Another two month hiatus. It is a perpetual goal of mine to blog regularly, but when life gets busy this is one thing that gets put aside. Although adding another child to the family probably counts as a good excuse for not having much time to blog. Anyway, in my last blog post I established about a two month window to paint my army up and have it ready for the Khornehusker RTT that took place this past weekend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep to that schedule with work, Ellie’s arrival, and other things eating up my time. Fortunately, I had built in a week to work on the display board. I was able to take the hit and just use my generic display board from my fantasy army instead and help distribute the work load from the two weeks I lost when Ellie was born.
The arrival of the Space Marine codex obviously changed things, too. Originally I had planned to take:
Primary: Captain, 2 Tac Squads in rhinos, Rifleman Dread, Assault Terminators, Thunderfire Cannon, Devastators
Secondary: CCS, PCS, 2x Infantry Squads w/ ML in Chimeras, Heavy Weapons Team, Vendetta
I adjusted my list a little bit for two big reasons. First, I was running out of time. I had about two weeks to the tournament and I still had an infantry squad / chimera to paint, a vendetta, and the devastators. I knew I couldn’t do that and I didn’t want to rush painting since I wanted to use this army for Adepticon 2014 and other events (plus, I didn’t want to want to compromise my painting score). Second, I had to deal with the meta. I knew of at least five guys bringing at least two Riptides and/or Wraithknights … and that called for Centurions. I wanted a way to get Centurions to my opponent if they turtled up, and that meant a stormraven (I also wanted to use a SR because I had my display board stormraven transport model basically table top ready paint wise, which would save me time). I also wanted a way to counter fliers, so I dug out my aegis defense line I used in my list last year.
So, my updated list was:
Primary: Captain, 2 Tac Squads in rhinos, Rifleman Dread, Assault Terminators, Thunderfire Cannon, Centurions, Stormraven
Allies: CCS, PCS, Infantry Squad w/ ML in Chimera, Heavy Weapons Team
The only thing that wasn’t “done” painting wise was a second rhino. Fortunately, I had my whirlwind from my old army still and it had the minimum three colors. I tucked it in the back corner just because I hated that it didn’t match the color scheme of either the Imperial Fists or the Guard allies.
This would easily be the toughest Khornehusker yet. It was the fourth time running the tournament, and it was becoming an established item on the local players’ calendar. Usually we flirted with 10-12 players, this year we had 24 (counting the ringer) – only 2 vacant spots!
Game 1: Robert (Grey Knights)
Robert is a local player that I would occasionally see at Lair 2, but he’s more often seen at Lair 1. I honestly felt dirty going into this game. The scenario had Hammer and Anvil deployment, and all he has is three terminator squads (not paladins, terminators). He keeps one in reserve. I move my terminators and centurions up, and take out some of his models with long range shooting. The Centurions only manage to take a few off in the first turn because it was night fighting, and the only unit they could see was on a mysterious objective that gave +1 to cover.
Turn 2 things unravel. Without night fighting, the centurions move up and wipe a terminator squad clean with one salvo. My tactical marine squad had their rhino immobilized in turn 1, so they ‘re on foot and just dump a ton of fire into the other terminator squad along with my thunderfire cannon and what long range shooting can see them.
Turn 3 the game was done. His squad arrives, but scatters off the board and he rolls a 1 on the mishap chart. Dead squad. My centurions kill them after he fails to get stuck in combat with my assault terminators and captain. I table him, and I win 20-0.
Game 2: Adrien (Daemons / CSM Allies)
Adrien is a new player to the area – he’s from France and is here on work assignment for about a year. He played the ringer in round one, so it was difficult to say what his ability was and what the ability of his list was.
This mission was vanguard deployment, and it was an attempt at the cumulative style mission that the NOVA Open used this year. He had Kairos, 3 daemon princes (all at ML 3), 2 squads of horrors, one the DPs carrying the portaglyph warp summoner thing, and CSM allies with DP and a 5 man chaos space marine squad. I got my ass thoroughly kicked in this game. He went first (the picture above from my twitter profile is right after he completed turn one movement) and got all of his buffs off without any problem. This is where my lack of practice games and experience with top quality players and lists really became apparent, as I did a number of poor things to really kill my chances to win the game.
