11 November 2011

Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

Since we were unable to finish our game sunday before last, we agreed to try and get another game in as soon as possble. When we were ironing out the details of when and how many points to play, Ørnulv presentet me with the following demands of my list:
- No more that three Obliterators
- No more that six Berzerkers
- No putting Kharn in a Transport vehicle

Not wanting to refuse a challenge, I said 'Fine!', and presented him with my counterdemands:
- No more than one unit of Devastators
- No more that two Razorbacks
- No putting the Librarian in a vehicle

Odds were that Ørnulv never really ment it seriously, but I still thought I'd comply if only to be able to rub his face in it a little before he got to shoot my army off the board. At the very least I'd be able to claim moral victory if the game went south. After juggling units around in Army Builder for a while, I came up with the following list:

Coyphaus Kor Nemeses (TLord w/Twin LClaws & MoK)

4 Terminators (2 Combi-meltas, HvyFlamer, ChFist)
in Land Raider
5 Terminators (LClaws, 2 Combi-meltas, HvyFlamer, ChFist)
in Land Raider

10 CSMs (PFist, 2 Melta guns, IoCG)
in Rhino (DBlades)
10 CSMs (PFist, 2 Melta guns, IoCG)
in Rhino (DBlades)
5 CSMs (IoCG)

Obliterators (3)
Vindicator
Vindicator

2000 points, 38 models, 6 vehicles.

Playing a game every now and then without units you tend to use a lot - and may even have become a little dependent on - can be good for you. I decided to drop Kharn and the Berzerkers altogether. They really do need a delivery system if they're going to be able to do anything at all, and I saw no point in just wasting 291 points. I kept the allowed three Obliterators though. Their ability to move and fire even heavy weapons is invaluable, and their arsenal makes them useful up close as well as at a distance. I took the Vindicators along because they hadn'e been allowed out to play for a long time now, and they were a little cheaper than the Defilers I originally had in mind. They'd be flanked by the two Land Raiders filled with Terminators to present what I hoped would be too many AV13 and 14 targets for the Ultramarines to be able to take out before I hit his firing base.

As I suspected, Ørnulv was fielding his current 'satndard' list with the following Smurf villagers:

Librarian (Smite)

10 TacMarines (Melta gun, Plasma cannon)
in Razorback (Twin Lascannon)
10 TacMarines (Melta gun, Plasma cannon)
in Razorback (Twin Lascannon)
10 TacMarines (Plasmagun, Lascannon)
in Razorback (Twin Lascannon)
10 TacMarines (Plasmagun, Lascannon)
in Razorback (Twin Lascannon)

1 Land Speeder Typhoon
1 Land Speeder Typhoon
1 Land Speeder Typhoon

10 Devastators (4 Missile Launchers)
10 Devastators (4 Missile Launchers)
10 Devastators (4 Missile Launchers)

2000 points, 71 models, 7 vechicles.

Excellent!!! Moral Victory was as good as mine. Now to avoid being completely wiped off the table...

Ørnulv had a table ready for us, so we jumped right into rolling up a scenario. We got Capture and Control with three objectives. I got to place two, so I put the first one down in open terrain pretty much in the middle of the board. Ørnulv placed his off towards one long table edge, and I placed the last one toward the other and off to one side. All objectives was within 15 inches of at least one of the others, so it was rather obvious where the battle would stand. We then rolled Dawn of War deployment, and a despairing Ørnulv realized he'd have to spend the first couple of rounds moving rather than shooting me to bits. I even won the initiative, and opted to go first and deploy my five-man unit up against the centre-line to push the Ultramarines back and to the flanks. Ørnilv placed a Tactical Squad in each of the ruins on his flanks. At this point dinner was ready, so we quit the field of battle momentarilly.

Turn 1

Under the cover of darkness, my forward squad made their way back to the ruin next to the objective closest to my table edge. Their job for the remainder of the game would be to remain under cover and secure the objective so that the rest of my army could focus on claiming or contesting the other two. The Obliterator squad walked onto the table behind the same ruin, and made for a vantage point on one of the upper floors. The Land Raiders, Vindicators and Rhinos was split into two identical groups and drove onto the board on one side each of the aforementioned ruin. Since the Night Fight rule was in effect for the first turn, I decided to save the Smoke launchers for next turn.

