Monday, September 17, 2012

Battle for Salvation mini-RTT: Game 1

I attended a small tournament this weekend, a "test" run of the BFS missions, rules, and terrain for Bob and Ed (the guys that run the BFS GT) to make sure they're happy with the results of their hard work.

There were only 10 participants, but most of them were very competitive players: Simon Leen, Sean Nayden, Danny Internets to name a few. I was really curious to see what the "meta" would be, and to see if my all-Tzeentch force could compete!

The Secrets of Tzeentch!

As to the former, out of 10 people I saw this:

1 Daemon
2 Chaos Marines (one Daemon ally)
2 Grey Knights (one IG ally, one SOB ally)
1 Dark Eldar (Eldar ally)
1 Ork
2 Vanilla Marine (one Deathwing ally)
1 Imperial Guard

I didn't get a real good look at most of the lists folks were using, in fact I'm so old and blonde I barely remember what my opponent's lists were! I was surprised to see very few Fliers (my army excluded, of course) CSM player had 2 flying Princes; one of the Marine players had two Storm Talons. The IG had 3 Vendettas...but that was it. No Necrons. No Space Wolves. No Blood Angels. Small sample size, yes...but interesting none the less.

As an aside, everyone was talking about how they're going to build their CSM army...apparently the next tournament will be held inside the Eye of Terror where all of us will be trying to see who has the coolest Chaos Marine army. :)

I brought the all-Tzeentch daemon army discussed here. I even had it mostly on round bases. Go me! Though sadly, my Skull bases haven't even shipped yet, so I may be in trouble there. :(

Anyway, the first game! I was paired up against Ryan Sinnot...a very skilled young player with a terrifying list...something like this:

Ghazghkull Thraka
Big Mek w/KFF
3 units each of 10 Lootas
3 units of 30 Choppa Boyz with PK Nobs
30 Shoota Boyz with PK Nob and 3 Big Shootas
10 Gretchin
and 3 units of 3 Lobbas with 3 Ammo Runts in each.

Yeah, that's a lot of bodies, and something I'm not feeling I match up well against.

The mission was modified Hammer and Anvil, same as Nova. Mission was Kill Points, Quarters, and Objectives.

Normally this is a Mission type I like, as I can save weak Kill Points (flamers and horrors) to try to push things to Quarters, where I think I do pretty well. But, I messed it all up :)

I won the roll and chose to go first. He deployed very nicely spaced out so that I couldn't drop in flamers and wipe stuff out. He was really rushed, as he was taking a lot of time getting his guys out and deploying, and I think he made one error here...he put his Lootas in reserve. I think he just filled up the table with stuff so fast and he just left them in reserve to not slow things down. It didn't cost him anything, unfortunately for me, but certainly not how I would have played it.

The Lobbas were all in the extreme corner out of LOS behind a big hill, and the rest of his deployment was completely full of boyz.

I wanted to get my typical FMC and Screamer first drop in. I thought I could drop them back enough to only have to take the Lobbas and one Choppa unit's shooting, to which I felt pretty strong with Fateweaver's rerolls. But alas, the Chaos Powers...they are fickle. I got the Horrors and Flamers in first. And here I had a tough choice to make right away, which is wrong...I'm supposed to be making him make tough choices, not myself!

I could drop in close enough to shoot things...suicide-drop the Flamers and put the Horrors ~18" away for good shots, but risk getting shot up back and assaulted, giving up some easy KP...or I could deep strike far back, make him come out to me, and hope to get good Turn 2 drops to chop off whatever extended and roll a flank.

I chose the former, my thoughts being I wanted to save a lot of table-space for the FMC and Screamers to drop in to. This was wrong, as it gave up the gameplan of preserving my easy killpoints to push things to Quarters. Dumb!

The drops went poorly, 1 Flamer mishapped back to reserve, one mishapped and Ryan deployed him far far away. Changeling's unit scattered a LOT closer to the Orks than I wanted him. Another horror unit scattered back too far to shoot.

All I had was some Warpfire shots at the closest unit of Choppas, but with Nightfight and the KFF (this was a huge mistake...I should have just deployed far back, as the Horror shooting was nearly worthless) I only killed a small handful of Boyz.

First drop goes awry...

Flamers run out from the ruins where Ryan plopped them
 Even with nightfight limiting the range to 36", the Lobbas and Sluggas still did good work, destroying two units of horrors, and a unit of Flamers. As I recall he killed enough with shooting that he didn't even get to assault anything. Yippie for me!

My second turn, and the dice gods still frown. I only get in a Flamer, a screamer, Fateweaver and a Prince. I tried to drop Fateweaver so that he'd be in range of the remaining Horrors, but he scattered the full 12" and landed far far away. I put the Prince right next to him, though he scattered a few inches too, but no mishap. Screamers came down safe (and turbo-boosted to get in FW range).

The horror unit Ryan deployed hopped over to be in FW bubble. The other I suicide-dropped on top of the unit the Horrors had tried to shoot at last turn. The remaining horrors backed away, but sloppy movement left me very vulnerable to the barrages again.

Flamers kill handfuls, but there are just too many!

The Flamers and Horrors did far better this turn, leaving Ghazghkull in a unit of only a few Boyz. I think he had 3 left at this point. I poured everything I had at them, and just couldn't finish them off! He used the Ghaz's Waaagh! to make them fearless to prevent them running away.

