Skitarii Tournament Report from the Storm of Silence

Why hello there reader, come sit here awhile while I tell you tale from the Storm of Silence! Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great bat reps!

Recently over the first weekend of May, a large number of Warhammer 40k player gathered up to Spokane Washington to participate in the annual Storm of Silence tournament at Gamer’s Haven. This was not my first trip up to visit Bob’s magnificent store in the Spokane Valley and it was once again a great event ran by a fantastic TO (Dan Winters). The event had roughly 50 players participate in it and it was one of the first ITC event to allow for the new Eldar Codex though the event had some slight alteration of the ITC rule-set as it did allow for re-rollable 2+ and unnerfed invisibility. I decided to take a new army concept that I have been scrounging up. It’s a new take on an old concept, Skitarii with Blood Angels. The event was 1,850 points and here is the list I took up:

Skitarii Maniple Detachment:

1x (10) Skitarii Vanguard (Warlord) with Arkhan’s Divinier, Omnispex, 3 Plasma Culiver and 7 Radium Carbine

5x (10) Skitarii Vanguard with Omnispex, 3 Arc Rifles and 7 Radium Carbine

1x (2) Vengeance Batteries with Quad Icarus Array

Flesh Tearer Detachment:

1x Sanguinary Priest with Auspex

1x (5) Sternguard Marines with 5 Combi-Grav in a Drop Pod

2x (5) Tactical Marines with Combi-Melta, Meltagun in a Drop Pod

6x (1) Drop Pod

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The overall concept of the list is as you can obviously tell, a drop pod list. Effectively the Priest would ride with the Sternguard while the Skitarii will ride in the Fast Attack Drop Pods of the Blood Angels. The list has some obvious tricks and some not so obvious. One of the obvious tricks is the null deploy of the list with the 9 Drop Pods (5 on turn 1 and 4 in reserve) and that its effectively has some nasty shooting capability. Let me clarify for those who have no read or played against Skitarii, at the start of the shooting phase they can pick from a list of 6 unique Once per Game Doctrines. 3 of them impact ballistic skill and 3 of them impact weapon skill until their following shooting phase; 2 of +1 of either WS or BS, 2 of +2 of either WS or BS and -1 to the opposite and 2 of +3 of either WS or BS and -2 to the opposite. Which means on the turn the Skitarii come down, they can effectively gain BS 7 but WS 1 as their opening volley of fire. The combination of the accurate opening volley and their guns make for quite effective first turn shooting against many armies. Radium Carbines have an 18” Str 3 AP 5 Assault 3 and the Radium Poisoning rule (Any roll of a 6 to wound results in 2 wounds to target unit versus 1 no matter the toughness of the target) which effectively makes them great all target basic gun as the turn it lands it will have 21 highly accurate shots. The Arc Rifles are 24” Str 6 AP 5 Rapid Fire Haywire which makes them quite effective against any armored targets and can still bring some nasty punch to any Toughness values. The Plasma Culiver are 18” Str 7 AP 2 Assault 3 Gets Hot but due to the Skitarii automatically gaining Preferred Enemy, the gets hot is not all that worrying.

The Vanguard themselves have some cool attributes such as having Relentless, 6+ FNP, 4+ armor and lowering the toughness of any unit they are locked in combat with (couple with the BA Furious Charge can yield a bit of extra punch). The Arkhan’s Diviner was the cheapest of the relics (5pts) but has the greatest potential helpful yield due to it allowing that unit to reroll the mysterious terrain result and thus maximizing on the opportunity for Skyfire results. Finally, the last little trick in the list is that the Skitarii Maniple detachment grants all the models in the Detachment (not solely Skitarii faction) Scout and Crusader which applies to the Vengeance Batteries. Now I am sure that is probably an oversight but until the mechanic gets errata’ed differently, you can redeploy the Vengeance Batteries 12” before the game starts and if you were not aware fortication such as Buildings bought from your list are considered claimed which means they are scoring units.

