Saturday, August 22, 2009
Angels Sanguine vs Ulthwe Eldar
Mission: Sieze Ground (5 objectives)
Deployment: Dawn of War
My opponent this week was Silchias Ruin. He brought a tight mechanized Eldar list complete with Wave Serpents, Fire Prisms, and a Jetbike Seer Council. I have watched the evolution of his list building get stronger and stronger as his command tactics have done the same. This game was close. It was exciting. The game was one of those nail-bitters that comes down to the last die roll.
I was running the same Mechanized Blood Angels list that I ran the last game. I have linked it for your convenience. This time I proxied terminators for the Attack Bikes.
My opponent ran the following list (as my memory serves):
-Farseer, Jetbike, Forturne, Guide
-5 Warlocks, destructor, enhance, witchblades, jetbikes
-Autarch, Jetbike, Laser Lance, Mandiblaster
-5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent, T/L Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Star Engines
-8 Dire Avengers w/ Exarch, Diresword & Pistol, Bladestorm and Defend, Wave Serpent, T/L Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon, Star Engines
-8 Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch, Claw Weapon, Wave Serpent (Falcon Proxy) w T/L Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon, Star Engines
-8x Warp spiders w/ exarch, dual spinners
-Fire Prism w/ holofields
-Fire Prism w/ holofields
In the first picture, you can see the table after both armies are deployed. Silchias won the die roll and took first turn. He chose his half of the table and deployed his Seer Council with Autarch attached (note that they are footsloggers proxied for Jetbikes). He also deployed Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent. He reserved only the warp spiders for deepstrike. All else would be coming on the table edge as per the Dawn of War rules.
Oh, let us talk about the objectives. One objective was in the brush on the back right of the table. The red die that you can see on the little hill almost middle table was an objective. On the left back of the table, there is a triangle of objectives clustered tightly. One point of the triangle is behind the large hill. One point is in front of the large hill, and one point of the triangle is under the pipe in the back left corner.
I chose to deploy nothing. I reserved all four of my troops choices in their rhinos, and my HQs, Elites, and Heavies would come on table edge from turn one. If you have read my blog, then you understand that this is a bit different. I decided that this would give me the opportunity to use Dante, Corbulo and the DC, and Furioso together. Also, the Baal Predators would come in elemenating the randomness of reserve rolls.
Top of Turn 1: With no targets on the table, Silchias fortuned up the Seer Council and turbo-boosted. Also, he moved everything else 24". This granted his entire army a cover save.
Bottom of Turn 1: I drove my Baal Predators on to take shots at the Seer Council. I thought that a high volume of shots would be able to over come their super-saves. No such luck. I moved the Death Company and Corbulo nearby for support. They popped smoke. Dante came on hiding behind the DC Rhino. Furioso was also close by for support the Baals. My Attack Bikes turbo-boosted accross the center of the table towards the Fire Prisms setting them up for a Multi-melta blast next turn.
Top of Turn 2: The Seer council brought the hurt. They assaulted two of my Baal Predators, wrecking each. He parked the 5 dire avenger wave serpent on an objective on the right side of the table. His Fire Prisms shot at my Attack Bikes. I faile the 3+ cover save on one and he died the instant death. The Wave Serpents fired on the DC Rhino achieving an immobolised result.
Bottom of Turn 2: I turned up one Assault Squad with reserve rolls. I drove this in on the far left side of the table headed towards the triangle of objectives away from the action. I brought the DC, Furioso, and Dante over to encircle the Seer Council. Corbulo was there to offer Furious Charge and Exsanguination, but he would not be part of the Assault. I fired everything into the Seer Council and assaulted. This assault would last until the top of turn 5. I moved the remaining Baal Predator over and fired everything on a Wave Serpent to no effect. My remaining Attack Bike moved up and destryed a Prism Cannon.
