Tournament summary

This past weekend I competed against 31 other Warhammer 40k players in the Kingston Nexus 2017 Club Championships. After two days of intense gaming, I earned myself a 13th place finish, much higher up the ladder than I thought I would come. The overall 13th place wasn’t just from winning games, there was also a comp score, which gave you extra points based on how ‘friendly’ your list was, there was a sportsmanship score, and a painting score that took into account your display board too. All my scores across these different things were fairly high, which allowed me to finish where I did. The real surprise for me was being able to actually win some games, which I think is due to a combination of the progress I’ve made learning the game in the 6 months since I’ve started and also bringing a very resilient list. I definitely made mistakes, and received a lot of help in one game from the custom mission, but my opponents were definitely no slouches.

Here’s my list to refresh your memories:

~ Death Guard Vectorium ~
~ Core: Chaos Warband ~ (Everything has the Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War)
HQ: Chaos Lord on bike with power fist, lighting claw, sigil of corruption, and blight grenades

HQ: Chaos Sorcerer on bike with 2 additional mastery levels, a spell familiar, an aura of dark glory, and blight grenades

Troops: 10 Chaos Space Marines in a rhino with 2 plasma guns, sergeant has melta bombs

Troops: 10 Chaos Space Marines in a rhino with 2 plasma guns, sergeant has melta bombs

Elites: 5 Chaos Chosen in a rhino with 5 plasma guns, sergeant has melta bombs

Fast Attack: 5 Chaos Bikers with two melta guns, sergeant has melta bombs

Fast Attack: 5 Chaos Bikers with two melta guns, sergeant has melta bombs

Heavy Support: 5 Chaos Havocs with 4 autocannons

Heavy Support: 5 Chaos Havocs with 4 autocannons

~ Auxilliary: Spawn ~
Fast Attack: 5 Spawn with mark of Nurgle

Fast Attack: 5 Spawn with mark of Nurgle

Game one was fought against a mixed Alpha Legion and Thousand Sons chaos force, in a mission where we had to control the central lab building for four turns to find a cure for the zombie outbreak. Speaking of which, there were two units of zombies that would roam the battlefield attacking the nearest units. We both lost a rhino to them, and my opponent, Adrien, almost lost a unit of marines, but rallied at the last minute. This game only went to turn two due to the complexity of adding new zombies all the time, and both of us being fairly new and needing to ask a lot of rules questions. It was a great game that ended in an even draw.

Our starting positions. The zombies would add models for each enemy killed, and respawn d3 every turn. If the unit was destroyed, another would reappear.
Our starting positions. The zombies would add models for each enemy killed, and respawn d3 every turn. If the unit was destroyed, another would reappear.

Game two was quite a surprise. I went up against an Eldar list with several units of bikes, bike like things, war walkers, Wraithguard, a Wraithlord, Swooping Hawks, and some sort of artillery. Our mission was to amass kill points, and set on the scene of a volcanic eruption. There were 6 volcanic vents across the map that would do something each player turn. A D6 was rolled, and on a 1-3 there was simply smoke, stealth for everyone within 12″ of a vent. A 4-5 was a minor eruption, with each unit taking D3+1 Str 5 AP – hits within 9″. A 6 was a massive eruption, with each unit taking D3 Str 8 AP 3 hits within 6″. This rule alone ended up killing half of my opponent’s eldar forces before I even for to them. My own armour saves combined with feel no pain saved me a great deal, but I still felt some of the burn. The second rule in this mission was that all weapons that have the melta, lance, or flamer special rule, as well as weapons that shoot 4 or more shots per turn have the gets hot special rule. For my opponent, this was most of his army. I managed to walk away with a minor loss, one point separating our scores.

The Eldar approach. The Wave Serpent and War Walkers, as well as the Wraithknight and bigger bike things were all killed by the volcanic vents. Lucky me!
The Eldar approach. The Wave Serpent and War Walkers, as well as the Wraithknight and bigger bike things were all killed by the volcanic vents. Lucky me!

Game three was against an Iron Hands list. The mission was to grab a downed pilot and several cargo crates, with a dice being rolled each time a cargo crate was opened. If a 6 was rolled, it exploded, with devastating effect. I was exhausted by this point, and made several mistakes, one of them being forgetting to take more photos, but two very memorable things happened. The first was that when the Iron Hands Chapter Master came on the board I tied him up for the entire game with a unit of bikes, both unable to kill each other. The second was me learning what Devastator Centurions do, especially with grav cannons. Marines dropped like flies, and it looked very dire. However, the warp pulled through for me, and the Librarian that was attached to the Centurions suffered a perils of the warp, rolling a 1, and taking himself and the entire unit of Centurions with him. If that hadn’t happened, the game would have been lost. In the end I managed a victory by two points.

This was the first game where I managed to roll both of the -1 toughness powers for my Sorcerer. Made things a lot easier for my spawn to chew through! MVP for this battle would be the Havocs, who took down the fliers and saved me from a world of pain.
This was the first game where I managed to roll both of the -1 toughness powers for my Sorcerer. Made things a lot easier for my spawn to chew through! MVP for this battle would be the Havocs, who took down the fliers and saved me from a world of pain.

