Monday, March 14, 2016

Tournament Report - Desperate Allies II (The Outpost) - 1500pt Doubles

You may have been following my progress painting my knights up for Saturday's doubles event at the Outpost in Sheffield (my FLGS). Today I'll fill you in on how they got on as my half of my doubles team with Matt. First off, here's our list which we're calling Knights of the Rectangular Table:

750pts of Imperial Knights
Knight Paladin
Knight Warden

748pts of Eldar
Farseer w/ Spirit Stone of Anath'lan, Singing Spear
14 Guardian Defenders w/ Warlock
3 Windriders
6 Swooping Hawks inc. Exarch
Wraithknight w/ Wraithcannons and Scatter Laser

We'd talked at one point about taking 4 Imperial Knights but we decided against it because we didn't think it'll be dynamic enough and also because it'd be pretty miserable to play against. I'm not pretending this list isn't any less powerful (probably the opposite in fact) but at least there's some variety in there. Anyway, the IK are pretty obvious in role. The Wraithknight has a scatter laser so it can shoot something with its wraithcannons and still fire a weapon at its intended melee target. The Farseer is there to buff the Wraithknight but along with the warlock it can also make the guardians pretty nasty and tough to shift from an objective. Windriders are, of course, for late game objective thievery. The Swooping Hawks seem to catch people out (more on that in the batreps) but they offer quite a lot to the list and some much needed anti-air.

Bear in mind that we haven't been to the Outpost in over a year and normally the field is thick with filthy lists. We figured we'd need somet
hing powerful to be in with a chance.

Game One vs. GK/SM (Imp. Fists)
This was Jim and Owen's first tournament game since their recent return to the hobby so we felt pretty guilty that they'd be in for a rough ride. They were fielding a GK terminator librarian with GK terminators and two dreadknights along with an SM librarian, two tactical squads (one in a rhino), several bikes (2 grav) including an attack bike, a devastator team (3 missiles) and five scouts. We'd be playing Purge the Alien on Dawn of War deployment.

Our opponents elected to deep strike all of their GK force which was especially risky given that we got the Strategic trait that gives -1 to their rolls. They got the first turn and none of the GK arrived. Surprisingly they chose to drive the rhino forward and disembark despite being out of range. Other than coming closer to us the only thing they got from their first turn was two wounds from the Wraithknight. Our response was pretty brutal with the Knight Paladin taking out the recently disembarked tactical squad for First Strike and the Wraithknight adding the rhino to the pile. The Knight Warden then took out a handful of the bikers too.

One of the dreadknights now arrived but the other and the terminators stayed in reserve. The dreakdnight wiped out a swathe of guardians with its incinerator and psycannon though leaving the farseer more vulnerable. The swooping hawks arrived and their grenade pack made short work of the scouts. The wraithknight turned its attention to the newly arrived dreadknight and its wraithcannons made short work of it thanks to Guide when it failed both of its invulnerable saves. Meanwhile the Warden cleared up most of the remaining Imperial Fists who held on just long enough for the terminators to arrive. Sadly for the terminators they struggled to hit the guardians with their storm bolters and were whittled down with fire from pretty much our entire army before the Paladin charged in and put his reaper chainsword through the librarian.

The final dreadknight arrived and in some of the ballsiest play we've ever encountered our opponents dropped him right in between both Imperial Knights in order to try to take out our guardians for a VP. The dreadknight not only didn't scatter but rolled a double 1. That guy really meant it! He continued his badassery into the shooting phase where he annihilated the guardians, warlock and farseer for 2 VPs plus Slay the Warlord. Incredible play! The joy was short-lived though as the Imperial Knights and Wraithknight let rip with their firepower bringing him down to a single wound which was easily stripped with a double knight charge for the 14-3 tabling.

As an interesting side-note. Jim and Owen went on to play a double IK and Stormsurge list which they tabled thanks to deploying everything and some vicious use of a Vortex of Doom! They played off for third place on table two at the end, narrowly losing out 5-3 in a nailbiter.

