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Monday, April 16, 2012

Leviathon Battle Report - Game 1: Mech Blood Angels v Foot/DoA Blood Angels

The first of three mirror matches... The mission was one of bean counters - five objectives and for each turn you own an objective (standard rules here) you gain a bean. However, beans work like reserves so the earliest you can start collecting is Turn 2. Beans are collected at the end of each player turn. Secondary was Kill Points, deployment was Spearhead.

With an MSU based army and speedy tanks, objectives work in my favor and beans adds a twist to this - I need to hold objectives throughout the game. I was playing against a non-mech BA list so whilst slower than me, they had the speed and troop numbers thanks to combat squads to keep up with me. It would be all about the charges! Opponent's list:

Libby w/Jump Pack
2x10x ASM w/double melta, PFist
5x Sanguinary Guard w/Banner, Pistol
7x Termies

A single Priest is going to hurt - it either clumps the army up or keeps part of the army without such benefits. Opponent wins the roll-off and gives me the first turn.

My list:

2x Priest
4x5x ASM w/meltagun, infernous pistol, power weapon (only 3), Flamerback w/Dozerblade
3x ACLC Preds


I choose the corner with the most original objectives in it which puts me into close proximity with four of them. With an early 18" move this means I can be sitting on objectives from Turn 1. The Preds deploy in a triangle with one on each side of the RBack pack and one behind - this gives them maximum angles for shooting attacks. Scouts deploy in forest with an objective and Mephy sits behind some RBacks.

Grant does not deploy and opts to DoA in - this is risky as it could give me some free and uncontested Beans if they come in early.

Kirby Mech BA Turns 1 & 2

Since I was given the first turn and Grant was deep-striking, he got two free turns without me shooting. This gives me two turns to move about as I see fit so I spread my RBacks out with the Preds tucked away in the back/sides. Spreading the RBacks gives me multiple objectives if beans came in early and emphasises the choice deep-striking armies have to make - together or alone. Together keeps the army whole, minimises what the opponent can do to them (some parts might be out of LoS, range, etc.) but gives up certain amounts of board control (in this case, beans). Apart takes away the board control advantage but gives the opponent's army the opportunity to smack around every unit they see and often isolate them. With only one FNP bubble as would be best if Grant deep-struck all together but it would give me a leg up if Beans came in early.

Beans didn't come in so delaying two Turns has paid off so far for Grant.

Grant Foot BA Turn 2

Dante + the Sanguinary Guard, the ASM with Libby and Terminators with Priest come in. One ASM squad does not. The ASM combat squad into double melta/fist + Libby and all plebs. The Libby + melta squa drops near the top right objective, Dante & co in the middle of the board, the five plebs near the objective I have no one near and the Terminators in my backfield. In short - a spread out deployment.

Shooting sees the Razorback in the top right stunned and Immobilised (was smoked) and the centre Razorback lose it's weapon (was also smoked). The five pleb ASM and Termies run.

Spreading out is going to be a mistake as I can move elements of my army away from parts of his (particularly the Terminators) and focus fire on what the biggest threat to me is - the Sanguinary Guard. I don't really have the firepower to deal with those Terminators without committing my whole force (i.e. 8 melta + 6 lascannons + incidental firepower and then mass I5/S5 ASM attacks). By deploying them behind my army, my army could move away from them and control the middle of the board. Personally, dropping Dante/Libby/ASM back behind the Predators on the left was the best bet - remove a lot of the AP2 firepower and force me to move to engage away form objectives with the Terminators landing in the middle to put pressure on holding those objectives. This would have meant rather than moving towards the part of the army that I wanted (and was more able) to kill AND objectives, I'd have had to make a choice. Plus the melta fire would have been shooting at un-smoked tanks.

Kirby Mech BA Turn 3

I take very little damage from the melta alpha-strike and Grant's army is nicely split up. The plan now is to avoid the Terminators since they are not part of the main force. All of the ASM jump out before their rides move with two squads moving towards the Libby + ASM and two squads + Mephy (who's wings were hooded) moving towards Dante & co. The three mobile Razorbacks push up further into midfield to shoot some flamers as well and provide Priest bubbles. Preds move away from Terminators and Scouts move through forest to force the Terminators to follow them or go after army and leave them with an objective.

