Thursday, 10 April 2014

Adepticon 2014 - Part 2 (Championship Tournament)

So the Championship tournement is a straight 1850pts single player tournament. Adepticon missions are a little odd as there are two primary mission running at the same time. Win the majority of these and its a crushing victory. If you draw on the primary missions it falls to the usual secondary missions (linebreaker, slay the warlord and first blood). Win on these and it's a minor victory, else its a draw. The mission pack isn't released in advance (well you can pick it up on Wednesday night but that's only after you've handed your list in), so you can't tailor the lists to the missions. This year there was a heavy focus on kill point style mission with three of the five missions featuring them, as apose to one in six in the core rule book. In the end I opted for the alternate force discussed in an earlier blog so I was taking ;-

Primary Detachtment - White Scars
Kor'sarro Khan on Moondraken  - 150pts
Chapter Master with The Shield Eternal, Thunderhammer, Artificer Armour, Bike & Auspex - 255pts
Command Squad with Bikes, 4 x Grav Guns, 2 x Storm Shields, Apothacary - 230pts
10 Tactical Marines with Meltagun, Combi-Melta in a Rhino - 195pts
5 Space Marines Bike, 2 x Grav Guns, Melta Bombs - 140pts
5 Space Marines Bike, 2 x Grav Guns, Melta Bombs - 140pts
Thunderfire Cannon - 100pts
Thunderfire Cannon - 100pts
StormTalon Gunship with Skyhammer Missiles - 125pts
StormTalon Gunship with Skyhammer Missiles - 125pts

Allied Detachtment - Space Wolves
Rune Priest with Bike, Runic Armour - 155pts
7 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Wolf Standard - 120pts

Hopefully a reasonably well rounded army with a strong alpha strike element but the resilience to back this up in turns two onwards.  I ended up scoring 22 / 40 on appearance scores which wasn't a shock really. My display board was fairly basic compared to some of the awesome boards on display and my painting is fairly basic, still I was happy with that.

Game 1 vs Nick (Tau / Eldar)

Primary Missions - Kill Points / Five Objectives
Deployment - Dawn of War

Talk about in at the deep end. Nick's Taudar featured three Riptides, six Broadsides and a Wraithknight. Throw in two large units of Kroot, an Ethereal, Farseer jetbike unit and Skyshield landing pad and it was a hard army. Unfortunately for Nick it's exactly the kind of army mine preys on. Grav guns make short work of those 2+ saves and we all know the mess jaws of the world wolf makes of Riptides and Broadsides. I deployed aggressively after winning first turn, scouted forward ready to deliver a deadly alpha strike with the grav teams ..... and then he seized.

Luckily for me he chose to throw a lot of the firepower into my super unit and, as designed, it absorbed a tremendous amount of punishment. Plus all three of his riptide suffered a wound to nova charging. He had screened his units well using the infiltrating Kroot. So I opted to soften up both units with fire and then charge them. I did pull a sneaky trick by "firing" jaws through the kroot into a riptide behind killing it instantly for first blood. My command squad made it into their unit and wiped them out, but my other unit failed a charge through cover.

More firepower was aimed at my bikes, but through a combination of jink, invunerable and armour saves we didn't suffer too badly. The command squad was however charged by the Wraithknightwho started pounding on them. Then after being siezed on another key role went against me. The command unit tried to hit and run away from the Knight but failed on a 6. Made all the more frustrating by the nice Jaws line that Nick given to me.

However over three rounds of combat my Chapter Master managed to beat down the Wraithknight, but only after he and Khan made so lucky invunerable saves to avoid being killed (he was on one wound and Khan would have been instant killed).

Meanwhile Nick's Ethereal was living a charmed life. He and his three broadsides were being hammered by my Thunderfire cannons. for almost 4 turns the artillery rained down on them. Often scoring 8 - 10 direct hits to the Ethereal, however Nick was making the majority of the look out sir roles and on the odd occassion he failed would make the cover save afforded the Ethereal. It wasn't until the last turn of the game that the constant bombardment finally paid off as the Ethereal was hit and instantly killed by a Str 6 blast, however other vicitims of the constant shelling of that corner had been both of Nick's jetbike units who had taken refuge behind the LOS blocking building. To add insult the remaining Broadside then failed their leadership and ran off the board.

