So, I had my second game of 8th last week and this time we were playing power points. Its still not my preferred method of army construction but my opponent was on his 3 game of 40k ever and wanted to use power points. We also stuck to open play, using one of the eternal war missions, namely the scouring, although we simplified it a bit by ignoring the different objectives and just counting them as all the same.
For the game I was torn between taking the Hjaltland LI, and getting some more time to practice with them or take the Dagr Ormr and trying out deep striking. In the end I decided to go for the Dagr Ormr and have a go at mass deep striking.
I won the rolls for deployment and started putting down the support elements, provided by the Hildasay PDF, consisting of a lasscannon squad and two mortar squads along with their commanders. At the end of deployment the Ratlines sneaked in to a vantage point over looking the battle field. Now, my list is not designed to ensuring first turn, due to cheap heavy squads and commanders.
The Hildasay PDF, set ready to support the Dagr Ormr. Lascannons with platoon commander at the bottom, mortar with platoon commander in the middle and the second mortar squad and ratlines with commissar and company commander at the top.
The warriors of the Greater Good, aka dirty Tau. Ghostkeel at the bottom with pathfinders and some drones. The stealth team is visible in the middle with a strike team in the building above (with a drone on the roof) and hiding at the top is a devilfish with breaches inside.
The Dagr Ormr ready to deploy on to the field. From left to right there is a command squad (medic, standard, vox, Flamer), volley gun command squad, two primes and 3 10 man squads (melta, plasma and volley)
With my opponent going first i failed to seize and my opponent moved up to get in range with most of his weapons, which were mostly the shorter ranged Tau weaponry. There were a few sporadic shots, but with most of my army off the board, there was little for him to shoot at.
In response I decided to drop in the plasma scion squad and a prime to issue some orders. I also dropped in a command squad, tooled up with volley guns, to use the second order. The mortars proved their worth against the pathfinders, it took both squads but the pathfinders were wiped out. The plasma scions then overcharged their guns and hit the Ghostkeel. My opponent forgot about the hard to hit stuff, -1 for over 12" and -1 for cam something or other, so I should have been hitting on 4's not 3's (inside 12"). How much difference it wood have made, I don't know, as it worked out, I did 6 wounds, but 2 were saved, meaning only 4 wounds were taken. Not too bad, but I had hoped for better. At this point I made a mistake and forgot hotshot volley guns are now heavy and didn't apply my own -1 modifier. Seeing as they did next to nothing, 1 wound I think, it didn't make much difference.
Scions drop in to say hello. Trying to keep 9" away from the Tau but still less than 18" from each other was challenging, but possible.
The board at the end of turn 1.
Turn 2 started with Tau advancing forward again. Now, looking back I see that we made another mistake, as the devilfish moved up and then disembarked the breaches. Ill have to double check but I'm pretty sure you disembark then move. At the time I didn't spot this and its only now, as I write up the report that I noticed it. It wouldn't have changed much really, just delayed the combat fir a turn that's all. I'm also wondering if the breaches actually shot or not, as only one rattling was removed and none of the mortar teams were before combat. I would have thought that 20 shots at s5 would have killed a few more off than that? Anyway, they charged and lost one to overwatch (one advantage of no templates). I think apart from that only the Ghostkeel killed a lascannon team and the stealth suits ran away from the plasma scions, although at some point a few died, I think to the firewarriors and maybe drones.
Breaches pre charge.
Ghostkeel moving up.
Post charge and another missed rule, I wanted to do an heroic intervention but got confused about when to do it and for some reason though that I did it in my turn, which was silly, cos you can just charge in then anyway!
The depleted scions and another missed rule. To be fair, it did enter my mind at the time as to whether this was legal and I'm honestly still not sure. In 7th if this happened in shooting then you just had to move i. To consolidation next turn but with removing models of your choice I think it now means that you can't do this, as you can never break the units coherency. Now many will this I was trying to protect the character, the Grey one on the right, but I was actually trying to protect the vox caster, the red one on the right. In the end it made little difference to the game, as the vox caster was never in range of any other units to pass along order, but it could have been and it might have made a difference. Next game I'll have to have a rethink on this.
