Danny finishes the tale of Epic Battles in the final day of the Grand Slam…

 

Game 4 – Astra Militarum (Matt * )

 

 Game 4 on Day 2,  and I was up against Matt with his Astra Militarum, and as any chaos space marine player will tell you, the guard can be a nightmare to deal with.

It was Mission 4: What’s Yours Is Mine. We had 5 objectives; 1 in the centre, then you both place one in your deployment zone and 1 in your opponent’s. Matt had 4 Tank Commanders (including Pask, the Relic Battle Cannon on one was included with one as well). Matt also had 3 Vulture Gunships that put out an amazing amount of fire power, a Bullgryn Bomb, plenty of Guardsmen, a Company Commander, 1 Primaris Pyker, and 1 Astropath for buffing. He had 75pts spare for an Assassin which he picked as the Callidus (allowing him to mess with the cost of my CP turn 1). Mat also took the Banner of Lost Cadia, which is absolutely horrendous for Chaos players, and Old Grudges on one of my Leviathans. I had picked Big Game Hunter, because the tanks had to die. Reapers, lots of Guardsmen, and Marked for Death which was on the Bullgryns and 3 fliers. 

I lost the roll off, so Matt rolled and got Dawn of War. I’ll post a picture on here as there was so much  terrain on this board and a giant tower in the centre and on the objective. Remember that Matt had not deployed at this point. 

Turn 1

 On Turn 1, I split my forces up…the Leviathans taking 1 side of the board up with 1 Deredeo and the Disco lords taking up the other side with the Sorcerers. Matt utilised the terrain perfectly and deployed all of his tanks into a graveyard. We declared everything ruins early on and I didn’t realise how bad this would be for me getting into his tanks, especially when the Vultures were screening them. The only thing that wasn’t was the Bullgryn, and Matt made a mistake here by allowing me potential access to them. If I couldn’t get the tanks, then I certainly didn’t want the Bullgryns  them going inside the building where I couldn’t get to them and they could just party all game. We both had two objectives in our deployment zones, so owning the centre was crucial. 

The Warlord went like a rocket towards the Bullgryns. I moved one behind a building and another sat in front of the Sorcerers for screening help. 2 units of Cultists moved inside the building and onto the objective, and my Leviathans stayed put, unable to get line of sight but unable to be hit from tanks. I was waiting to see where Matt sent them as he picked Reckon, Head Hunter, and Big Game.

 I peppered the Vulture with my Havocs and Deredeo, but only succeeded in taking off a few wounds. This meant my Disco Lord had to show off to kill the Bullgryns, and once again against such a tough unit, he didn’t disappoint. The centre board threat was gone, but I knew it would be at the cost of my Disco to the tanks.

 

 Matt’s turn 1, and he placed 2 Vultures into Hover to shoot at the Disco and screens one path to the tanks with a Guard Squad. The wounded flier was sent down into my deployment to target my characters. He chipped Mortal Wounds off the Disco with Smites, but the Vultures failed to kill it and so it was down to the tanks. The banner was popped Turn 1, as I thought. The tanks decided to use the Heavy Bolsters and Scrubbers into the Disco Warlord, and Battle Cannons into the Deredeo. It took 3 tanks in total  to kill the Deredeo and the warlord was still alive…

The final battle tank unleashed everything into him to end his existence. Now, with the third Vulture Matt tried to declare my Sorcerers, but he wasn’t aware that the Disco Lords being closer meant they were shielding the smaller characters from harm as they were over 10 wounds. This failed to kill the 3rd Disco but did damage it. At the end, I held more to Matt’s Kill More.

 

Turn 2

 Onto Turn 2, and with Matt’s screening he placed a guardsman within an inch of a wall. I worked out that if I moved the Disco Lord into a huge blocked up building I could safely charge them, but most importantly, act as a barrier to my Sorcerers from tank attacks whilst also being hidden itself. The 3rd Disco shot down field, but had to settle for charging a Vulture which was going to be dicey. The Leviathans moved to be out of line of sight from the tanks, as I knew now that whatever I did, I wouldn’t be able to touch the tanks and had therefore lost any chance of scoring Big Game Hunter.

