Thursday, July 23, 2015

Plasma Miasma, or, playing vs the new Dark Angels

I played my Blood Angels vs the new Dark Angels last night.

I Lost.

I loved it.

It is better to have lost and loved than to never have lost at all?

The cool thing about the Dark Angels is their total access to plasma weaponry - it was so iconic!  It hearkens back to the day in the original 40K artwork where we see hordes of dark green armored Astartes tearing around just pouring plasma fire onto their enemies.  I love it when the opponent's army list is so cool and fluffy. There was certainly some learning to get from this match-up!

On to the pictures!

Here is the 5th Company Blood Angels - Shield of Ball Detachment and Angels Wrath Formation.  we were going to play at 2,000 points, Maelstrom Mission #3 (escalating tactical cards).  My warlord, Angelus, as warlord, rolled up having rampage.  Overall, this list was just what I had lying around for 2,000 points, its not optimum - I'd merely expanded upward from 1850 by adding a DC dread (with no pod) and a melta bomb on a sergeant.  

Here is the OPFOR - its actually three Dark Angel unit groups:

Formation #1 - There are two biker squads of Black Knights (plasma and grenade launcher), a Dark Angel Biker Command Squad (plasma where possible), and Samael's Landspeeder, 2 attack bikes.

Dark Angels demi-company Detachment - led by a Chaplain (acting as the warlord), a plasma gunned (3) command squad in a Rhino, a demi-plasma cannon (3) squad, three tactical squads (2 podded, one in a Rhino) - all with plasma gun / plasma pistol where allowed, and a veteran squad (plasma...) in a pod, and a jump-pack assault squad with plasma.

Formation #2 - Landspeeder a plasma-gunned bike squad.

Here we are after deployment...I have too unit groups in reserves - the podded assault squad and the entire Angels Wrath formation plus Angelus and Marus (the Sanguinary Priest).  I set up first - my opponent was to go first.  My deployment anticipated his reserves of podded units coming in to my deployment zone...what I did not know was that his biker units and Samael ALL had outflank...Otherwise I'd have maybe deployed differently (like strong to my right).  I had placed the vehicles to protect their rears and maybe force the opponent back a bit - which was nice for defending against shorter range melta but not plasma...My opponent reserves everything but foot-bound devs and rhino-carried squads.  His Devs were set too far back, and other than acting as a threat played no major combat role in the game.     

Here we are more or less at the end of turn 1.  I was feeling pretty good, the score was 0-2.  The OPFOR's podded units took about 17 MEQs as casulalaties, and I'd lost 3 DC marines and a hull point or so on razorbacks. My biggest failures were missing the assault by the DC on some broken DA tacticals, and that my own podded meltacide squad had deviated away from its intended target.    

Here we are at the end of turn 2.  My opponent's reinforcements had arrived by outflanking and thing went bad quickly!  I lost my Baals, and for all my effort, my opponent survived my responses due to the ability to cook up 3+ jink saves, and ability to overwatch at a 5+ or regular BS per the DA special rules.   

Here is just another shot - Angel's Wrath came down.  Angelus whiffed all of his Psychic powers.  For whatever reason, I just could not take down the solo tac marine lurking in front of my damaged razorback, or the attack bike.  Those little issues became bigger...I did finish off one tac squad - using the DC dread to do it, and shooting took out the DA jump pack assault squad.  

This is around the middle of Turn 4.  The score is about 3-5.  I still cannot kill off the last attack bike, and in a combined assault, I'd wrecked the landspeeder, but failed to take out that last surviving tac marine (who'd wrecked the razorback earlier in the turn).  Off in the distance, my assault squad was stuck in HTH with a tac squad, and Angelus, Marus, and the Vanguard were rushing that way.    

I tried to take out the Chaplain's Rhino, whiffed it, and then got a plasma shower. 

Turn 5 nearing the end.  Angelus and Marus, the Vanguard, were all taken down by plasma fire.  

