Monday, 9 April 2012

Wotan’s Night Campaign –Third Tier Report

The third Tier of our campaign has commenced, and the 3 of us have progressed on nicely playing the mission and deployment type: Seize Ground & Pitched Battle.
The games were now ramped up to 1250 points, with any Veterans from the previous battles surviving and bringing their battlecraft experience to the next part of the tier, “Assault on Ice Station Zebrox”

Here are our army rosters:

Laur has maxed out his scoring units by combat-squadding 2 tac. Squads. Flexibility, protection and contesting threats are brought to the table with a jump-pack librarian and assault squad, while Laur keeps his long reach with the double Predators.
Dougie has brought a Lash Sorceror for the first time ever! - with points efficient Obliterators for support, and 4 Rhino-fulls of Chaos Space Marines to stretch out scoring capacity.
I have supplemented my previous list with the addition of a Vindicare for long-range anti-tank, and introduced the combo of the elite Terminators and Thawn to give myself a survivable scoring unit.
Here were the following results:
2nd TIER – BATTLE 01
Grey Knights Vs. Space Marines:  Grey Knights had the 1st go, result was a tie (no objectives  held). Due to campaign rules, we rolled off and Laur won the Dice roll, counting as a Victory.
This was a hard-fought game with lacklustre shooting, great combat for the GK, and swings and roundabouts where the GK’s had the advantage throughout the beginning, which then a draw was forced upon by Laur, a position of which I tried but then couldn’t shift.
Both my investment in the Vindicare and Psyfleman was paid in kind to begin with, but progressively got more ineffective as the game went on, with my Rhinos being shot at and wrecked, and the game was more or less fought over 2 of the objectives.
Both players made crucial errors. On my part, I had forgot my Purgation squad were Tank Hunters, so there were plenty of failures that could’ve been glancing and glances that could’ve penetrated (I failed to blow up an AV12 building after 2 turns, even with a hammer-handed D-hammer in assault, unlucky!), leaving my Termies out in the open to fall to meltashot, and ignoring an immobilised and weapon destroyed Predator (which still had a threatening lascannon) due to it’s AV14 upgrade to the front, and me losing the bigger picture at taking out his long range and focusing on his scoing/contesting transports instead.
While I DID remember to use the Dread’s Reinforced Aegis (though Laur did successfully cast his powers, rolling a total 4 and 5 separately needing a 6 or less), I forgot to use the Psyk-out grenades and Daemonbane rule against Laur’s Librarian, AGAIN. Duuh.
Laurence’s crucial error in the game was not moving a combat tac. squad in position to take an objective, remaining unmolested but fairly useless. There was also the case of not moving a Rhino for 2 turns, both of which could have tipped the balance of the battle to his favour, something which he’ll be kicking himself!
However biggest boo-boo was using his remaining Sternguard to disembark a stunned Rhino, then quickly embarking a building objective to force a draw on the game (which is an illegal move, disembarking and embarking in the same turn, but this had happened so fast neither myself nor Dougie who was invigilating got to point this out). If it weren’t for this illegal move, I would’ve defo had a clear and decisive victory. Naughty Laurence!
Laur did combat squad all his troops to max. bodies and targets, and a highlight of his would’ve been when his Sternguard and a combat squad unleashed hell on the Termies, wiping them out. Thawn himself came back once from the grave and wiped out a 5-men squad hisself, but killed another turn by lascannon fire, failing to come back twice in the last 2 crucial turns.
Now is not a good time for a 2-turn dirt nap! Grrr. *note to self:  I Shall Not Yield is for fun and is a bonus, not to be relied upon as a given.
As the draw stood, we rolled off and Laur’s Ultramarines counted as a Victory for the campaign.
2nd TIER – BATTLE 02
Chaos Space Marines Vs. Grey Knights:  Chaos stole the initiative, the game was a draw (2 objectives each) with a victory result to Dougie as we rolled off.
Summary: A real punch-out of a game in which asymmetric deployment by Chaos put the thinly-spread GK on the backfoot, but steadily the tables turned as the GK Elite shredded everything they shot at. However, the game ending on the 5th turn was to Chaos’ fortune.
Highlights include Dougie’s Chaos sorcerer lord not having pulled off a SINGLE use of Lash of Submission (either failing his Psychic tests due to GK’s Aegis, Perils of the Warp, and/or missing his ‘shot’ thanks to the latest Chaos FAQ on Lash, thereby being unable to test out the lash-plasma pie plate oblit combo), and that every Chaos Rhino was either wrecked or immobilised in the first few turns.
The GK’s Vindicare was eliminated by turn 2 through small arms fire and bad rolls, although the Chaos strategy did not pay off as expected. 2 squads of Chaos troops, 2 oblits, and the sorcerer were sent to deal with 2 5-men squad of GK’s in Rhino, who proved more resilient than expected. When the dust settled, only the sorcerer, and a rag-tag 3-men Chaos squad were left to claim the objective, with a full-bodied squad babysitting another at the rear.
Purgation squad pwned everything as usual, destroying Doug’s uber-veteran Nurgle-marked squad to allow my Termies to sit on an objective. A chance plasma shot killed off Thawn in the 3rd turn, who resurrected on turn 5 to claim an objective in the backfield, which proved lucky for me (changing an auto-lose game into an auto-draw).
On my final turn, desparate shooting and an assault proved to dislodge the last Chaos squad sitting on an objective was to no avail, as I lost my men to successive Perils of the Warp results while succeeding to pull off Hammerhands (Snake Eyes!) and finally gave in to the inevitable, as it was against the odds to turn a draw into a win.  Should the game have continued further,  Chaos would’ve crumpled under the pressure of the GK’s long reach and bendy mind bullets!
2nd TIER – BATTLE 03
Chaos Space Marines Vs. Ultramarines:  Chaos had the 1st turn, the result was yet another draw (1 objective each), with victory being awarded to the Marines via roll-off.
Summary:   METAL BAWKSES 40K!
A tense shoot-off stand-off emerged from this game, with Chaos having all of it’s transports eventually immobilised, weapon destroyed and stunned repeatedly, but not wrecked! Both players favoured a careful, tentative approach to their strategy and tactics which meant a by-the-numbers game of act, react, and react again.
Men stayed inside their boxes, but eventually troops had to go for broke to win the game. Dougie’s pimped-up squad launched a daring raid and was rewarded with wiping out Laur’s troop unit, while Laurence’s Ultramarines surrounded an immobilised Chaos Rhino-ful of men on Turn 4 to prevent their disembarkation and to hold an objective further afield. (Note: Chaos Rhino disguised as Ultramarine metal bawks in photo. Sneaky!)