Game Two vs. Ravenwing/White Scars
Jim and Adam had a pretty nasty combination of White Scars and Ravenwing. They'd got a Chaplain, 7-8 black knights, a darkshroud, 3 MM/AC landspeeders, librarian on bike (with some funky upgrades that gave him Ignores Cover amongst other things), three bike squads (1x 2 melta, 2x 2 grav) and a pair of lascannon toting stormtalons. They'd annihilated their first opponents who had no way of getting around their 2+ re-rollable cover and therefore succumbed to all that plasma talon goodness. It'd be Big Guns Never Tire and Vanguard Strike.

Well, we made short work of that with the first shot of the game being a double wraithcannon hit on the darkshroud and that all important 6 on the destroyer table (giving us First Strike too). We achieved little else though as the black knights still have 3+ re-rollable! With the White Scars in reserve we'd tried to keep out of range of plasma talon fire. Not 100% sure why but our opponents had elected not to use their Scout moves for the black knights. Nevertheless they were able to strip two wounds from the Wraithknight with the speeders' weaponry. The black knights elected not to shoot the knight at all and instead turbo-boosted into the corner to benefit from their formation rules allowing Jink and normal BS in turn 2.

The Wraithknight hopped out of cover and set up for a 3" charge on the speeders electing not to shoot them in case they ended up too far away. It didn't help mind you as Matt double 1'd it and couldn't re-roll having used the jump move to get out of cover. The IK started to whittle down the black knights too taking a couple more down. We knew the reprisal would be fierce and were pretty confident the Wraithknight was a goner. The White Scars were arriving too! The Ravenwing advanced allowing the white scars to pile down the flank towards the Wraithknight. Their entire army let rip but when the dust settled the Wraithknight survived on a single wound!! This was definitely the turning point in the game.

The Wraithknight didn't make the same mistake twice and walked through the speeders in short order. The Warden did the same for the black knights too. Meanwhile the white scars had left themselves bunched together so with help from the Warden's gatling cannon they were whittle down considerably killing both the librarian and chaplain in the process. The stormtalon had also arrived into the mix but fortunately within range of the Swooping Hawks who leapt over it sticking haywire grenades to its hull in the process and bringing it down. The Imperial Knight Warden then finished off the White Scar bikers.

We'd brought the Windriders onto the far side of the board without much consideration hiding them since everything was happening in the opposite corner. Their plan was to hop onto one of the objectives in the last turn (standard really!). The plan was scuppered when the remaining WS stormtalon and bikers came onto that flank and easily cut all three down. This left at least one of the 5 objectives in jeopardy with the potential for another to be contested since they were going second. Had the game ended on turn 5 we'd have lost two objectives. Fortunately for us we got right through to turn 7 which gave us enough time to get the Imperial Knights over with the last biker falling to a heavy stubber for the 18-0 tabling but not before the Swooping Hawks had done a number on another stormtalon!

Game Three vs. Skitarii/Blood Angels
We fully expected to be playing the winner from the second table which was a pretty scary combo of thunderwolves and cataphron destroyers but thanks to a big score from table 3 we found ourselves up against Tom and Anthony who were fielding a librarian, tactical squad, assault squad, 3 bikes (2 grav) plus a stormraven. The Skitarii half consisted of rangers, vanguard, 2 ironstriders, 2 dragoons and 2 onagers.

Sadly this proved to be another one-sided affair. We took down very little in the first turn apart from all three bikes for First Strike. In return they could only strip a wound or two from the Wraithknight. Since range and cover were an
issue the next turn didn't prove particularly destructive which meant the dragoons were able to charge the Wraithknight. Sadly for them they failed to harm him. Matt took one out in response but we forgot about Stomp so one survived to keep him locked in combat. The Swooping Hawks arrived and used their grenade pack to wipe out the vanguard. The ironstriders fell to the Imperial Knights who also mopped up the rangers and tactical squad with charges and two lots of single stomps rolling 6s! The Swooping Hawks then swept (pun intended) in and took out the onagers with haywire whilst the Guardians finished off the assault marines with the help of Guide.

