Friday, January 21, 2011

Conflict 2011: Game 4

Game 4 had me matched up against Jorge Ruiz and his Blood Angels. I had met Jorge at Warstore Weekend, and if you look back you can find our battle report from that event. At Warstore Weekend my pods and Dreadnought frustrated Jorge so much that he tells me he specifically changed elements of his list to deal with me, and lists like mine.... gulp thats flattering and frightening. Jorge is a really good player and we had been playfully ripping on each other all weekend long feeling a matchup was once again going to be available.

Jorge's List:
Reclusiarch - infernus pistol
Sanguinary Priest - power weapon
Assault Squad - (8) melta, powerfist, Rhino
Assault Squad - melta, powerfist, razorback - assault cannon
Assault Squad - melta, powerfist, razorback - assault cannon
Death Company - (7) powerfist, 2 power weapons, Rhino
Land Speeder - multimelta, heavy flamer
Land Speeder - multimelta, heavy flamer
Land Speeder - multimelta, heavy flamer
Predator - auto cannon, las cannons
Predator - auto cannon, las cannons

Game 4 was straight table quarters. A tough mission to win as a unit just has to be in a table quarter to contest, so clearing everything from a quarter can be hard. Also it was Dawn of War deployment with 2 turns of night fighting. Jorge won the roll to go first and chose to do so. He deployed a razorback with assault squad in the middle of the board and Mephiston, and had everything set to come in from reserve. I deployed nothing and did the same aside from my thunderfire cannon which would walk on turn 1.

Jorge's Turn 1 was uneventful, he didnt even shift his models.

On my turn 1 I landed 2 shooty Dreads and one Ironclad in his half of the board. I was thrown off on the mission type and forgot that Jorge had added speeders to his list specifically for me, so in hindsight I dropped in far too close, and then forgetting his reserves would start appearing next turn didnt pop smoke.

On Jorge's second turn he got in all 3 blasted speeder and angled two off in the rear of my dreads to the left, and one to the right. He also got one Predator and both Rhinos. Mephiston and the already on board razorback moved towards my formation. Shooting immobilized 2 of my dreads, a shooter and the Ironclad, and stunned my other shooty dread.
On my turn 2 I got 1 speeder, 1 Ironclad, and my rhino in from reserve. I moved the Rhino in on the far right. The speeder came in centrally and blew up the razorback. My Ironclad landed on the far left and tried to flame and melta two speeders there. Immobilized one in the far coner, and knocked the melta off the near one, stunning it as well. My immobilized shooty dread immobilized the assault Squads Rhino, and my Ironclad tried to use its missiles but night fight left it lacking, same thing with the thunderfire cannon, I hadnt realized that using search lights wasnt an automatic thing and so was left with no visible targets.
On Jorge's 3rd turn he got another Predator in from reserve. He moved the death company into the midfield and popped smoke on their Rhino. Mephiston also jumped back into the middle of the field heading towards my Rhino. Shooting took down my stunned Shooty Dread and my Immobilized Ironclad. His Marines also managed to wreck my speeder in the middle of the field.
On my 3rd turn I got my other Speeder in and hedged him near the Rhino and took a wound off of Mephiston. My last Ironclad came in and Wrecked his Predator. I then chose to abandon my other Ironclads first task of cleaning up the Speeders and moved away. My immobile shooty dread took the melta off the speeder on the hill, and shook it. My thunderfire cannon shot at speeders and shook the far immobile one.

On Jorge's turn his marines bailed out of their Rhino to turn Melta's on my Ironclad. Mephiston also turned around to enter that fray. Shooting knocked my speeder to the ground and removed its melta. And one of his speeders got rear armor on the Ironclad on the left and heavy flamed it to death... grrr for not sticking to original plans. Mephiston assaulted my other remaining Ironclad and wrecked it. The Death company moved into my side of the board. And his last razorback came in from reserve and moved swiftly up the right side.
On my half of turn 4 I got my scout speeder in... and sadly it outflanked onto the right side. I was hoping to turn it on his pesky speeders but sadly not to be. I got over aggressive with it and placed it near the death company's Rhino. They wrecked the Rhino spilling the death company. The thunderfire cannon finally opened up and killed the 5 man assault squad in the middle of the field. My other shooting was negligible.
Ran out of pictures past this point as things got tight.

