Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tournament report after Winter War 7

Me and Norau arrived in Bergen friday night. In true tournament tradition, we both had a few models to finalize before tournament day. A little painting session before bed is always a nice way to get in the right mindset for wargaming.

On the first day of Winter War, we arrived in good time at the premises, and discovered, unsurprisingly, that things were bit behind schedule. Chris B (Pertinax from in the olden days), who have made a herculean effort in this and all the previous Winter Wars, was apparently abandoned by his crew, and had to do everything himself.

The seventh Winter War started half an hour after schedule. I didn´t mind one bit, because this gave us a chance to talk to the other players and get to know one another a bit better before the action started.

My list:
  • Daemon Prince with wings
  • Summoned Greater Daemon
  • Terminators with Heavy Flamer, Chainfist, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, 2 Champions
  • Chosen with Champion, Flamer, Meltagun and Icon of Chaos Glory
  • 10 Chaos Space Marines with Lascannon, Plasma gun, Champion with Power Fist and Icon of Chaos Glory
  • Thousand Sons with Personal Icon and Champion with Bolt of Change in a Rhino with Havoc Launcher
  • Khorne Berzerkers with Personal Icon and Champion with Power Fist in a Rhino with Havoc Launcher
  • Lesser Daemons
  • Predator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons
  • Defiler with all DCCWs

Game 1: Seize ground, Pitched Battle vs Tyranids

The first game of the day saw me battling the Great Devourer, controlled by Jörg. He claimed that he weren´t too familiar with 5th edition 40k, but that was just modesty in my opinion. Jörg had a good understanding of the rules and made few mistakes in the game (except a big one at the end of the game).

His list:
  • Winged Hive Tyrant
  • Doom of Malan´Tai in a Pod
  • 3 Zoanthropes in a Pod
  • 6 Ymgarl Genestealers
  • 4x8 Genestealers
  • Mawloc
  • Trygon

The objective roll saw us placing five objectives. I got to place two objectives, and placed them out in the open in the center of the table. I was gambling on him outflanking his Genestealers, and didn´t want to give them an easy time getting to and holding them.

He won the roll to choose sides and chose to go first. His winged Hive Tyrant got placed in a forest on the left flank, the Mawloc in the center. The rest of his army Deep Struck or Outflanked. I placed everything in reserve and Infiltrated the Chosen up the center of the board.

Turn 1-3

His Hive Tyrant lurked about far out of range of my reserved guns, as the Mawloc went underground. The first three turns gave him every unit held in reserve, but I just got the Predatror & Defiler (turn 2) and Daemon Prince and Greater Daemon (turn 3). I didn´t mind too much, but I was beginning to understand that I wasn´t going to get the objectives that were on his half of the board without some aggressive movement late game.

Nothing much died in the opening stages of the game. Most notably, the Ymgarl Genestealers ripped my Predator to pieces. I guess Jórg didn´t want all that AP4 firepower targeting his scoring units. Good call!

Turn 4

Finally, my troops arrived! I placed them on the left flank, well in range to take three objectives by turn 5. The Chaos Space Marines, Khorne Berzerkers and Thousand Sons almost eradicated every Genestealer on this flank, securing it for Chaos. The Greater Daemon smacked the last Ymgarl Genestealer, and the Daemon Prince took care of the Zoanthropes. This just left the Hive Tyrant and the Mawloc on the left side of the board.

On the other side, the Doom of Malan´Tai met its maker fighting the Defiler, which in turn got destroyed by the Trygon. Two units of Genestealers were holding the two objectives on the right, which was problematic for me. I had only the Terminators left in reserve, and I hand´t declared a Deep Strike with them!

Turn 5

Jörg was now counting objectives and hoping for a win. He held two objectives and contested the two closest to my troops, whereas I had no objectives yet!

In my turn, the Terminators walked on from the board edge, and flamed all the Genestealers nearby to a crisp. There was only a single one remaining, but unfortunately for Jörg, he had removed Genestealer that was within 3" of the objective as a casualty.

