Saturday, February 22, 2014

Adam Tricola takes BeastStar to LVO: Game 4 vs. Quad-Land Raider

Howdy, folks! I am taking far too long in to write my full tournament report, but would like to start getting a little bit of content out there nonetheless (I've already written quite a few reports, but need to delay writing the final ones for a bit). I am therefore going to try something I've never done - splitting my tournament report into several different game-sized posts.

I will then eventually combine all of the reports into one "large" report for your later reading convenience :)

I'll give a little background first. My initial goal for tournament season of 2014 was to get a Marine list up and working, which I would be able to unabashedly take to big tournaments and not entirely embarrass myself.

However, there was an RTT at my LGS which I could actually attend, and I had nothing approaching the required models for the current iteration of my Marines, so I decided to be silly and take my old Dark Eldar with a couple Eldar units as allies. I had so much fun, I decided to try to make Dark Eldar work. 5 or 6 games later, my list had morphed drastically, from an old-style MSU Dark Eldar list to a ridiculous BeastStar, taking Eldar as primary.

I felt as if I had betrayed the Dark Eldar. Depression had set in. But I had a list, and after a ton of effort painting, and playtesting about 5 games total (which is a TON of practice for me), I was packed up and ready for the LVO.

Game 1: BeastStar vs. Old Nids (my list is there as well)
Game 2: BeastStar vs. Necrons + Chaos
Game 3: BeastStar vs. Alan Bajramovic's BeastStar

Game 4: BeastStar vs. Matthew Jacobson's Iron Hands (Clan Roukan) w/ Inquisition Allies!!

His List:

Iron Hands Clan Roukan (Primary):

Master of the Forge w/ Servo Harness, Relic which allows him to repair vehicles on a 4+ (Warlord)

5x Tactical Marines
5x Tactical Marines

Land Raider Achilles (Thunderfire Cannon + 2x TL Multi-Melta Sponsons, immune to Melta and... lances I think?)
Land Raider Spartan (4x TL Las Cannons, Heavy Bolter, Immune to Melta)
Godhammer Land Raider (2x TL Las Cannons

Inquisition (Allies):

Inquisitor w/ Liber Heresius, Psyker Lvl. 1, Rad (maybe Psychotrope as well?) grenades

Henchmen Squad w/ 5x Deathcult Assassins, 2x Crusaders, Priest

Land Raider Crusader

The Mission:

Primary (4 Points): Crusade
Secondary (3 Points): Emperor's Will
Tertiary (1 Point Each): First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker


Dawn of War


YES! (I got the warlord power to choose)


I won the roll, giving him first turn.


StoneSeer (Warlord): Fortune, Doom, Death Mission, Trait: Choose Night Fight
ShardSeer: Forewarning, Scriers Gaze, Prescience

Pre-game Thoughts:

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting a Land Raider spam army. Not in the slightest. Matthew had won his first three games healthily, with 8,9,8 points respectively.

I got first turn, which was a huge huge roll for me. I would be able to threaten whatever objectives he chose to take on Turn 5. Further, Matt had very few scoring models. In fact, he only had three squads which scored.

However, there were a few things to look out for. His Deathstar unit in the Crusader was not to be underestimated - his Priest would let him re-roll failed saves in close combat (which is nasty on Crusaders with their 3++ invulnerable saves).

He would also be able to scout move his CultStar up 12" with his Wargear, which would immediately threaten my army.

I also had very few things to threaten his AV14. The Wraithknight was an obvious one, though the Bright Lances were another option. His Las Cannons would kill my Wraithknight relatively easily, so I needed to make sure I could do some damage to him. I decided that he would likely scout, and that my deployment needed to be such that I took advantage of the Land Raider scouting up. CultStar needed to die ASAP.

If I could kill his own Star, I could dominate the objectives.

I made sure to negate his deployment as much as possible since his Achilles was on the end, and therefore hopefully out of range with its Thunderfire Cannon (night fight). I especially wanted to wait until I had Fortune up before that thing took a bite out of my Beasts, being okay with my spread out Guardians taking the proverbial shaft. Note the Guardians are spread to maximum coherency. Also note that I deployed directly across from his CultStar Raider. Spiders, Serpents, DE Warriors, and Bikes are all in reserves (6 on, 7 off)

Iron Hands Turn 1:

Matt started by scouting his Crusader close to me, and then driving another 6" up. His shooting was limited, and he managed to take a wound off the Wraithknight as well as killing a couple Khymerae from the BeastStar. His Thunderfire was barely in range to hit my Guardians, and he managed to snipe out one of my Bright Lance platforms. :-/

His CultStar is in position to really mess with me, and is therefore within messing range
BeastStar Turn 1:

I got Fortune and Forewarning off on my Beasts, then took a Perils on my ShardSeer for trying to put Guide on the Wraithknight (with boxcars). Doh! He denied (on a 6) my attempt at Doom on the Raider.

