Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thanks for showing up: Blood Angels vs. Deathwing

Any time now...
Disclaimer up front: I forgot my camera for this report, so all the pics are from my phone.  They turned out ok, but I think I've finally found the application where my point-n-shoot outstrips my phone. I also think I missed some shots so the turn counter might be off a bit.

Lists and Deployment

For this latest game of 40k, EV trotted out his Deathwing.  I'll reproduce the list, or an approximation of it, because it's been a while since the army last appeared here.

Belial with Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield
Deathwing squad with 4 Lightning Claws and 1 TH/SS
4 Deathwing squads, 2 with Cyclone Launchers, 2 with Assault Cannons
2 Venerable Dreads with Droppod and Multimelta

In the last post I talked a little bit about the mongrel list I used, but here it is in all it's cobbled together glory.

9 Death Company with 3 Power Weapons and 1 Power Fist
"Godhammer" Land Raider
Baal with Assault Cannon and Heavy Bolter sponsons
Predator with Autocannon and Lascannons sponsons
Vindicator with Siege Shield
Assault Bike with Multimelta
2 Assault Squads, one with double Meltaguns, the other with a Meltagun and a Plasma Pistol
2 Sanguinary Priests with Jump Packs and Power Weapons

The basic idea here is to run the armor forward as a wall for the Assault Squads behind.  The Attack Bike and Plasma Pistol are there strictly to fill points.  We rolled up Annihilation (kill points) with Dawn of War for deployment.  I'd won the roll to be the first player, but decided to roll on so I could see where EV would deploy.  He put his two troops down in the center of the table and kept everything else in reserve, perhaps for a "Deathwing Assault," which seems like a slightly different flavor of reserve.  The table was a bit more terrainy than I'd anticipated, and with my heavy (for me) collection of vehicles I wasn't sure how things would work out, but one rarely gets to choose their battlefield. 

Turn 1

I had grand designs of getting in a good, solid round of shooting before launching my assault.  Unfortunately Dawn of War deployment means limited visibility in the first turn, so all my shots either had no target, missed, or were saved.  Had I been thinking I would have moved the Vindicator up further, but alas.  I missed the shot at the end of EV's first turn, but he had the same fate I did.  The end result was the usual first turn lack of action.

Blood Angels - 0  Deathwing - 0

Close enough to end of turn 1.
Turn 2

In hindsight I probably should have done shots at the end of the movement phase, but alas for that as well.  Taken with the novelty of having a transport with an assault ramp, I sent the Land Raider up and popped the Death Company out to engage the Deathwing on the hill.  The Vindicator moved up some more and shot to no effect.  The Attack Bike zoomed up to get a shot on a Terminator, while the two Predators formed the screen for my assault squads.  A Lascannon shot from the regular Predator hit home, while the rest of my shooting was ineffective.

First blood to the boys in red.

In the assault phase the Death Company handled their foes a little too easily, leaving them open to reprisals from the other squad on the table.  The charge was very satisfying though, what with all the rerolls for the Chaplain and the mass of power weapons.

Death Company charge: it's super effective!
I'd cut EV's army in half this turn, but since most of it had yet to hit the table there wasn't much cause for celebration.  I did take the KP lead though.

Blood Angels turn 2.

EV's turn started with something I found rather amusing, though I imagine he was less amused.  One of his squads deviated on top of my Chaplain, and the resulting mishap roll meant I got to place them wherever I wanted.  I toyed with the idea of putting them in woods or other dangerous terrain, but settled for sticking them as far away as possible.  In the following shot, the black die is the initial placement, the white die is where the squad scattered (approximately), and the yellow box shows where the squad finally appeared...

Took a wrong turn in the warp...
...snuggled up tight against the table edge.

George Carlin watches, unamused.
Things went better for EV in the center, where a squad that arrived safely combined fire with the already deployed squad to whittle down the Death Company.

Feel No Pain only does so much against missiles and Rends.

On the left flank one of the Dreadnaughts dropped right behind my Land Raider.  Knowing that EV had a pair of drop dreads, I knew something like this would happen, but I figured the thick ceramite armor on the Land Raider would give it a measure of protection.  Turns out that Land Raiders don't have that armor, which I thought would cut melta to a single die for penetration.  The result was one dead Land Raider.
My 250 point taxi takes a powder.

