A storm was gathering above the planet Gerexus, making it hard to differentiate friend from foe. Many parties had previously fought over the bountiful rewards on offer, with few being able to claim absolute victory. As the walls of reality weakened, armies of the Imperium, wanderers of the Webway, newborn races, Traitor Legions, and denizens of the Warp all converged on the planet yet again. In the ensuing battle, none would be able to truly tell friend from foe....
Mork and I entered the 2v2 tournament held at Gamersaurus Rex over the weekend. We eventually settled on a combined Ynnari and Death Guard list. Much as I dislike the fluff behind it, soulburst brings a whole new way to punish lists which get an alpha strike in, while Mork's Death Guard added some resiliency for securing objectives.
|The forces of the Danse Morkabre gathered.|
Game 1 (Opponent: Ravenwing/Imperial Guard)
Our first game was against fellow T&D members Andrew and Melvin. They brought a Baneblade hidden within a void shield and layers of disposable guardsmen, along with a Ravenwing Strike Force.
|Look at all those 2+ rerollable jink bikes! The Ravenwing deployed right up on the line, with the Imperial Guard hiding within the void shield.|
|The Wraithknight sets his sights on the Baneblade. A combination of the Ravenwing movement and Death Guard shooting meant that the Wraithknight could get a Turn 1 charge in.|
|The Wraithknight will make quick work of that Baneblade, though the titanic explosion will wipe it out in turn.|
The Death Jester took careful aim at a squad of black bikes, chuckling to himself as departed spirits guided his aim, and he heard the words "Use. Force."
The jester's first shot made a biker jink. The second hit a rock and sent it hurtling into another biker's eyepiece. As the rider reflexively put his hand to his eye, the bike careened into the third member of the squad. The ensuing explosion sent the surviving biker far off course, almost crashing into an onrushing Wraithknight. As the lone survivor shouted oaths of vengeance, the Death Jester sketched a mocking bow...
The opponent's game plan was simple. Get in the opponent's face with the massed plasma and grav of the Ravenwing, while the Baneblade removed large chunks of the opponent's army from the aegis of the void shield. While the Death Guard could weather the firestorm, the cover ignoring Baneblade would earn its points, clearing out large swathes of our army. The Imperium forces managed to take a commanding 6-0 lead in their first turn thanks to a good draw of cards, though it seemed like their luck ran out and we managed to catch up.
A key moment was the Death Jester Soulbursting and killing off two bikes from one Ravenwing squad, forcing them to run towards the Wraithknight and Solitaire using the "Death Is Not Enough" special rule. This set up another Soulburst in our turn and allowed the Wraithknight and Solitaire to get a Turn 1 charge in on the bikes and the Baneblade. Another key moment was being able to keep my characters alive and denying several interromancy psychic powers, stopping the Imperium from extending their lead.
We ended up losing by 1 VP (I blame the Dark Angel's heresy), which was a great result, considering the lead Andrew and Melvin had built up.
Game 2 (Opponent: Skyhammer/Tau)
Our second game was against another set of T&D members, Lum and Melvin (unrelated to our previous opponent). With a strong Skyhammer/Tau combination, this was a tough matchup. While the previous opponents had both durability and firepower, Lum and Melvin's list was all about obliterating us in a storm of firepower. With a Stormsurge, Ghostkeel, and loads of grav in drop pods, deployment and positioning would be key to keeping our units functioning as long as possible.
|Deployment. The Ynnari and Death Guard spread out across the board, while the Tau cluster to try and maximise the benefits of their overwatch/run and shoot special rules. The Skyhammer is ready to come in on the first turn.|
|The Eldar charge out of their lines on Turn 1, and the Skyhammer prepares to retaliate.|
|The Skyhammer rapidly kills off Death Guard to try and contain prevent our team from racking up the Maelstrom objectives. The Wraithknight and Solitaire prepare to Soulburst and charge the Stormsurge.|
|The Stormsurge braces for impact.|
|Wraithknight and Solitaire both make it into combat.|
|Both promptly get slaughtered by the Stormsurge! A failed 5+ Invulnerable and 5+ Feel No Pain sees the WK removed from the Stormsurge's attacks, while the Solitaire gets stomped flat with a single 6!|
The Stormsurge pilot felt perspiration drench his collar as they manoeuvred desperately to avoid the onrushing Eldar. With their attention focused on the towering Wraithknight, neither pilot noticed the prismatic blur sprinting around the ballistic suit's churning legs. Damage alerts and sparks warned of several systems failures as the Eldar construct slammed its shoulder into the Tau suit, but the Tau retaliated, smashing the barrel of their pulse driver cannon into the chest of the Wraithknight. The lucky strike cracked the pilot chamber and the soulstone interface at the same time, shutting the Wraithknight down completely and leaving it inert.
Dancing a victory jig, the Tau pilot was not even aware of the suit's stabilising foot landing with crushing force on the Harlequin Solitaire...
As expected, our opponent's firepower was hideous, with both Death Guard and Ynnari dying with equal ease. From start to finish, the whole game revolved around tying up the Stormsurge and trying not to die to the Skyhammer. The Tau Commander proved surprisingly resilient, surviving till the end of the battle despite being the focus of attention since we were trying to get the D3 VP for Kingslayer. Interestingly enough, the Ynnari did not manage to make their Turn 1 charges, and had to hunker down and weather the firepower for a turn.
There were several key moments in this game; the Wraithknight surprisingly survived the Skyhammer drop thanks to the Devastators splitting their shooting and me making several invul saves. The Solitaire and the Wraithknight both managed to charge the Stormsurge before it could eliminate more than the jetbikes, but both fluffed their attacks and got killed by the Gargantuan Tau. For shame!
Still, we managed to continue scoring Maelstrom points using Death Guard Terminators, of all things, and we walked away with a 7 point victory.
Game 3 (Opponent: Daemons/Skyhammer)
The final game of the day was against Keith's Daemons and yet another Skyhammer captained by Fauzi. Keith was the Invitational 2016 champion, while Fauzi was an experienced player, so this was always going to be an uphill battle after a whole day's worth of games. Keith brought a Burning Skyhost with a whole heap of Screamers, while Fauzi's Skyhammer brought a mix of grav and multi meltas.
|Yet another Skyhammer combo, this time paired with Daemons. The Eldar again flood up the board, leaving the Death Guard to secure objectives.|
I apologise for the lack of pictures as the hour was late and we were rushing to finish up the game (we only got to Turn 2). The details are a bit hazy, but the soulburst again managed to push the Wraithknight and Solitaire into their Turn 1 charges, and the Solitaire chased down the daemonic Warlord, pushing the Herald and his squad of Screamers into the far corner of the table. The Death Guard and Daemons entered a scoring competition, each trying to outdo the other, while the Skyhammer and Ynnari ended up killing off each other pretty good. At the end of the game, all I had left from my list was the Solitaire and the Death Jester.
Key moment of the game: the Solitaire again fluffed his lines and did not manage to kill the Herald! As a fellow T&D member commented, walking away from close combat with a Solitaire is something to be celebrated.
After the final scores were tallied, we lost to Keith and Fauzi by 4 points.
After all the games were settled, Mork and I came in 5th out of a field of 12 players, sneaking into the top half! Woot. It was great fun playing in a 2v2, and I particularly liked the fact that it allowed for slightly less optimal lists and play, while still retaining an element of competition. The games were all relatively close, and all our opponents were good sports. Having said that, Ray's experiences were different, so go check his posts on the tournament out ;)
Special thanks to Mork for pairing up with me, the T&D members for the games, and Gamersaurus Rex for organising the event! Next up, the 1000pt 1v1 on April 15.