When Six-Deucer and I arrived at Olympic Cards and Comics (OCC) for our 1500 point Thursday Throw-Down, we were treated to an unexpected surprise that Chappy had laboriously prepared for the both of us! Using the awesome tables and terrain available at OCC (thanks Gabby!), Chappy had created a table with lots of difficult and dangerous terrain. He had painstakingly populated the table terrain in such a way that neither side held any real advantage over the other.
Warning: My Blood Angels models are not completely assembled, nor are they painted. If that breaks your heart (or your eyes), you may want to stop reading here. I'm working to complete and paint them as fast as I can.
Six and I had agreed last week that the first game we were going to play would be the one scenario type that we had yet to experience: Seize Ground. Based on that fact, and the knowledge I had acquired due to last week's games, I had created a troop heavy list that I hoped would give me an edge in this scenario. Now, here is where Six and I differed. Six created a list to test new units' and unit combinations'. My list had a slight competitive edge due to his force choices, however I knew that Six's ability to tailor and apply tactics to suit his strategy could more than make up for any potential or perceived deficit in his list- Six competes to win, regardless of the odds set before him. Following is my list (Note that I had failed to properly decrease the number of troops in each assault squad, and subsequently failed to catch that discrepancy before our throw-down). So, although I fielded each assault squad as a five man unit, I had actually paid for three six-man assault squads in my force list!
1500 Blood Angels List:
- HQ: (1) Librarian w/ Shield of Sanguinius (SoS), and Blood Lance (BL)
- HQ: (1) Honor Guard with Sanguiniary Novitiate, one marine with melta gun and power fist, one marine with melta gun, and one marine equipped with a flamer. Rhino transport.
- Elite: (2) Sanguinary Priests each equipped with (1) lightning claw, and (1) combi-melta
- Troop(s): (3) five-man assault squads, each with one marine equipped with a melta gun, and a sergeant equipped with hand flamer, and power fist. Each squad purchased a Rhino transport in exchange for jump packs.
- Fast Attack: (2) Baal Predators with Twin-Linked Assault Cannons (TL-AssCan)..."opening a can of ass".
- Heavy Support: (2) Predator(s), each with a Auto Cannon (AC) turret and Las Cannon (LC) sponsons.
So, I ditched Razorback transports due to their higher point cost (when fitted with a weapon), and their lack of a firing point in favor of Rhinos (mobile weapons platforms) which would allow my squads' to shoot their melta guns or flamer pistols with relative impunity from weapons and weapon effects that potentially deny my marines cover or armor saves. My Baal Predators, each armed with a TL AssCan, would prove to be useful against Six's infantry unit(s) with enough teeth to sink into his lightly armored meq. My Predator tanks, armed with lascannon sponsons,would provide an adequate solution to anything with an Armor Value (AV) over 12...and let me tell you, imagine my surprise when Six dropped a Land Raider on the table (proxied by a Forge World Macharius Vulcan chassis). I was really excited to test the Honor Guard unit, and I gave them their own Rhino transport, two melta guns' and a flamer. A list I had hoped would prove to be very fast and agile- getting my troops to their target destination, where my assault squads could ply their deadly trade. I had every intention of closing the distance to Six's forces as early as possible, this time around. Just to be clear, my first mistake of the night occurred when I failed to decrement my assault squads in Army Builder before saving this particular list, shorting myself three assault marines (or 54 points).
|Jim Morrison has nothing on THAT Rhino.|
|Circled in red are the four objectives Six and I would battle for. Perhaps they represented some lost Terran technology, or long lost holy text from the Emperor himself...or maybe even four latte stands- who knows!|
Six set up his two Medusa tanks on his left table edge behind a nice big piece of impassable terrain, while his Chimera and Land Raider held his right table edge. Six placed both of his Vendettas in reserve, with the intention to outflank both.
As you can see, I scout-moved my Baal Predators toward Six's Medusa line.
|For the record, my Baal Preds were NOT equipped with heavy flamer sponsons- I made sure Six was aware of this and never used or attempted to use them in this game, or subsequent games (my second mistake of the night being that I attached the weapons in the first place).|
|Two of my Rhino transports (one carrying my Librarian HQ) parked in the location occupied by my Baal Predators in the above picture taken during my scout move.|
|May the Emperor Protect! Look brothers, a latte stand in sight! Of course no one noticed the Chimera hiding in the corner...|
At this point, Six moved his Inquisitor Lord out of the Land Raider, so that he could move his Psyker Battle Squad into the Land Raider. (under the assumption that the PBS would be able to use psychic shooting attacks from within the Land Raider. Six was not aware that the Land Raider lacked a fire point, and psychic shooting attacks were treated and resolved as normal shooting attacks (line of sight) unless otherwise stated in the codex rules. At the bottom of turn two, Six would be left deflated with that realization, because it completely negated the strategy he had hoped to employ with this combination of units). Six's Land Raider wrecked one of my Predator tanks (and stunned my Honor Guard's Rhino)- ouch! Six's Chimera may have also had a part in that carnage- I can't quite recall.