Shooting sees Dante & co reduced to one + Dante but they went to ground when they should not have. This allowed me to choose not to assault them and just shoot them more next turn. The Libby + ASM squad fared better thanks to being in cover so they were assaulted and only the Libby lived (on one wound) and he killed two in return.

Beans did not come in.

Grant Foot BA Turn 3

The final ASM squad comes in and combat squads with the five Plebs dropping in the back right with the Termines and the other five attempting to drop into midfield near the two Predators on the left. They mishap however and are placed in the back left corner in terrain - none die. With Dante pinned and the Libby in close combat there's not much which can be done here. The ASM left on the left flank move into midfield to engage the two ASM squads there and pull them away from their Priest support and try and give Dante a chance at not dying next turn. The Termies run towards midfield, leaving the Scouts alone.

Combat sees the Libby die and the two squads there consolidate onto the objective and towards midfield. The ASM charges two ASM in midfield and drags one squad out of Priest range but only kills one guy. Four die in return but combat goes on.

Kirby Mech BA Turn 4

With the Termies still in my backfield, it's time to clear midfield and keep my distance. Still. Non-engaged ASM squads move up to shoot Dante & co with Mephiston hanging around as back-up if needed. A Flamerback goes to flame the ASM in the back-left for giggles with the other shuffling around for best Priest placement. The 3rd mobile RBack drops its Priest off and parks itself between the main army and the Terminators and further slowing them if they wish to make midfield. All Preds back away and turn around to shoot the ASM/Termies.

Dante & co die from two melta shots and four of the ASM are felled from ranged firepower (the loner sticks around). The Flamerback in the back left takes out two ASM. The two ASM squads finish off the one lone ASM and consolidate further into midfield.

Grant Foot BA Turn 4

There isn't much Grant is capable of doing at this point - he has a lot of units to deal with and only so much he can hand out. Luckily for him the Beans haven't come in but he's not really capable of stopping me from collecting a bunch in the final turns. The Jumpers in the top left move around to meltagun the suicidal Flamerback whilst the Terminators forego trying to forge into midfield and move towards the Immob'd Razorback. The Priest detaches and joins the ASM who sits on the objective there.

Shooting sees nothing happen but in combat both the top left Razorback and immobilised Razorback are destroyed.

Kirby Mech BA Turn 5

Beans come in! Finally. This was the best case scenario for Grant since I could hold so many more objectives than him reliably but since his army split up on the drop, particularly the Terminators, he wasn't able to take advantage of this delay. ASM move to objectives with a Pred, Flamerback and ASM squad taking care of Grant's ASM in the top left. Another ASM runs through midfield to get back to the rear objective the Termies have left whilst the final two ASM squads setup around their objectives with one ensuring they are not in range of the Terminators (the other if assaulted would drag the Termies further away form the other objectives). Mephy sets up as a counter assault if needed.

The damaged Razorback tank shocks into the Priest + ASM but they stay steady. The Priest is pushed greater than 6" away from the Terminators but shooting can only drop one of them.

I collect three beans.

Grant Foot BA Turn 5

The Terminators move around the cover and congo line to ensure they are not in cover when charging. No shooting happens and they end up smashing the ASM squad which was their target whilst the Priest punches the Razorback to death and causing it to explode.

At the end of the turn I collect two beans and he collects one. Game ends.


In the end it was 5-1 beans and  7-4 Kill Points so a bit closer than it seemed thanks to Beans coming in late. Again, the game result was really all down to Grant spreading out when he deep-struck and putting the Terminators in a position where I was able to avoid them AND meet the mission requirements. Placing them in midfield meant avoiding them put him in an advantageous bean position, particularly if they came in early as I would have either have had to deal with the Termies or let him collect beans.

In the end it was a good game but one mistake made it unfortunately easy. A good warm-up for the tournament at least and Grant was an excellent and enjoyable opponent to talk to during the game.

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