Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saturday Night Gaming - 2 Mini Batreps (Loganwing vs Tau/Imperial Fists)

Well, having spent the better part of the last several days deep-cleaning and sanitizing my house due to my kiddo getting sick, I finally felt like I had the situation under control enough to do something other than scrub floors.

On a related note, I have been thinking about the Parasite of Mortrex a lot over the last few days. I think I'm going to write an article about that soon...

Yeah, yuck. Don't have kids, they are gross, lol. (Just kidding, I love my kiddos, but parenting is not for the weak of stomach).

Anyways, I headed out to my FLGS by way of Costco. ("Yes honey, I can do the grocery shopping. Say, while I'm in town I think I'm going to swing by the game store and maybe rolls some dice.")

Sneaky, I know.

Anyways now firmly "off the leash" and having completed my required shopping, I sauntered into Olympic Cards and Comics with a light heart and a heavy army bag.

I was ready to get some games after not having played in... well in far too long.

The only real swap from my GT list was that I dropped a Lone Wolf for a squad of Wolf Scouts (so basically I took the advice that Stelek had given me well before the GT but which I was too proud/stubborn/stupid to take before).

My first game was against a Tau Player. We rolled up four objectives, pitched battle.

Works for me, I know he can't just hide in a corner if he wants to win. Tau are, frankly, pretty terrifying. Tons of firepower that can potentially ignore the only real protection the army has: 3+ armor or a 4+ cover save. Thankfully there are certain limitations to these abilities.

His army was not terribly optimized. Don't complain, I'm just writing up what I played, if you don't want to read it go yell in someone's chatbawx! ;D

He had two commanders in Crisis Suits with Plasma and Missiles, 2 units of Crisis suits with Plasma and Missiles (though I think he had one suit with twin-linked Missiles in each unit, I'm assuming for allocation purposes. Drones attached. Two units of Broadsides, one with one and one with two, drones in each. 2 units of three sniper drones. 2 eight man Pathfinder units (with their Devilfish and Smart Missiles) and the rest of his points was in 3 eleven man Firewarrior squads. No Kroot.

So he had a pretty good amount of anti-infantry firepower but little real mobility and no bubble-wrap.

The objectives got deployed in a roughly box shaped formation around the center of the board. This was pretty good for me. I deployed everything I had centrally, with Logan's Multimelta unit with Njal attached. For this game I decided that my Saga of the Hunter Wolf Guard Battle Leader would actually serve me better outflanking with the Wolf Scouts. This was the right choice. It's nice to have that flex built into the army.

He deployed pretty spread out. He had a Firewarrior unit in the center, with a Pathfinder unit in front of it in terrain. One three man Crisis Suit squad was behind these Firewarriors. To my right was another unit of Firewarriors, then a single Broadside with drones, then further right was the two Broadside unit with drones. To my left was another unit of Firewarriors, then the second Pathfinder unit up on a tall hill, then behind that hill the second crisis suit team with the two Independent Characters in suits attached.

First turn Njal rolled up -1 to all enemy Ballistic skill, but I hadn't moved him far enough forward for that to matter yet. I fired all my Krak Missiles into his central crisis suit squad, but he made all his cover saves. I fired the Multimeltas at the nearest Broadside unit but again failed versus cover. My Thunderwolf Cavalry and Lone Wolves moved straight forward and ran. I was going to be in possible charge range of his Broadsides next turn with two of my Cavalry.

He fired back on his turn, killing two regular Wolf Guard and the Terminator on my far left squad, killing two of my Thunderwolf Cavalry and putting a wound on the third. Bummer. Apparently silly numbers of Strength 5 shots are good for SOMETHING...

Njal rolled "-1 Ballistic Skill" again, which would prove to be helpful. On my turn my Wolf Scouts came in. They rolled a "1" and so came in on my left side - as it turns out not a bad place. I brought them on right next to his Crisis Suit team with the two attached characters. I moved my last remaining cavalry up, ran and couldn't QUITE get out of cover. As a result I failed my assault into his Broadsides. The Lone Wolves moved up and ran as well, they would be threatening his lines turn three. I started pumping frags and stormbolters into his central Pathfinder unit, as in combination with my -1 BS if I could down his markerlight support I knew he wouldn't do too much to me. I took out about half of that unit, they passed their morale. My WGBL with Scouts assaulted his big Crisis suit unit, and put wounds on his drones (who went away) and one of the suits in the unit (leaving the characters alone). The suits swung back and offed by Wolf Guard sergeant and two of my Scouts. Rough. I lost combat but held.

