Friday, September 7, 2012

Vassal Battle Report: Shadowklan vs. Hive Fleet Negajoule

This weekend past I got brave and tried a Vassal 40k "pick-up game". Normally I try to stick to playing people I know how some folks are on the internet! I was very pleased to play an extremely nice guy that was a very skilled player with a really fun Tyrannid army...those bugs always give me a hard time!

I was using my Waaagh! Shadowklan Ork army:

Warboss - Warbike, Cybork, PK, Squig, Skorcha
10 Lootas
10 Lootas
10 Lootas
7 Nob Bikers - Painboy, Cybork, 4 PK, 4 Skorcha, Waaagh! Banner
29 Shoota Boyz - Nob PK
29 Shoota Boyz - Nob PK
29 Shoota Boyz - Nob PK
Deffkopta - Buzzsaw
Deffkopta - Buzzsaw
Aegis Defensive Line

He was using a fun list with lots of T6, lots of shooting, and LOTS of Psychic powers...probably what's going to be a winning combination for competitive Tyranid lists.

Hive Tyrant - Wings, one Devourer
Tyranid Prime - Lashwhip/Bonesword
Tervigon - Catalyst
Tervigon - Catalyst
10 Termigants - Devourers
12 Termigants
3 Warriors - Rending Claws, Barbed Strangler
2 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard
2 Zoanthropes
11 Gargoyles
5 Ravener
Trygon Prime
Carnifex - Spore, 2 Devourers

Disclaimer: I played very late at night...was up until almost 1am on a work-night. I was very tired, made some poor play choices, and was horribly inconsistent with taking screenshots. Most of these are done in the middle of turns, not at the start/end, so things will appear a bit out of synch sometimes with the pics. Also, forgive my failing memory, but I'm old, blonde, and it was late...if I got some part of the battle wrong it's not intentional, it's just an old gamers foggy brain! :)

He was a very quick and efficient player, rolling up his Psy powers quickly and noting them on the models...something I really appreciated. I'm not the fastest player in the world, and he was very patient with my ineptitude at moving my models on Vassal.

We rolled up Capture and Control (whatever the hell it's called now) and Dawn of War. We rolled Nightfight for turn 1, but in retrospect I think we both forgot all about it, as neither of us followed the rules for it. I chose to go first, hoping to get the first good shooting turn in to drop something before it got angry, and set out the daunting task of deploying my horde.

I set up the ADL in three sections, one for each Loota mob, trying to get as many of them in contact with the fence as possible to get cover from the Hive Guard. One unit of Boyz sat in the area terrain on my objective (the pale-blue 1 on the maps), while the other two spread out towards the table's center. I'd chosen this side of the table so he'd have to come through a ton of difficult terrain, allowing me hopefully more opportunities to shoot as things came on, and hoping it would cause him to fail some charge rolls. The nobs went on my extreme left, with the plan of either rushing forward to threaten his backfield, or crash in to the flank of whatever buggy force he sent towards my objective. The Koptas both Flanked, while both grots went in normal reserve.

He set up his Flyrant front and center, right at middle of his deployment, everything else went to the right of that, leaving half his deployment zone empty. To the Flyrants right was the larger unit of Gants, then a Tervigon. Behind all that were the Warriors with the Prime (his Warlord, hiding...cowardly bug!). The Trygon, the other Tervigon, zoanthropes, raveners, and gargs all lined up to plow straight in to my boyz holding the objective. 'old on, ladz! 'ere come dim bugz!

He tried to seize and failed, so off I went! I moved the Nobs up conservatively, not wanting to get in range for the Flyrant to charge or vector strike them. The 2 middle mobs of boyz moved up to maximize the firepower they could deliver in to the difficult terrain to their front. The Lootas took aim at the flyrant...then changed their mind and aimed at a Tervigon...then back to the Flyrant...then back to the their Warboss (me!) couldn't make up his mind. I wanted to get rid of the Flyrant while it was still Gliding so I wouldn't have to deal with it once it got up and moving; otoh dropping a Tervigon before it could spawn anything would be a real coup, not to mention the gants that would die nearby! In the end, I went for the Tervigon, and pulled it off! Few Gants died, but that was a huge deal taking that thing down early. I love Lootas!

During Nids Turn 1

On his turn the Flyrant went swooping, coming straight at the Warboss! Everything else moved forward at max speed, except the Warriors and Hive Guard, the former holding their objective, while the latter shuffled to get targets in range. He ran pretty much everything, as most things were out of range, the Flyrant did diddly to the Nobs. He'd also spawned a large gant unit on the right that went forward with the Gargoyles.

During Nids Turn 2
 My turn 2, and I felt the Nobs had to knock the Flyrant down so they could assault and kill it and propel in to his backfield, while everything else had to focus on killing the gargoyles and gants coming on my right. One Kopta came in, I tried to place it in position to be a speed bump for stuff trying to assault in to the Lootas on my right.

Sadly for me, the Flyrant had Iron Arm up, making him untouchable by the Dakkaguns on the bikes, and the Lootas had a rare turn of fail, not bringing him down. On the other end of the battlefield, the Shoota boyz opened up, almost completely wiping out the Gargoyles...only one lived! The middle two units fired in to a weakend Gant unit and wiped them out as well. The Nob Bikers, with nothing to assault, bravely turbo-boosted back to where they'd started the game pretty much, denying a landing spot for the Flyrant to get in to the Lootas.

