Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Post #250 - Battle Report - Goodbye Gaming Loft!

For quite a while now I've been lucky enough to have the attic room of our house set up as a permanent gaming loft. It's great not having to put everything away after a battle and gives us a massive space to play our games in. However, all good things must come to an end and, since we'll shortly be moving house, the time has come to say goodbye to my gaming loft. We finished as we started, testing army lists for a tournament. This time around it was Matt wanting to test his list out for Open War. Sadly I can't go as I'm away for a friend's stag weekend (the same one that pushed Blog Wars 4 back!). We therefore played a couple of 1,750 point games. Both gave me a chance to try some things out for myself as well. Matt was fielding a GK list with BA allies:

1,750pts of GK/BA
5 Purifiers w/ 2 psycannons, 2 halberds
4x 3 Warrior Acolytes in Razorbacks
2 Crusaders and 7 Death Cult Assassins in a Stormraven with sponsons/psybolt
Dreadknight w/ personal teleporter & heavy incinerator
2 Psyfleman dreadnoughts

5 Assault marines w/ jump packs, meltagun, power sword

Game One - DE vs GK/BA
I've been wanting to give my Blog Wars list a trial run. Obviously for this game I had to ditch 100pts but it didn't really change the list too much. In both games I wanted to present Matt with a strong challenge. His list relies on two toughness 6 models with a 2+ save (Mephiston/Dreadknight) so my massed poisoned and darklight weaponry would cause him a lot of problems. Here's my list:

1,750pts of DE
Duke Sliscus
2 Haemonculi
9 Trueborn (2 blaster, 2 splinter cannon, 5 shardcarbines, haywires) in Raider (disint, trophies)
3x 5 Warriors (blaster) in Venom
2x 9 Wyches (haywires) in Raiders (disint, trophies)
9 Reavers
3 Ravagers

There's a few things here that I haven't really tried out much such as disintegrators and trophies on my raiders and Duke Sliscus with a large trueborn unit. Anyway onto the game.

We were playing The Scouring with Vanguard deployment. I won the roll off for both deployment and first turn. Duke's drugs re-roll allowed me to give all my drug units an extra attack (I fully expected to roll snake eyes!). Matt was keeping his stormraven and BA marines in reserve so I wanted to chew threw a lot of the rest of his army before they arrived.

I fired my ravagers into his vehicles but despite stripping some hull points I failed to destroy either of the razorbacks I'd targetted. This meant the reavers would only be able to bladevane Mephiston who was unlikely to ignore the attack. Sure enough he lost a wound but then charged them down in Matt's turn and wiped them out. Elsewhere Duke and his unit fired a punishing amount of poisoned/darklight fire into the dreadknight leaving it with two wounds. I'd failed to score a First Blood kill though and I knew Matt wouldn't have the same problem.

Sure enough Matt took down Duke's raider and one of the wyches raiders too. I positioned both units extremely carefully to minimise the damage from the heavy incinerator and to hopefully prevent the purifiers from charging the wyches. I measured the range to be about 5" for them to be able to get in. With Matt having to go through the wreck I thought I'd have a good chance of keeping out of combat. Sadly I'd missed one of the purifiers that was actually closer. When Matt rolled 5, 2, 1 giving him 3" range they were still in. A pretty costly mistake as the purifiers easily wiped out the wyches. The dreadknight was not so lucky though. I hit him 3 times with overwatch fire but it all pinged harmlessly off it's armour. He then charged in and challenged Duke. Thanks to his drugs Duke hit with 4 attacks and wounded with 3. Crucially he'd rolled two 5s meaning the dreadknight could only make invulnerable saves meaning it died before getting to strike!

I lined up my remaining forces to put a withering amount of fire down on the purifiers who were hiding in the raider's wreckage. When the dust settled Coteaz was alone on a single wound! I got the reamining wyches out of their raider to try and charge one of the dreadnoughts with their haywires. Sadly I couldn't find the range even with a fleet re-roll (I re-rolled a 1 and got the same again!). They were then lined up as Mephiston's next victims. In Matt's turn 2 the Stormraven and BA marines arrived. The BA killed a ravager with their meltagun and the stormraven and dreadnoughts made light work of the other two ravagers. I'd now struggle to deal with the dreads and flyer.

