With chaos army in tow, I journeyed to my slight northeast to partake in the second annual CtA GT…Come and see how it turned out!
Having completed a somewhat-recent RT tournament, I found an army that was fun to build and had a few nasty surprises. It consisted of:
-Spearhead Detachment with Abaddon (Warlord) and 3 squads of oblits
-Outrider Detachment with a Death Guard daemon prince (sword and plague spitter), 3 foetid-bloat drones (2 with spitters; one with heavy blight launcher), and a Foul Blightspawn
-Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment with one renegade knight with reaper chainsword, thermal cannon and ironstorm missile launcher.
I unfortunately don’t get a lot of practice games in these days; since I had some experience with this list, I opted to run with it. I decided to make some modifications based off of my experiences. Since the knight died quickly each game, I replaced the rather lackluster thermal cannon with a cheaper thunderstrike gauntlet, and then added a small squad of cultists with the remaining points. I wanted to work in a sorcerer for Death Hex, but I figured I could spend a CP to use the Chaos Familiar stratagem to swap out my daemon prince’s spell for Death hex, as needed.
Abaddon sporting a clothespin on his nose
The tournament itself utilized missions based on the Warzone Atlanta mission set, and final standings were also heavily influenced by a painting score and sportmanship score, respectively.
vs Chris’ Drukhari, consisting of a Drukhari *Prophets of the Flesh* battalion (Haemonculus, Urien, wracks and talos), a *Kabal of the Black Heart* battalion (Archons, Kabalite warriors, Ravagers and venoms), and an *Altioch* Craftworlds supreme command detachment (a farseer and two spiritseers)
Mission 1: Secure the Center – Primary = 3 Siege and Hold objectives scored at the end of game; Secondary = Select a single battlefield role from opponent’s army and kill as many as possible to get points; Tertiaries: alternative first blood, slay the warlord, linebreaker
Deployment: Front-line Assault
I chose Chris’ Venom transports as my secondary, as there were quite a few of them and I figured I would be targeting them anyways. For his part, he selected my obliterator units.
I plopped my knight in the middle with a drone and the foul blightspawn nearby and in cover. with the remaining drones and dp hiding out on my right flank, while the cultists made themselves invisible on the left, chest-deep in terrain. Abaddon and the Oblits stayed in reserve.
Chris went first and proceeded to strip my knight of all but a handful of wounds. I in turn moved up everything else, leaving the cultists hiding out for a later turn. I also decided to drop all of my oblit squads and Abaddon in my startzone, which allowed me to remove 2 venoms and quickly pick up some secondaries, while the drones picked away at the approaching Talos.
So many targets, so few guns!
Turn 2, Chris easily dropped my knight…Who in turn blew up and dished out a ton of wounds to practically all of his army. Unfortunately for me, I could not roll more than 1-2 mortal wounds for each unit (other than my own…ha), so he ended up with a ton of dice-wound markers to train around the field. In hindsight, the logistics of it made the actual explosion a bit anti-climatic!
My daemon prince and drones took some mortals as well, but they were able to stick around and reduce the Talos squads and a couple of Chris’ HQs before succumbing to the potent volleys. The oblits and eventually Abaddon were also taken down, leaving me with only my cultist squad hiding out for a desperate gambit. Chris forgot about them and moved most of his remaining units towards my startzone to nab objectives on turn 5. Come turn 6, I used Tide of Traitors to drop in on his objective, shoot away a couple of Wracks who were squatting on said objective, and then make the 9″ charge into them, as glorious cultists often do.
Unfortunately for me, Chris was able to make a 10″ charge and get one of his Archons into combat with the cultists on his final turn, flushing them off of the table and tabling me at the eleventh hour.
Final score: 25 to 11, loss to me
vs Ben’s House Hawkshroud Knight Lances
Knight Gallant warlord, Knight Gallant, Knight Crusader, Knight Preceptor, Armiger Warglaive x2
Mission 2: Take and Move, consisting of objectives scored after turn 2 onwards, followed by table quarters as secondaries.
