Game 2 - Daemons (Andy)
Annihilation - Pitched Battle
After finding my table for my second game I was reminded that we were playing an Annihilation game and briefly took hope. My list only gives out 9 kill points and contains some units that are pretty hard to kill, so normally Annihilation is my forte.
That was until I realised I would be playing a pure Nurgle Daemon army, full of mutli-wound Monstrous Creatures and Feel No Pain units. This game would be tricky...
The above picture only shows some of Andy's awesomely converted and beautifully painted army. It was a real pleasure to look at, but a nightmare to fight!
14 Plaguebearers with Icon
7 Plaguebearers with Icon
8 Nurgling Bases
Daemon Prince (Iron Hide, Noxious Touch, Flight, Mark of Nurgle, Daemonic Gaze, Cloud of Flies)
Daemon Prince (Iron Hide, Noxious Touch, Mark of Nurgle, Daemonic Gaze, Cloud of Flies)
So, an extra hard list that not only contained 3 Monstrous Creatures (that I often struggle with) but was also capable of throwing out AP2 pie plates. To have any chance of getting to winning this game I realised I would really need to concentrate.
This being the case, I managed to make mistakes from the beginning!
Now this was the first time I had actually played Daemons, and I was so concerned about how I would go about deploying that when I won the roll off for first turn, I stupidly took it without thinking! An ultimate mistake against Daemons, as you effectively loose a whole player turn to kill them. I was thus off to a great start!
From the start I was worried about Kugath's ability to drop AP2 pie plates, so I deployed in a way that protected my greatest assets, the Terminators. I hugged the South Eastern corner of the board, ensuring that no Daemon would be able to deep strike behind me. The Tac Marines occupied a large building, looking to make good use of the cover. Unusually for me I placed my second Terminator Squad in the Land Raider, figuring that it would be better for them to use its extended charge range. Their multiple Power Fists would do better against the Monstrous Creatures than Belail's squad that relied on Lightning Claws. I was hoping that the Ravenwing's mass melta would be able to take out enough of those MCs, so that the D'wing could deal with the rest of the horde.
With no enemy on the board, I held fast in the first turn, waiting to see what would arrive from the Warp.
In Andy's turn the skies darkened and the first wave of filth was borne forth. Getting the part of his force that he wanted, Andy deepstruck Kugath, the two Daemon Princes and Epidemius with the 14 'man' Plaguebearer unit, focused in roughly the middle of the board. In his shooting phase he was able to down 2 of the Ravenwing Bikers shielding Belial, and Ran Epidemius and his grizzly escorts into the cover of a nearby building.
In the above picture, Kugath is the uppermost model, with the winged Daemon Prince next, and the walking Prince in the South.
Conor: 0KP Andy: 0KP
In my turn my forces rearranged themselves, well aware of the fact that half the Daemon army was yet to arrive. The Ravenwing Speeder, Attack Bike and the Crusader swung round to the north of my deployment, taking pot shots at Kugath but failing to hurt him. The bikers, reeling from their wounds, sought better cover whilst Belial's squad advanced cautiously, behind a screen provided by the Rhino. Bar this the Rhino popped smoke and the Tactical Squad's Lascannon managed to take a wound off Kugath.
1 wound down, 5 more to go. Not to mention the two other MC's. This game was not looking good...
In his turn Andy was gifted with the arrival of a Pluage Bearer squad and the Nurglings, both of which deployed around his MC's, with the Nurglings scattering quite far forward. Continuing their advance, the MC's bore down on my forces, but still looked like they would need another turn to engage me in close combat. In the shooting phase Kugath again targeted the Rhino-shield but scattered badly. Meanwhile the Daemon Princes unleashed their Demonic Gaze at the bikers, but only managed to kill one more, due to their better cover.
Conor: 0KP Andy: 0KP
Determined to gain the initiative, I reasoned that I had to get Belial and his squad into the game, fast. I figured that in Andy's turn they were either going to be subject to Kugath's AP2 Blast o' Doom, or a charge from the Winged Prince...or both.
I decided to help this process along by having Belial and co. charge the Nurglings directly in front them. Assuming they couldn't chew threw this 21 wound unit in one go, it would give Belial and his squad protection from shooting. I also hoped that this rash move would force Andy into making the obvious counter move, charging his Daemon Princes into the combat. If all went to plan they would be softened up by any of the squad that survived and then I could charge my Power Fist armed termi's from the Land Raider, hopefully dealing with them. That would still leave Kugath to deal with but, with his Slow and Purposeful rule, I hoped the Ravenwing could run rings around him. It was a fine theory. Now to see if it would work...
Retreating the Rhino to the rear ('Get that Kill Point out of there!'), I moved Belial and co. forward, towards their target. The Ravenwing forces continued to make good use of cover, hoping to soften up Kugath some more. Finally the Land Raider rumbled forward, ready to strike next turn.
Shooting went okay, with the Ravenwing managing to take 2 more wounds off Kugath (only 3 left...), whilst the combined fire of the Tactical Squad and Crusader only managed to drop the winged Prince down by a wound.
In the combat phase things went as well as I could have hoped for, as Belial and his squad cut a swath through the Nurglings for no loss. Once the dust settled (and fearless saves were made), one 1 Nurgling base with 1 wound remained. Perfect! I had images of Belial and his squad passing the Nurgling round to use as cover, much to the creatures delight!
