Monday, January 27, 2014

Bowling Ball Wrecks the Split

1750 Points, Hammer and Anvil Deployment, Big Guns Never Tire

127th Regiment (Traitor Guard), Company XXX
Company Command Squad - Officer, Officer of the Fleet, 3 Plasma Guns, Chimera
Veteran Squad 127-XXX-1-A - 10 veterans, 3 MGs, Chimera
Veteran Squad 127-XXX-1-B - 10 veterans, Autocannon
Veteran Squad 127-XXX-1-C - 10 Veterans, Autocannon
Veteran squad 127-XXX-1-E - 5 veterans, 3 flamers
Heavy support squad 127-XXX - 6 guardsmen, 3 lascannons
Devil Dog
Lehman Russ Exterminator, Plasma Destructor Cannon, Lascannon, MM Sponsons
Aegis Defense Line w/ Quad Gun

Allies - Imperial Fists (E-Book Expansion Version)
Librarian (level 2, w/ Upgrade to 3 force points), Terrify, Dominate
5 Space marines, MG, CMG, Drop Pod

Third Company
Librarian Tigurius (Prescience, 4++ save, Misfortune)
1st Squad - 10 tactical marines, plasma gun, combiplasma, Missile launcher, Rhino
2nd Squad - 10 tactical marines, plasma gun, combiplasma, missile launcher, rhino
3rd Squad - 5 tactical marines, flamer, las-plas razorback
9th Squad - 5 devastators, 5 missile launchers, flakk missiles
Venerable Dreadnaught, heavy flamer, plasma cannon, DCCW
Landspeeder Squad 7 (2 landspeeder typhoons)
Stalker AA Tank
Stormtalon with Skyhammer missiles, TLAC

1st Company Support:
4th Squad - 10 Sternguard, 2 meltaguns, 4 combimeltas, Lclaw, drop pod

I was able to select the terrain, and based on some internet comments, selected enough city-themed terrain ro fill a 2x3 area, of which there were several LOS blocking buildings, ruins, and such, to which my opponent added a few craters. While I unpacked my army from their Battlefoam bag, my opponent placed the terrain. He used sort of a regular pattern to the terrain, ultimately the LOS blocking buildings were placed near table corners, and it was more ruins and open space or craters towards the table center.

We rolled for deployment and mission. Hammer and anvil (long ways), and then big guns bever tire...OK....look above...My opponent has artillery that can punch my units anywhere on the board. Just awesome.

We rolled for night fighting and it would be night on the first turn. Good for me!

We rolled to determine deployment zones - I won and selected for him the deployment zone with the slightly weaker cover.

We rolled for objectives (5). I placed one in the center and 2 in my deployment zone (one adjacent to a LOS blocking building, one in a ruin). My opponent did similar - one in a ruin, and one adjacent to a building. He placed his Aegis across the front of his deployment zone.

We then rolled for psychic powers (see above), and his warlord trait (reroll reserves). We then rolled for deployment (he was to deploy first).

My opponent, as all traitors should, deployed in a arch with the open end of the arch at his back edge. The Quad gun was deployed in the apex of the arch facing my lines, and the two heavy artillery pieces were placed to anchor the arch, about 20 inches apart at his board edge. He placed his Devil Dog, Lehman Russ, and Mechanized veteran squad on the upper right of the arch, intending that this would be the flank he advances from, while using the remaining core of his force to hold his two objectives (even his artillery could claim objectives in the big guns scenario). His command squad remained in their Chimera near the apex of the arch, where it could give orders to the surrounding veteran squads. His allies remained in the drop pod for a turn 1 assault, as did the smaller vet squad in the Vendetta. I'm glad it was dark because I could be slaughtered here.

I had the Stormtalon in reserves and the drop pod / sternguard squad to remain off-board for their first turn drop. I deployed the Devastators plus Tigurius in the ruins, which were located more than 48 inches from his artillery. Then I placed the Stalker behind them, at the table edge. The razorback squad was placed in the upper left at a location more than 36 inches from the quad gun, Squad 1 was placed in the lower left, forward in their rhino at a location where I could get a cover save. Squad 2 was placed in their rhino at a location near an objective, but more than a large blast templat distance from the devastators. The Venerable was placed behind the Squad 2 Rhino. All of my squads (including sternguard) of 10 were declared to be combat squadding. In the front, the only things in range (36 inches due to darkness) of my missile launchers or lascannon is the Devil Dog, a Chimera, Command Chimera, and some of the veteran dismounts behind the Aegis defense line.

