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02/07/2013

Conflict 2013 tournament report

Conflict 2013 Tournament Report
Chaos Space Marines - Three Helldrakes and some other Crap

Mandalf the Fabulous
Sorceror - 60
Force staff, bolt pistol

The Meatshields
Cultists - 78
17 Cultists

Radbeard Roughnecks
Chaos Space Marines - 120
5 CSM, bolt pistols and close combat weapons, meltagun, combi-melta, rhino
Warbastards Bastards
Chaos Space Marines - 120
5 CSM, bolt pistols and close combat weapons, meltagun, combi-melta, rhino
Deathfucker's Destroyers
Chaos Space Marines - 120
5 CSM, bolt pistols and close combat weapons, meltagun, combi-melta, rhino
Beardraven's Ravens
Chaos Space Marines - 125
5 CSM, bolt pistols and close combat weapons, plasma gun, combi-plasma, rhino
Dave The New Guy's Guys
Chaos Space Marines - 125
5 CSM, bolt pistols and close combat weapons, plasma gun, combi-plasma, rhino

Helldrake - 170
Baleflamer
Helldrake - 170
Baleflamer
Helldrake - 170
Baleflamer

Havocs - 125
5 Havocs, 3x autocannon, lascannon
Havocs - 125
5 Havocs, 3x autocannon, lascannon
Obliterators - 140
2x Obliterators

Aegis - 100
Quad gun
1748

Conflict 2013

I used to be pretty handy at 40k in 5th ed. I had a pretty decent record with Blood Angels, a terrible record with Dark Eldar, and won more than I lost with Chaos Space Marines. After a break of a year or so I returned to find we're now in 6th ed, and that I am terrible at 6th ed. Hot on a brutal two month losing streak I'm off to play in Conflict 2013 and loose horribly for charity.

The Army

Plan for the army is to sit the Sorc and the Cultists behind the Aegis with the Havocs and Oblits to knock out transports and hopefully survive long enough for the Helldrakes to roll in and toast things. The plasma marines will probably hang back and play defensive, the melta guys are for hopping up to get objectives.
Phase 1: Castle up in corner
Phase 2: Try not to get annihilated by turn 2
Phase 3: Helldrakes
Phase 4: ???
Phase 5: PROFIT

The Opposition

I'm expecting Venom spam, Necron AV13 walls, Chimera spam IG and whatever Eldar are doing these days. Warp Spiders and Wraithguard, I guess. Either way, I don't think playing pure Chaos Marines leaves much in the way of stuff to deal with these kind of armies so I'm not expecting to place particularly highly. The look on people's faces when they see three Helldrakes will do as a consolation prize.

Day One

Was almost late due to thinking really hard about that one hot chick from work in the shower.

Game 1

Was against Ant's Dark Eldar. His list was the Baron, Hellions, two units of blasterborn, two units of kabalites in venoms, two units of warriors in venoms, some reavers, two ravagers and a fighter. Primary was one objective each, secondary was three other objectives. I was expecting to get slaughtered, so bunkered up in the left corner with the cultists and sorc on the quad gun, two plasma marine rhinos, the havocs and the oblits, while the other three melta rhinos set up on the right flank across from Ant's objective. The idea was to try and not get wiped out and force a draw by having tons of stuff behind an aegis.

The game was pretty back and forth, Ant had some bad look on with his shooting first and second turn and didn't do too much with the venom's poison. God bless that aegis. He did snipe out the quad gun itself first time, which was pretty clever. My shooting turn one wasn't massively effective, but then all three Helldrakes came on turn two and I managed to take out a couple of venoms. Venoms were priority targets and thanks to some really shite luck on his first turn of shooting I had enough left to take them down. One his anti-infantry firepower was down it started to look a bit less like I was going to die horribly.

I managed to break Ant's right flank attacking force on my left by hiding behind the aegis and shooting, and he'd only left the Baron and some Helions on his objective so the Helldrakes bounced off on turn 4 and came back on turn 5 and roasted the Helions with the baleflamers, winning me the primary and the game.

