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.  


  1. Add a unit of sniper scouts. I played the same opponent with Astra Militarum and it was a unit of 9 Ratlings that did so much damage to his high toughness Eldar models. If ons target doesn't exist then they can sit on a objective so you can earn points.

  2. I may just try that. I think I have a full unit of 10 snipers now...but still, they need 4's to hit, wound on 4' on a bad /average day, 5 hit, 3 wound, he saves 2...laughs...charges the scouts...10 rapid firing sternguard may be better (but twice as expensive)...with poison rounds, 20 shots, 12 hits, 10 wounds, 6 saves...decides to charge scouts...LOL...add in attacks from some landspeeder typhoons and an entire airforce, might take it down....

  3. However if you roll any sixes to wound they Rend so there is a chance. They wont kill a Knight straight up but should take away some of those wounds with infiltrate and 36" range. Combine with heavy weapons could help the rest of the force