Friday 1 December 2023

Imperial Guard Vs World Eaters - Tournament warmup game 2

This was actually the third game that I played, the second game was against my son and his Tau but they were played as eternal war type games rather than leviathan games and so the scoring system was different and they were not really tournament warm up games and more learning games for my son. This game was against World Eaters, the same player i played against in the tournament and who went on to win. This list was very similar to his winning list, with Eightbound, hellbrutes, rhinos and jakhals. 

For this game, I ran a Valkyrie in hover mode, two chimeras with cadians, a Leman Russ with demolisher cannon and a big squad of guard on my home objective. 

Guard deployment

World Eaters deployment

Turn 1

The game started very slowly, with both of us being very reserved in our deployment and turn 1 movement. I held back, trying to keep away from the WE’s and their combat potential and my opponent wanted to keep out of line of sight. This hindered me far more as it meant that i really struggled to get any momentum from my side. 

Turn 2

It didn’t take long for the WE to get in to my lines and that’s where my problems really started. So Eightbound got a long charge off and started combat in the centre of the board. Through some lucky rolls and also some command point re-rolls he managed to keep some Eightbound alive for several turns, holding me up and allowing his berserkers to come sweeping across the board.

It was also at this point that I realised that no matter how bad aircraft flying around the board are, they are even worse when in hover mode, as my flyer got charged by the hellbrute and completely destroyed. 

Turn 3

By the end of turn 3 I had scored no primary point at all, I was really struggling to take and hold any of the objectives. I shouldn’t have split my forces so much at the beginning, instead pushing for just one objective in the centre and then moving out from there. I also think the cautious approach at the beginning really didn’t help either.

Turn 4

I didn’t manage to get a few bits and pieces killed but the World Eaters are a really strong army against guard. I just didn’t have a real answer to the combat abilities of the WE units. The blood surge for the Berserkers caught me out and the ability for the hellbrute to shoot or fight out of turn was also a real issue for me. 

Despite having tried something different for this game, I don’t think it worked at all. The vehicles were not as resilient as I had hoped. The fire power of the leman Russ was good and did do some good work on the table top but I just didn’t think it was so good to be an auto take in my tournament list. The Valkyrie in hover mode is just a bad idea all round and I wound be doing that anytime soon! Over all, this just cemented my ideas that an infantry heavy list would be the way to go and just swamp the enemy on the objectives and just ignore lots of the big threats. As you know this didn’t quite work out as I had intended, mostly as the heavy hitters I did have didn’t really pull their weight (looking at you Valkyries and Vindicare), as I mentioned in a previous post, I think there is some more work needed to refine my tournament list, to make it a bit more competitive that it was.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Imperial Guard Vs Space Wolves - Tournament warmup game 1

 These are a bit out of time here but this is the first of four battle reports that I played before the Northern Invasion tournament. These were just small scale games of 1000 points to get my head around some of the rules changes for 10th before the tournament. This was the first game that I played, against Space Wolves, the same player I ended up playing against when I got to the tournament. The list i played against was pretty similar to the full tournament list, with some thunder wolf cavalry, blood claws, grey hunters and intercessions, with some eradicators, which didn’t make the final list. My list on the other hand consisted of the infantry, breachers in Valkyries and a Field Ordnance battery with heavy lascannons. 

We played a leviathan mission, Sweeping Engagement, Take and Hold with scrambler fields. The scrambler field had no effect on the game, due to neither of us having strategic reserves. Take and hold should have been easy for me, but I really failed to take advantage of the mission. 

Guard Deployment

Space wolf deployment 

Blood Claws and Ragnar pushing up the centre

Blood Claws

The blood claws and Ragnar went charging up the field turn one, engaged and destroyed a full 20 man guard squad with ease and then proceeded to just sweep through my battle lines almost completely unopposed. 

The empty battlefield.

The flyer trying to do something useful

The flyer and everything on the right is dead.

So in this game I found out that flyers are not quite as good as they use to be and when I say not as good, what I mean is useless. You can see the blood claws as the very bottom of the table having slaughtered their way through two 20 man catachan squads and the field ordnance battery. 

