I’ve been pretty hard on tournaments in the past (trawl through my previous posts if you’re bored).  However, the players in Highland are getting some pretty heavy prize support from a local store, and they sold it as a balanced well run tournament.

I was intrigued.  That rarely happens when you mention the word “tournament” around me.

Rules stated that the list should be 2000, and follow all the rules for army composition.  This turned me off a little, as 40K has been going into the “buy this formation for an auto-win” direction.  So, I played with another rule.

I went full Highlander.

It’s not a Highlander tournament, I was just in a Highlander mood.  For those unaware, a Highlander list cannot have ANY repeat choices, except for troops.  I’m not talking the lame Space Wolf rule that two exactly identical characters but one has melta bombs counts.  I mean if you choose a Librarian, you can’t take another.  This prevents spam, overpowered crap, and other stuff that makes 40K just unbearable to me.

So I decided to do an experiment.  Other people are going to bring their lists this week, so I’d pit my list against theirs and see if I had a chance.  If new 40K codex creep makes a balanced, fun, fluffy list untenable then Tournaments are not my scene.  However, if I have a chance, I’m going for it.

So, how’d it go?  Let’s find out!


Custom Tournament Mission #4: Right Place at the Wrong Time

Deployment is decided randomly.  During the tournament, all simultaneous games will have the same deployment.  We rolled Vanguard Strike (corners).

Six objectives are placed as per a Maelstrom mission from the core rulebook.  When an objective is first claimed, roll a D6.   On a 1, the objective explodes with a S5 AP4 3″ blast from the objective, and the objective is removed.  On a 2-3, the objective is fake, remove it.  On a 4, the objective is real!  Roll a D6 to determine what kind of Mysterious Objective it is.  Re-roll all results of 1, as the objective is not booby trapped.  After 3 objectives have been removed as fakes, or found to be real, either remove objectives or mark them as real so that 3 real objectives remain.

Objective are worth 3 VPs.  First Blood, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord score as normal.

All tournament boards will have the following terrain:

– 2 ruined buildings, chipboard around building counts as area terrain

– 2 hills or craters, or a mix

– 1 impassable line of sight blocking wall

– 1 river or other water hazard

– 2 forests that count as “twisted copses” from the main rulebook

– 1 building, armor 14 all around, with entrances on all 4 sides, one fire point on each side.  This building has the special rule “At any cost necessary” which allows you to target the building, even if your own troops are occupying it (for Maelstrom missions).


Bozeman – 2000 point Highlander (battle forged)

– Leonidas, captain of the 1st company (counts as Vulkan He’stan)

– Librarian, Level 2, Space Marine Bike, Flame Breath, Fire Shield, Spontaneous Combustion

– Tactical Squad x 10, Veteran Sergeant, Combi-Melta, Power Fist, Meltagun, Multi-melta in a Rhino

– Tactical Squad x 10, Veteran Sergeant, Combi-Flamer, Power Fist, Flamer, Multi-melta in a Rhino

– Scouts x 5 with bolters, in a Land Speeder Storm with a Multi-melta

– Dreadnought, 2x Twin Linked Autocannons

– Ironclad Dreadnought, Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers, in a Drop Pod

– Assault Squad x 5, 2x Flamers, removed Jump Packs, in a FREE Drop Pod

– Bike Squad x 8 plus an Attack Bike, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, 2x Meltaguns, Multi-melta

– Land Speeders x 3, 3x Multi-meltas

– Thunderfire Cannon

– Whirlwind

– Predator Destructor (autocannon), Heavy Bolter Sponsons


Dominic – 2000 Eldar (unbound)

– Wraith Host Formation

— Spiritseer, Embolden/Horrify, Protect/Jinx, Conceal/Reveal

— Wraithguard x 5 with Wraithcannons, in a Wave Serpent with a Scatter Laser and Holofields

— Wraithguard x 5 with D-scythes, in a Wave Serpent with a Scatter Laser and Holofields

— Wraithguard x 5 with Wraithblades, in a Wave Serpent with a Scatter Laser and Holofields

— Wraithlord, 2x flamer, Ghostglaive, 2x Brightlances

— Wraithknight with Suncannon and Scattershield

– Farseer, (warlord trait: split fire), Guide, Mind War, Fortune, Will of Asuryan

– Dire Avengers x 10, Exarch, Shimmershield in a Wave Serpent with a Scatter Laser and Holofields

– Crimson Hunter with an Exarch Pilot.



Above setup map enhanced with MS Paint to show the position of the 6th objective.


Turn 1 – Eldar

Wave Serpents move out and fire on the Rhinos, taking 2 hull points off each and immobilizing one.  The Wraithknight fires on the bikes, forcing them to jink and killing 2.  The objective by the wave serpent explodes and disappears.

The Eldar move out.

Flames under fire!

Turn 1 – Azure Flames

The Ironclad drops in, but a holofield save prevent its meltagun from popping a Wave Serpent.  The rest of the army moves out and fires, killing the Wave Serpent holding the Wraithguard with D-scythes.  Objective behind the wall is real!

Move out!

The whole army was necessary to kill one Wave Serpent…  This does not bode well.  Plus, Holofields are a hell of a drug.

