Friday, November 5, 2010

BR: 2K BA vs. Air Cav IG

I looked across the table in fear when Chris pulled out 2 Valks and 4 Vendettas...

2 objectives - one in mid, one on the far top left (from my side of the table)
Dawn of War - 1st round is night fighting.

My list:

Blood Angels Expeditionary Force
Mephiston = 250
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
2x Sanguinary Priest (JP, MB) = 160
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Predator (AC/LC) = 135
Predator (AC/LC) = 135
Predator (AC/LC) = 135

Thank you Chris for supplying your army list!

Steel Legion Air Drop
CCS, Astro, OotF, 4x Plasma in Chimera
Vets 3x Melta in Vendetta, Heavy Bolters
PCS 4x Plasma in Valkyrie, MRP, 2x HBs
Infantry Melta in Vendetta, Heavy Bolters
Infantry Melta in Vendetta, Heavy Bolters
HWT Autocannons
HWT Missile Launcher
SWS 2 Flamer, Demo in Valkyrie, MRP, 2x HBs
SWS 2 Flamer, Demo in Chimera
2x Leman Russ, 2x Lascannons, HB Sponson

I was a little fuzzy on my DoW deployment rules but my opponent was a champ and refreshed my memory.  Dawn of War deployment kind of sucks and there's no way in hell I'm going to reserve vs. an IG list with an Astropath and Officer of the Fleet.  I win the roll to go first but I let him take first turn.  He chooses to hold everything in reserve while I keep everything off the board so I can roll up from the board edge when the game starts.

Turn 1 starts and I steal the initiative!  My entire army moves to the middle and I use Wings of Sanguinius on Mephiston.  He rolls a 12 and he takes a wound from perils.  My AV13 wall pushes up the middle and my ASM take cover behind them.  At the beginning of turn 2, Mephiston cast wings again and flies up into the iron column while the rest of my tanks form a iron wall around the bulk of my Marines in the middle.  I know my opponent is going to come on the sides so I turn all the tank's front armor towards the board edges and pop smoke.  All my Marines are in cover or taking cover by buildings so my entire army has a 4+ cover save and FNP.  I embrace the cold, hard fact that I'm going to be shot to shit next turn.

On his his turn 2, 2 Vendettas and 2 Valks come in my left side.  His Leman Russ tanks come in from his board edge and so does his CCS squad in the Chimera.  He combines shooting from the Valks and they put massive amounts of wounds on my left most ASM squad.  After wound allocation, I lost 4 marines and my Sanguinary Priest after he fails his one armor save and FNP.  His Leman Russes shoot at one of my Baal Preds and they scattered off target completely with one and hits a bunch of my ASM with another.  After some ridiculously good cover saves, I lose another 2 Marines.  My AC/LC Pred remains untouched thus far.  Then comes two of his Vendettas shooting at my front most Baal onto his AV13.  After 3 pen rolls after cover saves, the Baal becomes shaken.  I got really lucky there.

My next turn sees a lot of movement from my army.  I know I need to silence these guns at all costs and there's no way I'm going to stay in the open and get shot to bits.  Smoke is gone and my only way of surviving is by aggressive play and pure firepower.  My AC/LC Preds move 6" in various directions to get LoS on his Valks and Vendettas.  They open fire on the Valks and bring both of them crashing into the ground.  The units they carry get out from within and sit within the wreckage, one of which is pinned.  The Baal that was shaken turbo-boosts into the nearest Vendetta and rams it at full force.  Chris rolls a 1 for his skimmer save and a S9 hit penetrates the Vendetta!  Somehow in my mind, I pictured my Baal doing a wheelie and catching massive air off a rock ramp and colliding into the Vendetta in mid-air.  Don't worry, you'll see a lot of this in this battle report.  Anyways, I roll a pitiful 2 which is reduced to shaken because all of his vehicles have extra armor.  Another Baal opens fire on the pinned passengers of one of the Valkyries and kills 3 of them.  My last Baal gets on the side armor of my opponent's Leman Russ but isn't able to do anything with his TLAC.

As for movement, my leftmost ASM squad runs into some cover on the left side by the wrecked Valkyrie.  The squad that lost the Priest in round 2 (Beta) flies up the right into some cover and loses a Marine due to dangerous terrain.  That squad is just bad luck or something this game.  The last squad with the last remaining JP Priest flies up the middle into cover along with Mephiston.

