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I took three Iron Warriors Khorne Lord of Skulls to the Las Vegas Open.

And I had the time of my life. I played against 6 highly skilled opponents, each at or above the caliber where I’d expect they easily win a local tournament. Every game was exciting and it never was over on turn 1, which is sometimes the case right now in competitive Warhammer 40k.

Update: Placed 2nd at CaptainCon GT

Will do a quick summary of that GT if there’s interest. Took alpha legion instead.

Terms Used

  • LOS: Lord of Skulls. A Chaos Space Marine Titanic Khorne Daemon Engine Vehicle. Visually, it’s the upper body of a knight on a landraider-sized chassis. It’s a 28 wound monstrosity with a 3++/5++ (even in combat), healing a wound a turn. Key Stratagem: Daemonforge, 1CP. “Reroll all failed hits and wounds for a daemon engine in the fight or shooting phase.”
  • MOP: Chaos Space Marine Master of Possession. Most critical unit in my list: provides two psychic 6″ aura abilities that buff the LOS and all Iron Warriors Daemons to having a 4++ and a reroll 1s to hit and wound
  • Brims: Brimstone daemons, a Daemon troop choice. Very efficient 3pt troops who have a 6++ and a few tricks up their sleeves: the ability to cast and deny on one dice, deep strike, and take blue horrors as a 2pt upgrade — the blue horror can split into a brim when it dies (as long as your list has 3 points left over to cover the cost of the 3pt reinforcement).
  • Disco: Lord Discordant. A Chaos Space Marines Warpsmith Daemon Engine Vehicle Character. Double-buffer to the Lord of Skulls: +1 to hit aura, and +2 to Movement aura if I chose to spend the Field Commander Stratagem for 1CP.

Why do this?

After their 100+ point drop in Chapter Approved, I took a look at the LOS again. I asked on reddit (/r/WarhammerCompetitive) what people thought of its value and I got thoughtful answers and tips. I brought one LOS to Goldensprue and liked it (that’s a whole other story), so I put in more.
One thing I liked about the LOS is that unlike knights it has this big heavy grimdark tank tread body. Which conveniently blocks line of sight to stuff behind, even occasionally lord discordants, but mostly its buffing characters. Additionally, the new Iron Warriors Vehicles Strats improve the LOS both offensively and defensively, and it gets buffed by MOP, Disco, the Daemonsmith (Iron warriors warlord trait for all Iron Warriors Daemon Engines with 6″ to score an extra hit on an unmodified roll of a 6 to hit), as well as the Crimson Crown which i put on the Daemons HQ Bloodmaster (Khorne Daemons relic: all Khorne Daemons within 6″ score an extra attack on a 6+ to wound). A final reason to take this list is that it’s relatively straightforward: I’ll know how well I’m doing by how many LOS are left alive. And my list will be a wildcard that few people will have practiced against, because the list was 2600+ points before December’s Chapter Approved.

First Day:
My LVO started out really well on Thursday, before the tournament, with a masterclass from Glasshammer Gaming’s Mani Cheema. A dozen of us sat around a table and chatted for over 2 hours about all aspects of the game. Mani’s advice: if the opponent won’t break your back on their first turn, give it to them (so of course Mani brought a list that can break backs on his first turn lol). Also, I learned a few critical things: abilities that allow unmodified 6s to hit to generate an extra hit, aka “explode”, works even if there are enough minuses stacked to mean you can’t hit: imperial fists shooting at -4 to hit Discos will still get a hit when they roll a 6 with 3+ BS. This learning would also apply to my list, as it applies to Daemonsmith. Also, I learned you can move over enemy models with fly when you heroically intervene, pile in or consolidate. 

General strategy for the event: Hide characters and even sometimes the disco behind LOS, keep the 2 red LOS towards the back of the board and shoot things at 48 inch range. Keep most of my units, except for one aggressive LOS, the one painted white, castled up within 6inch aura buffs. Around turn 3 or 4, if I correctly kill enough alpha targets, any LOS will be unkillable (due to lack of enemy anti-tank) and I can go into a god-mode breakaway with it up the board, helped by a warptime. 

List Strategy:
I chose to not take the gatling gun on one of the LOS (which is the best and obvious choice at 30pts more) so that I could take a double battalion and a mix of buffing characters. The general idea is to place that white, weaker-at-shooting LOS on the frontline as the “threat they can’t ignore”. This forces the opponent to come out of their hole and engage this juicy target, which I consider a decoy. On my turn, with that LOS dead, I’ll be able to move my two remaining red LOS out of the backfield and shoot his targets that got exposed to kill the first LOS.

I took a double battalion for the CP, mostly so that I would have many options to deal with a variety of threats. This proved to be a mistake: my cultists gave away too many kill points to the opponents. But I think it’s part of the learnings that come with attending my first LVO, and also being in this blind corner moment in the meta.

Thank you to Goonhammer’s Review for making it so clear to see the pros and cons of the different new rules from Faith & Fury, which led me to choose Iron Warriors (but maybe I should have chosen alpha legion for the re-deploy 3 units warlord trait!)

My list (click to view)

++ Super-Heavy Detachment +3CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [90 PL, 1,260pts, -1CP] ++

Legion: Iron Warriors

Specialist Detachment [-1CP]: Soulforged Pack

  • Lord of War +

Khorne Lord of Skulls [30 PL, 430pts]: Hades gatling cannon, Ichor cannon

Khorne Lord of Skulls [30 PL, 400pts]: Ichor cannon, Skullhurler

Khorne Lord of Skulls [30 PL, 430pts]: Hades gatling cannon, Ichor cannon

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [35 PL, 539pts,] ++

  • No Force Org Slot +

Legion: Iron Warriors

Specialist Detachment [-1CP]: Soulforged Pack

  • HQ +

Daemon Prince with Wings [9 PL, 165pts]: Malefic talon, Wings, Warlord
. Slaanesh

Lord Discordant on Helstalker [9 PL, 160pts]: Autocannon, Mark of Slaanesh, Insidium
. Helstalker: Techno-virus injector

Master of Possession [5 PL, 88pts]: Force stave, Mark of Tzeentch,

  • Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon
. Cultist Champion: Shotgun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: Mark of Khorne
. 6x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun
. 3x Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 46pts]: Mark of Tzeentch
. 8x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun
. Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon
. Chaos Cultist w/ special weapon: Heavy stubber
. Cultist Champion: Brutal assault weapon and Autopistol

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Daemons) [19 PL, 198pts] ++

  • HQ +

Bloodmaster [3 PL, 56pts]

Herald of Slaanesh [4 PL, 50pts]

  • Troops +

Horrors [4 PL, 30pts]: 10x Pair of Brimstone Horrors

Horrors [4 PL, 30pts]: 10x Pair of Brimstone Horrors

Horrors [4 PL, 32pts]: Blue Horror, 9x Pair of Brimstone Horrors

++ Total: [144 PL, 1,997pts, 14CP] + (3 Reinforcement points).

