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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  1. LP,
    Just FYI: Vulkan does NOT have the Eternal Warrior rule. If he had failed his 3+I in the combat with the Dread, he would have been Instant Death'd like anyone else.

  2. Okay, so I've just looked at Vulkan's rules and you are absolutely right. I also see that the digital weapons only allow a re-roll to wound NOT a re-roll to hit.

    Now I'm mad because that fight would have ended about three turns earlier. It could have meant the difference between a loss and a win.