It had been a long, long time since I'd gotten a good game in against Wong, so I was rather pleased to get a chance this weekend. At first, I was looking to get an excuse to try out my fledgeling Chaos Marines, but I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to try out my most lethal list to date against one of the most experienced and solid players I know, so, out came the Angels...
My slightly tweaked Blood Angels FTO list:
Reclusiarch with plasma pistol and melta bombs
Furioso Dreadnought with frag cannon and heavy flamer
10 Death Company with 2 power swords and 2 power axes
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
5 Devastators with 4 missile launchers
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon and hurricane bolters
2 Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons
2 Land Speeder Typhoons
Only a slight alteration from my previous list - I switched out the Devastators' weapons for missile launchers and used the extra points to give my Reclusiarch a plasma pistol and meltabombs. I also dropped the Land Raider Redeemer to bring it down to good old 1750 pts.
Wong's Marines and Guard:
5 Assault Terminators with Hammers and Shields
Land Raider with multimelta and extra armour
10-man Tactical Squad with lascannon, plasmagun and the Tank Hunter USR
5-man Scout Squad with boltguns, and a Sergeant carrying a combi-plasma and sniper rifle
Land Speeder Storm
Storm Talon with twin-linked heavy bolter
Company Command Squad with Astropath and Master of Ordnance
Veteran Squad with 3 grenade launchers, led by Gunnery Sgt Harker
2 Vendettas with heavy bolter sponsons
This is the list as far as I could remember, though there's a couple of bits of wargear that I'm forgetting. That's mostly coz I slew the poor devil carrying said wargear before he got a chance to use it.
Just looking at the list, I knew this promised to be interesting. Troops choices clearly meant for holding and stealing objectives, a Terminator Deathstar in the traditional Land Raider, and some serious air superiority firepower, which is to say, guns which could concievably knock one of my Stormravens out of the sky before they unleash their cargo.
Mission: Crusade. 3 objectives.
Deployment: Dawn of War. Wong won the roll-off and let me deploy first.
As usual, I kept a Furioso in one Stormraven (Furyraven) and the Death Company elements in the other (DCRaven). On Wong's side, Sly Marbo, the Stormtalon, the Land Speeder Storm carrying the Scouts, the Vendetta squadron and Harker's squad were in reserve.
I knew this wasn't going to be an easy fight, especially given what my list was designed to do. I had deliberately placed the two of the three objectives in the open, where I could easily blast or charge anything that tried to claim it. Being unable to claim objectives myself, I knew I had to kill all his scoring units. After that, my only path to victory lay in the secondary objectives. Is my list killy enough? Only one way to find out...
BA: Before the game started, the Baal Predators moved over to the left is part of their Scout move. Then I moved the Baal Predators and Land Speeders further left.
Shooting was off to a suitably vicious start, with salvos of missiles from the Devastators and Typhoons hammering into the Company Command Squad, reducing it to just the commander, who went to ground behind a parapet, with bits of shrapnel and his squad flying about him. A volley from the leftmost Baal Predator killed a marine from the Lascannon combat squad.
SM & IG: Not much happened here. The Lascannon squad fired on the leftmost Baal Pred, but failed to penetrate its armour. The Land Raider moved up, exposing a twin-linked lascannon which blasted a hull point off the right Baal Predator.
BA: Both Stormravens arrived! I sent the Furyraven after the marines holed up next to the objective and the DCRaven to harass the Land Raider. The Baal Predators moved further left to bring more guns to bear in support of the Furyraven, while the Typhoons moved to fire on the Land Raider.
As usual, shooting saw much violence. Between the Baal Predators and the Furyraven, the Lascannon squad was wiped out. A shot from the multimelta, thanks to the Furyraven's machine spirit, was quite enough to explode Sicarius' Rhino, though there were no further casualties. Over on the right, the DCRaven failed to do any damage to the Land Raider. The Devastors finished off the hapless Guard commander with a salvo of krak missiles.
SM & IG: This turn, Wong's reserve rolls were well and truly cursed! Harker's squad, the Vendettas AND the Scouts all failed to come in! Marbo, however, turned up and quietly slipped into a ruin on my right, far away from the main engagement. This is was pretty dire for Wong, as it gave me another turn to hammer at his forces with near impunity.
