Bonjour mes amis! It is I, the French Overlord, with a recap of my experiences at the OCHO! Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great bat reps!
Reporting from here in sunny and wet Portland, Oregon. A few weeks ago I came back from the Storm of Silence in second place tied with Baxter from MuGu Legion and now he and I faced off at the OCHO finals for first place. It was glorious, nailbiter and a touching story of Half-Robot men fighting their ancestral cousins, the robotic legion of Necrons. But before I jump into the climatic tale of our game, I should mention that in between the Storm of Silence and the OCHO a few things changed in the ITC format and the introduction of 3 Detachments allowed a whole new realm of possibilities from my previous list to the one I took to the OCHO. I made some slight adjustments that I think everyone here will find a nice symbiotic change. So without further ado, here is the revamped “A Bridge too Far” list from a few weeks ago:
- 1 Unit of 10 Vanguard with 3 Plasma Caliver, Omnispex, Warlord with Arkhan’s Divinator.
- 4 Units of 10 Vanguard with 3 Arc Rifles and Omnispex.
Flesh Tearer Strike Force:
- Sanguinary Priest with an Auspex and Shield of Cretacia. (Riding with the Grav Centurions)
- 1 Unit of 5 Tactical Marines with Meltagun, Combi-Melta in a Drop Pod.
- Furioso Dreadnought with Frag Cannon, Powerfist/Heavy Flamer, Magna Grapple in a Drop Pod.
- 6 Drop Pods.
Star Phantom Ally Detachment:
- Librarian with an Auspex and Force Axe. (Level 1 and always rolling on Telepathy)
- 1 Unit of 5 Tactical Marines with Meltagun, Combi-Melta in a Drop Pod.
- 1 Unit of 3 Centurion Devastator with Grav Cannon/Amp, Hurricane Bolters and Omniscope.
Total – 1,850
The changes are the introduction of the third detachment in the form of the Star Phantom ally detachment to add a unit of Grav Centurions and thus giving another heavy infantry removal unit that can still function as an small infantry removal and vehicle to an extent. They replaced the Sternguards effectively.
I also added a Furioso Dreadnought to gain access to some Flamers and grants a backfield harassing unit. For those of you who are wondering why the Star Phantoms, that is because their chapter tactic works really well with the Drop Pod aspect of the list. They re-roll 1’s on reserve rolls if they are entering the game by Deep Striking (in case I keep the Centurions in reserve) and they have the ability to once per game for a whole turn make their rapid fire, salvo, heavy and assault weapons twin-linked which makes the Grav Centurion on the turn they come down that much more deadly. To make them that much more durable, I put the Sanguinary Priest in with them so that they benefit from his Feel no Pain Narthecium but the Grail only applies to himself for the WS bonus. Effectively the army functions as an alpha strike list that null deploys with good board coverage. It plays to Maelstorm objectives very well and also rarely will ever give up First Blood so in that regard it is by far an effective ITC format list.
My other options than running the centurions and star phantom detachment was to add a Culexus Assassin and sticking it in a drop pod if I wanted to counter some of the psychic death stars but I went with the centurions because I felt they were more all-comers. Though there is some strong possibility if the new White Scar Detachment from the new SM book basically adds a lot of Fast Attack slots like the Flesh Tearer Strike Force and that Drop Pods are Fast Attack purchases for the new SM than I could potentially combine this army into 2 detachments and then add the Culexus by making some changes here and there in the army such as dropping the Dreadnought. This would push the list to its maximum potential as this point as it contain what I feel is good firepower coverage and then an answer to Psychic Deathstars and also gaining Hit & Run Characters potentially is huge. I did remove the Vengeance Batteries mostly due to I can usually not have to worry about them too much or roll a Skyfire Nexus on a Mysterious Objective (thank you Arkhan’s Divinator).
