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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Batrep #3 Vs. Deathwing

So the final round was versus a pure Deathwing army. I knew my opponent had done very well with the army at previous events. In my mind I imagined an army consisting of five squads of terminators so I felt quite confident however reality soon stepped in as I looked over my opponent's army list. Do the math - it's simple...

1850/5 = ~45 terminators or 9 squads

Subtracting off some points for Belial and cyclone missile launchers equated to seven squads or 36 terminators all armed with thunderhammers and stormshields (plus seven cyclone missile launchers)... That's a lot of terminators with 2+/3++ saves. I realized it wasn't going to be as easy I had thought - in fact it was a very hard fought battle on both sides of the table. The 2+ armor save is bad news for my poisoned weapons and the 3++ invulnerable save is even more bad news for my dark light weapons. I knew then that facing that many terminators was going to be a real chore - I had my work cut out for me!

Seize Ground (5 objectives)

Pitched Battle

The terrain was a bit more sparse on this table with only one small building. There was though a decent amount of rolling hills on one edge of the table that could work for bunkering some shooty squads. I won the roll for placing objectives placing my three equidistant in the deployment zone I was hoping to setup my army. My opponent placed his two objectives on either side of the middle of the other deployment zone. I then won the roll to deploy and chose to go first.

I deployed everything except for my Reavers (holding them in reserve). I hid Vect's and the Succubus' raiders as well as I could behind the tiny building - my opponent would still be able to target them with side shots - at least I was guaranteed some decent cover saves for these two raiders. If either of these raiders were wrecked/destroyed I could always sprint my melee units into combat - fleet is so awesome! My Voidraven took up a spot on my board edge in the center - it would be pretty much useless this game with only two shots each turn versus stormshields - I should have held it in reserve then screamed onto the table using the void mine... Oh well hindsight is 20/20. I placed my Warriors and Trueborn over in the rolling hills so they'd have cover versus frag missiles... That worked out amazingly well indeed. I figured my opponent would frag them rather than shoot krak at the raiders and that's exactly what happened. The hills were multi tiered so he could only ever get at most two models under his blast template... Heh!

My opponent deployed his seven squads across his deployment zone at right up at the front. He could move two squads towards the midfield while still holding his two objectives - I thought that was very wise of him indeed. If I blasted either squad off the table then another squad of terminators could quickly take their place. He had three squads (one with Belial) in the middle to anchor his line. He would move forward with five squads to try taking the fifth objective - it was an excellent plan on his part.

Pre Game Analysis
As I said the terrain was a bit sparse with only one small building to provide any real cover for my skimmers. I decided to go with the following game plan:

* Launch early assaults with Vect and the Succubus to put the pressure on my opponent early and try to misdirect him from focusing on taking objectives. He had twice the number of scoring units so I would need to tie some of them up and keep them busy for as long as possible. Vect, the Succubus, my Incubi and the Hekatrix all ignore armor saves in close combat plus they can generate a lot of attacks. They would have to perform well if I was going to win.

* Sit on my objectives and make the enemy come to me while I blasted away at them each turn. I figured my opponent would want to fire all his cyclone missile launchers each turn so that meant they wouldn't be running, which buy me a couple extra turns of shooting. I had to pound away with my big guns as much as possible to put a sizable dent in all that armor.

* Use my skimmers to block enemy movement and misdirect. Raiders are awesome for blocking off enemy movement if you turn them sideways. This would also serve to impede their advance towards my deployment zone.

Basically I could start the game holding two objectives as I wanted to use the Wyches to launch an early assault. My opponent would also start off holding two objectives as well so it might be a bloody fight for the fifth objective.

Combat Drugs
I rolled a 1 - the worst result possible... Oh well it happens... Just really bad timing.

1st Turn - Dark Eldar
I shuffled some of my raiders and then plinked off some shots at the terminators - no damage done.

1st Turn - Deathwing
The terminators all began their trudge across open ground. Shooting saw the Voidraven destroyed and the Succubus' raider was shaken.

Dark Eldar hold 2 objectives; Deathwing hold 2 objectives

2nd Turn - Dark Eldar
My Reavers failed to show which was a good thing for me. Vect's raider moved flat out using it's aethersails towards the enemy line - they went deep into the enemy line off to one flank just far enough away so that my opponent could not surround it on all sides with terminators if he destroyed it. Vect and his posse would have to sit tight for a turn and weather the coming storm of admantium. The Succubus and her Wyches deboarded scooting in tight behind the building to block off all enemy LOS - their raider also used its aethersails and pulled up beside Vect's to cut off some the terminators' approach and offer an alternate target (misdirection). The shooting phase then commenced - I think I actually killed a couple of terminators this turn.

2nd Turn - Deathwing
Two squads of terminators surged towards Vect's raider as what was expected ignoring the Wyches' transport... Drat! The rest of my opponent's army moved straight forward as was expected as well. The missile launchers fired up all targeting Vect's ride... When the smoke cleared amazingly enough it was still standing with it's aethersails raised high and proud. The two squads of terminators then assaulted Vect's transport - one swing of the thunderhammer got through and destroyed it. One Incubi was lost in the ensuing explosion. Vect and his remaining band of assassins deboarded limbering up their sharp blades ready for some blood to flow.

