Monday, February 20, 2012

Battle Report: Blood Angels vs. Sisters of Battle 1850 points

My Angels Sanguine squared off against Darksaint's Sisters of Battle in a really great game this afternoon. All photos, after the pre-deployment, will be taken at the bottom of turns. I ran the following Descent of Angels list:
Honor Guard: 4 Meltaguns, Jump Packs
Reclusiarch: Terminator Armor, Stormbolter
Terminator Assault Squad: 4 Lightning Claws, 1 Thunderhammer/Storm Shield
2 Sanguinary Priests: Jump Packs
Assault Squad: 10 Man, Powerfist, 2 Meltaguns
Assault Squad: 10 Man, Powerfist, 2 Meltaguns
Assault Squad: 10 Man, Poweraxe, 2 Meltaguns
Vanguard Veterans: 3 Powerswords

Darksaint ran the following:
Saint Celestine
Uriah Jacobus with Battle Conclave: 5 Death Cult Assassins, 3 Crusaders, Rhino
10 Battle Sisters: Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Rhino, Pintle Mounted Storm Bolter
10 Battle Sisters: Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Rhino, Pintle Mounted Storm Bolter
10 Battle Sisters: Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Rhino, Pintle Mounted Storm Bolter
 Seraphim: 2x2 Inferno Pistols
Dominions: 5 Sisters with 2 Meltaguns, Immolator
Dominions: 5 Sisters with 2 Meltaguns, Immolator
Dominions: 5 Sisters with 2 Meltaguns, Immolator
Retributor: 4 Heavy Bolters
Scenario: Seize Ground with 4 Objectives
Deployment: Pitched Battle
There are 3 objectives in a triangle on the left side of the board. One is in the center of a large piece of area terrain marked by the two ruins. The other two are in the grass just in front of the raised city foundation. The fourth objective is by itself on the right side of the board.

 Deployment through the end of turn 1: I won the roll off and opted to go second. Darksaint chose his side and deployed along the table edge. Retributors set up shop in the top of the ruined building on the left, and Celestine and Seraphim reserved for Deep Strike. He paired Rhinos with Immolators and placed one exorcist on the left and another in the center (behind the ruin in the photo). Uriah Jacobus is deployed just right of center. On turn 1 Darksaint did not move, and I had reserved everything for Deepstrike.

Top of Turn 2: On the left flank, Sisters Squad and Dominion Squad moved forward 12 inches. Exorcist moved forward 6. In the center, Exorcist and Sisters moved forward 6. Everything right of center moved forward 12.
Bottom of Turn 2: Reserve rolls turned up Dante and Honor Guard, a Powerfist Assault Squad, and a Poweraxe Assault Squad. Dante and Guard landed on the left flank behind the Exorcist. Shooting the melta heavy squad resulted in and exploded Exorcist which killed one Honor Guard Marine. The two Assault Squads landed in right next to each other between the immolator and rhino on the left. Meltagun shooting resulted in an immobilized rhino.

Top of Turn 3: Darksaint's reserve rolls turned up the Seraphim. They landed on the left flank in front of the immolator to support that flank. The dominions and sisters hopped out of the transports on the left and concentrated fire on my powerfist assault squad with priest attached. The retributors also fired on that squad. After the dust settled, four remaining marines broke and ran away. On the right flank, he pushed forward to claim an objective. In the center, his exorcist decided to back up and put his rear armor against the board edge. The Rhino moved up preparing to claim the objective.
Bottom of Turn 3: Reserved rolls turned up my remaining squads: Terminators landed in the center near his table edge; Powerfist Assault Squad lands in the center of the table; and Vanguard Veterans attempt a Heroic Intervention on the Retributors landing on the left. My fleeing Marines were within 6 inches of the Seraphim Squad. So, they ran off the table edge. Dante and Guard assaulted the Battle Sisters on the left. The sisters passed their leadership and the combat continued. My remaining Assault Squad on the left spread out and multi-assulted the dominions and seraphim. They killed most of them wrapping it up with a successful sweeping advance. Vanguard Vets did not roll high enough on the difficult terrain test to make it into Hand 2 Hand. Reclusiarch fires his stormbolter into the rear of the sister rhino stunning the crew. Assault Squad in the center of the table fires meltas into the closest immolator destroying the weapon.