Back in the middle the central Deathwing squad assaulted the Death Company.  Without the extra oompf of the charge, the Death Company only killed three Terminators, but only lost three of their own in return.  Both sides were Fearless, so the melee continued.

Epic fight on the hill.

Losing the Land Raider was a bit of a blow, but things didn't look so bad.  EV had not so good luck with his reserve rolls, so I wasn't facing too many Terminators at once, and I had plenty of anti-armor on hand to deal with that uppity Dreadnaught. 

Blood Angels - 1  Deathwing - 1

Deathwing turn 2.
Turn 3

Despite having "plenty of anti-armor," my shooting was so horrible I have no pictures of it.  I shot, in no particular order, two Meltaguns, one Multimelta, one Autocannon, one Lascannon, one twin-linked Assault Cannon, and two Heavy Bolters (because I could) at the Dread that had killed my Land Raider.  The result?  A single destroyed weapon.

The assault phase went better for me as the Death Company finished off their foes and consolidated a mighty inch towards their next target.

Go go blenders of death.
The assault squad that couldn't shoot a Dread dead decided that melee would work better, but turns out it didn't.  The Dread did no damage, but my power fist didn't either, initiating the first sissy slap fight.  Earlier in the turn the Vindicator had rocketed through the center of the table to line up the far Deathwing squad.

Blood Angels turn 3.
Having not had a lot of luck with the DC in melee, EV turned to shooting.  It proved slightly less effective, in terms of DC killed per phase, but did have the bonus of not costing him any of his own models.

Keep them away...

Here I made a mistake.  Among the many (non-cratering) hits on the Dreadnaught, one or more was a stunned/shaken/immobilized result, and another was a weapon destroyed.  I picked the fist as I figured I'd be in combat with the thing eventually and didn't want it squishing my troopers.  Since the Land Raider was already blowed up I wasn't so worried about the multimelta.  What I should have done was taken the multimelta and just stayed out of combat with the immobilized Dread, but I didn't do that and EV took out my Attack Bike as a result.

The bike faired little better than the taxi.

More Dreadnaughtery.  Here the other Dread drops in and pops my Vindicator.  It occurred to me while at work tonight that I had moved flat out in the Vindicator and probably got a save, or required a 6 to be hit, as a result.  Unfortunately I didn't think about that at the time, and EV may well have rolled a 6 or whatever in the first place.  The end result was yet another blowed up vehicle.

Vindicator: one shot, no hits.  Quite the trend for my vehicles.

Not the best turn for me, but then one rarely fares well in their opponent's turn.  I was down to half strength on my mech, but my infantry was holding up well.  Most of EV's army was on the table now, though Belial had yet to show up.  The Death Company was banged up, but still running around.  Despite being behind in KPs I felt pretty good.

Deathwing turn three.

Blood Angels - 2  Deathwing - 3

Turn 4

The fully painted Assault Squad wanted to make up for their poor shooting from last turn, so they trundled a little closer and opened up again, this time with bolty stuff as well as the melta.  Plenty of hits, three penetrating, no destroyed.  The Dread had no arms and couldn't move, but wasn't dead yet.  Surely I'd be able to deal with it in melee though...

I thought melta was supposed to be good against armor.

After failing to destroy the first Dreadnaught, I turned my attention to the second.  This one got the attention of the other, not fully painted, Assault Squad and the Baal.  Many shots, similar result: one destroyed fist on a still functioning Dread.  That power fist should make short work of it in melee though...
More melta, more disappointment.

Slightly more effective was was the much maligned AC/LC Predator.  Having moved to a commanding hill-top position, it opened fire on the remaining Deathwing squad and took out a member.
Who says painted models play better?

You'll notice in the end of turn shot below that both Dreadnaughts are still on the table.  You might think that this is a shot from the beginning of the assault phase before any dice were rolled.  Surely three power fist attacks should be enough to wreck a Dread, right?  Not so much.  Instead I initiated a pair of sissy slap fights that would rage on and on and on and on.  On the plus side I was forced to charge the Death Company into the Dreadnaught, so when the combat went against me at least the squad was safe from shooting in the following turn.

Blood Angels turn four.

