Sunday 30 December 2018

Mini Battle Reports - Element Games casual gaming


Time for a special 'treat' to end the year - three mini, barely remembered battle reports in one blog entry! This is the three 'casual' games I had against regular-opponent-John at the Element Games Grand Slam that we attended in November, and the last bit of content I've got from that event.

The first two games were played on the night before the event. We both took an extra 1000 point list for casual games against randoms, but having both just come off night shifts we decided socialising was hard and just played against each other a couple of times. My list was detailed here, but in essence it was an Ork Warboss, a Weirdboy, 3 units of 20+ boyz and a Gorkanaut. This would be my first games with the new Ork book, so I was pretty excited to get use out of the new stratagems and stuff. John took a Chaos Lord, Sorcerer, 2 Helbrutes (I think they had autocannons and missile launchers), 2 Contemptors with butcher cannons and 2 decimators with storm lasers. Classic John.

Our first game was... something with objectives? Whatever it was, we lined up like this:

John went first and moved up to get shots off and cover some objectives. He killed some Orks and grabbed a central objective, in front of the Gorkanaut...

In my turn I played the ramming speed stratagem on the 'naut, and rolled that! Ugh! The boyz got in though.

They were unable to bring the dread down though, and in John's turn they were all but destroyed with his combined firepower. However, a few of them clung on...

Enough for the Green Tide stratagem! I also cast Da Jump on the Warboss, putting him in a position to charge the Lord.

The Gorkanaut waddled over to the other side of the board, looming over the dreads in that corner, while a few remaining shoota boyz held an objective.

Charges were made, but John's stompy robots made it our alive, disengaging away on their long legs. Return fire gutted the unit somewhat.

However the Gorkanaut eventually made it in, and made a right mess of one of the Helbrutes.

I remember there was an epic clash between the two warlords, both surviving the other's deadly claws against all odds. John later fell back and shot the Warboss, who managed to hang on on barely any wounds.

Eventually he charged back in to beat up the Contemptor that had escaped the Gorkanaut in turn one. I can't remember if he did kill it, but I'm pretty sure he died shortly after.

Meanwhile the Gorkanaut was very much enjoying his first outing, clearing everything for the right flank, including the other Contemptor. He is an absolute monster in melee! The game ended, with him pretty much my only model left. I'd lost on victory points, but I was happy with the carnage I'd inflicted!

Game two we set up the same armies, but using the same mission and deployment we would be using in game 1 the next morning.

We set up something like this, with me pushing forward in the centre and John's dreads spread out in a wide arc. John decided the Gorkanaut just had to die, and this time he put all of his firepower into it on turn one. It took a hell of a beating, but eventually it fell into a pile of bullet-ridden scrap.

I started moving up. I tried to use Green Tide and Da Jump to pop two units behind John's lines, but Da Jump failed. I them proceeded to fail the charge. Being unable to tie up any of the dreads, and with my hard hitting Gorkanaut dead, I conceded there and then. There was absolutely no question that unit would be destroyed in John's turn, which left me with only some shoota boyz who could either sit back and lose on objectives or charge forward/Da Jump in, and die. And actually, we were quite sleepy.

First two games with the Orks were a close loss, and a crushingly fast defeat, but I was getting a bit of a taste for how they are supposed to work and how with a few key rolls going my way I could have tied up more units, made more charges, cast more powers etc.

So, we jump ahead to the end of day 1 and we've got time for another game. We were going to play a practice game at some point with our two tournament armies, but never managed to schedule it ahead of the event, so we decided to play it halfway through, obviously. If you've been keeping track of things, you'll know that apparently this actually worked, because we both won our last two games.

I was of course running my Adeptus Mechanicus / Imperial Knight Imperium force, as seen here. Roughly speaking, it features A Ryza battalion with Tech Priest Dominus, Enginseer, 5 Rangers, 5 Vanguard, 5 Plasma Destroyers, 2 Fist Kastelans, 2 Blaster Kastelans and Datasmith, then the Knight detachment with 2 Warglaives and the Valiant.

John's list was a very tasty, very beautiful Chaos concoction. An Emperor's Children battalion with a Lord, Sorcerer, 2x10 Cultists and 18 Noise Marines, backed up by a Hellforged Spartan in a superheavy auxiliary and a Renegade Knight detachment with two 'Gallants' and a 'Warglaive'.

