The latest guest post comes courtesy of Darren Tse. Darren is a recent returner to 40k after a long break. He decided to attend a ITC tournament with only a couple of games played and decided to write up his experiences from his games. Over to Darren for his thoughts on his games.
Powerfist and Psykers Tournament Wrap Up
By Darren Tse
So I’m pretty new to 40k. I actually started playing in the early 90s as a broke teenager, but stopped shortly after that. Picking it back up now has been awesome, and with just a few games under my belt, I decided to try my hand at some competitive play.
Our local scene runs a bi-monthly ITC-based tournament called Powerfist & Psykers. It’s 1850 pts, 4 rounds, straight ITC. This was Powerfist & Psykers 5. There were 16 players, so I was really looking forward to a day of good gaming and learning lots about how to play my army and 40k better.
Our local meta, from what I can see, is a lot of Tau-Dar (Eldar with Riptide Wing mostly), and Imperial Knights, as well as Chaos Demons. We have very little in the way of other xenos races, and also a lack the usual battle company heaviness.
Using the models I have, I decided to go with my favourite army, my Ravenwing! I had at first thought of bringing pure Ravenwing (which is mostly black knights with speeders and darkshrouds), but decided that against such a meta, I did not want to get tabled for 4 games, so decided to add a little bit of “cheesiness” to my list and bring my own riptide wing. I also knew that winning in ITC requires holding objectives, so I needed some objective secured. In the end, I decided to run a double Dark Angels CAD and a Riptide Wing.
Here’s my list:
Combined Arms Detachments (x2)
Libarian Lvl 2 on Bike
Interrogator Chaplain on bike with mace of redemption
4x5 man scout squads (no upgrades)
4 man black knight squad
4 man black knight squad
5 man command squad with apothecary and ravenwing banner
multi-melta attack bike
multi-melta attack bike
3 individual riptides with heavy burst cannons, SMS, and early warning override
Collectively, these 4 games formed games 3-7 in my warhammer 40k playing career, so I was not expecting to do more than just have a good time and learn a lot! All my games were against super friendly guys, so the whole day was quite enjoyable, if not a little tiring and mind-draining. That beer at the end of the day was like nectar! Here’s a quick summary of my games, along with some pictures and learning points. Apologies I don’t have as many pictures of the last 2 games, as I was getting pretty tired.
Game 1 – Chaos Demons
My opponent was David, who was also a self-admitted new player. He was bringing Chaos Demons which roughly consisted of:
Demon Prince of Tzeentch
Lord of Change
Some blood letters
Screamer-star with herald with grimoire
I actually have the most experience playing Demons out of any other faction. My regular gaming partner plays Demons so I felt confident that at least I knew what my opponent’s army could do.
I chose to go second, knowing he would not have any alpha strike. I deployed aggressively, with my scouts infiltrating straight onto 3 objectives that they would end up scoring throughout the game. My Riptides, I put in range of the Soul Grinder, which was the only thing that could shoot me in his army (other than psychic powers). My plan was to take out the Soul Grinder after weathering one turn of fire, and then push all my bikes up the right hand side, which is where he deployed most of his army. I would send one squad of bikes over the left side to get to his deployment zone objective depending on how far up he would push up.
The game went quite smoothly. He had pretty bad luck with most of his psychic shenanigans and nothing really did much damage. On three consecutive warp storm rolls, he chose to turn my Librarian into a demon, but he rolled 10 on all 3 rolls and survived! (The psyker must take a Ld test on 3D6. If he fails, he becomes a Daemon- Mike) Strong of mind that one!
Most of the battle swung to my right, so my bikes went that way. My scouts slithered onto his Nurgling-held objective and my Black Knights proceeded to remove his Nurglings off of it, scoring me many points as the game progressed. He spent a few turns getting shot up by my Riptide Wing, before finally killing most of them with his demon prince, but most importantly, the wing took out his screamerstar, meaning no more Grimoire or Cursed Earth, which made it super easy to kill the rest of his demons.
All in all, my first ever tournament win, so I was feeling pretty happy at this time. The Scouts definitely won me the game in terms of maelstrom points, and my black knights proved very hard to kill. The Riptide Wing is just filthy in terms of shooting output for just 3 models.
Game 2 – Chaos Demons
I landed another fantastic friendly demons' player as my game 2 (he ended up winning best xenos award). He was running a list consisting of a demonic incursion detachment, lots of dogs and horrors. Roughly, most of his list was this:
Lots of khorne dogs (Flesh Hounds)
Herald of khorne on a juggernaut with grimoire
And he had this:
A khyten! Fantastic model, and it was all red and glossy, adding to its menace. I decided again to go second, thinking he might choose to scout all his dogs. I decided early on not to engage or even shoot at the Khyten and just concentrate on wiping the rest of his army and holding objectives.
I pushed two bike units towards my left, to catch up to 3 of his dog units. My plan was to charge or take a charge, hit and run out of combat and sweep around to his horrors from behind. The riptide wing anchored the right flank and could wipe out 3 units of dogs probably in the first or second turn from shooting. I parked both multi-melta bikes and command squad on the right to hopefully sucker the khyten into a charge and then either dodge out or hit and run out to the back. The primary was king of the hill (have the most units in the centre of the board at the end of the game), so my scouts infiltrated right up on the hill and ended up lasting until the last turn there. My other scouts infiltrated onto objectives, that again, they managed to hold the whole game.
Overall, my game plan went well. My command squad ended up getting caught with the Khyten and well….were pretty much screwed by D-slaps. But by then, the riptide wing and rest of the bikers had managed to kill most of his army, including lots of summoned units. It was a kill points mission, and this really hurt him in the end, making a primary win easy. The Scouts won the maelstrom for me again, and I ended up getting slay the warlord, king of the hill and linebreaker for a resounding victory. Again, I was super surprised at how well everything worked, and was super stoked heading into the lunch break to be 2-0 at my first tournament.
