Black Legion Chaos at ITC. Day 1
As promised this is day 1 of the ITC GT I attended. It was supposed to be a major but a lot of people pulled out prior to the event, leaving it as a 2 day, 6 game ITC event. I took my favourite models from the new line of Chaos starting with the Stormspear box set, leading right up to Abaddon.
My list was based on two Specialist Detachments: The Devastation Battery and the Soul Forged Pack.
I don’t know if I should go into details about my list since there’s a lot of ‘reporting’ to follow so for now let’s just say I did make it based on cool models and my goal was to not be in the competitive side of the room.
Last year I took what I thought was fairly non-competitive and ended up doing very well.. 4-1. Well this year I went 2-4 and had VERY close games, but believe it or not the games were a lot funner for me. At the end of the day I don’t care what my ITC score is. This is me getting to try ITC a bit, and see how a fun Black Legion army can do. I think you’ll find I did more than okay as the Battle Points will show…..
My Black Legion list was:
Abaddon (Warlord), MoP (Cursed Earth and Sacrifice), Dark Apostle (Trusted Leader)
Cultists 3 x 10
Havocs with Chaincannons
Havocs with Missile x2, Las x2
Obliterators x 3
Lord Discordant x 2 (one with “Field Commander” master of the Soulforges)
Cultists 2 x 10
CSM x 5 (Bolters)
Venomcrawler x 2
Day 1: Game 1 vs. Eldar. Flyers and Skimmers.
So this game was going to obviously be my first loss. My opponent insisted on being on the Clock (An ITC rule that states if one person wants to use a clock, the match is going to be timed.) I never use a clock and this caused me some issues as well with my opponent, that I will not go into detail about.
He had a great list. He was clearly here to win, and this is a popular list type in my area right now. Essentially it was:
Farseer on bike with Doom, Exectioner, Fates’ Messenger.
Warlock on bike with Jinx/Protect.
Troops: 6 x Dire Avengers.
Wave Serpent x 6.
Air Wing: Crimson Hunter x 3.
So this would be the beginning of a trend where I don’t get to go first…. We are playing Vanguard Strike (diagonal) and we would be deploying like the old ‘you go, I go’ method. Of course he would end up with +1 to the roll with so many drops.
So what I remember thinking here is that I could not win this match up. I pulled Heldrakes out of my list, and it would be nearly impossible to deny him “Engineers” and the secondary where he has two units in my zone.
With him going first, I was VERY careful to explain to him that after he moved I could shoot him with a unit from the Devastation Battery. This was an extremely handy strategem anyone telling you it’s bad is really not understanding the strategic importance of having this mechanism to make your opponent rethink, or suffer consequences. That said in this game I only took a serpent down to half wounds. A bit unlucky.
It was about mid game I made a push. My foot print of cultists was dwindling and giving him ‘kill more’ far too easily. Most lists I would face denied kill more very well. The Psychic phase was extremely punishing. I got off Cursed Earth ONCE. Sacrifice ONCE. Where as the devastating Eldar stuff was Jinxing me, and that amazing ‘double smite’ type power was extremely potent. I only had one deny at my disposal and I often contemplated the Master of Possession in this list.
The killing power of his list was a very good match up for mine. I couldn’t get any cover while having decent line of sight, and his flyers and skimmers just really had to evade the Venom Crawlers and Lord Discordants and he had an easy win in there. All I could do was deny him space with Cultists.
This was the first game and I was certainly rusty. It didn’t help that he insisted on a clock, which is his right, but it 100% cost me. At one point I believe this is how I lost Abaddon, due to… an error in communication, a misunderstanding if you will.
Here’s where Abaddon died. I had lots of room to consolidate after killing a squad. I vocalized my intent… my opponent was talking to people behind him… says he didn’t hear… Abaddon’s dead now. This taught me to be more… direct with people at this type of environment. This would happen again later on in the tournament.
It’s not a biggie because I never could have won this game. I was spread super thin with no resilience in this army. It thrives on doing a lot of damage which it can’t do to flyers, and fast skimmers. So I was okay with the loss. My hope was it would get me out of the tougher bracket. Unlike last year I would be up against nasty stuff all weekend. So did my plan work? Nope. lol
Game 2: Astra Militarum Parking Lot and Peons.
So next game was truly a game that came down to one thing as far as I’m concerned: Who goes first!
My opponent’s list was approximately:
Operative Assassin Strat.
Mordian Company commander, Primaris Psyker,
Infantry squad x 3
Command squad x 2 (plasma galore)
Platoon Commander x 2
Sabre Gun Platform
Tank Commander x 3 (Russ, Executioner, and Punisher)
Infantry galore (x 30)
Master of Ordnance
Commander x 2
Infantry x 30
Heavy Weapons teams x 2 (Mortars)
The deploymen was Dawn of War. Oh how I wanted/needed to go first in this one. The bonus objective in the middle would be the deciding factor.
