This past weekend I went to my first GT, the Renegade Open. List building rules stipulated 1850 points, allowed for two sources, self-allying and Forge World units (not lists though). This is what I took:

20141122_084907

HEADQUARTERS

  • Autarch [Warlord] (Fusion Gun, Scorpion Chainsword, Banshee Mask) 88

TROOPS

  • 5 Dire Avengers; Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon) 195
  • 5 Dire Avengers; Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon) 195
  • 5 Dire Avengers; Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon) 195

ELITES

  • 5 Fire Dragons (Exarch; Fast Shot); Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon) 260

FAST ATTACK

  • 2 Hornets (4 Pulse Lasers) 160
  • 2 Hornets (4 Pulse Lasers) 160
  • 8 Warp Spiders 152

HEAVY SUPPORT

  • Wraith Knight 240

ALLIED DETATCHMENT: Dark Eldar

  • Archon [HQ] (Haywire Grenades, Webway Portal) 100
  • 5 Kabalite Warriors [Troops] 40
  • 1 Venom [Fast Attack] (Splinter Cannon) 65

Round One (Emperor’s Will & ‘Maelstrom’, Vanguard Deployment): Eldar & Dark Eldar v. Eldar w/ Pulsar Lynx & Cullexis Assassin

One of his cleverly converted Dinos fell on my Hornet and snapped off the flight stand. I got even though!

One of his cleverly converted Dinos fell on my Hornet and snapped off the flight stand. I got even though!

Right off the bat I face an army that my list is designed to deal with. While I had initially given feedback (after playtesting mission rules) that having players place terrain was not a good idea, I completely changed my mind as soon as I saw what I was up against. I lost the roll to choose table sides, and therefore the ability to pick the first piece of terrain. Instead of taking one of the LoS blocking pieces, he took the only ruin on the board. I took the biggest piece of LoS terrain and deployed so that I could hide at least one Wave Serpent behind it. That made the difference; despite going second, he only got a few shots at my serpent (and venom) with his Wraith Knights.

My opponent made two fateful decisions: First, he was unwilling to move the Lynx off the Skyshield to get a shot on my two units. Second (and more importantly), he did not capitalize on the Lynx’s ability to fly. Knowing that my reserves would be coming in on Turn 2, he could have put the Lynx in flight mode. That would almost certainly have saved it. As it was, I destroyed the Lynx (without it firing its Pulsars once) and one Wave Serpent (the one with his Warlord in it) on the bottom of turn two. With the Lynx out of the picture, I kept the pressure on his ObSec serpents and Dire Avengers, eventually leaving him with only 2 Wraith Knights.

I do have to point out that his Cullexis lasted until turn 4, where it died to Overwatch from the Dark Eldar Warriors. It had charged my Wraith Knight, survived the first round of combat and then deleted my knight with an Instant Death attack, so he made his points back, regardless of how ignoble his eventual death was.

I win 9-2 (or 9-3).

Round Two (Kill Points COMBINED WITH Big Guns Never Tire & ‘Maelstrom’, Dawn of War Deployment): Eldar & Dark Eldar v. Black Templars

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My second round opponent’s army seems like it’s already giftwrapped for me; Two Landraiders, Razorback, Vindicator and Storm Raven vehicles, a Hammernator unit, Helbrecht & a bunch of dudes, and two small 5-man(ish) units of Templars. We roll up 5 objectives, which is a lot to cover, but I’m confident since my ObSec units outnumber his. Deployment favors me (and I have first turn): He puts the Vindicator next to Helbrecht’s Landraider to my right and the Hammernator Landraider on my left, too far apart from each other to lend immediate support. I decide to focus on the Hammernators. On his turn one, he moves up a bit and pops smoke on everything.

