my Secondaries except for Last Strike while Chris was unable to get Slay the Warlord or Linebreaker.

Overall the game was enjoyable but got stale very quickly, with Chris only being in the game because of the Knight never staying dead and getting to act as though it wasn't hurt. This game made me cheer for the removal/nerf of Grand Strategist because there's no counter-play to a Knight standing back up and acting on full profile except luck or Command Points running out. Most armies can't kill the Knight in shooting and then again in combat so it just gets to ride the round out.









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Game 3

At this point I was one of three undefeated players but did not get paired down, instead facing down Mark and his Imperium army. Similar to the rest of the day I had never played Mark although I've been at many events with him but I knew him to be a serious player. He brought the following:

Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield (The Angels' Wings)
Lemartes

5 Scouts w/ Bolters
5 Scouts w/ Bolters
5 Scouts w/ Bolters

14 Death Company with Jump Packs, 3 Thunder Hammers, 11 Chainsword and Boltgun
14 Death Company with Jump Packs, 3 Thunder Hammers, 11 Chainsword and Boltgun

Company Commander
Company Commander

3x Infantry Squad w/ Mortar

2x Basilisk

Knight Crusader w/ Battle-Cannon/Heavy Stubber



Mission and Deployment
ITC Mission #2
Vanguard Strike

 Imperium Secondary Objectives (Me)
Headhunter, Recon, Old School

Imperium Secondary Objectives (Mark)
Big Game Hunter, Head Hunter, Behind Enemy Lines



Going into this game I wasn't sure what to make of the list. The Death Company units will kill anything they touch but won't survive counter-attack so keeping my tanks and Characters alive was the most important thing. It was also obvious that Mark's plan would be to tie as much up as he could on the Charge so spreading out would also be a big deal. The Mission is good for both of us but better for me as my army has more staying power, we did have to alter the terrain to make the Mission work though.

I won the roll off for Deployment Zones and took the one that the terrain moved into. Looking at the chart we actually did this incorrectly as we played the corners flipped, in hindsight I should have taken the other corner to not be boxed in and if we played correctly it wouldn't have really mattered which side I took. My Deployment was very conservative, unfortunately this bunched my tanks up which would leave me open to an early explosion. If I go first that won't happen and with Mark's firepower he only opens up one Hellhound unless he gets very lucky, so that's a risk worth taking.

Mark Deployed a bit all over, we had a minor Scout battle with me trying to keep him out as best I can and him trying to keep my Scouts back. The Guardsmen mostly hid in the corner protecting the Basilisks and the Knight went more in the middle along with the Smash Captain and one Death Company unit. The remaining unit and Lemartes both stayed in Reserves.

Mark then won the roll to go first and I failed to Seize the Initiative. Prior to the game he moved the Death Company with Forlorn Fury, guaranteeing the Turn 1 Charge. This was a pretty risky strategy as if I'd gone first I could easily move around and put all my Flamers into the unit, likely killing most of it.






Round 1

 True to what was expected Mark hopped into my Deployment Zone with the Death Company but left the Smash Captain back. Both units of Scouts in my side of the table also moved forward but weren't able to make it into my Deployment Zone. The Knight came up a bit and all the Guard stayed put.

Shooting saw the Knight and Basilisks both aim for a Hellhound I had clumped around 3-4 others but through some bad dice it was left with three wounds, helped by the fact that I had Cover. The Mortars and Boltguns killed most of a Guard unit and a few Scouts got shot down by Mark's Scouts.

For Charges the Death Company went into all my Guard and all my Characters, losing two from Overwatch and not quite making it into all the Characters. The Scouts near the right middle of the board Charged my Scouts, looking to tag a Hellhound or two on the Pile In. Unfortunately I was just outside of a few Heroic Interventions but I deployed my Characters very safely as a lot of Chainswords will tear through the normal Captains.

Combat went well for both sides, the Death Company bounced off my Captains but cut down two Guard units, leaving me with just one. I used Counter-Attack on my Scouts to pin Mark's Scouts in place, denying him the ability to tag my Hellhounds, and killed a Scout to boot. Mark bounced off my Scouts and then lost six more Death Company to Captains and Guardsmen, losing all but two to Morale.

