Sunday 4 December 2016

The Caledonian Highlander - Nestor's Return (part 2)

Sunday morning soon rolled around, it a little too soon for some people, and the Cold Steel Mercs mustered their forces to do battle once again.......

After a short walk from the digs to blow away the cobwebs we were raring to go.

Game 4 - Laurence, Eldar
HQ 1: Eldrad Ulthran
6 Windriders, 6 scatter lasers
5 Wraithguard Transport 1
5 Warp Spiders, Exarch, twin-linked death spinner
Hemlock Wraithfighter
Hornet, 2 x pulse lasers
Warp Hunter, holofields, crystal targeting matrix
2 Vauls Wrath Support Batteries, 2 D-Cannons
Transport 1: Wave Serpent, twin-linked brightlance, shuriken cannon
Fortifications: Skyshield Landing Pad.
Deployment: Dawn of War
Primary Mission: Emperor's Will (4VP each)
Secondary Mission: Contact Lost
Tertiary Mission: Purge the Alien, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker & First Blood

Yet again, I won the roll to decide who deploys first. Normally, I would let Eldar go first but the terrain offered me a safe option to place my objective where the tricksy Eldar wouldn't be able to Flat Out onto it.
I deployed my Rapiers centrally in some ruins. The Noise Marines deployed on a small fortification to their right, granting them a 4+ cover save. I also placed my objective on here. The Spawn deployed behind this fortification with Nestor and his Bikers to the left of everything. The Cultists deployed in some ruins on the right flank, sat upon an objective.
Laurence deployed his landing pad slightly on the right flank (out of site of my Rapiers) with his D battery, Eldrad and his Windriders safely on it. To the left of his fire base he placed the Wave Serpent containing the Wraithguard and the Spiritseer. The Warp Hunter deployed in the right corner, the Warp Spiders chose to Deepstrike and the Hornet Outflank. Curiously Laurence placed his Objective over 3" away from his landing pad towards the centre.

My Dreadclaw came in on my left flank, scattering wildly towards his Wave Serpent and within range of his D weapons battery. Nestor and his Bikers moved up in support to (hopefully) tempt the Wave Serpent to go for them instead of the Dreadclaw. Everything else shuffled about, waiting for the air support to come in. The Blastmaster shot at the Warp Hunter and stunned it. The Rapiers opened up on the Wave Serpent and penetrated, but Laurence knocked it down to a glance with his shields. The Dreadclaw Flat-Outed back towards my lines and outside of the D Weapon battery's range.

The Wave Serpent took the bait and disgorged its cargo of Wraithguard to shoot at Nestor and his Bikers. The Ghost Warriors killed 3 of the Bikers. The Scatterbikes shot at the Noise Marines killing 4 but leaving the Blastmaster alive.

On cue, the Heldrake arrived making straight for the Wraithguard who just happened to be in a teardrop formation ;-) . Nestor and his Bikers moved closer to them, eager to mop up any survivors. The Chaos Marines jumped out their Dreadclaw to line up a couple of Melta shots on the rear of the Wave Serpent, but succeeded in only stunning it. The Fire Raptor came in on my right, gunning two Windriders down and stripping a hull point from the Warp Hunter. The Blastmaster tried targeted it but missed. The Rapiers tried to finish off the Wave Serpent but both shots were jinked.

The Warp Spiders arrived, coming in on the right flank, they opened up on the Cultists hiding in the ruins. As they dived for cover, 2 of them were caught with the mono-filament wires. Eldrad cast Guide on the Windriders and they opened up on the Fire Raptor, the few shots that hit failed to penetrate the gunships armour. The Warp Hunter shot at the Spawn hiding behind the fortification, killing one outright.

The Hemlock Wraithfighter came in and shot at the lone Noise Marine, but failed to do anything. The Wave Serpent moved over towards their primary object, It unleashed it's shields and managed to penetrate the Fire Raptors armour, immobilising it for the following turn.

The Chaos Marines climbed back into their Dreadclaw and it slowly made its way towards the Eldar objective. The Fire Raptor, its controls locked, shot forward towards the Eldar landing pad. The Heldrake flew alongside it and both opened up on the D Weapons battery, destroying one of the guns and killing a crewman. The Fire Raptors Autocannons downed the troublesome Wave Serpent. The Rapiers shot at the Warp Spiders, but they jumped out of site to hide behind the ruins that the Cultists were cowering in. The Noise Marine shot at the Warp Hunter but although the shot hit home, it failed to do any damage.

