1850 Tournament Results: Round 3 vs. Khorne Daemonkin

July 16, 2015 ·

---Shas'O Bork'an Sha'is'Nen surveyed the nightmare unfolding before him. The recently subdued Gue hab-center had transformed from a happy new addition to the Empire to a seething center for panic. Civilians ran this way and that, unsure what to do other than run from the raiding party that had landed on the outskirts.

Even as his mind attempted to take in the horrendous figures and huge machines before him, small temporary rifts appeared about them, vomiting forth new and even more bizarre forms.

Saving the hab-center from the enemy was his duty, but killing these warp creatures was more important than that. If they weren't stopped now, the entire planet would be forfeit to the whims of these depraved and despicable creatures. ---

Here is the final battle report for our local tournament: "The Quickening." My final match was against the fairly new Khorne Daemonkin and I was super excited to see them in action!

The Armies

Khorne Daemonkin - Blood Host Detachment

  • Slaughtercult
    •  Lord on Juggernaut
    • 3 Spawn
    • 2x8 cultists
    • 2x 10 CSM w/ plasmagun in Rhino
    • 2x8 bloodletters w/ bloodreaper
    • 5 possessed
  • War Engine
    • Soul Grinder w/ sword
  • War Engine
    • Soul Grinder w/ bale torrent
  • War Engine
    • Soul Grinder w/ bale torrent
  • War Engine
    • Maulerfiend w/ whiplashes
  • War Engine
    • Maulerfiend w/ whiplashes
    This army was so much fun to play against. The Blood Tithe table makes it a joy to play with and against. Very fluffy and powerful with max amount of characters to generate blood tokens at a quicker rate.
    It also had lots of vehicles, which was a welcome sight for my Tau. 

    Tau (Farsight Enclaves+Tau Empire)

    I've outlined my army's composition HERE. It is reminiscent of my usual list, but since Forgeworld was allowed I took advantage and fielded some of my seldom-used toys.

    The Scenario

    Mission: modified NOVA mission, somewhat like the old Cleanse mission: controlling table quarters. We both had tons of units so we both chose to score as we go instead of scoring at the end of the game. You controlled a quarter by having more units in it than your opponent, and you scored points if you controlled more quarters than him at the beginning of your turn.
    For the secondary objectives: I marked a cultist squad for death, he marked my Kroot. I chose First Blood and Linebreaker. He chose Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker.
    Deployment: Vanguard Strike
    Night Fight: 1st turn, no effect
    First Turn: Tau
    Warlord Traits: My warlord got the Night Fight one, and his got Preferred Enemy.

    Disclaimer: The diagrams may not always match up exactly with the pictures. Things get forgotten or moved around in the mind. Just take it in stride and keep reading. It is also difficult to show both the regular movement and the "thrust" movement for jetpacks and jetbikes. That is why you will sometimes see units moving out of turn.


    I deployed my army centrally around a big multi-level ruin with the Cloudbursts and the monats all in reserve, as usual.
    He set up his war engines in a line, acting as a blocker for his squishier infantry units and his rhinos on the flanks.
    I put my Kroot in the backfield so as to make it difficult for him to score an easy 2 points off of them. They also wouldn't do me much good against his line of vehicles. I considered using them as a speed bump but decided to rely on my battlesuits' speed and firepower to stay alive.

    Tau Turn 1

    Since he outnumbered me by quite a bit, I needed to thin him out as quickly as possible to even the odds and keep him from holding all the quarters through weight of bodies. Even so, my first priority was thinning out the 5 war engines that were going to be coming my way.
    I nova charged the primary weapons on both my Riptide and my Y'vahra. I moved some stuff around, but not much. I used the Y'vahra's thrust to put it right within range of the nearest Maulerfiend.
    I then proceeded to shooting stuff. My marker unit marked one of the Maulerfiends and my Deathrains proceeded to wasting it with ease. My Riptide's Nova-charged Ion Blast was aimed at two of the Soul Grinders but scattered a bit and only clipped one of them. It removed a hull point and wounded a nearby Spawn. The Y'vahra, unfortunately, only got one extra shot on his Ion weapon and failed to kill the remaining Maulerfiend.
    I thrust everything back as far as possible. Thankfully, the Y'vahra got a decent thrust move. I'd done some damage, but I had really hoped to kill more than just one vehicle. He would be on me in only a couple turns so now I had 4 vehicles to kill before he was ripping my suits to pieces. Still, I had First Blood so things weren't all bad. Plus, my second turn was my scheduled hammer blow.