Deployment: Front-line Assault
What to say about this game? It was a blast, but it was a tale of sorrow and some ill-fated tragedy for m army, turning into a lethal version of ‘cat and mouse’. Ben loaded up the middle with his knights, while my brave chaos knight faced them down with drones and the foul blightspawn in support. Ben went first and unleashed hell on my army, killing a drone, injuring another, and putting a few wounds on my knight.
He then charged into my knight with one of his gallants; due to the Blightspawn’s revolting stench ability, I was able to intercept combat with my knight and swing back…And whiffed on EVERY ATTACK. Ben then easily smacked it into submission, where it exploded and further damaged my army. The masters of chaos are indeed fickle.
On my turn, I again dropped the obliterators on my side of the board, blowing away an armiger and severely injured another.
Despite taking fire from the oblits, Ben shuffled a gallant into my objective-holding cultists while charging his battlecannon/avenger wielding knight into my hiding cultists who were intent on making a run for a nearby objective The first knight fell shortly to oblits, while the later was able to stay out of range and rack up primaries.
From here, Ben shuffled his remaining knights away from my oblits, who in turn slowly ambled after him in order to dislodge them…But to no avail. When turn six dropped, Ben claimed the victory, 17 to 12 in a close and nasty game. Good stuff!
vs Nick’s Iron Warriors Slaanesh list: Battalion with Helwright on Dark Abeyant (warlord), daemon prince, 2 40-man melee cultist blobs, 1 squad of chaos space marines; 1 Spearhead detachment with chaos lord on Bike and 3 predators; 1 Aquila Strongpoint with vortex missile battery.
Mission 3: Clear the Path – Primary = Kill points/Prioritized Targets; Secondary = Relic
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Nick had a good claim on the relic, with his fearless infantry blobs. Still, I was hellbent on continuing my tradition of rocking the secondaries and resolved to nab it early. I chose his 3 predators as my prioritized targets, while he chose my obliterators in return. I planned on going high diddle diddle right up the middle with my knight and drones, targeting his cultists and trying to wipe them out before they tide back.
Nick went first and advanced up to the relic with his blobs. He then fired his vortex missile and did an astounding 35 mortal wounds to my knight…Who luckily did not explode this game. Outside of that rotten fortune, his shooting was relatively obscure on account of most of my army hiding out.
I pushed forward and flamed out the cultists with drones and the daemon prince, while my oblits dropped in and unloaded everything at the predators…And failed to kill even one.
Nick responded my tearing up something with a vortex missile (drone, perhaps?), and thinning out my oblits with the predators. In turn, I was able to charge into his biker lord, killing him, and then removing all but a handful of cultists. Unfortunately, not enough to keep Nick from tiding into my backline. The Helwright grabbed the relic and moved towards the predators; however, the Blightspawn lit up a predator and then joined Abaddon, the prince and drones, along with my remaining cultists, multi-charged into them and was eventually able to drop everything in CC, the old-fashioned chaos way.
I was able to take possession of the relic, but lost the drones to shots from the Aquila and remaining cultists, and eventually Abaddon to the cultists in my backline (although he tied them up for a couple of turns and thinned them out nicely).
Taking the relic, while Abaddon holds off the cultist swarm, alone and unfettered.
Come turn 6, I had the relic, with only my Foul Blightspawn left alive. The secondary was mine, but Nick inched me out on the primary, along with earning one two more tertiaries. The final cut was a loss, 18 – 11
Going into day 2, it is not an understatement to say that I was not the most motivated player in the tournament at this point. I was having fun, for sure, but at this point, one starts to consider going for the bottom spot merely to achieve something unique, if anything.
Nick, basking in the victory.
vs Bjorn’s Space Wolves/Imperial Knights: Space Wolves Battalion – Harald, Wolf lord and priest, grey hunters, sword-and-board dread and wulfen; Wolves Supreme Command detachment – 3 rune priests with jump packs; Superheavy Auxiliary detachment – Knight Castellan, Household Raven
Mission 4: Seek and Destroy – Primary = end of game objectives; Secondary = Percentage kill points.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Bjorn was rocking a rather nasty build, with a ton of melee threats mixed up with some solid shooting and psychics. I went first, reserved the oblits and Abaddon, and just rushed everything forward with wanton abandonment. My shooting was mainly out of range, although the bloat drone dinged a wound here and there with his heavy blight launcher (underrated, IMHO).
