Ready for Harvest: Tournament Prep!

In just about twelve days I’ll be attending the “Harvester of Souls” in my hometown, a Warhammer 40k ITC Major with some additional consideration for the hobby side of things! While I’m currently frantically painting the last few things for my list and running out of Apothecary White, I’ve also been putting a lot of hours and practice time into getting ready alongside the literal horde of my game shop locals also attending. This is really turning into a “family affair”, and for me it feels like a great highlight for my budding local community.

Setting Expectations

While I’m most looking forward to playing some “good-ass Warhammer”, I’m also looking forward to the spectacle and some time well earned with friends and a community that I don’t get to see very often. As a small bonus, I roped Jaden into coming with me, so we get to heckle each other all weekend long (and inevitably play each other, once more).

It may very well be the last tournament I play an Imperium army at for a while… the Leagues of Votann will my full undivided attention once they land.

Colorized images of me, looking at the Leagues of Votann

Space Dwarf distractions aside, I’ve been putting in the work. Of my armies available, my Sisters of Battle have the most competitive model collection and rounded out hobby scheme given the additional guidelines for the event. No unpainted models allowed next weekend!

So rather than taking on a ridiculous painting project and change my list entirely, I’d settled on taking my Sisters of Battle a while ago. After testing a few different builds across practice games, and some hobbying concessions due to my current work schedule, I’ve arrived at the following list;

Harvester 2022 – Ken Bush

Battalion Detachment 2CP (Adepta Sororitas) [ 100PL, 1,999pts ]

Order: Bloody Rose

-No Force Organization Slot-
Repentia Superior

Canoness: Blessed Blade, Inferno pistol, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: Blazing Ire, Word of the Emperor
Morvenn Vahl: Warlord, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, Righteous Rage

Battle Sister Squad: x5, Sister Superior, Chainsword, Frag & Krak Grenades
Battle Sister Squad: x5, Sister Superior, Chainsword, Frag & Krak Grenades
Battle Sister Squad: x5, Sister Superior, Chainsword, Frag & Krak Grenades

Celestian Sacresants:x5, Anointed Halberds, Spear of the Faithful
Dogmata: Refrain of Blazing Piety, Verse of Holy Piety, Stratagem: Relic,The Sigil Ecclesiasticus, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Beacon of Faith
Paragon Warsuits: x3, Multi-melta, Storm Bolters, Paragon War Blade, Paragon War Mace
Sisters Repentia: x8, Penitent Eviscerator
Sisters Repentia: x8, Penitent Eviscerator

-Fast Attack-
Seraphim Squad: x5, 2 Seraphim w/Special weapons, 2 Ministorum Hand Flamers
Zephyrim Squad: x5, Zephyrim Pennant

-Heavy Support-
Castigator: Castigator Autocannons, Heavy Bolters
Retributor Squad: x5, Retributor Superior Chainsword, Four Multi-Melta, Armorium Cherub
Retributor Squad: x5, Retributor Superior Chainsword, Four Multi-Melta, Armorium Cherub

-Dedicated Transport-
Sororitas Rhino
Sororitas Rhino

Stick to the Plan

Now look. Bloody Rose Sisters of Battle may not be the most exciting or unique thing on the market these days, but given my painted collection and what I enjoy playing, it’s undisputed right now. Strong scenario presence, great secondary objective choices, and a penchant for wanton melee violence is right up my alley. I’m already drafting a Leagues of Votann list with 30 Cthonian Berserks with hammers, don’t at me.

I’m not expecting to win the entire event, but I’d love to make a good showing for my faction as well as my cohort. I ended up cutting a mob of Zephyrim due to the painting crunch, but given it’s player placed terrain I’m hoping to push through. I think my list considerations are solid enough to get me through the first leg, and a combination of Miracle Dice and windmill slamming the bonkers Sororitas Secondary Objectives can do the rest. So what else have I been doing to get ready?

