Counter Offensive 8 by Kenton Kilgore
I don’t care what T.S. Eliot said: August, not April, is the cruelest month. That’s because August is when my family likes to go on vacation, often at the same time as Counter Offensive, an annual gathering of gamers for a weekend of casual brutality at Dream Wizards in Rockville, MD. I’ve had to miss some of the COs, but not this one.
At each CO, I try to bring several of my armies and get in a lot of games. Accordingly, I’m bringing four of my six collections (the Dark Eldar and Necrons are sitting out), each at 1500 points so I can get through games quickly.
Often when I go to Counter Offensive (or Fall From Grace, CO’s predecessor), I assemble my armies based around a certain theme (here’s a good example). I’ve been on a bit of a losing streak lately, so this year’s theme is “Winning With Style.” And what, exactly, does that mean?
Briefly, “winning with style” is how I believe 40K should be played, striking a balance between soulless, win-at-all-costs, hyper-competitive armies and flaccid, no-challenge, “max-fluffy” lists. So while my armies are built to win, there are certain lines I don’t intend to cross (for example, no special characters). I’ll have more about “winning with style” some other time….
Necrons vs. Greyhammer (Loyalist) Space Marines at Counter Offensive 5
Fighting Tigers of Veda (1500 points)
My oldest (and largest) army started off strong in the Return to Auros IX campaign but ultimately got outwitted and outfought by the wily Warboss Sho-T BigHed and his Blood Axe Orks. Time to re-tool and dispel the notion that my guys are a bunch of paper tigers.
· Librarian Chandramatie Bahl
· Squad Rudra 2, Ghuyarashtra. Sergeant w/ power fist, combi-flamer; eight Tactical Marines w/ bolters; one w/ melta gun. Mounted in Rhino w/ extra armor
· Squad Rudra 3, Ghuyarashtra. Sergeant w/ power fist, combi-flamer; eight Tactical Marines w/ bolters; one w/ melta gun. Mounted in Rhino w/ extra armor and pintle-mounted storm bolter
· Kali Squadron 3. Three Attack Bikes w/ multi-meltas
· Squad Agni 1, Ghuyarashtra. Sergeant w/ signum and storm bolter; three Devastator Marines w/ missile launchers; one w/ heavy bolter. Razorback w/ twin-linked lascannons, dozer blade, extra armor
· Squad Agni 2, Mahaduyana. Sergeant w/ signum; three Devastator Marines w/ missile launchers; one w/ lascannon. Razorback w/ twin-linked lascannons, dozer blade, extra armor
· Tyger Tyger. Predator w/ twin-linked lascannons (turret), lascannons sponsons, extra armor
So let’s review: Tac guys to grab objectives; mobility in the form of Rhinos, Razors and bikes; infantry-killing dakka from missile launchers; tank-killing from several lascannons and some multi-meltas; backup from a psyker. As for “style,” Tigers have that in spades, anyway, but this list has no heavy weapons in the Tac Squads and includes Attack Bikes where most competitive folks prefer Speeders. Let’s see how this fares….
Fighting Tigers vs. Vindicator Space Marines in a “training session” from Counter Offensive 6
Fearful Symmetry (1492 points)
A lot of players don’t like the latest version of Codex: Chaos Space Marines, but I think that, just like my renegades, it’s not bad, just misunderstood. Usually, I field a lot of Chaos Terminators, but this time out, I’m doing something a little different.
· Varman Kumar. Counts as Chaos Sorcerer w/ Doombolt, Warptime, personal icon and familiar
· Greater Rakshasas. Count as 9 Possessed Marines w/ Mark of Tzeentch. Mounted in Rhino w/ extra armor
· Squad Rudra 1. Counts as Aspiring Champion w/ power fist and combi-flamer and nine Chaos Space Marines, including one w/ Icon of Chaos Glory and one w/ melta gun. Mounted in Rhino w/ dozer blade and extra armor
· Squad Rudra 2. Counts as Aspiring Champion w/ power fist and combi-flamer and nine Chaos Space Marines, including one w/ Icon of Chaos Glory and one w/ melta gun. Mounted in Rhino w/ extra armor
· Lesser Rakshasas. Count as 14 Lesser Daemons
· Bronze Tyger 1. Counts as Defiler w/ battle cannon, twin-lascannon replacing reaper autocannon, havoc launcher replacing heavy flamer
· Bronze Tyger 2. Counts as Defiler w/ battle cannon, twin-lascannon replacing reaper autocannon, havoc launcher replacing heavy flamer
Defilers might not be the best use of Heavy Support slots, but this is where the “style” part of “winning with style” comes in, because I love me my Defiler conversions, which look like big robot tigers. They’ll supply the anti-tank while the rest of the army advances towards some hand-to-hand squishiness.
