BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 2

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So after a delay due to travel, I was finally able to make it back into the gaming store (battle reports should be more regular for the forseeable future). I joined in the new 1850 pt. league - the first time that I've played at this points level.

THE CHALLENGER: Termagaaaaaaaaaaaunts!
1850 pts.

2x Tervagon
3 groups of 3x zoanthropes
2x big mob of termagaunts
2x tyrannofexes
Harpy

(he didn't have a printed army list, so I don't know what had which upgrades)

THE DEFENDER: Brown and white, take the fight.
1850 pts.

I used list 5-1850-a

Basically, it's the same as my 1500 except that you add al'rahem and a second power blob upgrade.

The deployment was pitched battle. The mission was a special league mission called "spirit shards", which was a modified version of kill points. Both players started out with 18 spirit shards that they had to distribute amongst their units (every unit must have had at least 1). When you kill that unit, the unit which killed the enemy unit claims that dead unit's spirit shards. For example, units A, B, and C, all have 1 shard apiece. Unit A wipes out unit B, giving unit A 2 shards, and unit C 1. Unit C then kills unit A, leaving unit C with 3 shards.

My opponent won the roll and elected to go second. At deployment, the field looked like this:

So, I didn't really have a strategy for this. My guess was to approach it like kill points. The difference was that I would throw a few cheaper units up front so that units that charged my popcorn would then get nailed by the rest of my army, thus taking advantage of the fact that shards pool. In my case, I have so many units that everyone basically got 1, while he had a lot of overlap, meaning that all his zoanthropes and monstrous creatures had 2.

TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 3 Ouros
Daxos Line

As is my usual custom, I began the day of the 3rd with study of the classics, followed by my morning constitutional. The sun alighted on our position most gaily and the spirit of the troops was high. I took my time that morning in survey of our greater position. The ground our brave men occupied had shown signs of much combat in the past. Ruins of an imperial fort, and of some sort of eldar sorcery could be found, now greatly overgrown by a variety of local florae. Much of the aforementioned suffered from charring (with many trees stripped of foliage), indicating that more recent action had occurred in the area. After sparing a few moments to take some sketches for the naturalist society back home, I rejoined my troops.

As the early afternoon came upon us, the sky began to overcast. It was at this time that I was made informed of the nature, most dire, of our position. It appeared that the rascal of a tyranid force had surrounded much of our positions, and that my line was personally dedicated to hold one of the flanks against any probing actions. As reinforcements would not be in coming, force conservation was of the utmost importance.

It was not long before one such probing attack came straight at my personal group. I aroused my men with short blasts of whistle: the sprightly tones alerting the eager boys into position, licking for a fight.

The game begins with me consolidating my position in slightly to the right. I had spread my troops out with the intention of getting him to spread his forces out. As this had succeeded (perhaps not a good thing), it was time to hide my leftmost squad behind a wall.

Shooting began with my basilisk near-missing his zoanthropes on the left. The one shot pattered off an invul save. My left manticore got two shots off, but also scattered, managing to down a couple of termagaunts. The manticore on the right got one shot off, and also scattered off the right side zoanthropes taking a few termagaunts with it. The mortars likewise put forth a lackluster performance.

After this point, the field looked like this:

His turn begins with a massed charge of everything but the tervagons. Both tervagons put out 11 gaunts apiece.

The thing with these new termagaunts is that they don't have spirit shards when they come out, making them still highly dangerous, but without the benefit of me getting points for killing them.

My opponent's shooting is likewise pretty lackluster, and the wise use of "incoming!" prevented a few casualties.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Now that it had become obvious to me that the enemy was most committed to it's attack on my position, I turned to my astropath and called for reinforcements. With great strain, he began his radiophonic psychotelecommunication. We all got quite the start when he gurgled up blood which effused from him quite gingerly, such as sparkling wine, recklessly shaken, and then uncorked.

His powers, however were to the utmost of effect. Not longer had I called my reinforcements in than they arrived in a most ingenious of outflanking maneuvers.

Meanwhile, upon not only the arrival of their comrades, but upon the further polite fire of my artillery, the men could not help but give a great cheer. The forces of Folera on the march! O to be alive!