I made some a pretty bad tactical maneouver when I got three units of combi-melta squad guys out to take out his Helions and managed to kill about three of them and then get annhilated. I also forgot to vector strike on one turn after flying over some stuff, which was pretty stupid. On the other hand, Ant's luck was absolutely abysmal, particularly when it came to shooting at my vehicles.

It was a good game, but I felt like I won it more on dark lances failing to scratch things for most of the game and the Helldrakes all showing up turn 2 and putting the hurt on. Ant was a great sport and probably would have won it handily if I hadn't spammed turkeys.

Game 2

So this was my first time playing against Daemons. Hammer and anvil, five random value objectives and killpoints. Adam's list was a Keeper of Secrets, a Lord of Change, three flying Slaanesh Princes, ten Plaguebearers and ten Horrors. Night fighting was in effect turn 1.

I got first turn, castled up on my board edge, and sat still turn 1. Adam deployed all his monsters outside of 36" so I couldn't move up and searchlight with the rhinos. First turn all his monsters moved up. I honestly had no idea what would be most dangerous to my list, so I focused fire on his Lord of Change first. On reflection this was a pretty stupid idea as the Princes all had lash and less wounds. Turn two he dropped his troops on his objectives and deepstruck the Keeper right in front of some havocs behind the aegis. He then started putting the hurt on with the monster, or would have if his dice had not completely abandoned him.

Turn two I got all three Helldrakes again but honestly had no idea what to do with them, so I moved them on out of range of being vectored by his monsters and just kind of sat there for a turn. Looking back, they should have been shooting straight up the board for his troops as soon as they came on as they managed to do pretty much nothing vector striking his monsters.

Turn three his beasties moved up and started blowing my guys away, and his keeper annhilated some havocs. I managed to knock out a couple of the big monsters, but couldn't do much about the Keeper munching through my back line. He immobilised one rhino and I immobilised another with difficult terrain which meant I couldn't move up to get the objectives. effectively. By the time the Helldrakes got up to his troops it was too late to do enough damage to kill them all, and then they had to fly off the board when Adam (quite rightly) pointed out that flyers had to have the whole model, wings included, on the board whereas I thought it was just the base.

By turn 5 Adam had two objectives worth 3 and 2 points, and managed to blast my guys off the 3 point objective I was holding in the centre, leaving me a 1 point and a 2 point objective. We went to turn 6 with Adam in the lead and a couple of Helldrakes nearly within range of the two horrors left on the 2 point objective. I needed turn 7 to knock him off the objective and force a draw, but we rolled low and he had me on killpoints as a secondary anyway.

So game 2 was a loss, which kind of sucked. My big mistakes were using the Helldrakes to vector strike his monsters instead of gunning straight for his troops from the start. He only had two units of troops and a portaglyph, I really should have won this one on objectives. Deployment also involved placing each other's home objectives and I put them deep in his deployment zone rather than right on the 24" line for reasons I actually cannot begin to fathom now. I really shot myself in the foot on this from deployment onwards. That's not to take anything away from Adam though, he played a seriously good game despite some abysmal dice rolls and definitely earned the win. His target priority was spot on, he didn't let the dice ruin his mood, and he was totally focused on the mission. Great game, great opponent, lots of lessons learned.

Game Three

This game was against Ben's awesome Iron Hands marines. Loads of cool conversions, Forgeworld bits and a really striking black and white paint scheme. His list was a Master of the Forge, a Techmarine with a covnersion beamer, a regular Dread, two Contemptor Dreads, a dakka Predator, two ten man Tac squads with razorbacks, and an aegis with a quad gun. Mission was the relic and three other objectives as the secondary. Deployment was the diagonal one.

I once again castled in the corner with the rhinos hidden behind terrain. Nightfight was in effect turn one and Ben also castled in his corner with two lascannon toting combat squads, his contemptors, his tech marine and the master of the forge, so turn one was basically us exchanging ineffective potshots. His other two combat squads were in the razorbacks started moving up to objectives.

