Monday, 11 October 2010

Warbands League Round 1

After months of planning and countless discussions about tactics and army listing, the day of battle was finally upon us. We were playing in our home turf that is the Fantasy Shop store in the city center. I still can't believe I woke up at 10am on a Sunday to go play Warhammer. I guess it shows my dedication to (or obsession with) the hobby.

Our opponents travelled from quite far away so kudos to them for making it today. First impression I got was of a very friendly bunch of people and they seemed more like fun players rather than power gamers. We randomly decided the pairings and I got to play against the leader of the team for my first game of the day.

He was using a Chaos Space Marine army. His list seemed sub-optimal to me but I think he has a themed force. So, he had 2 Daemon Princes of Tzeentch with Warptime and Bolt, 3 x 5 Thousand Sons with Sorcerer (Bolt) inside Rhinos and 9 Obliterators. We rolled for Capture and Control with Spearhead deployment. I got my Valkyries, with the Veterans embarked, as close to the center as possible so they could Alpha Strike in the fist turn. Followed by my 2 Medusas that were interlocked with the Company Command Squad's Chimera and the Platoon Command's Squad Chimera (so they could always get a +4 cover save). My Infantry Squads hanged back in their vehicles and further back I had my Hydras ready to take on some long distance shots. On the very end of the table I deployed my Manticore behind some LoS blocking piece of terrain.

My opponent surprised me by keeping everything in reserve. I told him that I had an Officer of the Fleet but that didn't deter him from his strategy. I guess it was a good move since I was going first and I had the potential of destroying most of his army with just one round of shooting. Plus he could keep units unharmed to contest at the very last turns.

So first couple of turns I moved my vehicles around to get some better positioning and at the end of my turn two I fired all my smoke launchers. Two of his Oblits arrived on his second turn. One got near my Medusas and killed one and the other mishapped so I got to place them behind some terrain with no LOS. My turn I killed them with my Veterans plus the Vendettas. Rest of his units arrived one by one so I got to pick them off easily. Unfortunately both his Daemon Princes came down on turn 4. One got destroyed by mishap and the other landed near my objective. He shot at the Chimera with the contesting unit. It blew up and the guys inside failed their morale check and fled off the table. Great! And his last remaining troop unit arrived on turn 5 to contest his objective. If the game ended at that point I would have lost the game. Fortunately for me it went on until turn 7 so I had a chance to kill all of his remaining units. He has only one sorcerer at the end on his objective. I shot him with my Hydras and scored 3 wounds. He rolled tree "3"s and stayed alive mocking my luck. So the game ended in a draw but I had 877 Victory Points more than him and he was only one model short of being wiped out.

Part of this was due to his extremely lucky vehicle damage table rolls. Honestly I don't think he rolled less than a "4" more than twice. Bolt being AP1 helps of course but still it's absurd. Also I failed 4 Morale checks (on an "8") from units that had their vehicles destroyed while they were embarked in them. That cost me dearly since I was not on his objective at the end of the game since my units were too busy falling back. And of course these three "3" saves were like Lady Luck flipping the finger at me.

Furthermore I don't think I protected my objective much. I should have had more vehicles around it so he couldn't deep strike with his Daemon Princes near the end. There is also the issue of the Officer. I am starting to believe that his ability to disrupt the opponents reserve rolls can be a liability. Especially in Capture and Control missions. It is very easy to get a draw like this since many armies can hold a lot of units in reserve and just deep strike them near the objectives in the last turns. I might have to substitute him for something else.

My second opponent had to concede so I was left to watch Stefanos game. He played a strong match against Tau. He handled the situation very well and in the end he emerged victorious. He was definitely our MVP for the day. So in the end we had 16 points  (one wipe out, one concede, two victories and two ties) against our opponents 2 so we were victorious. All the games run very smoothly and our opponents were friendly, cool guys. I look forward playing against them again in the future.

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