Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blood Angel Devastation-and not in the good way . . .

I got another game in last week sometime, can’t even remember what day. I took my same list and went up against a Chaos Marines army. I will spare the unimportant details, and try again to get to the important parts of the game. It was an ugly game for me; I was totally tabled. I hate being tabled. It has never happened to me before, and it sure hurts me inside to see it happen.

Anyways, on with the show. The Chaos list looked like this:

Demon Price, Wings and Warptime
1x Obliterator
3x Squads of Chaos Marines w/ 2x plasma guns, plasma pistol and PF
1x squad of Chaos marines w/ 2x melta and power weapon
1x squad of plague marines w/ 2x melta
2 havoc squads, one with 2x lascannons and 1 missile launcher. Other one had 2x heavy bolters and 1x auto cannon.
1x Chaos Dread with TL-las and missile launcher.

Game is 1750 points, Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment.

I won the die roll and gave him first turn, and reserved everything. He set up his army across the middle 2/3rds of the board. It wasn’t the best deployment, but it was obviously good enough. He moved around a bit first and second turns, not able to do anything.

My second turn I start to drop things in on him, and just like I have done previously, I split up my units as I drop them, meaning no support for each other. I really don’t understand why I can’t do a decent drop. I just lose focus and start putting squads all over the place and right in the lines of fire, it is really quite stupid of me, and it costs me the game. Secondly and less important, I can’t get even one squad of Vanguard in. This really cripples my army I think. Surviving to turn 2 on the board is difficult to do if his whole army can shoot me to pieces. Had I been able to get in one squad, then the two squads with plasma that I forced out of rhinos with shooting would not have been shooting me with 10 plasma shots. I could have multi-charged them and taken both squads out of the equation, and I would have really fared much better in the long run. But let me reiterate that I lost because of my crappy choice of landing sites.

I landed 2 naked 5-man squads and another 5-man squad with meltas and a priest attached behind them right in front of the majority of his army. It was utter madness is all there is to it, lol. They were subsequently eradicated with concentrated fire from his army. I have got to remember that 10 pistol shots will really get little done and that my jump marines have much more mobility then I give them credit for.

I got slaughtered turn 3. Completely shot to pieces. And I deserved it for my stupid deployment. Most everything was killed except for one Librarian I think. Next round both my Vanguard squads come in and they smash face. I kill the two CSM squads that were toting plasma, and my Libby hopped over and smashed the Chaos dread in the face with some Str 10 attacks. That round of combat was satisfying at least. At this point the kill point total was about 8-5, with me losing.
The next round his Prince comes over to mop up my Vanguard, but their Storm Shields hold out vs. the monster, but I still lose a few models of course. My Libby was hiding so he couldn’t be shot.

Turn 5 I take my Libby to the havocs and he fails to kill enough of them to make any difference. The prince finishes up my Vanguard. Turn 6 he torrents my Libby down in the ruins and game over.

That was a brutal wake-up call for me. Even more so than the last beating I took at the hands of the Space Wolves. It makes me want to drop the army in favor of a more user-friendly mech army. This army takes some finesse to run right, and I don’t know if I have the ability to make it work well all the time. Mech armies are much easier to run, and I tend to do much better with them.

What are your thoughts out there? Do I stick with my Descent of Angels Army, or do I start using a different list? Here are the options so far: Razorback spam army with some Predators, Assault Terminator based army with Land raiders, Assault army with RAS squads and Dreads(meched up or coming out of proxied Storm Ravens), or a Death Company themed army?

Please give me your thoughts and comments. And if you have a good army list idea you want to see me try out, then post it up. I will give just about anything a whirl. Just put it at 1750-2000 points, and I will play each suggested list that is put up here, at least once. Of course I am limited by models, but I am not afraid to proxy, or counts as. Just no blatantly crappy lists is all I ask.

So here is your chance to put up a somewhat gimmicky army and see how it performs in the hands of a not so skilled general! So let me have it all of you out there, I want to see some lists put up.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Battle Report: Blood Angles v Space Wolves, pics included!

I had a chance to play this last Friday against a friend of mine by the name of John. He is one of the coolest guys I have met in the gaming world in quite awhile. He is a really good 40k general. He is also pretty good at Fantasy, if you think that 6th place nationally in the Fantasy ‘Ard Boyz last year is good. I had met and played him once before with my pdf Blood Angels, and it was a hard fought game. I barely came out on top in VP’s after we tied on objectives. It was the toughest game I had ever played of 40k. And he had a fluffier list with his Wolves, lol.

