Friday, January 30, 2015

But I was not ready yet....

Librarian Epistolary Angelus reached up and scratched his head with his gauntleted fingers.  Sometimes her just had a feeling that something was about to happen, and when his head itched this much, it was always going to be bad.  He could sense the presence of a strong Eldar force ahead, and it reeked of warp powers.  Regardless, the Blood Angels were going on the attack....  

OK, like I arrived at my FLGS to play a game, still very busy and not really prepared for anything except continued learning and growth playing Blood Angels.  I did not have time to even reflect on the list changes from the prior week.

The conversation went..."Hey, want to play a 1650 point game? Sure, I'll need to change my list to get it up to that, no problem.  I'm still working out Blood Angels.  Are you in my division for the Maine 40K League?  Sure! We'll play this game, but I'm not ready to do an official game yet.  OK, sure...yes, I'm just trying to figure some stuff out..."

Blood Angels vs Eldar, 1650 Points
Maelstrom Mission - Lost Contact
Terrain - light woods and ruined village

Blood Angels (Baal Strike Force)

  • Epistolary Angelus (Warlord), PA, jump pack, level 2, force, quickening, blood lance, blood boil ; WL trait - adamantium will 
  • Sanguinary Priest, PA, pistol, jump pack
  • Tactical Squad #3, 10, flamer, ML, infernous pistol, combat squaded, Rhino
  • Tactical Squad #4, 10, flamer, ML, combat squaded, Rhino
  • Death Company Dreadnought Titus, blood talons, magna-grapple, MM, SB
  • Death Company, 8, 5 PS, 2 PA, 1 PF, jump packs
  • Assault Squad #7, 10, 2 MG, 1 PF, jump packs
  • Stormraven, TLMM, TLLC, 4xBSML
  • Baal Predator, Inferno cannon, HB Sponsons
OpFor - Eldar

  • Wraithknight (Warlord)
  • 5 Jetbikers with 2 psychers (level 3? each)
  • 5 jetbikes plus 1 larger  with two psychers (level 3/4), witchblades
  • 5 Eldar Guardians, Waveserpent
  • 5 Eldar Guardians, Waveserpent
  • 6 Fire Dragons, Waveserpent

The last time I'd played this guy, he was packing a Eldar-Tau list, and my Ultramarines lost to him.  Now he was all-Eldar, and the list is pretty high on the psychic scale.  I think that for every warp charge roll, I'd start with 2 dice and he'd have 12 or more dice to deny things with.  So, right off the bat, lets just say I was outclasses on the psychic phase.  Might as well have not had a Librarian!

Changes to my list included a pistol for the Priest (1 point, duh!  It goes well with 8 DC having 3 point jump packs!  I also brought in a Baal predator, because I wanted to try it as an upgrade over the predator from the last game.

I was very concerned with the very light terrain.  Apparently wave serpents can shoo their serpent shield through terrain, and you don't get a cover save from them.  Not to mention the amount of firepower he could put out.  Meh, its just for practice right?

My opponent won the roll for deployment, and selected to go first.  I cannot recall what he had for a warlord trait.  His spells were a combination of Eldar spells, telepathy, and divination.

The Game
Here are pictures with turn summaries so you can follow along the progression.

Here we are right after deployment.  White disks are the Maelstrom objectives all numbered.  As you can see the table was pretty sparse.  I thought I'd try to go up my left flank quickly and turn to the right, as 4 of the objectives were within that arc of advance.

Here we are at the end of Turn 1.  Nobody had first blood (yet).  I'm pushing up the left, and the Eldar are spreading to my right.  The yellow dice on the rhinos show they have lost some hull points.  3rd Squad has dismounted.  I had hoped to take down one or both Waveserpents in my path, but they made all of their jink saves.  Squad 4 and the dismounted squad 3 used flamers on the jet bikes and got two.

Here we are about the end of turn 2. Both rhinos are gone, I'm trying to push forward and keep on mission, but my maelstrom cards are not yielding any points.  The 4th squad ML-team (combat squad) in the woods are now under assault by the eldar jetbike team, and the ML marine is the only survivor, keeping the eldar engaged for another player turn.  At this point, a lucky shot damages the flamestorm cannon on the Baal predator.  DC Dread Titus has jumped off the back of the Stormraven, but deviates into terrain.  

