Today, Danny tells us all about his games at the Element Games Grand Slam! 

 

Welcome, guys! This past weekend I took part in a very competitive and high calibre tournament over at Stockport’s gaming centre. I would say that 99% of the best UK players were competing to take the top spot. It was a 2-day event and run in the ITC format. I was the only Hellstorm member to take part, but Mikey did pop down to catch up, which was nice!

 

So, the list I took…obviously it had to be Chaos Space Marines with the faction challenge, but it needed a freshen up after my disappointing Glasshammer showing. To start with, I had a Supreme Command of Flawless Host, and it was the Soulforged Pack. If we wanted to use strats that are used in the army build or in gaining a formation detachment then we had to have declared and paid for them at the list submission stage. One Disco was my Warlord with Ultimate Confidence for exploding attacks: as he gives himself +1 to hit, they exploded into 3 attacks for every 5+ (not including Death to the False Emperor). He also took the Intoxicating Elixir relic for +1 attack and strength.
The second Disco Lord took the Field Commander role for 1CP and also took Master of the Soul Forged, which creates a 6″ bubble of +2 movement to the Discos. This let me open  up a key advance and charge strat which I used in every game. 

Next was the trusted Alpha Legion gun line! A -1 to hit is always handy outside of 12″! One Chaos Lord with a Chainsword and Combi Bolter (2pts spare), giving a great threat range for the Daemon Shell Stratagem! He also provided rerolls for the two Hellforged Leviathans (Butcher Cannon Arrays). Along with that, I took the Autocannon Havocs. Flat 2 damage kills Primaris guys! 

Lastly, I had the newest addition: a Battalion of The Purge, which comprised of Two Sorcerers (one in Terminator Armour with a Combi Bolter and Sword, the other Bolt Pistol and Sword).

Between them, they had Prescience, Warp Time, Diabolical Strength and Death Hex, as well as Smite. Troops were all Cultists: 3 squads of ten, and then 2 Deredeo Dreadnoughts with Butcher Cannons, Heavy Bolters and Greater Havoc Launchers: all coming in at 2000pts after upgrades and only 8CP… but would it be enough?

 

 

 

Game 1 – Iron Hands (Mike Cole)

The Game 1 mission was Nexus Control (all missions can be found in the ITC Champions Pack) and I found myself paired up against a lad called Mike Cole and his Iron Hands.

Mike was running two squads of Vanguard Veterans, a Scorpius Tank, two Mortis Dreadnoughts with Twin Lascannons, and Leviathan with the Loyalist Butcher Cannons. There was also Feirros, a Lieutenant, three squads of Scouts and then 3 Storm Talons with assault cannons and Heavy Bolters.

I won the roll off to pick deployment and randomly rolled Hammer and Anvil. This was going to be an issue! I knew he out ranged me with his Lascannons and there wasn’t a lot of cover…that, and I forgot to check with a TO the terrain layout, as for some reason the two ‘L’ shaped buildings in the centre were facing inwards to form a loose square. This meant there wasn’t a lot of cover for me to utilise moving up the board. Sadly, I didn’t seize.

 

 

 

The Dreadnoughts were out of position on the other side of the buildings and could not get a shot off after I measured 9″ movement. The planes all flew down field and were on my board edge ready to fire. The Scorpius shot at one of my Discos, and with firing twice I didn’t make a single save and it was destroyed… Ouch!


Each flyer then shot into each unit of Cultists, removing them and hurting my ability to score. One of the Mortis Dreadnoughts sidestepped across, and what I didn’t take into consideration was that whilst I measured from the base to be safely out of line of sight, I didn’t think about the stretched out Lascannon arms which were able to peek into line of sight and take on one of my Leviathans! Luckily, it wasn’t destroyed, but it was badly damaged. I knew it was going to be one of those games. 

