First, my list. I went with a mixed bag for this tournament, trying out some of the various elements that I thought would do well within the Codex. I also added some Forge World units as this was the one tournament per year that actually allowed them. The list revolves around the Seer Council, giving them the Troop support they need, as well as a rake load of S6/7 guns. Dark Eldar allies add some much needed support to the Council (Stealth, Hit and Run, grenades, re-rolls), and mild Land Raider counter measures.
Eldar Jetbike, Singing Spear
Baron Sathonyx [A]
5x Eldar Jetbikes, 2x Singing Spears
5x Dire Avengers
In Transport 1
In Transport 2
In Transport 3
5x Wyches [A]
Haywire Grenades, in Transport 4
3x Windrider Jetbikes
7x Warp Spiders
4x Pulse Lasers, Holo-Fields
Transport 1: Wave Serpent with Twin-Linked Scatter Laser and Holo-Fields
Transport 2: Wave Serpent with Twin-Linked Scatter Laser and Holo-Fields
Transport 3: Wave Serpent with Twin-Linked Scatter Laser and Holo-Fields
Transport 4: Venom with Splinter Cannon, Night Shields, and Grisly Trophies [A]
Game 1 - Eoin O'Mahony - Necrons
4 pieces of terrain nearest the center of each table quarter are our objectives to fight over. Eoin has an interesting list with a 10 man Royal Court sporting no less than 5 sets of Mind Shackle Scarabs. While 3 of the Crypteks join his 2 5 man Immortal squads in their Night Scythes, and his 5 man Warrior squad on the ground, the rest remain together and are joined by Trazyn the Infinite and Orikan the Diviner. They also hi-jack the Warriors' Ghost Ark in turn 1. Last part to the list is a Writhing Landscape C'Tan to play shenanigans with Orikan.
I won the re-roll and chose to keep first for once and deployed a heavy left flank, which Eoin reciprocated for the most part, with the exception of the C'Tan who took the opposite flank by himself. I stayed put for turn 1 so as not to trigger any of those nasty terrain checks on my many skimmers. In his turn 1 Eoin just got in the Ghost Ark and moved toward me, keeping cover. In turn two I managed to pop the Ark and off a Lord while he waited for his reserves. They arrived in his turn and popped two Wave Serpents surprisingly, as well as causing a unit of Guardians to flee the table. His Court also jumped into one of the now emptied Night Scythes, ready to go where they would.
Turn 3 was swift retribution, with all but 3 Immortals being killed and 1 Scythes being destroyed, sending the Court back into reserve. The other was brought down to a single Hull Point by the newly arrived Warp Spiders. In his turn the Court returned and the Immortals fled the battlefield in their flyer. The C'Tan finally made his way across the board but would need to wait another turn before seeing combat. As such, my turn 4 was all about killing that C'Tan, and I just about did it. His Scythe came back in his turn and went for my backfield along with the disembarking Immortals. His Court moved to one of his objectives also.
In turn 5 the heat was on. I managed to off the Immortals and all but one Warrior, leaving him only two scoring models, and after his turn where his Court left Trazyn on the objective and came after mine, the game luckily went on. I managed to kill the lonely Warrior, however his Court got within contesting range of my objective, and that was game.
We were each given secret secondary objectives denoted by a card in each game, and in this game I got attrition, meaning I had to kill more of Eoin's units that he did of mine. I did that, and he failed his, which was Break Through, meaning he had to get a scoring unit off my table edge. I also held 2 objectives while he held 1, so the game ended a 15.5 - 4.5 win to me.
Game 2 - Ugo Greevey - Chaos Space Marines
Ugo was sporting a beautiful Death Guard army with lots of Plague Marines, Bikes, Havocs and Oblits led by Typhus, and a Heldrake. We had Vanguard Strike deployment this time so we set up ready to rush for the Relic. Ugo got first turn, and it ended badly for me as a Lascannon managed to snipe the Baron right off the bat. Things went from bad to worse in my first turn, as though I popped both his Rhinos near the Relic, my assault into one of the now disembarked units of Plague Marine fluffed with the Council, and without the Baron I was stuck in there for the long haul. Precognition would keep my Farseer around, but his buddies might not be so lucky.
Once his second Plague Marine unit had charged into the combat, subsequent turns basically consisted of him advancing toward me and me shooting him to bits, while his Heldrake still didn't show up because of my Warlord Trait (-1 to enemy reserves). The combat was mostly handbags but by the end of turn 4, the Council, the Farseer, a full squad of Plague Marines, and the Champion from the second Squad were all gone and that second squad still had the Relic.
I was fortunate in game turns once again, as the game went on long enough for me to get the Relic back from him through shooting and holding him up in combat with my Warp Spiders so he couldn't reclaim it before me, however he stopped me getting maximum points by Pinning my Relic unit on the last turn before they could reach their deployment zone. In the end the only Chaos models to survive were Typhus and a single Oblit.
