So with my freshly painted Sternguard in my case, it was time to blood them.
The day played similar to a 2 game tournament. Each person that turned up was pitted against 2 different opponents with different armies. I used the following list to play against both (2000 point limit):
- Captain Cato Sicarius (185pts)
- Chief Librarian Tigurius (165pts)
- Scout Squad: 5 man unit, Camo Cloaks, 4 x Sniper Rifles and 1 x Missile Launcher (84pts)
- Tactical Squad: 10 man unit, Rhino with Extra Armour, Lascannon, Plasma Gun and Sargent with Bolter and Teleport Homer (230pts)
- Tactical Squad: 10 man unit, Rhino with Extra Armour, Heavy Bolter, Meltagun and Sargent with Bolter (210pts)
- Tactical Squad: 10 man unit, Drop Pod with Deathwind Missile Launcher and Locator Beacon, Missile Launcher, Grav-gun and Sargent with Meltabombs, Chainsword and Plasma Pistol (250pts)
- Sternguard Squad: 5 man unit, 1 x Combi-Plasma, 1 x Combi-Melta, 1 x Heavy Flamer and Sargent with Chainsword and Grav Pistol (165pts)
- Terminator Squad: 5 man unit, 2 x Chainfists, 1 x Assault Cannon (230pts)
- Legion of the Damned: 5 man unit, Sargent with Power Axe and Plasma Pistol (155pts)
- Stormtalon Gunship with Skyhammer Missiles (125pts)
- Predator with Extra Armour, Storm Bolter, Autocannon and Lascannon Sponsons (130pts)
- Whirlwind (65pts)
Total: 1,994 points
Game 1: Versus Blood Angels
When I was told my first game would be against fellow Imperials, the Blood Angels Chapter, I was well up for bashing some Space Marine skulls. It was also a great opportunity to see not only how differently both armies played, but how similarly as well.
The Blood Angels won in the end after a tight battle in which my Ultras held their own for a good while, with mere Ultramarine Tactical Marines doing a sizeable amount of damage in close combat against Blood Angel Assault Marines (we even drew combat at one stage). I deployed a new tactic in infiltrating my Combat Squad'ed Tactical Marines using Sicarius's special rule in order to pin point my deep striking Terminator Squads. With such a weak squad in enemy lines, my opponent mostly ignored them and payed the price as my Terminators smashed 2 Predator Tanks from the flank.
My Legion of the Damned also did me proud, absolutely annihilating a 5 man Tactical Squad in close combat, killing another 3 marines in shooting and then killing a further 3 in another close combat phase. I was really stunned by their absolute determination to not die.
The most shocking moment in the game for me was this...
Sicarius was charged by this Furioso Dreadnought on the second Blood Angel turn and, not only survived until the end of the game, but killed the Furioso one on one before killing an Assault Marine next phase. What a boss!
Game 2: Versus Iyanden Eldar
My second game was against a foe I had little hopes of winning against in all honest and, as expected I didn't, but it was a fun game to play even though we decided to call it at the end of turn 5 as I only had 2 Space Marines left on the table whilst confronted by 2 Wave Serpents and a squad of Strength 4 Ap 2 flamer wielding Wraith Guard. No chance for survival!
Still, there were some great moments in the game. The combined efforts of a lone Lascannon guy, my Predator and my Sternguard, I took down the Wraith Knight in a couple of turns (my Sternguard taking off 3 wounds in the first turn alone!). My Legion of the Damned did me proud once again as they took out a Wave Serpent in a single combat round. Eldar have disgusting weapons by the way.
There isn't much to report, I tried to bunker down and give myself a defensive position but the Eldar tide just hit me like a hammer. I did achieve more Victory Points than my opponent but with all my guys dead it was an instant win for the Ghost Host. Ah well, next time xenos filth! (I kid, my opponent was a great sport)
Brilliant day, 2 brilliant games with 2 brilliant opponents. I tried some interesting tactics, most of which paid off better than expected, so in a nutshell what exactly did I learn?
- Teleport Homers are really useful if used correctly. My Sargent was vital in positioning my Terminators against the Blood Angels, allowing them to take out their tank contingency.
- Never underestimate Storm Talons, it proved to be incredibly frustrating for both my opponents given their lack of Sky Fire. It died both games, but not before doing it's job. Might consider 2 in the future...
- Legion of the Damned are amazing and did incredibly in both games. They're resilient, tough to kill and great with a power axe. Must make a mental note to use a power fist next time...
- Sternguard can dish some great damage when used correctly but need protecting. Bigger squads are in order too...
- Lascannons are more amazing than I remember. My combat squad with a Lascannon became very useful for either killing tanks or chipping away wounds (especially against the Wraith Knight).
- Psykers are so useful, even if it's just for dispelling powers in 7th edition.
- Dead tanks are great for blocking line of sight!
- Never play Tau. Just don't do it. I felt sorry for my friend...
All in all, I have a few lessons to take away with me and some more combinations to try out in future. A second Lascannon squad or Stormtalon prehaps, or bigger Legion of the Damned/Sternguard units. Tigurius and Sicarius will most definitely be staying in most of my lists but I am itching to try some new HQ combinations out as well.
7th edition plays really well, much better than I expected. Psychic powers flow nicely, tanks are about right in their toughness now and just a lot of kinks have been ironed out. Also I forgot to mention both games I played were Maelstroms of War, and they were so much fun to play that I may never even consider Eternal War missions now.
Most importantly of all, I can tick some resolutions off my list! Until next time folks!
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