Saturday, 6 July 2013

School's League Tournament Report

The school's league is an inter-schools competition run by GW in the UK. Each year there are regional heats, followed by a regional final, culminating in a national final held in warhammer world in Nottingham. My team won our regional final in Glasgow so we were heading off, resplendent in kilts, to represent Scotland and our school in the UK final.

The school league is a team tournament with four players per side, each with a 600 point army. The total score for the team is added together at the end (four points for a win, two for a draw, nothing for a loss plus points for fully painted, having your dice, tape measure, etc) and the highest scoring team wins.

I brought Tau, my friends brought grey knights, imperial guard, and Eldar.

My Tau list:

Ethereal: he provides solid leadership which is really handy at low points and gives good buffs to my fire base.

Riptide with burst cannon, plasma rifles and interceptor: the heavy hitter, guns down hordes or meq. My only anti flyer through volume of shots. Is also a mega bullet magnet

2x eight fire warriors: scoring units, more survivable than kroot, solid firebase

Four pathfinders: markerlights
Piranha, fusion blaster, blacksun filter: a harassing unit, hunts the odd heavy tank, drones useful for clearing small units, it's also a distraction

Hammerhead, with ion cannon, smart missile system and blacksun filter. Slaughters light tanks and meq. Smart missiles are just the best out of the secondaries.

General strategy: fire warriors and pathfinders for a firebase/crossfire supported by the ethereal. The riptide plays hyper aggressive, charging around drawing fire and shooting, potentially even getting into combat with tanks, contesting objectives, etc. The hammerhead is support as is the piranha.

Game 1


War boss, power claw, heavy armour, cybork body
Nobs, heavy armour
Looted wagon, all the shootas

15 boyz, heavy armour
battle wagon, all of the shootas, rokkit launcher

Crusade, vanguard

Warlord: did nothing (I got sky fire)

He gets first turn.

Table has two big ruins on the line in my zone, another big one bottom centre with two forests right next to it. A couple of forests in his zone.

We get 4 objectives, 3 end up in my zone, 1 in his. He deploys nobs in looted wagon on my right and the boys in battle wagon on my left behind the forest ruin. I deploy piranha on the left then fire warriors, pathfinders, and ethereal in the left ruin, riptide in the middle, fire warriors on the right, hammerhead behind the right most building. Both fire warrior squads are on objectives.

My plan is to draw him into a killzone, block the battle wagon with the piranha, first blood from the looted wagon then shoot down the boys when they get out. I'm a tad worried about taking out the battle wagon, but I figure I can side hit it or fusion gun it.

I can't remember turn by turn so I'll chronologically recount the important parts. He rushes towards me with everything, and I fail to kill his vehicles. I fired the riptide, fire warriors, and the ionhead at the looted wagon, and only stunned it and left it on 1 hull point. He gets first blood from my piranha, the nobs disembark and then fail an 12" charge to my hammerhead despite there being juicy fire warriors closer, albeit in cover. The hammerhead uses the pathfinders to go to bs6 for the gets hot reroll and wipes the nobs from the table as it causes instant death. The riptide and fire warriors kill the warboss for slay the warlord.
The most important and luckiest part of the whole tournament happens turn 3 when his battle wagon immobilises itself in a forest, even with the reroll from his deff rolla. This effectively saves my fire warriors, though the boys aren't down and out yet. The last few turns, I relocate to get two objectives further from the boys, blow up the looted wagon, claim line breaker with the riptide and kill his battle wagon turn 6

Unit of the match: ionhead, versatile, high damage output, mobile, I would highly recommend one at low points levels.

Units that performed well: the riptide. Solid damage output, high mobility

That forest that immobilised the battle wagon: without it I would have had a really tough time of things.

Nothing performed underpar.

Game 2 necrons

Overlord, warscythe, resurrection orb

10 immortals, gauss blasters
8 warriors

Doom scythe, death ray, tesla weapons

Purge the alien


Warlord traits: useless

Table has a big ruin in the centre, a forest bottom left, a ruin centrally in my deployment zone, a forest at the back of his.

I get first turn and deploy my fire base in the central ruin, the piranha behind the forest, the riptide and hammerhead next to the fire base.

