Battle Report: Daemons Vs Blood Angels

This is game two of yesterday's tournament, and I played Birdsong, a wily veteran of the North Texas / Oklahoma scene.  As I recall, I first met him 2 or 3 years ago in OKC for a Hard Boyz tournament, and since that time he often makes the trip from Lawton, OK to Wichita Falls, TX for our local events.

He's also the dude that pulled the Sanctuary Screwjob on me last month.  That's one of my favorite games, but I was just as happy to find out I wouldn't see Inquisitor Pissoff on the table again.

Okay, the tournament coordinator, Little Barrera, used missions modified from the Battle Missions book.  As you'll see from these games, this decision was somewhat controversial, especially in game 3.  I was fine with them, but then they tended to play to my strengths.  Case in point, this game.  The astute reader will recognize the mission as that from one of my previous video battle reports, Daemons Vs Blood Angels (Brent Vs He Who Shall Not Be Named).  As I said there, this mission plays to the strength of Daemons who are able to work through the synergy of 1 or 2 units, whilst other armies aren't quite as capable.  I also said we determined the Defender should turtle up in the middle, which is possible since regardless of the sector you roll, you can set up within 24-square inches of the center.  The attacker is forced to move on from the board edge of whatever quadrant he rolls.  Also, there is an objective in the center of each of the 6 sections.  Got it?
Well, I rolled higher than Birdsong and chose to be the defender, turning the mission on its head.  He was forced to go first and deploy from the long edges onto an empty battlefield.  Truth be told, that shouldn't have made much of a difference, since it's very similar to what's going to happen when you play Daemons, regardless of the mission.  Consider: he would have had a turn to set up and a turn to fire/assault before I could launch an assault, and in fact I would have had less ability to escape the assault since I would be Deep Striking for the middle of the table.  All that said, for some reason the scenario made a difference to his strategic thinking and he made what I believe was the worst decision: he kept everything in reserve.  Also, he chose not to Deep Strike his Assault Squads but rather move in from the long edge... but that makes a certain amount of sense, given he'd have the ability to launch an assault on the turn he arrives.  The downside, though, is he loses the ability to re-roll his reserve roll.  Point is, the Daemons army is designed from the ground up to function through Deep Strike - it's difficult to beat it at its own game.  Moving on, I got my preferred wave, and I'm obviously setting up my Fiends and Khornedogs to assault whatever comes on, wherever it comes on at.  Birdsong was forced to drop a Pod, so his Librarian Dread hit the table.
At the top of 2, Birdsong gets his Baal Predator, an Assault Squad, and a Devastator Squad with Corbulo.  Like I said, he's a canny player, so he immediately targets my Troops.  The Baal on the left flank targets Plaguebearers in the ruins, as does the Assault Squad in the middle.  The Librarian Dread flies over and engages my last unit of 'bearers.  I go to ground then weather the assault as well as possible.
I weather the storm as well as possible, then launch my Fiends across in a series of assaults.  Two points; I send Karnak to reinforce the Plaguebearers against the Librarian Dread, and while the Fiends would have been a better choice to destroy it, I needed them elsewhere.  Karnak had a chance, and at worst I could hold the Dread in place.  Second, check out the above picture - this is something Birdsong pointed out to me, and I'd like to pass it along to you.  This unit of Fiends failed to roll high enough to cross the difficult terrain and assault the Devastator Squad.  As you can see, the other unit had no problem doing so, given they had a straight shot.  Birdsong pointed out I could have targeted the vehicle and avoided the terrain test, then possibly picked up a few of the Devastators.  This was a great point, and I missed it because of the angle of the table - had I walked around it, or examined it from another view, I would probably have seen it.
So, Birdsong gets some Scouts in the corner, I get the Great Unclean One... and boy, I needed that!  I was worried about my opponent's strategy of targeting my Troops.  The big boy dropped Breath and knocked off the TL'd Assault Cannons.  The engagements continue.
My Horrors are dropped into Sector One (see the big casino dice?) as is Birdsong's smallish Assault Squad.  He ignores the Fiends and heads for the Troops, following his strategy.  I agree with this decision, even though it didn't work out for him; sometimes it's most important to stick with your plan when it seems like it's not working, because the moment you change it is guaranteed not to work.  Obviously too, you have to know when to abandon and idea - but that Catch 22 is what makes the game fun.
At this point, the game is coming close to its end.  It's hard to see here, but the Horrors are firmly in control of Sector 1 and I still have a Plague Bearer in the ruins in the middle of Sector 2.  In Sector 3 my Great Unclean One and a Daemon Prince are tackling a Tac Squad with Razorback and the still dangerous Baal.  My Khornedogs are dying off slowly but surely, but are eventually reinforced by a unit of Fiends, who manage to bring it down.  Anyone notice what hasn't made an appearance?
Yea, yea, yea...
Ah, there he is!  Yup, Mephiston didn't show up until Turn 4.  He charged one of my Daemon Princes and began to prove what a monster he is.  Frankly, I'm lucky he didn't show up earlier, since he was fighting off my Daemon Prince and a unit of Fiends on the charge - what the hell else was I going to have to throw at him?  He's a true beast, and I'm a bit more worried than I was about Jawa and Goat's Blood Angels at the BoLSCon Team Tourament.

Basically, that was game.  Birdsong asked afterward if I felt vindicated.  Yup!

I'm aware the scenario was an uphill battle, but I thought it was made more so by his decision to full reserve.  Given this is a topic that's pretty pertinent, I'll weigh in.  Ready?

It depends.


(What?  You expected more?)


Chumbalaya said...

Goofy scenario ftw. That's a bummer =/

Nice report, always good to see some Daemon loving.

Anonymous said...

I tend to leave my forces in reserve for a lot of missions. I tend to rely on being able to pick my assaults and set up for counters. The mission is very bizarre and robbed me of my greatest asset. Brent outplayed me and had some help with Mephiston (coming in so late) charging in and flubbing all his roles. My devastors never fired their heavy weapons......
I felt I didn't really give him much of a run for the money. My only hope was to try to destroy his troops. 10 Man assault squad w/ pwoerfist bounced right of 5 plaguebearers. It was rough but Brent is always a plaesure to play. I learned something new about the assault phase too.


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