Just a quick plug for both the club and our venue… if anyone is local to Cardiff, UK then get in touch. We’re a friendly lot and our venue, Firestorm Games, will make lots of you green with envy!
So as mentioned it was an ITC based tournament, with 35 players in total. I am by no means a competitive player, and given lots of my friends took part I was happy to kick about on the bottom tables and just have a good time.
My list was as follows:
Castellans of the Imperium
Cataphractii Terminator Captain, standard, but with Auspex;
Crusaders 1- SwrdBro w/PwrSwrd; PowerAxe; Flamer; 7x CCWs; LandraiderCrusader;
Crusaders 2- GravCannon; GravGun; 3x Boltgun; Droppod;
Crusaders 3- GravCannon; GravGun; 3x Boltgun; Rhino;
Crusaders 4- M.Melta; MeltaGun; 3x Boltgun; DropPod;
Crusaders 5- M.Melta; MeltaGun; 3x Boltgun; Droppod;
Storm Talon – Skyhammer
Shadowstrike Kill Team
2x 5 Scouts;
2x 5 Vanguard Vets – 1x Lightning claws; 2x StormShield/Chainsword; 2x LightningClaw/PwrFist
So yeah my list definitely had an MSU feel about it.
Our tournament missions had a Mixture of Eternal war Primaries, Maelstrom Secondaries and Tertiaries which changed with each mission, but Kill points was always one…
Game 1 was against a 30k Questoris Knights list. I had very little experience of facing knights before this and zero against 30k knights. He had a Lancer as his HQ, and then three ‘Troops’ choices – Knight Crusader, Knight Acheron, and a Porphyhrion… Objective Secured Knights… I was concerned! The game was an interesting one, with hammer and anvil set up though, which suited the knights to no end! I hid from his shooting and fed him two DropPods. It was brutal from him and he was able to peel kill points off the table with ease. And thanks to the detachment, I kept giving him more to take!
However, when those vanguards came down on turn 2, they hit hard! In one turn I’d taken out 2 Knights and wiped him down to 50%. Nevertheless, that was all I could get from him and then continued to hide. We drew the game all round apart from Kill Points where he thumped me something like 11-4, and so took a major victory there.
For the next game I came up against an IronHands CAD lead by Celestine. Joining her were Vanguard Vets with Axes and Claws, and a Chaplain. Two lots of scouts brought LandspeederStorms but they deployed outside of them. Then he had a Laser Destroyer Vindicator, a Sicarian and a Knight-Acheron. Following the CAD was a Storm Wing. I wasn’t overly concerned with his list, but figured I needed to take out the threats first before dealing with Celestine… The Primary Mission was The Relic, which was worth a whopping 7 VPS with end game objectives worth 1 each. So that was the target. I tried to get my land raider up to the relic, but unfortunately had to turn back in order to gain some maelstrom points. Taking out the speeders was first thing which I dealt with quite swiftly. The Veterans did the business again, and smashed the knight on Turn 2- wow they hit hard! Then it was on to Celestine. What a mistake that was. I threw my second squad of vanguard in and they were immediately wiped. I was not prepared for how strong she was and she proceeded to beat me up everywhere. It was a very long and intense game, but I lost badly on the main objective and took another defeat.
Game 3 put me up against another Castellans of the Imperium detachment. I’d faced the same guy
in our tournament last September and expected a relaxed and fair game with him. He brought Coteaz, Celestine, 2x Scouts with Storms, Sniper Scouts, and BattleSisters in an Immolator. Then he had 2 lots of 3x Inq.Acolytes in Razorbacks, Sternguard with flamers in a DropDod, a Stormtalon, a Leman Russ Executioner, and a Knight Warden. Another knight! I was beginning to feel a little inadequate. We had a large space-port style centrepiece in the table and that meant the game was fought in a circle around it. Again my veterans took out the knight, but alas, they were caught by Celestine. I lost this game because of 2 reasons – the Landspeeder storms, and my inability to roll a glance! He had deployed them in my zone, and was able to control objectives well with them. I was just unable to take either of them out with shooting. Finally by turn 5 I decided enough was enough and I needed to charge… I don’t know why I didn’t do that before. I think I had compartmentalised my list into Assault, Objectives, and Shooting, rather than using them fluidly. Anyway, we had two pretty big events. My LandRaider Crusaders multicharged his LemanRuss, and the Immolator holding the Sisters and Coteaz. Though I took some hull points off, I failed to destroy either. It should have been an easy assault but the dice just said ‘no’. It happens! But then I realised if I had charged the Immolator only, I could have surrounded it and taken out Coteaz and the Sisters at the same time…. Sigh. I lost the game badly in the end, but again largely on kill points. MSU is good for table control, but it hands out kill points for fun. But most important, we had a Coteaz-off. And I'm pleased to announce that the True Coteaz did indeed take down the Falst Coteaz, but not before the False Coteaz struck back and killed the True Coteaz!
