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 spell...my 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.

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