This weekend Matt and I attended the Blood Brothers doubles event at the Outpost in Sheffield. It's a nice venue but it was literally a sauna in there (minus the hot rocks and wooden panelling). With 14 teams all piled into a fairly small space and only fans for cooling it was baking hot. If I'd had any finecast in my army I'd have been worried about it melting down into a puddle! The top two tables were downstairs in the shop where they had air conditioning meaning we had a great incentive to do well!
I posted our list up on Friday night. Essentially the main reason we were attending this event was to a live fire test of our new doubles army before we go to defend our title at Warhammer World in September.
Game One - Ghostly Tides vs. IG/DE
They won the roll off but gave us first turn. The manticore was hidden behind a forest but to do so had shown it's side armour to a wave serpent which promptly destroyed it. The wraithknight blew up a chimera whilst the other wave serpent wrecked another. The riptides attempted to take down the kabalites' raider but it was obscured by trees giving it a 4+ cover save. The raider advanced in their turn and it's occupants fired a volley off at the wraithknight causing it to take 5 wounds!! We'd decided to use Prescience and Guide in our turn but at that point we regretted not using Fortune that we'd been lucky enough to roll.
Game Two - Ghostly Tides vs. Necrons and CSM
This would be a great test of our ability to deal with flyers with 5 of them potentially coming our way on turn 2. One of the joys of this list is that the only unit that really needs to worry about heldrakes is the marker drone team and with good positioning of the commander and jetbikes it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Our opponents would be going first and deployed reasonably far forwards. Luckily with the vindicator and annihilation barges having just 24" range were able to deploy our force so that the vindicator couldn't touch us and the annihilation barges would have to move 12" meaning snap shots (not that Necrons care!). Luckily for us they positioned the vindicator and one of the barges close so we were able to fire a large blast and hit both. The annihilation barge went down and the vindicator was shaken (always roll a bloody 1!). Otherwise we just chipped away at the cultists.
A couple of the night scythes and one of the heldrakes arrived at the top of turn 2. The tip of the wing of the heldrake brushed the commander, which apparently is enough for a vector strike! Thanks to wound allocation this cost us 3 of the marker drones. Something to bear in mind. Anyway, the heldrake's glory was short lived as the two riptides combined to bring it down before it use it's baleflamer. The night scythes ganged up on the riptide and since we'd elected not to use Fortune (which we'd rolled again!) he failed 4 of his saves leaving him with a single wound. In our turn the wave serpents and newly arrived kroot combined their fire and gunned down the vast majority of the cultists. The wraithknight was unable to charge them though. The lord decided to wipe out the kroot for an easy point but this cost him more cultists.
By this point I was so warm that I was struggling to concentrate and I frankly just wanted the game to be over. Somehow this coincided with some abysmal luck too. We'd been managing to play keep away with most of the tanks and were drawing them in. The kroot arrived on the flank behind the vindicator but despite hitting plenty of times they were unable to roll a single 6! I realised too late that I should've used the remaining marker to help them. The farseer had failed to get Guide off on the wraithknight so obviously he missed both his S10 shots against the lord. He then managed to fail an 8" charge across open ground. Then in their following turn the riptide with a single wound was hit by the remaining annhilation barge, failed a single save and failed the Fortune re-roll too to give our opponents 5 easy points. The lord, having avoided the wraithknight was able to charge the wave serpent nearby and easily blow it up.
At the top of turn 6 (the game was limited to an automatic 6 turns) it was incredibly close on points. Our opponents decided to push for a convincing win by flying their remaining night scythe into the middle of the table and dropping off the valuable immortals. The combination of them and a unit of warriors arriving from reserve was enough to kill off one of our wave serpents and the dire avengers inside. This had, however, left the immortals in the open. The riptides and commander attempted to down the flyer but could only score 2 glances. Luckily though the wraithknight was able to get into combat with the immortals and his sweeping advance gave us their juicy points value and a convincing win. Our of a possible 21pts (only First Blood was in play for the secondaries) we managed a whopping 18! Doesn't really do our opponents justice though as despite the heat it was a really enjoyable game and came right down to the wire.
Game Three - Ghostly Tides vs. Double Necrons
This game was, on paper at least, a little complicated. Each team had 3 objectives which had to be placed 6-12" from their table edge. One of the three was an ammo dump worth 3 points and granting an extra shot to a unit it joined (like an IC). The other two were booby trapped (meaning a poisoned 4+ large blast) and worth a single point each. The ammo dump was T6 2+ save with 2 wounds and could be therefore destroyed making it worthless.
