BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 4

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On a sweltering day, game #4 is on. This is a continuation of the escalation league I'm in, this time against a blood angels player.

THE CHALLENGER: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD.... angels...
1850 pts.

Librarian
- psychic hood, sanguine sword, blood lance, jump pack, etc.

Furioso Librarian
- psychic hood, wings of sanguinius, shield of sanguinius, blood fist, etc.

Furioso Dreadnought
- extra armor, magna grapple, blood talon, etc.

2x sanguinary priests
- jump pack, hand flamer, power weapon, blood chalice, etc.

2x assault squads
- meltaguns, red thirst, power weapon, meltabomb, hand flamer, etc.
vanguard vet squad
- red thirst, heroic intervention, jump packs, power weapons, 2x thunder hammers, fist.

Baal predetor
- smoke, flamestorm/HBs

"Rifleman" Dreadnought
- 2x TL/AC

THE DEFENDER: Foleran First
1850 pts.

I used list 5-1850-a, same as last time.

The mission played was called "convoy". The map has two rhinos moving down a road that crosses the board. The defender needs to defend them. The attacker wins if he blows them up. Bonus points for occupying the rubble. We rolled for pitched battle deployment.

Thank the emperor, I rolled for attacker, as defending rhinos against a drop pod marine list would have been a no-go straight from the start.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

My opponent popped smoke on his predator and fast moved him forward.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 16 Ouros
Daxos Line

The morning of the 16th saw my line taken from its positions for a very important special assignment. According to imperial intelligence, a blood angels company had recently gone rouge. The most traitorous of marines had stolen some items, or perhaps persons, of great value to the imperium over night. Intelligence had found the rhinos they were using to transport the top-secret goods to a location for their flight off-world. I was ordered to set up an ambush with my men to destroy the enemy transports and reclaim the classified cargo.

With great haste, my men and myself were transported to the outskirts of a city through which the enemy was predicted to go. While the hours crept by, the sky began to cloud. I did very much hope that I would not be required to fight in the rain. Such inclimate weather always dampens the spirits of the men. While waiting, I continued to work on a short minuet for lute and pipe that I have been working on for quite some time. It is a saucy ditty that should quite enliven the listener. However, I had little time to put pen to page before I was alerted to the incoming presence of our intended target of assassination.

Unfortunately, the enemy seemed to have anticipated our position, and was suddenly upon my men. I can only blame the line's scouts who failed to alert us earlier while we had more pressing things to attend to.

As if from nowhere, the enemy hurled a demonic flame tank at us. Oh the tragedy!

So, for obvious balance reasons, the defender got to go first. His turn begins with his angry, close combat dread plopping in and his other, empty drop pod landing near my other stuff (his drop pods had some sort of a homing beacon that let him deploy deepstrikers near his drop pods without scatter).

In shooting, his baal predetor does some unkind things to my power blob, but, being a power blob, the unit just sort of shrugs it off.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, I throw my human melta wave forward. Lots of running and "go go go"ing. Nothing is in range this turn, but next turn, unless he drops more stuff right on those rhinos, they're toast.

In shooting, my center thicket of meltaguns blows the baal to charcoal before I even get a chance to throw the eviscerator in there. Meanwhile, my three artillery pieces manage to down one of the objective rhinos and shake the other.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Drop pods, most foul! It seemed that my opponent had left reinforcements in the wings in order to prevent my timely extermination of his traitorous cargoes. I swore then and there that he would only stop me over my dead body, and over those of all of my men!

Unfortunately, some of my troops would see that fate earlier than others.

So his turn begins with lots of bad rolling for reserves, bringing in only one of his squads along with the librarian. For whatever reason, he decided to drop them about as far away from the objective as possible.

Over on the right, his librarian rolls a successful lance which kills the manticore, and assorted pistol and hand flamer fire takes down the rest of the squad. Meanwhile, the mortars were massacred by the dreadnought in one way or another.

Otherwise the only damage is his rifleman plinking away a few guys.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My turn begins with the astropath working it's magic again. Rhamael shows up right on time, right on target. With the general advance of the rest of my troops, his lone remaining objective rhino is pretty well screwed.

The grand assault was on. The men ran forward sprightly and eagerly, loud whoops and cries rising through the ranks. Artillery pounded from close range. Charge forth, brave knights of Folera!