I don't think Ørnulv fired as much as a single shot first turn either. In stead, he moved and ran to try and get all the heavy weapons into decent fire-positions. Most of the infantry looked like they still needed another turn of moving to get to where Ørnulv wanted them, but the Land Speeders that had moved Flat Out up each flank and the Razorbacks that was hiding in the backfield would probably be moving out to shoot next turn.



Turn 2

As dawn broke the Word Bearers continued to advance, although with a little more care. The Ultramarines Tactical squads that had deployed on the flanks had advanced under the cover of darkness last turn, and was looking for the Vindicators' side armour. The Vindicators hung back to try a couple of shots at extreme range while the Rhinos and Land Raiders moved another 12" towards the Ultramarines. All but one Rhino 'popped smoke'. The Obliterators got into a position where they could see a Land Speeder without the Devastators being able to se them - or so I thought. The shooting phase yielded little more than one or two dead marines. Ørnulv made nearly every single 4+ save he had to take.


While a lot of the boys in blue had to use this turn too to get to their codex-assigned camp-sites, quite a few had already attained a suitable fire-position. Ørnulv's Shooting Phase resulted in a dead Obliterator, killed instantly from a lascannon shot he failed to find cover against, and one Stunned and one Immobilized Rhino. That last result stung a little, but I knew I'd gotten off pretty easy so far so I didn't complain. Next turn, however, the full force of the firestorm would be striking my army.


Turn 3

I had pushed the battle line almost to the centre of the board by this point, and needed just one more burst to put two of three objectives behind my army. My leftmost Rhino moved at Cruising Speed into the crater with the objective in the middle of the table. The Land Raider next to it turned on the spot and fired all it had at one of the Land Speeders trying to get past it on that flank, but couldn't quite get a lock on the fast-moving target. The other Land Raider left the immobilized Rhino behind and moved forward a little to fire i vain at one of the Razorbacks cowering behind the ruin in front of it. The Vindicators advanced a little and shoot at a squad each. One shot just scattered off the unit entirely while the other hit a handfull of Devastators. All but two made their Cover saves.

With all fire lanes, all crossfire areas and kill-zones finally covered, this was going to be the turn to break the Traitors. Apart from Destroying the (smoked) Rhino on the central objective early inthe Shooting phase and killing a few of the Word Bearers extracting themselves from the wreck later, not much was achieved. Ørnulv even forgot to move one of the Land Speeders, even as the other two sped across the canal and in hid behind the pumping station next to it.

Turn 4

I had gotten off easier than I feared in the previous turn, and this was the moment to capitalize on it! Both Land Raiders churned straight over or through buildings and dispatched their cargo of Terminators right next to a couple of the Ultramarines Tactical squads covering the flanks of their central fire-position. I left the units on the flank to their own devices to focus on taking out as much of the Ultramarine Troops as I could and they Ørnulv the chance to win. The obliterators fired two Lascannon shots at the daydreaming Land Speeder, hitting and penetrating twice only to Shake and Stun it. The Terminators did their jobs, however. The squad with the Coryphaus sent a combat squad off while the other squad chased off a Tactical squad, loosing on of their own in the process.


Ørnulv moved both Razorbacks, both with a Combat Squad and one also including a Librarian, from behind the central ruin up to cover the closest objective. The Combat Squad with a Plasma cannon didn't care for the close proximity of the Terminators at all. They moved up towards the closest objective as well, running to try to get one Razorback between themselves and the Annointed. The rest of the sons of Macragge opened fire. The squad guarding the central objective was taken to below half strength. The remaining Rhino was wrecked. One Vindicator was Stunned, while the other lost its Demolisher cannon. The Terminator squad on my left also lost a model to a


Turn 5

The end of the game fast approaching, I sensed an opportunity to kill the last Tactical Combad Squads within reach of any objectives. The Land Speeders behind my lines were a worry as well, but there was little I could do with the two in hiding and the Obliterators failed -again- to take out the other one. The Terminators with the Coryphaus had trouble traversing the ruin, but the other squad positioned themselves to be able to take out both a Razorback and the Combat Squad with the Plasma Cannon. The full-sized Marine squad left the cover of their burning Rhino and advanced on the other Razorback. The two Meltaguns made short work of the transport vehicle, everyone but the Librarian was killed in the following assault. The Terminators failed to damage their assigned Razorback by shooting, but a Land Raider Immobilized it with a Lascannon shot to the rear so the squad Chain Fist carved right through to the fuel lines and detonated the tank. The ensuing explotion killed two of the loyalist marines inside and pinning the other three for a turn, as well as sending another Terminator to the ground. The Annointed with Lightning Claws only killed one of the loyalist in front of the Razorback, so they remained locked in combat while the Librarian fled past them.


