I finally placed the finishing touches on an all-dread list. It was a tight squeeze at 1500, but I threw down 8 dreads, with 7 drop pods. The list:
Champions of Fenris:
- HQ – Bjorn
- 4 Elites – Murderfang, 2 Venerable Axe/Shield dreads, 1 Ven with a Multi-melta and Heavy Flamer; all with drop pods
- Fast Attack – 2 Drop pods
Allied Detachment [Blood Angels]:
- HQ – Librarian Furioso: Mastery Level 2, Meltagun, Drop Pod
- Troop – Cassor the Damned
- Elite – Furioso: Frag Cannon, Heavy Flamer
1500 on the nose.
The tournament used a unique set of rules, featuring a bidding system to determine the deployment map and primary mission. The secondary and bonus objectives (for tie breakers) were different for each round. I spent my bids ensuring that I would never play The Relic, which cannot be scored by an all-vehicle army. I was successful in that endeavor. On with the recap!
Purge the Alien, Hammer and Anvil
vs Paul’s Blood Angels
Paul and I have squared off in just about every tournament, with two certainties: friendly banter…And Paul’s horrid dice. This proved to be the case yet again. Paul deployed and went first (the only unit on my side was Cassor, safely hiding behind ruins), moving up and spreading out. He dropped his lone pod, with Furioso hitching a ride, mid-map, in the open and alone. Fortunately he had no targets, as Cassor was hugging the terrain. Come the bottom of the turn, I dropped 4 dreads -3 with melta, and the template-wielding Furioso- in his start zone and commenced to blasting away. First Blood was slow to come by, as my melta kept missing. However, my Furioso dropped 3 templates on a hapless squad of marines, soon reducing them to slag.
Paul’s lone dreadnought set his sites on Cassor, and the two slowly plodded forward to resolve a classic dread-on-dread cat fight; Cassor came out on top, although down to one wound. Meanwhile, Murderfang and the Axe/Shield dreads thinned out Paul’s infantry, while the Librarian Furioso finally removed his pigeon-holed Land Raider; Bjorn took out a Predator for his part. Come Turn 5, Paul only had his Storm Raven remaining. Paul’s melta dice were abysmal , as 1’s were the default roll for the day (his Plasma Cannon also got hot on his only shot). Had he experienced even remotely average rolls, the game would have been a much closer contest. I took the Primary and most of the Secondary objectives, as well as the bonus points.
Final score: 23-3
Crusade, Dawn of War
vs Carter’s Dark Eldar
I was glad to have packed a ton of Heavy Flamers, as they would surely come in handy against Carter’s Venoms. However, he was also fielding a Corpsethief Claw formation, with Talos engines running rampant. As such, I did not have a huge answer to this star. Luckily, he could only kill one unit a turn with them, but it still made for an intimidating presence mid-board.
The crafty Carter placed his objectives on the top of ruins, and then planted bodies on them…Making it nigh to impossible for my slow, bulky dreads to reach them.
I went first and dropped 4 pods into the mix; two close to the Talos’, and one each on the table edges close to his objectives (I was fortunate to suffer no drop mishaps for the entire tourney). I flamed Venoms and attempted to drop some wounds on the Talos; the former proved sound, while the latter was a wash (I had a hard time denting those guys). I was hoping to get Murderfang into the mix, but he fell to Talos melta shots before he could earn his points. Still, I kept pressure on all of the objectives, while a lone Venerable dread held the center against the rapidly approaching Corpsethief Claw. He fell after a couple of turns, although he did take out a Talos for his trouble.
The rest of the game was spent trying to flush Carter off of the objectives, with minimal success: I had to abandon the middle objective as I had nothing left to contest it with, but I was able to contest one in my opponent’s start zone. A lone Incubi (or Mandrake? It rocked 2+ saves for most of the game) held out to keep an objective. Carter also sent his warlord to nab one of my objectives; Cassor was able to fry his Venom, but the pesky archon kept me tied up (I believe that Objective Secured helped out, though). The game ended on turn 5: Carter took the Primary 12 – 3 (we tied on objectives, but his additional VPs earned from the Corpsethief Claw put edged him to the top); I took the Secondary 8-4; I believe that we tied on Bonus points, which was determined by the ownership of table quarters. Final tally: Carter’s 16 to my 11.
Crusade, Hammer and Anvil
vs Kevin’s Necrons
Kevin sported a pure nemesis build to my list: a bunch of gauss-wielding necrons with rending Wraiths running rampant, backed up by a wicked lil Royal Court consisting of Nemesor Zandrek, Obyron, Orikan, and a lord and cryptek. My only consolation was that I had more units compared to him, discounting his characters. As such, salvation lay in holding as many crusade objectives as possible. Still, I seized initiative and went for an alpha strike of sorts against his clustered units (currently sitting in one mass of bodies). I dropped my Furioso, Murderfang and Venerable dread – basically anything with template weaponry- adjacent to his unit and commenced to laying down templates. There must have been at least 40 wounds inflicted, but thanks to his saves and reanimation protocols, he only lost a handful of warriors and no wraiths. My dreads were soon pummeled by rerolling wraith attacks, so I wisely decided to go for the points, instead of the gusto.
Kevin gated a necron blob towards the middle of the map, while I dropped my remaining dreads onto objectives and/or terrain. My turns were short, as I hid my dreads from return fire. I was able to charge his warrior blob with an axe dread (despite incurring 3 glances from overwatch…Luckily, the shield stopped 2 of them), tying them up for the game. Bjorn kept the Wraithstar busy for a couple of turns before succumbing to their potent attacks, and Cassor walked on late-game to nab the one objective in my start zone.
It wasn’t exactly pretty, but I pulled ahead on the secondary to take the points, 14 – 10.
I had enough points to take second place, which was cool. I love the dread army, although it still needs a mobile hammer of sorts, since the pods only grant pseudo-mobility: once they drop, they are essentially worthless. My scatter rates were good, although I did scatter off of objectives numerous times. Live and learn.