Monday, 11 June 2018

Maelstrom XI

Maelstrom XI hosted by Hagen Kerr from Quietly In the Background was this weekend.  I've listed my battles as well as lots of pictures below.  Results in the link.
Game 1 
vs. Ryan Pike (Aeldari Craftworlds)
Primary Mission (Maelstrom of War): +++Kill Confirmed+++
Deployment: +++Vanguard Strike+++

First day, first round.  Guess that means I'm facing Elfs again.  Fortunately Ryan is an absolute gentleman so I knew it would be an enjoyable game.  The lists had been released the week before but I didn't want to spoil the surprise.  He had 3 detachments and I knew it was going to be an uphill struggle.  I decided to take overhead photographs of all my battles with the vague intention of copying Michael Corr's battle report style over on St. Andrew's Wargaming (his overhead shots of the London GT are hilarious).  Regrettably, I don't have his methodical talent for recording (and understanding) the ebb and flow of tabletop war so I just reverted to my usual rambling narrative.

Ryan got first turn and seemed to have a lot of Shining Spears which barreled down on me and attempted to wipe out the Wraiths.

This is how you efficiently kill Wraiths.

I managed to keep one alive though and reanimated them in my first turn with a stratagem.  So I was relatively unscathed but had no idea what to do against the forces arrayed before me.  The Fire Prisms seemed pretty nasty with that linked fire thing.  But then so did the Vipers, Autarch, Farseers, Shining Spears, Skyrunners, Shadow Spectres, Dark Reapers and Wave Serpent.  Which was practically his whole army.

The Shining Spears and Shadow Spectres were temptingly close so I just charged them.  There was no room for my warlord in the press of bodies however and he was left behind, standing in the open, completely exposed.

At this point I realised that I now had a name for him: 'Overlord Dimotekh' and a brief narrative started to form in my head.   Dimotekh was a Rusticron and therefore completely senile and demented.   He affected the air of an aristocrat and spoke in clipped, British tones with a fairly plummy, public school accent.  The leader of the Rusticrons decided to order a direct frontal assault.

"Forward men! To Glory! The ancient foe will not stand!"

Shadow Spectres.  Even I have to admit these are cool.

"Are you absolutely sure, Milord?" simpered his sidekick Cryptek. "Those Fire Prisms look frightfully brutish!"

"Get on with it you imbecile!  Why do think I gave you reanimation protocols?  Where's your spunk, man!"

Twenty-Cents the Cryptek trudged away with a platoon of Necron Warriors peeling off in formation behind.  The Eldar Warlord stood waiting patiently in the distance; he looked disturbingly similar in appearance to Maugan Ra.  If Twenty-Cents had been possessed of any bowels, it would have been squeaky bum time.  The Warriors lumbered into battle seemingly oblivious of their fate.

Slay the fleshlings! Malfunction! Malfunction! Run away! Run away!

The resulting psychic onslaught/blitzkrieg/melee resulted in a veritable explosion of dismembered robotic appendages and degreasing agent.

"Crikey!" barked Overlord Dimotekh. "What an absolute shower!  Do I have to do everything myself?!".

Elves like to look good while they fight. Does purple clash with the red though?

He shouldered a couple of moribund Warriors out of the way and strode into the fray, brandishing his Warscythe like an old lady waving a bus ticket.  The combined Eldar firepower violently discombobulated him into his component atoms and thus ended the inaugural battle of Overlord Dimotekh and the start of his chequered career as a general.

Micro seconds later, as he was reconfigured in the stasis-crypt of his Crownworld, he somewhat belatedly remembered that he was an esteemed and ancient lord of the Novokh Dynasty. As such, his men could have re-rolled all failed hits on the charge into combat.  By the time he was transported into his next battle, he had completely forgotten again.

Necrons proving that they are worth their weight in nickel plated copper.

Twenty-Cents did not actually make it into melee combat.  Realising that he had not yet used 'Veil of Darkness' during the battle, he teleported himself to the nearest train station as soon as he was out of sight of his imperious master.

7- 13 loss.

Game 2 
vs. Jordan Green (Death Guard)
Primary Mission (Eternal War): +++Dominate and Destroy+++
Deployment: +++Hammer and Anvil+++

Next up were the perfidious Death Guard.  Jordan had brought 3 of those Plague Crawler tanks which seem to be quite popular these days.  Thankfully, Mortarion had taken one look at the forces of Lord Dimotekh, rolled his eyes, and gone back to playing tiddlywinks with Magnus.  So Jordan had brought a particularly hideous looking Daemon Prince in his stead.

I don't actually remember much of the game.  I know I managed to eke out the secret of how Jordan paints and highlights his bronze fitting and fixtures, so it was a victory of sorts. (one of my previous battle reports has a particularly good example of his bronzework on a Hellforged Sicarian.  He hadn't actually finished on the models shown here)

Wraith dogpile!

I got first turn and ordered Extermination Protocols on the lead Plagueburst Crawler.  When the retinal overload of 3 Heavy Gauss Cannons firing simultaneously and in concert had subsided, the Crawler was still there.  Oh dear, time to send in the Wraiths.

And then I remembered that the 'Gaze of Death' doesn't actually work on vehicles

On the opposing flank my C'tan shard was eyeing up the other vehicles nervously.  His scythe had only been repaired that week and he complained dolefully to Overlord Dimotekh that he wasn't specifically designed to kill non-living units.  Dimotekh gave him short shrift and told him to harden up.

Blighthaulers look lovely from the rear

The Doom Scythe was winged in Jordan's first turn and his ground forces slowly rolled over me, taking horrific punishment and just getting back up.  Of course, I was doing exactly the same with reanimation protocols and the whole thing devolved into a messy free for all.

Awesome Nurgle Daemon Prince conversion

Then the Daemon Prince got bored playing with the Doom Scythe and just sat on it, squishing the poor bugger to jelly.  He turned his attention to The Nightbringer who was basically my entire left flank by now.

"I'm gunna tear you a new arsehole!"

The result was fairly predictable. I know Jordan of old and he was one of the people who got me back into 40k (possibly the reason why I never started a Chaos army.  Jordan is an utter Chaos fanboy and I can't compete with that level of dedication).  So we wasted quite a lot of the game just catching up and chatting amiably.   When it became obvious that we weren't going to finish in time and this could be construed as slow play, I decided to concede.  I would have been tabled by turn 7 for sure, plus I hadn't had any lunch and was feeling a bit peckish.

0 - 20 loss

Game 3 
vs. Bob Pearce (Ultramarines)
Primary Mission (Maelstrom of War): +++Cloak and Shadows+++
Deployment: +++Dawn of War+++

They say, "what goes around, comes around" and its true because my last game of the day had me facing off against none other than Papa Smurf Prime and his Blob of Doom.  Fortunately Bob (Pearce, not Guilliman) was a fun opponent and even managed to lock himself outside the back door of the hall at one point.  I figured it would be childish to leave him there and claim an early victory, so I let him back in.

Beautifully painted

Bob got first turn and marked my Destroyers for death.  Roboute made damn sure it happened and the squad was wiped.  I should have hidden them out of line of sight more carefully and this was fairly pivotal.  Some sniper scouts emerged inside the main administration block of the city ruins and targeted Dimotekh in an attempt to cut the head off the serpent.  The bullets passed straight through his head which was thankfully the least important part of his body.  Nevertheless, he dropped 2 wounds and was absolutely livid.

"You blithering idiots!" he bellowed at his personal bodyguard and ducked behind a waste disposal unit for cover.

How many guns?

My Doom Scythe entered the fray and crippled the Repuslor tank by way of reply.  Having learned my lesson about line of sight, I spent a good 5 minutes carefully arranging my Wraiths so that they were completely hidden at the side of the administration building.  The Nightbringer moved up and dropped an Antimatter Meteor on top of the scouts inside.  Its Gaze of Death finished them off.

Bob's Repulsor was down to 2 wounds but I thought it would remain more or less fully functional with the re-roll bubble from the Primarch.  However, in moment of joyful lunacy, the driver decided to speed round the corner and charge my Wraiths with it.  Of course, the Canoptek bogeymen casually dismantled the floating monstrosity (with all those guns, it just has to be compensating for something).  However, if it blew up then Dimotekh was quite possibly in serious trouble, along with 4 other Necron units.  The repulsor does D6 mortal wounds to everything within 6" which makes it a very decent kamikaze.  It failed to explode, so Bob used a CP to try again.  Another fail.  Phew, that was a relief! <Ahem> Just as planned!

Some Reivers dropped into my back lines and started gnawing away at my Scarabs with their teeth. The Scarabs gnawed back.

The Wraiths materialised out of thin air.

The Hellblasters inside the Repulsor had sensibly decided to disembark before its suicidal charge.  They claimed the administration building for Bob only to have the Wraiths appear in their midst like the Spanish Inquisition.  Those brave Primaris marines were slaughtered to a man (with a bit of help from the Nightbringer).

"I smite thee in the name of the Holy Emperor!"

Bobby G declared that he'd had enough and lined up for the charge with a librarian and the Redemptor.  Intercessors provided covering fire.  There isn't much that can stand up to a headlong charge from that kind of Imperial muscle and the Wraiths folded like paper.

The battle raged on with the full wrath of the 13th Primarch being brought to bear on Overlord Dimotekh. His card was marked. By turn 5, I only had the Nightbringer left really.  Twenty-Cents had shrewdly decided to advance to the rear, clutching his Chronometron for dear life.  The C'tan shard made a late game dash for a Maelstrom objective and dismembered a unit of Intercessors on its way.  It was brought down by small arms fire and The Emperor's Sword before the objective could be defended.  A worthy ending.

Not quite a tabling thanks to my ever practical Cryptek.

4 - 16 loss

Game 4 
vs. Alex McEwan (Deathwatch)
Primary Mission (Eternal War): +++Scorched Earth+++
Deployment: +++Search and Destroy+++

Watchmaster Steve, with Chaplain Steve and Librarian Steve

This was probably my favourite mission of the tournament since it was progressive scoring and the RNG god of Maelstrom cards would not be able to ruin my day.  Kill points were also irrelevant so it was down to the tactical business of claiming objectives each turn.

Alex has spent a stupid amount of time and money collecting embossed shoulder guards for his Deathwatch and I was suitably impressed.  The effect was spoiled somewhat when he told me that he had named every single one of his marines 'Steve'.  If you're reading this Alex, I tried to contact you and I still have that Forgeworld Red Scorpions terminator shoulder pad if you want it.

Dimotekh wisely chose to go first in this game and unleashed the wailing horror of the Doom Scythe upon the Deathwatch.  The Heavy Destroyers were also firing on all cylinders for once and I smashed through a Corvus Blackstar and a Venerable Dreadnought in turn one.  Even the Warriors got in on the action and whittled down a kill team.  I didn't manage to take out the Thunderhammer wielding marine in the squad unfortunately and my Overlord came to bitterly regret this later on.

The Wraiths advanced and charged, punching straight through the enemy centre.  I spread my remaining force out to claim objectives.  It was starting to look good for the Rusticrons but turns out that Deathwatch librarians can deal with Wraiths and C'tans fairly handily too and Alex started to claw it back in his turn.

 Alex threw everything at the Doom Scythe and reduced it to 1 wound.  He was frantically flicking through his codex trying to find something, anything, even a bolt pistol which could take it down but the flyer survived.

My main force was holed up in a huge Honoured Imperium ruin and Alex started to close the noose.  I finished off a veteran squad with overwhelming firepower but those damn storm shield dudes were tanking most of the shots.

Alex used a stratagem every turn which interfered with the Cryptek's reanimation protocols and my robots started to malfunction.

The size of my objective markers enabled me to play my games without wearing glasses.  Thanks Rory!

In a classic pincer movement, the Watchmaster and his team breached my gunline from the north with Primaris marines from the south.  Dimotekh was screaming, "You filthy blighters! Its just not cricket!" when the remaining Deathwatch veteran loomed into view and brought his heavy thunder hammer to bear.

Hammer Time!  They never found Dimotekh's head.

Noticing that the Deathwatch in their overzealous savagery had neglected to defend Objective 5, Twenty-Cents pulled his party trick and veiled the Destroyers over to claim it. I started bagging 4 victory points per turn with the Heavy Destroyers continuing to pound the remaining Venerable Dreadnought into oblivion.  I badly needed those objective points in the end since I had forgotten to raze them when I knew all was lost. By the end of turn 5, the only thing I had left was a minimum squad of deckchair Immortals and 4 Scarab bases.  I rolled to see if the game ended, praying fervently that it would.  My prayers were answered and I scored my first victory of the tournament.

13- 7 win.

Game 5 
vs. Michael Charles (Deathwatch)
Primary (Maelstrom of War): +++Spoils of War+++
Deployment: +++Front-Line Assault+++

Those pesky servants of the Imperium had noted Dimotekh's first successful campaign and decided to put a stop to this demented, upstart Overlord once and for all.  In order to make absolutely sure of their dominance, they employed the services of the Officio Assassinorum and also contacted the Inquisition, requesting aid.  Inquisitor Eisenhorn was dispatched.

The orbital satellite picture revealed that the Necron force was busy dismantling an Aquila Strongpoint (the mission was Spoils of War, after all).  The deranged automatons were completely ignoring the fully functional Macro Cannon, having decided that the Gothic style paneling on the sides of the strongpoint would make really cool dashboard ornaments for their vehicles.

Therefore, the looters were caught completely by surprise by the retaliatory Deathwatch strike force with the infamous Eisenhorn directing operations.  To make things more interesting, they had brought a Xenophase blade which was rumoured to do highly volatile things to Canoptek Wraith invulnerable saves.  The irony was not lost on the Necron force who had forgotten how to make the damn things during their long slumber.

Defeated by my own technology

Michael got to choose deployment zones and won first turn. He plonked the Vindicare Assassin on top of the Fortress of Redemption (which was just scenery and not a building). This had the added bonus of scoring objective 1 whilst affording a completely unobstructed view of the battlefield apart from a two foot wide strip of corrugated iron behind the Macro Cannon which Dimotekh had fortuitously made his base of operations.

