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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Battle Missions: Blitzkrieg, Ultramarines vs Howling Griffons

Sunday I was able to play a game with HuronBH for the first time in a while. I've been on a losing streak of late, and since he is the only person I usually have time t play it's pretty demoralizing. This was a commemorative occasion, as he was coming out to see the house my wife and I bought back in December as well as play some Battle Missions. You can see the skyshield platform is part of the terrain as well. We opted to just roll a d66 and ended up playing Blitzkrieg.

Sadly, neither of us had armies set up for this mission, as it is designed around fast vehicles, and especially the ork truks zooming in for the win. I decided this would be my last game with the second company for a while (at least until I rotated through the companies and showed off the whole chapter) and took all of the models from my previous post, in addition to three tactical squads, a devastator squad, Sicarius and a Command squad.

Arrayed against me were HuronBH's Howling Griffons, which I believed comprised Kossaro Khan and a command squad with a Veteran armed with a power fist and one meltagun; a landraider carrying 5 assault terminators with storm shield and thunder hammer and led by a librarian with a force weapon, storm shield, avenger and null zone; a squadron of two typhoons and four tactical squads with meltaguns and either a missile launcher or multimelta.

Huron's two Typhoon's were able to come on from reserve due to Blitzkrieg's special rules and moved full out. I then manuevered my speeders so that my Typhoon could take a shot. I pen'd twice, immoblizing and stunning. Due to the squadron rules, one of Huron's Typhoons was destroyed, the other shook ignoring the stunned result.

Turn two saw all of my reserves save for the dreadnoughts coming on the board. Asd they were on foot, it made running a key element of my strategy. It also made turn two pretty ineffectual in terms of shooting as I had to rely on my landspeeders once again. I did get some lucky shots in, destroying Khan's razorback though.

My landspeeder squadron did quite well for me, despite losing one in turn three and having the multimeltas shot off the other two. I was able to contest Huron's objective for two turns, and only by not moving them on turn six did I lose them to assault and hence, lose the game.

Huron became quite good at immoblizing his tanks on difficult terrain. Above, his first victim was the Landraider. Later he also immobilized two rhinos as he sought to contest the central objective.

I spent much of the game pouring fire into Huron's assault terminators, knowing from previous games (and my own usage) that they can be nasty and hard to remove. I slowly whittled them as they slogged toward the center.

Painfully, the two plasma cannons in my devestator squad both overheated on turn three and died. This was a dagger to my shooting, as it would have forced Huron to hide in his rhinos until he had to come out of them. But alas theyb died without a shot fired.

I backed off the center on turn four, realizing I wouldnt have charge range and wanting to preserve the initiative of charging for myself. Instead I peppered the squad holding the objective down to only one meltagunner, who was killed on turn seven when the central scrum finally ended.

The low point of the game for me was when Kosarro Khan killed Sicarius in one go. Especially since Sicarius's riposte only did one wound. On the bright side, and much to Huron's chagrin, I was able to win the combat thanks to the company banner and the killing of some of Khan's bodyguards. However, just like this game, it went on too long for me to have a strong chance of winning.

Below are the final scenes of the game. I was unable to destroy his Typhoon, something I should have tried earlier in the game to deny him the fast contesting ability speeders offer marine players. I was also unable to end the central combat early enough to matter.

This is probably a long line of losses for me against Huron in 5th edition now. Excuse time - he has become a regular tourney player, and has a regular gaming crew he plays with; while I have played less and less over the last couple years and become more of a modeller, painter and collector. I guess it shows. I did learn how potent squadrons can be in 5th, as well as the efficacy of torrent of fire against uber terminator squads.

Another nugget from this game, Battle missions is really intended for fun, campaign style, not random play. I think it will truly shine when both opponents decide on a scenario ahead of time and plan accordingly. On a final note, taking pics of games is quite annoying in translation to a blog post. I much prefer HuronBH's video style. This might just convince me to buy a bigger memory card for my camera time will tell.

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