Friday, 22 July 2011

ASMOH Tournament Game 3

So after the first two games (reports here) I was on one win and one loss, and I had a very healthy victory point total (as my opponents only 7 models left at the end of the game between them). At 1-1 this is the game to make a break a tournament day, loss and you need a win to regain mid table, win and you still have a chance of finishing high.

Also for games 3 and 4 the big guns came out and we were allowed to add our 500 points of reinforcements bringing out armies up to 1750 pts. I added a 3rd wych squad in a raider, 3 wracks in a venom and a 3rd ravager, making my full list:

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer with Liquifier Gun - 60

6 Incubi - 132
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 70

3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 70

10 Wracks with 2 Liquifier Guns - 120
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Agoniser - 120
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Wracks - 30
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

3 Wracks - 30
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Total: 1749 Pts

I was facing a Dark Angel Deathwing army with vehicle support that made it very shooty, it contained:

Beial with Thunderhammer & Storm Shield

5 Thunderhammer & Stormshield Terminators, one upgraded to an Apothary (giving FnP) and one given a Cyclone Missile Launcher

5 Thunderhammer & Stormshield Terminators, one given a Cyclone Missile Launcher

3 Seperate Landspeeders with Typhoon Missile Launchers & Multi-meltas

3 Vindicators

3 Dreadnaughts with Plasma Cannons & Missile Launchers, 2 of them upgraded to Venerable Dreadnaughts

This list was the ying to my yang, tough as nails, with anti-tank spread nicely throughout the army. What was so well built was the volume of shots. At very ling range it put out 13 missile launcher shots, and after one turn the rest of the firepower (3 str 10 ordance templates, 3 plasma cannon templates & 3 multi-meltas) should be in range.

Not having reread the dark angels codex after the FAQ update I thought yeah they got proper storm shields, but the rest is just ok, how wrong was I. My opponent had sensibly gone through the dark angel codex and picked everything that was better than the other marine codexs, and then added 3 vindicators:
  • Although only allowed one typhoon per landspeeder squadron the dark angel landspeeder is 75 points were the same marine codex one is 100 pts
  • Although losing WS & BS 5 their venerable upgrade cost is 20 pts rather than 60 pts
  • The big weakness of thunderhammer terminators is that they can't shoot, so lets add the new cyclone missile launchers at 10 pts cheaper to offset their terminators being 15 pts more expensive.
  • Add in Belial, a cheap HQ at only 130 pts, and 30 pts more to give him and his squad FnP.

It was an impressive army, but I had to come up with some idea on how to win this game. Firstly there was the small number (10) of scoring models. Yeah they were in terminator armour, but if I threw enough shots at the non FnP unit they would eventually drop. This was made better by the fact that I had 6 troop choices, if I could kill one terminator unit and control 2 objectives I would win.

I just didn't think my army could win a straight shoot out with this army, so I had to use my troop advantage to try to win the mission.

Below is a diagram of the battlefield:

The scenery in the centre and just in the top right hand quadrant was a large three story ruin, however it had lots of windows so it would block LOS, but would definitely give a cover save to anything behind it. The green areas were forests, and the inverted L shape is an L-shaped wall section (only big enough to give infantry cover, and not big enough to give skimmers or other vehicles a cover save). The square scenery peice in the bottom right hand corner was a rough terrain on top of a small hill. The hill blocked line of sight completely and was difficult terrain on top.

We started by placing objectives. My opponent started by placing one in the top right hand quadrant, wanting to keep the objectives far apart (to make use of my mobility advantage) I placed one in the bottom right hand corner. My opponent wanting to keep the objectives close together (as he only had 2 slow moving troops) placed another one in the middle of the board. Now, wanting to keep the objectives far apart, I had the choice of top left or bottom right.

I should have looked at the terrain and thought about where my opponent would like to deploy, ie. in the quadrant with the large ruin, giving him cover and 2 objectives close together. If I placed the last objectove bottom right it would give that quadrant another easy to get to (or contest) objective. If I placed it in the far top left it would spread the objectives up more. The quadrant with the large ruin would still be appealing to my opponent but not quite as good as if the last objective went bottom right.

Unfortunately this analysis is with the benefit of hindsight, and at the time I put the objective in the bottom right hand quadrant. The objectives are marked on the map by small red circles.

My opponent duly won the roll to pick sides and choose the side with the large ruin and first turn L He deployed quite defensively, about 12" back from the edge of the large ruin. Vindicator's in the middle behind the ruin, dreads spread out either side with the terminators sprinkled around them, and landspeeders at the back.