So I called him up and asked if he wanted a game, and told him to bring me a tough list to face. He obliged and brought a decent list to smash my face.

I brought my Descent of Angels list to playtest it some more.

Space Wolves List:
Ragnar Blackmane with a squad of 10 Grey Hunters in a LR Crusader. Pfist and 2x meltas
Land Raider with Las sponsons and a 10 man squad of Grey hunters with pfist and 2x melta
5 man squad of Grey Hunters with melta in a TL-las Razorback.
6 man scout squad with melta and a plasma pistol
4 man Long Fangs with 2x lascannons and a plasma cannon
2 speeders, one with multi-melta, and one with multi-melta and Typhoon ML
We rolled for mission and deployment and got 2 objective game with Dawn of War deployment.

He won the die roll and passed me first turn. I told him I was reserving everything and deepstriking it, to which he replied he was reserving all also. Well, I was beaten at my own game. He was smart enough to reserve it all to take away my alpha-strike, and truth be told, it ruined my whole game for me. Ruined my game in that I am new enough to this army to not know immediately how to deal with this type of deployment, and because of that, I lost the game. Now that the cat is out of the bag, let’s proceed with how things went down.

Turn 1
Nothing happens, we are all in reserve.

Turn 2
I got about 4 squads to drop this round, although I wanted none of them to come down. I placed them foolishly quite frankly. I placed one combat squad back on my objective, and some over to the right hand side of the board near some ruins to run into for cover. Melta squad with Priest and Libby drop on his board edge, along with a squad of Vanguard Vets. Stupid placement and bad deployment, we will go over this at the end of the report. Here is how that looked.

Deployment I have one unit hiding on the far side of the building at the top-left of the pic

His part of the turn saw the razorback and 2 speeders hit the table. His scout squad also sneaks on the board right behind my objective. Razorback kills one marine from the Libby squad, Typhoon speeder kills another marine from the same squad, and other speeder whiffs with the melta. The scouts kill 2 marines in shooting then assault me and kill the remainder. What a mess for me. I was not able to make my saves.

Here is how he came on.
Speeder 2 and Razorback speeder and Razorback

Speeder landing second speeder. you can see my hiding squad now.

Scouts coming on here are the scouts coming on. the model on the container is my objective :)

Turn 3
My other Vanguard squad and Honor Guard come in along with the other Libby/Priest squad. Vanguard in between the Razorback and MM speeder, and the HG mishap and are sent back into reserves. Bad luck, but it could have been worse. Libby lands in front of the speeder near the just landed Vanguard squad. Libby vaporizes the speeder with a blood lance, and the nearby Vanguard roll snake eyes to hit the Razorback with their meltas, after I forget to call a Heroic Intervention with them. What a failure there. The other Libby detaches from his squad and moves towards the other speeder along with a combat squad and an Honor Guard squad. Mistake number about 26. Second Librarian sears a hole in the speeder with a blood lance causing it to explode in a ball of fire. Not too bad I thought. Meanwhile the remaining priest and attached squad run into a building, and the other Vanguard squad climb up to the next level to weather the shooting from next turn.

His part of the turn is the beginning of the end for me. Both Land Raiders roll on and promptly smash my face. Ragnar’s Raider heads for the building with 2 squads in it, and the other raider towards my second Libby Squad.

Land Raiders

His Long Fangs also march onto the board to the left of the building housing my 2 squads. Shooting phase was bad. The crusader melts the lone Libby into a mound of blue power armor with the multi-melta. The other Raider obliterates one of the marines in the other Libby squad with a well placed lascannon shot. The Razorback spits out its marines and they score 2 bolter wounds on my Vanguard hanging out nearby, and I promptly roll snake eyes with them again. Ugg, 2 dead Vanguard. The Grey Hunters from the Las Raider shoot up my Libby squad and kill one of my marines because I can’t seem to make a FNP save at all. His scouts move away from my objective towards my HG unit and a combat squad. Assault phase is even worse. Ragnar wipes the Priest unit in the basement of the building, and his cronies assault the Vanguard on the top. I lose one Vet, and save his one powerfist wound on a storm shield wielding Veteran. I then smack the cronies around a bit, but still lose combat but pass the test and am stuck in combat. The Libby squad was assaulted and my Libby failed me miserably. The Libby gets pulped by the powerfist, after only killing one marine. My priest survives and I lose combat but stick in there. The scouts assault my combat squad near the speeder wreck and kill a few of them, and I kill a few of his in return with a drawn combat result.

Scouts coming for me
scouts assaulting me near the speeder wreck, and the honor guard coming from behind to help out

I didn't take any pictures after this, it was just too bloody for me, lol. I was too wrapped up in losing to remember my camera.

Turn 4
My Vanguard jump into assault to help the Priest out, ignoring the jerks who just shot them up. The Honor Guard jump in against the scouts to turn the tide there. The second HG squad mishaps again! And this time they try to avoid their battle brethren and smear themselves all over the ground in a really bad landing. Ouch, that one really hurt. I have no shooting to resolve, so we move right into combat. I win both combats with the HG and assault squad combo and the Vanguard and Priest combat. The result being units stuck out in the open ready to be shot up. My Vanguard on top of the building finally die to mass attacks, but they take a few more guys down with them, barely.

His turn is the end of the game essentially. His Long Fangs score a direct hit with a plasma cannon against my Vets that just won combat. Adios to the Veterans. The combat squad loses 2 of the three to shooting also and has to fall back, which is kind of helpful because it brings me closer to my objective. I lose a few more marines to lascannons shots over on the other side of the board, but my Priest is still kicking along with a few other Vets. Ragnar meanwhile has hopped back into his Land Raider and zooms towards my objective.

Turn 5 was just for fun at this point, to see if I could get anything done. My priest shakes the lascannons LR with his infernus pistol and the Vanguard blow up his Razorback with some powerfist love. My last marine jumps over to my objective behind cover, hopefully keeping Ragnar and his LR of death at bay.

His turn has Ragnar getting out of the Land Raider and running through the terrain to get to my last guy. As an aside, he had Ragnar modeled on a terminator base. Is that legal? I ask because it gave him another inch or so out of the front of the LR because of the wider base. He said that was the base the model came with, but after looking on GW’s website, they have Ragnar on a standard base. I’m calling shenanigans. I don’t think he was trying to cheat me, but I think it wasn’t correct. It just gives him way more base coverage to get into CC, and to get into btb with more models. It didn’t change the game on its own because we went to turn 6, but had the game ended, it would have been a draw.

Turn 6 was the last bit of fail as my priest and Veteran powerfist fail again to blow up the LR. I get 3 pens against the tank and they all end up 2’s, every single result. How fitting for this game. One final set of crappy rolls.

So I lost to the Space wolves. I had had such a good winning streak vs crappy lists that I was bound to face a good list piloted by a good general and get stomped on. I was glad it happened, I had become complacent as a player and I really learned from this game.

Here are some of the more important things. First off, I should not have dropped into his deployment zone. Way dumb. He has a good 20” threat radius with those Land Raiders and I just handed him those units by leaving them near his table edge. He entered, shot at me, and assaulted me, and subsequently cleared me out. Second, I should not have detached my Libby early on. Big mistake there too. I just handed him the ideal multi-melta target, and he capitalized on it. Third, with no targets to shoot at, I should have kept my assault squads together, and attached my IC’s to the Honor Guard Units. I should have had a full assault squad on my objective so when the scouts inevitably came for it, I had strength of numbers to beat them down. Fourth, I need to be more careful when deepstriking my units in. I should not have to lose units to mishaps. I have little enough scatter to keep them safe, I just need to estimate distances better, and not try to stick the landing every time. Fifth, I need to let my army units support the others. I look at my deployment after the fact, and it makes me think that I was retarded or something. I have units all over the place and no cohesion at all to my force. I give him individual units piecemeal. Stupid.

This was a good learning experience for me, and will help me with deployment, especially dealing with the jerks that reserve their whole army on me ;) So I have to thank John for pimp slapping me around, and helping me to up my game a little bit. I need to call him again and get some more games again, it was loads of fun!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How do I get in more games???

I think we all probably feel like we could use more practice with our armies, or more test games to help tune your list. Practice makes perfect after all.

But I have a question for all those guys out there in my similar situation. You have work or school, family, or whatever other thing that is more important than your hobby of little plastic toys. How do you find the time to get in practice with your army? How do you play test it enough to know that you have a good list going? How do you know your new tactic ideas are worthwhile or not?

I have read about how some people play games out in their mind. I'm not entirely sure that is valid, but if it works for someone else, then by all means. I have heard about Vassal as well, and being able to play online vs. other people. I have never tried it personally, but I think there would be some loss in translation from table top to computer monitor. Maybe I'm wrong.

There is one idea I haven't ever read about, and maybe because I am looking in the wrong places, but does anyone ever play test against themselves? I'm wondering if this is a viable way to play test an army. Maybe this sounds like craziness, maybe not, but hear me out on the subject.

First off, I would say the majority of players at my LGS are not super competitive. They are all good guys, and make for friendly games. They like to win and all, but it doesn't show in their lists. Read through my battle reports and you will see what I mean. Playing weak lists doesn't help improve my game. Granted it is the only real playtime I get, so I really enjoy it, but it doesn't up my game much. I don't get to see where my lists weaknesses are. I feel like I mostly roll over the people I play. I'm not trying to say I am a great player, and I never lose and so on, I am speaking of the general lack of competition I seem to face. Mech just beats up on foot slogging lists, it is mostly a fact.

Second, one game a week at best, and once a month at worst, does not help with list building skills and playing your best. It just doesn't cut it if you want to tune a list to be tough. It doesn't allow you the chance to hone your tactics with your list either. More games are necessary to really improve yourself.

So what are my options then? My super cool wife would play with me, but only about up to 1000 points. And she wouldn't want to play competitively against me, let alone learn all the intricacies of the game to do so. She is smart enough to stay away from my competitive nature, lol. I can't take off and leave the fam a couple nights a week and be a poor parent, and neither do I want to. I have been thinking these things over and have decided to play games against myself and see how it goes.

I know there are those with disposable income who have multiple armies, sometimes across different game systems, but I'm not one of them, nor will I ever be I'm pretty sure. I do have some extra Tau models knocking about my house and they will soon be recruited into games vs. my Blood Angels, as well as my extra marines that are gathering dust. I will have to do some proxying and "counts as" all along the way, but I'm ok with that. I will have to look at the current winning lists, be they good or bad, and start going up against them. Play as hard as I can for each side, and see how things go.

Has anyone ever tried this before? How did it go? Anyone have any better ideas? I'd love to hear all about it, so please let me know how you all would go about this process. I need the help, so let's hear it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Battle Report: Blood Angels v Tau

(Image taken from

Batrep time!

I got a game in yesterday at the LGS. I took my new Blood Angel jump-pack army for a spin. All I can say is wow! I had high expectations of the list, and they were met entirely. Maybe it was the poor army list I went up against, or the “out of practice” player I was playing, I don’t know. But the army did very well, with lots of versatility built in.

My list was the Descent of Angels list I had posted earlier on the site.
My opponent was running Tau. It wasn’t an optimized list, but there were still some things I was afraid of. His list was this:
Farsight with 7 bodyguards. 3 had missile pods and fusion blasters. 4 had plasma rifles and missile pods.
2x full Firewarrior squads on foot
1 Hammerhead with smart missiles
1 Broadside team with 2 suits, 4 shield drones and 1 marker drone
1 Piranha squadron with 3 Piranhas. 1 with fusion blaster and 2 with burst cannons
3 man Stealth suit team with a marker drone
1 squad of Pathfinders with 3 rail rifles (str6 AP3) and obligatory Devilfish

Mission was 4 objectives, with Spearhead deployment. Tau won the roll and decided to go first.

Turn 1 - He set up in his corner with Broadsides 3 stories up in the deepest corner, and a squad of firewarriors on the second floor, and an objective just below them. Fish was on the right flank of the building and the Hammerhead on the left. Further towards the middle was the Farsight Deathstar. Middle of his table edge was the second firewarrior squad, and the Stealth suits were in a building flanking the Farsight blob. He scouted his Pathfinders way on the left side of the board in another building. I deployed nothing, reserving all my units.

Turn 2 - He moves a bit to widen the board out (bad idea) and get some movement on his vehicles so they aren’t auto-hit in combat (good). On my half of the turn, 6 of 8 of my squads are rolled in. 2 extra ones coming in on the re-rolls from Descent of Angels rule. I first try to place my Librarian, Sang Priest and meltaguns from a combat squad in between the hammerhead, Farsight and the Fish. And mishap. I scattered into the Hammerhead engines. Had the squad not had 2 extra IC’s in it, it would have survived, but oh well, the dice Gods are fickle. So I lost about 1/5th of my army on the first scatter. I was pretty demoralized, and almost felt like calling the game there and then. But I’m a fighter, and wanted to see if my Angels could rally from the loss. All my other squads came down safely. The two Honor Guard squads and a combat squad with meltas landing where I tried to land the first squad, and the other two combat squads landing further towards the center in between the middle FW squad and the Farsight squad. Shooting saw me unloading everything into Farsight and his cronies. I had one bolt pistol wound in there, and he lost 2 suits to all the meltas. His 4+ invul saves were off the chain. Good rolling for him. No Vanguard came down so no assaults.

Turn 3 – He opened up on me. I lost both of my combat squads in the middle of the table and one marine each from the other 3 squads. Undeterred, my Blood Angels began to exact their vengeance. My two Vanguard squads landed in close proximity to Farsight and his overpriced suits. One Honor Guard squad took out the Stealth suits, one headed for the Broadsides. The remaining combat squad went for the central FWs and their objective. Librarian detached and went after the Hammerhead, and the Priest detached to join one of the Vanguard squads. I couldn’t shoot his XV-8s because I would lose charge range. Stealth suits were wiped out to a man. FW’s lost combat and were run down. Broadsides held with their stupid 2+ save. In the Farsight combat, most of my Vanguard failed, only managing a few wounds that were all saved. They struck back with Farsight whiffing completely, and the other suits’ blows were fended off with disdain. Full of disappointment in my pricey Vanguard, the two powerfists stepped up to the plate. Between their 6 attacks, 5 landed and all of them wounded, he then failed all of his 4+ saves, watching as his fancy suits were turned to mangled heaps of scrap and pulped blue alien. The one remaining suit promptly fled and was cut down mercilessly. On a side note, the Librarian only managed to immobilize the hammerhead with 4 str 10 attacks.

The game was over at this point, but we went one more turn to be sure, and a turn 3 walloping is not so fun, for the other guy at least.

Turn four saw my Librarian eat 24 pulse rifles and not survive, and I lost one Vet to a rail rifle from the corner. And that was it. Combat was lost by the Tau on top of the building. The suits fled from the fight and were executed as they turned their backs on the Emperor’s finest. Bottom of turn 4 ended with no Tau left on the board. Both tanks dropped to meltaguns, Firewarriors lost combat and were massacred as they tried to flee the Emperor’s justice. And the Piranhas also were scrapped by melta fire and a well placed Infernus pistol shot. Lastly, the Pathfinders were lost to the blades of the other Vanguard squad.
Complete Victory for the Blood Angels!

It was a good starter game for my new list. Lots of fun. The other list really just didn’t have a chance against mine. He needed two turns of shooting at me at least, but because of my deployment he only got one. Had my vanguard landed 2nd turn, it would have been even worse for him as I tied up Farsight in combat. But when I lost that first squad he had a fighting chance, although he couldn’t capitalize. His target priority was poor. Had he killed an honor guard squad with Farsight, it would have gone better for him, but the chips were not in his favor either way. Also, he shouldn’t have spread the board against me. It opened up spots for me to drop in and kill his dangerous squads, rather than forcing me out of his deployment and only offering up Firewarriors or Piranhas to my assault next round.

MVP for me was the Sanguinary Priests. They are so very powerful. Furious charge and Feel No Pain are very hard to deal with when they encompass my whole army. I made about 90% of my FNP rolls. His pulse weaponry was wounding me often, but my power armor and FNP just shrugged it off continually. Runner-up goes to my Vanguard squads. They were great. Very versatile unit as they are equipped to handle most anything, and assaulting out of deepstrike is absolutely invaluable in this list.

I love this list. It plays exactly how I like to play 40k. Dropping in where I want, shooting big things down, and then getting right into the mix with strong assault units. If I get the chance to play in ‘Ard Boyz, which I doubt, I will be using an expanded version of this same list. I need to keep playing it to get better at judging distances for my deepstrikes, so I don’t mishap so often.
Thoughts, comments, and criticisms are always welcome. Don’t be a stranger. If you visit, then leave me a comment, if nothing else than to tell me that I need to take more battle pics and paint my army!

Until next time!