Tuesday, September 13, 2011

40K Doubles Run-Down - Day Two

Game Four vs. Double Eldar
We needed to win our final two games to ensure a top 10 finish so the pressure was on. We were lucky enough to be the aggressors in this mission and our opponents only deployed an Avatar and 10 wraithguard. The terminators got a contentious first turn charge off and over a protracted combat killed off all the wraithguard and scored 3 wounds on the avatar before it eventually killed them off. It was pretty lucky to survive however having made a lot of saves.

We had 3 of the four objectives in our posession and hoped to hold onto them. They started to bring in their army but parked the Vyper too close to Coteaz who gleefully ordered his purifiers to gun it down. After some disgustingly good luck on our part and some terrible rolls by them we wiped out Eldrad, the dire avengers and one of the war walkers.

It seemed like we'd secured another victory but it was at this point we realised the wave serpents could hurt our plans. The fire dragons came on in theirs and killed the death cults land raider. The war walkers killed half of the assassins who fled leaving their objective behind. The purifiers lost their rhino to the wraithlords and were subsequently killed off by them. We now had only a single objective left. Our opponents had no chance of claiming one for themselves with both of their scoring units gone but their wave serpents could still contest the final one giving them a KP victory.

We fired god knows how many shots into both wave serpents and a combination of cover saves and awful damage table rolls resulted in them both having no turret but otherwise unscathed. The closed in on the grey hunter rhino and blew it up. At the end of turn 5 the grey hunters were in the wreckage with the objective just out of contention range and us narrowly holding onto victory. Our opponents rolled and we played on into turn 6.

The Grey Hunters mounted up in the nearby land raider and fled as far as possible. The land raider managed to rend twice on one of the serpents but blew off another weapon and shook the crew! The dreadnought scored two penetrating hits but they made both cover saves. One of the wraithlords charged the dreadnought and silenced it. We were now in the back corner with two wave serpents parked next to the land raider contesting. To our surprise the other wraithlord fired at the land raider and for once we wanted it to explode! Sadly he rolled a 1 to penetrate and so with the game ending here we found ourselves with a shock defeat. Our opponents were as surprised as we were given the way the game had suddenly swung in the closing stages.

Game 5 vs Double Eldar (again)
We were less than pleased to find ourselves against another Eldar army. However they didn't have many skimmers so they'd struggle to make it off the table as the mission required. They clearly realised this an when they won the roll off they elected to be the consolidators. We'd need to get at least two transports off the board to have a hope of winning. The HQs were put in the land raiders this time round to give them the best chance. The dreadnought was never going to get off the board so it would walk forward and try and stem the tide of firepower. The roll off for turn one involved all four players rolling a D6 and the highest team total would take it. Our opponents rolled two 6s and it was now even harder!

They deployed one of their big wraithguard squads on one side of the board and we therefore deployed our entire army on the other side to prevent them ever getting into range with their wraithcannons. We'd still need to get past 4 war walkers, an avatar, 10 wraithguard, 5 wraithguard in a serpent and a token vyper. Needless to say we weren't confident. Nethertheless we came out of turn one pretty much unscathed and blasted our entire army (except the dread) at full speed. The speeder would be off in turn 2 and the land raiders & rhinos should make it at the end of turn 3. Everything popped smoke except the space wolf rhino which was hidden behind a land raider. 

Our opponents couldn't decided what to shoot and ended up rolling a D6 to help them choose whether to shoot an obscured speeder or a smoked rhino. Unfortunately the dice let us down and they were shooting the speeder (seemed pretty obvious to us but ah well). It exploded of course and our best chance of an easy point went with it. The purifiers rhino was immobilised so they decided to get out and assault the wraithguard. The grey knight land raider was wrecked by another wraithguard unit and the death cults and Coteaz charged into the other hoping to keep them in combat and hence save the Space Wolf land raider. The grey knight rhino repaired itself but sadly the hope was shortlived and it was wrecked the next turn. At the end of turn 3 we had both the remaining space wolf vehicles within 12" of the board edge and with them we'd score 5 points. Our opponents would then need to kill 2 out of Coteaz, the dreadnought and the purifiers. 

