I figure as a cheap thrill for Sky Serpent I'll give him a slight exclusive on this batrep before I post it up on Dakka
But, the basic premise here is there was some discussion on the viability of Razorwings, and the type of list that would work best with them, and from that a lot of discussion about using them in a list featuring deep strike, Sliscus, and lots of anti-tank in the troop options. Inspired by that I wanted to see if I thought the list would work for me and how competitive I thought it would be, here is my first serious test of it;The Descending Storm
Duke Sliscus (in my list The Duchess - because boobs make everything better, even Duke Sliscus)
6x Five Warriors with Blaster, Sybarite, Blast Pistol - Raider w. FF
3x Three Trueborn with Blasters - Raider w. FF
2x Razorwing with Dissies and FF
1x Razorwing with Lances and FFRound 1
Mission - Annihilation
Deployment - Spearhead
Opponent - Blood Angels
The map was desert and provided some reasonable options for DS awesome - I won first turn and gave my opponent the upper left corner to deploy in as I wanted the wide spaces to DS into there. Also featured in this picture (from left to right) my opponent's crotch, a friend of his who was playing at the next table's backside, and my opponent's girlfriend's legs - one of these days I'll manage a batrep at a tournament that doesn't feature about 5-6 crotch/backside shots - I just haven't figured out how.
He, of course, stacks up his Devastators and Scouts in the ruins of the building. The two Landraiders (one with Assault Terms and a Chaplin, and the other with Assault Marines sans packs) deploy on the left and right side of the building respectively. A Sanguinary Priest and Assault Squad with packs crouches in-between a Landraider and the ruins to be ready to counter assault.
One big benefit of an all DS army - Marines with Drop Pod Assault don't get to use their 1st turn Pods to do much of value - he drops into my deployment zone (there is a secondary objective point for this) and occupies another small ruin with his melta heavy squad.
At the start of Turn 2 my first deep strike is...not what was expected. Basically I get one Warrior squad (No Duchess - she proved to be quite content to send in the expendable mooks to soften the enemy before she ever showed up, a true DE general's strategy
) I also get one Trueblaster squad, and all three Razorwings...derp?
Here's my Warrior squad who ended up scattering a little dangerously close to the Drop Pod, just visible above them is the Termie loaded Landraider.
The Trueblasters drop in right on target, drawing a bead on the Assault Marine Landraider.
The Razorwings fly in on flank furthest from the Termies - their goal; murder.
Lining up some bad intentions for the Devastators...also, crotch. There's about four more in this round alone, jeez...
The Trueblasters fire into the Landraider - exploding it and killing an Assault Marine in the process.
The Warriors wreck the Termie Landraider, forcing the walking tanks to...walk...yes!
After this particular missile attack there was serious discussion about how the Razorwing was too powerful.
While dropping Monoscythe Missiles on top of the Tac squad in my deployment zone (there shall be no bonus points ye cur!) there was a slight incident of "friendly fire" that took out all of the Warrior squad but a single Warrior - ah well, the life of a suicide unit.
The Termies plot what to smash as punishment for ruining their ride.
The mauled Tactical squad decides to fall back for safety - here we see them so horrified by the presence of a Dark Eldar that the Blood Angels are debating their best course of escape - this is a common occurrence when Marines meet Dark Eldar.
The Chaplin (who is angry) spots a vehicle to smash (angrily) and orders his men to (angrily) advance on the target of his anger (angrily).
The Jump Assault Marines leap over the building while the foot Assault Marines rush out of their crater and advance towards the Trueblasters with bad intentions.
A flamer frags most of the squad, then a dual assault is made, that wipes the Trueborn and shakes the Raider.
It will probably come as a great surprise to all of you - but the single Warrior and his Raider did not perform well in this assault phase. I blame my bad dice.
Turn 3 - I get a nice drop of vehicles. The Duchess decides things are softened up enough that she should descend - also more Trueblasters and Warriors drop onto the scene, eager to take part in the carnage.
The Trueblasters on the roof were a scatter - though it was not a bad position to end up in. Mostly lining up shots to punish the Blood Angel Termie Death Star.
The Duchess and her men spring out to pour firepower into the Assault Marines.
The Jump Assaulters suffer as well - the Razorwings use their Dissies to good effect and cut huge swaths out of the squad.
The Assault Marines crack under the waves of splinter and blaster fire and choose to tactically withdraw, unfortunately Duchess is along their escape path and will cause them rally problems.
Here's a big lay of the land as it stands at the end of my Movement Phase on Turn 4. (sorry - wasn't taking enough pictures)
You can see in the upper right that the few Jump packers moved up, and the Assault Marines shot up and flamed Duchess, killing off her squad but leaving her untouched. They then dual assaulted her and her Raider - Duchess quickly killed both Assault Marines with contemptuous ease, killing them before they could hurt her ride, the Sanguinary Priest charged forward and slashed at her with his power weapon, but the lithe Dark Eldar proved too fast and skilled to be hit - they will hold in combat for next turn.
