I must be an experiential learner...
I had a good time last night playing a 2000 point game, Maelstrom Mission #1, vs Benito at Specte Studios. You can find more from him at spectrestudios.us
More importantly Benito was able to bring his kids along as dice apps! The one teamed with me was a great dice roller, and I owe a lot to his 6's and 5's for this game!
The Spectre Prime brought his Imperial Fists - a beautiful, well balanced, all Primaris army.
I was trying out rev 1.0 of my Blood Angels (plus Catachans) list.
The games essentially is pretty solid. 6 objectives, 3 cards per turn. Dawn of war deployment. We played as written from the book (no roll for first turn, per the text for this mission).
I lost the roll to place the first objective.
We placed all 6.
My opponent chose the deployment type and edge.
Prior to deployment (the "mustering" phase), I burned two CPs to take a second relic, and then burned a CP to make my Captain as Death Company. Rolled two dice. Got 2 CPs back. I pull the cards for my Librarian's spells.
I had to place the first unit.
Things get complicated quickly. I deploy my Catachans and Lord Commissar first. The Infantry form a skirmish line along my deployment line.
Sidebar comment to self - I need to make a cheat card just for their extra stuff (Catachan doctrine, Catachan special order, other orders, bubbles for what Strakan and the Lord Commissar bring).
My opponent ultimately deploys everything but the squad of 10 Reivers.
I deploy the Aggressors, Predators. Everything else with jump packs goes into reserves.
Sidebar comment to self - I had intended to deploy the Death Company and move them up pre-game but forget. I also need to check power levels to make sure I'm putting the required amount on the table. I also need to create a 800 point, infantry-only list from this mess...
He had fewer units. Note the use of the Repulsor to carry the Primaris Librarian, Aggressors, and Lieutenant.
He chose to go first.
I failed to seize.
The Primaris Marines open a can of WhoopA$$ on my deployed units. Imperial Fists doctrine is such that their targets never get cover saves.
Catachan troopers were catching bolt rounds center and left. I lost about half of them to shooting, and several more to end-of-turn morale checks. Red bandanas flew everywhere. 20 casualties. If it were not for some unlucky dice rolls, things could easily have been far worse.
In response, I moved my Aggressors up in the center to try to hold it. The Predator's linked up their telemetry and the Annihilator used its kill shot stratagem on the Primaris Repulsor tank. I put a few wounds on it, and caused maybe a few Intercessor casualties in the backfield. The Catachan mortars were becoming my best friend.
Sidebar comment to self - re-study mortar use vs Catachan special rules/doctrines for better effect).
At the end of the turn, I feel like I'm losing but the score is 0 - 0.
Middle of Turn 1...Catachan Casualties Mounting...
The Primaris Marines move up on my left flank and deploy the Reivers from deep strike on my right. In shooting, the dice gods do not favor the idea of destroying my Predators. The Annihilator takes a few wounds. In anti-infantry shooting, I lost two Aggressors, and most of the remaining Catachans, although one flamer-carrying bolt-magnet succeeded in absorbing a huge amount of dice! He even survived the combined flames from three advancing IF Aggressors! I lose my last Aggressor to failed morale. The unit never even got off a shot! They were mostly damaged by the Hellblasters.
Sidebar comment to self - re-study use of Aggressors - this is their second game and they never got to shoot.
On my turn, I draw a card for slay the Warlord. I decide I need to split the battle into three unmanageable chunks.
The Librarian, Sanguinary Priest, Sanguinary Ancient, and Sanguinary Guard drop down behind the IF Warlord (Captain). Their mission is to take him and nearby IF marines out of the fight.
On the far right, my DC Captain, Lemartes, and Death Company drop in to first eliminate the Reivers, and then jump forward after the Hellblasters.
On my left, the remaining Catachans and Predators were to work over the advancing IF units (the Repulsor, the Primaris Librarian, Flame-Aggressors, and Primaris Redemptor dreadnought.
In this case, spreading out worked.
In shooting, the Repulsor was destroyed. A few Intercessors were eliminated. The Librarian wounded, and Aggressors eliminated.
In assault, the entire Sanguinary team missed their charge vs the Captain.
On the right, only my DC Captain and Lemartes made it into assault with the Reivers.
On the left, a Catachan sergeant and Catachan flamer trooper made it into contact with the Primaris Librarian.
At the end, the Reivers were gone.
I'm losing the game, 4 - 0.
Beginning of Turn 2...I've advanced a bit to threaten the Imperial Fists with Flashlight Danger! Our two Dice Apps are getting ready for another turn!
The Imperial Fists respond with a new hammer blow. They turn their attention on the the Sanguinary team, the Predator Annihilator, and my Captain. Shooting. Assaults.
In the end I lose the Annihilator, the last of my Catachan Troops, and 4 Sanguinary Guard. The IF captain is now fighting my lone Sanguinary Guard. Other charges had failed.
My Captain jumps forward, followed by Lemartes and the Death Company. The Sanguinary Priest tries to revive a comrade and fails. In shooting, I finish off the Primaris Librarian, clearing any threats to my left.
In assault, the Sanguinary Ancient and the Librarian join the fight with the IF Captain. Wounds are exchanged, but its a 3 on 1 stalemate. The DC Captain is the only unit able to assault the Hellblasters, but he cannot reach them and is exposed badly.
The score is about 5 - 3. My opponent is out of CPs.
A Lieutenant, Librarian, and Aggressors walk into a trap...
Shooting sees my Warlord / Captain dead by the Hellblasters, and the Sanguinary Priest is dead. I have a few CPs left. In assault, the Redemptor makes it into contact and but misses its attacks! The IF Captain loses its last wounds to the Librarian, but in a last ditch swing takes out my last Sanguinary Guard!
I reply with a few things. The Librarian knows the gig is up, and leaps off to the objective in the board center using one of my last CP (to score an objective). Lemartes and the Death Company leap onto the Hellblasters and wipe them out, and advance to engage the IF Annihilator. I also take out finally the IF Ancient.
The score is now about 7 - 5.
The Imperial Fist attackers have been eliminated...the center and right flanks are clear....
You can feel the game coming back to the Blood Angels at this point. We play through the turn, with the Imperial Fists getting two more points, but no significant damage to the remaining Blood Angels units. In reply, the Death Company annihilate the Annihilator, and finish off a few stray IF models. I score four points or so,
Time for my own advance in Turn 4...mortar tubes are starting to peel their paint...Strakan and the Lord Commissar never broke cover...
The score is 9 - 9....but wait! I have Linebreaker....
10-9 win for the Blood Angels!
We actually pulled our cards for turn 6 - the Imperial Fists drew things they could not score, and the Blood Angels drew cards that would yield more points. Interestingly, I drew more "defend this objective #" cards than i can remember.
Overall, it was a great game, and we had some good discussions on the state of the meta and the tactics for a few units (like Aggressors).
Near the end of turn 4...
It was good practice for this weekend's Rockport Invitational too! Look for photos and a report on that in a week or so!
Now I just need to keep practicing key list elements, gets some painting done, and reproof my list and build the 800 point sidebar list, all before Saturday!
Parting shot...that Dread Wont Squish My head...right after this, the Librarian pulled its last CP and headed away on Angels Wings...