Both transports needed to go through difficult terrain though and it picked up the dice to check if they'd be immobilised and I rolled a 1 for the rhino. No problem I thought, at least the raider should get off but I rolled a 1 for it too!! The terminators and rune priest still made it off the board but it was far too little to late. The game ended on turn 5 but our opponents hadn't managed to kill the dread, purifiers OR Coteaz. Frustratingly this meant that, had I passed both rolls, we'd have won! As it was we finished the day with two losses.

It's always frustrating to lose games when you feel you've done everything you can and it's just your dice that let you down. We may have been lucky early in game 4 but in the closing stages we really deserved to kill those wave serpents. I couldn't believe how many 1s, 2s and 3s we rolled on the damage table! The final game was never going to be a likely win but we'd done everything possible and we failed two 2+ rolls which would've sealed victory. Frustrating isn't the word!

Anyway, the last two games brought up something interesting. We both feel that Eldar might actually have benefitted from the last few 5th edition codexes. Their AV12 fast transports, masses of S6+ firepower, high initiative and powerful psychic defence mean that they're probably a viable and competitive army in these days of masses of razorbacks/rhinos and S8 or lower anti-tank shots. 

Part of me thinks it's a shame that I've sold the vast majority of my Eldar army on eBay. However, I simply didn't enjoy playing with them so I'm not too sad about it. It does make me think that I can probably come up a nasty Tau list though and I've got high hopes for their new codex when it eventually arrives!

Monday, September 12, 2011

40K Doubles Run-down - Day One

Matt and I attended the 40K doubles this weekend at Warhammer World. After play-testing the missions we completely changed our army list as we realised that most of the missions were heavily biassed towards the Aggressor (if you want to read them they're over on the GW website). Therefore if we were to have any chance of doing well we'd need an army that could hold it's own as the Consolidator. Given the current state of the game (i.e. plenty of anti-light armour firepower) we decided to try and get a couple of land raiders in. Anyway, we came up with the following:

875pts of Space Wolves
Rune Priest w/ Chooser of the Slain (Murderous Hurricane, Jaws)
6x Wolf Guard: 1x Combi-melta & power fist, 5 terminators w/ 2x combi-plasma & claw, 2x combi-melta & claw, 1x chain fist & shield
Land Raider Redeemer (multi-melta)

7 Grey Hunters w/ meltagun, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Standard in Rhino

Land Speeder (multi-melta & heavy flamer)

875pts of Grey Knights
Inquisitor Coteaz

9 Purifiers (2 psycannon, 7 halberd)

6 Death Cult Assassins

Land Raider Crusader (psybolt ammunition)
Psyfleman Dreadnought

The idea being that if we had to survive a torrent of fire then terminators in a land raider was the way to go. Coteaz presented several advantages with the Death Cults as troops, re-roll failed seizes (and force your opponent to re-roll successful ones) and finally that any reserves arriving within 12" would get hit with two psycannons in our opponent's turn. Otherwise the list is pretty self explanatory I think. Lots of heavy hitting combat stuff and no "filler" units that would struggle to prove their worth.

Game One vs. CSM & Traitor Guard
Being the consolidators meant that my Space Wolves would have to survive long enough for Matt's GKs to save me. Our opponents weren't hugely familiar with the rules, having recently returned to the game, and so we felt confident. Our opponents largely ignored out Land Raider hoping that their Leman Russ's would be able to deal with it. Luckily for us they failed and we were able to drive up to them and charge the terminators in their direction. The terminators dealt with both Leman Russ tanks but thanks to some lashing from their Daemon Prince they had a lot of walking to do each turn. They took their revenge though and gunned down the Daemon Prince the next turn.

