BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 27

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With the holidays in force, 40k time has been sporadic. This game saw the final week of 40k free play with a new escalation league starting next week. This game was against a blood angels player that I hadn't seen since three years ago, back in my public game days.

THE CHALLENGER: We're painted red. Thus we're the fastest space marine chapter
1850 pts.

BA Librarian
- in terminator armor with lots of goodies
- psychic power that adds attacks, and psychic power that... did something else good in close combat.

Sanguiniary priest
- terminator armor, etc.

6 terminators
- mix of thunder hammers and lightning claws

10x assault marines
- sarge with a fist
10x tac marines
- 2x meltaguns
- rhino

Lascannon predator
Baal Predator with assault cannon, heavy bolters

Land Raider Crusader
- multimelta, assault cannon, hurricane bolters
Vindicator
- siege shield


THE DEFENDER: We're painted brown which means... wait...
1850 pts.

CCS, astropath, 4x melta
Lord Commissar, fist, carapace
eviscerator priest
eviscerator priest
eviscerator priest

6 ogryn
5x stormtrooper squad with plasma
5x stormtrooper squad with plasma

PCS, al'rahem (Rhamael), 4x melta
PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun, commissar, power weapon
PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun
PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun, commissar, power weapon
PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun

PCS, 3x melta PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun, commissar, power weapon PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun, commissar, power weapon PIS, power weapon, meltabombs, meltagun

The mission was Annihilation. The deployment was table quarters. I win the roll to go first, and after much deliberation decide to take it. On the one hand, I don't want the first turn against an assaulty army. On the other, I very much wanted to pick my table quarter. All the terrain in the other three made me think that things would be worse.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

I deploy in a somewhat reserved fashion. I'm expecting him to charge me, and I want to set up the most favorable conditions possible. Also, I'm going to want to draw him in towards a table edge to spring Rhamael on him. Basically, I'm going to want to have my forces concentrated as much as is possible. No need to go tramping up the field on a game with no objectives.

My opponent squares off with all of his terminator madness in the crusader. He fails to seize and the game begins.

TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 3 Theos
Daxos Line

As had been made clear over the preceding days, our great and nearly implacable foe had, indeed, finally decided to abandon the city once and for all. Against such a mighty and brave force as ours, against such tactical genius such as mine, and against such a holy cause as that of our blessed and eternal Emperor, our foes had no choice but to submit in placability.

Reinforcements from other regiments of various worlds had begun to arrive in the city and relieve our beleaguered men. We had only one mission left before we were relieved entirely. It fell to various groups of the survivors of our division to take a few strong points outside of the city, so as to permit the reinforcing forces to safely take over our defensive positions in the city itself.

I took stock of what I had left of my line. I had begun the engagement with eight groups for nearly a thousand men. Now, despite being continually refreshed with new soldiers, I was now down to less than two hundred. I can only thank the Emperor that our officers have been mostly spared the carnage, despite taking the field with such bravery and forbearance against enemy action.

With such few available, I had no choice but to lead the assault myself, and lead I did.

So, both me and my opponent have close-combat-oriented armies of roughly the same killing power. The thing is, though, that my opponent is a BA player. This means he gets at least 6" of extra movement with ALL of his units. This means that I'm going to have to play very carefully if I don't want to get multi-charged by a tac squad, an assault squad, and a crap load of terminators simultaneously.

Furthermore, with half of my infantry off the table, his mobility would allow him to very easily concentrate his force against only part of mine, and in an awful hurry. If my opponent plays quickly enough, he might well be able to kill what I have on the board before Rhamael has a chance to show up, making this a very ugly game for me indeed.

Without the ability to reliably get the charge in, or even to be able to shoot his land raider with meltaguns before he is able to get the termies out and charge the meltagunners, I spend the top of one carefully contracting my forces. Not only do I want the ogryn to not get insta-splatted by the vindicator, but I also want to draw my opponent over towards a board edge so that my outflankers will be able to charge in on them the turn they arrive.

As nothing in my army has over a 12" range of shooting, the turn ends right after the movement phase.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent does something I do not expect. Despite having a 22" threat range with the terminators in the raider, and with all of his vehicles being fast and getting practically free dozer blades, my opponent does... nothing.

After slightly reshuffling his units around, my opponent goes straight into the shooting phase, seeing his assault cannons and lascannon predator ding a couple wounds off of ogryn in cover.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

My army is currently divided and vulnerable. If my opponent thinks I'm going to be the one to charge him, he's insane. Thankfully, instead of using his speed to attack just one part of my line and roll it up, my opponent has given me valuable time to get the rest of my forces in.

