Friday 5 December 2014

Lords of War - report

Last Saturday I attended Lords of War - a one day 750pt 40k tournament - held at the Wellington Warlords.

It was 13pts for a win, 11pts for a draw, and 9pts for a loss, with up to +2pts available for wiping out the Most Expensive Unit and Warlord 

The following is a brief report, apologies for the erratic nature of the photos. I will get used to doing this better at some point.

Round 1: The Emperor's Will, Hammer and Anvil.  
Opponent: Mike Talks [Space Marines]

The last time I played against Mike was about two years ago (or so), and I knew it would be a pleasant reintroduction to the 40k universe. Mike’s a great guy with the right attitude to the hobby.

He had a Captain with TH/SS, 5x Assault Terminators with TH/SS, 5x Scouts with sniper rifles and a missile launcher, 5x Scouts with BP/CCW, 5x Tactical Marines with lascannon, 5x Tactical Marines, and a Predator Annihilator with HB sponsons
All calm....ish
I decided to camp on my central objective and run forward in waves (led by the squad with the Priest) to contest his on my left.

The first roll of the game and Mike seized the initiative. Bugger. He proceeded to target my HW squads and minimise their threat. In return I reduced the CCW scout squad to one lonely model who bravely decided that discretion was the better part of valour.

I raced my Rough Riders forward behind what cover I could, avoided being shot, and then charged the Predator - blowing it up (yay!) and killing three of themselves in the resulting explosion...(grr). There was a bit of tit for tat on the left flank with the Ministorum Priest leading from the rear stopping my rapidly shrinking squad from running away. Behind them the reinforcements were the Veteran Squad (keeping the Terminators honest) and the PCS.  

Mike called it at the end of turn 5, I had Linebreaker, my objective plus was contesting his, and he couldn't stop me contesting.

Result: Win 
Rough Rider performance: 3/5 

Round 2: Cleanse and Control [modified, 4 objectives, rerolling secure objective 5& 6, rerolling '63' scour the skies and '65' demolitions], vanguard strike.
Opponent: Scott Engerbretsen [Eldar] 

Scott had in his army a Spiritseer, a unit of Wraithguard, a unit of Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent, a War Walker with Scatter Lasers and a WRAITHKNIGHT (with no guns)

Key moments were: Wraithknight bouncing through the PCS's Chimera and the squad and a couple of other units... and me forgetting that you can't charge when you outflank (so Rough Riders suffered ignominious fate being beaten by Dire Avengers). 
Spot the Wraithknight.... hint: this is Turn 2

On the plus side I wiped out the Wraithguard and the Spiritseer in close combat so that was cool. And finally killed the Wave Serpent on Turn 4 or 5.

Outflanking War Walkers with scatter lasers vs a squad of Veterans caught in the open, not so good though.

Result: Loss
Rough Rider performance: 1/5

Round 3: Purge the Alien, Dawn of War.
Opponent: Sean Sullivan [Space Wolves]

I had met Sean a couple of weeks earlier when he came in and had a look at the Vermintide tournament. He had lived in the UK for a bit so I needed to make sure we didn’t get too distracted waffling on about how awesome GWHQ was...

Sean had a Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf, a unit of 4 Thunderwolves, and two units of Blood Claws in Rhinos

Making good use of the intervening terrain, Sean raced his cavalry up to hit my right flank. My only chance lay with being able to blow up the two rhinos and the Blood Claws inside, and then wipe out the squads inside - before the Thunderwolves hit my lines.

That didn't quite happen. 

The glorious charge of the Rough Riders managed to kill one Thunderwolf (as he had already taken a wound to shooting). I managed to not kill either of the Rhinos in my first turns shooting but Sean, in a very sportsmanlike fashion, immobilised himself on some terrain with one.

A complete inability to wound/penetrate dogged me (see what I did there), and by Turn 3 Sean was all over me like fle... yes. Anyway. 
This is what I'm talking about!

The descent continued!

Result: Loss
Rough Rider performance: 1.5/5

Round 4: Deadlock, Hammer and Anvil [ modified as per round 2 modified tactical objective grid max cards per turn= 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1]. 
Opponent: Adam Neather [Dark Angels]

Adam had a Librarian, 2x Venerable Dreadnoughts with T-L Lascannon and ML, 2x 5 Scouts with Sniper Rifles, and a Devastator Squad with Lascannon, Heavy Bolter, and 2x Plasma Guns.

Adam rolled up his powers and got the ‘Reroll to hit’ power, which proved to be quite good. Then first roll of the actual game and Adam seized the initiative. Twice in one day it’s happened to me! 

Adam’s first turn of shooting was a mix of good and average – he wiped out the Rough Riders, but failed to damage the Chimera or Veterans. 