For context, in the final standings John and his list finished 12th (and picked up second best army) while I ended up at 45th (out of 86).

I forget what mission we played, but it was on a very pretty board! I think we both knew that, though there were objectives, this was going to be all about killing stuff.

John got first turn, moving his Knights up and targeting the Valiant with the Spartan, which in classic John style, whiffed and left the Knight largely undamaged.

My first turn, and the counter punch was brutal. The Kataphrons moved up and used the Elimination Volley/Plasma Specialists combo to supercharge their plasma culverins and blasted 21 wounds off one of the Gallants. Other shooting easily finished it off, and the Valiant combined with the Armigers critically damaged the other renegade Knight, though not quite finishing it off. This is exactly the situation the Kataphrons excel at, and they absolutely did. They subsequently bought it the next turn when the Noise Marines disembarked, but they had done their job! 

The remaining 'Gallant', the Armiger and the Spartan combined on turn two to kill off one of the Armigers (I think), and put some more wounds on the Valiant, but hilariously the big knight failed it's very short charge into the Valiant after John foolishly used his last command point to rotate ion shields in his charge phase to mitigate the punishing overwatch.

In my turn the Knights cleaned up the last of their former brothers, while the Phosphor blaster robots blasted the noise marines. I think the Valiant charged the last one to slingshot itself up the board.

At this point John pretty much just had the Spartan and cultists left. The Spartan whiffed again, the Valiant finished it off, and John called it there. A convincing victory for the Imperial forces! The servitors were absolutely savage in this game, and the Valiant did the business yet again. At this stage I'm head over heels for the thing, it's absolutely my favourite unit in this army, so it and the pilot need a name.

I've decided that she is named Lady Helena, and she rides The Defiant Flame.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Match Report - The Fiery Fowlers (Halflings) vs Nurgle


Merry Christmas everyone! (Or alternative holiday greeting if you prefer.) Now that it is officially Christmas (Noddy said so), it's time for a festive treat. And what could embody the spirit of Christmas more than a game of Blood Bowl?

Yes, that's right, Halfling heroes The Fiery Fowlers have been back in action, working up a bit of an appetite for the end of season feast. Hot off a narrow defeat to Goblins (back in October), the Fowlers were looking for their first win against a Nurgle team coached by George, formerly of the Injection Molded Marauders. George assured me that one day he would have a painted Bloodbowl team, however today was not that day. We had a brief and non-conclusive discussion about a team name for the new boys, but I think I will call them the Pallid Pugilists.

Before the game however, it was time to get into character...

That that out of the way, it was time to play some Bloodbowl! We played to 1000 TV, George's team were taking to the field with no skills, while I had just the one, Break Tackle on Treeman Rowan Greenleaf to make up the TV a bit. We rolled up all the pre-game stuff, it turns out the Halfling fans didn't want to travel because they were outnumbered more than two-to-one by the Chaos crowd. The weather result justified that, a very seasonal blizzard. Finally, the Pallid Pugilists got to receive the ball first.

Kick off with the Fiery Fowlers spreading out across their half, and the Nurgle players lining up to stomp forward. The ball was recovered easily by one of the Pestigor and the offence began...

The two tress started doing some damage, but the Pugilists pushed up the flank with the ball. The Fowlers dropped into a tentative screen to try and keep them at bay. Several Halflings fell as the Chaos players slowly pushed up. A touchdown looked inevitable... 

Time for some hero plays! Dodging left and right, Gilbert Smoothands and Randy Butternibs combined to get a spicy tackle on the ball carrier. In an unlikely turn of events (2 dice uphill) the goat fell and the ball bounced off the pitch and was thrown back in (apparently by one of the few Halfling fans) right in position for Sam Copperkettle to grab it and make his way back towards the Nurgle end zone!

Copperkettle proved much too slippery for the Nurgle players who managed to get back to block his path, though some of the other 'flings were less fortunate, finding themselves flattened under the bulk of the chaos warriors.

With time ticking down on the first half, the Fowlers ran in for an incredibly unlikely Touchdown! For the first time in history, the Fiery Fowlers were winning a game!

In the second half, the Halflings were receiving the ball. The Pallid Pugilists had kindly left some gaps for thrown 'flings to land in, but in the unusual situation of actually being ahead meant that might not be the best option.

The ball landed far on the flank, and the Fowlers quickly swarmed around it, followed shortly after by Nurgle players.