Dark Eldar hold 2 objectives; Deathwing hold 2 objectives

3rd Turn - Dark Eldar
My Reavers decided it was time to show and and came in sideways along the board edge turbo boosting behind the rolling hills. It was time to split open some terminator armor now. Vect and his Incubi spread out a bit into position to assault one squad. The Succubus and her Wyches came out to play as well moving into position to shoot and assault another squad of terminators - their empty raider flew back to my deployment zone landing behind the building. Shooting saw a few more terminators blown out of their armored boots by my dark lights but it wasn't really anything that substantial overall but then again every dead terminator was one less I'd have to kill and even one could hold or contest an objective. Vect then chucked his grenade pack on top of the enemy squad blasting a pair back to their cold graves... I wasn't expecting that but it was a nice surprise indeed! The Succubus and her Wyches fired upon another squad and two more terminators dropped. Vect and his crew then assaulted finishing off the squad in a rather stellar show of arms - of course that meant they'd have to eat some krak to the face so I consolidated them back into the crater left by their destroyed raider for some cover. The Succubus then lead her Wyches into the other assault - they took down two more terminators taking no wounds in return - the lone terminator passed his No Retreat saves like a champ.

3rd Turn - Deathwing
One squad of terminators moved up to assault Vect's unit while another moved up to lend a hand to their lone brother fighting the Wyches. Two more squads surged forward towards the rolling hills. The missile launchers fired upon the Reavers and dropped one. It was then right back to close combat... Vect and the Klaivex lived through their ensuing assault while dropping two more terminators in return. The Succubus and her Wyches dragged down the lone terminator and I lost a couple more Wyches but they held fast.

Note that due to the Wyches moving off their center objective to assault I gave up one of the two I had been holding. It had gone well this turn for the dark eldar but still there was plenty of more terminators left - truly a heavily saturated field to target.

Dark Eldar hold 1 objective; Deathwing hold 2 objectives

4th Turn - Dark Eldar
The Reavers moved up into the rolling hills so they could strafe the pair of approaching terminator squads. Every gun in my army that could shoot all focused fire on them. The smoke cleared and I had dropped three more terminators between the two enemy squads... Good but not really good enough. Vect and the Klaivex then went back to work but could only manage to drop one terminator. The Klaivex ate a power fist to the face and Vect failed the one save he was called upon to make. The Succubus and her Wyches finished off their squad then consolidated toward the enemy board edge to draw some of the enemy away from mine (distraction again). It was kind of a huge blow losing the old man to one failed 2++ save but he had been a total Black Fiend throughout the tourney so I just had to shrug it off... Shit happens!

4th Turn - Deathwing
Belial and his command squad strode back to tackle the Wyches - they were the one non scoring unit in my opponent's army - oh well. Each squad holding an objective wisely stood their ground while the other two headed my way moved towards the rolling hills but would be outside assault range of my dark eldar. The missiles all targeted the rolling hills and only managed to drop two to three dark eldar - not enough to force any leadership tests. Belial and his mighty retinue then charged the Wyches - I rolled poorly for once this game and my Succubus and her Wyches were all vaporized by the smashing of many thunderhammers. They had fought epically this day killing many terminators of various colors... They would be remembered and a new leader would have to rise up to carry their swirling black banner of epic doom.

Dark Eldar hold 1 objective; Deathwing hold 2 objectives

5th Turn - Dark Eldar
There was only enough time left for one last turn. I could either use the majority of my raiders to block off the two squads of forward terminators from assaulting my dark eldar situated in the rolling green hills or I could use them to contest objectives. I knew my shooting was not going to be enough on average to finish them off so I made the mistake of shielding them with my raiders. What I should have done was moved the Trueborn forward to screen off my Warriors and moved the raiders to contest (more on that later in the post analysis below). Again I focus fired into the terminators dropping one squad to a pair another to just three. That was it for the Kabal of the Black Heart and they had given it their very best.

5th Turn - Deathwing
The Dark Angels had it in the bag - I did not play for the win the final turn and lost by one objective. It was a true learning experience for me.

Dark Eldar hold 1 objective; Deathwing hold 2 objectives

Post Game Analysis
My one major mistake was not moving my raiders to contest objectives during the final turn. I had four of my raiders left so I could have contested two objectives to try for the win on the primary. Still though the Deathwing could have probably both shot and assaulted them to take back the primary. If it had ended in a draw on the primary then I would have lost on both the secondary (kill points) and the tertiary (victory points). If I had managed to take the primary then I would have won the award for Best General - as it was I dropped back to fifth or sixth place. My opponent played it very well throughout the entire game mostly ignoring my attempts to distract him.

Kill Count
Destroyed Dark Eldar Units
* Vect
* Incubi
* Succubus
* Wyches
* Voidraven

Dark Angels
I did a quick count at the end of the game and it looked like I had destroyed almost two thirds of the total number of terminators. The problem for me was there were a few squads with one, two or three terminators still left standing... They're all fearless as well so no break checks ever. I lost on kill points by a margin of two - I'm not sure how the victory points would have stacked up, I think it would have been close with a slight edge in favor of the Deathwing.

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