Monday, April 23, 2018

Incoming!

Yep.  Lost another game. 

Blood Angels vs Astra Militarum.

Overall though, I just wanted to see what the Astra Militarum list would be like to experience. 

My opponent is a long time 40K player who relocated from the west coast to the east coast.  He just loves the AM (IG). That said, some of his stuff was proxied in order to just test the list idea. 

I only got one picture...then thankfully my camera batteries died...

 This is a shot in towards the middle of Turn 1.  My Death company had started as 10 models...they started on the table and moved forward using their stratagem.  I used everything I could to rough up the center AM squads, then charged in. At the end of turn 1 the Death Company were all gone to massed AM firepower.  

Not to belabor my own list.  I just used the same one as last time, having been to busy to change it.

My opponent started with about 19 command points (using the FAQ) to my nine.  Overall, he had something in two battalions like: 3+/- commissars; 3+/ officers; a few Ogryn bodyguards; about 8 full infantry squads, each with a plasma gun and 6 had mortars, 2 had lascannons; a full squad of plasma-maxed scions in reserve; a full squad of plasma-maxed rough riders to outflank; a squad of all heavy bolters; and a squad of autocannons; and two manticores.  Vostroyans (his manticores could reroll dice for more hits). The officers gave him enough orders such that he was rerolling 1's to hit and or 1's to wound from units. Commisars to keep units from failing morale. I was outnumbered 3-1.   

For the first four turns, the two manticores and lascannons would pick off a vehicle or so per turn.  The mortars would pick off a dismounted squad or two per turn.  Everything else would take out a nearby assault unit per turn.  

We were fighting over 4 objectives.  Through turn 4 I was winning by a point (7-6).  By the end of turn 7 I was tabled, with Dante being the last blood angels standing. Final score was about 10-1. 

I ran out of command points in Turn 3. 

He had command points for the duration. Probably had 1 left at the end of the game.  

In reality, he could have played more aggressively, but that comes with practice. IIRR this was his third or so 8th edition game. 

The two bright points for me included: (1) Dante arrived turn 2 (per FAQ) among my castled up vehicles and game them all rerolls to hit.  (2) the Sanguinary Guard, Ancient, Chaplain, and Sanguinary priest dropped in Turn 2 on the right flank - they withered away to plasma guns and assaults through turn 4.  The commissars over there kept the AM in line. The Sanguinary priest actually did his job further, bringing back a sanguinary guard from the dead pile on turn 3 and giving wounds back to the Ancient in turn 4...but still, there is only so much for plasma you can eat! 

My third best moment was seeing the Manticores run out of rockets. 

One big issue was that at the beginning of each enemy turn, the AM would retreat, and then in some cases get back in the fight.  Regardless, it meant that I'd get shot all to pieces each time.  

Considering all of the non-deviating indirect fire I was taking, I think it was pretty good to last as long as I did.  

Kinda makes me wish I had a bank of three Whirlwinds in my own back corner. 

Two thumbs up to predator autocannons, although they played no real role in the game that could not have been met by just having more twin assault cannons. 

Until the next disaster, 

MING 

      


   

Monday, April 16, 2018

Bolt Action! US vs Germans, Cherbourg Peninsula 1944

WOW! I went to the FLGS - Crossroad Games - for a special - hopefully monthly - event.  A regional historical gaming group has created a defacto "Bolt Action League", and plans to have events here and there each month for gamers to attend.  Overall, it was really cool, as guys I have not gamed with in a decade were there leading the tables, and there were in total about 20 attendees from Maine and New Hampshire.  I'd originally had hoped to attend their March event, but I had other things to do. 

For this one - the attendees were invited to bring their own figures if possible - I dug out my dusty American Infantry from my earlier experience with the old BGWW2 game system.

On arrival, it was truly fun to see old friends and meet some new ones! I was hoping to buy a new Bolt Action 2nd Edition rulebook...or maybe the starter set...but the store was out of product! Boo!

For gaming, I was assigned to the newbie / training table.  I was teamed with Tina, and we were to be a combined force of American paratroopers (82nd Airborne and 4th Infantry Division), and out fictional mission was to cut across the highway N13 - the main road that cuts from Carentan to Cherbourg.  We'd be fighting against a mixed german infantry force in the heavily hedged "Boucage".

The terrain was a great mix of farm fields and roads - a small village setting with intact and bombed out or burned houses.  If you think of the table as long N-S, the terrain was split by the roadway running N-S.  Several smaller farm roads also cut the table E-W.  Tiina would attack through the center, and I'd be her right flank.

