Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekly Battle Report #9: Salamanders vs. Triple-Raider Blood Angels

Hey there good folks!  How's the day?  Figured since the semester is starting up finally, I'd kick the 'weekly' battle reports off again.  Today brings my (rather mediocre thus far) Salamanders against my pal Eric, who ran Tau against me in a couple previous battle reports (click on the battle reports log link in the upper right of the blog to find them) and with split results against each other.  This time he was playing around with Blood Angels, testing out an AV 13/14 wall.  Click on to see the action!
So, here are the lists:

1850 Salamanders

Librarian w/ Null Zone/Avenger

10x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-flamer, Missile Launcher, Rhino
10x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-flamer, Missile Launcher, HB Razorback
10x Tactical Marines w/ Melta, Combi-melta, Multi-melta, Power Fist, Rhino

Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod
5x Terminators w/ 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield

2x Attack Bikes w/ Multi-Meltas
2x Speeders w/ Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer
1x Speeder w/ Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Raider Redeemer w/ Multi-melta, Extra Armor

1850 Blood Angels (from memory):

Librarian w/ Shield, Unleash Rage

10x Assault Marines w/o Jump Packs, 2x Melta, Power Fist
10x Assault Marines w/o Jump Packs, 2x Melta, Power Fist
5x Assault Marines w/o Jump Packs, 1x Melta, Power Fist?

Sanguinary Priest

Land Raider Redeemer w/ Multi-Melta, Extra Armor
Land Raider Redeemer w/ Multi-Melta, Extra Armor
Land Raider (Godhammer) w/ Multi-Melta, Extra Armor

(guess most of those, if not all, were actually dedicated transports)

Predator w/ 2x Las Cannons, Auto-Cannon
Predator w/ 2x Las Cannons, Auto-Cannon

Baal Predator w/ Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons

So... 3 AV13, 3 AV14 tanks.  Perfect for my melta-spam Salamanders, right?  Heh... we'll see.

Our mission was 5 objectives, scattered around, with standard deployment.  The  objectives were all red poker chips, as you can see.

We rolled for who went first, and I failed it (again).  This makes it 4/4 times that I have failed to gain the choice for first turn.  Heh, let's see how long we can keep this streak rolling :)

I declined trying to steal the initiative, since when I play 'friendly' practice games, it's usually best to find out what would really happen in a game, provided you didn't steal.  Here are the deployments.  Notice that I'm hiding from him, until my meltas can come into play.  He didn't have a lot of range, so I decided to hang back until my speeders could come in and do something to him.

This is actually a pretty fail deployment by myself.   The missile launchers in the tac squads won't do anything against his list- I should have either reserved them to walk onto objectives later in the game, or simply stuck them into the rhinos with the other tacticals.

Blood Angels Turn 1:

Eric started out shooting at my combat squad on the hill, and entirely destroyed it, after a bit of bad saving by myself.  He then shot at and immobilized my single melta rhino- you'll see the dice marking it in a minute.

It's another fail of my own, putting the one melta rhino where it can be seen, and also in not putting it where it could actually present a threat next turn, when supported by the rest of my units.  Like I said, very poor deployment on my part.

Salamanders Turn 1:

My Drop Pod came in, and I decided to go for the 'lone wolf'- his predator away from the rest of his force.  I figured that then the Dread could come to support the speeders eventually, and threaten objectives.  Otherwise, my guys generally moved up.  You can see I was a little hesitant on what to do with my flamer rhino/razorback- not a whole lot they can do to the raiders.  Kind of list building fail on my part- they should just have Multi-meltas, so they can threaten both.  I'll address that later in time- I'm working on a better list :-p

The Attack Bikes turboed over somewhere.  Another deployment fail by me, putting them where they couldn't really go anywhere to put pressure on the Raiders that turn.

Shooting was sad, because I only had my dreadnought in range of anything, who missed the pred.  The missile launcher guy maybe glanced a pred though?  I don't quite remember- but I think he ended up doing that either this turn or next.  Heh.

See, my Land Raider is reluctant to get into the fray as well, apparently.  He out-Land Raiders me 3-1, lol.  Notice that I also failed to get my guys out of their immobilized ride that turn.  Serious fail by myself.

Blood Angels Turn 2:

Eric saw no reason to approach me at Melta range.  Instead, he played it smart- he just backed up slightly, and shot.

His shooting was good- he killed both attack bikes, and immobilized my Librarian's Rhino.  His lone pred shook my Dread, but failed to stun or destroy it.  Woot.

