Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Tournament Report - Edinburgh Exterminatus 2014


Greeting wall-of-text readers! After a few weeks attending the Edinburgh League of Gamers (ELG) on a weekly Wednesday-night basis to get my 40K fix, I found out that the ELG were holding a 2-day tournament consisting of the following:

  1. 1750 points, 6th edition “singles” tournament, allies + Forgeworld-allowed, no Super heavies / Lords of War.
  2. 5 games of standardized 40K games consisting of 5 scenarios from the BRB rulebook with very minor variations per mission, with tournament scores attributable to differences in achieving primary, secondary, and bonus secret mission tertiary objectives.
  3. Approx. 2.5 hour time limit per game to keep to the schedule. Swiss system tournament setup. 10 tables (20 players) in total, with random allocation to start out with but a designated ‘top table’ (1) and ‘bottom table’ (10) which would give an indication of overall player rankings.
  4. Lunch, bottles of water and snacks provided, with a licensed bar.
While having never entered a 40K tournament before and reading of all sorts of power-cheese lists galore in such circumstances, I thought it would be an ideal way to spend my weekend meeting up with fellow enthusiasts I might not ever see at the weekly games night, plus to expand and interact with my ever-growing 40K social circle, so why not? 5 games of 40K in 2 days, woohoo!

And indeed it was. I met loads of people I wouldn’t normally have met, played with loads of people I knew from the club but hadn’t played with, and had an utmost blast. It was a friendly, jovial, at times tensely competitive gaming environment, but what fun we all had. All credit to the tournament organiser, Dale Bennion, for hosting an excellent and smoothly-run tournament where I believe everyone, or hopefully most people, had a good and memorable weekend. I certainly did!

Initially I was very hesitant to enter my Grey Knight force into the tournament what with having no anti-air elements to counter the proliferation of 6th edition Flyers (I’m still awaiting for the arrival of a brand new Stormraven & Aegis Defence Line for me to build up, paint, etc) but then I thought: Aww heck, just because other opponents might bring some aerial muscle doesn’t mean it would stop me having fun, I should just bring whatever I liked, right? So this is an account of my plunge into the tournament scene.

So here’s what I brought to my local tournament (nb: no individual points here, or in my opponents’ individual lists I can recall, you’ll have to look it up yourselves reader-chaps and chapattis!):


Grey Knights – “Monkey Magic” @ 1750 points

Inquisitor Torquemada Coteaz
Ordo Malleus Inquisitor – power armour, Psyker lvl 1, Force Sword, 3 servo-skulls.

Terminator Squad – 5-men, Psycannon, 2 Halberds, 1 Sword, 2 Hammers + Justicar Thawn
Henchmen Squad – 2 Jokaeros, 2 Plasma Cannon Servitors, 2 Bolter Acolytes + Chimera
Henchmen Squad – 2 Jokaeros, 2 Plasma Cannon Servitors + Chimera
Henchmen Squad – 2 Plasmagun Acolytes + 4 Psykers

Vindicare Assassin

Grey Knight Interceptors – 2 Psycannons, Psybolt upgrade

Dreadknight – Heavy incinerator, Personal Teleporter
Dreadnought, TL Autocannons X 2, Psybolt upgrade

The intention behind this particular army composition as follows:

We all know GK’s excel at 24” range due to stormbolters, psycannons and psybolt, but is considered weak at long ranges apart from a couple of select units, so I wanted to turn this concept on it’s head and develop an army that had domination on long-range firepower a la Tau, so keeping the enemy at arm’s length, but also with enough punch to alpha strike on the 1st turn a la Drop Pod armies.

So the punch-shunt elements of Interceptors and Dreadknights were my 1st turn ‘drop pod’ functionaries of this list, aiming to take out the big bad of the enemy and/or crippling them at weak spots, also doubling up as massive distraction units that had to be dealt with.

Deepstriking Terminator squad will seize objectives and score where needed, preferably backing up the shunting vanguard with stormbolter firepower. I’ve included Thawn to pose a ‘thorn’ (haw haw) to my enemy’s plans, what with him being re-spawnable and all with the exception of “Remove from Play” attacks.

Servo-skulls to put the kibosh on scouting armies, especially bike spam.

