Monday, July 30, 2012

Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Footdar

I got another game in this week, this time against a Footdar list. I used this list, designed to try out the Sanguinary Guard and Death Company in 6th Edition.

Reclusiarch w/ jump pack

5 Honor Guard w/ jump packs, company standard, power axe, power fist

5 Sanguinary Guard w/ power fist, infernus pistol, chapter banner

Lemartes with 5 Death Company w/ jump packs, 2 power fists

10 Assault Marines w/ power sword, 2 meltaguns

10 Assault Marines w/ power fist, 2 meltaguns

Sanguinary Priest w/ jump pack, power sword

5 Devastators w/ 4 missile launchers

5 Devastators w/ 2 lascannons, 2 plasma cannons

My opponent used roughly the following list (from memory).

Eldrad (Divination)

Farseer w/ spirit stones (Telepathy)

5 Warlocks with various powers

10 Dire Avengers w/ exarch, Wave Serpent w/ bright lances, shuriken cannon

5 Pathfinders

5 Pathfinders

8 or so Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch w/ Scorpion's Claw

6 Warp Spiders w/ Exarch w/ dual death spinners

3 Wraithlords w/ brightlance, eldar missile launcher

We rolled Hammer and Anvil deployment, with Purge the Alien for the mission. I got the Warlord Trait that adds +1 to charge distance (Awesome!) while my opponent got to roll 2 dice for run moves and take the highest. I got to deploy first, and did so:

The Devastators with lascannons and plasma cannons are in the far building, while the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard (with an attached Priest) were held in reserve.

My opponent deployed in good cover, with Wraithlords anchoring both his flanks.

I didn't have the initiative stolen for a change, so I advanced up the table with my block of Assault marines supported by the Honor Guard. My lasplas Devastators failed to hurt a Wraithlord while the missile launchers killed 3 Striking Scorpions.

The Eldar concentrated their fire on one of my Assault squads, wiping it out, while a squad of Pathfinders killed 2 of my missile launcher Devastators. Importantly, he advanced the Wave Serpent to open fire.

Both of my reserves came in, and I dropped them in on the left of my Assault squad. The Assault squad and Honor Guard advanced, destroying the Wave Serpent with meltaguns and killing 4 Dire Avengers. My Devastators opened up on the Wraithlords but failed to hurt them. Happily, 4 Warp Spiders were killed by scattering plasma cannons. I tried to charge my Assault squad into the Dire Avengers, but rolled short because of difficult terrain.

The Eldar moved the Wraithlords up to counter-attack my inevitable charge, while the Dire Avengers dropped back and the Warp Spider jumped in front of my Assault squads to interfere with their charge. Shooting killed off 4 Sanguinary Guard, leaving the standard bearer and Priest. I had some very poor rolling, but the many opportunities for Pathfinders produce AP1 or 2 shots really hurt them. A few Assault marines were also gunned down.

In my turn 3, I advanced all of my jump packers. Each Devastator squad took a wound off each Wraithlord on the sides, while the Assault squad took 2 wounds off the central Wraithlord (one with a krak grenade!). I charged the Sanguinary Guard into the Pathfinders near them, lost the Priest to overwatch shots, but then killed 3 eldar, broke them, and caught them. The Death Company charged the Striking Scorpions, and Eldrad challenged Lemartes. Lemartes did a wound to the old psyker, but Eldrad managed to kill him in return. I was pretty excited to see that Lemartes actually gets to strike before some Eldar. This loss was made up for when my standard Death Company produced 15 wounds from 15 attacks and wiped out the Striking Scorpions without the power fists even getting to strike. The Honor Guard assaulted the last 2 Warp Spiders and killed them off, while the Assault squad with Reclusiarch assaulted the central Wraithlord with only one wound.

This turned out to be a very interesting combat, because Wraithlords are now characters. This means they can challenge, which my opponent did. This means I can either

1) accept with the Reclusiarch, who can probably survive a few rounds but can't hurt the Wraithlord.

2) accept with the Sergeant, who can hurt the Wraithlord but will probably be killed before he can strike.

3) decline, at which point my opponent will retire the Sergeant from combat.

I chose to accept with the Sergeant, who was promptly killed. This was the wrong choice. Had I declined, the power fist couldn't strike, but my Chaplain and the squad's krak grenades would likely have destroyed the Wraithlord and my power fist would survive.

In the Eldar turn 3, Wraithlords charged into each of the remaining combats, while the Farseer and Warlocks charged in against my Assault squad and Reclusiarch. The Wraithlord challenged and I accepted with the Reclusiarch, and they failed to hurt each other. I lost a 3 more marines, and put a wound on the farseer. 3 more Death Company were killed trying to bring down Eldrad.

In my turn 4, I charged both the last Sanguinary Guard and Honor Guard into the Dire Avengers, killing all except 1. Amazingly, I didn't lose any models in the other combats, but I only managed to put another wound on Eldrad and on the Farseer.

Sadly, I had to leave the store at this point and call the game. At this point, the Eldar had 3 points (One Assault squad, Sanguinary Priest, First Blood), while I had 4 (Warp Spiders, Wave Serpent, Pathfinders, and Linebreaker). However, if the game had gone on, my opponent would likely have gotten 2 points for the Death Company and Assault squad, while I would have gotten one for the Dire Avengers, lost 1 for losing Linebreaker when the Assault squad died, and maybe gotten 1 for the other Pathfinders. 

It really is too close to call who would have won had we had time to play the game through. Given a few more turns, I'm sure the Wraithlords would have wiped my assault force out. I simply didn't have any answers to them left alive.

Lessons Learned:
1) Charging jump infantry across the board worked surprisingly well, especially when supported by my elite assault units dropping in.

2) Random assault distances really seem to have increased the reach of my army. As long as I set up multiple charges in a turn, I could rely on several squads to make it into assault, even if I was trying some longer charges (the warlord trait helped too). Those that failed the charge had to take some firepower, but I kept enough pressure on my opponent that he couldn't really concentrate fire on any of my units once I was in assault range.

3) I really like being able to measure whenever I wanted. It helped set up reliable assaults, make sure my Priests were placed in the best positions, and keep my Devastators out of sniper rifle range.

4) Wraithlords are brutal. I simply couldn't take wounds off of them with my Devastators. Generally poor rolling, but I would have had to get quite lucky to really kill them off with shooting. In assault, they were able to halt my squads by challenging and removing the power fist from the combat. The only good way to take them down in assault is with multiple power fists. If a Wraithlord challenges your power fist sergeant, just decline. It's not worth trying to survive its attacks.

5) Despite my poor rolling for armor saves, the Sanguinary Guard are quite a good unit. Very durable and extremely nasty on the assault, even the one model that survived the enemy shooting was able to take out almost two squads.

6) The Death Company are now really nasty. They produce a ton of attacks on the charge, and almost all of them will hit and wound. In subsequent rounds, the Death Company are far less dangerous, though multiple power fists should help them through most protracted combats without monstrous creatures. A wounded (but not dead) Lemartes would also help. Try to set the Death Company up so that they can wipe out their opponents in one or two rounds of combat, and they will treat you well.

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