Saturday, January 22, 2011
Imperium and Eldar Triumphant - Bound in Blood Victory Report
I was running the central core of the list I plan to take to the Adepticon championship tournament - 3 Vet squads riding Chimeras, a Plasma-heavy Company Command squad, a Psyker Battle Squad, 2 Vendettas, and a Manticore. SeerK joined me with his Eldrad death squad (10 Warlocks) and a squad of Howling Banshees, both riding Wave Serpents. He was backed up by a Pathfinder squad and his Night Spinner of doom.
I apologize now for an utter lack of pictures - I still do not instinctually reach for the camera phone like Old School. So this will all be summarized in a big wall of text.
Round 1 we faced off against a pair of Chaos Marine players with an MC heavy force. Both were running identical lists - 3 Marine squads in Rhinos, a winged Prince with Lash, triple-oblits, and a pair of summoned greater demons. The mission was heavily objective based, so after they seized the initiative on us, both sides proceded to systematically assassinate the other side's troops. The MVP of this match may be the Night Spinner/Psyker Battle Squad combo - twice we inflicted 25% casulties, dropped their leadership with Weaken Resolve, and then hit them with the Night Spinner. Both times, as they took their dangerous terrain test due to fleeing, they lost a single model, dropping them below 50%.
As we approached the bottom of turn 4 (and probably the end of the game on time), we had both had 2 troops left, but we were about to obliterated one of theirs with shooting, and the other was well off any objective. This is when one of our local Chaos players wandered by the table and pointed out that our opponents were running an illegal list - only one summoned Greater Demon per army, and they had four! While I hate to win a hard fought game like this due to disqualification, I was pretty sure we had this in the bag regardless. It was just sad to see our opponents loose heart so badly when their mistake was pointed out.
After grabbing some lunch at Jersey Giant (I'll take that endorsement money now, Judge), we came back for Round 2 - Blood Angels and Necrons. Mission 2 was a kill point mission with a twist - everything that could move over 6" in a phase was worth 3 kill points, and HQs, Infiltrators, and Scouts were worth 2. With 10 vehicles, plus 4 infantry units that qualified for 2 points, I was really sweating this mission bad. Fortunately for us, our opponents brought a Destroyer spam Necron army (jetbikes) and Razorback heavy Blood Angels (vehicles). They had nearly as many potential KPs on the board as we did. With some luck (Necron Lord + Destroyers failing a 25% casulties check on an 11 after I failed to get off Weaken Resolve) and some good Fortune (Eldrad's fortuned Wave Serpent several times absorbed the fire of every anti-tank weapon on the board without failing a cover save), we pulled off an overwhelming victory.
After 2 full points victories, we knew we were going into round 3 with an excellent shot at the win. This round actually turned out to be a serious grudge match for us - we faced the same team we fought in the final round at the End of Days tournament last year - a match that I believed we lost primarily to our own play mistakes (never suggest to your partner that it's a good idea to keep Eldrad in reserve - it isn't). The Space Wolves returned with their Thunderwolf cavalry and the new addition of Njal Stormcaller, but this time were backed up by Blood Angels, packing a large Death Company (with librarian and chaplain) and a pair of Librarian dreads in drop pods.
After our opponent seized the initiative AGAIN, their two Land Raiders moved up and shot a bit, and the first Librarian dread arrived on the far left flank - promptly managing to perils itself shaken (thank you Runes of Warding!). Njal did manage to get off Murderous Hurricane on his 2nd try, which would soon prove rather devestating. The Thunder wolf cav moved up and revealed that the far right objective would be worth 2 points (there were three, each worth d6 points to the side that held them, determined the first time a non-vehicle unit moved onto it). On our turn, we managed to blow up Njal's Land Raider, holding himself and our opponent's only scoring unit. Associated fire managed to kill a couple more Grey Hunters, but the Librarian Dread's Psychic Hood managed to cancel the PBS's attempt to weaken their resolve. Eldrad zoomed over to meet the Thunderwolves, and the Howling Banshees zoomed in to fight Njal's boys - but rolled a one on their danger check due to Murderous Hurricane, wrecking the serpent and killing all 10 banshees, unable to disembark as it was moving flat out. This left me a bit worried.
Their shooting managed to do comparatively little - Njal and crew managed to badly beat up a Chimera and assaulted my Vet squad that took out their ride - killing all save the Sgt and one lasgun trooper, who at least managed to get away from their sweeping advance (come to think of it, Njal was in termy armor - I don't think that squad could have sweeping advanced. The Thunderwolves charged Eldrad's wave serpent, wrecking it - and we had to explain to our opponents that the term "Turn" in "cannot disembark the turn you moved flat out" means "Player turn", according to page 9 in the rulebook. They seemed disgruntled.
As an aside, the Blood Angel player was playing his army for the first time, so his occasional mistakes could be written off (no, your psychic hoods do not cover the whole board. No, Descent of Angels does not mean you can re-roll reserve checks and scatter 1d6 with your Drop Pods), but I got very frustrated in this game with the very basic rules mistakes we had to call our opponents on. At one point, my opponent was trying to tell me I had to make difficult terrain tests to dis-embark my infantry, and I got into a very long argument with him about the fact that Njal Stormcaller cannot make me suffer a -1 BS if Njal Stormcaller is dead and no longer on the board, even if he was on at the beginning of the Shooting Phase. At various points, Thunderwolf cavalry were Monstrous Creatures (no, they aren't) and Fearless (no, they really aren't). It made for a very frustrating game.
Our turn rolled around, and it was time to strike back. My CCS rallied the 2 vets who were fleeing, and then failed to give "Fire on my Target" to my demolitions squad that jumped out to put the hurt on Njal and crew. Eldrad shook the dust of his Wave Serpent off, gave Njal a dirty look after both Fortunes were canceled by Rune Weapon, and headed toward the Thunderwolves anyways. Shooting went well - Demo charge, flamers, and shotguns accounted for all but one Grey Hunter and put a wound on Njal (despite me forgetting he was Doomed by Eldrad). The CCS took them both out with plasma fire. The Manticore exploded the Blood Angel land raider, and killed one Death Company (should have been 2, but one made an FNP roll - which I don't think they actually have - another rules mistake). Eldrad and crew hit the Thunderwolves, and despite 15 attacks, put only one wound on the lord. SeerK's dice decided they had had enough of these beasts when it came time to attack the squad, though - 15 attacks, 15 hits, and 15 wounds. Forced to take 7 and 8 saves, both perished ignominiously. The Lord's counterswings managed to take out only one warlock, and fearless saves put another wound on him. The last turn of the game was anti-climatic - the 2nd Librarian dread came in, both of them Blood Lanced to very little effect, and the Wolf Lord went down under a hail of 2+ saves that he could not make enough of. Our final turn saw us grab an objective, combo assault the new dread and it's drop pod, and wreck them both, while whittling away at the Death company (which I think were down to 3-4 plus wounds on both characters as the game ended). With one objective held (for 2 points), and a bonus for beating them on kill points, we came out with a respectable 16-8 victory.
As I conclude, I'd like to thank Old School for putting together some very solid scenarios, they played out well with no major imbalances that I saw, and it was nice to not just play the rulebook scenarios again. SeerK was a great partner - both of us know our armies and each other's armies, and we worked together really well. I think a real major part of our victory came from armies that complemented each other very well, and a solid concentration on playing the scenario to the end.