Saturday, October 15, 2011

ETC Battle Report Round 6: Austria

So after our caning at the hands of the hosts we were paired off with Austria in the final round. But not without a bit of controversy arising. The Nordies were left without opponents after the Norweigans flaked off to catch flights without informing them first (they only informed the Judges which was a bit disrespectful to their opponents) and Northern Ireland won the round 20-0. The Austrians had 2 lads in the same boat (should that be plane) and so they were down 2 men but we all tried to figure something out. We were given the option of winning the round by default which we turned down, and instead offered to have 2 of the Nordie lads take their places but the Austrians refused. Fair enough.

In the end, two of our players sat it out and we played 6 on 6 but we were up 40 points as a result of 2 byes. At least that would cover us for the 20 point penalty that was imposed because our lists were late because Darragh can't count. :P

Deployment: Spearhead.
Primary objective: Seize Ground (3 fixed counters).
Secondary objective: Capture & control.
Positioning the objectives : one objective is in the center of the table. The other 2 objectives are in the center of both unoccupied table quarters.*

*Note: neither of us noticed the fixed objective thing so we placed them ourselves.

I was pitted against Matyas Bodor's Lash/Oblits/Land Raider Chaos list.

Daemon Prince with Mark of Slaanesh, Wings, Lash
Daemon Prince with Mark of Slaanesh, Wings, Lash

3 Terminators with 2 Combimeltagun & Reaper Autocannon
Land Raider with Dozer & Extra Armour
3 Terminators with 2 Combimeltagun & Reaper Autocannon
Land Raider with Dozer & Extra Armour

5 Chaos Marines with Icon, Flamer
5 Chaos Marines with Icon, Melta

3 Oblits
2 Oblits
2 Oblits

This was something that my army was build to deal with and I had played a few games against similar builds with some of the lads in my group beforehand so I had an idea of what to do. My job was made easier with all of the grey LOS-blocking terrain being large enough for me to completely hide my Razors behind but just low enough to enable me to have the twin-lascannons see beyond it. I won the roll to go first and took it to ensure I got as many of those things as I could get in my half. The only thing was I had to remember the last-minute ruling that allowed Daemon Princes to Lash one unit and then assault another. Yes, that was special.

All of the guns. All of the time.
I plopped all of the Fangs into the ruin on my right and all of the Razors behind terrain so that I could bring all of my firepower to bear as quickly as possible.

Matyas deployed only the Land Raiders (behind Grey things) with an Icon squad behind it and everything else Deep Striking or running on from the board edge.

Turn 1
I moved a little bit and opened up with everything at the Land Raiders and managed to Immobilise one and destroy a Lascannon so that it couldn't see or reach my units to return fire while the other one was unable to shoot. Savage.

The other Land Raider shimmied about a bit while both smoked to stop the Scouts getting an easy run of it.

Turn 2
One unit of Scouts showed up and went after the stricken Raider while the rest of my army moves into midfield with the lead ones popping smoke to draw out the inevitable Termicide and Oblit drops this turn. The Scouts bounced off the Raider despite hitting with both Meltas and the Meltabombs. Sigh - they were going to die early again. At least they might last long enough and prove a hassle to kill off before the went.

My shooting pounded into the moving Raider and I managed to Stun it but it's AV 14 was too much for me this turn.

Some of the Chaos reserves started to arrive: a Daemon Prince went straight for the Scouts while 2 units of Oblits landed next to the Immobilised Raider because of the Icon with a unit of Termies landing in front of a Razor on my left (they were dropped an inch away and rolled a hit). The Scouts managed to do 2 Wounds on the Daemon Prince so that they tied combat while the Oblits opened up on Razorbacks but only scratched paint.

Turn 3
My response is to punish Matyas for forgetting to open fire with his Termicide squad on the left and try to get rid of the Oblits so they can't take my light tanks apart. I open up on the big squad of Oblits and nail 2 while the Termies fall over to Bolter fire (Triple 1's!) from the 2 squads of Grey Hunters that have disembarked from their rides but will be unassailable due to the V-shaped wedge I form with the Razors. The combat phase isn't as kind as the Scouts are torn to bits.

Dum-dum-dum-dum, duh-dum, duh-dum, Can't touch this.
The Chaos reaction is to try to wreck all of my Razors to cut my mobility down. Another Termicide unit shows up as does the other Prince and the final Oblit unit. With the injured Prince free he throws himself forward in the hope that the Oblits can wreck a nearby tank and Lash will pull a unit into assault range but it doesn't work out. The Termies do more than their recently deceased brethren and bag a Razor as does a unit of Oblits but I'm able to jump the unit out behind the busted Razor.

Turn 4
The 2nd Scout unit showed up but arrived on my left table edge far away from everything. The rest of my army pushed forward to bring the Oblits into LOS and/or range while I've also been pushing a Razor with a unit of Hunters in it toward an objective on my right in order to contest it later in the game.

In the shooting phase I managed to down a Prince and the Termies with Rockets (the latter dying to Frags by rolling triple 1's again!) and I do 2 wounds to the other Prince through a combo of Lascannons and Rocket fire. I choose to run with the Scouts, toward one of the objectives that a Land Raider is parked on, so that the Chaos army has to split up if it wants to deal with my army.

