Let’s go on to the game by game battle report, shall we? 40k Preliminary Ard Boyz missions are here. I should mention that our T.O. had ruled, ahead of time, that Infiltrate and Scout were universal rules that were active in all missions.
So, I hope the kid never finds this blog, because I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but my round 1 opponent was a 17 year old puppy we’ll abbreviate as J. And I stomped the puppy. Nothing noble in it, but I took it for the opportunity it was to get full battle points.
He took a kinda generic vanilla marine list, I think with a Chapter Master and honor guard. Also had a predator with all lascannons, a devastator squad, and quite a few full tac squads, melta and las, in rhinos.
He either won deployment, or I let him go first, can’t remember, but he deployed board wide, and I deployed all clustered in my back right corner, to concentrate on one half of his army, the half that also had the traitor in it. If you recall, this mission was kill points, with the variation that the traitor was worth 5 pts.
BTW, I chose to reserve in my Traitor, and delay him as long as possible using Draigo’s psychic communion. Why didn’t more people reserve the traitor? It seems like it didn’t even occur to most people to do so.
First round was night fight, and poor J choose to shoot all his units that were furthest away first. (if he had shot units that were closest first, that had searchlights, he could have lit up my targets for further away units.) He also didn’t seem to understand how his And They Shall Know No Fear, and Combat Tactics rules worked, either.
Well, he didn’t get any shooting done first turn, I swept forward with my stormraven, and Draigo and my vendread started murdering stuff, including the traitor. It was pretty clearly over by the end of the second turn, when Draigo annihilated the squad the Traitor was in.
At this point, it occurred to me that I was literally twice J’s age (I’m 34) and I tried to make the game a little more fun for the kid. I also tried to give him some tips and tricks on how to use his army, which I’m not sure was appreciated….he seemed to take it as almost fatherly lecturing. Well, I dunno, I tried to make it not awful for him.
I deep struck my lone paladin in the open in right in front of some of his tac squads, partly because I wanted to holocaust them, but mostly because I wanted to give J something he could kill. My Traitor came on, I hopped him into a razorback and shot him across the board just in time to make it into the enemy deployment zone last turn.
J got one kill point, and I got something like 19, including the 5 for the traitor? Yeah…… Also got all the bonus points, for 26 total.
So, I have a lot to say about this game. I think it was the most tactically interesting, for one, for two, my opponent(another Grey Knight player, let’s call him M) really rubbed me the wrong way, and there was some arguing, and some bad blood when it was all said and done.
It started early, let me list the things that bugged me, and you can tell me if it would bother you. Because I can be a pretty contentious guy, so maybe you won’t think these things were as big a deal:
- He didn’t have a printed out list. He didn’t even have a written out list, beyond what he gave the TO. He just started telling me what he had, and what would be in each LR. Now, it just so happens I’m really bad at itemizing verbal information like that, I really need it written in front of me. He told me he did have a written list on his computer I could see, but made a big sigh and rolled his eyes when I said yes, I would really like to see it. Guess what? All he had was a spreadsheet, no itemization, not even any point costs, and for the henchmen squads, he didn’t even have it broken down by the Death Cult Assassin’s, Arco-flagellents, and Crusaders he was using. He just had it written out “combat henchmen” presumably because they all cost 15 pts. WTF?!?
- OK, he brought Draigo. But he didn’t even have a Draigo model, he was using some weird statue looking thingie, which wasn’t even a GW model. Now, one of the rules for the Ard Boyz is that you can only use citadel models, so technically, he should have been disqualified. (I use a Forge world Hecator Rex model, myself, because I just think it’s cooler, but I also own the Draigo model) Now, I don’t actually care about that, screw GW, but couldn’t you have at the very least converted up an appropriate model? It’s Ard Boyz, it doesn’t have to be pretty but can you try just a tiny bit, please? Just make it WYSIWYG, at least. Slap a shield on a regular old terminator, c’mon! I made a bit of stink about this, and he once again looks at me like I’m crazy and being a problem in some way, and offers to use this librarian model, instead (which I don’t even think was a librarian model, I think it was just a terminator). Of course, that’s not really any better, and after being satisfied that this statue thing had a normal terminator sized base, I said I didn’t care.