On the left side, the Assault Terms murdered the squad that had disembarked from that Raider - they killed them *very* easily.
The Tac squad has rallied but failed to do much with their shooting. The Scouts and Devastator are holding on and have been trying to stem the DE tide, but don't have the firepower for it anymore.
The Tac squad is torn apart by shooting.
Not pictured, but also accomplished - the Devastator squad is finally killed, and the Scouts are shot up enough that they fall back and end up behind the building before they rally.
Duchess easily dispatches the Sanguinary priest and goes off in search of more
The Terms shred up the Raider in assault.
The rest of the game went pretty quickly, but the breakdown is basically this;
Duchess and a Warrior squad stalked down the Scouts and murdered them.
The Terms were targeted by multiple Blasters, Lances, and Dissies and were eventually whittled down and wiped out.
I tabled him - but due to the way the mission was scored I actually ended up in the upper middle of the score card because I didn't manage to get 2x KPs off him as I lost - I lost 6 KPs and he only had 10 on board that I claimed all of...derp!
That said, I'm usually pretty content to be in the upper mid after Game 1 - it theoretically helps you avoid the big sharks...or so I thought.
Mission - Capture & Control
Deployment - Pitched Battle
Opponent - Space Wolves
Oh well, you know you're going to face a bunch of Space Wolf Razorspam/Longfang things sooner or later in any tournament. Also, I end up on a desert terrain table again - so I guess Duchess was just really excited assaulting a desert planet.
I think my opponent actually won turn selection, doesn't really matter, in any case I end up with second turn either by his choice or mine. He claimed the right side of the table and I got the left. His objective went in the building near the middle of the board, and mine went in the bottom left corner.
Long Fangs setting up, Razorbacks spread around them.
There's a Rune Priest and squad in each painted Razorback - Long Fangs and Cyclone Termie Wolf Guard set up on ridge line - they will be a punishing part of his offense.
Njal and some more Wolf Guard drop in via Drop Pod - again, a nice benefit to being all reserve.
Lay of the land at the end of Turn 1.
Turn 2 he doesn't do much besides start hoofing Njal and Terms towards my objective.
Then comes a noise of descending Raiders...
My first reserve roll is...mediocre. I get 2 Troop, 1 Elite, and 2 Razorwings.
My drops all come in pretty accurate though.
A poor decision from me - I decide to try and bust up Njal's unit with my Razorwing (killing him is a secondary objective). That said - probably should have dumped the damage into that Long Fang squad instead - derp!
Njal's squad is down to him and a hammer. You can also see that the Long Fangs in the upper right was also whittled down to 2 (falling back, so they'll spend next turn not shooting as well).
My Trueborn, Raiders, and Warriors manage to take off a couple of assault cannons from the various Razorbacks, but don't pop anything.
During Turn 2 the Space Wolves...more or less kill everything that dropped in. One of the Razorwings survives by just being immobilized (the other is assaulted and smashed by Njal and hammer buddy), and one squad of Warriors is still squatting in cover. I get a...limited drop in again on Turn 3. One Warrior squad, one Trueblaster squad, and the last Razorwing.
Here you can see a rather...interesting scatter on a Warrior squad drop - beads represent Warrior's actual locations - models are protected due to wobbly model syndrome.
Here you can see the Warrior squad from the first drop wave has managed to pop the Razorback and force the squad inside into the open.
The fresh Razorwing blows apart the squad holding his objective - only one Grey Hunter is left holding it.
My other shooting is okay, various vehicles are hampered and squads of Wolves whittled away at. The weak Long Fang squad is killed off, a couple of vehicles wrecked, not a bad turn, just not everything I wanted. I know I'm taking casualties, but I'm focusing on getting him off his objective and being ready to snag mine and his.
In his turn he brings some more fury, though he is somewhat limited due to a lot of his stuff being dead. The Long Fangs on the ridge continue to reap a hefty toll on the lives of my Raiders. Living Lightning and Murderous Hurricanes are thrown around with reckless abandon as Njal's freezing storm (on the desert world) continues to hamper me slightly.
In a fascinating bit of sadness, this assault by the Grey Hunters (with Wulfen) will hold for almost the entire game, as the Sybarite and his squad actually kill one of the Wolves and hold the line for a surprising period of time.
On Turn 4 I roll two 1's on reserve rolls and only get half the units I hoped/wanted to...
On the plus side, apparently Duchess finally decided things were right for her to deign to grace the table with her presence - and she and her squad finally murdered the TL Lascannon Razorback that had been annoying me all game.
