Friday, May 18, 2012

Tactically Maximised: Local League game 2 of 5

We Salamanders are LEGION!!!  (well technically not since that Istvaan/Codex  Astartes thing I suppose...and I HAVE killed quite a few of them off...)

This is the second week of our five week league at my FLGS.  My mission, after returning home from Adepticon in a bit of a funk, was to craft 5 separate lists, one for each week, that served as a departure from my normal play style, included elements that I have always wanted to try out, or that just seemed like damn good fun.

Breakdown of all lists can be found here.
Last weeks "No Chapter For Old Men" list results can be found here.

This week's list theme was simple.  It's almost like going to AA meetings:  "Hello, my name is Chosen1.  I am a Space Marine player, and I don't know how to use my Tactical Squads."  Seriously, its an embarrassment.  It's like Ricky Bobby's hands during that first TV interview, I just don't know what to do with them.
What am I supposed to do with these?
What's one way to figure these things out quick, fast, and in a hurry?  Play with as many Tactical Marines as I can in an 1850 game.  I selected 6 Tactical Squads, gave them Vulkan, a Librarian, and then a bunch of razorbacks and heavy weapons.  Here's the list:

Epistolary Librarian w/Null Zone & Avenger
2 X Tactical Squad w/flamer, combi-melta, plasma cannon, power weapon & TLHB Razorback
2 X Tactical Squad w/flamer, combi-melta, missile launcher, powerfist, & LTHB Razorback
2 X Tactical Squad w/flamer, combi-melta, lascannon, & TLLC Razorback

Our mission was seize ground with spearhead deployment.  My opponent was a Tricksy Eldar player that I've played once before.  He's an outstanding guy, and I had a great time playing him, but we fought to a draw.  I told myself that win or lose, I would not get another draw...yeeeah, about those TPS reports...

My Deployment: All combat squads
His Deployment: a bunch of Xenos trickery
I would love to tell you what was in his army.  In fact, my friends are telling me all the time "Chosen1, you should really learn these other codexes so you know how to play against them."  Honestly?  That sounds like a lot of work.  It also opens me up to heretical thoughts, and the light of the Emperor's cleansing flames as I burn them down are all I need to understand about Xenos.  Here's what I can remember:  Avatar, Eldrad + Dire Avengers in one of those melta-ignoring transports, 3 War Walkers with scatter lasers, (7) Jet Bikers with warlock, (7-ish) Fire Hawks in melta-ignoring transport, (5) Rangers in the "venerable" transports that make me roll twice to kill them, and (5) Dire Avengers in the "venerable" transport.  I normally fear the Avatar like no other since I load up on flamers and meltas.  Don't judge me, I roll like ass.  I dont' NEED those re-rolls, I can quit anytime...really.  This time, however, I had plenty of other guns for him.  I was also glad I had a librarian.

I know I suck at battle reports, but honestly the game looked like this for most of the night.
We get five objectives, plus two more "story objectives" for the league's storyline that have no bearing on the game play.  I lost the roll to go first, failed to steal the initiative, and weathered the first turn fairly well.  I could tell he was intimidated by all of those transports and Tactical Marines.  I'm no seer, he actually said "I'm kind of intimidated by all that".  I tried not to strut around like a peacock.  I failed.  He maneuvered to get shots on Vulkan and the Librarian's transports, but didn't take either out.  I moved up across all fronts trying to engage him with my combat squads and shoot what I could.  The Avatar took out two combat squads before he was brought down by Vulkan.

The jet bikes were led by the warseer "brave, brave, sir Robin"
Those two transports (green/white & purple) at the bottom of the frame stayed there the whole game taking pot shots at me.  Their occupants would ultimately claim the objectives near each.  The tricksy bikers did their move-shoot-move dance.  I eventually flanked around the right side of the treacherous Xenos scum and shot them down.  It was glorious.

This is what I was doing instead of aggressively advancing towards him
I didn't realize I wasn't "doing it right" until the end.  Now you've all heard me complain about my horrible rolling.  My opponent was doing poorly this game as well.  In fact, I think we sort of averaged each other out.  I had some good turns, he had some good turns.  My librarian shut down about half of Eldrad's powers, which is a big deal to me, because that cat can use a lot of them.  I would almost bet that if Eldrad had been allowed to do his thing the final outcome would have been significantly different.  I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the "you must take a librarian to have a chance against the tricksy eldar" meme, especially since I took him randomly this week, but it is what it is.

This is essentially the end game.  I held the top/bottom left objectives.  He held the top/bottom right objectives.  Eldrad and a Dire Avenger exarch move onto the center red objective.  I shot the snot out of them and fail to move my guys close enough before the end of turn five.  Game ends in a draw.  Don't get me wrong I enjoy winning.  On the other hand I know when I don't "deserve" it.  I played sloppy.  Not just moving into position, but I made mistakes on some rules (they were corrected), but I am always nervous that folks will take my mistakes as cheating.  That's absolutely not who I am.  Both of us were glad this game ended in a draw because neither one of us performed any better than the other.  Back to those TPS reports I suppose.

What did I learn?  I (still) need to be more aggressive with my tactical squads.  I think that not only would I have forced him further out of his comfort zone, but that I would have been in a better position to contest or capture objectives during the late game.  Combat squads are fragile.  If someone starts spouting off about a statline in the 4's backed up by 3+ saves punch them in the face.  Marines are nothing special.  That deserves repeating, Marines are nothing special folks, they perform similar tasks as their Black Templar, Space Wolf, and Blood Angel brethren, but they're inferior in almost every way.  This doesn't mean they can't win, just that they need (insert something sage and wondrous) to do so.

All in all, a great game with a great guy.  I look forward to next week's match!


Grenn Dal said...

Your game turned out better than mine did. What a train wreck. I am glad you learned something about your guys. 3+ is pretty good but they are not the bees knees. Just ask my immortals >_<

chosen1 said...

I thought I heard the delicious smacking of "nom nom nom" Tyranid mouth parts over there. I bet my game took longer. ;)

Chambers said...

I think that the best use of loyal marines is to clog the inlets of the op4's transport's inlets. If you pile enough bodies on top of them the enemy is bound to die of starvation eventually :)