Feb 24, 2013

4-player Tournament Round-up

So I played a small four player tournament with friends today, using This Khorne-list. Format was basically we rolled one mission for both of the on-going games, and thus we could use VP as a tie-breaker in case of a draw in number of wins.
The missions we rolled were:

Game 1: Crusade with 3 objectives
Game 2: Purge the Alien
Game 3: The Relic

And the players armies were:

Chaos Space Marines
Iron Hands Space Marine
Imperial Guard

On to a short summary of my games then!

Game 1 - Iron Hands Space Marines

His list was an all around list, notable elements being a Vindicator, three Drop Pods (with melta-squads and a Venerable Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon), Hammer-nators accompanied by the Librarian Warlord, a Storm Talon and two squads of Missile Launcher Devastators.

The pre-game rolls gave my Daemon Prince re-roll to armour saves, and the Librarian got Warpspeed and Enfeeble. His Warlord was also gaining extra VP's for killing characters in challenges. I won the roll off for first turn and there was night fighting.

I started pretty bad, by not getting my Daemons on board turn 1. With this foot slogging list that really is a bad thing because those Daemons were needed to be up there soaking fire from the more important stuff. Everything else moved forward however.

The Iron Hands did get First Blood for exploding the Rhino, and on the left flank my large Marine-blob advanced as fast as they could. The Drop Pods and their contents didn't do particularly much the turn they came in, and the next turn the Daemon Prince absolutely slaughtered the Venerable Dreadnought and the Berzerkers killed the other squad. The Bikers who had sped up ahead also managed to wreck the Vindicator after having to charge it as well. But after that all but one Biker died to fire from all directions. He held his ground however. The Bloodletters also failed to come in turn 2, and when they finally came in turn 3 they scattered on top of a unit and was misplaced in the other corner from where they tried to come in, basically putting them out of the game...

Soon after the blod of Cultists as well as Kharn was killed by combined fire from Missile Launchers, Storm Talon and Bolters - a lone surviving Cultists wielding a Flamer left standing. The Berzerkers were also wiped out, the last one running for an objective, but got a Drop Pod-squad right on top of him pretty much. It looked pretty grim at this point, but then the lone heroic Biker stepped up his game. He charged the 5-man Tactical Squad standing on the Objective behind the building in the Iron Hands deployment zone, killing just enough of them to make them run off the board! In the next turn he charged another five man squad on the other Objective in his deployment zone - staying in combat for a while until he eventually broke them as well! Sadly this time they fled only right to the edge of the board instead of running off. Meanwhile the Khorne Marines killed off the Devastators and claimed the Objective that the Biker had cleared out before. They were hunted by Assault Terminators who had also arrived late however, and was soon caught up by them - they failed their first charge however, and that gave me one more round of shooting that killed at least one Terminator before they could charge in. But then thanks to difficult terrain and a pretty short roll none of the Terminators (except for the Sergeant that was in a challenge) got to strike and the large amount of attacks from Khorne Marines killed off all but one and put a wound on the Warlord - and in the next turn the Sergeant and Champion killed eachother while the Khorne Marines wiped the last Terminator and Warlord. The Daemon Prince had also killed two squads of Tacticals, one on the most far away objective making sure no one would get that one. Suddenly we held one objective each, and the same amount of secondary objectives and the Bloodletters ignored all game were suddenly very close to his objective. But his Storm Talon managed to kill the Daemon Prince before it got to to his charge, and the Bloodletters failed a 9" charge in turn 6 and the game ended. Draw, 5-5! Better than I expected, especially since had it gone to turn 7 I would've won for sure with those untouched Bloodletters charging 7 Marines! Ah well!

MVP for sure!

Game 2 - Tyranids

So, his was a typical monster list with a few unusual elements like two large squads of Gargoyles and a Biowore. Two Tervigons, two Fly-rants, two Trygons and the Doom in a Spore Pod. He rolled Iron Arm for both Fly-tyrants, and the other powers weren't that important. For a gift my Daemon Prince became Stubborn (...). He got a chance to re-deploy units for Warlord traits which he chose not to use anyway. He got turn 1 and there was no night fighting.

He decided for a quite passive turn, and nothing much happened except for his Warlord Hive Tyrant rolling perils for his Iron Arm and his Biowore getting a direct hit on Kharn which he failed to dodge and save (damn Barrage!). Other than that, it was basically only the Hive Tyrants flying closer, spawning 15 gants with one Tervigon and then waiting for me to come closer. I happily obliged of course. But first my Daemons failed to come in turn 1 again. Silly Daemons. My bikers actually managed to cause a wound, and ground one of the Hive Tyrants. But then I failed to charge him with the Berzerkers, and the Bikers by themselves didn't quite manage it and fled the combat.

Turn 2 and his Doom arrived, sucking a wound out of the Daemon Prince and not much else. He moved up Gargoyles and gaunts for the charge - but actually forgot to move one of the gaunt units in the movement phase so they couldn't support the charge - and to make it worse the Gargoyles also failed the charge at the Cultists. His short range fire had decimated the Cultists pretty badly though, so not many were left standing. Then the Warlord Hive Tyrant actually managed to take care of the Khorne Marines all by himself with shooting, assaulting and a sweeping advance. The other squad of Gargoyles also auto-killed the last bikers.

