Thursday, January 29, 2009

Battle Summary: Death Guard vs. Loyalist Marines (1500pts)

Today is a battle "summary" rather than a battle report as I don't have any true photos of the event to go with it. The gratuitous photo is one taken at home of a subset of the force that I used, the maps are hand drawn in paint. Poorly.

Location: Local GW.
Terrain: Medium to high-density urban ruins. Just enough space for rhinos to squeeze between on the long edges, more open in the centre.
Mission: Seize Ground (four objective counters).
Deployment: Pitched Battle.
First Turn: Opponent.

Death Guard Army (very similar to my successful GT2008 list):
HQ: Deamon Prince, wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warp Time
Elites: Dreadnought, plasma cannon
Troops: 2 lots of: 7 plague marines, including plague champion with power fist, melta gun, flamer, icon, rhino with havoc launcher
Troops: 7 plague marines, including plague champion with combi-plasma and melta bombs, two marines with plasma guns, icon.
Troops: 6 lesser daemons
Heavy Support: 1 Obliterator
Heavy Support: 2 x daemonically possessed vindicators

Marines (very roughly as I don't have it exact):
Lysander; 9 sternguard veterans in drop pod with Pedro; Sniper squad with Telion; Iron clad dreadnought in drop pod; thunderfire cannon; two tactical squads with missile launcher; predator annihilator.

The objectives were placed in a skewed rhomboid, each of us had one object in our deployment zone, the other two were out of reach. I castled up almost all of my army in the one corner that had the objective counter in it. I sat a vindicator just forward of it and set the non-rhino-mounted plague marine plasma squad just behind it. The second vindicator and one of the rhinos sat left of this. The obliterator set up in a building with a good line of sight and the second rhino hid behind the building. The dreadnought was left to its own devices far away from the other miniatures whilst the deamon prince hid behind a different building, biding his time to fly in.

Turn 1.
This turn was mostly taken up with shooting from my opponent. Nothing really happened apart from 1 death guard marine being removed from a random shot - all my vehicles survived the initial onslaught. In my turn, I moved the vindicators 6" forward to get in range, zoomed the left-hand rhino 12" forward (popping smoke), moved the non-crazed dreadnought forward 6", moved the right-hand rhino right in order to get in range of securing a second objective and flew the daemon prince forward 12" to hide behind another building. The vindicators did some damage to the squads holed up in the (reinforced) buildings opposite me, whilst the obliterator missed everything by rolling a 1 to hit. Nothing from the dreadnought either.

Turn 2.
Oh dear. Here's trouble. The iron clad dreadnought comes in (cyan circle on the map). It shoots a wound on the obliterator, but turns its back on my plasma cannon dreadnought. Meanwhile, my opponents predator which has been sat merrily at the corner of the board destroys the havoc launcher on the left hand rhino. Further shots on the rhino completely immobilize it! The thunderfire cannon targets the obliterator without success.
In my turn, the obliterator shoots at the iron clad with a lascannon. And utterly misses by rolling a 1 to hit. The dreadnought fires at the rear of the iron clad with the plasma cannon. Despite scorching the vent pipes, no damage results. My second (right-hand) rhino meanwhile is moved forward to fully claim the objective and uses its havoc launcher to kill a few more marines with a lucky shot. My un-mounted plague marines fail to do anything to the iron clad despite three rapid firing plasma guns. Meanwhile, in the left-hand immobile rhino, my squad stay put inside, happy in the smelly interior. They shoot up the snipers but don't do too much damage. One vindicator meanwhile scores a shot on the predator which renders its guns useless for the next turn.

Turn 3.
More trouble. Lysander arrives. Pedro arrives. A squad of veterans arrives (the second cyan circle on the map). They rapid fire my un-mounted plague marines with their special "must kill all Death Guard, don't care your toughness is 5, I wound on 2+" bolts. The Death Guard smile in a happy manner as the shots add more charisma to their riddled bodies. No damage there. The predator sidewinds behind the sniper occupied building, taking it out of harms way of the obliterator. The thunderfire cannon then immobilizes my second rhino. On the objective. No worries there, the plague marines are quite happy to stay in their squalid rhino. The dreadnought suffers at the hands of a missile launcher and can't shoot next turn.

