Thursday, 6 April 2017
The road to competence parts 8 and 9
Greetings all, welcome to my road to competence series once more, and I'm now starting to get a good group of games under my belt, getting much more confident about the units I'm bringing to games. I'm pretty settled on a 1500pt 'standard' list now, so at that point we of course decided to mess things up completely by playing a 1250pt game of Capture the Squig.
After that, I went back to my 1500pt list to take on my old faves, the Dark Eldar.
All other considerations go out of the window in this type of game - it's written for 4 players ideally, and the Squig appears randomly near the centre of the table, moving in a random direction each turn. To catch it you have to be in base contact and give up your shooting, and there are 6 types of Squig that you might be chasing.
I went into this game with two key objectives in mind.
1. Have fun, and don't worry too much about the outcome, but
2. Actually make some effort to really capture the squig at some point.
Now as it stands, the Squig came my way early on, and going first I figured it would be rude not to at least make an early attempt to get hold of it. I managed to get close enough and when we rolled to see what type it was, it turns out it was an 'exhausted' squig. That meant it immediately collapsed to the floor and wouldn't move any further until it was caught, and there was a +1 modifier to catching it.
I rolled a 1.
At the other end of the scale, I dropped some stuff into MJ's face, mainly to give him a speed bump, and Ethan took a bit of fire too. In fact, the only person I didn't shoot at was Martin, possibly because he'd vowed to send his pair of flying tyrants and the rest of his scary looking Nid horde at anyone that shot him first.
The game continued pretty much in this vein for a couple of turns, my second attempt to pick up the squig before the Nids arrived was a 2, so despite this exhausted ball of fungus sitting at my feet for two turns, I'd singularly failed to pick it up and now the Nids were in town.
They failed to pick it up too.
I had delayed everything and everyone except the Nids pretty nicely by then, throwing a few units in as roadblocks to keep the Orks and Salamanders away from the Squig. The Nids helped out a bit too taking out a few more Orks.
The Nids ripped apart the scouts that were trying to pick up the Squig, but my Captain and his assault squad (meat shield) tore them to pieces. At that point our Ork player had to leave, but we rolled up to see what would happen between the Captain and the Squig since he was already in base contact, and this time I was successful. So a win, just!
I'll keep this fairly brief as I'm hoping to do a battle report on it soon (I took piccies and everything!).
We set up and I managed to seize the initiative, so not a good start for James!
We were playing maelstrom starting with 6 cards and dropping one each turn. I wouldn't say my dice helped me out as such, and I still had a few issues with actually finishing units off, plus there was a pesky venom that decided to pass just about every invun save I caused it to take before it finally dropped to bolter fire, but as with most games I've been involved in with Dark Eldar, once you start thinning their numbers then their fragility starts to tell, and I actually ended up tabling my opponent (which hasn't happened for me in a looong time).
As for learning points? Capture the squig didn't teach me a huge amount except that even with standard assault marines for company, the Burning Blade captain is capable of putting out some serious hurt in combat. Oh yeah, and dropping two small combat squads of marines in front of a whole army of salamanders won't go well for you.
The Dark Eldar game taught me a bit more, in particular that when you have a single librarian, choosing his discipline is paramount. My opponent's strength was very much in his cover saves (jink) and so I kept the librarian with my centurions and rolled on divination. Thankfully I got perfect timing so their lascannons and missile launchers picked up ignores cover as well as twin linked on the las and tank hunters on everything for being Imperial Fists.
Where i did struggle however was where I was always going to have problems. The invun saves on the first venom in particular resulted in nightmares, as it passed 4 5+ saves in a row. Equally, my opponent was very much let down by the power weapons on his 'sergeants' as they failed to kill just about any of my guys, despite wounding on a 4+ and ignoring my armour.
Last but not least, never underestimate the potential effectiveness of snap shooting at AV10 flyers. Having stripped a hull point from his razorwing I decided to fire all my bolter squads at it towards the end of the game. I picked up two sixes to hit and having been pretty confident about its ability to survive bolter fire James hadn't jinked, and both hits came up sixes for penetration, bringing the flyer down quite nicely.
Next up for the Dusk Knights is a smaller game, 750pts as a bit of a practice for an 800pt doubles tournament I'm heading off to in June. Then I suspect I might end up taking on Ryan's Alphas again, hopefully at my house as my table should be built by then.