Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I actually got to play a game?

After a month or two of not being able to get any games in, I was finally able to make it down to our PBL a few weeks ago. I got in an 800 point game with my Shadow Crows, which marks the first "real" sized game I've managed to play with them. The pictures are pretty blurry thanks to my poor phone camera, but they are better than nothing for a battle report.

The mission was standard deployment, with 3 objectives in a triangle and two troops choice counting as killpoints. I took
Librarian with JP, blood lance, shield
2x 10man Assault squads, JP, 2 meltguns, Serg with powerfist, one of them combat squadded (the one with the sergeant and the other full squad were my two troop killpoints).
1x Honor Guard, JP, 2 with single Lightning Claw, 2 with meltabombs

I came up against Scott's Ultramarines fielding
1 Terminator Librarian with Smite, something else
2x 10 man Tactical squads with Flamers, 1 w/ missile launcher, 1 w/ heavy bolter
Dreadnought with assault cannon and missile

I gave the first deployment to Scott, who deployed with the dread in the middle flanked by the tac squads. I Reserved everything, and he took his free 2 turns to move up onto the closest two objectives. At the bottom of turn 2 all of my units managed to come in thanks to Descent of Angels. I landed my main force in the middle behind the poor dreadnought with meltaguns primed. The honor guard dropped in closer to Scott's table edge, as I wanted to do my best to keep the main squad in their FNP bubble, without endangering the HG to much fire. the two squads dropped in to put pressure on sicarius' squad, and ran to get in cover for next turn. I ended the turn with another good roll when the librarian's squad managed to explode the dreadnought with melta.

Scott responded with firing on my librarian squad with his librarian tac squad, killing about 3-4. The Sicarius tac squad manoeuvred and rapid fired at the 5man team with the powerfist. A lucky shot killed the sergeant, and another marine ate a plasma pistol shot.

Rather than split my forces, I decided to overwhelm Sicarius, judging that I could most likely hit the other tac squad quickly enough afterwards, or control most of the objectives if need be. My four squads converged on Sicarius, sending a lethal hail of fire and reducing their number by a few marines.

This ended up leaving the librarian squad out of charge range, but the other three pressed on. The end result would see Sicarius standing alone surrounded by enemies.

Scott opened fire on the librarian squad again, though I don't believe it caused any casualties, and the combat was resolved. Sicarius made a valiant effort to buy more time for his comrades, and very nearly remained standing. But in the end, he lost his last wound to the last of the armor saves and fell.

My squads formed up with some generous consolidation moves, forming a forward line of assault squads, with the honor guard behind and the depleted combat squad hugging cover on an objective as insurance.

My attack force swept forward, with the two assault squads managing their assault through cover distances, and the honor guard keeping the bubble up in the shooting phase. The Ultramarines lose quite a few, and failed their morale check. Instead of getting cut down by a sweeping advance, they reformed and turned fearless for the next round.

The assault during Scott's half of turn 5 whittled down the remaining Ultramarine Tactical squad members, leaving the Terminator Librarian locked in combat. On my turn the Honor Guard boosted over the melee and charged into the lone Librarian, felling him with lightning claws.


Overall it was a good game that gave us both some more experience with deepstriking and assault. My deployment worked flawlessly, and I had some lucky rolls early on that I can not always count on happening. Even with just 1D6 scatter, I've learned to respect my drop zone choices. Also, I need that FNP and furious charge on my side. Even fighting Tac squads, I felt my Assault Marines whiffing after the initial charges.

Furthermore, by going second and reserving all, I was able to capitalize on Scott's deployment choices. Had he deployed more defensively, it would probably have been a much closer game. Being able to get behind the dreadnought and split his forces in two was much easier than dropping out of melta range and dealing with the two units close enough to support each other. I have the feeling I won't get the same drop on him next time, however. :]

The decision to go with Honor Guard was a last minute one, but I think they did the job perfectly at this point level. They kept my priest safe in combat, and still provided a bit of punch that I would have looked for with my Vanguard veterans, at half the price. The lack of the VV heroic intervention is something I can do without at such a low point level. I will definitely consider them in larger lists as well, sacrificing some bling on my VV. Their equipment options really open things up, either turning them into tank hunter and FNP support, or going for close combat punch.

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