In my turn, my daemons arrive from reserve and deep strike in next to the unmounted death guard squad. The daemon prince warps time and space in its vicinity. The dreadnought goes blood frenzy and charges its way toward the tactical squad, not making it into charge range, but getting close. My left hand rhino miraculously repairs itself and moves closer to the snipers. Close enough for my death guard to use its flamer in fact, so the squad disembarks and rapid fires the snipers for a good number of casualties. The unmounted death guard take out a few more veterans with their bolt pistols and steady themselves to charge in. Meanwhile, the obliterator rolls a 1 to hit with its lascannon targeting the iron clad. What's up with this obliterator?! The only other shooting was from the havoc launcher that takes out the remaining marines in the right hand building; and my two vindicators which miss entirely. In the close combat phase, my daemons, daemon prince and Death Guard charge Lysander, Pedro and the veterans. The veterans are wiped out, a couple of daemons and death guard also perish and Lysander and Pedro take a couple of wounds. The daemon prince is reduced to 1 wound. Predictably, the space marines don't rout. At this stage, I realized that I probably wouldn't be able to hold on to my "base" objective. However, I also knew that the best that my opponent could do was to contest it. He'd never get any troops there in time. Therefore, I can still win by concentrating on the other objectives.

Turn 4.
My dreadnought sustains lots of incoming fire from the thunderfire cannon and other marines, but survives without incident. The Death Guard who got out of their rhino last turn take one casualty from snipers but otherwise remain intact. The predator tries to kill more Death Guard from the same squad but they can't feel any pain and laugh as the heavy bolter rounds drill more handsome holes in their already rather charismatic power armour. The melee doesn't go well though. Warping time, the daemon prince kills Lysander but dies to Pedro. The iron clad takes care of almost the rest of the Death Guard. Having lost combat, the rest of the Death Guard and the daemons promptly die, leaving Pedro and the iron clad standing tall. They consolidate next to the vindicator. I've written off this objective now being contestable at best. But that's okay - my position is probably both superior and sustainable.

The second map shows the situation at this point.

My Death Guard stay put pretty much, but the dreadnought moves to target the thunderfire cannon. Unleashing a great bout of plasma, it wrecks the thunderfire cannon. A lucky shot from a havoc launcher finishes the job - no more cannon or crew. One vindicator takes care of the predator once and for all and the second vindicator misses (despite taking a point blank shot at the iron clad directly in front of it). The obliterator shoots a lascannon at the iron clad and (don't gasp too loudly) rolls a 2 to hit and misses entirely. I don't really need to move the obliterator to contest the objective, but I could always do that next turn or turn 6 if needed. The Death Guard at the top left of the diagram now move forward toward the objective and shoot up the remaining snipers in the building.

Turn 5.
The remaining tactical squad in the middle building in my opponent's deployment zone move out to contest the upper left objective and rapid fire at my Death Guard. Another two casualties, but they're still going strong. The vindicator next to Pedro and the iron clad gets wrecked in little time at all.

In my turn, the obliterator (cannily thinking that twin-linked plasma might be kinda neat compared to a malfunctioning lascannon) rapid fires at Pedro. It misses one and reduces Pedro to one wound with the second shot. Pedro survives. My Dreadnought meanwhile moves to contest the upper right objective. My Death Guard secure their position around the upper left objective and rapid fire the incoming marines, some of whom fall.

The game then promptly ends.
Top Left objective: contested between Death Guard and tactical marine squad.
Top Right objective: contested by my dreadnought.
Bottom Left objective: contested by Pedro and the iron clad.
Bottom Right objective: controlled fully by a Death Guard squad.

Result: 1-0 victory to the Death Guard.
(NB: I've probably left out a few details and got a couple of things wrong .... e.g. shooting from the drop pods at the obliterator and how my second vindicator got immobilized .... so I'll put in a standard television-like caveat: portions of this battle that did not affect the outcome have been edited). This was an awesome game overall and both of us really enjoyed it!

Marine Positives: Iron-clads are wonderful. They're just so hard to down. Lysander, Pedro and Telion work very well in combo.
Marine Negatives: I can't help but think that the points spent on the thunderfire cannon would be better spent elsewhere.

Death Guard Positives: Warp Time is awesome - its worth every point. As are Death Guard marines with the feel no pain and toughness 5. I must learn to avoid everything that doesn't care about their high toughness.
Death Guard Negatives: I've really gone off obliterators. I'll be using a predator for my next game instead. Finally, every squad of Death Guard needs a champion with a power fist.


sovietspace said...

A very cool battle report mate, congrats on the win!

You did well to keep your eye on the mission, and not focus solely on those marines that landed in front of you.

I would love to see some more reports soon!

eriochrome said...

Nice report. Your opponent probably had to many points in special characters(400) for a 1500 point game. The points spent on Lysander which appears to be to make the sternguard get TL bolters could essentially buy a whole unit of assault termis.

jabberjabber said...

Hi Sovietspace: I was wondering in turn 4 what my opponent would be doing to try to contest and claim the two objectives nearest his deployment zone and was a little surprised at the lack of movement. I guess distraction with vindicators kept him holed up in the buildings with a valuable cover save.

Hi Eriochrome: I agree - had there have been a thunderhammer terminator squad, I'd have certainly been in a good deal more trouble; even with the daemon prince warping time every turn.

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