I usually don’t play a lot of tournaments, but this year I participated in the Norwegian Championships for 40k (it’s in January), and as I finished 3rd from bottom of about 40+ players, I’m putting some hours in this time!
First, my old list was terrible. It was built on CSM CAD with 2 Sorcerers, 20-man squad of CSMs, Havocs, an Aegis Defence Line, and 70 Cultists. This worked terribly. For this year, I hear we’re going up from 1650 to 1850pt, so I’ve constructed a primary Unending Host detachment from the Siege of Vraks book. This uses the Renegades from within that book, means I have 4 obligatory Troop slots (of which 2 need to be Renegade Infantry Platoons) and 1 HQ slot, with only 2 Elite, 1 HQ, 1 Fast Attack, and 1 Heavy Support as optional slots.
Now the benefit here is that any Infantry Platoon that gets wiped out returns on a roll of 2+ with Outflank and rolls an extra D6 for a Run move the turn it comes onto the table, picking the highest. Other benefits include 3+ cover from your own models in the detachment. I have 107 Cultists/Renegade Guardsmen, and 105 Renegades are required to do a minimum version of this, so I’m going to try!
Second, I took the Cyclopia Cabal. I tested this against Tau two weeks ago, and using their Shroud of Deceit spell which allows to take control of an enemy unit, I found using it on Riptides against Tau Warlords was hilarious! I then took an Allied detachment of CSMs to protect the Cabal – 20 Legion-strength squad of CSMs (and I promptly forgot to arm the Aspiring Champion).
I had a few points left, so I spent my last points on taking a Rogue Psyker. He has a chance of getting Unnatural Vigor, which grants Fleet, which would allow any CSMs or CCW Renegades to close the distance faster! This meant my army was a grand total of 133 models!
The Unending Host 1.1 – 1850pt
- Unending Host (Primary)
- Arch-Demagogue – Refractor Field
- Command Squad (7) – Banner of Hate, Krak Grenades
- Rogue Psyker
- CCW Platoon – Laspistols/autopistols and CCW
- Platoon Command Squad (15) – Command Net Vox, Flamer
- CCW Squad 1 (15) – 2 Flamers
- CCW Squad 2 (15) – 2 Flamers
- Ranged Platoon – Lasguns/autoguns
- Platoon Command Squad (15) – Command Net Vox, Plasmagun
- Ranged Squad 1 (15) – 2 Plasma Guns
- Ranged Squad 2 (15) – 2 Plasma Guns
- Veteran Squad 1 (5) – Deep Strike, Grenade Launcher, laspistols/autopistols, CCW
- Veteran Squad 2 (5) – Deep Strike, laspistols/autopistols, CCW
- Allied Detachment (CSM)
- Chaos Sorcerer – 2 Extra Mastery Levels, Plasma Pistol, Force Sword, Spell Familiar, Sigil of Corruption, VotLW
- Chaos Space Marines (20) – Meltaguns x 2, VotLW, MoS, IoE
- Cyclopia Cabal
- Chaos Sorcerer – 2 Extra Mastery Levels, Force Sword, Spell Familiar, Sigil of Corruption, VotLW
- Chaos Sorcerer – 2 Extra Mastery Levels, Force Sword, Spell Familiar, Sigil of Corruption, VotLW
- Chaos Sorcerer – 2 Extra Mastery Levels, Force Stave, Spell Familiar, Sigil of Corruption, VotLW
Against me was a friend who plays War Convocation for tournaments, and as we were both doing proto-list tests, there was some degree of proxying. My mate proxied a Culexus and some Sydonian Dragoons for Ballistarius, so nothing big. Sidenote, Culexuses (Culexi?) are really expensive!
My opponent’s 1850pt War Convocation and proxy Culexus
We rolled off on Maelstrom Missions and got Spoils of War, which is in essence pretty standard, but you can steal VPs for your opponent’s Hold Objective X Tactical Objectives.
For Warlord Traits I got Master of Interference, while his Tech-Priest Dominus got the ability to re-roll FnP. 3 Of my Sorcerers got every single Telepathy spell between them, while my last Sorcerer rolled on Biomancy and got 1, 3, and Endurance. My Rogue Psyker got Warp Flux. I got to pick table side while he decided to deploy first and go first – I failed to Seize the Initiative and we got Night Fighting!
The Alpha Legion and its Renegades deploy! The CSMs are on my right, the Renegade horde on my left! CSMs are deployed in a V, with those nearest the AdMech being in cover.