He hides immortals and lord behind the building. Warriors in a forest at the back. Doom scythe in reserve.

The plan is just to pound the squads until they die.

I shuffle around, kill a couple of guys. He stays hidden. I get fed up of this after two turns, so move my riptide around the ruin to get at the immortals. However, I won't be able to see enough so I use zephyr's grace to run and snap fire and then use my pathfinder markerlights to go back to regular ballistics skill allowing me to gun down a bunch of immortals. He moves up to rapid fire the riptide and does little damage. In return, I annihilate the squad now in the open with storm of fire fire warriors, the riptide, and the piranha, the hammerhead kills a couple of warriors through smart missiles. The riptide then uses its 4d6 thrust move to land atop the ever-living counter, preventing The Lord regenerating (the lord must be placed within 3" but further than an inch from enemy models) getting me slay the warlord. His flyer shows up turn four and deathrays my hammerhead. In return, my piranha stuns it with a lucky fusion shot, the riptide kills the last necron warrior. And in my turn six, I shoot it out the sky for a victory by annihilation.

Unit of the match: riptide. So much destructive power, especially when supported and the nova reactor, when it works, gives it a crazy amount of flexibility.

Units that performed well: the ethereal, the buffs are just so handy, again allowing lots of flexibility

Units that under performed: the piranha, although it got lucky with the flyer, it spent a lot of the game just zipping about and not doing much.

Game 3 Dark Eldar

Duke sliscus

8 warriors, raider, flickerfields, splinter racks
5 warriors

Ravager, disintegrator cannons, flickerfields
Razor wing, flickerfields

The emperors will

Dawn of war

Warlord traits: useless for me, he got scoring unit
Combat drugs: reroll to wound

The table had a big ruin in the centre, a ruin centre right of my deployment zone, a ruin directly opposite in his deployment zone, and a forest to the right of my ruin. There was some other terrain, but we only fought on the right of the table.

He deployed his objective in his ruin, I deployed mine in my ruin. He set up five warriors in ruin, raider squad and duke in the centre with the ravager on their left.

I deployed with my fire base in my ruin which was my first mistake, I should have deployed a squad of fire warriors in the woods. I put my riptide and hammerhead fairly central and the piranha on the far right.

The plan is to take down the skimmers, markerlight the five man squad, remove cover and take them down with pulse fire. I'll kill the razorwing with anything. The piranha will threaten his objective.

We roll mysterious objectives and mine is a trap. Great.

He moves up his skimmers, shooting and doing little damage. I nova charge the burst cannon. The hammerhead and fire warriors kill the raider, the riptide only glances the ravager. Grrr. The piranha boosts up the flank. I try to charge the ravager, figuring if I kill it, the duke will still charge but I won't have to worry about disintegrator cannons. I fail, rolling a four for a 6" charge.
His razorwing shows up the riptide intercepts, gets three damage results but one is saved, and the razorwing kills a fire warrior. The duke charges the riptide which is now on two wounds, drawing combat. My objective explodes, wounding the ethereal as I forget that cover saves are allowed against it and I fail my lookout sir. My piranha deploys drones and shoots at the ravager, failing to hurt it, the hammerhead kills a warrior and the drones shoot and charge the warriors. The duke kills my riptide and the warriors draw combat. His ravager fails to hurt the piranha, the razorwing kills a couple of fire warriors. The duke charges the fire warrior squad, overwatch does no damage. They hold. The warriors run down the drones. The hammerhead does some damage killing a couple of warriors. The fire warriors shoot down the razorwing. The duke loses his shadow field to fire warriors on combat but then sweeps them away. My objective explodes, I fail cover fail look out sir and the ethereal dies, netting my opponent two kill points and enabling my pathfinders to flee off the table. Things are looking shaky.
His turn and the ravager kills my piranha. The duke and warriors shoot my surviving fire warriors. They take a couple of casualties. All the have to do is roll a seven or less. If they hold, I'll overwatch the duke who is on one wound, with a four plus save and feel no pain. Then they get to strike in close combat. They might kill him, claim the objective and secure the win. All they have to do is hold. Do they? Do they ever! They flee 9" which perfectly covers the 8.5" to the edge of the board.
My turn five now, and I need to do something to keep the teams hopes of victory alive. The hammerhead fires into the duke, hitting and wounding with the ion cannon. He fails cover and gets blasted apart. We play turn six as per the rules but nothing really happens. We total up points, neither if us has an objective, I have slay the warlord and first blood. No one has line breaker. He has slay the warlord, and the victory point from price of failure, do we draw, thanks to an exploding objective. Oh and a healthy dose of incompetence on my part.

