Saturday, 24 September 2011

Starsmash 2011 Tournament Report

I attended the Starsmash tournament at the weekend. Still recovering from the sleepless nights, hence the late post. Starsmash was a 1500pt tournament held in Reading by the one and only Reading Spiky Club. These boys are great at organising events, ranging from doubles to campaign weekends, they hold all sorts of different types of tournaments every year. I could not recommend them any less, so if you are planning to attend any tournaments in the coming year around London, keep your eye on the Spiky lads who post up their events on the Warhammer forums (

The tournament used Battle point’s on top of the usual win/draw/loss format. 30 pts for a win, 10 for a draw, 1 for a loss. Battle points were fairly simple, 2 points for killing the most expensive HQ, 2 points for killing the most expensive non HQ unit & 2 points for having a scoring unit closer to the tables centre than your opponent.

So onto the event....

I wanted to take my Space wolves to this, but my new list is still way off completion. I also wasn’t keen on using the Wolves at 1500pts as I have built them for 1750pt play. I decided on a Grey Knight army as that was ready to play and painted, meaning I didn’t have to rush anything. The list I took was the following:

Coteaz: 100pts

5 Purifiers: 199pts
2 Psycannons, 2 Halberds & 1 Hammer. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.
5 Purifiers: 199pts
2 Psycannons, 2 Halberds & 1 Hammer. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.
5 Purifiers: 194pts
2 Psycannons, 2 Halberds & 1 Hammer. Rhino with Dozer blades.

5 Deathcult Assasins: 125pts
Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.

3 Accolytes: 92pts
3 Plasma Guns. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.

3 Accolytes: 62pts
Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.
3 Accolytes: 62pts
Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.
3 Accolytes: 62pts
Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolts.

Dreadnought: 135pts
Two Twin-linked Autocannons & Psybolts.
Dreadnought: 135pts
Two Twin-linked Autocannons & Psybolts.
Dreadnought: 135pts
Two Twin-linked Autocannons & Psybolts.

Fairly standard build. I went for a henchmen core over Strike marines as I really don’t rate Strike Squads. I take 2 units in 1750 but prefer the hulls in 1500.

So onto the games.

Round 1: Steve Attoe
Army: Blood Angels
Mission: Capture & Control, Dawn Of War.

His army was:
3x 5 Assault Marines in Las/plas Razors with a meltagun in each.
3x Sanguine Priests with Power weps.
3x Devastators with Rockets
3x Attack bikes with Multi-meltas.

I have played Steve before and new this would be a tough first roundmatch up. Unfortunately it was Capture and control so not much chance either of us was going to get the objective with so much firepower coming from both sides. I took first turn and place 2 empty razors and the plain Accolytes went in reserve.

Turn 1 I pushed towards the centre, whilst the Blood angels took defensive positions. Just from his deployment I could see he produced fire lanes to prevent me from pushing his objectives.

Turn 2 I opened up killing a couple of Devastators and one of his Las/plas razorbacks. Not much but due to lack of LOS from his deployment, I decided to just cautiously advance. His reply was committing Mephiston into a Purifier squad I left out their razorback to bait him out. The bait worked and in Turn 3 I swamped him with another purifier squad and my Deathcults + coteaz. Mephiston then died, but not before killing another unit of Purifiers which wasn’t part of the plan, but an acceptable loss.

Rest of turn 3 saw us shooting each other, whilst my advance was slowing down. Turn 4 I pushed up ready to try contest his Objective turn 5 with a push from 2 razorbacks containing a Purifier squad and Deathcults, but unfortunately the counter attack was to see both my Razorbacks either wrecked or Immobilised. The same happened with another 2 Razorbacks I pushed on the left flank turn 5.

Steve tried to push his Attack bikes round onto my objective, but I shot them down before Coteaz could knock them down with his Hammer, poor fella.

The Game went onto turn 6, but I was simply too far from his objective to contest, so instead went for VPs and secondary bonus points (explained above). I shot up his razorbacks finishing them off, and killed a unit of Assault marines with a Priest. I moved my plasma Accolytes into the centre to claim the middle.

Game ended turn 6 as a Draw with me taking full bonus points for killing one of his most expensive units (devs), his HQ (Meph) and claiming the centre with my plasma Accolytes.

I feel that I played a bit too defensively this game, and should have perhaps committed my army earlier on instead of holding to the centre. I was more concerned as to where Mephiston would go. I was worried he would fly around my army and wipe out my acolytes on my own base objective, which was why I baited him with a unit of Purifiers. Although the sacrifice was great, I feel that it was worth it in the long run.

Result: Draw
Battle Points: 6 (Full)
VP’s Approx 1100

Round 2: Dan Fortnum
Army: Imperial Guard
Mission: Sieze Ground, Pitched Battle.

