We are live in the War Room with: War Room Social 9/22/21

Battle Report: the Las Vegas Nopen final!

Hello Art of War 40k fans and patrons! We’re back with a battle report from last weekend’s Las Vegas NOPEN, a charity event where top players pilot army lists penned by other expert dice-slingers from around the world. The AoW team has the honor of piloting this event’s top lists in the grand finale. Read on to see what happens when those anti-social Drukhari come out from smoking under the bleachers to challenge the popular kids for the homecoming crown.

John’s List

“The Emperor’s Allstars” (by Tank Roberts) played by John Lennon Battalion Detachment 6CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [61 PL, -1CP, 1,093pts] Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose + HQ [6 PL, -1CP, 100pts] + WARLORD: Canoness [3 PL, 50pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Null Rod, Relic: Litanies of Faith, Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith Missionary [2 PL 45pts] + Troops [12 PL, 165pts] + Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts]: 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts]: 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts]: 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun + Elites [14 PL, 308pts] + Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts]: 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts]: 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts]: 8x Sisters Repentia [128pts]: 8x Penitent Eviscerator Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts]: 8x Sisters Repentia [128pts]: 8x Penitent Eviscerator + Heavy Support [21 PL, 360pts] + Retributor Squad [7 PL, 120pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts], 2x Retributor [28pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Retributor Superior [14pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta [20pts] Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta [20pts] Retributor Squad [7 PL, 120pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts], 2x Retributor [28pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Retributor Superior [14pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta [20pts] Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta [20pts] Retributor Squad [7 PL, 120pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts], 2x Retributor [28pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Retributor Superior [14pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta [20pts] Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta [20pts] + Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 160pts] + Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts] Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts] ++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [41 PL, -5CP, 903pts] ++ Shield Host: Shadowkeepers + Stratagems [-1CP] + Open the Vaults [-1CP]: Open the Vaults: 1 Extra Relic [-1CP] + HQ [19 PL, -2CP, 368pts] + Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts] Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, -2CP, 178pts]: Auric Aquilas, Captain-Commander [-1CP], Hurricane Bolter, Indomitable Constitution, Misericordia [3pts], Superior Creation, Ten Thousand Heroes [-1CP] + Troops [22 PL, 535pts] + Custodian Guard Squad [11 PL, 275pts]: 5x Custodian [225pts]: Misericordia [15pts], Sentinel Blade [10pts], Storm Shield [25pts] Custodian Guard Squad [11 PL, 260pts]: 5x Custodian [225pts]: Sentinel Blade [10pts], Storm Shield [25pts], 3x Misericordia [9pts]

Nick’s List

“Triple P: Painkiller’s Panoply of Provocation” (by JT McDowell) played by Nick Nanavati Drukhari Patrol Detachment (2CP – 830 pts) Sub-Faction: Kabal of the Black Heart + HQ + WARLORD: Archon (70): Labyrinthine Cunning, Writ of the Living Muse + Troops + Kabalite Warriors (40): 1x Sybarite, 4x Kabalite Warrior + Elites + Lhamaean (16) Mandrakes (75): 1x Nightfiend, 4x Mandrake Mandrakes (75): 1x Nightfiend, 4x Mandrake Medusae (22) Medusae (22) + Fast Attack + Scourges (100): 1x Solarite, 4x Scourge: Blaster Scourges (100): 1x Solarite, 4x Scourge: Blaster + Heavy Support + Ravager (155) 3x Disintegrator cannon Ravager (155) 3x Disintegrator cannon Drukhari Patrol Detachment (2CP – 820 pts) Sub-Faction: Dark Technomancers, Master of Mutagens Stratagem: Alliance of Agony + HQ + Haemonculus (90) Electrocorrosive whip, Hexrifle, Regenerist, The Nightmare Doll Stratagems: Prizes from the Dark City + Troops + Wracks (45): 1x Acothyst: Hexrifle, 4x Wrack Wracks (45): 1x Acothyst: Hexrifle, 4x Wrack Wracks (45): 1x Acothyst: Hexrifle, 4x Wrack + Heavy Support + Reaper (170) Reaper (170) + Dedicated Transport + Venom (85) Splinter cannon Venom (85) Splinter cannon Venom (85) Splinter cannon Drukhari Patrol Detachment (2CP – 350 pts) Sub-Faction: Dark Technomancers, Master of Mutagens + HQ + Haemonculus (90) Electrocorrosive whip, Hexrifle + Troops + Wracks (45): 1x Acothyst: Hexrifle, 4x Wrack Wracks (45): 1x Acothyst: Hexrifle, 4x Wrack + Dedicated Transport + Venom (85) Splinter cannon Venom (85) Splinter cannon

