Adepticon Tournament Report: Crimson Fists Go to War!

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Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to relate my Adepticon 40k tournament championships experience.

Check the Tactics Corner for more great tournament reports.

Adepticon was a blast this year, we had a great time hanging out with friends, playing challenging games of 40k, selling F.A.T. Mats at our booth and just in general geeking out for 4 days. If you have not been to Adepticon, you should go! The staff are pros, run a great event and the energy at the show is very positive and fun. Thank you to everyone that came by to say hello! It was great meeting you all.

Our Glorious F.A.T. mat booth!

I had a bit of a journey figuring out what I was going to play. Adepticon’s format is a significantly different from ITC format (which is what I typically play) and my main armies I actually couldn’t bring or didn’t want to due to the format. Right now I am having a lot of fun playing Space Wolves with some Forge World units that aren’t currently allowed at Adepticon, Chaos Renegades and Elysian Drop Troops which are Forgeworld army lists. Those are all verboten, so I had to build something a bit different. Adepticon format also really heavily emphasizes ObSec due to the nature of how they score objectives, so some of my armies like Decurion Necrons for example, I felt would struggle to win missions.

I bounced from Raven Guard (which would have done very well, but I couldn’t get them painted in time) to a Space Wolf/Space Marine mash up list to a Crimson Fists list at the last minute, writing the list about 30 minutes before I took off for the airport!

As the meta was sure to contain TONS of Eldar players (and they were seriously, everywhere!), I built an army that would be very good for fighting Eldar. Warp Spiders, Jet Bikes and Wraithknights were sure to be extremely prevalent, and the Crimson Fists list is good at fighting that and at winning the Adepticon missions as almost all of my units are ObSec. Lastly, it is a fairly unique list which is my preference to play.

Tg-cover-large

Crimson Fists 1850pts

Crimson Fists Gladius
Strike Force Command
Pedro – 1 185
Battle Demi-Company
Chaplain Auspex 1 95
Tactical Marines Melta Gun 5 80
Drop Pod – 1 35
Tactical Marines Flamer 5 75
Drop Pod – 1 35
Tactical Marines Flamer 5 75
Rhino – 1 35
Attack Bike M.Melta 1 50
Devastator Cents Grav, Omni, Missiles 3 280
1st Company Task Force
Sternguard – 10 220
Drop Pod – 1 35
Sternguard – 10 220
Drop Pod – 1 35
Sternguard – 10 220
Drop Pod – 1 35
Assassin Detachment
Culexus – 1 140
Totals 58 1850

A Demi-company, First Company Task Force (made ObSec by Pedro), and a Culexus. Pretty straight forward! The benefits were mobility, alpha strike potential, anti-Eldar power, and a fairly high model count for endurance.

blood angels captain chapter legion

Round 1

Opponent: Blood Angels assault army list from memory:

  • Libby: Level 2, Jump Pack, Veritas
  • Sanguinary Guard x 10: Fist x 2, Axe x 2, Banner
  • Scouts x 5: Snipers
  • Tactical Marines x 5
  • Death Company x 10: Jump Packs
  • Assault Marines x 10: Jump Packs
  • Assault Marines x 10: Jump Packs
  • Assault Marines x 10: Jump Packs
  • Knight Paladin

Adepticon Mission 1

My first opponent had a very cool army! While it may not look crazy powerful at first glance, it has a ton of bodies, mobility and it hits hard due to +1 initiative and strength on the charge. This was actually a solid counter to my army and a pairing I did not expect.

The game was bloody and brutal! My Sternguard all came in turn 1 and unloaded with AP3 Bolters, rerolling 1’s thanks to their Chapter Tactics to avoid Gets Hot!, and took a huge chunk out of my opponent’s army. He countered by assaulting across all my lines, and the game boiled down to a vicious melee. He was able to erase Pedro and the Dev Cents with Sanguinary Guard (but to his credit, Pedro did take a bunch of them with him!), and the Knight Paladin was essentially untouched all game, and took a heavy toll on my army. My boys did their best but were outmatched in melee, hanging in their largely due to the Sternguard being Fearless. My Culexus was a stud, going into the enemy backfield and taking out the Obejctive Campers there before dying.

As the game wound down, my army was evaporating faster than my opponent’s, but as he had no ObSec and essentially my entire army was, I was wracking up points all game. I focused on simply keeping bodies on Objectives and impeding my opponent’s ability to move, or engage multiple units per assault phase to slow him down. Luckily for me, the game ended on turn 5, and I was able to win by a large margin despite my army getting fairly well creamed on the table. As we finished the game quite quickly, we played through to turn 7 for fun, and had it gone the distance, I would have had only the Attack Bike left, with a single wound, to hold my backfield Objective for a narrow victory! Again, at Adepticon, ObSec all day.