 

I decided I needed to save the Leviathans to keep any chance of winning, as they were always going to be out-ranged. With powers and the last Deredeo, I was able to kill the flier above them, and so the Disco charged the Vulture. Vengeance for Cadia was activated for rerolling failed hits and wounds and defensive gunners, which meant the flier was hitting me on 5s and rerolling everything…he survived by the skin of his teeth. 1 more Vulture down and a Spirit Thief onto the other. The other Disco Lord charged the Guard through the wall and blended them. I also charged my lonely Sorcerer in so that he could consolidate into the safety of the building. The Disco who killed the Vulture ended up being on the bonus point for me as well.  Matt had to now try and take over the centre building and deal with my Disco in his lines again…

Part of my plan now was to contain the tanks in this corner whilst my Leviathans survived. He brought his Callidus in, but 8″ away from my Leviathans – who were side stepping around. The battle tanks moved slightly and one could get a bead on the Leviathan from one angle, but he was that worried about my Disco Lord moving and being able to fight through a small wall that he moved it back. I do think Matt should have done this, as it would have baited me into doing it whilst 3 tanks fired back at it. Instead, he decided to shuffle back towards the Disco. 

The flier shot down field into my deployment and targeted the Havocs. The Psykers failed all powers on the Disco, but the tanks made light work of that. The flier removed my Havocs down to 1, and  I decide to keep the Sgt due to morale. I knew they would struggle against the Leman Russes, and it turned out to be the right thing to do – I rolled a 4 and they are leadership 8 with the leader! The Guardsmen charged the centre, but only killed 1 Cultist for their troubles, and it was a tied combat. In the end, I still held the centre by having more units inside. This turn, I gained Hold and Kill More, as well as a bonus for a 5 point primary. 

 

Turn 3

 We moved into Turn 3, and I didn’t kill the plane!  I left it on 1 wound ,and my Sorcerer in Terminator Armour was now the closest target. My side stepping Leviathan was able to target the Assassin and blew it away. The Cultists also chipped a few more kills off the Guard squad, leaving them on 2. Matt’s Turn 3, and the tanks were now way out of position due to my movement blocking with the Disco. Matt couldn’t target my Sorcerers due to the Disco Lord who I kept hidden in a building, which is a smart play and if you get the chance to do something like this then its extremely clutch. I needed to survive and utilise the terrain the best I could. The badly damaged flier failed to kill the Sorcerer which was a blessing. Again, Vengeance for Cadia was popped, but with a 2+ save he managed to just about survive. His Primaris Psyker came into combat with the Cultists and killed a few, but they in turn took him down to 1 wound. The tanks did manage to kill the last Deredeo, so after that, we both killed 1 but I held more.

 

Turn 4

Turn 4,  and I moved the Leviathans around a building to get line of sight on a Guardsmen squad, and also fell back with the Cultists in the centre with the next batch ready to take over. The Sorcerer moved onto the objective back in my deployment and again, the Disco could not be seen so all my mother characters were safe behind it. The flier was smote off the board, and the Cultists shot the remaining Guard before charging the 1 wound Psyker. Matt used Take Cover on his Guardsmen and luckily rolled exceptionally well to prevent them from dying to the Leviathan, however I did fail to take the last wound which meant he would be able to smite them next turn. Not ideal at all!  Matt kills 2 in return. Now there really wasn’t anything for Matt to shoot, so he advanced his tanks and prepared his Guard to charge next turn. The Psyker continued to kill cultists but couldn’t kill enough. I still couldn’t kill it in return. 


Turn 5

As we moved to Turn 5, I was still hiding the Old Grudges Leviathan away from the tanks.. The terrain was still affecting Matt when it came to his movement, but he did get a line on the other Leviathan and reduced it to 5 wounds. In the Fight Phase, I was able to kill the Primaris Psyker. Matt then charged the centre with multiple Guardsmen, taking it over and killing both units of Cultists that were weakened. For the first time, Matt held more but also killed more…things were extremely tight.

As time was running out we talked out the final turn giving Matt Hold More and the bonus with a double move Company Commander. I moved my sorcerer off 1 my bonus objective to prevent Tallarn Tanks launching up the board and shooting at the characters. I gained a point for my last objective, with the Cultists holding them. I had scored 3 on Reaper, maxed out Mark for Death, but no Big Game. Matt had 2 Big Game Hunters, 3 Head Hunters, and had maxed out Reckon. The final score…a nail biting 25-24 win to the forces of Chaos! 

