In a previous post I talked about how the Grey Knights were going to change army lists. I talked about how any non Grey Knights trying to play AV 11 and 12 were going to be in trouble. So in preparation for what I would probably face if I went to the third game in a position to win, I dropped my razorbacks and played 4 land raiders.
My termy death squad with 4 claws and 1 hammer
Reclusiarch with melta pistol
Priest with PW
land raider crusader with mm and extra armor
3x assault sqauds with melta gun, god hammer land raider with MM and EA, one had a HK missile
So on with the games! Sorry I have no pics this time. Forgot my cam. I did get some video though. I will try to put some of that up.
KP /DOW vs Mech IG.
Interesting game in that to get full points you had to win Kill Points by 5. (Earn 5 more KP than your opponent) This was going to be a a tough one to max out on!
To his credit, my opponent was not playing the "net list". He had a lot of chimeras with vets and melta/plasma, but instead of all the Vendettas he went with more heavy tanks.
The game was a shootout for two turns since he had no shortage of fire power. But my Crusader and Mephiston hit his ranks on turn two thanks to a nice LoS blocking terrain piece in the center of the table. Shortly after that most of his stuff was dead. Mephiston went tank hunting and ate a psyker battle squad while the terminators had Vet Crunchies and claimed all their melta and plasma guns for the Blood Angels armory. It was a good harvest. :)
I ended up scoring 12 points out of a possible 13. I did not want to be on the top table in game two so I did not take any of the objectives to score the third bonus point.
Table Quarters/Table Corner deployment (Have more victory points in the quarters at the end of the game to claim them.)
My 12 point plan left me with what appeared at first to be a lopsided matchup in my favor. Foot Templars. (And it kept me away from Nick Nanavati playing... wait for it... Psy Cannon heavy GKs and Fritz's "Marine Killer" Nid list) They both scored max points turn one because Nick predictably obliterated a mech list and Fritz gorged himself upon a generic marine list. Oh and Nick nearly tabled Fritz. All those psy cannons were to much for the bugs. Nick's GKs would march to the final round with full points.
Back to my opponent. Upon closer inspection I saw that his army was much more dangerous than I first thought. All of his guns had Tank Hunter. He had 4 or 5 five man crusader squads with Las Cannons and a couple in Rhinos with melta guns. He had a couple 5 man terminator squads with dual missiles and a 10 man hammernator squad with the Emps Champ and a Chaplain with Retinue attached. About 16 models total. He had a High Marshal attached to one of his shooty terminator squads.
To start the game he began with a discussion about the ruling concerning Righteous Zeal. The spirit of the rule is that Templars charge forward in the face of enemy firepower. Taking losses only makes them madder and provokes them to either charge forward, or failing leadership, flee the field. But of course poorly written 3rd edition rules allow for abuse of the rule. I didn't quite understand what my opponent was saying at the start of the game in how he intended to use the rules. So I accepted whatever he wanted. He said it was supported by the INAT FAQ. (Which tends to lean towards Rules as Written over Rules as Intended as far as I know.) Any way. I figured out what he meant the first time he used the exploit.
It seems that Black Templars can go to ground when they are taking fire for a 3+ cover save, and so long as the squad lost a member, use RZ to get back up. The models move a fraction of a hair and stay put since the rule does not specify how far they must move. Then they are able to fire on their turn. By the rule as written, it works. No huge issue, but still rules abuse none the less. More RZ shenanigans would happen later as my opponent would try to avoid getting assaulted by my terminators. Using his chaplain to give himself the power to direct his RZ move, normally they must RZ towards the nearest enemy unit or some such, he instead wanted to try to use it to get away from my terminators. Again, nothing illegal, but definitely defies the spirit of the rule.
The funny part about this was that before the game my buddy Alex Fennel from the Cold Stone Mercs, a New England gaming club told me to "be nice". I guess my opponent was a nooby? Well if he was he certainly knew what he was doing. Being mentored by one of the best players in the world (Alex) doesn't hurt either. :) I planned to go easy so as not to the noob stomp like my poor buddy Jim the Stout Smurf got at The Colonial. (He left there pretty dejected after getting nearly tabled in all five games.) Any way, the first time he used RZ to go to ground then get back up and shoot had me taking off the gloves. Plus I would need to once I saw that this "noob" was not playing a noob army, and in fact one no doubt designed to slaughter people as created with the help of Alex.
He reserved his rhinos with melta crusaders inside. I spread out my god hammers and ran my crusader right up the middle. All of his stuff was in the left corner. I moved up my crusader and hid it behind a nice big lumpy terrain piece that looked like a demented pound cake. My god hammers opened up on his las cannon crusader squads, provoking the RZ go to ground trick.
