1st Game of 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Over the weekend, I played my first game of the new year against John's Iron Hands list. I was able to try out two new units (really only one since they were taken together), Assault Terminators mounted in a Land Raider Crusader. I made room for them by dropping the biker command squad and a few other things. I kept the 5 man Sternguard with 2 lascannons and a Razorback with TL lascannon from my last game as the extra fire support they provided was solid. Basically, my list looked like this:

Khan - moondrakkan

8x Bikes + AB - 2x meltas; multi-melta; power fist
4x Bikes + AB - 2x meltas; multi-melta; melta bombs
5x Scouts - sniper rifles; Telion

Dreadnought - 2x TL autocannons
5x Sternguard - 2x lascannons; Razorback w/ TL LC
5x Assault Terminators - 2x LC's; 3x TH/SS; Land Raider Crusader w/ MM, EA

Thunderfire Cannon
2x Vindicators - Dozer blades

We rolled up Annihilation and a Pitched Battle deployment again. I won the roll off but elected to go second -- lately I've been feeling like going second is way more advantageous, at least for an army with mobility and outflank options. On one hand, I now have a few things that can shoot long range but the bulk of my list is still medium ranged, so I feel it's better for my army to be placed knowing where my opponents' biggest threats are on the board. I knew with bringing the LRC that I'd have a few high armored targets to hide behind and the rest of my stuff hid in the bolstered terrain, minus the large outflanking bike squad. I basically castled up in the corner; here's the board after both sides have been deployed:

With everything in the one corner, I avoided some exposure from John's army and didn't have to endure the full weight of his army's shooting on turn 1.

I did lose the Thunderfire that first turn though :(
But my return fire was still pretty effective. I was able to knock out one his Dreadnoughts, 2 Typhoons, and an empty Rhino, all while pushing my LRC and Vindi's forward.

By turn 2, it was clear the main encounter would happen smack dab in the middle of the board. My fire support in the ruins had done a good job neutralizing the ranged threats on that side of the board and I wanted to make sure I positioned my units so they could still be in play for future turns, but John was cunning and kept blocking LOS terrain between them and the rest of his army really well. It was cat and mouse with my vindicators chasing after his terminators each round; I never did manage to get a single shot off on them the entire game!

The main event began on turn 3. John had moved a razorback and rhino up to block the path between the two center terrain pieces. For my turn 3, my melta bikes whipped around the building to explode the razorback, while Khan broke off from them to join the assault terminators as they jumped out of the LRC and prepared to charge the rhino and crew. The multimelta on the raider didn't hit anything this game so I had to rely on the close combat. I managed to wreck the rhino but the tacticals hopped out in prime position to lay a lot of shooting down the next turn.

Turn 4, John moved his other full sized tac squad that was hiding in terrain up on top of that large green/white cylinder to add even more shots to the fray. I don't know how my terminators survived, but they pulled through against 2 full tac squads rapid firing at them as well as the storm bolters from the terminators and shots from the remaining typoon -- I lost 2 TH/SS termies and Khan took a wound.

On my turn 4, the remaining terminators got back on board the LRC which then backed away from the meltas which had gotten too close. Khan hid behind the tank while one of my vindicators got in position to fire a shell at the exposed squad atop the terrain. The other vindi moved flat out to round that corner to set up a shot on his backfield termies the next round. Also, this was the turn my large bike squad came in from reserves; then ended up coming in from the side with the rest of my army and moved into position to fire some bolters into the tacticals as well. Between them, the demolisher, the LRC, and anything else in my backfield that could see the enemy on top of that terrain, I shot everything I could at that squad, but only managed to do 9 wounds. The remaining heavy bolter marine from that squad prevented me from claiming that kill point!

Meanwhile, I really should have done something with this squad, as they ended up eating a well placed plasma cannon blast and some krak missiles the next turn to get wiped out.

By turn 5, we had both brought the full strength of our armies' shooting to bear on each other and not much remained out in the open, but John's Lysander had been making his way through terrain towards my LRC and finally was in position to assault it this turn. I thankfully kept that thing moving, even if just a few inches each turn to avoid the auto hits in cc, and as luck would have it my tank survived the fist of dorn that round. In all of the games I've played against John when he's had Lysander in his list, I've been worried with how to deal with such a tough character -- 4 wounds, eternal warrior, 3++. So I did the only thing I could... surrounded him with my entire force and shot EVERYTHING at him, and even got my termies and Khan ready to charge in if the shooting wasn't enough.

Thankfully, by the time I had gotten to my last shooting unit, the LRC, I was able to score the last wound on him!

Then the game ended right then and there on turn 5. I was fortunate enough to have claimed a couple more kill points from that first round of shooting, and this list still didn't offer very many kp's overall to begin with; annihilation/kill point missions definitely favor the smaller # of units in a bike army. It was a  really fun game and I think I'm really going to enjoy the addition of a LRC and termies to my main bike list.

There's a local tournament coming up in a couple weeks and I'm not sure if this is exactly the list I'll use or not. It'll really boil down to whether or not I get those Forge World doors in time to actually build the LRC and get it painted up with the terminators (as you can see, the LRC was held together by a rubber band and a hair tie -- thanks hon!). But it's a fantastic kit and I can't wait to have it be the center piece for my Raven Guard.


  1. Joe,

    I like how you took some idea from everywhere and made your biker list unique and your own! I am glad it is working for you. I hope you play in that tournament and win it with bikes! That would be awesome.

    1. Thanks Brandon! That's the goal, I'll let you know what I end up with!

  2. It was a good game, but I felt out-gunned the whole time. That third tactical squad just wasn't carrying their weight. At the end I figured it was time for Lysander to try something epic, unfortunately...

    Maybe next time.

    1. I would maybe keep that 3rd tac squad embarked in their Rhino for turn 1, that way you can get them to a better position on the board if need be.

      It was a good move with Lysander charging in like that; if dice had gone the other way you could have potentially picked up 3 additional kill points within the round from the tank, termies and Khan. That alone would have put you right back in it.

      See you on Saturday!