Yes, losing combat to Tau IS embarrassing. But at least that was 4 suits that weren't shooting at me.

On his turn, a large part of his firepower had been tied up in the one group on my far left by the scouts. His dumped a lot of shots including his sniper drones into Logan's unit which was beginning to cross the gap to his lines. He failed to do anything of any significance, and got a bit frustrated by my habit of bouncing Sniper shots off of 2+ armor saves with Logan and Njal. My last Thunderwolf, stranded in terrain about 9 inches from his Broadsides, managed to deflect a few rail gun rounds but went down to massed Firewarrior shots. Such is the lot of my linemen.

During his assault phase I rolled better for my WGBL, caused another few wounds, he lost combat, failed and was run down. So that was about a third of his firepower gone. The WGBL and his three remaining scout buddies consolidated into cover on the backside of the hill that his leftmost Pathfinder unit was on.

My turn I Jaws'd his Broadside (the one that was in a unit of one) and it was swallowed by the Great World Wolf. Tau initiative didn't do him any favors here. I used split fire to launch my 4 Multimeltas and living Lightning shots into the far right Broadside unit. I killed a drone, they failed Morale and ran. I shot up the central pathfinders some more and killed them, and shot the rest of my Krak missiles into his last Crisis Suit team and killed a few. They broke and ran.

My WGBL assaulted into his far left Pathfinders and slaughtered several losing the last of the scouts in return but winning combat handily. The Pathfinders broke and he ran them down. Unfortunately he was left out in the open without enough consolidation movement to make it back into cover. One of my Lone Wolves got into HtH with the far right Firewarriors unit this turn. I killed 2, he held.

His turn he zipped my WGBL with some Sniper Drones. Sad day. He had only two more Markerlights in his army (on his Sniper Drone teams) and he missed with both of them. At this point I think my opponent pretty much gave up but started pumping everything he had into killing my left Lone Wolf for fun. He put a wound on it. My Lone Wolf on the right killed two more Firewarriors, and they continued to hold.

On my turn I brought a Wolf Guard squad in to "unstick" the Lone Wolf on the right. They wiped out the last of the Firewarriors there.

At this point my opponent had relatively little left on the board - two Firewarrior units and two Sniper Drone units as I recall. He shot everything at the same Lone Wolf and pulled it off the board. Moral vicrory points: 100.

He rolled to see if the game ended and it did. I controlled three of the four objectives. At some point during the game I had popped both his Devilfish also. I can't remember quite when.

This was clearly not an "optimized" Tau list but this was my first time playing against Tau with this army, and I was a bit worried. He had a ton of marker-lights and AP 2-3 weapons (though granted probably not as much as he could/should have had) and I had no transports. In my mind I had worst case scenarios of 10 Markerlight hits on a unit, taking away all cover and boosting to hit on 2's and just vaporizing a unit a turn. That's not quite how it went in the end as you can see.

His army could have benefited greatly from Kroot and more Crisis suits, with less Firewarriors. But really he critical thing was Kroot. He had nothing blocking me from getting to his lines, and his Firewarriors and Pathfinders were totally static. I was able to get units into both of his flanks and just start working my way in. 

The Thunderwolf Cavalry really saved my bacon because they sucked up a ton of his firepower (as they usually do) while I positioned myself for the end-game. I find with this army that I often feel as though I'm going to lose for the first 2 turns, and then I get to grips with my opponent and things turn around. But I almost always lose my Thunderwolves (sometimes with them hitting a target, often not) and often my Lone Wolves as well. I consider these units to be my "Linemen," they are big and scary and attract (and demand) a lot of attention but the real game winners are my Quarterback (Logan's unit) and my running backs (Wolf Guard units).

Anyways, that was my first game.

My second game was against a Pedro list with the following:

Librarian, Null Zone, Gate

Sternguard x 10, 5 x Combiplasma, 5 x Combimelta, Drop Pod
Sternguard x 10, 5 x Combiplasma, 5 x Combimelta, Drop Pod
Dreadnought, Plasma Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod

Tactical Squad, TL Lascannon Razorback
Tactical Squad, TL Lascannon Razorback

Assault Squad x 10, Plasmapistols x 2, Power Fist

Devastator Squad x 10, 4 x Missile Launchers, Rhino

Game was Annihilation, Pitched Battle.

