|Remember: there's no such thing as bad press.|
Despite it being a tough list I was happy that I didn't end up playing one of the 4 Mech-Guard (should that hyphenated?) lists that made up the Top 8 players at that stage. I'm well able to handle it but I really didn't want to have to play 2 or even 3 of them in a row.
Enough babbling, onto the game...
Darrell's list was:
|Darrell shows his good side/feigns disinterest.|
Rune Priest with Jaws, Lightning, Chooser
Arjac with 5 TDA Wolf Guard with Storm Shield and Wolf Claw
3 Wolf Guard
3 Wolf Guard
3 Wolf Guard
6 Long Fangs with 5 Rockets with Cyclone TDA Wolf Guard
6 Long Fangs with 5 Rockets
6 Long Fangs with 5 Rockets
So a Wolf Guard list that had lots of firepower and an Arjac Deathstar. I'd have to hide or go first in order to silence his ranged threats and as long as Arjac was walking I'd simply avoid him until he got all up in my grille and I had to deal with him. With shooting.
Deployment (side shot)
My decision was made for me when Darrell won the roll off and elected to go first. No surprises there, especially when he built Mt. Long Fang in the centre of his deployment zone.
I have to admit that for the first time I saw all those Long Fangs go down I felt dread and knew this was what my opponents usually felt when they saw this: now I understand why Brian pees his pants.
Darrell's set up in the pic up above from L to R was:
Arjac & Wolf Guard, Long Fangs, Long Fangs with Cyclone WG and Logan and Rune Priest, 3 Wolf Guard, Lasplas Razor (it belonged to Long Fangs so that's why they didn't deploy in it), Moar Long Fangs, 2 Wolf Guard Lasplas Razors.
Meanwhile my deployment was:
Long Fangs, Long Fangs, Long Fangs, Thunderlord (all out of LOS of Mt. Long Fang). Everything else was in reserve.
I ended up taking about 20 mins with my deployment to make sure everything was out of LOS of the central unit so I have to apologise to Darrell for taking so long. In the end I realised it would be faster to just ask him if he could see my stuff and I would simply move them until they were hidden.
I was willing to take the first turn of shooting and then ram all my Troops down his throat to grab the objective on my right. I was going to ignore Arjac and co as they were on foot and would be pinned in place by their objective so that left me with my army being able to focus all of its attention on the right-hand one defended by 2 Razors with 6 Wolf Guard and 6 Long Fangs. I figured I should be able to take that on and overwhelm it with Grey Hunters and the Lord as long as Logan and co don't move toward it to support it.
I rolled to seize the initiative.
Mistake - I rolled to seize the initiative.
I got a 6 and took the first turn. Just after I rolled it I remembered that going first in an objective isn't always a good idea. In fact, going 2nd against a shooty army is usually a good thing to do (especially Mech Guard) as it denies them one of their main advantages - being able to bring all their firepower to bear against a variety of targets and reducing enemy mobility. I had set up to go 2nd after being shot for a turn and had now hamstrung myself by having 1/3 of my firepower out of range of my intended target: the objective on the right. Whoopee.
|I can see you...but it doesn't matter if I can't hit for shit.|
Darrell's response was for his army to sit still and unload where possible which basically meant killing a pair of my central Long Fangs and one of the Lord's Wolves but having little effect otherwise.
So both of us had shooty armies that had both had pitiful 1st turn shooting phases. I was thankful to be still in the game despite rolling a spate of 1's and 2's in my 1st turn.
I got a single Speeder, two Rhinos (one with Rune Priest) and a Razor to come on: half went right and hid waiting for me to build up more units to push down that way while the latter half moved onto my objective to back up the Long Fangs.
In my shooting phase I managed to stun one Razor and take the lascannon off another while I scared Arjac and co with my left-hand squad of Fangs by peppering them with Frag missiles. At least they wouldn't be marching straight toward my central objective with their fecking 2+/3++ soaking up my Rocket shots.
Darrell shifted both of his central Long Fangs a bit and that was it. Oh, apart from my central Long Fangs being dismantled, reduced to two. One of which was the Pack Leader. Always first to die my ass...
I was hoping the Fangs would be able to put down some suppression fire but it was still more like impression fire. At least they manged to stop one of the fecking Razors shooting the Lord while the Rune Priest with Lightning, the last Rocket and the Razor in the centre managed to tag two of the Fangs on the right. One of which was the Pack Leader. I was not amused.
Logan's central unit moved back up the building while his mobile Razor shifted a bit. The Lord took a wound from Rockets, the Rhino was fine and the Speeder was taken out. Not too bad overall.
The latter might see the unit shot at by exposing themselves, the penultimate one might dick me if the tank died as the unit could be tied up or cockblocked by the unit spilling out so it was the first option I went with as the Rhino had to be popped first before the unit could be shot. I could even hide them behind the tank if it got wrecked so they couldn't be shot by any other unit. There was also another unit in a Rhino pushing forward to support them.
My shooting was still pretty crap although I finally managed to silence his Razors (they had no guns left) and Immobilised them too. At least they wouldn't be able to shoot my Rhino. Neither would the Long Fangs as the Lord mangled them. I was hoping to put him out of LOS with a good consolidation roll but again I rolled poorly so knowing he would get gunned won I pushed him toward the central Fangs to draw fire away from the Rhino to buy time for the Grey Hunters.
Dobbsky (that reminds me of Ivan Dobksy actually) pounded the Lord until he fell over and shot a bit at my Razor but I passed the cover saves and suffered no damage.
Mistake - I hopped the Grey Hunters out of their Rhino instead of parking it on the objective or getting them out and using it to park on the objective and block LOS to the unit.
I had another unit in a Rhino pushing forward so I was hoping for another turn to get them into position. Again my shooting was pitiful, mainly because I couldn't see anything but I wasn't that worried as things were out of their hands now anyway.
I had a dilemma here:
1. Attack both Razors with the Grey Hunters in combat and take them both out maybe pinning/killing the units inside and sitting on the objective with a cover save from missiles.
2. Shoot a Razor and assault the squad that fell out and although I was worried about the distance but at least I'd force the unit away from the objective.
In the end I went for the second option.
Mistake - I went for the second option.
Darrell's turn began with his Wolf Guard running around the side of their tank and assaulting the Grey Hunters after they were shot at by the Long Fangs (only one dead as I sucked dirt for a 3+ save).
In the photo on the left you can see the angle the 3 Wolf Guard are approaching from but what you can't see is the objective which is near the Razor on the left. Darrell very cleverly assaulted the unit and pulled them away from the objective so I had to win combat and force the unit to run away or be destroyed for me to at least contest it this turn. Having popped the unit's Wolf Standard I was confident of winning but we only caused 1 wound each with the Wolf Guard fluffing his attacks completely and the unit staying there.
I was a bit gutted at the time but it was a great game that was well-played by Darrell that could have gone either way until the end so I wasn't complaining too much. I did pick up 5 points for my troubles so I hoped that would make a difference at the end. They all add up...