Josh brought a pretty shiny red Eldar force. I don’t remember exactly what he had, but something like:
Farseer on a bike
10 Dark Reapers
Shining Spears on Jetbikes
5 Wraithguard in a Wave Serpent
3 war walkers
This was a madcap adventure of a scenario!
There is a Mechanicus Character (who I’ll refer to as the Techpriest for the rest of the BatRep) who has valuable information. He is protected by four Kastellan Robots. He’s trying to run from the centre of the table to a corner. The Techpriest can’t be shot, targeted by psychic powers, or suffer mortal wounds. He must be subdued in the fight phase. Once subdued, he can be carried around like The Relic, but if the carrier is slain, he recovers with 1 wound and continues his escape attempt.
I didn’t like the tiny deployment zone. It was only 6″ wide, and most of my tanks are that long. It didn’t give me much ability to “bubble wrap” my tanks.
Eldar Turn 1
Josh got first turn, and immediately did some trickery to get his shining spears into close combat range with 4 of my tanks. They have a long move, then Josh used a psychic power that let them move AGAIN! He skewered my wyvern, took 10 wounds off of Pask, and consolidated into a hellhound. I hate the way people can consolidate without overwatch….
This put me on my heels, and gave me flashbacks to many first turn tablings had before. He got his war walkers into close combat with the Kastellan Robots and tried tying up the Techpriest target.
Guard Turn 1
My turn to strike back. I dropped my “Bullgryn bomb” into the fray in the centre with the Kastellan Robots, Techpriest, and War Walkers. I drove a wounded hellhound towards his wave serpent, as a sort of suicide run; I was counting on in exploding and causing some havoc.
The rest of my troops skewered the Shining Spears that were embedded in my deployment zone.
The bullgryns managed to beat down the War Walkers and Subdue the Techpriest.
Eldar Turn 2
We were both excitedly invested in the game now. Josh was also double-fisting beers at this time, which I think made him more excited.
He threw almost everything he had at the fray in the middle. He blew my Valkyrie out of the sky, but somehow, one of my Bullgryns survived with 1 wound!
Josh deployed the Wraithguard from his Wave Serpent and shot at the wounded Hellhound. As expected, it exploded and took some of the Wraithguard with it!
Guard Turn 2
This turn is a scene that I think would make an epic movie. My last remaining bullgryn made a run out of the middle dragging the Objective with him. I covered his escape with two hellhounds and a taurox.
I really wanted the last Kastellan Robot to kill my Ministorum Priest in Close Combat so I’d get another narrative objective, but, regrettably, the 4++ save saved him.
With my shooting, I managed to finish off Josh’s wraithguard.
Eldar Turn 3
This is a continuation of that epic scene. Josh used the same psychic trickery to get some jetbikes in front of my retreating bullgryn. Somehow, he still survived! I picture about 20 shurikens embedded in the Bullgryn’s slabshield.
Josh used some psychic powers to debuff my Hellhounds, then destroyed them with the dark reapers and D-cannons. The ensuing explosions finished off the jetbikes, Priest, last Kastellan Robot, and the last bullgryn. Very explosive!
However, that means that Techpriest gets back up with 1 wound!
Guard Turn 3
Both Josh and I were desperate NOT to let the Techpriest get away because we would BOTH lose. This is where things got desperate.
I had an infantry squad heading to get a Narrative Objective by waiting in the escape corner. Instead, I charged them into combat with the Techpriest, and surprisingly, their bayonets subdued the target and I reclaimed the objective.
I also started sprinting my Company Commander and last remaining Infantry squad towards to objective from the corner. I got some very favourable advance rolls with the “move, move, move” order.
Eldar Turn 4
Josh brought whatever he had left to the Techpriest, including his farseer on jetbike, and a couple of characters. He managed to kill off my infantry squad, so the Techpriest was free, again!
Even more desperation: Company Commander and last squad of infantry try to chase down the target who has awoken again!
Guard Turn 4
My guardsmen and company commander were able to charge the techpriest, but unfortunately could not subdue him. The 2+ save was pretty good against my AP0 attacks. Should have given the Company Commander a better weapon than a chainsword.
Eldar Turn 5
Josh swept in and removed my infantry, and claimed the objective. That was about it for the game since I had no infantry left to try to claim the objective.
