The other week I attended the first tournament in about a year that I wanted to have a bash at. 1000pts 40k, so the Sons would get a good dusting off. 

40k Thousand Sons Tournament Showdown

By: Powered Armoured Metal (Apart Of Talk Wargaming Network)
I decided to run an elite anti-infantry force, comprising of:

HQ-Exalted Sorcerer 2x power swords, darkmatter crystal
Elite - Hellforged Contemptor 2x Assault Cannons
Elite - Hellforged Contemptor 2x Assault Cannons
Elite - Hellforged Sicaran, Accelerator Autocannons, 1x Heavy Bolter
TROOPS - 8 Rubrics, 7x bolters, flame pistol and force staff, icon
TROOPS-16 Tzaangor, mix of pistols/chainswords and blades, icon, horn, twistbray
FAST - 3x Spawn

The idea with this list was to pump out a ton of shots. I didn't have much anti-tank, but figured in 1000pts there wouldn't be too many tanks about. Nearly all of my shooting was at least AP-1, so should do alright against tougher foes. I didn't have that many CP so would have to choose stratagems carefully.

Game one was against a cool looking Tau army, headed by a Ghostkeel, a fancy quad-burst cannon suit, Shadowsun and plenty of fire warriors, drones and breachers.  I figured this is where my high amount of anti-infantry weapons should come into play. Fortunately I got the first turn, so I put a plan into action. Immediately I made use of the dark matter crystal, shunting my rubrics behind enemy lines, ready to blast the warlord. I managed to wipe it out in the shooting phase, and thanks to the tactical cards I'd drawn, I managed 5 points in this act alone! The rubrics also caused a scare, managing to distract a few fire warrior squads. I only lost two during this game. The spawn were less than useless, and were all wiped out on the charge (turns out Tau can fire EVERY nearby unit at a charging squad and hit on 5+The contemptors really helped thin down the squads, but eventually were bright down by a combination of the battlesuit with drones (about 30-40 shots!) and fusion blasters, and the sorcerer got taken down, but by this point I had plenty of points to win the round. The Sicaran ended the game on full wounds, and the rubrics got me an extra final point for linebreaker.

Not this exact list, but the Iron Warriors were owned by the same player so :P 

Game two was against an Iron Warriors force. This army also had a sicaran, as well as a warpsmith, havocs and obliterators. Things started off badly; I was unfortunate enough to loose both contemptors withing the first turn(also for some reason I decided to split them). This game quickly went south after this, the spawn again failed to do anything, and the Sicaran finally met it's match. Having said that, the exalted sorcerer punched above his weight. He managed to wipe out the warpsmith in one go with a high-power smite, and again on a small squad of marines. In the end even he was taken out. a Table, but points-wise there was only a few points between.

The final game, the relic mission, had me worried; a tank-heavy force lead by Pask in a Punisher. With my lack of dedicated anti-tank I had to pick my targets well. My army make a bee-line towards Pask, whilst there were other tanks and a Deathstrike, I knew how deadly Pask could be. Everything shot at Pask and the rubrics charged after a crystal teleport, bringing him down to two wounds and locking him in combat; whilst he could run he wouldn't be able to fire. The spawn also did the one useful thing in all the games, charging another Russ and preventing it from shooting, doing a little bit of damage. This tactic worked pretty well this game, holding up the two surviving russes for a few rounds. Pask was shot down turn two by the Sicaran. However due to the number of tanks and heavy hitters, the army did get whittled down. The deathstrike got a lucky turn two firing sequence and did some damage. this game eventually game down to just my exalted sorcerer with the relic, and two russes that were in range. Unforunately I rolled high and got an extra turn; had the game ended it would had been a close victory. But I'm sure you don't need me to tell you who wins; one sorcerer or two leman russes. Another tabling, but this one was so close and fun I didn't mind.

By the end of the tournament I managed a solid 9th place out of 14. I aimed not to come last, and so I feel I did well in this respect. I also managed to avoid playing against an army with 5 daemon princes in it, which is no small blessing! So what did I learn from this expedition?

-Army composition. Spawn are fairly useless. Well, in this instance they weren't the best. I'm tempted to either run a bigger squad, using them more in a screening role, or by replacing them with a gigantic spawn, which has some very impressive rules. I also need a bit more anti-tank. In a Sons list, more psychic powers such as smite will really help, especially with the +6" range thanks to the Thousand Sons battleforged ability.

-formations. I only realised afterwards that the middle basic detachment (2 HQ 3 Troops) have 5CP not just 3. All my opponents had at least 8CP to my 4, so I burnt through all my special abilities pretty quickly. It's fairly easy to get this formation in 1000pts (plenty of cultists!), so I'll be trying out some new combinations next year.

-Tactics. Apart from game two, I feel that my tactical decisions were fairly solid. Targeting one or two key units a turn concentrates fire and almost guarantees a unit disappears, meaning less retaliatory fire. In the end it's a game of chance so not every plan will operate smoothly. It's key to keep calm and adapt to any issues during the game.

Overall, it was a fun day out with an OK outcome, and I look forward to the next one.

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