Dispatches from the Front – Know No Mercy Tournament Report

Hello everyone!

Rawdogger here to talk about the Know No Mercy event that I attended this past weekend at Great Escape Games in Sacramento, California.

This tournament was a two day 6 round tournament and I believe the first GT event that has been run at that particular store in around 10 years so I am happy I got a chance to head up with my buds Frankie and Dan for the weekend.  The format for the event would be unique in that it would be basically combining the ITC and NOVA formats with a sprinkling of big book missions thrown in just for fun.  While the ITC FAQ would be used it was modified to the preference of the tournament organizer Peter Kelly to reflect the way he prefers to play the game, which is about as close to unmodified 40k as you are likely to see anywhere.  While this is not my personal favorite way to play 40k I wanted to give it a shot and see how I fared against the worst unmodified 40k had to throw at me, so I packed up my Catachans and the Stormlord superheavy tank nicknamed ‘Belligerence” and headed off to Sacramento.


Threat Level – Midnight

Well, let me say that the first thing I saw when I walked into the warehouse that serves as the store’s tournament space were two display boards.  On the first board stood five Imperial Knights and on the other stood five Wraithknights.  Oh boy.  As I walked past these display boards I thought to myself that there couldn’t possibly be anything worse than what I had just seen.  That is when I saw the Warhound Titan.  I’m not going to lie.  Seeing these armies really bummed me out.  I had put together what I thought was a decent take all comers army and the first armies I saw I could do little to no damage against.  D’OH!  Oh well I came all the way up to Sacramento to have some fun and fun I would have, damnit!  Before we get into my games on day one let’s do a quick recap of what I brought.


Astra Militarum

Company Command Squad – Lascannon, Kurov’s Aquila


Platoon Command Squad – Lascannon

Infantry Squad – Meltagun, Meltabomb

Infantry Squad – Meltagun, Meltabomb

2x Heavy Weapon Squad – Autocannons

Veteran Squad – 3x Plasma Guns, Lascannon




Stormlord Superheavy Tank

Void Shield Generator – +2 shields



Inquisitor – 3x Servo Skulls, Liber Heresius


Culexus Assassin


Game 1 – Kill Points

Opponent – Julio Rodrigues (Battle Company)

So my first game would be a kill points mission, which is REALLY good for my list.  Unfortunately for my opponent, Julio, he had the list that my army was built to go against.  I castled up in a corner with Coteaz and Veterans keeping his drop-poding melta and grav 12” away from Belligerence and outside the safe confines of the void shield.  Julio did his best to wrack up as many kill points as he could but by turn 3 we had stopped counting how many kill points I was up by.  Julio is a great player and routinely does well against top opponents all over the country so I felt really bad about taking him out of the running for the second day (I had a major victory against him) but in the end I couldn’t feel TOO bad about winning against an army that had 300+ more points than me at the beginning of the game.

Major Victory

Game 2 – NOVA Mission

Opponent – Ben Vaughn (Baronial Court)


So remember the five Knight army I saw when I walked into the hall and though ‘man if I have to go against that it will be a quick game’?  Well, guess who I drew next?  Not only was Ben running five WS and BS 5 Imperial Knights but he is also a REALLY good player so I knew I was in trouble.  The game was a NOVA mission that revolved around taking and holding objectives that were worth varying amounts of points.  The player that wracked up the most points by the end of the game wins.  I only had a set amount of units that could put a dent in Ben’s army and they had to all be hitting and taking off hull points if I even had a prayer of pulling this game off.  Boy was I fucked.  Ben predictably ran 4 out of 5 Knights directly at my battle line with his armor 13 facing me and ion shields on point.  In the end I took out one Knight and scratched the paint off of a couple more.

Major defeat.

Game 3 – Emperors Will

Opponent – Adrien (Daemons)

Adrien is a regular in our shop in Martinez so I was pretty happy to be playing against a familiar face while playing a familiar ITC mission.  Daemons are any army that I always underestimate.  On paper the amount of firepower I can put out per turn should take them to task pretty quickly, but I always forget how damn hard it is to actually take out Daemon units.  I seized on Adrian and we must have both thought ‘well this will be a quick game’.  The only unit within range of my battle line was a Plaguedrone unit with two Heralds in it.  Unfortunately for me they were in cover.  I shot 2x Wyverns at them, 30 S6 AP3 shots, 5x Lascannon shots, 12x Autocannon shots, and 3x Heavy Bolter shots into the unit and killed 2 Plaguedrones and put a wound on a Herald.  OH SHIT.  That last sentence basically summed up how the rest of the game went.  I would shoot obscene amounts of firepower into the Daemon units which would either shrug it off or I would thin them down to a couple models and then they would proceed to summon another unit.  I must have killed 700 additional points of Daemons throughout the game.  In the end we tied on the primary and Adrian beat me on the secondary and I think we may have tied on the tertiary.

Minor loss.


So after day one I was sitting pretty with a 1-2 record which took me out of the main GT so the following day I would have to play in the lesser RTT. My lack of maneuverability was once again my downfall. Oh well, back to the drawing board I suppose.

A couple things I took away from the tournament.

