AdeptiCon 2022 – Warhammer 40,00 Team Tournament – Andrew’s Recap

The Warhammer 40,000 Team Tournament has always been a keystone event at AdeptiCon. The sheer volume of players (100 Teams of 4) guarantees absolute insanity across two days and five games of Warhammer. There is something special about this event that brings out the highest level of hobby in the community and 2022 did not disappoint.

My Team Tournament journey began in June 2019 when Team Captain Nick asked if I would be interested in joining the squad for their AdeptiCon 2020 Team. I agreed and after two canceled AdeptiCons and almost three years of hobby, we unveiled the long-awaited Siege of Hydra Cordatus – a monumental collaboration between Chicago Dice, Blood Art Studios and Regum Auratis.

The Army

For the past three AdeptiCons, the Regum Auratis crew took inspiration from a Black Library novel for the Team Tournament force. This year was no different. We selected Graham McNeill’s 2002 classic, Storm of Iron. This book, aside from being serious OG 40k, provided the inspiration for a Hybrid Team (a Team comprised of multiple Warhammer 40,000 Factions). Staying within the limits of the story we crafted four unique detachments to form our Team.

My detachment was the 383rd Jouran Dragoons, the desperate Imperial Guard defenders of Fortress Tor Christo. Outnumbered but not outgunned. Dan commanded the valiant Imperial Fist Space Marine reinforcements sent to relieve the siege. The other half of the Team was Nick and Brian who led two detachments of Iron Warriors. The Warsmith himself (on a quest for daemonhood) at the front of his Legion to conquer Hydra Cordatus with an array of heretic Iron Warrior Chaos Space Marines, siege tanks, captured PDF slave-soldiers and Berserkers.

Our force contained almost a dozen named characters (with custom baseplates), all from the novel including Imperial Fist Captain Eshara, Librarian Master Corwin, Lt. Colonel Leonid, Barban Falk – The Warsmith, Forrix – The Breaker, Kroeger and Honsou Half-Breed.

As the four of us worked on our individual army components in almost complete isolation from one another, the morning of the Tournament was the first time the entire force had ever been assembled in one place. Let me tell ya, it was a sight to see. The display told an engaging narrative and we even included a well-loved paperback copy of Storm of Iron!

Game One – Metal Invasion v. Andy & Seth (Death Guard)

Imperial Artillery lining up to bombard the Death Guard filth.

The Primary Objective in Game One was “Co-Op Kill Points”. In order to score a Kill Point, a unit from both players’ forces had to inflict damage on the target in the same turn. It’s an interesting idea, especially in this format, but in practical terms, it was difficult to track. I love the idea of forcing both players to work together but it led to too many discussions on target priority. Our opponents, Andy and Seth, rolled up with a solid line of Death Guard and proceeded to march across the table. Despite our best efforts, we could not stop the tide of Nurgle and both Dan and I were pretty much tabled by the end of Turn 4. We simply could not inflict enough damage before those Death Guard got within charge range.

Props to both our opponents for playing a patient game, knowing full well they would reach our lines almost fully intact. Oh, it’s also probably worth noting that this was my second game of 9th Edition, ever. Dan did an incredible job shepherding me through the turn sequence and how to best utilize my Command Points and Stratagems. Just like you’d expect from Humanity’s finest, the Imperial Fists.

Highlights from the game:
– Loken was right, Death Guard are hard to kill. Either that or Basilisks are much less effective than I thought… I think I was overconfident in the amount of damage my army could produce. A difficult lesson to learn during a tournament game.
– Andy’s Nurgle Daemon Price was not in the mood for nonsense. That dude went on an absolute tear.
– Seth and Andy brought the Team Sprit in spades! They were both fantastic opponents and handed out some really cool swag (shot glass, sticker, dice, pins). I’d happily roll dice or grab a beer with these dudes anytime.

Result – Loss

Game Two – Flame in the Night vs. Bryan & Luke (Genestealer Cult & Drukhari)

Tony, the Legend, moments from ending a Guard Squad.

Brain and I stood shoulder to shoulder in Game Two for what would prove to be the complete and total removal of our forces. Similar to Game One, the Primary Objective was “Team Take & Hold”. In order to capture an Objective, a unit from both players’ forces had to be within 3″. Now, this is how to write a team mission. I’m a huge fan of this twist on objective capture. Brain and I had a solid deployment and plan of attack. Unfortunately for us, Bryan and Luke (our opponents) had a different idea.

Highlights from the game:
– Okay Genestealer Cultists are wild. They can deploy units using ‘Blip’ markers before the start of the game and can call in all kinds of different reserves. It really felt like no matter how many we killed, there were always more. That force has a super unique playstyle and it was fun to see it executed to perfection.
– Dark Lances, wow. Luke had a handful of units with Darklances and they absolutely ripped into my tanks. I figured that tanks could survive and round or two of shooting. I figured wrong.
– The Kelermorph. This is that gunslinger looking Genestealer with the three pistols. It’s actually more like ten pistols. This dude fired barrage after barrage at our units causing all kinds of destruction. Oh, he can also move after shooting to go and hide in a building lol.
– The Legend of Tony the Purestrain. Bryan went super aggressive with a unit of Purestrain Genestealers. They were halfway up the table by the end of their first turn. I wasn’t excited about that so I tried to blast them from the table. After a fair amount of shooting, only one Purestrain remained. This single model became known as Tony. Tony the Legend. Tony refused to die and was solely responsible for the destruction of two Guard Squads, a Basilisk and a Medusa. Our forces were powerless to destroy this beast from another dimension. I even called in an Orbital Strike onto Tony. Foolish. Tony didn’t care. We all lost track of the number of 4+ Invulnerable saves Bryan made to keep Tony alive. It must have been close to 30.
Sadly we go word that later in the day Tony met his demise in Game Three. RIP to a legend.

