Chaz goes to the Norwegian Masters!

The 15th of January saw the Norwegian Toy Soldier Masters kick off, with X-Wing, Warmachine, Kings of War, Infinity, and of course, Age of Sigmar and wh40k! What I noticed was Kings of War had twice the number of players Age of Sigmar, and Warmachine had a few more than wh40k. I couldn’t help but feel GW is missing out on the tournament scene with the lack of any official measure of balance between armies in Age of Sigmar, though it could be just here – let me know if it’s not! But that’s not what I’m here to talk about – it’s my first tournament!

The 1650pt tournament itself was well organised – comp rules were clear, everything was ready and pairings went quickly etc. Most armies were painted to a very high standard and they sold beer!

My goal for the tournament was try to avoid being tabled every game and win a single game! So, my list was as follows:

HQ
Sorcerer
Lvl3, Sigil of Corruption, Spell Familiar, plasma pistol
Sorcerer
Lvl3, Sigil of Corruption, Spell Familiar

Troops
22 Cultists
9xautoguns, 2x heavy stubber, shotgun
20 CSMs
2x plasma guns, CCWs, power fist, melta bombs, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, VotLW, Gift of Mutation

Heavy Support
7 Havocs
4x Autocannons, VotLW

Formations
Helcult
35 Cultists
Autoguns, 2x flamer
35 Cultists
MoS, 3x flamer
Dreadnought
Missile launcher, Reaper autocannon

Fortifications:
Aegis Defence Line
Quad Gun

I was gonna give my CSMs a last hurrah before sending them into hibernation as I start a 30k Escalation League, and I’m aware my list is not very competitive, but it is fun! 😉

Round 1

My first game was against the player who has won the last two NMs. He turned up with:
Farseer, jetbike
Warlock, jetbike
Vyper
3 Scatter laser bikes
3 Scatter laser bikes
3 Scatter laser bikes

Aspect Host
5 Warp Spiders, exach
5 Warp Spiders, exach
5 Warp Spiders, exach

Aspect Host
5 Warp Spiders, exach
5 Warp Spiders, exach
6 Swooping Hawks, exarch

Riptide Wing
1 Riptide, Twin linked Smart Missile System, early warning override, ion accelarator
1 Riptide, Twin linked Smart Missile System, early warning override, ion accelarator
1 Riptide, Twin linked Smart Missile System, early warning override, ion accelarator

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I’m not gonna write up a battle report – one already exists in Norwegian, but I was always going to struggle against a very good player with a very strong list. Yours truly was also featured briefly in a TableTopBattle report from the NM during this game!

I roll my Warlord trait (get the shitty pinning one), then roll my psychic powers, getting Shrouding on one and Invisibility on the other. So far, so good. My deployment is where I went wrong. I deploy my Invisibility Sorcerer with my CCW Cultists and my Shrouding Warlord with my CSMs. This should’ve been reversed. I should also have put my ranged Cultists and Dreadnought where my CSMs are, and put the Shrouding Sorcerer with them, granting 2+ cover saves all round. My CCW Cultists should’ve gone on my right to seize objectives and be expendable, while my CSMs should’ve been on my far left with my Invisibility Sorcerer.

Either way, I start the game with moving my CCW Cultists up, then this is my first dice roll of the tournament. My Invisibility goes through, but…

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…Perils. I roll Perils as my first throw of the tournament. My Sorcerer takes a wound and has an acute case of Alzheimer’s, forgetting a power. We’re off to a bright start! However, I quickly get my act together, Dreadnought wounds a Riptide, I hold the objective my Cultists are sitting on and one more to get Supremacy and roll a six. 4-0 to the Eight-Pointed Star!

The Eldar seize two objectives they’re to hold and kill a bunch of ranged Cultists. His cowardly Eldar may not be hiding in METUHL BAWKSES, but they use the big hill in the middle to protect themselves from anything I can lay down.

Chaos T2, I seize another objective I need, but more importantly, he fails 4/7 2+ saves on his Riptide! First Blood to the Alpha Legion! Hydra Dominatus! However, I have catastrophically failed my Invisibility after my first roll, leaving my Cultists as the mercy of a helluva lot of Eldar firepower. I’m instantly regretting sitting up to 2 AM to finish painting the failure of a Sorcerer, and I’m getting flashbacks to Cypher failing a 4″ charge in front of an Eldar army…

Bilde

And sure enough, the Eldar wipe out the squad and Sorcerer with wounds to spare. His Warp Spiders then begin using the hill in the middle to flicker back and forth whenever I shoot them. I’m fenced in, and eventually his Warp Spiders get around and slaughter me. I try to hold out and prevent him from tabling me, which gives him an additional 10 VPs. I get tabled, and lose 29-7.