So now my Daemon arrived, and they didn't scatter either so I placed them pretty centrally. The remaining Berzerkers also managed to get a charge on the lower squad of Gargoyles - killing 16 out of 17... and the last one managed to escape. Kill point denial! Kharn and his cultists charged the other squad of Gargoyles, Kharn killing 7 by himself and the cultists killing enough to make the Gargoyles pacified pretty much. But due to being in Synapse they stayed in combat. Oh yeah, the Rhino saved the Cultsists from Overwatch as well, which probably helped a bit for sure, with 17 Gargoyles he should've caused a few wounds at least.

The Daemon Prince was hit by a Hive Tyrant and was grounded, took a wound from the hit as well. The next turn he tried to charge the Trygon but was killed by Overwatch. The Doom sucked some Cultist-sould to reach S9 and headbutted the Rhino in the back - Kharn finished of his Gargoyles and took 3 Cultists as well. Gants and their fleshborers killed off the Bloodletters, and even when I had my Herald in the right position to soak up wounds he failed the first two saves, and when the wounds reached Skulltaker he did the same... The Berzerkers were also shot down due to extraordinary poor saving. Kharn managed to charge and kill one more squad of Gants before he was also shot down wiping me off the board. So Kharn gave me my two only VP's, and it ended 11-2!

Game 3 - Imperial Guard

And then finally the game against the dreaded Imperial Guard. He had a Troop-spam list, I think it was 120 models or so with some fair amount of heavy and special weapons. 6 Autocannons, 3 Lascannons, quite a few flamers as well. Supported by 2 Demolishers with Heavy Flamers and two Leman Russes with Heavy Flamers as well. All in all a horrible army for me to play. We rolled for deployment and got Vanguard Strike. My gift for the Daemon Prince was +1A, and his Warlord caused me to use the lowest Ld instead of highest when close to him. I won the roll off to go first and decided to take first turn. He stole initiative however.

So he popped the Rhino for First Blood and then shot the Leman Russes at the Berzerkers inside - causing 18 wounds - but I actually managed to save the Champion due to really good cover saves. Other than that he didn't actually managed to do much, so I started by turn pretty much intact except for the Berzerkers. The Bloodletters actually arrived this time (!), so I put them in front of half his army to be annoying for them to deal with. The rest moved forward.

Turn 2 wasn't terribly effective for him, but he did start to kill off both the Cultists as well as the Bloodletters (again the Herald failed his saves when trying to soak up wounds). Only Skulltaker and one Bloodletter survived, and they charged a unit of 10 guardsmen which they routed and killed. My Bikers in a spectacular fail only cause a glance with their meltas on one of his Demolishers, so they charged in... and failed to do anything at all. My Khorne Marines failed their charge at one of the squads containing a demo-charge by 1" despite their re-roll and the next turn they ate the large AP2 blast and a lot of First rank, fire! Second rank, fire! decimating them severely.

My Daemon Prince managed to reach one of the Demolishers and exploaded it (but first rolling a 1 on the Daemon Weapon giving himself a wound), and the resulting explosion killed quite a few guardsmen. After that he was shot down by mass amount of fire, meltas with Bring it Down being the nail in the coffin for him. Skulltaker and his Bloodletter were also gunned down. My Khorne Marines finally made their charge at the unit that basically killed them the turn before - but not without losing their Icon to Overwatch (...), leaving only 5 Marines standing. Kharn separated from the Cultists and exploded the other Demolisher by himself. However in his turn 5 he managed to wipe me from the board, Kharn being the last one to go down to his last possible shot (which happened to be a Lascannon). So a brutal 6-0 victory for IG!

Lessons and discussion

So. One draw and two defeats. And the draw was basically played with a 400 point handicap! With this army I'm actually quite pleased with this result. What I'm not pleased with is my horrible dice rolling in the other two games. Game 2 I just couldn't make a save, and game 3 I couldn't make any important rolls at all... The dice really made those games into massacres where they could've been a lot closer. The IG game I really did expect to lose from the start. Large AP3 blasts are a horrible thing to face with a footslogging Power armour army. But had I actually made damage when I should have, and made a single charge at least I'd gone down fighting. Losing initiative also really hurt, the Berzerkers were all ready out of the game and them being one of my fastest units... had the Rhino blown up midfield they might've actually made combat eventually. But alas, it was not to be.

So what I've learnt is that playing against IG you really need long range support or a lot of speed. You simply can't let them give their orders freely, but you have to limit them. Or at least present them with several large threats at once. In this game he really got me piece by piece and never really had to worry. But I knew this was a problem with the list even when I wrote it. But this game demonstrated that it's true in practice as well! Heh. Harsh lesson!

Tyranids. That was interesting. Luckily for him he got the powers he needed and did really well on spawning. The amount of 12" shots he could put out was really enough to cripple me. Here my assault army once again suffered from no long range support. If I had some long range support those Gants were'nt scary at all. Shooting off a unit here and there and the assault troops would've handled themselves just fine - because once in combat they really slaughtered. Not being able to snipe those Tervigons made this an uphill battle as well as he could really flood the middle. Even though the scenario was in my advantage... but then again if I could actually make my saves it'd been a completely different game...

And what's up with those lazy Daemons? They really failed me today, showing up late in 2/3 games and even when they showed up they didn't do much at all. Worst choice in this list for sure! I would've been way better off spending those points in the CSM part of the army instead. With the lists in hand I wish I'd brought the Defiler... and that's a rare thing indeed these days with it being so expensive. But that'd been a lot better than those silly Bloodletters...

But a fun day never the less!

What about the results then? The Tyranids won all three games quite convincingly and took advantage of the homefield the fullest! Iron Hands beat IG in a very close 1VP difference game and thus took second place with one win and one draw. And thus IG got third with their win, and I got last with a draw.

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