Heading into the final game of the day I was happy with whatever outcome as I’d won a game and realised I was running something very sub-optimal. So Game 5 put me up against another Castellans of the Imperium. Again, featuring Celestine and Coteaz, but this one definitely had lots of variety and added an Ordo Heriticus Inquisitor who set up three Servo Skulls. There were 2 lots of 5 scouts, and 2 lots of Tempestus Scions with Meltas. Heavy Support had Grav Centurions in a DropPod, and there was a Culexus Assassin to boot. The next detachment had a was a DarkAngels Allied lot with more Scouts and a Black Knight Command Squad with Apothecary – Guess who joined them! The DarkAngels also brought one of my most hated units in the whole of 40k – 3x Rapier Quad Mortars. Pure filth. Backing this up was a Null Maiden Task Force. This List out-MSU’d my MSU! Thankfully this was the best game I’d played all weekend, and my dice were on fire. I had learnt from facing Celestine earlier on to let her do what she needs but to keep my distance. With that in mind I shot off just enough casualties from his troops to keep them just above being wiped out until later on, and brought down a squad of vanguard to take them out in one go later on. The GravCents came down and killed some marines, but my Crusaders were more than capable of charging in and taking off the wounds needed. But before that, those QuadMortars went to town on my poor marines. Thanks to the ServoSkulls there was minimal scatter and they did what they do. And so my second squad of vanguards were tasked with dealing with them. However, Coteaz was sat with them meaning they could intercept and make mince meat of me if I wasn't careful. Thanks to a well-placed DropPod and locator beacon, they were able to be placed where I wanted and I could mitigate a two thirds of his shooting… just! They then proceeded to jump in and hold down Coteaz and the artillery for a turn until Celestine rescued them. But not before I’d taken out the whole unit and Coteaz too! I won the game well, and ended the weekend on 2W/3L.
Overall I placed 20th. I was happy with my performance considering how dire it looked after the Saturday. I was aware prior to the event of how sub-optimal my list was, and after I’d seen the lists of all the attendees (they were released the day before the event) I knew I was not going to be in the top third at all! There many Ynnari lists, War convos, and Tau suit lists, with the Top Three being Ynnari/RiptideWing, Orks & Daemons, Orks & Renegades. Yes Orks twice on the podium is a turn up for the books but they had the beefier stuff to back them up.
I’m not a cheesy player at all, but if I was, I would definitely consider the shadowstrike team again.
They hit like a tonne of bricks, and if played cleverly can drag in the whole table. I would have gone for a larger squad of 10, and a second squad of 5, Given them all LC/PF combo and let them wreck havoc. The Castellans detachment is fun, and a nice way for Templars to get involved, but to make the most of it you have to go all in for troops and drop pods and then that comes with its own downfalls.
Anyway, thanks for reading this far if you managed to! As a club we’re about to start our annual 40k League with 3 divisions of 7 players. It's a semi-competitive competition that also has 50% of points dedicated to sports/hobby scores so it should bring out some interesting results. You can see more on that here. The plan is to give 7th a last Hurrah (or Eff Off if you’re that way inclined), so we’ll see how that goes. I’m in Division 1, but mainly because I’m a club stalwart. So I’m expecting some very tough opposition - a relegation may suit me better ready for next year's!