Monday, 3 February 2014

Battle Brothers 2014 List and Pre-tournament thoughts

Two weekends ago, Xenos and Proud and I attended the Warhammer 40k Battle Brothers tournament, at Warhammer world in Nottingham. Despite the daunting prospect of a seven and a half hour car journey, we were both very excited and looking forward to playing doubles 40k again, something we haven’t done in about four years.

The format for Battle Brothers is fairly simple. You pick an army of 1500 points, and the two of you play five rounds over two days with this army. It can be structured in any way that follows force organisation.
The interesting twist of battle brothers, is that you win the tournament by amassing victory points, not battle points for winning games. This is quite an interesting mechanic with its own pros and cons. On the positives, it forces people to really play a high risk, high reward game. You can’t roll Emperor’s Will (the two objective one) sit on your own objective and win through first blood like you might normally, you have to claim the other one to maximise your victory points. This makes the games exciting, tense matches, which are usually close until the last turn or two. It also means both sides can gain a benefit, even if they lose. However, it can lead to very one sided scores, where people are left feeling like they’ve been tabled when they actually fought a really close game. It also means you focus less on winning the game, and instead winning points to win the tournament, which can leave you losing sight of just playing the game and enjoying the battle being fought.

The reports that follow this introductory post will aim to give an idea of how the games went, I don’t remember enough to make it a blow by blow account, which would probably come out quite dull anyway.

The list
We knew from the start we’d be taking Tau and Eldar, given that that’s what we took all those years ago, they’re our favourite armies, and XandP’s other army is Tyranids.
We initially tried to come up with a super competitive list, but quickly realised we had no idea what we’d face, especially now forgeworld was in play. We contemplated dipping into my student loan to by a revenant titan, but then decided we ought to just take a whole bunch of units we liked the look of, hadn’t used before, or just enjoyed gaming with. Here is our result:

Cadre Fireblade Shas’nel Oi’nan’shi (warlord)
12 fire warriors, rifles, shas’ui, markerlight, target lock
11 fire warriors, rifles (fireblade lives here)
Riptide, heavy burst cannon, twin linked plasma rifles, early warning override, stimulant injector
Crisis suit, plasma rifle, fusion blaster, 2 gun drones
Crisis suit, plasma rifle, fusion blaster, 2 gun drones
5 pathfinders
Hammerhead, railgun, submunitions, disruption pod, blacksun filter, smart missile system
Skyray, blacksun filter, smart missile system

Farseer, jetbike
6 jetbikes, two shuriken cannons
6 jetbikes, two shuriken cannons
Crimson hunter

The list has a good mix of ways to handle the various threats (flyers, hordes, etc) and has few spammed units in it. The crisis suits are a particular favourite of mine as they always bought an element of randomness to the game. Every game, we deepstruck them in on a crazy suicide mission behind enemy lines.
I'd played a skyray once before the tournament so I was keen to have another go and see if it was better flyer defence than the riptide. The hammerhead is a favourite model of mine and has been since I started the game. I felt the tau portion of the list reflected a mobile gunline, anchored by fire warriors, with suits and vehicles mobilised around it, an idea I'm growing more and more fond of. The riptide was armed with a burst cannon for the cool factor and ridiculous number of shots, despite the ion accelerator seeming the superior weapon. Also, people complain less when you intercept with it rather than a strength eight, ap two large blast. When I explained this to someone, I actually found myself being complemented on the sporting way I was fielding a riptide. I'm expecting the first flight of pigs tomorrow...
The eldar half came from Xenos and Proud's favourite models. Given a few more points, we'd have thrown in a fire prism as it is to him as hammerheads are to me. 

Game 1 to follow.


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