Friday, October 31, 2008

SPACE MARINES - BLOOD ANGELS versus Salamanders Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition, Gauntlet Tournament game 1
Opponent: Simon?
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Spearhead
1st turn: Salamanders
Points: 1000
Location: 998.M41, Hive Tempestora, Armageddon
Background: During the Hive Tempestora counter-push the Blood Angels 2nd Company and Salamanders 5th Company rush to support the Morpheon Line. Amidst the confusion of battle the two allies mistakenly attack each other.

Blood Angels
  • Chaplain, plasma pistol, jump pack
  • 5 Death Company Marines with jump packs
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, missile launcher, Rhino
  • 5 Tactical Marines, melta gun, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, Razorback with las cannon
  • Furioso Dreadnought, Venerable, Death Company
  • Predator Destructor with autocannon and heavy bolter sponsons

  • Vulkan
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Power Weapon, Multi Melta
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Power Weapon, Multi Melta
  • 7 Sternguard, 4 Combi Meltas, 2 Heavy Flamers, Drop Pod
  • Dreadnought, Multi Melta, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod
Terrain and deployment
The table was relatively sparse with three hills in the central third of the table and some ruins and woods on the flanks. We rolled three objectives; two were on the hills on the centre of the table and the third was in the ruins on the right.

I won the dice off and chose to go second, keeping my entire army off the table. That meant they could effectively start the game on two of the objectives and move a combat squad forward to take the third. The Dreadnought drop pod landed on the third too. The Sternguard, with Vulkan, dropped right next to my deployment zone.

My plan at this stage was to claim the objective on the left hill for sure and maybe push on to take the central objective on the hill too. I would try to simply contest the third objective in the ruins as it had twice as many enemy marines on it.

The game
I got my Death Company, missile launcher combat squad and Razorback (with embarked squad) from reserve. The Death Company went straight for the Sternguard and butchered them in short order. Now it was five Death Company marines and a Chaplain versus Vulkan.

I brought the Razorback and Marine combat squad onto the left flank.

The Salamanders occupy all three objectives

Vulkan killed the entire Death Company and the Chaplain without taking a wound. I got the Furioso from reserve and threw him in to instantly kill the meddlesome Chapter Master. It was only after my blows struck home did I discover that Vulkan has a 3+ invulnerable save and immunity to Instant Death. These two were still going at it on the last turn of the game when Vulkan finally succumbed.

Venerable Death Company Dreadnought Blackblood dukes it out with Vulkan, Chapter Master of the Salamanders

The battle for the left objective involved my Razorback, 5 Tactical marines with one meltagun and powerfist, and 5 Tactical marines with one missile launcher versus the Dreadnought with multi melta and 5 Tactical marines with one flamer and power weapon.

I lost.

I hammered the Dreadnought but the best I could do was immobilise it. Whatever hit the Tactical marines bounced off as they passed their armour saves easily. In return I failed every armour save on my unique models. The objective remained unclaimed at the end of the game.

Is this cocked?

Meanwhile, I was still trying to put pressure on the central and right objectives. My Predator continually shot at the five Tactical marines on the middle objective. Over three tuns of all out shooting (autocannon, two heavy bolters, storm bolter) I killed just one model. They remained there until the end of the game and claimed the objective.

A desperate last gambit

My Rhino squad and combat squad arrived late. I threw them forward trying to take on the combat squad that had advanced out of the ruins to threaten my predator. I killed nothing with my shooting. In return the Rhino was destroyed and exploded and my squad was reduced to just the vet sergeant with a powerfist. Undeterred he charged into the combat squad and killed two. The survivors routed away. I carefully followed them up with my consolidation move to ensure they would keep running. It also put him on the other side of a tall pillar from the multi melta in the combat squad in the ruins. God bless true line of sight.

At this point I could have snatched an unlikely draw. If my Veteran Sergeant could survive a round of shooting he could then assault the marines in the ruins. If they broke he could then claim the objective.

Part one of my plan worked as he emerged unscathed from a hail of gunfire (and the multi melta shot - my opponent refused to use true line of sight).

Veteran Sergeant Zephrus gets stuck in

I charged in but then whiffed my attacks. The Salamanders fluffed theirs and the fight continued.

Unfortunately the game did not. I hadn't gotten within 3" of the objective while some of the green marines were so they kept the flag.

Result: Loss (two objectives to none).