On my turn I started moving out with the Hellhound, sending a few in the center, one to the left to handle the far Scouts, and the rest up the table and left. Because of Terrain I had to take a longer route around so a few of the tanks Advanced. I moved up all my Characters a bit and re-established my defensive line as best I could with my remaining Scouts and Guardsmen, putting the Company Commander in the back corner. Lastly I used Upon Wings of Fire to get my Relic Captain into range of the Knight.

In the Psychic Phase I Smite'd one Death Company down, leaving him to be dealt with in melee. Shooting nearly wiped out Mark's Scouts on my side of the table, setting up an instance where he could get his Smash Captain into my Hellhound, I wanted this to happen as the explosion could soften him quite a bit.

For Combat I made my Charge into the Knight thanks to Descent of Angels and Charged my damaged Scout unit into Mark's. The Death Company were finished off by my Bike Captain and I drug one Scout down as did Mark, leaving us each with one model The Knight died to my Captain after getting +3 Attacks via Red Rampage and Only In Death Does Duty End as the Knight squashed him with great rolls. This left Mark with only one serious threat in the form of the other Death Company unit, putting the game into a paused state until they came down.







Round 2

Having lost most of his immediate punch the Smash Captain moved up to take on the Hellhound and everything else stayed put. Mark declined to bring in any of his Reserves. Shooting was brisk with the damaged Hellhound getting finished off and another taking some wounds, the Mortars all went at Hellhounds and netted a wound.

The Smash Captain got into my Hellhound, avoiding Overwatch thanks to the Relic. He put one attack into my Scout and the rest into the tank, killing it with Red Rampage. The Hellhound then Exploded, killing Mark's Scout and putting 4 Wounds on the Captain.

On my Turn I moved my one Hellhound to blast Mark's remaining Scouts and kept moving the others around terrain as I could, largely Advancing and using Smoke Launchers. My remaining Scouts hopped into the center to try and help with the Captain and/or hold the center, it was ruled you couldn't see models inside the large center piece unless you were also inside it. My defensive line mostly stayed still. I was able to finish the Captain with shooting and kill one Scout on the left, as well as a few Guardsmen in the center.





Round 3

Having nothing to move Mark brought the Death Company and Lemartes in, hoping to reclaim and hold the center. I believe he forgot about the Scouts as they could have moved behind a wall and then Charged my Hellhound to tie it up, I positioned the tank poorly.

Shooting popped another Hellhound but the Smoke Launchers were hard on the Basilisks. I lost a few more Scouts and Guardsmen thanks to the Mortars. The Death Company made their Charge into my Scouts and Hellhound thanks to Descent of Angels and Lemartes, the Chaplain was left in the wind though. I lost my Scouts and the Hellhound although it managed to Explode, killing a few Death Company.

Now that all the threats were down I moved my Characters to intercept, using Upon Wings of Fire on one Captain to get him in position. The Hellhounds kept moving towards the Guardsmen with a few being in range this turn.

For Psychic I got both buffs on my Librarian, allowing him to hop over and into Terrain. I forgot to place my Captain which Mark said meant he was dead, I disagree with that after reading the Stratagem but that's how we played it in game, netting Mark a Head Hunter point. Shooting killed a few Death Company and all the rightmost Guardsmen with Flamers, I also killed another two Scouts.

Combat got the Dreadnought and a Captain into the Death Company, the Dreadnought getting up to 8 Attacks with Stratagems and mostly finishing off the unit. Mark declined to use Counter-Attack, losing all but one model who did nothing back. He then used the Stratagem to keep the unit from running due to Morale.



Round 4

Mark used Upon Wings of Fire to bail out the last Death Company, moving Lemartes up to try and take out a Hellhound. Nothing else moved, I assume the Scouts were forgotten about again. The non-Warlord Company Commander also moved back as his screen had been removed. The last Death Company came down behind the Basilisks.

Shooting softened up a Hellhound but did little else as Mark didn't have many targets for his Guardsmen. Lemartes made his Charge and finished off the Hellhound which Exploded, leaving him on one wound but only doing one wound to each of my Characters.

On my turn I pushed the rest of the tanks and Characters towards Mark and resolved to start scoring Recon which I'd missed so far. Shooting finished off the Scouts and removed another Guard unit. My Dreadnought failed his Charge into the Company Commander.



Remaining Turns

With little left Mark managed to pick off another Hellhound before the game ended. He also dropped the last Death Company near my Warlord, making the Charge and killing him by using his last Command Points to fight again.

