Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Dark Millennium 3

I know, I know, 3 posts in as many days –what the hell’s going on – well, I’m loving playing 40k again!

Just back from another weekend Tourney – Dark Millennium 3, run by a good friend. This is the 3rd year it’s run, and we had over 30 people at the weekend. Six gamers at 1,850pts, using the ETC missions and FAQ. A great weekend.

I took a variation of the list I used at the LVO.

Talon Strike Force

Battle Demi-Company

Chaplin, bike

Tac Squad, melta, combi melta, Drop Pod, Locator Beacon
Tac Squad, melta, combi melta, Drop Pod, Locator Beacon
Tac Squad, melta, combi melta, Drop Pod, Locator Beacon

3 Man Bike Squad

Dev Squad, Drop Pod, Locator Beacon

Shadowstrike Kill Team

5 Scouts, Bolters
5 Scouts, Bolters

7 Vanguard, 2 Storm Shields, 2 Bolt Pistol and CCW, 3 Power Fist + Lightening Claw
7 Vanguard, 2 Storm Shields, 2 Bolt Pistol and CCW, 3 Power Fist + Lightening Claw
7 Vanguard, 2 Storm Shields, 2 Bolt Pistol and CCW, 3 Power Fist + Lightening Claw

Combined Arms Detachment

Techmarine, Bike

5 Scouts, CCW, Land Speeder Storm
5 Scouts, CCW, Land Speeder Storm

Drop Pod
Drop Pod

The change makes the list even more flexible. I can load the scouts from the Shadowstirke Kill Team into the FA pods, and bring them down in the first wave. The scouts deploy, and then the Vanguard deep strike off the scouts. This avoids the need to infiltrate the scouts before I can deep strike off them.  Crucially this means that I can alpha strike with the Vanguard on game turn one, with no deep strike scatter, whether I go first or second. 

Game 1

Against Eldar (the “meta” was all elder, Tau and (surprisingly) War Convocation. I was the only marine player!!). Eight 3 man scatter bikes and a tooled out seer council (4 farseers, an Autarch, Baharoth, and 8 Warlocks). He got all the powers he needed to get, but crucially, I got turn 1! So he reserved the council (very sensible – I would have smashed it without it’s powers up), and deployed all 8 units of jet bikes.

Long story short, I killed all the jet bikes in 2 turns, and spent the rest of the game running away from the seer council. I hammered him in Maelstrom, scored all the objectives at the end of the game, and he couldn’t catch up on kill points (the ETC Missions play Maelstrom and kill point differential as secondary missions). Twenty nil to me.

Game 2

Against Tau – optimised stealth cadre, one Riptide and a unit of 3 Broadsides, but crucially, only the Riptide and broadsides had Early Warning Overrides (i.e. the widget that gives them Interceptor). I had always known I would play intercepting Tau at some time during the event….. but I had a plan.

One of my special rules gives all my units that didn’t start in a Transport Vehicle shrouded on turn one. So the plan was to deep strike into ruins for a 2+ cover save ….. and pray! It kinda worked. I deep struck all three units of Vanguard into a ruin (passing terrain tests and/or necessary armour saves) and set up 3 multi charges, one of 4”, one of 7” and another of 8”. I lost only on guy to intercept.

So it was all going perfectly…….and then I failed the 7” charge and the 8” charge ….. and Vanguard can reroll the dice when charging. The unit that got in lost so many guys from overwatch that the ghostkeels kicked it’s butt. Thankfully, return fire power was limited (I had multicharged both the ghost keels and the Riptide), and the other 2 Vanguard units survived …. only to have one squad completely wiped out via overwatch!!! It went downhill from there!

To be fair, the plan would have worked if I had made those 2 charges. After the game my opponent and I agreed that, if all 3 units had gotten in, I would probably have tabled him turn 2. As it was I lost 16-4.

Game 3

Against War Convocation. With no intercept, this was always going to be a bit of a turkey shoot. The only questions in my mind was whether I could cope with the Knight or not. Two tac squads, with meltas and combi-meltas later, the answer was “yes”! 17-3 to me. One point here – I owe my opponent an apology – I played a rule wrong. I thought that, where a model is on the line between a Knight’s arcs, the owning player of that model chose which arc to fire into. I found out later that it has to be randomised. I spoke to him on day 2 and explained my mistake. 