Our opponents were Ryan (an experienced player) and another new player (like me). Tina was familiar with the game but had played just once before.  Heck, I knew of the game, but had only just watched a Beast of War game on you-Tube that morning on how to play!

The "American" attacking force consisted of two platoons that were fairly identical - My platoon was led by a 1st LT, and had attached to it a 60mm mortar team with spotter, 2 30-cal MMG teams, a sniper team, and a 10-man infantry squad with BAR, and a 10-man paratrooper squad with all rifles.  The other platoon run by Tina was similar with two regular infantry squads and no paratroopers. 

Our opponents each were similar for this training game - 2 LTs for HQs, two regular infantry squads, each with a LMG, two falschirmjaeger squads with LMGs and submachine guns, 2 mortar teams, 2 MMG teams, and a crewed light artillery gun (somehow emplaced in the second floor of a building). 

To save time we all deployed simultaneously, but the battle diverged essentially into two conflicts which saved time!  The game would essentially be played on kill points (destroyed units). 

Here are some pictures and comments from the event:

Deployment - Paratroopers are hugging a hedgerow - The officer and runner are up at the building.  In the distance is our target.

The other squad and support.  Bob is the BAR gunner.  Lost his helmet someplace I guess. Probably days before on the beach.

Tina's troops are looking more professional. No milling around. 

Paratroopers are advancing (running) turn 1 to get to the next hedge, adjacent to the N13 roadway.  German defenders are scurrying around in the distance. 

Gunners re-positioning to place fire on the distant building - Only the gunner is peaking...there is a cannon out there that just missed the mortar team!

Paratrooper spotter is looking for the enemy.  He ultimately starts placing mortar rounds across the road to help the paratroopers advance.  It is good shots either hit or miss!

Tina's regular infantry squad from the 4th ID are getting tangled up with some German infantry! It does not end well for the Americans...

Priming up to dash across the road.  

Made it!  But look! German office just up the hedge line!

The source of a lot of trouble...how on earth did it get there? Blown up to the second floor when the building was destroyed? Or disassembled, moved up, and reassembled? No matter! These guys are bad shots!

Final photo...The runner is dead. The LT is all alone.  How did that happen? Well...the artillery piece somehow shot downward into the paratroopers, causing some pins...in unpinning, they rolled boxcars on the dice.  That meant the rolled on the FUBAR table...and the result was a friendly fire incident.  Don't tell the investigators...it was not a paratrooper - infantry dust up...

Overall - VICTORY for the American Side!  I think the score was about 8-4 at the end in terms of killed units.  I think I only earned 2 of the 8 points...Tina got the rest! If I recall right, I lost a MMG team...and a few casualties from the squads. I'd taken down a german FJ squad and officer, but pretty much collapsed the german flank.  If we'd gone another turn, I'd have hopefully taken out the artillery piece in assault!    

Once I get the rule book I'll need to go through and see if there was anything else to learn.  At the end I was dropping mortar rounds on a building, which was complicated.  Also shooting at units in buildings was a little iffy.  I think we were also a little lax on line of sight issues. That said, the rules are really easy and everything is all about the modifiers and having great models!    

So now, I'll wait for the next available game for bolt action - probably June.  I did win a door prize for the event - which I used to procure the Bolt Action Book on American Units.  It is nice to have - with points and such for list building.  But I still need the rule book!  Our table host - Larry - had some really nice summary sheets that had all of the key rule elements.  More importantly, he pointed out a website from which anyone can do list building.  I might need to pre-construct a 750 point and a 1000 point list of my own for next time! Not to mention American unit players seem to be rarer! Maybe I'll do some paint repair and basing improvements before next time...dust off that Sherman... 

All for now, 

MING


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Simple tip for the red guys

I was sitting around the other day, and thought of the following simple tip for Blood Angels.  Some of you may already know this.

Don't be sentimental for your named characters. Dante should not be the warlord. 

OK, it is really like 2 tips, and it can be applied to the blue guys, green guys, slimy guys. 

But it is the sort of critical feedback my gaming buddies won't give me. 

Imagine, you have a list with Dante and a Chaplain. And maybe some Sanguinary guard.  Stuff like that.

In my comfortable little world, Dante leads.  He is the Chapter Master and warlord.

