by Novus (aka Rich K)
Caught a game this weekend at Frontline. And boy, was it a close one!
I'd never played Pascal before even though he is regular (and staff painter) at Frontline. I was waiting for Keno to show up as I'd scheduled a game with him, but he's in his own time zone so I figured I should take the game I have in front of me and much like Keno, Pascal is a righteous dude.
Pascal busted out a Nurgle based CSM army, similar to mine. What I remember from his list:
- 2x Heldrakes
- 1x Storm Eagle
- 35x Zombies
- 10x CSM with Auto Cannon
- 7x Plague Marines with Plasma (I think)
- 3x Obliterators
- Predator with lascannons all around
- Aegis Defence Line with Relay
My list was a bit different than normal because I was planning on Keno tooling his list to kill my Plasmacutioners (which is what I usually bring) so I was going to bring no armor whatsoever. I was running CSM with Daemon allies:
- Plague Lord, Palanquin, Brand, Maul
- 2x Squad of 7 Plague Marines, 2x Plasma
- 2x Squad of 3 Nurgle Oblits, VOTLW
- Heldrake, Flamer
- Herald of Tzeentch, Chariot, Breath, Bolt, Master
- Squad of 6 Screamers
- Squad of 7 Flamers (proxies, Raptors)
- Squad of 5 Plague Bearers
We decided to play a Bay Area Open style scenario and rolled ye olde number 4...
Scenario 4: Crusade (4pts) and Emperor’s Will (3pts): Dawn of War Deployment. There are always 3 Crusade Objectives placed outside of either player’s deployment zone. Emperor’s Will objectives are placed in each player’s own deployment zone. Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord, and First Blood are each worth 1 point.
Pascal won the roll to choose deployment zones but I won the roll to go first. He failed to seize.
We then placed objectives, Crusade are red and Emperors Will are green in the photo below...
The entire left side of the table, from my POV, was completely ignored during deployment and pretty much for the whole game...
My deployment, both PM squads and the Lord each supporting a squad of Oblitz. My Emporers Will objective is hidden in the building at the bottom of the photo.
And my reserves...
My primary force of Daemons consists of the Bearers and the Flamers (to the left). And the Heldrake is keeping them all company.
Pascals deployment is like so...
The zombies (via Typhus) are the white models and the Oblits are standing up against the Line to the left. The Nurglings count as his Emporers Will objective.
Here are his reserves...
Top of 1
The game started out well for me. I had two precision Daemon incursions. The Flamers landed right where I needed them, behind Pascals Zombies, and the Bearers landed within charge distance of his Oblitz. I wanted those things suppressed as early as possible!
As far as firing went, my Flamers killed about 12 Zombies, scored a HP on the Predator, and my Oblitz killed another 10-12 with Plasmacannon fire. I also had some cannon fire scatter over onto his Oblitz, which forced them to Go To Ground to avoid being wounded. I then charged the Flamers at the Zombies which pulled the Zombies off the Relay. This took the Relay out of play for Pascal until he got a squad over there to man it again. I think I lost one flamer and Pascal lost 3 Zombies during the CC phase.
Bottom of 1
Pascals made no moves. His Predator shot at my corner squad of Oblitz, causing a wound. The Zombies and the Flamers continued to beat on each other and he and killed one flamer, I think, and I killed one Zombie.
Top of 2
My 'Drake comes in and flames Pascal's Oblitz, causing no wounds. My Oblitz blaze away at his predator and cause one HP of damage. I was really hoping for the First Blood point, but alas, no joy.
My Bearers charge his Oblitz and do no damage. His Oblitz kill all but one of my Bearers.
The Flamer/Zombie melee continues and we each kill some of the other squad...
Bottom of 2
One of Pascals 'Drakes comes in, but the second 'Drake and his Storm Eagle are still floating around in orbit... they got lost on their way down to the battle field, I suppose. Lucky for me. His 'Drake Vector Strikes mine, but thankfully does no damage.
The Zombie/Flamer slap fight continues, no damage scored there, but is Oblitz finish off my final Bearer and he consolidates back to his Relay with them. First Blood goes to Pascal!
Top of 3
My 'Drake leaves the board while attempting a Vector Strike on the Predator and ends up killing it a turn too late for First Blood. My second contingent of Daemons come in; the Screamers try to score some kills on the Oblitz via their Slash Attack, but score nothing. My Herald just zips over his lines and behind the now wrecked Predator to keep his cover save low.
I have only 3 Flamers left but they are slowly wearing down his Zombies. I think I scored 2 kills this phase to his none.
Bottom of 3
Via the Relay, Pascal's second 'Drake and Storm Eagle find their way to the battle. I think his second 'Drake Vectored my Screamers but did no damage. He decided to Hover Mode his Storm Eagle and drop its cargo, 7 Plague Marines and Typhus, near my remaining Screamers. His standard Chaos Marines walk on behind his remaining Zombies.
In his shooting phase his first Heldrake scores two kills on my Emporers Will objective holders, unfortunately. His Plague Marines shoot at my Screamers and kill one. The Storm Eagle takes some shots but I don't think any were successful. His Oblitz finish the Screamers off handily... I needed 4+ to make the saves and you can see what I rolled below.