The Grey Hunters found themselves in the crater that was once their rhino and failed to reach any of the guardsmen before they were gunned down. The Redeemer introduced both the raptors and bikers to flamestorm cannons punishing them for their failure to hit with their meltaguns/bombs by wiping them all out. The purifiers came on and made a mess of the chaos space marines.

Our opponents were taking an extremely long time to do anything (turn 1 took the best part of 45 mins) and we knew we'd not be getting the full game length. Luckily our land speeder and Dealt Cult land raider came on in turn 4 and made for an objective. With 15 mins to go our opponents started turn 5 which saw them claim an objective right in front of both land raiders (the other 2 objectives were contested). Having spent the first part of turn 5 sending a text whilst his team mate tried to ask him what to do they finished their turn with 1 minute on the clock. We asked them if we'd be getting a full turn 5 regardless and they said we'd have to play to the time limit (just as it hit zero). After a heated argument for five minutes where one of them insisted they'd won because we couldn't have a turn 5 we got frustrated and offered to give them a draw on objectives and KPs (even though we'd have won on KPs).

In hindsight we should've called over a judge who'd have either told us to roll it back to the end of turn 4 or insist that we be allowed to play a quick turn 5 (all we needed was for the death cults and both raiders to kill off a squad of guardsmen). Either of these situations would've resulted in a definite win for us. We're pretty annoyed that we didn't do this and gave them a draw. Marvellous thing, hindsight.

Game Two vs. DA & Guard
We managed to get the first turn in this mission which we knew would be crucial. The DA army consisted of 12 bikes, an attack bike, speeder and Sammael. They scout moved their bikers towards our land raiders to get them in melta range. Our opponents rolled to seize and got a 6. Coteaz had other ideas though and they re-rolled and failed.

With the bikes lined up right in front of our land raiders we felt like it was Christmas. The terminators and death cults both got out and made short work of all of the bikers. The death cults didn't last much longer but they'd done their job. The attack bike fell to the dreadnought and with that our land raiders were pretty safe. Their land speeder blew up and only Sammael was left. The guard army arrived piece by piece and was easily dealth with by the Grey Knights and land raider. 

The grey hunters had lost their rhino however and were being pounded by guard and Sammael shooting. The land raider swept over to pick them up and they positioned themselves between two of the objectives claiming both thanks to the land raider's sheer size. As the only remaining survivor in their army Sammael survived a torrent of fire and moved in to contest the central objective to draw the primary mission. However, he wasn't aware that we were in fact claiming both and we won 1-0.

Game Three vs. Double Orks
This mission was the one we based our army list around. If we were consolidators then hopefully the land raiders would survive and provide cover for the rhinos and if we were aggressors they'd ensure we'd get first turn charges on anything in the middle.

We found ourselves as consolidators and deployed the land raiders with rhinos hidden behind to stop the lootas having a target. Our opponents came on and slammed power klaws into the Space Wolves force. Despite only penetrating the dread, rhino and land raider once each they destroyed all three (with no big explosions unfortunately). The grey knights came out unscathed. 

Our vengeance was swift. The grey hunters cut down the warboss and his mob, the terminators dealt with another mob and the purifiers killed two killa kans with their psycannons. The death cults were unlucky to immobilise their land raider though stopping them reaching the lootas. The following few turns saw our opponents wipe out the grey hunters and terminators. The rune priest used murderous hurricane to great effect causing an ork mob to flee from the table and the land speeder took down the battlewagon with a deep striking melta shot. 

We were still pretty convinced we were losing though as the rune priest fell and after killing the lootas the death cults were hit by Snikrot and his kommandos. However, at the end of turn 4 we added up the KPs and found ourselves with a 9-8 lead. They'd need to kill 2 out of the raider, rhino, purifiers and coteaz for the victory. They failed to kill off the purifiers and the rhino smoked to keep it alive. The purifiers destroyed a trukk and we finished the game with an unlikely 10-8 victory to end the first day.


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