Next round, my opponent's other Vendettas come in behind my AC/LC Preds on the right side of the board and the other SWS squad in the Chimera comes in by the Vendettas on the left.  The two Vendettas switch positions and unload a Veteran squad with Meltas by one of my Baals and a squad of flamer dudes by my ASM.  The PCS squad with Plasmas come out of the wreck of one of the Valks and looks eagerly for new targets.  Once everyone was in position, the fireworks starts pouring out.  The two Russ tanks open fire on the squad by Mephiston in the middle and hit with both Battle Cannons (and other stuff).  After wound allocation and cover saves, 6 Marines go down.  A Vendetta opens up on the right most Marine squad and kills a couple of dudes, OK no problem.  Then the CCS squad with Plasmas open fire and he makes me re-roll all my successful cover saves.  After the Chimera's HF and other weapons kick in, I lose everyone except for my Sergeant.  My right most squad is reduced down to 1 Marine, my center is reduced to 4 Marines including Priest.  It's looking pretty grim right now.  When I thought everything was over, the plasmas from the PCS open fire on the Marines on the left, a demo charge hits dead on, and several flamers go off as well.  Through sheer power of will and lack of anger management, 5 Marines die and only 5 more remain.  I take leadership checks all over the place and everyone checks out OK.  As for my tanks, the Melta squad wrecks my Baal, the right Vendetta wrecks another Baal and the right Vendettas rips through a AC/LC Pred.

On my turn, I fly Mephiston and the right most squad of ASM aka 1 Sergeant towards the CCS squad in the Chimera.  My middle squad advances towards the Leman Russ tanks and leftmost squad of Marines flies near/onto the pinned squad and the flamer squad of guys.  One of my AC/LC Preds open fire on the left most Vendetta and brings it crashing into the ground.  My other AC/LC Pred attempts to kill the Vendetta but epic fails at penetration rolls.  My last Baal speeds into position on the right and opens fire on the Vendetta that my AC/LC Pred failed to kill and rolls 3 rending penetrations.  The sheer amount of armor piercing bullets send the Vendetta and its contents crashing into the ground.  My opponent loses a couple of troops since it explodes.

After a couple of pistol shots from the left most squad, the squad of 5 engages in a multiple combat with flamer dudes.  They were pretty pissed that they tossed a demo pack on their head so after a bunch of attacks, I only inflict 7 measly wounds.  The Guard strike back and kill two Blood Angels?!  They lost combat by 5 and fail on both accounts, getting run down in return.  The distance also takes me into the wreck of the Valkyrie and I'm sitting peacefully in cover.  Mephiston and the Sergeant with the Fist and Infernus Pistol opens fire on the Chimera.  After two pens, I roll a 4 to immobilize it and stun it as well.  Sadly, it's not enough to pop the transport so Mephiston isn't able to assault the contents. Good thing my dudes were standing so close to the escape latch that the guys can't disembark to shoot me.  In my assault phase, Mephiston turns on Sanguine Sword and epically fails to do anything.  I rip off all the weapons and stun it multiple times.  The CCS Chimera is now a bunker of the troops inside and I'm insanely confused how Mephiston failed so badly.

As for the Leman Russ tanks, I shoot them with Meltaguns and my Infernus Pistol and destroyed the Battlecannons on them.  After charging and attempting to plant Krak Grenades and missing a bunch of my Power Fist attacks, they get stunned (to shaken) and nothing more happens.

IG's next turn brings on his reserve Heavy Weapons and they deploy on the left (by the objective) and far right corner.  The Missiles were on the left and the ACs were on the right.  Moving on, the squad that got blown out of the right Vendettas starts running for the objective the middle.  They gain little ground on their run.  The other remaining Vendetta on the right opens up on one of my AC/LC Preds and destroy it.  Following suit, the left most Vendetta opens up on the remaining AC/LC Pred and immobilizes it.  The Chimera holding the SWS squad that came in on reserves on the left last turn turns and shoots at the left most ASM in cover instead of the 4 dudes still swinging at the Leman Russ tanks.  The Plasma Squad follows suit and combined fire kills 1 more after some heroic cover saves.  I test for morale and they fail!  Good thing I rolled a 4 on 3 dice to fall back and they end up 6.5" away from the Plasma-totting squad.  Any closer and that squad wouldn't be able to rally because the enemy were so close.  The Leman Russ tanks slowly moves to the right and they just stand there.  Since no one else can do anything, the turn passes to me.

