We were facing Northern Ireland. Both teams near the bottom of the rank. My captain had the marvellous idea to nominate me second and without hesitation the Irish pitched me against the Imperial Guard. Another captain for me, Jonny Fisher or Jonny65.
|Jonny Fisher, aka Jonny65, the captain of team Northern Iron.|
Jonny had the anti-list for my list. He had a company command Squad with 4 palsmaguns, astropath and Officer of the fleet in chimera. 9 psykers in chimera, 2 veteran units with meltas, one platton wth command squad and two infantry squads with autocannon, meltagun, one with commissar. 3 vendettas, 2+2 hydras and a Manticore.
Deployment: Pitched battle. Primary objective: Capture & control. Secondary objective: Annihilation.
I won the roll and go first! That was the only game out of six I won the dice. Later, Jony told me that he managed to loose all the initial dice rolls. 6 out of 6! Even worse than me! I would like to meet one of the lucky ones who wone the dice roll six times.
I place the base objective on my right, behind a rock, not visible to him.
He placed his on the opposite corner. I later realised that the whole NI team placed the marker on the corner.
I deploy away of my base, on my left. I used a huge LoS blocking ruin to hide two ravagers near the right side. I left one unit of wyches on my base. Their raider was deployed separately and empty on the left giving cover to the others. I had no strategy for doing that just wanted to mess up his deployement. I think it worked. He did exactly the same. He deployed on his left- my right! Leaving his base empty. On a different not, Jonny did the longest deployment I have ever seen, almost 20 minutes.
The same dilemma as always in these cases: should I go with all the wyches on his face or split the force and go for the base. I choose the second, I do not know why. It just seemed right at that point. I am sure Jonny thought I had a secret plan. There was none.
Movement and shooting. I break a weapon on a vendetta, stun a second and stun a chimera. The beasts had serious trouble moving with all that terrain near the centre. Two raiders wth wyches flat out to the opponent’s front, one goes to the opponents base.
Jonny moves a little and shoot. Down goes the two raiders, the empty one stays immobilised. One ravager down or immobilised (can’t remember)
Move the raider on the left to his base. Shoot down a Vendetta, stun the other. Assault the other vendetta and stun it as well. The beast get real close to the two chimeras.
His shooting on that turn was bellow expectation. The Manticore fail to do anything (thank God), one ravager gets weapon destroyed and the other nothing. One unit of wyches gets decimated, with only 3 left. The hydras shoot the beast, two dead.
I move on, wreck the second vendetta. The remaining raider, on the left, the one on his base, empty the squad and move 12 closer to shoot the chimera that screen the hydras.
The beasts get to the closest chimera and wreck it. The wyches assault again the vendetta and wreck it. His front is blocked and he has only one vendetta still flying. I go for her with the two ravagers, nothing. The left raider wrecks a hydra. He shoots the beasts with the manticore and everything else (hydras, flamers etc). They had weaken resolve and they break, never to return. That was the crusial blow, loosing the beasts so early. One heamy somewhere on middle of the field gets it from a heavy weapon and dies.
I assault and kill the vets from the fallen vendetta, my second wych unit near the centre goes for the last remaining chimera they do nothing. The ravagers destroy a weapon – a multilaser on a chimera. The heroic raider on the left shakes the closest hydra. There was not much I could do at that point. His turn. He moves the last vendetta a bit and place it so that he can shoot my ravager on the right. The Manticore wrecks a unit of wyches, leaving only two. Another one dies from shooting from the platoon command squad. The hekatrix stands its ground and stays defiant in front of the last mobile chimera. The other wych unit is weaken resolved and breaks from shooting. Now both beasts and wyches run. He blown up the immobile raider near the centre. I have nothing left on the centre. Rearrange the two units of wyches holding the two bases so that I would get minimal damage from the manticore. He shots the one on his deployement and they get 6 wounds, they break (with 10) and fall back.
I move the ravager to block my base. Some shooting from the other ravager does nothing. The remaining raider missed. He tank shocked the last hekatrix with the chimera. I pass morale, death or glory, weapon destroyed but the heroic hecatrix is mashed under his chimera. The last raider goes down from the hydras. The ravagers stay!
At this point I am winning the primary.
I seriously rearenge the last wych unit and the heamy to hold the base. The ravager blocking the path to my base shoots down the last Vendetta 8’’ away!! The Vets pass their morale and pinning (That is the point I wanted some help from the Dice Gods. I got none).
His turn. The manticore gets 4 rounds on my wyches on my base. Yet he misses them horribly! The ravager near my objective gets a weapon destroyed from the platoon autocannons with ‘bring it down’ . The Vets shoot and assault it. They cannot harm it but they get 2.5’’ from my base. Jonny steals my primary. 4-4. He has the secondary 4-0. we split the vps. 12 – 8.
(Jonny remembers we played 4 rounds but my notes say there were at least 5. Maybe he is right but the sequence of events is as I describe it here, so what is a turn more or less?)
Thoughts. I almost believed I could pull this one through, even against an IG list. Jonny believes I was wrong, splitting my forces. Maybe he is right. However it is possible that, should I have thrown all the force on his front, they would have been eradicated and there would have been no-one holding the bases. I do not know...
Jonny wrote me that he placed his force as far away as he could to avoid fast contact with the beasts and the girls (chicken!). I agree on that. But I cannot see why not holding his base. It would have been impossible for me to smash my way thought all those vehicles and bodies. He was more than pleased with the match up and it is logical, sporting the anti-list for my list. He said he would have an easier go on a venom spam. I believe that. My list is quite resilient against IG. Skimmers do not play the first role. It is all about assault. Jonny said that my captain should have never put me in front especially with the IG still at large. He was absolutely right, we all know that. But it happened.
There was an instance that momentarily – but only momentarily- clouded the atmosphere of the game.At round 4, Jonny asked me if I was playing slower on purpose. He even told off the famous Woody when he came along to ask me how I am doing! That was really strange, since from the 2 hours and 40 minutes of game I spend around 45 minutes and he got the lion’s share with almost 2 hours.
After the game we discussed about it and he said that he felt he should say that cause I was looking the clock and that he met players doing that. I explained that I was looking the clock to determine how many rounds were left. Explanations were given and I was satisfied to see that it was the pressure of the tournament that caused that incident. We both reconed that an assaulting army with 7-8 units left cannot stall against a massive IG force that had 70+ rounds of shooting per turn... Jonny gave me 2 lucky dice and recognised that I was very honest when measuring distances and rolling the dice, not ‘accidentally’ picking up twos and aces (as all my opponents pointed out, I am proud to admit). And I can say that he was as honest as any. All in all, I enjoyed the game and I am looking forward seeing Jonny and his mates next year.