Dark Millennium was held in Stirling on the 4th and 5th of February, at Common Ground Games. This is the second year in a row that I’ve been to the event, and it’s been fantastic both times.
The event is run using the ETC Composition system, so four sources (with super detachments such as Decurions and War Convocation counting as two), and each mission being a mix of Eternal War, Maelstrom and Kill Points, which all contribute to your total score, which is out of 20 for both players (so an 11-9 win would be if you were 2 victory points higher than your opponent, a 20-0 would be 20 or more).
For the event, I decided that breaking tradition at this point would be a fools errand, so I took a modified version of my Caledonian Uprising list,
Factions Used – Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, Inquisition
Alliance Level – Battle Brothers
Points – 1850
++ Primary Detachment – Castellans of the Imperium – Space Marines (White Scars), Inquisition
(Imperial Agents), Sisters of Battle (Imperial Agents)
HQ1 – Celestine (200) – 
HQ2 – Coteaz (Imperial Agents) (100) – 
HQ3– Ministorum Priest (Imperial Agents) (25), Litanies of Faith (15) Bolt Pistol (1) – 
HQ4 – Librarian (65) Mastery Level 2 (25) Space Marine Bike (20) Force Stave (0) The Hunters Eye (20)
–  ++WARLORD++
Troops1 – Scout Squad (55) 5x Boltguns (0) – 
Troops2 – Scout Squad (55) 5x Boltguns (0) – 
Troops3 – Scout Squad (55) 5x Boltguns (0) – 
Troops4 – Scout Squad (55) 5x Boltguns (0), Camo Cloaks (10) – 
Fast1 – Attack Bike (40) Heavy Bolter (0) – 
Fast2 – Attack Bike  Heavy Bolter (0) – 
Fast3 – Drop Pod (35) – 
Heavy1 – Centurion Devastator Squad (165) 2 Additional Centurions (2×55) 5x Grav-Cannons and Grav-Amps (125) Omniscope (10) – 
++ Secondary Detachment – Librarius Conclave – Space Marines (Ultramarines)
HQ5 – Tigirius (165) – 
HQ6 – Librarian (65) Mastery Level 2 (25) Force Stave (0) – 
HQ7 – Librarian (65) Mastery Level 2 (25) Force Stave (0) – 
HQ8 – Librarian (65) Mastery Level 2 (25) Force Stave (0) – 
HQ9 – Librarian (65) Mastery Level 2 (25) Terminator Armour (25) Storm Shield (10) Force Axe (0) – 
++ Tertiary Detachment – Inquisitorial Detachment – Inquisition (Codex: Inquisition)
HQ10 – Ordo Xenos Inquisitor (Codex: Inquisition) (25) 3x Servo Skulls (3×3), Rad Grenades (15) Psychotroke Grenades (15) – 
The idea of the list is the same as every Superfriends list you’ve ever seen. Put 1500 points in one unit and run around the board killing everything you touch while invisible.
I was called out by the person who came third at the ITC open, Aidhan Higgins, as we managed to dodge each other in all of our games there, and I’d been slagging off his Ironstar relentlessly. As such, he brought an updated version of the list to our game 1.
Aidhan was running a Fist of Medusa with a Command Squad, Double Conclave and 3 Whirlwinds, plus Celestine and a Ministorum Priest. For the unaware, in combat this represents a 3+ Rerollable invulnerable save on the command squad, with Feel no Pain 3+, and the Chapter Master has a 2+ Armour and 2+ Feel no Pain. It’s a little hard to kill. Even with shooting, the Chapter Master has a 2+/3++/2+++, so Grav-Cannons don’t do a whole lot of damage.
The mission we were playing was ‘The Reaping’ (6 Objectives worth 2 points each at the end of the game, and all HQs and Elites killed are worth 1 VP each) with ‘Cleanse and Control’ Maelstrom. My plan in this game was to get a 3+ invulnerable save through Forewarning and Sanctuary, then make myself invisible, then continually bait his star into charging mine, both of us doing no damage, then killing his chaff in the backfield, then abusing the fact that my unit was ObSec and his wasn’t to hold the end game objectives. This ended up working really well as I killed all of his units that weren’t in the star, while he only killed 3 or 4 of mine. As he had bottom of turn, he was able to split his star to capture a couple of objectives and claim a few additional kill points, meaning that I won 16-4 as opposed to a bigger 20-0 win. I did think I needed to go first as he had two orbital bombardments, so being invisible was essential to surviving those. Going second and hoping that he failed to hit or do damage might have resulted in a bigger win, but it also could have made me take a smaller win or a loss, so I don’t regret the decision.
Celestine proved her worth in this game alone for me. Having Hit and Run, and a model that is functionally invincible with a 2+ Armour Save and a 4+ Invulnerable Save with 5 Wounds and Eternal Warrior is amazing. She was able to tank entire squads without taking more than a couple of wounds, and this was a theme that would recur over the weekend.
