Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Road to CAG-BASH: Part 3

...Hitting some turbulence

Today's update (yes, a day late, I know.  Better than 2 days late, I'm slowly getting better.) takes us to the second (and last) Primer tournament before the big showdown at CAG-Bash.  Once again, I'm only going to report on the last of the three battles I had that day.  The first two games went quickly, and I ended up tabling (or almost tabling) both of my opponents.  They were good games though.  The final game proved to be a very challenging matchup: Necron versus Necron!  May the best robot win!

Tournament Primer 2, Final game vs. Necron Wraithwing

Since these are primers for CAG-Bash, you'll notice that this game has the exact same setup and rules as the last game.  Hammer and Anvil deployment for this game with 3 objectives, one for each player to place worth 3 points each and one in dead middle worth 1 point.  6 turns total.  Elite units are worth 1 point each and are scoring.  Secondary objectives 1 point each (Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Blood).

My list is located here.

My opponents list (closely approximated)

Destroyer Lord w/ Semp. Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs, Res Orb
Destroyer Lord w/ Semp. Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs, Res Orb

6x Canoptek Wraiths w/ 3x Whip Coils
6x Canoptek Wraiths w/ 3x Whip Coils
6x Canoptek Wraiths w/ 3x Whip Coils

Annihilation Barge

5x Warriors
5x Warriors
5x Warriors in NightScythe
5x Warriors in NightScythe

Triarch Praetorians w/ Voidblades and Particle Casters

He wins the deployment roll, and I win the roll to go first.  Night fight for the first turn this game.  A word on the terrain:  all the grey boxes on the following map are ruins.  The solid grey terrain pieces are also ruins, but have substantial LOS blocking walls.  Aegis lines are purple, Necrons/Chaos are red, and Necron Wraithwing are blue.  The Green Markers are the objectives for this match.


I deploy in a straight gunline formation.  Prince is on the right, with the plan being he will move up the right side and take cover behind that ruin in the middle so he will be in assault threat range for turn 2.  Command Barge is going to flank on the left side.  Cultists hold the rear in the ruins on the objective.  This will be a tough fight, Wraiths are not easy to kill.  However, I should be able to whittle him down if I just back up and shoot continuously.  I don't really want to get in an assault with his DLords because of Mindschackle Scarabs, but I will if I have to.  Ideally, I can get my Prince and my Overlord onto his back objective and clear it out, then drop on objectives on the last turn with my Scythes. Essentially, I want him to have to choose between focusing on one objective, which allows me to take the others, or to split his forces, which allows me to focus fire on one part of them and contest the rest.

He reserves both Scythes with troops in them, and one unit of warriors which are walking on.

Turn 1: Top

He fails to steal, so here we go!  Prince makes it to his hiding spot, and the Barge inches forward.  I can't quite get by his Wraiths yet, so I'm just staying out of assault range.  The annihilation barges open up basically nothing.  I put one wound on a single Wraith.  Very disappointing.

Turn 1:Bottom

As expected, he moves everything forward.  Nothing is in a good assault range due to my positioning, but he rolls a 6 on his run move, so he is eating a lot of ground.  His Annihilation Barge doesn't have LOS on my Prince, and it fires ineffectively at the Command Barge.

Turn 2: Top

Everything comes on!  Yay for Comms Relays.  My Annihilation Barges fall back and continue to shoot, this time supported by 3 Night Scythes and a Heldrake.....and still do nothing.  I kill a single Wraith, moving from disappointing to depressing.  The Night Scythes do manage to block assaults on my Barges though.

The prince vector strikes the Barge, doing nothing.  The Command Barge flat outs up the field. 

This could be going better.

Turn 2:Bottom

Only one of his Scythes makes it on the board, and moves up to midfield.  The left and right Wraith units move up farther, going as fast as possible for my objective.

He moves the middle unit of Wraiths back to support his objective.

The Scythe and the Annihilation Barge both shoot at the flying Prince.  He saves all his wounds....but comes crashing down, which is probably the worst thing that could have happened.  The Prince is now in assault range of the Wraiths and...yep, he rolls a 12!  Of course!  This allows him to multi-charge and take out the Overlords Barge while he is at it, giving him First Blood (it's now a wreck on the field).  My Prince is now locked in combat with his DLord, and he fails his Mindshackle, taking 2 wounds in the process.

Turn 3: Top
So now that my Overlord is out, I have to make a decision...move up and try to take out the troops on his obective, or lend some support to the Prince.  It's a gamble, and I choose to lend my support to the Prince.  With only a 3+ save on my Overlord, I don't think he would last long by himself on the objective.  Even warriors can take out a 3+ with enough shooting.  My hope is that the MSS on my Overlord will take out his DLord, and allow the Prince to save the combat.

Barges continue to fall back and shoot, also continuing to be ineffective.  The Heldrake finally comes through and flames his Praetorians, killing them all.  The Scythe on the right manages to get rear shots on his Barge, immobilizing and destroying its big gun.

My Overlord jumps into combat...and promptly gets MSSed and hits himself for 1 wound.  He is now stuck in combat with the DLord.  The Prince goes into Smash mode, and does kill one of the wraiths.  He takes another wound in the process.

Turn 3:Bottom

The rest of his unit show up from reserve.  The warriors walk on near the objective, and the Scythe moves into midfield.  The first Scythe (N1 on the map) flies farther down field, obviously going to drop troops on my objective next turn.  His Wraiths (WR1 and WR3) both make it into combat with my Annihilaton Barge and wreck it.

