Arise! Arise Cold Steel Mercs.
Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter.
Spears shall be shaken, shield be splintered.
A sword day, a red day!
'ere the sun rises, ride.
Ride now to Sanctuary.
After a frantic week getting my army painted for the UK GT, and with less than three days to the event, I realised that I'd never actually played a game with this army.....not the greatest preparation eh? Fortunately, my mate Neil invited me over to his place on the Thursday for a practice game and a few beers and the game went pretty well.
I was hoping for another couple of practice games on the Friday at the venue, but unfortunately Sanctuary Games wasn't open until the evening, so that idea went straight out of the window. I headed for 281 Rooms where I was staying that weekend and settled down in the bar to await the arrival of two more Cold Steel Mercs, Pete and my Brother in Sin, Steve.
They arrived less than hour after me and we settled into a steady drinking pace and soon decided that practising for tournaments is for wimps! So after a hearty meal, several bottles of wine and many liquor coffees later, we were joined by Allen, one of the tournament organisers and a new friend Duncan who was also staying there and would be playing at Heat 2. I say this, not to show what drunkards we are, but to highlight to those who have never attended a tournament before, just how friendly and amiable tournament goers are!
After a good breakfast and a short drive we arrived at Sanctuary Games ready to do Battle.
The Castigators 2nd Cohort
Lucian Soulweaver - Sorceror, Melta Bombs
Squad Divine - 7 Chaos Space Marines, Melta Gun, Melta Bombs
The Violated - 10 Cultists
The Tormented - 10 Cultists
Divine Flame - Fire Raptor, Reaper Autocannon, Balefire Incendiary Missiles, Warpflame Gargoyles, Dirge Caster, Vessel of Tzenahk the Occluder
Tormentum - Heldrake, Baleflamer
The Silken Scorpion - Greater Brass Scorpion[700pts]
GAME 1 - Crusade (Vanguard Strike)
Matthew - Skitarii, Imperial Knight, Cult Mechanicus
Not only had I never faced an Imperial Knight before, I had no idea what the rest of Matthew's army was, never mind what it did....oops! Turns out he was using a formation from White Dwarf (issue 69 if anybody's interested), and that they get free upgrades similar to the Gladius formation. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of this game, but it's no great loss because the game was over within the hour! Below is the table that we played on.
I set up first and placed my Scorpion alongside the ruin on the bottom right corner, everything else was in reserve. Matthew set up his Knight behind the upper Bastion. A unit of troops and his Warlord occupied the Landing Pad and everything else was left in reserve.
My Dreadclaw came in on my right and the Scorpion scuttled forward and took a hull point from his Knight, the scorpion's tail gun killed a couple of troops. The Knight came forward and stripped a hull point from the Scorpion, his troop unit (I think they were Skitarri) had a couple of special weapons that rolled incredibly well and took another two hull points from it.
Turn 2 saw my Fire Raptor and a squad of Cultists turn up. The Raptor came in on the left to target the Warlord and Skitarri, while the cultists came on the right to claim an objective. The Dreadclaw flew off of the table. The Raptor put 7 AP3 wounds onto the Warlord and his unit and he tanked them all on his Warlord (armour 2) and saved them all. The Autocannons stripped a hull point from the Knight and the Scorpion stripped another from it. Here is where I made a critical error, I charged the Knight with my Scorpion hoping against hope that the knight wouldn't roll a six......he did.....preparation just bit me hard, lesson learned :D. To add insult to injury his Dune Crawler came on and proceeded to blow my Fire Raptor out of the sky with one round of shooting....I've never seen so many sixes rolled for armour penetration!
|I really didn't want to that!|
My Heldrake came on and roasted the Skitarri on the landing pad leaving two alive and his Warlord. The Dreadclaw returned flying on the right flank. and the final squad of cultists arrived on the right. All of Matthew's reserves arrived spreading out across the table to claim several objectives. The Dune Crawler targeted the Heldrake and hope glimmered in my heart as it only stripped one hull point from it, unfortunately the two Skitarri stripped the other two from it and it crashed to the ground! A unit of long legged gits (no idea what they were called) shot a squad of cultists in the ruins and killed 7 of them, I passed one save out of eight....my only consolation was that they didn't break!