Two of the Land Speeders behind the Word Bearers' lines moved up to contest the objectives Lorgar's sons had controlled almost unopposed until then. The Librarian fell back to within a quarter of an inch of the table edge and cast Hellfire at the Terminators in the ruin next to him. The ruin that had hindered their movement earlier now made up by protecting them from the sorcerous blasts. There was a few other shots fired, but the only notable results was reducing the squad on the central objective to two models and destroying the Demolisher cannon on the other Vindicator.

At this point the score was tied. All three objectives was contested, so it would come down to if we'd get to play another turn or not. Finding no third-party awake to roll for another turn, we rock-paper-scissors'ed it. I won on the second go, and then rolled high. At least one more turn to go!

Turn 6

The Terminators in the ruin moved to escort the Librarian off the table next turn, just to be safe. The Coryphaus moved to join the regular Word Bearers squad as they made sure the Devastators in the same ruin couldn't come down and contest the objective. The other Terminator squad turned on the three marines in the ruins of their Razorback and cut them down in the name of the Perfect City. On the other side of the table, both Vindicators tried and failed to ram a Land Speeder each. The last two marines on the central objective only managed to Shake the Land Speeder contesting their objective, but the combined fire of the Obliterators and the five-man squad by the last objective managed to bring down the skimmer over there.

Utilising the last few firelanes that wasn't obstructed by burning wrecks or idling tanks, the Ultramarines made one last attempt to shoot the Traitors off of the objectives. The few shots that was made proved ineffective however, and I'm not sure we even rolled for a seventh turn. The ultramarines had nothing left with which to salvage a tie.


Summary

While a Space Marine gunline army is formidable when it gets to deploy and pour fire on their opponent from turn one, its effectivity is significantly reduced when it has to spend a few turns moving into position first. Especially if the opposing army is mobile enough to take advantage of the reduced fire. I caught a break when we rolled up Dawn of War for deployment! I doubt I'll be quite so lucky next time...

As for memorable moment: The Movement phase when both my Land Raiders crashed unmolested through terrain that Ørnulv was sure I'd be spending another turn going around definitely stands out in my mind. I could hardly keep a grin off my face as I disembarked the Terminator squads and saw they were both well within Assault range.

3 comments:

  1. Moral Victory - indeed. After fighting the boyz in blue on Friday in a major 3000 pts fight, I have the same experience. If the gunline is ineffective for one or perhaps two turns the spacemarines becomes a lot less effective. Not to be underestemated though. It still packs a punch if you are not carefull.
    After talking to Ørnulv i did get the feel that you pushed him of table, being a brute with you hosts buildings, and a real chaos general;) But when it was time to do the reconing - Chaos came out victorious.

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  2. LOL!

    A great battle report – less digital war-gaming description – and more creating a story line with lots of humour, my complements Jørn!

    Your analyzes (as seconded by Trond) of my current ”tourney list” (Ultramarines gun line) is dead on!

    - IF the gaming table has a normal amount of terrain, IF I get to deploy all of my army turn one, and especially IF I get turn one – it hits like a ton of bricks on turn one and two.

    - However – there is a lot of IFS

    I have played about 12 games with this list. Before summer I played 8 games, one loss, the rest victories. Last 4 games, two draws, one loss (two if counting me and Tronds mega game) and one win. As you guys have mentioned your lists have also adapted (also with experience from the last couple of tourneys), and now know how to beat the dreaded gun line.

    This weekend I will try my gun line list again (after altering it I little bit) against Jørn. If it fails over the two upcoming games I seriously consider going back to my old ”standard list”. It has less shooting and fever models, but it is more mobile, can handle close combat more than well (something my current list lacks).

    At the same time – why be frustrated. We all know I aim fore using my brand new DE army at tourneys, it is just to painful loosing with my beloved Ultramarines...

    Chaplain Wolffgard – signing off ☺

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  3. I think that a well balanced ultrasmurf list is pretty good. What I find quite easy against all marines, is when they come in groups of 5.... It`s too easy to take down.
    So my advice is, don`t change too much, but maybe have one or two units, mobile in rhinos and tooled up with meltaguns and a sergant with powerfist... but that`s just my humble thoughts:)

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