With game 1 behind me, I surveyed the field and there were a variety of armies with a victory in the first round. From memory I recall seeing an IG army w/ Deathwing allies, two GK armies one w/ IG allies, a Tyranid players and a CSM w/ Epidemus. Naturally as the Daemon player at the event there was only one opponent I could have drawn.
Grey Knights - It had to be Grey Knights!
Actually I do not mind playing Grey Knights in general. While they do have some special rules that benefit them against Daemons (mainly preferred enemy and Warp Quake), they are at the end of the day expensive marines. If Daemons excel at wrecking anything, it is MEQ.
My opponent on this one is Paul, who I have played against in 5th edition in both team and free for all events. Fortunately, he decided not to bring Coteaz or Interceptors with him this time and instead opted for a very interesting - diverse army list.
Mission: Emperor's Will
Deployment: Vanguard Strike
Opponent: Grey Knights
HQGrand Master w/ Force Sword
Elites10x Purifiers w/ 4x Psycannons, 2x Daemon Hammers
Troops10x Strike Squad w/ 2x Psycannons
10x Strike Squad w/ 2x Psilencers (very cool!)
10x Terminators w/ 2x Daemon Hammers, 4x Halbreds, 4x Swords
Heavy SupportDreadnought w/ twin auto cannons and psybolt ammo
Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator
5x Purgation squad w/ 4x Incinerators
I rolled up my psychic powers and ended up with a horrible set. Dominate, Puppet Master and Spirit Leech which I switched to out of Terrify since Terrify is pretty much useless in this matchup. I won the first turn and threw down my Aegis with the comms relay so I could get out of LoS if possible. I made a big mistake here in my objective placement - I should have placed it dead center since he was likely to outflank and I biased it away from his deployment zone.
Those Soul Grinders are not on the field yet, they just felt left our while the cultists and Sorcerer were deploying. I do not have a good picture of Paul's deployment - other than after I deep strike in! Note his Dreadknight and his Purifiers are Outflanking.
Turn 1 - Daemons
We get Night Fight, so I have a little bit of extra protection from shooting. I choose my typical preferred wave of Bloodcrushers, 2x Soul Grinders, Flamers and Screamers. I get it - it seems like I have been failing on my preferred wave more often than not lately. My priority 1 is to knock out scoring units and Warp Quake units before moving onto some Terminators.
I scatter slightly with the Grinders (not shown in this picture, they are to the right) but everything else comes down without a snag. Including the Flamers who are ready to barbecue a strike squad.
The Flamers wipe out the strike while Grinder fire knocks down 3 of 5 in the Purgation squad. The Screamers destroy the Strike in front with their turbo boost and move to protect the Crushers from the Terminator unit. After running and shooting the board looks a bit more empty.
(Note the strikes are still standing there, but do not worry they are quite dead)
Turn 1 - Grey Knights
The predictable Warp Quakes go off on the two remaining strikes and the Terminators elect to have a go at the Screamers. This is not a bad move, since the Flamers would just be a nightmare with their overwatch and the Screamers would then wreck the Termis anyway. The Strikes moveup to extend Warp Quake and take some pot shots.
I lose 3 Screamers to assorted shooting, and also a crusher due to some bad luck against the Psilencers.
As expected the Terminators destroy the screamers (mainly due to Psyk Out Grenades) and sadly a single Screamer survives. There was a bit of a rules question in this game on this one. I had always taken Daemon Bane tests when a single wound was left on a model. So that means, if I have 2 Screamers and take 3 wounds, I would take 1 Daemon Bane test for the last Screamer. This may not be correct - but at the end of the day I would have been better off having lost the whole screamer unit so the Flamers could BBQ what was left.
Turn 2 - Daemons
I roll my reserves with the Comms Relay and everything comes in which is actually a bit of a problem. I was hoping to be able to better respond to his outflankers. The Fiends came down near my objective to provide support to the Cultists - who started to book it out of there. The Horrors and Daemonettes do the same - hoping to tie up those slow outflankers.
I apologize for the blurry pictures here - something was going on with my camera and the flash after I changed the batteries.
The crushers move up to finish the Strike Squad while the Grinder plans to tie up the Terminators. They have 2 Hammers, but I am hoping I can just keep them pinned in place for a few turns and whittle them down. The Flamers line up the Strike in the building for some additional flamer action and kill all but two who fail their leadership but only roll a 2. The free Soul Grinder finishes off the Purgation Squad and his objective is just about clear.
In retrospect I probably should have also charged the Dread - but I was hoping the grinder would finish the terminators and bail out the crushers. The Screamer predictably dies and he makes a ton of saves from my Grinder. The strike squad thought evaporates in a red mist.
Turn 2 - GK
Both the Purifiers and the Dreadknight arrive via outflank on my side of the board - I was hoping for a single turn to deal with 1 and then the other, but it was not to be. I do not have a great picture of his turn - but I do have one of my Fiends from my turn so I will summarize it as his Dread moves up to kick my Bloodcrushers in the face while his last Strike Squad member hides.
Turn 3 - Daemons
I lost 4 of my Horrors last turn to the Heavy Incinerator - pictured below and I get set to move up with the Daemonettes. I forgot for two turns I could Deny the Witch his Dark Excommunication, so the Fiends are busy poking at his 2+ armor save but more importantly creating a giant traffic jam in the back. The Fiends obviously make it into CC from the previous pictures while my Grinder manages to make a 12" charge into this one. The other Grinder is down to 1 Hull Point and I do not want his Terminators getting free on his turn.
I end up saving the glance he puts on the Grinder but his saves remain good and I can only knock down 1 or 2 terminators a turn. His Dread continues to punt my Bloodcrushers.
Turn 3 - GK
Pile in moves create a giant bottle neck in the back corner of the board - so his Purifiers have to congo line down the board edge.
He takes the bait - not really bait, but I just wanted him stuck in the corner and takes down a bunch more Fiends - as well as knocking down my last Horror.
Turn 4 - Daemons
This entire time my cultists have been working their way across the field. They are actually getting close to his objective in the building. They just need to traverse a gauntlet of Terminators and a kick happy dread. By the way I am down to 2 crushers from that thing! The Grinders have almost finished off the terminators at this point though too.
I continue my plan of throwing units at the GK and dump a unit of Daemonettes into the Purifiers. Unfortunately my poor difficult terrain and poor charge distance leaves 2 or 3 out and then I roll abysmally.
The Fiends throw some attacks on the Purifiers as well and I also eat a brutal cleansing flame in there too. Luckily, there are more bodies to pile up and these guys are not getting anywhere near my cultists on their way to the objective!
Turn 4 - 6
These turns move along because there is almost no GK movement. He shoots down the rest of my Horrors and I lose all my Fiends and Daemonettes. I did manage to kill one combat squad of Purifiers though for a moral victory.
The Dreadnought fails to take down the last Bloodcrusher as they continue their slap fight - actually I am doing the slapping, the Dread is really putting his 2 attacks to good use. The cultists make it to the objective and I take the game (but not on First Blood cheatiness!)
There are really only two ways the GK matchup can go. If you land your initial wave of Deep Strikers close by, then there is a great chance to steamroll the enemy. When they put you at range with Warp Quake - you need to play the objectives and often play for the draw. Paul and I talked at length after the game and I let him know how much I liked the diversity in his list. It was interesting to play against so many different types of threats not to mention Psilencers!?