Round 2

My next game is against AdMech, where I don’t get Shrouding OR Invisibility. In dire straits, I hold out, I’m not tabled, and end up losing 8-6 or so which could have been VERY different if I’d had Invisibility. In the end, my hilltop fortified with an Aegis Defence Line, Havocs, and Cultists saved the day!

Round 3

My last game on Saturday is against a SM/IG army. The opponent was unsure on how to deal with Invisible SMs, so outside my one failed roll which resulted in 15 dead CSMs from Leman Russ and Pask fire, everything works smoothly and I win 9-6 or so. One round more and I would’ve got a lot more points from hunting down Pask with an Invisible Aspiring Champion with a powerfist and meltabombs, as killing my opponent’s Warlord was one of my objectives!

Round 4

My first game on the Sunday is against Tyranids. Having never played against Tyranids, I didn’t know what to expect. I line up my boys, but keen to avoid previous mistakes, my Sorcerer who rolled Invisibility goes with the CSMs. My other Sorcerer rolled Terrify and Dominate, which can be good against the ‘Nids’ low Leadership. Our objectives are secret, which turns out actually mattered!

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The game kicks off with his Flyrant Warlord moving up in his turn, then it’s mine. My Cultists march forward, and armed with 32 pistols, cause a wound on him, then ground him! Great success!

Next round things start happening. A Dimachaeron turns up to the party! Most of my army gets away without much damage, and it’s time to return fire!

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My Cultists once again wound the enemy Warlord, and my CSMs bring it down. My Cultists have at this point caused 3 wounds on a Flyrant with pistols, and as they took down most wounds, have added a Flyrant skull to the their pile, which already contains a Daemon Prince and Marneus Calgar! They grant me 3 VPs from First Blood, Slay the Warlord, and for an objective to kill a Monstrous Creature!

The game then spirals into desperate close combat fighting as synapses are failed, Havocs get slaughtered by Tyranid bomb-creatures, Dimachaeron hiding from the 20 Invisible CSMs, my Sorcerer and his autogun boys slaughtering the left flank until eventually being eviscerated by another Flyrant, Carnifex etc., and my CCW Cultists milling around and terrifying Tyranids wherever they go – which isn’t far due to some 1s and 2s rolled on run checks! They must’ve been basking in the glory they had brought to the Chaos Gods so far!

After being in the lead for almost the entire game, he eventually swings it in his last turn – he gets Supremacy, as his Dimachaeron survives long enough to hold the objective and my objective-holding ranged Cultists were wiped out in the end. Probably my most enjoyable and balanced game of the entire tournament is at an end!

My final battle is against a Gladius Strike Force with a monstrous biker command squad. I’ll be short – He absolutely curb stomps me. I’m without Invisibility and he’s over my Aegis Defence Line in T2 and charges my Sorcerer Warlord and 470pt CSM unit off the board after I fail to even cause a single wound (38 attacks with Hatred couldn’t get through a bloody 3+ and 5+ FnP!?). The rest of the game I played a game called survival, and avoided being tabled by virtue of my Dreadnought surviving.

My List

Again, I was aware it wasn’t very competitive! The reasoning behind my list was board control and try to make things difficult for my opponent by having some support Cultists and Havocs behind an Aegis Defence Line with Shrouding, and a wannabe Deathstar unit of Invisible CSMs with FnP, VotLW, and +I from MoS – perfect for nasty SMs.

In retrospect, I would’ve been better off with Cypher’s formation – it would’ve given me more of a punch and Hit & Run, but the boards had very little cover (lots of LoS-blockers though), so I would potentially be hard-pressed without Invisibility. I would also have benefited from more Havocs, so as to give me a bit more firepower and leverage the Aegis Defence Line and Quad Gun. And aye, I’m not bringing Heldrakes, MoN Bikers, MoN Obliterators, MoN Spawn, and MoN Winged DPs with Black Mace cause I don’t have the models and I they don’t fit a fluffy Alpha Legion force. I also don’t have much in the way of mobility, and often ended up bogged down in my own deployment zone.

In summary

In summary, I really enjoyed the NM. The people were really nice, and you can’t blame people for bringing really strong lists to a tournament – the goal has to be to win! Playing against really good players also helped my get better, while showing me what other forces could do.

The atmosphere was really nice and everyone would sit after their games and chat, always in a really amicable tone.

Having learned from the experience, I’m gonna return next year with something more competitive – Probably an Alpha Legion 30k force utilising Armillus Dynat, a Saboteur, a Sicaran, and a Fire Raptor.

Hydra dominatus!