Result – Loss

Game Three – Ages of Power vs. John & Montar (Space Marines & Astra Militarum)

Heavy guns trying to hold the line.

This was a strange one. An Attacker/Defender mission that left Nick and I completely on the back foot. We faced the combined might of a real Guard Tank Battalion supported by assault-heavy Primaris. Nick and I ended up as defenders (thinking it would give my artillery a chance to slow the enemy’s advance) but the small deployment zone forced us onto the backline with little room to maneuver.

Highlights from the game:
– After two games of my tanks not really performing it was wild watching Montar’s Leman Russ tanks blow my dudes apart without any trouble. Turns out, all Imperial armored vehicles are not made equal!
– Barban Falk – The Warsmith, too angry to die. Nick pushed the Deamon Prince forward and took a massive volley of enemy fire straight to the face. The Warsmith was left standing with only a single Wound. Turns out, that’s all he needed. For the rest of the game The Warsmith shredded. Flipping tanks, punching Primaris, and ripping Guard apart.
– Even after three games I was still shocked by how ineffective my shooting was. Having a random number of shots for my heavy weapons left the results super swingy and I wasn’t able to dial it in. Just lack of experience I guess.

Result – Loss

Game Four – Island of Dreams vs. Jason & Ian (Chaos Space Marines)

Live and under the lights!

We played Game Four on the Warhammer TV Livestream! Dan and I allied up again for a classic Imperial vs. Chaos match. The Chaos Space Marines brought forth by Jason and Ian were gorgeously painted and looked proper terrifying on the table. The Primary Objective was once again “Team Take & Hold” and we marched out of corner deployment to secure the objectives and blast these traitorous heretics from existence.

Highlights from the game:
– I’m not being hyperbolic, that was one of the most fun games of Warhammer (40k or Fantasy) I have ever played. Maybe it was the exhaustion, maybe it was “playing under the lights”, whatever the reason, my goodness that was a hell of a game. So many stand-up moments! Single die saves, nigh impossible shots, wild charges, desperate close combats, tactical movement – this game had it all!
– A squad of six Chaos Terminators teleported onto the table and assaulted a Guard Squad. Somehow a single Guardsman survived and on the following turn, the Terminators fell back! That’s right – they fled in terror from the lone soldier (it was actually the correct tactical move but that’s not the narrative I choose the tell myself).
– Seeing two (four) top-tier painted armies on the table was pure joy. Like, seriously. Having Dan and my armies side-by-side was something to see. And then adding in the fantastic Chaos Space Marines from Jason and Ian was a real treat. Great armies plus great opponents lead to great games.
– So this is what 40k can be? It bears repeating, this game was incredible. Dan and I won by 2pts but that’s not why it was fun. It was fun because our forces were all evenly matched. No one brought “the dirt” or even tried to play to the meta. All the weapons and abilities stayed well within the lines of acceptability and it resulted in a very even, very close game. Unlike the other four games in the Tournament, I felt like my decisions mattered. I felt like I was having an impact on the outcome of the game. It really was a game I’ll never forget.

Result – Win

Game Five– Warriors vs. Gnarles & Chris (Custodes & Mechanicus)

The Custodes left none alive.

The fifth and final game. Luckily for Nick and I, both Gnarles and Chris looked just as spent as we were. Another Attacker/Defender style mission but really in name only. It was actually straight kill points. An objective that our opponents met without much trouble. Those Custodes, my word. We did not score a single point. I got tabled. I think Nick had a handful of models left at the end. An inglorious end to our battles on the table, but as I was often reminded, the result of the games had no impact on our ultimate goal – Best Hybrid Team.

Highlights from the game:
– And there I was thinking that Death Guard are hard to kill…goodness gracious Custodes are unreal. We were lucky enough to have the first turn and fired my entire army at one unit of five Custodian Guard and managed to kill two models. TWO. On top of that, I was told that’s a good result. XD
– Barban Falk – The Warsmith once again decided to put the team on his back and did his damnedest to bring down the Custodes responsible for the destruction of my Guard. However, apparently being a Captain of the Guard does not require honor and when challenged to single combat, the Custodian Warlord fell back. Disgraceful.
– Poor Mechanicus. Chris had two big units of Skitarii trapped in his back corner. That didn’t go too well for him. A few hot Medusa volleys thinned their numbers considerably. I would have expected higher resiliency from these tech adepts.

Result – Loss

Final Thoughts

Iron within. Shirtless without.

It’s a strange experience, heading into a five-game, two-day tournament knowing full well that the outcome of the games themselves had zero impact on our goal as a Team. Battle Points are not calculated into the awards for Best Imperial, Best Chaos, Best Xenos and Best Hybrid Team. It’s all Paint, Theme, Sports and Spirit. I’m not complaining, at all. I think it’s a fantastic system that allows players to focus on different aspects of the hobby. But it is kind of bizarre knowing that you have already done all you can do the moment you walk in the door that first morning – there is nothing left to prove. My only job was to, physically, survive the rest of the tournament (a feat I barely managed).

When the dust settled and the scores tallied we emerged victorious! This was the fourth year in a row where Regum Auratis took Best Hybrid Team and it was truly an honor to stand with such titans of the hobby. The Warhammer 40,000 scene is hyper-competitive and there are no easy wins. The journey was long, and not without its low points, but we achieved our goal and retired from AdeptiCon 2022 with honor.

To quote the Spartans, “Come back with your shield – or on it.”

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