With the game lost, Lucian and his marines disembarked from the Dreadclaw to shoot the 5 long legged gits and at least kill a unit. The 10 cultists moved up in support. Shooting saw only one long legged git die, so in charged the Marines and the Cultists.....the Marines dragged another down and then were torn apart by the gits. In Mathews turn he finished off the cultists who had somehow survived and finished off Lucian......not Lucian's finest hour! As the dust cleared I had a pitiful 3 cultists left and Matthew hadn't lost a single unit.....oops :D Loss 1-30
This was the perfect storm for me, I was playing an army that I had no practice with against an army that I'd never seen before. The dice didn't help, but hey it's a dice game and shit happens. But despite that, I really enjoyed the game, Matthew was a great guy to play against and I learnt an awful lot from this game. My biggest mistake was being too eager to close the range and get stuck in, that's probably because I usually run a Close Combat army. If I played it again, I'd be much more confident in dealing with it, so despite the loss....the game was full of win for me ;-)
|My Brother in Sin's Khornate scum!|
|Pete's Daemon Host....He needs to get rid of the nasty Nurgle element and embrace Our Lady in all her glory!|
My game was over so quickly that I had plenty of time to check out the other armies and I'll show a few piccies later. Steve and Pete faired little better and at the end of round one, all three of us had lost...oops. Fortunately, I was updating the rest of the Cold Steel Mercs on our progress on Facebook and after several stirring messages of support, I felt reinvigorated to face my next challenge :D
A day may come when the courage of men fails,
when we forsake our friends
and break all bonds of fellowship,
but it is not this day.
An hour of wolves and shattered shields,
when the age of men comes crashing down,
but it is not this day!
This day we fight!!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand, Cold Steel Mercs!!!
GAME 2 - Emperor's Will & Purge the Alien (Dawn of War)
Jamie - Skyhammer Marines & Imperial Knight
The Quickest deployment ever. I rolled Nightfight for my Warlord Trait and took it. I got first deployment and deployed my Scorpion behind a ruin on my right. Jamie deployed his shooty Knight opposite. He infiltrated some scouts in the ruins and another squad to the right. I gave Jamie first turn and he declared that his skyhammer would arrive on turn 2.
The Knight unloaded everything into the scorpion but thanks to night fight it made its save. The Scorpion scuttled forward hugging the table edge and stripped a hull point from the Knight. The Dreadclaw landed on the left and moved flat out in the shooting phase to hug Jamie' deployment edge.
In came the Skyhammer and Jamie went balls out with his Drop Pods. It paid off for him and nothing scattered.....
......apart from his Assault squads which deviated out of half melta range.
The Devastaters and Knight opened up on the Scorpion stripping 6 hull points from it. The knight tried to charge but failed to reach combat. The Assault squads shot at the Dreadclaw with long range melta shots but the one that hit was saved by jinking.
Only one squad of cultists turned up and they came in on the left to guard my objective and managed to kill a scout with Auto pistol fire. The Dreadclaw flew off the table. The Scorpion turned slightly and wiped out a Devastator unit to claim first blood, with its tail gun. It's main gun target the Knight but failed to get through its shield. With no close combat D weapon, the Scorpion charged in. The knight struck first and stripped a hull point, the Scorpion retaliated knocking the knight down to three hull points. to add to Jamie's woes the scorpion grew a hull point back from it Will Not Die!
Jamie's assault squads jumped down the table to help out the scouts but they were too far away to offer any supporting fire. The scouts gunned two of the cultists down. The Devastators moved up ready to shoot at the Scorpion, should the Knight fail to harm it. The Knight struck at the Scorpion again, but the the scorpion saved the penetrating hit, the scorpion hit back and reduced the Knight to one wound.
All of the Castigators arrived. The Fire Raptor came on the left along with another unit of Cultists and the Dreadclaw. The Raptor's Avenger Bolt Cannon wiped out an Assault squad while the Autocannon killed three scouts, the cultists finished them off.
The Heldrake came in on the right and wiped out a squad of Devastators. The Knight struck at the Scorpion but failed get through its armour, the Scorpion struck back and finished off the knight, the resulting explosion scattered harmlessly.
The Devastators had their final chance to bring down the Scorpion, but managed only one glancing hit to take it down to two hull points. The second squad of Scouts moved towards the cultists supported by the second Assault squad.
Lucian disembarked from the Dreadclaw, and wiped out the Assault squad in combat. The cultists and Fire Raptor finished off the scouts. The Raptor killed a lone Devastator and blew up a Drop Pod as the Heldrake wiped out their brothers. The Scorpion tore the final drop pod apart to wipe out Jamie's army.....for the loss of two cultists! Win 30-1.
John was a great opponent with a lovely army. The lack of D weapon on his Knight made all the difference and even though he managed to stripp two hull points from my Scorpion with bolt guns he never had enough to hurt the scorpion once it got into combat. The Air Cav were devastating to his foot troops and even if he'd killed the Scorpion I was confident that they'd take out the Knight and his foot troops, as he had no answer to them.