I began turn two by adjusting the position of my Baal Predators to better target Six's Medusas', with the hope that in my shooting phase I could destroy them, and neutralize a threat to the rest of my army spread over the battlefield.
My Baal Predators managed to shake both Medusa tanks a second turn. Fortune blessed the Blood Angels, sparing them another turn of deadly ordinance from those Medusa tanks!
Six failed to successfully bring in both of his Vendettas' and his assassin- a serious boon for me. It was in this portion of turn two that Six realized he couldn't use a psychic shooting attack from within his Land Raider. I don't recall exactly what happened in Six's shooting phase- his Land Raider failed to destroy any of my vehicles, and his Chimera failed to do anything memorable. Fate is fickle, and at this point in the game I literally looked over my shoulder to make sure she wasn't behind me with a billy-club!
At the top of turn three I moved the Rhino located at my left, in difficult terrain closer to the objective that Six's Land Raider was positioned over. If I remember correctly, I was unable to move my Honor Guard's Rhino, nor was my Librarian's Rhino able to move. My Librarian chose to gamble, remaining in the Rhino transport in the hopes that he could summon a blood lance against the mighty Land Raider mere kilometers away from his position. Finally, the assault squad assigned to hold the two objectives located on my side of the gaming table disembarked from their transport, and dug in to cover, heeding their commander's warning. Vendettas' were closing in and would be upon them at any time! During my shooting phase, my Baal Predators managed to destroy one of the Medusa's primary weapon, while shaking the other- silent for another turn! My Librarian failed to successfully summon the Blood Lance, while the melta fire I dedicated to the Land Raider, merely tickled it' thick armor.
|A Vendetta looms onto the battlefield promising swift death to It's foes!|
Six successfully rolled in both of his Vendettas, and his assassin! One Vendetta outflanked on my right, while Six's second Vendetta outflanked to my left. Six chose to enter both Vendettas onto the table where the short edge meets my assigned long edge, then Six
In my fourth movement phase I immediately focused on getting my surviving Baal Predator into cover. It was a difficult choice (selecting to focus fire on the Medusa, rather than Six's Vendetta), however, I chose to focus my Baal Predator on Six's Medusa a fourth time. I believe this was the third mistake I made in this game. In retrospect, Six's Vendetta, filled with scoring troops, and bristling with TL LCs' posed a much bigger threat than an ordnance 1 pie-plate with 36 inch range. The Medusa's front armor matched the Vendetta's side and front armor- both equally challenging to crack. I moved my Baal Predator towards the Medusa, butting- up it's rear armor to the wreckage that was once my second Baal Predator.
My Librarian had sensed a psychic disturbance emanating from within the Land Raider, and his suspicions had been validated when Six had disembarked his Psyker squad from the Land Raider in the previous turn! My Librarian ordered his assault squad out of the immobilized Rhino transport. Pointing toward the Psyker battle squad, he pronounced them "unclean mutants" and his fellow Blood Angels hollered in ascent. The din of the battlefield faded, as my Librarian and his assault squad focused solely on the mutant human psykers- they had to be put down!
|"Burn the heretics'!"|
In my shooting phase, my Baal Predator managed to destroy the Medusa's siege cannon- negating the threat to the rest of my troops on the field. My Librarian failed to summon a Blood Lance, again, to hurl toward the Psyker battle squad! Man, I had the worst luck with my Librarian in this game (and the subsequent game we played). My assault squad fired a melta into the throng of psykers, while the squad's sergeant engulfed the psykers' in flame using his hand flamer. My Predator, stunned in turn three, could only look on as the battle unfolded. My Honor Guard focused their melta shots at Six's second Vendetta, successfully wrecking the skimmer, and forcing his second unit of veterans to disembark!
|The honor of the Blood Angels has been upheld once again!|
Six moved his stranded veteran squad around a large embankment (and out of sight of my Honor Guard's dreadful gaze).
