Friday, 28 July 2017

Dusk Knights v Orks - a quick battle review

Morning all,

I've got a quick review of my game last night for you all now, looking at what happened, my list and how it worked as a whole, and any other thoughts I have on the game, mistakes we made etc.

We played the Scouring, using the Hammer and Anvil deployment map - the photo below is from turn two before any of my units have moved. You can see the mob or ork boys on my right flank is considerably thinned out from its original starting size of 30 thanks to the liberal application of assault cannon fire (the dead pile is at the top right of the picture). There are also 3 killa kans awol thanks to the missile launcher devastators.

I do think my opponent made a mistake with his choice of deployment map, if I were him I'd have wanted to start much closer with much shallower deployment zones.


Honoured Sosimo lines up a few more Orks, the survivors of the first volley.


Scout snipers survey the field - being able to place these guys in cover has been huge when I've used them so far, as their +2 thanks to the camo cloaks makes a big difference.


The two Deff Dreads were a big threat in this game, though the one on the container has just killed the last surviving member of the first scout squad. The second was threatening my left flank, but the twin assault cannon razorback combined with the libby and a squad of vanguard veterans did enough damage to give it pause.


The burna boyz in the trukk in the centre made mincemeat of my grav devastators, which hadn't been particularly effective in this game, but that's hardly surprising given the lack of 3+ or better saves in the Ork list. Thankfully, the contemptor came firmly to my rescue, trashing the trukk they were in and then mowing down the squad.


Captain Iago and his jump pack vanguard veterans came in on my turn two once the majority of the orks had cleared their deployment zone. they shot out a few gretchin before heading for the two loota squads.


Captain Iago looks for a moment like he's taking the easy option of slaughtering grots, but then changed hi mind at the last minute to charge the lootas on the gantry. He ploughed through them with ease, wiping the squad out thanks to the extra strength from his Relic Blade.


The Vanguard Veterans then charged up the gantry structure, wiping out the unit of 4 lootas occupying its top floor.


The aftermath - with a table almost completely clear of Orks, the Dusk Knights had pushed back the greenskin threat for now.


So, looking back at the game, how did my army perform?

Well first, I have to accept that whilst my dice rolling started out below par, it had definitely warmed up by my turn 3, when everything seemed to work and my opponent wasn't making anything.

Devastator units

The missile devastators were, ahem, devastating! Turn 1 they flattened a unit of 3 killa kans, and they took out another two later, even the frag missiles I used for a turn were decent, though I rolled well below par for the number of shots.

In contrast the grav devastators were pretty ineffectual. They stripped a solitary wound from the trukk before getting burned by its occupants. In hindsight, I should have used their S5 and high shot volume to take on the boyz units, I confess I hadn't originally realised the Orks had so little 3+ armour in their list. Inconclusive test for them really, I must remember next time to pick their target better.

Scouts

I took three squads of scouts to fill out the minimum troop requirements of the battalion detachment, giving them sniper rifles and camo cloaks so they could operate as character killers. They weren't hugely effective in this role, mainly due to my inability to roll many sixes to wound. There was a bright moment when they finished off the weirdboy and another when a pair of them shot the last deffkopta pilot from out of his machine (finally got those 6's!). Overall they're not likely to win the game, but for their points they're a solid choice and have a genuine role at least.

Contemptor Dreadnoughts

Wow. I've taken these guys in three games now and they've been superb in all of them. On paper the Kheres Assault Cannon looks a little underwhelming, but it's been very effective for me every time and once they get into combat stuff they hit stays hit. And very flat. Their better ballistic ability means that even after moving they still hit stuff on 3's, so their fire is actually pretty reliable, and I notice there's a stratagem in the forthcoming codex that lets them grant re-rolls like a captain - pretty handy if you ask me! The flat 3 damage from their fists without any penalty to hit is also very nice - not unreasonably overpowered given what they are and that similar creatures/walkers get the same benefit, but very strong nonetheless.

Razorbacks

What a workhorse! I take twin assault cannons on mine, and though they only hit of 4's when moving, the volume of shots makes up for it. They were even more effective in this game as they completely ignored the Orks' armour, so every time I was shooting them at a squad, they were losing 4-5. I'm definitely going to get a second conversion kit from FW, and am seriously contemplating whether to add a third into the list.

Stormhawk

Again, a brilliant performance from the flyer - quantity of fire is just as important here as quality, because this fella can target just about anything and have a decent answer for it. It helped thin down a boyz blob on turn 1, then stripped Ghazhgkull down to a single wound on turn 2, before killing a deff dredd in my third turn. Again, my opponent had no answer to it and the only games it's been ineffectual was against the eldar when a wraithlord took it out with a very high damage roll from two bright lance hits.

Kantor

Crucial component of the list, he allows me the re-rolls that make the devastators so good. I still need to keep a careful eye on where he is because a couple of times I had units that wandered out of his aura effect, but when my devs got charged by a skorcha he was able to intervene heroically and pounded it to smithereens in a single turn.

Libby

Didn't do a huge amount this game, and I would definitely prefer to have him with a jump pack (you're right about that Steve), but he put a couple of mortal wounds on a deff dredd with smite - I just forgot to do anything else with him to be honest. Needs more table time certainly.

Captain

Proved what he can do certainly - he butchered a backfield squad of lootas before they had the chance to return fire. Probably not the sternest test of him, but this is the role I picked him for - dropping in a little later once the eney deployment zone is a little clearer and running riot (or forcing my opponent to hang back with someone to counter him).

Vanguard Veterans

Really pleased with their performance this time round, ok the jump pack unit got to pick on the other lootas, which was exactly the sort of target they needed, but they were very effective. The squad without packs also did a decent shift, taking quite a few wounds off the deff dredd all things considered. In the future I think I'll probably look at consolidating them into one larger unit with jump packs and possibly adding in some power fists/thunder hammers and maybe a storm shield or two, but at the moment I've only got 5 built with packs.

Final thoughts

As for the game, well as I said earlier, I think the hammer and anvil deployment was a real mistake. It allowed me to deploy deep making the most of my firepower and actually giving my opponent more ground to actually cover. When we discussed it afterwards and I think front line assault would have been far more effective for him, as I would have been forced to spread my army to the corners to keep my distance, at which point he could have picked on one part at a time.

Dice were definitely in my favour in this game, though to be honest I don't think it was that which won the match for me. I've tested the units in the book extensively now and I'm pretty happy I picked a balanced list, with my only real tweak after this game perhaps being to look at another razorback and bulking out the vanguard. Perhaps when the codex drops I might find more of a use for tactical squads, we'll see.

The balance of fire in my army seemed almost perfect for my opponent's list too, the Stormhawk and missile devs gave me some decent shooting against the mechanised elements of the enemy, but crucially I also retained the option for volume fire. Assault cannons have always been one of my favourite weapons and nothing has changed there, there's a reason the list can put out 48 shots per turn from that weapon type!

As ever, if you have any comments or ideas as to how I could tweak things, please let me know!