Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grubnards GT Countdown T-5 Weeks

... Or Grubnard's big shakeup!

We are nearing the 1 month mark before the Da Boyz GT is upon us and this past week has been a crazy time for me. I've been working on terrain, painting my army, and this past weekend I played in the Millennium Games monthly tournament which was geared towards practicing for the GT. I brought the thus far completed Tyranid terrain to the event so that I could get the players thoughts and feedback on how the terrain worked and what, if any improvements could be made. So without wasting anymore time lets jump into this week's post.

So lets start of with pictures of the Tyranid terrain that I brought to the monthly tournament this past weekend. Unfortunately I was not placed on the tyranid table during any of the three games so I do not have any in-game shots of the table in use. Hopefully one of the other blog authors were able to play on it and snapped some images. Here are some shots of the terrain setup on  my table at home.

Here is a front view shot of a underground bunker entrance way with spires on each side. 

Here is another shot of the bunker piece.

 And for scale, here as a Chaos Dreadnought next to the bunker.

Another scale shot of the bunker and a ripper pad.
Here is a shot of some ruins.

And another view of the ruins.

Here are some additional shots of the other terrain pieces with the dreadnought as scale.
Ripper Pad
Digestion Pool
Pitcher Pods

And a full shot of the terrain on a table
The overall feedback was positive but some of the players wanted to see more line of sight blocking pieces. So I'll see about working on some larger spires in the next couple of weeks, otherwise I may resort to getting some of the aquarium trees like Hyv3 uses on some of his boards.

Next I'd like to switch gears and provide a recap of the three games I played in this past weekend. As most of you know, the Da Boyz format for this year is 1850 points with a 0-2 limit on all units except for troop selections or units that can become troop choices.

My list for this event was:

Commander: Airburst Fragment Projector, TL Plasma, Shield Generator, Multi-Spectrum Suite, Iridium Armor, Onager Gauntlet, Puretide Engrim Chip

XV8 Crisis Team
1. MP/TL Plasma/Bonding Knife
2. MP/TL Plasma/Bonding Knife
3. Plasma Rifle/TL Fusion Blaster/Bonding Knife

6 Stealth Suits - Bonding Knife

Riptide - Ion Accelerator, TL Fusion, Early Warning Override

10 Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
10 Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
10 Fire Warriors, Shas'ui, Bonding Knife
12 Kroot with sniper rounds

Fast Attack
7 Pathfinders, Shas'ui
7 Pathfinders, Shas'ui

Heavy Support
XV88 Team 1
1. TL Heavy Rail Rifle/TL Smart Missile System/Velocity Tracker
2. TL Heavy Rail Rifle/TL Smart Missile System/Velocity Tracker

XV88 Team 2
1. TL High Yield Missile Pods/TL Smart Missile System/Velocity Tracker
2. TL High Yield Missile Pods/TL Smart Missile System/Velocity Tracker

Hammerhead Gunship
Railgun, Smart Missile System, Sub-munition Rounds, Seeker Missile, Disruption pod, Blacksun filter

The first mission was against Brian and he was testing a new daemon list.

Deployment: Dawn of War
Primary Mission: Crusade (4 objectives) - Whoever controls the most wins primary
Secondary Mission: Purge the Alien (Kill Points) and then first blood, line breaker, and slay the warlord.

 I thought I had a copy of his list but I appear to have misplaced it. It was something like:
10 Blood Letters
10 Plaguebearers
10 Pink Horrors
10 Hounds
A squadron of Seeker chariots
The Khorne Cannon (skull cannon?)
Soul Grinder
Fortress of Redemption

I knew this was going to be a tough match since he had a lot of fast elements that I need to focus on, plus he would be able to rain down large blast markers from the Fortress of Redemption.

Here was our deployment. His hounds were in the center and infiltrated up behind the large building in the center of the board. The chariots deployed on my right flank and the Fortress was dead center on his side.

Turn 1 I pretty much poured everything into the seeker chariots and only ended up immobilizing one of them. I was able to hit a few hounds and ended up killing two. His return fire chewed up some of my Kroot and Pathfinders.

I tried to pop the soul grinder but failed to hit it.

By turn 3 his hounds had overrun my Kroot and Pathfinders. My shooting was able to take out most of the chariots except 1.

Karnak and the hounds strip off the last wound from the Riptide.

Here he was able to remove my second objective from my control

In the end I held 0 objectives to his two plus he won secondary objectives, giving him full points.

As predicted, the hounds were the main bane to my army. Being able to start so close and charge in on turn 2 pretty much allowed Brian to control the flow of the game. I held one squad of fire warriors, the crisis team, and stealth team in reserve and both the stealth and crisis teams deviated off 11" from their landing zone, causing them to get shot up pretty quickly.

Game 2 was against Terry and his Chaos Marines army.

