Saturday, 11 January 2014

Winter War 2014

Before Christmas I attended Winter Warm up, it was a small one day tournament designed to allow people to practise their Caledonia Uprising armies. It was being held at Sanctuary Gaming, a new venue near Mansfield which is hoping to pick up where Eye of the Storm left off. The venue itself has a lot of potential. It’s in an old church building so there is some awesome architecture. Warhammer World may be designed to look like the inside of a castle. This IS the inside of a castle in its architecture! There are a few issues, only a single toilet in the building can be an issue and there’s currently no heating (which really meant Winter War lived up to its name), but these are all on the list of things to be address in 2014. Once these have been sorted it should be a fairly awesome venue to tournaments, and will hopefully see some of the regular tournament return to a more central venue.

The tournament itself was meant to be a friendly affair. Because it was being used to practise armies the painting restrictions had been dropped to allow people to try new thing. That said there were a fair few of the top players in attendance and some fairly filthy armies. I’ve become a little jaded with 40k of late and this was the first real hard tournament I’ve been to since Adepticon.

Timaaa the TO was his usual jolly self, including introducing a unique rule for determine initiative in the first round. Both players pulled a Christmas cracker. The winner of which got first turn choice. If the opponent wanted to seize they had to successfully guess the answer to the joke inside.
The army I was taking was new to me I’d opted for

Chpater Master on Bike with The Shield Eternal, Thunderhammer
Command Squad on Bikes, 4 Grav Guns, Apothecary
10 Tactical Marines, Plasma Gun in Rhino
9 Tactical Marines, Plasma Gun in Rhino
Thunderfire Cannon
Thunderfire Cannon
Storm Talon with SkyHammer Missiles
Storm Talon with SkyHammer Missiles

Rune Priest on Bike
8 Grey Hunters, Wolf Standard, Melta Gun in Rhino

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, 3 x Servo Skulls, lvl 1 Psyker

It features a fairly big death star with all the models on bike forming a single unit. The Chapter Master is out front to tank the hits. A Rune priest is there to stop Psychic powers and a fairly strong psychic presence with a lot of access to divination.

Round 1
Oh joy, my first game and it was against Wave Serpent Spam. Five Wave Serpents, two units of War Walkers, a Farseer on Jetbike and Crimson Hunter. The entire army was inside vehicles from turn one meaning my Thunderfire Cannons had little to target and my Grav Guns we pretty terrible. For me this was pretty much a none game. No matter what I did I just didn’t kill things. The Wave Serpents destroyed the death star fairly easily as it tried to cross the board. The Thunderfire cannons didn’t have any significant effect on the game, they managed to drop a couple of the War Walkers but nothing substantial. That said I did make some glaring mistakes. I deployed my two tactical squad and reserved my grey hunters. The Hunters ended up rolling onto the board and then camping an objective on my table edge. I should have combat squad’ed my 10 man tactical and used half of them in reserve to camp an objective. This would have allowed the wolves to thrust forward onto the objectives in the centre. That said I don’t think it would have made a significant difference due to the firepower the opposition. In the end I was tabled in turn 6, the main reason I lasted so long was a little luck, like for example one of my Storm Talons taking the full firing of four wave serpents without a scratch. But overall it wasn’t a great start to the tournament both from a result or quality of game (with absolutely no disrespect to my opponent who was fine to play against, it was just a very one sided game).

Round 2
My second game was against a Space Wolf army. It featured three packs of Grey Hunters, a beat stick bear Lord, Rune Priest, Predator, Razorback, Drop Pod and Landraider as well as one of those Hyperios defence turrets. This was a more beer and pretzel type army, the Landraider gave me some concerns and he did have a Rune Priest which would prevent some of mypowers from firing off. 

This was a far more beer and pretzels army and much more in my current league. The Landraider worried me as I didn't have a great deal of anti-tank weaponry, but I did have a plan. The command squad did very well in this game, their grav guns really taking a toll on their power armoured opponents. I also learnt a new trick when Tigurius used puppet master on the Landraider, sadly there wasn't a great target for it, but it was a plan I'll keep in mind for future use. In the end steady firepower and target priority ground down the Wolves. The Chapter Master's Thunderhammer finished off the Landraider and the rest of the army fell to the firepower. I ended up tabling my opponent.

