Yes folks, it's that time again. This was a fierce battle (as I've no doubt you will see) between:
Grey Knights & Deldar (Melons and Me)
Tau & Guard (our regular sparring partners)
at the 200pts limit. We used the allies rules, but not force org chart (so 'one eye open' was on for our side even though we forgot it for most of the battle but we all just used standard 1000pts lists). I'm going to do a different layout, where I will put my personal reactions to the different parts of the game in red.
|That may,or may not be Melons in the middle, he's never been caught on camera before|
Onto the lists then:
BroChamp 'Ezra' -Psybolts
6x Termies - 5xHalberd 1xHammer 1xPsycannon
10xStrike Squad - 2xPsycannon 1xJusticar with Hammer
Storm Raven 'Thunderbird' -Hurricane Bolters Psybolts
Dreadnought - TL Lascannon
Haemonculus - Liquifier
2x5x Warriors w/Blaster, Venom w/Dual Splinter Cannons
5x Wyches w/5x Haywire Grenades, Venom w/Dual Splinter Cannons
3x Trueborn w/3x Blasters, Venom w/Dual Splinter Cannons
5x Trueborn w/2x Splinter Cannon, Venom w/Dual Splinter Cannons
6x Reavers w/2x Heat Lance
Ravager w/3x Dark Lance, Night Shields (Using raider model as proxy)
vs (as well as I can remember)
Crisis Commander - Missile launcher plus missile lock and stuffs
2x 5 Fire Warriors - Devilfish
15 x Kroot
2x 5 Stealth Suits - Burst Cannon
Aegis Line - Quad Gun
Company Command Squad - (Emperor Knows)
about 3-4 10x Infantry Squad - Autocannon
1 Demo Charges 'Lads' (about 5 man)
2 Plasma loaded squads (2x plasma gun + Ppistol again about 5 man)
Aegis Line - Quad Gun
Thoughts: Ok, the Deldar bleed kill points if that comes up but can throw a tonne of firepower around. My guys, however, are very few, but relatively resilient. I'll plan on surviving and capturing objectives. Most of the killing will fall on the Deldar half and the Thunderbird. Thankfully, the Guard half is packing a fair amount of squads to chew on. The Quad Guns are a worry for the Thunderbird but it's only S7, I should be able to weather 1 turn of shooting right? Regardless they are first priorities. The demo charges second as I don't want them getting ANY clean shots, that could take out a whole unit if not more.
We rolled up the 'Purge the Alien' Scenario with Vanguard Strike deployment.
Crisis Commander was the enemy warlord and he got Intimidating presence, BroChamp was ours and got Target Priority
Thoughts: Fantastic, 'kill points' to coin the old term. While I only have 4 my spiky friends have 13 relatively fragile ones. I need to focus on survival here. If the enemy is going to be getting points from the Deldar half I need to make sure I don't give away any stupid ones and make the situation worse. It'll be hunker down and focus fire. Dropping whole squads is the key so we can't forget that. The Warlord Traits are basically null. Ours doesn't matter as there are no objectives and there's doesn't really because if that Crisis commander gets close enough to use his he's as good as dead.
TauGuard win the roll off and elect to go first *shock*. Thankfully Night Fight is up.
As you can about make out on this very zoomed out photo, the TauGuard basically ringed off their corner with Aegis and sat behind it.
|TauGuard dig in|
Left black arrow = Quad Gun
Middle black arrow = Crisis commander with Fire Warriors
Right black arrow = Quad Gun
There is also another infantry squad in the building
Our counter deployment
|Basically, directly opposite the Aegis wall|
Points of interest: Left black arrow: This is a ravager, masterfully played by a raider
Left red arrow: These are the 6 reaver Jetbikes
Right black arrow: That's the BroChamp sitting with the Termies for counter assault
Right red arrow: The Haemonculus, for pain token stuff
Thoughts: Not too shabby. The TauGuard did basically what we thought they would and we still got the bonus of being able to hit them first. With Deldar Nightvision this could be very helpful. In hindsight, I should probably have been a little bolder with the Termies. With so many juicy targets they may have been able to survive enemy fire even if we had gone second. Let's see how this pans out instead.