On his turn 2 the assault up the middle and right continued, and the Flyrant flew towards my middle Loota mob. More frightening, the Spore bearing the Carnifex fell right on target behind my objective! Very ballsy move for him, and it worked! His guns were in range this turn, and fire started to come in to the boyz. Several Shootas from all three units went down, especially the boyz holding my objectives, and some Lootas were killed by the Flyrant. The Dakkafex showed the Lootas what Dakka means, killing almost half of them in one volley! I also cheated here...lots of firepower went in to the Boyz on my objective. I'd just done a rules re-read, and caught that going to ground in area terrain gives +2 to the save, so was excited to flex this new knowledge for a sexy 3+ save from all that firepower, so I went to ground with them. Sadly, they are fearless, so should not have gone to ground. I apologize to my opponent, it was not intentional and I hope you'll forgive the oversight! It was pretty significant, as it really helped those boyz stay alive!

Now my opponent has done what I preach...given me lots of bad choices. I wanted the Lootas to shoot at the Carnofex before it ate up half my army, but the Spore was blocking LOS. I also needed their firepower to drop the Hive Tyrant who still had Iron Arm up. I also had a bunch of angry Gants and Raveners coming at my objective, followed up by a Trygon Prime, Zoanthropes, Hive Guard, and another Tervigon! What to do?

Grots to the rescue! The cheating GTG boyz and the Grots fired at the sport, and brought it down! They're really not that tough, so not biggie. The Lootas on the left fired at the Flyrant, and grounded him! The nobs were right in position to take it to him! The other Lootas shot at the Carnifex, and did...nothing. Not great shooting by the Lootas, and the armor saves were great on his part! The shoota boyz in the middle were able to finish off the Gants coming their way, while shifting towards the right to try to counter his attack.

The Nobs were able to finish off the Flyrant with no problems, I think only a wound or two was done to them.

His turn, and it starts to get very ugly for me. His Gants and Raveners go in to the boyz holding my objective, and the Carnifex moves to support...not sure what he was trying to do with the fex. Shooting brutalizes my middle mob and keeps piling wounds the lootas. One unit of grots is targeted by the fex, they fail their morale and split. (I was really lazy with the Runtherd, leaving him as the closest model. That's what I deserve!) Shooting went on nobs, cleaning out some.

His assault finally hits home, the gants and Raveners eating all the boyz with minimal loss (I think I did a wound or two to Raveners from OW, but everything else died before swinging)...sad Warboss.

But not to worry, all is well! I push the Nob Bikers up to try to combo charge the Raveners and Gants. If I can get the assault off, I've got it easy. I shaded the Power Klaws to the Ravener side and the 'normal' attack guys to the gant side. Shooting puts a lot of shots on the Fex, who is still alive and kicking after 3 turns of Loota barrages...die, dammit! The depleted middle unit of Boyz moves to assault the Trygon...I was hoping to put a few wounds on him to make him easier to finish off for the Purple squad, knowing they'd probably die.

The Nobs got in to the Raveners, but not enough distance to get the gants too. The raveners did a few wounds, killing another nob, but were wiped thanks to ID from the S9 Power Klaws! The Boyz were curb-stomped by the Trygon, losing combat, and dieing in Sweeping Advance doing nothing.

On his turn, the Carnifex went behind my Fence and ate all the Lootas...the Gants went and ate all my grots. Scoring units looking very thin, here! Shooting went on nobs again, killing another. In one of those truely comic turns of the game, his Trygon Prime assaulted my last Boy unit, took 2 wounds from Overwatch, took 2 wounds from boyz, and took 2 wounds from the Powerklaw...dead! This was just the break I needed to stay in the game!

 I split the Warboss off fromt he Nobs. He went after the Gants, the Nobs went after the Fex. The last Boyz went towards the last Trygon. Shooting did some damage to the Trygon, softening it up, and the Waaagh! was called (the Boyz had a long way to go to get in to the Tervigon). All charges were successful. The Nobs ate the Fex; The Boss ate the gants; and the Boyz did good work and stuck in with the Tervigon.

I'm low on scoring troops, and have no way to contest his objective (that Kopta that I failed to mention has been lurking around the area terrain, trying to not get shot down, hoping for some opportunity to do something live thru the game to score Linebreaker!). He's low on troops too, but knows all he has to do is contest my objective, or kill off the troops.

So, he focuses fire on the Nobs, who all die. The Tervigon goes down under weight of attacks from the boyz, and they consolidate towards my objective.

The game continues in to turn 6, and my boyz limp thru the difficult terrain to claim the objective. I'm hoping to keep his things far enough away that they can't contest, so move the Warboss towards his Brains and Guard, and decide to assault the Hive Guard. Everything shoots at them, taking them down to a single model with a single wound, which the Warboss kills off with ease. I consolidate to block the straight line from the Zoanthropes to my objective.

His last turn he kills off the Warboss with the other Hiveguard unit, but is too far away to try to contest the objective, or assault the boyz to pull them off, so he tries to shoot the boyz off with what shooting he has left. They are taken down to only 6 models left, and the all-important morale test comes at the end of the phase...

...and the boyz pass!

The game ends:

1 Objective for 3 points, First Blood, and Linebreaker: 5 points

1 Objective for 3 points, and Warlord: 4 points

Shadowklan wins!!! Waaagh!!!

Really, though, I had some lucky breaks where I needed it. My opponent had his share of luck too, particularly the Carnifex and early shooting at the Boyz, but dropping the Trygon when he charged me was great, and freed up those Boyz to get the win. That unit of purple-based boyz get MVP, as they shot down a ton of Gants, then went through a Trygon, a Tervigon, and got back to the objective for the win!

Thanks to Negajoule for a great game! I hope to get to play you again!

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