I was very nervous going to battle without my lord of war choice as I have relied upon it in the last few games a bit too much. Which is an odd feeling, considering how many games I have played before you could take lords of war I should be happy about it. In this game I came across a Blood Angels drop pod list, which is something I have never really faced before so a new challenge for me to face. The game was Emperors Will with vanguard strike deployment.
I use my lynx less list
Farseer – 115 (warlord:redeploy 3D6 or 3 D6) w/ bikes
Bike [prescience, precognition, misfortune]
3 Jetbikes – 61
3 Jetbikes – 61
5 Dire Avengers – 65
Wave Serpent – 145
Holo field, twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon
5 Fire Dragons – 110
Wave Serpent – 145
Holo field, twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon
8 Warp spiders – 152
6 Swooping Hawks – 96
Crimson Hunter – 160
Fire Prism – 140
WraithKnight – 240
Blood Angels 1500
Librarian – 110 (Warlord: Master of offence) w/Honour guard
Combi-melta [shield of sanguinius, blood lance]
Drop pod - 35
5 Honour Guard – 195
2x combi-melta, 3x combi-plasma, chapter banner
Drop pod - 55
Tactical squad – 190
10 man, melta gun, combi-melta
Drop pod – 55
10 Sternguard – 300
7x combi-plasma, 3x combi-melta
Drop pod – 55
Vanguard veterans – 180
Jump packs, power sword
Drop pod – 35
Land speeder – 60
2x heavy bolter
Predator – 115
Predator – 115
Something I just noticed now is that this list only contains a single troop choice, never mind, I will just remind my opponent next game you need to take a min of 2. This list had 5 drop pods in, so 3 will be appearing first turn, the other two (with no one in) will be coming in later.
We rolled for mission and got Emperors will, so a single objective each to place, a very low scoring game. The deployment type was vanguard strike, so this could be interesting. Rolling for deployment zones the blood angels won and selected the one with the largest building in. we then rolled for first turn and again the blood angels won, selecting to go first. We put down our objectives, I placed mine in the woods in my deployment zone, and he placed his in the middle of the table.
Blood angel deployment was very quick, the two predators were placed between ruins as was the land speeder. The rest of the force was in reserve, the librarian with the honour guard in drop pod, the tactical marines used combat squads in their drop pod, same for the sternguard. The vanguard veterans decided to deep strike separately from their pod, so 2 empty pods were coming in.
I had no idea what to do at this point, with so many units coming in from reserve and deep striking in quite safely with drop pods and descent of angels he can go where ever he wants. With that in mind I deploy far back into my deployment zone behind trees hoping that I can cause him to get in him own way if he goes for an all-out attack, I place the farseer and bikes at the back corner hopefully safe, the fire prism goes behind the trees at the bottom of the table, an empty wave serpent goes in the clearing, and then I place the fire dragons wave serpent next to that, partially covered by trees. For some reason I place the dire avengers in the woods holding my objective straight away, a rookie mistake. The rest is in reserve, I deep strike the wraithknight and swooping hawks, and keep the bikes and warp spiders in regular reserve. The crimson hunter is forced in reserve.
Night Fight: Turn 1
Steal the initiative: No
Blood angels turn 1
Here comes the pain, 3 drop pods arrive turn 1, all filled with marines. The first to be placed is the sternguard pod, it gets placed next to the fire dragons wave serpent, the scatter roll sees is go straight towards the table edge 12 inches and it ends up off the table. A very tense moment as the die is rolled for the mishap result and it stops on a 1. The pod and all of its passengers are destroyed (first blood eldar?), that was horribly unlucky for my opponent but it helps me massively as that’s 300 less points to have to deal with. The next pod in is the librarian and honour guard. They aim for next to the empty wave serpent and lock on, disembarking towards the fire prism. Finally the third pod comes in next to the fire dragon’s wave serpent and locks on as well. The two combat squads separate from each other, one going for the wave serpent, the other for the dire avengers. Both predators and the land speeder move forwards.