Top of Turn 4: Reserve rolls turned up Celestine. She mishapped, and I placed her way over on the right side of the battlefield in the corner of my deployment zone. On the left flank, his immolator fired on my Assault squad to no effect. The immobilized rhino killed an assault marine with its pintle-mounted storm bolter. In the center, Retributors, Exorcist, Battle Sisters in Rhino (Heavy Flamer and Meltagun) fired on the Terminators. My Reclusiarch and 3 Terminators died. Dominions in the center immolator hopped out and fired on the Assault Squad killing two marines. Celestine ran towards the battle. Dante and Guard wiped out the remaining Battle Sisters and consolidated.
Bottom of Turn 4: Starting on the left flank and moving right accross the board, my Assault Squad assaulted the immolator and wrecked it. Vanguard Vets assaulted the Retributors and wiped them out. Dante and Guard jumped over to the Rhino in the center to fire Meltaguns at it in preparation for assault. The Terminators also prepared for assault. I really felt like Dante's melta heavy squad would open that Rhino up, and Dante and Terminators would wipe out the Battle Sisters (leaving my opponent with only one scoring unit). However, the melta failed to have the desired effect. I ended up assaulting the Rhino and failing to pop it. The Assault Squad in the center assaulted the dominions there and wiped them out. At this point, I was feeling pretty good about things. But that was all about to change.

Top of Turn 5: The next two events turned the tide of the battle. Exorcist shoots at Dante and Honor Guard killing everyone except the Sanguinary Novitiate. I always lose Dante to Instant Kill.  In the center, Immolator tank shocked to open a path for Uriah Jacobus and his Battle Conclave to disembark and assault my assault squad. They wiped out my marines. What a nasty squad. It really felt like being assaulted by a unit of howling banshees. Jacobus lets them reroll to hit rolls and adds and extra attack on every model. I will not underestimate this unit again. On the right flank, Rhino held the objective while Celestine and Immolator tried to move into the battle.
Bottom of Turn 5: I moved the left flank Assault Squad onto an objective. In the center, everyone assaulted the Rhino (Novitiate, 4 Vanguard Vets, Two Lightning Claw Terminators) results: weapon destroyed and immobilized. I really wanted the game to end here. Darksaint rolled a 4, and the game went on to turn 6.

Top of Turn 6: Left flank, Immolator with no weapon rolled towards my marines on the objective. In the center, Exorcist and Sisters in Rhino fire at my Terminators with no effect. Jacobus and squad embark and drive over preparing to join the fun. Celestine and immolator continue trying to get to the battle.
Bottom of 6: On the left flank, my Assault Marines continue to hold the objective. In the center, everything assaults that Rhino, and it finally explodes. At this point, I recall rolling 9 wounds on 10 Sisters from the explosion. Darksaint proceeded to roll 9 armor saves. I took a second picture with the ruin removed to allow you to see what is going on in there. I really wanted the game to end here. Darksaint rolled a 5, and the game continued.
Top of Turn 7: On the left flank, the weaponless immolator tank schocked me off the objective. I tried a krak grenade death or glory, but failed. Uriah Jacobus unloaded the Rhino of death. They multi-assaulted; however, the difficult terrain kept them from being able to reach my Vanguard Vets. They went nuts (just like howling banshees) and killed the novitiate and the two terminators. Immolator from the right flank drove over. I think Celestine gave up at this point. On the right, sisters held an objective.
Bottom of Turn 7: On the left, I abandoned one objective for another. His immolator did not look like it was close enough to contest. I knew it was going to be close. The game ended.

We measured the objectives, and the immolator was barely in range to contest my objective. The result:
Angels Sanguine: 0 Sisters of Battle: 1

It was a great game against a great opponent. We both had a really great time, and the battle was very competitive. Congratulations to Darksaint on a game well played.

Lessons learned:
I learned a lot from this one. Apart from the general building of familiarity with my army, I thought of the following:
-Dante and the Honor Guard are a reliable squad for dropping in behind a priority vehicle target and popping it. I had the idea of using them in conjunction with the Vanguard Vets. Dante drops behind to open a transport, and Vanguard Vets drop in front preparing a Heroic Intervention on the occupants. As they did not arrive together, I popped an Exorcist instead. This brings me to my second point.
-Target Priority: Prioritize your targets in the beginning and do not give up on that list. Why did I ignore second Exorcist? That was dumb. I nominated the two exorcists as high priority threats in the beginning. In turn 4, I had the jump range to bring the meltas to bear on its side armor. Nevertheless, I didn't. I threw my plan out the window and sold everything on killing that rhino with the sisters in the center. Not smart.
-I underestimated Jacobus and his Death Cult Assassins. Sun Tzu said that if you know yourself and you know your enemy, then you should win in 1,000 engagements. I will not underestimate Jacobus and his Assassins ever again. You only have to take that pie in the face once to learn your lesson.
-I must maintain clear thought throughout the battle. As I look back at the pictures, I think I should have moved my left flank assault squad to the objective inside the area terrain (directly behind my Vanguard Vets) on turn seven. With the 12 inches for jumping and an average run, I would have made the objective and pulled out a draw. I didn't see it during the game, and I really believed that his immolator was a fraction of an inch too far away to contest.
-I am continuing to feel more comfortable with deepstriking. I have tried to deepstrike aggressively and play this list aggressively. I think it is working pretty well. I need more practice to put a whole game together. I started out pretty well, but I was unable to put a good finish on at the end.

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