Friday, February 27, 2015

You Brought a Knight? Oh, This is Going to be a Tough Night

First off - before I get to the Battle Report - two things were brought up on my favorite podcasts for you to ponder:

1.  Paint Scores.  As a best practice, if you are going to score players at an event on painting, have a scoring checklist and stick to it.  I loved hearing about how some guys have had the same army scored using the same rubric over several events by the same judges and got different scores each time.  If you are an event organizer, this is a very important thing to address.

2.  Maelstrom tactical objective cards.  I heard an interesting suggestion - instead of discarding cards "that cannot be scored" (like destroy a building or fortification), score the minimum points on that card instead.  There are various interesting reasons why you should consider doing that. One thing being it slows down the player cycling through their deck.  It also "levels the field" if players are not taking certain types of units to keep an opponent from scoring on them.  Note that this only likely impacts 3 or so cards in the deck.  I may try that in my next game. Also, BTW, at the local gaming level, we also were reminded that if your codex has special tactical cards, the wording is "must replace" rather than a choice...

The following is a battle report I played in the League last week.  Of course I was looking to play at a different point range, but I was able to modify a list quickly to get to this level.  Doing this though is always kind of unfair.  At this point level I'd have likely played something totally different, rather than just "added to".

1750 Points, Maelstrom Mission #2.

5th Company Blood Angels
Librarian, Level 2, Force Axe, PP, JP, Warlord, force, Quickening, Unleash rage, Wings of Sanguinius
Sanguinary Priest, Power Axe, JP

Death Company, 5, 1 PF, 2 PAxe, 3 CS
Death Company Dreadnought, MM, SB, BTs, MagnaGrapple

Assault squad, 10, 2 MG, 1 IP, PF, JPs
Assault squad, 10, 2 MG, 1 PAxe, Deathstorm Drop Pod

Tactical Squad, 5, Flamer, Las-Plas Razorback
Tactical Squad, 5, Flamer, Las-Plas Razorback

Baal Predator, Flamestorm, HB sponsons

Predator, TLAutocannon, Lascannon Sponsons

Stormraven, TLMM, TLLC, BSMs

This list is still experimental, modified from my last game.  Frankly, it would have been better to have a 1750 list prepared that was optimized for taking down the big stuff.  The "on the fly" modification was adding 5 more assault marines with a power axe to the drop pod element, it might have been better to have 5 more assault marines with jump packs and meltaguns as a separate unit, or whatever I could get for the points needed (about 100).  The painting and appearance is slowly improving. I think I'm going to mod those lasplas razorbacks though - they look goofy having the TLPGs on the hatches, leaving a gap on the turret.  I need to check our bitz boxes for some sort of targeting stuff or gear to either plug the hole on the turret, or just move the TLPGs to the turret.

OPFOR - White Scars w/ Knight

Chapter Master, Bike, PF, Warlord
Librarian, Terminator armor, level 2, Force Staff, Force, Flame Breath, Sunburst, Fiery Form

Knight, rapid fire battle cannon, regular CC weapon, heavy stubber, the usual variant.

Bike Squad, 8 plus 1 MM AB, PF, misc upgrades
Bike Squad, 8 plus 1 MM AB, PF, misc upgrades
Bike Squad, 8 plus 1 MM AB, PF, misc upgrades

Tactical Squad, 5, bolters
Scout Squad, 5, snipers

The Battle
I'll go quick on the battle and just refer to the key photos as I go.

I "won" the roll to go first and deploy first.  Terrain was pretty light, so I decided since my plan was to not remain in my deployment zone anyway, was to choose the lighter terrain area, that had the best turn 1 LOS blockers.  The deployment was intended to be the "drag and drop", so I went heavy on the center, looking to split the table.  The OPFOR deployed seemingly stronger to my left with the Knight, scouts, and 2 biker squads.

Here in the middle of turn 1 you can see the start...I jumped forward with my assault element and used the razorbacks to "wall off" the advance and give cover.  I'd hoped to jump further forward, but I rolled a 1 for warp charges, and i think I was only able to get quickening off.  I did not want to move "too far" forward on the right to keep from being assaulted (and losing some of the BAs' advantages).  Instead of getting everything off on this side, I'd decided to try and drop the pod squad on my far left at an objective, and the pod veered further away.  The goal was to try and use that squad as "knight bait" and draw my opponent's other half left as well, which it did.

Overall, shooting yielded me a few bikers and a tac marine, but no major damage to the OPFOR.