The guard almost tabled 

The lone assassin sitting on his perch 

The final result was a resounding victory for the space wolves. I was completely unable to move anywhere on the board, without getting absolutely slaughtered by the space wolves. This game was good though for a number of reasons. The first thing I learnt was that no matter how much I like the idea of 20 man guard squads, 10 man squads are the way to go I think. This means that there is less chance of all 20 guardsmen getting wiped out in a single turn of firing or combat. The second lesson learnt is that flyers are not very resilient, with no natural -1 to hit and even with the extra toughness and save, they are still quite easy to remove. The last thing i learnt was less about the game and more about the system as a whole, that guard are either really over priced or space marines are over powered, as there were as many space wolf units on the table as there were guard units! I’m use to outnumbering the enemy by several units, but this time around I was actually outnumbered!
As a result of this game, I decided to thin down the squad sizes and look at getting more movement options in the list. I wish I could have tried playing this list again with an updated list but there was just no time. I did change the list for my next game, adding in a couple of vehicle to see how that does.

Friday 24 November 2023

Tournament list review

So with the tournaments all done and dusted, its time to have a look at my list and see what sort of changes I might make to it. It’s not just about making it more competitive, it’s also about removing units that proved to be useless or over costed for what they managed to achieve, and unfortunately there were quite a few of these units. 

There is little I can do with certain elements of the list, such as the detachment or enhancements, as I’m still restricted by what’s available for me to use. 

So, what would will remain unchanged and what would be dropped?

Detachment: Combined Regiment

+ Character +

Cadian Castellan: Bolt Pistol, Grand Strategist, Power Weapon

Cadian Castellan: Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon

Commissar: Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon

Platoon Command Squad: Platoon Commander: Death Mask of Ollanius, Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon, Plasma Gun, Master Vox, Medi-pack, Regimental Standard

Primaris Psyker 

Primaris Psyker

The HQ section of the list worked pretty much as expected. The Castellans spread out across the board and the Platoon command squad anchored the centre, as planned. I think that some extra orders might have been worthwhile, as there were a few occasions that I would have liked to have one or two more orders to dish out but on the whole it wasn’t a problem. The psykers also proved their worth with their psychic powers, however, they would be something to drop if I needed a few extra points for the list change.

+ Battleline +

Cadian Shock Troops (10): Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun

Cadian Shock Troops (10): Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun

Cadian Shock Troops (20): 2x Grenade Launcher, 2x Plasma Gun

Cadian Shock Troops (10): Drum-fed Autogun, Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun

Cadian Shock Troop (10): Bolt Pistol, Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun

Cadian Shock Troop (10): Bolt Pistol, Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun

Death Korps of Krieg (10): Medi-pack, Grenade Launcher, Meltagun, Plasma Gun, Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon

Infantry Squad (10): 2x Grenade Launcher, 2x Grenade Launcher. 2x HWT Autocannon

The battle line units also worked as planned, although I would make a few changes. The main one is removing the 20 man Cadian squad, as this was a mistake in the first place. I would probably go for another unit of DKoK, as their medic ability was useful, when i actually got to use it! I would have liked more Cadian but I am at my max number of units. As for special weapons, i would keep the Plasma gun but I am tempted to drop the grenade launcher for possibly a melta gun, but it does reduce the utility of the units.

+ Infantry +

Heavy Weapons Squad: 3x Mortar

Heavy Weapons Squad: 3x Mortar

Heavy Weapons Squad: 3x Missile Launchers

Tempestus Scions (5): Plasma Pistol, Power Fist, Hot-shot Volley Gun, Plasma Gun, Vox-caster

Tempestus Scions (5): Plasma Pistol, Power Fist, Hot-shot Volley Gun, Plasma Gun, Vox-caster

Tempestus Scions (5): Plasma Pistol, Power Fist, Hot-shot Volley Gun, Plasma Gun, Vox-caster

The other infantry units also proved themselves during my games. The mortars were not the greatest at taking out power armour but against lower save units they absolutely proved their worth. The missile launchers were equally as useful, although both suffered from the unpredictability of the dice. The scions also proved themselves and were useful both for scoring points, forcing my opponent to split their force and gave me a lot of movement options.