I can imagine the scenario as the Eldar explain what happened to their superiors. Something about the Mon-keigh interfering and trying to take their target, but ultimately they succeeded.
I could have conceded the Relic earlier and tried getting more narrative objectives. But, shooting for the moon made it more exciting.
I attended Astronomi-con for the first time in September, and I don’t know why I haven’t been going for years!
It’s definitely a different kind of event in ALL the best ways. I understand why people go to tournaments to WAAC (win at all costs), but I think Warhammer is more fun when it’s narrative and trying to tell a story. And I think that’s the real joy of the hobby that Mike and Christian have been able to distill into this event.
I finished the tournament with 2 ties, 1 win, and 2 losses. No awards for me, but as my first time, I think I’m pretty happy. I expected a narrative event, but people still brought lists that were TOUGH and POWERFUL. I suppose you don’t want people taking it easy on you.
I plan on writing battle reports for many (if not all) of the 5 battles. But this may be a good summary for the whole thing.
I should note that BIG FAQ 2 dropped the day before this tournament, nerfing the FAQ farm that Astra Militarum used to enjoy so much. I quickly switched out my Warlord’s relic, but I definitely felt the lack of CP.
I was going to write a fluff piece about how this Cadian regement (the 77th) “liberated” a planet, but had no Cadia to return home to. So, they took this abandoned garage as their new home.
And really, I wanted to cram as many vehicles as possible into a list because I like them, and they’re hard to kill.
I used the special Astronimi-con “narrative detachment” (2-3 hq, 4-5 troops, 1-2 Elites, 1-2 fast, 1-2 heavy, 0-1 flyers) for +10 CP.
My army for all five games was the following 90 power list.
Company Commander with Boltgun, Grand Strategist, and Relic of Lost Cadia (Warlord)
Knight Commander Pask in Executioner Leman Russ with Plasma Sponsors, Lascannon, Hunter-Killer Missile, Storm Bolter and track guards
2x Infantry Squad with Vox-caster, plasma, Lascannon, and boltgun for sergerant
2x Infantry Squad with Vox-caster, plasma, and plasma pistol and power sword for sergeant
ministorum priest with laspistol and chainword
3x bullgryns with Slabshield and bullgryn maul
2x hellhounds with heavy bolter, storm bolter, Hunter-Killer Missile and track guards
1x hellhound with heavy bolter, storm bolter
2x basilisks with heavy bolter, and Hunter-Killer Missile
wyvern with heavy bolter, and Hunter-Killer Missile
-Valkyrie with Lascannon, Multiple Rocket Pods, and 2x Heavy bolters
2x taurox with 2x autocannons and storm bolter
The Bullgryns and Priest were in the Valkyrie and used the tactic that is apparently called the “Bullgryn bomb.” The Valkyrie can move up to 40″, and then the transported units inside can disembark at any point of the movement path, as long as they are 9″ away from an enemy. Then, it’s a regular disembarkation, so the troops inside can move their usual 6″. So, these 3 big angry bullgryns wind up 3″ away from a priority target on turn 1. They really do hit like an avalanche of muscle, with 3 attacks each (4 on the bone ‘ead), +1 attack each on the charge, +1 attack each from the priest = 16 S7 attacks, hitting on 3+, -1 AP, 2D each!
Many things I learned during this tournament:
Hellhounds are THE BOMB! Literally and figuratively. The 2D6 auto-hits are a wonderful trick. There are so many things that reduce the already pitiful accuracy of guardsmen so having something automatically hit is lovely. Especially with overwatch!
I even took out a flyer, with flamethrowers! Does’t sound right, but given how the hitting mechanics works, this is how to do it.
And then, when they run out of wounds, they explode on a 4+. I think I did more damage with my hellhounds on my opponents turns with overwatch and explosions. I literally used that tactic on purpose in my 4th game, driving a hellhound into the middle of his rush and expecting him to blow it up, only to have the bomb decimate all the nearby units.
I’m going to bring 3 hellhounds with EVERY list I make from now on. Perhaps the only thing is that I would try to use Catachan doctrine to re-roll a random dice; the Cadian doctrine, though nice, didn’t synergize well with the aggressive nature of the hellhounds.