  • A Culexus in a Vendetta is just brutal for psychic deathstar armies.  The extra range to the Pyschic Abomination rule granted by the wings of the Vendetta really add to it’s range.
  • Unmodified Invisibility doesn’t really affect my army all that much.
  • 7th edition 40k is all about speed and objective taking ability, two traits my army lacks.
  • Give people an inch and they will take a mile.  The players knew this was any anything goes type tournament and abuse was rampant.  I can’t really complain too much since I also took a super heavy tank but the one I took is arguably the worst super heavy tank in existence.
  • Playing against someone that has extra points via wargear options (Mechanicus), free transports (Battle Company) and summoned units (Daemons) really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  It’s so inherently unfair and really should be addressed.
  • The top players were the same guys that would be at the top no matter what format the tournament was in.  These guys really operate at a different level and I just don’t get it, haha.

Well that’s it.  Overall I had a good time and even though I should have been prepared for the craziness that comes with an anything goes type tournament it was worth it to make the trip and hang out with good friends.

About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

21 Responses to “Dispatches from the Front – Know No Mercy Tournament Report”

  1. Maeglin October 8, 2015 1:17 am #

    Ahh poor Rawdogger, sending you my love over from the UK (never play over here btw, you’d hate it). I love your guard list as the Stormlord is a favourite of mine. But honestly everytime I hear you complain about free points and the like I remember you regularly run a Draigo centstar, one of the most un fluffy combinations around and my pity evaporates. At least Admech, Battle companies and Daemons are true to their background.
    I may be being a little harsh but i love the working within the fluff to create a powerful army. Any way congrats on doing pretty well I’d say with your army in an unrestricted environment.

    • Rawdogger October 8, 2015 6:59 am #

      lol fair enough. While that may be unfluffy I can make an argument against it’s viability. Thanks for reading though!

  2. Arrias October 8, 2015 5:33 am #

    I can see how someone could enjoy a game environment like that, but if I’m being honest that sounds like a big tall glass of NOPE.

  3. BBF October 8, 2015 6:27 am #

    So you had to play against one tough army. Why even bother going if you don’t like the format?

    • Rawdogger October 8, 2015 6:50 am #

      Because unlike a certain person that spends all day posting on various forums and blogs, I have an open mind and friends to spend time with.

      • iNcontroL October 8, 2015 9:07 am #

        hahahahah damnnnnnnnn

        It was good seeing you man! You took out Julio which is an accomplishment in and of itself! Definitely need to find mobility in your list though since each tourney it feels like the same story with your guard.

  4. Hotsauceman1 October 8, 2015 9:01 am #

    Maybe I will let you borrow my tau army so you can win a few games rawdogger.

  5. Noah October 8, 2015 9:04 am #

    Great write-up Raw Dog! Way too be scrappy in the face of terrible odds. The Guard would be proud!

  6. Panzer1944 October 8, 2015 9:26 am #

    Unmodified Invisibility crushed my soul that weekend. My win loss record was based entirely on whether or not my opponent had a a psychic phase.

  7. masos October 8, 2015 9:35 am #

    Solid write up. Great event and great times

  8. amnesiaditit October 8, 2015 9:47 am #

    The horror…THE HORROR! Man its a rough world out there for the guard, them damn Knights haha, wait til chaos gets some knight formations

  9. Bigpig October 8, 2015 5:24 pm #

    O like your event run diwns. Keep em coming

  10. Dbiesto October 8, 2015 5:58 pm #

    1 knight is bad enough but running 5? Is that a normal thing in most big ITC events? That’s just overkill glad to hear you still did some damage. With how powerful armies are with shooting, and I think ignoring cover save are chaos Nurgle bikes still usable or should I try to go with some kind of leaf blower build with dual lash of despair Princes, 3 soul grinders, 3 heldrakes etc? As much as I want to be in tournaments I want to do more “fun” lists that can still win

    • Kartr_Kana October 15, 2015 10:43 am #

      I don’t think you can run more than three IK in a regular ITC tourney. This one was designed specifically to allow all the crazy.

  11. Garrett October 8, 2015 8:29 pm #

    Was great seeing you again. Sad that we didn’t get to face each other this time, but I think your gypsy curse was finally broken at Celesticon

  12. Somerandomidiot October 9, 2015 8:02 am #

    Jason, it was great playing you- I wish our matchup had been a bit more even, but you put up a lot more of a fight than either of us expected. The extra mission points for hull points dealt can really even things up, especially in non-ITC missions where they’re applied to the primary.

    • Rawdogger October 9, 2015 9:47 am #

      Thanks, Ben! I’m actually going to be shelving the guard for a bit. The lack of mobility is just too much to overcome in an edition that rewards objective taking. I hate changing my lists since it costs time and money but going to tournament after tournament and getting crushed loses it’s allure fairly quickly.

  13. Maeglin October 10, 2015 9:17 am #

    How about this for an idea before shelving your Guard? Replace the Vendetta with a Vulture (because you know, they’re awesome) and trying to squeeze in some Tempestus in Taurox Primes in for mobility. You could even throw the Assassin in a Prime to get him up field fast!

    Some sacrifices would obviously need to be made and a cheaper option may be to raid the Flesh Tearers for fast Rhinos like everyone else. But obviously you’d have to lose a source for ITC I believe.

    Anyway can’t wait to see what army you do try next! I miss the battle reports from the store sometimes.

  14. Oadius October 10, 2015 11:23 am #

    There were quite a few Astra Militarum players at the KNMGT.
    Ironically as a fellow Astra General I was loathe to face the 5 WK, 5 IK or the Titan and sure enough, game 5 I got to be sodomized by the Titan. The Emperor protects but only a little bit…
    Anyways, thanks for the article and see you at the LVO!

  15. Crispy86 October 12, 2015 9:28 pm #

    My trusty ole traitor malcador defender might have your tank beat on worst super heavy tank in existence. Always like your reports, congrats on the major win!

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