In the alternative competitive world, he is a bubble maker among other bubble makers. But you should never put all your bubbles in one basket. Bubbles can be popped! Spread the bubbles around!

Imagine of the Chaplain was the warlord instead.

Imagine, as in my last game, The Chaplain and the Sanguinary Guard went off on their own mission.  The Chaplain, as warlord, chooses a trait.  There is a table full of them. He goes off to go lead an assault on the enemy line. Sanguinary guard tags along. Um...

Dante gives all units within 6 inches rerolls to hit as an ability for being a chapter master.  His warlord trait is different from that...his trait is to create a fearless bubble.

The Sanguinary guard love the warlord.  Sanguinary guard get rerolls to hit automatically if within range of the warlord, who does not need to be Dante.  It could be the Chaplain.  The chaplain could take something like soul warden.  Or maybe +1 damage.  Stuff like that. 

So, by spreading the warlord responsibility around you can make a better list? Yes.  Look for the synergies that you can create by spreading it around. 

Imagine a list with Lemartes and a thunderhammer SS Captain with Jump pack.  If lemartes is the warlord, he adds soul warden as the auto choose.  Imagine making the Captain warlord instead and that Thunderhammer now gets +1 damage as a trait for being artisinal?  Sneaky and cool!  

Are these improvements?

Duh. 

Next time...

As always, feel free to leave me a tip.  What is the biggest learning moment you have had building lists in 8th?



            

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ideas Needed

OK, I need to create a Blood Angels captain model for 5th Company, jump pack, thunder hammer, and storm shield.  Of course, there are no specific kits for it, so, what do you recommend for me to use for bits?

I could simply take a model I already have - a bog-standard marine fronting as vanguard, and give it extra parts and seals and such to make it stand out...

I also have the debris of a 10-year old disaster of a marine that was to be using a Sanguinary Guard jump pack, dreadnought leg cover as a shield, and a force halberd instead of a hammer...meh.

Interestingly, the guides and fluff don't really show any Blood Angels captains...but I have to assume their armor will be more gold than red...at least gold helmets...

I was thinking about trying to grab one of the old metal captain models carrying a thunder hammer (Ultramarines range) but don't know if I'd then have to remove UM symbols from pauldrons and such.

I could try to build one using a Sanguinary Guard model, just add a regular jump pack with no wings...hammer...still need to find a shield...

What are your thoughts?  LOL, if anything, based on what we've seen at the LVO recently...maybe I need to build a whole collection of just them...

MING





Friday, January 26, 2018

Blood Bath - Game 3 of 3

Third Round. Bottom Table.

Yep, after losing the first two games (but still earning points in each), I get to spend the rest of the day at Table 7, the very bottom. 

I have no idea or concept at all of anything else happening in the room, except that (bringing old memories to bear), on Table 1 next to me is a father playing his son for the Tournament Win. 

Enough Nostalgia! 

In game 3 I'd be playing against a great 40K friend and Mechanicus player!  If anything this would be the best painted table for the day, having two fully painted and based armies facing off on a nice table of terrain.  It would be a great way to finish the day!

The OPFOR [battalion?] (no list was available so see photo after this text) had the chief of all the Mechanicum characters - Cawl, supported by 5 units of Skitarii Rangers, 1 unit of Sicarian infiltrators, and a large blob of  15 Fulgrite Electro-Priests, a Dominus, and most importantly, a 15-model blob of Corpuscarii Electro-Priests.



The Round 3 mission was going to be an interwesting challenge.  The important parts were to kill the opponent's warlord, and to get two of your units into the opponent's deployment zone. 

I figured I had the advantage here. 

Nope.  

After deploying, my opponent siezed the initiative. 

(art credit above - GW, all rights reserved).

Immediately before turn 1 the OPFOR was able to infiltrate the unit of Corpuscarii Electro-Priests nine inches from my nearest vehicle. Then on turn 1 he deep struck his Dominus onto my deployment edge, and at the close of his turn he earned one of the mission objectives (10 points). 

Corpuscarii Electro-Priests assaulted the vehicle, the Baal Predator, wrecking it. 

And you know what happens when they did that.  These sparking happy electro-priests become 3++ assault terminators with one wound and 5+ FNP. 

You can swear and curse with me right there....

On my turn, I put the chaplain and Sanguinary Guard deep strikers off in the enemy's deployment zone, since both players can score that mission separately. The Death Company would try to deal with the Electro-Priests. The Chaplain went off and assaulted a Skitarii unit, but the Sanguinary host failed their charge.  The Skitarii unit was killed off, but the Chaplain was killed the following turn.

