Thursday, September 22, 2011

ETC Battle Report Round 3: Sweden

A-ah-ahh-ah, ah-ah-ahh-ah, They came from the land of the ice and snow
With 3 points out of a possible 4 we were now playing with the big boys. As Quigley, our VC, said: 'These are the teams that you want to be playing. They [Sweden] are dark horses for the title and they're really, really good. They know what they're doing and we're about to be given a lesson.' Spoken just like a teacher.

I don't know if he's a history teacher but one thing I've noticed about history lessons is that everything operates on a cyclical basis i.e. events tend to be repeated. For those that are unaware the Vikings first showed up in Ireland about 795 AD and raped and pillaged their way across the country against the unprepared defenders (they were largely monks, and not the martial arts-loving Shaolin-types either) until they were finally all put to the sword in 1014 at the Battle of Clontarf by Brian Boru (who was the martial art-loving type that was stabbed to death while praying after the battle). So, where am I going with this?

Basically, following historical precedent, we were raped. Our match-ups looked decent enough but the Swedes were obviously more prepared for this than we were, albeit having a bit of outrageous luck on their side to swing things in their favour even more.

Things of note were:
Their Guard playing drilling for a year on how to crack Stealershock (after being torn apart by the Polish list the previous year) and cock-blocking our Nids which we thought would net us lots of points. Having ordinary lasguns drag down 15, and then 14 Stealers in consecutive turns was a shocker to say the least.
One GK Land Raider taking out 3 of our BA Land Raiders.
Our Chaos player getting 20-0'd. I don't know much about it apart from a Deep striking scatter where a unit of Oblits landed on enemy models and rolled a 1 for their mishap.

My game was a match-up with Dave, their Wolf playe who was a very nice guy. I got lucky at the start when he was asked to draw straws by his Captain and he drew the short one, meaning that he had to drive the lads back to their hostel so I got his beer instead. :) That was one of the few bits of luck I had in that game.

This was a bad match-up for me. My list hated anything with fast-moving multi-wound units and Dave have 5 TWC with a Lord and to top it off he'd taken lots of infantry, but we'd both been championed so were saved til last. There was a distinct lack of 3"+ high terrain for me to hide my infantry in, safe from TWC assault, bar one piece in my left-hand corner so all of the objectives were on the ground and could be contested by his TWC, and they would be free to assault any units they wanted. That was not good.

Deployment: Pitched Battle
Primary Mission: 5 objectives
Secondary: Kill Points


The photo above shows my deployment with my army spread out to try to take out his fire support and Rhinos so that he's forced to footslog giving me time to dick his infantry before the TWC got to my vehicles, after which my GH would run away from them toward objectives. I had empty Razors up front and occupied ones behind them, with Fangs in the centre and far to my left overlooking the centre.

Dave set up his army with Fangs in the centre, GH in Rhinos behind them with a Lasplas Razor, TWC with Lord to my right with more Fangs in a forest.

I went first. For some reason I moved forward when I should have sat back and blasted stuff for 2 or 3 turns before moving forward to contest objectives. With all my firepower I only managed to kill 4 out of 6 Long Fangs in the centre. Dave ran his army at me and stunlocked some of my tanks and dropped the numbers in one of my Long Fang squads.

To cut things short this was basically what happened over the course of the game: I would shoot something and not destroy it while Dave would counter-attack and destroy whatever had just dealt out some damage. There were some exceptions: I managed to bag a the Razor with a Lascannon shot while the Scouts took out a squad of Long Fangs in one round before they were mangled by TWC. The same thing happened 2 turns later...

Scouts get stuck into Long Fangs...
...before getting gang-banged by TWC.
I tried to ignore the TWC and feed them expendable units while wailing on Dave's scoring units but it didn't work:
I reduced 2 8-man Grey Hunter units down to 1 man each; I wrecked 1 Rhino while another one had a weapon blown off and was Immobilised but still wouldn't die while there were two Fang squads left - one with 2 guys and another with 4.

I tried to cock-block units but the TWC and the Lord had enough speed to get around or go through units (like the Long Fangs here) and either wipe them out or chase them off the board and I didn't have any units able to counter-attack nor did I have enough guns to pound them while the infantry were pressing forward the whole time.

The last Grey Hunter: fuck you and your Banner.
Here's the Lord mopping up and preventing me from contesting an objective.  

Point of note: Units falling back can run (as they can do so instead of shooting as per BRB pg 16) but must move toward the table edge they are falling back to. I pulled this on my opponent, who was very surprised when his Captain agreed with me, to try to get one of my GH units out of assault range of his Lord and out of 6" to prevent them rallying but I rolled poorly and they were eaten anyway. Still, it is a handy thing to remember in games to try to keep units alive for a turn.

I was thankful when the game ended as it stopped me from getting tabled (I couldn't get the last two GH as they were hidden) and giving away even more points but the 17-3 scoreline did little to boost our score. We ended up getting mangled by 122 to 38, with only 1 of our players getting a win to put some gloss on the scoreline.

We knew that we were booted right out of the top 10 with that result and that Denmark awaited the following day. Our tour of Scandinavia would continue but hopefully there wouldn't be a repeat of what had just happened and we'd do a number on them to get back up the tables.


  1. The phrase beaten by the better men comes to mind here....And yes by trade I am a History Teacher ;0)

  2. Yes that phrase is probably more appropriate but I find that screaming rape is far more sensationalist and garners more attention: just ask Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

    I can't complain though - aside from being very good players the lads were genuinely nice guys and were deserving of their most sporting award along with the Yanks. Dave even gave me a hug after a turn of consistently poor dice rolling. That was nice.


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