Enough about the army, lets talk about my match-ups. Going in to the tourney there was two armies I really wanted to face off against, Chuck’s (MuGu Legion) Orks with a crazy ton on Rokkits and Spamadams’ Tau with a lot of interceptor. Round 1 was against a Local player named Daniel who brought a Battlewagon with Bully Boys and Dakkajets list. Round 2 was against Spamadams and his Tau. Round 3 was against Ben Cromwell and his Necron with Wraithstar. Round 4 was against Vincent (MuGu Legion) and his AdLance with Crimson Death. Round 5 was against Baxter (MuGu Legion) and his Necrons TAC list. And now for the recaps of each game:
Round 1 versus Daniel’s Orks Crusade/Maelstrom with Dawn of War:
Dan’s List: The Littlest Waagh
Ork Combined Arm Detachment:
- Big Mek in mega armour with Bosspole
- 2 Units of 10 Gretchins with a Runtherd
- Trukk with Reinforced Ram
- 2 Dakkajets with TL Supa Shoota
- 1 Unit of 15 Lootas
- Battlewagon with Rokkit Launcha, Reinforced ram
Bully Boyz Formation:
- 2 Units of 5 Meganobz in Battlewagons with Killkannon and Reinforced Ram
- 1 Unit of Meganobz with 2 Kombi-Rokkits, 2 Kombi-Skorcha in a Battlewagon with a Killkannon, a Rokkit Launcha and Reinforced Ram.
This game was actually one I had practice against before with another local player and that practice game was one of the reasons I chose the Grav Centurions over the Culexus. I won the dice off to go second. Daniel castled into a corner and waited for the drop to come down. On the drop I landed the Grav Centurion, the Dreadnought, 2 of the arc rifle units, Tactical Marines with the Librarian, the goal was cover my maelstrom points, deny Dan’s and my two big targets was the Lootas with the Warlord and 1 unit of Bully Boys. I chose to keep the Plasma Caliver off the table until after Dan got out his other Bully boys to give them something to do. The Dreadnought flamed the lootas and the Grav Centurions attempted to erase a Bully Boy unit. The game pretty much went as could be expected from the match-up, Daniel counter-charged the drop units and the game turned into a game of attrition at this point for him. Daniel was a great and fun opponent, I walked away with 11 points.
Round 2 versus Spamadams’ Tau Purge the Alien/Maelstorm with Vanguard:
Tau Combined Arm Detachment:
- Commander with Drone Controller, Stimulant Injector, Shield Generator, Command Control Node, Iridium Battle Suit, Vectored Retro Thruster.
- 1 Unit of 6 Fire Warriors in a Devilfish with TL Smart Missiles, Disruption Pods and Sensor Spines.
- 1 Unit of 14 Kroot
- 1 Unit of 8 Marker Drones
- 2 Riptides with TL Fusion, Ion Accelerator, Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector
- 1 Unit of 3 Broadsides with TL Smart Missiles, TL High Yield Missiles, 2 Early Warning Override
- 1 Riptide with TL Fusion, Ion Accelerator, Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector.
- 2 Units of 3 Broadsides with TL Smart Missiles, TL High Yield Missiles, 2 Early Warning Override, 1 Target Lock.
Now this game I was looking forward to the most, it what I considered a really good counter to my army and I wanted to test its mettle especially since it was a Kill Point Mission. Adam won the dice roll to go first and chose to go first because he wanted to super-charge his Riptides, though for me in this game, even with Interceptor, his Riptides were the least of my concern. The Broadsides were my primary target and my strategy going in was to overload Adam was so many threat target that he could either pepper a few or focus on 1. To minimize damage to the Grav Centurion, I picked a place they could get cover and force his riptide to see different models. I dropped the Plasma Caliver, the Grav Centurions, the Libby with his tactical squad, the Furioso Dreadnought and one Arc Rifle unit. Adam chose to focus on the Plasma Caliver but with Cover, a natural 4+ save, the unit manage to survive with its Warlord and Plasma Caliver intact (all that was left). The Riptides put a wound on 2 different Centurion and on the Priest.
On my return fire, the Plasma, Shriek and Grav Centurion eliminated or killed most of the Broadsides (If Recall there was 1 or 2 left) and the Furioso flamed out the Kroot. Adams at this point resorting to charging his Riptides in and punching my army to death. The game ended with me getting 11 points again. Adams was a great opponent to play against, he did not get too sour at what I considered an incredible first turn in that unit of Plasma surviving and my total destructive first turn. Had he taken at least 1 Heavy Burst Cannon, I feel he would had given me some more target priority on that Riptide.