- It actually wasn’t clear to me until after the match was almost done, but he was very concerned with the possibility of his opponent cheating. He made a big deal about having me keep an example of each unit on the top of each transport, to help remember what’s in each one, something I don’t think he did himself, btw. (I have a very low model count army, it’s not hard to keep track) This led to me breaking my techmarine into three pieces (I don’t usually put models on top of my tanks, because I’m klutzy) and I told him I’m just not doing that anymore. He also made a big deal about using my dice whenever he felt I might have rolled well, which I thought was pretty weird. I’m pretty sure he did it on my very first roll, too, and I don’t think I had any remarkable dice luck that game. (I tend to think I actually roll very crappy, usually, but I’m sure most players think similar…the mind plays tricks on you.) So, yeah, he was more or less accusing me of using weighted dice like 5 minutes in.
- This is a minor thing, but it just adds a bit to the aura of this guy…..his Stormraven was a Land Raider with wings magnetized on. No problem with that, conversions are cool, and obviously there wasn’t a stormraven model for a while, but then I got to thinking: this entire guy’s army is painted Grey, with some yellow and blue colors on it….loosely Space wolves colors. Then the Blood Angels comes out, the Stormraven model isn’t out yet, and he bolts some wings on one of his raiders. OK……..then Grey Knights comes out, and he just starts playing them as GK. Fine, whatever, but can you think of anything that epitomizes the typical WAAC (win at all costs), “I’ll just paint my vanilla marines Grey and count-them-as-whatever” player to a larger degree? Ewww. I know I’m a GK player, but they’ve been my main army for like 7 years, and I’m not just playing whatever the new hotness is.
OK, so enough whining about a personality clash, and on to the game.
I actually found his list interesting, partly because it was in some ways and exaggerated version of my own list, and because his assaulty henchmen squads included a composition, including ratios, that I myself had strongly been considering. I don’t think he’d really practiced with it enough, though.
He brought both Draigo and Coteaz and HQs, allowing him to count henchmen as troops. He had 3 Land Raiders, one of each type, as well as a Stormraven, which is some freaking heavy armor. Inside he had 2 major combat squads made up of 1/2 Death Cult Assassins for killing, 1/2 Crusaders with storm shields for the tanking, and a couple arco-flagellents to provide some high strength. One squad was 12 men, the other 11 so he could fit in a techmarine with all the crazy’nades. He had a 5 man squad of acolytes with 2 meltas, and another that was 5 men, presumably only to score. Lastly, he had a Vindicare.
I don’t know that Draigo is really adding anything to this list, I guess he just took it because he can hit really hard. I take him because I have paladin’s I need to score, and also because I know my SR will get shot down, and I need him to tank for the paladins before they get in and wreck face. I think M just wanted a bigger beat stick.
It was spearhead deployment, to grab 5 objectives, and I deploy as shown to the left. I’ve scattered my 3 servo-skulls pretty much diagonally across the centerline between us, sorta of on the objectives, but not because of them rather to prevent him from infiltrating his Vindicare and shooting my LRs, which I am deathly afraid of. He basically puts all his servo-skulls right next to mine.
Oh, btw, as my Grand Strategy, I made my venerable dread and my purifiers scoring. I split my GKSS between the rhino and razorback, and the purifiers between the two LRs. Draigo and ven dread and pallies, as always, go in the Stormraven. I don’t remember what he did as his grand strategy, it must not have had a large effect. Did I mention he tried to tell me you can’t make the ven dread scoring? A) That was always a stupid, pedantic argument, almost as bad as the “is a demon a demon” argument, and B) they did FAQ it, why have you not read the FAQ of an army you’re playing with? We argued about stupid stuff like this all game.
He made an….odd choice in his deployment. He choose to start with only his Godhammer Land Raider and his vindicare, with the vindicare just above an objective in a building that his techmarine had reinforced (I think he made it scoring). Everything else he reserved, including Draigo. I found this an odd choice because usually this is what you do when you’re facing superior firepower and want to come in swinging and not be a sitting duck. But with his 3 LRs, + SR and Vindicare, I was feeling like the out-gunned party, not him. Pic at right.
Alright, in my view, this makes things much easier, since in the early stage, the vindicare is the only thing I’m scared of. Being really careful to keep all LRs >36″ away (when I measured to shoot later, it was 37″-38″. I’m pretty good with ranges), I start lining up my shots. The rhinos, Razorback and SR I feel free to move to within 24″, all popping smoke or turbo-boosting.