On Jorge's 5th turn the razorback pictured above moved up 12 and disgorged its marines in melta range of my Rhino. And Mephiston winged and fleeted over as well. Shooting was ineffective and Mephiston assaulted needing 6's to hit and only stunning the tank. His Death company got out, shot the scout speeder down and assaulted the scouts killing them all. His large Squad assaulted my Drop pod that was contesting his quarter, they didnt do any lasting damage however.

On my 5th turn things were looking rather bleak. I fired the thunderfire cannon at the tightly packed marines, but even with an ungodly amount of wounds I didnt kill many with their armor save and feel no pain. THe heavy flamer remaining on my immobilized speeder was equally ineffective against the death company. I piled my marines out of my Rhino and slid them deftly between Mephiston and the 5 man Assault Squad. I fired their 2 melta's and the master of the forge's plasma cutter taking 3 more wounds off of Mephiston, and then dual assaulted both units leaving only the master of the forge on Mephiston. Vulkan and company wiped out the 5 marines, while as expected Mephiston killed my techmarine. But that meant I won combat by 3 and Mephiston failed his leadership check. We checked initiative and somehow I caught him even with his super high initiative, but he failed one of his 3 fearless saves... thank goodness. I rolled a 5 to consolidate and even though Jorge killed my pod in the assault phase I was once again contesting and praying for the game to end..... we rolled it didnt end.

On Jorge's turn 6 he tank shocked my marines, but they passed their leadership. His large assault squad moved in to charge as did the death company. THe death company had to roll a 6 on their move and on their assault to just barely make it through difficult terrain to charge Vulkan.... grr good rolling Jorge. In assault Vulkan killed the priest and 2 death company, and I lost 2 marines and one wound on vulkan... passing 5 saves against his powerfists, actually tying combat.

On my turn 6 I moved my Rhino into his zone, hoping against hope that even if Vulkan died in assault the game would end with me contesting his zone once more and giving us the hard fought tie. Vulkan needed only to pass one more measly little 3+ save... but he failed. And then we rolled and the game went on once more.

On Jorge's 7th turn he blew up my Rhino and we called it. Really I should have probably taken my thunderfire cannon shots to hope his marines would flee giving us the tie again but I was drained and disappointed. Jorge had earned his revenge in a well played well fought victory.

The game was super tight and very well played. Even with my early placement mistakes I had ample chances to force the tie, and if any one of several rolls starting with the scouts outflank roll had gone the other way it would have been an easy tie, or even victory for me.

But the biggest mistake made in the game is a tough one to judge. If you look back at turn 5-6 when Jorge's Death company joined the assault with my marines they needed to cover 12" to get there.... but my speeder had flamed them the turn before which means they were between 3-8" from the speeder, and thus by their rage rule required to move towards it. They did 2 wounds on their charge and also 2 with their pistols on the way in. Which means that had all the other dice gone the same way I would have won combat by 2, with 2 marines left alive along with vulkan leaving Jorge in a position to have to pass a leadership 7 test to stay in combat and me needing just to destroy a razorback with Vulkan to earn a clear win if they got away... but regardless a much more likely draw if they passed the test and stayed in combat. Now the rage rule doesnt come up very often, and knowing Jorge like I do it was nothing intentional... but who's call is it to know that rule well, him being the player of the codex or me to make sure that it doesnt cheat me out if not applied correctly, its a tough situation, and while it could have been decisive it would have been moot had I positioned myself better at various points within the game.

Learning rules is a big part of tournament play, each game makes you stronger. Jorge now that we're tied and next time Im gona make your Death company chase speeders around in circles :-).

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