Sunday, 15 May 2011

ASMOH Tournament Game Overview & Learnings (Game One & Two)

So last weekend I attended the A Small Matter of Honour Tournament at Basingstoke's Sad Muppets club.  As you'll probably now from a previous post I went 3-0-1 (W/D/L) and came 5th, so with another 1 day tournament tomorrow what learnings can I take from my first tournament of 2011.

Tournament Game Overviews

Game 1 I was lucky to draw the difficult Anniliation mission (to get it out of the way).  Game 1 and 2 were 1250 pts so I was using the following list:

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer with Liquifier Gun - 60
6 Incubi in Raider with Dark Lance - 192
3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 151
10 Wracks with 2 Liquifier Guns in Raider with Dark Lance - 180
9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade in Raider with Dark Lance - 165
9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Agoniser in Raider with Dark Lance - 180
3 Wracks in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 95
Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105
Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105
Total: 1233 Pts
 I was facing a foot Space Wolves army, consisting of 2 units of 8 grey hunters, a unit of 6 grey hunters, each grey hunter unit had a wolf guard in terminator armour, 2 units of long fangs (each with a wolf guard in power armour to be an extra ablative body), a rune priest, a wolf priest, and a unit of scouts with a wolf guard.  So my 15 kill points was facing 8, so if he could get though half my army I would need to table him to win.

Being anniliation I decided to take first turn hoping to cripple his long fangs, as quickly as possible, as they would make a nasty mess of my 8 vehicles very fast.

I split my army into 2 sections.  The main section on the right contained both ravagers, wyches with the Haemonoculus, the Incubi, and the trueborn. On the left I had both the large and small units of wracks, along with the other unit of wyches

Opposite my strong flank my opponent deployed both large units of grey hunters (one behind the other), the wolf priest in the first unit, the rune priest in the second.  They were behind some small alls giving them a cover save.  One unit of long fangs deployed behind them.  Against the light flank he deployed the small unit he deployed the small unit of grey hunters, and slightly further back behind a small ruin the other unit of long fangs.

Both raiders (wracks andwyches) on the light left flank moved flat out, leaving me close to the grey hunters that side.  The small wrack venom moved forward 12" so it could fire on the long fangs.  The stronger right flank moved forward 12" so it could all fire, except the incubi raider which moved forward behind a ruin in the middle of the table which blocked line of sight.

My first turn shooting saw me do little damage to the long fangs with one missile launcher lost from one unit of long fangs and the pack leader from the other unit. Yep 4 splinter cannons and 7 dark lances killed 2 marines.  However killing the pack master in one of the long fang units would save a vehicle a turn as they couldn't split fire anymore.

His response was to move the furtherest forwards grey hunters on the stronger right flank forwards (out of the cover of the walls) so he could fire at a venom.  The second grey hunter squad moved forward to just behind the walls.  Everything stayed still and fired at the incoming Dark Eldar vehicles.

I got lucky and the small grey hunters firing plasma shots and bolters didn't kill the wrack's raider on the left, so the long fangs were forced to kill it.  I only lost 1 model in the explosion (I would have killed the wych raider as they would suffer more casulties in any explosion).

On the right the long fangs killed the truborn's venom, and stunned the wyches raider.  I think I should have moved the raider futher forwards (at the expense of not shooting, because now the wyches would be able to charge the front grey hunters with the incubi next turn).  If the raider has just been shaken I was tempted to charge the wyches into both the grey hunter squad (with the addition of the incubi) hoping to win my a fair margin.  However I think having the raider stunned was a godsend in disguide because I probably would have over extended myself in a protracted combat envolving too many characters and wolf guard terminators.

I was also lucky with the rune priest which only rolled 1 or 2 shots with living lightning and didn't hurt a vehicle with a poor penetrating roll.

Second turn and combat is about to be initiated.  On the left the wracks charge the small grey hunter squad, the wyches zoom over the grey hunters and get out ready to charge both the long fangs and the grey hunters.  The small wrack unit moved 12" further forward so their venom could help against other flank.

The incubi raider zoomed 12" forwards over the ruin in the centre.  However they couldn't clear the ruin amd it immobolised itself (not a problem as it had done it's job of getting the incubi in combat and it could still fire it's dark lance).  The wyches for out of their raider and advanced forward.  The truborn moved forward to lend more firepower into the front grey hunters.