In turn 1, the Deathwatch attacked, killing the Doom Scythe and depleting the Immortals. They blasted the C'tan shard down to 2 wounds and stripped away his protective coating of Scarabs (the last base failed their morale check and fled the battlefield).

In Necron turn one I drew Secure Objective 1, Defend Objective 1 and Kingslayer.  Objective 1 was at the top of the tower being held by the Vindicare Assassin.  We had agreed before the game that vertical distances counted, so the only way I could get up there was by rolling really well with my flying units whilst advancing and only 1 model at a time would be able to fit.  This was theoretically possible in turn 3.  I argued with my opponent that there would likely be some sort of service lift or at least a fire escape leading up to the top but he was having none of it.

So, I attempted to avenge the fallen by charging the Corvus Blackstar with my Nightbringer.  It died to overwatch.  I spent most of my command points buffing the Wraiths and the Destroyers.  Michael had some sort of ability which made CPs cost more than usual.  I figured it would be worth it but the Destroyers more or less whiffed and the turn 1 Wraith charge, although successful, proved disastrous against the Xenophase Blade.

In turn 2, the Eversor and Callidus Assassins arrived along with Eisenhorn himself who generously summoned Cherubael to enjoy the show.  The Corvus disembarked its troops and the Deathwatch started to mop up.  My turn 2 was pretty uneventful and I was going to concede at the end of turn 3 but Michael saved me the trouble by tabling me.

Overlord Dimotekh finally came under the scrutiny of his superiors who charged him with gross incompetence, stripping him of all rank and privileges.  He was banished to a small moon called Elba in the Ghoul Stars constellation for a thousand years (1 year in this particular solar system equates to 9.7 standard Imperial).  In his unfailing arrogance, Dimotekh considered this a bit of a holiday.

0 - 20 loss

So, all in all, a good tournament but it appears that I'm rocking along the bottom of the leaderboard again.  Oh well, I could always go back to using The Guilliman if I really wanted to.  I've grown quite fond of him. I was a bit rushed for time in this tournament so didn't quite take as many pictures as I would have liked but I think I got a few good ones for your viewing pleasure.

Glen Burfield's Crimson Hunter Exarch (won Aquila)
Glen Burfield's Craftworld Aeldari (won Aquila)
Liam Miskelly's Mortarion (won Vexilla)
Liam Miskelly's Death Guard (won Vexilla)

I'm Batman! (Ryan Stuart's Flyrant)
John Murrie's Death Guard (mmmm tentacles..)

Jake Easton made me a Scoreboard!!!
Courtney Thomson's Chaos Daemons
Aaron Wilson's Knight
Aaron Wilson's Electro Priests

Craig Stewart's Manticore

Sam Whitt's Pink Horrors

Scott Avery's Objective Markers!

Brendan Dee's Wyches

Brendan Dee's Drukhari

Cody Parlato's Mortarion (painted by Glen Burfield)

Cody Parlato's Greater Blight Drone

Cody Parlato's Death Guard

Alick Harris's Beast of Nurgle

Alick Harris's Beast of Nurgle

Alick Harris's Chaos Daemons

Steve Joll brought the Paaaaiiin!

Steve Joll's Ravagers

Sam Nightingale's Black Templars

Sam Nightingale's Bikers


  1. Awesome! Win or lose, they look like they were all simply beautiful games. Good stuff, man!

    1. I'm not sure I would use the word 'beautiful'. 'Humbling' or 'Carnage' maybe. But I've stopped worrying about winning and enjoyed them all as a result! Cheers.

  2. Some really great shots of your and your opponent's armies in action there!

    1. Cheers Xar. Its probably the reason I go to tournaments these days. Show off my stuff and be inspired by other people's stuff.

  3. Love the shot of the Wraiths about to pounce on the Primaris Hellblasters, good shot. Thanks for taking the time to post, awesome.

    1. Yeah, I was particularly pleased with that shot. Such a cinematic game! Thanks.

  4. Some great looking armies at that tournament.

    Thanks for the shout out! Don't worry about the note taking speed, it takes a bit of practice to get used to it during the games.

    1. Cheers Mike. I think I'll just concentrate on taking pictures. Unless I'm creating a 'what not to do' tutorial.

  5. At least the games all looked fantastic! I saw the score spreadsheet on some other blog, and it looked like you maxed everything except Battle points, which is a pretty awesome accomplishment.

    Dimotekh's backstory is actually a little bit like Zahndrek's. Except that Dimotekh at least seems to realize that he's a Necron now, and not still a living Necrontyr. Speaking of which, who would ever have thought back in the day that the Necrons would end up having some of the coolest stories for their Special Characters of any Faction.

    1. Cheers Westrider. I'll have to kitbash Varguard Obi-Wan to keep him out of trouble in future. Assuming he manages to return from exile before his 10,000 year sentence expires.