It wasn't all good news however, Steve and Pete both lost again.....bugger.
GAME 3 - Spoils of War (Hammer and Anvil)
John - Space Marines, Assassin, Imperial Knight.
I didn't get a photo of his army because he un packed it and packed it up as we were playing. If memory serve me right it was roughly: Level 1 Libby and 3 Cents in a drop pod, Culexus in a drop, Melta toting devastators in a pod, 2 units of scouts, a Typhon Siege Tank with Ceramite armour & an Imperial Knight.
I deployed first and set up my Scorpion in the top right hand corner (out of shot).
John deployed as so.
In came John's Pods. The devastator's took two hull points from the scorpion, while the Cents failed thanks to night fighting. The Imperial Knight moved up to take a shot but failed to do any damage. John claimed all three objectives. 0-3vp's
The Dreadclaw came in on the bottom right and did it's flat out move into the corner to claim an objective. The Scorpion ignored the Devastators and made straight for the Cents and the Libby killing one with its Soul Cannon before charging in and wiping them out to gain first blood, Slay the Warlord and claim an objective. 2-3 vp's
In came John's Culexus in the Pod and he tried a sneaky shot into the Scorpion but failed to do any damage the Knight moved up and stripped three hull points from shooting. In it charged, needing one 6 to finish it off.....and failed, it still reduced the scorpion to 1 hull point though! The Scorpion hit back and penetrated five times! Wiping out the Knight!!.....but wait it wasn't over yet by a long shot. The explosion scattered onto the knight and John rolled a six to blow up Scorpion!!!....not content with this carnage, the Scorpion blew up and scattered onto the Culexus and drop pod wiping them out as well!!!! Total Carnage :D
John picked up another objective to make it 2-4vp's
All of my reserves arrived, with the Fire Raptor and Heldrake making short work of John's foot troops within two turns. The game ended on turn 5 with my flyers incapable of hurting his Typhon and his Typhon incapable of hurting the flyers. 9-5vp's ......Win 30-1
What a game, John was a pleasure to play and we had a right laugh at the destruction caused by one Knight blowing up.
Once again it wasn't all good news, Steve got dicked over by the cards and although his opponent was one turn away from being tabled the game ended turn 5 and his opponent was ahead on vp's. Pete faired much better against a 4 Hive Tyrant list (Skyblight?) and slaughtered them when they came down for the objectives.
|Pete's Daemons makes short work of the Hive Tyrants!|
After day one I was feeling a bit more confident with my army and was pleased to be on two wins and a loss. Unfortunately, my comrades-in-arms weren't doing so well, with Pete on 1 win and Steve yet score....Our's is a jealous god and changing allegiances has obviously upset her greatly, Brother ;-)
We headed back to the digs and made merry with more food and drink, joined once again by Allen and Duncan.
|No, it's not a very large plate, that there is Quail eggs wrapped in sausage meat....a sort of posh Scotch Egg. And very nice it was too!|
|....but not as nice as the fillet steak.....or the several bottles of red wine ;-)|
Day 2 soon came around and I was looking forward to more carnage.
GAME 4 Big Guns Never Tire (Vanguard Strike)
Damen - Necrons
Damen deployed first, spreading his forces to move forward en mass. His Warlord went into reserve with 2 units of Death Marks. The Warriors from a Ghost Arc and everything else that could opened fire on my scorpion stripping 2 hull points from it.
My Dreadclaw came in on the left and moved flat out to my left table edge. The Scorpion scuttled over towards the tomb blades, killing one with its flamers, penetrating the Ghost Arc with its Soul Cannon (knocking it down to armour 11) and killing four of the Immortals behind them with its tail gun. It charged in and finished the Tomb Blades off in combat.
Damen's Death Marks arrived dropping in near the Dreadclaw. In a spectacular round of shooting (and poor jink rolls by me) it put three glancings on it to destroy it. Lucian and his Marines bailed out but weren't pinned. The Ghost Arcs moved forward and everything that could shot at the Scorpion, reducing it to 3 Hull points!
All of the Castigators' reserves arrived. One unit of Cultists came on the right to hunker down on an objective, the rest came on to help out their beleaguered Sorceror. The Scorpion moved up to the right Ghost Arc and flames it, killing 4 warriors inside and wreaking the Ghost Arc. It then charged in to finish them off in combat. The Fire Raptor wiped out a squad of Death Marks and caused a penetrating hit on the central Ghost Arc. The Heldrake killed two of the other Death Marks and put two wounds on the Warlord. Damen had asked why people take Cultists and I told them they were 50pt objective secured troops that have to be dealt with....and sometimes they can kill the odd model. So the Cultists open up on the Deathmark and Warlord and promptly shoot the Warlord dead!