Anyway, my turn started pretty much like this;
That's 2 full squads, as command squad and a prime, dropping in on the Tau lines. The were 4 melts up front by the devilfish and 4 volley guns on the left, facing the stealth suits. The remains of the plasma scions moved up to take on the last of the drones as well.
The melta guns did there job, although being out of half range they only managed to take the devilfish down to 3 wounds left. Not bad but could have been better. The volley guns on the other side did their stuff and took out 2 suits, again not as good as could have been but they were on -2 to hit, one for moving and one for the stealth suits. Still 3 wounds (one Wes already wounded) from 16 shots hitting on 5's ain't to bad.
The combat between the mortar teams and firewarriors rumbled on. The company commander and commissar joined in the fight, although they didn't do as much as I had hoped. With 3 s5 ap- 1 and 4 s3 ap -3 attacks I had hoped to kill off the firewarriors in short order, but hitting on 3's and wounding on 3's and 4's cuts down the number of wounds quite a bit. Needless to say, they weren't exactly combat monsters when they fought.
Turn 3 and the Tau were starting to get worried. There was not much left to move. The devilish was on its last legs, the stealth suits were down to half numbers, as were to stalker firewarriors, there were a few random drones around and the breaches were locked in combat. Only the ghostkeel was really still effective. To this end the stealth suits sought cover and the ghostkeel moved across the board to challenge the main scion force. The firewarrior stalkers also moved it of cover to get better shots.
As a result of shooting, the lascannon squad was reduced to one team, half the remaining ratlines were removed and a couple of scions were killed. Not enough to change the game though. The slap fest continued at the back with no more casualties in combat.
Tau firewarriors and imperial guardsmen showing the world how not to fight combat.
Dance of the devilish.
My turn started out with the melts scions closing for the kill, turns out 4 meltas aren't as reliable at killing vehicles as you think. Two missed and two failed to wound! So the devilish survived, even after my opponent allowed me to try and throw a Krak grenade as well, which completely missed by the way. I also didn't manage to take out any more stealth suits but I did manage to kill a few more of the stalker firewarriors with the second mortar squad.
Scions close on the stealth suits and devilish to finish them off, yet failing miserably at both. However, else where on the board, there was good news. As at last the few remaining drones were wiped out. It took 4 overcharged plasma guns, resulting in a dead scion, and the combined combat potential of the remaining scions and the prime to destroy them.
Drones removed and firewarriors getting very worried.
The combat on my side of the board rolled on, with only another Tau casualty. At this point, both the commissar and commander were injured, as was the Tau sgt, and the mortar squad was down to two healty teams. I was starting to wonder if there would ever have been a victor.
The guard lines still holding, but the big scary ghostkeel is moving in for the kill.
At the end of turn 3, we called it as we were out of time. I think that had we have gone on to turn 5, it could have been a tabling for the Tau. At the end of turn 3 he was down to a Ghostkeel with supporting drones, 3 stealth suits and about 5 strike firewarriors, a crippled devilfish and 7 preacher firewarriors. I still had a lascannon, 2 mortar squads plus commanders, a couple of ratlines, two primes a command squad, the remnants of the plasma squad and two almost complete scion squads. I had the numerical superiority and the tools to deal with what was on the table. It was only the Ghostkeel that worried me. As it was I ended up winning comfortably, with 4 objectives, line breaker and first blood to one objective.
While I played fairly aggressively, trying out the various units and their abilities, I was aware that my opponent was very inexperienced. My opponent made a few mistakes and played a little to defensively for the army I had. If I had been him I would have pushed up a lot quicker with the stealth suits and ghostkeel, with most of my army requiring 4+ to hit and both the suits giving at least -1 to hit, he could have really pressured my line early, forcing me to spread my scions around a lot more when they came in from reserves. I also think I coyod have really put a lot more pressure on by dropping all the reserves in turn one, massively overwhelming his lines. I would have kept some back and dropped them in on turn 3 or 4, if I had thought we would have made it to turn 5.
Most importantly this game was a good one, I had fun but I also learnt a lot about both the army and the rules. Hopefully I have a few more games in the coming weeks.