From this point on it was an uphill struggle. I scored a flukey hit with one of my warrior squad's blaster but couldn't penetrate. The stormraven went onto kill the venoms with help from the dreadnoughts. Duke Sliscus was gunned down by a razorback causing instant death and we called it there since I'd have little hope of winning with my sole remaining 5-man warrior squad!!

Game One Conclusion
Despite losing I really enjoyed the game. Matt and I agree that 6th edition seems to have a lot more interesting things happening. Even when you're on the losing side you find the game entertaining. Perhaps it's just because Matt and I are increasingly evenly matched though as I finally start getting better at the game!

Anyway, I think my list performed pretty well and it was a couple of costly mistakes that made the difference. In the first turn I should've focussed all my ravagers on a single target to ensure I got First Blood. I should've blasted the second wych raider flat out to ensure they got into range rather than fruitlessly firing the disintegrator cannon. A haywire armed wych squad could've made a mess of dreads and razorback alike. The other wych squad would've survived if I'd measured the purifiers' charge range more accurately. They'd also have gone on to haywire some vehicles.

The reavers should've either been kept in reserve or should've held back for a couple of turns to wait for a better target and avoid being charged easily. So in summary I'm pretty pleased with my list. Duke's unit works well with all that 3+ poisoned fire making a mess of the dreadknight. I already prefer him to Baron. The disintegrator cannons on the raiders seem to be a good idea. I never find the raiders last long and if they can kill a couple of terminators then they're probably doing ok. The grisly trophies aren't worth it but they aren't in my BW list anyway so it's of no concern but good to know.

Game Two - SW/Tau vs GK/BA
I've been playing around with the combination of Tau and Space Wolves ever since 6th came out. Here's my current offering:

1,750pts of Tau/SW
Shas'el (Fusion, Plasma, Shield, HWMT)
2 Bodyguard (Fusion, Plasma, TA, HWMT)
2 Crisis suits (TL Missiles, Flamer)
2x 9 Fire warriors in Devilfish (DP)
8 Fire warriors in Devilfish (DP)
2x 2 Broadsides (ASS, DC, 2x Shield Drones, TL, Blacksun)

Rune Priest (Divination)
10 Grey Hunters (Plasma, Melta, Standard, MotW) in Drop Pod
6 Long Fangs (5 Missiles)

This list basically has an incredibly strong fire base from the broadsides and long fangs (who can re-roll to hit thanks to Prescience) and then three devilfish full of firewarriors to push up to objectives with support from the suits and Grey Hunters.

We were playing Hammer & Anvil and the Emperor's Will. In this mission the Secondary Objectives are crucial as they are often the only thing separating the two armies. Matt won the table side roll off and we both put out objectives in ruins centrally in our deployment zones. I again won the roll off for first turn and Matt again failed to seize with his Coteaz re-roll.

The drop pod slammed in behind one of the dreadnoughts and a combination of meltagun and bolter fire (the plasma missed) left the dread as a smouldering wreck. The broadsides did what they do best with the other dreadnought which exploded catastrophically. Matt's shooting was frustrated by my newly buffed Disruption Pods giving my devilfish a 3+ save. The dreadknight leapt forward and incinerated 4 fire warriors causing them to flee. Mephiston responded to the grey hunters attack on the dreadnought by charging into combat with them but not before losing a wound to overwatch fire. The lord of death killed a handful of grey hunters but was wounded twice by the wulfen.

The commander and his bodyguard dropped in from high above the battlefield and opened up on the dreadknight leaving it with a single wound. The nearby fire warriors used their pulse rifles to take it's remaining wound (Matt wasn't best pleased to lose it so easily again, especially not to Fire Warriors!). The broadsides took down two of the razorbacks (one squad of acolytes ran off the board) and immobilised a third. Mephiston killed more grey hunters but was down to a single wound as the wulfen rended again.