Which they do:

As I lead my troops to the outskirts of the fortification, I could see the tail end of enemy resistance occupying the area. They seemed aware of our presence, and their vehicles were running and prepared for battle.

Just then, the remainder of the forces which I was not keeping in the rear assembled at the line of attack. Once things were prepared, I would be able to move my forces in towards their objectives.

Other than Rhamael showing up with the rest of my army, I also get one of my stormie squads in. Under the impression that he's still going to charge me, I put him on the right. I want to draw some of his forces away from the main body, so that when the action happens, my opponent will have less in force.

Plus, I'm going to want to use the ogryn as a shield, something which they will do poorly if they get nailed by a vindicator.

Shooting sees the stormies open up for three hits and a burn. The three hits on rear armor put down two penetrations and a glance, but tragically only put down a pair of immobilized results and a shake. The vindicator is now neutralized, but this is kill points, so...

Oh, and the burn killed the firer. For those keeping track, so far of 20 shots my stormies have made with plasma guns, I've gotten 4 overheats, and all 4 have failed armor saves.

The rest of shooting is obviously minimal. There is some running, but I roll pretty poorly with everything. Plus, I've got this narrow, narrow ~2" to 4" window that the terminators can charge me in, but the assault marines can't, so I've got to be sort of careful how I move.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, my opponent once again chooses the path of retreat.

In shooting, my opponent throws down an assault cannon burst which, thanks to cover, only kills 2 stormies. Unfortunately, they fail morale and, because the plasma guy killed himself, can no longer regroup...

The little rest of gunfire is poured on my ogryn, who, well, take it like ogryn.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

My opponent's units are consolidated, and are much faster than mine, so I still have to be very careful with how I approach my opponent. As he has decided to run away from Rhamael, and NOT run away from the rest of my forces, there's still a pretty darn good chance he can catch my forces divided. As such, my movement basically becomes one giant wheeling action as I desperately move in my outflanking forces to provide a united front against my opponent.

Shooting sees more running, and my plasma stormies continuing their bad luck streak with a plasma gun that only scores a single hit, and then rolls a snakeye for damage.

Also, the Ogryn get a round of "Bring it down, iffa pleese!" to prepare a 2+ cover save against whatever my opponent continues you throw at them next turn.

In response, my opponent, well... continues doing whatever he's doing. It's like he's trying to attack me on a flank, but he's doing it at 6" a turn, rather than the 18" his forces are capable of. That and he's apparently afraid of power blobs.

Shooting yet again sees assault cannons and lascannons against my ogryn. With a 2+ cover save, the damage is pretty light.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

Every turn my opponent continues to delay gives me a chance to consolidate my forces. I've got to take advantage of this as much as I can, lest anything but getting clobbered to be the end result.

Unfortunately for me, however, my stormies run off the board, giving him a kill point to my zero. He could technically win this game just by running away. Given that BA are fast, I'd never catch him in time.

My forces continued to gather around me while my foe, apparently rightly recoiling in terror at my smart and intimidating demeanor continued to sluggishly withdraw from my forces.

I could tell that my men were anxious. No doubt they wanted greatly to hurl themselves at their enemy, and were only prevented from this by my refusal to give the order to attack until my forces were collected. One must always remember, patience is a virtue.

I continued to collect my forces, which prepared for the assault.

Meanwhile, my other stormie squad arrived from reserves. My plan is to use this harassment unit for the ultimate purpose of a harassment unit: to capitalize on my opponent's mistakes. So that he could shoot all his lascannons at my ogryn, my opponent had left his predator dangerously exposed. This time, I'd be able to drop on rear armor, take out my target, and not be exposed to any damage in return. At least my previous stormscapade would be avenged.

The stormies drop in a little off target, but it's good enough for me to not want to risk a worse result. After some run orders are given, they unload into the predator. 2 hits cause 2 penetrations. The end result is shockingly nothing more than a stunned vehicle.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent replies by continuing to squander his dwindling advantage by simply scooting back slightly.

His stunned pred pops smoke, and more light strafing of my ogryn ends the turn.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

In my turn, I continue my wheeling action, but I've got a problem. Wretched luck with plasma guns has seen lots of shooting, but little damage. If my opponent is able to get away with his fast predator, then I'm stuck once again. As such, I'm forced to peel off some of my guys to possibly get in melta range, just in case.

