The Fate of Bavgad Prime IV – Week 5

Opponents: Blake and Ben
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Objective: Seize Ground

Blake Nelson:
Primaris Psyker
Company Command Squad w/4 x Plasma Rifles, Chimera
3 x Mortar Team
3 x Lascannon Team
3 x Heavy Bolter Team
10 x Veterans w/2 x Missile Launcher
10 x Veterans w/2 x Missile Launcher
5 x Veterans w/Valkyrie
Leman Russ
Armoured Sentinel w/Plasma Cannon

Ben Warburton:
Hive Tyrant w/Wings
10 x Termagants
3 x Tyranid Warriors w/Warrior Prime
3 x Tyranid Warriors
3 x Biovores

Jamie Goddard:
Cato Sicarius
Techmarine w/Thunderfire Cannon
10 x Sternguard w/Drop Pod
5 x Tacticals w/Razorback, Lascannon
5 x Tacticals w/Lascannon
10 x Devestators w/4 x Missile Launchers
5 x Tacticals w/Lascannon
5 x Tacticals

This was originally just going to be a tie-breaker rematch between Blake and I. In our previous fights he'd won while defending his territory and I'd won while defending mine, so neither of us had really accomplished anything on the map. This time, though, I felt confident I could take him, especially when he laid down rather fewer Leman Russes, and rather more AV12 vehicles. As we were setting up, though, Ben and Jamie, who'd arrived too late to get in a fight with anyone, asked if we'd mind them piling into our battle for a 2v2. My instincts told me to press Blake while he was weak, but, eh, it's just a fun league, so we said sure.

I ended up with Jamie's Space Marines at my back, facing off against Imperial Guard and Tyranids. Blake said we should re-roll the mission and deployment, but while I was already in the middle of deploying I just sort of grunted something and went on re-ordering my cadre. This lapse would prove critical, as Blake rolled Pitched Battle again, but Seize Ground instead of the earlier Capture and Control, removing the objective in the middle and placing his objective on the other side of his deployment zone. Eventually Jamie and I got sorted out, with my Pathfinders, both my XV88 squads, his Techmarine and one of the Tacticals with a Lascannon anchoring the left side of the table, while my Hammerhead, Deathrains and commander, and his Devastators and the other Tacticals with a Lascannon hung out on the other flank, the two Devilfish, the Razorback and both Fireknife teams in the middle. Across the table from us the centre was held by the Carnifex, a Zoanthrope, the two Veteran squads and the Termagants, while the Hive Tyrant and Tervigon were on our left and the Guard's entire mechanized complement, plus the Biovores and the second Zoanthrope, were on our right. They checked for seize, failed, and we were off.

It was, frankly, a bloodbath. Ben's Carnifex and Hive Tyrant were shot down long before they could accomplish anything, as was the central Zoanthrope. The rightmost Zoanthrope got one shot off, but failed to do any damage. In what has to be the best outing I could ever hope for, my Piranha managed to explode the Leman Russ, while one of the gun drones turned sideways and shot up the Armoured Sentinel, actually managing to wreck it. Sure, the Piranha vanished immediately afterwards, but I'd happily trade it for those two any day of the week! What was worse for Blake and Ben, Ben's outflanking Genestealers refused to show up, while Blake's Valkyrie scattered off the table and was destroyed on the mishap table, taking the Veterans with it. By the end of the game, Jamie and I had traded my Piranha, his Sternguard, the gun off his Razorback and most of a few infantry squads (none of which had broken from their casualties), for the Hive Tyrant, Carnifex, Tervigon, Mawloc, Leman Russ, Armoured Sentinel, most of the Heavy Bolter team, the guns off the Hydra, all the Termagants, and all but one of the Tyranid Warriors.

Unfortunately, that's where that lapse in concentration came in. See, originally, there'd been three objectives on the board; one on my side on the left, which I just left where it was, one in the middle, which Blake removed, and one on Blake's side on my right, which he moved to behind a tall tower on my left. So where I thought I had an overwhelming force to contest his objectives with, including my Hammerhead, commander, and a Devilfish full of Firewarriors with Drones still on the racks, the actual objective was on the opposite side of the table. And while a Devilfish with Drones has an impressive contestation range (12" + 2" disembark + D6" run + 6" assault + 3" contested zone around the objective), I only noticed the changed objective on turn 4, and even they can't cover the entire table in a turn. With nothing in range to challenge Ben and Blake's objective, it came down to shooting, and while a truly miraculous series of shots wiped out all the Termagants, the Tervigon, most of the Veterans and two of the Tyranid Warriors, at the end of our phase there was one last, unbreakably-Synaptic Warrior sitting on the objective, completely obscured by the tower from what few remaining unspent weapons Jamie and I had left.

And that's how the tie-breaking grudge match between Blake and I managed to end, in the sort of ludicrous irony usually reserved for Greek tragedies, in a tie.

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