The low down:
- Hammer and Anvil
- I won deployment
- Warlord Trait - Move through cover for ruins.
4 Objectives, one in the middle right, just above my biovore, the other middle left alongside my Hive Tyrant.
Ben had an objective just in front of the ruined shrin on the hill and the other one in the petrified woods. Twin Manticores flanking the board, Leman Russ holding centre, Command Squad taking cover behind the Chimera with a Veteran Squad inside. Two Vendettas to come on, one with Penal troops and a second Penal Troop set to outflank. Ymgarls eventually hide in the crater field bottom right, only place really given the Guard set up in the only other area terrain.
First turn and thankfully Ben doesn't steal the Initiative, however what we have here I believe is referred to as an 'alpha strike'. My Tyrant has swooped forwards 24" and I had a choice, go for the Chimera or the Command Squad which included the guy that's going to make my reserve rolls at a -1. So out of 12 shots I wound 7 times leaving just a few guys left who bottle it and run off the board. At this point Ben wants to start again, it was a bit of a shock to the system but I manage to point out that all is not lost just yet, he still has a lot of options, however I have First Blood and Slay the Warlord.
Mawloc burrows. The CCTervigon spawns 8 and the vanilla spawns double figures but no doubles they all spread out to cover my two objectives. My Stealers are hiding out on the board edge hoping to avoid the twin missile launchers. Devgaunts, CC Tervigon and Hive Guard run forwards to pressure his deployment zone. The Biovore hits as well, doing some damage.
Having pointed out the precarious position of the Hive Tyrant he takes a wound from the Chimera Heavy Bolter but stays aloft, then gets hit by a fusillade of las-guns who can't hurt him but the deluge of laser light forces him out of the sky and he crashes taking a 2nd wound.
As the Tyrant writhes on the ground the Leman Russ makes short work of him and Ben takes Slay the Warlord. So I traded 260pts for his 100 something, not a great trade although I got the extra VP and the impact of his Command Squad is worth more than their actual points. Time will tell if the numbers are misrepresenting the truth.
Both Manticores hit the Hive Guard, one dies and another takes a wound through all the explosions. The Tervigon is +3 Iron Armed so is nigh invulnerable but still takes a wound.
Ymgarls arrive from dormancy [no Doom] but only move 3" out of cover! Now I have a choice and 8" charge through cover to the Vets or a 9" charge for the Chimera? The Mawloc hits the Chimera taking a hull point and a vet. The Devgaunts shoot the vets in the woods who die and the rest flee leaving the Ymgarls to go for the Chimera. CCTervigon spawns the magic 15, things are looking good.
Vanilla Tervigon spawns 10 [no doubles] who spread out to add redundancy covering objectives.
Ymgarls mutate to slashing claws giving +1 St declare charge and are peppered with las-guns which fail to wound roll for charge and snake eyes! Clearly that laser light blinded them for an instant as they re-roll thanks to fleet and get double 6!
They charge in and manage to get 1 glance and a penetrating hit, a weapon is destroyed and the vehicle is wrecked disgorging it's occupants out the rear hatch.
The Vets prepare to get payback...
Their leader throws his demolition charge and as you can see in trying to throw it up at the Mawloc just ends up throwing it up in the air and hitting mainly his own squad - 2 die but the Mawloc takes a wound.
The Mawloc takes another two wounds and two Ymgarls die from the Russ and Vets in the ruins. The Vets charge in, I kill just 1 and he starts lobbing Melta Bombs instead of hitting me with close combat weapons. I'm on 5 wounds and my only option is to 'Hit and Run' but I get a 6 and stay locked in combat :(
One of the Matnicores hits the 15 spawned gaunts and wounds all of them but one makes it's cover save.
Another 10 gaunts spawned by the CC Tervigon [11 by the vanilla] and still no doubles. Tervigon fails in his Iron Arm with double 6s and takes another wound. Lone Termagant from the now demolished 15 goes his own way.
Devgaunts head for the woods, the Vets who ran from this objective rally. 10 Spawned gaunts shoot the vets in the ruins alongside the Biovore who also pins them, they fail to make the charge and have two of their number shot for their temerity.
The Vets Meltabomb the Mawloc with ease.
And put a further 2 wounds on the CCTervigon, what a time to miss my Iron Arm. The Hive Guard are down to 1.
The last two wounds get shot off the Tervigon putting 15 wounds on the lone Termagant! And 4 on the brood of 8. They panic and flee leaving my forward push in tatters. Devgaunts fail a pinning test.
Despite hanging out on the board edge all 4 stealers are destroyed by Manticore fire and thankfully the Broodlord doesn't run off. Worst of all the Biovore is insta-killed alnng with some gaunts. He'd been bang on target all game and real danger to his Guard, I feel like I want to try 2 though...
The lone Hive Guard also bolts but immediately rallies as he comes into synapse range of the vanilla Tervigon.
The Doom arrives he sucks the life out of the Melta Vets and Psychic Shrieks the to leave him with 10 wounds. Devgaunts shoot needing 6's to hit against the rallied vets managing to do some damage. With the infantry gone the nearest target for the Spore Pod is the Vendetta, it's rear hatch just within 6". I let him have it and roll one 6. I roll to penetrate and make it, I roll on the table and get a 6! the thing is toast. However, even though the moment has gone I allow Ben a jink roll cos that's the kinda guy I am and he makes it, aah what could have been.
Ymgarl stealer pulls himself together and manages to get a Hull point on the Leman Russ.
Right hand Vendetta drops vets [or perhaps penal troops] out the back and they deviate 9" up the board.
Other Penal troops outflank the long way round but shoot a couple of gaunts.
The Doom is on ten wounds has to take a potential insta-kill save... and passes. Then he has to take another two saves from las-cannons... and I get a 1 and a 2!
Some Devgaunts die and fail their morale check and run back to my deplyment zone. The penal troops make it clear where they're heading, it's all looking a bit tenuous now. I suddenly spot Ben's Vendetta could contest either of my objectives because I didn't use the more than enough gaunt shield I have to screen the objectives by +3". Thankfully he just repositions for a better shot on my Tervigon.
But kills my Spore Pod, so I've lost linebreaker but have two objectives, Slay the Warlord and First Blood. Ben has Slay the Warlord and Line Breaker but only one objective. He needs the final objective but is 9" away so needs a 6 on his run roll...
The guys make it and the game is square and given it's 12:15 and despite a 6th turn ready to roll I'm pretty sure it'd be an unpleasant turn where I lose troops, maybe not enough to lose control of the objectives but possibly. So a draw.
And here was Ben thinking it was lost first turn. It just goes to show that even when you think the game is over there are still tools that you can use and he may well have stolen the game at the end. If he'd contested an objective I would have lost but I'm glad of the result and glad that he persevered despite the drastic first turn. He chose this army as a challenge, in which case you have to accept they will die. I've had to do that with nids so it's great he came round to that conclusion by the end of the game. hope you liked it.