Tuesday, April 7, 2009

DAEMONHUNTERS versus Chaos Daemons

Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Capture and Control
Deployment: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Daemonhunters
Points: 1500
Location: 278.M41, Mandag, Hexen Sub, Skolarii sector
Background: Chaos Daemons continue to throw themselves at the perimeter of Mandag spaceport. The Imperial defenders are unsure whether the Daemons have a masterplan or if they are simply attracted to the battle. Whatever their mysterious motivations Inquisitor Severus is determined to hold the line.

Daemonhunters with Imperial Guard allies
  • Inquisitor Lord Severus, thunder hammer, bolt pistol, sacred incense, sanctuary, 3 combat servitors, 2 acolytes with power armour and bolt pistols, 2 familiars, 2 hierophants, 3 mystics
  • Inquisitor Kurven, Psycannon, power armour
  • Inquisitor Mabus, Incinerator
  • Eversor assassin
  • 6 Stormtroopers, 2 flamers, rhino
  • 6 Stormtroopers, 2 melta guns, rhino
  • 6 Stormtroopers, 2 plasma guns
  • IG infantry platoon
  • Command section, junior officer, missile launcher, 2 plasma guns
  • Infantry squad, missile launcher, grenade launcher
  • Infantry squad, missile launcher, grenade launcher
  • Infantry squad, missile launcher, grenade launcher
  • Armoured Fist squad, flamer, Chimera, multilaser, heavy bolter, heavy stubber
  • Sentinel, multilaser
  • Leman Russ, heavybolter

Chaos Daemons

  • Bloodthirster
  • Winged Slaaneshi Daemon Prince
  • Daemon Prince
  • 8 Bloodletters, Standard, Musician
  • 8 Bloodletters
  • 5 Bloodletters
  • 7 Daemonettes
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • 3 Flamers
  • Herald of Tzeentch
  • 5 Horrors, Changeling

Terrain and deployment
I got the choice of table edge and would get first turn. Like the last game we played on this table I again picked the edge with the 3 storey ruin in the centre. I put my objective on the far right flank in largely open terrain. Gary put his pretty much opposite behind a 2 storey ruin.

I deployed my IG infantry and the plasma gun stormtroopers near the objective with Severus behind and to the left. My plan was to hold my objective in force and drip feed units onto the Daemon objective to contest it.

The game
Gary took a characteristically ballsy (or stupid!) decision to slam his units hard onto my right flank. It would undoubtedly define the game; either his units would scatter off the board, onto my units or get vaped by my mystics as they arrived or they would land largely unharmed and tear me apart. The Herald of Tzeentch got lost in the warp never to be seen and I got to place the Flamers on my far left flank. I also wounded the Daemon Prince and took a Flesh Hound unit down to just two models.

Advantage Imperium.

The Horrors and Bloodthirster also landed in my lines but shrugged off all my mystic assisted firepower. The Horrors wiped out my plasma gun stormtroopers and briefly held my objective.

I got every single unit other than Inquisitor Mabus and his stormtroopers from reserve. I now had to press my advantage.

Inquisitor Kurven zoomed on and scrambled from his rhino along with his meltagun stormtroopers. The unit took two wounds from the Bloodthirster. My IG command squad took off another and then I decided to charge Severus and crew in. They tore down the monster in combat with minimal casualties.

My other IG units passed their leadership tests to target the Horrors with the Changeling and destroyed the unit. Sundry other firepower took more wounds from the Daemon prince.

My Eversor entered the board from the wrong flank but that meant he could take on the Flamers. Unsurprisingly he killed the whole unit but he was too far from the action to get involved in the rest of the battle.

My Sentinel came on from my favoured flank near the Daemon objective. It missed all of its shots at the winged DP.

I had pretty much shattered the Daemon army in just one turn. Capture and Control is a very tough mission to win, though, so I knew I had to keep fighting hard.

A squad of Bloodletters landed near my lines as the surviving Flesh hounds and winged DP moved forward. Both Daemon princes tried to charge Severus' squad but the winged DP failed his difficult terrain test (caused by my Hierophants) and fell short. The regular Daemon prince was killed before he could swing.

The Flesh Hounds killed an IG squad. They then fell to IG shooting. Severus steamed into the last few Bloodletters and killed the whole unit while Kurven took out the winged DP. My objective was clear now and all I had to do was get to the Daemon objective.

Gary brought another two Bloodletter squads and his Daemonettes down next to his objective. He also brought his second Flesh hound unit down nearby but it scattered off the table and was destroyed.

I forgot to shoot the Sentinel and it was then overwhelmed by charging Bloodletters. I shot everything I had through the windows of the buildings and caused lots of casualties but not enough to clear the objective. Meanwhile, Inquisitor Severus was running over the battlefield to reach the objective, with my Armoured Fist squad and Inquisitor Mabus zooming up in their vehicles too.

I needed the game to go to turn six so that I could reach the Daemon objective. Sure enough the game ended on turn five.

Result: Draw - DH + IG 1 objective, Chaos Daemons 1 objective

Learning points
  • Gary has a tough dilemma in taking on my army; either drop into my lines and risk scattering off the table or onto my units and risk getting shot up via the mystics but be in a good position to assault or drop further away negating the mystics and co-ordinating the Daemon army but then risking more shooting as they try to contact my lines. I favour the latter while Gary favours the former. Gary feels his way is more exciting but I think it just polarises things, taking any sort of tactics out of the game. Either the Daemons are lucky and survive the initial drop then overwhelm the defenders or they get shot up and are then overwhelmed themselves. At least if Gary switched between the two approaches it would give us both a bit of variety. I think if he deep striked conservatively, using terrain to shield his units, and launched a co-ordinated assault then it could be more tactical as the Daemons would then have more control over their positions and fights. Gary thinks that this is safe and boring. I guess it's a credit to the game that it can support these different points of view.
  • I'm thoroughly sick of playing the same army every week now so I'll definitely shake things up for next time.

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