I had my Havocs with Las/Missiles in a ‘ruin’ you can see in the low mid of my deployment. That is the squad I would use my Devastation Battery with.
Behind those ruins are the Chaincannon Devs.
My Dev Battery would take 10 wounds off of his Punisher tank (straight down the middle) and I took two Frag Missiles into a sneaky Taurox that used a strat to deposit a Plasma Gun Command squad right in front of my Las Havocs with obvious intentions.
Although I took 10 wounds off the command tank, I would lose 3 Havocs from over charged plasma because I only got rid of one guy… ouch.
Worse yet in his turn with indirect he was just pounding cultists, and hammered the Havocs with Chaincannons. I really, really needed these guys in the game to have a shot. He had so much infantry, far more shooty, and a lot of T8/T7.
Since the middle was important I would charge up with all I had. The problem is my Venoms and Lord Discordants disappear really easily. So I would hit a cheap guard squad hard, but fizzle soon after with that unit. Regardless I tried to hold the bonus objective the best I could.
I needed to rely very heavily on Oblits this game since I lost almost all Havocs turn 1. They killed a tank, but their range was massively hampered by the limited deep strike because of an assassin Calidus. Which I would kill. But they were smoked the turn after they game in. His stuff was too spread out, I had no ability to interact with 3 of his tanks including a hidden Basilisk using the “cadia” strategem. He had 11 shots for each of his first 3 turns on the Manticore as well.
So as usual I get to a point where Abaddon has to take the lead. I have nothing offensive left. I attack with the Master of Possession who usually does nothing…. but Abe I would go for a charge on his Command Punisher that I swore I made…. and I did after a remeasurement. It was a 10″ roll! I hit the tank hard and Abaddon took it down. But this was just for fun at this point and we knew it. I had almost no models. Abaddon consolidated into a platoon which would try to withdraw and shoot him down, and he would live (I think) but that was end game We shook hands and it was a far closer game than you’d think. The game ended 33-27 for him and he would finish 12th overall. Great opponent too who really got in the spirit of his army.
Frankly I thing Astra is one of the best single codex armies in the game. It’s just as… sexy as Eldar, or Dark Eldar and often people don’t want to paint that many models. This guy’s army was fantastic as you can see.
Game 3: The Mirror Match Up!
I think because I was losing with high Battle Points I kept pulling some heavy weight lists. This time I would play against someone with a very similar list to mine but definitely with a better mixing of rules.
If you don’t know the hot thing to do with Daemonengines is to play them with the Flawless Host because of exploding 6’s in close combat and the Disco Lord makes that +1 within 6″. I did not do this because I wanted to just try Black Legion and see what I could do. I also had a mish-mash of my favourite units which did not particularly blend well. I’m okay with that, but my opponent definitely had the right idea….
His list was approximately:
Lord Discordant x 3
Defiler x 3
Daemon Prince with Wings x 2
10 Cultsts x 3
10 Scarab Occult Termies
So we are on the Spearhead Assault Map and my opponent wins the roll to go first (Surprise)! But either he doesn’t think I’m in a good position, OR he doesn’t want to get shot by the Devastation Battery because like me, he has very little ability to hide.
Be that as it may, I went first and did not move to my fullest extent. I felt this gave me an advantage to take the the middle objective early without committing too mush. I did not want to give the farm away by over extending towards 3 Defilers and a brutal Psychic phase with 2 Daemon Princes!
My opponent was careful to get his buffs rolling and he did not want to commit his Lord Discordants, so he shot up a Defiler which would make it into my Venomcrawler for his first turn assault. I was okay with this and planned for it…. luckily my Venomcrawler lived against the superior Defiler!
With the game starting with conservative shuffling, it would get pretty violent here. I used the Defiler’s positioning to scale up his flank hitting most of his crawlers and killing a few more with heavy weapons.
His list suffered the same issue as mine: No real way to deal with deep threats as neither of us had flyers, and he gave me first turn leaving his Terminators in a later than optimal arrival.
With board position he basically had psychic powers and a very bad packing of characters. Once I killed some Cultists it allowed me to pluck away at his characters in shooting…. By the end of Turn 2 he wanted to concede
I felt really bad for my opponent in this game. It started as a mirror match that I felt would be a hard challenge and he was chastising himself for his deployment and it went downhill very quickly with me using his positioning to acitivate/consolidate right into Ahriman, killing him quickly.
This game ended with me getting a very large 38 point win which I also did not want. lol
So that’s the end of Day 1. I was surprised how hard the match ups were and I was hoping it would be a little easier the next day. I had immediately realized giant holes in my list and felt some things were costing me dearly, but overall my list was fun, and I did not regret taking pure Codex Black Legion to the event. I got a ton of great compliments on the look of the army which was very gratifying after all the work put into it.
Day 2 should be coming shortly… Thanks for reading!