Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Batrep: Vs Dark Eldar

Here goes it. Aluns last game before heading off back to learn about Religion and why the Imperium really is the way forward (its true, he's thinking of doing Salamanders). Alun said he wanted something nice and juicy, and this would be his first game on his own with the Dark Eldar after the beating we took the day before down at the Crow Valley Crusaders. I wanted revenge for his fragility, he wanted revenge for... well being SAWFT!!! 2500k points per side, Hammer and Anvil deployment and the mission...
The Scouring. 

Alun won the dice roll to deploy and go first and so set up. I deployed my Krohmus Guard and failed to seize the initiative. Deployment can be seen below! I didn't pay much attention to Aluns deployment at all, I just made sure the two objectives in my deployment zone were nearby and that my units were in as much cover as was afforded to them. The Thunderfire set back in cover with the ruins bolstered. With nightfighting in effect, I'd get a nice 2+ cover save. Vindicator and Predator to my left would cover that side while my bikers and missile launcher devs covered the right. The Adeptus Astartes Stormwing would be in reserves, as would a Tactical Squad and Dreadnought in/on the Stormraven. The Legion of the Damned would also be deepstriking in the situation best suited to where I felt they were needed.

Alun kicked off by firing his Rangers at my Thunderfire cannon. And killing it. That hurt! One of my most dangerous units destroyed by some rangers, and it was first blood. My bikers were targeted and I lost a couple from a Dark Reaper barrage and Raider fire. my left most tactical squad also suffered a few casualties.

My return fire was pretty pitiful, only managing a hull point off a raider and shaking the Ravager so it would only snapfire in Aluns second turn.

Speaking of Aluns second turn, he managed to wipe out a tactical squad, claim an objective on the middle left, and advanced more with venoms and raiders. Vindicator had 2 hullpoints stripped from one of the razorwings, while the other cause some more tactical marines to die. I lost a few more bikes this turn and was left with the Chaplain, flamer and Chapter Master. My predator managed a bit more damage to a flanking raider but just stunned it, but then I was able to cause some real damage. Aluns advance with his raiders and venoms on my right flank had them lined up nicely, so the vindicator turned and unleashed a demolisher cannon shot, blowing up the venom  and destroying a weapon off a raider. One of the incubi died from the explosion too. The devastators, whose salvo last turn did nothing to a raider loaded up some flakk missiles and took aim at a razorwing, unable to blow it up but causing its velocity to be locked. The Chapter Master, gunning his engine unleashed an orbital bombardment upon the same targets,killing the other incubi and blowing the already damaged raider up too, some warriors dying in the wreckage. Having targeted the incubi my Chapter Master charged in challanging the archon. No wounds were caused however and the fight went on.

 Alun advanced with what he could, and another score of Krohmus Guard died. The Devastators were killed by venom fire, the Vindicator was finished off and the second tactical squad were also butched after frying some Dark Eldar warriors who were on an objective, the two survivors fleeing. Combat again was fruitless, so I hit and ran with the bikes ready to charge again in my turn. It was not looking good! 

Thankfully the Stormwing and Legion decided that turn three was the time to show up, and never had some reinforcements been so welcome! The stormraven flew in to the left, Tactical squad inside ready to gain vengeance for their fallen brothers. The Dreadnought surveyed the carnage below and readied its heavy flamers, Xenos scum would burn for the loss of its younger brethren! The stromtalons flew to the right, killing some warriors from one squad and damaging the other razorwing. The Legion materialised in Aluns deployment zone, landing near the 4 point objective in an effort to deny him these points. They were able to kill some Dark Reapers, and most importantly their exarch whose missile launcher had spilt much blood. The Chapter Master swept back into the Archon, and finally killed him. If he could survive the next turn he might be able to deny another objective to the Dark Eldar and keep me in the fight.

 Alas, the Chapter Master fell. Aluns Rangers spilt out of the ruins to claim the middle right objective, worth 2 points. The venom dropped his Warlord Archon and her Incubi retinue on my right most objective worth 3 points, along with some wyches that had survived the flames of my dreadnaught previously. I managed to get the tactical squad back to my other objective which was also worth 3 points, so at the moment the score was about 7-3 to Alun. Needing to carefully concentrate my firepower I thought carefully. After my Predator was able to kill a few incubi, the Stormraven would target the Archon with much of its fire power but the assault cannons would fire at the wyches on the objective. I fired two missiles and the multimelta, and lo and behold the Archon died, its Shadowfield unable to susatin the barrage. The assault cannon tore the wyches apart, and Alun had lost an objective and linebreaker. My surviving stormtalon concentrated its firepower upon the rangers, killing just three. Alun rolled his morale check, and they ran! Alun had lost the other objective, his warlord and no linebreaker, giving me the game in an incredibly close affair.

