My army, then... I suppose I better start with that:
Leading the Word Bearers was Coryphaus Kratos Drak'ftae (aka Kharn the Betrayer), escorted by a squad of nine Chaos Space Marines Veterans with Mark of Khorne in his Land Raider. Sentry and guarding duties was undertaken by three squads of ten/fifteen/fifteen men Cultist squads, mostly behind an Aegis Defence Line manning a Comm. Uplink (represented by the altar above). They were overseen by two squads of Obliterators with the Mark of Nurgle. Air support was conducted by a pair of Sentinel pattern Heldrakes and their escorting Hell Blade.
Round One - Crusade/Dawn of War
Daniel Sverre Hagen (Tyranid)
Two flying Hive Tyrants with two twin-linked Devourers each, two Tervigons with the attendant Termagant broods to make them Troops, two broods of Hive Guard, a Trygon. Not too dissimilar to Ørn's take on 'Nids from earlier that week. The Doom of Malantai and a brood of Ymgarl Genesteralers was a bit of an unknown quantity for me, though.
I wasn't completely in the dark as to what the threats was, but would have to keep on my toes to be ready for the two unknowns when they arrived. One Tervigon was reduced to one wound in my first turn, and earned me First Blood in the second. The other one lasted until turn four, IIRC, when Kratos chopped it to bits while the assault squad could only watch. The Hive Tyrants very nearly ruined it for me, though. After having taken down both Heldrakes (12 twin-linked S6 shots against rear armour does the job just fine.) they were Swooping around behind my lines and gunning down the remaining cultists. A bit of concentrated autopistol fire, and a failed Grounded test or two (finally!) allowed the Obliterators to execute the beasts just before the game ended.
4 of 4 points.
Round Two - The Scouring/Vanguard Strike
Christian P (Death Corps of Krieg army list from Imperial Armour 5/6)
This was a very cool-looking army, with several units I didn't really know. Company command squad, Infantry Platoon with attached Heavy Weapons squad (Autocannons), Death Riders squadron, two squadrons of Sentinels, Leman Russ
I quickly noticed that there was no answer to my Heldrakes in his army, and decided to play aggressively to take out his artillery early on and engage his units on his side of the table to keep them away from my Cultists. Kratos and the CSM squad sped 18" across no-man's land turn one, and spent the next three or four turns slaughtering guardsmen. One of my Obliterator squads teleported down close to his Basilisk and
8 of 8 points.
Round 3 - Purge the Alien/Hammer and Anvil
Opponent: Magnus Liene
Army: Chaos Daemons (Tzeentch & Slaanesh) with Chaos Space Marines allies
Max score so far... There was only four of us with two 4-0 wins thus far, so I was sure I'd come up against something I couldn't handle pretty soon. Kairos Fateweaver, two heralds of Tzeentch on Disks joining eight Screamers of Tzeentch, eleven Horrors of Tzeentch, sixteen Daemonettes of Slaanesh, two Soul Grinders, a Chaos Sorcerer on Bike joining five Chaos Spawn and finally a squad of Cultists.
Even though I got first turn, by the end of the second one a sea of Screamers had blitzed my firebase and locked pretty much everything except my fliers in combat for the entire game. No matter how well I rolled to hit or to wound, the Screamers would save on twos - rerolling ones. My fliers went after his Troops, to stop them from capturing objectives, but with good dispersal, invulnerable saves and Fearless (for all practical purposes) they were still there when the game ended. I did get Kairos towards the very end, though. Autopistol-fire from a band of Cultists finally caused him to fail a Grounded test and loose a wound. The Obliterators on that flank took another three wounds with their Assault Cannons, before the immobile Land Raider swivelled one twin-linked Lascannon out and (in my mind's eye) put a bolt of energy through each of Kairo's heads.
8 of 12 points.
While the kids went out for pizza, we stopped by the hotel to freshen up before making our way over to our favourite local restaurant; Mother India. Much Kingfisher, and excellent food was consumed. After a drink back at the hotel, we turned in and caught a few hours of 'shut-eye' before day two...