The War Convocation deploys! The cowardly Culexus is hiding inside the tall ruin in the middle
Adeptus Mechanicus’ Turn #1
Drawing his Tactical Objectives, he got Behind Enemy Lines, Seize Objective 2, and some weird AdMech Tactical Objective which meant he had to take 2 and/or 5 (both meant D3 VPs).
His Culexus, which was cleverly hidden from most of my army and very close to my Sorcerers, didn’t roll particularly well for moving through cover and failed to make it to within the dread 12″ to nullify my Psychic Phase.
My CSMs stoically only lost a single man to 6 Kataphron Destroyers, a Knight, 2 Dune Crawlers, Culexus, and the Ballistarii due to my ability to roll 3+ on cover saves and 5+ on FnP rolls! However, the CCW Renegade Platoon Command Squad suffers enough casualties and decides it’s time to run, but it stays on the table! He seizes Objective 5 and scores a point, throwing away Behind Enemy Lines.
The Alpha Legion hold fast!
Chaz’s Turn #1
Drawing Hungry For Glory, Overwhelming Firepower, and Blood & Guts, I’m optimistic as my Platoon Command squad rallies.
Everything advances, with my CSMs taking position to gun down the impudent Culexus which suppresses all Maledictions and Blessings within 12″. However… SHIELDS UP!
Endurance (which I rolled a Perils on the Warp on, but got away unscathed) and Invisibility both go off, my Shroud of Deceit on his Kataphrons knocks off a wound on his other Kataphrons, while my Psychic Shriek fails to do anything to his rapidly-advancing Ruststalkers.
I follow up with opening fire with all bolters against the Culexus, but having stayed out of 12″, I’m not in Rapid Fire Range, and as I’m only hitting on 6’s, I fail to even cause a single unsaved wound. Suddenly, that Culexus looks very menacing… However, I score a VP from seizing my opponent’s Objective 2! 1-1!
The horde advances…
Adeptus Mechanicus’ Turn #2
Drawing Supremacy, Praise the Machine God (which means he has to use a Canticle), and Seize Objective 1, the Culexus begins is slow saunter towards the Chaos Space Marines, getting 9″ away after some unlucky Run and Difficult Terrain rolls. However, due to the poor rolls, he only kills a few of the Chaos Space Marines in the Shooting Phase, thus ensuring they are within 12″ of the Culexus for when the Ruststalkers charge so I don’t get the benefit of Invisibility and Endurance.
He then blasts a hole in front of my Warlord, removing the 3+ cover from the unit in front, then opens fire on the Warlord’s unit and wipes it out along with the nearby Rogue Psyker with the Imperial Knight. A problem here is the first two squads that got decimated have 3 and 1 model left and actually hold. First Blood and Slay the Warlord in one turn.
On my left flank, my CCW platoon panics after taking only a few casualties, but rally upon being charged by the Sicarian Infiltrators, whose charge fails as one is burnt to a crisp! Then he charges my CSMs with the Ruststalkers, with the Servants of the Dark Gods winning narrowly, though my Aspiring Champion dies fighting the challenge! 2 more VPs to the AdMech!
AdMech position, prior to unleashing their firepower on the Chaos Space Marines
Chaz’s Turn #2
As the Unending Host advances, both my Veteran Squads arrive! Scattering not far from the Culexus, they hope to be able to hold something off!
The Cabal, having now moved 12″ away from the Culexus, unleash the Shroud of Deceit on the treacherous Kataphrons, but this time it’s the Warlord’s unit, which proceeds to knock no less than 3 Hull Points off the Knight!
Invisiblity, Iron Arm, and Endurance go off without a hitch, and the Renegade Platoons on the left wipe out the Sicarian Infiltrators in a torrent of flames and plasma!
In the Assault Phase, the Chaos Space Marines just manage a win! However – Overwhelming Firepower nets me 1 VP, bringing the score to 3-2 in favour of the servants of Mars.
The Chaos Space Marines take on the Ruststalkers with the Culexus just out range.
Adeptus Mechanicus’ Turn #3
Drawing Seize Objective 5 and a card with 1 VP if he destroys a unit, the AdMech destroy 3 of my squads and forces one to start running, including the distraction veterans, with their combined firepower as the Culexus barrels into the mêlée! My CSMs’ higher Iniative means they actually wipe the Ruststalkers and wound the Culexus, though it’s still standing and I am in trouble! This nets 3 more VPs for the AdMech!