In shooting, I get three meltaguns in range of the remaining rhino, which rattle it around with BiD enough to immobilize it. The basilisk then also hits and only manages a weapon destroyed, but as these particular rhinos have no weapons, the vehicle is destroyed. Meanwhile, the left-side manticore hits his scary dread on the right, immobilizing it (good enough).

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

Turn 3 begins with the rest of his stuff showing up...

Meanwhile, everything else moves left. With his objectives destroyed, and me basically sitting on them, his only hope is to attempt to wipe my army.

This goal is not hampered by the fact that his dudes can assault straight out of deepstriking.

This angers the blob squad, which, characteristically holds, even doing a fair amount of damage in return. Meanwhile, my left side manticore is utterly destroyed by charging powerfists, and my mortars are wiped away by his incoming assault squad from the right.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, I rush basically everything onto the objectives. The only serious exception is my basilisk, a melta SWS and a PIS who hang back to kill one of this super-assault squads.

In shooting, my basilisk misses horribly off the board, but meltaguns and FRFSRF lasguns take down a few.

In assault, my power blob finishes off his other super-assault squad and consolidated back towards the objective.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

At this point my opponent goes into mega-mop-up-mode. His super-assaulters charge my basilisk while his librarian dread with jump packs flies over towards some of my meltagunners. The rest of his stuff charges in:

Against the dread, my officer with a meltabomb fails to hit, and, tragically, fails to run away, leaving me with 8 meltaguns immediately nearby who can't hose him the next turn.

Likewise, he seriously fails his attack against my CCS, which means that his squad that's next to 3 plasma guns and 3 meltaguns also gets to avoid being shot at next turn (seriously, he charged in with lots of power weapons and furious charge and basically killed nothing).

Meanwhile, the far-away squad is able to pummel down my very hurt blob squad, striking it down with S5 power weapons at I5 before I even get an attack back in.

That and my opponent blows up my basilisk with a power fist.

After this point, the field looked like this:

To my great surprise, the enemy had attacked me, personally. I bravely stood against my attackers and ordered my men into the fight.

Just then, a fainting spell took me over. The world went dark and I fell before my foe. At least I can say with the greatest determination that I fought on to the limits of my constitution. Would that all men be so lucky!

So yeah, I took some casualties. I've got the blob squad hanging out far away, though, which means the odds of him wiping me are pretty low.

I move my special weapons hedge up and spread it out so as to catch his dudes in special weapons carnage. Meanwhile, my infantry squad in the building fails to down a single marine.

In close combat, I figure that he's going to easily be able to crush my meltabomb officer, and thus be able to tie up another meltagun squad without me getting a chance to shoot at him again, so I split my priest off and charged in:

Despite two eviscerator hits, though, luck seriously fails me, and all I manage to do is knock off its close combat weapon.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

In his turn, he charges towards my stuff. It is clear here how very, very poorly I had placed my units as he is able to basically multi-charge my entire army...

And has enough power weapon attacks to completely kill off every model before his initiative phase is over.

Crap.

Meanwhile, my eviscerator once again hits but somehow fails to damage the dread.

After this point, the field looked like this:

so his ~12 dudes that get 4 S5 I5 power weapon attacks on the charge... apiece, had managed to do what I had considered impossible. He basically wiped out my army in a single turn. This left me with a single unit on the field (other than my priest), namely, my blob squad.

Now, my blob squads are great, but last turn showed me that what he has left in the area can kill 17 dudes in just his initiative phase on the charge (not even counting preperatory pistol and hand flamer damage). It doesnt' matter if my dudes are stubborn if I have no dudes!

As such, this pretty much left me with one choice. I needed to stop him from furiously charging. This meant charging in myself:

Basically, if I can take half the furious out of his charge, I stand a chance of killing a fair amount of one of his two squads, and then I should be able to survive against just the other half. All I need is for the commissar to survive to give stubborn to the squad and I can hopefully ride this out to an early game finish.

My troops bravely charge in, but are met with utter catastrophe, as almost none of the powersword attacks kill anything, and every one of my fair number of wounds with regular attacks bounces off FNP...

Meanwhile, his dreadnought attacks my priest, who fails a rosarius test. The other dude runs away.

After this point, the field looked like this:

I roll to end the game now, hopefully before it's too late, but I roll a 3. What I wouldn't give for a CCS advisor that lets you add or subtract 1 to game length rolls...


