Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Game Recap

I ended up playing against another Blood Angels player, using roughly the following list:

Librarian w/ jump pack

10 Assault Marines w/ power weapon, 2 flamers

6 Death Company w/ 1 thunder hammer riding in Land Raider Crusader

Chaplain (leading DC, of course)

Corbulo, riding w/
5 Assault Marines w/ power fist, flamer, in Heavy Flamer Razorback

10 Scouts with bolt pistols and swords, 1 shotgun

5 Scouts with sniper rifles and missile launcher

Death Company Dreadnought w/ magna-grapples and blood talons in Drop Pod

2 x 2 Attack Bikes with multi-meltas

I think that's everything. That should be a 1,750 point list, so I cut 100 points of gear from my list to match. The game was Dawn of War Annihilation. The table was fairly open with lots of hedges and craters giving cover and a large forest on the right side of my opponent's deployment zone. I'm not going to provide a full battle report, just a general run down with some thoughts at the end. Sorry for the lack of pictures; I forgot to bring my camera.

I chose to deep strike my army, and my opponent made a fairly strong castle in the right side of his deployment zone (all directions will be based on my facing). One squad of Attack Bikes went on each side, with the Death Company in their Land Raider on the left, the Assault squad with Librarian on the right, the close-combat Scouts and Razorback in the center, and the Sniper Scouts in the forest. He dropped the Death Company Dreadnought right in front of the Crusader.

On my second turn, everything arrived except my Assault squad with Reclusiarch and Priest attached. I dropped heavily on the right side of his army, charging the Attack Bikes with one squad of Vanguard and wiping them out. A combat squad with 2 meltaguns dropped on the left to destroy the Death Company Dreadnought. My second Vanguard scattered 5" right into the enemy and went back into reserve.

My opponent charged my Honor Guard with his Assault squad (which I was expecting) and whirled the Crusader around and charged the Death Company into the Vanguard squad (which I did not see coming. I totally underestimated their charge range). The Scouts and Attack Bikes charged into the combat squad that blew up the Dreadnought. The Death Company wiped out the Vanguard and only one of my Honor Guard survived. I had a full Assault squad with Priest ready to counter-assault, so I was fairly certain I could take that flank. One member of my meltagun combat squad survived, dragging that combat on.

My Assault squad with Reclusiarch and Priest dropped on the left behind the Land Raider, wrecking it with meltaguns, while my other large Assault squad charged the Death Company and the combat squad with power fist charged the sniper Scouts. The second Vanguard squad mishapped again (6" directly toward the enemy squad (I was going to use them to support the assault on the Death Company) and my opponent placed them on my left corner, way away from any units. My assaults both bounced off the enemy, killing one Death Company (my 8 power weapon attacks inflicted no wounds) and one Scout. The enemy Librarian killed off my last Honor Guard and consolidated back toward his center. He also killed the last of my meltagun Assault squad, freeing his Scouts and Attack Bikes.

My opponent converged on my Assault squad with Reclusiarch, assaulting with the close-combat Scouts and Librarian led Assault squad. His Assault squad from Razorback assaulted in to save his sniper Scouts. His Death Company continued to whittle down my Assault squad, leaving a single model. I also ended up with just a single model from my squad assaulting the Sniper Scouts. However, my Reclusiarch and his squad continued to serve me well butchering the Scouts that assaulted them and inflicting a few kills on the Librarian's Assault squad, winning the combat and driving the Scouts off toward their table edge.

We ended the game at the end of turn 4 as the store was closing. Counting up kill points, my opponent had 4 (1 Priest, 1 Vanguard squad, 1 Honor Guard, and 1 Assault combat squad) while I thought I had 3 (Crusader, Dreadnought, and Attack Bike squad). Later I realized that I had an additional one from the falling back Scouts, resulting in a tie. However, he would easily gain 2 more kill points from my single model squads lost in combat, while my remaining large Assault squad would struggle to kill of his Assault squad and the Vanguard would probably never reach combat. Therefore, I still think it was a win for him.

So what happened? First, my opponent saw what I was doing and castled well. I think my strategy was reasonably sound for breaking the castle, but I totally underestimated the assault range of the Death Company in Crusader. I would have done better dropping heavily on the left, where I still would have to absorb the Death Company charge but could have avoided the Librarian and Assault squad.

Even with that mistake, I was crippled by the failure of my Vanguard squad to get stuck in and bad rolling when I assaulted the Death Company. Had things gone better on that flank, I would have picked up a few Kill points and kept his Assault squad engaged there, preventing him from responding to my Reclusiarch's squad. Still, the dice can always fail you and a strong player will be able to compensate for it. My plan wasn't able to absorb it and my opponent had set up so that he had excellent opportunities to respond to and counter my assaults.

Once again, I'm disappointed with how my Vanguard Veterans performed. 480 points for both squads killed 100 points worth of Attack Bikes between them. Not only that but they require me to drop the rest of my army closer in order to support them, in this case my Honor Guard dropped to provide them with a Priestly aura and paid for it. Had I ignored their heroic intervention and dropped further away so that I couldn't be assaulted, I think I would have done better. I also really missed the staying power of my Assault Terminators. Therefore, I think I'll be dropping my Vanguards in an attempt to fit in Assault Terminators and a Sanguinary Guard squad, providing more hitting power and durability at the cost of heroic intervention.

I don't think I'll miss it much. However, heroic intervention seems most useful for killing shooting units, of which my opponent didn't have any. That said, I definitely think my build with Devastators is superior.

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