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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Summer Horizon Battle Report: Game 3 - Grey Knights vs Shrike Marines

Game three was pitched battle, capture and control against Jay (aka Shakey) and his Shrike Marines. This consisted of 20 Sniper Scouts w/Cloaks, Telion and Missile Launchers, 2 Typhoons, 2 Attack Bikes w/MM, Gate Libby w/Null Zone, 10x Shootynators w/2x CML, 2x Chainfist, Shrike and 8x TH/SS. A lot of tough models to deal with there in terms of shooting (2+ Termintors, 3+ Scouts) and a very hard unit to deal with in combat (TH/SS and the Shootynators aren't slouches) though only so-so shooting (10 missiles, bunch of snipers, storm bolters and a pair of multi-meltas).

This list can be easily dealt with by some and not at all by others - luckily mine is one of those which can deal with it relatively easily thanks to servo-skulls and a lot of shooting but if those TH/SS get into my lines early, it'll be hard to shift them even with my counter-assault GKT squad.


Jay wins the roll-off and elects to go first and doesn't deploy his Scouts. His objective is in the top left hand corner whilst mine is roughly in the centre on my table-edge. My Servo-skulls are planted evenly in the middle though the one on the right is hedged back a bit so nothing can deploy there and threaten my objective from a different angle. My deployment sees my two Psybacks make a V around my objective so it's hard to contest and if the Acolytes are forced to bail out, have a neat little area on top of the objective. One Dreadnought and the GKT deploy in the centre to be able to react to whatever infiltrating Jay does whilst the Passbacks and other Psyfledreads deploy opposite Jay's deployed army and objective. Jay's infiltrating scouts deploying on his own objective (opposite my army) and on the far right side in a bunch of ruins to snipe at my objective. In hindsight I should have placed my objective laterally left about a foot more to ensure his scouts had to deploy in the open to affect my objective from the right but this would have put them closer to the TH/SS if they broke through my lines.

Grey Knight Turn 1:

Thanks to Coteaz, I seize the initiative which allows me to really neuter the Space Marine's ability to damage me with return missiles - I can take out four of them pretty easily by suppressing the Typhoons. I'll also get to ensure maximum firepower against one of his Terminator units - the Shootynators are the bigger initial threat, particularly with Gate of Infinity allowing them to jump around so I aim drop them ASAP. The TH/SS are going to beat face no matter what - my GKT are going to kill a couple and that's about it so I need to drop the Shootynators ASAP so I have lots of units to delay the TH/SS with.

With this in mind, everything moves up to be within 24" of the Shootynators. One of the Purifier squads jumps out to provide more Dakka and is screened by the Razorbacks to limit incoming firepower. Dreadnoughts shuffle about for shooting on the Typhoons. Everything opens up on the Shootynators with only one Psyback being out of range with five Terminators falling. One Typhoon is also destroyed with the other being stunned.

Space Marines Turn 1:

With half of the Space Marine missiles out of commission (one of the CML Shootynators died), there's a lot less firepower available to throw down at the Grey Knights. The Attack Bikes on the right flank zoom around the terrain to pressure my objective whilst both Terminator squads move forwards. The TH/SS Fleet a single inch.

Space Marine shooting does little with one GKT being shot down and the Purifiers outside of their transport being dropped to two guys.

Grey Knight Turn 2:

The majority of the army shuffles around again to ensure maximum firepower goes into the Terminators but little movement forwards to keep out of TH/SS threat range with a 6" fleet. The Purifiers jump back into their ride whilst the other Purifier Passback moves up ahead of the rest of the army on the left flank. The right most Psyback pops smoke whilst the right most Psyflemen moves across to engage the Attack Bikes with S8 shooting.

The Psyflemen is able to drop one of the Attack Bikes whilst the rest of the army is able to all but obliterate the remaining Shootynators as they are dropped to a single CML Terminator. The Typhoon also has its missile launcher shot off.

Space Marines Turn 2:

With over half the Terminators and the Librarian now dead, the Space Marines are in a pretty tough spot. Whilst the TH/SS are more durable (less afraid of all those Rending shots) to my firepower, I still have enough dakka to drop them and enough units to feed them to keep them away from my objective. The majority of the firepower left in the army is from...Scouts. Ouch.

The TH/SS move up and Fleet 6" - hope I had my positioning right... The lone Attack Bike swings around to shoot at the non-smoked Psyback whilst the CML Terminator retreats to limit firepower to him whilst still giving himself some shooting options.

The Attack Bike stuns the non-smoked Psyback whilst the lone CML Terminator drops the lead Passback with the other squad of Purifiers. Follow-up firepower from the Scouts drops one of them. The TH/SS having fleeted 6" manage to engage two Passbacks and the GKT by less than an inch - even Sanctuary didn't slow them down. They lost two guys to Sanctuary and a further two from the GKT squad but they stunned both Passbacks, weapon destroyed one, killed one Terminator and dropped both Inquisitors. The GKT fled.

