Berks Spring Assault

berks-paThis weekend I went out for the Berks 40k Spring Assault in the Classic track, a 1000 point casual-oriented tournament. Unfortunately several other PAGE and Redcap’s people bailed at the last minute, but Tom M, Colin K, and Steve S were also there. The Classic track had 40 players, and the 2500 point Unleashed track another 16, so together with a bunch of organizers, judges, and spectators, there was a sizable crowd. This was actually my first time going to the Spring Assault, and I was not disappointed. Despite a couple rough games personally and winning absolutely zero of the many many raffle drawings, it was as expected a really fun day.

A few more photos from my games and just a couple of armies on display are in the photo gallery. Unfortunately there was enough going on all day, and my games busy enough, that I didn’t manage to get nearly as many photos as I usually do, particularly from the surrounding games and armies.



I went with something atypical for me—no Drop Pods, no Sternguard, no Knight (not permitted in this format!), no fortification, just dudes in trucks and some skimmer supports:

  • Captain Angholan (Vulkan)
  • Squad Scolirus: Tactical x10 w/ Veteran Sgt, Powerfist, Flamer, Missile Launcher, Rhino
  • Squad Harbinger: Tactical x6 w/ Veteran Sgt, Combi-Melta, Meltabombs, Meltagun, Rhino
  • Squad Titus: Tactical x10 w/ Veteran Sgt, Chainsword, Meltabombs, Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Rhino
  • Scouts x5 w/ Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles
  • Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
  • Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

That is a pretty traditional and fluffy Space Marine list, but has some units of dubious performance in the modern day. Landspeeders, particularly of this kit-out, are not super strong at the moment, to a large extent simply due to not getting the Salamanders’ flame re-rolls. But their high mobility can be useful in these kind of small games to grab objectives and such and I love them, so I went with it. Vulkan on the other hand is generally a very good unit for a combat-oriented Space Marine, he’s just a lot of points to sink into a single T4 infantry model at 1000pts.

The Rhinos I took over Drop Pods because I expected terrain to be slightly lighter than what we generally run, so I wanted something for my dudes to bunker up in. With such few units I was also worried about my ability to cover any Maelstrom type mission with dudes on foot after Podding in.

All in all, to foreshadow a bit, I wasn’t too shocked to struggle in two games against newer toys, and was pleased to do well in the other half of my games.

Round 1

Dawn of War, Crusade with 4 objectives, against Mark V H’s Eldar. His list had a good mix of units, I actually think it was originally designed for Highlander format as nothing repeated. I think it really hurt me this game to not have my usual Drop Pods and Sternguard. With the Pods I could have taken the fight directly to the xenos, potentially slagging his exposed D-Cannon artillery, and the Sternguard could have put poison and melta on the Wraithknight. As it was though, those barrage S10 AP2 shots tagged anything I did manage to hide from the walker and a Wave Serpent, with a Nightwing Interceptor coming in later to clean up. The Kingbreakers did take down the Wraithknight Aevethon’s Lament, but it was a pyrrhic victory just before they were swept away.



Round 2

Vanguard Strike, Purge the Alien with old school Victory Points (1 point for each 100 pts totaled among completely destroyed units), against Louis J and his Iron Hands. This kind of mission is always tough for me, and this seemed like just a particularly bad matchup for it. His army was a bit light on units, so playing for objectives I think I would have been fine. But for kill points all my light vehicles and troops rushing across a fairly open field at him seemed like they’d be tasty targets for his large quantity of S6+ long range shooting before I could get any melta into play: Dudes with lascannons, two Razorbacks w/ twin-linked Lascannon sponsons, grav Bikers, a Contemptor, a Sicaran, and a Master of the Forge. My usual Sternguard and Drop Pods again would have been useful here, to melta-drop some opposing vehicles. So, I kinda went to left field and played for a draw by reserving almost everything and hoping to simply keep it from being killed. Scouts I buried completely out of LOS within a hut to keep me in the game. Landspeeders I put on the table but very carefully out of LOS and range to anything, as juicy targets to try and draw the Iron Hands forward.



