Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day One): “Return of the Space Communists”

Back in December, I once again made the drive to Sacramento with Mark of the Farsight Enclaves to fight for the Greater Good in the Twin Linked Grand Tournament.  This is a six game, two-day end-of-year team tournament that is a sort of final exclamation point for the team tournaments of 2014.  It is run by Mark Broughton along with many volunteers, and I have to say they all put a lot of thought and effort into making it a fun experience.

Each player fields a 1000 point army with various restrictions from a single codex.  So each team of two players, who are always “allies of convenience” has a 2000 point force, which cannot change for the entire tournament.  Each battle is a custom affair, very different than the usual rules book missions.

Game One: Trying to Bring the Greater Good to Tau and Dark Angels

We all loved the flat-topped, hovering hills in game one.  The goblin artillerists particularly so!

The early stages of the battle featured a close range clash in front of our opponent’s aegis line between the orks and the Dark Angels, who trundled out to meet them.  The orks got the better of the engagement after a couple turns of hard fighting.  The goblin’s mortar fire may not have decided the issue, but it was extremely accurate and helped our cause quite a bit.  We were hoping our two aircraft would also provide further support, but these were neutralized fairly effectively by the marine’s anti-aircraft dreadnought.

Toward the end of the game there was something you don’t see very often:  two riptides fighting it out against each other in close combat.  Not surprisingly to a draw.  (Sadly the picture didn’t come out.)  We ended up winning that battle when time ran out after five turns, and moved on to the next round.

Game Two: It’s a Trap!

The Air Force of the Greater Good has its Great Moment!

This time we faced a Space Wolf & Eldar force that featured three drop pods of infantry on turn one with Eldar fire support provided by a wraith knight and those hated wave serpents, which would be so ubiquitous through the rest of the tournament.

Although our forces tried to bring the much-needed Light of Reason and Culture to our opponents and we fought valiantly, unfortunately this was a tough match-up for us.  Most of the Space Wolves did give their lives in the early going, but by the end of the battle all what was left was our riptide in a corner making a last stand against overwhelming odds.  With his loss all that was left to do was call in for reinforcements and prepare for the next battle of the day.

Game Three: Communists versus Pirates

Right before impact!

Our opponents for the last game of the day were a father/son team of Eldar and Dark Eldar respectively.  This was an interesting game for me because it was the first time either Farsight Mark or myself had faced the new Dark Eldar codex.

This was a hard fought game with both sides taking heavy casualties.  There were a couple of funny moments during the game.  One was when the Eldar shot down our sun shark bomber.  The pilot decided to sacrifice himself for the Greater Good and plowed right into a space dark elf jet fighter and blew it up in a gigantic ball of fire and melted plastic.

Then there was the invincible squiggoth, who the nobz tamed and brought along as a transport instead of their usual but much abused battle wagon.  Their simple strategy was pretty much, “Melta this, hoomies!”  I guess they didn’t count on poisoned weapons though or tremendous volleys from wave serpents.  The beast pretty much shuffled around the board first in one direction and then the other for the entire tournament, not really wanting to get in anyone’s way or cause any trouble, which generally can’t be said for battle wagons.

Super Squiggoth is much friendlier than he looks.

Despite having every poisoned weapon in the world thrown at him, he was the “Squiggoth Who Would Not Die,” even if he ended the fight with only one wound left.

Still, even with the amazing Super Squiggoth and our friend the kamikaze Tau, we still ended up losing a close game.  We had no way to catch or kill the wave serpents arrayed against us, and by the end our opponents were much more mobile than we were and able to position themselves for the win when time ran out.

Next Time: This was a two day tournament so we rested up, consoled ourselves with steak at the local Outback, complained about wave serpents, fed the squiggoth from the in-hotel buffet (no squiggoths allowed at Outback as it turned out), recruited a new Tau pilot, harvested ork spores so we’d have more boyz, and bribed our meks into throwing together more shockingly disposable trukks in preparations for fresh glories on Sunday.

In my next battle report, I’ll write about the second half of the tournament and how we did in spreading the Greater Good throughout the Sacramento Sector.  For the Motherland!

Day Two of the Twin-Linked Tourney is here.

CSM/Orks vs. Dark Angels: End of Game

Oct 2013 fifth picture csm and orks vs dark angels

TURN FOUR:  The nephilim limped back into the fight.  It bombed a gretchin mob and lined up on the big mek.  The ork drew a bead on his opponent with one hand on the quad gun his half-finished sandwich in the other.  In usual orkish fashion 20mm shells flew in all directions, a menace to both sides.  He only stopped firing when his ammo drums ran dry.  The airplane seemingly disappeared.  Whether disintergrated or the pilot had called it a day who could say through all the smoke and explosions?

The trukk swerved around behind the rhino.  Orks piled out shootas blazing and mobbed the techmarine biker, who fought valiantly but didn’t have a chance against twelve-to-one odds.  Tactical marines burst out of all three doors of their apc.  They were too late to save their battle brother but avenged him with bolter and flame by executing eight of the eleven remaining orks.

No time to finish them off.  A metallic whoosh and snapping of claws as the heldrake plunged toward the marines then climbed.  The daemon turned its head and almost as an after-thought blew a track off their rhino.

