Thursday, July 23, 2009

How I won my last "Capture & control"

I played a game of Warhammer 40k at GW Oslo last night. 1000 points on a 4' x 4' table, pitting my Red Corsairs against the loathsome Eldar. Seeing his list, I was not very confident in winning the game, especially if it would drag on to turn 7. The xenos had brought loads of firepower and even the Avatar was out for human blood.

My 1000 points of Chaos boys are pretty much what I have painted for the army right now, so I didn't have much choice with regards to army selection:
  • Daemon Prince with wings, mark of Tzeentch and Bolt of Change
  • 3 Terminators with a single combi-melta
  • 10 Chaos Space Marines with two meltaguns and a champion with a power fist
  • 7 Thousand Sons with a sorcerer with Bolt of Change, in a Rhino
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers with a champion with a power fist, in a Rhino
His list was something like this:
  • Avatar
  • 8 Striking Scorpions with an Exarch with Scorpion's Claw, Stalker and Shadowstrike
  • 3 Guardian jetbikes with a shuriken cannon
  • 3 Guardian jetbikes with a shuriken cannon
  • 10 Storm Guardians with two flamers and a warlock with Destructor in a Wave Serpent with Star Engines and Scatter Lasers
  • Vyper jetbike with Eldar Missile Launcher
  • Fire Prism
  • 3 Shadow weavers
We rolled for mission and deployment and got "Capture & control" and "Dawn of war". This is the one with two objective markers, one for each player. Dawn of war meant that most of our armies would be in reserve, and would become available on the first turn, walking on from the table edge.

He won the roll for choosing sides and first turn and took it. I was more than happy to be assured the last turn of the game. I firmly believe that, especially in Dawn of war missions, having the last turn is more important than having the first. The player going second can often perform more risky manoeuvres than the opponent. This often yields better results overall.

In addition, we were battling over objective markers, and having the last turn is almost always more advantageous.

He deployed his Wave Serpent full of Storm Guardians behind cover, and I did the same with my Thousand Sons. I'm not going to recite a turn-for-turn report of events, but the battle went something like this:

Turns 1-4
I did my best to move up the board, getting mixed results. The Daemon Prince managed to immobilize the Wave Serpent and get over to his objective. The Khorne Berzerkers' Rhino got wrecked halfway across the board, on turn 3. They legged it to charge the Avatar, which proved way too strong for them. They did a single wounding hit to it and then died horribly.

The Thousand Sons failed utterly to do anything. Their Rhino got immobilized on turn 2, the sorcerer failed to hit anything with his Bolt of Change all game and the two times they shot at Eldar Jetbikes they either failed to hit or failed to wound. They didn't even have to take a cover save! Disappointing, but they at least managed to hold up the Avatar for a turn.

The Daemon Prince took a fair share of punishment, but the Mark of Tzeentch saved him on several occasions. The Guardians got tired of sitting idle in their immobilized transport and ran out to shoot and charge the Daemon Prince. They had obviously not read up on the capabilities of Daemon Princes. Even if they managed to take a single wound off him, he won the combat and ran them down.

Turn 5
Up until the Guardians bought it, I had only managed to kill two jetbikes and immobilize the Wave Serpent with my shooting. All the while, the Shadow weavers were taking a toll on all my troops. They killed something like two Berzerkers, three Thousand Sons and three Chaos Space Marines in total. I had nothing to respond to this, as they had been placed the corner opposite the objective. I couldn't afford to send anyhing to deal with them, so I just had to take the pain and enjoy the ride!

My opponent started to realize my plan in turn 5. I would just hold my objective with my Chaos Space Marines, while the rest of my army killed his fragile scoring units and held up the rest of his forces. When turn 5 came to a close, I had my objective. My three Terminators had deep struck down on his.

A friend of his rolled for the game to end, but it came up a 4, and we continued.

Turn 6
At this point I had Striking Scorpions running for my objective, and the entire Eldar army gunning down my Daemon Prince and Terminators. However, it was apparent that the Scorpions had little hopes of taking out the Chaos marines on my objective without support. The Fire Prism and Shadow Weavers pumped shots into them, but some nice armour saves saw only a few casualties. They were now down to six models.

In my turn, the Chaos Space Marines shot the Striking Scorpions, felling three. They promptly failed their morale check, and legged it. No hope of a last turn assault now. The Terminators assaulted the last remaining Eldar jetbike, which died three times over. I had the only scoring models on the table, and had a winning position, 1 objective to none.

My opponent's friend rolled again, and this time it came up a 5. The game went on!

Turn 7
The Scorpions rallied, but were too far away to assault, and didn't have line of sight to shoot, the Chaos Space Marines. The Fire Prism, Shadow Weavers and Vyper shot everything they had into the cowering marines, which got pummelled to the last man. Only the Aspiring Champion remained!

On the other side of the board, the Avatar assaulted the Terminators, which were cut down by the burning monster.

And with that, the game was over. I had two models remaining: The Aspiring Champion and an immobilized Rhino with no weapons left.

Victory to the Chaos Space Marines!

The only models I killed were his scoring units. He killed my forces to a man, but couldn't contest in the final turn. Good thing I immobilized that Wave Serpent with the Star Engines!