In the end I brought the ‘Speeders out of hiding too early and they got slagged before doing anything meaningful. Partly that was do to poor targeting priority, sending them against the bikers to protect the Scouts rather than trying to trade fire with the Razorbacks. The other Kingbreakers that came on and went right into hiding did some damage after the enemy finally came forward enough to strike at meaningfully. It wasn’t enough though and I went down to a minor loss. Potentially this goofball strategy could have worked if I’d changed the order up a bit, deploying a Rhino and flying on the Landspeeders, and overall stuck to my guns and done nothing but waited for him to come to me piecemeal. It was really difficult for me to do all that sitting around though, even as Louis was a great sport and found it hilarious that basically nothing happened for three turns. Overall I wouldn’t do this strategy again, and was probably kitted out to fight toe-to-toe with this army anyway, but it just seemed like something different to try and maybe put him off kilter and engender a major mistake tipping the balance. That almost worked, when he finally broke and started bringing units forward, but then Louis realized what was about to happen and stepped them all back just a few meaningful inches before I could bring on a solid thrust at them.



Round 3

Dawn of War, a variant on the Relic with additional immovable objective markers, against Chris S and his Dark Eldar. The Kingbreakers swept this one fairly systematically. Scouts got sacrificed as a ploy to bring some troops forward, which then got burninated as the meltas and missile launchers took down the opposing Raiders one by one. Even the Razorwing flyer eventually took a fair amount of damage. The Rhinos in turn just churned up field until they were controlling all three objectives and the xenos tabled except for the jetfighter. Here I think the Dark Eldar mostly just couldn’t bring on enough of a concentrated force to really score some major damage before the relatively fragile units could be rolled up one by one.




Round 4

Old-school Spearhead setup, fighting to kill and control monstrous creature Peeps, against Steve S and his Space Wolves Chaos Marines. This deployment setup is funny, and one that I actually think about a lot in coming up with new arrangements for our events. Each army gets a table quadrant to deploy in, but must be at least 12″ from table center. The thing is that it doesn’t really preserve the 24″ boundary. The corners closest to center are a fair bit closer, so you’re open to Turn 1 charges if you deploy there, first player Turn 1 charges no longer being barred by the rules AFAIK. I totally forgot about this, deployed in the forward corners, and got immediately charged by Steve’s horde of Chaos dogs, cyber dogs, and Thunderhammer-wielding lord and henchman on Juggernauts.

IMG_0777-cropped IMG_0779

That was basically ok, because a Landspeeder and Rhino went *poof* and then the whole horde was ideally placed for the entire Kingbreakers army to drop flame, meltas, bolters, missiles, and the kitchen sink on it. Being kitted out with a fair bit of flame, including Salamanders’ re-rolling flame on the infantry, was decisive in tackling the dogs. Re-rolling meltas due to Vulkan, combined with several missile launchers, plucked wounds off the Juggernauts fairly rapidly. I also got very lucky on Steve’s Stormwolf flyer not coming in until Turn 4. Earlier on it would have shifted the game back in his favor quite a bit.

As things went though, very quickly only the lords and a couple straggler dogs were left standing. Then the sugary bio-morphs arrived…



The Peeps came in via deep strike and wielded a WS4 BS2 S6 T6 W6 I2 A3 LD10 3+ Monstrous Creature, Eternal Warrior, Feel No Pain (5+) profile with Laser Eyes R18 S6 AP4 Assault 2. I brought mine in near my encampment so that it could fight the Juggernauts and then be easily claimed by my guys. Steve also dropped his Peep by my guys as he didn’t have much on the backfield except a Rhino charging at me, and hopefully it’d be able to do some damage on its own. Really though, the Peeps wound up being largely pushovers. Each of us wound up destroying the other’s Peep in close combat, Steve with his Juggernauts and me with powerfist wielding Sgt Scolirus. I was stoked because this kind of thing totally justifies my inefficient nostalgic dedication to powerfist sergeants.



After that there were a bunch of small combats. The lords got mopped up. Steve’s flyer arrived and together with the Rhino each delivered a handful of Chaos Marines into the battle, but by that point there were far too many Kingbreakers outnumbering them and they went down pretty easily. The Rhino managed to dash onto one of the dead Peep objectives to contest it, as we ran out of time before I could finish it off, move for Linebreaker, and so on to sweep up more points. But still the Kingbreakers had killed one Peep, held the other dead Peep, and had slain the Chaos warlord, for a doubled-points victory.



