Thursday, July 03, 2008

One in a row!

Well, practicalities, or lack thereof at home mean I still can't bring photo's to the blog; and I'll admit this has caused the article rate to slow down significantly. I hope my readers are patient enough to stick with me on that count and weather the process of resolving it.

Nonetheless, gaming goes on, and last night was a significant first for the year for me. I won a game.

Now competitiveness should not in my opinion be the sole raison d'etre for wargaming. I have been following with interest on this a bitter and and at times way off the point discussion on about essentially whether Warhammer is a game or a hobby: or to be more precise whether it is pushing toy soldiers around for fun, or in some peoples opinions tantamount to a sport. I'm firmly in the school that you should be able to enjoy the game regardless of the result; and yet, we all like to be winners sometimes. Regular readers will recall my extended losing streak last year, well over twelve games in a row; though that is not to say I played 12 games I wished I hadn't bothered with in a row! Anyway, this year started badly so to speak, after my 5 month sabbatical from work and gaming I proceeded to lose five more games. Before finally overturning the trend last night.

Now without wanting to take anything away from either my victory or my opponent, it was against my old adversary Chris; so I had a good idea what to expect tactically from him. It was a modest sized game of 40k, with me fielding essentially this force:

Epistolary Librarian
Chaplain in Terminator armour with 5 Terminator guard
6 Tactical marines
6 Tactical marines
6 Scouts
6 Devastators with 2 plasma cannons
1 Assault configured Dreadnought

Now consider that this was the same army I had used two weeks previously at the Leeds Night Owls, and had it served to me on a plate; so I wasn't expecting much. Conversely Chris went with what I thought looked a surprising Blood Angels force.

Chaplain with 5 Death Company
10 Assault marines
10 Assault marines
10 scouts with a mixture of weapons
5 scouts with sniper rifles
2 Land speeders

The terrain setup randomised itself into a fairly even table with three major features in each flank and a field complex in the centre. However for both side the central deployment areas were devoid of cover, thus forcing both of us to split our forces. The recon mission implied advancing as critical, but fearing his mobility I deployed to cover and set up a gun line, I'd rely on my Terminators teleporting in to seize ground. Strangely Chris deployed several of his units in exposed positions, notably one unit of assault marines and the land speeders. It was a costly gamble on winning imitative I guess, however I won that and proceeded to put withering fire down on to them. One speeder destroyed, one disarmed and four Assault marines, two scouts and a Death Company trooper bit it in the first volley.

Chris withdrew!

That came as something of a surprise, and on my second turn left me with little in the way of targets. The scouts as a result got another pasting, along with the Death company. Chris rallied and seemed to realise that he wasn't going to win a shooting match; but the withdrawal had cost him vital time and inertia. In my third turn the Terminators arrived, and proceeded to put to a fiery death Chris' scouts. My troops were brave enough behind them to advance a little, whilst the Dread made leftovers out of more Death company. On my right flank the enemy Assault marines reached the Devastators, starting a long grinding match. But on my left their charge fell short, leaving them hanging out to dry.

The terminators, one squad of marines and my Librarian all advanced on the Assault team on my left but my combined shooting was enough to force them to withdraw, in other close combats, Chris' chaplain was squashed by my Dread, but he addition of my scouts to the melee on my right could only delay the inevitable there.

However, Chris' forces elsewhere were blown and in general disarray. The last of the death company died, and pursuing fire eliminated the other assault team. At game end Chris only had 1 marine and a badly damaged Speeder left; I'd lost just thirteen men.

So a win, mainly I feel due to the polar opposites of the forces working in my favour on this occasion, and the admitted tactical gaffes of my opponent. But a win none the less. Chris had hoped to scout me out whilst assault squads picked off my mainly defensive troops, but sheer firepower held him back. His was a light mobile force, that simply couldn't handle several key aspects of mine after losing the big guns on its' Speeders.

Elsewhere the club was ticking along with most members involved in an aerial combat game, but with an Ancients game and a medievals game (using the new Fields of Glory rules) underway. After this I felt more positive about the Wednesday club, and feel that in combination with the Night Owls on a Sunday, may make for a reasonable diversion whilst I'm in the UK.

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