Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gearing up for a tournament...

I am primarily a casual gamer - I have a smallish group of friends with whom I play 40k and Necromunda with some regularity, and I haven't taken part in a tournament in over ten years. However, I am considering participating in a small tourney being held at GenCon Indy in August, and I've been working on coming up with an appropriate list.

The event description is as follows: "1000 point Rogue Trader Tournament. This is a standard four round - 2 hours a round - tournament using the swiss draw system. Prizes will be awarded for theme, painting, best general, overall winner and sports-person. Only Codex Armies are allowed, Blood Angels are legal. Armies including a psycher[sic] get 50 bonus points."

I've sent the organizer an email regarding the use of Forge World kits (as my Chimeras are all armed with Autocannons or twin-linked Heavy Bolters), but in the short term I'm assuming the answer is no, and plan to make some multilaser turrets for my Chimeras.

Here's my tentative list:

Mordian 777th "Meatgrinder" Regiment


Command Squad - 185
  • Commander w/ Plasma Pistol
  • Voxcaster
  • Regimental Standard
  • 2 Meltagun
  • Officer of the fleet
  • Chimera (Multilaser, Heavy Bolter)

Psyker Battle Squad - 135
  • 7 Psykers
  • 1 Overseer
  • Chimera (Multilaser, Heavy Bolter)


Platoon HQ Squad - 220
  • Lieutenant w/ Plasma Pistol
  • Commissar w/ Power Fist
  • Vox
  • Standard Bearer
  • 2 Meltaguns

1st Infantry Squad - 72
  • Sergeant w/ Bolt Pistol & Chainsword
  • Voxcaster
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Autocannon

2nd Infantry Squad - 72
  • Sergeant w/ Bolt Pistol & Chainsword
  • Voxcaster
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Autocannon

3rd Infantry Squad - 72
  • Sergeant w/ Bolt Pistol & Chainsword
  • Voxcaster
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Autocannon

Veterans Squad - 160
  • Sergeant w/ Bolt Pistol & Chainsword
  • Voxcaster
  • 3 Meltaguns
  • Chimera (Multilaser, Heavy Bolter, Dozer Blade)


Leman Russ - 185
  • Lascannon
  • Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Griffon Heavy Mortar - 75

Total: 1046, 4pts left to spend

So, for 1050 points, I'll be laying down 59 infantry models, 3 Chimeras, 1 Griffon and 1 Leman Russ. The list is signifiacantly less 'fluffy' than what I usually play and geared more towards being a multi-role force. I removed the medics from the command squads and replaced them with a second melta-gunner (FnP is great, but at 1000 points, those 30 points each are better spent elsewhere), though I kept the standard bearers.

I pulled out the models that I'd intended to use for this force, and came to the realization that there are certain models that will need to be built for this list - several of my current infantry squad sergeants are armed with weapons no longer allowed in the 5th ed Codex, and as such I'll need to build a couple new sergeants armed with bolt pistols and chainswords. Similarly, I only have one veteran meltagun trooper built for the squad at the moment, so two more need to be built, as well as a couple more basic lasrifle-armed veterans to fill in for the heavy weapons team the squad usually contains, but I passed on to save points in this list.

I'll hopefully be testing the list against a couple different armies over the upcoming 4th of July weekend, we'll see how it fares.

I'm definitely interested in comments and suggestions on the list - as I'd said I've not participated in a tourney in a long, loooong time, so I'm unsure what I should be preparing for. I tried to make the list capable of handling both heavy infantry and hordes, though things like Land Raiders may give me trouble if I can't bring the meltaguns to bear...


  1. Tournament play has always been a challenging position for the casual gamer, or at least one such as yourself. From your blog, I can see that theme and character are extremely important to you, potentially even more so than the way such an army plays out on the field. I like to play that way too, but you should know that other players probably won't be the same.

    If you're playing by the 5th ed rulebook, consider mission and deployment ypes, and how your army might fare in each type. How many infiltrators do you have? How do you plan to fight off enemy infiltrators and deep strikers? How many scoring units do you have for objective missions? How Kill Point units do you have in case you roll Annihilation? Yes, you can use Combined Squads to turn your 3 infantry squads into 1 Kill Point, but without a Commissar in one of those squads, that is mostly likely to end with 30 dead infantry in one assault, rather than 10 (I read a Battle Report last week where a guard player with a 60-strong combined squad was assaulted by one model who killed 4 guard and then ran down the entire unit).

