Monday, May 24, 2010

How I Won A Battle Without Killing Anything

by SandWyrm

I had a pretty interesting game on Sunday versus BlueMoon, who took 2nd Place last week at the South Store's 'Ard Boyz Prelims with his Chaos Marines. He had a new Daemonhunters-based 'Ard Boyz list to try out, so we rolled up a mission from the preliminary round and went at it. The game however, did not go as well as he'd hoped.

 This was the list I took:
205    Company Command Squad w/4 x Melta, Astropath, Fleet Officer, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)

160    5 IG Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
160    5 IG Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
160    5 IG Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)

155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
170    Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
145    Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Carapace
145    Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Carapace
    Fast Attack
130    Vendetta Gunship
130    Vendetta Gunship
150    Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta, Smoke

    Heavy Support
165    Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer
165    Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer
150    Leman Russ Exterminator w/Hull Heavy Flamer
BlueMoon has asked me not to reveal the details of his list, so I won't be more specific than saying he had 5 Land Raiders with a squadron of 3 Russes and some other IG in support. That's all you really need to know to appreciate this battle anyhow. :)

So we rolled up the first mission from the Prelims; which was 5-objectives with a diagonally split deployment. The length was preset at 6 turns. Bluemoon won the roll for first turn and opted to set up first; putting his tanks in the corner of the board.

BlueMoon's First Turn

Seeing BlueMoon's oddly defensive deployment, I opted to swap the Plasma Vets that I normally run in the Vendettas for some Melta Vets and outflank them along with the 3 Stormtrooper Squads. Everything else was put into normal reserve. My plan was to bottle up his left flank with the Stormies, block his center with the Hellhound, Demolishers, and Vet Chimeras, and block or immobilize his right (my left) Raider so that he would have to walk to the objectives through my fire. His Russes were hiding behind the Raiders (???), so I wanted to keep them there.

The objectives I wanted were the 3 closest to my board edge. While I planned on trying to contest the other two.

My First Wave Comes On

At the bottom of the 2nd turn my reserves start rolling on, popping smoke all over the place. Two of my Stormtrooper units and a Vendetta-bourne melta Vet Squad come on right into his flank. The placement wasn't optimal, as Bluemoon was expecting them (and blocking the best roll-on spot), so I only got one melta unit within 6" of their target. I managed to shake the Raider on the right with the pretty stripes and take off it's multi-melta, but that's it.

On my side of the table I was able to bring on my Exterminator, the Command Squad, the Plasma Vets, and a Chimelta. But my Demolishers stayed off; which pretty much meant that they wouldn't be firing much for this game. The Carapace-Armored Plasma Vets also walked on, since their borrowed Chimeras decided not to drive on with them.

The Exterminator took a shot at a Chimera it had a clear view of, but failed to hit despite being twin-linked. For his part, BlueMoon managed to kill both Stormie squads on the right with massed anti-personnel fire, but couldn't kill the Chimeras or the dismounted melta vets. He did kill my Vendetta on the right though.

Top of Turn 4

Now, BlueMoon and I were talking about what we intended to do as we did it; so he knew that I planned on blocking him in. But he didn't really appreciate his predicament until the bottom of turn 3 when the bear trap started closing shut. He had assumed that he could just wipe out the Stormies with his lascannons and advance, but the Chimera he couldn't kill moved up to block him in; while the one he did kill was wrecked, leaving more difficult terrain that he had to not roll 1's in order to cross.

The tactical logic was pretty simple. He had 10 tanks, but I only had to stop 3 of them to bottle up his entire force in that corner.

On my right, the dismounted Melta Vets managed to immobilize the striped Raider. Which, along with the now-wrecked Chimera to it's left blocked that pass very nicely. On my left, the Vendetta managed to immobilize the other striped Raider; knocking off it's assault cannon as well.

Two down, one to go.

In the center, I sent the Hellhound forward at maximum speed and parked it sideways right in front of another Raider; with the Plasma Vet Chimera close behind. The trap is now shut.

Top of Turn Five

The Melta Vets in the remaining Vendetta jump out and hoof it for the empty Chimera they gave up earlier. Everything else moves up as fast as it can to shield my scoring units. I have one scoring unit on the near-left objective and 2 on each of the other near objectives.

BTW: I've damaged a few Raiders so far, but only killed a single infantry model(!).

