Last Sunday I was lucky enough to attend the Knights of Vapnartak Relic Knights Tournament. This was held at the Vapnartak Wargames Show in York. Last year had been a really great tournament with players from both ends of the country travelling to take part. The 2017 tournament was a smaller affair and a more local player base, but no less a great community event.
My Cadre for Knights of Vapnartak
I made a last minute decision not to use my normal Shattered Sword Cadres for this tournament and give my Star Nebula Corsairs a proper tryout. I’d only used them once before and they’d been slaughtered by Magnus and his Black Diamond thugs. I didn’t put a lot of tactical thought into their composition but they were based on the Battle Box with a couple of models I liked to take them up to 50 points.
Captain Harker & Caesar – 15 points
I like Harker for his background and because despite being a pirate he seems to be the character most dedicated to solving the Darkspace Calamity. Although I don’t find his current version especially useful on the battlefield, he’s a capable all-rounder. I’m also looking forward to his next version in a huge armoured battlesuit.
5 Corsairs – 7 points
The Corsairs are a good practical unit to have in your cadre; not as powerful as other factions’ standard squads, but also good all-rounders. Version 1.5 has seen units with previously disappointing Armour abilities become comparatively more useful though, as the effects of Guards and Redirects are lessened.
Iron Chef – 13 points
The Iron Chef was selected mainly because he’s one of the most iconic characters in the Star Nebula Corsairs. He has lots of interesting abilities as well as being a great melee combatant.
Rustbucket – 14 points
Finally, the Rustbucket was selected because I love mechs and couldn’t resist adding it to my cadre. While I’m not a fan of the randomness of Flip, I like the idea of the huge mech spraying automatic weapon fire all over the place.
Dampening Field – 1 point
The Dampening Field was really all I could add with my last point. However, it’s always useful to toughen up an objective with extra armour.
While I knew these might not be the best combination of units, my goal was to learn their strengths, weaknesses and potential. Then I could decide how to change this cadre and bulk it out into two cadres for their next tournament.
Game 1 vs. One Shot (Black Diamond)
Game One included the scenarios Tear it Down (Entropy) and Anarchy (Chaos). Basically my goal was to destroy enemy objectives while protecting my own and sabotaging any four objectives, friendly or enemy. I felt my deployment was good initially, putting the Rustbucket in a good position to strike the Black Diamond Primary Objective inside the huge building. Meanwhile, out in the courtyard, my Primary and one Secondary objective were far enough from the enemy concentrations to be relatively safe – or so I thought.
Outside in the Courtyard
I soon realised I hadn’t got things as perfect as I’d thought. I’d placed Harker near my objectives, away from the enemy, so he could run between objectives and sabotage them. Unfortunately, that meant he had minimal impact on the conflict of the game, and he was needed there.
The Corsairs could have played that objective-running role just as well in hindsight. Instead, I had strung them out in a line across the centre of the courtyard to keep Black Diamond away from my objectives. That had been effective, but left them exposed to the Diamond Corps from the outset. Alex-117 and two squads of Corps had deployed together; Alex was using his Officer ability to dish out two 14 damage attacks at a time with their assistance. The central three Corsairs died in the first volley, leaving the remaining two horribly out of position.
Inside the Building
Inside, things weren’t going much better. The Iron Chef and Rustbucket were carrying out sabotage and taking shots at the Black Diamond Primary Objective. However, having to wrangle One Shot was slowing progress down. Then Alex split from his troops to run inside and assist her. For a moment it looked like Chef might kill Alex and gain the upper hand, but the Chef went down first and then they focused on my Secondary Objective. To make matters worse, Viper had taken up a lofty position in the eaves and was directing ground fire at my other Secondary.
I managed to carry out Sabotage successfully, but so did my opponent. They were then able to destroy both my Secondary Objectives. Having taken out the Chef and eventually the Corsairs too, that meant they had more than achieved the 8 Victory Points they needed to win the game. I had to be content with 3 VPs for Anarchy and valuable lessons learned:
- Harker needs to get more directly involved, and leave the running around to his Corsairs.
- If Alex is leading Diamond Corps then he needs separated from them, or killed. In V1.5 this is much more easily achieved than in 1st Edition.
After Game One we had time to check out the rest of the stalls, eat and chat. There was a huge array of miniature and scenery retailers in attendance, along with plenty of impressive demonstration games. It was also great to discuss future events and possible plans for Relic Knights community activities.
Part 2 of Knights of Vapnartak will follow soon detailing my afternoon games and my plans for my Corsairs Cadre after the event.