The remaining Prince jumps back to deal with the Scouts while the mobile Land Raider makes a big push to my right, where my lone Razor is also headed. The Oblits open up on a pair of Razors and manage to Immobilise one and Stun the other which is enough for them to cockblock the rest of my tanks trying to squeeze through the gap near the centre of the board. Not good. The Daemon Prince destroys the Scouts without taking any damage after they get shot at by the Immobile Land Raider. That's not good.

Turn 5
I have to make a dash for objectives in case the game ends so the Razors and units on my left push for the objective in a wood, the lone Razor moves toward the objective on my right and I risk Plasma Cannons by disembarking 2 squads in the centre and running toward the central objective. Thankfully I'm just about able to squeeze a Razor through the gap between the other Razors and give them cover. My shooting pulls down the remaining DP making it more likely my units will survive by not being Lashed/Oblitted.

The Chaos response is for the Land Raider to declare a Ram on the lone Razor but it rolls a 1 on the Pen roll. :) The grunts inside disembark, take a shot at the Razor with a Melta and miss. The Oblits pop a Razor but there isn't enough firepower remaining to get rid of the Grey Hunters as I made a lot of cover saves and he was forced to dedicate all his firepower to the tanks. I'm hoping the game ends so I can get a win but it continues.


Turn 6
So in order to win I've got to duck and cover with my Grey Hunters. The unit on the right get out of their Razor and move next to the Land Raider in front of them while the Razor edges backward to give them room. The units on my left hunker down on their objective and hope that cover will save them. I manage to spread the two units out just enough so that they'll get cover from the forest but they won't get blasted by Plasma Cannons. Meanwhile the central units are relying on the Rune Priest's Storm Caller and my bubblewrapping skills to keep them alive.

My firepower takes out another two Oblits (one loner, one from a squad) while the Grey Hunters on the right try to assault the Chaos Marine squad on the far side of the Land Raider but don't make it so have to be content with ineffectually gouging holes out of a Land Raider but being within 3" of the objective. I'm ok with this as I reckon they've a better chance of surviving the enemy's attentions than the Razor does.

The Land Raider and Marines open up on the Grey Hunters in front of them and kill 2 before they get stuck in. On my left the Oblits target the Grey Hunters in the wood but I pass the majority of my cover saves and both units remain largely intact. The combat phase is critical - I need to hang in there to guarantee that I deny the objective to the Austrian and not free up the Chaos Marines to take out the Razor later on in case the game continues. Thankfully the Grey Hunters prove their worth and lose one of their number but pass their Morale test, staying in combat. Matyas is raging.

If the game ends I think I'll win it. The dice is rolled and it goes on. And on.

Turn 7
I was getting tired but I needed to close it out. I can try to kill things (Oblits/Troops) but I realise it's far more important to keep my units alive so I move any and all available Razors to shield my troops in lieu of firing. The units in the centre hide behind a Razor but point their Meltaguns in the direction of the Land Raider which might make a dash for the central objective while the units on my right are hidden behind another pair of Razors. Finally, the lone Razor on my right tries to move to within 3" of the objective but I'm eyeballing it and it'll be a tight call. I'll have to rely on the Grey Hunters in combat.

Here's the central units before they wrap around and jump inside the light blue Immobilised Razor to grab the objective respectively. I didn't hop them into tanks as I was afraid they would explode and both units would be pinned or would run away. Plus, you can take a tank out with one shot but you typically can't do that to a unit. My combat phase ends in a draw: handbags at dawn.

The Hunters are hidden by the Razors.
The Chaos Land Raider drives toward the central objective, clipping a unit and I'm salivating at the prospect of my Meltagun bagging me a tonne of points until I roll a 4 on 2d6. Again, I find myself relying on Storm Caller to keep my tanks alive from enemy firepower.

With the central objective contested and 5 Chaos Marines fighting 2 Grey Hunters Matyas chooses to focus his firepower on my two squads on my left but he has to crack open Razors with Lascannons before the Plasma can rain down. He doesn't manage to get through either of them so he has to drop templates on the far side of my Razors, clip a few Marines and hope they scatter further into my lines. It happens once but I pass all of my saves.

It's down to the 2 Grey Hunters against the Chaos Marines: he has 5, I have only 2. I throw my attacks out first and do...nothing. I'm starting to think that Matyas' might finally have turned when my marines are forced to take a pair of saves each.

They unimportant Flamer passes both and it comes down to the grunt to make his saves. The first roll is a 6. The second is a...3. With that I win.

Final Result:
A 15 -5 Win.

So I won the match and the round was a much-needed win for Team Ireland too. We ended up finishing 13th, just behind the Danes. It has to be noted that the 20 point penalty for list submission had no bearing on our games whatsoever. We were glad about how much better we had fared this year compared to last year but I was hoping for a place in the top half but only missing out on that on BP's means that we know that it can be cracked next year with a bit of work. I'm ever the optimist.

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