Shooting starts with the pod closest to the bikes shooting its deathwind launcher at them, the blast hits and a biker is killed. The other pod targets the dire avengers who are all nicely in a circle and all get hit, but thanks to some lucky saves no one dies. A long shot in the dark, but the left predator shoots at the fire dragon’s wave serpent and manages to get a penetrating hit, the tank fails its cover save and rolls a 1 for the serpent shield. It only gets shaken by the attack though, and reduced to 2 hull points. The other predator can just make out the fire prism but the lascannon fails to penetrate the armour of the tank. Heavy bolter rounds from the speeder streak towards the dire avengers, even with the great distance in the dark and the cover of the trees a single aspect warrior falls. Not giving the avengers any rest the combat squad of bolters rapid fire, 8 hits and 8 wound are caused and the 4 remaining warriors die as their armour fails them when they needed it most. Using everything they have, the honour guard use all their melta and plasma shots on the fire prism, the tank can’t take the punishment and explodes under the pressure of the super-heated weapons. Luckily for the eldar a single marine dies as his own combi-plasma over heats and explodes in his face. To finish the turn the other half of the tactical squad shoots both plasma, and combi-plasma at the fire dragons wave serpent but only manage to get a single glancing hit, reducing it to a single hull point.
Eldar turn 1
With the marines now in front of them the eldar must act quickly. Casting his mystic powers, the farseer misfortunes the librarian and honour guard showing their enemies weak points in their armour and then casts precognition on himself, turning into a combat machine. With their tank in such disarray, the fire dragon wave serpent moves away from the fight (also the fire dragons could only snap shot) towards the other side of the table. The other wave serpent moves to the rubble of the fire prism and immobilises itself on something… well done that pilot. Seeing a chance to put the blood angels on the back foot the farseer leads his bikers towards the librarian, aiming to cut off the snakes head!
Unleashing their bladestorm the bikers manage to kill a single member of the honour guard, the now immobilised wave serpent then shoots at them away hoping to thin them down but the power armour proves too great, ignoring its scatter laser, shuriken cannon and serpent shield. Still able to move (just) the fire dragon wave serpent boosts behind a thicket of trees hiding from the enemy.
With nothing else to do but charge the farseer leads the bikes into glorious combat against the hour guard and librarian. Over watch fire gets 5 hits! And a single biker ploughs into the ground before he can do any damage. Thankfully they still make combat and the librarian issues a challenge which the farseer accepts. In the challenge the farseer’s hammer of wrath attack wounds the librarian and he fails his armour save, but he feels no pain thanks to the honour guard’s sanguinary priest. Undeterred the farseer attacks and gets 3 hits, and 3 wounds, which the librarian fails 2 more saves out of the 3, but again ignores the wounds thanks to feel no pain! Attacking back the librarian lands a single blow, which wounds the farseer and gets past his rune armour even with his re-roll. Summoning his dark arts the librarian destroys the soul of the farseer instantly killing him. The lone biker fails to do any damage and gets murdered by the blood angels. That was a mistake on my part.
Blood angels turn 2
From reserve comes the vanguard veterans who go next to the ire dragons wave serpent, and declare a heroic intervention, aiming to charge it or the dragons. They lock on. Both predators move to just about see the fire dragons wave serpent and lock on their lascannons. Not sure what to do the land speeder moves next to the central objective. Like red ants swarming a wounded locust, the marines go after the immobilised wave serpent, krack grenades at the ready, and blood lust in their eyes, the tank crew are rather understandably worried.
Both predators shoot at the dragons wave serpent, both hit and penetrate, but both shots are jinked. Throwing a krack grenade, the librarian manages a perfect shot and glances the tank, reducing it to a single hull point. Both halves of the tactical squad try to emulate the librarian but fails to do any damage.
Assault phase and the vanguard veterans charge into the wave serpent and use krack grenades. All 3 hit and penetrate the tanks armour. The serpent explodes and takes many casualties, 2 fire dragons die as do 2 of the vanguard veterans. On the other side of the battle field the marines pounce on the wave serpent and wreck it, no explosion unfortunately.
Eldar turn 2
I pray for some good reserve rolls, only the warp spiders and bikes come in. the warp spiders walk in on the left side of the table aiming to kill off the librarian, and the bikes come in on the far right.
The torrent of fire from the warp spiders targets the honour guard and kills them all and even wounds the librarian! They then run to try and get away from retribution. Shooting from the fire dragons targets the vanguard veterans, 3 fire dragons and 3 veterans, possibly perfect. Unfortunately only 2 hit and kill the veterans, leaving the sergeant with power sword alive. On the right side the bike with shuriken cannon immobilised the land speeder.
