First Rouge Trader Tournament - Intro and Game 1

This last weekend me and the boys attended our first 40k Rouge Trader Tournament since we started playing again. Dennis from T-Shirt Explosion down in Springdale puts on an annual event - Patriot Games. Man was it a blast.

There ended up being 18 players at the event. What made this such a neat tournament is that every table had different scenarios. At first I was a bit skeptical but after playing a round on them and then chatting it up with my buds it became clear that it was quite awesome that all the tables were different.

I played three games. The first was against Black Templars. This was the first time I played against them. From what my opponent fielded they were just like regular space marines. He had a Land Raider, Predator, and Vindicator for heavies - a nice balanced list. He had a couple units of troops on foot and one five man terminator squad. a unit of raptors, and a Dreadnaught thrown in for good measure.

For my list I was fielding 5 rhinos with three regular squads of Chaos Space Marines, 1 unit of Berzerkers, and one unit of Plague Marines. I also had my seven man unit of Raptors, my Daemon Prince, 3 Obliterators, and Frik and Frak (my two Dreadnaughts.)

The scenario we were playing was pretty straight forward - kill points. There was a slight twist however. If at the end of turn four one player had four more points than the other the game was over. It decreased by one point on each following turn. The table was set up with some nice Armorcast scenery. It was an Egyptian/Skull themed table. There were a few low walls and lots of piles of skulls.

I was fortunate and got the first turn. I raced forward with all of my Rhinos and popped smoke. Everything else slowly moved up the field. Except Frik and Frak. Frik (or possibly Frak) decided to shoot one of my Rhinos in the rear and Frak (or possibly Frik) decided to sprint forward with incredible speed instead of shooting (like I wanted him to.)

From this point on it went downhill for my opponent. He repositioned his troops and vehicles to start taking shots at the wall of Chaos that was moving towards him. He then opened fire with everything he had. He fired with his Land Raider Crusader, Dreadnaught, Vindicator, Predator, and a unit of troops - and didn't score a single wound. His Vindicator scattered too far to hit my Obliterators (they were hiding behind a wall) and all of his other shots were stopped by my incredibly thick smoke.

On my next turn it was time to act. My Raptors decided not to show up yet (as they normally do) so I started my movement. Miraculously Frik and Frak decided to listen to what I had to say so we were off to a good start.

The first thing I did was hop my Obliterators over the wall they were hiding behind and advance towards a second wall. There was a Vindicator staring them down and they had a mission. I maneuvered a Rhino full of normal troops and Frik (or possibly Frak) towards a Dreadnaught and the Land Raider (wasn't really sure what I was going to do when I got there but damned if that slowed us down.) On the left flank Frak (.... you know) advanced towards a unit of approaching assault marines. The middle of the board became a funnel of death as everything else on both sides ran towards each other. I drove all my Rhinos forward but didn't disembark anyone yet. My Prince moved into position by jumping over a bridge to be able to charge a nice juicy mess of marines come assault and I was done with movement.

In the shooting phase I opened up with my Obliterators. I was able to shake the Vindicator so that was enough for me - no pie plate next turn. The rest of my shooting (what little there was) was not a fruitful.

After that I was done. But wait! What about the Daemon Prince? That's right. I forgot to charge him.

My opponent started scrambling. He wheeled his Land Raider around to take shots at my Plague Rhino, his Dreadnaught closed in with Frak, the Raptors, a unit of Marines, another slightly smaller unit of marines, and the predator positioned to shoot at my Daemon Prince. Also his unit of Terminators showed up. Man. Rough luck for the prince.

The shooting phase was fast and suspenseful. He filled the air with lead, plasma, and some lascannon. He decided to rapid fire with everything instead of charging my Daemon Prince (wise move.) Slug after slug slammed into him, but he did not fall. After half his army shot at him, he was standing with one wound. On the right flank things went about the same. His Dreadnaught crashed into mine and was there ever some screeching metal. They traded blows and when the dust settled his was immobilised pointing straight at the smoking wreckage of Frak. A valiant sacrifice. But all was not lost because next turn all hell would break loose.

It was the start of my turn three. I was a bit intimidated by what was going on. I had a land raider I couldn't deal with, MIA raptors (who knows where they were), and huge mess of marines, more marines, a Vindicator, a Predator, and a squad of Assault Terminators staring down my prince and a parked rhino. I was pretty sure that if I didn't play my cards just right that I was going to be loosing three kill points in short order.