The Deathwing/Nurgling clash in progress
In his turn, Andy received the last of his reserves, in the form of two 7 'man' Plaguebearer squads, that Deepstruck as close to the central combat as possible. His advance continued, with both the Daemon Princes positioning themselves for the expected charge. Kugath suffered badly with his Slow and Purposeful rolls, probably slipping in his own slime, whislt Epidimus remained in cover with his attendant Plaguebearers, frustrated at how slowly the tally was coming along.
Shooting was ineffective, with Kugath failing to hurt the Crusader, and both the Princes focusing their attention on the combat ahead. When the combat came, it again went as well I could have hoped. Firstly Belial, who was stuck fighting Nurglings, managed to dispatch the base, earning the first KP of the game. Then, despite having 10 combined attacks, hitting on 3's and inflicting power weapon wounds on 2+, the Daemon Princes only managed to kill 3 Terminators. In response the Standard Bearer and Apothecary inflicted a stunning 5 wounds, leaving both the Princes on a wound a piece! Glory for the Lion!
Even Belial is somewhat taken aback at how well his men did...
Conor: 1KP Andy: 0KP
Executing my plan, the Land Raider launched itself forward, ready to drop the second squad of Terminators into the central combat. Meanwhile the Ravenwing continued to drive north, and the Tactical Marines held firm, making good use of their cover. In the shooting phase the Ravenwing took one more wound from Kugath, while the Crusader and Tactical Squad managed to drop a few Plaguebearers from the southernmost squad. I quickly realised I was going to have to get my Kill Points in combat, as this was not an army I could gun down!
In the combat phase my second Terminator Squad joint charged both a Daemon Prince and the southernmost squad of Plaguebearers, drawing more units into the melee. The combat itself was mixed, with both the Daemon Princes and a few Plaguebearers falling, but not before they killed off the rest of the Terminator Command Squad and a few of the new arrivals.
In the Daemon turn Kugath again failed to make any headway with his Slow and Purposeful rolls. Becuase of this Andy seemed to get worried that the battle was starting to turn, and moved Epidimus and the large Plaugebearer squad out of their cover towards the combat. With difficult terrain and run rolls of 6, they made worryingly good progress!
No doubt frustrated about all his fumbling, Kugath launched his shooting attack at the Ravenwing Bikers in cover and managed to kill 2, leaving one slime covered biker remaining.
In combat Andy charged in a second 7 man Plaugebearer squad into the fight. This turned the tide in his favour - although Belial reduced the first Plaugebearer squad to 1 man, the reinforcements finished off the other Terminators before they could even strike.
Conor: 3KP Andy: 3KP
Starting this turn in the lead (just), I decided I would stick to my guns and try and kill Kugath before he made it to the central combat. I knew I was likely to lose Belial (and a Kill Point), but if he could finish off the now 1 man Plaguebearer unit in his combat, I should be home and dry.
Moving the Ravening and Land Raider into better firing positions, disaster struck. Attempting to get himself out of cover, my last Ravenwing biker snagged himself on a rock and went crashing into the dirt, taking his kill point with him! Nooo! I had a grim feeling that this would come back to bite me in arse!
To make matters worse, the Ravenwing failed to even hit Kugath (damned Multi-Meltas!) and Belial failed to kill one Plaguebearer with his 5 attacks!! Luckily he survived combat, but I was not impressed.
In his turn Andy continued to advance his forces with Kugath finally making it to within charge range. With no shooting Kugath launched straight in...and entered the most boring combat phase of the century, with neither side making any kills. Apparently both sides were just staring at each other or something...
Conor: 3KP Andy: 3KP
We rolled for the game length and got a turn 6.
Turn 6 left me with very few options. I wouldn't be able to gun down any of Andy's remaining units with the fire power I had, and I had nothing more to throw into the central combat. I had to hope Belial could kill off his Plaguebearer opponent and survive the reprisals. In my shooting phase I poured some fire into the big Plaguebearer unit, but only dropped a few.
Turning to the all important combat... yet again nothing happened! Belial failed to kill the Plaguebearers, and even Kugath failed to kill him in return.
In his turn, Andy's only significant move was to charge the last 7 man Plaguebearer unit into the combat. Belial AGAIN failed to kill his mark, and the reinforcements were enough to finally bring the Master of the Deathwing down, pushing Andy into the lead for the first time. At this point the game came to an end, denying me the chance to try and kill the one man Plaguebearer unit with shooting.
Conor: 3KP Andy: 4KP
Well this was a really close fought game, against another great opponent. Andy had a really well crafted army list and he used it excellently. I did my best to wear down his Nurgle units but they just proved too resilient for me, as they should!
In the end I did have my share of bad luck, what the Ravenwing biker being unable to navigate a bit of rubble and Belial seemingly forgetting how to use the pointy end of his Power Claws. That said, I'm not going to blame the dice for my loss, as the Terminators performed over the odds on their charge - so as usual karma balanced the game out.
It being a narrow defeat (along with some bonus tournament points) I was able to take 19 points out of a possible 30 for that game, which was probably a fair reflection of how close it was!
I hope you all enjoyed the battle report; look out for my final write up from the WPS soon, where I'll go over my last 3 games and tell you where I ended up!