During the build-up to the actual games the organizers put on challenges to motivate the players such as best picture of a painted general, whole army shots, writing our own fluff all with rewards of victory points. Other commitments prevented me from being able to join in on most of it as I wasn't able to pick up a paint brush much less finish a whole army but I did manage to take the time to write a few paragraphs of fluff and earned an extra victory point before the game even started.
#WS10 did the games as a doubles tournament to enable those of us without the huge collections amassed over years (myself included) to be able to join in with each player providing 3,000 points each, I went with a Chaos Space Marines and Daemons force which consisted of;
Abaddon, 4 terminators in a Land Raider, 7 Chaos Sorcerers (one in Terminator armour with the Mark of Tzeentch) for the War Coven (more on that a little later), one of each of the four Greater Daemons and Scabieiathrax (the Forge World GUO). My ally Nick also took Chaos Space Marines though his force was more Slaanesh focused with the big exception of a Lord of Skulls (again more on that later).
We were against a force of Astra Militarum and Tau and in the interests of fairness (and allowing them to deploy without having to literally pile their models on top of one another) we decided to just treat them as battle brothers. They fielded a lot of big guns (including a Tiger Shark, Riptide, a Baneblade and one of the variants) so it didn't look entirely well matched at first glance.
During the first turn however, our smaller Chaos force proved that they may not be large in number but they can still hold their own! The AM and Tau both laid down some pretty heavy fire in their first turn including two 4 shot barrages and whatever else was in range but the Gods smiled on us and only a couple of models were taken out and even then they weren't important. Luckily my Sorcerers were left alone which was a very important part of the strategy of my army...
I'll tell you now about the War Coven so for those of you that have used this awesome formation I hope you'll excuse me. The War Coven is an Apocolypse formation from the main book that requires one lv3 Sorcerer and a minimum of one lv1 Sorcerer. The formation gains a new Psychic power in addition to any they already know which is a D strength vortex with a 48" range which on our board gave me effectively 2/3 of the enemy to target. The catch is that for each shot you fire (up to a max of 3 per turn) you have to sacrifice a lv1 Sorcerer which is why I had 6 of them. That way if any of them were killed I still had some shots left but if they weren't I had up to 6 D strength vortexes. With a free D weapon it was a pretty safe bet that once I used it the Coven would become a much higher priority target so I went all out on the first shot and created three of the little buggers. All but one model that it touched was wiped out and the one that survived was because I rolled a one to hit. Nick's Chaos Spawn had launched themselves up the board to hit the Tau and the Lord of Skulls, Nick's Keeper of Secrets and my Lord of Change followed closely as did the Bloodletters that I had summoned.
The way the battle went was quite interesting as even without planning to we created a sort of pincer effect by hitting the flanks first and moving inwards. This was sped along by the Spawn hitting a multi charge and the Lord of Skulls killing everything it charged while being kept safe by a 2++ (dirty I know but necessary. Trust me). I managed to also summon some Plague Drones which drew a lot of fire but as a free unit I didn't really care. In fact it drew fire away from the list I paid points for. As a bonus one did survive and locked a Riptide up in combat until we called the game which was rather handy. Those things are really tough and if it wasn't for the fact that they're so damned awkward to transport they would be an auto-include in all of my lists. Maybe I can get some Plague Toads from Forge World and proxy them in because they were really good and I'm glad I finally got a chance to use them.
I also used my first Lord of War in a list and took Scabieathrax. I will be honest in that I probably didn't use him to the best of his ability because I tried to make sure he wouldn't be blown off of the table which left him with very few targets though his template breath weapon did wipe out all of the models it touched as he landed. I do wish I'd have brought him in where I originally planned to but when I did bring him in he was within range of Cursed Earth and therefore he didn't scatter. If I'd have landed him where I wanted to he would either have wiped out half of the infantry with a single breath or he would have scattered off of the table which would have been bad.
I was pleasantly surprised with Nick's Spawn unit with the amount of damage it did in two turns; firstly it took out a Tau unit of some description (I forgot what they were) then pulled a disordered charge into two different units and wiped out one and caused the other to turn tail and run. This was followed by the Lord of Skulls sweeping in and completely wiping out anything that the Spawn couldn't reach and/or damage.
In the final turn of our game I managed to pull off a pretty awesome slaying of the Tau Warlord in a pretty epic use of Abaddon's Finest Hour and using his sword to gain a few extra attacks in a challenge that had lasted two turns. A lucky hit to a shield drone caused her to lose the combat and she fled but rolled poorly so Abaddon was easily able to catch and kill the Tau leader which led to much celebration on our side. It was a close one in the end but us Chaos guys just about won. It was an interesting game and it is clear to me now that in Apocalypse even more than in 40k strategy is key. Yes the game is all about the big guns and mad gore-fests but a single mistake can easily cause half of your army to be wiped out so a plan is key. As my Warlord and his unit got caught up in the middle of the battlefield for a while, Nick and I had a flanking situation going where we were slowly but steadily both reducing the Tau and AM forces to just the centre of their deployment zone. My plan once I had dealt with the Tau leader was to move over to take out Yarrick of the AM as he was so very conveniently right behind the Tau line which suffered a huge hole with the death of Farsight and her many many drones. A hole big enough for Abaddon and his Terminators to charge through and end the Imperial commander's life once and for all... Next time for sure.