Omnissiah

Now off to my match ups at the Storm:

boxing_round1_xlarge

Round 1 against Vincent Price’s Imperial Knight with new Craftworld Eldar Army. His army contained an Adamantite Lance, a CAD Eldar with a Seer on Bike, 1 Unit of 9 Scatterbikes, 1 Unit of 3 Scatter biker and 2 Crimson Hunter. Vincent was not looking forward to our matchup for two reasons, I had a lot of Haywire Guns which can bypass his shield facings with smart placing of pods and because we are both competing for Agents of the Imperium Faction (WHERE IS THE ADEPTUS MECHANICUS FACTION Reece!). The mission was Kill Points primary and Objectives secondary. I won the dice roll for first turn and made Vincent go first. He deployed his Knights extremely by packing them into a corner and minimizing the angles and facing I can deep strike into. I had 1 objective next to one of the batteries and scouted the other battery to cover another objective during my deployment. Vincent had deployed too far to shoot at the batteries and chose to maintain his tight formation. On the drop I brought in 4 of my Arc Rifle Vanguards and 1 of the Melta Tactical Marine. The scatters were favorable as I stuck around in the midfield on objectives while still getting plenty of coverage of various different facing. I chose the BS 7 WS 1 Doctrine and waited to see how Vincent placed his Ion shields. First Volley from an Arc Rifle unit, all 6 Hits hits, all 6 Glance, Titanic Explosion, and stripped 1 HP from another knight. Second and Third Unit killed off the other knight and finally when the fourth Arc Rifle unit and the Melta Tactical squad fired at the last knight without his shield roll, managed to only strip him down to 2 hullpoints due to a cold roll on my part which made this a game as if I killed the lance on turn 1, would have tabled Vincent as he had reserved everything else. The rest of game was basically me collecting Maelstorm points and locking his big unit of Bikers in melee as they had perma invisibility they entire game. Vincent is always an awesome player to play against and even though this was the paper to his rock, he did win Best Imperial Knight at the end of the event though. Quick summary of what I learned in the game, Vanguard unit in combat with Jetbikes is not terrible as they lower their T to 3 and Vengeance Batteries really only need to force things to jink over trying to kill them.

"Ring Girl" Announcing Start of Round Two

Round 2 against a Craftworld Eldar army. His army contained a Wraithhost formation and a CAD Eldar. His CAD was a Farseer and 2 small Biker units but did not have scatter laser in it. He did however have 3 Serpents with 2 normal D-Cannons and 1 with D-Scythes. The Mission was Big Guns and Maelstorm secondary, I won the dice to make my opponent go first. He shuffled to cover some objectives and got first blood by popping 1 of the Batteries with a Wraithknight shot. My first turn coming down was basically holding the middle and focusing firepower into his Invis carrying Farseer Jetbike in one of the biker unit (he had cast invis on the knight instead) and killing his Wraithguard unit covering his maelstrom objective in no man’s land while maintaining distance from the D-Scythes and Knight. The Radium truly shined in that game as they basically oblirated everything they shot at this game. Pop the Transport and the Warlord’s Plasma Culevin and Radium did short work. The Sternguard I sent after the Wraithlord as he had infiltrated it with his warlord trait into my deployment zone. They did absolutely nothing with 10 Grav shots, (this would prove to be a trend the entire game). The game played out that I would deny him maelstrom with reserve pods and keep focusing down his wraithguard and bikers. On turn 2 I had killed all of the bikers and the D-Scythe Wraithguards. By turn 4 he had a full wounded Knight facing two thirds of my army by himself. He chose to hide in the corner and get linebreaker and we mutually called the game there. Quick summary of what I learned in the game, I don’t need to kill Wraithknights as much as minimizing their potential and killing everything else and Sternguards felt out of place in the army.