The assault continues.  My Overlord fails his MSS check, AGAIN, but doesn't kill himself.  He still passes his MSS check and whiffs all his attacks on me.  The prince kills another Wraith, surviving with a single wound.

Turn 4: Top

It's time to start thinking about taking some of these objectives.  I fly two of my Scythes off the field in preparation to drop troops next turn.  The last Scythe drops troops on his objective, and with the Heldrake manages to kill one of the Warrior squads.

My Barges continue to suck at life.

The Overlord finally dies, giving him Slay the Warlord.  The Prince kills another Wraith, putting him down to 3 Wraiths and his DLord.

Turn 4:Bottom

He flies his midfield Scythe off the field.  His other scythe drops troops on the objective.  He clears out the Cultists with his Wraiths very easily.  I think 4 or 5 of them actually survived the assault, but ran off the board anyway.

The Prince manages to live through another assault round, amazingly, but doesn't do anything in return.  Fail!

Turn 5: Top

The Heldrake, along with my Immortals, attempt to clear out the top.  Somehow he still had one warrior left standing on the objective, but I'm close enough that I'm contesting it.

One Scythe comes back on and drops on the middle objective.   The other drops on my objective and kills his warriors.  I don't expect them to live, but at least he doesn't have any troops back there to claim the objective now.

The Prince finally dies in the assault.  Poor guy, he really gave it his all.  Back to the warp with you!

Turn 5: Bottom

As expected, his Wraiths clear out my objective.  He uses his last Scythe to come on and contest the middle objective.  His top Wraiths move into position, but can't assault, leaving the top objective contested.

And that's the last turn of the game. 

Result: Defeat

Score: 1-3.  He gets three points for Slay the Warlord, First Blood, and  Linebreaker.  I get one point for Linebreaker.


The score, for those of you astute enough to notice, should have actually been 2-3.  We forgot that you get 1 point for each elite unit you kill, and I killed his Praetorians.  Doesn't change the outcome, however. 

I learned quite a bit from this game.  Humility, for starters.  That's always a good lesson to learn!  My opponent was very methodical and played a tight game.  I think we also finished the game too early.  When we ended, we still had 15 minutes left on the clock, which in retrospect I think we could have played another turn.  I do want to be clear though: I do not think the outcome of the game would have changed with another turn.  That is not the point I am trying to make.  What I did learn, though, is an important lesson: if you think that you can finish another turn, you should attempt to.  Never throw in the towel early!  

In addition, as a result of this loss, I sat down and put a lot of thought into my list.  I came to the conclusion that the Command Barge needed to go. I was never a huge fan of them even in 5th edition, when you could vector strike anything within 36".  They're OK, but not amazing, and this game really highlighted the fact that my Command Barge is not a great performer.

So I'm dropping the Command Barge, and consequently the Crypteks have to go as well.  I also dropped a few cultists to squeeze out just enough points to add in a Destroyer Lord of my own with 5 Canoptek Wraiths.  This leaves a huge, gaping hole in my army against AV13 and AV14 vehicles, as the only things I have to deal with them are the Prince and the Destroyer Lord, both of which have to get into assault range.  That is not ideal.  However, I'm banking on this one fact:  Not many people bring High AV lists.  For whatever reason, Land Raiders and other armor walls are not terribly popular right now, so I'm going to gamble that I don't run into one of those lists at CAG-Bash.  In trade, I get a beatstick unit that acts as counter-attack and as a tarpit, which I think will help me out a lot.  The new, and final, list for CAG-Bash is:

Destroyer Lord
                        -Mindshackle Scarabs
                        -Sempiternal Weave

Daemon Prince
                        -Power Armor
                        -Black Mace
7x Gauss Immortals
                        7x Gauss Immortals
7x Gauss Immortals
13x Chaos Cultists

Fast Attack
5x Canoptek Wraiths
                        -2x Whip Coils

            Heavy Support
Annihilation Barge
                        -Tesla Cannon
Annihilation Barge
                        -Tesla Cannon
Annihilation Barge
                        -Tesla Cannon

Aegis Defense Line
                        -Comms Relay


  1. Great report! I really like the maps. I must say that report is pretty spot on. You are correct about us forgetting about the elite thing, fortunately it didn't make a difference and we actually walked thru that last turn to see if it needed played or not and we determined nothing would have changed.

    I want to say I was impressed with your game skills, you played more like an old vet rather than someone just starting tournaments this year!

    1. Yeah, another turn would not have made any difference. You had the game clinched. In retrospect, I'm glad I lost the game, I learned quite a bit from it! It's always fun to play against a tough competitor.

      Next time, I'll give you a better run for your money!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Really liked the report and your maps are getting better. Just know there is some guy in CA following your games and taking great interest in them! Keep up the good work and good luck.

    1. Thanks! The reports should get more tactical as I get farther into the tournament. Not only are the games less fuzzy in my memory, but I learned a lot on the way.

  4. Both this and the last report are great.

    I am really surprised the anni barges did so poorly. That is horrible luck, they are usually my top performers. Seems you used just as I would. Did you focus the wraiths without the lord? or did he hold them back a bit to threaten charges from the others? My luck with wraiths, even with a destroyer lord don't seem to withstand as much firepower as you seemed to pour into them.

    1. I did focus a Wraith group with an attached lord. He was smart and used the Lord to tank for the Wraiths, then pass off wounds as needed. Even still, I rolled terribly. Sometimes it just happens, that's the nature of the game.

      A wiser feller than myself once said..."Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear, well, he eats you."


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