Friday, 8 November 2013

Centurion Fest

Hi. I’m Ian and will be contributing a few articles to Death or glory in the upcoming months mainly about my new army I have been using and some other articles about gaming. I having been playing 40K on and off since Rogue Trader and got into playing regularly at the end of 3rd edition down at Tolworth and Woking 1st founding clubs. It’s been a while since I wrote anything about the hobby so this is just a quick recap of the past few years for me. I spent the last two years of fifth edition playing space wolves with the odd bit of chaos marines here and there. Chaos has always been primarily my most used and favourite army but I have dabbled with a fair number over the years such as Orks, codex marines and even Eldar for a bit in 4th edition.

I have always preferred an in your face, close combat army with some sound shooting. Sixth edition has been a bit of a change to all that. I spent most of this year running chaos marines with daemon allies but wanted a change and to have a slightly different hobby project for my next event, Octoberfest. And I wanted some marines in the army rather than just the lord or sorcerer. I was asked about my hobby pie earlier this year and after a bit of consideration I gave the surprising answer, (I had just tabled my opponent in 4 turns, he felt surprised about the answer), that it’s actually very evenly split between list building, painting and playing. If given the choice I would play more than the others but such is life I cannot do that and enjoy the modelling and painting side of it equally. That being said I do not have the time to lavishly paint my models to the standard I could do but I am happy with a reasonable table top presentation. I am often labelled as a tournament player and have won a few over the years, such as the old GW GT heat 3 in 2008, when it was worth winning, but I like to play with stuff slightly outside the box and not the obvious go to options such as screamerstar, white scars or seer council to name a few.

Codex space marines is the book I wanted to build from and I had started a slow burn project, (eleven models before September) a pre heresy death guard army. As such, a slow burn project never gets done unless you have an impetus to finish it so what better than a tournament deadline. I also wanted to have something different and more killy than my chaos list and something outside the box a bit so what better than a centurion based list. I actually like the models and liked the idea that in general the internet and most podcasts do not like them from a gaming perspective.

Pre Heresy Death Guard

1750 points Ultramarines chapter tactics

Typhon (Tigurius, I put this on the army list in the hope of making the opponent think I could be a fluff player).

3 x 5 tactical marines with flamer
1 x 5 manscout squad with shotguns, combi bolter and landspeeder storm transport, heavy flamer
1 x 5 man Terminator squad with cyclone launcher and chain fist
2 x 3 centurions with grav cannons and hurricane bolters and omniscope with land raider transports, (godhammer). In this list one Landraider was not dedicated so that it allowed me to deploy just the centurions, land raiders and tiggy only.

Initially I thought it would be a relatively straightforward push and play list where you just trundle forward, get out and remove units and then pick up objectives at the end of the game. It actually was more tricky and offered many more layers to it and required more skill to play right. Selecting the right psychic powers was one thing in itself to pick the ones that synergise best with the army. In the five practise games I had I quickly realised that divination was the go to, (against screamerstar I had toyed with telepathy) and that the powers I needed where perfect timing, (Ignores cover), Forewarning,(4+ invulnerable), scriers gaze and prescience. Foreboding is useless as centurions cannot overwatch and although precognition has its uses if in close combat and combined with forewarning on Tiggy the other three buff the unit and army so much more combined with tiggys ability to re roll reserves. I always reroll misfortune as I prefer to buff my own unit and the fact that I have to start on the board inside a landraider.

The basic plan of the list is the two centurion units start on the board in the land raiders with tiggy attached to one and all the troops stay off board and with scriers gaze will not be turning up till turn four unless I want the earlier. The terminators are the more flexible choice theoretically offer lots of tactical options and a problem solving unit. They managed to prove otherwise near enough consistently. Starting inside a landraider the centurions actually have a threat range of 36 inches with their weapons and the ability to split fire. Potentially on average I can remove three wraith knights or rip tides in one turn of shooting. Part of the trick is to also use the shooting phase to block return fire to the centurions with the landraiders. This also means you have to decide whether you need the landraiders to shoot or not and when to jump out of the raider and start hosing.


