Sunday, 29 December 2013

Special Ops, MAD style

Morning all, and what a night that was, 7 frantic games in the inaugural MAD kill team, the 'dirty seven' playing over four and a half hours to discover whose specialists conquer all.

I placed second overall, winning 4 of my 6 games (though it could so easily have been 5 - damn my dice!). The clear winner was Ryan, who combined a lot of shooting with a transport for protection and some very solid tactics, particularly in his game against me, to win the day undefeated.

I decided to take a squad of dark eldar reavers as my kill team, two with blasters, one with cluster caltrops and an arena champion with a venom blade. I gave the arena champion preferred enemy, one blaster reaver got shrouded and the other took ignores cover.

So how did I fare in my games? Well if you read on you'll find out...

Game 1
Played against Jon and his kill team of 8 Khorne Beserkers on a jungle board, the objective atop a ziggurat. The short range of the beserker's pistols really counted against them, as my reavers were able to pop away with impunity before hopping back again out of range. The Beserkers took the objective early, but with two blaster shots and bladevanes/cluster caltrops on the rest, there were enough failed saves for me to wipe out the opposition. In fairness to my opponent, his kill team had been chosen at very short notice on the night.

I picked up 14 victory points in this game for the primary objective (5), wiping out my opponent (3), killing his leader (2), all three specialists (1 each), and first blood (1).

Game 2

 More chaos marines, this time thousand sons (funny, they looked like night lords!). Only seven this time, but one was a sorceror who proved to be a thorn in my side all game. Things started badly, as my blasters failed to make a dent in anything, and my leader got shot down in flames. 

Eventually the tide started to turn and my bladevane attacks took their toll. The sorceror finally fell, and with 4 bikes facing just one chaos marine the game was within my grasp. Full of confidence I charged into combat with the one model that could, but the reaver was smashed out of the saddle and I failed my break test in the next turn.

8 victory points this time around, for forcing a break test (2), leader kill (2), three specialist kills (1 each) and first blood (1).

Game 3
My third game saw me face the first of two tau armies on the night, this one featuring three tooled up crisis suits back on the jungle board.

The first turn saw the tau leader occupy the top of the ziggurat, and as my blasters once again failed to damage or hit anything, I kissed goodbye to my leader once more. The remainder of my force was playing hide and seek with the other suits, but once the blasters began functioning they leapt forward, bladevanes once again making the game brief indeed.

15 VPs again this time, for the objective, wipeout, forcing a break test, leader kill, and three specialists.

Game 4
Blood angels. Death company. Jump packs. But also a player who's scarred by his dice rolling (mentally I mean, he doesn't throw dice so hard they bounce back off the wall and draw blood). 

What that meant for the game then was that those jump troops spent the first couple of turns hopping around trying to hide so that I couldn't see them. Cues blaster/ignores cover reaver taking down two marines with precision shots through windows of the ruined buildings.

A jump forward to claim the objective brought the remainder of the marines out to play, and although I didn't escape unscathed, several bladevane attacks later I was triumphant again.

14 victory points, for the objective, wipeout, leader kill, first blood and three specialist kills.

Game 5
Tau again, this time three basic crisis suits and a piranha, fought across a board with two bastions, a sky shield landing pad and several aegis lines.

Guess what, the blasters boosted forward in my first turn to try and claim the leader kill and first blood, only to fail to hit the target again. Tau first turn then and I kiss goodbye to my leader once more. Fortunately the lower ballistic skill of the tau combined with my cover saves meant I avoided too much damage. The blasters did the business in the next turn, which combined with takedowns on the remaining suit and two gun drones left just the piranha. The blasters put paid to that nicely and I'd achieved another wipeout.

10 victory points for the win here, from the wipeout, forcing the break test, leader kill and three specialists.

Game 6

The decider. Ryan, undefeated on the night, and undefeated against me full stop, against my one defeat which put me clear in second place.

It was a massacre. My blasters failed to do anything on turn one again, one dying to return fire. Ryan had been very cunning in his positioning though, leaving his squad up tight against the table edge, meaning I'd have to open myself up to a lot of fire to get in position for the bladevanes, and opting for the more risky proposition I tried to cause some damage from range. It failed, and sheer weight of fire from a heavy bolter, multi melta, two storm bolters and several bolters caused me to fail enough saves to see me wiped out without causing a single casualty. 

In hindsight, there were several options I had for winning this game, but the half hour game time limit left little option for thinking time, and I made the wrong decision. Ryan's tactics were very good, and he made the most of his free time watching me playing MJ and formulating his plan.

Overall I was really pleased with how the evening went, and I'm very happy with four wins and second place. The team performed very well overall, with only my arena champion being underwhelming. In hindsight, a power weapon may have been a good alternative to the venom blade, or even ditch the champion entirely in favour of a second set of cluster caltrops.

We will definitely be doing this again, using the updated kill team rules released just a couple of days after this event. MAD sevens has been born!

Hope you enjoyed the Christmas break all!