Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Raiding realspace - with mixed results

Hi all, I have three games to report on here, so bear with me, because the details are currently in my head, with my brain trying desperately to forget parts of them!


Still, the Kabal of the Burning Eye has been resurgent in the last couple of weeks, as I prepare for my club’s campaign 40k – it’s war. I’ve played against George’s Chaos Marines, Toby’s Khorne Daemons and Cal’s Tau, beating George and getting thrashed by the other two.


I kept the same list for all three games, comprising:

Archon with huskblade, soul trap, shadowfield etc with 4 incubi in venom with an extra splinter cannon

2 units of 10 warriors with splinter rifles in raiders with dark lances and flickerfields

1 unit of 5 wyches with haywire grenades in venom with extra splinter cannon

6 reaver jetbikes, 2 with cluster caltrops

5 scourges, 2 haywire blasters

Ravager with disintegrator cannons



Game 1 – Chaos Marines – Emperor’s Will.

This was a really enjoyable, tense affair between two players who both play to win, but also playing fairly fluffy (George actually takes Chaos Space Marines and just the one heldrake!).


Details are getting fairly fuzzy now, but I do remember that we both headed largely straight for each other, the raider warriors performed excellently in this game, the splinter racks allowing me to hit with virtually everything on a regular basis and even though I wasn’t killing hordes each turn, the casualties mounted steadily. The reaver jetbikes also kept me smiling, the caltrops and bladevanes were a constant thorn in the side of George’s cultist unit.


The two warlords met early in the game, with my incubi bodyguard soon taking down the Chaos Warlord’s spawn guardians, and my Archon challenging. Fortunately, George’s Warlord has an artefact that reduces his toughness by 1 in exchange for a 3+ invulnerable save. Although he’s got eternal warrior so my huskblade wouldn’t kill him outright, I took him down to 1 wound fairly quickly, whilst my shadowfield held against everything he threw at it.


When the heldrake arrived, I thanked my foresight for putting everything in transports, as their flickerfields saved the hits that managed to penetrate armour. My scourges then pulled off the shot of the match, snap shotting at it with haywire blasters I rolled a single hit on a 6, followed by a 6 to score a penetrating hit and a 6 for damage. George failed his 5+ save and the heldrake came crashing to earth. Similarly, having had their venom shot out from under them, my wyches charged the forgefiend and, surviving its overwatch fire largely unscathed, proceeded to use their haywire grenades to glance it to death.


Finally the shadowfield burst, and after about 4 combat rounds of passing 3+ saves his warlord chopped up the incubi and limped into my deployment zone. Contesting George’s objective, I managed to keep my own free of any denial units and in the end I won 4-3.


A really hard fought game, I was glad it ended when it did, as things were looking pretty ropey had we had another turn.


Game 2 – Khorne Daemons – Purge the alien

Regular readers will no doubt realise that when the ‘2’ came up for mission type my heart sank, I hate this mission with a passion, not least because my army has 13 kill points in it, 4 of which are AV10 vehicles. Facing up to 2 bloodthirsters, a daemon prince, 2 soulgrinders and a stack of bloodletters I was going to have my work cut out.


Turn 1 and the bloodthirsters came forward. I poured everything I had into them, which I calculated afterwards as being over 90 shots. The splinter racks proved their worth as despite the bloodthirsters being airborne, I caused a decent number of wounds, but Toby passed everything, their 3++ boosted by a 4+ FNP. To be honest, I think after that round (if not before) I was overcome by a fatalistic attitude, and though I managed to get one bloodthirster, the warlord, down to a single wound my lone triumph was taking down a unit of bloodletters.


Afterwards, we both agreed that the turning point of the game was that first turn, realistically had I managed to kill one of the bloodthirsters, then I could reasonably have expected to take down the second by concentrating my fire and then given a decent account of myself against everything else, though with a 5 kill point difference between the two armies, winning was always going to be difficult.


Game 3 – Tau – Big guns never tire

I like this mission, usually I have two ravagers in my list with night shields that let me hold home objectives whilst the rest of my army goes all out for the enemy held options.


Things started well, only a single venom was taken down early, though it was the one with my warlord meaning he’d have to footslog it across the board. My turn two and the riptide failed to damage the razorwing using interceptor fire. My whole army therefore started to let rip, and I caused a couple of wounds on the Tau commander, virtually wiped out the unit he was attached to and caused three other units to take morale tests. Cal passed them all however, with his highest roll being about a five. The next turns were brutal. My reavers got overkilled by the majority of his army (I think they’d offended him when we played kill team before Christmas), the wyches venom was downed through weight of fire and the two raiders were both destroyed, my flickerfields failing to a degree I’ve never seen before, and Cal rolling natural sixes everywhere for vehicle damage. The two exploding raiders killed 13 of my warriors and with them any slim hope I might have held for winning the game. The stranded wyches petulantly wiped out a unit of pathfinders that had strayed onto the table, and over a couple of turns the ravager obliterated a 3-man crisis team that had dropped into my deployment zone.


The scourges scattered off the table when deep striking at the hammerhead the first time, though they just made it the second time, having survived the Riptide’s interceptor fire once more. Sadly both haywire blasters and the solarite’s blast pistol all missed the tank, despite it only being about 5 inches away.


Man of the match this game was my archon, who despite two failed charges against the Riptide, really annoyed Cal by passing his 2++ around 30 times in a row before it finally burst under the pressure of two units of fire warriors, a rail rifle unit and the riptide itself. The Wyches charged the Kroot unit and were wiped out on overwatch by the commander’s two flamers, and the Riptide finally scored a worthwhile shot by bringing down the razorwing (yup you guessed it, another natural 6 for damage)


The Ravager perished and all that remained was for the gunline to focus their fire on the two remaining Incubi in the centre of the table and that was that.


What I learned

Whilst I don’t want to blame my dice, because I do find that they even themselves out, it’s clear that when I’m rolling hot, they’re very hot (that heldrake shot should statistically happen only once every 216 attempts, but it’s certainly not that many since the last time I pulled it off with a raven guard devastator) but when they’re not hot, they’re certainly not average. This is especially true of my flickerfield and shadowfield saves – my Archon always seems to pass save after save when the rest of the army is busy getting shot to pieces, but in a game where I’m holding my own, it often bursts after two or three rolls. Similarly I passed one flickerfield save against Cal, and probably two thirds of them against George, and this made a massive difference to my damage output.


Tau are lethal – particularly against Dark Eldar, ok so they’re only BS3, but when they’re boosted by an Ethereal those S5 AP5 guns make a mockery of any troops I can throw at them, added to which I wasn’t able to bring much of my own fire to bear to thin them down (and their armour save is decent in any case). The Riptide didn’t do too much damage actually, but the massed squads of fire warriors (and even Kroot) were taking units down all across the board.


Disintegrator cannons are awesome – despite rolling below average, my ravager comfortably took out a crisis team with no assistance from anywhere else, and the nightshields on it were a constant source of irritation to my opponent, once putting his markerlights out of range and then preventing a fusion blaster from rolling 2D6 for penetration.