As it happened, the tree-powered touchdown plan went out the window pretty quick as the Nurgle team managed to chop down the Treemen and keep them on the floor for most of the half. Their focus on the big guys did let the little ones pick up the ball and put a lot of (admittedly very small) bodies between it and the opposition.

With time ticking away, the Halfings danced away from the slow moving, disturbingly smelly noose that was closing around them. They just needed to hold on a little longer...

Things started to get messy as the bloated warriors started to throw their considerable weight around. Having fowled one of the Trees off the pitch, the Pugilists were able to commit even more players to the squeeze onto the ball carrier. One of the rotters got himself into position to shamble in for the draw if the Halflings should drop the ball.

It got tighter and tighter, but the plucky Halflings were able to dodge and dive around the Nurgle tackles and as the ref was getting ready to blow his whistle, they found an opening to rush the ball back down the pitch to safety. The whistle blew and Piggy Beefteeth's men celebrated their first victory! The end of match feast never tasted so sweet!

An interesting game for sure. The lack of skills on the basic Nurgle players was really their downfall here, that and some good rolls for me. So many times George got two or three dice tackles and was unable to roll a defender down result, with dodge ignoring the stumbles and both down being an issue without block on the hard hitters. The ability to move through all the tackle zones with Stunties meant that George could not make a truly safe cage in the first half, opening him up for my insane hero play. This was probably about the best match up I could have hoped for with the 'flings, but it still did require some good luck to pull off that win. But I'll take it!

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Warhammer Age Of Sigmar Champions


Recently, while visiting family in south Devon, I had the chance to pop in to Taylored Games in Kingsbridge. While I was there, they had a nice man called Dave from PlayFusion doing intro games for Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions, so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm not really into card games these days (I used to play a bit of Magic back in the late nineties) but it looked quite interesting.

As you can see, coming from the company that makes the game, Dave brought all the goodies. Game mats, all the starter decks (in sleeves) and some freebie badges and the like. I watched a bit of a game in progress, and it looked very complex, but I could tell there were a lot of interesting mechanics at play. Four lanes on the board, each of which occupied by a titular champion, the units, spells or abilities they control and any 'blessings' they have unlocked. Most of the cards have numbers on the corners, and are turned anti-clockwise as the game progresses, giving the impression of, for instance, a unit of warriors being worn down by casualties or a spell being charged up by a chanting shaman.

I got my chance to play Dave shortly after, and notably before I could work out what was going on. Helpfully Dave was very... helpful. I chose to play the Destruction deck - made of of Orruks, aka copyrightable Orcs. Dave lined up the Death deck, with spooky vampires and the like. A bit more of an explanation from Dave came next. The objective is to reduce your opponent to 0 health (represented by the numbers around the edge of the mat.) To do this you deal damage from units, abilities, spells etc. There are two types of Champions, ones that can deploy units, and ones that can cast spells. And ones that can do both, like those vampires. Units, spells and the like rotate at the start of each turn, applying the effects on the card to the value of the number in the now upper left corner. The champion cards can also rotate when they meet certain requirements (e.g. cast a spell, deploy a unit, deal damage etc), and if they manage to rotate a full 360 they gain one of the four randomly placed blessings, which have powerful effects like dealing lots of damage or boosting units.

This was a lot to take in, but I could already see how different strategies might arise. Go all in with early damage, or build towards a strong late game by activating multiple blessings? Spam units, abilities or spells, or have an even mix?

Anyway, we played the game. Turns out the Orruks like to put lots of units out onto the field and buff them with abilities and by stacking units on top of each other to swarm the opponent, an ability not common in the other decks. The undead however would be able to regenerate lots of units and the player health over the game. This all felt very thematically appropriate. I also found the rotation mechanic allowed for clever counter play, as you can, to a certain extent, tell what is coming up over the next few turns. A good example is the Arcane Bolt spell, while does nothing for the first two turns, then deals a massive 7 damage.

And in the end, probably more by luck than judgement, I was able to finish off Dave with that very spell. I think it was quite a long game, we both managed a couple of Blessings, and thanks to various combinations of cards we were scrapping around with less than half health for a while. It felt quite tense towards the end, and definitely gave me the impression that the game was designed with the intention of there being tight finishes.

