Sunday, April 22, 2012

Battle Report - Brother Sergeant James faces the 'crons

Sunday brings tidings of rollin' bones over at Comic Book Heaven in White Plains, NY with a pretty steady crew. Today's bout was with Brother Sergeant James, and was for 1850 points. James is a solid player and knows his rules, and he doesn't mind chattin' with you regarding the small talk. 

James was playing around with a new concept list, so I knew this was going to be more fun, less competitive, but most of all that I'd learn a bit about different mechanics. And learnin' is just what I did. I learned all about how fast Space Marines can move across a board, and just how bad an initiative 2 is. (Though it makes for some fun picture takin'!)

James came with a lot of speed, a rhino, scouts for infiltration, Shrike with his jump pack and six other marines. A Land Raider carried a librarian and a mixed Terminator squad of thunder hammer and shield with some Lighting Claws in to take the edge off of assaults from an initiative perspective, thunder hammers swinging last as they do... A bike squad and two speeders also made an appearance. 

On my side of the table I had a slightly modified list, but nothing much different than the one that faced Jawaballs last week. The hotly debated monolith, the c'tan with pyreshards and writhing worldscape, two 10 man warrior squads with Arks, an Anny barge, a handful of scarabs with three spyders, Zahn with three eldrich lance crypteks and a tremor-cruicible cryptek. Finally a ten man of immortals with their tesla carbines made the third troop choice.
As always, Dawn of War (DoW) seriously dice Gods, seriously... Enough with this DoW now please, that's five games in a row of DoW... Whining aside, it was two objectives/bases and be on your way.

James opens with the first turn, and makes the most of the middle line deployment by dropping his rhino dead center of the board completing his two troop choice requirement and skips on the HQ. I pull Zahn out and place a squad of immortals around him, very close to the objective. A 10 man group of warriors moves onto the board. James back fills everything else save the scouts and I pull everyt hing on the board save the monolith which will come out later on using Zahn's Phased Reinforcements.

James makes quick movements into the midfield and my right of the board. His bikes make a b-line for the warrior squad in the corner as well as the ark covering them. Shrike and his boys are taking the left flank to shred up that warrior squad with the speeders and land raider coming right down the center to divide and push me out of the objective late game.

Shooting is relatively quiet from my end with only a speeder going down. James however drops one of the arks causing an explosion. Fortunately reanimation protocols return the warrior squad to normal. Shots were taken on the Immortals dropping one, but again were reanimated. Night fight rules were the main cause for such a quiet shooting phase.

Turn two brings the scouts in on the far left side of the board, right on top of James' base, and Zahn's Phased Reinforcements kick off. I choose to drop the monolith approx seven inches left of a speeder, and luckily roll the arrow and dice to have a six inch scatter towards the speeder. While it's not good, it's also not a mishap so there's still a bit of hope. Of course James knew he'd be up against some Necron vehicles so he had his multi-meltas equipped on everything he could.

But before we shoot James tries to get his Land Raider closer to deliver these gents right to my doorstep. Unfortunately he'll need to move over the speeder wreck causing not only a difficult terrain check, but due to the writhing worldscape a dangerous terrain check. His roll of a one and the resulting Immobilization mean it's time to disembark. Perhaps a bit further than he wanted, but there's still some nastiness rolling my way with 2+ saves...

The shooting phase is fairly unremarkable but the aforementioned multi-meltas on everything? Well that took care of the monolith in one great set of rolls. 14 armor is neat and all, until you're within 6" of a melta gun... I begin my movement getting my C'tan in range of the bikes coming up quick, and get my annihilation barge shooting at Shrike, who I'm not interested in tangling with, Initiative 2 is bad news with him. I succeed in picking off one of the jump squad, but not enough to do anything meaningful to Shrike.

Turn three brings more of James' army into my space, and shooting begins to take a toll when reanimation protocols start to fail, but that's the least of my trouble since now he's well within assault range. The Immortals and Zahndrahk now face the squad of terminators, not good. The Immortals take serious damage from the lightning claws, and with the 2+ saves my assaults are less than impressive. Z gets a few good shots in taking one down, but there's some thunder hammers a swingin' and take out a few more. With combat lost so severely leadership is hard to make, and my roll of an 11 definitively fails my ability to stick around. And right off the board they go. :)

Still, not everything is lost, I've got a C'tan still in range of the termies and one more warrior squad. I mean, all they've got to get through is a bunch of bikers... pshaw... easy... Of course that's atrocious and they get run off the board too.

Turn Four I've still got some things left to do. I don't think I'll be able to make the game a draw since my warriors are getting threatened by Shrike, even though at this point he's down to just him with all his brothers in arms down, and because I'd have to get through the Termies. But I can at least I can stymie a complete shut out by disallowing those tactical troops that jumped out of the rhino their ability to score.

I decide to have the Spyders lose their ability to spawn more scarab bases and jump the scarabs onto the Rhino. Hoping for an explosion, but only netting a wreck I at least killed something. Kill points it's not, but it's still fun to send scarabs in to blow s--- up. Shots from the annihilation barge tear up the tactical squad, but a saved morale check keeps them in place.

So, remember Shrike? and those Warriors he was sneaking up on? Well, turn five has him sneaking up alright. He gets into range, and prepares to launch his attack.

Those terminators that ripped apart the Immortals have been staring at the C'tan and taking quite a bit of fire from him. Now it's time to get into hand to hand. And the assaults begin... The C'tan lays into the terminators and librarian, destroying the librarian, but still has three terminators to go. The terminators only wound the c'tan, but fail to bring it down.

Shrike gets into it with the Warrior squad, and the results are spectacular. From this turn and my next turn the results are not good... Well for the Necrons at least.

Fall down go boom.
So, while I did take a loss, I learned that Space Marines can get across the board very quickly, especially when DoW comes into effect. There's only so much you can do against Fleet, a lightning claw/thunder hammer spread and the undeniably good saves of terminator armor. I do have to be a little more aggressive in some areas, and stop hugging the back of the board.

In the end though, another good game under the belt and a solid player to play against.


  1. @BSJ, I know, it's so cute! My 2nd comment. I've already printed and framed it for my man cave wall. :)

  2. Ugh....the cheese that is taking Shrike with something he'd never be found with, terminators. Totally unfluff