Bu responding to the Electro-Priest incursion, I did what I'm not supposed to do - I decided to try to kill off the choppy ones with my choppy ones.  I've done it before against the same player...

I ultimately fed his Corpuscarii Electro-Priests blob the Death Company (9 or so anyway), a tactical squad, the Sanguinary Guard (after they got recalled with a stratagem), and Dante (because why not?).  I only killed 9 of his shirtless sparkly guys in return, so they game ended with 6 still on the board with nothing to do. A sole survivor or so of the death company and a razorback went on a rampage towards the enemy line.   

Yeah, it was fun to try.  Giant waste of time. 

Losing Dante lost me the game (15 points).  I could have just moved him off to the Sanguinary Guard in the far corner to hide behind a building.  If anything we would have then split that mission. 

Final score was 25 to 16.  I scored 34 points for the day, getting me 13th place.  How lucky of me to do so!  The other Blood Angels Player of the day got second place with over twice the points. 

After the game I packed up and headed out to get to my ski lodge for the night for a planned ski day!  I had a pack of nice Coffee Porter to complete as I mulled over the games by the fireplace. The next morning's skiing was EPIC BTW.

AFTERMATH

Overall I have a few closing thoughts from the day:

1.  My list was built on the perception that it could do well in all tactical card play.  It was mobile and based on claiming objectives while pressuring the opponent and having board control.  Although it did that in terms of board control, it failed to be relevant since cards only came into play in game 1. 

2. Morale is very important in the local meta / tournament missions.  As you can see from the mission types (non-standard), things like not failing morale were more important than losing units. Morale had to be maintained by either special rules/characters or by spending CP's, for which I always ran out of (having only 6), while most of my opponents started around 9 CPs with ways to recover them. You are better off in these missions to lose the unit in assault/shooting than to lose it to failed morale checks. Smaller model count units in this case would have been better. 

3.  Throwing lead down range is far more important still than true mobility in this format.  Two of my opponents had no real vehicles at all, and one had vehicles that rarely moved.  Each of my opponents had nominal infiltrate or deeps strike ability.  The missions did not require them to have more than that. For all practical purposes, a squadron of whirlwinds or indirect firing thudd guns would be more important than movement to get LOS.

4. Shoot the Choppy ones, Chop the shooty ones.  it is a simple rule. I could have moved up several places in final points by doing so. Never ever try to assault the Corpuscarii Electro-Priests unit once they go super-sayan.  In my case, moving on to other targets would have been more valuable, leaving the razorbacks and Baal predator to deal with things like that (while they backed away).

5. One thing I have not talked about or corrected myself on is that one of the missions (probably game 1) required you to be the first player to kill one of each of your opponent's unit types.  I saw that mission type in December.  That could range from simple (I only had HQ, troop, DT, elite, heavy), to much harder (HQ, troop, elite, FA, heavy, fort, flyer, etc.).  Having variety is important in these missions, which again is not standard for the game in general.  The best lesson here is understand the missions that will be played, and tailor your list to meet the missions. Clearly in game 1 (as well as Game 2) I'd have made more points simply by keeping Dante off the table or at least out of range/out of sight as an example, or hiding one unique unite (like the Baal) out of the range of the OPFOR. In game 1 my opponent had an elite unit and his heavy/indirect firing eldar platforms hidden to keep me from winning that mission (so we split on it). 

All for now, I have some list tweaks to make and more models to change!  I hope to get a game in again soon to do more tests...I look forward to hopefully talking with the other Blood Angels Player - his units were very different from mine and I'd like his opinion before I make more model purchases!

Did you see that Rouboute G will be available as a single model kit?  Oh man....

MING

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Blood Bath - Game 2 of 3

Well, if you read yesterday's post thanks!

Here are some collected photos I should have posted yesterday:

Here is the 1500 point list in photo form.  I am still in the process to wrecktafit (a US slang term) the Blood Angels to the new codex parameters.  So, yeah, I used Baal turrets on the Razorbacks, and a Razorback turret on the Baal just so they'd be uniform in appearance.  What I need to do next is wreck the las-plas turrets into either TL AssCan turrets or TL LasCan turrets.  Also the blue bits are borrowed from my Ultramarine collection and need to be replaced from un-built bits box materials.  

