The second day of the tournment loomed, and after a good night’s sleep (well, as good as you can get with two young kids) and a nourishing breakfast inside me (cheerios and bacon sandwich, breakfast of champions!) I was ready to take on the world and their dog, just so long as it was confined to the theatre of toy soldiers and the dog was a cockapoo or smaller. And yes, it is a real breed of dog.
With the first day having bought a mixed bag of results, I was happy to find myself back in the lower half of the draw and well away from the ‘pros’ on the higher tables. Before the games started however, I had a bit of time to snap a few of the other armies set up ready for the days coming battle.
Game 4: Tyranids
A cold shiver went down my spine when I saw that I would be up against tyranids again. With the previous day’s butchery still fresh in my mind, I feared the worst, although looking at the list in more detail assured me that it would not be a repeat of the first turn roll off for the win. Alex’s list was very fluffy, with a focus on carnifexes and tyranids warriors – not a winged tyrant or Genestealer in sight! His list was:
Battalion Detachment, Hive Fleet Behemoth
HQ1: Old One Eye – Warlord
HQ2: Tyranid Prime, pair of boneswords, rending claws, flesh hooks, adrenal glands
TR1: 3 Tyranid Warriors, 3x rending claws, 2x death spitters, barbed strangler, 3x adrenal glands
TR2: 3 Tyranid Warriors, 3x rending claws, 2x death spitters, barbed strangler, 3x adrenal glands
TR3: 3 Tyranid Warriors, 3x rending claws, 2x death spitters, barbed strangler, 3x adrenal glands
EL1: 3 Venomthropes
HS1: Trygon, toxinspike tail, adrenal glands, colossal scything talons, toxin sacs
Battalion Detachment, Hive Fleet Behemoth
TR1: 3 Tyranid Warriors, 3x rending claws, 2x death spitters, venom cannon, 3x adrenal glands
TR2: 3 Tyranid Warriors, 3x rending claws, 2x death spitters, venom cannon, 3x adrenal glands
TR3: 3 Tyranid Warriors, 2x pair of boneswords, rending claws, 2x pair of spinefists, barbed strangler, 3x adrenal glands
HS1: 3 Carnifex, x3 pair of monstrous scything talons, x3 adrenal glands, x3 sporecysts
Supreme Command Detachment, Genestealer Cults
HQ1: Magus, force stave, autopistol
HQ3: Abominant, rending claws, power sledgehammer
HQ3: Primus, bonesword, needle pistol, toxin injector claw
EL1: 7 Aberrants, 2x power pick, 4x power hammer, hypermorph tail (Aberrant hypermorph), heavy improvised weapon ( Aberrant hypermorph), 7x rending claws
Mission was ‘Sabotage’, with each player placing one objective in their DZ and another in their half of the table. Each objective placed by your opponent can be sabotaged at the end of a player turn, but can also be defused by your opponent.
I castled up on my objective with everything bar the Y’Vahra (which hid behind some terrain in the middle) and a clutch of fire warriors with the Fireblade, who set up ready to grab the objective set in my half of the board. Stealth suits infiltrated around the flanks, with both drone squads in deep strike.
Alex set up in an around his objective behind the terrain, doing well to keep everything out of sight of my caste’s guns. Cultist and Trygon were in reserve.
So the first turn roll of came, and low and behold I actually won! However, my joy was short lived as Alex’s nids were well hidden and gave me very little in the way of targets. I did however use a stratagem I had never used before – the orbital ion beam – to take full advantage of his closely packed troops, dishing out about 10 mortal wounds in total spread across a couple of units – nice! Fire warriors pushed up to claim objective, while the Y’Vahra went up into orbit to deep strike down in the next turn.
Alex’s turn and the gribbly horde began spilling out of cover and into the field of battle. The carnifexes and old one eye headed for my gunline, reducing the stealth team to one on the way, while the tyranid warriors poured towards the other flank’s objective, once again reducing the stealth team to one.
The time for action had come, and the coldstar shot forward to melt Old One Eye into jelly. The riptide and broadsides also managed to bring down one of the other fex’s between them. The Y’Vahra dropped in and flamed the venomthropes, removing the -1 to hit from the tyranid warrior blob, allowing the fire warriors to put some damage on them.
The Trygon came up and tried to put pressure on the fire warriors, but failed his charge along with the warriors he bought in with him, while the other blob of warriors tired to take down the Y’Vahra but only managed a few wounds and drones to be peeled off. The carnifexes did manage to take out the coldstar, but only after losing one more of their number to overwatch.
After that the game became one of cat and mouse – my castle dispatched the last threats on the right flank, while the Y’Vahra hopped around the left flank trying to shield the fire warriors holding the objective. The cultist would eventually come in and take the Y’Vahra down (thanks to some psychic power that prevented overwatch) but the game eventually ended as it started with us both in charge of our own objectives.
Another very close game, with Alex winning on primaries and myself the secondary’s, but this time I just about squeaked it for a 19-17 win, giving myself 11 more mission points or the score board.
Game 4: Ravenguard
Having picked up another win I was in a very good mood, delighted to have done much better than expected and maybe even looking at a top half finish in the final standings. I was also happy to see my next opponent would be something I understood – space marines!