After the first game I sat down opposite Adam, one half of Taylored Games, and played the Order (Stormcast) deck against Chaos (mostly khorne). This turned out to be a bit of a nail biter, with both of us clinging on with low health for some time. In the end Adam emerged victorious, as my last ditch attempt to block some damage fell apart due to a key unit not sharing the Stormcast keyword. It was very entertaining though!

In the end, I grabbed myself some sweet loot, picking an appropriate badge in light of my victory. I then remembered to take photos (which is why all the shots above are of the set up rather than the game itself in play), which is when Dave revealed to me another cool feature of the game. It turns out each physical card is unique, and by scanning them with a smart phone you can 'own' the card in the app as well as in real life. So if you play on the app you can add your real cards to your online collection. I've no idea if this is a completely unique thing or if other card games do it (remember, last similar experience was in the previous millennium) but it impressed me.

I definitely had fun with the experience, and as a result, once I got home I downloaded the app (free but with in app purchases as you might expect) and had a go. I'm not sure if I'll keep playing it, but I could see myself getting into it if I find a pocket of players about and get myself some cards. If you are into this sort of thing, I'd definitely recommend it. It seems like it has a lot more depth to it than I remember from other games or similar apps, beyond just learning what all the cards do. Basically I liked it, and I don't normally like this sort of thing. Thumbs up.

Friday 14 December 2018

Element Games Grand Slam Results, Thoughts and Conclusions


It's been a few weeks now since the Element Games Grand Slam 2018 40K event, and I figured I'd write some of my concluding thoughts. First of all, I had a great time! The event was very smoothly run, even down to the staggered arrival of pizzas. All five of my opponents were sporting and entertaining to play, and there were some very pretty armies to look at. The venue is nice, and appropriate amounts of painted scenery was provided. Overall it was a good experience, even for a bit of a fluffy bunny like me. I'd definitely go back.

To recap a little. This is the list I took. My games were, in order, against Chaos, Aeldari, Chaos, Adeptus Astartes and Chaos. (Links provided). I scored 48 out of a maximum 100 tournament points, and I was aiming for 'roughly in the middle'. John on the other hand wasn't doing the maths as we went along, but he had 4 wins and 1 loss.

Before the results though, there was also a best army competition. As mentioned, there were some good looking armies out there, and mine didn't make the cut. Deservedly John was amongst the 8 nominated however, and he ended up picking up second place. (And here's the bit where I try to embed tweets from Element Games, apologies in advance if I screwed it up.)

So now, to the business end of things. The results came out. I came 45th out of 86. Pretty happy with that. John ended up sitting at 12th, which I'm sure he was very happy with, given that he was preparing himself for 5 tablings after the first game! (Regular readers may not be at all surprised by this.) When the dust settled, there were two players on the maximum 100 tournament points, so the winner was determined by clever maths. Congratulations to Josh Roberts (if, for some reason, he is reading this) who eventually topped the table. Amusingly, Josh was John's first opponent, so I guess there are bragging rights in being able to say the only person who beat him was the one who won the whole thing. It's also worth noting that the top three positions were all Aeldari armies, though Imperium, Chaos, Tau and Orks all made it into the top 10. Lots of soup everywhere, obviously, but all things considered, a good mix of armies making it to the top.

I'm pleased with how my army worked in the end. I came in thinking it would be somewhat held back by the narrative restrictions I impose upon myself, and while yes, it definitely could have been more optimised, it did very well for itself. I expected to face more gunlines, but, possibly because of the amount of large, line of sight blocking terrain, the armies I faced were a bit more varied and weren't able to just delete me on turn one.

The hero for me was definitely the Valiant. Having not had chance to field it before the event, I was half expecting it to be a disappointment, but it absolutely exceeded that! I think it made it to turn 4 or 5 in every game, even surviving a couple of them. The Thundercoil Harpoon was very unreliable, but when it hit, wow, was that satisfying. The real damage came from the Conflagration cannon though, which made it a big threat to pretty much anything. I was also pleased with my choice not to make it the warlord, and instead spend command points at the start of each game to equip it with whatever relic or warlord traits seemed useful. Ion Bulwark obviously saw some use, but I think I got the most out of the Armour of Sainted Ion, which makes low ap weapons almost entirely irrelevant and is very helpful in melee. Useful for a unit you are going to just shove out in front of your opponent's whole army. The Valiant has definitely earnt his or herself a name. Any suggestions?