I roll for reserves for my 1st squad with Al Rahem. The number is too low. Then the astropath bumps it up by 1, and magically they're ready after all. I roll for what side they arrive on and, disastrously, they come in from the left. Then the astropath worked his magic, and suddenly I was able to choose which side to bring them in on. This guy rules!

Shooting began with my outflanking horde. My plasma guns unload on his tervigon and, unfortunately, loses 2 to burns while doing no wounds to the MC. The meltagun SWS is at least able to ping it. At this point, I learn that they have SIX wounds! Meanwhile, the flanking blob's flamer does some very, very unkind things to his termagaunts, and he even loses a couple to pistol fire.

Meanwhile, my artillery opens up again. I start with a very dangerously close basilisk shot on his termagaunts just further away from my newly-arrived blob squad. I place the blast as far away from my men as is possible. The shot scatters... directly towards my troops... 8"... Thankfully, I had placed the blast marker far, far away and so I didn't actually hit any of my own troops. Unfortunately for my opponent, this meant the blast covered two zoanthropes and a lot of termagaunts. Both zoanthropes fail their invul saves, and his tervagon termagaunts are basically wiped out. On the other side of the board, my manticores pump 5 shots out onto the left side of the board. Several hits on the zoanthropes, and several more hits on termagaunts. The zoanthropes pass a few of their invul saves, but with 4 or 5 S10 hits on them, a couple fall, including a bag of termagaunts. Even my mortars are effective, scoring hits on termagaunts across the field.

Then comes assault. While Al Rahem was out of range of the remaining zoanthrope, my giant power blob crashes into his gaunts:

He succeeds with his countercharge test, and his I4 baddies rip into my men, causing some casualties (I made a lot of armor saves, though). Then came my 12 rerollable power weapon attacks all of which, after the rerolls, hit. Throwing on the rest of my attacks, I tore through the squad like kleenex in a snot party.

I was greatly pleased to hear that the flanking maneuver had performed exemplary. Surely this shows how men of valor and men of superior station in life are able to synergize to the effect of victory on the field. After their most vigorous charge, my forces continued on, unabated, storming up the field, eager to get their hands on even more of the enemy. Men of such zeal and lust for glorious combat, I dare say, have never before been seen on the field of battle.

Now that there's enough blood... ichor? on my hands, the turn ends.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, his big and scary continues to approach. His left-side tervagon spits out 10 more gaunts, while his right side one spits out 15, but rolls doubles for the shutdown.

In shooting, his several scary dakka-ful bugs are now in range. Inferno cannons and thunderfire cannons (or, well, their equivalent) start finding targets, and I start taking my first real casualties of the game.

Meanwhile, his suddenly-15-termagaunts unload with their stormbolters on my exposed power blob. After a great deal of carnage, they charge in.

Thankfully, he does a pretty crappy job with his attacks, and I do pretty well with my saves. 11 power weapon attacks, in turn, turn several gaunts into gore, tying the combat.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

I had been slightly scooting my dudes backwards to make sure that I wasn't on the recieving end of a tyranid charge, but now that his forces were upon me, I basically had two choices. Either I could continue to coil the spring, or I could lunge out and attack. Coiling would caused me to become even more clustered in the face of template and blast weapons of both sizes, while attacking would leave me just as vulnerable and would pool spirit shards right in front of him.

As Frederick the Great said "In all things, audacity".

In shooting, I managed to fail both "bring it downs" on all of my meltaguns that I brought up to kill his harpy (the 8 shots did manage to take a couple wounds off regardless). Likewise, I think my orders failed everywhere else. I guess my officers were just too excited to speak clearly. My manticores got off two shots apiece on the zoanthrope on the left. While I got a lot of hits, he unfortunately passed all 3 invul saves. At least one of the blasts cleared off some termagaunts, helped with the surviving mortar squad.

The hot swirl of the melee was upon us. I made the bold decision to set loose my dogs of war like canine on so many scraps of meat and bone discarded from the dinner table. With a sharp blast of my whistle, my troops advanced keenly into the fray. A general assault!

So yeah, I went for broke and basically charged everything that could charge. On the left, my power blob took down 2 termagaunts, with the third failing his fearless check and getting run over. The power blob also got all of its rerollable power weapon attacks on the now-2-wound harpy, who was killed twice over by a flurry of angry blows.