 

Turn 2

On to my Turn 2. I was able to remove all three fliers in retaliation, and I thought I was safe in my own building for another turn after moving everything further inside, thinking Mike would not get line of sight on my warlord Disco Lord. I was wrong. Turn 2, and all of a sudden a Dread line of sight on the very tip of my banner pole for the Lord Discos backpack. I didn’t realise that the backpack could be seen with his movement and figured it was not in sight. It was touch and go however, so I agreed to roll off and on a 4+ we would call it okay. Sometimes in these situations, it is easier to let the dice decide!

Mike proceeded to do just that… The Disco Lord was destroyed and at that point there wasn’t much else I could do. The Scorpius continued to batter me from a distance (I was really impressed with this unit and the fire power it could put out). On top of that, the Vanguard Veterans Deep Struck behind a wall with eyes on a 9″ blind charge to my Havocs (who were strategically hiding on the objective trying to get me some points!). Thankfully, they failed.

My last Disco Lord needed to deal with this, but I knew that if I didn’t move up the board, Lascannons would ruin him Turn 3.

My Leviathans and Deredeos did manage to remove one Lascannon dread, but the rest of the game panned out as I expected. The opposing Leviathan marched up towards me and the Scorpius and final Dread sat back taking powerful pot shots. The game did go to Round 6, but it was a heavy loss to myself  at 35-12…roll on Round 2.

 

 

 

Game 2 – Raven Guard (Dan Wright)

Lunch done with and I was paired against Dan Wright and his new Raven Guard army.

 

 

This was the first time I had met Dan, but we got on immediately and I knew whatever happened it would be a chilled game. It was Mission 1, Seize Ground.

Dan’s list was Shrike, Lieutenant, Librarian, loads of Sniper Scouts and Primaris Eliminators, along with two Warsuits, two ThunderFires, 5/6 Grav Centurions and Three Aggressors.

 

We both initially rolled a 6, but on the second attempt I lost the roll off, which I was glad about as Dan could deploy the Grav Cents 9″ away (Master of Ambush), and that would have been horrendous! Front Line Assault was chosen for deployment, and I used 1CP for Forward Operatives on a squad of Cultists, the idea being for them to advance down the board to get me that bonus point.

Dan deployed correctly, providing plenty of screens towards his Cents and moved to block my Warlord Disco whilst also moving scouts into areas that might cause me concern later on. For my Secondaries, I picked Gang Busters, Head Hunter, and Butcher’s Bill. 

Thankfully, there was no seize… 

Aware of the sniping Mortal Wounds and no cover in the centre of the board, I still pushed out with all 3 Lord Discordants!

The Warlord moved to the centre, then the Field Commander moved around a gap, heading towards the three pesky Aggressors. The last moved to engage one of the Invictor Warsuits. My Forward Ops Cultists only rolled a 2 for their advance, so this wouldn’t have gotten them onto the 5th objective. Looking back, I should have attempted a reroll, as a 4 or higher would have gotten me this as well as more points overall. Instead, they screened a Deredeo against Hidden Scouts. A successful Psychic Phase made light work of some Eliminators in the centre, and I was able to Warp Time a Disco into the lines of the Aggressors. 

During the Shooting Phase I managed to kill a squad of Scouts, and then successfully charged the Aggressors. The Warlord failed a 9″ charge to another squad of Scouts but the last Disco made it into the Warsuit.  This did worry me as both units could hit hard if they interrupted.

I decided to hit the Aggressors as the Disco Lord’s own ability meant the Warsuit would give it a -1 to hit if it retaliated. The Aggressors were easily dispatched, and the Warsuit interrupted and failed to damage the Disco Lord who in turn blended it. Four unit kills and a good start! 

Dan retaliated and popped Gravitic Amplification on the Centurions. They were able to remove one Disco and wound the Warlord. The Thunderfires fired a total of 3 times and with the Scouts just killed the Warlord. The final Warsuit opened up into the last Disco,  but didn’t do much damage. Instead, it then charged the Disco, and the Scouts charged the Cultists protecting my right most Deredeo. 

Again, the -1 to hit saved the Disco and he removed the Warsuit but was badly damaged. He then healed himself after killing the vehicle! The scouts failed to hurt the cultists or wrap and trap them. I gained kill and hold more this round.