Here in Turn 3, the stormraven was exploded on a lucky 6, 6, 6, 1 roll set.  All but one of the DC perished when the immobilized flyer crashed.  The second wave of Eldar, freed from their assault on squad 4, are now in my center.  I just finished off the assault that wiped out the fire dragons.  My world is going upside down.

At the end of turn 3, I'm bleeding off models like popcorn.   The Librarian and Sanguinary priest jumped in to try to kill off the jetbikes, but they kept making all their 3++ saves.  Not even the DC Dread Titus or the DC marine could get through their lucky dice rolls.  I did pop a Waveserpent in assault though.  At this point the game is like 6-2.

Here we are at the end of turn 4. I've got a handfull of marines and the damaged Baal in play, struggling to get some points.  Witchblades take down Titus, as does bad saves by my Librarian and Sanguinary Priest.  I'm moving in a direction to try to get some points on what cards I have.  

Here we are at the end of Eldar Turn 5.  There is no Marine Turn 5.  The Eldar are down to the knight, 4 or so jet bikes, and two waveserpents.  The one closest to me still has 5 guardians in transport.

Another view of the wreckage.

So, not only did I lose, but I was tabled in 5 turns.  Eeek! Maelstrom points were 10-2.

Post Game Stuff
OK, just to jump to the point, as I stated up front, I'm just learning to play blood angels and learn about them, and I told my opponent I was playing for fun, not for the 40K league.  So, I guess I should not have been surprised that when i showed up in the office on Thursday that the League game reporting system was asking me to confirm the results of the match, giving my opponent a win in the league (and me an official loss)?  WTF.  So I decided, FINE, since he wanted to do that, I could go ahead and accept that result and move on.  If he really NEEDED the win, I guess I could live with that.  It might have been just the spark I needed to get ramped up and get my education phase over with.

So, things I learned in this game:
  1. The risk of the DC in the Stormraven is huge. Losing 7 DC marines in a single shot (plus the Stormraven itself) is a 500 point loss in favor of my opponent.  I think next time I'll just start them on the table, or deep strike them separately.  RippedDragon said it is the biggest hazard in a list like this, it was the source of all of his 5th Edition BA losses.  I had considered dropping them out "on the zoom" but the table midfield was getting crowded so I risked keeping them on-board for one more turn (to be able to assault).  I need to re-read the flyer rules too (as punishment for the loss).  Another tactic would have been to move the tactical squad rhinos forward more to the right just to create a larger landing zone. Such a barrier would help protect the DC so they would be available for assault on the following turn.    
  2. Dreadnought Titus also showed what can happen when he "drops off" a zooming Stormraven.  He ended up in a bit of terrain, and I made a decision to throw him the next turn into the jet-bike / marine mosh pit, thinking he'd kill a bunch of jet bikers.  Good move, offset by my opponent making every invulnerable save possible, due to direct rolls and prescience. Overall, it might have been better for me to just send Titus and the Stormraven off on a Eldar flank, rather than charge directly into the fray. I'd have likely still lost on maelstrom points though.    
  3. Jury is still out on the Baal Predator.  It was (again) unlucky that he lost the Flamestorm Cannon almost immediately.  I think overall, I might be better off with the TLAC variant instead.  
  4. Waveserpents are armor 12/12/10, and if the enemy is turtled up in them it is very difficult to wreck them. I have some ideas on how to change the list to take care of that.    
  5. I still have a weakness for the Wraithknight or any large gribbly.  For the most part I tried to ignore it, and it only ended the game minus a few wounds but otherwise not impaired.  Again, for fun, it might have been nice to try and assault it with Dreadnought Titus, but the chance did not arrive.  
With all the snow arriving in the Northeast, i missed a chance to get a game in this week, but I've been working on painting, and just bought the i-book short story Redeemer which seems to be about a BA 5th Company, first squad sergeant Rafel (sp), who encounters the dark side of the Blood Angels command structure, on returning to Baal with a Chapter relic...Rafel will make a great addition to my 5th Company Characters.  

More to Come...