I honestly thought Alun had this in the bag in turn three. I didn't think my reserves would do much, and even though the Legion didn't kill much, they prevented Alun four points in his deployment zone. The Stormraven did well, as did the tactical squad inside claiming an objective which proved vital. Alun was unlucky to lose his Warlord, but I'll take that anyday, I was unluccky not to have done more damage earlier! Those Razorwing things are brutal, those missiles tore my Tactical sqauds apart, as did the splinter cannon fire. I didn't realise venoms had so much firepower either, my Devs had no idea what hit them! I was too aggressive with the bikes and let too many out on show. Had there been a few more later on my Chapter Master may have survived and cut through more Dark Eldar on the right flank, but we learn from mistakes. 

A great close game against Alun as usual and as fun as always. Til next time pointy ears!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Batrep vs Crow Valley Crusaders

So another battle report, but this time myself and the eflling Alun took a wee trip down to the Crow Valley Crusaders where we challanged a couple of its members to a game of 40k! Shaun, whose Imperial Fists Contemptor has been featured on this very blog before, and Michael took up the challange. Just recently myself, and the other Chairman from the Welsh GCN clubs had a little meeting about more interclub gaming and events, and we've got some great ideas we're hoping to implment over the coming year. Byron, the GCN rep for Wales and also Chairman for the CVC guys has come up to the Reavers several times, so it was great to get down and play on away turf!

Shaun was using Imperial Fists, and Michael used Iron Hands tactics, although his marines were very red! It sort of looked like the Howling Griffons had curdled and split into two forces! I was using Krohmus Guard, while Alun had speedily built his latest purchases, and was able to field an all Dark Eldar force for the first time. 

Mission was Crusade, 2k points per player so 8k altogether, 4 objectives with the diagonal deployment. Looking across the table we could see a lot of firepower and already I was worried about whether I had enough to send into them. Alun assured me his 10 or so dark lances would be fine so we set off with the first turn. Night Fighting in effect as Alun had a warlord trait to put in into effect.

Heres the deployment, the achilles worried me a little, although I didn't realise it had three multimeltas on it! Thunderfire cannon would hurt, especially as there were objectives and two FW Plasma predators could do a lot of damage to me. 

First turn kicks off and I send a drop pod down in front of Mikes Land Raider Redeemer to try and blast it open with a meltagun. Which obviously I miss! Alun advances his raiders and ravagers forward but his fire only immobilises the land raider and takes another hull point off. Not good so far! My bikers advance around the flank, cautious of the contemptor there and my on foot tactical squad advance into the ruins towards the objective there. Aluns two venoms fly up the right flank to get into a position to assault next turn.

The CVC guys first turn proved devastating. Most of Aluns raiders or ravagers suffered horribly, either blowing up and taking a lot of the wyches away with the resulting explosions or losing weaponry or being immobilised. Not good for an army that needs to get across the board quickly! My drop pod and squad are wiped out from the redeemer and terminator fire. I roll for reserves and nothing comes on in the next turn!

Aluns flyers come on, and whittle down some of the squads in front of us. I advance my Land Raider and chapter master, chaplain and termies come out and charge the contemptor dread in their way. They blow him up, the explosion killing three of my terminators in the blast. Yep, another terrible armour roll for my terminators! Bikes advance a little more, Aluns survivors try to get into position to stay alive and the venoms unleash their Archons and incubi, who assault into a tactical squad butchering most and the terminator squad where their combat is a lot closer, a couple of termies die along with the incubi but the archon survives and fights on. 

Shaun and Mikes turn and two Fireraptors enter play, yes two! These Fists termies come down too, and do a little damage before a well placed plasma cannon shot and some wyches sort them out. 