Turn 1 - Deldar/Knights
Open fire!! That about sums this turn up. There was little manoeuvring, the SS and Dread shifted slightly to get line of fire but the Venoms were mostly set up already. The Reaver bikes shift back a bit. I think Melons was prepping them for late game Turbo boosting by keeping out of range here.
First shot of the game, my Dread goes for gold. The juicy 3 victory points on the Crisis commander (1 kill point, 1 first blood, 1 slay the warlord). Rolls to hit. Hits. Rolls to wound. Wounds. 4+ cover save. Fails. Look out Sir...passed on a 3 (I think). Sadly, he just gets to vapourise one fire warrior. It was worth it for the sheer drama of the shot. Mostly we just focus on the Quad Guns. Firepower accounts for 1 of them and 1 wound off the other. The demo charge squad is taken down to 2 men and the Ravager plinks a Hull point off the Devilfish on our left. Poor co-ordination on our part sees no unit fully killed so no points so far.
Turn 1 - TauGuard
This is where the dynamic of the majority of the game reveals itself. The Demo charge squad jump the barricades to advance, the Devilfish shift around inside the Aegis corner (one squad jumps out for long range support) and 1 stealth suit squad jumps out. This is all.
The shooting phase sees a couple of shots bounce off most things. The majority of fire went into the SS (as they were the only thing in range of most units) who went to ground for a tasty 2+ cover (4+ ruins, +1 for stealth Night Fight, +1 for the ground). The scariest part is where they take the full 15 shots from the S5 Stealth Suits, but when the dust clears none are down. At the end of the phase 2 Grey Knights have bitten the dust.
In the Assault phase the Stealth Suits jump back behind the Aegis line, denying us any easy kills from them next turn.
Kill points are at 0 - 0
|Our side, end of turn 1|
----Top black arrow: The gone to ground SS taking the brunt of the shooting
----Red arrow: The Termies stretching out to avoid templates
----Bottom black arrow: The rear venom and Reavers getting ready for...something
|Their side, end of turn 1 (+feet)|
----Middle/bottom black arrow - The 2 demo men making a heroic charge
----Left black arrow - A 6 man Guard squad I forgot about. They too left the Aegis behind
Thoughts: Not a bad turn. The lack of any solid unit kills hurt as it gave the TauGuard a chance to get first blood. Thankfully Night Fight saved us from the worst of the fire. This turn gave me a grudging respect of what Stealth Suits are capable of as I was lucky not to take any casualties from them. Overall I was feeling positive. I hadn't seen nothing yet.
Turn 2 - Deldar/Knights
Let me recount to you a tale of woe...enough. Things begin, shall we say poorly. I successfully bring in the Thunderbird. Hooray! Sadly, the Quad Gun decides to go interceptor to shoot at it. Now, forgetting that this has to be done at the end of the movement phase we do it immediately. Ok, I think, statistically 3 hits at TL BS3. He gets 4 hits. Ok ok I try to calm myself, he should only get 2 damaging results. He gets 2 pens and a glance. I evade a pen but still get stunned and take 2 Hull Points. The mighty Thunderbird is hanging by a thread!! At this point Melons decides enough is enough and launches his mighty 5 man Wych squad at the enemy lines. Yes they'll likely die but he wanted some action and, to be honest, so did I. The rest involves the Venoms and dread swooping (/stomping) around for lines of fire and the Termies spreading out in preparation for Marbo's arrival.
Shooting! Quad Gun 2 cops it. Revenge! Sadly it had done it's work. The evading Thunderbird couldn't snap shot any kills and the Dread also counts for nothing. The SS attempts to be useful but as they were reduced to snap shots for having gone to ground can only kill one of the demo charge men, who holds. The Venoms (more them than the passengers) do count for both Plasma squads and 2 stealth suits though. Top whole. The Ravager, as last turn, plinks another hull point off the left flank Devilfish.