The standard CSM's hold their fire and charge into the Zombie/Flamer slap fight, killing two of my remaining Flamers.
I now only have my Herald in his backfield.
Things are looking bad for me.
Top of 4
My Heldrake fails to Vector his second 'Drake and now that all of his scoring units are in his backfield, which is great for me, I send my Warlord and his squad forward to capture one of the Crusade objectives.
My shooting isn't bad except for a complete Baleflamer whiff from my Heldrake. But, my Herald scores a wound on Typhus with Bolt of Tzeentch, somehow, and my corner Oblitz destroy the hovering Storm Eagle. My central Oblitz whiff, too.
The Zombies and the final Flamer fail to do any damage to each other. The standard CSM squad isn't close enough to finish the final Flamer so he gets to live one more round.
Bottom of 4
Pascal's 'Drakes fly around and try to get into a good firing position vs. my Warlord's squad, which is out in the open. His Oblitz march forward and try for position on them, too.
The PM's and Typhus shoot at the Herald and score a couple of wounds and the Heldrakes kill 3 of my Warlord's squad even though my Warlord sucks up most of the damage without a scratch.
The Zombies and CSM's finally finish the lone Flamer and he consolidates both squads onto his Emperors Will objective.
Top of 5
My movement consists of keeping my Heldrake on the table, there's barely enough room, and shuffling the Warlord's squad around so they don't all die in a bunch to Baleflamer fire.
I have a very good shooting phase. I not only finish off all of the Zombies with Plasmacannon and Bale Flamer fire from my Oblitz and Heldrake, I kill his standard CSM's, as well. So far, I've scored at least 45 wounds against Pascal's army and killed 2/3 of his scoring units. At this point he only has his Plague Marines left to score with and they are nowhere near an objective of any sort. I'm now back in the game! If the game ends on this turn I'll have beaten Pascal 3 points to 1.
So, in a effort to keep Typhus tied up, my Herald charges him to no effect. Typhus scores a wound in retaliation.
Bottom of 5
Pascal must move one of his Heldrakes into reserve as it's pinned in a corner. He also moves his Oblitz up to fire on my Warlord and his lot.
At this point Pascal has very little he can hit me with as it's all in poor firing position. But, he is able to down my Heldrake with a well placed Vector Strike.
Typhus and my Herald slap each other but do no real damage.
I'm ahead in points, 7 to 4, and it's the end of 5 so I roll the die and the damned game continues to turn 6!
Top of 6
More shuffling of models by me to keep the Baleflamers from destroying my squads.
In the shooting phase I kill two of his Oblitz and due to some Burning Brand of Skalathrax shenanigans, I kill all but 1 of his Plague Marines.
Typhus finally kills my Herald and consolidates toward his objective.
Bottom of 6
Pascal moves Typhus and his last Plague Marine behind the wrecked Predator but within the objective radius. One of his 'Drakes leaves for reserves and the other comes back from reserves.
That Heldrake fires at my Warlords squad and brings me down to just two models and the Warlord.
I'm still ahead, I have a Crusade objective (+4) and my Emperor's Will objective (+3) and Pascal has his Emperor's Will (+3) and First Blood (+1). If the game ends here, I win.
Buuuut, we end up going to turn 7!
Top of 7
Really all I'm trying to do here is keep my dwindling Warlord squad alive.
I fire 3 Plasmacannons at his remaining Oblit and pray it scatters onto his last PM and kills him. But that really just doesn't work. So I fire directly at his remaining Oblit, which is pretty much the only model of his I can see or hit with any surety and I miss with the other 3 Oblitz. Damn!
Bottom of 7
There is nothing for Pascal to move except the only 'Drake he has on the board.
Pascal finally remembers that Typhus is a Psyker then successfully hits my Warlord squad with Gift of Contagion/Liquefying Ague (-1S, -1T) which brings my Warlord back down to T4.
The Heldrake scores no wounds.
Pascal has only one model to hit me with left, his final Oblit. This is his last chance to win the game.
He fires a lascannon at the squad and scores a hit and then a wound that doubles my Warlord out as he is the closest model to the firer. I can only survive by making my Invulnerable save.
I need a 4 and roll a 3.
Pascal kills my Warlord and because he was the only model in the squad to be inside the objective radius, I lose control of that Crusade objective. And because we both control our Emperor's will objectives, Pascal shoots ahead by having claimed both First Blood and Slay the Warlord.
He only had 4 models left on the table! Typhus, a Heldrake, a Plague Marine (behind the Predator), and the Obliterator, the Hero of the battle.
A great game and a win well earned, Pascal!
What I Learned
I gave up First Blood too easily. Landing those Plague Bearers where I did and assaulting his Oblitz was a bad idea. Yes, it kept them from firing at me for a turn, but I just handed Pascal the First Blood point. Had I not done that, I would have easily tied and probably won. Those secondary (and in this case, tertiary) objectives can easily mean the difference between a win and a loss.