Game 1 vs No Bueno (Tyranids / Imperial Guard)
Primary Mission – Kill Points
Secondary Mission – Five Objectives
Deployment – Hammer and Anvil
Teaming with Dano, we were facing a Tyranid and Guard pairing (a positively fluffy combination compared to the team of Grey Knight and Chaos Space Marines our other team members were playing against). The opposition force featured a unit of two Carnifexes, unit of Tyranid Warriors with a Prime, two Zoanthropes, two Hive Guard two big squads of Homogants and Termagants. For the Guard element there were two Manticores, two vendettas and two units of Veteran in Chimera.
Normally Manticores are a high priority target in games. Otherwise they can rain death on armies. However with our force there wasn’t any key targets, which the loss of would cause us issues and we decided to just grin and bare their bombardment. Given the primary mission the majority of the units chose to not combat squad, this meant that in their first turn our opponents couldn’t pick up a first blood kill as the Tyranids were a mostly close combat or short ranged army and the Manticore bombardment only resulted in a couple of dead Marines from different squads. The rest of the army advanced forward with the two large gaunt squads on the flanks with a Chimera and the rest of the Tyranids in the centre behind the Carnifexes. In our turn our primary aim was to get first blood. I opted to target the large Homogaunt unit which was coming down my flank. I jumped my assault unit forward and mange to kill over half the unit with the flamers and bolt pistols. Then followed the volley fire from the two and a half tactical squads at the front of my deployment zone. As the dust settled a single Homogant was left alive, damn! Looking over to Dano it became clear he’d had a terrible turn of dice rolls. Four missile launchers, two Las-Cannons and a conversion beamer had failed to crack open a Chimera, leaving his assault squad with no option but to charge the vehicle itself. Not wanting to leave first blood to change my Devastators squared up on the last Homogant and the plucky little Tyranid’s victory disappeared as four Las-Cannons vaporised him.
The arrival of the Vendettas in turn two also marked another point where the army’s composition meant a different tactic. Normally Vendetta are an issue as they’ll target high value units and kill them. For us it meant the loss of four to five Space Marine, we’ve got another 95 left. So they didn’t attract the attention they often did. What was worrying was the two Carnifexs heading toward the centre objective and out battle lines. Dano and I were taking a rather relaxed attitude to the attrition we were suffering amongst our troops. Sure we were losing a half dozen Marines to the Manticore and Vendettas but it really wasn’t reducing our effectiveness.
The Carnifes, having crushed one of my tactical squads and Librarian in close combat came under fire from almost every Marine on the board and after displaying a remarkable degree of resilience only died to the final shots from the last tactical squad. The las-cannon armed devastators vaporised the Zoanthropes opening up a large hole in the Synapse web the Tyranids were using to control their forces.
The loss of the Zoanthropes had an immediate affect, the large unit of Termagants that was stationed on an objective in their deployment zone broke and ran, but unfortunately not off the table. The Vendattas advanced and killed a few more marines, but in our firing phase were shot down by all out heavy and special weapons snap firing (and the odd thrown grenade).
In the end it was pretty much a slaughter. Dano's assault marines made it all the way to the back of the board where the Manticore and platoon HQ were hiding and managed to blow up one before being taken out. By the end we were firmly in control of three of the objectives and well ahead on kill points as Dano had hardly lost any whole squads, whilst we'd wiped out most of our opponents.
Game 2 vs Ragnarok (Space Wolves / Grey Knights)
Primary Mission – Allied Table Quarters (scoring unit from both players to control a table quarter)
Secondary Mission – Victory Points
Deployment – Vangaurd Strike
Teaming with Lee this time and taking on a power armour wearing opponent, but like lightweights they'd brought tanks and planes to a man fight, sheesh ;)
The army consisted of two units of Grey Knights, Storm Raven and a unit of Terminators. The Grey Wolves brought a large unit of Bloodclaws in a Landraider led by a Wolf Priest, a smaller unit of Grey Hunters in a Rhino and some Lang Fangs.
I made a mistake here, I deployed my Librarian. With hindsight I should have kept him off board with the Assault Marines, why? because it was obvious what the target of the mindstrike missile on the Stormraven would be if he was on the board. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it. We responded by digging the majority of our heavy weapons into the opposite corner. We piled a few Tactical squads in front of the assaulting Wolves but kept a number of our tactical combat squads in reserve along with the assault marines.
Ragnarok's first turn was pretty standard, all the vehicles advanced, the Rhino popped its smoke launchers while the Landraider and Long Fangs popped off some long range shots, but with little noticeable affect. Our return fire had one stand out point, my missile launcher from my Tactical Squad reached out and touched the Rhino, blowing it up. This not only scored us first blood but also stalled the advance a little. The Missile Launcher would make another star appearance in game four, but more on that later.
At this point it became clear that victory was in our hand, with only one Grey Knight scoring unit alive it was impossible for Ragmarok to hold any table quarters, whilst due to our combat squad'ing a number of our Tactical squads we still had plenty, but our casualties were actually relatively light so we were winning on VPs too. Sure enough at the end of turn five the game ended and we'd beaten the alliance of Wolf and Knight and marched into round three with three out of four wins, but had we risen too high?