Friday, 22 December 2017

Christmas Tournament

The clubs Christmas Tournament was held last weekend, and we managed to get two games in, although only to turn 3. There are a lot of people saying that 8th games are supposed to be shorter but so far I haven't seen that so much. I think that maybe because I'm not as familiar with the rules for 8th as I was for 7th, as was proved during the tournament, when a few rules queries came up and I was wrong on one or two of them. I have to confess that I did not take any pictures at all that day, I completely forgot until the end of the first game and then forgot again until halfway through the second game. As such this will not be a full battle report but just a quick talk through about the games and the tournament overall.

We played 1000 point games on a 4x4 table, as we have found that 6x4 really is to big for games of that size. The games were also custom missions, i would imagine there was a fair bit of influence from AoS but can't be sure. There were four objectives, placed with one in front of each deployment zone, in the centre of the board and them one on each side, halfway between each deployment zones. Make sense? Points were scored for each objective held at the end of your turn and also for the standard 3, first blood, line breaker and slay the warlord. In addition, all troops were granted objective secured and we were using pre-chapter approved points values. A simple game of grab the objectives, what could go wrong?

Well, to ensure nothing did go wrong, i took a lot of troops, 6 to be precise, all as part of a brigade detachment. This may have been a little mean, as it basically meant i had a lot more models than most, about 82, compared so some armies, like my Grey Knights opponent who had 16. It also meant i had significantly more troop choices than any other players and also, more criticality​, more command points, a total of 14. This was compared to just 6 and 4 from my opponents.

I have to say, i did feel a bit like "That Guy" when we first turned up, as there was talk of how many command points people were able to get and when i mention i had 14, they all stared, slightly disbelieving. It is one of the few benefits of a guard army, that you can pack in a lot in to such few points. Granted, i was compromised in many departments, with limited anti-armour and limited mobility for a lot of the army. He is my list, then I'll talk about the plan.

Cadains Brigade detachment

Company commander with bolt pistol and power sword
3 platoon commanders, 2 with bolt guns and chain swords and 1 with a bolt pistol and chain sword
Ratlings squad with 8 ratlings
5 infantry squads, 2 with vox and autocannons, 1 with autocannons, 2 with grenade launchers
MT scion squad with 5 men including 2 hotshot volley guns
3 Scout Sentinels with multilasers
3 HWT's, 2 with mortars and one with lascannons
Valkyrie with MRP's and multilasers.

So that was the list, made for two reasons. One, maximise the number of command points I could get. With this list that mean 14. 3 for being battle forged, 9 for the Brigade and 2 for Creed! The second point was to maximise the number of troop choices, as the mission revolved around capturing objectives and all troops got objective secured. I figured that most people would be looking at best a Battalion detachment, but more likely either the Vanguard, Spearhead or Outrider detachments, which would give most people between 4 and 6 command points. As it turned out, one player had 6 points with a Battalion and two had 4 points, both with Vanguard detachments. Only one player was playing from an index and so the extra command points really did show themselves to be extremely useful during the games, really proving the point about how valuable command points are.

The games:

Game 1
vs Death Guard (Battalion - 6cp)

My first opponent brought a Death Guard list, consisting of;

a Lord (warlord)
a Sorcerer
Three Plague marine squads, all with 10 men, two had plasma guns in and one had a flamer
and the special DG Terminators in a 7 man squad, one with heavy flamer.

I was initially worried about this game, mostly due to the Terminators. However, I had a plan, one that I was pretty confident in. After deployment, which surprisingly my opponent finished deploying first!, I placed my Ratlings forward of my line in cover and then scouted my sentinels forward, pushing them up as far as I could. This extended the range at which the Termies could deep strike significantly, although I made a small mistake which cam back to haunt me. I had pushed up one sentinel on the left and two on the right, going for the two objectives in the middle of the board and planning on swinging the last one around to take the rear objective, which worked out very well in the end. This however left the Ratling exposed in the middle and the Termies dropped in, shot and then charged the Ratling, killing them all off, before finally consolidating on to a infantry squad in my lines. That was first blood to my opponent and no chance to get any shots in on the Termies. However, with some careful use of orders, I managed to fall back and take down 4 of them in the next turn, seriously denting there combat effectiveness, so much so that that did little in the next two turn, being tied up by a couple of infantry squads, while the rest of my army went about removing the rest of his army. One squad of Plague Marines managed to survive intact, by hiding in some ruins, but they were unable to take many points, just 1 point over three turns. My opponents other points came from the Termies on turn 1 and claiming the left hand objective for two turns, although both times I managed to re-claim them in my turn.

While the Termies did little after turn 1 and the right hand squad did little hiding in cover, the left objective was hotly contested, with two squads of Plague Marines going for it. Unfortunately for my opponent, he was directly in line of my Lascannon Squad, which after removing a number of termies first turn, set to work destroying one of the Marine squads over the next two. The Vengeance for Cadia stratagem came in priceless this game, giving my lascannons, much needed re-rolls, meaning that I was removing at least 2 models a turn, every turn.

At the end of turn 3, I still had 4 troop squads on the board, along with a significant portion of the rest of my army. My opponent only had 3 Termies, a Squad of 1 marine, a squad of 2 marines and a full squad of marines, along with his Lord and Sorcerer. If we had gone on to a further turn or two, I would have been looking at increasing my lead and gaining more points, as although he probably would have finished off the squad on the left objective to claim that, my Scions had dropped in to the back line to claim line breaker, but I would have dropped them further forward and gone for his warlord. I would have ignored the right hand marine squad, probably giving away 2 points, but would have put everything in to the 3 marines and warlord on the left. Hopefully giving me 3 points, two for the objective and slay the warlord, along with hopefully being able to claim line breaker. I think that this would have resulted in a 9 to 15 victory. As it was we ended at turn 3 and the result was a 10 (including line breaker) to 6 (including line breaker and first blood) victory.

