Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dashofpepper at the Railhead Rumble GT: Game Two

June 10, 2011: Dashofpepper makes the drive the Dallas, TX for the Railhead Rumble GT. I arrived in Dallas, checked into the hotel, picked Hulksmash up from the airport, and headed to the Sheraton to scope out the GT area of A-Kon.

19,200 mostly 16-25 year olds swarming an anime convention…an hour after arriving and pushing our way through dressed up (or undressed) anime fans, we finally discovered that the GT was in the attached Marriott and made our way there to check it out. I’m glad that we did an advance recon, or we would have been extremely late the following morning, which is probably why the GT was an hour late kicking off – others weren’t so fortunate!

I brought my Dark Eldar to the Railhead Rumble. The list is as follows:

Dashofpepper’s Darklight Storm:
HQ: Baron Sathonyx
HQ: Haemonculi with Shattershard and Crucible of Malediction

Troop1: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop2: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop3: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop4: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop5: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop6: 9x Wyches with Haywire Grenades inside a Raider with Torment Grenade Launcher, Grisly Trophies, and Flickerfield

Elite1: 4x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Elite2: 4x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Elite3: 3x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons

Fast Attack1: 3x Beastmasters, 5x Khymerae, 4x Razorwing Flocks

Heavy Support1: Ravager with 3x Dark Lances and Flickerfield
Heavy Support2: Ravager with 3x Dark Lances and Flickerfield
Heavy Support3: Ravager with 3x Dark Lances and Flickerfield

Game Two is against a Drop Pod Ultramarine Army. I have two sets of venoms; my converted and painted venoms that are too big, and a set of vypers and partially assembled venoms – my opponents are to choose which set they would prefer to play against. Chem-Dog chooses the smaller set.

HQ: Marneus Calgar, Armor of Antilochus, Gauntlets of Ultramar + other goodies
HQ: Librarian in Terminator Armor, Null Zone, Gate of Infinity, Storm Shield, Force Weapon

Troop1: 9x Tactical Marines with a Meltagun and multi-melta; 1x Sergeant with Combi-Melta in a Rhino
Troop2: 9x Tactical Marines with Flamer, Heavy Bolter, 1x Sergeant with Combi-Flamer and Power Fist, Drop Pod with Locator Beacon
Troop3: 9x Tactical Marines with Flamer, Heavy Bolter, 1x Sergeant with Combi-Flamer and Power Fist, Drop Pod with Locator Beacon

Elite1: Dreadnought with DCCW, Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta in Drop Pod
Elite2: 5x Assault Terminators, 1x Lightning Claw, 4x TH/SS, 1x Sergeant with Lightning Claws
Elite3: 5x Terminators with 4x Power Fists and Storm Bolters, Cyclone Missile Launcher, 1x Sergeant with Power Weapon + Storm Bolter

Fast1: Land Speeder with Heavy Bolter and Typhoon Missile Launcher
Fast2: 2x Attack Bikes with 2x Multi-Meltas
Fast3: 1x Attack Bike with Multi-Melta

Here’s a shot of our table!

I nominate his Librarian for my assassination target, and he nominates my haemonculi for his assassination target.

We roll for deployment option and he wins! He elects to deploy and go first, and reserves everything. He puts me on the other side of the table. Here’s what I see:

I elect to fully reserve as well. If I deploy, he’s going to deep-strike two pods on me and melta the crap out of something…probably something I want.

Enemy Turn One:
He picks his two troop drop-pods to deep-strike and drops them both in the middle of the table – there’s an objective on the second floor of that building. Both of his tactical squads deploy into the terrain and run – one heads up to the upper level to camp the objective and the second stays on the bottom floor.

This is my opponent’s first tournament, and I believe he said that it wasn’t his army. I understand that he wasn’t intentionally slow-playing, but he was incredibly slow. The two drop pods he deployed onto the table with the two tactical squads took about 20-30 minutes. ><

This mission called for two objectives to be placed 12” away from each other, 6-9” from the center of the table. There’s one in the middle – here are the two on the right side of the board.

Here’s the two on the left side of the board.

His tactical squad that came down first:

Dashofpepper Turn One:
I twiddle my thumbs and encourage him to start rolling for reserves!