TURN 6

In his turn, he picks off my one remaining fleeing guy with a storm bolter from a drop pod and charges the rest into my blob. His power weapons put down about a dozen of the blob (couldn't roll a 1 to wound...). This meant that I had just few enough guys that I HAD to assign a wound to my commissar.

He failed his armor save.

I promptly conceded.


FINAL RESULTS

I completed both objectives, but he wiped my army for a Blood Angels victory.

So this definitely ended differently than I expected. To be honest, after a day to think about it, I'm still rather bewhildered. Yeah, I had some bad luck (my opponent having alternating miraculous good and bad luck with assaults, etc.), but luck only matters if you are forced to rely on it to win. There are a few things I can definitely say to have gleaned.

- This style of play is foreign to me (this is only the 4th game playing with this type of list), and some of my fieldcraft is still off. For example, the fact that I'm still not yet quite certain how to use SWSs was made painfully clear in this game. All the more true given that I'm unused to playing against all-jetpack armies.

- My opponent was clearly a veteran player who had a HARD list, and he really knew how to use it. Meanwhile, it was a stretch for me to get to 1500, and a much more serious stretch to pull it up to 1850 for this league, and it's a list I had little experience with. A part of what happened was me simply getting outplayed by a better list. Hopefully I'll be able to improve my force over time and learn how to use it better.

- Also, I sort of let my eye off the ball after I "won" the game early on. I assumed that there wasn't an army out there that was able to destroy my entire force in just two turns, and so I didn't move well enough to prevent just this. Meanwhile, my opponent carefully approached his objective of wiping my list, which I wasn't in a strategic mindset to stop.

MVP: The left side manticore. Not only did it blow up one of the rhinos, but it also stopped the only single unit he had that could wipe out a full-strength blob squad.

Hero of the Game: This goes to my outflanking blob squad. CHAAAAAAARGE!!!

Some point later in the evening, I awoke from my condition in a medicae, in the very image of health itself. It was here that I learned of the untimely demise of the rest of my men. Brave fighters to the last.

I took a moment to compose a dirge in their honor.

Fighting men of Folera proud,
Spirits high, and shouting loud,
My bosom swells for you with pride,
Even though you all horribly died.

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

One of the differences between my opponent and I was that he brought a high-powered list that was more cohesive and consistant. As such, I think my list needs to be up-powered a little bit. For example, while the mortars were nice for last game, they did absolute jack in this one, and not ALL that much in the wone before. I'm thinking of dropping them for another power blob upgrade (which trades good against light infantry for good against light infantry and space marines). Also, I'm considering dropping one of the manticores down to a basilik to free up more points for weapons elsewhere (like more demo charges).

Him deepstriking so far away from the objectives didn't make sense to me at the time, but that's because I'm used to thinking about things by position, which wasn't a factor against his army.

By this, I mean that a regular army couldn't have possibly made it across the board from the exact diagonal opposite corner over the course of a couple of turns. Likewise, I positioned my troops in such a way where a regular army couldn't have possibly multicharged everything at the end. I spread my troops out across the board for the purpose of spreading his troops across the board. I was fighting by space.

But the fact that his entire army was basically equipped with free skimmer transportation (including a dreadnought, loltastic) not only made this irrelavent, but it actually also made it dangerous. My opponent was able to clear huge distances in very short periods of time, making my distance strategy useless (and screw up my special weapons positioning). More importantly, it let him pick off squad after unsupported squad.

Normally, this is just fine. I mean, I was basically throwing meat into the grinder to slow him down under the understanding that it would slow him down so much that he couldnt' possibly make it to my power blob in the other corner. Not so with jetpack S5 infantry with powerweapons to the teeth.

I think the better thing would have been a much more counterintuitive castling up of everything. He still would have gotten multicharges in, but I would have been able to support all of my units with all my other units. Really, it's killing power that you need against these guys, instead of time and space - something which I really didn't understand, much less appreciate.

As well, in regular objectives missions, BA would have a really hard time. They only work when you pop up next to your opponent's stuff and start hacking away. Having to sit a squad of assault marines on an objective would compromise a serious part of his army (in this case, it would mean putting 500 point squads on an objective that are no more survivable against guard artillery than 150 points of tac squads). Especially since my opponent's army only worked when he had THAT MUCH power in one place all at once.

As such, yeah, I guess I'd agree that BA don't exist to play missions - they exist to go for the wipe every game and hopefully pick up some other stuff if they don't.