Pregame

Mission: Vital Intelligence

John Lennon | Imperium

Command Points: 7

Secondary Objectives: (1) Data Intercept; (2) Engage on All Fronts; (3) While We Stand, We Fight 

Nick Nanavati | Drukhari

Command Points: 10

Secondary Objectives: (1) Data Intercept; (2) Engage on All Fronts; (3) Deploy Scramblers 

This is a mission that requires holding at least two objectives to score primary points. It’s also notable for the Data Terminals mission rule, which states that objectives controlled at the end of a player’s Command Phase will remain under that player’s control until the opposing player takes it, even if there are no friendly models within range of that objective. Let’s not forget about that!

Deployment

John’s Deployment: 

John deploys his mixed-Imperium army using obscuration from several ruins in his deployment zone. He positions his Sisters’ Rhinos and infantry in a way that gives him flexibility to spread out and control the board. For 1CP he reserves a Retributor squad and two squads of Death Cult Assassins. 

Nick’s Deployment: 

Nick deploys most of his army in a tightly protected castle deep in his deployment zone, with Venoms out front and on the flanks to screen and ensure he can immediately begin scoring points from Engage on All Fronts. He spends a CP to reserve five Wracks in a Venom and two Medusae. His Mandrakes and Scourges sit aside for a later deep strike. 

Nick’s Warlord Trait nets him 2CP (on a D3) before the game begins. 

Battle Round 1

John wins the roll off for first turn. 

John starts his movement disembarking squads of Retributors and Sisters from their respective Rhinos.

John: “I’m just trying to push some Obsec up field, so that in Nick’s turn, if he pushes onto these objectives, I’m going to be in position to try to take them away from him. I also want to force his guns into extreme angles to try to get shots off against my units.”

John advances his Custodian Guard up to Objective 4 to both secure it and act as bait for Nick, while a squad of Sisters advance to occupy Objective 5 from within the protection of a ruin. Meanwhile a squad of Repentia begins the Data Intercept action on Objective 6. John wants to get his Obsec units out front, ready to fight and force trades; he notes that he’s Ok with not doing much damage (or any, as it turns out) this first turn. 

Nick’s turn starts with careful movements of his Ravagers and other units in his backfield, eager to line up keyhole shots through gaps in the terrain while minimizing his own exposure. His Kabalite Warriors and Lhamean begin actions for Data Intercept and Deploy Scramblers, respectively. A unit of Wracks tag Objective 2 while another disembarks from the Venom on Nick’s southern flank to threaten Objective 4.

Nick’s Ravagers kill one Custodian each, but the rest of his shooting is ineffectual against Custodes storm shields. His disembarked Wracks use Fire and Fade to shoot and move onto Objective 4, trying to keep as much distance as possible from the Custodes squad also on that Objective.

Battle Round 2

-Top of Round 2 Score Check-

*10 points included for battle-ready armies

John

Command Points: 7

Primary Objective Points: 5

Data Intercept: 2

Engage on All Fronts: 2

While We Stand: 0

Total Victory Points: 19

Nick

Command Points: 12

Primary Objective Points: 0

Data Intercept: 2

Engage on All Fronts: 0

Deploy Scramblers: 0

Total Victory Points:  12

John starts his second turn by moving his Bike Captain along the top of the board toward Objective 2. A 14” move isn’t enough to reach the objective but sets him up for a charge later.

John’s Custodes move onto Objectives 3 and 4 while his Sisters line up multimelta shots. Rhinos reposition to deny Nick easy targets. His reserve units remain off the board this turn.

In the Shooting Phase John’s Custodes kill four Wracks near Objective 4. His Retributors miss with their multimelta shots, and his Bike Shield Captain’s hurricane bolters fail to wound the Wracks on Objective 2 thanks to the nearby Haemonculus’ +1 toughness aura.

The Custodes charge the last Wrack on Objective 4.

Nick: “He’s gonna live.”