Shooting at the front unit of grey hunters was a bit too much leaving only about 2 grey hunters and the wolf priest and wolf guard. The incubi duly charged and despatched them.  A bit of firepower went into the long fangs and grey hunters.  Another stroke of luck is that the small wrack venom firing accross field into the right flank long fangs took out one of the missile launchers putting the unit out of coherency meaning they wouldn't be firing their heavy weapons next turn.

One of two big mistakes in this game was charging both the long fangs and grey hunters on the left flank.  What I should have done was multi assaulted the grey hunters to ensure their demise and then taken the hit from the one turn of long fangs shooting before killing them the next turn.  What happened was that I was only winning combat by small amounts, and eventually a poor combat phase saw me lose combat and the wyches fleeing and getting cut down by the long fangs.  This also freeed up the wolf guard terminator in the grey hunters to attack wracks rather than wyches (with 4+ dodge save).  By the end of the game I even throw the the small unit of 3 wracks into the combat.  Although the grey hunters were wittled down to just the wolf guard he refused to die (making 5 or 6 saves in the last turn of the game).

On the right flank things went better.  The incubi were counter charged by the second grey hunter squad, but after the incubi had taken a few out before they died, the firepower and conter charge by the wyches took them out.  Other firepower took reduced the long fangs to just a few and the rune priest which were quickly finished off by shooting and combat soo after.

While this was going on the wolf scout turned up.  Now if they game in to help out the main space wolf force, I would probably have been able to kill them as well, however my opponent sensibly bought them on the flank board edge but near my deployment zone.  They killed a ravager the turn they game on, and I forgot to move the wyches raider forwars (to put it easily out of range of the scouts), so the scouts duly killed that as well.  I didn't have the transports to go back and deal with them so they scout had got 2 kill points for no loss and stayed huddles in my bottom right hand corner of the board.

The game ended 8-6 to my opponent on kill points.  I throw one away by losing the wych raider to the scouts.  I also ended the game with the small unit of wracks running, but if they hadn't gone into combat the other unit of wracks would have lost easily.  However maybe a better tactic instead of trying to win that combat would have been to let the larger wrack squad eventually lose so I could shoot the wolf guard.

Main learnings was:
  • Be a bit more aggressive, ie. the wyches with the haemonoculus could have made combat turn two if I had sacrificed one dark lance shot.
  • Attacking in waves works, as I have more units to start with, attacking with one unit normally draws out another unit, which I normally have a counter charge ready for.
  • Against MEG the incubi are great for cutting the heart out of an enemy unit, even if they may die in the process.
  • Don't over extend myself.  I didn't need to try and kill the lighter left flank on turn 2.  Killing half that side with lots of units left over there (large & small wrack units, wyches,  raider & venom) to kill the other unit would have been fine.
  • Don't over do the shooting into units you're about to assault.  In a couple of turns I felt it was hardly worth charging in because my shooting has reduced the target to only a few models, essentially meaning I wasn't using the power of my army efficiently.

Game 2 I was against the person who eventually took best army.  He had a lovely Eldar army, so kin wars should be a nice battle.  The battlefield was dominated by the huge bastion you can see behind the picture of my army below:

My opponent was fielding Prince Yriel, with 5 Wraithguard and a Warlock in a Wave Serpent, 7 Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent, 7 or 8 Banshees on foot, 5 Rangers, 5 Jetbikes (with 1 shuriken cannon), Nightspinner.

The mission was the one everyone seems to be calling the draw mission.  The side of the board my army is pictures on turned out to be my side of the board.  He placed his one objective in the top right hand corner of the board.  I placed mine in a forest in the on the edge of my deployment zone on the same flank.  Unmodestly thinking I had the stronger army I didn't want part of my army staying away from the fight to defend an objective, my objective holder would be the first unit to have their raider destroyed.

I stormed on turn 1 with all of my army and put it all behind the hude bastion.  Some of the side vehicles could still be shot, but the important stuff such the ravagers were well hidden.  My opponent's three vehicles came on turn 1.  The dire avengers wave serpent drifted to his objective in the top right hand corner, the nightspinner came on in the opposite corner, with Yriel and his wraithguard taking centre stage (near his board edge).

The Nightspinner tried a shot into the middle of my packed vehicles.  It would have affected 4 vehciles with it's special ability (you count all terrain as dangerous), but it scattered away (which would have hit 2 vehicles).  My opponent rerolled (because of twin linked and it scatter 11" hitting nothing).  The raider carrying the wyches with the haemonoculus got shot down, but their pain token giving FnP meant only a couple died.