Round 3 versus Ben Cromwell’s Wraithstar Scouring/Maelstorm with Hammer and Anvil:
Necron Combined Arm Detachment:
- Lord with The Solar Staff
- Orikan the Diviner
- 3 Units of 5 Immortals in Nightscyth
- 1 Unit of 6 Wraiths with 5 Whip Coils
- 2 Annihilation Barges
Destroyer Cult Formation:
- Destroyer Lord with The Nightmare Shroud, Warsythe
- 3 Units of 3 Destroyers
I knew exactly what I was facing in this game since I assisted Ben in designing the Star itself but to face it in person was something else altogether. Ben won the dice off for first turn and made me go first. He deployed the star in the front of his Hammer and Anvil deployment. I chose to drop in the Plasma Culiver on top of 1 objective and hope for Skyfire Nexus but got reroll 1, The Grav Centurion deployed on another objective and got reroll 1 as well but skirted the 24” away from the Star, dropped the other 2 Tactical squad (1 on the same side as the Plasma Culiver and the Libby and his buddy on the objective skirting the farthest from the Wraithstar), and finally dropped the Dreadnought in front of the Star for the drop pod contest their objective and the Dreadnought disembark to contest another in the middle of the table. I split off the Librarian as well from the tact squad to minimize his kills when the Star got the charge. Effectively, I planted 2 contest units on his objectives while also trying to make his charges rather hard except for the Dreadnought. My combined first turn of firepower did nothing as I was Snap firing at them. Conveniently for me, Cromwell had rolled the -1 reserve Warlord Trait against me which to my benefit only allowed 1 Vanguard unit down on turn 2 which was fine by me. He had killed my Dreadnought on turn 1 charge but my return fire on turn 2 was way more effective than I expected, I had whittled down his star to just 1 wound each 2 wraiths, the man Orikan and his regular lord. Though I knew not killing it would pose a problem as his Destroyer Cults would arrive one turn 2 and his Flyers as well.
His 2nd turn would prove very damaging as he whittled down the Plasma Caliver unit down and got my warlord but the Centurions were undamaged. The star finished off the Librarian and the Tact Squad. Though at this point I had a lead on Maelstorm, my plan this turn was to try to remove the Destroyers in my deployment zone and keep whittling his Deathstar if I could. My third turn of shooting went average but Cromwell made some crucial rolls and I only killed 3 Destroyers out of 9 (Grav Centurions shot at a unit of 3 with only a 6+ Cover and only managed to kill 2), the combined fire from 2 Vanguard unit only killed 1 in the 2nd unit. Cromwell went in for a Coup de Gras in turn 3 but this time I rolled some great saves and the tempo changed back to no man. He had charged his 2 man Destroyer unit into a Vanguard unit but found they were tougher to kill than excepted and in fact the Vanguard had a chance to win combat. On turn 4 with all my Drop Pods in, I chose to hunt down his Barges for maelstorm points and finish off his Wraithstar before Orikan could Saiyan. The game at this point turned into a war of attrition with the Star being removed, the barges down, only 1 unit of Destroyers remained but all the Flyers were fine.
By turn 5 Cromwell had secured the Primary which was Souring (All my Fast Attack pods were giving him the edge and his objective secured immortals as well), but I had Maelstrom and we were looking at a Draw. The game went on to turn 6 but even with the clear advantage of bodies and firepower, Cromwell managed to maintain his draw. Though unfortunately, the game went on turn 7 and at this point, I managed to grab the Primary away from him and remove him from getting Linebreaker. I finished the game with a 9 due to some slight mistakes on my part on turn 7, I moved a skitarii unit out of Linebreaker cause I wanted to combo charge 2 units of Skitarii into combat with WS6 into his last Destroyer and he managed to get Big Game Hunter because I did not look out saves away from my Centurion Sergeant onto the regular Centurion and rolled a 9 on LD and broke off on bottom of turn 7. At this point though, I was just so happy to pull away with the win against a very good opponent. It is always a blast and great game when I face off against Cromwell. That army is no joke, and if he could take 2 Destroyer Cults instead of 1, it would be almost twice as good.