In the meantime my long range psyfleman, vindicare, and jokaero-monkey obliterators will deal death from afar preferably on 1st turn, thanks to Coteaz and his Spy Network. If the enemy got close the plasma cannons would deal with 3+ armour Marine Equivalents (MEQ) / 2+ armour Terminator Equivalents (TEQ), Coteaz and Inquisitor have access to Divination so I would cast Prescience and Twin-Link the firepower of the squads. So essentially Divination Monkies for the win, with the plethora of AP1 / AP2 Blast and long range firepower, with opportunities to buff on Monkey Buff Traits (a.k.a. “Inconceivable Customisation” with +1 bonus per Monkey) e.g. rending, increased 12” range, etc, and maybe a spare Divination power that could be useful e.g. Perfect Timing (ignores Cover).

Nasty Monkies!

Henchmen would preferably sit within their Chimera taxis and snipe from their static caravans, only moving/disembarking to grab objectives. Coteaz *might* set up in terrain, this would be situational e.g. if the enemy is relying on outflanking / deepstriking / reserves his “I’ll Be Expecting You” rule would devastate them.

Lastly the final henchmen squad (psykers + plasma dudes) would arrive from reserve for late objective grabbing, keeping them out of harm’s way.

Vindicare, while being a Glass Cannon, is my anti-fortification / anti-land-raider / anti-vehicle component, intending to pop a tank a turn, and lastly I’m reliant on any Psycannons I can spare and the Psyfleman to take out any Flyers (fingers crossed here), which I had hoped wouldn’t have been too many.

So with that in mind, I jumped into the breach, and entered my intrepid Grey Knights to see how such a list would fare in a “competitive” environment. Sadly these are just quick summaries to give you a flavour of what occurred this weekend but no photos, charts, full blown batreps etc, for all you avid readers. Boooo! Hisss, gerroff, etc.

If you do want further information on what went down on the day, check out this link. Other than that, apologies to my opponents if I get the finer details of their army lists wrong, but I’ll do my best to recall what I went up against. All scores shown below are NOT as per BRB victory points but rather based on the tournament scoring system itself.

NOTE: I was quite aware that Grey Knights were an army that not many people had ever faced in my local meta, so all the players I encountered were very unfamiliar with my force’s Codex, playstyle, and abilities. With that in mind, I always sought to chat my list through with my opponents pre-game and explain where required many of the Grey Knights abilities (e.g. servo skulls, Coteaz Spy Network, I’ll be Expecting You, Jokaero traits, Thawn’s I’ll Be Back, etc etc), so as to not suddenly foist “extra hidden” rules and abilities they were previously unaware and make the game fairer and more fun for both parties.


Mission: Crusade (4no. objectives) - Setup: Dawn of War
Grey Knights 1st Turn: Yes (won roll-off, no initiative stolen)
Table: Urban-theme with Gothic ruin terrain.
Opponent: Adam

White Scars “Bike Spam” @ 1750 point

Chapter Master - on Bike, Shield Eternal, Relic Blade
Jaghatai Khan – on Bike

Bike squad - 5 bikes
Bike squad - 5 bikes
Bike squad - 5 bikes
Bike squad - 5 bikes
Scout Squad

Command squad – 5 bikes
Stern Guard – 10 marines, Drop Pod


GAME 1 RESULT: Grey Knights Defeated! (Primary + Tertiary failed, Secondary draw = 3 – 13)

GAME 1 SUMMARY: Servo skulls put the White Scars at arm’s length with 50% of bikes in reserve, so the Interceptors and Dreadknight shunted forth while my long range shooting tore massive chunks out of the bikers (killing one squad and decimating the command) in the first 2 turns. However, the Dreadknight eventually flubbed his dice rolls in combat and fell to a series of power fist attacks. With this momentum lost, the quick arrival of drop pod, stern guard, storm raven and the rest of bikes on turns 3 quickly turned the tide.

With so much biker pressure, my forces withdrew to one side of the board and dealt with the Stern Guard and Drop Pod but with the majority of scoring units still embarked in their Chimeras failing to secure their own objectives, at the end of turn 4 all Bikes rushed to camp on all objectives within their reach with their turbo-boosting abilities, and time was called.

Turbo-boosting won the bikes the game!

GAME 1 REACTION: It was in this first and vital game I learnt that tournaments like this one had to be played fast to the extent that players’ would be considered lucky if they even got to finish Turn 5, let alone any further turns. I had a good game playing against Adam’s bike army and did not begrudge him his well-deserved, hard fought victory as we both did not fully realise how long we were taking to play. 2.5 hours goes quickly!

We both had the option of playing on into our lunch break and even onto the next game but decided against it on the grounds that it would be unfair in a fashion to our subsequent opponent(s) by holding everybody up, so we got to enjoy our sandwich buffet lunch instead and talked about the game and discussed with others how theirs went. We were then relaxed, regrouped, and prepared for the next game.


