Saturday, 25 September 2010

Every Dog Has its Day!

Last night my motley crew of Vanilla Marines turned over Gav’s Space Wolves for only the second time since we’ve been playing each other. What I took from the game was that, as I have said elsewhere, elite-style armies are slaves to the dice; Gav had some of the worst dice I have ever seen him roll and I had unprecedentedly good dice. For me this just re-enforced my opinion that, typically, Marines (and other elite armies) just do not roll enough dice to consistently overcome a few bad dice rolls and, to be fair, Gav had more than a few bad dice rolls. The counter to this was that I had probably one of the best games I’ve had in quite a while, I didn’t really make any tactical mistakes (I didn’t deviate too much from my plan), the risks I took paid off and the dice came through for me when I needed them to. It should also be noted that it’s a huge credit to Gav’s generalship that he was still in the game up till the top of turn 6 (the game was limited to 6 turns).

Anyway, to give you some context for all this, here’s an overview of the game:

My list:

Null Zone, Avenger

Assault Terminators
(5) Thunder Hammer & Stormshields; Land Raider Crusader w. Multi Melta & Extra Armour
(10) 5x Combi Melta, 2x Lascannon; Rhino
2x Twin-Linked Autocannons

Tactical Squad
(10) Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Power Fist; Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasmaguns
Tactical Squad
(10) Plasma Gun, Missile Launcher; Razorback w. Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasmaguns

Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter
Typhoon Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter

Gav's list can be found here.

Deployment: Pitched Battle
Mission: Primary – Table quarters controlled by scoring units (1 point for quarters in your own half, 2 for those in your opponent’s half)
Secondary – Kill Points

I basically set up in the middle of the table with heavy weapon combat squads wide on the left and right flanks. Because I planned to drive my Land Raider up the Right flank I put my Sternies and Tac Razorbacks on the left, I figured that the Termies would be OK on their own. Gav set up mostly on his right flank with one Long Fang pack, the Rhino with the Rune Priest and the Vindicator over on his left.

My plan was to try and tie up my right flank with the Terminators and a Land Speeder, everything else was focussed on taking and defending the left flank and this is pretty much how the game went. Turn 1, my shooting did just enough to take some of the sting out of his anti-tank threats. Conversely Gav's shooting did pretty much nothing, the one or two shots that did get through were negated by cover saves! My Raider survived a 1st turn shot from the Vindicator which allowed it to get the Terrmies into assault against the Long Fangs on my right flank on turn 2.

After wiping out the Long Fangs, my Termies survived the combined firepower of 2 Grey Hunter packs for the loss of 2 models and on the resulting charge they routed the charging Grey Hunters and killed the Rune Priest for no loss … I like these guys! From here on in the Raider and Termies cleaned house along Gav's back lines. On the other flank Razorbacks and Heavy Weapons teams traded blows to little noticeable effect until Gave made a move forward.

As with most of Gav's moves in this game the dice did not support his theory that fortune favours the brave, he took out a razorback but got mowed down in return, and despite training the remaining Long Fangs on the remnants of one of my Tac Squad he failed to do a wound! Pretty much par for the course in this game. The only other moment worth mention was the Wolf Scouts who took 3 turns to wipe out my Lascannon Sternies before my Tac ML Squad intervened to mop them up.

The game ended with me holding my two table quarters and Gavs left flank, despite running his last Grey Hunter Squad off the board at the top of Turn 6 I did not have a 4th scoring unit left to take the final quarter thanks to his long Fangs managing to finish of my depleted Tac Squad contesting the last table quarter. I've made it sound pretty one sided but it really wasn't, it was very closely contested in every turn it was just that at pretty much every crucial point in the game Gav's dice let him down:

Turn 1: Vindicator shot deviated 1” off the Land Raider and cannot pen, combined shooting of 4 Razorbacks and 2 Long Fang Squads results in no damage

Turn 2: I make my dangerous terrain test to move my Land Raider into range to allow the Termies to assault Gav's Long Fangs (just barely!). Torrent of fire followed by an assault results in 2 dead Terminators but 1 dead Rune Priest and a fleeing unit of Grey Hunters.

Turn 3: I pass another dangerous terrain test on my Land Raider. Gav's Land Speeder mishaps and is placed out of the action by me.

Turn 4: After surviving 2 krak missiles and 3 Heavy Bolter shots to its rear armour Gavs Vindicator is blown up by a single Lascannon shot to the side from the last unit that can see it (its survival would probably have wiped out my troops holding my right flank.

Turn 5: Long Fangs open fire on the 2 remaining members of one of my Tac Squads who are in the open, a Lascannon and Krak missile hit and neither manages to wound.

Turn 6: I unload all of my remaining guns at Gav's last Razorback it survives until I'm the very last gun that can see it, which wrecks it and allows my Termies to assault the unit inside who route them off the table.

Unit of the game for me was the Terminators, without a doubt, they cleaned house and too the right flank on their own, repaying the faith I placed in them to do this. My weakest unit was probably the Sternies, both combat squads failed to do anything of note, half of them being taken out of the game by the Wolf Scouts for 3 turns and the other half killing themselves with their own AP3 shells. Special thanks go to the dice gods of course, I sacrificed a Duck Curry in your name this evening … it was yummy!


  1. Assault Terminators do rock indeed. I really don't like facing them across the table.
    Bad dice can ruin your plan but I think if you play soundly and have a good list you can overcome that. That's why its important for your units to be able to support each other in case one (or two or three) of them fail to do what they are supposed to.
    Sounds like a fun game though and as long as you both had fun, dice rolling it not an issue.

  2. I think Andy had the lion's share of fun in this one lol Seriously though it was a good game and I was really happy that my army managed to stay in it right until the end.

    I don't like talking about luck but I will mention one incident that summed up the game. If I had failed an armour save on one of my Long Fangs then Andy's Terminators would have been out of charge range. Result? Passed save. Ah well, these things happen in a dice game I guess.

    Interstingly, according to the Open War pack, it doesn't say what happens if you have a difference in Objectives of 4 as we did...



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