I carefully weighed my tactical options - wait, that doesn't sound like me - and decided to charge with everything I could that was in range - there we go.

I decided to soften everything up with as much firepower as I could and go from there. The first thing I had to do was move though. Pesky turn order. I say it should be charge, charge, charge.

I piled everyone out of their Rhinos and then moved the Rhinos into some kind of wonky wagon circle to keep some of his troops from advancing on his next turn. I then moved the troops to where I could get maximum coverage on the charge. It was going to be a long shot but I had a few tricks up my sleeve.

Next came the shooting phase. I was concerned most of all about the terminators. I just didn't have enough punch to be able to deal with them. I had a daemon prince and one unit of regular CSM vs. two units of SM and the Termies. I knew it was time for the Obliterators to shine. They were out of range for rapid fire twin linked plasma guns so I went with the next best thing - the plasma cannons. It was going to be risky with all of my troops so close to the target but I really didn't care. I just wanted something to die.

Since my Daemon prince was badly hurt and I didn't want him to get destroyed by the Terminators I decided to fly him up and over the mob of marines that were in front of him so he could deal with the small five man squad that was coming up behind them.

I declared my shots and grabbed my scatter die. Since they had come in via Deep Strike last turn they were all bunched up nice and neat. All I needed was one hit and we would something nice to work with. I threw the dice and it came up hit - morale was high. I threw the die again and it was a scatter. Crap, here it goes. I rolled my 2d6 for deviation and came up with a three. You take off my BS of 4 and that's a hit. No way. I threw the dice again, and hit. I looked at the guy and I just felt bad. It ended up being fifteen plasma hits on his terminators.

Once the bubbling pile of corpse and metal cooled down there was one terminator remaining.

On the right flank my plague marines had piled out of their Rhino and were staring down a solid unit of troops that held his HQ choice. My unit of regular marines hid behind their Rhino so the Land Raider couldn't open up on em. Over on the left flank my Dreadnaught ran in an attempt to bring some much needed muscle to the middle of the board.

I didn't want my Plague Marines to be gobbled up by his power weapon so I tried to soften the unit up as much as I could with pistol fire before I charged into them.

In the assault phase everything came together. I assaulted both the unit of marines and the terminators in the middle of the board. I carefully positioned my unit champion so that he was touching the terminator. This would give him 4 power weapon attacks on the terminator before he would get to swing back with his powerfist.

I charged into a five man unit of marines with the prince - hopefully there wouldn't be much left to swing back with.

My Khorne Berzerkers charged into the side of the Vindicator. Ole Billy (my unit champion with a powerfist) was quite pleased.

My plague marines charged into the unit with his HQ and prepared for the worse.

We started working out combat and it was bloody. My champion with the powerfist didn't even get to swing at the Vindicator. Since you now assault the rear armor in HTH with vehicles I was only needing fours to glance with my grenades. I scored a whole mess of glancing and penetrating hits and the Vindicator went up like a firecracker.

The daemon prince served admirably by hacking down about half of the unit. The few attacks that came back at him just glanced off of him.

In the middle of the board everything went according to plan. I put the terminator down before he got to swing and my sheer number of attacks (somewhere up near thirty) put a hurtin on the rest of the marines that were over there.

The plague marines did what they do best - survive. I had positioned my unit champion with a power fist next to his HQ so I could take swings at him in an attempt to put him down quick. Sadly that didn't happen and the plague marines got stuck in - but hey, they excel at.

On my opponents turn he didn't have much to do. He deployed his troops out of the land raider and drove it around a little bit. He moved his predator around to where it was staring down my daemon prince with one wound left. And that was about it.

In the shooting phase my daemon prince finally succumbed to a hail of lascannon fire. One or two of my rhinos were exploded by the Land Raider and then it was time for hand to hand.

The hand to hand phase was nowhere as near as exciting as the round before it. My plague marines flailed wildly at the unit they were fighting and we had a few casualties on each side.

With that taken care of it was time for turn four. Since we only had two and half hours for our game we decided to call it after turn four.

We both spent our last turn mopping up. He popped a couple of Rhinos in an attempt to catch up on Kill points and over the course of the turn I finally wore down his unit with his HQ in it - earning to kill points.

At the end of the game I had three more kill points than he did so I was the winner.

After the game we turned in our score sheets and broke for lunch. I was off to a good start and ready for my next game.