Monday, September 16, 2013

Da Boyz GT: T - 9 Weeks - Practice Tournament-G2

With a victory in the first game of the tournament I was in rare company - with approximately half the field - of being undefeated.  That game was against a Grey Knight opponent and the battle report can be found here.  This game saw me matched up on a fairly open table - there is a hint on the table as to my opponent's army.

It appears Grey Knights (GK) are appropriately hunting Daemons.  I discuss my list (with a swap of a fiend for a Locus of Fury) here.  My opponent brought a hybrid mech list with a pair of Dreadknights, summarized below:

Grand Master w/ Blind Grenades, Rad Grenades, Psycannon
Warlord Trait: Opponent's use lowest leadership for tests


10x Terminators w/ 2x Psycannon, Brotherhood Banner, Psybolt Ammunition, 2x Hammers, 2x Swords, 2x Halbreds
10x Strike Squad w/ 2x Psycannon, Psybolt Ammunition in Rhino
10x Strike Squad w/ 2x Psycannon Psybolt Ammunition in Rhino

Fast Attack

Heavy Support
Dreadknight w/ Jump Pack, Greatsword, Heavy Incinerator
Dreadknight w/ Jump Pack, Greatsword, Heavy Incinerator

Mission Parameters
Mission: Big Guns Never Tire
Deployment: Vanguard Strike

Pregame Thoughts
This game is going to come down to - more than any other - the specific matchups that I can achieve.  The Hounds need to get into the Strike Squad while avoiding the Terminators and Dreadknights.  They need to do so with a Fiend Escort to prevent power weapon shenanigans from wrecking them and to let them go first.  The Fiends really need to avoid the Dreadknights - since they can instant kill them very easily and force a terrible instability test.

The Daemonettes and Seekers are perfect to hit the Dreadknights and/or the Terminators who will waste their force weapons on those units.  With Dark Excommunication not removing rending anymore - nor more Daemonic Gift of Rending Claws - they can finally eat up Dreadknights without requiring multiple rending units to hit at once.  If I miss on any of these charges it could cost the game.  In the meantime Fateweaver's role is to whittle down the Terminators with her AP1/2 weapons and tear open transports where possible.  She needs to survive for me to manipulate the Warp Storm effectively so I will play fairly conservatively.

Psychic Powers/Daemonic Gifts
Fateweaver: Left Head (Misfortune/Molten Beam)/Right Head (Endurance/Psychic Shriek)
Horrors: Flickering Fire/Flickering Fire
Khorne Herald: Grimoire of True Names

I win the first turn and decide to deep strike the Horrors and Daemonettes.  The rest of the army lines up as close as possible - if I am seized on and the Dreadknights teleport forward they are dead on the spot from Seekers/Fiends/Hounds hitting them all at once - so I am not worried about being too clumped.

Both Skull Cannons are deployed to be able to move up as the game progresses and grab the objectives.

The Grey Knights deploy weighted towards their left flank.
With the Terminators deployed dead center and the Rhinos spread out a bit I have a good opportunity to get the hounds out of Line of Sight and away from the Dreadknights.  I am going to try to sweep up his right flank and pivot around a central stronghold of Fiends and Seekers.

Turn 1 - Daemons

The GK fail to seize the initiative and I move up - keeping most units out of Line of Sight.  Fateweaver casts Endurance and will do so each turn while the Hounds get the Grimoire - they succeed unless otherwise specified.
Between the Skull Cannons and Fateweaver I managed to grab first blood with a Rhino Kill through Hull Point attrition - those GK are not dead, they just have not been placed yet.  I also manage a 10 on the Warp Storm table.

Turn 1 - GK
I missed a picture of Turn 2 because it got a little more intense than I intended for it to be.  My opponent moved forward with his 2x Strikes and Terminators and took aim at Fateweaver - the first round of shooting grounded her - even with a reroll.  She then loses 3 of her 5 wounds - and was very close to losing the last two.  I also learned a valuable lesson here - psycannons firing in heavy mode can lay down snap shots at flyers - so I was eating 8 psycannon shots from the first strike squad rather than 4.  Luckily for me, one of the Dreadknights advanced dangerously close to my seekers.  My opponent also wisely Flat Outed a rhino to block my advance.