The Fireraptors are deadly buggers fair play, being able to fire at four targets they annihilate Aluns two flyers and do more damage to Aluns surviving raiders, leaving alun looking very vulnerable. my tactical squad lose a couple more members due to thunderfire cannon fire, and the contemptor dread unsleashes Kheres assault cannon fire into the dark eldar killing even more.  Then my chapter master gets target. So much firepower butchers him, the chaplain and last two terminators. I had hoped they'd last longer but my dice rolling just isn't good!

My reserves come on, the tactical squad drop podding near the slightly forgotten about objective with the bikes moving up to support. The Stoemtalon flies in between the fireraptors into a position that it can't get shot by them next turn, crafty move I thought! I use the tactical doctine but completely forget to reroll ones, missing with both krak missiles this could have made a difference and I only take a hull point off and shake the crew. Its something though and helps an archon and incubi unit survive a little more in the next turn! Elsewhere fire proves to be fairly ineffective as we just don't have much left. In combat the other archon joins his beleagured general and wounds the chatper master, no easy thing! The other archon does die however, his shadowfield flickering and dying out. 

Aluns army is finished off in this turn, and I curse the Dark Eldars fragile nature. And Aluns bad dice rolling haha. Shauns contemptor with powerfists comes hurtling through the ruins and charges into my bike squad, the gravguns firing but doing little but the storm talon does fly in from behind and takes a hull point off. The grav guns fire again and I manage to get the two sixes I need to finish it off and hopefully keep the objective on the left flank. My tactical squad on the other objective are barraged heavily by loads of fire and all members die leaving the objective free. Two Imperial Fists capture the middle objective after Aluns wyches were finished off and another Fists squad holds the other objective. I fire some kraks at the unit but the Chapter master takes the missiles which kill him, granting us an extra point. 

The game ends and the score is 9-4 to the Crow Valley lads. Thats a generous result considering I had very little left and Alun was wiped off the table, but we had a great game and I hope the guys enjoyed! Those Fireraptors are crazy, and we just couldn't deal with the amount of firepower across the table from us. If Aluns dice were a little better in the first turn it could have been a lot closer, and he'd also forgotton about the bonus to jink saves from the night fighting which may have helped... although I doubt it! Tactically I made some mistakes during deployment. Putting the Crusader in the middle just invited firepower from all fronts, so when my Chapter Master came out he was right in the middle of everything and that was just daft! Fair play though Shaun and Michael played a great game and I hope we get to play them again to regain some pride and get some revenge!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

New Tyranid Codex Thoughts and Batrep

So the new Tyranid Codex has been released, and there is much talk floating around the internet about the book and from what I've encountered its pretty negative. I've never used the Nids before, and only ever played against them once with the old Tau codex and got hammered. With the release our Tyranid player Jacob offered me to a game, and choosing my Krohmus Guard I duly accepted. First of all, thoughts on the Codex pregame.

Jacob mentioned that a fair whack of the codex had been copied and pasted from the previous dex. This is unfortunate, but it is a nicely put together book regardless and I'm sure if you're a newcomer to gribblies, you'll enjoy the book immensely.

Rules wise its hard to offer much as I don't have much experience with them. I've always felt that things with a toughness and wounds beats out armour, as its incredibly hard to kill them on one turn unlike vehicles where you can penetrate and explode them. Many of the big nasties in the nid book are toughness 5-6 with 5-6 wounds, thats a lot of firepower to down these beasts. To me, a mix of big and small nids would be the most appealing army, perhaps not competitively but just for fun. Lots of little guys being goaded forward by synapse seems like a great image, tearing their way towards an unfortunate gunline where they either get shot down or overwhelm the defenders. 

As always, the art is fantastic and this piece with the nids taking on orks really caught my eye. The map of tendrils attacking areas of space was nice too and theres plenty of eye candy in the book. 

 So onto the battle then. We'd decided to do 1500 points, and not having any idea what Jacob was taking I went for a list designed to dent them early on and hopefully deal out enough firepower to slowly mow the numbers down as they advanced. My list was:

Barebones librarian, 2 tactical squads, one in a drop pod, dreadnought with TL heavy flamer and heavy flamer in a drop pod, predator with AC and HB's, 8xdevastators with 4 missile launchers, 10 scouts with rifles, missile launcher and telion, 5 bikers with two gravguns and combi grav and ten legion of the damned with flamer and heavy flamer. 