His Terminators showed up on Turn 2 and he placed them right in front of me, but thankfully they scattered ten inches back and wouldn't be getting into combat for a couple turns. He put a lot of focus fire on the cultist blob, who just went to ground for the 2+ cover save. Turn two I got a couple of Helldrakes, vector struck one of his razorbacks to expose his combat squad, then flamed his combat squads behind the aegis. His interceptor and skyfire only managed to knock off a hull point and vector lock one of the Helldrakes at 30", which was insanely lucky for me. I had his terminators bunched up under two plasma cannon shots, only managed to wound once, which he then saved. The rest of my shooting managed to shake a razorback.

Turn 3 his terminators blew up a Rhino, he almost wiped out the Cultists with focus fire, knocked out an Oblit and plinked off a couple of Havocs. He shot and charged a five man unit with his terminators, lost one to overwatch, then I managed four wounds from my guys, and he failed two 2+ saves, meaning his terminators died before they even got to strike. My turn 3, one Heldrake flew off due to vector lock, and the other put some more hurt on his remaining tactical marines behind his aegis. The rest of my shooting was mostly meltas and combi-meltas trying to knock out the Terminators, who I managed to whittle them down to two. The rest of my shooting managed to do pretty much nothing again.

Turn 4 Ben moved up with his last Razorback combat squad and his forward Dread to put some more pot shots on the Oblits and Havocs, then wiped out my Sorceror and his buddies with focus fire. I got the vector locked Heldrake and the third one on automatically, the pair of which finished off all except one of his combat squads leaving him one troops unit left in a razorback. By this point I had two rhinos with guys near the relic and two units of guys in rhinos hanging out by the secondary objectives. I think he killed a Heldrake this turn.

Turn 5 Ben knocked out a couple of Rhinos and again failed to kill the remaing two Heldrakes. Those things really should have been dead by this point, he just constantly rolled low to pen them. I melta'd a Dread and got all my units out on objectives. We rolled for turn 6 and it kept going.

At this point we remembered the secondary was big guns never tire, and that heavy support was scoring. This screwed Ben a bit as it meant he could have been moving his Contemptors up to score and contest the secondary objectives. On the other hand, I had also completely forgotten this and hadn't moved any of my heavies up. He moved up a Contemptor to secure one secondary objective, and I bailed some dudes onto the relic. A combination of melta and Heldrakes killed his last Razorback and the guys inside, which meant he had nothing left up front to claim or contest the primary or secondary. He managed to blast my guys off the relic, but I had the seconary and first blood.

Ben was a great guy to play, we had a nice chilled out game to end the day. Of all the players at the tournament he was playing the fluffiest list and it was a nice change to see something other than spammed units. Considering he had a BS5 Master of the Forge on a quad gun and a skyfire contemptor with two twin-linked lascannons and a cyclone, he really should have done more to my hell turkeys but his armour pen rolls were almost supernaturally bad.

End of Day 1

Day 1 was actually pretty nice. I had three great games with three really friendly opponents, which you don't always get in a tournament environment. There was a Tau player sitting at the top table with three wins when I left, so I'm really hoping someone else got three wins so I don't have the play him next. So far the plan is pretty much working, but I've yet to play Necrons or Tau. Necrons I reckon I could just about handle, but Tau will annihilate me. There was also a four Stormraven list knocking about which I'd like to play purely because it looked cool.

Game 4

This game was by far one of the best games of 40k I have ever played. My opponent Adam brought a Destroyer Lord with five Tomb Blades, an Overlord with ten Immortals, six Deathmarks in a Nightscythe, a couple of little warrior units with Crypteks in Nightscythes, a Doomsday Arc and a Tessarect Arc. My opponent was pretty confident going in, but so was I as his list is far less nasty than some Necron lists I've played against. Dawn of war, three objectives in no man's land as primary, one each as secondary.

I got to deploy first, so castled up in my right hand corner again with everything except three rhino units placed on my right flank, and the oblits who sat in some ruins in the middle of my deployment zone for better firelanes. He deployed the Doomsday arc in some ruins opposite me, where it sat all game trading shots with the havocs with nothing really happening to either. His Tessarect Arc sat in the centre to hop on the middle objective, his destroyer lord deployed with the tomb blades in the middle, and he put the ten immortals and overlord in his right corner holding his secondary objective.