Round 4 versus Vincent (MuGu Legion)’s Ad-Lance/Crimson Death Big Guns Never Tire/Maelstorm with Vanguard:
Adamantine Lance Formation:
- 2 Knight Errant
- 1 Knight Paladin
Crimson Death Formation:
- 1 Crimson Hunter with Exarch, 1 Starcannon, 1 Brightlance and 1 Pulse Laser
- 2 Crimson Hunter with 2 Bright Lance, 1 Pulse Laser
Eldar Combined Arm Detachment:
- Autarch on a Skyrunner with Banshee Mask, Scorpion Chainsword and Shard of Anaris
- 2 Units of 3 Windriders with 3 Scatter Lasers
Well, I and Vincent already played this game at the Storm of Silence and that game ended almost in Vincent getting his Ad Lance Tabled on turn 1. This game though he deployed everything and split 1 knight off the ad lance which was what I would have done exactly but a few thing restricted that deployment and that was the fact it was Vanguard strike meaning he could only place the 2 Knights in a corner and the other in the middle of the board versus the other corner. Which allowed me to not necessarily split my forces completely. The right call but sadly limited by the deployment option. He won the dice roll to make me go first. I dropped down the Centurions, 3 Arc Rifle Vanguard and the Libby plus his Tactical Marines mostly because this game the Libby rolled Shrouding and I wanted to give it to the Centurions.
That power roll was very lucky on my end and really neutered Vincent return fire at me. On turn 1, I wiped off the Scat Bikes, the Autarch and the Knight that separated from the other two. Vincent killed off 1 of the Arc Rifle unit in combat but on turn 2, I killed off his Warlord and stripped 3 hullpoints from the last knight. At this point Vincent saw no reason to keep the game going. Vincent ended up winning Favorite Opponent at the Ocho and while I won Forces of the Imperium Trophy, I did not feel it was fair since he was the only other Forces of the Imperium player and handed off the trophy to him (the rightful owner).
Hey, Reece where is my Adeptus Mechanicus Faction? -Working on it, slave driver! lol -Ed If anyone ever gets to play against Vincent, you will have such a delightful time, that you would nothing more than to hug the man at the end of the game even if he tables you.
Round 5 versus Baxter (MuGu Legion)’s Necrons Crusade/Maelstrom with Dawn of War:
Necron Combined Arm Detachment:
- Nemessor Zahndrekh
- 2 Units of 5 Immortals in a Nightscyth
- 2 Units of 6 Wraiths with 6 Whip Coils
- 1 Unit of 4 Tomb Blades with 4 Particle Beamers, 4 Shield Vanes, 4 Nebuloscopes
- 3 Units of 2 Heavy Destroyers
Necron Allied Detachment:
- Cryptek with Solar Staff
- 1 Unit of 5 Immortals in a Nightscyth
- 1 Unit of 3 Tomb Blades with 3 Shield Vanes, 3 Shadowlooms
At this point in the tournament, with a 42 out of 44 points, I only needed to end the day with a draw I believe to still be in the running for first place but while that notion did bring me comfort, the fact of the matter is I was about to play against a player who is not only very experienced but also very cunning. Lucky for me, I won the dice roll for first turn and forced him to go first. He deployed both Wraith units roughly 24” apart from each other and the short table edge effectively allowing to cover the center. He deployed his Destroyers in the middle of them and his Tomb-Blades on the side of the table. My strategy going into the first turn was to refuse flank on his left, focus down the Wraiths in that section with the Plasma Caliver, the Grav Centurions, 1 Unit of Arc Rifle and throw 1 more unit of Skitarii at the Tomb Blades on that side that were equipped with the particle beamers. I also dropped the Dreadnought on top of a middle objective and to pressure his Destroyers as well as give his Wraith a speedbump. I covered most of the objective and had linebreaker. I felt good about my odds of getting First Blood this game (The only time the tertiary came up in the event). I popped the Doctrine for the Grav, the BS 7 for the Skitarii and unloaded the Skitarii into the Tomb Blades only killing 1. The Plasma Caliver and the other Skitarii only killing 2 Wraiths. The Grav Centurion split off 1 Cent at the Tomb Blades to try to force a Jink and fire the rest in the Wraiths. The Wraiths survived with 1 Wraith left and did not even kill 1 more Tomb Blade. Needless to say, Baxter got First Blood with his Destroyers killing my Dreadnought. His lone Wraith charged my Plasma Caliver, took 4 wounds on the charge, survived, broke them with killing 2 but I managed to get away. The other wraith unit needed an 11” charge to reach the other Skitarii unit but rolled a 12” and wiped them out. The Skitarii I sent after the Tomb Blades were left to 1 man from Immortal with Zhandrek and the Cryptek plus the Nightscyth. Both his Tomb Blades flew into my deployment zone. Which worked out great for him as I kept rolling the “Have 3 Scoring Units in your deployment zone and none of your opponents”.