However Bluemoon is now trapped in his deployment area and has to make all sorts of difficult terrain checks in order to get out. Over the last 2 turns his Russes all immobilize themselves crossing that center rock, killing the entire squadron! One of his Raiders manages to make it over the wreck of the Hellhound and comes full-speed for his near-right (my left) objective. But it doesn't have a scoring unit inside. So he'll have to walk one over during the last turn from the immobilized Raider to it's left.

(I wish I had a pic of the final moments, but my Crackberry decided to crash while I was taking one; refusing to reboot for a half-hour afterward. So I'll have to describe it to you instead.)

At the end of turn 5 I had all three of my near objectives locked down, with 2 units poised to take the far objective on my left and one unit of Stormies poised to do the same on the far-right objective.

BlueMoon, during his turn, manages to block off the far-right objective on 3 sides, with one of my wrecks on the 4th. I dismount my last unit of Stormtroopers and cross the wreck (now dangerous terrain), losing 1 Stormie on the move and 1 more on the run. This puts me right on that objective to contest, but they then fail their leadership check for 25% casualties and run back over the wreck; losing another 2 men and leaving it in BlueMoon's hands.

On my near-right objective, BlueMoon lucks out and makes an 11" sprint with an IG infantry squad. Putting them within 3" of that objective to contest. I assault them with my CCS in an attempt to pull them off of it, but BlueMoon is very careful with his forced consolidation into me and manages to leave one trooper within 3" of the objective. So I charge in the Plasma Vets in too, hoping to win the combat and make him run. But we draw the combat.

On my far-left, BlueMoon moves an infantry squad up to the objective he's parked a Land Raider over; hoping to score. But I move up both the Chimera and the Vendetta to successfully contest it.

Final Score: 2 - 1 Sandwyrm Wins!
SandWyrm's Victory Points: 580
BlueMoon's Victory Points: 968

In the end, I got a Minor Victory. Which could have been a Major Victory with some better luck on either of the 2 objectives on the right. What's more, I did it while only doing about 40 Victory Points of direct damage (6 infantry models) to BlueMoon over the entire game. Though of course I got points for the 3 self-wrecked Russes.

Which goes to show why:

1) Mech Rules! 

No Gunline could have bottled up those Raiders and kept them all away from my objectives.

2) Movement is the most important phase of the game when you're running Mech. 

Had BlueMoon advanced instead of staying still for 2 turns and shooting, I would have had a much harder time blocking him in. But I also would have had a much easier time getting my meltas into range. :)

As far as what I could have done better... 

Well, I should probably have deployed the Russes behind the ruins on my right for cover. BlueMoon only had 2 long-range anti-tank capable units that could have threatened them there, so chances are they could have been safe and close enough to fire on Raiders from turn 3 on, instead of running all game and only getting a couple of shots off on the last turn. But I was still a bit shy after the pasting I got from Farmpunk in our last game. :)

I also could have used my Grenadier unit on the right to shield the objective that BlueMoon contested from running infantry. But it's possible he could have just flamed them or torrented them with bolter and assault cannon fire.

But hey, I won!


  1. Good report! I like the detail and analysis.


  2. I dismount my last unit of Stormtroopers and cross the wreck (now dangerous terrain), losing 1 Stormie on the move and 1 more on the run. This puts me right on that objective to contest, but they then fail their leadership check for 25% casualties and run back over the wreck; losing another 2 men and leaving it in BlueMoon's hands.

    I could have swore you only take dangerous terrain test in the movement phase, might be wrong though.

  3. (looks it up)

    Hmmnnn... I think you're right. But Steve Bradford (Or usual tourney TO) looked it up and ruled that I had to roll again for the run.

    So I guess I get a moral major victory? ;)

  4. Well done and excellent follow up analysis.

  5. i'm a TO? neat!

    oh, and page 16 has the rule for running and dangerous terrain.

  6. Steve is correct! As Normal


  7. actually, i'm wrong. after reading the report a little more closely i realized that 'run' is being used in the 'falling back' sense. in that case the rule to reference is on page 45.

  8. The casualties that made the squad fall back away from the objective happened when they ran across the wreck in the shooting phase. Hence the rule you cited on page 16 applied.

  9. wait... what? how many LRs? for how many points?

    1. Add up my list, that's how many points. Look in the first turn pic, that's how many LRs.

      It was almost 4 years ago anyhow.


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