Saturday, November 1, 2008


Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition, Gauntlet Tournament game 2
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
1st turn: Chaos Daemons
Points: 1000
Location: 278.M41, Mandag, Hexen Sub, Skolarii sector
Background: The Blood Angels discover that the insidious Tau have corrupted the local population and have begun to colonise Mandag. Do they have anything to do with the Chaos Daemon incursion? Amidst the deserted ruins of their settlement the Blood Angels take on the Daemons once again.

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

Chaos Daemons

  • Bloodthirster
  • 10 Bloodletters, Icon, Instrument of Chaos
  • 10 Bloodletters
  • 5 Bloodletters
  • 8 Daemonettes, Icon, Instrument of Chaos
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • Daemon Prince with Iron Hide
We get up at 4:00am and travel for 4 hours to get to Warhammer World only to have to play each other in a game we could otherwise play at any time at home. And we aren't allowed to swap opponents. Great.

Terrain and deployment
I set up my combat squad with the missile launcher near my objective. I had placed the objective there so that it was in relatively good line of sight from a variety of directions, and also near the impassable buildings which would make it risky for the daemons to deep strike close to. I kept the rest of my army off the table to see where the daemons would land before my army arrived.

The game
Gary got his preferred units of the Bloodthirster, one large Bloodletter unit, the Flesh hounds and the Daemonettes. They all landed centrally, supporting each other. In previous games against me Gary had learned not to leave his units isolated and to wait for reinforcements before launching a co-ordinated assault. The Daemonettes scattered onto one of the Bloodletter units which meant I got to place them. Much to Gary's surprise I put them behind my Tactical marines and in my deployment zone.

Daemons, fahsends of 'em

In my turn I moved the marines back toward the Daemonettes, away from the other daemons and the objective. I surprised Gary again by not rapid firing at the Daemonettes but by shooting them with bolt pistols and then charging in. Two marines died but they killed four Daemonettes. The combat continued.

I had put Gary in a tough spot. He could lunge forward and save the Daemonettes but that would leave him vulnerable to my units arriving from reserve or he could hang back and wait for his next wave but lose the Daemonettes and have to weather more shooting. In the end he chose the latter.

The second large Bloodletter squad dropped into the centre and the smaller squad warped in on the Daemon objective. The Bloodthirster was hiding behind a comically small building, as you can see in the photo above.

Another two Daemonettes fell but dragged down another marine.

I got the Predator, Razorback, Dreadnought and Death Company from reserve. Both tanks entered on my left and opened fire on the cowering Bloodthirster but did nothing. The Death Company charged in to butcher the Daemonettes and save the last two marines, including the missile launcher. Both units consolidated backwards. The Dreadnought anchored the right flank of my army.

I now had a thin red line hugging my own board edge.

The Daemon Prince arrived in the wood on my left and ran to the far side of it, threatening the Razorback. The Bloodthirster slid left too. All the Daemons in the middle moved forward toward my objective. Crucially, the Flesh Hounds only got a one on their run roll so they were short of assaulting the Death Company (it was actually so tight that we rolled a d6 and Gary lost).

Both armies dance around each other

I got the Rhino and combat squad from reserve and had my own tough decision to make. I could use them to reinforce the fight around my own objective, virtually guaranteeing a draw or I could make for the enemy objective and risk a win or a loss.

Eventually I deployed them on the far right to try and get the win. They would have to roll lots of difficult terrain tests to get to the enemy objective but I hoped they would give Gary something to worry about.

My Dreadnought charged into the Hounds. He rampaged through them and they were unable to hurt the behemoth. Their fearlessness counted against them as they lost models each turn to the no retreat rule.

Meanwhile the rest of my army shot the snot out of the Bloodthirster. When the smoke cleared from the autocannon, krak missile, heavy bolters, las cannon and bolter shots the Greater Daemon had lost two wounds.

I had slid the Razorback six inches toward the Predator to get away from the Daemon Prince. The Death Company braced for a counter assault into the Bloodthirster.

The Bloodthirster swooped in and crushed the Predator.

The Bloodthirster mangles the Predator

The Daemon Prince got tangled up in the woods and failed to contact the Razorback. The Bloodletters were in a real quandary in the centre as they were scared to push forward past the Dreadnought and were wary of the Rhino squad homing in on their objective.

My Death Company bravely jumped in to take on the Bloodthirster. Four marines lost their lives but the beast was banished back to the warp.

I drove the Razorback twelve inches up to get it away from the Daemon Prince and closer to the objective.

The game hangs in the balance

The Rhino threw a track in the forest on the right. That left the marines stranded miles away from the objective and the action, and effectively out of the game. My daring flank attack had failed.

Gary and I were playing the game very quickly now as the time limit was looming.

The Daemon Prince assaulted the Razorback and destroyed it.

A Bloodletter squad assaulted the Dreadnought. I couldn't understand why Gary would do that and asked him about it. He said he had a decent chance to penetrate the rear armour. I reminded him that because the Dreadnought was a walker with a WS he had to hit the front (just like the combat with the Flesh Hounds). Gary was mortified so I let him move the models differently. It didn't matter much; all they could do was move close to my objective.

I charged the Furioso in and started hacking the Daemons apart. Again their fearlessness meant they kept taking lots of casualties.

My number one priority was now to drop the Daemon Prince. The remnants of my original combat squad, the Razorback squad and the Death Company all opened fire, intending to soften it up before the Death Company charge. When the smoke cleared the monster was dead from shooting alone!

In the next turn my Furioso finished off the Bloodletters and my Razorback combat squad got to within 3" of my objective. The remaining Daemons hung back protecting their own objective.

'If you want the objective then you'll have to come through me'

Result: Draw

Learning points
  • This was a much better showing for my Blood Angels against the Daemons. Keeping my units in reserve allowed me to negate the Daemons deep striking and also scared them away from my deployment zone. Winning the choice of second turn for a change helped immensely.
  • I also protected my Troops better. In 4th edition I would have left the combat squad on the objective and shot at the Bloodletters, maybe killing a few for the loss of my unit. Instead I pulled them back, sacrificing early kills to keep them alive. In the end this was vital.
  • This time against the Daemons I chose the fights and it showed; if the game had gone on beyond turn 5 I might have threatened the enemy objective.
  • Will I ever roll better than a one on a difficult terrain roll?
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