Tuesday, 14 November 2017

List review - Dusk Knights 2000pts

Hi guys,
I thought I'd stick up a post covering the list that I took to Never Mind the BlogWars last weekend. Overall I did ok, nothing spectacular, but as my last post on the subject showed, I was actually only outscored in terms of sheer amount killed by 2 of the top 4 players, and only the 3 of us managed that 86% kill ratio or higher (the top player actually managed 95.65%).

That being said, my performance on maelstrom objectives was poor (in part due to some shocking card draws) in two of my games and lower than I've come to expect from this list in the third. I decided therefore to do a review of my list in similar vein to those Mike at St Andrews Wargaming does when he attends a tournament.

HQ choices

Pedro Kantor.
He's an absolute boss at what he does, which is a force multiplier. As a Chapter Master he grants rerolls to all failed hits for units within 6", and he also grants a bonus attack to those units as well. At 170 points though he's certainly not a cheap option. Overall in my games he performed well. The first game only required me to utilise his re-rolls, though I can't remember just what proportion would have been re-rolled had I just had a normal captain there instead. Game 2 saw the re-rolls come in useful again, and he also made good use of his own combat ability to clear some Incubi from my lines. Game 3 again saw the re-rolls come in handy but a combination of poor damage rolls and some good invun saving by my opponent saw him fluff his lines in combat when I really needed him to shine.

I'm tempted to switch him out for something else to be honest (probably a basic captain), and I'll probably look at using Raven Guard tactics instead. -1 to hit would be fantastic for my gunline and their ability to deploy units via a stratagem into advantageous positions would be awesome.

Captain Andreo - terminator armour, shield eternal and thunder hammer
As my warlord he was an interesting choice. I took him because he's so hard to kill (normally) but as Slay the Warlord wasn't in play for the missions on the day I could probably have been much more aggressive in my choice. Still, he didn't really let me down, and only died in one game when he took on Lelith Hesperax and a Dark Eldar Archon, neither of whom seemed capable of failing an invun save (whilst I rolled a lot of 2's on my 3++).

Epistolary Aquilino - Librarian with jump pack, force sword
Hmm, I'm still not convinced by the marine psychic powers to be honest. Smite is great, but veil of time didn't make a difference with the charge rolls I tried (generally making my charge distance lower in fact) and he suffered perils of the warp a couple of times in three games (which considering the odds against it are 1 in 18 was far too high). Equally, whilst he took down a unit of venomthropes before being killed by genestealers in the first game, he just wasn't survivable enough to cope behind enemy lines in my other games so I don't think I got more than 2-3 turns with him in either game. Consequently I think I'm likely to look at switching him out in future games, but keeping the idea of a librarian so perhaps looking to get a terminator librarian in there instead.

Elites

2x Contemptor Dreadnoughts with Kheres Pattern Assault Cannons and Combi Bolters.
These were the absolute star performers for me over the whole weekend, racking up kill after kill after kill. Big stuff included a winged Hive Tyrant, a Malanthrope, a Cronos Pain Engine, and a Daemon Prince, and unnumbered amounts of smaller stuff, including wracks, chaos marines & bikers, gaunts, genestealers etc. Absolutely would not change these guys, and only the tournament restrictions would stop me from sticking a third in the list.

5 Vanguard Veterans with jump packs, 2 thunder hammer & storm shield, 2 power swords and a relic blade, 3 plasma pistols. Hmm. I've said before about how I find these to be a difficult unit. This particular loadout is 182pts, which is a lot, the idea being that I can use the storm shield to tank shots with good AP and still threaten enemy backfield units that my other stuff might struggle to reach. As it happened though, in game one they secured me a point before being swamped by hormagaunts (and the storm shields both died first save they tried to make). Game 2 they failed a charge and then half claimed a defend objective point before getting taken down by a combination of kabalites and wracks. Game three they failed their charge on the turn they arrived, but then waded through a couple of units of chaos marines, gradually being whittled down. Game 3 was probably their most effective performance. I'm inclined to look at alternatives here, because for the amount of points I've spent on them they've not really given me much back, and that's something I've experienced in previous games with them as well. My first instinct here is to perhaps look at an Ironclad Dreadnought to support the Contemptors and give more distraction to my opponents.