Learning points
  • Vulkan is rock hard! A 3+ invulnerable save, immunity to instant death, two re-rollable attacks of his own with a strength 6 power weapon and he makes all the flamer and melta weapons in his army twin-linked. Outrageous!
  • Everything went my way in this game right up until my army turned up! I started second and off the board to negate the pod dropping Dreadnought and Sternguard which worked but thereafter my dice were poor. I just couldn't get a higher than a 3 on the vehicle damage chart so the Dreadnought was still alive at the end of the game, my predator had brought dummy ammo, I couldn't pass an armour save and Vulkan just kept passing enough of those invulnerable saves to tie up my own Dread.
  • Still, despite everything, I enjoyed this game.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SPACE MARINES - BLOOD ANGELS versus Imperial Guard

Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
Opponent: Neevesy
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Blood Angels
Points: 1000
Location: 023.M38, Naich, Hexen Sub, Skolarii sector
Background: An Imperial Guard officer goes rogue and tries to take control of Naich in a coup. The Blood Angels are despatched to rescue the kidnapped planetary governor. In turn, the Imperial Guard are trying to capture the informant who led the Space Marines to them.

Blood Angels
  • Chaplain, plasma pistol, jump pack
  • 5 Death Company Marines with jump packs
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, missile launcher, Rhino
  • 5 Tactical Marines, melta gun, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, Razorback with las cannon
  • Furioso Dreadnought, Venerable, Death Company
  • Predator Destructor with autocannon and heavy bolter sponsons

Imperial Guard
  • Heroic Senior Officer with Command Squad, carapace armour (including regimental standard, priest with eviscerator, commissar)
  • Missile Launcher anti-tank squad
  • Mortar squad
  • 2 Heavy Flamer Sentinels
  • Platoon Command Squad (Heavy Bolter)
  • Infantry Squad, carapace armour, with grenade launcher
  • Infantry Squad, carapace armour, with grenade launcher
  • Infantry Squad, carapace armour, with grenade launcher
  • Hellhound
  • 30 Conscripts
This was my last practice game before the Gauntlet Tournament.

Terrain and deployment
This game was played on a 4'x4' table as all the other tables were in use. There was one ruined building in each quarter of the board. I put my objective in the bottom left while the Guard put theirs in the top right.

I wanted to try out my 'spearhead' deployment with the predator in front and the razorback and rhino behind. I kept the squads mounted as the Guard actually had very few anti-tank weapons. The combat squad with the missile launcher stayed near my objective.

The game
I went first and drove my spearhead full speed ahead. Everything popped smoke. The Death Company followed behind the vehicles.

The IG shot everything at the predator but did nothing. The Hellhound moved down my right flank.

I stopped moving in the centre and shot everything at the anti-tank squad, killing three. I waited patiently with the razorback and rhino to see where the Sentinels would appear.

The Sentinels came in on the right near the Hellhound. My predator got immobilised by the anti-tank squad. The conscripts moved up my left flank.

I flew my Death Company over to assault the conscripts. The combat went on for six phases until the conscripts were completely wiped out; the regimental banner kept them in the fight.

On the right my razorback took on the Hellhound. The squad jumped out and took out the Inferno cannon with its meltagun. The predator continued to duel with the anti-tank squad and eventually wiped it out.

My rhino zoomed forward and the squad dismounted to flame the tightly packed Guardsmen. Unfortunately their carapace armour saved them from much damage and their counter-fire wiped out the marines.

The Furioso made straight for the enemy objective. It quickly butchered the platoon command squad then routed the infantry squad behind. The problem was that it had to move toward the closest model so instead of guarding the objective it hared off after the infantry squad!

The HSO and surrounding squads made a break for my objective. They assaulted the Death Company and dragged them down then easily destroyed the immobilised predator.

My razorback in the centre right had been destroyed and the Tactical marine squad had lost its meltagun and powerfist to the Sentinel. They ran for the IG objective which had been cleared by the Dreadnought. Despite a couple of mortar hits they were still there to capture the planetary governor at the end of the game.

The only way the IG would make it to my objective was if the game went to turn 7.

The game went to turn 7.

The HSO and crew overran my 5 Tactical marines and claimed my objective.

Result: Draw (1 objective each)

Learning points
  • I was fairly happy with how this list played, despite the lack of scoring units. The vehicles are at last proving to be quite durable and the Furioso Venerable Death Company Dreadnought is nasty.

