shasocastris wrote:This is an excellent write. I look forward to Day 2's reports.
In the mean time, would you be able to link to the rules used in the tournament? The modifications that were made to army generation sound like something I might like to use in my local tournaments.
Thanks, shasocastris. I don't have a link to the rules pack - and it was a bit disjointed with some later changes and additions - but to re-summarise the rules here:The Format
- 1650 points limit
- 2 sources
- Forgeworld units and army lists permitted if 2nd edition (i.e. not experimental units). No 30k armies or units, though.
- Max. 1 Superheavy or Gargantuan per player
- Alliance levels; Battle Brothers or Allies of Convenience only. No Desperate Allies or Come the Apocalypse
- 5 rounds, each being a pre-determined Eternal War mission, lasting 2 hours
- Invisibility has been comped: shooting is at BS1 rather than Snapfire, or BS2 against affected Superheavies / Gargantuans. In close combat, rolling 6s to hit, or 5s and 6s against affected Superheavies / Gargantuans.
- When rolling on D-table for Shooting attacks, 6s count as 5s. No change to Melee though, 6s counted as normal.
- First Blood
can be claimed so long as you destroy an entire unit in your first turn; so both players can claim First Blood
On to Day Two!! Game 4
Mission: Emperor’s Will
Deployment: Hammer & Anvil
Deploying and going 1st (opponent failed to seize)
Warlord trait: +1” to Run and Charge movesOpponent:
Dark Eldar CAD with Corpse Thief Claw. Some minimum-sized infantry squads to fill out the mandatory Troops choices, a couple of Venoms (one carrying a unit of Trueborn) and a Razorwing in reserve. Archon & Incubi arriving in a Raider, via Deepstrike.Initial thoughts:
The Corpse Thief Claw would certainly make short work of any Tau unit they caught in CC. But the terrain and deployment were in my favour largely open ground in the centre of the board. There were few places for the unit to hide, if it wanted to come and munch my battlesuits it would have to cross open ground. The Archon’s unit in Deepstrike would afford me some time to deal with the rest of the army first.Battle
: This was becoming a habit; Turn 1 saw the Riptides go all-out with Hailfire
. They duly obliterated the Corpse Thief Claw. My opponent moved up his Venoms and scored quite a few poisoned hits in return for his first turn, but it only pinged a few wounds off the Riptides. Ripple-firing
SMS almost finished off what was left of the Dark Eldar, we were almost looking a Turn 2 tabling. Just a couple of guys hiding out of reach on their objective and a few wound son Tau but fully operational with no models lost.
The arrival of the Archon’s unit and the Razorwing in Turn 2 was now a much less daunting prospect with the Corpse Thief Claw to dsitract me. The Razorwing managed to kill single Stealth suit, where I had outflanked these units deep behind enemy lines to advance on the enemy objective. Intercepting with SMS took out all of the Incubi, leaving the Archon on his own. The Ghostkeels waited until my shooting phase to ensure that Wall of Mirrors
combo-ed with their velocity trackers to bring down the Razorwing with little effort.
Nonetheless, with Huskblade in hand the Archon proved a formidable last obstacle to my victory. He locked my Riptides down in combat and with Hatred
, weight of attacks and a Shadowfield he wasn’t giving up easily. He brought down two Riptides
. It took the gallant charge of the Ghostkeels and the timely fail of a Fear
test on the part of the Archon to swing things back in my favour, when the weight of S6 attacks finally forced that fatal fail of the Shadowfield save and killed the last Dark Eldar warrior on the table.Result:
Opponent wiped out at the end of my Turn 5.Post-match analysis
: bad combination of mission, deployment & terrain, and match-up for my opponent. The Ghostkeels with velocity trackers were a superb anti-air platform. Once again the MCs showed their worth in combat as well as the shooting phase, too.
In retrospect, perhaps my opponent played this a little too boldly – I don’t think he’d quite done the maths on what Hailfire
added up to in terms of firepower. With hindsight, considering the mission and set-up, he would probably have been better off setting up right back in his deployment zone, where there was at least some cover available for the Talos unit. That would force me to move up the table to engage them – spreading out my forces and also delaying the Hailfire
Mission: Kill Points
Deployment: Dawn of War
Deploying and going 2nd (failed to seize)
Warlord trait: Warlord and units within 12” re-roll 1s in shooting phaseOpponent:
My team-mate Ed’s War Convocation. We were both on equal points and vying for 2nd place in the tournament.Initial thoughts:
Scary army! Lots of long-range grav Kataphrons, plenty of plasma, nasty Knight to beat up my units in CC, Canticles and Doctrines providing lots of buffs to the army. An army I had hoped to avoid… Battle:
The Convocation surged forward with their many Scout
moves, and failing to Seize the Initiative
against them allowed them to continue the headlong rush up to my lines, leaviing my unit easily in range of their weapons and within reach for their a Turn 2 charge. The Kataphrons, Knight and plasma-toting infantry showered my MCs with deadly firepower. My response was poor, failing to employ the Holophotons when I should have done a losing a Ghostkeel. The Riptides also suffered – I had neglected to make the best use of the cover available, meaning I was relying on invun. saves a lot of the time.