I'm pretty happy with the Sanguinary Guard - although they too are slated for equipment changes and maybe new bases.  I have an unopened box to build, and it is recommended I get the squad larger too....or at least have two of them...or squeeze in somehow the Sanguinary Ancient with banner....

Bread and butter stuff.  Three small tactical squads for the razorbacks. I used Lemartes as a bog-standard chaplain, needing to build and paint two others of smaller stature.  Dante has been doing well as a model - I finally pinned his weapon hand in place to good effect.  He really needs a bigger base, being a heavy metal model.  I'll do that if/when I rebase the Sanguinary Guard to match.

As described yesterday...there is that small tac squad guarding the rear...ahem...objective two...which got me no points, but....and when I saw this shot I realized somebody was missing a magnetized backpack...(he'd formerly been a assault squad flamer marine...with a magnetized backpack and jump pack...it is also why his paint does not match the squad...

And from the first game...right before the shooting phase and the assault phase that cost me the chaplain, Dante, and death company...

Game #2 - Blood Angels Vs Astra Militarum

Having lost game 1 I went from Table 3 to table 7.  Bottom of the heap.  My opponent was Turner, and we always have a great time fighting it out.  I recommended him as best sport for the day.  

Turner was playing a very complex AM Brigade list, including Pask in a Plasma Executioner tank, Another Lehman Russ tank, two Sentinels, hellhound, a Thudd Gun, several commissars/sanctioned psychers, elite infantry from the Schola Progenium, an infantry commander, other officers/HQs, and 6 infantry squads, heavy weapon squads, etc.  

The game had the following-ish missions (its a blur and I don't have the sheets in front of me):
  • Primary - capture the two objectives on your opponent's deployment line while holding your own (15 points)
  • Secondary - Kill one of each of your opponent's units. (10)
  • Tertiary - Capture and hold the central objective for a turn. (5)
  • Bonus - First to kill three units. (1)


   Game setup after deployment.  The AM had seized the initiative.  Getting ready to deep strike in some AM elite infantry...with their hotshot lasguns.

Beginning of Turn 2...I decided to send the Chaplain and DC off to the right flank to capture the objective there (accomplished, wrecking two units), my opponent had wrecked the Baal predator at this point and was looking to get other units destroyed.  Dante and the Sanguinary Guard jumped in on the left flank.  The goal was to clear out the Am Elites and then meet up with the DC/Chaplain at the fourth objective.  

Although I did capture three of the 4 objectives, at game's end (turn 5) after some failed additional charges and running out of CPs, and failing to get the central objective, the score was 17-13.  We split the primary, he got the secondary, and I got the tertiary and bonus point.  

Overall, the right flank did OK, with the Chaplain leading the way and taking out the Thudd Gun Turn 3.  The DC themselves were all shot down, but the tacticals and razorback came forward to make sure I kept the objective.  On the left I just did not have the weight of bodies needed to assault into and win the objective in time, and after losing dante to weight of fire and all but 1 of the Sanguinary Guar and Tactical Squad, I was lucky to be in control of my own objective.  At the end the TL LasCan razorback had arrived at the central objective turn 4, but was then contested by a Lehman Russ (in assault with each other!)  

The biggest threats to my "small" force were the lascannons, autocannons, plasma guns, psychers, and that damn Plasma Executioner!  Not to mention, with relics/etc., the OPFOR CPs never went below 7.  Frankly, if I'd had his list, I don't think I'd have been on the bottom table.  It was pretty dang good!  

Overall, from here I remained on Table 7 at the bottom.  I'll toss up Game 3 of 3 tomorrow or Thursday with some final thoughts!

MING












    

Monday, January 22, 2018

Blood Bath - Game 1 of 3


I had a fun weekend at the FLGS rolling out the 8th Edition, new-codex Blood Angels.  Playing 40K instead of skiing! Inconceivable!

I thought you'd like to read how it went and what might apply to your own games. Overall, in this blog entry and the next two, I'll talk about my thoughts on the mission, my opponent's force (OPFOR), and try to summarize in each the types of improvements I'd like to make before the next tournament event.  Maybe there is a nugget in here for you as a Blood Angels Player!

A few things overall to start with - the event was set at 1500 points, using custom missions that the store manager had been dabbling in.  So, no ITC style missions.  No book missions.  I will include some thoughts on the missions, at times, because they are overall germane to my own thoughts on how to run an event as a TO. 