PS...Army Builder updated their files for the Blood Angels a week ago (right after this battle), and so now I can experiment more quickly with army lists.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It was like being at Bike Week - 5th Company Blood Angels vs White Scars

Librarian Epistolary Angelus of the Blood Angels 5th Company "Daemonbanes" was injured.  Badly.  The Apothecarion on the Strike Cruiser Blood of Vengeance had his health well in hand, however, and he'd live to fight again!  Angelus was going to spend some time in his golden Sarcophagus as his wounds, from a short range flamer, would need some time to heal properly.  At least he would sleep with the knowledge that his forces had met Victory.

1500 Points - Blood Angels vs White Scars
Maelstrom Mission #3 (increasing maelstrom cards each turn)
Terrain - Ruined Village

Baal Strike Force
  • Epistolary Angelus, level 2, sanguinary spells, force axe, plasma pistol
  • Sanguinary Priest Sachiel, blood chalice, power axe
  • Death Company, 8, jump packs, 1 power fist, 2 power axes, 5 power swords
  • Death Company Dreadnought Titus, MG, SB, twin blood talons
  • Tactical Squad #3, 10, flamer, ML, Rhino
  • Tactical Squad #4, 5, flamer, Rhino
Fast Attack
  • Assault Squad, 10, jump packs, 2 MG, sergeant with PF/SB
  • Stormraven, TLLC, TLMM, Blood Strike missiles
  • Predator, AC, HB sponsons

OPFOR - White Scars - CAD

  • Khsoro Khan (per the book) on bike


  • Terminators, 5, AC


  • Tactical squad, 10, Flamer, MM, Drop Pod, Deathwind
  • Tactical Squad, 10, LC, Flamer, Sergeant with PP and PS
  • Scouts, 5, SRs

Fast Attack

  • Bike squad, 7
  • Stormtalon Gunship, TLAC, TLLC


  • Centurions, 3, GC, 2 TLLC, 3 MLs

Well, it was not the list I wanted to play, but I'd left some models at home (note to self...models likely still inside bunker terrain piece), so on the fly I marked up the list from last week, bringing in a cheap predator to cover for the missing combat squad and ML.  Only other change was dropping an infernus pistol and replacing it with a stormbolter on the assault squad sergeant.

I still used the Blood Angel specific Maelstrom cards, and the Sanguinary discipline spells.  For spells, I got quickening, force, blood lance, and blood boil.  Angelus' warlord trait was the #6, which creates a 12-inch fearless bubble.

The deployment is the long-ways across the table.  We had placed the objectives largely in the zone between our deployment area (look for the white chips in the photos.  As a "best practice" we distributed the numbered objectives randomly, with the numbers hidden.  We placed the objectives, and only disclosed their numbering when the game started.

My opponent and I still considered this game a training mission.  I'm still trying to get ready for the Maine Warhammer 40K League (see them on Facebook).  BTW, the League is a great model created by THOR at Creative Twilight, and it is an awesome way to reinvigorate your game play.  I have several weeks in which to play several games within my "Division", after which the top players in each Division go to a selected location for a playoff tournament event to identify the State Champion.  I came in second last season with my 3rd Company Ultramarines!

In this game, my opponent won the roll to deploy first.  He chose the far left deployment, in part because there was a hill there in the center of his deployment zone that provided a huge LOS area and kill zone for his Centurions.  He deployed a tactical squad to support them on their left, and Khan and the bikers on the right.  The scouts were placed after my deployment in midfield left, at a location to give them a cover save, and at a location to support where his podded tactical squad would eventually arrive.  As a reminder, his troop choices would be OBSEC, while mine were not.

He left the terminators, drop pod squad, and Stormtalon in reserves, so i was concerned where the terminators would eventually arrive.

I deployed my two tactical squad sergeants with combat flamer squads in the Fast Rhinos as a wall to help give me cover and give me options towards keeping objectives.  The 3rd Squad ML would remain behind at a location that allowed them to be near an objective and also provide some overwatching fire on my left.  The predator was also deployed on the left,  as I wanted to be able to shoot at the bikers as they advanced up to collect objectives.  Angelus, Sachiel, and the assault squad stayed on my right getting LOS/cover from the down range White Scars.  My intent was for them to go up the right flank of the table.  I was hoping to be able to cast some successful spells this game, and also learn a bit more about how to use the Blood Angels to their best intent.

