Battle Review: 1,000pt 40K Tournament

WarpsmithSaturday was a 40K tournament at my LGS at 1,000pts. I brought along my Disciples of Twilight, Chaos Marines, and ran this list. The idea with the list was something fun and themed as I’m aiming towards getting a list finalized for Fratris Salutem, a spring 40K tournament.

My first game was against Khorne Inquistor and his Daemons. One of my Helbrutes took out his Chariot early but the Lord of Change, and eventually The Great Unclean one, just went on to rampage me. I got three wounds on the Lord of Change early but after that it was all downhill. The game went 6 turns. Had it ended on turn #5 then the final score would have been closer but ultimately I took a 25-8 loss.

Second game was against Warren and his White Scars. This was definitely one of the more interesting games and also a blast. I took an early lead on kill points with my Helbrutes headed for his advancing line. A meltagun and a melta bomb eventually removed those threats to him and he started closing the lead. Puppet master saw one of my plasma gunners take out my own Rhino and then force my Forgefiend to destroy two of my CSM holding an objective. Back under my control, the Forgefiend removed two of his Marines on one of his objectives forcing a draw for objectives. Once the other missions got factored in I took a 22-12 win here in a damn close match.

Final game was against TheRhino and his Marines, which he was running trying out the Imperial Fists chapter tactics. This game came down to shooting and positioning within the ruined city board we were fighting on. We both needed to reach the board center and he did so first with Scouts. He had Terminators led by a Chaplain headed that way as well but my shooting saw the Terminators die off and left only the Chaplain. His Scouts tied up a CSM unit of mine to keep me from the center and I threw my Helbrute at the lone Chaplain to keep him off the center. I repositioned my other CSM squad to hit the center and eventually withdrew my previous CSM squad once they took out the Scouts. There was a lot really that went on in this game but in the end I barely took a 19-13 win.

Not a bad day going 2-1, better than I’ve done lately. My score wasn’t amazing but I was happy with the day. All of my games were fun and closer than the scores might indicate. I was also pleased with the Warpsmith. First game he fixed a Helbrute and next game a Rhino. Shatter defenses didn’t matter much in any game and he never did use machine curse as there was a distinct lack of vehicles in all my games. However, for the points and utility he offers I like how he’s worked out so far. Also, I was happy with how he played out riding in the Rhino with CSM. Previously I’ve stuck him with a foot retinue but having the mobility in the Rhino and being able to bolster the unit he’s with panned out a lot better.

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  • Sounds like a good day of gaming! Do you think you’ll keep the two hellbrutes for your Fratris list? I’ve had decent luck with melta dreads but I’ve never convinced myself to shell out for the lascannon dread. I’ve wanted to try the lascannon/missile launcher combo but for the same price I could take a five-man Long Fang pack with two lascannons and 2 missile launchers.

    I have found I do better with two dreads than with one, and they fit the Warpsmith theme nicely.

    • They didn’t do a ton for me. I’ve never had much luck with a mixed-role Dread like that. There are better options but they do fit the theme. Not sure I’ll keep them or not. They need paint, plus other stuff for Fratris, so we’ll see.

      • I tend to use my dreads as a utility and distraction unit. They can do enough damage that they’re tough to ignore and they’re tough enough to remove that they take some of the heat off of other units before they go down. Since I know they’ll be taking fire I try to keep them cheap. The melta and assault cannon dreads are my favorite. The range keeps them close enough to make use of the storm bolter or maybe a heavy flamer.

        In your case the autocannon is a nice option for cheap and versatile. The combi-bolter isn’t a bad addition but I would avoid the heavy flamer but that’s a bit pricey for something you might use. The heavy flamer is probably better suited to the melta model since it needs to be closer and it poses more of a threat to infantry than the multi melta. Autocannon and missile launcher would be cheaper than the lascannon if you want ranged firepower.

        • I’ve done missle/reaper before and it worked out well enough. These guys were an experiment. I often find myself lacking something like a lascannon these days and struggling with the AV13+ stuff. Helbrutes also have to buy their combi-bolters since they get nothing free on the fist and I often opt to just not spend the points either way.