Most interesting, there are two people I'd love to actually know more from, as there experiences would be very interesting for the event.  The first is a friend, Steve, who also ran a Blood Angels list. The second, is the experience gained for the youngest person in the room, who in round 3, had to beat his own father to win  the event.  I'd love to see what Steve learned from the event - he has been running the "new" blood angels a ton more than me.  I'd love to get more about the kid's winning list and how it was used.

The event notes said there would be a painting comp tied to the event for models with the Titanic keyword.  I have no models in that class.  I thought it a possibility it might bring out some knights and greater demons, influencing what the opponents would bring.  Interestingly, there were no greater demon players...only two of the 14 players (or so) used Knights.  I did not stay for paint judging - I was supposed to travel that evening up to my ski lodge for the night!

My List
So my list for the event was pretty much the following (clarified from my ealier posts)-

Battalion Detachment, 6 CP
HQs

  • Dante
  • Chaplain with Jump Pack, Angels wing relic, crozius and bolt pistol

Elites

  • Sanguinary Guard, 5, 3 encarmine blades, 2 power fists, 2 inferno pistols, 3 angelus boltguns
  • Death Company, 10, jump packs, 8 bolt pistols, 2 plasma pistols, 4 chainswords, 2 power axes, 1 power fist, 3 power swords

Troops  

  • Tac Squad, 5, 1 chain sword, 1 flamer, 1 bolt pistol, 3 bolters
  • Tac Squad, 5, 1 chain sword, 1 flamer, 1 bolt pistol, 3 bolters
  • Tac Squad, 5, 1 chain sword, 1 flamer, 1 bolt pistol, 3 bolters

Dedicated transports

  • Razorback, TL AssCan, Storm Bolter, HKM
  • Razorback, TL AssCan, Storm Bolter, HKM
  • Razorback, TL LasCan, Storm Bolter, HKM
Heavy

  • Baal Predator, TL AssCan, HB Sponsons, Storm Bolter

So, 8 units to deploy, 4 for the board, 4 for reserves. 1500 points exactly. 

In every game I was the first to complete deployment.  In two games I failed to win first player turn (both by sieze), and in the first game I failed to sieze. 

The List Challenge
I bet I had to spend more time getting a list built for this event than pretty much any other event. Seriously.  Doing the math, rechecking the points, staring at the list. Redoing the math.  Changing some items.  Making sure my models were WYSIWYG. Stopping. Breaking out the bits boxes and nippers. Cutting off hands. Gluing on new hands holding other weapons to match list. Painting new arms and weapons. Proofing list. Finding errors. Changing another model to match list. Finding parts for another stormbolter and HKM. Painting more stuff. Painting bases of stuff that had not been painted. Providing counseling to a marine model marked for the Death Company in order to assign him as a tactical sergeant. Making him red. Another round of proofing. Midnight. Printing 4 copies of the list. Finding a final error on the list. Fixing list by hand.

Regardless, I got everything done EXCEPT one thing that was important.  I never could/got/did get to remove the remaining bolt pistols from the list and replace them ALL with boltguns instead. Could replacing 11 or 12 bolt pistols with boltguns really be important?  In this edition I'd have to say...yes...in this game, for Space marines of all kinds, every dice roll counts.  EDRC.

My character goal in this list was to have the ability to have a fearless bubble for the DC/Sanguinary Guard, and be able to give them rerolls to hit, and if I spread out these key units, to spread some of those benefits around.  I figured no Librarian was required at this level...that might have been fine in game 1...had I brought one, probably every spell cast would have failed... 

Game 1 - VS Eldar
My opponent had an Eldar Brigade detachment (9+ CP), including about 5 HQ units, 6 troop (guardian) units, and everything else that was more or less required.  Relics to allow capturing additional CPs as they were spent.  Eldrad. Avatar. Farseers on Jetbikes. Viper. Eldar pathfinders. Eldar banshees. Some form of heavy platforms that can fire indirect.  Two units were kept reserved. Half of the Eldar were from one faction getting FNP rolls.  The others were from another Eldar faction getting rend/mortal wound boosts. About 5 sources of Eldar spells for about 7 or 8 spells available per turn. 

Overall, the terrain was fair for the mission for the game. We got in the 5 turns. We set up in opposite deployment corners with a 18-inch diameter void between us.  I deployed the 4 vehicles last, so I could place them outside of LOS of the guardians.  Frankly I had no idea about the indirect fire.  My opponent ended up in a sort of bulls-head deployment.  Pathfinders on each flank, guardians and everything else in a strong central position.  One large unit of Guardians with a platform, and the banshees were kept reserved.