Final tally was that I got crushed by Eldar, took a minor loss to the Iron Hands, won a perfect game against Dark Eldar, and massacred Chaosy Space Wolves. So I lost two games I thought would be extremely difficult just based on armies (let alone players, Mark from Round 1 finished 7th overall), crushed a game I in some sense should indeed have won (newer player to this edition, with a difficult to play army), and wrapped up the day winning the game I wanted to win but could have gone either way (against Steve, a friend and good player who’s crushed me many times).

The scoring system is a little opaque, but my painting and sportsmanship must have boosted what on average seemed a middling amount of points per game, to put me 11th of 39 registered players in the final standings. Tom finished an impressive 8th, and Colin and Steve 17th and 18th for all of us to finish in the top half.


All in all, yet another excellent Berks tournament. Bonus points to Berks and Mike B for the best catered lunch I’ve seen at a 40k event, notably including tons of vegetarian options. I was super glad I went despite it being a crazy weekend—Friday I moved, just barely managing to keep my 40k stuff from being lost among all the unopened boxes, and Sunday I ran a small but intricate tournament. I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s Spring Assault already, and hopefully we’ll get more people to come out from Philly and enjoy such a great event.


Redcap’s February 40k 1250pt Doubles!

kingbreakers-iconFor their February 40k tournament, Redcap’s ran a great doubles competition.  Jason and I paired up as TEAM WOLFKOPF to hunt the fallen and purge the tainted.  With such a badass name we basically had it in the bag beforehand and confidently approached the event as such, with a complete lack of pre-planning.  Fortunately he’s pretty much got his set list caveat some detail quibbles, and I’ve got my set list, and away we go!

Turnout was really good, many armies were painted, and final standings evenly spread:

  1. Montgomery Shelmach (IG+Orks) 21
  2. Wolf Kop (SM+DA) 17 [Jason and Joe]
  3. Kielick Kielick (CM+CD) 14 [Colin and Brett]
  4. Harmon McCole (N+CM) 13 [Lovell and Tom]
  5. Culver O’Branty (GK) 12 [Buford and Lorenzo]
  6. Maroulis Wash 11
  7. D’Andrea Warrick (CM) 9
  8. Roe Barnhart 7 [Benn]
  9. Cook Mousen 6
  10. Dang Hinds 5
  11. Wolfson Lydon 4
"Overkill" has no meaning to the Guard.

“Overkill” has no meaning to the Guard.

As usual the missions were fairly straightup, though with very difficult bonus point conditions.  E.g., a point in the middle round went to tabling your opponent in or before Turn 4.  In the last round a point went toward securing effectively all of the secondary objectives.  I’m actually a fan of that difficulty though as in theory it really helps differentiate the teams.

This was actually the first doubles tournament I’ve played, and I thought it was super awesome.  Though I was too busy to coordinate well with Jason beforehand, once I sat down to get ready I was actually pretty excited.  For one thing, doubles means you’re guaranteed to spend the day with someone you like rather than just a string of random and potentially less cool opponents (though the community at Redcap’s is pretty good).  It also lets you unfocus here and there to regroup, take pictures, etc..  Having a partner also helps mitigate gaps and weaknesses.  It’s pretty neat to see PAGE guys all over the top of these standings.  Having all played together for so long and being both friendly and familiar with each other’s armies and styles, we’re well set to fare well as doubles.

Iron within, iron without.

Iron within, iron without.

Redcap’s has also increasingly dialed in their tournament format.  Yesterday ran very smooth, had some extra time to account a bit for everyone playing slow, and had straightforward but good missions.  The players are all pretty cool, and the terrain tables really good.  Even the little touches are coming together, like having the relevant page numbers in the mission briefs.


I brought my standard Kingbreakers: Capt Angholan (Vulkan), Rorschach (Librarian), Sternguard in Drop Pod, Tactical w/ Razorback, Tactical w/ Rhino, 2x Landspeeders.  Jason brought what appears to be his now-standard army: Huge group of dudes dropping with Belial, smaller group of dudes dropping on their own, 2x Combat Squads w/ Plasmacannons.

