So the time had come. The big one. The decider. Crow Valley Crusaders vs Tredeager Reavers. Best of three, first two games split, only one left and everything to play for. Alun had informed me that we'd have 3k pts. Each. This would be a chunky game! Alun was taking Guard this time, using the Militarum codex that had been released just the week before. On one hand, it was fresh and Alun hadn't used Guard before, but on the other I don't think Mike or Shaun expected Guard... lets see how it goes.
Upon arriving, Mike and Shaun tell us we'll be facing 4 Chapter Masters. Shocking!
I'd decided not to take one, and had plumped for Tigurius and a Captain (aka Squat Slayer). Alun had taken Stracken as his warlord, with Tiggy as mine. We got first turn and set up. Most of our units were on the right flank, which, in hindsight, not a good idea to bunch things up.
Then 'IT' happened. One of the most devastating first turns I've ever seen. Unfortunately it was from Mike and Shaun who seized the initiative. 3 orbital bombardments later and 2 leman russ tanks, 2 chimeras and a vindicator were blown to pieces. Alun, who had also taken some Grey Knight allies, lost his Vindicare to an unlucky roll of '1' to save him. I think the boys said they had around 27 blasts to come down on the first turn. Needless to say, they got first blood. It did not look good. Shauns sternguard drop pod down beside my plasma cannon devastator squad and only a couple are lost.
Two of my drop pods entered play, and I attempted to assassinate Mikes Warlord. 10 combi grav shots later and I butcher the tactical squad he was accompanying but he loses just one wound... and gets it back later on from it will not die. Oh well, worth a go! Elsewhere we take a couple of hullpoints off a contemptor, stop one of the plasma preds from firing and I blow on of the other ones up, although this enrages a nearby contemptor who comes charging back to deal with my tactical squad in the next phase. The plasma cannon squad, lead by Tiggy take aim at the Imperial Fists Sternguard and wipe them out. Presciene and Perfect timing working incredibly well together!
Turn of the flyers! Most of the flyers enter play except for Shauns Fireraptor. We take more losses this turn, a combat squad is wiped out from Mikes huge terminator squad in the spartan, the Guardsmen behind the Aegis Defence Line take a hammering and the plasma cannon devs are reduced significantly. Not as bad as that first turn though!
Aluns surviving Leman Russ takes position to cover the Relic, its battle cannon threatening to any infantry looking to capture the objective. I drop pod nearby the Relic and attempt to run onto it to capture, but roll dismally and fail to reach it. After some concentrated fire, Shauns Warlord is left alone after his accompanying tactical squad were blown apart by rockets and battle cannon. A missile launcher toting Krohmus Guard tactical member takes aim and looses off a krak missile. The missile hits home and Shaun fails his save, giving us a vital victory point. With the objective in the middle of a killing zone we realise that the objective wont be held by anyone and its via bonus VP's this game will be won. We'd already lost out on First Blood and Linebreaker looked likely to be held by both sides, so Slay the Warlords would be huge.
More of the Iron Hands and Fists units deepstrike onto our right flank, and guardsmen are hit by fire, although not before a demolition charge is thrown at Shauns terminators, but Alun misses and only catches four in the explosion. My plasma cannon devs are wiped out, and Tiggy is left on one wound after fire from umpteen sources. Off he hides! Shauns Stormtalons are wiped out in retaliation and it seems the right flank is safe, despite not much being left. The Techmarine and Thunderfire weather the storm and are left on one wound.
The Fireraptor also gets dealth with thankfully, although my Stormraven gets battered and left with one hullpoint. Aluns Inquisitor deepstrikes down and takes so much firepower yet still a few survive! And then get charged by a contemptor... Mikes Warlord hides in some ruins with another Tactical Squad, and this now is our prime target. Both of my Storm Talons swoop over and manage to kill a few of the squad. Aluns Valkyrie also flies over into a position to drop off his stormtroopers for a fusilade in the final turn.
Becoming fed up of Mikes plamsa pred getting fixed up all the time the Stormraven destroys it before the thunderhammer termies assault wrecking the third and final one. Noll the Squat Cyber Slayer also launches himself into the other thunderfire cannon, easily dispatching the Techmarine. The heavy flamer dread torches three of the marines but leaves himself out of range when he assaults... oops!
With both of our Warlords safe, the score stands at 2-2. Mikes Warlord is now the only thing we kill to earn us victory, the Relic seemingly secondry to killing people! The stormtalons go into hover mode as the Stormtroopers disembark and loose off a hail of fire, taking down the last few of the tactical squad guarding the (one of many HA) Chapter Masters. Alun also manages to take off a wound from the Warlord and the Stormtalons open up finally killing the stubborn sod! With that, we edge out a win 3-2, although I'm still not sure how after that first turn!
So what a game and what a way to end this best of three series against Mike and Shaun. Both were awesome opponents and I can't wait to play more games against this scheming duo. I'm sure many more interclub games will be held, if they're half as fun as these three games have been they'll have an awesome time playing!
Coming up is a game against Aluns Daemons that was again, incredibly close, and also some WIPs of projects I'm working on. This Saturday too I'm going to Warhammer World with a few of the CVC lads to the GCN EGM, so that should be a great day out and it'll be awesome to meet some of the people involved at the GCN. Its a shame I never got to meet Anthony Barnes who passed away recently, and was the president of the GCN. Whoever takes over has some big shoes to fill, but I'm sure they'll be upto the task. I'm also looking at perhaps a couple of Forge World additions....