The first game of the second day was against the Genestealer Cults! I’d only played one game with these, and I was on the same side, so I was sort of expecting some funky deployment stuff. What I wasn’t expecting was this:

20 Genestealers and a Broodlord right in my grill.
20 Genestealers and a Broodlord right in my grill.

The mission for this game was kill points again, but with some new rules. Every weapon essentially had rending as we were in space, and all infantry became jump infantry and had to pass a dangerous terrain test otherwise be lost, flying off into space. The jumping autocannon Havocs were a particularly good time. I had the first turn, and my opponent managed to get his Genestealers and Broodlord right in front of my defensive line. I prayed to the dice gods as he rolled to seize the initiative, and lucky for me, he failed. I managed to get off both of my powers to lower toughness  and proceeded to pour every single shot I could muster into the unit. With the Broodlord and two Genestealers left, I charged, and quickly mopped up the remains. The rest of the fight was fairly one sided after that point, however my opponent did manage to kill my Chaos Lord with three lasgun shots, not even rending! I failed the three look out sirs, three armour saves, and three feel no pains. Ouch! I came out of that game with 10 points to my opponents 2.

The key to winning against Genestealer Cults is to overkill everything. If it's not alive, it can't come back to haunt you.
The key to winning against Genestealer Cults is to overkill everything. If it’s not alive, it can’t come back to haunt you.

Game five was a brutal defeat for me. It was also one of my favourite games of the weekend. I was matched up against an opponent with five Imperial Knights. I knew that my army was lacking in the anti-vehicle weaponry, and this really hit home in this game. Our mission was to hold two objectives, but by the end of the fourth turn I had very little left to do so with. My opponent was a true gentleman, and we agreed to game the game a little bit, so that he would get the victory but I would still walk away with the most points I could get. It was 3 to 13, but I did manage to kill a Knight, and bring one down to three hull points, so not as bad as it could have been. We were both surprised at how long it took him to dismantle my units, a true testament to the resiliency of the Death Guard. I’ve never fought a Knight before, so this was a huge learning experience as I had no idea what they did, and gave me some amazing inspiration for another army.

The knight on the right in the bottom left was destroyed by a lucky meltagun shot, only to be stomped on later by its friend.
The knight on the right in the bottom left was destroyed by a lucky meltagun shot, only to be stomped on later by its friend. At the end of the game I would only have my Havocs and half a marine squad left.

Game six was against White Scars. The mission was to control four objectives around a central mound, and a final objective at the top of the mound. The missions also made it so that psykers suffered a perils of the warp on ANY double. This almost proved fatal for my Sorcerer, who saved two times on his feel no pain. This game looked quite bad for me at the beginning, with a high unit of bikes full of characters, and several units of grav and plasma bikes coming in from reserve. Two Vindicators were also put to good use, decimating my units. Again, I managed to roll up both of my -1 to toughness powers, and put them both on the big bike unit. After several volleys of massed firepower, I managed to dismantle it, while my Spawn rushed to deal with the Vindicators. In the end I managed to pull a resounding victory of 13 to 3, all thanks to my life saving Spawn that I come to appreciate more and more each game.

This game really highlighted the different between toughness 5 and 6 bikers. The Spawn really delivered here, a lot of people underestimate them, me included.
This game really highlighted the different between toughness 5 and 6 bikers. The Spawn really delivered here, a lot of people underestimate them, me included.

I had a great time at the tournament, and played six fantastic games against some really cool people. Here’s a couple of things that I learned:

  • Nurgle Spawn are amazing. People always underestimated them, not expecting 40 S5 attacks on the first turn.
  • I probably wouldn’t take my Chaos Lord again. He didn’t really do much. My fault perhaps for not knowing what to do with him, but that’s another unit of Spawn!
  • Autocannon Havocs are really good. The two units I had did most of the heavy lifting, and were always a priority target. Relentless saved their bacon a couple of times, being able to run away from fights the didn’t want to be in, and still shoot stuff.
  • Apparently tradition is to tell your opponent of all the nasty things your army has. I always warned everyone that everything I had was fearless and T5 minimum with feel no pain. What I forgot to mention was that all but my Spawn were objective secured, something that really shocked people. It never came to matter in the end, but I didn’t know that was a big deal.

Can’t wait until my next tournament!

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3 thoughts on “Tournament summary

  1. I’ve come to view the Chaos Lord as a kind of tax on the Chaos Warband – you have to have one to get your Objective Secured Bikers, Havocs etcetera, so you take one and keep him cheap and don’t expect too much.

    Being able to run some T6 Bikers onto an objective at the last minute is a pretty big deal, as is being able to secure objectives near your own lines with a Havoc squad that still gets to contribute something at range. It’ll shock people because it directly addresses the victory conditions of most games – a lot of players tend to use Formations that don’t have access to Objective Secured and hope that contesting objectives will be enough.

    Glad you had a good time, and well done!

    Like

    1. He is rather tax-y isn’t he? I think in future I’d give him fewer weapon options and gear, and make the Sorcerer the Warlord. The bikes and Rhinos saved my bacon more times than I can count, most people just don’t expect so much objective secured in an army.

      Liked by 1 person

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