Game 1: Possessed & Obliterators

Going first (opponent’s choice) on Spearhead Assault (pointy hammer).

Game 1 LOS Survival Tally:

I’ll use the following table to answer the following critical metric in each of my games: how many LOS are still alive after the Top and Bottom of each turn?

LOS alive on:TopBottomHow did I lose it?
Turn 132Possessed charge
Turn 221Obliterators took off 52 wounds
Turn 310Terminator Sorceror super-smite
Opponent's List: Possessed Bomb (click to view)
+ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Chaos Space Marines) [85 PL, 3CP, 1,306pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot [1 PL, 3CP, 10pts] + Dark Disciples [1 PL, 10pts]: 2x Dark Disciple [10pts] Detachment CP [5CP] Field Commander [-1CP] Legion: Alpha Legion Specialist Detachment [-1CP]: Daemonkin Ritualists [-1CP] + HQ [16 PL, 255pts] + Chaos Lord with Jump Pack [6 PL, 95pts]: Chainsword, Combi-bolter [2pts], Mark of Khorne Dark Apostle [5 PL, 72pts]: Mark of Slaanesh Master of Possession [5 PL, 88pts]: Force stave [8pts], Mark of Slaanesh, Shepherd of the True Faith + Troops [12 PL, 165pts] + Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 55pts]: Mark of Khorne . Aspiring Champion [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword . 4x Marine w/ Chainsword [44pts] Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 55pts]: Mark of Khorne . Aspiring Champion [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword . 4x Marine w/ Chainsword [44pts] Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 55pts]: Mark of Khorne . Aspiring Champion [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword . 4x Marine w/ Chainsword [44pts] + Elites [20 PL, 306pts] + Possessed [20 PL, 306pts]: Mark of Nurgle, 18x Possessed [306pts] + Heavy Support [36 PL, 570pts] + Obliterators [18 PL, 285pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 3x Obliterator [18 PL, 285pts] Obliterators [18 PL, 285pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 3x Obliterator [18 PL, 285pts] ++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Daemons) [26 PL, 5CP, 356pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot [5CP] + Chaos Allegiance: Nurgle Detachment CP [5CP] + HQ [8 PL, 140pts] + Poxbringer [4 PL, 70pts] Poxbringer [4 PL, 70pts] + Troops [18 PL, 216pts] + Nurglings [6 PL, 72pts]: 4x Nurgling Swarms [72pts] Nurglings [6 PL, 72pts]: 4x Nurgling Swarms [72pts] Nurglings [6 PL, 72pts]: 4x Nurgling Swarms [72pts] ++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Thousand Sons) [25 PL, 8CP, 332pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot [8CP] + Battle-forged CP [3CP] Detachment CP [5CP] Legion: Word Bearers + HQ [13 PL, 204pts] + Chaos Lord with Jump Pack [6 PL, 94pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainaxe [1pts], Mark of Khorne Sorcerer in Terminator Armour [7 PL, 110pts]: Combi-bolter [2pts], Force sword [8pts], Mark of Slaanesh, Warlord + Troops [12 PL, 128pts] + Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 48pts] . 11x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [44pts] . Cultist Champion [4pts]: Autogun Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts] . 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [36pts] . Cultist Champion [4pts]: Autogun Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts] . 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun [36pts] . Cultist Champion [4pts]: Autogun ++ Total: [136 PL, 16CP, 1,994pts] ++

Game 1 Strategy:
Go first and hold the middle, where there’s a magic box (i.e. enclosed ruin). His army is all infantry: no daemon princes, which is a smart move for the Magic-Box heavy LVO. My list has 300 points of infantry. If there are infantry knife fights in the ruins, it won’t be a fair fight: I’ll lose. It’s mission 1, so there are 6 objectives, and there are a total of 5 Magic Boxes on the table. I got to get him to come out and play in the open. I also knew from doing some math beforehand that I would lose a LOS to the possessed if they charged it, but I could wipe the possessed unit with a LOS with shooting + charge. It was a trade I was willing to do.
Secondaries: Recon, Engineers, Butcher’s Bill.

MVP: the Lord of skulls on the counter-charge turn 2 into the possessed. He was out of range of the Daemonsmith daemon prince (who I sent to assassinate the opponent’s MOP), yet he still did the business, thanks to the 6 mortal wounds my first LOS did to the possessed when he exploded after dying to them in combat. After this charge, and the whole possessed squad dying, my opponent starts packing up his cards. “That was my whole list” he says. I start feeling elated. Mistake!
LVP: The Master of Possession was the least valuable player. Turn 1: casts Cursed Earth, I rolled two 1s. I re-rolled a 1 into a 1 with a CP and the opponent pops the daemon double-D3 mortal wounds perils stratagem, Daemonic Possession. I roll 4 mortal wounds, and can’t re-roll cause I used the re-roll on the double 1 from the perils. I’ve lost my master of possession to perils at the beginning of my first psychic phase round 1of the LVO. lol. My Master of Possession has died to Daemonic Possession. Fitting??
Opponent’s MVP: Obliterators taking 52 wounds off of 2 Lord of skulls the turn they dropped in. That stunned me. I had recently been listening to an Art of War podcast with Mark Perry, and Nick was saying Obliterators did “Nothing” to “Definitely Nothing”. Well these swingy obliterators here just won the game by taking out nearly all the wounds off my two remaining LOS.

Photos:


Path to Victory:
He clearly and definitively won the game: 26 to 23. Luck was more or less on my side and it still didn’t work. I think my lack of practice really hurt me here: I didn’t know how to time the possessed bomb. I probably could have played less aggressively: I got unnerved by the fact that 5 objectives were holdable from within Magic Boxes or back-corner ruins, and he had a completely infantry army, and so I decided to take the first turn and rush up into possessed charge range. If there wasn’t a magic box in the middle, I would probably have chosen to go second.
Also, forgetting my brims in deepstrike was a mistake (you will see a trend here). I could have maybe used them to screen the LOS and protect him from the Super-smite (but i doubt it, cause I think they were less than 9 inches away from each other). I could maybe have held another objective for one turn, but it probably wouldn’t have swung the game on its own. One path to victory would be having the MOP alive to give the LOS all 4++ : they died faster than expected with 5++s. Practice, Practice, practice.
Memorable moments: my opponent being so good that he suggested to me a brilliant strategy that he assumed I was doing but I hadn’t thought of: charge the cultists into the remaining single nurgling, but move them in a wide circle around it, only hit in the fight phase with 2 of the cultists to guarantee you won’t take the last 3 wounds off the nurglings, and then trap that nurgling with just enough space to fit a LOS into being within 1″ of the nurgling on its consolidate: Now the LOS is untargetable in the enemy shooting phase. Well, it didn’t matter that I didn’t think of the play, because he killed the final LOS with Smites alone!

