Headed down to Texas for a run at wargames con's 40k
championships with my Blood Angels. I had a list all ready involving a ton of cc
scouts and some drop pods featuring 89 models in 25 units, but then the new marine book came out, and I saw the battle company could do what I wanted to do strategically, but better. So after realizing that I had the models to run a company, I decided to give them a go.
I had already started the ITC season as a BA
player, so I decided that as a restriction, I needed to have a primary BA
detachment at least.
Blood Angels CAD
Sanguinary priest with veritas vitae as warlord
2x 5 man cc
White scars battle company in gladius strike force
Captain with fist and storm bolter
2x 5 man honor guard with 2 meltas each in free pods
2x 5 man tactical squads with melta/combi-melta each in free pods
4x 5 man tactical squads with bolters in free razorbacks
2x 5 man assault squad with 2 flamers each in free pods
5 man Devastators with 3 missiles and multimelta with free razorback
5 man Devastators with 3 missiles with free razorback
10th company strike force in gladius strike force
2x 5 man sniper/cloak scout squads
5 man sniper scout squad
Several list options were taken based on the models I had, since the marine codex literally came out a week ago. I had the razorbacks from back in the 5th codex when BA
asm squads could spam cheap ones. These are the first games they've seen since 7th BA
Mission 1: emperor's will primary vs Aaron's Iron Hands
I got MTC/stealth ruins and reroll reserves as my two traits, while his was fearlessness on his warlord.
Aaron had a ton of forgeworld. 2x 5 man tactical squads, and a chapter master with gorgon's axe in a command squad with apothecary and a bunch of storm shields. Heading up his armored division, he had a spartan assault tank, a land raider Achilles, a fire raptor, a caestus assault ram, and a contemptor dread with dual kheres assault cannons. The two tanks had ceramite armor, and were thus pretty invincible to me.
As is generally the case with my list, I chose to go second. Given how useless they would be on the table, I left most of my guys out and null deployed. He left his primary objective back in his right corner, and mostly deployed on his left, with the command squad and some tacticals in the spartan and Achilles, respectively, and the other tacticals in the caestus.
Highlights: turn 1 saw a melta'd dreadnought earning me big game hunter. With obsec everywhere, I was able to either steal or push on each maelstrom objective. Most of the game was him rolling around the tanks and aiming flyers, trying to kill 102 models with anti-vehicle weapons. He was understandably cautious of releasing his small squads outside their boxes into the waiting arms of dozens of troops, and finally did so with the command squad/chapter master late game to start axe'ing around. I was able to down 2 of the veterans and wound the chapter master a couple times. My captain/priest warlord command squad dropped in away from the action near his emperor's will objective and hid on it inside some ruins, while mine was covered in razorbacks and Devastators.
On maelstrom, because of my obsec spam and mobility, I was able to keep him shut out until he got 1 for killing a unit in turn 4, so I took that by a massive lead. He did deny me a point or two by having obsec inside one of the tanks, but it was not enough.
I won primary by holding both. I got BGH for the dreadnought, and linebreaker. He also got linebreaker on me as soon as he started his last turn just by tank shocking with the spartan.
The net result was 10-1 in my favor, and I only killed 3 models.
Post-game: In an objective mission, my list turned out to be a hard counter to his. He had a few elite units with elite shots meant for blowing up high priority targets. I had an absolute ton of low priority obsec targets. I don't think there was really anything he could've done on the table to win this unlucky matchup for him in this mission type. It did have the hilarious memorable ending of an army winning by killing barely anything at all.
To quote Aaron: "I don't think I've ever lost a game with this much of my army left on the board before!"
Mission 2: purge the alien primary against Jacob Bassette's necron decurion.
Jacob's army was a pretty standard decurion that you see in tournament reports. Rec legion with ghost arks, zandrekh as warlord, destroyer cult, canoptek harvest with full wraith squad... His personal touches were that the tomb blades took the s6 small blast shots, and the warrior units were 16 men a piece, bubble-wrapping their empty ghost arks.
I deployed everyone but the drop pods and the outflanking blood angel cc
scouts since my back line guys outranged his army.
Brief overview: We had a pretty major issue with time in this game. With over 30 units in my army, the time it takes to roll to hit, to wound, save, and reanimate was huge. Generally games get faster as you go along and models leave the board, except that he wasn't killing too much from my army (through bad rolls on his part and good on my saves,) and I CERTAINLY wasn't killing much of his. As I was going specifically for maelstrom, I essentially blocked him in his own deployment zone with pod squads, including the culexus who proved to be unkillable, and backed them up with razorbacks and Devastator/sniper shots from my table side. On the purge primary, I only killed 2 units by sweeping zandrekh and his warriors with my captain and chaplain command squads teaming up on them in assault. He, of course, killed more like 8 or 9. (We didn't bother counting.) I was able to get good maelstrom missions and stay ahead of him on those, bringing it down to tertiary, where I had all 3. If the game had gone on and he got to reduce my units to more manageable numbers, I think I would've still taken it, but not with all 3 tertiary's. More likely 2. It is what it is though.
