Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Never headbutt an Imperial Knight...

So, the last couple of weeks I've been playing with some new toys. Having had a look through the new codex I felt the changes to the codex were mostly well balanced, and while there were some things I would miss (Marbo) there were new additions or improvements that made it worthwhile... besides, I'm thoroughly expecting a Catachan supplementary codex to correct that little problem, which is where Marbo should be anyway - was silly that he was in EVERY single guard army going...

So, feeling there wasn't all that much difference in the new codex, I felt rather than having to relearn it all, I just could have some fun with the new toys. So I write a list... It had some of those shiny new Bullgryns... ten of them in fact. Led by Yarrick. That's quite a points sink if I'm honest, and put in a couple Vendettas for anti-air/anti-tank, some artillery (2xBasilisk, Manticore, Wyvern) it left me relatively few points for scoring units... I loaded 4 units of vets (two with chimeras, the other two with camo cloaks to follow the Bullgryns and benefit from a 3+ cover save. The army lacks scoring units, both in number and survivability, it also lacks mobility. But it just felt like it would be fun to march across the field yelling "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!"

Well last week I got stuck in a massive combat just past the relic with half a tyranid army while my vets tried to smuggle the relic itself back to my lines... if it weren't for those sneaky Trygons popping up and cutting off their retreat they'd have made it. Once he'd done the obvious and killed my scoring units, I killed his. In the end he earned a draw by killing Yarrick in turn 5... and turn 6... and turn 7... He could still potentially have gotten up, kinda wish I'd gone second in that scenario now...

The Boys and Yarrick did last a good while. They were locked in combat for about 6 rounds of combat, holding up a Tervigon (taking it down to 1 wound) a Hive Tyrant (taking it down to 1 wound) two Hive Tyrant bodyguard thingies, killed half a Warrior squad and a termagant brood. And this was him charging me! If there hadn't been so many instant death causing Boneswords in his Tyrants squad it would have lasted all bloody game...

So anyway, last night I took part in a team game, Guard/Guard vs Marines/Eldar. The Eldar had a Wraithknight, the Marines had an Imperial Knight. I had been planning to assault a unit of WraithGUARD that fell out of a wave serpent we shot down, and had positioned myself for just that... however a bit of softening up shooting from my colleague took the squad down to one solitary wraithguard who was a very long, through difficult terrain, assault move away. So at the chance of getting charged by the Wraithknight, I thought it best to charge him instead. The first round went well, lost one Bullgryn and took it down to 2 wounds. I could happily maintain that rate of attrition. Unfortunately HIS teammate recognised the threat, and reinforced... with the Imperial Knight AND Lysander. Yarrick accepted the challenge from Lysander to protect the Bullgryns (though if I'd known that losing your Warlord in a challenge to Lysander gained him D3 extra VP as his warlord trait, I would never have accepted... this is where when my opponent said "I don't need to roll my warlord trait is fixed" I should have said "What is it?" Oops.) And the knight fluffed his attacks. Unfortunately my Bullgryns fared little better, only putting 6 wounds on the Wraithknight... statistically enough, but he made all his armour saves. Darn. So while that round was a miraculous draw, with both characters injuring each other but fighting on, the next round the knights did better and stomped all over me.


The game ran a little long and we had to call it at turn 5... We still had a solid bastion of fire around our objective (2 troops choices and 4 heavy support in Big Guns never Tire) and while there was a Knight looming, he was now the only realistic target for most of that firebase - most of the game we'd ignored his inv save and targeted other units. However they had two objectives in their deployment zone, putting them ahead... though if the Basilisk hadn't scattered the shot in the final turn we could have killed the 1 guy holding one of them, which would have reduced the margin of victory somewhat.

In the end;

Super Heavy Alliance had 2x warlord, 2x objective (for 6) and D3 for killing Yarrick.
Guard Alliance had 1x FirstBlood, 2x Warlord, 1x objective (for 3) and were just annoyingly out of Linebreaker... next turn Gadget!

SHA scored 9-11 (we were saving the D3 roll till after the game in case it was a knife edge critical... it wasn't)
GA scored 6.

As I said, them having two of the three objectives in their deployment zone when we an army lacking in mobility (my teammate had only one chimera mounted squad, plus two 5 man scion units deep striking... very little that could get into their deployment area to take/contest, we had to rely on obliterating) and if I'd known Yarrick was such a potential VP loser I'd never have accepted Lysanders challenge, things would have been a lot closer...

All in all though, a cracking fun game that felt a lot closer than the scoreline suggested... And against an army as brutal as that with a badly designed just for shits and giggles list, I'll take it.


PS. One special note has to go to the Manticore. It did bugger all against the Tyranids, but has featured in every list I've had since I played Jamie and it blew up a Landraider AND took two hullpoints off/immobilised a rhino with 1 shot in my first turn. Well the marine player was Jamie. My first turn in this game, the Manticore blew up a Landraider Helios and took two hull points off a rhino. Admittedly the other three missiles did bugger all, same as last time, but I think I'm seeing a pattern here... one shot a Landraider, rest on your laurels for a couple games...