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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Battle Report: Grey Knights vs Grey Knights

A mirror match! This is an exercise in non-ally 6th edition as there is a non-ally tournament coming up in Australia - where else? Randomly rolled mission and we thankfully got Hammer & Anvil - something I've been meaning to play more of and thus the battle report online. We also got Scouring, Night Fighting and two useless Warlord traits. I won roll-off for objective placement/side and put as many in midfield as possible - I had the advantage in terms of raw numbers and with GK v GK, this meant a more aggressive approach could work. I then won roll-off for deciding who went first and gave it to him.


Deployment is pretty boring with both sides knowing night fight is coming Turn 1 and being mid-ranged armies with lots of objectives in midfield, there's not much going to happen on Turn 1 so it's all about positioning to ensure any searchlights shining are still being hit with cover saves and wrecked transports are in a good position to dump infantry. Scott puts his Passbacks at the front with the Razorbacks, Dreads & Chimeras behind whilst I put my Chimeras up front and the Psybacks/Rhinos behind with the Dreads on the flanks for side shots into Chimeras. Both my Chimeras start opposite objectives.

Scott Turn 1

The objectives are flipped over...and I have the 4/3 objectives near me, Scott has a 3 objective near him and in the middle of the table are the 2/2/1 objectives (marked on the pictures above). This gives me an early and strong advantage throughout the game as I'm better up close thanks to the larger squads and MC Hammers and am starting on the 4/3 objectives. Did we mention random Scouring objectives are bad?

Scott moves up and pops smoke on the four leading tanks. I feel he should have lead with a Psyback and kept the Passbacks behind for some shooting - it may be Night Fight & he might have been snap-firing but he still had cover and it would have been better than not forcing me to roll any dice at all. As it was the Psyfledreads were ignored from cover and no Searchlights were used!

Kirby Turn 1

Both Chimeras moved up to nose onto the big objectives whilst still getting cover on their front armor. The Grey Knight stuff otherwise started moving laterally to the wings of the Chimeras to make a literal metal wall across the front of the objectives. Since I have an essential 7 VP already in my grasp and only 8 VP left based on objectives (+3 from secondaries), blockading those objectives is very important as it gives me a lot of ability to dictate the game. If Scott goes below even four scoring units, there's a max of 7 VP left (+3 from secondaries). Less than three and there's 5 VP left, etc. And all of his squads aren't super high on the durability scale.

With this in mind the large GKSS on the left jumps out and the small GKSS on the right jumps up for a bit more firepower. I forget my searchlights on Chimeras but am able to drop both Passbacks with the Purifiers and shake + immobilise the Chimera on the right (down to one hull point). The Rhino on the left goes Flat-out to protect the large Strikes who should have kept their shooting to see if any tanks popped open to blast infantry. I gain first Blood which makes the VP scenario described above, even bleaker for Scott.

Scott Turn 2

This was another reason the Passbacks shouldn't have been at the front - gave me the best opportunity to destroy them when they were the second biggest damage dealers in his army outside stationary Purifiers & Psyfledreads. The Psykers with Reinforced Aegis & 5+ Deny rolls weren't really going to do anything...

Scott's army moves up a little bit but not too much as he was wary of the large GKSS with Prescience on the left flank. Small GKSS squads jumped out of their rides for more firepower but pushing more firepower to the right flank where the large GKSS was inside a Rhino (and thus not able to assault for another turn) might have been a better ploy. As it was, this type of play was working perfectly for me as my objectives were not being pressured.

Shooting opens up and I lose both the Rhino & Chimera on the left flank whilst the Chimera on the right suffers two hull points of damage and is shaken. Scott's GKSS are well protected by vehicles but not in a position to threaten me.