Grey Knight Turn 3:

The GKT fled enough to rally and all three Razorbacks successfully cast Fortitude so can run around and shoot where possible. Net result - I lost my Inquisitors and killed half the TH/SS. Um, sounds good to me! My Passbacks maneuver around to open fire lanes on the TH/SS whilst setting up for tank shocks next turn and ensuring they cannot be multi-assaulted easily. The GKT move up to protect my objective whilst the Psyfledreads retreat to ensure they cannot be engaged in combat. The damaged Passback with no gun and the small Purifier squad inside pushes up towards the Space Marine objective and pops smoke. The disembarked Purifiers stay still so they can blast the TH/SS. On the right nothing changes as the guns level at the lone Attack Bike.

Despite Psyfledread and Psyback shooting, the lone Attack Bike survives with one wound whilst the rest of the army only manages to drop two TH/SS and wound Shrike. Amazingly this is enough to force the TH/SS + Shrike to flee with boxcars on their Leadership and they flee through the gauntlet of Passbacks.

Space Marines Turn 3:

In essence, that's the game done and dusted for the Space Marines with the bulk of their army now useless (Shootynators all but gone and TH/SS fleeing with escorting possibilities). No good general worth their salt gives up though! The TH/SS flee and run to see if they can far enough away from the Grey Knights to rally whilst the Scouts stay still. The lone Attack Bike comes up to the right-most Psyback to blast it point-blank and charge if necessary whilst the lone CML moves up towards the extended Passback.

The Attack Bike fails to destroy the Psyback with shooting but explodes it in combat with a Krak grenade which kills all three Acolytes inside. The right-most Scouts wreck the other Psyback with the Acolytes being pinned in the process whilst the lone CML Terminator immobilises the smoked Passback and punches it to death in combat.

Grey Knight Turn 4:

With most of the Space Marines army neutralised, the Grey Knight army mobilises across the battlefield. The right most Dreadnought moves up to engage the Attack Bike with shooting and combat if necessary whilst the Passbacks all move up towards the Space Marine side of the board. They ensure they are close enough to the TH/SS to keep them fleeing. Both Purifier squads also move up with the GKT following behind. 

Shooting sees the Attack Bike survives whilst the lone Shootynator finally bites the dust. The Typhoon is finally destroyed whilst the Passbacks + Purifiers all open up on the Scouts on the objective and drop them to three strong.

The Attack Bike finally bites the dust in combat to the Dreadnought.

Space Marines Turn 4:

Not much for the Space Marines to do currently. The weakened Scouts move back towards their objective whilst the TH/SS keep fleeing.

Some pistol shooting sees one of the advanced Purifiers die whilst the Snipers on the right are able to drop all three Acolytes on the Grey Knight objective.

Turns 5 - 6: 

I've combined the two turns now as not much is happening. The lone Purifier engages the Scouts in combat and is able to kill one of them over two rounds of combat whilst failing both Cleansing Flames (again) before dying. All the Passbacks keep moving up and escort the TH/SS off the board and box in the Space Marine objective.

The GKT move back towards their own objective and the Scouts keep plinking away on them but fail to kill any.

Turn 7:

The Scouts are tank-shocked off the objective whilst continuous firepower sees the remaining Sniper scouts reduced to five men - just enough to not give the Grey Knights any Victory Points. The game ends with the Grey Knights in control of both objectives and the Raven Guard having only five Sniper scouts left alive. 19-1 win for Grey Knights.

Conclusion -

The game was pretty much a wash from Turn 3 when the TH/SS started to flee. The amount of firepower I had available made relative mince meat of the Terminators and even if they had engaged my army, I had enough units to block them and keep them away from my objective whilst throwing lots of tank shocks at the unit - their fleeing was ultimately inevitable just unlikely at that point.

Seizing also helped the Grey Knight army apply its firepower first and thus eliminate a lot of the firepower which could hurt the mass mech. Combined with the use of Servo-skulls to eliminate the Shrike-bomb and it was a very difficult game for the Space Marines.

With this type of mission as well, there wasn't much the Space Marine army could do. They could play defensively and use the range of the missiles to try and slow the Grey Knight army and then engage them in midfield with the TH/SS but the Psyfledreads were also going to have range and unlikely to be dismantled. This would have probably increased the chances of a draw for the Space Marine army but wasn't going to net them a win. Ultimately, it was a shooting gallery with lots of units shooting lots of firepower at a couple bigger units - the mass firepower and options of MSU won out here in the end.

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