Monday, 3 June 2019

Rapid Strike Tournament- Army Overview and Tournament Format

Welcome to my army overview from the Rapid Strike 3.1 tournament that I recently attended. This was a one-day, 5 games, 1000 pts tournament held in Reading. Each mission would be maelstrom of war, and had some tight restrictions for army selection. 

At Rapid Strike, armies can consists of a single Patrol Detachment, with up to one auxiliary support detachment. The armies were "highlander" format, so each unit selection can only be used once in the army. Unit entries that were allowed multiple units per force organisation slot, such as Leman Russ battle tank squadrons, were only allowed to take a single unit in each case. Marine units were still allowed to combat squad. 

Each army also started with 6 CP instead of 3 to make up for the limited detachment selections. However, players could not use a command re-roll stratagem with their CP. Instead, players received 5 free command point re-rolls that could be used over the course of the 5 games. That was it, only 5 CP re-rolls for the entire day! 

This sounded like a fun format to try. I'm a big fan of maelstrom of war missions, and liked the army choice restrictions. I figured the Deathwatch would be a nice force to take to the event. The additional wargear choices for units and the special issue ammunition should allow me to deal with a wide range of threats I could deal with. That and the fact there would be no Imperial Knights meant I was looking forward to this one. 

My army consisted of:
Patrol Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Master- Guardian Spear
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol, Castellan of the Black Vault, The Beacon Angelis
Kill Team- 7 Veterans with Storm Bolters, Chainswords and 2 Storm Shields, Terminator with Storm Bolter and Power Fist, Vanguard Veteran with Storm Shield and Bolt Pistol, Biker with Twin Boltgun. 
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
5 Vanguard Veterans- Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Hand Flamer
6 Bikers- Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Twin Bolters, Chainswords
Razorback- Twin Lascannon, Storm Bolter

This army forms much of the core of my standard 2000 pts Deathwatch list, and I thought it would give me a good basis for doing well in maelstrom missions. 

The Watch Master is a solid HQ unit for the army. He provides some great re-rolls to hit for the Storm Bolter Kill Team, as well as providing some strong firepower and combat support for the army. 

I decided to make the Watch Captain my warlord for the tournament. He took the Castellan of the Black Vault warlord trait to give his Thunder Hammer damage 4. This should hopefully allow me to take on any vehicle threats or tough monsters in my opponent's army. I also decided to give the Beacon Angelis a go in the list. I thought this would allow me to deploy the Storm Bolter kill team on the board to start the game and use the Beacon to deploy them in rapid fire range. This would save me a command point on the Teleportarium stratagem. 
Alternatively, I could use it to redeploy a unit that is on the board to grab an objective or add supporting firepower to the force. 

The Storm Bolter Kill Team was my first troops choice. I decided to go for a full Kill Team with a Biker, Terminator and Vanguard Veteran. This would allow the unit to fall back and still fire and assault, as well as giving me immunity to morale. I was expecting this unit to be the hammer of the army, doing the most damage on the turn that they arrive on the board. 

I took a unit of 10 Intercessors for the army. My plan was to combat squad this unit to two units of 5. This would give me two units that could serve as backfield objective holders, while having the long range firepower to support the army, thanks to the special issue ammunition and new Bolter Discipline rules (though they cannot be used together). In cover, this unit can be quite hard to shift thanks to having 2 wounds each. 

Next up, I took a unit of 5 Vanguard Veterans. This unit would most likely deploy in reserve each game. My plan was to use them to go after objectives later in the game, or to go after specific maelstrom objectives, such as Behind Enemy Lines. This unit should give me some much needed mobility to get around the board once they were deployed. The Hand Flamer would give me some extra firepower to help deal with weak enemy units. 

I then took a unit of 6 Bikers to further add to the mobility of the army. These Bikers could also combat squad into two units of 3, giving me an additional unit on the tabletop, as well as another two fast moving units to go for objectives. 

Finally, I took a Razorback armed with Twin Lascannons. This would give me some anti-vehicle firepower in my army to take on any threats in the enemy army. It would also give me a nice, tough unit to hold an objective if I needed it to. 

So there is the army that I took to the tournament. I'll be writing up the battle reports from my games, so you can see if my thoughts matched how they actually performed in the games. 


  1. Since the retirement of blog wars/double trouble i've been keeping an eye open for an event that has a similar atmosphere. These restrictions look interesting, I'll be intrigued to read your battle reports to see if the rules have removed the usual tournament filth, or merely changed the flavour of it...

    1. It was a fun event. There were some tough lists there, but a lot of fun ones too. Second place actually went to a force featuring 20 Black Templars Terminators.

  2. Interesting, we have been debating an event run on a Patrol detachment format, but our plans were to limit people to the 3 CP's they get at the moment, no support detachments. Look forward to reading a bit more about this.

    1. It was a lot of fun. The 1000 pts games were played pretty quickly, and I loved the maelstrom format.

  3. Nice! That does look like a fun format. I look forward to seeing how the games played out.

    1. They were great games. One of my favourite tournament formats for a while.