Turn 2 – Eldar

Wraithguard with D-Cannons pop out and destroy a Rhino.  A bad morale check leaves the occupants pinned!  Further fire from Dire Avengers whittle a few tactical marines away.  The D-scythe Wraithguard annihilate the Ironclad. Lucky Jink saves protect the Land Speeders.  Bike combat squad with the attack bike takes a few casualties.  They fall back 4″.  Side shots wreck the Predator.  The Wraithlord arrives from reserves and walks on.  The Eldar reveal two more fake objectives, all the rest are real!

Jink for your lives!


Turn 2 – Azure Flames

Leonidas and the Assault Squad arrive and bake the Dire Avengers.  Scouts arrive in the Land Speeder Storm.  Librarian casts Fire Shield on the assault Squad.  Lucky melta shot on the Crimson Hunter causes a penetrating hit, and forces the jet to fly off the table next turn.

Dire Avengers go bye-bye.

Masses fire has little effect when the enemy can ignore it…

Turn 3 – Eldar

Th D-scythes vent their rage on the Drop Pod.  The Wraithknight kills all but Leonidas and one Assault Marine.  The Wraithguard with wraithblades attemp to charge the bikes, but re-rolling meltas kill one and prevent the charge!  A Wave Serpent fires on the Whirlwind, glancing it.

Overwatch saves the day!

Sneaky Wave Serpent!

Turn 3 – Azure Flames

Leonidas, the Assault Squad, and the Tactical Squad assault the Wave Serpent on the hill, killing it.  The Librarian suffers a Perils of the Warp, and overcharges himself, gaining a whole slew of POWER!  He and the bikes assault a second Wave Serpent, killing it.  The other Tactical Squad assaults the last Wave Serpent, also killing it.  Hat trick!

Krak goes the grenade.

Marines with krak grenades STANDARD are fantastic.  You used to have to pay 2 points in 3rd edition!

Turn 4 – Eldar

The Wraithknight fires on Leonidas, and kills the last assault marine.  It tries to charge Leonidas, but a roll of 4 with -2 for difficult terrain fails.  The Crimson Hunter arrives, and kills the Dreadnought.  Fire kills one Land Speeder.  Wraithblade Wraithguard charge the bikes, killing all but the Librarian.  Wraithguard with D-scythes destroy one Land Speeder and the last saves with a lucky jink from the Wraithlord.

Planes are an aspect now?

I COULD charge you… but, I’m tired… yeah, that’s the ticket.

The Wraithguard make the bikes pay for their arrogance.

The Land Speeders provide a distraction.

Turn 4 – Azure Flames

The Tactical Squad charges to save the Librarian.  They kill one Wraithguard, but lose two, lose combat, and flee… four inches.  Leonidas boldly charges the Wraithknight to delay it, and succeeds, surviving the attacks.  The last Land Speeder flees behind the building to secure Linebreaker, while the Bikes advance.

Combat does not go as planned, but the Librarian is extricated.

A last, desperate charge.

Not pictured: the Land Speeder behind the building.

Turn 5 – Eldar

The Crimson Hunter arrives, after being forced to fly off the board.  It forces the tactical squad on the hill to go to ground.  Wraithlord and Wraithguard advance on the objective by the crater.  The Wraithknight finishes off Leonidas for Slay the Warlord.  Wraithblades charge the Tactical Squad, but are all killed.

Aircraft incoming!

Objective is being held.

Leonidas held as long as he could…

Turn 5 – Azure Flames

Bikes contest the objective and kill a Wraithguard.  Librarian and Tactical Squad move out towards the hill.  Land Speeder Storm peeks out from behind the building.  Game continues to turn 6.

Selling their lives dearly.

The Librarian moves to assist the beleaguered tactical squad.

Turn 6 – Eldar

Wraithknight shoots, assaults, breaks, and chases off the board the tactical squad on the hill.  It consolidates right in front of the Librarian.  Crimson Hunter takes aim at the Thunderfire holding the objective, and precision shots kill the Techmarine, removing the Thunderfire.  D-scythes end the bike squad.

Come get it!

Bikes are toast.

Precision shots clear the objective!

Turn 6 – Azure Flames

Whirlwind moves up to claim the objective behind the wall.  Tactical squad runs 6″ behind the Wraithknight, and secure the objective.  Scouts run out of the Land Speeder Storm, and thanks to Objective Secured, steal the crater objective right out from under the Eldar!  Game ends!


Final score:

Azure Flames – 3 objectives plus First Blood and Linebreaker – 11 VPs

Eldar – Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker – 2 VPs


Well, even with D-strength flamers, and a fancy-schmancy formation, the Highlander came out on top.  It looks like this might be a tournament worthy list after all.  Let’s do it!

Dominic’s list has neat stuff, but because the Wraithguard are so expensive, it had few options to hold points.  Those D-scythes are potent terror weapons, but they need to be in position to do the most damage.  They can also only kill one unit per turn, so a list with lots of targets can overwhelm them.  Personally, I’d like to see more aspect warriors.  Some Fire Dragons and Striking Scorpions would be awesome in Wave Serpents.

Next: some more Gothic if I can swing it, an Assault Squad painted, and more Highland tournament prep!  Stay tuned!

By Bozeman

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