The aforementioned Bullgryn Bomb worked well, but doesn’t last long. Even with a 2+, at T5 they go down a lot faster than my tanks. I may substitute an additional Bullgryn for the priest in future lists; I’d have the same number of attacks. Or do a Crusader bomb instead and buff them with a priest and psyker to give them 2++. Crusaders are only S3, but 30 attacks at AP-3, re-rollable 3+ to hit will make a dent, and probably be more survivable.
The Valkyrie in my bullgryn bomb was a bit of a let-down after it dropped it’s troops. The Multiple Rocket Pod was a big let-down. I should have stuck with the hellfire missiles, which are cheaper. The heavy bolters achieved nothing the entire tournament. Lesson, keep the Valkrie cheap.
Indirect fire artillery is awesome! My two Basilisks were wonderful for beating up on whatever target I wanted, from anywhere on the board, no line-of-sight required. I have a model for a 3rd Basikisk I should built and paint soon. The Wyvern was great at erasing infantry units too, but not as good as hellhounds. The thing I need to continue doing is to keep these artillery protected in the back behind layers and layers of the rest of my army.
The Cadian doctrine was good, but mathhammer says Catachan is slightly better; and MUCH better if I plant Sergeant Harker nearby.
Knight Commander Pask is a MONSTER! I can honestly say that about half the damage I caused through the tournament was from this one model. Some of my opponents knew that right off the bat and aimed to remove him quickly. He’s SUPER expensive, but ridiculously damaging, even on overwatch. If I bring him again, I need to keep layers of bubble wrap to protect him.
The Taurox’s were good… not great. The beauty of the Tauroxes is that they’re cheap; only 4 PL. In points, would I rather have two Tauroxes, or a Leman Russ?
Their autocannons did a whole lot of nothing. Hitting on 5+ when they move doesn’t help. The storm bolters ironically forced more armour saves. It’s nice that they protect my squishy troops from first round massacres. And T6 3+ with 10 wounds is a pretty good bargain for 4 PL.
In power level games, all the upgrades are free, so I should continue to abuse that. Hunter-Killer missiles for everything. Track guards wherever I can find them. A put Augur Arrays on my list, but never used them. I should even include dozer blades to improve the ramming accuracy for my tanks (hits on 5+ instead of 6+).
Now that I have a feel for the zany Astronomi-con scenarios, I would probably want more “shenanigans” that can more around quickly and/or deep strike. I’m thinking Sly Marbo and/or Scions. Many narrative objectives required the Warlord to kill something, sometimes in close combat, but my warlord was equipped for hiding in a corner shouting orders. Maybe I should finish that Celestine model I’ve had for a while. She can easily move 24″ in a turn, and would buff my guard with a 6++.
And, I need to use Command Points (CP’s) more carefully, or generate more, or both. I wasted a lot of CP’s on useless strategems. I may write a blog post about which CP’s are worth it, and which COMBOS work really well.
And it is worthwhile to generate CP’s cheaply. I think a battalion of Scions should be a go-to for every list I do now. A Tempestor prime, Primaris Psyker, and three scion squads is just 14 PL for 5CP!
All in all, I loved ASTRO, and want to register for next year already! I’m even thinking of new ideas for my display board and narrative things to get more points in those categories.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first tournament, the Lords of War 40k Classic. I posted my list here. I will write detailed battle reports later, but this post will capture my initial thoughts.
In brief, I’ll just say I had a great time, and look forward the next one. It renewed my interest in the hobby, and has inspired me to continue playing.
The crowd was very friendly; mostly young, all white men. There were a couple POC among the tournament organizers, but mostly very white. Milling about before the tournament, people were friendly, and genuinely interested in the hobby and excited to talk about their armies and the game. There was a variety of people from students to bank managers, many guys were married and some even had kids (this was their guys day out). The Legion that hosted us had ample parking and great Air Conditioning. I also liked the vibe that there was a bar downstairs and many people bought a beer and brought them up to sip during the tournament.
I played 4 games and thought I acquitted myself admirably: 2 wins and 2 losses. After one win I felt accomplished. The second win was a surprise and at that point there was nothing that was going to make this day bad. Well, I got massacred in the last game to an ultra-competitive player.
A few players complemented me on my Chimera/Rhino conversion combination thing. One guy was so excited that he took lots of pictures because he was going to “steal the hell out of this idea.” I was quite happy to oblige.