So I ended up coming out of round 2 with a 7-4 win. Decent matchup luck for me. If that had been a super Killy eldar army with some obsec bikes, I'd have been thrown in the trash right there.
Mission 3: The Relic against Edgar Hegnar's Eldar/Tau
Edgar's list had a couple bike farseers, several 3 man obsec scatbike squads, a sword/shield wraithknight, two crimson hunters, and a tau firebase formation with early warning override on everything.
I deployed my Devastators and razorbacks near my back edge. Since we were on hammer and anvil, that put them in relative safety.
I got the infiltrate trait (so did he) and after winning the infiltrate rolloff, decided to throw some scouts up somewhat close to the relic so that he couldn't infiltrate onto it. Sadly, he got first strike because of this, but it ended up working out for me in an odd way.
He grabbed the relic with the wraithknight, and began walking towards my deployment zone with it. His firebase formation was tearing up pod squads as they entered play. With that number of pods however, I was able to keep most of the battle in his area. The culexus got on the ground and scared off his farseers by immediately canceling several powers and killing a couple guys. Of course the farseers were able to quickly zip away, but the assassin went after the broadsides in melee, sweeping one set and got the other team down to one survivor locked in combat at the end. I completely ignored the riptide.
On my side of the table, the wraithknight eventually made it to me with his restricted 6" move thanks to the relic, and started killing sniper scouts, followed by some marines from razorbacks. The crimson hunters flew halfway up the field and began can-opening the razorbacks for him.
Since the WK was standing right by my own maelstrom objective, I was dogpiling it with obsec marines and razorbacks, although he eventually got some obsec bikes up next to it. I still took maelstrom by a few points of a lead.
At the end of he game, Ed found out that he had made an error: By walking the wraithknight with the relic into all my obsec troops, he had basically handed it to me. Although he did zip some obsec bikes near it at the end to make it a push for the relic instead of mine.
End of the game, I had maelstrom and 3 table quarters (mainly because he left drop pods alone, and lost his crazy interceptor firepower once the culexus started taking it out,) against his slay the warlord and first strike, while we pushed on primary, making it a 5-2 win. Looking back, if he had managed to infiltrate another unit onto the relic and fled instead of having the WK grab it and carry it up to 12 obsec units, the game would've been his. Hindsight and all that.
Going into the next day with 3022. I'm actually pretty low on the battle points compared to the other 3-0 people. Somehow Nick Rose had 33, meaning 3 perfect 11 point wins in a row. o.o yeesh.
Mission 4: Scouring vs. Mitch Tucker's Eldar/dark eldar
Mitch was running several 3 man scatbike units, a seer council with 2 farseers, an autarch as warlord, warp spiders, a 3 shield void shield generator, swooping hawks, a sword/shield wraithknight, kabalite warriors, a wwp
archon, fire dragons, and a raider for the previously mentioned two to sit in.
So he decided to go first. Of course all his units were deployed so that each one had one guy barely in VSG range. (I dislike VSG's because of that rule.)
I went ahead and almost null deployed, only putting some sniper scouts WAAAY back on my maelstrom #1 behind some ruins. Everyone else was waiting in the wings. We both got -1 to enemy reserves as our traits, which kept some units off til turn 4, but not many. (I got one tac
squad in their razorback turn 4, and he had his swooping hawks.)
He was doing great on maelstrom, always making sure there were obsec scatbikes on both his and my maelstrom objectives. We tended to push on them or each score 1 each round. First things first, I tried to melta the VSG from inside it's bubble. They failed me. After losing some men to his turn 2, a bunch of the rest came on, including the culexus, who also dropped within the VSG bubble and was near the seer council. He got to take 13 BS
8 s5 ap1 shots at some jinking bikers with his autarch, and did nothing. ;_; The wraithknight charged him in response, and got THREE hits on 5+'s. I only saved 2 and the assassin died. Definitely whiffed this game. One of the other t2 pod squads managed to pen the VSG twice, bring it's armor to 10, and then a krak grenade wrecked it. The fire dragon raider came in and neutered a unit of marines to 1.
I did manage to keep the seer council busy in melee with a couple squads by using hit and run, and then having new squads jump in. The swooping hawks came in and murdered a scout unit with their large blast and claimed my objective 1 in my deployment zone. I did have leftover outflanking scouts and single marines assault his raider and krak it to death.
So as we got to our last turn, we had 10 minute time limit turns. He made sure to get someone on almost every objective, kill several guys in his backfield, and assaulted some scouts with a detached archon, who did nothing and then died to their 5 attacks + 1 overwatch wound. o.o
On my timed turn I used razorbacks to tank shock seer council off one objective and take it. He only glanced with this death or glory. BA
scouts who had hidden behind a hill after outflanking earlier crossed over it and charged a 3 man scat pack, murdering them and claiming an objective. My warlord/captain squad charged his autarch and scatbikes and killed them all, getting me another objective and warlord kill. Swooping hawks were easily tank shocked off the objective in my zone. One razorback flat out'd to get to the only unclaimed one, and I didn't have the manpower backfield to knock him off his deployment zone one where his warp spiders and fire dragons were.