 Game Play
Turn 1
The White Scars draw a card.  It is for an objective out of his reach.  His drop pod slams down (well, placed gently) on my right flank, and the 10 marines pile out to go after my assault squad!  His bikers move forward on the left, to a location where they can claim a cover save from a short hill.  In shooting, after all of the firepower from his scout squad, drop pod, centurions, etc., I only lost a hull point on Squad 4's Rhino.  Regular armor saves and lucky FNP rolls worked well for me.

On my turn, I needed to turn my attention to his pod squad on the left, and biker squad with Khan on the right.  My two rhinos moved forward to what I hoped to be future unit locations.  In the Psychic phase, I was able to get Quickening and Blood Boil, but blood boil periled, and then was dispelled!!  Angelus lost a wound! Regardless, I went into assault and killed off 7 marines, who held.  I also took down a biker on the right.  My Maelstrom card was for something I could not score.

Score:  0 - 0

Turn 2
His terminator reserves fail to come in.  The White Scars got a card for the objective near the scouts, and an objective near his bikers.  He decides the bikers are too exposed to the predator, so he moves them back, while keeping them in range to score the objective.  In shooting, he kills Squad 4"s Rhino (wreck), so the combat squad dismounts and passes their pin check.  In assault, I lose a marine, but finish off his pod squad.  I decide that since his pod is not at an objective, I'd just work to ignore it and keep advancing towards his lines and the objectives.  He scores his objectives.

I draw a card, but it is for a mission I won't achieve this turn.  I get my single reserve roll for the Stormraven.  As it moves in 36 inches, the Dreadnought Titus jumps off, deviates, but fails to take damage.  The Death company stay embarked at great risk.  I move up on the right flank towards his scouts and an objective.  I run the assault element around the scouts to get them more towards cover, but I'm also torn.  If I move too far forward, my supporting rear units might get jumped by the Terminators.  In shooting, Squad #4 is able to take down a few scouts, BUT I fail the short charge range through cover!  His scouts pass morale. Other shooting is inconsequential.

Score: 3 - 0

Turn 3
The White Scars draw three cards, good for scoring on three objectives in range of his bikes, scouts, and terminators.  His reserves come in. His terminators deep strike into my deployment zone, at a location near the predator and Objective 3.  His Stormtalon zooms in directly in front of my Stormraven.  The scouts have no choice but to stay in place and score by OBSEC.  The bikers also move forward to head toward Squad #3's advancing Rhino.  In shooting, he tries to damage the Dreadnought Titus and wrecks it! He also tries to shoot the jinking Stormraven, causing one hull point of damage with a glance.  Other shooting is somewhat inconsequential.  He scores two points.

 Alas poor Titus!  I was hoping to have him charge into the terminators!  I draw three cards, and some look good for getting some points finally!  As the Stormraven goes into hover mode, the Death Company dismounts in order to take down the bikers.  The Stormraven peels off and heads towards the terminators.  On the right, the assault element jumps past the scouts, looking to get closer to the White Scars remaining tactical squad.  Squad #3 dismounts from their rhino, and the rhino zooms forward towards a central objective.  In the psychic phase, Angelus manifests quickening on the Squad #4 sergeant.  he also gets Blood Lance, but then misses the "to hit" roll.  On other shooting, I take down a terminator, shoot up the bikers, and the scouts are down to just two!  In assault, overwatch from the two remaining scouts shoot down the "quickened" Squad #4 sergeant! Ouch!  I make the assault with the other 4 marines, kill off the scout survivor, and consolidate back to cover.  The death company then kills off the remaining bikers and Khan!

Score: 5 - 1

Turn 4
The White Scars are looking like they are on the ropes, but they get some good maelstrom cards.  The terminators move towards my Squad #3, Stormtalon moves in hover mode to a location to wreck the predator at an objective, and the other units don't move.  In shooting, he fails to damage the predator, but he does immobilize the Stormraven! He softens up the Squad #3 combat squad, and then successfully assaults them to take them out.  I also may have lost an assault marine or so.

