Sunday, October 20, 2013

Battle for Salvation GT - RECAP - Experiences from a player not using Tau / Eldar / Vanilla SM at all!

First a quick reminder, our monthly RTT at Huzzah hobbies is this sunday(10-20). SHOW UP! Same time/cost/place as always.

So I attended the Battle for Salvation GT run by the crew of the same name last weekend. Its a good time, and despite my doubts prior to the event, had good terrain coverage. This would be important in all my games.

Ed and Bob from BFS put out a very smooth well run show. It's a pleasure to go and play. Though I had to be "that guy" and go complain about my paint score slightly to Ed (who was a good sport and put up with my QQ), after they scored me lower than NOVA (sadface), with basically the same army. Blah.

So I took to this event, my previously posted list, which had only one goal in mind - bring as many beatface lords as possible to the party. I took CSM w/ Black legion allies.

Juggy lord w/ Axe, sigil, boon, meltabomb (190ish pts)
Nurgle bike lord w/ Mace, sigil, boon, meltabomb, blight grenades (also is my warlord)
Abaddon (BL)

2x Cultists
1x Cultists (BL)

1x Nurgle Spawn
1x Nurgle Spawn (BL)
1x Regular spawn
1x Helldrake

1x 4 Lascannon havocs
2x Maulerfiend w/ Magma Cutters

Bastion w/ Quad Gun.

O.k. So what did I see at this event?

Craptons of Tau and Eldar, like seriously truckloads.


Only armies with Tau / Eldar were undefeated (3-0) at the end of day 1, except for me! /brag/ BRAG MORE/ woo. All of the rest of the more "normal" armies, were down in mid-table obscurity. So, anyone planning for some east-coast meta. Figure out ways to kill wave serpents, or broadsides and you'll be good to go. Hint: Lascannons are good, as are huge LOS blockers.

So that was cool.

I'm going to say straight up front, Day 2, I lost all my games. I had my first game of day 2 vs. Defranza (who won the whole thing), and he knocked me out. (Recaps for all of them further on down).

After that I played Brad who was a lot of fun, and I did a "Come at me bro" to see if I could charge straight into a Tau gunline and live (aka not play cagey). Hint: No. Though Brad did win a beer from me, I bet him he couldn't kill an entire nurgle squad + nurgle lord + abaddon in a single round of shooting. I was wrong (though not by much).

Last game was vs. Jack, who jumped up from the 2-1's into our bracket with his CSM/ Daemons flying circus w/ 2 helldrakes.

Somewhere/somehow as a wargaming community, we need to establish when/where/how/if fast fliers score. Jack and I spent a decent portion of our game dicking around with our helldrakes. We had some sexy helldrake on helldrake action, in which helldrake won! (Visualize two birds fighting in the sky).

DAY 1 - Game 1
Mission - Dawn of War - Night Fight (YES) - Kill Points

I played a fellow Nova-ite, though I didn't realize it until after the game was well under-way. John was playing Vanilla Marines, horde style.
He has a t-fire, two storm talons w/ goodies, a beefy captain, scouts w/ tellion, some Tac squads with heavy weapons, and devastators w/ heavy bolters, plasma and such. He was geared out to put out some serious anti-infantry hurt. He also had some rhino's ect. Which, he wisely deployed separately from his tac squads and then used to searchlight me on turn 1 to shoot me up a little bit. Deploying them separately was a good call, forced me to decide if I wanted to chase down empty rhinos, or kill his actual killy stuff.

 I deployed heavy left side. Jack deployed heavily also on the same side.
He search-lighted me, and used his t-fire and other shooting to good affect to kill a couple spawn. The maulerfiend had a couple of rockets go his way, but Johns dice decided they were not fans of his.

Turn 1 I rushed forward and got some long charges off.

The quad gun got its first kill ever in this game, intercepting a storm talon and blowing it out of the sky before it could shoot.

