Sunday, November 2, 2008

vs. Armored Company Update

Mike and I got to play our Macharian Crusade game, and I thought I'd follow up with the results.

I decided to take a modified version of the list I originally posted, dropping the raptors, vindicator and daemon prince to allow me to add another unit of Chosen, a Chaos Lord and greater daemon plus giving all the terminators chain fists and Icon of Khorne. I also split up the Havoks into 2 units of 5, each with two las cannons. A few other twiddles and I wound up with two mounted CSM squads, two Chosen squads (one mounted, the other infiltrating/outflanking), one footslogging CSM squad, the terminators and Land Raider. Every squad was packing melta guns and power fists. I felt ready to rumble!

Basically, it went like this:

Mission and deployment: capture & control, pitched battle.

Mike won the roll, and elected for me to set up first.

We both placed our home objectives in the middle of the board, against the back edge.

I parked the Land Raider on top of my objective, and put the footsloggers right next to it (to embark into it during first turn movement), put the the Havoks in hard cover to the left and right of the LR (the best place I could find for them) and put the Rhinos on my left flank. The Chaos Lord joined the mounted Chosen unit in their Rhino. In reserve I kept the terminators (to deep strike) and one unit of Chosen (to outflank), while the greater daemon lurked in the warp, awaiting the summoning that would bring him forth to wreak destruction and death.

Mike deployed a wall of tanks on his board edge. His list was changed, too: he fielded one Exterminator, two Demolishers, and way too many Leman Russes. Three of them (or was it four?) were command tanks, and also had BS4.

Mike tried to seize the initiative, failed, and we began.

Turn one: Rhinos moved forward 12", the CSMs embarked into the LR, and the Havoks and LR fire las cannons. I have a love/hate relationship with my las cannons, be they loyalist or traitor: I love them, they hate me. I swear, I usually hit about every other roll with them, sometimes worse. And then when it comes for the all-important penetration roll, that single pip shows up for often than the five or six. It's my own little dice curse. This game it was no different -- the two Havok units might as well have been two units firing a twin-linked las cannon each. Out of the six (two of them twin-linked), I managed to pop one -- count them, one tank. Yay, go me.

Before I go any further, I'd like to confess that during deployment or turn one I usually say, "I like to make at least one huge tactical mistake early and go ahead and get that out of the way." It's meant to be funny, but more often than I'd like to admit, it's true.

So I'll man up and admit my huge, glaring tactical blunder that probably influenced the game's outcome. Ready for this? I forgot my Rhinos have smoke launchers. To be fair, I've been playing 4E loyalist marines exclusively for a year, and those Rhinos didn't come stock with smoke launchers. Plus, this army is the "acquired" one, the one I didn't model, and the Rhinos don't have smoke launchers on them. (Which is something else I'd like to comment on: they say WYSIWYG is for your opponent. I say it's mainly for me -- I prefer looking at my models and knowing what weapons/wargear they have without having to refer back to my army list.)

Mike moved his Demolishers up, repositioned a tank or two and then got crankin' with the battle cannons. My poor, not-protected-by-a-smoke-screen-like-they-should-have-been Rhinos. One of CSM carrying Rhinos got destroyed and suddenly the spiky boys were standing in the smoking hole where a transport used to be. They got to look around for a few seconds before more templates dropped and when the smoke cleared, the aspiring champ was the only survivor. The other CSM Rhino took it on the chin and was shaken, and the CL/Chosen Rhino lost its bolter. OK, it could have been a lot worse.

Turn two, termies and greater daemon decide now would be a good time to show up, but the Chosen couldn't break away from the Slaaneshi peep show (or whatever it was that was keeping them entertained) declined to enter the battle. This was exactly the opposite of what I preferred, but that's how it goes. I put the termies next to some hard cover and brought the GD in next to the CL/Chosen Rhino, thinking he'd need some cover to survive Mike's turn. My crack las cannon marksmen managed to shake a demolisher and the termies ran into cover.

Mike shuffled more tanks around and then started his template two-step. Casualties: the now-footsloggin' AC, a couple of Havok ablative wounds, the CL/Chosen Rhino (nuts!) and a couple of Chosen. Double nuts.

Turn three: The Chaos Lord, finding himself footsloggin' it with the boys decided that simply wouldn't do for a man of his stature and he ordered the CSMs in the remaining Rhino out so he and his attached Chosen could get in. The termies hiked through the covering terrain and fired their one combi-melta, hit, and rolled a smokin' three for penetration. Awesome! The las cannon specialists mid-field fired (I think) and maybe blew up a tank. Man, those guys just couldn't get their act together! They should be popping at least two tanks a turn! (ok, I know they shouldn't, but in my mind they should!).

Oh, almost forgot the outflanking Chosen. Whatever movie they were watching must have ended and they decided to show up. You know how cool outflanking is? Showing up on the short board edge and all? It's awe-some, right?


Well, when you get to show up on the short board edge you want, anyway. I guess someone back at spiky-boy barracks decided to prank it up and replaced the Chosen AC's battlefield map with a copy of Tentacle Weekly or something, and these clowns show up on the right side of the board. Did I mention that I really, really needed them on the left? No? Well guess what, I really needed them on the left side of the board -- you know, the side with all the tanks on it. Anyway, they lolligag onto the right side of the board, a good 16" or so from a target. Oh well, at least there was some decent cover between them on closest tanks, and they had to run to get into it.

I'll summarize the remainder of the game:

The GD lumbered forward, and had to pass through some difficult terrain on the charge. Monstrous creatures never have problems with that, do they? Mine did. Rolled a good two inches short. When he got there next turn, though, he committed a very unholy act on that tank.

When the termies finally got out of cover and into charge range, there were only three of them left. However, I split the assault against two tanks, two on a Leman Russ and one on the Exterminator -- neither of which had moved. I'll put it this way: Bigred was right. Khornate chain fist wavin' terminators are Leman Russ can-openers. Three termies, two tanks, one round. Result: two dead tanks. Chaos Lord and Chosen hosed another tank with melta and then got vapped by heavy bolter fire.

Demolisher fire exploded the Land Raider, but the CSMs survived. The outflanking Chosen finally made it through cover and popped a Demolisher. Mike had moved his lone remaining scoring command tank and parked it on his objective. At the bottom of turn five, we each held our home objectives, and my GD, terminators and outflanking Chosen had closed the distance to be in assault range on turn six.

I rolled the die for turn six.

I rolled a one.

Final result: tie.

Epilogue: My opponent for Week 4 is Jay, a.k.a. Bushido Red Panda, and guess what army he's playing in the Macharian Crusade?

Yep, you guessed it. Armored Company.

...and while I haven't seen his army, I've seen a picture or two. Unless I'm totally mistaken, he has a Destroyer Tank Hunter -- armed with a Laser Destroyer (72" range, S10 AP2, Heavy 1 Blast that does not scatter) -- in his list.

Good times! *facepalms*