Given it had been a while since my last competitive event (May if you can believe it) I decided it was high time to play another tournament. So I headed down to our local club to see the state of the game, and to try my hand at the new GT mission rules. I thought about taking my Drukhari but, true contrarian that I am decided to tilt at windmills with my Iron Hands instead. Now I must admit that I did the thing you should never do in that I tallied all of 1 practice game before the event and this would show. To further compound matters I decided to use a bunch of units I had never used before in any tournament. Here is the list I took:
Iron Hands Battalion
Primaris Techmarine: Warlord: Command Protocols Trait, Relic: Iron Stone
5x Tactical Marines
5x Assault Intercessors
Leviathan Dread: 2x Storm Cannons, 1x Hunter-killer missile, Volkite Calivers, March of the Ancients (-1 CP) Extra Warlord Trait (-1 CP) All Flesh is Weakness
Invictor Warsuit: Ironhail Autocannon
Redemptor Dread: Macro Plasma, stormbolters, Onslaught Gatling cannon, Icarus Rocket pod
Relic Contemptor Dread: 2x Twin Lascannon, Cyclone Missile Launcher
Venerable Dreadnought: Twin Lascannon, Missile Launcher
Repulser Executioner: Macro Plasma, Stormbolters, extra Ironhail Stubber
Devestator Squad: 4x Multi-Meltas, Cherub
This list is an adaption of an Australian list that I saw and thought would be fun to play, though I had to make some adjustments. I wanted to use a gladiator instead of the executioner but a certain retailer (who will remain nameless) goofed up my order and it didn’t arrive in time. I knew going in the list skews heavily into shooting and I would be low on objective holders and action monkeys but it is what I had (mostly painted anyway). I also knew the event used pretty decent terrain which would make it a challenging list to use as my opponents would have ample opportunity to hide.
Game 1: Sweep and Clear vs. Steve’s Orks
Steve was running a FreeBootaz list with a number of buggies. We both quickly realized that first turn would be important especially after our aggressive deployments. Given all of his vehicles, he knew he couldn’t hide and I knew his speed could easily tangle up my lines. For my secondaries I took: To the Last, Bring it Down and Direct Assault, he took: Get Da Good Bitz, Engage on all Fronts and Raise the Banners.
As luck would have it I managed to get the first turn. My aggressive deployment allowed my Invictor to move up on the right flank in preparation for a charge, I dropped the devastators on the left and the rest of my army opened fire. I managed to pick up the plane, 3 buggies, 8/10 Flashgitz and put 3 wounds on the Warboss. I was also able to pickoff the Big Mek by aggressively moving my Repulsor Forward. The Invictor managed to get a 6 inch charge on the red buggies to tie them up for a turn. On my opponent’s turn he moved forward as best he could, but had lost a lot of his army. His shooting was largely ineffective though he did get the Invictor down to 5 wounds and killed the Primaris Assault Squad screen. Unfortunately for him his Warboss charged the devastators and promptly ate 5 multi-melta gun shots to the face. On my turn I pretty much tabled him save for a unit of StormBoyz in reserve and we agreed to call it there.
Final: 97-18 Iron Hands (Note: the event used a modified Painting score which allowed me to get scores of 8/10)
Thoughts: Woof! I felt a little bad at the amount of shooting this list puts out. We both deployed aggressively though my opponent didn’t have much choice with the large bases on the buggies and the short range of his shooting. If he had gone first he could have removed the Invictor easily which would have made the game a lot more balances, as well as being able to screen out the board against the drop pods. The over-watching abilities of the Iron Hands were amazing and really helped seal the game.
Game 2: Vital Intelligence vs Jon’s Iron Hands
An Iron Hands mirror, what are the odds? As the only two Iron Hands players at the event we took a minute to complain about the matchmaking before setting up for the game. My opponent was running 3 plasma Redemptors alongside a Land Raider Achilles which would be a real pain to kill. He had 2 tech priests and a librarian which would make it a real slug-fest. For secondaries I took: To the Last, Assassination, and R.O.D. He took: To the Last, Stranglehold, and R.O.D. He deployed his Inceptor squad (one of his To The Last Units) in reserve and we both infiltrated our Incursors.
We both hid our armies in deployment (as best as you could with the 8″ dread movement) and rolled to see who got first turn. I got lucky and won the roll-off again. This was even more crucial then the last game as I spotted a flaw in my opponent’s deployment: He forgot about my drop pod. I was able to drop the devastators with 12″ of his character contemptor and target it (as it was the closes enemy model). By killing that unit, I picked up both an assassination and denied him a To the Last unit. The remaining shooting saw me kill one Redemptor dread and 3/5 incursors with the Invictor (1 in shooting, 2 in close combat). I was hoping to tie up his lines and distract him with the invictor but instead he fell back and moved his army forward. He also spotted a bid mistake I had made with my Executioner (I moved the outside of the Ironstone range) and annihilated it with his Landraider. However he only killed 2 of the Devestators (which would prove important later) and took 5 wounds off of the Invictor. He decided not to charge the Invictor for some reason and instead moved onto objectives with his Redemptors. On My turn I shuffled the Devs towards his Incursors holding an objective outside his deployment zone and melted them while the rest of my army continued forward. My shooting was able to kill another Redemptor (his second Too The Last unit) and take the Land Raider down to 7 wounds. The Invictor was also able to finish off the remaining Incursors. In assault, my Invictor obligingly killed himself by trying to charge the Land Raider (whoops).