This second picture is around the bottom of turn 4. Once I got into the tac squads ect, spawn + lords  do what they do best, and that was pretty much it. The maulerfiend on the right is immobilized.. like a boss!

John had some funny cinematic moments in this game, like a lone marine surviving vs. a maulerfiend, throwing a krak grenade it and (through the magic of mental cinema), timed it as the same time as meltagun and boom! Dead maulerfiend.

So fun was had by all. (I hope!).

DAY 1 - Game 2
Mission - Hammer and Anvil - Night Fight (no) - Objectives

This game I played Jessie Newton, who was my final opponent at the 11th company last year. Jessie did very well at the NOVA Open this year, and to be honest his list makes me pretty nervous.

His list was the Ovesa-star, with lots and lots and lots of scoring kroot with kroot hounds, plus a crisis suit team, an extra riptide, Two Sky-rays, and also an Ethereal.

I knew this was going to be quite possibly the hardest matchup I could face, excluding Seer-Council deathstars, which always give my list a run for its money. Jessie has a lot of ignore cover, high S shooting, and can hit multiple targets. He out-scores me, is more mobile (outflanking + 4d6 movement), and has a ton of anti-infantry firepower. I know most people are probably thinking, I should just charge into combat with the Ovesa-star, run it down and win....

Well..... Its not actually that simple. A lot can go wrong. If I don't hit the Ovesa-star with a critical mass of T6 or Eternal Warrior wounds, I actually just get curb-stomped hard by it, giving him extra movement to go kill my other stuff, plus my damage dealers die. I need to get an AP2 attacker into the squad, because even though the black mace is great, I can't rely on it to get through a 2+, or him to fail a toughness test to remove models. The Ovesa-star actually has quite a few AP2 attacks, and doesn't need to smash me, it just needs to hit me forcing wounds on spawn, to hang out for a while. Eventually wounds will end up on the lords and I'm going to fail enough 4+'s eventually. Not only that, the juggy lord + his spawn are bad in that matchup, that's giving him opportunities to smash. Even if only one or two attacks of his go through onto the juggy lord, do I really want to risk instant death on a 4+? No, its not wise. In order to pull off an assault on that squad, I would need to get either Abaddon + his T6 spawn, or the nurgle lord + his t6 spawn, into combat, and be able to follow it up immediately the next round with even more spawn + another lord, just to hold my own in that combat. Committing so much assault into that combat, means the kroot, sky-rays, and crisis suits are free to hop around the board as much as Jessie desires, killing my troops, almost auto-winning the game for him. Even if I do win the ovesa-combat, It would take me a lot of time to run back across the board to kill Jessies troops, and then the question is, at what cost? Do I have the models I need to carry the day.Not to mention that beyond all that, the squad has hit and run.

All of this was going through my head as I set up. In addition, his list is intimidating, it did amazing at the Nova Open after all. That's nothing to sneeze at, and where did I end up? Mid-table obscurity.

Jessie gave me first go, so I deployed as much as possible out of LOS behind my bastion.

The aim for this deployment was to give the bastion as much LOS blockage as possible, be nearish to an objective so my guys could get out and claim it on the top/bottom of 5, and  also control the portion of the board least likely to give a good cover save.

Jessie obligingly set up in the ruins as shown, except for the two skyrays which set up directly behind the hill in the bottom right.

Jessie than seized the initiative on me.

He shot up the bottom maulerfiend closest to me with his sky-rays, blowing it up and wounding a spawn or two. He also wounded a few of abaddons spawn + glanced the top maulerfiend. His kroot hid themselves behind the barrier as pictured. Turn 1 I ran all my guys forward, but hid out of LOS behind the big middle blocker. I ran the wounded maulerfiend straight at Jessie in attempt to menace him right away. Though in hindsight perhaps I should have hidden him. My havocs blew up one sky-ray (the one which had blown its missiles).

