BATTLE REPORTS - The Hand of the King - 10 (tactical)

To view the Hand of the King registry, click here. To view the game's battle report, click here.

This game was Relic, with Dawn of War deployment at 1850 points. It was also the first of three games played in a local tournament.

My list (Imperial Guard) was:

CCS - fist, standard, lascannon, master of ordnance
Priest - eviscerator

10x stormies - 2x flamers
10x stormies - 2x meltas
10x stormies - 2x melta

PCS - Chenkov, 3x grenade launchers
PIS - meltagun
PIS - meltagun
20x Conscripts - Send in the Next Wave!

PCS - 2x flamers
PIS - meltagun
PIS - meltagun
20x Conscripts - Send in the Next Wave!

2x Hydras
2x Hydras

My opponent's list (Necron) was:

Overlord - command barge
Court - 2x destructions (one with solar pulse), 1x storm with lightning field
Overlord - command barge
Court - 2x destructions (one with solar pulse), 1x storm with lightning field

7x immortals - night scythe
5x warriors - night scythe
5x warriors - ghost ark
5x warriors - ghost ark

Annihilation barge - all the tesla
Doom Scythe - death ray
Doomsday Ark

My warlord rolled Legendary Fighter, and my opponent rolled Conqueror of Cities. Night fighting was rolled for turn 1.

My opponent won the roll to go first. I failed to seize the initiative.

1.) The game starts with night fighting, which naturally means that none of us do much killing. My opponent zig-zagged up the field with this two barge lords, which meant what little shooting I have that can hurt AV13 doesnt' do much against a shrouded jink save. Meanwhile, his attempts to dislodge conscripts out of what was at the time 2+ cover yielded similarly poor results.

At the top of two, none of my opponents' fliers show up, leaving it a couple of lords in front of my now non-night-fighted army. He throws down some shots, but I get lucky with cover saves. More importantly, his right side lord tried to charge me from not very far away, only to roll poorly on his charge roll, seeing him stranded. In return, my flamer stormies show up and land between the two lords while my melta hedge moves forward. A couple of meltaguns fail to hurt the left side one, but a few more move up on the right and blow up the right side one from very short range (sorry, conscripts). The hydras throw down on the left side chariot, but the S7 guns struggle against the AV13. I think I only manage to put down a glance or two that stick, even ignoring jink.

2.) As the game moves into the middle, my opponent's fliers start showing up as my huge mass of infantry guns it straight towards the relic. Whatever fliers were available plus two arks full of warriors and an annihilation barge do hideous damage, but my conscripts eat most of it at the beginning, and by turn 4, I've got a PCS and 4 PISs and a stormtrooper squad all storming the objective simultaneously.

3.) Shooting at the other lord remains tough, grasping for 6's to do anything, while meltaguns kept missing. He closes in on my hydra battery and, from mere inches away prepares to wipe them out when he rolls for charge and flips:

... leaving the hydras alive for a turn. In return, everyone nearby guns down on the lord, finally dis-charioting him. All I was able to do was glance, though, and because the lord can absorb damage, it took 5 glances to finally shut that AV13 vehicle down. In the end a lonely, wounded lord pops out.

4.) ... into 20 more conscripts from the second wave. They horribly gun him down.

Meanwhile, around turn 3 or so, the melta stormies show up. One mishaps and gets placed very, very far away, while the other lands behind the doomsday ark and blows it with melta. It then hides behind the ruins (after losing like half of their number to the explosion), and gets ready to pick up linebreaker.

5.) The rest of my forces charge the relic. I capture and lose it a couple of times, but with so many bodies there, there is always at least one model nearby to claim it. More importantly, the flamer stormies spread out in front, between his warriors and all my guys, causing my opponent to choose between shooting the stormies with a 4+ save, or shooting at the relic-holders with a 5+ cover. In any case, they prevented my opponent from being able to actually capture the relic without getting within 1" of my stormies.

At the top of turn 5, my opponent thinned the relic challengers are shot at, and all 3 remaining squads break and run! Instead of easily capturing the relic, I now no longer have any scoring units there, leaving my relatively unkilled (thanks in part to more lucky 4+ rolls) flamer stormies as the only thing there for denial, using nothing more than their bodies as a human shield to protect the relic.

6.) At the bottom of 5, the left side warlord gets back up and runs over... into 20 MORE conscripts who arrived from the backfield. At the end of the game, I had so many models in the backfield that, when he goes down, I literally clog his corpse with so many dudes that he literally cannot get up somewhere that is both 3" away, and outside of 1" of anybody.

As this was a tournament, the end of turn 5 happened after time had expired. We tally up points. Neither of us had the relic. My opponent had linebreaker and slay the warlord. I had slay the warlord and first blood (his command barge). I also had stormies in his deployment zone, which made my opponent groan when he realised he'd forgotten about those. The end result, therefore was a 3-2 victory for me.