I had two choices with deployment, either
  1. use the one piece of terrain I had to hide some of my vehicles, and deploying my whole army that far back to reduce some of the firepower I would receive in the first turn
  1. Deploy everything as far forwards as possible. The first turn response from my opponent would be devastating, but I would be in a better position.
I decided to take option 1, as turn 1 enemy firepower would be concentrated at my anti-tank, and if all my ravagers went down early I wouldn't have a chance against all his vehiciles, plus my ravagers were useful firing at FnP terminators.

I deployed all three ravagers behind the ruin, either side of the ruin I placed the small wrack unit's venoms sideways to give cover to the raiders behind. Behind the venom on the right of the ruin was the incubi, large wrack unit, and wyches (with haemonoculus) raiders. Behind the left side venom was the remaining 2 wych raiders. The 2 trueborn venoms were behind the ravagers just within 6" of where the wracks could deploy if their venom was destroyed.

The game would have been so much easier of I had placed the last objective in the top left. I could easily claim it, and then push to contest the middle objective, or just kill one of the terminator squads and then blast any vehicle trying to make it all the way to contest either of my objectives.

I rolled to seize (not that my deployment was set-up to take advantage of it) but didn't roll a 6.

The vindicators advanced to the large ruin in the centre. The rest of the army split in two
  • One section comprising 2 landspeeders, 2 dreads (one venerable) and the FnP terminators with Belial went south (and marginally west)
  • The 2nd section comprising, a landspeeder, a venerable dread and the other terminators went west
Some missile launchers were still in range of my forces, and both small wrack venoms were destroyed, they both passed their pinning checks (one helped by the grisly trophies on the trueborn's venoms), and deployed behind the ruin (ready to pop up turn 4 or 5 to claim the objective. The incubi raider was also destroyed. 3 vehicles down and this was only a fraction of his firepower.

No point being cautious, if I did my troops would be stranded far in my quadrant when their vehicle was killed, as he would be in range with all his firepower apart from the multi-meltas next turn. The wyches (with haemonoculus) and the wracks on the left hand side of the ruin in my deployment zone zoomed forward 24" near the L shaped walls. The raiders on the right hand side of the ruin moved northeast, and the ravagers drifted out from cover, but stayed a bit back (hopefully out of range of the enemy that had just gone south from the enemy starting position. One trueborn venom went >12" to catch up with the wrack and wych venom going across my long board edge, and the other followed the other 2 wyches heading towards the top middle of the board.

My firepower did little, I stunned one vindicator, shook another.

My opponent didn't move the section of his army that had moved south much (as it was pretty much in between the objective in the middle of his quadrant and the objective in the bottom right hand quadrant. The smaller section continued moving westwards towards the top middle of the map (ie. north of the large ruin).

The raider with the wyches (accompanied with the haemonoculus) was blown up, thanks to FnP there wasn't too many casualties. They disembarked near the L-shaped wall sections. A ravager was also blown up. A few other vehicles were stunned or skaken due to bad rolls on the penetration table.

I was losing vehicles and mobility fast, so I had to try and kill one of his troop choices fast. The terminator unit without feel no pain was just north of the large ruin in the centre of the board, flanked by a landspeeder, vindicator and dreadnaught.

2 Wych raiders moved towards the terminators without feel no pain, one unit got out to assault. As always when you're about to assault I looked to see if the opponent could stop me assaulting by removing the nearest models as casualties from any firepower I sent their way. If the nearest one or two models were removed it would ensure making the assault was risky, however the cyclone missile launcher was the closest, so I was confident my opponent wouldn't take that models off as a casualty so I decided to fire as much as possible at the terminators. Both raiders, the venom, even a ravager opened up on the terminators, yet unfortunately they all made their armour and invunverable saves. Later the wyches assaulted and again all saved were made and the wyches lost a few but stayed in combat. I was hoping to drop one or two that turn, but that's the way the cookie crumbles (if the opponent gets a save sometimes they never fail).

On the other flank I advanced with everything (apart from the wyches and the haemonoculus in the ruins). The ravagers didn't advance as far as everything else to make best use of the range on their guns. Firepower did little again, shaking a few vehicles at best.

My opponent had a poor shooting phase in the next turn with all three vindicators scattering and killing nothing at all, so in an uneventful enemy turn I think I lost another vehicle and the wyches in combat with the terminators were seen off after the terminators again made all their saves.

With the terminators (without feel no pain) freed up for me to fire and assault I duly obliged them. I desperately wanted to kill one of his two two troops choices, so that whatever the other unit did I would be able to hold the objective in my quarter with the small wrack units and at least draw the game. Trueborn blasters, ravager dark lances, venom splinter cannons and even wyches splinter pistols opened up on the terminators, when the dust cleared 4 or the 5 terminators defiantly stared back at the wyches. The wyches gulped at the prospect of assaulting these almost invunverable opponents, but however scary they were their succubus needed her souls so into assault they went. The wyches didn't kill anymore but luckily stayed in combat after losing a few models.