John: “I don’t think so.”

Nick: “He’s gonna live and I’m gonna Prophets of Flesh you.”

(The lone Wrack did not live).

The Bike Captain makes his charge against the other Wracks squad on roll of a nine. He needs to kill four of them to take the objective, but only gets three. The Wracks are unable to inflict any wounds as they swing back.

Nick begins his second turn by deploying another squad of Wracks to join the fight over Objective 2. He considers how to handle the rest of the battlefield, particularly Objective 3.

Nick: “I don’t want to throw more Wracks at the problem.”

John: “I am so confident that Nick is not gonna kill these Custodian Guard I don’t even care if he shoots them.”

Nick: “He’s probably right, that’s the sad part.”

John: “I’m just trying to be aggressive on these objectives early, making Nick commit resources that I can take away before he gets a strong late game.”

Scourges deep strike along the top of the board edge

Nick commits most of his reserves with a Venom and two squads of Mandrakes entering the board to threaten Objective 5, hoping to inflict some mortal wounds.

Nick’s Reapers send eight total shots (after a CP Reroll) toward the Custodes on Objective 2, successfully wounding with all on 2+. John elects to save CP by not using Transhuman Physiology, and pays for it as he fails two saves and loses two Custodians to the Reapers’ minimum-five damage shots. John employs Grim Responsibility for -1 Strength to incoming weapons, which helps prevent Nick’s Ravagers from converting any further wounds on the Custodes squad.

Nick’s Venoms overcharge their guns at the same squad, but only manage to do three mortal wounds to themselves (oops!). The deep-struck Scourges do manage to kill a Custodian, though, leaving one on Objective 3, while Mandrakes kill one Custodian on Objective 4.

Mandrakes use Power from Pain to reroll a 9” charge, making it on an 11. The other squad fails their charge.

None of the combats this turn are decisive, but John is forced to spend 2CP to auto-pass morale for the Custodian on Objective 3. 

Battle Round 3

-Top of Round 3 Score Check-

John

Command Points: 4

Primary Objective Points: 20

Data Intercept: 4

Engage on All Fronts: 4

While We Stand: 0

Total Victory Points: 38

Nick

Command Points: 8

Primary Objective Points: 5

Data Intercept: 2

Engage on All Fronts: 4

Deploy Scramblers: 0

Total Victory Points:  21

Death Cult Assassins arrive to screen against Nick’s last reserves. Trajan and Retributors reposition to target the Scourges at the top of the board. Custodes and Sisters approach to support the fight for Objective 5, as additional Retributors arrive from John’s board edge to do the same.

John has now committed all his reserves. Many failed hit and wound rolls diminish the impact of his Shooting Phase (despite the use of cherubs), but he still manages to destroy one Venom and a few Mandrakes and reduces the Venom on Objective 3 to its last wound.

John’s Custodes charge onto Objective 5. He keeps one Custodian touching Objective 4, ensuring it is not the one who is already wounded.

Trajan charges and wipes the squad of deep-struck Scourges. The melee on Objective 2 results in a few more dead Wracks but little more.

Now in the bottom of Round 3, it’s time for Nick to respond. His Drukhari gain +1 to their hit rolls this turn via Power from Pain.

Wracks fall back as a Venom joins the fun to keep the Shield Captain occupied.

The rest of Nick’s reserves arrive as his boats turn the corner to target an exposed Trajan Valoris.

John uses Moment Shackle for a free Transhuman on Trajan – keeping him alive will net John five points for While We Stand, and the defensive buff may deter Nick from targeting him over other, softer targets.

The gambit works for John – for now – but comes at the cost of a Retributor squad as a Ravager targets them with deadly accuracy.

Venoms kill three of the four Death Cult Assassins, and the Reapers destroy the Rhino on Objective 6, forcing an emergency disembarkation that kills one Repentia. The last Ravager kills a Custodian on Objective 5 and wounds another, putting them out of Heroic Intervention range.

Battle Round 4

Now at the top of Round 4, John repositions a few units to maximize the dakka he can sling from his remaining Sisters and Custodes.

John: “This is big. I need to kill any infantry that can get near me and perform a [deploy] scramblers – that’s my mission right now.”

His Retributors happily accept that mission and manage to destroy the second squad of Scourges with their multimeltas and bolters. Another squad kills the Medusae near Objective 5 with their multimeltas.

