One-Day Campaign, and a Farewell

On Saturday the 19th, the FLGS ran a single-day campaign-style event instead of the standard monthly tourney. I think folks were burned out on competitive gaming after such a long period of monthlies, culminating in the Standish Standoff last month. I know I was, and it was nice to just throw dice and not worry about winning.

The basic format was that at the end of each game, the winner awarded his warlord and one Troops unit a stat bonus from a provided list. The loser awarded a Troop unit, and on a 4+, his warlord as well. Missions were Maelstrom, but with some alternate secondaries (Second Blood or Last Blood instead of First Blood, Kill Points, etc). No map taking or anything like that.

For the day, I wanted to start phasing out Ultramarines from my list as much as I could and still play. The only thing I have that isn't Ultramarines and actually playable is a full set of Assassins. I took the full Assassinorum Execution Force formation (one of each assassin). Then I took a small Ultramarines CAD with a ML 1 Librarian, Scout Squad, and Tactical Squad. I finished it off with a First Company Strike Force made of two Terminator Squads, each with a chainfist and assault cannon, an Assault Terminator squad with two hammers, and a five-man Sternguard squad (just bolters). Originally, I'd had an Allied Detachment made of Telion, six Scouts, and a Landspeeder instead of the CAD, but I realized that if I did so, I'd have no eligible warlord under the campaign rules, which required you to have a non-special character as your warlord. I was just going to select an assassin, but they don't get any warlord benefits, so I rewrote the list. This also allowed me to get my Librarian model onto the table for the first time ever.

Anyhow, because it was a campaign day, I decided my army's mission was to kill as many of the enemy army's characters as possible in every game, to the exclusion of all other mission rules as far as the Assassins were concerned.

My first game was against Thor, since the tournament software he wrote really likes to pair us up. The story of the game were the Assassins. Their ability to infiltrate really threw a bag of wrenches into the gears of his force. He had to dedicate some inordinate amounts of fire and effort into clearing them out. In the end, I won by just a few points.

Assassinorum Report, Engagement One:
Terminator Sorceror - Target Eliminated, Vindicare Kill
Power Armored Chaos Champion - Target Eliminated, Culexus Kill
Power Armored Chaos Champion - Target Eliminated, Vindicare Kill
Chaos Champion on Traitor Pattern Bike - Target Eliminated, Callidus Kill
Terminator Armored Chaos Champion - Target Elimited - Adeptus Astartes Kill

Callidus Operative - KIA
Vindicare Operative - Recovered
Culexus Operative - Recovered
Eversor Operative - KIA

Game Two was against my last-round opponent from the Standoff, who was feeling much better this time round. He brought his Krieg and their Baneblade again, and he won by a few points. The highlight of this game was having my Vindicare, who'd camped out on the roof of a building at the far edge of the field, take his final shot of the game at three surviving members of an infantry squad. They were lined up along a wall, and I opted to use a turbo penetrator round. After the dice were rolled, I put all three squaddies down with a single shot. We agreed that he'd probably headshotted all three in succession. FYI, Turbo Pen rounds against non-vehicles produce d3 wounds instead of just one on a successful to-wound roll.

Assassinorum Report, Engagement Two:
Company Commander - Target Escaped, Mission Failure
Inquisitor Coteaz - Target Escaped, Mission Failure
Various Guard Unit Leadership - Three Targets Escaped - Mission Failure
Various Guard Unit Leadership - Four Targets Eliminated - Culexus Kill, Vindicare Kill, Vindicare Kill, Adeptus Astartes Force Kill

Callidus Operative - KIA
Vindicare Operative - Recovered
Culexus Operative - KIA
Eversor Operative - KIA

The last game of the day was against a Chaos Marines force with very few models. Just a couple Cultist squads, two Maulerfields, two Daemon Princes with wings and Tzeentch powers, a Hellblade flyer (which was really cool to play against), a Chaos Fire raptor, and a Helldrake. We beat the hell out of one another, and tied for primary points, but he took more secondaries. As usual, Assassins have a really hard time with Daemon Princes. I had no anti-air capability, but that was mitigated by his flyers' refusal to show up until turn four.