Bawbag move, or valid strategy? You decide!

Laur would’ve bagged the game if it had ended on Turn 5, but the game stretched out ‘til turn 7. Dougie would’ve won the game if he had wiped out the jump pack assault squad but ATSKNF saved the day as they regrouped and made a final contesting move.
Ultimately a final objective was fought over between a 5-men team of Chaos and Marines and boiled down to a simple Ld 7 roll which Laurence failed, his men turned tail and fled as the final initiative test was ‘passed’ (which wasn’t the result Laurence wanted), meaning a Win situation turned into a Draw. Unlucky for Laur!
Rewards were lost by Chaos and the Ultramarines, but general bonuses past & present, as follows:
Grey Knights – Purgation Squad (Relentless, Tank Hunters, Night Vision), Lazerback (ignore Shaken) and Dreadnought (ignore Shaken, re-roll dangerous terrain tests)
Space Marines & Chaos – will roll for their Special Abilities in Tier 4.

Final result for Tier 3: Ultramarines are ahead of the game, followed by Chaos, with GK (me) at the last. In terms of campaign rewards, GK’s receive ‘Vital Objective’, Chaos get ‘Obstacles’, and I get ‘Minefields’.
We bemoaned the fact that Objective-based games are so heavily dominated by the use of Transports throughout, but I'm sure with the impending release of 6th edition 40k that may, or may not, be a thing of the past.
I’m off to go model some Minefield strategic markers, while I prepare for the next 1500 point match. Toodle-ooh.

To be continued..

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