The Fearful Symmetry clash with Fighting Tigers and the Sisters of Mercy at Counter Offensive 5
Kurindans (1498 points)
Speaking of hand-to-hand, I’ve revamped my proxied Tyranids again, breaking this army into two sections: a “jump-up-and-slice-you-plenty-quick-quick-into-moist-chunks” part and a “tromp-along-and-eat-whatever-of-you-is-left” part. First, the “jumpers”:
· !Klrt (mounted on Mutant Dracosaur). Counts as Hive Tyrant w/ wings, stranglethorn cannon, lash whip and bonesword, Leech Essence, Paroxysm, and Old Adversary
· Troglodyte Rampage. Counts as 24 Hormagaunts w/ toxin sacs
· Troglodyte Rampage. Counts as 24 Hormagaunts w/ toxin sacs
· Trogs on Dracosaurs. Counts as 4 Tyranid Shrikes w/ lash whip and bonesword, scything talons
· Newt “Hoppers”. Count as 20 Gargoyles w/ toxin sacs
Now, the “trompers”:
· Newtsaurian. Counts as Tervigon (Troop unit) w/ Dominion, Catalyst, toxin sacs, and adrenal glands
· Newt “Regulars”. Count as 11 Termagants w/ fleshborers
· Venosaurian. Counts as Venomthrope
· Megasaur. Counts as Trygon w/ adrenal glands
My Kurindans got owned pretty hard in their last battle, with the Trygon being useless for nothing more than plasma-gun target practice, so I hope I can do better with them this time. As for “style,” this list eschews the “Tervigons x5 + Hive Guard x3” mentality that forms most ‘Nid lists and uses a variety of units.
Proxied Trygon about to be harshed by several Space Wolves. Some days, it’s hard to be a Monstrous Critter.
Dvergar Steeljacks (1495 points)
My other “proxy” army is made up of Dwarf figures (most of them from the Warhammer Fantasy line) that use Codex: Orks for rules. Conventional wisdom has it that Orks are not competitive, but I’ve had reasonably good success with my guys.
· Black Warspar. Counts as Warboss w/ bosspole, ‘eavy armor, cybork body, and power klaw
· Marauders Squad. Counts as Painboy and 9 Nobz. All Nobz have ‘eavy armor; one has Waaagh banner and power klaw, eight have big choppas
· Dvergar Crawler (for Marauders). Counts as Battlewagon w/ armor plates, grot riggers, deff rolla, and big shoota
· Regulars. Count as 20 Boyz. Two have big shootas, 18 have shootas
· Dvergar Crawler (for Regulars). Counts as Battlewagon w/ armor plates, grot riggers, deff rolla, and big shoota
· Steel Troopers. Count as 20 ‘Ard Boyz w/ slugga and choppa. One is a Nob w/ power klaw.
· Dvergar Crawler (for Steel Troopers). Counts as Battlewagon w/ armor plates, grot riggers, deff rolla, and big shoota
· Flametongues. Count as 10 Burna Boyz.
· Dvergar Crawler (for Flametongues). Counts as Battlewagon w/ armor plates, grot riggers, deff rolla, and big shoota
Nothing fancy here (not that there ever is with this army): just straight-up smashmouth 40K, AFC-North style. If my opponent can stop one or more Battlewagons from reaching their lines, they’ll probably do fine. If not, then they’ll find that my Steeljacks hit like their inspiration. As for “style,” most Ork armies I’m familiar with either use lots of infantry or lots of Trukks: there aren’t many I’ve seen that go for this many Bwagons. Also, no Nobz on bikes, and most of them have the same weaponry, avoiding that gimmicky rule-lawyering a lot of people use with their Nobz.
Proxy vs. proxy: my Dvergar take on Ken Lacy’s uber-cool Slaan (standing in for Tau) at CO6
Off We Go!
I think my Tigers and Steeljacks will do well: the former are cracked out for shooting (especially against tanks, typically a weakness my armies have), the latter is primed to run roughshod over folks in hand-to-hand. I hope I have the right balance of “little critters” and “big scary monsters” in my Kurindans. I’m counting on the Possessed Marines to do the heavy lifting for the Fearful Symmetry, but of the four armies I’m bringing to CO8, this is the one I’m least confident in.
Come back soon and find out how they did….
Posted August 2011