Trying to get his men moving, the chaos tactical sergeant surveyed the sniper situation by peering through an aegis fire point.  A bullet ricocheted through the slit and killed a marine crouching next to him.

“Dammit!  That’s fragging it!” he yelled.  “Men, follow me!”

This was personal now.  The sergeant jumped up gesticulating wildly.  His men cheered as they piled over the aegis, some jumping the six foot wall with power armor-assisted boosts, and they ran in a mob toward the scouts.  Their rhino rumbled along behind them.  Its dirge caster beat out a mocking drum solo.

Mortar fire decimated the remaining loyalist tactical marines.  A lucky shell sailed into the rhino’s open top hatch and killed the crew.  Nothing left but a smoking wreck.  A few choppa orks tried to join the fray but couldn’t get past the gretchin in front of them who floated by in slow motion, still under the temporal bomb’s spell.

TURN FIVE:  Though they fought bravely the Dark Angels were annihilated.  Only the dauntless scouts held out on the far lee of their hill.  They fell back from the advancing chaos marines, maintaining disciplined skirmishing routines that would have done credit to fighting men of much greater experience.  Their mission required they live.  It was vital the chapter master learn what they knew.  Somehow communications were jammed yet again.

A scout vanished with only a smoking crater remaining where he stood.  They were suddenly cast in deep shadow.  The heldrake hovered over them silently gloating.

“By Slaanesh they are mine!”  The chaos sergeant shook his fist at the daemon.  “Damn you to the warp!”  He began fishing around for a krak grenade.  Three of his men tried to hand him one at the same time.

Enraged the drake bellowed a challenge, winged over, and bombed the chaos marines in a shit storm of waste promethium and fish oil sludge.  Chaos bolter fire played uselessly over the cyber-dragon’s breast.  It wheeled and bombed them again … and again.  The scouts escaped in the confusion.  They had much to tell their superiors about this unholy alliance between ork and traitor marine.

CSM/Orks vs. Dark Angels: Turns Two & Three

Oct 2013 third picture csm and orks vs dark angels
Greenskins hotfoot it away from Dark Angel nephilim.

TURN TWO: Six bone white terminators appeared in a circle of green light on the biker’s right flank, who then moved out on cue behind the helbrute and up the hill in front of the aegis line.

A terminator pointed at the ground. A wall of blue flame sprang up from his feet, hissing forward in a line catching the helbrute.  The walker exploded.  One biker, about half way up the hill, was incinerated by the blast.

The other terminators turned their weapons on a tightly packed squad of True Ultramarines.  The chaos marines threw themselves to the ground behind their aegis line as their shoulder-to-shoulder numbers were raked by assault cannon, anti-infantry rockets, bolter shells, and scout sniper fire.  One man ignored the order to hit the dirt and lost his head and one arm.

The thunder of jet engines and a green-and-white blur heralded sudden death when a ground attack fighter swooped down on orks and gretchin milling around the wrecked truck.  Boyz fell like wheat to the chattering scythes of twin hurricane bolters and mystic cannon fire.  The remaining greenskins hotfooted it into the ruin.

The rhino, now supported by the techmarine biker, dueled the remaining ork trukk.

Two bikers laid down suppressive fire against the havocs while the rest of the squad jumped the barricade.   Titus smashed his mace down on the Chaos Lord’s shoulder.  The lord’s terminator armor saved his life but not his collar-bone.  Screaming with hatred and pain, he backhanded the chaplain off his bike.  He staggered back clutching at his shoulder, gasping, as his loyalist opponent rolled to his feet in an acrobatic blur, mace of redemption in both hands.

TURN THREE: With battle raging directly in front of them, the big mek picked up a grot fumbling with a battered spyglass. Between the two of them they directed accurate mortar fire onto the terminators.  After high-fiving the gretchin, he stuffed him into his shokk attack gun and blasted pieces of the grot into three terminators’ armor.  The psyker’s head exploded as the spyglass materialized inside his skull.

A wretchedly painted heldrake strafed in over the dark angel plane missing with its talons.  The daemon somersaulted as it passed and vomited auto cannon shells, which punched a hole through the dark angel fighter, disintegrating a hurricane bolter.  The nephilim limped away its engine belching smoke.  Melta and heavy bolter fire from the rhino crisscrossed behind the drake as it banked left for another attack run.

Dark Angel snipers kept the chaos marines pinned down behind their aegis.

The chaplain hammered away at his opponent. The lord parried desperately. He couldn’t mount an effective counter-attack against the priest’s heavy blows. His heavy terminator armor slowed him yet proved almost useless against the loyalist champion’s mace.

Improbably, the havoc champion, ex-Adepta Sororitas “Sister Rachel,” picked up a missile launcher and beat a dark angel to death with it.  Inspired, the other two havocs followed suit and killed their opposing numbers. The dark gods threw a lot of luck the way of the True Ultramarines this battle!

Down on his knees, bloody, his arm useless the beaten chaos lord bowed his head and waited for death.  Titus raised his mace high and split both the chaos lord’s helmet and his head.  He exulted, triumphant but something was wrong.  The priest looked down and realized he’d been impaled through the midsection by the lord’s power sword.

“Loser!” Sister Rachel laughed as visions of assuming the dead chaos lord’s position as well as possessing his diverse and extensive harem danced in her head.

Monday: Game ends!