The End?

Well I took my 1700 point Nurgle 3.0 army to a small one day Hall of Heroes Tournament at Checkpoint Charlie's in North Vancouver. In short I lost all three games. I wasn't the only person to go 0-3, the tournament organizer also lost all three games. I not only lost, I lost big, partly it was bad tactics, unfamiliarity with an opponent's army list (Kroot), partly bad luck, but a whole lot of it was just not having a good enough army list.

My self imposed limitation of two heavy support is a huge unnecessary disadvantage, especially with the demise of army selection and the de-emphasize on sportsmanship and painting you see at tournaments now a days. Supposedly I came second in painting, but... let's just say I don't always agree with the judging at painting contests. I never went to North Vancouver to win a trophy, so I wasn't disappointed I didn't win one, but I was disappointed I lost all three games badly.

Nurgle shouldn't lose big. All those toughness five power armoured troops should ensure the army sticks around in part, but in one game I was wiped out to a man. I could have hid in the corner, even in the first game I could have done more to deny victory points to my opponent, but that isn't really my style and I definitely didn't see a need at a little tournament in North Vancouver.

I would have benefited from reading the missions and being more familiar with the rules and not being so trusting of my opponents. But mainly I need an army that kills stuff deader and puts more fear in the opposition. My lieutenant with the Kai Gun always ended up in H2H and always got beat down. I still like the idea, but I think you need scoring units, so I want a retinue for my leader. The sad part is, in all three games Malefactor the Marred was with a squad and still got beat down. I rolled a lot of misses with fancy models in H2H.

I talked to one of the organizers of West Coast Mayhem. This is the Conflict Vancouver replacement event. I'll probably enter, but not with this current 1700 point army list. I learned a few things about the event:

  1. It'll probably be at BCIT
  2. The winner will get a free invite to the Canadian Grand Tournament
  3. The new Chaos 40K Codex won't be out in time
The last is key, it means I will be using an all Nurgle army as that is what I have painted. I don't have much time for painting or playing 40K, but there are a few ideas I've come up with that I might try out. Anything to do with the Wordbearers or Black Legion list is right out, but I have an idea for a Chosen squad that would only take the painting and converting of 3 models to try out. My Nurglings and Plaguebarers both had brief moments of glory today and I have a lot of Plaguebarers painted already. I would love to try out a 30 Nurgling stand army but even 15 might be enough to accomplish a few things. I have about 10 models primed and assembled that I will paint, which have nothing to do with tournaments, along with some Orcs and Goblins, after that I may build my latest chosen retinue idea and then just pound away at Nurgling stands. I also need to paint a single Obliterator, that is a cheap way to get a heavy weapon and a scoring unit and I think you need a lot of both to be successful in 40K especially in tournaments.

The other thing about West Coast Mayhem and probably future Hall of Heroes Tournaments at Checkpoint Charlie's is it will be 1500 points. This is the number preferred by the Astronomi-con guys. Official GW tournaments have trended towards larger points values, the original 40K GT was 1500 points and it makes army selection even more of a challenge. On one hand it means I lose a single Plague Marine squad but on the other hand cramming as many scoring units and heavy weapons in as I can while still trying to be cool and different plus do well in painting will be tough.

Doing a quick rough calculation I can get under 1700 points and still have 15 Nurgling stands and three heavy support choices. I'd also have one or two models you never see in a Nurgle army and that only someone willing to build and try crazy stuff would contemplate. I also hope to finally have an evil unit, one people talk about, my terminators were tough to kill but ultimately disappointing. They were too expensive and didn't kill enough, I never used Tank Hunters once. They just become the target of every enemy unit that can see them. Lascannons are the answer to killing tanks not Reaper Autocannons.

I don't know if I'll get the time and energy to paint say a dozen more Plague Marines, 8-10 Nurgling stands and a lone Obliterator. I just don't care so much anymore. I finished my Nurgle 3.0 army for the most part and if I finish painting another 8-10 models the Diseased Sons will be a really big, well painted army using the current Codex and 4th Edition rules. The next Codex, I don't know if I have the energy to paint basically an entire new army using undivided troops and the other Chaos powers. I need to work towards completing the CFA® program, I need to exercise and lose weight, I have much greater problems than what rules may be changed and how to improve my 40K army.


Game one deployment

Here are a few pictures I took, but I'm too tired and I did so poorly I don't think full blown battle reports will be forthcoming. For one thing, you're rushed in a tournament so after the first game I have less and less photos, for another the trend is towards hidden army lists like in the olden days where you try to throw in a few surprises for your opponent like eight master-crafted eviscerators. Maybe there weren't eight but there were a lot of eviscerators in the Kroot army list and a lot of master-crafted weapons period at this tournament. I've never master-crafted a single weapon in the history of my 40K playing career.

These pictures show the deployments of my three games, something I need to work on. I think I need to be more willing to stand back and wait, huddle behind a rock if necessary and wait until the last turn or two to make my move. Although two of the missions today had table quarters none had the surprise last turn which makes those missions even more difficult. I do poorly at table quarter missions, I just don't have the manoeuvrability and the high number of scoring units necessary to do well. My quickly scribbled army list would have eleven scoring units though maybe only 10 at 1500 points. The cheapest Nurgle scoring unit possible is five plaguebearers, but you really need seven or more in a squad for them to do much. At 80 points a single Obliterator becomes a real cheap scoring unit if nothing else.

Game two deployment

I used to give a lot of thought to balance and keeping model count high, but now I think scoring units are more important. And although they don't count as scoring units and on the surface don't seem to equate to a high model count, Nurglings en mass is something I want to try. I just don't think people plan or playtest for thirty Nurgling stands. Even 15 would occupy a lot of space, force people to maneuver differently, they could act as speed bumps or just bog down any enemy units that wanted to race across the board into H2H.

Game three deployment

I like my existing heavy support choices a lot. I think a supped up Predator is better than a Landraider and will come in at less points, but it did die two out of three games, once to H2H. That shouldn't happen which is why I think a few more Nurglings would allow it to remain stationary and shoot all its guns but still not have to worry about being charged. The fact that two out of three opponents charged it is another reason I like dreads, they can fight in H2H, they can also just walk out. I have three painted and I've dreamed up Number Four which would have been part of my Wordbearer/Black Legion/New Codex army. The rumoured move of dreads to Elites is something I'm all in favour of, then I could really put a lot of heavy weapons on the board for the first time since 2nd Edition.

Tactical squads with heavy weapons will be part of any future 40K army I build, bike squads and even raptors might be, along with bezerkers and noise marines. Basically a lot more variety and speed.

The last stand of Malefactor the Marred

One of my opponents was 1000 Sons; he had one dread, one pred, and one defiler which I think may be the optimal heavy support choices in the current Chaos codex, it gives you a cheap and manoeuvrable unit, a tank that is tough to kill, and a battle cannon. Although I've built and painted a defiler and may use one at some point in the future at 1500 or even 1700 my Nurgle 3.0/West Coast Mayhem army won't have one. If you really don't care what your opponent thinks about you, why not take multiple defilers?

You can see my lonely leader surrounded by Kroot right before he died. This was in the head hunter mission and I shouldn't have put him forward perhaps, but the entire Kroot army infiltrated so I infiltrated and deep striked as much as I could, just to give him something to think about. I've come to the conclusion you should never deep strike your terminators if they have multiple heavy weapons.

Read about the final preparations before West Coast Mayhem...

Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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