Round 3
Round 3 was against another Space Marine army, this time using a forge world chapter tactics, I believe it was the Minotaurs. It made them immune to pinning, re-roll moral tests from shooting and preferred enemy space marines. The army featured two units of Centurions, Devastator squad, two units of scouts, Landraider and storm talon.

The first big break I got was seizing the initiative. This meant my command squad could drive forward and unleash their grav guns on one of the units of Centurions. Having been prescienced and allowed to ignore cover it was pretty brutal. However things began to fall apart. The Thunderfire cannons were tasked with one simple job, kill the scouts. Over 5 rounds of firing and also being twin-linked in most firing phases they only managed to kill 6 of the 10 scouts. The second unit of Centurions were another matter, with a chapter master with storm shield up front tanking them seemed to ignore all incoming fire.

In the end I game was a loosing draw, mostly because I just couldn't shift his scouts.

Final Thoughts
Overall I was a little disapointed with my performance, I also realised that if I ever wanted to finish in the top 3rd again I would probably have to switch to Tau or Eldar which is a real shame that only two codexes are truely viable for a tournament win. So it looks like mid table obscurity is back to stay.

The army wasn't amazing. There were a few elements which didn't perform as I had hoped.

Tigurius - I still need to find a place for Tigurius in the army. Does he go forward to attack or hang back in support. His access to Divination can make him a powerful support character, but with the likes of Telepathy he can be quite a formidable assault asset.
Chpater Master on Bike -Beat stick, need to be careful to not rely on his formidable saves as he can go down.
Command Squad - Its firepower is pretty good, but every wound it suffers hurts it, it doesn't have any spare models to loose.
Tactical Squads - They don't really have much point, if only for protecting Tigurius they would hang back and wait to score. I'm tempted to drop at least one of the rhinos though.
Thunderfire Cannons - I was a little underwhelmed by these, but really didn't play against their strength. The scouts in the 3rd game should have gone down a lot faster really.
Storm Talons - They performed ok, they took out the other storm talon in game by using Tigurius' ability to to manipulate reserves. 
Rune Priest on Bike - Didn't really have to a lot to do. His divination powers were useful.
Grey Hunters - The Rhino didn't work for them, I think a drop pod would have been better suited.
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor - Pretty much only had one job, and he twin linked the Thunderfire cannon, the fact that they then failed wasn't his fault.

1 comment:

  1. Necrons and Daemons are also viable choices. Unfortunately the hash they made of the SM book (specifically the underwhelming non-Scars Chapter Tactics) means that Loyalists are going to be left out in the cold til the new IG book drops. Which after the dominance of Imperials in 5th is only fair, really...

    "Tigurius - I still need to find a place for Tigurius in the army... a powerful support character... a formidable assault asset."

    If you have units that can benefit from him in both positions then you can choose when you know what you're facing. If you're facing lots of vehicles then your fire support probably wants twin linking, for example, while against another Rock army you'll want to make your own Rock Invisible.

    "Command Squad - Its firepower is pretty good, but every wound it suffers hurts it, it doesn't have any spare models to loose."

    I'd actually run a bike squad with 2x Grav Guns and MM AB, with possible combi-Grav to accompany the Chapter Master - he's killy enough to deal with almost anything by himself, the bikes are just a delivery mechanism who suck up the ID wounds. And if you took normal bikes then they'd score as well, which is a plus. Artificer Armour is also a life saver on him if you can scrape the points up somehow.

    "Tactical Squads - They don't really have much point, if only for protecting Tigurius they would hang back and wait to score. I'm tempted to drop at least one of the rhinos though."

    Dan Sackett used them as 20 power armoured bodies in your face, which is an approach I find works well to prevent them simply being a 400pt tax. Keep them together and run up the pair of Rhinos together, and drop some dakka on decent targets for 18 bolters or the melta special/heavies. Works even better with the UM Tactical trait, odds are good they'll survive the game.