Yep, its a milestone! Some people can do that level of play in a year (or less). For me it took a bit over 3 years. I think I'll celebrate by painting up some new models! After all, I've been playing Space marines related games since about 1992, and I have lead and plastic models from that time-frame (and earlier).
Maelstrom Mission #2 - 1650 Points
Opfor: Sons of Eos (Iron Hands)
Chapter Master, Relic combi-bolter, terminator armor
Epistolary Librarian, FS (biomancy)
Bike squad, 5, 2xPG
Tactical terminator squad, 6, heavy flamer
Tactical squad, 10, flamer, power fist, rhino, ML
Tactical squad, 10, plasma gun, ML
Devastator squad, ML, 2xPC, MM, Razorback, HKM, TLLC
Dreadnought, TLLC, DCCW, SB
Dreadnought, AC, HF, Drop pod w/ deathwind
Stormtalon, TLAC, SHM
In this mission, each player starts with a single tactical objective card, and after the first turn, a player draws cards up to the number of objectives he controls at that moment. Our terrain was a ruined urban areas - several large areas of ruins. In the center of the table was the wreck of an Aquilla Lander. We were going to use the wrecked lander as mysterious terrain right out of the book.
We placed the numbered objectives on the table, neither of us placed any inside a deployment zone. I won the roll to choose deployment, and chose the side with three objectives closest to my zone. My opponent would deploy first and decided to go second. What? Well, he was hoping to see where my two first drop pods would go, and then react to it with his pod and Chapter Master/Terminators in reserves.
Well, it did not go well for him. My game mindset was to control all the objectives I could as a means of point gain and point denial, and it worked very well.
My opponent deployed loosely along his deployment zone, and all I deployed was my two demi-dev squads and their rhinos. His deployment (from left to right) was bikers - gap - rhino/tacs - tacs/libby / razor/devs - dread. I did not know he'd choose to go econd when I deployed, so my devs were deployed out of sight in ruins.
Turn 1 - Ultramarines Devastator Tactic
I dropped Teletiggy/sternguard/pod adjacent to the bikers, and a tactical squad/pod adjacent to the wrecked aquilla. My (now relentless) devs moved forward in the ruins to firing positions. My rhinos moved to be adjacent to objectives, The Aquilla was disclosed to contain archeotech, and became an objective to hold at game's end. At that moment, I was controlling 4 of the 6 objectives. In shooting, I employed Tiggy's warlord trait and killed off all bu the biker sergeant, and stunned the Iron Hand's only Rhino. The card I'd drawn was D3 points for killing the opponent's warlord. Tiggy's spells that worked were just stealth and force.
In return, the Opfor's dreadnought/drop pod chose a careful / safe location on my right along the table centerline. After some tactical discussion (the game was in part practice for the Standish Standoff event), my opponent dismounted his tacticals from their rhino to help shoot up my squad in the center, the other tacticals and librarian moved to support, the devs dismounted, and in firing, my center tactical squad lost some marines and broke, running away from the center tactical objective. He then spent some firepower to wreck one of my Rhinos for first blood! My opponent's spells boosted the save of his now dismounted tactical squad to a 4+FNP.
Score: 0-1. Objectives controlled: 3-1.
Turn 2 - Ultramarines Tactical Tactic
Reserves that came in included my other tactical/pod squad, Stormtalon, and HF/MM landspeeder squadron. I dropped the new pod squad in ruins near his dreadnought. On my right, I tried to move my rhino forward a bit into ruins and became immobilized! On my left, I was to eliminate his last biker (shriek), and spent considerable firepower on his dismounted tactical squad, while my diminished tactical squad rallied and again went back to the center objective. In shooting, I worked over his dismounted tacticals, but they passed morale. With his bikers gone, I now had him bottled up in his deployment area. I also immobilized his dreadnought. I may have scored a point or two on tactical cards.
In response, the Chapter Master, terminator, and stormtalon came in from reserves BUT the Chapter master/terminators tried to deep strike in on my right flank...and they deviated off the table and back into on-going reserves! He moved around a bit with a concept of attempting an assault on my Sternguard, attempt to clear me off the center, and an attempt to work my second tactical squad up to reduce it's effectiveness. In shooting, I got pummeled off the center objective again, my other tactical squad list its MM gunner, and my demi-dev squad on my left took casualties from the storm talon, broke, and nearly ran off the board!
Score: 3-1 or so. Objectives controlled: 3-1.
Turn 3 - Ultramarines Assault Tactic
My second landspeeder unit came in from reserves (Typhoons). I moved the first (short range speeders) around some ruins and towards the center. I rally my devs on the left and move them back on the objective. I stretch the sternguard and Tiggy out in a conga line from the upper left objective towards his dismounted tacticals and prepare to charge them. In shooting I get a lucky shot on his Jinking stormtalon and bring it down (for a point). I successfully assault his tacticals, and also explode his razorback and wreck BOTH of his dreads. The assault garners me another point, I'm still holding the first card, waiting for his warlord.
My opponent is on the ropes. He deep strikes his master/termies up into the upper left, to grab an objective. Again he shoots me off the center objective, and explodes my two HF/MM landspeeders. I loose a few sternguard and tiggy takes a wound.
Score: 5-1 or so. Objectives controlled: 3-1.
Turn 4 - Ultramarines Press Forward!
I look to push forward. In shooting, I take down his dev squad, and that is really about it.
My opponent decides he needs to take down Tiggy. He moves whatever he has left towards Tiggy and the sternguard. Soften them up with shooting, and then charges in first with the Master / termies, and also with his remaining tactical squad and librarian! At I4 - Tiggy swings his S6AP4 beater stick around (with force on!) in a challenge with the Master! 3 hits! 3 wounds! A armor save is failed! The FNP is failed! OMG! The Master is down! In response, however, his tacticals, libby, and termies kill off the sternguard, and the last of the sternguard drops at I1 to power fists, leaving Tiggy to get pummeled by the 5 remaining unaved power fist wounds! Both of us lose our warlords, but I get 3 point and he gets 1 for the effort! My opponent consolidates towards the table center.
Score: 8-2 or so. Objectives controlled: 3-1.
Turn 5 - It Goes Quick
Tiggy is gone. The turn goes quick. I move forward to the objective in the upper right. I shoot up his survivors.
We decide to call the game.
Score: 9-3. Objectives controlled: 4-1. Ultramarine WIN!!!!
Really, the best moment of the game was the epic challenge between the "Clan Raukan" Chapter Master and Tigurius, Of all the luck, my opponent rolled that single "1" and the failed FNP save, to lose his warlord, and later, having the overflow wounds from the termies-vs-sternguard beat down then take down Tigurius! It was a crazy game moment that made the evening.
Overall, since the game, I've been tweaking the list I plan to keep as the core for my entry in the Standish Standoff. I don't think the two HF/MM speeders are dong it for me from a resiliency standpoint, and I'm swapping them out for a AC/LC predator to try that out for a bit. Also, after three games, TeleTiggy has not really proven to be better than PyroTiggy, so I may have to head backwards on that. I mean, of all bad luck, TeleTiggy has only been able to get invisibility once after three sets of games! Crazy! Somehow I keep rolling up hallucination, which really just has not been that fun to play. Maybe the thing is that if I'm fighting a horde opponent, use PryTiggy, If fighting someone with a pile of artillery or knights go with TeleTiggy and hope for the best? We'll See!