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Foundryhammer 40k Spring Tournament

May 7, 2018

I got back into 40k towards the end of last year, starting to build a Tau army fairly steadily over a couple of months before there was a big injection of plastic at Christmas. This friendly work tournament was my first.

The Preparation

The points level was 2000, which did mean I had to take my entire collection with some padding (Seeker Missiles I’m looking at you). I had set myself the goal of getting everything painted but the sheer number of miniatures to get through and the folly of picking a white paint scheme scuppered that plan. Still, I did manage to get through a decent chunk of the army, and I’m particularly happy with how the Riptide came out, especially considering it was done in a day:

Riptide

The practice games went pretty well, even if my guys did get a rather brutal introduction to the close combat phase via some Adeptus Custodes.

The Games

Game 1 was against Mike’s Tau, and I knew this would be my first match beforehand. Getting the first turn was a deciding factor on the outcome (rolling a 6 to beat the 4+1) and it let me put operation “that Stormsurge has to die” into effect. This operation was almost an embarrassing failure, with the Commander and the Ghostkeel doing no damage with all their fusion weapons. Hero Devilfish saved the day with a Seeker Missile shot that did 6 wounds and took it off the table. After that it was a case of grabbing objectives and pulse rifling Kroot to get the win.

Tau on Tau

Game 2 went less well. Ross’ Nurgle force led by Mortarion was the army I was most terrified of facing, and the terror was intensified by it being the night fighting mission with a penalty for long range shooting. On top of that, the randomness of the Tactical Objectives kicked in and he immediately drew two for manifesting psychic powers, giving him 5 VPs right off the bat. I focused all my shooting at Mortarion but just couldn’t bring him down and by turn 2 he was inside my lines, murdering everything. In total in this game I killed a single Daemon Prince and I lost so badly it bumped Ross way up in the tournament rankings. Despite all of this it was the most fun game I had, just futilely launching everything I had at the Death Guard and seeing it all bounce off before being eaten by the big dude had a certain perverse joy to it. Plus, Ross was far too nice and kept apologising for just annihilating me.

Mortarion

Game 3 was against Rich’s Guard, a mix of Cadian tanks and scary Tempestus. This game was pretty close (I lost 8-7 in the end), though I feel it would have been less so if I hadn’t rolled to seize first turn. Commander and Ghostkeel did their job this game, the former taking out a Tank Commander and the latter taking out Pask (and being pretty much invulnerable for the full game). My biggest error I think was dropping my Crisis and Drones in behind the enemy (where they killed a grand total of 1 Sentinel) when instead they should have come in behind my Warlord, protecting him against Rich’s deep strikers. Again a very fun game.

Against IG

My Army

So, each of the units in turn:

  • Fireblade – Fairly solid, dropped a markerlight each turn, made my infantry shoot some more. Still forgot to use his Warlord Trait constantly and when I did (make nearby shooting -1 AP on a 6 to hit) it didn’t do anything, so might mess around with different ones. Relic was decent, got me some CP back (though I forgot to use it’s re-roll in every game).
  • Ethereal – Didn’t really do anything, maybe saved a Fire Warrior or two with the combination of FNP and using his leadership. Did charge Mortarion at one point, which ended pretty much as you’d expect.
  • Commander – Moved fast, shot lots of fusion. Missed the Stormsurge in game 1, did some damage to Mortarion in game 2, blew up a tank in game 3. Didn’t last long in any game. Would be interesting to try the Dal’yth -1 to hit relic on him in the future.
  • Riptide – Refused to die with that lovely 3++ save, shot lots of stuff. Original plan for him was to run the big burst cannon but the lack of marine opponents made me switch it to the ion one, which was very powerful.
  • Ghostkeel – The -2 to hit is very strong, as is the scout deployment rules. Might try the ion gun at some point as it seemed very nice on Mike’s.
  • Stealth Suits – Liked running them cheap without fusion blasters. They also soaked up a lot of shots.
  • Crisis Suits – Not sure about these. Very expensive and they didn’t really do anything. Likely the first unit to get dropped.
  • Strike Teams – Just solid and cheap. Would like to run a lot more of these.
  • Breacher Team – A single unit of these seem good, they did seriously damage a unit of Tempestus with overwatch.
  • Pathfinders – Definitely want more of these, need those markerlights. Rail rifles did OK, their best matchup was likely against the Death Guard but were hampered by the -1 to hit. The drones were likely a waste of points.
  • Piranha – Didn’t really do anything, would probably drop this.
  • Marker Drones – Ran away whenever they took casualties, probably better split up and attached to Fire Warrior squads (and near a Broadside with a drone controller).
  • Broadside – Did alright, nothing spectacular. The high yield missile pods are likely the better option though I prefer running the rifle as it looks significantly cooler.
  • Devilfish – Killed a Stormsurge, so gets points for that. Other than that, it was pretty useful as a fire magnet, I guess.

I think I know how I’d like to tweak the list and I think I understand how some units should be better used now. Looking forward to optimising my army and tweaking the composition.

Conclusion

I had a really fun time. My inexperience showed a lot in the games I think and I did get flustered by the amount of stuff to remember, but I got better as the day went on. Just need to finish painting it all for the next one…

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