My turn two starts out well: I have a Skyfire Node that I can use for when his Stormraven comes in, and all of my reserves arrive. And then I get a lesson in how the best-laid plans can go awry (DICE!) when I fail to destroy the Landraider with 5 Melta hits, a Haywire hit, 2 Heavy Wraith Cannon hits and 2(3?) Pulse Laser hits. The Meltas Pen twice, Glance twice, and fail to do anything with the 5th; the glances go through the smoke and he makes his cover saves for the two pens! The Haywire grenade hits and glances…and he makes his smoke save. The Heavy Wraith Cannon hits fail to do anything, as do the hits from the Pulse Lasers. When the smoke clears (literally), the Landraider is short 2 Hull Points and most every ‘fragile’ unit in my army is standing around looking dumb.

In the following turn, my opponent kills all the Fire Dragons, but does not get my Autarch. He then proceeds to make a 3-unit multi-charge through terrain. He rolls the charge distance before we measure and agree on the number needed, which results in a bit of contention. Ultimately we call over a judge, who rules in favor of my opponent. It could have gone either way, so I was fine with the ruling–I was annoyed by what I see as a breach of etiquette: ALWAYS measure, discuss, and agree on the number needed before making a charge.

The game stumbles on and his low-model-count comes up in his favor. He beats me on the Primary by just a couple of points, but I take the Secondary. I lose 6-4. C’est La Vie, no?

Round Three (Modified Scouring & ‘Maelstrom’, Hammer and Anvil Deployment): Eldar & Dark Eldar v. Tzeentch Daemon Flying Circus

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For my third opponent, I am paired (by the wonderful software that is Torrent of Fire [/lightsarcasm]) with my round one opponent and another player is ALSO paired with a prior opponent. The options are: Adamantium Lance with some elite (Low Model Count) allies all primed in black (guy had his army stolen the week before the tournament) or flying Daemon spam played by one of my club-mates. I get the Daemon spam. Boo-yah. Although I might have lost against the AdLance, I wanted to take a swing at one given how much time I’d spent prepping. Ah well.

My opponent keeps his Daemons in ‘Glide’ mode, and then jinks like crazy when I shoot at him (Note: The ability for MCs to ‘jink’ while Gliding/standing on the ground goes on my list of BS rules, I’d be happy to trade a BS rule that applies to my army to get rid of that one). I deploy almost everything (all the serpents for sure) on the board; there is little to no point in Webstriking versus a toughness army. My opponent has first turn, so he’s got Iron Arm etc. etc. up by the time I get a chance to shoot him. I may put a wound on one during the first turn.

During his second turn, he presses forward on a wide front, summoning units and buffing his Daemons (three princes and two Tzeentch HQ dudes). I decide that if I can’t kill a Daemon on my turn two, I’m done for (there’s nowhere to run, so forfeiting a turn of shooting to try to flat-out away from the Daemons is pointless). With my back against the table edge (and Hammer & Anvil perhaps the only thing giving me a chance at two turns of shooting), I make a mistake and target a T9 Daemon Prince…. I put a wound or two on him before realizing that I do not likely have enough shooting left to bring him down. I switch to my second target (which should have been my first), the non-warlord Tzeentch Daemon. I roll well and my opponent does not, so I breathe a sigh of relief as I finally manage to remove one Daemon from the table.

Then, a miracle happens: One of his Daemon Princes perils (what he was casting is permanently erased from my memory because of what happened next–it was successful, at any rate), rolls a ‘1’ on the chart and then proceeds to fail his Leadership Check. BOOM! Suddenly he’s down to just three Daemons and I can see daylight. A minor miracle follows: His warlord charges 5 Dire Avengers but only kills 3. The remaining two make their morale and stay stuck in! I put my Wraith Knight and the Fire Dragons (with the Autarch) into the melee and start chipping off wounds with Melta Bombs (the knight was near-useless).

I shoot down his other Daemons (having effectively stifled his summoning factory) and eventually kill his warlord. I end up holding more Scouring points than he can (two 3-point markers, two 2-point markers, and two 1-point markers on the board, similar to what BAO does with the Scouring) as well as taking the secondary.

I win, 9-2. My opponent goes on to take the Sportsmanship trophy; every one of his opponents voted for him.

