This post will be somewhat more limited than the previous two, as my Camera ran out battery just as our game began. I’m afraid you (dear patient reader) are going to have to deal with lower-quality ‘whatsapp’ photographs for the one game, and text only for the second.
I may yet mock-up some battle shots and include them at a later date though..
The story so far…
Having retained their dominance over the second round (a win and a loss), it was still Chaos priority going into round three. With the pressure really on, the Chaos players elected to make an attempt to the Imperial HQ/Landing site (Emperor protect us!) and use their second attack to cut our forces in two and seal off one of our strategic locations.
The first game played (last Wednesday) was the main one for the HQ. This game was played between Luke’s Traitor Guard and Pete’s Blood Angels (100PL apiece). Rather than a traditional attacker-defender mission, this battle represented the Imperials making a pre-emptive strike on the Chaos siege-works, so the defender-attacker paradigm was unexpectedly reversed.
For the battle our host and GM (Topher) had created some extra terrain for us, including some modified fortress pieces, which we all thought went really well with the Ice board that he’s been working on for the last couple of months. As a cool bonus, it also matches the bases and theme of Luke’s Starwars guardsmen.
Fresh from his 8th ed ‘learning game’ last week the training wheels had well and truly come off for Luke, and he turned up with as much artillery as he could field; the two Wyverns being joined by two Manticores, and the Eradicator being joined by a regular Russ. What an arse (those Manticores are dangerous), but he learns fast. 😉
3 Tanks had become 6, but otherwise the army composition stayed much as it had beofre; some well equipped infantry squads, supported by some specialists (ratlings) and a handful of heroes. Luke’s general was the Company Commander.
Pete’s army still followed much the same tactics and construction as it had done in 7th; a supported ‘Rhino-rush’ style list. A couple of tactical squads in Rhinos armed with meltas and flamers, supported by assault marines and death company.
It’s an army that does one thing exceptionally well; get in your face and stay there. It’s a really nice army to play against actually, because even though the whole force rushes you, it’s not fully assault-orientated, so you can get some really brutal short-range firefights. It’s very blood angel-y.
I wasn’t there, but feedback from the whatsapp group was pretty clear, if simplistic:
(Subject to re-write following feedback from actual players)
- Pete rushes up the board as fast as possible, and in Luke’s first turn takes an absolute mauling from the massed guns of the guardsmen and tanks.
- The second turn sees combat everywhere, as the Blood Angels repay in kind the damage they took on the approach and get up close and personal.
- The third and 4th turns see the combats spread out and allow the blood angels to take board dominance away from the guard, if not the objectives.
- No longer supported by the wall of expendable meat-shields, the artillery becomes vulnerable.
- However it is enough. Though the cost has been great, the game ends in a draw. The exhausted marines retreat back to their stronghold and the renegades regroup and rebuild the siegeworks.
Game 1 ends with a draw (I think) but it is little comfort, just a delaying of the inevitable.
This game was played on Monday evening between myself (Imperial Guard) and Dan (Nurgle Deamons).
My army was pretty basic. It consisted of;
- A battalion detachment of Guardsmen/Scions led by a Lord Commissar and a Company Commander. A Vanguard Detachment of an Inquisitor (my warlord) and some Imperial agents/Assassins and a Spearhead Detachment of 2 Russes led by Pask (and a heavy weapons team).
- Last but not least I took an Auxiliary detachment of a single standard-fit Baneblade.
Dan’s army looks incredibly varied and diverse, but is actually fairly simple;
- It’s 3 large blobs of plague-bearers, two of 20, one of slightly less iirc?
- 2 Soul Grinders,
- 3 Princes, one of which is the warlord, and 2 heralds.
- A large unit of drones
- A smaller unit of three, slightly bigger, drones.
- F*&%Ing Nurglings!
Our game can be summarized in a couple of bullet points, which doesn’t really do it justice as it was actually quite a lot of fun to play and right down to the wire didn’t feel one-sided.
- We played basically the same scenario as Luke/Pete, a two-objective game with deep deployments. Dan went first.
- Turn one saw the entire Nurgle horde advance, do essentially nothing in shooting, and smite the heavy weapons team off the table. In return the armoured might of the Guard punished one of the daemon princes, but otherwise did very little. Rolling (especially to determine shots) was pathetic. Even with a good stash of CP, it wasn’t very effective….
- Turn two saw a good number of charges, with the princes making combat easily (they flew) and the drones and nurglings tying up some infantry on the flanks. Combat for Dan did very little however, and almost everything ended in a stalemate. My turn two saw the assassins arrive, successfully killing one prince and badly wounding another. The baneblade, free from combat thanks to [Steel Behemoth] took a big chunk out of one of the Plaguebearers units and blew 11 wounds off one of the Soul Grinders…
- Turn three quickly reversed the benefits of turn two, as finally the massive units of Plaguebearers multi-charged everything they could and locked the entire line down in combat, where they hacked away the vehicles for little effect. Imperial Assassins proved they they are only good the turn they arrive. The Eversor exploding before he could attack and the Cullexus failing to cause any damage to one of the weakened princes, despite hitting and wounding on a re-rollable 2+!
- Turn 4 saw some brief glimpses of hope before the crushing despair. My Scions arrived (I’d held them off until the last moment) to push for Dan’s relatively unguarded objective, but they failed to do a thing with shooting, despite being in rapid fire range of their target, and Dan killed the Baneblade with what felt like a million smites, the combat power of a Deamon prince, a herald, drones and Plagubearers. despite spending a CP it didn’t explode.
- While the loss of the Baneblade was significant, capturing my objective would still have been hard-going for Dan, but fortunately for him the Soul grinder (for the only turn in the game) rolled like a boss and completely pasted the (reasonably confident) Scions off the board.
With 1 objective firmly in Dan’s hands and unlikely to be taken, and the uphill struggle of defending my own objective looking ever more impossible, I conceded the game. In the end Dan won by a single secondary objective (first blood) as we both had line-breaker and both our warlords were still alive and kicking.
At the time of concession, both our forces had been reduced to below 25% of what they had been at the start, and every single character/tank on the table was seriously injured. It had been a brutal game.
(while I did enjoy the game, one of the things it does highlight is the discrepancy of Power-level verses points between certain armies. While our PL for this game was essentially equal, Dan’s army worked out at 2000pts, whereas mine was only slightly over 1600). This is not because Dan’s army is imbalanced, but because my army is modeled without all the available upgrades I could have taken but never did. Very few of my Russes have sponsons, and those that do have heavy bolters for example. I fear that without remodeling some of my more commonly used units, I am always going to suffer excessively in PL games.)