- In a way I feel that this is, tactically speaking, the first proper game of 40k I've had so far this edition. Two good players, with good lists, that goes on as a nailbiter right down to the end. It was also the first game I've played in 6th where a small mistake on the board actually helped determine the end result of the game. It also had a bit of a strategic feel to it, which is also new as of the past couple of months. I had a strategy of taking territory, and my opponent had a strategy of killing stuff and then making a late game dash. In the past, it has seemed much more of two people showing up and rolling dice, and the better die roller is who comes out the victor.

That I had a good opponent with a tough list certainly gives me more hope that this kind of thing will happen in the future.

- Of course, it didn't hurt that I had luck on my side in the first half of the game. The mass panic and flight of my army at the end was more than mitigated by the beginning. While my luck wasn't extra great, it was still pretty good, with a couple of very opportune bouts of making carapace and ruins saves. More importantly, though, my opponent's luck sort of stunk in general, and, at critical moments, had two really low assault range rolls. One was a probably 6" charge that he only rolled a 5 for, and the other was, 3"? 2.5"? that he rolled snakeyes on. His whole thing with his lords was making it into close combat, and the end result was a PCS and a hydra lost from overlords. 120 points just isn't enough, especially when they're basically your only up-field attack units.

Instead of rolling over my army like they did in the last game, the lords did more or less nothing important.

- This is round two with the conscripts, and I've got to say, I like them even more. In this game, they were the front unit, which meant that, as they were also a scoring unit, my opponent had no choice but to attack them first. But because they were conscripts, they absorbed a LOT of bullets (well, in this case, lightning bolts), leaving my development scoring units the ability to stab for the objective. As such, in stead of it being me fighting him for the objective, it was him fighting me to try and clear me off in time. It would have been pretty tough for him to actually nab the relic in this game without having tried for it turn 1.

Furthermore, they both respawned. One of them finished off an overlord (well, twice), and protected the hydras from further damage. The other literally piled on the overlord to prevent him from getting back up. So this is what it looks like when two respawning units collide...

In any case, by the time my opponent's warlords were preparing to scythe through my backfield, there were nearly as many units in my DZ as when the whole affair started. Instead of a roll-up, it was an endless quagmire of conscripts.

- I think I've come to the conclusion that AV13 is going to be the real thing I've got to worry about nowadays. AV13 is tough to take down, and when it gets a jink save it's REALLY tough. And when my opponent can keep over half the game in night-fighting, that makes it practically impossible. In the end, I was able to take down 4 of them, but that's high for me. What is especially difficult is those damn command barges. Unless you get a penetrating hit (which, as described, isn't the easiest thing to do), they're an AV13 vehicle with FIVE hull points. And a jink save. These things are possibly the most durable vehicles in the game at the moment. That they can hit stuff with their warscythes without even needing to disembark makes them a real nightmare.

The hydras were nice for ignoring the jink, but AV13 is tough for S7, especially since they will never strip the armor down to a reasonable AV. Unfortunately, guard don't have access to multi-shot S8+ spam outside of vets and HWSs...

I did manage to hit the annihilation barge with the basilisk once, though, and it did cause a penetrating hit to it, which allowed the hydras to easily wreck it later. That, really, was 50% of why I brought it in the first place. It doesn't need to wreck a necron vehicle, it just needs to peel the front armor off. With a large blast and with S9 ordnance, it did this admirably... well, the one shot that it hit with.

- Another couple of things to note. Firstly, I captured the relic twice, once with conscripts and once with a PIS, but they were killed off it before I had a chance to move them. I was hoping for one of my nearby squads to be able to run up and hold it at the bottom of 5, but all of them failed their morale check at the last moment...

As for the necron air force, it did very little most of the game. In the first wave, they basically took down my CCS, and the doom scythe came in turn 3 and rolled really poorly for their attacks. When everything came back on the field, it was in part what was responsible for the sufficient casualties across 4 different squads to force morale checks on everybody. They tried to drop off some guys onto the objective, but the stormtroopers were physically blocking it.

My hydras did shoot at the fliers a little bit, but they were mostly preoccupied with handling the chariots. They didn't really get any shots in until the end, and their rolling must have been rather poor, as I'm pretty sure I didn't knock any of them down.

- I talked with my opponent, and he said he's thinking about getting rid of his doomsday ark. According to him, it's been nothing but a 175 point distraction. With a basically unlimited range S10 Ap1 large blast, of course, I can see why. I offered condolences to the fact that it took me 185 points to kill it, until he reminded me that it was those stormies in the backfield that lost him the game. Apparently in the next game it was, yet again, blown up before it got to do anything useful.

MVP: The stormtroopers. Easily. The melta ones blew up my opponent's doomsday ark, and won me the game with linebreaker. Easily as important, though, were the flamer stormies. After killing off a lord with hellguns, they then went and physically blocked the relic. Without the ability to tank shock, my opponent had no way of physically reaching the relic as the rest my guys stormed up towards it. With luck and carapace armor, they weathered a horrible beating and did what stormies do best - survive, and deny.

Hero of the Game: Once again, this goes to the flamer stormies. So epic. The fact that there were still a few brave stormies standing back to back with the relic, defying their enemies at the last is so cool.