On the right, my squad that had flamered his first free termagaunt squad charged in and easily dispatched the few remainders, even without a power weapon. Meanwhile the fight between power blob #1 and right side free termagaunt squad #2 continued. Without the benefit of the charge, his termagaunt's effectiveness dropped greatly. My power weapons, however, were just as effective as before. This time, he lost a few models to fearless over run.

Finally, there was Al Rahem, charging in with his super monstrous creature killer weapon. Unfortunately, his whole squad flubbed all of their attacks. His Zoanthrope managed to kill one. I lost combat, and failed my morale check. His zoanthrope caught the whole squad in a sweeping advance...

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he consolidates his forces, and moves up to enact angry, angry vengeance on power blob #2. His left Tervagon pops out 12 more termagaunts, which are able to get into range against the blob. This... is going to hurt...

In shooting, he unloads on my power blob in the center with 4 zoanthropes, a tyrranofex and something like two dozen termagaunt twin linked storm bolters. Thankfully, I had made sure to spread my troops out as much as my crappy consolidation would allow. Flamer hits and small blasts took casualties from the front, leaving some termagaunts out of range. A couple of rosarius saves and gallons of blood later, the center blob was reduced to just the priest and the commissar.

Meanwhile, his zoanthrope did some unkind things to one of my meltagun squads, and his tyrranofex killed all but one dude in my right hand squad (he broke and ran, not showed in the upcoming picture). Despite all the carnage, my commissar keeps his cool, and his priest is allowed to miss out on summary execution for now...

On the bright side, my other power blob killed even more termagaunts, with even more going down to fearlesness. Unfortunately, he's still left with one model, so I'm not able to charge next turn.


TURN 4

I could not but stand in awe of the incredible forbearance shown by my soldiers. Such a sight nearly brought me to weep with pride. After a horrific encounter with enemy forces, they wavered not a bit, but were able to withdraw in proper order.

Having thus proven ourselves on the field of battle, I saw it fit to disengage. The order to conserve forces impressed upon me the need for an orderly withdraw. If only I would have had the chance to attack one of the monstrosities personally, no doubt would I have been able to dispatch it with great ease. Unfortunately, the demands of the mission must come before any attempt to prove personal valor. With great ingenuity, I called for other forces of my line to set up an ambush behind our position to clear away the remaining forces that had been blunted by our smart advance. More effusions from the astropath ensued.

At this point, I'm ahead 21-15 with spirit shards, and he's getting close with his high strength, high wounds baddies followed by an unstoppable respawning mass of infantry. I figure that now would be a good time to hide and consolidate.

I move everything that I can behind cover, which is reinforced with successful "go go go" orders all around.

In shooting, my manticores put on a brilliant display with their last volley, getting in 6 shots, with both of the leading shots as "hits". Taking 4 more invul saves, his left side zoanthrope FINALLY fails an invul save, giving the manticore on the right 3 spirit shards. Some termagaunts are also taken down in the mix, aided by more mortar fire.

On the right, I finally finish off his last termagaunt and get into position for my right side power blob to attack his tervagon, or something.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, he continues to charge forward into the gap, getting lots of scary stuff really close. His tervagon on the left spits out 8 more termagaunts.

Thankfully, my skilled running-and-hiding helps minimize the damage he causes with his blob. Once he takes down the officer squad on the left, nothing has LOS to my 5 spirit shards hanging out on just 3 models behind the left hand wall. Meanwhile, assorted shooting does more damage to my infantry.

With his remaining shot, he lined up his zoanthrope against my right-side manticore. He passed his psychic test (indeed, he had made about a half dozen psychic tests per turn, passing all without suffering perils) and just BARELY was within 12" to shoot it's lance against my manticore. After a high roll for armor penetration, and me failing my cover save, he blew up the vehicle, transferring 3 spirit shards to his right side zoantrhope, giving it a total of 6!

After this point, the field looked like this:

At the top of turn 5, I rolled to continue and threw down a big, fat, snake eye.


FINAL RESULTS

We carefully went back over our surviving units and both found that we wound up with exactly as many shards as we'd started with, 18-18, for a draw.

- I'm actually pretty satisfied with my preformance this game. My opponent brought a really well-put together list (much kudos), and given my usual handling of tyranid opponents can be described as dismal at best (and dismaler at worst). The fact that I was able to manage a draw, much less be ahead for much of the game is greatly enheartening to me (indeed, if any one of a few key die rolls had gone differently, I could have won with a healthy margin). If I can handle what is generally a tough army for me (and my army in general) to fight on a close relative of a mission type that my army is bad at gives me high hopes for doing well in this tournament over all.