I called the game at the end of turn 5.  Final score - 9 to 3.  

    My opponent had about 23 different plasma weapons in his list, some twin linked.  Plasma hurts.

Things I could have done better were to recognize how much plasma fire was there and react accordingly.  I might also have been able to use my assault units more carefully to make sure they had cover, or concentrate them better to finish off opponent units.  I wasted a lot of dice trying to address some of his units, either through my bad attack/wound rolls, or his great saves.

I'm already looking forward to the next game!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

An Untappd Life

I've been away on a short vacation.  During that time I brought nothing related to Games Workshops' IP. I read nothing and did nothing 40K related.  But I did pursue my other hobbies - surf fishing and beer.

Soon (late August) will be the time I review my 40K gaming year.

Now is the time I can review my beer drinking year.

I use the APP called UNTAPPD to keep track.  It is really cool, and I get badges as rewards for beer exploration.

In the past year (or as long as I've used the APP), I have checked in 229 times.  I've drank 160 DIFFERENT beers.  I've been awarded 94 badges for my efforts.  

Badges have various levels, usually based on getting another 5 beers in that category.  The badge I've progressed on the most is "Land of the Free" (I'm at level 29).  You get that one for drinking distinct different American beers.

My favorite badge is..."Drinking Your Paycheck" which I'm not sure how I earned...maybe beers on Friday?  Who knows.

Maybe my next badge will be "Weekday Warrior"?

Anyway, its back to 40K.  I still need to get my E Tenebrae Lux pledge completed.  I was working on that last night - painting Blood Angels.  Tonight is "Club Night" so i hope to get a game in and maybe start some talk on scheduling and getting commitments for the Standish Standoff (Tournament) event to be held in the Fall.

Happy Drinking!

But then again - remember its just a hobby:


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A day in the life of Epistolary Angelus

Epistolary Angelus reveled in the midnight hour.  He liked this time best, because the night was usually the quietest and calmest of times.  The lack of nearby active mental activity from the surrounding environs, and the usual silence except for the slow cooling ticks given off by engines and gun barrels made for a good and soothing time for meditation and review.  On the distant horizon, far to the east, the dark night sky was slowly starting to turn from starlit black to deep blue, as the sun for this planet would soon begin to rise to another day at this location.  

Angelus mused, that with enough speed, the Battlebarge above could orbit this planet at a location yielding a perpetual dawn and no night at all, or in the shadow of this world stay suspended in perpetual midnight.  Even here on the planet surface, midnight was a qualitative event - that only meant something for that moment in time for that location.  It was something that the few planet-bound citizens for whom the Blood Angels fought, could ever realize.  In space, there was no real midnight, dawn or dusk. Only the march of time.  

Just before nautical dawn - or the point of time at which the sun would begin its rise above the horizon at this point on the planet surface, Angelus, Sanguinary Marus, a squad of First Company Vanguard, and two 5th Company assault squads boarded their Thunderhawk gunships for the transit back to the battle barge.  Sanguinary Marus made the sign of the Aquilla across his chest plate and he walked past the small shrine at the boarding ramp.  Angelus followed.  On board, servitors advanced to each Space Marine and conducted their service protocols, re-arming each Space marine with bolter ammunition, battery and power packs, grenades, liquids, coolants, nutrient supplements, and removed waste products and spent materials. Angelus removed his helm and jump pack and advanced to a table set off the side of the seating area for a brief repast.  Rare beef, cakes, and deep red wine.

Some time later, the Thunderhawk was clamped within the hold of the battlebarge.  Angelus, Marus, and the senior Vanguard marine had dismounted, walking briskly across the Hangar deck to Tactical Command. There, they received their briefing on "yesterday's" actions and successes.  Renegade Space Marines were the opponents here, some form of dark armored machine cult.  The goal was to finally break the remaining renegade force, and collect the survivors for the Inquisition.  

Within the hour, Angelus, Marus, the Vanguard, and two assault squads were back in their Thunderhawks, ready for a deep strike insertion by jump pack.  Nearby was an assault squad in drop pod, ready to discharge from the Barge's hull at a moment's notice.  