Things were getting desperate for him as he was quickly running out of units to hold objectives. Forced between the choice of hiding a unit, but losing it’s shooting, or shooting but then not being able to hold an objective or being out in the open he went for the latter. He was able to take 5 wounds off of the venerable dreadnought and do a good bit of damage to my Redemptor but failed a number of key wounding rolls with his Land Raider’s Multi-Meltas. On my turn I was able to R.O.D. with the devastators (bringing my count up to 3) and kept pushing forward. This turn I was able to kill the Land Raider via shooting and the final Redemptor as well. On his turn he tries to kill the redemptor by charging in his characters and lands his Inceptors but has to R.O.D. with them. The assassin also arrives but can’t do much beside sit on an objective. His characters whiff against the Redemptor who starts picking them up. The final few turns happen pretty quickly as the assassin cannot hide against both the devastators and the Levi dread and I have enough troops to control the objectives and finish out R.O.D.
Final: 93-26 Iron Hands
Thoughts: I was asked a few times why I didn’t take volkites on the Contemptor. This is why. Strength 9 was vital during this mission, alongside the extra range advantage. Additionally, I was buoyed by going first. While I don’t think his shooting would have effected me much by getting first turn I was able to exploit his exposed dread (something he saw a few seconds after committing to it) The Multi-Melta devs are rapidly melting their way into my heart through the first two games.
Game 3: Surround and Destroy vs Sam’s Space Wolves
This was a really fun game. Going into the match we were both hoping for the pairing as we thought it was funny that we shared the same name and first letter of our last name (making it tricky for Dom, the TO, to show on stream which). You can watch this stream on Youtube Dom has a partnership with Art of War and it was shown on their Twitch stream) but I’d rather you didn’t. Both of us made several big mistakes and had to roll-back the game state a bit and some of our other errors were a tad embarrassing (I could have sworn Repulsors could hop on top of buildings). Rather, just read it here as I happily gloss over our peccadillos. For this game I took the R.O.D. Too the Last and Oaths Secondaries, he Took Oaths, R.O.D. and Stranglehold.
I knew this would be a tough match-up as there was ample terrain and he could take advantage of it more easily then I could. He outflanked the Eradicators as well as the Hounds of Morkai forcing me to keep my vehicles towards the center of the board. I once again got lucky and went first, but had little to shoot at as Sam had deployed exceptionally well….except for one thing. You see he initially put his incursors forward to screen out my own and re-deployed them backwards with a Phobos Librarian with Master of Deceit. However he still left room for the drop pod to come down within 24″ of one of his Redemptors. My shooting proves to be quite effective and I get exactly the right amount of wounds to kill it despite being over 12″ away. This proved to be a key moment as his Bjorn was in the open, caually flipping the bird to the Levi dread, and had been counting on that redemptor for protection. He had intended to re-deploy his incursors within 3″ of Bjorn but forgot in the excitement. Thus Bjorn vanished in a sea of autocannon bolt shells and lascannon shots.
Despite this strong opening Sam recovered quickly and was able to dominate the board-control battle for the rest of the game. Things were quite even through the contest, and it became a challenge to see who could remove the other’s un-killable units faster (his were out of line of sight, mine were being constantly healed). There are too many epic moments to fully relate, such as a drop pod holding up 3 Wolf Guard and a Librarian for 3 rounds of combat, his lone Wolf Guard tanking all the small-arms fire from the Repulsor, etc. At the end of the day he was able to win a nail-biter by Heroically Intervening with an incursor squad, killing a Techpriest and thus allowing him to slingshot himself forward the next turn to grab an objective and get 15 points (it was very epic).
Final: 79-83 Space Wolves
Final Thoughts: Phew! what a game! While it was tight, I had a blast and learned a lot. Despite some of the hiccups both of us had a bunch of fun. Sam really played well, and was able to exploit the weaknesses of this list, with the great terrain at the event it was enough to put him over the top. While I was able to get a few good blows on the first turn I think I may have benefited from going second as his shooting wasn’t in a position to harm me much. Overall my list’s limitations were critical in that I struggled to pick secondaries that I could score efficiently, I only got 8 ROD points in the final match and Engage may have been a better option (given I can infiltrate the Invictor and the drop pod does give me some board options. Moving forwards, I plan on drop[ping the Repulsor for a Gladiator and using the extra points to get units that can get some ROD or Engage points. As a list that does skew into the first turn heavily I think it showed me how much the game still hinges on that turn. I also think this can be limited by heavy terrain use (as shown in this event) but I feel that also really helps fast flying armies like Drukhari. I am not sure I have an answer on how best to resolve this issue. Regardless I had fun and can’t wait for the next event!
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