Convocation (without some sort of deep strike defence) has no answer to my army. There was one list that allied in Coteaz. Glad I didn’t play that – his “I’ve been expecting you” rule would have been a problem!

Game 4

Tau again, but this time with 3 intercepting Riptides, and an intercepting Stormsurge. So same plan again, deep struck into ruins for a 2+ cover save. However, we had a bit of a rules issue. My understanding of the ETC FAQ was that Riptides and Stormsurges can only fire one weapon when intercepting (or overwatching for that matter). It’s been like this since the 6th edition codex. However, my opponent wanted to fire both. The TO ruled he could fire both. In fact, I was right – you can only fire one. Problem was in the heat of the moment, I couldn’t find that section in the FAQ that said so. I found it after the event (for those interested it’s paragraph 8 of the section dealing with special rules). Lesson learned – it’s not good enough to know you’re right, you need to be able to show your opponent (and the TO) that you’re right!

Long and short of it is, after suffering devastating intercept fire from all three Riptides, plus the Stormsurge, and then Overwatch from the Riptides, I still managed to kill 2 Riptides on my turn one. I might just have pulled it off If I had multicharged the Stormsurge, as well as the Riptides. I would then have stayed in combat until the next turn, avoiding devastating return firepower, which wiped out all my remaining Vanguard. Sigh…!

I was tabled on turn 6. Twenty nil to my opponent.

Game 5

Eldar – an odd list, but played by a very experienced ETC player. Farseer on foot (!) with a Spiritseer also on foot, two 3 man jet bike squads, 3 units of Warp spiders, a wraithknight (obviously!) and a unit of 3 Falcons with Fire Dragons in them. 

I got first turn and deployed nothing. He castled in a corner, deploying all this army (including the Fire Dragons, outside their Falcons!), and surrounded them with the Falcons and the Wraithknight. Now, I did explain to him what my army does ….. and he still deployed like this. So I drop down and multi assault the Wraithknight and the Falcons, making sure that most of the power fists go into the Falcons. The idea was to put most of my attacks into the Falcons, kill them, but stay in combat with the Wraithknight, killing it on his turn, so I avoid all the return fire (see – lesson learned from the last game!). Worked like a dream! I lost one Stormshield guy to the Wraithknight, killed all the falcons, and put 3 wounds on the Knight. I was worried about Stomps, but he wiffed.

Next turn all he could do was kill some scouts and pods, and I killed the Wraithknight, freeing my Vanguard to wreak havoc on all the squishy elder shooting units. However, 2 things happened that foiled my plan. 

First, he blew up one of my Pods which was next to the ongoing assault. The blast killed 3 power fist guys in the assault. Second I made a mistake. After the Vanguard broke from the assault with the Knight, I could have chosen to assault each of the warp spider units with one unit of vanguard. However, I got greedy and decided to multi assault 2 units, and send the 3rdVanguard Unit after his Farseer (who was manning an artillery piece!). Result was that the unit doing the multi assault lost 2 guys to over watch, and didn’t kill the 2 units of warp spiders. They Hit and Run out, and killed the remaining Vanguard. They then proceeded to troll my army for the rest of the game. If I had killed all three units that turn, I’m pretty sure I wold have won (oh and the other unit of Vanguard, the one that went after the Farseer … lost a guy to a dangerous terrain test, lost another to overwatch, and were beaten down by the Farseer over 3 roudns of combat ….sigh!)

Still – I know what I did wrong, and I manged to hold it to a 10-10 draw.

Another thing I did wrong was that I was too aggressive with my tac squads – I should have used them to cover objectives, rather than to try and kill fire dragons that were having no impact on the game.

Game 6

Against  Mechanicus without Coteaz. I killed his warlord, 3 units of Kataphrons, and a unit of skitari on the drop. He couldn’t recover from that. I then just ran away from his Knight, and the 2 Robots thingies, claiming maelstrom, and snatching objectives on the last turn. Twenty Nil to me.

A fantastic event, and loads of fun.

List analysis to follow.


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