I get some good, complex maelstrom cards.  On my turn, I move the assault element up and around the building to go after the tactical squad.  The death company now sets its sights on the terminators.  In the psychic phase, I get Quickening off (on the librarian), but fail on Blood lance.  In shooting, I (maybe) take down a terminator, explode the stormtalon, and maybe pistol a tac marine.  Then, I lose an assault marine to overwatch, and then fail the charge range!  On the left, the death company overwhelm the terminators before the terminators can swing!

Score: 5 - 6

Turn 5
The White Scars are looking grim, but get some possible scoring cards.  In shooting, he takes down all of my assault element except the Librarian!

In my turn, I get some complex cards, but some are scoreable and give bonuses.  I basically move everyone towards any objective possible, except the librarian, who moves up to assault the tact squad by himself!  He casts quickening and blood lance, which takes down a tactical marine.  Then I declare the charge.  The first overwatching unit is his flamer marine, who rolls to get 3 wounds on the Librarian, and I fail my last save!  Warlord for the White Scars (plus he still gets linebreaker for the drop pod)...we roll another dice and the game ends.

Final Score: 7 to 10.  Blood Angels Victory!

Well, for a second game, everything worked pretty well, and the last-minute list change seemed to be beneficial.  Overall, I still had made a few mistakes, that required looking up in the rulebook.  At one point, for example, I rolled like a 1, 1, 6, 6, 4 to cast a opponent was excitied as I'd periled on double 1's...actually I'd periled on double sixes, and the Librarian took a wound from it.  Another aspect, still boiled down to how many attacks and at what initiative, does a marine with a power axe and pistol actually have.  Overall, nothing big, but always good to affirm.

Still was not enamored over the actions of the librarian in battle.  I'd hoped to end the game with him in assault with the last tactical squad, but he "flamed out" LOL.  I may go back and check the relics section and see if there is something better for him to use (not the staff though) rather than be a level 2 psycher.  Every little bit helps!  Also, the assault sergeant with the power fist has not been optimal in the past 2 games.  He may be better off with a power axe and infernous pistol that the power fist/storm bolter variant we tested.

The predator was more of a distraction for my opponent than anything else.  It did its job.

Overall, the unmodified death company proved their worth again, but they remain to be a huge point sink!  I still need to see about trimming them back a tad, and use the points elsewhere!

All for now, hope you enjoyed the photos.  It is difficult to get a good angle of the table, but in this game you can really see the progression to accompany the text.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First Contact with Xenos Reported - 5th Company Attacks!!!

Captain Sendini and Librarian Epistolary Angelus of the Blood Angels 5th Company "Daemonbanes" both gripped the edges of the table with their powered gauntlets.  Scouting reports were feeding back to their command station on the Strike Cruiser Blood of Vengeance from the planet below.  They had arrived in orbit just the night before, to investigate the loss of astropathic signals from the planet a mere three standard months prior.  Instead of detecting the normal electronic signatures of a working agricultural world, everything they detected was in the wrong frequency and energy signatures referenced to those known to have been used by the Tau Empire.  Blood Angel tactical squads were deployed from the Strike Cruiser to the planet surface, finding the human settlements in ruins, no bodies, nothing but ruins.  And now, Tactical Squads 3 and 4 were sending up images of a possible Tau military strongpoint.  Captain Sendini ordered that the Tactical squads be reinforced, and contact made. Librarian Epistolary Angelus was to deploy to the surface and coordinate the action.
First Battle Report of 2015!

Summary: Blood Angels vs Tau, 1500 Points
Battle: Maelstrom Mission #2
Terrain: Ruined City with defense lines / defensive barriers

I'd been working with the new Blood Angels codex, and evaluating starting a list in preparation of the upcoming Winter-Spring Maine 40K League.  I'd gotten in contact with JT, a long-time 40K player, to come on over on an evening to get a game in.

