Friday, April 28, 2017

Spring Fling Tournament: Game 3

My third game was against a newer Blood Angel player. If some of his models look familiar, that's okay. I lent him some of my Blood Angels so he wouldn't have to proxy for the tournament.

Blood Angels

Golden Host

5 Sanguinary Guard w/ Chapter Banner
5 Sanguinary Guard w/ Chapter Banner

Combined Arms Detachment

Sanguinary Priest w/ jump pack, Fury of Baal
Sanguinary Priest w/ jump pack

5 Tactical Marines w/ heavy flamer, Rhino 
5 Tactical Marines w/ heavy flamer, Rhino

5 Death Company w/ jump packs
5 Terminators w/ heavy flamer

5 Devastators w/ missile launchers

The mission was Cloak and Shadows, using Hammer and Anvil deployment. I deployed poorly, failing to taking into account the arrival of the Golden Host. The Blood Angels deployed on the front of their deployment zone, with the Rhinos in the open, the Death Company hidden behind terrain, and the Devastators in good position in elevated cover. I got first turn.

Turn 1

The first thing I did was round up my units in an attempt to stop the Golden Host from assaulting my fire support. This time I stayed in my Rhinos. One Rhino raced forward to secure a necessary objective and earn a point. The Devastators each easily destroyed a Rhino, disembarking the Blood Angels Tactical Marines, and the Thunderfire shot at one of the Tactical squads. Some poor scatter and excellent armor saves meant that only one Blood Angel fell to the barrage.

The Blood Angels didn't do too much, as they were waiting for most of their points to arrive. The Tactical squads moved to hold nearby objectives, while the Death Company advanced up the table, careful to stay out of sight of my Devastators. The Blood Angels Devastators targeted my missile launcher Devastators, killing the sergeant.

Turn 2

The Executioners more or less held position, though one Tactical squad moved off to hold an objective while another disembarked to cover more ground.

My Devastators combined fire on the Blood Angel Devastators, killing all but one, while the Thunderfire scattered horrifically and missed completely. My forward most Tactical squad disembarked to gun down the 4 Blood Angel Tactical nearby, but another round of excellent armor saves saw only one of the Marines fall. Oh well, at least they could be bait to draw the Death Company backwards.

The Blood Angels turn opened with the Golden Host dropping down to assault my Command squad. Dante challenged Captain Amalric, who made most of his storm shield saves and only took 1 wound. In reply, he did 3 wounds to Dante, who failed all of his saves! The Sanguinary Guard killed one member of the Command squad but lost 2 models to power fist attacks. That went pretty well for me, all things considered. If Amalric could finish Dante next turn and bring his attacks to bear on the squad, I thought I'd have a good chance to win the combat.

NB: I know the Sanguinary Priests aren't allowed to assault with the Golden Host, but my opponent was new and had been playing that way all day, and we were being casual, so I figured I'll talk to him about it later.

Meanwhile, the Death Company charged into one of my Tactical Combat squads and wiped them out.

Turn 3

Things looked much more serious now. The Tacticals moved to take objectives (with the squads near the Sanguinary Guard getting back into their Rhino for protection). My forward Rhino moved into the enemy deployment zone to snare a point. The Thunderfire and Devastators combined their firepower on the Death Company, but flubbed their rolls badly and left 1 alive! Amalric and Dante failed to damage each other at all, while Sanguinary Guard dragged down 2 Command squad veterans, including the Apothecary, for only one loss. I hadn't counted on their large number of attacks.

The Blood Angels turn started by deep striking a squad of Terminators onto an objective, but they scattered out of range. They shot their storm bolters at my Tactical squad harrying their deployment zone, killing a Marine. The Death Company and Tactical Marines in the Blood Angel deployment zone assaulted my Rhino, killing it to secure their deployment zone and get a Maelstrom objective. The Sanguinary Guard killed off the last of my Command squad, and Dante wounded Amlaric again. Both characters were on their last wound, but I hadn't done a wound since the first round of combat.

Turn 4

There wasn't anything I could do to save Captain Amalric, so I moved to take out the other obvious threat, the Terminators. The Land Speeder skimmed over and flamed them, Tactical Marines disembarked to pepper them with bolter fire, and the Thunderfire and Devastators lobbed long range fire at them. When the smoke cleared, no Terminators were left standing. In assault, Dante finally defeated Amalric, saving him the ignominious end of being stabbed to death by all the Sanguinary Guard surrounding him.

Freed from combat, the Sanguinary Guard split up. One squad  jumped over to the objective the Terminators had failed to secure, earning a point. Dante's squad, assaulted my Thunderfire Cannon, with Dante easily cutting down the Techmarine. This secured them another objective for a Maelstrom point.

Turn 5:

It turned out I also needed the objective that the Sanguinary Guard were holding. Fortunately, Objective Secured meant I didn't have to kill them to take it. A Tactical Combat Squad and the Land Speeder moved to take it, killing one Sanguinary Guard with shooting.

Meanwhile, my Devastators and Tacticals in my backfield concentrated fire on Dante's squad, killing 3 of the Sanguinary Guard.

The Blood Angels needed the objective held my Tactical Combat squad by the generator, and both Sanguinary Guard squads charged into the 5 Tactical Marines. Dante killed the whole squad with no trouble.

When the dust settled, the score was 11-8 in favor of the Blood Angels!

Result: Victory for the Blood Angels

Lessons Learned:

1) I have to admit that I expected to win this game. While luck was definitely a factor (I think my opponent was able to secure all 3 of his objectives on both turn 4 and 5), I can't devalue my opponent's victory. He used the Golden Host well, killing the only squad I had able to fight them and then scoring all the objectives he needed on my half of the table. While my firepower meant I dominated the other end of the table, I couldn't stop Dante and the Sanguinary Guard.

2) In Maelstrom games, if you can't get an objective quickly, discard it and move on. I kept an objective requiring me to kill a model in a challenge for 3 turns as Amalric failed to kill Dante, while I would have been much better served scoring points that required me to control the board. As an aside, Amalric had no business expecting to kill Dante, but after he reduced Dante to a single wound in the first round, I figured he had a very good chance of doing another wound. Turns out that he had used up all of his luck.

3) My Thunderfire decided to scatter poorly this battle, actually leading my opponent to comment that he heard they were scary but they didn't seem too powerful. This is why I need to bring multiples.

4) In order to counter the Golden Host, I think I needed to split up my forces more. My best situation would be to have him drop the squads separately and then counter charge them one at a time with my Command squad. Had they assaulted my squishier squads rather than the Command squad, I would have been able to shoot them more as well. Castling up doesn't work well when there is only one enemy threat. It just puts all of your squads together so that they can hop between them.

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