Monday, November 22, 2010

Battle Report: CSM and Daemons 2v2

It’s Monday and I can’t think of a better way to start this week then with a battle report of this weekend’s tournament at my local GW. In the interest of layering content I will also discuss the awesome-ality (this is totally a word) of Noise Marines and that insatiable pervert Slaanesh.              
It’s the perfect conflict. A storm whose elements have so conveniently assembled themselves that rain falls like bombs onto the earth. The precise heat and pressure has been applied to death that it becomes a diamond of war. Unlikely allies share battlefields with even more unlikely enemies. In acts of betrayal, blood stains bonds held together for millennia.

This tournament was three rounds, each with different objects. First round is straight up pitched slaughter, kill or be killed and the Tally Man counts it on his abacus of death. Kill Points are recorded in the case of ties. Turn two is Assassination. Simply strike down the heads of your opponents’ army from table quarters. Finally hold objectives in Dawn of War. The game is two versus two, 750 points each, one mandatory HQ and Troop choice each. No more than two HQ’s per side. I and my partner decided to go with a deadly combination of CSM and Daemons and fluff it around Slaanesh. So I took two six man squads of Noise Marines with Sonic Blasters and a Blastmaster, two Rhinos, a Defiler, and a Flying Slaanesh Daemon Prince with Lash of Submission. My partner took, a Keeper of Secrets with Unholy Might, eleven Daemonettes, Soul Grinder with all the Mawcannon profiles, two Fiends, and five Seekers.

Since there are actually three games to be reviewed I will simplify all events into the major events and the strategies that won/lost games for us.

Game One: We deploy first. They have decided to bring Space Wolves and Tyranids, most notably a Swarm Lord and a Trygon Prime, but otherwise the most lethal thing I recognized was the Devastator squads. So we deploy away across the board and but unfortunately my partner gets the lame half of what she wanted to come in turn one. So her Soul Grinder and Keeper get to sit out for a while. So we go first and I lash the Space Marine Devastators out of a building but not far enough to get them all out, my Defiler kills only a few rather than all of them. That is pretty much turn one. Our basic strategy was avoiding the Swarm Lord and his two Tyrant Guard, pick off Space Marines when applicable, and gun down that Prime as soon as it shows up, of course it was Deepstriking. We intended to Lash/Pavon all the marines and Gants and drop our two S8 AP 3 large blast and our two S8 AP3 small blast templates on them. Unfortunately, we made a critical mistake. Instead of avoiding the Swarm Lord we decide to hit it head on with our Daemonettes, Prince, Seekers, and Fiend; thinking that we could over power it all at once. This was not the case. We got tied into combat where eventually our enemy had reinforcements join the fight. The Keeper came in but misshaped into my tank and got placed too far away to ever be useful by our enemies. When her Soul Grinder did show up it got only one round of ineffectual shooting before being wrecked by a lucky Lascannon. The Prime did show up and killed a few Seekers and my Noise Marines unloaded five wounds into it. By the end of the game our sluts (Daemonettes) were dead, Prince was dead, and a barely standing Swarm Lord and Prime came down on the Noise Marines. To the fates of the Defiler and Keeper you ask? They never manage to run fast enough to combat.
Conclusion: We underestimated the Swarm Lord; I play Tyranids and did this. We failed to think ahead and see that reinforcement would turn combat. Misshaping and rolling bad the half of the daemons army was unfortunate. The biggest issue we had was the understanding of our army. I never used Noise Marines before and she never ran Daemons in 40K.

Game Two: This game was a give. Our enemies were two new players playing Thousand Sons and Dark Angels, they had one tank. The objective was kill your opponents HQ’s. In a tricky display of wit our enemy loop holed a Greater Daemon HQ into the game and against the two HQ limit, I don’t mean this negatively, good for them that they figured that out. We decided to play it easy and light. The wrong half of our Daemons came in again, although to our advantage, that left the Keeper off the table. I kept my Prince in cover and lashed troops for the Defiler to pie plate to death. Most interesting point in the game, my Daemon Prince and the Lord with a Khorne Daemon Weapon duked it out, but my Prince won thanks to higher initiate and my opponent rolling a one for his attacks.

Conclusion:  We got a better understanding of our army while had a light and fun game, no need to go into detail.

Game Three: This is the game that defined the tournament. It was five objectives, of which we got to place the greater amount. We were up against Imp Guard and Blood Angels. These guys came to win. They had Chimeras, a Lemon Russ, a Ball Predator, Librarian Dreadnaught, Stormraven and lots of troops. We knew right away that we had no chance of out gunning them or their amour. So we decided to throw as much stuff at them as possible in a single large block. We deployed everything we had in a single corner of the table. Again, we didn’t get the half of the daemons we wanted. Our enemy deployed likewise knowing that they could take us. By turn two we had killed a tank but lost our Prince. Daemonettes and Seekers landed in the middle of No Man’s Land. To make a slow slaughter short, I will condense the rest of the game. We killed almost nothing of theirs and they killed everything of ours. But, this is where strategy outweighed strength. My partner cleverly dropped her Keeper and the Soul Grinder behind our nemeses, on the weaker side of the board. I kept my still living Noise Marines in the back near our objectives. There was a crucial moment were our enemy used three Meltaguns but still failed to kill the Soul Grinder. It and the Keeper started cleaning up tanks and troops and even triple assaulted at one point. By the end of the game: The SG (Soul Grinder) contested one objective, one was left all alone, one of my CSM squads was wiped out and our opponent took an objective, and my other CSM took the last objective. The game ended in a draw.

Conclusion: I feel very accomplished from the results of the game. We were out listed and still managed to tie the game. We learned that overwhelming forces can be beaten if you out smart them. If you make that aggressive force meet you head on and commit too much, you can lead him where you want. The only regret I have is that we forgot about a Fiend who, if we had remembered, could have contested their only objective. Also, we might have been able to Pavon that unit off the objective but that too we forgot about. We learned a lot about our armies and next time we will be ready to deal out more hurt.

Overall: In its entirety we did well for having run what we did. We showed that 40K is still a game of strategy and not just list building. I also fell in love with Slaanesh that day. Noise Marines are not properly appreciated. Sure they are a bit expensive but a squad of ten gets you 18 assault Bolter shots and two S5 assault hits, or 27 Bolter hits and a small blast S8 AP3. Not to mention a S5 AP3 flame template. They are the most versatile units in the codex. And Daemonettes can deal out a lot of pain in a charge. But, they don’t have staying power; they are best used to wipe out units that they know they can beat quickly. And, I admit it begrudgingly, the Soul Grinder is better than the Defiler. The theme of Slaanesh is speed. They are generally faster in initiative and almost always have fleet. Outside of the Noise Marines who display a very well balanced approach to combat, as they should as they were bent on being perfect, Slaanesh favors a swift combat. If you run Slaanesh Daemons you need to keep target priority and deployment in mind. You have no shooting, so when you DS in you have to make it to some cover. When you assault, you cannot charge into anything that can force you into prolonged combat or your 5+ save will fail you.

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