Monday, October 27, 2008

SPACE MARINES - BLOOD ANGELS versus Space Marines - Crimson Fists

Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
Opponent: ?
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Space Marines - Crimson Fists
Points: 1000
Location: 677.M37, Ryuk, Hexen Sub, Skolarii sector
Background: Miles behind the frontlines, the Crimson Fists find the bodies of several citizens of Ryuk drained of blood and horribly butchered. Their investigations lead them to a foe hiding out in the ruined hab zones of Purser IV. To the Crimson Fists' horror they discover the Blood Angels are behind the ritualistic murders...

Blood Angels
  • Chaplain, plasma pistol, jump pack
  • 5 Death Company Marines with jump packs
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, missile launcher, Rhino
  • 5 Tactical Marines, melta gun, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, Razorback with las cannon
  • Furioso Dreadnought, Venerable, Death Company
  • Predator Destructor with autocannon and heavy bolter sponsons
Space Marines - Crimson Fists
  • Pedro Kantor
  • 5 Sternguard, 2 plasma cannon
  • 10 Tactical Marines, Missile Launcher, Plasma gun
  • 5 Vanguard, Rhino
  • 2 Speeders, each with 2 Heavy Bolters
  • 5 Scouts, Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher
  • 5 Scouts, Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher

This was my first game against the new 5th edition Space Marines.

Terrain and deployment
The table was 6'x4' and had ruined buildings spread evenly across it; one building in every two square feet. I gave my opponent choice of table edge and first turn. There were three objectives, one in a building on the far right near my opponent's deployment zone and two on my left, one again in a building near my opponent's deployment zone and the other in the open close to my lines.

I deployed the Death Company and Dreadnought out on the right with the rest of my force on the left. My plan was to control the objective closest to me on the left then contest the one beyond and contest the one on the right with my Death Company and Dreadnought.

The game
Kantor called down his bombardment but only killed two marines. Other shooting was ineffectual against my largely hidden army. The Scouts and Sternguard moved forward on each flank to take an objective.

My Death Company zoomed up the right flank. They took two casualties on the way in but butchered both Scout squads over four turns. The Dreadnought trundled up behind.

On the left I advanced cautiously, peppering the central Tactical squad with fire. I carefully shield my troops from the Strenguard with terrain.

The central Tactical squad had to break right to take on the Death Company. They eventually wiped out the Death Company but then became embroiled in a fist fight with the Dreadnought. The fight was still ongoing on the last turn of the game so the objective was contested.

Meanwhile, the real game turned upon the other two objectives. I easily controlled the closest with the Razorback Tactical marines and remnants of the heavy weapon combat squad Tactical marines, despite a last gasp charge by Kantor. In a jammy round of combat I took him out with the rifle buts of the regular marines before he got to swing!

My Predator was providing covering fire nearby. The rest of the Tactical marines drove up in their rhino to contest the objective near the Sternguard. I used my overcharged engines to get within three inches on turn five but the game continued. Kantor and the Vanguard only immobilised the rhino, which meant it could still contest the objective in turn six. I disembarked the squad and took on the Sternguard. If I could wipe them out I might actually control two objectives!

Unfortunately for me the game went to the 7th turn which allowed Kantor to assault the squads around my objective. The Vanguard steamed into my Tactical Marines on his objective but bounced off.

Result: Win (1 objective to 0)

Learning points
  • This was the game when I had that 'lightbulb' moment, when I suddenly realised the difference between 4th and 5th edition. I focused on the taking the objective and conserving my troops at the cost of killing the enemy. I took a pounding but won the game. Lesson learned.
  • I was unlucky with the game going to turn seven when I was winning in turns five and six. A couple of lucky combats went my way at the end to give me the win.
  • This will be my final list for the Gauntlet tournament.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Blood Angels Space Marines
Points: 1000
Location: 278.M41, Mandag, Hexen Sub, Skolarii sector
Background: Using a ruined Imperial Shrine, Chaos Daemons widen a warp rift upon Mandag. As the gibbering hordes of Daemons descend upon the cowering population of Sondag Urban District the indomitable Blood Angels defend it to the last.

