Recently, I played a 2v2 battle of Space Marines & Blood Angels against Ultramarines & Orks. Actually, it wasn’t that recent: this game transpired way back in October (man, I need to get out more). Anywho, with three marine players, it would’ve seemed more appropriate to play 3 vs 1, but no matter how much I suggested it, our resident Ork player wouldn’t agree to 6000 points vs. 2000 points.
So, we diced off to see who would side with the Xenos, and I lost… er… I mean won. In the spirit of the Ultramarines, did reserve the right to shoot at my “team mate” if necessary–and that actually did come up during the game. With the teams decided (Myself and Jason vs. Tony and a new face… though I forget his name), we picked table edges and got down to business.
There was too much going on for me to give a true battle report, so I’ll just take some time to gloss over the highlights (focusing on anything I deemed worthy enough to take pictures of). Keep in mind that pictures in this post, like all posts on warhammer39999.com, are just thumbnails and can be enlarged by clicking on them.
We rolled up the mission “Dawn of War”, which only allowed a couple of units to be deployed. Our opponents really only put down a squad of scouts, which very quickly ended up lost in the rotors of Jason’s deffkoptas. Between their scout move and their normal movement, they closed the distance to enemy very quickly–but they lacked enough oompf to take out the adversaries in one round, so this fight lasted a while. A rules query came out of this part though. When making a consolidation move, can the koptas (skimmers) move off the edge of the building and “float” down to the ground level?
Now, I had chosen a force consisting of three drop pods (including an ironclad, a normal dread, and what I believe was a tactical squad–who chose to let it drop empty and instead deploy on the board). My first turn, I’d opted to drop my Ironclad and the empty pod, leaving the Dread with the multimelta in reserve. In hindsight, that was a less than stellar move, considering they only had two troops deployed on the board–which left me almost nothing to shoot at. Stupid “Dawn of War..” To further stupidify my first move, I dropped them and turned their backs to the enemy’s deployment zone. My mindset was to prevent their own deep strikers from thwarting my rear armor (had I bothered to look at their list, I’d have realized there was nothing to fear in that department…).
Each drop pod of mine was armed with deathwind launcher, and the first two also had telport homers (to help my Vanguard out). The rationale behind the deathwinds is that it’s only 20 points, and it actually turns the pod into a threat. In games that aren’t objective based (or for times when your pod is too far away from an objective to contest), player can all-too-often ignore the pods completely. Arming them with a large blast template forces them to either A) completely avoid it or B) deal with it in some fashion. I’ve had great success, and never have any problems recovering those 20 points…
My dreadnoughts didn’t manage to last long as they came down into melta-ville. Neither of them proved completely worthless (if only to suck up stray heavy-weapons fire). Ultimately, they didn’t do much for me in the game, but I’m still glad I took them. The definite MVP of the game was their humble transport options–but I’ll go into that more a bit later. This particular dread landed in about as bad a spot as possible, but when you take such a cheap option, the goal is typically to suicide him in order to destroy another juicy target. This one achieved that mission, and popped a Baal predator–to the rejoice of my green-skinned ally.
Speaking of green-skins, the mission wasn’t favoring Jason’s army at all. For deployment, he set his squads about halfway up the deployment zone so they could get a semblence of cover. Meanwhile, I deployed a scout sniper squad forward to cover their objective, and a tactical combat squad (with Las/plas) and one of two masters of the forge in prominently up front.
Why two masters of the forge? Well, because I had 200 points left to spend and no idea what to dump it on…
Anywho, between our deployments, and my pods, I quickly became the front-line force of the army. Silly Jason: didn’t he know that meatshields are supposed to go up front? Anywho, at least he had my back when the vanguard dropped down behind our lines. Of course, I also had a vindicator for that role…
The Ork general questioned the tactical acumen of my Ultramarines (as if!), and debated if plopping down a strength 10 template right in the middle of his force was really the best move for “the entire team.” After a while I managed to persuade him that we’re Ultramarines and we don’t miss…. Really, I was figuring in the worst case, I cleaned the galaxy of a few greenskins while I was at it, so what’s the harm.
Lucky for him, my aim was true. Better yet, a single marine failed his cover save, so the boyz still got their charge movement!
By this point in the game, our opponents were becoming a little disheartened. The entire game was happening in their backfield, thanks to some tactical choices (and sturdy armor 12). At this point, the battle was nearly decided, so they turned towards a moral victory.
My forward Omnissiah had forsaken the cover of the building and was advancing to fix the Ironclad (who had been immobolized during the first round of shooting and failed to do anything since). Tony just couldn’t let that happen, and turned every gun in his force to bear. Multi-melta after Multi-melta missed, or failed to wound. Naturally, the very last gun he had (coincidentally, another melta-weapon) managed to hit, and miraculously roll a 2+ to wound. 😦
In the end, we held our objective firmly with the rest of my combat squad, and the other Master of the Forge (who, along with a solid Vindicator round, and an unfortunate scatter into terrain) manage to fend off a squad of terminators who were getting dangerously close. Their objective had been placed towards the middle of the board, but was largely inaccessible to the bulk of their army due to the placement of my drop pods. Now, I’m going to claim that this was some great tactical plan on my part, but it wasn’t so–at least originally. Both the first two pods (the right most ones in this picture) were originally placed on their objective and deviated almost as far as possible. Once they started to block the roads, I did my best to position the rest of my units in such a way to complete the roadblock.
Final Outcome: We controlled two objectives, they contested zero. Victory!
What I Learned:
- Drop pods are fantastic. I don’t always use them in a marine army, but I’m always happy with them when I do. Most of the time I use them with my Ironclad–who seems to have a nasty habit of hurting himself on impact, but the pods always do well. Either they blow things up with their deathwinds–since nobody is afraid of a pod–or they do a good job of providing cover to the rest of my force.
- Vanguard aren’t bad. This was my second game with them (in the first, they didn’t survive to hit the table), though I did make a mistake on my placement when they did land. They multi-assaulted three seperate squads, but I foolishly placed both of my thunderhammers on the same unit, thereby nullifying their ability to wipe his force. Still, they did great, holding off three units and a captain for almost two full turns–killing more marines than I would’ve hoped.
- Masters of the Forge + Scout Snipers in cloaks is a nifty combo. I meant to take that one before, and even made a list for it, but that game never panned out, so I never saw them in action. Granted, my scouts never were really shot at, but a 2++ cover save is nothing to shake a stick at (especially when the squad has Telion and a Missile Launcher as well).