Today was my first game against Sir Charles™, and it wasn’t quite what I expected. Ok, he doesn’t call himself Sir Charles™ because that would be precocious. On a side note, how awesome would that be to know someone who pronounced their name with a trademark symbol at the end? Ok, that aside, I’ve been attending this weekly gaming group for a little over a month now, and it seems that each week Charles is looking for a game. Unfortunately, I’ve had to turn him down each week until now, since I already had a game lined up, but this week was the exception.
Unfortunately, I brought my camera, but didn’t charge the battery, so between each turn, I frantically sketched the board. Actually, that wasn’t a bad way to do it at all, but it is sad that I didn’t get any shots of Charles’ army as it looked pretty sharp.
Being fairly tired from a long (and unsuccessful night) of trying to get Windows Media Center to talk with an Extender, I wanted a smaller (quicker game). As a result, we arbitrarily chose 780 pts. In rolling up missions, we came up with Annihilation & Board quarters, and after losing the die roll for first turn, my opponent was gracious enough to give it to me (as if I wanted it).
Much like my last game, I opted not to deploy anything. The way I figure it, there’s no reason to give Daemons something to shoot at on the first turn they arrive. Of course, this might be different against a purely assault-based daemon force, but staring down two Soulgrinders and what I presumed would be some flamers, I figured I’d let him “go first,” even if it meant that I wasted my first turn.
I chose the SE corner of the board because of a lack of cover in that area. Figuring that he’d have to drop his assault based models near me, I didn’t want to give him any better cover saves (or anything to hide behind). By the way, this is a good point to mention that my grasp of direction in fictitious worlds , so rather than try to figure out which way “North” is, I will always assume that I deploy on the South side of the map.
Likewise, with his daemonic force, he didn’t deploy any models either—preferring to arrive via daemonic assault in his first turn. Sure, the rules require him to do it, but anyone that plays daemons that much, must really like it, right?
Turn 1: Marines
Yeah, not much going on at this point… Since nothing changed, I won’t even dignify it with a picture…
Kill Points: 0 to 0
Turn 1: Daemons
After seperating his force into two nearly identical detachments, Sir Charles™ wound up rolling the force that he didn’t. Realistically, I don’t think that made all that much of a difference, because both halves had 5x bloodletters, 5x horrors, 1x Soulgrinder (though they had different guns). The real difference was that his preferred army had The Blue Scribes, but the gods of Chaos are fickle, so he’d have to stop by at a later time…
Kill Points: 0 to 0
Turn 2: Marines
Rolling up reserves, my speeders show up, and nothing else. Funny how my fast scouting vehicles show up first, eh? I debated putting them in on the far side, forcing him to come towards them, and stretching his army out. That really might have been my better play. I was dropping in a few heavy bolters, and he really had very little long range weaponry to trade with me. Ultimately though, bunches of infantry was too hard for me to resist with my scouts and their landspeeder storm, so I struck at the center of his army. After flaming two horrors, and dropping two bloodletters, my scouts lost their gumption and retreated to what I thought would be the cover of the nearby hill.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad first—er… sercond—turn, but it wasn’t anything stellar either.
Kill Points: 0 to 0
Turn 2: Daemons
The other Soulgrinder and The Blue Scribes dropped in to what turned out to be a completely unremarkable turn of shooting. I don’t believe he caused a single wound with any of his models in that phase.
Oh wait, that’s a lie: his horrors shot at my scouts, and they just barely avoided being in cover. S4 AP4 guns vs. scouts = no good. Three scouts left, and then came the bloodletters. In combat, the scouts killed a letter since they were in cover (should’ve been more, but I rolled snake-eyes for powerfist wounds), and then were quietly added as the first kill points of the game for the daemons.
Meanwhile, the nearby Soulgrinder charged my landspeeder storm, and didn’t manage to hit it at all…
Kill Points: 0 to 1
Turn 3: Marines
After seeing the horrors of the warp spawn on top of the speeders, my captain seemed to call off the bike squad and tactical reinforcements. I crapped out on both reserve rolls, so the speeders would have to go it alone for another turn…
The storm (which is quickly becoming one of my favorite marine vehicles, by the way) leapfrogged over the daemonic engine, and put himself in a perfect position to flame all 6 daemons, and the Soulgrinder’s rear armor. The end result was 2 dead horrors & 2 dead letters (no damage to the tank though). Meanwhile, the other two speeders backed off, and opened up on the Blue Scribes.
