My Local Gaming Store held another tournament recently in which the restrictions were opened up a bit since there were a lot of requests from players. Amusingly, the end of the tournament saw most of the store’s players in agreement that the previous restrictions were warranted, and the TO appeared to have reached the conclusion that having paid entry tournaments with cash prizes for winners was something that was probably pushing the store players into a more competative mindset than was desirable.
So, the tournament in question was for 1250 points with the following restrictions:
- 1 Required CAD
- 0-2 Formations
- 0-1 Allied Detachments
- 0-1 Forgeworld models
- 0-1 Lord of War
- 0-1 Gathering Storm exclusive model
After a little bit of conversation, it was determined that the Reborn Warhost was going to be allowed, even in the manner of replacing the required CAD, although it would be stripped of its special command benefits (the ones that granted an extra soulburst action and pseudo-fearless for squads within 7″ of each other) in exchange for Objective Secured. I was excited to get to play with the new Revenant Discipline and Warlord Traits, but I must admit that the changes seemed a bit powerful, negating one of the primary reasons to leave Reborn Warhost as Objective Secured could make or break some games. Unfortunately, it really did not matter in the case of this tournament.
My army ended up as a Reborn Warhost with a Wraithknight, Farseer, Crimson Hunter, two minimum sets of Scatter Laser Windriders, and an Aspect Host with Warp Spiders and Fire Dragons; meanwhile my husband played an interesting combination of Imperial Knight, Void Shield Generator, 3 Vindicator squad (for an Apocalyptic S10/AP1/Ignores Cover), and two tiny marine squads in las-cannon Razorbacks.
For this iteration of the tournament, the TO decided that everyone would be playing the same scenario each round. The score any player could get from a game was also capped at five (5) – two (2) points for achieving the primary objective of the scenario, one (1) for Linebreaker, one (1) for First Blood, and one (1) for Slay the Warlord.
Round 1 – The Relic
Imperial Guard with an Imperial Knight and some Inquisition allies
I think this is the match-up that was the least balanced for me, but the static gunline my opponent set up did not do very well for the objective. It ended up that his entire deployment zone was filled with Guardsmen that I had troubles telling apart while 3 Chimeras full of models I was similarly unfamiliar with advanced towards the objective under the cover of his Imperial Knight, although one of the Chimeras advanced too far too quickly and gave me an easy First Blood.
Going second, I had the opportunity to keep a large building between my Wraithknight and the Imperial Knight, so I had cover from its Melta gun and could scour the board with the fire of Heavy D-Cannons until all that remained was the large blob of infantry that he seemed uninterested in advancing. Of course, I paid for that with the majority of my Warp Spiders and Windriders, but having the Relic secured in the backfield by two lonely Spiders content on hiding in terrain gave me the win while my Wraithknight and Falcon took pot-shots at whatever was left with the back-up buffs my Farseer cast.
Biel-Tan Ynnari 3 | IG + Inquisitors 1
Round 2 – Purge the Alien
Drop Pod Space Wolves and Wulfen with an Imperial Knight
My opponent minimum deployed in this case, sticking only his Knight on the board since he was going first, so I opted to keep a large majority of my force in reserves in interest of giving his Wulfen fewer options. What I did leave on the board bunched up in a far corner behind a building that obscured everything but the Wraithknight, who soaked only a full round of Knight shooting before I could successfully cast Invisibility on him. Two Drop pods full of Wulfen then landed immediately in front of me, allowing my Falcon and its Fire Dragons to destroy the pods for First Blood, although the substantial shooting Soulburst gave me barely scratched the Wulfen – turns out a 3+ Invulnerable save with Feel No Pain can be awful.
