Librarian with jump pack.
Honour guard with jump packs, 2 Lightning Claws, 1 Thunder Hammer, 1 Storm Shield and 4 meltaguns.
2 Sanguinary Priests with jump packs.
Sanguinary Guard with 2 plasma pistols, 2 infernus pistols and a powerfist.
2 x 10-man squads of Assault Marines, each squad with 2 meltaguns and powerfist. (hereinafter referred to as Squads Wallace and Gromit, to make them easier to tell apart)
5-man squad of Scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks.
5-man Devastator squad with 4 missile launchers.
Justin's IG (as far as I can remember):
Company Command Squad with Master of Ordnance, powerfist, some power weapon or other.
5-man Stormtrooper squad. Sgt with power weapon.
5-man Stormtrooper squad. Sgt with power weapon and plasma pistol.
Veteran Squad. Grenadiers. 2 flamers, 1 heavy flamer, Chimera with hull heavy flamer.
Veteran Squad. Grenadiers. 2 flamers, 1 heavy flamer.
Veteran Squad. Flamer. Lascannon.
Veteran Squad. Grenadiers. Missile launcher and plasmagun.
Veteran Squad. Grenadiers. Missile launcher and plasmagun (?).
Veteran Squad. Grenadiers. Missile launcher and plasmagun (?).
Leman Russ with heavy stubber and 3 heavy bolters.
Leman Russ with heavy stubber, hull lascannon and sponson plasma cannons
Leman Russ Demolisher with heavy stubber and hull heavy flamer, with Knight Commander Pask.
Note that I wasn't too sure of the loadout of the Veteran Squads, as they were mostly hurled into vicious melees without firing a shot.
Mission: Seize Ground, 3 Objectives.
Deployment: Spearhead. I won the roll-off and chose to go first. Deployment shown below...
|Here's the board just after my initial deployment - just some Devastators in the ruins near Objective 2.|
|IG deployment. Those models to the right of the ruin aren't there, but waiting in reserve. On Turn 1, 3 squads of Veterans were waiting in Reserve. 1 was sitting in the Chimera.|
|The Blood Angel Scouts pick their targets...|
|... as do the Devastators. A full squad of Veterans? In the open? Clumped together? Sir, you are too sporting!|
It's bold, vicious and exactly the kind of thing one expects of the Blood Angels. Some would construe it is being unnecessarily violent to an evidently less experienced player (Justin's list needed a little tweaking to make it legal, you see). I say that playing a DoA list any other way when there's 3 battletanks pointing their guns at you is just asking to get wiped off the map.
And I know you serious hobbyists out there are thinking the same thing as I did: No way in hell am I going to let an unpainted army get the better of my babies... Sorry, Justin, it's a painter's pride thing...
BA - The Devastators fired 4 frag missiles, straight into a squad of veterans clumped together in front of one of the Leman Russes. I caused 13 wounds, and verily, the saint of flak armour was smiling on this squad, because they made 10 5+ armour saves! Meanwhile, the Scouts pinged away with their sniper rifles at another Veteran Squad skulking behind the other Leman Russ, killing 2.
IG - The Guard tankes trundle forward. One Leman Russ pops smoke, the other fires into the Devastators, killing the Sergeant. And thus ended turn 1.
BA - All reserves EXCEPT the Sanguinary Guard arrived. Fine by me - it makes for a more dramatic entrance! I placed Squad Wallace some distance to the West, to let them jump in and make their attack run next turn. Squad Gromit and the Librarian's squad were placed close and personal. At least, that was the intention, but the Librarian scattered a fair bit back towards my lines! Ah, well, that's DoA for you...
During the shooting phase, Squad Wallace ran to spread out a bit, Squad Gromit knocked the battlecannon off the nearest LRuss and shook it, and the Librarian's squad managed buggerall.
|Somewhere in the middle of IG's turn 2 movement. Got the order a bit wrong - reserves should move in first, but here the Chimera has moved and disgorged its cargo, putting more bodies between Squad Wallace and the battletanks.|
1 squad of Veterans and the 2 Stormtrooper squads arrived from reserve. Now that I'm writing this up, I realize I'd made a silly mistake, or rather, Justin did. Those Veterans walked on the board from the East table edge, when they should have come from the North! Well, silly me for not pointing that out. Those Veterans proceeded to blast Squad Gromit with 2 Flamers and a Heavy Flamer. Stormtroopers also added their guns to the onslaught and at the end of it, Squad Gromit was short 3 men.
Squad Wallace fared little better, getting blasted in the face with a battlecannon and other gunishment for 4 casualties.
The Honour Guard had it the worst, though. The Demolisher cannon turned and fired straight into the squad. Thankfully, it scattered, but that was still 5 instagib wounds to deal with. The storm shield saved one, but the rest of them were blasted away. The other squad of Stormtroopers then fired at the remnants, wounding the Librarian, while the storm shield turned aside a shot from a plasma pistol.