Unit of the match: hammerhead, the smart missiles really pulled through wiping his objective.

Units that performed under par: nothing really, I just made a lot of mistakes.

List of mistakes:

Deployment, the fire base should have split so as not to be an easy target for blast templates.

Prioritising the raider over the ravager, sure first blood is important but he was unlikely to get it if I slew the ravager.

Going to ground against the razorwing, I would have stayed there on leadership 10 and would have been able to move away from the exploding objective.

Forgetting to take cover saves against exploding objectives, this arguably lost me the win.

Charging with the drones, I should have just shot the warriors.

Game 4 grey knights, the same guy I played last year, so a grudge match (he beat me)


3 warrior acolytes with las guns, razorback, twin linked las cannon
5 marines, psycannon, psybolt razorback
5 marines, psycannon, psybolt razorback

Dreadnought with autocannons and psybolts

The relic

Hammer and anvil

Warlord traits: useless

The table had two ruins on opposites sides in his deployment zone, a filed and barricade on my right and a forest on my left.

I got first turn and split the fire base with a fire warrior team, pathfinders, and ethereal in the forest and the other fire warriors in the field within ethereal range. The riptide goes in the centre, the hammerhead on my left with the piranha behind.

He hides everything behind the building in his deployment zone opposite the field.

The plan is to move up the riptide, using it to destroy razorbacks, hit the dreadnought with the hammerhead and piranha then draw the disembarked marines into a kill zone before gunning them down, and walking out to claim the relic.

He then seizes the initiative. The grey knights roll out and the dreadnought promptly destroys my hammerhead. Well that's a good start. His twin las cannon razorback fails to hurt my riptide. I then attempt to blow up his transports doing a bit of damage but not killing anything. The piranha boosts up the flank, preparing to melta the dread next turn. He then tries to kill the riptide and fails. The riptide destroys the twin las cannon razorback, the fire warriors fail to glance the other razorback to death despite it only having one hull point. The piranha hits, pens and the rolls a one with its melta gun which is subsequently negated by psychics pilot. The riptide continues to be a bullet magnet. The piranha spends the next three turns trying to kill the dread while the drones duel with the inquisitor and henchmen. The riptide carries on blasting strike marines and tanks out the way, clearing a path for my ethereal squad. By turn five, I've blown up the dread and all but one of his tanks, his inquisitor and squad are badly maimed by gun drones. And it's a simple matter in turn six to step out and seize the relic.

Unit of the match: riptide, crazy damage output, a massive fire magnet and an all round good egg. Finished the game on two wounds, but I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.

Units that performed well: the piranha did eventually kill that dreadnought.

Units that underperformed: the fire warriors, mainly due to being out of range.

So, that was the last round. My team gathered a total of eleven wins, a draw and four losses. This put us into a close second place just one point behind the leaders! Realising, if I'd won the dark Eldar game we would have won the competition is annoying, but given that third place was a point behind us pulling off a draw gave us our best result ever.

List analysis:

The firebase collectively performed well, staying reasonably resilient, and dishing out a fair amount of fire power.

The riptide was amazing, at such low points very few people have the damage output to take one down, it's a huge distraction and even unsupported it kills things. Plus it's a really nice model.

The hammerhead performed as expected,being a solid damage output and a resilient second distraction to the riptide.

The piranha I'm rather disappointed in. I feel for the 51 points I spent on it, a crisis suit with a twin-linked fusion blaster and a flamer would have been so much more useful. It would have given me another way of scoring linebreaker, another denial unit, and a flamer for flushing out objectives.

Overall, a very good performance and a really enjoyable tournament.

Thanks for reading, I hope somewhere in my ramblings you get some useful information.


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