The Arena Campaign

Discuss both Auxiliary, Allied and Aliens tactics
Posts: 93

The Arena Campaign

Post#1 » May 03 2014 09:27

Hello ATT,

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this thread, if not then Mods please point me in the right direction! Thank you to the few of you who responded to my thread over on the Cadra Building forums and helped me to tweak my army list for the up-coming campaign. My final list can be found here.

Entry is now closed, no further participants may join and no changes may be made to army lists, no changes at all. Warlords are now set as well. This campaign will be played out quite slowly, as each pair of opponents has 4 weeks to find a time to meet and play and report the result. If everyone meets sooner, then we'll progress through the rounds sooner.

Once my opponent is decided I will receive his army list and I will post it in this thread, along with my planned strategy, and ask the community here at ATT to help me identify what my target priorities should be. There are some armies playing that I have fairly limited experience playing against, so all suggestions and advice will be gratefully received.

So to get started, here is the fluff background for the campaign:


For long eons of the Imperium's history it was myth. Tales told of ships being snatched from space and vomited out in the skies above a strange planet, surrounded by the ships of a dozen hostile alien races locked in bitter battle. A planet filled with ancient dead ruins and the crashed wrecks of thousands of starships. A hundred different races vying for control of the chaotic, battle-scarred landscape. And just when the imperial survivors thought all was lost, a gateway opening up, and hurling them to some far flung corner of the galaxy in relative safety.

For Millenia it was regarded as a fairytale.

Then in M36, an Explorator fleet found it, and cataloged its location.

Nurn V, Located in the far galactic north, most unusual - and most stable - warp anomalies in the galaxy. The area within the orbit of Nurn V's outermost moon is riddled with stable warp gateways - tunnels through space and time, leading all over the galaxy. Even the planet's surface is riddled with such tunnels - these smaller openings leading not to open space but to the surface of other planets.

The most common of these tunnels are the "rabbit-holes" - stable but outward only, depositing anything that enters it to a specific far flung location across the galaxy. Second most common are the "Maw-holes" which come and go without warning. Some sucking ships and other objects from remote parts of the Galaxy and vomiting them into orbit of Nurn V. Others which snatch up those same ships and spew them back into random galactic locations.

The rarest, largest and most powerful of the tunnels are the three "Eyes". They only open for minutes at a time and might go for months without opening, but each opens within a specific region of the galaxy every time - drawing in ships and debris from a great distance and spewing them into Nurn V's skies.

The most feared - the "Bale Eye" opens onto a storm-wracked region of the nightmarish eye-of-terror - each time it opens it could spew fleets of chaos space marines, legions of warp entities, pure necrotic warp energy, or sometimes (mercifully) nothing at all.

The second - the "Green Eye" opens deep in the heart of the Ork empire of Octavius. For long centuries it has spewed fleets of confused but delighted greenskins into the chaotic skies of Nurn V. In recent years it has also begun to spew swarms of Tyranid bio-ships - sometimes mid battle with the ork fleets.

The third - known as the "Silent Eye" used to be mostly inactive - for many Millenia it spat out nothing but the occasional wandering ship. In the last few centuries however, it has become ill-named - regularly spitting out Tau patrols and even attack fleets.

It is not known how old the Nurn system is, or if the space holes are natural or artificial. The robust but shattered ruins on its surface are unimaginably old - possibly far older than Eldar civilisation and perhaps even as old as that of the Necrons. There are those who whisper that the world's warp holes were the template on which the ancient Eldar webway was modeled.

Whatever its origins, none can deny it's unimaginable tactical value. A force that managed to claim Nurn V and build a stable garrison there might be able to map the most stable of it's warp-tunnels. Armed with such knowledge, that force would be able to deliver fast response fleets to several hundred locations across the galaxy. Other forces might use the tunnels to explore the galaxy, launch sudden strikes against unsuspecting foes, or even choose a random location for a mighty Waaagh!

For this reason, Nurn V has become one of the most contested worlds in the galaxy. It's surface and skies are constantly awash with battle - the conflict fueled by a steady influx of opposed forces snatched from across the galaxy. Every now and then some race gains the advantage for a while and builds fortified settlements and static defences - but never for long. The planet is contested by the galaxy's major races, and is constantly changing hands. But no-one ever really owns it.

