Thursday 24 March 2016

Throne of Skulls March 2016 - Battle 5, Tyranids Vs Imperial Fists and Grey Knights

Next up Liam and his Imperial Fists [plus Grey Knights] - I've played both a Liam and a Scott this weekend and neither are the guys I came with. Rather disconcertingly Liam has colour matched his dice to his army - yellow. So for the first time ever I'm forced to abandon my dice and switch to my reserves - a motley selection of white dice from various Editions of the game. I certainly didn't want to corrupt his Chessex dice with my cheap ones off ebay. Still, I'd spend the game attempting to pick up the yellow ones...

Psychic Powers
Winged TyrantTervigonZoanthropeBroodkin Magus
DominionDominionDominionPsychic Shriek
Psychic ScreamOnslaughtWarp BlastHallucination
DominionThe Horror

The low down:
  • Into The Maelstrom - Cloak and Shadows
  • Warlord Trait - Reserve roll -1
  • Night fighting first turn, lost deployment, Liam elected to go second.
  • CARNAGE! effect:
    • Rage - 2A on charge
    • Counter Attack
    • Furious Charge
    • Re-roll wounds in assault
Liam had a really nice force that was for 30k but he was using all the Marines as Tactical squads. The only real concerns were the Grey Knights, Grav Centurions, Close Combat Centurions and the Deimos Vindicator Laser Destroyer hidden in that ruined building [not actually stationed on the roof].

As per every game the Flyrant moved up.

Getting a bead on the Tactical squad an punching a whole through their line.

Everything else followed up, the Stealers occupying the ruin out of sight.

These were my objectives for the turn.

I wasn't able to get any VPs out of them.

Liam's turn 1 and the Grey Knights arrive.

They flame the Rippers but somehow two survive.

The Grav Centurions Pod arrived, rather cinematically landing on top the wrecked rhino.

I think the Pod's Storm Bolter managed to put one wound on the Carnifex, only for the Centurions to remove the other three.

My turn 2 and the Tyrannocyte landed perfectly, disgorging it's occupant and hungrily aware of the
weaknesses in the Deimos rear armour.

Broodkin and Carnifex surround the Grav Centurions, Rippers and my 9 spawned [out] Gaunts head for the Grey Knights

The Flyrant gets behind the Fists back line, but within Psychic Scream distance of both Tacticals and Centurions. Purestrains venture forth, once again a misguided decision by me.

Shooting by the Gaunts manages to trim down the Grey Knights, only two remain by the end of the shooting phase.

The Flyrant shoots down most of the Tactical Squad, even having Jinked to avoid the Deimos. The last squad members stays resolute, alone.

The Tyrannocyte puts two glancing hull point on the Deimos, meaning I had to use the Carnifex to wreck. I;d been hoping catch the other Tactical squad with his shots. Either way I score 3 VPs from 'strike like lightening' - destroying a unit with a unit that arrived from reserve. I also gain another VP for destroying a unit. I'm 4:1 up.

Carnifex and Broodkin get into combat

Rending hits and the strength of the Carnifex prove too much for the Centurions.

The Rippers and Gaunts break the Grey Knights also

Meaning I get to consolidate.

The Purestrains manage to do only one wound.

And are smashed for their stupidity, with the combat Centurions setting their sights on bigger prey.

Now these are the 4 points I scored, but I can;t quite work out why I didn't get a VP for killing a unit in assault. I have some recollection Liam pointed out nothing actually died in assault, but the pictures seem to show otherwise, unless I've interpreted them wrongly, which is most likely.

Liam's Turn 2 and the Centurions advance on the Carnifex

and dispatch him with ease. They'd then wipe out the Broodkin and just as we moved into my Turn Liam was convinced he'd scored 'A Throne of Skulls' - to kill just 8 models in a turn [amongst many other options] and score 8 VPs. Luckily this picture was consulted and the 9 Broodkin, plus the Carnifex made 10 models killed. He did however score 2 VPs from other cards bringing it to 4:3.

The Broodlord and his attendant finally broke free of the ruins and killed the last surviving Tactical member, I may well have scored that objective too.

I also managed to capture this objective with the Rippers. But as with much of the weekend numbers were completely against me. I'd added another 3 VPs to my score but I'd unwittingly put 2 Rippers and 6 Gaunts within easy reach of the Centurions.

Who multi-charged the two units.

Killing all 8 models and securing not only the 8 VPs for 'A Throne of Skulls' but another 4 for various other cards in Liam's hand.

With a last desperate push I managed to swoop the Flyrant back and and alongside the Onslaughted Carnifex kill three of the Centurions, not enough to score anymore VPs.

The game was called at this point, the Stealers had got me Line Breaker for 8 VPs but Liam had hammered it home with 16, including First Blood. I don't think those Tactical guys are actually scoring LB, and the Captain was less than an inch and a bit from doing it. Carnage points he'd scored 54, whereas I'd managed just 35.

I can honestly say 'A Throne of Skulls' shifted everything, without that card Liam would have been on 4 VPs that turn which would have been a draw, or perhaps another card would have given him an extra VP to win anyways, but 8 VPs in one go, plus the 4, what can you do? It was a great game and we had quite a long chat, as I packed away. Apparently he's going to be setting up a YouTube channel visiting and reviewing/reporting on gaming tournaments of many varieties so look out for him.

So, five games, one win, one draw and three losses, 215 Carnage points and 42 VPs. I came 61st overall, which confused me as my entry number was 60. But overall I had an absolute great time, met some cool people and renewed my faith in the Warhammer World tournaments as a fantastic experience.