Turn 2 - Daemons
I get a Horror squad from reserve and deep strike it towards the left flank to take some shots at the Rhino blocking my path and everything moved forward.  I use the Skull Cannon to give my Seekers Grenades against the Dreadknight - and to eat overwatch.

The Hounds move into the first strike in conjunction with the Fiends and wipe the unit before they can swing.

Turn 2 - GK
The Fiends who wrecked the Rhino are ready to get pasted by the free Dreadknight.
The Dreadknight makes me miss Eternal Warrior as it wipes the squad.  In the background my opponent made a slight mistake and fired his Strike Psycannons in Heavy mode which means he cannot charge the Hounds.

The left flank is looking good at this point for the Daemons, while the Dreadknight on the right bites the dust.

Turn 3 - Daemons
Fateweaver cannot see the Dreadknight to misfortune it, but advances to attempt psychic scream.  She gets denied by the Dreadknight!
The fiends in this picture are moving so after they crush the strikes they can shield the hounds.

The Seekers are close on a charge - it is about 8" from this position but overwatch means I lose the front 2!  With fleet I get an 11" which is enough to make it - especially when measuring from the Seekers near the wall.  I thought about charging Fate to eat overwatch first, but if I failed with the Seekers I did not want to lose her to the S10 hits.

While note in the combat, the Daemonettes run behind the wall to avoid being toasted by the terminators.

Turn 3 - GK
The GK have taken a beating, but the central Terminator unit remains a huge threat - especially with defensive grenades on the unit.

The terminators charge and wipe out all but 1 Seeker - who is too far away from combat to consolidate back in.  The seeker was originally almost 11" away, but rolled a great consolidation so she can die for the cause.

Turn 4 - Daemons
The terminators Deny the witch on misfortune - which means no Psycchic Scream.  Fates other shooting knocks down a pair of Terminators.  The other Horrors come in near the far objective and sit on it.

The last seeker dies for the Daemonettes overwatch while a combine charge of Fiends, Hounds and Daemonettes creates a giant scrum in the center.  I setup the Fiends so that the Brotherhood Banner and a Hammer are going to have to take most of their damage - and I ace the Banner to prevent automatic Force Weaponing of Hounds/Fiends.

The Dreadknight endures the Daemonettes while all but two Terminators are taken out from the combined might of the Fiends, Daemonettes and Flesh Hounds.

Turn 4 - 5

These turns move quickly since there is only the assault to worry about.  I resist additional damage but somehow cannot get down the Grand Master.  I even throw Fate in there on the last turn - because who else should be fighting a GK Grand Master!

Final Score is Daemons: 8 GK: 0 

Major Victory for the Daemons!

Game Thoughts
I made a mistake early with Fateweaver and almost lost her far too early in the game - which could have been a huge hit.  Luckily, she managed to stick around and just reaffirmed why I generally dislike using expensive multi-wound models like Daemon Princes or Greater Daemons.  My experience with Daemons in this game definitely worked out, I think the way to handle my army would have been to focus on the Seekers/Daemonettes early - and then to use the Dreadknights aggressively afterward.  Even if they had played keep away for most the game and then Teleport contested (or even scored due to Big Guns) this could have easily been a draw.  In most cases, though, playing Dreadknights aggressively up a flank is going to overwhelm many opponents.

I took a look around after the round and I saw that among the undefeated players thus far were Hyv3mynd and Crimaathan from the Blog plus two other players.  From an army composition standpoint that is an Eldar/DE, Tyranids, Space Marines (with 2 Land Raiders!) and Guard.  Finally, I was going to play something that was not Grey Knights.