My Daemons ran for the far objective, and just made it. My Chaos Space Marines took another.

We rolled for game end, and the dice ruled that the game was over. I had won 2-1, and only because of a mistake on my opponent´s part! Lucky first game!

Game 2 - Seize Ground, Dawn of War vs Space Wolves

After winning a game at a tournament, you´ll be pitched against another player who won the first match. This increases the likelihood of you playing a game versus an opponent that is close to you in skill level and army strength. Morten had won his first game, and we were now paired up to fight each other.

His army was basically a Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf, four Thunder Wolves and a Rune Priest in a Drop Pod, a few units of mechanized Grey Hunters and a unit of Long Fangs with Missile Launchers. He won the roll off for first turn and chose the side with the most objectives on it.

His Wolf Lord deployed aggressively, and first turn saw the Rune Priest and a unit of Grey Hunters slam down in the center of the board, creating a wide movement-blocking barrier.

Dawn of War, and the aggressive play by Morten saw me controlling my half of the board. I could put my reserves to work from the start. The Wolf Lord (with Thunder Hammer) somehow failed to kill the Defiler, and was then ripped apart by the Berzerkers, My Terminators slammed down without scattering and managed to take out all enemy scoring troops in the area.

The game ended by time limit after turn 5, when my Thousand Sons walked deep into the enemy´s deployment zone and contested an objective for the win. The Chaos Space Marines had emerged victorious, 2-1.

Game 3 - Capture and Control, Pitched Battle vs Space Marines

After winning my two first matches, I found myself on table 1 against Espen. I knew I was in for a rough ride when I saw his army list. Vulkan, two Ironclad Dreadnoughts and a normal Dreadnought in Drop Pods, Assault Terminators, two Thunderfire cannons, the Master of the Forge on a bike and two units of Tactical Marines in Rhinos.

I have to admit, I had almost given up from the start. I didn´t have an army to contend on the top table, and I knew it. If I were going to win, I was going to need luck and playing the mission.

My plan was to put most of my units in reserve, try to contest his objective with my Terminators and hold my objective with fresh reserves after his Terminators and Dreadnoughts had had to commit.

Unfortunately, this plan could´t work because I could´t place everything in reserve. The Greater Daemon and the Daemons would be destroyed if they arrived before the other units, and that was unacceptable. Therefore, I had to place some units with Icons and Champions. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to give them some support from the start, so I also placed my Predator and Defiler in the far corner.

Long story short, his Ironclads and Thunderfire Cannons shot me to pieces. By the time the Terminators became available, I had absolutely no hope of victory. I had a little bad luck in handling them, but I won´t detract from Espen´s victory. He played very well, and had an army he knew how to play.

Game 4: Annihilation, Table Quarters vs Imperial Guard

Day two of the tournament, and I was refreshed after a good night´s sleep. My opponent was Dan, and he played Mech Guard. I knew this was going to be an exceptionally tough matchup, but I had some kind of plan.

His list:

  • Creed, Officer of the Fleet in a Chimera
  • Triple Lascannon team
  • Triple Missile Launcher team
  • A few Chimeras with Infantry
  • Bane Wolf
  • Rough Riders
  • Leman Russ
  • Leman Russ

Again, I reserved everything. The plan was to come in with overwhelming reserves from the closer flank, rolling on full speed, blowing smoke and crashing into Close Combat. Unfortunately, due to the f**king Daemons, I felt I had to place something with an Icon and Champion on the board. I placed my Chaos Space Marines and Dan took first turn.

I had never seen this trick before, so it worked very well on me: General Creed gave the Scout USR to his Banewolf, which could then move 18" towards my lines. First turn, the tank moves another 12" and is right on top of me. Two template weapons later, along with some shots from Battle Cannons, Missile Launchers and Lascannons, and the entire unit was destroyed.

Come my turn 2, and I realize that his Fleet Commander is going to wreck my plan with his -1 to reserves. I manage to get both the Terminators, Greater Daemon and Daemon Prince into his lines, but some bad rolling and the inherent difficulty of destroying vehicles in 40k, saw me only get two Kill Points.

