I went to the remaining FLGS in town to meet Craig yesterday. We played annihilation with Dawn of war deployment at 1750 points. I am prepping for Buckeye Battles coming up in July. I know my list has flaws, and I am inexperienced with it. The last time I took a list like that into the local tournament scene (and a "hobby" event no less) I went 0-2-1. This list is a touch frightening for someone who has never seen a "gray Knights" army in action. Craig brought Space wolves to play with them, thinking assault was the way to go..... and he was right.
My Thousand Sons army looked like this:
Ahzek Ahriman (librarian), halberd, 4 skulls, warp rift, sanctuary, and might of titan
Phosis T'Kar (Mordrak)
8 Ghost Knights, 2 falchions, 1 hammer, 2 halberds, and a banner
2x Pyrae Brotherhoods (strike squads) 10 with 2 psycannon, hammer, halberd and psybolts in rhinos
Rifleman dred, 2x twin-lin autocannon with psybolts
Dredknight with sword, teleporter and heavy psycannon
Craig's list was really straight forward.
wolf lord, frost blade, wolftooth necklace and some other gear
runepriest in termie armor
2x 15 blood claws, powerfist
2x 10 bloodclaws fist in drop pod
5 wolfguard in terminator armor, wolf claws and fists
2x predator with twin lascannon
To start I had 31 models on the board to his 55....I did feel like I was outgunned to be sure. I set up my servo skull familiars along the center-line of the table, effectively killing any infiltration he might have had in mind. Craig won the roll to go first and set up with the two large squads of blood claws and the runepriest out on the table with the tanks clustered around a rock to provide cover. I set up my two Pyrae squads behind rock outcrops on my side of the board and the drenought behind a building ruin right in the center of my board edge. He had only a small line of sight to one bloodclaw pack, but it saved me the fire from the predators. My dredknight was on my left flank, again out of line of sight behind a hill.
I then seized the initiative from Craig and promptly killed a squad and a half of his bloodclaws...close to 25 marines in a single shooting phase....to add insult to injury Phosis (Mordrak), Ahriman and the boys dropped in on the first turn, right next to the remaining blood claws on my right side. Now ANY player who just watched half of their army get shot to pieces on the first turn is going to have a panic moment. Craig handled it better than most, in that he simply assigned threat profiles to each unit and decided to prioritze the terminators sitting on his flank....good call. Two of his three pods came in on turn one, and they contained his remaining 20 bloodclaws. He then shot EVERY gun he had available at the terminators, wounding Mordrak and killing 3. Of course that just spawned a replacement terminator. So I was down 2....in exchange for 30 marines. I think Ill take it.
Turn two saw the tide turn though. I shunted my dredknight up the left flank and killed a predator. I moved the Strike squads up 6 inches and continued pounding any infantry that was not in cover, and the terminators started to stall in combat. Over the next two turns Craig's wolf lord and friends managed to destroy Mordrak and Ahriman in combat despite have no defense from hammer hand and might of titan. I has s6 with halberds and swords, and had 2 s10 hammers, but couldnt kill more than 2 or 3 models a turn. Not bead really, but he was killing just as many....and when you are outnumbered 2-1 or more you cant win like that. To make matters worse he had deepstruck his wolfguard into my backfield and raped his way through a strike squad in one turn.
Now Craig and I had been working through this list and analyzing the units on both sides all through the game. We have basically decided the the strike squads are the fragile units of the list. Not EASY to kill per se, but easier than the other units to be sure. Unfortunately they are the most important units as well, given that they are the scoring units of the list. The list now looks more like this:
Ahriman, as above
5 paladins, 3halberds, hammer and psycannon, with apothacary
2x 10 man strike squad as above
2x dredknight with teleporter, and sword
drednought with 2x tinwlinked autocannons, ex armor and psybolt ammo
The list essentially breaks into to two pieces, using the dredknights and terminators as rapid assault units to delay my opponent moving out of his initial deployment zone, while the rifleman dred picks at transports and other armored units. The strike squads stay back holding objectives in my half of the table until about turn 4. If there are more than 3 objectives then I can combat squad them and keep half back on my side of the table and put the rest in the rhinos for a turn 4 dash to the midfield objectives.
In all it is a blitzkrieg kind of list, designed to scare the living crap out of a first time opponent and keep them pinned long enough to let my strike squads hold more than half of the objectives. I am considering doing something to add more scoring bodies on the field. There are two ways to do that here. One is to drop the paladins. At 370 points they would leave space for either another 10 man strike squad and a small purifier squad, but that strands Ahriman on foot in the backfield. I could drop the rifleman dred for a 5 man strike squad in a rhino...so I have options. I HATE to lose the utility of the dred, but I do need more scoring....he might have to go. What do you all think? 5 termies or strike squad in rhino? and what to change to get them, fewer paladins in Ahriman's guard (stranding him on foot), or lose the rifleman?