Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Game playing with the New Grey Knights: Shoot out

I got in a game last night with the Grey Knight list I put together for Vassal testing.  It was a fun game.  I was table to test the list against a Tau army.  Let me tell you, for a small, elite army, it took a ton of punishment and dealt quite a bit out in return. We played at a 2,000pt level, so I used my proposed list that is as follows:

Grandmaster- MC NF Sword, incinerator, psychotroke and rad grenades, digital weapons- 230pt.
Librarian- NF Sword, 3x servo skulls, Quicksilver, Might of Titan, Sanctuary, Shrouding, Warp Rift- 190pt.

Ven Dred- 2x TL Autocannon, Psybolt Ammo-195pt.
Ven Dred- 2x TL Autocannon, Psybolt Ammo-195pt.

5 GK Terminators- psycannon, 2x halberd, 1x MC hammer- 230pt.
5 GK Terminators- psycannon, 2x halberd, 1x MC hammer- 230pt.
5 GK Terminators- psycannon, 2x halberd, 1x MC hammer- 230pt.
5 GK Terminators- psycannon, 2x halberd, 1x MC hammer- 230pt.

Dreadnought- 2x TL Autocannon, Psybolt Ammo- 135pt.
Dreadnought- 2x TL Autocannon, Psybolt Ammo- 135pt.

My opponent took:
Shas'El-airbusrt frag projector, bonding knife, fusion blaster, missile pod, 1x gun drone

3 crisis suits- 1x missile/plasma, 2x missile/fusion, 2x gun drones
6 stealth suits- unit commander with markerlight

12 firewarriors- devilfish with 2 gun drones, disruption pod
12 firewarriors- devilfish with 2 gun drones
11 firewarriors- unit commander with markerlight
11 firewarriors- unit commander with markerlight
20 kroot- 14 carnivores, 1 shaper, 5 hounds

1 Piranha- fusion blaster, 2x gun drones

Hammerhead- railgun, burst cannons, disruption pod
Hammerhead- railgun, burst cannons, disruption pod
Sky Ray- Seeker missiles, Smart Missile, markerlights, disruption pod

This is perhaps my third game total against Tau, so my knowledge of their equipment is lacking, a deficit I need to remedy.  This game boiled down to an old fashioned OK Corral shoot-out.  We rolled annihilation with pitched battle deployment.  My opponent decided to not use his superior range and close with me.  I think this was to get him close enough to use the plasma and fusion weaponry to bypass my 2+ save.  This was to be his downfall, though, as I was able to get close enough and weather enough fire to assault in and begin to take apart his army.  We ended at turn 5, but his shooting phases were beginning to tell quite a bit.  By the end of the game, I had a GM on 1 wound, a libby on 1 wound, a single terminator, and 3 dreads.  He scored 4 KP on me and I killed his skyray, the piranha, the kroot, 12 warriors, two devilfish, and the stealth suits for 7 KP, most of these because they got too close instead of slowly backing away from my advancing flank elements. 
Here you can see the deployment.  Typical gunline fashion for him.  I decided to deploy in the central forest to help utilize Shrouding for cover saves if my armor was negated.  From the outset, I had a ton of poor rolls, but my 2+ armor proved very resilient.
After turn 1, I had lost a few models, with my opponent only immobilizing his own skyray and losing a few drones.  It was a pretty poor showing for both of us.
After turn 2, things began to heat up.  I started losing models, but this is also when he got too close with his devilifish meaning that I had the opportunity to assault in, on the left with my GM and squad and on the right with a single squad.  In both cases, he paid with the loss of the devilfishes.  On the left, a fortunate passed LD test on his last firewarrior meant that my GM and MC Hammer were protected from fire until my turn.
By turn 3 his crisis team was getting close and able to use plasma and fusion weapons on me to great effect and my forest bunker dwindled rapidly.  My first dread was blown away during this turn as well, despite his venerable roll.  On the right, my GM was able to assault into the stealth team, but due to poor rolling and being unable to sweeping advance, the 4 got away to regroup and shoot later.  The hammer tried to smash another vehicle, but couldn't connect this time.  On the left, after shooting away 6 kroot, a low roll on a difficult terrain test kept me from getting the assault on them and the piranha this turn.  I missed by about 1/2 an inch.
Turn 4 saw the bunker get eaten away with the exception of my wounded libby (due to a perils, not enemy fire.  I rolled 3 perils on him during this game, but only suffered a single wound!) and three dreads.  They continued to pound away at the crisis team, but just couldn't get through the armor saves.  My GM finished the job on the stealth team, though I lost my Hammer on the left due to enemy fire.  My black squad was reduced in size, but what got through, took out both the kroot and the piranha this turn. By the way, I believe I immobilized the piranha in turn 1, so it was easy prey.
Turn 5 saw my black squad reduced to 1 man who failed morale only to flee away and rally.  We actually ended on my turn 5 as we were out of time and at that point, I was clearly winning so didn't need to work through my own turn.

Wow!  Grey Knights are cool.  That Grandmaster is sick.  With him throwing rad and psychotroke grenades at units in assault phases, then getting to cast hammerhand, most combats are an autowin with him.  If only I could take 2 of this guy.  His incinerator was able to drop the left side firewarrior squad down by 8 models in one shot, but otherwise played a minimal roll.

The libby was a mixed bag.  On the one hand, he allowed me to feel protected with Shrouding, but ultimately not many shots negated my 2+ save, so it was largely unnecessary.  I am thinking about trimming this guy down a bit, but I need to play some other armies before I pass judgment.

The terminators were great.  2+ armor saves and a smattering of invul saves make these guys a pain in the butt to kill, even when I only have 20 of them.  Their ability to return fire at 24" in fairly large volumes is also nice.  The psycannons didn't pull too many rending wounds, but fear of them did help me out in many situations. 

The dreads were a mixed bag.  I think I may drop a ven dread down to a regular dread, drop the other ven dread altogether and use my points to try for another unit of terminators.  They did well, but nothing special.  I think 3 would work close to as well as 4.  The venerable reroll never works for me.  I always end up getting a worse result when my opponent rerolls! 

Ultimately, I was surprised when 26 models outgunned and outfought twice their number of treacherous xenos.  Grey Knights really do have the ability to be pretty shooty! They also have the ability to shoot well and then lay down the smack in combat.  Facing 2A models with force weapons is tough at the best of times.  With the buffs that can be bestowed by the libby and various rules given by Grand Strategy, the terminators become downright unpleasant to have to remove.  They are hard to shoot away and if you get close, they have no qualms with assaulting in and smashing face.  I also, like the survivability of the terminators and their ability to fire the psycannons to full effect. This army does a disproportionate amount of damage while not giving up many KP.  It is definitely a form of points denial as the terminators are extremely hard to kill.  Weighing in at only 10 KP, it can easily draw out KP from opponents while not giving up many itself.  In the end, I really enjoyed playing with this list and look forward to playing some more test games soon. 

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