round 3

Round 3 was against Brian Haler’s Decurion Necrons. His army was the Reclamation with Zahndrek, 2 Flayed Ones Units, 1 Unit of Deathmarks and the Triarch Formation. The mission was Scouring primary and Maelstorm secondary. Brian is a budding competitive and experienced 40k player and the combination of the mission plus his army was going to prove very difficult for my army. He chose to go first and had overwhelming board presence with his vast unit count. Right off the bat, I knew that I couldn’t win Scouring with 6 Fast Attack drop pods against all the Gauss so I focused all of my efforts in denying Maelstorm and taking the lead in it. The sheer durability of all his units with Everliving and my lack of low AP weapon or Melee prowess meant that I had my work cut-out for me in killing any Necron unit outright. Turn 1 I decided to kill his Triarch stalker to lower their fire prowess (+1 BS) and remove the re-roll to hit and wound form the Triarch Praetorians (also give me First Strike) while the rest of my army created a wall of Drop Pods and focused down his Flayed Ones. The overall strategy of the game went well, I had secured an early lead in Maelstorm but I was haemorraging units quickly. By turn 4, I had 6 Drop Pods left, 3 Skitarii, 1 Vengeance and 5 Tactical Marines left but we had very few minutes left before we could start turn 5. We called it here with a perfect Draw. We ended with both 5-5. I will fully recognize that if we had enough time to get into turn 5, he had a strong chance to pull ahead depending on the Maelstorm he rolled. That game was brutal, I knew Decurion Necrons were tough to kill but man in the game I felt like I was shooting rubber bullets at a reinforced steel wall. Brian took Best Necron at the event and even played the winner at the top table.

FAQ-Round-4

Round 4 was against Joel Talley and his nasty Daemonkin Dog Spam army. It was focused around a CAD Daemonkin and the Blood Pack formation; he had 2 Lords on Juggers with Fist, Claw, Mark of Corruption, 4 big units of Dogs, 2 units of Cultists and 2 Heldrakes. I knew that game was going rough again due to the overall durability of the army. I want to point out that not only was the army durable but so is Joel. Joel is a very renowned and acclimated Warhammer player in the Pacific Northwest, the night before he had to go to the emergency room because he tripped in the shower and bruised his ribs. He showed up to the game ready to rumble and he delivered. I won the dice roll to make him go first and once again focused my entire game on Maelstorm over the primary mission. I split my forces on turn 1 focussing my Plasma Culevin and 2 Arc Rifle units on his right flank (but middle of the table) where 1 of my objectives was and my Sternguard and 1 Arc Rifle unit on his left flank to cover his home objectives. The left flank was sacrificial but he had to deal with them while the right flank forces had one mission and that was to kill his Warlord and his dogs. The combined firepower of the three units managed to kill all but 2 dogs and his Warlord, which also relieved some pressure on that flank. Also the Arkhan’s Diviner did its job and managed to roll a Skyfire Nexus. This proved amazing for then the Drakes came on the table. They arrived turn 2 and scorched alive the Warlord and most of his unit and 1 of the Arc Units. On my turn 2, with some luck I managed to blow off the gun from 1 of the Heldrake and used the Skyfire Nexus to kill the other drake which I think turned the tide of the game. As Joel army as this point was gaining FNP with the blood tithe, it became much harder to kill his units. I kept the left flank contested and harassed while reinforcing the right flank. On the top of turn 5 I had both the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary but Joel had some moves he could pull to change all that. He managed to kill off my contesting units on his home objective but failed a crucial charge to kill my last Skitarii claiming Linebreaker. The game ended on turn 5 with me having 6 to his 1 (or 0?). Quick summary, that Daemonkin list is nasty and makes a really competitive assault army. Joel took best Daemonkin at the event and even played his last round with his bruised up ribs.