I contemplated changing things up, e.g., switching to a more defensive role with some Predators and other stand-back-and-shoot units.  However: 1) That’s my best painted force.  2) With Belial and friends coming down Turn 1 and reliably targeted, it seemed not unreasonable to build on top of that with yet more first turn attacks, Drop Podding away as usual.  On that line, I considered going all-Drop Pod for a pure alpha strike combined force, but point (1) overrode that idea.

Round 1

The first game we went against Aaron and Bob’s Death Guard and Tau army in a Purge the Alien mission.  I was particularly happy with this pairing for this mission.  Annihilation is neither my nor my army’s strong suit, and I would have been more nervous against a more robust or assault-ready army.  In this pairing though we were the harder, more assault oriented army.  This pairing took away some potential stress in our weakest mission.  On the downside, it was then unfortunate for us that the round was a Hammer and Anvil deployment, playing on the short edges.

All hail the Death Guard!

All hail the Death Guard!

Target acquired, vectoring in!

Target acquired, vectoring in!

The Tau rolled on the warlord traits to invoke Nightfighting, which would have been great for them with their Blacksun Filters were it not for our alpha strike already being up in their grill.  The strike went fairly well and we started the game with a lot of energy.  In the middle we lost some momentum as units began to flee the mobility limited alpha strike units.  Playing across the length of the table, my oncoming mobile Tacticals had too far to go to get in contact with the squishy bits, particularly while getting shot up by Tau railguns.  At the last though we pulled out a victory through a combo of Belial’s mega blob wiping out several units at once in the last turn and some Kingbreakers Tacticals ganging up to cut apart the Death Guard biker warlord in close combat.

The Tau/Death Guard combo is an interesting doubles or allied army:  Plague Marines and standard Chaos troopers provide a hardish outer shell with a lot of durability, enabling the Tau to sit behind and ping away with heavier firepower.  I don’t think Aaron and Bob’s particular lists were super optimized to that effect, in particular it needed more focus on Tau shooting and less on mobility to play that role, but I think the general combo has high potential.

The Emperor protects!

The Emperor protects!

There will be blood!

There will be blood!

Round 2

Next we faced Walter’s Dark Eldar in the Scouring.  This was an interesting matchup in that both armies are pretty mobile, in slightly different ways: He comes on slow but then can move a lot to wherever he needs to be.  We come on hard wherever we need to be, but can’t move much after that.  With six objectives on the table, all of varying worth, and a lot of mobility, the board wound up a sprawling mess with units everywhere.  One downside for us is that the DE don’t really have high-value units to alpha strike, which was exacerbated by Walter reserving much of his force.  On the upside, between the Deep Striking units and the mobilized Tacticals, we were able to be on, contesting, or immediately threatening all of the opposing Dark Eldar objectives on Turn 1.

Fly, my pretties!

Fly, my pretties!

The home front situation though was less rosy.  One mistake we made in setup was falling into the easy trap of “playing fair” with our objectives.  I think many people have some innate urge to spread objectives apart or put them in “reasonable” places.  Ours were certainly spread across too much of a line in our deployment zone; we should have put them into a tighter triangle.  As it was, we wound up with a bunch of small Combat Squads trying to hold a very thinly spread deployment zone.  Most of them got rolled by large, mobile DE squads of Helions and Jetbikes.

When Terminators---let alone Belial---are going to ground, you've got problems.

When Terminators—let alone Belial—are going to ground, you’ve got problems.

Deep problems.

Deep problems.

Consequently, the middle of the game looked very grim for us, but we actually turned it around for a crushing victory.  Once we recovered from significant early losses and lost objectives, we got back into what for me is the standard mode of play: Focus on the objectives, nothing else matters.  You can bleed and bleed and bleed, but in the end if you’re holding the ground, you’re going to win.

That’s pretty much what happened.  We lost almost everything, but in the end had a scoring unit—really just scoring dudes, the remainder of the units being obliterated—on the mid value objectives, contested the high value objective, kept troops off another, and had taken enough secondary objectives to completely swing the results.  Excitingly, Belial even managed to slay the enemy warlord, netting us two victory points—one for standard secondary objective, the other for the Dark Angel leader’s personal Hunt.

Round 3

Finally we faced Chris and Dante’s Chaos Marines in a contest over the Emperor’s Will.  This was another super bloody confrontation and the atmosphere in TEAM WOLFKOPF HQ was pretty bleak for the bulk of it.  In the end though it was another crushing victory for the good guys, driven by a trademark very bloody exchange of units for time and ground.

