Sunday, 22 December 2013

Deadly Death Star fight to the Death - O'vesa vs. Seer Council

“Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Death Star!”

Is basically what 40k is all about these days... Whether it’s Seer Council, Screamer Star, Farsight Bomb (that all of the sudden have created a liking for the Red Scorpions Chapter????) Centurion Bomb or whatever else, top tables around the world are sprawling with shit-expensive units that are nigh unkillable.

Hey guys, my name is Oliver and I am a new writer on this blog. I’m Swedish/German/Indian, and 18 years old/young, currently living in Denmark and England.

This year I started Uni at Cambridge, and met Venerable Brother at Sons of War (the local club). For any Danish tournament-goers out there, you might recognize me as a very tall and skinny dark-haired guy with a weird accent.

 I’ve been playing 40k competitively for about 2 years now (even though school + not having a car has made it hard to keep up some times), but still find that my skill at the game is lacking… But I intend to change that this coming year :)

I myself have jumped on the Death Star bandwagon – after playing “standard” Tau for quite a while, I’ve now turned to the O’VESA STAR. I’ll probs be taking this list to Caledonian Uprising in January, so currently I’m busy practicing away with it.

Farsight Primary and Tau allies @1850
Commander Batman (w. Hit and Run and Onager Gauntlet)
Riptide, Ion, Interceptor  x 2 (One with positional relay)
Riptide, HBC,  Velocity Tracker,  Target Lock, Talisman of Arthas Moloch, 2 Shield Drones  (joins O’vesa, Farsight and Batman)
10 Kroot x 2
3 Crisis Suits, 3 Missile Pods
1 Crisis Suit, 2x Flamer
1 Naked Crisis Suit  x2 (Monat)
Skyray, BSF x 2

This is a very vanilla list that you’ll probably see at any major GT around the world. If you want a more thorough explanation of it, click here.

Alright, let’s get in to the meat of things. My first post will be a batrep of my Cally-prep with the list. This one will be vs. one of Denmark’s best players, playing the deadly SEER COUNCIL. Let's get ready to rumble!

I won’t give his list in detail (the Danish ETC qualifying event is just around the corner…), but he had the “standard” council with Dark Eldar support ( *hint* Baron *hint* Venom *hint*). Along with this he ran some Jetbikes, Swooping Hawks and two Wraithknights.

Mission was Big Guns w.  4 objectives, deployment was Vanguard Strike. My opponent managed to snag Fortune on his last roll, and got all the other bits and bobs on the Council ( I think I’m bringing a copy of their powers to Cally - they’re impossible to remember…) . My opponent got to go first.

The key in this game would be to spread my units, especially my Troops, out, such that the Council could only grab one or two a turn… My first priority would be the Wraithknights as these: 1. Were scoring, and worth 1VP 
2. Could get lucky and instagib my Riptides.

My opponent deploys centrally, while I bunker up in the corner, to stay out of Wraithcannon-range.  I intend to start spreading out down the flanks as the Council approaches…

Turn 1 the Council takes midfield with 2++ cover and armour, and the Wraithknights fire ineffectively at the closest Skyray.

My turn 1 I join an Iontide to the O’vesa bomb (Burst Cannon failed Nova), and use my whole army to kill off the leading Wraithknight – 2 VPs in the bag…

My opponent’s turn 2 he boosts the council closer, and casts Mind War on my Burst Tide, giving him BS1. My opponent Deep Strikes two Swooping Hawks units into his deployment zone, as there are no troops on the board they can prey on, and a few Jetbike units come on.

Turn 2 I continue spreading out down the flanks, one of my Skyrays flat-outs 18” to avoid being caught in a multi-charge. Expecting a charge from the Seer Council,I try to thin out their ranks with 3 Ignoring Cover Ion-pancakes – despite 11 hits I only manage to kill two..  Two Kroot units come in on the left flank using the Positional Relay,  and two Monats Deep Strike into terrain.

My opponent’s turn  3, he prepares to charge the O’vesa Star, while his surviving Wraithknight moves up to my Iontide on the right flank. His Wraithknight proceeds to fail a 5” charge through terrain on my  Iontide –lucky break. The combat between the Death Stars is rather uneventful, with O’vesa losing 2 wounds and his two Shield Drones. The Council wins the roll-off to Hit and Run, and buggers off into midfield again.

What to pick? Troops or O'vesa Star?
My turn 3 I rejoin the Burst-tide to the O’vesa bomb – the Iontide jumps further up the left flank to threaten his troops. Here I force my opponent to choose: Either run up my left flank and finish of the Iontide, Skyray and perhaps a unit of Kroot (which would leave the right flank exposed), or go for the O’vesa bomb. I kill off the last Wraithknight, and continue moving my other Iontide down towards his troops on the right.

Turn 4 my opponent chooses to ignore to the O’vesa bomb and gets off a multicharge with an Iontide, Skyray and a unit of Kroot, all of which are killed – ouch!! I should have been more careful there - really shows the mobility of the Council…
I retaliate by killing off some of his Jetbikes and other scoring. O’vesa tries to throw a pieplate on the Council, that failed it’s Fortune last turn, but rolls Gets Hot – le sigh…

Crippling multicharge
Turn 5 my opponent goes for the O’vesa star again, this time killing the Burst Tide and bringing O’vesa and Batman down to one wound. This time I get to Hit and Run, and move into midfield to kill off any remaining troops.

On my turn 5 I do exactly that, splitting Farsight off from the bomb to kick some Jetbike-ass. By the end, the only thing remaining on the table but the Council are 3 DE warriors and a unit of Hawks.