The game ended turn 5, with him winning 4-2. I lost the Chaos Space Marines, Terminators, Greater Daemon and the Daemons got lost in the Warp.

Game 5: Capture and Control, Table quarters vs Witch Hunters

Hans Christian had came all the way from Trondheim to do battle this day. He played Sisters, which suited me just fine. I have played similar armies myself, and knew its strengths and weaknesses.

His list:

  • The Saint
  • Canoness with Jump Pack and a big sword
  • 16 Sisters with Meltas
  • 16 Sisters with Meltas
  • 8 Seraphim with hand flamers
  • 8 Seraphim with hand flamers
  • Exorcist
  • Exorcist
  • 10 Retributors with Heavy Bolters

I took first turn and deployed aggressively. I was going to get into close combat no matter the cost! Although I lost both my Rhinos after turn 1, being Fearless and having Power Armour minimized the casualties and had me in a good forward position. I completely overwhelmed the poor Sisters and crashed through the forward defenders.

His Seraphim assaulted my Chosen and made a mess of the Khorne Berzerkers with some accurate flaming, but in the end, they were nothing more than a nuisance. My forces had arrived at his objective with enough power to completely destroy everything in the area.

The forces sent to contest my objective took a lot of fire from the Predator and Defiler, and just didn´t have enough power to punch through. Four out of ten Chaos Space Marines survived to hold my objective, and the Daemons took his for the win.

Game 6: Annihilation, Pitched Battle vs Space Wolves

The last game of the tournament, and my head was not playing along. I didn´t have a headache, but it was kind of spinning. I knew I was going to make mistakes here, and I could only hope my opponent had it the same way.

His list:

  • Wolf Lord
  • Venerable Dreadnought
  • Wolf scouts
  • 10 Grey Hunters (melta)
  • 10 Grey Hunters (plasma)
  • A lot of Bloodclaws
  • 4 Swiftclaws
  • Land Raider
  • Predator Annihilator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons

I won the roll to choose sides and take first turn, and deployed everything in the center. I wanted to deny him his two cover-providing terrain pieces by softening them up with some shooting from the Rubric Marines and then charge in with Daemons, Berzerkers and the rest of the bad guys. Unfortunately, Lars Olai seized the initiative and immobilized my transports on turn 1. Crap.

I lost the game right there and then. I didn´t dare to run over the battlefield without transport and support. Stupid, I know, but my brain just wasn´t playing along.

My Lascannon-armed Chaos Marine tried to shoot his Rhino and Immobilized it. The next three turns, he missed with all his shots, and then the entire unit ran off the table.

My Defiler engaged his Wolf Scouts in close combat, but took a Melta Bomb to the face (yes, he hit on a 6) and was immobilized. It took three turns before the Scouts finally died. In the end, I tried a charge on his flank, but he tactically withdrew away from my footslogging sobs.

I lost 1-4 in Kill Points, after failing miserably to kill the Space Puppies. Lars Olai was a very nice opponent to play, and the game was enjoyable, even though I made some horrendous mistakes. I blame my brain, burning out sometime during day 2.


My army performed pretty well against all but the most powerful opponents at the event. I see now that my unit combos gave me several disadvantages, especially the Daemons. I also should have had more Combi-Meltas in my unit of Terminators.

The two units that impressed me the most was the Khorne Berzerkers and the Thousand Sons. Those guys can dish out the hurt! Unfortunately, the obligatory Rubric Champion makes the unit of dust buckets a little too expensive. If I could drop him, or at least the Force Weapon, or if he had some form of psychic defense.... Unfortunately he doesn´t.

I was also very impressed with the Chaos Rhinos. With the extremely accurate Havoc Launcher, it is really more of a Razorback than a Rhino, only with a large cargo compartment and a top hatch with room for two. For 50 points, this little tank is simply excellent!

All in all, Winter War 7 was a very enjoyable experience for me. Even though six games is one game too much for me, and I felt that two hours was fifteen minutes less than enough at 1750 points. I am definitively going back next year!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best painted armies @ Winter War 7

These were the nominees for the "Best painted army" award at the 40k tournament Winter War 7, held in Bergen, Norway on the weekend of 20-21. February 2010.

