Thursday, 11 November 2010

Tactical Error?

Gav and Mick have both commented on my decision to reserve my list against Mick's Wolves last Thursday so here's the situation and what prompted me to take that approach to deployment.

Firstly here's my list:

Shield and Unleash Rage
Honour Guard
(5) Jump Packs, 2x Meltagun, Power Sword

Furioso Dreadnought
Blood Talons; Drop Pod
Terminator Squad
(5) Cyclone Missile Launcher, Chain Fist

Assault Squad
(5) Meltagun; Razorback w. TL Assault Cannons
Assault Squad
(5) Flamer; Razorback w. TL Heavy Bolter

It's not what you'd call optimal but I thought I could do something with it. Mick's list can be found here.

Anyway, the mission is diagonal deployment zones with 2 pts for each scoring unit and 1 pt for each other unit that ends the game in your opponent's deployment zone. Mick won the roll-off and deployed first, he put his Long Fangs in cover with excellent fields of fire across the board. One Rhino with the squad of 9 Grey Hunters and the Rune Priest was deployed centrally with the Thunderwolf next to it, the other Rhino with the 10 man squad was wide to my left.

Assessing the table before deployment I could see no way in which I could deploy my Razorbacks and give them cover from at least one of Mick's anti-tank units, given that my troops would then be on foot they would probably be dead before they could get half way across the table. Since the Blood Angels Razorbacks are fast I figured that holding them in reserve wouldn't be a major problem as I would likely be able to get my troops across the board in time to score anyway. So, into reserve they went.

The Dread was in a Pod and for the same reasons as my Razorbacks I decided to hold it in reserve for a turn 1 drop. I figured that I could use the Pod to cover it from one of the Long Fang Squads and give it a chance of surviving until turn 2. With the Honour Guard the best I could do would have been to give them a 4+ cover save vs his Missile Launchers and Lascannons which would all be targeting them turn 1. Since they had jump packs anyway I figured that they would come in turn 2 deep-strike into cover and get a chance to do something - hopefully support the Dread if it was still alive.

With those decisions made it seemed like a no-brainer to reserve the Termies as well so they could deep-strike into Mick's deployment zone and give me a tough to kill, point scoring unit. So Decision made and it was game-on.

As we have read in Mick's earlier post, this tactic did not go well for me and hindsight is always 20-20 so I can't really feel too bad about my decision to reserve everything. I was fully aware that it is a risky tactic and as it turned out the worst outcome possible actually happened - my units came on the board one at a time and it was a shooting gallery for Mick.

If I had to do it again I might still choose to go the same way and take the risk. The fact was that Mick could hit up to 5 separate units with anti-tank fire with no cover saves available to me. Even if I'd pre-deployed my 3 armour units and Terminators I don't think I'd have had enough target saturation to give myself a chance of making it to turn 3 with enough left on the board to challenge Mick's counter-attack units.

Like Captain Kirk I don't believe in no-win scenarios but I needed some luck to win this one and I didn't get it, that's the way it goes in 40k and I enjoy that about the game because sometimes luck favours me!

1 comment:

  1. Did you consider dropping the Pod empty? You could have used it to cut down the LoS of one of Mick's Long Fang packs and had the Dreadnought run for a couple of turns instead.

    I think that's an option although you're probably better off getting the Dread in someone's face asap. With dropping the Dread I still think you should have started with everything else on the board. Yes, Mick could target 5 units but could he realistically destroy 5? The key target was always going the be the Dread since it could rip through his troops with his jazz hands. I think that even in the absolutely best case scenario you might stop the Dread and the Razorbacks but you'd need a fair bit of luck.

    Speaking of luck, I know that we've talked a lot about how a few bad dice rolls can really hurt a small, elite army like Space Marines. I think that you left yourself open to that by reserving everything. With no way to manipulate reserves there was always a possibility that you'd enter piecemeal and against an army with so much firepower that was always asking for trouble.


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