Last weekend I played in a qualifying round of the Yorkshire Open. The event was held at the Royal Armouries, which was actually quite a nice venue. The tournament was in a small theatre style room within the Armouries. With only ten tables required the room wasn’t too packed and tables had spaces around the table to models and books which I found really useful. Full details of the army I took can be found in this previous blog entry.
Game 1 vs. John(Space Marines) - Emperor’s Will / Vanguard Strike
One of my worries going into this tournament was that they were allowing escalation and stronghold assault, looking around the room there were no super heavy vehicles and only a single AV15 fortification. So when I discovered my opponent in the first game was the proud owner of the aforementioned Aquila strongpoint with Str D macro cannon mounted on top I was a little worried. However there were a couple of points which would give me a possible tactic. The board itself featured a lot of LOS blocking buildings, the majority of them were in the quarter my opponent picked to deploy into. However there was a central LOS blocking building which proved invaluable. The other aspect was the mission, with Emperor’s will you can focus on the mission and in theory feed units to the macro cannon which aren’t needed for the mission. The rest of John's army didn’t worry too much as it was drop list and I’ve a tonne of intercept. In total he was using
10 man tactical squad
10 man tactical squad in drop pod
Dreadnought in drop pod
Ironclad dreadnought in drop pod
Aquila Strongpoint with Macro Cannon
Winning the roll to go first, my deployment was a careful affair ensuring that nothing was in LOS of the macro cannon or would be able to get out of LOS in their first turn. All my troop choices were held in reserve along with the burst cannon riptide and commander. John deployed one tactical squad inside the building split into separate combat squads. My turn one was pretty uneventful, my riptide moved up behind a building just over 12” away from it to avoid the Psychic Shriek librarian inside. My second skyray turbo boasted toward the strongpoint hoping to park close enough that he wouldn’t risk a shot at me in case it scattered back onto his strongpoint.
|The Tau play hide and seeks versus the Macro Cannon|
John's turn one saw both dreadnoughts arrive in their drop pods and as expected the normal dreadnought was blown apart by high yield missile as it stepped out of the pod. The Ironclad lost two hull points and then luckily missed with its melta gun. However my model placement had been slightly off and the Macro cannon could see the arm of the Riptide, I held my breath as the large blast templates rained down but luckily both scatter over 6 inches and missed the riptide entirely.
Turn two and sadly most of my reserves arrived, only one unit of Kroot took the smart decision to stay off the board. I later remembered my Warlord trait was to actually re-roll my reserves but I totally forgot this during the game. The unit of kroot to arrive huddled behind a small LOS blocking building on top of my home objective, whilst the Firewarriors deployed on my board edge as close as they could to the John’s objective but still out of site of the Macro Cannon. The Riptide advanced on the Strongpoint whilst the second Riptide and Commander deep struck close by. At this point there was some confusion as to if melta weapons worked on the Strongpoint. My opponent informed me that they didn’t and I accepted this, assuming it was just another facet of the brokenness of their rules, however it later transpired that they did in fact work, and so both Riptides might have been able to shoot the building within 9” to crack it. During my firing the Ironclad was shot to pieces by the Skyray to re-secure by objective. In the assault phase one Riptide charged the Strongpoint and surviving the over watch from the units in and on the building manage to penetrate it with a single smash attack and stun the weapon so it wouldn’t be able to fire next turn.
John’s second turn and the final drop pod landed, the Tactical squad inside was split into two combat squads which jumped out into a hail of high yield missiles killing a couple of marines from each squad. One of the melta guns managed to kill a Broadside in revenge of their fallen comrade. The Librarian inside the strongpoint attempted to psychic shriek a Riptide, succeeded in casting the power but didn’t roll high enough on the Ld check to cause any wounds. Things weren’t looking good for the Marines.
Turn three and the Broadsides and Skyrays opened up and reduced the marines down to one man each with smart missiles. The Riptide and Commander charged into the Strongpoint and the combined six Str10 smash attacks and a Onager gauntlet rock the building. Although we don’t manage to destroy it we do destroy the emplaced gun and cause 6D6 hits on the six men inside , killing them all.
|All your Strongpoints belong to us|
John is now left with a weaponless Strongpoint, 7 marines and three drop pods, versus almost my entire army and so the final few turns are mostly just mopping up. One Marine sergeant with a power fist manages to make it into combat with my two broadside and stay there for almost 3 complete turns as he can’t get past my 2+ save and we can’t hit, but eventually he dies and I’ve tabled John. The final result 20 – 0 which I think is largely due to the LOS blocking building allowing the Riptides to get close without being targeted.
More games to follow later this weekend.