Monday, December 18, 2006

+ Unholy Alliance +

Played a 2 vs. 2 battle this weekend, what we thought was going to be a "quick game." Sixteen turns later ...

Alpha Legion & Black Templars vs. Tyranids & Eldar [3500] - My 1500 point list teamed up with 2000 points of Templar, something like Terminator Marshal [t.hammer & s.shield] w/ 4-5 terminator buddies [1 assault cannon, 1 cyclone]; Emperor's champ; 8 assault terminators [3 hammers]; dread [flamer,assault cannon]; 10 marines [las/plas]; 8+ marines [melta/fist] in rhino; 8+ marines [melta/fist] in rhino; land raider crusader. These are the guys who plastered my cultists last game, but I guess Chaos is forgiving, cause hey, they're only cultists ...

The 'Nids on the other side were tyrant [v.cannon, scytals, etc] w/ 2 guard; 2x carnifex [v.cannon, b.strangler, enough upgrades to make 252 points each]; 5x 6 'stealers [carapace, scuttler, scytals, hooks ...]; 3 zoanthropes [warp blast, synapse]. And their xenos buddies the Eldar had Fuegan w/ 10 fire dragons & exarch in a wave serpeant [twin-star cannons]; farseer [doom, fortune]; avengers; guardians [scatterlaser]; guardians [starcannon]; and more guardians [bright lance]; 5 dark reapers [exarch w/ EML]; fire prism.

Terrain was low hills in opposite corners, tall hills in the other opposite corners, and three patches of area terrain around the center, one low but the other two blocking LOS. Team Power Armor took the side closer to 2 of the 3 area terrain pieces, though the knowledge that 36 genestealers were going to scuttle towards my infiltrators meant my cultists cowered just out of our deployment zone and mostly in cover, rather than brashly pushing ahead (into enemy guns) as usual.

'Stealers rush forward, but Power Armor wins first turn! Templar transports rush forward, with the two rhinos on the left flank deploying their marines (champ accompanying one squad), apparently fully prepared to be 'stealer charged next turn. My speed lord plays it cagey, walking behind the advancing crusader. The cultists play it even cagey-er, actually backing away from the approaching rending claws. I also made a mistake here and didn't move my 20-assassin ikon out of the front of the unit, where it would have been safe from the 'stealer kill zone next turn ... Shooting wasn't entirely fantastic. My havoks rained krak down into the dark reapers, whose cover couldn't save 2 of them from the lo-tech rockets. 10-CSM squad autocannon accounted for a couple guardians from the BL squad, and the templar dread near them wounded a zoanthrope. The crusader bounced all of its shots off of fex #2, or failed to wound. All lascannons also failed to wound the carnifex / zoanthropes they hit, but plasma took two wounds off of a fex. Fire from rhinos & pistols dropped some 'stealers, reducing one squad to 2 and another to 3. So only 24 would hit next turn ...

Team Xenos' first turn doesn't involve a ton of movement, aside from genestealers closing the 12-13" gap to fresh meat. BL guardians get out of the 24" range of the Kai gun, Fuegan's ride scoots around a bit, the tyrant shuffled toward the crusader from her happy spot behind area terrain. The farseer also doomed the templar rhino squad without the champ in it, and maybe saved a perils of the warp attak for his second trick. Zoanthrope blasted the dread to bitz, fex #2 blew the assault cannons off of the crusader, starcannons killed a marine from the 8-CSM squad, fex #1 shook the Legion dread, more starcannons wounded the obliterator and another zoanthrope blasted a templar rhino. The reapers return fire at the havoks, killing 2 bolters, and the tyrant wounds 3 marines from the 10-CSM squad, all of which die as I fail their saves. 'Stealers fleeted, then charged in, though one squad in the center was short. 2+6 genestealers hit the champ-backed templar squad, killing a lot but being reduced to 2-3 bugs. 6 genestealers hit the doomed templar squad, again killing a lot but losing many in return. A mere 3 genestealers hit the 20 assassins, but the 'Nid kill zone only included 5 cultists, among them the champion and the ikon. Those 5 disappeared, leaving me just the scout's ikon to summon the girls down on, and the assassins bunched around the bugs.

Turn two, but things are admittedly not that grim for the Unholy Alliance. The Marshal and his terminator pals strike on the opposite tall hill, inviting fire from many many enemy units right next to them. One squad of girls comes in as well, within reach of either the unengaged 'stealers or some tasty Eldar guardians. After summoning the girls the scouts continue moving away from the 'stealers mid-table, but the speed lord tires of hiding and launched towards the avengers & guardians. The crusader also rumbles forward, the assault termies hoping out and preparing to engage the dire avengers. Following with the charge theme, the chaos dread flips out and charges toward the unegaged stealers in fron of him. Shooting, the '10' CSM squad barely kills the zoanthrope that blasted the dread last turn, the havoks do nothing to the dark reapers cowering behind cover, some guardians die to APC fire, and 3 lascannons, 1 plasma gun, 1 assault cannon, 1 cyclone launcher & a load of bolter rounds later manage to take the last 3 wounds off of 'fex #1. Fex #2 however just chuckled as the crusader does nothing to it for another round - though it was shaken, so no surprise.

In assault, the terminators did surpisingly little to the avengers - that damn defend skill! - and actually lost 2-3 to the exarch's dire sword. My lord decided to throw in with the girls and hit the guardians, though due to kill zone restrictions only 6 died. They ran and were caught, but this left the lord and his ladies high and dry facing a tyrant + her pups! I made a mistake and instead of consolidating my lord into the avenger combat I moved him between the tyrant and the girls, whose 1" massacre did nothing to save their pretty hides. The dread had his CCW torn off by the 'stealers, which made his 7 S10 power attaks into 5 S6 sad attaks, though one bug died anyway. The assassins managed to drag down 2 bugs, loosing a few of their own in the process. Also, the Templars did stuff to the 'stealers, but this Chaos General wasn't paying attention after the lapdogs' sad performance vs. the weakling avengers.