By the way, I want to take nothing away from my opponent here. To his credit, he used full disclosure to explain what he intended to do before the game began, and gave me the option of declining it. Or at least dicing it off. I respect what he did and do not fault him for using the tactic. He was a good sportsman and honest player. Most guys would not tell you up front and wait until the situation occurred to "spring" it on you. I did not agree with it, but had my chance to do something about it. For that, I salute my opponent. Besides, the ambiguous rule did support what he wanted to do as does the INAT.
So I killed a terminator in his big squad with shooting, prepping them for the assault. I could handle 5 to 8 of them, but that would be pushing it. 10 would be tough indeed.
On his turn he advanced them after I said I had no intentions of holding back. I was going to go up there and assault next turn. He wanted to meet the challenge. His shooting caused a shaken to one of my god hammers. Poor rolling on his part.
So on my turn I went for the jugular. I did not need to move my crusader much since he moved up his termies with his RZ move. I got out and moved and prepared for assault. But before doing so I needed to whittle down the odds a bit. I managed to kill two more with shooting. And shot up some of his other boys as well. He entertained the thought of zealing away from my assault range, but realized that no matter what he would not escape. My guys were to close. He was committed, and so was I. Time to charge.
Mephiston led the way in, but was unable to get B2B with an IC so he took on the terminators. My chaplain went after his Champion and my claws locked down his chaplain. My priest with PW jumped into the fight too. I would need those PW hits. Meph delivered 6 wounds on the charge. Two or three would die. My chaplain killed the Emps Champ on the charge with 4 wounds forcing two failed saves. And my claws and priest would deliver about 10 more wounds to the hammers and 3 to the chaplain who was already wounded. All would die. But his chaplain managed to take down 3 of my termies in his death throws.
My boys massacred back to the cover of the Land Raider.
On his turn he brought in his two rhinos on my right side and opened up on my god hammer holding that corner. He immobilized that, and my crusader and put some wounds on Meph. Immobilizing the crusader forced my hand.
On my turn I finished off a crusader squad with one of my god hammers after advancing it, and assaulted one of his melta squads on the right with my guys from inside the god hammer. I needed to slow them down to hopefully reduce the melta shots by half coming at the god hammer and giving it time to take down this transports. I did not hurt either of the transports, and lost combat with the squad... :(
I also found out something that I had been doing wrong for years. At Mechanicon two years ago my opponent wanted to assault me. I had one guy out of terrain and the rest of the squad in. He asserted that so long as the first guy did not have to roll difficult terrain to get B2B, the rest of the squad did not have to and could move normally, essentially ignoring terrain. The judges upheld this and I have been playing it this way since. The situations where that occurs are rare so it did not come up often. After consulting a couple people, and then checking the book, it was actually clearly written. Yes if any member of the squad would have to enter terrain, I must roll. You learn something new every day!
It had no effect on this game one way or another. It was just one of those interesting "Duh" moments.
From here the game came down to a scramble. How fast could I slaughter all his troops, and how long could he dodge me. Meph would eventually die to terminator power fists, but I wiped out all the termies. The hero of the day was my priest leaving the Crusader after the rest of my termeis and chaplain died, and assaulting the last member of the squad that killed him... he killed the terminator then got back in the crusader to lend his victory points to claiming the quarter. I dropped off the infantry in my left god hammer to claim the near left corner, and advanced it into his corner to claim that one. All he had left was a single crusader squad. My right side god hammer turned around and started shooting at the two rhinos. He finished off my third god hammer and the troops that were inside. But my immobile crusader would take that quarter.
I destroyed one of his Rhinos and reduced a squad below half. Giving me the edge in all four quarters and that is how the game would end. A blood bath! As should be expected with Templars vs Blood Angels. I got max points. It was a fun game and a whole lot harder than I expected at the start.
That set me up for the showdown I expected. I was going to be playing against Nick and his AV11/12 psy cannon heavy GKs.
I don't know exactly what he had but it was something like:
3 squads of 3 henchmen in Chimeras with meltas.
3 squads of 5 Purifiers in Rhinos with 2x psi cans
3 squads of 5 strike GKs in HB Razors with master crafted hammers and max psi cannons.
3 Psyfleman dreads
Lots and lots of psycannon shots.
Based on the amount of punishment my land raiders took this game, I can say without a doubt that I would have been tabled had I played my razor list.
Objectives was the mission, and 12" deployment. He won the roll and surprisingly gave me the first turn.
My plan? Demech him and assault all of his knights at once. Or at least as many as I could line up.