We come in peace?

We come in peace?

One thing we did right here was just straightup putting our home objective as hard into a corner as the rules allow, and building a dense block of Terminators and Tacticals around it.  In the opposing corner, Chris did a good job of building a bubble wrap defense around his hard hitting units—a Vindicator and Rhino-mobilized maxed out sorcerers—to prevent the alpha strike from wiping them out.  Critically though, he put that hard in the opposing corner.  This made it really tough to hit effectively, but as it turned out did enable us to basically pin them in against that corner.

Into the valley of death rode the 600...

Into the valley of death rode the 600…

On the one hand we wasted ridiculous amounts of points there.  Belial’s entire unit, almost 800 points, was wiped out after multiple sorcerers cast Feeble on it, debuffing them down weaker than Guardsmen.  Almost 500 points of Sternguard and Librarian Rorschach were similarly wiped out after being decimated largely through our own fire: Scattered plasma blasts coming in from the back defenses, and—in the final insult—Rorschach obliterating a 35pt Rhino with an extremely risky but well placed Vortex of Doom, only to have the vehicle explosion wipe out ~150pts of Sternguard…  This was all especially unfortunate as in some sense we hadn’t accomplished much, the Kingbreakers having failed to break open Rhinos and expose the contents for Belial to crush.

On the other hand, that’s what won the game.  Though they eliminated little, all those burned points bought us precious time and ground pinning the enemy’s core into that corner. Sure, it looked really bad when that Rhino wiped out a ton of my guys.  But as soon as it blew up, the enemy had basically zero chance of getting ground units anywhere near our home objective.  In contrast, while all this had been going on, the Kingbreakers’ mobile Tac Squads had been bashing through the center of the table, again taking extravagant casualties, but getting in place to contest the Chaos objective at the end of the game.  Combined with putting just enough focus on the secondary objectives and a couple lucky shots—e.g., a Demon Prince being Insta-gibbed in Turn 1 by a scattered Vortex of Doom!—and we carried the day.

Forward men, into the breach!

Forward men, into the breach!

General Analysis

Jason and I are both still weak against psychers and flyers. The sorcerers in Round 3 did an incredible amount of damage by debuffing Belial’s blob.  This was a bit of an oversight on our part, we should have kept the Librarian closer to at least have a better shot to Deny the Witch or not put so many points quite so close to the sorcerers; we knew Belial would be in trouble, didn’t think it’d be that much trouble.  Against the flyers I’m not sure what to do.  We’d probably have to bring in some allied units with Skyfire so it’s at least realistic to shoot at them.

Huh... They've brought a dragon.

Huh… They’ve brought a dragon.

And they’ve brought a bomber. Great.

It helped us a lot that the games tended to play slow.  Counter-intuitively, doubles games are probably naturally slower than standard play unless both teams really focus on acting in parallel.  It also sneakily increases the number of points in play.  In this case everybody approached it as a standard relaxed pace tournament, but in reality it was 2500pts in 2.5 hours, plus required coordination time with your partner.  It really needed a ‘Ard Boyz/Apocalypse style focus on getting it done, but that wasn’t the initial mindset so nearly all tables and games wound up playing few rounds.  With our alpha strike approach and insistence on giving away tons of units in exchange for ground, short games worked out to our benefit.  In many cases we would not have been able to hold or contest objectives for much longer.

My Landspeeders did even worse than usual.  They generally accomplished little and straight up gave away a couple victory points in one or two of the scenarios (First Blood, VP for FA Kill, etc).  The one big caveat is that one of them did secure the second round win by being able to zip pretty far over and claim an open objective on the last move (Fast Attack being scoring units in the Scouring).  Similarly to the point above, I really should have approached this more like the 2500pt tournament it was and been more careful with them, in contrast with a 1250pt tournament where there would be less things on the table capable of killing them.

Skimmers we fear not at all...

Skimmers we fear not at all…

Clearly the most important lesson of the day though, something I have to periodically remind myself: Don’t play with plasmacannons and Vortices of Doom in enclosed spaces!

As usual, there are more photos, with many more very nice armies, in the Flickr gallery.