So the vindicare is going to have a 2+ cover save (stealth+ reinforced ruin)….but I’m going to pump fire into him until he rolls a “1″. I shoot the LR lascannons, heavy bolter, lascannon off the SR, and the Psyflemen dread at him. The Dreadnought finally gets him, Str8 Insta-death.
His turn 1 he rolls forward with his LR, doesn’t do anything of note. (or maybe that’s when my Stormraven died? The SR always dies, I don’t take it too hard.) I promptly kill it in my turn 2 with psycannons. It explodes, the 5 henchmen lose 2 guys and start running, unfortunately they do rally later.
Turn 2 I just kinda hold the center, while edging left to hold that corner objective with the half purifier squad in the LR. He rolls on his LRC, which I think had Coteaz and DCA in it. I get out of the razorback with the purifiers turn 3 in order to shoot more psycannons at the LRC. This doesn’t work, I only stun it, and of course that later goes away with fortitude. He winds up charging the paladins and Draigo that were on the bridge. I forget the exact sequence of events, but his Stormraven comes storming in, gets shot down, spraying purifiers all over the place, and there’s a few waves of his assasin’s, my paladins, his purifiers, and my purifiers, with techmarines with Crazy’nades and duplicate Draigos all fighting over that bridge.
Particularly stunning, he pulls this little conga-line assault. (he had killed 4 out of 5 purifiers, and for some reason decided he really wanted to multi-charge the Venerable Dread)
He’s the unpainted Grey marines, I’m the shiny purifier on the right, and the Dread on the left. Oh, and the ivory white statue? That’s his lame-ass Draigo. He insisted, and spent 10 minutes convincing the TO, that this conga-line charge was legal, even though it left guys suspended between the two targets, but not in combat. I’d love to hear if that’s not the truth. I don’t even know why he wanted to…it held fast quite a while, and much reduced the purifier squad. Pretty much what you’d expect from fighting a ven dread, and I don’t think it was a positive for him.
Oh, you see how the Dread is turned away from combat? I went to turn the dread towards (statue) Draigo, and he accuses me of manipulating it for purposes of LOS! Truth be told, I think it probably blocked more after I moved it, than before, but whatever, I moved it without thinking, and it was purely for aesthetic reasons. He also argued with me a great deal about walker CC rules, insisting a stunned Walker is hit automatically (it’s not, it only makes it slightly easier to hit with grenades if it’s stunned, and only if it started out the phase that way) and generally protesting about the fact he was fighting a WS 5 walker.
To make a (already) long story short, beginning of turn 6 I kill the last LR, and have pretty clear dominance of the center of the board. He tries to make with some remaining acolytes a run on the center objective and the one in his corner, which he can only contest, not hold, as I have pretty tough guys on both. I hold one 2 pt objective, and the other is unclaimed, as is my back corner.
All of a sudden: Dice Down.
M cries a river, even going so far as to accuse me of slow-playing on purpose (remember when he wanted to use my dice whenever I rolled well, and complained about my wanting to turn the dreadnought into the combat? Paranoid). I tell the judge it’s simply because we wound up arguing about every, damn, little thing, so it took a long time. Judge tells him it will be rolled back to turn 5, which leaves me in control of all major points, anyway.
M says that all he has to do is run these two units, it will be down these two dice rolls, and he can “win the game” (not true, it would only have prevented a “massacre” , leaving me with either a minor or major win, depending).
Now the worst thing happens….the T.O. leaves the decision up to me. He tells me I can let him make his run rolls and have that count, if I want. And I am really, really conflicted. Under almost any other circumstance, I would have gladly let him finish up. In fact, we would have been unlikely to actually have stopped right when called, and just finished up quietly.
But look, I did not like this guy. Every minute of the game had been a struggle, often about needless stuff, and he just rubbed me the wrong way overall. To be honest, I thought I had played quite quickly when not forced to argue about every little LOS and cover save, and most of the delays had been due to him. And I was going to give up my clean massacre for some mediocre win, just because he was throwing a fit? No…….not this time.
So I took the low road. M yelled a bit and said some nasty things about me, and in return, I gave him a big hearty “F___ You!” which got me yelled at by the T.O, fairly enough.