Shooting sees more run orders, but things quickly go into assault. 5 stormtroopers get 5 auto-hits with krak grenades on the predator's juicy AV10. The end result is a glance and two penetrating hits for a shaken, weapon destroyed, and an immobilized result. That's 6 penetrating hits now without a wreck.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent falls back. More damage against ogryn.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Currently, my opponent has one kill point to my zero. My opponent picks up the roll to continue. I desperately hope that the game goes on, or this will officially be the lamest game of 40k I've ever played. My opponent rolls a 4.


TURN 6

It took me 6 turns, and I'm not in the field position that I'd like, but I've FINALLY gotten my units into some semblance of coherency. Furthermore, I think I've got them placed in such a way where my opponent can attack them with the terminator squad full of ICs, but NOT be able to charge in with the assault marines. If things go according to plan, I'm going to steal a bag of KP at the last minute without my opponent being able to deliver a single knock-out blow in return.

Plus, things are now starting to get close enough where I'm starting to threaten his immobilized vindicator.

Shooting starts with my meltagunners taking aim at his immobilized predetor. Hopefully between 3 meltaguns and 5 krak grenades I can actually claim a kill point this game. The squad gets Bring it Down from Rhamael, and both meltaguns in melta range hit. The end result is two penetrating hits for another weapon destroyed and a vehicle explodes result. Finally.

The only other thing of note is my ogryn, who are now actually getting pretty low on numbers after being hammered in cover for 6 turns, finally withdrawing.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My oppponent has spent the entire game fleeing from my infantry pile. Instead of using his considerable mobility to attack just one part of my force at a time, he's now facing my forces nearly undivided. Of course, now the game is a draw, so if he has any hopes for a victory, he now needs to charge into these less than ideal circumstances.

After much debate, he decides to go for it:

Our advance thus far had been met with little resistance. The enemy had shown his cowardice by his reluctance to engage with my forces. Just as I was preparing to send back my orderly to bring up my afternoon tea early, I suddenly found my positions under attack.

A great quantity of firepower erupted on my men. The commissars shouted orders at the men to get down, but this seemed to no avail. The unquenchable torrent of fire was only briefly quenched by the advance of the foe crashing straight into my men!

Shooting sees my opponent unload hurricane bolters, heavy bolters, bolt pistols, and assault cannons into my squad. Unfortunately, in order to get into this position, I had to forgo cover. The squad went to ground. Thankfully, much of the firepower was coming from sponsons which, because the vehicles were so close, gave me cover for me. I fail to make any 6+ covers against the assault cannons, but, tragically, I also nearly fail to make any 3+ cover saves against the bolters, seeing more than I'd like fall.

Then comes close combat. As planned, the assault marines were actually just over 6" away from my men, leaving the librarian, priest, and termies to charge in alone. The librarian's power went off, and with rerolling to hit and rerolling to wound, lightning claws did a lot of damage.

In return, 2 power weapon sergeants go after his sanguiniary priest, causing only one wound, which is stopped by his invul save. Meanwhile, 12 power weapon attacks land squarely on his librarian, putting down two wounds. This time, my opponent fails both invul saves seeing the libby go down. Meanwhile, the terminators pass what few armor saves they were forced to make.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Casualties were higher than expected, but in the end, my plan had worked perfectly. With just the terminators in close combat, I can now charge in with the rest of my blobsmen and remove them from play, leaving his assault marines to make a lonely charge against a lot of guys.

In fact, with the librarian and predator gone, I've actually gotten two kill points to his one. Naturally, I hope that the game ends now.

My opponent rolls to continue and puts down a 4 again.


TURN 7

Now that things have gone according to plan, I've just got to seal the deal. I have 3 eviscerators and 12 power weapons all in the area (not to mention a huge pile of regular attacks, and many of those power weapons are about to get a reroll to their attacks when I charge them. Statistically, I should expect to wipe out the squad, or at least NEARLY wipe it out with the coup de grace on the bottom of the turn.