Turn 2

 and I was outside of the Grav Cents threat range, but I could still target them. The Cultists fell back and the Deredeo dealt with the Scouts in front of it. I was able to hide my Disco for a turn whilst I worked out what to do with it. I opened up on the Centurions; killing one and injuring another, but they turned out to be very difficult to kill as they were ignoring my -1AP with their chapter tactic. I was still able to clear some Scouts off, but all in all it was a quick turn. Dan decided to hide his Cents in the same way I hid my Disco – to work out what to do next turn and get them into threat range. The Thunderfires opened up but failed to do any damage to the Disco!
My sorcerer out in the open did die to the Relic Bolt Gun on one of the characters and combined fire from the Scouts. Again: I was able to kill and hold more!

 

Turn 3


Turn 3 I swapped out Death Hex for Warp Time and launched my wounded Disco up towards one of the Thunderfires. The gun line continued to damage the Raven Sniper Gun line and hit a character that happened to be the closest model. The Disco chopped up the Thunderfire and healed more wounds… This was starting to be a pain for Dan, as he was causing all sorts of problems now and was bearing down an alleyway of Tech Marines and Grav Cents. 

On Dan’s turn, he moved Shrike up to the middle of the board and hid him behind a wall. I could clearly see his pistol, but we both agreed pre-game that we wouldn’t call on bits like that. Again, Dan couldn’t kill the Disco Lord but he was able to kill a unit of Cultists.Once again, I held more on this turn. We both started to look a little thin on the ground  at this point, but I still had tough units on the board with my Dreadnoughts. I fired the greater havocs at Shrike: hoping to chip a wound off with him being the closest target and worry Dan… What I wasn’t expecting however, was for Dan to fail all his saves and leave him on 1 wound! Ouch! This meant he couldn’t really throw him into my lines without being worried about easily losing him!

The Disco Lord chopped up the Techmarine blocking his path for a Headhunter. Dan’s turn, and his Librarian (who I forgot to mention took some wounds earlier) was now on one of the middle objectives and looking to take out my Havocs who were sat comfortably in the middle of my deployment zone. Dan proceeded to roll a double 6 and blow himself up providing me with another Headhunter point as well as getting him off a critical objective! 

The Centurions finally dealt with the Disco Lord whilst also damaging a Leviathan. Again, the Gravitic Amplification strat came into good effect. Shrike did move out to charge a Deredeo but the 4++ in combat meant he failed to kill it. I killed more, but we held the same amount of objectives. 

 

Turn 5

Turn 5 was rapid fire now – I  was able to flame Shrike off the board with a Leviathan whilst it went off killing more Centurions. The second leviathan killed another Centurion, and the Deredeo killed the penultimate with his Butcher Cannon. This meant that the Centurions suffered a -2 Leadership debuff from both the “Butcher Cannon” and “Butcher Cannon Array”! This all stacked to give -4ld, as well as the kills adding up, the final Centurion fled the board and I had my Gang Busters! Dan finished off my Havocs and picked on my Cultists. This turn, it was Dan who claimed Hold More. 

Onto Turn 6 and we both agreed that if I could kill the 1+ armour save Eliminators then I should try to do so. However,  this didn;t happen, and Dan couldn’t get a kill with his few remaining Sniper boys so we agreed to call it there with us both getting Hold One, but no one getting Hold More or a kill. My game plan here was to plug away at his Scouts and objective grabbers so that he could not obtain the board control he needed after the Discos died. I struggled with the saves that the Raven Guard got, but the early rounds and going first won me the game. The final score of this game was 28-24. I was currently 1-1 for the tournament, and the comeback was on.

 

Game 3 – Eldar flyers (Tess Yoxall)

Game 3 was Precious Cargo and I was on Planet Bowling Ball..