Lucian and his Chaos Marines charged in to the lone Death Mark and gut him.
Damen's Wraiths and ever increasing Scarab swarm were getting closer and closer to my lines. The final Ghost Arc moved towards the Scorpion and the tin heads unloaded with everything they had, dropping it down to 1 Hull point. The Wraiths charged the Cultists on my left wiping them out easily. The Scarabs charged the other cultists who broke and fled.
The Scorpion targeted the Ghost Arc, blowing apart with it's Soul Cannon and Flamers and reducing the warriors to 7 models. It's Tail gun shot at the Immortals but hit only once with 10 shots! It charged in to finish them off but succeeded in killing only 1....pah! To make things worse he broke from combat and got away! The Heldrake and Raptor shot at the warriors in the centre dropping them down to five models.
The 5 Warriors rounded the large boulder in the centre and levelled their guns at the Scorpion. In a spectacular round of shooting they put 5 sixes on it and blew it sky high! The Scarabs killed a couple of Chaos Marines but Lucian was taking a fierce toll on them with his force axe and they were reduced to 3 bases. The Heldrake turned and flamed the lone Immortal, but still it wouldn't die. The Raptor finished it off with his Autocannon and killed two more Immortals with its other Autocannon. It's Avenger Bolt Cannon killed two warriors hiding on an objective. Lucian hacked down another Scarab base, leaving them on two bases.
Turn 5 and the Wraiths ran onto an objective, to give him 3 objectives. The Heldrake banked right and flamed the three warriors on the corner objective, but all of them got back up! The Raptor went into hover mode to contest and shot everything the three warriors but only 1 died. Lucian powered up his axe and failed to hit with four attacks needing 3's to hit! we rolled for the game and it ended....bugger! One more turn and I'd have had him.
Still, it was a great game that went down to the last dice roll and we both enjoyed it. Loss 2-28
Steve and Pete both lost their games which meant Steve couldn't qualify for the final (top half of entrants go through) :-(
GAME 5 Purge the Alien (Hammer and Anvil)
Kevin - Gladius Marines
Kevin had 7 Drop Pods all with Meltas and Gravs, two Razorbacks with Melta Marines in them, a Devastator squad and two scout squads, Yikes!
Fortunately, if I could have picked a mission to play this army, Kill points would be it :D. Kevin had 25 to my 8. My Warlord Trait was Night fight again. I won the roll to go first and deployed my Scorpion in a ruin on the corner edge of the table. Kevin deployed like so. A unit of Scouts deployed in in some ruins on my table, safely tucked out of sight to my Scorpion.
I gave Kevin first turn and he went balls out with his drop pods, hardly scattering at all. It didn't all go his way though. Both Razorbacks immobilised themselves trying to move through the cover.
All four units opened up on the Scorpion, but it wasn't enough! Seven Hull Points were stripped from the Scorpion. The Dreadclaw dropped in and moved flat out into my opposite corner. The Scorpion barely moved. Two Baleflamer shots, a Soul Cannon blast and 10 tail gun shots resulted in two dead squads, a destroyed Drop Pod and one lone melta gunner running and the other squad reduced to two models who were also running, giving me three kill points. the Scorpion even got a hull point back from It Will Not Die. 3-0 kp's.
Kevin's remaining drop pods failed to turn up and he managed to strip another hull point from the Scorpion with the three marines that auto-rallied.
All of my reserves arrived and while the Dreadclaw left the table, the mop up began.
The cultists came on to shoot at the Scouts and managed to kill a whole one!
The Scouts retaliated throwing a Frag grenade killing enough to to make both units flee off of the table, LOL!
My Scorpion got greedy and trashed a drop pod but it put it in range of his Devastators who blew it up before they in turn died to the Heldrake. Lucian and his Chaos Marines tore apart the scouts in combat and hid for the rest of the game. His Pods arrived but they were reduced to pot shots at my flyers. it eventually paid off on the last turn as he downed my jinking Raptor with a long range melta gun, but it was too little too late and the Castigators pulled out a third win. 11-4.
Steve finally won a game, beating the Flying Nids that Pete had beaten the day before. Sadly, Pete lost again to put them both out of contention for qualifying for the final :-(
Both Steve and Pete were on one win and rather than play each other in the last game they said their farewells and made the long drive home.
Game 6 The Scouring (Dawn of War)
Karl - Eldar Craftworld.
I was getting tired by now so there aren't many photos in this game. Karl's list was roughly:
Farseer on Jetbike, Wraithknight, 5 Wraithguard with D Scythes in a Wave Serpent, 6 Warp Spiders, 6 Swooping Hawks, 5 Jetbikes with Scatter Lasers x 3 & 4 Dark Reapers.