On the other section of the board, my army moved further rightwards towards the other half of the opponent's army. The trueborn disembarked and shot down a landspeeder. A few more dark lances and a couple of the vehicles were shaken/stunned (but again no permanent damage).

I made a mistake with the trueborn. I had kept them close to their venom transport so they might get a cover save from some of the enemy shooting. However my opponent took advantage of this and his first shot was with a plasma cannon a dreadnaught. The dreadnaught was able to place the centre of the template on the venom while still touching all three of the trueborn (without them receiving a cover save). The shot duly didn't scatter and a failed flickerfield save later I had lost both the venom and all three trueborn L

The raider containing the large wrack squad somehow survived the firepower that was sent it's way, but I lost another vehicle or two on the left hand flank. In combat I still didn't kill and terminators, and my wyches suffered 7 wounds, however using my opponents dice they saved all wounds.

Moving into the end of the game I had lost a lot of vehciles (I was running out fast) and along with it my anti tank firepower was dwindling fast. The objective in the middle of the table was had an enemy landspeeder nearby who was moving towards my home objective, however I had a wittled down wych squad in the ruin the south, and a large wrack squad in their raider nearby. Also it was only a matter of time before the terminators at the middle top of the map killed the wyches they were in combat with and advanced upon the middle objective. I had two small wrack units hiding behind the ruin in my quadrant ready to jump and claim the objective in my quadrant. The scary half of my opponent's army (Beial, FnP Hamminators, 2 Dreads, vindicator were very close to the objective in my opponet's quadrant and not to far away (20") from the objective in the bottom right hand quadrant.

For my 4th turn, it was time to really time to think about claiming and contesting objectives. I knew the raider with the large unit of wracks was unlikely to survive another turn, so wanted to make the best use of it. I went flat out into the bottom right hand quadrant. I couldn't reach the objective there, but the wracks could make it there on turn 5 even if the raider was destroyed. The heamonoculus with the wittled don wych squad in the small wall sectioin just south of the middle objectived stayed in the cover but moved as far north as possible (fo a cheeky turn 5 jump out and run to the middle objective). My last ravager was concerned that my poor shooting would continue so moved to protect my home quadrant objective from a turn 5 flat out contesting move from a centrally located landspeeder (all I'd killed so far was the two other landspeeders).

My ravager need not have worried, as it immobolised the central landspeeder. The rest of my firepower was again ineffective (apart from shaking/stunning a couple of vehicles). However using my opponent's dice my wyches against saved all 6 wounds that were inflicted upon them my the terminators. Also in the combat phase my incubi (who had had a very quiet game) charged the immobolised landspeeder to get them forward movement and put them near the central objective to be part of my last ditch effort to kill the terminators in the top middle of the map when they finally killed the wyches they were in combat with.

In my oppoents 5th turn, he didn't move much (probably wanting to inflict as much damage as possible). He killed the raider with the large wych squad (even with it's 4+ cover save for going flat out, there was only so much it could take), luckily for me the wracks were not pinned. The immobolised landspeeder took revenger on the ravager which blew it up and kill killed it to have the last laugh. The last of my vehicles went down as well, along with some remaining trueborn, even the wyches in the wall section cover in just south of the middle of the table took got reduced down to the haemonoculus and 2 wyches, howver they managed to pass their morale test.

With prayers to the dice gods to make this the last turn I commenced by 5th turn. The wracks moved and ran to claim the objective in the bottom right hand quadrant My opponent could have moved a vindicator 12" to stop me claiming it the turn before but didn't so it could shoot. Both small wrack units climbed the ruin in my quadrant to claim the objective in my quadrant. Even the haemonoclus & 2 wyches just south of the objective in the middle of the board moved and ran forwards to claim the middle objective.

The incubi tried to kill the immobolised landspeeder again, but failed. The wyches in combat with the terminators took a load of wounds again, but this time not even my opponents dice could save them, and they lost a few and the remaining wyches broke from combat.

The dice was rolled for random game length, and my prayers were answered and the game eneded with me winning 3-1 on objectives. I was lucky that the game eneded so early, helped by my opponent concentrating on kiling me, when he should have slowly moved towards the objectives while still killing me. All his army can move at least 6" and still fire at full effect, so why he wasn't moving more is beyond me, but I'm not complaining as it's what allowed me to win the game.

I scored 187 victory points (2 and an half landspeeders) while my opponent got over 1300 vps. Although my opponent had only two troop choices he had many units to contest with, and not concentrating on them and/or advancing cost him the game.

With that win I was on 2 wins and a loss, and would face Steve (of Triple Helix Wargames) using his Nurgle marines. Next battle report will be up a quicker than this one. However it's now back to putting together my Nightwing, and assembling Hellions to be Beastmasters (after a month of not doing much I'm a bit behind with getting my new list ready for M.A.D. in October).


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