2000 Point ITC Mission 1 – Grey Knights vs Imperium

Welcome back to Every Point Counts.

My name is Freddie Lovebeard, and today I played my Grey Knight army into my friend’s Imperial soup. This is a new list for him so he does have a couple place holders, but I’ll explain them all as I go through.

The Lists

I ran what has recently become my go to Battalion/Vanguard Grey Knight list.

Battalion

Brother Captain – WARLORD, Psycannon, Nemesis Daemon Hammer, First to the Fray, Vortex of Doom
Lord Kaldor Draigo – Hammerhand, Purge Soul

3x 5-man Strike Teams – Halberds on Justicars, 3x Falchions/unit, 1 Psycannon/unit

Vanguard

Grandmaster Voldus – Astral Aim, Sanctuary, Gate of Infinity

10-man Paladin Squad – Nemesis Daemon Hammer on Paragon, 7x Halberds, 2x Nemesis Warding Staves, Hammerhand
10-man Paladin Squad – Nemesis Daemon Hammer on Paragon, 7x Halberds, 2x Nemesis Warding Staves, Astral Aim
Apothecary – Nemesis Daemon Hammer, Sanctuary
Paladin Ancient – Psycannon, Astral Aim

My opponent ran a character heavy Imperium list.

Ravenguard Battalion

Librarian with Jump Pack – Warlord, Raven’s Fury, Silent Stalker, Force Staff, Bolt Pistol
Librarian in Terminator Armor – Force Staff, Storm Bolter

2x 5-man Scout Squads – Bolters, Camo Cloaks
1x 5-man Scout Squad – Snipers, Camo Cloaks

Adeptus Custodes Supreme Command Detachment

Shield Captain on Vertus Praetor – Hurricane Bolters, Misercordia, Auric Aquilis (Open the Vaults -1 CP)
2x Shield Captains on Vertus Praetors – Hurricane Bolters, Misercordia

House Terryn Super-Heavy

Knight Gallant – Heavy Stubber, Thunderstrike Gauntlet, Reaper Chainsword, Armour of Sainted Ion (Relic of the Household -1 CP), Champion of the Household (Exalted Court -3 CP)
Knight Gallant – Heavy Stubber, Thunderstrike Gauntlet, Reaper Chainsword, Landstrider (Exalted Court)
Knight Gallant – Heavy Stubber, Thunderstrike Gauntlet, Reaper Chainsword

Only one of the knights on the table was actually a Gallant, but we both agreed that using other knights as stand-ins wouldn’t cause any problems as long as we could keep track of which were which for the relics and such. The Knight Gallant with Champion of the Hosuehold and the Relic of Sainted Ion was his painted knight.

Table

I was significantly less worried about the match-up after I saw the table my friend had set up. All of the ruins that line up with each other he wanted to treat as enclosed ruins, so the large box in the center suddenly became knight-proof territory. After rolling up mission 1 and seeing that there were 6 objectives and 4 of them were well outside the center ruin I got a little more worried again. As you may be able to see there are 2 objectives in the center ruin, one by a ruin in the top left, one by the ruin in the bottom right, one in the bottom left crater, and one in the middle of nowhere in the top right.

Secondaries

I knew that I wouldn’t really be able to move around if the Gallants didn’t die, and I didn’t want to hide forever, so I took Titan Slayer as one of my secondaries because I knew I’d have to deal with the Knights anyway. I also took Kingslayer on the Painted Knight because 2 Knights is plenty to score maximum points on Titanslayer. I also thought I’d end up burying myself in the middle of the table for 2 objectives he wouldn’t easily be able to fight me off of until the knights were dealt with so I could handle them at my own pace. Recon might have been possible, but I went with Headhunter because his Smash Captains would have to play pretty aggressively to chase my strikes off objectives and I thought I would be able to catch them out for easy kills, and both of his librarians had Veil of Time and Nullzone, so I assumed they’d suicide in also.

He chose Gangbusters because he knew he’d have to kill Paladins, Headhunter because I had 5 characters, and Old School; probably because he just likes Old School.

Deployment

We rolled for deployment and he won the roll-off, so he rolled and got Spearhead Assault and chose the left side of the table.

I put 3 Strike Teams, my Warlord, and my Hammerhand Paladin unit into reserves so I could see how he was deploying before I placed anything. I ended up just trying to deploy so as to avoid his painted Knight who would get +2 to his advance and charge rolls from being next to the Landstrider knight, who would Full-Tilt, and Re-roll failed charges.

He didn’t have much shooting so I wasn’t too worried about leaving my terminator armor characters out ahead of the rest of my army, during deployment, and I put the paladins in a large ruin in my deployment zone because I couldn’t fit them up front without taking up too much space and giving my opponent an easy turn 1 charge if he won the roll-off to go first.

He put the painted knight and the Landstrider knight on one side and the non-character Gallant on the other. His sniper scouts sat on top of a ruin in the corner of his deployment zone with a Shield Captain behind them, and another scout unit sat in a crater on one of his objectives. The non-character Gallant was holding his second objective, and one shield captain was up front with his Jump Librarian behind the center ruin. His third scout squad was actually in the center ruin on the objective on his side.