Mission: Big Guns Never Tire (4no. objectives) – Setup: Hammer and Anvil
Grey Knights 1st Turn: Yes (won roll-off, no initiative stolen)
Table: Industrial-theme with Gothic ruin terrain.
Opponent: Chris S.

Chaos Space Marines “Typhus Triple Helldrakes” @ 1750 points

Chaos Space Marine Sorceror – on Bike

Plague Zombies – 28no.
Plague Zombies – 27no.
Plague Zombies – 21 no.

Chaos spawn – 3no.

Helldrake – baleflamer
Helldrake – baleflamer
Helldrake – baleflamer

Chaos Havocs – 2 Lascannons + Autocannons
Chaos Havocs – 2 Lascannons + Autocannons


GAME 2 RESULT: Grey Knights Defeated! (Primary + Secondary failed, Tertiary passed = 4 – 18)

GAME 2 SUMMARY: Dreadknight got tarpitted by zombies and stayed in combat throughout the game, while Typhus’ Manreaper made quick work of my deep-striking Terminators. Everything else apart from my Psyfleman was eliminated by the fearsome Triple Helldrakes with their powerful Vector Strikes to crack open transports and 360 degree torrent S6 AP3 Flamer to kill everything it touches. On a positive note, twin-linked lascannon monkies did blow up the fortification, but the best I could do against the Flyers was glance one a turn despite the amount of twin-linked snap-shooting I was putting out. With no dedicated anti-air and poor positioning of my 2+ armour save units the game was an uphill struggle.

Dragons and Zombies, the Ultimate Tournament Combo!

GAME 2 REACTION: I had never faced this fearsome meta-busting list before but on some small level I was quite pleased I didn’t get tabled despite playing until the end of Turn 5 where it ended naturally on a dice roll (with only Dreadknight and Psyfleman left on board). Chris’ freely admitted that he normally wouldn’t play such a competitive list in ‘normal’ games but opted to do so as he had heard rumours that all other entries were meta-busting ballbreaking power-lists were normal in this particular tournament. Whether this was actually the case I couldn’t verify as I had not the chance to scrutinise the top tables’ players individual lists.

I’ll hold my hands up and state that it wasn’t the most enjoyable game I’ve ever played by a mile, but it was certainly an eye-opening game at least on an academic level as Chris was very canny with his list choices, deployment, and the way he played them (particularly manoeuvring the mighty Helldrakes to deny me shots at their rear armour) and I’d be fooling myself if I hadn’t expected to meet at least that one “guy” who brought that “list” that everyone talks about in hushed tones in a competition setting. Mind you, some of my opponents might well tar me with the same brush with the laser monkey gunline setup I have, so there you go.


Mission: Emperor’s Will + The Relic (2no. objectives + Relic) – Setup: Dawn of War
Grey Knights 1st Turn: Yes (1st turn given to me, no initiative stolen)
Table: Desert-theme with Adobe flat-roof building terrain.
Opponent: Grant

Blood Angels “Assault Marine Strikeforce” @ 1750 points


Assault Marines – 10no. + 1 Sanguinary priest, Jump Packs
Assault Marines – 10no. + 1 Sanguinary priest, Jump Packs
Assault Marines – 10no. + 1 Sanguinary priest, Jump Packs


Dreadnought – Drop Pod
Predator Annihilator – TL Lascannons, Lascannons
Predator Annihilator – TL Lascannons, Lascannons

GAME 3 RESULT: Grey Knights Victory! (Primary passed, Secondary & Tertiary drew = 13 – 4)

GAME 3 SUMMARY: Both Jokaero squads rolled to increase their shooting range by 12” (and one squad gained Ignores Cover from Coteaz Psychic power BRB roll) which gave the Grey Knights an overwhelming edge over Grant’s Blood Angels on a board with very little LOS-denying cover. Both the Dreadknight and Interceptors were eventually charged by Assault Squads but Force Swords & Doomfists made short work of the lot, while the Vindicare popped a vehicle a turn with its Turbo-Penetrator ammunition.

Mephiston and his ride (Stormraven) came too late on the board on Turn 5 to recover the battle for the Blood Angels, by then the Monkey + Servitor shooting had wiped out the rest of the Sons of Sanguinius, and Thawn made off with the Relic (which was a bananacounter)

Victory, and Payday for my Monkey auxillaries!

GAME 3 REACTION: As both Grant and I at this point had been allocated to the bottom table it seemed we were both battling for the “wooden spoon”. Sadly this time the deck was stacked against Grant as this particular table’s themed-cover (or lack of it) did his army no favours as they were out in the open, along with the nerfing of his Scouting tactics caused by my servo-skull. Lastly the Monkey-buffs and Ignores Cover from my shooting was truly a devastating combination that really put the hurt on all the MEQs he had.

