2K Tournament - Round 3

Round 3: Chris Bader (Imperial Guard)
Deployment: Vanguard Strike
Mission: Purge the Alien
Secondary Objectives: First Blood, Linebreaker, Battlefield Superiority (control 2+ table quarters)

Company Command w/Vox Caster, Meltagun, Lascannon, Officer of the Fleet, Straken, Chimera
Platoon Command w/Vox Caster, Meltagun, Lascannon, Chimera
Infantry Squad w/Flamer, Missile Launcher
Infantry Blob Squad w/Grenades, Autocannon, Power Sword
Heavy Weapon Team w/3 x Missile Launcher
Platoon Command Squad w/Vox Caster, Meltagun, Lascannon, Chimera
Infantry Squad w/Flamer, Missile Launcher
Infantry Blob Squad w/Plasma Gun, Lascannon, Power Weapon, Vox Caster
Commissar w/Power Sword
Heavy Weapon Team w/3 x Missile Launcher
Vendetta w/Heavy Bolter sponsons
Vendetta w/Heavy Bolter sponsons
Manticore w/Heavy Flamer
Imperial Bastion w/Quad Gun

Yes, it's the Imperial Guard, yet again. Fewer tanks and no Allies, but a couple of Flyers, my first matchup against such units in 6th. I can't say I was particularly optimistic about this, especially since it was kill points; infantry blob squads with attached Commissars take a heck of a lot of killing for one point, and Guard tanks can inflict some pretty serious casualties, especially if, as Chris did, they win the roll-off.

Chris elected to go first, and deployed pretty well strung out along his diagonal; Bastion in the middle, with the two small squads inside and on top of it, command squads in their Chimeras around it, Manticore towards the back, and the heavy weapon teams and blob squads on the wings. Unfortunately, poor terrain placement left my own deployment somewhat hamstrung, with my Hammerhead, commander and Deathrains behind a huge building smack-dab in the middle of the table, a Devilfish full of Firewarriors, a Fireknife team and an XV88 team on the left being hassled by some craters (skimmers and jet packs don't like difficult terrain tests) and a mirror group on the right trying to hug a forest and small outbuilding as much as they could. Sadly, the BKG guys had decided not to allow for Night Fight this round, so if I failed to seize, my Devilfish were going to be stuck out with pretty minimal angles of cover. And so I did fail to seize, that's exactly what happened.

First round, I lost both Devilfish; a 5+ cover save is nice, but not really enough against the kind of firepower a Guard list can put out, even with the Vendettas stuck in reserve first turn. Though sadly, in both of the fateful fails, having the 4+ Flat Out save would have made the difference. Alas! Even more unfortunately, hampered as I was by the giant building in the middle of the table, which prevented my two wings from supporting each other (what good is superior Tau range if you can't get LOS?), my own shooting was too scattered to really crush any one thing in return. We traded shots, him shaking my Hammerhead, me managing to hit the Bastion with it anyway but only glancing it, a Chimera for a Devilfish, a few Guardsmen for a few Firewarrior squads. Unfortunately, while I was chipping away at models, he'd removed several units, putting him up to start with. And it only got worse when one of his Vendettas arrived second turn, and immediately lascannoned my poor Hammerhead straight into the ground.

I got my revenge, though, and let this be a lesson; always, always understand the rules. So, I hit the Vendetta with a couple of missile pods, and managed to lock its speed with the damage, forcing it to go 18" straight. Not exactly devastating. But then I realized I still had one Devilfish left, which hadn't fired yet, and whose 6" Flat Out move could basically put it exactly where the Vendetta's flying stand would have to be. The stand can't end its move within 1" of an enemy model; the Vendetta can't turn, or go further than 18"; and any Flyer that can't travel a minimum of 18" is automatically wrecked. Which is to say, with a conveniently placed Devilfish, I managed to turn a mere locked velocity roll into the destruction of the flyer. Not bad, not bad one bit.

Unfortunately, I wasn't having too much luck, otherwise. My entire right flank basically disappeared, save for the experimental XV25s who dropped in, only to be caught completely flat-footed when the nearby blob squad charged them. I'm used to my enemy's charging Tau units, but I must admit, I completely failed to anticipate that anyone would want to voluntarily charge a BA Captain with power sword and five Death Company. Unfortunately, while my Allies were grinding down the blob squad (both Chris and I having completely forgotten Challenges were even a thing), they weren't doing it quickly, or without casualties themselves. The game ended on account of time before the combat could be resolved, but it was depressingly clear that the quality of those counts-as-Marines simply wasn't going to match up to the quantity of all those Guardsmen. I did, however, take out one of the Chimeras before I went down, and more dramatically I managed to blow up the Bastion, which did impressively terrible things to the units inside and on top of it. Fortifications really are unforgiving if you can put them down, especially if you've only got t-shirt saves on the units embarked in them.

Unfortunately, even with the other Vendetta counting as a kill point for being off the table when the game ended, things went as I'd feared. Chris had won overall, and scored First Blood, while neither of us had Linebreaker or Battlefield Superiority. So while he only scored fourteen for his victory, I escaped with just a measly three for participation.

If only that blob squad had let me get the charge off, instead!

Still, ultimately I was pretty happy with how the tournament went. I had a pretty solid grasp of the new ruleset, I completely dominated that first game, and I even scored 'best presentation' again, which is always nice. Even nicer, though, I came in fifth overall that day, a new personal best and definitely something worth celebrating!

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