This will be the last game of Day 1 for the GT. The previous three games have been written up Game 1, Game 2, and Game 3. I had the chance to play on the board that won the players vote for best board - this thing lights up and really looks great. On top of that I had a chance to play against the army that had the highest, or one of the highest painting scores.
It is hard to tell here, but Francois's army is beautiful and chock full of cool conversions and Kit Bashes.
Francois though was not content to simply have a beautiful army, he had a strong list with a ton of firepower, objective grabbing potential and a killer assault unit. His army becomes even more intimidating when considering the mission set:
Secondary: The Relic
Deployment: Vanguard Strike
The reason this mission will be particularly difficult is the nearly indestructible scoring unit he has to pickup the Relic. Here is his Necrons/GK army list list:
Overlord - no upgrades
5x Warriors in Night Scythe
5x Warriors in Night Scythe
5x Warriors in Night Scythe
10x Paladins w/ Apothecary, Brotherhood Banner, 4x Psycannons, 3x Daemon Hammers, 2x Halbreds
1x Paladin w/ Daemon Hammer
Even better than bringing a cool army and playing on a cool board - Francois insisted on buying a pitcher of beer for us to share. In case anyone misses it later on, this was my favorite game of the tournament and if I could have ranked Francois twice for best opponent I would have.
Psychic Powers/Warlord Traits
Fateweaver: Perfect Timing/Fire Breath :: Life Leech/Hallucination
Herald of Khorne: Grimoire of True Names
Necron Overlord: Outflankers get Acute Senses (i.e. useless)
Francois rolls for Grand Strategy and gets to give 3 of his units Scout. Luckily he only has 2 units, so the Paladins grab Scout and deploy in a broad front across the board. The Psycannons are centrally placed, which makes avoiding them difficult. The Annihilation Barges anchor the other flank, I think they are here to give them room to backup and avoid my Hounds. In reserve are 1 Paladin and the 3 Night Scythes.
I really want to reserve my whole army, but unfortunately I need to deploy at least half. I drop down both Grinders - which are a safe distance away and have 2+ cover saves and the Grimoire hound unit. Fateweaver is facing the back of the board because she is just within 24" if Francois makes it to the Relic.
In reserve are the Daemonettes, Horrors, Seekers, Hounds, and Plaguebearers. Both the Hounds and the Seekers are set to Outflank.
We roll off for scout moves - this one is huge because I want to push forward my hounds to take away his 6" scout within grabbing distance of The Relic to force him to wait a turn to get it. Instead he wins and I have to Scout second. This means I move everything laterally to avoid the psycannons and to attempt to get in range of his Barges.
Unless otherwise noted, the Warp Storm did not play an appreciable role in this game.
There is nothing I can do to prevent Francois from seizing The Relic, so he gets a 6" difficult terrain move and picks it up. The Paladins now have possession of it, which I really wanted to prevent for at least a little while.
Otherwise Francois's shooting is unremarkable - only a single psycannon is in range of anything and it fails to hurt Fateweaver. I take some shots from the Annihilation Barges, but only lose 1 or 2 puppies.
Fateweaver casts Hallucination on the Paladins - but they succeed in Denying it. I was hoping to get some Daemon Hammers to blow up Paladins for me, or to freeze the unit in place for a turn. The puppies get the Grimorie and Fateweaver flies off the board.
This picture was taken just at the start of Francois's turn, but shows my position after run moves with the hounds. I do manage to knock the Shields off one Annihilation Barge, which takes it down to AV 11.
The paladins shuffle around but I really denied them any shooting and they can only move 6" a turn. A wall of Tesla comes in and takes aim at the Hounds as Francois snags all of his reinforcements, including his Soladin. The Soladin drops down as bait near one of my objectives, but I have no plan to go visit him yet.
Overall I lose 8 Hounds to shooting - which is pretty good for the amount of firepower that came in.
If you were wondering what the Paladins were doing, here is them rocking out, Draigo is in front to tank wounds as necessary.
I get in 1 unit of Seekers, but that is it. I am glad everything is staying off - since it all scores in this mission for the Scouring. The Seekers hide behind the Tau building and try to be unobtrusive. Fateweaver comes in and gets ready to take aim at one of the Night Scythes. I then make a huge, game breaking mistake. I forget to Grimoire Fateweaver like I had planned, and instead do nothing.
My shooting wrecks one barge for First Blood - it had also immobilized itself on terrain and I only managed to strip a single Hull point with the Grinders. Another grinder Stuns one of the flying Croissants. I charge the second barge and take it down with the Flesh Hounds.
One Night Scythe flys off the board, while the other two take aim. The first manages only two wounds on Fateweaver. The second stunned Night Scythe rolls up four hits. We then realize it was stunned and it had rolled only one 6. Francois rerolls and gets a 6 - 6 - 6 - 6. Predictably Fateweaver goes down to the shots! Maybe stunning the Night Scythe was a bad idea.
I respond by taking some ineffective shots with the Grinders at the Night Scythes and the Flesh Hounds move into area terrain as close to the board edge as possible - trying to escape the Paladins. My reserves remain good and I only get the second hound unit, which I run up my board edge.
Pictures get a little sparse here as the game was heating up - especially after the loss of Fateweaver - who was my Ace against the Night Scythes. The Scythe reappears and drops off its cargo - doing so on Turn 5 shown here. My Horrors had arrived on Turn 4.
The small Hounds unit remaining in the woods had survived the Paladins full shooting attacks by going to ground. I made 16 of 18 3+ saves on the unit to keep it there and require the Paladins to do something about it.
My other hounds came in along the board edge and stayed out of range of the paladins.
The first Night Scythe dropped off the Overlord and the Warriors within 3" of the objective on a battlement. I would throw down 5 wounds on the unit due to the Warp Storm (Khornes Wrath) and removed the Overlord. Francois let me know I had broken his toy (Overlord) and it was up to me to try to fix it. I fail to do so with a 2, and the Overlord stays down.
The Grinder moves in to finish off the Warriors, while the plagues work their way toward the far objective.
My Daemonettes and Horrors clean up the Warriors on the left hand objectives. The Paladins are actually forced to charge the Flesh Hounds - they survive another fusillade of shooting - to remove them from the objective.
It is not a pretty sight for the Paladin and the Warriors - both are removed in assault and I am claiming 3 of my Scouring objectives plus 2 of Francois's.
Primary: 11 - 1 Victory
Secondary: 0 - 3 Loss
First Blood: 1
Slay the Warlord: 1
I finish up the day with a really fun, and really challenging game against Francois. This was really an ideal warhammer game - it was interesting, intense and had an awesome opponent army/player/board to play on. Overall Torrent of Fire has me at at least 40th place - based on the fact Round 5 would be on table 20.
Round 4 Thoughts
I think when I look back at 6th edition and the new Daemons, I am going to think of this game as a turning point. I really could not power through the army that Francois brought - the Paladins would have murdered anything I threw at them. Even an assault with all 3 of my fast units probably would have ended with a lost combat for me after Force Weapons took their toll on my Flesh Hounds.
Instead, I played the mission that I could win - Scouring - and recognized that The Relic was probably out of reach this game. It is tough to concede one of the missions so early - my plan had been to attempt to get in with Fate on Turn 5 and get a Precision Strike Smash onto the Relic Bearer but I blew that with my mistake on Turn 2. I was also lucky that after I lost Fate, the Warp Storm was kind to me for those turns.
Game 5 has me paired against a 6 Venom Dark Eldar army, all bearing maxed out Blasters (I know 6 Venoms is technically against the composition rubric, but an exception was granted in this case.)