The End!
The game continues, and the Council splits apart – Baron goes for 3 Crisis Suits in my backfield, one Farseer goes for Batman and O’vesa, while the Council goes for Farsight, who had just helped a Monat out of combat. The two latter combats are uneventful, while Farsight and the Monat are slaughtered.

In my turn 6, I kill off his last troop unit, and move my scoring Skyray and Monat onto objectives.

The game ends here – with a victory to the Greater Good!
In conclusion, I am fairly satisfied with the game – both players had ups and downs with dice (even though the two Wraithknights whiffed epically..). The Council is definitely hard-as-nails if it gets its powers up, but like any Death Star it can be played around. In fact, thinking about , I probably shouldn't have shot at it at all, focusing on troops from the get-go.

However, one does really have to take care with positioning to avoid those deadly multicharges, as the council will kill any non-combat unit it touches, or at least run it down in sweeping advance. Btw, this game really convinced me to keep the 4D6 DtW Talisman in the list  – the Council has too many maledictions…

Anyways, I’m out for this time! Stay tuned for more Danish and English 40kness -  next article from me will probably be  “Can you pull off 4 Riptides at a 1500 point tourney?” – Yes/No???

Merry XMas to everyone, and do give feedback, I really want to know what your thoughts are on me losing my virginity…. Erh on the Blogosphere that is ;)


  1. Nice! Concise report buddy,well written and puts us in the game nicely.
    Excellent bit of cherry popping blogging...
    It's a tough one on the Talisman. Getting everything out of OVesa star means keeping the list lean, but arguably there are just so many maledictions and witchfires being a PITA that it is almost an auto-include. Or not.. It's a marmite decision.
    Think the more we all see of the deathstars, we see that playing around them is the key, play the mission and kill the troops.
    Not always possible of course :)

    Can you pull of 4 riptides at 1500? Course you can!! Haha

    1. Cheers! I'll try to make it a bit shorter in the future perhaps :P

      Another thing I've considered is skyfire on the Burst-tide - yes/no. The reason I lean towards yes is:
      1. If the enemy has flyers, I don't want to hold back my Skyrays T1 if I see an opportune moment to fire them (as they most likely will be a high priority for the enemy)
      2. Heldrakes can be a real pain in the ass, especially for this list that has only a few exposed troops... A squadron of 3 Vendettas can hurt Riptides bad.
      3. Deamon Prince / Fateweaver hunting

  2. Just checking, does commander batman have all the normal buffy items of doom? i.e. PEN chip, CNC, etc.. If not, then I would seriously advise getting them in somehow.
    Oh, and btw, nice battle report, well played. And as for whether 4 riptides at 1500 is viable, I wholeheartedly say yes. I take Farsight, OVesa, A buff comander, shadowsun (with command link drone to stop the riptide that doesn't have earth caste systems and isn't in the OVesa star overheating), and then three riptides, 2 with burst, one with ion. One of the burst has earth-caste, EWO and VT, the other burst has VT and TL, and the Ion has EWO and TL. The TL's are there so that they can shoot seperately from OVesa if they are in the blob. The blob itself is shadowsun, for cover saves, farsight, buff commander and OVesa, and either one of the two non-earthcaste riptides. There's also some random crisis suits with missiles and some kroot for scoring, but they basically just hide and hope I can kill the enemy without them doing anything

    1. Oli's buff commander has all the usual stuff dude.
      You can't run the setup as you describe it ... Farsight needs to be your warlord to select O'Vesa. This means you can't run Shadowsun as well as Buff Commander, sorry buddy.
      Also, I'd never run two Burst when you can only twin link one with buff commander in the bomb.. Different if you were playing TauDar, but here the Ion is far better as a self sufficient Riptide..

    2. What Ven is saying is unfortunately true - but you are not to blame thoguh, as GW has released several versions of the Farsight codex, and only in the most recent update is this stated...

      Yeah the Burst Cannon Riptide is SO unreliable - and with O'vesa in the list you are not allowed to take Earth Caste on him. Without earth caste, one is enough, as two become too unreliable - if they both fail their Nova your damage output is just too low :/

      Another cool thing I have discovered with the O'vesa bomb is its scoring capabilities - O'vesa, Farsight and Batman, can if they want join a single Crisis Suit and magically become scoring :)

    3. Damn, I did not realise that about Farsight needing to be warlord. *sigh* Oh well, I guess that puts paid to that idea. At any rate, about the earth caste, I seem to recall reading somewhere that you can still take a signature item elsewhere, even when one of the special characters has it. I could be wrong though. And if I am, then there's no way on earth I'd take a second burst riptide, it would be way too unreliable

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  4. Excellent report! I do hate playing against the ovesa star more than any other army in the game I think and I hope there isn't 10 of them at cally as I suspect there might be :(.

    1. Thanks James! Yeah it's a nasty list, but unlike the screamer/seer star it can in fact be killed. If you throw enough stuff at it, it will falter - especially since it cannot Nova Charge once the Riptides are down to one wound...

  5. Well done winning over the Seer Council.

    I think you can make do without the skyfire on burst tide as with the reroll to hit and the 2 x 2 skyfire marker lights I think you have enough AA plus your 2 skyrays.


    1. Thanks :)

      You're probably right... so maybe replace the Velocity Tracker with EWO and then twin-link the missiles on the large Crisis squad? Just to get some more shots downfield...

  6. I definitely don't think you need VT.

    I'm not a fan of weapons on the crisis at all, especially with cally missions. They need to be hiding, can't really risk them coming out of their hiding hole.

  7. "Riptide, HBC, Velocity Tracker, Target Lock, Talisman of Arthas Moloch"

    I though you were only aloud 2 items from the "wargear" list?

    1. The Talisman is a Signature System in the Farsight book, which does not count towards the two Support Systems a Riptide may take.