Sunday, 13 May 2018

Power From Paint: Mischief and Mayhem

Another Realspace raid has been completed by the Kabal of the Sand Viper and what a difference to our previous outing! Yesterday I attended the First Founding Mayhem 2018 tournament, so here is a brief report. As per usual I won't be writing a blow by blow Bat Rep (as my memory is terrible), but I took some pretty pictures and will add a few words around them.

The Kabal of the Sand Viper
Mayhem is a one day, four game 1250 point, Warhammer 40,000 tournament with an emphasis on fun and sportsmanship. The missions generally have a bit of a twist to them as you'll see below.

Game 1: Retrieval (with a twist) 
This is a 4 objectives game where Troop choices score an extra VP for holding an objective.  In this round I am facing Greg's Dark Angels. He has a small elite force, which castles up in deployment leaving Deathwing Terminators and Primaris Inceptors in reserve.

I have advantage of range on the Dark Angel guns and make use of that on the early turns to chip away the castle. 

I am concerned about the Deathwing coming down in the middle of the board and rampaging around (they are very killy), but they appear to reinforce the Dark Angels home end and try to take down the Ravagers.

The gun boats weather the storm of their shooting and I'm fairly happy as the Deathwing are now out of position away from the objectives. The Ravagers bugger off but continue to plink away at the Terminators with their Dark Lances, eventually leaving their supporting Librarian by himself.

All the mean while the Void Raven is flying lazy loops around the table (I've learnt to be much more conservative with the flyer since Octoberfest where the poor thing was being taken down turn 1 in most games).

The Dark Eldar close the noose around the remaining Dark Angels, and free from resistance claim the territory. The Kabalite Warriors take 3 objectives whilst the remaining Rhino claims the last. Annoying Rhinos will continue to haunt me during the day.

Game 1: Dark Eldar Win!

Game 2: Dominate and Destroy (from Chapter Approved)
I really like this mission; it uses a combination of progressive scoring on 6 objectives, and Kill Points to calculate VP. In round 2 (and subsequent rounds) players are paired against opponents with similar results to themselves (the Swiss Pairs method); I am drawn against Billy and his Imperial Fists Scout list.

Billy's army is one of the reasons I love attending tournaments; every so often you come across a down right unique army or list. This is an Imperial Fists Scouts list, based around old school metal models. It is a work in progress and very obviously a labour of love. And it is going to look amazing when it is finished.

That's 50 scouts backed up by 2 HQs on bikes and a Xiphon fighter!

We are playing long table deployment, with a fairly large ruin in the centre of the table; we each have 3 objectives in easy reach of our forces. The Imperial Fists deploy some scouts ready to take the objective in the grave yard, but these are soon handled by the Dark Eldar firepower. The Kabal of the Flayed Skull special rule (ignores cover) is particularly harsh on the Space Marines as it nullifies their camo cloaks!

The Xiphon and the bike riding heroes of the Imperium crash forward putting pressure on the Dark Eldar, killing transports and warriors, but these resources are also taken down under the unrelenting Dark Light and splinter fire barrage.

The Kabal begin their advance to the heart of the Imperial Fists' terrain, leaving a handful of the Scouts to return to their Chapter.

Game 2: Dark Eldar Win!

A brief interlude at this point; on the table next to my game, the Imperial Guard were facing the mysterious Adeptus Mechanicus. The view of ranks upon ranks of brave guardsmen hunkered down behind barricades seemed very thematic.

Two games, two wins! Doing well; apparently very well as we will see in game 3.

Game 3: The Relic (with a twist)
The twist being there are 3 relics, and troops claim an extra VP when holding the relic.

So back to doing well! I find myself on table 1 facing Nathan's Chaos Daemons. This is a nightmare list to play against; almost 90 plague bearers plus supporting characters including a Daemon Prince. The characters are essentially invisible as they are screened by the plague bearer blobs, so the Game Plan is simple (in theory); delete the plague bearers one unit at a time and then nick a relic or two.

Except the cunning use of Stratagems and Psychic Powers which buff the little sods make this a lot harder than expected!

We start with a refused flank and then open up the shooting gallery! I take down the right hand (to me) Plague Bearer blob, relying on morale to pop a load of them. This doesn't stop the Daemons handily jumping onto the Relics. (With two of them being picked up by characters; stupid 8th ed targetting rules!)