Turn two for Matt saw both the Stormraven and the assault marines arrive. The flyer blasted at full speed to attack the commander. The assault marines tried a risky deep strike near the broadsides and mishapped meaning I could deploy them. I shoved them out of range of anything and in the open so that I could hopefully kill them off next turn. The stormraven left the commander and one of his bodyguard on a single wound but couldn't kill them and the purifiers were again frustrated by the disruption pods.

Having come close to the edge of the board my fleeing fire warriors regrouped on the second attempt. The stormraven was out in the open with a lot of firepower bearing down on it. Sadly, although one of  the broadsides hit they could only glance but at least forced an Evade roll. The long fangs, despite having prescience failed to hit with a single missile! Fire from the commander and his team stripped another hullpoint though. The assault marines took a torrent of fire from the good old Fish of Fury style attack leaving them with just 2 models left. Mephiston finished off the grey hunters.

The stormraven was forced to hover to still be able to hit something and allow the death cults to dismount. The death cults made short work of the crisis command team. The stormraven penetrated a devilfish only for the disruption pods to strike again. In order to protect the warrior acolytes on Matt's objective from the drop pod's storm bolter he decided to charge it with Mephiston. He decided that S10 would help so roll for Sanguine Sword and double sixed it killing the lord of death!! On the other side of the board the assault marines declared a charge on the fire warriors only to be gunned down by overwatch fire as Matt failed both armour saves! From this point there was little hope for Matt but we carried on all the same.

The hovering stormraven fell to the first volley from the broadsides killing a death cult in the explosion. The death cults were gunned down by a combination of double flamers from the crisis suits and torrents of pulse weapon fire. The fire warriors who'd killed the BA jumped in their devilfish and sped off to contest the enemy objective. The purifiers managed to kill the missile crisis team but it was too little too late. Sadly the game ended on turn 5 so I was unable to push for the tabling. Despite it looking very much in my favour we were only separated by the First Blood point as my Fire Warriors weren't quite in range to contest!

Game Two Conclusion
Matt's been given a lot to think about by this list. Granted it's pretty much his worst nightmare. No-one likes broadsides and especially not when combined with long fangs. I was trying out a new role for the rune priest here by using Divination and deploying him with the rockets. The nearby ammo dump meant I was re-rolling 1s to hit so his Perfect Timing power allowed me to Ignore Cover and helped kill a razorback. Prescience should've helped with the flyer and I was unlucky not to get a single 6 with ten rolls! In a game like this where Matt struggled to get to my back line the Rune Priest was well protected. The only issue here was that his psychic denial was wasted as it was never in range.

When you look at it in the cold light of day 100pts is quite a lot to spend on letting your long fangs re-roll to hit. Even so it's certainly another option. The drop pod grey hunters did their job well, killing a dread and eventually causing the death of Mephiston. They add a dynamic element to what is otherwise a pretty static gunline.

On the Tau side I think all the units performed perfectly. The broadsides didn't hit as often as I would've like but they were still destructive. The stabilisation systems are pretty much a must have these days as they no longer slow their movement (when are you ever going to run broadsides?!). I'm very glad to have target locks back!! The crisis team gave me another option for killing vehicles and the flamers came in handy. They're probably a weaker part of the army though and with the long fangs and broadsides they are a bit redundant. I could perhaps ditch them and spend the points on some SW stuff.

Finally, the Disruption Pods need FAQing. I can understand how GW intended them to work but at the moment for 5pts you get a 3++ save on your vehicles if they move and 5++ if they don't. What they should've done is made them a 5+ invulnerable save so that you still get a save even if the vehicle hasn't moved. Basically like a Flickerfield but cheaper. For a 5pt upgrade to make a vehicle more resilient than a land raider is a bit ludicrous. Even as a Tau player I think it needs to change.

Two fantastic games to send off my gaming loft then! Matt's going to have a rethink of his list but apart from a couple of little tweaks I'm really pleased with mine!!

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