Round Four (Table Quarters with 5 ‘Quarters’ & ‘Maelstrom’, Spearhead Deployment): Eldar & Dark Eldar v. Screamerstar w/ Belakor

So, to keep this short: I dislike Torrent of Fire (that may change in the future). ‘Win-Loss’ Path as a PRIMARY way of tie-breaking, in an environment where dice can betray the best general/list, is less than optimal. Win-Loss Path in a tournament with 256 players makes sense as a time-saving approach. It -may- also make sense in large Chess Tournaments (doubt it does, but I’m not willing to say it has no place whatsoever).

After counting my Victory Points, I think I will make the Top 16 (only 8 players can have a 3-0 record, so there are 8 spots that will go to 2-1 records with the most Victory Points). So, I call home and tell my son, ‘Maybe!’ A teammate tells me I should be in and shakes my hand, so I call home and say, ‘Yay, I made it!’ Then the list is posted and I’m out of the top 16. I call home and say, ‘Oh well. I don’t understand it, but that’s ok since I have another tourney tomorrow.’ I express my disappointment to the Tournament Directors and leave it at that. Then, that list comes down. I assume it is final so I pack my models and start coordinating a post-tournament beverage imbibing and sympathizing session with a guy I just met in person (long-time forum acquaintance). I have my coat on, ready to walk out in just a couple minutes, when ANOTHER list of the Top 16 pairings is posted…and I’m on it (10th! /flex?). I call home, despite my teammates shouting at me to not jinx it and, to the total befuddlement of my wife, say, ‘Yay!’ What a rollercoaster.

The Renegade had requested Win/Loss RECORD + Victory Points as the means by which the Top 16 should be determined. The software did not do that, so they had to do it by hand. Despite doing it by hand, three players were left out of the Top 16 that should have been there. Had everyone who qualified actually been listed, Adeptus Brew City would have put 5 players in the top 16. Not bad.

[Insert Picture Here: Didn’t get one, nor could I find one taken by someone else. Ah well. He had 4 flying Daemons (Fateweaver, Belakor and two(?) supporting Daemons), two Heralds of Tzeentch (one with the Grimoire), 8 or 10 Screamers, two units of Horrors, a unit of Plague Bearers and a Bastion.]

The game: I face a Screamerstar for the first time ever. I get the Infiltrate Warlord Trait and decide to use it to Outflank (still Webstriking my Fire Dragons in their Wave Serpent). My opponent, who went on to finish 3rd overall, commented that my decision to Outflank rather than Infiltrate was interesting, and that it put some extra pressure on him.

Since I only had two units (Wraith Knight and a Wave Serpent) on the table on turn one, despite going first (in retrospect, putting everything on the table is the better choice), I managed to put 2 wounds on Belakor but not take him out. Had I done so, the game still would have been difficult (he rolled up Perfect Timing, which makes it hard for serpents to avoid being glanced to death), but definitely more in the realm of possibility. As it was, I spent too much time running from the Star and hardly made him pick up any models at all (two units of minor Daemons, if I remember correctly). My idea was to preserve my ObSec units until turn 5, then put them in as many table quarters as possible. Unfortunately, when his Star split up, he had more than enough firepower to remove all of my ObSec units, leaving only my Warlord and the Fire Dragons to contest the center ‘quarter’.

Overall it was the most interesting game of the day, and one that I think I would have done better in if I’d had any experience at all against Screamerstars. Ah well, I made the Top 16, which was my goal for the tournament.

I lose, 9-0 (he did not get my Warlord) and am knocked out of the championship track.

 

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

HEADQUARTERS

  • Far Seer (Jet Bike, Mantle of the Laughing God)
  • Spirit Seer

TROOPS

  • 5 Wraith Guard (Distortion Scythes), Wave Serpent (Holo Field, Star Engines, Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon)
  • 5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent (Holo Field, Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon)
  • 5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent (Holo Field, Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon)
  • 3 Jet Bikes
  • 3 Jet Bikes

FAST ATTACK

  • 8 Warp Spiders

HEAVY SUPPORT

  • Wraith Knight (Sun Cannon/Scatter Shield, Scatter Laser)
  • Fire Prism (Holo Field)
  • Fire Prism (Holo Field)