My secondary this time was Breakthrough, which my Jetbikes got with ease, while Ugo's was the same, but I denied it to him. The game ended a 17-3 win to me.
Game 3 - Ivan Sheehan - Old Space Marine/Wolves
Capture the Flag
While there were no flags, we fought over a single terrain piece in each deployment zone. Ivan rocked a list that looked silly on paper, but could give my list a tough time. Primary was Lysnader, Calgar, 5 Sternguard in a Pod, 5 Tacs in a Pod and 5 Scouts, while allies were Logan, Njal, and 2 Wolf Guard with Arjac in a Pod.
In castled up in a corner to try and make him Deep Strike more difficult, but left two units on the opposite flank to tempt him to split his Troops, something I didn't think would work but would still be worth trying. In turn 1 he dropped the Space Wolves and the Sternguard with Lysander and Calgar, and proceeded to wipe out the Warlocks and a Wave Serpent. My army retaliated by fleeing to the other side of the board beyond his reach, with the exception of the Baron and the Guardians who had lost their Serpent. The Baron charged Calgar's unit to try and hold them up for awhile, while the Guardians put down some serious hurt on the Space Wolves, killing the Wolf Guard, Arjac, and wounding both Njal and Logan. The Baron made his charge and challenged, but Calgar got one wound past his Shadow Field and he died.
The remaining turns were just him trying to stay alive on that objective while trying to do what he could at a distance to my Scoring units, while I tried to take him out. By the end of the game, all of the Space Wolves were gone as well as the Sternguard and Calgar. My secondary was to kill his most expensive IC, which was Logan, and his was to get off my table edge. We both achieved those conditions, however I held an objective and contested his, leaving the game at a 13-7 win to me.
Game 4 - Peter Scott - Chaos Space Marines
Peter was rocking the walking dead for this game, with Typhus, a big units of 30 Zombies, 30 Cultists, 4 smaller squads of Zombies, 2 of which were Outflanking thanks to Huron Blackheart, 2 Heldrakes, and 2 units of 3 Oblits. The game proved very tough, as not only was it going to be difficult to take out that many Fearless Scoring bodies, but Peter was a very good player being last year's Irish ETC Captain.
I managed a good few first turns, taking out most of the Cultists and a lot of Zombies as well as a few Oblits, but my momentum dropped as the game went on. His Oblits created a lot of havok from afar killing tanks galore. Despite fluffing some of his Heldrake attacks, they made their presence felt when they arrived and so I couldn't focus my full attention on his Zombies. The slowness of his army proved his undoing in the end, as he may have had the game won, however his Zombie couldn't get to contest my objective in time, and though I didn't get to one of the three he was holding, I managed to Hit and Run in the last turn to block the other two. Neither of us got our secondary and go the game ended in a straight 10-10 draw.
Game 5 - Caolan Gibbons - Dark Angels
Annihilation was a bit altered for this tournament, and so whereas Troops and transports were worth the usual 1KP, Elites, Fast and Heavy were all worth 2KPs each, and HQs were worth 3KPs each.
Caolan was rocking his Ravenwing for this tournament, sporting a full army of Bikes. Lead by Sammael and a Libby, there were two Ravenwing Command Squads, two Black Knight squads, and 4 Troop Melta Bike squads, half of which would be Outflanking.He backed me into a corner easily on turn 1 and managed to pop a Wave Serpent early with his Meltas. With Misfortune and Guide my army combined to get the majority of a squad taken down, and two guys from the second squad.
In turn 2 most of his army came on, however most of it came on the far flank, giving me some time to breath. What was already there went after my Hornets mostly. He managed to take down a Hornet and the Venom before I got my retaliation, and basically wiped out every Bike that was on the half of the table we were currently fighting in, including Sammy and the Libby.
It went downhill from there for Caolan as his dice abandoned him completely, and at the end of the game he just had two half Command Squads left while I lost only the Hornets, the Spiders, a Serpent and the Venom. Once again, neither of us managed to achieve our secondary objective, and so with max. points on the primary the game ended in a 16-4 victory to me.
I was very pleased with my list all weekend. Even when I felt they couldn't handle something they reached up, slapped me in the face, and disagreed. The Hornets were easily the best unit and I will certainly be breaking them out whenever a Forge World friendly tournament shows up. They accounted for a Night Scythe and the C'Tan in game 1, two Oblits, a Rhino and the full squad of Nurgle Bikers in game 2, Logan and Calgar in game 3, a few Oblits and a Heldrake in game 4, and a plethora of Bikes in game 5. Easily my best performing unit.
In the end the victories I had obtained were enough to net me second place, with Peter from game 4 coming 3rd, and Paul Quigley with his 4 Riptides coming 1st miles ahead of the rest of the pack. For my troubles I got the amazing trophy you see below.
Thanks to Nigel, Darragh, Ian, and all else involved for making NWG such an amazing event, and I'll be back once again next year to see if I can improve on a successful 2013 bout.