End of turn 2
Pictured to the left is the end of turn 2.
I've advanced forward to menace the Ovesa-Star. One thing I did not want happening is for them to break out of that corner and go board middle. Once that happens, it's GG. You'll note on the left side, helldrake has come in, and in conjunction with a cultist squad, has widdled down a kroot squad to 3 guys (who passed morale! boo). I also kept forgetting soul-blaze, but that's normal unfortunately.

Abaddon + his spawn have failed their charge into the two kroot squads pictured board middle. So they are sitting pretty much in the open. The cultists + havocs this turn have failed to do anything to the two sky-rays. The one success of this turn, was to charge the Nurgle lord + company into the kroot Jessie had set up on the left flank. I opted not to swing my black mace, allowing me to not blow up the entire squad in combat. Even so, it was dicey with only 3-4 kroot left alive at the end of the combat. I was lucky in this particular combat, as Jessie had placed his ethereal in such a way that they were stubborn until his next turn (which we looked up to verify). 

end of turn 3
Turn 3 - Jessie made good use of Abaddon & company being stuck in the open, plus the juggy lord. He proceeded to shoot and kill all of the juggy lords spawn. He also killed a spawn or two from Abaddons squad with combined firepower from kroot + his target locked bro. His last reserve kroot squad came in on my backfield bottom left. In his turn my Nurgle lord cleared the combat. So, now this turn I had to decide, do I commit to assault Ovesa with the nurgle lord + abaddon and hope for the best? Or do I assault / kill kroots and hope for the best. I opted for kroots. So I moved helldrake up vector striking + flaming the far kroot squad (and blocking movement). Abaddon and his spawn moved to assault the remaining kroot there. Nurgle lord + his spawn assaulted the crisis suit Troop squad Jessie had tucked behind the Ovesa-star. Juggy lord turned tail and ran back to my base to go assault the backfielding kroot. The las-cannons ect shot and glanced 2 HP off of the sky-ray but failed to do anything else. My two cultist squads are now behind the hill in the top left of the photo.
Turn 4 - Jessie shoots all his guys at the Nurgle lord (who destroyed the crisis suits on the charge), and attempts to assault it with the Ovesa-star, and fails his charge roll =/. The kroot in my back field shoot at the juggy lord and give him a wound I think. The sky-ray I believe was stunned from the previous turn and tried to marker light the nurgle lord unsuccessfully. In the bottom of my turn, i flew the helldrake off the board. The nurgle lord went to / assaulted the sky-ray destroying it. The juggy lord assaulted the kroot, and actually took two wounds! Jessie passed his leadership so they stay locked up.  Abaddon and his spawn stay board middle to try and keep Jessie honest (so he wouldn't go out that direction turn 5 with his 4d6 movement).

End of turn 5
Turn 5 -

Jessie advances, but cautiously, to avoid having the nurgle lord and/or Abaddon try to catch him in combat. Playing for turn 6 at this point, Jessie tries to nuke my squads that are behind the hill cover in the top left of the photo. However his dice go south, and they pass their morale checks.

I start moving Abaddon towards the cultists in the top left objective, this is so Abaddon can join them to make them fearless / tank for them. + Make it likely he'll claw up / force to run away anyone who comes near to contest that objective. The Juggy lord breaks free and goes to hide behind of the bastion. The nurgle lord hangs out behind LOS of the hill to get line-breaker / avoid giving up slay the warlord. My helldrake comes back on, and I place him to block as much movement as possible for the Ovesa-Star.
We roll to see if it ends with me holding 1 objective for the win.
It continues!

Turn 6 -
Jessie moves up further, shooting again primarily at my cultists on the hill, but also this time at my bro's on top of the bastion. He clears away almost all of one cultist squad on the hill, but they live tenaciously with only 3 guys left and pass their leadership. This turn I join abaddon to them, I hop my havocs out of the bastion to form a congo line to the objective to attempt to keep Jessie from moving to contest it if there is a turn 7. I also drop my cultists down, and join them to the juggy lord to also hold the objective, so there won't be any running away troops!

Jessie being awesome! Look at that pile up board-middle.
I was afraid of that all game.
So with me winning again on turn 6, we roll for Turn 7, there is!