His Army from memory:
Command Squad with 2 Flamers, standard & Powerfist.
2x Veteran Squads with 2 Flamers & Chimera.
1x Platoon Command with 2 Plasma Guns & Al raheem in Chimera.
3x Platoon Squads with 2 Grenade launchers & Commisar with Power weapon.
2x 2 Sentinals with Autocannons.
2 Leman Russ
1 Basilisk.

Going into this round, I was worried about guard, but the list wasn’t the norm as you would expect. I was quite surprised with some of the choices, but Dan is more of a fluff player. Non the less he knows his game and shouldn’t be underestimated.

We placed our objectives pretty much centrally, and Dan wont he roll off giving me first turn. I setup and he proceeded to go in all reserve, with Alraheem’s platoon outflanking along with the Sentinals.

I push the centre, and kept Coteaz and one unit of purifiers to the right flank in case anything appeared too close. Dan’s turn 2 he gets all but 1 vet squad and 1 Leman Russ, not bad. All his reserves, thanks to the astropath arrive on the side he wants where my purifiers are. He positions his army on so Coteaz can’t see them or is more than 12 inches away so my “I’ve been expecting you” rule didn’t work  I did however see a few guardsman from his platton blob so popped off a few storm bolters and killed one. Alraheems squad pushed up the flank poped one of my dreads with plasma guns. Damn those sneaky buggers. The Autocannon Sentinals stunned a razorback and a rhino lost its storm bolter. The basilisk misses one of my purifier squads which I setup to shoot on turn 3.

He assaults Coteaz & the purifiers with his blob squad getting and cleansing flame kills 12. My purifiers and Coteaz also add another 5 to the dead, but the commissar brings down two of my numbers with some lucky rolls. His guardsman also cause 2 wounds on Coteaz (damn my rolls). He doesn’t break due to stubborn and the combat continues.

Turn 3 I push up slightly to encircle his newly arrived chimeras, and open up. I manage to either stun, immobilise and weapon destroy both his chimeras, and stun his Basilisk. Not great. The dreadnoughts and a few razorbacks kill all but 1 sentinal however, showing their brethren how it’s done. Combat continues, I kill a few more Guardsman but my squad is dropped down to just the Hammer, as both Coteaz and 2 Purifiers fails their armour saves miserably.

Dan’s Turn 3 and his other Vet squad arrives with just one of his Leman Russ still in reserve. He decides to get all his vet squads out and command squad and go for my Purifiers on foot. He proceeds to kill all but 2 from the squad in the centre, whilst the squad on the left all die from shooting & an assault (power fist general’s ftw right?). My last purifier in combat with the blob dies but not after taking another 4 of their numbers from cleansing flame, leaving around 9 left including the Commissar.

Turn 4 & 5 see’s me mopping up and going for objectives. The command squad dies to shooting, whilst the Assasins wipe out a Vet squad. I tank shock another veteran squad who proceeds to run, and the 2 Purifiers I had left decided to keep within six to chase them off. This was until they decided to assault a Chimera, explode it, then die. Yes, I know, hilarious! This Veteran squad then regrouped and ran onto an objective whilst the Commissar blob squad ran onto another to contest. If he got a direct round from the basilisk onto my 3 man Acolyte squad hiding behind a wrecked razorback, he could draw this. Luckily it scattered.

The game went onto turn 6 anyway, so I finished off his veteran squad, blew up his basilisk, and killed his Blob squad bar the commissar who was positioned behind a wall so I couldn’t finish him off.

Game ended turn 6 with me claiming 3 objectives to his none. Was a great game to play and Dan was a fantastic opponent. Whilst we added up the bonus points, it seemed that Dan’s Commissar blob squad was his most valuable unit. This meant that because that one blasted Commissar was alive; I didn’t get 2 bonus points. Oh well, I claimed 4 from his HQ and claiming the middle of the board.

Result: Win
Battle Points: 4
VP’s: Approx 950

Round 3: Rob Clayton
Army: Grey Knights
Mission: One objective in the middle. You’re 2 most expensive troop units & your most expensive HQ drops another Objective when they die. Deployment was Spearhead.

His Army:

Mordrak with 5 Ghost knights
2 x 5 Terminators with 2 Halberds, 1 Hammer, 1 Sword & Psycannon.
Vindicare Assasin
1 Dreadknight with Teleporter & Heavy Incinerator.
1 Dreadknight with Teleporter, Heavy Incinerator & Hammer.

As you can see, fairly small model count army, but with my lack of AP2, It was going to come down to how many 2+ rolls he could make. Rob took first turn and deployed as far towards the centre as he could. I decided to play this out relying on the mission, so deployed my whole army either around or behind a piece of terrain in my deployment zone. I left Coteaz and the plasma squad (both worth an objective each) infront of the terrain peice in the open so they would hopefully die! Vindicare Infiltrated opposite me and deployed near a building in terrain where I thought he would.

