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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vassal Battle Report: Grey Knights vs Blood Angel Jumpers (Bloodhammer)

So GWvsJohn decided to play a game in practice for the Vassal league. I decided to play him because it's my day off and I need more practice with my GK (do I ever)! We rolled up regular BRB missions since that is what is being used in my next couple of tournaments + the Ladder and got C&C + Dawn of War. We laughed as I predicted this and so went with Seize Ground + Dawn of War with 4 objectives. The objectives all ended up placed on one side and that is where the game was fought.

I won the roll-of and gave GWvsJohn the first turn. This allows him to be more aggressive but lets me have more options for objective taking near end game and I was confident in my ability to slow his ASM advanve with my tanks. The lists were as follows:

Blood Angels

125 Librarian - Jump Pack, Sanguine Sword, Shield of Sanguinous
230 Sanguinary Priest x3 - Jump Pack, Power Sword x2
210 5 Sanguinary Guard - power fist
235 10 Assault Marines - meltagun x2, power fist
235 10 Assault Marines - meltagun x2, power fist
225 10 Assault Marines - meltagun x2, power sword
50 Attack Bike - multi-melta
50 Attack Bike - multi-melta
130 5 Devs - ML x4
130 5 Devs - ML x4
130 5 Devs - ML x4

Grey Knights

Xenos Inquisitor w/Rad and Psykotroke Grenades
5x Death Cult Assasins, Razorback w/Psybolt Ammo
2x5x Purifiers w/Hammer, 2x Psycannons, Razorback w/Psybolt Ammo
10x GKSS w/2x psycannon, MC hammer, psybolt ammo, Rhino
10x GKSS w/2x psycannon, hammer, psybolt ammo, Rhino
2x5x GKSS w/psycannon, Razorback w/psybolt ammo
2x Dreadnoughts w/2x TL autocannons, Psybolt ammo

Totals: 1750 points
9 vehicles
46 infantry

Lots of FNP MEQ bodies I have to deal with, something Grey Knights do poorly with their shooting. Protracted combats work both ways as ASM are better than my guys in combat but it denies the ASM the important I5. Either way both armies have significantly different strengths and to win, each will have to take advantage of these.

Deployment and Turn 1

Nothing happened other than everything moved on. The ASM moved up fairly quickly with some good run rolls with the SG behind them and two Priests + the libby within them. Attack Bikes hide behind BLoS terrain. Devastators were deployed behind with a babysitting Priest. My move brought all my mech on in a way they all got cover from smoke, each other or terrain whilst not blocking themselves in. The Dreads split to account for the Attack Bikes but the one on the far right really should have started hidden as well.

Turn 2 Blood Angels

The mass of ASM + SG moves up closer to my lines. Attack bikes swing around to shoot the Dreadnought and miss! Missiles take off the RBack turret for Blue Purifiers and Stun Red’s Rhino.

Turn 2 Grey Knights

Fortitude goes off on red Rhino so stun is ignored. Dreadnoughts take down both Attack Bikes so I don't have to worry about fast MMs...just 38 MEQs with FNP and FC. Lots of moving about to get firelanes to masses of ASM whilst protecting myself from assaults with vehicles though those meltaguns can make short work of them. Mass firepower goes into Blue ASM and kills two (good saving!) and one dies from green from the Pink GKSS who couldn’t see blue ASM.

Here is where I make a big mistake. The odds of GWvsJohn exploding my leading Rhinos are slim. He has decent chances of destroying them but less so in terms of explosions. If both of these Rhinos explode, well I'm screwed. Rather I should have moved the Rhinos up and kept my units further back to shoot or only have had a potential one squad exposed (the other being deployed before the Rhino moved). At the very least I shouldn't have committed both large squads and rather used a Rhino + Razorback. This could prove costly.

Turn 3 Blood Angels

ASM move up and around my three leading tanks to setup as many assaults possible on everything up there. Good shooting (exploding Rhinos) could allow the ASM access to 20 GKSS where they have a clear advantage in combat. Poor shooting will see them whacking away at AV10 on 6's. And with that we go to shooting... Devs blow up Rhino. Explosion kills 2 ASM and 2 GKSS. The second Rhino explodes killing another GKSS from Red from meltaguns and then a bunch of BP + meltaguns takes two GKSS from Orange and another two from Red. Red is down to 5 guys and Orange 8 but both stick around. My lines are now wide open and the worst possible scenario which could un-fold, did! I could blame this on dice. My shooting sucked, his was pretty good. But I put myself in this situation and thus must accept blame for it. There was no reason for me to push up with some many Grey Knights. The tanks certainly, I needed to block them as much as possible to delay assaults but rather I banked on my tanks not exploding and the result was both did and my lines are exposed.

During the assault phase the SG assault the Blue Razorback and Green + Blue ASM assault the Orange GKSS. Justicar was nicely positioned to hammer out a Priest or Libby but perils’…the Libby also did! Useless. Things are looking bad for the GK…let’s see how combat goes.

Combined ASM drop 2 psycannon and 2 regulars with the remaining guys killing the Libby. Powerfists clean up squad. And that’s the power of I5/S5 combined assaults and crappy GKSS combat ability! SG explode the Razorback with the explosion killing nothing despite roughly 20 Marines within the radius. Green and Blue ASM consolidate to fun positions and it’s time to see what the GK can muster in response. Orange GKSS has been wiped out with red half it's former strength.