Charles uses demons in a completely different way than I have in the past: he didn’t have a single Nurgle model in his entire force! It was at that point I realized that I don’t believe I’ve read through their codex at all. Because of this, I had him summarize the rules for each of his units before the game. Bluescribes, being an HQ of modest statline and tons of special abilities, seemed to be a great target for 6 heavy bolter shots—only one of which he saved. I’m half-heartedly saddened by his passing, because I did want to see what kind of horror he could inflict but, at the same time, I didn’t want those horrors inflicted on me…
Kill Points: 1 to 1
Turn 3: Daemons
Another group of horrors dropped in (this time farther away from the rest of the battle), and between them, they shot down the Storm. The soulgrinders tag-teamed my two speeders, felling the first with a shot from the western grinder and the 2nd in hand to hand. Since he’d killed everything I had on the board, he had nothing to do but to pass the dice on to me…
Kill Points: 1 to 3
Turn 4: Marines
The rest of my army came out to play. Again, I toyed with the idea of bringing in my reserves as far away from the grinders as possible (figuring I could take at least one of them completely out of the battle that way), but I was wary of my ability to pull out at least another 3 kill points without giving any more up with that strategy. If only my speeders had lived one more turn to hop behind the safety of the hill, I’d have done it. Instead, I chose to put my faith in the might of meltas.
The bike squad pulled up and encircled the back of the nearby grinder (coincidentally, this is the one with the curiously leman russ sized battle cannon sticking out of its mouth). Two melta shots later into his tookus, he was no more—but he did manage to take a stray biker out in the ensuing explosion.
Meanwhile, the tactical squad pulled up in its rhino, and dropped the last horror of squad #1. The rhino plinked at the lone bloodletter as well, but he managed to make his save. Again, I toyed with splitting the tactical squad into combat squads, but being a KP mission, I thought better of it. In hind sight, this decision might have been what won me the game.
Kill Points: 3 to 3
Turn 4: Daemons
The last unit of blood letters needed a 2+ to arrive this turn. Let’s just say that the dice weren’t terribly happy with Charles… at this point. Oh well, there’s always turn 5!
Ok, so I forgot that Soulgrinders have fleet, and that led to him charging my tactical squad. Yeah, I know this is where I get mocked and everyone tells me that I should have a fist on the leader, but that’s really not my style. I tend not to upgrade my sergeants for fluff reasons. Back in 2nd (and even 3rd) edition, squads were lead by a sarge, and you had to upgrade to a veteran sarge to get equipment from the armory. Though it was quite popular to do so, it didn’t seem fluffy to me that every squad seemed to always be lead by a veteran, so I tend to go rather plain Jane with them. By the end of the turn, two less marines were standing, but they refused to run.
Meanwhile, the lone bloodletter charged my bikers and managed to a whopping 0 wounds. He wouldn’t live to make that mistake again. 100 more years in the warp with you!
Kill Points: 4 to 3
Turn 5: Marines
The bikers shot & charged the other horror squad, but it wasn’t until the last unsaved wound of assault was caused that the unit was killed.
More carnage on the tactical front—but not so much as to break their spirit. Maybe if he’d been fighting some lesser marine chapter, we’d have turned tail and run by this point, but not the Varsity squad. I mean, c’mon. We’re frickin’ BLOO!
Kill Points: 5 to 3
Turn 5: Daemons
The last of the letters came on, but deepstriked off the table. On the mishap table, I got to put them wherever I wanted. In the spirit of bloodshed, I put them about 9” away from the bikers… right out in the open.
On the other front, the Soulgrinder punked another marine, but thanks to the mandatory veteran sarge upgrades in 5th edition, my men stood fast.
Kill Points: 5 to 3
Turn 6: Marines
Twin-linked bolters turn out to be better than melta weapons for dispatching most daemons. Who’d have thunk? Well, they proved themselves pretty handy at this point, taking out the last squad of letters—leaving only the big nasty in play.
Who, coincidentally, managed to only kill a couple of marines. In response, they taunted him a second time.
Kill Points: 6 to 3
Turn 6: Daemons
The game ended on a die-roll of a 2, but not before the tactical squad finally broke, and fearless made their additional armor saves. Go BLOO!
Kill Points: 6 to 3
What I Learned:
- ATSKNF rocks. For some reason, I thought marines could be cut down in a sweeping advance, like every other race in the game, but apparently they’re stalwart enough to stand toe-to-toe with the nastiest entities in the Warp (and live to tell about it)!
- Daemons have a lot of good units I’ve never really looked into. Flamers and Screamers (melta bombs on daemons!?!) seem pretty sweet to me. And then there’s always Fateweaver. Could it be that Tzeentch isn’t as gimpy as I thought?
- It’s getting to be a cliché, but Charles was a cool opponent. Since he won the big tourney last year, and some people were hyping him up to be undefeatable, I was a little worried that he’d be kinda putzy, but he was awesome. Happy to play him again anytime.
- Just because you can put scouts in a landspeeder storm, it doesn’t mean they have to get out. Unloading them near the demons and then pansying out wasn’t a good play. I need to either commit them, or not. No halfsies….