    Khorne Turn 1

    He moved everything forwards, hesitating a bit with the soul grinders near the center (anything within 6" of the center didn't count for scoring purposes).
    His shooting was uneventful, inflicting now damage.
    He opted not to try and assault my Y'vahra with his Maulerfiend (the only thing that had range on any of my units) since it was a fairly long charge distance and he was worried about my Overwatch. An expectedly tame first turn, but it was his second turn I was worried about.

    Tau Turn 2

    My reserves started coming in, with only a Heatwave and two Sunforges being left in reserve. Unfortunately, my Cloudbursts mishapped and went back into reserves as well(very grateful that none of my mishaps in this tourney ended with dead units). I dropped the Heatwave right next to the Cultist unit I marked for death, cowering in a large ruin (no scatter: hurray!) I then dropped a Sunforge next to his left-hand Rhino and another in the path of his lower Soul Grinder. I Nova charged my Riptide's secondary weapon but my Y'vahra failed both its Nova Charge and its FNP roll (ouch!)
    I shot the remaining Maulerfiend with my Markerlights and promptly destroyed it with the Y'vahra. I also caught the Rhino with the torrent, stripped a hull point and removed its storm bolter. My Deathrain team started to move left and stripped a hull point from the nearest Soul Grinder. My Riptide and Sunforge combined fire and brought down the center Soul Grinder. The Heatwave annihilated the marked Cultists with ease, netting me another two points. The other Sunforge exploded the Rhino, randomly killing the CSM carrying a plasmagun and another grunt. The blast also caught his Bloodletters, killing a few of those, including the Bloodreaper.
    I jumped my units back a bit, trying to keep some space but not nearly enough. He still had two functional Soul Grinders. On the plus side, My solo suits were having some decent success skirmishing with his infantry on the left flank.

    Khorne Turn 2

    He was running out of units, so he used his blood tokens to grant his army FNP and to deep strike in some Bloodletters to help his left flank steamroll my few battlesuits. Unfortunately for him, they landed too close, mishapped, and I placed them far back in his own deployment corner.
    The Soul Grinders moved up and the wounded Rhino did as well. One Soul Grinder likely would have gone for my Riptide but the positioning of my Remoras prevented him from placing his model very close so he went toward my other units instead.
    His shooting was largely ineffective again, but he was now in charge range.
    His Soul Grinder easily walked in and squashed my poor Sunforge speed bump. The Bloodletters charged my Heatwave, losing a few to Overwatch but killing him easily in close combat. The CSM could not charge because they had just emergency disembarked. His over Soul Grinder prepared to charge my Marker/Warlord unit but it was not to be. The marker drones missed their Overwatch but my Y'vahra in an amazing feat of quickdraw, landed two hits with his Ion weapon! With the bonus haywire, I landed three Glancing/Penetrating hits and he failed two of those 5++ saves. Dead Soul Grinder! I'd like to think that even if the Soul Grinder got into combat my Warlord would have destroyed it, but you never know. His warlord attempted a 10" charge but failed.

    Tau Turn 3

    The rest of my reserves arrived. I dropped one Sunforge in front of his Rhino, and the other (along with my other Heatwave) in his backfield. I dropped the Cloudbursts near the center of the board.
    My Y'vahra failed to Nova charge again and lost another wound but my Riptide successfully boosted its 3++ shield.
    I moved the Y'vahra with the thrust move right behind his Rhino and shuffled my other units around.
    The Deathrains fired at the oncoming Soul Grinder, needing to remove 2 HP to kill it. But I only stripped one HP and I was not Nearly far enough away. My Sunforge on the left killed a couple Bloodletters. The Sunforge tried to nuke the Rhino but missed his shots. My Riptide exploded the Rhino with a decent Ion shot. My Y'vahra targeted his Warlord's unit, catching several of the newly disembarked CSM in the torrent. Unfortunately, one of the templates got hot and failed to go off, so I only got to drop one template on him. I killed one Spawn, wounded another, and killed 5 of the CSM. The Remoras joined in and forced a wound on his warlord and on a Spawn. My Heatwave was out of range, but my Cloudbursts killed all but 4 of the Cultists, which passed their morale check..
    I used the thrust moves to reposition my models farther away from him, and to keep my Cloudbursts over 6" from the center. 