And despite all the Adeptus Mechanicus has learned and cataloged about it, among the common soldiers of the Imperium it is gently slipping back into the realm of legend. Nurn V - the eternal battleground. To most, known only as...


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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#2 » May 03 2014 03:47

I am surprised no one else has commented on this.

I find it's always a good idea to stir up some background for your campaigns to help put you in the setting. Narrative campaigns are so much more fun than strictly competitive mechanical play.

I feel your fluff for this planet or system fits well into the background as we know it, and I could really picture the planet in my mind's eye. Looking for more from this thread, good work.

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#3 » May 05 2014 07:00

Thanks Nevar!

OK, so on to the next phase, the rules of the campaign which have just been published.

Before each round the organiser will publish what the deployment, mission and special rules will be.

For Round 1, it will be Purge the Alien with a Dawn of War deployment and special rules will be Night Fighting and Reserves.

The overall scoring for this mission will be as follows:

1 Mission Point is earned for each unit destroyed (including Independent characters and transport vehicles). Units fleeing or not on the field at the end of the game count as destroyed.

1 Mission Point is earned for completing secondary objectives Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker. (Note: Not first blood).

You must score at least 3 more mission points than your opponent to win on mission points.

If the final points have a difference less than 3, compare points destroyed. If one player had more mission points than the other, they gain 50 additional points destroyed per mission point through this.
i.e., If you're up by 2 mission points at the end, you'd add 100 points onto your total destroyed. Or if you're up by 3 mission points, you win.

Overall league scoring for this campaign is as follows:

Difference in Mission Points greater than 4 - Winner gains 19 BP, Loser gains 1 BP.

Difference in Mission Points 3-4 - Winner gains 16 BP, Loser gains 4 BP.

Difference in Mission Points 1-2 (i.e. game was decided on points destroyed) - Winner gains 13 BP, Loser gains 7 BP.

Absolute Tie (Somehow) - 10 BP Each

OK so now I know everything there is to know about the first round except for who my opponent is and how my army will play! However, I do now know which armies are playing in this campaign, so I have listed them below along with my level of experience and exposure to each army type. Obviously for those armies I have very limited exposure and experience I'll be asking all of you good people here at ATT for all the advice and suggestions you can give!

So the armies with my exposure and experience levels are:

1) Tyranids (Very High)
2) Astra Militarum - I.G. (Very Limited)
3) Space Wolves with Clan Raukaan Allies (Moderate for Wolves - Limited for Clan Raukaan)
4) Salamanders (Moderate)
5) Dark Eldar (Very Limited)
6) Tau (This is my army, so very high!)
7) Eldar (Very High)
8) Orks (Very High)

So from that, I'm most unsure about the Astra Militarum and Dark Eldar. My usual playing group just doesn't field those armies, so it will be a new experience for me.

Thanks for reading!

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#4 » May 07 2014 06:08

Hello ATT,

So the fixtures have been announced for round 1 and wouldn't you know it, my opponent is playing Astra Militarum, quite literally my army of least experience! I had hoped to get a game against Orcs, Tyranids or Marines first up so that I could see how my new army list plays, but instead I'll have to grapple with a new army list and a new opponent all at the same time.

With that in mind, I am hoping the community here at ATT can help me out? I will put below my opponent's army list, my thoughts on target priority and strategy. I would be very grateful if anyone could confirm my approach or suggest changes to my strategy or target priorities. Thank you in advance!

The Astra Militarum List (apologies it is not in the ATT format):

Cadian 113th/609th, 7th company "Siegedogs"
CCS with Standard, 3 x GL, Tactical Auto-reliquary

Primaris Psyker with Force Sword Mastery 1

Priest with laspistol, ccw, autogun

Priest with laspistol, ccw, autogun

Tempestus Platoon: (Squad 1 = 5 with 2 x Melta) (Squad 2 = 5 with 2 x Melta)

Ratlings: Squad = 5

Infantry Platoon 1: PCS with 4x Flamer, IS1 with Plasma, Plaspistol, IS2 with Plasma, Plaspistol

Infantry Platoon 2: PCS with 4 x Flamer, IS1 with Plasma, AC, IS2 with Plasma, AC, HWS1 with 3 x AC, HWS2 with 3 x ML (frag+krak)

Infantry Platoon 3: PCS with 4 x Flamer, IS1 with GL, IS2 with GL, HWS1 with 3 x HB

Leman Russ: Battle cannon, hull lascannon

Leman Russ: Battle cannon, hull lascannon

Leman Russ: Demolisher, hull lascannon


Again, my experience against this codex is very limited, but I have had a chance to look through the codex and have some idea of what this list can do.