Turn 3 Grey Knights

Time to setup mass death on ASM squads..hopefully. I hop my DCA out of their ride and then look to setup a nice charge on Green ASM. Unfortunately I tank shocked one too many times (I was looking to box them in so the DCA were safe next turn) and they fled. Fudgemuffins… Time to scramble. Everything else looks to setup shooting on the ASM squads to the right whilst making sure my DCA were hard to shoot/assault next turn.

The foot GK open up on blue ASM and do pretty poorly, killing two. The Psyfles join in and kill three more whilst the Psybacks shoot black and do nothing. Red goes in to finish the blue ASM off in combat and consolidates into cover. Green ASM flee 9” next turn and with that two ASM squads are out of the fight. Decent luck on my part but since the DCA have been moved back, GWvsJohn has no real option in where to move but to the right. This keeps the DCA out of the fight for another turn unless I want to charge through cover and allows his SG + ASM to potentially hurt my right flank badly.

Turn 4 Blood Angels

Black ASM and SG move along the right flank to setup assaults on red GKSS and blue Purifiers. Devs shoot at Razorbacks wrecking the DCA’s ride (they weren't in it thankfully) and shaking the Black Razorback in the forest (it’s gonna get your green ASM!). SG kill one of Red before they charge in and same with black against blue Purifiers. Cleansing Flame kills no ASM and Hammerhand goes off on Red in case it’s needed (unlikely). Red dies a horrible death and the black ASM drop two Purifiers but the Hammer and regular guy do nothing on their swings back. Good job hitting boys! The Hammer dies to Fearless saves.

And this is what moving the DCA back did. Whilst I could have kept them up there to pressure GWvsJohn into making a choice, either way could have ended badly for me. The DCA were unlikely to kill at the SG before they swung and then likely die in return or the SG could simply have done what they still did and consolidated into cover forcing my DCA to not charge or charge through cover. I now have very few units left and need to kill that large ASM squad quickly.

Turn 4 Grey Knights

Not much for me to do I’m afraid. First the Razorback in the forest shoots after the Green ASM to escort them off the board. I didn't cast Fortitude on the off chance I immobilise myself and I won't be shooting anyway. It pops smoke. Time to use that Inquisitor. The DCA are very likely out of range or will at least need to charge through terrain, so they hide in a Razorback looking to assault anything next turn. The Razorback moves 12” and hides behind a wreck for 3+ cover whilst the remaining Purifiers move to be within contesting range of an objective in a turn and shoot the SG. They do nothing. The Inquisitor joins Pink GKSS to slingshot itself into the ASM as both they and white assault. This means some awesome grenade action as the ASM become T3 and psykotroke rolls a 2! Auto-hits and 1A per model. White and Pink cast Hammerhand and Blue Cleansing Flame but kills himself on double 1s. Cleansing does nothing.

The combination of Grenades + Force Weapons is fun as the Priest dies, 7 Force weapon hits land (+ 4 ones!) and 4 hits from psycannon guys (killing none). This equates to 5 dead ASM + Priest thanks to wound allocation! (I also forgot that the unit is auto-hit by all in combat so I should have had about four more force weapon wounds, oh well). I lose two from white in return and the ASM flee but get caught and pass their fearless saves. This sucks as the squads are now locked in combat and I cannot force the SG to assault one of them.

I also forgot to shoot my psyfledreads!

Turn 5 Blood Angels

Green ASM flee off the board…well that didn’t work out too badly I guess. SG move up to join the assault and missiles fly at my tanks Exploding the one near the Devs and shaking the DCA’s ride. The SG then move into combat against Pink with Hammerhand cast on both White and Pink GKSS. They kill three ASM from black (leaving the Sarge) whilst one of white dies and all of pink bar the Inquisitor. White flees off the table as the stubborn Inquisitor stays in combat. Good job duffous.

At this point we called it with all my Troops dead and only the Sarge left for GWvsJohn (who really shouldn't have been alive due to our forgetting of how psykotroke grenades work out). End result was a draw as it was unlikely either of us could have tabled the other and GWvsJohn had to go back to work.


So what did we learn. Well assault based Blood Angels certainly aren't overmatched by Grey Knights as discussed previously. Poor play on my part (aggressive Rhino pushing with two full GKSS squads) allowed GWvsJohn to maximise his jump mobility and assault prowess to wipe me out squad at a time. The combination of FNP/FC was deadly in combat and effective at neutralising my firepower. Whilst dice certainly impacted this, by being too aggressive it magnified the effects.

When able to get combined counter-assaults of my own off I was able to damage the ASM but not at a horrendous rate. The addition of the DCA would have been nice but the lack of Frags certainly hurt them here though the Inquisitor was worth his weight in gold thanks to those Grenades turning small GKSS into decent killing machines on the charge.

All in all moving both my Rhinos with their squads up and relying on them not exploding is what defined this game. It put my guys in harms way too early and allowed GWvsJohn to dictate the way the game was played. Whilst in the end it seemed decently close, this was thanks to a good roll on the grenades and in reality GWvsJohn had the upper hand for the whole game (and in a NOVA style mission would have won on KP, Quarters most likely and Victory Points). Well done to him on taking advantage of my massive error and bad me for screwing up GK movement again. Need to work on that!

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