Game 2: Craftworlds

Going first (my choice) on Hammer and Anvil

Opponent's List: Craftworlds MSU mech wall (click to view)
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [49 PL, 8CP, 931pts] ++ Battle-forged CP [3CP] Craftworld Attribute. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots Detachment CP [5CP] + HQ + Autarch [4 PL, 73pts]: Craftworlds Warlord, Forceshield, Star Glaive Farseer [6 PL, 110pts]: 0. Smite, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade + Troops + Dire Avengers [3 PL, 58pts] . 4x Dire Avenger: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult . Dire Avenger Exarch: Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults . . Exarch Power: Bladestorm Rangers [3 PL, 60pts]: 5x Ranger Rangers [3 PL, 60pts]: 5x Ranger + Heavy Support + Dark Reapers [13 PL, 248pts] . 7x Dark Reaper: 7x Reaper Launcher . Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher . . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot War Walkers [4 PL, 75pts] . War Walker: Aeldari Missile Launcher, Aeldari Missile Launcher War Walkers [4 PL, 75pts] . War Walker: Aeldari Missile Launcher, Aeldari Missile Launcher + Dedicated Transport + Wave Serpent [9 PL, 172pts]: Crystal Targeting Matrix, Spirit Stones, Twin Aeldari Missile Launcher, Twin Shuriken Catapult ++ Air Wing Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [27 PL, 1CP, 542pts] ++ Craftworld Attribute . *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots + Flyer + Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 190pts]: Two Bright Lances . Exarch Power: Hawkeye Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 176pts]: Two Starcannons . Exarch Power: Hawkeye Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 176pts]: Two Starcannons . Exarch Power: Hawkeye ++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [35 PL, 1CP, 526pts] ++ Craftworld Attribute . *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots + HQ + Warlock [2 PL, 45pts]: 0. Smite, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade + Heavy Support + Falcon [9 PL, 145pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher, Crystal Targeting Matrix, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones Night Spinner [8 PL, 112pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult Night Spinner [8 PL, 112pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult Night Spinner [8 PL, 112pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult ++ Total: [111 PL, 10CP, 1,999pts] ++

Game 2 LOS Survival Tally:

LOS alive on:TopBottomWhat happened?
Turn 133One LOS takes half damage from dark reapers
Turn 232Deep Strike Arrival of all Crimson Hunter Exarchs + Falcon + War Walkers and Doom
Turn 322He targets the Disco instead, takes decoy LOS down to 4 wounds
Turn 421Decoy LOS destroys Falcon in charge, then dies
Turn 51 1Final LOS is in god-mode: 2 CHEs left
Turn 6111 CHE left, main threat left on the board

Strategy:
If I can choose, go first and hold the middle, where there’s a magic box. Night Spinners are top target priority because my infantry is weak. It’s only 3 objectives, so if I can hold the middle I can hold more, and if I do that I have the game. Secondaries: Recon, Engineers, Big Game Hunter.
Summary:
I kill half his on-table army turn 1: all that’s left is a loaded Wave Serpent and an autarch that I can’t get line of sight onto. The 12inch move on the LOS was beneficial for getting them into line of sight (thanks to Soulforged Pact).
Turn 3 was memorable: I didn’t get a kill!!! I failed charges with the Disco and the LOS, and had split fire into the eldar fliers, which was a mistake (also, he didn’t kill my decoy LOS first: he went straight for the better gun). I wasn’t too worried: I had amazing board control — lots of infantry in the central magic box surrounded by all LOS –and forced him to arrive from deep strike far from my engineers and had already killed the 3 night spinners: I was gonna max engineers and was looking at hold more for every turn. But I did start to get worried when I lost the first LOS, Daemon Prince, and especially Disco and the 2nd LOS.
Where I got lucky: Opponent didn’t have anywhere to hide his 3 night spinners. He did manage to hide a wave serpent behind a hill, but once I moved the 3 LOS into the center, I had line of sight onto all 3 night spinners, and thanks to both the Daemonforge and the Tank Hunters Strat I got all 3 night spinners on the first turn, putting one LOS into each.
Where he got lucky: double 6s on damage from one war walker into Disco (he has 13 wounds total because of insidium, an iron warriors relic for +1 S, +1 T, +1 W). This single incident turn 2 fundamentally changed the Disco’s lifepath. He could have taken 10 wounds and loved it and been a complete weapon for me the rest of the game. Here’s why: At 1 wound remaining, even when he heals 1 at the beginning of the turn and then I spend my second to last CP to heal him for 3 wounds (Iron Warriors strat Unholy Vigour), he’s still in not in top bracket. But he would have gotten into top bracket if he had only taken 10 wounds, which meant that he would have made the 4 inch charge into the falcon, instead of failing the 7 inch charge. If he had made the charge, he was likely to have killed the falcon, at which point he could have used his own discordance to heal himself for D3. If the opponent had only rolled 7 wounds, the average, I wouldn’t even have needed to use a strat to heal him to put him on top -bracket, and I’d have had 1 CP left to either guarantee the 4inch charge or to use Daemonforge in the fight phase to guarantee the kill with the Disco. That war walker’s 12 damage sealed his fate.


Path to Victory: This was the most straightforward win, at 34 points, of my LVO. Mission 2 of ITC is notoriously good for Chaos, especially if you have turn 1 and there’s a magic box in the middle. Kudos to my opponent for putting me on my back foot nonetheless once he arrived from deep strike bottom of turn 2.
LVP: Unwounded Daemon Prince charges autarch, does 2 wounds to him, gets stabbed to death by said autarch over the next two rounds of combat (I was shocked when the autarch stayed in combat, Doom goes off from a farseer who survived a round of combar with a LOS). My Disco won second place for LVP: he advanced and I use my last CP to allow him to advance and charge (Soulforged Pact Stratagem) and he fails a 7inch charge and dies to shuriken.
MVP: Bloodmaster of Khorne charges the daemon-slayer hero autarch surrounded by cultists and takes his pound of flesh turn 5. Does more damage than the daemon prince, even rolling 2 6s to wound which is flat 3 damage and an extra attack because the Crimson Crown affects himself as well.
Memorable moment: On my turn 2 I needed to get line of sight on some dark reapers, and I got approval from a judge that Containers count as hills and that vehicles can climb hills, so this happened. Shenanigans! Can’t say I’m proud of it.

