Disclaimer: This batrep is short sharp and reasonably rude. Enough said ... you are warned!
So I took the newly minted Swords of Alpharius out for their first 2000pt outing last night... interesting times. Jack (furthermore known as JakJak) brought 2000pts of a 2500pt anti world eaters army. It ran something like this:
- Captain in Artificer Armour and Lightning Claws
- Chaplain in Terminator Armour with Storm Bolter and Crozius
- 10 Termite Thunder Chumps
- 1 Ironclad Judge Dread with unfriendly hairpins and 2 hunter killer missiles
- 1 Normal(ish) Dreader with a plasma bazooka and a giant hand
- 10 Smurfs with melta
- 10 Smurfs with plasma
- 8 Assault Marines
- 5 Laaaazer Cannon Deviators in a Razorback with heavy thumper
Which was an awful lot of tough, non squashy shit for a mere 2000pts. I would be fielding my normalish (and frankly ridiculously uncompetitive) list of...
- HQ: Huron Blackheart 
- HQ: Chaos Sorcerer - Terminator Armour, Mark of Slannesh, Lash of Submission, Combi weapon (plasma) 
- Elites: 5 Chosen - Chump w. PF, 4 meltaguns, icon 
- Elites: 5 Terminators - 2 Chumps with Lighting Claws, Chainfist and Combi-melta, PF and Heavy Flamer, PF and combi-flamer, Mark of Slaanesh 
- Elites: Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer 
- Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino 
- Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino 
- Troops: 7 Plague Marines: Icon, Chump with PF, 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino 
- Troops: 9 Lesser Deamons 
- Fast Attack: 5 Raptors with Icon and 2 meltaguns 
- Heavy Support: Greater Deamon 
- Heavy Support: 2 Obilterators 
I'd dropped a lesser Deamon in favour of the Slanneshi Terminators...
We get Dawn of War (again ... yawn) and annihilation (again!), missions always seem to come in threes. I win the roll and go first (again!).
TURN 1: "Where is everyone?"
Deploying Huron and the Plaguemarines in a Rhino in the back field, I then decide to keep everything bar my Dreadnought and Obilterators in reserve to pick and choose my moments... The dreadnought arrives, goes bonkers and runs about a bit (this will be the apex of his contribution), the Obilterator on the left shoots plasma, the one on the right shoots plasma... despite mundo shooting only two marines die? I realise I have caught "ShiteDicealitis" from Mark ... poor rolling continues.
JakJak brings everything to the party. The uber-dread on the left with the big fist manages to unarm and immobilise the jogging Chaos Dreadnought ... effectively nullifying him. JakJak's Razorback drops off the Devastators, who start walking to the top of a high tower, Jump pack troops and the other dreader arrive on the left and start pinging anything they can see (although they miss the oblit), on the right flank 11 Thundertermiedeathstarstompers walk on the board from the edge and start a very long walk towards my lines... hidden behind a squad of Tacticals with the Captain attached...
...guess where I won't be next turn?
TURN 2: "Run rabbit run rabbit run run run..."
So I roll for my reserves, relishing the idea of dropping 4 meltagun shots into the side armour of that Ironclad Dreader ... and get nothing. Out of 7 units I get one unit arriving from reserve, the bloody raptors - ruddy marvelous!
The dreadnought stay sane and has a sulk, meanwhile the Plaguey-Rhino and Raptors move right towards the centre back of the board and away from the Terminator death. The Two obilts take potshots on the Demolisher and the plasma Dreadnought, but both are rubbish. My reserves have failed me and I'm facing a veritable horde - gulp!
JakJak gets the Devastators into a good position and starts potshotting my Deamons, Raptors and Armour from range... luckily for me nothing sticks! Oh good.
TURN 3: "And where were you?"
Ok, so not perfect, but a vast improvement... I get one Mariney-filled Rhinocake, a Greater Deamon (who can only kill the PlagueMarine Chump - grrr), the lesser Deamons and the Terminators (and Chaos Sorceror) and ... nothing else. Other Chaosmarines and Chosen are yet to arrive... grr.