The Hornet arrived on the right flank for the Eldar and levelled its guns at the Fire Raptor. Despite Jinking, the gunship lost another hull point. The Warp Spiders jumped back out from the ruins and shot at the Cultists again, killing one as they hit the ground once again. The Warp Hunter shot at the Rapiers, killing a crewman, but they held their nerve and stayed put. The Wraithfighter showed its enviable manoeuvrability and flew across the table to target Nestor and his Bikers. The Wraithfighter emitted a Psychic Shriek that shredded the Slaanesh Lord's nervous system. This proved too much for the Bikers and they legged it.
The Dreadclaw hopped over towards the Eldar Objective, in a prime position to take it in turn 5. The Heldrake flew off the table Vector Striking the Hornet as it went and stripping a hull point. The Rapiers targeted the Warp Spiders once again, this time they didn't jump far enough and the Rapiers wiped them out. The lone Noise Marine's persistence finally paid off and he blasted the hornet apart with his trusty Blastmaster. The Fire raptor banked to the left and fired everything it had at the Wraithfighter, stripping it down to its last hull point. The Spawn continued to sneaky around in my back line claiming objectives to put me a long way in front on the secondaries.
The Eldar had grown tired of the Moise Marine sniping at them, so Eldrad ordered the Windriders to take him down: which they promptly did. The Warp Hunter shot at the Rapiers once again, and once again missed. The D weapons platforms realised they were out of range of their objective and moved off of the landing pad to claim it.

The Bikers rallied and consolidated to claim another secondary objective. The Heldrake returned and Vector-Striked the Wraithfighter out of the sky. The Castigators made their move; the Dreadclaw hopped onto the Eldar objective and the Chaos Marines jumped out and melta'd the Weapons platform and a crewman leaving them firmly in control of the Eldar's objective. The Fire Raptor and Heldrake went into hover mode.......

...... failing to wipe out the Jetbikes, and incredibly Eldrad and the weapons platform crewman made their invulnerable saves. The Spawn jumped onto my own objective and spread out to claim it.
The Eldar did what they do so well, the Warp Hunter Flat-Outed next my Objective and somehow got within 3". Eldrad cast Terrify on the Chaos Marines, who failed their leadership and ran. Worse was to follow, the 3 Windriders shot at the Dreadclaw and despite jinking they manged to take all 3 hull points from it, wrecking it! Just when you thought things couldn't get worse Eldrad and the weapons crewmen tried to charge the broken Chaos Marines (They were about 11" away), they failed to regroup and were wiped out!
From a clear victory I looked like I was about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!
We rolled to see if it would go to turn 6...........and it did......phew!
The Eldar had played their hand: The Heldrake wiped out the Jetbikes and the Fire Raptor slaughtered the Eldrad and the crewmen. The Spawn charged into Warp Hunter and tore it apart in a maelstrom of claws and teeth wiping the Eldar out to a man.
Result: 20-0 Win

Phew, what a game! This was the most exciting game I had all weekend, the tricksy Eldar lived up to their name and even if the game had ended on turn 5, it would have been a minor win for me. I should have let the Eldar go first, I usually do but I was convinced that he would struggle to get to my Objective in one turn using Flat Out or Turbo Boosting.
Laurence was an absolute pleasure to play and I'm sure he'll get his revenge next time......but for now Slaanesh will dine on the choicest of Spiritstones!

I skipped lunch (nothing to do with a hungover kicking in) and grabbed some photos of the best armies.
Dave's Tyranids

Liam's Khorne Daemonkin

Gaz's Dark Eldar

I don't know whose Blood Angels these belonged to, but they're very nice

Iain's Red Scorpions

Michael's Necrons

Sorry, I don't know whose these lovely Daemons belonged to.

So after lunch and a look at the best army nominations, I discovered I had climbed to the heady heights of table 2! Of course, just like Icarus, one should always be careful not to fly too close to the sun. I had done very well avoiding the Unwanted 5 (unlike my Cold Steel Merc colleague Neil, who had played them twice already) and so the inevitable happened......Fishheads.....I mean Tau!

Game 5 - Markus, Tau
Tau commander In crisis suit, Puretide engram neurochip, mult-spectrum sensor suite.
2 Crisis Suits - CS 1 1 flamer, airburst fragmentation Projector, CS 2 target lock, 2 fusion blasters.
3 riptides, 3 Shielded Missile Drones, riptide 1 ion cannon, twin linked sms, target lock, stimulant Injector riptide2 ion cannon, twin linked fusion blaster, target lock, stimulant Injector, riptide3 ion cannon, twin linked Plasma rifle,early warning override, velocity tracker.
Strike team-5 fire warriors
10 kroot hound
5 pathfinders
4 marker drones
 DX-6 Ramora
3 broadsides - 2 missile drones, broadside1 twin linked sms, twin linked high yield missile pod, early warning override, broadside2 twin linked sms, twin linked high yield missile pod, early warning override, broadside3 twin linked sms, twin linked high yield missile pod, early warning override.

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Primary Mission: Big Guns Never Tire - 5 Objectives (3VP each +1 VP for every HS destroyed)
Secondary Mission: Tactical Escalation.
Tertiary Mission: Purge the Alien, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker & First Blood

Every time I've played against Tau I have always had to play them using Hammer and Anvil deployment: and this would be no exception.
For the 5th time in a row I won the roll to deploy first.
Markus very kindly went through what his army did, I realised I had nothing to deal with his Riptides. With this in mind I decided to try and make a quick game of it. I set Nestor and his Biker and the Spawn as far forward as possible. The Noise Marines set up in the central ruin and the Rapiers set up in the ruins to their left. The ruins in the top-right held my Cultists.
Markus Set up his Broadsides with his warlord in some ruins right on his baseline with the Fire Warriors in front. The Riptides set up in the middle with the Crisis Suits held in reserve to deepstrike. The Kroot also went into reserve to Outflank. On the bottom left, in some ruins he placed his Pathfinders.
The Dreadclaw came in on the bottom right and Flat-Outed towards an objective that the Pathfinders were on. The bikers and Spawn charged forward. Only the one Riptide was in range of the Rapiers so they shot at that and put a wound on him.......

