But anyway, more on that in due time. Back in time to the end of the first day and two solid wins for me. 2 solid wins as well for Bernard Lee from the Scottish ETC team who is running a very similar list to Chris Green (of yesterdays post fame HERE).
Mission: Puge (Kill Points)
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Bernard Lee - Space Wolves with Space Marine Allies
2 Rune Priests, Jaws, Runic Axe, stuff.
3 Wolf Guard w Combi Melta
8 Grey Hunters, Standard, Meltagun, Power Axe - Drop Pod
8 Grey Hunters, Standard, Meltagun, Power Axe - Drop Pod
10 Grey Hunters, dual Plasmagun, Standard, Power Axe - Drop Pod
5 Hunters, Meltagun - Drop Pod
3 Hyperios Missiles
Libbie, Termie, Null Z, Gate
10 Sternguard - 5 Combi Plasma - Drop Pod
3 Attack Bikes - MM
ThunderfireBernard was a good lad from the Scottish Team but made a couple of mistakes. The biggest of these came at set up when Bernard rolled and switch out the Psychic Powers of his Rune Priests rather than keeping his Jaws.
I am really nto sure what the argument is there, perhaps - and I guess this is logical-ish, he didn't want to give up the Warlord Secondary or the KPs for his 2 Rune Priests and was going for Iron Arm etc on his Priests? Perhaps enfeeble as well so the drop pod bolter marines could do significant harm to my army.. perhaps Bernard was thinking more in line with Dark Angels (6th ed codex proper - buffing and debuffing armies, also a la Tyranids) and the way they work now.
I can see some logic in that, but I am an army of I2 models..
God send in disguise I can tell you. Bernard did still have a damn decent amount of shooting and between his Sternguard (I love Sternguard in a Wolves army) and podding Marines/Hunters and the THunderfire lobbing shells into me.. I knew I was in for a rough ride.
He got to go first, perfect for him, tough for me to deploy - but that said, I knew if I could deploy right I would weather the hail in the first turn and have the right tools to deal with things in the later game.
By doing this I negated the full effect of:
a) Rapid Fire combi plasma from Sternguard
b) Short Ranged melta from the Grey Hunter packs.
- I ensured that all 4 Barges had a 4+ cover from the buildings from all accessible angles.
- All Immortal units were outside of 12" and in cover from the Plasma units
- There were no Pod shaped holes in my deployment due to the judicious use of all 3, 5 man Warrior squads and both Immortals.
In this manner, Bernard could happily rapid fire Warriors if he got very close to the Wraith on the drop, or he could drop and get the Wraiths.
His other option, which of course negates the limited mobility of a drop pod, was to drop down further away and wait for the other pods to come in up close and provide a single killing blow.. Of course this would mean no killing on turn 1 and I would get first blood and still maul his 30 marines that were on the board.
So he doppped up close.
Then I used all my models to rapid fire and rape 30 space marines and 2 rune priests. I charged the Hunter packs remnants with the Wraiths, finsihing them off.
A couple of Sternguard, the Librarian and a single Attack Bike were left after turn one, both wounded.
That was pretty much that to be honest.
I know that is a seemingly casual dismissal, but some games do just boil down to one big, balls out move that simply flops.
In this case, that resulted in me being able to bring everything to bear.
Would it have been the same had I had my second Immortals and 3 Warrior squads in their fliers? NO. Right call by me to leave them out and apply their weight and quality of firepower at the right time.
Usually the fliers bring them to bear in the right place, but that time was T1 in my D-Z.. I needed them and they answered.
On turn 2, one pod came down, 10 grey Hunters popped out, they shot some dudes. Scouts came on and went for line breaker, hiding behind a building.
Libbie and Bike attacked some Warriors in CC and killed them.
Turn 3 his final pod came down and it shot some stuff...then I killed them.
T4-5 Was me racing via Flier, Veil and Fast Barge up field to gun down his 3 FW Interceptor Missile things and his Thunderfire, which hadn't really been able to see all the other way to my D-Z for most of the game, it only really shot when I started Veiling in close.
That was that. Big win again for the Crons.
Good player, knew what he was doing with his army, but I honestly believe the game was won before we began to roll when a) he switched to Biomancy and b) I deployed correctly to receive a bloody good podding on the first turn.. after this, I knew that I might lose a flier or two, but I kept them running oblique entry routes onto the board from my table end so they could just strafe firepower into the podding marines..I only got some skyfire attention when I turned to gun them down in the second half of the game.
I'm not sure I buy into the mixed marine approach to dealing with Crons. You have to try and deal with Crons at a tournament for sure, but I am not sure this is the way.. What I think the issue was was with army balance. Sure, the FW Batteries are a 'nod' to dealing with fliers, but that is really all they are. For Bernard, that 135 points could have been another pod of Marines, combine it with the Thunderfire and you have another load of marines, also pushing the pod number up..or the second rune priest - granted, I always run 2 Priests, but not with a Librarian as well.. too many points. If you are worried about pod numbers, get in a lucius with Dread or just get the marines in and Gate them forward to apply pressure with the Pods as it all arrives.. Even up the dude to an Epistolary for Level 2 and cast both Gate and Null Zone, increasing the effectiveness of your drop dudes.. obv this is instead of the second Rune Priest..
Just thoughts of course, but I enjoyed the game, a tactical exercise in deployment and containment..but it was fun. Berbard was a good lad and I think he enjoyed himself.
So Game 4 was next and I was on Table 2 Vs Rob Sims and his... Necrons.
A mirror match .. wonderful.
Cracking player, but I've beaten him before.. and soundly.. so I was hoping for a similar result..but that said.. he had more Wraiths and a pair of Destroyer Lords.. something that I knew going into the event that I didn't have enough shooting to deal with nor enough combat to counter.. Mirror would be tough.. and then there was Josh Roberts with the same list after!