The Greater Deamon burst from a rhino and runs at the tactical squad in front of it followed by 9 lesser Deamons, the ensuing combat results in a devastating win for the Deamons, but the Marines employ the "we're cheats and we mock your leadership system" rule and stick in there. Meanwhile the Obilt on the left does a cracking job immobilising the Demolisher meaning its only target in range is the deamonic close combat (Guffaw-guffaw). The Plaguemarines, Huron and the newly arrived rhinocake of mariney goodness line up in front of the Assault marines and pour bolter fire, flamer and Hurons heavy flamer into them...
(When I say pour, I actually mean lightly piss on their shoes - it was a shocking example of poor rolling), to add insult to injury, the Dreadnought goes mental shooty style and pour heavy flamer death on my Deathguard - doh! One dies.
The other oblit kills a couple of marines, as I manage to single handily give away killpoints. Firstly, I "lash of submission" the tactical squad plus enemy captain (let's call him Edward) and instead of pushing them away (and giving me a turn to arrange the charge from the Assault marines and Terminators), I randomly pull them closer, shoot a few ineffectual shots into them and then charge in my Raptors.
Second game, same lesson - raptors are shite in combat! Killpoint given away, I then consider if my brain is alright?
JakJak returns the favour with some cunning killpoint grabs. He starts massacring the Chaosmarine squad in prep for a charge by the assault marines, he goes too far in fact and thwarts his own charge as the surviving 3 marines stagger away from their blown up Rhino-cake. On the left the 'captains retinue' charges into the Terminators and discover that they are facing I5 lightning claw nasties. All die except the captain (who take a wound) and the sergeant. They kill one in return, but again deploy their 'we cheat' rule. Hmmm.
TURN 3: "Why won't you just fecking die, you fecking fecking fecker!"
So I'm locked in combat, I need to kill more dudes - what do I do? The reserves rolls are shiter than shiteness with bells on, in fact, in full knowledge of how shite they'll be, I completely forget to take the 2+ rolls and therefore pretty much forfeit the game. Ahhh hindsight!
The plague marines break from Huron (again, will I ever learn), and Huron and the Greater Demon (who was busy killing stuff) lay the smackdown on the Assault marines. They do fantastically well, but the sergeant survives and pwns Huron (AGAIN...?!?). Meanwhile the lesser deamons do nothing more than 'hump' the tactical sergeant armour (5 wounds, 5 saves, grrr) and the Captain, despite losing combat again and being surrounded by lightning clawed terminators and instant-pwn powerfists lives...
I do manage to kill 3 lascannons devastators, but poor positioning and good LOS blocking cover (I did the cover, yeah me! Oh, hang on?) denies me any shots on vehicles.
We then have to wrap up the game due to the late hour....
Null deployment ... well that backfired, didn't it. Parts of my army worked brilliantly - the Oblits continued to perform well, and the Terminators were lethal (ok against tactical marines, but look how good my raptors and lesser Deamons were?) ... the Greater Deamon added a nice touch and him and Huron are an awesome double team, BUT...
I'm lacking speed ... seriously, once I'm deployed, I cannot redeploy and respond easily. The Raptors help, but I'm currently using them like a complete pleb. I need to be more selective with my fights and engineer the combats better. I'm used to large armies which (mainly) defend, and the requirement to deliver surgical combat/shooting in new.
That said, I need to shot putting Huron with the Plaguey's, that's just dumb. I'm also hiving him off on his own (which is stupid). The chosen and the Raptors are both high threat and un-ignorable) as they offer lesser and Greater Deamon and Terminator delivery - I failed to use this.
Overall, I quite like the format of this army. Maybe more Obilterators or a Tank/Walker would add ranged threat ... but I've invested in a bike. I intend to have just 3, for objective contesting and haranging ... it might even work.
More work to do on this army type ... but it's great fun to play!