The missions included:

  • Primary - tactical card scoring (4 card hands with a 5th card dicard) (15 pts)
  • Secondary - cause more morale casualties (models) (10 pts)
  • Tertiary - occupy the table center with an HQ for more than a turn (beginning after the first turn) (5 pts)
  • Bonus - last blood (1 pt)

The OPFOR rolled better than me for first turn. I failed to sieze.

My thoughts in the game were to send in the Chaplain, Dante, and Death Company on the right flank, to eliminate the pathfinders and guardians there first turn, then go after the HQs after that. The Sanguinary Guard were to clear the pathfinders on the left flank, and hope to join Dante after that using a stratagem. Not knowing how the Eldar would bring in their reserves, Dante would stay close to the Death Company until the enemy hit the table.  After Turn 1, Dante would angle for the table center to pick up points for one of the missions. My other units would advance up the center to meet up with the other units baout Turn 3. Nice plan.  Met the mission parameters. 

I don't know if the enemy had a cunning plan.

We had decided for this game, any model IN or TOUCHING any terrain would get +1 save.  Also, wheeled or tracked vehicles could not climb vertical surfaces. 

My opponent started the game making a few units bosted with Eldar spells and took some potshots at my vehicles with his pathfinders and indirect platforms. he scored some primary points. 

On my turn 1, I dropped in my 4 reserved units as planned.  In shooting the pathfinders on the left were reduced to 1 model that I failed the charge distance for. On the right flank, The Chaplain (with a 3D6 relic charge range and a dice reroll) got into the other pathfinder unit and eliminated them (they failed morale at the end of the turn).  Dante failed his charge (to the pathfinders). The death company shot at the guardians nearby and then used a 3d6 charge stratagem and also failed their charge (into the same guardians). All of my tactical cards were for eliminating units entirely in assault or by shooting.  I scored nada. 

In response for turn 2, my opponent brought in his large guardian reserve squad near the Sanguinary Guard (left flank), while Eldrad, the Avatar, and guardians advanced toward my right.  Ultimately, the guardians plus smites whittled down 2 Sanguinary Guard on the left, 7 death company and the chaplain on my right. Then the Avatar (which had double moved due to a spell) charged and with a dice reroll reached Dante and the Death Company.  Going first, the Avatar swung everything at Dante and made 6 wounds, for which I failed the 4++ save on just one. The wound was D6, and he rolled a 6.  Dante was gone. I had no HQs remaining already.  Then the Death Company tried to damage the Avatar and maybe did a wound.  In the morale phase, the death comany, having lost 7 marines already that turn, fled. NOTE - if Dante had lived, they would have been fearless in his bubble. My opponent scored more points for the primary. Note that had Dante made his assault to the Pathfinders, my though was he'd be after Eldrad or the Avatar the following turn...it is historic how my luck just fails me. 

On my turn I poured asscan shots into the newly arrived guardian blob on the right, and then charged the last pathfinder, who died in assault. I put other shots into guardian units closest to me, from the right flank razorback and tactical squad. The Avatar was protected by the character rule for targeting.

On Turn 3, my opponent pushed forward on all flanks and center.  I was already out of CP's and hhe was generating them.  The right flank continued to crumble, with me losing the tactical squad to guardian and psyker mortal wounds.  The Razorback was charged and lost to the avatar. One of the farseers on jetbike was on the table center objective.

I responded with wrecking the Vyper, eliminating a guardian squad in the center by shooting and assault, and placing more wounds on the Avatar.  I may have actually eliminated it with a lascannon shot from another razorback. The assaulting tactical squad advanced to the center to attack the farseer on the jetbike next turn.

Turn 4 was going to go quick due to split time.  My oponent Began to withdraw the left flank attackers and consolidate on the center.  In assault the Farseer pooped two tactical marines, and took no wounds in the trade.  At the end of that phase the tactical sergeant held strong. 

I tried to get more shots at the central farseer but would not be able to target him, so I left the assault alone.  The sergeant's pistol was ineffective.  I did get the remnants of the blob squad on the left flank whittled down, evening the number of models lost due to morale checks. The Farseer eliminated the tac squad for last blood. 

The game ended with me losing 26 to 5 (we split the secondary).

Overall thoughts from this game - lessons learned:
I'm a person who learns more from doing. So here are my retrospective thoughts on the things I did.