Big thanks to my opponent who was a great sport and good player.

Crimson Fists win: 29-1

white-scars-horz

Round 2

Opponent: White Scars Drop Pod Battle Company list from memory:

  • Captain
  • Chaplain: Hunter’s Eye
  • Tactical Squad x 5: Melta Gun
    • Drop Pod
  • Tactical Squad x 5: Melta Gun
    • Drop Pod
  • Tactical Squad x 5: Melta Gun
    • Drop Pod
  • Tactical Squad x 5: Melta Gun
    • Drop Pod
  • Tactical Squad x 5: Melta Gun
    • Drop Pod
  • Tactical Squad x 5: Melta Gun
    • Drop Pod
  • Assault Squad
    • Drop Pod
  • Assault Squad
    • Drop Pod
  • Dev Cents: Grav
  • Dev Cents: Grav

Flesh Tearers

  • Priest
  • Scouts x 5
  • Drop Pod
  • Drop Pod
  • Drop Pod

Adepticon Mission 2

I may have missed a few details on this list, but it was a massed MSU drop army with not 1 but 2 units of Grav Cents…yikes! This would be tough. Also, it was Kill Points, again, tough. Best of all though, he won the roll to decide who would go first or second….ouch! In Drop Pod on Drop Pod battles, the player going first almost always loses. This was going to be brutal.

I was a bit forlorn after the roll for first turn, but my opponent encouraged me to be optimistic as you never know how the dice will fall. That turned out to be good advice.

I dropped down my more expendable units, the 2, 5 man Tac Marine squads, and 1 unit of Sternguard. I also started my Culexus on the table on his backfield objective. He came in with half of his pods including 1 unit of Grav Cents but to my surprise, didn’t do much damage to me! The Grav Cents shot into a unit of Sternguard, but due to cover, only killed 7 of the 10 (I normally always combat squad, but in KP, left them at full strength for obvious reasons). My turn 2, my Sternguard dropped down and went ham, wiping 2 units with AP3 Bolters, and my Grav Cents + Pedro came in from normal reserves and wiped out his Grav Cents! The Culexus got busy too, tearing into an MSU unit.

The critical turn though, was my opponent’s turn 2. His second unit of Grav Cents with the Hunter’s Eye came in and went after mine. However, Pedro Kantor decided today was not a good day to die and tanked nearly every single wound! It was out of control, he took a full volley of Grav to the face and walked away from it with only 2 wounds taken…wow! His FnP Warlord trait was really useful. My opponent picked his jaw off the ground and then watched as my Grav Cents and Pedro “Ironsides” Kantor nuked them off of the table, too.

That was essentially game as my Sternguard were all eating a unit a turn, and Pedro + Cents were then able to wipe out 2 units a turn (due to split fire and assaults). In what should have been an ass kicking my way, a few lucky breaks and it was a landslide the other direction. Great game with an awesome opponent.

Crimson Fists win: 30-0

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Round 3

Opponent: White Scars Battle Company played by my business partner, Frankie…doh!

  • Khan on bike
  • Chaplain on bike: Hunter’s Eye
  • Command Squad on bikes: Melta Guns, Apothecary
    • Las Cannon Razorback
  • Tactical Marines: Melta, C.Melta
    • Drop Pod
  • Tactical Marines: Grav Cannon
    • Rhino: Dozer
  • Tactical Marines: Grav Cannon
    • Rhino: Dozer
  • Tactical Marines: Grav Cannon
    • Rhino: Dozer
  • Tactical Marines: Grav Cannon
    • Rhino: Dozer
  • Tactical Marines: Grav Cannon
    • Rhino: Dozer
  • Attack Bike: M.Melta
  • Attack Bike: M.Melta
  • Devstators: Grav Cannon x 2
    • Rhino: Dozer
  • Devstators: Grav Cannon x 2
    • Rhino: Dozer

10th Company Strike Force

  • Scouts x 5
  • Scouts x 5
  • Scouts x 5

Assassin Detachment

  • Culexus

Adepticon Mission 3

I drew Frankie, the person I play every dang week, lol. Oh well, that’s the way it goes in later rounds of a tournament.

So, my army was built to fight other infantry armies, not mechanized infantry armies! I had the ability to shred infantry but I struggle to pop rhinos. The game started well, I dropped down, marked his bikes as my Preferred Enemy target for the Sternguard, vaporized them with poison 2+ shots, rerolling 1’s to hit and wound, opened a few cans and felt good. Turn 2 though, I had possibly the worst turn of 40k I have ever had, not killing a single model! I just rolled unbelievably poorly. The game was effectively over at that point as Frankie was in position to wipe out most of my army with massed Grav at this stage and I offered to concede, but he wanted to play another turn, so we did. It was ugly though, as the majority of my army went poof to the Grav shots, and were taken out of position to stop him from picking up progressive points, effectively ensuring him a max point victory. The one highlight was my Culexus pimp slapping Khan to death, but that was the only bright spot in a sea of suck, lol.

Turn three we shake on it as I don’t have much left and no ability to take objectives which meant he’d max out points over turns with me not being able to stop it, so not point in playing it out. So, my army met it’s match. I was unable to both pop transports AND kill infantry. I was good at doing only one or the other and without my turn 2 being as hot as my turn 1, I got creamed.

Crimson Fists lose: 0-30

am.01

Round 4

Opponent: Astra Militarum list from memory

  • Command Squad: 4 x Melta Guns
  • Command Squad: 4 x Melta Guns
  • Priest
  • Platoon Command Squad: Melta Guns x 4
    • Chimera
  • Platoon Squad
  • Platoon Squad
  • Conscripts x 50
  • Veterans: Plasma Guns x 3
    • Chimera
  • Wyvern x 2
  • Wyvern x 2
  • Leman Russ x 2

Emperor’s Spear Aerial Company

  • Vendetta
  • Vendetta
  • Vendetta

Wow, solid Astra Militarum list! I dig it. This is an army that has the ability to kick you square in the dingus, has anti tank and anti infantry weapons in abundance. Not bad at all.

I got first turn and took it, dropping down the Sternguard in his face and nominating the Conscripts as my Preferred Enemy target. 25 of the Sternguard fired into the Conscripts with Poison shots, rerolling 1’s, and wiped the entire unit out! It was crazy, I killed 30+ (and the Priest) and with the -2 leadership modifier from the First Company Task Force, sent them packing off the board, eliminating my opponent’s bubble wrap unit. The other 5 Sternguard fired on an Infantry unit with Ignores Cover rounds, and also sent them packing, too! Not a bad first turn.

My opponent’s turn, he kicked me in the nuts, right back, lol! The Wyverns and Leman Russes just put the hurt on me, blasting Marines apart left and right. I answered back by assaulting with my remaining Sternguard into his tanks and started hucking Krak Grenades all over the place, but didn’t do as much damage as I hoped for. The game turned into a grind, with both of us smashing one another but I had positioned my ObSec Attack Bike, Tactical Squad in a Rhino and Dev Cents onto Objectives and kept him pinned back in his deployment zone. This allowed me to farm up a ton of progressive objective points each turn.

I was bleeding models quickly though, and my opponent’s turn 2, he came in with all 3 Vendettas in his formation and flew right at my Cents. He unleashed 9, twin linked Las Cannons and did zero wounds….wow. His turn three he went hell bent for leather and dropped into hover while disembarking his CCSs, giving me another volley with 9 more las cannons and 8 ignores cover melta guns, and only managed to kill 1 Centurion. Que sad trombone. My saves were hot, and this effectively sealed the game. It was a bold move and had it worked, he could very well have taken my backfield, getting back in the game but I tanked the damage and then went in to his hovering Vendettas and exposed CCS’s and smoked them.

In the end my assault force of Sternguard and the Culexus got mauled but kept him in his deployment zone while my defending forces managed to hold him off with a bit of luck, giving me the win.

Crimson Fists win: 30-0

game-over

Aftermath

I ended the tournament with 89 out of 120 battle points and finished 18th out of 184 players. Not bad! As Murphy’s Law dictates: gearing my list to be a meta buster means I don’t play any of the lists I geared up for, lol. Instead of Eldar who were everywhere, I pull two battle companies, Blood Angels and Astra Militarum, go figure! I had a great time though, and enjoyed playing the army.

If it were a different format where ObSec wasn’t so important (and ObSec saved my butt in every game), I wouldn’t take the Demi Company. It wasn’t bad at all, but I’d rather go with some Scouts, Quad Mortar Rapiers and other units that have more ranged anti tank punch, as that is what my list needed. Pairing it with some Librarians for Psychic Shriek and possibly the Skyhammer formation to take advantage of the -2 ld bubble would also be a lot of fun, and very good.

Thanks to all of my awesome opponents for making Adepticon such a fun experience!

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off retail if you need to get any new models!

