Wednesday, February 4, 2015

RECAP & GALLERY: 1500 points Grey Knights/Tau vs Space Marines

It's been ages since Trip and I got a game in together.  Turned out to be an epic return!

The last time Trip and I got together to roll some dice was shortly after his son was born. We've both gotten a fair bit of painting in since then, but it was great to finally put some minis on the table and duke it out. It also featured the first action for my new Dreadknight!

Deet's Army
GK Psyker- lv3, Liber Demonica, Stave
     Rolled Vortex, HH, Cleansing Flame, Gate of Infinity
5 GK Term- swords, 1 halberd, psycannon
5 GK Interceptors- swords, 1 hammer, incinerator
Stormraven- Lascannons, Hurricane Bolters, Typhoon Launcher, Extra Armor
Dreadknight- Sword, Heavy Psy, Teleporter (Warlord- 1st to Fray)
10 Fire Warriors- pulse
10 Kroot, 1 Kroot Hound- Sniper
4 Pathfinders- Markerlights
XV8 Shas'vre- 2 Plasma, Puretide Engram
Broadside- HYMP, Smart Missiles, Early Warning
Aegis- Quad Gun

Trip's Army
Captain with jump pack, thunder hammer, plasma pistol and Armor of Indomitus
Librarian: level 2 with jump pack and force axe
        Rolled in Divination: Prescience, Precognition, Forewarning
10 man tactical squad. melta gun and multi-melta. Rhino with storm bolter and smoke launchers
10 man tactical squad. Plasma gun, plasma cannon, sgt with two plasma pistols. Drop pod.
10 man assault squad. sgt. with power sword and combat shield
10 man devastator squad, 2 flakk launchers, 2 lascannons, combat squads. Razorback with twin linked assault cannon
5 man terminator squad with assault cannon

Our first game lasted all of 20 minutes- both of us being super rusty and over eager, we made some ill advised moves topped off by Trip charging his assault marines at a full Fire Warrior squad sitting behind an Aegis with an Quad Gun and an Ethereal. Buh-bye. Trip also had clearly pissed off the dice gods, missing an unbelievable number of 3+ saves. Halfway through turn 2 we agreed it was going nowhere and called it.

Deet's being kind here. I knew they would take some losses, but, statistically, they SHOULD have hit the Tau with at least 50% strength. Man, did I roll poorly, failing nine out of twelve 3+ saves. I mean, W.T.F.?! He's also not mentioning that the fire from a full devastator squad and a tactical squad netted me all of a single pathfinder kill. My rolling arm was a bit... rusty.

We set up game 2 with the same forces, hopefully augmented by smarter commanders and better luck on the dice. Hammer and Anvil deployment, Trip set up first and I failed to steal Initiative. I kept all my GK in reserve, Trip kept a tactical squad in a drop pod and his terminators back.  My Pathfinders infiltrated in to the center of the board, and the Kroot, noticing a tactical advantage to take some ruins in Trip's backfield and take pot shots at everyone's backs, decided to risk being the sacrificial lambs and infiltrated in.

Trip kicked off Game two with much better luck. Having been harrassed by my Kroot in game one, he was in no mood to take that again and promptly turned his assault squad led by his HQs around to take on the Kroot. Hammer of Wrath took all but 3 and the hapless Kroot were mopped up without a shot fired. I perhaps naively thought they'd last at least a turn, but no matter. They had cornered his troops in the backfield, making them useless for a turn. Gave Trip 1st blood, though. His Razorback also managed a wound on my Broadside.

Not really much of a choice here. In the first game I was content to let you pot-shot at the back of my razorback, but those Kroot could have done real damage to the assault squad. And, man, did that squad slam into those poor kroot. I think we knew it would end badly for the cannibals, but we both thought it would last longer than a single melee phase. Ouch.

My turn one saw my Dreadknight and Terminators/Libby drop in to the fray. The DK went in behind the Dev squad equipped with flakk missiles, hoping to clear the path for the Stormraven to come in turn two. The Terminators dropped dead center behind the Rhino.  Psychic phase saw the Terminators try for Hammerhand. Boxcars! One lost to Perils. Force: Boxcars. One lost to perils! Seriously, what are the odds; two 6's on two dice, twice, followed by a four each time? Unreal. These freaking Terminators, I swear.

This was unreal. I'd never seen a roll like that. Back-to-back double sixes, followed by the same result on the table that just outright kills you. Terrible luck, that.

The Dreadknight dropped a pie plate on the Dev Squad and took out the rockets. Mission accomplished. You can shove your measly bolters, kids. My Broadside split open the razorback, and when the devastators spilled out, the remaining terminators wiped them out to the man. My Fire warriors, manning the quad gun, only managed 1 wound on the Rhino as it was obscured by smoke. Not a fantastic first turn, but could have been worse.