Mission 2

Deployment: Vanguard
Primary Mission: The Emperor's Will (4 objectives)
Secondary Mission: The Relic and first blood, line breaker, and slay the warlord.

Terry brought the following:

Daemon Prince of Khorne
8 Khorne Berzerkers
10 Marines in a Rhino
16 Berzerkers on foot
4 Chaos Spawn
Chaos Predator with Autocannon
8 Havocs with 4 auto cannons
Chaos Land Raider

Terry plays a very fluffy list and has a beautifully painted army. (The daemon prince at the top of this post is Terry's Daemon Prince of Khorne.)

Our deployment: Terry had Kharne and 8 Berzerkers inside the land raider and the rest of the berzerkers and spawn were on foot. The rhino with 10 marines was hiding out in the ruins with the 8 havocs manning the upper levels of the building. The predator and Daemon Prince were lined up along the back left flank.

Once again I held my Crisis Suits, Stealth Team and a squad of Fire Warriors in reserve.

In the first turn my Hammerhead failed to hit the land raider and the rest of my shooting resulted in 1 dead spawn.

Pictured below Terry is moving his entire army forward. I knew I'd need a better turn of shooting and some help from my reserves to remove the spawn and land raider.

On my turn 2 the crisis suits drop in behind the land raider and I hit with my fusion gun but roll a 13 for penetration. My hammerhead hits this time but I only glance the raider. My shooting removes all but 1 spawn and a few of the foot berzerkers.

The land raider pulls up in front of my troops holding the objective and the berzerkers with Kharne jump out.

Another view of Kharne and his squad before the bloodletting.

Kharne and his squad were able to charge my troops and because the land raider had dirge casters, I was unable to overwatch with all of that supporting fire. In the end, they wiped out the one squad of troops.

In the following turn my stealth team comes in and I put them behind Kharne and the squad. The fire warriors, pathfinders, broadsides and hammerhead wipe out all of the berzerkers and put a couple of wounds on Kharne. The Stealth Team finished off Kharne and I still hold my objective. Now I need to focus on getting Terry off of his objective and keep his foot troops from grabbing the relic.

Kharne no more!

The Daemon Prince finishes off the riptide but is then brought down by the broadsides. 

Over the next couple of turns my commander kept trying to punch the land raider with his gauntlet but I failed to remove it. The stealth team tries to shoot the squad holding the objective in his corner but they pass their leadership.

In the end we would both hold onto our objectives and Terry managed to hang onto the relic, giving him a win. To be honest, I went into the game thinking that this was going to be an easy game since most of his army was on foot and I was confident that the hammerhead and crisis suits would be able to handle the Land Raider and I would pick off the foot elements as they advanced. By not killing the land raider on the first two turns hurt, as it forced me to focus on Kharne and his squad while the rest of his army consolidated on the objective and the relic. In the end Terry out played me and deserved the win.

Game 3 was against my fellow blog writer Crispy and his Tyranids.

One of the things I like about playing against Crispy is that he likes to bring fun Tyranid lists.

He brought the following:
Tyranid Prime
9 Ygmarls
9 Ygmarls
14 Termagants
4 Genestealers with Broodlord
4 Genestealers with Broodlord
5 Shrikes
2 Carnifexes
3 Biovores.

Mission 3
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Primary Mission: Big Guns Never Tire (6 objectives)
Secondary Mission: The Scouring  plus first blood, line breaker, and slay the warlord.

Pregame thoughts:
Yikes, that is a lot of big bugs but I felt confident that my commander, with the Puretide chip, and the broadsides would be able to handle the big guys, it would be up to the fire warriors to handle the small but numerous bugs. 

Turn 1: Night fight is on and I decided to put all of my units on the board since my reserves were so bad in the first two games. The opening round of shooting puts three wounds on the carnifex/Tyrnaid Prime squad. My kroot and fire warriors advance.
The force seems to be strong with Crispy as he waves a light saber at my troops.
The Tervigon spawns 9 bugs and sends them towards my fire warriors but an exceptional round of over watch keeps them out of charge range.

Crispy moves the shrikes up along my right flank but between the kroot and crisis suits I am able to take them out for first blood.

After killing most of the termagants and putting a wound on the tervigon, the fire warriors think they are able to rest...

But the tervigon spawns 16 new termagants. He rolled double 6's so at least the tervigon would not be spawning any more. this game. The Termagants assaulted but surprisingly the fire warriors kill off an even amount and the fight would continue a couple of more rounds.

The Ygmarls come in and assault the riptide, bringing it down with ease.

The fire warrior and Termagant battle continues....

It took a lot of shooting but the broadsides and hammerhead were finally able to take down the Prime and last Carnifex,

The ygmarl then make short work of the stealth and crisis teams before the kroot and broadsides finish them off.

The fire warriors actually beat the termagants, forcing the tervigon to come back to prevent me from holding the objective.