You'll notice he's using rhinos as proxies for his predators.  It's not a problem with me- as long as the size is correct, which it is (rhino chassis), people should be able to play test games like this if they want.  At least, I think so, lol.
Salamanders Turn 2:

A lone speeder came in, deepstriking near enough to shoot a Raider.  Vulkan and company moved up too, leaving behind the Librarian's Rhino.  The Melta Squad finally came to their senses, and moved up out of their immobilized rhino onto the hill where they might actually accomplish something.  The dread, who couldn't shoot, advanced inexorably toward his predator.

In shooting, my speeder hits a raider, pens it, and his libby casts shield.  I rolled a 5 to block it with my own libby- he rolled a 6 for it to go off, and then a 6 for his cover save!  This was but a foretaste of things to come.  You'll see.  Other shooting did nothing.

The Dread closed with the pred, and beats it into a pulp.  Yay dreadnought, you finally did something besides suck :)

At this point, I really don't have a gameplan.  That's part of my list's fail- it doesn't really take enough advantage of Vulkan, and against any army with greater range and high armor, it really struggles.
Blood Angels Turn 3:

So, more of the same, really.  He continued to refuse to commit.

He shot and wrecked Vulkan's ride.  He shot and wrecked my lone speeder.  He also shot and wrecked my Dreadnought.  And that was it.

This attrition thing is wearing me down slowly.  I have less and less options.  Still, I at least have a favorable field position to the objectives.  At this point, I just need to take advantage of going 2nd in the game, since most of my melta theat is about gone.
Salamanders Turn 3:

My squadron of two speeders came in, ready to melta his outside Land Raider.  My Land Raider at this point had gotten tired of just sitting there doing nothing, and so moved up to melta his predator.  Vulkan and crew just shifted around.  My combat squad in the far right tower began their descent, since a single S8 shot is useless against his AV13/14.

Speeders ended up hitting once, penning once, and so he rolled his psychic power for shield.  I rolled a 5 to hood his power, he rolled a 6 for it to go off and... then another 6 to save!  Twice in a row, that exact sequence!  Not my game this time, apparently :-p  And then my Land Raider maybe ended up immobilizing or shaking his pred, but nothing too serious.  The rest of the game is getting pretty serious now.

At least I sort of control a couple of objectives here.  He's going to have to commit sometime if he doesn't want a draw.
Blood Angels Turn 4:

He decided to commit a single Land Raider, who promptly rolls up, shot a single melta shot, and  wrecked my Land Raider.  Lol, his melta is better than mine this game :)  Other shooting involved killing my two other speeders, and shooting some of my (thus far useless) melta squad.

Oh single Land Raiders, how you fail.
Salamanders Turn 4:

At this point, I've come to the realization that I can't really kill all of his stuff, or even most of it.  So, I'm going to have to be devious or something.  Try to force him to making mistakes and such.  So, I just kinda shuffled my guys around.

A single ray of light- my rhino in the back remobilzed itself!

Otherwise, my turn was over.  Pretty dismal affair, really.  No picture this turn either, I guess.

Blood Angels Turn 5:

Now was his time to commit, apparently.  He moved his other redeemer up and got ready to redeemer cannon my melta squad up, and also Vulkan's squad hiding behind their destroyed rhino.

His shooting was good, killing slews of Marines.  You'll see the pictures that back this up :-p  But he didn't kill them all, by a long shot.  Vulkan's squad had a couple left, and the melta squad had a couple as well.

See, his Godhammer Raider is sitting on an objective in the back.  Pansy :-p
Salamanders Turn 5:

I knew that we were playing to turn 6, so I had another couple turns.  And I saw my window.  I could draw this game, or even win it, if I did things right.  Note that at this point, I had killed a single model:  his predator.  Nothing else was even scratched (well, maybe his other pred... but nothing else).

I moved my Termies into their sneaky position, and moved Vulkan away from his Raider.  The idea was to keep him from charging Vulkan and the Librarian, because he would then be out of position to hold the objective nearby.  I'll give a recap of where the objectives were when the picture comes up.

The remobilized rhino 'zoomed' up 6" and the melta squad jumped in.  They lined up a shot at the closest raider, hit, penetrated and then... his librarian rolled for his power, and got it.  I rolled a 5 to hood it away, he rolled a 6 to keep it in play, and then rolled another 6 for his cover save!  Again... 3 times in a row, the exact same sequence.  Sigh... should have known better.  In a tournament against a random dude, I'd think he was cheating, no doubt about it.  Eric doesn't cheat though- he was just rolling ridiculously well :-p

In assault, the assault termies assaulted his Land Raider, for the full 6".  This was just another part of my diabolical scheme...

So, there's the obvious two red ones here at the bottom.  There's an objective on the other side of my wrecked Raider, a blue objective on the hill next to his immobilized predator, and the 5th one is under his grey Raider in the very back.
Blood Angels Turn 6:

He moved up, and contested the objective near Vulkan.  He kept his marines all in their rides.  Lots of shooting brought down my Rhino and the two poor marines who were with it.  In fact, I think the explosion killed them both.  sigh.