On turn 2, only the Libby and 1 Skitarii unit came down. Since my Star Phantom Tactical Squad was Objective Secure as well as the Drop Pod. I dropped them on his home objective. Their mission was to Shriek the Destroyers and power up his Force Axe. The other Skitarii unit dropped near the middle to try to help in killing the other unit of Wraiths. On my psychic, Shriek did nothing (rolled an 8 against LD10). The Shooting went slightly better. The Rallied Warlord unit snap shot into the last Wraith that charged them, doing 1 wound. It died following the combined fire of 5 Drop Pods. The Grav Centurions and the new dropped Skitarii unit, unloaded into the Wraith Unit and managed to drop them to 2 models with 1 Wound. The lone survivor from Zhandrek’s firing ran to hide in his Corner. On my assault phase, I charged the last two Wraiths with the Centurions killing 1 and suffering no wounds. On his turn Baxter tried to focus down the warlord unit with 1 of his Immortal unit from a Nightscyth but he forgot that they had Shrouding from the Skitarii Warlord Trait and were sitting on a +1 cover Objective which was not contested. They did not go to ground and managed to lose only a few models. The Destroyers tried to whittle down the Libby’s Unit but only killed 1 marine in cover. On his assault turn, I managed to finish off the last wraith with the Centurion and he charged 2 Destroyers into 10 Skitarii that just landed, killed 1, I broke but he failed to catch them.
On my turn, I brought down the other Tactical Squad while the last Skitarii unit waited until turn 4. They dropped next to the 3 Man unit of Tomb Blades but close to the center objective and Destroyers trying to move down the center out of LOS of the Centurions. But this turn, I knew I had to kill those Immortals that disembarked and whittle down the Tomb Blades as they kept denying the stupid maelstrom I kept rolling. Auspex them as they were sitting in a ruin with Stealth (thanks Zhandrek!) and focused the Plasma Culiver + 2 of the Centurions into them while the third went after the particle beamers. Managed to finally kill both. The unit that had broken, rallied and snapped fired at the Destroyer that charged them doing 1 wound. The Librarian, powered up his Force Axe and Shrieked another destroyer unit but did nothing. The tactical squad that landed to chase the other Tomb Blades, killed none. On my assault phase, the Libby and his buddies killed 1 of the Destroyers in a multicharge while locking the other, the undamaged unit broke while the other stuck. At this point Baxter had not only Maelstrom but Tertiary due to First Blood and Linebreaker.
All he needed to do was landed on some objective with Objective Secured immortals. On his turn 4, Zhandrek and his buddies resumed flight and chased after the Warlord’s Unit in 2+ cover with the Nightscyth. The empty Nightscyth and the other flew off the table. The 2 Destroyers rallied and the Tomb Blades fired at a Drop Pod on an objective. On his assault phase the Libby whiffed and killed no Destroyer and they stuck around while the other Destroyer unit recharged into the same Skitarii unit but this time the Skitarii held. My turn 4 saw my last Skitarii unit land and I sent them after the three Tomb Blades hiding in my corner. The Centurions moved up down the center to position for a charge on the Destroyer in combat with the Skitarii as they had no target. Periled on the Force cast and the librarian took his first wound. The Skitarii wiped out the 3 Tomb Blades and the Grav Centurion made their charge and wiped the Destroyer with the Skitarii. The Librarian and his buddies finished off the last Destroyer they had been fighting and now holstered down for the weathering fire they were about to take.