  Overall, it was dark, the dawn before the battle, and I felt pretty OK with the deployment. I would not see a Turn 1 bombardment, and felt I could get away from the turn with little damage.


Well, that was unexpected. My opponent is not pleased. I decided not to use any Ultramarine Traits this turn. Tigurius casts up his 4++ save and Prescience on the Devastator Squad. The drop pod is called down and it drops right in the open space of the deployment arch, deviating just 3 inches back towards his table edge. Out jumps the two 5-man combat squads. Like a bowling ball placed perfectly to deal with a nasty split, I go after his two (lynch)pins - the Manticore and basilisk. My other movement is restricted to moving Squads 1 and 2 forward a bit, and the venerable stays behind the Squad 2 Rhino for Cover. The lansdpeeders zoom forward 12 inches, to a location shadowed between them and the quad gun by a small building.

In shooting, the Sternguard Combat Squads explode the Manticore and Explode the Basilisk - the bowling ball works! In addition, the Devil Dog is exploded by the Typhoons. The IG Heavy Support Squad is forced to go-to-ground by other missile fire (losing only a wound). Well, what goes around, comes around.

My opponent has a bowling ball of his own. The yellow painted drop pod screams down through the atmosphere, landing in the triangle formed by my dreadnaught, stalker, and devastator squad. The yellow marines and librarian get out of the pod, at a location with side shots on mt Stalker, but giving the marines cover from my Devastators. The mech vet squad zooms forward in their Chimera towards my lines. His Lehman Russ turns around and heads back towards my Sternguard, and other units look to improve their fire lanes on them as well.

  The enemy marines light up my stalker with a glancing hit and a pen (stunning it). The Company commander then gives out orders to his nearby veteran squads to get back in the fight (heavy squad), and fire on my target (both vet squads). The heavy squad lascannons line up on my Squad 2 Rhino and explode it; no marines are injured or pinned. The sternguard then become the object of everything else, and when done, the sternguard are vanquished, but the drop pod remains.

Points: Marines = +/-7; OPFOR = +/-6

I roll and reroll for reserves and the Stormtalon remains off board (probably a good thing actually). I mover forward with Squad 1's rhino to get in position to fire on the advanced Chimera. The venerable moves to line up its plasma cannon on the nearby yellow marines.

In shooting, I get some of the enemy units to go to ground again behind the Aegis line, and the plasma cannon nets me 4 yellow marines. In the center, I shoot at the Chimera and get nothing for the effort. Shooting a the Lehman Russ also gets me nowhere.

  My opponent gets his reserves in the form of his Vendetta, which zooms forward the full distance, and the vets deploy accurately by grav-chute. He also begins to move forward with the Lehman Russ.

In shooting, the Russ tries to take down my landspeeders, but misses and jinx saves keep my speeders intact. The yellow librarian and the last of the yellow tac marines moves forward to shoot at Tigurius and the devs, but there is no damage. The advancing Chimera shoots at Squad 2's combat units, causing a few casualties. The Vendetta explodes the Stalker.

Points: Marines = +/-6; Opfor = +/-7

I roll for reserves and the Stormtalon remains off-board. Tigurius casts all three spells, but the misfortune on the yellow marines is dispelled (denied). I decide to use the tactical trait for the turn. On the upper left, Squad 3 moves forward but stays in the transport. Squad 1 moves forward to get side shots on the forward Chimera. The Landspeeders move backward to stay in a building shadow and be able to launch more rockets at the Lehman Russ. The Venerable moves toward the Yellow Librarian.

 In shooting, the razorback kills 2 grav chute vets, and they break, run ning towards the Lehman Russ. The Venerable flames the yellow marines, and prepares to assault the surviving yellow Librarian. The Chimera is exploded, causing a few caulaties, but the vets are unpinned and not broken (because it took plama guns to do it, Squad 2 cannot assault). The Dev squad shoots at the Vendetta, gets 4 hits, but S7 flakk Missiles just remove a hull point. Then the Squad 2 ML fires, rolls a 6 to hit, 6 to pen, 6 to explode...flaming wreckage misses the fleeing vet squad beneath. In assault, the yellow libraian is crushed by the Venerable dread.

