Captain Jaxxson, 1st Armored Company Commander of the Triple Nickles Regiment, stood off on the sidelines of the training ground. The Company was wrapping up a training exercise in preparation for redeployment to the Standish System, where both Dark Eldar and Word Bearers forces were to be hunted and destroyed by a combined Dark Angels - Astra Militarum strike force. The exercise pitted the 1st Company against the Dark Angels mixed Ravenwing and Deathwing, and although things started very well, the Dark Angels eventually wore down the 1st Company force. So, Jaxxson stood, arms crossed, as he surveyed the field and awaited a debriefing from the Dark Angels Librarian.
Sergeant Cullin – tank commander of the Leman Russ Demolisher “Daisy”, was again enjoying the day, but he was, overall, dismayed. Whereas he had started the exercise confident in the abilities of his force, it was Magic forces from the Librarian that had changed all of that! Somehow, the Dark Angels Librarian had affected the firing computers in his Squadron, to the point they were nearly rendered ineffective! Cullin had already had strong words with the Tech priest of the company to get on a solution for that problem! The Priest went away to is works muttering something about plating.
Corporal Smithson sat on a box of rations, laughing with his new squad mates. He was trying to get them back to ground - they were all in a state of excitement that only newly graduated Whiteshields seemed to have when it came to encountering Space Marines. In this case, Smithson's squad was again providing protection for the left flank of the force - and it was there that Grand Master Samael in his Landspeeder had determined to "exercise" versus the 555th. Although you'd the Dark Angels leader would have been leading the exercise and spearheading the assault on the center of the line, he instead used the new unit on the left - Smithson's unit - as a toy and repeatedly forced the squad to take cover while he zoomed back and forth over them, waiving his sword! As it was, Smithson fairly well enjoyed the exercise, but realized that if Samael had been a Dark Eldar raider, the outcome would have been far more dire than dust and weeds.
Yep, short report. I played a game against a very complicated Dark Angels force at 1850. Pictures are below. Overall, it was a long game - it just would not end! 7 Turns! At the end of 5 turns I was winning, at the end of 6 it was a draw, and at the end of 7, I'd lost the game.
The biggest issues vs the dark Angels really boiled down to a few things - resilient rerollable, jinking, FNP'd bikers; a Librarian using a spell to make the Demolisher Unit snap shoot; and the long-game difficulty of fighting terminators when they could reach you for close combat.
Here is the Opfor. Considering that the opponent actually works at a game store, I'm always dismayed that he never seems to get anything painted, and then proxies his key units. The Green Landspeeder is Samael...Interestingly, he is also using three small squads of Scions, each with a plasma gun and melta gun. They can deep strike just like terminators apparently.
Deployment was quick. I'm liking army lists where the infantry begin inside the transports...again, this missing - seems to roll up frequently - was contact lost. I deployed first, and am sitting on two objectives to start, with a third just back a bit. I knew my opponent had several outflanking units, and several deep striking units. Ultimately, he only deployed two landspeeders and a unit of 3 bikers. Everything else was reserved.
End of Turn 2. I'd tried to eliminate his three deployed units, but ultimately could not. All of his reserves came in except for the command squad with the Scion prime. My warlord trait was again not having to take the 25% casualty morale checks within 12 inches of my Company Commander. When the Turn 2 reserves came in for the Dark Angels, they exploded a Chimera on the right, wrecked a Chimera on the left, damaged the Punisher, and neutered the Demolishers with that snap-shot-only spell (I'd failed the DTW rolls even with the relic plating). Adding to the bad luck was that the Manticore and the Master of the Ordnance were underperforming. Note - my tanks in the center and right were all aligned that way in line to give subsequent models cover saves from flanking attacks. I'm currently holding 3 objectives, and the opponent is holding three. I have about 4 or 5 points, to none for the Dark Angels.
Turn 4. I'm still winning, about 9 to 6. This is still during his turn, right before the assault phase, where he loses three terminators to overwatch from the Command Squad. Ultimately, the command squad loses in close combat, and runs away off the table edge - 10 inches...At the end of the turn, I'd be holding 2 objectives, and he'd have 3.
Just a close up, The demolishers separated in Turn 4, when one became immobilized - it became the target of the Deathwing Assault. The Librarian (DA Warlord) had cast the spell now on the still mobile demolisher.
End of game shot. The Manticore had run out of missiles on Turn 4, so it zoomed off to contest the objective that was sitting behind the Punisher. By now, the end of Turn 7, I had just one Demolisher left, the Valkyrie, and one broken squad running away (7 models in total still on the table). He was down to Samael, the librarian, a lone terminator, a damaged attack bike, and an undamaged terminator squad (9 models in total on the table).
Final score - 17 to 11. I was not able to draw any cards turn 7.
So...what do I get out of another loss? In this case, a few things that might have worked better -
1. The attack bikes he started with did not have the rerollable jink save and should have been taken out first, rather than wasting shots on his command bikers.
2. Objective placement - usually i place them in the open (as marines) so my opponent won't get cover saves. For Astra Militarum, it might be better to get them in cover...
3. The 19-inch rule. When your opponent can outflank, deploy and move no closer than 19 inches to the table side edges - that in part may mitigate meltagun damage. Same goes for objectives - place no closer than 16 inches to a side table edge for the same purpose. The opponent won't typically be able to claim objectives on their entry turn if you do that.
And then there is this: