Last weekend I attended the ‘Seeds of Destruction 3’ tournament held by the Vale Renegades at the excellent Firestorm Games here in Cardiff. This was an ITC event (my first ever – eeeek!) following the ITC format of 5 games over two days using modified missions customised for the event – ‘Power Struggle’, ‘The Relic’, ‘Lead from the Front’, Sabotage’ and ‘Warzone’.
The full mission pack can be found here, but in summary there were three elements of scoring in each mission – Primary (objectives), Secondary (tasks – i.e. point for vehicles killed, etc) and Critical (a difficult task, usually holding all the objectives for a turn). I decided to take my T’au once more, the list for which can be found here.
Game 1: Harlequins/Aeldari/Drukhari
First up was Lee and his Edlar soup. As far as Eldar went, this was quite a fluffy list based mostly on speed, -1 to hit vehicles, close combat prowess (wasted on T’au!) and some decent fire power mixed in. His list was:
HQ 1- Archon, Husk blade, splinter pistol – Warlord
HQ 2- Archon, Husk blade, splinter pistol
TR1, Sybarite splinter rifle, 3x Kabalites splinter rifle, kabalite blaster
TR2, Sybarite splinter rifle, 3x Kabalites splinter rifle, kabalite blaster
TR3, Sybarite splinter rifle, 3x Kabalites splinter rifle, kabalite blaster
FL1, Razorwing jet fighter, 2x disintegrator cannons, Razorwing missiles, twin splinter rifle
FL2, Razorwing jet fighter, 2x disintegrator cannons, Razorwing missiles, twin splinter rifle
DT1, Venom, 2x splinter rifle, Blade vanes
DT2, Venom, 2x splinter rifle, Blade vanes
DT3, Venom, 2x splinter rifle, Blade vanes
Secondary battalion Harlequins Masque of the soaring spite
HQ1, Shadow seer, mist stave, shuriken pistol
HQ2, Troupe Master, Neuro disruptor, harlequins caress, plasma grenades
TR1, 5x players, 5x fusion pistols, 5x harlequins blades
TR2, 5x players, 5x fusion pistols, 5x harlequins blades
TR3, 9x players, 9x shuriken pistols, 9x harlequins blades
EL1 Death jester, Shreiker cannon
EL2 Death jester, Shreiker cannon
EL3, Solitaire, harlequins caress, harlequins kiss
DT1, Starweaver, 2x shuriken cannons
DT2, Starweaver, 2x shuriken cannons
Tertiary Patrol detachment Craftworld Eldar Alaitoc
HQ1, Farseer skyrunner, shuriken pistol, twin shuriken catapult, singing spear
HQ2, Warlock skyrunner, shuriken pistol, twin shuriken catapult, singing spear
TR1, 5x rangers, 5x ranger long rifle, 5x shuriken pistols
The mission was ‘Power Struggle’, which involved placing two objectives in the centre of the empty quarters and one in our own deployment zones.
Lee set up with his transports full to bursting, hugging the LoS blocking terrain as best he could
Knowing he was going to try and get into combat with me asap, I decided to castle up in the corner with everything except the stealth suits, which I infiltrated onto the objectives in the neutral zones.
Lee won the roll off and I failed to seize. His troops surged forward, quickly dispatching the stealth teams and clearing away some of the fire warrior screen.
I reacted by sending out the y’vahra to meet the threat, who immediately melted two venoms into slag. I also popped kauyon on the coldstar commander for the first time (normally opting for monk’ta to zip off an kill something valuable) to give the castle rerolls to hit, putting some hurt on the flyers and a few of the other inbound -1 to hit venoms. Surprised by how well this worked, I made a mental note to employ it in future games!
Having seen the power of the y’vahra, Lee immediately send the flyers after the big fella, but the y-tide weathered the shooting and was kept alive by the drones. The venoms continued their advance, erasing more of the fire warrior screen and pathfinders. The rangers also continued to target the fireblade with their sniper rifles.
The y’vahra continued where he left off, destroying a flyer and severely damaging the other. Unfortunately the downed fighter exploded, causing far more damage to my troops than his. Robbed of marker light support, the burstide and railsides fire also faltered in the face of the -1 to hit, only managing to down one venom between then.