Bjorn’s shooting was a bit lackluster, but he responded by pulling off a charge with his ven dread into a drone, slapping a few wounds in the process. My knight made a bee line for Bjorn’s knight, weathering a ton of shooting and losing wounds left and right, while my prince and drones positioned to take on the ven dread.
Abby and oblits dropped in on my left, close enough to try and push some shots into the knight – Bjorn immediately dropped a stratagem to shoot at one squad of oblits when they arrived – he took out the slaanesh-marked oblits, which understandably stymied my firepower. Still, I was able to damage his knight somewhat. The dread was removed, but my knight failed his charge.
The wulfen engaged my knight and wrapped into some nearby oblits – the wulfen would eventually fall to Abaddon, but not before thinning out the oblits and my knight (who did not explode). Bloat drones targeted rune priests, removing one but getting slapped around by the remaining.
Bjorn’s nasty little firebase of death and fangs
A drone was able to deliver the final shot on Bjorn’s knight, but at this point I did not have much left to contest objectives (in my defense, neither did he): I owned the objective in my startzone and nabbed the middle, but Bjorn’s wolf lord (with the Bloodstone/Wulfenstone, what-the-fugever-it-is-called..damned thing is nasty) and wolf priest were able to kill off my remaining oblits and the daemon prince, and stretch out a Grey Hunter squad just enough to nab a key objective.
When the fur settled, Bjorn took the win 25 – 17. We had at least 2-3 turns without nary a kill, but when death came to visit, it came in spades. As such, it got messy in the end, and it was a fun game. As with all of my opponents, Bjorn was a fun one; he is a wellspring of knowledge on the game, and he helps to run a podcast called Dangli Boys, which is a great listen if you are looking for some audible candy.
vs Trenton’s beautiful Imperial Guard army – Tank commanders, infantry, scions, bullgryns, mortar teams, a beefy shadowsword and a sassy lil astropath.
Mission 5: Seize Control – Primary = siege and hold objectives; Secondary = Kill Points.
Deployment: Hammer and blasted Anvil
So, playing IG on Hammer and Anvil can be an exercise in humility; couple that with the point neither Trenton nor I had yet to win a game, and you get an aura of desperation on my part countered by Trenton’s skeptical notion of blowing me off of the map. I got real tactical in my deployment: I just laid it all in the open and on the front edge of my startzone. However, I chickened out last-minute and placed Abby and the oblits into teleport reserves.
Look upon this highly tactical deployment and despair!
Objectives be damned; I was focusing on secondaries and not much else. Kill or be killed, all in the name of that wooden spoon award bestowed upon last place!
As befitting my deployment, Trenton went first and blew my cultists to smithereens, earning a tertiary but sparing some of my other units some shots. He kept his Shadowsword and scions in reserve and just blasted away, damaging a drone with mortars. I advanced up on turn 1 and did not do much else.
Turn 2 saw the Shadowsword drop in and pound my knight, which miraculously lived! Drones tied up a gatling russ while the ironstorm picked away at some embedded mortars. My opponent kept his scions in reserves, whilst I dropped in my oblits and blasted the shadowsword off of the board.
My knight somehow survived the shadowsword’s pounding…
While the oblits drop in and removed it from the table. They bring tears to my eyes…
Trenton dropped his scions in on turn 3 to cap my objectives; an oblit unit quickly removed one unit of scions, but the others hunkered down out of sight and got out their hip flasks – their job was done.
Trenton continued picking away at my units, and he pushed forward with his bullgryns and priest, all the while capping primaries.
For the emperor, and free soup!
No sweat: I stomped his priest into a paste and put a dent in the bullgryns before my knight finally died (no explosion), while my drones and daemon prince targeted the units on Trenton’s right flank.