Turn 7, Jessie is now in a good place to possible contest objectives. His riptides mince my havocs to a pulp. Luckily Abaddon stands strong in the the face of torrential firepower and only takes 2 wounds.  At the end of his turn, I'm holding 2 objectives, only 1 of which is possibly contestable. My reserve squad of cultists hidden behind the hill doesn't need to run forward anymore it seems!

DAY 1 - Game 3
Mission - Vanguard - Night Fight (no) - Objectives, Relic, Warlord, Linebreaker

This game was vs. Luke, who was playing a list very similar to one he played at NOVA open. We played round 1 at the Nova open, and so both had some experience playing against our types of lists.

Luke uses - A large beastpack with I think 15 of the 4+ invuln guys, and 5 razerswing swarms. The Baron, 2 Ravagers with dark lances, 3 venoms, 1 with witches, 2 with warriors/blasters, the artillery thing that elder get, a farseer, aegis line w/ quad gun, 2 jetbike squads, 2 dark elder flyers, 1 elder flyer. Lukes farseer managed to roll Fortune, which was going to be critical in this game, as well as prescience, and doom.
Middle of turn 1, Start of Lukes turn.

I had to go first. So I deployed with an aggressive stance. With so many mobile scoring units, I needed to destroy his scoring units as quickly as possible, or at least keep him locked up in the corner to try and keep him from taking my objectives.

Luke deployed behind a large ruin in his corner with his entire army. As seen pictured to the left.

To keep him trapped in, I advanced in a large C shape, trying to keep behind LOS blocking to avoid venoms from having a field day with me. I also tried to stay at about ~19 inches from the beast pack to avoid getting charged turn 1.

Turn 3 or 4
Luke shot me up a bit turn 1, and killed two spawn + glanced a maulerfiend. I had a glorious charge in turn 2, and proceeded to roll like crap. Spawns rolled 1's and 2's for number of swings. Lords did little to nothing, that kinda thing. Luke then hit and run out, and assaulted only the khorne /regular spawn squad in his turn, eliminating them but keeping the lord alive with only wound taken. He also blew up a maulerfiend with one of his fliers. He then hit and run out again.

Turn 3, my reserves moved on as pictured, and I started advancing towards my objective + the relic. My surviving maulerfiend went chasing down his venoms, killing one of the ones with witches. I think re-assaulted the beast-pack again, rolling like poo. The khorne lord assaulted the artillery squad, killing all but 1, who managed to pass his morale. My spawn again rolled like poo, but my guys were taking their toll over time. Crucially, my nurgle lord killed some of the models he was in base contact with, allowing him to move into base to base with two razerswarms when we consolidated. Luke failed his hit and run I think, or chose not to. I don't remember which. In any case, the remainder of his reserves came on, and shot at my free mauler fiend + guys a lot. His venoms shot at my cultists who chose not to go to ground, and passed a good chunk of their saves due to some handy cover. In the bottom of this turn, my spawn finally stopped rolling like poo, and I had a devastating / decisive round of combat. Largely thanks to the Nurgle lord instant deathing razor swarms with the black mace (failing toughness tests), I won combat and ran down the beast pack! Though if they had run, they were most likely off the board, with only a few inches to move and 3d6 running.
So I consolidated towards his venoms and jetbikes. The Top of turn 4 I was fortunately in range to grab the relic and hold an objective. My spawn + nurgle lord ran to contest the objective his venom troops were able to capture. I shot all of my guns at 3 jetbikes, but only killed 2, leaving him with 1 guy floating around near the relic. My maulerfiend attempted to assault a venom but died to an overwatching blaster. Abaddon + his spawn assaulted / killed the other jetbike squad. Then +Massacred to take linebreaker.