The Kataphron Destroyers also impressed, again, against my expectations. Being infantry, the ability to move through walls was exceptionally useful in staying out of line of sight for turn one, only to move out and blast away with the Plasma Specialists stratagem. I think perhaps their status as 'trash' units on the internet meant that they came as a bit of a surprise to some of my opponents, who missed the chance to target them early before they could do serious damage. Now that they are significantly cheaper as of chapter approved, they will be a lot easier to slot in. We might see a few more orange AdMech armies in future.

The Kastelan robots proved exceptionally tough, but in terms of damage output they weren't all that impressive. The shooty ones obviously did the business on occasion they were presented with a prime target, but frequently they were unable to get into the best positions or were tied up and unable to do anything. The fist ones were an expected disappointment, the only unit to not really achieve anything all weekend. Overall a good effort all round from the rest of the list. The did me proud.

Well that's about it. Again, I had a great weekend, thanks to everyone involved! The Element Games team run a tight ship. I'd definitely recommend future events to anyone vaguely interested. And that's the end of my EGGS related content! Or is it?

Thursday 13 December 2018

Video Battle Report with SorcererDave - Tyranids vs Astra Militarum


Battle of Morgan’s Reach part 3 is up. Once again, SorcererDave has conjured up a bit of magic. It’s another narrative game, the Blitz mission with a few tweaks here and there. The Cadian 404th’s tanks go up against the big bugs of Hive Fleet Goliath.

As before, this is part 3, so there are two more to watch first if you don’t like a bit of a spoiler. Part 1 here. Part 2 here.


I really enjoyed playing this one, but I’m really excited to play out the finale. I think it’s going to be pretty special!

Monday 10 December 2018

EGGS Game 5 - Imperium vs Chaos


Here's the fifth of my reports from the Element Games Grand Slam 2018 40k event that I attended with regular opponent John recently. I took this list. In case you don't want to follow the link, I took a mixed Imperium force with an Adeptus Mechanicus battalion and an Imperial Knight super heavy detachment.

HQ: Tech-priest Dominus, Tech-priest Enginseer
Troops: 5 Vanguard, 5 Rangers, 5 Plasma Destroyers
Elites: Cybernetica Datasmith
Heavy Support: 2 Phosphor blaster Kastelans, 2 Fist Kastelans

Lord of War: 2 Armiger Warglaives, Knight Valiant

I apologise for poor photos, lack of details and any mistakes that pop up over these reports. As usual I just took some pictures and am relying on my brain for the rest, and there was lots of stuff that went into my brain over the weekend.

Game 5, I came up against Guy and his cool purple nurgle themed Chaos force. When I brought my army over he sighed a bit at the thought of 'another gunline', to which I assured him this was at least a gunline that would run up and try and kick him in the face as well. His list was something like:

Death Guard
HQ: 2 Daemon Princes
Troops: 3x10 Cultists
Fast attack: 3 Bloat Drones with plague spitters (or 'bin juice guns' as Guy put it)
Heavy Support: 3 Plagueburst Crawlers with plague spitters

HQ: Epidemius, Poxbringer
Troops: 2x3 Nurgling swarms

Renegade Knights
Lord of War: 2 Helverins

I think Guy was a bit up against it here. He told me his list was built with the assumption that there would be Orks everywhere so he didn't have as much anti-tank stuff as it turned out he'd need. His army looked pretty tough and had some good damage output but with little to really hurt my Knights or Robots. I definitely didn't think this would be an easy game, but I knew Guy would have some tough choices. The missions were Retrieval and Targets of Opportunity, so the Maelstrom could be especially erratic.

I got first turn, and as was becoming standard procedure the Valiant charged up the middle, and large chunks of the army moved up with it. I'd deliberately put the Kataphron Destroyers out of line of sight of the scary 3 damage autocannons of the Renegade Armigers. I think I drew the big game hunter card, so I pointed the Plasmas, Meltas and whatever else I could find at the bloat drones. One fell, and another was damaged, plus some of the screening cultists were killed. (Hilariously, Guy removed the whole squad out of habit, and had to place some back on the table after realising they could actually pass the leadership test at the end of the turn - which they did.)

First turn for the nurgle force, and the remaining drones and non-warlord Prince charge up the middle to get at my fist robots. Elsewhere the Armigers lined up shots on the shooty Kastelans, but thanks to Aegis Protocols and Shroudpsalm, only one hit actually did damage (which my Datasmith insultingly fixed in my turn). In the fight phase the drones and Prince smashed one of the robots, but one still survived to punch (fairly ineffectually) back. 