Sicarius' squad tried shooting at the Furyraven, but just couldn't hit it. The Land Raider got luckier, and managed a glancing hit on the DCRaven.
BA: Well, time to unload the 'Ravens and get to work! The Furioso hopped out and made ready to blast Sicarius' squad, with the Furyraven following close behind. One Baal Predator stayed to make sure there were enough guns to finish the job, while the other headed off to support my right flank. The Typhoons lined up for a salvo on the Land Raider. The DCRaven unloaded the Death Company and the DC Dreadnought, then hovered a little to the left.
Shooting on the left ended predictably enough. Sicarius and 5 marines couldn't quite take the firepower of my Furioso Dreadnought, a Stormraven and a Baal Predator, and they withered until a crushing hail of shrapnel and bolt and cannon shells. Shooting on the right had me a little nervous. I had to nuke that accursed Land Raider. My Death Company's charge is one of the most vicious knockout punches in the whole game - if that tank survived, there was no stopping those Terminators from charging my Death Company, defusing them. All the guns and missiles I could focus on that wretched machine fired... and alas, it survived with 2 hull points to spare. Bugger.
Only thing left to do now was try to assault the Land Raider with the Reclusiarch's meltabomb. It missed. Bugger...
SM & IG: Reserve rolls weren't quite what they could have been again, but the Vendettas arrived, and that made all the difference. They dove onto the board, converging on the DCRaven. No amount of evasive maneuvers could save it from 6 twin-linked lascannons, and it went down in flames. The Land Raider then fired it's guns on the DC Dreadnought, and it exploded spectacularly, killing one Death Company marine in the blast.
The Assault Terminators, who had disembarked earlier, then charged the Death Company. Fortunately, I still mostly got to hit first, though my Reclusiarch most certainly wasn't interested in a duel with someone carrying a thunder hammer, so he sat out the combat. The Death Company still proved potent, and they managed to slay 2 Terminators before losing 3 of their number to the crackling thunder hammers.
BA: The Furioso hopped back into the Furyraven, which then zoomed off to meet the incoming Vendettas head-on. The Typhoons and one Baal also headed over to the right, looking to try and take down a Vendetta with sheer weight of fire.
The Furyraven's guns blazed, and showed that having a twin-linked multimelta truly made the Stormraven one of the deadliest things in the sky. A Vendetta was blasted to smithereens. My other guns, however, weren't so lucky, as missiles and gunfire from the Baal Predator, Typhoons and Devastators whizzed harmlessly past the remaining Vendetta or were turned aside by its armour.
Meanwhile, the slugfest between the Death Company and the Terminators continued. Another Terminator went down for the loss of 1 DC marine.
SM & IG: At last, the Scouts and Harker's squad decided to make an appearance. Harker and gang turned up on the left, looking to reclaim the objective in the ruins. The Scouts scooted in on the right to claim the objective out in the open, preceded by the Stormtalon bearing down on the Furyraven. Wong obviously knew well the dangers of flyers going into hover mode, and elected to power straight past the Furyraven and go for my left Baal Predator.
In the shooting phase, the Land Raider and Stormtalon tried and failed to bring down the Furyraven. The Vendetta, meanwhile, easily nuked the lone Baal Predator.
Elsewhere, another Terminator fell, leaving just the sergeant (who had been challenging the Reclusiarch all his time, by the way. The Reclusiarch politely refused.). The sergeant responded by smashing another 2 Death Company marines.
BA: At last Wong's remaining Troops choices showed their faces! They had to die... The Typhoons swung back round to the left, looking to maul Harker's squad with missiles and heavy bolters. The remaining Baal Predator backed up to stop in front of my Devastators, to take a shot at the Vendetta's rear. The Furioso disembarked, ready to blast whatever spilled out of the Land Speeder Storm following the inevitable abuse from the Stormraven and, if necessary, the Devastators.