  1. Ouch, it's brutal when you get hit for so many points in one turn isn't it, happened to me a few weeks back in the final turn of the game, went from a modest winning position to a hammering with no chance to recover!

    1. Its the fickle nature of Maelstrom games :( they make it more interesting but these situations do feel weird. That said you can lose catastrophically like this but it happens so quick and with so little loss to your force you don't actually feel like you've lost, which isn't altogether unpleasant in the end.

  2. Dave or someone who is reading this, a couple of questions if I may, I find myself once more starting to dip my toe into 40k but then I read list & battle reports & I'm horrified at how bent & un-fun some armies can be.

    Q1 do you think that GW events are run differently from others & there for draw a different type of player.

    Q2 what are carnage points ? it is possible to said it somewhere but I missed it.

    Q3 I take it you guys where using special objective cards for the event, how did you find them, did you feel that some thing like the throne of skulls was to powerful ?

    Q4 with GW changing & seeming to be going back to bygone days, was there any chatter of them getting involved in tournament play outside of the ones they run at Warhammer World ?

    1. Not a problem Frank, I'll see if I can answer them I've a wrap up post that covers some of these points but I'll answer the crux of it and hopefully anything I miss will be covered in that.

      A1. I think the events are run differently. The Favorite game vote has been a bone of contention for a number of people. It's not quite a popularity contest because of it but as this is the defining scoring mechanism - those with the most game votes get the prize [as Scott did] then it's ordered by score. So you can't really influence if someone is going to give you that vote, I mean I think I'm a nice guy, I'm friendly and my army draws a lot praise. I had 5 very pleasant games, my list wasn't horrible, and I never slaughtered anyone winning just one game, drawing another and losing three but I got only one favourite game vote.

      Liam got three votes, has much of the same qualities but his army was Riptides and a Stormsurge on a Skyshield. He offed a Heirophant in one turn and struggled to go more than three turns with folk, but he got the favourite game votes and came 3rd overall! If he'd have got the 4th vote he'd have beaten Scott.

      What Warhammer World does do, and rightly so, is allow any and all armies. Why wouldn't GW want to showcase all of their range of miniatures at their events? But the beauty of the game vote is that ypu can bring a disgusting list but it's unlikely to win you any friends [Liam being the exception ;) ] so it should be self regulating. As much as the Ta'unar and the 4 Knights were horrible I don;t feel my enjoyment of the event was hampered because of it, in fact my success against the Knights was my highlight.

      I also think those events draw a lot of regulars so we see the same folk so that kind of shows they're doing something right.

      A2. Carnage Points were special for the weekend, it was a bit like blood points. You got 1pt for a wound, 2pts for a wound on a Monstrous Creature, I think 3 on Knight or Gargantuan. You also got 2 extra pts for killing an Independent Character. There was a prize for the person who scored the most Carnage points and in addition they were totted up and if we met a target number [never disclosed but always met] we gained a benefit for the following game - Rage, Counter Attack etc. This was because the whole event was some Dark Eldar Archon siphoning off the Carnage and using it to fuel his elixir of life.

    2. A3. Yes, special Carnage cards supplied by the venue, I think they're commercially made like the new Supremacy Mission cards, which oddly will be used in the next Throne of Skulls Event. You'd think the ones available to buy would be the ones used first.

      The cards are interesting in that it brings back 'killing' as the primary scoring focus. Unlike Eternal War missions where kill points is only one mission and Maelstrom where objective can be scored 2 or 3 times this swaps it to just 6 objectives and the rest all eliminations. I'm not a fan of kill point games, I'm notoriously bad at them but I would say this didn't feel quite as disheartening, even if my Carnage points were always less than my opponent, but then I did start the game with 129 to pick off!

      The cards themselves aren't 100% balanced and some - like the Pinning one raised more questions than I think the organiser had bargained for.

      'A Throne of Skulls' was 'Score 8 VPs if you can achieve any of the following this turn:
      * End your turn with only 8VPs
      * Slay only 8 units this turn
      * Slay 8 characters this turn
      * Slay only 8 models this turn during the assault phase'

      To be fair these are highly situational with the first and last being the most likely to be achieved. Ben managed it in one game. The 1VP for each 5 models killed was also a potentially high scoring card and 'Lord of the Dead' with 6VPS for a casualty or Hull point on every model in line of sight. TBH I'm looking at the cards now and I realise I didn't get to see half of them so there's some good points to be had to balance it out maybe my review will do them more justice

      A4. It seems they've already shown plans in the States of 'organised play', rumours on Faeit said so much just last week so it's definitely more likely now than it was.

      All I can say was that despite some of the dodgy lists [and I still think only two of my matches could be considered that, the 80 scouts isn't really any worse than my list] it was always fun and my mates agreed that they didn't feel anything was ridiculous that they faced. Between us we don't often face this sort of variety but we weren't disheartened by it. As an alternative, if you're still concerned I know of some folk who solely play 30k lists now. They're convinced it's much more balanced and not open to as much abuse. Of course it can be pricier [unless you go Betrayal at Calth] and on the face of it a bit one dimensional - power armour but here seems to be a wealth of variety in that alone and you can throw in AdMech too.

      Hope that helps.

    3. Thanks for taking the time & effort to reply Dave as there was so much to answer it could have been a post in itself.

      I'll keep my toe in the water & maybe even risk an ankle at some point mate.

    4. Not a problem, I did find out there's a character limit to replies though! 😀