Game 3: Imperial Fists

Going second (opponent’s choice) on Hammer and Anvil

Opponent's List: Imperial Fists (click to view)
Battalion Detachment 5CP (Adeptus Astartes) [ 49 PL, 880 pts ] Chapter: Imperial Fists -HQ- Captain [6pl, 143pts] bolt pistol, frag & krak grenades, jump pack, storm shield, thunder hammer Captain in Phobos Armor [5pl, 99pts] bolt pistol, camo cloak, combat knife, frag & krak grenades, master-crafted instigator bolt carbine, warlord -Troop- Intercessor Squad [5pl, 85 pts] x5, stalker bolt rifle, bolt pistol, frag & krak grenades Scout Squad [4pl, 55 pts] x5, bolt pistol, boltgun, frag & krak grenades, sergeant combat knife Scout Squad [4pl, 55 pts] x5, bolt pistol, boltgun, frag & krak grenades, sergeant combat knife -Heavy Support- Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought [9pl, 122pts] 2x twin heavy bolter Relic Leviathan Dreadnought [16pl, 321 pts] 2x Storm cannon array, 3x Hunter-killer missile Battalion Detachment 5CP (Adeptus Astartes) [ 68 PL, 1119 pts] Chapter: Imperial Fists -HQ- Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought [11pl, 167pts] dreadnought close combat weapon with storm bolter, twin lascannon, Catechism of Fire Techmarine [4pl, 45pts] boltgun, frag & krak grenades, servo-arm -Troop- Intercessor Squad [10pl, 102pts] x6, stalker bolt rifle, bolt pistol, frag & krak grenades Intercessor Squad [5pl, 85 pts] x5, stalker bolt rifle, bolt pistol, frag & krak grenades Intercessor Squad [5pl, 85 pts] x5, stalker bolt rifle, bolt pistol, frag & krak grenades -Elites- Relic Whirlwind Scorpius [12pl, 215pts] Scorpius multi-launcher Company Veterans [3pl, 28pts] 2, bolt pistol, chainsword, frag & krak grenades -Heavy Support- Devastator Squad [6pl, 150pts] 5, 4x grav-cannon and grav-amp, bolt pistol, frag & krak grenades, sergeant with boltgun, armorium cherub Thunderfire Cannon [4pl, 92pts] Thunderfire Cannon, Techmarine Gunner with servo-harness, flamer, plasma cutter, 2x servo-arm Whirlwind [4pl, 85pts] Whirlwind Vengeance Launcher -Dedicated Transport- Drop Pod [4pl, 65pts] Storm Bolter

Game 3 LOS Survival Tally

LOS alive on:TopBottomWhat happened?
Turn 122Whirlwind & Scorpius, lascannon chaplain dread, stalker intercessors (imperial fists!) and Devastator Gravs kill decoy LOS & hidden Disco
Turn 222One LOS picks up devastators in combat, tags the droppod (on my backline), and the other LOS hides outside of 60inch range
Turn 322With my LOS outside of 60inches, he instead picks up my entire army bar the Daemonsmith
Turn 421I had brought the 2 LOS forward: it was time to breakaway. 1 dies.
Turn 51 1Last LOS is in godmode after killing the Scorpius
Turn 611Hold more & Kill more achieved

Summary:
I should start by saying that round 3 was many people’s least favorite game they had at the LVO. Due to technical difficulties, this round started 2 hours late. People were lying under tables napping from exhaustion. Many people were cranky, I probably was, and I played faster than I should have mostly from wanting to go to sleep. The LVO generously offered to have us play at 7am instead, but I figured I might have been just as tired then, and the idea playing 4 rounds in one day seemed intense.

How’d it go? I lost the hidden disco and a LOS on his turn 1. The opponent dropped the droppod down turn 1 to eliminate my frontline LOS, but was smart and placed the droppod in the back of my deployment zone, which meant it gave me no extra movement if I wanted to come at him. I spent my first three turns keeping my surviving 2 LOS outside of range of the Relic Scorpius, shooting intercessors and scouts and the Mortis Dreadnought that moved up with its 36-inch range heavy bolters. I then moved both LOS up, lost one, but then finally the last surviving LOS got within its guns’ 48-inch range of the relic scorpius and Daemonforge guaranteed it was gone, and the LOS went on a god-mode breakaway.

Strategy:
Going into the event, I knew imperial fists would potentially be a tough matchup for me: heavy weapons do an additional point of damage against vehicles. My army is mostly vehicles. And then there’s the Relic Scorpius. This relic is scary: it has 6D3 shots (when it doesn’t move) re-rolling all hits with a chapter master, re-rolling wounds of 1 with Eye of Hypnoth, with +1 to wound with from both an imperial fists strat and a chaplain litany, and 3 damage.
The deployment favored me: My LOS range was 48 with a 10 inch move, his was mostly 36, and we were on hammer and anvil. I could put the LOS out of range of most of his army at over 48, and then move into range when I felt like the time had come to go on a breakaway. The terrain favored me: the hill in front of his army was only high enough to hide infantry, not tanks. His artillery had nowhere to hide. 4 Objectives were all in the open so I could shoot things off objectives when I needed to get hold more. Still, I was scared enough of the opponent’s artillery that I wanted first turn to start clearing him out, but he got first turn.

Biggest misplay: I chose recon and engineers as secondaries, because, I think, they had worked very well for me in the first rounds. I scored 0 points for either. If I had chosen anything else (old school, reaper, ground control), it would have been a victory.
Misplay from the opponent: He told me that his Relic Scorpius, which could reliably take 20 wounds a turn off a LOS, had a 60inch range. I found out the next day when I faced another Relic Scorpius player that it has a 48inch range. I kept 2 LOS out of 60 inches of the scorpius for 2 turns, losing my support characters to the Relic Scorpius (I didn’t bring them far enough back to be protected by the LOS), my Disco to the Scorpius, all in the 48-60 inch range. I’ve played a lot of 40k, and I know that often it’s easy to get your rules wrong . I’d already lost a game before anyway, so I was at LVO to have fun. Really, I’d say, to Games Workshop: slow down with all the new rules all the time or you’re gonna have an edition that gets too bloated again and its hard to remember everything.
Path to Victory: It was a 1 points loss: I had tabled him except for 1 support character by turn 6 with a LOS still alive. 19 to 20. There were so many paths to victory that I almost don’t want to think about it: I had 5 more points than him on primaries, but lost 10 to 4 on secondaries. Most obvious was engineers. I guess I just wasn’t thinking, and this is a thinking person’s game.
Learning: You need reps with your LVO army. You need practice in selecting secondaries, knowing the range of enemy guns (The Relic Scorpius was common enough), and in timing your breakaway, so that if you’re not thinking you can go on auto-pilot. And Mission 3, especially against artillery, is just bad for engineers.