    Khorne Turn 3

    His infantry were melting away, and his summon last turn wouldn't be around to help for another turn or two at least, so he decided to summon some more bloodletters. He brought them down right next to my Firewarriors to bolster his attack on that flank, where the bulk of my army seemed to be. He also got Feel No Pain for his army.
    He continued his advance, setting up for his charge this turn.
    The Soul Grinder killed a Deathrain with its torrent (the Shas'O was not the closest model). The CSM in the left side killed my Sunforge with shooting.
    Then everything charged. The Bloodletters near the center of the board charged the nearby Y'vahra, losing a few to Overwatch. The Soul Grinder near my Deathrains miraculously failed its charge (it only needed 4"!). His warlord and the two remaining Spawn charged my own Warlord+Drones. My Shas'O put up an admirable defense, killing both of the Spawn and wounding the Chaos Lord once. However, the Chaos Lord smashed him to pieces with his Power Fist. In hindsight, I probably should have challenged him to get all my attacks on the Lord first. Duh.
    The Bloodletters wounded my Y'vahra again, but he squashed a couple underfoot as well. Towards the center, the Possessed had charged my Heatwave, losing two members to combined Overwatch. The Heatwave died quickly.

    Tau Turn 4

    It was becoming increasingly obvious that the dice gods had abandoned my opponent. I was doing well, and he was having an uphill battle against his own dice rolls. However, even with my advantage, the score was still only 1-0 in my favor for the primary mission. We kept breaking even on table quarters!
    I didn't move a ton this turn, since there was no escape. I needed to kill a ton of stuff or I would get mauled in the following assaults. Thankfully, I still had the majority of my heavy hitters on the board.
    My Sunforge on the right-hand jumped forward and killed one of the CSM. The Remoras managed to put enough hits on the wounded Chaos Lord that he failed his saves and FNP. The Riptide focused on the back of the remaining Soul Grinder, killing it as well. My Firewarriors fired at the newly arrived Bloodletters, killing more than I had expected to but there were still three left. My Cloudbursts and Sunforge focused fire on the Possessed, wiping them out.
    My Y'vahra missed his attacks, but did not take any wounds in return. In a last ditch effort, I charged his Bloodletters with my Firewarriors. Sadly, I was only able to kill one before the warriors were run down in combat. It was a useless gesture, but could have been hilarious.
    I had successfully removed most of his army and felt pretty confident that I would win the game. However, he DID have the max amount of blood tithe points after losing so many units and characters.

    Khorne Turn 4

    He summoned the Bloodthirster out of one of his two remaining CSM.
    His Bloodletters that had a mishap earlier were finally getting close (please excuse their missing movement arror), but he chose to run instead of risking a long charge, fearing the Overwatch from my BS2 Cloudbursts and twin-linked Drones. The two remaining Bloodletters in my zone hugged some ruins for cover. His CSM all moved to try and stay alive.
    The Bloodthirster, in Swooping Mode, attacked my Riptide with its whip but did no damage.
    The Y'vahra killed a Bloodletter and took no wounds again.

    Tau Turn 5

    My center Sunforge hopped into the trench, The right-hand Sunforge hopped on top of the hill. My Kroot moved up as fast as they could to try and draw some LOS on the last two Bloodletters.
    My Cloudbursts and Deathrains just barely wiped out his Bloodletter unit that was approaching, my Sunforge killed two cultists. My Riptide landed a Fusion hit on the Bloodthirster, wounding it once. The other Sunforge killed off the last CSM in that table quarter.
    The Y'vahra landed one of his attacks and took no wounds. 

    Khorne Turn 5

    His army was essentially gone at this point, so we were just finishing up. He summoned another unit of Bloodletters inside the ruins in my deployment zone. His Bloodthirster went into Gliding mode and moved into my table quarter. His CSM on the other side of the board stayed where it was relatively safe for them.
    The Y'vahra and Bloodletters failed to kill each other, but my Y'vahra did use its VRT to hit-and-run out of combat, leaving the Bloodletters high and dry for shooting next turn, if there would be one.

    We rolled to see if the game continued but it ended on a 2.