He also drove a predator onto his objective on the hill, and spread out his 5-man assault squad to hold both of his objectives there.  No matter- he ignored my Termies.

And that was it for him.  My turn to try and turn this thing around.

So at this point, he controls a lot of objectives (4), and I only control one.  We'll see what I can do about that :-)

Here are these two objectives.

The pred is on top of one, so he controls these as well.

I control a measly single objective.  Wooo

Salamanders Turn 6:

Well, all hope for actually winning went out the window with the destruction of the rhino and the two guys inside.  But I could still draw the game.

I don't think he remembered that I still had guys inside my immobilized Razorback near the objective.  I got them out though, and moved them up to contest one of his objectives.  Vulkan and Co. moved toward another objective, ready to charge his Land Raider, in order to contest another one.

The Terminators moved up toward his back hill objective.  And then...

I charged with everything.  Vulkan charged his Land Raider, and reached contesting range of one.  The Termies charged his immobilized Predator, and killed it, but also reached contesting range of his objective on the hill.  And the forgotton combat squad got out and contested another.

Here's what the board looked like at the end:

So, he controls one here.

I control one here.

I contested both here.
So, that was it.  Tied Game, 1-1

He admitted he had forgotten about the squad in the razorback.  So we went back and he showed me what he would have done, rolling the dice to try and pop it, but the guys inside would have still ended up being able to contest it, we discovered.

So, I killed two predators for a total of like 270 points.  He killed almost my entire army.  But I still somehow pulled a draw out.  It all goes to show that if you pay attention to the scenario, lots of times you still have a chance.  At least, in scenario games :-)

My deployment was a pretty big fail to start with, and I need to get better at it.  There were a few mistakes in moving/not moving squads around here and there that were fails.  But overall, I like how I played the game, and was able to figure it out toward the end.  Eric was rolling out of his mind, and I was rolling pretty terribly (like... really, really bad).

Feel free to chime in, Eric, if you end up reading this.  Thanks for the game- it was certainly a learning experience for me.  We should play more games at midnight :)

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Comments?


Commander_Vimes said...

I think I played this game mostly right. I had vastly superior shooting at 24" so I tried to stay at range and whittle down the Salamanders' melta as much as I could before committing. That plan worked out quite well. My rolling for Shield of Sanguinius was awesome, but even without that I think I'd have had Land Raiders mobile at the end.

This was only the second time I had played the list, and I haven't had a chance to play it since. That showed on the last turn when I tried to take the objectives. I'm used to my Tau and Guard where my Troops need to stay in their transports to take objectives. I'm not used to having tough Marines to take objectives with.

I should have disembarked the two big assault squads to surround the objectives. I could easily have made a circle so I would have been within 3" while any assaulters would not have. I just didn't think to do it.

But that's why I've been trying out some Marine lists borrowing models my brother was kind enough to lend me. I makes me play in a style I'm not familiar with. I find myself in situations like the final turns of this game that I would never encounter with my slow and shooty Tau and Guard armies. An experience to learn from.

Adam played very smart to pull out a draw that I didn't see coming.

Xaereth said...

Yeah, I was pretty outmatched this game. I need a better list, and learn how to deploy my armies better- I've always deployed a bit shoddily.

I was lucky that it was multiple objectives- maybe we could have drawn on bases, but definitely not on kill points or victory points.

I'm just glad I was able to realize I was outmatched- when you realize you're going to get curbstomped in one area, you gotta start doing something else in order to win.

Eric played it right though- Salamanders need to be close to hurt ya :-p

Nikephoros said...

1. I just wanted to say I really enjoy your bat reps. The way you write makes it easy to visualize whats happening and the pictures actually help me. I need to learn to do this myself.

2. I don't think your list is that bad. This goes back to a "who is the gun line" issue. You were the beatdown list in this match up, but you played like the gunline. In this particular match up you should have been aggressive and in his fast as fast as possible and utilize the flamers/melta death. Plus you have a CC superiority to capitalize on. It seems like you tried to sit back and outshoot him, which wasn't going to work out well.

Xaereth said...

Heh, I just noticed your comment, Nike. Glad you like the reports, they're probably the thing I personally learn best from, which is why I like doing them of my own games, so people can see my fail :)

As to the list- I think I need to make some tweaks, and eventually revamp the whole thing. I just need more melta in the list, basically. Maybe it seems like there is a lot, but there really isn't.

My first tweak will be to take out the useless dread, and add 3 more attack bikes. Then for 2000 points, I'll add another 3 more attack bikes, lol. They're just too good to not take with Vulkan.