1. Charges - who would think it was so hard to get charges off at greater than 9 inches, even if rolling 3d6 and a reroll!  Overall, the game might have changed alot if I'd made more of the three failed turn 1 assaults.  On the left flank it would have put the Sanguinary guard in terrain, making them harder to kill and score some points.  On the right flank, had Dante made his charge I would have actually scored more turn 1 points, and separate hime from the death company.  Had the death company made their charge, they would have likely wiped out another guardian squad entirely, or at least given me more morale points for the secondary, and maybe then advanced into another guardian squad reducing the return fire.  Instead they largely died to the guardian squads they were supposed to assault.

A possible fix - get Lemartes into the game.  Every DC unit rerolls failed charges for free.  That is better than using up a third of my CPs for a failed charge.

2. Dante did not make the grade - he was killed turn 2 having done nothing more than give bolt pistol/plasma pistol rerolls to the DC.  Then he was gone. At the end, I had 1 CP remaining, and was hoping he'd live in the assault to the Avatar, to then get D3 additional attacks...rerolling hits, rerolling wounds, with lots of axe mortalis damage should have eliminated the avatar instead.  I used that last CP for a save reroll, needing a 4++, but failed on the reroll. 

Two possible fixes - (1) get Dante at least 4 inches back from the DC (or other units) on the drop and use him as a reactionary force rather than front line attacker; or (2) trade him in for a Captain and Thunder Hammer / Shield / Jump Pack, who I can make DC and benefit from Lemartes if used. The negative is the Captain does not provide an all-hit-rerolls or fearless bubble.  But...if you throw in Lemartes and make the Captain DC, it could be very interesting to see the results of the overlapping reroll 1's, reroll DC charges, reroll assault misses...plus DC get +1A on the charge and a FNP save, plus the really great red thirst +1 to the wound roll. The jump pack captain still would have the Angels Wing relic, which is 3d6 charge and no overwatch (used in this game on the Pathfinder attack).   Don't forget I could also choose a useful warlord trait for the Captain, and if he is the Warlord, the Sanguinary Guard treat him as if he was Dante (reroll all misses in his bubble).  So, yeah, I may need to build/rebuild a DC captain for these parameters...

3. Pistols over Boltguns.  Lets face it.  The Pistols gotta go.  In the new codex / rules, the pistol use rule seems essentially very meaningless. Pistol wielding units don't last long enough for their use to work in most games.  Extra attacks come from chain swords, and at larger games from other characters who provide +1A bubbles...its tough, but I gotta live within the new codex. Look for bad ass death company dudes wielding angry one-handed bolt guns as they fly into the assault, with a chainsword or power weapon in the other hand.

Think what might have happened if the DC had dropped with the ability to throw 18 bolter dice instead of 8 pistol dice, into the guardians 9 inches away.  Rerolling misses with Dante.  Instead (with the plasma pistols added) of popping 4, it might have been 8.  That reduction in firepower and possible morale failure on the part of the guardians might have changed aspects of the game. It is all a matter of dice volume sometimes and 8 free dice can mean a lot in a smaller game.     

4. Vehicles.  Lost of dice from these vehicles.  In this game I lost just one. In assault. By an Avatar that did not fail his charge using a reroll.

On the other hand, the vehicles eat points in a smaller game.  In this game my opponent had a brigade, giving him an edge in CPs.  I don't think it can be easy at all to get a Blood Angels Brigade with powerful characters at 1500 points though. 

5. Deployment. Overall, I think it went alright.  My opponent and I both agreed that a lot of the game hung in the ability to get tactical points and I was doomed in bad cards.  Overall, his biggest error was holding the Banshees back, and actually forgot to deploy them, so they were lost.  It is uncertain if my deployment to the left flank (corner) with the Sanguinary Guard was an issue.  Although they did fail to clear the corner, they did draw off other Eldar strength that otherwise would have been applied to the center or right flank. At the end of  the game the only unit that had done nothing (besides the OPFOR banchees) was the tactical squad I left on an objective near the back corner, hoping for points for objectives.  If I did anything, it was not knowing if the OPFOR's two reserved units could deep strike (my assumption) or just enter from the OPFOR's long board edge - that would maybe have changed things a bit on my deployment, and maybe got that third tactical squad engaged elsewhere (or easily killed by all the shuriken madness).

All for now, I'll write up game 2 (Blood Angels vs Astra Militarum) next!

MING