  • TweetleBeetle

    That’s a tough-as-nails list. I think Crimson Fists, Salamanders, and Iron Hands are all vastly underrated right now. People are so drawn to the bikes and T-Wolf cav that they are missing – what I would argue – more efficient armies.

    Shame you only ran into other marines and AM though. That happened last year to me, where I tailored a list to fight Eldar and Demons (who were both squishy and psychic last year), but instead ran into 4 consecutive Necrons players.

  • Jason

    Sad to see the game just devolve into spam lists…

    • Nathaniel Wright

      Eh, when people think about efficiency over all else, it tends to happen.

      • BT

        Agreed. The spam lists are not a reflection of the game, it is a reflection of tourney play.

        Face it, if you want to play for fun, you don’t go to a tourney. Fun lists are experimental lists, where you try new things to see how they work out. Tourney lists want consistency. You play to win in a tourney, specially in a big tourney like Adepticon. Otherwise what is the point to play in them?

    • The game was nothing but spam lists in tournaments in the 90s as well.

    • happy_inquisitor

      Pedro Kantor with lots of Sternguard – fluff or spam? Discuss.

      To a large extent its both, this is how you are supposed to use him and why the formation rules were written that way.

    • Keith GatlingGun Gatchalian

      But the list is still fluffy and in theme. Space Marine armies SHOULD be made up the way these were. Ditto the Guard list. There’s a reason Troops get 6 slots. What’s an army supposed to take, 1 unit of every choice? You know what game has spam lists? Chess.

    • DJ860

      I’m not sure if this is aimed at the SM list/s or at being forced to take a list to deal with other spammy lists.

  • BT

    I heard Void Shield Generators were pretty common as well.

    • happy_inquisitor

      Some dubiously constructed dark puppy alliance Superfriends list won it. Doubt if we will get the usual post of it here because other than some back room deal between player and TO it was not a legal list.

      • Sparti67

        Ooh that’s not good if true. Undermining your own tournament is a sure way to lose the community.

        • happy_inquisitor

          I have seen the list posted on Facebook. Illegal on a couple of counts: invalid use of units (lone wolves) to fulfill a formation requirement, incorrect construction of one character meaning the list was really over by one point. So basically by-the-book it was an 1851 unbound list in which he still incorrectly claimed all his formation/detachment benefits.

          Apparently the TO gave the go-ahead for it, so opponents kinda just had to suck it up.

      • Nathaniel Wright

        Yeah, definitely some liberal translation of the rules… The guy clearly had some sort of connections to get away with running what he did.

      • Jacob

        What, vaguely, was the list composed of?

      • BT

        That is funny that they let a illegal list win. It winning shows the point of why it was probably considered illegal.

  • Crablezworth

    40k was better when it wasn’t apoc

    • Zingbaby

      Except for the weak BA list bolstered by the Knight, I think your post is totally out of context here.

      Cool thing about apoc stuff though – you don’t have to use them if you don’t want, and you don’t have to play against people that do either.

  • Sparti67

    I like Reecius list because they are unusual and he tries to remain faithful to the meta. And people get punched in the dingus.

    • Larry Hunkin

      I also like Reecius’s lists and love 7th edition with it’s fluffy yet effective formations. The people that complain about it still want to play 5th edition. No one is stopping them from going back and playing old editions. I like the flexable lists and the interesting meta the game has now.

  • fiesta0618

    I think you made one rules mistake. Sternguard special ammo specifically doesn’t benefit from Bolter Drill. You could get rerolls through Tactical doctrine, but that’s it.

  • Rob

    So please don’t take this as a troll comment as I am actually interested to here an honest response to this question:

    Look at the scores. No middle ground, no close games. You either utterly dominate or you are utterly dominated. You talk about lots of your models dying off but the scores reflect total and utter domination. And when you were beat it was the same total and utter domination. Do you feel this was the experience across the convention or just yours? This is how I feel more and more games that I was playing of 40k too much Rock Paper Scissors. I either had a list that would crush my opponent, he had one that would crush me but on,y very rarely would the lists be balanced within a mission. I never expect perfect balance but the results you highlight seem extreme. I know you are a very good player as I have watched some of your reports online but I suspect the players in the later rounds were pretty good as well and I am pretty sure I have seen you trash Frankie at various points so more than anything it seems the lists combined with the missions provide too lopsided of an advantage.

    I am honestly looking for your thoughts on this. Not just trolling. I have 5 lovingly painted 40k armies gathering dust because I just don’t like the Rock Paper Scissors side of the game and I have found other games that seem to be better balanced to me.