The basic thought was to use the bikers to pick on something big and take it out in one go, with some supporting fire if needed. The dread would come down and torch a big unit of gaunts that are closest to my main block of troops and the legion of the damned would either act as a screen coming down near my main force or deepstrile behind to try and distract and cause as much damage as possible. 

I deployed and Jacob set up his force. 3 Tervigons, 3 Zoanthropes, about 80-90 termagaunts, an exocrine, and deathleaper stood across from me or were in reserves. 

 First turn and the Dread droppods near a huge guant unit and torches a good 12-15 of them, but the nearby Tervigon charges in and damages the dread. I was lucky not to lose it in one turn as Jacob had two pens but didn't get to explode it. The bikers revved forward and unleashed a torrent of gravfire at the right most tervigon, killing the beast. My scouts targeted the Zoanthrope to the right, a krak missile finding its mark and instant killing the xenos. I managed to take a couple of wounds off the exocrine but it regenerated back up to 5. The nids rushed forward, gaunts mainly running forward to close ground to get ready to attack. One tervigon however rolled a double to spawn and would be unable to create anymore, whereas the other created 9 guants.

Tactical squad in drop pod deployed to the west, hoping to pile in some firepower using the Tactical Doctrine. The firepower tore apart guants but 9 still stood and charged the tactical squad in return. The bikers redployed and unleashed more graviton firepower, this time at the exocrine. Fairly poor dice rolling only took two wounds off, although the scouts managed to take another two off leaving it on just one wound. The predator fired and failed to do anything. The only thing left that could do anything was a lascannon toting tactical marine. I unleashed the shot, hit, but rolled a one to wound. Dammit! The Exocrine regenned two wounds to take it back up to 3, and blew up a few of my devastators, cover saving them from all being wiped out. The main Tervigon finished off my dreadnought and stormed alongside the gaunts assaulting my tactical marines. It managed to kill one marine after Jacob rolled badly but I did no damage back, mainly through a power that took my WS and BS down to just 1! I did kill a couple of gaunts and lost another marine. 

The Legion of the Damned appear at the back of the Tyranid line engulfing some gaunts in prometheum, then get assault by a tervigon and later on two units of gaunts, one from reserve and one spawned by said Tervigon. True to legend, they sponge up a tremndous amount of attacks and I only lose three for the rest of the game. They take out a unit of gaunts, leave the other with just a couple of models and keep a Tervigon locked in combat. Distraction and spongeness complete!

The bikers got assailted by a huge unit of gaunts, and I lost two in the first turn of combat but managed to kill a few in return. The gaunts were having a lot of trouble wounding the T5 bikers though so I felt safe they'd survive. A drop pod stormbolter killed a last gaunt to get a kill point, and the exocrine was finally finished off before it could wipe out my devastators. They however had a huge unit of gaunts and deathleaper to worry about. I advanced my Librarian and tactical squad out of the ruins on the right to back up the other tactical squad. I'd gained Iron Arm for the libby and was confident he could deal some damage to even the bigger beasties.

Deathleaper and the gaunts assaulted my Devs and took them down to two models, while my bikers stood resolute and unharmable almost to the other unit of gaunts, but only managed to kill a few due to lack of attacks. The Tervigon to my right was unable to cause enough wounds to the tactical squad to wipe them out, and the game ended before my libby could test his strength against something juicy.

We ended the game and I was up about 8-2, I was close to losing a couple of units but I'd done enough damage to blunt the Tyranid attack... for now!

Jacobs overall thoughts on the army is that they've been nerded, and I can see what he means. However Jacob hasn't played very often and is a little rusty of the rules. I think diverting a tervigon away from the main advance to take care of my legion of the damned wasn't a good move, but I don't think he realised just how durable a unit they are. Taking out a tervigon and zoanthrope in the first turn was inlucky too, but now he knows how deadly Gravguns are and if he has the choice will take the first turn to try and deal with them. After he's had a few more games it'll be interesting to see if he still has the same view or not. Hopefully not and he'll have found his footing witht he army again and get back to his biomass collecting ways! 

From my perspective it was an enjoyable game, seeing a wave of gaunts and some bigger beasts across from me was unnerving, and I did wonder if my force would be any good. It proved to be fairly effective however with most of the units doing well. I look forward to more games against Jacob as he's always fun to play against, and when he gains some confidence I'm sure his tactical gribbliness will be hard to beat!