In the end the tervigon finished off the fire warriors and made its way over to my commander. Being the end of the game we figured to have the two face off against each other. The tervigon only had one wound left and Crispy was surprised to learn that the Tau commander had a piece of war gear that could strike at Strength 10 at AP1. I rolled to hit and.... missed. In return the tervigon killed the commander.

In the end Crispy was able to hold onto two or three objectives to my one and he ended up winning on Primary. Not sure how secondary ended but I ended up with three straight losses for the day.

Which brings me to my next topic. Do I really want to bring the Tau as my main army in the GT? This is my 6th game with the new Tau codex in a tournament format and my 8th game using Tau since the new codex hit earlier this year. While I enjoy the Tau army and play style, I don't think I will get the full effect out of playing this army for 3 straight days. Some suggestions have been to ally Tau with Eldar but I am a fluff player at heart and I'd rather bring a one-codex army rather than an allies list. This is not a knock against anyone who plays an allies list, this is just how I feel at this point in the game. So at this point I am strongly leaning towards playing my Word Bearers army. Will I win more games playing them? Probably not. My expectations when I go to a major GT like this is to come away with 1-2 wins and good painting and sportsmanship scores. That is where I think playing the Word Bearers will help me enjoy the weekend. I take a lot of pride in my Word Bearers and I have played many games with them in the past year so I feel that not only will I get the most enjoyment out of playing them but that my opponents will also enjoy the games as well because they will be playing someone enthusiastic about their army regardless of the outcome plus it looks good to play against. So with that in mind, here is the type of list I am currently playing around with bringing.

The 529th Host of the Word Bearers under Dark Apostle Holak

Dark Apostle - Black Mace
Chaos Lord: Axe of Blind Fury, Burning Brand, Mark of Khorne, Sigils, Melta Bombs, Jump Pack

3 Terminators
Power maul/Combi-melta, Power maul/Combi-melta, Power maul/Combi-melta

10 CSM - 2xPlasma Guns, VoLW, Champ w/Power Axe
Rhino with Dirge Casters
10 CSM - Plasma Gun, Melta Gun, VoLW, Champ with Powerfist
20 Cultists

Fast Attack:
HelDrake with Baleflamer
8 Raptors - Melta Gun, Mark of Khorne

3 Obliterators - MoN, VoLW
7 Havocs - 4 Auto Cannons

This is a pretty tried and true list that I have run variations of for awhile. The only new elements are the Apostle, Cultists, and Maulerfiend.

The Apostle will sit back with the cultists and havocs to help keep them on the field and any back objectives. The raptors, rhinos, and maulerfiends will be my push forward troops while the Heldrake and Oblits will hopefully take care of the scary things and dug in troops.

I'd be interested to hear what you guys think of this list. 


  1. Love the tyranid terrain, it puts my stuff to shame.

    As far as the GT - play whatever you have the most fun with. You had 3 really bad match-ups against fast assault armies which are bad news for Tau. Our local meta is very different from the "GT meta" so I wouldn't use these games to gauge the army.

    Your tau list looks solid. If it were me, I'd try to get markerlights from somewhere other than pathfinders, but even they can serve a purpose if you use them to bubble wrap against assaults. I think the key to tau is prioritizing which units you can sacrifice to keep the enemies at bay long enough for the shooting attrition to win the day.

    Nice pics from the event also, thanks for taking the time to take them.

  2. It may cost a little more, but Marker drone units can be extremely efficient when paired up with a drone controller commander. with bs5 drones you will have a lot of accuracy, not to mention their jetpack moves to keep them out of trouble. move-mark-mark can be really annoying for your opponents.

  3. Thanks man! As for the Tau list, I do enjoy playing them but I don't think I've mastered the new codex enough to get the full enjoyment out of them at the GT. Plus with the rest of the army that still needs painting and all of the terrain I am working I think that the next 5 weeks will be super busy. With my Chaos list I really don't have much to work on except for touch ups and tweaks. Plus I know the Chaos book pretty well. After looking at the painting rubric I feel that my Word Bearers would score much, much higher than my Tau would due to all of the details and conversion work that I have put into the army.

    So I think I will still run my Tau in the team event since they will work nicely with my partner's Eldar army but I'll run Chaos in the actual GT.

  4. I had a chance to play on the Tyranid table - so I have some pictures to share - it was a really fun thematic table. I will second that a little more BLOS terrain would be good on the table - but playing Daemons I always want more terrain so I am slightly biased.

    I think the key for the GT is playing an army you enjoy and are familiar with - otherwise you will never make it to 4 or 5 turns. I like the Chaos list - the only change I would consider is the Lord is pretty loaded up on points. I might give him just the Axe (he is going with either the Terminators or the Raptors I assume - which want to hunt tanks). That saves up enough to throw some combi weapons on your sergeants.