1) The number of different squads! There's a lot of discrete smaller units and I will need to be careful about overkill.
2) Similar to the point above, I will need to be careful I get value for money with my marker lights. Cascading will be difficult if the squad is wiped out!
3) I'm not sure I can actually put out enough shots fast enough to destroy this army, so I will need to be quite strategic and assume I can only kill some of his army and choose appropriate targets.

1) Those tanks throw out very big blast templates that can seriously hurt my battlesuits and troops alike. They have to go and fast.
2) The company command squad.
3) The snipers. I do not need some happy little sniper wiping out my Ethereal, or my marksman in my Sniper Drone squad. Bad news that is.

1) The fusion suits sole purpose in life: To deep strike and wipe out big tanks. With 3 such tanks, this is their purpose in this list. Deep strike behind them and target rear armour. I am also thinking to do the same think with the Deathrain suits. The commander would likely be attached to the Fusion suits as they are more likely to give me the kills I need and also if with the Deathrains, that would likely put 4 marker light hits on a probably dead tank. This way, if the Fusions don't do the job, the Deathrains already have a marker light to follow.
2) Sniper Drones with their awesome range will go straight for his company command squad and try to snipe out key models, then go for those heavy weapon squads to silence those heavy weapons.
3) Fire warriors will all target the same unit if possible, silence those heavy weapons, or establish a beachhead for the Kroot to exploit.
4) Piranhas and their drones if desperate will target the rear armour of the tanks, but their main goal will be to get over the other side of the board, block line of sight for whole arcs of fire and take down as many guardsmen as possible along the way. The drones may even be worth assaulting with.

Any help that anyone can offer me, particularly surrounding target priorities and my strategy, I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance!

I have read the thread here which has been a great help in forming my strategy above.

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#5 » May 07 2014 10:24


Missile Pods instant kill heavy weapons in AM platoons. Three missile pod wounds remove three heavy weapon bases, and an average death rain shooting phase can do a lot more than that. The only issue is if he blobs the squads into a mass of men, but even then, remember shooting rules. Models are removed from the direction of fire, so piranhas can mass fire on one side of a blobbed platoon to open a gap in bodies for the missile pods to carve out the heavy weapon squads.

If he doesn't blob up, you can just remove the heavy weapon squads at your leasure. I always love it when AM players bring Heavy Weapon Squads. Those heavy weapons are much safer as part of other squads as upgrades, but people are tempted into the heavy weapon squads so the rest of their men can move. Hopefully he will keep them in small squads.

The shooting from AM is inaccurate at best with only BS3. However the Orders they can make use of can change that really quick. Number one priority should be his Company Command Squad. This squad cannot blob as far as I know, so again... missile pods instant kill everything in there with no saves. Platoon command is also a good target after the Company Command.

Tanks... yes the tanks. The main issue with the Tanks isn't that they have scary blasts, it's that those blasts ruin your primary heavy lifters. XV-8's will melt to those plates and thus they need to be destroyed quickly. A fusion drop is a good idea, and I usually see AM players either group up the tanks to cover each other's side armor, or mire them inside platoons of guardsmen. If he groups them up, they are waiting for a melta deep strike. If he bubble wraps them in troops, you will have a harder time deep-striking within killing distance. If you have target locks, try to kill at least two on the initial drop. Prioritize the Battle Cannon Russ first. While the Demolisher Cannon is scary, it's range is lower than the Battle Cannons, giving your armies a better chance of avoiding the range of the Demolisher.