That left the Stormraven to arrive on turn 4 and stripped another couple of wounds from the Wraithknight. Since it stayed up in the air we were unable to damage it but when we got a turn 6 they elected to hover to assault the guardians off the relic. That led to wraithcannons at the raven before the Warden charged in, finished off the tactical squad and librarian with its reaper chainsword. Game over, 12-0.

We finished with a maximum 44 VPs (although more would've been available had there been Heavy Support in Game 2) having only given up 3. The team in second place scored 26 VPs. Suffice to say I was pretty embarrassed but Matt being Matt, wasn't. As I said earlier, we were surprised by the relatively tame armies in attendance. Granted 750pts a-piece limits things but we still expected more FW stuff and other Wraithknights.

There's no question we were lucky with our first round opponents. I'm not sure we'd have faired well against 2-3 of the other lists in the mix that we fortunately avoided. In the end we played our first game on table 1 by chance and never moved. This suited me fine because a) I'm lazy and b) my Knights are based on snowy terrain and this was a snow table!

The Eldar took some hammer with the guardians taking heavy casualties in games 1 & 3. The wraithknight nearly bought it in 2 & 3 and the Hawks were heavily depleted in 2 as well. Ultimately the Eldar force was squishier meaning they got targeted far more. My Knights on the other hand only took 2 HP all day which goes to show how dominant they can be when they meet the right opponents. I don't think they're invulnerable by any stretch though but it was a nice way to christen them! They never felt particularly devastating although on reflection they did rack up a pretty decent death toll.

Daylight is your friend for photography!
I have to say the Swooping Hawks were the stars of the show for me. They annihilated the Scouts in game one. Took down two Stormtalons in game two (which the rest of our army would've struggled to do). They also cleared out a whole squad of skitarii and two onagers in three. For their points they were insane. I think they're an oft overlooked unit purely on the basis of their past. In their current form they're almost a must-have I reckon and not too expensive to justify inclusion.

Well, I can't complain with the £25 store credit and hence £9 Ghost expansion for X-wing (£42.99 RRP). What was disappointing though was that the organiser chose to abandon best painted awards because of the nature of doubles. Our team for example had a horrific clash of green and orange! It's a shame they didn't have a per player competition though. I'm not saying I'd have won but it'd be nice to be judged for my painting for a change. I've won Best Painted there before but that was in a field of barely painted models!

I have to say that playing doubles (and generally tournament play) has got me very excited for Double Trouble which is now under 3 months away. There are still tickets available of course and there aren't any superheavies allowed!! With that in mind, check back later in the week for a rundown of my list for DT and the mammoth hobby task ahead of me in the coming months!


  1. Knights are great unless you expect them, surprised the grav bikes didn't target them more, I rip through IK with Grav Cents and often with StormTalons with Assault Cannons and Stormhammer missiles into flank for no Invul saves from the Ion Shields. Guess they had more squishy Eldar to target ;) But taking out one Knight takes out 50% of your firepower so think it's worth it often.

  2. Was a great day, despite getting thrown about for our first and 3rd games. Thanks for being kinder with your report than the results showed!

  3. Nice one pal, though it does sound like you went prepared for cheese and ended up facing tuna instead!

    Where is the outpost in Sheffield? My in-laws live just outside Rotherham so I do sometimes make it out that way!

  4. I've misjudged the meta like that before. First time showing up at a new store, thought I was bringing something relatively tame, so I wouldn't come in as this hotshot trying to stomp everyone right off the bat. Ended up still winning the whole thing, with 31/33 possible Points. I felt sort of bad about it, but I still took the gift certificate.

  5. Congrats Alex (and Matt!). The Knights look great, love the orange colour scheme :) kudos.


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