To top it off, I was against Elder flyers. Tess is a lovely bloke and we put the clock on, but from the get go we forgot about it. Tess had in his list Yvraine, a load of Kabalite Warriors, 7 Venoms, 2 Ravagers, 2 Archons, 2 Voidraven Bombers and then 3 Crimson Hunter Exarchs with Star Cannons.

I was very apprehensive, especially with the lack of cover. I won the roll off and randomly rolled for Search and Destroy deployment. Thankfully, there was a 3-sided building for hiding in on one side of the map and so I decided to go on there.. I picked Engineers using the Havocs and 1 squad of Cultists to hide inside; I thought if I could bait Tess into one of these units with a flyer, then it was one less shot into me turn 1. I also took Big Game Hunter and Butcher’s Bill. Tess picked Engineers (even though I said I could target them with the Deredeos), Reckon, and Big Game Hunter.

I failed to seize and Tess didn’t really move out over the board. I took prepared positions to help keep the units alive with most now on a +1 save. He used his flyers to screen out all access points to his Ravagers, and made it incredibly difficult to get to his Venoms. 

Onto the Shooting Phase, and I have never seen a worse shooting phase with an army that excels in shooting in all my time playing. Tess opened up on the Warlord Disco and with the whole combined fire power of his army he just about killed him. This meant he held one objective and only one kill. I knew I could get right into the game and press the issue Turn 1. 

I decided to advance the sorcerers into the centre building along with a Disco Lord who was using it as cover and waiting to see where the Venoms would go later in the game. My Field Commander Disco flew down field and sat in a gap between a Voidraven and a CHE (Crimson Hunter Exarch). I decided to target the Voidravens, as I didn’t want these dropping their mortal wound payloads on me…I also knew they were easier to hit than the CHE. 

The first Voidraven blew up causing damage to everything around it,even with a reroll. This wounded the second, so I opened up with the Deredeos who were now using full reroll to hits against it. I also used the Greater Havocs to target the engineering unit sat on the objective. The second Voidraven was easily removed from play, and I rolled well to remove the engineers, preventing Tess from scoring next turn. This opened up the Disco to charge 2 Venoms instead of 1. I thought this would be better, as I new points-wise it wasn’t a great exchange, but I needed to target Tess’s fast moving units and the troops inside. 

The Disco successfully made the charge and 1 Venom blew up whilst the other was easily deleted. Tess didn’t roll too well either on the emergency disembarks, and was left with only 1 or 2 models  in the units. I used spirit thief to target a CHE and brought it down to 7 wounds (it had taken some light damage from the explosions as well). A solid Turn 1 saw me take Kill More, 2 Big Games, and a Hold. I didn’t move my Cultists out, as they were screening the Havocs from any flier that wanted to try and target them from behind.

 

Turn 2

Turn 2, and Tess was really worried about the Disco in his lines. The fliers moved as one to one side of the board and 1 Venom went onto an objective to try and get Hold More. Tess still hadn’t made a play for reckon, and if I had another turn like before he wouldn’t be scoring this and that would be huge with the movement his list contained. The remaining

Venoms moved backward into his deployment zone and he kept his engineers in one of them as he didn’t want to lose them whilst the Deredeos were in play. Again, the combined firepower of his army just about killed the Disco and it was over to me to capitalise further. There was no movement from me as I decided to keep the Cultists around the back for screening. The Sorcerers both popped out, putting Prescience on one Leviathan to try and combat the negative to hit modifiers on the CHEs. I threw a smite into the 7 wound CHE and rolled a Super Smite! For damage, I followed this up with a 6, leaving the CHE on 1 wound! Knowing that the Deredeos would have rerolls against it, I decided to open up with the lead Leviathan that had Prescience cast on it. 

I split the fire-power knowing Tess would Lightning Fast one of them; this way I would be hitting more easily against one of the fliers. Tess did do this on his strongest flier, but I was still able to cause a lot of damage to it and almost destroyed the other one. With my second Leviathan, I opened up on the damaged Venom on the 2nd objective in order to prevent hold more, which it did. The two Deredeos then took out both of the badly damaged CHEs, and that was the turn. I had killed more, started my engineers, and maxed out Big Game Hunter already.