Enemy Turn Two:
He rolls for reserves and gets the dreadnought in the drop pod, his rhino, the assault terminators with attached Marneus and Librarian, and the single attack bike.
The drop pod with the dreadnought drops onto the still empty table.

The attack bike and the rhino move onto the board to the rear right – the rhino moves up 12” to get cover where it can and to be in range to grab the objective in subsequent turns.

His assault terminators with the attached HQs deep-strike within 6” of the other drop pod. Two deep-strike into cover, one fails dangerous terrain and dies.

His tactical squads move up to the windows to line up shots out the window towards my deployment zone.

Dashofpepper Turn Two:
My reserve rolls bring in two ravagers, two troop venoms, and one trueborn venom, as seen in the picture above. My ravagers line up to take potshots at his dreadnought’s multi-melta, and my venoms line up to choose between the marines and the attack bike.

Between my two ravagers, I immobilized his dreadnought and weapon-destroy the multi-melta. That should be a 3, not a 5.

One of my venoms opens up on his attack bike and kills it.

My trueborn whiff against the center drop-pod, and my two venoms kill a couple tactical marines.

Enemy Turn Three:
His land-speeder comes in from reserves. I’ve never actually played against Marneus before…and he's got some beastly armaments and stats.

The Land-Speeder deep-strikes within 6” of the central drop pod to take advantage of the locator beacon, in range to multi-melta one of my ravagers.

The assault terminators move into the building.

His heavy bolter can only see my ravager around the drop pod without moving, and whiffs. His multi-melta misses my ravager, and his drop pod storm-bolters score one glance on a venom, but I pass my flickerfield save.

Dashofpepper Turn Three:
I roll for reserves and get my wych raider with the haemonculi inside, my third ravager, and two more troop venoms. My wych raider moves flat out up the board while my other vehicles creep in on my board edge.
Between three ravagers and 7 blasters, I kill the land speeder and one drop pod. Splinter cannons take the tactical squad I’ve been hammering at down to four – the sergeant and the heavy bolter, along with two tactical marine.

Here’s the wych raider moving up midfield!

My center-field concentration:

Looks like one of my blasters also scored another weapon destroyed result on the dreadnought, and I take off the heavy flamer/DCCW. The drop pod is sitting right on top of an objective, and I want them off of it.

His attack bikes have to come on in the backfield, and I don’t feel any particular urge to be back there and in range, and while he has a rhino back there around an objective, he can’t capture it unless he controls one of the middle objectives – so I’d rather try taking him off the middle of the table.

Enemy Turn Four:
The remaining 4 tactical marines and assault terminators move across towards my raider. I think he forgot to roll for reserves.

His heavy bolter in the other squad opens up on a venom and kills it. Storm Bolters from each of his drop pods glance on 6s and shake one venom, weapon destroying a second.

His terminators didn’t get enough movement to get to my raider, but his tactical marines assault in and wreck it. My wyches and haemonculi get out and pass pinning checks.

Dashofpepper Turn Four:
I roll for reserves and get two more troop venoms, one trueborn venom, and the beastmasters with the Baron. The troops and the Baron come out on the left side of the board; the two troops move up 12” while the Baron and unit move on 6” trying to get up midfield.

In the background, you can see the haemonculi has moved up to shattershard range of the terminators, and the wyches are in multi-assault range of the terminators and the tactical marines.

Here’s a closer look at the midfield action setting up to take place.

On the right side of the board, the troops from the wrecked venom move up towards the objective that the drop pod is sitting on while the trueborn from the shaken venom disembarks to do the same – I need to shoot that dreadnought and drop pod down. My ravagers line up for shots at his drop pod and the immobilized, weaponless dreadnought.

My third ravager lines up for shots through windows at his terminators. I think my pictures are getting confused because in this picture there are no damage results on my trueborn venoms…making me think that it was his next turn that did the damage…and that the trueborn on the far right just moved on 12” and then disembarked to shoot at his drop pod.
On to shooting!