The Immobilized AC/LC Pred fires at the Vendetta but only manages to stun it.  The lone sergeant and Mephiston penetrates the Chimera with their weapons and rip the CCS apart in close combat.  My left most squad of 3 Marines charge the Plasma-totting squad and win combat by 4.  The squad holds for some insane reason!  My other squad that was by the Leman Russ tanks fly towards the missile team that just came on and assault them with Furious Charge.  Since I epically fail to hit any of them, I only manage to win combat 4.  They hold as well!  Now that both of my fragile little Marines are locked in combat, my opponent has almost nothing to shoot at next turn.

That's exactly what happened:  He moves over 12" with the Vendetta to get out of LoS of the immobilized AC/LC Pred and the other gunship holding units turbo-boosts behind a building to get away from the Baal.  His AC HW squad opens fire on my Baal and immobilizes and stuns it.  Now comes something ridiculous:  Chris unloads his Chimera with a full squad of SWS and charge my Priest + 3 dudes in hopes of bailing his HWS squad out of combat.  After an insane amount of attacks later, one Marine dies and I kill his remaining HWS guys and force him to take a leadership check at -4.  He fails and I run him down!  My left most squad that was on the Plasma squad also wins combat and runs down the contents for multiple combat wins from each side.  They rally towards the top left corner objective because that's the only chance I have at winning or tying the game.  He gets me back by shooting his AC HWS squad at my lone Sergeant (the one by his CCS squad) and kills him.

On my next turn, my remaining immobilized Baal Pred spits dakka on his HWS squad.  The entire squad is left with 1 wound and fail their morale test and run off the board.  My immobilized AC/LC Pred has nothing to shoot at this turn and my ASM on the left runs into cover, gunning for that top left point.  Mephiston flies next to the Leman Russ tanks assaults them with Sanguine Sword, exploding one and destroying the other.  My Sanguinary Priest and his squad of merry men chase after the Vendetta that got away and assault it.  Somehow, I manage to hit it with 2 6s from my Power Fist and the Vendetta goes crashing into the ground.  This is how I pictured it in my head:

The Sergeant braces himself for impact as his jump pack propels him towards the Vendetta gunship.  He opens his power fist at the last possible second and grabs onto the left wing of the aircraft right before it enters evasive maneuvers.  With all his might and the help of the propulsion from the Sergeant's jump pack, the wing is torn from the body of the enemy aircraft in spectacular fashion.  The plane spirals out of control and disintegrates in mid-air as the speed of the stall tears the plane's structure apart.  A smirk runs across the Sergeant's face as the traitorous guard fall to their death without the safety of their transport.

Nothing really exciting happens after this since his Vendetta with SWS turbo-boosts towards the middle and caps that objective.  I lose the game after round 6, but from all the crazy shit that happened this game, I don't care.  I shake hands with my opponent and I leave a happy man.  I'll get 'em next time in kill points.

Blood Angels Defeat 0-1


Lyracian said...

Fun battle report, although the dark read is very hard to read on a black background. Do you think you will change your list at all?

Personally I would have kept one ASM squad in reserves to have some scoring troops to come in late game.

HERO said...

Well, I could of ran with 2x Librarians if I knew my opponent was going to be IG, but I tried to keep it as all comers as possible. I haven't changed my 3/3 list in ages. Although I did make pretty use of cover all game, my Librarians with Shield of Sanguinius could of saved some of my tanks. All-comers is all-comers though! No changes last minute.

If I kept one squad of ASM in reserves, I think the other ones would of died a horrible death. The only reason why my marines lived as long as they did was because I had 3 squads on the field to soak up all that firepower. Without the presence of all my squads on the field, I would of been wiped off the field by turn 3.

IG is always a hard matchup for any MEQ force, but I think I did quite well considering how much firepower this was coming at me. I personally think this Air Cav list has a slight advantage towards me since it's capable of maintaining the field presence (of anti-MEQ) required of any mech IG list, but the reserve roll can deny BA's ability to center on one point of the board and sweep all that oppose them.

Vs. your standard Mech IG list with Chimera spam, my 3/3 list would fare better. Vs. Air Cav that comes from all sides and offers a buttload of shooting, I needed a better mission to play or more cover on the left side. Sadly, the left side was quite barren save for one piece of cover that one of my squads already occupied. Those damn Battle Cannons really ripped up my center squad in cover. Just too many AP3 templates for them to handle, even with max 2" spread.

Chris said...