During this time the remains of the command squad, which now only contained the Apothacary, Rune Priest, Chapter Master and Khan all on a single wound drove around and Jaws'ed the remaining Riptides into oblivion.

At the end of the game all Nick had left was the Broadside on the Skyshield landing pad, but he had managed to kill off my Chapter Master and Khan, still it was a crushing victory to me.

Game 2 vs Kevin (Dark Eldar / Eldar)

Primary Missions - Relic / Hold Ground (the six area terrain features were objectives, held if a troop choose was completely inside at end of the game)
Deployment - Dawn of War

Kevin was playing a list a list i dreaded a lot more than my first round opponent, as it had a lot of firepower out which mitigated my increased toughness. If you force an opponent to make a lot of saves, even if they are 2+, they will start to fail them.

Kevin had sixVenoms, three Wave Serpents transporting various Dire Avengers, Fire Dragons, Wracks, Trueborn and Warriors. Add to this a Wraith Knight, Swooping Hawks, Haemonculus and Spirit Seer it was a force designed to use weight of fire to deal with opponents. After loosing the roll for first turn, I though I'd try a gamble which I'd used in a practise game against another alpha strike army going first. I deployed my two Thunderfire Cannons and command squad with attached independent characters, hidden behind an LOS blocking building.

The plan did work but not quite as well as hoped. Kevin managed to get a line onto one of my Thunderfire Cannons from his Wraith Knight and blew it up, but with the Techmarine Gunner out of LOS it didn't give up first blood. Sadly he also managed to get two  Venoms to spot my Rune Priest which was badly positioned by me so as not to be behind my Chapter Master. Despite having a 2+ save he failed a one save, then failed a later "look out sir" and then his armour save and died, giving Kevin first blood.

My turn and the Thunderfire Cannon retaliated for the departed Rune Priest. Both Venoms had parked close to each other to get the required line on the poor psyker, this made them easy pickings for the Str 6 Thunderfire Cannon who blew both up. The rest of the force still huddled behind building looking to avoid the majority of the firepower.

Kevin advanced on the position, trying to move unit out around the sides to get shots onto my deathstar huddling in the corner he had some shooting from his Wraith Knight and a couple of Venoms but didn't do too much. For my turn all my reserves rolled on at once. The Command squad rolled out from behind their hidden position towards the Wraith Knight, the Storm Talons bore down on the Wave Serpent which had fired it's shield off last turn whilst the bike squadrons came on from out flank, but sadly not on the side of the board to link up with the Command Squad.

The Command squad made short work of the Wraith Knight with their grav guns cutting him down in a single firing round. Sadly the Bike squads failed to make any impression on the Venoms they fired at, however the Thunderfire Cannon did pop open another one.

Unfortunately the bike squads continued to under perform, they seemed unable to pop any vehicles. The Command squad did make a mess of a wave serpent before having a terrible round of saves and loosing a large chunk of them. However the stars of the game were the remaining Thunderfire Cannon and the Storm Talons. They consistently shot up their targets which was typically wave serpents and Venoms.

Turn five and a Wave Serpent disembarked five Dire Avengers onto the Relic, only to have my Thunderfire Cannon wipe the entire squad out in my turn. In the end it was really close, neither of us controlled the relic and it all came down to a morale test for a unit of Wracks after they had been fire upon by one of my Storm Talons. Pass and he won the Hold Ground primary 3 - 2, fail and we drew on primary and he would win purely due to first blood. He passed.

I think if the game had gone onto turn six I could have swung it. I'd destroyed all the Venoms, Wave Serpents and the Wraith Knight and my Thunderfire Cannon and Storm Talons should have been able to chew through a few more troop choices.

Kevin actually went on to finish 9th overall and progress into the finals on Friday. I don't know how he fared there but to have almost pulled a victory on this level of opponent really inspired me.

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