Game 1 4 objectives, 5 points each, dawn of war deployment.

Paul Harding Ultra marines with Salamander allies

Paul’s list, (roughly):
10man tac squad with las cannon and plasma gun
5 tac marines with melt drop pod
5 combi plasma sternguard in drop pod
3 storm talons with skyhammer missiles
4 thunderfire cannons
Salamander librarian with 5 tac marines melta and combi melta in drop pod
Aegis with Icarus las cannon.

This game had me going second so I deployed the empty storm on the table to make use of it’s 4d6 scatter rules for deep strikers within 12 inches. I used two marine squads to form a defence line around the landraiders. This meant that only one melta gun got within 6inches and only scored a hull point of it. So the sternguard and salamanders dropped down, then I removed them, followed by the three storm talons coming on in turn 2 with me then using devastator protocols to destroy all of them in my turn 2 which was a bit lucky as the landraiders took out two of them whilst he centurions just managed to point out the last one. Averagely they should have done more but if your las cannons are going to vaporise something instead I’m not going to argue.

As there was a line of sight blocker near enough in the middle of the board it took a while to re position and one of the centurion units started to lose models to thunderfire cannons. I had already used one landraider to bus a tac squad towards an objective and the game ran out of turns before I could push on the 10 man unit in Paul’s deployment zone behind the Aegis with all the thunderfire cannons and Tiggy. The terminators had deep struck down to threaten them earlier in the game but died rather easily to some thunderfire. I had more objectives at the end and it ended 14 points to 6 in my favour. Steve’s already explained the scoring system in an earlier article, but it is essentially out of 20.

Game 2 mayhem Kill points vanguard deployment

Alex Rule Tau

Buff Commander
4 or 5 squad s of fire warriors, one in a devil fish
2 rip tides with feel no pain
Long strike in a hammer head
3 Broadsides with lots of drones

A centurions wet dream. I was going first and set up both landraiders quite prominently to surge forward. I had rolled up perfect timing, forewarning and prescience on tig. I had a line of sight blocking hill just in my deployment zone to which the terminators and two tactical squads started being with the aim for going for line breaker mid game. Alex had hidden his broadsides and commander behind a hill towards the centre of his board edge just leaving the rest of the army further back. I noticed one rip tide was in range of a centurion unit without tiggy as he was deployed more centrally so I used the tactical trait to re roll missies of ones and tried to take it out. I scored 12 wounds, and despite failing 8 cover saves Alex made six 5+ feel no pains. Sad face.

That being said, he decided to try and take out Tigurius’ land raider and failed and tried to blast template the exposed centurions but missed. The broadsides could only SMS the terminators, which killed four and long strike illuminated the grass in front of the landraider. In turn two I removed the two rip tides, turn three the hammer head and broadsides and by turn five just the buff commander lived, with two wounds. Sadly there was a turn six for him. 19 points to 1 for me.

Game 3 Big guns, 5 objectives, hammer and anvil deployment.

Kieran Reddy Eldar

4 wave serpents with 5 dire avengers
6 swooping hawks
Jet fighter with bright lances and pulse laser
Night spinner
3 war walkers with bright lances
Aegis with quad gun.

Despite going first, I messed up by trying to take pot shots at the night spinner. I also forgot about Eldrad’s warlord trait adding plus one to cover saves for a shooting phase. I should have been aggressive early game and moved the full 18inches then made sure I could have possibly assaulted the tanks as they huddled on his back board edge. As it was I ended up with a landraider immobilised on the halfway line and slowly had a unit deleted per turn. My shooting was not particularly effective. Dice go that way but I had blundered on the first turn by being too cautious and trying to get an opportunistic kill. Had we also not forgot about night fight being in effect on turn five my two back field objective hugging units would not have been shot off them. Not so useful remembering whilst you are driving home. What could have been a 12 – 8 defeat ended 18 – 2.