John: “These Repentia are less than 14” away, so if I move six directly towards you, I need to roll a seven. I have exactly a seven showing on my Miracle Dice; these Repentia can charge this Venom.”

John makes the charge with his Repentia against the Venom on Objective 3 while his Retributors charge to overwhelm Objective 5 with bodies.  

Nick uses Agents of Vect to prevent another Retributor squad from rerolling a failed charge onto Objective 3.

Trajan kills the Haemonculus on Objective 2 and consolidates closer to the troublesome Wracks while the Shield Captain dodges the attacks of the Venom and swings back to destroy it. The charging Repentia easily finish off the other wounded Venom, which explodes for a single mortal wound that they shrug off. The combat on Objective 5 leaves just two Wracks alive down there.

– Bottom of Round 4 Score check – 

John

Command Points: 4

Primary Objective Points: 25

Data Intercept: 6

Engage on All Fronts: 8

While We Stand: 0

Total Victory Points: 49

Nick

Command Points: 5

Primary Objective Points: 15

Data Intercept: 6

Engage on All Fronts: 6

Deploy Scramblers: 0

Total Victory Points:  37

John: “This is very interesting. I’m not actually sure if I’m winning or not.”

Nick considers his options and priorities. He needs to clear the Custodes off Objective 5 but has other clear targets in the Rhino and Repentia. Nick allows his gunboats to break cover as John assesses the situation.

John: “These gunboats, I never quite had a good opportunity to shoot them, so they’re going to prove quite annoying.”

Nick: “It was central to my game plan that you not kill these Ravagers.”

John: “So many little units in this dark eldar army. I’m just trying to play whack-a-mole with all the different threats he has.”

Nick’s fourth turn shooting from the gunboats destroys John’s second Rhino. The Repentia inside get out but are quickly gunned down by Kabalite Warriors and another gunboat. Nick uses Fire and Fade yet again to move those Warriors and contest Objective 4. The other Repentia squad also suffers withering fire from a gunboat and dies the last. One brave Custodian tanks the fire from a Ravager and stays alive with a CP reroll of his invulnerable save.

A Venom charges after Warriors fire-and-fade to touch Objective 4.

John Heroically Intervenes with the lone Custodian near Objective 2, killing a Wrack. He then consolidates onto the objective as Trajan destroys another Venom. It’s enough to flip the objective back to John. This leads to a big swing as John now controls three objectives – more than Nick – giving him 15 primary points in his next turn.

Nick: “I regret that that Custode survived my Ravager…”

Battle Round 5

The Shield Captain moves to tie up Nick’s Ravagers, while Sisters move to help secure the midfield objectives and provide fire support against the gunboats and Kabalites

Round 5 combats see one of Nick’s Ravagers and a Venom destroyed. Nick’s gunboats fall back from combat with the Shield Captain to steal Objective 2. Because Nick went second, he will score primary points at the end of his turn for this final round. 

The Haemonculus attacks from below to finally kill the stubborn Custodian.

-Final Score-

John

Command Points: 0

Primary Objective Points: 40

Data Intercept: 9

Engage on All Fronts: 10

While We Stand: 10

Total Victory Points: 79

Nick

Command Points: 0

Primary Objective Points: 20

Data Intercept: 7

Engage on All Fronts: 8

Deploy Scramblers: 0

Total Victory Points:  45

Final Thoughts 

John: “That was really close, I was sweating”

Nick: “That one turn where I lost 15 points on primary…that solidified it.”

Nick: “I wanted to try to be more conservative with all my stuff because I wanted to push for a big 15 point at the end, but I just lost too much stuff a little too quickly.”

John’s game illustrates the strength of Custodes’ durability combined with Sisters’ firepower.

John: “Custodes Guard, they love these Sisters! I walked them up turn one into the firing lanes, still got a 10 on While We Stand.”

Though he lost, Nick isn’t down on Drukhari, particularly in the hands of a skilled pilot and with a new codex on the horizon.

Nick: “Dark eldar, I think a lot of people are sleeping on them; they’re about to only get better. They play the mission so well!”

Congratulations to John for winning the match, and to JT McDowell and Tank Roberts for designing killer lists!

Thanks for joining us, folks. Until next time, don’t forget to share your thoughts and feedback!

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