Ben’s list was a great looking Carcharodon army, using Raven guard successor chapter tactics. This would be my first time coming up against a blanket -1 to hit army, and I was not entirely convinced my shooting would be up to it. His list was:
Battalion Detachment, Carcharodons
HQ1: Captain, Chainsword, Master Crafted Boltgun
HQ2: Librarian, Force Stave, Storm Bolter
HQ3: Tech Marine, Power Axe, Bolter
TR1: 5 Scouts 5x Combat Knives and Bolt Pistols
TR2: 5 Tactical Marines, 4x Boltguns and Bolt Pistols, Sergeant, Boltgun and Bolt Pistols
TR3: 5 Tactical Marines, 3x Boltguns and Bolt Pistols, 1x Plasma Gun, Sergeant, Storm Bolter, Chainsword
HS1: Relic Leviathan Dreadnaught, 2x Storm Cannon Array
HS2: Whirlwind, Catellean Launcher, Storm Bolter
FL1: Caestus Assault Ram
Vanguard Detachment, Carcharodons
HQ1: Tyberos the Red Wake – WARLORD
EL2: 5x Cataphractii Terminators, 3x Combi-bolters, 4x Powerfists, Heavy Flamer, Sargeant, Combi-bolter, Powerfist
EL3: 3x Assault Centurians, 2x Hurricane Bolters, 4x Meltaguns, Sargeant, Hurricane Bolter , 2x Meltaguns
Mission was ‘Warzone’, with a single objective set up in the middle of each sixth of the battlefield, one objective being declared the home objective by each player. Dawn of war deployment made it a bit easier, each of us having three objectives right on the doorstep of our DZs.
Ben placed the leviathan and some marines on the left, the whirlwind hidden behind terrain in the centre and the assault ram with termies & warlord on right flank. Assault Centurions went into reserves using strike from the shadows, meaning they could pop up anywhere outside of 9″ if my troops before first turn began.
My castle went on the right flank around my home objective, with stealth suits infiltrating ahead. The Y’Vahra went in the centre behind the terrain with some drones, while the Fire warrior clutch and the Fireblade went on the left flank with some stealth suits in support.
We rolled off for first turn, and I lost yet again. That made it 4 – 1 for the tournament, but then I also gave away the +1 for having more drops in every game to, so I guess there is something to be said for having a more efficient list in term of unit numbers.
Ben’s assault ram bombed forward, along with the assault centurions and leviathan, aiming to crush my weaker left flank.
They all but destroyed my fire warriors, and removed the shield drone cover from the Y’vahra
I responded by taking out the assault ram with almost all my shooting, dumping the passengers out onto the deck for no loss, while my remaining fire warriors and stealth team heroically charged the scouts to deny them scoring the objective next turn
The assault centurions kept up their good form, helping to take out the Y’Vahra, while the leviathan continued to lumber across the field, clearing the fire warriors and stealth suits off the left objective with some brutal fire power
With the Y’Vahra gone I feared the worst, but the terminators, librarian and warlord were now exposed to my gunline, and so I popped kauyon and CNC node and erased them from the board with some great rolls.
The centurions and leviathan consolidated behind the LoS blocking terrain to try and draw my caste out of position, while securing the left flank objective with the tech marine
But instead the castle held fir while the coldstar zipped off and melted the whirlwind holding the objective in the centre, putting pressure back on the raven guard.
They broke cover and did their best to take down as many suits as they could, but the drones (and some great invun saves) kept them in the game
The big suits responded, deleting the centurions, while the stealth team pushed up the right flank to secure another objective
The leviathan continued to pound the big suits, eventually killing some of the broadsides, but the coldstar jumped out of cover and melted the leviathan, who was heavily damaged at this point, and the game ended with a handful of marines hanging on to avoid a tabling.
With both of us consistently scoring out primaries and secondary’s throughout, the game was only really decided in the last turn, with me piping Ben on both to win 24-20, giving me 12 more mission points for the scoreboard.
Ben was a great sport and the game was really good fun to play, tightly contested both in terms of points and a seesawing lead that made it exciting, but also very relaxed and good natured. Ben would get my vote for best sport, but went on to win best painted miniature for his Leviathan Dreadnaught, which was well deserved.
With the tournament over, I had the chance to reflect on my best every showing – three wins and two losses. A great result for me personally, but also a great event all round. My initial fears of what the ITC crown might bring in terms of completive lists and attitude was unfounded (although it may certainly have been present in the higher tables) and all my opponents were good fun and very sporting.
The venue was also great, with tables an terrains in top nick and looking great. The boys from Vale Renegades also did a fantastic job of running the event, which was pretty much to time and with no major issues as far as I know.
In terms of my List and how it performed, I think it did ok. I didn’t actually intend to castle up every game when writing the list, but having seen how well popping ‘kauyon’ from the commander worked in the first game (and then later combined with CNC node) it just seemed too good a mechanic not to use, especially when countering out factions gimmicks (like -1 to hits, etc).
Still, it would be a very boring way to play if not for the mobile elements like the Y’Vahra, coldstar and stealth suits getting forward, and if I was going to try and stick to this approach I think I would reduce the size of the castle and plough more points into more mobile units – mainly for a more fun list to play, but also to give me a chance of changing things up if / when the castle approach doesn’t work (game 3!)
The big hitters for me were definitely he Y’Vahra, the coldstar and the burst cannon riptide, with the Railsides also contributing well. The missileside had much less of a impact, as did the stealth suits and ion rifles in the pathfinder unit. Shield drones were crucial though, and I think I got the number just right.
I think it may also be beneficial to try and make the list more efficient in terms of deployment drops – while I don’t think getting some transports in the list is going to work (due mainly to expense), losing the brigade and condensing some units may well help – bigger but less fire warrior / stealth teams, a single drone unit, and combining the broadsides would at least give me a chance of getting the +1 on the roll.
But that is all for another day – for now I will bask in the glory of a 24th place finish at my first ITC event, and look forward to seeing my (extremely low) global ranking at the end of the season!