I got ready to shoot at the Raider, also ready to charge with the Beasts if I got lucky and killed the damn thing.

I got one Pen result on the Raider with one of my shots, and Immobilized it. The Wraithknight (who was 1" away from the Raider) then charged and Smash-attacked the Raider, exploding it on my third attack and giving me First Blood. He took all 5 explosion wounds on Coteaz' 2+ - I wasn't sure he was allowed to allocate that way, but didn't fight it.

Well, unscathed CultStar is ready to assault something...
Iron Hands Turn 2:

He decided to try to go after my Wraithknight with the CultStar. Other Raiders shifted but did not move.

His shooting killed a couple more Guardians.

The Cultists charged my Wraithknight and killed him easily, getting Hammerhand off twice and Coteaz (at S10) force-weaponing him to death.

I now had a single ranged weapon which could hurt AV14.

Good-bye Wraithknight! I knew thee well!

At this point, I really really hoped my reserves would come in to help shoot the CultStar

BeastStar Turn 2:

DE Warriors failed to come in, but the Bikes, Serpents, and Spiders all managed to get in. They came in on the right, with the Spiders deciding to threaten his Emperor's will objective.

Shooting commenced, and I breathed a sigh of relief as I was not required to charge the CultStar - it died entirely from my shooting. Beasts ran to spread out, while the bikes Turboed around and tried to get out of line of sight.

You can see the Guardians moved up to shoot his CultStar, while the Wave Serpents kind of hunkered behind hills. I especially wanted to keep the Bikes alive.

Iron Hands Turn 3:

He pivoted tanks, and shot at one squad of visible bike squads, killing them with Las Cannons.

We also got into a slight rules debate on how the Thunderfire Cannon + Multi-Meltas worked. You see, he got multiple hits with his TFC, which killed a few Guardians as well as the Lance Platform. The next wound in line was my Farseer, but he was out of Thunderfire hits - we had to move on to the MM shots.

Pretty standard, until you take into account that my opponent was of the opinion that I needed to take the multi-melta wounds on the Farseer rather than the closest Guardians. We called Reece over, who clarified that my Farseer (who would otherwise have failed his 4++ and been insta-killed) would not have died, and that instead it was a hapless Guardian.

HOWEVER, a twist came, as I then failed my Ld. 10 morale (boxcars!) and only needed 5" to run off the table with my Guardians.

I then rolled snake eyes, and the Guardians + Warlord stayed on the table. Whew!

In this picture, I had taken off my Warlord, as I belatedly realized that he should not have died. Scandal!
BeastStar Turn 3:

I had no realistic way to harm my opponent's army, and realized two things:

1) My opponent was skilled enough to realize that he should focus on killing my scoring models.

2) My BeastStar would be strong enough in nearly any state to be able to kill/contest objectives threatened by at most 5 Tactical Marines and the MotF.

As such, I cast Fortune on my remaining Jetbike squad, and gave Forewarning to my Guardians.

The DE Warriors came in from Reserves, and I spaced them out on the bottom right corner of the board, where they would eventually be able to work their way into area terrain and also hold an objective which Matt was unlikely to be able to get to.

I then moved my Dire Avenger Wave Serpent flat out toward his Emperor's Will Objective, moved/ran the Beasts toward the center of the table to contest objectives, and got the Spiders into the ruins near his Emperor's Will objective.

No shooting, no charging. Exciting turn for the BeastStar :)

You can see the Jetbikes there behind the hill - only one of his Land Raiders can see them, and that's the one with the TFC, so it doesn't really matter if he sees me or not. He's likely far more interested in the exposed DE Warriors on the far right there...
Iron Hands Turn 4:

We quickly settled into the rhythm of him shooting me while I just moved around. His Raiders shuffled around a little bit to be in disembarkation range of some objectives.

His shooting killed a couple un-fortuned Beasts, but didn't do much. His TFC scattered off the table when targeting the DE Warriors.

BeastStar Turn 4:

We had plenty of time, so the game would likely go to at least Turn 6. I wanted to be sure I could hold/contest enough objectives to win if the game ended at 5.

So, the Beasts kept their move/running ways, and the DA Serpent again went flat-out near his Emperor's Will objective.

Guardians for the first time ever decided to get into their Wave Serpent, while the Farseer cast Fortune on the Jetbikes then joined them. I threw the 4++ save on my Beasts for fun, while the DE Warriors moved/ran into the area terrain.

