I had a game on Saturday in my local store. I played my ultramarines army, and my opponent played Dark Angels with Imperial Guard allies.
Sorry I didn’t make any pictures, my phone didn’t have enough battery.
My list is the usual one, you can find it here.
My opponent list:
Space marine librarian.
two tactical squads with plasma guns in two rhinos.
Two ravenwing bikes squads, one of them with flamers.
One ravenwing command squad on bikes, including a librarian.
Attack bike with multi melta.
Land speeder with typhoon missile launcher.
One IG Infantry platoon, 25 guards with 3 laser cannons, and master of the Ordnance.
Infantry guard squad.
Company command squad with 5 grenade launcher, with a vendetta.
Ordnance battery with 3 Griffons.
It was my worst game ever. My opponent knew his army perfectly, and how to use it; and he also knew my army, and how to act against it. He hammered my Sternguard from the first round, trying to kill them ASAP.
The battlefield had a big two levels building in the north west area then one small aegis defence line. Another Aegis line was in the center, with a gas deposit to the east. A small one level building, that looked like a small bastion was on the south west area, and to the east there was a big ruined building with a crater inside.
The mission was Crusade, and we got four objectives, so we placed two objectives each. My opponent put one in the south corner of the big building on the north side of the battlefield, and another one in the center, close to an Aegis fortification. I had already decided (a big mistake, without knowing where the objectives were, or who would move first) that I would deploy on the south part of the table if I could, so I put an objective in the south part of the tower building, and another one in the east part of the table, close to a gas deposit.
Then, I came to pick sides, and chose the south side of the table (as I already have thought). This side had a tower building, and a big ruined building with a crater inside. Thinking about it retrospectively, it should have chosen the north side, not because it offered more cover, but because the big building provided enough cover to the whole IG platoon; and have my opponent deployed in the south part of the table, the IG platoon would have been in cover only partially at best.
I got the warlord trait that allows him to out flank, but considering that I could come by the left part of the table, where there was nothing but a lot of empty terrain, I chose not to use it. I don't remember my opponent trait. One of his psykers gets “Misfortune”.
To continue with my (terrible) deployment; I totally ignored that my opponent got the first turn, and deployed as if I was going to move first. So, I splitted my 3 tactical squads in battle squads. I put one with the missile launcher behind the tower, so in my first turn they could move in the tower and have a better line of sight, and I will also control the objective. Then, I put the squad with a flamer, just behind them the first Sternguard squad, and behind them the command squad plus the captain. They were close to the tower, but in the open, and all of them packed together, as close as miniatures allowed. Smart, uh?
Then I deployed another 5 men squad with a missile launcher, and behind them, the vanguard squad on feet. At least these two squads very partially covered from the bikes by the building with the crater in it.
In the crater I put the Sternguard unit, so at least they got a +4 cover save, but any unit in the enemy army could see it.
In the right flank, I put two 5 men squad, one with a melta gun and then one with the flamer, (forming a perfect line) and behind them, on top of the hill, my other squad with missile launcher.
I then give some thought (clearly not enough) to where to deploy my Scouts, and I put them behind the Gas deposit, and close to the objective. My plan was to shoot at the bikes as soon as I can, hoping to hurt them with my Hellfire heavy bolter rounds.
I kept the Flyer and my vanguard squad with jump packs in reserves.
So, here is an important lesson: "know your enemy". I never played the Dark Angels before, so I didn't know the Ravenwing bikes have the scouts rule. So, because of that rule, and the turbo boost, my opponent moved forward all the bikes 12 inches closer to me. That wasn't good...
First move was for the Dark Angels. Thanks to the scout move, the bike squads were much closer, and the bike squad with the flamers moved around the gas deposit, so they will shoot at my scouts with the 2 flamers they have.
The rhinos, the land speeder and the rest of the bikes move forward as well.
He tried to use the psychic power that his on foot psyker got, Misfortune, which makes the unit targeted to re-roll all successful armor/cover saves, but I was able to deny the witch, thanks to the dice Gods.
The shooting phase was perfect...for him. To start, he burned to ashes my scout unit, just gone. And 1 VP for First blood for him.
He was clearly worried about my Sternguard, so he focused on them. the one close to the tower got the 3 shots of the Griffons and the one from the master of the ordnance. And, as you remember, they were very close to another 5 men squad and the command squad. As a result, I lost one marine from the 5 guys squad, the Company champion and the apothecary (even with Feel no pain)...and the whole Sternguard squad. They didn't have a chance to shoot.
Then he focused in the other Sternguard squad. The platoon used the "First line shoot! Second line shoot!" order to shot at them. I was lucky they were not at shot range, but even then my guys got 26 laser gun shots, plus 3 laser cannons. I passed all my cover saves but 1, which was quite amazing. Then, the landspeeder, the two bike squads and the snapshots from the rhinos shot at my Sternguard again. Even with all those missiles, plasma shots and multimelta, I only lose one guy. My opponent praises my save rolls.
I thought, well, that was bad, but I can still recover from that. That's when luck laughed at my face.
I moved all my units ahead as planned, except for the ones with the missile launchers and the Sternguard in the crater (oh, wait! there is only one Sternguard unit left now, no need to specify :P )
The guys with the missile launcher close to the tower move to the roof of the tower and take control of the objective.