Blood Angels
  • Chaplain, plasma pistol, jump pack
  • 5 Death Company Marines with jump packs
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, missile launcher, Rhino
  • 10 Assault Marines, 2 plasma pistols
  • Landspeeder, multi-melta
  • Predator Destructor with autocannon and heavy bolter sponsons

Chaos Daemons
  • Bloodthirster
  • 8 Bloodletters, Icon, Instrument of Chaos
  • 8 Bloodletters
  • 5 Bloodletters
  • 12 Daemonettes, Icon, Instrument of Chaos
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • Daemon Prince with Iron Hide
Terrain and Deployment
This game was played on a Lord of the Rings Helm's Deep table. We made Helm's Deep itself impassable terrain so a big chunk my right flank was taken out of the table. I set my entire army up hard on the right with my squads in close support of each other. I wanted to make it hard for the Daemons to deep strike close to me with the risk of scattering off the table or onto the impassable terrain. I hoped that this would give me more shooting opportunities before counter attacking with my Death Company and Assault marines.

The game
I wasted a turn waiting for the Daemons to appear. They dropped centrally with their preferred models. The Bloodthirster and two units of Bloodletters made for a strong spearhead. Gary tried an audacious deep strike on my left flank with his Flesh hounds but they scattered off the table.

I killed a few Bloodletters with my medium range shooting. I moved the Death Company out to the left to cover the blind spot behind a hill. A big mistake.

The last Bloodletters and Daemonettes warped in as did the Daemon Prince, but, like the Flesh hounds, he scattered off the table and was destroyed. The Bloodthirster swept in on my right while the lesser daemons pressed my centre.

What I should have done is move the Death Company back to the centre ready to counter attack, and then shuffled everything else back to get some more shooting in.

Instead I decided to be aggressive. I gambled that my shooting would take out the Bloodthirster in one turn and unload everything into it. It survived with one wound left.

Meanwhile I threw my Death Company out over the hill and butchered a Bloodletter squad.

The subsequent Daemon turn was brutal. A Bloodletter squad decimated my Tactical Marines. The Daemonettes blew up the Predator. The second unit of Bloodletters butchered my Death Company. The Bloodthirster flew over the table to single out the Chaplain and decapitate him.

The rest of the game involved me charging the Assault marines into the Bloodletters and wiping them out while taking heavy casualties, then the Bloodthirster charging them and killing them all. The Daemonettes took on the Rhino and blew it up.

Eventually the Landspeeder took the last wound off the Bloodthister but it was too little too late.

Result: Loss (6 kill points to 5)

Learning Points
  • I wish I could win the initial dice off to determine who goes first - the Daemons have won it three times in a row now and put me in to play first, thus wasting an entire turn of shooting for me.
  • I made the mistake of being too aggressive again. I need a shootier list and maybe to keep everything in reserve to keep the Daemons guessing.
  • That Bloodthirster is a monster in a 1000 point game. It is fast, strong, tough, can shoot, and is largely immune to psychic attacks. It has no real weaknesses. It is such a powerful model that it has a massive impact on the game no matter how the opponent chooses to deal with it. Ignore it and it will beat the snot out of you. Gang your whole force up on it and the lesser Daemons will get you. Tough choices.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
Opponent: Francis
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Spearhead
1st turn: Blood Angels Space Marines
Points: 1000
Location: 365.M41, Kwajal, Ossory Cluster, Skolarii sector
Background: The Imperial Guard campaign against the Orks on Kwajal has ground into a bloody stalemate. Lord General Jalein requests aid from the Blood Angels to rid Kwajal of a troublesome Speed Freek army. Chapter Master Dante sends a small task force to hunt down the Ork warboss.

Blood Angels
  • Chaplain, plasma pistol, jump pack
  • 7 Death Company Marines (5 bought), jump packs
  • 10 Tactical Marines, flamer, missile launcher, Vet sergeant with Powerfist, Rhino
  • 5 Assault Marines, plasma pistol
  • Dreadnought, multi-melta
  • Furioso Dreadnought, Death Company

  • Warboss on bike, power klaw
  • 3 Nob bikerz, power klaw
  • Battle Wagon, death rolla
  • 20 Shoota boyz, 2 big shootas, nob with power klaw
  • 10 'Ard boyz, nob with power klaw, trukk with rokkit launcha
  • 10 Slugga boyz, nob with power klaw, trukk with rokkit launcha
I had just signed up to the Warseer painting pledge and was in the process of re-imagining my Blood Angels when I heard that my local Games Workshop store was participating in The Gauntlet tournament. This is held in Warhammer World and normally consists of three 1000 point games played between 40-50 gamers from the North East of England. I played in the tournament in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and won best painted army in the first two years and overall in the last. So I signed up for this year's Gauntlet.

The store was encouraging practice games amongst participants and since I had only played two games of 5th edition I jumped at the chance. My force was very small and limited as I'd only been putting it together for six weeks or so.

