|We've got a great big convoy...|
At the start of the game he told me that he'd practiced against the list in the Pale so I knew I'd be up against it as I hadn't practiced against his type of list, although it had plenty of melta-susceptible vehicles. I wasn't excited about all of the infantry though. Celestine would have her work cut out to take care of it all.
The mission was based on Cleanse from 4th ed. The board was divided into quarters and units entirely within a quarter could capture it - whoever had the most points in a quarter took it with all units being worth one, apart from Ded Transports which were 0 and Troops units worth 2. ETC sliding KP was Secondary and Spearhead was the deployment. I put down as many guns as I could with the transports blocking LOS and/or providing cover saves while Lenny deployed most of his vehicles and left the two big Assault squads and attached characters off the board in reserve with a Baal outflanking. His list is available here.
My early shooting managed to silence a few of his vehicles keeping my ones moving with Celestine racing straight toward his lines. His army did a bit of shuffling (ruin-mounting really) while the return fire did sweet FA back to me. A unit of Sisters arrived on my right and hopped out of their Rhino to get some shots at Predator side armour and free up firepower to wail on other targets - I tore off a few weapons and stunned a few more which kept my vehicles alive.
Thankfully two units of Dominions had shown up on my right and showed the rest of the army how it was done and wrecked two vehicles which freed up the Retributors to open up on a squad of Marines killing 2 and causing them to run. Oh, and Celestine who threw herself at a Predator with her krak grenade which did nothing, but at least she was in the BA lines and would be able to cause havoc when the infantry arrived in Lenny's turn. One squad hopped out of their crippled (but alive) Razorback and assaulted one of my squads but get bogged down thanks to my 3+ saves.
A unit of Marines with Sang Priest showed up and tore a Dominion unit apart while the army's firepower opened up on my Rhinos but did little thanks to me making cover saves.The handbags in the woods continued with the small BA unit and the Sisters slapping each other around.
It was here that I had a choice to make: use Celestine to act as a speed bump against the big squad and snipe the Sang Priest out of the big squad or get the KP and the Troop choice by taking out the small unit fighting in the woods.
In the end I plumbed for the easier route and Celestine got stuck into the small squad. In retrospect she should have dived into the big squad and killed the Priest thus removing FC & FNP for the unit which gave them S5 and allowed them to wound my squishy Sisters on 2's. Not to mention being able to wreck my vehicles in combat, none of which are fast or have rear AV >10. As it was she destroyed the small unit in combat.
My final Troops choice showed up on my left and headed for some ruins while my shooting did fairly little as much of my turns 4 and 5 were spent manoeuvring to grab objectives and keep units alive. Apart from Celestine who chased after a 5-man assault squad in Lenny's half of the table. The Libby and his RAS turned on with a Baal on my left and hid behind a hill, although the Baal wiped the Retributors out in 1 round of shooting.
Here's where I can cut the game short: I was able to wreck all bar one of the vehicles in Lenny's army by Turn 5 and I had more units alive in control of more quarters. But the game went on thanks to Chivite. Poxy Spanish - we haven't wanted them here since they got lost looking for Kinsale 400-odd years ago and they keep coming back to haunt us. I wasted a move with my Conclave and didn't go for a very long shot at having the Libby's RAS within 14" of them for an assault so they moved behind the hill to where the Baal couldn't see them and made another mistake by not being more defensive with my Sisters unit on the left as they were charged by the faster-moving RAS and destroyed in 2 rounds of combat with the Conclave too far away to help (but at least they were able to grab a quarter as consolation). And yes, the game went to turn 7 and I went from having more KP and and quarters to drawing on quarters and losing on KP by 1 - rolling snake eyes for what I thought was a Ld test and being told a Power Fist had yet to swing was pretty shitty. You can't win them all I suppose.
And the earlier mistake of not killing the Sang Priest came back to haunt me as the RAS with him tore through the Dominions, an Exorcist and caught up with a Rhino in my final turn, meltagunned it and killed off all the Sisters inside with the last roll of the dice. At least the game went down to the wire with Lenny taking it 11-9 and it was really good fun as it was in the balance right until the end. Plus, Lenny was sound enough to bring cakes with him so I couldn't say anything bad about him. I'm hoping to get my revenge at another event: there might be a challenge in there actually...