I will also point out that a tournament like this one is going to have a very limited amount of experience you can apply to games outside of a Team tournament. These games often take a long time since it is two different players moving 2000 points. In all three of my games, we were only able to make it through 3 turns.
This is important, because it sets the stage for what sorts of armies perform well. The Teams were 1000 points per player, one faction, and random partners. The missions were end-of-game objectives or zones coupled with some sort of Kill Point mission.
The mission formats clearly favoured armies with low unit count and high resilience. Mobility, as always, was a factor, but not as much as in Maelstrom or other score-as-you-go missions.
Farsight Enclaves Combined Arms Detachment
- Commander w/ Talisman, Fusion Blades, Stims, Shield Drone
Y'vahra w/ EWO, CDS
2x 3-man Crisis Teams: 2 PR, 2 MP, 1 BC, 1 FB
Chaos Space Marines Combined Arms Detachment
- Dark Apostle w/ power maul
2x Lascannon Predators
2x Cultist blobs
1x 6-man bike squad: 1 power sword
1x 5-man Possessed in a Rhino
As you can see, I was paired with a pretty rough list. CSM are in a bad way nowadays, and my partner hadn't picked up Khorne Daemonkin yet (his army was Khorne) and hadn't played in a few years. However, I was in no position to judge, since I'd built a list just to try out fun stuff I don't usually get to use. What's worse, we had both foregone anti-air hoping out partner would have some. We figured we weren't likely to win the tourney, and aimed to have fun doing our best.
Note: as expected, everyone much preferred to use RAI in the case of the forgeworld riptides. So my dreams of the R'varna actually pulling its weight were dashed too.
Round 1: Khorne Daemonkin + Necrons
Khorne List: D-Bloodthirster, 10 kitted CSM in a rhino, 2 Spawn, Bloodletters, 3 Terminators w/ combi-melta, Helldrake
Necron List: 2 Command Barges, 2x5 Immortals (1 squad in a Nightscythe), 3 annihilation barges
The deployment advantage went to them. They deployed in a Refused Flank. They did not seize, but we were unable to kill the things we wanted to kill (Blood Thirster and Command Barge).
Due to poor initial positioning, and their ability to bring in new units to cap isolated objectives, we ended up losing quite badly. Even though my crisis teams all arrived immediately, they didn't have very good targets and ended up getting killed by the Helldrake fairly easily.
This game I failed my Look Out Sir roll for my warlord, and his invulnerable save, so he died instantly to a combi-melta. I made a couple really bad mistakes with both of my Riptide variants (bad target choices and not thrusting to get back into position early).
This game is where I realized that my partner's army was also pretty bad at close combat, with the exception of the Possessed.
Round 2: Eldar & Tau
Eldar List: 2 Farseers, 1 Warlock, 1 Wraithknight (scatter lasers and sword), and 15 or so scatbikes.
Tau List: Fireblade, 2 units of Strikers, 2 small pathfinder units, Gunrig, Heavy Interdiction Cadre (including one Longstrike) with all Railheads.
This mission ended up being right up their alley. The deployment was Hammer and Anvil, so the Railheads had the huge advantage against the Chaos units. Between 3 railguns, Seekers, and a bajillion Scatter Lasers, my Khorne ally had a rough time of it.
However, the Y'vahra and R'varna turned a disaster into a close game. Since we went second, we had one last chance to make a dash for the objective at the center of the board (a skyshield landing pad). The R'varna wiped out one of the three Jetbike squads sitting on the pad, while the Y'vahra burned a second away (The last one was full of psykers and was invisible)
I hopped the Y'vahra onto the Skyshield and we both scored full points on one of the missions for tying on the center objective.
As before, I made some target priority mistakes, but I am not convinced the outcome would have been different in this game. This mission was very favorable for our opponents, deployment was in their favor, and they got to go first. They didn't even use the Wraithknight hardly at all, but they still controlled the engagement from start to finish. I was also quite disappointed that my commander failed his LOS roll again and his invulnerable save again to die to a Railgun slug.
Round 3: Black Templars & Space Wolves
Black Templars: Champion, 2x tactical/crusader squads in drop pods, Iron Clad dread in pod, Sicaran w/ lascannon sponsons, storm talon.