He clustered his guys, forming a line with his three dreads shoulder to shoulder on his deployment line, and the line extended by two razorbacks with their sides facing me. Every thing else was grabbing cover behind them. Seeing an opportunity to stall him in his deployment, I decided to go for his psy dreads. I knocked the guns off one and immobilized the other two. I thought I had him boxed when I stunned both of the lead rhinos. (The dice gods failed me big time in this game, rarely rolling over a 2 to damage vehicles.) In hind sight, I should have focused all of my fire on stopping his transports. It turns out the damned Purifiers were the biggest threat in his army. STR 7 rending is way better than STR 8 Auto Cannons vs Land Raiders. With all the shots going at his transports, getting no cover saves, I should have definitely killed at least three of them. Plus taking the guns off that one dread would come back to haunt me in the end, big time.
On his turn he moved up and popped smoke with some of his transports, creating a nice cover wall, and opened fire at me. He lit me up with Psy cannon shots, shaking one of my hammers and immobilizing the other.
On my turn two I adjusted. I actually pulled back a bit, wishing to get a good chance at demeching him in the middle of the table and clustering him for a devastating assault. I only killed one of his transports with all of my shots... Crap. On his turn two fire, he rended and destroyed my crusader, forcing my hand. He moved up his razors again creating a wall. But he left a lane of assault to the demeched squad for Meph to get in.
I had to explode two razorbacks that had already popped smoke the previous turn. I had 4 twin linked las cannons, 2 multi meltas, a melta pistol, 6 heavy bolter shots and a plasma pistol with which to do it. I wrecked one, and failed to damage the other. Epic fail. I needed to explode the transports and assault the guys inside. The GKs from the wreck of course disembarked on the other side of the wreck, out of my assault range. I was forced to assault a single immobile razorback with my entire termy squad. I killed it and the GKs disembarked on the other side. Meph got in on three knights and wiped them out and massacred back over the wrecked razor. Not good at all.
On his turn three, the game ended. He assaulted my termies with his gunless dread. Crap. They were tied up the rest of the game. He assaulted Meph with 3 squads of knights. I tried my best to make sure he made as many difficult/dangerous terrain tests as possible going through those recked razorbacks... but it would not save me. He got in on me with two master crafted hammers, and dealt a wound. Made his psy test and I failed to block with the hood. Dead Meph. Locked down termies. Game over. I would make a battle out of it by taking out some of his other transports and assaulting Purifiers with my naked squads out of desperate measures, but we both knew it was over at the bottom of three.
Grey Knights victory, maximum point tournament win.
Sure, he needed an epic fail on my part to do it, but he did it. :)
Some one posted on my recent article talking about GKs ending AV11. He stated that an AV11 GK list won and space wolves and IG got 2nd and 3rd. (He was contending that my opinion was wrong or something.) I think that his comment proved my point! First of all, I referred to the fact that GKs would still be able to get away with their AV11 and 12 so the fact that they won using them does not matter. But more importantly, 2nd and 3rd might seem close on paper, but neither of them were close to Nicks result. Getting Maximum points in this tournament was nigh impossible. He did it with relative ease. Claiming that those SW and IG armies disproved my article because they got 2nd and 3rd in this tournament is like bragging that Oprah and Jerry from SubWay got 2nd and 3rd in a three man 100 meter race vs Usain Bolt. (Google him)
Soon there will be a dozen in every GT. I'm gonna go ahead and call it right now.
Nova Open Top 16: At least half will be GKs. I am banking on 10. You heard it here first!
So there you have it folks! GKs are legit. My list, designed to beat his, barely made a game of it. (Granted chance went the wrong way and if we played again it would have been different, but still.) Even Land Raiders need to fear them. He destroyed two of them, and immobilized the others and I was getting cover saves off at least half of the shots due to terrain! The sheer volume of fire nearly tabled Fritz's big bug list that routinely spawns 120 Furious Charging, Poisoned gaunts and is designed to devour normal marine armies like Nick's. Fritz had high hopes for a surprising Nid win. I don't know but I think Nick tabled his first opponent.
It was a day of complete and total GK domination with only one real GK army in the tournament. And frankly, I'm happy to see it. One thing for certain is that they will definitely shake up the power lists. Plus I have lots of Razorback Turret Assault Cannons, Terminator Psy Cannons and Dread Auto Cannons for both sides! Email me if you want some.
Guys will be forced to adjust to the GK reality or go home crying. Lucky for me BA at least have a sort of answer. Now I know what I am bringing to Nova! Ridiculous looking "twice as tall as the tank" banner poles and overly done hand painting and all.
More to come...