Post Round 1 – 1/0/0 16 VPs
– The stars align and combat is engaged. Fuck all happens.
Heading into round 2 I was matched against one of the Northern Irish brood. 6 of the Northern Irish ETC team were in attendence, and as a newly qualified member of the Scotland Team, I was eager to prove myself against them. James Johnson was playing War Convocation with Cawl, and the 4++ Canticle proved itself obnoxious as I was unable to complete a kill on a unit until my Turn 3, with me going second. We were playing Deadlock/Crusade for missions which meant that James got off to an early lead on kill points and maelstrom, and started pinning my star against a board edge with his Knight. I was able to put a drop pod on top of the escape hatch of his bunker so his Sisters of Silence couldn’t get in range to disable Invisibility, as well as summoning Deamonettes and Flesh Hounds to block the Knights Movement for 3 Turns. However, on turn 3, my flesh hounds scattered too far to block the movement, and the Knight which had only lost 2 hull points, made contact. Unable to hurt it, I was unable to watch as he rolled 3 stomps, targetting Tigirius and my Invisibility librarian. Suffice it to say that my heart was in my throat, as he failed 3 times to roll the stomp, and I successfully hit and ran away.
Now that his Knight was on the board edge, I was able to Magnetokinesis away and start killing James’s backfield, while summoning more chaff to block the knight, as well as tying it up with Celestine, who managed to put 2 more hull points on it before being unceremoniously stomped, getting back up, and killing the bastard once and for all. The game ended on turn 6 with me ahead in Maelstrom and Endgame, and roughly tied in kill points, for a 18-2 win to me. A very tense game showing how much resilience a WarCon can have in the first few turns of a game, and how little a star like mine can do to kill a knight through a 4+ invulnerable save. This game also showcased just how amazing summoning can be, as I was able to charge Kataphrons with Flesh Hounds, and block the Knight with Flesh Hounds and Daemonettes.
Post Round 2 – 2/0/0 34 VPs
In game 3 I played against Paul Metcalfe, who represented Scotland at last Year’s ETC, and who was playing Necrons with a Transcendent C’Tan. This was the only game of the weekend where I rolled electrodisplacement, and I abused it to high hell. Playing Contact Lost/Big Guns, I was able to keep putting my ObSec units onto objectives and scoring more maelstrom, more eternal wars due to having ObSec whereas Necron Decurion lacks it, and being able to make 30-40″ charges across the board thanks to Displacement, I was able to take the game 20-0 while only losing minimal chaff units. Necrons simply lack the tools to deal with that amount of Mobility and ObSec, and have so little AP2 as to be ignorable. Also, Force Staves murder Scarabs. Paul was a great sport, and I know that a few of his list choices (such as bringing a Conclave of the Burning One) were just for a laugh and to see how they performed. Paul ended up coming 6th at the event overall, and is a great player, so props to him.
Post Round 3 – 3/0/0 54 VPs
I was tied for overnight leader after day one, with Colm McCarthy of Team Scotland, running 60 Spider Arachnophobia, and Mike McConkey, the Northern Irish Vice-Captain, running Genestealer Cults with 3 Patriarchs. I was drawn against Mike in game 4, so we went out drinking. This was very fun and I remember all too little of it, but suffice it to say, his attempts to prevent me from getting to the venue on Sunday morning, while commendable and appreciated, ultimately failed.
Round 4 was Emperors Will and Relic, with Tactical Escalation Maelstrom. I deployed my Servo Skulls such that I could prevent him from mobbing me with Genestealers, then proceeded to deploy them slightly too close together, allowing one unit to charge my scouts. I then wiped them from the face of Terra. Celestine split off to go and charge another unit, and promptly got rejected into the ground, and I realised that she did have /some/ limits, however few. She got back up, and put her back into killing smaller units rather than 20 Acolytes and 4 Characters. I ended up winning the game due to being able to put units that couldn’t die to what Mike had left on all 3 of the end game objectives, being ahead on Maelstrom, and very ahead on kill points. I was able to make a last charge into the unit of First Curse Genestealers with my 5 Centurions, and Coteaz; forewarned, and Celestine, to get within 3″ of the last objective and hold it with Objective Secured, for the 20-0 win.– Spooky Scary Genestealers send shivers down your Scouts
The advantages of having Coteaz and Servo Skulls to make the Cult’s deployment and movement options severely limited, as well as having a massed amount of ObSec made it so that Mike had precious little hope in this game, but he wasn’t tabled, and in the end, that’s all he cared about!