Hey, this is Chris, the guy you played yesterday. Thanks for a fun game man! BA are my first and primary army, so it was nice to be on the other side of them for once! Two things about the game:

1) Traitor Guard? Ha! We're loyalist Steel Legion, your Psuedo-Daemon Prince Mephiston with his pseudo-jump-packing-khorne-berserkers were obviously the traitors in our scenario.

2) In a competitive take all comers BA list, I've found Mephiston to be too hit and miss to be worth his points. Basically in a single-list tourny environment, he'll do really well against some lists (i.e. armies with no psy-defense and somewhat elitist armies), but he'll either be overkill or psychically neutralized against other lists (IG, SW 4+ saves, Nids w/ SitW, Eldrad, etc). Also, Mephiston in my opinion doesn't fill any role in the BA list that other units can't do better for the points.

For instance, if you're using Meph as a dedicated MEq killer, you can buy 10 Assault marines with equipment for the same price, and arguably they'll do better against all but MCs. And Meph will really suffer against Nid MCs, because you'll be periling yourself almost every round to try and get sanguine sword.

Secondly, I think librarians add something unique and necessary to a BA army - Shield of Sang. 5+ cover in 6" (especially when parked in a razorback) effectively allows your army to be hit 1/3 less of the time in the open. When you face a shooty army, you can bubble wrap your assault marines with preds/razors and give 5+ to the marines inside when the inevitable AP3s start falling. The extra ability (Rage, Fear, Lance, Sang Sword) on your own turn is icing, which almost makes the Lib as good as 2 HQs for the price of a cheap 1. Rage + Shield means he's slightly better than a chaplain (rage can work on your opponent's turn), and shield buffs your whole army.

In general, I think BA needs to excel at force multipliers rather than gravy units. Sang. Priests multiply, Librarians multiply, and Sanguinor multiplies (though at a steep price). Once you commit to force multipliers, you'll usually need to min/max on the unit type being multiplied - so if you invest 100-150 pts in sanguinary priests, you'll need lotsa assault units to squeeze the most out of them, librarians can buff both infantry and vehicles for a bargain, etc. For this reason, I think the Libby is undercosted by about 50 pts for all that he brings to the army.

Lastly, I'm just curious why you don't run a fully mechanized list, instead of half and half? Normally people bring balanced lists with moderate amounts of anti-horde, anti-MEq, and anti-tank. If you're trying to be ultra competitive, isn't it usually best to maximize one unit type and bring a balanced proliferation of weapons that can deal with all army types? i.e. the super common 3/3 with razor backs and dreads? That way you'd have 9 AV13s, and lots of scoring AV11s to grab objectives, block fields of fire, inhibit movements, etc etc.

Anyway, just some thoughts I had. I honestly don't see myself as a competitive player, so I don't run my army the way I suggested above, but you seemed like you're more into the competition aspect of the hobby, which is why I thought I'd give some subjective suggestions on your list. When you see my BA on the table, you're probably going to see a lot more fun albeit useless crap, like sanguinary guard, space hulk terminators, death company, and the like.

HERO said...

Yeah, I really like the Librarians and their ability to take multiple powers. The Blood Lance is a weaker choice compared to Unleash Rage, Sanguine Sword and Shield of Sanguinius. I might take two libbies next game and see how they do. Unleash Rage is great to have, but Sanguine Sword can put wounds on things I otherwise wouldn't be able to.

I have the ability to run fully mechanized, but I guess I don't want to be ultra-competitive with my BA. The 3/3 configuration is already competitive enough and the half and half gives it the fluff feel. I don't like RB spam, I like seeing multiple jumpers on the field at once. Besides, this is Blood Angels we're talking about! Seeing a Sergeant with a Jump Pack tear the wing off a Vendetta is the exact reason why I'll always take half and half over fully mechanized angels. They were designed to play with Jump Pack and that's how I'll honor Sanguinius' teachings :)

Thanks for the game again man, it was intense! Next time, let's do your BA vs. my Space Wolves!

Rob said...

It is my dream to one day destroy a valk or vendetta via the medium of ramming it with a battlewagon's deffroller.
Orks flying through the air (possibly whilst on fire) as the huge vehicle launches itself off a ramp, massive spinning death mangler on the front aimed right for the aircraft. Imperial pilot managing to utter the words "Oh shi-" before he is cut off by the massive, glorious explosion.
I will shed a single manly tear the day this happens.

hkardicali said...


Could you help me with scaling this BA list down to 1500 without losing Mephiston? Any suggestions?

Thank you!

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