The Daemon Prince jumps forward into my lines and kills two Venoms. It takes a turn of return fire to deal with the monster (who has to die to stop wrecking even more of my vulnerable gun boats), and this proves clutch; it stifles the much needed fire into the Plague bearer blobs and has thinned down my damage dealing capabilities.

The Relics are herded back into the Daemons back lines and I can't crack them open. Nathan is an utter gent in this game giving pointers on play and ensuring we get through the turns maximising my opportunity to kill mobs and crack open the nut.

The Nurgley wave advances:

Then retreats with the prizes in hand. The Dark Eldar cagily advance, fearing charges and more importantly the Daemons getting into assault with the kabalite warriors, leaving them trapped.

Ultimately I can't do enough damage and Nurgle is victorious; I have to satisfy myself by claiming Linebreaker whilst denying the Daemons the same. Nathan's list was perfect for the Mayhem missions and he would go on to be the eventual tournament winner.

After the match we discussed alternative outcomes; I had turn 1 and perhaps should have been braver with my deployment getting my infantry onto the relics turn 1 and forcing him to advance towards me. Lots learnt and to apply next time.

Game 3: Dark Eldar Loss!

Game 4: Secure and Control (Eternal War) & Cleanse & Capture (Maelstrom of War)
If playing two missions at once wasn't twisty enough, there's more. The Away Secure & Control objective is worth 7VP whilst Home is worth 3VP; there's also some tweaks to the Maelstrom cards to ensure you can potentially score them, and reduce some of the randomness of scoring (D3 VP are a flat two for example).

Last game of the day and I am on table 2, facing Paul's Sisters of Battle (confusingly both the Sisters players are called Paul; this was not not my usual opponent). Paul has a gorgeous looking army combining classic metals and some lovely conversions for Arcoflagellants and Death Cult Assassins.

Also worryingly in the list are two squads of melta armed Dominions in Rhinos and Celestine. This is going to hurt!

I deploy the Venoms on the table and use the Screaming Jets Stratagem to put my Ravagers and Voidraven in reserve to avoid the melta gun alpha strike.

Remember game 1 when I mentioned annoying Rhinos?  Well fast forward to turn 1 of this game when I have an Overwhelming Fire Power objective card and a juicy rhino in front of me. I deploy all the gun boats and the bomber from reserve and attempt to destroy it; the Venoms are waiting to then splinter fire into the infantry that should then emerge from the wreckage!

No luck, the rhino survives all the Dark Light and the Sand Vipers are left looking very shocked (this feels horribly reminiscent of the Maelstrom game at Octoberfest last year).

And very soon I am facing down heavily armed battle nuns, a Living Saint and a battle bus full of Arcoflagellants. To my left the other Dominions have advanced and the Death Cultists are using their Rhino.

I valiantly fight on, both of us scoring maelstrom card where we can; I murder Celestine *twice* but at the cost of my Warlord; and it's looking pretty even victory points wise until we get to the battle for my home objective where I have mustered every model for a last stand. We work out it boils down to whether any of my Objective Secured Warriors can survive. Alas they take veritable smacking from the holy Kill-Bots and any hope of victory is lost.

I did snap a few other pics of these lovely models:

 Paul and I ran late on this game, only achieving 3 turns; in part because we were having so much fun chatting about the models/conversions, the new Dark Eldar codex, and life at GW HQ (where Paul works). This win would put Paul into second place overall.

Game 4: Dark Eldar Loss!

Overall I finished the day with 2 Wins and 2 Losses. With those losses against the overall winner and runner up I can't complain with the Dark Eldar performance; and on the provisional results table I came 10th overall. Very happy with the placing.

The new Dark Eldar codex is very strong; the Flayed Skull obsession is excellent for a shooting heavy Kabal army, and the extra movement is just gravy. I need to look at the relic/warlord load out, but I think there is a basis for a strong army here. Time for more games for the Sand Vipers!

My only failure of the day was not taking enough pictures of all the pretty armies. There were several commission painters in attendance, and the quality of their armies was excellent. I've nicked these pics off the event page (so credit to Dave G for them).

First up Matt's Custodes. These won the Best Painted award. There are more pics on Matt's FB page.

James bought some of his amazing Knights along. I had a great time talking modelling with him (the joys of Dark Eldar skimmer flight stands), and you can find more great stuff including his Mayhem report here.

So a great day with a great bunch of guys; roll on Octoberfest!

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