Played in a small (16 man) AdeptiCon prep tournament this past weekend. I went 2-1, losing in the first round to the eventual champion.

Here is what I brought:

Notable differences from my 'usual' lists (recently, at least) are the unit of Jet Bikes and the unit of Vibro Cannons.

Notable differences from my ‘usual’ lists (recently, at least) are the unit of Jet Bikes and the unit of Vibro Cannons.

I brought this for at least two reasons. First, the Dark Eldar codex (a.k.a. Codex: Webway Portal) was not yet legal. Second, I knew that AdeptiCon Maelstrom cards, still in draft form, would reward bringing a greater variety of units than is typical. Third, I did not have the models for the pure Eldar list (they’re in the mail) that I want to run. To a certain extent, I was also interested to see what kind of Deathstars and broken combinations people thought would be ‘good’ for AdeptiCon, particularly given that virtually every Lord of War is ‘in’.

I was disappointed that only two players brought a Lord of War (one Dark Eldar Revenant and one named Nurgle Daemon(?) was all I saw in a field of 16). [Edit: Ok, Draigo is a Lord of War, but you know what I mean.] The player that brought the named Daemon immediately acknowledged that he wasn’t at the tournament to win so much as he was looking forward to the opportunity to put the model on the table. There was also only one player that brought enough Imperial Knights for an Adamantium Lance. While a couple of other lists had one Imperial Knight, there weren’t more than 5 in the whole tournament.

Here are pics of most of the armies:

4 Sources: Eldar, Space Marines, Imperial Knight, and an Inquisitor!

4 Sources: Eldar, Space Marines, Imperial Knight, and an Inquisitor!

It's not Skyblight so....

It’s not Skyblight so….

The list with the named Daemon in it.

The list with the named Daemon in it.

The Tau list that took 2nd overall. Surprise!

A sneaky Tau list that plays unlike any other did very well, surprise!

Non-Draigostar Grey Knights with no allies. I feel bad for these guys, they try so hard.

Non-Draigostar Grey Knights with no allies. I feel bad for these guys, they try so hard.

Skyblight, but I think this one bumped into the Tau list so....

Skyblight, but I think this one bumped into the Tau list so….

I do not know what kind of Landraiders those are.

I do not know what kind of Landraiders those are.

A solid Eldar list that fell short against the 3 Imperial Knights with Imperial Guard and Void Shield Generator list in the finals.

A solid Eldar list that fell short against the 3 Imperial Knights with Imperial Guard and Void Shield Generator list in the finals.

This poor guy--because the new Dark Eldar codex was not legal, he had to re-write almost 600 points worth of his list!

This poor guy–because the new Dark Eldar codex was not legal, he had to re-write almost 600 points worth of his list!

A Draigostar with Tigurius(?). Unfortunately, low model count Deathstars do not do well in Maelstrom missions.

A Draigostar with Tigurius(?). Unfortunately, low model count Deathstars do not do well in Maelstrom missions.

Ok, so on to the short battle reports! Round 1 I draw the Adamantium Lance backed by Imperial Guard (with a Void Shield Generator for the win!). For the record: I helped write this list, and now I regret it. If it has weaknesses, they weren’t exposed in any of the three rounds. My opponent beat me solidly, then went on to dominate the next two games to easily win the overall. Despite having my reserves utterly fail me–and who can win while rolling 4 ones for reserves and mis-placing his Warp Spiders? not this guy–I gave him the closest game of the day. The margin of victory was 8 points. Below is a picture of his list and the deployment. Despite more than a dozen hits on the void shields, I failed to drop all three and resigned myself to just shooting whatever wasn’t protected. A (in my opinion, bizarre and unnecessary) AdpetiCon FaQ ruling makes it so that every UNIT with at least one MODEL within 12″ of a Void Shield Generator gets the benefit of the Void Shields….

My first-round opponent (and eventual champion): Adamantium Lance, Imperial Guard with 2 fearless conscript blobs and lascannons galore all tucked securely under the protection of a Void Shield Generator. Good times!