Playing on a Clock

Definitely one of my favorite Adepta Sororitas covers. Credit: Games Workshop

Coming from Warmachine, chess clocks and timed games aren’t really a new thing for me, but I understand why folks are apprehensive when using them for the first time. A large amount of my regular playgroup are going to the Harvester and have been using them for practice; and I find for deliberate practice games the lasting benefits are valuable. It can take some adjustment if you’re not used to it, but you can tighten up your play with conscious effort and repetition.

For me, it helps me build my “muscle memory” for my my deployment choices, secondary options, and ability activations during a turn. You can get a convoluted Command Phase down to just a few seconds, and I find that it also helps open a dialogue with your training partner after the game to point out where either of you may be slow and losing valuable time. Perhaps your stratagem decisions take too long, or your saving throw allocations are burning your time, and you can gain time to maximize your Fight Phase movement.

If you’ve never tried playing on a clock before, I would encourage you to try it. It adds a “little” urgency, and I feel promotes being dialed in and engaged with your opponent!

A Worthy Opponent!

Every Saturday, for weeks.

One of the advantages to scheduling practice games is being able to have folks pile on, and really get a sense of both your skill and list limitations. Being able to “limit test” against current meta-terror lists, or against armies you feel may be a counter on paper gives some very interesting perspective! Deliberate practice is going to carry you much further than un-focused practice, so take the time to focus on your own improvement and evaluating where you are still short.

Frankly for the last few weeks I’ve played against very little that fell outside the realm of:

  • “Obsekh” Necrons
  • Light Saedath Harlequins
  • Hive Fleet Leviathan
  • House Taranis Imperial Knights
  • House Herpetrax Chaos Knights
  • Death Guard
  • Abaddon and friends

I still don’t feel great into Harlequins, but I’ve learned a lot from my games and how my priorities need to change for those matchups Getting deliberate practice into things you expect to see on the tournament tables helps reduce the cognitive load the day of; you have a basic understanding of the common units, stratagems, and tactics you expect to see.

You can also put the training weights on for real in these controlled environments; giving yourself less clock time, re-racking the game when there’s a clearly decided winner, and assuming worst case scenario’s can help you see the gaps in your game plan. Finding your inherent counters means you can make a less painful choice the next time, or be ready to spend resources to avoid an untimely end to your game. Not to mention, there’s something very invigorating about rolling up to a game with a very tuned list, and wanting to put it through the motions with a worthy challenger!

Fending off the Tau scum. Credit: Games Workshop

Don’t seek out the easy match-ups or games if you want to get better. Play against the S-Tier armies, the “meta-lists”, the stuff that makes you sweat. If you’ve ever gotten better at something you know where you have to start; the bottom.

Just Around the Corner

Shooting on death, or shooting twice, my Retributors get it done. Credit: Games Workshop

As of the time of writing this, I only have 3 2 Paragon Warsuits, 6 Seraphim, and a Castigator to finish. This feels like I’m coming to a natural conclusion of a journey, but getting ready for a big event is absolutely one of the highlights of the Warhammer community in my eyes. Pushing for the best performance you can while getting your army ready really brings the best out of each of us; especially alongside a play group.

I’m already dreaming of potential color schemes and army builds, and I’m ready to shift gears to Leagues of Votann in the very near future. I won’t sugar-coat it, as the writings on the wall for me at this point; I’m looking forward to the Harvester as an appropriate “see you soon” for one of my favorite armies. Expect to see me wax lyrical about the vertically challenged miners and “Deep Rock Galactic” self-inserts here soon.

I’ll be back in a few weeks to talk about the Harvester of Souls event and our experiences with a write-up and if you happen to be there, please say hello. Until next time!

As always, if you want to read more content about Warhammer: 40,000, Conquest, or Marvel: Crisis Protocol there are many articles to be found on this very website! Consider subscribing to the Line of Sight Youtube Channel, and joining our Discord! Finally, if you want to support our content directly, check out the Line of Sight Patreon. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next time!

Published by Kenny Bush

Tabletop Games Enthusiast in the Pacific Northwest, a part of the Line of Sight Wargaming crew. Mostly musings and treatises' on all things Warhammer, Conquest, Blood Bowl, and skirmish games!

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