round 5

Round 5 against Cody’s Tyranids. He had 3 Flyrants, 2 Crones, 2 Malanthrope, 1 Dimachaeron, 2 Units of Gaunts and 1 Unit of Rippers. The game was Crusade and a modified ITC Maelstorm (unique to Storm). I changed my strategy a bit for this game against Cody, mostly because I wasn’t at the top table and this was literally the 5th game I had with the army. I chose to go first because I wanted to see if the sheer alpha strike power of the army was enough to be functional in later turn if I was forced to go first. Cody deployed smart by keeping his Flyrants in the back but toe in cover and putting his Dimachaeron in the front with both Crones and malanthrope. He castled in the same piece of terrain with his entire deployed army. Turn 1 I chose to deploy 3 Arc Rifles, Plasma Culevin and the Sternguard with the Priest. I covered the middle of the board but created a “U shaped” wall around his army. The Priest lowered the cover of the Dimachaeron as any of the Flyrants would force me to drop off the objective and too close to his face eating monsters. The army took BS7 WS1 and the Plasma Culevin opened on the Dimachaeron and with Preferred Enemy and -2 to cover, the Dima was executed. The Sternguard and 1 of the Arc Rifle Unit took out one of the Crone while the other Arc Rifle unit dropped the other Crone to 1 wound. After that first turn of effective shooting, I clenched for the Electrogrub and Crone flamer template deaths. But by turn 3, Cody only had his 3 Flyrants alive (one had 1 wound left and the warlord had 3 left). Cody played for Linebreaker and the game ended on turn 5.  Quick Summary, thank the Omnissiah for Omnispex and Auspex. Cody took Best Tyranids at the event.

Omnissiah2

When the dust settled from the last games, we had a Best Overall Ork army and me with my Skitarii/BA in second place with Best General. For their very first outing and my experiment with them, I couldn’t be happier. All my opponents were great and I can’t wait to take them to Guardian Cup Ocho in a few days with some adjustments made to the list. I definitely liked the Vengeance Batteries as great backfield scoring unit and making people consider Jinking. I don’t think I need the Sternguard in the list at all. And with the potential of 3 Sources being alive in ITC, I have many options to play with.

Thank you with putting up with this long and dry text wall. I will try to get back to as many comments as I can.

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About Jeremy Veysseire

Long time Pacific Northwest Warhammer 40k player feared and loved by the masses of pluviophiles in Portland Oregon. Commonly known as the French Overlord or MikhailLenin, has participated in many cross USA tournaments for 40k. Now, relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, he is looking to bring his terror down south,

29 Responses to “Skitarii Tournament Report from the Storm of Silence”

  1. Weidekuh May 8, 2015 12:35 am #

    So the big question is: How did unmodified Eldar fare? Do they need to be nerfed? Yes? No?
    Is ITC doing a kneejerk reaction to nerf Eldar? (the poll is nice, but since a majority don’t play Eldar, they might just be nerfed in spite of.)

    I haven’t played any gems with new Eldar, so no playtested opinions on my part.

  2. masos May 8, 2015 12:44 am #

    Very nice write up. Good Job man.

    And he won Best General and played alot of eldar. I think he might be like…..pshhhhhh what Eldar I have a Skitariii!!!!!!! BoooYaaaa!!!

    • Chosen of Khorne May 8, 2015 4:56 am #

      I think it is more about how good drop pods are…

  3. pascalnz May 8, 2015 2:02 am #

    great report, glad to see pods make a mess of elder when played well, and that skittarri are badass:)

  4. Chris May 8, 2015 3:17 am #

    Drop Skitarii seem really strong. 190 for 10 guys with an omnispex and 3 arc rifles in a pod is insane. Stacking the cover save reduction with an auspexe is also quite powerful. And if you do the math, the rad carbines are pretty effective against even Wraithknights. I’m wondering if this type of list is going to slip by unnoticed for a while due to the backlash over Eldar only to come back in a big way down the road.

  5. bassface7 May 8, 2015 3:27 am #

    Scouting fortifications is some serious BS. Yes, I know it’s RAW, but rarely has rules weirdness been so obviously an oversight.

  6. Blightstar May 8, 2015 4:14 am #

    Oh? Ohh. Ohhhh! That scout+buildings is actually a very good point and, if I’m reading the rules right, it basically allows you to scout the building and not the unit inside. So first turn charges! Sicarians spring to mind first with their inherent frailness and speed (min. 14″ and max 24″ threat range) but since Skitarii are part of the Imperium, any infantry model from allied lists can also use this. 10 terminators would be nasty suprise for the opponent haha.