At the solar maximum over the insertion point, the battlebarge fired the drop pod at the planet surface.  In a wrecked industrial facility below, the ground element of 5th Company was fixing in place the renegades.  The drop pod, descending from space, was maneuvering to keep itself within the corona of the sun, so that its approach would be masked from intercepting fire.  Right before impact, at the rear of the renegade line, retros fired and the pod slammed down.  The beacon immediately began send its signal as the assault marines dismounted to protect the beacon.  

Angelus' Angels of Wrath formation approached the drop zone.  Angelus reviewed the tactical situation on the ground through his helmet pic-cam.  The 5th Company below had fixed the enemy and had advanced, but at the cost of damage to several predators and razorbacks.  Angelus noticed that the renegade command were on bikes, grouped around a cadre of three ancient dreadnoughts.  With barely a thought, Angelus changed the insertion point from near the drop pod, to a clear area immediately adjacent to the renegade command.  

With a huge rushing roar, all of the Blood Angels ran out of the zooming Thunderhawks, each firing their jump packs as they cleared the spacecraft.  Angelus, Marus and the Vanguard slammed down, fairly close to the intended coordinates, immediately followed by the assault squads. Their meteoric appearance seemed to surprise the renegades further.  Angelus and the vanguard powered up their weapons immediately, shooting into the dreadnoughts as their primary target.  The dreadnought, with its back to the arriving marines, was wrecked.  One assault squad went after a nearby transport, while the other assault marines began to shoot into the other two dreadnoughts.  

The renegade command squad on bikes appeared bent on getting distance between then and Angelus' strike force, zooming off towards the advancing 5th Company units.  In the mean time, the remaining dreadnoughts, nearby renegade tactical marines, and nearby centurion fire support team put all their firepower onto the Angels of Wrath units, and immediate casualties climbed rapidly.  Angelus realized the Centurions, something the Blood Angels did not field, were the next most dangerous unit, and immediately targeted them the Vanguard and half of the assaulting units. But first, renegade marines were in their way, and Angelus and the Vanguard, their battle lust rising, hacked them all to oblivion.  Nearby, combined fire from the advancing 5th Company and one of the assault squads, wrecked the remaining two dreadnoughts.  Death Company marines advanced maniacally towards the renegade command bikers.  

Grav cannon fire from the centurions caused Angelus and his assault elements casualties for every meter.  Calling on his warp-powered archane magiks, Angelus boosted the fighting might of the assault element and they charged into the Centurions from three different angles.  The Centurions tried to blunt the assaults, but were taken down quickly.  Their massive powered suits were no match for the rapid, skilled, and furious blood angels. 

With the shock of the assault spreading through the renegades, the command bikers seemingly gave up the fight and advanced towards Angelus.  The knew what the outcome would be, should they continue to fight, and for these renegades, life was better than the alternative.  With a salute, the bikers, including their captain, dismounted from their bikes, and removed their helmets.  

Angelus's strike force accepted the surrender of the renegades.  Soon, a large shuttle appeared on the horizon, a swift, blocky shuttle in the colors of the Holy inquisition.  With little fanfare or conversation, the renegades were marched under guard to the shuttle, and soon the Inquisitorial units left with the captured renegades to parts unknown.  Al the while, Marus and his medical servitors tended to the wounded, and offered the Emperor's Grace to those sorely wounded renegades yet alive on the field.  

In the distance, the sun had reached its xenith and began to sink below the horizon.  In the coming dusk, Angelus would send of his reports, review the day's events, meet with local planetary leaders, and prepare to depart the surface to return to the barge in space above.  As the sun began to sink below the horizon, Angelus faced the sun, and made the sign of the Aquilla.  Again, the Emperor Protects, he thought.  Work to do, Angelus moved of to the nearest Razorback to check on repairs...soon, the night would come, with his favored calm and silence.