Monday, 25 March 2013

Throne of Skulls Report

Got back from Throne yesterday night. As always I had a blast.

While I enjoy the more competitive events like Cally, I also enjoy Throne. It’s a very different experience. Cally (or the GT) is a tournament, where emphasis is placed on hard lists and competitive play. Throne is a hobby event, where everybody goes to have fun and painting and modelling are just as important. Two very different events, both loads of fun.

My only criticism is that they’ve done away with Swiss Paring. Even at a hobby even, I think this is a mistake. Swiss paring allows people to play at their own level – no matter what level that is. What’s the point in somebody who has won their first 4 games playing somebody who lost their first 4 games in game 5? I suspect neither of them will have much fun!

Anyway, the list I took eventually was -

Captain, Bike, Artificer Armour, Power fist, lightening claw

10 Scouts

Bike Squad, 5 man, 2 Plasma Guns, MM Attack Bike, Combi Plasma and Melta Bomb on Sarg
Bike Squad, 5 man, 2 Plasma Guns, MM Attack Bike, Combi Plasma and Melta Bomb on Sarg
Bike Squad, 5 man, 2 Melta Guns, MM Attack Bike, Combi Melta and Melta Bomb on Sarg

Stormtallon with Skyhammer Missiles
Stormtallon with Skyhammer Missiles

Thunder Fire Cannon
Thunder Fire Cannon

I went with integrating the MM Attack Bikes into the squads. It makes them scoring, beefs out squads, and disperses your anti tank threat more evenly.

Game 1

Big Guns Never Tire, Dawn of War against Chaos Marines. Sorcerer, 3 squads of Thousand Sons, 5 terminators and 6 Oblits.

Not much to tell here. He advanced on the objectives, I killed him and my bikes snatched the objectives towards the end of the game. While the Oblits were horrible as always, his army was terribly slow, and I was able to pick it apart piece by piece.

Win to me

Game 2

Relic, Vanguard Strike against Necron flyer spam. Overlord in a barge, 3 Annihilation barges and 5 night scythes with warriors and immortals inside. My opponent got first turn.

Whenever I saw his army I knew I was going to have to pull something extraordinary out of the hat to win. He had so much high strength shooting that my bikes were simply going to melt. Lots of thought required…..!

But I then rolled the warlord trait which takes one away from his reserve rolls. That would keep his scythes off the table for a bit longer perhaps. So I set up out of range of his barges, and infiltrated my scouts onto the relic . …… and then I seized the initiative. Game changer.

I had been planning to play it safe and run off with the relic, but having seized the initiative, and with his scythes hopefully delayed, I thought I might have a chance to wipe out what he had on the board in 2 turns. Caution was thrown to the wind and it became an all out charge to get his barges ASAP before his reinforcements arrived…..and I almost did it.

Shock and awe was the name of the game. In 2 turns I killed the Lord in his barge for first blood and kill the warlord and immobilized 2 barges. He had managed to get one scythe on in his turn 2. So at the beginning of turn 3 all he had on the table was one scythe and 3 barges, 2 of which were immobilized  - and my Scouts still held the relic.  However, the Barges had taken a heavy toll on my bikes and I only had one squad left. So on turn 3 I was going to try and table him and hope nothing came in from reserve for the win – a long shot, but it was my only hope, once his Scythes came on, they have so much fire power, the outcome would be inevitable. My opponent was stunned and reeling, and I was beginning to hope I might just pull if off.

The plan was that the remaining bike squad would take out 1 Barge, the Captain would detach and power fist another one, a Stormtallon would kill the last Barge, and the other one would kill the Scythe. I managed 2 out of 4. The squad killed one Barge, the ‘tallon killed another one, but the captain was 1 inch short on a 7 inch charge through cover, and the last ‘tallon failed to kill the Scythe.

In his turn 3 all his remaining Scythes came on and it was game over. He would have tabled me if we hadn’t called it at the end of turn 5. Sigh….!

A frustrating game. I can think of nothing I could have done to change the outcome. My opponent’s list beat me!

Game 3

Blood Angels. Libby, 3 x 5 assault marines in razorbacks with TL Lazcannons, Furioso in a drop pod, 3 Baal Preds and 2 Dakka Preds, and a Stormraven. Hammer and Anvil, kill points.

Wow…. Mech BA, haven’t seen this for a while! Not sure I have enough melta!

This was the game of the tourni. Fun opponent, and lots of ups and downs. First he seized and in his first turn killed about 8 bikes….. bugger! The only long range stuff I had were my Thunder Fire Cannons which bounced of his armour. All  I managed to do was stun the Furioso that had podded in - at least it wont be charging anything next turn! In his turn 2, 2 of his Baal Preds came on, one on each flank and lined up more death on my bikes….. but he couldn’t hit anything, and I made every save I took! I think his whole army killed maybe one scout!

In my turn 2 both my Stormtallons came on and I proceeded to kill a razorback, a Baal Predator, a normal predator, the Furioso, and I stunned the other Baal. The Thunder fire cannons then pounded the troops that came out of the Razorback, killing them. Five kille points in one turn! For the rest of the game my luck turned and I ripped his army apart …… until the last 2 turns.

