Wednesday 4 March 2015

Gottacon 2015 Game 2: Blood Angels vs Chaos Space Marines

After a resoundingly poor result in a lopsided battle against a Tyranid Harridan in my first game I was pleased to see a fairly normal looking Chaos Space Marine force deploying for my second match up, Maelstrom of War Mission: Cleanse and Control. The objectives were laid out prior to deployment and I gambled a little by placing most of them up one end of the table. Unfortunately I lost the roll off for table halves, and my opponent seized the opportunity to deploy the majority of his forces on the table end with the most objectives: two large squads of Noise Marines (one in a Rhino), a Lord with Cultists, some Havocs with Lascannons, a Soul Grinder, Daemonettes, Deep Striking Obliterators, and an Imperial Knight.

I had fared poorly against Noise Marines in the past so I made them my number one target, and deployed defensively against the Knight and Lascannon wielding Havocs. Keeping my Meltagun equipped Assault Marines in reserve gave me some flexibility once the Knight came closer and Tactical Objectives started to shape the flow of the game. I deployed the Scouts aggressively front and centre on an objective, which drew the cultists and Noise Marines forward on their first turn. The empty Chaos Rhino immobilised itself moving toward an objective, and half the Scouts perished under general shooting from the Chaos Army.

Keen to keep the Scouts alive as long as possible against the cover ignoring Noise Marines, the Furioso arrived and cut down two thirds of their number in the Aegis Defence Line. Combined shooting from the rest of the Blood Angels wrecked the only mobile Rhino for First Blood, and the Sonic weaponed Marines disembarked into the waiting arms of my Imperial Knight. I largely ignore the opponent's Knight and Soul Grinder at this point, instead focusing on the very fortunate Tactical Objective cards I drew and putting some points on the board thanks to the Scouts sitting tight right on top of an objective. My Warlord Inquisitor, Captain, Librarian and associated Assault Marines hopped out of the Land Raider to support the Scouts against the incoming threats.

The Chaos Marines shrugged off the loss of the Noise Marines, happy to have tied up the Knight for a couple of turns, and charged forward with their heavier armour. The Daemonettes arrived, scattering very far from their intended objective, while the Chaos Cultists and Lord charged forward, making a mess of the Scouts hiding on the central objective. The Havocs knocked a Hull Point off the Furioso but failed to stop it marauding through their back lines, while the Chaos Knight immoblised the Razorback while in turn being slowed by tank traps in the centre of the board.

The Assault Marines arrived in their Rhino to claim a Tactical Objective on the crowded side of the board, popping smoke and holding their position across from the Havocs. The Knight, having finished off the last Noise Marine, attempted to scramble across the wrecked Rhino but failed miserably despite Move Through Cover. The Blood Angels Captain with Valour's Edge (AP2 Power Sword) made short work of the Chaos Lord, while the rest of his squad finished off the already weakened cultists. The rest of the Blood Angels held their ground, knocked a Hull Point or two off the Chaos Knight and killed the lone Obliterator on their side of the battlefield.

The Chaos force, frustrated with poor draws on their Tactical Objectives (not a fortification or flyer in sight...), wiped the Razorback and Baal Predator off the board and their Knight charged in, stomping the Tactical Marines who bravely stood their ground as their own Knight Titan prepared to do battle with the Soul Grinder. Being a "regular" walker, the Soul Grinder failed to make headway amongst the difficult terrain of the ruins, failed its charge, and was stranded right in front of the Blood Angels forces. A few Assault Marines fell to its ranged weapons, and the Havocs managed to immobilise the newly arrived Blood Angels Rhino.

It was a literal clash of the Titans in the centre of the table, with both Knights tearing Hull Points from one another for a good number of turns, while the Obliterator looked on and the Daemonettes scuttled toward their far objective. The Blood Angels were once more blessed with the luck of the draw, hopping out of their immobilised Rhino and securing a nearby objective while the Furioso flamed the Havocs in the corner and secured Linebreaker in the process. The heavily armed and armoured Land Raider was reduced to taking pot shots at the distant Daemonettes in the hope of claiming a character killing victory point in the death of the attached Herald of Slaneesh.

It was clear that the fickle Chaos Gods had abandoned the field of battle as the game was called with very few easily claimable objectives left for the forces of Slaneesh. The final rolls were made to see which of the Knights would emerge triumphant, and with equal Initiative and Strength D weaponry the result was devastatingly predictable! Another great game of 7th Edition with a new opponent, though it was clear that the Tactical Objective cards drawn were quite lopsided in favour of the Blood Angels. With the next battle using the same set of cards it remained to be seen whether the same luck could be carried through...

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