2000 Points ITC Mission 3 – Grey Knights vs Deathwatch

Today I played another tournament prep game to get ready for the Basement Open next weekend in Sudbury, Ontario. My opponent was a friend of mine who I haven’t seen since before I stopped playing almost a year ago, and he kept attending tournaments while I sat around wishing I hadn’t stopped playing Warhammer. I think this batrep will be a great example of how to position units while playing Grey Knights, and it’ll hopefully provide some insight into how to play a fast gunline into an assault army.

The Lists

My list was the same battalion and vanguard as I ran in my last game, but with a couple psychic powers swapped around.

Brother Captain – WARLORD, Nemesis Daemon Hammer, Psycannon, Vortex of Doom
Lord Kaldor Draigo – Purge Soul, Hammerhand
Grandmaster Voldus – Sanctuary, Gate of Infinity, Astral Aim

3x 5-man Strike Teams – Justicars with Halberds, 3x Falchions/unit, 1 Psycannon/unit, Gate of Infinity

10-man Paladin Squad – Paragon with Nemesis Daemon Hammer, 2x Nemesis Warding Staves, 7x Nemesis Force Halberds, Hammerhand
10-man Paladin Squad – Paragon with Nemesis Daemon Hammer, 2x Nemesis Warding Staves, 7x Nemesis Force Halberds, Astral Aim
Paladin Ancient – Psycannon, Banner of Refining Flame, Astral Aim
Apothecary – Nemesis Daemon Hammer, Sanctuary

His list was a really cool and aggressive Primaris Deathwatch with mixed killteams that I was honestly terrified of. It was 2 battalions, plus an assassin that he chose at the table and paid 2CP for.

Watch Master – WARLORD
Watch Captain – Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm shield
2x Watch Captain

3x 5-man Intercessor units (technically kill teams)
3x 10-man Kill Teams – 5 Intercessors with assault bolters, 4x Aggressors, and 1x Inceptor

Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought – Twin Lascannon
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought – Twin Lascannon, Missiles

Callidus Assassin

Secondaries

I chose Headhunter, Old School, and Ground Control for my Secondaries. His army was a lot more mobile than mine on average, so I knew I’d need to stall out the game and take the table slowly, so scoring for objectives at the end of the game would be a lot better for me than recon since it wouldn’t require that I move to any particular area in which I wouldn’t be safe. Old school also seemed like a good choice since it’d let me score 2 points at the end of the game where if I was in a position to win those’d be easy anyway, and a 5-man intercessor unit is a pretty easy first strike. The only one I wasn’t sure about was Slay the Warlord but I dedided to go for it.

He chose Gangbusters, Marked for Death on my Strike Teams and Draigo, and Kingslayer on my Brother Captain. He figured he’d have to kill the paladins either way so Gangbusters was a given, and Draigo would be the most likely character to get in his face and risk dying. Marked for Death on strike teams is also ridiculously easy. 5-man intercessor units have twice as many wounds at the same toughness and save and they’re not even high enough power level to get marked, but our tac-equivalent strikes are PL 7.

Deployment

We rolled up Dawn of War for the deployment type and my friend got to drop the first unit. Since this was an odd numbered mission the deployment went back and forth ending in a roll-off, which I won. He spread his units out across his whole deployment zone not knowing what I’d do since my first 5 drops were all put into reserves, and then I stuck my paladins in what I hoped would be a big enough piece of terrain to make it impossible to shoot them even after his movement, with my characters mixed in with the unit and flanking it back a couple inches so the paladins would definitely be the closest unit and he wouldn’t be able to shoot them. I was scared of the big Killteams, but I was also scared of his dreads, so I planned while deploying how I’d play through the game while trying to make it impossible for them to shoot me most of the time, and also decided to lead him on a wild goose chase with his Killteams that could all advance and fire.

I deepstruck my Warlord, Strikes, and the Paladin unit with Hammerhand.

His deployment was asymmetrical, with one dread in the left corner from my point of view and the other more central, and that was really what decided my going right off the start.

Turn One

After winning the roll-off to decide who would go first I decided to make him go first since I was pretty sure my deployment would deny him a kill on the first turn.

On his turn he advanced everything in his army except for one of his dreadnoughts, which he still moved it’s maximum movement and got line of sight on my paladins and killed 3 of them with it’s 4 lascannons.

On my turn I advanced all my characters forwards and moved the paladins, then buffed them up with Astral Aim and gated them into the ruin in the center of the table. With Psybolt amminunition they cleared out one of the 5-man intercessor units. My characters were behind and to the right of the ruin so that my paladins who were hidden outside LoS would screen for them against the majority of my opponent’s army to deny him more shooting.

I scored first strike, and 1 kill to his 0 for kill and kill more. I also held my deployment objective, but he held 2 with the left objective he’d advanced one of his Killteams on to. He also scored 1 Gangbusters point for killing 2 Paladins.

The score was 4 – 3 for the Grey Knights.

Turn Two

As you can see in this picture, nothing on the left side (his 2 dreadnoughts and 2 of his 10-man killteams) can actually fire because they have no valid targets.

On my opponent’s turn 2 he advanced further forwards and got one of his 10-man Killteams far enough forwards to be able to shoot into my characters. He chose Draigo, hoping to get his Marked for Death point, but only actually did 5 wounds. There was nothing else that he could fire with.