Got my stomping shoes on.
The astropath drew her laspistol and snapped a couple of blind shots before getting pasted by the daemon prince, and my drones went to work in tying up guardsmen while the oblits lumbered forward with slowly thinning numbers.
To summarize: he capped objectives while my units slaughtered what they could. Despite my command of the secondaries, Trenton quite handily won the match 28 – 13. In hindsight, I should have just started my oblits on my startzone to finalize the loss…But I just could not bring myself to do it ha – It was a great game, and we had a ton of laughs to end our tournament adventure on a high note.
BCP points-wise, I ended up in last place. However, factoring in paint score popped me up to 17th place, which denied the wooden spoon to me but I reckon restored a small shred of dignity to my 40k namesake.
Now, I obviously am not going to sing on the rooftop for the performance of my army. But, I still want to push out a grade for each of my units:
- Abaddon: B+ – Abby was a beast in combat, and the rerolls for Oblit shooting is always worth the points. I still think he needs either large cultist blobs, or more CP for stratagems such as the Khorne ‘fight-again’ one, but he did not disappoint too much, outside of one game. I think it is worth having a Slaanesh sorcerer give him Feel no Pain as well, but that went against the theme of my army (well, outside of one unit of oblits with the slaanesh mark; at least they still looked nurgley).
- Cultists: B – They drew fire and squatted on objectives where applicable. I did not ask for much from them, and in return they did not give me much…Only precisely what I expected.
- Obliterators: B+ – The mark of Nurgle was purely for theme, as that is how my oblits are painted up. However, the slaanesh-marked ones are obviously the way to go, unless I plan on adding a Feculent Gnarlmaw anytime soon (I don’t). Their shooting with Abaddon is almost always potent, outside of one game where they could not kill a predator. But with their inherent variance in shot power, that is to be expected at times.
- Daemon Prince with Plaguespitter/sword: C+ – just not enough attacks to make it worthwhile, and the plaguespitter is usually not enough shots to make it worthwhile, either. I don’t think I would run this configuration again unless I was running 2 princes kitted out with the spitter/sword, along with 3 drones, and melting large troop blobs to the ground. I also generally swapped out his one spell with Death Hex for 1 CP, although Plague Wind helped out in thinning out cultists in game 3.
- Drones with spitters: B+ – Good for blasting down infantry and even pinging wounds on wounded vehicles, these guys are always good to me. Next time, I will try to run a Nurgle Daemons detachment for Epidemius and healing, although that really blends out the composition of this list.
- Drone with Heavy Blight Launcher: A- – This guy is just a good loadout for me. Even just 1 or 2 successful wounds with his gun will hurt practically any target, and keeping him close to the prince makes him a bit more accurate. I feel this is an underrated loadout for armies that don’t have a ton of shooting. I shall keep him in my lists.
- Foul Blightspawn: B – When he is hot, he can melt anything (Leman Russes, knights, etc). He was lackluster in my last tournament, where I managed to roll less than 4 for his weapon’s strength; however, he was on fire a bit more this time around, hitting clutch shots when needed. I would probably run 2 next time, if I have points to spare.
- Knight: B- – I took him to draw fire, which he did quite well. The Ironstorm is really only good against mortar teams that like to hide out of sight. I still prefer this build over the thermal cannon solely for the additional attack and WS, as when he gets into combat, and does not whiff, he cleans house. I think that he does not fit well in my particular army, which is more a knock on his synergy rather than the actual ability. In short, he was fun to watch blow up, if anything. If one can afford to reroll the explosion, he makes his points back if one can blow him up when surrounded by enemy units…So there may be something in that vein that keeps him in my list (but only if I can get more CP, as I was only rolling with 7).
Wrapping up, I enjoyed the tournament immensely, and kudos to Chandler and his team for pulling off a fun weekend, where even the last place player looks forward to next year’s event. I had a great time, met some new friends, and was able to hand out some new stuff I have been working on, such as custom bases, game organizers, and other miscellany. Good times!