Turn one was nightfight. I moved my rhinos on the left up a bit and put a hull point on the Doomsday arc with a glance. Adam's turn one was similarly uneventful. I think he killed a cultist or two with the doomsday arc and then seperated his destroyer lord off and moved him towards the oblits and into cover.

Turn two all three Heldrakes showed up again and proceeded to annihilate the Tomb Blades and maybe an Immortal or two. My Havocs and quad gun were stuck with shooting either the Doomsday or Tessarect Arc, so they had a crack at the Doomsday and did nothing. Oblits targeted his Destroyer Lord and knocked a wound off him, having already shuffled into cover to hopefully make him fudge his charge range. Adam's turn two did not go amazingly well. One Nightscythe came in and was immediately shaken by the quad gun which meant it only managed to put one hull point on a Heldrake, the Immortals knocked a couple of hull points off a Rhino, and the arcs again didn't really do anything. His Destroyer Lord assaulted the Oblits, who overwatched with twin-linked plasma guns and managed to kill him as he failed his thingy roll. The one that used to be called We'll Be Back.

Turn three started with a pretty bad tactical blunder on my part. I didn't realise that stuff doesn't come out of a Nightscythe if you blow it up, they just come on from reserve. As a result of this, I only flew two of my Heldrakes off instead of three, as I knew his other two Scythes would probably come in next turn. The Rhinos on the left realised the home objectives were secondary and totally changed course because I basically suck at remembering things. Quad gun polished off his Nightscythe, which to my horror left the Heldrake with it's balls in the breeze and nothing to flame. The Havocs again failed to do anything to the Doomscythe. The Oblits took a potshot with plasma cannons at the immortals and did nothing. Adam's turn, he got the Scythes and came on out of quad gun range. They killed a couple of Rhinos, the Immortals glanced the last hull point off another. Six Warriors with a Cryptek wandered on from ongoing reserves and just mulled about a bit. Some other warriors and a Cryptek also hopped out of the other Scythe and got a lucky shot on the back of the Helldrake and killed it. Both of the arcs failed to do anything of interest. The deathmarks got out and killed some marines who had bailed out of rhinos. It was a pretty intense turn, and the rest of the game pretty much kept up the pace. Something killed an Obliterator, but I forget what.

My turn 4, the two Heldrakes came on and annihilated one of the warrior units, the quad gun knocked out a nightscythe, the Havocs got a second hullpoint on the doomsday and the last oblit and some marines converged on the deathmarks. the two rhinos behind my aegis both passed difficult terrain tests and bounced over it towards objectives. I had Sergeant Radbeard left as the only survivor of one of the Chaos Marine units, who moved up to the tessarect. Another full melta unit also hopped into melta range, but as they were coming out of the vehicle they wouldn't be able to assault it. The unit fired first with the combi-melta and melta and... did nothing. Sergeant Radbeard then calmly took aim and not only blew the thing away, but managed to survive the explosion too. Legend. Some Marines and the Oblits charged the Cryptek and Deathmarks and killed the Deathmarks, but the Crytek lived and passed his moral test as he was stuck in a challenge with one of my aspiring champions.

Adam's turn 4 saw him moving his last unit of Warriors into the centre ruins to claim one of the primary objectives, meaning he has two of three and I'm winning secondary with just my home one. His shooting wipes out all my remaining chaos marines except the last plasma unit in a rhino hiding near to the last primary objective, and a couple in combat. The combat itself again ended in stalemate between the Aspiring Champion and the Cryptek.

Turn 5 I switched my Heldrakes into hover to burn his last Warrior unit in the centre. I killed them all, which meant on the Cryptek was left lying down. I moved my last unit of guys onto the primary objective nearest me and parked a couple  of empty Rhinos in front of them. The Cryptek managed to get back up, which meant if we ended turn 5 Adam would have me 2 -1 on the primary and linebreaker and I'd have the secondary, first blood and warlord. I think this might have actually been a draw for the game, but he would have edged it in points killed. His turn 5 he moved up a Nightscythe and the Doomsday rotated to fire and the hovering Heldrakes. They did nothing, but in an absolutely brilliant move I would have never predicted, his warscythe Lord got into combat with one of them and took it out. Nice! The Doomsday did nothing again.

