Last Game of the Year

Monday, December 26, 2011

I was able to slip one more game in last week before all the holiday travels. 2000 pt Marines vs. Marines; John was fielding his Lysander led Iron Hands list and I was running a modified bike list. I didn't have enough built to run one of the crazy locator beacon lists I posted earlier, but I did include 2 beacons and a small, moderately equipped Vanguard squad. I also tried out a small squad of Scout bikes, a unit of Sternguard, and threw the Thunderfire Cannon in for good measure. It was an interesting mix! We went for a classic Nova style terrain set-up and rolled a pitched battle, annihilation mission.

John won the first turn roll but elected to go second, I think because he went first last game (which was really nice of him) and typically when I run my outflank list it doesn't matter too much who gets that first round of shooting off. Unfortunately for him though, I left Khan at home and instead ran a rather unconventional list that ended up packing a really big shooty punch. I had 2 lascannons in the Sternguard squad and their Razorback w/ TL lascannon that opened up a couple of John's Rhinos leaving 2 full-sized tactical squads all bunched together, prime targets for the Vindicator and Thunderfire cannon. I think the Thunderfire scored 19 wounds that first turn! I've only shot that thing twice (since it only survives one round before getting prioritized) but it has made me a believer; 100 pts is a steal for the amount of hurt that gun can put out, and then you get a techmarine w/ bolster defenses -- icing on the cake.

I also had standard dreadnought with Multimelta, DCCW w/ Heavy Flamer drop in the middle of his deployment zone, targeting his 3rd Rhino. The Drop pod had one of the locator beacons which ended up being in a pretty good spot for when the Vanguard vets came on from reserve.

The Scout Bikes had the second beacon, but their biggest use all game was turbo-boosting in front of my line to screen my other bikes and soaking up a ton of shots. Overall, I liked having them on the board and am looking forward to taking a larger squad and trying out some other tactics with them.

Since I didn't have Khan, both full-sized bike squads deployed on the board which not only looked cool but also added some nice target saturation. One squad was sent off to deal with 3 Land Speeder Typhoons while the second was assigned to clean-up duty.

The major turning point of this game came on John's turn 1, where an unlucky scatter roll on his Gate of Infinity deep strike led to an even more unfortunate roll on the mishap table -- Lysander, the Librarian, and attached Terminator squad were lost to the warp! Ouch! Obviously, this was a game changer and who knows what would have happened had Lysander survived and tied up my front line. But it was pretty much downhill from there for the Iron Hands.

My Vanguard Vets came in on turn 3 and pulled off the Heroic Intervention on the remaining tactical squad that was unable to take out my drop pod w/ locator beacon. For the most part, I was not impressed with this squad at all; I really wasn't expecting much from them... two had pairs of lightning claws and all of them had melta bombs but they ended up getting stuck in with some stubborn marines that slowed them down for a couple rounds. Pretty underwhelming for such an expensive squad.

My plasma command squad also didn't do much this game, but they would have been primarily tasked to deal with those termies and Lysander had they stuck around. We ended up calling the game on turn 4 to get home and relieve our wives who were watching the newborns ;) But I had a good time and was glad we could get one last game in before the holidays.

Lessons learned: take locator beacons when using deep strikers. Especially when using those death star gate of infinity squads ;)

Happy Holidays!


  1. Regardless of my bad luck deepstriking it was a great game. It's fun to see if it's possible to recover from a bad situation like that (I wasn't able to). I think I should have moved my terminators up the hill with the devestators and scouts to act as a counter-charge unit (since I knew your bikes would be coming for me. Maybe next time...

    I agree about the vanguard vets, for the points they just don't cut it. My diminished tac. squad was able to kill half of them off. They'd probably benefit from stormshields, but that would make them cost as much as 5 TH/SS terminators plus a land raider.

  2. It was a great game and I agree that it's never over until it's over; late game heroics and uphill battles can be a lot of fun and really push an army to its limits.

    You're right about the vanguard. I'm going to try and have the Land Raider w/ assault termies ready to take their place for the next game.