Tuesday 21 January 2020

Grim Dice 40k tournament


As I have previously mentioned, I had a 40k tournament to go to last week at the Grim Dice store in Grimsby. It was 1250 points, playing three games of a modified ITC style format on 4x4 boards. I took the Fractured Truth of the Alpha Legion, my list slightly changed from the warm up game against John, featuring some newly modified minis. I ran a Battalion and a Spearhead, and everything had the mark of Slaanesh for convenience.

Chaos Lord, warlord: I am Alpharius, relic: Blade of the Hydra
Chaos Sorcerer, Prescience, Delightful Agonies
Dark Apostle, Benediction of Darkness, bonus relic: the Hydra's Wail, +2 Dark Disciples

12 Cultists
12 Cultists
10 Chaos Marines, 2 plasma guns, combi-plasma for the champion

Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought, 2 kheres assault cannons

Heavy Support:
3 Obliterators
Predator, autocannon, lascannons
Predator, all lascannons

Not a super cheese list by any stretch, but it definitely had some shooting punch. Obviously the plan was the buff up the Oblits, Endless Cacophony them, and if required use the Concealment stratagem from Faith and Fury. I hoped that in the off chance that they were taken out early, the Predators and Contemptor would give me enough firepower to deal with whatever did it!

I wasn't quite sure what to expect in terms of opponents or 'meta', having only been in the store once, but there was a good turnout - 19 players filled the room with various armies, I think only one of which was 'proper cheese' (more on this later).

First game was against Phil and his Imperial Knights. He ran them as Hawkshroud, with a Castellan, Gallant and a Warglaive.

I got a bit of luck to go first, and the Obliterators did their thing, removing the Armiger for first strike. The rest of my army was hiding from the big scary Castellan, so they piled firepower into the Gallant, reducing it significantly down to around 8 wounds.

Just in case, I also moved some disposable cultists in front of the Oblits and Concealed them. As it turned out, the Castellan pointed at my Preds instead.

The Gallant did Gallant things, charging up the middle and kicking a bunch of Chaos marines, while the volcano lance from the Dominus class knight melted the quad-las Predator. A decent punch back, but the Gallant was now injured and facing most of my army at close range...

Somewhat predictably, the Knight was destroyed (though it eventually fell to the Lord's relic chainsword to do it!). Phil was annoyed that my Hydra's Wail relic had cost him the command points he wanted to use to make it explode on a 4+, but then he went and rolled a 6 anyway! The last of the marines were killed, the Pred and the Dread took damage, and the Lord died! The Sorcerer then revealed himself to be the real warlord, and promptly took 4 mortal wounds from the explosion. I rolled for his warlord trait, and got one that granted him an extra wound, keeping him alive!

With the Castellan still standing there was still a game on, but thanks to the Alpha Legion trait and assorted prayers and psychic powers, the Obliterators survived it's fury, and over then next couple of turns finished it off. A solid win for the Alpha Legion.

Giant explosions are always fun, so this was a great start to the day, both in terms of the fun game and the result. Next up though was a familiar foe...

The Fractured Truth formed up in an abandoned industrial sector against the Emperor's Children, led by John! Yes, a rematch from our practice match, which did not go very well for me! John was running the same list as before (Lord, Sorcerer, Apostle, 2x10 Cultists, 18 Noise Marines, 2 Sonic Dreadnoughts, Lascannon Contemptor, Dreadclaw), but this time I was prepared. I'd learned my lesson, and deployed the Obliterators on the board, using Forward Operatives to potentially get them into a good position to blast away on turn one. Then John went and seized the initiative! The Noise Marines repositioned with a stratagem, threading the needle between terrain pieces and opened up on the Oblits. When the dust settled, all three were still standing...

The return fire was brutal. Between the fleshmetal guns and moral, 18 were reduced down to about 5. The las Predator also helped out by destroying a Sonic dreadnought on the flank. However, he brother in the Dreadclaw drop pod was about to come for revenge...