Time to go in for the kill on the drones/prince. I drew Area Denial and they were the only things standing there (once the remaining cultists had been removed). I sent one of the Armigers over to a corner to try and clear cultists off an objective they were defending, while the other teamed up with the Valiant to squash the stuff in the middle. The Destroyers overcharged and popped the Plasma Specialists stratagem to blast one of the crawlers to bits. Shooting killed one drone and nearly got the other. In the stompy phase, the Armiger failed to finish off the drone while the Valiant did a jig on the prince, but thanks to suppurating plate he survived. 

At the end of the turn I actually spent command points to keep Area Denial in my hand for more points. First time for everything!

Guy's turn 2, and the Helverins decided to pick on a softer target. One of them shot the Destroyers and killed off 3 of them, putting them out of sight from the other one, forcing it to shoot elsewhere. The Robots and Armigers took a bit of damage, but the prince stayed in combat with the Valiant. His talons tore some more wounds off it, and thanks to casting Miasma of Pestilence, and that suppurating plate again, he survived his kicking once again!

Turn 3. I threw a lot of firepower at the remaining drone, just about managing to finish it off. More shooting put some damage on the Armigers, but importantly the prince finally fell to the Conflagration cannon. The Valiant was now free to run over and mess with the nurgle castle.

Guy popped the nurglings down in the corners of my deployment zone to threaten the objectives, but I thoroughly scrubbed them off eventually with Radium carbines and Phosphor blasters. I also had an Armiger on the far corner objective in his deployment zone, so I was controlling three of the 4 eternal war objectives while still claiming Maelstrom points and blocking in his movement significantly.

Getting up close and personal, the Valiant starting shooting and kicking all over the place, splitting fire, taking hits, being awesome.

Eventually both Armigers fell, along with a crawler after a successful Harpooning. Guy was far behind on points but was going for glory, determined to kill the Valiant! He threw his warlord in, along with all the firepower he could muster. The Valiant stood defiant for a while, kicking the prince to death and surviving a hit from the Poxbringer's sword with a double six on the Taranis 'feel no pain' saves, before finally falling to a smite. Given that this was pretty much the end of the game and the event, and I was far ahead on points, and because it would be really cool, I spent the command points to get it to explode, doing loads of damage and killing the poor Enginseer once again. (I like to think the Knight just fell backwards and crushed him.)

We counted up points at the end but it was a crushing victory to me, 20-0 in tournament points. Not a forgone conclusion, but not a big surprise either, especially as I was rolling pretty hot and Guy's dice were only really interested in keeping that Daemon Prince alive. It was definitely a fun game for me, and I hope Guy had a laugh as well. In the end I put him down as my most sporting opponent. I think I could have justifiably made a case for any of my opponents, but I did especially like that he took the loss in his stride and just wanted to kill the big thing at the end.

Now that I had ended the event on a high note, I checked on John. Turns out he'd just tabled his last opponent, with Imperial soup. Once again his Noise Marines made short work of some flimsy humans. With our final results, we eagerly awaited the overall standings. I was pretty sure I'd got to roughly the middle, and it would be interesting to see just how high John had climbed after his round 1 mauling.

Sunday 2 December 2018

EGGS Game 4 - Imperium vs Adeptus Astartes


Here's the forth of my reports from the Element Games Grand Slam 2018 40k event that I attended with regular opponent John recently. I took this list. In case you don't want to follow the link, I took a mixed Imperium force with an Adeptus Mechanicus battalion and an Imperial Knight super heavy detachment.

HQ: Tech-priest Dominus, Tech-priest Enginseer
Troops: 5 Vanguard, 5 Rangers, 5 Plasma Destroyers
Elites: Cybernetica Datasmith
Heavy Support: 2 Phosphor blaster Kastelans, 2 Fist Kastelans

Lord of War: 2 Armiger Warglaives, Knight Valiant

I apologise for poor photos, lack of details and any mistakes that pop up over these reports. As usual I just took some pictures and am relying on my brain for the rest, and there was lots of stuff that went into my brain over the weekend.

Game 4. Day 2. With 2 Primarchs already killed, I ran into John (not the regular one) with Guilliman led Howling Griffon Primaris marines. A chance for the hat-trick! His list was something like...

