Sunday, 12 July 2009

Away Games

So, just popped to Kens in between my second day and first night shift, and we spent the afternoon playing 40k. Guard vs Templars

First game was capture and control. I brought an army with a mechanised infantry platoon, straken, marbo, couple of vanquishers and a hydra, and a few heavy weapon squads, plus a couple of penal legion squads for good measure.

Ken sent lots of troops (and a couple of the ever annoying drop pods) my way and eventually overwhelmed my fortress, slaughtering the heavy weapon teams that had been holding my objective. I meanwhile sent most of my mechanised platoon his way, and took out the squad holding his objective. Ken belatedly realised he didn't have much on his own point so diverted some terminators that way. At the end of turn 5 "my" objective was abandoned at the top of a building surrounded by marines, while I had a squad in a building sat on "Kens" objective. We rolled. There'd be a turn 6. Dang and blast it! Ken had some poor rolling for his difficult terrain, he'd need his run to get to the objective. His terms however moved into a prime assaulting position. His chump then decided that running would be far too indignified an activity for a marine, failing to roll high enough to ascend a level and within range of the objective. His terms went in and slaughtered my holding squad and were stood guarding Kens objective. A squad arrived and went "first rank fire second rank fire" on their arse. Ken got unlucky with his armour saves and I was left holding the objective. We rolled again, knowing another turn would undoubtadly turn this game into a draw. There'd be no turn 7, the guard were victorious!

In this game my vanquishers, over the course of about 5 turns of shooting, managed to do sweet FA. No, tell a lie. They knocked 2 guns off the landraider. Woot. I also noticed Straken, combat monster that he is, was missing far too much. 5 attacks hitting on 3s... oh, that'll be 2 then. :o( This influenced my army shake up for the next game...

With a quick break for a bacon butty and a list re-write, I decided to spice things up a bit and show Ken some new things from the guard codex. And me too! For the first time I used psyker battle squads. I also tried Storm Troopers for the first time. I also threw in a valkyrie, despite power armoured troops not being the ideal opponent. I got Yarrick to join my command squad (giving Straken a reroll, that should make him a bit more effective!!!) and other than that had 3 squads of vets, couple vanquishers again. With 100 points left to go, I was stymied. My first thought was a penal squad, but as the only thing apart from the deep striking storm troopers I didn't rate their survivability. So went for a couple of command squad upgrades, and put Pask in one of the vanquishers.

We rolled mission, and got annihalation. Ken then told me he had 15 kill points available, so I checked my list... wait, that can't be right... I also have 15 kill points? Several checks of both lists later, it was confirmed that for the first time in 5th, I would be playing a "fair" fight using kill points. I never thought the day would come!

My first turn was pretty dire for shooting. I managed to reduce the terms to Ld 2 thanks to my psykers, but then failed to inflict the one casualty required to cause a moral check (gotta love the Black Templars righteous fury rule) This of course put a big fat target on the chimera containing my PBS. Ken advanced with his dreads and Land Raider. My second turn saw my command in valkyrie show up. Marbo also turned up and dropped a demo charge on the Ld3 terms (thank you psykers) They ran, but due to me not checking the fallback corridor when positioning my valkryie, they rallied and brought down the valkyrie with an immobilised result. My command squad made them pay the price for their cheek, and advanced across Kens back line.

The storm troopers made a brave appearance. Deciding to sell their lives dearly they dropped into difficult terrain to get the best firing position on their quarry. They figured a couple might pay the price, but that they would take down their enemy. Ken is evil. He said I'll laugh if you roll 5 1s now." 5 1s later... I tell you if I'd have been using his dice I'd have refused to accept the result and rerolled with my own. The squad still did some damage, but hardly the best test for the poor bastards in my opinion...

The vanquishers (even with Pask) were proving as ineffective as ever. Ken then dropped his troops in among my battle line and started causing merry hell. A dread charged my command squad, and had quite a nasty surprise as Straken punched through his front armour and removed his entrails and showed them to him. Straken and Yarrick advanced on the other dread, but due to a poor assault roll couldn't get him this turn. The other dread then... moved to a better firing position (cough, coward, ahem)

Meanwhile Ken had done quite well ripping apart my vets and taking down my tanks. The vanquishers did eventually kill the Land raider... but two vanquishers shooting cannon and lascannon for 10 turns or so (combined games) one land raider was a pretty piss poor kill tally. Some disciplined fire from his predator and dread killed off my command squad and marbo, and in the end I was left with an immobilised chimera, while ken still had 9 points on the board. One of them was in a single marine who annoyingly refused to die earlier in the game, another was in a somewhat marbo battered predator, but it was a convincing win.

In summary, the valkryie, over the course of two games, has managed to move a total distance of 24" It turns up, gets immobilised, and a bit later the bits are stripped off it and it is eventually destroyed. With hindsight I should have put the storm troopers in it, and moved flat out before deep striking... hell at least then I'd have got to move 24" and got a cover save for once. Straken and Yarrick in the same squad is a bit of a waste. For starters Straken makes his squad fearless anyway, so Yarricks fearless ability is wasted. And sods law now that he can reroll misses he barely missed at all. Figures. Again with hindsight I should have left them out of the valkyrie, and kept them at the back with my troops. Apart from losing the chance for orders, I didn't kill much with them. They slaughtered what they came across but on Kens back line his troops were well scattered. If I'd had them with my stuff, where Kens troops were deliberately converging, I'd have had far more targets for Straken to chew on.

The Psyker battle squad weaken resolve is an interesting power, and against Black Templars is deadly. A single casualty makes them take a morale check. May have to convert some of these in the near future. The storm troopers need a better test than this I fear, but they are an expensive unit. I only tried them as I had what I wanted and was looking deliberately for what else I could chuck into my list for shits and giggles. Thus far I haven't brought them deliberately. Maybe I'll try them again some time, but with Marbo being a neccessity in most of my lists, and the PBS proving interesting... and ogryns being a superb bodyguard for Yarrick... I need more elite slots!!! Hmm, planetstrike... why does it feel inherently wrong for guard to be the attacker in this one?


  1. I think I can see Chaplains becoming far more valuable in a BT army.

  2. Thing is the power is reduced as soon as you kill a few of the psykers... I can see it being good for one turn, maybe two, before your enemy pounds the living crap out of the squad. During that time I might be able to force something off the board, but more likely I'll merely hamper your best unit and make it take an extra turn or two to get to my lines.

  3. depends on how clever you are, if the unit that breaks is a squad of terminators and you mange to escort them off the board. Easily done with assault terminators. they are pretty effective, and with a 36" range in a chimera. they are protected from most reprisals.