Less than three months ago I didn’t have a single painted Red Corsair miniature. In fact, the whole of my 40K-collection consisted of a a small, half-heartedly half-painted Ork force, and some odds and ends from a few other armies. And I was getting nowhere with those Orks. The task of painting some 80+ green-skins, plus transports, tanks and warbikes just seemed too daunting.
Enter Nopat ja Taktiikat and their 40K for Old Fogies (minimun age 30 to attend) tournament. Suddenly I had valid reason to get involved with tournament style gaming again. The only problem was I didn’t actually have an army to play with. Casting about for a while looking for something that would captivate my imagination, and I’d be able to paint in the six weeks I had before the tournament, I eventually went back to my first love: Chaos Space Marines.
My first ever WH40K army had been Chaos Space Marines, and I had some fond memories of playing my Emperor’s Children during the glorious days of WH40K 3rd edition, when power armored rhino rush was the way to go, and the CSM were real contenders, with a spanking new codex full of all sorts of goodies. These days, the followers of the Ruinous Powers have to settle for an outdated codex, that wasn’t that hot even when it came out. All of the interesting choices are gone, most of the units got nerfed, the choice of daemons got trimmed down to just two entries.
With all of the major types of Space Marines sporting way newer codices full of cool, top-notch stuff, Chaos was simply out of the running, or rather, the army selection was so trimmed down, that anyone with half a brain would just ditch about half of the entries, and double up on what was left. Thus, the “tournament standard” CSM lists all look pretty much alike: Two Daemon Princes with the Lash of Submission power (occasionally one of the princes might get swapped for a Chaos Sorcerer with the Lash, just for variety), as many Obliterators as possible (6 or 9, depending on tournament specific restrictions), and the rest of the points spent on Plague Marine squads with Meltaguns and Rhinos. This list is rather straightforward, and works reasonably well, but when you’ve seen it umpteen times, it kinda gets old.
Anyway, back on topic. I had six weeks to paint a 1750 point army, and zero practical experience with the 5th edition rules. With some (well, plenty) of advice from a veteran wargamer friend of mine, I was able to put together a working army list, and got painting. I almost made it, too. A co-worker helped out with the Berzerker squad, and I had to borrow three rhinos from the above-mentioned friend, but at least it was all Chaos, and all painted and ready for battle, just in time for the tournament!
The tournament commenced with a match-up against a veteran Ork player (who eventually won the whole tournament). The results were rather expected, as my Red Corsairs got soundly trashed in their first ever outing. Next up, an Annihilation mission with Spearhead deployment facing a vanilla Space Marine army without a single tank or troop transport, which meant my army had about double my opponent’s kill points. To make matters worse, the middle of the gaming board consisted of a killing field, conveniently overlooked by the two-story bunkers in my opponent’s deployment zone. Still, I did manage to turn a massacre into just a narrow defeat, so not too shabby. The third, and last game of the tournament was against another Ork player. My Daemon Prince was on a roll, killing mega-nobs, and demolishing trukks left and right, and the berzerkers didn’t do too badly either, at one time managing to massacre an ork mob in a single furious charge.
One victory, one narrow defeat, and one total defeat. Not so bad for a first timer, eh? And I did manage to rack up plenty of gaming experience. Next time around, the Red Corsairs wouldn’t be so easily dealt with. Mark my words, by the Ruinous Powers! Yarr!
Next up: Some more practice games, the rest of the rhinos painted, a new unit, and gearing up for a 2000+2000 pts. Planetstrike team battle tournament.