Troops
3x 5-man Scout Squads with sniper rifles and camo cloaks.
Fantastic and frustrating in equal measure, they have the potential to strip wounds off things at will, and every single one of my opponents decided to dedicate time and effort to taking them down. They absolutely performed a key role in my games, even if sometimes failing to roll a 6 to wound meant their shots bounced off more than I'd have liked. In the future, perhaps a couple might be a better option rather than 3, and I could instead take a tactical squad for a bit more mobile obsec.

Fast Attack
Didn't use any FA choices in this army, but I'm definitely considering looking at getting some bikes painted up to act as a fast unit, hitting hard with plasmas into my opponents lines.

Heavy Support
2x Devastator Squads. 1 with lascannons/missile launchers and 1 with plasma/grav cannons. Both with armorium cherubs.
The Devastators do a lot of work in my lists, and being as they are sat back in my deployment zone, can be difficult for some opponents to deal with. They all survived my first game, game two took Lelith to take one squad down once she'd taken out my Captain, and in the third game I lost the lascannon/missile launcher squad to concentrated fire from combi melta terminators and missil launcher havocs. I would definitely keep these squads in the list, though I might look to drop the grav cannons next time, taking an extra couple of  Plasma Cannons instead. That's because in game 3 I was forced to move them and with shooting at Alpha Legion I was at -2 to hit, meaning overheating was an issue.

Flyer
The Stormhawk was another triumph. Game 1 it ruled the roost, taking just 1 wound and using its heavy armaments complement to do lots of consistent damage to all different unit types. Giving it the Typhoon Missile Launcher instead of the Skyhammer was key here I think, because it meant I could freely switch between frag and krak depending on what my priority targets were at each moment. This is going to be a fixture in my list for a while, my only gripe is that at 217 points it's not something you can afford to lose too early.

Dedicated transports
I took two razorbacks in this list, one with twin lascannons, and one with twin assault cannons. It seems from Chapter Approved leaks that the assault cannon version will be going up in price, but once again, these models were worth every point. The Twin Las did lots of good work, including taking out the alpha legion warlord in the final game, and as always, the 12 shots of the assault cannon version thinned out enemy hordes quite nicely, giving me room to breathe.

So, in terms of what I've said I'd look to take out/swap we have.
Kantor
Librarian
1x5 sniper scouts
5 vanguard veterans
A couple of devastator heavy weapons.

Looking at what I could then achieve, the new list looks something like this...
Battalion detachment

Captain, master crafted boltgun, power sword
Captain in Terminator Armour, thunder hammer & shield eternal

5 sniper scouts with camo cloaks
5 sniper scouts with camo cloaks
5 tactical marines with heavy bolter

5 devastator marines with 2 lascannons, 2 missile launchers and armorium cherub
5 devastator marines with 4 plasma cannons and armorium cherub

Stormhawk Interceptor with las talon, typhoon missile launcher and 2 assault cannons

3 Razorbacks, 2 with twin assault cannons and 1 with twin lascannon

Vanguard detachment

Librarian in terminator armour with combi plasma, force stave

Contemptor with kheres assault cannon and combi bolter
Contemptor with kheres assault cannon and combi bolter
Ironclad dreadnought with 2 heavy flamers, dreadnought combat weapon, seismic hammer

The strategy then becomes simple. The basic captain stays with the devastators, to form a firebase, protected by the scouts. The two contemptors and the ironclad advance aggressively, with the terminator captain and librarian arriving to support them. This group then puts out some serious hurt in combat, and has decent firepower on the way (I've taken heavy flamers so the Ironclad can act a little bit as charge protection). I think it's safe to say that most armies wouldn't want that little lot charging up the field at them. The stormhawk can then do what it always does, throwing fire out in all directions as it buzzes round the table annoying my opponents. The razorbacks can also provide a lot of threat on the board, and if need be 1 could be changed to a rhino to fit tournament selection and give me a few spare points for extra bodies in the tactical squad (or account for price hikes in Chapter Approved).

Overall, I like the balance of this list a bit more, I may not have quite the same mobility without the vanguard, but they were an expensive addition that tended to get nailed quite quickly - only having a 3+ save and and single wound really hurts them.

Till next time!
TBE