I didn’t want to seize but rolled anyways...and roll a 6. Funny that whenever I don’t need it I get it!

So onto turn 1. He teleported his Dreadknights towards my left flank, whilst Mordraks unit dropped down nearby infront of them. His Terminator units pushed up and ran. The vindicare took a shot at one of my razorbacks I left in the open, hoping he would shoot it and wreck it so I could move my plasma squad & Coteaz through the wreck until they died (insert evil laugh here). He hit, then rolled a double one. Well, I’m guessing the Administratum doesn’t provide anything more than rubber ducks as bullets these days. He decided that it best to kill the plasma unit as he was worried about the AP2 killing his Dreadknights. No idea why but I’m not complaining. So insert Heavy Incinerator flamey death, and bye bye Plasma squad, hello Objective.

My turn 1. Pretty bloody affair. I opened up and shot everything (literally) at Mordraks unit. What was left was Mordrak on 2 wounds...and that’s it. Oh, and one Dreadnaught took a pot shot at the Vindicare, who died horribly.

Rob then re-spawned one Ghost knight with his ability, then went on to move his army forward again. Mordrak and his new buddy wrecked one of my Razorbacks in combat, whilst his dreadknights went onto charge my lines. One wrecked a Dreadnaught, whilst the other charged a unit of Purifiers + Coteaz in cover, meaning he became Initiative one, awesome. He hits and kills Coteaz (hello 2nd Objective) and 3 of the Purifiers, and in return, Coteaz strikes the dreadknight down with his force hammer thanks to two Hammerhands.

Turn 2 I re positioned slightly to give my army the correct firing lanes, and opened up on Mordraks unit (killing them both after 3 Razorbacks) then the Dreadknight fell after then overloading firepower pumped into it.

Now as you can tell, Robs in a bit of a sticky situation. Its Turn 3 and all he has left is 2 units of Grey Knight Terminators. I guess theres not much else to say but the game went onto Turn 6, and my army slowly pushed up, shooting whilst it went, and I ended up tabling him bottom of Turn 6. Great game and could have been much closer had Rob rolled well, but with so much concentrated fire power, there wasn’t too much he could really do.

Result: Win
Battle Points: 6 (Full)
VP’s: 1500

So at the end of day 1, that points me at a healthy position with 2 wins and a draw, putting me on Table 2 to face Grey Knights on day 2.

So far I feel the army has proven itself to be durable and very shooty. I still have solid elements of combat to mop up anything I struggle to kill with my high ap guns. I think this is the biggest strength of the codex on top of Fortitude. I have no regrets about not taking Strike squads at this stage, as not many people are really taking Deep striking units anyway. The henchmen are cheap, numerous and can hide failry well. I like the Purifiers as they fulfil the same roll, pushing the enemy back and can still contest objective.

Sorry for all the blur, but my phone camera isn't that great. Here are a few images of the armies at attendance:

Stay tuned for my next report as I go into my next two games, facing off against Eldar in the 5th and Final round.



  1. Great read so far bro. Good finish to Day 1...
    Bar the totally stripped/min max BA, you got a couple of nice draws vs your force.

    We both know that with enough dice, that Mordrak army was going down...and the Guard army was somewhat predictable in its behaviour and built a little 'fluffily'..

    Well done at this stage buddy, well played games from the sounds of it.

    I am happy to see a bit of plasma in there and no Troop PAGK' 1500 I think this is a very solid force.

    When's the next round going to be up brother? Just so I don't post on the same day?

  2. When I can be bothered lol :D Its cool just post away and I will post the day after or what no :)

    Yes the match ups were fairly decent, but its the bonus points which make each round tough. Going into day two there were a lot of us on 2 wins and a draw so its not just down to match ups, its how u play them aswell.

    Yes the list did well. I took plasma just because I had pts spare, and also because of the 3rd mission. I didnt really use them much. PAGK's are decent, but I prefer to have a solid block of Purifiers first and foremost.

  3. The Bonus points seem a good idea, how did you find it? What did others think of it?
    Good way to seperate those who are stuck on 2W/1D/0L...or can that not be achieved through VPs?

  4. Vp's are the deciding factor for those who had even Battle points. No one complained, I actually liked the idea of actually having sub missions within the game, as it just adds a little bit extra. Also give your opponents something to go for if they are losing, and gives them a few extra points which may effect their overall placing at the end of the event.

  5. Yeah, I wasn't suggesting it was negative in any way. Its a nice touch as far as I am concerned...

  6. Nicely done Alex.

    Do you need any GK stuff btw? I got a ton of it now that I don't need (like unopenned boxes and crap).

  7. Cheers mate. Erm, send me an email as to what you have alexflyf(at) and I shall have a look :)