Saturday, November 6, 2010

Conclusion: Thursday Throw-Down 11/04/10

"All along the watch tower..."
Last night Six and I met up at Olympic Cards and Comics for our usual Thursday Throw-Down. We were joined by my friend, Reknyard, who is also learning fifth edition rules. Later, Jancoran showed up, and Chappy dropped in (stealing away from family night)! The last couple of weeks, Six and I have been practicing with 1000 point lists in anticipation of the teams tournament, the "40K Bits Bash" slated for November 20th.

Last Thursday, my Blood Angels received a thorough ass-pounding at the hands of Chappy's force. The experience made me aware of my list's shortcomings. Chappy and Purgatus had suggested a couple of lists that were very different from one another. I decided to field each of these lists with minor tweaks/changes.

My first game I played against Six, each of us fielding a 1,000 point force, proved beneficial, as it let me experience first hand what he would potentially be fielding against our opponents'. For this game, I used the list that Purgatus had suggested. The game called for objectives and we determined there were three total with a Dawn of War deployment. I don't care for Dawn of War deployment, you lose a whole turn and are only allowed to field up to two troop choices and an HQ...with night fighting rules in that first turn. I won the roll to go first, and Six failed to seize initiative. Following is my BA list:

  • HQ: Librarian Shield of Sanguinius, and Sanguine Sword
  • Elite: Sanguinary Priest Melta Bombs
  • Troops: (3) Five-man Assault Squad(s); each with (1) melta gun, Each with a Sgt armed with (3) Infernus Pistols, (2) Power Weapons, and (1) Power fist, and (2) Melta Bombs. Each squad received a Razorback Transport armed with a Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer (TL HF).
  • (The two sergeants armed with power weapons were allocated the melta bombs).
  • Fast Attack: (3) Baal Predator(s) armed with Twin-Linked Assault Cannon(s) (TL ASSC)

My Librarian and Assault Squad pushed deep into Six's board edge. This forced his subsequent units to focus on them rather than the two objective markers on my side of the board!
I set up with one assault squad in a Razorback with my Librarian attached. Six brought out a Vendetta crammed full with a vet squad. The game was fierce, my biggest mistake of the game was bunching up two of my Razor transports behind two of my Baal Predators disregarding Six's Manticore!
Smoke was the only thing that spared me losing both Baal Preds and Razorback transports!

The thing fires 1D3 strength 10 barrage templates! It was a fateful lesson, Six landed the maximum amount of barrages on turn 2 striking all four tanks resulting in a wrecked Baal, and stunned/shaken results for two of three remaining. I managed to spread two of my three assault squads over the objective markers closest to my table edge. Over the course of our game, both squads were reduced to one marine each: A space marine equipped with a melta, and a space marine sergeant respectively. Six managed to successfully contest one of those two objectives, and sieze the third with one of his veteran troop units. Those vets really did survive the gauntlet; rallying about 2 inches from his table edge after failing a morale test, the unit managed to stand on top of the third objective marker by turn six. So, with each of us in control of one objective, and a third being contested, the game ended in a draw for the both of us!

Our first game was so close, and so competitive that Reknyard was elated to run home and grab his Space Wolves. He didn't have a 1,000 point list, but Six and I were having so much fun he didn't want to be left out of game two! Jancoran had brought his Tau army, and happily paired his 2,000 point list down to 1,000 points in order to pair up with Rekn. So for our second game of the night, Six and I would team up our lists. After some "humming and hawing" I decided to run the second 1,000 point Blood Angel list I had brought with me. This list was a little more troop heavy, limiting the amount of mech. I mixed a combination of assault marines in Rhino transports with one assault squad equipped with jump packs. This was a list inspired by Chappy's suggestions based on the force I had fielded the week before:
  • HQ: Librarian Shield of Sanguinius, and Sanguine Sword
  • Elite: Sanguinary Priest with Combi-Melta, Lightning Claw
  • Troop: (10) Assault Squad with (2) melta guns, Sergeant with (1) hand flamer and (1) Power Fist in a Rhino transport
  • Troop: (5) Assault Squad with (1) melta gun, Sergeant with (1) hand flamer and (1) Power Fist in a Rhino transport
  • Troop: (5) Assault Squad with (1) melta gun, Sergeant with (1) hand flamer and (1) Power Fist, jump pack(s).
  • Fast Attack: Baal Predator with TL ASSC, and Heavy Bolter sponsons
  • Fast Attack: Baal Predator with Flame Storm cannon
Six and I won first turn, so we set up our side of the table. The game was capture and control (each team would place one objective); I set up my Rhino transports behind my Baal Predators on a stretch of road to ensure my armor would obtain that extra six inches of travel. My Baal Predators scout-moved pushing toward Rekn's Space Wolves: Three empty Razorback transports and a unit of Long Fangs with missile launchers. Jancoran had placed two snipers on opposing sides of his board edge, with great field of view! I knew that my Baals wouldn't take any first turn shots due to the fact that Six's two Vendettas started on the table; I've written about my lesson(s) in not making Vendettas' priority number one. The game was furious! Jancoran is a great and patient teacher, but, he took off the kid gloves and really put our forces to the test. He also assisted Rekn with his Space Wolves, which proved very formidable. I took the chance and assaulted Rekn's Grey Hunters, to get an idea of what assaults are like against the Sons of Russ. They are just as formidable on the table as they are on paper: without my Priest's chalice providing Feel No Pain (FNP), and Furious Charge (FC), my 5-man assault squads would have been lost.
My squad equipped with jump packs proved a great harassing force. Due to my choice of placement during their successful deep strike, they had to suffer a round of shots without cover saves. Three of the five survived to assault in the following turn, however, next time I'll follow my gut and drop them in cover and chance the terrain test. I never had the opportunity to unleash my Baal's Flame Storm on Rekn's space marines, it did manage to put the hurt on one of his Razorback transports. By the time that the "crew shaken" result had expired (and Rekn's Space Wolves were on the table from reserves), Olympic Cards and Comics was closing, so we had to call the game and pack up.

I really liked the troop amount in my second list. Leaving Six with ranged combat duty, and focusing solely on close range and assault combat, really demonstrated to me Blood Angel's strengths as an army. I was impressed with the flame storm cannon, but, I'm still hesitant taking two. I like having at least one Baal pumping four strength 6 rending shots, twin-linked at my opponent(s). I really enjoyed the twin-linked heavy flamers selection for Razorbacks in the first list. They were free, but proved to be an excellent harassment tool against Six's Imperial Guard. I wasn't impressed with the hand flamers' that I assigned to my assault sergeants. I did, however, like the Infernus pistols. Their relative cost is prohibitive, but having that extra strength 8 AP1 shot added to the assault squad's melta gun means that usually at least one of the shots' are getting through. I really liked the jump pack squad. Their ability to re-roll failed reserve rolls and scatter 1D6 less than normal deep strike units allowed me to insert them onto the table very aggressively. My priest never did get to use all of his shiny toys, and I am considering taking Purgatus' advice and stripping the priest of extras'. I really liked my Librarian's 3 (4 on the charge) strength 10 attacks thanks to Sanguine Sword- better than the Blood Lance. With Six pumping out so much ranged firepower, the Blood Lance really isn't necessary. I have to say that I'm still torn between the Sanguine Sword and Unleash Rage. Giving an entire unit preferred enemy for an assault round means more hits getting through...I'm going to test both powers to see which I prefer, personally. In the end, I walked away formulating a list that combined elements from both of these lists into a hybrid that I hope proves fun, and successful, next week.
This side of the board didn't see much action in game 1. Game 2 provided enough points on the table to rectify that!


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