While I was well ahead on kill points (his army had way more than mine), over the game I had steadily lost units until I think I had 5 scouts, 2 Thunder Fire Cannons, my captain and an attack bike left. In the last 2 turns he had one Baal predator and his Stormraven left …… and he very nearly tabled me! When the game ended I think I had 3 scouts left, my captain and one TFC.

A great game, and very close. Win to me.

Game 4

Against Grey Knights. Grand Master, 2 six man strike squads in razorbacks, 2 Dreadnaughts, one Dreadknight and a bunch of terminators in a Stormraven. Scouring, hammer and anvil.

The plan was to wait until he committed the Dreadknight, plasma it down, and then make sure the Terminators only kill one unit when they charge, before I kill them right back, and take out the hovering ‘Raven.

And that’s what happened. I held the bikes back first turn and I think he picked off one or 2 with the Dreadnaughts. My second turn was amazing! Both ‘tallons came on. One killed a razorback and the other killed  one of the Dreadnaughts. One TFC  killed the other Razorback, and while pounding the guys that came out, the other TFC scattered onto the last Dreadnaughts and took of a hull point! Oh and he over committed his Dreadknight and it died in a flurry of plasma  and melta shots.

At that point my opponent mentally gave up. Next turn he hovered the Stormraven, but didn’t get his Termi’s out (!). I killed it and in my next turn killed all the termis and the Grand Master. In the end I think he had 2 Grey Knights left.

Game 5

Another great game. Against death wing – Belial 3 squads of terminators, 2 squads of scouts and 2 Neaphlim fighters, one with the mega bolter and the other with TL Lazcannons. Emperors will, Vanguard strike. He had first turn.

Hmmm…. I was worried about the death wing assault. He had 2 squads in reserve that were coming down either 1st or second turn. If I had my bikes on the table they wold be shredded by the storm bolters and assault cannons. So I decided to deploy only the Thunderfire cannons and the scouts, in my deployment zone. The plan was to tempt him into deep striking both terminator squads deep into my deployment zone to kill the scouts for first blood. That would leave both squads bunched up for the TFCs to pound in my turn, and easy targets for my bikes when they come in from reserve.

It sort of worked…. I forgot that he could split fire. So he split fire, using the storm bolters to kill the scouts, and the assault cannons to kill one of the TFCs. So First Blood to him, and one dead TFC. In my turn the remaining TFC pounded Belial’s squad and put something like 18 wounds on it! That combined with the remaining scout squad killed 4 out of the 5 terminators and took all but one wound off Belial.

In his turn 2 neither of his fighters came on J! He splits Belial off from the remaining terminator and lines up a charge with both of them on the Techmarine who’s TFC they killed last turn. His plan was to charge the terminator first, draw my Techmarine’s overwatch, and then charge in Belial. He killed a TFC in shooting, and then we moved onto charging.

Now I fancied my chances here. The Techmarine has a flamer and a TL Plasma pistol on his servo harness. Couple that with 3 initial attacks, and then 2 power fist attacks, and his artificer armour (Belial’s sword is only AP3), and I reckon I have a good chance of killing Belial (remember at this point he only has one wound). If I could kill the terminator on overwatch that would be bonus – but even if I didn’t kill the terminator, I could challenge Belial and probably take him in the challenge.

So the termi charges, my Techmarine shoots his plasma pistol and I roll a 2, a 1, and another 1! So a miss, an over heat on the reroll, and a failed armour save to kill myself from the overwatch shot!


However, for the rest of the game things went to plan. In my turn 2, two bike squads and a Stormtalon come on. I kill Belial, the remaining termi from his squad ,and I think 2 from the other squad. In his turn 3 both fighters come on and kill the ‘Tallon and some bikes. My turn 3 the other bike squad and the remaining Tallon come on. The bike squad zoom across the board to contest his objective, currently held by 5 scouts. I finish off the 2nd squad of terminators, and the ‘Tallon downs the fighter with the mega bolter and is now on the other fighter’s tale. In his turn 3 he flies his remaining fighter off the board, and kills 2 bikes.

In my turn 3 I kill his remaining terminators, and move to contest his objective. In his turn 4 his fighter comes back on from ongoing reserve, and kills some bikes, but not enough. His scouts (Flakk missile) kill my ‘Tallon. In my turn 4 I kill all but 1 scout on his objective and consolidate onto mine. We call it there. Win to me.

So I went 4 wins and one loss. Third space marine player (the winner won all 5 games, and 2nd one 4 and drew one, so can’t complain about the stupid “best game” rules!). However, much to my delight (and surprise) my army was nominated for best army! I didn’t win, but I placed my bikes in the display cabinet with a degree of pride! There were over 150 people there and (I think) 10 were nominated. For those who haven’t been to TofS, the standard of painting is very high, and I was delighted with the nomination.

And BTW, Little Geek went 2 and 3 – not bad for his first “grown up” tournament!

List analysis to follow.


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