On his 4 he did some more damage and kept pressing forward, knowing he had to claim my objective. His Long Fangs sadly realized that even though they were murdering vehicles there were so many scoring units it was a questionable value to keep killing them. Still - lack of targets just has them pop the Duchess' Raider and probably something else too. The Grey Hunters running around start trying to rip apart Trueborn and Warrior squads as they strive towards claiming or at least contesting my objective - he still holds his own.
On Turn 5 I finally get my whole army in - joy!
You can note on the left side that I had some focused firepower slice Njall down. I also have some Warriors spread out and basically lock out his Wolves from having any chance of getting in to my objective.
After consolidation protected by cover and holding the objective - The Duchess and her squad stormed the Grey Hunter's position, and she easily dispatched him with an expert flick of a poison sword. The Game ends with the Long Fang's master of their shooting lane, but lacking the ability to help any Grey Hunters get to either objective.
At the end of this game I breath a happy sigh that I managed to take apart a Razorspam list.
As stands going into the final match I am currently in 3rd place - and I'm aware that at least two of the other top armies are Chaos Space Marines (a player whose very list I'd played with this army and stomped handily - huzzah!) and a fellow DE player (using Venom Spam - a list I think my list is quite well built to punish and kill)
So, with spirits high at an easy final we head for the final game...
...and I get to fight Space Wolf Razorspam again. Huzzah!
Also, I just had the computer freak out, eat half a post, and lose my image links for me
So, I'm going to give you an abbreviated version and let you just admire the pictures you can see.Round 3
Mission - 5 Objectives
Deployment - Pitched Battle
Opponent - Space Wolves
Sigh - let's see, abbreviated. Basically I'd fought this list (or close to, he changed it to be slightly more aggressive) the previous Thursday and had lost. I'd told myself the reason I'd lost was that I hadn't started on the board - so this time I did. He went full reserve. I debated and discussed just flat outing and blocking off his side edge but didn't (partly because I didn't actually think I had enough mech to pull it off, I'm nice, but I still might have gone for that in another situation.)
In any case, he had a soft showing Turn 2 (only 3 things came on) I romped that easy...then basically the whole army rolled on Turn 3 and this happened;
At the end we actually only swung 4 Turns (I lost track of time, and thought I'd get a 5th turn - derp! Too much chatting and joking, not enough playing)
At the end of my 4th I was winning - but he asked for another turn and I gave it to him because that would be 'fair' (in retrospect - since no one could attack till his Turn 2, functionally I gave him an unfair advantage - something I hadn't thought about - derp again! I was unfair to myself!)
In any case, end result was he managed to edge it into a tie on objectives - and that allowed m to pick up a small win via an edge in Victory points (huzzah!)
I end the Tournament in 4th place (only 3 points from 3rd place, and 5 points from 2nd...though about 12 from 1st) If I'd ended on my turn it would have equated to an additional pile of points that probably would have put me in scoring position.FINAL THOUGHTS ON VIABILITY OF LIST
1. I want to do more testing.
2. It suffers a bit in KP missions just because it's a little slow off the starting line. I always felt like I didn't table people as well as I do with my other competitive lists - DE don't really want extra handicaps vs. Annihilation Missions.
3. Sometimes it *is* a good idea not to do the Deep Strike. A lot depends on the enemy army, and also whether or not you win the first turn roll. But the army can do a solid alpha strike from starting on table - I think the DS strategy benefits if the terrain favors it, and if the enemy army is one maybe too capable of laying out too much of your army at once, because then the limited stuff on the table can actually be a benefit.
4. I weep for the lack of assault potency in it. Pretty much it's just the Duke and that's it. Yeah, the Razors are good, but...dang...sometimes you just want to be able to assault stuff and know you can win as opposed to just hopefully hug them for a few turns.
5. I honestly think that I want to dump the lances off that last Razorwing and run it as all Dissie. Generally speaking - I found the list as I built it to suffer a bit for lack of anti infantry (egads!) Anoth possibility is to run a few Venoms (2-3 I think) in the list. Downside to that is it can blunt your anti tank initial strike.
Basically, for anti-infantry, the Razors did *great* with the missiles, but after that (especially vs. MSU) you just wanted to be able to pump some shots into a 5 man squad - and usually I was doing that with Blasters and stuff, because I lacked any real anti-infantry tools. Blasters are great, and will kill stuff, they just do it slower than Venoms or Dissie Razors do. There's a really delicate balance here, I think it will take some toying with to make it feel really optimal.
6. I basically think this army is markedly less competitive to a fine tuned Kabal army that is focused on alpha strike. I would also tend to suggest that a Raider Rush Wych Cult is probably more competitive as well. I think this list is *substantially* more competitive than WWP and any COven that I've ever seen or created in my own head. So, does this list redefine competition level DE? No. Does it show that there are competitive builds that can still be created without going Venomspam+Haywire Wyches - yes, there are other options still out there to be found, especially as the meta continues to evolve.