As such, I charge in with everything I have left:

Close combat sees my opponent nearly wiping out the original power blob with his termies. In return, 4 eviscerator attacks puts down a pair of wounds, one of which finally makes it through the priest's 5++. Meanwhile, I do much better than expected with my regular guardsmen against his terminators. Unfortunately, this is actually a bit of BAD luck on my part as it allows my opponent to abuse wound wrapping. 8 power weapon wounds are able to be assigned to just three models, while his thunder hammer dudes are able to get away with just 2 regular armor saves apiece. The lightning claw guys are obviously wiped, but the terminators get away scott free. Thunder hammering in return puts down the remainder of the first blob

After this point, the field looked like this:

Now that his forces are in the thick of it, my opponent needs to throw everything he has into the middle. Right now, I'm winning with 3 KP to 2, and my opponent is going to need all his forces (plus a fair amount of luck) to be able to dig himself out of this mess.

Shooting begins with his LRC opening up against one of my PCSs. Once again, only one sponson can shoot, and once again, I've got cover. Every shot hits, and every shot wounds. I go to ground, figuring that a 3+ cover against 11 wounds should see at least one guy of a 5-man squad still standing. I roll for cover saves, and fail almost every one, seeing the squad wiped.

His nearby tac marines then open up on Rhamael and his boys. I go to ground, figuring that between Rhamael's two wounds and perhaps a 6+ I should still have someone left. I do, but the end result is him just getting assault cannoned.

Then he charged with his assault marines:

Because of the way they were set up, they did predictably little damage, with one of them even falling to a bayonet.

Then came the big show. I've got 3 priests and 6 power weapon guys (and like a dozen regular guys) against just three terminators. They go down, and at least I get a draw out of this. With great gusto, I put down a few armor saves and 8 invul saves. My opponent picks up the dice and passes EVERY SINGLE INVUL SAVE. The two terminators who could attack priests did so, putting one wound apiece on two of them. I roll for rosarius and fail BOTH of them.

After this point, the field looked like this:


FINAL RESULTS

My opponent had 6 KP to my 3 for a Blood Angels victory.

- My opponent made some serious mistakes this game. The most critical one was throwing away his mobility. Instead of attacking my scattered force with a concentrated force, he frittered away his time until I was able to concentrate my forces. Only then, when he stood a much worse chance of winning did he attack my united force. Due to careful movement on my part, it wound up being attacking with HIS forces divided, which very nearly ended in utter disaster for him. Really, the only way he was able to salvage a win from this was through incredibly good luck.

My opponent could have hung back and shot me to pieces. My opponent could have charged my divided forces. Heck, he had enough mobility to shoot them up AND assault divided forces. The key advantage of Blood Angels is mobility, but it doesn't do anything for you if you don't use it.

- Meanwhile, this is a perfect example of what I'm disliking about Al'Rahem. My forces start turn 1 split apart, and even then have to spend precious time re-consolidating. In this game, I only had a cohesive force on turn 6. Had my opponent taken advantage of this fact, things could have gone really poorly for me. He's definitely going to spend time riding the bench for awhile, at least for the duration of the upcoming escalation league.

- I don't know if it's that whenever I play against Blood Angels I have really bad luck (which I do), or am playing against really tailored lists (which I am), but I'm beginning to see them as more of a hard counter to the guard. Like Dark Eldar, the universally move at least 18" a turn (or have that as their threat range). Unlike Dark Eldar, their vehicles come with AV13, better guns, and the ability to take some VERY scary close combat units. Basically, they're like orks, except that they get a better version of the WAAAAUGH! every single turn. In short, when they're not running and shooting, or using mobility to concentrate their force, they're able to virtually guarantee the charge with their choppy close combat units. I can't even begin to imagine how poorly mech guard would do against a tailored BA list with good luck.

Really, this just reinforces that what my list needs in order to balance out the power blobs is something that can take down fast vehicles at range.

- I came out really unimpressed with the ogryn at the end of this game, but, on further reflection, I shouldn't have been. 3W, T5, in 3+ cover took a pretty brutal amount of hurt over the course of the game. Considering that that firepower COULD have been much more intelligently directed at my power blobs, they actually really did their job this game. If only they could have been able to actually get into close combat with something...

After some time, our forces had ground each other out. Having little left to secure our objective, I quietly withdrew from the battlefield to bravely gather the remnants of our line.

When I returned in the evening, I found the fortress abandoned.

After a hot meal and a evening of light entertainment from the lone remaining member of the Daxos Line Chamber Orchestra (despite all the trauma he had heretofor suffered, he still played the triangle most smartly), we were relieved by reinforcements. After a whole week of retraining, my officers and myself would find ourselves at the head of a new group of men in a new mission, leading just as boldly as before.

In grateful service,

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