Thursday, March 02, 2006

Battle Report - Black Storm Versus Ultramarines

Battle report pictures here. Start at the bottom and work up to get the correct chronological order, and I added descriptions to all of the pictures too.

Derek and I had a 4000 pt game that was a long overdue rematch from GMX in which I lost when my bikes failed to activate on a 2+ roll at the end of turn 3. I was looking for revenge!

Knowing I was expecting a drop pod army from a Battle Barge, Derek went a different direction and took an almost completely ground mechanized force. Only one tactical and one Devestator formation, and about 10 (!) Land Raiders in three formations. Unfortunately for Derek, my army only had 8 predators and two deathwheels so a lot of his firepower wasn't going to be telling, and he might have a little trouble with my 55+ stands of infantry.

The battle was pretty intense. Derek drove hard and fast for my side of the board while I played Mr Cautious with my formations, prefering to let Derek commit first. On the far west I easily turned back the lone Bike formation he sent at me but in the east my predators and deathwheels were not too effective in the early going and an assault by the bikes against his tactical totally fizzled. I was getting nervous in the middle where his large devstator formation (attached Land Raiders and Razorbacks) was advancing supported by a Land Raider formation.

Turn 2 saw my terminators arrive and land on either side of the two Whirlwind formations. Derek got the initiative and broke one formation, but that allowed me to use the other terminator formation to attack and destory his second whirlwind detachment. Feeling threatened he reversed direction with the central land raider formation and pulled it back to attack the rallied terminators in turn 3. Unfortuately for him his attack failed to kill any terminators and the counter engage activation on my turn saw me defeat and destroy his tanks.

This left his large Devestator formation alone in the middle of the board, and I quickly jumped on the miscue. One undamaged tactical formation moved up behind it and laid some blast markers on it while the other engaged the following turn. The combined firepower of the 16 Chaos Marines and 8 rhinos proved telling, reducing the Loyalists down to three units and broken. The devs ran and failed to rally for turn 3, allowing me to turn the deathwheels on them and destroy them to earn the Break Their Spirit goal. Combined with taking two objectives for Take and Hold this allowed me to win at the end of turn 3.

Derek made two vital mistakes (and neither of them was not taking thunderhawks or terminators IMHO): the first was having so many land raiders and not enough tacticals. Two twinlinked lascannons and 4+ RA save is wicked, but my army is almost never going to have enough vehciles and warengines to justify that expenditure. The second was pulling the Land Raider formation in the middle back to attack the Terminators. Not only did it leave the formation away from any objectives for either side for conttrolling or contesting, it left exposed the valuable Devstator formation to attack and ultimately destruction.

Derek played a mostly solid game otherwise and had me crapping my pants the whole time until late in turn 2 when I broke the Devs and then they failed to rally. At that point it became a mere question of whether I could get two goals to win or not. While Derek's army selection was not ideal when facing my infantry hordes, it was solid and had he concentrated his advance together more in one prong in the centre or side-centre instead of two, it may have worked.

Good game allround! Look out Al, I'm gunning for you...

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