Yay……..I won the game, but didn’t exactly feel victorious.
By contrast, this game was pretty uneventful and pleasant, even though it was pretty clearly going to be the game for first place. Sam was a very nice guy, knew all his rules quite well, and was generally a great guy to play. Even if he was a dirty, dirty, dirty double lash of slaneesh player. Ohhhhhh, so dirty. Have I ever mentioned that I think lash of slaneesh is basically the single stupidest power ever made? I mean, what were they thinking when they wrote that? Anyway, it is Ard Boyz, so it’s a little hard to complain about lists. (though, you know, I’ll try)
Actually, besides the dual lash and requisite 2×3 Obliterators , he had a pretty balanced and varied list, which somebody pointed out was all done in sacred numbers by the god type, not that I’m too knowledgeable as to what those are. He had all different dedicated warrios, from Khorne to tzeench.
The battle itself isn’t all that worth talking about, it was a pretty knock down, drag out fight. He started out in kinda classic rhino castle / parking lot (well actually, we both came in from board edge, it being dawn of war) while I came screaming in full speed at him. I got lucky and my stormraven actually lived until the third turn, which is unusual. The main theme of the fight from my stand point was my unit of paladins, getting dragged by lashes, back and forth through the burning stormraven (which didn’t do anything), being lined up for plasma cannon shots, and most importantly kept out of combat with the enemy.
The last part was a big deal, because historically, many of these battles go the same way: Stormraven shoots forward, dies, but draigo, paladins and the ven dread are right on their doorstep. Other stuff happens in the background, and then Draigo + Pallies kill their entire army. That didn’t happen this time, because of the lash, even with the Ven dread with Reinforced Aegis to make a -4 to psychic role. He in fact never missed a psychic roll, that I recall. (Sam claims the dread was only alive for one round of lashing…maybe, though it seemed like longer) The pallies actually survived the plasma pretty well, after 3 or 4 rounds of this, there was still a paladin with 1 wound, and Draigo still had 2. Yeah, they were almost dead, I was just surprised they were alive at all.
I shouldn’t complain about dice luck, btw, both the stormraven and my redeemer lived much longer than they deserved to (the redeemer lived through 4 full melta shots in the face).
There are 1.5 things I figure I messed up on and could have done significantly differently.
- At one point, I got my purifiers and techmarines get out of the redeemer, and the redeemer blew up the rhino some berserkers were in. They were what looked like 5.5 inches away, pretty sure they were within charge range, but I choose to shoot them up instead, figuring even though I have halberds and crazy’nades, it’s better to shoot them up first, and if he takes away models so I’m no longer within charge range, then so be it, I should be able to take on what’s left pretty easy. In retrospect 8 full halberds (24 attacks) with dual hammerhand and crazy’nades would have been more than enough to wipe out 10 berserkers, likely before they got to swing, and I shouldn’t have worried. But the real reason why it was horrible was I forgot about the rhino filled with thousand sons (with ap3 bolters) on the other side of the wreck. They deployed into the wreck, and nearly annihilated the squad in one volley. The board had almost no area cover, I was in the open. Had I assaulted, I could have consolidated into the wreck myself.
- This is a half mistake. I wonder what would have happened had I split off Draigo from the paladins. Either party is a vicious combatant, and he would have had to split his lash attacks (which still might have been sufficient) in addition to the plasma cannons. The paladins would have been more vulnerable without Draigo’s shield, but Draigo would have been more or less immortal, and one of them may have been able to make it into combat. Thoughts for next time.
Sam’s advice on this is that I really need a librarian, if only for the psychic hood. I dunno…..Draigo is essential to the list, and him + a librarian is a helluva lot of points on HQ. I wonder if next time, against lashes, I may be better served to put Draigo in one of the Land Raiders simply because it’s much more durable and I can’t have him exposed to lashes.
Game ended and he had killed something like 475 more victory pts than I had, 100 pts outside range for a draw, and a minor victory for him. He got 15 battlepoints, and I got 9, since I was 3 points ahead going in that left it 61-58, total.
I really shouldn’t worry about it too much, since second still qualifies, but I keep on thinking about the dozen different ways I could’ve preserved that 100 pts, or killed a 100 more.
Ah well, I have plans for doing better in the semi-finals.