Chaz’s Turn #3
I draw Seize Objective 1 and 6. One of my close combat platoons is back on the left, seizing Objective Marker 6 and turning a few Skitarii to ash with their flamers! One of my plasma platoons return from Reserves, firing their plasma at the Kataphrons, trading a dead Renegade (it got hot) for a Kataphron!
The Culexus prevents my use of Psychic Phase as I’m not willing to risk the Perils of the Warp (ANY double becomes a Perils of the Warp within 12″ of the Culexus), and my Fallen Angel goes down in the Assault Phase, though so does the Culexus to the slashing blades of the Chaos Space Marines.
The Chaos Space Marines consolidate onto Objecetive Marker 1 – I score another 3 VPs – 6-5 to the AdMech!
Adeptus Mechanicus’ Turn #4
The Tactical Objective cards divine that the AdMech must invoke a Canticle, destroy a unit in the assault phase, and take any objective I held the previous turn.
The Imperial Knight and Kataphrons open fire on the roughly 600 points of Sorcerers and Chaos Space Marines left and fully destroy them while his Warlord’s Kataphrons rolled forward to seize Objective 1. My Renegades take a beating as the Skitarii open fire, but they hold!
The Kataphrons take aim
Chaz’s Turn #4
I get Big Game Hunter and Seize Objective 1 and 4 – no problem!
My lone flamer, left over from the unit that was decimated T1, seizes Objective Marker 1 FOR CHAOS! However, the slightly smaller unit of Kataphrons are now parked on Objective 4, and it’s now down to my other plasma platoon to come onto the table. They fail to cause enough wounds, and that’s gonna be a VP for the AdMech next turn.
My 3-man squad of Cultists, now reduced to 2, fix bayonets and charge the Mechanicus Warlord, dying in the process. However, I’m up Warp Creek without a Gellar Field at this point.
Adeptus Mechanicus’ Turn #5
AdMech drew Ascendancy.
This was the end for Chaos unless something truly spectacular happened. His Skitarii seized Objectives while the Kataphrons murder my poor lone flamer with 3 flamers. He scores 3 VPs for Ascendancy, 1 for pushing me off Objective Marker 1, and steals my Objective Marker 4 Objective.
Chaz’s Turn #5
I draw Objective Marker 3 and 4 – both of which the AdMech hold.
The plasma gunners and remaining lasgunners try their best, but fail to kill the Kataphron holding Objective 4, and the other squad’s charge fails.
The right flank isn’t looking too sharp…
Adeptus Mechanicus’ Turn #6
The game goes on, and now AdMech need to seize Objective Marker 1 and 3, plus Psychological Warfare.
He proceeds to try making my brave platoons fail their Leadership checks by spreading out his Knight’s shots (grav can’t melt human shields), but they all pass… until the last squad has to roll. At this point, the AdMech are squeezing into the middle to avoid the forces of Chaos, but it’s too late as they bring their net up to 18 VPs!
Neither is my left…
Chaz’s Turn #6
I have to seize Objective 6 and 5 and get Behind Enemy Lines.
I charge his Skitarii with my 3-man squad of Renegades and I get wiped, and I roll a one to see if they come back!
My oncoming platoons seize Objective 6 and get into his Deployment Zone, bring me up to a total of 9!
The Forces of Darkness are defeated 18-9!
Strategy, tactics, and list evaluation
Strategically, placing Tactical Objectives up to 9″ (dependent on terrain) from table edges would have allowed me to fully utilise my Outflanking platoons. There were also a few times where I should have remembered Insane Heroism for squads falling back – having them run off the table is good!
Against AdMech, focussing fire on a single unit is a good idea, as it drops their units for the Canticle powers. I kept my Command Net Voxes in the middle squad for each platoon, so that was good, but I should also have kept my Warlord directly behind it, so everyone could benefit for from the Banner of Hate.
Tactically, I need to bubble wrap the Warlord. It was too easy a VP. My CSMs should not have been in front of the Kataphrons, but the Knight was terrifying me on the other side.
My major mistake was failing to do anything with the Culexus. In retrospect, I should have deployed a buffer platoon in front of them and used that to delay the Culexus. That would have bought the squad some important time to keep wreaking havoc on the AdMech while more Renegades move to engage the assassin.
List-wise, I need more punch – more flamers, melta, and plasma. This Monday I’m gonna be playing a White Scars GSF tournament list in a modified mission, but at 1750 points, so I’ll see what I can do!
Overall, I think the game was more even than the score suggested. It was only once turn 5 came around I really struggled, and that would not have happened if I could have “fixed” the Culexus problem.