(I hate how I can't rotate photos directly in Blogger)...This is actually during the bottom of turn stormraven was late coming on.  The DC dread dropped off, and the stormraven (with DC) flew on.  On the right, the Assault element is "stuck in" with the surviving bike element, and where I'd hoped for a quick resolution, the presence of the Chapter master on bike was really causing me trouble!  In the far laft, the assault squad shot up and charged in on the bike squad there, and also got stuck in.  The OPFOR was making 3+ saves like a mad man and not breaking.  In the center, he'd advanced the other bike squad, and the Baal predator caught them napping, and I flamed out 4 bikers before on his turn he assaulted the predator (ongoing in the photo - the predator was wrecked).  Placement of my other predator in the corner became a problem - it had few targets to shoot at.  The razorbacks were a failure, they accomplished nothing other than to become wrecks.  I was falling behind in points too.

In this shot, you'd think I had it made...librarian and sergeant and sanguinary priest with a bunch of assault marines vs a chapter master and another biker.  Things went all to crap with some bad dice rolls and bad psychic phase play.

Here we are around the beginning of the 4th turn...

Middle of the 4th the far far left, my two surviving assault marines are heading toward where his scouts are hiding on a hill.  The knight took a bunch of hits from the DC dread before it wrecked him and then began stomping toward my right flank.  That central bike squad, having finished the Baal, then moved and charged my tac squad on one of the objectives.  On my right, the assault element is gone, but the DC and stormraven saved the moment - the DC popped out and assaulted the CM at I5, taking him out before his PF could swing.  The Stormraven popped his librarian the old-fashioned way - lascannons and multimeltas to double him out.

I did not have a better picture to capture the moment, but here we are in Turn 5...the DC actually went on to attack the damaged Knight in CC, and actually got lucky!  But then the knight catastrophically exploded, killing all but one of the surviving DC.  They then headed towards the scouts.  On the right, the last of his 4 bikers headed towards my predator, and I worked to try and shoot them, but he made every single save.

 Here we are basically at the end of the game, turn 7.  My opponent had just the 4 bikes remaining.  I'd worked hard to kill them or break them, and instead they'd turned away from the predator, and charged a tac squad, killing all but one (who did not break), keeping me from eliminating them during my turn.  I still had 1 DC, 2 assault marines, drop pod, the predator, and stormraven...if that marine had broken on turn 6, I'd have had another chance in turn 7 to eliminate the 4 bikers for a tabling...if only...if only...

And here is the final Maelstrom score - turn 7, White Scars won 13 to 9.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable game and a tone of fun to play the Blood Angels again.

I'm off to the laboratory (army builder) to do some improvements...for the next time...but this game gave me a second loss in my division of the league.  4 more games or so to go in about 2-3 weeks...

Breaking News
Played another game, this time vs an opponent who was packing 6 dreadnoughts (three+ were special forgeworld seige dreads), and a knight, and 6 drop was a tremendous game at 1750 using the same list as above...I was getting wrecked hard in Maelstrom Mission 3, his dreads were either MM dreads to the siege versions packing S6AP3 flamestorm weapons, seige drills, and S5AP4 heavy flamers.  The knight was his warlord.  The table became a junk yard of pods and vehicles and dead dreads.  Eventually the Knight and my DC dread tangled it up, and the knight - pre-damaged by other shooting - was killed off in a catastrophic blast in my deployment zone.  I eventually (regardless of the knight) won, as my units tangled with and fought the podded dreads all over the table.  It was a crazy game.  Hint...siege dreads at front armor 13 and a fit of mis-communication or bad judgement I'd charged one with a tactical squad (before they got run down with that AP3 flamer BTW), and that turned into a scrum where I added my assault element  and he countered by charging in his knight,which cost me the tac squad and the assault element, librarian, sanguinary priest...but I recovered from that and moved forward.  The game had an early issue where the DC dread deviated onto a necron ruin, and we decided since the ruin had not been declared impassable, we did not know what to do.  Overall, we decided that since the dread (magnagrapples) had move through cover, even with rolling a dangerous terrain test of 1 he was not immobilized, instead rolled on the deep strike mishap table and went back into ongoing reserves and ended up having to walk on, and played a little roll in the battle till around turn 4 when he wrecked a OPFOR pod at an objective, and later tangled with the knight, getting the charge off, and at I5 and rage, wrecked it. Another weird thing is that the DC dread has furious charge...but you cannot get S above 10 anyways?  Anyhow, I still need to figure out some of the issues with a DC dread and the "drop"....In this game, there was no "drag and drop" strategy - just alot of effort to survive the knight while hunting dreads....No photos...



  1. Great games dude.

    One small thing, he cannot have a knight warlord without packing three knights, per the IK codex. His list, likely unbound, is going to have a warlord, but no traits without any characters. That might have been what he did now that I typed that.

  2. It was an unbound list. He had rolled a warlord trait that was pretty innocuous and had no impact on the game. Overall, there was a bunch of things I need to learn about his list - just to be aware for similar situations. I'm likely to see those FW siege dreads more often....