Although I'm well aware of the tricksy antics that Eldar can get up to, I chose to go first so I didn't have to survive too many shots from the Wraithknight. The Scorpion scuttled forward and popped a shot of at the Wave Serprent stripping a hull point from it and stripping a wound from the Wraithknight. The Dreadclaw came in on the right and moved flat out towards my table quarter.
Karl's swooping Hawks left the table and the Wraithknight moved towards the Scorpion as the Farseer tried to cast Invisibility on it.....only to look on in horror as Lucian Soulweaver, Chief Sorceror of the Castigators dispelled it! The Wraithknight stripped a hull point with its cannons (phew....bloody d weapons make me nervous!) from the Scorpion and then charged in. The Wraithknight struch first, stripping two hull points from it, but the Scorpion hit back knocking it down to one wound.
All of the Castigators reserves arrived, as the Dreadclaw flew of of the table. Both the Heldrake and Fire Raptor headed for the Farseer, gunning him down for first blood and Slay the Warlord. The Raptor tried its luck shootingat the Warp Spiders with its Autocannons, but the tricksy gits jumped out of the way.
Karl's Swooping Hawks landed in the centre and killed several cultists, making them flee off of the table. The Wave Serpent shot across the table to claim an objective in my deployment zone. The Dark Reapers shot at the Heldrake stripping a hull point from it. The Wraithlord stripped another hull point from the Scorpion before being torn apart by the mighty behemoth.
A unit of outflanking jetbikes arrived and tried to shoot the Scorpion up the bum and stripped another from it.
The Dreadclaw returned, flying up the left flank towards the Dark Reapers. The Scorpion charged into the Swooping Hawks ripping them apart with ease and grew a hull point back thanks to It Will Not Die.
The Heldrake banked left and incinerated all of the Jetbikes. The Raptor banked right and blew up the Wave Serpent with its Autocannons with a rear shot.
Karl's two remaining Jetbike squads arrived. One jumped onto the objective in the top right hand corner and shot at the Fire Raptor that jinked. The other came on in the top left and, with help from the Dark Reapers, opened up on the jinking Dreadclaw, stripping a hull point. The Spiders jumped over to the last cultist squad and killed three.
The Dreadclaw landed and charged into the jetbikes killing three who held. The Fire Raptor left the table and the Heldrake banked again lining the Dark Reapers up for a flaming next turn. The Dark Reapers realising their peril shot it down! The combat with the Jetbikes and Lucian ended in stalemate with one casualty on each side.
Turn 5 came around and the Scorpion moved onto the 3 Objective ready to charge the Warp Spiders next turn. The cultists jumped onto the 2 Objective giving me 5 objective points The Raptor flew on and killed a couple of Wraithguard with its Avenger Bolt Cannon. Next turn it would be in a prime position to take out the jetbikes on the 4 objective. Lucian hacked down the last jetbike on the left and made ready to hunt down the Dark Reapers.
Karl's Dark Reapers shot at the Sorceror and his Marines, killing three, but they held. His Spiders started towards objective three but they'd need another turn to get there. His Wraithguard headed over to the one objective giving him 5 Objectives. We rolled and the game ended giving us a draw!
Curses! One more turn and I think he was toast, but I couldn't hide my relief at claiming a draw to put me in with a good chance of qualifying.
We waited around for over a hour to see if we had qualified for the Final (my army plays really quickly).....It was worth the wait, I finished 14th and qualified comfortably in the end :D
Well that was a nail biter, but I made it!
I'd like to thank all of my opponents for some great games, you guys were a blast. A big thank you to Steve, Pete, Allen and Duncan for making the weekend truly enjoyable....and a massive thank you for Allen and Courtney for holding such a well run event.
The rules pack was a refreshing change and I wish more Tournament Organisers would realise that not everybody wants to play practice ETC games! 1500pts was perfect for 6 games and it was great not having to rush through all those games and having time to chat with your opponent.
The open format was great. We were always going to see a lot of Eldar and Imperial Knights but there was a lot variety in the lists and I for one hope more events embrace this philosophy!
Well done guys.
There were 5 armies up for best army and all of them looked great. Allen (one of the tournament Organisers) bollocked me for not spending enough time on mine and I can only apologise for leaving my painting to the last minute.....the next time you see it at the finals, I promise it will be finished ;-)
And for those who are interested in random action shots (who doesn't like eye candy?) here are some more:
So that's it for this year for me, tournament wise at least. Hope you enjoyed the read and until next time.....may Our Lady Grant you her number :D