"Not a fantastic turn"?! You eliminated the only anti-air I had in my army before your flier arrived, and blew apart the lascannons that could have snap-shotted it! Those poor devs never fired a shot...

Turn two saw Trip's drop pod fall in to my back line, and a 10 man marine squad come pouring out. I was on the phone with some customer service weenie who couldn't take a hint, and forgot to do my Interceptor roll. D'oh. Trip's marines then felled my Broadside with plasma fire to add insult to injury. That was about all the damage he did though, other than cast Precognition, which I failed to block on 9 freaking dice.

That precog roll becomes clutch in a bit - you watch! The drop pod drifted a bit, but not enough to prevent me from lining up my plasma shots to ensure that eliminating the Broadside would be quick work. This squad did exactly what it was meant to, and that was just the beginning...

I failed to get my Stormraven in for turn two. Oh well. Psychic phase, that's where I really shine with this army. Force? Nope. Hammerhand? Nothing. Ugh. Disgusted, I turned to my Tau. The Fire Warriors were about to be pinned between two different squads, one from the Drop Pod, and the other fast approaching in their Rhino. I opted for the softer target and unloaded a torrent of fire in to the marine squad, managing only one kill. My XV8 realized he too was outmatched vs a 9 man squad and bravely ran away, throwing a few rounds of plasma over his shoulder as he dodged around the blocking terrain in the center of the board. He too managed just one kill. So much for the Tau.

Deet made a tough choice here. I had piled my tactical squad out of the rhino, but on the opposite side from the Aegis, keeping them out of line of sight. There was no way he could explode the rhino with the firepower he had, so he turned 180 to try and soften the pincer that was closing in on his firebase.

Midfield, Trip's captain and his assault squad leaped forward, and using assault doctrine, attempted to charge the Grey Knights that had recently obliterated his dev squad. I say "attempted" because he failed the charge AND the re-roll provided by the doctrine.

Uhg. Thought for sure this was a lock. It wasn't even that long a charge! Eight inches, maybe? Nine? I rolled a three the first try and a five the second!

Back to the GK, my Dreadknight decided the three remaining Tac Squad guys hiding in the ruins next to him weren't worth his time and *ZOT* blipped across the battlefield to aid his Terminator friends against a big group of approaching jet pack troops, landing just behind Trip's Librarian. Mwuhaha. No hiding behind meatshields, buddy. The Dreadknight unleashed another pie plate, netting 7 hits- all of which would have to be taken against the Librarian! Trip's dice were with him though, and I managed just one kill on a Look Out Sir! roll. Bloody Space Marine armor.

Being able to see the future sure is handy when a 30 foot tall killer robot is trying to shoot you in the back! Let's hear it for precognition allowing failed saves to be re-rolled!

My Terminators learned from watching what happened to the Kroot, and decided taking Hammer of Wrath from a 12-strong unit was pretty sucktastic- it was better to face the inevitable combat now and charge the assault squad to gain the extra attack for themselves. They survived a plasma hit on the charge with their invuln, and piled in. Challenges abounded and we ended up with Justicar vs Warlord, Libby vs Libby, and the two remaining Terminators facing off against 4 troops each! (Yes. we realize now we played that wrong- only 1 challenge per combat) (BOO! there should be as many challenges as you can manage, I say!)

The Knights gave the assault squad the fight it was looking for the turn before, a great move, as it denied hammer of wrath, as well as attack bonuses - and lead to one of the most exciting close combats we'd ever played.

The Librarians stayed true to their lame name and pretty much just had a slap fight. Trip's Captain was less accommodating, striking down my Justicar like a boss and then walking off with a yawn. My two remaining Terminators held their own, felling two marines each, but with that many blades flying my psycannon Termy went down.

A warlord with a thunder hammer and the armor of Indomitus is not to be messed with, and Captain Varrus offers no quarter. I had Deet outnumbered four to one outside the challenges, but thanks to his AP3 power swords, that changed very quickly.

Trip's Terminators dropped in close to my Aegis to start turn 4, and the rhino reversed away from the defense line revealing his entire tactical squad. He then proceeded to shoot EVERYTHING in range of those Fire Warriors at the entrenched squad. That's three squads and a Rhino! (don't forget two pot shots from the drop pod!) With the help of the Aegis and the Ethereal's FNP they suffered only 5 casualties. Annoyed, his Tactical Squad charged at the remaining Tau, losing 1 to overwatch. Amazingly, he failed the 6" charge! My Tau lived to fight another round.