However Grant was a very affable chap who didn’t get to play 40K much so was quite happy just to be involved in the tournament, and his enthusiasm for the game and cheerful inquisitiveness e.g. asking me questions such as “Wow what does this unit do?”, “I like your monkeys, they can do what? That’s horrible”, etc, meant this was the friendliest, easygoing game I played all day which made it more enjoyable. The fact that this was the last battle for the day meant at this stage it was played pretty casually at a leisurely pace, with plenty of opportunities to just chat without staring at our little army toys intently rolling dice like the world depended on it.


 Mission: The Scouring (6no. objectives) – Setup: Vanguard Strike
Grey Knights 1st Turn: Yes (1st turn given to me, no initiative stolen)
Table: Urban-theme with Gothic ruin terrain.
Opponent: Liam

Ultramarines “Take All Comers” @ 1750 points

Chapter Master, Shield Eternal, Burning Blade

Tactical Marines – 10no. plasma + Rhino
Tactical Marines – 10no. plasma + Rhino
Scout Squad

Command Squad – 5no. marines + banner + axes, etc.
Techmarine + Thunderfire Cannon

Land Raider Redeemer
Devastator Squad – Lascannons + Missile Launchers


GAME 4 RESULT: Grey Knights Defeated (Primary & Tertiary failed, Secondary drew = 2 – 14)

GAME 4 SUMMARY: I made a fatal error in the deployment of my Dreadknight which resulted in sudden lunge by my opponent’s Chapter Master (riding in a Landraider, disembarked, and assaulted) who successfully slew it on the 1st turn which caught the Grey Knight’s completely off-guard! However, my forces held their nerve and battered the Ultramarines with immense firepower destroying the enemy warlord, their transports and exploding the fortification.

As the dust settled the Grey Knights had the advantage having seized objectives of greater value, so Thawn took the risk of attempting a greedy grab running towards a further unclaimed objective to seal the deal (pushing a minor win up to a victory) but just couldn’t make it. This was subsequently punished by the Ultramarines who launched a last-ditch firepower push at all my scoring units and succeeded in breaking the morale of my key Psyker unit.

The Ultramarines had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat!

GAME 4 REACTION: This game was the first one played on the 2nd day of the tournament, and I found it really enjoyable, a pretty awesome game. While my Vindicare missed all his shots and re-rolls throughout the entire game, Liam opened with a bold gambit by throwing his Chapter Master forward and adventurously slaying my Monstrous Creature for First Blood. After this the game was played pretty conservatively on both sides with the superior firepower of the magic monkeys catching Liam off guard with the sudden and catastrophic loss of his bastion which left his static firebase in disarray.

Liam was definitely on the backfoot at this point, but by the end of the game we had all correctly de-canted our transports and camped our objectives (an experience learnt from Game 1) to avoid past mistakes and in the end the game hinged on a single Morale test dice roll which my henchmen unit failed where it counted. Liam was quite relieved to have won this game as he felt his forces came under a lot of pressure from my gunline but his own marines finally delivered at the last minute, which did not surprise me as I had anticipated this scenario earlier but consciously did nothing about it so Liam deserved his victory here.


 Mission: The Scouring (+ 3no. objectives) – Setup: Dawn of War
Grey Knights 1st Turn: Yes (1st turn given to me, no initiative stolen)
Table: Jungle-theme with overgrown ruins terrain.
Opponent: Chris M.

Crimson Slaughter “Cult Air” @ 1750 points

Chaos Space Marine Lord (Mark of Slaanesh I think?), power sword

Chaos Cultists – 20no.
Chaos Cultists – 10no.
Chaos Cultists – 10no.

Plague Marines – 10no.
Plague Marines – 10no.
Chaos Spawn – 5no.

Bikers – 5no. + Mark of Nurgle (Plague Marine bikers, inc. power fist)
Fire Raptor Gunship - Forgeworld Flyer
Storm Eagle Gunship and Assault Transport - Forgeworld Flyer

GAME 5 RESULT: Grey Knights Victory (Opponent Tabled = 20 – 0)

GAME 5 SUMMARY: The forces of Chaos were spread evenly throughout their deployment edge (almost like Napoleonic infantry) with the bikes hidden away as if to mitigate blast template firing, although the Warpsmith & Plague Marine retinue were in a rhino deployed in the open, a tactical mistake as this was immediately popped by the Vindicare. Twin-linked plasma cannon blast templates soon vaporised its’ contents neatly clumped together for convenience.