On his turn 5 Baxter dropped Zhandrek unit in front of my Objective Secured Drop Pod to attempt to kill it off but had to Snap Fire while the last of the Destroyer positioned themselves at the Libby’s unit. The last of the Immortals came down on the middle objective and the last Nightscyth flew in at an angle to help Zhandrek unit to kill off the Pod. The Pod died to the NightScyth, the other Immortal unit in the middle fired off with their Nightscyth into the Skitarii unit that had destroyed the Tomb Blade whittling them down to 3. The Destroyers fired at the Tactical Squad doing no wounds but charged into them. They managed to hit 3 times with 4 attacks and wounded them 3 times and I failed all 3 saves. I lost the Libby and 2 of the 3 Tactical Marines that were Objective Secured. The libby did managed to get 1 kill in before dying but the Marine broke anyway but thanks to some high roll the Destroyer manage to catch him and locked him into place. On my Turn 5, I threw into the combat with the lone Marine 9 Skitarii while the Grav Cent continued to move up field getting some shots at Zhandrek unit which ended going to ground for a 3+ cover. I forgot that I could fire the Plasma Caliver at the Immortals in the center this turn but lucky for me the Skitarii and the Marine managed to wipe out the last Destroyer in combat and the marine consolidated into contest range of the middle objective. Turn 5 had me winning Primary with 1 objective over his own, but he had Maelstrom by 2 while I had Linebreaker and he had First Blood. Baxter rolled to see if the game would keep going and it did. At this point the Immortals on the center objective finished off the Marine through shooting while their Nightscyth went for a Hail Mary at my Warlord Unit in 2+ cover. He killed the marine and 2 of the Warlord Vanguard but they stuck around.
On my turn, I moved the Warlord last 2 Plasma Caliver in range of the Immortals while maintaining range to the Objective, while the other Skitarii unit moved into a better fire position at them also. The Grav Centurions left the Sanguinary Priest on the other objective as they keep moving down the table. The combine fire from all the Skitarii killed off the 5 Immortals who had gone to ground but thanks to the Omnispex negated their Stealth in ruins and came back to 3+ saves. Baxter rolled really subpar on their saves and that pretty much sealed the game for a win for me as I pulled to a Draw on Maelstrom and now had Primary in my pocket. We ended the game with a 5 point to 1 point for Baxter. Wow that game was a nailbiter and was intensely close for most of the game, we both made some crucial mistakes and failed some saves at crucial time. I was still in shock after the first turn when I gave up First Blood after pouring over so much firepower into those 6 wraiths. Baxter was an excellent player but forgetting that the Warlord had Shrouding and disembarking the Immortal unit that early cost him a necessary Objective Secure unit in the late game. What a game nonetheless!
Post Tournament Thoughts:
The list in my opinion is as finetuned as I want it to be for ITC Format and it is a blast to play with. There is still no many paths I can go forward with this army considering not all the Adeptus Mechanicus releases have gone out but I am pretty sure with the new Space Marine Codex there is a change I might combine the Flesh Tearer Strike Force and the Allied Detachment into 1 Space Marine Detachment assuming there is a 6 or 5 Fast Attack Slot version and Drop Pods are still Fast Attack purchases. As the possibility of adding 1 Culexus into the List is pretty huge for me especially for the East Coast tournaments since I typically see a lot more Psychic Deathstars there. I was glad I didn’t take one this event as you can tell from all of my match-ups, I did not run into a single Psyker in the event. There is also the possibility of adding the new Cult Mechanicus Destroyers instead of the Centurions in the army but we shall see what the Space Marine army brings altogether. What I am afraid of with any successful army that makes its way around the internet is that I will sooner or later face off against a near identical copy of the army at some point and Drop Pod army versus each other is usually decided by who wins the dice roll to go second. We shall see at BAO 😛 I will add two things in my experience this weekend though, that with the advent of the new Imperial Knights and where the game is going nowadays that LoW 3 wounds / 3 HP plus the +1 to seize if your opponent has a LoW and you don’t should go away as I feel nowadays LoW are pretty balanced with the current ITC ruleset and gameplay. And that Adeptus Mechanicus needs its own Faction, Reece! <3 you!
My parting words is to thank Aaron for running a seamless tournament and the Guardian Games staff for lending us their space, time and patience! Everyone should go to tournaments with the intent of promoting the community and not for the intent of winning solely! Play the game, drinks some soda or beer (in my case Whiskey, Coffee, or Whiskey Coffee or Coffee Liqueur). Anyways, I will see you all at Bay Area Open, NOVA and the Ordo Open! French Overlord out!.