Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Breaking in the new Game Room...

After many months, I finally got my game room squared away and it is now open for business.  My Father-in-law and I built a 4x6 table about a year ago, but it went largely unused due to a combination of work, a lack of local 40k players, and it being used as a storage area.  Finally Starraptor and I got a chance to put it through the paces with an inagural 40k battle (and knock off rust before a RTT) and batrep.  Starraptor is pretty new to 40k and I haven't played in about 9 months, so you'll have to forgive any mistakes we made.  Also, the terrain and RoB are a work in progress and need a lot more painting, so you'll have to also forgive that and my terrible camera work.

Gornall's 2K UltraSmurfs
Libby with Null Zone/Avenger

Tactical Squad with ML/Flamer and Rhino
Tactical Squad with ML/Flamer and Rhino
Tactical Squad with PC/Flamer and Razorback

Rifleman Dreadnought

Landspeeder Squadron (2) with MM/HF
Landspeeder Squadron (2) with Typhoon Missile Launcher
Attack Bike Squadron (3) with Multimeltas

Predator with Autocannon and Lascannons
Predator with Autocannon and Heavy Bolters

Starraptor's Marines (not the list he wants to run, but he's still building his collection and borrowing models for the tournament)

Tactical Squad with ML/Flamer, Combi-Melta, and Rhino
Tactical Squad with ML/Flamer, Combi-Melta, and Drop Pod
Scout Squad (5) with Sniper Rifles

Assault Terminators (5) with TH/SS and LRC with MM/EA
Dreadnought with MM/HF and Drop Pod
Dreadnought with MM/HF and Drop Pod

Landraider with MM and EA
Predator with Autocannon and Lascannons
Predator with Autocannon and Lascannons

We roll up mission and deployment and get Spearhead Capture and Control.  Yuck...  I can already smell a draw coming.  He wins the roll to go first and places his objective on the top floor of a ruin, and I follow suit.  You can see from the picture of his deployment just how far apart the two objectives are and how it is going to be tough to avoid a draw.  Man... I wish my army had outflankers.  He combat squads one Tactical to sit on the objective while the other loads in the LR with Vulkan.  The Vindicator is proxying as a Combi Pred. 

Having seen this, I decide that rather than trying to force my way down the middle towards his objective, I am going to go full reserve and combat squad everything.  This way I can come in from the long table edge on his side and force him to either double back or face losing his objective and he can't use his Dreads to box me in.  If I had it to do over again, I would have only reserved the LR or the Rhinos and deployed everything else normally.  Oh well...  On with the Game!

Starraptor's Turn 1
His two Dreads come in and scatter 8 inches away from the center.  Everything else shuffles forward towards my objective.  I am surprised that he doesn't move further, but the terrain is heavy and forces him to weave around it.

Gornall's Turn 1

Starraptor's Turn 2
His empty pod doesn't come in.  Everything moves with a purpose towards my objective.  His LRs split around the large terrain piece, and everything pops smoke.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of how his forces look after his turn wraps up.  Starraptor admits that he didn't realize I could come in on the entire board edge.

Gornall's Turn 2
Time to pay the piper.  I roll up my reserves and pretty much get perfect rolls.  I get everything but my Typhoons and the Rhinos with their Combat Squads.  Looking at his forces, I decide to come in on the far right flank and hit the TH/SS LRC with my MMs and LR.  The Dakka Pred and the Razorback come in behind them to try and push towards his objective.  My slogging combat squads move on towards my objective and everything else sets up in mid.

I also hop my TH/SS out of the LR (not shown in the pic) to hopefully charge his TH/SS if I pop the LR or the Pred if it looks like I can't get a charge off.  If I smash his TH/SS Termies, I will have a turn to load them up and then move out.  Otherwise, I should be able to kill his Pred, allowing my Rhinos and Speeders to operate on that side of the board unmolested.  Turns out it was a pretty big mistake.  In hindsight, I should have switched the LRs position with the Attack Bikes and just bum-rushed his objective with my LR.  If I blow up his LRC, his Termies don't have much to do other than smash the bikes.  If I don't, he'll still have to try to ram the Speeders or go through terrain, buying me a turn where they can't get to my objective.

I roll into shooting, cast Null Zone, and wreck his LRC.  The Termies falling out on the far side.  All my other shooting, including side shots into his Pred don't do much.  I think I shake it and shake/stun one of his Dreads.  My Termies then charge the Pred and roll....

Guess that makes up for the reserve rolls...

Starraptor Turn 3
He rolls forward with his LR and offloads Vulkan and the Tactical Squad to hit my MM/HF Speeders.  His shooting basically strips them down to a single HF which can't shoot next turn. His empty pod comes down to block my backline's LOS. 

To prove that being painted doesn't help rolls, I whiff with all my TH/SS attacks, while his Termies blow up 3 of mine.  I pull the front 3 guys and use Combat Tactics to get away.  Because of the LR and ABs, I have to take the long way around, but his consolidate of 1" isn't enough to keep me within 6".

Gornall Turn 3
Most everything else comes into mid to help clear it out.  I would have rather moved at least one Rhino on the right to try and push his objective, but it was a huge traffic jam, so I had to go mid with them.  The TH/SS squad regroups and moves towards Vulkan's squad to try and pulp him.  The Typhoons move in on the right side to try and finish off the Pred then start dumping shots into his objective campers.  My LR shuffles a bit to put itself between his TH/SS Termies and my ABs who move to start dumping shots into Vulkan's Squad.  The Razorback moves as fast as possible towards his objective, but is within charge range of his Termies.  My shooting blows up Vulkan's Tactical Squad but doesn't do much else besides stunning the far right Pred.  The Termies charge the lone Vulkan whose attacks bounce off their SS, but even with Null Zone, he passes all his saves.  Maybe they need a new paint job...

Bryan Turn 4
Not much happened this turn that we can remember.  He backpedals with his LR and moves one Dread down the center to support Vulkan.  His other Dread and Rhino with Combat Squad get serious about pushing my objective.  His Termies don't charge my Razorback and instead slog through the remains of their ride towards the center. 

Shooting doesn't do much but Vulkan munchs a TH/SS and the other one fails to pulp him.  I then try Combat Tactics and actually manage to get away.  He doesn't follow the TH/SS as he moves Vulkan to hop back in his ride if he survives. 

Gornall Turn 4
The TH/SS Termies rally and move back towards Vulkan, along with the ABs.  The disembarked Combat Squads load back up and get ready to move.  The LR turns in place to finish off the annoying Pred that won't die.  The Typhoons move forward along with the Razorback to make a last turn push against his objective.  The crippled Landspeeders turboboost to block his LR from getting to my objective while a Rhino heads back towards my objective.  My shooting immoblizes the Rhino rushing my objective, effectively meaning he is playing for the draw.  I also finally kill his Pred on the right but the Combat Squad on his objective goes to ground to avoid all my Typhoons' shooting.  Once again, Null Zone and lots of shooting does nothing to Vulkan.  My lone TH/SS and ABs charge him to hopefully finish the job.  I chage with the ABs mostly to get them out of charge range of his Termies.  Vulkan kills the last of my fail Termies and the ABs fail leadership (not on purpose either).  Starraptor elects to let them run off the board, but they stop before hitting the edge.  With his consolidate, he moves Vulkan to the LR and hops in (since it was now switching to his turn).

Starraptor Turn 5
At this point, the pictures get a little further between as we're getting into the game hardcore while trying to finish up in time to get another game in.  He tries to move the closest Dread towards my objective.  His Termies shuffle forward again trying to become relevant.  I can't remember what his LR did, but I think it shot at my bikes and pulped one, forcing them off the board for real this time.  The Dread also didn't make an impact.  The VindyPred wrecked a Typhoon and shook the other one.

Gornall Turn 5
I use a Rhino to block his Dread to buy my objective more time.  My Landspeeders shuffle to keep his LR from moving towards my objective.  I rush the Razorback and Typhoon towards his objective, hoping for one more turn (even though I should have turned my Razorback with the back door facing the objective).  My Dakka Pred doesn't do any damage to his campers, but I shake his Dread and rip the DCCW off, meaning he isn't getting to my objective.  If I can't keep him blocked with my Rhino, I can tie him up with a Combat Squad or my Rifleman who has shuffled over to intercept him.

My turn ends and I need another turn to win it... but the game ends there in a draw.  It was just an objective too far.  Good game all-around!

Post Game
Overall, I think I played a pretty good game.  My biggest mistake was the mismanagment of the LR and Termies followed closely by the traffic jam on the right.  Reserving my force was risky and a bit overkill, but it did mean that his Dreads did nothing.  Not spinning the Razorback (as shown above) could have been a serious problem as it might have been difficult to get the charge off out of the sides, but because the game ended, it didn't matter.  I also shouldn't have dedicated so much effort into killing Vulkan, but I considered him and his ride the biggest threat to my objective campers, so I didn't want him to get away.  I really didn't kill a lot: basically a LRC, a Pred, and a Tactical Squad.  I lost the TH/SS squad, the Bike Squad, a Typhoon, and got my Speeder's crippled, but never felt like my objective was in any danger.

Other than not realizing I could come in on the entire board edge, I think Starraptor could have been more aggressive pushing towards my objective.  Several turns he used his LR more as a gunboat than an assault transport, which I felt gave me some breathing room.  When he hopped his Tactical Squad out to shoot up my Landspeeders, it allowed me to blow them away.  However, had he not done that, it is quite possible I would have used them to slag his LR.  So that is a tough call.  Also, had he used his TH/SS Termies to pulp my Razorback rather than trying to support the middle, he would have effectively ended any threat I could have had to push his objective.  But those are just my own thoughts, and I could be completely wrong about that.  Overall, he did well and played a great game!  It was a great way to break in the new gaming room and table!

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