Having used my Raven Guard in the last two of these games, I've gone for something different this time around, taking the fledgling Iron Fists who did me proud last week against an alliance of Grey Knights and Daemons (I know, but there were 3 of us wanting a game and I had more stuff than the other guys).
Opponents this time were Martin, MJ and Ryan, who has won every carnage game he's played. This time he brought a mix of guard and marines, though he took Tigurius instead of Vulkan for a change.
My 1500 lists consists of a captain on bike with a combat equipped command squad, 2 full bike squads, one with meltas, a 5-man tactical squad, storm talon, stalker and 3 centurion devastators with lascannons, missile launchers and omniscope.
Having played carnage before I know one thing for sure, it's all about timing. Get to the objective too soon and you find yourself targeted by all three other players, too late and there are too many defenders to claim it yourself. Secondary objectives can't be ignored either, as with three points for line breakers and another three for warlord kills you can rack up the tally quite quickly.
My initial plan therefore was to launch a wide, sweeping attack, picking one of the neighbouring armies to advance on with the majority of my army, the centurions would stay largely in my deployment area, picking targets of opportunity, whilst the small tactical squad would work their way towards the other deployment zone. I really toyed before the game with the idea of taking these guys out and replacing them with a chaplain to boost the effectiveness of the command squad, since there's only one objective that can be held in the carnage mission, but decided to leave them in in the end as I need practice with this list as I'm using it in the campaign we have running in feb.
Ryan kicked things off by launching everything he had to shoot, and boy that's normally a lot. He managed to reduce one riptide to two remaining wounds after puppet mastering it to shoot at the crisis suits. Sadly the shot missed and only killed a single pathfinder. The other riptide moved towards my lines, with all the tau shooting aimed at me removing a single bike, though it was my storm shield veteran. My turn saw me strip the riptide down to a single wound through fire from the centurions, attack bike and tactical squad, though it survived a storm of bolter fire from the bikes. Then the Death Star started heading for my lines.
Turn 2 and Ryan continued to bombard everyone, he even infiltrated Marbo to throw a demolition charge into my bikes from the rear, though fortunately it scattered and failed to get through my armour. The riptide hid in turn 2 to protect it's remaining wound, and a devilfish with a fire warrior squad plonked itself on the objective. The centurions took a carnifex down to a single wound as the rest of my force wound it's way between terrain to position to threaten the objective, hoping that I'd be able to distract the Death Star and damage the tau sufficiently to stop them claiming the table centre. The Death Star kept heading my way and the carnifex regenerated a wound.
Turn 3 was where things started to go badly, Ryan puppet mastered the remaining riptide, which sent a large blast template heading the way of the command squad. Of course it didn’t scatter, and not only did I fail all 5 jink saves, I failed all 5 feel no pain rolls too, and removed the remainder of a 235 point unit in one go, leaving my captain exposed in front of basically the whole of the remaining tau army, which included a big unit of sniper drones containing the ethereal. This unit of course then proceeded to shoot at my captain, using the ethereal’s ability to give them an extra shot, and I failed four of the resultant saves, and Sakai was pitched from his bike face into the dirt. Well that put paid to a lot of my strategy, and whilst my bikes continued to shift around in range of the objective, the tactical squad took the last wound from the riptide, and I put down the first of the carnifexes. The death star continued its inexorable advance, launching three raveners into a bike squad (well, 1 biker, I lost the others to weapons fire). Needless to say I lost the combat, and the raveners consolidated closer to my lines.
Ryan now started to concentrate a little more on the tyranids, though failed to remove any of the big gribblies from the table, his main focus this turn though was killing the kroot squad that had walked onto the table in his deployment zone. In return, the Tau left me largely alone, choosing instead to fire at the raveners, removing one from the brood. This was good for me, as my melta bike squad spun round to face the remaining two, two of the three meltas hit, scoring wounds and two failed cover saves later saw both threats removed from the midst of my army. The centurions failed to damage anything this turn, causing only a single hit, which failed to wound, though as this is the first time in two games they’d failed me, I forgave them. Concentrated fire from the rest of my army, including the newly arrived storm talon, saw another carnifex felled. The death star was slowly being trimmed, and they’d have to switch their attention now from reaching me to heading for the objective.
Final turn therefore (we’d agreed to only play five turns as it was getting very late). Ryan mobbed the objective with two squads of marines he’d been hiding all game (I knew I should have been shooting the centurions at those tanks earlier!) and nicked linebreaker of MJ with an attack bike, and Martin with 3 scout bikers. MJ’s flyer returned, having left the table in the previous turn, and dropped a 15 strong unit of necron warriors near the objective. Sadly, the riptide failed its nova charge roll, losing its final wound, which meant that there was no large blast AP2 weapon to clear the objective of marines. The necron warriors did a sterling job, but it wasn’t enough, and with 2 squads there, and me with only a combat squad of bikes with a heavy bolter attack bike I wasn’t going to do enough damage to clear it, especially with them getting a 4++ from Tigurius’ psychic prowess. I changed tack therefore, the only secondary points scored so far were Ryan’s two linebreakers, and MJ’s warlord kill. My bike squad blasted the full 12” towards MJ’s deployment zone, and everything else I had fired at the Ethereal’s squa. A plasma gun, 4 bolters, a twin linked assault cannon and two missiles saw them downed and 2 points in the bag for the warlord kill. The bike squad turbo boosted into MJ’s deployment zone, and that left the centurions, who aimed everything they had at Tigurius, but failed to do more than remove a single marine thanks to that 4++. Martin’s final turn saw him valiantly attempt to wrest Ryan from the objective, but a couple of slight mistakes meant that the marines held on. Just.
And that was that, the central objective was worth 6vps, so Ryan finished with 8, I placed second thanks to my last turn change of strategy, scoring 2 for the Warlord kill and 1 for linebreaker, and MJ picked up 1vp for his warlord kill. Despite having the most threatening army on the board at the end, Martin ended up without a point, though I think we’d all agree that had the game gone on, he was best placed to clear the objective with a carnifex, hive tyrant, 2 tervigons and a zoanthrope