+ Vehicles+

Valkyrie: Hellstrike Missiles, Lascannon, Heavy Bolters

Valkyrie: Militarum Multi-laser, Heavy Bolters, Multiple Rocket Pods

This is where there is going to be a lot of changes. The planes, while useful and fun to play with, really didn’t do anything for me. The MRP equipped Valkyrie was more useful and did do some chip damage, but the other Valkyrie was pretty much useless. The single shot lascannon and hellstrike missile was basically useless, missing far more than they hit and wounding even less. I was not even able to remove a rhino in one turn of shooting even when both actually hit. The heavy bolters were the best weapons on both platforms. Even though I took these because just because I wanted to, both of these will be dropped from the next iteration of the list as they just don’t do anywhere near the damage or provide anything that justifies their points.   

+ Allied Units +

Imperial Navy Breachers: chainfist, demo charge, heavy shotgun, power weapon, Navis las-volleys, Bolt pistol and power weapon

Imperial Navy Breachers: Meltagun

Inquisitor: Bolt pistol, Inquisitorial melee weapon, Psychic gifts, Warlord

Vindicare Assassin 

The dropping of the Valkyries also means the dropping of the Navy Breachers, which isn’t a bad thing as they didn’t really do much in the game, the bleacher with demo charge was fun and did do some damage, it still didn’t justify the 105 point cost of the unit. Even if the Valkyries weren’t being dropped I would drop the navy breachers anyway. The Vindicare also failed to live up to expectations. I think this is mostly because it’s taken a real hit in this edition and is no longer the character slayer it once was. I would probably look at switching this out for the Eversor assassin for its combat abilities. The Inquisitor was the best choice out of this lot, even though it didn’t do masses, it did enough to justify itself in the list, plus its all part of my fluff to have an inquisitor in my lists. 

So, if i remove the Valkyries, the Breachers, Vindicare and 10 cadians, I would currently have 730 points to play with. With these points I would look to add a Tank commander and additional Leman Russ, with an Enginseerer in support. I would add in an Eversor Assassin as well. I would then use some points to up the number of Scions in the units to 10, doubling the number of troops and special weapons. This means that I would be using 690 points of the 730, leaving me 40 points spare for the moment, to either adjust for points adjustments or to add extra units nearer the time. 

I’ll have to try this list out at some point to see just how it might fare but I suspect that there will be a number of changes points wise before next years tournament.  

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Tournament review

 The Northern Invasion Tournament has been and gone and despite the enforced hiatus due to Covid and some other logistical and technical hurdles that needed to be overcome, I would have to say that it was a huge success. There were 16 players there on the Saturday and a number returned for a more casual day of gaming on the Sunday. There was more than 40k going on as well, with magic featuring prominently on both the Saturday and Sunday, with a whole host of board games going on on the Sunday, including Hero Quest, which myself and my son played several games of. 

The 40k tournament itself was not an overly competitive tournament. There were a number of people there who were playing to a competitive level but there were also a number of people there to just play some games and have fun, after all, how many competitive players bring a 3 model army consisting of two Knight Desecrators and a Warhound Titan. 

Chaos Knight and Warhound

Overall there was a pretty even split between Imperial, with 2x Grey Knights, Space Marines, Space wolves, Imperial Guard, Custodies, Imperial Knights and Dark Angels, and Chaos, with 2x World Eaters, 2x Chaos Knights, Death Guard and Daemons, with just two Xenos players, both using Tau. The tournament was won by the World Eaters player i played in game 2, with Grey Knights taking second and third with Space Marines in 4th. At the other end of the table the wooden spoon was hotly contested between World Eaters and Chaos Knights (the 3 model list from above), with the Chaos Knights walking away with the “trophy”. These final games were played on the Sunday morning, so not all placing were finalised.  

Tau vs Dark Angels

I am hoping to return next year if possible, my son already has plans for what he want to do plus there is talk about some of the other youngsters coming down, so there might be some competition for best U18 player trophy that my son walked (uncontested) away with. 

The other thing to really mention about the weekend, is that my son has now set his sights on getting Hero Quest for Christmas, along with some of the character expansions, after we played a couple of games with some of the other guys down there. Also, I bought Space Hulk, the 2014 version, minus the models thought, which is not a problem as i have most of the models i need to play already, or at least ones that I can substitute in, as I have lots of Hormagaunts I can use as Genestealers. I plan on playing the game at some point but also using the tiles for dungeon crawls with the kids at some point or another. 
Next up will be a look through my list from the tournament, which in truth means there will be quite a few changes for future tournaments.