From here on the turns start going faster. EV is waiting for Belial's squad to show up, but I guess he had something pressing to do other than fight because he was still waiting.  The only eligible targets for shooting are the Predators, who suffer no damage.  Then the slap fight continues.  The Dreads can't get a wound through on my No Pain Feeling troops, and my piss-poor sergeants can't manage to give them the fist.  The squad that got shunted to the far side of nowhere is starting to get into the action though.

Deathwing turn four.

Blood Angels - 2  Deathwing - 3

Turn 5

The same problems that afflicted EV also got me: lack of things to do.  My two Predators were the only things that could do anything constructive.  Fortunately the AC/LC Predator continued to be effective and took out another Terminator.

Unpainted Predator strikes again!

Following the generic Predator's example, the Baal shot at the now relevant squad a whole bunch and managed to kill one.

Straight Baalin.

In the assault phase the painted squad finally got their act together and finished off the gimpy Dread.  All it took was four golden range melta shots and seven power fist attacks.  Not counting anything from a different source like the Attack Bike or the Predator or the other Predator.  At least it finally died.
Upside down for some reason, but you get the idea.
Of course the other Dread didn't die, so my second Assault Squad and Death Company were still locked in there.  I had tied the score at three though, so huzzah for small victories.

Blood Angels turn five.

The tie was short lived though, as EV took out the vanilla Predator with some Rending shots.

At least I still have another Predator...

He must have liked it because he did it again to the Baal.

...or not.

The sissy slap fight in the center took a slight turn for the nasty.  EV did a wound on the Chaplain, which should have gone to the DC model in retrospect, what with Independent Characterness and all.  In return my sergeant...ripped off the multimelta.  Those Dreadnaughts are tough.

The slap fight results in a broken nail.

Despite having finally killed a Dreadnaught, my fortunes sunk this turn.  I lost the rest of my vehicles and better than half my infantry was stuck trying to finish off an armless, gimpy Dread.  The squad that was free to act was stuffed in a corner.  Plus I was behind in KPs again.

Deathwing turn five.

Blood Angels - 3   Deathwing - 4

Turn 6 (or possibly 7)

I think I missed a shot or three somewhere.  We played seven turns, but I can only piece together six from the pictures.  I probably missed one during the slap fight phase of the game when I nodded off, waiting for something the happen.  Fortunately things happened this turn, things like an assault.  My painted squad took out one Terminator with shooting on the way in, then managed only one in the melee that followed.  EV killed two of my troops in return to win the combat, but my lads stuck around for another go.

Despite having a nine to one numbers advantage at the end, I lost this combat.

More slapping, no killing.  Same story.

Blood Angels turn six (or seven).

EV had one more shot at bringing in Belial.  Apparently he, and his squad, would count as dead if they continued to play ping pong, which would give me a lead in KPs.  Instead he chose the last possible moment to make a cameo appearance, denying my the (unearned) KPs and making my path to victory a tough one indeed.  Things got off to a good start for me though as my painted squad finished off their lone opponent.

Terminators are much easier to kill than Dreadnaughts.

In the middle, the irrelevant squad finally made it to the fight and charged my Death Company.  My Chaplain sat and watched, thanks to his Independent Characterness, while the DC trooper failed to kill an opponent and got smashed down for his troubles.

Epic spectating.
The slap fight raged on and concluded the game.  We ran out of road and the final tally showed EV ahead 5 to 4.  Maiden victory to the Deathwing.
End of game.
Final kill points:  Blood Angels - 4  Deathwing - 5

In retrospect, I should have taken out the drop pods.  I didn't start counting KPs until turn three or four.  While EV mentioned that the pods were worth a point, I didn't realize how close the end result would be until it was too late.  Of course no one could reasonably expect the Dreads to last as long as they did, and had they gone down sooner (or at all) I would have had a couple free squads to move around and do stuff with.  I also could have used my vehicles better, especially the Land Raider, but this game did show me how effective vehicles are.  My big complaint with them previously was actually two complaints: you can lose a vehicle to a single shot, and they have to shoot all their weapons at the same target.  The latter wasn't such an issue, while the former definitely was.  Still, I can get a pair of Baals (ha) for what a single Devastator squad would cost, so I'll have to look into that for the future.  Also on the plate for the future: Dreadnaughts.  Lots of Dreadnaughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment