Friday, 16 January 2009

Last test for the Tournament

Briefing: again, another battle report of my bugs. But this time, and as promised, with pictures! They may not be the best shots I could have made, but I'm proud of the result :)

Last Saturday I enjoyed a game against one of the usual customers of my local GW store. We played a 1.500 points battle in an Imperial world, where old buildings and vegetation mixed together as the result of the effects of a Tyranid bio-invasion and its common bio-spore bombardment. The Salamander space marines took defensive positions to face the incoming alien horde…

The battlefield in all its glory. The Baneblade didn't take part in the battle (luckily)

The dice decided for a seize ground mission with four objectives, with me placing two in no-man’s land and in the open, and my opponent placing two close to a table border, one of them in cover. The pitched battle deployment gave him control of that table border (d’oh!), where he deployed his troops: sniper scouts, a venerable Dreadnought and a Thunderfire cannon in some ruins on the left flank, a Whirlwind and a tactical squad (divided in combat squads) on the right flank, and a Demolisher, Tu’Shan and five tactical marines (another combat squad) in the center; plus two Ironclads with drop pods in reserve. I went for a change in my usual tactic of dividing my army in two and avoid the central part of the board – the why of this, well, I’m not sure yet; I think the idea of having Ironclads appearing in front of me and blocking my advancing route scared me :P – and deployed in a line: twenty gaunts on each flank and ten in the center, having another ten in reserve (to fill gaps and capture objectives), shooty Warriors, the Dakkafex and a Zoanthrope on the right flank, a heavy Carnifex and another Zoanthrope on the left flank, and my Hive Tyrant and the remaining Carnifex in the center. I reserved as always my Broodlord and his small retinue to do an outflank attack.

The left flank with the gaunts, zoanthrope and heavy 'fex

Right flank with gaunts and Warriors, threatened by an Ironclad Dreadnought

Center of my deployment. Note my Tyrant hiding behind a building to avoid lascannon fire

I failed to seize initiative and the battle began, with an Ironclad pod landing on my right flank, where I just had a Dakkafex (who sucks at close combat) and a Zoanthrope to deal with it. The Thunderfire cannon killed most of the central spinegaunts in his first salvo (where did this weapon came from??) while the Whirlwind fired and missed completely (I’ve noticed that indirect fire is everything but accurate). The scouts killed a few spinegaunts on the left side. In my turn, I responded with a general advance of my troops and a very poor shooting phase, killing only three miniatures after placing five small and three big templates (not a good start, actually).

At the beginning of turn two, another drop pod landed in my left flank and another Ironclad emerged from it, burning one of the spinegaunt brood with his heavy flamer that, thanks to Tu’Shan, counted as twin-liked; leaving only one gaunt alive. The Thunderfire cannon killed some termagaunts, while, the Whirlwind missed again, and some spinegaunts of the right flank were killed by frag missile and bolter fire. Some wounds were placed on my Tyrant Guard and the Carnifex of the center by lascannon fire and Demolisher shells too. In my turn, the Broodlord appeared in the left flank and run towards the building where the scouts and the Thunderfire cannon were hiding, and my reserved termagaunts appeared in the center-right of my former battle line. I moved my Dakkafex towards the right edge of the board, trying to use it as a bait for the Ironclad, and fired to a combat squad on range, killing two marines. Both Zoanthropes in both flanks failed to hit both Ironclads (both+both+both = d’oh!!), and the rest of my shots failed to do anything. In the assault phase, the heavy ’fex on the left flank charged to the Ironclad and suffered a wound, destroying one of his close combat weapons in the process. If the start hadn’t been good, this second turn hadn’t also been too good for my army.

Turn three began as always: the three times damned Thunderfire cannon blowing up my gaunts – at this point I had lost over 60% of them, and that was a real problem because they were my only scoring units – and the Whirldwind missing again. Tu’Shan and his retinue advanced to face my Hive Tyrant in the close-and-personal way, while the venerable Dreadnought on the left flank killed a few genestealers of the Broodlord retinue with his heavy flamer first, and then charged the unit. On the other flank, the Ironclad killed a Tyranid Warrior but this was a mistake my opponent realized soon, because I removed the closest miniature to the Dreadnought and thus it wasn’t able to charge (and smash) the rest of the unit. The Whirlwind missed his shot, and another wound was put in the Carnifex on the center. During the assault phase of the left flank, my Broodlord and his genestealers destroyed the venerable Dreadnought before it could attack (at last a strike of luck!), losing one of his members when the machine exploded; and the heavy Carnifex lost another two wounds to the Ironclad before destroying it completely. Two Dreads less were good news for me, and my turn started with the Broodlord entering the building towards the Thunderfire cannon with very, very bad intentions; and the wounded heavy ‘fex advancing towards that building too, and fired towards the exposed side of the Demolisher, hitting it (S8 impact!) but being unable to penetrate its plating of 11 and failing in his task of preventing the tank from firing in the next turn. In the right flank, the Dakkafex killed another space marine; while the shooty warriors killed another three and pinned them, and the Zoanthropes were unable to hit anything (again). The assault phase had the Broodlord charging the Thunderfire cannon and tearing the Techmarine operator apart. Now this was a good turn, third time lucky I suppose :)

The Broodlord making a mess of the Salamanders' troops

Turn four had Tu’Shan charging the Hive Tyrant and the remaining Ironclad taking the bait and rushing forward the Dakkafex. The combined fire of the sniper scouts and the Demolisher finished my heavy ‘fex, and the Whirlwind missed his shot again (Mental note: if I ever have to use it, never rely on indirect fire). The rest of shots from the Salamanders were ineffective (does this word exist in English or am I making it up?). In the assault phase, the Ironclad shredded the Dakkafex (four hits, four wounds, bye bye Dakkafex), and then came the big combat between the big guys. My Tyrant attacked first due to his I6, and with his WS6 and four attacks he managed to kill… one space marine. Tu’Shan hit him three times, but failed to wound the monster; and the Tyrant Guard killed another marine. But then, the veteran sergeant of the squad put two wounds on the tyrant thanks to his power fist, and I knew he was doomed. In my fourth turn I swarmed the two objectives of my side with my remaining gaunts (28% of the initial ones) and fired my weapons to the marines to no effect. In the assault phase the Broodlord ate the sniper scouts, and the Tyrant killed two marines before being finished by Tu’Shan himself. As a response, the Tyrant guard killed the remaining veteran with power fist, but The Chapter Master of the Salamanders stood firm.

My Tyrant was not enough to defeat the Salamanders' Chapter Master. Next time I'll have my revenge...

And this was the end of the battle, because it was getting late and I had to go to my grandma’s for a family meal. I was declared winner for two objectives to one, but I would have liked to know what would have happened with one or two turns more. Probably Tu’Shan would have advanced, destroying everything in his path and contesting one of my objectives. Or maybe I would have finished the combat squad holding one of his objectives with my templates. Anyway, a great game, in which the only thing I missed was a higher amount of painted miniatures, and that has giving me the urge to paint more of my bugs. Hopefully for this Sunday’s battle (the first of the “Fist of the Emperor” campaign) I’ll have finished another unit of termagaunts I’ve been recently working into, and this will mean my first painting points of the year!


Admiral Drax said...

Well done you, and well done the bugs!