My terminators joined the fray using Sgt. Octavius' homing beacon, just as his tactical squad prepared to charge the firebase. Deet felled the first marine over the wall, and it took all the steam out of the charge. I guess the rest of the squad couldn't clamber over the aegis with their comrade's corpse straddling it.

Over in our big close combat brawl, the Captain went for a glorious intervention and pushed his Librarian aside to face mine. Blades flew, but no significant blows were struck. My remaining halberd Terminator finally succumbed to the exhaustion of facing overwhelming numbers, taking one more marine with him.

My 4th turn started dangerously close to our hard stop time, but we wouldn't realize that until late in the turn. My Librarian finally had a decent psychic round, activating Force and Hammerhand. That's when I remembered I had Gate and didn't need to risk him in combat anymore. *ZOT* He blipped across the board, landing squarely inside the Aegis, right next to the Quad Gun vacated by the retreating Fire Warriors. How convenient for a unit without any real firepower! But first he used his remaining dice and went Nova on the Marines, Terminators, and Rhino crowded up against the Aegis, unleashing a cleansing flame that proved completely futile.

Oddly, I was kinda hoping this would be amazing. I'd never seen a nova positioned so perfectly, as to do damage to more than two units. Sadly, it fizzled.

My Stormraven, having scored a few kills on trip's drop pod marines in the previous turn, went into hover mode and dropped off its excited cargo of Interceptors to finish them off. It then turned to provide some assistance to the Fire Warriors, unleashing everything it had on the approaching Terminators, killing two.

My Interceptors trained their guns on the Drop Pod marines, taking only one down as Trip's Sergeant with the double plasma pistols passed save after save. The Interceptors charged in to finish them off, but the Sargeant went all gangsta and took my Incinerator down in overwatch before blowing himself up in a haze of hot plasma, stopping the charge cold. Give that man a medal!

Play of the game, and the unquestionable MVP, Sgt. Tiberius truly saw his finest hour. He shrugged off raking fire from one of the stormraven's hurricane bolters, took every shot from the advancing interceptor's storm bolters, survived the incinerator and then, in spectacularly heroic fashion, rolled a six and a one in overwatch, killing one of the advancing squad whilst the other pistol exploded in his face, ending his life. Still, the extra two inches was all I needed as deet's charge roll came up short.

Across the battlefield, my Dreadknight was eager to finally get some blood on his sword and jumped in to mop up Trip's command squad. He wiped the Librarian in a Hammer of Wrath attack, and then turned to face the Captain. Looking death in the eyes, the Captain activated his Armor of Indomitus and barely escaped the round unscathed.

I forgot my psychic phase on the previous turn, so there was no precognition to save my psyker this time! He was crushed underfoot as the dreadknight moved in for the kill on my warlord. Varrus, left standing with his hammer raised over his head, and a look of bewilderment on his face, as deet's librarian disappeared during his glorious intervention, wasn't ready for the knight's attack. Despite activating his armor for the 2+ invul, and surviving the assault, he failed to land any counter blows. This was crucial, as the concussion from his hammer would have made the subsequent combat simultaneous, allowing the possibility of a double knockout.

Right about then we decided we needed to wrap it up.  We HAD to find out how the Warlord close combat ended so we rushed to find the result. Didn't take long. No longer protected by the fancy armor, the Commander went down quickly to the 20' Nemesis Longsword.

The chance of a 5+ invul save was narrow, but I had to see if Varrus could pull out a clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. Sadly, it was not to be, and the outcome was to be expected. If you're going to go out, go out toe-to-toe with a 30 foot tall killer robot piloted by a religious fanatic, I say.

That left things pretty well tied. Looking around the board there were a lot of things that could go either way. Content with a fun game, we shook hands on a 4-4 result and called it a night.

Good to get the dice out again. Great to see all the fun models in action! Hopefully we'll get back to playing sooner rather than later so we aren't so rusty next time.



  1. Great battle report with two beautifully painted forces! Quality

  2. can't SM librarians not roll on divination? I ask because i'd love to be able to, but can't find anything that would allow me to do so.

    1. Jeez, I dunno! Never even crossed my mind that it wouldn't be allowed! I know the GK can't use the "bad" demonic powers, but I didn't realize there were restrictions for other factions. (outside of tyranids that have to use their own powers)

    2. I just checked the reference card that is included. Space Marines, inquisition and imperial guard can choose from all of the disciplines. There are no restrictions.

  3. Brushed up on the rules this weekend and realized we botched a few things, per usual. My cover saves from the smoke launchers on the rhino should have been a 5+ not a 4+. And your cover saves from the aegis should have been a 4+, not a 3+ -- that one would have made a BIG difference.