Monday, 12 December 2011

Wotan’s Night Campaign – Draft First Report

We had our first night on campaign, fighting battles of Tier 1 from the campaign aid. This was to be the preliminary engagement over the Frost Plains of the world of Wotan’s Night, where our mutual forces would jockey for an early advantage and test out the Veteran Abilities rules from the BRB.

We only managed to fight 2 of the 3 games from this first tier, 400-point Combat Patrol being fast, furious, but still taking roughly over an hour each filled with the usual rules checking, messing around, checking LOS, toilet/smoke breaks, squabbling, etc.
Here are our army rosters:
Click to embiggen

Laur went with a roster relying upon the cheapest troop from his codex (Scouts), followed by a pimped-up Sternguard Squadron, and a jump-pack assault squad for flexibility.
Dougie went for 2 squads of Chaos in Rhinos, one of which is 6no. troops with increased toughness due to the Mark of Nurgle, something he never usually picks! The other unit is a squad of 5 Chosen, armed to the teeth with Plasma guns.
I went for the long range game, choosing 2 Razorbacks, one with TL lascannon, the other in the Psyrazor format (Heavy bolter with psybolt ammo). I had to take 1 troop unit of SS grey knights, but have opted to experiment with a unit of Purgation Squad, hoping to use their bullet-curving abilities to get those cheaper Psilencers spammed out and hopefully out of sight when shooting.
We each rolled off, Space Marines had the highest roll, followed by Chaos Space Marines and my trusty Grey Knights at the last. The loser of the first battle would play against Grey Knights (to keep things fair in terms of the inherited Veteran Abilities), who in turn will fight the winner at the last.
Space Marines (Laur) was up against Chaos (Dougie), and thus Grey Knights (me) played against Chaos.

Here were the following results (so far):

1st TIER – BATTLE 01

1st game - Space Marines Vs. Chaos Space Marines: SM had the 1st go, result was a SM victory (3 Killpoints over 1 Killpoints)

Summary: Both players made ‘schoolboy errors’ such as trying to shoot from a Rhino that had moved at cruising, or failing to gain enough reach when firing a Rapid Fire weapon at assault range. However, Laur had sh!t-hot rolling, producing 5’s and 6’s on demand, with the Scouts and Sternguard popping Rhinos and mowing down marines like nobody’s business. He did have to sacrifice the Jump Pack squad initially, but all in all it was a decisive victory to the Space Marines when Laur’s luck trumped over Dougie’s.

2nd game - Grey Knights Vs. Chaos Space Marines: GK had the 1st go, result was a tie (2 Killpoints to 2 Killpoints). Due to campaign rules, we rolled off and Dougie won the Dice roll, counting as a Victory.

Summary:  I thought my plan to keep Chaos at bay and use my lascannon and psybolt fire to pop his taxis, and mop up with psilencer fire was a good one. Alas it turned out so differently, as my luck was as bad as Dougie’s on his 1st game, and his luck was as good as Laur’s..

Despite a good torrent of fire from my Razorbacks, every cover save however minute was passed by Doug, and every penetrating hit resulted in just shaken or weapon destroyed effects. At a crucial moment when the 1st Rhino was popped, I killed 2 of the 6-strong squad in shooting and charged in expecting to do some damage but didn’t inflict a single hit, thus losing 2 of my own in the process. Dougie’s Chosen came running in and helped out the charge, and I lost my Grey Knight Squad.

But at least my Purgation squad was well-hidden and I sprayed away with Psilencer and Stormbolter shot. Of the 26 possible shots, I scored 16 hits (just below average),  8 wounds (exactly half), but he saved every save. D’oh!

It didn’t help that Purgation squad Psilencers are heavy (I considered Psycannons for the Assault profile, but was hoping weight of dice numbers would do me well), so they only shot once in the whole game which was a huge drawback. My Razorbacks got charged and 1 blew up, so the game was a definite tie with me having popped his taxis, him popping one of mine and wiping out my Strike Squad.

Using the Veteran Abilities ruleset from the BRB, the winners of each game was allowed to upgrade 2 surviving units with random abilities, the loser just 1.
The overall rewards as follows:

Space Marines – Rhino (Ability to ignore Shaken results), Scout Squad (Night Vision/Acute Senses)
Chaos Space Marines – Chaos Space Marines (Furious Charge & Counter Attack), Chosen (Tank Hunters_
Grey Knights – Purgation Squad (Relentless)

As I had only ‘lost’ my only game, I was allowed to upgrade a single surviving squad and received ‘Relentless’ for my efforts! Thus, my Purgation Squad now have the ability to sling their Psilencers when loading/off-loading from their Razorback taxi. Woohoo!
Dougie's Chaos Space Marine squad has become a real beast of a veteran unit, with their stackable combat abilities. Laur's vets are perhaps a little less fearsome. That's the roll of the dice for you.
Looking forward to our last game of this initial tier, and the last game of the year, and am hoping my now-relentless Purgation squad make it through the next tier. I know Purgation Squads are rarely ever taken in GK lists (Psyfleman being more points-competitive), but now with Relentless (totally free!) they may just be worth it. Maybe they’ll even shoot more than once! Maybe..

To be continued...

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