My basic list (in part because it is what I had more or less available for immediate use) the following, which I wanted to test in order to get some exposure to the new Blood Angels 40K Maelstrom cards, new Blood Angel librarium spells, new Blood Angel warlord traits, and some of the iconic Blood Angel units pushed in the new codex.  Here is my force breakdown to 1500 points:
  • Librarian Epistolary Angelus (Level 2 psyker, force axe, plasma pistol, jump pack) (warlord)
  • Sanguinary Priest Marus (power axe, jump pack)
  • Tactical Squad #3: 10 marines, sergeant, flamer, missile launcher, rhino
  • Tactical Squad #4: 10 marines, sergeant, flamer, missile launcher, rhino
  • Assault Squad #7: 10 assault marines, jump packs, 2 melta guns, sergeant has power fist and melta pistol
  • Stormraven w/ TLLC, TLMM
  • Death Company Dreadnought Titus, MG, SB, twin blood talons
  • Death Company Squad, 8 death company marines, jump packs, 1 PF, 2 power axe, 5 power swords. 
My opponent had something like:

  • Ethereal (warlord)
  • 10-Tau squad of firewarriors with devilfish transport, 2 drones (obsec)
  • 10-Tau squad of firewarriors with devilfish transport, 2 drones (obsec)
  • Skyray, missiles, 2 drones
  • Forgeworld Hammerhead with Plasma Cannon Turret
  • 12+ kroot with krootox/gunner
  • Tau Piranha
  • 4+/- Forgeworld Tau Drone Sentry turrets
  • 3-Tau Crisis Suits
  • 3-Tau Crisis Suits
  • Aegis defense line

I was using the new Blood Angels Baal Strike Force Detachment from the back end of the new codex, which required a minimum of 1 HQ, 2 troops, and 1 elite, from which, all Blood Angel Faction units would get +1 Initiative on the assault as a formation special rule, plus the ability to reroll the warlord trait.  This would go on top of the standard Blood Angel (+1S) furious charge bonus.  The concept was to combat squad the tacticals to keep the MLs as overwatching units in cover, while the smaller combat squads in the rhinos acted as a fast moving wall to screen the assault squad plus librarian and priest.  I wanted to keep the Stormraven in reserve, carrying the death company and dreadnought.  I'd look to deploy as a refused flank, and try to use terrain to get cover saves on the rhinos when the game began.  The death company was tooled originally to play vs MEQs or GKEQs, thus the power weapons.  I'd planned on using the special rule for jumping off of the Stormraven in flight to deploy the DC units as zoomed onto the table.

The battlefield was set up (as usual) with a narrative bent, with a zone of tank traps and rubble walls set obliquely across the table, with trenches, ruins, and fortifications/bunkers all about equal to both table halves.  What I did not think about at all, was what the tank traps would mean to the rhinos....

JT arrives and unpacks Tau...

We deploy objectives, which from what would end up as my table side as the following approximate grid coordinates:  #1(+1, +2); #2(+2.5, +2), #3(+4, +2), #4 (+5.5, +2), #5(+5, +3.5), #6(+4.5, +0.5). The mission entails getting just one maelstrom card turn 1, and then cards (up to 6) for each objective controlled.  If you get behind on the objectives, doom can swiftly follow.

JT wins the roll to select sides, and chooses the "far side" which has some entrenchments and walls in the upper left, putting all of the tank traps in a line in my mid to far right as a barrier for vehicles.  He then deployed refused flank in the upper left, taking advantage of the cover, with just a Tau Piranha in the upper right.

I deployed in response on the lower right...I was thinking I'd be able to advance quickly on objectives #6, #5, and #3...

After my deployment, he placed his Kroot in position near objectives #1 and #2...

And then I realized I had the tank traps as an added barrier...

JT decides to go first.  I try to seize and fail.

The Game
JT gets first blood destroying Squad #3's Rhino, while positioning to better get firepower on Squad #4's Rhino and the assault element.  I move forward quickly to mid field on the right, and overwatching fire has no effect on the Tau.  Tau are controlling 3 objectives, I have 2; game points 1(first blood) to 0.

The picture above is at the end of Turn 1 - you can see the smoke coming out of the 3rd Squad's Rhino, the sergeant and his combat squad taking cover behind the wreckage, while the overwatching half is in the nearby trenches.  In the lower corner, the overwatching half of Squad 4 is conga-lining it for the bunker from which they can claim Objective #6.