Poor saving rolls were following by more poor rolling in my shooting phase. The Knight was barely scratched, and though I took out the Sicaran Infiltrators and the Dragoon, the Convocation was still largely unhindered by my efforts. Worse, I got greedy with a badly wounded HBC Riptide and got him killed when he failed too many saves against an unseemly number of Gets Hot
rolls... my dice were dishing out the 1s and things were looking bad!
There was some glimmer of hope when the Knight failed his Turn 2 charge distance, but the Mechanicum's second shooting phase was a punishing as the first. The Rust Stalkers were not so laggardly as the Knight and went careening into the Ghostkeels to lock them down in combat.
The Stealth suits arriving on my Turn 2 were going to make little difference, providing a smattering of fire to little avail. In spite of the warlord’s excellent Trait I had been loathed to deploy his unit for fear of yielding up an easy KP, Warlord
and First Blood
all in one go. The rest of my army’s shooting was now hampered by loss of models from Fire Teams, reducing the BS as well as the weight of fire.
The Knight closed on the remaining Riptides with his Turn 3 charge, destroying them in short order. The last Ghostkeel fell to the Rust Stalkers shortly after.Result:
Defeat. By the end of his Turn 3 I had been wiped out, and thus denied my place on the podium. But a well-deserved win for Ed, executed superbly.Post-match analysis:
I mis-played this one, pure and simple. With both of us being very shooting-heavy armies, whoever went first was going to have the distinct advantage. But ultimately I let myself get spooked by the Convocation's rapid advance and the oncoming Knight distracted me from the real goal – kill his units! In retrospect I should’ve castled up far away in a corner, shot the lighter units and hoped to wipe them off quickly enough that I’d have time to deal with the Knight on its own. Or at least accept its charge more on my own terms, perhaps sacrificing a single Riptide to allow the others to make an escape. It would still have been a tough battle but I might have held on for longer and aimed to at least shoot the Mechanicum to a standstill.
Ed used the right combination of Doctrines and Canticles in precisely the right order and his targeting was right on the money. He ascended to 2nd place, behind our team-mate whose army (an horrific combination of min.sized Tau CAD with Ta’unar Supremacy suit and Tetras, supported by Eldar CAD with multiple MSU Scatterbikes and 2 Warp Hunters) had been sweeping units off the boards for the majority of the weekend... But that’s a different story for another time. Ed had managed to fight that particular army to a draw in his previous round. So I felt he had definitely worked hard and earned that 2nd place, I could hardly begrudge him!The Future of the Ghost/Tide wing
Missing out on 2nd place was a failing on my part much more than it was on the part of my army. My final battle saw me make the most mistakes out of any of the battles and it cost me dearly. Otherwise my two formations had performed in tandem with all the force and flexibility that I had expected of them.
The tournament meta here was much different to what you’d see in some of the better-known events. That notwithstanding the Ghost/Tide wing had blown apart huge numbers of troops and vehicles in short order (some of which were higher tier units and formations, like Corpse Claw and Knights in a Baronial Court) whilst refusing to go down easy. In fact, my army didn’t yield a First Blood
point in any of its games.Strengths:
- Tough, resilient units with few kill points available to my opponents.
- High volume, high strength firepower which is largely independent of markerlight support.
- Highly mobile and flexible.
- Good defence against units attacking from reserve
- Anti-air (though having only faced a single flier) seemed to be generously provided for by velocity tracker Ghostkeels. Maybe two of these was overkill, perhaps one would have been enough? Particularly with all the twin-linked SMS on Riptides having Intercept
, there would have been decent coverage there, too.
- Decent close combat ability; best exploited when opponents expected the more typical Tau JSJ reaction to nearby threats.
- Fast and fun to play; this build can gun-line with the best of them, but these two formations still offer plenty of options above simply standing and shooting.Weaknesses:
- Target locks on Ghostkeels; one wasn’t enough, two would’ve given more flexibility.
- When I finally did encounter a Grav-heavy army it certainly took its toll.
- Knights, especially several together, were a problem. Even when I had Hailfire
and Wall of Mirrors
- The stealth team upgrades were largely unnecessary. The two markerlights barely got used across the 5 games. But during the list designing I had been unsure how to best spend the spare points otherwise.
- I think I’d have struggled with Maelstrom missions with so few units available. Anything with nippy MSUs, especially Ob.Sec. ones like Scatterbikes, would run rings around me in a Maelstrom.
- I still haven’t faced off against any bike/wolf stars, or similarly-nasty death stars. Nor had I had to fight any major Psychic offensive. I’m still not sure that I’d have done so well against any of those.
I had a great time playing this army. I’d happily take it again, albeit with some minor tweaks having learned some lessons. I’ll be giving more though to the strengths and weaknesses of this build and also be considering if it’s good enough to expand (or rather, what else to add on) to take it up to 1850pts for the Caledonian event this summer.