  7. Chuck May 8, 2015 5:52 am #

    You are my hero. I am copying everything about this list.

  8. Sunhero May 8, 2015 6:45 am #

    The results from this Tournament show that eldar don’t need a knee-jerk nerfing wait to see how the results turn out first.

    give it a couple of weeks.

  9. EvilLairChandler May 8, 2015 7:43 am #

    Funny how everyone is so obsessed with Craftworlds right now, when Skitarri out of BA or Wolf pods is going to end up wrecking just about everything it touches thanks to the damn doctrines. There is literally nothing, short of flyers that they can’t destroy off the drop.

    • Requizen
      Requizen May 8, 2015 8:17 am #

      Except Decurion Necrons, apparently 😀

      But I agree. The amount of Alpha Strike you can put out with those special weapons is insane. And for much, much cheaper than traditional things like Sternguard or Special Weapon Tacs.

  10. Requizen
    Requizen May 8, 2015 8:19 am #

    So after watching the long form BatRep with the Onager Dunecrawlers, do you think a Drop Pod spam or a mix of Walkers is better to run with the Skitarii?

    Also, how did you get all those special weapons when they’re one each to a box? Did you just get a crapton of Skitarii or are they modified?

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin May 8, 2015 9:51 am #

      I think if I switched the list around to Rhino Rush Skitarii I would try to fit the walkers. The Onager are great but I dont like keeping them in reserve or on the table by themselves.

      I have a friend who will be casting the bits. I took a converted Tempestus Scion army for the Skitarii.

      All the stores in the Pacific Northwest have not been getting restocks of the Vanguard/Ranger kits

  11. fluger May 8, 2015 9:00 am #

    Awesome job, Jer. I’m interested to see what you replace the sternguard with.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin May 8, 2015 9:49 am #

      I replaced them with a Furioso Dreadnought in a Lucius with Frag Cannon and Heavy Flamer

      • fluger May 8, 2015 11:19 am #

        That sounds baller.

  12. WrentheFaceless May 8, 2015 9:02 am #

    Ugh Drop Pod spam, not a fan, there isnt much ability to counterplay against it

    But glad to see skitarii reps

    • abusepuppy May 8, 2015 10:57 am #

      Not much ability to counterplay against it, really? There’s tons of things you can do, either at the list-building or generalship level, to fight Drop Pods.

  13. Aaron Bang May 8, 2015 9:45 am #

    He got all those special weapons by proxying the skitarii with scions.

  14. iNcontroL May 8, 2015 10:07 am #

    awesome report jeremy and cool ass army! I will be joining you in skitarii land once mine are done!

  15. DCannon4Life May 8, 2015 11:04 am #

    Remember: Unmodified D is too much for the game to handle because on a ‘6’ you just pick up your model and set it to the side. BS7 with extra wounds on ‘6s’, etc. etc. is not too much for the game to handle because, despite knowing that you’re going to pick up your model and set it to the side, you get to roll some dice.

    Is ‘Rolling some dice’ the definition of ‘interactive’? Really?

    Also: Scouting a Fortification? Unmodified D is broken, but hey, RaW I can scout a building! /eyeroll

    • Requizen
      Requizen May 8, 2015 11:15 am #

      With a name like DCannon4Life I’m not sure how much of an impartial voice you are when it comes to Destroyer Weapons….

      Being able to take saves is indeed counterplay. Your super expensive deathstar SHOULD be able to take saves against shooting attacks. You pay lots for extra wounds and Invuln saves on things like TWC, Daemonstars with Grimoire, etc. A Destroyer of 6 just ignores that. Doesn’t matter how many points you put into it, or how cleverly you positioned it, or that you forethought your use of cover, or the setup you put on it via Grimoire, Psychic Powers, Orders, etc – it’s just gone. And that’s pretty unfun.

      • DCannon4Life May 8, 2015 11:49 am #

        Equating impartiality with correctness is fallacious. So, kindly refrain from ye olde ad hominem. I’ve been ‘DCannon’ since 4th edition; love me some Distortion.