I started the shooting phase with the Sternguard, and they killed two bikes thanks to the Hellfire rounds. Not too bad. Then I shoot with my marines on the left against the other squad, they were too far for rapid fire, but still, I managed to get one bike down from the second squad. Then, I shot to the bikes with the flamers with my 5 guys squad+flamer. They are at shot range, so rapid fire. They fail miserably. 8 bolter shots + 2 wounds from the flamer, and no one died. I shot against them also with the marine squad in the hill. The bolters did nothing and the missile launcher killed one guy with a frag missile. Awesome.
My melta gun shots at the rhino. Penetrating hit! IT explodes!! I start thinking: that is great! and I believed I could make him have some heavy loses. The explosion radius is 6", so the attack bike is affected, and loses one wound. Then, the guys inside the rhino are affected by the explosion...and no one gets hurt. I blame my luck, all loud. BIG mistake.
Only my Vanguard squad has not shot yet, and is close to the bikes now, so I will try to charge them. First I shot, doing nothing, and then, on the charge phase, I roll to charge. A One and a Two. And I lose one guy because of the snapshots.
That was the end of my good turn.
Yeah, it gets that bad.
The Vendetta comes in from reserves, and the bikes move forward. I have two marine squads in a line, so with a bit of smart positioning from my opponent, both flamers in the bikes can shoot at all of them.
The squad that was inside the wrecked Rhino moves forward and takes the objective in the aegis line, so they have the objective and they are in cover. The other squad stays in the Rhino, who moves forward 6" so they can shoot the plasma gun from inside.
The rest of the bikes move closer to my squads in the right side, shooting at them. Again, my luck with the armor saves (they are in the open) is amazing. With all the shouting from the bikes left(including 8 wounds from the flamer) I only lose 2 guys, one from each squad.
The psyker uses his Misfortune psychic power again, this time against the Vanguard squad (yeah, those guys that failed their charge and in the open now). I failed the deny the witch roll, so they have to re-roll successful saves. Awesome.
Then, shooting again against the Sternguard. The psyker in the bike has an auspex and uses it against them, so they have -1 to their cover saves, and then all the 3 griffons and the master of Ordnance shoot at them. Gone.
Next, the vanguard squad. The attack bike, the marine squad, the Landspeeder and the Vendetta shot at them. Affected by the psychic power, even with my good armor saves, they vanished.
We start the assault phase. The combat goes awful for my guys, and I lose both squads, only 1 guy left in combat with the psyker. I didn’t kill anyone. Lame, but expected.
Beginning of my second turn: I roll for leadership test, and made all of them. Then, reserves (have I mentioned I am terrible with reserves?). The Stormtalon failed the roll, but my vanguard squad deep strikes. I put them in front of the bikes, and my opponent mentions that I can’t charge them if I deep strike. I remember him of the Heroic Intervention rule. So I roll to scatter…and they deep strike in top of the bikes. I roll in the mishap table, and got “misplaced”. My opponent thinks he has the battle won (and he does), so instead of placing them in the far south west corner, he puts them in front of the IG, at enough distance so they can’t charge them, but the IG can shot them all dead with their ranks fire in the next turn...
I place the squad there, and immediately start measuring…they can’t charge the IG…but one of my minis is exactly 11 inches away from the closest enemy space marine squad, the one that came from the wrecked rhino. It is (very) difficult, but as I have the jump packs I can re-roll it. The only bad thing is that, if I shot at them with any unit, that guy is the closest and would be the first to die, so I can’t shoot at that unit (and remember the unit is holding an objective).
So shooting phase, lame. I can’t shoot with my command squad at the marines and I tried but I can’t hurt the rhino. The psyker in the bike is in combat, so can’t shot at him, and the rest of the shooting is terrible.
Assault phase, I can charge the enemy marine squad with what is left of my command squad (captain and battle banner), and my vanguard squad with jump packs. I roll for the command squad first: they are at 5 inches, so I am sure they are going to make it, and the captain has more chances to survive the overwatch fire. The roll fails, and my battle banner dies because of the overwatch. Then, my vanguard squad also fails the roll, and the re-roll.
At that point (just end of the second turn) the result of the game was clear, but we keep on playing. The psyker in the bike kills the marine left from my squad and moves closer to the next marine squad.
The griffons kill the captain, and the IG, who moved closer to be in short range, shoots the vanguard squad (who were targeted with the Misfortune psychic power) and they die. The bikes charge against my marine squad on the left flank, and kill them all.
I roll reserves for my Stormtalon and he didn’t appear. All I have left is a 5 unit squad (the one in the tower) and they are holding a objective, but I surrender.
Terrible deployment, bad decisions, and worse luck, the recipe for disaster. I didn’t know some stuff, like it’s not safe deep striking too close to an enemy unit (I was sure I would get a terrible roll in the charge and tried to keep them close, so I deep strike only 4 inches away from the bikers). That’s the kind of things you learn from playing.
What would you have done differently? I would have deployed in the other side of the table, so I could deny the cover to the IG platoon, and also put all my units under cover. A basic rule I must remember is “you can’t see it, you can’t shoot at it”.
I am not sure about my Stormtalon. It’s not very expensive in points, and worries all my enemies, but so far the results of the 3 battles he has taken part it are quite bad. Not sure if it’s worth it, but I like the mini and the different strategy that it brings with it, so I would keep it for another couple of games at least. Especially if we consider I am painting a second one….
anyway, it was a very fun game, and my opponent was a nice guy, it was good to play against him.
I have another game on Saturday evening...let's see what happens