The Typhoons let rip with an excellent salvo, slaying 5 of Harkers' squad, despite their being stealthed behind a ruin. Near the center, a salvo from the Furyraven glanced the Land Speeder Storm, and a volley of missiles from the Devastators exploded it, spilling the Scouts out next to the objective. No point being polite, I though, and the Furioso let rip with the frag cannon and heavy flamer, killing all but one of them. This was all too much for him, and he broke and ran. The Baal Predator then fired on the Vendetta, but failed to hit.
The assault phase saw the last Terminator finally slain by the Death Company. At the end of the carnage, only the Reclusiarch and 2 Death Company marines remained. Now, on writing this, I realize I made a silly mistake - I forgot to charge the lone Scout with the Furioso!
SM & IG: Not much left to do now. Harker's squad hunkered down in the ruins. Most vexing. I'd need the Furioso to winkle those buggers out, now. Meanwhile, the lonely Scout remembered he Knew No Fear and skedaddled back to the objective.
In shooting, the Vendetta hovered, then turned to blast the Typhoons, downing one. The Land Raider then unloaded its guns on the rear of the Furioso, easily exploding it. With that, the turn ended.
We rolled for Turn 6... and that was that. Wong had 2 objectives and Linebreaker for 7 points. I had all the secondary objectives for 3. Victory to the Space Marines!
Well, that was satisfyingly violent! I think that went about as well as I could have expected it. Here are a couple of things I thought were worth thinking about the what-ifs:
1) Reserve rolls:- Wong's Turn 2 reserve rolls were abysmally bad. My own were more or less guaranteed, especially seeing as my Warlord trait was Strategic Genius (reroll reserve rolls). There were any number of ways that could have played out. Had the Scouts or Harker shown their faces earlier I most certainly would have devoted some firepower to erasing them. In that respect, the game could have swung either way. Of course, had the Vendettas turned up, they most certainly would have tried to gun down the DCRaven. Even with evasive maneuvers, I reckon that's about a 41% chance that 6 twin-linked lascannon would have nuked it. Not good. Nothing is certain in a game of dice, but this was a game of many particularly chancy events, and I do believe it could easily have swung my way.
2) Turn 3 attack on the Land Raider:- Wong's failed reserve rolls on 2 gave me 1 shot to nuke the Land Raider and shred the contents. Each melta weapon in the hands of a marine is about a 20% chance to nuke a Land Raider. Twin-linked or BS 5 bumps that up to about 25%. I needed every gun possible to crack that Raider open and to do that, I had the Stormraven and the DC Dreadnought. That's about a 40% of blowing up the Land Raider, discounting glancing hits. However, if I switched out the power swords for Infernus pistols and the Reclusiarch's plasma pistol for yet more Infernus, that bumps up my chances to about 90%. With the volume of attacks at my disposal, 2 power swords won't make any difference if I get the charge.
3) A second pass? Given my lucky break on turn 2, one thing I'd been agonizing over was whether to take the DCRaven on turn 3and get off the board, then come back to attack the Vendettas. Tough call, but I figured I needed to unload the Death Company ASAP. Who knows? Maybe it would have let me get the jump on the Vendettas. Maybe doing so would have let that Land Raider get closer and do more damage. Now that I think about it, I think I made the best choice I could have.
So, would I have done anything differently? I don't think so. I daresay I did the best I could have done, given the circumstances, most notably the way the reserve rolls played out. Well, apart from the small blunder on Turn 5, where I should have at least tried to charge the lone Scout with the Furioso.
And would I change the list in any way? Hell, yes, with Infernus pistols! At the very least, an Infernus pistol for the Reclusiarch. None of this plasma pistol nonsense, not when one has the option of toting mini-meltaguns.The advantages of this are twofold. First, it means the Death Company stands a good chance of cracking open a transport without the aid of the DC Dreadnought or the Stormraven. This frees them up to turn their gloriously potent guns on something else. Second, even if there isn't a transport to nuke, S8 AP1 before a chainsword is swung is always good... Anyway, it may be a while before we see those Infernus pistols put to use; that Forgefiend is nearing completion!
Stay tuned, hopefully, we'll see my fledgeling Chaos Marines go to war...