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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Throne of Skulls Game 2



Wow... Real life has been chocka block... So much so I forgot to finish this.

So my second game was one of my best games of the the tournament (even receiving my best of army vote).

The game started with me wondering where the hell my opponent was as he was a little late (after going the safe option and ordering food directly from Bugmans). After the first few moments thinking where my opponent was he arrived. IG... Great, I'd never faced IG before with the air cav. This was going to be fun.

After the obvious introductions I found out my opponent was Alexander 'Sasha' Sawyer. Sasha was rolling with a Catachan list. At first glance I could see two great big siege guns (they turned out to be a colossus and a medusa) and something that I knew would be a pain in the right royal derrière... Hydras... Damn flat out cover saves would be rapidly gone.

So we rolled off for mission and set up and we got pitched battle and annihilation... Again. After receiving a pasting on the last game I wasn't too confident for the one.

So here's a quick run down of Sashas list.

Game 2 - pitched battle, annihilation.
Opponent - Alexander Sawyer
Army - Imperial Guard

Army list:

HQ
Command squad
3 x plasma
Medic
Astropath
Straken
Chimera

Troops

Infantry platoon

Platoon command squad
Chimera
Commissar
Auto cannon heavy weapon team

Infantry squad
Auto cannon heavy weapon team

Infantry squad
Auto cannon heavy weapon team

Vet squad with 3 flamers and demolitions

Vet squad with 3 meltas
Chimera

Fast Attack
Vendetta

Heavy Support
Medusa

Colossus

2x hydras


So the game started and after having spent lunch lamenting my woes Dezartfox. Over at the The Vanus Temple urged me to remember the air cav alpha strikes.

So with this in mind I deployed 2 squadrons on the table both were vendettas if I recall.

However dice rolls didn't go my way and I wasn't going first... However Sasha had already pre emptied this and had deployed his platoon as a single squad in cover... Balls! This meant I only had squish guys to kill... That, I discovered were going to go to ground for the entire game!

So I took the obvious bait and started shooting them... I should have done some flat out moves to gain some cover saves.

Sasha took his turn and started deploying some of his units. Colossus and medusa came on along with some chimeras. Everything popped smoke, apart from the big guns which fired direct shots. Thankfully nothing down... Phew!

My turn... Ok this big boys were mine... Or not as the case may be. My dice rolls were appalling. I managed ti immobilise the colossus and stop the medusa shooting.

Sashas go. Hydras came on, but one got immobilised giving it to the wreck gods. The shooting was good and true which resulted in downed Valkyries and Vendettas. This meant when my turn arrived my firepower was diminished. And so the cycle continued... Until I was removed completely from okay by turn 6.

Managed to knock out a few units but nothing substantial enough to curb Sashas onslaught.

I've managed to be in contact with Sasha (BlueRonin) since the tournament. So after very little coaxing Sasha agreed to add his side of the match as well... So over to the air cav killer!

I had a look through the list (although my first impression of your actual army made me want to grab a coffee and go through your actual army instead - it was beautiful!).

However, back to the business of killing. I decided that my best bet would have to be to get the jump on you, so that you didn't get the freedom to line up and alpha strike my heavy support before I could start grounding some of your Vendetta/Valkyries.

Knowing the resilience of a blob of 31 guardsmen in dispersed formation in area terrain, I deployed them all as a combined unit in a convenient piece of rocky outcroppings (area terrain) more or less in the middle of my deployment zone. I wanted to deploy them in one of the area terrain pieces off to a side (in order to bait you out to a flank), but - as you pointed out to me - I couldn't set up deeper than 12" in and so the blob wouldn't be able to claim cover without bunching up too much. Everything else was kept in reserve, so the Infantry Blob's job was to bait you onto the table in order to start shooting at them - hopefully mistaking them for a soft target. Fortunately for me, you deployed both Vendetta squadrons to do just that.

However, if you do the math once the blob has gone to ground each squadron would only cause 3 casualties (and the more dice you roll, the more reliable statistics become) per turn against the blob.

With your Vendettas in the open shooting at my blob, my Astropath made sure the majority of my army came on in turn two and unleashed on your skimmers. With my heavies having the initiative (i.e. I was taking anti-tank shots at your skimmers before you were taking your anti-tanks hots at my tanks), and focusing fire on your weak flank; it pretty much came down to the Penetration Rolls and I was lucky enough to pop a couple of your skimmers out of the sky (of course, the squadron rule helps my luck a bit here).

Getting the initiative on this cycle was critical, because in the war of attrition anti-tank fire inevitably becomes, the one who shoots first will typically lead the race by constantly reducing enemy forces, thus enemy shots back at himself.

With my good fortune of downing two birds, I had managed to half the amount of incoming Lascannon fire, as well as disembark soft targets for my flamers and lasguns.

From this point on I worked on collapsing the army from the right flank towards the left, sustaining fire on your birds and cleaning up forces so that you didn't have any good opportunities to return fire (the building that was planted in the middle of the gameboard was pivotal to this tactic, literally).

Apart from that, the dice were on my side so I simply stuck to my guns, as it were, and tried not to be a dick about it. I believe I managed to down your last model on your left in turn 6?

Back to me again... Thanks Sasha, very well put.

So wiped out again... But hey... I had an absolute blast so I couldn't give a hoot. Sasha was a fantastic opponent and very gracious.

I'd also like to direct you all over to Sashas blogs (grab a coffee as there's some great reading to be had)

Here and here

Next few games are going to be quick round ups as I wanna get onto reviewing my force and planning the next steps... And showing you some new pics of the army and what's coming.

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