Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Vanilla vs Chocolate

This week I played Mick's new Grey Knight list with an early version of my "AV13+" concept list done with Codex Space Marines. I've been playing Blood Bowl a lot recently so it was good to throw down for some 40K again, but as I've been on a break I thought that keeping the list and strategy simple would be to my benefit. So with this in mind focussing on the shooty side of things and keeping it simple would help to counter my ring-rustiness!

Codex Space Marines
Librarian (Null Zone, Avenger)
2x Rifleman Dreadnoughts
Terminator Assault Squad (5x THSS in a Land Raider w. Lascannon & Heavy Bolter)
2x Tac Squads (Combi-Melta, Meltagun & Missile Launcher in Razorbacks)
Scouts (Camo Cloaks, 4 with Combat Blades, 1 with Missile Launcher)
Landspeeder Storm
Heavy Flamer
2x Auto/Las Predators
1x Thunderfire Cannon

Codex Grey Knights
2x Ordo Xenos Inquisitors (Rad and Psychotroke Grenades and Hammerhand)
2x Purifiers (7-man, 2x Psycannons, 4x Halberds and 1x Hammer, in Rhinos)
4x Strike Squads (5-man, 1xPsycannon in Psy-Backs)
3 Psyflemen Dreadnoughts

The mission was Annihilation with Spearhead deployment and horror of horrors, Mick got to go first. He spread out across the middle of his deployment zone so that he could get clear lines of sight down both flanks. I castled up with my Predators flanking the Land Raider and the Dreads and Razorbacks right behind them. The missile launcher combat squads and the Thunderfire Cannon were positioned on a hill in the back corner of my deployment zone.

As you may be able to guess this was not the most exciting game for a spectator but I have to say that I had not appreciated how interesting it can be to play a gun-line style game. It's much easier to control but you still need to be precise in your movements and target selection is everything.

The game was pretty bloody right from turn 1 with Mick's opening salvo causing a string of Damage Table results on my Predators, shaking both, and leaving one without it's Autocannon. He also blew up a razorback I hadn't completely screened with my tank wall. In return I managed to blow up a Dread and one of the Purifiers' Rhinos and shake a Psy-back. My Thunderfire cannon also managed to whittle down the Purifiers, now de-meched, to only 3 models so they were effectively out of the game as Mick wanted to protect their Kill Point.

I had smoked my two damaged Predators and used them to screen the remaining Razorback so Mick's next turn saw a similar 6” advance but his firepower was less effective, though he did manage to take a Lascannon off the intact Predator and shake one of my Dreads. My firing was more effective, I took out another Dread and one more Psy-Back, the Thunderfire cannon was less effective though only taking out a single Grey Knight.

It continued much like this for a couple more turns until Mick got his remaining Purifiers into charge range of my Land Raider. He was having frankly terrible luck with his Psycannons on cracking open my Land Raider, he didn't manage to get even a single glancing hit, so in went his Daemon Hammer- wielding Purifiers and I think managed to stun it … that was it. My shooting managed to take a few more vehicles as kill points but it was in Mick's next shooting phase where he finally caught a bit of a break.

At last the weight of fire directed at the Land Raider paid off and Mick managed to wreck it and I could not disembark my Terminators outside of charge ranged (though I did try). Purifiers with Psycotroke grenades are the scary prospect so I was not looking forward to my Assault Terminators taking the charge from them. Fortunately the dreaded 2 did not appear and my Terminators were only forced to go at I1, not exactly a handicap for THSS Terminators! I got away with one there and only lost a couple of Terminators and my Librarian, in return I caused 5 wounds winning the combat by one.

In the final turn I was able to wipe out the Purifiers and secure an 8-5KP victory. It should be noted that this was Mick's first game with the Grey Knights and he forgot a few crucial things that could have swung the combat with the Terminators. We chatted afterwards and I felt he played a bit conservatively as he could have possibly been more effective if he'd got to midfield more quickly to ensure the maximum amount of firepower could brought to bear.

Either way I was pleased with how I played and I felt that the AV13+ strategy was reasonably durable even though Mick had some very poor dice and should probably have taken out more of my tanks early on but for some poor damage table rolls. I'm going to stick with the concept as much as possible for a little while so I'll let you all know how it gets on in the future.

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