|Like this, but not really.|
I'm skipping the usual army listings in favor of a more abstract, descriptive approach. I ran the mech/jumper hybrid list that I've settled on recently. It has a pair of assault squads for troops, a Death Company filled Land Raider, a pair of Predators, a Vindicator, and a Multimelta Attack Bike. Oh, and Mephiston. I wanted to field some Scouts, since I haven't put them on the table in a decade, but got sucked into the TV last night instead of writing up an army list. EV ran my list through Army Builder after our last game and came up 90 points short, so I took another Sanguinary Priest to fill the gap. When I make up that Scout list I'll double check my math and see who was wrong, me or Army Builder.
EV took Terminator Njal out for his maiden voyage, along with his Terminator buddies in a LR Crusader (as detailed here), along with three Razorbacks and one Rhino full of Grey Hunters, two Long Fang packs, and one (slightly tardy) unit of Thunderwolves. The Njal-star sucked up a lot of points, which meant less bodies across the table than usual, but with Storm Shields on those bodies I didn't feel much better about my chances. That said I think our closest fights are vampires vs werewolves (even if my most hated single model is Njal, Terminator armored or not) and both our lists featured expensive units in expensive transports. I don't think I've faced TH/SS Terminators too often before and was eager to see how the Internet darlings perform on the table.
|Objectives circled for your convenience.|
EV failed to seize the initiative, so I rocketed off towards glory. My initial shooting was more successful than I'd hoped for. The Land Raider was stunned (with no extra armor), which was a great result. One Razorback got blown up, taking half of the squad inside out as well, and the Baal picked off a single Long Fang.
Working backwards here, my movement was all about closing the gap and keeping my infantry shielded. Having a Sanguinary Priest attached to each assault squad was a nice experience. I didn't have to bunch all my mens up and could send them in different directions without losing Feel No Pain, so I split them around the central ruin with the intention of leading with the left squad and using the right squad as a second wave that could, potentially, be redirected towards the right objective if I managed to have the best possible result and sweep away EV's center with the Death Company and left assault squad. And Mephiston of course, can't forget him. Keeping the Land Raider pinned down and de-meching one squad was a good start towards dealing with the center, but there would be plenty more work to do.
|Blood Angels turn one|
EV's return fire was less crippling than expected. Perhaps I'm still reeling from my latest encounter with the Dark Eldar, but when I came out of EV's turn down one Predator and the other shaken I counted myself lucky.
|One down, one kicked in the Baals, but infantry intact.|
|Space Wolves turn one.|
With most of my forces in tact, I started off by sending in the melta bike, which destroyed another Razorback. This left it facing down a meltagun or two in return, but that's a trade I was fine with to reduce EV to one functional Razorback.
|Suicide melta doing its job.|
In the center, things continued to go well for me. Njal took a wound from Perils of the Warp when he tried to generate a cover save, then the assault squad blew up another Razorback, taking EV down to zero. To make things better, or perhaps worse, Mephiston cleaned up the Grey Hunters that were de-meched in turn one, which took out some foes but left him out in the open to be shot at.
|Not pictured: the contents of the second Razorback.|
The rest of the army continued to advance. I lost a few jumpers to Njal's anti-jumpers spell, but not too many. The Baal zoomed up and popped smoke since it couldn't shot while the Vindicator tried to blow up the Land Raider and failed. The Land Raider soaked up a lot of fire but emerged unscathed, which was troubling. Meanwhile the "reserve" assault squad took cover behind the central ruins, waiting to see where they would be needed. Confidence was pretty high in the red corner.
|Blood Angels turn two.|
EV's reprisal against the Attack Bike was swift as he gunned it down with Grey Hunters doing a drive-by from their Rhino. He followed up with the previously dismounted Grey Hunters blowing off the Assault Cannon turret on the Baal, then taking out a Heavy Bolter in the ensuing assault. They were none too pleased about losing their ride.
|Kicked in the Baals.|
In the center, EV sat and shot with the Crusader. This was a head-scratcher for me as I was certain I was about to lose my assault squad to a hail of Thunder Hammers, but I guess he didn't want to launch an assault and then take a charge from the Death Company in the next turn. All his shooting whittled down the assault squad a bit, but left them at better than half strength and with a thirst for revenge in the coming turn.
|The center heats up.|
|Space Wolves turn two.|
As often happens, I got caught up in gaming and neglected pictures. The gist is that I popped open the Crusader, then got a lucky drift with the Vindicator to end my shooting phase with Njal and one bodyguard left standing. EV's dice left him high and dry in my shooting phase as I shut down Njal's psychic powers with Mephiston's hood, then his Storm Shields refused to work and Wolf Guard dropped like flies. I stumbled a bit by shooting at Njal with Mephiston's plasma pistol, which kept him from assaulting, but other than that things went as well as I could have hoped for.
|At the start of the assault phase.|
|And then there were none.|
|Blood Angels turn three.|
Yep, more missed photos. We pick up the action at the end of the Blood Angel assault phase in turn four. The Thunderwolves showed up in turn three and assaulted the Death Company. They took out a few DC, but were still sitting there for Mephiston to join the party. I remembered Transfixing Gaze this time around, along with his actual spell list, and while we weren't entirely certain how it worked, the net result was that he chopped up some wolves. The Death Company were whittled down to two maniacs, plus the Chaplain, while the assault squad wiped out a Long Fang squad and set up to take down the other one.
|Another assault phase.|
|Blood Angels turn four.|
Since EV's disillusionment with Warmahordes and my resolution to take 40k at its word and treat it as a beer & pretzels excuse to throw dice, I've been having a lot more fun with the boys in red. Increased comfort with the system surely plays a role, but I think most of the reason is that I can get my competitive fix with a system that's built for it (Warmahordes) and just have fun with 40k. Of course that leads to the desire for new toys, or more precisely the desire to field that Stormraven I finally got, but since I'm (probably) going to paint the interior of the cockpit(s) I don't think I'd be able to assemble it enough to be recognizable without having to stop to paint. Since all my painting (and assembly) time is spoken for clear through September, I'll just have to make do with what I have. There's a silver lining though: by the time I'm done gluing and painting Legion the 6th edition box should be out, which is the unofficial switch over to 6th for EV and I. I've been soaking up the new information and meta changes that 6th has brought and I'm eager to give it a whirl. Multiple types of power weapons? Even more deadly Death Company? Units that aren't Long Fangs being able to split fire? Firing a heavy bolter on the move? What's not to like? The worst part of the switchover is likely to be dividing up box sets since EV plays both Chaos and Dark Angels (or at least Deathwing) and I'd like to add both (eventually). Then there's allies to consider which will likely break my resolve about painting all marines as Blood Angels and allow me to paint up some or all of the non-ornate, new BA kit marines as Crimson Fists, or Sons of Medusa, or Novamarines, or some other monster of my own creation. Plus there's Dust Warfare on the horizon. So much gaming, so little time...