- Tervagons are MEAN! 300 points for two T6 W6 is a pain and a half to kill, especially with their unending infantry screen. Furthermore, he threw out 67 termagaunts for free that game, and it only went to turn 4! Furthermore, termagaunts themselves are mean. They're guardsmen that exchange 1 point of armor in order to get 1 point of initiative, counter-attack, and a twin-linked storm bolter as their small arms. Best troops in the game, as far as I can tell, all the more so when you get free squads that pop out and can then move, shoot, and assault. I can definitely see this as being a liability in kill point games, but I can't imagine facing off against that on a capture and control mission. In this game, shooting out more spirit shard takers that didn't come with spirit shards of their own, this was probably the best unit in the game. I dare say that tervagons are as mean as my manticores.

Whatever complaints that are levied against the new tyranid codex, at least you guys do have a couple of good, viable units (zoanthropes also included). Respect the bug.

- Likewise, my astropath-al rahem combo was superb. Given that my astropath worked properly on both abilities so early on makes it possibly the best 30 point upgrade I've ever fielded. I probably could have handled the exact positioning of things a bit better, but being able to arrive en-masse was neato, even if al rahem himself so painfully screwed up.

- This was also my first real test with power blobs, and I've got to say, I like what I see. I admittedly had some good rolling this game, but it's killing power and survivability both really make the squad worth its 250 point price tag. I will look forward to using these guys more in the future.

MVP: The power blobs. These guys combined carried nearly half of my spirit shards. They were able to take them, and then keep them. I didn't even need to make use of my stubborn USR.

Hero of the game: I'm going to have to go with my left side power blob in specific. They courageously multicharged a carnifex and purposely and meaningfully withdrew in good order with dignity, rather than the commissar blowing holes into the priest and then running away, like last game.

In conclusion, my forces fought nobly on the field of battle despite many pains suffered. The enemy was fought down by more of my sober, gallant troops in rear guard, who took to their job most attentively and with great efficiency of arms. I ordered my men to receive twice their daily ration of spirits, as proper behavior should be politely rewarded. Morale remains at the utmost despite our losses.

Attached is a three-page appendix of recommendations for accommodations, including a seperate list for my officers, and myself, who all fought bravely and at great personal risk despite the dangers and cost to their own lives.

In grateful service,

Sir Daxos P. Clinton III - KAP, EKS, ICM - Foleran Armies in his Majesty's Royal Dictate.
Blood Conquers All


post facto review

I just picked up on something. I think the reason I didn't win this outright was because I had bad target prioritization.

So, the whole point was to get shards and, by far, the most shards came from his Z's and MC's. I spent my artillery shooting at his Z's (because I knew better than to shoot them at MC's). My opponent told me he thought I should have focused even more on his MC's with my artillery and I sort of agreed with him (even though I don't know how I could have done any more, as almost every shot was aimed at one).

But now that strikes me as a mistake. I already knew that artillery wouldn't do anything against MC's, but I should have had a better appreciation for how the 3++ would have prevented me from hurting his Z's. Meanwhile, my power blobs and special weapons teams wouldn't have any problems. THEY should have been my primary objective scorers.

This means that what my artillery SHOULD have done was shoot at that which was the greatest threat to my infantry's ability to close in on his MCs. As such, I really should have focused much more on taking down his termagaunts.

For example, if I would have cleared away his termagaunts on the right before Al'Rahem showed up, then the blob could have charged his zoanthropes and Al'Rahem himself could have taken down the tervigon. Instead, the blobs wasted their time attacking termagaunts: something with which my artillery was plenty able to handle on its own.

Likewise, if I would have focused on his spawning of termagaunts in the middle, my power blob on the left may have survived better in order to be able to actually get in and attack something else, rather than running and hiding after it got too badly mangled by fire. Manticores certainly could have thinned his blob of termagaunts in the middle.

In the end, I wasn't able to get the right damage on the right target. I see most of this as having to do with my best anti-MC/Z units getting uneccessarily entangled with his termagaunts, Instead of the big units attacking the big units and the little the little, it really should have been the other way around.

I'll make sure to remember these things for next time...