I killed the Death Company, the Guardsmen, and the Company Commanders on Turn 5, getting the Dreadnought into both Basilisks. Mark fell back with both but we rolled it out and I'd kill both of them easily on the bottom of Turn 6, tabling Mark.

After counting everything up I'd maxed out all my Secondaries except Recon (3/4) while Mark had gotten 8/12, getting nothing for Behind Enemy Lines. I ended with a 30-18 win having gotten the Bonus twice and a fair few Kill More and Hold More.




Post-Game and Post-Tournament Thoughts

Me and the paired down person were the lone undefeateds but with the better score and Strength of Schedule I claimed First Place, winning out by 14 Points. I was pretty happy with that result as I'd played two very tight games, although I played very poorly in the final round. For not having played in two weeks and having never played this list some mistakes were to be expected.

Looking back my first round was a crap-shoot, I had to go first and I did. That was really the story of the game along with Jarod's dice being insanely hot early on and then getting very cold later. Every time I play against Tau I feel like there's very little skill involved on my opponent's part but I have to work very hard to win, a lot of that is down to my composition but some of it is just the nature of Tau. I never really got down about Tau before aside from the Big Suits being broken for their cost but Tau is just a poorly designed Faction that encourages camping and castling to abuse For The Greater Good. I don't know if there's much to be done about that.

Round Two was the one I enjoyed most as the game was very tight and I had to make some good plays on Turn 5-6 to win. These included charging Sammael with a Guard unit to prevent him shooting one to death and then Charging another as well as using Move, Move, Move to get Linebreaker. In reality this game should have been a blow-out and only wasn't because the Knight got back up twice and Chris got first turn. Chris's list isn't terrible but it's very elite, my composition perfectly countered his as I eat Fliers for breakfast and invalidate the Darkshroud. Chris could have played a much more kitey game, keeping the Fliers at max range so I could only pick up one of them, that probably would have seen him win the game but then again I wouldn't have committed as hard so who knows. Chris also chose the wrong Relic/Trait for his Knight, I think he was just locked in on an anti-shooting and offense combination.

My final game was very sloppy on both my part and Mark's. We both made numerous positional errors such as me not getting Recon before Turn 4, not defending my Warlord when I easily could have, the Knight being in the wind instead of in the corner, and over-aggression with the Death Company. As we talked the game over Mark said he should have parked the Knight in the corner, then the Basilisks, then the Guardsmen and made me eat through all that. I think he also should have hidden the Death Company until he'd bombed me out a bit, that wouldn't work on most tables but because we had the weird center-piece it would have in this game. Overall I think Mark had the weakest list I played, it's way too many points in Death Company that don't do anything. He remarked that most people ignore the Death Company in favor of the Knight and Basilisks, I don't see how a good player would ever do that. I was able to negate the second wave but not getting too aggressive and just holding the center, that's probably what won me the game besides our list pairing.

As for my army I think the list is very strong. It gives up a lot more Secondaries than I prefer but it kills anything and everything. A few people have said I'm running too many Smash Captains but after this event I'm convinced I have the right amount, there's so many big targets in the game right now as well as units meant to kill big targets, all of which Captains excel against. The Hellhounds are a bit scary to play with because their Explosions are so devastating, I think in the future I have to deploy them on the line and try to keep no more than one in range of each, barring terrain, and fit the Characters where I can. My primary weakness is still armies that can kite well but I've massively improved that with the addition of the Hellhounds.

I won't be making any changes to the army unless there's a drastic shift in the meta. Over the weekend I kept an eye on the Bay Area Open, which was won by one of my locals, and I didn't see a single list on stream or on a high table that I don't think I can play into with what I have. Chapter Approved is unlikely to change the army as I still prefer an easy to defend Warlord, however Knights may take some hits as should Dark Eldar/Ynaari, making me even better. Chapter Approved will break the army as the Hellhounds will go up in price but so will a lot of things and I look forward to a new meta, the one we have now is very stale.

For the moment I'm going to focus more on Kill Teams as it just seems like a better game and it's more fun to play, this could swing back if Games Workshop fixes all the issues with 40K by the end of the year. A lot is up in the air right now as far as changes, it may just be a boring few months until we get all of them. In light of how many sweeping changes we got last time I have a lot of hope, the developers just also need to make a hefty amount of point changes. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Thanks for reading!

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