Game 3 – Eldar/Tau
I was to get a rude awakening after lunch. With shawarma in the belly and my mind a little bit dulled, I ended up facing Sean, a super friendly guy with a not so friendly list. He was the eventual tournament winner, for good reason. Not only a filthy list, but great player as well. I learned a lot from this game, as well as getting my soaring aspirations humbled! His list was basically:
Farseer on bike
2 squads of scatter bikes
4 warp hunters
1 warp talon (perhaps I got warp hunter and warp talon mixed up…he had one of the ones with the D-blast barrage)
sasquatch Wraithknight (the one with double melta guns)
Riptide wing of 3
Void Shield Generator
Right away I knew I was in trouble. Apologies, I have no pictures of this game since I was focused so much on winning. AKA not getting tabled too quickly. I made some key deployment errors, including putting my riptides too far back. They ended up getting killed by warp talons without putting out much fire in return. The Scouts could not do anything this game due to deployment of the objectives. And my bikes, I decided to split them around the central terrain piece, which ended up being a big error. With re-rolling jinks and the darkshroud, I should have kept them all together to weather the shooting storm. But separated, and arguably a little bit too bunched together, that barrage D-blast basically wiped me out on Turn 3. In the end, I learned some hard lessons and appreciated the opportunity to learn, but it was a hard loss since I was on such a high at being 2-0.
Game 4 – Imperial Knights
For the final game, feeling on a bit of a low point after my massacre at the hands of the Eldar, I ended up facing Jamie, who is one of the local guys that actually helped make my Interrogator Chaplain conversion! So I was hoping he might feel the sting of his own work! Unfortunately, he was running 4 Knights (and a culexus), so I was instantly trying to think of how I might actually bring a few of these monstrosities down. His list:
Knight 1 – avenger cannon and D-sword
Knight 2 – Avenger Canno and D-sword
Knight 3 – Battle Cannon and D-sword
Knight 4 – Melta Cannon and D-sword
Right off the bat, I knew I could weather his shooting with my jink saves. So it was really a mystery to me why I chose to reserve and outflank my force (except the scouts and Riptides). I guess in my mind I had visions of swarming him from all angles and hitting non-shielded sides, but in the end, all it did was split my force into manageable chunks for him to slowly kill. My path to victory counted on rolling a lot of 6's….my plasma talons could penetrate on a 6, heavy burst cannons, if nova charged, would rend on a 6, and my corvus hammers could hurt on 6. I knew I had to avoid those D-swords and stomps as much as possible. I guess I just underestimated my own army, and maybe overestimated his a little.
So even coming in piecemeal over 4 turns, my guys managed to take out 1 knight and half-kill 3 others. Overall I did ok, but I ended up losing due to some failed re-roll jink saves and ended up just with a few models left at the end of the game. Interestingly, Jamie told me he thought he would be tabled by my army, so I felt quite disappointed that I screwed myself basically by deploying wrong.
So overall, I finished 2-2, and 10th overall on battle points. After starting 2-0 I had wanted to finish higher, but some poor planning and strategising on my part cost me at least my last game. I don’t think I could have beat that Eldar list, but I could have represented myself better and maybe scraped a few points more.
Overall, I was super, super happy with my army and it’s performance. Army MVP would be the scout squads. They literally just infiltrate onto objectives and hold them until the opponent either realises they are still there, or chooses to ignore them, to their peril! The Riptide Wing would be a close second on the MVP list. Those 3 models put out a TON of hardcore shooting, but are also extremely tough to kill. In fact, I would say they hurt themselves more through the day by failing nova-charges and Gets Hot rolls than enemies damaging them. And overall, black knights are just crazy good. The combination of strong shooting, crazy mobility, hit and run, and rending melee is just awesome.
Poor performance of the day goes to the librarian. One Librarian just can’t make an impact. I chose to use psychic shriek and mind-worm as a combo, and never got it off. Either from being denied, or just not being in range of anything useful. Overall, poor showing from the librarian. Other poor performers were the 2 attack bikes. I had visions of them zooming around and killing things with melta, but the curse of the melta hit hard, and out of 4 games, I only hit something with the multi-melta ONCE between the two.
How will I improve my army for the next P and P? At the suggestion of some of my colleagues, I’m going to cut down number of scout squads; 4 is too many, on most games 1-2 squads of them were just fodder, or at worse, easy kill points or maelstrom points for my opponents. Two squads is a nice number, so I’m cutting to just one CAD. Leading that CAD will be a techmarine on bike. With a thematically happy twin-linked plasma gun and a power axe, he can add in nicely to a command squad or black knight squad, tanking with his 2+ armour. I will bring 2 scout squads in the CAD for my objective secured infiltrators. Then I will run a Ravenwing strike force to give me more flexilibity in terms of jinking and shooting and turbo-boosting up fast on my enemies. I think if I had done that against the Eldar, I could have mixed it right up with his riptide wing on turn 2 and that game would have been different. A Ravenwing Strike Force consisting of an Interrogator Chaplain on a bike, a command squad, and then 3 more units of black knights and a darkshroud.
Techmarine on bike with servo harness
2x5man scout squads with camo cloaks
Interrogator chaplain on bike, mace of redemption
Command squad with apothecary and banner
4 man black knight squad
4 man black knight squad
4 man black knight squad
3 individual riptides with early warning overrides
Overall though, a great event, and a fantastic day of gaming. I think I pushed my 40k experience into overdrive with these 4 hard fought games, and looking forward to the next ones!
Thanks to Darren for his post. If you would like to write a guest post for the St Andrews Wargaming, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org