The Wyches, having forgotten they had pistols in all the excitement decide on a multi assault on the last Demo man and the 3 man Stealth Suit squad. We figured the chance to finish off the Demo squad (netting Feel no Pain and a Victory point) AND (hopefully) remain locked in combat with the Stealths for the next turn more than compensated for the lost attack. As it turned out the Wyches failed to hit the Stealths and so settled for reducing the Demo man into 47 separate parts instead. The overwatch achieved nothing but the Wyches consolidated into Aegis cover.
|end of our turn 2, Wyches too far forward to see|
|sideways shot, Wyches just in front of the Thunderbird|
Turn 2 - TauGuard
Now, an interesting retaliation followed our last turn. First of all, the Tau half of the TauGuard, for some unexplained reason, became distracted and completely missed the movement phase meaning instead that the whole army just sat still and twiddled their Thumbs, bar the infantry squad already outside the Aegis, who moved into some trees. Not too bad.
Shooting was where the fun really began. 1 Autocannon aims at the Thunderbird. He rolls one 6 but it's cocked. Rolled again, misses. Phew. Second Autocannon. A 6 and a 5. Just one hit. Not too bad I think. Pens on a 6. I fail my evade on a 3 and the Mighty Thunderbird crashes down in our half of the board. Great. The remaining shots manage to blow up the rear venom containing Haemonculus and Trueborn (where 1 Trueborn dies), the Wytches' Venom and, after an inordinate amount of shots, the Wyches themselves. Worth a go right? The Dread also loses a Hull point to the Crisis Commander and another Grey Knight falls. Just the one though. Also at some point one of our venoms (the blue one) and it's passengers get shot to pieces. I can't remember how I'm afraid.
In the Assualt phase the full strength Stealths jump out from behind the Aegis, I think to try and make up for not doing so earlier. Interesting.
this puts the victory points at 4 - 5 to the TauGuard
|Our side, end of turn 2|
----Left black arrow - Spread out Termies shielding the Brochamp from all angles
----Right red arrow - Haemonculus now out of Venom but not pinned
----Right black arrow - Crashed Thunderbird wreck (the Aquila Lander from the Maccrage box)
|TauGuard, end of turn 2|
----Right red arrow - Mutant foot. Don't look too closely
----Right black arrow - 3 largely depleted squads, bad target priority from us
----Right black arrow - The enthusiastic Stealths
----Right red arrow - Very sneaky infantry squad
Thoughts: Not good for my half of the force. In one fell swoop my entire aggressive part of the force was wiped out, the whole 255 points of it. In retrospect, better targeting of the Quad Gun last turn could have prevented this, but it did demonstrate to me 1) the risk of only bringing 1 flier and 2) the incredible rolling skills those Autocannon had. It was bound to be brought down eventually but sadly I'd handed over the work entirely to the Deldar. Hopefully they wouldn't disappoint.
Turn 3 - Deldar/Knights
Ok, onto turn 3. As badly as I wanted revenge I really didn't have the resources to do it. I trudged the Termies into cover to try my darndest not to let them be wiped out when Marbo arrived. The SS Psycannons (and a companion) clamber to the roof of the ruins to try to get some good shots. The Haemonculus and buddies scramble into cover to try and stay alive and the Reavers spread out at the back to also try to avoid being templated. Otherwise it's just a bit of fidgeting for line of fire.
In the shooting phase the Ravager finishes off the Left Flank Devil fish, killing 2 Fire Warriors in the explosion (the guard were hit but managed to pass all their flak armour saves!) Remaining firepower see those Fire Warriors sent fleeing off the board and the 2 man Guard squad finished off, the Dreadnought stuns the remaining Devilfish and the reduced Stealths are knocked down to a single man. The Crisis commander takes 1 wound here, and a couple of his Warriors pop it I believe. Sadly, he doesn't run but all in all not bad.
