Jason here to talk about my experience at the Broadside Bash this past weekend, go over my results, and thoughts on the 40k tournament meta.
As you’ve already read with Pablo and Reece’s write ups, the Broadside Bash was a blast and broke attendance records for the number of Warhammer 40k players due to the adoption of the ITC format as well as the chance at a mini vacation in sunny San Diego for those attending from out of town. I went into the event with variation of my Adepticon Astra Militarum/Champions of Fenris/Inquisition army that was scaled up to 2000 pts. Though I did not go into the event with any high hopes of actually winning the thing, I do believe the list is competitive enough to hang with some of the other mid-power level armies and perhaps get lucky against the real alpha level lists. My list is below for those of you who are curious about what I ran.
Astra Militarum CAD
Company Command Squad – Lascannon, Kurov’s Aquila
Platoon Command Squad – Lascannon
3x Infantry Squads – Melta Bombs
2x Heavy Weapon Squads – Autocannons
Veteran Squad – 3x Grenade Launchers
2x Wyvern (Separate Units)
Void Shield Generator
Champions of Fenris
Rune Priest – Level 2
2x Servitors (my elite tax)
5x Thunderwolf Cavalry – 5x Storm Shields 2x Power Fists
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor – 3x Servo Skulls, Psychotrope Grenades
As you can see, nothing too crazy with the main gimmick of the list the Company Commander giving preferred enemy to the occupents of the Stormlord, the Stormlord, and any Astra Militarum units within 6″ of the Stormlord due to the Kurov’s Aquila wargear item. If I got lucky the Rune Priest would also Prescience the tank making it much more effective than it’s usual BS3. Let’s recap the games!
Day 1 Game 1 – Khorne Daemonkin with Daemon Allies
I played a fun game against a member of the team Rage Quit Table Flip, a team known for their hard drinking and even harder manhoods. He had one of those fancy new exalted flamer units with a herald and 10 Flamers that would be deep striking with their crazy shooting abilities. OUCH. Luckily for me I drew the first turn which gave me two turns of shooting his units before the uber Flamer unit came in and was able to kill a couple units of his dog units and whittle down his Khorne Lord and Fleshhound unit down enough for my Thunderwolf Cavalry to charge in and finish them off. When the Flamer unit did come down it had lost most of it’s support and though it did manage to blow up my VSG I effectively shot him with my entire army including my Vulture that came on the top of 2 and was able to chew threw it’s entire 32 wounds even with Endurance and Cursed Earth cast on them. I was able to table John and scored a first round win against a very fun opponent.
Day 1 Game 2 – Raven Guard Formations with Skyhammer
Round 2 I drew my old adversary Anthony D’Amore from the Left Coast Corsairs and his absolutely brutal Raven Guard drop army, you know the ones that all come down turn 1 and can assault and junk? For good measure he brings a Skyhammer because why not? I was absolutely worried about this game and his ability to deep strike and assault my entire army with power weapons, power fists, and melta bombs (not good for the Stormlord) so I castled up in a corner and gave him first turn since he wouldn’t need to start the game with any units on the board anyways. I made a huge mistake a left a space behind the VSG and the table edge and he dropped right behind it without scatter with a drop pod containing melta guns. Luckily for me he promptly rolled a single hit with his melta guns despite re-rolling for his doctrines and only took a single shield off. This protected me from his drop grav shooting from the Skyhammer and really was the only reason I wasn’t tabled turn 1. When his Vanguard units from the formation dropped and charged my blob squad bubble wrapped around my tanks I rolled the ‘6’ for the Psychotroke grenades which killed off a lot of his own models. Due to that I was able to hold his units up for a turn before the Thunderwolf Cavalry were able to counter charge into them and wipe them out. After that it was just about targeting and eliminating his ranged units with my firepower. This was one of those games that I did not enjoy winning. I won almost entirely on my good luck and Anthony’s bad luck. He was definitely the better general and should have wiped me by turn two. Oh well, a wins a win and I was now in good position for a top table.
Day 1 Game 3 – Daemons and Chaos Space Marines
On game three I drew the eventual winner of the tournament, James. Me and James are friends so even though I knew he had a tough list I looked forward to playing the game. Well, that was before learning of all the tricks his list was capable of. Basically James had a giant Flesh Hound unit with a bunch of Chaos Space Marine Sorcerers on bikes as well as Fateweaver and a Nurgle Daemon Prince. The unit would psychically buff itself to an almost un-woundable level and then just multi charge your whole army and wipe you. Fateweaver and the Daemon Prince run around and remove T3 models somehow through psychic powers and summon more Daemons just in case you are putting up any kind of resistance. I did my best even with seizing the initiative and having an extra round of my considerable firepower blasting his army and James really did try to make it as fun as possible for me but I was tabled by turn 3 and going against this type of list definitely left a sour taste in my mouth.
Day 2 Game 1 – Tau with double Y’vahra and Triptide
Going into day 2 I saw that I was paired with my old friend and nemesis, Nick Card. Me and Nick have played each other in almost every tournament we’ve both attended and I looked forward to the challenging game that Nick brings every time. Unfortunately, Nick was not able to make it out for day 2 but I was pleasantly surprised by the jolly fellow who would be my opponent in his stead. My joy turned to dread when I noticed the two Forge World Y’Vahra suits, a Riptide formation, a Stormsurge, and a Buffmander with drone support. OH MYYY. The game actually started off pretty well for me, with a seize roll and a dead Stormsurge due to the Stormlord’s 30 twin linked S6 AP3 shots (Prescienced). It just went downhill from that point. The VSG was taken out on the bottom of turn 1 and unfortunately for me I did not get a single shield back online before the Y’vahra’s that jumped into ongoing reserves turn 1 game back in on turn 2 and double flamed and blasted most of my army off the board. I did my best to play to the mission but against so much armor 2 and overwhelming firepower and my own diminishing forces I was wiped off the face of the board.
Day 2 Game 2 – Fenrisian Wolf Star with Wolf Librarian Formation
Going into the last game for the tournament I was determined to finish the event with a winning record, 3-2. My hopes for this faded as I saw I was matched up with Chris Cole and his 85 model unit of Fenrisian Wolves, Space Wolves Librarians and Chaplains on bikes, and Azrael to give the whole thing a 4+ invulnerable save and 5+ Feel No Pain. YIKES. Chris graciously gave me the first turn (though he was seizing on a 4+ due to Azrael’s special rule and the Stormlord giving him a +1) and I was able to start whittling away at the giant unkillable unit and though I did my best I wasn’t able to kill enough before the multi-charge started and I started taking units off the board. DAMN SON.
So there you have it, I ended with a gentlemanly 2-3 final score and though I did not have a bad game throughout the tournament in terms of my opponents I was very disillusioned by the types of lists that I had to play against. At some point the tournament system has turned into an escalating ‘how can I make this unit invincible’ and the sheer amount of lists that effectively take your opponents out of the game. The mentality that I am seeing now is the same as Magic Card players where you try to create a combinations that your opponent cannot counter. The difference between doing that in a Magic game and a 40k game is that the Magic game will be over in a couple minutes where the 40k game will slog on for 2+ hours of frustration and mounting disillusionment when facing these types of lists. I understand the desire to win and to win by taking these types of lists but I don’t feel they are healthy for survival of the tournament environment.
Well that’s it, thanks for reading and beware those invincible deathstars!