Round 4 - The Emperor's Will/Dawn of War
Opponent: Kjetil Liknes
Army: Chaos Space Marines with Necron Allies
Ah! My nemesis... For the last two or three years, I've found Kjetil across the table from me at the start of the first game of Invasion. When that didn't happen this year, we were both a little perplexed. Now, balance was restored to the universe. ;)
Kjetil had a Chaos Sorcerer, three squads of Chaos Space Marines, a squad of cultists, a squad of Autocannon Havocs. The allied Necron Lord brought his Command Barge, two small squads of Warriors, each with a Cryptex(?) in a Night Scythe and an Annihilation Barge.
With each of our objectives secreted away behind terrain near the corners of the same short table edge, and with me having the initiative, I decided to put pressure on Kjetil's army from the very beginning. The Obliterators prioritized the Necron Barges while the Land Raider drove full speed towards the infantry horde around Kjetil's objective. When my flyers came in, the Heldrakes went to work on the Marines but the Hell Blade lined up on the Sorcerer. Since he was the only visible model from the unit he'd joined, and failed two of the required four armour-saves he had to take, I earned both First Blood and Slay the Warlord early on. On the ground, things went a little less according to plan. Kratos rolled snake-eyes and failing to reach the Cultists turn two and, a few turns later, failing three out of five armour saving throws after being wounded by the same cultists. At the end of turn five, one of the Necron Warriors squads dropped in off their Night Scythe, but when the game went on the remaining Obliterators as well as all three Cultist squads did have enough fire power to take the tin-men down. Luckily, the Cryptex failed his Reanimation Protocols roll too. The game ended with each of us still clinging on to our own objectives, but with me up one point (First Blood, remember?) I barely managed a win
12 of 16 points.
Round 5 - Big Guns Never Tire/Vanguard Strike
Opponent: Frans Svaasand
Army: Craftworld Iyanden Eldar with Tau Empire allies
Just the final game of the week-end to go, then... When the pairings were read, I knew I'd be facing one of the armies I'd hoped I'd steer clear of...
The Eldar army consisted of a Spirit Seer joining the allied Riptide Suit and Shas'O, three squadrons of three Jetbikes, two squads of ten Kroot, a squad of three Broadside battle-suits with missiles deploying inside an Bastion and finally three Wraith Knights with two Wraithcannons each.
I set up my fire-base as normal, pointing the Land Raider at the corner I expected the Eldar army to deploy in and the Obliterators in a three-storey ruin just behind it. One squad of cultists hid on the ground floor. This time I felt that discretion was the better part of valour, and held off for a turn. The "Tau-dar" army had deployed back in their corner, so with Night Fight in effect I only had range to the Bastion. To my surprise, the Wraith Knights held off at range and started taking pot-shots at my Land Raider. It didn't help my opponent that his dice were completely cold where his Wraith Knights was concerned. During the game, they fired close to a score of shots without causing more than a single glancing hit. The Land Raider and Obliterators shot down one of the Knights and brought another down to two wounds by turn four, when one of them finally advanced to contest one of my objectives. Kratos and the Marines met the Wraith Knight and took another wound off it, but were unable to finish it off.
So there I was, thinking I might have this under control after all. A squad of Kroot had made an attempt at the objective on my far right, only to be seen off by the Heldrakes and the Cultists camping out there. As I finished my fifth turn, however, we were close to the end of regulated time, so the Eldar army performed one of their usual endgame tricks finally captured the objective assaulted earlier.
As we were out of time, my opponent was disinclined to roll for a sixth turn. While I was pretty sure I could have removed the Jetbike unit holding my third objective, it was largely academic. My closest unit of Cultist would need both the sixth and the seventh turn to reclaim it, and I had reminded my opponent that his Riptide was not a Heavy Support unit, and thus not a scoring unit. I conceded.
12 of 20 points.
Those twelve points was enough for a fifth place, split four ways. The winner scored 17 points, and there was just a single point separating each of the next four positions. Pretty close-fought, I'd say...
That concluded another great weekend in Kristiansand. Almost! Ørnulv mentioned it towards the end of his own writeup, but I think that it bears restating that his Dark Eldar took home the Best Painted award again. If I'm not mistaken, that makes him the first one to take it two years in a row. Congratulations, old chap!