Friday, April 30, 2010

Another game, Blood Angels vs. Sisters

Tonight I was able to play against Tony's Sisters of battle in a 2500 point matchup.  We've been trying to play since I moved here, and it's never really happened.  It was a good battle though- he's a good player, and I have almost zero experience against Sisters, since so few people play them.  This won't quite be a battle report- more like a highlights segment :-p

Let me preface this by saying that the few times I've played against Sisters have been somewhat negative experiences, with players I thought at the time were cheating (but weren't), or against players who I found out later on were actually cheating.  The army itself seems like it would be surprisingly easy to cheat accidently, even.  Too many weird, jenky rules that need to be streamlined in a new codex sometime soon.

That being said, I'm glad I played Tony tonight.  He made a great effort to make it a laid back game, and we were both trying as hard as we could to learn about eachother's armies- Blood Angels are a little scary too, I guess.

So, he took a pretty robust list.  Here's what I think he had:

4x10 Sisters w/ Rhino, Flamer, Heavy Flamer
2x10 Veterans w/ Chimera, 3 Melta Guns
3x Exorcists
6 Dominions w/ 4 Meltas
10(ish?) Seraphim
Saint Celestine
Inquisitor w/ mystics (duh, lol)
Callidus Assassin

In the end, he had 10 vehicles, which is a pretty intimidating wall of armor, even if he didn't have a huge amount of ranged shooting.  3 melta-heavy squads, a bunch of bodies- seems like a reasonable build, to me, who doesn't know much about Sisters.
My gameplan (wrong though I was) was to just zoom in and kill tanks, weather a turn of shooting, and then charge the army off the board.  In short, my exact 'versus Imperial Guard' strategy.  I was wrong in many many ways.

Here's the thing- Imperial Guard has a lot of good ranged attacks, and a few good close ranged shots, but once you're in their face, it takes a shockingly few number of troops to eat a guard squad.  Not so with the sisters, as I learned today.

So, I deepstruck with Vanguards, didn't scatter much, and then charged them at a chimera with guard in it, blew it up (killing all 6 non-special ones, lol) and then they held, because they got a stubborn 9 from the Book that was close to them.  The next turn he disembarked and killed all of the Vanguards, some attack bikes, a ton of assault marines, and in general, it was quite sad.  Lots of my marines died this game, Feel No Pain almost a non-factor.  I mean, it was, but I failed it far more than 50% of the time.  Guess I need to keep that in mind.  To be fair though, we were both rolling really strangely the entire game.

In the end, I think I've learned my lesson (or even, a FEW lessons) about playing sisters:

- Sisters are an ENTIRELY different animal than Imperial Guard.  If they want to be effective, they have to come close to you, open your tank, and fry whatever's inside.  If you charge their tank, they thank you kindly for bunching up, and gently flame the shite out of you. 

- If you can assault a squad of sisters with ... just about anything... don't expect them to die anytime soon, but also don't expect them to win combat either.  Unless they decide to use faith (and they can't use it too often, since they'll run out quick), they aren't going to be able to beat you.  The thing is- you WANT them in combat, because they simply cause way too much pain at short range and NOT in combat.  11 WS3 S3 attacks is a whole lot less scary than AP1 Bolters/double flamer.  Jeeze.

- Exorcists are... interesting.  I'm not sure I'm a huge fan yet (since they can be somewhat undependable), but in Tony's army at least, they're great for opening the transports that the sisters are so good at frying the contents of.

- Seraphim are, wow.  They really rocked my face hard this game.  They don't really even throw a lot of attacks, they're just really solid.  Their good saves help them a lot, I honestly didn't think they could be as nasty as they were in reality.  Tony certainly played them well, and I'm sure that didn't hurt, but really, they were the MVPs the entire game.  Volume of attacks is most likely the surest way to kill them but still- they just don't die.  To anything.  Add Hit and Run to their list of talents (bah!), and it's a rock hard unit.  Beware the Seraphim.

We ended up calling it before the end of the 5th turn, since it was looking more and more like a draw, and in a friendly game there's nothing better than a draw.  I had a chance to win if he didn't roll a good run roll to be able to hold his objective (he was around 6-7" away from it) if the game ended on turn 5, but otherwise it was pretty much going to be a draw.  The (most) important thing is that both of us learned a bunch about the other person's army, and left happy.  My main thing I learned was to play a little more conservatively against Sisters than against guard.  If they want to be effective, Sisters need to get out of their rhinos, and once you can bait them out- you can eat them with a counter-charge.

As for Vanguard, they killed like 55 points (haha, a Chimera), for their cost of about 450 or so.  Not quite worth it this game.  I guess we'll see if they're ever worth it, but I'm remaining optimistic.  I think using them as a counter-charge unit in conjunction with my chaplain could be awesome.  Also, dropping them and 2 other squads on a flank, and threatening that flank while my 4 rhinos rush in could also be pretty solid.  It would force the opponent to spread out, and make tough decisions.

Also, I've decided I'm a fan of putting my objective as far up (with Blood Angels) as I can, since it invites people to try to get it.  People bum-rushing Blood Angels usually ends up in my favor.  That way when one squad sitting on it dies, I can get another to the objective quickly.  Seems like that would be the perfect mission for a Furioso.  Alas, I wish I had the points.

Thoughts on playing against sisters, anyone?  I've played a lot of 40k in my day, but Sisters are one of the few armies I have virtually zero experience against.  I'll be grateful for any advice you have to give, I hope my own was useful to you.  AP1 bolters... what next.  Bah!


Chumbalaya said...

Yeah, I don't see Sisters much either.

You want to keep them either in assault or outside of melta/flamer range. They have 3+ armor, but only T3 so feel free to torrent them away.

Michael said...

I've had precisely one game vs Sisters, and it went a bit better for me.

I lost lots of dudes to the close range flamers, even with FNP. Luckily Mephiston weathered the storm, and then proceeded to kill the vast majority of the opposing army, giving me the win almost single handedly. This was with the Pdf dex mind you.

But you said it all. Get them out of their transports, then ensure you get the charge on them and lock them in combat. Seraphim are different of course, but a dedicated CC unit should eat them up fairly well.

Good batrep though, thanks for the info.