I finished deploying first, so I got +1 to the roll-off to choose first turn, and I won the roll. My opponent tried to seize but failed.

Turn One

My turn one went by extremely fast. I cast Astral Aim on my Paladins and gated them into the center objective, and advanced my 3 characters in (all 3 of which rolled 6 on their advance rolls, which was nice). I wasn’t able to deepstrike within 3″ of the objective because of his scouts. After a few smites I fired 7 of my Paladins out at the unit of 5 scouts in the crater on his objective (killing them regardless of the -1 to hit) and the last 3 into the last 2 scouts from the unit in the center ruin.

I actually made a mistake by not deploying a strike team for the objective on the right side of my deployment zone, so I ended up only holding 2 objectives for the turn. One in the center ruin and one held by Voldus in my deployment zone.

On his turn 1 he flew his shield captain in the middle up onto the objective, and put his librarian with a jump pack on the second floor. He also advanced all his Knights up but couldn’t get within 12″ of Voldus to declare a charge and everything else was inside the center ruin so he didn’t have a lot of options for them. His shield captain behind the scouts moved up to hold the objective the Knight moved off of, and another shield captain took the objective in the crater.

His Librarian Smited for 2 Mortal Wounds into one of my Paladins, and his Shield Captain finished off the 1 model with it’s hurricane bolters, but he chose not to charge to score the point for Hold More.

I scored Kill, Hold and Kill More, while he scored Hold and Hold More. Neither of us scored any secondaries on turn 1, so I led 3 – 2.

Turn Two

Turn two was pretty massive for both of us. On my turn at the top of 2 I moved my paladins out of the center ruin to charge the painted Knight, and deepstruck my Hammerhand paladin unit in the center objective. I brought Voldus out of the ruin to jump in on the charge against the painted Knight, and got my Apothecary ready to follow up as well. I placed my Brother Captain to make sure I would get the reroll to charge on all of my units except for Draigo, and started killing stuff. I killed the Shield Captain Bike with storm bolter fire after a handful of smites, and got Hammerhand off on my Paladin unit that started on the table since they would have a much easier charge against the Knight than my Paladins would have whether I put them into the characters or the Knight.

After killing the Shield Captain I charged with my original paladin unit into the painted Knight, and proceeded to then fail the charge with Voldus, my Brother Captain, AND my Apothecary. I chained out a couple paladins so I could get the buffs from my Ancient and Draigo while fighting the Knight, and made the charge for my Paladin unit out of reserves to get into his Librarian, and my Paragon killed him himself so I didn’t have to roll the rest of the dice.

Fighting the Knight his 2+ save from the Armor of Sainted Ion and failing to get any of my characters in really slowed me down. I did 15 wounds when I first elected my paladins to fight, then he fought with his Knight, but then he spent 3 CP to fight again before I could do the same because his is immediately after fighting whereas mine is at the end of the fight phase. I then did fight a second time because I needed to finish off his knight, and the Paragon did it, but I was down to 3 paladins in the unit and I was left out in the open, so I just spread them out a little to make it harder for his other Gallant to get around them and charge all my characters who were standing around outside ruins.

On his turn he moved his Landstrider Gallant up and got ready to finish off the Paladins. He also brought his 2 Shield Captains into the center objective and shot a strike unit on the objective on my side off the table, and then charged Draigo and my Ancient. He killed the Ancient and put 5 wounds on Draigo. Draigo failed to kill the Shield Captain without a 3++ save, but brought it down to 1 wound.

He deepstruck his Terminator Librarian onto one of his objectives and advanced the scouts down the floors of the ruin they sat in to get on the other so he’d at least keep 2.

His Gallant did finish off my first Paladin Unit.

We both killed 3 units, so we both scored Kill, but no Kill More. We both scored Hold, but I scored Hold More because he charged the Ancient instead of the strike team to take one of the center objectives, so I held 3 to his 2. I scored 4 points for Kingslayer and 2 for Headhunter, and he scored 4 points for Gangbusters off my Paladin unit and one point for Headhunter on my Ancient.

At the end of the second Battle Round I was leading 12 to 9.

Turn Three

On Turn 3 I turned my remaining Paladins and all the characters outside the ruins on his Shield Captains that had brought Draigo down to 2 wounds. The Apothecary healed Draigo back up to 5, and 2 characters and my Paladins all charged his Custodes. I killed the one without a 3++, but left the one with the Auric Aquilis on 1 wound. He put his attacks into my Warlord in the hopes that I’d whiff my saves and give up Slay the Warlord but I rolled fine and only took 1 wound.

Also notable, his Gallant was coming at me along the top table edge so I tried to Gate my Strike teams into the center ruin to protect them, but rolled a 3 even after a CP reroll so they got stranded there to get stomped on by a Gallant on his turn.