Game 2
vs Grey knights (Vanguard - 4cp)

My next opponent was playing Grey Knights, bringing a very tough but small army consisting of;

a Dreadknight lord, of whatever its called, with a 12 shot cannon and a 20 shot cannon thing,
a strike squad with 5 men, all with storm bolters and power swords
three Paladin squads, all with 3 men, all with storm bolters and halberds
and a razorback with twin lascannons

For some reason I was less worried about this game, probably due to the low model count and being on a high from winning the last battle. As it turned out, it was a lot more tactical and hard fought then the last battle. I started with the same tactic and pushed my Sentinels up, but this time I pushed them up in a line across the board, protecting my Ratlings who were sheltering in a building in the centre of the board. Although my opponent managed to finish setting up first, well with just 6 units that's not surprising really!, but I stole the initiative, pushing up even further and claiming all the objectives the first turn. This was a great start but when the Paladins and Dreadknight came in things got a little more difficult. He moved one squad on to his objective and they remained there all game, claiming 3 points over the game with no contest. The other two squads dropped in each side, with the Dreadknight dropping in on my left. Not everything went his way as he failed his charge with the right squad, but the left one demolished the Sentinel there. I had forgotten that GK can spam smite all over the place, but at least it only does one damage. What did hurt was the twin lascannons, which went to work on the Valkyrie, removing it in turn two, after having crippled it in turn 1.

During the game, I decided to go for point and sacrificed a number of units in order to do so, while still chipping away at the paladin squads. By the end of turn three, I had been able to remove the squad on the right objective, mostly thanks to the Ratling and their sniper rifles, but had only removed one model and one wound on the left squad, while the DreadKnight had only taken a couple of wounds. The rear Paladin squad was completely unharmed. The Strike squad on the other hand, had decided to use Gate of Infinity on turn two and had subsequently failed there charge, even loosing a man to overwatch from the Mortar squad. The remaining four members were removed during the next turn, although the Dreadknight did remove a mortar squad in return! At the end of turn 3, there was still a significant portion of the GK's on the board, with a full squad of Paladins and one squad with 2 remaining, the Dreadknight and the Razorback. I on the other had was down to just 3 infantry squads, only one of which were complete and the Scions, a mortar squad, a lascannon squad, the ratlings and 3 platoon commanders, 2 company commander and my psyker. So I had lost significantly more of my army. At this point in the game I had two objectives covered and my scions were claiming line breaker again, giving me a slight win at 10 points, including Line breaker, to my opponents 9, including line breaker and first blood.

We played another turn for fun as we had the time, things did not go well for my opponent however. He had moved his Dreadknight right up to my lines going for my warlord, however, I got in first and in a stroke of luck, cast smite on an 11 which was not denied, causing 5 mortal wounds on the Dreadknight, which was then targeted by the Lascannons and finished off quite convincingly. In reply he did finished off my Scions, however, if we had been playing for 5 turns, I think things would have been a bit different. My opponent would still have been going for my Warlord, as he said as much, however, I would have dropped my Scions in on the left, aiming to take out the two remaining Paladins on the left. I believe I could have achieved this, maybe not in turn 3, but definitely in turn 4. This along with slay the warlord, as I would still have thrown everything I needed to at it, would have left me with control of 3 objectives, for at least a turn, if not two. I think that if we had of played out 5 turns, I would have ended the game winning about 15 or 16 to 10 or 11. As it was, the game ended with a 10, including line breaker, to 9, including first blood and line breaker.

So with two games played we totalled up the scores for the day. I had two victories, giving me 20 points, the Death Guard player had a victory and a defeat, giving him 16 points, third was the Grey Knights player with two Defeats, but claiming 14 points, while the only non-codex army in the group, the Tau player, came in with a victory and a defeat but with only 9 or 10 points.

At the end of the tournament we were talking about the games and it came up that the DG player probably would have tabled the Tau player if there game had lasted until the final round, meaning that he would have been able to pick up at least an additional 8 points but probably 10, for slay the warlord and line breaker. I wonder what this would have done to the scores, as I reckoned that that would have put him on 18 to 20 points for the last game, where I reckon I would have ended up with about 15 or 16 points in my second game. Seeing as in the first game we played each other, ending up as a 10 to 6 victory to me, this would have put the scores at around 25/26 to me and 24/26 to the DG player. This only takes the first game to turn 3 though, so what would have happened if we had gone to turn 5? Well, I would definitely have held on to one objective for two turns, and should have been able to hold on to a second as well, giving me 4 points, where as my opponent would have only been guaranteed one objective for 2 turns and there for 2 points. With luck I could have got slay the warlord, but would probably have to have given up line breaker, as I would have had to use my scions to achieve this. Overall I think that the first game would have ended up something around a 15 to 9 victory, meaning that the overall result would have been along the lines of 30 points to me and 28 points to the DG player. While this would have put us quite a long way in front of the other two players, it means that it would have been close between us and that a point of two either way for us could have completely changed the overall result. It is a shame that we didn't get to play both games all the way through, or even all three games part way through, but I guess were all still learning the rules and so it take us a little bit longer to play still. Maybe next year we'll have it nailed down a bit more!

The tournament was a fun little event, with only 4 players, which is about half the number of 40k players at the club, so not really a bad turn out. I am hoping to get a game with the other player in the new year and complete all three matches, mostly just out of curiosity. Anyway, its almost Christmas, and so I don't think that I will be posting for a week or so, while the festivities occur, so I'll see you all in the NEW YEAR.