One of the important lessons from this, apart from remembering mission rules, (night fighting was pre-set in all missions), was that despite having an abundance of scoring in this mission I also have a double edged sword as  I have an extra 4 victory points available for the opponent. I should have closed him down distance wise earlier, then bided my time to pounce.

Game 4 The scouring, Dawn of war

Dave Rule, Pre heresy Death guard using Space wolves rules.

2 Rune priest, one in terminator armour
3 ten man grey hunters in rhinos
1 eight man in drop pod, insert priest here.
1 five man unit and flamer
2 x 4 man wolf guard with combi meltas in drop pods
3 x 6 man long fang units with 5 missile launchers.

I’ll get my Dad on you. And so he did. I set up similar to game one as I was going second but with the terminators on the board. It was night fight first turn as well but as per usual the terminators all died but the land raiders were unscathed. How I lost this close game down to being too conservative in my first turn. I should have wrecked both his two on rushing rhinos, which had fired at the terminators with their searchlights and got both centurion squads out to achieve this. I did not and my board edge became congested with grey hunters. I had the weight of fire to achieve this but decided to try and do it with las cannons which all failed miserably. One persistent wolf guard prevented me taking a 4 point objective which meant I went down to a 1 point loss so it ended 11 points to 9 to Dave.

I was always at a disadvantage as such as Dave’s army was also a Pre Heresy Death Guard army and as they were drop poding in I must have been the loyalists. That as we know that does not end well for the loyalists
Game Five The relic and Crusade, hammer and anvil.

Peter Wood, Iyanden Eldar

2 Spirit Seers
3 wave serpents with 5 wraith guard
1 wave serpent with close combat wraith guard, wraith blades.
3 war walkers with bright lance and scatter laser
Wraith night with sun cannon

I was going second so I deployed both landraiders so that they could only be hit by the war walkers if he rolled both a six for difficult terrain and for the run move. So I took a hull point off a landraider when he managed to move that far. Peter moved three wave serpents right up in my face of the two landraiders which were partially hiding behind a hill in the corner of my deployment zone. To his surprise I got out and hosed down two of them as well as the contents of one and charged a unit of centurions into the other disembarked unit of wraith guard. I had used the assault doctrine as well as having ignores cover on Tigurius.

The game then boiled down to Peter trying to grab my home objective with the Wraith Blades whilst his other unit of wraith guard made for the relic and my scouts grabbed his home objective. I managed to wrestle my own objective back off them with tiggy and a tac squad after his lone centurion managed to whittle them down in size and the Terminators managed to kill the wraith knight in close combat after knocking off a few wounds with las cannons and the cyclone launcher. They then died to the wraith guard in the centre with the relic. My main lesson from this game was that the second centurion unit needs a buff model to dig them out of close combat and to possibly absorb some wounds from incoming fire. As it was they did eventually win but on turn six. If they had managed to get out of it sooner they could have carried the game for me, as it was it was a close call but a 14 – 6 win for me.


Sergeants love pointing

I finished 17th on generalship and 11th with painting and sports thrown in. I was looking for a top ten placing but overall I was pleased with how the army worked despite needing a bit of fine tuning with the list and with the general. If I had played the two defeats only slightly differently It could have been quite different in those games, (benefit of hindsight). The Centurions were incredibly effective at removing units and surprisingly quite durable. More practice with blocking and positioning is needing as well as a few tweaks here and there.

My next big event is Death or Glory 2 which is 1850 and the first thing to change will be the Terminators. I thought they were filling a hole in the army but in reality they contributed very little. I also have the GW Throne of Skulls in January, an event I vowed I would never go to when they changed the event style but you cannot beat it for a venue. Being 1500 points  I am going to use it as a practise exercise in using the basics of the army. In many ways I played Octoberfest with a 1520 point list as the terminators were so ineffective in most games that dropping to 1500 should not be too problematic.

For DOG 2 I will be trying a few new ideas to the list. Possibly a beat stick lord on bike or maybe, as the saying goes, “Centurions live longer with Calgon.” Or is that Calgar?

1 comment:

  1. Nice post mate and welcome to the DOG crew.