The Nurgle Daemons (the first army) won the award.

Why Greater Daemons and Lesser Daemons are crap in 5th dimension 40k

The Greater Daemon rips some poor guardsmen to piecesI played a 1750 point tournament last weekend, and I brought my Chaos Space Marines. My list is by no means competitive or optimized. I have had great success in the local shop, but as we all know, that isn't saying much.

I mostly went because the tournament scene here in Norway can be described as "sporadic" at best. To emphasize this, I can point out that there hasn't been a major 40k tournament in the capital city of Oslo since August 2007 (which I won - with Necrons). (No, I don't count Arcon as a major tournament after you had me playing a Night Fight against Tau with Blacksun Filters on a board with no terrain whatsoever!)

My list:
  • Daemon Prince with wings
  • Summoned Greater Daemon
  • 5 Terminators with Heavy Flamer, Chainfist, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, 2 Champions
  • 5 Chosen with Champion, Flamer, Meltagun and Icon of Chaos Glory
  • 10 Chaos Space Marines with Lascannon, Plasma gun, Champion with Power Fist and Icon of Chaos Glory
  • 9 Thousand Sons with Personal Icon and Champion with Bolt of Change in a Rhino with Havoc Launcher
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers with Personal Icon and Champion with Power Fist in a Rhino with Havoc Launcher
  • 9 Lesser Daemons
  • Predator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons
  • Defiler with all DCCWs
The idea behind the list was that the Daemons and Greater Daemon could appear in any of the infantry units on the board. They all had Icons (save for the Termies) and Champions, so at a moments notice, I could bring down some major hurt (27 S4 WS4 attacks and an MC with 6 S6 WS8 attacks is pretty hard in my book) where I needed it. I would infiltrate/outflank Chosen, establish forward beachheads and reinforce where needed.

The major flaw in this plan is the lack of control the Chaos player has on his reserves. Putting over 200 points of killy things in reserve versus a shooty opponent is asking for trouble. You depend on the enemy coming to you and not shooting you up early, because those reinforcements can be denied by killing the Icon/Champion.

In one game, the mission was Kill Points/Table Quarters. Versus Guard! In previous games, I have had great success with placing my entire force in reserve, and playing "smart". Bringing in reserves on the flanks and staying out of the majority of the enemy's guns. Not smart at all with this army! No matter where I went, enough guns could be pointed at my units to smack them around handsomely. I lost my entire 10-man CSM unit in the first round of shooting - cover and all. The reserved Daemons had nowhere to deploy and were destroyed in the warp. Great, another Kill Point for my opponent!

Units in reserve are especially crap when the enemy is playing Guard and has an Officer of the Fleet (-1 to reserve rolls). Yeah, 5+ to arrive in turn 2? Only the units you want to leave in reserve will arrive, you can count on that! Probably those daemons, so they can be shot up good.

But that isn't the whole story. Other units in reserve at least have the option to come onto the board from your table edge or outflank or deep strike. Not Daemons! They need a Champion or an Icon on the board to be able to not die when they become available. All they get in return for this is the ability to launch an assault in the same turn they arrive and no scatter. Nice, but that doesn't make up for the fact that the enemy can destroy them before they even arrive.

This brings me back to the title of this rant. 40k in the 5th dimension is an expression from Fritz over at Way of Saim-Hann. It covers both playing the mission instead of the fluff, and using reserves to win. As opposed to using just guns... Daemons just don't work here, as they're both unpredictable as to when they arrive and need support on the ground in order to not die.

Other random thoughts:
All in all, the tournament was a very pleasant experience. I won three games and lost three. I'll do a proper writeup later, but for now, I'll just lament on the suckiness of the generic Daemons of the Chaos codex and the limitations it forces you your army.

I miss the tournament scene, and we are hosting the first local big 40k tournament in over two years in just a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to that. Here's some of our new terrain: