Friday, January 25, 2013

40K Warzone Tournament Play Testing

The forces of Chaos on the streets around Dominion Gate.
Last night my friend Brian Parisi was nice enough to come over so that we could play test one of the scenarios to be used at the 40K Warzone Tournament. I have one of the city tables almost ready for the event and I've had the two scenarios that go along with the city boards written for a month or so now, so it seemed like it was time to put them to the test.

We started playing at 8PM. Brian was fielding a Chaos army using the new Chaos Space Marine Codex, and I was fielding the brand new Dark Angels for the first time. I don't have his army list but it was roughly something like this:

Chaos tough guy on a Blood Crusher or something.
Spawn acting as his bodyguard
2x Chaos Space Marine Squad
Chaos Cultist Squad
Plague Marine Bike Squad
Stratagem: Familiar Ground
All these pics are blurry because of the sheer speed of the bikes. I wish this shot came out better. Proper lighting and a steady hand would have made this a dramatic shot, like out of a post apocalypse movie.
My army looked like this:

Interrogator-Chaplain with jump pack
Assault Squad acting as body guard
Command Squad with Standard of Devastation
2x Tactical Squad
Stratagem: Interdiction Assault
Ignore the bare metal Brother Bethor model in the corner. I have two Brother Bethor's laying around, both unpainted, and both with their standards removed. Oops.
The mission we played is called Block By Block and has the Primary Objective: Loot and Salvage and the Secondary Objective: Plant the Flag.  The two objectives run slightly counter to each other. Loot and Salvage gives you a Victory Point for each full turn you hold an objective for, and Plant the Flag encourages you to cover as much ground as possible as you place a flag in every building you pass through. You have to decide whether you want to sit back and rack up VP's or stay mobile.

I'm not going to go through a turn by turn synopsis, but I'll give a rough overview. We both moved out of our deployment zones and claimed the nearest objectives so we could start accumulating Loot and Salvage VP's. Brian had more scoring units on the board and at one point he was gaining VP's on 4 objectives. I, on the other hand, stayed put on my two objectives and stuck my Command Squad with the Standard of Devastation between my two Tactical Squads so they could use Salvo. I have to say it was a fairly effective tactic. My bolter fire was punishing, and my Overwatch shots were highly effective. The little bit of fire my Command Squad took harmlessly dinged off of the Techmarine I stuck at the front of the squad.
The Nurgle Bikers used their speed to come around behind my Tactical Squad, but then the combination of Salvo from that Tac Squad, and the normal fire of the 10 man Assault Squad with Interrogator-Chaplain I brought on from reserve left a big messy stain. I'm sure in a twisted way Lord Nurgle approves. 
Overall, the way I deployed and played my army cost me the Primary Objective. He was just better set up to rack up points. My army was static to take full advantage of the Standard. It did pay off in the end though. Brian took the Primary Objective even though the game ended with him only having his Cultists left, hiding behind Dominion Gate. But in the final turns I was able to use my Assault Squad and Techmarine to plant flags and secure me the Secondary Objective. Not surprisingly, the Standard of Devastation ensured I took First Blood, and my Interrogator-Chaplain and Assault Squad helped bring me Slay the Warlord. When Brian left I declared it a Chaos Victory, but looking at the Victory Point structure it broke down like this:

Primary Objective: Loot and Salvage (Win 8 points/Tie 4 points/Loss 0 points)
Brian = Win 8 points

Secondary Objective: Plant the Flag (Win 6 points/Tie 3 points/Loss 0 points)
Nick = Win 6 points

Linebreaker (2 points)

Slay the Warlord (2 points)
Nick = 2 points

First Blood (2 points)
Nick = 2 points

Brain = 8 points
Nick = 10 points

Victory = Nick/Dark Angels

So my first time out with the new Dark Angels Codex I won - and with a completely Greenwing force. I feel good about that. It wasn't an easy win, but it was a win none-the-less.

From a play testing standpoint I feel like it went perfectly. The objectives encouraged us each to make hard decisions about or mobility and the game had a good mix of shooting and hand-to-hand fighting. Brian was concerned that his Stratagem, Familiar Ground, would be too powerful as it grants Scout and Move Through Cover to his whole force, but it wasn't enough to win him the game. My Stratagem, Interdiction Assault allowed me to place a 3" breach in the ground that acted as an additional board edge for my reserves to possibly emerge from, and though it allowed me the option of getting up close and personal, I ended up coming on from my deployment board edge instead, so neither was game breaking in any way - at least with the forces we were running.

All told I consider it a successful night and I thank Brian for coming over and helping out. I'm going to send that Scenario off to the Adepticon staff ASAP so it can be added to the packet.


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