Top of Turn 3: Silchias Ruin rolled up his deep striking Warp Spiders. They suffered pretty heavy scatter, so they ran and jumped to reach a better position. He put the 8 Dire Avenger Wave Serpent on an objective. The Prismless tank fired on the Attack Bike, and the other Fire Prism fired on my Assault Troop transport. The Eternal Assault continued as Dante led elements of the Death Company against Farseer Generius and his council.
Bottom of Turn 3: Reserve rolls turned up two more Assault Squads in Rhinos. They also came on the left headed towards the triangle of objectives. Engines stalled on the rhino which came on previous turn. I moved the Baal over and lit up the Warp Spiders. Yep, you guessed it. The Eternal Assault continued. Casualties were slowly suffered in each assault phase, but neither side would back down. My attack bike fired into the rear armor of a Wave Serpent, but he missed.
Top of Turn 4: The Warp Spiders moved to take a shot on my stalled Assault Rhino. After the shot, they moved into the woods for cover. Two Wave Serpents bracketed my Baal Predator. They wrecked it. Prismless tank killed the Attack Bike. The Eternal Assault continued.
Bottom of Turn 4: Reserve rolls turned up the Tactical Squad in Rhino. In an attempt to get to the right objective held by Dire Avengers in the brush, I chose to drove through the stone henge on the right. Difficult Terrain test resulted in an immobolized rhino about 6 inches onto the table. I had two Assault Rhinos hit over charged engines, and one move normal. All three sped towards the objectives to set up a turn 5 grab and contest. Corbulo went over to try a Krak grenade on the Second Dire Avenger Wave Serpent. I thought that I could catch them off of an objective and eleminate their mobility and open them to Tank Shocking. Corbulo was unsuccesful. The Eternal Assault Continued.
Top of Turn 5: Everything was about objective grabbing, positioning to win. So we were watching the measurements to the tiniest detail. He moved a Fire Prism over to Contest between two points of the triangle on the left. The Scorpion Wave Serpent moved to another point in the triangle, landing on target but immobolizing in the difficult terrain. 8 Man Dire Avenger Wave Serpent positioned to claim the objective nearest my table edge. The Eternal Assault continued.
Bottom of Turn 5: I moved a Rhino onto the Triangle point under the pipe. I tank shocked the Warp Spider while heading to the Triangle point in front of the hill. I hit over charged engines on the third Rhino near the Triangle and drove out towards the nearest objective to my table edge. Brother Corbulo climbed through the wreckage of the DC Rhino and Ran to get up onto the hill and contest that same objective. My Tactical Squad dismounted and moved close enough for a meltagun shot on the Wave Serpent there next to Corbulo with no effect. The Eternal Assault ENDED!!! The Autarch and Lone Warlock fled from Dante. The Dread and DC had been killed over the many turns, and the Farseer and 4 Warlocks had been killed over the course of many assault phases. In the end, Dante put the foul Xenos to the Axe in the name of the Emperor. He Consolidated toward the 5 man Wave Serpent on the objective in the brush.
Silchias Ruin rolled for the end of the game. The result: play turn 6. If it ended on turn 5 it would have been a 1-1 draw. I would also like to say that this roll really sent the stress level up for me. I worked so hard to be in position to contest his objectives. But you all know that when it goes to turn six the eldar have the mobility advantage. I knew that he would just reshuffle the table leaving me more difficulty in trying to put myself in a position to contest and claim.
Top of Turn 6: He moved his 8 Dire Avenger Wave Serpent from the objective with Corbulo contesting back to the Triangle Point Objective that I was not contesting. He moved each Fire Prism to contest one objective: one in the back left under the pipe and the the other to the front where Corbulo was standing. He disembarked the Striking Scorpions and assaulted my Rhino on the Objective in front of the hill, no effect.
Objectives now favored him 2-0.
Bottom of Turn 6: I moved a Rhino from the pipe objective over to contest the objective behind the hill which he now controlled. I disembarked the Assault Squad from a second Rhino (positioned in front of the large hill) in order to assault the remaining Warp Spider and kill him leaving me to consolidate onto the objective. The Rhino then tank shocked the Scorpions hoping to move them off the objective. Well, it worked except the Scorpions moved out of the way of the tank shock but remained close enough to contest the objective. I disembarked (from a separate third Rhino) the Assault Squad near Corbulo. They had a Powerfist Sergeant. I decided to combine them in an assault with the Tactical Squad and Corbulo on the Fire Prism which was contesting that objective. It gave me 15 Krak Grenades and 2 Powerfist attacks. I achieved a wreck result. This gave me one objective. I had to contest his other objective. Dante jumped out and assaulted the 5 Dire Avenger Wave Serpent in the brush. He did nothing to the Wave Serpent, but it put him within 3 inches of the objective.
It was my turn to roll for the end of the game. I rolled a 3. The game ended.
Objective count: Angels Sanguine 1 and Ulthwe 0.
A hard fought battle. I would like to mention here that Silchias Ruin has really stepped up his game. He has shown significant improvement in his list building and in his table top tactica. Our little gaming club is getting better. The wins used to come fairly easy for me. Not any more. It is really a competitive environment. I love it. This is a good thing. I want everyone in our club to be on top of their game. Successful table-top general every one.
As far as analysis is concerned, I would first like to mention the destruction of my Baal Predators on the second turn. My plan was to come on inside the range of the Assault Cannons while being outside of the assault range of the council. I really wanted to be close enough that my opponent would think he could reach them in the assault while not being able to reach them. As it turns out, I was way off on guessing the range. I will say here how important it is to be good on judging your distances. I suppose that game experience would be the best teacher here. I guess you could just sit and stare at you tape measure.
Well, I lost two Baals early, but they were supposed to be a tempting assault for the seer council. As soon as I found out that I was going to be playing against a jetbike seer council, I knew that I wanted to get my assault element stuck in close combat with that seer council. I could not have them roaming around the table wrecking everything. Naturally, I needed to have the charge. I could not have that Autarch lancing me. Furthermore, the seer council is tough enough without getting extra attacks for charging. Losing my Baals anchored the Seer Council allowing me to get the charge. I really thought that Dante, the DC, and Furioso could take the Seer Council in the first assault phase. Boy was I mistaken. Never underestimate the seer council on jetbikes. An excellent unit. Truly a challenge. The length of the hard fought assault really gave our battle a feeling of epic importance, as though Dante and the Farseer were battling over some objectives of galactic importance.
I would say here, don't be afraid to feed something to that big nasty unit your opponent has on the table. Sacrifice something to tie it down. Then you can get the assault advantage. Or maybe you don't want to assault it all. Just keep feeding it things that you can do without in order to make your opponent feel that they are successful. Use your sacrificial lambs to keep that unit out of the rest of the battle.
In the final result, I had to pay attention to how many objectives my opponent could control. I had a 4 troop to 2 troop advantage. He had plenty of other things with which he could contest. However, I only needed to control one more objective than he. There was no reason to sit on objectives that his non-troop units were contesting. I instead moved one of my troops off to contest his troops. Dante contested the other troop leaving him with no objectives. At that point, I only needed to free one objective from his contesting unit. The place that I had the best chance was the Red Die objective being contested by a Fire Prism that had moved only 6". I had Corbulo, Tactical Squad, and Assault Squad (powerfist) nearby. Then it all came down to the dice. Nevertheless, I had done everything in my power to create a statistical advantage for rolling the result.
Always be thinking about your opponents troops. He can't control without them. Perhaps you can kill them all. Or like me, maybe you can just contest them all. But keep them in mind. Don't allow your focus to lapse and find yourself contesting a heavy support choice or elite. They cannot hold the objective even if you are not there.
Hats off to Silchias Ruin. The battle was in his favor until the last half of turn six. The best I could do in turn five was a draw. Fortunately, the game went to six (I usually do not want this to happen). He had me on the ropes, but the extra turn gave me a chance.
Good game, brother.