Having not anticipated how many Wulfen would survive, my Farseer and his accompanying ScatterBike squad had to turbo-boost away after the Imperial Knight wiped my Fire Dragons, and both squads of Wulfen charged the Wraithknight, who barely lasted two turns thanks to Invisibility. In the meantime, my reserves arrived, the Knight’s interceptor fire downing my Crimson Hunter (later determined to be a rules misquote since the gun did not have the AP to roll explodes) but my Scatterbikes and Falcon downing the Knight in turn. The Wulfen were ever so slowly whittled down by bikes and Warp Spiders after they finished the Wraithknight.
Overall, we ended up with even Kill Points, leading to a push, but I prevailed with First Blood and Linebreaker to advance to the championship match for the final round.
Biel-Tan Ynnari 3 | Space Wolves 1
Round 3 – Big Guns Never Tire
Maxxed out Scatterbike Ynnari with an Autarch and Wraithknight and an Ulthwé Strike Force of more Scatterbikes and two Starcannon War Walkers
This game was interesting. My opponent was clearly a very experienced competative tournament player and had tabled both my husband the previous round (two lucky D rolls turn one blew up both the Void Shield Generator and the Imperial Knight, who then maxxed out his death explosion to destroy a number of the tanks) and his opponent first round in under 20 minutes. It was expected that my opponent would win from the very start of the tournament, and this last game felt quite stacked against me. I had the only Heavy Support unit, guaranteeing him two points as long as he killed it; and the board was sparsely populated with very short terrain that hindered the abilities of my Warp Spiders. The TO was rather apologetic that it seemed so lopsided and offered to do something to balance, but it would have been unfair of me voice more than tacit resignation. This is the way 40k works.
Still and somewhat surprisingly, we were on pretty even footing until a catastrophically bad roll knee-capped me. It may have also been better had I gotten the Pick-Your-Psychic-Powers warlord trait that I was fishing for, but as with always, my dice spite me when I most need them.
The game was bloody and fully of difficult decisions for both of us. At the get-go, I had to sacrifice going first since my opponent would have otherwise null-deployed, and I had to leave one poor squad out by itself to die to deny his Ulthwé Strike Force prime deep strike location. My biggest mistakes were made during deployment and first round. It would have been better to split the Falcon off by itself to better allow the rest of my army to bunch up and I should have left my Farseer in reserves to stay safe for as long as possible, allowing the rest of my army to operate more agressively rather than hang back in an effort to protect my Warlord.
As the next few turns rolled around, we made bloody exchanges back and forth, although I will admit that the sheer firepower and range of Scatterbikes dwarfed what I could put out with my limited-range Aspects, although the real kicker came when his Wraithknight arrived. Kitted out exactly the same, the two Wraithknights were going to duke it out with only dice determining the winner, although I had a squad of Fire Dragons close at hand to counter his supporting Hemlock. My wraithknight, having weathered plenty of shooting until this point, had maybe one wound left, but to even the odds my full squad of fresh Fire Dragons brought his Wraithknight down to one wound. I had it in the bag. Expecting to do at least 2 wounds with my Wraithknight’s full shooting, I would then get to soulburst and wipe another full squad… but I rolled a handful of unsalvagable 1’s and 2’s – the dreaded whiff.
I think half the store flinched as I vehemently swore.
That spelled the end. The Dragons and Wraithknight withered under two volleys from the opponent Wraithknight, as my Warp Spiders were left to hide in cover from enemies that far out-ranged them, although my Crimson Hunter stripped the last wound off the opponent Wraithknight and shot down the enemy Autarch to salvage the last shred of my hope before being downed by concentrated fire.
Biel-Tan Ynnari 1 \ Ulthwé Ynnari 5
As expected, my round 3 opponent took first. I was awarded second, while my husband took fourth, his being tabled round two hurting his score too much to compete with the third Eldar player, who had tabled at least two opponents for max score. From what I could surmise, we had run a bracket of some sort with cumulative scores determining who advanced to what part of the next round.
Honestly, although that third round was painful and difficult, it was quite the experience to learn from. It was nice to know that I could go toe-to-toe with a grizzled tournament veteran, since every little misstep was clearly highlighted as my opponent did his best to give whatever advice he could.