  1. Thanks for your report Calypso. Alway enjoy reading them. Good to see the Daemons are doing well again.

    In your list selection did you give any thoughts to using a LoC over Fateweaver? I ask because I'm working on a similar list with minimal CSM support. Currently:

    HoT, Disc, ML3, ER (Grimnoire)
    HoK, Jugger, ER (Portalglyph), LR
    CSM Sorcerer, Bike, ML3, Forceaxe, MBs
    18 Daemonettes
    10 Pink Horrors
    10 CSM Cultists
    11 Fleshhounds
    7 Screamers
    5 Spawn, MoN
    CSM Maulerfiend
    Soulgrinder, DoK, Phlegm

    I'm worried about my lack of power against things like Iron Clad Dreadnoughts and Wraithknights/Riptides/Dreadknights etc. The LoC would be a great boost vs. those targets compared to Fateweaver. Also I feel the LoC has greater survivability over Fateweaver. I wonder how those qualities weigh in compared to Fateweavers rerolls.

    What is your experience with Fateweavers resilience/damageoutput vs. the necessity of his re-rolls?

    Thanks, Cilithan

    1. Glad you enjoy the reports - there is one more in the works for this week to round out the tournament.

      I did consider running a Lord of Change - actually what I really considered running was a unit of Flamers and a unit of Screamers/Tzeentch heralds over Fateweaver. I have played with a Lord of Change though and the LoC really fulfill very different role from Fateweaver.

      The Lord of Change is actually a potential CC monster (S8 staff, 3 Divination rolls for Precognition, 2x Lesser survivability gifts) all turn him into a much more aggressive monster than Fate. He can take some shooting - notably Flickering Fire at 4d6 if his other powers stink, and he is not ID from S10 so he can smash away at Dreads and MC with relative impunity. If what you want is that kind of power - then he is the way to go.

      What Fate really brings to the table is a wide range of buffs - Biomancy, Divination and Telepathy are loaded with strong blessings/maledictions and even Fire Shield is good. He has a lot of shooting if his buffs are not needed and/or there are some flyers to kill but most of all he guarantees Lord of Unreality. I never suffered a negative Warp Storm result for the entire tournament - I rolled double 1's once, and a 3 once that I promptly rerolled. On top of that, when you roll a 5 or 6 paired with a 1 or 2, you can reroll the dice for a very good chance at +1 invuln, possession or 2d6+3 lesser daemons. All of those results can be game breaking.

      With how diverse the meta is right now - it is really impossible to have good solutions for every unit. I have opted to ignore AV 13 walkers for the most part since a unit with 3-4 attacks is going to spend a lot of time punching Horrors in the face before it makes it anywhere - and if I really have to kill one Fate can try to shoot it in the back. The additional synergy fate brings with the Warp Storm and Grimoire against almost any other army makes him really useful to have along. He can even occasionally save a whole unit - imagine rolling an X/1 on an instability test and then getting a shot at snake eyes to restore the entire unit to life (or to avert a boxcars death). The odds to do so are about 5% ((1/6+1/6)-1/32)*1/6

      The other intangible of Fateweaver is if he gets the Grimoire, he gets that magical 2++ rerollable save where a LoC only ends up at 3+ reroll 1's (1/36 to wound vs 2/9)

      Also, I do not think Greater Daemons are a good solution to Dreadknights, Wraithknights or Riptides - I think Daemonettes and Seekers are the way to deal with them. Those monsters have a low number of high strength attacks, low wounds and rely on the 2+/3+ saves to survive - so putting 40-60 rending attacks into them at I5 is usually enough to kill them in a round or two of combat.

      My one critique of the list posted is it puts a lot of emphasis on the HQ slot. Off the top of my head, I think there are almost 650-700 points in HQ choices - which leaves less models to do the actual killing. Remember the Khorne Herald is going to spend a lot of time stuck killing Sergents. Also, I would put the Grimoire on the Khorne Herald - he is T5, so cannot be taken out by S9 or less ID attacks, he cannot accidentally perils himself to death and he has 3W in a deadly CC unit.