~1849

HQ

  • Far Seer (Jet Bike, Mantle of the Laughing God)
  • Spirit Seer

TROOPS

  • 5 Wraith Guard (Wave Serpent, Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holo Field, Star Engines)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Wave Serpent, Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holo Field, Star Engines)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Wave Serpent, Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holo Field, Star Engines)
  • 3 Jet Bikes
  • 3 Jet Bikes

FAST ATTACK

  • 8 Warp Spiders

HEAVY SUPPORT

  • Wraith Knight (Sun Cannon/Scatter Shield, Scatter Laser)
  • Fire Prism (Holo Field, Spirit Stones)
  • Fire Prism (Holo Field, Spirit Stones)

~1850

My List:

Head Quarters:

  • Far Seer (Jet Bike, Mantle of the Laughing God, Singing Spear)
  • Spirit Seer

Troops:

  • 5 Scytheguard, Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Holo Field, Shuriken Cannon)
  • 8 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Holo Field, Shuriken Cannon)
  • 8 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent (Scatter Lasers, Holo Field, Shuriken Cannon)
  • 3 Jet Bikes
  • 3 Jet Bikes

Fast Attack:

  • 8 Warp Spiders

Heavy Support:

  • Wraith Knight (Heavy Wraith Cannons)
  • Night Spinner (Holo Field)
  • Fire Prism (Holo Field)

~1850

Below is the list I played in a December 7, 2013 8-man tournament:

[Note: Bad maths had me actually come up 6 points short of 1850. This is easily remedied by adding a Singing Spear to the Far Seer.]

HEADQUARTERS

  1. Far Seer 100
    1. Jet Bike
    2. Mantle of the Laughing God
    3. TOTAL: 155
  2. Spirit Seer 70
    1. TOTAL: 70

TROOPS

  1. 5 Wraith Guard 160
    1. Distortion Scythes
    2. Wave Serpent 115
      1. Scatter Lasers
      2. Shuriken Cannon
      3. Holo-Field
    3. TOTAL: 355
  2. 5 Wraith Guard 160
    1. Distortion Scythes
    2. Wave Serpent 115
      1. Scatter Lasers
      2. Shuriken Cannon
      3. Holo-Field
    3. TOTAL: 355
  3. 6 Dire Avengers 78
    1. Wave Serpent 115
      1. Scatter Lasers
      2. Shuriken Cannon
      3. Holo-Field
    2. TOTAL: 223
  4. 1 Unit of 3 Jetbikes 51
    1. TOTAL:  51

HEAVY SUPPORT

  1. Wraith Lord 120
    1. 2 Flamers —
    2. Ghost Glaive 5
    3. 2 Shuriken Cannons 30
    4. TOTAL: 155
  2.  Wraith Knight 240
    1. 2 Heavy Wraith Cannon
    2. TOTAL: 240
  3. Wraith Knight 240
    1. 2 Heavy Wraith Cannon
    2. TOTAL: 240

1844

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Below is the list I took to a tournament on September 21, 2013. I took second on points while going undefeated (3 Minor Victories) in the tournament. I tried to put together a competitive list without going overboard with the cheese….

HEAD QUARTERS

Far Seer

Jet Bike

Mantle

Singing Spear

TOTAL: 160

Spirit Seer

TOTAL: 70

1 Warlock “Council”

TOTAL: 35

TROOPS

10 Dire Avengers

Exarch

TOTAL: 140

20 Guardians

2 Bright Lances

TOTAL:  220

5 Wraith Guard

Wave Serpent

Scatter Lasers

Shuriken Cannon

Holo-Field

TOTAL: 305

 6 Wraith Guard

Wave Serpent

Scatter Lasers

Shuriken Cannon

Holo-Field

TOTAL: 337

1 Unit of 3 Jet Bikes

TOTAL: 51

HEAVY SUPPORT

Night Spinner

Holo-Field

Shuriken Cannon

TOTAL: 140

Night Spinner

Holo-Field

Shuriken Cannon

TOTAL: 140

Wraith Knight

Sun Cannon/Shield

Scatter Laser

TOTAL: 300

FORTIFICATION

Eldar Defense Line

Eldar Quad Gun

TOTAL: 1998