Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tragedy and Vindication at the Standoff

Life has been so busy for me it’s been rare that I’ve been able to get blog posts written.  I have had a bit of time for painting and playing 40K, but not at a high level.  Anyone peeking at my game record saw that last year was dismal, and this year, although a bit better, is also dismal.

I did commit to play at the Standish Standoff.  And yep, I did.

I decided that since I was playing Blood Angels, I’d just stay with them.  Overall, I think if I had a caddy (like in golf) to keep me grounded and focused, I could get Blood Angels to stay in the top 2/3rds of my local tournaments.  I just wish I had that caddy!  The job position is open!  The alternative was to just dust off the Battle Company list I’d used last year.  That list was great, and frankly, I have no idea why any other Space marine player did not bring one.  If I learned anything in the past year, it’s that Frankie (Frontline) is probably spot on that White Scars Battle Company with lots of grav weapons is still the best choice going in that genre (although I’d love to see that played in a match vs melta/plasma Ultramarines Battle Company).  Nuff said. Heck, all i did to the tray I used for transport was take the one I've been using and added a few more glued on Imperial inspirational posters I'd found the night before on the internet.  I don't think anyone even noticed.

My BA list, for posterity – 1750

Shield of Baal Detachment
Librarian, level 2, FS/PP, JP (Biomancy)
Sanguinary Priest, chalice, pistol, auspex, PAxe, JP
10 Assault marines, 2 MG, Sergeant w/PF, IP, veteran, JPs
Furiouso Dreadnought, frag cannon, Flamer, DCCW, Magnagrapple, Drop Pod, Deathwind
DC Dreadnought, 2XBTs, flamer, MG
DC Marines, 5, 1 PF, 1 PS, JPs
Stormraven, TLLC, TLMM, Hurricane sponsons
6 Tac marines, flamer, Razorback, las/plas
5 Tac marines, flamer, Razorback, las/plas
2 Baal Preds – TLACs, HB sponsons

Yep, everything has furious charge (+1S), +1I on the charge, and the chalice give +1WS to its unit.  The components I think it is weak in is the ability to deal with massed 2+ armor, or T5+ multi-wound opponents.  The ground vehicles are all fast.  The flyer is tough.  The overall strategy is to deploy and go second, as the army is designed to react quickly to the opponent’s strategy and cause a change in the game.  Its the best thing you can do when outnumbered.  The bigger issue (not having a BA land raider or two) is that the Stormraven is key to deploying the DC marines and DC dread on turn two to the Schwerpunkt.  Earlier test games showed that to be feasible and lethal.  The problem seems to be getting them to be delivered on demand.

Game 1 – VS Mech Eldar / w Wraith Knight (Table 9)
Apparently with 22 gamers in the event I randomly drew the guy who would eventually win.  I’d even kidded about it in the parking lot before the venue opened.  And then it happened.  Unfortunately as a BA player, I’m not personally allowed to have prescience…A year earlier we’d played each other round 3…

When we rolled, I had to deploy first and go first.  Throw everything out the window.  My warlord trait would allow me to reroll reserves.  My reserves would not arrive until turn 4 even with rerolling.  On turn 1 I was leading.  On turn 2 I was losing but just a point behind. On turn 3 and 4 I was maybe two points behind.  On turn 6 I was tabled, and the scoring system awarded me 0 points for 6 turns of fast work.  And we were done in 1.5 hours.  I had an hour to pack my tray, wander around, and think about the future.  When the Stormraven eventually arrived on turn 4, I needed to zoom in flying to head deep into the board.  The DC Dread jumped off to be ready to assault the wraith knight.  In doing so, it deviated totally off the table with double 6s…and a mishap of 1 meant it was not coming back.  I was pretty mad at that point, and basically fed my units to the Eldar wraith knight in response.  By turn 6 I only had the Stormraven, which went to hover mode to try to get me two points for linebreaker. It got shot down.

With zero points I was firmly in last place.

Game 2 – VS Chaos Marines (sorcerer spam) with Guard (quad thudd guns and Sicaran) and Knight (Table 11)
My opponent here usually runs some tough stuff.  I love to play against him, and this game was going to be a tough challenge.  His overall strategy was to use his three chaos sorcerers to get invisibility (for the knight) and prescience (for the thudds).  And he did.  He deployed first and would go first.  If anything, his primary mistake was placing the thudd guns on his back corner.  That meant I had a thin swath of property in my deployment zone to put the librarian, sanguinary, and assault squad, and I would work to string him out towards my lines.  His thudds put their 12 or so twin linked blast templates on a razorback and wrecked it, as his invisible knight worked towards my direction.  In response, my ironclad podded down next to his thudds, and I started to work on him.  We trade blows for a while.  The Stormraven arrives I think on Turn 2.  On turn 3, I get the DC dread to charge the invisible knight while everything else heads around towards the table center (king of the hill).  I lose the DC dread to the knight in stomp attacks on turn 5. We end on turn 6 or so with me winning.