Kirby Turn 2

Coteaz perils as he casts Prescience on the large GKSS on the left flank and moves over to join them as the swing round the Rhino wreck to lay into something with their firepower. Dreads keep advancing on both flanks and the remaining Rhinos/RBacks wiggle forward to protect infantry and objectives. The Psykers jump out on the right Chimera with most of them hiding behind it's bulk whilst a couple stretch towards the objective - this allows them to shoot whilst being safe from return fire. The forcibly disembarked Psykers on the left have done the same.

Shooting sees the lead Razorback on the right fall over as well as the weakened Chimera in the backfield (Psykers not pinned). Combined fire from small squads also reduces the Purifier squad on the right to two models whilst the large GKSS on the left removes all but one Purifier with shooting. The rear most Psyback on the left is exploded thanks to Psyfledread fire.

The large GKSS fail their charge against the lone Purifier.

Scott Turn 3

The disembarked Psykers move backwards onto the 1 objective on the right flank whilst Coteaz casts Prescience and Ignores Cover power on a small GKSS who moves up to my Psykers on the left. Rest of the Grey Knights on the left try to push through to my large GKSS with support from a Psyback whilst on the right the Purifiers head out to engage the disembarked GKSS on that flank. The remaining Strikes stay still.

Shooting sees all the Psykers who can be seen on the left fall over dead, the Psyback in the middle loses a hull point and its top gun and a few models from the large GKSS on the left fall over dead. A hull point is also stripped from a Dreadnought. The Purifiers on the right pass two Overwatch saves and assault into the exposed Strikes and manage to kill one - both die in retaliation however and the GKSS consolidate towards the exposed Psykers.

Kirby Turn 3

Coteaz casts Prescience on the large Strikes again and they move up to engage the Strikes + remaining Purifier harassing my Psykers. Dreadnoughts keep moving up and the large Strike squad finally gets out - me forgetting they cannot assault the turn they disembark being the reason they are a turn late. They move up with support from the small GKSS and remaining vehicles to blast the remaining small GKSS on Scott's in the ruins. The damaged small GKSS run up to the Psykers in a position such that the lead guy has cover (and several on the objective do, too) but not the rest.

Remaining vehicles again position themselves as a wall in front of my Psykers/objectives using Flat Out moves to try and help them shoot and be protected (the blasts never really did much though). Shooting sees only one GKSS fall in the ruins on the right despite needing 12+ saves! The small GKSS on the right drops the three Psykers out of cover with focus fire leaving them within 4" of the Psyker in cover still whilst the large GKSS squad on the left drops a couple Strikes from shooting. The Dreadnoughts strip all but one hull point from each of the remaining Psybacks but they are both weaponless and unable to move.

Combat sees the entire opposing Strike squad dropped by the large Strike squad + Coteaz but the Purifier kills all three guys near him with Cleansing Flame and thus combat continues with five Strikes + Coteaz left. The Strikes on the right get into combat with the Psykers and kill all but one who pass their Ld on a three!

Scott Turn 4

Scott is running out of units with only three Strikes + one squad of Psykers left. Remember what we said at the beginning about available VPs? One of those Strike squads moves up to help out the lone Purifier in combat with Coteaz & co. with the other squad on that flank holding onto the 2 objective. The squad on the right flank moves up to engage the 10-man squad which shot it so ineffectively last turn. Coteaz gets ignores cover off on the Psykers who finally do something! and land a hit on the large GKSS on the right killing three. A bunch of shooting later and they are significantly reduced but the rest of my army is left untouched.

In assault the GKSS on the right assault the diminished large GKSS and the result is three left of each squad. The Dread on the right assaults the GKSS beating up on the Psykers but fails to do any damage whilst the GKSS finish off the lone psyker. The GKSS on the left attempt to rescue the Purifier but only kill one of my GKSS whilst only the Justicar lives. So both good and bad for Scott here as he has reduced my larger units a lot but wasn't able to finish any of them off.

Kirby Turn 4

I still have all my scoring left but it's very weak with no full squads of GKSS and the Psykers out of transports. Better than Scott's though and that's the way I need to keep it. The Dread on the right looks to help out the Strike on Strike action there with the other two Dreads moving up on the left if necessary. My remaining mobile vehicles keep LoS blocking up on the Psykers in the backfield and stop movement into objectives.