The Leviathans might have only fired a couple of times all game, but I knew I didn’t have the fire power to deal with the tanks once I noticed the play with the screened out tanks. If I didn’t kill the Bullgryns, they would have had a party all game in the enclosed building. A super close game against one of the best ITC ranked Guard players in the UK! 3-1 and I had achieved the target of getting three wins…but I wanted to do something I had not done before at a shark tank tournament. Go 4-1!!

 

Game 5 – Imperial Knights and Catachan Guard (Mike Duff)

Round 5 was up and I was against a top bloke – someone just as bald as me but even taller.. Mike Duff with his triple Knight Crusaders and Catachan Guard! More Tank Commanders with the Relic Battle Cannon.. insert vomit now. I met Mike at Into The Hellstorm 4 and I knew we would have a super friendly game to finish the tournament with.

 

 

The mission was Cut to the Heart: 1 objective in the centre, and 1 in each of the deployment zones.

 I picked Titan Slayer, Kingslayer (on one of the upgraded Knights), and Engineers (which I picked the Havocs for again, and a squad of Cultists as the Havocs would struggle against the T8 units and probably give easy kills). Mike had also picked these for Marked For Death, so it made sense to hide them. I lost the roll off which meant I was going first, which was good for me, as I really wanted to go first and get into the tanks or the Knights. The deployment was Spearhead Assault, so I deployed aggressively, right on the line with Cultists at the front to move onto the centre objective. Mike deployed his two tanks on one side of the board, and the Knights in the other corner to distance himself from my Torpedo Discos and so keeping them safe from a turn one charge. However… Mike decided to be a lovely gentleman and stole the initiative from me.. oh dear… 

 

I immediately took cover and spent 2CP. Thankfully, Mike decided to side step, and not really move his Knights out of his deployment; the terrain had hampered him and penned him in. The only things in range were the top missile pods, which failed to damage me. The Guardsmen pressed out to form screens. What compounded my misery was my inability to roll saving throws…that and Mike being able to roll 10+ shots on his tanks for most of the game…they could see my 3rd Disco Lord and vaporized him…ouch.I decided that I needed to make a push for the centre L buildings and regroup. I couldn’t hide everything though, but the Discos were safe and I was on 2 of the objectives. 

I must have killed 2 Guardsmen squads as I managed to clear some screens and tuck in.

 

Turn 2

At the start of Turn 2, Mike was still stuck moving around his terrain, but the Tank Commanders (who were using Vengeance for Cadia) opened up onto a Leviathan and reduced it to a handful of wounds. I still didn’t make a play with my Discos,  as screens were still blocking my way to Mike’s stuff. I killed 1 unit of them to get Kill and Hold more again. My plan was working! Frustrate the Knights and prevent deaths. 


Turn 3

On Mike’s Turn 3, he was just starting to find some movement,  but could still only kill a squad of Cultists. During my turn, the yellow brick road was clear, and I spotted a nice Disco size hole in between Mike’s tanks…These things were driving me nuts, as I knew the Relic Battle Cannon was going to cause me issues if I couldn’t deal with them. The Warlord lined up his route, Warptime was confirmed, and off he went with a sweet advance. I was going to need a 5″ charge and out of nowhere, Mike had an enemy wrecking ball in his lines. My shooting units were still all hidden.. the Havocs wouldn’t shoot all game.

Mike popped defence gunners for 1CP (Overwatch on 5s) and of course Vengeance for Cadia…this was going to hurt! Sure enough, it did, but I was able to survive and hit both of them. At this point I also used 1CP to advance and charge, and 1CP for Daemonforge (allowing me to reroll failed hits and wounds). Attacks split evenly, the Chainglaive went, 6 attacks…but this was my warlord…and he hit…with 5s and 6s! When the dust settled, Mike had 22 armour saves to make from 6 attacks..,1 tank down. I then repeated the process with the limbs and tail into the other tank. Both Tank Commanders were gone in the blink of an eye, and I earned a bit of breathing space. I healed myself with the two Spirit Thiefs to go back up to 10 wounds, but I knew he would be Vaporized next turn.

Turn 4

Turn 4 and the knights were out. 

I lost the Warlord Disco to 1 Knight’s shooting, and another Knight took a Deredeo out. I had to send the last Disco out to combat the threat. I was still holding more and managed a kill with my Havoc launcher on a weak Guard squad. Eyeing up a Knight, my Disco charged in, but I was out of CP, and so wasn’t rerolling his wounds. Still, he was chopping the 2+ armour knight up, but Mike was also making a lot of saves! It came down to the Mortal Wounding Mouth Piece. The Knight had 6 wounds left.I hit, but It didn’t explode. It wounded, and Mike failed the 6+, So it was d3 wounds and d3 mortals…2 damage total. The Knight was alive with 4 wounds.