After that very eventful 20 minutes, I held 5 of the scouring objectives, offed his warlord, and was line breaking. He had big game hunter due to killing the culexus, as the most expensive thing he lost was an autarch or maybe the VSG, and line breaker from swooping hawks. We actually tied exactly on maelstrom.
That makes the game a 6-2 win for the marines
Finals. Mission 5: crusade against Ben "Space Curves" Mohlie's necron decurion.
Ben's decurion has the usual rec legion with zandrekh + harvest + destroyer cult. His personal touches are no transports for the warriors, the tomb blades didn't take 3+ armor, the rec legion featured a lychguard scythe deathstar, and he allied some more crons for 5 immortals and Orikan to have him hang with wraiths.
Probably the biggest roll of this game was for first turn, where I rolled a 1. He made me go first. :(. I went ahead and deployed the razorback line and long range support units. I didn't have space for the third sniper unit in some ruins, so they outflanked. I did at least get reroll reserves trait.
I quickly nabbed first blood by aggressively dropping the flamers near scarabs. Missed a mishap by one inch. Went ahead and tossed the culexus down as well to keep him in his own deployment zone.
Sadly, the first couple rounds I kept getting hold the line, and with him on the bottom of the turn, he was easily able to deny it with turbo boosting tomb blades. I shot tons of heavy bolters at them, doing nothing. Then 5 bolt pistols from outflanking scouts killed all 3.
He followed up with a veil of darkness warp with destroyer lord and warriors. The culexus tried to climb some ruins to get into it with the warriors before they veiled, however a 2 inch move thru cover followed by a 3 inch charge said no to that. He got killed by lychguard shortly after.
On the last turn, I zerged units onto objectives, except for my deployment zone one that remained covered in Devastators and snipers. Razorbacks plowed through ruin walls and over terrain. Since he had the last turn, he barely managed to get the last of my guys out of line breaking, wraiths, super Orikan, and a spyder made sure the razorbacks on the middle objective were dead, and he was able to claim my outer-field objective with destroyers and the previously-warped warriors, as well as stretching them with a combat consolidate for linebreaker.
With the exception of the tomb blades dropping to the scout pistols (granted they shrugged 15 heavy bolts right before that,) his saves and RP
's were on point, so I couldn't get much damage to stick. Other than zan, who kept failing 2+ armies but passing reanimates.
All told he was able to claim linebreaker, slew my warlord, got primary, and won maelstrom by...1 or 2 points iirc
. With me having first blood, that ends the streak with a 1-10 loss.
My personal awards:
Most fun to play: tie between Ben and Aaron. Think I have to give Aaron the edge here because he was playing something off the beaten path with the iron hands forgeworld heavy vehicles list, and he even took a strictly lesser option for his warlord just because he liked its fluff. Despite us being in the finals, Ben was never too serious and very sportsmanlike.
MVP model: Culexus assassin. Even though he whiffed in the last two games, he always took a lot of effort from the opponent to kill. Given that my army is full of faceless marines, it's pretty hard for them to distinguish themselves though.
Biggest fail: probably the most important was failing the "go second" roll in the last game, but the most disappointing was the culexus causing no casualties with a full seer council powering up his animus to 13 shots.
I would've liked to play against nick rose's list with all the scouts, culexus, and 2x centurion units. I think my list would've had a significant advantage going in against that in anything but purge the alien. Especially awesome would be two culexus (culexii?) dueling.
My list worked like I thought. I could NOT get tabled, and always had words on what happened at the end of the game due to my number of units. White scars tactics for the marine detachment proved useful, as I used hit and run several times against the necrons and one of the eldar to get tactical marines out of hopeless combats right before my turn.
Going second was stupendously powerful for my list, and I would dare say that the list is extremely powerful in the ITC missions when going 2nd. When going first, it drops quite a bit in ability. If it were tweaked a little more so that it had more offense, perhaps this weakness would be reduced. This could probably be done if I didn't need a BA
primary force like I mentioned at the start. The new skyhammer formation looks like it would fit that niche extremely well, doing some severe damage and locking down the enemy in a hurry.
Organizing my units after a game onto a tray is nightmarish. My tray was a huge lid from a larger-than-normal plastic bin, and the army could just barely squeeze on. Also using the list in a timed environment means you will never see turn 6/7 unless the opponent is something super-quick like 5 knights. Against 70ish model decurions, the 2:45 round time is insanely short.
The meta still feels kind of dominated by a few things. Similar to my last ITC tournament, where I played orks, 3x eldar, and 2x necrons, this one I had marines, then 2x eldar and 2x necrons. I may have to write some background fluff about how my guys always find tomb worlds and piss off craftworlds more than anything else.
I ended up rank 8, and claimed best Blood Angels. All in all it was a fun event. I did wish it was six rounds so that first wasn't decided via tiebreaker due to having 72 players, but that was probably some technical issue like the hotel not wanting a con to last until 9-something Sunday night.
Also if anyone has cliff notes on what happened in the narrative campaign, I'd love to hear about it.
That's my report of wargames con 2015 in Austin Texas. Hope you enjoyed reading!