Shooting sees the Dreads drop one of the remaining Psybacks but only do two Hull Points to the Chimera and nothing to the final Psyback. The Dread helps out the Strikes in combat to the extent there is one left from both sides whilst the Dread on Strike action near the 1 objective continues unabated. Coteaz & co. finish off the Justicar though lose a buddy and move towards the final GKSS of Scott's on the left-most 2 objective.

Scott Turn 5

The remaining Strike squad legs it for Scott's 3 objective whilst the Chimera with Psykers unloads them around the 2 objective in the centre. The Psyfledread on the left sits on the other 2 objective hoping to deny it to Coteaz & co. The remaining Razorback tank shocks at the Psykers on the 3 objective but they pass their leadership but are pushed out where they can be seen. Strike + Chimera + Psyfledread firepower goes into them but they go to ground and only lose one. However, with 6th ed rules removing front models this takes them away from the objective.

Nothing else shoots successfully so we go to combat. Dread + Strikes on 1 objective continues with no change whilst the Dread + Strike vs Strike in the centre of the table sees Scott's squad wiped out with my MC Hammer guy and Dread consolidating towards the middle.

Kirby Turn 5

Weakened Strikes in the centre of the board move up to hold the objective the Psykers are no longer holding on the left. Coteaz & co run up to the 2 objective to assault the Dreadnought whilst the other Dreads on the left move up to shoot down the remainder of Scott's vehicles. The MC Hammer + Dread in the middle move up to wipe out the Psykers - the MC Hammer isn't needed here and shouldn't throw himself in but it's more Cinematic this way so, it's happening. My mobile vehicles park themselves in front of objectives & units again.

Dreads drop final Razorback & Chimera and we go straight to combat. Dread + MC Hammer drop the Psykers but not before the Psykers drop the MC Hammer. Doh! The Psyfledread drops a charging Strike but the two Hammers from Coteaz & Justicar drop the Dreadnought giving me another objective.


We call the game there though Coteaz rushes out to kill Coteaz giving us both the Warlord VP making the result 12-4 my way (3+4+2 from objectives + all three secondaries for me; 3 from objectives + Slay the Warlord secondary for Scott). The larger GKSS squads were telling - I was able to reliably wipe out smaller squads with them, particularly on the charge, and without focus firing back, the few pot shots their way did nothing to really hamper them. Prescience was also very nice - both in shooting and combat. The Psykers on both sides failed pretty miserably as you'd expect but held two objectives for me and this is of course where we see an issue with the Scouring - I had seven VP right in front of me whilst Scott had three.

Once again we see vehicles surviving for Grey Knights as they use a very Hybrid approach where their vehicles & infantry are working together. Plus the Dreads didn't get touched really. The amount of points into mobile vehicles (290) was pretty small and gave the army a lot of extra options without taking away from the infantry component. Very big difference to the 8-9 transports + support vehicles you'd see in 5th. 

All in all a good game though one that favored me list-wise I feel and game-wise thanks to the randomness of Scouring - though even without this we saw two very dismantled armies at the end and despite me facing down more firepower from Purifiers + Passbacks, I had more durable scoring and was thus sitting on top. That's a slight clue I think in the way 6th edition is going in terms of list design btw.

Ah yes. Hammer & Anvil discussion. It's growing on me in terms of ability to play games on it - as long as you make sure the missions you're playing with it encourage midfield movement thus taking some of the advantages away from backfield armies. However, and we tried to do this, we really tried, but it's not going to work if you don't have access to short edges. We were using those edges a LOT and walking around a LOT and yes as friendly people, Scott and I could have moved each other's models but a lot of decision making happens when you're looking down your model's line of sight and you don't get that if your opponent is moving them. For tournaments with tables end to end this could prove logistically tough...

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