Space Wolves: Wolf Lord on wolf, 2x Iron Priests on wolves, 2x3 Thundercav w/ shields and axes, 5 long fangs in lascannon razorback.
Finally, this felt like a match we could win. The deployment was funny, so my Chaos companion could get his units in quick, while I could hang back or Deep Strike to avoid close combat. Plus I finally would have a chance to use my EWO on the Y'vahra!
The game went well, but ended on a bit of a sour note. The cultists and possessed did a stellar job of tying up and eliminating one of the wolf units and the long fangs. His predators dueled the Sicaran but it was a stalemate for the first couple turns. He dropped his dreadnought and one of the squads right next to the preds, wiping out one of the Cultist squads with heavy flamers and storm bolters.
My EWO failed me as I missed all 3 of my ion shots with the Y'vahra. But the R'varna stepped up to show him how its done and wiped out the Ironclad and two drop pods in a single shooting phase (Boom!)
This game my Y'vahra also got two different Gets Hot! results when firing his plasma flamer, which pretty much halved his damage output for the game. My Commander finally got to mix it up in combat, taking out an Iron Priest before fighting the Wolf Lord to a stalemate.
We had the game pretty well set, but I had underestimated the strength of the Emperor's Champion and hadn't bothered to use my last thrust move to put one of my crisis teams in the same quarter as my ally's bike squad. I had assumed (falsely) that 5 bikes wouldn't die so easily.
Instead of a full sweep, we both scored the table quarters objective. To make matters worse, of the 5 models our opponents had left, 2 of them were their HQ choices so we missed out on one of our bonus objectives.
While the tournament was odd, and in some ways a bit of a let-down, we still had fun. Played with some great guys and had some good laughs. So here are some thoughts on my army that I was able to pick up along the way:
Fusion Blades Commander
- Maybe it's just me, but he hasn't died to anything <S8 ever. Perhaps I should just drop the Stims...
He really is a counter-attack model. There is just currently no way to get him into the enemy's lines quick enough
I'll keep taking him because I love him. Fingers crossed that Fusion Blades will still be a thing after FSE gets updated.
- EWO is usually pretty cool. It allows the Y'vahra to intercept with one weapon against a good target, then use the other weapon against a different target that better suits it. Rather than wasting one of his weapons on a less-than-ideal target
Use the Thrust early (turn 1) unless you are sure you'll need it turn 2. Even if it is just to re position. I think that a turn 1 re position would have worked wonders for our first game
Don't NOVA out of habit. I lost a critical wound turn 1 because I NOVA charged when I didn't even want to use any of the abilities
The Thrust move is insane.
I love this guy and I'll keep taking him. He only died once, and that was largely due to my idiotic Nova wound when I didn't need to Nova charge.
- As expected, he had a rough time getting his points back. Even in the games he was killing stuff he didn't get his points back
I want to love him, but he doesn't kill enough and in every game they just ignored him so he was worthless as a bullet magnet. If you could double shoot every Nova charge, he would be worth it I think, but currently? No
Use him aggressively. With his Hammer of Wrath and Flechette Discharger, he is causing 2 auto-hits against the first target. Then using the NOVA to hit everyone in combat with a S2 Haywire attack can clear out even more bodies. He is actually a decent crowd controller, so keeping him moving forward works.
Despite the cool tricks, he's still too pricey. I'd sooner field a second Y'vahra or even a stock Riptide
Crisis Teams Tau'n Style
- Since I didn't have markerlights, I just opted for mixed arms teams to see how it went. I was partially pleased
All of the weapons were useful, except the Burst Cannons. They rarely got used, and had no impact on the games they did get used. Honestly, I'd rather have had a Flamer in each squad.
Crisis teams scare the opposition. I knew that without support and without weapon focus, they could only do limited damage, but my opponents saw a team of 3 as a massive threat. Psychological game!
The group didn't have enough anti-tank to crack AV12, though each team either immobilized or stunned their targets when given the chance. Even as a mixed arms team, I should have done a better job picking their optimum targets.
Deep Striking, when going first against lots of reserves, is a waste. I should have just left them on the table in the first game, though in the second game I should have realized they'd be no good as tank hunters.
Thank you for reading. I know it is a large block of text with no graphics to ease the pain. I hope that I highlighted some of the strong points of the units I used, but feel free to ask if certain points need elaboration.