Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blood Brothers (Doubles) - Battle Reports

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
This game would be Crusade with 3 objectives (one of which was fixed in the centre) on Dawn of War deployment. Our opponents had a kabalites in a raider, wracks in a raider, wyches, a haemonculus (who was pretending to be an inquisitor hence the alliance), cronos, infantry platoon, CCS, chimeras, veterans and a manticore.

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.

The raider was downed by the commander I think and a couple of pie plates from the riptides and fire from the wave serpent were able to vastly deplete both the kabalites and nearby wyches, making the kabalites flee the board. The wraithknight charged a squad of guardsmen and unsurprisingly swept them when they elected to break. The massive eldar construct was on a single wound though and the nearby veterans had plenty of melta. Unfortunately for our opponents all but one of the meltaguns missed and the one that hit, failed to wound. One of the wave serpents targetted the heavy weapons team on top of a small building and thanks to S6 was able to wipe them out despite cover. The wraithknight charged another guard squad with similar results whilst the wave serpent thinned out the veterans. The wracks raider arrived from reserve and sped across the field. It was ultimately destroyed but the wracks survived shooting from the newly arrived kroot to use their liquifier guns to wipe them out in return.

A 10-man infantry squad had now moved on top of the building but a combination of markerlight and pie plate wiped out the entire squad in a single shot. I have to say I was incredibly lucky with my scatter as the only large blast that did scatter only did so by 1". The dire avengers disembarked and with help from the wave serpent they were able to wipe out the wracks. The riptide on the left shot down the cronos and the commander and farseer wiped out the remaining veteran. This left just the company commander on his own inside the building. The wraithknight had attempted to blow it up but failed. However, we did control all 3 objectives and had both linebreaker and first blood giving us 11 out of a maximum of 12 points (since we'd missed out on Slay the Warlord). A pretty solid start.

Game Two - Ghostly Tides vs. Necrons and CSM
We might have hoped for table 1 or 2 but sadly we were on table 3 which was still upstairs in the sauna! This game was like Purge the Alien but with an interesting twist (one which I might consider for Blog Wars). Each army was worth 20 VPs regardless of the number of units. If you had 12 units like we did then you could choose how to distribute the remaining 8, we decided to put an additional 4 on each riptide. Our opponents gave all of their extra points to a unit of immortals in a night scythe. We'd be playing on Vanguard deployment. Our opponents had 3 night scythes (2 warriors, 2 immortals), 2 annihilation barges, vindicator, lord on juggernaut, 32 cultists and a pair of heldrakes.

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.

The next couple of turns are hazy but around this time they turned on another fan and suddenly I could focus again. This seemed to affect our dice too as in turn 5 we seemed to do a lot of damage. We managed to down the vindicator, the wraithknight was able to take down the lord second time around and the commander finished off the annihilation barge. The night scythes gunned down one unit of dire avengers too. One of the night scythes was downed but the one with the immortals was able to fly off the board in turn 5.

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
Luckily our second game had given us enough points to get onto Table 1 There was some debate about how legal this all was. Technically the tournament pack ruled that armies had to be made using the allies chart but, since Forge World was allowed, our opponents argued they could've formed it from the IA version and the regular codex. That wasn't really the problem though, the rules pack did allow each 750pt army to have 0-2 units each from Elite, Fast and Heavy which meant we'd be facing 4 annihilation barges! The rest of their army consisted of 2 flyers with warriors, a big group of wraiths with a destroyer lord and a veil court with pimped overlord.

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.

Their flyers arrived, one was stripped down to a single point by the riptide over on the right but the other riptide declined to fire. Neither suffered any wounds in return. The court charged the wraithknight costing them a couple of crypteks but causing a wound in return. The riptide that hadn't fire attempted to pie plate the wraiths. Despite managing 6 hits he only caused two wounds which were both save. Luckily he was able to make a 9" charge and engage them to hopefully hold them up. Fortune allowed him to hang in there for a long time but despite Smash no wraiths died as they slowly chipped away at him, even with Preferred Enemy on the wraiths he passed a disgusting number of saves and Ld tests. Still he'd tarpitted them long enough to buy us some breathing room. The wraithknight finished off the court who failed Ever Living rolls. Meanwhile the riptide used his melta to gun down another barge. The kroot arrived in opposite corners near our 3pt objective and one of theirs.

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 flyers reappeared. One lined up on 4 dire avengers holding one of our single point objectives and easily gunned them down. The other (with a single hull point) planned on killing off the kroot. The nearby riptide fired up its fusion blaster and blew it up before it had chance. We were still in trouble though, we'd be able to grab two of their objectives and score linebreaker but they'd have our 3-pointer, First Blood and Linebreaker plus if the wraiths killed the wraithknight they'd get Slay the Warlord (we were using Iyanden Warlord Traits) which would mean a 6-3 loss. Our turn 6 would need to be huge!

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.


  1. Well done guys! It's very impressive to see you guys win another doubles tourney, more so that you did it with a completely different army to your usual one.

    I think next time you should let your blog readers choose the army you take...!!

    1. Hmmm I'm not sure that'd work! Besides we like big stuff and I can't see ppl giving us them in an army.

  2. Good report

    Sounds like you had some close games

    So what are you planning on taking to the Sept Doubles then? I assume you are going to change the amount of scoring units due to the rulespack?

    With regard to the Wraightknight, do you think you would ever consider the scatter laser/suncannon version?

    1. We were thinking of taking the same list but you have a good point about the amount of troops. We could still win games with this list but would we score enough VPs? Perhaps not.

      The Riptides do a similar job to the suncannon. Tempting for the 5++ save but 40pts is too much and that's without scatter lasers. To me the S10 weapons are too valuable. They're excellent against both T5 stuff and vehicles.


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