On his turn he pulled the Gallant back and fell back with the Shield Captain so I couldn’t shoot him for the final wound. He also charged my strike team with his Gallant at the top of the table but I rolled too hot on my 5+ saves and only lost 3, which cost him his point for killing a unit this turn, and Hold More since I’d charged his shield captain with everything in the center ruin and only held 1 of the objectives in there. The Obsec Strikes held the top right objective with another unit of strikes holding the bottom right with Voldus in a ruin, and my Paladins held the Left-Center.

I scored Hold, Hold More, Kill, and Kill More. I also scored another point for Headhunter. He just scored 1 point for Holding an Objective.

My lead stretched to 17 – 10.

Turn Four

On turn four I came to my senses about actually holding all the objectives I could control, so I moved my apothecary onto the Center-Right objective in case I failed Gate of Infinity again. I chained my Paladins out to hold the Center-Left objective and charge both his Knight and his Shield Captain. I also charged the Knight with my Warlord and Draigo.

I got Hammerhand off on the Paladins even after he tried to deny with his Terminator Librarian. I did basically fail on everything else, except for Gate of Infinity on the strike team that had been fighting the Gallant. They got placed next to the Apothecary to hold the objective mid-table.

Four Paladins swung into the Shield Captain and six swung into the Imperial Knight. He didn’t have any CP left to interrupt, but I had 3 CP to fight again. I swung into his 1 wound Custode first, but he made every 3++, so I then fought the Knight and killed it with Draigo after the Paladins softened it up for him. The Knight exploded bringing my Warlord to 1 wound, Draigo to 2 wounds, killing a Paladin, finishing off his shield Captain, and doing a couple wounds to his Terminator Librarian.

I then popped 3 CP to fight again even though I hadn’t declared the charge on the Librarian just to pile in and get closer than my characters were so he couldn’t smite my Warlord to death for free.

On his turn he advanced to try to get close enough to the Brother Captain to get the smite off but couldn’t quite reach around the Paladins so he tried to smite the Paladins. He Perilled on a 12, rolled 1 Mortal wound, and blew himself up. His sniper scouts tried to take the last wound off my Brother Captain but they all failed to wound.

I scored Kill, Kill More, Hold, Hold More, My last Headhunter, and 3 points for Titanslayer. He scored 1 point for Holding an objective.

Grey Knights pulled ahead to 25-11, and the Imperial Soup player Conceded for a final score of 34 – 0.

Post Game Thoughts

The terrain on this table definitely helped me more than it helped him, and if he’d just decided to control the perimeter of the table I’d have been in a lot of trouble.

I think I tilted him a bit by killing 2 scout units in the first turn just ignoring their 2+ saves with Astral Aim and not needing line of sight, so he got too aggressive trying not to give up an early lead and put his Librarian and bikes in a bad position when he could have just kept his characters on the outside of the table behind Knights so I’d have to deal with the Knights first to get a chance of killing them and he could have just used them to charge strike teams or Voldus in ruins who were trying to hold my deployment objectives. As was clear in turn 2, coming out and trying to fight a Knight is dangerous business, and if he’d made me come to him I think it would have been a very different game.

In his position I would have chosen Marked for Death instead of Headhunter, and just hunted the Strikes with the Shield Captains and given me no targets to shoot at except for scouts. He could have tried to control 3-4 objectives all game and hold me down at 2 so he scored hold more every turn, and gotten kills every time I tried to send something out to take one of the outer objectives, or traded favourably by killing whatever I sent out to try to take out a Knight every time I tried to make a play. Yes, Astral Aim would let me get kills some turns, but he only had enough Strikes for me to do that 3 times and I kind of blew it by killing 2 units in the first turn.

What ended up happening was I split his army into 2 the same way I did in my game against Deathwatch the other day when I went to the right side of the table into a portion of his army and screened out the portion on the left half, but in this game I split his army into units that could get into the ruins, and units that couldn’t. I was able to fight his army a couple hundred points at a time with basically my whole army at once since virtually everything important was condensed into such a small space. He kept coming in hoping to score some kill points but he was never going to be able to trade favourably going in with 1-2 characters at a time when I had 3 characters with Thunderhammers and a unit of Paladins inside.

He gave up too many kill points by letting me fight his characters when he didn’t have to let me interact with them at all, and he fought it out when he should have controlled the table and just scored a couple points/turn but denied me anything. Sure, he might have only won 15-10 or something, but it’s better than losing 34-0.

Always remember that scoring points is important, but no more important than denying your opponent the ability to score theirs. Every Point Counts, not just yours.

Well, I hope this helped and/or entertained at least some of you. If you want to see me play into a particular army or list let me know in the comments below and I’ll start asking around locally to see if I can find anyone who plays what you want to see. If you have questions about my list or tactics you can also comment down there, or wherever you found the link to this article and I’ll get back to you as fast as I can.

If anyone wants to meet me I’ll be at the Basement Open next Weekend in Sudbury, Ontario. If you happen to be around come say hello or something. Either way you’ll be hearing some Tournament Battle Reports in the very near future.

Anyway, go win some games.

Freddie Lovebeard

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