The Bikers turbo'd and the Spawn ran.

The large Tranformers boosted stuff and one of them took a wound for doing so.
 The Tau army opened up on the bikers and I was amazed to find Nestor and a bike survived and two Spawn as well. The Riptides charged in to Nestor hoping to finish him off but somehow he survived.

The Fire Raptor and Heldrake arrived, hanging back out of range of his Interceptor Broadsides. The Dreadclaw jumped to the edge of the ruins and unloaded the Chaos Marines who charged the Pathfinders and wiped them out for First Blood. The Spawn charged into the Riptides to help out Nestor and were ripped to pieces. Nestor put a wound on one of the Transformers.

Markus's flyer arrived and between that, the Broadsides and the gundrones, wiped them out.

The Crisis Suits arrived behind the Cultists and wiped them out.

Nestor continued his battle with the Riptides delaying the inevitable.

The Dreadclaw flew off of the table. The Heldrake moved across to target the Crisis Suits killing one of them. The Blastmaster finished the other off. The Fire Raptor moved forward and shot at the Fire Warriors killing a couple. The inevitable finally happened and the Riptides smashed aside Nestor, making the final biker flee.

With nothing left to hold the Riptides the Tau slowly and carefully deleted unit after unit until there was nothing left.
Result: 0-20 Loss

Markus was a perfect gentleman throughout the game, but unfortunately 40k can sometimes be a case of Rock, Paper, Scissors. This was such a game. His army out ranged me and the one weakness my army has, is dealing with armour 2 units. I had nothing that could deal with 3 Riptides, let alone the 3 Broadsides.

So a disappointing final game but I had enjoyed a great weekends gaming against 5 different armies!
Highlander tournaments are great events, for the most part they introduce a wide variety of armies and if you ever get the opportunity to attend one, then I highly recommend you do....they're so much more fun than the usual WAAC-fest ETC tournaments.

The event was held at Element North West Games centre, which has put a lot of work into doing the place up. The work they have done has really payed off and I cannot recommend the place enough. They have a great shop as well that has just about anything you could fact it's a little too good; I defy anyone to go there and not buy something ;-).
Tim and his minions did a great job writing the rules pack and feeding and watering everybody, so a massive round of applause to everybody involved....great work Tim, it's the best event I've had this year!

So the results were announced and the Cold Steel Mercs had two players in the top 5. Neil came in 4th with his White Scars and my dear brother Steve finished a respectable 5th with his KDK. Well done guys.

Final Standings

1 Tony Chew Orks
2 Markus Hinson Tau Empire
3 Leo Kyprianou Tau Empire
4 Neil Gibbons Space Marines
5 Steve Pearce Khorne Daemonkin

I'll leave you with some more eye candy action shots from the weekend, so until......wait what? Where did I come? As the one true Chosen of Slaanesh I finished 6th!

Until next time......may Our Lady grant you her number ;-)


  1. Pity about the last game but the one before it sounded like a real riot. Sixth isn't half bad though so well done.

    1. My game against Laurence's Eldar was a real cat and mouse affair. I was steadily increasing my Maelstrom points throughout the game, but one can never rule the tricksy Eldar out, they're masters of the smash and grab on the last turn.
      It's a ploy that I've based my Castigators on. My flyers very rarely do enough damage to dominate a game, so at some point they will have to go into hover mode and try to sneak the odd objective here and there. It doesn't always work, but it usually gives a close game one way or the other......which is all I ever want.
      And as for the placing, it's always nice to end on a 6 ;-)

    2. Fate is usually for our Tzeentchian cousins, Our Lady's pleasures tend to be much more visceral, although hopefully she enjoyed the sense of irony ;-)

  2. Thanks gary, I agree was definitely a up hill battle once my enduring riptides went through your Lord and spawn. Needed the flyers to hit a little harder but luck wasn't with you. I Enjoyed the game and tournament aswell, was shocked when I came in second.

    1. Hey, that's the way 40k rolls sometimes. If I'd been drawn against Tony's Orks, I would have fancied my chances.
      I can't complain about my luck, I got first turn and my Lord survived much longer than I expected. I really need to bite the bullet and get some practice games in against Tau (I just don't like the army aesthetically, so I avoid them like the plague); they are beatable, but my lack of knowledge doesn't help when I play them. If I'd known Riptides would struggle to hit Nestor, I would have used his Powerfist instead of his Lightning Claws. It was certainly a learning experience, and Slaanesh is all about the experience!
      Congrats on 2nd place....and may Our Lady grant you her number......especially on leadership tests ;-)