I explode the other central drop pod, wreck the right drop pod, whiff against the dreadnought, and my haemonculi lays down the shattershard – hitting three TH/SS terminators, a Lightning Claw terminator, Marneus, and the librarian. All of them die. Unfortunately, I kid. While theoretically awesome, it never does what I need it to do for IC sniping, and all I kill is a single TH/SS terminator.
He makes cover against my ravager with his terminators, and my venoms go to work on his other tactical squad, taking them down to three. The two venoms on the right open up on the terminators – Marneus takes a wound, but the rest are unaffected.

Since I did so badly against his terminators, and since his librarian has null zone active, I decide not to attempt a multi-assault into his terminators, and my wyches all pile into his tactical squad instead. If nine wyches rerolling wounds (I think that was their power) can kill four tactical marines, then I can potentially consolidate either out of range of the terminators, or into range for a beast counter-assault.

I end up killing three tactical marines while his powerfist lives. On an interesting note, I made an illegal move here – my opponent dared me to assault my haemonculi into his tactical marines. I had suffered through a lecture from Hulksmash earlier on throttling back when I’m smacking someone down, and thought I would try giving him something, so I illegally assaulted my haemonculi into the tactical marines – didn’t even think about it until just now – since he shot at the terminators. His powerfist kills the haemonculi. We’re locked in combat, and his assault terminators are just…hanging…out….3” away. ><

Enemy Turn Five:
His shooting terminators and last unit of attack bikes show up. The attack bikes move 12” up the field while the shooting terminators deep-strike onto the rear left objective.
Here’s the attack bikes in the rear.

I was expecting to get face-punched by his assault terminators, but they instead move back into the ruins. My beasts are out in the open, and he uses Marneus to call down an orbital bombardment on them – they’re bunched up. >< It scatters onto one of my venoms and wrecks it – the troops pile out.

My pictures end here since we were running out of time, so the rest is text.

His assault terminators fire on something and don’t do anything, while the last three tactical marines shoot something…possibly causing some of the damage results from the earlier picture. His rhino also moved onto the objective in its corner.

My wyches finish off the tactical marine and consolidate 6” up the field towards his shooting terminators.

Dashofpepper Turn Five:
My wyches move 6” forward towards his shooting terminators. The rest of my army shifts a bit, but still is focused on the middle of the table, while my beasts move up 6” and run towards the middle. The troop choice from the wrecked venom on the left move 6” towards the central left objective, then run far enough to get within 3” of it.

I open fire! I finish off his dreadnought, kill both attack bikes, and the three tactical marines he has left. The rest of my ravagers and splinter cannons open up on the assault terminators in the middle, and do another wound to Marneus and kill two terminators.

My wyches make it into assault with his terminators on the rear left objective and kill a couple, surviving in return – his null zone failed to go off this turn, so I don’t have to reroll invulnerable saves.

At this point, we have 8 minutes left in our 2.5 hour game, and my opponent says that we don’t have time to continue. I look at the board….I’ve got one central objective, an objective on the right, and table quarters….he’s got the assassination target, so I agree to end.

We tally it up, and somehow come up with a tie. I don’t remember how we did. I’ve got two objectives to his one….and his one doesn’t count because he doesn’t have a central objective. My entire army is in table quarters, and he’s got two units left on the board; the assault terminators still living in the middle with Marneus and the Librarian, and the rhino with the tactical squad in the back right corner.

I’m a little confused now. L I can’t fathom how we had a tie. At any rate, there are no ties allowed, so we tally up victory points (tie-breaker) and I’ve got a clear win.

Post-Game Tactical Assessment:
It was a bit frustrating playing my opponent. Despite me being in reserves, and getting shoddy reserve rolls…and being embarked…we still only got through five turns. I realize that he wasn’t intentionally slow-playing, it was just his first tournament, and he took a long time with every action. Studying the board before rolling for reserves, studying the board to decide where to place it….literally 15 minute pre-movement reserve actions.

It wasn’t the most competitive list – I don’t think that I made any particularly grievous tactical errors aside from forgetting that Marneus had an orbital bombardment and leaving my beasts in the open, but since it scattered off, no foul. Assaulting my haemonculi into his marines was two kinds of mistakes.

I did pay particular attention to his central drop pod and use to screen my venoms from view of his heavy bolters particularly well, and that paid off for two turns. At any rate, I take a win and move on to game three.