This type of list just doesn't work at this points level, I don't think, but still 20 Sternguard isn't something to scoff at.

He won the roll off and (wisely) made me deploy first. I deployed centrally as is my norm. He pulled out "the lucky dice" and of course nailed his Seize roll. ><

He dropped in on my left side with all his Sternguard, cast Null Zone (outside of Njal's range) and opened up.

He chose not to combat squad but later remarked that he should have (I agreed). He fired all his combiplasmas at a Wolf Guard squad but also fired Hellfire rounds with the combi-melta dudes. I was able to wrap enough of the regular wounds onto the Terminator to keep him alive (with some good armor saves).

His other unit was able to pretty easily kill the closest Thunderwolf Cavalry.

On my turn I shot up Pedro's squad pretty good, and prepared a full Wolf Guard squad and the Wolf Guard terminator from my almost dead squad to assault. I moved my Lone Wolves and my central Thunderwolf Cavalry, which would be in range to assault this turn. My right Thunderwolf moved up the center of the board towards his far right Razorback. The plan was to pop that and then assault the squad inside. I also started working on his Razorbacks, exploding one with Logan's unit and immobilizing the rightmost one (the target of my cavalry).

In an unfortunate turn for me Pedro's squad failed their Morale save on an 11, and ran out of assault range (and well out of 6 inches), so my Wolf Guard squads were left standing there holding their meat. The Thunderwolf Cavalry assaulted the second Sternguard squad and killed several, taking a wound in return. I ran one of the Lone Wolves into range for an assault the next turn.

His turn Pedro's unit rallied and he shot at the nearest Wolf Guard squad a whole bunch with Hellfires, and they took I think eleven wounds and lostt 3 guys. Ouch. He fired 4 krak missiles at my lone Wolf Guard Terminator in an attempt to grab a Kill Point and had all four hit and wound, but I managed to bounce them all of my TDA.

During the assault phase my Thunderwolf Cavalry model was now in Base to Base with my opponent's Librarian (he had been out of range the first round) and I threw all my attacks into him. Even with rerolls to hit and wounding on 3's I just barely got the two wounds I needed. The librarian smacked me back with his force weapon and killed me.

During my turn I popped open his last remaining Razorback and moved my Thunderwolf Cav up into theoretical charge range (though I would need to go over the wreck to get to him). My leftmost Lone Wolf prepared to charge his Drop Pod, and the two thinned down Wolf Guard squads on that side prepared to assault into the nearest Sternguard Squad. Logan left the Longfangs with Njal (they didn't need to move anymore this game) joined a fresh unit of Wolf Guard and headed left towards the skirmish.

Pedro's squad was hunkered on the other side of some rocks pretty clustered up, so I tossed 6 frag missiles his direction, managing to kill 4 marines. I saw his Assault squad heading my direction so I cast Tempest's Fury.

My Wolf Guard terminators charged his thinned out (former) Librarian squad, my Lone Wolf charged and exploded the Drop Pod, and my Thunderwolf Cav failed a charge against his Tactical squad standing behind their wrecked Razorback. The Wolf Guard killed several of the remaining Sternguard in HtH.

His turn he brought in the Assault squad (losing two to Tempest's Fury) and prepared to assault them into the scrum on my left involving my weakened Wolf Guard squads and the last of his Sternguard. His only remaining shooting was his missile launchers and Pedro and a lone Sternguard with him, and I don't think they did much. His assault squad came in and beat down one of my Wolf Guard Terminators, but the other one kept them stuck in place.

During my turn I brought my Scouts in and targeted his Rhino, missed twice and prepared to Krak grenade it to death. The Thunderwolf Cavalry moved up so close to the tactical squad standing on top of their wrecked Razorback that I couldn't fail to charge him. Logan and friends moved over and prepared to charge his assault squad, who were struck in place.

Shooting saw off the remainder of Pedro's unit. Logan's unit charged and wiped out the Assault squad.

We decided to call it a night at this point.

Anyways, I was very happy to get in some games, but I'm glad we called the second game early rather than forcing it to the conclusion, because we got to go outside and shoot the breeze for about twenty minutes before I headed home.

All in all a nice Saturday evening.