Xenos time! The farseer began by dooming the Marshal and friends. Fuegan & co. disembarked on the Marshal's hill and prepared for BBQ, and their ride swooped around the hill and pointed all of its weapons at the terminators. Nothing else really moved of note. In the torrent of fire that followed, the Marshal stood tall, despite losing all of his bodyguard and taking a wound from mind-waring with the farseer. The only shooting that was left involved the tyrant shooting the speed lord right in the face with her venom cannon - he took 1 wound - and a bunch of stuff not doing much to the crusader. Oh, reapers take down two more havoks as well. The Templar Marshal passed his test and assaulted Fuegan, and the resulting combat saw both commanders take a wound, while the aspect warriors stood and watched the IC battle. Elsewhere Templars finished off their genestealers, and the genestealers finished off the chaos dread. The lone 'stealer, surrounded by a dozen cultists, managed to not only not die but to win combat. Unsurprisingly, he caught and killed the whole lot of them, consolidating into the 8-CSM squad behind them. The tyrant & guards finished the speed lord, who at least managed a wound on the tyrant before going down. The hive wench consolidated into the daemonettes, who were already feeling the hurt. The terminators killed more avengers, but not the exarch, who killed 3 more of the big guys.

Turn Three: Revenge! Ish. The remains of the templar rhino squads moved up to do stuff, and the scouts ran away a little more, but otherwise everything else was staying still or locked in combat. The havoks again did nothing to the reapers mowing them down, and the '10' CSM autocannon killed yet more guardians from the BL squad, but didn't break the squad yet. The oblit, seeing the exposed rear armor on the wave serpeant, triumphantly missed with his lascannon, and the las/plas templar squad likewise did little to the vulnerable serpeant. The chaos über-rhino however was happy to oblige, downing it with a load of havok rockets to the rear. In the main combat event, the Marshal ignored all the aspect attaks, but neither he nor Fuegan could hurt each other. Other places, 2 templar killed a zoanthrope with a powerfist, and that lone genestealer died to a powerfist from the 8-CSM squad. The terminators finally killed the avenger exarch, and the 3 survivors readied to face off with the tyrant, carnifex, or both. Meanwhile the tyrant pounded all of the girls save 1, who wounded a guard and then popped back to the warp.

Interlude: What about the fire prism?? It lurked about the backfield and missed a whole bunch. Actually, remember those 3 marines that died to the hive tyrant? That was actually the fire prism's work with its first shot before missing for the next many turns.

Xenos Three! Not a fantastic amount of movement, mostly the fex #2 heading for the scout cultists, along with the dread-killing 'stealers (who got bogged in terrain). Farseer tried to mind war the obliterator, but he had nothing of that. The two templar who killed the zoanthrope were starcannoned, the havoks were reaper launchered, the scouts were barbed strangled and the remaining zoan missed. Back in the main event, Fuegan and his dragons failed to kill the Marshal again, and the Templar grimly pounded the phoenix lord back into undeath. The dragons ran and the Marshal could only consolidate after them. Other side of the table, the tyrant slammed into the terminators, killing a couple and letting her guard finish the job. Fex #2 hit the scouts and broke them, but couldn't catch.

Power Armor Four! Second bunch of girls summon down, ready to kill some carni, and the scouts leg it off the table, their mission complete. The 8-CSM squad mobilize for some reason and intend to bring the fight to the last zoan and then into the guardians beyond, and 5-6 templar run up to help out next turn. The CSM autocannon finally breaks the guardians off the table, the crusader continues to do not much, the oblit drops a couple guardians. The Marshal charges the dragons, who rally and receive a load of thunderhammer to the face. I think they held though. The girls hit the carnifex and kill it dead, making 252 points for all of those lost Chaos troops ... The CSM blow up the zoan with their powerfist, a 3" massacre stranding them between guardians' shuriken weapons and the last of the 'stealers.

Xenos Four and Beyond! Time to speed this up! The Marshal eventually kills all of the dragons, then heads back toward the few remaining Eldar, but be sniped out by the fire prism. The 8-CSM squad is riddled with starcannons and shurikens, killing all but the AC, who survives a mindwar only to be charged by the remaining stealers. He's torn apart long before swinging his fist. The las/plas templar squad breaks the last guardian squad off the table, and the farseer throws himself into combat with the 5-6 templars left. With doom & fortune, the Farseer manages over the next 4-5 combat phases to kill all but 2 of the marines, finally dying to the powerfist. The über-rhino & oblit scrag the remaining stealers, and the '10' CSM squad kills the reapers off. The tyrant destroys the crusader, then next turn smashes over its wreckage and assaults the last daemonettes, killing them to the loss of a guard.

Turn Eight+ saw the tyrant eventually die to the obliterator - after taking some damage from the '10' CSM squad before blasting them to death. Around turn 16 the Eldar player called it quits and parked the prism in front of all of our guns, and even then it was very hard to get through that Eldar 'roll 2 dice pick the lowest' gunk.

Team Power Armor - 10 shooty Templar, 1 Templar rhino; 1 wounded Obliterator, 1 Chaos rhino

I opted out of the next game, but another Eldar player stepped up for some Eldar on Deathguard / Black Templar / Grey Knights action. Yikes.

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