My counter attack worked well.  Everything apart from the trueborn venom went towards the right flank.  The trueborn went 6" forwards round the left hand side of the bastion. The trueborn were in range of the nightspinner and shook it.  A ravager blew up the wave serpent with the dire avengers, and other shooting shook the wave serpent carrying Yriel and the wrathguard.

In the next turn the Yriel's wave serpent moved about 10" forwards.  Behind Yriel's wave serpent 5 jetbikes moved onto the board.  The rangers also turned up and fleeted into a ruin, about 12" left of my opponents objective in the top right hand corner of the board.  The banshees arrived and went behind the ruin the rangers went in, as a counter attack threat.  The dire avengers moved forwards towards a small patch of ruins.  With the two remaining vehicles unable to shoot shooting was light with the cannon from the jetbikes failing to kill a Dark Eldar vehicle.

Taking my learnings from my last game I decided to be a bit more aggressive.  The wrack's raider moved 12" forwards and they got out ready to flame and charge the jetbikes (and hoping to draw out Yriel).  The incubi raider moved 12" and they got out and fleeted, so they could charge round the ruins on the right into the dire avengers without having to go through the terrain (I love that they now have fleet).  The wyches who still had their raider went flat to be just in front of the ruin the dire avengers wer behind.  The trueborn moved another 6" round the bastion towards the middle of the table (as the blasters would still be well within range of the nightspinner).

All my shooting plans changed when the first ravager blew up Yriel waveserpent with the first shot of the turn.  Yriel and the wraithguard deployed behind the wreck  The splinter cannons from small wrack's venom, and the trueborns venom opened up on the wraithguard.  Even the trueborn decided to leave the nightspinner and fire at Yriel an the wraithgiard (because they were coming from the opposite direction and wouldn't give the wraithguard a cover save).  With the incubi raider & the 2nd raveger killing off the wraithguard leaving Yriel on his own, adding insult to injury, the last shot of the turn was the wrack raider instant killing Yriel when he failed his invunverable save.

Combat went swiftly my way.  The incubi slaughted the dire avengers for the loss of one model (helped by the avengers failing all 7 of the 5+ invunverable saves given by the exarch).  A poor consolidation move meant they were still in the open and in charge range of the banshees.  After losing 2 bikes to flames the rest died in close combat with the wracks.  The wracks consolidated towards the banshees (the banshees would win that combat, but if they moved left to get the wracks it would mean ignoring the incubi and wyches near his objective).

With Yriel and his squad dead, and only 5 rangers having to advance accross open ground to get to the objective it was mopping up time.  The banshees charged the incubi (they only seem to get charged by power weapons once they have a pain token).  The banshees easily won but were left in the open, meaning they were shot at lots and charges by wyches when they were outnumbered 3-1.  The rangers were shot down (3+ cover save vs loads of shots from vemons) and eventually flamed by the wracks.  The remaining wyches (who killed the banshees) and the small unit of wracks on a venom went to claim my opponent's objective.  The wyches who's raider got blown up turn 1 spread out around my objective (there was still an active night spinner around turn 3).  A ravager and the trueborn kept the night spinner from firing in turn 4 and finally killed it in turn 5 to complete the tabling.

It's hard to fault your army when it does such a convincing performance. However things I was beginning to like very much were:
  • The trueborn.  They would move 12" turn 1 and then with the increased 18" range of the blasters would move 6" each turn thowing out 3 blasters shots at one target and 12 poisoned shots at another.  Also because they were not the closest targets and they were other threats (eg. ravagers and raiders full of close combat troops) they normally escaped retribution (for a while anyway).  The increased range of splinter cannons made it much easier to coordinate firepower to overwelm part of the enemy.
  • Holding the incubi back a bit and then raming them into the enemy, is proving very effective.  In both games they died, but they took the heart out the enemy resistance, allowing wyches to clear up and enemy left.  All other parts of my army has redundancy, so protecting the incubi and allowing them to shine is very important.  If there's one piece of LOS-blocking terrain to hide behind the incubi should have it (even above ravagers or trueborn).
Well that's games one and two.  I would have liked to finish all the games, but I must rest as I have three more tournament games tomorrow at my local club's Rapid Strike tournament.


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