The OPFOR is on the ropes, and clearly wants to get more damage in. The Lehman Russ moves forward a bit and tries to take out the Devs, and I lose 2 to plasma. Squad 1's Rhino is then exploded, and the two combat squads are in the crater; one half is pinned. The half closest to his vets now comes under fire, and is taken down to a single marine. He moves to assault the single marine (sergeant), and gets the charge in, the marine rallies from being pinned and kills one guardsmen, then sweeps the other survivors.

Points: Marines = +/-6; Opfor = +/-7

The Stormtalon arrives! I'm using the devastator trait. Tigurius casts his spells. Squad 3 moves forward, dismounts to flame the grav-chute squad and fire on the Russ with the Razorback. The Vets are eliminated, but the Russ remained unscratched. The Stiormtalon moves forward to take on the Command Chimera, and survives intercept but is Stunned and down to a single hull point. The Squad 2's halves begin to move across open ground to get on the objective on the center. The heroic sergeant of squad 1 begins running back through cover towards the open objective in my deployment zone. Other shooting causes the heavy weapon squad to break at the Aegis line and they begin running for home.

My opponent knows he can still pull this off if he can take the center objective with his Russ. His Russ moves forward. His Company commander tries to rally the fleeing heavy weapon squad but fails; in shooting, he eliminates 3 marines from Squad 3, who break and run behind their razorback. He also polishes off the plasma-half of Squad 2.

Points: Marines = +/-6; Opfor = +/-7

I'm planning for the game to end this turn. My Squad 1 Sergeant arrives at his objective. Squad 3 rallies and gets back in their razorback, which zooms forward to block the Russ from tank shocking onto the center. The Razorback fails to damage the Russ. The Stormtalon moved forward to shoot at one of the vet squads (at the quad gun), killing the Sergeant, but every other member survives. Other shooting fails to destroy the Russ. The Venerable assaults and destroys the Yellow drop pod.

My opponent keeps to his plan. The heavy squad continues to flee, and is now near the table edge. It fires on the drop pod and fails to destroy it. The Russ moved forward to fire plasma on Squad 2 at the center (shooting over the hood of my Razorback) and I lose 4 marines, but the ML survivor does not break.

Points: Marines: +/-12; Opfor: = +/-7

Squad 3 dismonts and also gets on the center objective. My Stormtalon, landspeeder, and razorback line up for side shots on the Russ and Explode it. My opponent concedes.

Final Score: Marines 9 points for objectives plus 3 points for destroying heavies, and one point for first blood (13 Points); Opfor: 6 points for 2 objectives and one point for the Stalker (7 Points).

I have not played in a month, and you'd think I was a bumbling professor at time. Here are a few things that stood out in the game as my errors or mistakes:

1. Flakk Missiles are S7AP4, NOT S8AP3. Really difficult to take a Vendetta down with them.
2. A Venerable is NOT a Heavy. It cannot take objectives in Big Guns (or contest them).
3. RAW a Officer in a Chimera CAN issue orders as a Chimera Special Rule (in normal transports you cannot). Somehow in the past I was having to get the Officer outside the vehicle in order to get orders to units outside/his own unit and I cannot recall why.
4. My original intent was for the Stalker as a heavy in this list to take an objective; Somehow I got confused between that and the Venerable in the heat of the game, and actually wasted time in the game running the venerable after the Libby combat back toward the objective rather than forward towards the drop pod.
5. I used my rapid fire weapons on the Chimera which precluded me from assaulting it instead.
6. I dropped the Sternguard into the middle of the enemy deployment zone; the other option was to drop it between the Russ and the Basilisk; since it was DARK, that might have been a good option to consider. At that location, much of the Sternguard might have survived to assault veterans on an objective on Turn 2, or likely finish of the manticore later. That said, getting both Artillery Units on turn 1 was important.

Overall, at the end, my unit losses were 2 Rhinos, 2 Sternguard combat squads, the Stalker, and a Squad 2 Combat Squad. Not bad and acceptable.

Overall, it was an awesome time and the game was going in any direction through turn 4. I hope to see this opponent again sometime and share more experiences with using IG and marine allies!


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