Blob's Round 3 - Crimson Fists

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Round 3 was against my friend Alex and his awesome looking Crimson Fists army. Check out some of these close ups from his army:

I think the primary mission was objectives and deployment was dawn of war. I had played against Alex's list before and lost pretty badly, haha. He's got 3 Drop pod's, 2 of which are filled with full-sized Sternguard (one led by Pedro and the other a Librarian) with the 3rd carrying a Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta and Heavy Flamer. It's a great combo since 2 of the 3 are guaranteed to come in on his first turn and he can select the best 2 of the 3 units that are most effective for that particular mission/opponent. Against a drop list, there really aren't any "safe" places on the board, and I remember last game my expensive command squad that was hiding behind ruins got shot to pieces when all those Sternguard dropped right next to them turn 1. My list was a little different this time, and using Khan's Outflank I made sure to keep a good portion of my army off the board until these units dropped.

Of course there are risks involved with both of these approaches, namely reserve rolls and scatter dice. My army could come in too late or on the wrong side of the board and drop pods (deep strikes) are at the mercy of the almighty scatter dice. This game saw fit to be a reminder of these lessons. In perhaps the most unlucky roll I've seen in a long time, Alex's most expensive unit (10 Sternguard led by Pedro Cantor) scattered off the board...

Ouch! Alex is a great guy and took the whole thing in stride; he laughed it off and didn't let it get him down! Unfortunate rolls can happen, that's the nature of any game that uses dice. Alex didn't lose focus, pushed on with his remaining units and still managed to pull out the victory ;)

The majority of my squads came on the already crowded side of the board.

I think the name of the game with bikes, especially the smaller min-sized squads, is avoidance and trying to keep them alive till the end to grab objectives on the last turn. At least that's what I was hoping would happen. But they came in on the side where they couldn't avoid Alex's guns, and turbo boost was out of the question as it would have left them vulnerable to assault from Alex's midfield units.

5-man bike squads have their uses but lasting in the open isn't one of them. They would have had a better chance if they were full-sized and also if the sergeant were packing a power fist. I haven't really tried PF's on my bike squads because ideally they shouldn't be in close combat (and also I don't have the bits to equip all my sgts. with one). But there are certainly times in a game where having these in my squads would make my entire army more flexible and actually give my bikes a chance in assualt. It's something I want to try out in future games. I've learned that bike squads aren't units to be short-changed; it's either go big or go home.

I'm also not sold on Outflanking. I intended on using this tactic to protect my smaller bike squads against gun line armies, but it's just too random to build a strategy around. I still really like Khan, but mostly for his furious charge and hit & run abilities (man, the Dark Eldar are going to be fun!).

By the end of this game, my 3 remaining troop bikes claimed the last available objective on the other side of the board. Then the only thing left to do was contest the other objectives with my command squad and last vindicator. We were drawn on the primary objective, each with 1 and 2 others that were contested, but Alex had me beat by a couple hundred victory points. Good game, Alex!

I'll leave you with some shots of Alex's death watch squad. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for all the love, man! I don't know about you, but I was psyched when they matched us against each other. Of course people go to tourneys to play against armies they have never faced before, but there is something to be said about playing against someone you know and enjoy playing in a tournament setting. It was a blast!

  2. I totally agree, it was a fun game and I was glad we got matched up!

    I keep thinking about that all bike list you emailed me... after I get the rest of these scout bikes built I might see how close I am to fielding a list like that ;)