BA - Crunch time! Squads Wallace and Gromit, bloodied but not broken, surge forward. Squad Wallace headed for the closest LRuss, with supporting fire from the Devastators smashing into the Veteran Squads between them and the tanks. Squad Wallace's meltaguns fired, and destroyed the battlecannon, saving the Blood Angels from a lot of instakill grief.
|That Imperial Fist is on loan, seeing as Justin was a little short on Guardsmen with flamers|
This turn also saw the arrival of the Sanguinary Guard. I have to say, I love the attention these guys get, given that I'm only halfway done painting them :-)
|The Sanguinary Guard arrive!|
IG - Sly Marbo arrives...
|Marbo's up to no good...|
To the left, Squad Wallace came under attack from the 2 Veteran Squads, first with flamers, then with bayonets, but despite taking a couple of casualties, the marines hacked down some veterans and remained locked in combat.
On the right, another squad of Veterans piled into the swirling melee, trying to drown Squad Gromit in a tide of bodies and bayonets! Squad Gromit suffers some lacklustre rolls, inflicting minimal damage, and taking a few casualties, staying locked in combat. I think it was somewhere around here that I was informed that all the Veteran Squads I was facing were Grenadiers (4+ armour).
The two Stormtrooper squads head back towards the Guard lines, no doubt looking to lend some firepower or bayonets where they're needed.
The Leman Russ with the plasma cannons fired on the Librarian, but once again, the Honour Guard with the storm shield stepped in to save the day.
Oh, and by the way, I should mention that the Devastators were cheerfully sat in contesting distance of Objective 2. The Guard's Troops choices, however, had their hands full trying to stay alive, meaning I was in the lead, objective-wise. Keep your eye on the ball, people...
BA - The Sanguinary Guard, foreseeing that the nearby Stormtrooper squad may be a thorn in my side, headed back to deal with them. A salvo of fire took down two. Glaives Encarmine did the rest.
A salvo of brutally accurate frag missiles from the Devastators wipe the other Stormtrooper squad off the map.
Squads Wallace and Gromit remained in their brutal melees, neither squad able to drive away the absurdly tenacious Guardsmen.
The Librarian split off to lend Squad Gromit a hand...
Meanwhile, the last Honour Guard hopped behind the Leman Russ and promptly missed with his meltagun.
IG - Justin, apparently tired of being harassed by a golden marine with a meltagun, jump pack and storm shield, decided enough was enough...
The melee to the East escalated in intensity - another squad of veterans joined the fray!
|"Let's get stuck in lads!"|
There were some abyssmally bad rolls on the Blood Angel side this time. I think I inflicted maybe 1 casualty, then lost 2 men, leaving only the Librarian and the Sanguinary Priest attached to the remnant of Sgt Gromit. Despite this woefully bad turn of events, the marines stayed in the fight, and so the bloodbath continued...
BA - This went by pretty quick. Devastators shot the Chimera and immobilized and shook it. Sanguinary Guard hopped behind a Leman Russ and let rip with their guns, wrecking it. Honour Troll hopped behind the other Leman Russ and stunned it, but haha! Extra armour! Still, not letting that thing shoot is good.
Squad Wallace finished off the last Guardsmen in their way. Squad Gromit and the Librarian fared surprisingly well, and sent one squad of Veterans packing, leaving only the Company Command Squad in their way.
IG - At this point it was pretty much a foregone conclusion. Justin only had a shaken LRuss and the CCS on the table. The assault phase saw the CCS wiped out, leaving just the Sanguinary Priest and the Librarian as Kings of the Hill. Since only I had any surviving Troops choices, and about 5 meltaguns waiting to finish off that last offending tank, this was a very clear Blood Angel victory!
Whew! I'm still getting used to DoA. I have to say, it's a VERY different playstyle from what I'm used to. Up until I threw this list together, I'd mostly wielded the cut and thrust of Mechanized Angels, i.e. Victory through superior firepower, and any foe I can't outshoot sure as hell won't be able to handle this:
And then of course there was my Necron phase... Anyway...
DoA, I found, requires much more finesse. The Descent of Angels rule basically equates to a rapid response with great accuracy, and jump packs let me dictate the time and place of engagement. The DoA army is tough, strikes hard and with brutal precision compared to, say, the hammer blows of Guard firepower or the relentless gauss storm of the Necrons. But more interestingly, the Sanguinary Priests lend absurd durability to Assault Squads. This makes it quite a lot more difficult for inexperienced players to judge just what Blood Angels are capable of, and thus difficult to estimate the right amount of force to counter them.
In any case, I myself was very surprised with the performance of Squads Wallace and Gromit, and I daresay I think I might have to put together a 3rd squad soon. So, until next time, good luck, have fun and remember: The Dice Gods look favourably upon painted models...