Company Command Squads issuing their Senior Officer Orders of Ignore Cover or Bring It Down are devastating: My CCS with 3 meltas was a monster-killing beast! It took down a Riptide, and one-shot killed a Vindicator!
Flamers were beautiful: There were a lot of cover-camping units, and the heavy flamers auto-hit and ignore cover. And in many cases, if the Chimera’s flamers didn’t work, there were more inside.
My vehicles are hard to kill: Surprisingly, my tanks all took a lot of beatings, but few lost hull points, and even fewer were destroyed. Having such quantity meant the damage was usually spread around.
Leman Russ Tanks were worth it: Each of my Leman Russ tanks were about 150 points, but I wouldn’t have traded them for anything else. They could move 6″ and fire everything with impunity, and unloading my Exterminator with lascannon and sponsor heavy bolters was my way of saying I wanted something to die! And the Demolisher’s S10 AP2 large blast was the baseball bat I needed at times to batter tanks. And, their AV14 armour held up surprisingly well to most barrages. Keeping them facing the deadly threats helped, a lot!
The Wyvern is amazing! It became the highest priority target in my army in almost every game. My first opponent destroyed it in turn 1. After it decimated infantry squads in my 2nd and 3rd games, it was also their highest-priority target. That worked to my advantage in some ways because it drew their forces into a trap.
Long story short, twin-linked, 4 large blast barrage, re-rolling to wound was ridiculously good. I want another Wyvern!
Expendable guardsmen and expendable: The redundancy of that statement was quite on purpose. The blob squad of 20 guardsmen was kind of an afterthought for me, but proved to be valuable in a way I didn’t expect: Yes, the autocannons had a bit of a punch and drew attention, but I got an equal punch from my Taurox. This blob squad in cover was the first natural and obvious target for each of my enemies. The squad wasn’t worth much, but drew a lot of fire while my more dangerous units maneuvered. In the end, it didn’t bother me to lose them
Finish off units: In my first game, I missed out on a lot of points because several units still had 2-3 models, or a vehicle had 1 hull point less. I should concentrate on destroying something and then move on. Part of the success in my second game was mopping up objective-claiming units, as exemplified in using my warlord’s Chimera to chase down a lone Kroot and heavy flamer it to death.
Don’t let the opponent set the terms: I made the mistake of waiting for my opponent to come to me in my first and last games, consequently I lost both games. In my second and third games I moved out of a bad deployment zone and outflanked my opponents.
Gets Hot Sucks: The S7 plasma didn’t have much impact on the game, probably because I was trying to keep my Warlord safe. And at one point, they both fried themselves on overwatch! Without some form of twin-linking or Preferred Enemy to mitigate 1’s, I don’t feel like it’s worth it.
Medic not worth it: The feel no pain (5+) granted by the medkit didn’t save one model in my command squad. Another plasma or a flamer (or two) would have been a much better investment.
Don’t fear Close Combat: Guard are pretty lousy at close combat, but in some cases, their numbers help out. The last daemon army I faced had a ridiculous cover save, but if I charged them instead I could have gotten bunch of blows in because of higher initiative and no overwatch.
A quantity-based, horde-like army is great in theory and practice, but not practical. Most armies at the tournament had less than 30 models. I had 75 infantry, 8 tanks, and a massive plane! I needed two containers to bring just 1500 points! And setting up and moving models is a drag too. I might as well have had old-school Warhammer Fantasy movement trays and square bases!
I need a display board. I discovered that this was a thing only a few days before the tournament. I almost bought a cafeteria-like tray from a dollar store right before the tournament, but decided to use my case as a makeshift display board. It didn’t work too well. And It would have been nice to display my army nicely.
Several players shared their lists made with Army Builder which was really nice because it listed the stats and special rules of each model. I have never played against Tau or Chaos Daemons, and didn’t know their stats, so it was nice that they were there without me having to root through their codex. I’m thinking I’ll model my next list for sharing using the rules for Adepti-con as critera, and Army Builder lists from my opponents as templates.
There were chairs at the tables, and I should have sat more. My legs hurt by the end of the day.
Lunch at 2:15pm is a drag. I’m glad I brought snacks to get me through until then. I scooted out for lunch to get a KFC sandwich and I ate it much faster than I should have.