Game 4: Centurions

Going second (opponent’s choice) on Vanguard

Game 4 LOS Survival Tally

LOS alive on:TopBottomWhat happened?
Turn 133Most centurions are in deepstrike, the rest hide
Turn 233Centurions charge, take an LOS down to 2.
Turn 322Last centurions kill the front LOS
Turn 422Remaining 2 LOS take middle
Turn 522
Turn 622
Opponent's List: Successors of Raven Guard & Imperial Fists
++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Space Marines) [36 PL, 675pts] ++ **Chapter Selection**: Imperial Fists + HQ + Captain [5 PL, 74pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword + Elites + Relic Whirlwind Scorpius [12 PL, 215pts]: Scorpius multi-launcher Servitors [3 PL, 20pts]: 4x Servitor, 4x Servo-arm + Heavy Support + Thunderfire Cannon [4 PL, 92pts] . Techmarine Gunner . . Servo-harness: Flamer, Plasma cutter Thunderfire Cannon [4 PL, 92pts] . Techmarine Gunner . . Servo-harness: Flamer, Plasma cutter Whirlwind [4 PL, 91pts]: Hunter-killer missile, Whirlwind vengeance launcher Whirlwind [4 PL, 91pts]: Hunter-killer missile, Whirlwind vengeance launcher ++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Space Marines) [74 PL, 1,322pts] ++ **Chapter Selection**: Long-range Marksmen, Raven Guard Successor, Stealthy + HQ + Captain [6 PL, 143pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer Chaplain [4 PL, 72pts]: Bolt pistol, Litany of Hate, Warlord + Troops + Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . Scout Sergeant: Chainsword, Combat knife . 4x Scout w/Combat Knife Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . Scout Sergeant: Chainsword, Combat knife . 4x Scout w/Combat Knife Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . Scout Sergeant: Chainsword, Combat knife . 4x Scout w/Combat Knife + Elites + Centurion Assault Squad [16 PL, 312pts] . Centurion: Hurricane bolter . . Flamers: 2x Flamer . Centurion: Hurricane bolter. . Flamers: 2x Flamer . Centurion: Hurricane bolter . . Flamers: 2x Flamer . Centurion: Hurricane bolter . . Flamers: 2x Flamer . Centurion: Hurricane bolter . . Flamers: 2x Flamer . Centurion Sergeant: Hurricane bolter . . Flamers: 2x Flamer + Heavy Support + Centurion Devastator Squad [24 PL, 420pts] . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion Sergeant: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter Centurion Devastator Squad [12 PL, 210pts] . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter . Centurion Sergeant: Grav-cannon and grav-amp, Hurricane bolter

Strategy:

Just on Tuesday with my teammates I had practiced against a similar list, the triple deepsrtiking Raven Guard centurion list as played by Alex Fennell at Goldensprue GT. My plan was simple: bait him into charging the decoy LOS, tank a lot of wounds with the 4/5++ and the 6+++, and survive on the lowest bracket to then interrupt with an ungodly number of attacks. If the LOS does die (he could, if he’s already taken a few wounds, tho I have the slaanesh herald for the Aura of Acquiescence strat to reduce their attacks by 1), you can always kill the Cents with a counter charge while the shooting picks up the Devastator Cents.
Really, what I was afraid of was the opponent hiding the whole game, so I took ground control and Recon as secondaries (as well as gangbusters ) to not be too dependent on having to kill things to win.
In this case, he came out of hiding: at the end of turn 2, there were 2 centurions left on the board.

Turn 1 was pure karma: At the top of turn 1, my 3 LOS are outside 48 inches of the Relic Scorpius, so all he can kill with it are cultists as his assault cents hide inside the central ruin. In my turn, I move within 48 of the Relic Scorpius, and pick it up with a LOS’s gatling cannon. I can barely see hidden assault centurions with just one LOS: only 1.5 of them is lost thanks to their 3+ save in cover.
Turn 2 his beautifully painted Assault Centurions pop out of the ruin to make the charge, and the 9 devastator centurions arrive from deep strike. He’s confident in his ability to kill a LOS in combat, so he puts fire from the devs into a backline LOS: not the one he was planning on charging. Takes it down to 13 wounds. The front one is at 24 wounds remaining when the opponent makes the charge with the smash captain and 5 assault centurions. I told him about the 3inch Aura of Acquiesence strat, and he barely has room to stay outside of 3 of the herald’s heroic intervention range, but he does get all 5 assault centurions striking with full attacks. They do 15 wounds with 3 damage each. I make 6 invulnerable saves, and so I take 27 wounds.


MVP: The Stratagem Iron Within, Iron Without (1 CP):

“Use in any phase when an Iron Warriors unit is about to lose a wound. Roll a D6 for that wound, and each other wound you lose afterward in that phase. On a 6, you don’t lose the wound. “


So after the Assault Centurions did 27 damage, I rolled 27 dice, and I got 5 6s. The LOS lived with 2 wounds remaining. I then spent 2CP to interrupt combat so that I could strike before the smash captain does. When it comes to close combat, the LOS degrades backwards (4 to 6 to 8 attacks at lowest bracket— he angry!), so I had 9 attacks when charged, which is 27 dice when striking with the slash profile which gives you 3 dice to roll for each attack. 6s to hit explode into an extra hit (Daemonsmith). 6s to wound explode into an extra attack (Crimson Crown), which is 3 dice per attack. The smash captain did not get to strike that day, and there were no more assault centurions.
In my turn 2, the 3 LOS lumbered towards the center, and shot the dev centurions in front of them. 2 DevCents survived, and I decided to not charge them to avoid dying from overwatch, so my 3-wound LOS charged the now-exposed chaplain. The opponent did kill that LOS next turn with the DevCents shooting, but really rest of the game was moving up the board on cleanup, and taking all the objectives for a final ground control and a 33-17 win.