On my turn 2 I fully committed to the right side, and dropped my strike teams all in ruins. One strike team held my home objective, and one held the magic box in center-table to act as a screen from my characters getting shot if my paladins made their charges and the characters didn’t. The third unit in the corner ruin was to charge with from outside LoS to try to ignore overwatch, but they failed their 9″ charge.

My shooting killed the 5-man Killteam, and Draigo and my wounded Paladin squad made their charges to kill the primaris marines.

Draigo took 3 wounds when my opponent interrupted combat, but the Apothecary had healed him for 3 wounds in turn 2 anyway so he was just back down to 2. After fighting the paladins piled in to give Draigo a pocket to sit in which would protect him from being attacked when my opponent dropped in his assassin.

I scored Kill and Kill more, while he killed 0. I also took the right objective from him so we tied at holding 2-2. The score became 7 – 4 with me leading.

Turn Three

On turn three my opponent got line of sight against my wounded paladin unit with his dreads and killed 2 more. He also charged my strike team in the center magic box with his Smash Captain, but I rolled a 6 to save and my justicar both survived and passed his morale test.

He pulled his captain from the right side of the table and placed it behind his smash captain in the lines if his intercessors because he knew it’d definitely die otherwise.

I thought I’d make a really cool play and advance my Banner of Refining Flame ancient into the center objective and smite with both him and my lonely strike marine to kill the Smash Captain. I’d also Astral Aim my 10-man Paladin unit and Gate of Infinity to get them into the magic box once the Smash Captain was dead. Of course, I periled on the smite so CP rerolled to get it off, then rolled a 1 on the mortal wound and completely failed.

If I’d succeeded I would have put the 10-man paladin unit in the magic box and shot the 5 man intercessor squad in my opponent’s deployment zone to give the other paladin unit a clear shot at the captain back there and I’d suddenly have hold more, but there was nowhere near the center of the table that was safe to put my paladins so I put them in his deployment zone instead and just shot the captain directly since he was the closest model. The Intercessor unit would just have to live a little longer.

To stop the Smash Captain from heroically intervening to finish the strike team for a point or killing my ancient I charged him through a wall with Voldus and killed him when my opponent whiffed on his save rolls. He fought when he died but Voldus only failed one save.

My warlord made a charge into the intercessor unit I had wanted to kill with shooting and just started slowly killing his way through them. Draigo failed his charge.

I scored Kill, Kill More, and Hold. I also scored 2 Headhunter points for his captains, and one for his assassin which counted as destroyed since he forgot to deepstrike it. (He totally forgot he had taken the first turn since he hadn’t actually accomplished anything with it). He scored 1 more point for Gangbusters against the paladins but didn’t kill anything. He did hold objectives though, so he got that point.

The score was 13 – 6 at the end of turn three.

Turn Four

All the units on top of buildings are actually on the ground floor. We just put them on top to make pictures clearer.

On my opponent’s turn four he finally got a Killteam far enough across the table to get line of sight on my strike teams, and killed a couple more paladins on the unit he was working on for Gangbusters, which he capped out that turn. He shot the strike marines with his Killteam, but I used a CP reroll on a save and saved the last guy. He also fired missiles from a dread to a unit I had pulled out of cover and killed 3, after which one ran away, leaving every strike unit on the table at 1 model.

On my turn I advanced my last strike marine from my friendly objective into the center ruin. I also advanced the last strike on the right side run back into LoS blocking terrain.

I used gate of infinity on my paladin unit to put them behind his Killteam on the left objective to take out his characters.

My paladins shot his captain to death, then rolled a 12″ charge into his warlord.

With the charge that killed his warlord I’d also pile in to both of his dreadnoughts and his killteam, meaning his dreads wouldn’t be able to return fire in the next turn, and his Killteam wouldn’t be able to advance far enough to get the inceptor into the center ruin for line of sight on the individual strike teams for his marked for death points. My brother captain and Draigo also killed the rest of his intercessor unit in his center deployment ruin and were in line to come and kill the dreads in the next turn while my paladins killed one of the 10-man kill teams on the way to my bottom objective, where they’d table my opponent on turn 6 and score me maximum points for Ground Control and the bonus point for the 6th battle round.

It was after having all of this explained to him that my opponent conceded, awarding me a 33 – 0 victory by ITC rules.

Final Thoughts

I was really happy with my performance in this game, particularly in my positioning to deny my opponent shooting opportunities, but I shouldn’t have set up a play like in turn 3 that all hinged on getting a big smite off. Dice don’t always agree with you and leaving yourself with no good options is pretty disappointing.

I think my opponent’s big mistake was trying to cover too much of the table too soon and splitting his army. He had units on the right and left objectives while I controlled the center, so I was able to hide from the majority of his army while putting all my output into a third of his list before turning back around and playing a then unbalanced game. I spent most of my time hiding from him and if he’d stayed more centralized across 2 objectives it would have been a lot more dangerous for me to make aggressive plays to try to score kill more, and he might have actually won. So yeah, if you get the chance to segregate different parts of your opponent’s army, do it. If you’re playing a mobile gunline into an elite assault army do NOT split your stuff and try to cover the table. Make them come at you so you get some time to shoot them. Also don’t forget that you can screen for characters with models that aren’t even inside line of sight, which is amazing because then your opponent’s shooting becomes entirely ineffective.

I hope at least some of you found this one helpful. It’ll probably help Grey Knights more than anyone else. I’ll hopefully get another army soon and have some more varied Battle Reports for you.

Comment below if you have any questions, comments, or requests for lists you’d like to see me play against.

Until next time, go kick some ass.

Freddie Lovebeard

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