Assassinorum Report: Engagement Three:
Daemon Prince - Target Escaped, Mission Failure
Daemon Prince - Target Escaped, Mission Failure
Mortal Cultist Champion - Target Eliminated, Vindicare Kill
Mortal Cultist Champion - Target Escaped, Mission Failure

Callidus Operative - Recovered
Vindicare Operative - KIA
Culexus Operative - Recovered
Eversor Operative - KIA

So the total for the day was five character kills for the Vindicare, two for the Culexus, one for the Callidus, and two for various Astartes units. The Eversor had no character kills for the day.
The Callidus died 2 of 3 games, the Vindicare and Culexus 1 of 3, and the Eversor 3 of 3. About what you'd expect considering their roles of the table. The Eversor, despite being my favorite of the Assassin types, was very hard to get into combat due to the infiltrate rules for line of sight and distance. Perhaps next time I should simply deploy him during setup. The Callidus might benefit from outflanking or arriving from the opponent's table edge as well.
It was nice, relaxed, and fun day. My list was enjoyable to play. I really liked running the First Company Strike Force with Terminators, and I think I'll be creating some Raven Guard Terminators as soon as I can. The list I ran Saturday helped me solidify my army play style for my Raven Guard, as well as the load out for my Captain. What I want my Raven Guard options to personify is a "blade and mailed fist" option. My Captain will be armed with a power sword and a power fist. His method of combat is to present both a fast, agile attack on one hand (the blade), while holding a crushing, mailed fist as a threat. His army around him will be composed of Scouts, Speeders, and Jump units as the blade, while Terminators and Centurions will be the fist.
My thoughts are that if you are engaged in a duel with a swordsman with a long blade in one hand, and a heavy gauntlet in the other, you might try to deny the strengths of his blade by getting inside his guard. But the punches from the gauntlet force you back out, or knock you down entirely. If you stay at arm's length to avoid the punches, the blade takes you apart with stabs and cuts. I know nothing about actual melee combat, but it sounds neat, right?

I'm even more excited about painting up my Raven Guard now, which is great. Previously, I was very focused on formations and being able to use units in multiple formation roles from game to game, but this revised way of thinking about my army is even better. Yes, I'll use formations, but all of them should revolve around the previously-described combat doctrine.
It was a real struggle to decide how to arm my Captain as well. I originally wanted to capitalize on the new Raven Guard relics from Kauyon, with the new bolter or lightning claws as a priority, but I will instead go with non-weapon relics like the jump pack or armor, if any at all. I'm bu8ilding to model to fit the character, not the character to fit the model. I'd complained about people forming their fluff to the army list before, and I feel ashamed I'd fallen into that same pit!

The farewell I mentioned in the post title is for my Ultramarine bikes. I handed them over to their new owner on Saturday. I've sold every painted bike model I have (I kept all the unbuilt models and bitz). I sold them for a price I considered fair, but won't reveal the exact amount. The new owner can tell people if he'd like, but it's not really about the money for me as much as it is seeing them run by someone who'll enjoy them. Dave actually sought me out to inquire about buying all of my Ultras when he heard I was retiring them. It was pretty flattering. Eventually, I'll sell off all of my Ultramarines as I manage to get more and more points of Raven Guard onto the table.

On the Raven Guard model front, I've got my Landspeeder ready for decals, so I'll get some pictures as soon as it's all marked and sealed. Once that's done, it's on to the Captain.


  1. Nice! I look forward to seeing you transition to the Raven Guard! Some time I hope to see you on the other side of the game table!

    1. Thanks. It's pretty ex citing to fully commit to a new Chapter. I finished the Landspeeder last night, so it just needs a blast of Dullcote. Still agonizing over my Captain though.

  2. Sad to see you retire an army like that. I can't imagine selling anything I've painted. Especially as well as your bike army.

    1. I was never going to run them again, so I figured I'd pass them onward to someone who would. I couldn't see the sense in holding on to them when all they'd do is gather dust in a foam tray.
      It was a tough decision to part with something I'd painted, but I knew the new owner wasn't going to prime over them or anything.