    Consider your opponents - two general opponents: MEQs and Horde armies. What weapons and tactics can you employ to face both types? The 7 Meltaguns you have may fare reasonably well against armies that look like yours (tank-heavy), but may be weaker against a Tyranid or Ork army.

    Consider your units and their roles. Two great posts I'd point you at that apply well to Guard armies (I've shortened urls to try to keep ur blog tidy):
    - Pathfinder's discussion of heat and deniance (http://www.tinyurl.com/mor8ds and http://www.tinyurl.com/nfq8g2)
    - the Back 40K's tactica on the use of tanks (http://www.tinyurl.com/nv7yn5)
    As an example of using both articles, consider that LRBT. I would drop the sponsons for two reasons: it will force you to use your tank offensively by having it move up with or ahead of your offensive line, and two it's already going to be a fire magnet. Looking at your list, I'd say that one of your most dangerous units (highest heat) is that vet squad in the Chimera. But when you're facing a Space Marine Landraider, you want to use mega Jedi mind tricks to make your opponent use his Landraider to shoot at your AV14 LRBT, not your Chimera. So get that Russ all up in its grill, giving your vets the time they need to get the job done.

    You have a good starting point, however. I'm glad to see you aren't just fielding veterans as your troop choices :)

  2. Thanks Brett - you raise some excellent points. First and foremost of course is the question of play style. I have no illusions that I'll be going up against some (if not many) players who are in it to win it at all costs, and will be fielding 'insta-win' combos based on the most recent MathHammer they can get their hands on - that's okay though, I'm so used to my guard getting stomped that it's not something that fazes me. Win or lose, I try my best to have fun, and be a good sport about it!

    The KP issue is something that I've been considering, and an early iteration of the list included a couple commissars. You raise a good point with the idea of combined squads so it would behoove me to include at least one to avoid just such a rout.

    I'm trusting to the multilasers and griffon (as well as the 40-some-odd lasguns) to deal with horde-style armies, though I have a feeling Ork armies will give it a bit more trouble than the bugs what with the higher average toughness. The predominance of meltaguns is my attempt to balance out the inevitable tank-heavy armies, as well as deal with nidzilla armies.

    Thanks for the links to the articles, definitely good reads! The tactics around keeping the tanks on the move is sage advice, and dropping the sponsons would free up some points towards a commissar for the infantry squad(s). The other side of the coin is the modeling aspect - those sponsons are glued on, and without the sponsons, that particular Russ conversion just looks too much like a Chimera. I suppose I could always take another crack at a different variant Russ though... Like I need an excuse to do more conversions! :)

    I'd made two lists originally, this 'horde' style list, and another 'veterans' list based around two vet squads (one tri-melta, one tri-plasma) in a Valkyrie and a Vendetta respectively, but I ended up deciding that the Guard aren't a dedicated heavy infantry army like the Marines are, and if I was going to be fielding 20 or less models and spending tons of points on them, I may as well just take my Crimson Fists and be done with it.

    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!

  3. Well, you do have another LRBT without sponsons, right? The one with the HKML on the turret? But we ARE talking about using the sexier Russ here. Or perhaps you could ... if it's not too late, you might be able to look into magnetizing the sponsons and at the same time you might be able to consider layering a wee bit of plasticard to push the sponsons out far enough that the heavy bolters can face forward fully. As you say, like you need an excuse to do more conversions!

    Of course, if there's one Guard player that I would trust to show me a wicked-looking Bane Wolf, Hellhound or Devil Dog (or three), it would be you. All three are extremely powerful vehicles, even overlooked if you ask me.

  4. Aye - for list testing purposes I'll run it sans sponsons ("they're out of ammo."), and build some new monstrosity. I'm currently thinking that the hull shape from the Charon, when paired with reversed Leman Russ track units (so the rear slope is in the front of the tank) could look pretty neat. Something reminiscent of the King Russ variant Executioner would be what I'm going for.

    As far as modifying the existing tank goes, I'm loath to tear apart a painted model. Chances are I'll just put the Charon up on ebay to help pay for the new Russ kit that's coming out soon.

    I'm definitely planning on adding a Hellhound to the army - I've owned the FW Artemia pattern one in the past, (though it's subsequently been sold) and was waiting to see what the new one looked like before I placed another FW order. I'm still partial to the Artemia personally, though I'll definitely pick up the new kit and make a Bane Wolf out of it. That chem cannon seems pretty unpleasant! Depending on how the new hull plates work, I'll likely do the rear-mount turret style similar to the Wyverns...