 

Turn 3 

We moved on to Turn 3, and Tess started to shuffle his troops across the board. The Venoms began to move around the back of his deployment zone with a view of protecting them for later in the game. The final CHE flew over to the Deredeos with a view of destroying at least one that had taken a few wounds from Ravage Fire Power. Tess, however, failed to kill any of the units in the Shooting Phase. I had 1 Deredeo on 1 wound, and another halved. I quickly dispatched the CHE with another Super Smite, the Sorcerers were coming in clutch with big damage that Tess couldn’t evade. I also killed a couple of Kabalite Warriors that started to venture over to an objective with an Archon. I forgot to move the Cultists this turn, so I knew I would have to start this if I wanted to start scoring more points. I killed more but didn’t hold more. In the tournaments overall standings these basic mistakes actually cost me a place, as I should have moved onto this in the same turn I killed 2 CHE. There was only 2or 3 points between myself and the player above me


Turn 4

 Turn 4, and Tess now made the play down the board with his Venoms but to his mistake he again left a Disco Lord sized hole between them that I was eyeing up for my turn. The last squad of Engineers popped out but he was unable to score (as the unit has to start and end its turn on the objective). Being inside the Venom didn’t count for this. The ravagers opened up and removed the damaged Deredeo easy enough. Over to my turn, and the Disco advanced towards the Venoms. I used the strat Infernal Engines from the Vigilus formation to advance and charge, and to make sure of the kills, I used Daemonforge on him to reroll failed hits and wounds. With killing these units I used Spirit Thief again on the final Venom in his deployment, and got a bit lucky with destroying this, even though it had taken damage with all the explosions earlier.


Turn 5

 By this point, there wasn’t much left on the board. Tess was running out foot soldiers and he knew I had the fire bases to delete anything that went too close. He rushed the objective near his deployment and the Ravagers took out the Disco Lord and the badly damaged Deredeo. I must say, I was waiting to wound stuff with Smites or Leviathan to allow the Deredeos to reroll all hits. This worked a treat for me all weekend (thanks to the Purge trait). The Engineers finally got a point for Tess, who also maxed out Big Game with the Disco kill. 

My turn 5 and the two Sorcerers popped out of the centre to go deal with the Archon holding the objective. I managed to move a Leviathan onto a second objective along with some Cultist, finally allowing me Hold More. The Sorcerers Super Smote for a 3rd time in 1 game… never before had they wielded the warp so well! This left the Archon on 1 wound and vulnerable to shooting.I decided to be a bit cheeky and attempt to Death Hex him. The Sorcerer in Terminator Armour stepped up with a double 6! Keeping the result as he had 5 wounds, I completely removed the 2++ from the pesky Archon meaning I could remove him with a Leviathan and hold more that turn. I also killed a small squad of warriors to tie the kills. 

 

Turn 6

On our final turn, Tess deleted the Sorcerer that so rudely cheated his Archon, but didn’t do anything else with the remaining Ravagers. I wrapped it up in my turn as I was safely on 2 objectives and deleted one Ravager for a kill, walking away from this game with a 29-17 win – maxing out all my secondaries and restricting Tess to just 6 with no recon points. 

Did I get lucky with my Sorcerers and that turn two? Yes…but I also went into the game knowing I didn’t want the Voidravens mortal wounded my engineers as they passed, and I also didn’t want the Venoms all over the board which would have been a nightmare for me. However, clearing them so quickly and then having Tess misplace Venoms to allow me to kill multiple in the Fight Phase really helped my chances, and really showcased the firepower this list has.

 

Day one down and I was sitting happy with 2 wins and 1 loss. I spoke with Tank a lot and we both agreed that my goal should be 3-2, but with the tournament having so many good players I knew it would be a tough ask…

 

 

Enjoyed the first day of Dan’s event round up? Let us know in the comments, and Day 2 will be hitting here soon should there be enough interest!

Thanks Danny!

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