First – in my deployment I’ve got a number of units high up in deployment. I should’ve held back to give myself another turn of possible shooting before getting into assault. Then on first turn I should have concentrated all my fire on one DP until I either killed it or forced a grounding check. They all had 3+ armor (except Kairos), so as soon as one went to ground odds are I’d kill it with my centurions’ grav cannons. The problem was that I was concerned with LOS producing cover and scattered my shots across all the daemons. I put 1-2 wounds on all the DPs, but he passed every single grounding check. From there it was kind of inevitable. He blew open a rhino and then assaulted the squad with the other daemon prince on the right. Another daemon prince got stuck in with my terminators, while the other three cast a ton of offensive psychic abilities until they could land right next to my rear guard units and wipe them up. I managed to kill all but one of his scoring units (he summoned three more during the course of the game), but all of his daemon princes were alive at the end and all I had left were 2 tactical marines and a thunderfire cannon.
The biggest issue in this game was the psychic buffs. I simply couldn’t stop them, and any time I got close to turning the tide rerolls would get him right back in the game. I got 0 battle points, and after coming out of round 1 in 2nd place, I was back down to the middle of the pack.
Game 3: Matt (Eldar)
I played Matt for round 3, the same Matt I played in the Charity Tournament (and it was basically the same exact list if I remember right). This did not end well for Matt. Turn 1, I seized the initiative on him. He had his wraithknight right up on the front of his deployment zone (dawn of war). I moved my centurions up to get within shooting range, and killed the Wraithknight in one volley. The combined autocannons of my quad gun, heavy weapons team, and dreadnought killed all his war walkers. My thunderfire cannon killed his harlequin squad in one blow. Did I mention that was all first turn? He tried to get his Avatar up in my face and jam the middle of the board so he could focus on squishier targets (like my guard), but my Centurions killed that turn 2 and my terminators combo charged his guardians and dire avengers. His warp spiders killed my thunderfire cannon before getting killed themselves. I eventually killed his snipers in the back corner to table him on turn 5. He only killed my thunderfire cannon and a rhino.
I got another 20-0, so I finished the day 2-1 with 40 battle points. When the standings were tallied up I wound up with 5th place. I got good sports scores and I had the fourth highest painting score in the whole tournament, which I was *really* happy about because JT and Russ were paint judging, and they have notoriously high standards for paint scores. Given that I absolutely got my face kicked in round 2, I was super happy with 5th place.
That round 2 loss stuck with me in a good way. Adrien ended up winning the tournament after crushing Beau’s IG in round 3, so I felt better losing to the tournament champion. But more importantly, it gave me some good thoughts going forward with my list. By far, my MVPs were my centurions and the thunderfire cannon. My tactical squads did quite well too, and bolter drill makes short range fire even better from them. The stormraven did next to nothing, and the only time my terminators did anything was against guardians and dire avengers (which I should be killing in combat anyway).
So I’m back to the drawing board for my army list. The biggest thing I want is psychic defense, and for that I’m going to test dropping the Guard as allies and picking up space wolves. A rune priest is the only thing left in the game that can block psychic buffs in a nice 24″ bubble. I’m thinking of dropping the guard allies, the storm raven, and the terminators and picking up:
Space Wolf allies:
Rune Priest w/ Chooser of the Slain
Grey Hunters – 9x, Plasma Gun, Rhino
Long Fangs, 5x, 4 Missile Launchers
-Adding a 5 man Devastator Squad w/ 4x Lascannons
-Adding a Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer Missiles
-Dropping Teeth of Terra to a Power Axe or dropping Captain to a MotF
Now I lose two scoring units (although I can combat squad), 6 autocannon shots, a Chimera, a missile shot, a counter assault unit in my terminators, and the stormraven. I gain 4 lascannon shots, 4 missile shots, psychic defense, and some medium strength shots in the Stormtalon.
Except for the counter assault unit, I really think I come out ahead here. I still have some great long range shooting from the devs and long fangs, and the quad gun got even better now because I’ll park my devastator sergeant on it and pass tank hunter onto the gun. Again, most important is the Rune Priest. Not only is that psychic defense, but with Jaws it gives me another tool against the Taudar monster spam.
I’m not sure how it will play. If I like it then I’ll settle and just start getting games in. I’ll post more pictures from the Khornehusker later, but for now I wanted to get initial thoughts up on the blog.