Tables are kind of crowded, so there isn’t really anywhere to put down your display case and/or codexes and such. In my first game there was an empty table beside us which was great, but in my last game we were in the middle of two other games and kinda stuck.
What’s next for me?
I want to join another tournament! I want to play more! It was all a good experience, and I like the honesty of paying to be there: Going to the store to play feels like I’m free-loading or something.
I think I need a display board. There were great ones at the tournament, and I’d like to have one that reflects me and my army. The scoring guide for Astronomi-con helps, but there are also SO many examples online of things that work too. Maybe I can be crafty and make a display board that can also be a carrying case…
I think I’m done painting Guard for a while I may paint one or two more melta infantry, but that would be it. I have a lot of options: Inquisition, Arbites, Space Marines…
But I saw a Tempestus Scions army at the tournament and was intrigued. The Taurox Prime is pretty awesome…
This model was something of a labour of love. I saw this Ironclad Dreadnought on eBay and decided I needed to have it. It came with a hurricane bolter for its right arm, and a choice of Seismic Hammer or Chainfist for the left arm.
The purpose of an Ironclad Dreadnought is to get into CC with things, preferably vehicles and wreck them.
So, I did a dirty coat of white to cover the old paint scheme.
Getting an even coat of yellow over the formerly grey was really tricky. I find painting any models yellow is a labour of patience and persistence.
I didn’t like the stats of the Seismic Hammer. It’s 2X Strength (so, 12+D6 damage) and AP1, and unwieldy and comes with a built-in meltagun. Reading a few reviews, many recommend replacing the seismic hammer with a chainfist. The difference is that the chainfist is only AP2, but has armourbane which means its damage will 12+2D6. Another recommendation was to replace the meltagun with a heavy flamer. I think this makes a lot of sense because the meltagun’s effective range is within charging range of its dangerous CC weapons, and the heavy flamer gives this dreadnought some potential anti-infantry punch, especially on overwatch! Both substitutions are points neutral.
As an Imperial Fists dreadnought, I imagined it really needed to have a fist, in particular, a Power Fist! Most tactics blogs I read recommended ditching the hurricane bolter in favour of a power fist.
I got a power fist from eBay and it fit nicely on the left arm. However, the chainfist arm I had was also meant for the left arm. Since the hand would look weird flipped, I decided to modify the arm so it would go backwards and fit on the right arm. It took a lot of glue and liquid green stuff, but I think it looks almost like it fits on that arm now.
The hunter-killer missiles on the shoulders aren’t the most competitively functional items. At 10 point each, two 1-shot S8 missiles may not make their value back, especially if they miss. But, they looked too cool not to keep.
The name “Fort” has a double meaning. Fort is a boys name, and could be the short form of Fortuanto. Fort can also be a short for fortification. And lastly, in Italian and French, fort(e) means strong, which makes sense for such a large beast of a machine.
At 155 points including the 20 for the two hunter-killer missiles, it’s a big sink for points. But, if I can get in range of a few enemy tanks and rip them apart, it will definitely be worth it.
Actually getting it into combat may be a challenge. Without a drop pod it will have to walk to the enemy tanks. Its front and side armor of 13 are impressive, but I still don’t want it in the open too much or it will be destroyed before it sinks its chainfist into heretic, traitorous and/or xenos enemies.
I went to my local Games Workshop on the afternoon of July 13 planning to play a beginner league game. The person I was planning to play was already engaged in a game, but someone recommended I play Andrew’s Blood Angles at 1000 points. I was there and ready to go, so I accepted. I hastily added models to my army to make 1000 points. I should have examined what he was fielding…
This was actually my first battle of 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000. A good learning experience since I expect I’ll be facing a lot of Space Marines in the future.
My army consisted of the following:
Two Company Command Squads, one with a lascannon
Three veteran squads
6 Stormtroopers in a Taurox Prime
5 Rough Riders
2 Psykers (ML2)
Andrew fielded a very daunting Blood Angels Death Company Force
8 Death Company Space Marines
Dreadnought in Drop Pod
I wrote the following little bit of fluff for the Narritive League giving a more dramatic review of the battle.
Orders were orders. The Munitorum had ordered the Commander’s detachment to hold the square and eliminate any forces that tried to cross it. The square was the only clear path through what was left of the sprawling settlement, so it had been a strategic choke point against the enemy.
The square was now far back of the front lines, but the Commander’s Imperial Guard troops continued to follow orders. From well-entrenched positions, they attacked anyone who tried to cross it: Enemies, allies, and Imperial Citizens. The square was now logistically vital for getting supplies to the new front lines, but the guardsmen continued to follow orders.
This could have all been avoided if the Munitorum had rescinded or clarified their orders. But, the Imperium being what it was, the Guardsmen continued firing on anyone trying to cross the square.
The inglorious task of unseating these loyal yet foolish guardsmen fell to a detachment from the Blood Angel’s Death Company. Approaching quickly with a Land Raider and Vindicator, they seized the opportunity to attack.
An entire squad of loitering guardsmen were obliterated by the opening blast from the Vindicator’s Demolisher Cannon. These tanks were more like mobile fortresses and quickly eliminated the weapons that posed the greatest threat to them.
A dreadnought deployed by drop-pod caused havoc and confusion in the guardsmen’s lines. But it was brought down with by a torrent of disciplined fire.
The guardsmen had little time to lick their wounds or repair their damaged vehicles as the Land Raider deployed its deadly cargo of Death Company Space Marines. They brutally tore through a squad of guardsmen. The marines shrugged off dozens of lasgun blasts and surged forward, scaling a ruin to cleanse it of the troops entrenched within.
Meanwhile, the Vindicator and seemingly invincible Land Raider continued to harry entrenched Ratlings and guardsmen. The Astra Militarum troops had the advantage of cover, but without a means to penetrate the heavy armour, it was only a matter of time before attrition took them all.
Finally on the roof of the ruin, the Chaplain leading the Space Marines challenged the Commander to single combat.
“I’m only following orders!” bellowed the commander.
“So am I,” the Chaplain coolly replied. With a mighty blow from his Crozius Arcanum, the Chaplain felled not only the Commander, but also his entire Command Squad.
From atop the ruin, the Chaplain had a clear view of the square. The remaining Imperial Guard forces were either fleeing or slain. The Chaplin’s thrill and satisfaction from the kill momentarily faded to melancholy. What madness must haunt the Universe for loyal Imperial forces to slay each other over an administrative error?
Looking over the ruins, the Chaplain quietly whispered: “You are relieved, Commander.”
The less fluffy version of the story? Bad news:
The Vindicator destroyed 9 of 10 models in a squad with one shot! Woah! (I’m getting one for my Imperial Fists Army…)
The Space Marines tore through my guardsman in close combat like tissue paper!
The Land Raiders AV14 armour seems almost impenetrable. Strength 3 lasguns don’t stand for much.
Space Marine power armour can take an obscene amount of punishment
My plasma weapons caused more damage to me than my opponent
Psychic phase is very random. I don’t think the ML2 psykers casting Precedence was worth the points, especially since veterans hit on 3+ anyways. I also rolled for the Misfortune power which causes Rending, but even that doesn’t add much.
The Tempestus Scions (stormtroopers) were almost useless. AP3 is nice, but it’s only Strength 3, and the Death Company had Feel No Pain anyways, so it was like they still had an armour save.
Good Lessons Learned
Because of their stealth, Ratlings in ruin get 3+ cover save. Very nice! And as infiltrators they can camp and harass infantry throughout the game.
The Rough Riders were surprisingly effective at close combat. I regret holding them in reserve.
Orders worked quite well. The Vox-casters came in handy.
My vehicles were surprisingly sturdy. I should have let my troops hide in there much longer in hopes of avoiding death by CC!
Techpriest was handy: Power of the Machine Spirit was nice for restoring full BS to an extra vehicle weapon. And he did constant repairs to the Chimera.
If I were fighting such an armour heavy army again, I’d equip a squad or two with the Demolitions doctrine so that they could use Melta Bombs against tanks. The Rough Riders could have caused a mess with Melta Bombs too.
At one point I had a squad set off a torrent of 21 twin-linked lasgun shots (7 lasguns, rapid fire, rank fire order, precedence). Regrettably, that caused only 1 wound! Rather disappointing. Perhaps a less tough infantry-based army would suffer more from the onslaught…
Hope you enjoyed the report!
My Warhammer 40,000 Blog featuring Imperial Guard, Space Marine and Inquisitor Models