Redcap’s 40k 1750pt January Tournament

kingbreakers-iconRedcap’s January 40k tournament seemed a resounding success!  Benn and Adam have been refining the store’s standard tournament procedures and writeups, making the whole thing much more predictable and streamlined to go along with their great pile of terrain.  Fourteen people showed up for it yesterday!  Final results:

Redcap's Corner

  • Jonathan (Eldar) 19
  • Steve Smith (Traitor Wolves w/ IG) 18
  • Owen (?) 16
  • Jason Woolf (DA) 13
  • James (IG) 13
  • Colin Kielick (Chaos w/ Daemons) 12
  • Joe Kopena (Kingbreakers) 12
  • Aaron (Death Guard) 9
  • Andrew (Wolves) 8
  • Harrison (Tau) 7
  • Walter (DE) 5
  • Joel (Necron) 3
  • Lorenzo (GK) 4
  • Buford (Wolves) 3

Missions were pretty straight-up, as usual (which is good):

  • Crusade/Vanguard, 1BP for all secondaries, 1BP if opponent has no heavies on table.
  • Purge/Dawn, 1BP if all HQs survive, 1BP if all troops above half strength.
  • Big Guns/Hammer, 1BP for double linebreaker, 1BP for destroyed opponent HQs.

The watcher at the gates.


I screwed up, previously misread both the time and points value for the tournament, and had to furiously revise and hustle over when I went to double check both and realized I should be at the store already…  I wound up with exactly 1750 points of:

  • Capt Angholan (Vulkan)
  • Librarian Rorschach (Librarian) w/ Terminator Armor, Storm Shield, Null Zone, Vortex of Doom
  • Dreadnought w/ MM, CCW/HF, Drop Pod
  • Sternguard x10 w/ Combi-Melta x6, Powersword, Drop Pod
  • Tactical x10 w/ Powerfist, Meltagun, Plasmacannon, Razorback w/ HK
  • Tactical x10 w/ Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Rhino w/ HK
  • Tactical x10 w/ Flamer, Missile Launcher
  • Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
  • Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
  • Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
  • Predator w/ Autocannon, Heavy Bolter sponsons

The Librarian I find useful and not particularly over costed when you pack him into Terminator Armor with a Storm Shield.  The 3++ is a big buff to his baseline survivability, and being Relentless makes it much more likely he’ll be able to throw some vortexes around.  A lot of people worry about the latter (hell, I worry about casting it…) and will focus a fair amount of concern on him.  Null Zone will also really wreck some armies’ day.

The Plasmacannon is actually super cheap (5pts) riding with a Tactical Squad and at various points I’ve used them a lot.  I threw one in here because of the increased 6th ed focus on foot troops and the generally power armor heavy environment at Redcap’s.  In general I’d love to bring a unit of Devastators with them, but they’re just a bit point costly for 1750 pts and below.

Landspeeders are a tough call, but at this point they’re part of my thing.  At smaller games they’re super versatile.  At this many points though there’s just so many things on the table that can kill them and have nothing better to do, sitting in the backfield.  Still, the combo of being able to focus on either troops or vehicles/big guys is pretty useful to me.

Round 1

After the Kingbreakers finished purging some Chaos infestation, Lorenzo’s Grey Knights showed up to wipe their minds and claim the credit.  We would have none of that!

Coteaz directs his men into the temple of doom!

Coteaz directs his men into the temple of doom!

This wound up a massacre in favor of the Kingbreakers, but was actually a fairly close drawn thing. In the last two turns there were two critical outcomes.  One was the Sternguard, who’d managed to survive largely intact all game, sacrificing themselves to stick up Coteaz and friends in an assault.  This held the GK up just long enough that they didn’t have a chance to wipe out nearby Squad Titus and thus could only contest rather than hold the latter’s objective deep in GK territory.  The other was a standard Tactical Squad wiping out the remnants of a Terminator Squad in assault after the latter has been decimated by repeated volleys of fire, preserving a Kingbreakers’ objective.  Morale played an important part several times, which is always good to see as in some editions I’ve felt it somewhat meaningless.

I think Lorenzo’s Grey Knights here were hobbled by a lack of mobility.  They all managed to Deep Strike pretty well to shoot away at stuff and get onto one objective, but then they had to slog toward the others while getting shot up.  In contrast, while the GK were still arriving the Kingbreakers managed to get troops onto all five objectives, spread all across the board.  That gave them the momentum and the defensive stance, requiring they be pushed off rather than having to fight on.