We'd managed to get Fortune again, our opponents would be going first again and we'd deployed to deny them full BS shooting AGAIN! Sadly the veil council was able to teleport and use their haywire thingies to wreck one of the wave serpents. The other was able to convert a penetrating hit from the barges into a glance. In response we put as much fire as we could on the court but thanks to some debate about the way Look Out, Sir is played (more on that in another post) the lord survived allowing most of unit to get back up. Meanwhile the riptides had nova'd for an S9 Ordnance blast on each of the pairs of barges (who knows why they'd put them so close together?!?). Despite the 2D6 from ordnance they were only able to blow up one of the left hand pair and without markers to remove cover the riptide on the right could only strip a hull point and get a stun (which they failed to ignore). The wraithknight tried to down the remaining left hand barge but it passed its Jink saves.
For some reason our opponents brought a barge right in next to our wave serpents, they managed to kill a couple of dire avengers but left themselves open to the a charge from the wraithlord who easily destroyed it. Meanwhile the flyers turned their attention on the kroot causing both squads to take morale checks. Both units held their nerve. By this point the wraiths were free from the riptide and moved onto the wraithknight who wouldn't be able to hold them up if they could rend enough. We downed another barge and moved the remaining kroot to spare them from the flyers which would have to fly over them.
Our opponents dropped a squad of squad of warriors in each corner near the kroot before flying the night scythes off. They easily dealt with the kroot and we'd need to kill them off to stop them claiming 3 VPs from our now revealed Ammo Dump. The other warriors took the kroot down to 2 models but they still held their nerve somewhat miraculously (roll them gently is the key!). The wave serpent blasted up the board and was able to gun down all 5 warriors in response. The riptide lined up a pie plate on the other warriors but it scattered wildly (the Farseer had failed Guide at a crucial time again). Once again the game would go to 6 turns and we were on the backfoot at the end of turn 5.
The kroot held their objective and the remaining two dire avengers hopped out of their wave serpent to control another. The wave serpent then turned its attention on the warriors on our Ammo Dump who'd been joined by the destroyer lord. It was able to take the lord down to a single wound which allowed the riptide to pie plate the entire unit, hitting this time! If I didn't roll any 1s, they'd be wiped out (as the markers had stripped cover) clearing the objective and giving us Slay the Warlord. Sadly I did roll one, leaving a single model holding it. We were pretty sure we'd lost....
At the last minute I remembered something crucial. The farseer had split off to try to save the wraithknight in combat as a last ditch attempt to prevent Slay The Warlord. However, I remembered he could turbo-boost and he did so to contest the 3-pointer and give us the win. The wraithknight did finally die to the wraiths but when our opponents revealed the dire avengers had their 3-pointer we'd managed to secure a 6-3 win which was enough to give us first place! We'd also won bloodiest general only dropping 600 "blood points" over the day netting us £35 store credit each with 20% off! Not too shabby eh?
Have to say I'm pretty chuffed with another doubles win, especially with a very different list without any power armour in sight! Funnily enough we didn't actually meet anything in power armour except the lord on his juggernaut. It's always satisfying to win when you've played Necrons too and we faced them twice! I wouldn't say we'd been particularly lucky over the day. Obviously some stuff had gone our way and we'd met the right lists but the second and third game were incredibly close and we had some bad luck that made a big difference to the games.
The list is pretty good fun to play. It's a stark contrast from our Titanic Fenrisians though as it's more sit back and shoot than get stuck in. The army certainly attracts attention with the three giant models and I think there's an element of distraction there as the wave serpents a quite a threat too. The combination of the farseer, markerlights and the big guys is excellent though and whilst we were lucky to get Fortune all three times we'd always get Prescience and Guide. It's making me seriously consider an Eldar allied detachment for my Tau and Dark Eldar to pair up with. I don't think we really got to show off the power of the riptides either, despite them wiping out units. I'd love to see it against large groups of terminators or marines. Hordes could be tricky though I suppose but they seem rare these days.
The riptides were, for me, the stars of the lists. Not only did they reap a bloody toll but they sucked up a lot of fire and crucially held up the wraiths for a good while. They're a brilliant counter for flyers and reserves in general. A lot of army lists rely on deep strikers and reserves for the win and we can deal with them effectively. The wraithknight was no slouch either, charging forward to mop up the guardsmen, crucially killing the immortals and downing annihilation barges.
Despite the stifling heat the event was extremely enjoyable overall. We had three great pairs of opponents and challenging games for different reasons. The custom missions were initially a bit of a turn off but they worked out pretty well, at least for us. It's a shame there wasn't a Hammer & Anvil game though as I'm a big fan of the aesthetic that deployment type gives. It always looks epic to see two armies clashing head on.