Had a great day of gaming at the non-club. Sixteen people came along, about as many as we can comfortably handle in the area we have. I thoroughly enjoy these days. While we run a swiss paring system, they are deliberately non competitive. We had some pretty dedicated tournament players (2 who made the GT final last year), some lovely armies (my brothers Necrons in particular deserve a shout out), and some youngsters as well (one of the guys 10 year old son took part in his first event).
The spread of armies was also interesting - going by primary detachment only there were 5 Tau (!) Cadres, one Necron Dynasty, a Demon Horde, 3 Craftworld forces, a detachment of Death Wing, some Ravenwing, a Sisters force, a Company of Space Marines, some Black Templars and a detachment of Chaos Space Marines.
I miss the days when I was the only Tau player at tournaments!
Anyway, onto the games.
First was against the Sisters army (with some space marine allies). His list had Celestine with some seraphim, two 10 “man” squads of sisters in Rhinos, a sisters devastator squad with Heavy Bolters in a repressor (think that’s what its called – an AV13 transport), another devastator squad with Heavy Bolters on foot, 2 Penitent Engines and an Exorcist (the one that fires d6 S8 AP1 rockets per turn) a Chapter Master a tac squad, and 5 Terminators (sure there was other stuff, but not too familiar with the codex).
I was playing the triple skyray list (in fact I forgot to bring the Broadsides along – duh – so I played that list all day). We were playing Vanguard Strike 5 objectives. I had first turn. I’ve played this opponent a few times. Always great games, with lots of laughter, but tough ones. I’m cautious of sisters as they can do some funky things with faith points and other tricky bits and bobs, and Celestine is down right annoying.
So we set up and I unleash a hail of Seeker Missiles, Missile Pods and Nova Charged Pie Plates all to no avail.. I think I knocked 2 Rhinos and the repressor down to 1 hull point each, but didn’t kill anything. My opponent made a lot of 6+ invulnerable saves!
In his turn he also failed to kill anything of mine. He came close when he rolled 6 shots for his exorcist and knocked some wounds off one of the Riptides (this was a feature of the game – he rolled a 6 every turn for the exorcist for 4 turns!). It wasn’t until my turn 2 that anything died .. and that was Celestine … who got up again in the last turn thus denying me first blood!
Long story short, it was a very tight game – both my Riptides died to the Exorcist, and in the end he killed both Devilfish as well, whittling down my fire warriors in the process. I won (or at least my opponent lost) when he rolled a 2 on a run move when he needed a 3!
Demons …. 5 Flying MCs …. and a Keeper of Secrets….. ! Oh joy! Dawn of war Emperors Will. I’ve played this opponent twice before (once against his Dark Eldar at a previous gaming day, and once against his marines at the GT heat). Both times I’ve won. I seem to be a “jinx” - in every game his dice go stone cold, and mine are on fire. And this one was no different!
I had first turn, but my opponent deployed so that I could see nothing. He then seized (oh dear). He flew everything forward, but still managed to get all but one FMC out of line of sight (there was a big line of sight blocking bit of terrain in the middle of the table). I think I managed to take one wound of one FMC in my turn. However, I did manage to move far enough away so he would have to fly again next turn, which he did. He managed to get most of them in cover however. In shooting he took 2 wounds off my Commander.
In my turn 2 I reckoned I could kill 2 of the FMCs in a turn of shooting, maybe 3, leaving 2 or 3 I would have to block. Luckily all my Kroot came on and I managed to build a wall of Kroot and Drones around my stuff so that, in his next turn, he wouldn’t be able to assault anything important. However, I needn’t have worried – in one round of shooting I killed 4 Demon Princes! After that it was pretty much game over.
Highlight? His Keeper of Secrets casting Puppet Master on one of my Riptides … and rolling a 6 to deny the witch!
Against mech Eldar - An Autarch, 4 Wave Serpents with 10 guardians in each, 2 fire Prisms, a Night Spinner and 2 Crimson Hunters. Hammer and Anvil, Crusade. I’ve also played this opponent a few times. I think honours are more of less even – so I was expecting a tough game.
Happily I got first turn, and in one turn of shooting, my Deathrain squad killed one wave serpent, and a Skyray killed another one. The Riptides pie plated the Guardians that got out, and reduced one squad to 3 men, and whittled down the other. I could have killed more, but I wanted to keep 2 Skyrays for the Crimson Hunters.
At this point it looked a little bleak for my opponent, but I made a mistake. In my next turn I over committed both Riptides and one was killed by blades storming Guardians. In my next turn I thought I had managed to hide the other Riptide behind a building, but I had forgotten about battle focus, and the Guardians he was hiding from managed to run around the building and, combing with the 2 Fire Prism’s, kill that one to. I also discovered that Skyrays don’t like Crimson Hunters. Because they don’t have intercept they need to survive a turn of shooting before they can blow the Hunter out the Sky, which they struggled to do (only one survived). Also, even when the Crimson Hunters were on, there were other priority targets for my anti armour (i.e. the Deathspinner that was pie plating my Kroot).
So my opponent pulled it right back, but it was still looking good for me ….. and then he made his move!
His remaining wave serpent moved 30 inches in one turn to within about 8 inches of one of the objectives on my board edge. I managed to kill the serpent in my turn, but his guardian and his Autarch bailed out and shot and charged the Kroot in his next turn (just realised that they can’t do that – no matter). This move had caused me to divert 2 squads of fire warriors to aid the Kroot. I had deployed them both, ready to shoot down the guardians when they wiped out the Kroot …. but the little buggers held (one down side of an Ethereal making them leadership 10!). So in my turn I had to assault the guardians with a squad of fire warriors! Don’t think I’ve ever assaulted anything with Fire Warriors before!
Happily, combined with the depleted Kroot squad, they were able to beat down both the Autarch, and the remaining guardians to hold the objective…. whew!
So I went 3-0 for the day.
I’m beginning to get to know my way around this list a little better now. I’m not making nearly as many mistakes (like forgetting to activate the Puretide Chip, or forgetting to Nova Charger etc), however, I still need way more games under my belt. The one thing I’m not getting right is firing sequence, and positioning the Skyrays.
I need to be more aggressive with the Skyrays once they fire their seeker missiles. While 30” range is good, I often found myself out of range with the SMS, and, even worse, with the marker lights. I need to remember to push up with the Skyrays once they unload.
As for firing sequence, I repeatedly forgot to fire the Skyrays’ marker lights before shooting the Death Rain squad. Getting even one marker light hit makes such a difference to the Deathrains, boosting their BS3 to BS4.
As for the list itself, I was reasonably pleased with how it worked. One of the concerns I had going in were a lack of Maker Lights. I never found this a problem. The extra Skyray more than made up for that. I was also concerned about Mech Eldar, so game 3 was an excellent test. What threw me in that game were the 2 Crimson Hunters. Because I had to keep my Seeker Missiles for them, they weren’t able to contribute on the anti mech front. However, in retrospect, what I should have done is fire all the Seekers first turn, and then relied on the SMS to take out the Crimson Hunters. If I had killed one more Wave Serpent in that first volley, it would have been a blow he might not have recovered from.
So all in all, happy with the games and happy with the list.