Over the next few turns we went back and forth – I managed to kill a Venerable Dread by glancing it to death (this seems just wrong) and eventually wiped out the Scout with a charmed life (he survived 3 turns by himself in cover), the other Scout squad and the Devastators and Librarian for the loss of the Chimera and a spread of models across several squads. 

Adam was unfortunately unable to bring enough firepower to bear to wipe out whole squads in one go so I could just keep nickel and diming him from all over the table.

We were equal points on Maelstrom missions until about Turn 4, when I just started moving away from him with my superior volume of fire. I was a bit sick of getting objectives that required me to win by Close Combat though!

Sorry no photo of this table :-(

Result: Win
Rough Rider performance: 1/5 - they only get a point because they at least forced Adam to shoot them instead of something of value

Round 5: Crusade, Vanguard Strike [modified= D3+1 objectives].
Pete Rundlett [Ultramarines]

I have played Peter lots and lots over the years so knew this last game was going to be a) fun and b) a challenge. I was hoping that the recent birth of his child would have impacted his tactical ability (hint: no). 

Peter had a Captain on a bike with SS and PF, 2x Attack Bikes with MM, 10 CCW scouts, 2x 5-man Tactical Squads in Rhinos, and a Thunderfire Cannon. 

I plonked the two HW squads into the Bastion that was in my deployment zone, while the Techmarine took up residence in the Bastion opposite.

The key moment for me was when I lined up the Rough Riders to shoot and charge the unit in the Rhino - I blow the Rhino up (First Blood!) and then the meltagun model dies in the resulting 5" explosion. I then (gloriously) charge with 9 attacks hitting on 4's and wounding on 3's.. .. .. . nothing.  They were gunned down in the following turn. Which was Good.
Post-Rhino explosion and pre-getting wiped out

The Attack Bikes and the Captain romped through my Veterans, the PCS, and the Chimera (I killed one Attack Bike though!). 

I kept trying to play the mission but shooting vs the Scouts was very poor, either failing to hit/wound or them making cover saves. And there was not much I was able to do against the Bikes. Such is the way of the dice!

At the end of the game Peter was 1-0 on objectives (plus he had Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord vs my First Blood). 

Result: Loss
Rough Rider performance: 1/5 - seriously, they were rubbish and only get a point for First Blood

General thoughts 
750pts on a 4x4 table is quite tricky, the game can swing quite quickly in just one phase as there is limited duplication/insurance options. I am pretty sure Dave took this into account when he crammed a Riptide and a unit of 3 Broadside with SMS into his list(!).

However 750pts is an excellent opportunity to get new (or garage) players out and into a club setting for a day.

Many thanks goes to Carson for umpiring and the Warlords for hosting. I think one-day low point tournaments are one of the best ways for getting new players into the game and into the club and also older and maybe returning players too - it’s much easier to get a day off looking after the kids than a weekend!

Overall I came 9th out of 12, and walked away with the Best Presented award as well, which I was stoked. 

So what did I learn?

  • Maelstrom missions are cool and nowhere near as complicated as they look on paper
  • Psychic phase also wasn't as complicated as it appears on paper. 
  • Mobility is key - my list suffered from not having enough
  • High Toughness/a better armour save is important.... at least a bit. 
  • Don't take a pistol to a cannon fight
  • I reckon that the shooting phase would be a lot more elegant and less fugly and a sod of a lot faster if it went back to the more abstract way of assigning casualties a la 5th Ed (Torrent of Fire etc.)
  • Space Marines that have bikes are good at 750pts – although maybe I'll try Grey Knights next time.
  • Rough Riders are cool but useless in 5-man squads. You need some capacity to take damage on the way in. 

As far as the Astra Militarum goes, I think that Command Squads are compulsory, heavy weapons squads with autocannons still have a place (stripping Hull Points off light vehicles or making Space Marine bikes take saves), Ministorum Priests are excellent value if you can advance through cover to counter that you can’t go to ground, and Chimeras are also a ‘must have’. 

Looking forward to umpiring the Masters this weekend, and am hoping to get a couple of 1500pt games in on the side.


  1. Sounds like you had a good time

    It took until I too was confronted with Maelstrom at an event (Call To Arms) to embrace it, and now play nothing else. It changes the game in such a positive way (rewarding mobile armies that can achieve a variety of goals vs my army sits on the far board edge and shoots you until you die) that i find playing Eternal War missions a bit ... odd now.

    not at all surprised by your painting result; stoked for you of course. :-)

  2. Glad you enjoyed the day Hagen. As a returning player you were one of my target demographics, along with new players and competitive players. Getting enough players to qualify for national ranking points is the icing on the cake for the competitive players as there is a dearth of events in the Wellington area. The icing on the cake for me is seeing more experienced players offering guidance to the less experienced. From this may come some player depth.
    Hope to see you back next year. Cheers, Carson