|"Run to the hills; run for your life!"|
At the top of turn five, my broken assault squad continued running away from the fight, while my Honor Guard's Rhino transport turned tail and moved 12 inches toward Six's Chimera. My Honor Guard then disembarked, melta guns pointed right at the Chimera. The immobilized Rhino transport, located behind the Honor Guard's current position, disgorged an assault squad that moved towards Six's assassin. Nothing short of vengeance would sate them after the violent loss of their Librarian commander! On the other side of the battlefield, my Rhino moved into cover, successfully contesting my second objective marker closest to Six's surviving Vendetta! My Predator, once again able to move, backed up out of assault range of Six's Assassin; better to leave her for the foot-sloggers, for there was a Land Raider that needed to be put down (in all honesty, I didn't want to risk an attempted tank shock on her, giving her the opportunity to perform a successful "death or glory" on my Predator)! In my shooting phase, I believe that my Honor Guard wrecked Six's Chimera forcing his Inquisitor Lord and retinue out of the failed transport, while my
The bottom of turn five saw Six move his first veteran squad towards my Predator, while his surviving Vendetta disgorged his second veteran squad over the objective marker contested by my Rhino transport. Six's Inquisitor Lord assailed my Honor Guard, to no avail. His surviving Vendetta pumped TL-LC fire into my second surviving assault squad, who were hunkered down into cover. One marine succumbed to the powerful attack, but the squad, accompanied by a Sanguiniary Priest, mustered on.
The end of turn five saw my Blood Angels in control of one latte stand, while my Honor Guard and Rhino Transport contested two others. Six, on the other hand, managed to contest one latte stand with his Land Raider, while his veteran squad was in control of . His Inquisitor and retinue were not close enough to the latte stand that my Honor Guard were contesting...now all that was left was to roll for a turn six- would the game continue or end? We rolled, and the game continued!
At the top of turn six, I took a huge risk and attempted to tank shock Six's veteran squad adjacent to his surviving Vendetta with my Rhino Transport. At the same time, I was going to attempt to ram the Vendetta with my Rhino. I failed on both accounts, and the Rhino stalled harmlessly in front of his veteran squad. Now for my fourth mistake in this game: I moved the assault squad that had successfully bested Six's assassin in turn five, toward his immobilized Land Raider.
|The Honor Guard order a refreshing caffeinated drink after a long-fought battle!|
|Wrong way, Corrigan, thats not Long Beach!|
At the end of turn six, Six and I both controlled one objective marker. Six managed to contest a second objective with his Land Raider, while I contested a second objective with my Honor Guard. We rolled a dice to see if the game would continue into turn 7, but instead it ended in a draw!
In the future, I will not only remember which of my units are scoring units, but I will use each unit to it's peak effectiveness until the end of the game! I mean, if this game had been an actual competition, I would have screwed myself out of some important points! My tactical choices improved in comparison to my performance the week prior, however, I didn't stick to my strategy (securing as many objectives with scoring units as possible) and therefore earned a draw instead of a win. Deviating from your strategy is huge, and I will not make that mistake again! I really liked the way that this list performed: The Rhinos were highly mobile, and allowed me to utilize my melta weapons without exposing my troops. My Baal Predators did a great job at neutralizing Six's Medusas'. In fact, I scored more rending results than I had anticipated, which made me reconsider the effectiveness of the Baal Pred. I was less impressed with my Predators'; choosing the lascannon sponson in favor of the TL LC turret saves points that can be allocated elsewhere in my list, but lacking that re-roll seemed big to me. More than once, I failed to hit with those lascannons! Likewise, I didn't hit much with the authocannon turret, but perhaps that was just dumb luck? I don't expect much when targeting an AV14 vehicle such as the Land Raider, but even against AV12, it performed paltry at best. Two priests may have been over-kill for this list. I mean, had I really needed a second FC/FNP bubble, I could have utilized my Honor Guard a little more creatively, and allocated that 75 points elsewhere. Failing to proof my list also cost me 54 points, or three marines, for this game. I will make sure that my list is finalized before committing to it in the future. In the end, I learned quite a few lessons this session, and I feel much more confident with the Blood Angels in a week's time. I gave Six a run for his money- definitely something I was shooting for! I will let Six add his thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
The best part about this Thursday Throw-Down was meeting a bunch of cool guys that play 40K, including Joseph, who hung with Six and I most of the night and helped us wade through rule questions while he watched our games. Likewise, Chappy dropped in and we got to thank him personally for setting up our table. Chappy was really cool, and he invited us to his Tuesday paint sessions that he hosts, free of charge, at Olympic Cards and Comics (OCC)! In fact, Chappy actually paints for hire- if you have a commission that needs a professional paint job, check out Stiff Neck Studio! Stiff Neck Studio is owned by Wes, and Chappy is one of his painters- they're really good! It took me a couple days to compile this blog entry because I didn't take notes or record audio notes during the actual game session. Next week, if I don't record the bat-rep outright, I'll make notes for reference so that I can kick these bat-reps out at a faster pace!
Over the course of writing this bat-rep I changed a lot of dirty diapers and lost a lot of sleep, lol! There are a few grammatical and spelling errors as a result.