Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dante vs. Khan- An Ugly Mess

I got in a good fight tonight.  I played against a Khan biker force and got smacked around pretty good.  Through a fairly big mistake or two and some terrible dice, I came out 6kp to 7kp garnering myself a loss. 

This is the second time I have played this variant of the Sanguinary Guard Army.  I took:

Libby- jump pack, shield, sword

3 Priests- 2 with jump packs and hand flamers, 1 naked

5 Sanguinary Guard- 2x infernus pistol, power fist
5 Sanguinary Guard- 2x infernus pistol, power fist
5 Sanguinary Guard- 2x infernus pistol, power fist
10 Assault Marines- 2x meltaguns, powerfist
5 Scouts- 4x sniper rifles, missile launcher, camo cloaks

Landspeeder- multi-melta, heavy flamer
Landspeeder- multi-melta, heavy flamer

5 Devestators- 4x missile launchers
5 Devestators- 4x missile launchers

My opponent took:

Khan on Moondrakken
Chappy on bike
Command Squad- 2x LC/SS, 2x plasmagun/SS, apothecary

Biker Squad- 8 bikes, meltagun, flamer, powerfist, mm attack bike
Biker Squad- 8 bikes, meltagun, flamer, powerfist, mm attack bike
Biker Squad- 8 bikes, meltagun, flamer, powerfist, mm attack bike

2 Landspeeders- assault cannons, heavy bolters
2 Landspeeders- multi-melta
2 Landspeeders- multi-melta

We played annihilation with dawn of war deployment.  I rolled red thirst for four units this game!  That is how many ones I rolled.  Dante's SG, my black SG, the scouts, and the blue devestators all had red thirst.  Below are the turns of the game.

As you can see, deployment wasn't much.  I placed my scouts hoping to have some sort of good placement.  In hindsight I probably should have put them in the bunker or the forest next to it in the northeast corner.  As you will see, most of the game happened on the left side of the board and my opponent was able to focus more on that side.  Had the scouts been on the right, I might have been able to split up his force.

After turn 1, nothing had happened.  We had both taken the field in majority.  You can see that Dante and a squad of SG are off the board as are Khan/Chappy/Command Squad and a biker squad. Since he was unable to do much to my army on turn 1, I decided to get aggressive with his speeders.... 

...resulting in 5 destroyed speeders (3 are his/2 are mine) by the bottom of turn two.  Dante didn't come on.  He wouldn't until turn 4.  Here I made a huge mistake.  I decided to pull my assault squad back and around the ruin on the left to prevent the bike squads from attacking them.  Unfortunately, Khan, Chappy, and Co. came in on the left and butchered the squad (as you can see by the bloody smear behind the ruin).  His biker squad also came on and combat squadded before it came onto the left board edge. 
Khan and Co. continued to rampage as he took out a devestator squad while my scouts tied up the teal bike squad.  I took out the rest of his speeders and started to move back towards the center.  Still no Dante.
Here, Dante finally came in but barely.  I rolled a 1 followed by a 2.  My dice screwed me over so many times in this game, but what can you do.  In this turn, Dante and company came in 1 inch from a 5 man biker combat squad only to shoot down a single biker, out of 3 infernus pistols and 6 bolter shots.  Ugh.... In other news, my sanguinary guard plus priest made an assault on the teal bikers fighting my scouts, only to cause 2 wounds.  My dice rolls were epic fail.  As you can see in the picture above, Khan and co. took no chances as they, the biker squad and the entrenched biker squad shot up Dante's squad.  Then Khan, the command squad, and the combat squad assaulted in to wipe out the sanguinary guard leaving only Dante on 1 wound.  I did take out his chaplain (who had been wounded by a dangerous terrain test earlier). 
Dante's final triumph was to take out Khan before being lightning clawed to death.  I was able to take out his teal biker squad finally when my second SG squad assaulted in and munched on it. My opponent then bugged out every biker squad so that I couldn't get to him.  Then I rolled a 1 to end the game.

In the end, I lost Dante, the priests, the assault squad, a sanguinary guard squad, a devestator squad, and both speeders.  My opponent lost Khan, the chappy, a biker squad, and all three units of speeders. 

So lessons learned in this game:

1) Stay away from the flanks unless you can block them, if your opponent is outflanking Khan and a command squad.  The placement of that assault squad really hampered me.  I probably would have done better just moving them forward and trying to soak the fire from the vanilla biker squads or even redeploying them towards the center or right of the board forcing my opponent to come to me. 

2) I totally forgot to hit and run with Dante.  That would have possibly gotten me out of trouble with him in the combat where he was completely surrounded and summarily died.   

3) I still need to work on my scout placement.  They are a fragile group, but can be a real hassle if I can get some good shots off.  Luckily they survived this game with the help of the sanguinary guard and being fearless from red thirst. 

That said, I feel that this game was close and had any of a good number of dice rolls been average, I might have pulled it out.  So, the Sanguinary Guard army can win, but it takes a finesse that I am still developing.  We are getting there, though.  Thanks for reading.


AbusePuppy said...

Did you remember Dante's mask? That should have really kept Khan in check, I would think.

In games like this, where concentration of force is more important than anything else, I avoid going into reserves- your Sang Guard should have made short work of any biker squads that got in range of you, and unlike him you can skip over terrain.

I definitely wouldn't have pushed my Speeders forward in a KP game like that; make him come to you if he wants to get them.

Your advantage over him was Devs, which grossly outrange all his 24" guns. Sit back in a corner and gun down Speeders/force saves and make him get within 18" of you, then make your charges. Priests insure you can suck up his Bolter shots without problems and on the charge you should be wrecking his squads badly- bikers, for the most part, are NOT good in melee, T5 aside. Cutting up his Command Squad would be hard, but remember he's paying a LOT of points for it, and those guys only have 3+ saves; shoot them, force them to roll armor saves, and then charge the weakened squad with as much stuff as you can to ensure it's wiped out.

Outflanking is a pain, but you can avoid it by hanging in the middle of the board (probably not good in this case) or sticking to one edge only (which gives him a 1/3 chance of coming in on the wrong side) and doing your best to block easy charges. Given the matchup, this would likely mean sacrificing a squad to him when he came in, but the ASM and Scouts are both expendable. (Incidentally, I would trade the Scouts for some more Devs or ASM if I were you, but the list otherwise looks pretty good.)

Dave said...

Yeah, the game was actually a lot closer than it felt (like a beating)and I clearly see my mistakes. Honestly I agree with you that playing in the center of the board would have been much better for me, but I was boneheaded in regards to that assault squad.

I did deathmask Khan. That is how he died (failed a shooting wound and then got smacked by Dante). Unfortunately, I should have hit-and-run with Dante instead of smacking Khan as I think that would have kept him alive longer.

I think the tough part about his outflanking the command sqaud with chappy and Khan was that it produced so much damage output. Blocking it would be nigh impossible as it had the ability to churn out so many wounds that anything I could throw into it would more than likely die. Then the saves/toughness were so good, It was hard to whittle it down.

Finally, I agree about the speeders, but I didn't think I had the ability to reliably take them out without support from my speeders. Unfortunately, I was right and unfortunately the addition of the speeders didn't help enough to make a difference.

In the end, this was a great instructional game where I learned a lot. I am slowly getting a feel for this army and it is quite fun to play. I am thinking about adding in an honor guard unit for the cost of a priest and a sagnuinary guard unit. Then Dante's precision strike rule would be more worthwhile.

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