The new Sonic Dreadnought made a long bomb charge out of deep strike around some ruins into the Obliterators, while the pod itself charged my Contemptor and a Predator to shut them down. (Though the Contemptor managed to walk off and still shoot thanks to a new F&F stratagem.) The Oblits were punched to death, and due to the placement and the secondary objectives at play I had to get rid of the pod ASAP!

Up step a trio of potential Alphariuses, lobbing deadly accurate krak grenades, then finishing it off in melee. Elsewhere shooting was exchanged, and the cultists were getting into a big scrap on the central objective.

With all the Dreadclaw related issues, I didn't manage to deal with the dread hiding around the corner, who proceeded to run around the Contemptor and punch out my Sorcerer (though he did take a krak grenade to the sarcophagus for his troubles.) It was eventually dealt with, but was a hell of a distraction!

At the business end of the battle, the Noise Marines had removed the last of my cultists to claim the central objective, while my Contemptor finished off John's cultists. I'd racked up quite a lead, but that lascannon Contemptor was starting to pull it's weight, acounting for both my Predators.

The characters all met for a big punch up in the middle, which, sadly, my Lord lost (I think he ate a smite) before the Dark Apostle got hammered by the Emperor's Children jump Lord. At this point, I only had a squad of marines on my objective, but time was called at the start of my turn 5. The Alpha Legion hung on for another win!

We did a bit of talking through, and it's entirely possible that John might have tabled me in turn 6, which would have given him enough points for at least a draw. However if I'd hung on with one marine on the objective I'd have enough for an unassailable lead. Who knows what would have happened, but obviously the Fractured Truth had got what they came for, and fell back just in the nick of time!

So with all that, turns out I was on the top table for the last game, which was nice. However, this is where things get a bit nasty, as my opponent, Kerryn, brought some pretty heavy cheese! Crimson Fists featuring Pedro and a smattering of characters, 15 tactical marines and 12 Centurions, split into 6 Assault and 6 Devastators with heavy bolters. All 12 carrying the hurricane 'nipple' bolters. This list was like walking into a wall of bolt shells, with enough buffs going around that they could fell Knights!

I braced for impact, and deployed with the hope of going first...

I did not. The Centurions marched up, deleted both units of Cultists, the Contemptor and a Predator. Owwie!

Return fire from the Obliterators was, in spite of some relatively poor roles, actually quite effective. I think they killed 6 Centurions (though one got back up thanks to an Apothecary). Respectable, though not nearly enough, and they were cut down by the return fire.

I did eventually make it to turn three, though it was a bit pathetic, after the last Predator failed to kill any Centurions I was down to just the Dark Apostle, who promptly yelled 'yolo!' and charged into a wall of fire from the assault Centurions. An emphatic loss for the Alpha Legion.

To set the record straight, Kerryn was a perfectly courteous and fun opponent, and I'm not salty about it. He brought a hard list to a tournament and justifiably won. We had a bit of a chat after (we had plenty of time!) about what I could have done (other than wait for Centurions to get hit by the nerf bat). He suggested staying back out of their range, as their 4 inch movement is their only real weakness. I'm not sure that would have achieved much on a 4x4 board with 4 objectives to capture, other than delaying the inevitable, but it definitely makes sense as a general principle. In hindsight it might have been the right move here - just to try and claw as many points from the game. I think, with my deployment, had I got first turn I could have made a game of it, but I suspect it still would have ended in the Fist's favour. They say you learn more from a loss than a win, and I definitely learned a lot from this game.

So in the end, I came away with 2 wins and a loss (to the overall winner), so I can't really complain about that! John managed to win his last game, and annoyingly pipped me, finishing in 4th to my 5th place. More importantly of course, I had fun! It's always good to walk away from an event thinking 'I love 40k' rather than 'how much can I get for my minis on ebay?' I'd definitely go back for more.

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