Friday, June 15, 2007

Red Tide met the Dark Green Tidebreaker

I knew the game against Brent (Ezekiel) was going to be tough, but this has got to have been one of the toughest games I've played in a long time.

1700 pts, Take and Hold.

Farseer with 5 Scorpions (Exarch) in Uber Falcon
10 Scorpions in Wave Serpent
10 Guardians and warlock in Wave Serpent
6 Jetbikes
5 Pathfinders
5 Warpspiders
2 Vypers
5 Dark Reapers

Dark Angels
Librarian with 7 bodyguards in Drop pod
2 x Tactical squads broken into 5 man combat squads, one with Razorback
3 Ravenwing bikes
1 Attackbike
5 Assault Marines
Dev squad with 4 missile launchers broken into two combat squads
Dev squad with 2 MLs, 2 plasma cannons broken into two combat squads

The game started like many other for me. Dark Reapers and Pathfinders deployed in cover in the centre facing off against most of the enemy army, while the "Red Tide" deployed to go around one flank. Brent had his army setup to shoot shoot and shoot some more, with the bikes going on the opposite flank.

First turn he nails a vyper and eliminates the dark reapers, but no huge surprise there. I begin my flanking maneuver. On turn two his bikes move up to threaten the Pathfinders and I decide to pull the Falcon carrying the scorps and farseer over to deal with them. I killed two, but the last pulled a Johnny Blaze up the side of a two story building and flamed the surviving rangers to death. I did get him next turn though. No bike shall survive.

On the flank I was advancing on, turn 2 saw Brent drop his pod in my way. Big juicy command squad? Yes please! I warp the spiders in on my turn and bring everything to bear on that command squad: Warp Spiders, Jetbikes, Guardians, vyper, and wave serpents. Slowly but surely the weight of firepower told the difference and it was whittled down to the lone Librarian and the brightlance on my wave serpent. I shot, hit, wounded, and he prepared to roll for his psychic power force field save. Instead of have an iron halo, he gets an invulnerable save if he passes a psychic test on his LD 10. "Psychic test?!!? Enter Runes of Warding! Use three D6 and add them together for your test. Oh look! It adds up to 12. Too bad." Yes I am evil.

On his turn three he advanced a combat squad and the assault marines to deal with the rushing Red Tide. Two missiles into the read of the wave serpent only stunned it, and shooting fell two warp spiders but the other three stood firm. The Guardians got shot by the assault marines "to soften them up" but being pretty soft already they failed their break test and ran. So here I was faced with 10 regular marines and I was only the guardians and 2 warp spiders short. Rubbing my hands in glee I moved in the 10 man scorp squad and opened fire with everything again.

And killed two marines. WTF?! Last turn I killed 8 marines including a Librarian but this turn only two noname marines? Well, maybe the powerblades of the warp spider exarch will even things up a little. Charge, four attacks, whiff.

Brent took advantage of the turn of events and proceeded to make me pay. The assault marines shot and broke the Scorpion squad, which took a whirlwind blast on the way out and failed four 3+ armour saves to put the unit below half. The jetbikes and warp spiders could not kill marines for the life of them and eventually managed to do it long after it mattered and both jetbikes and spiders were dead. Guardians never rallied. The Red Tide was in tatters except for the wave serpents who enjoyed a damageless game.

Things were looking bleak but on the last turn the Falcon swooped in with its cargo that never exited the vehicle and claimed enough VPs to push my total into range to tie the Dark Angels.

This was a game of weird dice rolls and momentum swings. I failed a lot of unmodified leadership tests: Pathfinders, Guardians twice, Scorpions... each one was harder to accept than the last. While Brent had bad rolling for armour on the Command Squad, the Assault Marines were blessed making something like 6-8 armour saves. My armour was on and off too. The Jetbikes appeared invincible early on but the scorpions failed far too many. Brent rolled 4 or 5 difficult terrain tests for bikes and assault marines? Failed 3.

In the end I guess they all balanced out and it came down to who executed their strategy best. Brent's massive firepower held the centre of the board for the most part while my fast flank chewed up enough of his army to keep it close enough for the Falcon to swoop in with the scorpions and secure 277 vps to tie the game.

Awesome game, and we'll have to have a rematch someday.

The streak continues at 12 games.

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