So at this point, Luke needed to kill my guys holding the relic, plus take an objective while contesting mine. To do this, he had two venoms near an objective with troops inside, a single jetbike, and 3 fliers. His dice then decided they'd had enough, and though he was able to take the objective from the nurgle lord + his spawn, he was not able to get me to drop the relic. Allowing me to win with linebreaker, slay the warlord, and the relic. (tied on objectives).

The game ended on the bottom of 4, by agreement ahead of time. We had simply taken to long in complicated 40 + model assaults.

DAY 2 - Game 4
Mission - Vanguard - Night Fight (no) - Objectives

Matt is playing, Jetseer council, 2 farseers, 2 wraithknights, several guardian jetbike squads and a skyshield landing pad.

I played Matt Defranza in this round, our deployment as pictured left.

I was given first turn, and proceeded to try to make a C shape as in the game vs. Luke. Unfortunately this didn't go super well. Though I was able to use the middle to block LOS decently for my spawn, my poor maulerfiends both boomed turn 1 from wraithknights / singing spears. Boo.
Turn 2 I ran Abaddons nurgle squad towards his troops and wraithknights, while Matt shuffled around.

Turn 3 we shuffled some more. I put the nurgle lord out to see If Matt would obligingly charge him. He did, wiping out the nurgle spawn and the lord on the charge.

Turn 4 -  As pictured left. In this turn, I have one chance to try and nock out the seer council. I move abaddon + the khorne lord to join the khorne lords spawns, then roll to assault. The trick being, I need to roll either far enough to let Abaddon challenge, and absorb the instant death from the Shard the Farseer has. Or, roll low, so I don't have to challenge, but can still move up to be engaged at my iniative step, allowing me to throw a ton of S6 / S5 Ap2 attacks into the seer squad, most likely dealing a death-blow to it. I needed to roll either a 7 - 10, or a 12(to get Abaddon in). I rolled an 11, and that was game.

Matt humored me by graciously allowing Abaddon the honor of living with a single wound left to his name. So he could survey the battlefield, knowing all of his minions had died, but had lived yet again.

DAY 2 - Game 5
Mission - Hammer and Anvil- Night Fight (no) - Objectives

Woo, I played Brad Nichols. He has several kroot and fire warrior squads, some marker drones, a skyray, a hammerhead with longstrike, a broadside missile team with all the fixings, a buff commander, some sort of alternative buff commander, an ethereal I think?, an earth caste riptide, and a regular riptide.

I ran at him all wiggly. Tau saved the imperium, ending the 13th black Crusade right then and there. Humanity will never realize that its true defenders, and saviors are the tau.

When the Imperium eventually goes back to finish off the Tau for good.. They will truly be the monsters.

DAY 2 - Game 6
Mission - dawn of war- Night Fight (no) - Objectives, scouring

I played a CSM / Daemon player named Jack. Jack was running 2 helldrakes, I think a daemon weapon daemon prince, a daemon prince of some sort with the shooty nova thing from the black legion book, Daemon allies with fateweaver, a DP with the grimoire, another daemon guy of some sort, three squads of cultists, and one squad of plaguebearers.

He took shriek on all of his casters. And this game went exactly how I expected. I knocked down the grimoire guy turn 1, killed him with maulers doubling him out. Then he having learned his lesson from this, flew around and basically did nothing until the last turn with his daemon princes; when he used them to contest all my objectives. His helldrakes were the MVP's of the show for him, killing my helldrake, then killing the guys inside and on top of my Bastion.

It was a situation for him where if he landed at all, my spawn + associated lord was clearly going to wipe out the daemon. I killed all his troops except the plaguebears. Then my spawn sat on objectives. Oh I forgot, eventually he did use one DP to kill a floating cultist squad + assault my bastion. At that point I was spread onto every objective so didn't really have the umph to go back and take care of one guy on the ground.

So thus ended the Battle for Salvation GT.

Assault is not dead - it's just very difficult.


  1. Hey James! As per your suggestion, I have not given up on Chaos. I have a RTT coming up, and I want try something like your list. How would you scale this to 1500 pts?

    1. hey eric, email me at to discuss