Terrain and deployment
We played on a 6x4 foot table while some other tournament goers played on a 4x4 table - I need to find out if there is a rules pack so I can plan properly, because things like this can make a huge difference to games.

There were large ruined buildings in each table quarter and some low barrels and cover in the centre which was otherwise empty.

We rolled up 5 objectives and most ended up out of cover near the middle of the board. I had the two Dreadnoughts in the middle with the Chaplain and Death Company behind and the Assault squad behind them. I had the Tactical squad in the Rhino to the left of my ruined building.

My plan was to advance into the centre with the Dreadnoughts, using their melta weapons to pop the Ork transports then pounce on the Orks with my jump packers. The Tactical Squad would rock up later to help out and claim objectives.

The Orks began with the Battle Wagon behind their building, and a Trukk either side. The Warboss and bikers were hiden behind the ruins.

The game
I moved and ran all my models up the centre, the Furioso Dread getting a 6 and putting immediate pressure on the Orks.. The Tac rhino used it's overcharged engines to zoom 18" over to the ruins on the opposite table edge, on the extreme left flank.

The Warboss and his bikerz turbo-boosted 24" up to the far side of the buildings from the Tac marines. The 'Ard Boyz Trukk passed it's terrain checks to move into the building while the Battle Wagon and other Trukk swung right to warily circle the Blood Angels. A lucky Rokkit shot from a Trukk destroyed the multi-melta Dreadnought.

Again I moved my models right down the Orks throat, the Furioso failing to hurt the Battle Wagon with it's meltagun. The Death Company were close behind with the Assault Marines hanging back a little. I moved the Tac marines 12" back toward the centre and disembarked, making sure the Rhino shielded them from the Bikerz.

The Orks charged all over the board. The 'Ard Boyz contacted my Tactical Marines, the Trukk Boyz hit the Furioso and the Battle Wagon Boyz assaulted the Death Company. The Warboss moved up toward the middle of the table, ready to help out in later turns.

The 'Ard Boyz mauled my Tactical Marines, largely thanks to my poor armour saves. The four survivors broke free and ran 11" away from the scrum. The 'Ard Boyz followed them up, to ensure they couldn't rally next turn.

My Furioso went berserk, killing four Orks and the survivors, while the Nob whiffed all his power klaw attacks. The Boyz broke and were squished into the dirt by the Dread. He swept 6" back toward the Chaplain which meant he would be under control for my next turn.

The Death Company were stuck in a brutal war of attrition with the Ork Shoota Boyz. The Death Company were killing lots of Orks but their numbers, making them fearless, kept them in the fight.

The Furioso and Assault Marines charged the 'Ard Boyz to save the Tactical Marines. I rolled outrageously, and the Boyz were butchered in short order. Meanwhile, the Death Company were still clogging their chainswords on Ork flesh.

The Warboss came zooming in to take on the Death Company. Between him, the other Ork Nob and the no retreat rule they wiped out all the Death Company, leaving the wounded Chaplain to take on the green tide alone.

The Bikerz moved up near the Tactical Marines, ensuring they would exit the battlefield next turn. They also shot at the Assault Marines and all but wiped them out.

Finally my Furioso went down. A Trukk hit it with a Rokkit and blew it apart in a spectacular explosion.

The battle ended shortly after. My Chaplain was dragged under and butchered by the Orks leaving the lone Rhino to withdraw.

Result: Loss

Learning points
  • My list was poor. I only had 15 Troop models in two units to try and claim 5 objectives. Of course, I should have combat squadded the Tactical Marines and left the missile launcher element on foot supporting my main assault, giving me an extra scoring unit. I also felt I had too many Death Company for such a small game.
  • I really need to understand all the rules better. I've only played two games of 5th edition while the players in store have been playing every week since it was released, so I thought they would have them nailed while I would be struggling. Instead, their knowledge was just as hazy as mine, if not worse. Although I caught the Ork morale check in the fight against the Furioso (my opponent forgot to add the modifier for the number of wounds caused), I forgot about the extra wounds taken by fearless models who lose a combat. I only found out about that when my opponent won a round of combat against my Death Company and I lost several models; of course I should have done the same against the Orks in previous rounds when I had won the combat.
  • With only three weeks to go I need to get painting those Troops choices and settle on a list. I want to go mechanised, since I have a few decently painted models but how do you fit a Land Raider into 1000 points?