Game 5: Orks

Going second (opponent’s decision, but I decided not to seize) on Vanguard

LOS alive on:TopBottomWhat happened?
Turn 122All the smasha guns and mortals from some Shokkas
Turn 222One LOS got knocked down to 13. I got lucky this turn: his dice got cold and I had gotten off my 4++ aura from the MOP and killed 4 smashas
Turn 322Sort of hid one LOS and Spent CP on a re-roll and the 6+++s strat to keep the other one alive on 3 wounds
Turn 411Final LOS runs out to charge final boyz squad
Turn 500All that’s happening is character skirmishes: Warboss kills Daemon Prince, then on my turn the Herald of Khorne counter charges to get the warboss
Turn 600He shoots the Herald of Khorne off the board, engages the cultists and MOP with Mek and Weirdboy
Opponent's List: Orks Orks Orks
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Orks) [41 PL, 790pts, 8CP] ++ + No Force Org Slot [8CP] + Battle-forged CP [3CP] Clan Kultur: Evil Sunz Detachment CP [5CP] + HQ [8 PL, 159pts] + Big Mek W/ Kustom Force Field [4 PL, 79pts]: Grot Oiler [4pts], Kustom Force Field [20pts] Warboss [4 PL, 80pts]: Attack Squig, Kustom Shoota [2pts], Power Klaw [13pts] + Troops [33 PL, 631pts] + Boyz [11 PL, 215pts]: 3x Tankbusta Bombs . Boss Nob [12pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa . 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa [203pts] Boyz [11 PL, 201pts]: 2x Tankbusta Bombs . Boss Nob [12pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa . 27x Ork Boy W/ Shoota [189pts] Boyz [11 PL, 215pts]: 3x Tankbusta Bombs . Boss Nob [12pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa . 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa [203pts] ++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Orks) [39 PL, 738pts, 4CP] ++ + No Force Org Slot [4CP] + Clan Kultur: Deathskulls Detachment CP [5CP] Specialist Detachment [-1CP]: Dread Waaagh! [-1CP] + HQ [12 PL, 252pts] + Big Mek W/ Shokk Attack Gun [4 PL, 84pts]: Grot Oiler [4pts], Shokk Attack Gun [25pts], Warlord Big Mek W/ Shokk Attack Gun [4 PL, 84pts]: Grot Oiler [4pts], Shokk Attack Gun [25pts] Big Mek W/ Shokk Attack Gun [4 PL, 84pts]: Grot Oiler [4pts], Shokk Attack Gun [25pts] + Troops [3 PL, 90pts] + Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts] . 10x Gretchin [30pts] Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts] . 10x Gretchin [30pts] Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts] . 10x Gretchin [30pts] + Heavy Support [24 PL, 396pts] + Mek Gunz [12 PL, 198pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] Mek Gunz [12 PL, 198pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] . Gun [2 PL, 33pts]: Smasha Gun [18pts] ++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Orks) [23 PL, 472pts, 5CP] ++ + No Force Org Slot [5CP] + Clan Kultur: Bad Moons Detachment CP [5CP] + HQ [6 PL, 124pts] + Weirdboy [3 PL, 62pts] Weirdboy [3 PL, 62pts] + Troops [4 PL, 93pts] + Gretchin [2 PL, 33pts] . 11x Gretchin [33pts] Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts] . 10x Gretchin [30pts] Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts] . 10x Gretchin [30pts] + Heavy Support [13 PL, 255pts] + Lootas [13 PL, 255pts] . 15x Loota [255pts] ++ Total: [103 PL, 17CP, 2,000pts] ++

I played a lot of good players, and this guy especially was an exceptional opponent. I found out later that he was in the top 20 or so in worldwide ITC ranking, and yeah it showed.

Strategy: I was beginning to feel like I was getting the hang of playing the LOS list going second: place the white decoy LOS aggressively enough that it has to be dealt with, but don’t weep when it dies cause I didn’t have the points for the Gatling on it. I can always use defensive stratagems like Dour Duty to reduce AP by 1 so that lootas are AP 0 (hehe evil laugh) when they target the red LOSes in the back. So I want to go second.

This is mission 5, which is a bit different than most ITC missions. The objectives are basically in the 4 corners of the board. You don’t get much benefit from holding the middle. At goldensprue I had lost in this mission to Chad, a talented Necron player, by playing too aggressively and being out-maneuvered when I charged up the board at him with a LOS: he just da-jumped (well, veil of darkness + Night Scythe Teleport) from his corner ruin to the exact corner I had come from 5 turns previously! Outside of sight in my own starting ruin where he blew away cultists and took my priority objective! Ouch!

So, my strategy was not to charge forward, but just try to hold the two objectives in front of me (and follow Archon Skari’s advice to turn a Vanguard deployment into a hammer and anvil, and move a ITC objective that isn’t in your deployment zone as your priority objective). I would ignore the Shokk guns and put aside any dreams of making it into the opponent’s deployment zone. I picked a central objective, in the upper left, as my priority objective and pulled it out of any magic boxes and towards my deployment zone. The opponent thought it was a weird move. It’s true that it would be now easier for him to get boyz or grots onto it and get the bonus. But in the end, having it closer to me and out in the open allowed me to guarantee hold more for 2 turns and hold the same for the rest of the game: so when all was said and done I gave him the bonus once and gave up 1 point to get many more. Secondaries: Butchers Bill, Reaper, old school (should have maybe picked engineers instead, but I was afraid of Da Jump).

Sunmary: I played to the mission here. Each turn, I asked myself what do I need to do to get kill more and hold more. This meant I sometimes wasted a Gatling cannon into a unit of 10 grots who were the only things holding an enemy objective, or getting too close to mine. This gave me kill more & hold more the first two turns, and the opponent never held more for the game. I also had a critical success in the first turn when one LOS charged 30 Boyz and picked them all up thanks to rolling enough 6s to hit and wound.

MVP: Master of Possession survives the whole game after protecting and buffing the two LOS survivors, gets me a kill on the last turn when its only him and 6 cultists left in my army by throwing a krak grenade into a weirdboy. All I have left at the end of the game are 6 cultists and the MOP.
Close second MVP: the daemon Stratagem to turn a perils into a 2D3 perils denies my opponent Da Jump when it kills his weirdboy who rolled a 9 + 3 on turn 2.
Uncertain Decision: I made a strange move turn 3. It was either masterfully dumb or great and I really can’t tell which. I had 2 LOS left, one at 13 wounds, one at 3, and I really wanted to keep them alive. He had brilliantly moved blocked me to keep me out of his deployment zone by advancing up with a line of grots, protecting smasha guns, warboss and support characters from being charged while the last unit of 30 boys had a chance to slowly advance up the board after I had killed their source of Da Jump. I could either try to hide my Disco behind the middle ruin (probably out of sight of the smash guns, but not the shokk attack guns), or charge the grots. I went for the charge, and aggressively moved the Disco up the board on my consolidate to make him a clear threat: only 18 inches away from the big 30-boyz squad, and 10-15 or so inches away from smasha guns and other critical characters.
His turn: he rolls a 6 for the boys’ advance. Uh-oh: they’re a 7inch charge from the Disco now. He doesn’t put that many guns into the Disco: he kills one LOS and gets the other one down to 9 wounds. He gets the charge off on the Disco with the boyz and warboss, and kills him in combat. Basically, I’ve sacrificed this disco. Was it worth it?
My turn: the LOS, realizing his last moment has come, charges out into the open and engages the 30 boyz in combat. There are no boyz left at the end of the fight phase. the LOS dies to shooting on the opponent’s turn, but at that point I’m happy because I’ve wiped out all the opponent’s troops, leaving him with a warboss, big mek, and weirdboy coming up the field towards me. By killing the boyz I’ve probably denied him the ability to either hold more or take my priority objective away from my cultists. The LOS were always on a clock, and so what moving the disco out as bait did for me was bring those 30 boys up into its range of attack before it clocked out. In retrospect, it was a trade, but I’m not sure if that’s how I was thinking about it at the time. Please let me know in comments if I could have played that better.