Turn 5

I knew exactly what Mike would do next turn, and he correctly paid 1CP for it to work on full profile. It was his turn 5 and I was running out of stuff. I was starting to score on Titan Slayer, but I was worried I wouldn’t touch the Kingslayer Knight. Mike killed the Disco and another squad of Cultists to clear the way into my lines. I decided to leave the Chaos Lord on the centre, knowing he would be killed next turn, but again scoring me Hold More for this one. One of the Sorcerers smote the Knight and took it down to 1 wound. I popped the damaged Leviathan around the corner, and legged it with the other one. A full retreat was in order, but I also wanted to make sure it was out of Melta range from the last Knight and Mike’s Kingslayer targeted Knight was super close to me. 

The Leviathan on a couple of wounds and last Deredeo opened up and managed to do a lot of damage to score me 2 Kingslayer points. These were bonus points in my eyes. Though I now knew I was at risk now of losing 2 vehicles for Mike’s Big Game Hunter. The Sorcerer killed the Knight in combat to get me a Kill Hold and Hold More. Mike got Kill More once again. 

 

Turn 6

Into Turn 6 and Mike worked out that if he could shoot my Deredeo off the board, kill my Chaos Lord, and then kill the falling back Leviathan, then he would be able to get a huge points swing. The Havocs were hiding in a building out of line of sight, so after they maxed out my Engineers, I kept them hidden. Mike killed the Sorcerer in retaliation, and also killed my Chaos Lord, but failed to kill or put any serious damage on my last Deredeo. He did, however, charge the Leviathan and kill it, but he could only consolidated onto the centre objective by a fraction. 

On my turn 6 I knew I had the win, but I now needed to think out my tournament score and to get as many points as possible. The last Sorcerer moved into the centre to contest, and because Mike could only just make it into the other side of the objective I was able to put him on it and outside of Heroic Intervention range. Another 3 damage Smite went off, and in the Shooting Phase, the Leviathan and the Deredeo did enough damage to the two Knights to be able to max out my secondaries, giving me my best score of the tournament. 35-26, I think it was! (I didn’t write the score down, though, so I could be slightly wrong).

 I think Mike lost this by being overly cautious in the deployment. He deployed correctly to stay away from my stuff but when seized he left himself too far away, and then i had full control of his movements. Once the tanks were dead and my “ignore line of sight” shooting was in place, this meant that Mike didn’t really get to move out and get firing lines of Dreads etc. My constant feeding of Discos into his lines actually blocked avenues for his Knights to go down and again delayed Mike in getting to the centre. If he had gotten there a turn earlier, it could have been a very different game.

 

**

 

Overall I was over the moon with 4-1. If you had said before the tournament that I would get that score, I would probably have laughed in your face! I ended up placing 13th in one of my best showings at an event, as well as earning Best in Faction. There were still a few mistakes that I need to work on, though. The Guard game was way too close and I could have easily lost that one. 

 here was only myself and my cousin representing Chaos Space Marines, and he was having a horrible time of it on the bottom tables with a list I helped write for him…oops! I was very happy with my list, but I did find my lack of scoring units to be a problem. I never really got the bonus in many games. The Havocs were a waste…at 110 points, I reckon I could get something more effective in. I definitely want more CP in future, but that probably means dropping a Disco Lord down to something cheaper. 2 for the Flawless Host will still be very good. Maybe the Alpha Legion Spearhead could be turned into another battalion? 

Watch this space, guys…we’ve got Chapter Approved ‘19 yet, and I’ll be sure to look into any potential new units becoming viable ready to my next tournament in January!

 

Karl, Me and Alex

 

Oh, and on another note, finishing 13th gave me a boat load of ITC points…I’ve gone from being well over 50 behind 1st in the UK and Europe to being just 8…game on!! 

 

So, what do you reckon? One last push before the end of season (which is Vegas but I’m

 not going to that)? I’ve got Calledonian Uprising as my last event of the year. Should I take pure Chaos Space Marines? Or do you think it’s time I start making some mean builds with Chaos Soup.. let me know what you think…and thank you for reading!

Thanks again, Danny!

Hope you guys enjoyed the read! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and whether you’d like to see more of this type of content from the team!

Cheers!

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