    • TheRhino

      I’ve found that Space Marine Dreads need to be cheap and numerous to succeed, and they need the proper delivery system to match their role.
      The bare bones multimelta and DCCW/storm bolter version doesn’t have a defined role. it needs to get into a dangerous range to apply that multmelta to best effect, and the bolter is a non-factor. You can’t walk an AV12 walker across the board, so you can either drop it via pod or deploy it in a point defense mode to deter armored transports from rolling up to you. If you pod it in, it’s got ONE shot at BS4. Miss, and you’re left with your ass in the wind. Deploy it in point defense mode, and it may never fire a shot all game.
      The brutal, glaring weakness of Dreads and Helbrutes is that they lack proper volume of fire. The highest number of shots you can put on a non-Contemptor Dread is six (assault cannon and a two-shot weapon like a stormbolter or autocannon, or Mortis pattern twin-linked heavy bolters; you could go assault cannon and Mortis heavy bolter, but I can’t remember if that’s legal). It’s not enough to put down infantry hordes or crack medium infantry like Marines. All the anti-tank options except the Rifledread are single-shot weapons that risk missing shots.
      IMO, the best stand-alone loadout for a Dread is the Assault Cannon and a Mortis Autocannon. You’ve got some mediocre autocannon shots for long range, but they’re twin-linked, and then a respectable number of S6 Rending shots for mid range in the assault cannon (plus the two autocannon shots).
      However, the absolute best plan for Dreads is the “buddy system.” You arm one Dread in a specific manner (say, close combat), and then buddy him up with a Dread armed in a complimentary manner, like anti-transport. Hmm, maybe that’ll make a good article for my blog…

      • khorneinquisitor

        The mortis can run dual ACs or even dual Kheres Auto Cannons with cyclone launcher for an epic 14 shots.

        Problem is this: Hellbrute=no assault cannon, no pod, no deep strike. Overall, you are better off with the fiend options really. Hellbrutes offer a great backline, point defense though.

        • TheRhino

          I was referring to the non-Contemptor Dreads. There is a Mortis-pattern standard Dread, which can only have dual lascannon, autocannon, heavy bolter, or missile options if I remember right.

      • I may try something like that. I really miss not having drop pods for Chaos. Putting down a close combat Dread on foot, buddy or not, just seems questionable in use.

      • I agree with your assessments. I usually take pods for mine as well, which I know CSM can’t do. For me the role of the bare bones MM dread is disruption and back-line tank assassination. In either case he’s likely to draw a lot of fire so I just keep him cheap. The storm bolter doesn’t match the MM real well but it’s free. The heavy flamer adds versatility but not efficiency.

        The assaultcannon is my go to weapon for dreads. It’s the stock weapon for Space Wolves. The MM is a free upgrade so they’re the same points but the AC is more versatile. The storm bolter is the same range and complements it nicely against infantry. If I’m coming out of a pod I like the heavy flamer too. AC/HF from pod lets you put a hurt on most units you land near. If it’s on foot though I stick with the storm bolter. I haven’t tried the Assault Cannon/Autocannon combo but it does sound like solid mid-ranged choice.

        I also agree with using a buddy system. I usually pair mine with another unit so they can support each other, often but not always another dread. I do make sure to have other vehicles around when I’m using a dread. If he’s the only vehicle you’ve got on the table he won’t last long.

  • khorneinquisitor

    It was a great game. I suggest switching the dreads to dedicated role dreads. Perhaps 2 powerfists on one and another with dual heavy weapons? The stock MM and PF works pretty well too, but is such a short range monster.
    Overall, it was the first time I had used the LoC. He worked pretty well, but I think I am gonna stick with my thirsters. The shooting all game was only marginally effective, and it distracted me from doing what I needed to do…get into close combat.

    • The shorter range isn’t a huge deal if he’s slogging up beside the close combat variant. I do wish assault cannon was an option for Helbrutes.

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