The shadow seer and solitaire finally made it into the T’au lines, decimating the remaining troops and the missileside, while the riptide went down to some range shooting from the venoms and surviving flyer.
I replied by taking the shadow seer and solitaire down in shooting, as well as the fleeing flyer, but time ran out and the game came to a close after only three turns – mostly my fault as I was very rusty on the rules and kept having to check my codex! As it was Lee had been consistently scoring his primaries to win handsomely, while I just pipped him on the secondaries.
Final score was 18-16 win for the Eldar – a close result and a great game against a fun opponent, and despite the loss I did take 9 missions points to get me going on the score board.
Game 2: Ultramarines
Second up was Adam and his Ultramarines. His list had a couple of super heavies in it that I had never faced before (including Rowboat Girlyman) as well as some psychic buffing and a big devastator squad, all presumably looking to maximizse the reroll bubble give by the Primarch. The full list was:
Battalion Detachment: Utramarines
HQ1: Techmarine on Bike, Combi-melta, chainsword
HQ2: Space Marine Captain with Jumpack and plasma pistol, Power Sword
Troop 1: 10 Scouts squad, 9 sniper rifles, Bolter
Troop 2: 5 Scouts squad, bolters
Troop 3: 5 Scouts squad, bolters
Fast Attack 1: 3 Inceptor Squad, 6 Plasma Exterminators
Heavy Support 1: 6 Devastator Squad, 2 Heavy bolters, 2 Lascannons
Dedicated Transport 1: Razorback, Storm Bolter, Twin Assault Cannon
Super Heavy Auxillary Detachment: Ultramarines
Lord of War 1: Roboute Guilliman (warlord)
Super Heavy Auxillary Detachment: Ultramarines
Relic Spartan Assault Tank, 2 quad lascannons, twin heavy bolte, Heavy Flamer
Mission was ‘the Relic’ with usual rules but an extra objective in each player’s half, Hammer and Anvil deployment. I castled up around my objective, putting three squads of fire warriors forward with the fireblade to go after the relic. Y’vahra was safely tucked behind some LoS blocking terrain.
Adam hid his tanks as best he could, and infiltrated his scout blob onto the relic itself (I had meant to do it with my stealth teams but forgot, hence why they were hidden to the sides). His objective was also hidden behind the terrain.
Adam won the roll off and I failed to seize. He surged forward to protect his scouts, while all fire was directed against my front blob of fire warriors, who were decimated along with the Fireblade
I responded by moving the y’vahra up, who put 15 wounds on the Spartan all on his own! Kauyon was popped again, as well as CNC node on the burstide, and the resultant firepower was disgusting. The scouts melted under the weight of pulse rounds, while the razor back fared no better and the devastators were depleted.
The captain picked up the relic and tried to make a run for it, while the other remaining troops held their ground
However, the y’vahra finished off the Spartan, which duly exploded it catastrophic style, dishing out a lot of damage to the Ultramarines already meager numbers.
The T’au closed in for the kill, with the captain being pursued and eventually slain by the coldstar, Y’vahra and stealth team
While Bobby Gman made a solo charge on the T’au lines…
…but succumbed to T’au overwatch.
Final result was a tabling for the Ultramarines – the first time I have ever done that in a competitive game – and a 31-3 score line, translating into the maximum 20 mission points for me.
Despite the initial elation at winning, I felt really bad about this – it was a very bad matchup for my opponent, made all the worse by some atrocious roles and appalling luck (the Spartan exploding and causing so much damage probably being the worst case of this). It is also only now while writing that I realise Adam forgot to bring in his inceptors, compounding the situation even further.
That said, Adam took it well and was a good sport throughout the game, and so I wished him luck and moved on to game three.