Beyond that, I was fairly happy with the Marines’ ability to steadily whittle away at the GK through sheer volume of fire.  The changes to Rapid Fire in this edition were a huge improvement to mobility and shooting, and I think made the game much better and balanced out a lot of issues.  Without the ability to shoot at range on the move, the Marines were much much more crippled in producing a meaningful volume of fire.

The forty-yard stare.

The forty-yard stare.

Round 2

Next some Dark Angels jerks showed up all upset because the Kingbreakers were rockin’ the Gryphon Sepia first.  I guess the KB will be changing their paint scheme, because they got hammered here in a crushing loss.

The basic challenge here is that Jason’s Deathwing drop something like 5 kill points.  Kingbreakers bring like 16.  That’s a hard ratio to have to keep in check in an annihilation round.  Especially when those damn Drop Pods are so tall they can be seen over basically anything.  I’m sawing them in half right after I finish this report.

I thought pretty hard about not deploying anything in order to minimize exposure and help mitigate that imbalance.  However, my biggest concern there was the likelihood of my guys getting chewed up piecemeal as they entered.  A single Tac Squad isn’t going to do much against Belial’s mob of doom.  Hell, my entire army shooting at them barely dealt with it in a timely fashion.  So, I deployed mostly as usual in hopes of being able to concentrate fire and limit my exposure.  In the end though there were just too many kill points on offer.

By the time Belial and goons were down the numbers were not looking good.  At that point I could almost have fully retreated and maybe held to a minor loss.  However, I wasn’t going to be able to do anything about the Drop Pods now on the table and it was looking like that would tip him to a major anyway, so I felt I had to try and rush some of his oncoming guys, take out a small unit of Terminators, and hope for a Turn 5 end to stick for a minor.  That didn’t really work out.  I’ll have to think a lot more about this army as I’m sure I’ll be seeing it around a lot, from Jason and others.  Otherwise, this mission never happened…

Round 3

Finally we dispensed with the internecine internal jealousies of the Kingbreakers’ awesomeness to slaughter some xenos: Walter’s Dark Eldar leapt into the opening on our dance card.  This wound up a massacre in favor of the Kingbreakers.  The emperor’s men basically formed a wedge pushing down the center of the table onto the objectives as the fallen ones tried to flank along both sides.

The fallen lay in wait.

The fallen lay in wait.

I’m still not too sure what to make of the Dark Eldar.  I feel like I should be really scared of them, with some strong assault units and tons of crazy powers and rules going on.  I haven’t played against a DE army composition though that really made me worry.  Ultimately they’re just not super survivable compared to Marines, especially when the latter have a couple highly mobile flame templates whizzing around.  They just don’t seem to have really tough nuts to crack in the same way that loyalist and traitor Marines both do, Tyranid are great at, and even IG can field with some of their very destructive and well armored vehicles.  However, Walter says he’s bringing his flyers next time, so we’ll see how that goes.  There’s not a ton of air action at Redcap’s yet, so I’m definitely behind the curve on preparing to defend against it.

Kingbreakers stare down the horror.

Kingbreakers stare down the horror.

General Analysis

Two things I really need to brush up on and ready for: Psychers and flyers.  Neither are very present at Redcap’s right now, but I’m just walking on ice by not having a great plan for either.  It is definitely unfortunate for me how seriously psychic hoods got debuffed this edition.

I might also think about a Predator-heavy force like I’ve used a few times, possibly with a couple Dreadnoughts for assault and forward action.  They’re both fairly tough to crack, and in our current scene it seems like people may not be really bringing much to go against AV 12 or 13.  In contrast, Jason’s Belial-ball-of-doom notwithstanding, people do seem to have diffused their armies.  There aren’t as many high value attractive targets just asking to be alpha striked by the Kingbreakers’ Sternguard.  A couple times now I’ve had no great options on juicy targets worth dropping on.

There are more photos in the day’s photo gallery.  Notably, a fairly high percentage of the armies in play had a good amount of painting and customization going on, which is great.

Grrr, leave me be, unpainted wretches!

Grrr, leave me be, unpainted wretches!