Saturday, 7 June 2014
Iron Fists vs the Battle Sisters
We played the scouring, using the hammer and anvil deployment method (and night fighting on the first turn). I deployed first, as you can see above with my bike squads as far forward as they could reasonably get to threaten and get amongst the sisters early. My tactical squad, librarian and centurions deployed in the building, mainly to give the centurions the best field of fire they could find, alongside holding the two point objective. My Storm Talon and Ironclad Dreadnought began the game in reserve, ready to deploy where they were needed and throw a big spanner in the sister's battle plan.
Turn 1 and the Ironclad dropped into the other main building on the board, deploying sufficiently far from the sisters to avoid the meltas that seemed to be everywhere (they were also in Rhinos, so I would be able to take the passengers down on the first turn. Unfortunately the drop pod scattered just enough to prevent me from accessing my left flank easily, blocking the gap in the building. The bike squads both advanced, turbo boosting as far forward as they could get. The tactical squad headed for the 4 point objective in the crater on my left, and the centurions immobilised and removed two hull points from one of the exorcists, which were just in range.
In response, the sisters all disembarked from their rhinos, and the melta guns let rip, taking down five bikes thanks to their act of faith allowing them to ignore cover (jink!). 2 more bikes fell to bolter fire, before the rhinos on the left flank went flat out to protect the squads behind them, forming an armoured wall. One of the exorcists killed a centurion.
Turn 2 saw the bikes move forward again, and Captain Sakai split from the squad on the right, gunning the engine straight for the exorcist nearest to him. A flurry of attacks saw the teeth of terra rip through the engine bay, wrecking the fire support tank. Storm Talon Fujin arrived this turn, heading full speed across the table and wrecking the second exorcist with a brace of krak missiles. The centurions disappointed this turn, missing everything even with twin linked lascannons. The bike squad on the right flank charged the dominion squad and broke them in combat, killing two, though the sister's warlord allowed them to regroup automatically.
In the sister's turn, 5 more bikes bit the dust, and a wound was caused on the multi melta attack bike.
On my turn 3, Fujin lived up to his name, the storm of fire killing 4 retributors (I managed to roll three rending hits from the assault cannon, which you could argue was pretty lucky. I kinda figured it evened out the centurions fire in the previous turn). The Captain charged into the retributor squad, killing 1, the ironclad immobilised a rhino (I was desparately hoping for an explosion, but sadly it wasn't to be - that meant the sisters in that rhino, with 4 more meltas, would be out and in short range of the ironclad next turn). The attack bike tried to charge the sisters on the left flank, but died to overwatch fire.
The sisters reserve squad arrived on my right flank, and the immobilised rhino in the centre of the board managed to kill the bike holding the three point objective in that corner. The Captain killed another sister, forcing a break test.
Turn 4 saw the plasma cannon wreck a rhino, the centurions taking down a second (is there no end to these damn things???) and Captain Sakai slaughtered 4 of the retributors, but they managed to stay in combat. The sisters in response re-positioned themselves, securing all three objectives in their half.
Turn 5 and the captain finally failed a save, whilst the centurions caused another rhino (seriously?) to lose another hull point, and the Storm Talon took another two from the tank on the right flank.
The game continued, and the centurions wrecked another rhino, the storm talon caused the sisters holding the central objective to flee (though they would regroup and the other squad in the building claimed it back) and the captain failed to cause a single wound despite having six attacks at strength 6 against T3 opposition. The tactical squad managed to kill five sisters from the central squad, just sufficient to cause them to be out of range of the librarian with their perils of the warp inducing boltgun.
The game ended at that point, and at the end of the totting up process, the Iron Fists had been successful, winning 11-8.
Looking back i made a couple of big blunders tactically, the first being to race hell for leather at my opponent in turn one, when diverting one squad of bikes to focus my efforts on one flank would almost certainly have been a more valid and successful tactic. The second was the placement of my dreadnought, which limited its effectiveness early in the game and left it open to a melta strike later on.
On the other hand, I think the key thing that i got right was taking down the exorcists early. their S8 AP1 missiles are lethal, taking down one of my centurions without too much bother (except for two failed 4+ cover saves) and losing them early really hampered my opponent.
All in all it was a great fun game, played against a really good player, and whilst it's a new army for him, I'm definitely counting this win on my list!