Note that my Emperor's Will objective is placed strategically (dumbly) on the far left corner by his Land Raider. That Raider also happened to have 5 Marines in it. Turns out you can't see the objective, but have faith, it's there :(
Iron Hands Turn 5:

Matt disembarked his Master of the Forge in charge range of my Wave Serpent by his Emperor's Will objective, and his Tactical Marines from the same Raider toward a Crusade objective. His other Tac Marines got out and claimed my own Emperor's Will objective.

His shooting killed more Beasts, and his Tac Marines were forced to run 5" or more to get to their objective, which they got. :-p

MotF charged my Serpent and exploded it, killing two Dire Avengers, who passed both Morale and Pinning (woo hoo Ld. 9!).

You can see the Tacs on the bottom left of this picture, holding my Emperor's Will objective, while the top-left squad holds a Crusade objective. 
BeastStar Turn 5:

This could be the final turn of the game, and I wanted to make sure I could win if it ended. It would be a little tricky though, because I was fairly sure the game would continue, and I wanted to make sure Matt wouldn't be able to kill vital units of mine.

I therefore decided to go for the Turn 5 "narrow" win with the Turn 6 and 7 "blowout" wins more likely.

Dire Avengers got to within 3" of his EW objective, and they + Warp Spiders shot at the MotF. I caused a TON of wounds (including a bunch of pseudo-rends) but he only failed one save after going to ground.

I shot at his Tacs with my remaining Wave Serpent (you can see the 'pile' of embarked Guardians on the right in this picture). They lost two of their number but passed their Ld. 8 and remained claiming my EW objective. Dead Khymerae is also just chillin' back there, being creepy.

After some debate and number-crunching, I decided to throw the remaining Jetbikes + Farseer over by his Crusade objective, as my Beasts were about 7" away from charging those Marines, but if he overwatched and killed one, I'd need 9". If I failed the charge with no backup plan, we would draw on Crusade, and he would win on EW. Therefore, I chose to contest his Crusade objective. You can see here the Beasts made it into combat, but it was best to be sure :)

One more picture of the Spiders and Dire Avengers staring down the gone-to-ground MotF, waiting for Turn 6 to kill him.

DE Warriors hanging out here, holding an objective - this picture is from my opponent's point of view.

In combat, the Beasts whiffed and caused zero wounds, took a couple of hits (they actually did lose a guy to overwatch, making me score a 9" charge), but I stayed because of Fearless.

My opponent hds the Secondary objective for 3 points and Linebreaker for 1 point, total of 4 points.
I had the Primary objective for 4 points, First Blood and Linebreaker for 2 points, total of 6 points.

If the game went on, I would almost certainly get the full 10 points.

Blurry end of Turn 5. By now you probably know what turn the game ended.

We rolled a dice to end the game, and my opponent rolled..... a "1", game over!!

Results: 6-4 win for the BeastStar!!

Post-game thoughts:

Wow, this list really caught me off my guard! Didn't see a 4-Raider list coming, and I really didn't have much to kill him with! My opponent was a good player, targeting my scoring units and really making me work for the win. I had two rounds where I didn't shoot a single shot, and two turns where I only shot with 2 different units!

That said, I was a little disappointed to only get 6 points, as I had the game in the bag at that point and just didn't want to take the chance to lose and therefore be eliminated.

Overall, I was happy with my success, especially with baiting his CultStar over to my lair where I could kill the one Raider that would have truly given me problems. My opponent had won 3 games in a row with a list that not too many people expected, as armor these days 'aint what it used to be, but despite only three scoring units, he managed to destroy his opponents easily enough!

This was a worthy victory, and I was kind of mad at myself for being so ungrateful for "only" getting 6.

Thanks for the game, Matt! (not that he's reading this - he swore never to read my blog again, haha!)

At this point, there were only about 12 undefeated players left in the tournament. Goatboy, Nick Rose, and Justin Cook (O'veStar, winner of Nova Open) had all lost their 4th round and I had defeated Alan Pajamapants in the 3rd round, though big names like Alex Fennel (Seer Council Eldar), Eric Hoergar (Khan Bike Marines), Jy2 from Dakka (Necron Wraithwing) and Gareth Hunt (9!! Thudd Guns + Blob) were still in the hunt. In addition, Blackmoor (new 'Nids) had Drawn his first game and won his next 3, giving him an excellent shot at getting into the top 8 if he could win his final game!

One more win, and I would meet my first goal, which was to make it into the Top 8.

However, if I lost, I would have virtually no hope of getting in, as my middling results in games 3 and 4 saw me far below even a few of those players who had lost a game.

It was win or go home... on Table 2.

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