Post Round 4 – 4/0/0 74 VPs
So, here we have the lofty heights of game 5 – Table 1. My opponent for game 5 was Colm McCarthy, and his list was as follows:
Factions Used – Eldar Craftworlds
Alliance Level – N/A
Points – 1847
++ Primary Detachment – Craftworld Warhost – Eldar Craftworlds
Core – Windrider Host
HQ1 – Farseer (100) Skyrunner (15) Singing Spear (5) –  ++Warlord++
HQ2 – Warlock Conclave (35) Skyrunner (15) – 
Troops1 – Windriders (51) 2 Additional Windriders (2×17) 5x Scatter Lasers (5×10) – 
Troops2 – Windriders (51) 3x Scatter Lasers (3×10) – 
Troops3 – Windriders (51) 3x Scatter Lasers (3×10) – 
Fast1 – Vyper (40) – 
Auxiliary – Aspect Host (+1 BS)
Fast2 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast3 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast4 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Auxiliary – Aspect Host (+1 BS)
Fast5 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast6 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast7 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Auxiliary – Aspect Host (+1 BS)
Fast8 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast9 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast10 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Auxiliary – Aspect Host (+1 BS)
Fast11 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast12 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Fast13 – Warp Spiders (95) Exarch (10) – 
Command – Hero of the Craftworld
HQ3 – Autarch (70) Skyrunner (15) – 
I’ve always awed at the ingenuity of the Eldar player. Copy-Paste never looked so utterly fucking terrifying. Writing down the events of this game are honestly mentally exhausting. I had to play to the maximum capacity of my skill, and this game was 3 hours of sheer concentration. We were playing Spoils of War and Crusade, with Hammer and Anvil Deployment. Colm deployed first, and I opted not to seize. The game started off poorly as he managed to kill off Celestine, Coteaz, a Centurion and a Librarian on turn one with his firepower, and Celestine failed to get up on a LD10 test after failing about 7/20 2+ Saves, Coetaz failed a 2+ Look out Sir into a 2+ Armour save, etc, etc. It was honestly a horrendous train of events.
After turn 1 I was able to get Invis off, so I didn’t lose any more, but I lost my split fire, my hit and run, and all of my Ap3. I spent the rest of the game Magnetokinesising up the board, and sacrificing Scout Squads for single maelstrom points since I was already behind the maximum +6 on kill points. In the end, I was able to summon enough units, and spread my star into minimal units on turn 6 to hold 3 objectives, paired with a big maelstrom turn to bring me from 10 points behind to 5, I was able to eke out a 14-6 loss to Colm. Props to the guy, it was one of the single hardest games of 40k I’ve ever played, and I had to take a break after the game to wind down. I was mentally burned out from working my ass off to get 6 points in a horrific matchup with terrible luck, only for Liam to come over as I was packing up and say “Don’t move your stuff, you’re playing again in Round 6, you’re both still the Top 2.”
Post Round 5 – 4/1/0 – 80 VPs
In the interest of competitive integrity, all games in round 6 are ‘you play the nearest opponent, regardless of whether you’ve played them before’
So, Cleanse and Control + Scouring is a much better mission for me that the last one, as my opponent has 13 Fast Attack choices for me to kill, but in the last game I hadn’t killed a single unit of them, so I wasn’t 100% confident in my ability to kill them this time around.
In this game, Colm opted to null deploy as I didn’t have the reach with Magnetokinesis to get in range of his back corner, but he made a major mistake in objective placement, placing one in the middle of the board, so I was able to place my 3 in a parrallelogram with it, allowing me to sit in the middle, and have control over all 4, with him being unable to get near them without sacrificing units. I gave him first turn, and then spent 6 turns chasing down units and scoring maelstrom. I was able to stay ahead in every category between shooting with the Cents, and Celestine chasing down units in the backfield. On turn 5 I used magnetokinesis to chain the star such that I held one 3 pointer, and contested 3 other Objectives, then on turn 6, as we ran out of time, I split the star such that I held 5 objectives, worth 10 points, to his 1 worth 2, while being ahead in maelstrom, kill points and fast attacks killed in some way for all categories, winning 18-2 overall. Another stressful and deliberate game, as warp spiders are still a bugger to pin down, and I was losing my Chaff quickly.
Post Round 6 – 5/1/0 – 98 VPs
So, after 6 amazing games of 40k, it turned out I had done enough to take home the championship! Very glad to have won both a 30 Player event, and a 2 Dayer, accomplishing 2 of my 3 targets for the year in February! Also, having qualified for ETC, I’m going to be at a team event in August, meaning that I’ll be achieving all of my goals for the year!
– Yours truly being begrudgingly gifted the win!
I’d also like to shout out John, a friend of mine from Dundee, who came along to his first event in 5 years, played Chaos Marines and came 22nd with 3 wins and 3 losses!
If you’ve got any questions about the games, my lists or my opponents, or just tournaments in general, feel free to ask! All lists can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1mYERTBbb4hTkNWVmZPZXZnenc/view
Caledonian Deathwatch Radio has also produced several podcasts covering the event, and will be releasing a new one covering 2 Scots at the LVO some time next week: http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/caledoniandeathwatchradio
– Final Standings