Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Have Fought in the Emperor's Name!

Whew. . .what a long day. Long story short -- I managed to place third, earning a $20 credit and an invitation to the Semi-Finals. I'm actually surprised I managed to place, given the fact that my games were Draw, Minor Victory, Minor Victory. My list was exactly as posted above, and, from memory, here's what my battles looked like:

Round One
Opponent -- Tau Empire

My opponent had Commander Farsight, accompanied by seven or eight bodyguard crisis suits, each with plasma guns and burst cannons, as well as a sprinkling of shield drones. There was a small unit of pathfinders, two units of fire warriors, three devilfish, a hammerhead, a unit of stealth suits, one crisis suit team of three with missile launchers, and another crisis suit team with plasma gun/burst cannon, a handful of drones and Iridium Armor. Deployment was the odd one from scenario one with the diagonal centerline that you have to deploy 12" away from. My foe rolled higher and deployed his army. I kept everything in reserve.

His first turn was completely wasted, as there was nothing to shoot at or assault, so his army shuffled around. My turn one, I dropped in the Furioso Dread and Multi-melta dread. The MM dread failed to do anything beyond scoring a Crew Shaken against the hammerhead, but the Furioso dread killed all but two of the stealth suits. Top of turn two saw one drop pod destroyed, and the MM dread Immobilized and Stunned. But then it was bottom of two, and time to STRIKE FROM THE SKY, BROTHERS!!! Brothers?! Brothers. . .? Yes. . .my Reserve rolls on turn two. I had three assault squads split into combat squads, a vanguard vet squad all together, an empty drop pod and the stormraven. So a 4+ with a re-roll on most of those units saw. . .the empty pod and one combat squad arrive. Needless to say, this meant that combat was going to be put off until round four at the earliest. In any event, I charged the Furioso dread into Farsight's crew. . .and he promptly got his dread CCW sliced off.

The MM dread didn't survive my opponent's next shooting phase, but the beginning of my next turn brought out, well, my entire army. Perhaps the only serious mistake I made all day happened now. My Vanguard Vets landed right near Farsight's squad. . .but I forgot to declare Heroic Intervention before rolling the scatter, and thus they were left stranded. Needless to say, after Farsight finished off the dread, his squaddies double-tapping plasma guns into the beleaguered vets, who were in the open, by the by, left one alive. Elsewhere on the battlefield, my stormraven, having just arrived from reserve, was promptly shot down. The few combats I managed to get into, namely with the two units of crisis suits, netted me nothing. But things were about to turn around for me.

Though their transport was destroyed, the Death Company, led by Astorath, assaulted and summarily destroyed Farsight's squad. Very little else was happening, but over the next turn, the DC managed to sweep forward and destroy a devilfish and the hammerhead. Going in to turn six, my opponent flew two units of firewarriors onto objectives, and I lacked the ability to remove them. Luckily, my drop pod was contesting one objective, and a lone assault marine, after going blow-for-blow against a single stealth suit for about five rounds of combat, managed to fly onto an objective and capture it for the draw.

In review, I forgot how hardcore crisis suits are. They're extremely crunchy, not to mention they all have two wounds at T4. Whether or not my vets using HI would have made a huge difference, who can say, but it was definitely a fun game against a good opponent, and I would say a Draw is not bad for the first time using this army.

Result -- Draw

Round Two
Opponent -- Orks

For round two, it was spearhead deployment (my least favorite). This scenario was actually a call back to 4th edition, as the only objective of the game was to accumulate Victory Points. Remember those? Anyway, my opponent was rocking two units of Nob Bikers, two units of Meganobz, another unit of Nobz, two units of Shootas, two Battlewagons, three Killa Kanz and a unit of Lootas (that she both forgot to deploy and declare they were in reserve, so they weren't in the game). I managed to roll higher, and given the lack of long-range firepower, I decided to deploy my entire army, save for the Dreads (all in pods), and the Vanguard Vets, who I split into combat squads. Turn one saw the Stormraven blow up a battle wagon with some side armor shots, and the Furioso, who had landed right next to the wagon, proceeded to kill all but the nob with is frag cannon. My MM dread failed to hit the other wagon with its big gun, and proceeded to get run over by said wagon.

Turn two, I assaulted two full units into some meganobz and managed to kill all of the nobz, with a failed morale check leading to the warboss attempting to flee and getting run down. Now, unfortunately for me, her units started arriving. The other unit of meganobz started laying some hurt on one of my assault squads, while a bike squad started ripping apart another one. We were getting pretty cramped in her deployment zone with lots of terrain, so my jump infantry were having difficulty maneuvering properly. In fact, the next turn saw all of the combat cramped into about a 2' x 2' space, with greenies and marines hacking away at each other. The turn of the tide came when I pulled up in the 'Raven and unleashed the Death Company. First, they slaughtered a unit of nob bikers, but then were charged by 30 shootas. They managed to kill 9 before the boys got to attack, and after sucking up attacks from 20 boys (that's sixty attacks!), lost a single model. The Nob managed to kill off two more.

Elsewhere, my Furioso dread was charged by the three kanz, and over four rounds of combat managed to destroy two of them, suffering no damage himself. My Vanguard Veterans tried to bail out the assault squad that had been charged first by Meganobz, then by Biker Nobs, and THEN by regular Nobs, and although they managed to kill all of the enemy off, the assault squad had already fallen. Unfortunately, this is where the time limit ended, in turn four. Left on the battlefield was Astorath and seven Death Company (with power weapons and fist intact), four assault marines, two sanguinary priests, two vanguard vets with power weapons, the Furioso, Death Company dread and Stomraven on my side. On my opponent's side, there were about fifteen shootas, one killa kan and about four biker nobs. But, because we ran out of time, it was a minor victory. One more turn, and I probably would have tabled.