        Being able to ‘take saves’ is not counterplay when the odds of your unit/model surviving are worse than your chances of getting struck by lightning. Again: Just because you’re rolling dice doesn’t mean you’re ‘interacting’.

        And nothing about your super expensive deathstar ENTITLES you to survivability. I *should* get to play my codex the way it’s written (having been told to stfu and L2Play many a time over the years as I cut my teeth), because that’s the way it’s written.

        A rerollable 2++ takes how many shots to get a wound to stick? But it’s ‘interactive’ because you get to roll all your to hit and to wound dice, right? Right?

        Also: 1/6 of the time, D does NOTHING. 2/3 of the time, you get to make your saves (any and all of them). 1/6 of the time it rocks your world.

        • Requizen
          Requizen May 8, 2015 12:14 pm #

          Taking saves is counterplay. That’s why they exist. That’s why there are multiple levels of armor saves, different AP values, invulnerable saves, and the ability to purchase/utilize each in variant amounts. The ability for a unit to buy an Invuln save or a stronger armor save is one of the most important and powerful upgrades that they can generally get. Even if you are statistically going to die, the saves you get to make mean the difference between one enemy unit shooting at you and half to all of the enemy army shooting at you, which is huge.

          D ignores that. And despite you saying “any and all of your saves”, it ignores Armor (as all D weapons so far are AP2), FNP, and even Reanimation. Which is overall fine, but the ability to ignore Invuln saves is pretty preposterous when most of them cost upwards of 15+ points to put on a model and/or are taken at the expense of other upgrades.

          Spending half your army’s points on a Deathstar with Invulns and multiple wounds absolutely entitles it to be durable as all get out. If the one unit is a huge chunk, it should survive longer the more you put into it (unless it’s like a Farsight bomb and all the points go into gun upgrades and non-survival points).

          Just because your codex is written a certain way doesn’t mean it was written in the same balance level as the rest of them. 2++ rerollables are broken, and they got nerfed, rightfully so. A unit of 5 Wraithguard is around the same as a unit of 10 Tactical Marines with Heavy/Special weapons, and can remove literally anything on the board that it can shoot. That’s not particularly ok.

  16. Warmaster_GIR May 8, 2015 11:56 am #

    I’m fine with scouting buildings. Especially since scout is not a move but a redeployment. I imagine it more like your opponent thought those guys where going to be in one spot but his intel was wrong and they where really somewhere else. With building I just assume that either the initial scans of the battlefield where off or that the Adeptus Mechanicus, one of the most technologically advanced groups has some sort of jammer/stealth tool to mess with enemy scanner arrays.

    But yea that was a cool read, I was thinking of doing drop Skitarii when the book released, But first I need to get My Luna Wolves finished or my Girlfriend might murder me…

  17. Chosen of Khorne May 8, 2015 5:03 pm #

    This skitarii list seems like it is awfully close to an unbound type list. Why is it fun or fair for imperial lists to cherry pick from multiple sources as if it is a single book (battle brothers) while other armies are not allowed come the apocalypse allies when both are basically for competitive advantage in the tournament setting, with little true regard for the fluff. I would be all for multiple source lists if they were restricted to allies of convenience rules even if they are battle brothers. Hopefully people will come up with so many broken 3 ally combos that the rules of allegiance will be reconsidered.

  18. Binos May 11, 2015 6:10 am #

    Guys,

    I have a question about Vengeance Batteries with Quad Icarus Array. It has BS2 and it is Impassable building. But somebody told me, that in electronic version rules of Stronghold Point it is medium building. So it means I can go inside and shoot on BS of occupant?

    Thank you for any help

    • abusepuppy May 13, 2015 8:32 pm #

      It is considered a Medium building for purposes of HP (i.e. it has 4) but it explicitly cannot be embarked upon, much like the Void Shield Generator and some other buildings.

  19. ZeroWolf May 13, 2015 6:46 pm #

    Seems like trolls are starting to infect these comment sections, too. 🙁

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