This past Saturday was the monthly tournament for the FLGS. It was run at 1500 points, with straight rolls out of the BRB for Maelstrom mission selections. If I remember right, it was 1, 6, and then 3.
I brought the following list:
Librarian (ML1, force sword)
Three Tactical Squads in Rhinos (plasmagun/multimelta, flamer/multimelta, plasmagun/plasma cannon)
Seven Scouts with sniper rifles and a missile launcher
Vindicator with Siege Shield
Eversor, Callidus, Culexus, and Vindicare Assassins (one of each)
It was a list that I wanted to try out for two reasons: test drive the assassins, and try playing Maelstrom missions the min/max way. It allowed me to have a little bit of fun, while also trying to actually win games. My bikes are great at Maelstrom missions, but their low model count means I don't grab enough points to win by the large margins needed to take the day at the shop.
The first game of the day was against an all-Nurgle Daemons army. Two flying Princes, Herald, Soul Grinder, GUO, and some Plague Bearers. I won this one because I simply had far more models than the enemy, and I think the Culexus intimidated him a bit into deploying more conservatively. Of course, in the very first turn the Culexus was nuked by the Warp Storm table. Six S6 hits and only a 4++ meant he was dead without doing a damned thing.
I spent most of the game just camping objectives and racking up points while trying to get the Eversor or Vindicare the final wound on the GUO. I'd probably have done so, if not for a 2+ invulnerable save from the Herald and his Tome.
I'd also rolled on the Tactical Warlord Traits table for this game, getting the result where you reroll the result of any d3 point value objective. It only came into play once, and I rolled the 3 on the original roll.
Second game was against Iron Hands with a Knight on a VERY open board. The entire middle of the board was unobstructed, and my opponent's Knight was getting unobscured shots on my Rhinos from every single fire lane. I basically just scrambled around trying to grab objectives without being blown to shit. I rolled the Tactical trait which awards 2 points per Secure Objective X card if your Warlord or his unit is the one grabbing it. That netted me two full extra points in this game, keeping it form being a total landslide. I think it would have been 11-5 instead of 11-7. Space Marines without a melta pod have a tough time against Knights, doubly so on a table with just about zero cover.
The best performer in this game was the Vindicare. He put a couple shots into the enemy Warlord's Razorback, and then tying up him and his unit for about the remainder of the game. If I'd played smarter, I would have issued challenges to the Warlord to put all my attacks on him, hoping to crack his 2+ armor save and get 2VPs for slaying the Warlord (one regular, one from the assassin dataslate). But I wasn't thinking, and left points on the table. One thing that was very crucial was the Vindicare's Exitus Pistol. You read the rules for him, and generally describe him as a sniper and are done with it. But his pistol fires all of the same ammo types as his rifle, is still AP2, and you can charge after firing it. Since anyone who's perturbed by the Vindicare will likely try to lock him up in melee or just rapid fire him down, the pistol can allow you to still move and get off those crucial shots. He's a lot of points, so you want him shooting every turn at something.
Final game was against Thor and his Chaos Marines. I think I won the game by a single point. Vindicare was untouched the whole game, Eversor died to a Maulerfiend after a few rounds of combat, Callidus nuked some Cultists camping an objective and then died to Obliterator fire, and the Culexus tied up a big unit of Possessed and a Sorceror for a couple rounds before being taken down by sheer volume of attacks. No Warlord kill in this one, either. I didn't bother with a tactical trait this game, as I already knew there was no way I was going to win (the winner on the day won by a margin of 26 points over the second place finisher). I rolled on the Space Marine table, and got Storm of Fire, which I never used.
It was a fun day. I liked the challenge of trying to get to the enemy warlord with my assassins, but hated playing the MSU objective-camping game. It's just not the way I enjoy playing. I like to have a variety of units on the board, doing a variety of things. Hanging out waiting for cards with tiny units is supremely boring. There's got to be a middle ground between running a super-mobile force that shuffles around the table all game, and one that sits on its ass and waits for pennies from heaven to fall in their laps. I've really got this urge to run a Terminator-heavy force at some point, but the super small model count and complete lack of mobility means it'll get its head smashed in on tactical card points every time.
I like Maelstrom missions, but I'm starting to understand why some people really don't enjoy it and say it favors mobile, MSU builds.