Friday, 27 September 2013

Ashes in the wind

Well that didn't go well did it Captain Pallas?

No Sir, I offer you my sword and my command, and pledge myself to a crusade to regain my honour.

So I played a 1500 point game with the new space marine codex this evening for the first time, using the Raven Guard Chapter Tactics.

I was expecting to face Orks, and used the following list
Terminator Captain, with power sword and storm bolter.
5 Terminators with assault cannon
10 Tactical marines with plasma cannon, plasma gun and combi plasma in razorback with twin lascannons
10 tactical marines with missile launcher and flakk missiles in razorback with heavy bolters
5 scouts with boltguns and heavy bolter
10 scouts with sniper rifles and missile launcher with flakk missiles.
10 assault marines
1 vindicator
8 devastators with 4 heavy bolters.

What I got was 1500 points of Chaos, with 2 Heldrakes, a Forgefiend, daemon prince, dark apostle, two units of cultists (one big one small), Vindicator, 3 obliterators and an aegis line with quad gun.

Things started well, I rolled the right warlord trait, applying a -1 modifier to my opponent's dice rolls (hopefully keeping those heldrakes at bay a bit longer), and having deployed second I managed to steal the initiative to give me the best chance of severely damaging the chaos force before the drakes arrived. In fact the only downside to the start of the game is that we rolled the scouring so those heldrakes became scoring too. Gulp.

Turn 1 and I got to work winnowing down the cultist units, cutting down the smaller to two members despite them getting a 2+ save from going to ground in the aegis line. I also managed through terminator fire and the vindicator to cut 10 of the larger unit down. In return, the quad failed to hit anything, but then the chaos vindicator spoke, killing two of my terminators. The obliterators also joined the fray, blowing up the heavy bolter razorback, which managed to kill a terminator with the explosion.

Second turn and my fire seemed to lose some of its bite, the highlight being when my vindicator lashed out and destroyed it counterpart. One of the heldrakes arrived however, vector striking three from one combat squad, and flaming three from the other. The forge fiend wiped out the terminators, and the obliterators shook the vindicator, preventing it from firing its demolished cannon in the next turn. Finally, Ian display of outstanding, but kind of annoying, bravery, the daemon prince killed four of my small unit of scouts, leaving only the heavy bolter toting guy left. With a -4 modifier to his leadership he still managed to pass his morale check, when in actual fact I'd have much rather he'd run off, as it meant I wouldn't be able to shoot it in my next turn.

Turn 3 was another damp squib, my devastators killing a few cultists, but the flak missile launchers both missed and the scout died to the daemon prince. The chaos turn saw my warlord trait kick in, preventing the second heldrake from arriving, but it wasn't needed as first the quad gun shook, then the obliterators killed the vindicator, and though the heldrake failed to hurt my razorback, it roasted seven of the devastators.

Turn 4 and things were looking grim so in desperation my captain charged the cultist unit, hoping the dark apostle would do the decent thing and challenge him. Typical chaos cowards though, and the cultist sergeant was duly butchered. Unsurprisingly my flakk missiles failed to damage the heldrake, but simply because they were in the same unit, the sniper rifles also took pot shots at its rear armour, one getting through to strip off a hull point. The lascannons on the razorback also hit home, but the drake passed its daemon save. To make matters worse, my plasma cannon overheated and killed the operator. In return, the second heldrake arrived, though its vector strike resulted in three '1's, which I confess made me smile a bit. The daemon prince challenged my terminator captain, and he failed the one iron halo save he was called to make resulting in instant death due to the strength of the daemon prince's smash attack.

Turn 5 passed with little of note, with the exception of my plasma gunner killing himself through an overheating weapon. In comparison, the heldrakes wiped out two of my remaining tactical combat squads, the forge fiend wiped out the last.

Turn 6 was the last of the game, with my only succes being finally ridding myself of the daemon prince. The chaos force consolidated on the objectives and as the game ended my only models remaining were three scouts.

1. Heldrakes suck if you play as marines, and with two of the against me I was seriously light on anti tank. I'd have done much better taking something more significant in terms of anti air, like my bastion. That would also have given me somewhere to protect my troops from the fire if I didn't get rid of them straight away. 

2. Don't forget to focus fire. I failed to take advantage of this several times in the early turns, giving the large cultist unit a lot more saves than I needed to, and I could have severely reduced their numbers if I'd remembered this rule more.

3. Cover is important, even if you're a terminator. I advanced forward with several of my models early in the game when it wasn't necessary, exposing them to fire from the obliterators and vindicator that meant they were relying on their invulnerable save, which resulted in them getting wiped out earlyish.

4. Timing is everything. I had control of 13 points of objectives for the majority of the game, but failed to capitalise by taking out he dangerous models, and at the end of the game, I only had 3 vp's

5. There's a reason chaos marines don't have 'and they shall know no fear' and its because they're cowards. The dark apostle shoving a poor cultist sergeant into my captain's way as a road block before being rescued by the daemon prince (which missed becoming a spawn by 2 once it had dispatched him) was a particular highlight of this for those who needed any proof.