LVP: Herald of Slaanesh. She goes aggressively up into a building to modify her line of sight to see over grots and get a cheeky smite into Lootas, killing 2. Hero! Then, the 10 grots, over whose heads she had smited, moved into sight, and shoot her with 10 grot pistols… and killed her.

Post-game recap:
I felt good about this: I felt like my opponent’s clean playing and meticulous move-blocking had elevated my playing as well. It wasn’t a blowout win, it was a cagier game that went 28-23. I felt like I had played one of my best, and then looked under the table and saw that I had left my 10 brimstones in deepstrike!!!! $%^$@!

Game 6: AdMech

Going Second (Opponent’s choice: I was seized on!) in Search and Destroy

 
Opponent's List: Adeptus Mechanicus
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus) [67 PL, 7CP, 934pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot + Battle-forged CP [3CP] Detachment CP [5CP] Forge World Choice . Forge World: Mars Specialist Detachment: Servitor Maniple [-1CP] + HQ + Belisarius Cawl [13 PL, 190pts]: Warlord, Warlord Trait (Mars): Static Psalm-Code Tech-Priest Dominus [7 PL, 80pts]: Macrostubber, Relic: Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land, Volkite Blaster + Troops + Kataphron Breachers [8 PL, 90pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle Kataphron Destroyers [20 PL, 288pts] . Kataphron Destroyer: Phosphor Blaster, Plasma Culverin . Kataphron Destroyer: Phosphor Blaster, Plasma Culverin . Kataphron Destroyer: Phosphor Blaster, Plasma Culverin . Kataphron Destroyer: Phosphor Blaster, Plasma Culverin . Kataphron Destroyer: Phosphor Blaster, Plasma Culverin . Kataphron Destroyer: Phosphor Blaster, Plasma Culverin Skitarii Vanguards [7 PL, 64pts] . 7x Skitarii Vanguard . Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine + Heavy Support + Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber ++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus) [41 PL, 5CP, 572pts] ++ Detachment CP [5CP] Forge World Choice . Forge World: Mars + HQ + Daedalosus [3 PL, 50pts] Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 65pts]: Magnarail lance + Troops + Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 59pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle . 2x Skitarii Ranger . 2x Skitarii Ranger (Transuranic Arquebus): 2x Transuranic Arquebus Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 59pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle . 2x Skitarii Ranger . 2x Skitarii Ranger (Transuranic Arquebus): 2x Transuranic Arquebus Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle . 4x Skitarii Ranger + Heavy Support + Onager Dunecrawler [7 PL, 102pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Cognis Heavy Stubber, Icarus Array Onager Dunecrawler [7 PL, 102pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Cognis Heavy Stubber, Icarus Array Onager Dunecrawler [7 PL, 100pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Icarus Array ++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Imperium - Imperial Knights) [25 PL, 494pts] ++ + No Force Org Slot + Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus . House Krast + Lord of War + Knight Crusader [25 PL, 494pts]: Heavy Stubber, Ironstorm Missile Pod . Avenger Gatling Cannon w/ Heavy Flamer: Avenger Gatling Cannon, Heavy Flamer . Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon w/ Heavy Stubber: Heavy Stubber, Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon ++ Total: [133 PL, 12CP, 2,000pts] ++

Game 6 LOS Survival Tally

LOS alive on:TopBottomWhat happened?
Turn 122Damage from Kataphrons and all the admech tanks. Knight takes 7 off a second LOS
Turn 222(he targeted the Disco! hahaha oh no I rolled 5 1s on my 2+ saves now the disco lost 9 wounds even tho he’s hidden and he’s dead from indirect fire). Other LOS is down to 13.
Turn 311There’s one LOS left but he can get into combat. Let’s go.
Turn 411The LOS kills a Scorpius and all the Kataphrons
Turn 511The LOS is no longer threatened by anything
Turn 611Final LOS acheives Butchers Bill, Kill more, Linebreaker, and Last Strike.

Strategy:

I remembered what Mani said: “You only want to go first against a list that could break your back”. This was that list! He had so much anti-vehicle shooting, on top of which he chose a Knight’s relic, the Headsman’s Mark, which increased all damage from the Knight against my LOS by 2, because they are titanic. I luckily was able to choose who goes first, and I chose myself.
Secondaries: butchers bill, old school, gang busters

Search and destroy deployment really favors my “1 in the front, 2 in the back” strategy: the decoy LOS in the front is nearly 30 inches in front of the two in the back corner. The front one has a maximum of 30 inch charge threat range thanks to soulforged pact. So I deploy first. I expect my combat decoy stratagy to force him to deploy way back in his corner, but when it comes to his turn to deploy, I am speechless. He is not intimidated at all by my lord of skulls up in the front: he is placing almost everything toward the front of his deployment zone, including kataphrons right on his front line within 9. Of the middle. An Easy 2 inch charge from the Lord of skulls. What is he doing? This guy is right on the frontline and is getting all his 24inch guns in range. My “decoy” Jedi mind trick has totally failed, it’s almost as if he knows he’s gonna … SEIZE THE INITIATIVE! There’s the 6! Hold on boys, we’re in for a wild ride. 

Summary:
Oh how can I describe this game….like hanging on by the skin of my teeth on a roller coaster ride. Used every defensive stratagem available to me, to give the white LOS a 6+++, then reduce AP onto the red LOS that he started shooting after the white one died. It felt like a classic Tabletop Tactics Matchup: Admech vs Chaos, I’m the Iron warrior Beard taking on the imperium’s gunline, but instead of facing Stig the Tame Wargamer, I’m facing Andy the Unleashed Wargamer! Strategy: do everything I can to kill the TitanSlaying knight. All it’s weapons have +2 damage against titans, and I have 3 Titans. At least I only lose one LOS turn 1: because I’m touching cover and more than 50% obscured, I have a 2+ cover save. His guns are only -2. With the Dour Duty strat, I can reduce his AP by one: I now have a 3+ save against his Gatling and battle-cannon. I only take one wound from each! That’s 4 damage from the Gatling and 3 from the battle cannon, and the missle pods whiff. Phew….I then take risks: I put one LOS completely into the knight, and take him down to 12 wounds (use Tank hunters to reroll all wounds). I then know I need to both kill the knight and blunt his offense, so I make a risky move: I split fire with the second LOS and put the Gatling into the knight, and the ichor into kataphrons. The str 7, ap -4 is just so much better on kataphrons than the T8 knight with a 4++. It works out: the knight dies from the Gatling alone, thanks to Daemonforge for the re-roll wounds. Ok, the knight is down, I’m back in the game! Onto turn 2. I Lose my disco turn 2, and one LOS is now down to 13 wounds. His kataphrons are fortunately mostly out of range so they just advance up. At least that part of my castle in the back strategy worked to put him out of position. 
The main Issue: I had to fight to survive, meaning I had to put all my shots into his most alpha unit. Example: turn 1 putting everything into the Titan-killing knight. Because of that; I was giving up hold more and kill more every turn til I could turn the tide. Turn 2: those Kataphron Destroyers have got to go; they’ll be in range next turn. I put everything into them, kill them and wound a floaty. I then make a critical decision in the fight phase that goes poorly and could have maybe tipped the tides. More on that later.

LVP: forbidden gem on my herald of Slaanesh was a total waste: I burned two cp for it and didn’t get to use it: she died from a rogue dune-crawler in my backline‘s shooting, otherwise I could gave gotten in her into combat in the final duel with cawl and the DP. I should have shot that Dune crawler instead of letting it go, but I needed kill more so I shot wounded things instead.

MVP: Well that final LOS took out half the enemy list, but I have to say my Daemon Prince was the MVP. Their Daemonsmith aura helped the LOS take out many enemy targets at range, and every turn the DP lost 2-3 wounds from the Arquebus snipers: my model is a little taller than normal and there’s nowhere to hide them. This prince also was given the Fleshmetal Exoskeleton: an Iron Warriors relic that grants them a 2+ save and healing a wound a turn. By the time Cawl executed the Prince in the middle of the board on turn 6, this prince had already healed back 5 wounds, and taken ten.
Opponent’s MVP: Daedalosus! That 50 point character held the middle, gave + 1 to hit against my LOS for many turns of the game, and then took three wounds off my Daemon Prince in overwatch when I came for him turn 5!

Path to Victory: I was just scrambling to stay alive turn 1, and I was burning CP left and right on Iron Warriors defensive strats. I had to make a lot of tough targeting decisions: I think I made the right call targeting his titanslayer knight turn 1 and removing it. It ended up being a 24 to 29 loss. I could have gotten one more secondary point, I’d I had taken Big Game instead of Oldschool, but that wouldn’t have made much of a difference. In retrospect, there was one move I could have made to take back the game: on turn 2 I deepstruck my brimstones, arriving 9 inches from his gunline, and 9 inches from the center of the board. If I can make the charge, I can shut down the shooting of 2 Dunecrawlers and one unit of Kataphrons, and take the middle objective, getting hold more. This would have been a two point swing and kept an LOS alive. I had the option to declare a charge on the dunecrawlers, and take overwatch, which probably would have killed the blue horror, turning it into a brimstone horror, and giving me only a 6inch charge… but I chickened out: I didn’t want to lose the brimstone squad to overwatch, because that would give him kill more. I instead only declare a charge through the wall on the Kataphron Breachers. I need a 9, but I roll a 7 on the charge: I would have made it if I took overwatch. I did the math later and even with Cawl’s rerolls he likely wouldn’t have killed more than 4 brims in overwatch, and I would have lived. That was the play. I missed the boat.

Memorable moments: my opponent suggested to me secondaries that were much better than the ones I picked. He’s like “Remind me: so you took big game hunter and kingslayer?” Me :”No, but I wish I had now!”.
Also, my opponent was such a gentleman. I had measured out my deepstrike and put dice down where the brims were supposed to go turn 2; then went back to finishing moving other units. I went on to psychic phase. He asked: “did you mean to deepstrike the brims? You said you were gonna and I see you measured out their zone. Even though you’ve gone into psychic and have cast powers, it’s ok with me if you drop them cause It was your Intent”. This guy is the hero the imperium doesn’t even deserve. 

Tournament recap

Tournament-wide MVP: Castle then Breakaway strategy. Also, the defensive strats that the Iron Warriors have access to to keep you alive turn 1 are fantastic. Thank you GW for defensive buffs instead of offensive ones.

Tournament-wide LVP: Disco… but not really. It died early in all games: people are scared of them and spend effort dealing with them. Great Distraction carnifex: it’s only really useful in matchups with minuses to hit, like eldar flyers and Possessed bomb with -4 to hit Disco. The +1 to hit is nice, but the math on 3’s re-rolling 1s and 2s (with daemonforge strat) and 2’s rerolling 1s (with disco) is pretty close thanks to the fact that 6s explode (with daemonsmith), and in the former case you’re more likely to get a 6.

True LVP: Cultists. I brought them for the battalion, for CP, cause I didn’t know what to expect out there in this crazy meta and wanted stratagem options. The gave up kill more for several games, and weren’t durable enough to hold objectives. Also, the soulforged pact was a bit of a waste of 2 CP: the extra move only mattered if I went super aggressive turn 1, and game 2 is the only game I used the advance and charge strat: and the disco failed his charge despite getting to advance 3 inches. I would probably drop the cultists in the future and turn the Iron Warriors battalion into a Supreme Command with a warpsmith, or upgrade brims into nurglings

Random Rules Questions that came up:

  • Can I get cover from this thing that looks like a hill but is impassible terrain (LVO had a lot of these rectangular terrain pieces)? No.
  • Can I heroically intervene without ending within an inch? Yes, as long as the move is closer to the closest enemy model, you don’t need to intervene to get within an inch
  • Can I shoot this model even tho it’s base is visible and the model Is not? Yes, this was an LVO-specific ruling
  • Can I heroically intervene with fly, i.e. move over models if I have the fly keyword? Yes.
A lot of other great moments happened that weekend at LVO. It was a great first time there, and I plan on going back again. I got to play a whole mix of top armies and top players. Thanks to my friends and teammates for the support!

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