Also, advice for your deep-striking fusion teams. I know it seems like suicide for them, but Leman Russ wrecks are great cover. If you destroy a tank or two, be mindful of your thrust move. Often you can keep the hulls of the dead tanks between the XV-8's and the bulk of enemy fire. This can save the suit team and allow them to become a serious problem for the enemy. If you 'explode!' the tanks... well have fun cowering in those ruins. Just be sure to always claim some cover against the return fire, especially if any of the tanks are still alive.

In my opinion your first priority targets are the Company Command squad on turn one, because the tank killers will not have arrived yet. Platoon Commands and opportunity heavy weapon squads are second. Starting when your reserves arrive the Battle Cannon Russes join the priority list.

In my opinion, the least scary things.

Tempestus Squads. These guys are slow, carrying short ranged weapons. If they try to march across the board at you, just avoid them or kill them. The Priests might join them, but meh.

Ratlings. Snipers are a pain yes, but this is only a squad of five. Could they pull off some rediculous game winning shots? Sure, but odds are not in favor of that event. Kill them if an opportunity shows itself, but I would not commit much battle planning to them.

Platoon Squads. These guys are only scary because they can claim objectives. If you keep your Firewarriors alive you will win the crap shoot trade of fire with them every time at range. Not to mention kroot. Worst case scenario, even XV-8's with drones can assault and overrun some guardsmen.

Primaris Psyker. He's only scary to Riptides and Iridium Commanders due to the force sword. More likely he will be using him to cast buffs on a blobbed up sea of guardsmen. Could be an issue, or might not play much of a factor. Either way, it the main threats are dealt with, he becomes an easy to mop up element.

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#6 » May 07 2014 11:00

I genuinely like the fluff regarding the 'arena' - I am not sure if you wrote it or someone else, but it is good. This has inspired me to create fluff for my own upcoming campaign.

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#7 » May 08 2014 06:46

The Tempestus Squad might be used to guard the tanks in the (vain) hope, you won't dare to deepstrike next to them. Do it nevertheless, you need to finish off those tanks.
As those Psykers will habe Divination, they might be scarier than expectet, enabling f.e. heavy weapon squads to hit much better.
Killing the command squads isn't this important, as they won't improve the shooting that much, since they can't twinlink the weapons anymore. Instead they give tank- and monsterhunter.

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#8 » May 09 2014 05:42

Thank you for the detailed advice Nevar and Jochman. And Mij'aan, the fluff was something a few of us discussed together, but it was my friend who actually wrote that segment. I will be writing some later segments though, so stay tuned!

Target priories seem pretty clear, command squad then tanks and heavy weapons/platoon command squads. Excellent. Though nobody has mentioned it specifically, I realised my targets for my dual plasma rifle suits may actually be a bit thin. I think they would be quite good at backing up the fusion suits, deep striking behind the tanks and taking shots at rear armour. If I do this, then I can possibly start with my deathrains on the board and cause some damage to his command squad early.

Please forgive my inexperience with AM, but the platoons, either in individual squads or platoons, am I right that you must kill every model (blob or multiple squads) to claim the victory point in Purge the Alien? While I may be able to snipe out every heavy weapon, to guarantee my survival, I need to be mindful of victory points and make sure I calm enough of those to win comprehensively.

I am starting to really look forward to this game, I greatly appreciate all of your suggestions and advice, many thanks. Once my opponent has confirmed a date we'll be all set to go!

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#9 » May 09 2014 06:39

X-FuryEagle-X wrote:Please forgive my inexperience with AM, but the platoons, either in individual squads or platoons, am I right that you must kill every model (blob or multiple squads) to claim the victory point in Purge the Alien? While I may be able to snipe out every heavy weapon, to guarantee my survival, I need to be mindful of victory points and make sure I calm enough of those to win comprehensively.

Someone will have to correct me if I am wrong but smaller squads are still units and will grant you first blood and a victory point. At least, this is how I have always played it against IG. (And if this is wrong, my IG friend will be pleased to hear) - I am very sure it is correct.

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Re: The Arena Campaign

Post#10 » May 09 2014 09:45

If he deploys them as separate squads then killing any one squad will be a 'killed unit'.

If he deploys them in a platoon blob, then the entire blob must be killed for it to count as 'killed'.

That is one of the best adaptability features of the platoons, and he can choose how to deploy them based on mission without even changing his list.

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