    I had marked his Cultists for death and he had marked my Kroot, so only I scored that secondary. I scored First Blood, he scored Linebreaker, and we both scored Slay the Warlord.

    The game ended with me scoring a single point for the primary. What I had forgotten at the time, was that summoned units never count for scoring purposes. However, I had been counting all of his summoned Bloodletters and Bloodthirster as scoring when totaling up how many units he had in each table quarter. I am not sure if I would have scored any extra points, possibly one or two, but he certainly shouldn't have scored Linebreaker. Either way, it did not affect the final outcome of the game, just our standings in the tournament. And I needed another 8 VP's to catch the #1 player so an extra one here and there would have made little difference.

    Khorne: Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker,  0 primary objectives. 4 VP
    Tau: First Blood, Marked for Death(Cultists), Slay the Warlord. 1 primary objective. 7 VP

    Tau Victory! 


    My opponent was a very fun guy to play with, and he had a great attitude even in the face of extreme luck on my part and some pretty unfortunate rolling on his own part. Even though the game ended with his army basically gone, I wasn't scoring as many points as I could have been. That was mostly due to my limited movement options as his advance forced me back in the early turns.
    I am pretty sure that my narrow victory could easily have gone the other way if he'd only made a 4" charge with his Soul Grinder. Killing even that one unit would have granted him a greater numbers advantage on that side of the board and I might not have been able to counter it. The extreme luck with the Y'vahra's Overwatch also probably saved me from the other Soul Grinder.

    The Daemonkin are very fun to play against, though much of that could have been my opponent. I think that overall, I had a good amount of firepower, but I didn't have a strong enough alpha-strike to take the wind out of his sails before he was in my lines. I was only able to kill one Soul Grinder and the Maulerfiends before he was on me, and two Soul Grinders plus his Warlord/Spawn  should have been plenty for messing up my lines, it just didn't go that way for him.

    I felt bad for him, but it happens. It is just too bad it happened in the last round of the day.


    • Monats. They saved my skin against the overwhelming numbers of units my opponent brought. Without them I would never have been able to engage so many of his weaker/throwaway units and contest table quarters. 
    • Y'vahra. Performed well, even after failing two NOVA tests. Lucky Overwatch with the Ion weapon was a game changer and saved my lines from the devastation of the Soul Grinder. Very handy this game. He also held up the Bloodletters for 5 rounds of close combat, jumping out of combat after 3 tries (average!) to cause major damage next turn, even though the next turn didn't happen. VRT are pretty handy on this guy.
    • Cloudbursts. This game they still didn't kill a ton of stuff, but they really tipped the infantry battle in my favor in his deployment zone. Their scary Overwatch prevented some charges even being attempted. I am just glad they got to see some table-time this game!
    • Remoras. Like the Cloudbursts, they gave me a bit of S5 firepower with a couple seeker missiles thrown in for an added bonus. They also had the unexpected effect of blocking a Soul Grinder's movement without putting themselves in any danger.


    • Kroot. They contributed almost nothing, which is actually mostly my own choice in order to keep them alive. Some ruins also kept them from being able to contribute very much shooting.
    • Riptide. This game, even though he put out some respectable damage, he attracted almost no attention. My opponent must have been too savy, but the Remoras also accidentally screened him from assault. His job of soaking up damage for the rest of my army simply did not happen this game. He didn't take a single wound and was only ever targeted once.

    Lessons Learned

    Need more Dakka! I should have been more focused in my shooting and movement. I tried to engage his entire line of machines and ended up only killing half of them before they were on top of me. I also dropped my suits all over the place in an attempt to counter his board control. Had I focused on two quarters I might have been able to kill off his more deadly units quicker and then advance into the other two quarters.
    Instead I went for all 4 quarters and got only a single primary point for my trouble, though I probably should have scored more like 3 or 4 primary points...

    His un-luck was a reminder that sometimes the dice gods abandon you and you have to make the most of it. I had some good rolling, but what if I'd had less amazing rolls? Could I still win? Could I mitigate those shortcomings with list tweaks or in-game tactics?

    For sure I need to put less faith in my dice. They tend to roll well for me, better than other players (at least that is how I feel) but I can't rely on that to win games. I need to win games even with horrible dice rolling! Definitely a reality check for myself, even if the bad luck was mostly on the other side of the table.
    Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. 


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