Assault phase and the bikes move back into cover and the spiders jump further away but it’s still not enough.
Blood angels turn 3
No pods this turn. Wounded and on his own, the librarian joins up with the plasma combat squad and chases after the warp spiders. The predators face the bikes.
The predator on the left shoots at the fire dragons and kills 1 with a lascannon (overkill). The other predator shoots at the bikes but the bike jinks the shot. Both pods on the left shoot at the warp spiders and get 7 hits, but only a single aspect warrior dies. Shooting from the librarian’s tactical squad (using their pistols) kills a single spider.
Assault phase and the librarian and friends charge into the warp spiders, the over watch fails to do anything, and in combat the spiders fail to dispatch any marines. The librarian on his own kills 3 spiders and the marines do nothing. At the end of combat the spiders lose by 3 and run, they get cut down. The vanguard veterans charge the fire dragons and the dragons fail to jab the marine in the eye, letting the sergeant cut them all down in a single turn.
Eldar turn 3
Reserve rolls again and I get the wraithknight who deep strikes behind the predator in the centre of the table. The bikes move to hopefully see the land speeder if the wraithknight can destroy the predator.
Shooting from the wraithknight only immobilises the predator. With their line of sight blocked the bike boost to a more advantageous position.
Blood angels turn 4
Automatic reserves this turn and one pod locks on by the bikes hiding behind the bunker. The last drop pod comes in and scatters off the table and again rolls a 1 on the mishap, second one this game. Moving away from the wraithknight, the left predator moves further to the left. The bolter half of the tactical squad goes after my objective.
The drop pod on the right shoots at the bikes hitting all of them but they save. Both predators shoot at the wraithknight, one blows a small chunk out of the construct reducing it to 5 wounds.
Eldar turn 4
The crimson hunter comes in on the left going after the predator, the swooping hawks deep strike in by the tactical marines on my objective and drop their grenades on them killing 1. With it’s pray not dead, the wraithknight moves towards the immobilised predator.
Shooting from the wraithknight explodes the predator as the crimson hunter shakes the other. The dazzling brightness from the lasers of the hawks distracts the tactical marines but fails to do any damage to them, they then run to spread out.
Blood angels turn 5
With the hawks able to contest the objective next turn the marines go after them instead of allowing them to disrupt them later. The other tacticals go after the crimson hunter.
A long shot but the remaining predator shoots at the bikes and manages to hit even though it can only snap shot and kills 1. The bikes pass their moral test though.
Assault phase and the marines charge into the swooping hawks because that’s how the blood angels roll, the over watch does nothing, and the combat is a dud and no one kills any one. Drawn combat.
Eldar turn 5
The crimson hunter goes after the drop pod on the right hand side, the wraithknight goes towards the tactical marines and the bikes jump towards the objective in the centre.
Shooting and the wraithknight kills 2 tactical marines but they hold. The bikes wreck the land speeder and the crimson hunter explodes the pod on the right hand side.
Assault and the hawks lose 3 guys but manage to hold.
We roll to see if the game carries on but it ends.
Eldar: 4 (first blood, 1 objective) – Blood angels: 2 (line breaker, slay the warlord)
That went rather badly. I made so many mistakes this game it’s quite embarrassing writing it up but I think I have learnt from it. First, this game would have ended a lot worse if he didn’t get unlucky and lose a 300 point unit of sternguard turn 1. That saved my bacon right there. Second, my deployment was abysmal, while reserving wasn’t a bad idea, deep striking the wraithknight was. To be fair though I mainly did it because I have always wanted to and it gave me a good excuse. But practically in future games I would rather have had him scaring the librarian and charging him the turn after. Also if the marines had kept hold of the objective instead of going after the hawks i would have been hard pressed to stop them winning, also if he had a second troops the same could be said haha.
Deploying the dire avengers on foot, was a stupid move, I should have known better and will never do it again. They were easy pray and I knew he was going to drop in on them and murder them. Stupid mistake.
When facing drop pods I don’t know what to do, if I had spread out my forces it would have been easy for him to single out the important units and destroy them. But by casteling up I give him a single place to attack. If you guys can help me out with that to do I would very much appreciate it.
I hope you enjoyed the report, that’s it for this week.