Turn 3 - TauGuard
The reserves finally come in, Marbo popping up slap bang in the middle of our lines and The Kroot turning up in that corner too. That's a lot of shots that we'll have to weather! The movement sees both Stealth units Sneaking into the back of the Thunderbird wreckage and the Devilfish also swooping down our long board edge. Everything else sits tight, bar the 2 man Guard squad who peg it away from the front lines.
The Shooting phase opens up with Marbo tossing his Demo Charge dead centre on 5 of the Termies! They hit the ground and thankfully only 2 get torn apart by the explosion, the Brochamp staying alive and preserving his 2 victory points whilst the Psycannon sadly falls. The Crisis commander fires at the Dread, taking away another Hull point and 2 SS knights are downed, leaving the squad at 5 strong. Hammerhead flings a submunition pie plate onto the Haemonculus and co and downs 2 of them, leaving 1 to guard the Haemy. Now the Kroot open fire with 30 S4 shots onto the rear of a venom and fail to even scratch the paintwork.
Victory points stand at 7 - 5 to us.
|End of our Turn 4 movement. Yeah I forgot.....|
----Left black arrow - Marbo, picnicking in an inconvenient location
----Red arrow - The Haemy and his buddy sitting in terrain
|This, despite being taken during our next movement phase, is at least accurate|
----Red arrow - This is the retreating 3 man Guard squad
----Right black arrow - The 2 Stealth Squads getting chummy next to my wreckage...
Turn 4 - Deldar Knights
This is where the fun begins The Venoms all spin round to look at the Kroot, the Reavers scoot forward to draw a bead on the Stealths and most other things turn to stare at Marbo. The Dread advances on him slightly in case he needs to assault him and the Haemonculus takes his pain token and hides in different terrain to his old friend in the hope of splitting fire and keeping them both alive.
Well, when the screams finally stop all the Kroot are lying dead and Marbo with them. That's the threat of Venoms against infantry as nothing else was really needed. The Termies didn't need to shoot and neither did the Dread. It was scary. The Tau player was literally pulling away handfuls of Kroot and I think Marbo took 8 wounds that ignored his armour. the Dread ran to cover to try to survive, the Ravager had a go at taking out the Crisis commander but failed and the Reavers and SS try to put the hurt on the Stealths. I think the 1 man Stealth finally bit the dust and the other one was reduced somewhat.
Not much to state here. The Stealths and Devilfish advance on the Haemonculus and the 3 man Guard squad make it to safety behind the rear lot of ruins.
Shooting phase, The Haemonculus cackled madly as he ducked behind the ruins to avoid the shooting of both the Devilfish and the Stealth Suits. The Dreadnought finally succumbs to the inevitable and explodes but the SS manage to save all the shots against them. In a last act of defiance the Hammerhead fires a solid round at the last Trueborn that had been guarding the Haemonculus. It hits. It wounds. He cover saves it. No dice.
|Our side after the great Kroot massacre (dead pile visible to the right of the Dread)|
|Enemy side at game end|
Thoughts: Well I certainly didn't think we were going to pull that one off. I say we, really it was Melons that kept us in the game, even if he gave away more victory points than me (which, let's face it, was going to happen as I only had 4/5 with slay the warlord). It was really a very static game. Gun lines sums it up as it just devolved into 2 lines of guys shooting at each other and with my 24" range I really couldn't contribute once the Thunderbird bit the dust.
I could probably have afforded to be more aggressive, particularly with the Termies. If they'd got over the Aegis and into combat that would have really given us an edge. They can soak up a fair amount of firepower, I need to remember this. I was pleased with the SS, they withstood a lot of firepower and were still at half strength when it ended. The dread did little really, I think if I'd sent that and the Termies to storm the barricade it would have been better. I'm too stuck in the old Daemonhunters 'hang back' plan.
Lastly, I ought to mention the Thunderbird. I should have stuck with more bodies. It was scary, but at this points level it takes up a lot of my 1000pts. I may experiment more with it, give it a fair run and see if those Autocannon can finally fail a damage roll!
Kudos to Melons though for the majority of the kills. Those Venoms are scary!