Saturday, 1 February 2014

Fighting the Good Fight

Tonight marked a very special occasion for me in that I finally got to test out my strategic and tactical abilities on a battlefield against an opponent that wasn't me and what made it so fantastic was that I won!

My list tonight was just 700 points so pretty basic and consisted of:
A Great Unclean One: lv1 Psyker (got Iron Arm), no upgrades
A Herald of Khorne (no upgrades)
A Herald of Tzeentch: lv3 Psyker, Locus of Conjuration
3x Bloodcrushers
10x Pink Horrors: lv1 Psyker
10x Bloodletters

I took this list to test out a couple of things and also because everything was fully painted so I wasn't embarrassed about not having my force painted (needn't have worried but still). I wanted to test out my drawing fire strategy with the Bloodcrushers, Deep Striking with the Bloodletters and Herald of Khorne, the Prescience/Flickering Fire combo and the durability of the GUO. I also wanted to prove to myself that the Warp Storm table is a gift rather than a curse and I have to say that my strategies worked very well as I shall explain.

My opponent fielded Imperial Guard which included a Leman Russ and a Chimaera tank as well as three artillery guns and plenty of shooty foot troops. I deployed my GUO, Bloodcrushers and Horrors with the Herald of Tzeentch normally and kept my Bloodletters and herald of Khorne to deep strike. My plan was to deep strike the Bloodletters with an Icon from the Bloodcrushers but I forgot that I hadn't upgraded with an icon so that plan went out of the window.

To start with I moved my Horrors toward some cover and also into range of some units for the Flickering Fire test. They ended up firing through windows for the most part but even with giving a cover save by doing that they were still absolutely lethal. They averaged at 21 shots per shooting phase which practically levelled whatever they decided to shoot that turn even with me forgetting to cast Prescience. They did attempt to take on the Leman Russ in the first turn as it was all they had sight of but they couldn't touch it. Overall though, as I've said, this was a devastating combo against infantry. It was able to wipe out a heavy weapon squad in one round and reduced two infantry squads to one model and that was without Prescience because I kept forgetting to roll it. This was just a 10 horror squad with one Herald and it was incredibly effective. The unit only took two casualties and by keeping the Herald behind a line of Horrors he didn't even get looked at which was nice.

Where there is sweet there is usually sour and in this list it came from my Bloodcrushers that were shot down before they had a chance to do anything at all. Granted they soaked up a lot of fire that would otherwise have been directed at other units but I would have liked for them to get into combat so I could see how quickly they took apart a tank or two. As it was the Great Unclean One had an expensive bullet shield, dealt with the Leman Russ and the Horrors took out the Chimaera (three glances AND three penetrating shots. It wasn't getting back up from that). 

The Bloodletters did their job perfectly even if they were in limited numbers due to a deep strike mishap that meant only four Bloodletters and the Herald were able to make it. Even after that and losing two to Overwatch they still totalled a unit of Storm Troopers in one assault and claimed an objective. The horrors also claimed an objective and they claimed slay the warlord, my Great Unclean One got line breaker but unfortunately by Bloodcrushers gave my opponent first blood. But back to my original point, they got into combat and absolutely annihilated their opponent which was nice to watch. 

My Great Unclean One definitely contends for most valuable unit (could also have been the horrors) and the reason for that is that I got lucky and drew Iron Arm as his one psychic talent so once I remembered that I had to actually use it, it turned my GUO into an almost untouchable death machine. For two turns in a row he was at Strength 9 and Toughness 10 so there were only about four or five guns my opponent had that could actually do anything. He was able to bring me down to three wounds but that was after a Perils of the Warp wound. The rest of the time he was toughness 9 and strength 8 which was more than enough to keep him alive as he slowly trekked across the field and absorbed and laughed off so much fire power it was ridiculous. Once he got into combat he levelled the Leman Russ in two turns and forced everything around him to either stand and fight or retreat to a "safe" distance. My opponent chose the latter option which just left the command squad open to my Horrors. 

The final addition to my army is one that cost me no points at all and gave me four very interesting and different attacks and this addition was... The Warp Storm Table. I didn't change my invulnerable save, I didn't destroy myself but I also didn't bring back any units either. I did manage to get the damaging ones though and they did a fair amount of damage. Rot, Glorious Rot completely took out an infantry unit and The Dark Prince Thirsts caused some damage too but Tzeentch's Firestorm scattered and did nothing. Lucky for my GUO but also lucky for my opponent which wasn't lucky for me but it didn't destroy my entire army so I guess I can't complain too much. It basically operated as a slightly random effect orbital bombardment and the look on my opponents face with each roll once the damage potential was established with Rot, Glorious Rot was just fantastic. 

By the end of the match he had one model left from his Command Squad and a unit holed up in a ruin that was in direct range for a charge from the GUO and a round of firing from the Horrors so we called time with me ahead 4-2. It was nice to see that my tactical analyses of the units was very much correct, especially the Bloodcrushers. They look scary and move fast so they took the brunt of the attack to start and were wiped out. I was able to force my opponent to just react to my actions very quickly which meant I was free to do what I wanted knowing exactly how he would move and shoot in the next phase. That and he became almost maniacally obsessed with killing my Greater Daemon which was fine by me as he was pretty much immortal. 

I know this wasn't really a true battle report but more of an overview but as it was my first real game of 6th and I was still getting to grips with things and testing things but when I have a non-teaching battle then I'll make notes and do a real battle report. Though if you'll excuse me I need to buy some more Horrors immediately...

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