Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drop pod mania!

Playing at the shop the other day I came across Mr. Jawaballs himself, a quick adjustment of the 'crons to a 2000 point list was required from my stable 1750 list and we were underway.

Dawn of War... again... Deployment and I drop everything down since deep striking is a bit of an event on this table (as you can see from the pictures the risk is immense that you'd lose a Monolith to terrain alone.) Jawaballs deploys nothing. Uh oh... I know he just accepted delivery of a veritable armada of drop pods from James... Oh, I see what you did there sir!

Hold the line!
(More after the jump)

Turn one, I stay put by and large, knowing that the onslaught is about to rain on me. Since it's Annihilation it's going to be about staying just out of range of assault while pepper shotting everything within rapid fire, hoping for the best on blast templates, and not getting run off the table. (Thanks Mr. Ward for the Ld 10!)

As expected it's the start of many drop pods... 10 to be exact. Some are in reserve, but it's a solid wall. Like a baker on cake boss the sprinkling begins, Blood Claws start emerging from the settling dust, ready to begin their march. With the drop pods all but ignoring terrain and units due to their very nature only one drop pod mishaps, giving me an instant 2 kill points... That I can handle. The other thing I can handle is that since I had tucked for cover behind terrain it's going to be a bit of a move for anything to assault me, leaving me room for a bit of retreat laterally and diagonally, while still retaining some distance.

"But Twyg!" you exclaim, "just where do you think you're going to go? You're stuck, you're about to get tabled!?" Well, normally yes, but with a seismic crucible attached to the cryptek squad with the eldrich lances assaults are reduced to a d3. Also he's carrying his Tremorstave, so hits are going to make open terrain difficult terrain for that unit, which also stacks with Writhing Worldscape. So as you can imagine my C'tan is sitting there like a jerk staring at a wall willing the table into a Writhing Worldscape. Now I have a unit of very long range nastiness that is hard to tie up in Assault, which everyone loves to do to Necrons...

Tight to the back

A well experienced player like Jawa is going to pass on the odds of losing dreads with their Blood Claws to a dangerous terrain check so he'll need as much open terrain as possible to do this. Since he's placed all his drop pods close and their ability has gotten him to the edge of difficult terrain he's got to go around his pod in some cases really reducing the armies ability to draw a straight assault line. But... if he goes over terrain, and doesn't land with his base on the area terrain then he made it? That's where I kept the units within base/coherency ranges to the terrain. In order to assault he'd either have to take that dangerous terrain check, or flank. Since I had placed all long range in the center of deployment breaking the middle would be tough, and flanking was already out of the equation since he had done a great series of rolls and placement along the table. This means that going behind the lines meant landing additional pods within a six inch gap between table edge and back of the army. That's going to require crazy rolls. Still Mr. Jawa is no joke, look how close some of those pods are from calamity on the left of this pic and on the far back edge.

As we continued the turns things went well for both of us. Jawa's Blood Claws were devastating to the scarabs. Note... do NOT assault a Blood Claw armed Dread with scarabs. The bases insta-kill, causing a bonus 3 attacks. Those then combo into additional attacks. Did he kill three bases? Sure did, that's nine additional attacks. Six bases of scarabs are not going to make it. :) Spectacular as it was, Glacius rang in my head... CCCCCcccommmbo-Breaker... Except the only combo-breaker was when they were all dead. C'est la vie, we continue. Another drop pod enters the fray, and we've got normal troops!

R'oh r'oh shaggy... (you can see one Immortal bailing already)
Time to get the monolith suck cannon prepped... But, two of the pods dropped troops far too close to the unit, so it's time for me to have the monolith deploy the immortals instead. The monolith had migrated to the center of the board making it much more survivable. The Gauss tore into his elite squad killing nearly everyone in one go along with the C'tan who used his Pyreshards to moderately good effect. Librarian didn't mess around though, he wanted some oil on that axe and so began his assault on the C'tan. He took it down "like a boss" as the kids say these days since it had already absorbed some fire before the fight. As the Librarian turned to get the immortals another volley took him down, completing one very mean unit point. There was a lot of ugly in that squad so I was glad they were out of the running. But now... that C'tan is gone, movement becomes easier...

I spy with my little eye...
Not one to miss this Jawa assaults rampant across the board, with the Blood Claws again using their abilities tearing through Necrons like aluminum foil... Reanimation protocols were the only thing keeping the army from utter destruction and kept points off the board. At the last turn Gauss finally started to really take effect causing enough glances to matter, as well as getting the Eldrich Lances to pen. Dreads started to pop, but the game wasn't meant to go another turn.

Overall tally was Blood Ravens - 6 Necrons - 5 a close game, and one that was very much enjoyed. Thanks again to Jawaballs for a good 'bout, and looking forward to the next time.

Notes for new guys like me? When drop pods are involved, think laterally in movement phases if they're in your face. Use your terrain since assaulting through cover is mean business for your opponent. Also castling doesn't have to mean a square, sometimes a staggered line alternating through cover is something that will nearly always grant you a tough time for your opponent to overcome, causing you more control of where their pods land than you think...

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