On Saturday I was fortunate enough to attend the Fluffageddon tournament hosted by Matt Greenwood at the outpost in Sheffield. It was my first tournament in over a year and the theme of the day was a 1500 point army playing in 3 rounds with comp rules in place. The other aspect to it was that 'fluffy' armies were encouraged, meaning you should take an army that was representative of how the army is designed to fight in the background literature. For me, there was one obvious stand out amongst my armies that was already built in this way - the blood ravens.
|The army prior to the event|
My blood ravens army Is heavily influenced by dawn of war and weighs in at about 3000 points. The idea behind it is that I don't have any units that aren't featured in either of the dawn of war video games and that as many of the characters as possible are built to resemble the characters from throughout the series, mainly those of dawn of war 2. I went about building the army for fluffageddon by selecting the characters I most wanted to use and then after much tweaking ended up with a reasonable list as seen below.
|The army list|
The strategy to be employed was fairly simple. Most things would start on the board with terminators and the drop pod (containing sternguard and hqs) in reserve. The land speeder would possibly start in reserve also. Predator and devastator would provide backfield support while the vanguard and dreadnought go where needed.
The first game was against Luke and his eldar army, which was mainly footdar - guardians x2, avengers with eldrad, some scatterbikes with warlock, 3 war walkers, fire dragons with an autarch and warp spiders. Lastly, a pair of dreaded d cannon platforms. The mission was a modified maelstrom mission. The deployment worked in my favor being diagonal and I set up most of my force to be out of range of his army while at the same time securing 3 of the objectives thanks to infiltrating scouts. The south east corner objective and central North ones were just out of reach and he deployed clustered around the north east objective. His war walkers and fire dragons opted to outflank and warp spiders deep strike. I had my drop pod, land speeder and terminators in reserve.
|The land speeder crisps some guardians|
Little happened on the first turn except me cautiously podding onto the north objective. The second turn saw my terminator deep strike onto the south east objective and stupidly immobilizing my rhino. The land speeder landed near to some guardians and crispy fried them. My devastator went down to ranged fire from bikes and war walkers and he deep struck his warp spiders onto the south east objective, killing enough terminators to put me out of range and allow him to claim. On the other side of the board the fire dragons walked on and, thanks to battle focus, got just in range to get a clear melta shot on thule, who had strayed just a little too close to the board edge trying to grab the south west objective.
|No mans land between the dueling armies|
Retaliation in turn 3 was swift. Sadly I had discarded my card the previous turn which would have rewarded me killing characters as I tallied up 4 this turn. The tactical squad in the immobilized rhino to the west slaughtered the fire dragons and autarch with a bit of help from the tactical doctrine and scouts. The vanguard wiped out the warp spiders and the terminators killed the jet bike warlock, though failed to charge. The predator pummeled the war walkers. In eldar turn 3 the jet bikes surged forwards to claim an objective and the terminators went down to massed fire as did the land speeder. All the eldar started to advance and the noose tightened.
My turn 4 I used the tactical squad and a cheeky storm bolter shot from the drop pod to eliminate the jet bikes and the vanguard made a last ditch effort to kill the avenger and eldrad in order to secure me some much needed vps. The sternguard held the objective bravely but, sensing the proximity of the distortion cannons, my warlord wisely chose to retreat. Eldar turn 4 the platforms destroyed the predator and a bright lance from the guardians narrowly avoided sniping my warlord. The vanguard for got swarmed by guardians but despite surviving failed to kill eldrad. Thanks to the last blood secondary objective (rewarding final Kill of the game) I lost by one vp, 9-10.
|Squad Thaddeus make a last ditch attempt to assassinate Eldrad|
An extremely enjoyable game against a competitive list. I think I acquitted myself well and only narrowly missed out on a draw. Errors i made in retrospect were leaving the dreadnought on the southwest objective in turn 2 to be killed by the fire dragons, discarding the card end of turn 2 that would have given me 2 (house rules rather than d3) vps for looking character the next turn and ultimately drawing the game and finally not moving the predator out of range of the distortion cannons. A narrow loss but extremely tactical and fun game.
My second game was vs Jim and his Khorne daemonkin. I was somewhat apprehensive having never played against them before and facing down a bloodthirster. In addition he had 2 units of melta bikes and flesh hounds, a topped up lord on juggernaut, a squad of marines and cultists, some beserkers in a rhino and a dreaded heldrake. Deployment was dawn of war (irony) and I went first. There were 5 objectives on the table each worth 3 points and I deployed my devastators, tactical combat squad (other half in the rhino) and scouts onto the 3 in my deployment zone. The speeder started on the table.
|Angelos, Orion and the Ancient lead the Sternguard against the Khorne hordes.|
First turn I drop prodded into the north east corner and between the devastators, predator and melta finally popped the rhino killing two of the beserkers and cornering the others. The land speeder grilled some of the scouting hounds alongside the tactical squads shooting. In his turn the bloodthirster surged forward but was just out of range of charging anything. A bike squad melted my rhino pinning the occupants. Turn 2 saw the sternguard gun down the berserkers and the terminators drop into the backfield to pound the marines. The vanguard multicharged the bikes and remaining hounds killing the former but the other side of the table saw the main event. Both the predator and devastators softened up the bloodthirster down to 2 wounds and Davian Thule heroically charged in against him. Thanks to the unwieldy destroyer axe Thule was able to kill the bloodthirster. He was soon punished for his impudence with the remaining melta bikes stripping a hull point. The juggernaut lord who had advanced with the hounds pulled back to deal with the terminators. The blood tithe heralded the arrival of a winged daemon prince in the west. The heldrake entered the arena and turned its attention to grilling the sternguard, who luckily has the protection of his artificer armory limiting the damage. The battle between the hounds and vanguard on the objective continued but sadly their terminator allies succumbed. The surviving chaos marines engaged my tactical combat squad in the assault phase also.
|Having faced down a Bloodthirster and melta bikers, Thule mops up the Western board edge.|
Turn 3 saw me pour my devastators, predator and sternguard shooting into the heldrake. Each stripped a hull point thanks to a lucky last ditch melta shot. The beast was no more. Thule crushed the bikers who had dared to attack him. In the chaos turn the juggernaut lord charged my sternguard and the daemon prince landed on the objective held by the scouts. Captain angelos was no match for the juggernaut lord but the rest of his squad held firm. The last turn saw me pour the devastators and predator firepower into the daemon prince reducing him to a single wound. The vanguard finally beat the fleshounds in combat and the remaining members of the tactical combat squad fought it out with the chaos marines. My librarian just survived an assault by the juggernaut lord. Thule and the speeder overkilled the cultists and took another objective. The final chaos turn saw my scouts survive by a single model against the daemon prince, but unfortunately they fled in the onslaught granting him the objective. The juggernaught lord won the combat and consolidated allowing him to contest the vanguard objective.
|Angelos makes a heroic but futile last stand against the enraged Khorne Lord|
I won the game with 9 points to his 6 (half scored on secondaries) but stupidly could have claimed linebreaker with the speeder if I had remembered. Another very enjoyable game against a pleasant opponent and an army I had not fought against before. I think my strategy was fairly sound although I had no way really of combatting the juggernaut lord due to his meat shield of flesh hounds. Davian Thule was without doubt the star of this battle after his lackluster first game, but most element of the army played crucial roles, notably the predator and devastators.
|Alongside the Predator, squad Avitus played a crucial role in killing both the Bloodthirster and Heldrake|
My final game was a stand up blood points game which went to 6 turns in the end. I knew it would be challenging as I was facing down an army of 6 leman Russ (pask in command), 2 wyverns, an enginseer and 2 chimeras of guard. Dawn of war deployment saw him castled up in one corner and me with very little cover. I left the terminators, speeder and drop pod in reserve and put everything else a little bit too far away in retrospect to try and keep things alive during the first turn of punishment as he was due to go first.
|The Veterans arrive in a desperate attempt to take the fight to the enemy.|
|A fantastic feat of technomancy allows Orion to turn the enemy against themselves.|
First turn saw my scouts minced by a punisher, predator pummeled but barely intact and devastators killed by mass wyvern bombardment. Not a great start to lose so much firepower. Everything advanced at full speed while my drop pod landed next to parks unit. Melta and grav fire managed to kill one tank while the libararians technomancy allowed him to take control of a vanquisher which promptly shot a tank from the other squadron point blank and killed it. Perhaps things were looking up? Sadly not the case. My predator got popped and my sternguard were shot in to the point that only angelos remained on a single wound. My second turn saw me advance yet further and also the terminators arrived with the speeder. The speeder managed to immobilize itself and sadly the multimelta didn't penetrate the nearby Russ. The terminators managed to blow up a chimera and angelos got pask down to his last hull point.
|Angelos stands alone against Pask|
|Defiant to the last!|
The next turn was the tipping point. 3 terminators, angelos and the vanguard went down. In retaliation i used the terminators to pop a tank and the tactical squad disembarked attempting to kill both the surviving vanquisher and some guard from the chimera. The speeder managed to hit with its multimelta but not destroy the tank. Next turn the speeder died as did all the tactical squad members. I repurposed the terminators to take out a wyvern and Thule rended parks command tank. Weight of fire saw the last terminators go down and the enginseer hack my rhino apart. With no way I could win now I used Thule to butcher the enginseer in combat simply for a bit of sweet revenge, getting me last blood.
|Thule and squad Thaddeus race to aid their Captain...|
|...while squad Tarkus teleports in and squad Aramus disembark|
This was a really enjoyable game that presented a challenge as well as being a fun and straightforward ending to the day. Having only narrowly lost my first game and won the second thesis was my worst defeat of the day ending with about half the blood points of my opponent. What a memorable game all the more so for the librarians feat of turning the guards weapons against them.
|Tarkus manages to oust one of the Leman Russ and Wyverns before finally succumbing|
|The Enginseer wrecks the Rhino and attempts the same on the Drop pod.|
|With nothing left to gain but vengeance, Thule crushes the Enginseer.|
As mentioned it's been over a year since I went to a tournament and this was a great day to come back into it. I came eleventh out of sixteen overall and narrowly missed out on best painted for my army which was based on theme and quality. I'm happy with this as the army that won was a great theme also and a very creative ork army. Plus my ravens weren't painted to my highest standard due to time constraints. Dan was very obliging in taking photos of the day which are the ones seen here. Thanks to Matt for organizing and I hope to attend again next year. Cheers.