Monday, August 11, 2014

The Imperiad Grand Tournament: Game 4

My third game would be against Tau, fighting an Emperor's Will mission with Vanguard Strike deployment. My opponent's list was something along the lines of:

Buff Commander with all the standard goodies

12 Fire Warriors
Devilfish w/ bonus cover save and ignore difficult terrain

12 Fire Warriors
Devilfish w/ bonus cover save and ignore difficult terrain

20 Kroot

3 Crisis Suits, each with 2 plasma rifles and shield drones

Riptide w/ Ion Accelerator, Feel No Pain, Interceptor

Riptide w/ Ion Accelerator, Feel No Pain, Interceptor

3 Broadsides with all the missiles they can have, including missile drones

Skyshield Landing Pad

We deployed our objectives in opposite corners of the board. My opponent placed a large firebase in his corner, made up of the Broadsides and Commander and a Riptide on the Skyshield. Kroot filled up all the remaining space on the Skyshield, preventing me from assaulting.

Note: We had a lot of rule questions surrounding the Skyshield. Several players were saying that you could not assault onto it unless there was space to fit your models onto the surface and start your assault with line of sight to models on the top. This made it exceedingly difficult to assault. This isn't how we usually play it in our store (we allow you to assault models on the egde with models on the ground) bit it fit RAW so that's how it was ruled for the tournament.

The second Riptide, Crisis Suits, and the two Devilfish were more toward the center.

I deployed in my corner, keeping everything out of range of his Broadsides. If he wanted to shoot me with them, he had to either leave the protection of the Skyshield or wait until I was ready to advance into his range. My Rhinos and Command squad were going to advance into the opponents deployment zone, destroy the advancing Tau.

The game went pretty much as planned. Both of our advancing forces tangled in the center of the table, while my Thunderfires shelled the Broadsides. The Devilfish dropped of 24 Fire Warriors on top of the tower in the center of the table, where they could open fire on my Devastators but my squads couldn't assault them.

The Broadsides learn that even a 2+ save won't protect them from a concentrated Thunderfire barrage.

I rarely see such a perfect Thunderfire target.
A round of Thunderfire shots reduced the Fire Warriors to the point the my Tactical squads could deal with them, but meant I wasn't shooting at the much more dangerous Broadsides. My advancing forces wiped out the Riptide and Crisis suits, but the shooting from the Fire Warriors killed one of my Thunderfires.

My foremost Thunderfire takes more fire than it can handle.
Unfortunately, I stopped taking pictures at this point. We were up against the time limit if we were going to finish turn 5. In the end, my remaining Thunderfire and a Tactical squad were able to kill enough of the Kroot and Drones on the Skyshield to allow my Command squad to assault. They broke the Kroot off the platform, allowing them to contest the enemy objective. However, the two Devilfish moved in to contest my objective. My Techmarine from the destroyed Thunderfire assaulted one and destroyed it, and then assaulted the other (a Tactical squad tried to assault it too, but failed a 5" charge through difficult terrain). The Techmarine hit with his servo arms, but rolled two 1s to penetrate.

With that, the game ended. We were both contesting each other's objectives. Neither of us had Slay the Warlord, and we both had Linebreaker. My opponent had First Blood from a Rhino though, so that won him the game. This was about as close a game as I've ever played. I think I would have won if we went another turn; the Devilfish would have to be very lucky to survive another round of assault, and there was nothing on the Tau objective that could deal with my Command squad. Even so, it was a great game and my opponent earned his victory. In sympathy for such a close loss, he even bought me a beer, which was greatly appreciated.

Lessons Learned:

1) Objective Secured transports are pretty amazing. I didn't destroy the Devilfish because they always had a 3+ cover save, and that cost me a game. My Devastators plinked some wounds off the Riptides and Broadsides, but would have been better used by shooting the Devilfish. This cost me the game in the end.

2) The Skyshield has some seriously vague rules. We're going to have to come up with some rules to handle that at our store, because an unassaultable fortification is ridiculous.

3) I think this is the first game I've lost because of First Blood from a Rhino since I've started taking them again. It's rare but it apparently does happen. It's still worth taking the Rhinos though.

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