Friday, January 1, 2010

Retrospective: 1 Aug ’09 Counteroffensive VI (Game 1)

Opponent: Kenton “Tigger” Kilgore with his Dvergar Steeljacks “Space Dwarf” army (an Ork codex proxy). Kenton is of course the author and proprietor of the Jungle , one of the longest-running 40K fansites on the internet, and a friend of many years. He had been putting together his “Space Dwarf” army for a while now, and was testing out the list that weekend.

Army: 1500 points
  • 1x 30 Sluggas
  • 1x 30 Shootas
  • 1x 24 Grots, plus Herders
  • 1x 9 Nobs, led by Painboy
  • 1x 15 Burnas
  • 1x 5 Meganobs, led by Warlord
  • 1x Battlewagon
Mission: “Seize Ground” (objectives) and Pitched Battle (12” deployment)

Terrain: A circle of low hills around three edges of the board, with one long trenchline along my long board edge. Several smaller hills and rocky features offering scant cover in the middle of the table, which was otherwise a wide-open killing field. The four objectives were: on either end of the trenchline in my set-up area, on a hill on Kenton’s far right flank (my far left), and on a small hillock in the center-left area of the tabletop.

What happened?
Also read Kenton’s take on the game at the Jungle.

I set up first, placing my single unit of Hornsuits (B-Sides) on a rocky hill on my far left flank, supported by Scouts (Pathfinders), Ranger (Crisis) Suits, and one unit of the Brave (Fire Warriors). I had a similar setup, only without Hornsuits (B-sides), on the far right flank, and two units of the Brave (FW) and the HQ suit in the trenches in the center – thus starting the game with 2 objectives. Kenton responded by setting up most everything BEHIND the hill on his far right (my far left) with one objective marker, with Sluggas screened by Grots in the open, ready to rush across the open field.

I retained initiative, and with very little visible to my firepower, shot up a few Grots and Sluggas, and moved the Scout transports (Devilfish), now filled with Brave (Fire Warriors) up each flank. Kenton rammed his Battlewagon across the table, and I failed to kill it on the top of the second turn – but his MegaNobs fell short on their assault on my Hornsuits (B-sides) because they shot up their target unit…and I removed the models within their assault range.

I rewarded Kenton by blowing up his Battlewagon at point-blank range with the Hornsuits (accepting the inevitable beat-down from Meganobs that was sure to follow), and then spent the rest of Turn 3 doing a driveby of his other units, wiping out his Shootas and Sluggas. The fact that his Shootas had lost 1/3 of their number by assaulting a Flechette-enabled transport in the previous turn helped a lot. The following turn saw the Nobz and Painboy eat a mouthful of pulse-rifles rapid-firing from close range, while my Ranger (Crisis) suits chased after Grots with flamers.

The Meganobs screamed in frustration, but by Turn 5 were whittled down to just a badly wounded Warboss, who assaulted into the trenchline in my center, only to be beat down by my Mighty Slann-Fu. Fear me, for my Slann-Fu is mighty! The game ended there, with the surviving Painboyz, and the completely untouched (and totally out of position the whole game) Burnaboyz slinking off to lick their wounds. I had lost a grand total of one unit of Hornsuits (B-Sides), and one unit of the Brave (Fire Warriors).

Turning the Tables.
This was a pretty clear example of why everyone in 5e has mechanized their army lists. Foot-slogging armies, particularly assault foot-sloggers, get shredded and/or outmaneuvered. Kenton would have done a good deal better with more Battlewagons, and/or more shootas. At least then, he would have been able to throw a mass of firepower downfield as he advanced…and with a second Battlewagon, either the Painboy’s Nobs, or the Burnaz, would have been able to make it into my lines. Once he gets to me, of course, my units evaporate – but until then, I was able to isolate individual units and wipe them out one at a time.

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