Meanwhile, tele-shunting Grey Knights sought out, shot at and eventually engaged the Chaos Lord, Bikes and cultists in a risky gambit but managed to eliminating them with minimal casualties suffered over the 3 turns, while Henchmen long range shooting destroyed whatever was in their line of sight.

To add further insult to injury, the Chaotic Forgeworld Flyers eventually flew in separately on turns 3 & 4 doing minimal damage (e.g. eventually stripping the Psyfleman Dread of all it’s hull points) but were immediately both destroyed in dramatic conflagrations by uncannily precise shooting! The Psyfleman took down the first Fire Raptor with 2 penetrative shots and blew it up, and Psycannons from the Interceptors did the same to the Storm Eagle, killing it’s contents consisting of a entire Plague Marine unit.

With both Flyers destroyed the forces of Chaos lost heart and were completely wiped out, and the tournament ended with the Vindicare shooting his final Hellfire round through the back of a lone cultist fleeing through the battlefield wreckage.

*Flawless Victory…*

GAME 5 REACTION: Truly the God-Emperor bestows good fortune at the final game upon his favourite sons, the Grey Knights!

While my long range shooting went according to plan, my Grey Knight skirmishing elements (tele-shunters) in combat took me by surprise as they had previously been pretty pants during Game 1 when I faced a similar Biker faction strategically deployed in the same, exact fashion. Despite being bogged in combat, they crushed their foes but for a brief moment it looked like Chaos was ready to pounce on my vulnerable gunline upon arrival of affiliated aircraft…

However, poor rounds of shooting by the Flyers couple by sh!t-hot shooting by myself (I had never rolled so many 6’s on my dice in a game, ever!) meant that even without Skyfire I was immensely lucky to destroy the points-heavy planes one after the other.

This game took me by surprise as I realised that above-average rolling on my part, faced against below-average rolling on my opponent’s part (and some fatal deployment errors) meant this was an extremely one-sided game for Chris which he took it very sportingly and in good nature, which was very admirable.

It was one of those games where everything I did went right and everything my opponent did went wrong which I did feel Chris’ pain despite me being the one dishing it out.


With a total score of 42 (I think) out of a possible 100, I ranked 13th Place out of 20 entries.

I would definitely consider this not bad at all for the lazer monkies, even without dedicated anti-flyers / flyer support! As I’m in the process of investing in a Stormraven and/or Aegis Defence Line + Quad gun and experimenting with them, these elements I might be adding to my forces in future games.

Lazer Monkey-Grey Knights did good, in fact so good that I won this trophy (picture as proof!):

Of course, it helped that I won it by default irrespective of my score and/or ranking as I was the only Grey Knight player there, but I still won a trophy at my first tournament, wooohoooo!

For your interest the other results as followed:

1st Place: Scott Milne (Space Marines)
2nd Place: Andrew Smith (Tyranids)
3rd Place: Adam Moffat (White Scars)

Wooden Spoon: Grant Taylor (Blood Angels)

Player Choice: David Calder (Tau) – this was hotly contested between him and myself! The Player Choice scores were for best painted, themed, etc, essentially a free vote by all in attendance, and we tied,  thanks to those who took a fancy to my monkies and their banana objective counters.

We had to roll off and David won, which he deserved to as he brought one of the most beautifully painted and modelled Tau armies I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, while my monkies are still wip so would’ve felt bad if I had won this award. Well, maybe just a little bit. ;-)


 It's a question of simian survival...

I had a great 2 days, had plenty of laughs, enjoyed myself thoroughly, and I hope this sentiment was shared by all in attendance.

Met some great guys, good players the lot of them with interesting and varied armies I can’t wait to play against soon one day.

Thanks again to the Edinburgh League of Gamers, and especially Dale Bennion for organising a wonderful and fun tournament. Can’t wait for the next one!

Thanks for reading patient readers, much appreciated!


  1. This looks amazing!

    If it helps, I'm abyssmal at competitive play...and with my Guard infantry it can take me upto hal an hour to move anyway!

    Here's to 12/20 next year, eh?!

    Bloody well done!

  2. Thanks for reading all the way thru' much appreciated.

    There was a Guardstra Millitarum player in the tournament, he took a while to play his games too! All them models to move about...

    The "Monkey Magic Snipers" did well this tournament seeing it took no account of what would happen when encountering Flyers (e.g. poorly against the triple Helldrakes, but then amazingly well against the double Forgeworld Flyers???) so maybe better luck next year!