HQ: Jump pack/thunder hammer Captain, Primaris Librarian
Troops: 3x5 Intercessors
Elites: Primaris Apothecary, Primaris Ancient
Fast Attack: 3 Inceptors aka Jumpy dudes
Heavy Support: 2x5 Hellblasters
Lord of War: Guilliman, Spartan

I think we both knew this looked like a favorable match up for me. I had lots of high damage, high AP weapons that the Primaris would not like one bit. The missions were Resupply Drop and Tactical Escalation.

As an aside, this was a very orange game!

John got first turn, and mostly spent it advancing into position. Shots from the Spartan bounced off Aegis/Shroudpsalm robots, dealing 3 wounds to me and 3 mortal wounds bounced back to him. Some marines, including the Librarian, had moved into a close position behind the middle brown wall, while the rest formed a firing line.

In response, I moved up and made sure my deployment zone was pretty much screened out from the smash captain and jumpy dudes. The Valiant wasn't in range with most of it's weapons, but the rest of my force fired with deadly effect. Many marines were killed, while both Armigers got hits off on the Spartan, dropping it right down to about 6 wounds.

Time for heroes from the Howling Griffons. The Librarian and his one remaining Intercessor buddy ran out in front of the Knights and cast Null Zone. Shooting eventually took down the Armiger, some good saves forcing John to fire all the lascannons from the Spartan at it, just to make sure. The Jumpy dudes also found a spot to land and heavy boltered the Rangers into a fine mist. The Valiant, being a character due to spending command points at the start, heroically intervened into the Librarian. The mighty psyker struck the Knight twice with his force sword, once before, and once after getting kicked in the head.

More firepower from my force blasted away, killing off the recently arrived Inceptors and gutting most of the remaining Primaris squads. Thanks to the ancient, the Hellblasters proved to be more deadly in my turn than in John's, putting wounds on the Armiger and killing one of the Kataphrons. The remaining Warglaive charged in and killed the Apothecary.

With few models left, John dropped the smash captain in for a heroic charge on the Valiant, while Guilliman picked up some maelstrom points by finishing off the Armiger. He just about survived the overwatch and swung away with the Thunder hammer. The Valiant stood on him, but with his last gasps of air, he fought one more time, taking out the Dominus class! I had however saved plenty of command points for this, and thanks to 'Our Darkest Hour', it struggled back up to it's feet!

At this stage we were both picking up Maelstrom points, but with the Eternal War objectives revealed on turn 3 and the board control I had, it looked like I was going to be firmly in the lead. I pushed forward with the Valiant and Kastelans, looking to land a knock out blow. Many Marines fell, and the Valiant took out the Spartan with the Thundercoil harpoon.

Guilliman decided he had had enough of the Valiant, and shot the last wounds off it with his gauntlet. I used Nobel Sacrifice to get it to explode, but sadly it did minimal damage to the Primarch (though it did kill off the Tech-priest Enginseer who had been running after it.) Bobby G then went over to slice the last fist robot in half as well.

The Ancient soon fell, leaving just Guilliman alive for John. He was however still picking up the odd point here and there. To avoid being tabled, and giving me an automatic 20-0 victory, Guilliman hid behind a wall for the remaining turns. I was unable to entice him out and kill him, which gave me a solid, if not complete victory, 15-5. Courage and Honour indeed!

We had plenty of time left, so we played out what would have happened, if Bobby G had charged out on turn 7 for a glorious stab and grabbing some more victory points. It turned out he would have killed my shooting robots and grabbed an objective, before being shot down by Kataphrons. He then would have got back up again, and survived. John worked out that had that all happened, he probably would have scored enough points to draw the game. I think without the benefit of hindsight, he made the right choice though, it would have been a big risk to make that play when it was 'live'. Sadly my dream of 3 dead primarchs was denied either way, but a win is a win, and I happily took the 15 points.

On another table John (the regular opponent one) was playing out an epic Chaos vs Chaos clash, where his Noise Marines had done a number on an awful lot of cultists. The game ended when his opponent, with just Abaddon left on one wound, called that he would kill himself with his daemon sword. And he did. We laughed about that one all day, but importantly that gave John 20 points and put him well up the leaderboard for the final game. I was still pretty far down, but my scored were still progressing positively, and I knew that a solid victory in the last game would put me comfortably mid table.