Hey boss, why are we way back here? And why do you have a book on a stick with a fish on top?

Bottom of 2 and the Ork shooting continues. My Horrors are blown off the table. Flamers are assaulted and killed. Ghazghkull and his 3 friends hide in some ruins hoping to not die. 2 Loota units walk on in the corner closest to me, along with some Grots that he remembered at the very end of his turn, and of course I let him just walk them on.

There's only so much three flamers can handle...

Top of 3 and I cheated. I got in the LoC and Prince and only one unit of Screamers, but was kind of just going through the motions and ended up dropping in both screamers. It made no difference to the game, but was lame of me. I was kind of on auto-pilot, accepting the loss and just going through the motions. It wasn't intentional, I just was taking stuff out of the box and putting it down and scattering it. Brain-dead. I have no real excuse. Sorry Ryan! I'm glad it didn't change any of the outcome!

I dropped in the Prince and Lord of Change front and center, and the Screamers back safe. Then Swooped Fateweaver up to assume my formation for maximum rerolling fun! The first Screamer unit flew up ready for a long assault on the Boyz that killed off my Flamers. All my MC foolishly shot at Ghaz and his boyz, but with Ghaz being the closest everything bounced off, only killed 2 Boyz and did nothing to Ghaz. He passed his Morale that turn. The newly-dropped Screamers turbo up to be near Fateweaver.

Screamers go in to the Boyz...I killed off enough to not take any swings back, stayed locked in combat and got wrecked on his next turn, but ripped the unit apart so that it was a non-factor.

Finally going on the offensive!

Bottom of 3 and the Shootas take aim at Fateweaver. 1 wound, pass save, not grounded. Lootas fire at him. 2 wounds, fail both, reroll fails 1, roll an 11 for his Ld test. Sigh...bye bye, 333 points! Hey, before you go, tell us why you have a book on a stick with a fish on top! The lobbas put a few wounds on Screamers. Ghaz moved to a new "unit" that included more than one Boy.

Top of 4 and the surviving FMC Zoom in to the corner where all the Lootas are. I waste shooting to kill the one Boy from the first Mob I tried to shoot up, and finally kill him. I put shots on Lootas, killing enough of two squads to force morale, one of them runs off. Yeah! Flamers jump over and barbecue enough of the second mob that they are below fearless and Flee, being at 6 models left they need Insane Courage to return. Finally, I kill stuff! Only took 4 turns...

I also sent two units of Screamers in to the Shootas. I expected to kill a lot more than I did, but did manage to kill enough that he couldn't pile in at his Initiative Step to base contact, so I took no return swings, but stayed locked up with one of the Screamer units...the other consolidated away.

Lootas must die!

Assault on the Shootas goes...medium...

Bottom of 4...the Lobbas and Lootas shoot at the unengaged screamers, finishing them off. The last full Mob, led by Ghaz and with the Big Mek, charges in to the Screamers fighting the Shootas. The Screamers fight valiantly, but can't kill off the Shoota boyz and are wiped out. I think he had about a dozen Shoota Boyz left.

Assault on the Shootas goes...poorly...

His consolidate left him pretty packed together with that big mob, and I had a full unit of Flamers left...but I really didn't think I could come anywhere close to finishing off that Mob. Instead I chose to fire the Flamer's Warpfire at the bubble-wrapping Grots. This opened up a charge lane for the Lord of Change to go in to the Lootas, one Prince went to finish the Grots, the other Prince went to finish the last Lootas.

All I have left...
 That almost went according to plan, until the Prince fighting one Grot and one Runtherd decided that things hadn't gone quite badly enough and decided to suck. Not only didn't he do any hits, he took a wound! How embarrassing!

The Prince's to-hit rolls versus a if it weren't bad enough...

We had just minutes, so did a real quick turn 5, where he killed off the last of the flamers and I killed the last grots and we called it a game.

The final was 11 KP for him, and 6 for me. I was very happy to have made a game of it there at the end, and I sincerely think that if we'd had time for a turn 6 I might have closed the gap to push things in to Quarters and stood a chance at winning. A small chance, but chance none-the-less!

I won't blame the dice, as I made plenty of mistakes that had more of an effect, but the dice sure didn't cooperate. Poor saves, poor scatters, poor everything. More important than the dice though were my first drop...forgetting about Night Fight + KFF meant all that stuff was wasted. I'd had been better off dropping far far away and waiting for reinforcements. Lesson learned.

Ryan was a real pleasure to play with. Easy-going, knowledgable, and fun. He took full advantage of every mistake I made and really did a great job of killing what I gave him to kill and not sticking things out too far to be isolated. His list is very solid, and I expect he'll do very well at BFS. I think he ended up on table 1, but took a bad loss to the IG...I'm guessing Manticores gave him a rough time.

Ryan took Primary, we split the secondary (we each had 1 quarter), and he had 1 objective to none. He got First Blood. I got Linebreaker. I think I had 3 points total, he had 13...ouch. Not the way to start the Tournament, but I had a fun game and learned a good lesson!

My carpool buddy Sean Nayden played against Vanilla Marines, and got a solid win. I would go on to play that Marine player in Round 2...coming soon! :)

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