On the second turn, the tau move forward a bit more, spreading  across to the right, but staying cautious.  He uses a drone wall to protect some dismounted units firing now into my lines.  I lose the second Rhino, and maybe 3 assault marines.  In response, I try getting more forward into assault, and the combat tac squad makes a blunder, killing off some drones from one unit to keep me out of the assault, and then I blow a key charge range for the assault element, leaving the remaining assault marines, librarian, and priest hanging out on my flank.  My stormraven stayed in reserves!  Tau are controlling 3 objectives, I have 2; game points 2-0.

In the picture above, you can see 4th Squad's Rhino now a smoking wreck, while I advance further to assault through the gun drone line.

In the picture above you can see the combat squad had created a hole in the drone wall for the assault element...but the assault fell short!  I'd used my jump packs to get this far, so could not re-roll the charge distance!

On the third turn, the Tau pushes further onto objectives now, and he is looking to push me back!  One one hand, he is drawing cards, but the missions are not really yielding him points.  I lose more marines form every squad, but no units have been eliminated.  I push back, and finally get the assault element in to the assault, and also kill more drones. The stormraven zooms on to the field, with the death company getting a drop at grid coord +2.5, +1.5, near the kroot, and the dreadnought drops about +3, +2.5.  The stormraven explodes a Devilfish, causing the Ethereal and his retinue of firewarriors to dismount.  Using POTMS, the Stormraven also immobilizes the Skyray that had advanced on Objective #3.  The Tau plasma variant of the Hammerhead is also damaged by a shot from my dreadnought.  The Death company spreads out with a good run move, looking to get their weapons stuck into the kroot. The  Tau are controlling 4 objectives, I have 2; game points about 4-0.  None of our tactical cards have been kind!

The fourth turn sees the Tau try to claim or contest all 6 objectives, but at the end of our turns, they could not achieve that.  I lose about half of the death company to fire from the kroot and nearby suits and defense guns, but I'm fearless!  On my turn, the death company assault the kroot and wipe them out.  The assault squad remnants with librarian and priest get into assault with the ethereal (yield warlord +1), and claim three additional points for a mission card (2 and double more on objectives than the opponent).  The dreadnought assaults and explodes the plasma Hammerhead variant.  Tau are controlling 2 objectives, I now have 4; game points about 5-5.

Turn 5, the Tau are crumbling away, as am I.  The two remaining immobilized Tau tanks try to jink their way to safety?  The death company now assaults the remaining crisis suits, while the librarian and remaining assault element attack the tau defense gun turrets.  I'm now in mop-up mode.

In the picture above, the last of the Death Company can be seen on the lip of the last tau entrenchment, with the Dreadnought in the distance charging off to look for something else to rip apart...and yes, although primed, the death company have a ways to go...

In the end, the game is decided at 5 points to 6, Victory for the Blood Angels!  IIRR, at the end, I was actually controlling just 2 objectives (#2 and #3), and the Tau were on maybe 2 as well (#4 and #5).  I cannot recall who had #6.  But the dice roll to see if we would continue ended it there.  My 6th point came from linebreaker.

As a first game for the Blood Angels, it was exciting to get some cool things going, like assaulting vehicles with the dreadnought (5 or so S10 attacks on the charge), death company going into assault (just too much overkill), and the resilience of the assault element (although I ended the game with just 1 assault marine, a wounded librarian, and the priest as remnants)...I had some really poor rolls with the psychic phase (no more than rolls of 3), so key spells could not be manifested well or were dispelled by the Tau.  I was freaked out about the delay in reserves as well, lets face it!  Angelus IS NOT Tigurius!  Cool things were having I5-S5 assault marines on the charge, and I5-S5-WS5-+2A on the death company charge.  I recall on turn 5 that I used the 6-inch move for the Death Company and needed the reroll for the charge distance, plus hammer of wrath attacks.  I think overall, there was some good experimentation and learning here, and JT and I know I have a long way to go to get this army to a competitive level.

Anyway, I'm looking to tweak the list this week, get more painting done, and work to be in better shape for the league games!

"More to come"....(statement attributed to Jawaballs, my first player/painter inspiration for Blood Angels)