Game 3: Tyranids
Next up was Patrick and his Nids. As we looked over our lists, it quickly became apparent that whoever got first turn was probably going to win. His list relied on getting a massive blob of Genestealers across the board and into the enemy first turn (using advance & shoot / double move shenanigans) while my list had the potential to wipe his stealers off the battlefield in a single round of shooting. Having not got first turn yet, I felt my luck had to change in a timely fashion! His list was:
Battalion Detachment, Hive Fleet Kraken
HQ1: Hive Tyrant, Wings, Monstrous Rending Claws, Two Devourers with Brainleech Worms, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, CHAMELEONIC MUTATION, WARLORD
HQ2: Hive Tyrant, Wings, Monstrous Rending Claws, Two Devourers with Brainleech Worms, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs
HQ3: Hive Tyrant, Wings, Monstrous Rending Claws, Two Devourers with Brainleech Worms, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs
Troop1: 20 Genestealers, 20xRending Claws, 20xSything Talons,5x Acid Maws
Troop2: 20 Genestealers, 20xRending Claws, 20xSything Talons,5x Acid Maws
Troop3: 13 Termagaunts, 13xFleshborer
Elite1: 6 Hiveguard, 6x Impaler cannon
Battalion, Hive Fleet Kraken
HQ1: The Swarmlord
Troop1: 3 Ripper Swarms, 3 Claws and teeth
Troop2: 3 Ripper Swarms, 3 Claws and teeth
Troop3: 3 Ripper
Mission was “lead from the front’, with four objectives set up in the middle fo each table quarter. Dawn of war deployment meant we both started with the potential to hold two each. I castled up once more in one corner, although on reflection this was a bad idea.
My thinking was to maximise my overwatch for when I was charged, making the most of ‘for the greater good’, but really all it did was make me vulnerable to some of the tyranid close combat gimmicks. Stealth teams infiltrated onto the extreme right flank, well away from the action.
Patrick blobbed up directly ahead of me, with rippers in reserves.
So the fateful roll came, and once more I lost the roll off. I also failed to seize, and girded my loins for what was going to be some serious butthurt.
The Genestealer blob and the hive mind death star surged forward. It was about now that I wished I had gone for Tau sept and that sweet 5+ overwatch…
And then things went a bit nuts. Shooting from the hive mind blob and hive guard lurking at the back of the board cleared away most of my fire warrior screen (seriously, how good is the hive guard shooting?! Knocks spots of T’au… literally).
Then the Genestealer blob rolled a six to advance, moved again (including the 6 advance), and then multi-charged just about everything. They munched their way through a bunch of stuff, consolidated into more, and then attacked again (some stratagem?), munching up yet more tasty blue dudes before consolidating into yet more units.
The devastation was complete, leaving me with this…
The tyranids had ripped the heart out of my force, and I very much considered conceding the game there and then (as it was late, and being the last of three games I was knackered), but I didn’t want to be a poor sport and so carried on, hopefully of scraping together a few missions points as long as I didn’t get tabled.
The y’vahra whiffed his lines and failed to take down a hive tyrant, while the Genestealer blob was reduced but not by much. Without his drones for protection, the y’vahra was bought low in the next turn by shooting alone, and the Genestealers continued their rampage.
I backed the riptide into the corner, hoping to draw the enemy focus onto him rather than the stealth suits lurking on the other flank hoping to keep me in the game.
They went after the riptide en mass, but somehow he survived on one wound to drag the fight out another turn!
He then fell back, popped stim injectors and finishing the job the y’vahra had started and killing the wounded hive tyrant more a moral victory at least!
But was eventually bought low
Leaving my stealth suits to battle it out on the flank with the rippers.
I avoided being tabled, but the margin of victory was massive (43-8) and so I picked up no mission points for my efforts, Patrick walking away with the maximum 20.
I had feared that my previous good result might put me up with some of the tougher list in attendance and so it came to be. To be honest though, I just got my set up all wrong. In hindsight I should not have castled up at all, but rather spread out and minimised the amount of units the Genestealers could engage with. If I was inclined to castle up, I should at least have made the y’vahra the centre of my castle to cover everyone with his flamer.
End of Day 1
A bitter pill to end the day on, but at least I took comfort from the knowledge that a heavy defeat should put me back down amongst the more genteel competitors. I also shouldn’t be too despondent, as the first result was almost a draw and scored me some points, while the second game tabling was totally unexpected.
A good night rest and some proper food would have me raring to go for day two!