In retrospect, I would have only made very slight changes to my battle plan. Since I was playing an assault army, I had to be aggressive. Since my opponent was of a similar mind, we got into combat turn two. The main issue here was the fact that of the units in reserve, three of them (both biker nobz and the nobz in a trukk) had at least an 18" striking distance from the board edge. So even if I managed to assault and annihilate everything on the table, I would get counter-charged like whoa. So I held the Death Company back until my opponent's entire army was on the field, and one more round of combat would have easily seen the end of that unit of boyz, as well as that biker unit, easily turning a Minor Victory into a Massacre.

Result -- Minor Victory

Round Three
Opponent -- Tyranids

Round three, and this was the one that was going to be trouble. By the scenario, any unit that could move over 6" in a single phase was to be worth 3 Kill Points. My army was worth a total of 34KP. I knew this one would be tough for me, especially as my opponent had no units that could move over 6". The bugs I was facing had two units of two Zoanthropes in spores, the Doom of Malantai in a spore, one unit of 'Stealers in a spore with two more outflanking, Tyrant Guard, a Hive Tyrant, a unit of two Carnies, Tyranid Warrior Prime, and both a small unit of Termagaunts and a small unit of Hormagaunts. The zoeys, Doom and genestealers all began in reserve, while I deployed everything save for the vanguard vets. I both deployed first and took the first turn, and as my opponent's army was heavily divided, immediately went on the offensive. The Furioso dread arrived turn one, blasting a handful of termagaunts with its cannon, but was promptly assaulted by the tyrant, his guard and the warrior prime. The dread somehow survived, losing its close combat arm. One of my assault squads was similarly attacked by the hormagaunts (I forgot they had Fleet), but only lost a single marine before annihilating the unit.

Turn two, I dropped off the Death Company in between the carnifexes and tyrant blob, assaulting both, while also throwing a unit of assault marines into the mix and having another unit mop up the termagaunts. I managed to do seven power weapon wounds to the carnies, killing one but leaving the other alive. Thanks to Lash Whips, everything else struck at I1, so I lost a few assault marines and death company before I could strike back. Still, through it all I only lost six models, causing sixteen wounds myself. The Fearless wounds finished off the last carnifex and saw the tyrant reduced to two wounds, with only a lone tyrant guard to keep him company. Then my opponent's army arrived.

He managed to roll his outflank so that both units of genestealers arrived together, and in fact, the only thing that did not come in from reserve were the 'stealers in the spore. Doom landed next to one assault squad, with the other zoeys spreading across the table. Two zoeys warp blasted my MM dread out of the game, but only because my opponent forgot about the Stormraven (we had removed the model from the base, because it was perched on the side of a hill). Doom's Essence Leech did nothing. . .I rolled a 7 on 3d6 for the Leadership check. The assault phase saw the end to the tyrant, thankfully. In my next turn, Doom failed to do any wounds again before getting shot up and assaulted. The 'Raven spun around and unloaded all of its guns plus all four Bloodstrike missiles into the two nearby zoanthropes, killing one and wounding the other. The Vanguard Vets arrived, and via Heroic Intervention assaulted a unit of Genestealers. Unfortunately, the vets lost half of their number before striking, but my power weapons managed to soften the unit up a bit. Doom fell to the assault, and I managed to attack the full unit of zoeys with another assault squad. . .but failed to do a single wound.

Over the next turn, the vets died off and the Stormraven was immobilized. I unleashed the Death Company dread from within it, and between two Deathwind missile shots from drop pods, the Furioso's frag cannon and the DC dread's heavy flamer, I reduced the other unit of genestealers to seven models before assaulting with both dreads. The DC dread, kitted out with Blood Talons, actually killed the entire unit itself, leaving the furioso nothing to do. The assault marines that were tied down in a fight with zoanthropes ended up getting counter-assaulted by the other beaten up unit of genestealers, and in the bottom of turn four, his last unit arrived. Again, we ran out of time and the game ended.

Looking back at this game, there's little I would have done differently. My hope was to rush and overwhelm the small portion of his army that began the game deployed, before everything else arrived. Even with Feel No Pain, genestealers are a major concern, given the fact that they strike first and can Rend. It's tough to say whether or not another turn or two would have seen me faring much better, as I still had two units of genestealers do deal with. My dreads were too far away to be much help, same with the deathwind launchers, and I only had about fifteen assault marines left, which is hardly a fair fight against an equal number of genestealers.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with the way the tournament ran. As this was the first time I had ever used this army (after all, I just finished building it the night before), I feel I did pretty well. That last scenario was killer, though. I managed to eliminate eleven enemy units, losing only two units and Astorath in the process. But since two of those three units were jump infantry, the final KP score was 13 - 7 (this was actually a Major Victory, but I hadn't realized at the time that HQs were worth 2KP each, so I had calculated 11 - 7). I don't know if I'll be able to go to the Semis, as I have no idea how close or far they will be, but it would be cool to go. I'd probably get my face smashed in, but it would still be fun.


  1. Sweet! I wish I could have gone. I really love the idea of the Frag Cannon!

  2. It was pretty awesome. You'll have no excuse next year!

  3. might be surprised.... :)