Game 3 – VS Deathwatch with Spacewolves Allies, Flyer Spam (Table 10)
Even with a win, I only moved up a single table.  In fact, one or two guys dropped, so I was ion the defacto last place table again.  This was going to be a tough match, and I did not know much about the Deathwatch.  This guy had his entire army in 4 fliers and one drop pod.  My opponent deployed first and went first.  Or should I say, he deployed nothing…

On turn 1, his drop pod arrives in my deployment zone and his small squad jumps out and melta’s one of my razorbacks.  While I push everything else forward, my surviving 6-man marine squad plus some added support kill off his spacewolves, but I can’t kill the pod.  Frankly, If I’d been thinking right, I should have just wiped him out entirely (assaulting the pod w/ the assault squad) and maybe ended the game right then.  I cannot recall if a deathwatch flyer or so was also on board turn 1.  IIRR he had some sort of means to bring stuff in.

By turn 2 he had half or all his flyers.  I’m scrambling around getting shot up while I collect maelstrom points.  I think around turn 3 or so I’m being assaulted and sorely pressed.  My death company countercharge an ongoing assault and they turn the tide.  DC dread gets meltabombed in assault (heheh, something unlikely now with the new FAQ).  Turn 5 comes around, and at the end, I won.  It was not pretty, but it was a Blood Angels kind of win.  Messy.  Wreckage everywhere.

Wrap-up Rant and more Army Pictures
Overall, I finished 2 wins and 1 loss.  Not too shabby!  I was poor in total points though.

Overall, all I can say is, dang frackin stupid fricken crazy awful bad ugh reserve rolls!  Even with rerolls I had problems getting a simple reserve unit on the table.  It is just bad luck and bad karma that continues to follow me around here.  You figure I spent Game 1 with essentially a third of my points out of the game, and really a full 10% never able to be used.  If anything, in game 2 it might have been great to keep the librarian/sanguinary/assault squad in reserves too, but I was so shattered by what happened in Game 1 I did not want to see it happen again.  In game 3, my opponent really was the one who lost that game – he ended with some flyers still containing units in transport, rather than having them dismount and pile in on any available assaults.  Overall, it was a tough but great day.  Really, in spite of the rants over my own issues, I loved the challenges each game provided.  Each game offered a huge issue for me to overcome, and I think the first game sparked me to really work harder on the other two.

I did enjoy just defaulting to Biomancy for spells instead of my typical selection of Sanguinary.  It helped a bit in game 3, but overall, for my pairings, psychic spells were not game changing - except in Game 2 where my opponent out-spelled me 3-1 and had invisibility and prescience....Frankly I could have just used a BA Captain in artificer armor with a relic sword and done just as well if not better.

MVP in my list was surprisingly the Stormraven.  I lost it in Round 1, in the other games it just mowed down units with its three different weapons and seemed to survive pretty well.  Good times.  In a larger game it would be cool to pair it with two Stormtalons for the added boosts for that formation. Honorable mention to the Baal Predators.    

Anyway, enough for now.  Here are a few pictures.  Enjoy!

Above - one of the best painted.  I like it when bugs look like bugs.

Above - best ork army - sadly, orks were paired vs orks in round 1. 

Above and below - My favorite painted army.  The demon characters are really off the hook good, dogs and demons, a nice combination. 

Above and below - Played vs this in the practice event a few weeks before.  I don't have a photo of my round 1 opponent's Eldar army.

Below - Necrons....

We will be playing 2000 point games at the club level.  I think I might just add Dante or some other easy 250-point add-on for tonight....

Happy gaming,



  1. Some nice summaries, thanks for posting.
    Out of curiosity, why did you have to deploy first and go first in game 1? Whoever deploys first gets to choose to go first or second

  2. Thanks for asking! Yep, it might have been spelled out in the scenario. Ultimately, I had deployed somewhat strategically, to bait him into how he'd deploy, and then on turn 1 I'd hoped to tactically adjust to the left using my speed (there was a LOS blocking hill in the center), and get the Furioso to drop in the upper left near an Eldar skimmer tank. Instead, the pod deviated far towards the center, which then changed my attack plan, with the pod now blocking one of my own attack routes. Overall, it was tough to get going, as the Eldar force was just as fast if not more so. It might have been better for me to start clustered in the center and then scoot for the corners to try to get the Eldar to split their forces too. Regardless, my turn 1 shooting was ineffective, and the delay of my reserves really hurt my game. The DC dread was my ace in the hole for dealing with the wraith knight and without it I was pretty much done for.

  3. I drew Steve first round last year. Defiantly puts a gut punch in your day.