So end of 5, he has Immortals and a lone Cryptek on two of the three primary objectives, I have five Marines in cover on the third primary and my Cultists on one of the two secondary objectives. I need turn six to take out that Cryptek or he's won... He rolls, and we continue. He has ten Immortals I can't touch on one objective, his Lord is miles off my scoring guys, and the Doomsday isn't going to do anything if I sit in cover, which I fully intend to do. The last Heldrake fails to kill the Cryptek, but the quad gun turns him into mush, and he does not get up. At this point we've drawn the primary and I've won the secondary and have first blood and warlord. We played through to turn 7, but it basically involved his Lord bouncing into the combat that had no effect on the rest of the game and me going to ground to avoid his tessarect. His Nightscythe had a crack forcing a morale test on the cultists but didn't manage it.

This was a hard fought game and was seriously intense all the way through. We didn't chat much, not because either of us was being unfriendly, but because the game was a nail biter start to finish and we were both totally focused on what we were doing. Adam was an excellent opponent, he played hard and nearly had me, and I genuinely hope we get to play again.

Game 5

Game 5 was against Chris' Tau. He had a Commander with marker drones, an ethereal, two units ofbbroadsides, two riptides, a skyray, and four massive units of kroot. The Broadsides and the Riptides all had skyfire and interceptor. It was kill points as a primary. Going into this game, I was in second overall and should have been on the top table, but that would have involved playing the Daemons player I had to lost the day before again, who went on to win the tournament, and had also beaten Chris' Tau in the first game on Sunday.

I'd love to say I had a brilliant strategy, or that I somehow managed to force him to a draw or give him a run for his money, but neither of those things happened. It was Vanguard Strike deployment, he set up right on the line with the kroot as a shield and everything else behind it. Pretty much his whole army had 2+ saves and plenty of ablative drone wounds, and four long range interceptor units. Long story short, it went to turn 7 and I got tabled. I didn't feel like I had any kind of chance on this one going in, but Chris was a nice guy and we had a good laugh about the whole thing. He came second overall, which I think was well-deserved. I think it was only bad luck that meant he didn't win the thing, as the Daemons player rolled iron arm on pretty much everything in their game.

Game over, man! Game over!

So overall I came 5th place in first 6th ed tournament, which I thought was pretty good considering I'd played less than 15 games of 6th ed going in. I won a signed Gaunt's Ghost novel, which was the prize I'd had my eye on since getting there and actually wouldn't have got if I'd have placed much higher (first three prizes were set), so I was pretty stoked about that. I also placed highest of the Powerfist Gaming players in attendance, partially because one dropped out of the Sunday due to being too hungover to play.

With the lists and mission as they were, I should have really won my second game, but my inexperience with my army really screwed me. I actually only found out Heldrakes can go into hover in the middle of game four when my opponent said he was moving a certain way because he thought I would do it. I honestly had no idea they could do that, and it probably won me that game, and would have definitely have at least gotten me the draw in game 2. Saying that, that would just have meant getting tabled by Tau in game 3, so swings and roundabouts I guess. I think I could have gone 4-0 if not for game 2. I also didn't get to play the four Stormraven list which I'd been eyeing up. Weirdly, I ran into the guy using it in McDonald over lunch and he said he'd been eyeing up my list and was also hoping we'd clash. Would have been an excellent game but there's always next time.

Overall the tournament was a blast, everyone I met and played against was really friendly, I learned a lot about 6th ed, played against some nasty armies and did waaaay better than I thought I would. I can happily say I'd love a rematch against any of the guys I played which you don't generally expect with tournament players. PJ and Croggy ran a great event, which got a pretty sound turnout for it's first year, with some ace prizes and a cool venue. Will definitely be back next year, though probably not with Chaos Space Marines unless we get a supplement that means I won't get auto-tabled by Tau.