My first-round opponent (and eventual champion): Adamantium Lance, Imperial Guard with 2 fearless conscript blobs and lascannons galore all tucked securely under the protection of a Void Shield Generator. Good times!

Deployment: Dawn of War. Mission: 1 card on Turn One, then up to 3 cards each turn thereafter. I got burned by drawing three cards for objectives sitting under his Imperial Guard. It was a slow decline into obscurity after that.

Deployment: Dawn of War. Mission: 1 card on Turn One, then up to as many cards as the turn number each turn thereafter. I got burned by drawing three cards for objectives sitting under his Imperial Guard. C’est la Vie.

In the second round, I faced one of the only Lords of War in the tournament. He had already lost to a 4-source army that included Eldar, Space Marines, an Imperial Knight, and an Inquisitor (despite almost tabling that list, he was outscored and therefore lost). When my reserves came in piece-meal again (despite having an Autarch…), I resolved to shoot everything BUT the Revenant. That approach, plus moving Wave Serpents flat out to position them near objectives, allowed me to inhibit his ability to score. I took the lead on Turn 4 and managed to not get tabled despite the game going 6 turns. I won with a 6-point margin of victory.

My second-round opponent's army. If you don't get distracted by the Reventant, you realize it's a low model count list....

My second-round opponent’s army (yeah, that’s a Skyshield Landing Pad; who doesn’t like a 4++?). If you don’t get distracted by the Reventant, you realize it’s a low model count list….

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. Mission: 1 card on Turn One, then up to 3 cards (maximum) each turn thereafter.

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. Mission: 1 card on Turn One, then up to 3 cards (maximum) each turn thereafter. You can see I have a lot in reserve.

In the third round, I got a mirror match; Eldar with 4 Wave Serpents, Warp Spiders, and 2 Wraith Knights (etc.). On turn one I had the opportunity to score 2 Victory Points, but that meant going flat out with a Wave Serpent (so, not shooting with it) and putting it in easy striking range of a unit of Fire Dragons. I took the risk and secured the 2 points. Long story short, I won with a 2-point margin of victory (to the bold, enh?). This was the best game of the day, with at least two lead changes and the game in the balance through turn 7.

My round-three opponent's army, the standard 4 serpents and 2 Wraith Knights. His concept was Strength 10 shooting (or melta!). Regrettably, he didn't face any serious armor all day....

My round-three opponent’s army, the standard 4 serpents and 2 Wraith Knights. His concept was Strength 10 shooting (or melta!). Regrettably, he didn’t face any serious armor all day….

Deployment: Vanguard. Mission: 1 card on Turn One, then as many cards as objectives controlled (up to a maximum of 4 cards). At the bottom of Turn 2 my Warlord failed a 4+ cover save versus a Distortion wound (bye bye!) and I failed to reduce a pen to a glance with a shield...and then the serpent blew up, killing three avengers. Made for a very tight game!

Deployment: Vanguard. Mission: 1 card on Turn One, then as many cards as objectives controlled (up to a maximum of 4 cards). At the bottom of Turn 2 my Warlord failed a 4+ cover save versus a Distortion wound (bye bye!) and I failed to reduce a pen to a glance with a shield…and then the serpent blew up, killing three avengers. Made for a very tight game!

For losing the final round, my opponent took home a sweet AdeptiCon pint glass (only pride kept me from throwing the game; I want one of those!). I got lucky and received a door prize, immediately turning around and picking up the Dark Eldar codex. Once I settle on the terms of the contract with the Kabal of the Black Sun, I’ll be popping out of Webway portals all day, every day, in your base, killing your dudes….

The AdeptiCon version of Maelstrom cards is vastly, VASTLY superior to the GW cards. All of the cards make sense, there are no random point values (i.e. you get what you earn, not what the d3 gives you), and the missions discourage low model count armies (which may unintentionally hurt some codexes, like Grey Knights, but will also increase the risk factors in investing in high point-cost Deathstars). I thoroughly enjoyed playing with them and (for what it’s worth) highly recommend them. They are what GW SHOULD have done. The draft AdeptiCon Maelstrom cards are available here: AdeptiCon Maelstrom Cards